Friday, October 31, 2008

Long Distance Daytime AM DX

The daytime AM bandscan for the segment 530 KHz - 1000 KHz is just about complete. Current setup is the Eton E1 using a 150 ft. longwire layed on the ground, oriented NW. The wire is fed to the E1 through the RF Systems magnetic balun. The surprising thing on this trip is that I am getting an additional average 1-2.5 S-units on most stations by grounding the E1, in this case, to the truck frame! I am planning on adding an additional 100 ft. to the antenna soon. Makes me wonder what a real earth ground might do here, though the desert soil conductivity is very, very poor. Annual precipitation here is on the order of about two inches. Many years it never rains at all.

Okay, on to the current distance catches, all mid afternoon, well within the 3 hour buffer zone for sunset:

KTNN-660, Window Rock, AZ. Voice of the Navajo Nation. 50KW station. 327 miles. S-2 strength. A very interesting station, for those who have not logged this one before. I have heard KTNN many times before when I lived out west. They are basically a country western format with a lot of Navajo language thrown in, including a lot of local Navajo coverage.

KNBR-680, San Francisco, CA. 50 KW station. 517 miles. S-4 strength.

KALL-700, North Salt Lake City, UT. 50KW station. 515 miles. S-4.5 strength.

KDWN-720, Las Vegas, NV. 50KW station. Approximately 200 miles. S-8 strength. An easy catch at any time.

KCBS-740, San Francisco, CA. 50KW station. 558 miles. S-6.5 strength.

KKOB-770, Albuquerque, NM. 50KW station. 447 miles. S-2 strength.

KGO-810, San Francisco, CA. 50KW station. 516 miles. S-1 strength. Very intermittent, receivable about 20% of the time.

In the strength contests, KALL-700 and KCBS-740 are the overall winners. KCBS-740 at 558 miles takes the distance contest. Remember, all of these stations were received during full daylight, approximately 2-3 PM in the afternoon. KCBS-740 is approaching 600 miles, which makes me believe that it might be possible to log KOA 850 KHz in Denver at 662 miles one of these days. So far, KOA has not been receivable.

More thoughts soon.

Random Loggings for October 26-27, 2008

All stations received on the Eton E1 with 150 ft. longwire through RF Systems magnetic balun.

Oct 26, 2008. 2217 UTC. Egyptian Radio, 6290 kHz. Weak but readable, received 2.5 hours before local sunset. Amazing that this station can make this path this early. Rechecked at 0000 with good signal strength.

Oct 26, 2008. 2343 UTC. R. Mauritaine, 4845 kHz. Fair signal, one hour before local sunset.

Oct 26, 2008. 2350 UTC. R. Brasil Central, 4985 kHz. Fair signal. This station runs 10KW. Format was oldies, playing Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, etc.

Oct 27, 2008. 0022 UTC. KHWG, 750 kHz, Fallon, NV. 10KW. Approximately 20 minutes before local sunset. This is a tough station to log at this time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Daylight DX Time Limits

Some time limits should be applied when searching for daylight DX in the AM broadcast band. In my experiments, 2.5 hours is about as close as you can get to sunrise and sunset times before the band starts to change dramatically. The sun is setting here currently at 5:43 PM. I find that by 3:30PM the characteristics of the band have shifted somewhat toward longer range DX as late afternoon approaches. Morning sunrise here is 6:42 AM, and by 9:30 AM we are back to daytime conditions again. So, for purposes of tallying daytime DX on the AM band, and adding in an extra 30 minutes for safety padding, 3 hours after sunrise and 3 hours before sunset will be the start and stop limits for my DX tests.

Several stations have been received during daylight hours in excess of 500 miles. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cross Country

Just completed a cross country trip from my home in Avon, NY to Quartzsite, Arizona, latitude 33.663N, longitude 114.229W. Total distance about 2500 road miles. I am here for the winter, probably till the end of March, 2009. I used to live in this deserted place from 1990-2002. It is literally in the desert wilds, just 18 miles east of the California line and the Colorado River. It is right on I-10, the road that connects Phoenix, AZ with Los Angeles, CA. I am 85 miles north of the Mexican border, and Mexican stations on the AM broadcast band are prolific especially at night.

I brought the Eton E1 and the Kaito 1103 and the Sony SRF-M37V ultralight for a little DXing. A couple of hundred feet of wire will provide a little extra signal juice. One good thing, there will be absolutely no noise here so that should help.

I will be reporting more. At the moment I am compiling a bandscan of the AM band during daylight hours. There are some surprises!