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DX-TV & FM News (1st November 2022)


September 2022 Reception Reports



By Keith Hamer & Garry Smith


TV and FM Reports:

[email protected]

Archive TV and Radio:

[email protected]




Sporadic-E TV


Reception continued into September and in Épinal, France, Niels van der Linden reports further TV successes in Band I where signals on channels R1 (49.75MHz) and R2 (59.25MHz) were observed on at least 36 days throughout the summer months. Images on channels E3 (55.25MHz), E4 (61.25MHz) and A2 (55.25MHz, 525-line 60Hz) have also been observed, but so far remain unidentified.


On the 3rd, Niels’ son noticed colour images on channel R2 at levels somewhat stronger than usual but there was no visible logo, only a sign-language interpreter in the lower right of the screen. It is thought that this was the local news programme of ‘Lugansk 24’ (Telekanal 24) via the Lugansk transmitter (50kW ERP) in Ukraine. The reception lasted from 1015 until 1035UTC. Niels first received this network in July 2016 after it had replaced ‘Inter’.


Niels adds that maybe this is the final farewell for the reception of analogue TV transmitters in VHF Bands I and II via Sporadic-E. Hopefully not!


We hope to be able to continue reporting further analogue sightings via Sporadic-E next season, but the greater skip distances involved may mean reception could be more challenging for UK DX-ers.


OIRT and CCIR FM  Reception


Chris Howles (Lichfield) was rewarded with a Sporadic-E opening on the 1st, between 0939 and 1555, when he logged signals from Italy, Algeria, Spain Morocco, Tunisia, and France. CCIR FM highlights included 87.80MHz Morocco (SNRT Al Idaâ Al Amazighia) from Aoumana at 2,231km. During the afternoon, the OIRT band was active and at 1555 on 67.25MHz, Belarus was identified with BR Radio Mogilev from Kostiukovichi at 2,244km. At 1327 on the 2nd, Ukraine was present on 68.24MHz, with Radio Mariya v Ukraini from the Antopil outlet.


Dave Bunyan (Sittingbourne) reflects on this season’s rich pickings. Towards the end of the season, on August 21st, signals from Cyprus (3,100 km), Israel (3,550km), Lebanon (3,550km) and Saudi Arabia (4,265km) were identified. The Canary Islands is also another ‘first’. Dave has logged an unusually high number of Greek and Turkish openings this year, but with few significant short-skip catches under 1,000km.


Band III Transmitter Query


Roger Pates (Nottingham) has been in touch asking whether any digital TV transmitters still operate in Band III. Italy, Sweden, Poland and Finland operate multiplexes within this band but, as far as we know, apart from Italy and Poland, the programmes are encrypted.


Roger also asks whether there are any European transmitters operating above UHF channel D49. Maybe our European counterparts can fill us in with any other transmitters still operating as the UHF band gives way to mobile ‘phones.


In the golden era of analogue DX-ing, Band III signals from Éire, Belgium and France could be received almost daily in central parts of the UK, albeit at a low level. In Derby, French 819-line signals in Band III from Lille (channel F8A: 185.25MHz vision) could be received regularly in the Midlands using an unmodified dual-standard receiver (Thorn 1400 series) set to 405-lines, resulting in two pictures side-by-side.  


For general DX-ing in those days, many DX-ers used receivers with a reduced vision IF bandwidth which provided enhancement of weaker signals and also greater selectivity to cope with differences in channel allocations throughout Bands I and III. Modifying an old dual-standard receiver, to take advantage of the 405-line’s narrower IF bandwidth worked wonders with weak-signal reception, but modifications were not for the faint-hearted, By the late 70s, such receivers were increasingly difficult to come by and were probably well past their sell-by date!


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Some enthusiasts began experimenting with external varicap tuning systems which fed a selective, and narrowed, bandwidth IF stage before up-conversion to a UHF channel using a VHF to UHF up-converter. Such devices were commonly used in older VHF TV communal aerial systems to convert signals to UHF frequencies.


The concept of an external DX tuning system feeding a normal UHF TV meant that no receiver modifications were necessary and the DX-TV reception hobby was available to anyone.


In 1983, a stand-alone device called a D100 was produced by yours truly and once the results were seen and word got around, demand took off.  The D100, marketed by HS Publications of Derby, evolved over the years. The first ones were vision-only with results similar to a modified TV set, but later the luxury of multi-system sound was added when hooked up to an FM radio.


All models featured variable IF bandwidth to provide an optimum display. Later options included scanning and even a DX signal alarm facility to warn of activity during lulls. The D100 was despatched to all corners of the globe until spares finally dried up in 2019. By that time, analogue was well into its final days.    


Analogue Revival


In the Philippines, All TV Channel 2, a free-to-air TV network based in Mandaluyong, has commenced broadcasting in analogue on channel A2 (55.25MHz) in Manila with 30kW ERP.


On January 5th, 2022, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) awarded VHF analogue Channel A2 (55.25MHz) and ISDB-T digital channel 16 to AMBS (Advanced Media Broadcasting System). Furthermore, the channel A2 allocation was given provisional authority to operate for 18 months until the analogue switch-off occurs; it is scheduled for 2023.


These channels were previously used by ABS-CBN using the call-sign DWWX-TV. The ABS-CBN network was closed down on May 5th, 2020, due to a ‘cease and desist’ order from the NTC after Congress failed to renew its broadcast franchise.


In June 2022, AMBS Manila began its test broadcasts and the station made its ‘soft launch’ on September 13th, 2022, at midday with intentions of a nationwide expansion as soon as possible.


Stay Tuned!


Our thanks to all our readers and DX colleagues who have submitted information and reception reports this month.


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 by the end of the month.




Fig. 1: Local network ‘Lugansk 24’ (Луганск 24) in July 2016. Photo: Niels van der Linden (Épinal, France).


Fig. 2: There’s no doubt about the origin of this signal from Moldova,  received on channel R3 (77.25MHz) in June 2010. Photo: Paul Farley (Newhaven, Sussex).


Fig. 3: French 819-line signals in Band III from Lille. Photo: Garry Smith (Derby).


Fig. 4: An early version of the D100 DX-TV Converter with variable sound-

spacing, circa 1987. Photo: HS Publications (Derby).


Fig. 5:  The lower array is a compact VF-100 aerial covering VHF Bands I, II and III. It was an ideal companion for the D100. The UHF array is a Televés DAT-75 with a triple director. Photo: Kevin Hughes (Tamworth).


Fig. 6: A VF-100 aerial beaming southeast with a three-element (lower) manually rotatable array pointing west, hoping for transatlantic DX. Photo: Garry Smith (Derby).

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