Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ultralight Dxing at Castle Rock - 11th March 2009

Google Earth Image of the dx location at Castle Rock, looking north towards Millers Point with False Bay to the east.

Castle Rock is situated just south of Millers Point on the picturesque coastal route between Simonstown and Cape Point, approximately 45 km south-east of Cape Town. It is a short 20 minute drive from my QTH in Fish Hoek and an excellent location for early evening MW DX.

From the mountain side, looking south east across False Bay.

A previous visit with the Sony SRF-M37V was encouraging, so I decided to take the ultralight receiver along again. My main aim was to check out the barefoot reception with this tiny receiver. I also set up a modest 20 metre "over the shoulder" "sloper" antenna.

Another view of the dx location against the mountainside, towards the west.

Despite a fair amount of static, the reception with the SRF-M37V was quite surprising ! Highlights included the barefoot reception of 1449 Maldives (10kw) over 7 152 km / 4444 miles and 1575 Mauritius (2kw) over 4 124 km / 2 562 miles. 1566 India and Korea also made it through barefoot.

Barefoot Highlights :

666 1854 REUNION Radio Reunion, St.Pierre w ann in FF by YL

720 1740 AUSTRALIA 6WF Perth with talkback

1134 1715 CHINA CNR 1 w piano mx

1323 1721 CHINA CRI in EE w "China Drive"

1323 1908 CYPRUS BBC Relay Zygi w news in EE

1359 1845 TAIWAN Family Radio Fangliao w hymns - strong

1377 1723 CHINA CNR1 Zhengzhou w anns over music bed

1413 1908 OMAN BBC Relay A'Seela w news in EE

1413 1900 MOLDOVA Voice of Russia, Grigoriopol, Kremlin bells and ann

1422 1842 MALAWI MBC Radio 1 w interview in EE

1440 1928 TANZANIA Radio One, Dar-es-Salaam w R&B mx

1449 2010 MALDIVES Voice of Maldives, Male w dramatic radio play (10kw)

1458 1817 MAYOTTE RFO, Pamandzi w interview/discussion in FF

1503 1830 IRAN R. Iran, Busherh w id

1503 1815 TAIWAN Fangliao w anns

1512 1810 SAUDI ARABIA BSKSA Jeddah in AA

1521 1810 SAUDI ARABIA BSKSA Duba in AA

1539 1810 UAE VOA R. Aap Ki Dunyaa, Al-Dhabbaya w id

1566 1725 INDIA AIR Nagpur w ragas and EE news by YL at 1730 UTC

1566 1725 KOREA HLAZ Jeju w discussion

1575 1915 MAURITIUS BBC Relay Bigara in EE w mention of an upcomming interview with a winemaker (2kw)

1575 1725 KUWAIT Radio Fada w anns

All stations received with a barefoot Sony SRF-M37V.

Monday, March 9, 2009

WEPN New York NY 1050 QSL

It was a pleasant surprise to receive a QSL letter today from 1050 ESPN Radio Anchor Bob Galerstein. Bob kindly replied to my email report of reception during the excellent opening from the U.S.A. on the 12th January at Noordhoek. WEPN was heard with a huge signal via the Sony SWF-M37V Ultralight and 220 Metre BOG (Beverage On Ground).

1050 WHN (previous call sign) used to get through quite regularly with their country music format during the early 1970's when I first began dxing. I used to enjoy listening to an almost "local quality" signal, via an old Sierra domestic valve receiver and modest 30 metre receiving antenna.

Despite two or three previous attempts over the years, I never managed to obtain a QSL from the station until today. Thank you Bob for your kind reply !

Bob's reply also represents an unexpected 100% return from my 8 recent reports to the U.S.A. It's gratifying that all the recipients have kindly managed to find the time to reply to a distant listener way beyond their respective target areas.

Google Earth Image of WEPN's transmitter and three antenna tower array, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A favourable night time pattern results in good Trans-Atlantic reception in Fish Hoek at times.

Monday, March 2, 2009

MW Stations From Six Different Continents Award

Today I received a beautiful ultralight award certificate from John Bryant on behalf of the other ultralight awards commitee members Robert Ross and Gary DeBock.

The award is for the reception of six continents utilizing an ultralight radio receiver of the barefoot class. I believe that this is also the first "Six Continent" Award issued.

My humble thanks and appreciation for the acknowledgement guys !

A brief breakdown ot the continents/stations heard may be of interest :

On the 24th February, I managed to receive 5 continents barefoot, including 720 6WF Perth, barefoot for the fist time on the Sony SWF-M37V.

In addition to North America received on 24th January 2009, Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America made it through during the evening of 24th Feb 2009.

A sample of the stations recieved :

Freq = kHz Time = UTC :

1) Oceania
720 1805 AUSTRALIA 6WF Perth WA with ABC news and wx, also at 1935 w musical interlude "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters.

2) Asia
1359 1855 TAIWAN Family Radio, Fangliao with religious programme in EE followed by "To God Be The Glory" interlude.

3) Africa
1458 1905 MAYOTTE Radio Mayotte, w ann by OM in FF.

4) Europe
1557 1938 FRANCE France Info, Nice w discussion by YL in FF.

5) South America
740 2055 BRAZIL Radio Soc da Bahia w ann in PP at fade-up. This station usually gets through with a huge signal here.

* Barefoot Audio Clip on the right hand side of the web page.

6) North America
1120 0310 U.S.A. KMOX St. Louis MO w id and 5-day wx forecast heard on 24th January 2009.

The surprise reception of KMOX at over 13 776 km / 8560 miles also represents a new world distance record for reception on an ultralight receiver of the barefoot class.

All stations received with a barefoot Sony SRF-M37V at Fish Hoek.