Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Equinox (well, almost) DX Weekend

With the clear, dry and relatively warm weather continuing well into autumn, it was time for another weekend at the KONG site. The record-breaking summer of 1960 is no longer a benchmark, and for decades to come we will tell our children and grandchildren about the fabulous summer of 2013. Unless of course this is the new average, courtesy of global warming.

The KONG DX Headquarter
Solar activity was quite a bit higher than last weekend, and conditions varied a lot. Friday afternoon towards Asia/Pacific was uneventful - I did hear 4QD Emerald QLD 1548 a couple of times, but nothing else of interest. The night was mixed. At 01:00 UTC signal levels from eastern North America were high, but not particularly interesting with the exception of WVHI Evansville IN 1330 which I heard for only the second time I think. Then towards 02:00 the band died, but returned towards 03:00 with fair levels. Especially notable was KQDS Duluth MN 1490, not an unusual station but with a magnificent two-minute ID by ID by ID at excellent strength a few minutes prior to 03:00. Sunrise was at 03:35 and at 04:00 the band was rather quiet.
Jaguar/Perseus overnight waterfall
Most of Saturday was spent with antenna support maintenance and strolling around with my Lumix. The photo below shows the "transmitter end" of the 310 degrees beverage. Eastern North America is straight down that line.

310 beverage, transmitter end
From the other side, we see the wire towards the feedline end at the bottom of the slope. The black plastic bands are placed on the wire to warn and deflect the occasional reindeer - although I don't think there are anyone left here now. Average antenna height is around 130-140 cm, extending to around 240 cm where it crosses a dirt road.

310 beverage, receiver end
Conditions towards Asia on Saturday afternoon were even less eventful than Friday as Chinese stations even dominated over the strong Japanese stations. Iran became audible at very high levels - a tell tale sign of auroral conditions. There was however little or no aurora borealis in the evening, so I had hopes for the coming night.

And it wasn't too bad, although not much new. The top of the hour 02:00 appears to be the most interesting one, with Colorado stations at unusual levels. A very nice signal from KIIX Ft. Collins 1410. Others noted in passing thoughout the morning were KTUB Centerville UT 1600, KMRI West Valley City UT 1550 (presumed day power), KGFX Pierre SD 1060, KDHL Faribault MN 920 and possibly KOZY Grand Rapids MN 1320. OJ Sagdahl also alerted me about KTNF St. Louis Park MN 950 which was heard competing with CFAM. New log. New log also for KVSI Montpellier ID 1450.

I used both the 310 and the 340 beverages for the first time this night. Differences were subtle and with regards to signal strength much less than the overnight waterfalls below might suggest (it's due to different coding on two different versions of Jaguar).
Jaguar/Perseus 310 overnight waterfall

Jaguar/Perseus 340 overnight waterfall
Sunrise at 03:39. At 05:00 only a few low-level signals were left, but I did note CFYK Yellowknife YT 1340 at that point. Soon it will be gone and 1340 will become even more interesting.

1 comment:

Dave said...

It's always nice to read the reports from the Kong site. Thanks for the observations and pictures. Love it.