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Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 14:52
by John Faulkner, Skegness
The MW band was very disappointing this morning. All the regulars were well down in strength and most faded out early, yet two stations seemed to defy the apparent poor conditions, both on 1510. WLAC had quite a boost between 07:50 and 08:10 and KCKK appeared after 02:00 for an hour! Conditions have become very quiet too.

I am going to try Asia this afternoon to see if conditions have swung around to the east, but I'm not hopeful.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 21:35
by simbeav
It was poor.

On 1510, I had a signal struggling hard to give audio around 21:45 ! The offset was 1509.991. Audio was just too weak if there at all. WLAC was just breaking through the noise when you heard it.

There was a very strong religious Spanish language station on 1350 from 06:20. Not Buenos Aires which had an offset of .999 earlier. This was on .0052. I suppose that BBN Radio in Panama is a possibility. I've heard it here before.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 22:00
by John Faulkner, Skegness
I saw the 1350 signal and, would you believe, I assumed it was a European signing on for the day. The interesting thing here is that my fade-in was at a totally different time to yours. See the attachment.

1350 unid language 0709 15-01-20.jpg

In fact I'm still not sure of the language. Maybe it was Hungary with one of their international broadcasts.

https://app.box.com/s/74myfnxh7pvhajfwp39fyf7ro83w7r73

I'm sure this is European. The language recognition part of my brain is not working at the moment.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 22:23
by simbeav
Yes. Yours is definitely Hungary. It came in here just before 0700 as usual. Mine was earlier and on a higher offset.

https://app.box.com/s/lvush5r71k52oujxgeoplseuc14bk17o

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 23:33
by John Faulkner, Skegness
Thank you Simon. What a great signal! Nothing at all of that one here.

I see a drifty carrier up around 1350.04 but there's no audio from it. It signed on at 04:37. I haven't had Panama on 1350 so I'll be keeping an ear out for it.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 23:36
by John Faulkner, Skegness
Interesting to note that the solar wind has just dropped below 300 again on the Jaguar applet, reading 297 at the time of posting.

Good DX!

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 23:42
by John Faulkner, Skegness
... and it jumped up to 302 immediately after I posted that. :?

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 17 Jan 2020 19:14
by Julius63
You are right, weird conditions. I try to understand propagation to get a better knowledge and try to predict what might be audible. Despite low K-Index and a relative quiet sun conditions to North America are weak. South american stations , which you expect with a higher K-Index, are receivable despite low K-index. This morning regulars like WBBR hardly came through here in the Netherlands, but 1510 WLAC Nashville made it with a de cent signal.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 17 Jan 2020 19:33
by John Faulkner, Skegness
That's exactly how it's been, Julius.

I don't claim to be an expert on matching stations to indices patterns, but I know somebody who does, namely Barry Davies, a long-time MW DXer who lives in the north-west of England. He has written articles on the subject and his method is to use an A and K index 'telephone number' system leading up to the DX. It works a good deal of the time too. So an A index of X, 48 hours before the time of logging, followed by an A index of X, 24 hours before the time of logging, then the 3 K indices immediately before the time of logging. So you have something like 10-5-3-2-0 and BANG! Rare DX.

The resulting data from years of him doing this has resulted in the discovery of some very interesting and unexpected reception patterns. I can't give examples from memory, but this South American reception is not unusual. You would expect good South American reception with a run of higher indices, but certain regions and even stations seem to have a better chance of coming through when the indices are generally wrong. Once I had Canadian Prairie reception with a sequence of 35-34-3-4-4. In other words totally disturbed conditions.

So, an apparently poor band can still reveal exotic DX. The question we have to ask ourselves is, how much time do we want to devote to hunting down these exotics?

The time of year is also an important factor. It's often a good idea to look back and see what was being received exactly one year ago.

We have a fascinating hobby, folks.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 17 Jan 2020 20:09
by Julius63
That's quite interesting John. I will look into that. Indeed, how much time? I try to turn off the radio if conditions seem to be weak and save the time for when topconditions are there but you always hope.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 18 Jan 2020 16:12
by Paul_Logan
Really odd conditions! Yesterday before sunset most GB stations were missing here on the top end of MW. 1449 had Iran in the clear 1548 Kuwait. Gold on 1458 was gone and a very weak and rare BBC R Cumbria was the only thing coming in. Last night Colorado and the Dakotas. Odd odd odd.

Re: Weird Conditions

Posted: 18 Jan 2020 17:45
by John Faulkner, Skegness
Certainly odd, yet still very much worth recording.

Not much North America in at all this morning at all, but there was Minnesota on 1280 at 02:00!

Well done on South Dakota btw.