Sunday, August 04, 2013

The holiday season

You might have noticed the blog has been quiet for a little time . . . we've been away on a summer holiday and arrived back home yesterday. We spent a week at a little village in the countryside in North Wales, a few miles from Caernarvon, in a cottage high in the hills. It was about 250 metres above sea level and looking out at the Irish Sea - very picturesque and not a bad location for listening to the radio!

A stunning location in North Wales

We had a tune about on SW and MW most days, and last Saturday (July 27) while sitting in the garden at around 1500 utc we were listening to Focus on 6285 with a pretty decent signal. It is often not until later in the evening the 48 metre band becomes fully open at this time of the year, but Focus was doing a fine job during the afternoon. Also on SW, we heard Mustang several times, always with a booming signal, and Technical Man, also from the east Netherlands, was coming through really well on 6210 on Friday night (August 2).

Listening to Focus on 6285 in the garden in North Wales

We had the trusty Sony 2001D with us, along with our usual small loop antenna for MW. Listening on SW was done with the telescopic and just a few metres of wire, and it was an interesting experiment. At home I have a dipole for 48 metres, and the Wellbrook loop antenna, which is good for all AM frequencies. Many listeners don't have such antennas, though, and instead have just the short wire or telescopic I was using in Wales. So, I was able to get a different perspective on how the SW pirates are received without specialist antennas.

The Irish Sea from our window at sunset
The old Sony in action

Among the pirates heard on MW, all from the Netherlands, were Bluebird, Pandora, Barcelona, Korenklopper, Jeneverstoker, Veronica, Calipso, Monte Carlo, Noordzee, Digitaal, Marianne, Casablanca, Romax, Marskramer (Friesland), Relmus and Vrolijke Mijnwerker. 

Special mention to Relmus, who was running only 150 watts when we heard him from his location in the north of the Netherlands. The strongest of all the stations we heard was Barcelona, although many of the others were doing well despite conditions being variable. Marianne was coming through well, and we made a video of the reception . . .

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