Veteran medium-wave DXer Ben Dangerfield of PA was on a summer trip to the New England area, so I arranged to get together with him for a DXing session on Friday, 28 JUL 2000. He and his family were staying at the Oceanview Inn in Gloucester, MA on Cape Ann. The fishing town of Gloucester, also a popular tourist destination, figured prominently in the recent film "The Perfect Storm".
I sent a message to the Boston Area DXers reflector to see if any other DXers wanted to join Ben and me for a short ride from Ben's hotel over to the Granite Pier DXpedition site in Rockport, MA. Bruce Conti decided to join in on the fun. Bruce had met Ben previously on a Newfoundland DXpedition; this was the first time I met Ben. I'd enjoyed reading his excellent international DX reports over the almost 30 years I've been in the National Radio Club.
We stopped at Josie D's, an informal seafood restaurant on the Gloucester-Rockport town line, to load up on fish dinners prior to the mini-DXpedition.
Arrival time at the pier was about 7.30 p.m. EDT / 2330 UTC. The first audible Trans-Atlantic signals were Spaniards on the top end of the dial: these included SER outlets on 1521, 1575, 1584, and 1602. When sunset hit, at about 0010 UTC, the dial opened up more generally. I didn't write much down as I was more interested in demonstrating the car DX set-up using my Drake R8A fed by the rooftop cardioid phased array of an active whip and a broadband loop. Stations I recall hearing in the 0000 to 0200 UTC time slot include Algeria-549, Spain-585, Morocco-612, Canaries-621, Spain-639, Netherlands-675, Spain-684, UK-693, W.Sahara-711.04, Spain-729, Spain-738, Spain-756, Spain & Egypt-774, Azores-836, Canaries-837, Italy-846, Spain-855, Egypt-864, Spain-873, Canaries-882, Algeria-891, Spain-954, Algeria-981, Spain-1017, Spain-1044, UK-1089, Spain-1098, Spain-1107, Spain-1116, Spain-1125, Spain-1134, Croatia-1134, Spain-1143, Spain-1152, Canaries-1179, Spain-1215, Spain-1224, Libya-1251, Spain-1296, Spain-1305, Spain-1359, Spain-1413, unID (prob. Algeria)-1422, Saudi Arabia-1512, Spain-1521, Kuwait-1548, unID (France?)-1557, Spain-1575, Ceuta-1583.6, Spain-1584, Germany-1593, Spain-1602. Latin American signals were almost non-existent. Ben got a kick out of hearing numerous loud Newfoundlanders including CBT-540, VOCM-590, CBN-640, CHCM-740, CBGY-750, and VOAR-1210. He said that these are hard to hear back at his home in Wallingford, PA.
We all went back to Ben's hotel for a bit more DXing from 0240-0300 UTC. A nice finale to the evening came at 0300 when VOA Sao Tome - 1530 signed on with a clear "This is the Voice of America" ID and Yankee Doodle theme rolling over WSAI.
Bruce Conti's account and loggings follow.
Mark Connelly and I met up with the vacationing Ben Dangerfield for an evening of DX from the Granite Pier site in Rockport, Massachusetts. (The last time I saw Ben was when we met at the 1996 Newfoundland DXpedition.) The DX was "the usual" for Mark and me, but for Ben it was interesting to check out our car DX setups in action and hear all the transatlantic activity. Although Spaniards dominated (I only took notes on a few), it was still a good demonstration of what's possible for midsummer DX from a coastal site. A brief scan back at Ben's ocean view hotel in Gloucester, Massachusetts produced much of the same stuff. Just before packing up for the night, Mark capped off the evening with VOA Sao Tome on 1530. Perhaps the only disappointment was the lack of any Caribbean and Latin American DX. Just as well, Ben was pleased to hear all the strong Canadian Maritime and down-east Maine signals.
Transatlantic DX549 ALGERIA Alger Chaine 1, Les Trembles JUL 29 0140 - Good; music // 153.
Bruce Conti, Rockport MA; Drake R8B, DCP-2 with RL-1 remote-control Quantum loop and RW-1 remote control whip.
Ben Dangerfield's comments follow.
Back yesterday from a brief trip to Gloucester where, as Bruce noted, I enjoyed a DX session at the Rockport pier and later back at Bass Rocks with Mark and Bruce. They each set up their rigs atop their cars with R8A [Mark] and R8B [Bruce] inside each car, connected to the phasing units. The TA reception was as expected, and about 60 were heard, more than half with decent signals. But you had to be at oceanside to bring them in. And I was impressed at being able to phase out domestics like WPHT to Newfoundlanders. Back home now, the same TAs are just weak hets, if anything at all. They should improve by month's end.
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