Rockwork Cliff DXpedition-- Ultralight + FSL Loggings
The 11th annual Rockwork Cliff DXpedition was one for the record books with 6 DXers side by side at the plunging cliff, setting up multiple broadband loops and FSL antennas 500 feet (150m) above the pounding surf. For a four day trip everyone seemed pleased with their results, with Tom, Chuck, Bruce and Jeroen chasing DU's with SDR's and Craig and I using live DXing portables.
We were honored to welcome Bruce and Jeroen for the first time, and congratulations to Tom for once again breaking his own South Pacific NDB-DXing record for a west coast DXpedition (with 79 beacons from Australia, NZ and the Pacific islands). The Ultralight + FSL results weren't bad for a four day trip, with the 1 kW 936-Chinese Voice managing its best-ever signal, and four DU's showing up on 531 kHz alone. Tom and I had the cliff to ourselves on the 5th and 6th, with both days providing phenomenal Longwave propagation for Tom's South Pacific NDB-DXing. The 5th also featured superb Australian MW propagation, which should allow Tom to add slightly to the Seattle group's Australian totals (531-4KZ was logged with Ultralights). All loggings below were made with 7.5 inch (19cm) loopstick CC Skywave and XHDATA D-808 portables and 8 inch (20cm) diameter FSL antennas. DU signals received at S9 levels are indicated with a double asterisk (**).
531 2PM Kempsey, Australia 5 kW Good strength with Covid case report for Newcastle, Port Macquarie and the local area at 1247 on 8-5; usually dominant over 4KZ, but typically under the Kiwi station PI https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/egirq5641jhcngw394eggo3iqmg1hzv7
531 4KZ Innisfail, Australia 5 kW The usual TOH news announcer at very good strength all alone at 1303 on 8-6 with mention of "Queensland" at 6 seconds
531 More FM Alexandra, NZ 2 kW Despite reports of a shift to FM the low power Kiwi modern rock station was still very much alive at 1244 on 8-6, with an ID at 59 seconds
**531 PI Auckland, NZ 5 kW The S9 laughing ladies in an island language completely dominate over the SRN music on 2PM at 1303 on 8-4
**558 Radio Fiji One Suva, Fiji 10 kW Island music regular hit an S9 level at 1257 on 8-5 with a native language ID at 7 seconds, "Radio Fiji One, na domoiviti."
Rapid native language ID (at 13 seconds) and island music (with S9 peaks) at 1310 on 8-5 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ocgd5stzcumk1bsjrtzpln003cnzkgk0
More island music at a powerful level at 1304 on 8-5
558 UnID-Australia Interview-style female DU English under Fiji from 6 to 26 seconds at 1310 on 8-5; both Tom and I agree that this sounds like 6WA (a semi-regular at the cliff), but Fiji was just too strong to dig out enough content to match the ABC archives
567 RNZ Wellington, NZ 50 kW An underperformer for the power level, this station rarely matched the signal level of its 675 parallel. Typically plastered by Seattle splatter.
576 2RN Sydney, Australia 50 kW Another distinct underperformer for its power level, it provided weak parallel checks for 585-7RN, but never matched the Tasmanian's signal level. Occasionally mixed with a presumed 576-Star.
585 2WEB Bourke, Australia 10 kW This was a breakout DXpedition for "Outback Radio," with the 8-5 session the best in recent memory. At 1306 on 8-5 a man was giving the weather forecast, with a female "Outback Radio, 2WEB" ID at 14 seconds
"Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson rocking along at 1325 on 8-5
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" somewhat dominant over 7RN and the domestic splatter at 1240 on 8-5
**585 7RN Hobart, Australia 10 kW Once again an overachiever for the power level, this Tasmanian station routinely outperformed its 576 parallel, such as at 1309 on 8-4 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/i4pzsqsfw59x1q80cpb07zvmgqjd9jep
**594 3WV Horsham, Australia 50 kW One of the few Oz big guns that played the part, it was pounding in over the Star synchros at 1246 on 8-5 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/kx7n5rqa0jwpkz3cbt45xi81qpvtqjrp
Star usually pestered the Oz big gun on the “Kiwi Cliff,” though, with an ID at 17 seconds despite a strong signal from Horsham at 1240 on 8-4 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ca2kuman0joko8e7ddse87c2bov14khj
594 Star Timaru/ Wanganui, NZ 5/ 2 kW Commercial ads at good strength all alone at 1324 on 8-3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/adwexucydihahkhlka8t2sebq4cqc69u
603 Radio Waatea Auckland, NZ 5 kW Maori island music and male speech // 765 at very good strength at 1302 on 8-3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/rt2qff8wvx1ztiefpdpbitp8dlphhiw1
639 2HC Coff’s Harbour, Australia 5 kW SRN call-in talk // 531 at good level at 1309 on 8-5 over UnID music (probably 5CK) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/sc0m11rz58rnn1vlmrfm7bmgpr27b6ma
639 5CK Port Pirie, Australia 10 kW Female interview matching ABC South Australia podcast material over 2HC at 1305 on 8-6 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/a4d8ebon1hcdrxsga65vlrbe28hi17zi
**657 Star Wellington/ Tauranga, NZ 50/ 10 kW This Christian music broadcaster was one of the strongest Kiwi stations, such as at 1231 on 8-3 with a promo at 18 seconds, “Playing the Christian music you love to hear” https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/bwh1bvdumejrl5o3tizinezlx69lq5ib
More Christian music at an S9 level at 1240 on 8-3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/g6czddl8uj43nqgxul88yw9o2b6o8ber
The two transmitters have had a synch issue for over a year, and occasionally combined for a bizarre echo effect, such as at 1252 on 8-5 (with a reverb-enhanced ID at 19 seconds) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/pxxzy9y122yucbic79jl645eyxe16o6j
**675 RNZ Christchurch, NZ 10 kW Male interview // 567 at a powerful level at 1252 on 8-3; overall the strongest RNZ station during the trip https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/3anf9lz1qyna1xdtuo34yrxk73h6dqqk
702 2BL Sydney, Australia 50 kW Especially strong during favorable Oz conditions on 8-5 but generally in a fair mix with Magic from NZ
702 Magic Auckland, NZ 10 kW Somewhat of an underperformer for its power level, during live DXing this station never peaked for a decent recording
756 RNZ Auckland, NZ 10 kW Generally decent signals despite its proximity to 50 kW semi-local 750-KXTG, such as with male speech // 675 at 1317 on 8-4 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/kfio3qcxzs2100ev425518c7b1l6rvrx
**765 Radio Kahungunu Hawkes Bay, NZ 2.5 kW This Maori broadcaster is a notorious overachiever for its power level, but even I was surprised when its rap music at 1252 on 8-6 was practically melting down my Ultralight’s front end https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/rkh6ijyar5jjax1tcebhnimqx42c1qgt
774 3LO Melbourne, Australia 50 kW Another Oz big gun with powerful signals on 8-5 but lackluster on all other days. Occasionally had a trace of oldies from NZ’s Gold underneath
**792 4RN Brisbane, Australia 25 kW Overwhelming on the Oz-slanted 8-5 session (such as with male speech at 1249) but fairly lackluster on the other days. NZ’s Gold was typically lost in the 790 domestic splatter https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/lvbd144syj4l0lon5a4ever7ftgsvdft
846 Kiribati (presumed) This frequency had a monster open carrier throughout several sessions, but audio was never heard
936 4PB Brisbane, Australia 10 kW Assumed the one with male and female speech in a “talker” format with content not matching the ABC LR network archives (7ZR) at 1254 on 8-3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/hz96hz2jaqu5ys37wwb5hxr0oi7yn2re
**936 Chinese Radio Auckland, NZ 1 kW The biggest star of the Ultralight DXpedition, with S9+ signals during the 8-3 session (which were the strongest ever received from the low powered station). On 1248 on 8-3 its Chinese music and female speech were overwhelming, practically blanking out 4PB https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/wkkz8agi31lzc8o42ze75ml013p2ogqw
Longer recording of the 1 kW station’s phenomenal peak on 8-3, starting at 1245 (lasting for over 5 minutes) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/2fdtm0acx9li0pufirfrbba99cl881ba
963 Star Christchurch, NZ 10 kW Male speech and Christian programming // 657 at 1303 on 8-3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/lq0aq2a3t1oclwt9r54y7mgjqtj63lod
**1017 A3Z Nuku’alofa, Tonga 10 kW One of the strongest DU stations, this island music blaster usually hit S9+ every session. It was at typical strength with English news at 1240 on 8-3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ah2urxac7t2k1gfwgu0q2yzvui08u2o2
The island choral music at 1318 on 8-4 was also at a thunderous level https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/i378fdbilz4j9ad709x0a47bkvvg08cb
1503 Gold Wellington/ Christchurch, NZ 5/ 2.5 kW Oldies music was received on most mornings at a fair level, but somewhat of an underperformer in comparison to previous DXpeditions