Monday, February 28, 2005

Canadian Advantage in GY DXing

Our review of the DX records for individual stations revealed a large number of Canadian DX'ers who held distance records. When this topic was discussed on the GY DXing E-mail list, the results were interesting:

Like AMs in general, the GYs are less numerous here. By my count, there are only 51 GY stations left in Canada... only 5 in each of Ontario and Quebec. There are only two that I hear on a fairly regular basis:

CHUC-1450 and CFPS-1490. CHUC is a pest, especially when they're on their 8 kW day power, but they're moving to FM soon. Other than a weak groundwave signal from CHUC, the groundwave signals I get are from upstate NY, but none of them is overwhelmingly strong - the closest is 48 miles away. And I don't have locals on any first adjacents of the GYs either, so that helps. Other than that, I don't think I have any particular advantage in being where I am... basically, I've logged lots of GY stations mainly because I've probably been doing timed recording on the GY channels for a considerably longer period than anybody else.-Barry McLarnon

Your blog editor noted that if even if you eliminate Barry's considerable number of records, you're still left with a large number of GY records being held by Canadians. This generated some additional discussion.

That is indeed true. Andy Rugg held quite a number, although most of Andy's dated from his most active BCB DX days in the 1960's-70's.

Part of the answer, then and now, is less congestion on the frequncies in more than one direction. And I suspect that some sort of climatological effects may also play a part. -Russ Edmunds

I think it's fairly clear that, at least as far as setting distance records is concerned, you are better off being on the edge of the mass of GY stations than immersed in them. The average distance to GY stations in general increases as you move further away... if I relocated to Baffin Island, I could probably claim the domestic distance record for just about every GY station I heard. :-) -Barry McLarnon

Look at any GY frequency map in the NRC's "AM Station Map Book", and it is easy to see the problem. The concentration of GY's east of the Mississippi, and especially in East Coast states and the states that border them, is very dramatic when compared to the West.-Bill Dvorak

I agree with the general point that both Barry, Russ and Bill make. It does seem to be far better to be outside the cluster of GY stations, rather than in the middle of it...if your goal is capturing a record reception. Obviously being active with unattended recordings is also critical.

But as the density of GY stations falls off towards the Western United States, I'd still expect to see more records held by DX'ers in those locations. Perhaps the greater impact of AU conditions to the North gives Canadian DX'ers yet another advantage, not enjoyed by those in the West.

Several DX'ers have noted that "stirring the soup" with rapidly changing conditions can be critical to new loggings. Having more frequent and greater AU frequency could certainly account for some of their success.

Another factor might be that Canada is blessed with having dedicated and well equipped DX'ers, who are also located in a good spot for this type of DXing. Barry McLarnon certainly seems to hear almost every signal out there! : )


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