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Grayland DXpedition
July 9-10-11, 2004

Text by Guy Atkins and John Bryant

ANTENNAS & EQUIPMENT:

Equipment750 ft. SW & W Beverages, 950 ft. NW Beverage

Guy Atkins: modified ICOM R-75 / modified Racal RA6790GM / Timewave DSP-59+
Ergo receiver control / Kiwa MAP / RecAll Pro software / Sony MZ-R50 Mindisc

John Bryant: Ten-Tec RX340 / Ten-Tec RX320 / Timewave DSP-599ZX
Total Recorder Pro software

Don Nelson: Ten-Tec RX340 / WJ 8712P receivers / WJ 8711 / other receivers
Ergo receiver control / multiple Sony MDS-E12 Minidisc recorders

Walt Salmaniw: Ten-Tec RX340 / JRC NRD-90 / Timewave DSP-599ZX
Sony MZ-R55 Minidisc

Grayland mapJohn Bryant Comments:

The receiver used was a Ten Tec 340, with 700 to 900 foot Beverages pointed Southwest (New Zealand, Australia), West (Central Pacific, Australia) and Northwest (Japan, Coastal Asia and Southeast Asia). MW conditions on the 9th were among the worst encountered in my 18 years of DXing from the Pacific Northwest, with only the staunchest of old friends making a showing, largely at max dawn. The 10th and 11th saw conditions improving somewhat. The usual mid-summer pattern of most reception being from DownUnder continued. The only remarkable loggings were several very tentative logs to Australia-Northern Territory: Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs and a presumed logging of 3NE Wangaratta - 1566 kHz. on top of the 1566 HLAZ FEBC mega-powerhouse on Cheju Island, R. of Korea.

World map / Grayland Guy Atkins Comments:

Another enjoyable Grayland DXpedition is in the history books. Taking part were John Bryant, Don Nelson, Walt Salmaniw, and myself. This Thursday through Sunday DXpedition coincided with Grayland's annual kite festival; we had good fun trying to impress the kiters with the DXing hobby, and vice-versa. Did you know that some kites cost as much as a Ten-Tec RX340? You do now!

Mediumwave reception was the worst overall we've ever experienced in 15 years of DXing from the Washington State coast, so I roamed the tropical bands most of the time. However I did manage to log the rarely heard, 2 kilowatt 8RN stations in Darwin (657 kHz) & Katherine (639 kHz), both in the Northern Territory. 657 was clearly parallel to R. Australia on 9580, and 639 was parallel the ABC (VL8A) on 2310.

On the shortwave side of the spectrum, Walt and I were determined to get an ID out of RPDT Manggarai (2960v). However, in 3+ hours of monitoring this tantalizing signal we never noted an ID. Catholic Radio Network (4960) in Papua New Guinea boomed in with excellent reception on July 11th, providing 100% readability during a live broadcast of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG. It was interesting too, to hear advertisements on CRN on July 9th-- ads with local flavor just like those found on the PNG regionals.

My DXpedition gear at the DXpedition included modified Racal RA6790GM and ICOM R-75 receivers, a Kiwa MAP unit, ERGO control program, and a Timewave DSP-59+ audio filter. Recordings were made with a Sony MZ-R50 Minidisc recorder and the RecAll Pro PC recording software.

---------------------------------------------------------

MEDIUMWAVE

531 NEW ZEALAND 1XPI Auckland, Jul 11 1239 - Good level at tune-in, but fading by 1240. Woman announcer with unid. island language or Maori. (Atkins-WA)

576 AUSTRALIA 2RN Sydney , Jul 11 1226 - Noted in passing with pop music show hosted by fem. Good level. (Bryant-WA)

594 AUSTRALIA 3WV Horsham , Jul 10 1311 - Heard with 'Saturday Night Country' at end of dawn enhancement.Fair level to band fade. See also 702 kHz. and others. (Bryant-WA)

594 JAPAN JOAK, NHK-1 Tokyo , Jul 11 1157 - Noted in passing at fair to good level with JJ talk by man. (Bryant-WA)

612 AUSTRALIA 4QR MS Brisbane , Jul 11 1230 - Heard with typical Metro Service Aussie talk by males at good level. (Bryant-WA)

639 AUSTRALIA 8RN Katherine, Jul 9 1210 - Male announcers broadcasting Aussie football in English. Poor-fair level. Parallel 2310 VL8A (ABC). (Atkins-WA)

657 AUSTRALIA 8RN Darwin (very tent.) , Jul 11 1200 - Aussie signal noted here with Seeming Radio Australia ID and into news // to 9580. Threshold opening for about 2 minutes. Not an official log, but very promising. (Bryant/Atkins-WA)

675 AUSTRALIA 2CO Albany , Jul 11 1235 - This presumed the one here with talk by fems at poor level. (Bryant-WA)

684 AUSTRALIA 2KP Kempsey , Jul 11 1238 - Heard //2CO and also mixing with another Aussie, possibly 8RN Tennant Creek. Both at fair to poor level. (Bryant-WA)

702 AUSTRALIA 2BL Sydney, Jul 9 1320 - Noted in passing with two male announcers, parallel to 2NR Grafton 738, 3LO Melbourne 774, and 4RN Brisbane on 792. Poor-fair level. (Atkins-WA)

702 AUSTRALIA 2BL Sydney , Jul 10 1248 - Sydney Metropolitan Service noted here with 'Saturday Night Country' an 'ABC Local Radio' (RR network) program. From the numerous ABC Local Radio promos, it was clear that much of all three ABC networks join ABC Local Radio for this program for most of Saturday night.... probably from about 10PM local time, in a rolling join-up from east to west.Signal was excellent at times. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

738 AUSTRALIA 2NR Grafton, Jul 9 1315 - Likely this with discussion by two Aussie-accent males, parallel 702 2BL Sydney, 774 3LO Melbourne, and 792 4RN Brisbane. Poor. (Atkins-WA)

738 AUSTRALIA 2NR Grafton , Jul 10 1116 - Both 2NR (ABC RR Service) and several Metropolitan Service stations carrying a sporting event where one team represented Auckland, NZ. Possibly soccer. Fair signal //774 and others. (Bryant-WA)

738 TAHITI RFO R. Tahiti, Mahina , Jul 9 0438 - Rapidly building signal, first heard at 0430, then throughout the night. Very good by 1200. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

774 AUSTRALIA 3LO Melbourne, Jul 9 1320 - Two Aussie-accented males with talk, parallel 2NR Grafton 738, 2BL Sydney 702, and 4RN Brisbane 792. Poor-fair. (Atkins-WA)

774 JAPAN JOUB, NHK2, Akita , Jul 10 1158 - Here at fair level briefly on top of Aussie. JJ talk by male. Fade at TOH. Fair to good level. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

783 AUSTRALIA 8AL Alice Creek (tent.) , Jul 11 1243 - Tentative this one with music show hosted by fem. Not // 2310 kHz. Poor as band began to fade. (Bryant-WA)

792 AUSTRALIA 4RN Brisbane, Jul 9 1320 - Aussie-accent talk with two announcers, parallel 2NR Grafton 738, 2BL Sydney 702, and 3LO Melbourne 774. Poor-fair. (Atkins-WA)

792 AUSTRALIA 4RN Brisbane , Jul 10 1201 - Here after TOH at good level with ABC International/National News. Male+female news reader. (Bryant-WA)

828 AUSTRALIA 3GI, Sale (pres.) , Jul 9 1148 - Noted here // 774 (unusual) with part of a sports event. Poor level, but clearly //774//891. Also noted July 10. (Bryant-WA)

828 JAPAN JOBB, NHK-2 Osaka , Jul 11 1131 - Noted briefly mixing with or dominating 3LO, with JJ talk and possible language lesson. Fair level. (Bryant-WA)

891 AUSTRALIA 5AN, Adelaide , Jul 9 1156 - Also noted with the sports event //774//828. Fair level. Also noted July 10. (Bryant-WA)
1035 NEW ZEALAND 2ZB Wellington (pres.) , Jul 11 1250 - Brief log at band fade with two men talking with DU accents. This the only DU station listed. Fair to poor and then gone, due to dawn at Grayland. (Bryant-WA)

1062 AUSTRALIA 4TI Thursday Island , Jul 10 1302 - Noted with Saturday Night Country program at good level // others. (Bryant-WA)
1098 MARSHALL ISLANDS V7AD, Majuro , Jul 9 1122 - Heard at good level with island music and presumed Marshalese lang by male host. Best number was a gonzo Melanesian version of 'Blue Bayoo' on traditional instruments. Whadda hoot!. (Bryant-WA)

1098 MARSHALL ISLANDS R. Marshalls V7AD Majuro, Jul 9 1124 - Peaking at nice level with Marshallese talk by male; island choral music 1126. Male announcer 1134. Faded down by 1138. (Atkins-WA)

1116 AUSTRALIA 4BC Brisbane , Jul 9 0948 - First noted at 0948 with good signal. A talk show with male host. Noted throughout the expedition as the most reliable Aussie on the band. This was true last season, as well. What makes this remarkable is that 4BC, like all Aussie commercial outlets, is limited to 5 kW, while some ABC coastal outlets - such as 2RN-576 and 2BC-702 in Sydney and 4QR-612 in Brisbane - run 10 times that amount. (Bryant-WA)

1287 JAPAN JOHR Sapporo , Jul 10 1140 - Heard at threshold level in definite JJ, building to fair signal during part of max. dawn. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

1386 JAPAN NHK2 Synchros , Jul 10 1130 - First Japanese of DXpedition. Noted at poor to fair level with male speaking in JJ. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

1475 MALAYSIA (WESTERN) RTVM Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu , Jul 9 1106 - Noted here with threshold audio. This Muslim propaganda station still broadcasting straight north to the Philippines in Tagalog on the non-standard 1475. (Bryant-WA)

1503 JAPAN JOUK, NHK 1 Akita , Jul 10 1145 - Japanese modern popular music show at good level from this powerhouse throughout dawn enhancement. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

1548 AUSTRALIA 4QD Emerald, Jul 9 1044 - Presumed. Aussie-accented folk music 1044. Male announcer in English with possible commentary on musical styles. Fair. (Atkins-WA)

1566 AUSTRALIA 3NE Wangaratta (pres.) , Jul 10 1215 - From first tune-in at 1215 until 1248 (the heart of dawn enhancement,) HLAZ was dominated by an Aussie station playing 1950s/Early 60s US Rock and Roll, with a male DJ. Likely 3NE, Wangaratta, an Aussie commercial outlet with 5 kW. The only other DU station listed is a 200 watter in Queensland. Will send tentative report.. (Bryant-WA)

1566 REP. OF (SOUTH) KOREA HLAZ Cheju Island , Jul 10 1215 - Heard with usual FEBC religous programming throughout dawn enhancement. Very unusual reception in that this normal powerhouse was dominated through much of dawn enhancement by a furball of two other stations. HLAZ was fair at times. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

1593 CHINA Heilongjiang News Station (pres.) , Jul 10 1155 - Commentary/discussion with male Chinese announcer fair to poor at 1155, fading to nothing at TOH, naturally. Only Chinese of DXpedition for me. Also noted July 11. (Bryant-WA)

-----------------------------------------------------

SHORTWAVE

AUSTRALIA 2310, 1224-1233, VL8A Alice Springs Jul 9 Excellent signal of two sportscasters discussing Australian football, and mentions of 'ABC National'. Parallel 2325 VL8T Tennant Creek (very good) and VL8K Katherine (poor), as well as 8RN Darwin on 657 (fair). (Atkins-WA)

BOLIVIA 6025, 0214-0225, R. Illimani Jul 11 Frenetic futbol announcers in Spanish, describing match between Argentina and Mexico. Quick mention of 'Illimani'. Very good level, but some local QRM. (Atkins-WA)

CONGO 5985, 0447-0455, RTV Congolaise Jul 10 Strong, clear reception with male announcer in French, mentioning Brazzaville frequently. Great listening until WYFR stomped on the Congolaise DX at 0455. On Jul 11, RTV Congolaise rose to equal level with WYFR at 0437, and was in the clear at 0445 dominating WYFR. Strong open carrier 0448 over Congo, but it was still readable underneath with French announcer and brief soukous music. (Atkins-WA)

GABON 4890, 0406-0421, RFI Afrique Jul 11 Female announcer in French with possible news items, and report by a different female reporter. 4890 seemed in parallel to 7150 Ascension. Mostly fair signal, but hampered by band noise. (Atkins-WA)

GHANA 4915, 0548-0602, GBC Jul 10 Zairian style soukous at 0548 and at a good level, too. Drums at 0600; 3 time pips +1, Radio Ghana ID and into news reports. (Atkins-WA)

INDIA 4775, 1343-1348, AIR Imphal Jul 9 Male announcer with list or text that he was reading v-e-r-y slowly in Hindi. Poor-fair at 1-1/2 hours past local sunrise. (Atkins-WA)

INDIA 4910, 1338-1342, AIR Jaipur Jul 9 Male announcer in Hindi; advertisement or promo 1341 with lively music and Hindi singing. Into another ad with male announcer and short clips of music. Fair-good signal. (Atkins-WA)

INDONESIA 2960v, 1040-1310+, RPDT Manggarai Jul 11 First noted with poor-fair signal at 1040 with sleep-inducing monotone Indonesian male announcer. Heard only on the NW Beverage. Mentions of Ruteng Flores at 1105 and again at 1115, but no ID or break noted. Drifty signal from 2959.85-2960.05. Near grayline conditions between Grayland and Manggarai at tune-in; signal slowly varied up and down from threshold level to poor by 1124; occasional brief peaks of better reception. Various music styles to announcements 1158 (but no ID) and into RRI network at 1200, parallel 4750 and 3266.4. Good signal as local Grayland sunrise approached. Back to local programming of music at 1225. No ID heard in the 1258-1310 timeframe either, but 'who else could it be?'. Casual monitoring while packing up the DXpedition gear showed Manggarai still on the air past 1400. (Atkins-WA)

INDONESIA 3266.4, 1126-1145, RRI Gorontalo Jul 10 'Kang Guru Radio English Show' with male and female announcers assisting Indonesian listeners with writing/reading the English language; comments in both Indonesian and EG. Credit given to the 'KGIA' (?) for production of the Kang Guru program. At 1138, sound bites of 1950s tune 'Hey Hey Mr. Postman' bracketing tips for improving your postal letter writing. PO Box address given at 1140. Good signal. (Atkins-WA)

INDONESIA 4604.96, 1100-1106, RRI Serui Jul 10 RRI news relay at tune-in. Nice RRI ID at 1105. Good level for a 500 watt station. (Atkins-WA)

INDONESIA 4790, 1233-1313, RRI Fak Fak Jul 9 Soft lagu romantik tunes in Indonesian, continuous from 1233 tune-in. Powerhouse signal level, but some swisher QRM. No break or announcers at top of hour. Male announcer with ID at 1310, and back into music. (Atkins-WA)

INDONESIA 4870.9, 0948-1031, RRI Sorong Jul 11 Male announcer in Indonesian with many mentions of Sorong; harmonizing acapella quartet at 0959-1002; EZL male vocals 1003; continuous Indo music to quick RRI Sorong ID 1031. (Atkins-WA)

INDONESIA 4925, 1120-1125, RRI Jambi Jul 10 Good signal with lagu melayu and male vocals, and approaching grayline conditions with sunset at the transmitter. (Atkins-WA)

MALAYSIA 4895, 1348-1355, RTM Sarawak Jul 9 Powerhouse signal of Malay pop music and occasional chatter by male and female announcers in Iban. Mentions of Malaysia 1350, and 'Radio Malaysia...???...' partial ID at 1355 by woman. Excellent level on West Beverage. (Atkins-WA)

NEW ZEALAND 3935, 1410-1418, ZLXA Levin Jul 10 Radio Reading Service, with two male announcers discussing Papua New Guinea politics. Poor-fair, and only audible on SW Beverage. Also noted earlier at 1055 with National Radio relay of an opera and into Radio New Zealand news at 1100. (Atkins-WA)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA 3235, 1015-1030, R. West New Britain Jul 10 Hymn or religious acapella chorus 1015, modern PNG pop music 1017. Fair level but noisy band conditions. The following additional PNG outlets were also heard in the 1020 timeframe: 3260 R. Madang, fair-good; 3325 R. North Solomons, fair mixing with RRI Palangkaraya; 3335 R. East Sepik, excellent; NBC Port Moresby 4890 (but absent on Jul 11, 0900-1300), Excellent S9+10db; 4960 Catholic Radio Network, good. Very few PNGs this evening. (Atkins-WA)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA 4960, 1140-1209, Catholic Radio Network, Vanimo Jul 9 Today is the first time I've noted advertisements on CRN. Ads in English by female for PNG Motors ("mention this ad to get an especially generous offer at only 72,500 Kina")($22,511 US) and Michael's Sporting & Fishing ("Phone 9821133 or 9821132"). Religious chorus in Pidgin 1201; "Good night listener program" in Pidgin by male at 1203. Mentions of United Nations Development Program and Leadership Development Program at 1204 in Pidgin. Very good signal. On Jul 11, an excellent signal was heard at 0953 tune-in, with broadcast of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG in Pidgin and English. At 1011, numerous Catholic and PNG government officials were introduced ("A warm welcome to the Honorable Alfred Sumani of Bougainville..."). Mentions of various issues facing the bishops such as youth problems, HIV/AIDS in the community, etc. The bishops were reminded that they want only government cooperation, not money for their participation in tackling these PNG problems. (Atkins-WA)

SOLOMON ISLANDS 5019.9, 0940-0943, SIBC Jul 10 Heard briefly while tuning through 60 meters, and noted a good, but less than stellar SIBC signal. Local female announcer in Pidgin, and island music. (Atkins-WA)

SOUTH AFRICA 3320, 0427-0434, R. SonderGrense Jul 11 Orchestral music to 0428 male announcer in presumed Afrikaans--too weak and noisy to be certain. Tentative, and into the noise by 0434. (Atkins-WA)

VANUATU 7260, 0926-0933, R. Vanuatu Jul 9 Female announcer in English; male announcer with 'This is R. Vanuatu' ID at 0926. Guitar folk music. Fair and slowly improving signal. Also heard July 10 at 0950 with 'Oye Como Va' by Santana at good level. (Atkins-WA)

ZAMBIA 4910, 0250-0315, ZBC Radio 1 Jul 10 Good reception with fish eagle interval signal, national anthem, and lively Afropops music. Heard about 1-1/2 hours before Grayland sunset. Also heard 0422 on Jul 11, but with a poor signal. (Atkins-WA)

Posted on September 11, 2004

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