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Mount Isa, North Queensland, Australia
Business Trip with the R75

Craig Edwards – ‘DX Crocodile Hunter’

October 25-28 2004

In my position I have the opportunity to travel around every few weeks usually for only one or two days where I'll fly in and out of places around North Queensland. On this occasion I was scheduled to be one week away in a town on the edge of my coverage zone - Mount Isa.

Sunset at Mount Isa
A s you can see, this is not a mining town, more really a towning mine!!! Too noisy at sunset for DX, beautiful for photos though.

Mount Isa is a vast mining city located in the heart of North-West Queensland and the Carpentaria-Mount Isa Mineral Province with a population of 18,500 people. It is a very hot place situated 900km by road west of Townsville and about 1900km north-west of Brisbane (the State capital). Mount Isa City covers an area of over 43,310 square kilometres, making it geographically the second largest city in the world to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia. The place is really weird because the town is literally built right next to the mine, normally the mines are separated by 5-15 km away. The locals say it isn’t a ‘mining town’ it’s a ‘towning mine!’

Figuring I'd be bored out of my brains there I decided it was worth a try doing some listening so I packed the R75, a little bit of wire, headphones, tape deck, preamp, etc. I flew in meaning I had no car which would have been the ideal and when I return there in January I'll book a car and take a couple of hundred metres of wire with me so I can go to the outskirts of town away from the noise.

Hotel
Hotel room – amazing how close the industrial copper mine is

So I had to listen in the hotel room, each one had fluorescent ligthing, TV and a touch lamp (which was unplugged and stayed that way!!). It was too noisy in the evening with lighting and TV’s so the 4:30 to 6:00am period was when I listened on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. No listening done on Friday morning as we all got blind drunk on the Thursday night.

My antenna was a simple little 20 metres strung along a hedge outside the hotel bathroom window. This would have been unusable due to noise if I had not also strung out 15 metres of wire along the ground and used this as a earth for the R75. This make-shift earth really made a huge difference in knocking out a lot of noise.

Equipment
Modest set up of R75, tape deck, old headphones, simple pre-amp and rechargeable 12V battery packs

My main aim was trying to hear odd Asian signals that I don't get to hear in Townsville. I must admit to enjoying these little sessions hunting Asians as I haven't done this since July. The past three and a half months I have been focussing on Canada, USA, Mexico and Alaska. This was certainly a nice change of pace. Managed to snare a few new Asians like DYHP 612; RRI Ambon 720; Indonesia 774; KCBS North Korea 864 and Family Radio, Taiwan 1521. I'm scheduled to return to Mount Isa in late January so it should be interesting what can be heard on the edge of town in the car with a beverage to Europe.

549 1840 CNR Fujian, China. Very good in CC with musical (CE)

567 1847 KGUM Agana, Guam. Fair here with US Network program as per usual (CE)

612 1902 DYHP Cebu City, Philippines. Fair with James Brown mx and RMN IDs but different programming to 621 (CE)

621 1857 DXDC Davao City, Philippines. Fair here with DXDC ID and RMN ID’s (CE)

630 1908 unid Philippines. No ID but lots of references to Manila, noted under ABC North Queensland (CE)

720 1917 RRI Ambon, Indonesia. Fair with Ramadan prayers the first 2 mornings, third morning noted male and female talk with ID at 1928 (CE)

765 1905 CNR Fujian, China. Good in CC with opera // 549 (CE)

774 1940 unid Indonesian. Noted here with Ramadan prayers, never any talk (CE)

810 1950 RRI Merauke, Irian Jaya. Solid performer lately, almost as regular as 1395 kHz. (CE)

864 1954 KCBS Sinuiju, North Korea. Fair with non stop commentaries noted // 3250 (CE)

899.8 2002 unid Philippines. No ID but a seemingly religious program (CE)

909 1830 RRI Sorong, Irian Jaya. Fair in Indo with modern tunes and ID on half hour (CE)

1008 1916 JONR Japan. Fair here in JJ over unid Philippines station (CE)

1170 1211 HLSR Kimje, South Korea. Good here in JJ, a regular here (CE)

1260 1901 DXRF Davao City, Philippines. EE ID announcement then into regular Tagalog (CE)

1287 1910 JOHR Sapporo, Japan. Poor under DXRC with JJ talk (CE)

1287 1910 DXRC Zamboanga City, Philippines. Solid with no sign of 2TM, plenty of IDs (CE)

1296 1916 DXAB Davao City, Philippines. The most regular Philippines station (CE)

1296 1928 China Radio International, Kunming, China. Good here with CC (CE)

1314 1854 BEV76 Tien Sheng BC Station, Taiwan. Fair here with great mx pgm with occas talk (CE)

1323 1925 CRI Changchun, China. Fair here in the clear with RR pgm (CE)

1359 2009 Family Radio, Taiwan. Good with EE religious gibberish (CE)

1386 1933 HLAM South Korea. Fair here with female and male talk, only audible in mornings as Tarana is too strong here in Qld (CE)

1395 1925 HLCO Ch’lwon, South Korea. Non stop KK talk here, obliterated at 2000 when RRI Wamena signs on (CE)

1404 2003 JOQL or JOVR Japan. Noted briefly here with male talk in JJ (CE)

1440 1114 JOWF Sapporo, Japan. Typical powerhouse in JJ (CE)

1467 1946 HLKN Mokp’o, South Korea. Fair in KK, in the earlier evenings Thai normally dominates (CE)

1512 1108 DYAB Cebu City, Philippines. Very good in Tagalog with echo IDs (CE)

1521 1100 Family Radio, Taiwan. Fair with ID and religious program (CE)

1566 2015 DXID Pagadian Philippines. Good here with plenty of IDs, no sign of HLAZ or AIR (CE)

1593 2013 CNR China. Fair here in CC with usual mx programming (CE)

(CE) Craig Edwards, Townsville QLD. DXing from the DX Tent at Balgal Beach campsite, 50km north of Townsville, Icom R75 running off 12V, pre-amp, EWE to North America.

(published on November 19, 2004)

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