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.