Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E

KONG23 - October 11 to 19, 2013


Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Arnstein Bue, Tore Johnny Bråtveit

Receiver summary:
Bjarne: Excalibur Pro G33DDC, NetSDR, Perseus
2 x Perseus
Arnstein: Perseus
Tore Johnny: Excalibur G31DDC, Excalibur Pro G33DDC, Afedri


18-OCT-2013 17:00 UTC

Today we received confirmation from the finest station logged during the KONG23 expedition: WROX Clarksdale MS 1450.
On 14 October the conditions seemed quite lousy, but afterwards we realized that quite a few nice jewels were hidden in the noise. On 1400 AM KWYN in Wynne, AR dominated the frequency most of the night. On 1450 we had KYLS-MO and the very rare WROX from Clarksdale, MS. The latter was not listed in any of our lists and we were quite excited when sending an MP3-file with a rather weak, but legible
“ … WROX … 105.7 WROX and AM 1450.”

Great was our surprise when we received a very kind reply from Mr. Paul Wilson - the owner of the station. He writes:

"From 2001 to 2007 I was Director of Programming for Clear Channel’s stations in Honolulu. The three AMs were KSSK (a 7.5kw facility at 590 kHz), KHVH (10kw at 830 kHz) and KHBZ (now KIKI, 5kw at 990).  We regularly received reception reports from the Kongsfjord area for those stations but because 1450 is considered a “local” frequency in North America and there are a great many stations on the frequency it’s quite unusual for our signal to go so far. I am glad to know you got it!"

This was the Paul Wilson who had confirmed our reception reports on the three Honolulu Clear Channel AM stations about 10 years ago! And now our paths cross like this!

Smarts Broadcast wrote a very interesting article about Paul that you can read here:


 Thank you Paul & the best of luck to you and WROX! You really made the day for us!

As for the rest of today the listening conditions were improving a little this morning, but still nothing really exciting. But thanks to some very good days in the end of September we had lots of recordings to work on. In a few days we heard both KRLW-AR and KWHN-AR as well as KLWN-KS - all on 1320! Lots of K's and W's and lots of fun!

We have now prepared ourselves for departure and are ready to leave tomorrow morning! KONG23 has been great fun - as expected, but the results were somewhat disappointing. However, thanks to the September recordings we had lots to do - and still will ...

Thank you for following us! We will be back next year!

16-OCT-2013 21:00 UTC
A bad bad day ...

Seriously - almost nothing during the night and absolutely nothing during the day and very little in the afternoon. But the evening is very nice with an almost clear sky and an almost full moon and no wind, with snow on the ground and the local fox sneaking around the corner to see if there are any goodies coming his way.

Today was the day for reindeer! The famous reindeer tenderloin, barely touching the frying pan before being served. Yumm!!!
Before that we enjoyed
a traditional tapas course - fresh dates wrapped in bacon and sage and then grilled on medium temperature for quite a while. We even had a serving with parma ham wrapping, but the preferred version was the bacon one.

For dessert we started with a misunderstanding. Bjarne had prepared cloudberries in whipped cream while OJ had prepared baked pineapple with fried sugar and chili. Quite an achievement to be able to make two desserts without noticing each other in such a small place but it did happen. After the two desserts some of us continued with some chocolate fudge with Amaretto (very nice) and after that some more cheese combinations, like chevre with fresh cloudberries. Yummm!!!

We are hoping the best for the night to come ...
the evening started well with a nice Facebook-confirmation from Rusty at WZNG in Shelbyville, TN 1400 confirming reception to each of us. Thank you Rusty! See more about WZNG at http://thisisjaxradio.com/WZNG/home.html

15-OCT-2013 21:00 UTC
A good bad day! The image below says everything:

This is the upper part of the MW band between midnight UTC and 05:00 UTC. As you can see there were two good periods and except from that - nothing! The long "nothing" periods are bad, the short "something" periods turned out to be quite interesting. Clearly very disturbed conditions with unusual stations on many frequencies. On 1400 KWYN-AR was dominant for most of the night. On 1450 we had KYLS-MO and WROX-MS - both new to us. We are still working on the other frequencies. We expect to find a few more interesting ones as we proceed with the detailed listening.

Food: Cauliflower soup for starter, rack of lamb for main course and no dessert - so far. Way too much lamb ... ;-)
We enjoyed a Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Gaby 2010 from Domaine du Colombier with this.

We'll keep on listening!

14-OCT-2013 21:00 UTC
The worst day so far. Europeans very strong during the night and the interesting signals fading in the morning.

Dinner was great though! Starting with sashimi of Salma salmon, marinated in lime and soy sauce. Then we poured super-hot sesame oil over and added grilled sesame seeds, slightly heated pieces of fresh ginger and shopped chives. Yummm! Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc did well for this. For main course we had Arnstein's beef - this time a whole grilled tenderloin from Uruguay (sorry Ole!), served with fired potatoes, fried mushrooms and a red wine sauce. Very delicious with meat treated to perfection! Viva Uruguay - or Arnstein! With regard of wine we had ordered a Châteauneuf-du-Pape that did not arrive so we had to improvise. Our improvisation was not very successful so we have nothing to recommend for this course. Red jello with vanilla custard for dessert. We like it!

13-OCT-2013 21:00 UTC
The night was OK with decent signals from 01 UTC, lasting till about 07 UTC when stations started to fade out. Some interesting stations, but nothing very exciting judging from the files we have listened to so far. WZNG Shelbyville TN 1400 has been heard a few times this fall already, but had a super signal at 05 UTC today on the 310 degree antenna. On the 340 degree antenna KART-ID had a equally good signal, both stations alone on their respective antenna. Obvious, one could say - given the different directions, but it has not always been like this in Kongsfjord. The antennas here are rather short and grounding is very difficult. However, it seems like the work we have done with the antennas the last year has paid off and we enjoy better separation than ever before.

Some Asia, Australia, Pacific during the afternoon but nothing exciting. For dinner we started with freshly baked suordough bread, rubbed with garlic and then served with generous slices of duckliverpaté and ground pepper and fresh oregano. To accompany this fairly tough starter we served a Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 2011 from Fritz Haag. Worked well. The main course was woked Salma salmon with a variety of woked vegetables. Very delicious. We tried a Sancerre Les Chailloux 2012 from Calude Riffault with this one. That was not so OK ... A selection of cheeses was served at the end, followed with a Kallstadter Steinacker Gewürztraminer Auslese 2008 from Koehler-Ruprecht. That worked well!

The sun is expected to be quiet for the night and tomorrow morning so we are hoping to be able to report some exciting signals tomorrow night!

12-OCT-2013 20:00 UTC
Day 2 started with rather weak signals but at 8 UTC Colorado came in nicely. KRDZ Wray CO 1440 was a new one for all of us. Very nice signals from Japan and Guam early in the afternoon, but a trace of New Zealand on 1035 and a decent signal from 4QD on 1548 was all we got from further south. Alaska and Hawaii did also give good signals around 15 UTC, KPHI Honolulu HI 1130 being the most unusual one.

Dinner started with bruschetta with garlic, parma ham, parmesan, salt-baked cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Accompanied with the "cooking wine" - i.e. the wine drunk while cooking - a Ken Creek Shiraz. The main course was one of the all-time favorites in Kongsfjord, local king crab. Baked to perfection on a bed of seasalt, garlic, lemon and star anise, served with pasta carbonara and a Chablis - Gerard Duplessis Chablis 1er Cru Montmain 2009. Nice match! For dessert we served hot burned figs with a slice of gorgonzola on top, again topped with fresh, sugared cloudberries. Tore Johnny brought a bottle of Madeira Barbeito Boal 1982 from his recent visit to the Azores. Yet another good pairing.

11-OCT-2013 20:00 UTC
It's that time of the year again!

Fall is finally here, days are shorter, nights are longer, mornings are colder and some people wake up every morning excited about what might be caught on disk from last night's recordings, as well as counting the days till departure for Kongsfjord, Arctic Norway!

Today Arnstein, Tore Johnny and OJ arrived from Trondheim after a 6 hour journey by plane - 6 legs altogether on two different planes. Rough weather on the last few legs made us wonder if we would make it or if we had to go inland and take a taxi out to Berlevåg. That has happened before. But we made it and we are now set up for 8 days of intensive listening.

Bjarne picked us up at BVG and took us to Veines. Arnstein and OJ were here just a month ago and set up their recievers for remote listening so everything was already up running for them. Tore Johnny got his gear up and was soon ready to begin listening as well. Some nice Alaska signals in the afternoon, but not very exciting. Not much from the Pacific today.

We have fairly high expectations for the coming week. This fall has been unusually good so far, and the list of new and interesting stations is quite impressive considering the time of the year. Here are the most unusual ones: KTNF-MN 950, WSLM-IN 1220, KVOC-WY 1230, WTPS-VA 1240, KRLW-AR 1320, KFIV-CA 1360, WIXI-AL 1360, WMJR-KY 1380, WZNG-TN 1400, WZYX-TN 1440, WJPA-PA 1450, WTKI-AL 1450, WBEX-OH 1490, KBCV-MO 1570, KAMI-NE 1580. Only time will show if we are able to keep up with this!

No KONG-day without a decent meal! Bjarne had prepared excellent filets of haddock which he served in a traditional Norwegian gratinated stew. Very delicious, and accompanied by another traditional - Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc. To round it off we had Freia's new Dark Premium Choclate fudge with vanilla custard and a shot of amaretto.

A good first day at KONG!

See more about the current action at Veines in Bjarne's blog.