Saturday, October 26, 2019

KONG39 Day Nine (October 26)

Note to self: Never underestimate the power of the ionosphere, even during stormy conditions!

The 340-degrees beverage performs admirably, it is extremely quiet and sensitive, and is able to pick up exceptionally weak signals. During the night, we had a couple of spot openings towards California/Arizona/Nevada, with some excellent stations noted, such as: KWWN Las Vegas NV 1100, KINO Winslow AZ 1230, KVMI Tulare CA 1270, KFIV Modesto CA 1360 and KNIM Maryville MO 1580. Most of them during a five-minute opening. Carriers were barely visible on the waterfall.

Later in the day we went to Mount Loran to dismantle the 1000-metre beverage and the rest of the equipment there. Sweaty, we spent an hour in the Guesthouse sauna before we had fried saithe fillets for dinner, and assorted cheese + chocolate cake with custard for dessert.

Sunday morning is departure day for Ole and OJ. I will spend a few more hours, to empty the summer water supply and prepare the house for the coming winter.

A bit windy on Mount Loran, otherwise quite nice weather, hovering around the 0 Celsius mark.

We hope you have enjoyed our reports! Next year, same place! "Thanks for listening" from Ole Forr, OJ Sagdahl and Bjarne Mjelde.

KONG39 Day Eight (October 25)

Not much to report!

Varying, but mostly weak signals from North America overnight, and Asian signals were weak even into the evening. Recordings from previous days kept us busy! Lots of interesting stations to find. The overnight waterfall says it all. 

So! Dinner time! For starters we had Västerbotten pie with Kalix löyrom (roe from a small fish, lagesild) and a Schwedhelm white wine. The main course was a leg of lamb, baked for 8 hours at 75 degrees Celsius. Served with a paste of root vegetables and sauce. A Californian Vine Starr Zinfandel from 2017 went very well with the lamb. We were going to have assorted cheese for dessert, but it was just too much!

Today is the last full KONG39 day, and we will dismantle the Mount Loran site before it gets dark. Maybe some pictures coming up.

Windy in the evening. Temperatures just above freezing and not much snow but icy roads. We're hoping for decent weather (and better prepared roads) when we collect our Mount Loran gear.

Friday, October 25, 2019

QSL: CJSN Shaunavon SK 1490

I have been wanting to hear CJSN since I logged their "sister" station CKSW Swift Current 570 in December 1979. Finally, late September they had a good signal on 1490 and I was able to pick a decent ID from the station.

Email QSL today! So, Swift Current/Shaunavon region of Golden West Broadcasting finally complete after just under 40 years... CKSW is a very dominant station by the way.

KONG39 Day Seven (October 24)

And the Sun said: Ka-Boom! I shall stir up the ionosphere so that all DX-ers shall shout "Yikes! What happened"? And so She did.

And after we had shouted "Yikes! What happened", we looked at our Yaslogs, and yikes! it was not a pretty sight. On the 50-degrees Asia/Pacific beverage, the signal levels increased as normal up until 11:00, followed by an almost total blackout. Later in the day the signals recovered somewhat, but with varying levels and with nothing interesting.

11:00: The Yikes Effect

After analyzing the North America beverages we did see very good signal levels from around 22:00 until 10:00 when the signals plummeted and never really recovered.  Nothing really superb from that night and morning, but a few not very usual ones: KQCV Oklahoma City OK 800, KYWN Meridian ID 890, KEIN Great Falls MT 1310 (has been silent for quite a while), KGEN Tulare CA 1370, KDOM Windom MN 1580 and also KQFN Tempe AZ 1580.

In the afternoon, I got one step closer to a fiber connection as the fiber boys came and blew 150 metres of fiber cable in the ground to my house. And we had a most pleasant visit from radio amateur and whisky connoisseur, LA9VFA Olav.

Then, all that remained for the day was dinner! For starters, we had tapas snack of various size and appearance. The main course was fish soup, based on superb quality haddock fillets. Other ingredients were chopped carrots, celeriac, potatoes, rutabaga, onions, garlic, red chili, ginger,  cream and some additional spices. We ate it all, accompanied with a Schwedhelm riesling from 2017. For dessert we enjoyed warmed cloudberries with vanilla icecream. Grappa went very well with the dessert! We left the rest of the icecream outdoor, and within minutes, Michael the Fox had taken it home to feed his pups (or so we'd like to think).
Serious dinner for serious DX-ers.

The weather was quite calm, around -2 all day, with some light snow in the evening. As I'm writing this, wind is gradually picking up and the mets say this afternoon will be a rather unpleasant one weatherwise. We will see!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

KONG39 Report Day Six (October 23)

HUGE signal levels! The day started just after local midnight with good daytime signals on the Mount Loran beverage, such as KUOM Minneapolis MN 770, KFUO Clayton MO 850 (followed by WQRM Duluth MN!), WCPC Houston MS 940 and WWRK Florence SC 970! 

Strong signal levels overnight, and some decent Pacific signals in the morning with Samoa-540 and Gold FM-990 to mention two. My KiwiSDR was packed with people chasing Samoa. I do expect they remember to tell the station the location they heard it.

The rest of the day, Asian signals were enormous, and hindered North America afternoon DX.

Dinner: Time for reindeer! For starters, we had spicy hummus with roasted chickpeas and artichoke hearts.    Reindeer tenderloins is a KONG signature dinner. Simply served with a paste of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celeriac and rutabaga, a red wine sauce and lingonberry jam. Wines: Cune Gran Reserva 2011 and Monterustico Dogliani 2017. For dessert we had another round of assorted cheese, and a Dow's Vintage Port 2005.

Weather was calm and dry most of the day, +2 Celsius maximum, but dropping to -2 in the evening. Late evening some light snow began to fall, and this morning, my car was whiter than normal.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

KONG39 Report Day Five (October 22)


Signal levels didn't really begin to raise until 22:00, so we're still waiting for the GREAT evening daytime opening. Still, pre-midnight conditions provided one (temporarily undisclosed) new station, and signal levels were in fact excellent until sunrise reached the North American west coast after 14:00. Morning daytime signals noted from KUIK Hillsboro OR 1360, KVMX Olivehurst CA 890 and several others. And we haven't even begun to examine the Mount Loran recordings! Excellent signals also from Hawaii, and rare stuff from Alaska like KVAK Valdez 1230.

Pacific/Asia was a bit disappointing (again), but we did note both Kiribati stations (846 and 1440) with good signals very early in the day.

As usual, once every KONG we eat at Kongsfjord Gjestehus. We enjoyed an hour in their luxury sauna first, and was then served a superb Bacalao with an Amarone della Valpolicella 2018 red wine. Apple pie and Aquavit + coffee for dessert.

We're now hoping for the long-awaited daytime opening towards North America...

Weather was nice, relatively calm and sunny most of the day, temperatures just below 0 Celsius.

Never a blogpost without a picture - today's is a drone photo from the day showing the KONG HQ and its vicinity to the inhospitable Barents Sea. Photographer is Arnt Eirik Hansen. Do a search for his pictures, he does great stuff.

KONG39 Report Day Four (October 21)

The ionosphere is obviously still in a sort of disturbed mode. We can tell from the varying overall signal levels, fluctuations and how different areas are affected. Interesting! And frustrating - again we had interesting early signals from the Pacific that just disappeared. On the other hand, there were periods producing some interesting stations from North America.

NA stations started to fade in just after 22:00, peaked at 01:00 and were audible until around 12:00. Hawaiian stations came quite early, with very good signal levels. Some interesting stations from North America: 940 KVSH Valentine NE, 1180 WXLA Dimondale MI, 1190 WNWC Sun City WI, 1560 KBEW Blue Earth MN.
Below is an overnight spectrum on 1180 kHz from the Mount Loran beverage. A minimum of 15 carriers are seen. So, there is potential!

Mount Loran beverage, overnight on 1180 kHz. The slight frequency shift is due to ambient temperature changes.

Asia, although not properly checked yet, were mostly dominated by the common ones.

Very windy overnight, so we needed to add some heating to the old, poorly insulated farmhouse. During the day the wind was only light, and the temperature tipped above the zero point a couple of hours. Mostly dry.

Yesterday we had a rather massive calf shanks in Barolo dinner. The leftovers made an excellent stew when we added vegetables. For starters though, OJ made a delicious salman tartar - fresh and smoked salmon, red onion, garlic and Worchester sauce. Chopped chives on top. Recommended! A Knewitz riesling made a great companion. For dessert, chocolate cake with raspberry jam and port wine. It really doesn't get more high-carb than this!
Salmon tartar.

I never got round to take pictures, so here is one taken a rainy summer day, overlooking the hamlet of Kongsfjord. The KONG HQ is mostly obscured by the haze.
Kongsfjord, facing northeast

Sunday, October 20, 2019

KONG39 Report Day Three (Oct 20)

Another day with no trace of daytime conditions. Reasonably good signal levels towards North America overnight, but at 05:00 conditions made a deep dip, and remained at low levels throughout the day. The usual west coast stations were well audible, in addition to stations like KLGN Logan UT 1390, KQFN Tempe AZ 1580 and KWBG Boone ID 1590. Hawaiian stations were audible with excellent signal levels until well into the afternoon. Heard them all before, though.

From the 340-degreees, west North America beverage
Pacific signals started extremely early, around 08:30 with good signals from Kiribati-1440, Marshall Islands-1098 and Tonga-1017. We had hopes that this would be THE Pacific opening. However, the signals fizzled out into nothingness, with little or no interesting stations to be heard during the rest of the day.

So! Dinner! For starters, we had duck liver paste on roasted bread. The main course was calf shanks cooked four hours in Barolo red wine. Dessert: Chocolate pudding and custard with Amaretto and Grappa!

Weather: Relatively calm and sunny in the beginning of the day. The skies remained clear, but the wind increased to strong breeze in the afternoon and evening. -3 Celsius, so with the wind chill factor Sunday was definately a chilly day!

310 beverage. Contrails from  Qatar 739 from Doha to Los Angeles.

Rough shores near our site.

KONG39 Report Day Two (Oct 19)

Overnight conditions towards North America were not spectacular, but some stations noted, such as KCSF Colorado Springs CO 1300. Another surprise was KARN Little Rock AR 920. KXPN Kearney NE 1460 has been noted on several occasions, too often for only 56 watts at night we think.  Very strong signals from Hawaii from around 09:00 and into the afternoon.

Also a few NZ showed up at around 10:00, but after signal levels did a deep dive, NZ never recovered. Australia did show up with some stations at excellent signal levels - 2RN Wollongong 1431 was the only noteworthy.

The rest of the day was rather uneventful, except we tested a few nice beers, such as Djævelsk Fruktig Double IPA, Survival of the Hoppiest Double IPA and Oppigårds New Sweden IPA.

Dinner is something we always look forward to. For starters we had bruscetta consisting of fresh, no-knead bread with small tomatoes, fresh basil and parmesan cheese (and a handful of garlic).

The main course was fresh salmon with carbonara (and a handful of garlic), and we ended up with assorted cheese (without garlic). Calles's Riesling for the starter and main course, and a Niepoort port wine for the dessert.

Temperatures from 0 to -2 Celsius, snow showers but otherwise sunny as you can see below.

The other picture shows a view, although limited, to the north. Two beverage antennas actually cross the dirt road but you probably can't see them.

Sunday morning status: Weather much the same. Good signal levels overnight!

View to the south

View to the north

Saturday, October 19, 2019

KONG39 Report Day One (Oct 18)

OJ Sagdahl, Ole Forr, Bjarne Mjelde (host)

KONG39 started a bit earlier than expected. Ole had made the 1000-km drive from Andøya in record  speed, and in winter conditions, and arrived at 06:00, as Bjarne was driving to Kirkenes to pick up OJ at the airport. At 11:20, when we were stuck in a road maintenance queue, Ole texted a New Zealand alert! We were quick to pick up our laptops and connect to our KONG SDRs. Amazing signal levels! Alas, later analysis revealed that most stations were heard before - still it was by a large margin the best NZ opening so far this season. It's always nice when 2-kW 1XX in Whakatane, NZ dominates over 100-kW JOLF!

Remote NZ DX in the car

We arrived in Kongsfjord around 13:00 and went directly to our Mount Loran 1000-metre site to replace the battery and other equipment. Asia conditions in the afternoon and evening was rather uninspiring, and we had the traditional first-day meal, home-made fish gratin with chocolate pudding & custard for dessert, in the evening.

Temperatures around 0 Celsius, a "refreshing" breeze and mostly dry between the occasional snow shower. Icy roads much of the drive. In the morning of the 19 it's sunny, but snow showers looming outside the coast to the north. Superb signals from Hawaii right now. More to come!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

QSL: CHRN Montreál, QC 1610

CHHA Voces Latinas usually dominates 1610, but in mid-September, another voice dominated, that of Radio Humsafar. CHRN caters for the South Asian communities in Montreál, with programming in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English. Short but friendly email response from the station's President today. Quebec verie no. 25 and North America X-band verie no. 50.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

QSL: KXXX Colby KS 790

KXXX has been on my wish list since I saw it logged several times in the 1980's in Sweden and Finland. But did I ever hear it? No! Until a few days ago, when excellent spot conditions appeared for a little while during the onset of a solar disturbance. The Mount Loran 1000-metre beverage was able to pull in a rather weak, albeit legible signal. The next full hour, the signal was gone and KGHL/KFGO again dominated the frequency. Thanks Paul Walker for submitting the contact address.