Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E
KONG15 - October 13 to 25, 2006
Arnstein Bue, Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Tore Johnny Brĺtveit
Arnstein: Etón E1, 3 x Icom IC-R75, 2 x JRC NRD-525
Bjarne: 2 x Icom IC-746Pro, Icom IC-703, Icom IC-7000, Etón E1, JRC NRD-525
OJS: AOR AR7030+, Etón E1, R&S EK895, WJ HF-1000A, WJ-8712P
Tore Johnny: 4 x Icom IC-R75
Updated log: 8-APR-2007
----- 25-OCT-2006 -----
15:00 UTC: KONG15 is History, KONG16 is delayed.
Arnstein and TJ started dismantling their radio equipment after the 0500 UTC full hour, last catches were WAYY-WI 790 and WLOL-MN 1330 respectively. Otherwise the night was uneventful, but we experienced good reception from Australian X-band stations yesterday afternoon. They left with the 07 UTC plane.
KONG15 not only is history, but has made history by the large number of New Zealand and Australian MW stations logged. KONG15 has moved the limits of what is possible to hear from the Pacific in Northern Scandinavia beyond what anyone could imagine. It will be interesting to see if KONG16 can match, or perhaps even surpass the results from KONG15. Countries like Micronesia and Wallis & Futuna are still not heard here...
Speaking of KONG16, Tore Nilsen and Torgeir Woxen should be here at 11 UTC but flight cancellations due to weather in other parts of Norway have delayed their arrival, and they won't be here until 20 UTC at the earliest.
----- 24-OCT-2006 -----
08:00 UTC: The night wasn't exciting at all. I spent quite a bit of time on 1480, listening to WHBC-OH which had a good signal for more than an hour. They have a very nice Oldies format which brought back many memories...
As twilight came, and passed into daylight conditions changed, for a period we heard just about everything from everywhere; from Newfoundland to Washington to Alaska, to Venezuela/Colombia and possibly Argentina too, on the same antenna. Later on the southern US states and Mexico came through well, such as KKOH-NV 780, XESJ-Saltillo 1250 and one "Radio Uno, 640" suggesting either XEHHI or XEYQ.
At around 0730 most signals faded away, but we expect conditions to improve shortly.
----- 23-OCT-2006 -----
21:00 UTC: Quite a few nice periods towards the west coast during the day, mentioning KMED-OR 1440, KGOE-CA 1480, and KUBA-CA and KGST-CA on 1600 during the day. Good signals during the NHK2 ID at 1320. At the time of writing CFFB-NT 1230 has a strong signal - hoping for a good night!
07:30 UTC: The effects of the Coronal Hole seem to have gone, as we are now back into real DX-ing. Nothing exciting during the first part of the night, but around 02:45 UTC we noticed La Plata stations fading up; Monte Carlo 930 and Atlantica 760 to name a few, later on mostly Brazil with superb signals from 1360, 1560 and others. Mostly North America from 0430 onwards, KKGM-TX 1630 first out. Westerly oriented conditions including a lot of Mexicans, KLIN-NE and KENT-UT 1400 (the latter new on the air), and CBKD-AB 1560 (low-power CBX-relay). Weak signals as per posting, but we know that things can change quickly here. We're back in business!
----- 22-OCT-2006 -----
07:30 UTC: The very delayed arrival of the coronal distubance made us think that we might get past it. We did not... 4QN-630 and 4QD-1550 came up with excellent signals last afternoon, but then the conditions pulled back and we were left with India and the Middle-East in the band.
Not a big problem though. The entire crew was quite exhausted, and we had some first class reindeer sirloin to consume. More about this in Bjarne's blog - http://arcticdx.blogspot.com/.
During the night little was heard. A short period some Latin American stations were up, but nothing overly exciting. OJ is packing his gear and leaving today. Arnstein and TJ leave on Wednesday - when the KONG16 participants arrive.
----- 21-OCT-2006 -----
14:30 UTC: We have been waiting and waiting for the effect of the forecasted corona hole disturbance and think we hit into something this morning, after a quite good night. Details will follow, but right now we have in-band Australians with excellent signals, so we have to go...
----- 20-OCT-2006 -----
16:00 UTC: As I started to write this KTWG Hagatna, Guam is thundering in on my radio on 801 kHz AM. S9+... The New Zealand stations on 1008, 1035, 1080 and 1296 are still on - 4 hours after they came up. The new confirmed loggings today were 1ZH News-Talk ZB 1296 and another News-Talk ZB on 1503 - not listed, but with a clear ID.
As I am writing this at the end we are all listening to the newest catch, 1YA National Radio on 756 kHz. As you can understand, there is not much rest to be had...
We forgot to mention that we had reasonable conditions towards North America all through the night and before noon, so we haven't slept much. Now we are off to lutefiskaften. Life's hard! Jau jau ...
14:00 UTC: Just a short notice to say that this has been another good day on KONG15. Some Australian stations heard, but most interesting were more new New Zealand stations, mentioning 1296 and 1503. We also have several other interesting loggings that need some checking before publishing.
OJ's concern about not hearing Fiji
disappeared. Fiji popped up around 09:00 UTC, but with a weak signal. However,
it improved and improved in quality and 5 hours later it dominated its
frequencies on 639, 684 and 1152 competely!
----- 19-OCT-2006 -----
19:00 UTC: Forgot to tell that we had Guam on 567, 612 and 801 as well...
Also adding KBCR-CO 1230 to the log from this morning.
15:00 UTC: Just to mention that we got a good round of Australians today as well. 4QN-630 with a huge signal - and the only audible station on the frequency in periods!
14:00 UTC: What a day... again!!!
At 12:00 UTC OJ asked Bjarne (just for fun): "How was it that you listened for the New Zealand stations"? Bjarne was very helpful and explained OJ how to pick the 30° or 58° antenna, tune to 1035 and listen for English. Very happy with this excellent advise OJ picked the 30° antenna, tuned to 1035 and heard his first New Zealand station. Just like that!!!
What's more fun was that the signal on 1035 got really good the next hour, and we heard Newstalk ZB on 1080 kHz as well. The new station on the block was 2YB Access Radio in Wellington that ran BBC WS but had a local ID on the hour. In addition we had 1XOR Radio Tarana, Auckland on 1386. A few other frequencies had "the right" English as well so be not surprised if more loggings come up!
BTW: We are currently enjoying very nice signals from Hawaii.
11:00 UTC: Very little heard during the night and the conditions only picked up around 05:00 UTC. Very spread from far east to far west of North America. Mostly known stuff, but a few nice surprises, such as KCBS-CA 740 and KVOC-WY 1230. We also had a nice signal from Tahiti 738 and V7AB Marshall Islands on 1098, but not much more from the Pacific.
We are expecting a solar disturbance the next 24 hours. The big question is when! The other big question is whether we will have any luck with the stations down under today...
----- 18-OCT-2006 -----
16:00 UTC: Well, well, well (or the famous jau, jau)! What a day!!!
After the morning peak there was a 3h00 dip before conditions picked up again and we had a good 3h00 towards the west coast of the US and Canada. Noting KPAM-OR 860 and KUJ-WA 1420.
At the end of the good conditions towards North America certain English speaking stations started to pop up on EU frequencies. We had yesterday's 4QN-630 fresh in mind and started to check the "expected" Australian frequencies. Soon we could forget the lists and just tune for the wonderful Australian accent... Unconfirmed logs note 2x531, 576 (very strong), 630 (very strong), 684, 702 (very strong), 792, 855 (very strong), 990, 1233, 1503, 1512 and 1548 (with a signal strength out of this world!).
We are prepared...
For supper we had fresh tuna rolled in ashes of leek and then half-fried as high temperature (raw in the middle), served with rucola and an excellent red burgundy wine, "La Daligničre" (2004) from Les Caves des Hautes-Cotes. Bon!
08:00 UTC: Very nice morning from 03:00 to 06:00 UTC. The EU stations were very weak, and most frequencies swarmed with stations. Some of the morning's catches were KNML-NM 610, WVHI-IL, WTRX-MI and WHBL-WI 1330. WOAM-IL 1350
----- 17-OCT-2006 -----
16:00 UTC: Continuation? Yes... indeed - and jau jau!
Last night was not very exciting, and things started to change only in the morning. However, since then we have had a steady improvement. Sample loggings are WTDW-MI 1310, KANN-UT 1120; later both KELK-NV and KDLR-ND on 1240. Quite good conditions up until 1200 UTC with KKPZ-OR 1330 and strong signals from most Hawaiian stations, Fiji and Marshall Islands (1098).
Then - at about 15:00 UTC the Australian X-band stations came very well, accompanied by 4QD-1548 as expected, but suprisingly 4QN-630 as well. We are still chasing Australia, but are left with Philippine stations so far... but we don't expect it to be over yet!
Another King Crab meal later today, this time with fresh white bread, mayonnese and whatever we have laying around.
----- 16-OCT-2006 -----
17:00 UTC: Continuation? Yes... indeed. Despite a fairly modest (honestly: lousy) afternoon we suddenly discovered English on certain frequencies. ABC was heard on 1161 as well as 5AA on 1395. Jau jau...
09:30 UTC: Last night was uneventful, and we slept well after a great meal (King Crab Carbonara). Around 05:00 UTC some stations began to pop up here and there, and we have been listening since then. Not many very interesting stations, but a few new ones for all of us. We take this as a welcome sign of improved condtions and are looking forward to the continuation!
Photos of Arnstein (left) and Tore Johnny (right) in action below:
----- 15-OCT-2006 -----
16:30 UTC: The conditions are probably improving... During the day there were flashes of 5-10 minutes where some stations surfaced. One of them was KCMX-880. Some Hawaiian and Japanese stations came fairly well in the afternoon, followed by some Philippine stations and 4QD on 1548. We are preparing King Crab - hoping for a more eventful night!
The weather is bad... gale force wind, 2°C and rain!
09:00 UTC: With conditions going from bad to worse we don't have a lot to report. Excellent signal from Metro Plus in Hong Kong last afternoon + a few stations from the Philippines. During the night and morning there were few and short "openings" towards North America - but only with common stations.
----- 14-OCT-2006 -----
06:30 UTC: The night was under the solar spell - but we had a fairly good period from 00:00 to 03:00 UTC, then a drastic slowdown, before the conditions picked up again around 05:00 UTC. Very varying conditions with e.g. CINF Montreal and XETRA Tijuana switching on 690. Many of the common west coast dominants were not audible at all! Best logging this morning was KERI-1180. CFXE-970 was also appreciated as it is soon leaving the band.
K-index has been at the 4 level for the last 24 hours - and we can feel it... as we write this there are very few stations in the band.
----- 13-OCT-2006 -----
18:00 UTC: The team arrived 12:00 UTC and installed the equipment. Conditions were not very good, only few Alaskan stations and the common Japanese stations heard. However, we are hoping for a quick recovery!