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South African Dassie DXpedition

12-15 September 2004

By Vince Stevens

Named after the large number of Dassie's (Afrikaans name for Rock Hyrax) that abound around the two cottages at Jongensgat Private Nature reserve. (Strangely, despite their size, these little animals are the closest relatives to the elephant family).

JongensgatJongensgat (34 24 51S / 21 22 39E) is 8 km from the fishing village of Stilbaai and about 350 KM East of Cape Town. This prime DX site with its 2 isolated wooden cottages is only 60 meters from the Indian Ocean. There is a clear outlook over the sea to the South East (Australia).

Reception to the North West was somewhat blocked by hills and mountains inland, but good results were nevertheless obtained from N&S America. The primary objective of the DXpedition was MW stations from Australia (and hopefully the South Pacific) so the site was ideally situated for that. Those that attended were John Plimmer, Gary Deacon and myself, Vince Stevens. Denis Johnson also joined us for one night.

Map - Jongensgat in the southeastern cornerThe location was so pleasant that all our spouses decided it was good enough for them too, so we had a real family atmosphere in the houses. Gary's source of QRM, his 5-year-old daughter (and budding DXer), Nicole made up the numbers!

The trip produced some interesting DX with a few stations heard for the first time. Good reception from Australia during the evenings preceded a strong Brazilian presence in the late evening/early morning, followed by limited openings to the USA/Mexico/Caribbean from pre-dawn until sunrise.

John Plimmer with his finger compass
Vince Stevens (left), Gary Deacon & John Plimmer - with his finger compass

Sunday 12/9:
Reception during the first evening was really encouraging! A strong Western Australian presence included a few stations from South Australia and Queensland. 6WF 720 was heard until transmitter sunrise around 2245 UTC! Australian MW stations generally fade out much earlier in favour of signals from Africa/Middle East, which normally dominate the band all evening.

Monday 13/9:
Dawn X-Band reception included USA station KRJO, Monroe LA 1680 kHz and Mexican station XEPE, Tecate 1700 kHz (under KVNS, Brownsville TX), both noted for the first time. Outstanding reception from Western Australia occurred in the evening, even better than on the night before. 6WF was already evident at 1505 UTC (5:05 PM local time) with the afternoon sun still quite high up in the sky! South Australia and Queensland were also heard. This was probably one of the longest and most consistent openings to Aussie that any of us have ever experienced.

Dassie
A "hyrax" is an ungulate about the size of a rabbit and they are diurnal.

Tuesday 14/9:
Morning Trans-Atlantic reception only average. Strangely enough Australia was conspicuous by its absence during the first three hours of listening on the final evening. Reception conditions had obviously changed dramatically from the previous day, but some Aussie stations suddenly appeared around 18:00 UTC. Overall the Far East was dominant, a total contrast to the previous evening. MW DXing continues to provide surprises!.

Wednesday 15/9:
The last morning was the best one for North America. The X-band was quite active with more than one station on a number of frequencies. KCJJ-1630 and KGA-1510, plus Mexico-1700, the highlights.

Receivers: Drake R8B, Drake R8A, Yaesu FRG-7 and preselector.
Antennas: 3 Beverage antennas of between 150, 300 and 350 metres in length, at bearings of 335, 310 and 285 deg respectively. Plus a Kiwa MW Loop and a Datong AD370 active antenna for tropical bands.

THE LOGS: (times in UTC)

531 1600 AUSTRALIA 6DL Dalwallinu w ABC news // 720 kHz - fair 13/9
540 1559 AUSTRALIA UNIDENTIFIED ABC Station // 720 - very weak 13/9
558 1802 AUSTRALIA 6WA Wagin w ABC news - poor 13/9
585 1635 AUSTRALIA 6PB Perth (Presumed) w BBC relay - good 12/9
585 0403 SPAIN RNE1 Madrid in SS w nx - poor-fair w QRM
603 1755 AUSTRALIA 6PH Port Hedland // 720 kHz - poor 13/9
612 1800 AUSTRALIA 6RN Dalwallinu w id and ABC news - fair 13/9
630 1921 AUSTRALIA 6AL Albury w music // 720 & 675 - fair 13/9
630 1919 AUSTRALIA 4QN Townsville w country music, id as " 6-30 ABC North Queensland " and time check for " 19 minutes past 5 " - poor with fair peaks 13/9
639 1934 AUSTRALIA 5CK Port Pirie w news - poor 12/9
666 1915 REUNION R.Reunion, St.Pierre in FF w anns - Very good on all evenings.
675 1814 AUSTRALIA 6BE Broome w what was described as a politically correct version of "Waltzing Maltilda", time check for " 14 past 2 " and ABC id // 720 kHz - fair 13/9
684 1615 AUSTRALIA 6BS Busselton w phone-in - poor/fair w QRM 12/9 also 13/9 // 720 - poor
684 1930 MAURITIUS MBC in FF w music, also in EE w nx & quiz at 1836 - very good 14/9
693 1756 AUSTRALIA 6WR Kununurra // 720 kHz - poor 13/9
702 1750 AUSTRALIA 6KP Karratha // 720 kHz - poor under local Radio 702 13/9
720 1904 AUSTRALIA 6WF Perth w news and wx - excellent signal, the most consistent of the Australian stations. The signal was heard the entire evening from 1505 UTC until fade out at 22:45 UTC ! 13/9
729 1640 AUSTRALIA 5RN Adelaide - good peak 12/9. Also at 2008 w vintage BBC Comedy.
729 2255 REUNION R.Reunion St. Andre in FF w oldies mx, news at 2300 hours - fair 14/9
738 1745 AUSTRALIA 6MJ Manjimup// 720 - poor under Mozambique 13/9
747 1722 AUSTRALIA 6SE Esperance relaying 6PR's programs (Jon Lewis Live) and local ads including "Esperance Marine and Tackle" - fair peak 13/9
756 1610 AUSTRALIA 6TZ Margaret River w ads including "Blue Ribbon Party Hire" followed by ann " New Day Western Australia - across the Radio West Network" ( a syndicated phone-in programme) and 6PR id - poor/fair // 747 kHz 13/9
783 1632 AUSTRALIA 6VA Albany w phone-in about medical advice - poor // 747 kHz 13/9
790 0444 UNIDENTIFIED EE Religious stn: "Who shall ever believe in Jesus" - fair-poor 13/9
792 1617 YEMEN YRTC, Al-Hiswah in EE w Yemen Press Review - fair 13/9
800 0250 NETH ANTILLES TWR Bonaire in EE w gospel - fair 13/9
810 2237 AUSTRALIA 6RN Perth w wx, completely obliterating local Mozambique - fair/good with almost instant transmitter sunrise fade-out at 2345 12/9
828 2000 AUSTRALIA 6GN Geraldton w ABC news // 720 kHz - fair/good 13/9
873 1744 AUSTRALIA 6DB Derby w phone-in - poor 13/9
882 2112 AUSTRALIA 6PR Perth w phone-in - poor 13/9
918 1742 AUSTRALIA 6NA Narrogin relaying 6PR's programs (Jon Lewis Live) but local ads- poor/fair 13/9
936 1640 AUSTRALIA 6FX Fitzroy Crossing w country music - poor/fair 13/9
981 1740 AUSTRALIA 6KG Kalgoorlie relaying 6PR's programs (Jon Lewis Live) - poor 13/9
990 1533 AUSTRALIA 6RPH Perth w BBC relay - fair 13/9
999 1901 INDONESIA RRI Jakarta w ID, nx &pops - fair w good peaks 13/9
1044 1910 AUSTRALIA 5CS Port Pirie w ads and id as "10-44 5CS - Classic hits from the 70's, 80's and 90's and today's best music" followed by "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"- fair 13/9
1044 1910 AUSTRALIA 6BR Bridgetown (presumed) w contemporary mx - very poor under 5CS 13/9
1071 1700 AUSTRALIA 6WB Katanning w news and New Day Western Australia phone-in pr, ads at 1723 hours including "Katanning Cash and Carry" - poor/fair 13/9
1080 1700 AUSTRALIA 6IX Perth w id as "10-80 6IX" and pops - fair 13/9
1116 1737 AUSTRALIA 6MM Mandurah w ID & ads including "Wizard Electronics" and pops - fair/good 13/9
1125 1945 AUSTRALIA 5MU Murray Bridge w pops & ID - poor 12/9
1188 1529 AUSTRALIA 6XM Exmouth w Phone-in - poor 13/9
1206 1517 AUSTRALIA 6TAB Perth w usual racing results - poor/fair 13/9
1206 2004 MAURITIUS Radio Rodrigues in FF w news (Presumed - Outstanding reception from other Mauritius MW stations were noted that evening) - good 14/9
1215 1654 INDIA AIR Delhi w EE nx - fair 13/9
1224 1717 AUSTRALIA 6RN Busselton w phone-in // 1296 kHz - fair w good peak 13/9
1242 1710 AUSTRALIA 5AU w ads including "Office National" id as "Classic Hits 12-42 5AU" poor 13/9
1269 1839 CHINA CRI Yunnan English/Chinese lesson - good 14/9
1296 1515 AUSTRALIA 6RN Wagin w mx - fair/good 13/9
1314 2041 NORWAY NRK Kvitsoy fair - 13/9
1323 1528 AUSTRALIA 5DN Adelaide w pops - poor 13/9
1323 1819 KYRGYZSTAN R Liberty Bishkek w American propaganda - good 14/9
1359 1902 TAIWAN WYFR Ko-Hou w hymns - very good 14/9
1395 1528 AUSTRALIA 5AA Adelaide - poor/fair 13/9 also 12/9 w phone-in, fair-good at 1730.
1404 1645 AUSTRALIA 6TAB Busselton w racing results - poor w QRM 13/9
1410 0330 URUGUAY AM Libre Montevideo in SS - fair 13/9
1449 1648 AUSTRALIA 6TAB Mandurah w racing results - good peak 13/9
1449 1945 MALDIVES Voice of Maldives Male w local mx - very good 14/9
1450 0505 UNIDENTIFIED in SS w 'Land of hope & glory' playing in background! - fair-poor 14/9
1500 0434 USA WTOP Washington DC w "WTOP Newstime Twelve Thirty Four" - fair 13/9
1503 1813 TAIWAN WYFR Fangliao w EE Gospel px - fair 13/9
1510 0255 USA KGA Spokane WA w ID & "Radio fifteen ten" & sports talk 15/9 16,330 Km's from DX site weak/barely audible
1512 1654 AUSTRALIA 6BAY Geraldton w "98FM" ID & Joan Armatrading song - fair-poor 13/9
1539 1953 AUSTRALIA 5TAB Adelaide w sports discussion and results including id as " This is our Radio TAB Sports Bed/Breakfast - comes to you with the compliments of Northern City Finance and all of our sports updatings brought to you by The Fine Rivers Memorial Bowls Club at Grey Park" fair 13/9
1548 1523 AUSTRALIA 4QD Emerald w phone-in - fair with a good peak. (Good to hear this again with such a strong signal - eventually gave way to local - heard underneath at times). 13/9
1557 1745 TAIWAN Family R. Kouhu w ID, fair 12/9
1566 1730 KOREA HLAZ Jeju w s/off - very good 14/9
1575 1800 MAURITIUS BBC Relay Bigara w news - good consistent signal 14/9
1575 1733 THAILAND VOA Ben Phachi w stock market report - good 14/9
1593 1731 CHINA CNR1 w s/off mx and id - very good peak 14/9
1593 1631 JAPAN JOQB Niigata in JJ - fair 14/9
1593 1715 UNIDENTIFIED Far East Station under CNR1 w mx - very poor 14/9
1602.4 1652 UNIDENTIFIED Far East Station w Eastern Sounding mx - poor 14/9
1611 1551 AUSTRALIA Mask Radio Margaret River - weak 13/9
1620 1544 AUSTRALIA Radio 2 Balcatta - weak 13/9
1620 0305 AMERICAN VIRGIN IS WDHP Fredricksted w tropical storm warning - fair 14/9
1620 2000 UNIDENTIFIED w ABBA song, possibly R2 Australia - very weak 14/9
1630 0151 MEXICO XEUT R.Universidad Mexicali w impassioned speech in SS, followed by ID fair 15/9
1630 0335 BRAZIL Sao Paulo w ID which sounded like "Radio Salo" - poor with fair peaks 14/9
1630 0324 USA KCJJ Iowa City w Modern Rock mx &ID - poor w fair peaks 15/9
1640 0433 USA WKSH Sussex WI (PRES) w R.Disney ID & pops - brief peak-fair 15/9
1650 USA UNIDENTIFIED (KCNZ?) w ann: 'Good Evening America' - poor
1660 0300 USA WWRU Elizabeth NJ w ID in EE then into Korean - fair peak 15/9
1680 0420 USA KRJO Monroe LA w gospel music and ID as "Rejoice 16-80 AM" - poor w fair peaks 14/9
1680 0434 USA WDSS Ada MI (PRESUMED) R.Disney // 1640 - poor 15/9
1690 0340 UNIDENTIFIED in Spanish - fair w QRN 14/9 also on 15/9 w ID as "R. Transmundial"
1690 0355 USA WRLL Berwyn IL w oldies & ads - poor w fair peaks 15/9
1700 0430 USA KVNS Brownsville w phone-in hosted by Bill O'Riley, id as "Newstalk 1700 KVNS -The Valley" - fair 14/9
1700 0454 MEXICO XEPE Tecate w pops and id in SS - poor with fair peaks 14/9
1700 0414 /09/14 EE WJCC MIAMI SPRINGS, FL USA weak/barely audible - only ID popped out
4604.9 2007 INDONESIA RRI Serui in Indonesian w ID - very strong "S6" signal 13/9
4890 1907 PAPUA NEW GUINEA NBC Port Moresby w Aussie nx - fair 13/9
5765 1558 GUAM AFN in EE - fair 12/9 (USB)

(published on October 8, 2004)

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