Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Skegness Log: 30-05-13

OIRT Sporadic E:
 67.70 0922 UKR UR 1 Persha Prog., Khmel'nyts'kyy/KHFKRRT, prosp. Myru, 43 (KM) Pops, as web  1887km
 68.24 0924 UKR Radio Mariya v Ukraini, Antopil'/RFKRRT, vul. Kyivs'ka, 12 (RI) OM  YL, as web  1804km
 70.46 0926 UKR UR 2 Radio Promin', Khmel'nyts'kyy/KHFKRRT, prosp. Myru, 43 (KM) OM, as web  1887km
 70.76 0927 UKR UR 1 Persha Prog., Kul'chiyivtsi/KHFKRRT (KM) YL song, as web  1907km **
 69.83 0931 UKR UR 1 Persha Prog., Lozova/TFKRRT, vul. Pol'ova, 13 (TE) OM, as web  1794km

Band 2 Sporadic E:
 87.6 1611 ALG Radio Laghouat, Aflou (3) YL and OM, as web  2120km
 90.7 1613 ALG Chaîne 1, Aflou (3) OMs, as web  2120km
 91.8 1615 ALG Chaîne 2, Akfadou (6) OM  YL, as web  1867km
 93.9 1615 ALG Chaîne 2, Aflou (3) OM  YL, as web  2120km
 97.2 1616 ALG Chaîne 3, Aflou (3) YL news, as web  2120km
 88.4 1618 ALG Chaîne 3, Chréa (9) YL correspondent, as web  1872km
 87.8 1619 ALG Chaîne 1, Mecheria (45) YL, as web  2176km
 91.5 1619 ALG Radio El Bahdja, Chréa (9) Arabic music, as web  1872km
 92.6 1621 ALG Chaîne 1, approx. 50km east of Algiers OM talk, as web  1843km **
 98.0 1622 ALG Chaîne 1, Chréa (9) OM, as web, fighting with Lille  1872km
 87.7 1639 ALG Radio Chlef, Aïn N'sour (48) OMs conversation, as web  1913km
 90.3 1641 MRC SNRT Al Idaâ Al Amazighia, Boukhouali (otl) OM  YL, as web  2104km
 92.7 1648 TUN RTT Radio Gafsa, Djebel ech Chambi (kas) Arabic music, mixing UNID Arabic  2100km
 88.3 1651 ALG Radio El Tarf, Oum Ali (36) OM, as web  1934km
 91.2 1652 ALG Radio Biskra, Metlili (5) OM, as web  2033km
 93.3 1655 TUN RTT Radio Culture, Gabès (gab) OM over classical music, as web  2284km **
 95.1 1701 ALG Radio Souk Ahras, M'cid (41) YL and news, as web  1957km **
 87.5 1725  I  Radio Maria, Sant’Antioco/Monte Cresia (ci) 51CC R.MARIA_ Usual stuff  1684km
 88.5 1738 TUN RTT Radio Sfax, Kerkennah (sfa) 7204  2222km
 89.0 1739 TUN RTT Radio Sfax, Skhira (sfa) YL, as 88.5  2230km **
 87.6 1741 TUN RTT Radio Tataouine, Zarzis (med) 7205 __TA____  2342km
106.3 1747 TUN Radio Zitouna FM, Djebel ech Chambi (kas) As web  2100km
 89.2 1755  I  Radio Iglesias, Carloforte (ci) 50FA IGLESIAS  1673km
 91.3 1757 TUN RTT Radio Jeunes, Maktar/Souk Jomaa (kas) 7201  2039km
 95.4 1800 TUN RTT R.Tunis Chaîne Int., Gorraa (bej) 7202  1976km
 97.8 1801 TUN Radio Zitouna FM, Maktar/Souk Jomaa (kas) 7211 ZITOUNA_  2039km
 93.3 1802  I  RAI Radio2, Santu Lussurgiu/Punta Badde Urbara (RAI) (or) 5202 _RADIO2_  1575km
 91.3 1804  I  RAI Radio1, Santu Lussurgiu/Punta Badde Urbara (RAI) (or) OM on phone, as web  1575km
 90.5 1808  E  Radio Andalucía Información, Pechina/Sierra Alhamilla (AND-AL) E222 __R.A.I.  1809km
107.3 1815  I  Radio Maria, Sinnai/Monte Serpeddi (ca) 51CC R.MARIA_  1678km **
 89.4 1825 TUN Jawhara FM, Kairouan=Al-Qayrawan (kai) 7210 JAWHARA_  2089km
 93.4 1832 MRC SNRT Chaîne Inter, Boukhouali (otl) 1002  2104km **

** Personal Skegness 'First'

 95.9 1709 ? UNID, ? PI 7216
107.4 1746 ? UNID, ? Arabic music. Later a phone in. Libya?  

After a couple of days away from radio matters due to family staying with us I managed to get straight back into some welcome Es today, though I became slightly bewildered by the sheer number of Arabic stations coming through. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia were there but I couldn't help but think there might have been something else slightly more exotic coming through. Either way, I found it all a little too challenging and went off to do other things. In fact Algeria is still coming through at the bottom of the band as I type. My confused brain cell needs a rest!

Good DX!

John, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL. Ref. Google Altitude Maps

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks:
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings:

Sony XDR-F1HD (tropospheric)
Kenwood KT6040 (sporadic E & meteor scatter)
Icom IC7000 (OIRT)
Conrad RDS Manager

Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

RDS Spy v0.99

Skegness Log: 30-04-13

Sporadic E:
105.6 0647 HNG MR 1 Kossuth Rádió, Gerecse (KoE) B203 KOSSUTH_ (Unattended)  1418km **
105.6 0650 ROU SRR Radio Resita, Resita/Semenic (CS) FF03 (Unattended)  1801km
 89.3 0732 BIH Radio FBiH, Vlasic (sar) F012 RADIO-F.  1600km **
 91.5 0734 BIH Radio Kalman, Sarajevo/Grdonj (sar) F0F2 KALMAN__  1678km **
 93.6 0735 BIH Big Radio 1, Banja Luka/Krcmarice-Stjepanova glava (srp) F027  1540km **
 88.5 0736 ROU Pro FM, Resita/Semenic (CS) E059  1801km
 88.6 0737 HRV City Radio 88.6, Velika Gorica/Kravarsko (zg) Vocal ID  1410km **
 88.0 0743 POL PR 1, Krosno/Sucha Góra (PK) 3211 POLS_4E_  1530km
 90.7 0744 POL PR 1, Solina/G.Jawor II (PK) Music, as 88.0  1591km
 87.6 0751 SVN Slovenija 1, Mozirje (ce) Radio Slovenia, Pervii Programme ID  1295km **
 89.5 0753 MNE Radio Crne Gore 1, Rosaje/Kacuber (RO) 63C1 ___RCG1_  1851km
 92.4 0759 AUT 01, Several low power sites Vocal ID **
 88.4 0802 SVN Radio 1, Krvavec (lj) 9357 RADIO___ Vocal ID too  1271km **
 96.1 0806 HRV HRT-HR 2, Labinstica or Vinkovci C202
 98.1 0807 HRV HRT-HR 2, Belje/Beli Manastir (os) C202 HRT-HR_2  1552km
 88.9 0811 SRB Radio Index, Beograd/Torlak (Srb) 6288 _INDEX__  1739km **
 90.2 0811 SRB Radio K4 Shqip, Goles (Kos) D101 RADIO_K4  1927km **
 91.2 0813 AUT Ö1, Graz 1/Schöckl (ste) A201   1262km **
 89.2 0814 AUT Hitradio Ö3, Graz 1/Schöckl (ste) A203  1262km
 93.3 0814 HRV HRT-HR 1, Belje/Beli Manastir (os) C201 HRT-HR_1  1552km
 87.7 0816 SRB Radio Novi Sad 1, Iriski Venac (Voj) D2F3  1668km **
 97.0 0820 BIH BH Radio 1, Vlasic (sar) F001  1600km
 97.7 0822 SRB RTK Radio Blue Sky, Goles (Kos) 92C5 _R_T_M__  1927km **
 99.1 0824 BIH BN Radio, Visegrad-Tmor (bpd) F038 _RTV_BN_  1737km **
 92.7 0829 BIH RTRS Radio Republike Srpske, Kozara/Lisina (srp) F042 RTRS-RRS  1511km **
 94.4 0831 BIH Radio Igokea, Kotor Varos/Lipovac (srp) F000 Vocal ID  1559km **
 88.1 0833 HRV HRT Radio Sljeme, Zagreb/Sljeme (zg) C31C R-SLJEME  1382km
 87.8 0835 HRV Radio Zabok, Zabok/Grdenci (kr) C46C _ZABOK__  1371km **
 90.5 0840 MKD Makedonsko Radio 2 (Vtora prog.), Stip/Turtel (EA) 4202  2072km **
 91.8 0845 BIH RTV TK (Tuzlanskog kantona), Srebrenik/Okresanica (tuz) 5100  1624km **

 87.8 0748  ?  Tentative. Radio Antena Stajerska, Celje?, ? 9961 ANTENA_S 
 87.6 0754 GRC UNID. Presume Greece., ? PI 1201 
 91.6 0803  ?  Radio Fokus, ? D288 RADIO___ FOKUS___
 88.0 0809  ?  Unid, ? ABC News in English
 98.0 0820  ?  Unid, ? PI: 4201
103.0 0825  ?  UNID, ? PI: D069

Meteor Scatter:
105.0 1359 CVA Radio Vaticana 105 Live, Cittá del Vaticano/Palazzina Leone XIII (cva) Long burst of OM on phone, as web stream  1543km

 93.8 1048  F  France Musique, Sens/Gisy-les-Nobles (89) Nostalgia, as web stream  577km

 94.6 1050  G  BBC Radio Berkshire, Henley-on-Thames (EN-OXF) Nice peak out of the noise. REM, as web  197km
 94.2 1116  F  France Culture, Nantes/Haute-Goulaine (44) OMs talk, as 98.0  675km
107.7 1125 LUX Den Neie Radio (DNR), Blaschette/Kandel (gld) Pops, as web stream  557km
 88.9 1140 LUX RTL Radio Lëtzebuerg, Dudelange/Ginsterberg (gld) Virtually constant now via scatter. Peaks noise free.  574km
 92.1 1142  F  France Musique, Laval-Evron/Mont Rochard (53) Clasical music, as 92.0  550km
 91.1 1144  F  France Inter, Villers-Cotterêts/Fleury (02) French OM and music, as 103.7  474km
 97.9 1324  F  France Culture, Troyes/les Riceys (10) OM, stronger than 98.0  643km
 89.6 1719  F  France Culture, Villers-Cotterêts/Fleury (02) Nice peak. OM as 98.0  474km
 95.6 1722  F  France Musique, Caen/Mont Pinçon (14) As 88.7. So easy to null Norfolk now!  469km
 88.9 1732 HOL Radio Noord-Holland, Amsterdam/Alticom Toren (nho) OM talking, as web stream  321km
 98.0 1736 HOL Radio Decibel, Amsterdam/Alticom Toren (nho) Dance tunes, as 97.6  321km
104.0 1743 BEL Bel RTL, Bruxelles/The Hotel (bru) OM with high voice, as web stream  378km

** Personal Skegness 'First'

Two hours of E skip this morning (although I was asleep for the first hour) brought in Greece, Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Austria, Hungary. Poland, Romania and Serbia! That's eleven countries logged within an hour and we aren't even out of April! What is happening? I'm sure this won't be a sign of things to come, but it's an early and exceptional start to the season. The Es gently grazed the bottom of band 2 again a couple of hours later and continued to make their presence felt further north for some time.

General scatter conditions improved here too during daylight hours with some good signals coming in from northern and central France. The new 9.2 antenna has opened up many frequencies and it's fun discovering what has been uncovered. Germany has also picked up today with a few txs getting over the noise. At the time of writing this (late evening) the band has gone as flat as a very flat pancake!

Good DX!

John, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) Approx. 1m ASL
NOTE: website and associated email addresses have closed.

Sony XDR-F1HD (tropospheric)
Kenwood KT6040 (sporadic E & meteor scatter)
Icom IC7000 (OIRT)
Conrad RDS Manager

Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

RDS Spy v0.99  

No Noise Is Good Noise

To most DXers, installing a higher gain, more directional antenna would be something to get excited about. I though this naively, but it has highlighted a problem in my case, not because the antenna is poor. Quite the opposite in fact. The extra gain and directivity has been very noticeable, providing I beam in certain directions. If I beam anywhere between south-east and north-east I have S9 noise across the entire of band 2 and this starts to encroach even from the south. These are my my main directions too.

This noise has been plaguing me for more than a year, though I wasn't initially aware of it because it doesn't register as you would expect it to on my Sony XDR-F1HD tuner. It is almost invisible, producing one bar of 'nothing' on the tuner's display. While I have always been aware of an increase in noise when I beam towards the east, it only became apparent recently when I connected my new 9.2 antenna directly to my Icom IC7000 and tuned between 88 - 108 MHz. Quite simply, it's a DX killer!

As things stand, the noise is intermittent, tending to go off at night and occasionally during the daytime. There are no set patterns so I suspect it might be a plasma TV or power supply operating in the neighbourhood. It is capable of masking weak signals such as tropo and scatter. Sporadic E is getting over it easily though. The noise sounds like traditional FM white noise, the sort you hear when not tuned to a station. But there are also ticking sounds, buzzes and even the occasional drifting blank carrier, which can register two or three bars.

When my Körner 9.2 antenna arrived, I tried it out on the garden on a small mast, roughly three metres above the ground. Even down at this low level it knocked spots of the rooftop Triax FM5. I was immediately aware of how quiet band 2 was and it reminded me of DX camps where you're in the middle of a field, far away from electrical interference. Even with the antenna three metres above the ground, I was able to hear excellent aircraft scatter from as far away as Brocken at 713 km, Torfhaus at 707 km and a new one - Sonneburg, increasing my scatter distance to 793 km!

Naturally, I was concerned that the noise would be present once the 9.2 had gone on the roof. It was. Worse still, it was worse! The extra gain of the 9.2 dragged the noise in as if it was a regular signal, but since the directivity of the 9.2 was better I could beam away to the south or west. These were not my main directions of interest though.

As far as I know, none of this noise is being radiated through the mains electricity supply. I have conducted fairly rigourous tests to determine this, disconnecting the main supply to the property and running the XDR-F1HD on a leisure battery and mains inverter. I have checked the mains earth supply and gone all around the property, inside and out, around the loft and out on the street, checking lighting, etc. The noise is definitely coming in through the antenna. There is a large OAP home in the general direction of the noise and I wonder if some of my noise is coming from there.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Skegness Log: 29-04-13

Sporadic E:
 87.6 1241 BUL BNR Radio Shumen, Shumen/RRTS Venets (shm)  8236 RADIO___ SHUMEN__  2220km
 88.1 1244 ROU Radio România Actualitati, Zalau or Petrosani  FF00 and vocal ID between pops
 89.0 1250 ROU Radio ZU, Bucuresti (BU)  E2AA   2108km
 91.1 1251 ROU Magic FM, Iasi/Dealul Paun (IS)  E210  2048km **
 91.0 1252 ROU Radio România Actualitati, Bihor/Vârful Curcubata Mare (BH)  FF00  1761km
 89.9 1253 HNG MR 1 Kossuth Rádió, Komádi (HaB)  B203   1649km

Meteor Scatter:
 87.7 0446  E  RAC 1, Barcelona/Collserola (CAT-B)  E251 R--1_---  1311km
 87.9 1705 POR RDP Antena 1, Lousã/Trevim (coi)  8201  1588km **

103.2 1750  F  France Bleu Berry, Bourges/Neuvy (18)  Vocal and jingle ID. Noise free scatter  672km
 88.0 1755  F  France Culture, Alençon/Mont d'Amain (61)  French YL, as 98.0  498km
103.1 1759  F  France Bleu Armorique, Rennes/Saint-Pern (35)  Fair peaks, as 94.7  564km

** Personal Skegness 'First' via this mode

Sporadic E has been hovering around the bottom of band 2 for the last four days but this is the first time I have had signals strong enough to get RDS. Coincidentally, Looks like I got my new Körner 9.2 antenna on the roof just in time!

General scatter conditions are hopeless to worse at the moment.

Good DX!

John, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) Approx. 1m ASL
NOTE: website and associated email addresses have closed.

Sony XDR-F1HD (tropospheric)
Kenwood KT6040 (sporadic E & meteor scatter)
Icom IC7000 (OIRT)
Conrad RDS Manager

Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

RDS Spy v0.99    

Friday, 26 April 2013

My New Körner 9:2 Antenna!

"Körner 9:2 Compact" Nine element band 2 beam

I had been considering replacing my trusty Triax FM5 for some time as I felt it was showing signs of age and was apparently starting to fail. Although I cannot be 100% certain, I had been wondering if the blue balun/connection box was starting to break down. They are notorious for this after all. The black connection boxes have not, so far, suffered the same fate, if you still have one of these.

Reception had been getting steadily worse for some time, but you can't always easily pinpoint exactly why this is. It could be general reception conditions at the coast. They are constantly variable at the best of times. There was also the possibility that water was getting into the coax or seeping inside the connection box. Reception could also have been worsened when I moved the FM5 from the mast at the bottom of the garden on to the rooftop. There were too many factors to be sure what was happening.

The fact is, something had been wrong for a year or so. The problems really began when the FM5 went on the rooftop. Dozens of continental stations just weren't there anymore. Then I noticed my local Belmont transmitter was a very weak and noisy shadow of its former self one day. We had been having heavy rain showers. That was when I first wondered if water had got inside the connection box. This situation lasted into the next day. Despite a general deterioration of reception, not everything was reduced in strength. Some stations in southern England were even slightly enhanced. So what was happening? I couldn't find any indications that Belmont had been on reduced power and, unfortunately for me, my fear of heights prevented me from climbing on to the roof to take a look at the antenna connections.

Along came the new "Körner 9:2 Compact" antenna during the middle of April, just in time for the sporadic E season. Firstly, I wanted to conduct some general listening tests on the garden to see how it performed, also to compare it with another FM5.

I assembled a makeshift mast on the garden and mounted the 9:2 some three metres above the ground and well away from nearby objects. WOW! I was blown away by the sheer number of continental signals coming in! I could hear lots of German transmitters at fully quieting, noise-free stereo levels. This was incredible! It was probably a foregone conclusion that the Körner 9:2 was going to superior to the FM5, but I expected something more modest, certainly nothing on this scale. I then began to feel convinced that there MUST be something wrong with my rooftop FM5.

Not only could I hear large numbers of continental transmitters, some of which I had not heard for a long time, but I was also aware how electrically quiet the FM band was when tuning on my Sony XDR-F1HD. The entire of band 2 was BLISSFULLY quiet. I could hear fully quieting signals in full stereo with ZERO BARS. I know that's not an accurate way to measure signal levels, but this sort of reception has only been experienced when on DX trips to quiet camp sites. The directivity of the 9:2 was also clearly superior than that of the FM5.

My next listening test was made using another Triax FM5 - not the one on the roof of course. I was expecting to hear a copy of the performance offered by the rooftop FM5, but with reduced signal strengths, but there was a shock. The garden FM5, while noticeably less sensitive and less directional than the 9:2, was still able to give me the same clean band, with the same continental stations I just heard on the 9:2, but with noticeably reduced signal strengths. This was a worry as it indicated that some of my problems with the rooftop FM5 might be due to excessive electrical noise and there was no guarantee that the noise would not be present on the 9:2 once it was on the roof. More tests were needed.

I will skip the details of the tests I carried out, but suffice to say they involved such things as measuring resistances and voltages which might have been getting into the mains earth, potential earth loops, etc. I also isolated the electricity supply to the property and ran the XDR-F1HD from a leisure battery/mains inverter while hooked up to the rooftop FM5. The noise was still there. So it was now becoming clearer that the noise was being received through the air. It is a broadband white noise type of interference which was not registering on the XDR-F1HD's display. It was of such a low level that it was effectively invisible, capable of blocking out the weaker signals. There are also a few other buzzes and PLT type clicks on some frequencies. Suddenly it is looking like this noise might have been responsible for the reduction in performance of the FM5 since it went to its rooftop location. The questions is, what to do now?

When the Körner 9:2 goes on the roof, hopefully this weekend, weather permitting, I hope I hear the same blissfully quiet band that I had when it was under test on the garden. Unfortunately, the reality may be that I will still have to contend with this noise. Further listening tests reveal that the noise is coming from an easterly direction, but there is still a sufficiently low level of background noise which is capable of blocking weak signals, no matter which direction I beam.


The weekend came and the weather stayed dry. The FM5 was replaced by the Körner 9:2 and I owe a huge thanks to Andrew Webster who took to the roof and swapped the antennas over, completing the entire operation in around three hours.

Overall reception conditions hadn't been great throughout the day and had deteriorated further by the time the 9:2 was on the roof so I didn't expect to hear too much. Even as I type this on Monday morning I can report very poor scatter across band 2.

To begin with I looked for my regular continental transmitters, Lille, northern France at 343 km, Langenberg, western Germany at 505 km and Dudelange, Luxembourg at 573 km. These are receivable virtually all the time here but tend to be noisy during average conditions with occasional noise-free peaks. All of these exhibited noise free signals, peaking regularly via scatter. Other transmitters usually received on a daily basis but always noisy were either noise free or not far behind. These include Amiens (431 km), Rouen (426 km), Reims (516 km km), Chartres (531 km), Le Mans ( 599 km), Brest (604 km) and even Nantes (675 km). A good start!

The path to Germany is a difficult one as my interference comes from the east, but already I can detect signs of improvement with various transmitters in the Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hessen, Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland  regions coming in a little better. Here lies the problem though. The anticipated noise levels to the east are worse, as I was fearing. Worse than on the FM5 because of the extra gain of the 9:2, but as I expected, it is easier to steer away from it with the additional directivity provided by the 9:2. Indeed this is the more noticeable attribute and main selling point of the 9:2 beam. The directivity is considerably better than that of the FM5. Because the beamwidth is much narrower, I have had to re-evaluate some of my beam headings as suddenly they aren't quite where I had expected them to be! Two very clear improvements are the Lille transmitter on 88.7 and the Dudelange transmitter on 88.9, which were obscured by the splatter from local Belmont on 88.8. Now 88.7 and 88.9 are splatter-free!

The gain of the 9:2 is also a few dB up on that of the FM5 and has a smoother curve across band 2, whereas the FM5 drops off at the bottom of the band. In the technical specification the 9:2 peaks at 9.6 dBd at 103 MHz and goes no lower than 8.3 dBd at 88 MHz (The K6STI website quotes dBd figures as opposed to dBi which tends to be used by computer modelling software. There is about 2.15 dB difference between the two, but that's still very close). Compare 6.44 dBd and 5.23 dBd, respectively, on the FM5. The giant Körner 15:12 only reaches 9.56 dBd and 7.82 dBd at the same frequency points. Figures ex Take note though, as stated on the Skywaves email lists, computer plots don't necessarily give a complete picture of the gain figures, but serve as a good guide.

The front-to-back ratio of the 9:2 is superb and I am able to lose many of those annoying signals which come in off the back of the beam, thus opening up numerous frequencies. At it's lowest figure there is a 27dB front-to-back ratio at either end of the band and this rises to the low 30 dBs, peaking at 35dB. I watched the signal bar meter on my Kenwood KT6040 tuner while I rotated 360 degrees while tuned to Belmont. Even 45 degrees off-beam I am able to see a good reduction in the signal, almost nulling it completely at 180 degrees. Belmont starts to break up and becomes noisy at this point, but remember, it is my nearest transmitter and is just too strong to null out completely. At least any propagation should easily get over the top of it now. All other signals are completely nullable here.

If I had ideal circumstances regarding planning and more space to operate larger antenna arrays I would probably have gone for the larger Körner 15:12, but after seeing the specification of the 9:2 I cannot see any meaningful difference, at least on paper, between the 9:2 and the 15:12. Just look at the size of the 9:2 though, it's only four inches longer then the FM5 !!!

It's a pity that the antenna isn't made anymore as I cannot recommend it highly enough. It combines a good level of gain, has superb front to back and offers excellent directivity in an antenna which is just a couple of metres in length. It has made a clear improvement to my band 2 listening. Remember also that, at the time of typing this review, conditions are well below average and I am suffering a lot of QRN when beaming east which is blocking weaker signals from Germany. I may need to consult OFCOM to resolve this.

A big thanks to Sven SM7DTT for the construction and Andy Webster for getting this on the roof. It arrived just in time for the Es too as today I received my first band 2 Es with Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, received up to 93.5 MHz.

Good DX!


First Es Of The Season

At 14:00 GMT today I heard what appeared to be very weak Es at the bottom of band 2. There was something on 87.6 and on 88.0, behind WDR5 from Bonn. The low end of the band was noisy too.

I can only presume these were Es. The DX Maps website was reporting a high MUF at the time and 6m was active with Es.

So, an early start to the season, but we cannot assume this will be an indication of things to come. Es are unpredictable. In fact, I have heard CBers and 10m DXers reporting a very poor start to the Es this month where they have usually been received more regularly by now.

Good DX!