DX-TV & FM NEWS (22 December 2021)

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By Keith Hamer & Garry Smith

DX-TV & FM Reception Reports for November 2021

 

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November Reception

 

After a couple of months in hibernation, Sporadic-E provided a most welcome out-of-season FM opening on November 5th with signals arriving from the southeast.

 

Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Greece and Italy were some of the captures for Tim Bucknall (Congleton) between 1124 and 1219 UTC on the 5th. During the same opening, Chris Howles (Lichfield) identified Greece, Croatia and Italy.

 

Tropo DX on the 11th, received by Chris, extended as far as Belgium and Germany. On the same day from 1404UTC, George Garden (Gourdon, Scotland) identified stations in northern England, namely 97.1MHz Metro (Burnhope 10kW), 100.3MHz Classic FM (Pontop Pike 65kW) and DAB multiplex 11D D1 National (Pontop Pike 6.3kW). More tropo signals were in evidence around the 20th, according to Chris.

 

Italian digital TV multiplexes on Band III channels D6, D7, D10 and D11 were logged on the 8th by Niels van der Linden (Épinal, France) in addition to RAI-3 on D26 from Torino. Austrian multiplexes on D21, D24 and D41 from Bregenz 1/Pfänder were visible on the 9th. D25 (ORS MUX E) was seen on the 10th. Italy is one of the few countries in Europe currently using Band III for TV multiplexes.

 

More ‘holiday’ DX reports have been submitted. Iain Menzies (Aberdeen) flew to Gran Canaria in November and during his hotel stay (with a balcony on a high floor), he received Moroccan stations on 98.50 92.00 95.20 87.50 and 92.00 MHz which faded in and out daily. Iain comments that he was very disappointed that nothing was received from ‘real’ Africa on FM and medium-wave.

 

While in Cyprus, Paul Farley (Newhaven) was able to capture some of the remaining analogue broadcasts from the surrounding countries (see pictures).

 

DX Down Under

 

Tony Mann (Perth, Australia) reports that the summer Sporadic-E season is underway, but it has been slow so far. There was a good opening on November 23rd, with double-hop southern Philippines TV carriers on channels A2 (55.25MHz) and A3 (61.25MHz), and also a few Indonesian FM stations. By a combination of TEP (Transequatorial Propagation) and Sporadic-E on the 2nd, 23rd and 30th, radar signals from China were detected on 38.9 and 39.0 MHz.

 

Ten Years Ago

 

We take a nostalgic look back at November reception conditions ten years ago when Band I TV was still very much alive in Europe.

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Whilst scanning Band I on the 6th, Tom Crane noticed a short-lived video carrier via Sporadic-E propagation on E3 (55.25MHz) at 1356UTC from Portugal (RTP-1). The Leonids Meteor-Shower event peaked between the 17th and 19th. At 0148UTC on the 19th, there were strong, very fluttery carriers on Italian Channel A, the strongest measuring 53.740MHz. By the time Tom had switched to his D100 converter to view the flurry of activity, the signals had vanished.

 

F2 reception was evident, with lots of encouraging stuff, but the m.u.f. (Maximum Useable Frequency) fell short of the lower TV channels E2 (48.25MHz) and R1 (49.75MHz).

 

John Faulkner (Skegness) advised that transatlantic communications were heard in Northern Ireland on the 15th at 47.12MHz, the highest m.u.f. reported at the time. A reference to ‘Maine’ was heard during some of the strong messages received.

 

Simon Hockenhull (Bristol) noticed improved daytime reception conditions on the 21MHz broadcast band in addition to the increased presence of Morse and sideband activity on the 28MHz ham band.

 

Christmas Graphics

 

The festive season just would not be the same without the annual feast of on-screen Christmas TV graphics. Many enthusiasts take a nostalgic look back to the 1970s and 80s when ‘mechanical’ graphic displays used by the main UK broadcasters seemed a little more exciting than today’s computerised offerings, but that’s ‘nostalgia’! Kevin Hewitt (Gibraltar) has kindly sent a flavour of some of the Christmas graphics currently aired by GBC.

 

Television & Radio Column

 

Please remember that you now have a choice of reading! Here on Radio Enthusiast, we have DX news, whilst over on RadioUser, there is the regular Television + Radio: Past & Present column which is currently celebrating the BBC’s Centenary with in-depth details and photographs from our archives.

 

Stay Tuned!

 

Our thanks to all our readers and DX colleagues who have submitted information and reception reports for 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 at the latest.

 

CAPTIONS TO PHOTOGRAPHS

 

Fig. 1:      Syria (Syria-1) on channel E9 (Photo: Paul Farley).

Fig. 2:      Lebanon (TéléLiban) on channel E5 (Photo: Paul Farley).

Fig. 3:      The recently revamped GBC News studio (Photo: Kevin Hewitt)

Fig. 4:      GBC Christmas graphics (Photo: Kevin Hewitt).

Fig. 5:      One from the archives. The PM5544 test card radiated in The Netherlands some forty years ago with the festive message “Merry Christmas” (Photo: Keith Hamer and Garry Smith).

Fig. 6:      The Christmas logo featuring a toy train used by ITV in 2012 (Photo: Keith Hamer and Garry Smith).