DX-TV & FM News (101222)
October and November Reports
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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.
A small tropo lift was noted by Stephen Michie (
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.
Simon Hockenhull (
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
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.
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.
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.
CAPTIONS TO PHOTOGRAPHS
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).