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Antennas: Measured antenna directions on the Great Circle Map
Previous Seasons: 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16
Jan-Erik Österholm (JEÖ) and Pertti Äyräs (PÄ)
Wednesday 18JAN2017 - Thursday 19JAN2017
Wednesday turned out to be a very good day indeed. NA stations emerged early. Already just after 20 UTC stations from the US North Eastern corner appeared on frequencies such as 1030, 1060, 1190, 1300, 1490, 1500, 1510, 1520, 1570 to name a few. At this point we are not aware of real day timer catches but the files have only been scratched on the surface. NA stations were audible all night and lasting to around 1430 UTC. Cx was again mostly north of the line Boston-LA. A nice opening towards OR. A surpirise was KJPG Frazier Valley CA on 1050 booming in for two hours. Other stations worth mentioning include KTMT 580, KRTA 610, KXOR 660, KFLD 870, KLAD 960, KMAS 1030, KORE 1050, KBLE 1050, KAGO 1150......
As expected, the CH arrived and the cx were quite mediocre in all TA directions. Around 5 UTC NA returned, however, and then cx lasted to early afternoon with periods of very strong and clear signals, Also on the GY's. Hardly anything from South America, with exception for a short Brazil opening between 07-0740.
73's JEÖ and PÄ
Monday 16JAN2017 - Tuesday 17JAN2017
Saturday 14JAN2017 - Sunday 15JAN2017
During night pretty nice B/LP cx between 23-03 but then the NAs became too strong also on the 255 antenna. NA filled the band continuously until 15 UTC. An interesting Argentinian was noted on 1709.800 which we believe is either AM 1710 or Fantastico, Tigre both of which have been off for some years. Some NAs identified on the run include KFYR 550, WTCM 580, WMT 600, KNML 610, KPTO 1440 and KYYA 1470. At the time of writing (Monday 7.40 UTC) the band is again crowded with strong NA. We expect the arrival of CH786 during the next few days which will give us time to check recordings.
Timo Reiniluoto (TRE), Antti Aaltonen (ANA)
Thursday 12JAN2017 - Friday 13JAN2017
Thursday was definitely the best day of our DXpedition. The morning did not offer much, but the afternoon gave us a couple of hours of non-stop listening pleasure. This time the cx reached from the west coast all the way to Minnesota and the Dakotas (i.e. a little bit further east than the day before). The GY frequencies provided numerous stations with huge signals. The band was packed with signals even at 1515 UTC when we had to leave the DXing HQ to pick up TRE's rental car from the airport in Ivalo. As usual, there was no hope of catching daytimers in the evening (for example, WLQV 1500 became audible already around 2100 UTC and blocked the frequency effectively after that.
TRE left for his brief daytrip to Oulu at 0330 UTC and ANA had to listen solo on Friday. However, it appears that the nice cx left with TRE. Even though the propagation forecasts were very promising, the cx were a bitter disappointment. The band was full of stations but the selection of stations was not particularly interesting (however, we realize that the Perseus gang may nevertheless find something remarkable on their files... In addition, the GY frequencies were just a shadow of what they were the day before. In the afternoon the signals started to fade away much earlier than on Wednesday.
KIV visited the DXing HQ on Friday. Thanks for stopping by! Kimmo was obviously impressed by the 7 NRD's on the table.
Here are some examples of our latest catches. At this stage this is a very short list as we have not had any time to check our recordings yet:
This is LEM378 signing off. Thanks for your patience. And welcome, JEÖ & PÄ!
TRE & ANA
Tuesday 10JAN2017 - Wednesday 11JAN2017
On Tuesday the cx remained very modest. A couple of Peruvians were noted during the early morning hours and later on in the morning there was a very short opening towards the east coast. Soon after that the cx continued with the standard selection of common stations from the west coast and the Rockies. Asia was strong again in the afternoon.
On Wednesday the solar winds finally started to calm down. However, for some reason the band was quite dead In the morning, but in the afternoon we got fairly nice NA-cx. Strong signals and also relatively intresting stations from the west coast, the Rockies and the western parts of the Great Plains. Unfortunately the cx did not proceed further east. This greatly limited the selection of stations available.
Aslak paid us a visit on Wednesday afternoon. It was good to hear the latest gossip and to take a brief break from the hectic NRD-listening.
Our time-consuming cooking activities have left us just enough time to make the following modest catches:
Saturday 07JAN2017 - Monday 09JAN2017
After an excruciatingly long wait (over three years!), the usual suspects have teamed up again. Antti's solo act a year ago, which has resulted in just two published loggings so far, is just a fading memory.
We have not changed our concept in any way: we still have a huge amount of NRD's and good food. And the grocery store in Kittilä will remain in business for at least one more year.
Once again, the propagation forecasts are challenging, to say the least. We are more than used to mediocre or awful propagation conditions and, in fact, we may be setting a new world record in bad timing. However, we will not let minor details such as coronal holes spoil our fun.
We met JPR briefly in Kittilä on Saturday afternoon and the drive to Lemmenjoki was a pleasant one due to the excellent driving conditions. BTW, on his drive from Lemmenjoki JPR spotted a couple of moose and lots of reindeer. We did not spot any of those creatures!
As expected, the cx towards the Western Hemisphere have been very modest. Common Brazil during the night and common NA/CA/SA in the morning. Monday morning was slightly better than Sunday morning, but when something "really awful" turns to "really boring", you understand that the improvement was no cause for cheer. However, to our astonishment, the cx towards many parts of Asia (especially Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan) have been quite amazing. Or perhaps the cx have been "just OK", but for inexperienced Asia DXers like us this has been a real eye-opener. Even Asia-DX can be a lot of fun!
Here are examples of stations identified during the first three days of our DXpedition:
Jari Ruohomäki (JPR), Jim Solatie (JMS)
The night was a little bit better than the previous one with weak brasilians. Right now at 0720 utc there is hope to hear something interesting from Brasil. Common stations like R Encantado RS 1580 and R Cultura, Campos Novos 1420 have pretty clear signals. Europeans are almost quiet. So we have a chance during the next 30 minutes if the conditions become stronger.
LEM377 is signing off.
After empty night some weak ZY-stations around 07 utc. No hope for new catches.
Some light was noticed in the morning after useless night. However, most probably this day will not give a single new station. Some brasilians like R Encantado RS 1580 and R Asa Branca 1570 PE were identified around 07 utc. Weak US signals from the central parts fades in and out for a while before noon.
This was not so bad day. Brasil was better than average in the night. Rádio Ingazeira Paulistana PE 1470 was identified alive. Orinoco area was also audible. ZY-stations faded out before 04 utc, but Orinoco was audible till 07 utc. This was followed by eastcoasters till 10 utc. This was really not a major opening. However, WMFJ FL was noticed on 1450. Therefore we should have a chance to find some other interesting stations.
The only real highlight of the day was a very strong peak towards Colombia and Ecuador at 0800-0830 utc. Signals appeared extremely rapidly and disappeared in a few minutes. This was quite an experience. There was at least one station on each frequency. However, the lower AM band was not as good as the upper one. Some rare stations like Bluradio, Medellin 1090 and Radio Panorama, Ibarra 1440 were booming in with huge signal stregth.
Hannu Niilekselä (HN) 03-17DEC2016, Hannu Asikainen (HAS) 11-17DEC2016
The same story with early and night time signals - nothing to report.
Quite a nice start for NA in the morning with signals fairly nice already by 07 UTC, which seems to be early for them up here this time of the year ... Good going all day long, with also some east coast included. Otherwise mid west all the way to about 1250 UTC, but not until 13 UTC, which would have been good. One interesting feature was that a couple of stations from Florida were there still at 11 UTC. Although a quick check of the TOH's did not include any FL outside 11 UTC, there must be some of them already earlier, too, since some Cubans were very strong earlier on.
As of writing this late on Friday evening, no trace of early NA, except the brief appearance on such frequencies as 930, 1140, 1200, 1370, 1390, 1400 and 1500. Those who are "in the business" will know that such signals are not specifically interesting ...
Tomorrow is our last day and then back home, so LEM376 is signing off. Thank you for your interest.
73s HN and HAS
The solar wind keeps comes down very slowly although the indices are low - but what does it matter if stations don't care ...
No early NA signals again, first identified NA at around 23 UTC, but nothing of interest all night.
Some Iberia around 0630-0700 UTC, but nothing terrific.
AS-OS direction surprised with the first Japanense and Pacific stations appearing already around 0845 UTC. Tonga-1017 and Marshalls-1098 had beautiful signals and also Kiribati-1440 appeared alongside with STV Radio. It looked very good around 09 UTC but some disturbance started to take out the best of the signals around 0930 and the 10 UTC brek for NHK-1 stations was a disappointment.
Asian highlights included the absolutely terrific signals around 12-13 UTC of AFN Eagle 810 (Tokyo) and 1575 (Misawa) during their breaks with local material. At times the both signals were totally interference free, but in spite of this the Korean AFNs were totally absent. AFN 648 (Okinawa) was audible too, but not so good. Japanese commercial stations were OK at the same, but just with the ordinary stations. Otherwise lots of Asian interference.
NA turned out to be very mediocre. Signals gained strength fairly late, by 08 UTC. A little promise around 11 UTC, as stations from the upper UTC-5 area were still there, but everything, except for a couple of AK and HI, died out already in front of 12 UTC. The overall station selection was just the ordinary mid west-upper west coast.
No early NA signals again, first identified NA at around 23 UTC, but nothing of interest all night.
Good Iberia around 0630-0700 UTC, but with an early fade-out again.
At the same time NA getting stronger a bit earlier than on previous days. Fairly nice signals all day, but just in front of 12 UTC the signals started to deteriorate quite rapidly and the only thing of interest after that were the strong signals of most common Hawaii around 1230 UTC. To our disappointment also they lost their power already before 13 UTC.
Asia surprisingly weak all afternoon - clearly some disturbance, maybe just locally here, as the general indices seem to remain good.
A couple of days left, hopefully with good conditions !
The solar wind keeps lingering high…in spite of this a surprisingly good day...
Back to the experience of the previous week with first stations appearing just in front of 21 UTC. Again not too many stations and no specifically interesting frequencies were noted. In that respect the beautiful signal of CFAB-1450 for about half an hour, with nice country music and local content was a delight. In spite of this terrific signal, the others were quite miniscule.
A dull night again with just a few strongest NA. Exceptionally good signals in the direction of the Iberian peninsula in the morning, even if the signals died out around 0715, which is a bit earlier than you might expect during the darkest time of the year.
Around 07 UTC NA started opening up with force. And the beauty of the day was that it started with the northern parts of the east coast. Some of the signals were truly enjoyable and there were no signs of sudden fade out, which one would expect when the solar wind is well in excess of 500 km/s. The only thing missing was that they never reached below New York.
Gradually Midwest started to creep in, but the peak of the conditions never traveled past the prairies. This lasted past 13 UTC, which provides interesting recordings to go through on a minute-by-minute basis.
Nothing of interest from the eastern directions
No early NA signals again, first identified NA at 07UTC, KBJM-1400. A station that never QSL's to me (HN)...
The lesson of this trip has been that one must keep on recording, even as it seems most useless. This paid off again this morning with the 297 degree antenna. There was absolutely nothing on it all morning - and practically nothing with the 320 degree antenna either. But all of a sudden at 0740 UTC there were quite clear signals on the 297 for about 3 minutes. Those 3 minutes brought signals extremely concentrated to MA. Many stations came in with a beautiful signal for one minute or so. The only problem was the timing, not very high expectations for identifications. Still, a handful of ID's were there, partly due to the fact that this happened at the time when a commercial block in the Coast to Coast talk show ended, where some talk stations insert a an identification, program promo etc. Otherwise, no signals from that direction or with that antenna in general.
Very lousy signals every now and then popping up, mostly the very common stations from the northerly locations in the Mountain time zone. This went on until about 1130 UTC, when the signals started stabilizing and got stronger. The direction kept the same all the way until about 14 UTC, without the extreme west coast coming in, as had been the case in many occasions in the past week.
So, in all there is quite a lot to listen on the files and HAS got a flying start with several new stations reported already on the first day of his part of the expedition.
Even less to report. The solar wind keeps high. Still, the path to NA is not altogether broken.
First identified station from NA this morning was WJMC-1240 at 08UTC. Not much else until 10UTC, when altogether 3 stations from NE were logged, KHAS-1230, KBRB-1400 and KKAN-1490.
That was all for the day, except for some KOMO's and KLO's around 14UTC. A perfect day to take a 90km drive to Ivalo to pick up my friend Hannu Asikainen (HAS).
No early NA signals, which was nothing out of expectations with solar wind remaining close to 700 kms/s ...
Recordings were still running all night, just to make sure, and checking them brought some surprises. At 01 UTC all of a sudden there were isolated NA signals from the Great Lakes area. WASK-1450 identified. They were soon gone, but just in front of 02 UTC they came back again ! Nothing exceptional though, rather typical "disturbed Nebraska" like KIUL-1240. A minute after 02 UTC they all were gone again ... only to return a few minutes in front of 03 UTC. An example was KBMW-1450 with a good signal for 30 seconds ! At this point it seemed like a surprise that no signals returned in front of 05-07 UTC ...
Instead, around 06 UTC La Plata and some Brazil took over with nice signals. While listening to files from the night, checking for NA every now and then. All of a sudden at 0740 UTC the band was packed with NA. At 0742 not one NA audible anymore ... I have never experienced the signals cutting out in 10 seconds.
But, but ... 2 minutes in front of 08 UTC some signals were back again. Fading was so strong that the peak of them occurred about 10 seconds too early. Some ID's were heard, some other signals that had been well audible just 5 seconds ago, drowned as the call letters started. Checking the files from the lower end upwards, only stations that were identified at 08 UTC were WGN-720, WLS-890, WITY-980, KTLK-1130 ... KSLD-1140 (297 degree antenna !). From there on more variety, but also many Illinois stations.
All of this sounds a bit unreal with these solar winds. But how fast can signals disappear? Just check recording of WFAN-660 at 0740 UTC. The whole mw band died the same way at this moment! Listening today has in many ways been lots more interesting than with the "good conditions" during some of the previous days.
Tomorrow I will drive to Ivalo to get my friend Hannu Asikainen. He will enjoy this, too!
Not much to report. The solar wind has climbed all the way above 600 kms/s, which can clearly be noted on the MW band. Still, the path to NA is not altogether broken.
The first signal from NA appeared around 0330 UTC. Typically from the mid west. For some odd reason, it seems to be very typical that during geomagnetic storms stations from Nebraska appear. So was it again with the first identified station being KLIN-1400. Not many others, but also KIRX-1450 had a fairly decent signal for some 20 minutes.
The hours around local sunrise bring a handful stations audible even during worst conditions, but this morning that did not happen.
The only direction with some signals coming in was due north, from Alaska, with the strongest stations audible.
The day was perfect for going through files created during the beginning of this expedition.
WFME-1560 appeared a few minutes before 21 UTC, but less other signals than in the previous evenings.
The expected effects of the Coronal Holes had clearly arrived. During the night time hours the band still had about the same amount of signals as in the previous nights, but they were much more unstable and totally gone for long periods. There was one bright period for some 10 minutes around 0040-0050 UTC, when stations from MI-OH came with force. Unfortunately by 01 UTC they were again totally gone. Had this "opening" happened on the top-of-the-hour, results would be totally different. Now, just a couple identifications were encountered.
Morning was the worst so far during LEM 376. Signals were weak and "dizzy", however with some brighter periods. Asia opened early with first Chinese signals appearing already before 10 UTC. By 11 UTC the signals were clear and - should one be interested in these- probably enjoyable. No OS or even Japanese stations today, but a good 5 minutes of AFN Korea on 1440 with a local break indicating that this most likely was the Waegwan/Camp Carrol transmitter.
In all the worst day with NA . The first day, when it was not even worth the while to keep recordings on all the time ... So the good question is, what are the characteristics of "good" conditions. In terms of new stations, this seems to be better than the previous days, with two new stations found so far.
First NA signals on Tuesday evening appeared, as has been the custom for several days now, around 21 UTC . This time they were very much restricted to the MA coastal area, with the odd exception of WPGG-NJ on 1450 AM. The most interesting station was WNTN on 1550, which was the only "true” daytimer identified.
Further during the night, some NA here and there, but again no real cx before 07 UTC. From there on, all the way to 1430 UTC ,stations from the UTC-7 and UTC-8 areas, which stuff most of us are only too familiar with. Very difficult to find anything new, since the cx were not of any special clarity either.
The AS-OS side was remarkably quiet all afternoon, with the exception of 2-3 of the most common HI-stations.
Some carriers appeared again around 21 UTC, but substantially weaker than the previous evening. Hardly any stations later in the night and very mediocre Midwest to west coast from 07 UTC until about 10 UTC.
The highlight of the day was the c/d of R Tonga 1017 at 1007 UTC. Around this time cleary a disturbance had arrived. No more pacific or kiwis. Some Chinese appeared already around 11 UTC and just a couple of the strongest Japanese a bit later on.
In all, a good day for checking files and warming up the house, it has been down to -35 for two days in a row ...
First NA signals on Sunday evening appeared about 5 minutes earlier than the day before, around 2057 UTC. Surprisingly, the station on 1500 was KSTP, where the expectation had been either WFIF or WLQV. Early appearances also for WGBW-1590, KFNW-1200, CFRB-1010, CHRF-980 and CFRA-580, all at 21 UTC.
Really nothing from the east coast, so the totally odd one station noted was WFOY St. Augustine FL at 23 UTC. Some fairly good MN in the later nighttime hours, such as KDIZ-1570, KOLM-1520, KYCR-1440, KROX-1260 and WJON-1240.
Signals got better again at around 07 UTC with main emphasis on the west coast. Some Mexico in the lower frequencies. Signals from the direction of NA faded out around 13 UTC.
The highlight of the day was, though, the nice and stable signal of V7AB-1098 for more than one hour, until c/d at 1130 UTC. In spite of this, no other stations from the pacific were noted at the same time. However, at around 1240 UTC stations from NZ appeared. A handful of stations were identified, but the signals were not clear and got weaker already before 13 UTC. The interesting thing with this opening was that there were no interfering stations on the frequencies. Nice incident, although far from what was experienced in Finland in October.
On Saturday evening a handful of signals appeared briefly about 2 minutes after 21UTC, but before any of the were identified, they were gone.
In the night some NA appearing from the more westerly parts of the US, mostly mixing with LA, so hard to get anything sensible out of them.
As is usual in the darkest winter months, signals got better only around 07UTC. Strong Canadians and northerly located U.S. stations most of the day. With these "good conditions" the Graveyard frequencies carry so many signals that less than a handful of those stations could be identified all night and day.
Signals disappeared soon after 13 UTC. In all, fairly good signals but very little results.
Stations logged: WGR-550, KDSP-760, KVSH-940, KOBB-1230, KXGF-1400, WKAL-1450, KNRI-1550.
The Wolves got hungry for south at 08 UTC on Saturday morning, so it was time to do the setup work. At 09 UTC everything was ready and NA was pouring in ...
Nothing terrific with signal levels to start with, but by 11 UTC they were a bit better. From east to west they came, but interestingly Sothern California was one of the better areas. The strongest west coast stations were there all the way to 1530 UTC, but nothing interesting in the late afternoon hours.
Asia did not really open up, just some of the strongest Japanese. Also Hawaii 940 and 990 were noted, as well as Australia with ABC 891&1161 appearing briefly at 1830 UTC.
This was a "better than normal" start and the forecasts look good ... we'll see.
Stations logged: KSDO-1130 KEIB-1150, KPRZ-1210, KHTS-1220,KEZY-1240, KTDD-1350, KYOS-1480.
Jopi Nyman JJN and Jussi Suokas JUS, Joensuu
Pay day! NA signals seem to have started coming around midnight utc, and were audible until past 15 utc, so today has been a busy DX day. The fastest heart pulses and the loudest howls were measured between 06 to 09 hours utc, when, for instance, WIBW Topeka KS 580, KWPN Moore OK 640, KQCV Oklahoma City OK 800, KRVN Lexington NE 880, KWYR Winner SD 1260, KEYL Long Prairie MN 1400 and today's most memorable catch KUAZ Tucson AZ 1550 were caught. KUAZ is listed as a daytimer, but the strong signal and highly interesting program about mongoose sounds didn't leave any doubts about the identification. So the November anomaly changed into a December animaly and Christmas came early! HN has been spotted today in the vicinity counting down from 50.000, so we have kindly decided to let him in. With these euphoric feelings it is time to howl off. Until next year, dear reader.
Today's menu: Tagliatelle carbonara and Zensa primitivo.
73's JJN and JUS
D(x)-day. After a silent night (excluding the brief appearance of TA signals around 03 utc) NA signals came to fill the band before 07 utc, and we did enjoy some quality DXing around 0730 utc - with stations like KROX Crookston 1260 and KLEM Le Mars 1410. Even Spain gave a pleasant surprise as JUS's much desired RNE1 Navarra was finally on top of the Cantabrian powerhouse on 855 kHz.
After 08 utc DXing was just a frustrating attempt to catch vanishing signals and at the same time to witness how all the solar weather pages told us that we had the propagation conditions of our lifetime. Today, however, even the connection to Asia was lost. The oddity of the afternoon was R Nueva Vida from Long Beach CA on 1390. While its signal was not readable all the time, it was there, though weak and steady, throughout the day together with a subdued bunch of much more northerly mega stations.
The losses on the radio front, therefore, had to be compensated, and what a better way there is to forget the frustrations than eating well. First a Haraki(ri) Honey aperitif from Crete to kill the remaining brain cells and then a selection of Spanish meat tapas, since hearing Navarra certainly deserves such an offering. And finally, oh wolf, oh wolf, the traditional lamb feast with goat cheese potatoes, rosemary red wine sauce and Las Moras Black Label malbec. If you try to remind us of the noon gloom, we don't have the faintest idea of what the heck you are talking about.
Bad flare day. Almost there but still not quite. The first Brazilians were heard when the sun started to go down in the westernmost parts of the continent and they were still audible when we woke up just before 05 utc. Jaguar YASlog reveals that their presence had been practically continuous throughout the night. Our attention and antennas quickly turned, however, to other directions. Spain has been weak for the whole week, and so was the situation today as well. NA was active until 09 utc, but sofar each of us has discovered no more than one new station, i.e. KFXD Boise 630 and KNSS Wichita 1330. The graveyarders stayed silent, which, of course, was a disappointment, and maybe the surprise flare was at least a partial reason for that. After the remaining antennas were checked and found OK we still had an afternoon session with a mixture of Asians after 13 utc.
Today's menu: a comfy meal of chicken curry enjoyed with Tough Luck IPA.
The better the indices the less interesting the conditions is a truth universally known. Lame signals from a very widespread area and mostly usual dominants. The unmanned recordings from the night reveal that there had been some Brazilians on the band around 01 utc. NA started to become audible just before 05 utc and the path to that direction was almost continuously open until 14 utc, without any known positive results found sofar. A long-dreamed California opening was very close at one time as, for instance, KTRB 860, KCHJ 1010, KTNQ 1020 and KVTA 1590 were noted with a steady signal, not at the same time, though.
Today's antenna farm outing revealed why the front end of the old 300-degree wire was found on the ground two days ago. The wire was broken on top of the hill, and probably the reindeer had pulled the loose ends sideways. Six of them actually came to witness the cursing and stayed defiantly close by. Their staring eyes clearly told the story that they blamed the incident on the wolves. But that wasn't the only bad piece of news. Also the new kevlar wire was under the snow at two points, and the weight of snow had pressed the wires 6 and 7 so low at one point each that only a headless skidoo driver could have performed a successful limbo dance.
Then more positive news. Our rekular culinary reader from the hamlet of Espoo wrote us yesterday that he is expecting a large pack of wolves as dinner guests and inquires therefore about suggestions as to their likings. Today's menu - reindeer tenderloin, Lapland potato mash and blackcurrant sauce, served with Nederburg Edelrood and followed with squeaky cheese and jam - is a good example. Wolves like their reindeer succulent, tender and plentiful - and preferrably with free-flowing quality red wine.
Our definite high point today came from Wolf Point, MT. Hearing the slogan "You are listening to the Wolf, KVCK" on 1450 AM made our day even though today's serious DXing was limited to one hour only between 07 and 08 utc. Another station worth mentioning heard at the same time is XEP Cd. Juárez on 1300 kHz. Otherwise common stuff from MT, ND, CO and WY.
It's getting clearly much colder here, but still some more antenna maintenance was carried out during the short moments of daylight.
Today's meal; first smoked roach for starters, then bourbon chicken and Aliwen Christmas edition pinot noir.
NA signals started to appear after 05.30 utc, and soon we heard some stations new to us such as KYWN Meridian 890 and WPDR Portage 1350. Around 07.20 all signals disappeared very quickly, which was also witnessed by the Jaguar JIX-index rapidly dropping from 36 to 3. Some 30 minutes later the signals, however, reappeared almost as fast as they had vanished. The second DX session focused on Vancouver WA and lasted till 09.40. Then later, at some points in the afternoon the silence on the band was almost absolute with no more than ten Europeans audible. However, the Japanese surprisingly took over the empty band around 13.30 utc, and it was a strange feeling to receive Japan on almost every frequency - and basically nothing else! For example, AFN Tokyo 810 had a really massive signal. It's a pity that no NHK local breaks were available during the opening.
So this was a perfect day to do some antenna maintenance. The 60-degree antenna was discoverd under a few inches of snow at two points just before its endpoint, and also the old 300-degree wire had to be freed from ice and snow as it was lying on the ground inside the reindeer feeding area.
Today's meal was spicyish Red Carelia fish soup with an icy drop of Lubuski vodka and Pfaff pinot gris. Yesterday's menu brought us Japan before and after the meal. It will be interesting to see what kind of catch today's soup will bring us. It's a privilege to be a DXer and get to know.
This is LEM 375 howling on. The previous crew HAT and HS were briefly met on the snowy Kittilä-Inari road after we had ventured to cross the new Kapsajoki bridge that had been opened some hours before. We got some uplifting news about the progress of the atmospheric conditions, but we still first want to delve in nostalgia. In the olden days the hole effects were different. The urinal hole effect just killed the birch tree around the corner of the old dx cabin, but left atmospheric conditions untouched. Now the coronal hole effects just linger on day after day.
Well, to be honest, there were some promising signals from Japan and the US midwest on the band after 1230 utc, KXTA Rupert 970 and KGEM Boise 1140 being the gems of the findings. And then again at 16 utc several strong Filipinos and even a surprise guest from Australia was heard with the antenna that Hannu and Håkan so painstakingly had repaired. ABC 729 was available for about half an hour, but no other Aussies were noted live. A much better start for the expedition that we had hoped for.
The first meal this year in the foodlovers' heaven was inspired by our dear editor-in-chief TAK: Teriyoki Chicken with Tanrei Junmai Sake and Sapporo beer as a compliment to today's signals. (Cheers!/ed.)
Håkan Sundman (HS) and Hannu Tikkanen (HAT)
The night was usual without any particular reception to NA or SA. The short morning peak surprisingly brought in again some Midwest despite the raging G2 storm, before the dominants took over and then they all were gone. Stations such as KJJK-1020, KNSS-1330, KMAJ-1440 were noted, and then again KTFI-1340, Tigre-1450 etc. Spain was down to Andalucía during their break, which meant quite a few reports to HS. Afternoon was dead air, only some Japanese clearchannels had an occasional chance to break through the auroral block.
It's time to head back to Real Life tomorrow. But before we leave the QTH and our readers for another year, we're wondering what has happened to the conditions in general. In the old days, when NA was poor, Brazil/Argentina replaced it and there were lots of stations to listen to. Now, this expedition was third in a row for us with very poor cx towards Southern America. To hear good NA on a one-week expedition is always a gamble, but the lack of South America is a bit odd.
The house has been prepared for the wolfpack, good luck for the next crew!
73's HS and HAT
Nighttime was useless, some very weak signals here and there. The morning started with the similar circumstances, only Brazil but it never grep up to real dx-level. Stations like CBN 1440 had a huge signal though. Argentina and Uruguay were once again absent. NA surfaced actually unexpectedly, tbh, around 0700 and the next 45 minutes there was a minor peak towards Colorado and the neighbouring states. Dominants were weak or totally gone, so for instance KGFX-1060 and KGRE-1450 had a splendid signal. But that's about it, no reports with this station palette.
So the broad daylight hours were well spent in the forest fixing the broken Aussie-aerial. Today there was -8 degrees, so the job required less sweat than yesterday's pushing through the snow in -2 degrees. The antenna was tested in the late afternoon with a load of Thais and it was working alright. Seems that this evening is not giving anything else from that direction, but there's still tomorrow.
Conds were effectively killed by CH773 as predicted, only some usual Brazil and YV with the familiar powerhouses from the West were noted and they disappeared early, so let's move to another story.
This was a perfect day for aerial checks, no stress to get back to the radios, so off we went to the hill. A couple of aerials were checked to the bitter end in fresh snow, which somebody had poured down yesterday and last night just to make us sweat a lot. But the nastiest surprise waited for us on the Aussie-aerial (78 degrees). The aerial was broken some 150 meters before the end, and about 30 meters of the wire were under the old, icy snow layer, from which it had to be pulled out with force, so it had been there for a good while. No wonder it had been useless. So, tomorrow we'll be heading back to fix the antenna.
This, was a major disappointment.
Strong signals from Quebéc and Ontario, with the usual suspects from the East coast and the Great Lakes. But we are here to get reports, not just enjoying the propagation, so HAT fulfilled the daily task with CJEU-1670 and HS did the same with WMVX-1570. Neither of these have replied previously to our reports, so it’s a matter of taste should they be counted as "new" reports. NA disappeared and gave room to Japan already around 0930 hrs; unfortunately the NHK1 local id break wasn’t audible at 1000, the cx just wasn’t strong enough after all. At least the big gun commercial stations had an enjoyable reception.
And now, it’s time for the traditional dinner at Inarin Kultahovi!
Monday turned out to be much less interesting than we had anticipated. Nighttime timer recordings were quick to check and don't need much attention in the future either (even though the antenna selection had been optimal for Salvador 1630 on both the nights). The same goes for almost all of the daytime recordings, basic KWOR-stuff throughout the day with early morning signals towards the Great Lakes. Most of the TOHs have already been checked and the whole lot will be stamped as very low priority, when the time comes to do the final checks for this expedition. In the early afternoon Asia went directly to China missing yesterday's Marshalls 1098 for instance, so we had no urge to do any additional recordings.
Spain was really loud and interference free during their morning regional breaks. It's almost impossible to find new ones though, but these stations are always welcomed.
Saturday evening and the nighttime offered nil, but it wasn't a surprise nor a real disappointment. North America became audible from the very morning and continued with nice signals until the late afternoon, so we were tightly locked onto our seats for the whole day. The assortment wasn't very favourable, very general selection of the stations from the East coast to the Great Lakes and Midwest, starting from the new Montréal-pests on 940 and 1610. In the early afternoon Marshall Islands 1098 was noted with a good signal, later also KGUM-567 (based on the programming), and finally a very much wanted KUAM-630.
NA disappeared earlier than yesterday; instead some X-band aussies tried to reach the readable signal levels mostly failing. But this was a nice start for the expedition, and we still might have a decent chance for dx'ing before the current CH773 hits us!
LEM374 started in fairly poor driving conditions at the Rovaniemi train station this morning, +1 degrees and lots of slush on the roads. Luckily a slightly more winterly climate met us after about 100km and the rest of the journey was quite alright. But a surprise waited for us on the familiar highway between Kittilä and Inari - a warning sign saying that the road is closed 17km ahead due to the bridge constructions! Well, no problem, a 30km detour via a parallel Kiistala road brought us back on track, and we arrived in Lemmenjoki almost at the usual time.
HAT rapidly set up one Perseus to check the conds at 1300 hrs UTC, but the band scan told that there's no big rush to spread out more hardware onto the tables. Usual Prairie dominants and some UT/ID/MT/OR/WA were audible, just to let us know that the conds are not cut off. KWYZ-1230, KJCR-1240, KACH-1340 as the "best" catches tell the story.
Everything seems to be in order, QTH technics in perfect condition, so our aerials and receivers are just waiting for all the exciting stations to come!
Jan-Erik Österholm (JEÖ) and Pertti Äyräs (PÄ)
Wednesday 09NOV2016 - Friday 11NOV2016
Our LEM373 pedition ended on Friday around 8 UTC. During the night and morning hours Lemmenjoki was covered by an additional 5-10 cm light powder snow which made it difficult to get our rental car to leave the HQ without the help from Niiles. Thanks for that. Driving to Ivalo Airport took about 20 minutes longer than normal due to difficult driving conditions. We made it anyway, and are now both safely home waiting to dig into the ca 6 TB recordings we made during two weeks. Pertti is flying to Canary Islands for golf next weekend. That's some schedule for a 75 year DX-veteran!
The cx during our last days of LEM373 was OK, but as far as we noticed live, not spectacular although all indices were favorable. US/Canada offered mostly the usual stuff with stations north of the line Boston-Los Angeles which means locked cx towards Upper Mid West and OR and WA. Very difficult to find new ones, but scrutinizing the files recorded might bring surprises ...
As far as we know, there were no really good openings towards the northern parts of SA and Central America, even though stations were severely interfering with NA stations on the 290 degree antenna. We have not made live notices of specific MEX openings, but as we know, Mexicans may fade up every now and then.
The last days offered reasonable cx towards Brazil/LP, and especially during the last night/morning the signals were strong even though statically disturbed resulting from an up-coming CME impact.
All in all, we left the LEM HQ satisfied and look forward to our up-coming two week session in two months from now.
LEM373 closes down.
73's JEÖ and PÄ
Sunday 06NOV2016 - Tuesday 08NOV2016
The solar wind has finally decreased and the A- and K-indecies have been very low, occasionally between 0-2. As a result the band has been full of NA-stations peaking between 7-9 UTC. One would expect that we were in the middle of a gold mine. This seems not, however, to be the case. After rapid checks we found, to our disappointment, that mostly the common stations from the Great Lake are and the Ohio Valley were present. The hughe amount of signals on most frequencies, and especially the GYs, make it difficult to dig out anything of value. So far we have noted only one more specific peak, on Monday, Nov 7 around 8 UTC. The best catch was WNNW 800. WIOD 610, WVMT 620, WPRO 630, WPRV 790, WHJJ were some of the others so far identified.
Pacific has been absent and the cx towards La Plata and Brazil below average. Some more northerly stations from South America was noted, e.g., HIJB 830 and R Cristal 870.
The weather has been very nice. Today Tuesday we went out into the antenna forest and found the antennas in perfect shape. Snow was removed from the wires where needed.
Still three nights to go. Let's see what the expexcted CME impact later today will bring on. Hopefully some clear signalds towards Brazil.
Thursday 03NOV2016 - Saturday 05NOV2016
Conditions have been improving significantly during the past few days. At the time of writing (Sunday NOV6 0530 UTC) the band is full with NA, even for the first time during this pedition on the 290 antenna. BRA/LP very strong between 01-0430. We will return to NOV6 later.
Thursday-Saturday served moderate BRA/LP and improving NA. The NA signals were once again centered over the Mid West, unfortunately. It is interesting to note that the northern part of SA has been almost absent.
One of the highlights during these three days (as far as we know without checking clips) was the opening towards Pacific on Saturday giving, i.e., Marshall Islands 1098 with strong signal signing off 1133 UTC as well as NZL Newstalk BZ on 1008, 1026, 1035 (periodically very strong), 1080 and 1296.
Tuesday 01NOV2016 - Wednesday 02NOV2016
These days were clearly a disappointment. The effects of the very strong coronal hole disturbance was still there, even though diminishing in strength. Small flares occuring every now and then kept the solar wind above 500 km/s and K between 3-4. This made the overall TA reception mediocre. No really strong openings, but rather short bursts every now and then. Sunrise openings were more or less absent. Some stations worth mentioning are KBZY 1490, KCLX 1450, R Clube Sao Carlos SP 1400, R Amanecer 1290 as well as the aussies on 729, 891, 1152 and 1161 heard with strong signals on the 2nd between 17-19 UTC.
More to come as the pedition progresses.
Saturday 29OCT2016 - Monday 31OCT2016
LEM373 is on since Saturday. For the first time both of us took the Finnair flight to Ivalo instead of driving or train-driving. Maybe the age factor plays in: 66+75=141 cumulted years of which we have been active DXers for 111 years: 53 (JEÖ) and 58 (PÄ).
During the first days of LEM373 the cumulated experience was of almost zero use. The effects from the hughe coronal hole that spoiled cx during the last week of October was still there when we arrived but is now diminishing and the following week appears relatively quiet so we keep our fingers crossed that no proton storms appear.
Overall the first days have been characterized by the same patterns: weak Brazilians emerging before 20 UTC becoming stronger around 00 mixing with ARG and URU. Not more than average at most. NA and Asia/Pacific non-existent. Early morning to sunset has been absolutely empty of signals.
Some loggings can be mentioned: KKCL 1550, KHNC 1490, KART 1400, KVOW 1450, R Universidad Bahia Blanca 1240, R Tropical MG 1540.
We look forward to the days to come.
Jari Ruohomäki (JPR)
I have not checked the files, but most probably nothing to tell about. Hardly any NA stations. There were some ZY-stations in the night till 05 utc, but I suppose these files will be checked quickly.
LEM372 has really not been a success. One can´t win always. Next try will be just after Christmas with Jim. I will be back tomorrow if there is something interesting on the band. Otherwise, thank you for your attention.
Almost useless conditions again. The only highlight was a short, mediocre opening to Brasil at 0135-0205 utc. I have checked a few frequencies and met some id´s like R Ibirubá RS 1240, R Tropical MG 1540 and R Globo PR 1550. To find one new station from this opening is a good target. It was a suitable day for another tour guided by Jim. At first we drove to Utsjoki and afterwards down to Karasjoki on the Norwegian side. The weather was not so sunny this time but we got a good touch of the beautiful Tenojoki river valley. The highlight was a motocross driving session in the wilderness by Jim´s Honda which managed perfectly, of course.
No conditions to the west at all. So it was an easy decision to go to Kirkenes and Grense Jakobselv, the most distant place from Oslo in Norway. The tour was guided by an expert named Jim. What a tour in sunny conditions! I had also a special opportunity to visit a secondary school in Kirkenes to plan cooperation in the future.
"Ei näillä keleillä herrojen huonetta rakenneta", would say a well-known Finnish dx-er when checking the TA-propagation on the 24th and 25th of October. And that is really the truth. Hardly any SA-stations on the band. The best moment on the 24th was at 05 utc with stations like KIDO 580, KERR 750 and KTRB 860. KERR is even a new one for me. As Jim has told on Olli there was a kind of "opening" around 00 utc on the 24th/25th giving some stations worth mentioning from the central parts: KRVN 880, KRCN 1060, KXMA 1090, KCLX (tent./Relevant Radio), KCTO 1160, KCTE 1510, KWPM 1450, KDCC 1550. KRVN is another new station for me.
Right now at midnight Finnish time, 21 utc, the AM band is totally empty of TA-signals. It is time for a trip to Kirkenes and the surroundings with Jim early in the morning.
LEM372 has been on since 21st of October. It is strange to be here as there is no snow yet. This is probably my first LEM-expedition without snow. I was here with HAT in the end of October in 1993 (or 1994?). As far as I can remember the weather conditions were extremely winterly with 40 cm snow cover.
I'm glad to inform that I do agree with Hannu (HN) that our antennas are in better shape than last season. And the QTH seems to pretty really free from interferences. However, I have not had any specific conditions so far to do a full analysis.
I have not spent time on checking the files of the three first days. However, I suppose that NA and LaPlata/Brasil conditions I have had will not offer so much. The most interesting station I have identified so far is R Universidad del Sur, Bahia Blanca 1240.
Hannu Niilekselä (HN) and Lauri Niemi (LN)
Friday night gave some midwest, the peak being in Nebraska - a sign of shit-cx. However, some of the stations are less frequently heard (e.g. KFRS-1600 and KAWL-1370). QRM level covers many interesting frequencies in the nighttime, so listening to the files takes a lot of patience.
The best thing about the morning was that signals were more stable and the last of them were audible around 0730 UTC, which beat our previous record for the week by more than two hours. However, the direction being mostly to the midwest-prairies area made the fun less enjoyable.
Saturday started well in the night with first signals fro around the Great Lakes appeared a little before 0000 UTC. The thing that made listening more interesting than normally was that it was the evening for local high school football and lots of stations (especially ESPN:s and Fox:es) were carrying local programming with frequent breaks including local commercials, weather etc.
After 0230 UTC the signals were less powerful, but gained strength again around our local sunrise, after 04 UTC. Everything was developing well until 0540, when we noted that the signal levels seemed to drop slightly. At this point LN took a toilet break, and sooner than anything touched the water level in the toilet, the signals were gone! By 0545 there was not one single NA audible anymore - instead many brazilian stations (not just the very big powerhouses, but frequencies like 1590) were booming in for a few minutes with the 320 degree antenna !
It felt almost like the Godess of Conditions had received false information about our time of departure from LEM, which was not Saturday, but early Sunday morning. It remains to be seen, if anything better is available.
LEM371 signing off !
Wednesday brought no change - in spite of the forecasts for the disturbances to subside they did not. This series of disturbances has now lingered for a week or so and they seem to have killed the chance for anything worthwhile. Electron levels have stayed high, which is not a good omen...
The same seemed to continue for Thursday, as well. The night brought again very little anything of interest - justa few LA here and there. The only promise was that the stations were from more northern parts of South America, e.g. for the most part VEN-COL. But no terrific signals.
We woke up in front of 04 UTC again, just to note that in couple of hours nothing had changed. NA was totally absent, except for 2-3 stations appearing for a short period and disappearing again. So we went back to sleep around 0430 UTC.
Upon checking the recordings for 04UTC in the morning the astonishment was great, as we bounced into the identification of WDIC-VA on 1430. Only two other NA were identified at the same hour, WLAC-1510 and CBI-1140. Between 04 and 05 UTC many LA were audible but also some NA appearing for brief moments. The astonishment grew high indeed up on finding that at 05 UTC the signals were still there - just silent whispers, but many interesting stations from NC-SC-TN-VA.
We'll see if any of that should continue ...
Not much to report - the peak direction of the reception conditions must be to Tristan da Cunha, since nothing is heard...
Little opening of 30 minutes at sunrise to the U.S with the emphasis on Wyoming, however covered with lots of atmospheric noise. South America worse than previous nights. Asia disastrous, no trace of Australia on Tuesday.
With no files burdening us, LN chose to go out and pick half a liter of lingonberries in the bright sunshine and HN fixed the broken handle of our deepfreeze.
To be continued...
The night towards Saturday offred some fairly nice Iberia and some nice Brazil/La Plata, where the signals were truly nice between 02-03 UTC. As the geomagnetic storm continued, what had remained of NA has gradually died out totally. Just a few minutes with a couple of the upper band powerhouses. Even if the cx during the two previous nights had been almost non-existent, now it was even more so ...
Around mid-day we met the AIH60 crew in Inari on their way south. There after we continued to Aihkiniemi, set up our listening gear and started to wait for the easterly signals to come in. They did fairly late and at the same time the dusk started falling and the power-inverter disturbance from a nearby house, which we had been informed of, started. In an environment with still a fairly silent AM band, the bruise covered the signals and was heard on all antennas. This was our bad fortune, since the landlord only occasionally visits that house, but was to stay all week. Plans are well on their way to fix the problem with a quality inverter, but that did not help us much. It was time to pack and head back to Lemmenjoki.
At Lemmenjoki everything is better than in years - new groundings for the antennas were made in July and no man-made interference is present. Everything seems to work well, except that so far very little to listen to. In the night towards Sunday, again Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, but not as good as the night before. NA still non-existent, even if the coronal hole effects finally seem to be subsiding. Maybe it will get better ...
LEM 371 is on - even if only for a few days with HN & LN
The first expedition of the season with the main purpose to set up LEM for the upcoming season. After improving the groundings and antennae in July, all coax connectors had to be changed and brand new trafo boxes (by Stefan Wikander - tnx!) to be installed.
We were glad to note that antennas and all resistors that were fixed in July were still in good shape. The work was completed in one day. A disturbance in the 30 degree antenna was located on Friday. It was due to a battery charger in operation close to the antenna. Fortunately this is just a temporary setup in order to power a small fishing boat equipped with an electrical motor. Otherwise the place seems to be totally free from man-made interference - except for our own equipment with some minor problems. With the exceptionally high coronal hole activity keeping the solar activity data "red hot", it has been a good period for the work to be completed.
Both nights have offered very little stations of interest. North America has popped up for a period of some 10-15 minutes both nights. Brazil was, however, very good on early Friday morning with stations from Argentina and Uruguay accompanying.
The thrill from the easterly directions was the appearance of ABC-891 on Thursday evening. Writing this on Friday evening, Iranians are pouring in with full force ...
On Saturday morning the LEM crew will retire to AIH. How long that visit will be, we do not know. It may turn out shorter than a week due to a nuisance disturbance that has appeared there and, from what we have been informed, tends to kill at least the best of the signals from AUS (and NZ opportunities totally). Such a thing to happen in "absolute wilderness" - we'll see if LEM 371 will continue after a while ...