[HCDX]: Re: NWT AM: WILLIAM HEPBURN
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[HCDX]: Re: NWT AM: WILLIAM HEPBURN
At 19:56 1997/12/18 -0700, Kevin Redding wrote:
>NWT! THIS IS FROM THE AMFMTVDX list (GROVE NET)
>I'll bet everything from there is DX. Was the listening good up there?
Kevin..I lived in the NWT from Aug 82-Aug 85....in 4 different locations
(while working as a young punk at the wx stations)..
Eureka (Ellesmere Island)
80-00 N 85-49 W Civilian Wx station (pop 9)
Resolute Bay (Cornwallis Island)
74-43 N 94-58 W High Arctic hub & Inuit village (pop 170)
Hall Beach (Melville Peninsula)
68-46 N 81-14 W DEW-line site & Inuit village (pop 350)
Coral Harbour (Southampton Island)
61-12 N 83-22 W Inuit village (pop 430)
At 80 N, Eureka is furthur north than the most northern Inuit village
Unfortunately, I didn't have a proper DX setup..doing a lot of DXing on a
"ghetto-blaster" inside a metal-encased building !!!! (Compared to other
portables..I know find the receiver, a JVC PC-R11C, to be below average on
In Eureka, we had a 4.5 month dark winter, a 4.5 month lit summer, and a
6-week long spring & fall. There was one "local" AM station when I first
got there in August of '82...it was AFRS-1430 Thule, Greenland..it was
about 350 miles away and could be heard 24-hrs a day. A month later, it
left the air & moved to FM. We had lost our "favourite" (and only) station!
Otherwise..the closest AM station was 990 Qaanaaq, Greenland at 300 miles
which faded in & out.
After AFRS left AM..we were left without a source for new music. With
24-hour sunlight, the AM band was basically dead. Sometimes KBRW-680 Barrow
AK (1300 miles) would come in..but it was a boring station. The "local" CBC
station..1230 Frobisher Bay (1200 miles) could not be heard in daylight. We
had a satellite dish..but it was only hooked up for TV (actually, the TV
station was 7 miles away at Skull Point where the dish was. Eureka is in
the middle of mountains..the south was blocked off. At Skull Point, the
south can be seen. The elevation angle of the dish is 0.5 degrees - nearly
horizontal!) An unlicenced 1-watt transmitter on channel 9 (still the
world's most northern TV station) broadcasts from Skull Point, which we
picked up in Eureka using a simple yagi. The satellite channel could be
changed from our site by remote control.)
Anyways..back to AM..we had no source for music..so KYOI-Shortwave Saipan
became "our" station. (If you remember, KYOI was a commercial music station
on shortwave broadcasting in Japanese & English from a studio in Los Angeles).
In the winter, the AM band went nuts. In the evening, we used to listen
to Radio Luxembourg on 1440. Back then it was in English from studios in
London. "R-T-L 2-0-8" is still my all-time favourite radio station. It was
so lively with excellent DJs. Some evenings they'd play the Top-20
countdown from the UK, some nights the US countdown. It came in loud &
clear on 1440 between about 8 PM - 11 PM until it faded & CFGO Ottawa took
over. Sometimes, Saudi Arabia would come in on 1440 and create a nuisance.
Luxembourg wasn't the strongest Europeon signal though--that honour went
to 1314 Norway hands down.
So after 11 PM, the Eastern North Americans would take over..then after 2
AM, the Western guys would come in. Meanwhile the Alaskans would be in most
of the night. KJNP-1170 North Pole was by far the strongest Alaskan.
KICY-850 Nome was always an interesting station. I never did hear Japan
though. Novosibirsk did come in on 1026.
Occasionally Caribbean stations such as 1580 Antigua came in. Oh yeah,
regarding Mexico City; from Resolute Bay, I have XEW listed as my only
entry on 900!
The graveyard channels were empty..so stations such as CJOK-1230 Fort
McMurray AB (about 2000 miles) came in loud at times without any QRM..later
in the night when Frobisher Bay & Churchill were weaker.
As far as the Europeons go..the part of the band above 1000 was
definitely better. Here were the stations heard most often..
N. Ireland 1341
Saudi Arabia 1440
Soviet Union 236,1026,1143,1323,1566
Now..the most bizarre AM happening that I had in the Arctic had to be in
Hall Beach. I arrived there in Feb 84. With 24-hr dark..I was expecting
lots of AM stations. Would you believe the band was dead! In fact the band
was dead all the way through from February until I left in July! The ONLY
station heard was CFFB-1230 Frobisher Bay. It didn't matter whether I was
inside, outside, at the wx station..all AM radios were dead. When I came
back in September..the band was going nuts with stations at night! Could
this be explained by the "auroral-doughnut"..or whatever its properly
called? Could Hall Beach be in the centre of it? Auroral displays were rare
No VHF DX was had in Eureka, Resolute or Hall. Hall Beach had 2 FM
stations, one was the CBC on 106.1, the other was KMBR on 108.25!
(ex-109.05). It was a feed from KMBR-FM Kansas City. The CBC station is
apparently unlicenced. It was the station on which I made my weather
broadcasting debut, hi. It may have had the calls CHHB-FM.
In Coral Harbour, E-skip was had on both TV & FM from NF to AB..including
the states of MI, WI, MN, ND, SD & MT. Most of the ES was between 11 PM - 1
AM CST indicating a likely link to Auroral activity. Boy did I ever freak
people out by tuning into FM stations from Fargo on the kitchen stereo.
They thought I was pulling their leg..playing a tape or something. Because
there was only 1 station in town..the CBC on 105.1!
So that's a bit of a rundown. I can only imagine what it would have been
like if I had layed out a mile-long wire on the tundra..and had by NRD-535D
with me! Maybe some day I'll volunteer for a tour-of-duty some winter. I
still remember those droning depressing "This is Radio Tirana"
annoucements...and the Russian woodpecker sound shooting across the AM band!
P.S.- A trivia question..
What is the highest mountain peak in Eastern North America?
Barbeau Peak, United States Range, Ellesmere Island, NWT, Canada.
8584 ft ASL.
Source: The AMFMTVDX List (GROVE NET)
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