|LEM DXpedition List||LEM DXer List|
Antennas: Measured antenna directions on the Great Circle Map
Previous Seasons: 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14
14-15 15-16 16-17 17-18 18-19 19-20 20-21
Hannu Niilekselä (HN)
As Lemmenjoki is such a nice place, it is hard to stay away from there for a long period ! So only about 2 months after the previous trip, LEM456, it was time to return.
Expectations in front of a listening trip are always high - but also there are realities that one has to take into account.
The first reality is that we are rapidly moving towards the solar cycle maximum and that means more often occurring solar disturbances.
The second reality is that moving away from mid-winter darkness means that the “window” for stations from the Americas - especially North America gets rapidly shorter and shorter. After mid February stations are not anymore heard throughout the day, and especially the interesting afternoon openings to the central parts of the U.S. are no longer available. Typically, when moving further to late February, early March, the hour(s) around local sunrise tend to produce a sharp peak , when stations can be heard with good signals and -for some reason not so well understood- the selection can be more interesting than during other times of the season.
So, after those theories, what was it actually like ?
A quick answer: at least a few stations were heard every day, but on most days just one or two hours around sunrise with decent signals and without any such moments when the signals would have peaked to a specific direction. On several days there was only one top-of-the hour worth listening.
In these circumstances it is not surprising that by returning back home from a 2 week listening trip I am aware of 2 new North American stations for myself...
It was not very much better to the eastern directions either. Japanese stations and the strongest ABC stations (729, 891, 1161 and 1548) were noted almost daily, but with only marginal signals. Except for one evening, when Australians from South Australia and Victoria were heard, some commercial Victoria stations with good signals for a few short periods in about a 1 hour “window”. At least 8 new stations from those areas for me that single day, which actually saved the trip !
The excellent thing about Lemmenjoki is that as of today the site is interference free and accommodation is “5-star”, including a 1,5 km cross country ski track prepared and maintained by Aslak and Niiles. Instead of just sitting and listening to nothing, daylight hours could be used for physical practice - and as also the weather was fairly decently co-operating I had the pleasure to ski 250 kms in two weeks time...
Jopi Nyman (JJN) and Jussi Suokas (JUS)
Some fading Australian X-banders on Tuesday and a few better NA signals on Thursday morning are the only DX incidents worth mentioning from the rest of the week. From the astrophysical point of view the reason for these extremely lousy conditions is the gases leaking from the hole.
Tuesday: Le Poulet Basquaise, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore.
Wednesday: Lime-baked fish from Mexico, Zenato Pinot Grigio delle Venezie.
Thursday: Tapas starters (dates rolled in serrano ham, Manchego cheese) before the traditional Lamb feast with goat cheese potatoes. served with Los Intocables Black Malbec.
Friday: Smoked salmon with pasta tagliatelle, Casa Marrone Appassimento.
This is LEM 460 howling off.
Welcome to the Hotel Lemmenjoki
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such lovely days
Plenty of room at the Hotel Lemmenjoki
Any time of year (One time a year)
You can find it here
Their mind is Jaguar-twisted, they got the Perseus sets
They’ve got a lot of pretty laptops they call radios
How they dance on their earphones, sweet distant beat.
Some IDs to remember, many others to forget.
So I called up the Chef,
'Please bring me my wine'
He said, 'Yes, we do have that spirit here now since two thousand six'
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...
- The Wolves
This is LEM460 howling on. The start was not one of the best. JUS burned two of his Perseus sets by missinterpreting the fresh powerplugs available. In Aihkiniemi similar plugs give 5 volts for Perseus, here 12. A crucial mistake made in a hurry. Luckily we had two spare Perseus available and VJR also kindly promised us to use the one he had left here. So the clumsy and stupid mistake didn’t spoil the expedition.
The radio conditions were lousy on Saturday but from the overnight recordings a few new graveyarders for us were found in the early morning. The daytime hours on Sunday after about 7 utc were practically dead with the JIX index close to zero throughout the day, and the whole Monday was even worse if possible – and it is. Our order for the new Jaguar V9 with the negative JIX index display is in. The stations heard include Studio Annabella 1494, Radio Miniwatt 1125 and Radio Aegina 1350, as well as KXLQ Indianola IA 1490. The minimum temperature on Monday was 32.4 below, obviously.
The gourmet corner, however, works expertly and flawlessly with the choicest ingredients no matter what kind of eruptions and disturbances there are in the atosphere.
On Saturday: Paella de mariscos and Campo Viejo Reserva.
On Sunday: Yankee Mega Beef Burger, Mama’s Marvellous Oven-Baked Potato Wedges, and Our Really Great Homemade Aioli with Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel.
On Monday: Red Carelian Fish Stew with Mezzacorona Gewürztraminer.
Jari Ruohomäki (JPR) and Jim Solatie (JMS)
Happy birthday! It is time to celebrate 40 years of DX-listening in Lemmenjoki. It all started on the 28th December 1981 with Esa Hänninen, Heikki Paananen and Henri Ekman. At that time it wasn’t called LEM1, just LEM, since nobody knew if there would be a second DX-pedition at the same location. But there was, and the third, and the fourth ... Now it is the 457th time Lemmenjoki is occupied by dxers!
Below you will see our hosts Aslak, Niiles and Jouni-Ilmari 😊.
73s Jari and Jim
Hannu Niilekselä (HN) and Hannu Asikainen (HAS 27NOV-04DEC)
Week 2, Saturday 04DEC2021 - Sunday 12DEC2021
On the way returning from Ivalo airport back to Lemmenjoki the car thermometer indicated -34 C. Below -30 C temperatures were experienced on several days of week 2. The Indepence Day parade on DEC6 at Lemmenjoki DX-headquarters was postponed due to cold weather and lack of participants – only one Finnish Airforce Signal Corps Reserve Liutenant was present...
Luckily later in the week there were a few warmer days, so checking antennas and a bit of cross country skiing was possible.
The same disturbed pattern of cx towards North America continued until mid week. Stations were heard mostly from the Central Palins to West Coast. Very uninteresting. While one or two new stations were found almost every day during week one, so far not a single new one has been encountered from week 2.
On Friday, 10 DEC, the solar values were “pure zeroes”. One would think that stations would be coming in from windows and doors even without radios and antennas. But –surprise, surprise- the day was one of the worst – if not THE worst- of all two weeks. Stations syarted coming in late (after 07 UTC and signals never got really clear, starting to vanish already before 11 UTC.
As low values continued also on Saturday and Sunday signals returned and stations were heard most of the nights, but with really bad QRM, getting good at daytime and lasting until 14-15 UTC. The general pattern was, though, again Midwest-West Coast. The odd exception to this was a brief peak towards the southern East Coast, just after 00 UTC on Saturday morning. Stations from FL, SC and GA were noted on GY frequencies (WSOK-GA 1230, WFOY-FL 1240, WQSC-SC 1340, WGTN-SC 1400, WBGA-GA 1490) and also WLMC-1470 SC. More may be found on some regional channels, as files will be checked.
On the eastern side, Japanese stations had nice signals oon a few days, ABC Emerald 1548 was heard almost daily and the Majestic Fanfare was also noted once on 1512 and 1431, but nothing more.
The general observation of week 2 was that it brought in far less interesting stations than week 1. On the plus side was clearly the fact that the proton events that practically destroyed most of November were not renewed and stations were heard daily. As we are getting closer to a new solar maximum, the likelyhood of solar storms is gradually increasing which means that having a successful week or two up in the north is a lottery where the odds for spoilt conditions is rapidly growing. But the storms also produce exceptional cx where the use of SDR´s can bring pleasant surprises.
LEM456 is signing off !
Week 1, Saturday 27NOV2021 - Saturday 04DEC2021
It all started on Saturday when upon arrival we noted that there were three Hannus in the cabin – way too many... But Hannu Tikkanen lived up to the rules and left early afternoon – and also leaving a nice opening to the Midwest for harvesting.
However, there were solar disturbances in sight... The first fear was that the proton events of the previous monthly cycle in the first half of November might appear again, but that was avoided. The second fear was that it might still get very unstable at least partially materialised.
Even if there were quite strong effects of coronal holes all week we enjoyed some level of cx every day.
It turned out that the first Saturday afternoon was the best period all week in terms of the cx being crystal clear with quite heavy concentration in the "close to the Great Lakes" states. As the disturbances arrived , it was back to the typical "come-and-go" with practically no stability. The other typical thing was that most of the time the upper Northwest was the dominant direction – and there is not a whole lot to harvest from that direction.
Still, there were also some isolated bursts both to the Southwest (NM,AZ, CA and Mexico), as well as to the northerly direction north (AK, HI and Yukon).
One of the highlights was a disturbance side effect as CBC Yukon on 560 had a nice signal for about 30 minutes, which allowed hunting for the less powerful transmitters. And the hunt was successful with both 990 AM and 940 AM being //560 for short moments.
Day by day the cx during the week got more disturbed, but in spite of that both of us were able to find one or two new stations every day. But as of writing this on Sunday, Dec 5, the day has been totally useless with very disturbed cx. The only joy was the appearance of ABC Emerald on 1548 for a short while early in the afternoon.
HAS was once again in a hurry for more southern joys, so I took him to the Ivalo airport late Saturday afternoon and try to survive the prevailing -30 degree colds alone. More to come...
Hannu Tikkanen (HAT) and Håkan Sundman (HS)
Tuesday 23NOV2021 - Saturday 27NOV2021
As nothing is expected to happen on Saturday, the summary comes already one day ahead in the early afternoon: very usual serving covering the Canadian prairies bouncing back from the Rockies to the Pacific Northwest. Nothing at night nor in the morning from South America. Close to mission impossible to find new stations, but the files need to be cleaned in the coming months anyway. Or not. When the current total count is 3-5 stations including every dx-direction (not only NA), one can say that there have been more succesful personal expeditions back in the day.
It hasn’t been lonely though, a wannabe-wolf paid a visit the other day. Unfortunately the big Lapland reindeer dog never returned. I dubbed him "Two Socks" for his white forepaws. (tbh, I couldn't see them close enough, but I always liked Dances with Wolves.) Instead, new friends were identified having their early lunch / late breakfast one morning. I mean the birds, reindeer are already old acquaintances.
Thanks go to the true wolf pack JUS&JJK in Aihkiniemi, it was fun to exchange news and views about the propagation.
Saturday 20NOV2021 - Tuesday 23NOV2021
LEM455 has been on for a few days without much to inform. November has been the worst time for expeditions based on dx-results to West (not only NA), at least for HAT's LEM-history since 1982, and the first part of LEM455 has been no exception. South America has been a huge disappointment: nada.
Next report will be the summary of the remaining part of the endeavour.
ps. I wonder what that wise animal thinks of me and the conds.
Juha Vehmas (JVH) and Teijo Mäenpää (TSM)
Saturday 30OCT2021 - Saturday 06NOV2021
The LEM453 crew enjoyed the most spectacular solar indices during this week stay: Proton burst at October 28-29th cleaned up the band quite effectively, followed by series of high planetary K-indices from minimum at 4 and maximum at 7 for two days. A-index reached 74, highest value in more than 4 years. The cocktail was even formatted by a particle attack, which destroyed raising cx on Friday the 5th at 0456 UTC. No wonder, that at his solar forecast page Jan Alvestad ranked all week conditions from poor to very poor, to all directions.
Now you assume the aurora borealis must have been most spectacular too: Right, but not when observing from the ground level in Lapland, but for sure above the all night thick grey cloud carpet. Most of the week we even had temperatures above zero degrees with rainy days and ice-coveder Lake Kuivajärvi went back again: The nice 20-30 cm snow cover nearly vanished from the antenna forest too. Luckily the first full day at HQ was accompanied by nice sunshine through the foggy clouds and we noted how wonderful tolls the OAC skies are in antenna checking, much more convenient than by boots. We also enjoyed birds visiting the rowans beside the HQ windows and identified there talitiainen, närhi, harakka, tilhi, käpytikka and viherpeippo. In the forest korppi, riekko and lapintiainen was noted too.
We metered all antenna lines (at inside, after boxes) with RigExpert antenna analyzer. Standing wave ratio varied between 1,0 - 2,6 on 300-1700 kHz.
Daytime MW DXing was at zero level until Friday, but compared to the solar cx we are happy to catch something during night time:
DX cx didn´t favour this time, but nevertheless many interesting stations was found. And holiday up in the north is always a great holiday. We are also happy to been able to have nice chat with the land lord brothers, and so that way celebrating the 40th anniversary of the marvellous LEM DX QTH!
Our grateful applauses to the previous Duetto, the Grasshill couple for the marvellous clean HQ and nice chat !
73s JVH and TSM