[HCDX]: Maakeski report 3-6.12.1999
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[HCDX]: Maakeski report 3-6.12.1999


Greetings from Maakeski DX-pedition!
Jari Lehtinen; Racal RA-1792, Yaesu FRG-100.
Pauli Holm: Yaesu FRG-100.
Antennas: 400 m 60 o, 400 m 80 o, 90 m 260 o, 110 m 290 o.

LOGGINGS and RACAL vs. YAESU -receiver test

British Stations:
Audible in day an night almost at any moment except noon. 
Just a short list: 
1035 North Sound 2, Aberdeen. 1107 Moray Firth Radio, 
Inverness. 1170 Magic 11-70, Stockton. 1413 BBC R 
Gloucestershire. 1458 BBC R Newcastle. 1485 BBC R Humberside. 
1548 Forth-AM, Edinburgh. 1584 Radio Tay, Perth.

1636   4.12.   2232-   R Internos, Ruurlo. English.
1647   3.12.   -2047*  R Noordzee. Dutch.
1652   4,5.12. 2200-   R Barones, Neede. English & Dutch.
3910   5.12.   1730-   Reflections Europe. // 6295.
3930   5.12.   1800-   Laser Hot Hits. // 6219.
5805   4.12.   2333-   R Free London. SINPO 55444.

6315   3.12.   1815-   VO Tigray Revolution, Mekelle, Ethiopia.
                       Practically impossible to listen to with
                       Yeasu. Racal with 1 kHz filter was able
                       to open an window between utility stations.
                       Nice signal. // 5500.

3215   4.12.   2100-   RRI Manado.
3265   4.12.   -1309*  RRI Gorontalo. S9+10 dB.

3905   daily   1210-/2000-  RRI Merauke. Powerful signal from
                       Merauke and Pt.Moresby 4890 proved that
                       provincial stations could have been 
                       audible - if those had been on the air.
4875   5.12.   2110-   RRI Sorong. Warta Berita Daerah 2130.
                       Second station that was remarkably better
                       with Racal. Yaesu suffered bad electric
                       noise level, but Racal succeeded to dig 
                       signal up.

North America:
1470   4.12.   0548-   WZOU Lewiston ME. Triple-ID for WLAM-AM,
                       WZOU-AM and WLAM-FM. "Music and memories".
1500   5.12.   0527-   WTOP Washington DC. Talk and many ID:s.
1510   4.12.   0447-   WNRB Boston MA. Now with sport format. I
                       have heard this station with 3 different
                       calls and 5 different formats!
1560   4.12.   0620-   WQEV New York NY. Radio Disney.
1660   4,5.12. 0457-   WWRU Elizabeth NJ. Radio Unica. 
1690   5.12.   0632-   WMDM Lexington Park MD. Slight signal 
                       already in previous day, but next morning
                       much better with talk and commercials.
7415   6.12.   0057-   WBCQ. Finally something from here too! 
                       Always very tiny signal in very poor frequency
                       under heavy splatters of megawatt-class
                       neighboroughs. This time, after long and
                       difficult tuning, readable signal on
                       7415.03 LSB, and only with Yaesu. This time
                       Racal was too difficult to tune precisely.

Central America:
4835   4.12.   -0402*  R Tezulutlan, Coban.

South America:
1380   5.12.   0441-   R Corporacion, Santiago.
1500   4.12.   0508-   R Dos Mil, Cumana.
4975   4.12.   -0659-  Radio Del Pacifico, Lima. Extremely
                       difficult to ID. Religious programmes one
                       after another and between prgrs only some
                       talk about Peru. Was audible at least from
                       0425- and when I finally went to sleep 0700,
                       this station still showed no sign of closing 
                       down. Some special holiday/occasion?
5000   4.12.   0433    YVTO Observatorio Naval Cagigal. Time signals.
5020   4.12.   -0416*  Ecos del Atrato, Quidbo.

A-index was constantly rising during the weekend. If we had
believed only indices, there shouldn't have been any conditions
to North America. But there were. Surprisingly late in the 
morning, besides that. The sunrise at 0645 UTC finally killed
NA conditions in both days.

The Big Test between Racal RA-1792 vs. Yaesu FRG-100 (courtesy
of Jokela signal monitoring station of Finnish Broadcasting Company)
was the highlight of this DX-pedition. 
Racal RA-1792 was the ultimate professional receiver of 1980's.
Today, many of its features and solutions have been adopted or
imitated in hobby receivers as Yaesu FRG-100. The 100 stations
memory bank of Racal was a luxury in 1982. Today it is a common
sight to have at least 50 memories in even the cheapest hobby
Racal is heavy as sin, 50x50x13 cm:s, rack cabinet receiver.
For more information, look the web:  

On mediumwaves, Racal sensitivity seemed to be in par or just
slightly under Yaesu. Basically, the same NA stations that came
out from Yaesu, were received with Racal (using the same antennas,
of course). However, the background noise level made the signal
sometimes less clear with Racal. Surprisingly, Yeasu's signal
was a little bit more readable. 
Perhaps Racal needs a proper antenna tuner to work ideally on
mediumwaves. In this first experimental test I didn't use any
tuner or antenna matching unit.
Anyway, the same AM stations were heard with Racal and Yaesu. 

On Shortwaves, there were some stations that only other receiver
could pick up. Racal's selectivity played a part here. 
On mediumwaves the Racal's 1 kHz filter wasn't any magical wand.
When a megawatt station splats around on the next channel, it
doesn't matter whether to use 6, 3 or 1 kHz filter - they all fail.
On shortwaves the signal level was remarkably lower. So on 6315
the listening to Voice Of Tigray Revolution was just a question
of filter bandwith. The best Yaesu FRG-100 could offer was 2.7 kHz
and with that only utility signals were audible. Racal's 1 kHz
filter was absolutely necessary.
RRI Sorong was a different case. It was received at 2100 UTC when
there were a lot of electric noise from power line on background.
Yaesu didn't survive with it, but Racal gave out both that annoying
noise and signal. That was enough.
As a professional receiver Racal wasn't designed the easiness of use
first on mind. In the case of WBCQ that had to be listened on SSB,
the weak signal and difficulty to adjust signal exactly made clear
that Yaesu managed better, this time. 

This is not the final doom of the capacity of either receiver.
This was just the first, very preliminary test. When I learn to
use the full capacity of Racal, its performance will obviously
improve. It's noteworthy that this soon 20 years old British
receiver, without maintenance after decades of heavy use, nor 
assistance of any antenna tuner, managed to give full resistance 
against modern Yaesu.

Jari Lehtinen
Lahti Finland

Haastattelija: - Miten kirjoitetaan vuosiluku 2000 roomalaisin 
Kari Häkämies: - Minä olen poliisiministeri enkä intellektuelli!
(autenttisen lausunnon tarjosi Nykypäivä -niminen lehti)
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