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.
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.
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…
#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 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 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.
# 17 October 2017
# 18 October 2017