Date   

Re: Sunday (6-1) Ultralight DXpedition to Grayland, WA

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Mark,
 
     Thanks for your comments on my report.
 
     I have lots of mp3's pf DU audio fading in and out, especially after yesterday, hi.  But at least in my own procedure, carrier strength is checked in SSB by tuning slightly off frequency, and observing the strength of the resulting heterodyne (on an SSB-equipped receiver like the 2010).  Split-frequency DXers learn to judge how strong the heterodyne (and carrier) need to be, before they can hope for audio.
 
     The actual audio recording, however, is always made on the station's exact frequency.  If a carrier is strong enough, there should be some audio on the frequency.  The actual mp3 recording will only have the station's audio (strong, weak or non-existent), not the heterodyne used to check carrier strength.
 
     For Ultralight radios stuck in the AM mode, there is no way to easily check carrier strength, like the SSB-equipped 2010 can do.  This is why most Ultralight transoceanic DXers use an SSB-eqipped "spotting receiver" like the 2010, R8, E1 or others, to "organize" their search for Ultralight DX targets.  These receivers can easily check 10 or more memory frequencies in a minute, to direct Ultralight radios to the most promising frequencies.
 
                                                                                                   73,  Gary.   




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Sunday (6-1) Ultralight DXpedition to Grayland, WA

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     Congratulations again to John Bryant for his superb four-day DXpedition to Grayland, and for logging multiple new Ultralight DX countries, with his E100 hooked up to the Wellbrook array.  It's also great to know that John was thrilled by this new form of DXing, resulting in a very enjoyable experience for him.
 
     After traveling with the family to Grayland on Saturday, I had a nice talk with John and Guy Atkins, and viewed John's impressive Wellbrook array, surrounding the north wing of the Grayland Motel.  I remarked to my wife that we really needed one of these in our back yard, a comment which apparently was not well received. 
 
     During this trip the new Amidon  7.5" loopstick-transplant SRF-39FP was brought to Grayland for testing, as well as a stock SRF-T615, and the modified ICF-2010 (with the 19.5" loopstick).  The new Amidon transplant model was constructed entirely of commercially-available parts, and has an astonishing performance advantage over the vintage loopsticks, making it competitive with vintage loopsticks over twice its length.  Apparently Amidon's claim of optimizing the ferrite bar for the medium-wave frequencies is no exaggeration, and neither is the claim by Dave Schmarder of optimizing the 40/44 Litz wire for AM-DX performance.  When these two materials are combined in a loopstick, the medium-wave performance is highly impressive, to say the least.
 
     At John's suggestion, in order to avoid computer-generated RF hash from Room 15's DX Central operation, I left the warm, comfortable Room 14 environment around 0400 local time on Sunday morning (1100 UTC), and set up my usual stand-alone portable operating site at the picnic table on Grayland Beach Road, about 500 feet from the ocean.  Thankfully, the weather was not too cold this time, and there were no clam diggers to laugh in ridicule.
 
     Multiple strong DU carriers were observed on the "Monster 2010" from 1130-1200 UTC, but none of them came up to audio level until dawn enhancement, around 1212 UTC.  The first to provide audio was 2YA-567 in New Zealand, a station which was also heard on the modified 2010 two weeks ago at Grayland.  Unfortunately, this is one of the worst frequencies for the stand-alone Ultralights, with strong KVI-570 splatter that can't be nulled.  The results were the same as two weeks ago-- a solid 2010 logging, but only bits and pieces of audio on the Ultralights.
 
     The second DU to come up to audio level on the modified 2010 (around 1215) was a presumed 2YC-657, another New Zealand station with a sleep-inducing music format (similar to 2YA-567).  Unfortunately, it also had an un-nullable CISL-650 splattering onto it, making the not-too-selective Ultralights loaded with unwanted vintage rock hash.  2YC's weak, sleepy music was no match for Vancouver's rock splatter.
 
     The final DU audio received on the Monster 2010 was 4QR-612, around 1218.  This frequency was relatively clear on the Ultralights, but Brisbane's signal stubbornly refused to come up to a level strong enough for solid Ultralight copy.  The stock SRF-T615 had bits and pieces of DU audio, but whenever an mp3 recording was attempted, the signal of course took a dive.  4QR-612 stayed around for  an incredibly long time on the modified 2010, with bright sunlight all around at 1240 UTC, and Brisbane still there, weakly, on 612.
 
     Returning to the Grayland Motel around 1300 UTC (0600 local time),  I was astonished when John pronounced this morning's propagation as the least favorable of the four days he spent at Grayland.  Apparently the "Monster 2010" can make even a bad morning seem good, hi.  It was the first time I had received audio from three DU's during one night, in Grayland.  Unfortunately, the DU signals levels required something like a superb Wellbrook Antenna array, to make them audible on the Ultralights. 
 
     Congratulations again to John, who deserved some exciting Ultralight TP-DX, after all his hard work for the Ultralight cause.  For my family. It was worth the trip, to meet him for the first time.  The DXing was also fun, at least on the Monster 2010.  When I discover a way to hot-rod an Ultralight by adding a Wellbrook Array to it, I'll be sure to let everybody know how.
 
 
                                                                             73,  Gary   




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Re: Another Excellent Ultralight Morning

Carl DeWhitt
 

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "kirk74601" <kirk74601@...> wrote:



Once again, Ultralighting took a average morning and made it special!

John B.
Well John, CONGRATS on all the great TP work you're having to endure,
hi hi. I'm sure we're all enjoying hearing from you guys at Grayland. I
received the E100 I ordered from Durham just a few days ago, so I'll be
spending a lot more time with it when my work sked will allow. But
anyway, Congrats again, and be assured I wish I was up there with you
guys! By the way, I'd like to see some of those Chikasaw dances you've
been doing!
OH, way to go Allen Willie on your excellent loggings of the TA's!
73 to you both and everyone here.
I will echo Kirk,s congrats to you John and to Allen.
Kirk,i will look forward to hearing about your experiences with the
Eton E100.I may try to get one myself if i get a good tax rebate
check.73 to all.
Carl DeWhitt


Re: Another Excellent Ultralight Morning

kirk74601 <kirk74601@...>
 


Once again, Ultralighting took a average morning and made it special!

John B.
Well John, CONGRATS on all the great TP work you're having to endure,
hi hi. I'm sure we're all enjoying hearing from you guys at Grayland. I
received the E100 I ordered from Durham just a few days ago, so I'll be
spending a lot more time with it when my work sked will allow. But
anyway, Congrats again, and be assured I wish I was up there with you
guys! By the way, I'd like to see some of those Chikasaw dances you've
been doing!
OH, way to go Allen Willie on your excellent loggings of the TA's!
73 to you both and everyone here.


Grayland Saturday AM: Good but short!

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Well, I THOUGHT that I set my alarm for 3:30AM! As I faded into sleep on Friday evening I thought "I should check that alarm again.... NAW, how paranoid can you get, anyway?" So I rolled over and dropped into sleep, not realizing that I'd set the alarm time but not pulled the plunger out! Happily, I've gotten up at first light for so many years that I popped awake at 4:40AM (1140 UTC.) In less that 5 minutes, I had coffee in my hand, clothes on my back and earphones on my head! With dawn at 1215, I'd lost a good hour of DXing, but saved the finest hour of dawn enhancement at the coast! DARN IT!!!

Still, I was very grateful to be awake at all and the conditions, though rather mediocre again, allowed me some nice catches, most on both my WinRadio 313e and the Ultralight E100. With only an hour, I had no free time to experiment with other antennas or other Ultralight radios. It was off to the races!

Both New Zealand and Australia were in and I managed to add 1035 Newstalk ZB, Wellington; 648, probably NZ's Rhema in Gisbourne and 792 4RN, Radio National Brisbane to the Ultralight log. I also added two new countries to my Ultralight log: 1566 HLAZ, Cheju Island, South Korea and 639 Radio Fiji 1 for a Country First. They were running their usual Sunday choir singing hymns in Fijian. If you haven't heard Polynesian/Melanesian choirs doing hymns, you've missed one of life's real pleasures.... GREAT music. I just quit and listened for more than ten minutes as the band faded out.

I heard one other NewsTalk ZB (New Plymouth on 1053) on the 313e, but it was too weak for the E100. Also at the very bitter end, I managed to catch KUMU, Honolulu on 1500 as it faded out (local commercials) also too weak for the E100..

So, it was a very short and fast morning, but still great fun, thanks to Ultralighting..... and the Fijian National Choir. Guy Atkins and Gary DeBock are joining me after lunch today for the last night of the DXpedition. With them arriving, I think that I'll stick close to the motel and zap this report on Sunday, when I get home. Tonight, I'm going to be VERY paranoid about that alarm clock, too!!!

John B.
Grayland, Washington
WinRadio 313E, Various Ultralight Radios. Wellbrook Phased Array antenna


May 30 Ultralight logs

Allen Willie
 

  

 Good Transatlantic opening last evening

 

 

 

891 khz - ALGERIA - RTA1 Algiers 5/30/08 00:38 UTC w/ Arabic commentary; fair

 

 954 khz - SPAIN , OCR Onda Cero  Madrid  5/30/08 00:37 UTC w/ Spanish commentary and music ; good

 

   981 khz - ALGERIA , RTA 2 Algiers 5/30/08  00:37 UTC w/ arabic chants and music ; good

 

1008 khz - CANARY ISLANDS , R. Punto  5/30/08  00:34 UTC w/ woman talking in Spanish; pop songs, R. Punto ID; fair

 

 1071khz - SPAIN , R. Euskadi  5/30/08  00:40 UTC w/ "Wildwood Flower" song in spanish ; good

 

 1251 khz LIBYA Libyan Jamahiriya, Tripoli  5/30/08  00:31 UTC w/ soap opera sounding music , arabic commentary; good

 

 1431 khz - DJIBOUTI, R. Sawa  5/30/08 00:25 UTC w/ arabic talk, mention of Bush and Washington by man ; fanfare between new items Then "Don't Worry Be Happy " song !!! ; good

 

 

Allen Willie

St. John's, Newfoundland

SRF-M37V barefoot



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Another Excellent Ultralight Morning

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Was up almost two hours before dawn again and and was greeted with conditions that were better than May 29. The band below 1200 was virtually full of hets with a handful of them in audio. I spent quite a bit of time, early, with 765. It was Australian and originated in Brisbane. I think it was a syndicated show, with the male host interviewing a female singer. It was either 5CC in Port Lincoln or 2EC in Bega and both are new for me. Possibly some internet work will tumble an answer.  I heard them on both the 313E and the E100.

After that, it was pretty much off to the races. Like the first morning, both 774 and 1287 were in as Japanese (on the E100) in the pre-dawn hour. They and hets on 1566 and 1575 were long gone by dawn. I also had a fat het on 1323 which was likely the Chinese in Russian. It never made audio while I was sitting there.

Before dawn, I also invested a great deal of time on 657 which was in at a fair level. I hung there through 1200 UT hoping to ID Southern Star in Wellington and nail a new country, but the probable ID and brief news cast were just too muffled to catch more than three or four words (DRAT!). However, well after dawn, 963 was in and clearly parallel to 657, so both were Southern Star. 963 Christchurch is a brand new station for me, too. I had paralleled 567 RN Wellington with 756 RN Auckland to count as New Zealand on the E100 a few minutes before I caught the Southern Star parallel.

At dawn itself, I paralleled 612 and 702 as ABCs Metropolitan Service in Brisbane and Sydney, though neither quite made it to the E100.

The big surprise of the morning was Radio Tahiti on 738. Yesterday this channel had been a DU, but at 1203 UT Radio Tahiti was walking tall. It came in as well on the E100 as it did on the 313E.

As dawn began to wind down, I hit the potential Hawaiians again, and this time was rewarded: The preacher that I was hearing on 760 yesterday was clearly KGU as I heard both a "KGU Christian Talk" and an ad for a local church at 1256.... and the business/news programming that I heard yesterday morning on 670 hung in there until it IDed as KPUA at 1300. Both were almost as good on the E100 as they were on the 313E. Many thanks to Patrick, Bruce and Kaz for the tuning tips for Hawaii. I'm going to keep trying for the others.

So, I think that I got three new countries this morning: New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. Frankly, I forgot to check the IRCA list to see if Hawaii is a separate radio country.... it is on most lists.

A couple of other thoughts: I was messing around with the SW antenna during daylight hours yesterday. It is the most Southwesterly I've ever used here. Being only 150 feet long, the property is easily wide enough to crank it around to 230 degrees (the best that I've ever done before was probably 250 degrees.) 230 puts it aimed at the waters between New Zealand and Australia with the backside pointed at Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle. During the daytime yesterday, I was consistently putting 40 dB of null on Victoria on 900... sometimes even 45 dB. With 890 being pretty open and 40 dB of null on 900, no wonder that the E100 heard the two DUs on 891 yesterday so darn well.

The E100 is clearly my digital Ultralight of choice for split frequency work. It is the only digital one (I think) that tunes in one kilohertz increments.  Quite a few of my loggings this morning were accomplished by sliding one or even two kilohertz off-channel. I'll be working with the National SRF-39 more from Orcas Island, because I think that it is a good DX machine, but right now, I'm so busy logging that I'm sticking with the E100. The modified DT-200VX... with Guy's IF filter mod and my external antenna port  is not quite as good as the E100 AND it cannot tune in 1 kHz. steps (only 9 or 10). Its a fine Ultralight radio for domestic work, but not for Trans-Oceanic DXing.

Once again, Ultralighting took a average morning and made it special!

John B.
Reporting live from the Westport, WA Library. A sandwich and a Coke were $14.00 at the Local Tavern!


Australia on an Ultralight

Allen Willie
 

 

 

 

A big congratulations to John in logging the first Australian station on an ultralight.I knew it was just a matter of time until It happened . Way to go John !

 

Allen Willie

St. John's, Newfoundland



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Re: Down Under Success!

robert ross
 

John:

Way to Go Brother!!!!!! From way over here in the land too far away to
ever log Austrailia on an Ultralight.....I extend my congratulations to you
on being the first DX'er to positively ID an Aussie with an Ultralight
Radio!! There are a Pile of us who truly know just what you have
accomplished with these Receptions John.......you have taken the Challenge
to the final frontier...I don't know what else can be heard that will top
this. Your hard work and dedication to ULR DX'ing has made us all proud!!

I guess about all you can do now is try to log 100 Aussie's in a Week!!
HAHAHHA......Good Luck!!


I'm sure this is making your Summer on the west coast all the more
enjoyable......

Hopefully the conditions will stay for Gary and Guy on the weekend!!

73...ROB.

Robert S. Ross VA3SW
Box 1003, Stn. B.
London, Ontario
CANADA N6A5K1

Antique/Vintage Radio Enthusiast
Amateur Radio Stations VA3SW/VE3JFC

Defy Physics.....Play Table Tennis!! (Ping Pong with an Attitude)
«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«


Re: Down Under Success!

lrdheat
 



"I did get one opportunity to compare the 12" x 1" ferrite booster bar to directly connecting the Ultralight radio to the Wellbrook array. I couldn't hear any audio at all on 891 with the ferrite, while I had 100% intelligibility with direct connection to the array."

 

I guess this answers my question about picking up the DU barefoot. Your array must be quite awesome. I'm amazed that these ultralights can handle a significant antenna without overloading.

 

Best of luck to Gary with 531!

 

Heatwave



Re: Down Under Success!

lrdheat
 



"The music to my ears, though, was hearing them go to ABC News at 1230, with an ID as "ABC ADELAIDE!" After that, I had a brief celebration, dancing around the campfire, shouting various Chickasaw war hoops and generally acting stupid. It felt REAL good! "

 

Nice going, and great description of your setup, and of the thrill of DU reception! Do you think voice would have been heard on any of the ultralights barefoot?

 

Thanks for sharing this with the group

 

Richard "Heatwave" Berler




Down Under Success!

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Once again, ultralighting came to the rescue! Despite deploying the Wellbrook Array, the mediocre Trans-Pacific DX conditions reported widely elsewhere would have garnered me a very mediocre and depressing morning.  Using my Winradio 313E, and starting two hours before dawn, I noted over 40 channels with various levels of hets, prior to dawn enhancement. Most were below 1116. I even had threshold audio on a dozen of the usual suspects: 702, 738, 756, 774 (JJ at about 1130), 891, 1017, 1028, 1098, 1116, 1134, 1287 (prob.JJ) 1512 and 1611.

As dawn enhancement began at 1145, I noted more threshold audio on 648, again on 738 (DU). On 774, NHK was coming in well enough that I tried all three Ultralights that I had hooked to the array. (National SRF-39, DT-200VX mod., E100) The E100 was the best, overall, and I happily listened to a few phrases of Japanese during, I think, a language lesson.  That was my first-ever TP with an ultralight receiver. Felt real good! Soon after that, the JJ faded away and pre and post dawn were both exclusively DU. They were all at threshold or just above, with 8 or ten rising to language recognition level.  Each of those was DU, about 1/3 NZ and the rest Aussie. None were at a level to be receivable on the Ultralights, even hooked to the array.

Then I stumbled upon 891, right at dawn (1215) and it was at (just) listenable levels. I tried the E100, expecting 891 to be swamped by whatever was on 890... or by splatter from that dastardly Canadian on 900. Not so, Tonto!  There sat the DU, coming in almost as well on the E100 as on the 313E. I then tried the DT-200VX and the National SRF-39 and got the DU on each, with somewhat reduced S/N. Happily, 890 is pretty much an open frequency after Mr. Sun knocks out the 890 Chicago station about an hour before our dawn... and the array was looking due SW, away from the Victoria station on 900... My ship had come in!

It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but happily, conditions stayed stable for over 15 minutes.  There were actually two stations on 891 and I was hearing each quite well. They were 5AN, ABC Adelaide and 4TAB Townsville. Each would dominate for two or three minutes with very little interference from the other. Then, almost like flipping a switch, they would reverse. 4TAB was running their usual horse racing programming, with race calls and betting payouts. I heard mention more than once of TAB. When 5AN was in, it was running the some talk/public affairs and some popular music. I heard mention of "Morning Melody," possibly the program name. The music to my ears, though, was hearing them go to ABC News at 1230, with an ID as "ABC ADELAIDE!" After that, I had a brief celebration, dancing around the campfire, shouting various Chickasaw war hoops and generally acting stupid. It felt REAL good! 

At 1230, dawn had happened 15 minutes earlier and I knew that things would likely close down within 20 more minutes or so.  It was time to try for the Hawaiians, now that dawn had diminished their continental co-channels. I heard three potential Hawaiians before things faded out at 1245. 760 (prob. KGU) had relig. talk by a female preacher (this matches their format); 1110 (maybe KAOI?) had trucker talk and 670 (maybe KPUA) was running a news program called "Wall Street Journal This Morning." It may be very difficult to determine whether any of these were Hawaiians, since they are all syndicated programs and the propagation only seems to work from about 1220 to 1245. I'm here for three more mornings, so..... maybe a local commercial or PSA at the half hour???

I did get one opportunity to compare the 12" x 1" ferrite booster bar to directly connecting the Ultralight radio to the Wellbrook array. I couldn't hear any audio at all on 891 with the ferrite, while I had 100% intelligibility with direct connection to the array.  During the DX session here at the beach, there was no sign of overload of the Ultralights that were connected to the array.

Well, now I can complete that article on adding a MW antenna input port to portable radios :>)

Reporting live from the Local Tavern and wi-fi hotspot in Grayland, Washington,

John B.
WinRadio 313E, Ultralights
Wellbrook Array to SW and NW
Grayland, WA, USA


Re: Down Under Success!

Gary DeBock
 

Congratulations John,
 
     Your receptions of 5AN and 4TAB-891 are fantastic, and show that Ultralight DXing is the perfect cure for DXing boredom!  There are many new challenges in Ultralight DXing, even with your breakthrough loggings of the first DU's, using your trio of Ultralights hooked up to the Wellbrook array.  You should feel very proud, in hearing the first definite ID's from Australia, the last area in the world to be logged by North American ULR DXers
 
     As Guy Atkins and I join you at Grayland on Sunday night,  I'll be bringing the latest in hot-rodded Ultralights, as well as the 19.5" loopstick ICF-2010, to try my own luck.  My stock SRF-T615 also will be eager for another shot at the 531-DU station, which never ID'ed during a 10 minute stretch on April 20th :>) 
 
     The last time at Grayland, some audio from 2YA-567 was heard on the 20" loopstick SRF-39FP, but splatter from KVI-570 was just too much to pull out any ID's.  So if you are looking for some new challenges, John, you might try for this and other New Zealand stations, if propagation allows.
 
     Congratulations again, John, and I'm very happy that an experienced DXer like yourself has discovered the supreme thrill of DU chasing on the Ultralights, which is something like the ultimate challenge in this exciting new form of intercontinental AM-DX.  See you on Saturday (along with Ruth, Danny and the "Frankenlights").
 
                                                                                             73,  Gary
 
                      




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Re: A few logs on the SRF-M37V lately

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Allen,

Thanks for the report of your new loggings. The amount and
variety of your TA loggings is amazing, especially considering that
they were all on stock Ultralight radios.

Here on the west coast, a grand total of nine stock Ultralight
TP's have been received, by four different DXers (myself, Dennis,
Nick and Guy). As far as TP countries received, it's been only five
(Japan, S.Korea, N.Korea, China and Thailand). We are still in the DU
season, though, so one of us might get lucky with a long distance
logging the next few months.

73, Gary DeBock

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "Allen Willie"
<vo1_001_swl@...> wrote:



Logs on the SRF-M37V Ultralight lately



690 khz - CINF - Montreal , Quebec 5/26 4:11 UTC w/ french
commentary by man ; fair

1008 khz - CANARY ISLANDS - R. Punto 5/26 3:51 UTC w/ commentary
in
Spanish by two men ; ID

1310 khz - CIWW Ottawa, Ontario 5/26 3:54 UTC w/ oldies 1310 ID,
Ruby tuesday by Rolling Stones ; fair

1566 khz - BENIN - Trans World Radio 5/20 4:29 UTC w/ TWR ID,
english talk by woman, inspirational song ; fair



Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V barefoot





















t


A few logs on the SRF-M37V lately

Allen Willie
 

Logs on the SRF-M37V Ultralight lately



690 khz - CINF - Montreal , Quebec 5/26 4:11 UTC w/ french
commentary by man ; fair

1008 khz - CANARY ISLANDS - R. Punto 5/26 3:51 UTC w/ commentary in
Spanish by two men ; ID

1310 khz - CIWW Ottawa, Ontario 5/26 3:54 UTC w/ oldies 1310 ID,
Ruby tuesday by Rolling Stones ; fair

1566 khz - BENIN - Trans World Radio 5/20 4:29 UTC w/ TWR ID,
english talk by woman, inspirational song ; fair



Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V barefoot





















t


Audio Cubes Raises Price of Sony SRF-T615 to $149.00

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     The boom in orders for the top-rated SRF-T615 digital Ultralight radio has obviously been noticed in Japan.
 
     .With a whopping 67% price increase, Audio Cubes 2 has apparently decided to make a few extra yen on this model, which when combined with the $16 shipping charge to the USA/Canada, now will set you back $165.  If you were fortunate enough to order this model at the pre-boom $89 price, consider yourself lucky.
 
     The eBay vendor "joynetcafe" continues to offer the SRF-T615 at a much more sensible $105, plus $15 shipping, making it the obvious choice for those who still need the best in digital Ultralight performance.  The Sony SRF-T615 is the top choice for sensitivity on both the low and high ends of the AM band, although the Eton E100 will typically equal it on the high band.  The SRF-T615 apparently is unique among the digital Ultralights in having wide-band high sensitivity, as opposed to the E100 and DT-200VX models, which can typically only be peaked to favor the high or low ends of the band.
 
     The SRF-T615 is a great stock performer, and is my personal DXpedition favorite, having received 8 TP's (and 1 unID 531 DU) during the April 20 visit to Grayland, Washington.  But whether it is worth over $100 depends on your perspective, I guess.  Being made in Japan and available only from Japan, it will never be easy to purchase.
 
                                                                           73,  Gary DeBock     . 




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Re: Direct Connection of Antennas to Ultralights: First Real Tests

Nick Hall-Patch
 

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "John H. Bryant" <bjohnorcas@...>
wrote:

Here on Orcas Island, the RF environment is ever so much different,
with my antennas being awash in RF from Vancouver and Border Blasters
serving that market from nearby Blaine, WA. Nearby Victoria also
chips in with two 10 kW stations that put in huge signals, as
well. The daytime RF environment looks like this :

[]
The graphic, if that's what it was, didn't come through on my e-mail,
or on the groups page, John. Maybe it needs to be posted on the files
page?

Nick


Direct Connection of Antennas to Ultralights: First Real Tests

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

We have made our annual migration to Orcas Island, just south of Vancouver city and about 90 miles north of Seattle. I've gotten my two biggest antennas up and running.... formerly 70' x 100' EWEs at W and NW, now set up as Conti Super Loops. Yesterday and today, I spent several hours testing the performance of a covey of Ultralights. I have three Ultralights set up to receive direct connection to external antennas through coax lead-ins, just as my communications receivers interact with the same antennas. The one that has been posted is my National SRF-39 in the nice wooden cabinet. The other two are a DT-200VX and an E100.

In all three cases, I've used the technique of winding a coupling loop of 6 or so turns of insulated tie-wrap wire around the stock ferrite bar of the Ultralight radio.  This coupling coil is connected directly to the incoming coax lead-in.  When I first tried this technique, I thought that the coupling coil, while disconnected from the antenna, was inducing some weirdness or detuning the stock ferrite bar. However, I've had much more experience with this system now and I'm fairly certain that this supposed detuning is NOT happening.  I cannot tell the difference between identical radios with or without the coupling coil in place.

In general, in near RF-free central OKlahoma, the directly connected antenna/Ultralight radio combination worked EXCELLENTLY. At night with my closest MW transmitters about 60 miles away and only three of them being 50 kW, all three radios performed well, with no strangeness of any sort noted. It was kind of magic, using the Wellbrook Array with the SRF-39 and looking four different directions per frequency.

Here on Orcas Island, the RF environment is ever so much different, with my antennas being awash in RF from Vancouver and Border Blasters serving that market from nearby Blaine, WA.  Nearby Victoria also chips in with two 10 kW stations that put in huge signals, as well.  The daytime RF environment looks like this :

 

The vertical scale lines are -dBm, the horizontal in 10ths of a MHz.  This is a sweep of the entire MW band.  The -30 dBM line corresponds to about 40 dB over S-9. People have been surprised that the WinRadio 313e would work well when connected to those huge loop antennas in this RF environment. Happily, it does and I've never noted overloading or other problems, EXCEPT that the signal on 600 kHz. is so powerful that it seems to partially desensitize the receiver for about 10 kHz. either way from 600, making hearing Tokyo 594 rather difficult.

Anyway, in this environment, I did not expect the Ultralights to be trouble free, when connected to the monster loops.  I was correct.  Both the Sangean DT200VX and the E100 overloaded massively.  On every channel where there should be one strong or moderately strong station, there were two or three false stations and 1600, Blaine was on many of the channels at the tops of the dials.  Basically, I ended up with a semi-tuneable tower of Babel. The National SRF-39, hooked to the same antennas behaved much more sedately. In fact, I couldn't find any false stations or stations overlaying other stations where they shouldn't be and the stronger stations were not distorted.  What was unusual was hearing what I think are 10 kHz. heterodynes in quite a few places on the dial.  I assume that the signals were so wide that they were QRMing each other???  It sure won't keep me from using the SRF-39 and the big loops for some TPs later in the season from here.... when the Asians start booming in (I hope!)

Interestingly, I also tested all three radios (substituting a stock SRF-39 for my National set-up) with a tuneable Booster Bar antenna, based on a .75 x 12" very large ferrite rod.  I sort of expected some overloading problems with the big Booster Bar, too, but none were apparent. So, to the extent that I DX with Ultralights from here, it will be the National SRF-39 with the big loops and the DT-200VX and E100 will sit on the booster bar.  I have some faint hope that the Wellbrook Array will work with all of the Ultralights in this RF environment. The gain of that antenna is less than the big loops, but the S/N and F/B ratios are better. I'll be putting it back up here after my first trip to Grayland.

 In any case, directly connecting monster antennas to the Ultralights was done, largely, to be used at the coast at Grayland. In that much more forgiving environment, I really hope to see the directly connected Ultralights shine.

After that first trip to Grayland in a week or two, I'll be putting together an article with details and photos of the direct connection method.  By the way, I'm happy enough with this approach that I'm going to be putting an antenna input port on my Kaito 1103 for use in traveling DXpeditions.  That is a pretty wonderful receiver, the size of a paperback book, that has an antenna port, BUT ONLY FOR SW!  BCB is limited to a ferrite bar. Soooo..

Hope everyone is having a fine early summer!

John B.
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Loops, West and Northwest


Receiving DU's on Ultralight Radios

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
     For the Northwest Gang accustomed to relatively easy Asian TP receptions on Ultralight radios, the reception of stations in Australia (and other South Pacific areas) is proving to be more challenging.  Signal levels are rarely very strong, and most of the active DXers do not live in ideal ocean beach locations.
 
     In the latest attempt,  a one-night stay in Grayland, Washington (on the ocean coast) provided some weak opportunities, but no solid ID's.  Various weak DU carriers were observed around 1130 UTC, but at the "moment of truth" (around local sunrise after 1215), only one of the carriers came up to audio level on the modified ICF-2010 (19.5" loopstick)--  on 567 kHz.  Since the modified SRF-39FP (20" loopstick) has approximately the same sensitivity as the modified ICF-2010, 567 was tuned in on the "super prison radio," and 567 did indeed have a monstrous  3 kHz heterodyne (with very strong KVI-570).  Recordings were started on both radios around 1215 UTC, with occasional bits of 567 audio breaking through the KVI splatter on the modified SRF-39FP.  Unfortunately, KVI could not be nulled, and the modified Ultralight could not produce any definite ID's through the splatter.  The modified ICF-2010, with superior selectivity, did much better in the recording, and produced reasonably clear DU English and music for about 15 minutes...a probable logging of 2YA-567 in New Zealand.
 
     John Bryant is rumored to be planning a visit to Grayland in early June, and will undoubtedly try his own luck with the DU's.  On exceptional days (like the April 20 DXpedition with the 531 station), the signal levels do come up to a strength sufficient for stock Ultralight reception.  Let's hope somebody makes the lucky logging soon!
 
                                                                          73,  Gary DeBock
 
                                                                                  
 
     




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Ultralight Radio Awards Committee Formed-- Exceptional Awards Offered!

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
     If you were to receive Djibouti-1431 on a stock pocket radio on the East Coast (5,906 miles), would you feel deserving of an award?  How about receiving VOA Thailand-1575 on a stock pocket radio from the west coast (7,283 miles)?  Do these receptions sound like science fiction?  No--  they are today's reality!
 
     With a strong desire to provide due recognition for outstanding DX accomplishments at this most challenging (and exciting) operating level, the Ultralight Awards Committee has been formed with one primary purpose:  to encourage and reward those DXers who are willing to prove that their operating skill and knowledge are sufficient to overcome the challenge of using very basic equipment.  A trio of recognized Ultralight radio DXers  (Rob Ross, John Bryant and myself, Gary DeBock) will be organizing and administering an Ultralight DXing awards system, with a goal of providing YOU with recognition for your challenging receptions with Ultralight radios.
 
     Some very exceptional DXers will soon be receiving special Founder's Awards for outstanding DX accomplishments during the past season.  These individuals don't need to submit any application-- their accomplishments are well known to any Ultralight radio DXer.
 
     For the detailed follow-up program, we would like YOUR input concerning which awards you would like to see!  Obviously, total stations, states, provinces, countries and continents received on Ultralight radios are logical choices for Ultralight awards, as well as total number of transoceanic receptions from each coast.  Would you like to have an award for the first transoceanic reception from a specific state, or province?  How about an award for the farthest reception from a specific state, or province? In your Ultralight DXing, what would YOU consider a great accomplishment?  We would like to know!
 
     Rob, John and I wish to motivate every possible AM-DXer to enjoy the supreme thrill of receiving exceptional DX on pocket radios, and we collectively pledge to create an awards system that will honor and recognize individuals who accept this special DXing challenge.  With your input and suggestions, we can ensure that exceptional DX is exceptionally rewarded!  Please feel free to submit any comments or suggestions to me (d1028gary@...)  or John (bjohnorcas@...).  General comments here on the IRCA list reflector or the Ultralightdx Yahoo Group site will also be very welcome.   Thanks!
 
                                                                                                 73,  Gary DeBock              




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