BADX "DX Clams"

July 20/21, 2006
Granite Pier, Rockport MA (42°40'N 70°37'W)

    Despite the threat of rain as tropical storm Beryl passed to the south, it was another memorable DX Clams for the logbook.  There was an impressive display of mediumwave DX equipment as well as some impressive mid-summer reception on the Granite Pier in Rockport.  BADX'ers Mark Connelly, Bruce Conti, Paul Graveline, Briggs Longbothum, and Gary Thorburn all met at Woodman's in Essex for their world-famous fried clams and shop talk, while Chris Black bypassed dinner to claim a prime position on the pier for his full-scale porta-flag antenna.  Fortunately the rather clammy weather kept the tourists away as we had the whole pier to ourselves for most the night. Unfortunately, after the extra effort by Chris to install the Flag antenna, his ICOM 756 Pro II receiver's CPU bit the dust, leaving him receiver-less.  It was still a good demonstration of how Chris implemented telescoping fiberglass fishing rods for Flag supports.  Prior to sunset, 630 was a popular frequency for testing directional antennas and phased arrays.  Dominant WPRO Rhode Island was easily nulled out for loud and clear reception of CFCY Prince Edward Island.  (630 CFCY and 720 CHTN will soon be replaced by FM, leaving Prince Edward Island without AM.  CHTN is already simulcasting its new FM, "Ocean 100, we play everything.")  Most impressive of all was reception of 1575 United Arab Emirates on a barefoot Degen 1103 by Gary Thorburn.  Photos by Black, Connelly, and Longbothum, along with the following mediumwave DX logs tell the rest of the story.  The report ends with observations from Jean Burnell DXing in Nova Scotia the previous night.

Paul (foreground) and Briggs talk it up on handheld two-ways.


 Chris Black N1CP; ICOM 756 Pro II, portable Flag.

 Mark Connelly WA1ION; Drake R8A, cardioid array on roof of car = 3 m whip (MFJ-1954) to 81:1 transformer to DX Engineering RPA-1 amp + broadband loop in vertical plane, square, 2 m per side, to 1:1 transformer to DX Engineering RPA-1 amp, peak east-west, null north-south, DXP-6 phasing unit, Pogo Radio YourWay LX MP3 recorder.

 Bruce Conti; R8B, MWDX-5, 3 x 4 m broadband loop, 6-m whip.

 Paul Graveline K1YUB; ICOM W32A handheld 2-way.

 Briggs Longbothum AB2NJ.

 Gary Thorburn KD1TE; Drake R8A, remotely tuned amplified 2.5-ft box loop, barefoot Degen 1103.

Chris Black, 756 Pro II with Flag tuner, and Flag antenna.

Transatlantic MW DX

 621    CANARY ISLANDS // SPAIN RNE1 synchros, Santa Cruz de Tenerife et al.  JUL 20 2350 - Spanish ballad; fair, the first TA noted with audio before local 8:13 p.m. Eastern (UTC-4) sunset. [Conti]  JUL 21 0117 - Parallel 747 with fast Spanish talk; good. [Connelly]

 693    AZORES RDP 1, Terceira (38°43'N 27°19'W) JUL 21 0119 - Portuguese and English pop vocals; over UK. [Connelly]

 747    CANARY ISLANDS // SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0117 - Parallel 621 with fast Spanish talk; fair. [Connelly]

 756    GERMANY Deutschlandfunk, Braunschweig & Ravensburg  JUL 21 0139 - Parallel 1422 with classical organ music; fair, a bit over Spain. [Connelly]

 756    SPAIN R.Euskadi, Bilbao JUL 21 0116 - Man and woman in Spanish; poor. [Connelly]

 765    SWITZERLAND RSR Option Musique, Sottens (46°39'N 06°44'E) JUL 21 0138 - Presumed; rock music, quite strong signal. [Thorburn]

 783    MAURITANIA R.Mauritanie, Nouakchott (18°07'N 15°57'W) JUL 20 2340 - Pre-sunset fade-in with a man in Arabic. [Connelly]

 819    EGYPT ERTU Batra (31°09'N 31°27'E) JUL 21 0121 - Parallel 12050 with Koranic vocal; fair, over presumed Morocco. [Connelly]

 837    AZORES RDP 1, Pico da Barrosa  JUL 21 0139 - Pop music parallel 693 kHz; on top of a mix with France and Spain. [Conti]

 837    CANARY ISLANDS // SPAIN COPE synchros  JUL 21 0118 - Parallel 882 with Spanish talk; slightly over apparent Azores. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0135 - Weak audio, considering moderate carrier. Man talking. [Thorburn]

 855    SPAIN RNE1 synchros  JUL 21 0113 - Echoey Spanish talk; over static crashes that had started to intensify at this time. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0135 - Excellent; talk parallel a good 684 signal. [Conti]

 864    EGYPT Holy Koran Radio, Santah  JUL 21 0112 - Koranic vocal; mostly over France. [Connelly]

 864    FRANCE France Bleu, Villebon-sur-Yvette (48°41'N 02°14'E) JUL 21 0112 - French pop music; a bit under Egypt. [Connelly]

 873    SPAIN SER synchros  JUL 21 0110 - Parallel 1116 with woman in Spanish; fair. [Connelly]

 882    CANARY ISLANDS // SPAIN COPE synchros  JUL 20 2345 - Spanish news by woman, then man; fair. [Connelly]

 882    UNITED KINGDOM BBC R.Wales, Washford (51°10'N 03°21'W) JUL 21 0153 - Talk about African music, segment of Afropop song played; over Canaries-Spain. [Connelly]

 890.98  ALGERIA Chaîne 1, Algiers (36°40'N 03°09'E) JUL 21 0123 - Bits of Arabic vocal; noisy. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0130 - Strong carrier, but extremely weak modulation. [Conti]

 945    FRANCE France Info, Toulouse (43°21'N 01°20'E) JUL 21 0108 - Parallel 1206 with jazz; fair. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0126 - Good; instrumental music parallel 1206 kHz. [Conti]

 954    SPAIN Onda Cero, Madrid  JUL 21 0125 - Spanish talk; poor, over low-pitched het growl. [Connelly]

 981    ALGERIA RTVA Chaîne 2, Algiers (36°40'N 03°09'E) JUL 21 0107 - Arabic male vocal and drumming eventually emerged atop a contentious 3-station "dogpile." [Connelly]

 999    MOROCCO RTM A, Tanger  JUL 21 0106 - Koranic vocal; strong, at equal level to COPE Spain. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0123 - Fair, over/under COPE Spain; Koranic vocal parallel 612 kHz. [Conti]

 999    SPAIN COPE Madrid (40°28'N 03°52'W) JUL 21 0106 - Parallel 1134 with man in Spanish; over/under Morocco. [Connelly]

        Mark Connelly and Bruce Conti setting up.  >

1008   CANARY ISLANDS Punto Radio, Las Palmas  JUL 21 0104 - Punto Radio mention; dominant. [Connelly]

1026   SPAIN SER synchros  JUL 21 0101 - Parallel 1044 with woman reading news in Spanish; fair with WBZ phased. [Connelly]

1035   PORTUGAL R.Clube Português, Belmonte  JUL 21 0116 - Excellent; an R&B pop vocal followed by a nostalgic Portuguese vocal. [Conti]  JUL 21 0126 - Mellow Portuguese vocal and piano; fair with WBZ phased. [Connelly]

1044   SPAIN SER synchros  JUL 21 0038 - Parallel 1116 with Spanish talk; excellent. At 0100 "Cadena SER" network ID, news; loud. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0115 - Excellent; talk parallel 1575 kHz. [Conti]

1053   UNITED KINGDOM TalkSport synchros  JUL 21 0128 - Parallel 1089, presenter to caller "Hello, you're on TalkSport."; fair. [Connelly-MA]

1088   ANGOLA R.Nacional, Mulenvos  JUL 21 0034 - Het against UK, fragments of music. [Connelly]

1089   UNITED KINGDOM TalkSport synchros  JUL 21 0034 - English sports teletalk; fair. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0110 - Excellent; Ian Collins and Chessy talking to a phone caller about farming, parallel a good 1053 signal. [Conti]

1098   SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0051 - Parallel 1503 with somewhat echoey Spanish talk; good. [Connelly]

1107   SERBIA R.Beograd 1, Novi Sad (45°45'N 19°22'E) JUL 21 0108 - Presumed; classical music equal with rumbling off-frequency RNE5 Spain synchros. [Conti]

1107   SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0057 - Parallel 1098 with Spanish talk. Quite a growl here since these synchros were represented on three different frequencies: 1107.0, 1107.05, and 1107.13 kHz. [Connelly]

1116   SPAIN SER synchros  JUL 21 0030 - Pop music. [Thorburn]  JUL 21 0038 - Talk parallel 1044; fair. At 0129 classical Spanish guitar, then talk by a man and woman; good. [Connelly]

1125   SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0102 - Good; RNE news parallel 1152 kHz. [Conti]

1134   CROATIA Glas Hrvatske, Zadar (44°06'N 15°15'E) JUL 21 0106 - Slavic talk by woman; now gaining on Spain: equal or better than it at times. [Connelly]

1134   SPAIN COPE synchros  JUL 21 0030 - Talk parallel 1215 and 1296; fair to good, dominant at the time. [Connelly]

1143   SPAIN COPE synchros  JUL 21 0101 - Excellent; news parallel an almost as good 1134 signal. [Conti]

1152   ROMANIA România Actualitata, Cluj (46°42'N 23°34'E) JUL 21 0205 - Chanting monks breaking through RNE5 Spain; presumed with no parallels found to secure ID, just a het on 1332 and 855 dominated by Spain. [Conti]

1152   SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0100 - Good; synchro echoed time pips into RNE news. [Conti]  JUL 21 0152 - Parallel 1098 with interview; over tone-tester, possible Romania. [Connelly]

1170   UNITED ARAB EMIRATES R.Sawa, Al Dhabiya (24°11'N 54°14'E) JUL 21 0055 - Good; Brittany Spears "You're Not That Beautiful," then a Middle Eastern pop vocal. At 0105 excellent; Bollywood-style pop vocal. [Conti]

   The Connelly car rooftop phased array (left), and Conti tuning up his loop vs. whip array.

1179   CANARY ISLANDS // SPAIN SER synchros  JUL 21 0026 - Usual SER teletalk; fair. [Connelly]

1206   FRANCE France Info, Bordeaux (44°57'N 00°11'W) JUL 21 0019 - Parallel 1557 with man in French; good. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0025 - Popular music. Celine Dion? [Thorburn]  JUL 21 0050 - Excellent; woman in French with France Info ID into instrumental music. [Conti]

1215   SPAIN COPE synchros  JUL 21 0030 - Parallel 1134 and 1296 with Spanish talk; atop for awhile, then losing to UK. [Connelly]

1215   UNITED KINGDOM Virgin Radio synchros  JUL 21 0034 - Fair, fading up over COPE; rock music. [Conti]  JUL 21 0037 - "Jammin'" by Bob Marley; excellent, now way over Spain. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0117 - Slow rock/pop. [Thorburn]

1224   SPAIN COPE synchros  JUL 21 0033 - Good; talk with synchro echo parallel 1296 kHz. [Conti]  JUL 21 0144 - Parallel 882 with man in Spanish; poor, over others. [Connelly]

1251   LIBYA Libyan Jamahiriya, Tripoli (32°50'N 13°00'E) JUL 21 0020 - Arabic vocal at low audio level. [Connelly]

1296   SPAIN COPE Valencia  JUL 21 0027 - Good; talk parallel a weaker 1215 signal. [Conti]  JUL 21 0030 - Talk Parallel 1134 and 1215; fair, slightly over a jumble of others. [Connelly]

1296   SUDAN SNBC Reba  JUL 21 0016 - Tentative; Arabic talk battling it out with COPE Spain. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0140 - Presumed; Koranic vocal under COPE Spain. Last positive ID during 2001 DX Clams at 0200 with interval signal. [Conti]

1305   SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0024 - Talk in Spanish with synchro echo. [Conti]  JUL 21 0142 - Parallel 1314 with teletalk or interview; fair over rumble. [Connelly]

1314   SPAIN RNE5 synchros  JUL 21 0142 - Parallel 1305 with very echoey Spanish teletalk; poor. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0240 - Fair; talk parallel 1305 kHz. [Conti]

1377   FRANCE France Info, Lille (50°31'N 02°59'E) JUL 21 0021 - Parallel 1206 and 1557 with French talk; through WMYF slop. [Connelly]

1422   ALGERIA Algiers  JUL 21 0015 - Music, man talking. [Thorburn]  JUL 21 0021 - French talk, then North African music; fair. [Connelly]

1422   GERMANY Deutschlandfunk, Heusweiler (49°21'N 06°55'E) JUL 21 0021 - Good; classical piano. [Conti]  JUL 21 0138 - Classical organ music; excellent. [Connelly]

1431   DJIBOUTI R.Sawa, Arta (11°31'N 42°50'E) JUL 21 0013 - Male Arabic vocal and orchestra, then fast talk man and woman announcers and electronic sounds; loud! [Connelly]  JUL 21 0015 - Good; Middle Eastern pop music into hourly news at quarter past. [Conti]

1494   CORSICA France Bleu, Bastia  JUL 21 0136 - Parallel 864 with rock music, then woman in French; to good peaks though deep fades. [Connelly]

1503   IRAN IRIB Bushehr  JUL 21 0133 - Shrill Middle East vocal, Farsi talk; good during "Middle East pipeline" opening, over Spain and a third station that I think was AFN Azores. [Connelly]

1503   SPAIN RNE5 Piñeira and La Línea de la Concepción  JUL 20 2354 - Woman in Spanish, then vocal; to good peak. [Connelly]  JUL 21 0000 - Good; Radio Nacional de España Informativos. [Conti]

1512   SAUDI ARABIA BSKSA Jeddah  JUL 21 0132 - Male Arabic vocal; fair through WWZN slop. [Connelly]

1548   KUWAIT R.Sawa, Kabd-Kuwait City (29°10'N 47°32'E) JUL 21 0005 - Good; pop music. [Conti]  JUL 21 0008 - R.Sawa ID's by man and woman; fair. Quite strong a bit later. 1550 RASD not noted: perhaps it was after their sign-off. [Connelly]

1557   FRANCE France Info, Fontbonne (43°46'N 07°25'E) JUL 21 0007 - Good; woman in French, into instrumental music. [Conti]  JUL 21 0019 - Man in French parallel 1206; fair. [Connelly]

1575   SPAIN SER synchros  JUL 20 2357 - Talk in Spanish over probable R.Farda UAE. [Conti]

1575   UNITED ARAB EMIRATES R.Farda, Al Dhabiya (24°11'N 54°14'E) JUL 21 0050 - Rhythmic music, sometimes pop, sometimes Arabic sounding. Female announcer. Strong signal, was also heard well on my Degen 1103 portable with only the internal ferrite rod. [Thorburn]  JUL 21 0104 - Good, over SER Spain; Arabic vocal. [Conti]  JUL 21 0130 - Modern pop Middle East male vocal, then R.Farda ID; huge! [Connelly]

1584   CEUTA RadiOlé, Ceuta (35°53'N 05°17'W) JUL 20 2355 - Pop vocal; rising to good level before local 8:13 p.m. sunset. [Conti]  JUL 21 0006 - Presumed; music. [Thorburn]

Gary Thorburn and his remotely tuned box loop.

Observations from Nova Scotia
     After reading Mark Connelly's log report, Jean Burnell of Nova Scotia, the prominant figure in organizing all of the Newfoundland DXpeditions of the past 15 years, made the following observations...

Burnell:  I was DXing on the previous evening (19 - 20 July) at a provincial campground (150 m wire aimed at Europe). I didn't hear anything special, but what is interesting are the differences with Mark's experience the next evening:  675 Arrow Classic Rock was poor, but I have never heard this better from Nova Scotia. (This seems to have not been noted at Rockport.) This is surprising as Arrow can be relied on to provide one of the very strongest TA signals in Newfoundland.

Connelly:  675 and 684 are challenged by their proximity to sloppy local 680 WRKO Boston. When it's a non-auroral night, the WRKO signal (from about 30 miles west-southwest) has some very high angle (jumpy) skywave fill-in to reduce the effectiveness of a groundwave cardioid phase null. When it's auroral, WRKO is pure groundwave and can be easily phased 30 or 40 dB to reveal co-channel Puerto Rico (usually) and occasionally Venezuela. On nights that are good for Europe, however, the phase null of 680 is markedly less stable. Low band, especially on more northerly routes, takes a longer time to come alive after sunset. I left the site at 0200 UTC (2200 local), a bit less than two hours after sunset. Bruce Conti stayed a bit longer, so maybe he got more low-end Euro's. One thing I didn't report was UAE-1170 that was starting to push WWVA around as I was packing up. The Middle East sunrise enhancement was quite pronounced in the 0100-0200 UTC period, especially on the higher end of the dial. Arrow-675 has been heard a number of times at Rockport and Rowley, but autumn/winter is definitely better here for high latitudes on low frequencies. The low frequencies that do show up early are southerly stations like Morocco-612, Canaries-621, and Mauritania-783.

Burnell:  For some reason both 1053 and 1089 TalkSport were inaudible. Brits were doing extremely poorly generally.

Connelly:  This time of year these guys are not in play at or before sunset the way that the Spaniards and Moroccans are, but they do get strong once it's mostly dark. 1089 started out no better than 1088 Angola (both marginal) but soon cranked up to entertainment-quality strength.

Burnell:  1134 Croatia alone on the frequency here.

Connelly:  Spain has the propagation advantage (farther south and west, shorter distance) early, but superpowered Croatia usually takes over soon after unless it's fairly auroral.

Burnell:  Here 1215 COPE (Santander likely) was all over Virgin Radio and remained so most of the evening.

Connelly:  As noted above, Spain ruled early. The stations farther north and farther east got markedly better by full darkness - except on the low end of the dial. Often-strong Ireland-567 was barely a whisper and Azores-693 totally dominated BBC: not too surprising for summer early evening. Aren't you a bit more land-blocked on northern Europe bearings versus those to Iberia & Africa? Perhaps similar to Maine coast or south side of Cape Cod in that respect?

Burnell:  On 1494 two French programs were much in evidence. Bastia with pop music and Clermont-Ferrant (France Info) with news/talk were about equal. 1404 was a jumble of essentially useless, weak audios.

Connelly:  The Corsican Radio Bleu parallel 864 was definitely top dog, probably helped by being farther south and surrounded by water.

Burnell:  On 1575 in contrast to United Arab Emirates, I had Rai Italy on top, then SER Spain, and Farda in third place, evident only when the other two decided to fade for a moment.

Connelly:  Things were jumbly earlier, but once the dawn enhancement kicked in around 0100 in the Persian Gulf area, those signals (e.g. 1170, 1503, 1548, 1575) were huge and totally ruled.

Mediumwave DX antennas prominently displayed on Granite Pier.

Link to past DX Clams.

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