LBI-18 2019

The 18th annual Long Beach Island DXpedition was held at Beach Haven West, NJ from Monday November 4 through Sunday November 10, 2019. Following the prior year's excellent conditions, we knew that we couldn't expect to exceed that, and we didn't. While the A and K indices were extremely low last year, this years' numbers trended a bit higher. Trans-Atlantic conditions weren't as favorable as we didn't log some of the lower powered stations in interior Europe which we have heard in the past. The sizable reduction of Iranian logs was due to reductions in operating hours and stations in that country. We also did not note any receptions from deeper into South America beyond the Caribbean with the exception of one from Ecuador. Nevertheless, we did log a number of new stations and countries for LBI (this year's totals included 6 new countries). One surprise was the appearance of a number of Colombian stations which we had not heard previously and which were not really favored by our antennas.

Our antenna setup at LBI has settled into three options, dictated by the configuration of the property we are at: a trans-Atlantic 16'x 36' terminated broadband loop at 60 degrees, a 75' corner-fed terminated delta loop pointed at 90 degrees nulled to reduce domestic splatter, and a southern 16' x 36' terminated broadband loop at 170 degrees. The 90 degree loop did double duty this year, picking up trans-Atlantic stations as well as Central and South Americans. All the antennas are fed by Wellbrook FLG-100 amplifiers, and both the delta and south loops were reversed at some point during the DXpedition to try for stations over the pole from Asia (350 degrees, reversing the 170) and Australia (270 degrees, reversing the 90); while we did get a number of Asian carriers on the 350 antenna, conditions unfortunately didn’t support any audio from the big-gun outlets in China or India.

As is our custom, this DXpedition is primarily focused on medium wave broadcast stations but we also ventured above and below those frequencies in search of interesting DX in the 0-1.8 MHz range such as longwave beacons, fishnet buoys, NAVTEX stations and 1700-1800 kHz European weather forecasts. We also were able to snag a few pirates in the U.S. X-band. Thanks to recent advances in software for identifying non-direction beacons we were able to log some new longwave countries (identified in the log as "via PskovNDB"); although that technique has some controversy in the NDB community these were based on solid signals from those Scandinavian countries, so we felt comfortable including them in our logs. As usual, seeing and talking with old friends once again was a big positive for all attendees. Our numbers were down a bit due to work obligations for some of our group. This was also the first time that some of us were on site for the full week, which spread out the DX somewhat and allowed some more experimentation with antenna setups. Attendees and equipment are listed below.

Brett Saylor, W3SWL, State College, PA-2 Perseus SDR's, 1 Airspy HF+ Discovery
Russ Edmunds, WB2BJH, Blue Bell, PA-2 SDRPlay RSP1a SDR's
Mike Hunter, W2MHZ, Neshanic, NJ-Perseus SDR
Kris Field, Horsham, PA-1 Perseus, 1 ELad SW2
Ralph Brandi, Middletown, NJ-1 Elad FDM-S2, 1 Perseus, 1 Airspy HF+ Discovery
Chuck Rippel, W8HU, Virginia Beach, VA-1 WinRadio G33DDC Excalibur Pro, 1 Airspy Discovery, 1 SDRPlay Duo
Saturday only:
Nick Langan, W2NJL, Tabernacle, NJ 1 Airspy SDR
Michael Temme-Soifer, Princeton, NJ-Various portables

Antennas-Two 16' x 36' reversible termination Superloops - one at 60/240 degrees, the other at 170/350 degrees; One 75' Delta terminated for 90/270 degrees; and one Wellbrook 1530 with rotator.