Monday, September 10, 2012

Season Preparations With OJ - Final Day

Sunday was typical autumn - brisk winds and showers, and temperatures around 6-7 Celsius. Luckily, most of our outdoor work was done by then.

Testing the dual parallel beverage wasn't easy. We needed signals from many directions to be able to determine if it had other - and hopefully better - properties than a standard beverage. Stable MW signals are mostly only found to the southeast (Kola peninsula), so we settled for a suite of NDBs in the 300-400 kHz range.

The tests were inconclusive. We understand that in order for a dual parallel beverage to work properly, the two beverages need to be identical. Terrain conditions prevented this. More surprising though, is that the eastern leg provided significantly better gain than the western leg, from 2 dB up to around 5 dB. So in electrical terms, they weren't identical.

The two connected together via the DX Engineering Combiner did add 5-6 dB of gain over the single eastern beverage. Unfortunately, this level of gain also a substantial increase in broadband Loran C noise. This seems to be the limiting factor, despite using a 75 dB 100 kHz notch filter and a high pass filter for protection.

I will continue testing the 340 dual parallel beverage next weekend, weather permitting, hopefully with skywave signals. We will then find out if we will keep the dual beverage (not very likely), or which of the eastern or western single beverages will be kept.

We drove to Vadsø in the afternoon. The weekend's last dinner was woked fillets of chicken with leak, paprika, red chili and jasmine rice with curry. Lotsa curry. The remaining wine bottle from the weekend was a 2008 Rossodiverzella. Very good. For dessert: Mövenpick vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup or raspberry sauce.

Conditions improved during Sunday, and in the evening OJ logged two most wanted Australians on 729 and 891 kHz on the 50 degrees beverage.

OJ left Vadsø at 0415 UTC on Monday morning, and I'm preparing for work with a moderately aching back...


shortwave bandit said...

Thanks for the blog posts, interesting and informative as always. You're always running the biggest antennas and the most cutting edge SDRs, I've learned a lot reading Arctic DX. Plus the descriptions of that food, I love it!

Paul Steckler said...

The Arctic: Come for the shortwave, stay for the gourmet meals!