Re: Logging Your First Ultralight TA or TP

Dennis Gibson <wb6tnb@...>

Gary - thanks for your Logging Your First Ultralight TA or TP post.
I'm hoping it will help me bag my first TP this weekend. Too bad my
E100 hasn't arrived yet. I didn't know that asking for the older
version when ordering would increase my chance of getting one. I may
end up with the new and not so improved version.

My plan is to go to the beach (I can walk there in less than five
minutes) with my stock Sony 2010 acting as my spotting receiver. I'm
hoping the extreme sensitivity of the DT-400W will help overcome its
less than stellar selectivity and is good enough to pull in a TP. I
may bring my E10 along even though it doesn't qualify as an
ultralight. It's a little more selective than the DT-400W. I'm hoping
my three extreme locals between 1290 and 1490 (all relatively low
power) won't diminish my chance of success.


--- In ultralightdx@..., D1028Gary@... wrote:

Hello Guys,

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
approaches, propagation will slowly improve to make transoceanic
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
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
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
have been received on a stock ULR here on the west coast:

594 JOAK Tokyo, Japan (300 KW)
693 JOAB Tokyo, Japan (500 KW)
747 JOIB Sapporo, Japan (500 KW)
774 JOUB Akita, Japan (500 KW)
828 JOBB Osaka, Japan (300 KW)
972 HLCA Dangjin, S. Korea (1500 KW)
1566 HLAZ Jeju, S. Korea (250 KW)
1575 VOA Ban Rasom, Thailand (1000 KW)

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
(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,
have trouble hearing TA's or TP's only 1 or 2 kHz away from strong
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
immeasurably (as long as it is reasonably isolated, without many local
stations). Salt water can make almost any Ultralight perform like a

6) Hot-rodded Ultralights need hot-rodded SSB spotting receivers.
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 results.

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
in AM-DXing excitement! :>)

73, Gary DeBock

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