Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Treen Bandscan, Cornwall, September 2012

Cornwall never disappoints! Be it for the spectacular natural beauty of its countryside or for its excellent DX possibilities!

We spent seven days at Treen Farm camp site and experienced a good tropo event between September 13th and 16th.

It was our first visit to the Treen Farm camp site and it immediately became our firm favourite. The Sea View and Lower Treave campsites have also been good for Spanish DX and are worth considering if Treen Farm is full, but there are some big advantages Treen Farm. The location is on a cliff top in the extreme south-west of Cornwall. There are sea views from the south-east to the south-west and there is a spectacular beach immediately below the site with almost white sands and the kind of azure/turquoise seas you expect to see around the Cornish peninsula. At night, the skies are so clear you can easily see the Milky Way above you. It doesn't seem to be the kind of camp site where noise is tolerated too. While children and dogs are allowed, there are notices on the site which state that noise will NOT be tolerated after 10pm!

Now, this is what we heard:

Thursday 13th September 2012

106.5 TSF R Noticias, Muro (vcs)
107.7 R Estrada, Unlisted site
 87.5 RKM R, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C)
 87.6 OM & YL talk 08:25 
 87.8 Cadena COPE Vigo, Moana (GAL-PO) __COPE__
 88.2 RNE R Clasica, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU) RNE-CLAS
 88.9 Euskadi Irratia, Bilbao (PVA-BL) EUSKADI1
 89.1 Los 40 Principales, Monte Castrove (GAL-PO)
 90.1 RNE R Nacional Galicia, Moana (GAL-PO)
 91.2 RNE R Clasica, Monte Meda (GAL-OU) RNE-CLAS
 91.4 Cadena Dial, Pontevedra (GAL-PO) ___DIAL_ PONTEDRA
 91.6 RNE R Clasica, Culleredo (GAL-C) RNE-CLAS
 92.1 RNE R Clasica, Moana (GAL-PO) RNE-CLAS
 92.2 RNE R Clasica, Gamoniteiro (AST-O)
 92.6 Spain
 92.8 RNE R.5, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU) RNE_5-LU
 93.1 Spanish phone in 20:50
 93.4 Spanish phone in 20:50
 93.7 RNE R.5, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C) RNE_5-C_
 94.3 RNE R.3, Monte Meda (GAL-OU)
 94.4 RNE R.3, Gamoniteiro (AST-O)
 94.5 RNE R.3, Culleredo (GAL-C) RNE_3___
 94.7 Euskadi Gaztea, Bilbao (PVA-BL) GAZTEA__
 95.6 Cadena SER, Pontevedra (GAL-PO) CAD-SER_ _AROSA__
 95.8 RNE R.5, Culleredo (GAL-C) RNE_5-C_
 96.2 R Galega, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C)
 96.9 RNE Radio Nacional Cantabria, Lierganes (CNT-S) RNE_1___
 97.1 Cadena COPE, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C)
 97.2 Spain
 97.4 RNE R.3, Moana (GAL-PO)
 98.1 RNE R Clasica, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C) RNE-CLAS
 98.7 SER Pontevedra, Pontevedra (GAL-PO) SER_EDRA
 99.0 RNE R.3, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C) RNE_3___
 99.6 RNE R.3, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU) RNE_3___
100.1 EIRB Irratia, Bilbao (PVA-BL)
100.2 Spain phone in 21:19
100.4 RNE R.1, Culleredo (GAL-C) RNE_1___
100.6 SER Vigo, Moana (GAL-PO) SER-VIGO
100.9 R Galega, Valga (GAL-PO) R.GALEGA
101.7 RNE Radio Nacional Galicia, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU) RNE_1___
102.1 R Obradoiro Santiago, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C) OBRAOIRO
102.3 R Galega, Moana (GAL-PO) (Presumed)
102.5 RNE Radio Nacional Asturias, Gamoniteiro (AST-O) RNE_1___
102.6 Bizkaia Irratia, Bilbao (PVA-BL) BIZKAIAI
102.8 RNE Radio Nacional Galicia, Mone Meda (GAL-LU)
103.2 Spain
103.4 R Renascenca, Muro (vcs)
102.0 Sud R, Toulouse (65) SUDRADIO
103.7 ABC Punto Radio, Bilbao (PVA-BL) PUNTO_R.
104.2 RNE R.3, Xistral (GAL-LU)
104.4 RNE R.5, Gamoniteiro (AST-O) RNE5-AST
104.8 R Galega, Monte Meda (GAL-OU)
105.0 RNE R.5, Lierganes (CNT-S) RNE_5-S_
105.3 RNE R Clasica, Monte Oiz (PVA-BL)
105.3 TSF R Noticias, Valongo (prt)
105.7 TSF R Noticias, Valenca Do Minho (vcs) _T_S_F__
106.4 R Del Principado Del Asturias, Gamoniteiro (AST-O) RPA_FM__
106.6 RNE R.5, Xistral (GAL-LU)
106.8 RNE R.5, Monte Meda (GAL-OU) RNE_5-OU
106.9 Spain
107.6 Spain
107.9 Spain
 94.6 RDP Antena 2, Muro (vcs)
 88.0 R Galega Musica, Valga (GAL-PO)
107.9 Radio Lider, Pontevedra (GAL-PO)
106.1 Radio Voz Compostela, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C)
 89.5 Spain
 88.4 Cadena Cien, Unidentified site CAD-100_
 90.2 Spain
103.1 R Nacional Galicia, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-C) RNE_1___
103.5 Spain
103.6 Cadena 100, Gijon (AST-O)
104.1 Los 40 Principales / Exitos IDs
103.4 Spain OM talk over jazz, then soul music 23:41
107.8 Valle De Buelna FM, Los Corrales De Buelna (CNT-S)
107.6 Spanish pops 22:47
101.1 Onda Cero, Cangas Del Narcea (AST-O)
 95.7 RNE R.5, Navarra (NAV-NA)
 97.1 Spain OM 22:54
 97.5 Kiss FM, Lugo (GAL-LU)
 97.6 Spain OM 22:54
 97.9 RNE R Clasica, Riano De Ibio (CNT-S)
 99.5 Spain OM 22:59
 90.5 Spain OM 22:59

Friday 14th September 2012

 99.8 Spain OM 01:25
101.4 R Del Principado De Asturias, Aviles (AST-O) _RPA_FM_
102.9 RNE R.3, Lierganes (CNT-S)
103.4 RNE R.3, Riano De Ibio (CNT-S) RNE_3___
104.6 Spain OM & YL phone in 01:32
105.6 ABC Punto R, Lierganes (CNT-S)
107.1 Spain OM & YL 01:39
 88.5 RNE R Clasica, Hornos De Moncalvillo (RIO-LO)
 94.6 RNE R.3, Hornos De Moncalvillo (RIO-LO)
103.3 RNE R.5, Hornos De Moncalvillo (RIO-LO)
 87.5 Loca FM, Oviedo (AST-O)
 96.5 SER Gijon, Gijon (AST-O) __SER___
 98.5 Kiss FM, Santander (CNT-S)
 91.7 R Euskadi 2, Bilbao (PVA-BL) EUSKADI2
102.4 Spain YL over classical music 23:54
 96.3 Spain OM & YL talk over classical music 23:57
 97.5 RNE R Clasica, Medinaceli (CAL-SO)
100.5 France Bleu Gascogne, Bayonne (64) BLEUGASC
101.4 Spain OM talk mixing Gamoniteiro

Saturday 15th September 2012

102.4 Spain Lively OM talk 00:04
 93.9 Spain OM talk 08:15
 87.7 Cadena Dial, Santander (CNT-S)
 88.0 R Nervion, Bilbao (PVA-BL) RNERVION
106.1 R Nacional, Monreal (NAV-NA) RNE_1___
105.4 Spain OMs discussion 08:32
100.3 RNE R.5, Cangas De Onis (AST-O)
 93.5 Spain Phone in 08:49
107.5 Spain Mexican/Latin music 08:50
106.7 Spain YL phone in 09:03
104.0 Spain OMs discussion 09:05
 92.7 R 7 Barakaldo, Bilbao (PVA-BL)
 94.8 Spain phone in 22:43
 98.2 Spain OM lively talk 22:48
 99.2 Spain OM talk 22:49
100.7 Spain Panel show 22:52
101.5 Onda Cero, Bilbao (PVA-BL) __DA____
 88.5 Hit FM, Aviles (AST-O)
 91.8 Hit FM, Gijon (AST-O)
106.5 Formula Hit A Coruna, Carballo (GAL-C) Tentative. Dance music & ID "Hit Music Radio Sol" 23:30

Sunday 16th September 2012

104.8 Kiss FM, Aviles (AST-O)


Even when conditions are flat on the Land's End peninsula, Spanish stations always seem to be audible on band 2. But if you take your radios to the Land's End car park, Spanish reception is considerably better! We obtained permission to erect a beam at the Land's End cliff top car park during the evening - something we never actually did in the end, but it's there for next time. Now THAT should be VERY interesting indeed!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Summarizing The 2012 Sporadic E Season

After comparing my 2012 E season loggings with those of the 1011 season, I think I can conclude that this year's E season equalled last year's at this location and perhaps even slightly bettered it, but only slightly. This is my own experience. Other DXers have commented that the season has been much worse this year. SPoradic E conditions are hugely selective though, so comparisons are probably meaningless. If you were to average it out over the whole of Europe and North America I think the overwhelming opinion would be that the 2012 Es season was well down on last year's, which in itself was quite poor also. However, while my personal logbook show a certain "quantity" of loggings, there was certainly far less in the way of "quality". Not one single instance of double hop was experienced.

Looking at it on a month-by-month basis: The season seemed to begin well in May, but then went downhill before the end of the month, leaving June with large gaps of several days with no Es. July wasn't much better, if at all and August was average - maybe even slightly better than July, but after counting the number of loggings I had this season I notice that here are only slightly fewer loggings than during last year's season. There were at least three good, nationwide Spanish openings this year while I was away and so I probably missed a fair number of loggings. Last year I was in the fortunate position of being by the radio virtually all the time and I was conscious of the fact that I didn't miss any good openings.

As mentioned above, as far as quality goes, this year was definitely down on last year. Double hop materialised on at least two occasions last season whereas this year I am not aware of a single instance - unless you class the Moroccan transmitter at Assa as double hop at 2800+. I suspect the Es on this occasion hooked up with a tropo extension at the far end of the path. Maybe that is classed double hop though.

I am always interested to hear other's views, but overall I am satisfied with a good haul of loggings this year, even if the quality wasn't quite there.

It was also pleasing to get a lot of different stations this year whereas I had expected a huge amount of repetition.

By the way, Norway was the only main European country which didn't make it here on Es. My Turkish goal didn't materialise either, but then Turkey is probably just a tad over the single hop limit from me. Maybe next year.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Ster Bandscan, Brittany, September 2012

We took a holiday to Brittany between August 31st and September 8th. We had planned to stay longer and take a trip around the French Alps the following week but our plans were interrupted: We had intended to take our two Rottweilers but we found that there were many difficulties along the way which meant they had to be left at home. Fortunately, we have a very good friend, also a Rottweiler owner, who came to look after them while we were away. True enough, Rottweilers are large, fearsome looking dogs, but ours are very friendly and cuddly. Yes, I said "cuddly". We are daft when it comes to our dogs. They are part of our family and we love them dearly.

We try to take our dogs with us most places, but we find that some people prefer to cross over the road to avoid walking past them, depending on where we are. The locals love them and only want to fuss them, which they really appreciate. When walking in a rough part of Glasgow with them recently we found that people only crossed the road to avoid us. That spoke volumes about the area we were in.

Sadly, after weeks of planning and researching we discovered that Rottweilers wee classed as "Category 2 breed: Guard Dogs" in France and thus were not allowed on French camp sites. If it wasn't for a well-known web forum we would not have discovered this information. Well done! Their members were exceptionally helpful and pointed us to the appropriate website which explained all the rules concerning Rottweilers in France. Before doing this, we had emailed and phoned various government departments, embassies, European vetinary organisations and Rottweiler clubs, only to be passed around in a loop because they didn't know where Rottweilers were permitted. Our very own government department DEFRA hadn't a clue either. No surprises there.

Arriving at the camp site we promptly set up a simple receiving station, comprising a Sony XDR-F1HD and a Triax FM3, mounted on a telescopic mast at around five to six metres, so that it was above the caravan roof and clear of obstruction to the beach, which looks out over the Bay Of Biscay, just 200 metres away.

Perhaps I shouldn't give a big build-up to this report as nothing much was heard, typical of all my visits to Brittany in fact. We had expected more Spanish DX this time as the Hepburn tropo forecast looked good for this. Instead, we experienced more of a lift to the north, into south-west England. I don't wish to rubbish the DX potential of this location as I am fairly sure that conditions were not as forecast, but I have never experienced much in the way of Spanish DX from this location. Band 2 is fairly quiet at the best of times, but with careful searching and the occasional rise in conditions, it's mostly always been more distant Breton stations which come though. Maybe I have been unlucky. In contrast, I have to say that the French Land's End at the Point Du Raz, some 50 km to the north-west, was dramatically better for Spanish reception, even under apparently flat conditions. Despite this, the Pointe Du Raz does not seem to provide the same proliferation of Spanish signals experienced at the Cornish Land's End. I have been to both Land's Ends several times.

Here is the report, complete with notes to begin with. Unfortunately I lost interest with the note keeping and DXing as nothing much was heard after the 4th.

Poor late evening. A few Spanish transmitters at weak/noisy levels.

Slightly enhanced after sunrise. Some Spanish signals almost noise free. Nothing at RDS levels.

 88.2 RNE Radio Clasica, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU)
 88.9 Euskadi Irratia, Bilbao (PVA-BI)
 89.5 RNE Radio Nacional Galicia, Xistral (GAL-LU)
 90.5 RNE R.5 TN Oviedo, Boal (AST-O)
 92.8 RNE R.5 TN Lugo, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU)
 93.2 RNE RNE Radio Nacional Asturias, Boal (AST-O)
 93.7 RNE R.5 TN Santiago, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-O)
 94.4 RNE R.3, Gamoniteiro (AST-O)
 95.2 UNID YL talk 0954 (Likely Onda Cero, Oviedo (AST-O) Heard at Pointe Du Raz)
 95.6 UNID Phone in 0956 (Likely Cadena SER, Lugo (GAL-LU) Heard at Pointe Du Raz)
 96.3 RNE Radio Clasica, Galicia (GAL-LU)
 96.9 RNE R Nacional Cantabria, Lierganes (CNT-S)
 98.1 RNE Radio Clasica, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-O)
 99.0 RNE R.3, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-O)
 99.6 RNE R.3, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU)
101.7 RNE R Nacional Galicia, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU)
100.9 UNID News 1002 (Likely Radio Galega, Valga (GAL-PO))
102.5 RNE Radio Nacional Asturias, Gamoniteiro (AST-O)
102.7 esRadio, unlisted site
102.9 RNE R.3, Lierganes (CNT-S)
103.1 RNE Radio Nacional Galicia, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-O)
103.7 Radio Galega, Monte Paramo (GAL-LU)
104.2 RNE R.3, Xistral (GAL-LU)
104.4 RNE R.5 TN Oviedo, Gamoniteiro (AST-O)
104.8 Likely Radio Galega, Monte Meda (GAL-OU)
105.0 RNE R.5 TN Santander, Lierganes (CNT-S)

01-09-12 Evening: Disappointing. Only Gamoniteiro heard extremely weakly and barely recognisable in the noise. SW England enhanced with North Hessary Tor and Redruth at one bar.

02-09-12 Morning: Rubbish! As 01-09-12 evening.

UK nationals Rowridge and a presumed Haverfordwest received via scatter.

02-09-12 Evening: Spanish? Where? I can't hear any.

03-09-12 Morning: Yawn! Even semi-local French stations are down in strength. SW England with some enhancement though.

03-09-12 Evening: Still no sign of Spain but SW England and The English Midlands coming in well. North Hessary Tor RDSing with two bars.

107.0 Heart, Redruth
 95.2 RTE Lyric FM, Clermont Carn
 95.2 BBC Radio Cornwall, Caradon Hill
 94.3 BBC Radio 4, Wenvoe
 92.1 BBC Radio 3, Wenvoe
 92.5 BBC Radio 4, North Hessary Tor
 90.3 BBC Radio 3, North Hessary Tor
 88.1 BBC Radio 2, North Hessary Tor
100.0 Classic FM, North Hessary Tor
102.8 Pirate FM, Redruth
 89.7 BBC Radio 2, Redruth
 91.9 BBC Radio 3, Redruth
102.2 Pirate FM, Caradon Hill
 97.7 BBC Radio 1, North Hessary Tor
 99.3 BBC Radio 1, Redruth
 99.5 BBC Radio 1, Wenvoe
101.5 Classic FM, Redruth
100.3 Classic FM, Rowridge
 89.3 BBC Radio 2, Haverfordwest
 93.7 BBC Radio 4, Haverfordwest
 97.1 BBC Radio 1, Les Platons
 89.6 BBC Radio 2, Les Platons
 91.1 BBC Radio 3, Les Platons
 88.3 BBC Radio 3, Sutton Coldfield
 92.7 BBC Radio 4, Sutton Coldfield
 97.9 BBC Radio 1, Sutton Coldfield
100.1 Classic FM, Sutton Coldfield
101.1 Classic FM, Haverfordwest
101.7 Classic FM, Wenvoe
 95.5 BBC Somerset, Mendip
 94.8 BBC Radio 4, Les Platons
 94.3 BBC Radio 4, Wenvoe
 93.3 BBC Radio 4, Llangollen
 91.5 BBC Radio 3, Haverfordwest
102.5 BBC Radio Pembrokeshire, Haverfordwest
107.2 Newstalk 106-108, Mount Leinster

04-09-12 Morning: Southern England enhancement continuing to grow slightly, add ...

 89.1 BBC Radio 2, Wrotham

04-09-12 Evening: SW England not so good but Spain returning into the small hours. Chiefly Galicia. Post sunrise: Only Gamoniteiro audible weakly.

100.4 Radio Nacional Galicia, Culluredo (GAL-O)
 99.0 RNE R.3, Santiago De Compostela (GAL-O)
 98.5 UNID Spanish phone-in 0304
102.8 Radio Nacional Galicia, Monte Meda (GAL-OU)
106.4 Radio Principado De Asturias, Gamiteiro (AST-O)


As the holiday progressed we realised we were missing our dogs more and more. So much so that we decided to curtail the holiday and make our way back home! Our plan now was to spend a week in Cornwall with the dogs.