Thursday, 13 August 2015

Ultralight DXing Report - Denison Road Scenic Lookout

Date: 12/08/2015
Time: 16:10 – 16:50 Local
Location: Denison Road Scenic Lookout Launceston
Radio: 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-360
Total stations logged: 27
New stations logged: 0

Notes: Recently while out driving I came across the sign (first photo) for a lookout that I had not heard of before, I made a mental note to return and check it out. Yesterday I had a couple of hours of spare time so decided to go and undertake a portable ultralight DXing session from this location.

I parked my car and set off up the rough track, I arrived at the seat (second photo) and thought “this can’t be it” so kept going, soon the track ended so I walked back and set up on the seat. In the 40 minute period I logged 27 stations which were a mix of Tas, VIC, NSW and some SA stations. No new stations were logged and overall I was not that impressed with the location or the medium wave stations I heard on Medium Wave. 

I also did some listening on the shortwave bands and logged the following stations:
7405KHz    Radio Marti
7455KHz    RMI
7555KHz    EWTN
9790KHz    Radio France International
11520KHz EWTN
11580KHz RMI
11625KHZ Vatican Radio
11775KHz China Radio International
11850KHz Radio Free Europe
13635KHz Voice of Turkey
15595KHz Vatican Radio
15700KHz Radio Romania International
17615KHz China Radio International

Friday, 7 August 2015

7.5" Portable Loopstick and New Portable Case

During my last portable ultralight DXing session ( I had to report that "Sadly half way down the steps my carry case slipped off my shoulder and smashed against some rocks, the latch broke clean off and the contents including my radios and accessories went flying, I was able to find them all and only my AR-1733 suffered some minor scratches."

Earlier this week I went to grab my 7.5" loopstick PL-380 for some DXing at home, when I lifted it out of my carry case the loopstick fell clean off and ripped the wire connections off the mainboard, at that point I came up on DXing for the night and instead watched some television. I think this was a result of the fall it had last weekend. The next day I arrived at work to find that my PL-360 had finally arrived. 

Over the past few nights I have been using my PL-360, the results with the "standard" loop aerial are not impressive. Based on this I came up with the idea to add a 3.5mm connector to my 7.5" loopstick aerial to see how this would preform. Below are some photos of my new carry case and the portable version of the 7.5" loopstick. From my limited testing so far the results are very promising. This new smaller case holds the PL-360 plus both aerials, ear phones and spare batteries, this is all I need for most session with my larger bag holding my other radios and other accessories.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Portable Ultralight DXing Session – Punchbowl Reserve Cliff and Talbot Road Lookout - August 2015

Over the past few months I have had limited “hobby time” due to a number of changes in my life, combine this with work, family time and other changes and I have struggled to get out for as many portable sessions as I would have liked. Our winter has been cold and wet so this has also played a part in my lack of portable sessions.

This afternoon I had a few spare hours so at the suggestion of my wife I grabbed my ultralight kit and headed off to the Punchbowl reserve with the idea of setting up in the main reserve area as I have done in the past. When I arrived I decided to take a quick walk up to the waterfall area, we have had some rain in the past day and this waterfall can really get going at times. While standing on the bridge I decided to see if I could find a track up to the cliff face as can be seen in the photo below. I grew up close to this area and know it fairly well but have never looked for a track to the top. As luck would have it one does exist but this is very steep and rough in places, the recent rain had made the ground very wet underfoot and this made for hard going in places with it being very slippery. Once I arrived at the top the track across to the cliff face is easily found, I checked the area and set up on some rocks a little bit back from the edge, the last thing I wanted to do was fall down; the photos below don’t really show just how high these are.

During my session at the cliff face between 15:45 and 17:00 I logged 39 stations; these were a mix of Tasmania, Victorian and some NSW stations. The video below shows some of these loggings. Towards the end of this session the light was starting to fade. I had wanted to stay until dark when the sky wave propagation would kick in but as I had only walked the track once in the day, I only had a small torch with me and my car was at risk of being locked in the car park overnight I packed up and took the track back to the car park. Sadly half way down my carry case slipped off my shoulder and smashed against some rocks, the latch broke clean off and the contents including my radios and accessories went flying, I was able to find them all and only my AR-1733 suffered some minor scratches.

Once I returned to my car I decided to head to the Talbot Road Lookout which is just around the corner, from here I logged another 22 stations as dusk set in to make it a grand total of 61 stations logged between the two locations for the day.

Overall I had a really good time, it was great to get out and about with my ultralight radios, log some stations and enjoy the great outdoors. The Punchbowl Cliff area was a good find and an area I plan to use more in the future, I will need to find another parking location if I wish to stay after dark when the car park is locked.


Walking track to water fall

Bridge over the water way

Waterfall in flood

The steps up to the cliff face

View looking down to the bridge

View from the cliff - looking North East

Talbot Road Lookout

Dusk with the last light of the day


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