Re: DXing in Hong Kong-- the Overall Verdict

Gary DeBock

Welcome Steve,

Thanks for the very interesting report of your overseas DXing activities, and sorry for the delayed posting of your message (the system requires moderator approval for a new member message on the first day, to avoid spam messages).

<<<   In November 2013 I spent 3 nights in HK after concluding a 12-day Mainland China tour.  I agree with Gary that HK is so crowded and too many "observers watching" that rolling out a Bev. antenna on an HK beach (as I have loved to do 100s of times in Hawaii when I lived there between '86 to '91 on and off) and elsewhere is nigh impossible.  So loops -- for their gain/directivity/noise-nulling abilities are wonderful and have nulling capabilities "on the fly" that Bevs do not.  In Hawaii, a ong Bev. really knocks down the high-angle Honolulu cram of signals to the point that DX overwhelms them in comparison to a loop or short-wire "A/B" testing I did there.   >>>

Hong Kong is really a tough venue for long range AM-DXing, and I had multiple warnings form Japanese, Australian and NZ DXers to lower my expectations. "Conventional" DXing with sensitive portables in a motel room is unlikely to accomplish very much, and attempting to set up a gain antenna on a public beach will definitely make you the "center of attraction" for multiple onlookers (some of whom may not have your best interests in mind). In addition to all of this are the 5 Hong Kong Locals, and a maze of Mainland Chinese stations plastering the band from 531-1593 KHz.

On the last couple of days I discovered that if I stuck the 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave SSB model outside the security window of our 12th floor apartment in a Shatin high rise building I could track down long range DX from Eastern Europe (1413-Vesti FM and 1548-TWR), Africa (1431-Radio Sawa in Djibouti) and the Middle East (1413-BBC in Oman) around sunrise. If I had known that trick from the beginning the long range DX results would have been much better-- but we do plan a return trip next April :-)

<<<   Back to HK DXing:  I found it fascinating to DX in HK with just via a barefoot Sony ICF-SW7600GR (all I could take - three recorders/two radios but no loop, alas) but never heard the farther out stuff Gary scored there simply as I was just recording what MWDX just sounded like in HK w/o trying for exotic DX (the novelty!!).  Just would "stumble" upon it as I band-scanned.  I did enjoy several clear receptions of Philippine Island DX in HK  (Kowloon) and that was really neat (711/1350/etc.)!   >>>

Yes the Philippine stations are fairly easy to track down in HK, as long as you choose frequencies that aren't plastered by Chinese locals. Many of the Philippine stations were daytimes on the Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff (at the southeast tip of HK island), and on the somewhat polluted public beach of Macau. But several Philippine stations (on 666, 702 and 1530) became real pests in covering up long range targets around sunrise, since they tend to boom in with their salt water propagation path.

<<<   BTW, re. Hawaii - get land blockage to Honolulu by all means to knock down the obnoxious amount of those "locals" there - Kona is not good for that nor Poipu either (re. HNL overload) - I used to go to east Hawaii - Kamoamoa (now gone under lava!) or the fab MacKenzie SP (still there for now!) and rolled out Bevs to k/o Honolulu signals *dramatically.*
BUT, Malaekahana Bay on Oahu's north Shore near Kahuku/Laie is wonderful to get rid of HNL overload and have DX as fine as on an Outer Island locale (but NOT facing a water-path to Honolulu!) and quick and cheap to get to (I spent one week in a tent at Malaekahana (Friends of Mal. Bay CG - private) and no noise/quiet and easy to taxi too). There in the north Oahu shore, the groundwaves from HNL are really attenuated and DX creams them!   Not in Kona though, but Kona is wonderful for DU DX unlike North Oahu's windward side (island attenuation to big there for DU).   >>>

Honolulu QRM is a major issue throughout the Hawaiian islands, and after two trips to Kona and one to Poipu, I can almost tell you the formats of all the Hawaiian pests. No Hawaiian location is perfect for DXing in all directions, although Poipu is fairly unique in having a straight salt water shot to most long range DX continents, as well as a far westerly location to take advantage of extended sunrise enhancement into the Middle East and Africa. Poipu does also have a salt water path to the Oahu pests, but I discovered that very late in sunrise enhancement pests like 690-KHNR do taper off enough to track down DX like 693-Bangladesh. On the frequencies with no Honolulu pests you can really run wild in Poipu, with Oman, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia etc. all received last November. This coming November we plan a major effort with 3 American DXers (Craig Barnes, Chris Black and yours truly) and one Australian DXer (Chris from the Melbourne area). All of these DXers will have the latest "Frequent Flyer" FSL's, PVC bases and souped-up Ultralight radios to play with, so we should score some serious fun :-)

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


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