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DX-TV & FM News (101222)


October and November Reports

TV and FM Reports: [email protected]


Archive TV and Radio: [email protected]


Sporadic-E DX


Most years, there is an upsurge in Sporadic-E activity during October and this year, an opening occurred on the 23rd between 1056 and 1140UTC with Chris Howles (Lichfield) logging a selection of OIRT FM stations between 66 and 72 MHz from Belarus and Ukraine.


Tropospheric DX


A small tropo lift was noted by Stephen Michie (Bristol), with FM signals (Kiss, Magic and Heart) from Croydon rising from the noise on October 3rd and 18th.


Throughout October, Chris encountered tropospheric DX from many French, Belgian, Dutch and German transmitters. The key dates were the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 12th, 18th and 19th. On the latter date, the reception lasted for most of the day.


Chris noted a big tropo opening on November 11th from 0622 until 2016, with mostly German loggings. France, The Netherlands and Belgium were also present. The best distance for German reception was 956km from NDR-2 Röbel on 107.0MHz which appeared late afternoon and then returned in the evening.


F2 Activity


Simon Hockenhull (Bristol) tells us that the m.u.f. (Maximum Usable Frequency) of Cycle 25 is rising with American utilities being heard during the day on the 30-35MHz PMR bands. Simon recommends keeping a watchful eye open during daylight hours for TV signals appearing in Band I. However, the m.u.f. would have to rise considerably to hit the 55.25MHz frequency required for channel A2 video reception. Judging by previous cycles, midday and early afternoon would seem to be the best times for such reception.


In October, TEP (Transequatorial Propagation) produced some successful South American 6m (FT8 mode) catches for Kevin Hewitt in Gibraltar. Most of the signals originated from southern Brazil and Uruguay.


Tony Mann (Perth) tells us that the 33.2MHz (Darwin, Northern Australia) ATRAD meteor radar data transmitter is back on-air after falling silent six years ago.


Various signals made an appearance in Perth almost daily between September and November. These included Chinese radar on 38.9MHz, fax on 33.000MHz, Korean radar on 40.80MHz, and a ‘drifty’ Chinese carrier on 40.6815MHz.


On October 7th, the 6L0LN CW beacon in South Korea on 50.051MHz (3 Watts) was received and with it, carriers of similar strength on 49.7380 and 49.7430 MHz. 


Two days later, the Pakistani Snotel master station was identified on 40.530MHz with its slaves on 41.53MHz just before 0600UTC. This was the first reception of F2 cycle 25. Also detected were noise modulations (10kHz wide), probably of Chinese origin, on 42.500 and 42.675 MHz. 

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On October 11th, Tony received a weak slow-fading analogue channel A2 TV carrier on 55.250MHz from the Philippines between 2000 and 2100, local time. This was preceded by 6-metre FT8 DX stations, presumably from Japan, exhibiting the classic fluttery fading of TEP, and Beijing MST radar on 50.5MHz. No channel R1 TV signals were detected that day, but during the afternoon of the 13th, weak video carriers were present on 49.7380, 49.7430, 49.7465 (new) and 49.7490 MHz.


Tony recently discovered that the Prague (Czech Republic) Airspy R2 SDR uses an active 1.4m loop which produces usable F2 reception on the lower VHF frequencies. Using this system in early November, he received Syrian pulsers on 30.000, 30.025, 32.325, 33.075, 35.225 and 36.325 MHz, Kazan radar on 29.75MHz, Cypriot radar up to 35MHz, and also RTTY on 36.900 and 40.503 MHz.


Unusual Test Card


Matt Mills (Wolverhampton) and Stephen Michie (Bristol) have alerted our attention to a ‘mystery’ test card shown in a recent edition of Click on the BBC News Channel. Vintage footage of a BBC studio showed a camera shot with a very unusual test card mounted on a stand. Some of these early test cards are not fully documented.


It has been suggested that it could be Test Card ‘B’ or an early one with a numbered designation. Does anyone recognise it? Another camera test card (Test Card ‘A’) was shown together with Test Card ‘C’; many readers will be familiar with the latter.


Finally, we would like to extend Christmas greetings to all our readers and contributors.


Stay Tuned!


Our thanks to all our readers and DX colleagues who have submitted information and reception reports covering October and November.


Please send DX-TV and FM reception reports, photographs and equipment details to us via the E-mail addresses shown at the top of this column.




Fig. 1: A home-brew aerial for around 35MHz, using a polyethene cutting board (Tony Mann, Perth, Australia).

Fig. 2: Mystery studio camera line-up test card shown on the BBC Click programme (Stephen Michie, Bristol).

Fig. 3: Studio shot with Test Card ‘C’ (left) and Test Card ‘A’ (Photo: Stephen Michie, Bristol).

Fig. 4: Christmas 2021 on GBC (Gibraltar) (Kevin Hewitt, Gibraltar).