Late Night Longwave

Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
171
Location
Naples Florida USA
#1
Just when I thought LW was over until December because of lightning crashes...

Couldn't sleep tonight so (at 4 AM EDT) I grabbed my Panasonic DR26 and tuned around to see if I'd get anything besides Key West-332 FIS. Well, first Charleston SC- CH 329 showed up which was a good sign. Tuning higher I thought I heard a long Canadian tone so sat there on 361 kHz and waited patiently. Couldn't believe it but Holman NT-361 HI came through! A new distance record for me at 3388 miles.

T-storms usually do subside here after midnight generally, and tonight was very crash free. It's too bad my DX-1000 is off having the tuning knob repaired (seized up) and I packed away the Lowe HF-225 Europa since those are my go-to NDB receivers.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
546
#2
LW conditions have been somewhat improved the past couple of mornings... heard both FIS and CH yesterday morning for the first time in weeks.

Nice catch on the NT.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,033
Location
New Zealand
#4
Unfortunately most of my LW NDB catches are Australian which means they are at least two hours sun behind me - 10.00pm in NZ and it's just getting dark on the Ozzie east coast. My first stations to wake up are Norfolk Island on 260kHz and Lord Howe Island on 272kHz. Last evening I had a couple of good catches for me - King Island (which I had never heard of, never mind get their NDB!) which is in the Bass Strait off the north-west point of Tasmania - the NDB is on 332kHz and the Ident is KII - signal was down in the noise but perked up later. Next catch around 11.00pm (1100UTC) was a fluke - underneath KII was another ident which slowly came up - BHI, Broken Hill which is way over on the border of New South Wales and South Australia. By my calculations that just under 2000miles.
The receiver is an HP Selective Voltmeter 3586A from a 14 metre wire up about 5 metres via a 9:1 un-un - no amplifier. This 'receiver' has some good narrow filters and an excellent ovenised crystal reference to read out the frequency to 0.1Hz! The antenna runs east-west which is almost the wrong direction!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
546
#5
Martin,

Checked the VK,ZL,Oceania static map this morning... zero T-storm activity, conditions look perfect down there tonight for you. Enjoy your winter LW DX.
LW conditions here have been terrible this summer, lots of convective activity.
Do you ever get any trans-Pacific LW DX ?
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,033
Location
New Zealand
#6
I'll have a listen - I would have though that some of the NDB's would have been high power but most just seem to be medium. The en-route NDB's in the Tahiti group of Huahine and Rangiroa are probably the best bet as they are barely above sea level.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
546
#7
I'll have a listen - I would have though that some of the NDB's would have been high power but most just seem to be medium. The en-route NDB's in the Tahiti group of Huahine and Rangiroa are probably the best bet as they are barely above sea level.
You may want to give 353 LLD Lanai Hawaii a try. Long haul for you but it has been heard in ZL land. Looks like it may be 2000w high power. ( Even a lowly 25 watter can be heard at amazing distance when the conditions are right ) Looks like some storms off NSW presently but otherwise your part of the world looks to be pretty quiet.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,033
Location
New Zealand
#8
Very noisy last night with almost continuous lightning crashes. I picked a few likely candidates from Tonga, Cook Islands and the Tahiti Group but most of them were obscured by locals - this was from 10pm to about 11.30. At last I caught a very faint ident from TUT, Tutuila in American Samoa on a reasonably clear channel on 403kHz, just over 2000miles. I'll try again when it's not so noisy.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
171
Location
Naples Florida USA
#9
The receiver is an HP Selective Voltmeter 3586A from a 14 metre wire up about 5 metres via a 9:1 un-un - no amplifier. This 'receiver' has some good narrow filters and an excellent ovenised crystal reference to read out the frequency to 0.1Hz! The antenna runs east-west which is almost the wrong direction!
I have always wondered about the height of a longwave receiving antenna and if/how much of a difference it makes. I use a Palstar LA30 with a homemade ferrite plugged into it, but I've always been on the top floor of a two or (currently) three story condo. Have you ever experimented with different heights of the wire to compare?
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,033
Location
New Zealand
#10
Have you ever experimented with different heights of the wire to compare?
Not really an experiment, but I have moved houses three times in the last 12 years! Year 2000 to 2009 was on the flat east coast of the South Island and my antenna was a 10metre vertical with a tapped loading coil at the base. Pretty good on the HF bands above 6MHz but hopeless on the longer wavelengths. 2009 to 2014 high in a hill overlooking a flat plain to the sea about 20km away on the west coast of the North Island - a wire about 20m long with a 9:1 unun - works really well on all frequencies especially on the grey line into Europe on 49m - excellent LW NDB's. 2009 to present - as above in a valley almost surrounded by other houses with the usual QRM - after everyone else has gone to bed good all-round reception down to 200kHz on the wire and unun. Still looking at the real estate listings for that perfect site out in the country!
 
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