Macau, China Daytime DX Band Scan and MP3's on April 3

Gary DeBock

     Any DXer who makes an overseas trip to an area with a huge number of MW broadcast stations will immediately be confronted with a tricky problem-- since all of the stations are unfamiliar, how do you determine what is good DX, and what isn't?

      The first step would be to run a daytime DX band check, and determine which stations are your locals. In downtown Hong Kong even this is tricky, however, since the RF noise level at the base of the high rise buildings is typically off of the charts. You can receive the Hong Kong mega-pests, but little else. In order to run a decent daytime DX band scan it was necessary to get away from the downtown Hong Kong RFI zoo, and set up at two different salt water-enhanced venues that would provide a decent analysis of weak daytime DX signals.

     The first site chosen for this mission was the ex-Portuguese enclave of Macau, located about 50 miles west of downtown Hong Kong across a very expensive new bridge-- built at great cost by the Beijing government in an attempt to encourage Hong Kong citizens to feel patriotic about being forced to come under one-party Communist rule in 1997 (good luck). Macau has no local MW stations, and survives as a "Special Administrative Region" in China because of revenue from huge gambling casinos, where ultra-rich Mainland and Hong Kong visitors can indulge in a practice essentially forbidden in both home areas. It also has some old Portuguese buildings visited by tourists, but this industry pales in significance to the 24/7 gambling activity, which Beijing is pleased to tolerate as long as it gets a huge cut of the profits.

     While my wife, her brother and her friend went off to see the old Portuguese buildings I was able to sneak off for an hour of Daytime DXing at the polluted Macau waterfront, where industrial chemicals from various Chinese factories seemed to have found their permanent home. Ignoring the yellowish tinge and weird smell of the harbor water I pulled out my 7.5" loopstick CC Skywave SSB model and was able to record all the daytime DX signals up to 756 kHz-- before my wife and the others dragged me off to a rather lackluster lunch in the overpriced tourist district. With many solid Daytime DX signals received from both Taiwan and the Philippines over hundreds of miles at 2 PM I was at first convinced that the industrial pollutants in the foul-smelling Macau harbor were somehow providing a killer propagation boost in addition to salt water enhancement, although this hypothesis went down in flames a couple of days later when an ocean side cliff on the southeast tip of Hong Kong island (Cape D'Aguilar) provided Daytime DX results that completely blew Macau out of the (polluted) water. Macau was a nice place to get oriented for future DXing, though, and get used to the bizarre idea of chasing DX from both Taiwan and the Philippines in bright sunlight around the middle of the day. Best catch would have to be the 1 kW Philippine station 639-DZRL, with a fair signal across 550 miles of salt water at 2:25 PM local time!


540  CNR1   Danzhou, Hainan?  10 kW   Weak with CNR ID at 23 seconds, followed by music at 0557 on 4-3

567  RTHK (3)   Golden Hill, Hong Kong   20 kW   Local pest with English-language format including 6 time pips at 0600 TOH on 4-3

594  Fu Hsing BS   (Taiwan Synchros)   Fair level with female Mandarin speech at 0605 on 4-3; trace of probable   Philippines underneath

603  DZVV   Vigan, Philippines   5 kW   Ideally positioned at the northern tip of Luzon, with mix of English and Tagalog at good level at 0607 on 4-3

612  Zhuhai Diantai   Zhuhai, China   (Power Unknown)   Guangdong local Mandarin station with various ID's as "High FM" by whispering female from 10-27 seconds in the recording at 0610 on 4-3

621  RTHK (Mandarin)   Golden Hill, Hong Kong   20 kW   Another local pest with Mandarin programming at 0614 on 4-3, as opposed to the usual English or Cantonese programming on other HK stations

630  Taiwan BC   Sungling, Taiwan   10 kW   Presumed the one with music and speech in Chinese dialect (not Mandarin) at 0617 on 4-3; the other Taiwan station has a news format

639  DZRL   Batac, Philippines   1 kW   Ideally positioned at the northern tip of Luzon, this low powered station managed a fairly decent signal across 550 miles of salt water at 2:25PM local time (0625 UTC on 4-3)

648  Guangdong Weixing Guangbo   Guangzhou, China   50 kW   Strong with male speech at 0630 on 4-3

675  RTHK (6)   Peng Chau, Hong Kong   10 kW   Yet another Hong Kong local with Mandarin speech at 0631 on 4-3

693  Han Sheng BC   Taiwan Synchros   10 kW/ 10 kW   Presumably the only Mandarin broadcasters within daytime DX range with fair signals at 0635 on 4-3

702  CRI News Radio   Zhuhai, China   (Power Unknown)   Semi-local Mainland station with strong Mandarin male-female conversation at 0636 on 4-3

711  V.O. Kuanghua-UnID Philippines   This is a wild one. The male Mandarin speaker is almost certainly the 250 kW Voice of Kuanghua in Hsinfeng, Taiwan, but there is also a dominant Tagalog radio drama from an UnID (one of four) Philippine stations

720  UnID-Philippines   Weak Tagalog format all alone at 0640 on 4-3, but tough to dig out identity clues

738  BEL2   Penghu, Taiwan   100 kW   The overwhelming star of the daytime DX session-- an awesome S9 signal with Mandarin Chinese music and speech over a 7 minute period at 0648 on 4-3

747  CNR1   China Synchros   (Shanwei 10 kW?)   S9 level Mandarin speech and music // 756 at 0652 on 4-3

756  CNR1   China Synchros   (Guangzhou 50 kW/)   S9+ level female Mandarin speech and music // 747 at 0655 on 4-3

73 and Good DX,

Gary DeBock (DXing in Hong Kong and Macau from April 2-9)

All recordings made with a stand alone 7.5 inch loopstick C.Crane Skywave SSB Ultralight on the Macau, China waterfront

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