The last weekend of September featured fantastic troposhperic ducting conditions in Central Europe. This time I got stations from southern Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary! We are used to receive stations mainly from northern directions here in Poland, as the terrain is flat and the nearby Baltic Sea is a perfect enviroment for tropo. Every year we listen to stations from Denmark, Sweden and possibly other countries depending on conditions, location and equipment. DX from southern countries is limited due to the hilly terrain. However, reception of Croatia or Slovenia is possible even in central Poland via aircraft scatter, when a plane is at 12km+ height over the Polish-Czech border.
Two years ago, reception of Zagreb was reported in Busko-Zdrój. We have quickly identified the recording as Croatian language, but it was odd. It was actually the first confirmed tropospheric ducting report from this country in Poland. Well, the distance is not so huge, something around 630km, but we were really surprised as the duct formed over mountains.
27th September, early morning:
Tropo started on 27th September with a nice signal from Frankfurt (Oder). Of course, we were looking for much more, especially from… UK or at least western Germany, as the forecasts have suggested Poland-UK ducting. I recorded a nice snippet of RBB Fritz with Ellie Goulding song and ID. Brocken was also audible with low signal for a while. According to the FMLIST Visual Logbook, tropo in Germany and Belgium had only local range. It was few minutes after 5 UTC and the sky was cloudy. I decided to go back sleep.
When I woke up before noon, the sky has already cleared up and we got a really nice weather.
27th September, afternoon & evening:
At 16 UTC I observed persistent, but very weak signals from Wendelstein and Brocken. They were constantly boosted with aircraft scatters. Brocken reached RDS level in next hour and then faded away. At 18 UTC I rotated my 19.3 back at the southern Germany. Tropo was still developing in this direciton. First notable reception took place just before 22 UTC. It was Ulm, 101.8 Radio 7, received for the first time. Radio 7 was also audible on 103.7 from Aalen.
98.5 1609 Bayern 3, Wendelstein // web, ~9dBf 89.0 1610 89.0 RTL, Brocken 11dBf 101.4 1631 Radio SAW, Brocken D3D9 25dBf 89.0 1632 89.0 RTL, Brocken D0DB 23dBf 91.5 1650 MDR JUMP, Brocken D3C2 MDR_JUMP 23dBf 89.0 1729 89.0 RTL, Brocken D0DB 89.0_RTL 25dBf 107.7 1808 R.SA, Fichtelberg (Erzgebirge) 16dBf 89.5 1811 Bayern 2, Wendelstein 93.7 1811 Bayern 1, Wendelstein 99.4 1828 Bayern 3, Ochsenkopf 15dBf 107.7 1845 Antenne Bayern, Hochries mixing with R.SA 105.7 1931 B5 aktuell, Wendelstein D315 ____kt__ 25dBf 89.5 2019 hr3, Hoher Meißner mixing with Bayern 2 88.7 2049 Bayern 2, Grünten (Allgäu) // 89,5 98.3 2057 Bayern 1, Kreuzberg (Rhön) // 93.7 105.3 2057 B5 aktuell, Kreuzberg (Rhön) // 105.7 93.1 2100 Bayern 2, Kreuzberg (Rhön) // 89.5 105.4 2104 Hitradio RTL Sachsen, Chemnitz/Geyer D3C9 106.7 2104 Landeswelle Thüringen, Sonneberg/Bleßberg ID Landeswelle.de 101.8 2159 Radio 7, Ulm-Ermingen //web 103.7 2159 Radio 7, Aalen/Braunenberg weak 89.3 2201 hr3, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr
27/28th September, night:
Between 22 and 2 UTC, the CCIR 87.5-108MHz band was already filled up with strong German and Austrian stations, including Salzburg, Wendelstein, Ochsenkopf and Hornisgrinde (927km!!) at RDS level. During this tropo my semi-local transmitter Łódź/Komin EC-4 was at low power due to VHF-III (DAB+) antenna system installation. However all stations were reverted to full power at night and therefore I received SWR1 93.5 (semi-loc: RMF FM) and Regenbogen 100.4 (semi-loc: Plus) only under Łódź at 32kHz IF bandwidth… The ducting paths were obstructed with some lower or higher hills, so it was nice to see such strong signals here in Poland. I also heard weak Grünten, Raichberg, Donnersberg and Witthoh. Oh – it was almost 4 UTC, so I quickly set my alarm clock to 6 UTC and I instantly fell asleep…
99.1 2221 SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Donnersberg //web! 105.7 2229 B5 aktuell, Wendelstein D315 B5_akt__ 98.5 2239 Bayern 3, Wendelstein D313 105.4 2252 Hitradio RTL Sachsen, Chemnitz/Geyer D3C9 Hitr.RTL 104.6 2253 FM 4, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg 89.8 2257 MDR JUMP, Chemnitz/Geyer D3C2 MDR_JUMP 97.0 2259 Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Chemnitz/Geyer D210 __DLF___ over R.Zet 98.4 0037 SWR3, Hornisgrinde/SWR D3A3 __SWR3__ 32dBf!! 96.2 0038 SWR2, Hornisgrinde/SWR D3A2 __SWR2__ 28dBf 93.5 0047 SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Hornisgrinde 32kHz BW, under semi-local RMF FM 100.4 0057 Radio Regenbogen, Hornisgrinde 32kHz BW, under semi-local R.Plus 90.7 0113 Bayern 1, Ochsenkopf D311 Bayern_1 35dBf 99.4 0121 Bayern 3, Ochsenkopf D313 BAYERN_3 38dBf 89.5 0133 Bayern 2, Wendelstein D312 Bayern_2 36dBf 90.9 0138 Ö1, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg A201 __OE_1__ 33dBf 104.6 0139 FM 4, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg A213 __FM4___ 33dBf 94.8 0141 Ö2 - Radio Salzburg, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg A802 Radio_S_ 32dBf 101.8 0144 Antenne Salzburg, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg 27dBf 95.8 0150 Bayern 3, Grünten (Allgäu) 17dBf 106.9 0151 B5 aktuell, Grünten (Allgäu) 88.7 0152 Bayern 2, Grünten (Allgäu) 98.7 0203 SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Grünten (Allgäu) SWR1 ID 103.7 0206 Radio 7, Aalen/Braunenberg //web 91.8 0212 SWR2, Raichberg //web 99.0 0225 Hitradio Ö3, Salzburg 1/Gaisberg (ORS) A203 __OE_3__ 38dBf 92.4 0238 FM 4, Semmering/Sonnwendstein // 104.6 97.1 0249 SWR3, Witthoh (Tuttlingen) // web 93.7 0255 Bayern 1, Wendelstein D311 Bayern_1 40dBf 103.2 0311 Antenne Bayern, Ochsenkopf D318 ANTENNE_ 43dBf 96.5 0317 Bayern 2, Brotjacklriegel // 89.5
28th September, morning & noon:
I woke up right at 6 UTC. Radio 7 peaked to a nice stereo signal overnight. B5 aktuell from Wendelstein faded away, but this frequency hosted another interesting guest – SWR2 from Stuttgart! By the way, B5 aktuell carries no stereo pilot, so it’s very easy to distinguish between these two stations. Tropo has expanded to Austria, too. Linz peaked to 40dBf – new record! I received lots of RDS PI and PS codes for the first time ever. Scanning in vertical polarisation was quite boring. Actually I haven’t heard anything interesting except… 102.9 KRONEHIT in perfect stereo signal level and full RDS! I haven’t expected that.
I also found other Semmering stations with RDS levels, in H or V-pol depending on the co-channel and adjacent interferences. Weitra is another interesting location in Austria. The power is relatively low (only 2-3kW ERP), but it’s a very well elevated location. Łódź/EC-4 transmitter was again at low power, so there was no problem in receiving 92.7 Ö1 with RDS next to 92.6 Radio Zet. :-) The strongest locations from Germany included Ochsenkopf, Kreuzberg and Sonneberg.
Aalen was staying with signal around 20dBf for a quite long time, so I tried to receive other stations. The easiest, 95.1 SWR1, was fairly intelligible in narrow bandwidth next to LOC 95.2 Eska Płock. 91.1 SWR2 was more compliated due to co-channel interference from Kalisz (my another almost semi-local transmitter). However, I sucessfully confirmed the classical music reception on 9~15kHz IF filter with the webstream.
102.1 sunshine live was the biggest surprise from Germany this time. This station has been definitely one of my most wanted DXs for a quite long time, because of a semi-local PR3 (120kW ERP) TX on the same frequency. I’ve been always thinking it’s unreachable via tropospheric ducting. Aircraft scatter during PR3 maintenance is also very unlikely, because of 800km+ distance over quite hilly terrain. Reception of sunshine live was possible on the edge of Körner 19.3 main lobe, while PR3 was slightly fading out. Here is a video that contains few short peaks over PR3. I think there is also a “sunshine live” ID on the following recording between 00:10~00:12:
103.7 0603 Radio 7, Aalen/Braunenberg 22dBf 105.7 0623 SWR2, Stuttgart/Hoher Bopser //web 10dBf 89.2 0626 Hitradio Ö3, Graz 1/Schöckl //88.8 97.5 0629 Ö1, Linz 1/Lichtenberg (obe) A201 __OE_1__ 40dBf! 99.1 0642 Antenne Steiermark, Graz 1/Schöckl 102.9 0659 KRONEHIT, Semmering/Sonnwendstein A3FF KRONEHIT 35dBf in V 92.4 0702 FM 4, Semmering/Sonnwendstein A213 __FM4___ pol. V 100.5 0709 Life R. (Oberösterreich), Linz 1/Lichtenberg A746 *_LIFE_* 95.8 0716 Ö2 R. Niederösterreich, Semmering/Sonnwendstein A602 RADIO-N_ pol. H 95.1 0730 SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Aalen/Braunenberg //web 91.1 0733 SWR2, Aalen/Braunenberg //web 92.7 0738 Ö1, Weitra/Wachberg A201 __OE_1__ 98.3 0827 Bayern 1, Kreuzberg (Rhön) D311 Bayern_1 27dBf 95.7 0840 Ö2 R. Niederösterreich, Weitra/Wachberg A602 RADIO-N_ 31dBf 105.7 0852 SWR2, Stuttgart/Hoher Bopser 17dBf 94.7 0856 SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart/Hoher Bopser //web 107.9 0908 BR Klassik, Kreuzberg (Rhön) (bay) D314 BR-Klass 98.7 0911 AFN Wiesbaden-The Eagle, Großer Feldberg 105.9 0911 Hit Radio FFH, Großer Feldberg (Taunus) //web 18dBf 94.4 0912 hr1, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr //web 89.3 0913 hr3, Großer Feldberg (Taunus)/hr //web 91.6 0916 SWR3, Koblenz/Dieblich-Naßheck //web, very weak 105.3 0918 B5 aktuell, Kreuzberg (Rhön) D315 B5_akt__ 32dBf 91.6 0927 SWR3, Koblenz/Dieblich-Naßheck 20dBf!! 101.5 0927 RPR 1., Koblenz/Kühkopf //web 107.3 0942 hr4, Heidelstein (Rhön) //web 95.0 0949 hr-info, Rimberg mono 104.8 0952 hr1, Heidelstein (Rhön) vocal id hr1 99.6 0954 hr-info, Sackpfeife (Biedenkopf) mono 99.4 0955 Bayern 3, Ochsenkopf D313 BAYERN_3 37dBf 99.3 0956 Bayern 3, Büttelberg //99.4 very weak 100.7 1012 WDR 4, Ederkopf //web 96.5 1017 SWR3, Waldenburg // jingle ID SWR3 107.7 1021 R.SA, Fichtelberg (Erzgebirge) 27dBf 106.7 1028 Landeswelle Thüringen, Sonneberg/Bleßberg D3F9 LANDESW. 33dBf 96.9 1030 MDR JUMP, Sonneberg/Bleßberg D3C2 MDR_JUMP 29dBf 91.7 1031 MDR 1 Radio Thüringen, Sonneberg/Bleßberg D6F1 MDR_THUE 32dBf 90.7 1034 Bayern 1, Ochsenkopf D311 Ba__rn_1 29dBf 95.0 1037 hr-info, Rimberg D367 hr-iNFO_ 92.5 1038 MDR 1 Radio Thüringen, Inselsberg D4F1 MDR_THUE 103.2 1041 Antenne Bayern, Ochsenkopf D318 ANTENNE_ 40dBf 102.7 1042 Antenne Thüringen, Sonneberg/Bleßberg D3F8 ANT.THUE 36dBf 90.7 1052 Bayern 1, Ochsenkopf D311 Bayern_1 40dBf 99.1 1054 SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Donnersberg 10dBf vocal ID SWR1 106.1 1056 B5 aktuell, Gelbelsee mono 97.9 1105 Bayern 3, Dillberg //99.4 91.2 1108 Bayern 1, Ochsenkopf //98,3 94.5 1111 Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Auerbach/Schöneck //97.7 94.2 1112 Deutschlandradio Kultur, Sonneberg/Bleßberg 101.4 1119 Radio SAW, Brocken D3D9 _S_A_W__ 33dBf 88.0 1122 Extraradio, Hof/Großer Waldstein 89.3 1123 Deutschlandradio Kultur, Hof/Großer Waldstein 97.4 1126 Deutschlandradio Kultur, Brocken 97.8 1143 SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, Heidelberg/Königstuhl 102.1 1145 sunshine live, Mudau //web!! mixing with PR3 100.6 1208 Antenne Bayern, Dillberg //web 99.1 1217 SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, Donnersberg (rlp) 102.7 1242 Antenne Thüringen, Sonneberg/Bleßberg D3F8 ANT.THUE 37dBf 104.8 1314 hr1, Heidelstein (Rhön) vocal ID 106.2 1317 hr3, Heidelstein (Rhön) //web 91.5 1343 MDR JUMP, Brocken D3C2 MDR_JUMP 35dBf
28th September, afternoon:
In the afternoon, tropo from Germany has weakened. It was a great idea to check Czech stations in vertical instead. I received 98.4 Impuls and 92.5 Radio Egrenisis at RDS quality, along with other stations from nearby locations. I kept vertical polarisation and at 17 UTC I found something odd on 98.5. Yeah, that’s my first reception from HRV via tropospheric ducting! I alerted other Polish DXers about extraordinary conditions. Nice to see that Croatia uses both polarisations at the same time. However it’s not really good for Croatian DX-ers, as the band is equally crowded in both polarisations there.
99.9 1613 Hitrádio FM, Ceská Lípa/picák jingle ID 102.8 1616 Hitrádio Dragon, Mariánské Lázne/Podhorní vrch Hitradio Dragon jingle 92.5 1621 Radio Egrensis, Mariánské Lázne/Dylen 2665 EGRENSIS 30dBf! 97.6 1624 CRo Radiournál, Mariánské Lázne/Dylen 232F 100.8 1626 CRo Plzen, Mariánské Lázne/Dylen 91.6 1629 Rádio Blaník, Decín/Decínský Sneník - rozhledna 98.4 1643 Radio Impuls, Kaperské Hory/Javorník 2203 _IMPULS_ 25dBf 91.8 1650 Rock Radio, Kaperské Hory/Javorník //web 105.4 1702 Radio Rubi, Vrbno pod Pradedem/Anenský vrch 20dBf 95.9 1705 Radio Cas - FM, Bruntál/ul. Opavská 98.3 1705 Radio Cas - FM, Trinec/Na Javorovém II 2996 >>CAS<
28th September, evening:
I’ve been trying to catch other Croatian stations, not only from Zagreb. Finally at 18 UTC I got Otočac, 97.5 HRT HR-2 at distance… 923km!! It’s definitely the best DX of this propagation. This location is fairly close to the Adriatic Sea. Signal reached over 20dBf and I got partial RDS PS. Unbelieveable, isn’t it? I was also looking for HRT HR-3 from Otočac, but I was confused. The only one signal from HRV on 89.7 was… Antena Zagreb, identified remotely by Emel (thanks!). Maybe HRT-HR 3 is transmitted in horizontal polarisation instead? No idea – I got strong CR1 there. Zagreb was 7-8dB stronger in horizontal, but due to adjacent channel interferences, reception quality was much better in vertical. Otočac came in only in V.
At 21:30 UTC tropo expanded to Slovenia – incredible… I have received this country only via aircraft scatter mode in central Poland before, with marginally weak signals!! The first station this time was 96.9 VAL 202 from Maribor, in both polarisations (horizontal a bit stronger anyway). This name means “Wave 202” in English.
I was wondering where did this number came from – its origin is the medium wave 1485 kHz frequency, which has wavelength of 202 meters. Somewhat similarly, there is Radio 101 in Croatia which I have recevied on 101 MHz. Just before 23 UTC, tropo brought stations from Trdinov Vrh and it became my personal reception record from SVN at distance 824km! I was also extremely surprised with 91.3 HRT-HR 1 (//92.1) from Mirkovica, recevied via extended ducting path to Trdinov Vrh. As the signal from Otočac was still here I checked other locations around. This propagation was completely out of my any expectations. Could anything more happen? Yes… much more! At 2340 I successfully identified 87.7 HRT HR-1 (V), over my semi-local TX Konin 30kW ~100km. Distance again over 900km and signal level around 17dBf.
97.5 1803 HRT-HR 2, Otocac/Stipanov Gric 21dBf RDS PI C202!! 101.0 1805 Radio 101, Zagreb/Sljeme //web 98.5 1831 HRT-HR 2, Zagreb/Sljeme C202 HRT-HR_2 O=5 89.7 1845 Antena Zagreb, Zagreb/Sljeme 101.0 1859 Radio 101, Zagreb/Sljeme C30E RADIO101 96.9 2127 Val 202, Maribor 1/Pohorje //web 93.1 2156 Radio Maribor, Maribor 1/Pohorje //web 88.5 2211 Slovenija 1, Maribor 1/Pohorje 90.9 2247 Slovenija 1, Trdinov Vrh in vertical //88.5 97.6 2248 Val 202, Trdinov Vrh //96.9 91.3 2256 HRT-HR 1, Mirkovica //92.1 87.7 2343 HRT-HR 1, Licka Pljeivica // web, over PR1 in vertical, 17dBf
28/29th September, night:
Slovenia was still getting stronger and stronger. Just few minutes after midnight I got a full PS name on my screen: 96.9 [VAL 202 ]. W-W-W-O-O-O-W-W-W. This station is listed only as 3kW ERP. It’s another personal record for me, first reception from SVN with RDS! As everything has grown up, I received Radio City 100.6 (interesting jingle… “Sami hiti, Radio City”) and 103.0 Radio Aktual. These frequencies were also occupied by a mix of other stations. 90.5 HRT-HR 2 was strong enough to produce an intelligible sound next to LOC 90.4 VOX FM!.
96.9 0009 Val 202, Maribor 1/Pohorje PI:9202 PS:VAL_202_ 103.0 0012 Radio Aktual, Trdinov Vrh // web, 16dBf 100.6 0015 Radio City, Maribor 5/Pohorje 21dBf, jingle ID: Sami Hiti Radio City 90.5 0046 HRT-HR 2, Licka Pljeivica //98.5 scorpions song, next to LOC 90.4 102.8 0113 Radio SI, Maribor 1/Pohorje //web
29th September, morning:
When I woke up, all Croatian and Slovenian signals were much weaker, but still here including Zagreb, Otočac and Maribor. I found another ducting path which led to 95.9 MR1 from Pecs (O=3) and Danko 104.6. Other HNG, HRV and BIH frequencies were occupied. However I managed to pick out a very narrow signal on 97.7. At first I thought that DLF might be broadcasting some classical music too, but I checked the webstream at it didn’t match. So it was HRT HR-3 from Papuk! Everything became clear when an aircraft boosted the signal and I heard Croatian language. After HNG faded away I thought it’s the end of this fantastic tropo… but again, I was wrong! :-)
88.5 0700 Slovenija 1, Maribor 1/Pohorje very weak 98.5 0702 HRT-HR 2, Zagreb/Sljeme 20dBf 95.9 0916 MR 1 Kossuth Rádió, Pécs-Misinatetö //97.5 104.6 0922 Dankó Rádió, Pécs-Misinatetö //web 97.7 0927 HRT-HR 3, Papuk/Kapovac ducting, boosted via AS 98.5 1053 HRT-HR 2, Zagreb/Sljeme C202 HRT-HR_2 38dBf! 92.1 1103 HRT-HR 1, Zagreb/Sljeme C201 HRT-HR_1 103.5 1103 HKR, Zagreb/Sljeme over R. Victoria 89.7 1104 Antena Zagreb, Zagreb/Sljeme 97.5 1114 HRT-HR 2, Otocac/Stipanov Gric //98.5 again! 97.0 1130 Ö1, Sankt Pölten/Jauerling A201 __OE_1__ 101.0 1209 Radio 101, Zagreb/Sljeme C30E RADIO101 O=5...! 98.5 1254 HRT-HR 2, Zagreb/Sljeme again RDS level... C202 HRT-HR_2
29th September, afternoon:
Around 11 UTC Zagreb reached extremely strong level – 38dBf. I was able to receive the PI code also in horizontal polarization between 98.4 Radio Katowice and 98.6 Radio Niepokalanów. It was peaking up and down for next few hours, but at 13 UTC I got the RDS-level for the last time. In the evening the VHF band was empty of any distant signals.
Well, there were actually two unidentified stations, but I and my friend Emel confirmed one of them. 104.1 HKR from Licka Pljeivica (same location as 87.7 and 90.5 HRT) at O=1 (thankfully I recorded the webstream during reception). Another one is the classical music on 103.9 in vertical.
I’d say it’s Slovenija 3, but the webstream sounded somewhat different. However, the style of music was continuously changing, so maybe there was some latency via web? I don’t see any other candidates for this DX. KRDP (//104.3) is not playing such music, RMF Classic from Poznan is also unlikely, as it wouldn’t fit 48kHz IF BW as this one did. No, it was definitely RMF Classic received on a side-lobe of my 2×9-el stack. So, there are no unids left!
Italy was very close this time, as the tropo ducting would have to cross only the Adriatic Sea. Unfortunately, all interesting frequencies were overtaken by closer stations here in Płock. The closest Italian locations are blocked by the Alps, but maybe someday we could receive it in Poland across Croatia and Adriatic Sea instead…?