Outstanding DU Morning at Grayland

Gary DeBock

Hello Guys,
     John was DXing from his comfortable Room 12 at the Grayland Motel, and I was out in the windy fog at the Grayland Beach Road picnic table, but we both came up with the same conclusion--  it was by far the best DU morning we have experienced this summer.  As Dennis guessed, the Aussies and Kiwis were really strong at the ocean today.
     John logged multiple new Aussies with his Wellbrook Array, both on his 313 and E100, and mentioned that the upper band was especially favorable.  With his four optimally-spaced loop elements,  John certainly had an exciting morning logging one new DU after another.
     But with such great conditions, the stand-alone Ultralights were really able to shine.  5AN-891 was so strong at 1225 that is was audible on every portable at the picnic table-- the 30" loopstick ICF-2010, the modified Eton E100 (more later), the 7.5" loopstick SRF-39FP "prison radio,"  and even a stock Sony SRF-T615.  This equaled John's all-time Ultralight distance record (or perhaps exceeded it very slightly, since the picnic table is about half a mile farther from Australia  :>)
     Received on the hard-core modified ICF-2010 was audio from the following DU's, with approximate carrier levels:
1141 UTC   2YA-567   (7)
1149          2YC-657   (7)
1204          2BL-702   (8)   presumed
1218          3AK-1116 (7)  presumed
1220          2NR-738  (9) 
1225          5AN-891  (9)
1241          3LO-774  (8)
     Received on the modified Eton E100 were 2BL-702 (presumed) at 1205, 2NR-738 at 1221, 5AN-891 at 1226, and 3LO-774 at 1242.  The sensitivity of the modified E100 was just a shade under that of the modified ICF-2010, a very pleasant surprise.  Selectivity was comparable, despite the E100's AM-only mode design.
     The modified SRF-39FP "prison radio" and the stock Sony SRF-T615 both managed to receive audio from a booming  5AN-891 around 1226, but could not receive the other DU's due to modest selectivity, which allowed domestic slop to interfere.  891 is a special frequency at Grayland, with no local slop after sunrise (at least until KIXI-880 goes IBOC, hi).   
     The newly modified Eton E100 (kind of a special project for John, Guy Atkins and me) was able to receive multiple DU's with a relatively compact 7.5" "slider coil" loopstick, and a premium 455 kHz narrow filter (the Murata CFJ455K5, the same narrow filter as used in the Eton E1).  This filter was suggested by Guy,  and has proved extremely effective in separating the 9 kHz split DX from domestic QRM.  The "slider-coil" loopstick, an innovative offshoot of the alignment process, has made a huge difference in the E100's full-band sensitivity.  When combined with a frequency-optimized Amidon 7.5" ferrite bar and 40/44 Litz wire, the various modifications combine to produce a compact, effective DXpeditioner's Dream Ultralight.  John, Guy and I plan to write a series of articles on this new "Monster E100"...  when we are not having fun with it on an ocean beach :>)
                                                          73,   Gary DeBock                                                      .           

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