Dxers Unlimited weekend edition for Sunday 16 September 2018

By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK

Hi amigos radioaficionados now enjoying slightly  better short wave propagation conditions as we approach the autumn equinox…. I am Arnaldo, Arnie, Coro your host here at the weekend edition of Dxers Unlimited your favorite radio hobby program coming to you from sunny La Habana Cuba, and here is now our first news item…. for a change, another broadcast station is going back to use short wave transmissions, to provide better service to its listeners…

Radio Nepal is now back on short-wave

Victor Goonetilleke just wrote on the Union of Asian DXers Facebook page on  13 September 2018:

Radio Nepal is back on short-wave after six years off the air on the 60 meters Tropical Band  by adding 5005 kHz to augment its national transmission grid broadcasting on MW and FM. According to a station official, Radio Nepal resumed short wave broadcasts from 02.00 – 5.00 p m Nepali time using a 10 kw transmitter at Khumaltar, Lalitpur in Kathmandu .

The same source said the station is using very low power. By all accounts, 5005 kHz is a difficult Dx catch for listeners outside of Nepal. Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of UTC.

Even though the station is running its old 10kW transmitter at present it can`t be more than a 1 kw or so. But the greater news is that Nepal is now available on Short Wave for Dxers

More radio hobby information follows… Radio amateurs in the states of North and South Carolina continue to provide much needed emergency communications after hurricane Florence impacted the east coast of the USA, as a category one storm, but this one was a large diameter event, that affected a large area with very heavy rains and storm surges… The American Radio Relay League sent several portable multi band stations to the area ahead of the arrival of the hurricane, while local radio clubs implemented the emergency plans to provide much needed alternate communications after damages to the cell phone and wired systems required the use of amateur radio stations.

Fixing broken down present days high technology radio equipment is extremely difficult, even when full information is available and the required test instruments can be used. Attemps to repair receivers, transmitters and transceivers using sophisticated solid state high density components is next to impossible nowadays, except when very simple problems are causing the failures… One good example is the typical battery contacts corrosion problems that often are the cause of intermittent operation… But once again, attempting to change springs that contact the negative side of batteries and small metal plates used for the positive terminals can prove to be very difficult if you don’t have the proper tools and the vitally important instructions on how to dissassemble the equipment so that you can access the affected areas….

So one vitally important reminder is to never leave batteries inside radios and accesories in storage, and check frequently the batteries for any signs of leaks that can cause permanent corrosion damages to equipment…. Make a check list of all your equipment that uses batteries and once a month open the batteries compartment and be sure that everything is OK… If you have any doubts about possible leaks, discard the batteries immediately and do it in the most ecologically friendly way as possible

QSL on the air: QSL on the air to the many Radio Havana Cuba listeners that are reporting our 15140 kiloHertz frequency that is now starting at eleven AM Cuba time, that is fifteen hours UTC with the full two hours of the Cuba Online magazine show that ends at 18 hours UTC, Then 15140 kiloHertz stays on the air with the same central North America 340 degrees azimuth beam with several languages feeds… The English slot is on from three to four PM local time, that is from 19 to 20 hours UTC… Send your reports of the 15140 kiloHertz 19 meters band frequency to inforhc at enet dot cu, and do include your postal mailing address so that we can send you a nice Radio Havana Cuba QSL Card…

Now more radio hobby related information….. the best time of the year for AM medium wave Dxing is just around the corner… Starting around the third week of September and lasting until the end of November the autumn and very early winter AM band Dx season this year should be at least as good as last year’s one that started when the number of sunspots went below 20… Listeners who asked why the autumn DX season for the AM broadcast band is typically better than the spring season, the answer is that during the months of March and early April atmospheric noise levels are higher than during September, and October….

By the way I am using a recently repaired very old Grundig Yacht Boy 220 Long Wave , Medium Wave, Short wave and FM radio for late evening AM band Dxing with very good results. Using the built in ferrite rod antenna on the AM Broadcast band during the daytime I am able to pick up ground wave signals from stations located up to 250 miles away , thanks to the low local noise level prevailing in the neighborhood where I live. A recent trip for a short vacation at the end of August to beautiful Varadero beach at a seaside location brought daytime signals from more than 350 miles away coming from Cuban stations located to the East of our main island and operating on the 1200 to 1620 frequency range…. Yes amigos, even an old analog receiver can prove to be an excellent tool for AM medium wave band Dxing, among other highlights because the old radios do not use noisy frequency synthetizers.

This is Radio Havana Cuba, the name of the show is Dxers Unlimited, I am your host Arnie Coro radio amateur CO2KK and now here is ASK ARNIE, the most popular section of this program… just slightly ahead of the HF plus low band VHF propagation updates and forecasts featured whenever possible at the end of the show…

Today I will be answering a question by listener Alberto who listens from Buenos Aires Argentina to our Internet streaming audio. He wants to know why it is not possible for him to pick up our English language programs using his nice short wave radio and external antenna. Well amigo Alberto the reason why it is quite difficult to pick our English transmissions via Short Wave at your location is that we use directional antennas to beam the programs to North America, Central America, the Caribbean and also to the Mediterrenean area of Europe. The highly directional antenna systems have what is known as a high front to back ratio, so, for example when we use the 6165 kiloHertz beam to Central North America, an azimuth of 340 degrees, the reverse of the beam is on 160 degrees, but the passive reflector used on that curtain array cancels the backward lobe so that very little signal is sent in that azimuth…..

By the way we do broadcast in Spanish and Portuguese to South America using identical antenna arrays that beam the signals to azimuths of 130 , 160 and 172 degrees from Havana to provide full coverage of all of South America …

No need to use high power to enjoy amateur radio, even with simple equipment that do not need the assistance of sophisticate computer sofware digital communications programs like JT 65 and the most recent widely used FT8…The unique joy of achieving a succesfull two way amateur radio contact with a DX station while running very low power, and simple radios is second to none amigos, and by the way here is a partial list of the most popular CW operating frequencies for QRP or very low power amateur stations are 7030 and 7040 on the 40 meters band, 10 dot 106 on the 30 meters band 14060 on 20 meters, 21060 0n 15 meters and 28060 on the 10 meters band….

Calling CQ using CW on those frequencies will in many instances bring back stations that regularly monitor them for QRP signals.

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