A Bountiful Summer Harvest
Keith Hamer and Garry Smith delve into the plethora of long-distance TV and radio signals captured in June
Keith Hamer and Garry Smith delve into the plethora of long-distance TV and radio signals captured in June, via Sporadic-E and enhanced tropospheric conditions.
Our Inbox was heaving with June reports, thanks to Sporadic-E activity and very settled weather conditions. Many observations provided days of intense tropospheric reception, particularly towards the end of the month.
Sporadic-E DX: TV
On June 1st at 1720 UTC, an opening from Russia was observed lasting for over two hours with programmes from the Россия-1 network on channels R1 (49.75MHz) and R2 (59.25MHz).
By 1700 on the 3rd, stable signals occupied channels R1, R2, R3 (77.25MHz) and R4 (82.25MHz). Ukraine (YT-1) was identified by its UA: Перший logo on R1 and at 1755, Moldova (M1) emerged on R2.
The 24th produced Ukraine (1+1), on R1 and R2 from 1500 until 1735.
From mid-morning on the 5th, Gösta van der Linden (Rotterdam, Netherlands) encountered Moldova (2Canal) on R1 (from Cahul) followed by the country’s main network ‘M1’ on R2 (Mindrestii) and R3 (Straseni). At times, three Russian (1TV) transmitters dominated R1 with solitary signals present on R2 and R3.
Niels van der Linden (Épinal, France) experienced similar reception conditions and results on the 9th.
Moldova (M1) was a frequent visitor for Stephen Michie (Bristol) on R2, usually airing the early-evening Mesager news programme (Fig. 1).
On a different note, Stephen sprang to his camera to capture a brief interruption to World Cup coverage on BBC-1 (Fig. 2).
Tom Crane (Hawkwell) spotted M1 at 1844 on the 8th, accompanied by Ukraine (IHTEP/INTER) and later, 1+1 on R1.
Paul Webster (Netherlands) concluded that the final week of June produced impressive openings on R1. On the 24th at 1634, Russia (Россия-1) was visible with Ukraine (IHTEP/INTER) displacing it by 1842 (Fig. 3).
Russia (1TV) was present from midday on the 27th.
Rich McVicar (Syracuse, USA) has reported exceptional conditions on the 19th with Cuban A2 (55.25MHz) signals from Santiago de Cuba at 2,530km via either a double-hop or long-haul single-skip path (Fig. 4).
Tropospheric DX: TV
On June 7th from 1230, using a Bush HD set-top box, George Garden (Inverbervie, Scotland) was rewarded with a Norwegian multiplex which included ‘TLC’ on D47 from Steigen or Stord. On June 28th, Denmark emerged on D30 (MUX 1: free-to-air), D36 (MUX 6) (both Hedensted) and D34 (MUX 3) from Videbaek.
During the final week of June, Tom Crane (Hawkwell, Essex) decoded Belgium on D25 (VRT), D55 (BX1, formerly Télé Bruxelles) and D56 (RTBF), the Netherlands on D57 (MUX 3) and D49 (MUX 2) from Rotterdam-Waalhaven. He also received France on D24, D27, D36, and D42 from Lille and from coastal relays.
Sporadic-E DX: FM
Italian stations (with RDS) identified during June by Roger Bunney (Romsey) included Radio Italia (87.5MHz), RCS (Napoli on 87.9MHz), Radio 1 (90.1MHz) and Radio Subasio (Roma 94.5MHz).
Radio Shumen (Bulgaria 87.6MHz) and Kossuth Rádió (National Radio of Hungary on 92.2MHz) were also logged.
Chris Howles (Lichfield) and Nick Gilly (Whitchurch, Hampshire) were the lucky recipients of RDP 3 (Azores) on 87.7MHz (Pico da Barrosa) via double-skip Sporadic-E at 1730 on June 3rd.
Table 1 shows other June reception highlights for Nick.
Tropospheric DX: FM and DAB
During an intense tropospheric opening on the 5th, George Garden (Inverbervie, Scotland) assembled an impressive list of German stations using his Acoustic Solutions Portal 3 radio, fed from an indoor FM dipole.
Highlights included WDR-2 on 93.2MHz (RDS: Bielefeld) and Eins Live (105.5MHz), both from Teutoburger Wald (100kW ERP), BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service, 103.0MHz) from Bielefeld/Hunenburg and FFN (103.1MHz) from Braunschweig-Broitzem. Other signals included Antenne Niedersachsen (105.7MHz) from Steinkimmen (100kW) and Eins Live (107.9MHz, Baumberge with 25kW).
On the 23rd, Stephen Michie (Bristol) heard Radio Zeeland (Netherlands) on 87.7MHz and 87.9MHz. Stephen favours his Sony ICF 9600 receiver (circa 1990) which is more sensitive than a newer Panasonic model.
On the 5th at 1957, Norway (NRK Reg3 SørRog) was present on block 13F, according to George Garden (Inverbervie, Scotland). It was logged again on the 7th in addition to 12D (Riks). Netherlands 12C (NPO) emerged at 1407 and also DAB+ on 9D (9D Noord-West NL) from Jirnsum with 17kW.
On the 10th from 0735, Niels van der Linden (Épinal, France) identified DAB from Slovenia on 10D (Slovenia DAB+ R1) from Mount Nanos. Niels also noted Slovakia on 12B (Towercom) from Kosice at 1,090km.
On the 23rd, Stephen Michie heard Netherlands 8A (8A Randstad NL). Two days later, George Garden logged Denmark 8B (DAB2 S) and Norway 13F (NRK Reg3 SørRog). Denmark was also present on the 26th and 28th on 8B (DAB2 S), 12C (DK DAB1) and 13B (DAB2 N). George also heard the DAB+ stations Lokale Omroep Ameland and NH Radio. Norway 13F (NRK Reg3 SørRog) also emerged. These signals were captured using an indoor five-element Triax DAB aerial but multiplexes from Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands have also been intercepted by George on the upper deck of a double-decker bus, so this should give all of us some hope!
Sándor Rottenbacher (Hungary) has sent a selection of test cards captured on various satellites. This month we feature one with a centre-circle which, nowadays, is quite a rarity (Fig. 5).
Bob Houlston G4PVB advised that at the end of June, ARISS Russia ran a special slow-scan television event from the International Space Station (ISS). Transmissions were on 145.800MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode. A simple 2m hand-held aerial is sufficient to pick up ISS signals which are usually strong enough to be decoded, albeit with some noise.
You can check when the ISS is within range of your location via a number of websites, for instance, Heavens Above:
[On the ISS, see also the new Scanning Scene column by Tim Kirby in this month’s issue-Ed.]
Some of the items which initially appeared on our original DX-TV and Test Cards websites can now be accessed as a PDF (portable document format). Check out:
www.dx-tv.fsnet.co.uk – hs publications scribd
Keep in Touch!
Please send your TV and FM reception reports, news, comments and photographs by the end of the month to Garry Smith, 17 Collingham Gardens, Derby DE22 4FS.
You can find our e-mail addresses at the top of this month’s column.
Table 1: Logs from Nick Gilly (Whitchurch, Hampshire)
On the 1st, from 2007: Dorozhnoye Radio (on 87.5MHz) and Retro FM (88.0MHz), both originating from Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
On the 3rd, from 1511: Al Mahajja Al Baidha Al Mutred (100.5MHz) from the Az Zawiyat transmitter in the north-west of Libya.
On the 4th, from 1742: Radio Moldova Actualitati (Moldova, 100.5MHz from Straseni).
On the 7th, from 1633: Radio Gibraltar Plus (Gibraltar, 100.MHz, O'Hara's Battery).
On the 9th, from 1704: TRT Radyo Haber (Turkey, 101.9MHz, Kirklareli-Demirköy).
On the 10th, from 1201: SNRT (Morocco) 88.3MHz from an unknown site in the south. At 1756: Al Tanasuh (Libya, 102.1MHz, Tripoli).
On the 14th, from 1815: RNE Radio Clásica on 87.7MHz, tentatively logged as Puerto del Rosario, Las Palmas (Canary Islands).
On the 15th, from 1726: Damla FM Istanbul (Turkey, 87.5MHz) and IBB Trafik Radyosu Istanbul on 87.7MHz.