Re: Rockwork 4 Ocean Cliff DXpedition-- Ultralight Radio + FSL Loggings and MP3's

Paul Blundell

Thanks for the excellent report as always Gary, your ability to log so many stations really is a credit to the Ultralight DXing hobby.

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 1:39 AM, D1028Gary@... [ultralightdx] <ultralightdx@...> wrote:

Hello All,
From August 6-10 three fanatical transoceanic DXers once again chased South Pacific medium wave DX at Rockwork 4--  a plunging ocean cliff dropping straight down 400 feet (122 meters) to the Pacific below. My DXpedition partners Chuck Hutton and Tom Rothlisberger set up small broadband loops for Perseus-SDR spectrum capture, while I set up 17" and 12" FSL antennas for live DXing with Ultralight radios. A photo of the busy cliff-side DXpedition setup on August 7th is posted at 
Once again exceptional South Pacific propagation was enjoyed on several days, including a low-band opening to Australia that resulted in a long distance logging of 558-6WA in Wagin, West Australia-- breaking the Ultralight radio all-time wordlwide DX distance record. A total of 22 New Zealand, 11 Australian, 1 Fiji and 1 Tahiti stations were received on Ultralight radios over the five day period. My DXpedition partners Chuck and Tom are still sorting through their wav files for the DXpedition, but the Ultralight radio + FSL antenna loggings and MP3 recording links are posted below.  
With the exception of the 531 kHz loggings (made with a Tecsun PL-380 and 12" Longwave FSL) all the loggings were made with a 7.5" loopstick C.Crane Skywave Ultralight radio and 17" Medium Wave FSL. Signals which pegged the CC Skywave bar graph signal strength display at least once during the MP3 recording are marked with a double asterisk (**). Thanks to my DXpedition partners Chuck and Tom for their assistance in identifying stations, and to Theo Donnelly for his assiatnce in providing information on New Zealand broadcasters.
531  4KZ   Innisfail, Australia  (5 kW)   Overall the strongest 531 station during the DXpedition, the signals of this Queensland broadcaster varied greatly depending on whether propagation favored Australia. This fairly strong string of local ads was received in total darkness immediately after FSL antenna setup at 1146 on 8-8-- the morning of exceptional Australian propagation                      
531  PI   Auckland, New Zealand  (5 kW)   The signals of this Samoan language Kiwi broadcaster took a major dive this year compared to last, presumably because of unfavorable antenna changes in the spring. Whereas it was the strongest New Zealand station last July it wasn't even the strongest 531 DU this summer. This modest signal was typical, and both 4KZ and More FM could dominate over it at times

531  More FM   Alexandra, New Zealand  (2 kW)   Very rare Kiwi R & B music station heard for the first time in North America in June at this location, it occasionally sneaks through the more powerful (5 kW) Auckland Maori language station (PI), dominating it for brief periods. This MP3 features a "More PM" ID 3 seconds into the recording, made on the last day of the DXpedition on 8-10            
531  UnID   Mystery station mixing with 4KZ (shortly after 4KZ 's 6 pips at 1300 on 8-8) during all-Australian propagation at the time-- possibly 2PM? (headphones recommended)                       
558  Radio Fiji   Suva, Fiji  (10 kW)   Listed as inactive in the 2015 WRTH and not listed in the current PAL, the station was heard weakly in June at this location by Tom and I (and without interruption, by some NZ DXers). This powerful (near S9) signal recorded on the last day of the DXpedition features the station's typical Polynesian choral music format, and is solid evidence that the transmitter has been repaired.                                        
558  Radio Sport   Invercargill, New Zealand  (5 kW)   Very rare South Island Kiwi snuck through with a few seconds of Yankee-accented English (from the American Fox Sports Network) // 774 at 1304 on 8-6 (headphones recommended); this obscure station is always a tough challenge                                        
558  4GY   Gympie, Australia  (5 kW)   Presumed the one during all-Australian propagation with commercial ads mixed with apparent talk format near end of recording; DXpedition partner Chuck Hutton had the talk-format SRN network // on 639 at the time to confirm his own reception of 4GY, which broadcasts the SRN talk format during this period.                                             
558  6WA   Wagin, Australia  (50 kW)   Relatively weak logging made at the end of a session featuring Australian-slanted propagation, this recording features the typical LR network male-female interview format and announcer voices, with programming identical to an LR network signal from 828-3GI heard by DXpedition partner Tom Rothlisberger. Fortunately, 6WA is the only LR network station on the frequency. A new Ultralight radio worldwide DX distance record at 9,137 miles / 14,704 km.                         
**567  RNZ   Wellington, New Zealand  (50 kW)   Consistently the strongest Kiwi station on the band each morning, this was a big change from last year (when 531-PI was the top signal). This big band music on 8-7 was typical of the station's strength. Unlike in June, the Aussie co-channel 4JK never managed a trace during the trip 
576  2RN   Sydney, Australia  (50 kW)   A powerful signal when Aussie propagation kicked in, but MIA when New Zealand was favored. Playing a variety of exotic music, its strength made identification of the ABC RN network parallel signal 585-7RN possible during good propagation
576  Star   Hamilton, NZ   New-format 2.5 kW station sounding pretty healthy with Christian music // 657 at 1317 on 8-9 (657-Star recording is at the end of the MP3). Signals from this low power relay were either fairly good or drowned out, depending upon whether the Aussie big gun 2RN had good propagation    
585  Radio Ngati Porou  Ruatoria, New Zealand  (2 kW)   This Maori-language Kiwi station has a legendary reputation for weakness, and has only been heard with FSL antennas at this Rockwork 4 site. The only way to identify it is to match its Maori-language programming with late-night parallels on 603 or 765, and this is rarely possible. For some unknown reason wacky Kiwi propagation on 8-9 boosted its signal up to a relatively healthy level, even stronger than its 603 parallel recorded at the end of the MP3.                         
585  7RN   Hobart, Australia  (10 kW)   The only Tasmanian station ever to be heard on cliffs with FSL antennas, this potent RN network signal on 8-9 was matched with the 576-2RN parallel for identity confirmation. The announcer gives a laid-back introduction to jazz music, dominating the frequency completely                         
585  2WEB   Bourke, Australia  (Presumed, 10 kW)   During wacky Australian-slanted propagation on 8-8 this signal featuring the Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" temporarily broke through 7RN's exotic music, and was not parallel to either 576 or 603 (i.e. not 7RN nor Radio Ngati Porou). Since this song is typical of that played in 2WEB's format, the evidence definitely points to that station (which has been heard twice before at this location).                         
594  Rhema   Timaru/ Wanganui, New Zealand  (5 kW/ 2 kW)   Fairly strong with New Zealand weather report by Kiwi-accented lady, followed by Bible reading and Christian music // 684. This Rhema frequency was usually a little weaker than its 684 parallel, but completely clear since the Australian big gun 3WV never managed a trace                         
**603  Radio Waatea   Auckland, New Zealand  (5 kW)    Maori language broadcaster parallel to 765-Kahungunu during early mornings in NZ, it often hit S9+ peaks during favorable Kiwi propagation. This awesome signal (with beautiful Maori music) was recorded at 1244 on the first day (8-6)
**657  Star   Wellington/ Tauranga, New Zealand  (50 kW/ 10 kW)   The Christian hymn broadcaster's frequency usually has a tough time with domestic splatter but occasionally gets its music through at a strong level, such as on 8-7 at 1320. Convenient parallel signal for network relays on 576 and 963, among others
**675  RNZ   Christchurch, New Zealand  (10 kW)   Potent signal with female presenter telling story at 1321 on the first day (8-6); its best signal ever observed during an ocean cliff DXpedition. // 567, 756 and other RNZ frequencies    
684  Rhema   Gisborne, New Zealand  (5 kW)   The strongest frequency of the Rhema Christian broadcasting network during this trip, usually featuring Christian contemporary music at a fair to good level // 594. Unfortunately some mystery RF noise showed up on the frequency at times
**702  Magic   Auckland, New Zealand  (10 kW)   Depending upon propagation this new-format oldies station (ex-Radio Live) was either running wild over the Aussie big gun 2BL or buried way below it. This recording was made during exceptional Kiwi propagation on 8-7, making the station sound like an Oregon coast local
702  2BL   Sydney, Australia  (50 kW)   During Aussie-slanted propagation the LR network big gun really dominated, pushing Auckland's new oldies station down into the noise. This situation prevailed at 1301 on the first day (8-6)
**738  Radio Polynesie   Mahina, Tahiti  (20 kW)   Blistering strong signals usually showed up from this French language blowtorch once each morning, whose R&B music seemed to get a boost whenever the Kiwis were favored. This awesome recording of African and French pop music was made on such a morning, at 1307 on 8-7
738  UnID   Aussie LR network big gun 2NR possibly the one in a mix with Tahiti's distinctive music at 1309 on 8-9; only heard once (during exceptional Australian propagation)                           
756  RNZ   Auckland, New Zealand (10 kW)   Despite being only 75 miles (and 6 kHz) away from Portland's 50 kW IBOC monstrosity the solid rock cliff attenuated enough pest splatter for this Kiwi signal to squeak through on 8-9 at 1220, // 567
**765  Radio Kahungunu   Napier-Hastings, New Zealand  (2.5 kW)   As always, this Maori-language overachiever had incredible signals for its 2.5 kW power. Who would ever have thought that this near-S9 level Maori language music came from such a low power station? Another of the wackiest ocean cliff mysteries...
**774  Radio Sport   New Plymouth, New Zealand  (5 kW)   With its relay of the American network Fox Sports News after local midnight, the Kiwi Radio Sport network stands out like a sore thumb with its Yankee-accented English. This booming signal (way over the Aussie 3LO) was recorded during excellent Kiwi propagation on 8-10
774  3LO   Melbourne, Australia  (50 kW)   Depending upon propagation the Aussie big gun could drown out the Kiwi Radio Sport, but that was rare. One such situation prevailed at 1302 on the first day of 8-6
783  Access Radio, Wellington, New Zealand  (10kW)   Not quite as strong this trip as in previous cliff visits, this moderate signal was received at 1300 on 8-9
792  4RN   Brisbane, Australia  (25 kW)   Dominant over the Kiwi Radio Sport relay except during freakish New Zealand propagation, this RN network big gun was playing exotic string music // 576 in a mix with the American-accented Radio Sport and some domestic splatter at 1335 on 8-10
792  Radio Sport   Hamilton, New Zealand  (5 kW)   Showing up occasionally in a mix with 4RN, it was fairly easy to identify with its Yankee-accented English. Not one of the better Radio Sport performers during this trip
828  3GI   Sale, Australia  (10 kW)   Usually dominant on the noisy frequency over the 2 kW Kiwi, occasionally favorable New Zealand propagation resulted in a pretty equal mix, such as in this recording at 1311 on 8-6
828  TAB Trackside Radio  (2 kW)   Losing the horse race with Aussie 3GI for most of the trip, but sometimes able to come up with a competitive signal. This wild mix of the two (in domestic splatter) was one of the Kiwi's better moments
936  Chinese Voice   Auckland, New Zealand  (1 kW)   After recent antenna work this 1 kW ethnic station has broadcast excellent signals for its power level-- gaining somewhat of a powerhouse reputation. Here it is giving its best imitation of a Kiwi big gun at 1225 on 8-10-- something that only bizarre ocean cliff propagation could manage.  
963  Star   Christchurch, New Zealand (10 kW)   Although usually weaker than its 657 parallel this Christian hymn broadcaster was on a quieter frequency, resulting in somewhat of a tradeoff in signal quality. This Christian music at 1330 on 8-7 was typical
1008  Newstalk ZB   Tauranga, New Zealand  (10 kW)   Often managing equal signals with its 1035 parallel, this Kiwi talk station was consistently one of the better DU performers. Here it is on 8-10, way over Aussie co-channel 4TAB
1008  4TAB   Brisbane, Australia  (10 kW)   Typically losing the horse race to the Kiwi Newstalk ZB, the sports-oriented Australian station could occasionally make it a competitive match, as in this recording on 8-7 at 1313
**1035  Newstalk ZB   Wellington, New Zealand   Powerful talk signals were usually the order of the day with this Kiwi big gun, // 1008 and other frequencies. Although the network concentrates on talk and news, it has recently started playing music as well
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (DXing at the Rockwork 4 ocean cliff on Highway 101 near Manzanita, OR)
7.5" loopstick C.Crane Skywave Ultralight + 17" FSL antenna

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