LEM DXpedition News

26JAN2019 - 09FEB2019

Aihkiniemi, Sevettijärvi, Inari, Finland
69°14'North 27°52'East

In this page you will find some notes about AIH94 DXpedition to Aihkiniemi DX cabin. The stories will be about technical stuff for DXers and others who are interested in sunspots and other radiowave propagation related phenomena. Naturally here will be some notes about the weather and nature as well.

For more information about the QTH, please visit page:
Aihkiniemi DX Cabin for rent

Feel free to send your questions and comments to
tapio (dot) kalmi (at) live (dot) com

Tapio Kalmi alias TaK

Tapio Kalmi alias TaK

Saturday 09FEB2019

In the morning very lousy cx, so it was easy to clean up the cabin and to do the rest of packing. The next AIH crew arrived around 0930 UTC when I continued cleaning and carrying all my things into my car. Had some small talk about cx and other DX stuff for half an hour, because I wanted to check if the same kind of peak will come today as it did yesterday. But no 10 UTC peak at all. Signed off last two radios at 1003 UTC.

From Aihkiniemi to Rovaniemi by car is very straight forward. It's about 5 hours drive and I had 8 hours to do it, so I enjoyed long time the views from the top of Kaunispää and continued the rest of the journey with cruising speed. This time also the weather was fine so I had no issues to catch the night train back to Helsinki.

This is all about AIH94 pedition. The blog will be edited to be AIH94 pedition report later.

Friday 08FEB2019

The last full day of DXing started with weak to moderate cx towards South America. From North America not too many readable signals. Before the wake up time at 0400 UTC the night conditions seem to have been quite good. So there should be more to listen to from the recordings than live in the morning just before the local sunrise.

Because the cx was weak I went out just after the breakfast to do the snow works once again. There was just about 2 cm new snow, but it's better to keep the yard clean anyway. While cleaning the yard I noticed that there had been some traffic on the cabin road after snowing. I could find out the traces of raindeer, squirrel and some birds. And the most interesting finding was the trace of fox just next to the cabin. So no worries, I really weren't here alone. In these two weeks I saw all the other animals, but the fox. And this time no observations nor traces of moose, which is quite common to see in this neighbourhood.

After a short break outside back to the radios around 0900 UTC when it's time to start to monitor northeastern path for any signals. And around 0930 UTC the first signals started to rise up. There was kind of pacific music on 1440 kHz, but the signal level was too low. And quite soon there was japanese JOWF STV Sapporo TV Hoso on the frequency, so I tried to switch between 29, 46 and 60 degrees antennas to pick up the pacific signal. But no luck with it at live listening, so most likely Kiribati will still be on the to do list for the next DXpedition.

Fox Trace Jaguar

The cx peak was quite exactly at 1000 UTC and the direction was Japan and Korea. I informed Lemmenjoki DXpedition crew as well, but there was no sign of any Asia cx. No signals noted at all in Lemmenjoki. When I later checked the recordings, there were the powerhouses in the lower frequencies and also some low power transmitters in the upper end of the band. For example JOLG Tottori via Hino at 1584 kHz came in with readable signal and has power of 100W only! Soon after 1000 UTC all signals faded out again and the band was totally empty of any distant stations.

Cx came back around 1300 UTC and among the first stations to become audible was 1017 Tonga BC, which indicated the possibility to hear some other stations from the Pacific. Around 1330 at 990 kHz rose pop music over the background noise. And finally 1348 UTC the station gave good identification between the songs: "... You're listening to Gold FM". YES! Another new country for me! This is Radio Fiji Gold FM, Naulu. This is one of the Top-3 target stations for this DXpedition, so I was extremely happy to identify this one. Noted also 4QD ABC Capricornia, Emerald (QLD) on 1548 kHz, but no observations of real AUS cx.

Later in the evening I started to put all things back to their places, pack my bags and to do other preparations for leaving the cabin tomorrow. Went to Jounila to dish the dishes, go to sauna and to watch the evening news on TV. When I drove back to cabin I saw again the northern lights. This time they were like flames. So beautiful that I hurried a bit to get a photo. Went back to cabin, all things from car inside the cabin, take camera and go fast on the icy lake to get some photos. After 20-30 minutes headed back to cabin.

At cabin door I had a big problem: Where is the cabin key? No, it wasn't in the pocket which I think I have doublechecked ... What!? Could it have dropped inside the cabin? Should not, but maybe ...? At this time I called my contact person for any good advice about the spare key if there is any. But no, there is none, if the neighbour is not there. The rule is to keep the key ALWAYS in the safety key box. Now I learned why, even if you are in a hurry, follow this simple rule: OPen the door and return the key ALWAYS back to key safety box.

Good rule which I had not followed close enough and now I'm in trouble. I had my car key and best clothes against cold, so no problen in that way, but I really need to get the door open. Drove to the neighbour, but nobody home. Called to the locksmith in Ivalo, if they come to help me it would cost 600 euros. But it won't happen before tomorrow morning, so no help from there either.

People say that I am really calm person. Now I can admit, that the case was not so at that time. I had to tell myself to calm down and think. Just sit down in the car for a while, breath and think. After couple of minutes I was sure about one thing: The key is not inside, because I remember clearly checking that I have it in my hand before locking the door. Good. Checked all my clothes if it didn't go into the pocket. Negative. Finally I realized my mistake: I did put my camera battery cable into the same pocket with the key. And I had used that cable when taking the photos on the icy lake so it have to have been dropped then. Took the broom next to the cabin door, put my headlight on and headed back on to the ice. Followed my trace, took the same position in the same place as 60 minutes before. Now I got one squaremeter to check and after three gentle sweeps I found the cabin key in the snow.

Needless to say that I was the happiest fellow in that wilderness at that time. Went back to the cabin, opened the door and put the key into the safety key box. No good cx so I took a little nip and went to bed. This was enough for today.

Thursday 07FEB2019

It seems from the Jaguar screens that there has been some cx towards South America all night long. The signal levels to North America direction rose in the morning a bit, but the cx should be considered to be weak. When I checked the 304 antenna recordings at 0600 UTC I noticed two things: North America cx was mainly to Newfoundland and there were two stations from Ecuador also. This time for me Ecuador was more interesting thing to check, because I haven't heard Ecuador on AM band too much. And I'm quite familiar with the lovely programs from Newfoundland.

Started to check the situation at the same time on 270 antenna (most likely 290 would be as good to check as well) and noticed that there were stations from Ecuador-Colombia area shifting with stations from Argentina. Very interesting cx, because at change you may hear any station. Then I stopped at 560 kHz where BBC World Service came in loud and clear like a local station.

For DXers that's clear that in this case we receive the broadcast from Georgetown, Guyana. But the thing is that in this case we would like to hear local programs rather than relay of BBC. So I started to check, how long this station has been audible. Already at 0300 UTC, three hour before, there was nice, clear and detailed station identification of the Voice of Guyana. YES! This is the program that I wanted to hear, so I can say that I have been listening to the station. This is also new received country for me, so this is definitely the highlight of this morning.

After these checks it was time to go for the last antenna walk.

Trees Trail

There were no day cx peaks before sunset, when Asia came in as expected. The direction was to China and India.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -20, afternoon -20 and late evening -25 degrees Celcius.

Wednesday 06FEB2019

The morning cx peaked at 0640 UTC, but the peak was weak to moderate. The JIX index was below 50 all the time. The signal levels were changing all the time, so the selection of the stations might be interestin. At live listening only dominants noted. This time the cx didn't die at sunrise as most of the days in this pedition. Now the signals came back and there were two additional peaks at 0730 and 0830 UTC. This feels so good! Even GY frequencies were open around 0830 UTC. This is the way it should have been every day ... The only issue with the signals is that they are hazy this time, so no nice and clear recordings. But at least the snack-crackle-pop sounds are now away from the background.

And the weather outside was perfect for another antenna walk. So I took my time outside for about 3-4 hours. Really beautiful out here.

Trees Trail

The day cx peaked just after 1100 UTC and 1200 UTC. Station were from China, Philippines, KOrea and Marshall Islands noted for 5 minutes too. Later in the afternoon some signals from Australia also.

The evening there were again some faint northern lights and cx was pointing to the Caribbean. Good example about this is that at 1400 kHz there was Harbour Lights of the Windwards from Grenada instead of CBG Gander from Newfoundland. Instead of live listening at night I went to bed, so more details about the late evening and night will be found at home.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -26, afternoon -26 and late evening -28 degrees Celcius.

Tuesday 05FEB2019

Again long sleep, because there were no cx last evening. In those cases the best thing to do is to sleep or read or watch a movie.

The same pattern continues. Morning cx mainly to South America, this time Buenos Aires - Montevideo area, accompanied by East Coast opening to North America. Today especially lower frequencies gave some nice stations from East Coast between 06 and 07 UTC.

After morning cx it's time for antenna walk when temperature permits. You never know how long the cold periods will take so go out everytime when you can. ;-) This time the walk went next to the mobile link mast on the top of Pyhävaara.

Aihki Antennas

On left: Aihki, old pine from Northern Lapland. On right: Two different antennas. Both types need maintenance, but the operative actions are very different.

After the walk I checked some recordings and found China, Japan, Philippipnes and Thailand quite quickly. So most likely they are the dominants of the day. Then I got nice tip from Kimmo Vuori in Ivalo. He had noticed two Australian stations on the band and informed about that on internet logbook. So this way I knew that my Australia checks will give some results today. And really now there were three stations audible in a short check: 1161 5PA ABC Southeast SA, Naracoorte SA, 1152 6PB ABC Newsradio, Busselton WA and 1656 2MM Greek Radio, Sydney NSW. The firsty two are the same as Kimmo had heard, but the times were different. Finnish DX-listeners have learned in Lapland that even small differences in receiving location can make great differences. For example the antennas are different case by case (length, height, direction, material, grounding, terrain, etc.). So the tips are tips for the day.

Later in the evening pattern repeated itself: India, Pakistan, Iran, Middle East and Europe. No evening cx to Japan, no Phillippines and no North America. After week like this it's really easy to give the real value for evening cx. When you wait for it long time and it finally comes, it feels so good. But there are only three DX evenings left in my trip. Let's see how it goes this time. Last week we had some evening cx, but we really like to have more this week.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -28, afternoon -20 and late evening -24 degrees Celcius.

Monday 04FEB2019

Took a long sleep and have not checked the night cx. So it remains to be seen if there were any real cx. From Jaguar screens it seems that the night cx were to South America

In the morning also the path to North America opened from 05 UTC until 07 UTC. There may be some signals also at 08 UTC. The JIX index didn't go over 50 at any point in the morning. So signal strengths were moderate.

The best thing about todays cx was that also the Rockies and West Coast were audible. Best signal levels from there in the whole pedition.

After the signals from west were gone, there were nothing until 12 UTC. At that time Asia came in again, but nothing special there. The direction was more to the south than to the north. And that direction needs more time because of unknown languages for me. Actually I don't know korean or japanese either, but the program formats from these countries are easier to figure out.

And there is always China. Also here I need more time to tell where the direction of the cx really was. So I have a lot to listen from my recordings, but the content is very different than I expected.

In the evening Middle East ja Spain again gave good signals, but the late night opening to North America didn't show up.

So coronal holes are still teasing DX-listeners even if they had turned away. How is this possible? Well, some particles come with delay and the delay can be days. When the quickest disturbances come in hours and slowest in days, it takes some patience. The Groundhog Day video tells it all.

Little bit too cold to take a antenna walk and therefore I just took a quick walk to the road 971.

Road 971 to northeast Road 971 to southwest

Temperatures of the day: Morning -31, afternoon -30 and late evening -29 degrees Celcius.

Sunday 03FEB2019

On our calendars yesterday, Saturday February 2nd, is known as Groundhog Day. That day has another meaning after the movie was made. And yes, today I have my Groundhog Day number 3. Well, didn't smash the clock in the morning, but went to the radios to see that there is no good cx. And today outdoors was a little too cold to have antenna walk so I stayed inside and wrote this blog up-to-date.

There had been some cx to Brasil around 0400 UTC and morning cx lasted from 0630 to 0700 UTC. Nice thing is that even if the opening was a short and weak one, there were some good spots in it. For example 1230 KSTC Sterling CO came through, so also these recordings need to be checked further.

In the afternoon cx opened after 13 UTC. There were signals from all around Asia, but only the powerhouses. So no good signs for the direction. When I scanned the band with different antennas I noticed that Pakistan and India are dominating the big picture. These stations were there nearly in every antenna. Afterwards Iran took the main role again.

Late in the evening no real cx to North America at all except 1400 Gander NF (but we don't count that, it can be heard every day). Neither the path to South America was in good shape, only the powerhouses with weak signals before 23 UTC, when I went to bed.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -25, afternoon -25 and late evening -27 degrees Celcius.

Saturday 02FEB2019

In the morning some stations from La Plata area, but not real cx. And North America was 99% absent. So all in all very weak morning and all DX signals disappeared around 07 UTC. So there was time for something else.

The weather was very nice and the temperature in my comfort zone limits, so it was antenna walk time again. This time I wandered the slopes of Pyhävaara on the other side of the Road 971. Here the forest is partly perfect antenna forest: Pines here and there and not too much bushes, instead of bushes here are a lot of boulders. Most of them are 1m3 size or smaller.

Oravakeppi Pyhävaara

After antenna maintenance back to the business. Asia cx rose up after 13 UTC, NHK2 s/offs at 1440 were audible when stations had power of 5 kW or more. No real Japan cx yet. Afterwards Philippines, South East Asia and India were dominants.

Late evening only some stations from the East Cost of North America. The cx pointed this time towards norteastern parts of Brazil. But that cx gave only powerhouses as well. Just wait and see, the disturbances should be over in a day or two.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -27, afternoon -25 and late evening -23 degrees Celcius.

Friday 01FEB2019

At night around 01-02 UTC there was good opening towards La Plata (Argentina and Uruguay). Later in the morning some dominants from North America and the weak cx ended at 0730 like cut by knife or plugged out.

There was some new snow, so I took the opportunity to clean up the yard of the cabin. Then checking the cx, nothing. Ok, time to clean up inside also and to do the shopping list for tonight. Finally Asia cx started but weaker than before, so I decided to go to Inari and Lemmenjoki earlier that planned.

Driving at daytime in the last hour of light can be very impressive in Lapland. And so it was today. I really liked the feeling of cruising with no hurry and giving my eyes as much time as possible to enjoy the landscape.

Kaamanen Inari

Finally got into Lemmenjoki where IPA and JHU were waiting for me. After the usual DX chat with additional Lurx chat we went to sauna. IPA asked me to go out with him and to jump into powder snow. When a Finn asks this kind of thing in sauna, it means, that you are expected to go out naked, lay down on the snow and rotate. And that should be fun. Well IPA knows me, so we went twice outside to make the Ahma moves in the snow.

It was fun. The temperature around -30 Celcius made it double fun and the northern lights on the sky made it tripple fun. So cx was gone and the northern lights is one way to confirm that. But you may find something from the band even if there are northern lights, so it depends on you if you keep recordings on or not.

Drove back to Aihkiniemi so that I'd arrive around 21 UTC. Just in case of sudden changes in cx. But there weren't any. The good things about tonight are something else than DX-listening. The northern light showed the best show when I was somewhere between Menesjärvi and Inari. Actually I noticed some tourist buses next to the road there. The sky was clear here so the tourists were lucky, they saw what they came here for.

One norwegian truck driver wasn't so lucky. He couldn't make the turn to Inari when Sevettijärventie (road 971) ends. So the truck was halfways in the dike and he had emergency lights on and waited for help. Again there was nothing I could do and I went on icy road 971. I would say that it is a toboggan run. Therefore there is an excuse for that truck driver, but anyway he should have known better.

When I was back to cabin IPA sent me a tip about a station from Mozambik, Emissao Provincial de Inhambane on 1206 kHz. It's coming to Lemmenjoki and he wanted to check how about Aihkiniemi. And yes, it came through. There was also KAN Bet from Haifa, Israel on the same frequency. When one faded out another faded in.

When North Americans didn't show up, Africa and Middle East were the main targets for this evening.

Temperatures of the day in Aihkiniemi: Morning -27, afternoon -25 and late evening -23 degrees Celcius.

Thursday 31JAN2019

Today morning was the best cx towards North America in the whole week. The cx lasted nearly until 0900 UTC and there were many many goodies. Because Nebraska means for me personally much more than another state in US, I'd like to mention 1240 KFOR Lincoln NE. It's a local radio station with the power of 1000 watts. Normally it can be heard only in Lincoln Nebraska, but today the cx and our special equipment made it possible to be heard also in Finland.

After morning cx it was time to check another two antennas. This time there was a lot of snow on birches and they were bending on our antenna wire here and there. So I took some time also to clean the trees. After the first antenna I tried to do a shortcut to the next antenna even if Jari, my contact for the cabin, tried to tell me that it would be better to play safe. Now I really can agree with him.

Koivu Kelo

It took me one extra hour to make that shortcut ;-) No worries other than it would have been nicer to be back to the cabin as early as possible. And I was so tired after the long walk, that I didn't make any checks to the files recorded in between. So there can be anything, because morning cx was so good. From Jaguar screens I can see that there has been openings to Asia between 1030-1230 UTC and then again 1300 UTC for the rest of the afternoon and whole evening.

IPA and JHU from Lemmenjoki told me that there has not been any cx towards North America. So from that point of view I haven't missed anything.

Little 3 hours nap while waiting for the evening cx. This time there was something to wait for, the best evening cx towards North America in the whole week. It was a little bit short though, but very nice compared to previous evenings.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -14, afternoon -10 and late evening -10 degrees Celcius.

Wednesday 30JAN2019

The morning was quite weak towards North America. Again mostly dominants, but something can be found from the recordings if these recordings never get attention. This depends on other day's morning cx towards NA.

This morning Buenos Aires was booming in very well. And later in the morning Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Peru. Especially Peru opening was nice, because I have heard only few stations from Peru on mediumwaves. So again we had a wonderful day even if the North America opening wasn't so special. The DX cx was over around 0730 UTC, before local sunset.

Car and snow Snow works

It had been snowing all the night, so I went out to clean my car and the cabin yard from extra snow. When I was doing that I needed to move my car a bit. When I started the engine also car radio went on. And there was an interview with Mika Mäkeläinen, foreign news journalist for YLE. He had been to Marshall Islands as journalist. Mika is also DX-listener and member of the Inarin Radiomaja club. So, this should be a good omen. Listened a little bit before continued with the snow. And was no hurry, after one hour I should check 1098 kHz ...

Here is the link to Mika's reports on YLE pages

Around 1115 started opening towards Pacific and this time I heard V7AB Radio Marshalls loud and clear. Also sign off ceremonies were audible, so there is no need to go back to the 28JAN2019 recordings. The other stations from Pacific were not noticed at live listening.
MHL news at Facebook

The cx towards Asia opened around 1400 UTC, so some of NHK2 stations were audible at 1440 UTC when NHK2 station had their sign off. Also the first touch with Aussies was today when 729 5RN Adelaide came in with weak signal and had QRM from Greece, China and anywhere in between. China was strong today and Asia cx lasted whoile evening.

We still miss decent opening towards North America in the late evening hours when the sunset time reaches New York area. This seems to be just a dream day after day. And by the way, pedition after pedition. You really need to do some monitoring before you are lucky enough to get good evening cx to New York. Have had that once and this is my 12th pedition (9 to Lemmenjoki and 3 to Aihkiniemi).

Temperatures of the day: Morning -9, afternoon -11 and late evening -15 degrees Celcius.

Tuesday 29JAN2019

Morning started with the bandscan on 290 degree antenna at 0500 UTC. This is my favourite way to find out what kind of cx is at the moment. After this you should have idea if to go for North, Central or South America. Naturally having 6 excellent antennas connected with 6 SDR receivers in a row helps this study a lot. Jaguar software made by IPA tells in one YASLOG view the signal strengths of the whole AM band for the last hours. So I can see in seconds if the band has been empty or full when I have been sleeping. But many times two or three screens are quite equal, so I start from the middle. 290 gives East Coast, Mexico, Caribbean and Colombia. So the findings should tell the way forward.

This morning the direction was quite usual for the disturbed conditions. North Eastern states with Eastern Canada and some powerhouses from further south like Georgia. So there can be anything from East Coast from Maine to Florida but with weak to moderate signals. And there weren't so many stations from Midwest as yesterday. Guyana was noted with better signal than day before. So North America wasn't the main target for today.

Checked the band also with 255 antenna for Brazil and Argentina. It was also weak to moderate, so not big signals from the west. Maybe Brazil was best this morning from my point of view.

And naturally Spain was very strong as yesterday. That happens very often with disturbed conditions.

When the sun rose at about 08 UTC, all signals died. Then there were not much to do with radios and I checked the temperature outside: -20. And the weather report told that it will get some degrees warmer when the clouds and snowing comes from southwest. So it was time to do the first antenna checks. I'd like to check first the antennas for Oceania, so I headed to Hanhenjuoksuttamajänkä (name for the swampy moor where the 9, 29 and 46 degrees antennas are).

This is the longest antenna walk, because there is a set of three atennas. Usually only two antennas are checked by one walk. And what do we do when we do antenna checking? The main things are as follows: 1) Visual check of the antenna wire shape, is it good or not, 2) Drop the snow from the wire and 3) Wipe the ice away from the wire. If there are any fallen trees, they should be removed so othat the antenna gets it's original shape again. This kind of maintenance keeps the antennas to work as expected and also fixes the issues with heavy snow on the wire.

Here are some pictures of the antennas before the maintenance. After the maintenance the beauty is gone but the functionality is back.

AIH Antenna AIH Antenna
AIH Antenna AIH Antenna

When you come back from the antenna forest the first thing to do is to check the cx. And there were nearly nothing. No sign of Oceania and only one peak towards Asia at 11 UTC. But why? Yesterday was the best day in couple of days and the next disturbance should be 2 day from now. When checking this there were two things found: 1) Current Coronal Hole is larger than two separate holes before, actually previous two coronal holes are forming one big coronal hole area. This may cause disturbances also between two main disturbances. 2) For last two days even better explanation is increased Xray Flux level for these two days. See pictures below.

Coronal Hole X ray Flux

After sunset at 1243 UTC Asia came back with huge signals. The cx was all around the Asia and the direction changed all the time so it's hard to tell what happened. I'll need more time to find out the details from my recordings. The most interesting thing to notice was the NHK2 s/off ceremonies with call letter station identidications. And the interesting thing was not the stations (quite common ones) but the time 1440 UTC. The information sources tell that NHK2 s/off should be at 1540. In the evening the NHK call letter station identifications were at 20 UTC and 21 UTC as usual. Some common stations were heard also in the evening.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -27, 0830 UTC -20, 1130 UTC -15 and late evening -13 degrees Celcius.

Monday 28JAN2019

Again long sleep until 0445 UTC. Now the band seemed much nicer than day before. At 05 UTC stations from Greenland, North Eastern provinces and states of North America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bonaire and Colombia came in. Most of the stations were dominants, but it's nice to be back in live DXing in Lapland again.

Before noon UTC the cx got better giving also Florida, Bahamas and Guyana. And also the graveyard frequencies opened, so this is real cx and this is a good day! Graveyard stations are from USA and they don't have more power than 1 kW, so they are hard to hear, but modern DXing equipments have made it possible to monitor the band very efficiently. So DXers notice these good moments nearly always.

So far my only identified from today's graveyards is WGUY Veazie ME on 1230 kHz. But most likely more will be found, I just need time to go through my recordings ;-) All in all signals from North America lasted until sunrise and after that only some signals came through.

Stations from Oceania were not found. There was only one station which should be checked later: On 1098 kHz tentatively Marshall Islands around 1115-1136 UTC. No decent station identification noticed.

Around 1200 UTC the signals from North America rose over the background noise.Unfortunately it was quite a shoort cx, but it was much better than no opening at all (=yesterday's cx).

And grand opening towards Asia after the sunset. China played the main role and co-stars came from Koreas, Japan, Thailand, India, Pakistan, ... All over Asia and huge signals. Later in the evening again Philippines came in with strong signals.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -25, Noon -25, late evening -26 degrees Celcius.

Sunday 27JAN2019

After long sleep at 0445 UTC I went back to the radios. At the first sight it was clear that this will not be the best day. But you dont't hear anything if you don't check the frequencies. So I started to play with the SDR which seemd to have the best possibilities to give some fun. The selected direction was Argentina.

05-07 UTC there were only the powerhouses from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The hotspot moved to Colombia just before 07 UTC giving some nice signals. Most likely there will be some newbies for me in the recordings. And tangos from Argentina are nice to hear even if the station is one of the powerhouses.

Also this day went fast when I continued to finalize my setup. So the listening was not so concentrated as I would like it had been. Even if I had other things to do, I can say that there were no good cx.

In the afternoon some cx to Asia. Bangladesh, Thailand and India were noted, but only the most powerful stations again. Later in the evening came in the best station of the day: Metro Plus Hong Kong 1044 kHz. YES! I have tried to hear this time after time and finally it came in. This made this day much better. At the same time there was spot cx towards Thailand and I found two new ones for me: Yaan Kraw 1305, Bangkok on 1305 kHz and Thor.Phor.Neung, Suphanburi on 1404 kHz.

The late evening session started with morning shows from Philippines. Nicest live catch was DWIZ-AM Metro Patrol Radio, Obando on 882 kHz which called CQ CQ CQ CQ to their listeners like the radio amateurs.

The last part of late evening came from Brazil around 2130 UTC. Some mediocre signals from powerhouses, but not any real cx. Nothing special from North America before going to sleep.

Temperatures of the day: Morning -31, Noon -29, late evening -25 degrees Celcius. Just too cold to take long antenna check walk. So I popped out for a couple of minutes only and took some pictures.

AIH Road AIH Lake (Turvelompolat)

Saturday 26JAN2019

Finally! This is the day! Today I'll go to DX paradise!

But at first some driving through winter wonderland in Pello, Kolari, Kittilä, Kiistala route. Done this before and loved to do it again.

This time I will visit Lemmenjoki in the next week when I go there to see IPA and JHU. They have been there now one week and they will be the next week too. They were now in Inari to do some shopping, so we had lunch together there. At the lunch the guys told me that there is no reason to hurry today: nearly nothing interesting on the band right now. So we took long lunch and had a good chat. After that it was clear, that I'll drive carefully the iciest (no, it is not easiest) part of my 1308 km trip: Sevettijärvi road, the Road 971.

The Saturday evening went fast when I put all my 6 SDR radios in the designed setup with 6 laptops, 6 external hard disks and 6 audio cables connecting all the sounds to one headphone set via 6-way audio switch. Some recordings were done but no real DX yet for two reasons: too much to do with the setup and there were no good conditions. So I took my time with the setup.

Temperatures of the day: Lankojärvi -29, Kittilä -27, Inari -26 and Aihkiniemi -26. Yes, it's cold but not too bad when you don't have to go out.

Friday 25JAN2019

This time I took more time in the morning to make it sure that I have packed everything with me, also sleeping bag ;-) So I started a little bit later that in the previous time in February 2014. So I went on the road at about 8:30 in the morning. This Friday was one of the worst days in this winter to drive long distance. The weather has been like in the good old winters also in the Southern Finland. So we had snow and ice also on the main roads. And this Friday the weather went worse than in ordinary winter day. For example once I had supercooled raindrops on the windshield and the water turned into ice and surprised me quite well. The good thing here was that I had warm windshield already so the ice melt away quite soon also. I just dropped the speed down and put the heat to the max for a while. The ice was so thin and clear that I saw through it.

Because of the weather there were cars in the ditch here and there, all in all 5 cars between Helsinki an Kemi (700km). Last one was just to be towed away and therefore all drivers were ordered into the old road instead of the new highway in Kemi. Final crown to driving conditions of the day were the logs which were on the Road 21 (E8) some kilometres north from Ylitornio. This time I was so lucky as one can be, one car passed me just after Ylitornio. Couple of minutes later the same car was in the middle of the road with energency blinkers on. I dropped the speed to walking speed and continued to drive closer. Sudenly I realized that there were small and medium sized logs all over the road. Even if I had slowed down my speed the logs surprised me. I can't imagine how it went with the other guy with the speed over 80 km/h. For my relief he came out from the car. No injuries so no logs in the car, that was the good news. He told me that he had called for help to remove both the car and the logs. Both front wheels and the spoiler were broken. There were more cars behind me and I realized that there is nothing for me to do. So I continued my trip with mixed feelings.

Finally I arrived to Lankojärvi a little bit after 22:00. So I had been on the road 11 hours and had breaks for 3 hours. Naturally I was a little bit tired, but I got new energy when we started our chat with Tuomo and Pirjo. Again we had nice and inspiring discussion about many various things of our lives and about life in general. When I saw them last time in February 2014 Tuomo told me about his project: He was writing a book. And now he sold me one copy of the book Kumpparimies, which was published in 2016. We agreed, that there was way too long break between the visits. Most likely the next visit will be sooner than after 5 years.

Temperatures of the day (all in Celsius): Helsinki -4, Jyväskylä -10, Oulu -20 and Lankojärvi, Pello -26.

(c) Tapio Kalmi (TAK) 2019