Townsville, North Queensland, Australia
October 1-3, 2004
By Craig Edwards
- 'DX Crocodile Hunter'
After three productive one
night stands during August and September
at my favourite campsite 50 km north of Townsville
I figured it was time for an extended stay. So the
wife and I headed off and set up the DX HQ tent
on Friday lunchtime with plans to stay there until
Setting up the EWE right
on the edge of the Pacific
At this later time of the year
I decided to camp right on the shore of the beach
as this would give me a 100 metre buffer from the
swamp. After all it is the start of the Crocodile
mating season last thing we wanted was a
horny male croc looking for some action. It was
good to move the tent as our normal spot is normally
covered in fallen leaves and considering that death
adders love this habitat and they are now out of
winter hibernation, I didnt fancy coming across
any of these critters. My main concern was eastern
taipans, I had to put the EWEs out in sand dune
scrubland which they are rather fond of. They are
also active daytime hunters and are too just out
On the first day of high school you used to worry
with anticipation. Will I be able to make friends?
Will I get bullied? Will there be any girls who
like me? Akin to this is the anticipation a DXer
feels before session 1 of day 1 of any DXpedition
- Is this the right spot? What about the noise?
What about conditions? Does the tape deck work?
And MOST OF ALL is the antenna right? Especially
as Im persisting/compromising by using the
EWE rather than the beverage. Well I was pleased
with the early appearance of regulars as soon as
WWV on 2.5MHz started to give some RF, namely the
Mexicans on 1570 and 1700 and KHPY 1670. Having
successfully harvested the higher end of the band
the past few one nighters in August and September
I headed under 1 MHz. This produced WWL 870 and
some new west coasters for me like KCBS 740, KJRB
790, WBAP 820, KGET 970 and KFWB 980. But the huge
highlight for me was my first ever Alaskan - KICY
850. Ive been trying to land Alaska for years
and its been virtually impossible from the
Coorong or my odd visit to Victoria.
Well low and behold, with KICY putting in a solid
signal and even making KOA tough to log, up pops
my second ever Alaskan - KENI 650. Another couple
of new west coasters for me like KFMB 760 and KYAA
1200 rarely logged due to WOAI being a regular.
Managed to add CHMB 1320 which is again rare due
to usual dominance of KCTC. The amazing reception
of a North American on a 9kHz split frequency of
KLOK 1170 was not only a sign of good conditions,
but also a sign of the amazing reception to come
the following and final evening.
Problem critters up here
in the tropics
With one night to go I was already satisfied with
my haul of new stateside stations. So I decided
to totally focus on the Australian 9kHz split frequencies
to see what might pop up. A few frequencies could
be ruled out like 4QN 630 kHz 50kW my local ABC
station here in Townsville, 4AT 720 kHz is a semi
local ABC station which can be heard on a midday
band scan, 900 kHz was splatterated out by 4TAB
891 kHz also here in Townsville, 4RO 990 kHz which
is very strong here in the evenings, 1260 4MW just
up north in the Torres Strait Islands and local
4KZ on 1620 kHz. So this only left 810, 1080, 1170,
1350, 1440 and 1530 to monitor which was very manageable.
Funnily enough 810 was not producing any Aussie
stations but RRI Merauke of all things at very much
armchair level! Well Im delighted and still
amazed to report that the remaining frequencies
all produced stations which at times totally dominated
the Australians from around 0700-0830 it
was the most enjoyable 1½ hours I think Ive
had apart from the breakthrough European morning
at the Coorong in 1993.
I logged KRLD 1080, KFAQ & KLOK 1170, WTOU 1350,
unid with FOX on 1440 and KFBK 1530. Just to top
the end of the evening off, there was the rare appearance
of east coasters WHAM 1180, WQEW 1560 and WTNI 1640
which I logged for the first time. Well in 3 nights
21 new North Americans all in all a top weekend!
DX HQ right on the beach
580 0753 KJAL Pago Pago, American
Samoa. Christian Experience program, a regular one
this weekend but never very good due NBC PNG splatter
on 585 1/10 (CE)
650 0925 KENI Anchorage, Alaska.
Well after hearing my 1st ever Alaskan on the 1st
night of the DXpedition, how good is this, my 2nd
ever Alaskan on the 2nd night. Poor with political
newstalk then on half hour News Radio 650
KENI ID 2/10 (CE)
660 0820 KTNN Window Rock, AZ.
Fair with Midnight Trucking Network show 1/10 (CE)
670 0900 KBOI Boise, ID. Good
here with KBOI Ids and Road Star news 3/10 (CE)
Hydrating at 0400 UTC
3 hours prior to signals coming in
740 0828 KCBS San Francisco,
CA. Poor with Dr DJ with talk show and all
news all the time ID 1/10 (CE)
760 1030 KFMB San Diego, CA.
No sign of usual KGU, 760 KFMB ID and
then talk radio 2/10 (CE)
790 0840 KJRB Spokane, WA. Poor
with sports talk show and IDs 1/10 (CE)
820 0809 WBAP Fort Worth, TX.
Nice fade up with this playing Midnight Trucking
Network shows then local ID News Talk 820
WBAP 1/10 (CE)
830 0933 KHVH Honolulu, Hawaii.
Regular on this channel but never strong, ads with
70s pop music and AM 830 KHVH
ID 2/10 (CE)
850 0855 KOA Denver, CO. Fair
here with talk and local Arizona ads and ID, then
fade up of stn I was very excited about 1/10 (CE)
A Coastal Taipan
850 0900 KICY Nome, Alaska. Finally
heard this elusive radio country after a decade
trying for it. Fade up over KOA with EE ID on the
hour then into Russian news commentary. After so
long trying, it was funny to hear this in Russian
regularly over the 3 nights of the DXpedition 1/10
870 0905 WWL New Orleans, LA.
Fair with ads and CBS news 1/10 (CE)
970 0913 KGET Bakersfield, CA.
Fair on peaks here talk back show and heaps of IDS
980 1140 KFWB Los Angeles, CA.
Poor with CNN news & IDs mixing with KDBV 1/10
1080 0755 KRLD Dallas, TX. All
over the top of 2MO on peaks with talk back, female
DJ, CBS news 3/10
1170 0735 KFAQ Tulsa, OK. Amazing
propagation at this time with no sign of 2CH, just
KFAQ into talk back with Talk Radio 1170 KFAQ
Standing Up For Whats Right IDs over
KLOK in SS 2/10.
1170 0755 KLOK San Jose, CA.
Brief fade ups here with ID at 0800 under KFAQ 2/10
1180 0937 WHAM Rochester, NY.
Good here over KERI airing preacher. Reading from
National Science Foundation then ID on hour 3/10
A Coastal Death Adder
1200 0720 KYAA Soquel, CA. Rare
to hear this with oldies under usual monster signals
from WOAI 2/10 (CE)
1320 0940 CHMB Vancouver, BC.
Commentary in CC over the top of KTKZ playing oldies
1350 0745 WTOU Akron, OH. Fair
here mixing with 2LF, talk radio with ID then CNN
Radio News update 3/10 (CE)
1380 0944 KTKZ Sacramento, CA.
Dominant on the channel here with Morning in America
over Mexican and another unid talk station 1/10
1380 0954 XECO Mexico City, Mexico.
Typical great tunes here but dominated by KTKZ 1/10
1410 0740 XECF Los Mochis, Mexico.
Surprisingly good here this afternoon over usually
dominant CFUN. 1/10 (CE)
1440 0715 ???. Dominant over
News Radio Canberra with interview with General
in Iraq by Fox News 3/10 (CE)
1530 0730 KFBK Sacramento, CA.
Good here over cochannel 2VM amazing!!. Talkback
show on family issues 3/10 (CE)
1540 0910 KXEL Waterloo, IA.
Nice signal mixing with KREA in Korean. Talk back
show on family issues then ID and ads. 2/10 (CE)
1550 0851 KRPI Ferndale, WA.
Interesting signal this Punjabi morning prayers
1560 0836 WQEW New York, NY.
Good with Radio Disney, no sign of usual KNZR &
KTXZ. Rare appearance of an East Coast station (Marti
excepted) exceptional evening 3/10 (CE)
1640 0758 WTNI Biloxi, MS. Good
hear on peaks with Talk Radio 1640 WTNI
ID over usually dominant KDIA. 2/10 (CE)
1700 0725 XEPE Tecate, Mexico.
First signal to come in each afternoon along with
XERF 1570 & KHPY 1670. Great Latin tunes with
very few announcements 1/10 (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.
on November 12, 2004)