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Fjerritslev DXpedition Report
February 8-15, 2003

by Cornel van Ravenswaaij, Guido Schotmans and Max van Arnhem

Every right-minded medium wave DXer dreams now and than about making a trip to the famous beverage farm in a tiny little place called Fjerritslev, in Northern Jutland, Denmark. It was however not easy to form a group of interested people. There was already a "Beverage-group" that organised regular listening sessions, but extending the group would probably reduce the DX-quality.

Map of Fjerritslev, DenmarkAfter a search of almost a year, Guido Schotmans, Max van Arnhem and Cornel van Ravenswaaij formed a new group and took up the challenge to go to Fjerritslev between the 8th and 15th of February. A lot of e-mails were exchanged to agree upon what we needed for listening purposes and other needs.

Guido departed in Merksem, Belgium as early as 0400 local time for a trip of 1017 km since we wanted to reach Fjerritslev before sunset. Cornel was leaving Den Dolder in the Netherlands at 0530 and Max was driving away at 0600. From the centre of the Netherlands, the 850 kilometres long journey lasted for about eight and half hours. After some mobile calls we met each other in the last "Raststätte" and petrol station before the Danish border. From there we were heading north together for the last 350 km. We reached our target around 2.30 p.m. local time and found it without any problem.

Wilhelm Herbst was already waiting for us and after a hearty welcome he was so kind to give us some aid while unpacking our equipment.

After installing our receivers we connected them to one of the 21 beverage antennas and listening could commence. This is one of the major advantages of this DX location. The antennas are present permanently, which means you don't have to carry all that antenna material. Yes, you spend a lot of time on the voyage but on the other hand you're gaining time while you don't have to put up antennas.

Wilhelm Herbst has installed all these beverages between 65 and 360 degrees. They vary in length between 80 and more than 300 meters! To the western hemisphere, there are antennas available at almost every 10°. The antennas are situated around his farm, outside the small town of Fjerritslev with hardly any neighbours. Especially the surroundings are very quiet.

This means hardly any noise on the radio bands. Sometimes, you even get the impression that your receiver is not functioning well. In the neighbourhood are some small quiet towns and even beautiful beaches, which are worth a visit, even during wintertime. In Fjerritslev and Løgstør you can find libraries, which offer free Internet access. In this way we were able to follow the daily A and K indices.

Because of the unrest on the sun's surface, we experienced quite bad conditions on medium wave. Check the loggings. Nice receptions were Radio C.N.M. in Arad, Romania with 1 kW on 1602 kHz. While listening to 1575 VOA Thailand we also discovered Radio Asia 1575 in the United Arab Emirates. In the afternoons we started listening around 1400 UTC on medium wave towards Asia. Almost daily we heard the already mentioned VOA Thailand 1575, but also 1557 WYFR Family Radio, Taiwan, sometimes with very good quality.

Somewhat later in the afternoon we tuned to the tropical bands. We were quite astonished about the good reception quality of the RRI stations from Indonesia. This reminded us of the seventies and eighties when these stations often gave good reception quality in the Netherlands and Belgium too. Also the well known Australian 2 MHz stations were doing well and were often audible as soon as 1630 UTC. Cornel was very busy checking the Aero and NDB-bands and was very delighted with his results.

Another a nice reception was Radio Khara, Dusheti, Georgia, as well the still unidentified station on 4050 kHz, probably from Kyrgyzstan. In the evenings we tuned to the medium waves, tropical bands, short waves and aero bands.

Somewhat later in the evenings, especially stations from Brazil gave good reception in the 6, 9 and 11 MHz bands. The reception from the rest of South America was a bit disappointing.

Early mornings we pointed our attention to the medium wave band to listen to North and Central America, but conditions continued to be poor. Even these poor conditions gave some nice receptions, like La Voz Evangelica from Guatemala and quite some US stations between 1600 and 1700 kHz. WDHP from the Virgin Islands was a daily guest.

Furthermore, it looks like Wilhelm is still as passionate as in the times he was writing his story about 99 nights on medium wave. He was even prepared to wake us when conditions were going better.

Our listening time schedule was usually: getting up between 5 and 6 o'clock a.m., listening until just after 8. Then catch some sleep until 10 or 11. Buy some things in Fjerritslev, passing by the library and from 3 p.m. onwards, back to our monitoring positions until 1 at night or beyond.

Altogether, listening with Wilhelm's antennas from his unique location was quite an experience. Especially the directivity on medium wave, but also on short wave of beverage antennas was new to us. Don't forget to check out our MW loggings and SW loggings to see what we heard.

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Fjerritslev 2003 MW Log

Fjerritslev 2003 SW Log
(Excel files)

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