Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E
KONG16 - October 25 to November 2, 2006
Bjarne Mjelde, Torgeir Woxen (rookie), Tore Nilsen
Bjarne: 2 x Icom IC-746Pro, Icom IC-703, Icom IC-7000, Etón E1, JRC NRD-525
Tore: 2 x AOR AR7030
Torgeir: AOR AR7030, Icom IC-R75
----- 3-NOV-2006 -----
17:00 UTC: KONG16 is history. Bjarne is in Reykjavik and Tore and Torgeir are safely back in Hamar and Oslo. The last two days dod not yield that much exciting stuff. On 1-NOV Norath America was heard from 00:00 UTC until 13:00 UTC in the afternoon - one station to mention is WHLX-MI 1590. Few New Zealand were also heard, but only for a short period and with a weak signal.
On 2-NOV there was little during the night, but in the morning western conditions, pulling back to the mid-west, mentioning KHNC-CO 1360. Some action on 1590 and 1600 this morning as well.
----- 31-OCT-2006 -----
14:00 UTC: An interesting day! Not too much during the night, but some nice signals in the morning, KBSN-WA 1470, KSWB-OR 840 and KXMG-OR 1150 to name a few, also heard CJRJ Vancouver BC 1200 testing with indian music (also heard yesterday).
Tahiti heard 0730; Tonga, Marshall Islands, Fiji surfaced around 0900, then from 1000 to 1200 strange things happened on the upper part of MW: First, the 100 watt NHK1 stations dominated 1584 and actually gave call IDs at 1000 UTC (probably one or more Hokkaido stations), at 1100 JOHS Rumoi, another 100 watt station gave 300,000 watt Family Radio, Taiwan stiff competition, nice HBC ID on the hour! Almost as strong as its mother on 1287! Most likely we also heard AFN Japan on 1575.
From 1300 UTC some in-band Australians were heard; ABC on 1548, 855, 702 and 630. Maybe 531. Two weeks ago that would have been sensational, today we merely make a note in the logbook... Bjarne is heading for Reykjavik, Iceland Wednesday morning and will return late Sunday. Tore and Torgeir will stay until Thursday morning.
----- 30-OCT-2006 -----
20:00 UTC: Some North Americans during the day, and Tonga 1017 plus many Asians in the afternoon. In the evening we went to the guesthouse for another fabulous dinner. No Aurora visible tonight, and as we write this weak signals on 1230 (Iqaluit, NU) and 1500 (probably Detroit).
----- 29-OCT-2006 -----
13:00 UTC: The Coronal Hole did make a huge impact... very little heard from North America, mostly west coast stations and only the dominant ones. Not much from Asia either, but surprisingly enough Fiji Radio 2 on 1467 has had a stable signal for most of the day. But on to THE BIG NEWS:
TWO NEW PACIFIC COUNTRIES TO REACH KONGSFJORD!
The superb Pacific opening starting around 09:00 UTC on the 27 brought Radio Nouvelle Caledonie 729 from 09:56 until a few minutes after 10:00, mixed with JOCK Nagoya Japan. Apparently local talk until 10:00, French time check as "20:56", France-Inter news at 10:00 and possibly a local weather report at 10:05. Another new country is Micronesia, V6AK with a steady albeit weak signal for more than an hour under NHK2 on 1593, lots of island music, English commercials noted at one occasion. No exact ID so formally maybe it should be regarded as tentative, but there are no alternatives.
A third prospect, Wallis & Futuna, was hunted on 1188. Unfortunately we only heard France-Inter so there is no way of determining that it really was them, although there appears to be no other French stations on 1188 except Russia relaying Radio France International. And finally, Tahiti 738 was confirmed having local programming prior to 07:00 UTC.
A large bouquet of virtual flowers goes to Jean Burnell for taking the time to work on the three French-speaking prospects! Not only did he listen to the recordings, but did a lot of investigation, listening to web streams etc etc. Thank you so much!
Weather: Calm and clear, -3°C. Heard that before?
----- 28-OCT-2006 -----
23:00 UTC: The day started off prior to 01:00 UTC with some interesting signals - some Wisconsin stations had really huge signals such as WIBA 1310. Puzzling was a station on 1600 with Asian popular music and announcing "You are listening to Radio Free Asia" just after 01:00 UTC. Suggestions are welcome.
As morning came conditions went "deep", for example with KUBR-TX 1210 and several Mexican stations audible. We also monitored 738 in case Tahiti could be heard before they went into the France-Inter relay at 07:00 UTC. Lots of CBX Edmonton slop so we weren't very optimistic but as luck would have it the NA signals took a deep dip after 06:45 UTC, and at 06:58 UTC we did in fact hear audio from Tahiti. Too early to tell if it was local though, the signal was exceptionally weak. Not much NA after that, but after noon signals from Hawaii were excellent, and we also heard Fiji 1152 very strong at times. There were traces of Fiji on 558 as well.
The current Coronal Hole did indeed make an impact, as there were nothing to hear from the Americas early night. At the time of writing though, some NA stations appear to resurface, so who knows what's waiting for us on Sunday...
Weather: Light to moderate NE winds, partly cloudy but occasional rather dense snowshowers. They tend to cover the band with noise as well, so the less snow, the better. Around -3°C.
----- 27-OCT-2006 -----
20:00 UTC: Another good day for the KONG16 crew. No typical daytime conditions last night, but a couple of interesting stations were heard prior to 2400 UTC, apparently with daytime powers. More investigation is needed. Generally good signal levels throughout the night, stations like WDTW-MI 1310, WRKO-MA 680 (rare here) and KBSN-WA 1470 were noted. NA signals faded out around 1300 UTC. Tried for Tahiti 738 with local programming prior to 0700, but only Spain heard.
An hour later I re-checked - and the band was alive with Pacific! Samoa 540, Kiribati 846, Tonga 1017 and V7AB 1098 all with superb signals! Fiji 1152 followed. Also NZ on 1035 noted, and Radio Sport, Wellington 1503. I spent an hour on 1593, and there is reason to believe that the effort has paid off, although at this stage it is too early to conclude. However, the terms Island Music, 1593 and Micronesia are good matches! A couple of other UNIDs will remain so until further notice.
The Pacific signals were unfortunately soon lost to the Asia mainland powerhouses though. Two nice NHK1 stations were logged while actually hunting for Pacific; JOCK Nagoya 729 and JOKP Kitami 1188, both superb signals. It will be interesting to see how much influence the current Coronal Hole will have. At the time of writing, the outlooks are good.
Weather: Calm, partly clear and -3°C. This has been the least windy autumn here that I can remember.
----- 26-OCT-2006 -----
18:00 UTC: The KONG16 crew arrived 10 hours late yesterday due to flight cancellations, so not much DX until morning. Good signals noticed around 2330 UTC though - next in the log was 0300.
Generally good signal strengths throughout the night with stations like KSJB-ND 600, KOVE-WY 1330 and presumed KDIO-MN 1350. From 06 to 07 conditions faded but apparently only to regroup, the rest of the day good DX from the western part of North America. KLTX-CA 1390 good signal for many hours, KMED-OR 1440, KIXI-WA 880 and others. Late in the day as sunsrise was getting close for the west coast, tentative loggings of KUTY-CA 1470, KMPC-CA 1540 and KEYF-WA 1050. The signals faded out around 1330 UTC.
Japan very strong early afternoon, and a very short opening from New Zealand around 1140 with News-Talk ZB 1035 excellent signal. Also heard Kiwis on 783, 1008, 1080. Some Australian X-band.
Weather: Calm, snow, sleet, around 1°C. Occasionally the sleet induced severe noise on the beverages; luckily those periods were few and short.
----- 25-OCT-2006 -----
15:00 UTC: KONG16 is delayed. 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.