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Chamberlain DXpedition site

by Jerry Berg

The Chamberlain site was discovered some years back by two members of the Boston Area DXers who were searching for possible shoreside listening sites. It is a house in sparsely populated Chamberlain, Maine, on the Pemaquid Peninsula, about three hours north of Boston.

Map of Chamberlain

The owner of the house rents a downstairs apartment to visitors during the summer months. Since DXpeditions are normally held during the winter, the apartment is usually available. Maximum occupancy is four DXers, with all the comforts of home--living room, bedrooms, a full kitchen and bath. Of course, in the early days the owner knew nothing about DXing or DXers. Now, however, there are usually several DX trips to the site by various DXers each season, and so she has come to understand, and even enjoy, the doings of these weird guys who lay out long wires on the rocks and stay up at all hours listening to the radio.

Arriving at DX central
Arriving at DX central

For medium wave, seaside listening is an entirely different experience from inland listening. Even for shortwave, however, the difference in reception is noticeable. Signals are crisper and clearer, and afternoon openings on the tropical bands--always valued on the U.S. east coast for the potential for African and Asian reception--are as much as two hours earlier than at home. We are usually fairly casual about shortwave antennas, normally laying them along the 700 or so feet of easily accessible rocks alongside the ocean. DXers run their individual antennas--no splitters, etc.

Looking north from DX central
Looking north from DX central

By Atkins / Bryant / Hall-Patch / Nelson standards (Emerging Techniques of High-Tech DXpeditioning), our DXpeditions are low tech; no laptops, "DX Radars" or hand-held PDAs--just receivers, tape recorders, a few accessories, lots of wire, plus printed materials, target lists and an abundance of DX vittles. In the past, these trips have been two day affairs, arriving around noon on Friday and staying until the bands go out on Sunday morning. However, this time we went up a day earlier, giving us three full days of DXing. This is better, as it gives time to get acclamated, and to follow up on things heard early in the trip.

Downtown Chamberlain
Methodist Church of New Harbor

While hearing new stations is always the prime goal of a DXpedition, logging already-heard stations with unusually good signal quality is almost as much fun. Perhaps as important is just being able to spend "quality time" at the dials without the usual distractions of home. And in Chamberlain, even if reception conditions are poor, the view is great.

A small lobster boat in New Harbor, next to Chamberlain








published on January 8, 2003

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