Bogdan speaks: As many of you know, especially those of you who are on LatinMWDX, the last night while I was walking with my father and the dog, I bring an old longwave/mediumwave transistor radio, Phillips, with us and it sounded like Pierrefonds/Dollards-des-Ormeaux (Montreal suburbs) were the east coast. Not exceptionnal DX, but Turks and Caicos-530 was often excellent, Colombia-760 peaked to excellent on the Wootside street in DdO, and another Colombian made a showing on 650.
DX from my home QTH revealed plenty of cubans, almost exclusively Radio Rebelde outlets. The 50 kW 1180 kHz out-let in Villa Maria seem to arrive via high-angle skip, as it was easily recevable even using a very mediocre Panasonic Rx-D14 AM/FM Hi-Fi portable (no, not my present fro Christmas; I will receive the Sangean, AOR or Sony ICF-2001 or whearever on December 24 only !!), sometimes stronger than on my usual Sanyo MCD-S830 receiver, still mostly way under WHAM, very occasionnally atop, tough. But, the brig surprise comed up with a very seldom heard by me outlet in Colon (I think) on 620 during 2 minutes of dead air by semi-local WVMT in Burlington (just accros the border in Vermont). It was playing spanish disco music and was clearly //ed with 600, 710 and 1180; this may have been the high-light of the last night DX sessions. Guadeloupe made a showing with a very good signal, tough much instable than the cuban powerhouses. Venezuelans were sub-par with only YVKS-750 audible, altough at a fairly huge level at times. Colombia was so and so, 760 was the only really consistent signal. Turks and Caicos was excellent on 530, and a some dozens of minutes some time before the end of the session, spend on the expanded band, rpovide dme with WDHP-1620; a new log and country nr. 16 for me (US Virgin Islands). Tough, since local CJWI-1610 run very low power, and 1620 is quite clear, I do not consider it a so exciting catch as Rebelde-620. I would really love to have WVMT silent for a night or so; it may be my only chane for hearing Nicaragua on MW.
Conditions were clearly very good, but not excellent; the Caribbean dominated and South America was poorer. There were also some longer-haul excellent domestic signals like WSB-750 and WRVA-1140, but these weren't impressive enough to take me away from this nice LA opening, close to "freeding-freezing", as Mark Connelly says sometimes.
Into the logs now:
Bogdan Chiochiu DX-ing from around the eastern part of West Island Montreal, QC and from his own QTH in Pierrefonds:
Equipment: Sanyo MCD-S830 AM/FM portable w/ his own internal ferrite loop
Phillips LW/MW tube transistor w/ferrite bar antenna (bringed from Romania)
Panasonic-RxD14 weak portable w/ short internal ferrite rod
530 TURKS AND CAICOS, R. Vision Cristiana, DEC 23 0236 - excellent with SS tropical song about "Navidad". + DEC 23 0249 +/- Excellent to fair and distorted with a gospel song followed by a SS version of "Adeste Fidelez". + DEC 23 0400 with Navidad top-of-the-hour jingle, then triple ID for WWRV-1330, WVIP-1310 and RVC-530; excellent to very good; barely 10 minutes later back to excellent and the neighborhood has shutted down their computer, so the reception becomed really entertainment quality. (Chiochiu-QC)
600 CUBA, CMKV, Radio Rebelde, Urbano Norris, DEC 23 0353 - good for 2-3 minutes with an old-fashionned cuban song (Chiochiu-QC) + DEC 23 0448 with SS disco music, //620. Good signal strenght + DEC 23 0413 - with SS ballads, good-fair signal with some WICC QRM. CKAT North Bay, ON occasionnally in too (even when nulled), but way much weaker (Chiochiu-QC).
620 CUBA, Radio Rebelde, Colon, DEC 23 0351 - Very good with SS disco song until blowed away a bit after 0452 by WVMT-VT coming back with programming; //1180 (fair signal, but way under WHAM) and 600 (good with interference-free at the time) (Chicohiu-QC)
640 CUBA, Radio Progreso, ? , DEC 23 2352 - Rumba mx, poor u/ WNNZ; the same type of programming as heard on 890 several dozens of minutes later (Chiochiu-QC)
640 GUADELOUPE, Radio Guadeloupe, Pointe-à-Pitre, DEC 23 0442 - briefly very good with France Info newscast; with man in FF talking about politics; lost to heavy QRM from nulled CFYR (Mojo Radio) Toronto barely 30 seconds later (Chiochiu-QC)
650 COLOMBIA, HJKH RCN Antena Dos, Bogota, DEC 23 0202 - very poor with man in spanish; audible only because the CKAC transmitted spur is extremely weak in the Cérez Park, while at home it is fair ! Except for RCN-760 - wich run higher-power again - Colombia is pretty tough to hear at my QTH, unlike Venezuela wich is regular on 640, 670 and 750 (Chiochiu-QC)
670 UNITED STATES, WWFE, Miami, FL DEC 23 0347 - presumed with SS talk beetwen man and woman at poor-fair level, not // any Rebelde outlet, and R. Rumbos goes off after 0400 (UTC). This may create a confusion for LA DX-ers who may think they had either Venezuela or Cuba, when this is Florida ! (Chiochiu-QC)
710 CUBA, Radio Rebelde, DEC 23 0415 - Woman in spanish, then the Céline Dion remake of an older Mariah Carey song followed by man with news items. Poor-fair to occasionnally good; over/under WOR; fair-good and alone for 2 minutes at 0416-0418 UTC (2316-2318 ET); better on the high-side on 710 to avoid 690 het. This was my first Latin American that got me started in AM DX'ing back in October 4, 2000 when I heard them at excellent level instead of WOR, so it's always nice to hear them ! (Chiochiu-QC).
750 VENEZUELA, YVKS RCR, Caracas, DEC 23 0337 - Several spots followed by a relay of REE with the announcement "Desde Madrid, RCR con Radio Exterior de España". Very good and slightly over WSB + DEC 23 0357 - with YV anthem at fair-good level, but under WSB Atlanta's excellent signal (Chiochiu-QC)
760 COLOMBIA, HJAJ, RCN Barranquilia, DEC 23 0057 - With canned local ID "En el Atlantico, H-J-A-J, 760 kilohertz, RCN Barranquilla", then RCN promo with man saying that this network attrackt 75% of the Caracol listenership; a modern version of the "RCN, La radio de Colombia" jingle; followed by "Tiempo de Noticías Banco Popular, Banco Popular - lo ultimo en succeso" with a report from a narcotraficant in Cartagena and the "Policía de Bogota" (The Bogota's police). Building signal strenght from poor to quite good. + DEC 23 0200+ Very good to fair, in WJR null with Phillips radio pointed at south, with talk-show about Colombia (presumably a part of the "El Navidad de (Tendicos?) program); some splash from next-door WABC on 770. Heard this while walking in my Edward Higgins street ! + DEC 23 0246 - On the Wootside street noted this w/ excellent with absolutely no interferences at all in a very solid WJR null with a nice X-mas song by a younger child then man in SS mentioning the program "Navidad de (su hijos?)" , "tendicos?" or wearever that word and talking a bit about the competition beetwen various childrens singing Christmas songs from all over Colombia and winning various prizes, then another child song that sounded more like a speach than like a song. About that time, I tuned down to 530 kHz to hear music of more quality ! The passants were looking very briefly to us, while hearing spanish gospel on that radio (from Radio Vision Cristiana, of course; I don't think they knew this either) + DEC 23 0301 good, but quickly lost with signal fading down in strenght, w/ anti drug aid with a child "...jugar" then strong man with "Prevenir consuma, compromiso de Colombia cotra la droga", then lost to clutter and WABC-770 het/slop and weaker remaints of nulled WJR Detroit; at the time I was glimping a coline on the Cérez Park while seeing a Ms with 2 dogs, one of the dogs jumping to Tom (our german shapear's dog) was down near the balanseories (Chiochiu-QC).
890 CUBA, CMDZ, Radio Progreso, Chambas, DEC 23 0054 - Fair with cuban tropical music + DEC 23 0107 with a live pgm with woman speaching; very good, in WLS null + 0248 very good to good playing "British Woman, walking down the street..." + DEC 23 0452 - Spanish music, poor with nulled WLS even weaker underneath, seemed //640 wich was barely stronger in the big WNNZ/CFYR/YVQO/Guadeloupe pile-up (Chiochiu-QC)
1180 CUBA, Radio Rebelde, CMBA, Villa-Maria (50 kW) DEC 23 0419 - Fair to strong, under/ocasionnally over or even way on top ofWHAM on 1 or 2 occs . This was very often strong enough to be heard on a weak Panasonic-RxD14 portable with a very poor ferrite antenna (i.e.: 0456 - with light old-fashionned cuban music, very good way over WHAM for about 2 minutes) (Chiochiu-QC)
1620 US Vrigin Islands, WDHP Fredrisksted, St. Croix DEC 23 0406 - caught 3 WDHP IDs at a poor-somewhat fair level (1 or 2 of them sounded like 'DHP or 'HP due to moderate het coming from a 1610 local). + 0407-0409 - Fair-strong now with man and woman in accented english. New for me and my first foreign reception in the 1600-1710 extended dial ! (Chiochiu-QC)
That's it for now !
Bogdan speaks again: As you can see any radio with decent sensitivity can bring some Latins in the mediumwave (AM) band when conditions are above-average here in most-southern Quebec. The Sanyo MCD-S830 portable is the best and have decent performences even for veteran DX'ers. But for high-angle skip like Cuba-1180 any radio can do it, I think. With the 75 meters of wire I connected outside back in October to the Realistic-DX150A communication receiver of Nick-Hall Patch, I perphaps could hear Latins, if it was just directionnal to null out co-channel domestics and if it had more gain, since I can barely get WSB-750 with that. I maybe need some of a booster, and a K9AY loop antenna too. Tomorrow, I receive my Christmas present, and we will probably buy a loop from RadioShack, so I'll see how the DX will sound then. Maybe it''ll be slightly inferior to the performences I get on my Sanyo-MCD-S830 portable, but maybe it will work as good as a Beverage durign DX'peditions. You'll never know. Tomorrow, I will have a very big surprise.
73 and good DX,
I hope you have similar Christmas presents and good time with your family and friends,
Bogdan A. Chiochiu