DX-TV & FM Reception Reports
By Keith Hamer & Garry Smith
DX-TV & FM News (June 2021 Reception Reports)
June is usually regarded by many DX enthusiasts as the month for exotic long-distance Sporadic-E opportunities. This year was no exception – it was certainly a month to treasure. Analogue TV signals were observed on at least 18 days throughout the month. Here is a selection of the TV and FM reception highlights for the month:
June 1st was a good day here in Derby when first signals from Moldova (M1) on channel R2 (59.240MHz), originating at the Mindrestii Noi 30kW transmitter, were first logged at 0710UTC with colour and sound at times. Signals lingered for about three hours. Programmes on R2 were observed on many occasions, mostly from Moldova (M1) but occasionally some unidentified stations appeared. For example, on the 11th between 0732 and 0734, a programme displayed a circular logo in the top-right of the screen. This was noted on Channel R2. At times, the OIRT FM band became peppered with FM stations.
Niels van der Linden (Épinal, France) identified stations in Ukraine on the 12th between 1550 and 1645. These were ‘1+1’ on R1 (49.75MHz) from Kramatorsk 50kW and ‘Lugansk24’ on R2 (Lugansk 50kW).
Tom Crane (Hawkwell, Essex) wondered if he would see any TV signals via Sporadic-E this year (or ever again, for that matter!) until at last, on the 17th between 1230 and 1310, Moldova (M1) emerged on R2 displaying a quiz show called ‘Erudit Café’. Tom made a short video clip of the reception as a memento.
On the 18th from 0928, Tim Bucknall (Congleton) detected channel R3 deep-fading sound carriers from Moldova on 83.74MHz from Strășeni.
Ever-vigilant Tim logged several transatlantic signals in Bands I and II. On the 3rd at 2036, an unidentified carrier was detected on A2 (55.25MHz), suspected as being of Caribbean origin. On A3 (61.25MHz), two carriers were detected, again tentatively logged as Caribbean outlets. On channels R3/A5 (77.25MHz), there were multiple carriers - too many to count - and all zero offset.
However, at 2040 on 81.75MHz (channel A5 sound), a possible ‘RTV Dominicana’ station from Loma Alto de la Bandera was heard, but the sound quality was very poor. There were also reports of FM signals from Canada and Greenland being received in the UK. Meanwhile in Germany, a channel A2 carrier, tentatively logged as the Philippines, was detected.
We learn that in Portugal, Hugh Cocks received many Band I TV exotics including Canada, Venezuela, Afghanistan (tentatively) and a CGTN (China Global Television Network) news channel operating somewhere in West Africa.
Chris Howles (Lichfield) tells us that on the 6th at 1459, Algerian TV audio on E6 (187.75MHz) was received in Greece during an intense opening and more recently, Egypt on E5 (175.25MHz) was identified!
Reports of Band III tends to be rare although most DX-ers usually concentrate on the more fruitful part of the VHF spectrum, namely Bands I and III, overlooking the higher frequencies. On June 8th, 1988, Chris and the authors witnessed an unforgettable and spectacular ninety-minute opening to North Africa with Algeria E5 (175.25MHz) and E7 (189.25MHz), plus Tunisia E6 and Libya E6 (182.25MHz), the latter two countries both identified by test cards, accompanied by music!
Simon Hockenhull (Bristol) found the FM band cluttered with weak and unidentified Spanish signals up to 90MHz on the 10th. On the 15th, Radio 2 from Wenvoe was completely taken over by a strong Portuguese station from 1700 until 1710.
Roger Bunney (Romsey) reports good conditions on the 16th with 87.80 Radio Laghouat (Algeria) from Aflou and two Arabic co-channel transmitters. On the 17th, there was another dose of Algeria (87.8 Chaîne-1) and a station on 87.5MHz with Arabic music.
Between 1845 and 1930 on the 16th, stations received by Stephen Michie (Bristol) included 88.90 RAI Radio 1 (Italy), possibly from Capo d'Orlando/Monte San Martino, 87.70 Europa FM (Spain), 88.10 RNE Radio Clásica (Spain), 87.60 Radio Laghouat (Algeria) from Aflou, 87.70 RNE-SJ (Spain), 87.90 La Nueva and 87.90 FM from Madrid. On the 18th at 1530, 88.70 HRT-HR1 (Croatia) was logged. On the following day from 0845, Italian, Czech and Spanish stations were audible on the lower FM channels. An opening to the south on the 20th from 1609 lasted well over an hour producing French and Spanish stations.
George Garden (Gourdon, Scotland) flits between two addresses and one has an external vertical dipole, which performs amazingly well at DAB frequencies. Highlights from 0748 on June 1st include DAB reception from Denmark (12C DK DAB 1) and Norway (12D RIKS 1, 13B DAB 2N, 13F 1 NRK Reg3 Sorog, 12D RIKS 4, and 13F 4 NRK JAZZ).
GB News Channel
After several delays, the latest television news channel was finally launched, although not without a series of problems.
GB News went on-air at 8.00 pm on Sunday, June 13th with a long introduction about the new station from its chairman and main presenter, Andrew Neil. According to official statistics, the channel had more viewers than the BBC News Channel or Sky News.
Our thanks to all our readers and DX colleagues who have submitted reports for this month. Keep them rolling in! 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.
Fig. 1: Moldova R2 on June 1st.
Fig. 2: Libya E6 on June 8th, 1988, in Band III via Sporadic-E.
Fig. 3: CGTN news channel.
Fig. 4: GB News opening on June 13th at 8 pm.
Fig. 5: KOAT-TV (Channel A7) news presentation from Albuquerque, New Mexico, received via tropospheric enhancement (Photo: Pascal Colaers, San Diego, California, USA).
All photographs (except Fig. 5): Keith Hamer and Garry Smith.