DX-TV & FM NEWS
Loggings for November & December 2020
With the main Sporadic-E season well and truly put to bed, there was still plenty of long-distance reception to be found via various propagation modes during November and December 2020.
Thanks to 30 minutes of isolated Sporadic-E activity on November 17th from 0950UTC, Tim Bucknall (Congleton) was able to capture OIRT FM signals from Russia on 66.29MHz, tentatively logged as Radio Rossii from Nadvoitsy. Signals from Belarus included Kanal Kultura on 66.08MHz and Radio Stalitsa on 68.72MHz, both from Svisloch.
On November 6th, Tim Bucknall captured FM signals from Éire and Belgium. Belgian signals during the afternoon included Nostalgie Vlaanderen on 87.60MHz from Oostende and VRT Klara on 90.40MHz from Egem. Éire was present with RTÉ 2FM on 97.00MHz at 1445 from Clermont Carn.
A selection of stations was captured during the month by Chris Howles (Lichfield). On the 5th from 1936, Chris received RTÉ 2FM on 91.80MHz from Mount Leinster in Éire. Throughout the day on the 6th, various Belgian, Dutch, French and German offerings were identified. On the 17th, mainly Belgian, Dutch and French stations were present. French sources included Brest, Alençon, Lille, Reims, Rennes and Parthenay.
November 27th was a notable day for tropospheric reception for George Garden (Stonehaven, Scotland), the highlight being BBC Radio Ulster on 94.5MHz from Divis in Northern Ireland. This has been received in the past but only rarely as BBC Radio 4 from Chatton normally occupies this slot. To round off November, there was tropospheric reception on the 30th, feeding into the south-east and East Anglia producing FM and DAB stations.
Just by chance, at 0841UTC on November 19th, only a couple of days after the Leonids peak, George Garden (Stonehaven) heard two strong bursts of signals on 108.0MHz. This frequency is seldom used and a check on the Internet suggested that the likely contender was Italy which has two transmitters operating on this channel.
The Geminids Meteor-Shower peak during the early hours of December 14th enabled Simon Hockenhull (Bristol) to hear many pings of audio on 87.60MHz. Niels van der Linden and his two sons in Épinal, France, have noticed that there are still analogue TV transmitters on-air on the channels R1 (49.75MHz) and R2 (59.25MHz) operating in Eastern Europe (Fig. 1). A relatively large number of flutters were observed with some TV images lasting around ten seconds on the 13th.
Kevin Hewitt (Gibraltar) visited the Rock to operate in the 2-metre band during the event but, alas, results were generally poor and failed to improve even during its peak. Nevertheless, over 50 stations in Europe, operating SSB, were logged the following day.
Andrew Jackson (Birkenhead) enjoyed another ARISS SSTV event from the space station on December 1st and 2nd with MAI-75 (Moscow Aviation Institute) in PD120 mode on 145.800MHz. Kevin Hewitt in Gibraltar also joined in the fun and ascended the Rock to receive the images (Fig. 2). Whilst in Gibraltar, Kevin captured some of the GBC’s festive on-screen graphics (Figs. 3-5).
The 2020 Season Reviewed
Nick Gilly (Whitchurch, Hampshire) reflects on the 2020 Sporadic-E season, despite the growing QRM from nearby homes. May 25th was a notable day with KAN 88 on 87.6MHz from Jerusalem at 3,667km, in addition to 87.5 Damla FM Istanbul-Camlica and 87.8 Bayram FM Yalova-Merkez with full RDS. In other openings, Nick logged the Canary Islands, Libya and Like FM from Moscow (Russia) on 87.9MHz. FM signals from Azerbaijan and Georgia on June 16th were highlights for Dave Bunyan (Sittingbourne).
Generally, the season was far better than expected and TV DXers were over the moon to identify transmitters in Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine, some of which were kept running and digital conversion postponed due to Covid-19. They say every cloud has a silver lining!
DX Down Under
A burst of solar activity November 9th and 15th surprised Tony Mann (Perth, Australia) with afternoon TEP (Transequatorial Propagation) and Sporadic-E up to 39MHz. Tony heard the usual two Chinese meteor radars on 38.9MHz (Wuhan and Mengcheng), plus noise modulations centred on 32.675MHz and 35.000MHz, about 10kHz wide, and Asian (Chinese) fax on 33.00MHz. On the 13th and 15th, Tony heard a carrier that sounded like continuous radar on approximately 35.065MHz, about 200kHz wide. Tony also heard RTTY on 30.525MHz and 30.425MHz, from south-east Asia. This indicates F2 propagation, which was also noted during the last sunspot maximum and earlier events.
Please send DX-TV and FM reception reports, photographs, and equipment details to Garry Smith, 17 Collingham Gardens, Derby DE22 4FS or contact us at the e-mail addresses shown at the top.
Photographs on this Page
Fig. 1: A new station TVR Moldova hits the airwaves. Received by Niels van der Linden on channel R1 (49.75MHz) on
Fig. 2: Gibraltar (Top of the Rock) provides a good take-off for mobile DXing. This view was taken by the authors in 1994 (Photo: Keith Hamer+Garry Smith).
Fig. 3: One of several GBC Christmas 2020 graphics (Photo: Kevin Hewitt).
Fig. 4: Another GBC festive logo (Photo: Kevin Hewitt).
Fig. 5: GBC bids farewell to 2020 (Photo: Kevin Hewitt)
[With many thanks and best wishes to Keith Hamer and Garry Smith - Ed.]