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Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Surviving the cancellation of a DXpedition
- Time for plan B

January 2005

By Craig Edwards

After spending a few days over the Christmas holidays with family and friends back home in Adelaide, South Australia, it was clear that my wife really wanted to go back there to live again. So after a few nights doing the logistics we decided to leave Townsville and move back home after only being there for 10 months. Luckily I was able to land a great job very quickly so we would be departing Queensland in the first week of March and I'd start work just after Easter back in South Australia.

Size does matter
Crocodile DX hunter - Size does matter

So faced with the scenario of leaving this Asia/Pacific/North American DX paradise for good, I had to think of the DX consequences. South Australia is terrible for Pacific and North American DX so I wouldn't be hearing much of that anymore and Latins are simply non-existent on the broadcast band. However in Adelaide I'd be able to hear Asia from home and on DXpeditions there would be an interesting assortment of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I also figured that in the coming years that Dave Onley and I would be making winter pilgrimages to Marlo in Victoria each year to hunt the elusive South American mediumwave catches. So this left North America as my future MW DX black hole vacuum.

So I decided that a full on assault was needed to snare as many Alaskan, Canadian, Hawaiian, Mexican and USA stations as possible within the January to February period before I departed Townsville in early March. This would involve 1 and 2 night camping sessions at my favourite site 50 km north of home. The BIG problem was that it was currently the wet season and for the entire month of January Townsville was inundated by monsoonal rains. Virtually all access roads out of the city were flooded and you couldn't even park on the side of the road unless it was asphalt otherwise you'd get bogged. So after doing the maths, high temperatures + stifling humidity + driving rain + frightening afternoon thunderstorms = no DXpeditions = no North American MW DX!!! = only listening from home.

water troubles
The Monsoon rains resulted in record numbers of Crocodile sightings in the waters near my DX campsite

With DX enthusiasm at an all time high - fuelled by the fear of never listening again from this great DX location - I decided to employ plan B. The thunder and lightening was usually only around in the afternoon and early evening so the band was pretty noise free in the early hours of the morning and despite the storm knocking down most of my EWE's and palm trees, my Asian EWE at home survived. So instead of camping DXpeditions in January to hunt North Americans, I decided to listen from home for South East Asia by waking around 4:00 am almost every day. My wife and dog eventually grew to ignore my prowler like noises as I foraged around the house in the wee hours of the morning.

The downside to this practice was the constant malaise I'd experience during the day at work as a result of sleep deprivation. My workmates thought I was flat most days simply because I was leaving them soon. However I couldn't explain to them that I was suffering from mediumwave DX'ing at dawn for Asia!!!

Townsville flooded
Needless to say my favourite DX campsite was a little tricky to access

In a way it was OK that the monsoons did come as I heard many new Asians, particularly from South Korea and Japan. Not much listening was done in the evening due to thunderstorms or typical neighbourhood TV/PC/etc noise. Although I did occasionally try around 10 pm-midnight local time (1200-1400 UTC) with useful results. There were times I'd pinch myself that this little EWE antenna 3m-12m-3m (10ft-40ft-10ft) was working so well and was incredibly directional. I attribute this to the great earthing due to the boggy ground from the monsoon rains. Just before Christmas I couldn't budge the ground rods an inch, it was like they were in concrete as the soil was so dry, but when I took the antenna's down I was able to pull a 2 metre (6 ft) copper pipe out of the ground with one hand - I bet those rods were bleeding lots of noise away!!!

In the month or so of listening from home over 130 Asians were logged, so all in all a pretty satisfying, albeit tiring result. Plans are away for a DXpedition to target North America in late February, so fingers crossed the weather will allow it. Now for the reception reports………..

TRAIL

Toilet troubles
The Monsoon rains resulted in record numbers of green tree frogs in the crappers too

Using Icom R75, pre-amp and 3m-12m-3m (10ft-40ft-10ft) EWE to South East Asia off 12V DC.

540 1910 NHK1 Network, Japan. Not sure which of 3 outlets here but mixing with 4QL ABC and // 594 with NHK1 programming (CE)

549 0845 CNR Fujian, China. Powerhouse from CC heard every evening and morning, if you can't hear this at the start of a bandscan, go back to bed or watch TV!! (CE)

567 1123 KGUM Agana, Guam. Not strong and under 4JK but easy readable with network talkback and local PSA ads (CE)

576 1845 JOHG Kagoshima, Japan. Fair but mixing with unid Philippines station and 2RN, typical NHK1 program // 594 (CE)

580 0850 KJAL Pago Pago, American Samoa. Quite good here in EE with network pgm for a few minutes but then splash from NBC 585 and it faded away in the slop (CE)

585 0400 NBC Port Moresby PNG. Happy to say this is heard from sign on to sign off at local levels from around 0400 - nice to get damn QSL though! (CE)

585 1802 JOPG Hokkaido, Japan. Very good over 2WEB with mx show //594, not usually heard as I usually start listening after 1900 after NBC has signed on (CE)

594 1146 JOAK Tokyo, Japan. Strong and the most regular NHK1 outlet in evenings and mornings (CE)

594 1910 DZBB Quezon City, Philippines. Fair but mixing with JOAK and giving call in birthday messages to some very bleary eyed listeners (CE)

Newspaper
Local newspaper headlines

603 1152 HLSA Seoul, South Korea. Good with education pgm in KK (CE)

603 1212 Voice of Russia via Hainan, China. Fair in Vietnamese but mixing with unid Asian underneath, either Korea or Taiwan (CE)

612 1939 JOLK Fukuoka, Japan. Fair here mixing with unid Philipinnes and Brisbane with NHK1 programming (CE)

612 1221 DYHP Cebu City, Philippines. Fair with easy listening music show under 4QR with traces of probable KUAM too (CE)

621 1245 DXDC Davao City, Philippines. Pop music mainly here with RMC IDs (CE)

639 1943 JOIP Oita, Japan. Fair here // 594 with NHK pgming (CE)

639 1705 HLSA Gaebong, South Korea. Fair here mixing with JOIP, ABC Qld and 5CS, but peaking nicely every minute or so with KK contemporary EZL songs with FA KK DJ (CE)

648 1240 Voice of Russia, Primorskiy, Russia. Good with Korean program // 3955 (CE)

648 1300 Voice of America, Primorskiy, Russia. Noted with EE ID then into Korean news (CE)

648 1806 Armed Force Radio, Okinawa. Fair here with country mx show, promo for Country Grammy's and AFN Radio ID (CE)

657 1130 Kangnam, North Korea. Good with classical mx program // 3250 (CE)

666 0840 RFO Noumea, New Caledonia. Initial fade in and equal with Aussies most of the time in FF (CE)

666 1135 Voice of the Strait, Fuzhou, China. Fair mixing with fading RFO and the Aussies, instrumental music non-stop // 11590 (CE)

666 1905 DZRH Metro Manila, Philippines. Fair with DZRH news (CE)

675 1755 JOUG/JOVK, Japan. Good with music show // 594 & 585 (CE)

684 1955 JOAG Nagasaki, Japan. Good here mixing with fading out Aussies noted // 594, never heard in the evenings due to monster CNR outlet (CE)

684 1123 CNR Fujian, China. Good in CC with opera // 909 and 1089

702 1910 DZAS Metro Manila, Philippines. Fair here with religious mx and pgming in Tagalog (CE)

711 1921 HLKA Seoul, South Korea Fair here with FA KK talks // 3930 (CE)

720 1306 Voice of Russia, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia. First time an Asiatic opening has happened in Townsville with also 1251 and 648 noted on same evening. Very strong with JJ programming. Weird that Asiatic Russia not noted here before yet so many Koreans, Chinese and Japanese are heard (CE)

729 1927 JOCK Nagoya, Japan. Usual strong signals in JJ with NHK 1 pgm (CE)

738 1948 BEL2 Baisha, Taiwan. Fair here although at time possible KK kept popping up in the mix with 2NR (CE)

747 0900 JOIB Sapporo, Japan. Fair here mixing with 4QS. RR NHK news then into regular NHK 2 programming // 828 (CE)

756 1410 JOGK Kumamoto, Japan. No sign of the usually dominant Korean. Noted in JJ with NHK1 programming (CE)

756 1852 HLKA Yeoju, South Korea. Not stop male talk in KK, not often heard here due to 2TR is pretty good here (CE)

765 1853 CNR Fujian, China. Radio opera at good levels in CC // 549 (CE)

774 1311 JOUB Akita, Japan. First time noted this 500kW powerhouse, on most other frequencies it would be very easy but 774 is our local 5kW 4TO in Townsville, so it's incredibly rare to hear this, noted at fair levels during 4TO talk // 828 with NHK2 (CE)

783 1410 Voice of Vietnam, Thoi Long, Vietnam. Good here in usual VV talks (CE)

792 1713 NHK Network, Japan. Fair hear under 4RN with NHK1 music show, multiple low powered NHK outlets here, no idea of tx location (CE)

810 0806 RRI Merauke, Irian Jaya. This is a regular monster signal lately especially at sunset and is even being well heard in the southern states (CE)

810 1810 Armed Force Radio, Tokyo, Japan. RRI apparently not signed on yet, not // 648 but rather top 40 pop songs from U2 etc and AFN Radio ID (CE)

819 1142 KCBS Pyongyang, North Korea. Good with male commentary //2850 (CE)

828 0943 JOBB Osaka, Japan. Very good and strongest of all NHK2 outlets here (CE)

855 1449 Pyongyang Bangsong, Sangwon, North Korea. Very good mixing it with ABC Qld with oriental music program // 6398v

864 1720 KCBS Sinuiju, North Korea. Very good signal here in KK with instrumental music show // 657 (CE)

864 1725 HLKR Gangneung, South Korea. Was just about to move on when up popped this little Korean under it's big Northern counterpart, only readable due to the very gentle piano mx allowing HLKR to be decipherable (CE)

882 1745 JOPK Shizuoka, Japan. Fair with NHK1 music show mixing with unid Philippines. Funny no sign of 4BH on Asia EWE, on Nam EWE 4BH was S9+ - gotta love those sheep in the backyard. (CE)

891 1851 HLKB Busan, South Korea. Fair in KK under 4TAB carrier tone and then obliterated at 1930 sign on (CE)

891 1815 JOHK Miyagi, Japan. Under the carrier prior to 4TAB sign on, normally only Thai heard, this time NHK equal strength (CE)

909 1123 CNR Fujian, China. Good in CC with opera // 1089 and 684

909 1932 RRI Sorong, Irian Jaya. Fair with contemporary pop songs in Indo (CE)

936 1932 JOTR or JONR, Japan Didn't hang around too long to get ID as heard both already previously. (CE)

945 1820 NHK1 Network channel, Japan. Fair mixing with 4HI // 585 and 891 (CE)

963 1403 CRI Govorit Pekin, China. Fair in RR // to regular 1323, non-stop female talks, tough this due to mess of 4WK, 5SE and 2RG (CE)

963 1953 HLKS/HLCR South Korea. Tough due to 4WK but at times noted KK talks in clear but 4WK news on the hour made local ID impossible. (CE)

972 1932 HLCA Langjin, South Korea. Good mixed with 2MW and 5PB playing news pgm (CE)

999 1155 RRI Jakarta, Indonesia. Very good over DYSS and Aussies with commentary, then ID and news (CE)

999 1155 DYSS Cebu City, Philippines. Fairly good under RRI but occas peaks, Super Radyo IDs on the hour (CE)

1026 1203 RRI Serui, Indonesia. Well under 4MK but every couple of minutes would give a 10 second peak with RRI news (CE)

1035 0919 SIBC Honiara, Solomon Islands. Most regular Pacific station other than NBC 585. EE commentary of Cyclone Kerry near New Caledonia (CE)

1035 1335 HLCP P'ohang, South Korea. Fair here with male KK talks and fighting it out with CNR which is usually dominant (CE)

1035 1943 CNR1, China. Pretty good with typical instrumental operatic mx and occas talk (CE)

1053 1835 JOAR Nagoya, Japan. Good here in JJ in the clear, no sign of 2CA (CE)

1053 1100 RRI Jayapura, Indonesia. Fair hear with ID and RRI news over JOAR (CE)

1080 0925 KCNM Northern Mariannas Islands. Only up for a couple of minutes but quite readable when there was talk from 2TM (CE)

1080 1950 KCBS Haeju, North Korea. Haunting classical music non-stop for 8 minutes prior to interval signal and sign on announcements in KK // 2850 (CE)

1089 1123 CNR Fujian, China. Good in CC with opera // 909 and 684 (CE)

1098 1839 CBS Kouhu, Taiwan. Fair here with easy listening mx pgm over garbled mess of others on the freq (CE)

1107 1145 JOCF Kagoshima, Japan. Good here in JJ over 2EA (CE)

1116 1829 CNR China. Typical CC musical show // 765 (CE)

1125 1948 DXGM Davao City, Philippines. Nice signal with lots of slick IDs (CE)

1125 1343 JOAD Okinawa. Good here over DXGM with English language lessons show (CE)

1125 1810 unid, suspect BEV36 Cheng Sheng BC Corp, Taiwan. Poor here with seemingly Taiwanese commentary by MA over another Taiwan or China station (CE)

1134 2004 KBS Liberty 1, Kimpo, South Korea. Surprised to note this as JOQR is usually dominant but this morning Korean male and female talks noted over Japan and the Aussies (CE)

1134 1154 JOQR Osaka, Japan. Strong and regular in JJ (CE)

1143 1900 BEL3 Penghu, Taiwan. ID and news followed by Taiwanese and EE songs // 738 (CE)

1152 1835 HLCW Wonju, South Korea. Fair here with news commentary then easy music (CE)

1161 1906 HLKU Busan, South Korea. Fair here in KK mixing with 4MB (CE)

1170 1102 HLSR Kimje, South Korea. Fair in RR here and dominant on the channel, no sign of proposed VOA move (CE)

1170 1107 DXMR Zamboanga, Philippines. Fair under HLSR, again no sign of VOA as DXMR has always been the regular Philippino here (CE)

1179 1945 JOOR Osaka, Japan Good here with JJ pop songs (CE)

1188 0932 JOKP Kitami, Japan. Good over a couple of unids Asians, probably CRI & FEBC with NHK 1 pgm in JJ // 594 (CE)

1188 1210 FEBC South Korea. Fair here with EE religious program (CE)

1197 1227 DXFE Davao City, Philippines. Good here over 4BI & 5RPH with EE religious show (CE)

1197 1936 JOBF Kumamoto, Japan. Fair here in JJ with no sign of usual DXFE (CE)

1224 2001 DXED Davao City, Philippines. Good but starting to fade after local sunrise with IDs (CE)

1224 1358 CNR Fujian, China. Noted in CC // 684 in the clear after DXED signed off at 1400 with Eagle Calls (CE)

1242 1911 JOLF Tokyo, Japan. Fair with JJ commentaries and occas mx, not usually heard as 4AK usually dominant and after local sunset which is when the JJ are best, usually the only Asian heard is Vietnam (CE)

1242 1200 Voice of Vietnam External Service. EE ID noted on the hour during news bips from 4AK, then unid language (CE)

1251 1404 Voice of Russia, Primorskiy, Russia. Fair in CC but under normally dominant 2DU (CE)

1260 1955 JOIR Sendai, Japan. Nice in JJ mixing with dominant 4MW Torres Strait Islands (CE)

1260 1832 BEP22 Chingcha Broadcasting Station, Taipei, Taiwan. Poor in Taiwanese with FA and MA talks, noted in the clear during 4MW fades (CE)

1260 1930 DXRF Davao City, Philippines. Fair here with usual sunrise enhancement to Philippines well over 4MW and others relaying DZRH 666 (CE)

1269 1950 JOHW Obihiro, Japan. Unusual that anything rises above the Asian mud on this channel, certainly helped to have 1287 in // to ensure it was them with JJ mx show (CE)

1278 1943 JOFR Fukuoka, Japan. Good in JJ in the clear with 3AW faded after sunrise (CE)

1287 1845 JOHR Sapporo, Japan. Easy listening JJ mx show (CE)

1287 1948 DXRC Zamboanga City, Philippines. Very strong at sign on with Super Radio IDs (CE)

1296 1811 JOTK Matsue, Japan. Nice surprise to hear this over 4RPH at good levels in JJ with NHK1 programming // 594 (CE)

1296 2011 DXAB Davao City, Philippines. Excellent and best signal of all Philippino's heard in Townsville (CE)

1305 1850 HLSV Uljin, South Korea. KK music show hosted by female (CE)

1314 1003 JOUF Osaka, Japan. Good here but mixing with unid China stn (CE)

1323 1226 Thor. Or. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Good over Aussies and mixing with CRI (CE)

1323 1226 CRI Changchun, China. Not as strong as Thailand but very readable in RR (QSL)

1332 2004 JOSF Nagoya, Japan. Fair here under a fading 4BU after sunrise, non-stop JJ talk (CE)

1341 2011 CRI Guangzhou, China. Male talk in CC well after usually monster 3CW gone, used EWE to make sure this CC Geelong stn wasn't still hanging on after sunrise though! (CE)

1350 1255 JOER Hiroshima, Japan. Fair here in JJ with ads and animated talk under 2LF (CE)

1359 1950 Family Radio, Taiwan. Good with EE religious program (CE)

1368 1950 unid, likely Fujian RGD, Fuzhou, China. Easy listening CC music show with occas FA talk. Seem to think it would be Fujian as this region is received very well here and the signal peaked to monster levels at the same time as the CNR Fujian province outlets. (CE)

1377 1140 DXKP Pagadian City, Philippines. Very overmodulated and heavy fading with strong peaks, Radio Ronda IDs prior to 1158 sign off (CE)

1377 1200 CNR Henan, China. Noted only after DXKP sign off with CNR News in CC // 765 (CE)

1377 2024 multiple NHK2 sites, Japan. Fair almost 45 minutes after local sunrise with music box instrumental interval signal for 2030 sign on // 1386 and 1467 (REPORT)

1386 1822 HLAM Mokpo, South Korea. Fair here with female KK talks over unid possibly Taiwanese (CE)

1386 1410 NHK2 Network, Japan. Good with EE NHK news over HLAM (CE)

1395 1836 HLCO Ch'lwon, South Korea. Not bad with KK commentary and only audible here prior to RRI signing on (CE)

1395 2011 RRI Wamena, Indonesia. Poor as sunrise progressed but very cool pop music show (CE)

1404 2003 JOQL or JOVR Japan. Couldn't get ID and didn't want to hang around on this, but one of these two fair here with non-stop JJ talk (CE)

1404 1831 BEV78 Yi Shih BC Station, Keelung, Taiwan. Good here over usually dominant Japanese commercial stns, noted religious sermon here (CE)

1413 2007 JOIF Fukuoka, Japan. Dominant here with JJ pops over 2EA and BBC Oman (CE)

1440 1121 JOWF Sapporo, Japan. Typical strong signal with musical show (CE)

1449 2005 HLQB Ulsan South Korea. Fair with contemporary music show in KK mixing with 2MG and every now and then 6TAB (CE)

1458 1905 DWRF Iba, Philippines. Messy frequency with numerous stations under 2PB, but this morning up popped religious Tagalog talks from DWRF (CE)

1467 2024 multiple NHK2 sites, Japan. Fair almost 45 minutes after local sunrise with music box instrumental interval signal for 2030 sign on // 1377 and 1386 (REPORT)

1467 1947 HLKN Mokp'o, South Korea. Good here prior to later Thai sign on with male DJ and contemporary song but mixing with the BCC Information Network stations which had non-stop Taiwanese talks (CE)

1485 1134 DYDH Iloilo City. Philippines. Tough in the low power Oz slop but nice on peaks (CE)

1485 2032 multiple unid Japan. Massive jumble of signals from this Japanese graveyard channel after sunrise, no sign of usual DYDH (CE)

1494 1150 DXOC Ozamis, Philippines. Fair mixing with 2AY with ID on the hour (CE)

1494 1833 JOTL Nayoro, Japan. Never noted this before as usually DXOC dominants but this early hour was prior to their sign on, noted in JJ // 1287 with music show (CE)

1494 1915 JOYR Okayama, Japan. Another rarely heard JJ station in North Queensland. Mixing with JOTL and well over 2AY and DXOC with classical music show (CE)

1503 1543 CBS Fangliao, Taiwan. Good here carrying Radio Taiwan International in Thai (CE)

1512 1021 DYAB Cebu City, Philippines. Good with news traffic reports (CE)

1512 1555 JOZB Matsuyama, Japan. Fair here in JJ with NHK2 program in the clear after DYAB signed off (CE)

1521 1939 CRI Urumqi, China. Fair here with RR news commentary (CE) - check sked for CBS

1557 1933 Family Radio, Taiwan. Religious service in EE (CE)

1566 2008 AIR Nagpur, India. Good with traditional Indian mx // 9420 and 9475 (CE)

1575 1220 DXJR Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Fair with slick IDs and mixing with Thailand giving VOA ID at 1230 (CE)

1593 1123 CNR1 China. Very strong at times with opera program (CE)

1593 2008 unid here mixing with CNR after Aussies gone into sunrise fadeout. Weird format with seemingly CC talk briefly with mainly corny songs in EE like "Eternal Flame" and "Congratulations" with Asian accent, maybe NHK?? (CE)

1602 1430 NHK Network, Japan. NHK2 program with English language lessons (CE)

1632 1233 OKT Beacon, Ok Tedi Mine, Papua New Guinea. Morse code repeated at poor level (CE)

1642 1245 MOR Beacon, Moro, Papua New Guinea. Morse code repeated at poor level (CE)

1737 1249 KUT Beacon, Kutubu, Papua New Guinea. Morse code KUT repeated at excellent level (CE)

Published on February 21, 2005

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