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846-Kiribati Transmitter Issues   
Friday, December 29 2017

The new 846-Kiribati transmitter on Christmas Island has awesome signals, and was overall the strongest Pacific island station received during the recent Kona, Hawaii DXpedition. Of all the Pacific island DU's it faded in at the earliest time after sunset, and maintained its strength even during strong Asian propagation -- as long as it managed to transmit without its signal dropping out. Unfortunately that seemed to be a pretty common occurrence in Kona. TP-DXers both on the west coast and in New Zealand have occasionally found it to be MIA for an entire evening.

In Kona I recorded a couple of MP3's of 846-Christmas Island's signal dropping out multiple times within one minute. This segment at 0620 UTC on December 17th features 6 signal dropouts within one minute


This segment at 0944 UTC on December 18 is even worse-- 9 dropouts in 90 seconds


After a prolonged 846 transmitter dropout it seemed like the programming time delay between the distant 1440-Kiribati on Tarawa Island and the new 846-Kiribati on Christmas Island would change. On December 17th I recorded two different time delays-- 19 seconds, as in the following recording (the MP3 starts out on 846 at 0635, switches to 1440 at the 1:02 point, then switches back to 846 at the 1:34 point, with a 19-second time delay evident between the 1440 and 846 programming (846 lags behind)


Later on the same evening there was a 36 second time delay between 1440 and 846, with this MP3 starting off on 1440 at 0645, and switching to 846 at the 11 second point


Both 1440 and 846 now sign off around 1008 UTC, a change from April when 1440 signed off at 0936. Unlike in April 1440-Kiribati was usually getting hammered by JOWF in Sapporo by that time in the December propagation, although the 1000 Hz tone that 1440 uses before the power is cut gets through QRM like a DXer's dream. This was the 1440-Kiribati sign off routine (National Anthem and 1000 Hz tone) recorded on December 19th at 1005


73 and Good DX,

Gary DeBock (DXing at the Royal Kona Resort Motel with a 7.5" loopstick CC Skywave Ultralight

+ 5 inch (127mm) "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna


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