The house and its facilities
It’s a fairly modern former school building. We have access to one bedroom with 4 beds. There is also one small room with 2 beds and additionally one room with 2-3 beds that we can use if needed. There is separate electrical heating for each room so rooms not in use have no heating on! We listen in a separate room which is in direct connection with the old school kitchen only separated by a saloon door. The kitchen is fully equipped and there are plates, glasses, cutlery, etc. Refrigerators and freezers for all plus a dish washer. There are four toilets and five showers plus a sauna! We have a locked unheated room in the basement where spare equipment etc. can be stored. Other facilities include a washing machine and TV.
Landline telephony is missing.There is good coverage for internet, talk and SMS via Telia 4G. Net1 also works fairly well.
The building is on the left side of the road about 900 m after the sign welcoming you to “Parkalombolo”. (Misspelled by the authority supplying the signboard!) You pass the SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) weather station on the left and then after about 200 meters you turn left when you reach a hedge. Then it is less than 100 meters to the school.
Heating and warm water
Basic temperature in the building is +15° and it takes hours to reach 21° with the two heat pumps. Normally you only increase the thermostat to 23° to keep it around 21°.
The radio room and kitchen are heated by one heat pump and the door to the corridor from this part can be kept closed. IMPORTANT: other doors must not be closed to other spaces without their own heating! There is a risk for frozen water pipes and water damages if the corridor and toilets are not heated by the heat pump in the big bedroom. The toilets and the shower compartments have some direct electrical heating for safety reasons. Do not adjust the setting for these radiators. Direct electrical heating for temporary use exists in all rooms, e.g. in the small bedroom so the door can be kept closed.
Hot water is normally not available on arrival. The temperature must not be adjusted, but the water heater must be switched on. It is located in a cupboard in the office. Contact Bo Olofsson (BOS) for further information. Mail and phone for all contact persons below.
Don’t forget to change the heating pumps to 15° and to switch off the water heater before leaving! Make sure that the electric heaters which have been activated are switched off and that all doors are open inclusive the one to the office and the radio room. The doors to the social workers’ room, the flea market and to the big hall are to be left open. Social workers’ room should have approx. 10° via direct heating because of toilet and kitchen. The flea market does not need any heating. The hall is always unheated. The heaters which were activated on arrival must not be switched off. Contact BOS if you have any questions.
Six antennas via five coaxes (see list at the bottom). A sixth coax is used for the KiwiSDR that brings remote listening possibilities to the members of the Swedish DX-Federation. Seven antenna splitters (one coax serves two wires via a remote relay) with 10 outputs (BNC) and one built-in preamplifier each, a couple of spare splitters (6 outputs each), several coaxial cables (BNC/BNC) ready to use. But please bring your own if you can! 7×10 = 70 needed if all outputs are used simultaneously! All cables should be RG58 or 50 – 75 ohm shielded cables.
Some adapters (BNC and PL258), audio cables, antenna boxes etc. may be found here but bring your own to be sure you will get the best out of the trip! Please test quality at home as repairs may be impossible up here. After the expedition you may donate adapters, cables, tables, books etc. to the QTH. They could come in handy the next time if you, or someone else, forget to bring something.
One Lowe HF-225 receiver has been added to the permanent equipment. If your own radio breaks down or you forgot to bring the power supply it could be gold worth. You can rent it by paying 30 SEK per night to SDXF when it is not needed to solve a problem! Please book the radio when booking to ensure availability. First come first served. If there is need to replace a radio that breaks down, the booking is not valid any more.
Do not forget to bring…
Antenna switch box! We do not accept static from antenna shifting. You will need at least 6 inputs if you plan to listen in all directions. There are a couple of spare boxes (4-5 inputs) on-site. Seven 3-5 m long prefabricated RG58 cables with BNC at the splitter side recommended.
An antenna switch box for those who can’t or do not want to build one, can be bought for around 1000 SEK inclusive of adapters between PL-259 and BNC, e.g. MFJ 1701 Antenna Switch. Those who are used to soldering and drilling in aluminum sheets can build one for half the cost. The advantage with a simple home made one is that you can combine several antennas which can’t be made with a coax switch and you don’t need to buy adapters. A construction description can be obtained from BOS.
Head phones are mandatory! Speaker sound must be avoided. Bring enough recording media! It is hard to find even in Pajala and the price is very high compared to the big cities! When calculating recording time consider the fact that you may well have 20 hours of intense listening in one day if conditions are right. Bring enough cash! Put aside cash for PIK to begin with. The nearest bank is in Pajala. But the ICA shop in Kangos might help with a little cash on a VISA/MC card.
If possible bring your own bed clothing. You can borrow from PIK. Warm clothes for antenna inspections and village walks. Indoor temperature could be a bit below 20 degrees so you might need polar underwear even indoors.
It is recommended to bring food for a few days as reception conditions can be so good that you don´t have the time to go shopping… It is a bit irritating to have to leave all the stations booming in just to get a little food…
How to book your stay
The easiest way of booking is by contacting Per Eriksson (PE) as early as possible. This is because the word can be spread and that possible carpooling/listening can be arranged. SDXF members have precedence at overbooking if booked early. Last minute bookings are handled in the order they are made. The 8 available beds put an upper limit, but in order not to make total chaos at the antenna splitters, maybe the number of receivers should not exceed 10 in total, unless you have your own split-possibilities.
Late amendments can be made, but contact PE to make sure it is possible. Expeditions can be cancelled early due to major solar flares or be extended if possibility and conditions coincide! Change of start date due to work situation etc. should be as soon as possible. If keys are needed, contact Sigvard Andersson (A) who will give directions or solve it in another way. For any other practical questions, contact BOS.
Here you will find an Excel sheet with a updated booking schedule for this season.
The PAX-numbering is made for each expedition in consultation with BOS. It is OK that expeditions overlap and run in parallel. All PAX-expeditions are expected to write one page in the PAX-guestbook on site. List all who took part in the expedition together with start and finishing dates for each participant. It is easiest to send an expedition report with these data in the beginning.
Even if you don’t present a log, include a page about the expedition and a presentation of rare stations for future research and statistics. Updating of findings are welcome later, even many years later.
After the completed expedition, all fields are to be filled in this Excel sheet and sent to till Sigvard Andersson within two weeks along with the payment. Everything, except the SDXF membership fee, to be paid into the PAX bank account.
130 SEK/day and person for PIK. Additionally:
SDXF members: 70 SEK/day and person plus 30 SEK start fee for rent of equipment.
Non-members: 140 SEK/day and person plus 100 SEK start fee.
If you get a 175 SEK SDXF membership (Pay directly to SDXF and not via the PAX bank account!) your price will be 70 SEK/day plus 30 SEK start fee instead! You will save from day one! If you use the Lowe HF-225 please pay an additional 30 SEK/day.
The SDXF money is to be used for repair and maintenance of existing equipment and future investments.
A few simple rules
As always you must leave the place in the same condition as you found it in or better! Any damage or problems should be reported to PIK or to this web site. Replace equipment broken by something similar or pay to PIK. Keep the rooms locked when not in use. Doors to radio room and entrance door in particular! Be sure to always have the keys with you when taking a walk or going for a trip.
Ear plugs is a good idea to prevent being disturbed by your fellow DX-ers getting up for a listen or going to bed unexpectedly. Don’t count on a regular time schedule… Other persons too have access to the building and may lock the doors after a visit! They do not have access to our bedrooms. Problems with equipment than can not be solved by you should be directed immediately to BOS or A!
Dogs have been welcome so far but you must talk to all participants first plus PIK. You must clean carefully from dog hair when leaving.
Very limited bus transport available. With bus you can now only go to Junosuando either from Kiruna or from Luleå via Pajala. Consult Länstrafiken i Norrbotten for more details. From there you can take a taxi (40 km) (at a special low transfer price!) or you will need a helping car from someone else in Parka. Own or rented car is almost a must. Kiruna has railway connection with Stockholm.
When arriving by car you go on the E4 up to Töre then to Överkalix, where you should shop what you need for the next few days and get the cash you need, then via Tärendö, Junosuando and Kangos to Kerentöjärvi and Parkalompolo. 300 km north west of Luleå. (110 km/h rated road often but not highway standards and be aware of animals. Reindeers are not very smart and do not get off the road if they don’t want to.
It is recommended to play it safe as an accident is a lot of trouble and may be dangerous to your health if the temperature is very low and there is long time before you can get any help! If you hit a reindeer you have to make sure it is dead, cut off its ears and phone the police to report the incident. You can then leave the scene and report damage on the car to your insurance company on the next day if you like. A full-grown reindeer is only 45 kg so it is better to run it over than steer off the road!! They normally don’t move very fast and they are not very impressed by a car. They do not pay attention to a car signaling. You will have to stop and let them do what they have in mind… An elk on the other hand is not something you smash in to without severe damage to yourself and the car! But they are relatively rare and they do respect cars if they only have the time to react.
Nothing in Parkalompolo. In Kangos (about 30 km away) you will find the nearest super market. They also sell petrol/diesel and is the local representative for medical supplies and alcohol (you have to order wine/beer from Systembolaget in Pajala). Alcohol over 3.5% can only be bought in Pajala or in Muonio, Finland. Nearest Bank, Post Office and most other services are in Pajala. That is 100 km away from Parka. Limited service halfway in Junosuando or Muodoslompolo.
Normal inland climate. -20° ± 10° could be expected most days around the New Year. Temperature could drop below -40° (even -50°) on rare occations in January – March. But that is not as frightening as you could think as the air is very dry. Snow will be 50 – 100 cm deep towards March and around 50 by January.
Small village at the end of the road. Once inhabited by families with lots of children. Today not many live here permanently anymore. They have moved to where the jobs are. Mainly to Kiruna or down to the Baltic coast. The village is a popular retreat at weekends and in summer. Parkalompolo is best known for its soccer team.
Parkalompolo Idrottsklubb. Activities are mostly soccer, cross-country skiing and management of the former school.
Bookning: Per Eriksson (+46 708 37 36 92, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Technical and practical questions: Sigvard Andersson (+46 706 67 17 12, email@example.com)
Technical and practical questions: Bo Olofsson (+46 706 52 56 70, firstname.lastname@example.org)
PIK: Rolf Gunnelbrand (+46 768 20 24 44)
*) Switch between these two antennas