Grayland DXpedition Report: First Half

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>

I've made it down to the favorite NW DXpedition site: Grayland, WA, 40 miles north of the Columbia river mouth on Washington's Pacific Coast for another 4-day DU extravaganza. My main purposes are general DU DXing with my WinRadio 313e and testing various Ultralights in various stages of modification. However, I've been also trying to add to my list of TPs heard, Unlimited Class.

The first morning down here, Monday, July 7, showed very poor conditions, with few DUs making it to good audio, even using the big radio and the Wellbrook Phased Array.  I did manage to add three new DUs and two Hawaiians to the Ultralight, Unlimited list: 594-JOAK NHK1, Tokyo; 738-2NR, Grafton, NSW, Australia and 783-Access Radio, Wellington, NZ.  The Hawaiians were 900-KNUI Kahului and 990-KHBZ, honolulu  

DU conditions rebounded here somewhat this morning. Unlike yesterday, there was a decent amount of recognition-level audio around when I drug myself out of the warm bed at 1045 UTC. By 1100, several of the Big Gun Japanese were HUGE. Early on, there were a decent number of DU audios, as well.

As the morning wore on toward 1220 dawn, the JJs faded away and the Aussie Usual Suspects came up fairly strong.   Between 1200 and 1220, I had arm chair Level 8 copy on 612, 4QR Brisbane, 702-2BL, Sydney; 738 2NR Grafton, 774 3LO Melbourne, 783 Access Radio, Wellington, 792 4RN Brisbane, 891 5AN Adelaide (there has been no sign of 4TAB, Adelaide's co-channel these last two AMs) All of these were audible on my E100, attached to the Wellbrook Array, with 702-2BL Sydney and 612-4QR being brand new to the Ultralight list.

Finally, I put the standard Grayland West BOG down yesterday as a WSW BOG and compared it several times to the SW Array.  They were pretty close, but the Array was the winner the times that they weren't tied..... yes, I still have trouble believing that two little delta loops can beat the Beloved Grayland Bevs... or even stay with them, but there you are.

I tried several times to catch the relatively louder Aussies with the Sony SRF-T615, Barefoot. No luck at all, so far, but I'm gonna keep trying.

As far as testing goes, I have two versions of E100s linked to the Wellbrook Array down here with me, as well as two very different modified SRF-39s. One is my "National" SRF-39, with the big National ACN analog dial and reduction drive tuning. The other '39 is a Digital SRF-39 with Digital Frequency Display from AADE and a reduction drive for tuning ( this will be in article form within a week.) I've spent a decent amount of time with each one and am really pleased with the overall results.  The National SRF-39 big dial is spot-on frequency-wise and I can read it to the exact channel, even up in  the 1300 and 1400 range. The Digital SRF-39 is a dream to use, although I see now that having the read-out accurate to the one-tenth of a kHz. is really unnecessary. a one-kHz. dial would do just fine.

In truth, I think that I'll abandon SRF-39s in general for TP work. Although they are wonderfully sensitive, they are just not as selective as even the un-modified E100s. The SRF-39 is also more prone to overload problems than is the E100. I still feel that the '39 is an excellent radio for domestic DXing, either Barefoot if you are a masochist or with a modified dial mechanism. Unfortunately, the '39s IF frequency is odd, so fitting after-market IF filters seems to be not really in the cards, either. So...... I think that I'll concentrate on various versions of the E100, unless Gary DeB's Mid-Summer Shootout kicks up a seriously superior receiver.

There were a couple of times over the past two mornings where there was no adjacent channel interference at all (even on the E100) for DU signals that were just at or almost at language recognition (but no more) on the 313e. I could not hear them at all on the E100, despite being hooked to the same antenna. I look forward to doing the Atkins filter mod on the E100 in hopes that the improved signal/noise ratio might get the E100 up into the Top DX Machine category.... wouldn't that be something!

Two more mornings to come....  Here's hoping for continued improvement in conditions.

John B.
WinRadio 313e + Ultralights
Wellbrook Phased Arrays, SW and NW
Grayland, WA, USA

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