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Friday, 27 December 2013

Skegness Log: 27-12-13 (OIRT & FM)

Band 2 Meteor Scatter
 87.6 0245  S  SR P1, Visby, Hudiksvall or Storumen E201
 87.6 0326 NOR NRK P1, Nordhue (he) F201 _NR_____. AFs: 87.6  88.9  1094km

OIRT Sporadic E:
 71.54 1625 BLR BR Radio Hrodna, Geranyony/RTPS (HR) ID and pops  1659km **
 71.33 1626 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Minsk/RTPS Kalodziscy (MI) Pops, as web  1806km **
 71.45 1626 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Babrujsk/RTPS Yasny Les (MA) Pops, as web  1922km **
 71.18 1627 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Mahilyow/RTPS Polykovici (MA) ID between pops  1969km **
 70.91 1628 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Brest/Rakitnica (BR) Pops, as web  1593km
 70.43 1629 BLR BR Kanal Kultura, Minsk/RTPS Kalodziscy (MI) Piano coincerto  1806km
 70.10 1630 BLR BR Radio Mahilyow, Mahilyow/RTPS Polykovici (MA) Pops  1969km **
 71.96 1630 BLR BR Kanal Kultura, Mahilyow/RTPS Polykovici (MA) Piano concerto  1969km **
 72.11 1631 BLR BR Radius FM, Minsk/RTPS Kalodziscy (MI) News, over music, as web  1806km **
 72.32 1632 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Geranyony/RTPS (HR) OM and pops, as 72.74  1659km **
 72.74 1632 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Mahilyow/RTPS Polykovici (MA) Pops, as 72.32  1969km **
 72.89 1633 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Minsk/RTPS Kalodziscy (MI) Rock music  1806km **
 73.01 1634 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Babrujsk/RTPS Yasny Les (MA) Rock track, as 72.89  1922km **
 66.02 1635 BLR BR Radio Mahilyow, Babrujsk/RTPS Yasny Les (MA) Disco song, as web  1922km
 66.20 1635 BLR BR Kanal Kultura, Hrodna/RTPS Vul. Gorkogo (HR) Classical, as web  1551km **
 66.56 1636 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Slonim/RTPS Novaja Straga (HR) OM and pops, as web  1671km
 66.98 1637 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Hrodna/RTPS Vul. Gorkogo (HR) Ads, as web  1551km
 67.22 1640 RUS Radio Mayak, Moskva/Ostankino (MV) OMs talk, just audible and as web  2397km **
 67.76 1641 BLR BR Radio Hrodna, Hrodna/RTPS Vul. Gorkogo (HR) ID after ads  1551km
 68.39 1642 BLR BR Kanal Kultura, Geranyony/RTPS (HR) Classical, as web  1659km
 68.57 1643 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Salihorsk/RTPS Dubei (MI) Pops and OM, as 72.89  1807km **
 68.72 1643 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Svislach=Svislac (HR) Pops, as others  1581km
 68.90 1644 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Hrodna/RTPS Vul. Gorkogo (HR) Pops, as others  1551km
 68.96 1644 BLR BR Kanal Kultura, Babrujsk/RTPS Yasny Les (MA) Dramatic classical, as web  1922km
 69.26 1645 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Geranyony/RTPS (HR) Pops, as others  1659km **
 69.44 1646 BLR BR Radio Brest, Slonim/RTPS Novaja Straga (HR) Presume with ops  1671km
 70.28 1649 BLR BR Radyjo Stalitsa, Smyatanichy/RTPS (GO) Pops, as others  1891km
 70.79 1649 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Berazino/RTPS (MI) OM, as web  1883km **
 67.22 1652 BLR BR Pershy Kanal, Smyatanichy/RTPS (GO) Pops, as others  1891km
 67.40 1653  ?  UNID, ? OM talk, later instrumental music. Very poor
 70.31 1655 BLR BR Kanal Kultura, Myadzel/RTPS Telyaki (MI) Weird classical, as others  1731km
 68.45 1705 BLR BR Gomel FM, Zhlobin/Vul. K.Marksa 1A (GO) Presumed with pops  1974km **

** Personal Skegness First

A nice midwinter Es opening in the OIRT band. I did not notice any band 2 Es around this time.

This is my first experience of OIRT DXing on the modified Sony XDR-F1HD. It was just like listening on band 2.

It seems meteor scatter is also doing the business since I did the i2c modification, but I think this is more likely to be down to the conditions, but there has been a huge drop in my general noise levels at times over the last couple of days which I suspect has also helped. I used to need a minimum of 35dBf before I saw any RDS, but now it seems to be as little as 25dBf. Background noise levels are as low as 4dBf in places, though a large part of today saw a return of the dreaded noise. I wonder if I'll ever get to the bottom of this. It's amazing what can be heard clearly when the noise is not present. Radio Salu on 101.7, noise free, for instance when it peaks up and conditions are hardly inspiring at the moment.

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) <2m ASL.

Receivers:
Sony XDR-F1HD with Konrad i2c modification & XDR-GTK software.

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

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Skegness Log: 26-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Meteor Scatter
 87.7 1407  E  RAC 1, Barcelona/Collserola (CAT-B) E251 __AC1___  1311km

Band 2 Scatter:
102.8 0528  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Wesel-Büderich (nrw) Opera, as web  456km
103.4 0533 BEL Joe FM, Genk or Antwerpen YL news, as web. On H **
100.3 0534 HOL L1 Radio, Roermond/Alticom Toren (lim) Dutch pop, as web  443km
105.6 0536  D  SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz, Donnersberg (rlp) Christmas song, as web  657km
107.1 0537  D  SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz, Haardtkopf (rlp) Winter Wonderland song, as 105.6  593km
 93.5 0539  D  WDR 2, Nordhelle (nrw) Police record, as web  554km
 96.6 0540 BEL RTBF Pure FM, Anderlues/Mont-Sainte-Geneviève (wal-hnt) YL ID  409km
 90.0 0545  D  SWR3, Haardtkopf (rlp) Rock track, as web  593km
 91.1 0546  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Scharteberg (Eifel) (rlp) Cyndi Lauper, as web  550km
 92.4 0547  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Linz (Rhein)/Ginsterhahner Kopf (rlp) Cyndi Lauper, as 91.1  560km
 93.9 0548  D  WDR 4, Aachen/Stolberg (nrw) Light pops, as 101.3  484km
 90.7 0552  D  WDR 4, Bonn/Venusberg (nrw) Pops, as web  538km
 94.4 0557  F  France Inter, Hirson/Landouzy-la-Ville (02) French YL, a 103.7, briefly. Presume tropo  446km
 95.5 0558  D  SR 3 Saarlandwelle, Göttelborner Höhe (saa) Back to back pops, as web  629km
 89.6 0608  F  France Culture, Villers-Cotterêts/Fleury (02) OM, as 98.0  474km
 92.9 0609  F  France Musique, Villers-Cotterêts/Fleury (02) OM, as 88.7  474km
 98.4 0613 HOL Radio 1, Markelo/Alticom Toren (ove) OM, as web  425km
 93.3 0614 LUX RTL Radio, Dudelange/Ginsterberg (gld) Sax solo in song, as web  574km
107.7 0615 LUX Den Neie Radio (DNR), Blaschette/Kandel (gld) Just overriding a nulled Kiss, as web  557km
 90.8 0623 BEL RTBF Classic 21, Profondeville-Rivière/Sart à Soile (wal-nam) Bad Company track, as web  441km
 90.6 0624  D  SWR3, Saarburg/Geisberg (rlp) Katy Perry, as web  586km
101.7 1322  D  Radio Salü, Saarbrücken/Schoksberg (saa) Rock track, as web  628km


** Personal Skegness First

All listening done with the 9.2 horizontal. Poor conditions but again with a quiet band at this time of the morning. It's the first time I have heard RTL on 93.3 via scatter.

It was interesting to see the livemeteor scatter reception of RAC1 while I was in town - I have a new Note 3 tablet and I have set up virtual private networking so I can operate the home computer while I am out and about.

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) <2m ASL.

Receivers:
Sony XDR-F1HD with Konrad i2c modification & XDR-GTK software.

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

Possibly The Best Christmas Present Ever! ( ... from a radio perspective)

Had I thought it would be possible to ask for "nothing" from Santa this Christmas, I would have done! "Nothing" refers to my noise levels. I'll have no noise please!

During the early part of this afternoon, I noticed my noise levels across band 2 had suddenly dropped. Since installing the Konrad i2c modification to my Sony XDR-F1HD radio, I could see just how much noise I was getting. This registered at 16 to 20 dB at the top of the band and between 18 and 22 dB at the bottom. Even these figures would have been a big improvement on the state of play a few months ago as I know my noise levels had reduced the day after I received my HS Publications noise cancelling device. Today, my noise levels register 7 to 8dB across the whole band. Why? I wonder what has happened.

Almost immediately after I noticed today's marked reduction in noise, I received almost a PI and PS from RAC1 in Barcelona on 87.7, thanks to meteor scatter.

The really interesting thing I noticed with this quiet band was that it only took 25 dB of signal to get that RDS. I needed at least 35 dB for the RDS to push through before the noise dropped down. So I guess I know why meteor scatter has never been much good here. Having a good amount gain is useful, but it comes second to having a good signal-to-noise ratio.

While typing this entry, I see that the noise levels have increased again slightly. My assumption is that something in the neighbouring property has been switched off and moved to a different location. I have about 12 to 14 dB of noise now at the bottom of the band. It's still 7 or 8 dB of noise up at the top, so there is still a good level of improvement, possibly confirmed by the fact that I am now seeing more meteor scatter results.

Doubtless it will all change again at some point, but it's a joy to have no noise and be able to hear really weak signals which are usually buried out of sight.

Here's wishing us all a Noiseless New Year!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Skegness Log: 25-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Scatter:
 96.1 0723 BEL RTBF La Première, Wavre (wal-bra) French OM alternating with BBC Solent  397km
 99.1 0725 BEL RTBF Classic 21, Anderlues/Mont-Sainte-Geneviève (wal-hnt) Gerry Rafferty. Noise free peak. 33dB  409km
103.0 0742  D  BFBS Radio, Bielefeld/Hünenburg (nrw) OM Christmas sermon, as web  565km
100.4 0743  D  WDR 2, Bonn/Venusberg (nrw) Enya track, as web. Briefly noise free  538km
 98.1 0750  D  WDR 3, Nordhelle (nrw) Stable peak. Almost noise free  554km
100.0 0751  D  WDR 4, Münster/Baumberg (nrw) Vocal ID, Rod Stewart Christmas song  494km
103.8 0751  D  WDR 4, Nordhelle (nrw) Stable peak. Almost noise free. As Langenberg 101.3  554km
101.7 0752  D  WDR 4, Kleve/Bresserberg (nrw) Nice peak. Stable-ish, as 100.0. 30dB  421km
101.0 0754  D  WDR 2, Bärbelkreuz (Eifel) (nrw) Christmas song, as web. 28dB  520km
 87.7 0815 HOL Radio 10, Lelystad/Alticom Toren (fle) Still getting through on the horizontal this morning  351km
 87.9 0816 HOL Omroep Zeeland, Goes/Alticom Toren (zee) Still getting through on the horizontal this morning  303km
 97.8 0817 HOL Radio 2, Westdorpe/Verkavelingsweg (zee) Still getting through on the horizontal this morning  323km
 98.7 0821  D  AFN Wiesbaden-The Eagle, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) Down in the noise  648km
 98.8 0830  F  France Culture, Reims/TDF Hautvillers (51) Suddenly up to 30dB then squashed by Wrotham  516km
 91.8 1616  F  France Musique, Bourges/Neuvy (18) Classical music, as 88.7  672km


Some early morning scatter.

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) <2m ASL.

Receivers:
Sony XDR-F1HD with Konrad i2c modification & XDR-GTK software.

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

Merry Christmas!

Yes, it's that time of year again (groan) and it won't be over quickly enough for me.

I think we all know that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost under the weight of evil commercialism. In fact I am sure the name Jesus used to take centre stage not so many years ago. But hopefully it's a time of year for us to spend with our families, our friends, those who are important to us, etc., or just to relax a little.

Whatever you are doing, here's wishing you all a very happy, peaceful and pleasant time over the festive season.

Have a great Christmas!

John

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Skegness Log: 21-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Meteor Scatter:
 87.7 0020  E  RAC 1, Barcelona/Collserola (CAT-B) E251 _R______  1311km
 94.6 1121  D  MDR 1 Radio Sachsen-Anhalt, Brocken (san) YL talk, briefly while listening to
               scatter and comparing with web stream  713km **
 99.0 1127  F  France Culture, Marseille/Grande Etoile (13) Nice sustained burst. 40dB.
               OM, as Lille 98.0  1149km
103.6 1136  F  France Bleu Provence, Marseille/Grande Etoile (13) YL talk, as web
               stream  1149km **
 94.2 1142  I  RAI Radio1, Menconico/Monte Penice (RAI) (pv) YL heard, as web stream
               while looking for Marseille  1136km **
 94.2 1210  F  France Musique, Marseille/Grande Etoile (13) Piano concerto, as 88.7  1149km **

** Personal Skegness 'First' via this mode

Apart from 87.7 RAC 1, all other MS loggings were made listening live.

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) <2m ASL.

Receivers:
Sony XDR-F1HD with Konrad i2c modification & XDR-GTK software.
Kenwood KT6040, Conrad RDS Manager & RDS Spy.

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

Skegness Log: 21-12-13 (MW)

1413 1500  J  JOIF KBC-Kyushu Asahi Hoso, Fukuoka (kyu-fuk) Presumed. Time signal.
              Too weak for vocal clarity V weak  9225 km
1557 1500 TWN RTI iLoveMusic 1557/Radio Taiwan Int., Kouhu (YL) Time signal and ID Weak  9715 km
 972 1600 KOR HLCA KBS Hanminjok Bangsong 1, Dangjin (ccg) Time signal and ID, just below
              Germany Weak  8740 km
1575 1600 THA Voice of America/Radio Saranrom, Ban Phachi/Rasom (pay) Asiatic language (Thai?)
              and Voice Of America ID Weak  9410 km


Again, a slight improvement in Asiatic conditions.

North American DX continues to go downhill. There were barely any North American carriers visible this morning at 0200, let alone audio. I know DXers in southern Scotland have been hearing more, but this is probably the worst morning for North American MW I have experienced since moving here. Once again, it seems that when the Asiatic DX lifts up, I lose North America, and vice versa.

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1m ASL
Blog: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.com

Receiver: Perseus SDR
Antenna:  10ft x 25ft flag at 15 degrees
Software: Perseus v4.1a; Mestor

Friday, 20 December 2013

Winter Es!

While listening to BBC Oxford on 95.2 just after midday today I heard an Italian male appear out of nowhere and drowned out BBC Oxford. Assuming it was meter scatter I didn't act on it immediately, but decided to check the bottom of the band a few seconds later to see if there was anything down there. I found a mixture of pop music and Italian language stations from 87.5 to 88.0. They sounded too stable for meteor scatter. Checking the 6m page on DX Maps showed some Es activity between the UK and Italy and I noticed there was a report of band 2 Italian Es in Shropshire. Unfortunately, the Es had already started to drop out and were gone in seconds. A minute later, Es returned to 88.3 for a few seconds. So no log here but I will be watching more closely around midday tomorrow with a bit of luck.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Skegness Log: 18-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Tropospheric:
 94.4 0716  D  hr1, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) Cher song, as web  648km
 94.6 0718  D  MDR 1 Radio Sachsen-Anhalt, Brocken (san) Pops, as web  713km
 94.8 0718  D  SWR3, Linz (Rhein)/Ginsterhahner Kopf (rlp) Light ops, as web  560km
 98.1 0721  D  WDR 3, Nordhelle (nrw) German YL, as web  554km
 98.7 0722  D  AFN Wiesbaden-The Eagle, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) ID, phone
               number and Gloria Branigan track, Just about noise free  648km

104.8 0730 HOL Radio 1, Roermond/Alticom Toren (lim) Ads and clunky jingles  443km
100.0 0732  D  WDR 4, Münster/Baumberg (nrw) German pop, as web  494km
100.8 0733  D  WDR 2, Aachen/Stolberg (nrw) Noise free. Weather and ID  484km
103.0 0735  D  BFBS Radio, Bielefeld/Hünenburg (nrw) V weak but clearly as web stream  565km
107.1 0737  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Bremen-Walle (bre) German OM, as web. Almost noise free  565km
107.0 0743  D  WDR Eins Live, Olsberg (nrw) Black Eyed Peas, as 106.7  592km
107.2 0743  D  WDR Eins Live, Ederkopf (nrw) Black Eyed Peas, as 106.7  593km
 88.0 0750  D  WDR 5, Bonn/Venusberg (nrw) Documentary? As web  538km
103.8 0809  D  WDR 4, Nordhelle (nrw) Light pops, as 101.3  554km
 97.0 0813  D  WDR 3, Teutoburger Wald/Bielstein (nrw) German YL, as web  591km
 99.0 0814  D  hr1, Hoher Meißner (hes) Rolling Stones Start Me Up, as web  684km
107.7 0816 LUX Den Neie Radio (DNR), Blaschette/Kandel (gld) Pops, as web  557km

** Personal Skegness 'First';

A spot of early morning DXing today!

I have been playing around with the source code of the i2c mod/Seeeduino board, now I have an idea how to do this. I reset all the antenna alignment figures to values which corresponded to the peaks i found with live adjustments across the band. So the XDR is now fully aligned across the band. Improvements are mostly very subtle but the default values were quite a way out in places. 61 to 63 is fairly typical and some of the values were set down as 53. The drop in signal is very noticeable when lowering these values from 61 to 53 but much more stable above, so 61 to 70 makes little difference.

I made a video of a quick band-sweep around 8am this morning and uploaded this to my YouTube channel. Scatter conditions were about average but there was a minor enhancement to south-east England. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8pCcG4JMmo

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL.
Website: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.co.uk

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/vhf-band-2-logs
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/skegness-vhf-band-2-fm-dx-recordings

Receivers:
Sony XDR-F1HD with i2C mod. (tropospheric)
Kenwood KT6040 (sporadic E & meteor scatter)
Icom IC7000 (OIRT)
Conrad RDS Manager

Aerials:
Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL www.box.com/s/h1a5z3bu94vppln3zsfn
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

Software:
RDS Spy v1.00r2 www.rdsspy.com

Monday, 16 December 2013

Konrad i2C Modification of the Sony XDR-F1HD

Konrad, in Poland, has produced a modification to the Sony XDR-F1HD whereby it can be linked to your home computer, via a Seeeduino "open source hardware facilitator" board, and then controlled from your computer. The modification doesn't just provide a way for your computer to tune the radio, but it also adds a host of really useful features via a clever interface, which can actually improve the performance of the XDR-F1HD.

There is also another good reason for having this modification. I have heard from several DXers that their XDR-F1HD's displays have failed. While the tuner itself continues to work, they are suddenly left in the dark, not knowing what frequency they are tuned to, etc. This modification extends an enhanced user interface to your computer screen which allows full visibility and control over the XDR, so should your XDR fail in this way, you can continue to use it, thanks to this modification.

The details of the modification are explained, step by step, on the Konrad website. Unlike this article, there is no waffle there. In this article, I will talk you through some of the fears I had before performing this modification.

What I found rather worrying on the page was their disclaimer, which reads: "Warning: This modification is provided ‘as is’. Do everything on your own responsibility! There’s always a risk of a permanent damage to your tuner!! Always unplug the power cord before doing anything inside it and use a properly grounded soldering iron.". Hmm. That put me off straight away!

My soldering abilities are good, but the soldering irons I own are not really suitable for working with small components, however, there are no micro-components involved in this modification.

Going back to the early 80s, I used to work for an electronics company in which in I assembled PCBs. One of my jobs was to assemble PCBs for multi-standard television receivers. These were for the MOD and were to be used on ships in the Falklands Task Force. So I had good training and clear instructions, though I had no understanding of how the circuits worked. I remember being amazed when those circuits were eventually tested and I learnt that all eleven of them worked first time! So with that knowledge, and the confidence it gave me, I thought I would risk tackling the soldering in this little project.

Breaking it down, step by step: To perform this modification you will need to: 1. Solder four wires between the XDR-F1HD's internal circuit board and the Seeeduino circuit board; 2. A transistor needs to be soldered in too; 3. Software needs running and code needs compiling for upload to the chips inside the Seeeduino board. All this is possibly simple(ish) enough for somebody with a basic knowledge of soldering and maybe a little help from friends who are technically more competent than I am.

Knowing that a fair number of DXers were wanting this modification for their own XDRs, but were reluctant to tackle the job themselves, I thought I would include a detailed account of everything I did. I hope this will be useful and I even wondered if I might offer my services to carry out this modification for others, should I be successful and find the job reasonably simple. Unfortunately for me, I found the job extremely stressful and far more time consuming than I had expected. Those who know me are aware that I do not deal with stress well at all. Just be prepared for a bit of waffle!

Thursday, 13-12-2013
The Seeeduino board dropped on my doormat this morning. Not much time to attempt this job today so I will wait until tomorrow. Actually, I am still trying to decide if it is a good idea for me to tackle this job. Could I find somebody to do this for me? I knew this was unlikely.

Saturday, 14-12-2013
Bravely, I unscrewed the lid of the XDR-F1HD and looked in fear at the components within. How much dust? !!! A thick layer of dust had accumulated in several areas. A Dyson cleaner, with a small, soft brush attachment, was brought in to suck out most of the dust. So far, so good.

Ah - I had not taken the XDR's cooling fan into account. I added this when I first bought the radio. Did I superglue it? Hmm. It felt solid and wouldn't shift at all, so the available internal space was going to be very tight for the soldering iron. I could get the soldering iron where I needed it - only just, but I was probably going to melt some of the internal plastic casing or cause some other damage. I persevered nonetheless. Personally, I don't mind too much if there are a few scratches and dents here and there. I'm the same with cars. I look after these things, but they are there to do a job, not to look pretty.

After an hour of messing around I had to give up and accept that there just wasn't sufficient room to poke and prod around in there with the fat soldering tip - the smallest one I had. The tip wasn't in good shape either. Would it last long enough for me to get the job done?

From the start, my intention was to take photographs of each stage of the modification. In view of the enormous blobs of solder which were accumulating across the PCB I thought it best to abandoned that idea or risk serious embarrassment. My workmanship was becoming embarrassingly shoddy, especially as I had re-soldered all the wires several times to ensure there weren't any dry joints.

That cooling fan was not going to let me in, so I got a large flat blade screwdriver and prized it away from the tuner casing and plastic rear panel. It came away thanks to some brute force and ignorance (two good friends of mine) and I had room to manoeuvre at last. Go away Blogger! (Blogger is telling me I have spelled manoeuvre incorrectly. NO I HAVEN'T!) I re-soldered the wires and transistor one more time, feeling satisfied that each one was making a good contact, despite loosening all the jumpers on the PCB my soldering iron came into contact with.

Finished! Well, the XDR PCB side at least. The rest should be relatively simple. Next to feed the wires through a hole I made in the rear of the XDR casing, re-attach the cooling fan and perform a last-minute idiot check on my connections for possible shorting. DAMN! While I was prodding around the BS170 decided to wave goodbye to one of its legs. It had snapped off right at the casing.

I didn't have another transistor so I needed to locate some quickly. Would Maplin have any? Don't be silly John! It's an electronic component's shop! "The Electronic's Specialists" they call themselves. Not a BS170 in sight! Time to locate an alternative. A spot of Googling told me that the 2N7000 was a common enough alternative transistor and appeared to be suitable. Now then, would my nearest Maplin store have any in stock? I would have to wait until the morning to find out. Don't you just hate it when you are keen to get a job done and have all these unnecessary hold-ups?

Concluding today, I spent three hours on the soldering and I was thankful that everything appeared to work properly after I returned the radio to its original state. Well, "bodged" the radio back to it's original state. It now looks like an elephant has been inside.

Sunday, 15-12-2013
Maplin in Boston had TWO 2N7000 transistors in stock. Their Lincoln store had five. The Boston store is only 25 miles from here against Lincoln's 45 miles so I reserved my order online and drove to Boston.

On entering the store I was greeted (pounced on in fact ... I kid you not!) by the most irritating man who thought he was God's gift to the retail trade. I don't like to be rude and always make an effort to be polite but, in this case, my lack of response to his OTT sales tactics left him slightly bewildered. I simply pulled a piece of paper out of my pocket and showed it to him. It contained my order number. Undeterred, he shot into the store room with it, still bursting with enthusiasm, and I still hadn't uttered a word to him! I did try to be more polite when he returned with the goods, but I was tempted to express my disgust at the price of these transistors - 1.09 each! While that's hardly a large sum of money, this was ELEVEN times more expensive then the same transistors at RS Components. There was no way I was going to chance the Christmas post. Oh, I purchased a nice new soldering iron while I was at Maplin Ripofftronics.

The next issue I faced was to wonder which wires on the 2N7000 transistor were the base, the collector and the emitter. These were now labelled as the gate, the drain and the source. Hmmm. Which was which? I have forgotten about these things and it's 27 years since I studied this for the RAE (Radio Amateur's Examination). Thankfully, Andy Webster in Wigan came to the rescue via Skype chat and pointed out that my understanding of transistors was a little prehistoric. I wondered why there was no longer a little red dot on the body of the transistor - apparently that went out with the dinosaurs! :O) Andy explained which pins were which but I eventually noticed that all the relevant information was explained on the Konrad website! Silly me for missing it.

Right - waffle over and down to business! Bah! It's getting a bit late and I feel like collapsing to bed. Maybe I'll finish this tomorrow ... or the day after ... or next week ..... perhaps.

Monday, 16-12-2013
I made a start on the re-soldering the wires inside the XDR, mid-afternoon. It was an unlucky start as that nice new tip on my nice new soldering iron had burnt away already, rendering it useless. I had no choice but to use an old and totally unsuitable large-tipped soldering iron. I was as careful as I could be, but I continued to deposit even larger blobs of solder on to the PCB. I made sure there were no shorts and I could see that the mountainous blobs were holding the wires in place rigidly. Personally, I just got to the point where I didn't care how unprofessional my soldering looked, as long as I got the job done and everything worked. I finished the XDR wiring after about an hour.

The next job was to solder the wires to the Seeeduino board. I actually completed this task very quickly and also very neatly. It looked quite professional too! No problems here at all! Moving on ...

The final stage - installing the software. Firstly, I must say enormous thank yous to two fellow 'Skywavers', without whom I would probably not have completed this job: Julian Hardstone, who gave me some solid advice at the onset of this project; Stuart Heathcock, who donated a substantial amount of his time on the Skywaves Skype Chat, going through the software procedures and ensuring the source code and software ended up in the correct directories on the computer. This actually proved to be a major headache and took two to three hours to sort out. The problem was eventually solved though and it was time to install the drivers, run the "sketch" software, upload the data to the Seeeduino chips and fire up the XDR-GTK software. These last stages I worked out for myself. But, without the help of Julian and Stuart, .... etc. Who knows what might have happened?

I ran the XDR-GTK software and watched the XDR display go dim. Hmm. Had I broken it? NO! A second or two later and the XDR sprung to life! The XDR-GTK screen displayed all those nice features I had seen on various YouTube videos over the last few months. The display showed 87.5 so I entered 88.8 for my local BBC Radio 2 Belmont transmitter and there it was! It worked FIRST TIME! What a relief!

If you're still with me, you will understand why I found the whole procedure quite daunting. It actually made me feel ill while I was doing it. Not only had I no idea if this was going to work, but that fear of permanently destroying the XDR-F1HD was eating away at me throughout. This was the most complex operation of its kind I have performed on any of my radio equipment and I really do not want to do it again. Famous last words, as you will discover below. 

As I stated above, I deliberately wanted to construct a blow-by-blow account of everything which happened throughout this procedure as I thought it might be useful to other DXers. If you have learnt something from my mistakes, then that's a good thing. We ALL make them! I really couldn't face having to go through this all again, especially on somebody else's equipment. It would drive me mad!

Just one more problem: Just as I thought I had got everything set up correctly, it all stopped working. Every time I pressed "Connect" on the XDR-GTK software, I got a message saying "Could not start radio". To say I was worried would be an understatement. I spent the next two hours trying all kinds of things, even going as far as to start the software installation again from scratch, uninstalling the drivers and re-setting the Seeeduino board along the way. Even after installation there was a Windows message which kept appearing on the bottom right corner of the computer screen, informing me that the USB device was damaged or not connected. Naturally I was beginning to fear the worst, but I hadn't made any changes to cause this problem, as far as I was aware. It took an hour or two before I realised that the issue was down to the fact that the XDR-F1HD had to be powered up before the XDR-GTK software was started. It was that simple! It seems the XDR-GTK software will not start the radio by itself. Phew!

Don't forget to allow time for the radio to 'warm up' before running the software. Turn on the XDR and wait between 15 seconds or so and a minute. Valve radios are quicker! The colder the ambient room temperature, the longer it takes for the XDR to initialise. While out in the car one cold winter's evening, it took 20 minutes! 10 seconds seems to be adequate for a hot summer's day.

Folks - this was a tough one for me. If you are more technically skilled than this then please go ahead and try the modification yourself, but if you are like me or don't know one end of a screwdriver from the other, steer well clear.

Good luck if you do decide to give it a go. Please ask me any questions - I am happy to help if I can, but this project is NOT for the faint-hearted and I survived only by the skin of my teeth - and also because of the help I received from Julian, And and Stuart - oh, and I must mention my lovely wife, Jane, who bought me the Seeduino board as a Christmas present!

Hopefully I will publish some demonstrations of the XDR-GTK software in the coming days on my YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/g1vvp

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Skegness Log: 12-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Tropospheric:
106.1 0052 NOR P4 R Hele Norge, Halden 1/Høyåsmasten (of) Ads and OM, as web  958km
 87.8 0935 NOR NRK P1, Hovdefjell (aa) Pops, phone in, as web  806km
 88.2 0938 NOR NRK P1, Skien 1/Vealøs (te) Pops, as web  890km
 91.4 0946 DNK DR P1/DR P2, Thisted/Hanstholmvej 46 (njy) OM, as web  681km
 91.8 0947 NOR NRK Petre, Bjerkreim/Urdalsnippa (ro) Pops, as web  703km
 92.5 0948 NOR NRK P2, Greipstad/Eidsåvegen (va) Play or discussion, as web  734km
 94.0 0952  D  Radio Ostfriesland, Aurich-Haxtum (nds) Jingle ID  476km
 94.2 0954 NOR NRK P1, Bjerkreim/Urdalsnippa (ro) OM and YLs, as web  703km
 94.8 0956 NOR NRK P1, Halden 1/Høyåsmasten (of) OM and YLs, as web  958km
 95.0 0957 NOR NRK Petre, Lyngdal/KalåsknIben (va) Lively OM, as web  697km
 95.6 0957  D  N-JOY, Morsum (Sylt) (shs) Pops, as web  566km
 97.0 1010 NOR NRK Petre, Greipstad/Eidsåvegen (va) Football discussion, as web  734km
 97.6 1011 NOR NRK P1, Lyngdal/KalåsknIben (va) OM talk, as web  697km
 99.0 1014 DNK DR P4, Varde/Nordenskov/Kærgårdsvej 41B (sdk-sjy) Pops and ID  608km
 88.5 1030 BEL BRF 1, Liège/Bol d'Air (wal-lge) Jingle ID after ads  459km **
 93.3 1048 LUX RTL Radio, Dudelange/Ginsterberg (gld) Jingle ID  574km
 98.3 1053 BEL RTBF Vivacité, Profondeville-Rivière/Sart à Soile (wal-nam) RDS: VIVAVITE Belmont? On this frequency? Surely not?  441km
 98.4 1104  D  SWR3, Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) ID and traffic  748km
101.7 1111  D  Radio Salü, Saarbrücken/Schoksberg (saa) Jingle ID  628km
103.0 1113  D  BFBS Radio, Bielefeld/Hünenburg (nrw) Pops and ID  565km
 97.3 1133  S  SR P4, Halmstad/Oskarström-Slättåkra TM (ha) ID, anns and pops, as web  900km
 87.6 1144 HOL Radio 10, Smilde/Alticom Toren (dre) Oldies, as 87.7  408km

** Personal Skegness 'First';


I did not start listening to the band properly until 0930 this morning so I probably missed some DX from earlier. I was able to make a quick check of conditions at 0400 and the band sounded very lively indeed. The final stages of the tropo had vacated the band by 1700. Belgium and Holland were the last to wave goodbye.

I logged everything which wasn't a regular continental yesterday and Tuesday. Today I just 'topped up' the log with any different DX stations.

As yesterday, conditions were strange. It was only the larger horizontal transmitters which were propagating, and there some big signals from Profondeville, Liege, Steinkimmen, Holstebro, Lyngdal and other transmitters. Going vertical you would never have guessed there was much of a tropo at all.

At the time of compiling this log I hear a small enhancement in conditions to continental regulars, but there are no traces of Scandinavia or northern Germany.


Recordings:

98.3 RTBF Vivacite, Profondeville 1057 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/61i7xiap10az5o7on1jy

88.5 BRF1, Liege 1030 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/yauki9iaumimezeogc9f

103.0 BFBS 1, Bielefeld 1113 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/wgoc7sbmke98pbw80o81

103.1 Radio FFN, Aurich 1119 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/vbf9d9laa8v3ny32hvri

103.4 Radio FFN, Osnabruck 1125 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/b9h9zjwzw515i08sdo0q

98.5 DR P4 Midt & West, Holstebro 1130 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/4d2ui1hzoizqwh10xl4k

97.3 SR P4, Halmstad 1133 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/itp80ab55vna4iqpv1no

92.4 NDR1, Osnabruck 1140 12-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/8si8l98dbj12n9j5069p


Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL.
Website: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.co.uk

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/vhf-band-2-logs
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/skegness-vhf-band-2-fm-dx-recordings

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

Aerials:
Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL www.box.com/s/h1a5z3bu94vppln3zsfn
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

Software:
RDS Spy v1.00r2 www.rdsspy.com

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Skegness Log: 11-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Tropospheric:
 89.0 0827  D  89.0 RTL, Brocken (san) ID   713km
 89.2 0827  D  NDR 2, Osnabrück/Schleptruper Egge (nds) OM, as web  526km
 90.6 0828  D  WDR 5, Teutoburger Wald/Bielstein (nrw) YL and OM, as web  591km
 91.1 0829  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Steinkimmen (nds) ID after Village People track  543km
 93.2 0831  D  WDR 2, Teutoburger Wald/Bielstein (nrw) YL, as web  591km
 93.8 0832  D  bremen eins, Bremen-Walle (bre) Traffic, ID and pops  565km
 94.6 0833  D  MDR 1 Radio Sachsen-Anhalt, Brocken (san) OM and YL talk, as web  713km
 95.4 0834  D  Nordwestradio, Schiffdorf [nds] (Bremerhaven) (bre) African sounding song, as web  554km
 95.8 0834  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Aurich (nds) That awful Soley Soley song, as web  479km
 97.0 0835  D  WDR 3, Teutoburger Wald/Bielstein (nrw) OMs chuckling to themselves, as web  591km
 97.4 0836  D  Deutschlandradio Kultur, Brocken (san) OM talk, as web  713km
 98.1 0838  D  NDR 2, Aurich (nds) German pops, as web  479km
 99.8 0839  D  NDR 2, Steinkimmen (nds) German pops, as web  543km
100.8 0839  D  Bremen Vier, Schiffdorf [nds] (Bremerhaven) (bre) OM and YL, pops, as web  554km
101.2 0840  D  Bremen Vier, Bremen-Walle (bre) OM and YL, as 100.8  565km
101.4 0840  D  Radio SAW, Brocken (san) Pops, as web  713km
101.8 0841  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Aurich (nds) German YL  479km
102.3 0841  D  Radio ffn, Steinkimmen (nds) Pops, as web  543km
103.1 0842  D  Radio ffn, Aurich (nds) Pops, as 103.1  479km
103.6 0843  D  Radio Hamburg, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Pops, as web  650km
105.7 0846  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Steinkimmen (nds) Adverts  543km
107.1 0847  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Bremen-Walle (bre) German YL  565km
 87.6 0853  D  NDR 2, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Pops, as web  650km
 89.6 0859  D  NDR 1 Welle Nord, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) Foster The People song, as web  627km
 90.0 0902  D  NDR Kultur, Aurich (nds) News  479km
 90.2 0903  D  NDR Kultur, Lingen-Damaschke (nds) News, as 90.0  477km
 90.3 0903  D  NDR 90,3, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) German news  650km
 91.2 0904  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Dannenberg Zernien (nds) German news, as 91.1  706km
 94.4 0907  D  NDR Kultur, Steinkimmen (nds) Classical, as web  543km
 94.8 0922 DNK DR P1, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) OMs and YLs talking, as web  782km
 97.5 0923 DNK DR P4, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) OM and YL talk, as web  782km
 99.6 0924 DNK DR P3, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) Phone caller, as web  782km
101.6 0925 DNK R.24/7, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) YLs, as web  782km
103.9 0925 DNK Nova FM, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) ID and SMS info  782km
104.1 0926  D  delta radio, Bungsberg/DTAG-Turm (shs) Rock song, as web  695km
104.3 0927  D  Energy Bremen, Schiffdorf [nds] (Bremerhaven) (bre) OM talk, as web  554km
104.6 0928  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Cuxhaven Otterndorf (nds) Pops, as web  571km
104.9 0929  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Aurich (nds) Pops, as 104.6  479km
105.1 0943  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Rosengarten-Langenrehm (nds) Pops and ID  635km
105.7 0945  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Steinkimmen (nds) OM, as 105.1  543km
 89.0 0948 DNK DR P1/DR P2, Sønder Højrup/Sdr. Højrupvejen 21 (sdk-fyn) OM and YL, as web  701km
 92.6 0949 DNK DR P3, Sønder Højrup/Sdr. Højrupvejen 21 (sdk-fyn) OM an dYL talk, as web  701km
 96.8 0950 DNK DR P4, Sønder Højrup/Sdr. Højrupvejen 21 (sdk-fyn) Danish OM and YL, as web  701km
 96.5 0955 DNK DR P4, København-Gladsaxe/Isbanevej 4 (hvs) Pops, as web  837km
 97.0 1000  S  SR P3, Hörby/Sallerup TM (sn) YLs and ID  913km
 97.2 1001 DNK DR P3, Rangstrup/Gammel Tøndervej 28 (sdk-sjy) OM News  617km
 97.8 1004  D  NDR 2, Lingen-Damaschke (nds) OM news  477km
 98.7 1006  D  NDR 2, Morsum (Sylt) (shs) Olly Murzzzzz, as web  566km
 99.2 1010  D  NDR Kultur, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Classical, as web  650km
 99.9 1013 DNK DR P4, Rangstrup/Gammel Tøndervej 28 (sdk-sjy) Phone caller, as web  617km
 92.4 1015  S  SR P2, Hörby/Sallerup TM (sn) Operatics, as web  913km
101.4 1016  S  SR P4, Hörby/Sallerup TM (sn) YL, as web  913km
 92.8 1152  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Lingen-Damaschke (nds) OMs  YL, as web  477km
 93.4 1153 DNK Nova FM, Sønder Højrup/Sdr. Højrupvejen 21 (sdk-fyn) McDonalds as, as web  701km
 94.2 1156  D  N-JOY, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Pops, as web  650km
 96.3 1157  D  NDR 2, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) Pops, as web  599km
 96.4 1158  D  NDR Info, Aurich (nds) German OM, as web  479km
 96.7 1159  D  Funkhaus Europa, Bremen-Walle (bre) Announcements, as web  565km
 98.7 1201  D  AFN Wiesbaden-The Eagle, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) US accented South African news  648km
105.9 1203  D  Hit Radio FFH, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) Pops, as web  648km
 99.0 1204  D  N-JOY, Bungsberg/NDR-Mast (shs) Wetter and ID  694km
100.6 1207  D  Radio ffn, Rosengarten-Langenrehm (nds) ID and pops  635km
102.0 1208  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Lingen-Damaschke (nds) OM, as 101.8  477km
102.1 1208 DNK R.24/7, Rangstrup/Gammel Tøndervej 28 (sdk-sjy) YL, as web  617km
102.3 1208 DNK R.24/7, København-Gladsaxe/Isbanevej 4 (hvs) YL, as 102.1  837km
102.9 1210  D  RPR 1., Bad Marienberg (rlp) Pops, as web  592km
103.2 1211  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Rosengarten-Langenrehm (nds) OM, as web  635km
103.5 1212  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Torfhaus/DTAG (nds) OM on phone, as web  707km
105.6 1215  D  delta radio, Flensburg Freienwill (shs) Ads, as web  626km
 98.7 1529 NOR NRK P2, Bjerkreim/Urdalsnippa (ro) Jingle, YL and OM  703km
 87.9 1534  D  NDR Info, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) ID and info!  599km
 91.8 1536 NOR NRK Petre, Bjerkreim/Urdalsnippa (ro) Pops, as web  703km
 95.1 1537 DNK DR P1/DR P2, Rangstrup/Gammel Tøndervej 28 (sdk-sjy) YL, as web  617km
 96.1 1538  D  NDR Kultur, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) Classical  627km
107.3 1544  D  Ostseewelle, Schwerin (mev) ID after speech, pops  740km
105.3 1617  D  NDR Info, Schwerin (mev) YL, as web  740km
106.3 1619  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Torfhaus/DTAG (nds) Ads, ID and pops  707km
 88.7 1622 DNK DR P1, Ølgod/Baunshøjvej 7/Baunshøj (sdk-sjy) Danish OMs, as web  609km
 90.2 1623 DNK DR P1, Holstebro - Mejrup/Kalsgårdvej 11 (mjy) Danish OMs  645km
 98.5 1714  D  NDR 2, Schwerin (mev) OM, as 98.1  740km
 99.4 1714  D  NDR Kultur, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) Classical, as web  599km
100.2 1715  D  R.SH, Bungsberg/DTAG-Turm (shs) German pops, as web  695km
101.4 1715  D  R.SH, Flensburg Freienwill (shs) German pops, as 100.2  626km
102.6 1716  D  Radio ffn, Cuxhaven Otterndorf (nds) Boyzone, as 102.3  571km
106.4 1719  D  NDR 1 Welle Nord, Neumünster Armstedt (shs) Christmas song, as web  636km
107.4 1719  D  delta radio, Kaltenkirchen (shs) ID and promo  647km
 87.7 1732  D  NDR Info, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) OM, as 87.9  627km
 89.2 1733  D  NDR Kultur, Schwerin (mev) YL, as web  740km
 89.9 1734  D  NDR Kultur, Bungsberg/NDR-Mast (shs) Classical, as 90.0  694km
 92.8 1738  D  NDR 1 Radio MV, Schwerin (mev) Pops, as web. Differrent programme to NDR1 Niedersachsen  740km
 93.2 1739  D  NDR 2, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) Phone caller and pops  627km
 93.3 1739 DNK DR P1, Aalborg-Frejlev/Svenstrupvej 25 (njy) OM, as web  740km
 94.2 1741 NOR NRK P1, Bjerkreim/Urdalsnippa (ro) Childrens song, as web  703km
 94.3 1741  D  NDR Kultur, Morsum (Sylt) (shs) Piano, as 94.4  566km
 95.0 1744 NOR NRK Petre, Lyngdal/KalåsknIben (va) Outside broadcast, as web  697km
102.9 1800  D  R.SH, Kaltenkirchen (shs) Jingle ID and slow rock song  647km
103.3 1801  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Flensburg Freienwill (shs) News  626km
103.8 1801  D  R.SH, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) Pops, as web  599km
104.8 1803  D  delta radio, Westerland (Sylt) (shs) Rock song, as web  557km
105.9 1805  D  delta radio, Kiel/Fernsehturm (shs) German rap rock song, as 105.6  657km
 92.9 1817 DNK DR P3, Holstebro - Mejrup/Kalsgårdvej 11 (mjy) Rap, as web  645km
 92.5 1832 NOR NRK P2, Greipstad/Eidsåvegen (va) YL, as web  734km
 97.0 1833 NOR NRK Petre, Greipstad/Eidsåvegen (va) YL and OM, as web  734km
 97.6 1835 NOR NRK P1, Lyngdal/KalåsknIben (va) _NRK_P1_ Jingle ID and traffic info  697km
102.0 1842 NOR Radio Norge, Lyngdal/KalåsknIben (va) -NORGE-_ Pops and phone caller  697km
101.0 1855 NOR Radio Norge, Bjerkreim/Urdalsnippa (ro) Abbas Mama Mia, as 102.0  703km
 97.7 1945 DNK DR P4, Ølgod/Baunshøjvej 7/Baunshøj (sdk-sjy) Pops, as web  609km
 88.3 1958 NOR NRK P2, Lyngdal/KalåsknIben (va) End of symphony and YL, as web  697km
 98.8 2114  D  NDR Kultur, Osnabrück/Schleptruper Egge (nds) OM, as web  526km
100.3 2115 DNK R.24/7, Holstebro - Mejrup/Kalsgårdvej 11 (mjy) OM, as web  645km
103.0 2240 DNK R.24/7, Århus/Søsterhøj/Ny Moesgårdsvej 61 (mjy) YL, as web  716km
103.4 2241 DNK Nova FM, Holstebro - Mejrup/Kalsgårdvej 11 (mjy) Pops, as 103.9  645km
107.9 2242  D  delta radio, Lübeck Berkenthin (shs) ID after pop  690km
 88.1 2243 DNK DR P2, Århus/Søsterhøj/Ny Moesgårdsvej 61 (mjy) Classical, as web  716km
 91.7 2245 DNK DR P3, Århus/Søsterhøj/Ny Moesgårdsvej 61 (mjy) Pops, as web  716km


Today was more or less a repeat of yesterday, with the same areas coming in. Add Denmark, Norway and Sweden, however, but nothing from Poland unfortunately. Conditions seemed to be constantly up and down, just like yesterday, but with slightly stronger signals. Norway and Denmark even produced some RDS.

There was a fair amount of DX from within England and south Wales too. Some semi-local BBC national transmitters were un-nullable, but I wonder if the conditions had something to do with this. I remember having two-bar XDR signals from LBC 97.3 and Skyrock, St Omer 106.9 while beaming NNE towards Norway. Swinging the 9.2 around to point directly at these two did not alter their reading at all. It was as if the tropo was coming in from above.

At the time of posting this I am still getting RDS from Denmark and Norway, but also one or two Germans too - all three bar signals on the XDR.

The band is also quite noisy with the weight of the DX as more than one station try to dominate some frequencies.


A couple of recordings to demonstrate the strength of the Lyngdal transmitter - easily the strongest DX of today.


97.6 NRK P1, Lyngdal 1835 11-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/ybd52nbleu33d7v5xitr

102.0 Radio Norge, Lyngdal 1842 11-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/ztw6jxl7p7eddfg2uurd


Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL.
Website: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.co.uk

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/vhf-band-2-logs
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/skegness-vhf-band-2-fm-dx-recordings

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

Aerials:
Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL www.box.com/s/h1a5z3bu94vppln3zsfn
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

Software:
RDS Spy v1.00r2 www.rdsspy.com

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Skegness Log: 10-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Tropospheric:
 88.0 1040  F  Frequence Horizon, Béthune-Lens/Bouvigny-Boyeffles CV11 (62) ID  344km
 88.2 1059  F  Radio Classique, Lille/Fort de Mons-en-Baroeul (59) Classical, as web.Mixing Roermond  339km
 89.2 1101  F  RTL 2, Lille/Fort de Mons-en-Baroeul (59) Michael Jackson, as web  339km
105.5 1105  G  Swindon 105.5, Swindon/Football Stadium (EN-WLT) Programme news and phone number  226km
 89.6 1114  F  RDL-Radio Dallas Loisirs, Saint-Omer/Racquinghem (62) Promo and ID  306km
 90.5 1115 HOL SubLime FM, Smilde/Alticom Toren (dre) ID and slow pops  408km
 91.1 1116 HOL Slam!FM, Hilversum/Media Park-Alticom (nho) Rap, ID and promo  342km
 91.2 1118  F  Contact, Abbeville/Behen Blockhaus (80) Ad break, as web  358km
 91.4 1118  F  Contact, Lille/Mons-en-Baroeul 2 (59) Ad break, then as 91.2  338km
 91.6 1120 HOL Radio Veronica, Amsterdam/Alticom Toren (nho) ID between pops  321km
 92.0 1121  F  Virgin Radio, Lille/Fort de Mons-en-Baroeul (59) ID after rock song  339km
 92.1 1126  G  Desire FM, London pirate ID and lively dance music
 92.2 1128  G  Metro Love Radio, London pirate Reggae, as web
 92.8 1130  F  NRJ, Béthune/Fresnicourt-le-Dolmen (62) French pop song, as web  341km
 93.4 1132 HOL Radio Rijnmond, Rotterdam/Alticom Toren (Waalhaven) (zho) YLs nattering, as web  313km
 93.8 1135  F  Contact, Saint-Omer/Tatinghem (62) ID and pops  297km
 94.2 1138  F  Europe 1, Saint-Omer/Wisques (62) Interview, as web  299km
 96.5 1146  G  WBLS, London pirate Ghanaian phone in about Ghana and Nelson Mandela
 97.2 1149  F  RFM, Saint-Omer/Wisques (62) IDs after pops  299km
 98.4 1216  F  RTL, Dieppe/la Côte Enragée (76) Phone caller, as web  364km
 99.0 1221  F  RPL 99FM, Lille/Lambersart (59) Very bangin toons with lots of bass  334km
 99.2 1225  F  RTL 2, Calais/Mont d'Hubert (62) U2s Mysterious Ways, as web  266km
 99.8 1226  F  Mona FM, Lille/Fort de Mons-en-Baroeul (59) French song, as web  339km
101.8 1235  G  Naija FM, London pirate Presidential speeches, as Tune In stream **
101.6 1240  F  RFM, Boulogne-sur-Mer/Mont Lambert (62) Sting song, as web  285km
102.3 1242  F  NRJ, Saint-Omer/Wisques (62) Ad break, as web  299km
102.5 1243  F  RFM, Calais/Mont d'Hubert (62) French pops song, as web  266km
104.0 1248 BEL Bel RTL, Bruxelles/The Hotel (bru) OM and music, as web  378km
 87.6 1252  F  RTL, Béthune-Lens/Bouvigny-Boyeffles (62) OM, as 87.7  343km
107.5 1253 HOL Scheldemond FM, Oostburg/Watertoren (zee) Carpenters song, as web  296km
 90.0 1318 HOL 100% NL, Loon op Zand/Alticom Toren (nbr) Reggae track, as 90.2  366km
 91.2 1325  F  Contact, Abbeville/Behen Blockhaus (80) Bang bang bang bang! As 91.4  358km
 91.8 1330 HOL FunX, Rotterdam/Alticom Toren (Waalhaven) (zho) ID and promos  313km
105.0 1405 HOL Origineel FM, Goes/Alticom Toren (zee) Cyndi Lauper and Roxy Music tracks, as web  303km
105.5 1408 HOL Scheldemond FM, Oostburg/Watertoren (zee) Elvis, as 107.5  296km
107.1 1432  F  Rire et Chansons, Abbeville/Huchenneville (80) Phone in with humourous drop-ins, as web  359km
 88.3 1648 BEL Q-Music, Oostvleteren/Elzendamme (vlg-wvl) ID in pile-up  295km
 89.3 1649 HOL 89,3 Radio West, Rotterdam/Alticom Toren (Waalhaven) (zho) Temperature and ID  313km
 93.3 1656 HOL Ujala Radio, Amsterdam/Alticom Toren (nho) In Dutch! Phone caller, as web  321km
 95.9 1657 HOL Fresh FM, Alphen aan den Rijn/Alticom Toren (zho) Ad break, as web  313km
 96.1 1659 HOL FunX, Amsterdam/Alticom Toren (nho) ID and news just before the hour  321km
 98.4 1703 HOL FunX, Den Haag/Alticom Toren (zho) Weather and ID  296km
104.0 1723 HOL Radio 10, Haarlem/Alticom Toren (nho) Shakin Steven, as we  305km
 89.0 2010 DNK DR P1/DR P2, Sønder Højrup/Sdr. Højrupvejen 21 (sdk-fyn) YL, as web  701km
 89.6 2010  D  NDR 1 Welle Nord, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) Earth and Fire song, as web  627km
 87.6 2011  D  NDR 2, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Pops, as web  650km
 87.7 2011  D  NDR Info, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) YL, as 87.9  627km
 87.9 2012  D  NDR Info, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) YL, as 87.7  599km
 90.2 2015  D  NDR Kultur, Lingen-Damaschke (nds) Classical, as web  477km
 93.2 2018  D  NDR 2, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) Pops, as web  627km
 93.8 2019  D  bremen eins, Bremen-Walle (bre) Garfunkels Bright Eyes, as web  565km
 96.1 2020  D  NDR Kultur, Flensburg-Engelsby (shs) German OM, as web  627km
 96.3 2021  D  NDR 2, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) Pops, we web  599km
 96.7 2023  D  Funkhaus Europa, Bremen-Walle (bre) Pops and unidentified European language, as web  565km
 97.8 2025  D  NDR 2, Lingen-Damaschke (nds) Boney M track, ID  477km
 99.2 2027  D  NDR Kultur, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Talking about a pianist, as web  650km
 99.4 2028  D  NDR Kultur, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) OM and piano, as 99.2  599km
 99.8 2030  D  NDR 2, Steinkimmen (nds) ID and pops  543km
100.2 2031  D  R.SH, Bungsberg/DTAG-Turm (shs) Soft rock track, as web  695km
100.8 2031  D  Bremen Vier, Schiffdorf [nds] (Bremerhaven) (bre) Soft pops, as web  554km
101.2 2032  D  Bremen Vier, Bremen-Walle (bre) Soft pops, as 100.8  565km
101.4 2032  D  R.SH, Flensburg Freienwill (shs) Soft rock track, as 100.2  626km
101.5 2037 HOL Sky Radio, Rotterdam/Alticom Toren (Waalhaven) (zho) Pops, as web  313km
101.6 2038 DNK R.24/7, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) OM and traffic sounds, as web  782km
101.8 2040  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Aurich (nds) Piano, as web  479km
102.1 2040 DNK R.24/7, Rangstrup/Gammel Tøndervej 28 (sdk-sjy) Car broadcast, as web  617km
102.3 2041  D  Radio ffn, Steinkimmen (nds) Jingle ID and pops  543km
103.3 2042  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Flensburg Freienwill (shs) Semi classical music, as web  626km
103.9 2043 DNK Nova FM, Næstved - Øverup/Køgevej 291 (sjl) Danish OM phone caller, as web  782km
104.1 2045  D  delta radio, Bungsberg/DTAG-Turm (shs) Rock song, as web  695km
104.3 2045  D  Energy Bremen, Schiffdorf [nds] (Bremerhaven) (bre) German song, as web  554km
104.9 2047  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Aurich (nds) Billy Idol song then ID  479km
104.6 2048  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Cuxhaven Otterndorf (nds) OM phone caller, as 104.9  571km
105.1 2049  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Rosengarten-Langenrehm (nds) ID and pops  635km
105.6 2050  D  delta radio, Flensburg Freienwill (shs) Rock, as web  626km
105.7 2050  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Steinkimmen (nds) Pops, as 105.1  543km
105.9 2051  D  delta radio, Kiel/Fernsehturm (shs) Rock song, as 105.6  657km
106.4 2052  D  NDR 1 Welle Nord, Neumünster Armstedt (shs) POps, as web  636km
106.8 2053  D  alster radio 106!8, Hamburg-Rahlstedt (ham) Pink song, as web  657km
107.1 2053  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Bremen-Walle (bre) Classical  565km
107.4 2054  D  delta radio, Kaltenkirchen (shs) Rap song! As web  647km
107.7 2055  D  Deutschlandradio Kultur, Cuxhaven Otterndorf (nds) Gentle string music, as web  571km
 98.8 2124  D  NDR Kultur, Osnabrück/Schleptruper Egge (nds) OM, as web  526km
101.6 2126  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Cuxhaven Otterndorf (nds) Opera, as web  571km
103.1 2128  D  Radio ffn, Aurich (nds) Pops, as web  479km
103.2 2128  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Rosengarten-Langenrehm (nds) R and B song, as web  635km
103.6 2129  D  Radio Hamburg, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) ID and ads  650km
 90.3 2131  D  NDR 90,3, Hamburg-Moorfleet (ham) Christmas R and B song, as web  650km
 90.5 2132  D  NDR 1 Welle Nord, Heide Welmbüttel (shs) YL, as 90.3  599km
 91.1 2132  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Steinkimmen (nds) Soft pops, as web  543km
 94.4 2134  D  NDR Kultur, Steinkimmen (nds) Classical, as web  543km
 95.4 2137  D  Nordwestradio, Schiffdorf [nds] (Bremerhaven) (bre) Gentle song, as web  554km
 95.8 2153  D  NDR 1 Niedersachsen, Aurich (nds) German song  479km
 96.4 2154  D  NDR Info, Aurich (nds) Gentle song, as web  479km
 98.1 2156  D  NDR 2, Aurich (nds) Pops, as 87.6  479km
102.0 2158  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Lingen-Damaschke (nds) YL, as 101.8  477km
102.8 2202  D  R.SH, Westerland (Sylt) (shs) Laura Branigans Gloria, jingle ID  557km
105.3 2206  D  NDR Info, Schwerin (mev) Pops, as web  740km
 89.2 2213  D  NDR 2, Osnabrück/Schleptruper Egge (nds) Pops, as 87.6  526km
 92.2 2332  F  Fun Radio, Dunkerque/le Banc Vert (59) Phone callers, as web  275km
 93.0 2335 HOL Radio 10, Westdorpe/Verkavelingsweg (zee) Oldies, Vocal jingle ID  323km
 93.3 2336 HOL Radio 10, Breskens/Graansilo Vissershaven (zee) Pops, as 93.0  295km **
101.3 2345  F  NRJ, Dunkerque/le Banc Vert (59) Phone caller, as web  275km


** Personal Skegness 'First'


Tropo began here quite abruptly at 10:40 with northern France and coastal Belgium suddenly lifting to fair levels. Several transmitters reached RDS level, most notably the regulars such as Egem, Tournai and Lille.

Holland joined in with some good signals by mid afternoon, but it wasn't until after 20:00 that Germany participated, chiefly with stations from the Schleswig-Holstein and Niedersachsen regions, though Nordrhein Westfalen was also in attendance with some of the more regular transmitters like Teutoburger Wald, Langenburg and Aachen. Virtually all German signals were either weak or very weak/noisy.

Germany had faded by late evening and northern France and coastal Belgium took over once more to round off the day's DX, but even these signals had mostly disappeared by midnight.

I wouldn't say the levels of DX have matched the predicted tropo conditions, certainly not in terms of anticipated signal levels, but hopefully there will be more to come in the next couple of days.


Recordings:

105.0 Origineel FM, Goes 1629 10-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/ijalf8feft5u1hablkni

89.3 Radio West, Rotterdam 1731 10-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/o2jsvkxstpwykpxcsmje

106.9 Skyrock, St Omer 1635 10-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/ansp6iylf3wu6880x71p


Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL.
Website: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.co.uk

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/vhf-band-2-logs
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/skegness-vhf-band-2-fm-dx-recordings

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

Aerials:
Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL www.box.com/s/h1a5z3bu94vppln3zsfn
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

Software:
RDS Spy v1.00r2 www.rdsspy.com

Friday, 6 December 2013

Skegness Log: 06-12-13 (MW)

 972 1400 KOR HLCA KBS Hanminjok Bangsong 1, Dangjin (ccg) Time signal, music and OM.
              Almost equal levels Germany at times. Weak  8740 km

1017 1400  J  JOLB NHK2, Fukuoka (kyu-fuk) Presumed. Japanese time signal. Almost
              certainly JOLB. Too weak for ID. Mixing weaker CRI. V weak  9242 km

1278 1400 CHN UNID CNR station. Distinctive three slower Chinese pips, as heard on
              Scandinavian files. Not heard here before.  V weak

1323 1400 CHN China Radio Int., Ürümqi/Hutubi-SARFT654 (XJ) Interval signal V weak  6041 km
1413 1400  J  JOIF KBC-Kyushu Asahi Hoso, Fukuoka (kyu-fuk) Presumed. Clear time signal
              but squashed by Premier Christian Radio. Japanese OM underneath,  V weak 
              9225 km **


JOLB is likely. The signal was too weak for an ID but I don't see anything else it could really be. Listening to Scandinavian Perseus files also shows this and CRI to be the regulars on 1017.

While scanning around the band on the Scandinavian files I have I noticed a slight variation of the The Chinese time signal on 1278. Instead of six pips, with the sixth pip being an octave higher, this one was three pips, with the third still an octave higher. A Beijing ID was heard on the Scandinavian file. I noticed this for the first time here today. It was too weak to hear any vocals and I wouldn't even like to guess the site, but it's another one to watch out for at least.

** Personal Skegness First

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1m ASL
Blog: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.com

Receiver: Perseus SDR
Antenna:  10ft x 25ft flag at 15 degrees
Software: Perseus v4.1a; HDSDR v2.63; Mestor

Flooding, Nelson Mandela & Our Evil Government

It's been a very rough day in Skegness. Severe winds gusting to 70 mph (112 kmph) have literally battered the coastline causing a lot of damage, though we seemed to get away with the worst of it. Some towns and villages around here had to be evacuated. Most notably was the town of Boston where 18,000 people were told to leave their homes.

Obviously I was concerned about my FM antenna mast coming down but I am thankful to report that it didn't. The weight of this structure is about 75 kilos with the thick aluminium pole and the heavy duty rotator. Fingers crossed this stays up but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't. Some large trees were snapped just around the corner from here though.

What was of more concern today was the threat to life as weather forecasters predicted a large tidal surge of similar proportions to the storm which flooded Skegness in 1953. Severe "Red Alert" weather warnings and flood alerts existed across the east coast from Yorkshire down to Essex and they're not over yet.

The winds abated by early evening but the tidal surge was expected to cause flooding here around 6:45 to 7:30 pm. Curiosity got the better of me and I took my camera out to the sea front to see what was happening. The police had closed lots of roads along the sea front so it was difficult to get a clear picture of what was happening, but having seen local photos on Facebook depicting minor flooding I realised that the sea defenses had been breached.

The damage turned out to be 'relatively' minor here, though pathways have been torn up and there is flood damage to a few sea front properties. The real damage was down the coast in Boston, some 20 miles from here. BBC Radio Lincolnshire was bring the news that much of the town centre was under two feet (more than half a metre) of water.

We're not out of the worst yet as more tidal surges are expected over the next 24 hours but hopefully the worst has passed.

I'll finish this off with a little grumble. This evening I learnt that Nelson Mandela had passed away. Obviously this is very sad news. I must point out that I do not wish to be disrespectful towards Nelson Mandela and all those concerned with his passing, but it really pisses me off big time how all the television news channels, including the BBC and ITV regional networks, suddenly stopped their coverage of the local flooding situation and gave us something which is not important to us locally, especially at a time when we need as much local information as possible about something which is far more important to us and potentially life-threatening.

Plus it has been the perfect day for this evil government of ours to bury all their bad news which we should (unfortunately) be hearing about. Never mind the ordinary citizens of the UK. We'll no doubt find out what evil tricks this dictatorship of a government has been up to when it's too late and we can do fuck all about it! Paranoia on my part? Not at all. It's all been proven time and time again. Nice one!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Skegness Log: 03-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Tropospheric:
 88.4 0622  D  Bayern 2, Pfaffenberg (bay) German YL, as web  713km
 89.5 0624  D  Bayern 2, Wendelstein (bay) OMs talk, as web  1024km
 89.9 0625  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Weinbiet (rlp) Dirty Dancing theme, as web  686km
 90.6 0626  D  hr1, Hardberg (hes) Pops, as web  712km
 90.8 0628  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Bornberg (rlp) OM and music, as web  640km
 91.4 0630  D  Bayern 1, Büttelberg (bay) YL and OM, as web  813km
 91.8 0631  D  SWR2, Raichberg (bwü) YL, as web  813km
 92.8 0632  D  SWR3, Bad Marienberg (rlp) ID and traffic  592km
 93.4 0633  D  Bayern 3, Pfaffenberg (bay) ID and YL traffic  713km
101.2 0635  D  hr3, Habichtswald (hes) OM info, as web  647km
 99.0 0636 AUT Hitradio Ö3, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg (ORS) (sal) Pops, as web  1081km
 95.3 0639  D  You FM (hr), Hardberg (hes) Soft rock track, as web  712km
 97.8 0644  D  SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Heidelberg/Königstuhl, SWR (bwü) OM ID and pops  717km
101.6 0655  D  hr4, Hardberg (hes) Soft pops, as web  712km
102.9 0656  D  RPR 1, Bad Marienberg (rlp) Show promo and ID  592km
104.1 0658  D  SWR4 Baden-Württemberg, Heidelberg/Königstuhl, SWR (bwü) German song, as web 
               717km
104.8 0659  D  hr1, Heidelstein (Rhön) [bay] (hes) Promo and jingle ID  729km
104.9 0700  D  big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz), Ahrweiler/Schöneberg (rlp) Pops and ID  554km
105.3 0701  D  B5 aktuell, Kreuzberg (Rhön) (bay) YL and OM news, as web  733km
106.8 0704  D  Hit Radio FFH, Driedorf/Höllberg (hes) Katy Perry song, as web  605km
 99.0 0719  D  hr1, Hoher Meißner (hes) ID and Hues Corporation song  684km
103.7 1201  D  Radio 7, Aalen/Braunenberg (bwü) Talking about banks, ID  835km **
 91.1 1206  D  SWR2, Aalen/Braunenberg (bwü) YL and classical music, as web  835km
107.1 1208  D  Radio TON Ostwürttemberg, Aalen/Braunenberg (bwü) Pops, as web  835km
107.6 1209  D  B5 aktuell, Hühnerberg (bay) OM ID  871km
107.8 1211  D  107.8 Antenne AC, Aachen/Stolberg (nrw) Pops, a web  484km
105.7 1213  D  B5 aktuell, Wendelstein (bay) OM ID  1024km
103.6 1214  D  RPR 1, Kalmit (rlp) YL ID and pops  687km
102.6 1216  D  RPR 1, Saarburg/Geisberg (rlp) Pops, as 103.5  103.6  586km **
100.4 1218  D  Radio Regenbogen, Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) Robbie Williams, as web  748km
 98.4 1219  D  SWR3, Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) Pops and YL ID  748km
 92.1 1223  D  NDR 2, Torfhaus (Harz-West) (nds) YL song, as web  707km
106.3 1258  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) OM, as web  748km
106.4 1259  D  B5 aktuell, Pfaffenberg (bay) OM, as web  713km **
107.7 1302 LUX Den Neie Radio (DNR), Blaschette/Kandel (gld) ID after news, then pops  557km
103.1 1312  D  RPR 1, Bornberg (rlp) Warbling Whitney Houston, as web  640km
103.0 1313  D  Antenne Bayern, Pfaffenberg (bay) Jack Michaelson, as web  713km
 96.1 1320  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Koblenz/Dieblich-Naßheck (rlp) Light pops  591km
 89.0 1330  D  SWR4 Baden-Württemberg, Witthoh (Tuttlingen) (bwü) German OM talking over music,
               as web  834km **
 88.2 1338  D  Bayern 2, Büttelberg (bay) YL, as web  813km
107.6 2021  D  Antenne Thüringen, Remda (Saalfeld) (thü) German YL song, as web  789km
107.8 2022  D  MDR Figaro, Brocken (san) Discordant classical music, as web  713km
106.3 2024  D  Antenne Niedersachsen, Torfhaus/DTAG (nds) Rock song, as web  707km
103.2 2026  D  hr4, Habichtswald (hes) Piano pop, as web  647km


** Personal Skegness 'First'

The final stages of the tropo, which persisted throughout the day, increasing and subsiding, moving around slightly. Signals were mostly poor but noise free.

The day started with the last strands of Salzburg on 99.0, then conditions slowly moved to Nordrhein-Westfalen where the strongest signals were. Rheinland Pfalz was still up and down and a sprinkling of Bavarians topped things off nicely. Teutoburger Wald increased as the afternoon wore on and became the strongest German of the whole opening, peaking to three XDR bars, and it was the last to leave, still audible at local midnight.

Checking the band at 5am on the 4th revealed a post-tropo flatness.

Recording:

103.7 Radio 7, Aalen 1201 03-12-13
https://app.box.com/s/ntdenjgq72hf07m5a46n

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL.
Website: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.co.uk

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/vhf-band-2-logs
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/skegness-vhf-band-2-fm-dx-recordings

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

Aerials:
Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL www.box.com/s/h1a5z3bu94vppln3zsfn
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

Software:
RDS Spy v1.00r2 www.rdsspy.com

Monday, 2 December 2013

Skegness Log: 02-12-13 (FM)

Band 2 Tropospheric:
 94.6 0036  D  MDR 1 Radio Sachsen-Anhalt, Brocken (san) Pops, as web  713km
105.9 0106  D  Hit Radio FFH, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) Pops, as web  648km
104.9 0107  D  big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz), Ahrweiler/Schöneberg (rlp) Phone caller, as web  554km
104.0 0108  D  big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz), Koblenz/Kühkopf (rlp) Phone caller, as 104.9  590km
102.5 0109  D  hr4, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) German song, as web  648km
103.6 0109  D  RPR 1., Kalmit (rlp) Jazzy music, as web  687km
 89.0 0111  D  89.0 RTL, Brocken (san) Pops, as web  713km
 97.4 0113  D  Deutschlandradio Kultur, Brocken (san) Relaxing guitar music, as web  713km
 98.4 0114  D  SWR3, Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) German pop, as web  748km
106.3 0115  D  Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) German OM, as web  748km
100.4 0117  D  Radio Regenbogen, Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) Pops, as web  748km
107.8 0129  D  MDR Figaro, Brocken (san) Violin concerto, as web  713km
107.1 0131  D  SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz, Haardtkopf (rlp) German song, as web  593km
101.0 0134  D  WDR 2, Bärbelkreuz (Eifel) (nrw) Pops, as web  520km
105.5 0134  D  WDR Eins Live, Bärbelkreuz (Eifel) (nrw) Indie song, as web  520km
101.3 0135  D  ANTENNE 1, Stuttgart-Frauenkopf (bwü) Back to back pops, as web  790km **
102.3 0136  D  AFN Stuttgart-The Eagle, Stuttgart-Frauenkopf (bwü) US accent in Lincs FM
               splatter  790km

105.7 0144  D  SWR2, Stuttgart/Hoher Bopser (bwü) Classical, as web  790km
 94.0 0147  D  SWR2, Koblenz/Dieblich-Naßheck (rlp) Classical, as web  591km
 88.0 0153  D  SR 1 Europawelle, Göttelborner Höhe (saa) Pops, as web  629km
 95.3 0200  D  You FM, Hardberg (hes) Black Eyed Peas song, as web  712km **
 95.5 0203  D  SR 3 Saarlandwelle, Göttelborner Höhe (saa) German OM, as web  629km
 99.6 0206  D  hr-info, Sackpfeife (Biedenkopf) (hes) German OM, as web  612km
101.4 0208  D  Radio SAW, Brocken (san) Pops, as web  713km
 87.6 0211  D  hr3, Sackpfeife (Biedenkopf) (hes) German OM, as web  612km
104.3 0211  D  hr4, Sackpfeife (Biedenkopf) (hes) Film song, as web  612km
 89.9 0212  D  NDR Kultur, Torfhaus (Harz-West) (nds) Piano concerto, as web  707km
 91.1 0213  F  France Inter, Villers-Cotterêts/Fleury (02) French OMs, as 103.7  474km
 91.5 0216  D  MDR Jump, Brocken (san) Struggling against Holme Moss  713km
 92.1 0216  D  NDR 2, Torfhaus (Harz-West) (nds) Pops, as web  707km
105.6 0218  D  SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz, Donnersberg (rlp) YL song, as web  657km
106.9 0221  D  B5 aktuell, Grünten (Allgäu) (bay) OM and YL, as web  942km
101.0 0222  D  BR Klassik, Grünten (Allgäu) (bay) Piano music, as web  942km
 90.7 0223  D  Bayern 1, Grünten (Allgäu) (bay) Freaky chillout music, as web  942km
101.6 0228  D  hr4, Hardberg (hes) Light pops, as web  712km
104.0 0238  D  SWR4 Baden-Württemberg, Feldberg (Schwarzwald) (bwü) Jolly tune, as web. Briefly
               over Koblenz  799km

 93.8 0240  D  SWR3, Feldberg (Schwarzwald) (bwü) Falcos Amadeus, as web  799km
107.8 0242 SUI RSI Rete Uno, Säntis (ar) Opera, as web  917km
105.7 0246  D  B5 aktuell, Wendelstein (bay) ARD Infonacht, as web  1024km
102.3 0248  D  BR Klassik, Wendelstein (bay) Classical, as web  1024km
 98.5 0249  D  SWR3, Scharteberg (Eifel) (rlp) Pops, as web  550km
 89.5 0251  D  Bayern 2, Wendelstein (bay) Classical, as web  1024km
 92.0 0252  D  SWR2, Donnersberg (rlp) Classical, as web  657km
107.3 0255  D  SWR4 Baden-Württemberg, Raichberg (bwü) Beach Boys song, as web  813km
 87.9 0300  D  MDR Figaro, Inselsberg (thü) OM news, as web  739km
 89.8 0303  D  SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Feldberg (Schwarzwald) (bwü) OM news, as web  799km
 90.6 0304  D  hr1, Hardberg (hes) Presumed site. OM and traffic. Producing echo against another
               ARD service  712km

 91.8 0305  D  SWR2, Raichberg (bwü) Opera, as web  813km
 93.0 0306  D  SWR2, Haardtkopf (rlp) Opera, as 91.8  593km
 94.3 0307  D  SWR3, Raichberg (bwü) Indie track, as web  813km
 99.0 0310  D  hr1, Hoher Meißner (hes) Madonna track, as web  684km
104.8 0313  D  hr1, Heidelstein (Rhön) [bay] (hes) Nickelback song, as web  729km
105.6 0314 SUI Radio SRF 3, Säntis (ar) Pops, as web. One bar. Noise free stereo  917km
 95.4 0316 SUI Radio SRF 2 Kultur, Säntis (ar) Classical, as web  917km
105.3 0321  D  B5 aktuell, Kreuzberg (Rhön) (bay) YL, as web  733km
107.9 0321  D  BR Klassik, Kreuzberg (Rhön) (bay) Classical, as web  733km
106.7 0322  D  big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz), Kalmit (rlp) OM, as web, mixing with Langenberg  687km
 91.7 0327  D  MDR 1 Radio Thüringen, Sonneberg/Bleßberg (thü) Slow pops, as 94.6  793km
 92.2 0327  D  SWR3, Stuttgart/Hoher Bopser (bwü) Pops, as 94.3  790km
102.9 0336  D  RPR 1., Bad Marienberg (rlp) Pops, as web  592km
107.6 0338  D  big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz), Bornberg (rlp) Phone caller, as web  640km
107.2 0339  D  SWR3, Kettrichhof (rlp) YL and pops, as web. Mixing Ederkpof  674km
 99.9 0851 SUI RTS La Première, Säntis (ar) Echoey French OM, as web. Two bars, noise free  917km
 91.0 0855  D  hr1, Sackpfeife (Biedenkopf) (hes) OMs and music, as web  612km
 91.1 0856  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Scharteberg (Eifel) (rlp) Abba, as web  550km
 98.6 0900  F  France Inter, Épinal/Bois de la Vierge (88) ID on the hour. Jingle, as web.
               Briefly over Egem  704km

 89.4 0901  F  France Musique, Épinal/Bois de la Vierge (88) Classical and YL, as 88.7  704km **
 98.7 0903  D  AFN Wiesbaden-The Eagle, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) AP news  648km
 99.0 0905 AUT Hitradio Ö3, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg (ORS) (sal) Briefly OM news, then pops, on
               Hoher Meissner fade, as web  1081km

 99.4 0907  F  France Culture, Sarrebourg/le Donon (57) Thoughtful OM, as web  704km
100.6 0912  D  RPR 1., Ober-Olm (rlp) YL song, as web  649km **
101.9 0917  D  Antenne Bayern, Heidelstein (Rhon) (bay) Madonna song, as web  729km
102.1 0917  D  RPR 1., Scharteberg (Eifel) (rlp) YL info over music, as web  550km
106.2 0926  D  hr3, Heidelstein (Rhön) [bay] (hes) Grungy song, as web  729km
107.3 0927  D  hr4, Heidelstein (Rhön) [bay] (hes) German YL song, as web  729km
107.7 0929  D  Antenne Bayern, Hochries (bay) Promo for BB Radio Bayern then ID and weather
               1034km

 90.2 0937  D  MDR Jump, Inselsberg (thü) German pop song, as web  739km
 91.6 0938  D  SWR3, Koblenz/Dieblich-Naßheck (rlp) Pops, as web  591km
 92.6 0941  D  SWR2, Blauen (bwü) Opera, as web  793km
100.4 0955  D  Radio Regenbogen, Hornisgrinde/SWR (bwü) ID and ads. Two bars, noise free stereo
               748km

103.4 1006  D  Antenne 1, Raichberg (bwü) Pops, as web  813km
 89.3 1013  D  hr3, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) Pops, as web. Holme Moss fade  648km
 93.3 1016  F  France Musique, Chaumont/Chalindrey (52) OM, as 88.7  694km
 93.6 1018  D  SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz, Scharteberg (Eifel) (rlp) French and German songs, as web
               550km

 94.8 1019  D  SWR3, Linz (Rhein)/Ginsterhahner Kopf (rlp) Pops, as 94.3
               560km

 97.2 1021  D  Deutschlandradio Kultur, Inselsberg (thü) Gentla eong, as web  739km
 97.4 1022  F  France Musique, Verdun/Septsarges (55) OM and YL talk, as 98.0
               548km

 97.4 1022  D  SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz, Linz (Rhein)/Ginsterhahner Kopf (rlp) German song, as web
               560km

107.1 1031  D  B5 aktuell, Ochsenkopf (bay) YL, as web. Over Haardtkopf  865km
107.6 1034  D  B5 aktuell, Hühnerberg (bay) OM, as web  871km
105.0 1059  D  Radio 7, Iberger Kugel  (bwü) ID and news  923km
101.9 1212  D  WDR 5, Aachen/Stolberg (nrw) OM and YL, as web  484km
101.2 1216  D  hr3, Habichtswald (hes) Cher song and ID  647km
 99.8 1218  F  France Inter, Metz/Luttange (57) OM on phone, as web  600km
106.8 1218  F  France Info, Metz/Luttange (57) YL and OM, as 105.2  600km
106.6 1219  D  big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz), Scharteberg (Eifel) (rlp) Pink song, over Smooth  550km
 89.8 1225  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Bad Marienberg (rlp) Earth and Fire song, jingle ID  592km
 89.9 1226  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Weinbiet (rlp) Pops and ID, as 89.8  686km
 92.7 1239  D  hr3, Hardberg (hes) Peeping over Sutton Coldfield with Duffy song, as web  712km
 97.8 1244  D  SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Heidelberg/Königstuhl, SWR (bwü) Billy Ocean song, as web
               717km

 98.7 1245  D  SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Grünten (Allgäu) [bay] (bwü) Billy Ocean song, ID  942km
103.0 1248  D  SWR3, Grünten (Allgäu) [bay] (bwü) Pops, as web  942km
103.4 1249  F  France Info, Lyon/Mont Pilat (42) OM, as 105.2  917km
104.1 1259  D  WDR 4, Olsberg (nrw) Adverts, as web  592km
 92.8 1316  D  SWR3, Bad Marienberg (rlp) OM ID and soft pops  592km
 96.3 1321  D? UNID, ? Classical. German OM. No parallels found
 94.4 1601  D  hr1, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr (hes) OM news peaking above Swingate  648km
101.8 1606  D  WDR 2, Ederkopf (nrw) ID after traffic. Jingle ID  593km
105.1 1607  D  Hit Radio FFH, Hoher Meißner (hes) Jingle ID  684km
 95.9 1912  D  WDR 3, Aachen/Stolberg (nrw) YL, as web, Coming up over Humberside  484km
 93.9 1915  D  WDR 4, Aachen/Stolberg (nrw) Rock and roll, as web  484km
 95.4 1916  D  SWR2, Bad Marienberg (rlp) OM and YL, as web  592km
106.8 2100  D  Hit Radio FFH, Driedorf/Höllberg (hes) Jingle ID  605km
 90.0 2249  D  SWR3, Haardtkopf (rlp) Pops, as web  593km
 91.5 2251 BEL RTBF Vivacité, Léglise/Vlessart (wal-lux) French song, as web  524km
 93.3 2253 LUX RTL Radio, Dudelange/Ginsterberg (gld) Jingle ID between pops  574km
 90.6 2257  D  SWR3, Saarburg/Geisberg (rlp) Pops, as web  586km
 93.8 2257  D  SWR2, Saarburg/Geisberg (rlp) YL talk, as web  586km
 97.7 2300  D  SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Haardtkopf (rlp) YL new, as web. Over Manningtree  593km
100.1 2302  D  RPR 1., Haardtkopf (rlp) ID after news. Over Sutton coldfield  593km
103.2 2305 BEL NRJ, Léglise/Vlessart (wal-lux) Phone caller, as web  524km **
106.9 2309  D  Radio Euskirchen, Schleiden/Broicher Höhe (nrw) Lively pops, as web  515km

Band 2 Meteor Scatter:
 91.4 1200 CZE Radio Impuls, Plzen/Krasov (PL) YL news, as web  947km **
 91.4 1200 HOL Radio 4, Markelo/Alticom Toren (ove) Short ME burst following Plzen  425km **

** Personal Skegness 'First' via the respective mode

December 2nd saw a weak but widespread tropo which brought in a few new catches here. The Salzburg transmitter put in yet another appearance!

One thing which has amazed me over the last year is the regularity of the reception of the FM3 Salzburg transmitter on 99.0 via tropo. It wasn't that long ago that popular discussions about the limits of tropospheric reception in the UK questioned whether we would ever receive Austrian tropo. Suddenly, about a year ago, there it was, and it has been a fairly regular occurrence ever since! "Fairly regular", that is, compared to the lack of the same reception prior to this.

The meteor scatter loggings came by accident and an interesting catch came in the form of Holland. I had to leave the tropo for about half an hour around midday and I noticed that the German reception area was nearing the Czech border. So I left WaveLab recording 91.4 while I was away from the receiver, hoping that Radio Impuls from Plzen would appear. It did! But not via tropo. I recorded 91.4 on the left channel and Radio Impuls's web stream on the right channel so I could make comparisons with anything which appeared on the recording. When I played it back I discovered a large meteor burst with Radio Impuls clearly bursting through and in parallel with the web stream. I could also hear the Dutch Radio 4 on 91.4 and immediately after Plzen had crumbled away I heard the same Dutch OM as per Radio 4 off-air replace Plzen. This is 425 km meteor scatter!

Good DX!

John Faulkner, Skegness, Lincolnshire (JO03dd) 1.7m (5'9") ASL.
Website: http://skegnessdx.blogspot.co.uk

Personal All Time VHF Logbooks: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/vhf-band-2-logs
VHF Band 2 DX Recordings: https://sites.google.com/site/skegnessdx/skegness-vhf-band-2-fm-dx-recordings

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

Aerials:
Rooftop Körner 9.2, 8m AGL www.box.com/s/h1a5z3bu94vppln3zsfn
Yaesu G-5500 azimuthal/elevation rotator

Software:
RDS Spy v1.00r2 www.rdsspy.com