|KOJE||North American News Watch||LEM DXpedition List|
Previous seasons in Lemmenjoki: 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Other DX-pedition sites in Northern Scandinavia: AIH KONG PAX (ENOX 2007-2011)
LEM antennas: Measured LEM antenna directions on the Great Circle Map
|LEM338 07DEC2013 - 21DEC2013|
Jarmo Patala (JP) and Vesa-Jussi Rinkinen (VJR)
UK stations were booming late on Monday evening so JP was happy to nail a couple of new stations, Desi Radio 1602 and Flame CCR 1521. UK was strong on Tuesday morning too, making it even difficult to follow the RNE5 local break at 0745. Tentatively Bangla Betar on 1503 under BBC R Stoke.
In the morning the space weather forecast looks promising. The field had changed from unsettled to quiet and no storms were observed or predicted. Some Argentine and Brazilian stations were noted at the first check at 05 UTC. Common NA stations too. NA improved typically again at 07 UTC offering a nice opening to Nebraska; 1400 KCOW. Listening in this kind of conditions is so fascinating, you first think that these are mediocre mixed conditions and that you will hardly get any new stations as there are dominants only, but then all of a sudden you nail a new station on a graveyard frequency! Also at 08 UTC there were NA stations on almost every frequency, and the graveyards were still open; KDLR 1240. Later also KMIA 1210 with strong signal all day long and a tentative observation on Hawaii 1570. Looks very promising. All in all, this morning proved to be better than yesterday.
Puerto Rico Maxima 940 was noted at the sunrise.
NA conditions continued to be rather good the whole day. We discovered also 1340 KDLM Detroit Lakes MN starting the morning news at 6.00 CST.
On the other side no remarkable signals from Japan or Asia in the afternoon but then at 20 UTC some activity from Philippine front: 1350 Radio Verdad. Also Taiwan was noted on 774.
Today is our last evening with live listening, but the automatic recordings will do the job from now on. We need to drive back to south as JP has an important appointment on Thursday.
This is LEM338 crew signing off, but for sure, stay tuned for more updates later.
Thanks for all !
73s JP & VJR
Due to ongoing G2 level storm and strong Brazil at the midnight our hopes for Monday morning were pretty low. However, we noted several NA stations from 06 UTC onwards and the signals improved further by 07 UTC. 08 UTC offered a nice Michigan opening. The files are not yet checked completely but at least we can name WJIM Lansing MI 1240. Also the TOH recording of "Hometown Radio" 1340 needs to be analyzed later. In general these disturbed cx were interesting, so we believe we can make good findings from our Perseus files later on.
We spent the short daytime with checking antennas in crisp winter weather of -28,5 degrees. The wires proved to be in good shape and the weather was calm. There we not too much snow or ice on the wires. Also we went to check with a portable world band radio if the nearby power line transformer would generate any interference on the medium wave band - luckily the test result was negative! When we got back to the QTH, a splash of VSOP brandy with hot water tasted excellent.
In the afternoon around 12 UTC we still found NA stations on many frequencies and the graveyards were also open. Fairly strong Japan opening was filed between 12-13 UTC.
Today's lunch included chili con carne with rosemary and garlic, and mixed salad seasoned with fennel seeds.
VJR and JP checking antennas in crisp -28,5C (= -19F) weather.
JP checking interference level with portable AM radio.
We woke up for the second listening day to enjoy some nice music from Colombia, like Radio Santa Fe 1070 and Radio Cordillera 1190. Soon we noticed a flare and major storm has arrived with both indexes A and K = the same 6 !
Despite this we noticed decent signals from East Coast like 1320 WOBL, 1390 WNIO and further west 1260 KPOW. Most interesting one was Fox News Radio from West Virginia on 1240, a file still to be checked better. Stations from lakes and graveyards were open.
In the afternoon some japanese, filippinos like 1233 DYVS and 1314 DWXI make path into our ears, Vietnam 675 booming several hours like local one.
Tomorrow we expect more quiet conditions and as the weather forecast promises more than 30 degrees below, it's perfect time to check some antennas.
LEM338 crew JP & VJR arrived in LEM QTH today Saturday at 1030 UTC. We stayed at the Hullu Poro (Grazy Reindeer) Hostel in Levi Winter Resort. Very basic room but all worked well and the price was fair. After the very nice hotel breakfast we reached Lemmenjoki in about 2 hours. Car outdoor thermometer showed fancy temperatures like -30 degrees celsius, so the question of the day was "How low you can go?". The previous crew ANA & TRE were just packing their equipment and preparing some lunch and coffee when we arrived. So we had a chance to exchange a couple of words at a cup of coffee, before the guys had to leave to Kolari train station. NA conditions proved to be a bit better actually than what we expected. Our Perseus recordings started just before 1130 UTC when there were quite many NA stations with fair signals on the band, 1230 KTRF and 1400 KART just to name a few. From Asia those typical Thai stations 891 1467 were also noted. We spend this afternoon mainly in setting up our equipment and testing that all antennas are working. No complaints! We continue now by preparing some dinner, that includes oven baked chicken fillet rolls, filled with cream cheese, rosemary and tarragon. For the starter some spelt crispbread, with bresaola and lettuce.
Changing of the crew. From the left: VJR, TRE, ANA, JP.
JP admiring the northern lights. Luckily only via post cards at a local supermarket in Levi.
|LEM337 30NOV2013 - 07DEC2013 - THE DX-BISTRO EXPERIENCE|
Antti Aaltonen (ANA) and Timo Reiniluoto (TRE)
During the early evening (5 DEC) NA signals started to appear around 20 UTC. As usual here in Lemmenjoki, the cx completely skipped over the East Coast and landed in the powerhouses of the Great Lakes region. For example, WLQV blocked 1500 kHz soon after 20 UTC.
The night was eventless (also and especially on the bands), and the tired NRD-listeners got some well deserved rest. The late morning and the early afternoon turned out to be rather pleasant. Between 08 and 12 UTC we had non-stop cx to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.
The final two days have been so delightful that we have nearly forgotten the bitter disappointments of the previous days. On the cooking front we have once again surpassed ourselves. Our goal was to prepare just outstanding meals, but what we accomplished was truly divine ! The bistro concept (simple but delicious) really paid off. This is LEM337 closing down.
Greetings to our faithful readers, including the Norwegian ones. Hilsen fra Lemmenjoki !
Some identified stations: KVOC 1230, WATW 1400, KQSP 1530.
Independence Day Celebration Menu:
- gruyere gratinated French Onion soup
- reindeer tenderloin with red wine sauce and baked vegetables
- warm Lappish cheese with cloudberry jam
- Hewitson The Dorrien Bank Shiraz 2010
With Regards and 73's,
ANA and TRE
Nothing special during the night, but the long-awaited improvement in the cx finally occurred in the morning/early afternoon. Exceptionally strong and beautiful signals on the GY-channels, particularly from Montana and Wyoming. A very enjoyable and delightful listening session.
Some identified stations: KBLL 1240, KMKY 1310, KVCK 1450.
- plum tomatoes in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- poulet a l'estragon
- pineapple in mint sugar
- Matua Pinot Noir 2012
Some Brazilians during the night. In the morning fairly strong signals from Venezuela, Colombia and the East Coast. Somewhat better than the day before, but still generally quite modest cx. For the first time during this trip there were some decent afternoon signals audible from NA and Mexico. In addition, the band was totally packed with Asian signals.
Some identified stations: KWOR 1340, KMRI 1550, Radio Assuncao, Fortaleza 620 (no longer Globo).
- classic Cobb salad
- fried beef tenderloin and red bell peppers with mixed vegetables
- fresh fruit salad with mascarpone foam
- Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore 2010
Nothing during the night, but fair signals from Venezuela and Colombia in the morning. Also some NA from the East Coast, but still no real cx to speak of. Once again, Spanish stations were strong all morning. The afternoon was useless with the exception of many stations of All India Radio, which popped up like mushrooms all over the band.
Northern lights were visible during the early evening hours - nothing spectacular, but certainly sufficient to crush any hope of good cx. In fact, we have already accepted our fate. There simply is not enough time for the band to recover from all these continuous and never-ending disturbances before the end of our expedition. The cx will remain poor and the DX-results of this trip will not have any place in the history of DXing. Daytimers ? Dream on !
Special thanks to our reader, who sent an SMS with encouraging words regarding our cooking. Greetings to the rest of the wolfpack !
Some identified stations: WMCA 570, CJAD 800, WUNO 630, WKOX 1430, Radio Minuto Barquisimeto 790, AIR Rohtak 1143.
- scampi with green curry in coconut milk
- chevre & rosemary omelette souffle
- chocolate pots de creme
- Ninth Island Sauvignon Blanc 2011
A slight, yet significant improvement in the cx. Even though it was very challenging to find anything interesting, listening did not feel like a complete waste of time. Nothing during the night, but weak mixed NA-CA-SA in the morning. All in all, still very poor cx.
Stations worth mentioning: KNNR 1400, WGBW 1590, COPE Extremadura, Caceres 900.
- spicy King Salmon Candy toast, imported directly from Seattle's Pike Place Market
- pulled pork burgers with winter coleslaw (oh yes, we prepared the pulled pork and coleslaw here in our DX-Bistro Kitchen)
- manchego with self-made tomato marmalade
- KWV The Mentors Pinotage 2011
- few cl of nice port wine
Very lousy cx during the night and the morning. Fortunately there were no complete radio blackouts and some NA powerhouses were audible with relatively nice signals. However, finding anything of interest was more or less impossible. During the early morning hours some Argentinian X-banders boomed in with huge signals. Some Spanish stations were audible very late and COPE 1224 (probably Lugo) did not fade out until a couple of minutes before noon Finnish Time (i.e. 1000 UTC). Weird !
Some identified stations worth mentioning: - (yes, that means none).
- bresaola with fennel, arugula and parmesan
- fried perch with spinach stew and Lappish potatoes
- tarte tatin
- Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut
- a hint of Limoncello
First of all, we want to say "hello" to our faithful readers (both of you !). We arrived at the Lemmenjoki DX-headquarters at 5.10 pm Finnish Time. The driving conditions were very nice and the drive from Kolari was a pleasant one. However, the mediocre quality and selection of the grocery stores in Kittilä and Levi caused some delay as we had to visit three of them to find what we were looking for. And some items were not available at all....tough luck.
We had a quick chat with HN and HS soon after we had left Levi. Thanks, Hannu and Håkan: everything was in a perfect condition when we arrived in Lemmenjoki - well, except the cx. We openly admit that we did not have any great expectations DX-wise and that is exactly what we got: during the first evening and night, zero - zip - nada.
|LEM336 23NOV2013 - 30NOV2013|
Hannu Niilekselä (HN) and Håkan Sundman (HS)
The evening was a disappointment – no such opening as the day before. A quick check through the night did nor reveal anything better than WOOD-1300...
In the morning lots of Cubans giving a promise for some east coast. However, signal levels remained weak and stations appeared, changed and vanished in a rapid mode. It was obvious that we were experiencing a CME disturbance, which gradually brought all kinds of interfering bruises on the band. Those, together with a local powerline disturbance soon made listening far from a pleasure.
The interesting phase of the morning was soon lived between 07 and 08 UTC, but in that time span some interesting east coast was noted, such as WJEJ-1240 listening live. A quick check has so far revealed handful of very weak signals from the east coast (WPRO-630, WWFE-670, WNYC-820, WHJJ-920, WIBX-950, WHUC-130, WEEX-1230, WINC-1400, WKNY-1490), but not many of those are new to either one of us. And even if they were new, not many would be good enough to be sent to stations for verification.
The afternoon brought a surprise with clear signals from the Iberian peninsula already at 1530 UTC. In the evening, calibrating the Perseus was challenging, as Virgin-1215 was totally covered by COPE...
The signals were out soon after 08 UTC and we spent a couple of hours in the woods checking antennas after yesterday´s stormy weather, which also brought some 20 cm of fresh snow, making it look more like real winter.
Tomorrow will be our last chance for whatever, before the LEM337 crew will take over. It has been a nice week, but cx wise not as good as one would have expected. The amount of new stations for us has been fairly limited and hopes for any major surprises from our files are not too high.
All the food is gone, all the wine is gone and soon HN and HS will be gone....so LEM335 is signing off...thanks for your patience...
This seems to be the best evening for us, even if nothing spectacular was noted. NA signals started to come in already at around 1945 UTC with several NL-ON stations with audio. However, by 21 UTC the situation had not changed too much. Some regular night time stations were noted with signals long before local sunset, but no real daytimers. The same continued after 22 UTC, when we noted f. ex. KZQZ-1430 with a huge signal before it disappeared, as well as one fade in of WFHR-1320. The feeling was that no truly interesting frequencies offered anything – need to check carefully.
The night is yet to be checked, but it would be a miracle, if this night would be different from all the others.
In the morning a bit promising, as LA was mixing with NA, but it did not turn into any meaningful cx. The only difference to other days was that already before 10 UTC 1017 and 1098 from the Pacific were audible, together with common AK and HI with good signal levels. However, the more challenging stations did not wish to make an appearance and even the strong ones were soon gone.
As has been typical all week, the afternoon did not offer any meaningful cx, a little better towards the mid west than any day before, but the fun was again gone before 12 UTC. Asia was audible in the afternoon, but signals only moderate and without any specific direction.
Consomme de Renne “aurore polaire” avec Petit Chablis LaRoche...
The better the solar indices, the lousier the cx. This questionable mantra seems again to be more or less true. Everething should be OK, but the cx again somewhat deteriorated from those of yesterday: in the evening some promising signals from the ON-MI direction already before 21 UTC, but not developing to offer any daytimers later on – common NA together with some LA at night - a later start with NA in the morning and quite lazy going until about 10 UTC, when the signal started to vanish again.
Quite lively Asia in the afternoon, but again very general in nature with no highlights.
As of writing this, around 1945 UTC, again many Canadians from the east coast and also ON already with audio which –together with good solar and geomagnetic indices- should mean that there is a good possibility for daytimers ... we will see !
Same as yesterday, fairly promising in the sunrise hours, but the signals did not gain much strength later on.
Some LA mixing with NA all the way to 10 UTC, but that did not bring but a few of the most common NA from the more southern states (e.g. WIOD-610 and WMAC-940) . Gradually turning to the same basic direction to under the Great Lakes areas yesterday with focus on IL and MO, but dominants from west coast spoiling many frequencies.
Even if the cx were not specifically good, a handful of IL and MO stations from most GY frequencies were identified: WJBC, WHCO and WXFN 1230, KFMO and WTAX 1240, KADI-1340, WGIL 1400, KOKO and WFMB 1450. On 1490, though, "just" KRIB, KBUR and WOSH. On regional frequencies not much to tell, most interesting stations being KCSP-610 KQQZ-1190, WIMS-1420 and again KNIM and KREL 1580.
Again no afternoon conditions, some of the most common philipinos from the eastern direction.
No noteworthy cx in the early morning hours to any direction. Again the normal strengthening of signals around 06 UTC, but not as strong as previous day and even more general in direction.
In all, a very difficult day without any "high points" in terms of signal strengths or direction. Less interesting stations than the day before. Lots of recordings to be checked, but the expectation for new stations to either one of us quite low.
However, the outlook for the week is rather good, as no coronal holes or major sunspot threats are within immediate sight. It will be interesting to see whether silence on that front will also mean silence on the band, as we sometimes have experienced.
Menu: Reindeer stew with mixed salad and 1 glass of the traditional Miss Harry by Hewitson, split unevenly.
It is quite obvious that the shock effect of the CME was not a strong one, since NA started to appear already around 02 UTC with better signals towards NA than what had been noted all previous week. Still, nothing spectacular during the night, except a promise for possibly rapid improvement.
The morning started as usual with stations starting to gain strength around 06 UTC with some LA and NA mixing with Cubans. By 07 UTC it was evident that this would most likely be the best day with NA for about 3 weeks ... Specifically upper NY, WI, MI and MN had loud and clear signals. WROW-590 had a huge signal for almost 30 minutes – the station´s first appearance in HN´s earphones in 44 years of listening to NA !
By 08 UTC the band was full of clear signals, starting from 540, where WAUK with ESPN programming appeared. The conditions were widespread, which always is rather a minus in terms of getting new stations on the level where most LEM expeditionists are as of today. Still, some interesting stations on interesting frequencies were encountered, like KREL, KNIM and KTGR on 1580, all within 15 minutes. At the same time WFNO-830, which well illustrates the variety.
Even if the conditions were very good all the way to around 10 UTC, the afternoon was a disappointment with stations gradually disappearing at the point of time when often the very interesting afternoon cx take place with morning programs at the stations.
In the evening stations started to appear around 2130 UTC, but directly from the Great Lakes area. However, the cx never developed to the level, where you could talk about meaningful cx and by midnight UTC we were back to "normal", e.g. a few of the most common stations in between the European QRM.
Menu of the day: Pasta di Tonno with 1 glass of Petit Chablis de LaRoche split unevenly.
Recordings were playing in all day at Lemmenjoki while HN was making the 320 km journey to Kittilä airport to make a 50% change in the LEM crew. The plane with HS on arrived according to schedule, HAS left for Helsinki with the same plane, and we arrived back to LEM just after 13 UTC.
There were still some NA signal on the band, but rapidly fading away. Checking the recordings revealed that NA had substantially weakened just after 08 UTC in the morning, due to the arrival of some CME effects. There were some quite nice stations (e.g. WFLF-540, WMPC-1230, WDXY-1240 and WAOC-1420) on the east coast antenna between 06 and 08 UTC, but nothing there after. Very likely something on the 321 degree antenna, but expectations are not too high for any goodies – all those files yet to be checked.
Due to the disturbance the evening did not offer any notable signals.
|LEM335 16NOV2013 - 23NOV2013|
Hannu Asikainen (HAS) and Hannu Niilekselä (HN)
The last day of LEM 335 started much like the previous one. No terrific openings to LA-CA, but some stations (like R Ecuantena 1030) with quite nice signals.
At around 06 UTC NA was not yet strong, but the selection of stations with the east coast antenna (280 degrees) was interesting: WFLF-540 again, WMPC-1230, WDXY-1240 and WAOC-1420 to mention the best. However, there seemed to be no logics with stations appearing. On one frequency you had a Florida station, on the next Wisconsin etc.
Until 08 UTC the signals were quite nice and recordings may (or may not) reveal more interesting stuff. But just after 08 UTC the signals on the east coast antenna died out in just 15 minutes. All day there after only the most powerful stations from the west coast were barely audible.
What was coming in on the 321 degree antenna is still a question mark as of writing this, since we left Lemmenjoki just after 08UTC for the Kittilä airport to catch HAS's plane to Helsinki shortly after 1 PM.
So this is LEM 335 signing off. To be continued with LEM 336, which started at the Kittilä airport, where HN picked the other participant Håkan Sundman (HS) who arrived by the same Finnair plane which was to take HAS back to Helsinki.
Improvement, as expected. Some Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil in the night, non-spectacular Orinoco mixing with east coast-mid west NA and Cuba from 06 UTC on. Also best signals of the week from Iberia in the morning.
No specific direction with NA, but quite clear signals in the lower end of the MW band until around 08 UTC, then only above 1000 kHz. Even if some stations from FL were audible with quite nice signals in the lower end (WFLF-540, WQAM-560 and WIOD-610), nothing of interest from that direction in the upper parts.
The big change from days before was that stations remained on the band through the day until around 13 UTC. Having gone through all the TOH-ID´s there was not much of interest in the selection of stations, though. Quite uninteresting in all.
The other big change was that for the first time also Asia started opening up fairly early, though not quite early enough for the NHK-1 local ID´s at 10 UTC. Soon after the first Japanese stations also the rest of Asia boomed in. Mostly the stations sounded like Chinese, though our experts would have known that many of the languages were something else ... For those interested, it would have offered a nice chance to improve skills in the multitude of Asian languages ...
In all a nice day, since there was something to listen to most of the day.
Hopes were high for this morning, but already during the night it was evident that it would be difficult. Most of the night there were not too many signals, and when they appeared it was just for a short while for a time – from which ever direction between Brazil and the U.S.
The same continued in the morning, the emphasis on anything heard swifting more and more to the direction of NA. But the signals only lasted for a few minutes at a time and never reached the level where one could talk about meaningful cx. As a bonus, there were all kinds of atmospherics bruises and other disturbances coming and going. Getting anything out from a day like this is sheer luck – even with today´s SDR´s.
It was interesting to exchange news with OJS DX´ing remote at Kongsfjord, where the situation seemed to be substantially better with lots of interesting signals and less atmospheric disturbance. You never know, how this kind of troubled times will treat your QTH. What is clear, though, is that when you are lucky, the selection of stations can be truly interesting.
The worst hazards in the sun sun seem to be over for at least for some time and it helps in having a positive outlook for the coming days ...
The proton event did what proton events are known to do...the NA signals disappeared almost instantly. However, not completely, since the magnitude of this event was not as strong as one might fear.
Conditions prevailed on the Orinoco level with an odd Ecuatorian, this time R Ecuantena 1030 with a nice signal. In all, the LA signals were substantially weaker than a couple of days earlier, but better than nothing ! Some of the most common NA also appeared briefly around 07 UTC, which is the best moment here this time of the year.
But after 08 UTC it was again the same as every other day so far – nothing more to listen to until Iberia in the evening. It is remarkable how “shut” the AM band has been in the afternoon, both east and west.
Still, we are hopeful for the cx to return ...
Again nothing to talk about in the night. In the morning again signals started to improve after 06 UTC, but this time with emphasis on the Great Lakes and the Prairies. Too bad that there is very little to listen to from the Canadian side these days ... Still, a great surprise was to encounter CFOS-560 with a nice signal for some 15 minutes – a station I (HN) have been hunting forever ...
Even if on the surface it seemed that signals were by far strongest on the 321 degree antenna, upon checking some of the recordings so far, the 290 degree antenna had some nice signals from the MI-IN-OH area with many stations on the regional channels, instead of the usual dominants.
Interestingly, conditions to more southern directions seemed to be more or less blocked in the morning hours. Very seldom you encounter instances where you do not hear Spanish at all on 1224 around 0630 UTC !
As on Monday, the better signal levels were more or less gone by 08 UTC. Just listening to the files and socialising with Jouni-Ilmari and Aslak the rest of the day.
The news of the day was, though, the X-flare that made the proton levels to shoot the skies again. It seems that it is just about good-bye for NA for the rest of the week ...
No terrific openings anywhere in the late evening to early morning hours, but he promising development continued as gradually North American signals started to join the audible LA stations around 03 UTC. It all took place little by little, without any big surprises. By 07 UTC most of the LA had given way to NA, mostly from the upper East Coast, with just a few odd exceptions from further inland and CA.
The conditions peaked between 0730 to 0830 UTC, after which there was not much to talk about. The conditions were very weak indeed and the few stations identified with very weak signals were from the more north westerly parts. Asia in the afternoon just did not open up at all.
Nothing much in all, but in any case it was nice to listen to some clear signals at least for a short while. The rest of the day was spent listening to the recordings, which now have all been checked.
Some of the stations encountered included WQAM-560, WPRO-630, WPRV-790, CJAD-800, CJVA-810, WMMB-1240, WNZS-1340, CFAB-1450, WNBP-1450.
Saturday 16NOV2013 - Sunday 17NOV2013
After HaS had arrived at Kittilä airport with the "almost strike bound" Finnair we drove directly to Lemmenjoki. Teijo was greeting us welcome just a bit past midnight early on Saturday. The seat left empty by JEÖ was soon occupied by HaS with his impressive array of 4 NRD-535´s. As Teijo continued listening to the bitter end, all the way through until midday on Saturday, HN had one Perseus playing in all morning "just to make sure".
However, there were no fears of any meaningful cx all Saturday, even if a couple of NA from the Greart Lakes region were briefly noted with just about non-existent signals. The same went for Asia in the afternoon with R Thailand Chiang Mai identified on 1476. A few Chinese were there, too, but...
Sunday mornings TOH recordings revealed that there was nothing from CA-NA coming in all night. Still at 05 UTC nothing, but when sitting down at 5.50 UTC, specifically the lower end of the MW band was packed with Orinoco with clear signals, together with a few Puerto Ricans (e.g. WOSO-1030) and all Newfoundland. Interestingly, even if the Newfoundland stations had huge signals, there was absolutely nothing else from NA – not even a trace of any Nova Scotia stations.
Also South America was very concentrated to Ven-Col, including some more seldom logged stations (like R Panamericana 1140) with just an odd exception on 1190, where UCSG Radio-Television, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil briefly appeared. No Peru or Ecuador otherwise.
With the solar wind in excess of 500 all day, the "conditions" only lasted for less than an hour. During the rest of the day, KBRW-680 had a good signal, at times accompanied briefly by 3-4 other most common AK stations. Also rarities (lately ...) like KOMO-1000, KFNQ-1090 and KKXA-1520 appeared for a few minutes, but only to be completely gone with the wind again in just a few minutes. But this is better than in weeks ... so our hopes are high, even if the amount of solar activity can do further tricks to us any moment ...
|LEM334 09NOV2013 - 16NOV2013|
Jan-Erik Österholm (JEÖ) and Teijo Mäenpää (TSM)
Tuesday 12NOV2013 - Wednesday 13NOV2013
Cx improved after some days of silence. Yesterday very good against Brasil with a strong sunset opening. Stations started fill the band around 2030 UTC and surprisingly stayed on the band to morning hours. Today seldomly strong and clear peruvians around 04-0530 R Piura believed on 1140 flat with splash from RPP Pilcamayo on 1140.250. Lots of interesting splits to analyze. During LEM333 and LE334 NAs non-existent. The red proton line now finally settling to normal levels.
JEÖ will leave tomorrow because of appointment in Helsinki sunday. Teijo stays until Saturday to welcome the next crew, HN and HAS.
Sunday 10NOV2013 - Monday 11NOV2013
This is the continuing story of nil cx. Maybe we have reached the much speculated double solar maximum peak of this solar cycle. The proton level has now been settled at a constant higher than normal level for more than a month with the exception for some very short periods. As a consequence the upper latitude radio signals are completely blocked. So, as you all can understand Teijo and I have nothing revolutionary to report, maybe with the exception that on 657 we thought to have Southern Star from NZ. It turned out however to be the superpower in Murmansk some 300 kilometers from our QTH with a fair but stable signal.
Saturday 09NOV2013 - Sunday 10NOV2013
Teijo Mäenpää arrived in good shape yesterday Saturday the 9th. His arrival initiated yet another LEM-pedition with a new team. The first time for Teijo here in the famous LEM-QTH even though he has been active for tens of years. Teijo's main interest is in the field of utility stations and of course the LEM antenna park might open completely new avenues for him, and has already done so, with some nice catches from Vietnam and Malaysia!
This was the good news! The bad news is, that as poorly as LEM333 ended (on the AM band) as poorly has LEM334 started, a disappointing introduction of the LEM-QTH to Teijo. Looking at the solar forecasts for the coming days make us slightly uncomfortable. Simply no signals whatsoever on the AM band. Reminds me (JEÖ) of PÄs and my LEM200 pedition when we listened to a completely empty AM band for 11 days! Not as bad now though, since during LEM200 K-index rose to 10 and A-index to 400! Now we are talking about reasonable values of ca 4-5 and below 20, respectively! BUT - are we now in the middle of the true solar maximum hitting the Arctic regions badly?
We'll return with additional reports when and if something positive emerge on the bands during the week to come.
|LEM333 02NOV2013 - 09NOV2013|
Jan-Erik Österholm (JEÖ)
Thursday 07NOV2013 - Friday 08NOV2013
Depressing moments in Lemmenjoki. The same cx pattern continues, i.e. the proton levels remain continuosly high. No signs of any signals north of southetn Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
Thursday 07NOV2013 Extra Update: Frustration !
Just after the proton levels seemed to settle a sharp rise occured again this afternoon. Connections over the pole completely zero. Even difficult to notice any signals from our neighbours horse fences ...
Tuesday 05NOV2013 - Thursday 07NOV2013
The last days have been both a surprise and a dissapointment. Starting from the dark side. Cx towards US/CAN has for yet another two days been non- existent. Ok, the Canadian on 1140 had a reasonable signal before sunrise but that's all. No signs whatsoever from stations like KBRW, KOMO etc. Boaring. Looking at data on Space Weather Now and Alvestad's solar pages reveal that the proton level still is too high for openings over the pole. It is simply blocked in a way that only happens here in the Arctic North!
A week ago huge amounts of stations from Virginia, Nort Carolina etc has ben heard only some 1000 kilometers to the south of here by e.g. HN, JHN, MJ...This is not fair.
The bright side of the last 48 hours are the great cx towards the southern Brazilian states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul as well as towards Uruguay and the northern parts of Argentina between ca 2140-0830 UTC. Have so far found LV15 R Villa Mercedes 640 and ZYL314 R Tropical MG BRA on 790. Definitely the best cx towards this region since PÄs and mine LEM100 pedition in 1995.
The mystery, or bad luck, still remains however: three expeditions to Lemmenjoki during the last 1,5 years with hardly any signs of signals from the US.
Monday 04NOV2013 - Tuesday 05NOV2013
The proton level is still above "rest levels" as has been the case for more than a week.. As a consequence, the cx has been moderate at most. If digging for stations from US/Canada the effort has been useless. I have to admit though that I managed to log Ottawa on 1310, NY on 1130 and Buffalo on 1520. A radical improvement over the previous hours! Fortunately, my main interest are stations south of the US/Mexico border.
During night-morning hours the cx pattern continued to be the same. Weak Bras/LP during night hours with heavy accompaning EU splash. At sunrise the boaring short opening towards Peru with Capital, Santa Rosa and Bethel with huge signals. Funny enough, no signs of TurboMix on 1540.5 or Callao Super R on 1400 at sunrise!
Sunday 03NOV2013 - Monday 04NOV2013
The AM band has improved a lot in 24 hrs. Clean signals with the exception of the really annoying pulses from our neighbors electrical horse fence.
During night hours BRA/LP was surprisingly modest and even the EU splashes were modest. Just before 3 UTC stations from Orinoco and the Caribbean took over. I was surprised to find, after listening to TOH files, that I heard for me a new station from Puerto Rico, WLRP San Sebastian 1460! If a confirmation is received it will become my PR-QSL # 50! Simultaneously very strong PR-signals on the upper side of the band, e.g. 1280, 1300 (WTIL), 1320, 1350, 1390, 1420, 1480 etc.
Conditions ended with a turn towards the south with a mixture of Colombia and Peru on the most common frequencies. Even some stations from the US were audiable before the band closed down at ca 7.45 am. All in all, ca 200 GBs of recordings to dig into. Around 11 UTC lots of Asians on the band but they disappeared before 14 UTC. No sign of signals from Oceania at that time.
The atmosphere is still unstable and a heavy flare is possible during the next days. The important thing is that the proton levels seem to be settling down to normal values after one week. Protons as we know are the cx killers up here on higher altitudes.
Saturday 02NOV2013 - Sunday 03NOV2013
This is the first report from the LEM333 pedition. It will regularily be up-dating - if there is anything to report about cx wise. And if no cx during this hectic solar activity moment, there will be up-dates anyway. I arrived in Lemmenjoki yesterday, Saturday 2/11, at around 4.40 pm. I hit the road early Friday morning from Porvoo and drove in 7 hrs (including filling the car with one week of food stuff) to Jari Ruohomäki's famous QTH in Muhos which I have visited a couple of times earlier. Big thanks goes to Jari for always taking us on at our "half stop" to Lemmenjoki. Thanks Jari for your hospitality in a truly superb QTH - dispite the trouble with water from the well.
After a 500 km drive I had a brief chat with Håkan Sundman (HS) and the still working youngster Hannu Tikkanen (HAT) in a secret pub in Levi before hitting the road for another 140 kilometers. Håkan and Hannu had experienced a 3-4 hour opening on the day after arrival and after that protons were released and the band closed down for the rest of the week.
After arriving at the HQ I noticed, that after connecting the equipment, the band was empty (in Finnish "perkeleen suhinaa"). Surprisingly though, I heard JOIF on 1413.
During this first night, morning and day there is not much to tell. Brazilians at a medium level from 21.40 UTC - first appearing and then quickly disappearing as is usual for early evening BRA's prior to local sunset. Brazilians again from 01 UTC. Around 05.30 UTC a very strong BRA/LP opening fore some ten minutes before the solar burst hit around 05.46 leaving the band empty during the morning and day. So far I have identified the BRAS R Peperi 1370 - and of course Argentinian R Rubi 1670. I expect to find som interesting BRAS stations since frequencies like 820, 830, 850 (!), 1050, 1160, 1180 etc had multiple stations present. Unfortunately though, too many chain programs with non- existent possibilities for an ID.
|LEM332 26OCT2013 - 02NOV2013|
Hannu Tikkanen (HAT) and Håkan Sundman (HS)
Last morning in Lemmenjoki! Conds (?) were very stable the whole week: Brazil only, with some La Plata included. Without the short Sunday morning NA cx this would have been a very dry expedition. Spain didn't give much, though the surveillance was continous for COPE and RNE-breaks. Nothing particular from Africa either, but the truth is that we didn't try very hard for this direction. Asia was also a disappointment from our perspective with Chinese and Arabic stations covering the frequencies, would have been nice to dig some Filipinos and Japs on the band.
Well, some other year then. HAT will have to cope the remaining of the season with these files, luckily HS is returning in three weeks!
With reference to our Perseus problems that we reported in the beginning of the expedition, the full story can now be revealed. Two of our Perseuses indeed went berzek, and we spent countless hours trying to get them up and running again. Installing software, drivers, new versions of Perseus, digging into windows registries, even restoring computers several times using previous restore-points etc etc. Finally we studied our noiseless Perseus PSUs -because nothing else could be invented- and realized that these PSUs are too strict for the current variation. We changed back to original Perseus PSUs and the systems started to work again. lol. Why only two Perseuses out of four collapsed in the first place and the other two remained in operation is a mystery; and it also prevented us from realizing that the PSU could be the issue, 'cause we have four equal PSUs... And they had been working fine for several years, except some problems that only HS had faced previously.
Still, even afterwards our Perseuses froze every now and then for unknown reasons after pluggin/unplugging other devices in the dx-system (external hardwares etc), but in these situations Perseuses could be recovered with normal procedures.
We would have changed the return autotrain package already for today, but VR didn't let us. So we're stuck here for another day!
It's 07 utc and time to wrap up the conds of yesterday, last night and also of this coming day: -
Wednesday 30OCT2013 - Lem's Kitchen, part 332
Good food and excellent company - what else do you expect from a dx pedition? We don't, so we enjoyed a three-course menu this evening with Mika and Jim. Menu consisted of lichen as a starter (yes, specially prepared lichen), green salad, reindeer, whitefish, and a selection of fresh arctic berries. Unalcoholic beer, cold water, lingonbery juice, black coffee (no sugar nor milk or cream).
Much better! Not the conds, but the general technical situation. We've been able to allocate our spare time to files that we kept recording while we tried to solve the now passed technical difficulties. The conds have been deteriorating on a daily basis; Sunday offered the previosly mentioned east coast (we'd call it the eastest coast because the stations were mainly from the shoreline streching from Vermont to Florida, WCAT-1390, WINZ-940, WTAB-1370, WRHC-1550 relaying WWFE, WKWF-1600 and such) for about 1-2 hours, and after that it's been downhill only. Lots of South Americans have been recorded, some of them with huge signals, eg. Emisora Mariana 1400, Fuego AM 1160, BBN Caracas 1260, Primero de Marzo 780, Teleradio 1350 etc etc, and ofcourse the traditional R Seagull 1602 traditionally without any interfering NHK-stations.
We're looking forward to the coming days for some new & exciting conditions! Tomorrow it's time for another tradition, dinner in Inari, or maybe it's even a late lunch depending on the driving conditions - they are lousy, too. No real interest in driving in the evening on the icy & slippery roads, better to do it in daylight.
Last 24 hours was spent in an extensive series of trials to solve our mysterious problem of getting defunc Perseuses one after another, while keeping the remaining Perseuses in recording mode, ofcourse. Seems that we were finaly able to get a cure for the desease, and we should be now back in business as usual! Thanks OJS, TAK and MR for assistance, great to get help from people around you.
Monday morning wasn't as exciting as the morning hours of the day before, but lots of YV HJ and some common Andean stations were noted. All of these were representatives of very regular kind, but still there will be many LA stations to report when we get the chance to listen through these files. Afteroon Asia was far from interesting, but maybe tomorrow?!
And there was once again a good reason to give a big hurrah; to hear The Cross on an empty tropical band!
Saturday 26OCT2013 - Sunday 27OCT2013
LEM332 has been on since Saturday afternoon. Thanks to Pertti the site was in excellent technical condition, aerials working 100% etc, great job once again said! -So we've had time to focus to the severe software problems instead. Quite a lot (=most) of our spare time has been spent trying to unsuccesfuly solve several firmware problems that are causing major problems in two computers. Seems that the problems will remain as they are, until we got the computers to the blacksmith, so they seem to be just dead weight for the rest of the expedition. Despite all this, we spent the afternoon hours checking the aerials (in perfect shape). Had cx towards YV HJ PR Caribbean and the US east coast with good signals starting from late night/early morning lasting several hours, until the signals finally dried off.
|LEM331 12OCT2013 - 26OCT2013|
Pertti Äyräs (PÄ)
Thursday 24OCT2013 - Friday 25OCT2013
Hello again! This will be my last communication for a while since I´m heading South within an hour or two.
Contrary what I expectd the roof kicking protons went away and the conditions came back. The morningside of Thursday again provided good signals from South America as a starting material and then, as it usually goes, the cx shifted to North Americn continent but they did end very soon and the band was quite empty. Afternoon served the usual Asian signals from Japan etc. but nothing of interest to me.
I started recording the AM band the next night (my last here for a while) around midnight UTC and noticed good signals which were there when I finally got out of my bed around 03.30 UTC Saturday 25th. Still good signals from LA and Eastern USA but soon they drifted away. However, a kind of comeback was soon observed but only signals from the western parts of NA.
The recording of the band is still on while I simultaneously pack my things into my car, the radios being the last objectives to switch off of course.
So it´s goodbye for now.
Tuesday 22OCT2013 - Wednesday 23OCT2013
The conditions on Tuesday Oct. 22th were pretty good towards all the Americas, starting from the northern parts of South America to the eastern states of North America and finally finding the way up to the north-east corner of NA. One interesting catch was 960 WERC in Birmingham AL which was simustaneously logged in the Aihkiniemi DX-cabin. Another new one for me, a couple of hours later was KLER Orofino ID on 1300, and many more are hopefully waiting on the discs to be detected. In the afternoon three stations from Guam were heard, also new for me, on 567, 630 and 801. These were, of course, logged in the Aihkiniemi AM monitoring building.
Next night provided nothing of interest until the usual morning gym started. Unfortunately, the band went silent at around 05.30 utc. I thought I heard some "ping" noise on the roof, went out but did not see anything but the sunrise. Then I took a look at the Internet "Space weather" pages and found out that some proton emission from the sun had reached our Planet a couple of hours earlier. Maybe the protium nucleus attack was the origin of the noise I imagined to hear from the outside steel roof!
OK, now it seems that the conditions are probably over for a while, but let´s be optimistic. I still have a couple of days ahead of me before transferring me and my equipment to southern parts of the country.
Sunday 20OCT2013 - Monday 21OCT2013
The conditions have been on the good side now for some 3-4 days. Yesterday, on Sunday Oct. 20th, the conditions were providing signals from North America including Alaska and Hawaii. The morning started with some LA stations but these were soon beaten by stations from States like Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin etc. and soon it could be observed that also stations from Alaska and Hawaii became audible when the antenna pointing to north was taken into operation. For example, 1570 KUAU was very strong and stable. From the NA continent I could identify stations like 1400 KAYS Hays KS, 1450 KATE Albert Lea MN etc. Also some mexicans popped surprisingly up now and then, like 1260 XESA Culiacan SN. The conditions continued to afternoon.
Next night I woke up around 1 UTC and could hear a lot of LA stations from Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto Rico, etc. They vanished for the most part around 05 UTC (Monday 21th) and were replaced by North American stations. The most powerful stations were from the Ontario region and the US States thereby. Soon the conditions changed and more western parts of the Continent became audible. But real west-coast conditions did not appear, just the dominants were there. Later again some stations from Hawaii.
Conditions towards Asia have surely been good but have not found the energy to look after them - so no recordings. Now and then I have checked for the Aussies but no audio, only visible peaks, on the X-band have been noted.
Interesting to see (and hear) what the next night and morning will bring in!
Thursday 17OCT2013 - Saturday 19OCT2013
The appearance of a few signals from Alaska on Thursday afternoon really was a sign for better conditions. The night did not give anythhing but at the sunrise 19th Oct. signals from Nort America began to rise. The conditions were favouring the western parts. For example KTFI Wendell on 1340, KART Jerome on 1400 and KVSI Montpelier on 1450 were identified, all of these from the State of Idaho. The conditions continued to the afternoon. Also some signals from Colombia and the Caribbean were heard before the NA stations started their dominance.
Next night provided nothing but along the morningside the NA conditions started again and the dominance was again held by the Northwestern parts of the Continent. I also managed to find out that one of the two antennas not working properly has the problems on it´s coax feed. Otherwise it works well when tested with a provisory coax from another nearby antenna feed. Try to locate the problem today.
It will be interesting to see whether the conditions will continue or not. I´m optimistic!
Tuesday 15OCT2013 - Thursday 17OCT2013
As you surely are aware there should not be much to report concerning the Trans-Atlantic signal reception here in the Finnish Lappland. Reports from fellow dxers from different parts of Northern Europe report the practical non-existence of these signals. This is true also for this well-known basically excellent Lemmenjoki listening position. Despite of kilometers of carefully pointed antennas practically nothing is to be heard without something - the conditions. These have been absent for some days now. Every night some Brazilians make it through the silence but even they are few in number. And around sunrise always something pops out from north-west directions i.e. from USA and Canada, but only for a very short period of time. Shortly then, the poorest of the nights was that between Monday and Tuesday, next night was poor and the last night slightly better with a promise of a better future to come. A couple of new stations for me have been found but they are not many.
Well, as I mentioned above, there are indications that the quality of the conditions will start to enhance. As a proof (?) of this, Thursday afternoon some Alaskan stations became audible. Let´s hope this is a sign for better!
Saturday 12OCT2013 - Monday 14OCT2013
Written at around 15 UTC on Oct. 14th
Greetings from the Lemmenjoki Headquarters in northern Finnish Lappland. I have a "solo" DXpedition for the next two weeks and try to report on what´s going on here. Arrived here Saturday evening, Oct. 12th after spending a night in Oulu as a guest to Jari Ruohomäki. Thank you Jari very much, for providing a bed and company (not in the bed!) after driving some 700 kms from my home QTH in Kaarina to Oulu. Way up north some other 600 kms brought to me to Lemmenjoki the next day.
The house was clean and in good conditions but the antennas were disconnected for safety reasons (thunder storms etc during the summer...) so there was a lot of work to do. During the first evening I managed to fix some 5 aerials for operation. Connecting the aerials to the receivers and putting them into work is always a high tension moment ... do they work or not. This time all went OK and good signals were received from the very start, but only on 5 of the 10-11 antennas. Some extra electrical noise was not observed.
The propagation conditions were quite normal during the night and at sunrise there was a good opening but to each direction at the same moment - from south-west to north. Hopefully something can be found from the recordings. The afternoon provided very good signals from Japan but this direction is not among my favourite kind of conditions. Made some recordings though as you never know when the conditions and possibilities for recording something go off. Next night and morning the conditions were much weaker and not much to report. North American AM signals disappeared early in the morning like did the other signals from Western directions too. Nothing interesting from the eastern directions in the afternoon. So I concentrated on the antenna work. Some mysteries remain even at the time of writing this but I hope to be able to find and solve the problems during the next days to come