Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E

KONG31 - October 16 to 25, 2015


Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Arnstein Bue, Tore Johnny Bråtveit

Receiver summary:
Bjarne: NetSDR, CloudIQ, 2 x Perseus SDR
2 x Perseus SDR
Arnstein: 2 x Perseus SDR
Tore Johnny: Excalibur G31DDC, 2 x Excalibur Pro G33DDC


25-OCT-2015 @ 04:00 UTC
Then it is time to go ... Yesterday did not bring anything exciting from any part of the world, but this morning North American signals were back. Faint and not many exciting stations yet - but it looks/sounds promising. We will be packing and leaving soon, but our SDRs are staying, with many TBs of disks plus internet connection, so the fun goes on. It's nice to listen from home as well, but nothing beats being here! We will be back!!!

Read more about the KONG-expedition (and more) in Bjarne's blog.

24-OCT-2015 @ 07:00 UTC
We love protons ... not!!!
The last two nights the band has been virtually dead beacuse of the increased proton level. However, in addition to listening to recordings we also have events of social character going on, so we do not complain - protons or not. We are having a good time!

22-OCT-2015 @ 09:00 UTC
Yesterday afternoon gave nothing new but TJ had a good time finding nice Aussies on his recordings from September. None of the others kept their daytime recordings for September so TJ is playing alone ... He is even on the track of some Indonesians!

We had a power outage just after midnight local time, and when power came back it blew the fuse on the circuit where the radios are connected, so everything was dark and quiet the we came in at 5 am local time. Power was easily restored, but the cause of the blown fuse is of some concern. Almost all the equipment is connected to timed, sequential power distributors, turning on one piece of equipment at a time, just to avoid the heavy load of all the equipment starting up when power is restored. We will need to spend some time on investigating this.

When power came back there were quite a few signals to hear, lasting up to 09:00 UTC. Sample stations are KDCO-CO 1340, KTOP-KS 1490.
On 1440 Kiribati is surfacing - as usual ...

21-OCT-2015 @ 06:00 UTC

More uneventfullness ... few but good New Zealand signals yesterday, and nothing to talk about during the night. One glimpse of light though: 5TAB Radio TAB from Adelaide, SA came up with a reasonable signal on 1539 kHz yesterday afternoon. Quite a surprise, but knowing this TJ soon realized that this was the station he had heard on 25 September as well. Only 5 kW and none of the other SA stations heard at the same time, but looking at the spectrum 1539 is an "open" frequency with few strong signals from Asia.

Now we are just waiting (hoping) for some North American signals to come back as well as another great New Zealand opening - we would manage well with some other Pacific as well, like Tuvalu 621. Will today be the day? 

20-OCT-2015 @ 05:00 UTC
Unfortunately the last 24 hours have been quite uneventful. Nothing exciting from the Pacific during the day, and only regular Asia in the afternoon. North American signals surfaced around 23:00 UTC but the signals were weak and scattered and so far nothing new has been found. It was a big difference in signal level between the 310-degree (left YAS-log) and 340-degree (right YAS-log) antenna, but the lower noise level on the 340 made signals quite audible anyway. But as you can see, there was a lot more to be heard on the 310-degree antenna today. You can see the live YAS-logs from the Kongsfjord antennas on these URLs:

310: http://www.kongsfjord.no/yas/k1/z.gif
340: http://www.kongsfjord.no/yas/k2/z.gif

310 YAS-log340 YAS-log

19-OCT-2015 @ 09:00 UTC

I am listening to Kiribati on 1440 AM as I am writing this. Reasonably good and steady signal - the only other signals audible in the band are BBC 693 and 810 and some Alaska. It means that the conditions are not that bad and the 50-degree antenna is working well! It worked very well yesterday as well when we had a very intense and well-placed opening towards New Zealand at 10:00 UTC. We were monitoring 1035 and heard the signal increase in strength and clarity as we approached the top of the hour. For about 5 minutes around the top of the hour the signal was very nice, and so was several other New Zealand frequencies. About 25 stations were noted, and even OJ - with 60 NZL stations logged so far - got a few new ones. Following this the band went dead, and then the normal Asians came back.

Here are the stations positively identifed so far:

657    Star, Wellington/Tauranga. Easy now that Murmask is gone.
    RNZ National, Auckland.
    R Sport, Hamilton, Waikato. Also //1089, 1125, 1332 a little later.
    RNZ National, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. Best of the RNZs at this TOTH.
    Trackside R, Palmerston North.
    RNZ National, Kaitaia/Whangarei.
    RNZ National, Timaru/New Plymouth.
    Newstalk ZB, Gisborne, Poverty Bay.
    Trackside R, Hamilton.
    Newstalk ZB, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. Very good signal!
    Newstalk ZB, Kaitaia/Whangarei.
    Newstalk ZB, Wellington. Best signal of all - ALQ (Armchair Listening Quality).
    Newstalk ZB, New Plymouth, Taranaki.
    Newstalk ZB, Auckland.
    R Live, Tauranga/Rotorua. Fantastic signal and it sounds like both stations are audible - with a slight delay!
    RNZ National, Hamilton, Waikato.
    Te Upoko o Te Ika, Wellington.
    RNZ National, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty.
    Newstalk ZB, Napier-Hastings.
    Newstalk ZB, Hamilton, Waikato.
    Newstalk ZB, South Waikato Tokoroa.

During the night, the band was very quiet, with weak but clear signals. Nothing exciting found yet, and we don’t expect much either. We are more interested if yesterday’s kiwi-stunt will repeat itself. That would have been cool! Stay tuned!

18-OCT-2015 @ 05:00 UTC
The conditions are not improving, but they are not deteriorating either … Yesterday did not give much more from North America than what was mentioned in yesterday’s log. Already at 09:00 UTC Kiribati came up on 1440 kHz, and was quite good around 09:30 UTC. On 1017 kHz it was most likely Tonga that was surfacing at the same time, but the signal was too weak to say for sure. Very weak traces of Guam (567), New Zealand (1035) and Australia (1548 + X-band) in addition to very strong signals from Japan in the afternoon.

Fortunately, we have recordings from the period between KONG30 and KONG31 to work on, and there is quite a lot of interest from the last days of September and a few days in the beginning of October. Last night’s big find was WBXR Hazel Green AL 1140 that had a decent signal when closing for the day on 27 September. Late September and late October (and even late November) are naturally good periods for catching daytimers, and it’s always some fun to be found.

Right now the North American signals have started to weaken and we are waiting for the Pacific signals to enter. The AM-radio situation in the Pacific is improving and a number of new targets have been identified for this season – the most obvious one is Tuvalu on 621 kHz. Being prepared – as always – we have the Tuvalu flag hanging on the wall behind the dinner table!

Tuvalu flag at Veines

17-OCT-2015 @ 04:00 UTC
KONG31 has started! 3/4 of the KONG-crew arrived Friday afternoon after a 3h00 drive from Kirkenes - Bjarne was already on site. Having monitored the conditions since KONG30 in September we knew that there was little to hear at the moment, thus significant room for improvement! We were positively surprised to hear good signals from some New Zealand stations @ 12:00 UTC (1008, 1026, 1035, 1170) as well as Guam on 567 a little later.

Now @ 04:00 UTC there is a dip with few signals audible, but they are coming back. DX clearly best on the 340-degree antenna, and between 02:00 and 03:00 we had some good signals and reasonably interesting stations, like KAIR-KS 1470.


See more about the current action at Veines in Bjarne's blog.