[HCDX]: super medium-wave DX conditions
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[HCDX]: super medium-wave DX conditions

Another DXcellent Cape Cod Weekend (27-29 MAR 1998)
Mark Connelly ... WA1ION

I did a bit of DX late on Friday night from the Harwich house and 
the band was in average (but not spectacular) shape.  The lower end
of the MW dial was better than the upper end in terms of Trans-Atlantic
signals.  As is typically the case, the strongest stations were from
Spain, Algeria, and Morocco.  Latin Americans were unimpressive.

Before doing shopping and other errands on Saturday morning, I "scoped
out" some prospective DX sites in the town of Orleans, MA.  There are 
a number of "town landing" areas for boaters that offer adequate free
waterfront parking.  Orleans is endowed with a surprisingly good 
number of locations suited, at least, to DXing with car-mounted phased 
antennas (loop, whip).

Besides the site I recently used (off Route 28, just north of Tar Kiln
Road), I found five other sites that could be considered usable for
serious medium-wave Europe / Africa DX.

These are:
1. east end of Portanimicut Road
2. Nauset Beach: east end of Beach Road (parking not free in summer)
3. north end of Priscilla Road
4. near north end of Snow Shore Road
5. Weeset Road / northeast end of Tonset Road

Another site (south end of Quanset Road, near Ewing Drive) has
been identified as having good exposure to the south - hence it
would be useful during an aurora for South America, the Caribbean,
and (maybe) deep Africa.

On Saturday (28 MAR), spring warmth had finally arrived, even on 
Cape Cod.  That afternoon, I set up to DX at the Orleans site at 
the northeast end of Tonset Road.  Back in the '70s, I'd heard 
Turkey-1016 there on a Ford Pinto car radio at sunset, so I figured 
that the location was worth trying out with some "real" DX gear.  

At 4.50 p.m. local (2150 UTC) ... better than an hour before 
sunset ... Saudi Arabia-1521 was already blowing away WGAM-1520
on the car radio.  Once I was set up with the BBL-1 broadband
loop, MFJ-1024 whip, DXP-1 phasing unit, and Drake R8A, it made 
sense to cruise the upper part of the MW dial first.  This sunset
strategy works well because the top end tends to succumb to domestic
slop before lower end stations do.  You can DX the low-banders
several hours after sunset from a shore site without too much
domestic QRM grief.  Between 2200 and 2259 UTC, the following were
logged: Saudi Arabia-1521, Italy-1332, Russia-1386, France-1404,
France-1242, Spain-1413, Algeria/Germany-1422, France-1467,
Austria-1476, Spain/unID classical music/unID AA - 1485, Saudi
Arabia-1512, Vatican-1530, Spain/Germany-1539, UK pop music
station mixed with VOA Kuwait - 1548, Algeria-1550 (LOUD), unID 
AA - 1557, unID AA talk - 1566 (maybe Iran though maybe this 
should be Farsi), Italy over/under Spain-1575, Spain-1584.  

The band was REALLY ROCKING at this point.  Most stations were 
LOUD with some (like 1467 and 1521) hitting S9+40 !  From 2300 to 
2359, I had R. Vitoria (Spain) - 1602 (good ID) with SER under, 
Belgium-1512, Mauritania-1349, Spain-1314, Spain-1305, Spain-1296, 
Spain-1287 (with Cameroon-1286 het), Libya-1251, UK over Spain - 
1215, Spain-1071 & 1197 (//), Morocco over Spain-1044, Spain-1080, 
Spain-1053 over UK & Morocco, Italy-846, Portugal-1035, Spain-1026, 
Spain-1017 over possible Turkey, Algeria-981 open carrier with 
Greece under, Spain-873, Spain/Canaries-837 // 783, Egypt-774, 
Morocco-612, Canaries-621, Spain-657, Netherlands-675, Spain over 
Serbia-684, Spain-774, Switzerland/Senegal-765, Spain over Germany -

>From 0000 to 0059 (UTC: 29 MAR), to wrap up the session, the following 
were logged: Spain-738, Spain-729 over possible Ireland, Spain-693
over UK & Azores, Portugal-666, unID flute music (not Spain) on
648, Spain-639, Spain-855, Spain-585, Ireland-567, Spain-576,
Algeria-549, UK-693, Slovakia (tentative) & AA-sounding station
mixed on 702, Slovakia/Spain-1098, Netherlands-747, Ireland-612, 
Azores-693 // 836 (not 837), Egypt-864, Spain-936, Spain-954,
Germany-972, Spain-999, UK-1089, UK-1053, Spain-1116, Croatia
over Spain-1134, Spain over Croatia-1125, Canaries/Spain-1179,
Netherlands-1395, and Algeria-1422 (dominant).

I must say that the three hours spent DXing at the Orleans, MA
waterfront were productive above and beyond my late-March
expectations.  I hope that some of the rest of you took advantage 
of the great conditions.  Full-detail loggings will be issued 
later - it's going to take a few days to type up all this stuff !

73 / good DX ... Mark

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