A site about the radio listening hobby and my activities therein - longwave, mediumwave, shortwave, FM, and television DXing. A site about the radio listening hobby in all its forms, or at least the forms that interest me.

I am also a licenced amateur radio operator, callsign VE3LXL. Information about my amateur radio station is found on my station website.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Weekend Trip to Eastern Ontario - Other Logs

I always bring a portable radio along when I go up to Harrowsmith because it is so incredibly radio quiet there. It's astounding how much can be heard. Example: in my Toronto apartment, on the Kaito KA-1103 I hear almost nothing except noise on the amateur 80 metre band (3500-4000 kHz) . Take the radio outside on my balcony and stick the antenna out away from the building, and there are lots of signals audible. But go to a place that is radio quiet and the entire band is alive with dozens or hundreds of stations. I don't think there's actually anything special about Eastern Ontario itself; rather I think it's good there because there are so few sources of electrical noise about and because I'm not in a steel frame building. No doubt my reception would be much better even here in Toronto if I were in a wood-frame house, but you just can't beat going to a place where there's so little electrical noise.

A few interesting logs from this visit on shortwave. Date and times in UTC (local time + 4 hours):
  • Radio Australia on 15240 from Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. 2009-08-02, 03:19-03:32 UTC. Sports talk show "Grandstand". 100 kW to Pacific, almost alone on the 19 metre band but coming in at a very nice listenable level.
  • On 2009-08-03 from 03:45-04:00 I was listening to three radio amateurs in a roundtable on 3885 kHz transmitting in the AM mode. They were W2PFY, W2NBC, and KC8ZEH, in New York State, New Jersey, and Ohio. AM interests me; someday I may give it a go. Currently I don't have a transmitter that's capable of outputting AM, except for one QRP rig that can output all of 2.5 watts in that mode. Most radio amateurs operating in AM use vintage tube-based gear, but one thing that interested me in this roundtable was that one of the members, the net control actually, was using a FlexRadio, one of those new software-defined radios. He sounded really good too. If I do get into AM, maybe that's the path I should take.
  • On 4170 I heard an unidentified station with talk and country and western music. This was at 04:05 UTC on 2009-08-03. This is a long way outside any of the broadcast bands.
  • Logged two utility stations (same day, at 04:15 and 04:20 UTC). The first was on 4316 and was giving weather and marine information from the National Weather Service. Didn't catch the ID but I think this was NMG in New Orleans, LA. The other was on 4425 and was just signing off. This was the U.S. Coast Guard station NMN in Chesapeake VA.
That was all I had time for. I want to try mediumwave DXing from there because there are no longer any local stations in the Kingston area on AM, so the entire band is open for DXing.

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