Posts Tagged ‘loops’

BCB DX – Two New States

With the recent quieting of the geomagnetic field, resulting in K values of 0's and 1's, along with a positive-going DST value, the broadcast band on Wednesday and Thursday night was much more vibrant than it has been in several weeks.

Being located on the eastern shoreline of Mayne Island, the direction towards all of the U.S.A. is over many miles of saltwater, so my main interest is in domestic / U.S.A. DX.

Wednesday evening netted two new states on the BCB ... Kansas and Indiana, for states #27 and #28 respectively, both heard on the Perseus SDR and my 10' x 20' amplified loop.

KWOD, on 1660KHz, identifying as "The Business Channel", was logged during a short top-of-the-hour fade-up at 0600z (10PM local time). Their night power is listed as 1,000 watts while their day power is 10,000 watts.

KWOD - Kansas courtesy:

KWOD Towers courtesy

The transmitter site is located in the middle of a quiet residential district of older homes ... on all four sides.

I shudder to think what RFI problems those living in the adjacent homes must suffer when they are on daytime power!

WSLM - Indiana courtesy :

WSLM, on 1220KHz, was also logged at 0600z, during a two-minute fade-up and in the middle of the local weather report.

Interestingly, the station's night-power is listed as "82 watts", which, judging by the readability of their signal, was not the case. Perhaps the engineer just 'forgot' to switch from their daylight power of 5,000 watts!

Their phased antenna array puts their main lobes, due east and west, so evidently I was catching the northern edge of their pattern.


See what you can hear their during the short recording made of  the "Country WSLM" weather report

I have yet to check last night's recordings to see if conditions have held-up for two night's running ... more later if so.

House Number Four

It seems that if I'm not chasing down noisy power poles or hunting for drifting wireless headsets, both of which have tried their best to tax my 6m reception this past year, I spend several hours each year chasing down delinquent noise generators!

I spent yesterday afternoon searching the neighbourhood for the source of an annoying and disruptive 120Hz hum. Testing my patience for about a week now, the AC buzz has been ripping-into my usually quiet LF reception, disrupting efforts to participate in the latest CLE (189) listening event. Although conditions have been poor, as usually occurs during these events, the signal-shrouding AC hum has made the event a real struggle.

I had been hoping that, whatever the source of the suddenly-appearing interference was, it would disappear as quickly as it had arrived. I had first noticed it several weeks ago, but it would always go off around bedtime and often was not there at all in the evenings...but the past week it has been there 24/7.

Yesterday I had finally had enough and with Sony 2010 in hand, along with its built-in ferrite bar antenna, I tuned the radio to 630m and started walking around the neighbourhood.

The first thing I noticed was that the signal was being propagated along the overhead powerlines and it was difficult to get a direction of the true source...all nulls pointed to the closest line. Walking to the north, the signal gradually became weaker and reversing direction to the south produced an ever-increasing AC hum...progress! I eventually found a corner where the QRN peaked, and walking in all directions from that point saw the noise diminish...getting warmer!

There were four possible homes here that could be the cause of the problem. I spoke with three of the four homeowners, all of whom seemed genuinely concerned about the source. They all let me into their homes and, with radio in hand, look for the source of the (by now) loud buzz. None of the three homes seemed to furnish the nasty noisemaker.

House number four was unoccupied but was, I was told, up until about a week ago. Venturing on to the property, the S9 buzz started to climb and by the time I had reached the porch, the Sony was on the verge of self-implosion...getting very hot now! A knock on the door confirmed that nobody was home but...behind the curtain, there it was...a floor lamp was turned ON!!

With the source now located I could now breath a little easier but unfortunately could not hear any quieter. Hopefully the owners, who go back and forth to the mainland frequently, will return soon and that LF will once again sound as it should.

What could be screwed into that floor lamp? I'm betting on a poor-quality or about-to-fail CFL bulb.

The one on the left is the actual bulb that I removed from a crawlspace, about four years ago, three houses away. It had been creating the same sort of buzz, only louder, as it was much closer. It was not emitting any light whatsoever yet continued to generate noise as well as present a real fire hazard. The house occupants had left it switched 'on' in order to discourage the local otter population from making a winter home in their crawlspace. Somewhere along the line the bulb had failed and started generating large amounts of AC hum.

This one was tough to find, as even several blocks away, it was very loud. It seems that power lines make wonderful LF antennas. I had to make a map showing signal strengths at many locations to find the source... my neighbours have since given me a key to their house, just in case it happens again!

So...what do you think is in house number four?

Large Loop On The Broadcast Band

Those of you following my blog will know that I spent some time this fall designing and building a large rotatable loop for LF and MF (BCB) work. So far the loop has met my expectations and is working well. In spite of several strong storm blasts from the southeast (70-90km), the lightweight PVC frame has shown little desire to grab the wind and destroy itself. For anyone seeking a simple and inexpensive method of mounting a rotatable loop or Flag type of antenna, I believe this mounting system would be excellent.

Over the past few weeks I have logged several new catches on the BCB with three of the highlights shown below. The two stations on 530KHz are both from Cuba...Radio Rebelde at 1Kw (Gauntanamo) and Radio Enciclopedia at 10Kw (Villa Maria). Note how the propagation this night almost puts the two signals, from opposite ends of the island, on a level playing field.


At the other end of the band, the Caribbean Beacon on 1610, from The Valley, Anguilla, has been making regular appearances with a strong signal as well.

A nice domestic catch was one-kilowatt CJEU, Radio Jeunesse in Gatineau, Quebec, operating on 1670KHz.

With the recent surge in solar flaring, the band has not been its normal December self over the past few nights...hopefully the sun will calm down and things can return to normal soon.

DXing the broadcast band was one of my very first radio activities, starting around age eleven.
I vividly recall my excitement after catching WBZ-1030 in Boston, MA on my little 5 tube AC/DC radio and loose-coupled longwire. I had been hoping to catch an ID from them after listening for them for several Saturday nights! I even managed to get a QSL for my wall, similar to this one, shortly after the big event.

It's great getting back to my radio "roots" although DXing on the BCB has changed so much over the years, with fewer stations regularly identifying and no longer signing-off at midnight. Using the Perseus SDR has also made catching idents much easier, with the ability to record the entire band for hours at a time...or as long as one's hard-drive will allow.

Loop..Perseus..and CLE188

10' x 20' LF Loop

As is usually the case, conditions deteriorated rapidly as the CLE weekend approached. Conditions varied throughout North America as those listening from the south-eastern regions of the U.S. reported much better propagation than those further to the northwest. Friday night appeared to be the best of the lot but all three nights were very much less than stellar.

The three-night event produced a total of 39 NDBs, with a couple of surprises.

DD UTC    kHz     Call       mi   Location

22 05:00  370     YBV        1169 Berens River Apt, MB, CAN
22 06:59  370     OUN        1611 UoOk Westheimer Apt, OK, USA
22 05:00  371     YK         211  Yakima, WA, USA
23 09:00  371     PUR        1629 Marshall, MO, USA
22 05:00  371     ITU        558  Great Falls, MT, USA
22 05:00  371     GW         1946 Kuujjuarapik, QC, CAN
22 05:00  372     ZPA        824  Prince Albert, SK, CAN
22 05:00  372     YCO        1340 Coppermine, NU, CAN
22 05:12  372     FPN        675  Petersburg, ALS
22 07:00  373     TF         1191 Pueblo Mem Apt, CO, USA
22 05:00  373     MF         444  Table Rock, OR, USA
22 05:00  374     LV         776  Livermore, CA, USA
22 05:00  374     EX         190  Kelowna, BC, CAN
23 09:00  374     EE         1319 Forada, MN, USA
22 05:00  374     BOD        942  Bowman, ND, USA
24 09:59  375     PSN        1854 Palestine, TX, USA
22 05:00  375     FS         896  Fort Simpson, NT, CAN
22 10:59  375     DW         1629 Owasso, OK, USA
22 07:00  375     CP         900  Casper, WY, USA
22 05:00  375     BD         803  Moose Jaw, SK, CAN
22 07:00  376     ZIN        3326 Matthew Town, BAH
22 07:00  376     YAG        1345 Fort Frances, ON, CAN
22 13:59  376     PVQ        1690 Deadhorse, ALS
22 06:59  377     EHA        1350 Elkhart, KS, USA
23 06:59  378     ZFA        1000 Faro Municipal Apt, YT, CAN
22 05:00  378     OT         381  North Bend, OR, USA
22 10:59  379     ZEG        526  Edmonton Intl, AB, CAN
22 05:00  379     YBE        945  Uranium City, SK, CAN
23 12:59  379     IWW        1360 Kenai, ALS
22 09:00  380     OEL        1297 Oakley, KS, USA
22 05:00  380     GC         899  Gillette, WY, USA
22 05:00  382     YPW        86   Powell River, BC, CAN
22 05:00  382     YE         686  Fort Nelson, BC, CAN
22 12:59  382     JNR        1731 Unalakleet, ALS
22 12:00  382     GRN        1522 Guerro Negro, MEX
22 05:00  382     AW         75   Marysville, WA, USA
22 06:59  383     PI         658  Pocatello, ID, USA
22 05:20  383     CNP        1146 Chappell, NE, USA
22 05:00  384     3F         792  Ile-a-la-crosse, SK, CAN

This particular frequency range (370-384.9kHz) is a tough one for me, since my local pest signal, 'AP' is on 378kHz, smack in the middle of the listening range. 'AP's antenna is just .4 miles (2100') from my antenna and its signal is about 60db over S9.... Very loud!

AP to me...Courtesy:
The new 10' x 20' rotatable loop continues to work well. When pointed towards the east, it offers significant nulling of AP's signal and when carefully aligned to the deepest null-point, reduces the signal by almost 30db...but still leaves a very strong signal.

Using this 'deep null' position, I was (somewhat surprisingly) able to log another Canadian NDB (ZFA  Mayo Airprt, Yukon Territory) on the same frequency as AP. The ident-tone modulation frequencies are separated by 10Hz (408Hz vs 418Hz) which was enough to allow the very narrow ~3Hz Perseus filtering, combined with two notch filters, to reveal the 'ZFA' identifier between the 'AP' identifier. Listen for the weak 'ZFA' ident after the loud keying artifacts of 'AP', when they are transmitting just a steady tone.

The other surprise was the logging of 'PVQ' in Deadhorse, Alaska, way up on the extreme northern slope oil fields.

My last reception of this beacon was in March and conditions usually have to be very quiet, geomagnetically, to hear it at all. The coronal-hole streaming of this past weekend, putting the damper on LF propagation, makes this path very unlikely and surprising! See if you can hear the weak 'PVQ' identifier during its short appearance early on Saturday morning:

CLE organizer, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), reports 51 participants worldwide and over 2100 reception reports. All reports have been added to the RNA/REU beacon database.

As well, Brian will be publishing all results on the NDB Information page shortly.

All-in-all CLE188 was another enjoyable event....hopefully conditions will be better by this time next month and if you did not participate, maybe you will give it a try next time!

Perseus Deep Search

It's always interesting to use one of the many 'audio viewing' software programs, such as 'Argo', 'Spectran' or Spectrum Lab, driven with receiver audio, to dig deep into a section of the spectrum using very narrow bandwidths. The narrower the bandwidth becomes, the greater the signal-to-noise ratio, increasing sensitivity in effect. The use of digital signal processing software can create the extremely narrow milliHertz  filtering needed to view signals buried deep in the noise...the deeper the search (20db, 30db or more into the noise), the longer the time needed to build up the visual display of signals that would be far too weak to detect aurally.

Recently, rather than using Argo to view a slice of spectrum I set up the Perseus waterfall display to have a deep-look at 1240kHz. This is one of the broadcast-band's 'local' channels and one that BCB DXers refer to as a 'graveyard channel'. Almost all stations on the various graveyard frequencies run a maximum of 1kW day and night. According to the Medium Wave List, there are presently 166 stations in North America operating on of the reasons that 'DXing the graveyards' is so interesting.

With this in mind, I recently took a mid-afternoon listen. Just one station was audible to my ear, likely one of the stations to my south in Washington state. Centering Perseus on 1240kHz, the waterfall was set to display a ~50Hz slice of the spectrum...1240kHz +/- 25Hz. The screen below shows the display, ranging from 1239.976kHz to 1240.024kHz. After letting the waterfall visual display slowly build up, it revealed 26 separate carriers. The remaining signals, although propagating to my location, were too weak to be detected aurally.

26 midday carriers visible on 1240kHz
Checking the MWList once again, it shows only 11 stations to be within expected daylight groundwave distance from here...Washington, Oregon and B.C. Evidently there is some mid-afternoon skywave involved or I am seeing some extended groundwave from Idaho, Montana and California. MW List shows a total of 27 possible candidates, assuming extended groundwave, so it would seem that most of them are making it here in daylight.

Next I switched to an even narrower filter, at twice the previous resolution, visible on the top-half of the waterfall above. This displayed a ~25Hz spectrum slice, still centered on 1240kHz. Although finer resolution is evident, there appears to be no additional signals except for the three new arrivals slowly fading in at the right as sunset creeps closer.

The screen above was made approximately one hour after sunset (looping E-W) and shows the same 25Hz slice centered on 1240kHz. There are ~70 carriers visible by now, with most of them fading. Some transmitters appear to be rock-solid while most exhibit a cyclical drift, no doubt the result of some form of crystal temperature stability attempt. I'm guessing that the rock-solid ones are using more modern synthesizers for frequency generation.

Listening on 1240 during this period reveals a boiling cauldron of audio, mostly unreadable until one station fades-up and becomes intelligible for a short period before fading to be replaced by another. Sitting on this frequency at the top-of-hour identification time can often catch a few idents with careful listening.

Even comparatively empty 540kHz reveals 22 different carriers, the only audible one being CBK in Watrous, Saskatchewan, the brighter trace at 540.002kHz. The one at the right looks as if it may have just come on the air for the evening. It's possible that many of these are low powered traffic information stations (TIS) running at 10 watts.

New Loop, Perseus and CLE187 Results

The weekend CLE event described in an earlier blogpost provided the first real opportunity to put my new LF loop to the test. Actually, it has already passed the most important test...surviving a large 60+ mph windstorm, while I was away on a short vacation. Unfortunately, a 60' Douglas Fir, just a few feet from the loop, blew completely down...thankfully, over the bank, in the other direction. Cleaning it up will take a few weeks but should provide some good firewood as well as exercise.

Before leaving, I tied the end arms of the loop down just in case it might get windy, but it seems that the light PVC frame does not produce the same windage as my large wooden 10' loop frame.

Beacons logged over the three-night event:

2014-10-25 0600 198 DIW Dixon, NC
2014-10-25 1100 205 XZ Wawa, ON
2014-10-25 1100 209 IB Atikokan, ON
2014-10-25 1100 212 YGX Gillam, MB
2014-10-26 0700 215 AT Watertown, SD
2014-10-25 0600 216 CLB Willmington, NC
2014-10-25 1100 233 QN Nakina, ON
2014-10-26 0700 233 BWP Brekenridge, ND
2014-10-25 1100 242 EL El Paso, TX
2014-10-25 0700 245 YZE Gore Bay, ON
2014-10-26 0700 245 FS Siuox Falls, SD
2014-10-27 1230 248 GLA Gulkana, AK
2014-10-25 1330 251 OSE Bethel, AK
2014-10-26 0700 251 AM Amarillo, TX
2014-10-26 0700 253 GB Marshall, MN
2014-10-25 1100 254 EV Inuvik, NT
2014-10-26 0700 256 TQK Scott City, KS
2014-10-26 0700 257 SAZ Staples, MN
2014-10-25 1100 258 ZSJ Sandy Lake, ON
2014-10-26 0700 260 AVZ Terrell, TX
2014-10-26 0700 263 ZQT Thunder Bay, ON
2014-10-25 0700 264 ZPB Sachigo Lake, ON
2014-10-25 1330 270 FA Apia, SMO
2014-10-26 0600 272 GP Grand Rapids, MN
2014-10-27 0700 272 LD Lubbock, TX
2014-10-27 0800 272 GLS Galapagos, GAL
2014-10-26 0700 274 RG Red Wing, MN
2014-10-27 1330 275 CZF Cape Romanzof, AK
2014-10-26 0700 276 YEL Elliot Lake, ON
2014-10-26 1232 277 ACE Homer, AK
2014-10-25 1100 278 NM Matagami, QC
2014-10-25 1300 281 CRN Sparrevohn, AK
2014-10-26 0700 282 ROS Rush City, MN
2014-10-27 1330 283 DUT Dutch Harbor, AK
2014-10-25 1100 300 YIV Island Lake, MB
2014-10-25 1000 305 YQ Churchill, MB
2014-10-26 0700 323 HJH Hebron, NE
2014-10-25 0600 326 MA Midland, TX
2014-10-26 0700 326 FO Topeka, KS
2014-10-26 0700 326 LTU Spencer, IA
2014-10-25 1330 327 VYI Kahului, HI
2014-10-26 0700 327 JMR Mora, MN
2014-10-26 0700 329 YEK Arviat, NU
2014-10-26 0700 330 PWC Pine River, MN
2014-10-25 1330 332 POA Pahoa, HI
2014-10-26 0700 332 FIS Key West, FL
2014-10-25 0600 335 YLD Chapleau, ON
2014-10-26 0700 337 FF Fergus Falls, MN
2014-10-26 1232 338 CMQ Campbell Lake, AK
2014-10-26 1232 338 RYN Tucson, AZ
2014-10-26 0700 340 YY Mont Joli, QC
2014-10-25 1300 341 ELF Cold Bay, AK
2014-10-26 0700 341 OIN Oberlin, KS
2014-10-26 0800 344 ZIY Georgetown, CYM
2014-10-25 0600 346 YXL Sioux Lookout, ON
2014-10-25 0600 346 YKQ Waskaganish, ON
2014-10-25 1300 346 OLT Soldotna, AK
2014-10-26 0700 347 YK Yankton, SD
2014-10-25 1100 350 RG Oklahoma City, OK
2014-10-25 1200 350 VTR McGrath, AK
2014-10-25 1330 353 LLD Lanai, HI
2014-10-26 0700 353 IN International Falls, MN
2014-10-25 0600 355 YWP Webequie, ON
2014-10-26 1300 355 AUB King Salmon, AK
2014-10-25 1000 356 ODX Ord, NE
2014-10-27 1230 359 ANI Aniak, AK
2014-10-25 0600 360 SW Warroad, MN
2014-10-25 0500 362 YZS Coral Harbor, NU
2014-10-25 0500 365 HQG Hugoton, KS
2014-10-25 0500 365 PAL Palma, EQA
2014-10-25 0600 366 YMW Maniwaki, QC
2014-10-25 1300 366 PNI Pohnpei, FSM
2014-10-26 0700 368 PNM Princeton, MN
2014-10-26 0700 368 PHG Phillipsburg, KS
2014-10-25 0600 370 OUN Norman, OK
2014-10-25 1100 371 GW Kuujjuarapik, QC
2014-10-26 0700 371 MD Bemidji, MN
2014-10-25 1330 373 HHI Wahiawa, HI
2014-10-26 0700 374 EE Alexandria, MN
2014-10-25 1100 376 YAG Fort Frances, ON
2014-10-26 0700 376 ZIN Matthew Town, BAH
2014-10-26 0700 377 EHA Elkhart, KS
2014-10-25 1300 379 IWW Kenai, AK
2014-10-26 0700 379 OW Owatonna, MN
2014-10-26 0700 380 OEL Oakley, KS
2014-10-26 0700 380 BBD Brady, TX
2014-10-26 1000 380 UCY Cayajabos, CUB
2014-10-26 0700 382 YPL Pickle Lake, ON
2014-10-27 1330 382 JNR Unalkleet, AK
2014-10-25 1330 385 EHM Cape Newenham, AK
2014-10-26 0700 385 JD Belleville, IL
2014-10-25 0700 388 AM Tampa, FL
2014-10-26 0700 389 EN Kenosha, WI
2014-10-27 0700 389 CSB Cambridge, NE
2014-10-25 0600 390 HBT Borland, AK
2014-10-25 1000 391 DDP San Juan, PTR
2014-10-25 1300 392 AGZ Wagner, SD
2014-10-26 0700 392 ML Charlevoix, QC
2014-10-26 0700 392 AGZ Wagner, SD
2014-10-25 1330 393 UKS Kosrae Island, FSM
2014-10-26 0700 393 2M Opapimiskan Lake, ON
2014-10-27 1330 393 TOG Togiak, AK
2014-10-25 1100 395 RWO Kodiak, AK
2014-10-26 0700 395 ULS Ulysses, KS
2014-10-25 0600 396 YPH Inukjuak, QC
2014-10-26 0700 397 CIR Cairo, IL
2014-10-25 1100 399 ZHD Dryden, ON
2014-10-27 1330 399 SRI St. George, AK
2014-10-26 0700 400 PPI St. Paul, MN
2014-10-27 0700 400 AI Ardmore, OK
2014-10-25 0700 401 YPO Peawanuck, ON
2014-10-26 0700 407 ZHU Montreal, QC
2014-10-26 0700 407 OOC Natchitoches, LA
2014-10-27 0700 407 AQ Appleton, WI
2014-10-26 0700 408 JDM Colby, KS
2014-10-26 0700 410 DAO Fort Huachuca, AZ
2014-10-25 1300 411 ILI Iliama, AK
2014-10-26 0700 411 SDA Shenandoah, IA
2014-10-26 0700 412 CMY Sparta, WI
2014-10-26 0800 412 BWR Alpine, TX
2014-10-25 1100 413 YHD Dryden, ON
2014-10-26 0700 414 SU Sioux City, IA
2014-10-26 0700 414 MSD Mansfield, LA
2014-10-25 0600 415 CBC Cayman Brac, CYM
2014-10-26 0700 416 LB North Platte, NE
2014-10-25 1000 417 IY Charles City, IA
2014-10-26 0700 418 CW Lake Charles, LA
2014-10-26 0700 419 RYS Detroit, MI
2014-10-26 0700 420 FQ Fairmont, MN
2014-10-25 1100 421 VLY McKinney, TX
2014-10-26 0700 422 EA Kearney, NE
2014-10-25 1000 428 POH Pochahontas, IA
2014-10-25 1000 434 SLB Storm Lake, IA
2014-10-25 1000 512 HMY Lexington, OK
2014-10-26 0700 515 PN Ponca City, OK
2014-10-26 0700 516 YWA Petewawa, ONT
2014-10-25 1000 521 ORC Orange City, IA
2014-10-25 0800 525 ICW Nenana, AK


2014-10-27 1300 200 5M Sparwood, BC
2014-10-27 1300 200 YJ Victoria, BC
2014-10-27 1300 203 YBL Campbell River, BC
2014-10-27 1300 203 ZKI Kitimat, BC
2014-10-27 1300 206 EF Castlegar, BC
2014-10-27 1300 214 LU Abbotsford, BC
2014-10-27 1300 218 PR Prince Rupert, BC
2014-10-27 1300 223 YKA Kamloops, BC
2014-10-27 1300 227 CG Castlegar, BC
2014-10-27 1300 230 YD Smithers, BC
2014-10-27 1300 236 YZA Ashcroft, BC
2014-10-27 1300 242 XC Cranbrook, BC
2014-10-27 1300 242 ZT Port Hardy, BC
2014-10-27 1300 246 ZXJ Fort St. John, BC
2014-10-27 1300 248 ZZP Sandspit, BC
2014-10-27 1300 250 2J Grand Forks, BC
2014-10-27 1300 251 YCD Nanaimo, BC
2014-10-27 1300 257 LW Kelowna, NC
2014-10-27 1300 260 YSQ Atlin, BC
2014-10-27 1300 260 ZXS Prince George, BC
2014-10-27 1300 261 D6 Fairmont Hot Springs, BC
2014-10-27 1300 266 VR Vancouver, BC
2014-10-27 1300 269 YK Castlegar, BC
2014-10-27 1300 272 XS Prince George, BC
2014-10-27 1300 278 1U Masset, BC
2014-10-27 1300 290 YYF Penticton, BC
2014-10-27 1300 293 MB Victoria, BC
2014-10-27 1300 312 UNT Naramata, BC
2014-10-27 1300 325 YJQ Bella Bella, BC
2014-10-27 1300 326 DC Princeton, BC
2014-10-27 1300 326 XJ Fort St. John, BC
2014-10-27 1300 332 WC White Rock, BC
2014-10-27 1300 332 XT Terrace, BC
2014-10-27 1300 344 XX Abbotsford, BC
2014-10-27 1300 346 N9 Tumbler Ridge, BC
2014-10-27 1300 350 NY Enderby, BC
2014-10-27 1300 356 ON Penticton, BC
2014-10-27 1300 359 YQZ Quesnel, BC
2014-10-27 1300 364 4D Helmet, BC
2014-10-27 1300 368 SX Cranbrook, BC
2014-10-27 1300 368 ZP Sandspit, BC
2014-10-27 1300 368 ZVR Vancouver, BC
2014-10-27 1300 374 EX Kelowna, BC
2014-10-27 1300 378 AP Mayne Island, BC
2014-10-27 1300 382 YE Fort Nelson, BC
2014-10-27 1300 382 YPW Powell River, BC
2014-10-27 1300 385 WL Williams Lke, BC
2014-10-27 1300 389 YWB Kelowna, BC
2014-10-27 1300 391 TK Smithers, BC
2014-10-27 1300 394 DQ Dawson Creek, BC
2014-10-27 1300 400 QQ Comox, BC
2014-10-27 1300 414 YZK Kamloops, BC

Not heard:

UAB - 200 (probably on but hvy QRM)
YDL - 200 (probably on but hvy QRM)
M9 - 240
HE - 245
V6 - 280
2U - 284
3G - 330
B3 - 335
YAZ - 359
Highlights of the log include beacons from the Galapagos Islands (GLS-272kHz), Samoa (FA-270kHz), Cayman Islands (ZIY-344kHz), Guayas, Ecuador (PAL-365kHz), Pohnpei, Micronesia (PNI-366kHz), Matthew Town, Bahamas (ZIN-376kHz), Cayajabos, Cuba (UCY-380kHz), Kosrae Island, Micronesia (UKS-393kHz), two new Hawaiians and numerous first-time North American catches.
Needless to say, I am pleased with the way the new loop is performing. The loop and preamp appear to provide a measurable improvement in overall S/N compared with my large LF inverted 'L'. All listening was done using the Perseus SDR.

Loop Listen

As Murphy would have it, and in spite of the low amount of solar activity, LF/MF propagation has been very poor since getting my new 10' x 20' loop in place. The few front-to-side nulling checks that I have done, have produced results varying from around 20db to 30db, depending upon the signal. I suspect the depth of null is also affected by the signal's arrival angle but there is still more to learn. The pattern seems to be very close to that of a typical circular loop...the classic figure-8 pattern illustrated below as shown on the Wellbrook data that came with my ALA100LN preamp.


More typically, the null is around 21-22 db as shown on this test while listening to the ground wave carrier of the YZA ndb (236kHz) located in Ashcroft, B.C., about 150 miles to the NE. As expected, the null is fairly sharp and the front / rear lobe, fairly broad.

One short check at dusk, produced nice signals from  CJBC, the French-language station in Toronto. The past few nights it has been very strong but with a strong echo effect. I wonder if there is more than one CBC outlet here (860kHz), such as a low-power repeater, causing the echo.

At the same time, while still fairly light outside, WCCO in Minneapolis had a nice signal just before sunset.

No matter how poor conditions become, it seems that the Hinchinbrook (Alaska) ndb, 'ALJ' (233kHz), is always strong....looping north.

My apologies for the video quality. If you know of any software available for making full-screen Perseus video captures so that I might improve my technique, please let me know. Presently I am just capturing them on my I-Pad which leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Hopefully conditions will only get better as the season progresses and I am able to give the loop a good workout....before it gets too windy!

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