Hard-Core-DX.com: Kona, Hawaii Ultralight DXpedition-- North Korean Stations

Kona, Hawaii Ultralight DXpedition-- North Korean Stations

Saturday, December 23 2017


The 5-day trip to warm and (usually) sunny Kona, Hawaii has wrapped up, and now I've returned with a huge number of obscure TP-DX recordings made with a 5 inch (127mm) TSA-friendly FSL antenna (also known as the "Frequent Flyer" model). This antenna was specifically designed to pass quickly and easily through airports, and provide gain roughly similar to that of a 4 foot (1.3m) air core box loop.


December propagation in Kona was a stark change from what was observed during a 4-day trip to Kona with identical gear in April. In April the Pacific island DU's on 540, 558, 621, 1017, 1098 and 1440 had no Asian competition from 0700-1030 UTC, and could pound in at awesome strength all alone on their frequencies during those hours. By contrast, during this week's Hawaii trip the Asian TP's started pestering the Pacific island DU's as early as 0730, and usually drowned most of them out by 0830. The only exceptions were the new 846-Kiribati from Christmas Island, its 1440-Kiribati parallel (although with a 19-second delay between the two, with Christmas Island lagging), and 1098-Marshalls. Overwhelming signals from Japan, North Korean and China were usually all over the band by 0900 UTC, with the second-tier Asians sounding like big gun TP's do on the west coast. The 5 inch FSL did a great job in providing gain to record many exotic MP3's at good levels, but the "side effect" was piling up a huge number of obscure TP recordings (including wild TP snarls), and the necessity to "record first, and report later."


In an attempt to provide some organization to the wild process I decided to initially report TP-DX according to the countries of origin, and post links for some of the more memorable recordings from each area. Once the dust has settled a more detailed (frequency-by-frequency) report should be in order. The group of MP3's chosen for this first report were all recorded from North Korea, a bizarre country with even more bizarre programming. Other N.K. stations were received in TP snarls, but these were generally all alone. They include an S7 recording of Pyongyang's Japanese service on 621 (with degraded audio from the transmitter), a transmitter on 801 with a Southern Jammer (sounding like the old 1053 beehive) and an 819 transmitter loud enough to wake up the dead. A curious point was that the usual west coast big gun on 657 was never received-- a victim of loud Hawaiian splatter from 650 and 670.


621 Pyongyang BS (V.O.K.) Chongjin, N.K. Voice of Korea Japanese service at a strong level, complete with a buzzing transmitter. This was one of three Asian TP's (including China and NHK1) that would usually run Tuvalu off the rails around 0900 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/rhfksf381csgtohluxt3e97tjf79fshm

Japanese female ID and typical music at 0928 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/v7q9eniu9qq1f27rbq97v4c9zbni2eha


801 Pyongyang BS Kimchaek, N.K. This station was a moderate-strength regular, and had an intermittent Beehive-type jammer from the South https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/e4kr0asg24d1ujyk74zztcbdl8aepazh

Jammer and Pyongyang at equal anemic strength https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/2fgnifuus86pd0n9qzsatzps56hk43kb


819 Pyongyang BS Pyongyang, N.K. Far and away the strongest N.K. station in Kona, this signal would pound in around 0830 and vary from S7 to S9+ right up until 1030. Bizarre vocal music from a female group was at legendary strength at 0935 on 12-19 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/gj2deffl7mjuzqr5tocsro100sfhqll9

Typical music and 3+1 time pips at the North Korean "TOH" of 0930 on 12-20

https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/v7q9eniu9qq1f27rbq97v4c9zbni2eha


855 Pyongyang BS Sangwon, N.K. Those who remember the tirade lady on 657 will recognize the voice in this recording. This station was always around during good TP propagation, but never at overwhelming strength https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/34r4oayh63kxxigc6hisu3t5bfhz1yeb


73 and Good DX,

Gary DeBock (DXing in Kona, Hawaii)

7.5 inch CC Skywave +

5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna

(Demo video posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRaOnWS-5Ig&t=78s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRaOnWS-5Ig&t=78s )

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