The 88th DXpedition to Aihkiniemi
got off to a fabulous start. As soon as we had our
receivers working, the AM band was full of signals
from Far East Asia, and best of all, from New Zealand.
We have never before heard so many Kiwi AM stations.
In Chinese culture the number 88 symbolizes fortune
and good luck, which were indeed abundant during
these two weeks.
We were anxiously looking forward
to this traditional October DXpedition in Aihkiniemi.
With the solar minimum approaching, good reception
was virtually guaranteed, at some point, and to
some geographical direction anyhow.
For the first time in many years,
Jim was able
to take a longer leave so we were all set for two
full weeks of intensive AM DXing. Mika
had already been in Aihkiniemi just three weeks
prior for the AIH85 DXpedition
which had yielded quite a catch of AM rarities,
especially from the Philippines.
Rovaniemi has successfully branded itself as
Santa hometown and the Christmas capital of
Our departure by train from Helsinki
was delayed by an hour on Friday evening because
of an elementary mistake by the railroad operator.
The engine wasn't properly connected to the passenger
cars, and when the train began to move, the connecting
pipes and wires were torn, and so they had to replace
the engine. Luckily the train nevertheless arrived
in Rovaniemi on time early Saturday morning. Jim
was able to start driving north at a record-early
time of 7:40 a.m. local time.
We met departing DXers Martti
Karimies and Jari Sinisalo in Ivalo where we
got our groceries. Driving went well without too
many reindeer sightings, and we arrived in Aihkiniemi
at the early hour of 2 p.m. Surprisingly, some gear
was running and recording already before the next
top of the hour 1200 UTC. We weren't in any particular
hurry, but luckily we didn't waste any time along
the way, and this time it paid off big time in the
form of a Kiwi onslaught.
Cheers! Aihki beers,
proper drinks for Aihkiniemi
Weatherwise the start of
AIH88 felt almost like a Lapland summer. Granted,
fall colors were gone, so the landscape looked naked
and miserable, but the temperatures were abnormally
high, initially well into the teens. The first snow
had melted, and we even got some sunshine. Later
on ice began forming on the small lakes around our
cabin, but it wasn't yet strong enough to walk on.
It snowed again before we left, and most of the
time temperatures were hovering around freezing
We were using Perseus type SDRs.
Jim used also Perseus software, while I was running
Jaguar. Our antenna arsenal was the same as on previous
DXpeditions, 13 Beverage antennas, each 3,000 ft/1
km in length, to these directions:
More or less at the same time
there were also other DXpeditions in the Nordic
countries. In Lemmenjoki, Finland, Jari Ruohomäki
was on DXpedition LEM402.
In Parkalompolo, Sweden, DXers BOS, JOB, RÅM
and LSD attended PAX127
(MS Word file), and in Kongsfjord, Norway, DXers
Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, TJ Bråtveit and
Ole Forr took part in DXpedition KONG37.
To get a more detailed look at
our discoveries, here's a day-by-day diary of what
happened on AIH88:
Saturday, October 13, 2018
were fortunate to land in Aihkiniemi so early in
the afternoon, because the opening to the Pacific
turned out to be great. Dozens of New Zealand stations
were heard, so even though we both already have
about 3035 verified Kiwi stations, we are
bound to find many new ones. Perhaps best of all,
neither of us had ever before heard a single TAB
Trackside Radio station, but now we found Trackside
on 12 different frequencies! The opening to New
Zealand lasted for about two hours.
One remarkable aspect of this
NZ opening was that there were numerous stations
heard also from South Island, which is very rare.
We got several stations from Dunedin (16,700 km
from Aihkiniemi) and Invercargill (16,677 km away).
These are the most distant AM stations that exist.
On one of the nights the northern lights were
very lively, rapidly moving across the sky.
The light on left is our Aihkiniemi cabin.
In addition to Oceania, Japanese
stations were strong, and there were also other
pleasant catches, such as Hegang PBS from Heilongjiang
in China on 1413 AM, never before heard in Europe.
I was happy to hear DZBR "Bible Radio"
closing down right after 1600 UTC with excellent
reception quality. The legal opening and closing
announcements of Filippino stations are truly spectacular!
Late evening was however disappointing. With no
particular focus, stations from Iran and the Middle
East tend to cover too many frequencies.
During the night, northern
lights produced by a minor solar storm must have
been spectacular somewhere, because the lightshow
was partially visible even through a heavy cloud
cover hanging over Aihkiniemi. Aurora photography
will have to wait for better visibility though.
Sunday, October 14, 2018
During the night there were mediocre
peaks by North American stations around 01000400
UTC, but nothing new was noted. Stations from the
Great Lakes area seemed to be most prevalent. Typical
catches in these circumstances include stations
like KDLR 1240 AM and KBMW 1450 AM. The strongest
stations from the Canadian Prairies continued to
be heard at least until midday, but after 0700 UTC
there wasn't really anything interesting.
reflecting from our lake
South American stations were
also heard most of the night, and best in the morning
around sunrise. Our best catches include CW31 Radio
Salto on 1120 AM, OBU7A Radio Corporación
Wayra, Juliaca, 1410 AM and HJNZ Colmundo Radio,
Medellín, on 1440 AM. Around sunrise reception
favored northern Colombia and we heard many stations
visited personally in Barranquilla in 2011.
In the afternoon Japanese stations
emerged already before 1100 UTC. A bit later also
a couple of Newstalk ZB stations showed up, but
it was nothing compared to yesterday's Kiwi opening.
Japanese stations were quite strong, but no new
stations were noted immediately. Later on Indian
and Pakistani stations were strong, but not much
from the coveted Southeast Asia. Some common Hawaiian
and Alaskan stations were also heard.
On Sunday we both had surprise
guests and made a surprise visit ourselves. Jim's
sister and her colleague were on a work assignment
in the neighborhood, so they stopped by briefly.
Later on, we realized that a bad interference source
had been turned on in a nearby cabin, which prompted
us to pay a visit to this hunting cabin. The culprit
is his wind power system inverter, which he promised
to keep off during the daylight hours. That would
be essential and it would save our afternoon DX
Monday, October 15, 2018
checking at the recordings, it can be safely concluded
that nighttime was not the right time. Both North
and South American stations were weaker than yesterday.
However, the daybreak opening to Argentina and Brazil
around 0500 UTC was excellent, and was followed
by stations from Chile (for instance Radio María
on 1060 AM) and Peru (such as Radio Andina on 1370
AM), before Latin American stations began to fade
out at around 0530 UTC. North American stations
were heard simultaneously, but reception paled in
comparison. By 0600 UTC the AM band was practically
quiet, so the collapse was quick.
Aurora borealis above Aihkiniemi
The first wave of Asian stations
landed at 1040 UTC and lasted for about 15 minutes,
after which everything vanished. Newstalk ZB popped
up briefly at 1240 UTC, but nothing more from the
Pacific. All of East and Southeast Asia began pouring
in around 1300 UTC, and until 1400 UTC reception
was decent with occasional Filippino and Thai stations,
but afterwards the evening was miserable, dominated
by Quran recitation.
Luckily the skies were
clear in the evening, so I was able to take my first
aurora photos. In reality the dominant color was
light green, but Photoshop sure does bring out the
best of these shots.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Transatlantic reception was pathetic.
Hardly any South American stations were audible
late Monday evening after the sun dipped below the
horizon in Eastern Brazil. The first North American
stations pushed above the noise floor at 2315 UTC.
The first identified station was WGVU on 1480 AM,
indicating a very familiar propagation path to the
Great Lakes area.
aka Siberian tit, landing on my hand - and hoping
for a treat.
US stations were heard decently
for short periods at around 0130 and 0500 UTC, but
there wasn't much to listen to. The big guns from
the western half of North America remained on the
dial well into the afternoon, but signals were quite
weak. KSL 1160 AM and KFBK 1530 AM were the strongest
Since it didn't rain, we spent a couple of hours
in the forest checking antennas and doing some minor
The first Far East stations appeared first at 1000
UTC, vanished soon after, and then resurfaced at
1100 UTC. V7AB on 1098 AM was the only Pacific station
logged, heard very briefly at 1010 UTC and again
around closing time 1130 UTC. No Kiwis today. Early
afternoon offered the usual suspects from China,
Taiwan and the Philippines with a couple of regular
Australians (such as 630 and 702 AM) in the mix.
The Philippines was pretty strong with around 20
stations, but no new ones. However, after 1500 UTC
there wasn't anything to listen to anymore, as the
AM band was taken over by stations from the Middle
East, and eventually also by European broadcasters.
The Milky Way with a hint of aurora
Solar weather indices should
be perfect, but the AM band is exceptionally boring.
Looks like we could use some magnetic activity to
stir the signal soup. Anyhow, the skies were clear,
and so I ventured out in the middle of the night
for a photography session. Hardly any aurora borealis
tonight, but our very own Milky Way forms a magnificent
arch across the night sky. The green hue in the
photo is the result of very faint aurora.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Brazilian, and to a lesser
extent also Argentinian, stations were heard through
the night. Although signals were relatively strong,
adjacent channel interference by European stations
was also fierce. Daybreak after 0500 UTC was once
again the best time. Identified stations included
Rádio São Francisco on 1240 AM, Radio
Rafaela 1470 AM, KIUN Pecos TX 1400 AM, KYYW Abilene
TX 1470, KGBT Harlingen TX 1530 AM and KDOM Windom
MN 1580 AM. It was great to hear many Texans, but
we didn't net any new ones.
Before midday we headed again to the forest, checking
the antennas and slightly improving their markings.
After a sudden drop in signals at sunrise (0525
UTC), North American signals improved again and
offered decent reception at around 0700-0800 UTC,
but after that only a couple of the most powerful
stations persisted with audible signals. West Coast
signals improved later and were heard again until
the afternoon, including occasionally some graveyard
A sprinkling of snow at
the Aihkiniemi cabin
The afternoon opening towards
the east took longer than on any previous day. V7AB
showed up briefly at closing time (1130 UTC) and
Tonga (1017 AM) was booming with a huge signal long
into the afternoon. A few of the most common NZ
stations were heard, but nothing new for us. A wider
selection of Asian stations was available only after
1300 UTC, which was unusually late. There were hardly
any Chinese stations, but loads of South Asia. Thazin
Radio (639 AM) from Myanmar was a nice surprise.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
For the first time during this
DXpedition, transatlantic signals continued more
or less through the night, mostly from around the
Great Lakes and western USA. Signals from Latin
America were quite weak. Signal levels remained
fair even after daybreak, which was another first
this week. Identified stations included KONA &
KNML 610 AM, KXMR 710, KPOW & KROX 1260, XEP
1300, KGIM 1420, KZZJ 1450 so nothing spectacular,
but it was still nice to be able to enjoy a steady
flow of stations from North America.
Once again we checked antennas during the daytime
and let Jaguar and Perseus take care of recording
North American stations at the same time.
Click on the image to open a video with a bandscan
of Alaskan and Hawaiian stations.
Afternoon was very disappointing.
Tonga (1017 AM) and Gold FM from Fiji (990 AM) were
heard briefly, but nothing else from the South Pacific.
Before sunset, Alaskan and Hawaiian stations were
stronger than before this week, so I shot a bandscan
type video showcasing what kind of stations
can be heard from the north. For these stations
you really need to come to Lapland, as none of them
could be heard for instance in Central Europe, and
they would be very difficult even in southern Finland.
It took until around 1430 UTC for Asian stations
to start showing up on most frequencies. India,
Pakistan and India dominated the dial, and we found
Friday, October 19, 2018
For the first time, US stations
were heard as soon as darkness covered the Western
Hemisphere. Initial inspection didn't result in
any daytimer catches, but some might be lurking
in our terabytes of data. Signal levels were finally
such that no boost was necessary in fact,
adding amplifiers wasn't even possible because of
overmodulation. During the night European interference
was strong, but at daybreak signals from North America
were really good, and DXing was a pleasure, although
geographically propagation focus was the same as
before Great Lakes and the Midwest. Manitoba
and Sascatchewan dominated the few frequencies were
such stations still exist.
Aurora arching over the
sky - shot right in front of the cabin.
There was no drastic drop in
signal strength in daylight, and this DXing session
is one of the best we've had in years. Identified
catches include KMLB Monroe LA (540 AM), KRAI Craig
CO (550 AM) and KYFI Saint Louis MO (630 AM). West
Coast stations remained on the dial past 1300 UTC,
which was followed by a fabulous flow of Alaskan
and Hawaiian stations, during which we identified
"Kauai's Country" KUAI Eleele on 570 AM,
a longtime most-wanted C&W station from Hawaii.
Tonga (1017 AM) was heard starting
at 1025 UTC, continuing until the evening. V7AB
(1098 AM) signed off at 1137 UTC, but aside from
possibly Fiji, there were no other Pacific catches.
When Asian stations began flooding the dial, initially
at 1245 UTC the Philippines was quite strong, but
soon South Asia and the Middle East overcame East
Asian stations. Quite a day!
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Nighttime was similar to yesterday.
No daytimers, but a fairly consistent flow of North
American stations. European interference was nevertheless
so heavy that DXing for real could only begin in
the morning. The lower end of the AM dial was again
quite impressive, and for instance on 540 AM I was
able to log three Mexican stations, XETX, XEWA and
XEHS, all of which I have verified already years
ago. The only personally new station caught live
in the morning was WREY St. Paul MN on 630 AM, indicative
of the familiar propagation path, although stations
were heard coast to coast.
The problem with this kind of an opening is that
all the frequencies are covered by the usual suspects.
For instance, I kept a close watch at 880 AM, where
I have been hunting numerous interesting stations
(KJJR MT, KRVN NE, KHAC NM and WMEQ WI), any of
which could possibly be heard on a day like this,
if it wasn't for CHQT and CKLQ totally dominating
the frequency all day long.
Also graveyard frequencies tend to be too crowded.
Only in the afternoon it was possible to identify
stations on the local channels.
Frost on the ground after
a cold night
A bunch of stations from Alaska
and Hawaii was heard at around 12001430 UTC,
but not as well as yesterday. The afternoon opening
to Asia was miserable. Tonga (1017 AM) was heard,
but when Asian stations became audible at around
1300 UTC, East Asia was heard just passingly, after
which South Asia, the Middle East and European stations
ruled the AM band.
In the evening, Jim took a break from DXing and
drove to northern Norway for two nights to meet
with Norwegian DXers in Kongsfjord. I'm staying
in Aihkiniemi both to focus a bit more on writing
my book, as well as tending recordings for both
On Saturday evening, stations from western Europe,
especially the UK, were remarkably strong. UK stations
were even heard with our Asia antennas.
Sunday, October 21, 2018
WDEA 1370 AM paid a brief
visit at 2205 UTC on Saturday evening, but the nighttime
opening turned out to be average. Readable signals
were mostly found after 0000 UTC, and even then,
the most common regional stations from the Great
Lakes were heard. Latin American stations tried
to push through in the morning, but North American
stations were just too strong. Still, an opening
towards Peru and Colombia may eventually yield something
The most unusual DX catch
of the night was perhaps Asfalttelegrafen, a low-power
experimental AM station in neighboring Sweden, testing
on 1476 AM. In this case, kHz almost equals to km:
The distance from Aihkiniemi to the station in Borås
is 1470 km. It would hardly be considered serious
DX, but still it was the longest distance that this
station has ever reached.
A small meandering
river that needs to be crossed to check antennas.
During the day North American
stations were heard pretty strong from coast coast,
from Canada to Mexico, and from the low end of the
dial to the very top. My best instant catches were
WSNL Flint MI (600 AM) and KLYC McMinnville OR (1260
AM). However, there was no trace of low-power travelers'
information stations (TIS) aka. highway advisory
stations (HAR), which would be the ultimate low-power
North American stations
fizzled out earlier than on Saturday. By 1200 UTC,
even most of the West Coast stations were gone.
Alaska and Hawaii gained in strength at around 13001400
UTC, but were weaker than before.
There was some geomagnetic instability in the early
afternoon, which resulted in an on-off Asia opening
with rapid changes in propagation. Tonga (1017 AM)
was noted earlier than ever this fall, with a readable
signal when I first tried it at 0918 UTC. V7AB on
1098 AM was equally strong at that time. Newstalk
ZB showed up first at 1015 UTC on 1035 AM, and some
other NZ stations appeared briefly later on, but
fleetingly. The evening was again boring, with some
stations from all around Asia, but the Middle East
The minor instability resulted
in the best aurora borealis that I had seen all
week, so late evening I spent over an hour taking
Monday, October 22, 2018
The first US East Coast stations
emerged before 2200 UTC, which theoretically could
mean that daytime-only stations might be found in
the midst. A very superficial look at the overnight
recordings indicates that reception favored the
US prairie states such as Nebraska and the Dakotas.
In the morning, Brazilian stations were stronger
than normally, and I caught for instance Rádio
Industrial, Várzea da Palma MG (1070 AM).
Signals from Brazil began to taper before 0600 UTC.
There were some stations from Paraguay as well,
but few from Argentina.
The majority of North American
stations dipped already after sunrise. After 0700
UTC those remanining were mostly from the Rockies
and the Northwest. The WA-OR-ID-BC corner remained
audible until past 1300 UTC, and because of the
limited scope, graveyard channels had really good
audio though the stations are already very
A box of frozen king crab, which we turned into
a midnight dinner party.
The Pacific nations of Kiribati
(1440 AM), Tonga (1017 AM) and the Marshall Islands
(1098 AM) were all heard as soon as I tried them
at 0915 UTC. Kiribati closed down at 0941 UTC, but
unfortunately there was no sign of the new transmitter
on 846 AM. Newstalk ZB was first heard on 1035 AM
at 1053 UTC, and a bunch of other Kiwi stations
followed in toe, but eventually they had to surrender
frequencies to Asian stations. Japanese stations,
while not strong and not many enough to give us
new catches, were nevertheless powerful enough to
drown the weak Kiwi signals. Later on, Chinese stations
were very strong around 1400 UTC, but the evening
was dominated by European and Middle Eastern stations.
Jim arrived back in Aihkiniemi
late in the evening with a huge load of king crab,
sent by friends and fellow DXers Bjarne Mjelde,
OJ Sagdahl, TJ Bråtveit and Ole Forr currently
on DXpedition KONG37 in Kongsfjord in northern Norway.
Thank you guys, we had a feast! You can follow KONG37
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The first Brazlian stations were
quite weak, and so were the North American stations,
rising above static a bit after 2200 UTC. I haven't
yet checked overnight recordings, but the morning
was poorest in many days as far as North America
is concerned. The southern half of South America
however turned out to be really nice around daybreak.
Signals from Brazil and Argentina persisted in daylight
well past 0700 UTC, which is exceptionally late
at this early point in the DX season.
Cooked king crab,
plenty for today's breakfast as well!
While North American signals
were weak around sunrise, they improved a bit when
stations from Latin America vanished. After 0800
UTC most stations were from the Northwest. Graveyard
signals were again wonderful, but have so far revealed
only familiar stations from around WA, OR and ID
(such as KKOR & KBAR on 1230, KEJO on 1240,
KLOO on 1340, KEDO on 1400 and KBKW & KVSI on
In the afternoon Pacific islands
gave monster signals, and about a dozen Kiwi frequencies
popped up briefly at around 10001130 UTC.
Again, no new ones, but it is always a thrill to
hunt for them. First to arrive from Asia were Japanese
and Chinese stations, and after 1500 UTC Iran and
South Asia ruled the dial. Personally the only new
instant catch was KPUA Hilo HI on 670 AM, finally
overcoming Alaskan KDLG. I had kept a close watch
on this one for days. The best window of opportunity
for Alaska and Hawaii at this time of the year is
usually around 13001400 UTC, after which stations
at 9 kHz intervals begin to drown everything from
the Western Hemisphere.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
The overnight opening to North
America was very strong. Both of my receivers had
overloaded, and one of my Jaguar softwares crashed
altogether, but we were awake early enough to enjoy
the daybreak opening, during which signals were
still quite powerful. The total signal strength
of all the AM stations, if it could be measured,
was probably better than I've heard in years. There
was no chance for Latin American stations to be
heard this morning.
On a foggy morning
However, East Coast stations
were few, and soon the opening narrowed to the Rockies
and the West Coast. Personally my best discoveries
were stations like KHKR Washington UT on 1210 AM
and KGEN Tulare CA on 1370 AM. Many Californian
stations were logged during the daylight hours,
perhaps best around 1100 UTC.
Daytime offered a neat surprise
from another direction as well - the Pacific. For
the first time in Finland, Radio Kiribati was heard
from its new transmitter site on Kiritimati Island
(846 AM). This location is so far east from the
capital Tarawa that it is actually heard much earlier,
and with a different antenna. The 9-degree wire
is clearly best for 846 AM, while 30 degrees is
the choice for Kiribati's more common transmitter
on 1440 AM.
With these hitech Kiwi
filters attached to Jim's earphones, he is guaranteed
to hear only Kiwis.
Later in the afternoon, the path
to Alaska and Hawaii was open again, and finally
we nailed KVOK Kodiak AK (560 AM) with a proper
ID. KVOK has an exceptionally good and an increasingly
rare format for an AM station: country music, which
I happen to love. Jim also scored his last remaining
Hawaiian AM stations, so he has nothing new to listen
to from that state anymore. I'm still hunting for
KNUI 550 AM, which is tough to identify, because
of interference by Alaskan KTZN.
V7AB from the Marshall Islands
was booming so well that I wanted to surprise fellow
DXers in the Arctic. I gave V7AB a call and asked
them to send our greetings to fellow listeners in
Finland and Norway, especially to the KONG DXpeditionists.
Luckily reception was quite good when the late night
host sent our greetings on the air. It remains a
bit of a mystery how he
spent the four minutes discussing the issue,
because despite my recent visit to the Marshall
Island, my Marshallese is a bit rusty.
From the left: Mika, Jim, Ritva and Jari enjoying
a dinner at Hotel Inari.
BTW, the upcoming World Radio
TV Handbook will include an article that I wrote
about V7AB based on my visit to Majuro in June this
In the evening we elevated socializing
from the broadcasting and virtual level to actually
meeting people face-to-face we met Jari Ruohomäki
and his spouse Ritva, who are spending the week
in Lemmenjoki, for dinner at Hotel Inari.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
The first North American stations
appeared at 2235 UTC from Ontario and the Great
Lakes area. Conditions improved fast, and signal
levels were surprisingly good. Overnight recordings
remain unchecked, but the morning was a bit of a
diasppointment. North American signals began to
wane already after 0530 UTC, and Latin American
ones a bit later. By 0630 UTC most channels were
just atmospheric noise, but an hour later, signals
from North America returned, continuing until around
Kuksa, a traditionally
carved mug for coffee, and a pen, both made
of local hardwood.
It seemed that all channels were
dominated by the usual suspects, many of them Canadian.
We did however enjoy a bit of an afternoon opening
to California. While not quite as good as yesterday,
for instance KFPT (790 AM) and KDOW (1220 AM) were
heard. KDOW from Palo Alto was an especially nice
surprise, because ages ago I used to live in Palo
Alto for a year, and this hometown business station
has been among my most wanted stations for a long
time. A year ago I also visited the studios and
the transmitter site, so I'm very happy to have
scored KDOW now also on the AM dial. If any fellow
Arctic DXers were listening to the West Coast in
the afternoon, be sure to check your files at around
The usual Pacific islands of
Tonga, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands were heard
once we switched on our 30-degree antenna after
0900 UTC. Today also Japanese stations showed up
before 1000 UTC, so it could have been possible
to catch local station identifications from NHK1
stations, but they all either vanished in static
or under Chinese interference by 1000 UTC.
The evening was unremarkable.
Jim heard ABC Perth on 720 AM at 2000 UTC, but a
check on other Western Australia frequencies revealed
nothing more. Instead, all evening the AM dial was
full of Middle Eastern stations.
Friday, October 26, 2018
This trail has been made by reindeer.
North American stations were
heard from 2215 UTC onwards. Brazilian stations
were already abundant by then, but average in strength.
A minor peak in US signals occurred at around 0100
UTC, but the following couple of hours were very
quiet. In the morning hours reception improved gradually,
and once again, stations were heard coast to coast.
The spread was large also vertically; stations originated
from Canada to Argentina, although hardly anything
from Central America and the Caribbean, from where
just a few Cuban stations were heard. My best catch
of the morning was Radiomundo from Uruguay on 1170
AM, a tough frequency for transatlantic reception.
A few weeks later I gave an interview to Radiomundo
trying to explain about DXing in Spanish, which
always feels quite challenging! You can listen
to the interview here.
North American signals were pretty
weak between 06000700 UTC, but improved for
a few more hours before diving earlier than on previous
days. Jim got one new station, WERC from Alabama
on 960 AM, but otherwise this opening didn't sound
very promising. Also Alaska and Hawaii fared much
worse than on previous days.
The countless stars on a clear night, with a
green hue from weak northern lights
Even Kiribati, Tonga and the
Marshall Islands were weaker than before. A couple
of Newstalk ZB stations were heard briefly, but
quite fast East Asians stations took over. After
1100 UTC Japanese, and exceedingly Chinese stations,
dominated the dial. Despite trying, we didn't find
All in all, more of the same, but weaker than before,
so it was hard to get excited about what the AM
dial offered until late in the evening, when
at 1959.50 UTC NHK1 local identifications were heard
on 18 different frequencies! Two of them (JOIG Toyama
648 AM and JOQG Morioka via Yamada on 1323 AM) were
new ones for me.
And, in addition to previously
mentioned Asfalttelegrafen, another Swedish station
captured my attention on this DXpedition. In the
evening, Radio Nord was testing from Vaxholm, near
Stockholm, on 6035 kHz, which turned out to be my
one and only shortwave report from AIH88.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
This is the main north-south artery in Lapland,
snowy and slippery on our way back.
Late Friday evening we caught
at least one interesting US station with daytime
power, namely WNWC Sun Prairie WI on 1190 AM. After
that overnight conditions seemed to offer some common
graveyard stations like KWNO 1230, WJMC 1240, and
KATE 1450 AM. However, we didn't monitor the AM
band in real time, instead we slept through the
night to be alert enough for a long drive.
In the morning North American stations vanished
almost totally at sunrise, so it didn't hurt to
turn receivers off and start packing. We cleaned
the place, and at around 1030 UTC we closed the
door and began heading south. Close to Kaamanen
we met briefly with incoming DXers Jorma Huuhtanen
and Jorma Mäntylä, who were going to have
fabulous conditions during their AIH89 DXpedition.
Click on the image to open the video with an
ID of KVOK 560 AM and a close encounter with
reindeer. Jim kept his cool.
The road back was a bit slippery.
On the way we listened online to some of the stations
that we had just caught the old-fashioned way. In
this video (yes, Aihkiniemi videos are now on
Youtube!) you can hear us listening to KVOK 560
AM, while narrowly missing a collision with reindeer
Eventually we made it fine to
Rovaniemi, where we loaded Jim's Honda on the train,
and got a good night sleep before arrival in Helsinki
at around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. The only drawback
was that as this particular night marked the return
to standard time, the train actually stayed put
at Seinäjoki railway station for an hour after
3 a.m. instead of taking us home an hour earlier.
An hour of our lives wasted... Well, on the other
hand, that's nothing compared to the hundreds or
thousands of hours that analyzing our recordings
on November 4, 2018