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LBI-6 Medium-wave DXpedition Report
Long Beach Island, New Jersey USA
November 9-11, 2007

Attendees:

Rob Stonier, Hawthorne, NJ – Drake R8, Eton E1
Bill Harms, Elkridge, MD – Drake R8B; Quantum Phaser
Bruce Collier, York, PA – Drake R8B; MFJ 1025 Phaser
Brett Saylor, State College, PA, Drake R8, SDR-IQ; MFJ 1025 Phaser
Russ Edmunds, Blue Bell, PA – Sony 2010

Antennas:

• 900' terminated BOG's at 33 and 213 degrees
• 200' phase wire
• 6' amplified broadband box loop, 7' amplified "alumiloop" with DX Engineering DXE-RPA-1 preamplifiers

For Long Beach Island DXpeditions from 2004, check out DXing.info DXpeditions page. Previous years' results and more pictures can be found on Radiodxing.com.

Group photo
Left-right: Brett Saylor, Bill Harms, Bruce Collier, Russ Edmunds, Rob Stonier

Musings from the attendees:

Brett speaks:

LBI-6 marked my 5th consecutive year at the Long Beach Island Dxpedition. Personal schedule changes resulted in the smallest number of attendees in the past several years, meaning we could all fit into one DX room at the hotel. This reduced the amount of setup time and simplified the coax routing and splitting, although I certainly missed everyone who couldn't be there. I hope the live web video feed from the DX room and IRC chat on #mwdx allowed them to experience a little bit of the excitement (although I imagine looking at the backs of five guys sitting at radios for hours on-end got a little boring.)

Our antenna deployment on Friday went well this year, with no interruptions by the local police or curious fishermen. We had once again taken the precaution of sending a letter (on ARRL stationary, since many of us are hams) to the local city government ahead of time to alert them of our activities, and were able to get the beverage-on-the-ground antennas (BOGs) deployed before the rains came. The standard 750' EuroBOG (at 33 degrees) and 900' Southern BOG (at 213 degrees) were laid out along the base of the dune fence and buried at the vehicle and footpath crossings. When we were rolling up the BOGs on Sunday, we discovered one place where a BOG was pulled out and exposed by someone at a crossing creating a tripping hazard, but there were no breaks in either wire this year. Once again, the BOG's fan terminations appeared to provide the required grounding as directionality of north vs. south wires was noticeable.

Rob Stonier
Rob Stonier tuning his R8

One new "toy" at this year's DXpedition was an RFSpace SDR-IQ software-defined radio. These small computer-controlled boxes are making inroads around the DX community, and introduce a new way to "look" at DXing. One obvious benefit of the SDR was the ability to "see" the carriers of trans-atlantic stations and observe the strength of the signals increasing and decreasing as conditions changed. Another benefit was the ability to record ~190 kHz of bandwidth for later review and analysis. I predict these radios will play a larger role in the hobby in the future.

On Saturday, we put out the broadband loops, and this year was the debut of Bruce Collier's 7-foot “alumiloop” BBL, fabricated on-site from aluminum windowframe hardware. The alumiloop was deployed at a bearing of 130/310 degrees, while our other BBL (a Mark Connelly-designed 6') was aimed at 80/260 degrees. Both loops were amplified with DX Engineering RPA-1 16 db pre-amps (one with a single amp and the other with two cascading amplifiers) and the consensus of the group was that the loops provided as good, if not better, signal levels compared to the BOGs and reduced the annoying television interference (TVI) levels considerably. We may rethink our use of BOGs in favor of BBLs in the future, as they are much easier to deploy.

We tracked the solar conditions for several months prior to the DXpedition and all signs pointed to low numbers; on Friday both A and K indices were at 1 while on Saturday A spiked up to 5. However, the consensus of the group was that the conditions this year were very middle-of-the road, with no real standouts other than Saturday night's good reception of Iceland on 189 kHz. While the trans-Atlantic stations started to appear as early as 3:45 PM EST, reception both nights was mediocre, although our logs totaled nearly 30 countries on LW and MW. No sign of TP signals, once again, despite our trying early in the mornings.

The biggest change this year was the closure of the Greenhouse Cafe (our normal breakfast location) due to renovations, which led to us to discover another (even better?) restaurant, ScoJo's, a few blocks down the beach (billed as the “best breakfast spot on LBI”). Once again, we had many interesting discussions on topics like AM radio, IBOC, our best receptions, and personalities in the radio hobby over waffles and breakfast skillets. LBI-6 is one for the books, and I look forward to next year!

Bruce speaks:

Once again the Drifting Sands Motel cheerfully welcomed “the radio guys” as we transformed room 126 into the “DX Inn” for LBI-6. I don’t think they quite understand us, but we cause no trouble, we bring $$$ to the beach in November, and we pretty much clean up after ourselves, so they seem happy enough to rent to this strange bunch. Unlike the Newfie gang who saw their former DX Inn go downhill to being unusable, our DX Inn has actually improved from a bare-bones weather-beaten beach motel that in 2002 browned out to 82 volts(!) into a remodeled version with a new third floor and internet service. It’s nice to have internet, but with that and all the new RCA TVs which probably aren’t as well made as the old ones, TVI/hash has become a real problem. My noise floor was about s3-s7 much of the weekend. Some channels were unusable; others could be used in USB or LSB only, depending on which side the hash was. Brett had brought a couple of John Bryant-designed noise reducing transformer boxes, and these did seem to help on the BOGs a bit. Relocating is tough---we all agree nowhere else in NJ will be better. And if you go south, you start to lose TA strength—north and you get into the NYC RF jungle.

loop
Bruce and Russ steady the 7' "alumiloop" while Bill watches; six-foot BBL mounted on a Radio Shack tripod is visible to the left

Setup was smooth with good weather—no curious police or other distractions. Also, due to career moves and conflicts, we only had 5 DXers this year, so we could use just one radio room, eliminating a set of splitters and cables for the 2nd room.

As for conditions, I’d say "fair". I’ve been here when there were NO TA’s (2003) and when there was something on every channel (2004). This likely ranks 3rd out of the 6 LBI’s so far. My personal highlight was finally hearing Iceland 189 with good audio—a first in 30 years of Dx’ing! We did have some interesting moments, such as 2-3 stations fighting on 1215, one of which we believe was the Russian. Conditions rose and fell quite often; I think with less TVI, I’d have been able to snag Russia on LW, but it was tough down there—so bad that I didn’t even beacon chase much. Chatting online with Marc DeLorezno who had been at a Cape Cod DX GTG at Chris Black’s the same Saturday, they found conditions mediocre as well.

Bill Harms
Bill Harms

I brought the stuff to make a 7 foot broadband loop onsite---I used aluminum window screen framing and dubbed it the Alumiloop. It proved to be a bit wobbly, but it held together and seemed to work fine. Once I got home and deployed it here, it promptly laid folded over, but it still works---about 2 inches off the ground! Seems to be a winner, with better signals below 700khz than my old 6’ Connelly version. We also had Brett’s 6 foot Connelly-design BBL, and there is talk of a possible spring LBI using just BBL’s, no BOGs. We shall see….

Our usual breakfast spot was closed for renovations, but we found a good 2nd choice. Bill Harms was kind enough to stop at the Manahawkin Pizza Hut and pick up Friday’s dinner as he arrived later than the rest of us, and we found out Subway on LBI is closed Saturday night---but the Wawa mini-market nearby turned out decent subs, so we didn’t starve. All in all, another fun weekend with good friends, food, and DX. Beats a good day at work!
73, BC

Russ speaks:

With 6 LBI DXpeditions now in my rearview mirror, I can say that we’ve had great conditions ( 2005 ), very good conditions ( 2006 ), average conditions ( 2007 and 2004), auroral conditions ( 2002) and just plain poor conditions ( 2003 ). 2006 had our largest number of participants – 8, while 2007 tied for the smallest – 5.

Russ Edmunds
Russ Edmunds w/ his Sony 2010

We’ve certainly become much more adept at setup, organization and breakdown, and we’ve collectively ( although the lion’s share still comes from “Saylor Electronics” ) acquired a solid collection of splitters, amps, matching transformers, coax, coax switches, plugs and adaptors. Along the way, we’ve added BBL’s to the mix, a wireless router, the DX chatroom, and the webcam. This year also yielded more audio recordings as well. The ability to DX in concert with others via email and the chatroom on both sides of the Atlantic during the weekend also enhances the experience and also adds some efficiency.

We considered adding a 3rd day for this year’s event, but in retrospect, we’d not have had good enough DX conditions to support it – especially had we added the extra day at the end, as the geomagnetic indices spiked again on Monday – something that’s happened a couple of times before. And this year’s experience certainly proves that while the best advance planning in tracking solar activity for the prior 3 months yielded optimum numbers, that still didn’t yield the expected results.

As has been noted, we spent considerable time talking about alternate sites, but given the limitations imposed by proximity to New York, lengthening the TA paths or lack of direct access or even accommodations on the beach, coupled with some greatly-increased travel times, we’ve decided to continue where we’ve been, but to work toward minimizing the effects of the inevitable TVI by going for more and better BBL’s.

Bottom line, though, it’s still the overall experience that counts the most, with annual reunions of friends gathering to DX, share memories, play DX recordings and talk DX.

LBI-6 (November 9-11, 2007) Loggings

Time in UTC

Frequency/Time/Calls or Slogan/City/State or Prov/Country/Details

162 0316 France Inter, Allouis France, Song “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes, very good signal into the night
171 0316 Radio Méditerranée Int'l, Nador Morocco, Hotel California //9575
177 0010 Deutschlandradio Berlin, Oranienburg Germany, Noted with talk by M
183 0321 Europe 1, Felsberg Germany, talk by man in French, strong
189 2121 Rikisutvarpid Ras, Gufuskalar Iceland, Highlight of the weekend, with music // webstream incl “Love is all Around” by the Troggs
198 0016 BBC4, Droitwich UK, British-accented talk
198 0020 DIW, Dixon NC USA NDB
206 0330 QI, Yarmouth NS Canada NDB
206 0328 GLS, Galveston TX USA NDB
209 0339 MT, Chiboo QC Canada NDB
216 0023 TWR, Roumoules France, French talk
216 0015 CLB, Carolina Beach NC USA NDB
220 0345 BX, Blanc Sablon QC Canada NDB
233 0030 UM, Churchill Falls NL Canada NDB
234 0020 RTL, Beidweiler Luxembourg, Good with pop music (Eagles)
236 0355 OW, Ottawa ON Canada NDB
241 0028 POG, Portsmouth VA USA NDB
243 0039 YVB, Bonaventure QC Canada NDB
244 2341 DG, Chute des Passages Dangereuses PQ Canada NDB
248 2345 UL, Montreal PQ Canada NDB
252 2300 ENRS3 Radio Alger International, Tipaza Algeria, Arabic vocals by woman, time pips
252 2356 RTE1, Clarkestown Ireland, Pop music, talk in EE, ID
253 0025 YTF, Alma QC Canada NDB
254 2358 5B, Summerside PE Canada NDB
261 0031 ELQ, Emporia VA USA NDB
273 2350 ZV, Sept Iles PQ Canada NDB
276 2352 YHR, Chevery PQ Canada NDB
278 0044 NM, Matagami QC Canada NDB
279 0034 YLQ, La Tuque PQ Canada NDB
303 0037 YPP, Panet PQ Canada NDB
329 0039 CH, Charleston SC USA NDB
332 0040 YFM, La Grande PQ Canada NDB
344 0042 YGV, Havre St. Pierre PQ Canada NDB
350 2355 DF, Deer Lake NL Canada NDB
351 2356 YKQ, Waskaganish PQ Canada NDB
355 2357 CGE, Cambridge MD USA NDB
360 2358 PN, Port Menier PQ Canada NDB
363 0044 RNB, Millville NJ USA NDB
366 2359 YMW, Maniwaki PQ Canada NDB
370 0045 GU, Iles de la Magdalen PQ Canada NDB
370 0045 MQI, Manteo NC USA NDB
378 0047 RJ, Roberval PQ Canada NDB
382 0048 LQ, Boston MA USA NDB
384 0057 F8, Victoriaville PQ Canada NDB
385 0012 LY, Lynchburg VA USA NDB
386 0056 D8, Dolbeau PQ Canada NDB
390 0002 JT, Stephenville NL Canada NDB
391 0054 DDP, San Juan PR NDB
392 0053 ML, Charlevoix PQ Canada NDB
396 0006 JC, Rigolet NL Canada NDB
396 0010 NEL, Lakehurst NJ USA NDB
404 0051 YSL, St. Leonard NB CAN NDB
407 0050 ZHU, Montreal PQ CAN NDB
407 0050 FR, Farmingdale NY USA NDB
530 0133 R. Vision Nacional, South Caicos Turks & Caicos, ID
531 2355 Chaine 1, El Ain Beida Algeria, Arabic music
531 0002 RNE5 synchros, Spain, Talk by female, "Radio Cinco" ID
549 0007 Chaine 1, Les Trembles Algeria, Arabic music
555 0030 ZIZ Basseterre, St. Kitts, Accented English talk
558 2148 RNE5, various Spain, talk by M and W in SP, musical bridge
570 0356 CMDC R. Reloj, Santa Clara CUBA, Code "RR"
576 2150 UNID, Talk by M
585 2147 RNE1, Madrid Spain, Parallel 685, 855 etc.
603 2208 RNE5 synchros Spain, vocal music
612 2221 RTM, Sebaa Aioun Morocco, Arabic talk
621 2224 R. Nacional 1, Tenerife Canary Is, //684, 585, 738
675 2224 Arrow, Lopik Netherlands, Rock music
684 2146 RNE1, Sevilla Spain, // 585, 855 etc.
693 2212 BBC5, Droitwich UK, Talk in British accent
738 2215 R. Nacional 1 Barcelona Spain //684
740 0300 CHCM, Marystown NL Canada, classic C&W music, mentions of Labrador
747 2210 RNE5 synchros, Spain/Canaries, talk in Spanish, music
750 0333 YVKS Radio Caracas Radio Caracas Venezuela New at LBI; talk by M in SP, Ids
756 0011 Deutschlandfunk Ravensburg Germany vocal music. German annct
760 0100 HJAJ RCN Barranquilla Colombia Talk by M and W in SP, RCN jingle, bank ad, mentions of futball, Colombia; another Latin hrd under. WJR phased completely out.
780 0105 YVMN R Coro Coro Venezuela Talk by man in Spanish, "Radio Coro" ID
783 2238 R. Mauretainie Nouakchott Mauretania // SW
801 2230 UNID Weak audio, 2nd het
819 2235 Batra Egypt (pres) talk by W in AR, 2nd het
837 2206 France Info Nancy France Talk, // 1206
850 0412 CM.. R. Reloj Nueva Gerona CUBA Code "RR"
850 0405 XETQ (p) Mexico City Mexico National anthem over Reloj
850 0401 KOA Denver CO USA ID, news
855 2148 RNE1 Murcia Spain Parallel 585, 684 etc.
870 0414 CMDT R. Reloj Sancti Spiritus CUBA Code "RR"
870 '0359 HIVG (p) Radio La Vega La Vega Domincan Rep Dominican Republic national anthem under Reloj; listed 10kW in WRTH
909 0102 BBC5 synchros UK Man speaking with British accent
945 0150 France Info Toulouse France Jazz music, //1377
954 2205 Onda Cerro Madrid Spain Spanish music
1044 2340 RTM-A Sebaâ-Aioun Morroco Talk by Man in Arabic
1053 2222 TalkSport synchros UK English Sports talk
1060 0500 CMDX Cadena CMKS Baracoa CUBA SS talk u/KYW
1060 0200 XEEP R. Educacion Mexico DF Mexico Classical music, ID
1089 2140 TalkSPORT Various UK British accented English talk about sports
1107 2154 unID Opera, male singer followed by female anncr in unID language - sounds Italian or Spanish
1116 0129 Talk in unid language - Spain or Italy
1134 0205 HR1 Zadar Croatia news program with tlk by M and W // 7285; ID
1143 0125 COPE synchros Spain Spanish music
1152 0229 unID UK Oldies music, English annct "This is the Sound"
1179 2140 Radio Sweden Int'l Sölvesborg Sweden English language talk by woman with weather; IS at TOH
1206 0118 France Info Bordeaux France talk by woman in French, modern version of song “Aquarius”, ID at TOH
1215 0116 Virgin Radio Moorside Edge UK Walking in Memphis, 10 over s9
1215 0427 unID Man speaking in unID language under Virgin Radio - sounds more Spanish than Russian
1305 0109 RNE5, Oviedo Spain, Spanish talk, // 1314, 747
1314 0111 RNE5, Cuenca Spain, Spanish talk, // 1305, 747
1377 0102 France Info, Lille France, Talk, // 945, 1557
1394.83 2110 TWR, Fllake Albania (t), Talk by W, music, Mauno Ritola in Finland heard TWR IS and talk in Polish
1422 0100 Deutschlandfunk, Heusweiler Germany, German talk and piano music // 6190
1431 0057 R. Sawa, Arta Djibouti, confirmed via web //, 2 songs and male anncr
1458a 2201 UNID, Low het on other 1458 carriers, likely Albania
1494 0039 France Bleu, Bastia Corsica, Piano jazz and talk in French
1500 0430 YVRZ Cumana Venezuela, Jingles sung by girls, echo effects, call sign ID by Chuck Hutton from recording
1521 2227 BSKSA, Duba Saudi Arabia, Talk by man in Arabic, usually first TA to show up each night
1557 0036 France Info, Fontbonne France, Talk, // 945, 1377
1575 2245 Radio Farda ,Al Dhabiya UAE, Fair strength with pop music and talk; // webstream.
1602 0034 SER synchros, Spain, Spanish talk
1611 0033 R. Vaticana, Sta Maria di Galeria Vatican, Talk by man
1620 0400 WNRP Gulf Breeze FL, USA, ID
1620 0359 WDHP Frederikstad USVI, Country music, ID
1630 0315 KRND Fox Farm WY USA, Regional Mexican format in/out w/KCJJ
1630 0300 KCJJ Iowa City IA USA, Singing ID, news
1630.02 2130 Point Pleasant Beach NJ USA, Point Pleasant Beach Office of Emergency Management station – info and weather
1640 2135 WPVN442 Brigantine NJ USA, TIS - continuous loop weather - City of Brigantine
1670 0246 WQFQ235, Long Beach Island NJ, USA Local information (water boiling notice) and NOAA wx
1700 0423 KKLF Richardson TX USA, KLIF ID
1700 1555 Radio Cape May, Cape May NJ USA, Continuous loop over JFK station, music, ID and local information
1700 1552 KNAA585, Jamaica NY USA, HAR at JFK Airport - continuous tape loop
2582 USB 2240 VON (p) St Johns NF Canada, Weather forecasts for Labrador incl snow flurries
4845.25 0200 Radio Cultura, Brazil, ID and anthem at signoff

Posted on January 20, 2008

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