DXing with Dr. Salmaniw on Masset, Haida-Gwaii

Good evening. Last Wednesday I flew up to our cottage in Masset. As always, I had a radio in tow. In this case, I brought up the AOR 7030+, mostly due to it's superb portability and great MW reception. The cottage is virtually done, except for the Ikea kitchen which still has to be installed, and of course the various landscaping options, etc. Inside the cottage is surprisingly spacious, although it's only 600 sq feet on the main and 300 on the loft. I suspect it's the 24+ foot peaked roof that makes it so spacious in appearance. It's also very cosy and comfortable. We had all sorts of weather, from summer like when I arrived, to some pretty chilly nights. You wouldn't know it from being inside, though. Despite only having a couple of baseboards, the place stayed very very toasty. We really insulated it well! Now onto radio matters. As you recall, I had dx'd last summer for a few days from a trailer on the property. I left the 500 or so foot Beverage in place, and it was still in perfect shape. The problem was that it was a due N/S orientation...not the ideal for our interests. Although at night and into the morning it tended to be quite quiet, it would pick up a lot of electrical noise during other parts of the day. The south end of the wire was only a matter of perhaps 30 feet to the hydro lines. Not ideal. On the second night, I erected (if one can call it that), a BOG which ran pretty much due west about 500' again, under the N/S Beverage and along the ground into a neighbouring unoccupied property along the sand dunes. This wire, although somewhat less gain, often produced far superior results than did the N/S more classic raised Beverage. I'm happy to trade the classic for the BOG based on my experience this week. Of course, I should have tried a BOG under the N/S classic but I had a lot of other pressing issues to deal with during the day.

I'm happy to report that DXing is alive and well from the Charlottes. I was extremely pleased with two of the days especially. The variability encouraged me to believe that Masset can indeed be my dx heaven. I had a concern that with my orientation, I would primarily be dxing Japan. This is not the case! Although Japanese can be at times, almost nuisance in numbers, there was also a decent Australian opening one day, and this morning I heard several Filipino stations at good strength at times! A highlight apart from the Filipinos has to be AFN on 1575 heard quite decently over about a half hour or so with AFN programming. I know we had heard them once before at Grayland. LW was pretty much useless with the very short nights. The lower end of the MW spectrum failed to yield much, compared to the upper half. Another highlight had to be hearing a Radio Two ID on 1611. Unfortunately that was the morning I lost the Recall-Pro file due to some computer glitch. Oh well!

The first morning I arose at 11:00 UTC only to be disappointed. Nothing on MW, so I did monitor a half dozen aviation weather broadcasts on LW from Alaska. The next mornings I awoke for 12:00 with great results, and continued for the next 2 to 2 1/2 hours often wishing that I had a spectrum vacuum to later analyze the various frequencies. The abilities of the SDR and WinRadio 313 came to mind a number of times, but surely we can "vacuum" the entire band. I'm sure that the results would be extremely rewarding! My plans for the future may include a EWE array fed by a single coax from a relay switch (I brought an Ameritron relay with me). The BOGs are problematic due to deer and the occasional black bear, and people during the summer. I don't relish the thought of winding them in each morning. Unfortunately I have only white Teflon coated wire (like we use at Grayland), which is highly visible to all. As time permits, I will be posting more on line, and perhaps some audio clips. Enjoy! ........Walt