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LEM121 DXpedition Report
November 7-14th 1998

This DXpedition resulted in a historic feat: Tonga on 1017 kHz! The first AM catch from the Southern Pacific (excluding Australia & NZ) was a major surprise, far exceeding the moderate expectations which we had for the 121st DXpedition to Lemmenjoki, as solar activity was predicted to rise to major storm levels.

Solar activity was indeed very high, both in the beginning and in the end of our week-long expedition. As a whole, AM conditions turned out to be quite fluctuating. During most days, hardly anything was audible during daylight hours, but luckily we enjoyed a couple of quieter days.

One more hour to Lemmenjoki
One more hour to Lemmenjoki
On Tuesday, November 10th, we experienced excellent conditions to Japan for about one and a half hours, and the reception of Spanish stations was exceptionally good in the morning of Thursday, November 12th, as well as in the evening of Friday, November 13th. Reception of North American stations was very limited, but fortunately the X-band offered something new. Conditions toward Latin America were worse than ever before in Lapland.

But most importantly, November 13th produced the extraordinary conditions that allowed us to hear Tonga and Guam on AM. For a more detailed report, read the article Nailing Tonga. For a closer look at our other catches, browse the LEM121 DXpedition log. For some logging guidelines, check out notes on the log.

The participants were Mika Mäkeläinen and Jim Solatie. Both of us identified 100-120 stations that were new to us, including some which had never before been logged in Finland. This result required a constant watch on the AM band, with a bare minimum of sleep and little time spent on anything other than DXing. The catch was far less abundant than in 1997, but with the few highlights, more than satisfactory taken into consideration the high solar activity during the DXpedition.

As we both come from the capital area 1200 kilometers (750 miles) away, logistics was quite an operation. First we took a 13-hour overnight train ride up north with Jim's car loaded on the train, then picked up a week's supply of groceries and finally took a four-hour drive through the wilderness to Lemmenjoki.

For a look at the gear which made these loggings possible, check out our equipment. Weatherwise the week was average, with a low of -35 degrees Celsius (-31 F) and about 30 centimeters of snow on the ground. Needless to point out, even in that weather outdoor activities were pretty much limited to chopping firewood and the daily check-ups of the antennae. But it's definitely worth all the trouble!

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 LEM121
Other DXpeditions:
 LEM158
 LEM144
 LEM132
 LÅ164

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