UltraLight DXpedition - Alaska Style!


Hi all:

I'm up in Kenai, Alaska on business, and after a couple mornings where the
wind, rain and cold made it impossible to venture out of my RF-infested
hotel room, the weather relented so it was "only" really cold this
morning. I found a covered picnic shelter to set up my Sony 7600GR
spotting receiver and stock Eton e100, along with a Terk Loop and Quantum
Q-Stick. I began abot 2 hours before local sunrise here.

To my delight, I quickly realized that a spotting receiver was not
necessary! On about a third of the 9 khz I got good audio on the stock
Eton e100, and 774-JOUB was coming in like local at times; with the Terk
loop, it was causing QRM on 783! I'm about 3,000 miles fromn Tokyo here
(as opposed to 4,500 from the Seattle area), which is still a fair hike,
but the dearth of 10-khz domestic pests and salt water propagation over
the sound makes Asian DXing from here quite enjoyable. IBOC on 650 and a
couple other channels made a few freqs unavailable.

Having never received a TP on an UlraLight, having my choice between so
many was an eye-opener! English lessons on NHK were available on many
channels (693, 747, 774, 828, etc.), and very strong JJ or KK statons were
to be found on 558, 567, 594, 729, 792, 837, 954, 963, 972, 1170, 1188,
1206, 1305, 1350 - I started to lose count as the barefoot e100 cycled
through the band. On many channels, with the Terk augment, there were two
or three stations, and I realized that my inability to tell the difference
between Japanese, Korean, Chinese and who knows what else is a liability
in trying to figure out who else is there.

I was quite impressed with the difference the Terk loop made with the Eton
e100, and it was dramatically more effective than the Q-Stick with either
radio. With the Terk, I got audio on essentially every 9-khz channel, and
briefly heard 774-ABC out of Melbourne discussing Commonwealth issues
underneath the deafening JOUB. That was my first-ever MW Aussie, which
was a treat; unfortunately, it was too weak for barefoot reception on the

It was so cold that I was driven in mid-way through the session to take a
hot shower and recover, trudging back out for local sunrise. At around
sunrise, the ambient noise and static was suddenly minimal, and the big
Japanese were still booming in. 1575-VOA, which had been rather shy up to
that point, boomed in on the barefoot e100, while HLAZ-1566 actually lost
steam just before LSR.

Thanks to John Bryant for putting a standard loopstick into my e100,
making the lower part of the band come in well. I wonder how the stock
e100/Terk combination compares with the slider-coil e100 a few guys are
using??? I would like to challenge y'all to a sensitivity contest at some

Hope the weather holds up for tomorrow and Thursday, although with
conditions like these I will build myself an igloo if I have to....

Kevin S
Kenai, Alaska

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