Saturday, September 20, 2014

Terrible Weather...And A Log From Last Season

Weather's been terrible this autumn, storm following storm - on the sun, that is. Only two new stations heard so far in September. However things seem to be about to improve as solar activity has decreased quite a bit.

I decided it was time to compile my loggings from the previous season. If you find interest in looking at seven pages of pleasure, clik the link on Arctic Radio Logs to the left, or, if you don't want to move your mouse, click here.

September weather on this tiny spot of Mother Earth has been excellent with temperatures 3-4 Celsius above normal and very little rain. It's cooling off now with snow forecasted on higher altitudes (which in this part of the country equals 200 masl)

Monday, September 08, 2014

Arctic DX Summit - Day Four (Departure Day)

This morning finally a glimpse of trans-atlantic stations, faint and distorted signals from Brazil and probably Peru 1570. Proton levels still very high, so this was a bit surprising.

Monday is departure day, and all antennas, receivers and PCs are up and running. Yesterday's dinner was cantaloupe with ham and a light touch of fresh oregano for starters. The main course was reindeer steak with potato pate (with carrots & garlic) and a mushroom sauce. Chocolate pudding with vanilla custard for dessert. A new red wine was introduced to Kongsfjord this time, the South African Allesverloren. Everything was definitely not lost with this one as it turned out to be a very nice wine indeed. We also enjoyed the good old Miss Harry from Australia, for some strange reason still not available in Norway.

Partly cloudy and some sun today, 7 Celsius this morning.

We'll meet again, as the old song says, for the KONG24 DX-pedition starting October 11.

Below some pictures from the past few days.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Arctic DX Summit 2014 - Day Three

Not much happened on Saturday, except quite a few problems with Windows network settings for a couple of the guys. The proton levels continued to be much too high for any DX, but this morning it seems to finally having started a slow descent back to normal.

We were out for a stroll in the afterooon, and actually spotted a minke whale, a rare sight this close to shore. It was elusive enough to avoid our cameras, however I caught a lot less elusive OJ while he was waiting for the whale to resurface.

Yesterday's dinner was a nice treat: For starters bruschetta with ham, tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. The main course was fried salmon slices on a bed of woked vegetables and boiled/fried (!) tagliatelle. Very nice indeed. Strawberry jelly with real custard (not vanillin) for dessert. Wines: Chianti Classico for the bruschetta, Kim Crawford for the main course.

I engaged the 340 beverage for a couple of full hours this night, hoping for Africa on its back lobe. With the exception of the superpowered Jil FM 531 from Algeria, there was practically nothing. Sunrise at 02:37, so at 03:00 the band was empty as you can see from the spectrum below. 657 is the semi-local Radio Rossii, Murmansk.

Sunday morning weather is breezy, a little rain and 8 Celsius.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Kongsfjord Radio Show

By popular demand (aka Allan Helm), here is a more detailed description of our equipment.

On the latest count, there are six Perseus SDRs, one NetSDR, one Winradio G31DDC and two Winradio G33DDCs. There are around 20 hard drives (mostly Seagate and Western Digital) from 2 to 4 TB each.

The boxes on top of the Perseus in the picture are preamps. The boxes below are antenna switches.
Photo: OJS

We also have three Telenor 3G internet modems with typically 17 MBPS down and 3 MBPS up for remote operation. 3G is a vast improvement over the previous 450 MHz ICE internet connection. All internal network connections are cabled, no wifi.

The PCs are everything from large desktop to small desktop to micro desktop (Intel NUC) and laptops. They range from very new processors to at least two years old. OS is mostly W7-64 but also W8.1-64. Mostly the hard drives are connected through USB 3 ports.

We want to avoid cheap, noisy, switching PSUs, so all the hard drives are powered by amateur-grade linear PSUs (mostly Diamond). Everything save the PCs are using 12VDC. The Perseus and NetSDR are powered by USB 3 from a PC or (mostly) separate linear 5V supplies. The original PSUs are not used.

Arctic DX Summit 2014 - Day Two

Saturday! Protons! Caffè Latte! Cappuccino! Pop-Quiz on NRK!

Yesterday we erected the dual 340 beverage, although far-end ground termination is not yet in place. We also set up all the gear for this winter's DX; below is Arnstein's and OJ's SDRs and hard drives.

The 1974 Tandberg Huldra 11 (US version is TR 2025) has been reduced to being an SDR support.

Yesterday's dinner started off with  fried bits of salmon and butter sauce, with fried ham, accidentally reduced to mostly carbon.

The main course was chicken fillets, marinated in Provence-type spices, butter sauce (OJ made a lot) and mashed potatoes. Assorted cheese for dessert.

We tested a few new wines and one old: The latter, Calle's Riesling went well with the salmon while a bottle of La Vieille Ferme 2013 was considered appropriate for the chicken. A Trerose 2012 kept it company. A Gigondas 2011 tasted well with the cheese (or the other way around). A Ron Zacapa rum, supplied by TJ, rounded off the dinner.

Weather is quite OK, 9 Celsius, light winds but occasional rain.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Arctic DX Summit 2014 - Day One

So, it's that time of the year again!

OJ Sagdahl, TJ Bråtveit and Arnstein Bue arrived at Kirkenes yesterday at noon; we met along the road and after a short detour to Finland to buy assorted wines & beers we arrived in Kongsfjord at 16:00 local.

Most of the afternoon and evening was spent setting up PCs and drives, new internet modems, taste beer and elevating the 310 and 50 beverages from BOG level to normal height. 12 Celsius, dry & light breeze in the evening.

As is usual on day one, dinner is premade fish gratin. A new Kiwi red wine was chosen, the Sileni Teeri from Hawke's Bay. We had chocolate pudding with custard for dessert, and a Chatau d'Aqueria Lirac to go with it.

Early this morning at 06:00 my guests were still asleep so the "radio room" is still empty.

Today's work is erecting the dual 340 beverages, secure proper end termination on all beverages, and set up the radios and cables. To be fair, we really don't have to worry, because the display in the background of the picture above has this dreadful jpg:

While our motto is "expect the unexpected", proton levels like this are discouraging to say the least. Maybe we can check for back-lobe Africans after we set up the 340 beverage.

Weather is relatively mild for September, 8 Celsius this morning, calm and light rain.

Monday, September 01, 2014

August 2014 Verifications

WLBN Lebanon KY 1590
KLBB Stillwater MN 1220