Tropospheric ducting 17 October 2017

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 Cubical Quad Loop Antenna
Receiver: Pioneer DEH-4700MP

Here we are! An exceptional tropo DX reception day on Tuesday, the 17th October 2017. Sadly, it was my working day so the listening time was very limited. Hepburn’s website was not showing anything spectacular over the UK. F5LEN’s forecast was more accurate this time. Fading duct from France was still there, with less intensity than previous days, and was moving slowly towards Poland and Eastern Europe.

I had two DX sessions that day. The first session, lasted about 4 hours in total, between 0820-1230 local time and the second one late at night, shortly after I back home from work. I must admit, what happened that day still remain fresh in memory! But let’s break it down these two sessions, because it does need some write up.

0900 UTC1200 UTC

F5LEN tropospheric ducting predictions for 17th October 2017

#Morning DX session

In the morning hours of my DX, I was receiving French stations that I already received on previous days. At around 0830 local time stations from Paris began to appear on the weak side. Then at 0844, I received an unidentified Arabic talk with a French accent on 94.3 MHz. At first, I thought it’s a Sporadic-E out of the season, but something wasn’t right. The signal doesn’t sounded like Sporadic-E reception. There was no fading and transmission was rather long lasting suggesting to be a tropo signal. As I was unable to locate the station (I was looking for some crazy long paths!) and I didn’t want to speculate, so I recorded it and decided to mark as a UNID.

The same day, late at night, I posted a question on SkywavesDX forums asking @Sylvestre for any clues. He replied next day suggesting it could be “France Maghreb” or “Beur FM”. The Internet search revealed that neither of this station transmitting on 94.3. Then I found another station from Paris transmitting on 94.3. It’s Radio Orient. I listened to their web stream whilst they played Arabic song and soon after YL began speaking in Arabic.

I think it was Radio Orient that I received on Tuesday. In fact, I receive it twice. First reception at 0744 UTC and later at 0833 UTC. There are two transmitters of this station in France. One in Beauvais (0.50kW) and one in Paris (4.00kW). Because I was logging Paris at that time, I presume the signal come from Paris.

Paris transmitter from Eiffel Tower was well enhanced and I received the following new stations that I was able to identify; 100.7 Radio Notre Dame and 103.9 RFM.

At around 0906 local time I received weak French signal with YL speaking on 105.5. I identified it as France Info. Although the location remains unknown, I think it was from Paris tower. Whichever location it was, It’s my first reception of this station on 105.5 Mhz.

Paris site was still active after 0900 in the morning. I received other new stations; 96.0 Skyrock and 89.9 TSF Jazz. Signals are rather weak due to reception on a half-wave folded dipole in H whilst stations carrying out the transmission in V.

Belgian stations received on 17th October, 2017

Reception of Belgian stations

Eventually, signals from Paris began fading out around 0930 local time and at around 1000 local time Belgian stations popped in. The new ones are 90.7 VRT Radio 2 Oost-Vlaanderen from Brussegem (2.00kW) and 92.3 RTBF Vivacité Charleroi from Anderlues (50.00kW) battling with BBC Radio 3. Later on, I also received 101.1 RTBF Pure from Wavre (50.00kW).

It was noticeable that duct was moving toward East, so I decided to switch the aerial to FM Loop in H. I noticed this is the best setup at my QTH. For some reason, the loop antenna receiving more signals being in H, whilst FM dipole performing better in V.

When I was preparing myself leaving for work surprisingly a faint German’s talk was heard at 1050 local time. It was 90.6 WDR 5 from Teutoburger Wald. 40 minutes later I received weak 97.0 WDR 3 playing Classical also from Teutoburger Wald. The distance is 623 km.

I received Teutoburger Wald signals in April this year, but Tuesday reception (still weak) was much better.

Just when I was about to leave another two German stations were received. 94.8 WDR 3 Rheinland-Pfalz/Rheinland from Linz (545 km) and 95.9 WDR 3 from Aachen (464 km). Both stations were new to me.

Whilst at work, I have seen other DXers logging mostly Germany with 800-900+ km signals. Ehh…If I could only stay home…

UTC ITU MHz Station Location kW Pol. PS PI Mode Km Play
0720 F 89.0 France Culture Le Mans 126.00 H Mono 447 Play
0730 F 87.8 France Inter Paris 10.00 V F201 Mono 370 Play
0734 F 89.2 France Musique Reims-Épernay 158.50 M Mono 419 Play
0736 F 89.7 France Musique Chartres 32.00 H Mono 386 Play
0744 F 94.3 Radio Orient (T) Paris 04.00 V Mono 370 Play
0747 F 96.8 France Inter Reims-Épernay 158.50 M Mono 419 Play
0750 F 99.9 France Inter Tours 08.00 H Mono 499 Play
0752 F 100.7 Radio Notre Dame Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0756 F 101.1 Radio Classique Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0800 F 103.9 RFM Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0802 F 104.3 RTL Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0803 BEL 104.6 RTBF Classic 21 Tournai 50.00 M Mono 280 Play
0806 F 105.5 France Info Unknown ? ? Mono ? Play
0815 F 88.2 unID Unknown ? ? Mono ? Play
0819 BEL 89.5 VRT Klara Sint-Pieters-Leeuw 50.00 V Mono 330 Play
0829 F 93.9 unID Unknown ? ? Mono ? Play
0835 F 96.0 Skyrock Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0852 F 105.1 FIP Paris Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0859 F 89.9 FIP Jazz Paris 10.00 V Mono 370 Play
0905 BEL 90.7 VRT R.2 Oost-Vlaanderen Brussegem 02.00 V Mono 327 Play
0919 BEL 93.7 VRT R.2 Vlaams-Brabant Sint-Pieters-Leeuw 50.00 V Mono 330 Play
0952 D 90.6 WDR 5 Teutoburger Wald 100.00 H Mono 623 Play
1028 BEL 92.3 RTBF Vivacité Charleroi Anderlues 50.00 M Mono 349 Play
1030 BEL 92.8 RTBF Musiq’3 Profondeville-Rivière 10.00 M Mono 389 Play
1035 D 97.0 WDR 3 Teutoburger Wald 100.00 H Mono 623 Play
1040 BEL 101.1 RTBF Pure Wavre 50.00 M Mono 355 Play
1045 D 105.5 WDR Eins Live Teutoburger Wald 100.00 H Mono 623 Play
1116 D 94.8 WDR 3 Rheinland-Pfalz/Rheinland Linz 50.00 H Mono 545 Play
1118 D 95.9 WDR 3 Aachen 20.00 H Mono 464 Play

#Late night DX reception

Below photos were taken from Hepburn and F5LEN’s website. Whilst Hepburn’s website was not showing anything reaching the UK, the F5LEN’s predictions lasted up to 0300 UTC and were showing a very long narrow band of enhancement towards the UK.


When I back home from work, there was no much activity on DXmaps so I wasn’t thinking about DX. I was checking SkywavesDX forums for new posts and @daveB posted about other DXer from Rainham in Kent receiving Polish signals. I actually saw this DXer logging on FM List during the day. I thought, OK this probably Körner 15.11, so it’s definitely out of my limit. Then @Nick Gilly from Whitchurch, Hampshire posted in the topic:

As I type this I’m receiving BB Radio on 104.3 from Pritzwalk at 944 km. Poland would be nice…

If you reading this log Nick, many thanks for this! This late night DX session is mostly thanks to you! I was very close to go to sleep!

It was 2325 local time and I was late to see this post. I immediately pull out the loop and hang it on the coat hanger facing East. I tried to do it without making any noise, but that’s not possible if you are in a rush! My missus wasn’t happy at all. I still remember her face! I could only say… Sorry!

German signals received at night

German signals rhar I received that night

I tuned on 104.3, but there was nothing there. Then I did the bandscan and at 0015 local time and received weak 92.0 WDR 5 from Münster (522 km). A quick decision… No chance, I am not going to sleep!

I was scanning the band, back and forward, and at 0030 local time I tuned on 104.3. You should see my face! I was hearing clear German talk, an OM reading news. Blimey, it’s an ID after BB Radio Prignitz from Pritzwalk at 854 km. I immediately posted on SkywavesDX. @Nick Gilly was still there and @daveB too. Two minutes later @Nick replied:

Yes! Polish talk now on 107.9, which must be PR 1 from Koszalin at 1255 km.

I have not seen @Nick reply until 10 minutes later. Before I spot it, I received 91.1 NDR 1 Niedersachsen Oldenburg from Steinkimmen at a distance of 602 km.

When I tuned on 107.9, I could not believe it! The Polish song was played on my headphones and soon after YL was speaking in Polish. As Polish is my native language, I had no doubts I receiving Poland. It was only a matter of web confirmation.

Indeed, it was 107.9 PR1 from Koszalin as per web stream at a whopping distance of 1164 km.

The reception lasted for about 3:20s and It was replaced by fading 107.9 WDR Eins Live from Münster. I replied on topic, as I was so excited and I couldn’t believe what just have happened!

107.9 PR1 Koszalin (1164 km)

107.9 PR1 Koszalin signal path

I stayed tuned on 107.9 (maybe from shock?) and I was refreshing the topic on SkywavesDX. Then PR1 from Koszalin come back again! Weak this time, but clearly as per web stream. The station was mixing with another UNID. You can listen to it here.

At 0057 local time another German station was received – 105.3 NDR Info Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from Schwerin. Within the next 10 minutes, I also received; 107.3 Ostseewelle West, 89.2 NDR Kultur and 92.8 NDR 1 Radio MV Schwerin at a distance of 814 km.

At 01:03 local time @Nick posted again in the topic:

97.4 sounds like it has PR 3 now, as web stream with a Polish alternative rock song. It is VERY weak though!

So I tuned on 97.4, but local LBC was too strong and I could not hear anything, but surely, there was something there. 15 minutes later I replied to @Nick:

Getting something on 97.4! It’s weak though! Sounds like PR3 from Koszalin!

I have this recording, but there is no point to submitting it as it’s barely listenable. Then I come back to bandscan and I received 94.8 WDR 3 Rheinland-Pfalz/Rheinland from Linz. This station was also received earlier, just before I went to work.

I tuned again on 94.7 around 0140 local time and this time LBC splatter was weaker, so I could hear bits and pieces of PR3 from Koszalin, but the signal was buried with the noise and under LBC splatter. I listened to PR3 web stream and signal matched the transmission, but the talk is unintelligible. I decided to mark it as a UNID. The signal was too weak to get through here. About 10 minutes later everything faded out. I could now go to sleep. It was about 10 minutes to 2 AM.

Recording of 107.9 PR1 from Koszalin received by Nick Gilly in Whitchurch, Hampshire can be listen here. 97.4 PR3 is here.

# 17 October 2017

UTC ITU MHz Station Location kW Pol. PS PI Mode Km Play
2315 D 92.0 WDR 5 Münster 25.00 H Mono 522 Play
2332 D 104.3 BB Radio Prignitz Pritzwalk 100.00 H Mono 854 Play
2341 D 91.1 NDR 1 Niedersachsen Oldenburg Steinkimmen 100.00 H Mono 607 Play
2346 POL 107.9 PR 1 Koszalin 60.00 H Mono 1164 Play
2349 D 107.9 WDR Eins Live Münster 25.00 H Mono 522 Play
2357 D 105.3 NDR Info Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Schwerin 100.00 H Mono 814 Play

# 18 October 2017

UTC ITU MHz Station Location kW Pol. PS PI Mode Km Play
0002 D 107.3 Ostseewelle West Schwerin 100.00 H Mono 814 Play
0013 D 89.2 NDR Kultur Schwerin 30.00 H Mono 814 Play
0017 D 92.8 NDR 1 R.MV Schwerin Schwerin 30.00 H Mono 814 Play
0040 D 94.8 WDR 3 Rheinland-Pfalz/Rheinland Linz 50.00 H Mono 545 Play
0043 POL 97.4 unID Koszalin 60.00 H Mono 1164 Play

Maps screens thanks to
Prediction maps thanks to
Prediction maps thanks to

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