Monday, December 14, 2009

DXing The Shortest Days

It's that time of the year again when the days are the shortest and the nights the longest. There are barely 10 hours of daylight here in southwestern Arizona, as the sun is rising at 0724L and setting at 1722L. D-layer absorption during daytime hours is at the lowest this time of year. Today, at the noon hour, I went on a little mini-DXpedition to a nearby hilltop which gave me a 360 degree view. I started DXing at 1130 local time and continued till about 1230 local.

Radios used were the Tecsun PL-600 and the unassisted truck radio. The Tecsun PL-600 was assisted with the 24-inch box loop. Here are the highlights:

660 KHz, 1130L, KTNN, Window Rock, AZ. 50KW (truck radio). Medium strength, but easy. 327 miles.

740 KHz, 1135L, KBRT, Avalon, CA (Catalina Island, "26 miles across the sea"). 10KW (PL-600 and truck radio). Strong on the truck radio and overriding KCBS, San Francisco. 239 miles.

760 KHz, 1145L, KKZN, Thornton, CO. 50KW (PL-600). 675 miles at the noon hour! Progressive Talk Radio. Signal was in and out, weaker and underneath San Diego's 50KW powerhouse KFMB. I was able to partially null KFMB using the box loop, which made the difference. Great daytime DX.

1090 KHz, 1221L, XEPRS, Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. 50KW (PL-600). Weak, but readable, peaking to medium at times. This is Baja's XX Sports Radio, broadcasting in English to San Diego from an appreciable distance down the Baja peninsula. Studios are reportedly in San Diego. 186 miles.

1120 KHz, 1210L, XEMX, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. 400 watts (PL-600 and truck radio). Broadcasting oldies. 100.9 miles. Good reception for 400 watts.

Now for the amazing "pipeline" station, which always seems to put some kind of a signal into southwestern Arizona at any time of year:

700 KHz, 1225L, KALL, N. Salt Lake City, UT. 50KW (PL-600 barefoot and truck radio). 514 miles.

KALL is the amazing one, not for distance but for signal strength. Though I have heard this one before during the daytime, this time of year it seems to have a pipeline into the southwest. Signals on the unmodified truck radio were absolutely astounding. Note that the distance here is in excess of 500 miles at the exact center of the daylight period. Shown is the beautiful location of KALL's tower array.

Try some daytime DXing during this time of year, particularly near mid-day. You might be surprised at what you can hear.