Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E
KONG18 - October 17 to 26, 2008
Arnstein Bue, Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Rolf Torvik
Arnstein: Icom IC-R75, Perseus, 3 x SDR-IQ
Bjarne: Icom IC-746Pro, Perseus, SDR-IQ
OJS: WJ HF-1000A, QS1R, 2 x Perseus, SDR-IQ
Rolf: Perseus, SDR-IQ
----- 26-OCT-2008 10:00 UTC -----
Even earlier signals last night - starting quite good at 20:30 UTC made us hope for a good night and morning. But not so - there were, and still are a lot of signals, but nothing really exciting.
KONG18 is over - and we are going home. With a less data on disk than we had hoped for (and equipped ourselves for). But a few good stations in the log - and we know that our attention for what's in the band has changed with the SDRs, so we know that there is a lot more to come...
Thank you for your attention!
----- 25-OCT-2008 15:00 UTC -----
Early signals last night as well, and a number of the same stations as we had the night before. During the night most frequencies were very busy with stations coming and going, but the signal was low - but the band was quite quiet noise wise, so we hope to get something out of this.
This afternoon brought some new X-band AUS on 1647 and 1656 kHz.
Last evening at Kongsfjord Gjestehus was very successful - as usual!
----- 24-OCT-2008 15:00 UTC -----
Last night things started to happen. The first stations started to surface well before 20:00 UTC and at 21:00 UTC we were quite busy. The entire band was saved to disk for the 17 next hours, so only at 14:00 UTC we stopped recording. It will take some time to examine, but we know that these disks contain a lot of goodies... What we know of right now is WCTS-MN 1030, WTSO-WI 1070, WVJS-KY 1420, WKCW-VA 1420, WTUX-WI 1550 ...
We had an excellent dinner last night before the listening started. Grilled king crab legs with fried duck liver pate and roasted celery on a fresh sourdough toast. This was served with an excellent Highland Wellwood Botrytis Semillon from 2003 (Australia). The main course was baked (local) wild salmon fillet served with woked vegetables. This came with a Clos Henri Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (New Zealand). There was no time for dessert...
Today we are going to enjoy a surprise dinner at the local guest house!
----- 22-OCT-2008 15:00 UTC -----
Unfortunately not much to tell. There are stations in the band, but mainly well known stuff. Most exciting today was KDBM-MT 1490 + a good AUS X-band opening this afternoon. Tonight, maybe...?
----- 21-OCT-2008 22:30 UTC -----
It did not continue to improve... The night and morning brought some stations, but not much to brag about. CKSQ-AB 1400 is the only unusual one found so far. But we did have strong signals from Guam 801, Tonga 1017. Marshalls 1098 and Fiji 1152 today as well. But not much more.
On the food and drink side we finally got our wine order today that had been significantly delayed. Since we now had the wine in house we could complete one of our our elaborate menus. Today's menu consisted of baked sirloin of cod, individually adapted (everything from green curry via pesto to peanut butter covering) served with tagliatelle. We had a Tyrell's Semillon, Hunter Valley 2006 with this. The next course was smoked salmon with eggs and a spicy avocado mix. We found no suitable wine for this so we ended up with Aalborg Jubileum Aquavit. Following this we had a selection of semi-intelligent cheese served with a 1987 Quinta de Romaneira Vintage Port. Yummy!!!
Someone detected the Saleri Amaretto that came with the wine, and since we had an almond dessert in the fridge 1+1 =2 and we had an excellent almond pudding served with Saleri Amaretto. Veeeery tasty! Recommended
So - now we are ready for tonight's listening and whatever lies ahead of us. There is quite a number of trans-Atlantic signals visible in the band but not many audible stations yet. But our hopes are still high...
----- 20-OCT-2008 19:00 UTC -----
It's improving - while the kitchen crew is cooking Brazilian beef I am drinking Australian wine and giving you an update on the status. Conditions are still not spectacular, but we have gotten a few quite nice stations in the log. We want to mention KNSS-KS 1330, WGPL-VA 1350, WLCM-MI 1390, WCAT-VT 1390, KJDY-OR 1400, WSHY-IN 1410, KIGO-ID 1420, KBKR-OR 1490 and KPRO-CA 1570.
KPRO just confirmed our reception and said that they were running a good 203 watts that night... It just came sneaking up when CKMW-MB faded down at the top of the hour. Cool!
Also, today we had the first really good signals from the Pacific, with Tonga, Marshall Islands and Fiji with very nice signals. But no AUS or NZ... yet!
----- 19-OCT-2008 09:30 UTC -----
Yes - we got rid of the noise. But no - the conditions did not really improve much. Quite a number of stations during the night, but nothing exciting - yet. Seems to be picking up now, so we are hoping for significant improvement.
We have been "expecting the unexpected" but did not expect the unexpected to be this unwanted...
----- 18-OCT-2008 13:30
We have been fighting a very strange noise on our antennas for the last 24 hours. Finally it was resolved. It was most likely a shielding and grounding problem with one or more of the antenna distribution cables. Now we have carefully examined and tested all cables and replaced all cables and contacts that were suspicious. The result was very good - all our antennas are now noise free and performing as expected.
Due to the noise problems we have not gotten a very good overview of the conditions yet. Last evening was slow, but at midnight UTC the stations started to come in. The band was quite busy all night and morning, with some periods better than others. But it was rather uneventful, and no exceptional loggings have been noted. During the morning Tahiti, Tonga and Marshall Islands came in with decent signals. few New Zealand signals were also noted, as well as some X-band Australia.
But now - with the proper antenna setup, we are ready for some real conditions!
----- 17-OCT-2008 18:00
Croc Secs for starters. Cod au gratin for dinner. Incidentally the starters were served after the main course. Server with an Australian Milestone Oaked Chardonnay 2006. Chocolate pudding with vanilla custard and calvados for dessert.
On the DX side we had quite a number of AUS in X-band with decent signals, not much inband.
----- 17-OCT-2008 14:00
We have arrived! The weather was excellent and we had a pleasant and uneventful trip - except for Arnstein's luggage was delayed. Hopefully it will arrive later tonight. Quite a number of Alaska and Hawaiian stations this afternoon, KHLO-HI 850 worthwhile to mention. We are still testing SDRs, disks and setup to make sure that everything is ready for tonight.
----- 16-OCT-2008 -----
T -1 day... and we are packed and ready to leave! The southern crew leaves Trondheim 7 am Friday morning, scheduled arrival at BVG 12:54 pm. We are bringing SDRs and terrabytes of disks - probably enough to keep us busy until we retire (and we are not that old ;-). Based on the news we have had from the ongoing LEM and AND expeditions the conditions are acceptable...
----- 15-OCT-2008 -----
T -2 days... and we have started packing. The conditions this fall have been good in periods, but quite different from earlier years. So we do not know what to expect when arriving in Kongsfjord. Last year at this time Bjarne had already had a fair share of AUS and NZ stations - this year there have hardly been any at all... But our expectations are high! And we expect the unexpected!!!