17,000km on a rubber ducky

I was out walking the dog, as you do, with my trusty Yaesu VX6 in hand this evening.

I tried to raise some locals for a chin-wag on a couple of repeaters and got the silent treatment so went for plan ‘B’ and started scanning some local services channels.

17,748 km or so Google says

After listening for a wee while to some linesmen dealing with a power pole fire (not related to the big CHCH fires recently) I got bored and thought I’d go a bit lower down the spectrum.

Basically I started listening a bit below 500 khz and scanned upwards from there.

The squelch broke for the the local broadcast AM stuff you’d expect, along with some big noise sources in the 80m band and a local ham rag chewing on 40m who sounded like a duck as the HT only does AM/FM not side band.

Then well into the short-wave broadcast chunk proper I listened to a bit of the 8pm news on Radio New Zealand shortwave service that was thumping in as I plodded along behind the K9/p.

VX6 SWL

Short wave listening with a Rubber Ducky?

After the news I kept on scanning upwards and wound up listening to a movie review of the new Lego Batman movie where the scan stopped on 11.780Mhz.

I assumed it was ABC, the Australian Shortwave service or something else relatively close to home.

Listened for a bit longer to the entertainment news about Angelina Jolie making a movie with her kids you could have knocked me down with a feather when the announcer said it was China Radio International English service!

A good solid S4 – S5 signal into the standard rubber ducky antenna designed for 432/144Mhz.

I didn’t even hold the radio above waist height most of the time, I was just wandering along with it in my hand.

Checking when I got home I found that the transmitter was centred on 11.785 Mhz based in Cerrik, Albania!! That’s almost anti-podal at around 17,000km.

Once again, there might be quite a bit of science in this radio thing but every now and then there’s a wee dusting of magic as well.

fitbit

156bpm max? Hmm.

For the record the dog and I did 6.55 km in a bit over an hour and a quarter. 8,606 steps apparently. I do wonder how many steps the dog took? Quite a few more I’m guessing!

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