DX-TV & FM NEWS (240522)

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By Keith Hamer & Garry Smith

April 2022 Reception Reports

 

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Sporadic-E

 

After weeks of inactivity, the silence broke on April 28th with a substantial Sporadic-E opening which produced a selection of OIRT FM stations. The opening commenced at around 1455 and lasted nearly an hour with mainly broadcasts originating in Belarus, although a couple of stations from Ukraine were also present. Tim Bucknall (Congleton) and Chris Howles (Lichfield) were lucky enough to capture the event. Chris also heard activity during the evening on the 6m and 10/11m bands. German amateurs were heard on 50.4MHz at around 1900.

 

The first TV signals via Sporadic-E were observed by Niels van der Linden (Épinal, France) on the 25th when very weak unidentified images were noticed on channel R2 between 0940 and 1020. OIRT FM reception that day included Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. On the 26th, Moldova was heard.

 

On the 30th, weak channel R1 pictures were visible between 0625 and 0700. His sons identified OIRT FM reception from Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. On the same day, Gösta van der Linden (Rotterdam) intercepted signals from Ukraine and Russia.

 

It looks as though the golden age of DX-ing may have ended last season, according to Niels. The main M1 (Moldova) transmitters have now closed, although some of the smaller networks survive, so we have only the OIRT FM band left, plus the 50MHz (six-metre) and 70MHz (four-metre) amateur bands.

 

Niels mentions that he has received some radio programmes from Italy between 49 and 53 MHz originating from STL’s (studio-transmitter links).

 

Niels comments that it is a pity that Band I is not used for DVB-T (2) and DAB (+). In the USA and Canada, the old Band I (‘lo-band’) channels (A2, A3, A4, and so on) were allocated to digital TV multiplexes and Sporadic-E reception is possible.

 

Looking back through the logs from 40 years ago, a Sporadic-E opening into the former Yugoslavia produced strong signals from RTV-1 Ljubljana on channel E3 (55.25MHz) which produced a dramatic and memorable start to the season.

 

Tropospheric

 

Whilst on a visit to his brother Niels in Épinal, France, tropospheric enhancement enabled Gösta to receive Rouge TV from the Swiss La Dôle transmitter (2.4kW ERP) on channel D34V (SWOX F02 multiplex). Reception occurred on April 18th between 0915 and 1020, with the weather forecast, commercials and a feature film.

 

Tropo reception was virtually non-existent in the United Kingdom although enhancement on the 16th and 26th produced the usual crop of Croydon FM services for Stephen Michie (Bristol), just using the radio’s telescopic aerial.

 

TEP

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In early April, the six-metre (50MHz) band was open to South America via TEP (Transequatorial Propagation). Kev Hewitt ZB2GI (Gibraltar) made over 140 FT8 QSOs via the FT8 mode from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Bonaire, the Falkland Islands, and Cape Verde. Six-metre SSB reception included Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

 

After the period of South American reception began to wane, weak and short-duration openings into Europe were noticed.

 

Moving on to radio and TV reception, Hugh Cocks (Portugal) reports that the Radio Belekan, Mali, STL (studio-transmitter link) on 52.7MHz was received quite often, along with Nigeria (Radio Oluyole) on 48.11MHz and Radio Sol Mansi on 53MHz, and sometimes on 55 and 57 MHz when the MUF (maximum useable frequency) was high enough.

 

TV signals via TEP were also observed – which no doubt will make some of us green with envy!

 

Channel A2 (55.25MHz) carriers were around at times, without audio, and often showed football matches. One example from 1750UTC on April 2nd was a signal using System N (625-line with 4.5MHz sound-spacing). The images were most likely from Paraguay.

 

The Chinese CGTN news channel from West Africa on E4 (62.25MHz) was received on April 6th at 1610 and resembled F2 propagation which lasted for around 30 minutes. Over the years, CTGN has emerged on several occasions, but the actual country of origin has never been identified.

 

Stay Tuned!

 

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

 

CAPTIONS TO PHOTOGRAPHS

 

 

Fig. 1: Yugoslavia RTV-1 Ljubljana, received in Derby on E3 in 1982 (Photo: Keith Hamer+Garry Smith).

Fig. 2: Rouge TV graphics from Switzerland (Photo: Gösta van der Linden).

Fig. 3: Football match on channel A2 via TEP on April 2nd. Photo: Hugh Cocks (Portugal)

Fig. 4: CGTN (based in China) news programme on E4 (Captured on April 7th Photo: Hugh Cocks (Portugal))

Fig. 5: The latest GBC graphics (Photo: Kevin Hewitt (Gibraltar)).