MF and LF

I must admit that I have done very well on the HF bands. Multiple DXCCs are in the bag as are other awards.
I operate many modes although seem to spend most of my time on HF digital.

I am bored.

In recent days, I have been an SWL listening to signals below the AM broadcast band in North America (below 525 kHz). My Icom 756 Pro III is not optimized for these frequencies but, nevertheless, I hear signals. Many are from the nearly extinct non-directional beacons (NDB) that guided aviators for decades.

Down near 474.2 kHz are amateur radio operators and way down at 136 kHz are more intrepid experimenters. Even further down are those pushing the envelope in what should be audio frequencies but are radiating as electromagnetic waves. I can't hear these since the receiver only goes to 30kHz.

There are stations on the 474 kHz and 136 kHz bands radiating with WSPR. I copy them using WSJT-X (v1.8.0-rc1). On 474, I am surprised at the radial distance from my QTH. As I write this, max distance is 5000 km and the min distance is about 600 km. The LF band at 136 kHz is not being to well received tonight but was yielding distances of between 600 and 1000 km a few nights ago.

Originally, the 40 meter long OCF dipole was the receive antenna. Today (20180119), I added a series loading coils to offset its capacitive reactance seen in the shack at the end of the transmission line in the MF band. It is not an ideal ploy but signals seem stronger.

I will play with this some more and see if matters can be further improved.