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Miscou Island DXpedition 2006

September 14-22, 2006

Miscou 06 DXpedition has been held from September 14th to 22nd in its usual location: Miscou Island located at: 47d 59m 39.8s N 64d 32m 51.9s W

The participants this year were: Ken Alexander, Jacques d'Avignon and Kevin Carey from late September 14th for the duration, and Niel Wolfish, September 17th to 21st. Kevin was back after an hiatus of two years and Jacques after successfully battling cancer in 2005. Brent Taylor could not attend this year, as he was a candidate in the New Brunswick provincial elections being held on September 18th.

Ken, Jacques and Niel each used an AOR AR 7030+ receiver. Kevin used a Drake R8.

The weather conditions were warmer this year compared to previous Miscou DXpeditions. High winds were only prevalent on the Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. In summary: very nice and warm weather conditions with no appreciable rain or drizzle.

Antennas system

We had 2 EWE antennas (3m high and 17m long each) optimized for the MW band and pointing to Europe and Africa. One Wellbrook ALA 100 Large Aperture loop (20m in circumference) pointing to Europe was also used. All antennas were quiet on LW and MW.

Each antenna was feeding a four-port Wellbrook antenna splitter so that each participant could have access to any of the four antennas as required and be totally isolated from the other receivers. The EWEs were designed and erected to effectively null the broadcast station located in Caraquet about 10 miles away and the nulling was very effective dropping the pest signal by at least four S units. We used three ground rods for each EWE and it made a major difference compared to a single ground rod that we used during the original installation.

Power line noise

The noise that we had experienced in 2004 was not present this year, the power company having done a noise survey in early 2005 and repaired what needed to be repaired to quieten the noise. This maintenance work obviously has stood up to the harsh salty and windy environment of Miscou Is., as we had no power line noise at all this year.

Summary of LW monitoring at Miscou 06

The LW results of Miscou 06 were not comparable to the results obtained prior to 2004. This year a few Canadian beacons located around Hudson Bay and in Nunavut were heard, and a few US beacons located in the closest states were heard. As usual, a major irritant was the splatter from the various DGPS stations located on the North American East Coast, and possibly overseas, masking some promising European marine beacon frequencies.

We heard one beacon on 410 kHz with the ID LF8A; this appears to be the same type of ID used by the oilrigs in the North Sea, but we have not had a confirmation of it's identity. The frequency is not one normally used by the oilrigs but is the normal frequency for DFing. (If you know what this beacon is and where it is located, we would appreciate being advised via e-mail: monitor@igs.net)

Once again the NDBs located in Iceland, Ireland, Britain and the Scandinavian countries have eluded us probably due to the fact that the European NDBs are using less power than the North American beacons.

Again this year we experienced the unusual phenomenon of the European and African LW broadcasters audio appearing early local afternoon (local time: UTC -3) for about 30 minutes, disappearing for a few hours and then reappearing at a much higher strength. We have noticed that there appears to be no detectable correlation between this phenomenon and the grey line or sunsets on both sides of the Atlantic.

FAX and RTTY weather related transmissions from CFH on 122.5 kHz were copied using Kevin's computer. This is a first during a Miscou DXpedition. Quality of reception of this data was good to excellent depending on the time of day.

Miscou 2006 LW loggings in Excel form

Miscou 2006 LW logs

Summary of MW monitoring at Miscou 06

The collection of MW logs does not appear to show many unusual logs in this part of the spectrum. A station in the Netherlands on 1395 kHz was heard probably for the first time in North America as it started its transmission on 19th of September. A Mexican X-bander was also heard in the morning of the 21st.

Drift buoys

We also heard a plethora of "drift net buoys" on CW between 1,710 and 2,000 kHz. One was even audible during daylight hours. Why do we still hear so many of them if drift net fishing is supposed to be banned (or at least restricted) by various treaties?

Summary

Miscou 06 was once again a very restful Dxpedition and a good forum to exchange ideas and debate various radio-related topics. The 2006 MW collection of logs is interesting and the LW collection of logs is slightly disappointing, but it would be dull if the logs were always numerous.

We now have 11 months to prepare for Miscou 07 and Ken has the necessary time to design a EWE for LW!

Miscou 2006 MW loggings in Excel form

Miscou 2006 MW logs

Posted on October 12, 2006

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