2010 WNBH DXpedition

Bowtie antenna DXpedition at WNBH, New Bedford, Massachusetts

This WNBH DXpedition was arranged in December by broadcast engineer Craig Healy who wanted to put the bowtie variant of a split/twisted terminated broadband loop to the test. A bowtie loop antenna was erected on the site of 1340 WNBH in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Fellow DXers Chris Black N1CP and I were invited to assist with the test. The bowtie was aimed south with the termnation resistor adjusted to maximize the null of Boston radio stations to the north. A 1340 kilohertz notch filter prevented overload from the nearby 580-foot tall WNBH transmitting antenna.

Construction diagram of a bowtie with accompanying EZNEC model results, and the WNBH transmitter site at dusk.

The following logs are the result of just a couple RF spectrum captures on a WiNRADiO Excalibur SDR. Live DXing was rather difficult due to the loud environment of the transmitter room where our receivers were setup. More photos follow the logbook. All dates/times are UTC.

 550 PUERTO RICO WPAB Ponce DEC 30 0100 - Fair, over unIDs; Puerto Rico jingle and announcements.
 555 ST. KITTS & NEVIS ZIZ Basseterre DEC 30 0100 - Excellent; soca vocal, "You Make Mama Cry."
 560 CUBA R.Rebelde, Ciego Avila DEC 30 0100 - Fair; jazz vocal, ID accompanied by organ, "Rebelde la habana, emisora de la revolución," parallel 600, 610, 620, and 670 kHz.
 570 CUBA CMDC R.Reloj, Santa Clara DEC 30 0058 - Good; syncopated clock, minute marker, RR code ID, etc.
 580 PUERTO RICO WKAQ San Juan DEC 30 0059 - Good; promo, "...por WKAQ" and ID, "...WKAQ 580 AM San Juan, WUKQ 1420 AM Ponce, WYEL 600 AM Mayaguez."

 600 CUBA R.Rebelde, San Germán DEC 30 0101 - Good; ID, "Deportivamente" program parallel 670 kHz.
 610 CUBA R.Rebelde, multiple locations DEC 30 0100 - Under Newsradio 610 WIOD; Rebelde ID into Deportivamente program.
 620 CUBA R.Rebelde, Colón DEC 30 0100 - Over unID salsa music; parallel 600 kHz.
 630 CUBA R.Progreso, Camagüey DEC 30 0058 - Under WPRO; salsa music parallel 640 kHz.
 650 COLOMBIA HJKH RCN Antena Dos, Bogotá DEC 30 0100 - Good, over R.Progreso Cuba; time marker, "...deportiva mejor, Antena Dos."
 660 CUBA R.Progreso, Jovellanos DEC 30 0058 - Under WFAN; salsa parallel 640 kHz.
 670 CUBA R.Rebelde, multiple locations DEC 29 2300 - Good; Rebelde sounder and news with distinctive attention signal between items.
 680 PUERTO RICO WAPA San Juan DEC 30 0101 - Fading up and over WRKO; ID with "Felicidades" and jingle, "Noticias más importantes... Wapa Radio..."
 690 COLOMBIA HJCZ R.Recuerdos, Bogotá DEC 29 2300 - Choral national anthem, R.Recuerdos jingle, under R.Progreso Cuba.
 690 CUBA R.Progreso, Santa Clara DEC 30 0058 - Good; salsa music parallel 640 kHz.

 730 CUBA R.Progreso, La Fe, Isla de la Juventud DEC 30 0100 - Under CKAC; salsa parallel 640 kHz.
 750 CUBA R.Progreso, Palmira DEC 30 0100 - Over/under WSB and YVKS; salsa parallel 640 kHz.
 750 VENEZUELA YVKS RCR Caracas DEC 29 2358 - Good, over R.Progreso Cuba; "RCR... una producción nacional..."
 760 COLOMBIA HJAJ RCN Barranquilla DEC 29 2300 - Good; choral national anthem, "RCN Noticias."
 770 COLOMBIA HJJX RCN Bogotá DEC 29 2300 - Choral national anthem under WABC.
 780 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS ZBVI Roadtown, Tortola DEC 29 2358 - Excellent; Madonna "Vogue" into time marker, ID, "The big Zed... Zed-BVI 780 on your AM dial and at www.zbviradio.com" and reggae music.
 790 CUBA R.Reloj, Pinar del Río DEC 30 0058 - Under WPRV; syncopated clock, minute marker, RR code.

 800 NETHERLANDS ANTILLES PJB TransWorld Radio, Bonaire DEC 30 0058 - Fair; Spanish contemporary Christian vocal.
 810 BAHAMAS ZNS3 Freeport DEC 30 0100 - Good, over WGY; "Your inspirational voice, Zed-NS 810 AM."
 811 CUBA R.Progreso, Guantánamo DEC 30 0100 - Good, loud het against 810; salsa parallel 640 kHz.
 820 ST. KITTS & NEVIS TBN/R.Paradise, Charlestown DEC 30 0100 - Excellent, over R.Reloj Cuba; "Happy New Year, from the Trinity Broadcasting Network."
 840 HAITI Radio 4VEH, Cap Haitien DEC 30 0100 - Good, over Newsradio 84 WHAS; "...ici Radio 4VEH."
 850 CUBA R.Reloj, Nueva Gerona, Isla de la Juventud DEC 30 0059 - Minute marker and RR code way under WEEI.
 860 ST. KITTS & NEVIS Voice of Nevis, Bath Village DEC 30 0058 - Good, over R.Reloj Cuba and unID Latin American; speech regarding government in Caribbean-accented English through the hour.
 870 CUBA R.Reloj, Sancti Spíritus DEC 30 0058 - Good; over unID Latin Americans; news, syncopated clock, etc.
 890 unIDs DEC 30 0100 - This frequency a mess of sub-audible hets with at least two Latin American signals in the mix with WLS.

 900 CUBA R.Progreso, Cacocum-San Germán DEC 30 0100 - Good; salsa parallel 640 kHz.
 930 CUBA R.Reloj, multiple locations DEC 30 0058 - Echo from delay between stations, also heard wobbler, then one became dominant.
 940 PUERTO RICO WIPR San Juan DEC 29 2300 - Good; "Esta es WIPR AM..." and nostalgic salsa music.
 950 CUBA R.Reloj, multiple locations DEC 30 0058 - Good, over WPEN; syncopated clock, etc.
 960 CUBA R.Reloj, Guantánamo DEC 30 0100 - Good, over domestic/Latin American jumble; "Radio Reloj," minute marker, "Ocho en punto."

1000 COLOMBIA HJAQ RCN Cartagena DEC 30 0101 - Fair, over unID Latin American; sports commentary with RCN mention.
1020 CUBA R.Reloj, Baracoa DEC 30 0058 - Fair, over/under KDKA; syncopated clock, etc.
1039.61 VENEZUELA YVLB La Voz de Carabobo, Valencia DEC 30 0058 - Presumed with tropical music and messy het against 1040 kHz.

1140 CUBA R.Rebelde, multiple locations DEC 29 2300 - Rebelde sounder into news with digital attention signal between items, parallel 1180 kHz; through 1141 het and 1130 WBBR splatter.
1141 unID DEC 29 2300 - Loud het against 1140 kHz; discussion in Spanish between a man and woman.
1150 CUBA R.Bayamo, Entronque Bueycito DEC 30 0100 - Fair; "Esta es CMKX, Radio Bayamo..." and chimes.
1160 BERMUDA VSB3 Hamilton DEC 29 2359 - Fair; BBC Five Live promo, bbcworldservice.com promo.
1170 COLOMBIA HJNW CARACOL Cartagena DEC 30 0100 - Over/under Ke Buena 1170 WCXN; "Caracol" IDs into news.
1180 CUBA R.Rebelde, multiple locations DEC 30 0100 - Good; ID and Deportivamente program parallel 670 kHz.

1200 VENEZUELA YVOZ R.Tiempo, Caracas DEC 30 0000 - Fair, through WXKS; promos, "Radio Tiempo 1200 AM."
1280 BERMUDA VSB2 Hamilton DEC 30 0000 - Good, over WADO and WCMN; "This is BBN, on WYFQ FM Wadeboro-Charlotte" and SRN news.
1280 PUERTO RICO WCMN Arecibo DEC 30 0100 - Under/over WADO; multiple station ID, "En todo Puerto Rico... Ponce, WCMN 1280 Arecibo, y WNEL 1430 Caguas..." and NotiUno slogan.

The WCTK FM antenna bay atop the 580-foot WNBH antenna, and the isolation keg at the base of the antenna that couples the WCTK FM transmission line to the live AM antenna.

Some of the equipment inside the transmitter room, and another view of the antenna base insulator with lightning arrestor and coil to detune nearby 1420 WBSM.

Craig Healy puts the finishing touches on the bowtie.  Later inside the transmitter room Craig Healy and Chris Black monitor SDR receivers.

Given a quiet space in which to work, or setting up receivers outdoors had the weather been warmer, likely would've produced even more exotic tropical catches. The WNBH and WCTK transmitters were very loud. It was still an interesting experiment. Such close proximity to AM/FM broadcast transmitters certainly tested the performance of the receivers. Although DX conditions were favoring the lower half of the band as the logs indicate, overall the bowtie test appears to have been a success, adding another configuration to the arsenal of DXpedition-tested and approved terminated broadband loop antennas. 73 and Good DX!

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