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Townsville, North Queensland, Australia
DXpedition One Night Stands

August - September 2004

By Craig Edwards - 'DX Crocodile Hunter'

Well we've had the Townsville 'DXrelocation' experience, now it's the Townsville 'DXpedition One Night Stands'. For the last few Saturday nights I've been having one night stands. My wife knows all about it, hell she even comes along to watch to admire my knob twiddling. The mistress? Her name is Icom and she is a sexy new R75 who likes getting out into the country, enjoys beverages and doesn't mind a go at a EWE or two.

You see life is full of compromises when you're married. You can't have beer for breakfast, it isn't funny to fart in bed and yell 'Dutch Oven!', nor is it considered acceptable to turn your underpants inside out and wear them the next day. Similarly it is unacceptable to regularly go on DXpeditions most weekends when you're married. So some compromises must be made. My wife has given me the chance to go on DX trips every couple of weekends but the compromise is that she and the dog have to come along so we stay as a family.

VB view of the beach
My view from the Balgal Beach DXpedition tent some 50km north of home in Townsville at 0400 UTC, looking out across Pacific waiting for US signals to appear over the horizon in just a few short hours…

So rather than the typical remote DXpedition location with no powerlines in sight, instead we have to go to caravan parks or established campsites with public toilets, running water, etc. At least she has agreed to tents and 12V for power. This situation does create serious antenna problems because people tend to come across them in this situation. But hey!! It's better than DX'ing from home and listening to monster noise levels due to family and neighbours.

Our first attempt on August 14th was a caravan park just to test things out in an environment with all amenities very close by, just to keep the wife happy - mission accomplished but noise was an issue and the 100m on the ground to USA and 200m to Mexico weren't very good and people regularly came across them. Even so I managed to hear a few new US stations that I couldn't log from home, and the bottom line was that we were now ready to go to the established campsites where caravans were not permitted, therefore less man made noise.

The Beach
View back to the campsite at low tide at Balgal Beach

Only problem with the beautiful beach side campsite we chose is that lots of other campers wanted to go there too, not to mention the 20 or so American College girls on a Christian retreat around Australia. Their little dome tents peppered the path I wanted to put my wire to North America. I said to the wife that if I went 100m at 50o then I could land myself a dozen or so lovely yanks, but she didn't find the humour in that. So best I could do was 100m at 90o through Central America which in the end didn't work that well, only new ones to log in Townsville were KVVN, KTXZ, KGST, KBJD, KBIV and KAVT. Before the listening session I was sitting in a deck chair gazing around the campsite, thinking about what to set up next week - it struck me - what about a EWE?

So the following week on 28/8 I tried the EWE at 55o through the middle of USA and the tent was only 20m from the beach overlooking the Pacific. Again in the deck chair with a beer in hand, I decided that it didn't matter if I couldn't put out a Beveridge, after all the EWE is easy to erect, cuts out noise from power lines only 1km away and is invisible to other happy campers and beach goers. Well conditions were great. I was very pleased with excellent conditions this evening hearing in Townsville for the first time KFI, KNEW, KECR, KYCW, CKWX, KESS, KFRN, KYOS, KVNR, KWOK, KSTP, KSPA, KGDD, KKAD, KNZR, KCRG, KQWB, WTDY & WRLL in 6 hours!

Begging for DX
Ritual sacrificing of VB beer while kneeling in Pacific Ocean arms out stretched to the sky to pray to Gods of MW, my dog Padula looking on

OK 11/9 and the third trip to this lovely campsite at Balgal Beach. Same EWE except slightly different orientation at 40o this time, quite by accident really. But what an accident to make as again conditions were sensational with signals from Washington USA and Western Canada coming in and I've never had such a great opening from this region hearing KIRO, CHMJ, KJR, KGA, KYCW, KALE, CKNW, CBR, WHO, CKMX, CMHJ, CHRB and KGA to the ritual sacrificing of VB while kneeling in Pacific Ocean arms out stretched to the sky to pray to Gods of MW – you had to be there……….. Will take a few weeks off listening to go through tapes and do multitude of reports while watching AFL finals series.

Beer on the beach
Hmmm, 0200UTC, should I do a midday MW band scan for the article or drink Victoria Bitter beer on the beach at low tide?.......derrr!

Happy to say though I have a short DXpedition planned for October and I'll put up EWEs to usual USA in addition to Africa. So far haven't tried a sunrise session yet, can't wait.

Stations logged:

640 1208 KFI Los Angeles CA. Fair here with coast to coast 28/8 (CE)

680 1111 KNBR San Francisco, CA. Poor here with usual talk 14/8 (CE)

710 0820 KIRO Seattle, WA. Fair here with a rarely heard nostalgia radio drama program "When Radio Was" 11/9 (CE)

730 0839 CHMJ Vancouver, BC. Fair but poor overall with ESPN 11/9 (thanks to USA guys for tip on this one) (CE)

910 0953 KNEW Oakland, CA. Dominant on the channel here with talk 28/8 (CE)

910 1223 KECR El Cajon, CA. A couple of peaks up over stronger KNEW, noted with lifestyle directions program 28/8 (CE)

950 0745 KJR Seattle, WA. Good at times despite cochannel splatter with ESPN Sports Talk Back, good all night 11/9 (CE)

960 0753 KALE Richland, WA. Poor with ESPN // 950 network pgm, mixing with unid station possibly with CBS news 11/9 (CE)

980 0856 CKNW New Westminster, BC. Fair with sports then news mixing with traces of KDBV 11/9 (CE)

1010 0907 CBR Calgary, AB. Fair at times but tough to hear, noted international news, then heard at 1024 relaying DW Germany of all bloody things! 11/9 (CE)

1040 0914 WHO Des Moines, IA. The best on this channel mixing with KLHT and possibly CKST with sports talk. Heard with Coast to coast 11/9 (CE)

1060 0922 CKMX Calgary, AB. Poor under Torres Strait Islands 4TI on 1062, oldies mx show 11/9 (CE)

1090 0941 KYCW Seattle, WA. Good with C&W music & IDs between every couple of songs 28/8 (CE)

1130 0938 CKWX Vancouver, BC. Good with ID mixing with KRDU & KSDO 28/8 (CE)

1140 0930 CHRB High River, AB. Fair at times with network religious pgm from Florida, then local ID noted 11/9 (CE)

1180 1052 KERI Wasco, CA. Poor with religious talk 14/8 (CE)

1270 0925 KESS Fort Worth, TX. Fair signal but bad splatter from 2SM, SS oldies with brief annc's in between songs 28/8 (CE)

1280 1040 KXTK Arroyo Grande, CA. Poor here with wx & talk of east coast Hurricane 14/8 & better at 0913 on 28/8 (CE)

1280 1245 KFRN Long Beach or KUYL Stockton, CA. Under KXTK with religious commentary 28/8 (CE)

1430 1153 KVVN Santa Clara, CA. Unid lang songs and few male announcements, then EE ID 21/8 (CE)

1480 0852 KYOS Merced, CA. Good here with coast to coast over KVNR 28/8 (CE)

1480 0904 KVNR Santa Ana, CA. Brief fade ups over KYOS, Asian format 28/8 (CE)

1490 1210 Unid SS talk stn, no ID, likely one of the 1kW Californian or Texan SS stations here 21/8 (CE)

1490 1303 KWOK Hoquiam, WA. Poor right on WA sunrise with ESPN radio IDs 28/8 (CE)

1500 1045 KSTP St Paul, MN. Good with talk & ID on hour, but mixing with equally strong KUMU also with talk 28/8 (CE)

1510 0715 KGA Spokane, WA. Monster signal at times thanks to pointing this antenna to Canada. Lots of IDs 11/9 (CE)

1510 1100 KSPA Ontario, CA. Brief peaks with oldies mx show under very dominant KGA with usual talk 28/8 (CE)

1520 1105 KGDD Oregon City, OR. Poor here under much stronger KOMA which this day actually changed call to KOKC, noted a couple of unids in the mix, one with EZL SS tunes & other with news/talk 28/8 (CE)

1550 1014 KKAD Vancouver, WA. Tough one due to splatter from monster on 1548, noted oldies mx show with ID and occasional ads, also noted unid talk station 28/8 (CE)

1560 1218 KTXZ West Lake Hills, TX. Fair here in SS mix with KNZR 21/8 (CE)

1560 0834 KNZR Bakersfield, CA. Good with ID & football promo. 28/8 (CE)

1590 0732 KLIV San Jose, CA. Fair with CNN news & ads over KUNX with SS 28/8 (CE)

1590 0702 KDAV Lubback, TX. Fair & dominant over KLIV with oldies 28/8 (CE)

1600 1114 KGST Fresno, CA. Thought it was the Mexican until ID, here in SS with great tunes 21/8 (CE)

1600 0939 KVRI Blaine WA. Dominant in the mix here with great back to back Indian mx & very few announcements 14/8 (CE)

1600 0801 KCRG Cedar Rapids, IA. Peaked up briefly with ID, nx & wx then back down in the mix a few minutes later 28/8 (CE)

1600 0717 Unid. Fair peaks with adult cont format back to back songs, no announcements heard, mixing with others 28/8 (CE)

1600 0803 Unid. Another unid on this funky channel, fair briefly in the mix with USA Radio News but no ID 11/9 (CE)

1640 0732 KDZR Lake Oswego, OR or WKSH Sussex, WI. Not sure which one as missed local ID on half hour, fair on peaks with lots of Radio Disney IDs 11/9 (CE)

1650 0827 KBJD Denver, CO. Dominant one in the mix with mainly religious talk 21/8 (CE)

1650 0845 KBIV El Paso, TX. Fade up over KBJD, back to back C&W songs 21/8 (CE)

1660 1130 KXOL Brigham City, UT. Best of the bunch here with IDs & oldies over KRZX & KTIQ 14/8 (CE)

1660 1127 KQWB West Fargo, ND. Great peak here over KXOL, KRZX & KTIQ mix, noted ads, then CNN news & ID 28/8 (CE)

1670 1119 WTDY Madison, WI. ID after series of nx items and wx, over top of KHPY 28/8 (CE)

1680 1027 KAVT Fresno, CA. Good with IDs, lots of ads in EE & SS & pop mx 21/8 (CE)

1690 1112 WRLL Berwyn, IL. Good peak over KDDZ playing oldies then ID 28/8 (CE)16901219KDDZ Arvada, CO. Poor but fair peaks with usual Radio Disney format 14/8 (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 October 1, 2004)

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