Just like almost every year in the past, I have visited Polish coast at the Baltic sea this summer. My QTH – Chłapowo near Władysławowo (JO94ET) was very well-elevated. It is over 40m ASL, 3m AGL and less than 200m to the coast! I took my 5-el Yagi designed by Brian Beezley, K6STI. Moderate gain, F/R 20dB over entire band and small dimensions make this antenna perfect for portable usage. All elements are assembled with wing nuts, so it can be ready to go in just a few minutes.
The picture above presents Small Wideband Yagi heading Sweden. The visibility is perfect here to entire Scandinavian and Baltic countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or the Russian Kaliningrad region. Some trees slightly obstruct the horizon line, but it is completely negligible on VHF bands. Raising the mast too high is pointless, yes – it increases signals, but only on local stations. I was using my favorite preamp – PAR-825U (25dB gain, NF 2dB), to overcome the XDR-F1HD high noise figure. There is only one strong, local signal – 93.1 Radio Maryja with 0.3kW ERP in vertical polarisation.
Tropo propagation? Not this time – conditions were flat almost all the time, so I was not scanning too much. Back in 2010 I had only a dipole antenna (well, actually not a real dipole but one curved around the mast – we call it a „bucket dipole” here in Poland ;-), and I have received Finland at distances over 700km with RDS. However, this time due to poor conditions I was able to check reception via aircraft scatter with better antenna… and the results are excellent.
This is a full 87.5-108MHz bandscan recorded at once during daily airscatter activity. It is 15 minutes long – you have been warned. :-) Tropo was virtually absent, only a slight lift to Emmaboda. Antenna was directed at Sweden, but there is also Finland (100.3) and Denmark (881, 96.5…). Oh, and 91.0 RMF FM (350km) from opposite polarisation and direction – completely unexpected here. Nice to see such quiet band with no interferences!
I also have recorded more interesting and farther receptions. It is only 640km to the closest Norwegian location – Halden, so it could be received very often. Oslo at 738km is also a good reception target, as the 88.7 frequency is completely clear here. Finnish Turku (665km) peaks to stereo reception via aircraft scatter. 87.9 YLE Radio Yksi from Espoo (704km) broadcasts classical music with low deviation, so it often fits the narrow filters. I was wondering is it possible to reach 800km here via AS. The answer is positive! Lahti at 809km could be received with fair level on 5-element antenna :-)
The following map presents all mentioned locations: