Sunday, November 30, 2014

DX Logs from Jhandi Eco Huts

Ever since I started this DX blog, whenever I had the pleasure of travelling to far off places, be it for work or leisure, I haven’t missed out a single opportunity of logging stations on my portable receivers and reporting here! The charm of listening to a local radio station operating within a limited perimeter of coverage, as well as, logging DX stations on SW and comparing the signals/ overall reception with that from my QTH in Kolkata fascinates me. However, during my recent trip to Jhandi Eco Huts, (which is at a height of 6205 feets from the sea level) I was the only person travelling ‘with’ my hobby in our eight member group, and hence the focus was entirely on sightseeing. Somehow, I squeezed out only two hours in the early morning on the day of our departure for DXing.

I am thankful to my good fortune for having logged a number of FM stations from Nepal (for the first time in my DX journey of over a decade and a half). The icing on the cake was probably hearing BBS (Bhutan Broadcasting Service) morning transmission, with rock solid reception on their 49 meter band shortwave frequency. Obviously, the nearness of Jhandi to both Nepal and Bhutan borders was the key factor. Still, it was an awesome feeling inside.

Here are my logs –

Date: 16 November, 2014
Place: Jhandi Eco Huts, Upper Lungsel, Gorubathan, Dist- Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.
Time: 0030 -0300 Hrs UTC
RX: Tecsun PL660
ANT: Degen 31 MS Active Loop Antenna

FM Band Scan:

88.0 MHz Radio Foorti (Dhaka / Rajshahi), Bangladesh [ID heard twice]
88.5 MHz Radio Birat, Jhapa, Nepal [ID heard multiple times with jingle]
89.6 MHz Aagan FM, Birtamod, Jhapa, Nepal (Facebook Page) [ID heard once, not clear though]
90.2 MHz Radio Parasi [Didn’t hear ID, confirmed via WRTH]
91.6 MHZ Radio Vision [Confirmed] Employment news info
92.5/6 MHz Kanchenjanga FM, Mechi, Nepal [distorted audio splatters from High FM]
92.7 MHz High FM, Siliguri, India
93.5 MHz Red FM, Siliguri, India
94.5 MHz (?) No ID (no specific entry in WRTH as well) [continuous Nepali songs with radio commercials]
94.3 MHz Radio Misty, Siliguri, India
96.8 MHz Mechi Tunes
97.9 MHz Image FM, Birtamod, Jhapa, Nepal
98.0 MHz Radio Nepal (?) domestic relay (?)
101.6 MHz Saptarangi FM, Jhapa, Nepal
105.0 MHz Birta FM, Jhapa, Nepal Listen Online
106.9 MHz Seemana FM Jhapa, Nepal
107.5 MHz Nagarik FM Jhapa, Nepal

As you can see from the above that a majority of the FM stations were from Jhapa District, which is closest to the India border lining Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Naturally FM stations from across the border was audible loud and clear. No surprises here! Just the thrill of listening to uninterrupted Nepali songs, local Ads, news and talk on the airwaves from across the border...I was re-living those early DX days when out here from my QTH, listening to Radio Nepal on MW & SW was a usual affair!

SW Logs:  I didn’t had much time in hand for hardcore DX, as we had to check out early for the return trip. Here are some random logs made that eventful morning. I must mention that the ‘Shortwave Schedules’ Android app came in handy! Here are the logs –

4835 KHz AIR Gangtok 0222 UTC Nepali programming Children’s program ‘Bal Binodan’ poetry recital heard as well as children’s song SIO 444

4880 KHz AIR Lucknow 0220UTC instrumental, quotes (YL) then over to Delhi for news 0255 UTC SIO 344

6000 KHz Voice of Turkey via Emirler 0238 UTC programming in Turkish folk song then YL talk SIO 433

6035 KHz BBS Thimpu at 0235 UTC domestic programming (in vern. dialect) heard SIO 555

11620 KHz AIR Urdu (GOS) via Bengaluru around 0300 hrs UTC SIO 444 (CNR Co-Channel was S2)

That’s all folks! 73 & 88