Convention Report – A personal impression by Bryan Clark
Southland Branch’s renowned listening post at Tiwai was the venue for the League’s 77th National Convention, held over the i982 Easter Holiday Weekend. The site is a 3 bedroom former farmhouse, located on the coast near lnvercargill . With the nearest electrical supply some 6 miles away, DX reception is almost
devoid of man-made interference, and to drag in the exotic DX antennas of up to 4000 feet in length are spread out from the house like the spokes of a bicycle wheel, beaming towards the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Europe. Participants all contributed to the provision of home-comforts – collecting firewood to keep the fires and stoves brning, preparing meals, erecting additional antennae, and so on.
When “mine host” Paul Aronsen mislaid the evening meal, early arrivals at the site on Thursday were easily distracted by the DX . Over 5 days of listening, tropical band Latins were audible all evening, from as early as 0340 GMT (eg: Bolivian Radio lllimani 4945 excellent at 0400 closing; Voz del Napo 3280 and
Ondas Quevendenas 3325 at I000) . Dunedin-based hobby pirate 4FFF Radio Freedom was undoubtedly the most listened to SW station, being heard from 0500 GMT Friday, Saturday and Sunday on 3850-3853v, with professionally-produced programming which included calls to Convention 82. Besides Freedom, the most logged SW catches were low powered Canadians CKFX 6080, CFRX 6070 and CFCX 6005, the latter two at very good level. There were also some good openings to Africa eg Radio RSA in EE on 4990 to 0427 s/off. Tropical reception was provided by a utility link between the Falkland Islands and Buenos Aires on 24145kHz
On MW, reception was mainly from North America and the Pacific, but loggings were also made from South America, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Amongst the listening highlights were: WHAM Rochester NY on 1180 with solid signals, BBC Masirah Island in Arabic most mornings, WUNI Alabama 1410 and WAOK
Georgia 1380 mid-evening, DZFM Manila 738 with easy listening music at 1815 GMT.
Special out-of-town guest at Convention 82, Larry McKinney of Pennyslvania USA obviously enjoyed the chance to hear and tape many exotic catches on SW and MW . He commented on the various ANARC and EDXC he has attended, comparing their organised conference format with the informality and DX listening emphasis of NZ gatherings. Larry and his parents proved fine ambassadors for their country, and will be remembered for their friendliness and generosity.
Those attending Convention 82 will also remember the gathering for the warm social atmosphere at the Tiwai listening post; Arthur William’s magnificent collection of vintage radios and his skill as an auctioneer; Paul Aronsen’s organisation and shock loss in the Darts Competition; beachcombing and gold panning on the deserted beach; the grapes and other goodies provided by Southland Branch patron Owen Crawford and Mrs Crawford; Steven Greenyer’s steam-driven radio and antenna climbing antics; how the Aucklanders brought
along the sunshine and Arthur de Maine took away most of the competition prizes.
Participating in Convention 82 activities were: Paul Aronsen, Paul Bellett, Charlie Chester, Bryan Clark, Arthur Cushen, Bob Dunstone, Martin Flahive, Steven Greenyer, Eric Mclntosh, Larry McKinney, Tony Magon, Arthur de Maine, Mark Nicholls, Lindsay Robinson, Harry Searle and Arthur Williams.
Postscript: There’s an old adage which says that “the night after” an NZRDXL convention always provides the best DX reception . This certainly seemed the case as far as the 5 members who remained at Tiwai on the evening of Easter Monday were concerned . MW Latins were heard from 0440 GMT, 35 minutes earlier than any MW opening on the preceeding 4 days. Star catch was undoubtedly Radio Nacional Panama 840kHz between 0505 and 0600, but loggings were also taken on Radio Mar Peru 760, Radio Uno Cali 660 and a
new Cuban on 750 running parallel to 690. On SW a Spanish language programme on 6030 noted with deteriorating signals between 0747 and 0840 GMT was tentatively identified as Argentinian Antarctica, while TWR Swaziland was easily logged next morning with Chinese programming on 9540 from 2040 sign-on.