Category Archives: DX-ing on Cape Skagen
Right now preparing for another listening session on Cape Skagen. Conditions doesn’t seem to be *that* promising, but at least a little bit better than two weeks ago. Hope to hear one or two aussies and the first bunch of North American stations this season. Guess there will be at least one surprise as well. There always is, when listening on Skagen.
Until tomorrow, then…
Just completed the first “real” mini-pedition to Cape Skagen this season. I went out at lunchtime on friday to get all my gear up and running and was listening friday afternoon to saturday morning and saturday afternoon to sunday morning. I didn’t have any great expectations for this weekend, due to last week’s radio blackout’s and proton storms, and just as expected, there was no signals at all on mediumwave from North America this weekend. Furthermore, the MW-band was quite noisy at times and on saturday evening a quite big Aurora Borealis event was experienced. Although the Northern Light is a beautyful sight, it’s the last thing a MW-DX:er aiming for North America and other over-the-pole-signals wants. I any case, this time I used my Eton E1XM as main receiver and the Afedri to do “over-the-full-hour” recordings of the entire MW-band at times when stations normally ID. I didn’t have battery power enough in my laptop to let it run constantly, so this was somewhat a compromise. Next time, I will have another power-arrangement for the SDR. I used three BOG:s in 310, 340 and 50 degrees, all fed through balun-transformers.
There wasn’t much heard from the Far East. JOHR, Sapporo on 1287 KHz was heard for a while in an un-even battle with the IRIB Regional station in Lar. Listening at sunset produced a shipload of chinese stations on friday afternoon and a just as huge load of All India Radio regionals on saturday afternoon. In fact, there was AIR-stations heard on almost every MW-channel. Picture at left shows the MW-spectrum at 1736 UTC, just after local sunset. I have checked my IQ-recordings from the Afedri briefly, and I know that I have local ID:s on several of the AIR-stations. I will continue examining the IQ-files this week, and a complete log will be published here later on. Listening at sunrise generally didn’t produce anything at all. I maybe have a peruvian station on 1530 KHz, received at sunrise saturday morning, but I need to analyse my recording before I can say anything more about this one. Sunrise sunday morning produced a handful of brazilian stations on lower frequencies, all them quite common and since signals was very unstable, I decied to reel the antennas in and go back home for a well deserved(?) sleep.
However, friday evening and night to saturday bringed me some pretty big surprises, and just as three weeks ago, when I visited Skagen the last time, it was signals from Africa which made me jump over my shoulders. At 19:39 UTC I found a station on 1485,04 KHz playing the kind of music that often is to be heard from stations in Tchad, Niger and Sudan. I’m not sure if there is any common name, defining this type of african music, so I’m just calling it “Sahel music”. I guess most of you know what I mean. In any case, this station was playing nonstop Sahel music and consulting WRTH gives Sudan i.e. SRTC Regional Al-Gadarif, which is listed on 1485 Khz with the modest power of 5 KW. Now, this is a tentative logging, but the kind of music makes me quite sure of what station I was dealing with.
Well, if this wasn’t enough, an hour later I jumped over a station on 1026 KHz, playing beautyful african music. It turned out to be no less than Rádio Mocambique, Emisora Provincial de Manica, in Chimoio. A good ID, “Rádio Mocambique – Manica” was received on the full hour. That was the second RM Emisora Provincial that I have received on Cape Skagen in three weeks.
“All good things are three” we use to say here in Scandinavia, and my african triplet was completed around midnight when Radio Free Africa in Mwanza, Tanzania was received on 1377 KHz. The french co-channel was quite weak this evening, making the door to Africa wide open. I was pretty lucky as well, since the Mwanza station ID’d seconds after I had turned on my recorder.
I also did some listening on shortwave. Propagation was pretty good into the pacific area. VL8A in Alice Springs on 4835 KHz was a booming signal already on saturday afternoon, together with RRI Palangkaraya on 3325 KHz. VL8K and VL8T was also nice signals on the 120 meter band later on saturday evening. On 3915 KHz, I found Radio Fly, Papua New Guinea, which was somewhat a surprise for me. I managed to record an ID and some other announcements at 16:00 UTC. The rest of the time the programme only contained nonstop contemporary pop-music and ballads. I any case, this was a catch that made me very happy! During the night between saturday and sunday, I also found CKZN on 6160,90 KHz and CFRX on 6069,97 KHz. Both canadiens with good signals.
Audio files: I have uploaded the audio clips of the three african stations. Be my guest and listen, but please, don’t use them to send fake reception reports. Thanks!
- SRTC Regional Al-Gadarif 1485 KHz, is found here.
- Rádio Mocambique, Emisora Provincial de Manica 1026 KHz, is found here.
- Radio Free Africa, Mwanza, Tanzania 1377 KHz, is found here.
The complete log of the SKAG3 “mini-pedition” will be uploaded later on.
Well, as expected, the propagation over the north pole was useless the last night, and no signals from North America was heard what so ever. Not even carriers. However, as could be expected regarding the current conditions, signals from middle east was dominating the mediumwave band. African stations, with the exception of Sudan on 1296 KHz, VOA Sao Tomé on 1530, Radio Sawa / Djibouti on 1431 KHz and the bunch of common egyptian stations, are generally very rare up here in the extreme north, so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a portuguese speaking station on 1223,98 KHz at 21:47 UTC, having quite a battle with co-channels Galei Zahal and Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran. After consulting WRTH and other lists, I came to the conclusion that it probably was Emisora Provincial de Cabo Delgado in Pemba, Mozambique that I had the honor of listening to, as there are no other portuguese speaking stations listed on this frequency.
The reward came at 22:00 with an annoncement for the news transmission “Último Jornal” followed by a perfect ID: “Rádio Mocambique – Cabo Delgado”. The audio clip with the ID is found here. Listen to it, and if you download it – please don’t use it to send your own fake reception reports. Thanks!
The station was heard with quite good signals at times, carriyng a late night show with african popular music for about yet an hour, before it faded out completely at 2301 UTC.
Ok, it seems to be time to check that the BOG:s and the rest of my portable equipment still works, since last season. I’m will try some listening from the car out on Cape Skagen here in Vardø during this weekend. Conditions are predicted to become pretty lousy, so don’t expect any sensational logs this time. Still, it’s always a good idea to do a pre-season “mini-pedition”, just to check the equipment and to identify things that can be improved.
Ok, I’m now finished with the complete(?) log from my second mini-pedition to Cape Skagen. This is a “short version” where most of the comments has been removed to save a little space. Regarding most of the Asian stations logged: I’m not yet finished with the checkouts of my recordings, and in addition there might be a couple of more stations not mentioned, since there was multiple stations heard on quite a few of the frequencies.
You can check the SKAG2 log here.
Audio files to be uploaded later next week.
Got home from my second mini-pedtition an hour ago, and I wish I had more energy. If that would have been the case, I had stayed for one more night and morning, but I’m just too tired. Seems I’m getting too old for this? Anyway, I’ve been awake for almost 40 hours now, and I’m seriously tired. I’m just going to finish this post and then hit the sack for a few hours.
There was quite a few interesting stations from Asia present during the late afternoon and evening. I’ll get back to these when I have checked my recordings. Audible signals from North America was noted at 02:20 UTC and I logged about 35 stations during the night and morning. I could have logged a lot more if I had used my SDR-IQ in IF-recording mode, of course, but I’m still very satisfied with the result. Like I previously said, if I had the energy I would stayed for another night.
Highlights of the morning was KCJB Minot ND-910, KLTC Dickinson ND-1460 and KKAA Aberdeen SD-1560. I guess there’s more to discover in the recordings, since there were multiple stations recorded on a couple of frequencys.
The second mini-pedition to Cape Scagen was suddenly terminated by a unleashed Vorsteh. The dog runned thru all the three BOG’s of mine, making “spaghetti” of them, before it turned back and jumped the hood of my car and runned over the car via the windscreen. No owner of the dog was in sight. The time was 09:35 UTC and there was still NA-stations present on the band. Well, I was planning to head back home at 10:00 UTC, so this wasn’t a big catastrophy after all. Now I have an interesting job to separate the antenna wires from eachother, but I’m glad that I didn’t have to separate the Vorsteh from them.
Frank Zappa once said that God’s first mistake was to create Human. His second mistake was the Poodle. I like to fill in, and state that God’s third mistake must be the Vorsteh. With or without owner…
I’m returning with the complete log when everything is sorted out and all recordings are checked. Now: Bed.
Conditions is predicted to be quiet to unsettled, but I’m taking the chanse to do anther little mini-pedition to Cape Skagen on Vardøya. Weather is currently very nice, and I’m driving up there just after lunchtime today with the goal to have all three BOG’s (200m in 330 deg., 200m in 0 deg., 200m 50 deg.) laid out before it gets dark. Hope to get one or two new ones in the log. Back on sunday!
Home again from the first Mini-Pedition to Cape Skagen, the northern end of Vardøya Island. Let me say that it was a mixed bag, condition wise. It started very well, but ended way down in the basement, due to a greater than 10 MeV proton event yesterday afternoon. Anyway, in general the little pedition was a success! A wonderful QTH, and like I said – it started very nice!
I started quite early yesterday morning, as I had planned to be ready for listening at 10:00 UTC. As it turned out, however, I was finished with all the antenna works and all the preparations already before 09:00 UTC since I’ve been working incredible fast due to a sudden hailstorm! I immedeately turned on my ICF-2010 and found the MW-band more or less crowded with North American stations – at least it sounded like that in my ears. Well, there was signals on every 10 KHz channel that I checked, and the best of all: barely no Europeans at all – except for the semi-local russian stations on 657 and 1034. Georgeous, georgeous, georgeous! As it’s said in the norwegian commercial for house-paint. Between 09:00-13:00 UTC I logged a bunch of US and Canadian west coast, praire and “rocky” stations as well as a few Alaskan and one from Hawaii. I didn’t log anything fancy, but it was probably the funniest four hours I’ve had since I started DX:ing in 1980. Remember that this is my first season this far north.
At 13:00 UTC the trans-polar mediumwave signals had faded out completely. I didn’t know the reason why at that time. While waiting for a possible opening into the Far East, I switched to the 90 meter-band and found nice signals from a couple of Papua New Guinea stations accompanied by RRI Palangkaraya. Switching back to MW didn’t result in anything from the Far East at all, except for the usual bunch of chinese stations which are to be found everywhere on the band these days, together with the likewise usual bunch of iranian stations. Later on, however, I found a couple of interesting stations from south-east Asia, which caught my attention for a while. Before that, I’d had another QSY, this time to the 120 meter-band, where I found all three Aussie stations with rather poor signals. The rest of the evening and early night I spent half awake, half sleeping, waiting for the sunrise and the morning peak into North America. It never came. Instead the band was populated with a bunch of Argentinian and Brazilian stations – all with very unstable signals. I managed to get a few in the log, but signals were generally very poor and it was very demotivating to face the fact that the nice conditions from the day before were gone. At 07:30 UTC I decided to gather my stuff and head for the warm and cozy bed of mine.
Ok, so what are the lessons learned from this first Mini-Pedition? Well, the first and most important: Next time, I will be ready for listening even earlier than this time. If I hadn’t been so morning-tired, I could have started to listen one or maybe even two hours earlier. Second: Next time I will bring yet another 200m BOG, which will be directed right in between the 330 degrees and the 50 degrees. Third: The ICF-2010 (modified) is an amazing piece of radio! I had almost forgotten how good it is and how good it sounds. When it comes to portables, I bet there is still nothing in this world that beats this trusty old radio. Ok, when they have comed up with a nifty way to power up a laptop and SDR for more than 3-4 hours during portable use, it will of course be a better solution – but right now the ICF-2010 stays untouched! Call me an old fart, but I like my analog radios better than my SDR-IQ. That’s just the way it is, and in the future I will bring a motor-cykle battery and my AOR-7030+.
If conditions improves until next weekend, and If the weather conditions still permits outdoor activities that are not hazardous or even leathal, I will have another try on Cape Skagen. It’s truly an amazing location in a dramatic landscape.
The log is found HERE!
Later this week I will start to upload some audio-files as well.
Not much listening yesterday evening and last night. Instead I prepared for a little 24h “mini-pedition” to the Skagen Peninsula, which is the northern part of Vardøya Island. Skagen is easily accessed by car, and the weather this morning is indeed very nice. Very little wind and even parts of blue sky. I will use my ICF-2001D (ICF-2010) and two BOG’s, 200m in 330 degrees and 200m in 50 degrees. Both fed via 9:1 baluns into a coax switch and a step attenuator. It will be interesting to listen in an environment which is free from man-made noise. Nearest building structure populated by Homo Sapiens is almost 900 meters away. Hope that the rather low A- and K–indexes remains. I’m getting back tomorrow afternoon with the results of this little visit in Mother Nature.