Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fun on 10m

TA MF has been very poor the last few days though some dxers have been getting some good results in the afternoons to Asia – see JF’s blog –

Here in London 10m has been quite open and I worked my 264 DXCC yesterday – FK8DD Sam in French New Caledonia –

Today I played around on 10m AM using my Icom 756 PROII to drive my Acom 1000 amplifier. Antenna was the 1/2 G5RV as stormy conditions in London meant I kept the Tennamast down so was not using the Cushcraft mini-beam MA5B. Had a nice QSO with VE3FGU in Keswick Ontario – The pint-size G5RV is not a bad performer on 10m (or 40m) though it is pretty poor on the other bands. The AM portion of the band is from 29.0 – 29.1 MHz.

Other DX worked on 28 MHz (10m band== 28 MHz) over the weekend included KG4HF with rtty in Guantanamo Bay and an ssb contact with JW9JKA Svalbard island.






What is DX?

The sorely underrated George Harrison asked “What is Life?”  Many dxers ask “What is DX?” Some band II dxers don’t consider anything under 1100 km via Tropo to be DX.  To be honest I don’t really consider WBBR on 1130 kHz or France Bleu Nord on 94.7 Mhz to be DX.  However I do consider my tropo reception on 23 September of Virgin Radio Montreuil/le Bois-de-Sel on 87.9 MHz to be DX despite the transmitter location being only 181 km from me.

My definition of DX is very simple – DX is “unusual reception at your QTH with your equipment”. Hence with my Perseus SDR/Flag I would expect to hear WBBR if the propagation is there. Likewise France Bleu Nord with the Sony XDR and Triax FM7. For another dxer living next door in London with a Tecsun portable and long wire, receiving WBBR would be DX and receiving France Bleu on the telescopic would be DX.  Receiving Virgin on 87.9 was DX for me as it is vertically polarised, low power and my antenna is horizontal and it is normally not present even assuming the frequency is clear.







F2 Low VHF Propagation

As expected autumnal F2 propagation has returned to London with MUFs up to 35 MHz. Below is how the Orlando weather station WQIN663 on 33.42 MHz was sounding yesterday afternoon at 17.20. Rig is the versatile Uniden UBC800XLT controlled by bcTool and antenna is a simple horizontal 35 MHz dipole in an apple tree.

I like bcTool ( as it logs and records each time the squelch is broken. The audio below is mainly continuous though is a really a montage of six individual recordings as the squelch dropped with signal fades. I used Audacity to combine the wave files from bcTool and then export as mp3.

Return of North American MF DX

After the poor conditions week before last and start of last week NA DX came back towards the end of the week.  Nothing spectacular but some reasonable signal strengths from the East Coast regulars. Morning of Friday 11 October saw the New York stations coming through with above average strength. Video below shows how WINS 1010, WBBR 1130 and WLIB 1190 were sounding in London.





X-Band in Carcassonne

Conditions have been very poor for the last week or so despite some F2 noted on 10m and US repeaters on 10m FM  being audible in the late afternoons. Just before the the sun erupted again and disturbed MF conditions started I recorded the X-Band as heard in our rural dx location outside Carcassonne. The video shows how quiet it was with audio from 1640 WTNI Biloxi MS, 1670 WPLA Dry Branch GA, 1630 KCJJ Iowa City IA and 1620 Radio Rebelde Cuba. 

Receiver is Perseus SDR with 300m BOG (Beverage on Ground).  Conditions went rapidly downwards the following nights with nothing of interest making it through.