NOTE: The table below is fully sortable please click headline (i.e. Station) to sort the table.
(T) stands for a tentative log. Sometimes in the recording title, you’ll see DV or LH letters. That represents antenna/position. DV stands for (FM) Dipole in Vertical and LH stands for Cubical Quad Loop in Horizontal. Other combinations are possible.
Hover over the station name to see remarks. All data is relevant to the reception date.
QTH: Hatfield, Herts, 78m ASL, DX indoors
Grid locator: IO91VS
Aerial: FM folded dipole, FM Quad Loop antenna
Receiver: Pioneer DEH-4700MP
Tropospheric ducting from 31st October continues onto Wednesday, November 1st, 2017. After exhausting Tuesday, I manage to have 6 hours of sleep. I woke up early to gain more time on DX. I admit it, I was tired, but that doesn’t matter. I decided not to wait long and jump to DX quickly.
Just before I start the computer and get the things ready, I opened the window to get some fresh air. To my surprise, there was a very little wind outside and it felt rather warm. That only ensures me that predictions are spot on.
Hepburn’s prediction maps
I positioned antennas in the same place as yesterday. FM dipole was set to V and loop antenna in H polarization. Not waiting too long, I start scanning the band. Straight away at 87.6 MHz, I received RMC (with vocal ID) presumably from Le Havre. Fantastic, the duct was still there!
In the meantime, I was reading the conversation from last night on SkywavesDX forum. Whilst scanning, in the early minutes of my DX, only French stations from North part of France were here. I began scanning on V dipole and around 0700 UTC I switched to loop in H. Soon after I received the following:
- 91.4 France Musique // Troyes (557 km)
- 92.8 France Music // Auxerre (534 km)
- 93.0 France Inter // Alençon (347 km)
- 93.1 France Inter // Sarrebourg (640 km)
At 0714 UTC I received 93.6 SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz R.Trier from Scharteberg in Germany. It was my first German station received that day. It was also a very good indication of duct moving towards Germany. At 0718 UTC I received 94.2 VRT Radio 1 from Schoten in Belgium, which is very close to the Netherlands border. After that, the first Holland station was heard today. It was 94.8 NPO Radio 4 from Smilde playing Classical music.
In the same time, other DXers from the UK began posting in the topic on SkywavesDX. @moordown66 posted:
I’ve got NL and Belgium and France all over the band plus some English. Not got time to go into details now as I’m late for work. Zach – you’re 10 mins from me…..get tuning!
I was there as well, but I wasn’t posting. I was so busy with the radio that I forgot to refresh the topic. Holland stations were here with extremely strong signals reaching RDS levels. I received them in the past but not with RDS.
RDSSpy screens from Lelystad (Radio 10) and Smilde (Qmusic)
I hadn’t restart my laptop for about a week or so. I put it on sleep every time and I knew it needs the restart, but I didn’t have time to do it. I use Audacity to record my DX and due to loads of files remain in the laptop memory (RAM) the OS run-out of the memory (not the HDD space) at some point and I’ve got a message about it hanging on the middle of the screen!
Well, it was certainly not the best time for a reboot. I get around it, somehow… but all 8GB ram that I have in this laptop was used in 95%. The laptop was very slow and start running hot. I keep, however, using it without reboot until I finished DXing. It was a nightmare!
Sadly, not much time left for DX as I had to be at work at 1 PM. I decided to skip stations that I already received and log only new ones. The whole band was flooded with stations from Holland! I received many new signals.
Reception of Holland signals
I noticed that Smilde TX was very strong that morning (sending signals with RDS levels) but other small TX’s were involved too. Apart of a few, the Dutch stations were received on an FM dipole in V. The new sites were logged such Wieringerwerf, Tjerkgaast, Alkmaar and Jirnsum. In between, recording and scanning the band, I found some time to reply in the topic:
Up since 0630 local time and now I’ve to go to work, shame! It’s a total Maaaaadnesss! Laptop run out of memory! All band is flooded with Holland and German signals. French stations already fade out. Good DX!
A very exciting morning. At around midday German signals (with up to 600 km) were here. It always happens when I have to leave! The feeling when you have to stop and go in the middle of something is unacceptable. Such good tropospheric conditions like this don’t happen very often.
Among many German signals, that I received that morning, one DX need to be highlighted. At 1131 UTC I received German voice speaking (with QRM) on 98.1. After further investigation and locating the web stream, it turns out to be 98.1 Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) from Schwerte. The distance is 538 km and transmitter ERP is only 0.20kW! There must have been a massive temperature inversion in this area since I receive this signal indoors.
The last station I logged at 1224 UTC was 106.3 SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz R.Koblenz from Bad Marienberg (584 km). I was already late to work.
Reception of German signals
This was another excellent tropospheric ducting this year. Signals were very strong and widespread. In the early hours of DX, I was receiving France and Belgium. Soon after Belgian signals fade out Holland occupied the band. I could only imagine what I missed when I left.
Whilst at work, I was checking DX Maps website occasionally. The duct was getting weaker but was still hanging over Germany until the late evening.
How about other DXers?
As I was logging my DX on FMlist.org, I also have seen other DXers logging at the same time. There is one downside of using FMlist.org whilst DXing live – multitasking! Apart from that, it’s great fun and helps a lot.
The map on www.dxmaps.com was all green from logs. It’s good to be part of this gang hunting for new signals, but It also very depressing when you don’t get anything.
The UK DXers like Tim Bucknall (DX log) and Andy Pritchard (DX log) logged signals up to 900 km. Andrew Webster from Wigan also done very well receiving signals up to 837 km. Ian Kelly from Tilehurst, in Berkshire, received signals up to 789 km distance (DX log).
Mike Fallon from Saltdean in East Sussex must have been away because I have seen very little DX from his QTH. daveB from Sittingbourne in Kent logged signals up to 682 km (DX log). Nick Gilly from Whitchurch in Hampshire received signals up to 829 km distance. His recordings can be found here.
I also have seen mysterious DXer from Rainham joining when I was about to leave. Studying his log (a very nice log by the way) I can see that he logged signals up to 775 km. John Faulkner from Skegness (DX log) began logging at 1029 UTC, but he must have other things to do that day as his log is very short.
Another new DXer was seen logging from Barnstaple in North Devon, but I think he missed the duct and very little DX is logged. I only saw him logging once before. I hope he will come back. I remember this DXer logging on 17th October, during another excellent tropo lift to France. He surprised me with his logs.
Janpeter van Dijk from Zoetermeer in Holland began logging at 0623 UTC, about 20 minutes before me. His log is very long, but the furthest signal he received was 721 km.
The longest DX I received this morning was 95.5 France Music from Clermont-Ferrand at a distance of 707 km. However, German stations were available when I was leaving so I reckon this could be beaten If I continued.
This tropo brings 51 NEW signals to my area.
Tropospheric signals received in Hatfield, Herts (AL10 area)