Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E
KONG20 - October 15 to 24, 2010
Arnstein Bue, Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Tore Johnny Bråtveit
Arnstein: 1 x Perseus
Bjarne: 2 x Perseus, 1 x Excalibur
OJS: 2 x Perseus, 1 x QS1R
Tore Johnny: 3 x SDR-IQ, 1 x Excalibur, Icom R75
24-OCT-2010 15:00 UTC
There were flashes during the night and morning with moderate signal levels, but as usual nothing exciting was heard. We keep on finding good stuff from last weekend though, and the two stations that stands out today are KCHE-IA 1440 (29 watts if they were on night power) and WBYS-IL 1560 (18 watts if there were on night power). Both stations were logged well after their local sunset and should have been on night power. But even their day power is only a few hundred watts so it would be a great catch anyway! Needless to say we are really excited to get back home and continue to work on these recordings. What would we have known of this opening if it wasn't for the SDRs?
We are now at the airport in Tromsø (TOS) waiting for our flight back to Trondheim (TRD). KONG20 was a worthy 20th KONG - particularly on the food and social side. The conditions were really good in the beginning, but that was about it. But we don't complain. OJ has already nailed more than 40 new stations, and it does not seem impossible that it could double. That would be more than we expected!
Thank you for following the KONG weblog - see you next year!
23-OCT-2010 22:30 UTC
Very few signals this morning and during the day. However, we had great fun listening to the recordings from last weekend and added a number of new stations to the log. Worth to mention are KCIM-IA 1380, KCLN-IA, KCNK-KS, KJAM-SD all on 1390 and WPLN-TN 1430. A big surpise was to hear several signals from New Zealand at 16:00 UTC - record late for Kongsfjord. Maybe a sign of improvement? Strong signals from Spain later in the evening was not a good a sign though ...
Today's dinner was bidos - a local (sami) meat soup/stew. Very good, and for starter & dessert we had a good selection of cheeses with freshly baked sourdough bread and Smith Woodhouse LBV 1999. The port wine was only with the dessert ;-)
Tomorrow we are leaving - but only physically. We are all leaving one SDR each with hard disks and different levels of remote control, granting us a lot of fun in the weeks and months to come! It's nice to be able to DX like that, but nothing beats being here. We have had yet another great KONG-expedition and have already made plans for KONG21 in 2011.
Today we visited the gallery of local photo hero Jørn Johansen. Well worth a visit and we ended up with a few very nice photos in large format for office and living rooms.
22-OCT-2010 21:30 UTC
It started well this morning, but it did not really take off - despite some nice South Pacific signals well before noon. And then everything died ... and it was been quiet since then ... So we have spent most of the time on the recordings from last weekend.
Dinner at the guesthouse tonight. They served us cured reindeer, damped cod and a nectarine pastry. Excellent quality as usual and great hosts! A must if you are in the area ;-)
21-OCT-2010 19:30 UTC
Still improving - but only barely. Many signals but low level and not much exciting before this morning when KTAR-AZ 620 and KTNN-AZ 660 came through. During the day we had the common South Pacific stations and a few not so common Australians - mentioning 3WV ABC Western Victoria, Horsham 594.
It's a sorry situation, but the dinner seems to be the highlight of the day - again ... Today with roasted sourdough bread with heated duck liver, pistachios and blueberry syrup.
For main course we had “chicken in burka” – that being marinated chicken breast, fried and then covered with acacia honey and pepper and wrapped in filo dough and baked in the oven with leek, broccoli and garlic. Today’s wine was Weinert Carrascal Mendoza 2006.
For dessert we served chocolate pudding with vanilla cream, amaretto and pistachios, with filo crisp and a glass of Domaine du Mas Blanc Banyuls. Tomorrow we are having dinner at the guest house, so we will probably need übersuper conditions to beat that …
20-OCT-2010 21:30 UTC
Improving conditions today, but still quite a way to go ... we hope that the trend will continue!
Dinner today: Bruschetta of "homemade" (well - OJ doesn't actually live here but he baked the bread) sourdough bread, with parma ham and salt-baked cherry tomatoes. We had champagne with the starter to celebrate OJ's 50th New Zealand AM QSL that arrived today! Main course was fårikål - lamb-in-cabbage, a traditional Norwegian course. The Kongsfjord beer and Trondheim Aquavit went very well with this! For dessert we had filets of orange, baked in a mix of cream, orange jelly and amaretto. Served with filocrisp - flakes of filo dough in a few layers with acasia honey between and baked in the oven. Champagne with the dessert as well. Yummy!
19-OCT-2010 19:30 UTC
The sun is still playing games with us, and there is little interesting to be heard. Still some Alaska and Hawaii, New Zealand and South Pacific during the day, but nothing that we haven't heard before. OJ found a small NZ goldmine from the 10 October recordings, adding 4 new NZ stations in the range 700-800 kHz (RNZ 729 and 756, Radio Sport 774 and 792)! In addition a few of the other stations in the range were audible as well. We keep on adding stations from last weekend, mentioning KWKY-IA 1150, KLBB-MN 1220 and WIMS-IN 1420.
Today's dinner started off with king crab legs with parmesan chips, a small slice of parma ham, coriander and freshly ground pepper. We served Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc with this (yes, we do have quite a lot of this wine ;-) - and it's worth it!)
Main course was pork sirloin marinated in garlic and chili, served with tagliatelle, basil, leeks and cherry tomatoes. With the pork we tried Kim Crawford's Pinot Noir. Maybe a bit light for the quite tasty meat, but absolutely a super wine!
For dessert we had local blueberries with grappa - another Kongsfjord signature dish! And now we are off to listen to more recordings and prepare for another - hopefully eventful night. The solar indexes are going down and the K-index for Tromsø is now 0, and we hope that it will remain like this!
18-OCT-2010 18:30 UTC
First (so that I don't forget) - Menus! Yesterday's dinner was starting off with duck liver paté on toast, ruccola with fresh ground pepper. Main course was tender sirloin of reindeer marinated in chili and and garlic. Cooked very carefully so that it was super-tender and überdelicious! Served with olive baked almond potatoes and a rather wild mushroom ragu. Bjarne's cloudberry cream for dessert. Main wine was Villa Monte Vibiano's Rosso Umbria from 2006. Saleri's Amaretto went extremely well with the cloudberry!
For today we started off with slices of honey melon wrapped in Parma ham, and sprinkled with balsamico + fresh coriander and pepper. Main course was king crab naturelle with today's foccacia (homemade) and a very tasty chives olive oil made from beach chives harvested locally here in Kongsfjord. Main wine was Calles Riesling (2008). For dessert we had the Mayor's jelly & vanilla custard.
On the radio side it has been a lousy day. The high solar activity has limited very much what we could hear, but despite this both New Zealand and several Australians popped up in the afternoon. We hope that next night will be better! We used the time well and found a few gems from the last day's recordings - worth mentioning is KYNT Yankton SD 1450, KJRG Newton KS 950, KYFR Shenandoah IA 920.
17-OCT-2010 10:30 UTC
At the moment there is almost nothing to hear. The impact of the sudden increase of solar activity is noticeable one could say ... However, the night and morning was quite resonable and so far we have noted KTSA San Antonio TX 550, KXPS Omaha NE 590, WWLS Moore OK 640, KGFW Kearney NE 1340, KDTA Delta CO 1400 + several Mexicans in the log of new stations. With the current quiet band we have some time to enjoy our recordings.
Since this is KONG 20 (with emphasis on 20) we have a few extra goodies in store. One of them is the new Kongsfjord beer! Brewed by a local microbrewery outside Trondheim - Inderøy Gårdsbryggeri - and then sent 2.000 km up north to Kongsfjord. The beer is based on English Pale Ale and is (of course) very tasty.
Since Tore Johnny has somewhat limited eyesight
(well, he's actually totally blind) we had "Tore Johnny's beer" printed in
braille on the label. Then he just could not go wrong ...
16-OCT-2010 16:00 UTC
Quite nice day despite a number of technical problems that had to be sorted out. However, now we are ready to face the really great conditions towards wherever ;-). Worth to mention from last night are WSJM-MI 1400, WCEV-IL 1450 and super signals from WRTO-IL 1200 and KUAU-HI 1570.
During the day we had a number of New Zealand stations + very nice signals from Tonga and Marshall Islands. No new stations found so far, but the steady flow of NZ stations confirms the quality of the new 50-degree antenna. Last year the QDFA vs. 58-degree was almost equal. This year we have hardly logged NZ on the QDFA (despite the fact that it has been dratically improved) while the new 500-meter 50-degree antenna has given South Pacific signals almost every day for the last 3 weeks.
Now we are preparing (one of) the KONG20 jubilee dinners. Tonight's menu is starting off with steamed fresh aspargus with Dijon mustard, mountain butter and parmesan. Following is Kongsfjord's signatur dish for the last few years - King Crab Carbonara with fresh tagilatelle. And to round the whole thing off (and to make some use of the whites from the carbonara): Passion Fruit Soufflé. We will (of course) be drinking New Zealand wine - Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc. Recommended if you don't know it yet.
16-OCT-2010 04:00 UTC
We arrived safely yesterday to quite a feast of New Zealand stations. We have logged more than 50 NZ AM stations before, but yesterday brought even a few new ones: RNZ 756, RNZ 837 and Breeze 891 + probably a few more once the recordings have been examined properly. One nice station that surfaced from last week's recordings was KNUV-AZ 1190.
The night was/is not much to talk about, but we hope that the conditions will be picking up so that we can hear WGBW when they are testing in an hour from now - http://www.bcdx.org/dxtestsinfo/2010/10/wgbw-1590-two-rivers-wi-dx-test.html
14-OCT-2010 22:00 UTC
KONG20 is ready for takeoff. The conditions have been good all week with quite a lot of New Zealand logs as well as other South Pacific signals. Signals from North America and Mexico have been good too, so we are looking forward to 10 days of undivided attention to what can be heard in Kongsfjord. All antennas are redone, and this has had a good effect - particularly the new location for the South Pacific antenna. This is very promising!
Arnstein, Tore Johnny and OJ are leaving
Trondheim Friday morning and will arrive at Veines in the afternoon, just in
time for some nice Australian DX I think ... The forecast says gale force winds,
but we hope that Widerøe will still manage to land in Berlevåg. But with 6
takeoffs and landings we may be in for a bumpy ride!