John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
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Gary and Mark C,
Gary, That was an excellent discussion of logging your first TP....
Mark's was excellent, as well, addressing the TAs.
Would you two mind if I copied your messages, made them into a reference
PDF and put it on dxer.ca under the title "Logging Your First
Trans-Atlantic or Trans-Pacific Station on an Ultralight???
I might add at the bottom that another way is to do the mod to attach an
external antenna directly to the Ultralight... that can really help,
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Super Loops, West and Northwest
At 10:02 PM 9/4/2008 -0400, you wrote:
There are very few experiences in the AM-DX
hobby more thrilling than logging your first TA or TP on an Ultralight
radio. As the fall DX season approaches, propagation will slowly
improve to make transoceanic stations stronger and stronger.
Already there is much anticipation and discussion in our Ultralightdx
group about how to make these thrilling catches.
Obviously, those lucky DXers living near ocean beaches
will have the best chances of logging TA's or TP's on Ultralights, but
there are certain general guidelines that will increase your odds, no
matter where you live.
1) Familiarize yourself with the strongest-signal TA (or TP)
stations and their frequencies. Mark Connelly posted an excellent
list of the 18 strongest TA possibilities in a message to Richard Allen
on August 27th, complete with extra information on other TA
possibilities. To Mark's outstanding advice, I would submit
the following list of great TP possibilities, all of which have been
received on a stock ULR here on the west coast:
594 JOAK Tokyo,
693 JOAB Tokyo,
747 JOIB Sapporo,
774 JOUB Akita,
828 JOBB Osaka,
972 HLCA Dangjin, S.
Korea (1500 KW)
1566 HLAZ Jeju, S.
1575 VOA Ban Rasom, Thailand (1000
Of these, the strongest bets are usually
JOAK-594, JOIB-747 and JOUB-774. Choose a few possibilities from
this list, according to your local QRM situation. The stations in
S. Korea and Thailand are more challenging than the Japanese stations,
but are very possible on stock Ultralights.
2) If you are chasing TA's, you will need to listen around
sunset, and if chasing TP's, you will need to lose some sleep like the
rest of us by listening around sunrise. (Note: If you actually end
up logging TP's, the loss of sleep is easier to tolerate).
3) Use an SSB-equipped "spotting receiver" to check
the signal level of the transoceanic stations you are attempting to
log. Place the SSB receiver (E1, ICF-2010, ICF-SW7600GR etc.) in
either USB or LSB mode, and dial in the transoceanic station's frequency.
Then offset the dial about 500 Hz, and check the strength of the
heterodyne (whistling sound) to see if the station is strong, weak or
non-existent. If you can hear audio on the station's actual
frequency (on the SSB receiver in LSB or USB mode), then your Ultralight
has a fighting chance to log the TA or TP.
4) Ultralights are always stuck in the AM mode. For
this reason, they have trouble hearing TA's or TP's only 1 or 2 kHz away
from strong domestic stations. If the TA or TP's frequency ends in
a 3, 4 or 5, your chances are better than if the transoceanic frequency
ends in a 1 or 2.
5) If you live in an east coast or west coast state and can
drive to the ocean coast for a DXing session, you will increase your
chances of success immeasurably (as long as it is reasonably isolated,
without many local stations). Salt water can make almost any
Ultralight perform like a champion.
6) Hot-rodded Ultralights need hot-rodded SSB spotting
receivers. These Ultralights (with 7.5" or larger loopsticks) can
easily exceed stock SSB receivers in sensitivity. The new E100 Slider
Loopstick-equipped models will outperform any stock SSB receiver, making
it necessary to use something more sensitive (table receiver with
external antennas, or SSB portable with huge loopstick) for best
7) Experienced DXers will go out of their way to help you--
feel free to ask questions about languages, programming, ID's, etc.
8) Have fun! Receiving 3 TP's on a stock SRF-59 is what
hooked me on the Ultralight concept. Be psychologically prepared
for a similar transformation in AM-DXing excitement! :>)
73, Gary DeBock
It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel