Date   

Re: Planning a Portable Ultralight radio DXing Session – 2021

Jock Elliott
 

I'm afraid I don't get the credit for the excellent advice. It was Paul.

Cheers, Jock


Re: Planning a Portable Ultralight radio DXing Session – 2021

Pedro Porres
 

Thanks Jock for a good and comprehensive description of the planning. There is always good advice to give or receive.

Pedro Porres.
Córdoba, Spain.


Re: Planning a Portable Ultralight radio DXing Session – 2021

Jock Elliott
 

Excellent stuff. Thanks!


Re: One modest log for the night

Paul Blundell
 

Well done and thanks for sharing this.

Paul

On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 1:56 PM Alex via groups.io <rifleman336=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

02/16/21(02/17 UTC Date) 0040-0115 UTC 1260 KHz WWVT Christiansburg,VA Heard Classic orchestra music Bach,Beethoven, Etc TOH ID, and area of service Promo. Then started playing 50's Jazz. Signal ranged poor with some QRM for UNID station, to local like crystal clarity full quieting. 5Kw/ 25w AMP 261 Mi (420 Km)  This is Log #215.  Unlimited Class using a Sony ICF-P26 / Select-A-Tenna combination.This is the 4th station logged on 1260 KHz.

 

WWVT is a NPR affiliate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

 

 

Alex N8UCN / KOH8IG Springboro, Ohio



--
Paul


One modest log for the night

Alex
 

02/16/21(02/17 UTC Date) 0040-0115 UTC 1260 KHz WWVT Christiansburg,VA Heard Classic orchestra music Bach,Beethoven, Etc TOH ID, and area of service Promo. Then started playing 50's Jazz. Signal ranged poor with some QRM for UNID station, to local like crystal clarity full quieting. 5Kw/ 25w AMP 261 Mi (420 Km)  This is Log #215.  Unlimited Class using a Sony ICF-P26 / Select-A-Tenna combination.This is the 4th station logged on 1260 KHz.

 

WWVT is a NPR affiliate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

 

 

Alex N8UCN / KOH8IG Springboro, Ohio


Planning a Portable Ultralight radio DXing Session – 2021

Paul Blundell
 

 

For some people this could be as easy as grabbing a radio as you head out the door; I have found that some more planning is required to get the most from my portable Ultralight radio DXing sessions. This is especially important now with COVID-19 restrictions in some areas and changes due to this. I am now focusing on more remote / less used areas. For those in areas with current COVID-19 restrictions, it is vital that all rules and guidelines are followed. Local health advice must be the overriding decider on what you are able to do, when and where.

When I am planning a portable Ultralight radio DXing session, my first step is to arrange a suitable day and time. I am happily married and as we have a couple of young children, ensuring the domestic front is happy goes a long way to ensuring I can have a good time. I like to try and arrange my outings around times when my wife won't be home or is busy; this makes it easier to be away from home. Only you know your own domestic situation and can assess the best way to do this. All too often I hear of domestic situations where one person’s hobbies or interests have a negative effect on the household as a whole. Normally I aim to have at least one portable Ultralight radio DXing session a week if I can, normally a Saturday night or one night during the week, however this can change based on the above. Of late I have been taking my children for more walks and quite often I take an ultralight radio or two with me in case I find a suitable location, as they are now slightly older they will often be happy on the play equipment while I am doing some Ultralight DXing.

 

Once a suitable day and time has been found the next step is to check the weather forecast for that day. In the past when I was involved in the amateur radio / radio scanning hobby, I used to undertake quite a bit of out and about scanning which involved sitting on hill tops, lookouts, mountains and so on, from doing this I learnt two VERY important lessons:
- Sitting in the sun for hours at a time is not fun and this reduces your enjoyment of the hobby.
- Sitting in the cold for hours at a time is not fun and this reduces your enjoyment hobby.

 

Based on this I like to make sure the weather will be suitable. While the cold can be overcome with extra clothes, being too hot is much harder to control and in extreme cases this can be quite bad for your health (dehydration, sun stroke and so on). Storms and other weather extremes are also not fun to be out in so I like to try and avoid these if possible. During our Australian summer, bush fires are a very real risk and given most locations are prime fire spots, the fire danger rating (FDR) and a safe access / escape are very important to consider. The local sunrise / sunset are also checked and this helps with planning a suitable time to leave home to be at the chosen location to maximise any advantage from these different times of the day.

 

Next you need to decide on a location, I like to have a mix of new locations and some proven ones. Some are quite close and others are quite a distance to drive. The things I consider when deciding on a location include:
- Distance to drive (The cost of fuel is a factor in this, as is the amount of time I have for my DXing session)
- Access (some areas are locked after hours)
- RF profile (Some locations are better due to distance from high power transmitters)
- Comforts (Shops, toilets, etc.)
- Personal Security / Safety

 

 

My planning really starts the night before or early in the morning when I prepare everything I am going to take, charge batteries and pack up my gear. My normal kit consists of this:
- Receivers (1, 2, 3 or more in my carry case)
- Batteries (Fully recharged and also some spare alkaline AA's and AAA’s)
- Head phones (I prefer the ear bud type and these are easier to carry)
- Log book / sheets and pen + spares
- Torch (Now using my phone / torch in my radio)
- List of all frequencies
- Multi-tool
- Food and drinks
- Band-Aids and a small first aid kit.

 

 

- Mobile phone
- Identification such as a driver’s licence (which you should be carrying anyway if you are driving)

 

In the past I have used digital camera bags and hard ABS type cases, these types of cases / bags each have advantages and disadvantages. ABS cases stand out and make it look like you are carrying expensive equipment, which might not be a great idea in some remote locations. Soft cases on the other hand don’t provide enough protection in some circumstances. Based on my experiences to date, I have settled on a hard case which I can either carry with me or leave this in the car and grab a radio or two to carry with me.

Before leaving home, I check my kit and confirm I have everything I need. When I arrive onsite I do a quick recon of the area to make sure it is safe, no dodgy people around and I feel comfortable. Then I do a quick scan of the bands and check for the normal stations, now I can sit back, relax and get serious about logging. I also try to eat something and drink to keep my fluids up. I like to also get some photos each time I go out for the report on my blog. If I am going portable I like to try a few different spots and also interact with anybody I see, even if this is just a passing hello on a track. 

On returning home I make sure I spend some time with my wife and children before checking my loggings and entering these into my frequency database.

In 2021, it would be great to see more people undertaking portable sessions and posting about these. Some photos would also be great.

https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/11/planning-portable-ultralight-radio.html


1560 WFME off-air

Paul S. in CT
 

I have been following the subject matter for about a week at WoR io group. Today the 50kW WFME on 1560kHz from New York City (Queens actually) went silent between 12Noon and 1PM EST (I don't have the exact time but have read it was actually about 1230PM). For DXer's in Eaxtern and Central US/Canada this opens up a new target frequency for the near future (at least until late spring). Tonite about 1/2 hr ago I logged WRIN from Indiana on Cr Hr power of 500W on the PL-330 using the USB selector.

WFME is a religious broadcaster that was granted a large sum of $$$$$$ for the antenna site in Queens, NY. I have heard estimates of between $30 and $50 million. For that price WFME can look around for a new site and maybe pocket some coin for the collection plate. So they will be off-air until the weather clears, and a new site found.

Happy DXing
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


Re: NHK1/891khz-JOHK

Paul Blundell
 

Nice job Paul.


On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 9:19 AM Paul B. Walker, Jr. <walkerbroadcasting@...> wrote:
No ID's heard but talking with Chris Kadlec the music I heard would match their program schedule and this is the only NHK1 outlet on 891khz.   Recorded Tue. Feb. 16th 2021 at 1719UTC in McGrath, Alaska 230 miles Northwest of Anchorage.

This is somewhat notable because I have a 10kw on 890, KBBI Homer which I consider a semi local despite being 350 miles away because it's usually pretty strong here.


Paul Walker
CC Skywave and Debock 5" FSL Antenna



--
Paul


NHK1/891khz-JOHK

Paul B. Walker, Jr.
 

No ID's heard but talking with Chris Kadlec the music I heard would match their program schedule and this is the only NHK1 outlet on 891khz.   Recorded Tue. Feb. 16th 2021 at 1719UTC in McGrath, Alaska 230 miles Northwest of Anchorage.

This is somewhat notable because I have a 10kw on 890, KBBI Homer which I consider a semi local despite being 350 miles away because it's usually pretty strong here.


Paul Walker
CC Skywave and Debock 5" FSL Antenna


Group Survey

Paul Blundell
 

Just on two years ago, I ran a survey on the group, I have just updated this and would like to see where it is at and how the hobby has changed for you in that time:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9MGF32X

Paul


Facebook Group

Paul Blundell
 

For those who don't know, we have a fairly active Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1604530559767076

This is mostly used for posting photos and videos, it has some interesting posts at times.

Paul


Re: Returning to the world of ULR DXing, what's on the approved list these days???

Paul S. in CT
 

I've been having recent fun with the new Tecsun PL-330, it has SSB with only 10Hz steps. Fits all the original requirements (less than 20 cu. in and under $100). I also have 2 analogs the Tecsun R-9012 and R-911 that I use with a loop (Tecsun AN-200). Each of these 3 items are generally US$25 or less. I will say that sometimes Analog + Loop > PL-330. YRMV

Regards
Paul S. in CT FN31nl


Re: Digitech AR1458 AM FM transistor radio

Paul Blundell
 

Over the past few weeks I have been spending more time using this.
I have found that it's good for stronger stations (mainly the 50kw big guns from Victoria). I did test it out on the FM band on my most recent session at Mt George Lookout, this has a FM broadcast transmitter close by so it suffered from some overloading but once I moved away from this it gave decent performance.

Paul


Re: Radio Plans 2021

Paul Blundell
 

Now six weeks in to the year, this is gong fairly well:
- Continue with my long term DXing project - in 2021 I will be expanding this. Done and started the DX2021 challenge.
- Expanding my time and skills on the FM band. Done, I am now splitting my time between the AM and FM bands.
- Start a new radio challenge, I am planning on running a different one each month. Done, I am planning my next one for March.

Paul


Re: Batteries

Paul Blundell
 

Just an update on my battery situation.

My original rechargeables from Coles were lost recently (long story), I have also found that the $7 4 x AA or AAA's were no longer being sold, they have now replaced them with these:

https://shop.coles.com.au/a/lisarow/product/nrg-rechargeable-battery-a-4-pack

After a couple of cycles, they seem to be working as well as the previous ones, they also seem to be providing slightly better run time.

Paul


Portable Ultralight DXing Session - 16/02/2021 - Talbot Road Lookout

Paul Blundell
 

Date: 16/02/2021
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Talbot Road Lookout, Launceston Tasmania
Notes: A portable late morning session. Signals were as I expected with the 50kw big gun stations all hitting excellent signal levels. Most stations were logged at average or good signal levels with only 3EA on 1224kHz only being heard at a weak signal level.

 

FREQ

CALLSIGN

LOGGED

RADIO

AERIAL

Area Served

Purpose

Power

531

3GG

GOOD

AR-1733

3" FSL

Warragul

Commercial

5k

540

7SD

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Scottsdale

Commercial

5k

585

7RN

GOOD

AR-1733

3" FSL

Hobart

National

10k

594

3WV

EXCELLENT

AR-1733

3" FSL

Horsham

National

50k

621

3RN

EXCELLENT

AR-1733

3" FSL

Melbourne

National

50k

693

3AW

GOOD

AR-1733

3" FSL

Melbourne

Commercial

5k

747

7PB

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Hobart

National

3500

774

3LO

EXCELLENT

AR-1733

3" FSL

Melbourne

National

50k

828

3GI

GOOD

AR-1733

3" FSL

Sale

National

10k

855

3CR

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Melbourne

Community

3500

864

7RPH

GOOD

AR-1733

3" FSL

Hobart

Community

2k

936

7ZR

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Hobart

National

10k

1008

HPON

EXCELLENT

AR-1733

3" FSL

Launceston

HPON

5k

1080

HPON

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Hobart

HPON

5k

1224

3EA

WEAK

AR-1733

3" FSL

Melbourne

National

5k

1242

3GV

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Sale

Commercial

5k

1314

3BT

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Ballarat

Commercial

5k

1341

HPON GEELONG

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Geelong

HPON

5k

1422

HPON MELBOURNE

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Melbourne

HPON

5k


 



Re: Returning to the world of ULR DXing, what's on the approved list these days???

Gary DeBock
 

On Mon, Feb 15, 2021 at 01:12 PM, Alex wrote:
As far as the rules 20 inches in cubic volume correct?? Also are the awards still being issued, and if so to whom do I submit logs?
Welcome back to the group, Alex!  Yes, the SRF-29, 39, 49 and 59 series of analog Ultralights have been discontinued by Sony for quite a while. Occasionally NOS units will show up on eBay, though, with prices all over the map.

The Ultralight Awards program has been in limbo for a few years now, although there has been recent discussion of starting it back up if we get more volunteers. Unfortunately I currently lack time to prepare the certificates, and we would need additional volunteer(s) to screen the applications. As for the 20 cubic inch (volume) size limit for Ultralight Radio classification, it is still in effect for North America, although Jorge Garzon of Spain has requested that it be changed in favor of a "portable" designation for a new European Awards program, which is fine with me. For quite a while we have welcomed any portable radio user to report his loggings on this site, and I personally have no problem sharing all of our group's resources with any portable radio user worldwide. Some of the newer portables like the XHDATA D-808 have  a size very close to the 20 cubic inch limit, but slightly exceed it. I still use both the XHDATA D-808 and CC Skywave side by side in all-out transoceanic DXing on the ocean coast, and it doesn't really bother me that one of them isn't an official "Ultralight." :-)

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)




 

 


Trans Tasman Loggings - 15/02/2021

Paul Blundell
 

Date: 15/02/2021
Time: 10:00 PM
Location: Home, Launceston Tasmania
Notes: A night time session from home. My aim was tracking down as many New Zealand statins as possible.

 

FREQ

CALLSIGN

LOGGED

RADIO

AERIAL

Area Served

792

Gold AM

WEAK

AR-1733

3" FSL

Hamilton

909

Star

AVERAGE

AR-1733

3" FSL

Napier-Hastings

1035

Newstalk ZB

GOOD

AR-1733

3" FSL

Wellington

1098

Newstalk ZB

WEAK

AR-1733

3" FSL

Christchurch


 https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2021/02/trans-tasman-loggings-15022021.html


Re: Returning to the world of ULR DXing, what's on the approved list these days???

Alex
 
Edited

Hey Gary,

 

Nice to hear from you again sir!!!! BTW, you adjusted the loop stick antenna on the SRF-39 and it was working great till the volume pot started to wear out.... :/.  And I now see Sony disco'd the SRF-59 and -37 Series of radios, Even "No-name" AM/ FM radios are disappearing...Gee I hope no one has a catastrophe that knocks out the power, phone lines thus no internet / cell phones or podcasts......:P

As far as the rules 20 inches in cubic volume correct?? Also are the awards still being issued, and if so to whom do I submit logs?

 

  Alex (SW OH, USA )


Re: Portable FM Session - 13/02/2021 - Mt George Lookout

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Jay.

Very interesting to hear the differences between our FM bands. We have a few low power stations down the bottom end for church groups, horse racing and the like.

On Tue, 16 Feb 2021, 01:16 radiojayallen, <radiojayallen@...> wrote:
Paul, 

Great photos! And very interesting as this shows a tremendous difference in FM saturation between your location and what we experience here in parts of the US. I moved from Connecticut to Kentucky last Spring and in both locations we find FM signals on just about every frequency on the dial. In fact one of the big challenges to home hobby FM broadcasting is finding a frequency clear enough to use. The only frequencies which don't have signals on them are adjacent to strong locals but even those frequencies often show sings of weak out of town signals. On a selective radio you can tune the band and hear something on each frequency, one after the other.

This is partly due to the proliferation of low power FM translators....FM allocations allocated to the owners of AM only stations to help them compete financially by having an FM voice...our FM band is completely crowded in many locations. Here selectivity rules on FM, and its lucky that modern DSP radios usually et you separate each frequency.

Jay

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