DXing in Hong Kong-- the Overall Verdict


Gary DeBock
 

     Most DXers are aware that Hong Kong is extremely overcrowded, with the highest population density on the planet. When the British administration turned the territory over to China in 1997 its residents became somewhat unwilling participants in a deal beyond their control, and expressed their dissatisfaction with Beijing's rule in notorious "Umbrella" demonstrations in 2014. Beijing's response to Hong Kong's dissatisfaction has been to use the "Tibet and Sinkiang" solution-- flood the enclave with Mainland Chinese supportive of Beijing's one-party rule. This has made a bad housing situation much worse.

     For a DXer looking to set up gain antennas on salt water beaches, Hong Kong is about as bad as it gets. Almost every beach is either privately owned and/ or restricted, and the ones that aren't are typically overcrowded, with almost no privacy and dubious security. Although I had brought along a 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna and 4 foot PVC base, because of the difficulties mentioned above these were only deployed on 1 night out of 7-- to a public park on the Hong Kong waterfront.

     It was an interesting experience, in more ways than one. Groups of Chinese onlookers stared me down at their leisure, with several of them curious enough to sit and watch. Park joggers ran right next to my makeshift DXing setup, causing me to grab the "Frequent Flyer" FSL before it took a terminal flight. Concentrating on security made concentration on DXing pretty tough, but during the 90 minute session (starting an hour after local sunset) I was able to record Southeast Asian stations from 531-729 kHz, using the gain boost from the 5" FSL antenna during sunset skip from Vietnam to Bangladesh.

     Overall the waterfront experience was a memorable one, but it retrospect, I would have to conclude that Hong Kong is the perfect DXing environment for a 7.5" loopstick-enhanced Ultralight, which for me tracked down decent signals all the way from Japan (729-JOCK) to Africa (1431-Djibouti), including 1413-Oman, !413-Moldova and 1548-Moldova. An FSL gain boost works wonders when almost all your DX is long range, but in Hong Kong a lot of the interesting DX is short range, and a hot-rodded Ultralight is definitely the most convenient tool for the job-- especially when you don't want to be the "center of attraction" on a public beach.

     With a 7.5" loopstick CC Skywave SSB Ultralight I could do almost everything I wanted to do in Hong Kong-- stick it away in a backpack to make daytime DX trips to Macau and HK's awesome Cape D'Aguilar, investigate sunset skip across Southeast Asia in the evening, and stick it outside the jail-like security window on the 15th floor of our high-rise apartment to track down long range signals from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East around sunrise. The overall DXing results from the trip were much better than expected, given the severely overcrowded venue, the overload of Chinese signals on almost every MW frequency and the impracticality of deploying gain antennas on salt water beaches.  

     In retrospect, Hong Kong is far from the ideal DXing venue, but it is a great place to investigate the exotic Southeast Asian stations, eat some awesome food and enjoy a fascinating culture. For a DXer with a sensitive AM-DXing portable (or a hot-rodded Ultralight) willing to get up around sunrise enhancement, it will give you all the long range DXing excitement you can handle!

 

73 and Good DX,

Gary DeBock (DXing in Hong Kong from April 2-9)


Paul Blundell
 

It is great to hear about your adventures.

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


keith beesley
 

Glad you enjoyed your trip, Gary.


On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:52 AM, Paul Blundell
<tanger32au@...> wrote:
It is great to hear about your adventures.

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Dennis Breda
 

Gary,  A very interesting report.  I'm learning a lot from your reports.  Thank you. Dennis B.


On Apr 18, 2019, at 6:49 PM, Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary@...> wrote:

     Most DXers are aware that Hong Kong is extremely overcrowded, with the highest population density on the planet. When the British administration turned the territory over to China in 1997 its residents became somewhat unwilling participants in a deal beyond their control, and expressed their dissatisfaction with Beijing's rule in notorious "Umbrella" demonstrations in 2014. Beijing's response to Hong Kong's dissatisfaction has been to use the "Tibet and Sinkiang" solution-- flood the enclave with Mainland Chinese supportive of Beijing's one-party rule. This has made a bad housing situation much worse.

     For a DXer looking to set up gain antennas on salt water beaches, Hong Kong is about as bad as it gets. Almost every beach is either privately owned and/ or restricted, and the ones that aren't are typically overcrowded, with almost no privacy and dubious security. Although I had brought along a 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna and 4 foot PVC base, because of the difficulties mentioned above these were only deployed on 1 night out of 7-- to a public park on the Hong Kong waterfront.

     It was an interesting experience, in more ways than one. Groups of Chinese onlookers stared me down at their leisure, with several of them curious enough to sit and watch. Park joggers ran right next to my makeshift DXing setup, causing me to grab the "Frequent Flyer" FSL before it took a terminal flight. Concentrating on security made concentration on DXing pretty tough, but during the 90 minute session (starting an hour after local sunset) I was able to record Southeast Asian stations from 531-729 kHz, using the gain boost from the 5" FSL antenna during sunset skip from Vietnam to Bangladesh.

     Overall the waterfront experience was a memorable one, but it retrospect, I would have to conclude that Hong Kong is the perfect DXing environment for a 7.5" loopstick-enhanced Ultralight, which for me tracked down decent signals all the way from Japan (729-JOCK) to Africa (1431-Djibouti), including 1413-Oman, !413-Moldova and 1548-Moldova. An FSL gain boost works wonders when almost all your DX is long range, but in Hong Kong a lot of the interesting DX is short range, and a hot-rodded Ultralight is definitely the most convenient tool for the job-- especially when you don't want to be the "center of attraction" on a public beach.

     With a 7.5" loopstick CC Skywave SSB Ultralight I could do almost everything I wanted to do in Hong Kong-- stick it away in a backpack to make daytime DX trips to Macau and HK's awesome Cape D'Aguilar, investigate sunset skip across Southeast Asia in the evening, and stick it outside the jail-like security window on the 15th floor of our high-rise apartment to track down long range signals from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East around sunrise. The overall DXing results from the trip were much better than expected, given the severely overcrowded venue, the overload of Chinese signals on almost every MW frequency and the impracticality of deploying gain antennas on salt water beaches.  

     In retrospect, Hong Kong is far from the ideal DXing venue, but it is a great place to investigate the exotic Southeast Asian stations, eat some awesome food and enjoy a fascinating culture. For a DXer with a sensitive AM-DXing portable (or a hot-rodded Ultralight) willing to get up around sunrise enhancement, it will give you all the long range DXing excitement you can handle!

 

73 and Good DX,

Gary DeBock (DXing in Hong Kong from April 2-9)


Gary DeBock
 

Paul, Keith and Dennis,

Thank you for your comments on the Hong Kong trip, which are all very much appreciated.

Crowded foreign cities like Hong Kong make it tough to set up gain antennas for serious DXing, but the opportunity for exciting long range DX is there for an Ultralight radio DXer who understands propagation. Sometimes your biggest DXing thrills come from finding a way to turn a bad situation into a good one!

73, Gary





 


Stephen P. McGreevy
 

Hello Gary and the UL group. 

Although I don't have some of the newer "UL" portables (save for some very tiny but amazingly sensitive portables such as a "TIVDIO v-111" obtained on eBay for USD10! I cannot figure  out how to get it to go to 9 kHz steps, alas!)

I have had (since the early 80s) various good/exc. quality Sony portables (ICF-7600D/SW7600GR, etc.). I have two of the ICF-SW7600GR portables and I can say they are truly great and reliable enough for me for my so-called "UL-DXing."

Like Gary, I have extensively traveled abroad and in North America, using my Sonys either just barefoot (such as hotel-room DXing in CHina and HK) and Europe/Russia/etc.  ) or coupled to a loop or even wire via a loop and wire coupling turn for hi-Q results. Not really so hi-performance as a FSL though.

As such, this group and specifically, Gary's presentations amaze me - so great and cool to see what is going on in this ever-changing realm of portable DXpeditioning and the small radios and new loop designs!.

In November 2013 I spent 3 nights in HK after concluding a 12-day Mainland China tour.  I agree with Gary that HK is so crowded and too many "observers watching" that rolling out a Bev. antenna on an HK beach (as I have loved to do 100s of times in Hawaii when I lived there between '86 to '91 on and off) and elsewhere is nigh impossible.  So loops -- for their gain/directivity/noise-nulling abilities are wonderful and have nulling capabilities "on the fly" that Bevs do not.  In Hawaii, a ong Bev. really knocks down the high-angle Honolulu cram of signals to the point that DX overwhelms them in comparison to a loop or short-wire "A/B" testing I did there.

So much of my own "UL" DXpeditioning has been barefoot SOnys and or small loops I cna pack in my suitcase but not ferrite-based loops with their large field for size, so I have to compromise with weight and other limitations while traveling.

I used to extensively TP DX at Point Reyes - perhaps many here have seen my Internet Archive pages on this.  With that written, Gary's present efforts at the "Kiwi site" i.e. Oregon clifff-side DX is a new take on DXpeditioning and should be heartily praised.

Back to HK DXing:  I found it fascinating to DX in HK with just via a barefoot Sony ICF-SW7600GR (all I could take - three recorders/two radios but no loop, alas) but never heard the farther out stuff Gary scored there simply as I was just recording what MWDX just sounded like in HK w/o trying for exotic DX (the novelty!!).  Just would "stumble" upon it as I band-scanned.  I did enjoy several clear receptions of Philippine Island DX in HK  (Kowloon) and that was really neat (711/1350/etc.)!

Keep up the amazing reports and great job, Gary and friends here... I think in August it would so cool to join a DXped. to Rocklands, Oregon (I lived in Lakeview for 1 year in 1996-7 and even there the TP DX was superior by far to Inyo County, CA (not really pleased at the band-cram down here nor the area or CA in general, save for a few fine secret desert DX places not over-run by "tourists" hi! (I see no one even on the 3-day holidays!)

BTW - those invasive RVers whom park overnight and snarl at your Rocklands DX-site group have **no right to do so** - you can tell them they are illegally parking and you are 'radio engineers' (true!) checking station strengths as "work" (true sorta) and if they get snarly then warn them in this... - just a thought - politely but firmly of course...) RVers are an invasive species of "campers" -- too many of whom are too uppity (INMNSHO) and "hate" tent/car campers... weird... so I have heard dozens of times... alas.

BTW, re. Hawaii - get land blockage to Honolulu by all means to knock down the obnoxious amount of those "locals" there - Kona is not good for that nor Poipu either (re. HNL overload) - I used to go to east Hawaii - Kamoamoa (now gone under lava!) or the fab MacKenzie SP (still there for now!) and rolled out Bevs to k/o Honolulu signals *dramatically.*

BUT, Malaekahana Bay on Oahu's north Shore near Kahuku/Laie is wonderful to get rid of HNL overload and have DX as fine as on an Outer Island locale (but NOT facing a water-path to Honolulu!) and quick and cheap to get to (I spent one week in a tent at Malaekahana (Friends of Mal. Bay CG - private) and no noise/quiet and easy to taxi too). There in the north Oahu shore, the groundwaves from HNL are really attenuated and DX creams them!   Not in Kona though, but Kona is wonderful for DU DX unlike North Oahu's windward side (island attenuation to big there for DU).

Some initial thoughts... thanks much for this fasc. group!

73 for now - Steve McGreevy - N6NKS


Gary DeBock
 

Welcome Steve,

Thanks for the very interesting report of your overseas DXing activities, and sorry for the delayed posting of your message (the Groups.io system requires moderator approval for a new member message on the first day, to avoid spam messages).

<<<   In November 2013 I spent 3 nights in HK after concluding a 12-day Mainland China tour.  I agree with Gary that HK is so crowded and too many "observers watching" that rolling out a Bev. antenna on an HK beach (as I have loved to do 100s of times in Hawaii when I lived there between '86 to '91 on and off) and elsewhere is nigh impossible.  So loops -- for their gain/directivity/noise-nulling abilities are wonderful and have nulling capabilities "on the fly" that Bevs do not.  In Hawaii, a ong Bev. really knocks down the high-angle Honolulu cram of signals to the point that DX overwhelms them in comparison to a loop or short-wire "A/B" testing I did there.   >>>

Hong Kong is really a tough venue for long range AM-DXing, and I had multiple warnings form Japanese, Australian and NZ DXers to lower my expectations. "Conventional" DXing with sensitive portables in a motel room is unlikely to accomplish very much, and attempting to set up a gain antenna on a public beach will definitely make you the "center of attraction" for multiple onlookers (some of whom may not have your best interests in mind). In addition to all of this are the 5 Hong Kong Locals, and a maze of Mainland Chinese stations plastering the band from 531-1593 KHz.

On the last couple of days I discovered that if I stuck the 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave SSB model outside the security window of our 12th floor apartment in a Shatin high rise building I could track down long range DX from Eastern Europe (1413-Vesti FM and 1548-TWR), Africa (1431-Radio Sawa in Djibouti) and the Middle East (1413-BBC in Oman) around sunrise. If I had known that trick from the beginning the long range DX results would have been much better-- but we do plan a return trip next April :-)

<<<   Back to HK DXing:  I found it fascinating to DX in HK with just via a barefoot Sony ICF-SW7600GR (all I could take - three recorders/two radios but no loop, alas) but never heard the farther out stuff Gary scored there simply as I was just recording what MWDX just sounded like in HK w/o trying for exotic DX (the novelty!!).  Just would "stumble" upon it as I band-scanned.  I did enjoy several clear receptions of Philippine Island DX in HK  (Kowloon) and that was really neat (711/1350/etc.)!   >>>

Yes the Philippine stations are fairly easy to track down in HK, as long as you choose frequencies that aren't plastered by Chinese locals. Many of the Philippine stations were daytimes on the Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff (at the southeast tip of HK island), and on the somewhat polluted public beach of Macau. But several Philippine stations (on 666, 702 and 1530) became real pests in covering up long range targets around sunrise, since they tend to boom in with their salt water propagation path.

<<<   BTW, re. Hawaii - get land blockage to Honolulu by all means to knock down the obnoxious amount of those "locals" there - Kona is not good for that nor Poipu either (re. HNL overload) - I used to go to east Hawaii - Kamoamoa (now gone under lava!) or the fab MacKenzie SP (still there for now!) and rolled out Bevs to k/o Honolulu signals *dramatically.*
BUT, Malaekahana Bay on Oahu's north Shore near Kahuku/Laie is wonderful to get rid of HNL overload and have DX as fine as on an Outer Island locale (but NOT facing a water-path to Honolulu!) and quick and cheap to get to (I spent one week in a tent at Malaekahana (Friends of Mal. Bay CG - private) and no noise/quiet and easy to taxi too). There in the north Oahu shore, the groundwaves from HNL are really attenuated and DX creams them!   Not in Kona though, but Kona is wonderful for DU DX unlike North Oahu's windward side (island attenuation to big there for DU).   >>>

Honolulu QRM is a major issue throughout the Hawaiian islands, and after two trips to Kona and one to Poipu, I can almost tell you the formats of all the Hawaiian pests. No Hawaiian location is perfect for DXing in all directions, although Poipu is fairly unique in having a straight salt water shot to most long range DX continents, as well as a far westerly location to take advantage of extended sunrise enhancement into the Middle East and Africa. Poipu does also have a salt water path to the Oahu pests, but I discovered that very late in sunrise enhancement pests like 690-KHNR do taper off enough to track down DX like 693-Bangladesh. On the frequencies with no Honolulu pests you can really run wild in Poipu, with Oman, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia etc. all received last November. This coming November we plan a major effort with 3 American DXers (Craig Barnes, Chris Black and yours truly) and one Australian DXer (Chris from the Melbourne area). All of these DXers will have the latest "Frequent Flyer" FSL's, PVC bases and souped-up Ultralight radios to play with, so we should score some serious fun :-)

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)



 
 
 


C B
 

Hi Steve!

Thanks for chiming in! I did a bit of FSL equipped (thanks Gary!) TP DXing near Princeville a couple of years ago, followed by a stay on the west side of the big island. As a landlocked TP DXer I am not as well versed in TP DXing as the PNW folks. I was told I didn't do too bad with the northern Asian stations from my Princeville location by more experienced folks. The impact of HNL stations was a bit more limited there. Thanks to the folks who put the AZ Project together, which provided me with azimuthal projections which I used to help select my Hawaii locations. DU TP DX from the west side of the big island was pretty decent, which I suspected when I planned my trip.  Northern Asians, not so much from my slightly inland location. I may need to revisit Princeville. Hopefully they have repaired their roads after last year's catastrophic flooding the north side of Kauai. A few years back I tried some FSL equipped TP DXing from Gualala. It struck me as a bit close to the Bay Area, as reflected by my limited results. For this year, I am eagerly anticipating another session at Rockworks on the OR coast as well as a TP DXing session in Poipu with a few PNW TP Dxers. I always learn a lot from those folks. I have fantasized about setting up a variety of antennae in different spots in Hawaii. The southwest corner of the Big Island comes to mind. I wouldn't mind returning to Tofino also, if I could just persuade those in charge of MW propagation to treat me more generously than they did last fall, hi!

73,

Craig Barnes
Wheat Ridge, CO (reading NHP's recent daily logs with much empathy!)

On Monday, May 20, 2019, 4:26:29 PM MDT, Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary@...> wrote:


Welcome Steve,

Thanks for the very interesting report of your overseas DXing activities, and sorry for the delayed posting of your message (the Groups.io system requires moderator approval for a new member message on the first day, to avoid spam messages).

<<<   In November 2013 I spent 3 nights in HK after concluding a 12-day Mainland China tour.  I agree with Gary that HK is so crowded and too many "observers watching" that rolling out a Bev. antenna on an HK beach (as I have loved to do 100s of times in Hawaii when I lived there between '86 to '91 on and off) and elsewhere is nigh impossible.  So loops -- for their gain/directivity/noise-nulling abilities are wonderful and have nulling capabilities "on the fly" that Bevs do not.  In Hawaii, a ong Bev. really knocks down the high-angle Honolulu cram of signals to the point that DX overwhelms them in comparison to a loop or short-wire "A/B" testing I did there.   >>>

Hong Kong is really a tough venue for long range AM-DXing, and I had multiple warnings form Japanese, Australian and NZ DXers to lower my expectations. "Conventional" DXing with sensitive portables in a motel room is unlikely to accomplish very much, and attempting to set up a gain antenna on a public beach will definitely make you the "center of attraction" for multiple onlookers (some of whom may not have your best interests in mind). In addition to all of this are the 5 Hong Kong Locals, and a maze of Mainland Chinese stations plastering the band from 531-1593 KHz.

On the last couple of days I discovered that if I stuck the 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave SSB model outside the security window of our 12th floor apartment in a Shatin high rise building I could track down long range DX from Eastern Europe (1413-Vesti FM and 1548-TWR), Africa (1431-Radio Sawa in Djibouti) and the Middle East (1413-BBC in Oman) around sunrise. If I had known that trick from the beginning the long range DX results would have been much better-- but we do plan a return trip next April :-)

<<<   Back to HK DXing:  I found it fascinating to DX in HK with just via a barefoot Sony ICF-SW7600GR (all I could take - three recorders/two radios but no loop, alas) but never heard the farther out stuff Gary scored there simply as I was just recording what MWDX just sounded like in HK w/o trying for exotic DX (the novelty!!).  Just would "stumble" upon it as I band-scanned.  I did enjoy several clear receptions of Philippine Island DX in HK  (Kowloon) and that was really neat (711/1350/etc.)!   >>>

Yes the Philippine stations are fairly easy to track down in HK, as long as you choose frequencies that aren't plastered by Chinese locals. Many of the Philippine stations were daytimes on the Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff (at the southeast tip of HK island), and on the somewhat polluted public beach of Macau. But several Philippine stations (on 666, 702 and 1530) became real pests in covering up long range targets around sunrise, since they tend to boom in with their salt water propagation path.

<<<   BTW, re. Hawaii - get land blockage to Honolulu by all means to knock down the obnoxious amount of those "locals" there - Kona is not good for that nor Poipu either (re. HNL overload) - I used to go to east Hawaii - Kamoamoa (now gone under lava!) or the fab MacKenzie SP (still there for now!) and rolled out Bevs to k/o Honolulu signals *dramatically.*
BUT, Malaekahana Bay on Oahu's north Shore near Kahuku/Laie is wonderful to get rid of HNL overload and have DX as fine as on an Outer Island locale (but NOT facing a water-path to Honolulu!) and quick and cheap to get to (I spent one week in a tent at Malaekahana (Friends of Mal. Bay CG - private) and no noise/quiet and easy to taxi too). There in the north Oahu shore, the groundwaves from HNL are really attenuated and DX creams them!   Not in Kona though, but Kona is wonderful for DU DX unlike North Oahu's windward side (island attenuation to big there for DU).   >>>

Honolulu QRM is a major issue throughout the Hawaiian islands, and after two trips to Kona and one to Poipu, I can almost tell you the formats of all the Hawaiian pests. No Hawaiian location is perfect for DXing in all directions, although Poipu is fairly unique in having a straight salt water shot to most long range DX continents, as well as a far westerly location to take advantage of extended sunrise enhancement into the Middle East and Africa. Poipu does also have a salt water path to the Oahu pests, but I discovered that very late in sunrise enhancement pests like 690-KHNR do taper off enough to track down DX like 693-Bangladesh. On the frequencies with no Honolulu pests you can really run wild in Poipu, with Oman, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia etc. all received last November. This coming November we plan a major effort with 3 American DXers (Craig Barnes, Chris Black and yours truly) and one Australian DXer (Chris from the Melbourne area). All of these DXers will have the latest "Frequent Flyer" FSL's, PVC bases and souped-up Ultralight radios to play with, so we should score some serious fun :-)

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)



 
 
 


Stephen P. McGreevy
 

Hello Gary and Craig (and of course the UL group),

Kindest and big thanks for replying - for a spell I saw nothing on the group topics and I thought: "hhmmm, I hope they aren't rejecting this 'dumb Californian' native DXer from uppity Marin (I LOVE the landscape here but I am really bummed at the craziness of CA of late and remember the mellower times as a kid and no traffic, etc., for certain)...  but the good stuff too - it is a duality...

Hey I'd rather DX TPs from inland Bevs in the deep desert than have to try to DX TPs in Marin County what with the huge amount of RF field strength(s) emanating from the SF Bay Area today in-compare to the wonderful early 80s before the clear-channel busters came on (I recall 880 KIXI Mercer Isl., WA went on by late 1982 and ruined the once totally clear-channel 882 - when 1YA NZ faded in, the S-meter held totally STEADY w/o SAHs, and I was incredulous as a 19 year old too-used to S-meter jiggle and wiggle due to co-channel QRM SAHs.  Then the slight "wiggle" from fading-in 882 4BH "Bright and Beautiful Music" via Brisbane later, then off went NZ and - well what do you know, 4BH was SAH free... unless Asian condx. were in. Craig, yeah you are inland far but you have a better shot at TAs than out here too.  AND, Colorado has been PROVEN superior for natural-radio captures compared vastly to here (thanks to efforts of Shawn Korgan at Trail Ridge - fellow ELF-VLF listener as I have been obsessed with, along with my MW DX...

Health reasons are keeping me closer to home - otherwise it certainly would be an honor to be a part of your UL group - I suppose it would be cool to compare a "standard" loop coupling to my Sonys vs. your FSLs and CC UL radios with the BIG loopsticks!  An A/B comparison, say to convince folks out there that, indeed, superior tech./FSLs, and DXing methods have helped to raise the fine-art of MW TP DXing from the WCNA (and way farther away) to new heights despite the band-cram...  but for now I must stay close to home...  so I just drool at you folks efforts.  Funny stories and fascinating to the max, too, gents!

Thanks for your acceptance and responses, gentlemen!  I hope we may meet on the coast someday... 

Best Regards,

Steve McGreevy, Keeler, CA - N6NKS

www.auroralchorus.com
Natural VLF Radio and Travel



On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 4:11 PM C B via Groups.Io <bevdxer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Steve!

Thanks for chiming in! I did a bit of FSL equipped (thanks Gary!) TP DXing near Princeville a couple of years ago, followed by a stay on the west side of the big island. As a landlocked TP DXer I am not as well versed in TP DXing as the PNW folks. I was told I didn't do too bad with the northern Asian stations from my Princeville location by more experienced folks. The impact of HNL stations was a bit more limited there. Thanks to the folks who put the AZ Project together, which provided me with azimuthal projections which I used to help select my Hawaii locations. DU TP DX from the west side of the big island was pretty decent, which I suspected when I planned my trip.  Northern Asians, not so much from my slightly inland location. I may need to revisit Princeville. Hopefully they have repaired their roads after last year's catastrophic flooding the north side of Kauai. A few years back I tried some FSL equipped TP DXing from Gualala. It struck me as a bit close to the Bay Area, as reflected by my limited results. For this year, I am eagerly anticipating another session at Rockworks on the OR coast as well as a TP DXing session in Poipu with a few PNW TP Dxers. I always learn a lot from those folks. I have fantasized about setting up a variety of antennae in different spots in Hawaii. The southwest corner of the Big Island comes to mind. I wouldn't mind returning to Tofino also, if I could just persuade those in charge of MW propagation to treat me more generously than they did last fall, hi!

73,

Craig Barnes
Wheat Ridge, CO (reading NHP's recent daily logs with much empathy!)

On Monday, May 20, 2019, 4:26:29 PM MDT, Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Welcome Steve,

Thanks for the very interesting report of your overseas DXing activities, and sorry for the delayed posting of your message (the Groups.io system requires moderator approval for a new member message on the first day, to avoid spam messages).

<<<   In November 2013 I spent 3 nights in HK after concluding a 12-day Mainland China tour.  I agree with Gary that HK is so crowded and too many "observers watching" that rolling out a Bev. antenna on an HK beach (as I have loved to do 100s of times in Hawaii when I lived there between '86 to '91 on and off) and elsewhere is nigh impossible.  So loops -- for their gain/directivity/noise-nulling abilities are wonderful and have nulling capabilities "on the fly" that Bevs do not.  In Hawaii, a ong Bev. really knocks down the high-angle Honolulu cram of signals to the point that DX overwhelms them in comparison to a loop or short-wire "A/B" testing I did there.   >>>

Hong Kong is really a tough venue for long range AM-DXing, and I had multiple warnings form Japanese, Australian and NZ DXers to lower my expectations. "Conventional" DXing with sensitive portables in a motel room is unlikely to accomplish very much, and attempting to set up a gain antenna on a public beach will definitely make you the "center of attraction" for multiple onlookers (some of whom may not have your best interests in mind). In addition to all of this are the 5 Hong Kong Locals, and a maze of Mainland Chinese stations plastering the band from 531-1593 KHz.

On the last couple of days I discovered that if I stuck the 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave SSB model outside the security window of our 12th floor apartment in a Shatin high rise building I could track down long range DX from Eastern Europe (1413-Vesti FM and 1548-TWR), Africa (1431-Radio Sawa in Djibouti) and the Middle East (1413-BBC in Oman) around sunrise. If I had known that trick from the beginning the long range DX results would have been much better-- but we do plan a return trip next April :-)

<<<   Back to HK DXing:  I found it fascinating to DX in HK with just via a barefoot Sony ICF-SW7600GR (all I could take - three recorders/two radios but no loop, alas) but never heard the farther out stuff Gary scored there simply as I was just recording what MWDX just sounded like in HK w/o trying for exotic DX (the novelty!!).  Just would "stumble" upon it as I band-scanned.  I did enjoy several clear receptions of Philippine Island DX in HK  (Kowloon) and that was really neat (711/1350/etc.)!   >>>

Yes the Philippine stations are fairly easy to track down in HK, as long as you choose frequencies that aren't plastered by Chinese locals. Many of the Philippine stations were daytimes on the Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff (at the southeast tip of HK island), and on the somewhat polluted public beach of Macau. But several Philippine stations (on 666, 702 and 1530) became real pests in covering up long range targets around sunrise, since they tend to boom in with their salt water propagation path.

<<<   BTW, re. Hawaii - get land blockage to Honolulu by all means to knock down the obnoxious amount of those "locals" there - Kona is not good for that nor Poipu either (re. HNL overload) - I used to go to east Hawaii - Kamoamoa (now gone under lava!) or the fab MacKenzie SP (still there for now!) and rolled out Bevs to k/o Honolulu signals *dramatically.*
BUT, Malaekahana Bay on Oahu's north Shore near Kahuku/Laie is wonderful to get rid of HNL overload and have DX as fine as on an Outer Island locale (but NOT facing a water-path to Honolulu!) and quick and cheap to get to (I spent one week in a tent at Malaekahana (Friends of Mal. Bay CG - private) and no noise/quiet and easy to taxi too). There in the north Oahu shore, the groundwaves from HNL are really attenuated and DX creams them!   Not in Kona though, but Kona is wonderful for DU DX unlike North Oahu's windward side (island attenuation to big there for DU).   >>>

Honolulu QRM is a major issue throughout the Hawaiian islands, and after two trips to Kona and one to Poipu, I can almost tell you the formats of all the Hawaiian pests. No Hawaiian location is perfect for DXing in all directions, although Poipu is fairly unique in having a straight salt water shot to most long range DX continents, as well as a far westerly location to take advantage of extended sunrise enhancement into the Middle East and Africa. Poipu does also have a salt water path to the Oahu pests, but I discovered that very late in sunrise enhancement pests like 690-KHNR do taper off enough to track down DX like 693-Bangladesh. On the frequencies with no Honolulu pests you can really run wild in Poipu, with Oman, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia etc. all received last November. This coming November we plan a major effort with 3 American DXers (Craig Barnes, Chris Black and yours truly) and one Australian DXer (Chris from the Melbourne area). All of these DXers will have the latest "Frequent Flyer" FSL's, PVC bases and souped-up Ultralight radios to play with, so we should score some serious fun :-)

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)



 
 
 


C B
 

Steve,

I have been fortunate enough to nab a few TAs here in CO. When conditions are favorable the LWs seem to be a bit more frequent. Thanks to Steve Ratzlaff for opening my eyes to LW possibilities here. Trail Ridge? Hmmm. I have played with the possibility of running a few beverages in the Walden area. Not much up there. Could be a fun place for FSLs as well. I was completely enamored with calling A3Z a “regular” at Rockworks and in Hawaii. I understand health issues. Fortunately mine are quiescent at this time. I have much TP and TA DXing to do! I will probably enlarge my 72 x 18 KAZ to 96 x 25 which should max out my available real estate (reg city lot). Thank goodness for TP recordings!

73,

Craig Barnes
Wheat Ridge, CO 


On May 20, 2019, at 6:03 PM, Stephen P. McGreevy <stephenpmcgreevy1@...> wrote:

Hello Gary and Craig (and of course the UL group),

Kindest and big thanks for replying - for a spell I saw nothing on the group topics and I thought: "hhmmm, I hope they aren't rejecting this 'dumb Californian' native DXer from uppity Marin (I LOVE the landscape here but I am really bummed at the craziness of CA of late and remember the mellower times as a kid and no traffic, etc., for certain)...  but the good stuff too - it is a duality...

Hey I'd rather DX TPs from inland Bevs in the deep desert than have to try to DX TPs in Marin County what with the huge amount of RF field strength(s) emanating from the SF Bay Area today in-compare to the wonderful early 80s before the clear-channel busters came on (I recall 880 KIXI Mercer Isl., WA went on by late 1982 and ruined the once totally clear-channel 882 - when 1YA NZ faded in, the S-meter held totally STEADY w/o SAHs, and I was incredulous as a 19 year old too-used to S-meter jiggle and wiggle due to co-channel QRM SAHs.  Then the slight "wiggle" from fading-in 882 4BH "Bright and Beautiful Music" via Brisbane later, then off went NZ and - well what do you know, 4BH was SAH free... unless Asian condx. were in. Craig, yeah you are inland far but you have a better shot at TAs than out here too.  AND, Colorado has been PROVEN superior for natural-radio captures compared vastly to here (thanks to efforts of Shawn Korgan at Trail Ridge - fellow ELF-VLF listener as I have been obsessed with, along with my MW DX...

Health reasons are keeping me closer to home - otherwise it certainly would be an honor to be a part of your UL group - I suppose it would be cool to compare a "standard" loop coupling to my Sonys vs. your FSLs and CC UL radios with the BIG loopsticks!  An A/B comparison, say to convince folks out there that, indeed, superior tech./FSLs, and DXing methods have helped to raise the fine-art of MW TP DXing from the WCNA (and way farther away) to new heights despite the band-cram...  but for now I must stay close to home...  so I just drool at you folks efforts.  Funny stories and fascinating to the max, too, gents!

Thanks for your acceptance and responses, gentlemen!  I hope we may meet on the coast someday... 

Best Regards,

Steve McGreevy, Keeler, CA - N6NKS

www.auroralchorus.com
Natural VLF Radio and Travel



On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 4:11 PM C B via Groups.Io <bevdxer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Steve!

Thanks for chiming in! I did a bit of FSL equipped (thanks Gary!) TP DXing near Princeville a couple of years ago, followed by a stay on the west side of the big island. As a landlocked TP DXer I am not as well versed in TP DXing as the PNW folks. I was told I didn't do too bad with the northern Asian stations from my Princeville location by more experienced folks. The impact of HNL stations was a bit more limited there. Thanks to the folks who put the AZ Project together, which provided me with azimuthal projections which I used to help select my Hawaii locations. DU TP DX from the west side of the big island was pretty decent, which I suspected when I planned my trip.  Northern Asians, not so much from my slightly inland location. I may need to revisit Princeville. Hopefully they have repaired their roads after last year's catastrophic flooding the north side of Kauai. A few years back I tried some FSL equipped TP DXing from Gualala. It struck me as a bit close to the Bay Area, as reflected by my limited results. For this year, I am eagerly anticipating another session at Rockworks on the OR coast as well as a TP DXing session in Poipu with a few PNW TP Dxers. I always learn a lot from those folks. I have fantasized about setting up a variety of antennae in different spots in Hawaii. The southwest corner of the Big Island comes to mind. I wouldn't mind returning to Tofino also, if I could just persuade those in charge of MW propagation to treat me more generously than they did last fall, hi!

73,

Craig Barnes
Wheat Ridge, CO (reading NHP's recent daily logs with much empathy!)

On Monday, May 20, 2019, 4:26:29 PM MDT, Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


Welcome Steve,

Thanks for the very interesting report of your overseas DXing activities, and sorry for the delayed posting of your message (the Groups.io system requires moderator approval for a new member message on the first day, to avoid spam messages).

<<<   In November 2013 I spent 3 nights in HK after concluding a 12-day Mainland China tour.  I agree with Gary that HK is so crowded and too many "observers watching" that rolling out a Bev. antenna on an HK beach (as I have loved to do 100s of times in Hawaii when I lived there between '86 to '91 on and off) and elsewhere is nigh impossible.  So loops -- for their gain/directivity/noise-nulling abilities are wonderful and have nulling capabilities "on the fly" that Bevs do not.  In Hawaii, a ong Bev. really knocks down the high-angle Honolulu cram of signals to the point that DX overwhelms them in comparison to a loop or short-wire "A/B" testing I did there.   >>>

Hong Kong is really a tough venue for long range AM-DXing, and I had multiple warnings form Japanese, Australian and NZ DXers to lower my expectations. "Conventional" DXing with sensitive portables in a motel room is unlikely to accomplish very much, and attempting to set up a gain antenna on a public beach will definitely make you the "center of attraction" for multiple onlookers (some of whom may not have your best interests in mind). In addition to all of this are the 5 Hong Kong Locals, and a maze of Mainland Chinese stations plastering the band from 531-1593 KHz.

On the last couple of days I discovered that if I stuck the 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave SSB model outside the security window of our 12th floor apartment in a Shatin high rise building I could track down long range DX from Eastern Europe (1413-Vesti FM and 1548-TWR), Africa (1431-Radio Sawa in Djibouti) and the Middle East (1413-BBC in Oman) around sunrise. If I had known that trick from the beginning the long range DX results would have been much better-- but we do plan a return trip next April :-)

<<<   Back to HK DXing:  I found it fascinating to DX in HK with just via a barefoot Sony ICF-SW7600GR (all I could take - three recorders/two radios but no loop, alas) but never heard the farther out stuff Gary scored there simply as I was just recording what MWDX just sounded like in HK w/o trying for exotic DX (the novelty!!).  Just would "stumble" upon it as I band-scanned.  I did enjoy several clear receptions of Philippine Island DX in HK  (Kowloon) and that was really neat (711/1350/etc.)!   >>>

Yes the Philippine stations are fairly easy to track down in HK, as long as you choose frequencies that aren't plastered by Chinese locals. Many of the Philippine stations were daytimes on the Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff (at the southeast tip of HK island), and on the somewhat polluted public beach of Macau. But several Philippine stations (on 666, 702 and 1530) became real pests in covering up long range targets around sunrise, since they tend to boom in with their salt water propagation path.

<<<   BTW, re. Hawaii - get land blockage to Honolulu by all means to knock down the obnoxious amount of those "locals" there - Kona is not good for that nor Poipu either (re. HNL overload) - I used to go to east Hawaii - Kamoamoa (now gone under lava!) or the fab MacKenzie SP (still there for now!) and rolled out Bevs to k/o Honolulu signals *dramatically.*
BUT, Malaekahana Bay on Oahu's north Shore near Kahuku/Laie is wonderful to get rid of HNL overload and have DX as fine as on an Outer Island locale (but NOT facing a water-path to Honolulu!) and quick and cheap to get to (I spent one week in a tent at Malaekahana (Friends of Mal. Bay CG - private) and no noise/quiet and easy to taxi too). There in the north Oahu shore, the groundwaves from HNL are really attenuated and DX creams them!   Not in Kona though, but Kona is wonderful for DU DX unlike North Oahu's windward side (island attenuation to big there for DU).   >>>

Honolulu QRM is a major issue throughout the Hawaiian islands, and after two trips to Kona and one to Poipu, I can almost tell you the formats of all the Hawaiian pests. No Hawaiian location is perfect for DXing in all directions, although Poipu is fairly unique in having a straight salt water shot to most long range DX continents, as well as a far westerly location to take advantage of extended sunrise enhancement into the Middle East and Africa. Poipu does also have a salt water path to the Oahu pests, but I discovered that very late in sunrise enhancement pests like 690-KHNR do taper off enough to track down DX like 693-Bangladesh. On the frequencies with no Honolulu pests you can really run wild in Poipu, with Oman, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia etc. all received last November. This coming November we plan a major effort with 3 American DXers (Craig Barnes, Chris Black and yours truly) and one Australian DXer (Chris from the Melbourne area). All of these DXers will have the latest "Frequent Flyer" FSL's, PVC bases and souped-up Ultralight radios to play with, so we should score some serious fun :-)

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)