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French Creek DXpedition no. 17
December 14-16, 2003

By Rich D'Angelo

Our second DXpedition of the season and our seventeenth overall to French Creek State Park is now history. This DXpedition was a Sunday through Tuesday affair. Rich Cuff, John Figliozzi, Ed Mauger and Tracy Wood rounded out the group. This was the first time that Rich, John and Tracy made a French Creek DXpedition. John Figliozzi was delayed a day due to massive amounts of snow that attempted to keep him from this rendezvous with destiny.

Group picture
Left to right - Ed Mauger, Tracy Wood, John Figliozzi, Rich D'Angelo and Rich Cuff

In December we made another visit to our favorite DXpedition site fighting not only propagation but also the weather.

Massive amounts of snow in New York resulted in John Figliozzi’s postponement with his rendezvous with Destiny at French Creek (after the weather cleared he trekked down from New York State without a hitch). Instead of a DXpediton on Sunday, he had to settle for Christmas shopping with his wife, a different rendezvous with destiny. By Monday afternoon, all was well in the DX world as John pulled into the DXpedition site.

An outside view of the cabin

Tracy Wood experienced significant traveling problems getting to the cabin. The weather beaten crew consisted of Rich Cuff, John Figliozzi, Ed Mauger, Tracy Wood and myself. This was the first time that Rich, John and Tracy made a French Creek DXpedition.

I was the first to arrive and began unloading in extremely slippery conditions. The early morning snow changed over to sleet and freezing rain and then all rain during the day. The French Creek area dodged a forecasted big snow but icy conditions made antenna work adventuresome.

After hauling my gear into the cabin, I began the journey up the back slope to erect my main antenna, a 500-foot long wire. Normally I can get that done in 15 minutes but on this day with slippery conditions from the snow on the ground and the ice on everything else, it took between 35-40 minutes. I immediately dismissed all thoughts of putting up a second antenna as I had no plans to further battle the weather conditions.

Chef D'Angelo
Chef D'Angelo preparing the Monday night "banquet" of pasta, meatballs and Texas Toast

Ed arrived as I finished my antenna work so I had the opportunity to watch him slide all over the mountain doing his antenna work. Oh what fun! Rich Cuff was next to arrive but his antenna set-ups were a little more modest so he wasn’t very entertaining. Ed brought along a “spare” R-8, which Rich Cuff put to good use along with his Sony 2010.

After darkness fell, Tracy magically appeared at 1900 local. Finding the cabins can be difficult in daylight but being a first timer and finding them at night merits the “tough guy” award for bravery, or should that be for foolishness? John sent world through Rich’s Blackberry that he was marooned in the greater Albany area for the foreseeable future.

Rich D'Angelo and John Figliozzi
Rich D'Angelo and John Figliozzi discussing the finer points of pasta preparation

Early afternoon Africans were pretty good with Zambia on 4910 pinning the s-meter prior to sign off shortly after 2200. I noted Radio Táchira signing on at 2200, which surprised me. A few Chinese regional stations were noted but for the most part the awful weather was accompanied by poor propagation, as Indonesia was non-existent. Latin’s were fairly quiet early but eventually things opened up a bit with some interesting Peruvians such as Poderosa and Frecuencia VH making appearances during the evening.

RAD cleaning up after dinner
RAD cleaning up after dinner

Monday morning saw Ed and Tracy up extra early at 0300 local/0800 UTC so they enjoyed an outstanding opening to Brazil. This was followed by a great opening to Perú. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear much from Indonesia or Papua New Guinea. However, Indians were numerous with reception noted from Kurseong and Lucknow. The snow, sleet, and rain mix from the day before left an icy feel to the outdoors as folks headed out to run errands.

Our snowbound DX’er, John Figliozzi, arrived mid-afternoon on Wednesday to complete the cabin. Afternoon conditions were far from ideal but a few decent logs were made. As is customary, the last night was our banquet, the traditional pasta dinner. As usual, it was a big event and a group digital photo closed out the formal activities. We returned to our rigs as conditions seemed to improve as the evening wore on.

John Figliozzi reading with Tracy Wood DXing
John Figliozzi reading with Tracy Wood DXing

Get away morning saw another good opening to Latin America with Bolivian, Brazilian and Peruvian stations everywhere. Once again Indonesia was quiet but Indians cooperated for some nice logs. The three Australian regional stations on 120 meters were heard with 2310 kHz booming around 1200 UTC.

Finally, we packed our gear, tore down our antennas and said our good-byes putting yet another DXpedition in the record books. Without any snow or ice to hamper this activity, things moved along smoothly. Overall, conditions were pretty good making this outing well worth the awful weather we had to contend with to get to the park. First timers, Rich Cuff, John Figliozzi and Tracy Wood enjoyed the visit although next time we need to have John around more than 18 hours!

Ed Mauger and John Figliozzi actually DXing

Other highlights:

AIR Gangtok (tentative)
Kyrgyz Radio
Radio Hargeysa (presumed)
Heilongjiang PBS

The only lowlight was not hearing any Europirates.

Equipment: Ten-Tec RX-340 and a Drake R-8B, 500 foot wire essential north, 200-foot wire essentially south, Datong FL3.


2310, ABC Northern Territories, Alice Springs (VL8A), 1120-1210 Dec 16, aboriginal music followed by a man with English talk with a woman reading ABC News at 1130. Fair but improving to good by 1200. //2325 Tennant Creek (VL8T) was poor and 2485 Katherine (VL8K) was very weak. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

3310, Radio Mosoj Chaski, 2248-2310 Dec 15, program of rustic vocals hosted by a woman announcer in Quechoa. Formal Spanish ID and frequency announcement at 2257 and again at 2300. Poor. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5952.5, Radio Pio Doce, 0946-0957 Dec 15, talk in Spanish by a woman announcer with numerous IDs and TCs. Rustic female vocal selection followed by another ID and TC and more music. Fair signal until WYFR opened on 5950 making this a mess. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4865, Rádio Verdes Florestas, 1055-1120 fade out Dec 16, group singing with nice ID and frequency announcement noted at 1103. Mix of talks by a man and woman with another ID at 1107. Some brief musical segments. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5055, Rádio Difusora Cáceres, 0918-0941 fade out Dec 16, man with Portuguese religious talks, brief musical segments, more talk and choir vocals. ID at 0939 as beginning to fade out. Weak. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

11785, Rádio Guaíba, 0242-0305* Dec 15, nice program of instrumental music hosted by a man with ID and frequency announcement at 0245. Time pips at 0300 followed by quick ID and announcement at 0305 as carrier was terminated. Poor to fair but in the clear. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5945, Democratic Voice of Burma via Deutsche Telekom Jülich, *2327-2350 Dec 15, male vocal opening followed by opening ID and announcements. News in Burmese by a man and woman. Poor to fair with some growling noise. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

11530, Voice of Mesopotamia via Moldova, 1250-1345 Dec 15, continuous Middle Eastern music with nice ID, website address at 1305 and multiple IDs over music. Mix of music and Kurdish talks. Fair signal. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4820, AIR Kolkata, 1233-1242 Dec 15, flute music with Hindi talk by a woman announcer. More flute music. Poor. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4860, AIR Delhi, 1230-1236 Dec 15, English news read by a woman announcer noted //4895. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4880, AIR Lucknow, 1223-1235 fade out Dec 15, group singing with Hindi talk at 1225 and more group singing. Poor to air but fading quickly. Noted from 1210 on Dec 16 with open carrier and IS from 1213 with woman announcer giving ID and opening announcements at 1215. Weak on this day. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4895, AIR Kurseong, 1203-1233 Dec 15, nice mix of group vocals, flute music and an Hindi version of “Jingle Bells.” At 1230 ID in English followed by the news. Fair signal with swisher QRM //4860 for news. Noted again on Dec 16 at 1140 with Hindi vocals at fair level. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

3976, RRI Pontianak (tentative), 1127-1142 Dec 15, mix of vocals and Indonesian talks by man announcer. Poor and smothered by ARO QRM. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4790, RRI Fak Fak (tentative), 1138-1147 Dec 16, vocals followed by Indonesian talk by a man. Weak signal and gone almost immediately. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4800, Radio Lesotho, 0358-0416 Dec 15, easy instrumental music to 0400 ID and news in Sesotho by a man. At 0405 a series of public service announcements including one in English about “crime activity.” Poor to fair signal with heavy swisher QRM. Thanks to a Tracy Wood’s alert. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5040.6, Radio Myanmar, 1116-1210 Dec 15 and 16, regional vocals hosted by a woman announcer in Myanmar language. Poor to good both days. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5985.9v, Radio Myanmar, 1132-1205 Dec 16, Main Program news read by a man in Myanmar language. ID at 1138 followed by local instrumental music. Program of vocals hosted by a woman announcer. Poor with signal right on 5986 at tune in but drifted down while listening. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

3235, Radio Luz y Sonido, 1008-1021 Dec 16, music program hosted by a man with Spanish talk and canned echo effect ID at 1015. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

3329.7, Ondas del Hullaga, 1032-1052 Dec 15, man with news in Spanish followed by ID at 1042 by a woman announcer and vocals. Fair signal and best in LSB to avoid CHU. Almost faded by 1050. Noted again on Dec 16 around 1030 with lively music programming and a fair signal. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4386.6, Radio Imperio, 0213-0245 Dec 15, man preaching in Spanish before a live church service crowd. Back to studio at 0228 with a man announcer giving station identification followed by choir vocals. Another ID and TC at 0236 followed by more choir singing. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4485.9, Radio Frecuencia VH, 0113-0142 Dec 15, program of rustic vocals hosted by a man announcer with Spanish announcements, ID and TC. Poor. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4746.9, Radio Hunata 2000, 0957-1030 Dec 15, long talks by a man in Spanish, frequent IDs, news. Fair and steady signal. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4991, Radio Ancash, 1039-1050 Dec 15, ad string followed by man announcer with Spanish chatter, vocal selections and ID at 1044 over music. Seemingly returning to this frequency from 4992.5 with Apintie on 4990. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5019.9, Radio Horizonte, 1130-1142 Dec 15, caught ID by man announcer at tune in with Spanish talk, noticias, another ID by a woman at 1136 followed by a vocal. Fair but beginning to fade. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5025, Radio Quillabamba, 1006-1015 Dec 16, vocals followed by a man with Spanish talk and ID over bells. Rustic vocal by a woman followed. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5486.7, Reina de la Selva, 1048-1110 Dec 15, fast talking man in Spanish, echo effect announcements, ads, mentions of “Chachapoyas” flute music and vocals with an ID at 1057. Fair but starting to fade after 1100. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5626.3-5627.2v, Radio Cielo, 1100-1124 Dec 15, man playing Peruvian vocals with nice IDs between each selection with brief Spanish chatter. Nice ID at 1122: “Este es Radio Cielo.” Fair signal but unstable and overmodulated. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

5906.4, Radio Panorama, 0940-1010 Dec 16, morning program with two men bantering back and forth. Nice Radio Panorama ID and TC at 0944 followed by group singing. Another Radio Panorama ID and frequency announcement at 1002 followed by an ad string. However, at 1004 I heard what sounded like a Radio Melodia ID. I have seen reports for both stations around this frequency. Could there be some sort of joint programming of some sort? Maybe a program on Melodia is called “Panorama?” Confusing. Weak. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

6536, Radio Poderosa, 0044-0104* Dec 15, man in Spanish hosting a program of rustic Peruvian vocals. Nice ID and mention of Huancabamba at 0052 and 0057. ID and sign off announcements at 0102 followed by choral National Anthem. Weak. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

PIRATE (No. Am.)
6950, Sunshine Radio, 2108-2114 and 2210 re-check Dec 14, program of continuous music with woman giving ID at 2112: “This is Sunshine Radio.” She wished every one a Merry Christmas and “back to the music on Sunshine Radio.” Fair signal but being overwhelmed by a Chinese station when re-checked at 2220. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

6950 usb, Voice of Captain Ron Shortwave, 0108-0114 Dec 15, Captain Ron and his encounter with a card board box followed by rock music. Fair to good. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

6955, WMPR, 2340-0001* Dec 14, Christmas music, ID by a man and woman: “WMPR, 6-9-5-5” followed by instrumental version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Another ID at 2349 followed by more music. Fair. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

6055, Radio Rwanda, 2048-2100* Dec 14, in the clear with continuous highlife music until ID and sign off announcements in French by a man followed by orchestra national anthem at 2055 and choral national anthem at 2058. Fair signal with no QRM. (D’Angelo-PA)

9595, Radio Monte Carlo and Radio Oriental, 2346-0012 Dec 15, program of vocals with mentions of Uruguay. Ad string at 0000 followed by the news in Spanish. Nice ID at end of the news mentioning both stations. Poor to fair and seemingly best in LSB. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4830, Radio Táchira, *2200-2212 Dec 14, opening choral National Anthem followed by regional anthem. A woman with Spanish ID and announcements followed by a man with formal opening announcements. Into a program of Latin vocals. Fair to good signal and first time I’ve noted sign on at this hour. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

4910, Radio Zambia, 2130-2201* Dec 14, man hosting telephone call in program in local language with some tribal musical selections. Announcer gave ID after time pips at 2200. Re-check shortly thereafter and they were gone so presumed sign off after ID. Fair with swisher QRM. (D’Angelo/FCDX-PA)

Posted on December 25, 2003

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