First Morning: Grayland 2008.8 Ultralights

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>

The first morning started out with a bunch of DUs in at 1000 UTC, before Japanese sunset. These were only the regulars and were all too weak to be heard on the E100+Wellbrook Array. I went back to bed for 90 blissful minutes and started back in at 1140, with local sunrise expected at 1320. Things were already quite strong from Asia at tune-in and I was very busy from then until 1335. I ended up with:

Eighteen Asians and one DU, all on E100, inductively connected to Wellbrook Phased Array

JOAB Tokyo Japan 8/19/2008 1145 NHK 2 EE Lessons
828 JOBB Osaka Japan  8/19/2008 1159 NHK 2 TOH
891 JOHK Sendai Japan 8/19/2008 1323 NHK1 Talk//594
963 CRI RR Svc Manchuria? China  8/19/2008 1202 News in RR: First China
972 HLCA Dangjin South Korea  8/19/2008 1207 Talk in KK ID @ 1300
1017 CRI KK Svc Changchun China  8/19/2008 1219 Talk in Korean
1035 HLCP P'ohang South Korea  8/19/2008 1307 KBS1 //1305
Jam Synchro Multiple Sites South Korea  8/19/2008 1230 Buzzzzz
1215 CNR2 Shenyang China 8/19/2008 1241 CC Talk
JOLF Tokyo Japan 8/19/2008 1232 JJ Talk
1287 JOHR Sapporo Japan 8/19/2008 1234 JJ Talk
1305 HLSV Uljin South Korea 8/19/2008 1307 KBS1 //1035
1332 JOSF Nagoya Japan 8/19/2008 1310 JJ Talk
1350 JOER Hiroshima Japan 8/19/2008 1312 JJ Talk
1386 NHK2 Synchro Japan 8/19/2008 1243 EE Lesson
1422 JORF Yokohama Japan 8/19/2008 1314 JJ Talk 50th TP
1512 2RN Newcastle Australia  8/19/2008 1330 Aussie Talk
1575 VOA Ayutthaya Thailand  8/19/2008 1209 Talk in lang: First Thai

None of these were new on the 313E or any other top communications receiver used at Grayland, but each was exciting as I snagged them on the E100.  Cheering was heard!!!  Probably the most interesting were the two 10 kW. Koreans on 1035 and 1305, caught in parallel, thanks to Bruce Portzer's incomparable PAL Log. The 891 NHK1 Sendai Log was quite interesting as well, not being that common at Grayland.... it was made special by also catching 5AN Adelaide (unneeded) as the band faded around 1330. Several other Japanese were heard on the E100, but were unneeded, having been heard on the July DXpedition (594, 774, 1134, 1287). I was especially pleased, also, to snag JOER, 1350 kHz., heard once in a while at  Grayland, but never before on an ultralight.  Other notables were my first Chinese and Thai stations.

I'm also pleased to report that I finally heard my first BAREFOOT Trans-Pacific station:

774 JOUB* Akita* Japan* Asia* 500 8/19/2008 1252 NHK2 EE Lesson - *BAREFOOT*

I heard that with Sony's tiny SRF-T615, pressed against the west-facing picture window, about 5 feet from all of the computer equipment. I'm fairly sure that I would have heard three or four more stations this morning that were doing fairly well quite well on the Unlimited set up.... Japan 594, China 963, South Korea 972 and 1566.... IF I HAD BEEN WILLING TO GO OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN and leave the E100 + Winradio main sets.

I'm sure that some of you are wondering about the relative difference in receivers and antennas between T615 Barefoot, E100+Big Ferrite Bar, E100+Array and Big Radio + Array. I know that I was/am and I know that the answer is somewhat different for domestic vs. Trans-oceanic split DXing and is also very dependant on the surrounding RF environment, especially the presence or lack of MAJOR AM stations in your own area. (For instance, the E100+Array is nearly unusable in the RF cesspool of metro Vancouver, BC where I am on Orcas Island.) Here in very rural/isolated Grayland, I'd say that the E100+Array is King of the Ultralight Hill. I'm rather sure that the same modified E100 would do at least as well with multiple Beverages of at least 1000 feet.

The E100 that I'm using has been modified with a Murata 5 kHz. IF filter which allows me to hear TPs well at 2 kHz. or more away from a North American frequency here in rural Grayland. Lacking SSB and vertical-walled IF filters, hearing TPs at 1 kHz away from domestics is difficult and dependant on the relative strengths of the two signals. 890 is virtually open in the NW, so hearing 891 is quite possible, most of the other international channels ending in 9s or 1s are much more difficult. Finally, it must be said that the Winradio 313E is the most sensitive radio that I have ever used... the best at audio recovery. I understand that the 7030 Plus is in the same category. The digital filters of the 313e are also very outstanding and, tho its dynamic range has been exceeded by quite a few newer SDRs, I have only found one instance where that has inhibited even a single reception.

So, if I set the 313e + Wellbrook Phased Array as 100 percent, I would rate the other possibilities for Trans-Pacific work here as below:

313e+Array or Beverages:   100%

E100 mod. + Array or Beverages   66%

E100 mod + Major Ferrite Bar  33%

T615 Barefoot    5%              

The loss of 1/3 of the T-P audio between the 313e and the E100, I would blame about 1/3 on the IF filters at 1 kHz above/below domestics and about 2/3 on general difference in audio recovery between the two sets. Would an RF amp help the E100 + Array out here in the boonies.  I don't know, but I'm gonna find out.

A final caution.... the figures above are partly intuitive SWAG guesses. I'm least comfortable with the 33% that I assigned to Big Ferrite bars.  That is mostly based on one parallel DX session when Gary DeBock was nearby in the Grayland area with his Bib Bar setup and I had the current setup running at the Grayland Moptel. The guess is also somewhat on my own experience with Big Bars.

When I assigned 5% to the Barefoot T615, I sez to myself.... "Yes, but how do you explain the absolutely stunning TA successes of Allen Willie in Newfoundland and Paul Logan in Northern Ireland, both running Barefoot???"  The only explanation that I could imagine would be their wonderful locations, with relatively much shorter TA distances than those across the Pacific. Having DXed one memorable week in Newfoundland, my guess is that Paul and Allen are probably hearing 2/3 OVER ALL of what they could hear using major antennas and the best receivers.  Beside the shorter distances, both of them have the huge advantage (as I do on Orcas and Patrick does at Seaside) of DXing day after day. Thus, while they might only get the stronger 1/3 of what is available on any given morning, having the dedication to DX day after day gives changes in propagation a chance to help improve those daily totals significantly. Again, totally a SWAG and totally ignoring the obvious talent and knowledge of those two Master DXers.
Anyway, this first morning at Grayland was wonderful.  I added two new countries (Thailand and China), brought my total T-P station count to above 50 and got my first T-P Barefoot.  Passing the landmark of 50 T-Ps makes me wonder if 100 is possible in the Unlimited Class.  I sort of think so, but I bet that it takes more than one good season. Getting that first T-P Barefoot makes me wonder about that, too. I'd have to get me a little umbrella tent tall enough to sit in a chair at a little table.  I'll be durned if I will sit or stand in the rain and wind and COLD out here on the Coast to DX! There are limits, after all!!!


John Bryant
Grayland 2008.8 DXpedition
E100 + Wellbrook Phased Array
Winradio 313e spotting receiver

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