Newfoundland 2008 DXpedition
Report, Part 2
by Chuck Hutton
1800 foot terminated Beverage
at 40 degrees
1500 foot terminated Beverage at 1500 degrees
Other than 3 superpower stations,
India has not been heard from North America. This
is not due to lack of transmitters or lack of power,
but rather schedules. Almost all AIR stations leave
the air before 1800 UTC with a few staying on a
little later. Therefore, they are impossible from
the US and extremely unlikely from Newfoundland.
Only the 1566, 1134 and 1071 (no longer operating)
stations had been heard due to their extended schedule.
However, most of the AIR stations
sign on at 0025 UTC or close to that time. While
eastern India is in sunlight then, some of the country
is in darkness until about 0100. Heres the
0025 UTC picture:
Could any of the less-than-superpower
Indians be heard in this half hour window of possibility?
Yes, including a 20 kw station!
The key to hearing these Indians
was to listen on channels with little or no European
activity, since India is 6000 to 7000 miles (10,000
to 12,000 km) from Newfoundland while most of the
European stations are around 5000 km.
The party started when listening
to 1467 kHz at 0025 Nov 12. At that time, there
was no European station on the air and Iran was
fortunately off-channel at 1467.330 Hz. LSB reception
left a poor (to almost fair on peaks) but lonely
signal from Jeypore with 100 kw. This is very close
to local sunrise of approximately 0020 and was by
far the furthest east of the Indian receptions.
The signal was still barely audible until 0100.
This reception was repeated several nights, although
with a poorer signal. With TWR off at 0000 and Radio
Maria not on the air until 0500, India has the channel
Realizing the window of opportunity,
I scanned for other open channels and heres
648 Indore (Madhya Pradesh) 0025-0031 mixing of 2 stations at poor level: one with talk and the other with Indian music. Back 0045:40- 0046, 0048 and 0049:40-0052:50 with poor level Indian music. 0053:45- 0056:50 almost fair Indian flute music then 0056:50 a few words and 0057 back to music that ran over the hour.
873 Jalandhar (Punjab) with a fair signal on peaks, dominating the Europeans: Spain, AFN Germany and sometimes BBC Radio Ulster. Others (Rossii, Moldova) were off the air. Iran (often a pest) was nowhere to be found. A program of Hindi music was often on top from 0019 until 0041.
Suratgarh (Rajasthan) was amazing. From 0021 to
0034 this station was totally dominant with no sign
of Spain or Slovenia under it! The signal was fair
overall with periods where it was even better than
fair. Indian music and news, with a tremendous AIR
ID in English just after 0030 and then a newscast
entirely in English.
Najibabad (Uttar Pradesh) 0030:07 poor to maybe
fair on peaks with an Akashvani id. 0031:30
– 0032:40 & 0034:15 - 0035:10 & 0037:30
- 0038 fair with India news. In and out until
0102 with some interference from an Arabic station
assumed to be Qatar that was ID'ed before and after.
Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) 0056 - 0101:50 poor with
Indian music usually far underneath Canadian QRM.
(Rajasthan): at only 20 kw, this was a shock. 0025:20
tablas and hindi mx appeared and at 0026:11 a very
poor Akashvani ID made it. Fair music to 0027. From
0056:05 - 0057:45 music, then 0059:05 - 0059:30
a man talking. To fair level with music until 0100
then at 0106:46 another poor Akashvami id. AIR South
in Avadi is near Chennai so is well past local sunrise
while AIR North in Bikaner (Rajasthan) is still
in darkness and must be the source.
1467 Jeypore 0013:43 poor or poor+ Indian singing, 0015:00 poor talk. 0015:58 poor flute music. Either they were on a few minutes before listed sign-on, or I took bad notes.
I think some of these should
be heard again as the path to India is approximately
40 degrees and therefore a very quiet sun with resulting
extraordinary high latitude conditions is not needed.
The Far East At Newfoundland
In the 60s, a few trans-polar
receptions of Far East signals occurred. I dont
remember the details, other than that Pyongyang-655
was heard. Until Bruce Conti managed to hear Japan
747 a few years ago, I dont think there were
any other TP receptions from the east coast.
One of our goals for the 2008
DXpedition was to pay some attention to TP DX. We
even set up a special unterminated Beverage on a
north south axis to give ourselves another
possibility. Too bad it was noisy, being almost
underneath a power line. We took it down and used
our 40 degree, 1800 Beverage instead.
Great high latitude conditions
kept me up late every night, so I did not do any
live listening at local sunrise. Instead, I did
recordings at the top and bottom of the hour from
about 0800 UTC to 1000 UTC. At 0800, only the very
northern tip of Japan is in darkness. By 1000, Japan,
South Korea, North Korea, eastern China, Taiwan
and Far East Russia would be in darkness.
Below you will see that local
sunrise in Newfoundland is around 1030 UTC: the
first picture is 1000 UTC and the one below is 1100
On the other side of the world:
the first picture is 0800 UTC and the second one
is 1000 UTC.
A quick check of the Japanese
powerhouse frequencies (594, 693, 747, 774 and 828)
showed nothing for Nov. 10. Ditto for Nov. 11. Same
for Nov. 12, 13. No recordings from Nov. 14 due
to a glitch.
Should I even bother to listen
to the recordings from Nov. 15, the last morning
of the DXpedition? Oh, why not? It will only take
a few minutes to see that again nothing was heard.
And nothing was heard at
all. Until I checked 981 kHz, that is. Wow! That
is the CNR theme music I heard at poor-fair levels!
Shock set in, as I knew there must be more to hear.
And there was
819 NORTH KOREA Pyongyang KCBS 0930:50 poor with operatic music. 1000 poor with Korean talk followed by pips. Frequency was off at 819.073 kHz.
KOREA Dangjin KBS: at 0930 fair in apparent
Korean. At 1000 a slow set of pips and a set of
4+1 pips but I don't know which was Korea and which
was China or Russia or ??
981 CHINA Changchun (Jilin) 0930 fair at best with clear Chinese talk. 1000 poor but sure CNR theme music and ID. A bit of echo was heard, indicating (just like my receptions from the west coast) a non-synchronized network.
999 NORTH KOREA Hamhung KCBS noted on 998.920 at 1000, very poor with just a few notes of audio. Off channel as always.
1035 CHINA CNR1, various sites, 1000 UTC poor with growl from slightly off frequency station(s) and assumed 5 short and 1 long pips, although the deteriorating signal made a few pips tough.
1053 SOUTH KOREA jammer, various sites: if they want to know, their jammer prevented anyone in Newfoundland from hearing North Korean transmissions. Noted 0930 and 1000 with the brain-jarring jammer noise.
1062 UNID 1000 some sort of musical sounder or theme, hopefully to be identified by someone in the Far East.
1071 UNID 1000 someone with the last of their hourly pips, but nothing else.
1089 CHINA Liaoning assumed 0929 - 0931 poor or a little better with Chinese. 1000: standard Beijing time check.
1098 TAIWAN (?) 0930 fair carrier but only bits of audio. 0958 - 1001 poor Chinese but not good enough to say whether it is Mandarin, Cantonese, Amoy or ?? Low growl also present.
1107 UNIDS 0959
on 1106.970 & 1107 with poor audio. Not a channel
I expected to hear TP's on.
1125 CHINA 1000 poor – fair with standard Beijing time check.
1134 JAPAN NCB Tokyo and SOUTH KOREA Kimpo KBS: 0929 f Japanese, mixed with seeming Korean. 0959 - 1001 mix of the two with quiet instrumental music and talk.
1143 UNID 0930 poor with music too poor to identify. A shame, as anything here would be interesting.
1170 SOUTH KOREA
KBS Gimje the chanmpion of the TP signals: 1000
UTC fair, on top of WWVA with the KBS World Radio
theme music and a handful of KBS World Radio ID's
in slightly accented English.
1188 UNID with pips at 1000, no possibility of an ID.
1206 CHINA 0859 fair to poor with Korean? About 20 Hz low. 1000 fanfare at poor level and 1000:55 fair in what seemed Chinese but should be Korean.
1251 UNID 1000
poor Chinese talk. I'm not sure if this is Voice
of Russia in Chinese (the schedule is confusing
and I'm not sure if they sign on at 1000 or 1100)
1251 UNID poor on 1250.960 with bits of audio.
1278 JAPAN Fukuoka
RKB 0900 poor - fair Japanese. 1000 RKB theme music
and several ID' at fair level and all alone. I give
them second place behind Korea - 1170 for best signal.
1278 CHINA Hebei dominated by RKB but just enough signal to have the language confirmed as Chinese by Hiroo Nakagawa. 0930 mixing with Japan but not heard later.
1287 SOUTH KOREA MBC Cheongju / Gangneung (10 kW each) 0900 poor with the very distinctive MBC chimes! Perhaps the biggest shock of the TP sunrise DX. I have not heard this MBC outlet from the west coast so hearing it from the east coast was unimaginable.
1305 UNID 1000
poor music at the top of the hour - likely South
1323 UNID 1000 poor talk.
1323 UNID carrier on 1322.950.
1332 UNID 1000:20 poor or slightly better talk seems Asiatic but I can’t tell what.
1359 CHINA CNR, various 1000:08 poor piece of CNR theme music heard. Very tough, as a poor signal and a bit of nearby Loran almost covered it.
1377 CHINA Xingyang CNR 1000 to poor-fair peak.
1413 JAPAN KBC
Fukuoka 0900 poor or a little better. By 0928, fair
with KBC theme music. 0958:04 and 0958:11 fair with
KBC ID's. They were tied for second place with 1278
1422 UNID 1000 poor talk, probably not going to tell me anything.
1467 UNID 0958 - 1001 poor or slightly better talk.
1476 UNID 0958 - 1001 poor talk.
1557 TAIWAN (seemingly) 0958 poor - fair Chinese and religious music up to the hour.
1566 UNID just a bit of poor talk at 1000:50. This should not be South Korea as they are not on the air until 1100.
1584 UNID 1583.035 poor carrier at 1100.
Whats interesting is what
I did not hear. There was absolutely nothing heard
below 819 and the action really started in the top
half of the band. How can I receive Japan on 1278
and 1413 at fair levels but hear nothing from the
superpowers on 594, 693, 747, 774 and 828? Its
interesting that 1278 and 1413 are both from Fukuoka.
Fukuoka has a bearing of 357 degrees while Tokyo
and Sapporo are at 347 degrees. Fukuoka is as far
north a path as is possible from Japan and the rest
of the country has a bit less over the pole
path. My guess is that Fukuoka (and the Koreas and
China) just missed the inner edge of the extremely
small auroral zone during this period of extremely
low solar activity. Most of Japan was swallowed
by the auroral zone.
The NOAA picture below helps
to show the relationships. This map is centered
on the geographic North Pole, so it is not correct
for me to draw a straight line between Fukuoka and
Newfoundland (the rightmost yellow line) or Tokyo
and Newfoundland (the leftmost yellow line). Ignoring
any small distortions that result, the paths cross
through the auroral zone (in yellow). Unfortunately
the picture below is from August 04 2009 rather
than November 2008, but remember the center of the
auroral zone doesnt normally move much and
it is the outer edge of the doughnut that moves.
So it seems fair to say the Fukuoka path is right
in the middle of the doughnut hole and the Tokyo
path is at least closer to the auroral doughnut.
All this ignores frequency: 1278 and 1413 may have
propagated differently than the low-band powerhouses
with Fukuoka fortuitously bouncing under the aurora
up to a point over the doughnut hole and then back
under the aurora while poor Tokyos ionospheric
reflection point happened to be right in the aurora.
Coming soon: Volume 3,
with Mozambique on 1260 and 1206 and various southern
Africans, 10 kw Iranians, and more.
Published on August