Logging Your First Ultralight TA or TP


Gary DeBock
 

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 season approaches, propagation will slowly improve to make transoceanic stations 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 certain 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 strongest 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 which 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 receiver (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, they have trouble hearing TA's or TP's only 1 or 2 kHz away from strong domestic 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 success immeasurably (as long as it is reasonably isolated, without many local stations).  Salt water can make almost any Ultralight perform like a champion.
 
6)   Hot-rodded Ultralights need hot-rodded SSB spotting receivers. These 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 transformation in AM-DXing excitement!  :>)
 
73,  Gary DeBock    
   




It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.


Gary DeBock
 

Hi John,
 
      I'm sure that both Mark and I would be thrilled to have our suggestions posted in a PDF file on dxer.ca.  Since you have obviously logged far more TP's (and lost far more sleep) than me, I feel honored that you consider my suggestions worthy of such permanent status.  Hopefully many new Ultralight enthusiasts will "take the plunge," and start chasing these TA's and TP's in earnest!
 
     73, Gary




It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.


John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Gary and Mark C,

Gary, That was an excellent discussion of logging your first TP.... Mark's was excellent, as well, addressing the TAs. 

Would you two mind if I copied your messages, made them into a reference PDF and put it on dxer.ca under the title "Logging Your First Trans-Atlantic or Trans-Pacific Station on an Ultralight???

I might add at the bottom that another way is to do the mod to attach an external antenna directly to the Ultralight... that can really help, too.

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













At 10:02 PM 9/4/2008 -0400, you 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 season approaches, propagation will slowly improve to make transoceanic stations 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 certain 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 strongest 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 which 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 receiver (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, they have trouble hearing TA's or TP's only 1 or 2 kHz away from strong domestic 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 success immeasurably (as long as it is reasonably isolated, without many local stations).  Salt water can make almost any Ultralight perform like a champion.
 
6)   Hot-rodded Ultralights need hot-rodded SSB spotting receivers. These 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 transformation in AM-DXing excitement!  :>)
 
73,  Gary DeBock   
  




It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal here.


MarkWA1ION
 

Sure, go for it !

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
To: ultralightdx@...
Cc: markwa1ion-aol.com <markwa1ion@...>
Sent: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 11:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ultralightdx] Logging Your First Ultralight TA or TP


Gary and Mark C,

Gary, That was an excellent discussion of logging your first TP....
Mark's was excellent, as well, addressing the TAs. 

Would you two mind if I copied your messages, made them into a
reference PDF and put it on dxer.ca under the title "Logging Your First
Trans-Atlantic or Trans-Pacific Station on an Ultralight???

I might add at the bottom that another way is to do the mod to attach
an external antenna directly to the Ultralight... that can really help,
too.


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













At 10:02 PM 9/4/2008 -0400, you 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 season approaches, propagation will slowly improve to make
transoceanic stations stronger and stronger.  Already there is much
anticipation and discussion in our Ultralightdx group about how to make
these thrilling catches.
=0

    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
certain 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 strongest 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 which 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     0        (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 receiver (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,
they have trouble hearing TA's or TP's=2
0only 1 or 2 kHz away from strong
domestic 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
success immeasurably (as long as it is reasonably isolated, without
many local stations).  Salt water can make almost any Ultralight
perform like a champion.
 
6)   Hot-rodded Ultralights need hot-rodded SSB spotting receivers.
These 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
transformation in AM-DXing excitement!  :>)
 
73,  Gary DeBock   
  



It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel deal
here.


bbwrwy
 

Thank you Gary:

Thanks for the excellent advice. My reason for not asking the same
question about TP DX was because of the abundant information from
Grayland DX-peditions. Also, even though I live in Oklahoma, I've had
more experience with TP reception than TA. My first was JOUB-774 on a
Realistic TRF connected to an active ferrite rod antenna in March of
1980. JOUB and JOIB-747 were heard here many times in the 1980's and
90's on a Yaesu FRG7700. I think it's possible for someone to hear
JOUB here with a stock ultralights. I've also heard JOAK-594, JOAB-
693 and JOBB-828 in the past. A great help then, but no longer
available, were the NHK domestic short wave stations. For example,
JOAK-594 was parallel to 3607.5 USB.

I suggest DXers pay close attention to the A- and K-indices available
from WWV/WWVH and the Internet. The lower the number the better are
your chances of hearing something. Also, if you can receive northern
domestic stations not normally heard there's a possibility of trans-
oceanic DX. Here that usually means Canadian broadcasters.

An indicator I've used for possible trans-oceanic DX has been the
powerful long wave stations in Europe and Siberia. If I can hear them
with a strong signal there's a possibility the medium wave stations
can be received. One consistent European station has always been
Radio France on 162 kHz. However, it's often possible to hear the
long wave stations when no medium wave signal here audible.

My biggest problem is I've been away from the hobby for over a decade
and it's like learning everything all over again. I just wish the
domestic AM band wasn't so crowded.

Good DX,
Richard Allen


Galassi <w.matilda@...>
 

Here in this part of Europe, when China is coming with good signals in the evening there is a good chance to have USA and
the few canadians available for the night.
If you get AIR Nagpur on 1566, better to sleep.
We had a quite good asiatic season the last autumn-winter.
Here is a link of an audio file I got with the 2010 and the K9, no chance to have that signal barefoot.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/915v6m

The radio was spot on tuned, but not so the YL singer :-) !
I choose that because it's funny.

Best 73s
Giampaolo Galassi, Italy




bbwrwy ha scritto:


An indicator I've used for possible trans-oceanic DX has been the powerful long wave stations in Europe and Siberia. If I can hear them with a strong signal there's a possibility the medium wave stations can be received. One consistent European station has always been Radio France on 162 kHz. However, it's often possible to hear the long wave stations when no medium wave signal here audible.

My biggest problem is I've been away from the hobby for over a decade and it's like learning everything all over again. I just wish the domestic AM band wasn't so crowded.

Good DX,
Richard Allen


John Cereghin <pastor@...>
 

Don't forget the Latin American, Mexican and Caribbean stations!  Cuba from the East Coast is a no-brainer and Venezuela isn't that tough.  Colombia is a frequent visitor and Mexico can be had on a good night.  Any list of TAs and TPs should also include our southern neighbors.  You can pick off a lot of new countries on a good night from the south.  I remember when El Salvador and Belieze were regulars back 20 years ago, in the good ol' days!  Even Nicaragua was a pest at times, if you can imagine that.

John Cereghin
Smyrna DE


Gary DeBock
 

Hi John,
 
     You are right about the many DX countries available in Latin America and the Caribbean, but since most Northwest DXers (including me) have received very few of these stations on Ultralights, it certainly didn't seem suitable for me to write about them.  Maybe an experienced eastern US (or Canada) area Ultralight DXer can give us a list for the "best bets" for reception of these countries.
 
     One of the quirks of AM propagation is that it's much easier for the NW gang to receive Thailand (7,200 miles) or Australia (8,200 miles) than it is to receive Venezuela or Colombia (both about 4,000 miles).  Maybe this mileage bonus is compensation for the fact that we can't receive multiple DX countries as easily as somebody in Newfoundland or Massachusetts  :>)
 
     73,  Gary 




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.

73

--- 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
season
approaches, propagation will slowly improve to make transoceanic
stations
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
certain
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
strongest
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
which
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
receiver
(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,
they
have trouble hearing TA's or TP's only 1 or 2 kHz away from strong
domestic
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
success
immeasurably (as long as it is reasonably isolated, without many local
stations). Salt water can make almost any Ultralight perform like a
champion.

6) Hot-rodded Ultralights need hot-rodded SSB spotting receivers.
These
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
transformation
in AM-DXing excitement! :>)

73, Gary DeBock