Welcome! It is Monday, March 27, 2017, 1233 UTC  
to DXing.info front page
Help for radio hobbyists in using the site About DXing.info and the DX Hobby Feedback to DXing.info
The reliable information source for radio hobbyists
  Home > DXpeditions > Seefontein 7 DXpedition in March 2009  
 Radio stations
  News
  Profiles
  Audio
  Lists
 DXing
  Introduction
  DX Glossary
  Articles
  Propagation
  DXpeditions
  Logs
  Equipment
  QSL
  Shop
 Community
  All Forums
  National radio
  International
  FM
  Equipment
 Site info
  About
  Search
  Help - FAQ
  Press
  What's new

 


Seefontein 7 DXpedition

March 16-18, 2009

by John Plimmer

The excellent Seefontein DXpedition site is best described with maps and pictures in an earlier report on DXing.info. Some years on, the cottage is still the same. The water is still brown and salty and undrinkable so a supply of twenty litres of pure water is supplied for tea/coffee. Although our hostess Lise Brand has fitted a new hot water system, it still doesn't work and the best you can achieve is a luke warm to cold bath. There is a gas stove for cooking and a gas cooler, with candles and paraffin lamps for lighting. No comforts like TV, but only FM and MW radio reception with a shaky cellphone connection.

Entrance
Entrance to Seefontein was flooded last September

So why do we put up with the privations of this remote cottage? Because the MW reception is simply superb and there being no mains power within several kilometers, the site is extremely electrically quiet, allowing the clear reception of even the faintest signals at dusk and dawn. Plus, the area being uninhabited you can put up several long beverages to your hearts content. Truly a serious DXer's paradise. Only snag for the future is that the sea is encroaching and in years to come the sea will be right at the cottage door and wash it away.

However, things did not go well this trip, my car battery packed up halfway when we had stopped for coffee. The local rural garage tested it and found the cells going phut, so they jump started me to get me on my way again. Fortunately, with careful shepherding, the battery lasted the trip and I replaced it once we got home again. At the same time I got an SMS message from Vince Stevens to say his Landie (Land Rover Defender 110) had seized up and he was arranging to have it towed back home. He would get picked up later by Gary Deacon and they would only arrive much later.

Cottage
Seefontein cottage at sunset

So DXer John Plimmer, his wife Dawn and fisherman Willie arrived somewhat late at Seefontein and got busy unloading and setting up everything and laying out the 350 meter beverage antenna. Half past five and we were ready, but no sign of Vince and Gary, so I SMSed them and they were progressing slowly, eventually arriving at six thirty just before dark at seven. A frantic laying out of beverage antennas ensued in the half light and they were ready to go on a makeshift basis at seven fifteen just as the last light faded.

Monday evening 16th

Sunset is official at 1702z and at 1657 ABC Perth is already coming in, promising a good evening. The "sea gain" effect at Seefontein is superb for pulling in those faint far off signals. A bad day at Seefontein is so much better than your very best day inland in suburbia, that is why we keep coming back here year after year. Other Australian stations follow shortly after and then Taiwan and the well known HLAZ from Korea.

Tuesday morning 17th

John trying
John desperately trying to get Perth on his ultralight E100

We are all up bright and early and soon start catching the US stations. The nearest of these on the US East coast are 12,000 km's/7,700 miles away. It is always a thrill hearing a US station as these are very rare and hard to come by back home. At 0400z, at first light, I get an unusual catch 1458 Capital Gold from London. This station is normally obliterated by a local, so this is a rare catch caught on my Kiwa MW Loop (the beverage is over the shoulder to N.Y.). The Kiwa Loop does a sterling job of getting Europe and performs in line with having a 300m beverage. Sunrise is at 0449z and my last catch with the sun well up is Nashville TN, giving me six US stations for the session, a good haul.

The Icom IC-756PROIII draws 5 amps, so I check the large tractor battery I have been loaned by my local dealer, but it seems good for another night still. Time to have a bath then and go through the process of trying to coach some hot water out of the awful system. Despite my best efforts, I still only manage a luke warm bath, but feel much better after that and a shave.

Tuesday evening 17th

Australia and Taiwan make an early appearance at sunset, and then an hour after sunset, bingo! I get "ABC national" Brisbane. Very happy with that.

Wednesday morning 18th

Europe and the Uk are coming in nicely on my Kiwa MW Loop. A lesser showing from the U.S. this morning but Bahamas and The Caribbean Beacon do come in with Washington DC. The Brazilians are stronger this morning and we are not really after these - the hope is always that the South Americans are suppressed by propagation conditions and North America dominates, a situation that does not often occur.

We all get a bit of luck by catching the UK "Absolute Radio" on 1215 kHz. This is because the powerful Botswana transmitter is off air, a situation that does not often occur. This is the last catch of the session and is so powerful that I am even able to log it on my ultralight Eton E100 barefoot, a tremendous achievement and a tribute to the excellent Seefontein DX site.

Vince concentrating
Vince concentrating on the DX from his Drake R8A

Lunch today is our traditional fish and chips from the shop in Veldrif (a fishing village 15 km's away), and lovely fresh and succulent it is washed down by a nice Cape Sauvignon Blanc. We usually have a braai (barbeque) on the Tuesday, but it has been blowing so hard that was not possible. The high wind also disrupts our friend Willie's fishing efforts, so he settles for digging up a posse of sand muscles.

After lunch it is decision time as Gary has a gig (he is a professional musician) in a small town about an hour and a half's drive away. His original intention had been to drive back to Seefontein after the gig and enjoy a good Thursday morning session with us, but after looking at the maps and discussing it with us the bad condition of the country roads put him off and he opted instead to make direct for home after the gig. So after lunch he and Vince had to pull in all their antenna's and pack up and head off at 3.00 p.m. What a pity, but I agreed with Gary that the hour and a half drive back to Seefontein on those roads at 2.00 a.m. in the morning was not something to look forward to.

Anyway, at least the lads had got some good catches and some European and UK stations not often heard. All three of us had brought our ultralight (ULR) radio's along, that is shirt pocket size tiny radio's that we DX with on the AM MW BCB band. We had lots of fun with those and brought our count of countries received up significantly from this magic Seefontein DX site. Gary's country count is now 44 and I got mine up to 27 - at 30 countries you receive a lovely certificate of "master DXer", something that is quite worthwhile achieving.

After the lads have left I doss down for a bit of shuteye and am up for the evening session when Australia breaks through at seven p.m.

Wednesday evening 18th and Thursday morning 19th

The evening session is dominated by some good European catches. I leave the dials for a few hours sleep and for the morning session find those conditions we dream for: Brazil is suppressed and N. America is coming in strongly. Soon I have a couple of US stations and then CBE Windsor Ont. At 0330z I get Des Moines Iowa, which, at 14,000 km's/8,800 miles away, is a nice catch. More US Eastern seaboard stations follow, and at just after official sunrise, with the sun well up, I get a catch of a lifetime: "KSL" Salt Lake City UT with a nice clear recording. That's a beaut at 15,500 km's/9,600 miles away, so I end the session and the DXpedition on a high note, just sorry that the other lads had to leave early and miss this great morning session.

Beach
Seefontein beach in front of the cottage - the Atlantic Ocean

DXing at Seefontein at dawn is just such an amazing experience. I have just listened to "KSL" Salt Lake recording again and to hear this very faint signal, that is not even flicking the "S" meter off zero, is a truly sensual and orgasmic experience. Not the faintest suggestion of electrical RFI, just pure clear signals wafting in from over 15,000 km's away = lovely. I am so grateful to the radio Gods that we have such a site and can experience such miracles of propagation.

This was the second best Seefontein DXpedition, with 18 North American catches, but not up to the marvellous September 2007 DXpedition where I got an astonishing 25 North American stations and the amazing CFUN Vancouver Canada catch.

Vince boosting
Vince boosting his ultralight in the Kiwa MW Loop

We pack up and load the little Toyota and thankfully it just starts on the dud battery. The four hour road home is busy, bumpy and stressful on the country roads. To save ourselves some later driving we decide to stop in at the cattery on the way back and collect our cat. This is about a half hour from home and the cat is not a good traveller and yowls like anything at being cooped up in it's box. About five minutes from home the cats cries reach a crescendo and it's stomach lets go........... we open all the windows and motor on for the last five minutes in the stink.

Anyway, we all get home safely, including Vince and Gary, my battery is soon replaced and poor Vince is faced with an awful repair bill for his Landy.

LOGS

GARY DEACON

693 0240 UNITED KINGDOM BBC Radio 5 Live w interview *
729 1840 GREECE ERA 1, Athens w ann *
747 2046 HOLLAND Radio 747, Flevoland w discussion *
1017 2115 GERMANY SWR Cont Ra Wolfsheim w ann *
1030 0432 ARGENTINA Radio del Plata, Buenos Aires in SS w id, news and talkback *
1053 0315 UNITED KINGDOM Talksport Droitwich w talkback *
1215 0258 UNITED KINGDOM Accent Radio Droitwich w chat *
1242 1928 FRANCE France Info Marseille
1270 0422 ARGENTINA Radio Provincia de Buenos Aires in SS w talkback *
1449 1932 ITALY Squinzano w animated comm *
1458 0302 UNITED KINGDOM Sunrise Radio London w news
1520 0418 BRAZIL Iguatemi AM w contemporary pops and id jingle (500 watts)
1530 1955 VATICAN R. Vaticano wth prayers*
1548 0304 UNITED KINGDOM Capitol Gold w "All My Loving" by The Beatles
1593 1802 ROUMANIA w news // 1152 khz
1629 1838 UNIDENTIFIED Greek Pirate w bouzouki mx
1643 1943 UNIDENTIFIED possible Greek pirate w mx
1660 0457 USA WWRU Elizabeth NJ * (barefoot USA station # 10)

Receivers : Icom R71 and Sony-M37V Ultralight

* Barefoot with Sony SRF-M37V.
* UK, Greece, Holland, Italy and Luxembourg heard barefoot for the first time (Barefoot total = 44 countries to date).

JOHN PLIMMER

Deck a few years ago
The deck in front of Seefontein cottage four years ago

Frequency Time Date Country Town Station Language Power Remarks
612 1800 17-Mar-09 AUSTRALIA BRISBANE "4OR " "ABC NATIONAL" EE 50 NX
660 0444 17-Mar-09 USA "NY,NY" WFAN EE 50
693 2242 17-Mar-09 UK DROITWICH BBC R. 5 UK SPORTS EE 150
710 0341 17-Mar-09 USA "NY, NY" WOR EE 50
720 1657 16-Mar-09 AUSTRALIA PERTH 6WF ABC EE 50
756 2222 18-Mar-09 GERMANY REVENSBURG DLF DD 100 YL INTERVIEWING MAN
828 1700 17-Mar-09 AUSTRALIA GERALDTON 6GN ABC EE 10
860 0337 18-Mar-09 BRAZIL RIO DE JANEIRO R. CBN PP 100
880 0406 19-Mar-09 USA "NY, NY" WCBS EE 50 NEWS & TRAFFIC RPT
1,017 2317 18-Mar-09 GERMANY MAINTZ "SWR CONT RA" DD 100
1,040 0330 19-Mar-09 USA DES MOINES IA WHO - TALK/CHAT + PHONE IN'S EE 50 - 14,000 KMS & 8800 MILES AWAY"
1,040 0328 19-Mar-09 BRAZIL SAO PAULO R. CAPITAL PP 100
1,070 0151 17-Mar-09 ARGENTINA CAPITAL FEDERAL R MUNDO SS 5
1,090 0449 19-Mar-09 USA BALTIMORE MD WBAL EE 50 NEWS/TALK
1,100 0142 17-Mar-09 BRAZIL SAO PAULO R GLOBO PP 50
1,120 0309 19-Mar-09 USA ST LOUIS MO "KMOX" WTH WX 50
1,134 1945 16-Mar-09 ANGOLA MULENVOS MAN TALKING PP 10
1,140 0252 19-Mar-09 USA RICHMOND VA WRVA EE 50 ADS & TALK
1,152 1816 17-Mar-09 ANGOLA MBANZA MAN TALKING ECONOMICS PP 10
1,160 0500 19-Mar-09 USA SALT LAKE CITY UT KSL EE 50 ID & NX 15558 KM 9667M AWAY
1,206 0040 08-Mar-09 FRANCE BORDEAUX FRANCE INFO FF 300
1,215 0424 18-Mar-09 UK DROITWICH """ABSOLUTE RADIO""" EE 105 "CHAT SHOW, PHONE IN, MUSIC"
1,220 0343 18-Mar-09 BRAZIL RIO DE JANEIRO R. GLOBO PP 150
1,278 0031 18-Mar-09 FRANCE STRASBOURG FRANCE BLUE FF 300
1,296 1700 16-Mar-09 AUSTRALIA WAGIN 6RN ABC EE 10
1,296 2127 18-Mar-09 SUDAN REIBA SUDAN GEN SVCE AA 600
1,300 0437 19-Mar-09 USA BALTIMORE MD WJFK - ESPN SPORTS EE 5
1,359 2350 17-Mar-09 SPAIN MADRID R. NACIONAL SS 600
1,377 2347 17-Mar-09 FRANCE LILLE FRANCE INTER FF 300
1,413 1829 18-Mar-09 MOLDOVA GRIGORIOPOL VOR WTH ID & MAN TALKING RR 500
1,422 2341 17-Mar-09 GERMANY HUISWEILER DEUTCHLAND FUNK DD 400
1,431 1835 18-Mar-09 UKRAINE MYKOLAIV VOR 2 MEN DABATING RR 1000 STRONG
1,440 1849 18-Mar-09 LUXEMBOURG MARNACH RTL DD 1200
1,449 1841 16-Mar-09 ITALY SQUINZANO RADIOUNO RAI II 50
1,449 1705 16-Mar-09 AUSRALIA MANDURAH 6TAB EE 2
1,458 0358 07-Mar-09 UK ID "SUNRISE RADIO" EE 125
1,500 0106 18-Mar-09 USA WASHINGTON DC WFED EE 50 AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY
1,503 1709 16-Mar-09 TAIWAN FANGLIAO CBS CC 600
1,510 0502 17-Mar-09 USA "NASHVILLE, TN" WLAC EE 50 WX REPORT
1,520 0458 17-Mar-09 USA "BUFFALO, NY" WWKB EE 50
1,539 2304 17-Mar-09 UAE AL DHABBIYA R. AAP VOA AA 800
1,540 0056 18-Mar-09 BAHAMAS NASSAU ZNS1 EE 25
1,550 0300 19-Mar-09 CANADA WINDSOR ONT "CBE " "CBC RADIO 1" EE 10
1,557 1751 16-Mar-09 FRANCE NICE FRANCE INFO FF 300
1,566 1712 16-Mar-09 KOREA JEJU HLAZ FEBC KK 100
1,566 1754 16-Mar-09 INDIA NAGPUR AIR INDIAN SINGING VV 300
1,600 0015 17-Mar-09 USA "NY, NY" WWRL EE 5 "SHOW LIVE FROM LA" WITH AFRO AMERICAN PRESENTER
1,610 0021 17-Mar-09 ANGUILLA THE CARIBBEAN BEACON EE 25 YL GIVES GOSPEL
1,660 0031 17-Mar-09 USA "JERSEY CITY, NJ" WWRU - KOREAN KK 10
1,700 0500 19-Mar-09 MEXICO TIJUANA XEPE WTH SAN DIAGO AREA CDE EE 10
Propagation - Solar Flux 69, A index 4, K index 3

Radio Icom IC-756PROIII and Eton E100 ultralight
Beverage antenna 350 meters pointed to Australia and over shoulder to New York
KIWA MW Loop (very effective for Europe catches)

VINCE STEVENS

Deck in 2009
The deck in 2009 - note the sea encroaching towards the cottage

171 0330 18/03/09 MOROCCO MEDI 1 (Presumed) AA style mx fair Drake R8A / Beverages
198 0331 18/03/09 ALGERIA RTA 3 (presumed) AA style mx fair Drake R8A / Beverages
252 0335 18/03/09 ALGERIA RTA 1 (presumed) mx poor w QRN Drake R8A / Beverages
594 0327 18/03/09 GERMANY MDR-INFO ID GG fair w QRM Drake R8A / Beverages
660 0452 17/03/09 USA -UNIDENTIFIED- (WFAN?) talk show & phone ins EE fair Drake R8A / Beverages
680 0453 17/03/09 USA -UNIDENTIFIED- talk show & ads EE poor Drake R8A / Beverages
684.1 0317 18/03/09 SPAIN RNE (Presumed) talks SS fair Drake R8A / Beverages
693 0312 18/03/09 ENGLAND BBC R.5 talk about an event in Trinidad EE fair-good Drake R8A / Beverages
710 0433 17/03/09 USA WOR "ads, ID" EE poor-fair E100 / Beverages
711 0345 18/03/09 FRANCE FRANCE-INFO (Presumed) talks FF poor Drake R8A / Beverages
720 1740 17/03/09 AUSTRALIA "6WF, Perth" Interview with author EE fair Sony SRF49 / 220m BOG
740 0402 17/03/09 BRAZIL R.SOC DE BAHIA ID SS good Sony SRF49 Barefoot
747 0349 18/03/09 NETHERLANDS R.5 "Nirvana song done in a Jazzy form, then nx & ID" DD poor-fair Drake R8A / Beverages
783 0308 18/03/09 SPAIN "COPE, Barcelona " ID & timecheck (heard on Drake & ULR Barefoot) SS poor E100 Barefoot
792 1845 17/03/09 GREECE ERT2 talks ? YL Greek poor Drake R8A / Beverages
830 0448 17/03/09 USA -UNIDENTIFIED- Phone in show (Jim Bohannon?) EE poor Drake R8A / Beverages
1017 1846 17/03/09 GERMANY SWR talk about 'kinders' GG fair Drake R8A / Beverages
1030 0340 17/03/09 ARGENTINA R.EL PLATA ID SS fair E100 Barefoot
1053 1820 17/03/09 ROMANIA RADIO IASI talk & mx (confirmed by listening on Drake) Romanian v weak E100 Barefoot
1070 0458 18/03/09 COLOMBIA "R.SANTA FE, Bogota" ID x 3 SS poor Drake R8A / Beverages
1200 0457 18/03/09 USA -UNIDENTIFIED- (WOAI?) Coast to Coast EE poor Drake R8A / Beverages
1224 1711 17/03/09 BULGARIA R BULGARIA "Talks, many mentions of Bulgaria, ID" EE/Bulgarian poor-fair Drake R8A / Beverages
1323 1829 17/03/09 CYPRUS BBC WS RELAY Interview & ID EE v weak Sony SRF49 Barefoot
1341 0428 17/03/09 N.IRELAND BBC R.ULSTER "BBC Relay, talks" EE poor Drake R8A / Beverages
1341 1809 17/03/09 HUNGARY MAGYAR KATOLIKUS R?DI? "Roman Catholic prayers & Amens, ID at 19h00" Hungarian fair Drake R8A / Beverages
1359 1820 16/03/09 TAIWAN FAMILY R Gospel EE weak E100 Barefoot
1394.8 1950 17/03/09 ALBANIA R.TIRANA (Presumed) talks in unid lingo (Albanian?) Albanian (?) fair-good Drake R8A / Beverages
1440 0424 17/03/09 LUXEMBOURG RTL Gospel GG good E100 Barefoot
1449 1724 17/03/09 AUSTRALIA "6TAB,Mandurah" usual horse racing results EE poor Drake R8A / Beverages
1449 1919 17/03/09 ITALY R.UNO ID and talks & possibly ads (heard on Drake & ULR Barefoot) II poor E100 Barefoot
1512 1835 16/03/09 SAUDI ARABIA CALL OF ISLAM/HOLY QURAN talks AA good E100 Barefoot
1520 0500 17/03/09 USA WWKB ID EE fair Drake R8A / Beverages
1521 1836 16/03/09 SAUDI ARABIA GENERAL ARABIC PROGRAMME/CALL OF ISLAM talk (news?) AA good E100 Barefoot
1557 1837 16/03/09 FRANCE FRANCE-INFO "talk, mentions of Cote d'Ivoire" FF v good E100 Barefoot
1700 0255 18/03/09 MEXICO XEPE (presumed) Mentions of San Diego & CNN.com EE poor Drake R8A / Beverages

Radio Drake R8A and ULR's

(published on March 30, 2009)

to Hometo DXpeditionsto Page Top


About DXing | About this Site | © Mika Mäkeläinen 2002-2014 | All rights reserved