My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Slow Week

I am very happy with the performance of my new 128-foot Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna. I heard a lot of DX this past week, but only one new log entry: WSVS on 800 kHz transmitting 10,000 watts from Crewe, Virginia, 414 miles to the southwest at 2139Z on the 20th.

Receiver was the ICOM IC-R8600.

For what it’s worth, the main lobe of my LoG is approximately 105° and 285° according to the antenna’s theory.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Three Adds

UPDATED BELOW

Three new entries in the log – two AM and one FM – the two AM courtesy of my new 128-foot Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna.

WKBK
on 1290 kHz in Keene, New Hampshire, transmitting 5 kW, 97 miles to the north-northeast

WETB on 790 kHz in Johnson City, Tennessee, transmitting 72 watts, 626 miles to the southwest

WATR on 97.7 MHz. This is a new FM outlet for longtime AM station WATR, which is located two blocks from my parent’s home in Waterbury, Connecticut. They are in test mode for a few hours each day and I don’t know how much power they are running, nor their transmitter’s location. (I asked by email, but received no response.) Assuming they are transmitting from their AM transmitter site in Waterbury, they are 8 miles to the south-southwest.

Equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver for all three, 128-foot LoG antenna for the two AM stations and ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna for the FM station.

Update: WATR FM on 97.7 MHz is a translator for WATR AM (1320 kHz). Its callsign is W249DY and it is transmitting 250 watts from West Peak in Meriden, Connecticut, 7 miles line-of-sight to the southeast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Bigger LoG Antenna Addendum

Two things regarding the new 128-ft Loop on Ground antenna:

1. I forgot to mention that the signals from the new LoG antenna were so strong that my IC-R8600 receiver’s OVF (Overflow) indicator lit up tuning throughout the AM band indicating that an excessively strong signal was being received. To fix that, I turned the RF gain down from 90% to 84%.

2. For the isolation transformer, I used an inexpensive 300 to 75 ohm balun – the kind that often came with old VCRs and TVs that have F-connector inputs. I collected a few over the years and put one to good use. 

Bigger LoG Antenna


Yesterday was a rare 73℉ November day – perfect weather for antenna work. So I put down a 128-foot Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna to replace the 60-foot LoG that my lawn mower ate during the summer.

Over twice the size of the old LoG, I expected the new LoG to outperform the old LoG and I was not disappointed!

Tuesday evening, I tuned the whole AM band listening to each station I encountered, which I found on almost every channel from 530 to 1710 kHz. I switched between the LoG, an 80-meter dipole and a Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A vertical to compare reception of each station and in nearly all comparisons, the LoG outperformed the 80-meter dipole often by 5, 10 and even 20 dB according to the ICOM IC-R8600 receiver S-meter (the vertical was left in the dust). Worst case – in three comparisons, the LoG was only equal to the 80-meter dipole.

Whereas the old LoG was deaf on longwave, the new LoG outperformed the 80-meter dipole, the antenna I usually use on longwave. I even logged a new navigational beacon with the new LoG: HXO in Oxford/Huntsboro, North Carolina, transmitting 25 watts, 478 miles to the south-southwest.

I am very pleased with the new antenna and will take measures to keep it away from my lawn mower’s blades. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Absolutely Logged

Entered Absolute Radio in the log Monday evening. The UK rock station was playing “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette on 1215 kHz at 0026 UTC November 10 transmitting 125 kW from Brookmans Park* 3370 miles to the northeast. Receptors were my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A vertical antenna.

* Dunno for sure if I heard the Brookmans Park transmitter or one of their other 1215 kHz transmitters. I selected Brookmans Park because it was the first 1215 transmitter on Wikipedia’s AM transmission list.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

CJWW


Logged CJWW “Country 600”on 600 kHz Wednesday at 2326 UTC. Transmitting 8,000 watts from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1735 miles to the northwest. Heard with my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 80-meter dipole antenna.