Oregon Cliff (Rockwork 4) Ultralight DU's for 8-3
The stars were again dazzling at 1030 UTC (0330 local) as I drove up to the Highway 101 cliff, only to find a lone Harley motorcycle rider occupying Chuck's usual antenna space, and staring directly at me. He stuck around until the 17" FSL was set up and pointed in his direction, at which time he made a sudden, quick exit (total strangers don't trust each other very much in total darkness). Although 1017-Tonga was at a fair to good level and was going past its usual 1100 sign off time, it featured the bizarre male announcer with the bad habit of pausing for long breaks in between his speech (this must be the "island time" effect). He could take lessons from Paul Walker.
Tom and Chuck drove up around 1130 and we were all eager for some nice DU propagation, but the ionosphere didn't seem to have been notified. Usually by 1215 at Rockwork 4 there is a DU snarl on 531 at an S9 level and some Kiwi big guns sounding like you are in downtown Auckland, but it seemed like both NZ and Oz were taking the morning off. Finally around 1245 some unusually strong Oz signals on 585 and 639 showed up, and the real session finally kicked off (for about 45 minutes). 558-Fiji was not impressed with the propagation and stayed down in the tropics, although on a morning like this even a rejuvenated DU transmitter could sound comatose. With the exception of the NZ big guns on 567 and 657 even the Kiwis lacked much energy, and if not for the unusual Oz signals on 585 and from a presumed 639-2HC the session would have been lackluster. Tom and Chuck must have figured that things were a little slack when I was taking pictures of our ocean cliff setup at 1230.
531 PI Auckland, NZ, 5 kW Took a while to get untracked but finally reached a good level with Samoan music at 1317
585 UnID-Oz The puzzle of the morning-- one of the strongest DU signals ever heard on 585 was received at 1243, but 7RN or 2WEB? All the ABC RN parallels on 576, 846 and 792 were comatose, and the ABC web site maze wasn't much help. Maybe David Sharp or one of my DXpedition partners can bail me out?
639 2HC Coff's Harbour, Australia, 5 kW Presumed the one with the call-in talk format at a decent level around 1310
657 Star Wellington/ Tauranga, NZ, 50/ 10 kW Very strong as usual at 1318 but maybe slightly off from the torrid strength of the last couple days
675 RNZ Christchurch, NZ, 10 kW Once again the leading RNZ frequency with weird female speech at 1322 (no idea what she's trying to say)
1017 A3Z Nuku'alofa, Tonga, 10 kW Good strength from this male announcer while running on extended time at 1127. Unfortunately he suddenly stops talking for extended periods, making you think that the signal may have collapsed
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (DXing at the Rockwork 4 ocean cliff near Manzanita, Oregon, USA)
7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave and Tecsun PL-380 Ultralights +
17 inch and 15 inch "Airport Unfriendly" FSL antennas
(This morning's ocean cliff session photo is posted at https://app.box.com/s/6no26zczmlkcnipu7p85vxd71g4siaa7