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Photo Collection Page - Best of DXing Photos

Paul Blundell
 

I am creating a page for "best of DXing photos". I would like other radio DX'ers to send me their "best" DXing photo which I can add to my page. Please include a title, location, your blog / website address and your name to have added below the photo.

https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/01/best-of-dxing-photos.html


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


918KHz- 2XXL Cooma - Now on FM

Paul Blundell
 

Last night I was turning around the bands when I came across an announcement on 918KHz which I normally hear 2XXL from Cooma on. They have now moved to FM and on their previous frequency they are running an announcement that they have moved to the FM band (as per this link: https://www.2xl.com.au/)

I am unsure how long they will be continuing to run this announcement for, once it stops this will open up this frequency for a couple DX targets:

4VL - Charleville - Commercial - 2k
6NA - Narrogin - Commercial - 2k

While it is always sad when another station moves to the FM band, it does have the benefit for me of clearing another frequency for other stations to be tracked down.

Paul
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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Review - Digitech AR-1733 DSP MW/FM/LW/SW/Air World Band Radio Receiver

Paul Blundell
 

Written October 2012
Updated January 2020

Yesterday I walked in to my local Jaycar outlet and spotted this radio which had only just been placed on the shelf. Being quite involved in the Ultralight dxing hobby I am a big fan of these types of cheaper pocket size radios, for the cost which is between $30 and $60 they respect good value.


The specs of this radio are:
FM: 87.5MHz - 108 MHz
AM (MW): 522 - 1620 kHz (9K) / 520 - 1710 kHz (10K)
SW: 2300 - 26100 kHz
LW: 153 - 279 kHz
AIR: 118 - 137 MHz

500 programmable memory bank
Sleep timer
Manual, auto and preset station search
Battery indicator
Lock button
Requires 2 x A batteries
Dimensions: 120W x 75H x 20D mm 


After getting home and opening the box I was quite impressed by the size, it is a dead ringer for the AR1745 and looks to even use the same style case only with a couple of different buttons on the front and side. 

Starting with the front panel the normal 0-9 number keys are nicely spaced and serve a dual purpose, they both allow you to enter frequencies and also recall memories from the PAGE memory system. The 0 key also allows switching between 9 and 10kHz steps on the medium wave band when the key is held for 3 seconds or more. The first thing I noticed is that the keys are much easier to press, a common issue with the AR1745 is that the keys take a lot of pressure to register the key press, this is not a problem with the AR-1733. 


Moving on to the other 9 keys on the front panel, these all have multiple functions which the owners guide explains well. The top red button is the power button; a tap turns the radio on. A short press while the AR-1733 is on cycles through the sleep timer of various times, a longer press turns the AR-1733 off. Below this is the key lock button, a short press enables the keypad lock and a longer press disables this. Next are the two arrow keys, these keys move up and down the bands in the default "fast" steps. 

Starting at the top bedside these is the AM BW / 12/24H / FM ST key. On the AM bands this key selects either the wide or narrow DSP setting. On the FM band it enables / disables the FM Stereo option. Pressing and holding this key while the power is off changes between 12 and 24 hour time display. Below this is the PAGE / ALARM key. Pressing this key when the AR-1733 is on scrolls between the pages of the memory system, when off it allows the alarm clock to be set. The final key on this row is the CHARGE METER / AIR SQUELCH key, this key is used to control the onboard charging system which I have not used. If the AR-1733 is on the air band this key controls the squelch setting between off, 1 - 9. I run mine on 1 and this seems to work well. 

The last two multi function keys are the FREQ / T.SET and BAND / ATS keys which are either side of the 0 key. Pressing the FREQ key allows you to use the keypad to set the receive frequency, pressing and holding this allows you to set the time on the AR-1733. Pressing the band key cycles between the receive bands, LW, MW, SW, AIR & FM. Holding this key enables the "Auto Tuning System" (which is not covered at all in the manual) this system searches the current band and saves any active frequencies to the pages memory system for that band. I ran this on the SW band and it found quite a few active stations which you can scroll through with the keypad. 

Moving on to the right side panel you have the volume control and the tuning wheel, at first I could not work out how to use this until I tried pressing it in, this switches between slow, fast and stop. The left side panel has a 3.5mm ear phone socket and a USB charging socket which takes a normal mini A type connector to charge the batteries.

The screen is automatically back lighted every time you press a key or turn the tuning knob for about 5 seconds. The screen also has a 3 segment battery meter and a 9 segment signal meter.

Now on to how it works. My test bed for last night was sitting in my lounge chair with our LCD TV on, my wife on her laptop and my laptop charging but not switched on. I repeated the same tests later in the night with all these switched off and the results were the same. Firstly I started on the air band and after programming in the various ATC and company frequencies I have a listen to these, while the AR-1733 does not have any sort of scan system you can use the keypad to change frequencies by pressing the key for each memory. I have 118.7MHz in mem 1, 123.45MHz in mem 2 and so on up to130.35MHz in mem 0. By pressing 1 I can tune to 118.7MHz or pressing 3 brings up 123.8MHz. The audio for this is quite good and I can just hear the ATIS on 134.75MHz. Even running my laptop right beside the radio I have not found any problems with the frequencies in this band I normally listen to. The squelch has a short tail noise and this is not at all annoying.
Next was the FM broadcast band, all our normal stations were received and sounded as good as I have ever heard them.
I have little experience with the long wave band so I have not looked at this yet. 

Using the ATS on the shortwave band about 11pm last night found about 74 stations between 2300 kHz and 14500 kHz. These sounded good with the wide DSP setting but much better with the narrow DSP setting. I have little experience with the shortwave bands. The various time stations on 5000kHz and 10000kHz were both nice and clear with much tighter audio with the narrow DSP setting.

Moving on to the Medium wave band which is where I spend most of my time in a 1 hour period I logged 77 stations including two new ones which I had never logged before. The DSP really "cleaned up" the signals and comparing it beside the AR1745 it was much easier to hear multiple stations on the AR-1733. Scrolling between frequencies with the tuning knob was a pleasure and except for the slight break in audio as the DSP kicks in on each frequency it was a smooth process. I have a 5KW station on 1008kHz on the other side of town from me and normally this takes out most stations about 30kHz either side, with the AR-1733 using the narrow DSP setting I was able to copy stations on 981kHz and 1026kHz easily. Trying the same on the AR1745 didn't hear anything except the station on 1008kHz. 

For a radio costing less than $60 it is hard to fault it, everything works as you would expect and using it can only be described as a pleasure. They have really gotten this one right.

Update - March 2014
After my original AR-1733 died recently (due to external forces, nothing to do with the radio itself) I was tempted to look at a different radio to replace this. After checking online and some stores locally nothing came close to this for the features I wanted and price, based on this I purchased another AR-1733.


After 18 months of use my original AR-1733 was working as well as the day I got it. After doing some side by testing between my new AR-1733 and my 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-380 the results are consistent with what I experienced with my previous AR-1733.  The audio quality of the AR-1733 has a slight edge, where as the PL-380 has a clear advantage with signal levels and the ability to pull in weak signals, a station that is an easy copy on the PL-380 can be a mixed bag on the AR-1733, sometimes the AR-1733 won’t hear anything, other times very little separates them. 

The advantages of the AR-1733 is VHF air band coverage and the ability to lock the tuning steps to 9kHz on the medium wave broadcast band, this at times can be a huge advantage over the PL-380. The battery life of the AR-1733 is also amazing; I could not recall the last time I had to change the batteries in my original AR-1733. 

Overall both radios are now the main stay in my portable ultralight dxing kit, the Tecsun PL-380 is used for serious dxing and the AR-1733 is used mostly to spot check frequencies such as when tracking down stations carrying the same programming (mostly ABC stations) and also for listening to the VHF air band. 





 

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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


DX500 - 10/01/2020

Paul Blundell
 

DATE: 2020-01-10
TIME: 12:00 PM
LOCATION: Talbot Road Lookout, Launceston Tasmania

 

531 - 3GG: x

621 - 3RN: x

693 - 3AW: x

774 - 3LO: x

828 - 3GI: x

855 - 3CR: x

927 - 3UZ: x

1341 - HPON GEELONG: x

1422 - HPON MELB: x

 

NOTES:  A mid day session at the Talbot Road lookout. it was very overcast / smoky and started to rain at the end of my session. As I expected the bottom end of the band preformed well with on 3MT on 720KHz not making any appearance. 

 

The top of the band was pretty much dead, except for the two HPON stations on 1341KHz and 1422KHz which normally come in at good signals levels on the 3" FSL aerial.

 



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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Ultralight Radio DXing Go Case - January 2020

Paul Blundell
 

This is an update on my previous case which has now been improved.

I have recently been sent a baby 3" FSL aerial which I wanted to carry and protect, this was my main reason for changing how this case is setup. In the past I had the 3" baby FSL mounted to the bottom of the case, I have now mounted this to the aerial to the lid of the case and use it up side down.

This has the benefits of protecting the 3" FSL aerial from damage, keeping it off the ground and also allowing me to lean my radio against it, this provides a great level of coupling to the aerial and leaving my hands free for logging. I have also added a section for my clipboard and notes to be stored under the bottom of the lid.

Overall, I am very pleased with how well this case has come out, I am able to carry and store my baby 3" FSL plus two radios, log sheets, pens, notes, spare batteries and ear phones, everything I need for portable sessions. It is also large enough to fit in my back pack.

While this case was designed for ultralight DXing the same ideas could be used for amateur radio, radio scanning or any other storage need.

Over the past few weeks I have been using this setup for a number of portable sessions, I am finding it works very well and being so compact I am taking it out with me more often than I have with other cases in the past.

Photos: https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/01/ultralight-radio-dxing-go-case-january.html

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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Loggings - 7/1/2020

Paul Blundell
 

Last night I was searching the band around 9pm local time, I logged a number of stations across the band and found the band around 1500KHz-1600KHz had a real spike with the below stations being logged at great signal levels. These were all logged with my TEAC PR130 barefoot.

 

1503KHz - 3KND (Melbourne, 5k)
1521KHz - 2QN (Deniliquin,  2k) For a 2kw station, this was coming in at an amazing signal level.
1566KHz - 3NE Wangaratta, 5k)
1593KHz - HPON (Melbourne, 5k)


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


DX500 - Setting Up a 500km Target List

Paul Blundell
 

DX500 - Setting Up a 500km Target List

I started ultralight DXing in 2011. My goal was to hear as many stations as I could. Now almost 8 years later, I am more focused and these days I like to have more purpose about my radio hobby. I have run a couple of “long term” projects where I focus on various stations, this has been a mix of logging stations both in total number and also trying for “DX”, that is stations a long way away.

Over the past 20 years “hobbies” have been a major issue for me. I find the ultralight DXing hobby to be a really good fit for me; this is for a number of reasons as it combines a number of my previous interests in to one hobby:

Radio Communications:
Back when I first got interested in radio as a teenager one of the things I most enjoyed was listening to distant stations on the AM and Shortwave bands. This was something I have not done as much over the past few years and I have missed it. The cost of equipment is quite low and it is easy to source locally or via the Internet. Whereas a scanner can start at $200 and go up in to the thousands, broadcast receivers are much cheaper and unless you want to get very serious a basic $60 radio will do 95% of what you need. I have been very happy with how well my ultralight radios have worked over the years.

After 15 years in the radio scanning hobby on and off, it had lost some of its appeal to me; you can only hear so many taxi drivers calling for jobs or a rubbish removal company talking about bin pickups before you get sick of it. As I work during the day my scanning time is limited to a night time during the week or of a weekend, while you can sometimes hear interesting things during these times most of the radio traffic, I am interested in happens during the day, while I am at work. As shortwave and medium wave broadcasting is a 24/7 business at any time of the day or night, I can be comfortable that I will be able to pick up something of interest

Photography:
My various portable ultralight DXing sessions have allowed me to take some photos / videos which I have found really enjoyable. This also gives me a chance / excuse to get outside which is a positive for my health.
Ultralight DXing is the perfect hobby for me, it combines a number of my interests and it has been one of the main reasons I have been able to drag myself out from my illness and become the person who I used to be again.

 
 
DX500 Project.
I have recently started a new project, I call this “DX500”, this is a challenge to attempt to log all AM BCB stations within 500km of my home.

I have exported all stations within 500km from the ACMA database and after cleaning up this data, I have produced the below data:


From this data I have also created a log sheet which I can use to record each session and what I am able to log. All distances are from my home, I will be able to adjust these based on where each of my sessions take place.

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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Other DXing Groups

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks, I will join up to them now.

Paul

On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 11:28 PM radiojayallen <radiojayallen@...> wrote:
Here are some for you:

https://groups.io/g/shortwave-radio

https://groups.io/g/SonyICF20102001Dusergroup

https://groups.io/g/odxa

I also belong to several radio-specific groups if you need any of those such as Zenith Trans-oceanic, Sony 2010, Panasonic, Grundig etc...let me know.

Jay



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Paul


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Loggings - 5/1/2020 - Mt Direction

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Jay, yeah the snakes down here are not too bad but if they get upset you can be in trouble.


On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 11:23 PM radiojayallen <radiojayallen@...> wrote:
Great pictures Paul...but the wildlife around you looks pretty scary!

Jay



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Paul


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Other DXing Groups

radiojayallen
 

Here are some for you:

https://groups.io/g/shortwave-radio

https://groups.io/g/SonyICF20102001Dusergroup

https://groups.io/g/odxa

I also belong to several radio-specific groups if you need any of those such as Zenith Trans-oceanic, Sony 2010, Panasonic, Grundig etc...let me know.

Jay


Re: Loggings - 5/1/2020 - Mt Direction

radiojayallen
 

Great pictures Paul...but the wildlife around you looks pretty scary!

Jay


Article - Planning a portable ultralight radio dxing session

Paul Blundell
 

Updated: January 2020.
https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/01/planning-portable-ultralight-radio.html
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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Other DXing Groups

Paul Blundell
 

Hi all.

Over the past few months (while I was away from the hobby), I removed myself from most of my Groups.io groups, I now can't find most of them. Is anybody a member of any other DXing type groups and can share some links?

Paul


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Loggings - 5/1/2020 - Mt Direction

Paul Blundell
 

Over the past few months my Ultralight DXing has taken a back seat, this has seen me relaunch my blog under a new URL and refocus on the core elements which first brought me to the Ultralight DXing hobby in the first place.

Today was my first session back out, for this I decided to tackle Mt Direction which is about half way between Launceston and George Town. I made it about 2/3 of the way up and found a good location to setup.

FREQ STATION
531KHz  - 3GG
540KHz  - 7SD
549KHz  - 2CR
585KHz  - 7RN
594KHz  - 3WV
621KHz  - 3RN
693KHz  - 3AW
720KHz  - 3MT
747KHz  - 7PB
774KHz  - 3LO
828KHz  - 3GI
855KHz  - 3CR
864KHz  - 7RPH
936KHz  - 7ZR
1008KHz - HPON Launceston
1080KHz - HPON Hobart
1224KHz - 3EA
1242KHz - 3GV
1341KHz - HPON Geelong
1422KHz - HPON Melbourne

On the way down I ran in to some of our native wildlife, including a close encounter with a decent size Tiger Snake (We have three types of snakes in Tasmania, all are extremely venomous. The Tiger Snake in the one you least want to run in to)

Photos: https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/01/loggings-512020-mt-direction.html


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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


1130 WBBR on two ultralights in daylight Blackpool UK

Peter 1956
 

Two barefoot ultralight radios receiving MWDX TA in daylight. Both of these radios only have one DSP bandwidth. Blackpool UK 25th Dec 2019.

Peter Wilson
Two barefoot ultralight radios receiving MWDX TA in daylight. Both of these radios only have one DSP bandwidth. Blackpool UK 25th Dec 2019.
youtu.be


Re: 590 VOCM in the UK in daylight PL-360

Alfredo Gallerati
 

 
 
I wish you all my friends, MERRY CHRISTMAS  AND VERY HAPPY NEW 2020 !
 
Alfredo Gallerati, IK7JGI
 
 
 
 

From: Peter 1956
Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2019 10:07 AM
Subject: [UltralightDX] 590 VOCM in the UK in daylight PL-360
 
Transatlantic MWDX from Canada on a barefoot Tecsun PL-360 outside in daylight. Blackpool UK. (Some hash from my Campark ACT-74 action cam)
 
 
Peter Wilson
Transatlantic MWDX from Canada on a barefoot Tecsun PL-360 outside in daylight. Blackpool UK. (Some hash from my Campark ACT-74 action cam)
youtu.be
 


590 VOCM in the UK in daylight PL-360

Peter 1956
 

Transatlantic MWDX from Canada on a barefoot Tecsun PL-360 outside in daylight. Blackpool UK. (Some hash from my Campark ACT-74 action cam)


Peter Wilson
Transatlantic MWDX from Canada on a barefoot Tecsun PL-360 outside in daylight. Blackpool UK. (Some hash from my Campark ACT-74 action cam)
youtu.be


Tecsun PL-360 Algeria 891kHz

Peter 1956
 

Newly re-opened transmitter.
https://youtu.be/ss3zIRDFFGQ

Peter
Blackpool UK


PL-360 daytime MW scan Blackpool UK

Peter 1956
 

My latest ultralight in action at the seafront.
Using the included plug-in antenna
youtu.be


Peter Wilson
Blackpool UK


Christmas DXing

Paul Blundell
 

Hi all.

Merry Christmas to you all from "down under".  I am currently preparing for the jolly red man to visit.

I hope you all enjoy this time together with the family and friends and that some radio related is under your tree.

Paul

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