NASWA Journal Columns · NASWA Notes, February 2006

Richard D’Angelo • 2216 Burkey Drive • Wyomissing, PA 19610 rdangelo3◊aol.com

NASWA Notes, February 2006

Speaking of time marching on it is that time of the year when serious Winter SWL Festival plans need to be made. Yes, once again the gathering of the faithful will meet in Kulpsville, PA to celebrate the great hobby of radio in all its forms. This will be our 19th reunion of the best radio people in the world so you do not want to miss it. Watch Rich Cuff’s column for updates and progress reports on developments. Check the Journal for the registration form. You have had plenty of warning so we expect to see you there in March.

Speaking of the Winter SWL Festival, the legends of the FEST are the infamous “scanner scum.” As the name implies, these guys are into scanner listening and provide quite a lot of color to the festivities. Uncle Skip Arey informs us that “the Scum now has a web presence at http://www.scannerscum.com/ .” Warning, this website isn’t for children or the faint of heart. One picture is worth a thousand “oh my gosh” expressions.

Web guru Ralph Brandi announced that in celebration of the club’s ten years on the web, a new site has been introduced, http://www.naswa.net/. In January 1996, NASWA opened its web site. The site has proved very popular over the years, providing useful services like the WWW Shortwave Listeners Guide, a database of programs broadcast on shortwave stations, and the NASWA Country List and Awards Program Guide. The site serves thousands of visitors every month. As we approached our tenth year on the web, the club decided to move the site to a new server, one that provides plenty of resources and room to expand. In January, to mark our tenth year on the web, we introduce the new NASWA web site, www.naswa.net. You will be reading more about these changes as we move forward but please check out this new and improved valuable hobby resource.

Thanks to the efforts of the International Radio Club of America (IRCA) there is an excellent opportunity to QSL the shortwave broadcasts of the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans (URBONO) with a special QSL card. The IRCA has been granted permission by the Chief Engineer at WWL to act as the QSL Bureau for stations that participated in the URBONO effort headed by WWL Radio following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Listeners who wish to receive a QSL card should send a standard reception report including the station they heard, date, time, and frequency and as much program details as possible up to fifteen minutes. An individual QSL card will be issued for each station heard. Be sure to enclose return postage (US$1.00 should be sufficient for most international replies). Nine medium wave stations, nine FM stations and one shortwave station participated in the network. Reports with adequate return postage should be sent to URBOBO QSL, P. O. Box 3777, Memphis, TN 38173-0777. Jim Pogue, who was down in Baton Rouge and New Orleans for 2 ½ months doing response/recovery work, sent along this information. Thanks Jim for your efforts down south and on the QSL front! Very much appreciated!

Check out this month’s musings for some interesting stuff. Robert Kipp in Germany provides information on the Radio St. Helena project. The first part is an update while the second part is “The Dream.” It is worth reading and thinking about. Your comments through the Musings section would be greatly appreciated.

The DX season is still in high gear so if you have not signed up for the club’s electronic Flashsheet service, you are missing out on timely news and information each week. It is now time for you to get on the distribution list for the club’s electronic Flashsheet to stay up-to-date. The changing DX conditions will bring different DX conditions and new listening targets. The club’s electronic Flashsheet helps members stay on top of the action with breaking shortwave news and information. If you are a current member of the club and want to receive the electronic Flashsheet just drop Rich D’Angelo a note with your e-mail address, location and membership expiration date from your mailing label. You can participate by sending your latest logs to the electronic Flashsheet edited by Ray Bauernhuber. Each week the electronic Flashsheet brings a lot of exciting, late breaking DX news and information to our members. The electronic newsletter is an excellent supplement to the monthly Journal for the timely dissemination of DX loggings and breaking news. This is a service that is only available to our members. Deadlines are posted in the NASWA Flashsheet each week. Let’s keep Ray busy!

Missing in action is member Bill Patalon. Bill’s copy of the Flashsheet having been bouncing back to me as a “delivery failure” in recent weeks. Don’t you just love Internet speak? Bill, if you are out there please contact me with your new e-mail address. Thanks!

Please remember to direct all communications about subscriptions, bulletin delivery issues, Valentine’s ideas, the use of PayPal as a payment method, etc. to Bill Oliver at the club’s Levittown address. The regular postal address is the familiar 45 Wildflower Road, Levittown, PA 19057. Inquires sent to Wyomissing only slow down the process. Thanks!

That’s it for this month. Enjoy this month’s edition of the JOURNAL; it’s another good one.

FRENDX: Twenty-Five Years Ago (February 1981)

Publisher Bill Oliver did the Headquarters Page with Executive Director Mac Leonhardt on vacation. Don Schmidt is the new leader of the Southern California Area DX’ers (“SCADS”). Rich Eddy of the St Louis International DXers (“SLIDX”) extended an invitation to area NASWA members to attend their February 22 meeting. Jerry Lineback was named the new editor of the Scoreboard replacing Myron Smith. Roland Desrosiers was appointed the new Executive Director of the Handicapped Aid Program in the US replacing Wayne A. Davis. George Poppin was able to arrange an article on Noise and Reporting from Peter Martins, Principle Engineer at Radio RSA for the Shortwave Center. Bill Taylor debuted with his first Vintage Vignettes column, devoted to old time radio communications. Feedback from Don Moore, Mel Hickman, Kevin Meyer, Diane Levesque, Charles Bolland and Kirk Trummel were published on the subject QSLs and their value. S. David Klein compiled a Latin America QSL Survey. Dan Ferguson wrote about Computer DX. Dan Henderson issued awards to Vern Hyson, Bill Taylor, John Moritz, John Kapinos, Terry Klasek, Gerry Bishop, Paul Buer, Hans Johnson, S. David Klein and Dave Valko. 112 countries were reported to Sam Barto’s QSL Report column. Distributing Editor Gregg Bares noted there were 105 log report contributors representing the largest number he had received during his tenure as editor.

Calendar Of Events

Feb 17, 2006 **Meeting.** Philadelphia Area NASWA Chapter. Best Western – The Inn at Towamencin, Kulpsville, PA at 7:30 PM. For more information contact Dan Cashin at 610 446 7831 or Internet: dcsckp@aol.com
Feb 17, 2006 **Meeting.** Boston Area NASWA Chapter. The Boston Area DXers have found a new location for meetings. Inquiries about BADXers may be sent to Paul Graveline at 978-470-1971 or Internet: ctreditor@aol.com. The URL for the BADX guys is http://www.naswa.net/badx/.
Mar 3-4, 2006 **Convention.** The 19th Annual Winter SWL Festival, sponsored by NASWA, will be held at the Best Western – The Inn at Towamencin (Kulpsville to the rest of us), located at Exit 31 on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, on 3rd and 4th March 2006. Richard Cuff and John Figliozzi co-chair the organizational committee. Of course, it’s never too early to begin planning. Watch the pages of the Journal for registration information and other pertinent details. See you there!
Mar 11, 2006 **Meeting.** The Cincinnati/Dayton Monitoring Exchange (MONIX) meets at the Lebanon Citizens’ National Bank (LCNB), 425 West Central Avenue (Ohio 73), Springboro, Ohio at 7:00 PM. For more information contact Mark Meece at 937 743 8089. For additional information about MONIX, check out their web site at http://www.siscom.net/~mmeece/monix.html.
May 4-7, 2006 **50th Julilee DX Camp and Convention.** The Danish Shortwave Clubs International (DSWCI) will hold its 50th year Jubilee with a DX Camp and AGM on 4-7 May 2006 at the beach resort of Vejers near the westernmost point of Denmark at the Scout camp. The DWSCI is preparing a large program of activities which include: a DX-Camp from Thursday afternoon throughout till Sunday morning; a cultural tour on Friday to the town of Varde including an Danish painting exhibition; various historical exhibitions and publications about the DSWCI are planned; the Annual General Meeting Saturday morning; some of the founders and old-timers will be invited; various DX-related lectures Saturday afternoon; special DX-broadcasts and a Jubilee Dinner Saturday evening. Participation fee is DKK 500,00 or EUR 70,00 to use the facilities. Participation in just the AGM is free. The club is looking to complete registration and payment of fees by 10 April 2006. Non-member DXers and broadcasters are welcome.
Sep 1-3, 2006 **Convention.** The National Radio Club and the DX Audio Service will hold their annual convention at the Best Western in Akron, Ohio on 1-3 September 2006. Room rates are $68.00 per night. More information to follow.
Aug 19, 2006 **2006 Madison-Milwaukee Radio Get-together.** The 13th Annual Madison-Milwaukee Get-together for DXers and Radio Enthusiasts will take place in Milwaukee, WI on Saturday August 19, 2006, with Tim Noonan hosting. Please contact Tim at dxing2@aol.com for additional information Further information will appear in the Journal as the event draws near.
Mar 9-10, 2007 **Convention.** The 20th Annual Winter SWL Festival, sponsored by NASWA, will be held at the Best Western – The Inn at Towamencin on 9th and 10th March 2007. Join us for this 20th anniversary extravaganza in the DX Mecca. Richard Cuff and John Figliozzi co-chair the organizational committee. Although it is early, you don’t want to miss this special FEST event. There are a lot of special arrangements being made for this special occasion. See you there!

Members are invited to submit items to be included in this calendar to Rich D’Angelo or Ralph Brandi.

Musings

Robert D. Wells, 544 Thompson Street, Peshtigo, WI 54157

I’m writing to let off some steam that has been bugging the daylights out of me.

With broadband over power line and digital radio mondiale and, now podcasting; it sure seems like SWL is a losing battle and could become something of the past forever.

Just what the hell is wrong with old fashioned fun of turning a knob or two or flipping a few switches to hear a far off shortwave station, come through a home made antenna system, self designed or even a modified manufactured antenna to receive those faraway stations.

There is simply way too much technology in our lives, especially SW radio. So much so it has taken away the enjoyment out of radio. The geeks of the world that seem to run everything in our lives are tampering with shortwave far too much. That SWL is no longer a hobby of excitement and pleasure to the rest of us humans. If we don’t conform to what the geeks want we’ll soon not be part of their futuristic evils that will turn us into mush, unable to think for ourselves.

Instead of designing alternative modes that interfere with shortwave radio – that don’t work to the benefit of everyone, why not promote shortwave radio and SWL to the rest of radio listening public the way it should’ve been done in the first place.

Example: I was self introduced to SW when I was 10 or 12 years old, back in the early 1950’s, with an old floor model Zenith radio. What I received stuck with me since.

Like it or not shortwave stations must be saved and not allowed to become obsolete, because of some geeks’ technical advances that does not improve shortwave radio.

I want to hear voices and music on shortwave. Not noise or empty space.

In a final note – everything boils down to money and politics. The greed for wealth and power is the name of the game, not our benefit. And the hell with the population that struggles everyday to make ends meet. The people that are going to gain anything are the educated fools, who are the geeks of the world.

Every time a new gimmick is made it takes our hard earned dollars away from the majority. In fact, if you come right down to the nitty-gritty, it’s all one big con game to empty our pocket book.

Remember the Y2K scare? It was mostly a scam that made computer companies richer for something that didn’t even happen. Bad things were supposed to happen worldwide. The geeks knew very well what they were doing, we were lead by a carrot on a stick, and still are following the carrot.

Well, its time to listen to my radios that I still enjoy and is relaxing until the excitement of receiving a shortwave station I haven’t heard before – then the fun begins when hearing the stations’ identity to be written in the logbook.

73, Bob

Bill Montney, 171 Green Vallley Drive, Lachine, MI 49754

Hello and season’s greetings. I’m a fairly new member to NASWA and enjoy the reading and info from all contributors. I have been listening for several years on my Drake SW8, with a 100ft. longwire but unfortunately this past August a storm cell came our way and lightening struck the pine that held up the east end of my antenna run. With that gone I decided on the AOR7030plus as a replacement, should have gotten the “noise filter & noise blanker mods” maybe in the future. I have had this radio for three months utilizing 130ft. longwire in an east-west configuration (best long direction I can establish) … anyhow contemplating setting up a “70 foot dipole in an n-s direction and see what happens.

Normally I always disconnect antenna’s and plugs to all equipment when realizing storms are near, possible, or just the words chance of thunderstorms, and always when leaving the house. I did not employ any kind of ground, nor electrical protection on everything in the house. The entertainment center in the family room has a dedicated surge protector that seemed to work that day lightening struck. The master-bedroom which held the Drake-sw8 connected via coax to a Win Radio long wire adapter linked to the big pine tree on the east end 20 foot from the house to roughly 100 foot to another pine west end direction parallel to the house. The climax to this now ending story is when the lightening hit that tree-the loudest {very, very loud} and the brightest flash in an instant, I might mention the sun was shining off in another direction. After the smoke cleared, and we unfrazzeled {?} ourselves and when outside to assess the damage. The tree was visibly scarred with bark and fragments of wood lying at the base of the tree. You could follow the path of lightening where it hit the tree traveling down its trunk, striking the antenna insulator, jumping the antenna wire direction and still maintaining an earthly direction into what was formerly coax, left a burnt trail on the ground and took the coax path into the house, radio and electrical outlets. Outside, all that was left of the long-wire run was maybe 3 or 4 foot on the west end tree. The galvanized wire was welded on to the insulator and you could see a hot metal splash on the tree above the insulator….parked in front and perpendicular to the antenna was my RV {near the west-end pine…the lightening was not finished with it’s path yet. We have a folding step that makes getting in and out of the motor home easier but at this particular moment in time the step was down maybe a couple inches off the ground, electricity sparked off the step onto the ground and traveled to the well-head maybe 15 ft from the RV. It looked as if it plowed up the earth to get to the well. Next day I was running dirty water but after leaving the hose on per instruction of my well-digger, the water is now clear and very drinkable. The lesson I learned was that lightening can strike, to be prepared and take measures to protect your equipment and investment. I may add also that the utility company had to come out and replace the transformer unit that sits on the ground at the road in front of my home just ten ft. from the west-end pine tree. I really do miss that Drake Sw8, but now I have AOR7030 Plus and plan on keeping it a long time (protected that is).

73 and keep listening, Bill M.

Robert Kipp, Germany

Radio St. Helena: An Update

Back in September we requested email support for the famous RSH international, multi-media, interactive shortwave broadcasts. Many, many thanks to one and all who sent their opinions. NASWA and the World DX Club (USA) (Rich D’Angelo), Jerry Berg (USA), several individuals in USA, DSWCI (Anker Petersen) (Denmark), New Zealand Radio DX League (Mark Nicholls), North Otago Branch of NZRDXL (Peter Grenfell), Australian Radio DX Club (John Wright), J. Palmer in the Western Cape (South Africa), W. Salmaniw in British Columbia (Canada), British DX Club (Dave Kenny), Benelux DX-Club (H. Poortvliet), and individuals in Germany, Spain, and Chile. Those are just the ones who copied their emails to me; I assume that several more sent their emails only to RSH.

Ralph Peters, the station manager of RSH; showed / read many of these emails at the Board of Directors meeting at the end of September. Ralph and the Board were “amazed and very pleased” with the world-wide support for RSH. At the Board meeting on 28 November, the issues were again discussed in detail. On 15 December, Mr. Vernon Quickfall, the CEO of RSH, wrote to us on behalf of the Chairman of the Board of St. Helena News Media Services (the owner of RSH). The international SWL-community was thanked for all their support and efforts. The Board would welcome our “Project”, but the economic situation on St. Helena is such that the Friends of RSH around the world would have to finance the “Project” entirely on their own. Therefore, it is now up to all the many Friends of RSH to try to put St. Helena back on the shortwave map of the world. Our “Project” to try to revive the RSH broadcasts on shortwave has really just started. RSH needs a great deal of help from all of us!

We all now have a singular chance to take part in the revival of the famous international, multi-media (Telephone, FAX, Email), listener-interactive (in real time) shortwave broadcasts from Radio St. Helena.

The CEO, the Board of Directors, the Station Manager, and everyone even remotely connected with RSH is hoping very much indeed that we will be successful in this venture. We Friends of RSH will, however, need to fund this “Project” entirely by ourselves.

When these world-wide transmissions stopped in late 1999, the old transmitter and the complete antenna system with towers were scrapped. We are starting with only a dream, but quite often, dreams do become reality.

A technical concept for our “Project” has been decided upon and resembles a high-powered amateur radio station. After many discussions, specific equipment has been selected and suppliers have been found. Used equipment is being sought, when possible. To cut transportation costs, the heaviest items are being sought in the UK.

We are hoping for the donation of two used amateur radio transceivers such as the Yaesu FT-757GXII or similar. If you can help, please send me an email.

This is OUR opportunity to say, “RSH, that’s MY station!” The revival of the shortwave programs would spread the word of this wonderful and historic island and lead to increased commerce, trade, and tourism for St. Helena, especially when the planned airport becomes operable. Together we all can make this dream a reality. Let’s do it! Let’s put RSH back on the shortwaves! More soon.

Robert Kipp

Jim Ronda, 8019 S. 88th East Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74133-6518

It is perhaps the most common question any spouse can ask a DXer. “Just how many radios do you need?” While the answer might be “as many as I can get” that probably won’t sit well if the spouse is also the family CFO. Until a month or so ago I thought I had all the radios I could want or need. We all know the difference between “want” and “need.” The Kiwa-modified R-75 sat comfortably next to the recently acquired NRD-545. In fact, the NRD had been a Christmas-in-August gift.

But about a month ago I began to read glowing reports about the new Eton E1. I was impressed by what George Zeller and Jerry Berg were saying about the E1. With its remarkable AM-Sync, good bandwidth choices, and Enhanced SSB — all in a neat, small package — the E1 was more than a little intriguing. But I already had two very good receivers. There seemed no way to justify adding another, even if Christmas was just around the corner.

Over dinner one night I quietly mentioned that the E1 was my heart’s desire and that Zeller and Berg (by now household names here) said it was the best thing since sliced bread. And shouldn’t I have one so that I could DX in the living room. I didn’t know exactly how to do that, but it certainly sounded good. Jeanne’s expected answer should have been a polite but firm NO! But to my utter amazement she said YES. Stunned by my good luck I could only mutter “thanks” while pouring her another glass of wine. As Rich D’Angelo often observes, wine (or whining) can do wonders!

The next morning I was on the phone to Universal Radio placing my order for the full E1 package. Late on Friday, December 30 UPS came knocking on my door with the “big box” all of us know and love. Needless to say, all work stopped and the E1 was soon on the end table next to my favorite armchair. Then reality struck. What kind of antenna could I use? The connections to my Eavesdroppers were on the other side of the house. Then I thought of the RF Systems Mini-Windom bought some months earlier and never really used. So I laid the antenna on the floor behind the couch and turned on the radio. On the floor? Well, it was the only thing I could think to do! That night was mostly taken up with learning the basics: how to turn it on, the various menus, and other mysteries. But I knew that the antenna problem had not been solved, and until it was, the E1 was going to be a pretty (and pretty expensive) toy.

At 3AM on Saturday morning I woke up out of a sound sleep, knowing that I had the solution. I could tack the Mini-Windom on the inside of one of the wood beams in the living room. Clever, eh? It would be virtually invisible or almost so. By 8:15 Jeanne and I were at Lowe’s Hardware store buying small plastic cable staples — conveniently discovered by Jeanne to be just the right shade of brown. Fortunately no one thought to take a picture of me as I stood on a ladder stringing up antenna wire in the living room. It would have been a memorable image, or perhaps just an embarrassing one to put on the NASWA website.

With everything connected up and plugged in it occurred to me that over the New Year’s weekend I could have my own DXpedition. I’d always envied Rich D’Angelo’s French Creek adventures. You know the scene: guys in a cabin, pulling all-nighters, twisting knobs on super-radios, and logging exotic stations I could only dream about. But with the E1 and ceiling antenna ready to go, I thought why not have my own armchair, living room DXpedition. I’d listen to the E1 and compare what I heard with the R-75 and NRD-545. I didn’t think the comparisons were going to be fair but at least I’d be DXing in my favorite chair with a glass or two of New Year’s champagne.

What I heard over the next 24-36 hours was quite astonishing and wholly unexpected. With the E1 I logged everything from R. Luz y Vida (3249v) and the Voice of Guyana (3291v) to Star Radio (11960) and BSKSA (11740) with the new clandestine R. Republica (6010) thrown in for good measure. All told, the E1 contributed 15 items to that week’s Flashsheet. These logs were not exceptional DX by communications receiver standards but I was hearing them on a portable radio with an indoor antenna in a house full of RF, to say nothing of the power lines in the backyard! More important, the comparisons with the R-75 and the NRD-545 were telling. Of course those radios brought in the same stations but in a number of cases the E1 provided a sharper signal and better audio. Yes — the “big radios” had much more precise frequency readouts; the E1 was off by 3-6 Hz. But the E1 held its own in nearly every way. The AM-Sync proved as tenacious as George Zeller said! I won’t pretend that my comparisons meet the Passport standards but I am persuaded that the E1 is a remarkable radio with many features found only on high-end communications receivers. The E1 is not going to replace the R-75 and NRD-545 as my front line radios but it is a delight to operate and a pleasure to listen to.

Writing in FRENDX many years ago, Larry Magne described the Yaesu-Musen FRG-7 as the Volkswagen of receivers. Perhaps we can call the E1 the Toyota or Honda of our time — reliable (I hope), nicely designed, and with some extra features. Jeanne’s only comment? “When do you think the Next Big Radio will come along?”

73, Jim

Paul Brouillette, 611 Illinois Street, Geneva, IL 60134

I took a break from the hobby for the summer, but am back now with renewed enthusiasm, in spite of the downward trend in shortwave broadcasting. Last spring I was very disappointed in Radio Vlaanderen International leaving the air so suddenly and so completely. I really enjoyed that station and followed their programs regularly for about three years. They were always very responsive to their listeners in terms of reading letters on air, answering questions and QSLing. They even used to send me a printed transcript of their mailbag show every time they read one of my letters, even if it was just a passing” thanks for you letter” kind of thing.

This leads me to think again about what is happening with listener response and QSLing. Back at the end of 2003 I wrote a Musing about this subject, as QSL responses seemed to have dropped precipitously around that time, and only partially recovered. My own response rate was as low as 25% at the time. Dare I wonder if this is related to recent news about National Security Agency surveillance of international communications? The time frame is about right. News stories have only mentioned intercepts of electronic communications, but perhaps many of our reception reports made it into some government file cabinet instead of to the intended recipient. Further speculation is fuelled by the fact that our Canadian and overseas members seem to be reporting just about as many QSL’s as always. Same seems to have applied to a few of our US members who were overseas for a while and got good QSL returns to their overseas addresses.

As I started off with, I am back at the receiver again. Summer this year brought quite a few other activities that took up my free time, and then came some very intense thunderstorms in August. Our home experienced a lightning strike, resulting in some damage. The strike came in on the electric service line and blew a hole in the adjacent interior wall, and damaged some outlets and wall switches, resulting in a small fire in one outlet box. The outdoor portion of my longwire antenna was completely vaporized as well, but remarkably there was no damage to the receiver (antenna was not connected, but radio was plugged into AC) or the exterior of the house.

Paul

Russell Lay, Nags Head, NC, USA

The following is from Joe O’Connell at Armed Forces Radio:

“Thank you for your note of earlier this month. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I apologize also for the fact that we have not been responding to reception reports with QSL cards. We are working right now on remedying that and hope to be back in business very soon. The gentleman who was handling the QSLs unfortunately and suddenly passed away several months ago, and filling his position has been delayed due to budget reductions.

Again, I apologize for taking a couple of weeks to respond to your note, and I thank you for sharing your concerns about this matter with us. We agree with you and should be back in business soon.

Sincerely, Joe O’Connell <jdoconne @IBB.GOV>, Director, Office of Public Affairs”

We’ll see what happens. Maybe I should send more reports myself more often. I seldom do anymore unless it’s something really new or different.

Russ

Richard A. D’Angelo, 2216 Burkey Drive, Wyomissing, PA 19610

I was quite pleased to receive verification from the United Broadcasters of New Orleans via WHRI thanks to the efforts of Jim Pogue and the IRCA. They sent a nice full data Hurricane Map card in just 9 days for a follow up report. The card lists 19 different AM, FM and, of course, one shortwave station that carried the combined transmissions under the UNBONO label. This was done with the official permission of Joe Polett, Chief Engineer of WWL Radio (his name was listed on the card). See this month’s NASWA Notes if you have a report outstanding for this unique shortwave transmission. Special thanks to Jim Pogue and the IRCA for stepping in to provide this service to the radio listening hobby community. A good example of “Unity and Friendship.”

73, Rich

Richard A. D’Angelo, 2216 Burkey Drive, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Winter weather has been less than fun so far. I can’t imagine how bad it will get when winter officially arrives, hi!

After a dismal outing in November thanks to awful propagation, this trip to French Creek was pretty good. I had a few sought after logs which always makes a trip worthwhile. Recent snow and ice storm made trekking up the back hills slightly treacherous although not nearly as bad as my nightmares assumed it would be. The weather was reasonable for this time of the year especially when considering how cold it had been earlier in December. Temperatures were in the upper 30’s F with plenty of sunshine. This was DXpedition #23 at French Creek with only Rich Cuff and Ed Mauger joining myself on this particular occasion.

We must be getting old. Problems, problems and more problems. Bob Montgomery was a last minute scratch. Ed Mauger’s truck didn’t cooperate so he borrowed his mother’s car. Unfortunately, Ed had to leave later in the evening so he could take care of his truck in the morning. Rich had a last minute change in plans that made him a one night DXer this go around.

The first day of DXing features logs of Armonia in Argentina and AIR-Jammu both high on my list of “musts” for the DXpedition. Jammu has managed to elude me for quite sometime so I was glad to chalk this off the list. Still, I was disappointed that not a peep was heard from Indonesia.

The Monday morning DX session was very productive with an excellent opening to Bolivia getting things off to a great start. New for me was Radio Estambul on 4498.1 from Guayaramería. I had a tentative on Chaskis in Ecuador plus Peru also made a nice appearance for a productive Latin morning. Things were quiet from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea although I gave 4960 a long listen but couldn’t pull much useful audio. The morning closed with Indians from Shillong and Kurseong with a very tentative Lucknow. By 1300 I was alone in the cabin listening to the Voice of Korea as Rich Cuff headed off to work ending his mini-DXpedition. As I headed to the gym for some exercise, yes DXpeditions can be sedentary adventures without some forced activity, I wondered if Ed would return in the evening or if this was now a one man DXpedition.

Interesting European signals noted early afternoon in the 41 and 49 meter bands. Nothing exotic but fun to tune around in any case. Africans were strong again with both Liberians and both Uganda channels noted. A bunch of Chinese stations appeared and I got a log of RRI-Jambi, the only Indonesian to show itself albeit with a very poor signal.

The final morning produced a good signal from Chaskis in Ecuador and Santa Ana in Peru. Although not the banner morning of yesterday, it was good enough. However, I closed out the morning with a log of AIR-Ranchi which was a first for me.

Despite the lack of participants, this was a very good DXpedition. I logged and reported a number of first time DX targets. The propagation to Latin America and the sub-continent was good. I could have used some more signals from Indonesia or Papua New Guinea but you take what you get. Maybe the final DXpedition of the season will prove productive from those regions.

A light month on the QSL front. I finally verified Radio Quito via e-mail after many postal reports over the years. I never had much luck with them although they were reasonably good QSLers by Latin standards. They just never cooperated for me! The Italian Radio Relay Service verified by e-mail and a postal reply was received from one of the religious programs I heard over the station. Finally, Sentech verified my report of Radio Okapi with a nice package.

73, Rich

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