Saturday, October 28, 2023

KONG47 - Day Nine

This is going to be a short one, friends.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, we arranged breakfast for ourselves and our friends from Finland at 09 local today. They then headed back to their basecamp in Aihikiniemi whiile we carried on with searching for interesting stations. Conditions weren't the best, but from the previous night's recordings we did find KCSP Kansas City MO 610, KTSM El Paso TX 690, KMHI Mountain Home ID 1240, KCSF Colorado Springs CO 1300, KENN Farmington NM 1390 and KMIC Houston TX 1590. More to follow. 

Another visit to the sauna today, to make sure we are clean and representative when we travel home on Sunday evening and Monday morning. While at the sauna I wanted to catch the full moon, and I think I succeeded quite well with this unedited shot from my mobile phone.

Photo taken from the Kongsfjord Guesthouse sauna

Afterwards, we ate dinner, a lamb's thigh baked in the oven for 7 hours, with root veggies paste. Nice one! For dessert, my own apple pie with cream. We had one (or actually two) bottles of L'Ancien Le Buissy Beaujolais with the meat, and the rest of the Castelnau de Suduiraut with the dessert.

Weather: Calm, -2 Celsius and dry. Another nice day! Tomorrow will the last full day for the KONG crew, and I will be leaving as early as around 18 local. Before that, we have to dismantle the beverage antenna and equipment at the Mount Loran site.

KONG47 - Day Eight

A bit late this time, but yesterday was busy.
Propogation continues to be variable, and the North America Yaslog from the previous night on Mount Loran illustrates this. Not the most exciting conditions, but there are always surprises once you dig around on the recordings. "Noted in passing" include KBOW Butte MT 580, KSJK Talent OR 1230, KCCR Pierre SD and KFBC Cheyenne WY 1240, KTRC Santa Fe NM 1260, KPRK Livingston MT 1340.

Mount Loran Yaslog from 20:00 to 13:00.

So, why were we busy? We had guests for dinner! And it wasn't just any dinner, but King Crab dinner! And it wasn't just any guests, but Mika Mäkeläinen and Jim Solatie! They arrieved at 17:00 local after a 4-hour drive from their Aihkiniemi DX-pediton site in Finland. Just to visit us! Or maybe it was the prospect of an epic dinner. And epic it became - maybe not for the world but certainly for us five. Below are the gang of five as we prepare for the starter, a home made (by OJ) Västerbotten Pie with salmon roe, red onion and sour cream. Delightful wines were brought in from Finland - with the pie we enjoyed the Alsace Grand Cru Riesling 2019.

(From the left) Mika, Bjarne, OJ, Ole, Jim

The main course was King Crab Carbonara, and after baking the crab looked like this:

How can you not love this...

For the main course our visitors had brought one Crémant D'Alsace Muré and the Domaine Laroche Chablis Premier Cru. Another great choice!

For dessert, another home-made-by-OJ course, Crème brûlée with which we enjoyed a Malmsey Madeira and the Castelnau de Suduiraut 2016.

But actually, the meal started a bit earlier, with the host (me) given the task (or forced to) do something he's not very good at... watch this:

That bottle was a Taittinger Champagne. Another excellent find from our friends. The rest of the evening was spent discussing DX-ing, geopolitics, listening to recordings and telling awkward Norwegian jokes about the Finns.

And we're not done yet! We'll meet again in a short while for a prober breakfast with sourdough bread (OJ-style), eggs & bacon, tea & coffee, cheeses and jam.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

KONG47 - Day Seven

A lot more variable propagation overnight - which means that the ionosphere is unstable. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? We shall find out! But first:

Digging Gold From Previous Days Dept: KFRE Lubbock TX 580 (probably never heard in Europe before) and KGNC Amarillo TX 710. Never heard in Norway before.

From today: Not too much so far; KXSP-NE 590, KHOW-CO 630, WHKM-MI 970, KORT-ID 1240, KTMM-CO 1340. So, today an unstable ionosphere wasn't the best choice. But who knows what will show up when we go through recordings more thoroughly!

After collecting the hard drive from Mount Loran, we took a detour to Berlevåg to supplement some food, anticipating Friday's arrival of the Special Guest Stars, or should we say Special Star Guests!

Today's dinner then! For starters, Salmon Tartare, with Kim Crawford white wine from New Zealand.. The main course is a KONG signature dish, tender loins from reindeer calves, with a paste from root veggies, red wine sauce with mushrooms and lingonberry jam. And a magificent 2020 Rosso de Montalcino. For dessert... well we decided to postpone dessert. A man can only eat so much. So, below are the reindeer tenderloins before and after:

Reindeer loins before...

And after (90 seconds on each side):

Reindeer loins after

Some are/may be interested in our selection of beer. This one may be of interest for DX-ers, since Yakima is home of 1460 KUTI, a station often heard here but now apparently silent. Amundsen Brewery on the other hand is very Norwegian.

And that's all we have for now, except another pre-sunrise photo from this area. By the way, weather was calm, cloudy but dry, and temperatures a tiny bit on the lower side of the zero mark. Possibly a little cooler tomorrow, but very light winds. Our guests will enjoy their drive.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

KONG47 - Day Six

First off, a photo from a the living room, around 45 minutes after sunset. Those familiar with northern latitudes will know that the twilight periods are much longer than further south.

I had a very nice 6-km run just as the sun was setting - chilly at -4 and some wind but with proper clothing you can run in almost any temperature.

Excellent signal levels from North America overnight, and amazingly the highest levels were noted 4 hours after sunrise! Now, high signal levels and lots of stations aren't the same as logging new ones. Propagation was spread wide, from the north-east to Alaska, and with conditions like that the dominant stations tend to... well, dominate. A few nice ones noted though, such as KDRO Sedalia MO 1490, KFH Witchita KS 1240, KLIK Jefferson City MO 1240, KCKM Monahans TX 1330 and KPUR Amarillo TX 1440, KHTS Canyon Country CA 1220.

Good signals from the Pacific early in the day, but the NHK-1 local ID at 10:00 left us with nothing of interest. More so the NHK-2 sign-off at 14:40, notably 1125 Tottori, 1377 Yamaguchi, 1386 Okayama, 1475 Iida and 1539 Masuda (Matsue relay).

After a few days in the wild, nothing feels better than a proper sauna! Great service from Kongsfjord Guesthouse who offered us their excellent facilities off-season.

Proper sauna...

So, what did we have to eat today? Starters: An old aquaintence: Roasted sourdoug bread rubbed with garlic, generous amounts of hummus and fried artichokes on top. And some fresh parsley.

And then, a new one!  Fried cod loins with mashed root veggies (potatoes, sweet potatos, celeriac, turnip), carrot sticks fried in honey, and a red wine sauce! And of course a red wine, a Langhe Rosso 2020. Excellent stuff! It may be a keeper!

Weather: -4 to -5 Celsius, various wind but sunny. Looks like tomorrow will be same, same.

Early Wednesday morning (before sunrise, very similar to the first picture)

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

KONG47 - Day Five

 So, the quite good conditions continue, but rain and sleet showers last night brought some noise that limited reception quite a bit. But that's how it is in this area. Asia/Pacific first: Very good signals from Tonga-1017, Marshall Isl-1098 and Fiji-990. The NHK-1 local slot at 10:00 brought a number of stations like Enbetsu-792, Wakkanai-927, 963-Aomori & Hachinohe-999 (relay of  Aomori) in addition to those already heard.

The Mount Loran Files were collected at around 14 local, and brought another night with good signal levels - and a few new stations! One station defintely worthy of mention is 250-watt daytime, 110-watt nighttime KMCD Fairfield IA 1570 with a very potent signal well into the morning here. Some other nice ones were KFIR Sweet Home OR 720, KATH Frisco TX 910, KNDN Farmington NM 960, KCFO Tulsa OK 970 and KBUF Holcomb KS 1030. The list will be longer.

So, what did we have to eat today? Well, for starters we had Bruschetta on OJ's sourdough bread. The main course was baked cod loins with bacon, potatoes and green pea purée. For dessert, chocolate pudding with custard. Calles Riesling was the wine of choice for the main course, Amaretto for the dessert.

Weather was quite nice today after some rain and sleet showers overnight. Calm, partly cloudy and +1 Celsius. Outlook for tomorrow is a bit colder, but little or no wind - certainly quite unusual in these parts.

To end this blogpost, a few pictures. The first one was taken by OJ en route to Mount Loran. Last week there was a proper autumn storm in this area, combined with extra high tide. So, the ocean swells did some serious damage to the road, throwing boulders up to 200 kg on to the road, and crippled the road fences like they were aluminium foil as you can see on the picture. Luckily the storm didn't wash away the road altogether, so the "Berlewegians" can still get out of Berlevåg to see the world. And more importantly: We have access to Mount Loran!

Kaltes Auto

Northwest: Wind park

South: Neighbours

Monday, October 23, 2023

KONG47 - Day Four

Improvement! The previous night brought nice signal levels from the western part of North America (notably the MST and PST time zones). In addition we could collect a full night's worth of super low noise recordings from Mount Loran. Definitely worthy of mention are KION Salinas CA 1460, KLOC Turlock CA 1390, KMYC Marysville CA 1410.  From Mount Loran: KXXX Colby KS 790 ID just 3 minutes before power-down at sunset, KJLT North Platte NE 970 and KSCB Liberal KS 1270.

Signals from Asia and the Pacific came early, with good signals from Tonga-1017 and Marshall Isl-1098. The 10:00 UTC NHK-1 local ID slot wasn't too interesting, but we noted JOFP Fukushima 1323 and JOJP Tsuruoka 1368.

So, what's for dinner? Leftovers! Leftovers from the fabulous lambshank in Barolo dinner yesterday. But let's start with the starters! Goose liver paste on sourdough bread. Btw, this is OJ's version of a proper sourdough bread!

The rest of the lambshanks were combined with various vegetables into a stew of epic proportions. We mixed chopped carrots, sweet potatoes, celeriac, turnip, leek and red chili into a hot stew. The bones were left outdoor for Michael Fox (actually that's the children's term for the fox, "Mikkel Rev", which incidentally translates into that famous actor). For dessert, another batch of cheeses, together with some great Port wine.

I forgot to take pictures today (again!!), so here is today's 6-km run this afternoon. I spotted a reindeer on the track, it shouldn't be here.

Weather: 2-3 Celsius, medium breeze from the north, dry. Looks like it's going to stay above zero tomorrow as well.

KONG47 - Day Three

Now, what is it with DX-peditions and propagation? Another disappointing night and day towards North America. Asia/Pacific came early, at around 08:00 with Tonga-1017 and a few from Japan, but then signal levels dropped. At the NHK-2 sign-off at 16:00 we noted a few of the less powered stations like JOSB Kitakyushu 1602, JOID Oita 1467 and JOAC Nagasaki 1377, all 1 kW. Signal levels from the Chinese megastations were weaker than usual, which is always a good thing.

We noted the previous day that the Mount Loran setup had suffered high noise levels due to a damaged feedline. Bite marks suggest someone from the Animal Kingdom was hoping for a snack. After a fix by OJ and Ole the usual low noise levels were restored, and we're already looking forward to the overnight IQ recordings!

Personally I run a bit, and after two days in physical inactivity it was time to do an 8-km run in studded running shoes (from Sarva) around Kongsfjord in these conditions:

Dinner: We started off with Salmon Tartare, and then this...

Prior to the 5-hour cooking. Two bottles of Barolo, six lambshanks

4 hours - nearly there

Lambshanks in Barolo is certainly a winner, and today's dinner will be based on leftovers. For dessert we had home made Chocolate Mousse. Naturally we chose Barolo red wine for the starter and main course, while an Amaretto was a perfect companion to the Mousse.

Weather: Breezy, heavy showers of rain and sleet early in the day but it cleared up. Temperatures just above zero, but cold enough to form a thin layer of ice on the road - hence the studded running shoes.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

KONG47 - Day Two

Uninspiring from North America. We noted KZDG-CA 1550 as early as 01:00Z which is half an hour before San Francisco sunset. But it's a dominant anyway. At the same TOH we also noted KAMI Cozad NE 1580 which isn't often heard. Not very much of interest from Asia either. A few stations noted at the NHK-2 signoff at 14:55Z. 1602 kHz was a jumble, but 1-kW JOTC Aomori on 1521 did stand out.

After a very blustery and rainy morning, the wind and rain finally allowed us to go to Mount Loran and erect the 800-metre (was 1000-metres) beverage. Unfortunately the feedline was damaged by animal bites so we need to go back on Sunday and replace or repair the feedline. Still on the red side on the thermometer, but a little cooler, 3-4 Celsius.

Ocean swells hammering the Kjølnes Lighthouse (view from Mount Loran)

During the afternoon the weather got rather nice with much less wind, which was a welcome change.

Dinner: Tapas for starters. Main course was baked salmon rich belly loin with bacon bits, spring onions and pasta with pesto and garlic. Accompanied by Calle's Riesling (yes, it's white). For dessert: Selected cheeses, including Roquefort Papillon, with Chateau Liot Sauternes, 2016, and a bit of Grappa. And Aquavite. And Amaretto.

Salmon: Before baking

Salmon: After baking

KONG47 - Day One

We arrived safe! The last 70-80 km or so were challenging at places with sleet on the road, especially covering the outer edges - exactly where one needs to put the right-hand wheels when meeting other traffic. Easy to lose control if not careful - and it was a close call a couple of times for both cars. I was here around 11:00Z, OJ and Ole a couple of hours later.

Anyway, we settled in with locally-produced fried fish balls, a couple of Supersonic from Lervig, and a very nice Belgian Golden Strong Ale made in Gudbrandsdalen near Ole's home QTH, Solgløtt from Leifur Brygg. 

Dinner: As usual on day one, Bjarne's home made fish gratin, served with the only hint of NZL we had today, a Kim Crawford white wine. For dessert chocolate pudding with custard, and a little Amaretto.

Weather: The temperature maxed out at around 6 Celsius. Very windy as reported earlier, and occasional light (but horisontal!) showers. Doing work on Mount Loran was out of the question, the weather forecast for Saturday says a little less windy so hopefully we can get the remote site going then.

Forgot to take pictures, so this Jaguar Spectra snip from 1548 kHz will have to do. 4QD Emerald to the right, too busy with live coverage of the Rugby World Cup match between Australia and Pakistan to do any TOH ID's or Majestic Fanfare (Australia won). Visible at 16:30Z is the sign-on by super-powered Radio Farda in Kuwait. Not the best conditions otherwise with auroral influence. Lots of stations from Iran and Thailand.

Stay tuned for more fish on Saturday!

Friday, October 20, 2023

KONG47 Travel Day - And a Message From The Jaguar

Travel Day - or Day Zero? Anyway, it's time again to send daily updates from our DX-pedition in Kongsfjord, Arctic Norway. 

OJ Sagdahl and Ole Forr will arrive with a rental car later in the afternoon from Kirkenes Airport. I have a much shorter route, 170 km from Vadsø to Kongsfjord. Weather in October can be challenging, and certainly changing, and we're now in a transition from cool, snowy and relatively calm weather to well above freezing, rainy and very heavy winds - with all the effects on road conditions that go with the change.

So, what does the Jaguar software have to do with this? Well, if you don't have a Perseus SDR but one that will work with the HDSDR software (such as any SDR from SDRPlay), you may find this write-up interesting!

Weather: Here in Vadsø at the moment (07:00 local) 0 Celsius and a little windy. Out on the "real" arctic coastline at Kongsfjord around +2 Celsius and winds gusting at 17 m/s or 35 kts. Below is a photo this morning from the village Ekkerøy, east of Vadsø (facing northeast). Will start my drive at around 10:00.

Hoping for safe travels!

Source: Norsk Luftambulanse

Sunday, September 10, 2023

KONG46 - Day Four

 Overnight the outdoor temperatures hovered at almost 19 Celsius - an absurd level for this location. Lots of wind though, which continued throughout most of the day. Sunny until around 13:00 local, then rain for a few hours until it cleared up with calm weather and clear skies, and a bit cooler.

Today's chores were baking a new bread, fixing what remained to be fixed with the antennas and at Mount Loran, and then a very nice sauna at Kongsfjord Guesthouse.

Dinner: A stew with salted lamb's meat and various vegetables.

Not much to brag about DX-wise. Very low levels towards the Americas last night, and very strong signals from India in the afternoon, accompanied by the odd Australian. The pictures below are from this morning (outside my house), and the afternoon,  a view from the sauna.

As mentioned before, departure at 05:00 Monday morning. We will be back on October 20, for a much longer DX-pedition. In the mean time, we hope that Mount Loran will provide lots of DX.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

KONG46 - Day Three

Right! We're ready! For a winter with great DX! Most of the antenna works have been done, and apparently with good results. At 17:00Z today, half an hour before sunrset the quite common ABC Newsradio,  Bunburry, Western Australia was heard with excellent signal levels on 1152 kHz. A lot more interesting catch was Radio Republik Indonesia, Semarang on 801 at the same time, and also 100-watt NHK1 Osaka relay Kasumi on 1584 at 20:00Z! 8050 km.

Lots of new ground rods have been installed, and by now all our beverages are working well. We had a trip to Mount Loran to track down some sources of interference, only to acknowledge that there's not much we can do about it.

Dinner: Grilled king crab! Wow! Wow indeed!! Never done this variant before. Served with pasta and pesto, and a butter sauce with onions and apples. Chocolate pudding and custard for dessert. And Cointreau. And Grappa. And then a little more Grappa. Below a few pictures from today.

At the endpoint of the 310 beverage

End of the 1000-metre Mount Loran beverage

Grilled king crab. Best seafood ever.

Weather was very nice with no wind at all, mostly cloudy and at times extremely light rain and 13-14 degrees Celsius, actually a bit on the warm side for outdoor activities. Not that we really complain.

Friday, September 08, 2023

KONG46 - Day Two

 Antenna day! Four beverages were deployed, and we spent considerable time providing new and better grounding for the 50-degrees beverage which had become somewhat noisy over the years. Not all antennas are in a proper state yet, but hey, it's only Friday and we're not leaving until early Monday morning!

We also had some noise issues with our Mount Loran deployment, so I was monitoring via remote control while OJ and Ole did work on site to reduce the noise to acceptable levels. Unfortunately, the reindeer which usualy migrate inland in late August hadn't done that, so we hope they don't get tangled in the wire. Hopefully they will be gone when I revisit the site next weekend.

In the afternoon it was time for OJ and Ole to put up their own gear - power supplies, PCs, Perseus SDRs, network switches, hard drives, preamps, coax cables... the lot. I'm quite happy that my rig is stationary, so I can sit and watch, throw in the odd unhelpful comments and drink Nøgne Ø American IPA.

Dinner: Fresh salmon loins, baked in the oven, served with tagliatelle & pesto. Lots of pesto. Kim Crawford, NZL white wine. For dessert, ice cream including wild berries, and of course Grappa!

Weather: A bit windy, otherwise excellent, maxing out at 19 Celsius. Not what you expect in September on 70 degrees north. Dry, a bit more cloudy in the evening. The forecast for Saturday says more of the same, except less wind and a bit more cloudy.

The bay near my house, neighbours in the background.

I don't do selfies often but today I did. End point of the dual (staggered) 340 beverage.

High tide in Kongsfjord

KONG46 - Day One

So, it's that time of the year again. The FM antennas have been disconnected and my three RSPdx tucked away for the winter. Time to fire up the big guns - beverage antennas and Perseus SDRs.

Antenna deployment usually starts around August 25, but due to other appointments it's been delayed until this weekend. OJ Sagdahl and Ole Forr arrived from Andøya Thursday afternoon after a long drive, and we had to hurry a bit to get Mount Loran setup done before darkness.

That done, time for dinner! Home made fish soup with a little spicy bite, with some Lervig Supersonic double dry-hopped DIPA, probably the best beer in the world at the moment.

Friday will see more antenna deployment and maintenance. 

Weather: Cloudy as you can see from the pictures below but very mild for the time of year. Friday may reach up to 20 Celsius.

Facing south-east

Beverage starting point, the antenna goes "that way"

Facing east - Kjølnes lighthouse. The light out at sea is from a fishing vessel.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

FM Loggings July 17 - Aurora

An aurora opening with refracted, distorted signals occurred around 19:30Z, only audible on the antenna pointing NW. As usual, only stations from mid- and northern Sweden and Finland were heard, typically 400 to 600 km away. Those positively identified (no RDS) are shown below.

K indices at the time were around 5, and the auroral oval was quite strong over the area, as shown below. Later on, the proton flux went through the roof.

 A bit later a couple of stations from Iceland showed up through normal Es propagation.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

FM Loggings July 11, 2023

Relatively early opening this day for about an hour from 07:30Z, starting off in Russia with several  Nizhniy Novgorod stations. After a pause, conditions changed towards the eastern (and mostly Russian-speaking) part of Latvia, before shifting back towards Ivanovo and Cherepovets in Russia. Nothing else noted that day. 1350 to 1750 km Es.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

AM (MW) Band And Electric Vehicles: Should We Worry? (Pt. 2)

Further to my June 17 post, I've done some tests with my own car.

What are the main components that differ an EV from an ICE car?

Now quite obviously, EVs have a large pack of Lithium-Ion batteries with a 400V or (so far less common) 800V architecture. Typical battery capacities vary between 40 and 90 kWh but can be higher or lower. A power inverter feeds an AC induction motor, or a permanent magnet motor – or both in some 4WD/AWD cars. Permanent magnet motors have become much more common in recent years. The main battery also takes care of heating and cooling the battery itself, and climate control. One added benefit for EV owners in cold climates is instant heating of the cabin, in contrast to ICE vehicles where you must wait for the engine to warm up first.  It certainly makes a difference in minus 25 Celsius.

Also, the car has an on-board AC charger which allows the car to be charged from home or work. The charger includes an AC/DC converter.

A standard 12V auxiliary battery takes care of all none-drivetrain functions and is charged from the main battery.

So, where are the potential noise sources with EVs compared to ICE cars? Well obviously, the inverter is something to consider. The inverter will convert DC from the battery to AC to run the motor and will also control the energy flow, either to run the motor or recuperate energy back into the battery.

To be honest I do not know how much RFI the electric motors themselves could emit, and if so, which measures could be taken to mitigate the problem. This article may be useful to learn more about electromagnetic interference.

My test configuration tries to cover the following:

·        Car in “Off” position.

·        Car in “Wake-up” position – 12V systems are active, such as the infotainment system. This usually happens when the driver approaches the vehicle with the “key” (it’s really more of a remote control) or mobile phone or unlocks the car. Ventilation systems are also activated, heater is drawing current from the main battery.

·        Car in “Idle” position – all systems are active and ready to drive. Typically, when the “On” button is pressed, or the brake pedal is activated and you can set the car in D (drive) or R (reverse).

·        Car moving – accelerating and decelerating.

Please observe that manufacturers have chosen slightly different approaches to bullet points 2 and 3.

Test configuration:

Car: VW ID.5 GTX with 77 kWh net battery capacity, a permanent magnet motor for the rear wheels (main motor) and an AC induction motor for the front wheels that only engages during traction loss or full acceleration.

SDR: SDRPlay RSPdx connected to and powered by a Dell Latitude laptop. IQ files from HDSDR v. 2.81beta6 recordings are saved to an external SSD.

Antenna: Wellbrook ALA1530 loop antenna. Powered by an external 12V battery, or from the car’s auxiliary 12V outlet.

Frequency range: Obviously RFI can occur anywhere in the frequency range. Since the RSPdx has a limited range (and the laptop has somewhat limited CPU power), I will concentrate on the 0 to 8 MHz spectrum. It makes sense also because the original subject was MW reception in EVs.

External battery: A 100Ah, 12V Li-Ion battery.

Reference configuration:

SDR, PC and loop antenna powered from the Li-Ion 12 battery, set up kilometres away from any potential noise sources, and at least 500 metres from the car (which was shut down).

Test scheme

The location was a five-minute drive from the KONG HQ, in a bay without anything that could produce interference (at the marker):


Test 1: (stationary at the KONG HQ): Is the in-car 12V power supply noisier than an external battery?

The short answer is No. But charging does make some noise, particularly at sections above the MW spectrum.

I first tested with the external battery, the car in “Off” position and the ALA1530 loop placed around 1 metre away from the car’s rear. I then switched the car to “Idle”. There was no difference in the RSPdx waterfall.

I then tested with the internal battery. It will not supply power with the car in “Off” position, so to use the in-car battery the car needs to be in “Wake-up” position. There was no difference in the RSPdx waterfall from when I used the external battery.

I also enabled charging to see what happened. At the KONG HQ, my charging is limited to 10A/2.3 kWh AC. I have no idea if a higher amperage, like 20A/4.6 kWh, would increase the noise level. Anyway, the MW band was mostly but not entirely unhurt, while parts of the SW bands were affected.

I didn’t have the opportunity to test, but I assume that DC fast charging will be an issue. You would typically sit in an area with lots of infrastructure and multiple DC chargers from 50 to 300 kW. And with multiple cars charging. Knowing what passing under a single high-voltage line does to your MW reception, I can’t imagine how a DC fast charging station can be noise free.

Test 2: (driving from the KONG HQ to the remote site)

This test consisted of recording the 0-8 MHz bandwidth while driving from the KONG HQ to the mobile test area. The 12V battery was placed in the front passenger foot well, and the Dell laptop and RSPdx on the seat. The ALA1530 was placed where I supposed it would take the hardest punch – partly on top of the motor and inverter.

So, I drove ahead, 5-6 minutes, accelerated a bit (when you floor an EV, make sure your head is on the headrest…) and decelerated to recuperate energy.

The waterfall was not nice at all. It was obvious that the vicinity of the antenna to the motor did produce a lot of noise. Deceleration increased the noise a bit, but not much. Most of the noise was above 1.5 MHz though.

Figur 1 - Noisy? Ah...yes

Test 3 (stationary at the remote site, driving the car away)

At the remote test side, I set up the loop like what I had done at the KONG HQ (test no. 1). I then started the car and drove away some 500 metres before I returned. I did not note any RFI from the car as it drove away from the antenna, and on its return.

Figur 2 - Noisy? Noooo.....

What can we learn?

This test is no science, it is indeed circumstantial evidence, from a single EV user. I did not test with an ICE car for comparison. Yet, I feel tempted to draw a few conclusions.

1.      With the antenna some distance away from the motor and inverter, RFI did not seem to be a big problem. I’d assume that with the antenna place on the roof, and with proper shielding, MW reception should be possible.

2.      Charging does make RFI. On my car it did not affect the MW band much, but other cars may have different interference signatures. At any rate, you usually do not sit in the car while charging.

3.      RFI seems to have a very limited range of distance, regardless of if the car is driving or standing still. This seems to confirm findings from radio amateurs who have used EVs with V2L (vehicle to load) capability to power amateur radio stations with 230V power from the main battery on remote locations. My EV can’t do that.

Are car manufacturers telling the truth? Is MW reception impossible in an EV?

Hard to say. I think MW reception is possible, provided enough shielding and clever location of the antenna. My guess is that many EV manufacturers have dismissed MW as an obsolete media platform just like CD players. Although I’m a keen MW DX-er myself, I think they’re right.

The lack of AM reception is a US, or North American issue. Lawmakers in Europe will never engage themselves. FM and DAB will be the choices for terrestrial broadcasting for the foreseeable future.

Monday, June 26, 2023

FM Loggings June 25 - Iceland

Fragmented half-hour Es opening westwards yesterday evening from around 19:33Z brought some new logs, as I have never heard stations beyond the 2000-km mark from Iceland before. In fact, the westernmost station on the island was heard, at 2218 km. Logs and map:

Friday, June 23, 2023

Midsummer Night

 Amazing 20 Celsius at night. In two months or so we'll be hunting for Aussies!

Monday, June 19, 2023

FM Loggings June 18, 2023

Quite a rush towards mostly Perm and Syktyvkar at first, then later propagation shifted westwards towards the Baltic states and a loner from Belarus. Sorted by time and frequency.

On the map it's like this:

Saturday, June 17, 2023

AM (MW) Band And Electric Vehicles: Should We Worry?

Concern has been raised in the US over the exclusion of the AM radio band in new electric vehicle's (EV) entertainment systems. The radio industry say drivers could be deprived of a crucial source of news in emergencies. Some have even stated it's a deliberate attempt to silence conservative radio. Carmakers say that EVs generate more electromagnetic interference than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, disrupting AM signal reception.

Around 20 % of the US radio-listening public listen to AM radio weekly, so one can't but wonder how well the platform would perform in emergencies - especially since most young people have little or no knowledge about AM - let alone have access  to an AM radio.

Be that as it may. I am curious to find out if the carmakers are right. Do electric motors and inverters  emit electromagnetic interference to the extent that AM reception is impossible? And will charging an EV at your home wreck havoc on your domestic AM radio?

I've had my EV parked outside the KONG HQ (and charging) the last few years during our DX-peditions, and no RFI has been noted. But our beverage antennas are far away from the car, and we have top quality coax feedlines. My FM antennas though are only 4-5 metres away and are not affected.

So, what needs to be done is to take the car, a receiver and an antenna to a location totally devoid of any RFI within many kilometres and see what happens - at standstill and at driving. This summer I will do that. There may be updates coming along before the full report. If you have any ideas concerning this test, please use the comments section below.

KONG HQ: Adding range to the 77-kWh battery (VW ID.5 GTX)

Friday, June 16, 2023

FM Loggings June 15, 2023

Russia, Belarus, Faroe Islands, Iceland.... sorted by time.

Receivers: SDRPlay RSPdx

Antennas: Two 8-element FM antennas from InnovAntennas.