Eton E100 goes to Granite Pier (Ultralight Delight)


MarkWA1ION
 

On the evening of 8 OCT 2008, I did an after-work sunset period DX
outing to the Granite Pier site (GC= 42.667 N / 70.621 W) in
Rockport, MA. This is generally considered the best MW DXing
location in the metro-Boston area.

Besides the usual Drake R8A live tuning and SDR-IQ spectrum-capturing
(results to be published later), I took along an Eton
E100 "ultralight" portable receiver.

I was quite surprised at the number of "barefoot" loggings I could
manage on this tiny radio since, at home, results have been
unspectacular. As in real estate, it's "location, location,
location" with DXing too.

The following concise list of "barefoot" E100 logs made from 2331 to
0048 UTC (7:31 to 8:48 p.m. EDT) will be augmented by a greater-
detail list later on.

*** Transatlantic ***

549 Algeria - poor
603 France over Spain - good
612 Morocco - fair peak
684 Spain - occasionally through WRKO slop
747 Netherlands - fair peak past CBGY slop
756 Germany - fair
783 Mauritania - sometimes popping through CFDR slop
855 Spain - occasionally through WEEI-850 & CJBC-860 slop
864 France - fair
873 Spain - poor
882 UK - sometimes through WCBS slop
909 UK - tangling with similar strength WABI-910: audios taking
turns, plus screamer het. Tight filter would have helped.
954 Spain - fair peak
1116 Spain - poor
1134 Croatia - fair
1170 UAE - over WWVA after WFPB went off
1206 France - fair
1215 UK - good
1314 Spain - poor
1377 France - fair, WMYF-1380 (north) nulled
1422 Germany over Algeria - fair
1575 UAE - fair

*** Pan-Am besides common US, Canada, Cuba, Venezuela ***

555 St. Kitts & Nevis - fair peak
630 Puerto Rico - noted with radio pointed SE to null WPRO to the SW

I also tried coupling the car rooftop antenna (2 m by 2 m Micro-
SuperLoop) to the E100 with the Radio Shack model 15-1853 passive
loop. The coaxial cable from the SuperLoop's eastern lower corner
16:1 transformer was fed to the Radio Shack loop's external input
jack and the loop was tuned to the frequency of interest while placed
in close proximity to the E100. The other corner of the SuperLoop
was connected to a pot adjusted to reduce signals from the west and
southwest. This arrangement worked splendidly !

Many more TA stations could be heard this way since the cardioid
pattern of the rooftop SuperLoop drastically reduced domestic QRM
from NYC etc. that came in at full clout on the "barefoot" E100 since
Europe is in the opposite direction of many domestic pests. I
thought I would have to insert an RPA-1 amp in the line from the
SuperLoop to the Radio Shack loop but, no, that was not necessary as
the completely passive set-up coupled plenty of signal to the Eton.
Of course the Radio shack loop had minimal self pick-up since it was
being used inside the car. Had it been outdoors, I probably would
have needed the RPA-1 to make sure the SuperLoop pick-up swamped out
anything the Radio Shack loop might be getting itself.

Among stations noted with the "unlimited ultralight" set-up of
SuperLoop via Radio Shack loop air-coupled to the E100 was Djibouti-
1431 for the longest haul of the night.

The pre-sunset period (approx. 2200 UTC / 6 p.m. local) was totally
crazy as I was first getting set up. Monster TA's all over the
place. Midband (1000-1250) was unbelievable, almost "Newfie-
sounding". I should have left work earlier I guess.

The live Drake R8A listening uncovered the Nigerian (?) on 917
hetting Spain-918 and pushing audio once in a while. Also noted was
595 which I think is Morocco ex-594. I have a number of SDR-IQ
captures to wade through over the next week or two. It will be
interesting to compare with what's going on at DXpeditions in PEI
Canada and Grayland, WA.

The ultralight Eton E100 was just brought along as a sort of lark but
it added extra "zing" to the mini-DXpedition that I would not have
imagined.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA, USA

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