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Author Topic: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine  (Read 224 times)

Offline NQC

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Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« on: June 06, 2021, 1332 UTC »
Hey All,

 Yesterday I took a day trip to Wells ,on the coast of Maine.

Logged on the car radio at a HUGE salt marsh ,1830 UTC.

570 WMCA Nada, M.I.A.
710 WOR barely any audio
770 WABC barely any audio
880 WCBS barely any audio
660 WFAN barely any audio , maybe a TAD better, up and down in slow QSB.   ( FWIW, 710,770, and 880 couldn't even "find  the ambition" to  give me any QSB :)))

A bit of an education: Despite  being at the  marsh  there was no salt advantage  . The   NYC to Maine  bearing was  nearly ALL over a land path of high loss New England granite. It was nice to find out where the  "dependable" NYC day timers (listed above)  almost completely run out of gas. So being 78 miles north of my normal Boston QTH caused even the BIG New Yorkers to pretty much  find the  end of their string.  MAYBE they would have been  a" bit more  usable" on a BIG antenna, but.....

1010 WCNL Newport ,NH ,at around 110 mi ,mostly barely any audio, but up and down a bit  like 'FAN. Bizarre transmitter - 10 Kw daytime into a 62 ft (!) antenna (  essentially a "dummy load")
1600 WUNR Boston barely any audio, despite 20 kw at 78 miles, but I was mostly out of pattern.
740 WJIB Cambridge, MA, 250 watts into  omni 1/8 wave, mostly barely any audio. Interesting to deliver the same as 'UNR.
730 WJTO Bath ,Maine, 1 Kw omni, 65 Mi ,mostly salt path.Loud and clear. JTO is net control /program origin station for JIB and others around New England.

So , some really cool and interesting very weak signal  daytime work.Fun.


(Also on 150 Kc- ATS 803a:  Surprised  no QRN crashes copied  despite lightning within 100 to 150 Mi to West . So I'm also finding out how a  barefoot (no outboard  loop) ATS  may  on work on LW or BCB. . A sensitive rig , but with a short ferrite bar). The 803 got no  NYC BCB  at all.

Other activities were: beach ( 52 deg water WAY too cold, could only wade up to ankles  :o) seafood, shopping/ flea market with the Mrs. (got a few cool goodies ) ,  cool breezy ride on a  nicely restored antique  trolley at trolley museum,  walk  in pine forest ,countryside driving, etc.

Wx was around 80,humid  and mostly sunny. At times good flows of very cool air off ocean  suddenly gave nice refreshment. At other times , flow would shut down and it got quite warm.  Later on , well after  the ATS  150 Kc LW session, visually  interesting thunderstorms (with infrequent lightning)  built up  to the our distant   West (around  the Lake Winnipesaukee area of NH  and  Northward toward   MT Washington ,NH   ), but we got home before they drifted into the Boston area.

Overall , a GREAT day, felt good to get out and actually be able to DO things.

K
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 1358 UTC by NQC »
Station main receiver : Bed springs to  blue razor blade detector to 2000 ohm cans to steam  radiator. Grid FN 42

Offline Ct Yankee

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Re: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2021, 1446 UTC »

You probably would have had more success driving one town north to Kennebunkport and trying from the shores of the summer White House  8).  Sounds like you had a nice adventure, Wells is lovely.  Much like Maine, I have learned the water never really breaks 60 degrees in the San Francisco Bay.  Another daytime try from Wells, ME (or even Boston) might be 50,000 watt 1500 am WFED Washington, DC (especially if there is no local on the frequency). The signal would only have to cross Rhode Island as oppose to all of New England for NYC stations.  I receive WFED at home significantly before sunset, it will overtake a local Connecticut station 30 miles to my southwest.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 1753 UTC by Ct Yankee »
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Offline NQC

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Re: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2021, 2338 UTC »
Hey Yankee.

Interesting re FED.Not sure if /when going to Wells again this summer.

Next stop may be Cuttyhunk Island where the dx just simply ROARS in , especially at night.

One exception though , last time on the island I did try for WBAL during day time using Panasonic Rx 840 (which has a kickin’  AM section), but no luck.No BFO on that rig , so unsure if there could have been a beat  note or not. But no hint at all  in AM mode.

Maybe a better path to FED compared to BAL.

I will put in the “ try for” notes, we’ll  see.

K
Station main receiver : Bed springs to  blue razor blade detector to 2000 ohm cans to steam  radiator. Grid FN 42

Offline ThaDood

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Hey NQC!!!! Anyway, you could drop a GND lead wire right into the salt water for ultimate GND'ing? I did that with fresh water, by pounding a GND array right into the Genesee River. That really made our SW  RX more sensitive. I miss having that. My GND here in WV just sucks.
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Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 0135 UTC »
x2 on the grounding,  although somewhat impractical on a car radio
However, if you are taking along a portable on a mini-DXpedition, consider a provision for grounding.
It will greatly improve performance on LW and MW.
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Offline RobRich

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Re: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 1334 UTC »
The car radio is grounded to the frame in a negative ground automotive system, so even a wire with an alligator clip to the frame somewhere probably would suffice for a ground radial.

Likewise for the car antenna assuming it is exposed metal. Use a wire with an alligator clip to extend the length, or a ring connector with a wire if you have to unscrew a coated or painted antenna.
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Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2021, 2139 UTC »
The car radio is grounded to the frame in a negative ground automotive system, so even a wire with an alligator clip to the frame somewhere probably would suffice for a ground radial.


That would probably help if your car is parked.  My concern was how to ground a vehicle in motion.  :-\
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Offline NQC

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Re: Dxpedition to Wells, Maine
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 1015 UTC »
Hey All,

Good to hear from everyone.

Dood, I am sure you already know this but in areas of poor ground conductivity multiple rods , buried radials or 6 or 10 ft elevated counterpoise(s)-OR- 3" or 4 " deep   buried counterpoises , flat top/cage antennas etc ,could be useful to try.Much re antennas and grounds winds up being experimental.

Also dipole antennas MAY  prove as a alternative to  property that has   poor grounding opportunities  . Admittedly this is  MUCH more of an option on HF than on MW though.

 I have played  a lot with high elevated  antennas (some   at over  600 ft above the street !) .Now  I'd  love   to try any number of  "near ,on or in Earth RF  systems": Ie Earth rods as antenna, especially at V/ULF, Earth  telegraphy  ,as  well as radials /counterpoises,on ground or  buried antennas.I do as much as I can under the circumstances.I have in the past successfully used  deciduous trees for VLF lightning/whistler reception, if that "counts" as a "Earth system". FWIW, pine trees don't work.

A times I really like to "limbo LOW" and have used the HFU SDR's for sferic work  way down  to as low as  TWO Kc.(Tnx Chris).

I have had times were a ground helps and other times when it almost completely kills reception, especially with certain very high Q circuits  on MW or with "high"  Q circuits  on HF. Experiences are going to be different for various  situations.

FWIW, My most extreme ground was 500 ft of bare copper laid into the sea for reception of SAQ Sweden on 17.2 Kc.Ant.was  2000 ft field telephone  wire  laid along sand  dune base, Rcvr Icom  R-70 on battery. 

Since  the downsizing of my "serious" ham gear( Icom, Motorola, et al ), most of my rigs have no ground terminal.I have tried the negative terminal of the battery as a substitute, it usually didn’t do much of anything.

When I go on dxpedition having things quick, simple , low profile and safe is important.
 
Throwing a thin wire up into a branch or setting up a stand alone loop is one thing.But rods , radials , etc become it bit more difficult, even if they could definitely help reception.

Usually I have to share my space with other users ,so I like to be as subtle as possible.







K

« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 1154 UTC by NQC »
Station main receiver : Bed springs to  blue razor blade detector to 2000 ohm cans to steam  radiator. Grid FN 42