My winters bring long hours of darkness. It’s time to discover my favorite medium wave DX station setup at home.
I am fortunate to have a wide variety of receivers and a few antennas, including an array of wideband receiving loops. My biggest challenge with medium wave DX is strong local broadcast signals, here at the south side of Calgary. The ability to reduce nearby strong signals is critical.
After some experimenting with different gear, I have discovered my favorite medium wave DX station setup, shown above. Here is a detailed description.
My old Perseus receiver, controlled by SDR Console V3 software, is wonderful. If I engage a 20 dB attenuator, I can eliminate ADC overload and still have enough gain and dynamic range for weaker BCB signals. An additional benefit of the SDR Console software is a wonderful implementation of ECSS demodulation.
ECSS, or Exalted Carrier Selectable Sideband is a form of synchronous detection. I can lock on to the carrier of a distant station and listen to either upper or lower sideband audio. This works great for distant stations adjacent to a much strong signal.
Of course, Perseus is a single channel receiver. So, in order for me to benefit from my loop array, I use my DXE NCC-1 phaser to tune the gain and phase of the wideband loop combination, as shown lower right above. I can select each loop for North-South, or East-West for rudimentary beam forming at medium waves.
Favorite Medium Wave DX Station – Data and Maps
Finally, I have extracted a database of all North American MW BCB stations from MWList. This runs in my Ergo Radio Software providing a complete list of MW stations by call letters, cities, transmitter locations and power. This is an easy way to discover what stations are on which frequencies. I can also see azimuth direction and distance.
In many cases, by adjusting antenna direction and phasing, I can receive three or four different stations on the same frequency. Wonderful stuff.
Of course, I could do all of this with a diversity receiver. But for some reason, SDR Console with the Perseus provides best recoverable audio with the least interference. I am fortunate to have this wonderful gear in my shack.