Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E
KONG19 - October 16 to 25, 2009
Arnstein Bue, Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Tore Johnny Bråtveit
Arnstein: Perseus, Icom R75
Bjarne: 2 x Perseus, QS1R
OJS: 2 x Perseus, QS1R, SDR-IQ
Tore Johnny: Icom R75, 3 x SDR-IQ
Small update on some of the stations logged the last days at KONG19: KOGA-NE 930, KNEB-NE 960, KVLV-NV 980, KBGN-ID 1060, KBND-OR 1110, KGEM-ID 1140, KOUU-ID 1290, KLIX-ID 1310, KTKZ-CA 1380, KGOS-WY 1490. Several new New Zealand stations are found as well, among them many of the Coast-stations. We are currently at 8 new NZ for KONG19.
See complete New Zealand log for Kongsfjord here.
----- 25-OCT-2009 @ 10:00 UTC -----
Last night we enjoyed an Italian evening at Kongsfjord Gjestehus. There is a small Italian population in Kongsfjord and once a year they invite people in the area to an Italian evening. Bjarne has told us about this event and it was truly enjoyable to taste their homemade gnocchi al ragout, saltimbocca alla romana, bavarese allo zabajone and more. Experiences like this is another of the great things with Kongsfjord!
On the radio it looked like it would be a very busy night in the beginning, despite the aurora that was covering the sky as we returned home from the dinner. That was indeed correct. This became a memorable night - fortunately stored to hard disks the most of it, the rest in our tummies.
Today TJ and OJ are leaving and that is the end of KONG19. A quite successful one we will say. We had new stations from the 4 A-states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas and Arizona) and that's not the case for every KONG.
Now we will return home with our hard disks to the real work... and a lot of fun!
----- 24-OCT-2009 @ 13:00 UTC -----
Things are improving. Last night was even better than the night before with quite a number of new stations. It's quite cool when the west coast stations come up an hour or two before their local sunset. Stations of particular interest - so far - is KKZN-CO 760, WKY-OK 930, KMXA-CO 1090, KOKK-SD 1210, KWEI-ID 1260 - that is not that unusual but had a huge signal and owned the frequency during the night, WLFN-WI 1490, KMRI-UT 1550 and KMKI-AZ 1580.
The morning was less interesting but about two hours ago Pacific signals started to pop up here and there, and what sounded like a modest opening got quite good with New Zealand stations all over the place. Newstalk ZB 1035 is still dominant on the frequency, and in addition we logged at least 20 more NZ stations, including a few new ones for us. Fortunately it's all on disk and will be investigated later.
Tonight is the night for the traditional dinner at Kongsfjord Gjestehus. Traditional in the sense that we have a tradition going there. What we will have is something very untraditional for the region... More about that later!
----- 23-OCT-2009 @ 14:30 UTC -----
Yesterday's slow cooked leg of lamb was just fantastic. Bjarne agreed that it was probably the best leg of lamb served at any KONG expedition ever. Tonight we are having bidos - a traditional sami course.
The ionospheric disturbance continues and creates periods of very weak signals, but also periods of very interesting signals like around midnight last night where a number of interesting stations came up with excellent signals. We can mention a few KFLD-WA 870, KRVN-NE 880, KYOS-CA 1480 but there is a lot more on disk. As it look by now this is probably the most interesting period during KONG19. During the night and morning the signals varied a lot with bursts of super signals but generally long dead periods.
----- 22-OCT-2009 @ 17:00 UTC -----
Things have been improving. Despite the disturbance that we had early today we have been able to nail a few nice ones already. KATQ-MT 1070 has been long wanted for some of us, and KAAY-AR 1090 too... Getting nice signals from KDIX-ND 1230 and KSUE-CA 1240 did not hurt either. The recordings will probably contain quite a lot of interesting stuff as it sounds right now.
In the oven is a marinated leg of lamb slow cooking. As Bjarne perfectly put it: "The biggest disadvantage with slow cooking food is that you will have to live with the fantastic smell without having any of it for so long..." We are going Spanish in the glass: Las Pizarras del Jalon, Garnacha Viñas Viejas 2005.
----- 21-OCT-2009 @ 20:00 UTC -----
Yet another uneventful day. Best logging so far the last 24h is KATZ-MO 1600. Lot's of signals and good signal strength but very little new. However, something's got to be hidden on the hard disks.
Arnstein has business to attend, so he just left - after an excellent dinner with reindeer sirloin, and a Felton Road Pinot Noir 2007 from New Zealand, topped with Niepoort 2004 LBV port and a wide selection of excellent cheeses.
We are hoping for a better night... DX-wise that is!
----- 20-OCT-2009 @ 12:30 UTC -----
Back to bad ... despite good tendencies last evening the night, morning and day have provided little new so far. Best log for now for the last 24h is probably KNML-NM 610. Few Pacific signals + the common Hawaii stations were heard, but nothing exciting.
Last night's dinner should be mentioned. Foie gras for starter, and a King Crab Surprise for main course. Truly a surprise, and very delicious. Just plain king crab legs, served with Italian herb rolls and various types of flavored olive oil.
Tonight we will be cooking Salma salmon... yet another delicacy from the Norwegian Seas...
----- 19-OCT-2009 @ 16:00 UTC -----
The status for the last 24 hours is better than at the same time yesterday. Last night the signals came in quite early and we followed the sunset westwards through the US. Most action was from the mid-west, and we mention KWAD-MN 920, KBBO-WA 980, KJJK-MN 1020, WLJW-MI 1370, KBMW-MN 1450, WBRN-MI 1460... and a lot more to be discovered (such as KNBR-CA 680, KUNX-CA 1590 etc.)
----- 18-OCT-2009 @ 18:00 UTC -----
After a good bad night came a bad bad night... Nothing exciting at all the last 24 hours, so we have spent time on recordings, exercising, sleeping and now - cooking! Today's main course is beef sirloin cooked according to Arnstein's famous recipe. Served with oven baked potatoes and vegetables, and a Clos des Brusquières 2004 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Starter is parma ham with some goodies and for dessert is the well known local blueberries served with grappa.
BTW: Yesterday's King Crab Carbonara made its way into history as the best ever!
And that is really something...
----- 17-OCT-2009 @ 15:00 UTC -----
Decent signals from about 22 UTC last night, and a good bad night - "good" since it was a lot of signals and "bad" because there was little new. But as we do some checks we find a little here and there. Worth mentioning (we think) is KDSJ-SD 980, KWKH-LA 1130, XEDA-DF 1290, KMSR-ND 1520 and WVNA-AL 1590. Few Pacific signals during the day, but nothing exciting.
The QDFA keeps it position as the best antenna during night, with much lower EU interference. The 340 keeps it position in the lower end of the AM band after sunrise.
Now mentally preparing for a great king crab party...
----- 16-OCT-2009 @ 18:30 UTC -----
Excellent signals on several NZ stations when we arrived, particularly 1035, 1224 and 1386. Following this some nice signals from Hawaii and Alaska, including KIFW-AK 1230 and KMBQ-AK 1430. Found from this morning's recording for OJ was KBJM-SD 1400.
Now we have enjoyed Bjarne's gratinated fish with some vinho verde, followed by dark chockolate pudding, vanilla custard and excellent Amaretto. Yummm...
----- 16-OCT-2009 @ 07:30 UTC -----
Arnstein, Tore Johnny & OJ have now arrived in Tromsø on their way north. We are quite optimistic based on the recent loggings from Kongsfjord and are ready for the greatest KONG ever! In 10 days we will know if that was true...
----- 8-SEP-2009 -----
Bjarne and OJ used the weekend to mount and test the QDFA antenna (see this article in the Dallas Files for details) in preparation for KONG19. Bjarne had done all the groundwork in advance so the rest was quite straightforward although it took som time. See Bjarne's blog for details.
We did some listening as well. The first Australians of the season were heard with ABC Queensland 630 and 1548 in-band and 4KZ 1620 and a few other X-band stations identified. But it's still early in the season and still not completely dark during night.
We are looking forward to KONG19!