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 day.
QTH: Hatfield, Herts, 78m ASL, DX indoors
Grid locator: IO91VS
Aerial: FM folded dipole, FM Cubical Quad Loop antenna
Receiver: Pioneer DEH-4700MP
This is a big one! Extremely good tropospheric conditions occurred on Tuesday, the 31st of October 2017. I was so fortunate to have a day off from work. The day before I was watching BBC weather forecast for tomorrow and the lady said something like “The weather remains dry…” and then she will continue “…a mild air mass from Atlantic“.
I was checking Hepburn’s forecast all day and a green colour was filling up the UK and Central France. I was also checking the wind speed on BBC website to make sure I am not missing anything.
Below is the BBC Weather forecast for 31st October. Just check the wind speed and temperature. A perfect conditions, I would say.
According to the BBC weather forecast, the wind speed should rise during the day and start slowing down later. The predictions for next day, November 1st 2017, was even better. The wind speed was predicted between 2-3 mph. Dropping temperature and a light wind was a very good indication of temperatures inversion. I am usually excited about such a good forecast and try to not miss anything. Of course, it’s weather and it is very changeable, but this tropo forecast proved to be very accurate.
Hepburn predictions for Tuesday morning October 31st, 2017.
My missus was at work until 3 PM so I had plenty of time for DX. The best conditions were predicted for late afternoon and evening. However, being impatient, I start checking band around 0800 in the morning, but there was nothing there yet. Around 1000 local time I come back to perform bandscan. I must admit, straight away I felt it will be something good today and It’s worth watching. Enhancement of low powered local and semi-local stations was noticeable.
Proof of that was a reception of 98.0 Phoenix FM from Brentwood, Essex. A very low powered community station with TX located 41km away. This was the first time I received this station. Although is only 41km from QTH, I never receive it until now. TX has only 0.03kW ERP.
I also heard Tours (F) and Caen (F) transmitters on the weak side. Not waiting too long, I decided to post a new topic on SkywavesDX in Alerts section. Also, the UK national transmitters such Rowridge, North Hessary Tor, Holme Moss and Sutton Coldfield were up sending strong signals.
I think I made a mistake posting reception of 106.5 France Info from Épinal. When compiling this log I noticed reception of 88.9 Fun Radio from Boulogne-sur-Mer. I think 106.5 France Info may come from the same location.
Until late afternoon, I was getting extremely strong signals from the UK transmitters. First time ever, I received 100.0 Classic FM from North Hessary Tor covering a very strong semi-local Kiss FM from London. Signals from Wenove and Holme Moss were here all the evening with full RDS.
Another nice DX was made at 1617 local time when I tuned on 101.8 Mhz. Usually, it’s Turkish pirate from London. This time I heard an OM, speaking with Irish accent, and then he said: “…If you can answer all these questions correctly, you can win 1000 Euros..“
Because I was receiving a very weak signal with QRM I asked myself – Did I just heard Euros??? It’s not coming from the UK. We don’t have Euroes in the UK, it’s Ireland!
Upon investigation and comparing the station web stream, It turns out to be 101.8 Today FM from Mullaghanish, in Ireland at a distance of 612 km. I received this one on FM Folded dipole in V pointing toward West. What’s interesting is that the station transmits in Circular polarization with 80.00kW ERP output. This is my first DX of Ireland via tropo.
103.4 BBC Radio Devon from North Hessary Tor
The duct was getting stronger and at around 1630 local time French stations began to appear. Mostly from Central and North part of France. Among French signals, I also received 103.4 BBC Radio Devon from North Hessary Tor. The transmitter is rated at 15.00kW ERP and the distance is 296 km. Surprisingly the reception was is Stereo and the PI code was displayed. This signal was also received very weak in the morning.
At 1815 local time I tuned on 91.1 Mhz. I was hearing French talk in the background and Classical music was played too. It sounded like two signals being received in parallel.
Both signals were weak, however, I was able to locate them. It appears to be 91.1 France Musique from Niort playing Classical music and the other 91.1 signal was France Inter from Villers-Cotterêts.
I received 91.1 France Music from Niort before, but 91.1 France Inter from Villers-Cotterêts is a new catch.
This example is not alone. It happened twice that evening! Shortly after I received 94.8 BBC Radio 4 from Les Platons, Jersey Island another two signals were received parallel.
(I was hoping to get reception from Jersey Island this year and it happened eventually)
On 94.9 I have strong semi-local BBC Radio London transmitting from Croydon tower. At 1945 local time on the same frequency I was receiving France Inter from Bourges.
It was rather interesting experience listen two stations transmitting in parallel. This is the first time it happened to me.
94.9 France Inter from Bourges was a new catch too.
Central France areas were showen on Hepburn’s maps to be well propagated. Signals from Troyes, Laval, Le Mans, Limoges and Bourges were very strong in the UK.
@Nick Gilly posted in the thread: “France Musique from Le Mans on 97.0 is >50 dBµV!”. In other and, UK signals were booming in France. So it worked both sides. The duct was really strong. It was so strong, that I did not have to open the window and put aerial outside to DX. Everything was received fully indoors.
Later in the evening Dutch DXers joined in. Dxmaps.com website was green from logs. There was no sign of weakening. At 2011 local time I received 92.3 RMC from La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, which I think personally, it’s a great DX. The distance is 359km whilst TX ERP is 0.50kW! I receive it on FM Dipole in V.
Another great DX is reception come from Thanet in Kent. I received 95.9 Heart (which is local for this area) and 107.2 KMFM. Both TX’s are low power stations and both are in the different location in the town). In other words, 100W TX will propagate up to 123km!
As usual, the duct was moving slowly towards Belgium and Germany and after 2230 local time Belgian stations began to appear. Many personal scores were received. When German signal fade out, long after midnight, I received a very interesting DX.
At 0045 local time I stopped on 107.9 where I heard French male speaking. It took me some time to identify the station. It was certainly France Info as I compared the web stream with receiving signal. I received this one on an FM loop antenna in H. When I start looking for the site, I could not believe it. It appears to be 107.9 France Info from Châteauponsac. 641km, I am still in a shock! I mean, really? Surely there should be a much stronger TX than 500W. At the moment it will remain in the log as reception from Châteauponsac.
It was a great hunting day with many new signals from France. Unfortunately, I was working next day and I had to finish around 1 AM to get some sleep, but duct was still there…
I received 62 NEW signals. I spent countless amount of time on DX (sorry Love ) and emptied two litres of water…
Tropospheric signals received in Hatfield, Herts (AL10 area)