Murphy's Law made a serious ocean beach comeback this morning as heavy rain and wind combined with an Asian propagation drop off. The big gun TP's were still at huge levels, but the nasty weather seemed to scare away anything remotely exotic.
Although the Asian big guns sounded vibrant during their sunset period around 0900 propagation seemed to hit the skids shortly thereafter, with signals greatly reduced by 1200. The weather had also turned nasty during the same period, and my ocean beach setup at 1300 required plastic tie wraps for the FSL antenna base and rain covers for the radios, antenna and MP3 recorder. Despite this serious hassle the second and third tier Asians seemed to have little interest in showing up, and I ended up recording S9+ signals from the likes of 828-JOBB and 1566-HLAZ (which I had ignored yesterday, in the DXing bonanza). After a serious search I came across weak NHK2 English lessons on 1593-- pretty routine DX, but just about the best that I could do in the wind, rain and noise. With conditions so awful at 1400 I decided to pack up everything and head back to Room 11 of the Grayland Motel, which at least was warm and dry. Setting up the 17" FSL on its PVC base next to the Room 11 window was a desperate measure, which resulted in a serious reduction of Asian signal strength compared to the beach (and a serious increase in RF noise pollution). Despite this I was able to track down a fair to good signal from 1593-CNR1 (mixing with the NHK2 Chinese lessons at the time), a fairly good 1134 mix of KBS and JOQR (but nothing like yesterday), and the NHK2 sign off chimes on 774-JOUB at 1424. From what I could tell during the nasty weather the middle and high band had most of the limited action this morning, with low band stations like 603-HLSA and 657-Pyongyang very anemic at best. The Japanese and Korean big guns did survive the propagation slowdown quite well, of course, with the usual ocean coast blowtorch signals on 594, 693, 747, 774, 828, 972, 1053, 1566 and 1575. They weren't exactly what I was looking for, though, after dealing with serious rain, wind and the Grayland Motel's little quirks (like no paved driveways, phones or cleaning service)..
1134 JOQR Tokyo, Japan Recorded inside Room 11 at 1408, the giggly Japanese station is at a fair to good level mixing with KBS and the Grayland Motel's RF pollution. Quite a bit more anemic than yesterday
**1566 HLAZ Jeju, S. Korea For those who wonder what the big gun Asians sound like on the ocean coast, here is a typical sample. The Korean Christian broadcaster is still testing the crunch resistance of my PL-380 Ultralight with its Japanese service at an S9+++ level at 1325-- despite the propagation drop off
1593 NHK2 Synchros (JOTB/ JOQB) Fair level English lessons // 774 at 1326; mixing with CNR1 later on in the session
1593 CNR1 Changzhou, China (another Room 11 recording) Brief good-level signal at 1349; mixing with the NHK2 synchros (and the Grayland Motel RF hash) later on
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (DXing at Grayland, WA)
7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 Ultralight +
17" DXpedition FSL antenna