This DX site was created to let fellow dxer's know what we are up to while on DXpeditions in our former Walsoorden site (HOL) and the new site near Veurne, West Flanders, Belgium. We hope it inspires other dxers to try DXpeditions.

We travel to such locations to escape noise and to be able to put out long beverage antennas. Something we cannot do from home. DXpeditions take place several times a year. Usually in winter. Dxer's from Belgium and The Netherlands take the opportunity to dx from such rural dx location.

Are you interested in future dx trips? Get in touch with us. Send an email to us. We are always happy hearing from dxer's from other countries.


Monday, January 20, 2020

KNL07 - Knollehof DXped 10-13 January 2020


Another Knollehof DXPeditions is once again over. It was a bit a dull edition especially when comparing to the outstanding one last November during which lots of Japanese and further away North Americans where logged. Must be the "winter-anomaly" about which there was some talk on different io groups the last few weeks. 



The reversible Beverage antenna
Beverage antenna setup was the same like during KNL06 with the exception that for the Japan 40° beverage that is fed through a 400 m long coax, common mode chockes were added to prevent bleeding in Spanish stations. Unfortunately, the effect was only minor. We are always glad that the farmers give permission to put our antennas on their fields but this time we grumbled and cursed a bit than usual because of the very sticky mud. Other antennas were also the usual ones except from the fact an old school longwire was added. Always nice to compare.

When looking at the consecutive days, we see that propagation following a northern path was mostly very weak.  The Sunday/Monday night was the better one, or should I say the least bad... Not a single Japanese stations was received (with the exception of a very weak and faint music box interval signal from NHK on 1386 kHz. Strangely enough we were able to receive a snatch of KBRW, Barrow/Utqia─ívik Alaska just strong enough to be able to verify it was them by comparing the webstream.  Unfortunately, no ID was catched. Signals to the South were much better but not outstanding.  Receiving the down-under ABC Adelaide on 891 might be disappearing in our dreams.  Last time, that channel was already occupied by the Dutch LPAM stations and now even by the much more powerful Algerian transmitter is active again there. A few nice Firsts from Latin America were received on the reversible 400 m beverage antenna.  Always nice to see this antenna is performing well. Nevertheless, we had to go out in the dark on Sunday while signals dropped considerably on that antenna caused by some bad contact. 

When packing for DXpeditions, you have to be careful not to forget important things like your receiver, headphones or an antenna switch.  I think I never forgot  important things for the DX hobby. But this time I forgot something really different that might be of some importance: underpants! So I had to drive to Veurne's city center to buy a few. Frank Thijs, most of the time the funny guy (yes most of the time) he advised me to buy the type in the picture below.  Unfortunately they were sold out. It might have been interesting to see if it would bring Nordic DX-conditions. 

For food we had the regular Chinese take away meals accompanied by some well chosen wines. Hugo's wife provided us once again with tasty self made Belgian waffles. Thanks again for that and also for delivering the collect and go shopping. Always nice to have a local guy that knows the region. 



This time there were 8 participants: Aart Rouw, David Onley, Frank Huyghe, Frank Thijs, Guido Schotmans, Jan Feenstra, Leen van Oeveren, Marc Vissers, 


As usual, lots of files to analyse afterwards, so our KNL-07 logbooks are far from complete. When we stumble upon special ones, the will be added here as well.  

Monday, December 2, 2019

KNL06 - Knollehof DXped 15-18 November 2019


Here is the report on our Knollehof DX-pedition with the usual delay. I really don’t know how the Nordic guys like Mika and Bjarne manage it to do those daily in depth reports while DXing, inspecting antennas, cooking etc. Hat off for you guys.

Most of us arrived on Friday around 8:30 local time at Knollehof in Eggewaartskapelle, a hamlet of Veurne . Luckily the weather was fine and the roads were dry so we all had a safe drive. The roads around Antwerp -where most of us have to pass- are famous for their huge traffic jams. The participants from The Netherlands had to drive 4 hours or more.

This time we had these attendees :  Frank Huyghe, Guido Schotmans, Jan Feenstra, Aart Rouw, Leen van Oeveren, Frank Thijs, Marc van Leemputten, Dave Onley, Han Hardonk and Marc Vissers.

Our dx-peditions are becoming more and more international. 4 participants are from Belgium, 3 from the Netherlands, 1 Belgian living in Holland, 1 Dutch living in Germany and 1 Aussie living in Holland.
FH, GS, JF, AR, LvO, FT, MvL, DO, HH and MV 
Once there we started right away building up our shacks and erecting antennas. We had 4 beverage antennas to put up : one reversible of 400 meters and 3 regular ones of 300 meters (go to the previous post to see the antenna directions). For the Japan beverage we needed 400 meters of coax, so all in all we had some physical exercise to do. Luckily the fields were not as muddy as we experienced a few times earlier. And we had luck. Everything worked right away. The other guys were busy putting up their own antennas like verticals, a KAZ, a LZ1AQ double loop, a T2FD and an AN1.

OK, power on, let’s start listening. Asian stations were coming in as early as 1350 UTC. Korea 972 kHz was already bombarding us with huge signals the last weeks and here it was even stronger. Other early birds were China Radio International on 1017, 1188 and 1323 and RTI on 1557. But that are real power houses of course. Soon Japanese stations started to appear. The “usual one” JOFR RKB Mainichi Hoso on 1278 was first. A few years ago
The early birds were not only human.
that was often all we could expect from Japan. Not now. Stations from the Land of the Rising Sun dropped in one by one. You need also a bit of knowledge. NHK Radio 2 stations are giving a nice local sign off ID at 1540 (Sa-Su 1530) including call sign and location followed by the Japanese National Anthem and a music box interval signal before they leave the air. Here is an example of the 10 kilowatt NHK Kanazawa which we caught on 1386 kHz. Luckily Radio Baltic Waves International from Lithuania is making a pause between 1430 and 1630.





As said Japanese stations are really a rarity at our mid latitudes. On extreme Nordic locations they are often heard, but here they are really seldom.  We managed to hear more than 10 Japanese stations!  That’s really pushing the limits.  Here is our list.

kHz
Station
Location
PWR
Dist Km
594
JOAK NHK Radio 1
Shobu/Kuki
300
9454
666
JOBK NHK Radio 1
Osaka/Sakai-Shi
100
9440
774
JOUB NHK Radio 2
Akita
500
9076
873
JOGB NHK Radio 2
Kumamoto
500
9391
1134
JOQR NCB Bunka Hoso
Tokyo/Kawaguchi
100
9484
1278
JOFR RKB Mainichi Hoso
Fukuoka
50
9296
1332
JOSF Tokai Hoso
Nagoya
50
9430
1350
JOER RCC Chugoku Hoso
Etajima/Okimi
20
9330
1386
JOJB NHK Radio 2
Kanazawa
10
9288
1413
JOIF KBC Kyushu Asahi Hoso
Fukuoka
50
9295
1440
JOWF STV Sapporo
Sapporo
50
8812
1449
JOYR RSK Sanyo Hoso
Okayama
10
9356

But not only Japan was good. Also Korea, of course lots of Chinese and Thailand with its new transmitter on 891 was heard very well. The latter one thankfully while the Dutch LPAM station Hotradio Hits was off the air that weekend.

Although results were superb, Spain is almost always much too strong on the back of the Japan beverage antenna.  Next time we’ll plan to isolate the 400m coax by using common mode chokes. Let's hope it has some effect.


The reversible beverage antenna pointing to Australia and Peru.


Conditions to North America were a bit disappointing compared to the Asian results. Maybe we have to dig a little bit further in the loads of recorded files that still have to be analysed. South America was nice on the reversible beverage. Frank T scored several personal first on that antenna. Propagation was favouring Colombia. A bit different from the previous edition of our DXpedition here. Nicest log must be Esperanza Colombia Radio on 1470 kHz at 1 KW night-time power.




Han was lucky getting Kuwait in DGPS. Furthermore he was continuously on top on the DSC ranking list using his LZ1AQ double loop that performed very well at his quiet location. Well done.


Han's LZ1AQ loop was running rather hot because he had nice DGPS logs and was continuously on top of the DSC ranking list.
For food the usual Chinese take away meals were served. Always the best solution when there are 10 participants and the DX-duty is calling. Nevertheless some of us took the time to visit the coast spotting the traditional shrimp fishermen on horses. Veurne city is also an interesting place to visit.


Traditional shrimp fishermen


Monday morning came to soon and we had to take down the antennas again. Unfortunately it started to rain. But even then it went smoothly and everything was packed soon so that most participants could get home before traffic jam started to build up.

In January we will be back scanning the airwaves at this ideal venue.

Further information about this nice holiday location near the Belgian coast can be found on this LINK. It’s an ideal locations for trips in the surrounding of West Flanders and is only a few km away from the French border.




Monday, November 11, 2019

Knollehof DXped 15-18 November 2019

Preparation is under way for KNL06. All antenna wires and coax cables are checked and labeled. Propagation indices are low. Everywhere else, the radio community is complaining about this but we like that ! That's ideal for MW/AM band DXing. 4 Beverage antennas are planned. One of them is reversible.

More will follow here later. Some instant reports will be posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/knollehofdxped/






Monday, February 11, 2019

Knollehof DXped 11-14 January 2019


On January the 11th it was once again time to pack radio stuff and move to the West Coast of Flanders to put up our antennas and eavesdrop the airwaves for the most distant signals. Weather was fine so putting up the different antennas was going more or less without major issues.  At first sight, the fields where looking fine but still it turned out that the clay sticked tightly to our boots making walking around difficult.  This time we opted to move the (80-260°) reversible beverage antenna to 70-250°. It seemed to be not such a good choice while it’s performance was definitely lower than during previous editions of our DX-peditions here.  But it just could have been propagation as well. We also had some bad luck with a bad connection caused by a plug.

The North American antenna which we pointed previously to 290° was moved to 325°. We never before heard West coasters here and while solar cycle is at its low end and indices are also low, we would give that a try. Also a real Alaska antenna at 350° was erected and one for Japan at 40°. All were between 300 and 400 meters long. There was also an impressive number of other antennas like a verticals, KAZ, double LZ1AQ loop, Stampfl AD2 and an AN1.

Plenty of space for Beverage antennas, at least for Central European standards.
All participants arrived nice in time and gave the needed assistance to arrange everything: Marc Vissers, Frank Huyghe, Ron Liekens, Frank Thys, Leen van Oeveren, Jan Feenstra, me (Guido Schotmans), and newcomers Aart Rouw, Han Hardonk. As usual, Hugo Matten collected the shopping from the supermarket.

Newcomers Aart and Han
Somewhere in the afternoon we were ready to fire up our gear. At first sight it looked like several antennas were going to be much less productive and had almost all day long heavy signals from Spain, the stronger ones were not even disappearing during the day. And of course also way to much UK stations, but they are mostly in the same direction of our beverage antennas. Even Brexit isn't going to solve this ­čśä

But that was just a feeling I presume while as the dxpedition went by we had to reconsider our thoughts. There were not as much signal from the Far East as previously but then a few stations from Japan that were never heard before gave excellent signal. Amongst them JOER RCC Chugoku Hoso on 1350 kHz 




and JONR ABC Asahi Hoso on 1008 kHz that was only 2 weeks before vacated by the Dutch Groot Nieuws Radio. Also Kampuchea on 918 kHz was a nice Firstimer that just came out of the noise when playing their National Anthem.

On Saturday afternoon Aart yelled “Alaska” via our WhatsApp alarm line. And indeed, bits and traces where audible and we could verify that it really was KBRW on 680 by checking the online stream. But signal stayed unfortunately so low that almost nothing was understandable besides one or two words somewhere, and by the time we reached the top of the hour the Spanish adjacent channels was so strong that all signals on 680 where drowned. So it was clear that propagation wasn’t going to reach the levels it reached 2 or 3 weeks before when KBRW was even heard on an ALA loop antenna in central Europe. Although we had a specific Alaska beverage. But we need a challenge for next time.

No worries, there was still a lot to come.  As said above we moved our North America antenna from 290° to 325°. That was a big goal. This direction points to the West Coast, to Vancouver Canada to be precise. During live listening we already found that Spanish stations weren’t disturbing Trans-Atlantic channels as much as before and several stations from the Midwest where found at decent levels.  But when analysing files at home later, the big revelation came.  Especially Marc Vissers clung to the subject and found almost 40 “First logs” mostly from the Midwest but also several from the West-Coast and a few had really good strength.  In fact it was the first time we were able to hear Westcoasters during a DXpedition.



You can take a look at Marc's TA-Logs here.

Several other participant were busy testing other kinds of antennas and comparing software solutions. Trying to keep up with latest SDR-console possibilities is also always impressive.
Frank Huyghe, our FAX guru was a bit disappointed by the results he got in his hobby section.

And besides DXing, there is always time for good food and drinks and exchanging ideas about this most interesting hobby.

Next appointment at Knollehof will be next November.

A lot more about our DXpedition can be found on this FB-group.







Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A few Japanese QSL received by Frank Thijs

Frank Thijs provided a few nice Japanese QSL's he received for reports of stations he put in his log for the Knollehof DXped site.









JOFR - RKB Radio 1278 kHz



JOUB - NHK 2 - 774 kHz



JOWF - STV Radio - 1440 kHz



Monday, December 17, 2018

Knollehof DXped 16-19 November 2018

This time, I was not able to take part in the Autumn edition of the Knollehof DX-pedition because of family reasons. Marc Vissers was so kind to write this report.





We had been looking forward to it for months and finally on November 16, 2018 our fourth DX-Weekend on our new site, 't Knollehof in Veurne, Belgium took off.

Participants in the 62nd (!) DX-Weekend were:
Frank Thys, Ron Liekens, Frank Huyghe, Marc Van Leemputten, Leen van Oeveren, Jan Feenstra and me. Unfortunately, this time for a change we had to manage things without Guido, who couldn't be present due to circumstances. Luckily, he had been a good teacher to us in the past editions, so everyone did their job well and it all came to a good end. 




Looking back, it was Hugo Matten (thanks!) Who could present us this beautiful location in 2017 which turned out to be a hit.

A short presentation: 't Knollehof is located near the quiet village of Eggewaartskapelle, part of the town of Veurne, with it’s beautiful historic buildings. The completely renovated farm by Pieter and Hilde is equipped with 2 spacious holiday homes that are modern and functional in a part of the large barn without compromising the authenticity and charms of the farm. There is a beautifully landscaped courtyard and a large garden overlooking the fields. These beautiful holiday homes also have a private terrace and are situated in the middle of the Flemish polders, only a 15-minute drive from the Belgian coast.
The cottage 'Texel' is the most ideal in terms of space and can accommodate up to 10 people, but because it only has 7 beds (double/single/stack), we only allow a maximum of 7 DXers there so that everyone has their own bed. That way it remains comfortable for everyone.

You can read more about this holiday location here.


When there are not enough participants to fill up two DX-Weekends after each other, the second house 'Bleu du maine' is also used. That was e.g. the case in November. A maximum of 4 people can be seated there, but with three being preferable, given the limited space on the ground floor. Both houses have a wood-burning stove that keeps us warm during the cold autumn and winter nights. The large house also has central heating, the small house electric radiators. So, no one is going to be cold, on the contrary.
The cottages are also equipped with a modern kitchen with all the extras to even a dishwasher, always handy for suddenly rising DX conditions and for participants with a severe allergy to washing dishes ...

As always Pieter and Hilde ensured that the stoves are already burning when the first DXers arrived on Friday morning 9am. Afterwards, the space is rearranged by us so that everyone has at least one place for his technical toys, which these days consist of one or more laptops, SDR receivers and related accessories. What a difference with our first DX-Weekends when computers were still a rarity and were initially cursed more than once because of the undesirable interference they caused. Fortunately, this phenomenon has become a rare thing, and computers and laptops are increasingly becoming more part of the standard equipment of today's DXer.

Our DX-Weekend locations should not only be comfortable and spacious enough inside, there is also a necessity for enough space outside to set up antennas. For the so-called beverage antennas, we still need at least several hundred meters in different directions. That is why it is not so obvious to find a good DX-location in the Benelux.
't Knollehof, on the other hand, is adjacent to two spacious agricultural parcels that we can use during the winter half year with the permission of the owners. Fortunately, there are still DX-friendly people in the world, because clearly not everyone is a fan of antennas and 'unhealthy radio waves' ...

And we were lucky with the weather: Friday a misty start, Saturday and Sunday sunny and dry to finish Monday morning with a lot of wind and later rain on departure, but no real extremes. What a difference with earlier editions from plodding muddy fields in rain and wind, braving heavy snowfall to difficult walks on frozen surfaces in an icy cold wind. We have experienced quite different circumstances in the past, but that only hardened us as DX'ers.

As quickly as possible, a start was made with setting up the various beverage antennas for the low frequencies (LG / MG), which easy takes about 3 hours, given the distances covered. Three beverages were set up:

- 040° / 400m: Japan/Korea
- 310° / 330m: United States/Canada
- 260° / 400m: Venezuela/Colombia







Everything worked immediately as it should, which has not always been the case at former DX-Weekends: bad or oxidized connections, broken wire, bad coax connectors or even forgotten things like unconnected coaxes, baluns or terminal resistors. Those things happen but because of years of experience, are usually quickly traced and repaired.

In addition to the beverages, also other antennas were set up (individually) of which several were suitable for shortwave. A small selection:

- Longwire
- Verticals
- T2FD
- Roelof Bakker loop antenna
- Kaz
- Miniwhip

I think you can imagine that the whole collection looked quite impressive, especially at sunrise and sunset when many beautiful pictures could be shot.




The necessary coax cables were led in via the existing sliding doors and connected to passive or active splitters, equipped with enough outputs. DXers are then free to use the outputs for connecting their equipment to, but with the explicit request not to do this during DXing conditions and certainly not on top of the hour. More than once in the past, an identification had been missed/disturbed by crackling noises from coax cables that were connected or disconnected. Therefore, a multiple input antenna switch is an absolute must on DX-Weekends like these.


The beverage antenna splitting centre.

Frank Huyghe, Marc Van Leemputten, Leen van Oeveren and Jan Feenstra had settled in the big house. In the small house were Frank Thys, Ron Liekens and me. Pretty cosy, I must confess honestly.

Once seated, the radios were quickly warmed up and listening started. It's striking how little noise there is on the airwaves compared to our personal QTHs. Initially there was some consternation in the small house, when we were plagued by an interfering digital signal that came and went causing severe QRM. Fortunately, it disappeared after a while and we were able to enjoy the first DX signals on our radios. The ionosphere had just come quiet after a strong solar storm earlier in the week and the A-index remained low throughout the weekend. Sometimes you need to be lucky.


All this resulted in a series of nice logs, on which the low number of sunspots certainly contributed to:









As:   891   THA   Sor. Wor. Thor.
      918   CHN   Shandong RGD
      972   KOR   HLCA KBS 1
      1098  CHN   CNR 1
      1098  TWN   Radio Taiwan Int.
      1143  KOR   Radio Free Korea
      1143  TWN   Taiwan Area Fishery BS
      1170  KOR   HLSR KBS 2
      1188  CHN   China Radio International
      1206  CHN   Yanbian RGD
      1269  CHN   China Radio International
      1278  J     JOFR RKB Mainichi Hoso
      1350  PHL   UNTV Radyo La Verdad
      1377  CHN   CNR 1
      1413  J     JOIF KBC Kyushu Asahi Hoso
      1422  CHN   China Radio International
      1440  J     JOWF STV Sapporo TV Hoso
      1476  THA   Sor. Wor. Thor. Chiang Mai
      1512  CHN   Jinan RGD
      1512  TWN   Ching-Cha Kuangpo Tientai
      1521  CHN   China Radio International
      1539  CHN   CNR 1
      1557  TWN   Radio Taiwan Int.
      1566  KOR   HLAZ FEBC
      1575  THA   Voice of America
      1593  CHN   CNR 1

NAm:  590   USA   WEZE, Boston MA
      670   USA   WSCR, Chicago IL
      700   USA   WLW, Cincinnati OH
      710   CAN   CKVO, Clarenville NL
      710   USA   WOR, New York NY
      740   CAN   CFZM, Toronto ON
      750   USA   WSB, Atlanta GA
      760   USA   WJR, Detroit MI
      820   USA   WBAP, Fort Worth TX
      820   USA   WNYC, New York NY
      830   USA   WCRN, Worcester MA
      840   USA   WHAS, Louisville KY
      870   USA   WWL, New Orleans LA
      890   USA   WLS, Chicago IL
      920   USA   WDMC, Melbourne FL
      980   CAN   CHRF, Montreal QC
      1020  USA   KDKA, Pittsburgh PA
      1040  USA   WHO, Des Moines IA
      1060  MEX   XEEP-AM Radio Educaci├│n
      1120  USA   KMOX, Saint Louis MO
      1190  USA   WOWO, Fort Wayne IN
      1200  USA   WXKS, Newton MA
      1290  CAN   CFRW, Winnipeg MB
      1300  USA   WOOD, Grand Rapids MI
      1300  USA   WXRL, Lancaster NY
      1320  CAN   CHMB, Vancouver BC ?
      1420  USA   WOC, Davenport IA
      1470  MEX   XEAI-AM Radio F├│rmula 3
      1480  PTR   WMDD, Fajardo
      1480  USA   WGVU, Kentwood MI
      1510  USA   WLAC, Nashville TN
      1510  USA   WWBC, Cocoa FL
      1540  USA   KXEL, Waterloo IA
      1570  MEX   XERF-AM La Poderosa

SAm:  700   ARG   LV3 Radio C├│rdoba, C├│rdoba
      800   BES   PJB Shine 800 AM, Kralendijk
      930   CLM   HJCS La Voz de Bogota, Bogot├í
      1070  CLM   Radio Santa Fe, Bogot├í
      1190  CLM   HJCV Radio Cordillera, Bogot├í
      1250  CLM   HJCA Capital Radio, Mosquera
      1270  ARG   LS11 Radio Provincia, La Plata
      1350  ARG   LS6 Radio Buenos Aires
      1400  GRD   Harbour Light of the Windw.
      1500  VEN   YVRZ Radio 2000 AM, Cuman├í
      1580  CLM   HJQT Verdad Radio, Bogot├í


The previous dx-peditions we had the amazing luck of hearing Australia for the first time on medium wave, with a real Aussie (Dave) amongst us. He could hardly believe it himself. This time, however, there were weak signals from the west coast of North America, more specifically Vancouver. In Scandinavia, such receptions are normal, but here it is a rarity. So, we can only hope that we will hear a little bit more West coasters on the next weekends. On the South America beverage Argentina could be heard on different frequencies, quite impressive when you see the distance to these stations = +11,000 km!


On shortwave, on the other hand, it was a bit disappointing. Not only  more and more radio stations go off air, but the sunspot minimum also begins to manifest clearly with ever lower MUFs. As a result, a lot less was heard on the higher bands.

In addition to DXing itself, there was of course also a lot of experimenting with antennas, baluns, comparing equipment and exchanging experiences.

Of course, it is also necessary to satisfy our hunger but also that is taken care off. Our chairman John ensures as always that everything is there to get us through the long weekend unscathed. There are no cooking princesses amongst us unfortunately, so we had to put up with Chinese meals, bread and sandwich spreads. And at diner, a delicious bottle of wine or a nice Belgian beer is never far away to make things easier. Between meals there are snacks, soups, fruit and so on. And we can always rely on the freshly baked waffles from Hugo's female. If you were not fast enough, you probably only just had smelled them. So, no, you don't really get starved on a DX-Weekend ­čśŐ.

In conclusion we can look back on a very successful DX-Weekend. In the meantime, there is the count down to the next edition in January 2019. More about that later.

73, Marc