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Millers Point Mini Dxpeditions
September 2005

by Gary Deacon and Vince Stevens

I decided to visit Millers Point for a few evenings in September in order to cure the dx withdrawal symptoms from the previous June/July holiday. The new dx location is situated a little further south along the coastal road, literally a stone's throw from the previous position, approximately 100 metres above sea level. The space is more restricted but the steep cliff face on the inland side of the road allowed for a 40 metre "over the shoulder" long wire with an approximate 45 degree slope towards the east.

Reception conditions varied from above average to excellent with many stations received for the first time.

Across the Atlantic
From the mountain side, looking south east across the Atlantic

Solar Indices c/o Jan Alvestad via the DXLC:

6th September Solar Flux 83.4 A index 9 K index at 1500 UTC 2

Better than average conditions this evening with fair reception from the Far East and Western Australia.

9th September Solar Flux 99.2 A index 17 K index at 1500 UTC 4

Sensational conditions from the Far East across the band with most frequencies producing multiple stations. I arrived at 1555 UTC with barely enough time to connect up to the antenna and switch on for the 1600 UTC id time slot - A brief spin of the dial onto 1530 kHz to check for regular DZME Phillipines, produced a smokin' signal from a previously unheard Chinese station instead! Ten seconds later the id: "Zhejang Diantai Chengshi zhi Sheng" booming in from Hangzhou in China.

The mountainside, towards the west

I twisted the dial to discover many Far East stations right across the MW band! Many frequencies contained two or three stations. I felt a little bit like a kid in a candy store for the next hour or so which would have been the evening enhancement or "sweet spot" - no pun intended! The usual high power tx's from Taiwan on 1359, 1503 and 1557 kHz, China on 1134, 1323 and 1593 kHz, Vietnam on 1242 kHz, were peaking at almost local quality.

Unusual reception from the Philippines included: DZBB on 594 kHz heard for the first time, DWIZ on 882 kHz with an id, DZEC on 1062 kHz with full id prior to s/off at 1620 UTC and DXRJ on 1476 kHz heard for the first time with an id at surprising signal strength.

Antenna sloping over the shoulder
Antenna, sloping over the shoulder, from the mountain side

An opening to Western Australia occured from around 1700 hours UTC: 6PH on 603khz, 6GN on 828 kHz and 6PR on 882 kHz were noted with poor signals. Regular 6WF on 720 kHz peaked nicely from around 1900 hours.

Something I've noticed about DU reception here is that the best listening time is usually during our autumn/winter months, about an hour and a half prior to our local sunset until about a half hour/hour after sunset, depending on the prevailing ionospheric conditions. I guess that would coinside with the early evening enhancement period which varies from about a half hour to an hour or more depending on the strength of the opening. This is the best or only time to hear New South Wales and Victoria, including the elusive New Zealand and Pacific area. There are times like this particular evening when DU reception will only occur at some stage after sunset, and then usually only from Westen Australia.

Millers Point sign, facing west towards the mountain side

13th September Solar Flux 118 A index 51 K index at 1500 UTC 5

Pre-sunset fade in at around 1500 UTC with good TI propagation from the Far East including three more stations from the Philippines, noted here for the first time: DWXI on 1314 kHz, DXSA on 1449 kHz and DYAB on 1512 kHz. DZME on 1530 kHz produced a good peak at 1525 UTC. The usual DU signals from WA were noted on 720 kHz, 828 kHz and 882 kHz from around 1800 UTC.

14th September Solar Flux 116.6 A index 25 K index at 1500 UTC 5

The evening began with a strong appearance of Korea on 1566 kHz at 1522 UTC. Many Far East stations were heard with fair to good peaks. No DU reception. 828 kHz had an awesome signal from an unidentified Far Eastern station, possibly China, in place of the more regular 6GN - most unusual.

Gary Deacon
Yours truly, dxing from Vince Stevens' Land Rover

15th September Solar Flux 119.4 A index 43 K index at 1500 UTC 6

Conditions were different this evening with a pre sunset DU opening to WA and India - more in line with what is normally experienced here. Stations were fading in about 20 minutes later than the previous evening. 6BAY on 1512 kHz was the first to appear at around 1520 UTC, followed by the usual WA stations on 720, 828 and 882, all producing nice peaks at times. 1566 kHz favoured India this evening with a good peak around 1545 UTC. Other AIR outlets identified included 720, 927, 936, 945 and 837. Pakistan was heard on 1152 kHz at poor levels and Yemen on 792 kHz with a fair signal.

20th September Solar Flux 87.8 A index 6 K index at 1500 UTC 2

An excellent opening from Western Australia was noted. DXer Vince Stevens also managed to visit Millers Point this evening. Over to Vince for the report:

The view, from the cliff edge, approximately 100 m above sea level

"Gary Deacon & myself went down to the roadside lay bye site (just beyond Millers actually). About 100m ASL and on the land side of the road (not the sea-cliff edge side).

We ran 2 antennas, each of about 30-40m in length up the mountainside behind the car. These were not exactly over the shoulder beverages, more accurately they could be described as 'out of the left sock and under the armpit' random wires. They rose upwards from the car at about 45 and 60 deg respectively. We really made no attempt for directivity, instead just ran them to a convenient bush on the mountain-edge. Surprisingly there seemed to be quite a difference between the 2, with the 60 degree one being better on most freq's... Perhaps that angle was more suited to the approaching signal wavefronts..?

Local sunset was only around 18h45PM but carriers were already there at 17h00. By 17h10 (15h10 UTC) some Far East signals just seemed to rise up out of the muck as if by magic. Funnily enough only the top end of MW was active. Below 1MHz there was very little. Related to our short antennas maybe? These lower freq signals did start appearing closer to sunset but for the first hour, we stayed on the top bit of the band cos that's where it was cookin'..

False Bay
False Bay, looking north

Also notable was the low noise figure. Between stations the band was very quiet, despite some large grey clouds out to sea. Quiet conditions like these really seem to suit Gary's FRG7 with its broad filters and good audio. Listening in AM thru the built in speaker was very pleasant, making the FRG7 easier on the ear than my Drake R8 at this point."

Not much to add, apart from the steep climb up the 80 degree to almost 90 degree cliff face in order to erect the second random antenna! We discovered a few cliff-antenna set-up rules: 1) Don't look down, 2) It's easier to climb up than down, 3) Tree branches help to cushion a fall, 4) If all else fails, try to slide down, preferably feet first, 5) The crossbow antenna launch method may be a better idea! We survived this part of the evening and experienced some great WA reception which made our little antenna set-up adventure worth while. 6BAY on 1512 kHz was the first Australian station to make it here at pre-sunset fade-in, around 1510 UTC. The steady peak from 1602 UTC with local ads was awesome! Vision FM, Kalgoolie on 1413 kHz was noted briefly at 1610 UTC with a religious sermon. Another highlight was the reception of Radio 2 on 1620 kHz with a clear Radio 2 Network id.

Cape Hangklip
Cape Hangklip, towards the east across False Bay

21st September Solar Flux 86 A index 6 K index at 1500 UTC 2

Another good TI opening this evening across the band from Western Australia through heavy static.

The stations received:

594 1820 PHILIPPINES DZBB Quezon City w phone-in - first log from Millers Point/SA - poor/fair 9 Sept

603 1950 AUSTRALIA 6PH Port Hedland w phone-in // 720kHz - poor 9 Sept

612 1718 AUSTRALIA 6RN Dalwallinu w political interview - poor 21 Sept

666 1947 REUNION Radio Reunion w phone-in by female presenter - regularly heard here with a good signal 9 Sept

684 1800 MAURITIUS Radio Mauritius w id as "Cool FM", news in FF followed by EE px until 1830 when px continued in FF - fair with good peaks 9 Sept

684 1654 AUSTRALIA 6BS Busselton w phone-in // 720 - good peak 21 Sept

711 1657 VIETNAM VOV 1 (presumed) w ann - first log from Millers Point/SA - fair/good 9 Sept

720 1706 AUSTRALIA 6WF Perth w news,wx, id and "Overnight" px presented by Trevor Chappell - good steady signal 15 Sept

720 1707 INDIA AIR Chennai - very poor under 6WF 15 Sept

747 1632 KENYA VOK Ngong w CRI program relay in EE - good 15 Sept

783 1625 MAURITANIA Radio Mauritanie w ann by YL in FF - first log from Millers Point/SA - fair 14 Sept

792 1628 YEMEN YRTC in EE w news and id followed by ann by OM "Program 2, English Service, from Aden" - fair 15 Sept

810 1720 AUSTRALIA 6RN Perth w political news items - fair under Mozambique 15 Sept

828 1850 AUSTRALIA 6GN Geraldton w mx and time/id ann by OM " 11 minutes to 3. 7-20 ABC Perth and local radio around WA". // 720 - good steady signal 15 Sept

828 1620 CHINA (tentative) with ann by YL - noted here for the first time - good peak - 14 Sept

837 1625 INDIA AIR Vijayawanda w interview // 927 kHz - poor 15 Sept

864 1604 AUSTRALIA 6AM Northam (presumed) - very poor 9 Sept

882 1600 AUSTRALIA 6PR Perth w Southern Cross Network News - poor/fair 6 Sept - often heard with a fair consistent signal

882 1745 PHILIPPINES DWIZ Valenzuela w id jingle - poor 9 Sept

918 1625 INDIA AIR Suratgarh w EE interview // 927 kHz poor 15 Sept

927 1625 INDIA AIR Vishakapatnam w EE interview - poor 15 Sept

936 1625 INDIA AIR Tiruchirapalli w EE interview // 927 kHz - poor 15 Sept

936 1558 CHINA Anhui RGD 1 Hefei w id - poor 6 Sept

945 1625 INDIA AIR Sambalpur w EE interview // 927 kHz - poor 15 Sept

1044 1609 INDIA AIR Mumbai w EE interview - fair w good peaks 9 Sept
also at 1646 w EE interview - fair 20 Sept VS

1062 1617 PHILIPPINES DZEC w mx incl "Don't Worry Be Happy" followed by full id, anthem and s/off - also heard at 2005 w anns and id in between dramatic music stings - fair w good peaks 9 Sept

1080 1638 CHINA CRI Kunming in EE - fair 14 Sept

1080 1604 AUSTRALIA 6IX Perth w news, wx and id followed by mx - poor w fair peaks 21 Sept

1116 1550 AUSTRALIA 6MM Mandurah w ads, id as "6 double M" and mx - fair 21 Sept

1134 1655 CHINA CNR1 anns - very good steady signal 14 Sept

1134 1701 KENYA KBC Kitale in EE w CRI px "From China To Africa" // 1386 - fair 6 Sept

1152 1613 PAKISTAN PBC various locations in EE w current affairs px - fair 9 Sept

1161 1545 INDIA AIR Thiruvananthapuram in EE w news by YL and end ann as " That's all in the news for tonight. The next bulletin in English will be at 11 pm. Goodnight". // 1566 kHz - poor but clear 14 Sept

1224 1545 AUSTRALIA 6RN Busselton w jazz mx // 1296 - fair 21 Sept

1242 1634 VIETNAM VOV Thoi Long in EE w news about Vietnam Wooden and Forestry Products Association - good 9 Sept

1296 1545 AUSTRALIA 6RN Wagin w jazz mx - good 21 Sept

1296 1610 THAILAND So. Wor. Thor Pattani w id and piano music w bird calls - first log from Millers Point/SA - poor 14 Sept

1305 1556 PAKISTAN PBC Larkana in EE w current affairs px - first log from Millers Point/SA - poor 15 Sept

1314 1602 PHILIPPINES DWXI Paranaque w religious px - first log from Millers Point/SA - poor w fair peaks 13 Sept

1323 1630 CHINA CRI Changchun in EE w wx ending "News and Reports" px followed by id and "Biz China" - excellent 13 Sept

1359 1805 TAIWAN Family Radio Fanglaio in EE w rel px // 1503 kHz - good steady signal 6 Sept

1368 1745 CHINA Guangshui w ann and traditional mx interlude - first log from Millers Point/SA - fair 6 Sept also heard at 1656 on 20 Sept by VS

1377 1644 CHINA Zhongguo Huayun BC Fuzhou w id and anns - first log from Millers Point - poor 14 Sept

1386 1700 KENYA KBC Maralal in EE w CRI px "From China To Africa" // 1134 - good 6 Sept

1386 1735 INDIA AIR Gwalior // 1566 kHz - poor 13 Sept

1413 1622 JAPAN JOIF Fukuoka w rock music and annimated anns - poor/fair - 14 Sept

1422 1804 MALAWI MBC Radio 1 Chitipa in EE w news about Ministery of Irrigation and Water Development - fair/good 13 Sept

1431 1610 AUSTRALIA Vision FM Kalgoorlie w religious sermon - briefly with a fair signal 20 Sept

1440 1930 TANZANIA Radio One Dar-es-Salaam w "Radio One Weekend Show" - first log from Millers Point/SA - poor w QRM on 9 Sept. Also w EE id jingle "Tanzania's favourite radio station - Radio One - Stereo" - fair on 15 Sept

1440 1542 PHILIPPINES DWDH Dagupan w religious sermon - first log from Millers Point/SA - fair 15 Sept

1449 1644 PHILIPPINES DXSA Marawi CIty w phone-in and "Vanguard Radio Network" with tent.call letter id - first log from Millers Point/SA - very poor under Maldives - Thanks to Bruce Portzer and Steve Whitt for their help with the id!

1449 1635 MALDIVES Voice of Maldives Male w anns - good 6 Sept

1449 1527 AUSTRALIA 6TAB Mandurah w racing results - fair peak 21 Sept
also 1607 w greyhound racing results - poor/fair 20 Sept GD and VS

1458 1636 MAYOTTE RFO, Pamandzi in FF - very good 6 Sept

1467 1640 INDIA AIR Jeypore w ragas - poor 6 Sept

1476 1620 PHILIPPINES DXRJ Iligan City w EE id as "Listen to DXRJ AM 14-76 kilohertz on your radio dial, for useful information, for the latest news and entertainment. DXRJ - The partner for the total development of IIigan City, the city by the bay". also heard at 1630 w animated anns over 60's surf mx - first log from Millers Point/SA - poor w fair peaks 9 Sept

1494 1800 CHINA Xinjiang RGD Urumqi w id and anns - poor 13 Sept

1494 1547 TAIWAN Educational Broadcasting System Taipei in EE w BBC relay of px "Heart and Soul" - poor/fair 14 Sept -Thanks to Bruce Portzer and Chuck Hutton for the information and assistance with the id.

1503 1635 TAIWAN Family Radio Fangliao w religious discussion // 1359 kHz - excellent steady signal 6 Sept

1512 1532 PHILIPPINES DYAB w id and anns - first log from Millers Point/SA - very poor 13 Sept

1512 1602 AUSTRALIA 6BAY Geraldton w ads and id as "The Spirit" followed by mx including "Handle Me With Care" - The first Australian station to fade in at 1510 UTC - good steady signal 20 Sept GD and VS

1530 1525 PHILIPPINES DZME Quezon City w religious sermon - very good peak 13 Sept

1530 1600 CHINA Zhejiang RGD Hangzhou w id as "Zhejiang Diantai Chengshi zhi Sheng" - first log from Millers Point/SA - very good signal with no sign of DZME - most unusual 9 Sept

1548 1630 SRI LANKA DW Relay Tricomalee in EE w news items - poor under local Radio Islam 9 Sept

1557 1810 TAIWAN Family Radio Fanglaio - good 6 Sept

1566 1640 INDIA AIR Nagpur w ragas - very good 6 Sept

1566 1542 KOREA HLAZ Jeju w discussion - good peak 6 Sept

1575 1550 MAURITIUS BBC Relay Bigara in EE - fair peak 6 Sept

1575 1538 THAILAND VOA Relay Ayutthaya w special EE px - fair 6 Sept

1575 1634 UAE Radio Fada w anns - good 6 Sept

1584 1740 INDIA AIR Various locations - very poor 13 Sept

1593 1740 INDIA AIR Bhopal // 1566 kHz - very poor 13 Sept

1593 1625 CHINA CNR1 w anns and panflute mx - excellent steady signal 14 Sept

1611 1554 AUSTRALIA Radio 2 w mx // 1620 poor 21 Sept

1620 1635 AUSTRALIA Radio 2 Perth /Geraldton w clear "Radio Two Network" id and mx - poor 20 Sept GD and VS

1629 1640 AUSTRALIA Radio 2 w mx incl "Midnight Train To Georgia" // 1620 kHz - weak 20 Sept VS

Published on October 5, 2005

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