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.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

2011 CQ WW DX CW Contest

One of the biggest amateur radio Morse code contests of the year was on this weekend. I was on the air making lots of contacts in it and I also logged over 100 stations heard. I spent most of my time on 10 metres, with some time also spend on the 15 and 20 metre bands.

There were tons of stations coming in from Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. 10 metres was particularly good. This is a band that is very sensitive to propagation conditions, and especially to the 11 year solar cycle. Around sunspot minimum the band can be dead for weeks, supporting nothing but local propagation. But when the solar cycle approaches the maximum, this band can support world-wide communication with solid signals at low power. Now that we're heading towards solar maximum, the band is improving a lot.

One of the highlights today was hearing TF2JB in Iceland on 10 metres at 1459 UTC. I don't think I've ever received a station from Iceland before.

Another highlight was hearing ZS4TX in South Africa at 1811 UTC on 10 metres. I've received plenty of broadcast stations from South Africa before but this is the first amateur station I've heard from there.

Another noteworthy station was ED9M, in Ceuta, Spain. Ceuta is a city on the North African coast that is part of Spain. Never heard any stations of any sort from that place before. This was on 10 metres at 1756 UTC.

At 2135 UTC I received VP2MWG in Montserrat on 15 metres. Another new country, I think.

At 2146 on 15 metres, caught HC2SL in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I've heard amateur stations in Ecuador before, but they were all contest stations in the Galapagos. I think this is the first amateur station I've got from mainland Ecuador.

Amateur 10 Metre Beacon - N1FSX

Logged another amateur Morse code beacon on the 10 metre band today. N1FSX, Matheson, Colorado, USA at 2112 UTC on 28232 kHz with a weak but copyable signal.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Firedrake Jammer

Logged today: the Firedrake Jammer on 9905 kHz betweem 18:30 and 20:00 UTC with a good signal. No ID or talking, of course, just traditional Chinese music the entire time. The Firedrake Jammer is operated by the Chinese government to jam foreign broadcasts. It never identifies, and just plays traditional Chinese music all the time. I've logged it before and have heard recordings of it on the web, and so was able to identify it that way. It was probably operating on 9905 today to jam Radio Free Asia, which was scheduled to be on 9905 at this time. If you want to find out more about the Firedrake Jammer, follow the link provided above, or just google it - there are lots of pages on the web about it.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

2011 Worked All Europe RTTY Contest

I was logging stations today while participating in the 2011 Worked All Europe RTTY Contest. There were several interesting catches from outside of the U.S.A. and Canada:
  • UT0U, Ukraine, 21099 kHz, 1608 UTC.
  • OZ1ADL, Denmark, 21091 kHz, 1615 UTC.
  • F1RHS, France, 21088 kHz, 1620 UTC.
  • YL2CI, Latvia, 21086 kHz, 1625 UTC.
  • EA8URL, Canary Islands, Spain, 21100 kHz, 1646 UTC.
  • OM5M, Slovakia, 21115 kHz, 1654 UTC.
  • OH2BBT, Finland, 21126 kHz, 1710 UTC.
  • 5C5W, Morocco, 21083 kHz, 1714 UTC.
  • OF150M, Finland, 21085 kHz, 1717 UTC.
  • CO2AJ, Cuba, 21096 kHz, 1722 UTC.
  • OK1KSL, Czech Republic, 21088 kHz, 1726 UTC.
  • IW1QN, Italy, 21103 kHz, 1729 UTC.
  • XE3N, Mexico, 28115 kHz, 1847 UTC.
  • CO2CW, Cuba, 21090 kHz, 2119 UTC.