Saturday, 19 April 2014
Ultralight DXing Report - Talbot Road Lookout, Launceston Tasmania
Time: 6:55am - 7:30am
Location: Talbot Road Lookout, Launceston
Radio: 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-380
Total stations logged: 38
New stations logged: 0
Furthest station logged: 639kHz - 5CK (Port Pirie) - 1227km
Medium wave radio challenge 2014 Score: 84
Notes: My wife had an early shift at work this morning so I was going to drop her off. As this meant I was going to be up early I decided to make the most of this opportunity and undertake a portable ultralight dxing session. After looking over my list / map I decided on Talbot Road Lookout for this session.
After dropping her off at around 6:45am I headed directly to Talbot Road Lookout, arriving just on 6:55am which was 10 minutes after sunrise. Due to the early time of the day it was very quiet and nobody else was around. As a side note I have used this lookout a number of times in the past when I was involved in the radio scanning hobby. For about 18 months in 2009 and 2010 I used to regularly eat my lunch at this location as it was close to my place of employment at the time. It is a popular spot for doing this. The Talbot Road Lookout has been around for a long time, I can remember visiting it as a young child in the 1980’s. Here is a link to another page about it: http://sophieslaunceston.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/talbot-road-lookout-2/
I setup at the top of the lookout and took some photos / videos while I was DXing (see below), while it was fairly quiet here I did have some issues with noise from passing traffic on the road. I also had an older man come up and speak to me from the bottom while I was doing this; he was out walking his dog and we had a quick chat. The metal plate mounted to the top of the lookout provided a good support for my Tecsun PL-380 radio and I found the metal plate had very little effect on the radios RF performance. I also undertook some side by side testing between my 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-380 and my Digitech AR-1733. This showed that both radios work well on the medium wave band with the 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-380 puling in many more stations than the Digitech AR-1733 (as would be expected) I was however surprised to find that for most stations which the 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-380 could hear the Digitech AR-1733 could also hear them, just at a much reduced signal level. I was also surprised by the slightly better audio of the Digitech AR-1733 in this environment.
Beaming towards the East to listen for New Zealand stations didn’t produce any results (not that I was expecting it to). When I turned the radio in the North / North West direction I was very pleased to be able to log 38 stations (full list below) including 2 South Australian stations at over 1000km each. Signals at the bottom of the band were a stand out given the time of day and I suspect if I was to be onsite even half an hour earlier I would be able to improve on my loggings even more. As I moved up the band my results were encouraging with many Victorian and New South Wales stations being heard. By the time I hit 1116kHz this died off with only Victorian stations were heard above this point.
I packed up just on 7:30am as I was keen to get home to have some breakfast. Overall this was a very enjoyable session and I plan to undertake some night / early morning session from this location in the future.
801 HPON - GOSFORD
1008 HPON - Launceston
1080 HPON - Hobart
1341 HPON - Geelong
1413 HPON - Shepparton
1422 HPON - Melbourne
Talbot Road Lookout
Looking East, sun rising over Mt Barrow
Looking North towards Launceston CBD, Tamar river and the main land
Looking towards West Launceston, main TV and commercial two way radio towers can be seen in the background
7.5" Tecsun PL-380
Me on the top of the Talbot Road Lookout
7.5" Tecsun PL-380 set up on the top of the Talbot Road Lookout. The sun is rising over Mt Barrow
Posted by Paul at 14:18