Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. The colours, the sights, the sounds and the smells. I can't get enough of it. And I must admit to a sense of dread when the tree finally comes down as ours has done this evening. The front room seems huge - and empty. That feeling will pass though as the days tick by and we look forward to the next significant event in the calendar.
There is one thing I'm happy about now Christmas is over, though. Several of our neighbours had flashing lights around their windows. They looked attractive, but my outdoor loop antenna liked them a little too much and was receiving noise from their power supplies. I was counting down the minutes until they were switched off each evening and my reception of the Dutch pirates became much clearer once again without a constant rumble in the background.
All the decorations in the neighbourhood are now down and reception on MW is free from additional noise. Now there are just the atmospheric conditions to deal with!
Propagation has actually been kind this evening with some super reception. Just listen to this from Radio Pioneer in Rotterdam, who was busy qsoing on 1629 kHz at around 1830 UTC:
The band was pretty busy at around that time - perhaps pirates were warming themselves up from the freezing outside temperatures with the glow of their transmitter valves!
Another station coming in really well was Radio Batavier. He was using just 50 watts of power on 1615 kHz but he was peaking with a great signal: