14 October 2013

on the road

As I mentioned on twitter (@cobaltpet) recently, I started a new set of mediumwave logs for northern hemisphere winter 2013-2014. I logged quite a lot at home already, but I've also been taking short nighttime road trips to identify additional stations. This gets my radio away from indoor and outdoor interference sources, and in a few cases, allows me to use topography to avoid the jamming static from AM HD broadcasts.

During one of the first road trips, I chose to park in a highway turnout along the Pacific Ocean. I had a few problems there:

• Overhead electrical wires
• Ocean noise
• Humidity
• Too close to the highway
• The area had a No Parking sign, and passing police stopped when they saw my parked vehicle

Two different policemen stopped to talk to me on two different nights in this spot. The first policeman was very friendly. He was older, wanted to make sure I didn't need assistance, and reminded me not to trespass by climbing down the unsafe hill. The second policeman was very different. He was younger, and made it clear that I must obey the No Parking sign. Since I didn't want to take chances with encountering an unfriendly policeman, and equally concerned with simply wasting their time, I decided to look elsewhere on Google Maps.

I looked for parking areas where other cars and other people might be around the middle of the night. As it turns out, the new spot I chose has a few bars nearby, so those are somewhat busy at night. Police cars periodically circle through the parking area, but everyone is there legally so there's typically no interaction.

The new area (which I will keep private) works great. It doesn't solve all of the problems with my previous location, but I'm not bothering anyone, and I'm able to get a much lower noise level on my radio than at home. I didn't get a lot of logging done during this first trip to my new outdoor dxing spot, but I logged a Mexican station on my last unlogged frequency with XEEBC on 730 kHz.

My winter 2013-2014 mediumwave logs will be published here sometime in 2014.

01 October 2013

beacons in the night

I recently took a nighttime excursion to a nearby city with my Eton E5. I was keen to escape my usual static-filled surroundings and collect some mediumwave logs. Mediumwave logging was a success, and I also explored frequencies below 500 kHz. I found four morse code beacons, three of them new loggings for me.

• 335: "CC" (Concord, CA; 36 mi)
• 344: "FCH" (Fresno, CA; 159 mi)
• 374: "LV" (Livermore, CA; 41 mi)
• 404: "MOG" (Montague, CA; 286 mi) (previously logged)

Source for exact frequencies and locations: LW Radio Beacons. That page lists 24 beacons in California, so I have plenty more work to do.