Rockwork Ocean Cliff DXpedition-- Memorable South Pacific Receptions

Gary DeBock

Tom Rothlisberger and I had the thrill of conducting the tenth annual Rockwork Cliff DXpedition this month, and once again lucked out with some exceptional South Pacific signals, especially on Longwave. 25 watt and 50 watt New Zealand Longwave aeronautical beacons were received on an Ultralight + FSL antenna combo, while other beacons in the Cook Islands, Micronesia and Alaska managed S9 levels. 558-Radio Fiji One had the best signal that any TP-DXer seems to have heard so far on the west coast, while 558-6WA in Wagin, Western Australia was received at over 9,153 miles (14,736 km) at a good level.

The recordings below were all special for a reason-- either a very strong signal, very low power or over a very great distance. Recordings which reached an S9 level are identified with a double asterisk (**). The ocean cliff was an awesome place for Tom and I to relax and enjoy the hobby right in the middle of the Pandemic-- and also to enjoy the record-breaking transoceanic propagation to New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. Rock on, Rockwork!

**277  ACE   Homer, Alaska   Semi-rare Alaskan beacon had no trouble reaching an S9 level at 1158 on 8-12; this was typical when Alaskans had the NDB edge at Rockwork

**320  AI   Aitutaki, Cook Islands   Low powered airport beacon hit an awesome S9+ level during freakish Longwave South Pacific propagation at 1307 on 8-13

362  WK   Whakatane, New Zealand   25 watts   The freakish Longwave propagation on 8-13 at 1315 allowed reception of this flea-powered NDB across 6,846 miles (11,017 km) of ocean on a PL-380 Ultralight radio and 12" FSL antenna-- quite a shocker! This was only the third North American reception of this beacon in history-- on any equipment. The second was by my DXpedition partner Tom R. last year at this same cliff (with a Perseus SDR and broadband loop)

366  SF   Springfield, New Zealand   50 watts   Another flea-powered signal boosted by the ocean cliff advantage and freakish Longwave propagation at 1312 on 8-8, resulting in a very good signal over 6,822 miles (10,977 km). Wacky!

366  PNI   Pohnpei, Micronesia   Very good signal at the start of the session at 1212 on 8-9

**531  More FM   Alexandra, New Zealand   2 kW   Obscure Kiwi rocker gets a Longwave propagation boost to pound in at a monster level at 1251 on 8-8; female-voiced ID at 16 seconds:  "More FM, hanging out, all night"

**531  PI   Auckland, New Zealand   5 kW   Female Samoan speech at 1309 on 8-13 gets another Longwave propagation boost from freakish propagation, resulting in a blowtorch signal

558  6WA   Wagin, Western Australia   50 kW  Female speech at a good level during an ABC program was matched to the ABC website at 1329 on 8-9, providing the longest range DX of the trip at 9,153 miles (14,736 km) 

**558  Radio Fiji One  Suva, Fiji   10 kW   Monster signal at 1312 on 8-5 with island music and a native language ID at 7 seconds: "Radio Fiji One, na domoiviti." This seems to be the strongest 558-Fiji recording ever made in North America, according to Chuck

**585  7RN   Hobart, Australia   10 kW   Tasmanian ABC relay // 792 seems to tap into the Kiwi propagation pipeline to reach an S9 level with female conversation at 1327 on 8-6

**603  2RN   Nowra, Australia   10 kW   Bizarre reception as the ABC relay silences the Kiwi regular Radio Waatea to pound in at an S9 level all alone with female speech // 792 at 1307 on 8-9

**657  Star   Wellington/ Tauranga, New Zealand   50/ 10 kW   This is the "binary Star," with disastrous audio sounding like something strait out of China at 1302 on 8-11. Apparently a programming synchronization issue between the two transmitters, the problem was still in evidence during my last session on 8-13

**765  Radio Kahungunu   Napier-Hastings, New Zealand   2.5 kW   As usual, an awesome island music signal for the power level from this overachieving Maori language station // 603 at 1235 on 8-9

**936  Chinese Voice   Auckland, New Zealand   1 kW   Chinese female speech at an S9 level demonstrates the strength of this Kiwi ethnic station, but it then gets blitzed by an overwhelming S9 signal from the Australian co-channel 4PB at 1315 on 8-13, resulting in the wildest frequency fight of the entire DXpedition

**1017  A3Z   Nuku'alofa, Tonga   10 kW   A daily blowtorch during the sunrise sessions, here is a typical signal with island music at 1251 on 8-7

**1107  Magic Talk   5 kW   Male host and female caller pound in at overwhelming strength at 1255 on 8-5

**1503  Gold   Wellington/ Christchurch, New Zealand   5/ 2.5 kW   The old Radio Sport network was a victim of the Coronavirus pandemic, and is now replaced by this rocking oldies-format  network. It typically plays a little more energetic music than the Magic Network (702-738-891) competition. This recording at 1305 on 8-6 features an ID at 24 seconds which I think says "Gold, the greatest hits"

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (DXing with Tom Rothlisberger at the Rockwork Ocean Cliff from August 5-13)
7.5" Longwave loopstick Tecsun PL-380 + 12" Longwave FSL (all Longwave loggings)
7.5" MW loopstick CC Skywave and 7.5" MW loopstick XHDATA D-808 portables +
15" and three new-design 8" FSL antennas
Rockwork 2020 DXpedition video (with ocean cliff scenery) is posted at

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