Russ Edmunds (WB2BJH ) – Blue Bell, PA – 2 Modified Sony ICF 2010’s
Brett Saylor (N3EVB) – State College, PA – Perseus SDR, Afredi SDR
Kris Field – Horsham, PA – Drake R8
Michael Hunter ( W2MHZ) – Neshanic Station, NJ - Perseus SDR
Ralph Brandi – Middletown, NJ – Perseus SDR
Bob Galerstein (WB2VGD) – Monroe, NY (Saturday night only ) -Drake R8
Bill Nollman – Avon, CT (Friday night only ) – Perseus SDR
Mark Clark (N3IRJ) - Reinholds, PA – Perseus SDR
100’ sloper at 105 degrees
16x32’ pre-amplified flag
6’ pre-amplified Broadband Loop
Bill Nollman, Farmington, CT : My first trip to LBI, second time being invited. Last year of course didn’t happen no thanks to Sandy but luckily, this year, I managed to convince my wife that I could take the day off from work on Friday and be home by Saturday dinner time. And it worked out perfect. The day time drive down on Friday was traffic free and I made it from the Hartford area to LBI in under 4 hours. Arrived and found it very windy but sunny. I was one of the first to arrive and was happy as others arrived and the setup began. 50% of what I enjoy on a DX trip is the technical end of things and I wasn’t disappointed. While the outside antenna work commenced I made a comfortable spot for my laptops and Perseus and then helped a bit with running wires. As the sun went down we were treated with a few TA’s. Unfortunately Sandy did more damage than we realized. We weren’t completely sure whether the inability to lay out the 900 foot BOG’s or the noise we think was generated by the rusted powerline transformers was to blame but DX conditions were rather poor and noisy. By midnight I called it a night. The next morning we all enjoyed breakfast at the diner across the street. I really enjoyed the conversation now that everyone was together (there were 2 DX rooms at the hotel so I didn’t get to know the guys in the other room Friday night). All in all the DX was so so but meeting many people I had never met was worth the trip and I’m happy to have had the chance to attend.
Ralph Brandi, Middletown, NJ: After hearing for years about this fabled DXpedition that happens practically in my back yard, for the first time, I attended. My experience with DXpeditions was limited to solo outings, basically quick guerrilla strikes at nearby Sandy Hook and a stolen hour on the Outer Banks with an insufficient setup. So I was looking forward to this.
I wasn't disappointed. Conditions were not great; there was a noise problem from a transformer at the edge of the property, and Sandy-inspired reconfiguration of the beach meant no Beverages. But watching Russ and Brett figure out how to work around these limitations was an education. Conditions weren't radically different from those at my house an hour north, but just by being on the beach, signal strengths were improved. But the real treat was being with fellow DXers and picking up tips on how to better use my equipment. One of the rigs I brought was a Perseus I had bought a few months earlier, and I was still getting my sea legs with the radio. Sitting next to Brett, I picked up some operational subtleties to the radio that I've been using since. It was also a treat to meet some new faces. I've been focused on shortwave for much of the past 35 years; medium wave has been an occasional pursuit, although one I've been enjoying more and more lately. Brett and Kris were old friends, but pretty much everyone else was a new friend.I came away from the trip with new enthusiasm for the hobby. I've erected a new antenna here at home that had been sitting in my shack for three or four years. I heard a few stations I hadn't heard before. And I had a great time with old and new friends.
Brett Saylor, State College, PA: As usual, with the November LBI date quickly approaching, I spent several weekends in October organizing my cables and packing my radio gear (which, with SDR’s, has become more and more like “packing my computer gear”) for the annual DX trip to the New Jersey shore. After 11 years of travelling to LBI I’ve finally settled on what is “just enough” stuff for the DXpedition and my load was much lighter than in previous years.
It was good to see all the returning folks including Mark Clark who hadn’t attended for quite some time, as well as newcomers Bill Nollman and Ralph Brandi who very quickly fit into our quirky little group of DXers. A few people had to drop out at the last minute but we still had enough to fill two DX rooms for the weekend. Due to the beach reconstruction, this year we finally had to make good on our threat to go “BOG-less” and relied only on directional loops for our antennas. We discovered that, much to our dismay, the electrical grid in the vicinity of the motel has become very noisy likely due to some effect from the 2012 hurricane. A survey of the noise showed the interference coming from the above-ground power lines and extended several hundred feet up and down the beach from the motel. We got some relief by placing the loops on the beach in front of the dunes but that required waiting until near sunset to deploy the loops and taking them down before sunrise to avoid unwanted attention. We will encourage the motel management to contact the power company to resolve the issue; otherwise, reluctantly we will need to consider a new location for the DXpedition next year. We plan to have someone go to the motel this summer to see if the problem is resolved.
Conditions were decent but not outstanding – what Bob Galerstein would call “garden variety”; my best catch was the 10kW Nova Scotian on 1270 kHz (new at LBI) while my most interesting reception was hearing China Radio International via Albania off-frequency around 1215 kHz with Chinese language lessons. Unfortunately the noise had a major impact on the ability to pull out signals on some of the frequencies so solving that issue is top on our priority list for next year. But, despite that problem, everyone agreed that LBI is an enjoyable tradition that will continue into the foreseeable future.
Russ Edmunds, Blue Bell, PA: It’s hard to believe that we have just completed our 12th DXpedition. I can look back on a multitude of band conditions, many different participants ( 23 of them ), and of course lots of good experiences. Last March, LBI 11 was delayed by Hurricane Sandy, and we got our first glimpse of the newer and stronger beach protection, which made it extremely difficult to use the traditional BOG antennas, to the point where we didn’t deploy them at all for LBI 12. The electrical noise problems reminded those of us who were present for one of our early events of the noise, low voltage and ultimately blackout problems of the past. Nonetheless, we managed to make the best of it by moving the locations of our antennas. Some of us will make scouting visits over the coming months to see if the problem persists, and to map out the noise field so that we can better plan for the future.
TA conditions were again mediocre, as has been the case for the past few years, and each year we find that some of the TA’s which had been heard in the past on both LW and MW had left the air. As I write this, we learn that Russia’s Radio Rossi has closed down on LW and also several MW stations as well. Alas, these lost signals aren’t being replaced by new ones.
But, regardless of the conditions, the highlight of each DXpedition is the company and the overall experience of sharing whatever loggings there are with a group of fellow DX’ers who ‘get it’.