2013 CMMC DXpedition
"Season 3 of DXing with Marconi"
Chatham Marconi Maritime Center (CMMC), Cape Cod, Massachusetts
(41°42'14" N, 69°58'51" W)
DXers and their Receivers
Mark Connelly - Palstar R30
Bruce Conti - WiNRADiO Excalibur SDR
Marc DeLorenzo - Japan Radio NRD-525
Steve Wood - Microtelecom Perseus SDR
Variable termination Double Delta, W7IUV RF amplifier, ICE active 4-way splitter.
It was 110 years ago when radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi completed the first wireless two-way communications between Cape Cod and England, but it was originally the recognition of another momentous occasion when this modern-day radio event got started. The inaugural CMMC medium wave AM broadcast DXpedition took place in 2011, celebrating Marconi's first ever transatlantic wireless communication which was completed between Newfoundland and England in 1901. It also marked the grand opening of the CMMC museum in the former WCC Marconi Wireless Operations Building. Since then the CapeDX group has returned annually to reincarnate the Marconi experience.
The third annual CapeDX group's "DXing with Marconi" began with a late morning breakfast at Bonatt's in Harwichport. After breakfast, Bruce Conti, Marc DeLorenzo, and Steve Wood headed out to Chatham to erect an antenna on the former WCC site and setup equipment inside the Operations Building. There they were joined by Mark Connelly for DXing, and Roy Barstow who opted out after hearing the amount of noise that was prevalent across the band early.
Despite the noise, transatlantic reception showed potential as DXing began well before sunset. However reception was sub-par overall. Signals from Albania, Moldova, and 1521 Saudi Arabia (of course) were among the most impressive, along with 'the usual' from France, Spain, and the UK.
This was the first time for deployment of a variable termination Double Delta broadband loop antenna, although dimensions may not have been 'to spec'. The termination was adjusted to null New York City, and it seemed to be working well with 1010 WINS knocked down by +20 dB leaving co-channel WCNL New Hampshire alone on the frequency during the day. Steve Wood noted Newfoundland signals including 540 CBT, 600 CBNA, 620 CKCM, 640 CBN, and 1400 CBG - another indication that the antenna was aimed in the desired direction. Atmospheric conditions simply weren't cooperating with the geomagnetic field unsettled enough to disrupt the excellent transatlantic reception experienced just a week earlier by DXers in Europe and northeastern North America. The band was noisy too. A number of local 'birdies' interfered with 9 kHz channels. Still, as they say, "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work." It was actually a sizable catch for just a little over three hours of monitoring with signals from 16 transatlantic countries received.
Thanks to Bob Ryder, CMMC Operations Manager, who accommodated our occupation of the WCC Operations Building for the afternoon. Charles Bartlett, CMMC President, and Ed Moxon, CMMC Board of Directors, were among a few radio enthusiasts who also stopped in to witness our "Modern Marconi Monitoring Station" in action. DXers demonstrated reception of transatlantic broadcast signals visually on software defined radio (SDR) spectrum analyzer displays. The objective was consistent with activities that took place over a century ago, even if the equipment was not the same. Bringing the WCC Operations Building back to life with the sounds of signals emanating from across the ocean was like being a part of history.
The DXers - Steve Wood, Marc DeLorenzo, Bruce Conti, and Mark Connelly (photo by Roy Barstow), and Roy Barstow visits the crew.
Transatlantic DX Logs (All times January 19 UTC)
549 ALGERIA Jil FM, Les Trembles 2221 - Fair with techno dance music. [DeLorenzo] 2300 - Good; techno pop music, 5 + 1 time signal, and evil-sounding program intro, parallel 531 kHz. [Conti]
576 CANARY ISLANDS//SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2300 - Poor to fair; time signal and "24 Horas" news program parallel 1107 kHz. [Conti]
585 SPAIN RNE1 Madrid 2300 - In heavy 590 WEZE splatter; time signal and "24 Horas" program. [Conti]
603 FRANCE France Info, Tramoyes 1955-2005 - Fair with news by woman in French. ID with fanfare 2000 followed by more news by man in French. [DeLorenzo]
612 MOROCCO SNRT Sebaa-Aioun 2100 - Poor; Arabic vocal, then news intro with emphasis music. [Conti]
639 CZECH REPUBLIC Ceský rozhlas, Liblice & Svinov 2100 - Fair in 640 CBN splatter; Ceský rozhlas ID with fanfare into news. [Conti]
639 SPAIN RNE1 La Coruña et al. 2014-2019 - Fair with fútbol match in Spanish. [DeLorenzo]
657 ITALY Rai Radiouno synchros 2300 - Sign-off test tones under Spain. [Conti]
657 SPAIN RNE5 Madrid 2259 - Fair; ELO bumper music into 24 Horas, parallel 1107 kHz. [Conti]
657 unID 2236-2300 - Fair with choral music, likely religious, man and woman in unknown language. Suspect Italy. [DeLorenzo]
666 PORTUGAL RDP Antena 1 synchros 2100 - Poor; RDP time signal as excited sports commentary in Portuguese continued through the hour. [Conti]
693 GERMANY VOR Henningsdorf 2000 - Poor; time signal and "Golos Rossii" news in Russian. [Conti]
693 SPAIN RNE1 synchros 2150 - Spanish sports shouting; mixed with UK's quiet talk. [Connelly]
693 UNITED KINGDOM BBC Radio 5, Droitwich et al. 2023 - Very good with group discussion. [DeLorenzo]
711 FRANCE France Info, Rennes 2031 - Fair with woman in French. Low rumble also noted from someone slightly off frequency. [DeLorenzo] 2106 - French talk by man; good. [Connelly]
738 SPAIN RNE1 Barcelona 2152 - Two men in Spanish; good. [Connelly]
747 CANARY ISLANDS//SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2106 - Man and woman in Spanish; over presumed Netherlands. [Connelly]
756 GERMANY Deutschlandfunk, Braunschweig & Ravensburg 2105 - Jazz, German talk by woman; fair. [Connelly] 2300 - Fair; "Deutschlandfunk" and time signal into news in German. [Conti]
774 SPAIN RNE1 synchros 2038 - Fair with fútbol match parallel to 639 kHz. [DeLorenzo] 2104 - Spanish news; to fair peak. [Connelly]
864 FRANCE France Bleu, Villebon-sur-Yvette 2301 - Poor to fair; news in French, then emphasis music with France Bleu mention. [Conti]
873 SPAIN SER synchros 2158 - Fast Spanish talk, crowd sounds. [Connelly]
909 UNITED KINGDOM BBC Radio 5 synchros 2056 - Fair with group discussion. [DeLorenzo] 2101 - Talk about Algerian hostage crisis, Mali conflict. [Connelly] 2200 - Good, synchro echo; "First for breaking news and the best live sport, this is BBC Radio Five Live," and news "from the BBC on Five Live." [Conti]
936 SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2300 - Poor to fair with synchro echo; time signal and fanfare into 24 Horas parallel 1107 kHz. [Conti]
945 FRANCE France Info, Toulouse 2143 - French discussion, emphasis music; fair. [Connelly] 2300 - Good; fanfare into "le journal" news. [Conti]
954 CZECH REPUBLIC Ceský rozhlas synchros 2300 - Fair; orchestral national anthem. [Conti]
954 SPAIN Onda Cero, Madrid 2142 - Two men in Spanish; fair past WROL slop. [Connelly]
999 MOLDOVA VOR Maiac 2057 - Over Spain; pre sign-on test tones at 5 second intervals. [Conti] 2114-2117 - Fair with news by woman in East European language. [DeLorenzo] 2141 - Man in Russian; dominant over Spain. [Connelly]
999 SPAIN COPE Madrid 2058 - Fair with fútbol match. [DeLorenzo] 2059 - Spanish sporting event; under VOR Moldova test tones. [Connelly]
1026 SPAIN SER synchros 2300 - Poor in 1030 WBZ splatter; time signal and SER news fanfare. [Conti]
1089 UNITED KINGDOM TalkSport synchros 2125 - Fair with teletalk. [DeLorenzo] 2200 - Good; "On DAB digital radio, and 1089 and 1053 AM, TalkSport," into 10 o'clock headlines, parallel 1053 kHz. [Conti] 2203 - ID "TalkSport 1089 and 1053 AM." [Connelly]
1098 SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2145 - Good; news parallel 1107 kHz. [Conti]
1107 SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2058 - Woman in Spanish, music interlude; good. [Connelly] 2128-2135 - Fair with jazz piano music; at 2130 time pips and into news in Spanish. [DeLorenzo] 2145 - Good; "Todas noticias, informaciones de Radio Nacional," and alternating man/woman with fast-paced newscast, parallel 1098 kHz. 2300 - Excellent; ELO bumper music, time signal, time check, "Son las doce, las once en Canarias," and news program, "24 horas, Radio Nacional de España." [Conti]
1134 CROATIA Hrvatske Radio, Zadar 2110 - Slavic talk by man and woman. [Connelly] 2300 - Fair in 1130 WBBR splatter; signature 'slow' time signal, fanfare into news. [Conti]
1179 SPAIN SER R.Rioja, Logroño 2259 - Fair; Cadena Ser promo, then local ID, "Radio Rioja, Cadena Ser," and time signal on the hour into SER fanfare. Thanks to Mauricio Molano at RealDX for help with ID. Listen to mp3 audio clip.[Conti]
1206 FRANCE France Info, Bordeaux 2113 - Parallel 1404 with man in French. [Connelly]
1215 SPAIN COPE synchros 2300 - Over Absolute Radio; "Cope, estar informado" and theme music parallel 999 kHz. [Conti]
1215 UNITED KINGDOM Absolute Radio synchros 2121 - "Livin' Thing" by Electric Light Orchestra (1976); good. [Connelly] 2140 - Over Spain; Journey "Don't Stop Believin'." [Conti]
1314 SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2123 - Two women in Spanish; to good peak. [Connelly]
1377 FRANCE France Info, Lille 2124 - Man and woman in French, piano; good. [Connelly] 2146 - Fair with woman in French. [DeLorenzo]
1386 SPAIN Euskadi Irratia, Bilbao 2124 - Spanish talk by man; fair. [Connelly] 2150 - Fair; folk music parallel 1476 kHz. [Conti]
1394.86 ALBANIA TWR Fllakë 2050 - Slavic talk; good. [Connelly] 2130 - Excellent; instrumental music, one cycle of TWR interval signal, then off. [Conti]
1404 FRANCE France Info synchros 2113 - Parallel 1206 with man in French; to good peak. [Connelly] 2113 - Good; talk parallel 1557 kHz. 2130 France Info music. [Conti]
1413 SPAIN RNE5 synchros 2051 - Spanish talk; over others. [Connelly]
1422 GERMANY Deutschlandfunk, Heusweiler 2159 - Good; talk in German, "Deutschlandfunk" with electronic fanfare and time signal into news. [Conti]
1440 LUXEMBOURG RTL Marnach 2137 - French song, then French talk by man and woman; over WRED Maine. [Connelly]
1457.63 ALBANIA CRI Fllakë 2020 - Het vs. 1458.0 kHz. [Conti]
1467 FRANCE TWR Roumoules 2055 - Arabic-sounding talk by woman. [Connelly] 2130 - Excellent; announcement in French, one cycle of TWR interval signal, and start of Arabic program. [Conti]
1503 IRAN IRIB R.Iran, Bushehr 2138 - Koranic chanting by man; good. [Connelly]
1503 SPAIN RNE5 La Línea de Concepción & Piñeira 2200 - Over/under presumed Iran; time signal and fanfare into news. [Conti]
1521 SAUDI ARABIA BSKSA Duba 1928 - As usual, the first TA to produce audio. Fair signal more than two hours before local sunset with man in Arabic. Later, at 2205, loud and clear with Arabic teletalk parallel to 9555 and 9870 kHz. [DeLorenzo] 1941 - Good; talk in Arabic. [Conti] 2052 - Parallel 9555 with Arabic talk by two men; good. [Connelly]
1539 SPAIN SER synchros 2300 - Poor; time signal and SER fanfare music. [Conti]
1548 KUWAIT R.Sawa, Kabd-Kuwait City 2143 - No doubt the source of pop music well under Moldova. [DeLorenzo]
1548 MOLDOVA VOR Grigoriopol 2129 - Slavic talk (Serbian listed); loud. [Connelly] 2137 - Good; frequencies and "La Voce della Russia" in Italian. [Conti] 2137-2145 - Good with woman in Italian. Several IDs noted, "La Voce della Russia." Thanks to Mauna Ritola for help via Real DX. [DeLorenzo]
1557 FRANCE France Info, Fontbonne 1942 - Good; talk in French. 2130 - Good; fanfare into "le journal" news. [Conti]
1575 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES R.Farda, Al Dhabiya 2129 - Good; telephone news/talk with R.Farda mentioned, then headlines accented by music into news. [Conti]
Mark Connelly, Steve Wood, Marc DeLorenzo, and Bruce Conti at their monitoring stations.
The CMMC maintains its museum and an amateur radio station in the former WCC Marconi Wireless Operations Building which is open to the public during Cape Cod tourist season. Future plans for the CMMC include restoration of an adjacent "hotel" building on the WCC campus once used by wireless employees. Please consider becoming a member of the CMMC in support of ongoing education and preservation initiatives. Visit the CMMC online at chathammarconi.org.
CMMC museum displays of the WCC transmitter room, an HRO receiver, and loop antenna.
73 and Good DX!
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