DX-TV & FM NEWS (23rd November 2021)
October 2021 Reception Reports
An Abundance of Interesting Loggings
Keith Hamer: [email protected]
Garry Smith: [email protected]
There is often an upsurge in Sporadic-E activity in October, but sadly there was nothing to report this time, not even OIRT FM reception at the upper end of Band I. The small number of TV transmitters operating in Band I reduces our chances of reception considerably. In addition, high MUFs are necessary for FM activity. This accounts for only around 10 per cent of openings when lower frequencies are affected.
Chris Howles (Lichfield) logged Tropospheric FM signals were logged in the second half of October. Northern French stations dominated on the 17th, joined by Belgium and the Netherlands on the following day. During the evening of the 23rd, various German stations were present. Also on the 23rd, two Swiss stations were logged from the Säntis transmitter located in the northeast of the country. These were Radio SRF 2 Kultur on 95.40MHz, and RSI Rete Uno on 107.80MHz. German transmitters were in abundance the following day and also on the 27th.
Whilst on holiday in Cyprus, Paul Farley (Newhaven) captured a mix of analogue and digital stations from surrounding countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. Paul drove to an elevated site and his equipment and aerials for receiving TV signals in Band III and UHF were far from basic. A ten-element Band III aerial plus a UHF log-periodic array atop a four-section mast were just part of the mobile system!
Meanwhile, Dave Hughes (Paris) was on holiday in Rhodes and discovered images on Band I channels E2 (48.25MHz) and E3 (55.25MHz) using a telescopic rod aerial. Unfortunately, the signals probably only originated from a nearby communal aerial system. The E2 was strongest and appeared to carry a Greek station. A Plustron TR5D portable television was used for viewing, fed from a D100 DX-TV Converter, manufactured by HS Publications in Derby.
Old Bilsdale Mast Demolished
The original Bilsdale 314-metre mast was demolished on October 6th. Following comprehensive investigations after the Bilsdale fire on August 10th, the original 500-tonne structure was considered to be beyond repair.
High winds, low clouds and heavy rain delayed the switch-on of the 80-metre-tall temporary Bilsdale mast. It finally went on-air at 0200 on October 13th with viewers advised to retune their sets during the afternoon.
The BBC Bilsdale West Moor transmitting station was originally brought into service on November 24th, 1969.
Ten Years Ago
It is always interesting to look through old reception logs. Back in October 2011, there was an encouraging upsurge in long-awaited F2 activity with the m.u.f. (maximum usable frequency) occasionally reaching the low 40MHz spectrum. This was, unfortunately, too low for receiving TV video carriers.
Several DX-ers were monitoring VHF frequencies below 40MHz for signs of improving F2 conditions. Tim Bucknall (Congleton) became aware of F2 activity on October 7th. Between 25MHz and 38MHz, various data and communication channels were heard including some in the Caribbean, the USA, and a proliferation of Turkish police messages at around midday.
During the afternoon of the 19th, USA emergency channels were open on 33.640 and 33.940MHz. On the 20th, Turkish police were heard on 34.175MHz at 0959UTC and during the afternoon, paths into the USA had been established. The 21st was productive from 0900 onwards with communication channels from the USA, Russia and Iran active, the latter reaching 39.675MHz during the afternoon.
On October 19th at 0600UTC, Tom Crane (Hawkwell) noticed that Italian video carriers were present via Sporadic-E propagation on 53.740 and 53.750MHz at scanner-level.
On the 25th, while searching for signs of F2 and TEP (Trans-Equatorial Propagation) from Cameroon, Paul Farley (Newhaven) caught a midday Sporadic-E opening from Portugal (RTP-1) on E2 (48.25MHz). The signal from the 40kW Muro transmitter attained fair video levels for almost thirty minutes, complete with audio.
Television & Radio Column
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CAPTIONS TO PHOTOGRAPHS
Fig. 1: Dave’s receiving set-up in Rhodes, displaying the E2 signal (Photo: Dave Hughes).
Fig. 2: Paul’s UHF log-periodic awaits DX! (Photo: Paul Farley).
Fig. 3: Egypt (ERTU-1) on Band III channel E5 (Photo: Paul Farley).
Fig. 4: Turkey (TRT SPOR) on channel E6 (Photo: Paul Farley).
Fig. 5: Alikhbaria (Syria) on D27 (Photo: Paul Farley).
Fig. 6: Portugal (RTP-1) from Muro on channel E2 (Photo: Paul Farley).