Scegli dove andare

lunedì 27 ottobre 2014

My first transatlantic NDB DX

Today I have good news from my latest NDB listening session, which ended just a few hours ago, at about 3 AM UTC. In fact, I finally managed to catch my first transatlantic NDB DX by receiving the caribbean DDP-391 kHz, which is located in Puerto Rico at a distance of about 7560 km from my receiving station here in Livorno, Italy (grid locator square JN53em). My previous distance record was SAL-274 kHz located in Cape Verde Islands at about 4326 km from my home.
Recently I had changed my indoor loop antenna, moving from a Wellbrook ALA1530 to a Wellbrook ALA100 wideband amplifier, connected to an homebrew loop that I like to call "my X-antenna". It is briefly described here, in one of my previous posts. The receiver is still the small AFEDRI SDRNet 3.0, with HDSDR 2.70 as the software processor.
Aiming to receive my firts transatlantic (TA) NDB, I initially had oriented the loop towards Canada and North America, with the result of catching lots of French NDBs.
This night for me was the last night of CLE 187, the most recent Co-ordinated Listening Event organized by the NDB List, a wonderful and very active group of NDB listening enthusiasts on the web. I decided to have another try at my first TA DX but this time I thought it could be better to orientate my loop towards Gibraltar, so that to have as much as possible of sea water between me and the ancient "Pillars of Hercules", the entrance of the Atlantic Ocean. This way, the antenna ideally was pointing towards Caribbean Islands and Central America instead of Canada and US, but at least I could hope to skip part of French and Spanish NDBs.
Well, I would say my idea has worked. I know that DDP-391 kHz is a powerful transmitter (as it was SAL-274 kHz, my previous distance record). However, catching it has showed to me that TA DX is not impossible, even with my modest setup and in a period of solar maximum like the current one.
In next listening session, I will point the antenna in the same southwest direction again and I will concentrate in areas of the frequency spectrum were usually I see very few european NDBs (if any), mainly below 290 kHz and above 500 kHz, even if LW and MW broadcasts are a big problem in both ranges.

1 commento: