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Newfoundland DXpedition 9
October 20-30, 2000

by Jean Burnell

This was the ninth event at Cappahayden, and, although it might same like all the same again, it is evident that the Newfoundland DXpedition always seems to yield some of the very best Trans-Atlantic and Pan-American DX of the season. I think that every DXer who participated this year would agree with me that conditions during the 2000 DXpedition were far from the best we have seen. Nevertheless, we logged 100 countries, not counting some short-wave DX and beacons.

This year's crew consisted of five DXers, all veterans of Newfoundland DXpeditions.
- John Fisher - Calgary, AB Drake R8A 20 Oct - 25 Oct
- Neil Kazaross - Barrington, IL AOR AR-7030 Plus 21 Oct - 29 Oct
- Jim Renfrew - Rochester, NY Drake R8 23 Oct - 30 Oct
- Mark Connelly - Billerica, MA Drake R8A 26 Oct - 29 Oct
- Jean Burnell - St. John's, NF Drake R8A & Icom R-71A 20 Oct - 29 Oct

The antenna configuration was almost the same as in the previous few years:
- Brazilian Beverage: 1 km aimed at eastern Brazil. Unlike in previous years, this one was never terminated. On some evenings, this signal was amplified through a Kiwa broadband amplifier.
- African Beverage: 400 m unterminated wire towards southern Africa. Whereas this was a productive antenna in 1999, this year this one was almost useless.
- European Beverage: 500 m terminated wire towards northern Europe. The signal from this antenna was amplified.
- K9AY Loops: My K9AY system was set up not far from the building. The beams were roughly north-east/south-west and north-west/south-east. Signals were amplified with Kiwa broadband amplifiers, and the two loops were fed into either side of an MFJ-1026 phasing unit. In contrast with last year, the signals from the loops were not usually as strong as those from any of the Beverages; however, the loops were generally quieter than the Beverages, which picked up stray RF from the big Loran C navigational station at Cape Race.

Beverage antennas were connected through noise-reducing transformers to coaxial cables that brought the signals into the "shack." Inside the "shack" each Beverage was split four ways using ICE splitters. Neil, and, especially, Mark were using phasing units from time to time. Often, however, attempts to phase were pointless as the signals from the two premier Beverages (Brazilian and European) were so different. Even phasing the K9AY loops was unnecessary. For instance, one evening I noticed that on 1260 kHz the north-east beam was providing a mixture of British signals, and in the opposite direction (south-west) on the same loop CKHJ from Fredericton NB was almost alone; from the south-east direction Spanish signals were dominant, and from the north-west only a low-level jumble of signals (CKHJ mainly) was evident. Everyone used a cassette recorder.

These DXpedition reports seem to require some meteorological horror stories. This year Nature served up some items that require no embellishment. The tail-end of a hurricane came through Newfoundland hours before John Fisher arrived. In St. John's there was no significant damage, but trees were knocked down in central Newfoundland. It was still pretty breezy when John and I set up the Beverages on the afternoon of October 20th. The wind was still too strong (over 100 km/h) to put up the K9AY until a few days after the DXpedition began. In the middle of the DXpedition, the night-time temperatures were going below freezing, so there was ice on the puddles as I drove back to St. John's in the mornings.

Fortunately, we did not get any snow, but then towards the end of the DXpedition, we had torrential rain. In fact, we had record rainfall. Apart from making tricky driving for Mark, who had to drive back to St. John's during the deluge, it complicated bringing in the Beverages. The European wire normally crosses a stream, but at the end of the DXpedition it crossed a fast-moving river. The first 100 meters of the Brazilian Beverage normally crosses a field. At the end of the DXpedition it crossed a shallow pond. However, in spite of my getting an unusual amount of exercise in the process, I was able to retrieve all of the wires intact, and, unlike in some earlier DXpeditions, no lengths of wire were irretrievably caught by the surf along the beach.

DX to Europe was only so-so generally, but on the first evening I was happy to net many of the smaller Romanian outlets that had eluded me for some time. I did not hear any previously unlogged stations from the UK, but the United Christian Broadcasters outlets in Ireland on 549 and 1593 kHz were first-time logs. One evening Neil found the long-wave outlet for Turkmenistan coming in on 279 kHz, which was a "new" country from Newfoundland (not counting SW!). African DX was a bit of a disappointment, with few "new" stations audible. We did note Libyan stations on 675 and 972 kHz that must now be running with sizeable power. The Togo station that we used to hear regularly near 1502 kHz has disappeared. I am always very interested in South American DX, so I was pleased to add a number of previously unheard Brazilians to my log book. Just as thrilling was logging a couple of new "unlicensed" Argentineans: Radio Folklorisimo on 1410 kHz (a tough frequency with much Brazilian QRM), and Radio Capital on 1530 kHz. Radio Uno (650 kHz) was a first-time log from Paraguay. Jim bagged two previously unheard stations from the "Deep South," Radio Fenix (Montevideo, Uruguay) on 1330 kHz and, even better, Radio Difusora Patagonia (Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina) on 630 kHz. The sensation of the 1999 DXpedition was Falkland Islands on 530 kHz. This time it was gone. Stations from the Pacific coast of South America were not heard, and even the Colombians were strangely muted.

It remains for me to thank John, Jim, Neil and Mark for trekking to this isolated spot to share some memorable DX. Also, I would like to thank Rocco Cotroneo in Brazil, Bjarne Mjelde in Norway, Bruce Conti in the USA, and Jarmo Patala in Finland for their interest and encouragement. Rocco mounted a parallel DXpedition in Bahia. Jarmo provided me with up-to-date African DX tips. Henrik Klemetz in Sweden has been of considerable assistance to me in skillfully ID'ing stations from South America. Herman Boel in Belgium is saluted for assembling his excellent European Medium Wave Guide (EMWG), which was our primary reference for European and Mediterranean stations.

DXpedition Log

Published on DXing.info on May 11, 2005

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Newfoundland DXpedition 9 Log

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