Back after the summer break

The Onley family relaxing at Brienz in Switzerland

I can’t believe its been since June that I have done anything here. As you can tell by the pics we have been on vacation in Switzerland and at various times have entertained guests from Singapore and Australia here in The Hague. So its been a bit busy.

About the summer Dx

For me the FM season turned out to be a real disappointment. I’ve come to the conclusion that my location is not good for Sporadic E dx to the south or east. I went to great lengths to fix things. Raising the log periodic higher and even buying a Kenwood KT 6040 which by the way is dodgy. It has that tuning gang problem that is common with these receivers. They wear and just slip or don’t tune. So that was a big disappointment in itself.
A nice relaxing holiday in SwitzerlandI am reluctant to do FM again from this location. It disheartens me to see all the loggings from others nearby and for me it was just the odd signal. There was one huge opening to Russia and Scandinavia but that’s about it for me.

A real positive for me was to discover that Roelof Bakkers Mini Whip started to perform. When I first got it I put it about 3 metres off the ground and to be honest I was so disappointed with it that I put it in the cupboard and it stayed there for nearly 8 months. About a month ago I hoisted the whip again high up into the sky at a height of 7.5 metres and I was stunned to see the results. On nearly every instance on longwave in particular with Navtex and NDB it outperformed my ALA 1530. The secret obviously is height. You need to get it above the noise bubble. Between 6 – 8 m seems to be the ideal height. The other thing I did was earth the coax as it came into the shack. Not at the receiver. I can tell you noise levels drooped quite a lot.
Brienz Switzerland

The dx season is almost upon us and I have already noticed signals with Navtex and Mediumwave getting better. Today I actually erected two new wire antennas, more as an experiment. The ALA and Mini Whip are okay for the lower frequencies but I wanted something more for shortwave. So I have erected a 7 metre vertical and also a Ewe antenna along the garden fence. Already signals on 11, 13, 15, 17 and 21 Mhz are so much better. Its my intention to do more shortwave dx over this winter period.
The German side of The Swiss border

The other thing that I finally got around to doing was to insulate the walls and ceiling of the dx shack. Its still a work in progress but by the time of the first chill I should be ready. I discovered last winter that the temps dropped extremely low and a lot of moisture got into the shack destroying a lot of paperwork. I can imagine what it must have done to some of the radios. So need I say I have boxes of crystals everywhere. So nice insulation in place and really I’ve had a hard look at how I wire everything up. Keeping leads neat and short etc. I still have a noise problem and Roelof Bakker suggests that it sounds like its coming from some switching unit. Sadly for me one of the harmonics is smack bang on 518 khz my main reception frequency of Navtex
Matthew Karin and David Onley with a foot in Germany and a foot in Switzerland

About Dave Onley

I'm an Australian dxer formerly of Melbourne who has been listening to radio since 1976. I have lived in The Netherlands since 2006. I am interested mainly in Mediumwave, Navtex, FM and NDB. I also like Tropical Band Dx and Shortwave. I'm a big DXpeditioner. I travel to remote regions several times per year to hear good dx.
This entry was posted in New Blogs. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s