Winter Tropo 2015 (D, BEL, NOR, HOL)

February 11, 2015 is a day that will mark itself in history of FMDX. For the first time ever I have experienced a winter tropo with distances over 1000 km including BelgiumNetherlands and Norway. Furthermore, both Dutch and Norwegian signals were persistent at the same time! First signs of propagation appeared on February 10 evening. I heard a weak, but stable 89.3 hr3 from Frankfurt am Main, which is a relatively good beacon for tropo. This was the first distant DX over 800km and it lasted continuously during almost entire tropospheric ducting opening. Other locations from Germany were also audible – some frequent ones like Torfhaus, Kreuzberg, Brocken, but also rare Ederkopf (100.7 WDR4).

hr3  wdr4  SWR1

Well, there was much more going on the 2m band, including POL-IRL QSO on CW (1714km):


In the morning (11th Feb), tropo expanded its area to western Germany and brought several SWR locations including Donnersberg, Koblenz and Heidelberg. However this was not the most important part of the tropo. Around 7:25 UTC I heard a French programme on 99.5, so I took a quick look at the transmitters’ map, but I have not found any suitable station from France… but wait, here it is! – Belgium, my first reception ever from this country, with RTBF Musiq3 station from Liège/Bol dAir [1005km]. According to the FMLIST database, this location has a mixed antenna system for both horizontal and vertical polarisation, but I heard it only with Körner 19.3 – H. Each attempt to catch any other station from Belgium has failed. I tried both polarisations, but other frequencies were occupied or empty… Anyway, nice to hear at least one station from such rare country here in Poland via tropo! The following video presents three snippets of my reception, at 0725z, 0729z (peak, classical music) and 0753z when I heard it last time. I successfully compared the audio with webstream each time.

I was very upset, as the interferences from nearby high voltage lines were distorting the signal almost all the time, additionally causing the RDS data to decode at much higher threshold than usually. Due to the high noise floor I even haven’t connected a preamp between tuner and antenna this time. A sample showing this problem could be heard on a SWR1 recording from Donnersberg [890km]. At such signal level (23dBf), the sound should be virtually noise-free, but there is lot of an audible impulse noise.

Besides SWR stations I also heard Saarland, 88.0 SR1. The signal level was poor, only O=2, and no jingle or any ID – however I identified it with a webstream. I think one closer location from Germany is also worth mentioning. Chemnitz was strong all the day, with level up to 40dBf. It is not a record or anything, but I also heard it in car near Płock! Meanwhile Teutoburger Wald reached stereo & RDS level and maintained such quality until night.

In the afternoon, there was no sign of Belgium, but closer (700…800km) German locations have strengthened up and I got more RDS-level logs. Hoher Meißner peaked to 38dBf @ 101.7 hr4. However the lower frequency was, the lower signal I received. For example 90.6 WDR 5 was typically 10dB+ weaker than 1LIVE 105.5! Looks like this time ducting favored higher frequency bands more. 

In the evening I decided to rotate Körner 19.3 at north-west. I heard weak Göteborg and strong Malmö… however I got stuck on 93.7. It wasn’t Poland or Sweden! After checking the webstream everything became clear. Norway! NRK P2 from Hovdefjell together with 87.8 NRK P1. I did a quick look at nearby transmitters map, Denmark on 100.7 in vertical seemed to be a likely one. However, instead of Radio24syv I heard something different… Q-music from Netherlands!! The modulation level was massive, so I set a wider filter (108kHz) in XDR-F1HD instead of adaptive bandwidth, for better intelligibility. Together with 100.7 I also received 96.8 3FM and much weaker 98.4 Radio1. I have never received this country before. We thought that Smilde would be the easiest location to receive in Poland. However, duct went more deeply into Netherlands with IJsselstein.

Tropo was slowly moving east and I also received Kongsberg and Skien a moment later. The ducting paths on DXMaps FM reminded me a Sporadic-E opening. Finland got Germany, and Poland got Norway. This resulted in a something like a “tropo cloud” over the Bornholm/Sweden area:


Before I went sleep Steinkimmen peaked to RDS level. In the morning Radio Norge 105.2 was still audible, but quickly faded away. I also heard Yle1 89.8 from Turku, however the signal level was very weak, just above the noise floor on a narrow filter (//web). Although the tropo forecast maps were still predicting strong ducting, the VHF-FM band has already wiped out of all distant signals…

UTC MHz Program Location Details
0708 99.1 SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz Donnersberg //web
0710 103.7 Hit Radio FFH Habichtswald ffh ID
0711 91.6 SWR3 Koblenz //web coldplay
0712 89.3 hr3 Großer Feldberg //web
0714 92.8 MDR 1 Radio Sachsen Chemnitz/Geyer D5C1
0715 94.0 SWR2 Koblenz //web
0716 97.7 YOU FM Rimberg //web
0717 91.3 Deutschlandfunk (DLF) Rimberg  
0717 107.7 Hit Radio FFH Hohes Lohr //web
0718 87.6 hr3 Sackpfeife // 89.3
0722 101.5 RPR 1. Koblenz/Kühkopf  
0723 100.5 WDR 4 Teutoburger Wald //web
0724 99.5 RTBF Musiq’3 Liège/Bol d’Air //web
0732 100.7 WDR 4 Ederkopf wdr4 ID
0736 104.0 big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz) Koblenz/Kühkopf //web
0737 106.1 Deutschlandradio Kultur Olsberg // 89.6
0741 90.6 WDR 5 Teutoburger Wald //web
0746 101.6 hr4 Hardberg //web
0750 105.5 WDR Eins Live Teutoburger Wald 22dBf einslive jingle
0751 103.1 CRo Sever Chomutov/Jedlová  
0804 101.7 hr4 Hoher Meißner D364 __hr4___ 32dBf
0811 105.6 SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz Donnersberg // web
0816 92.8 MDR 1 Radio Sachsen Chemnitz/Geyer D5C1 MDR_SACH 28dBf
0818 89.8 MDR JUMP Chemnitz/Geyer D3C2 MDR_JUMP
0826 104.9 big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz) Ahrweiler 20dBf
0844 92.7 hr3 Hardberg // 89.3
0853 105.9 Hit Radio FFH Großer Feldberg // web, ads
0856 89.1 CRo Radiozurnál Plzen/Krasov 232F R-ZURNAL
0856 101.7 CRo Dvojka Plzen/Krasov 232E R-DVOJKA 40dBf
0856 104.1 Frekvence 1 Plzen/Krasov 2205 F1_104.1
0857 91.4 Radio Impuls Plzen/Krasov 2203 _IMPULS_
0858 92.0 SWR2 Donnersberg // web
0859 105.7 B5 aktuell Wendelstein B5 jingle
0902 100.6 Antenne Bayern Dillberg Antenne Bayern jingle
0903 105.4 Hitradio RTL Sachsen Chemnitz/Geyer D3C9 Hitr.RTL
0908 97.8 SWR1 Baden-Württemberg Heidelberg // web
0909 99.9 SWR3 Heidelberg // web
0918 91.0 hr1 Sackpfeife // web, under RMF FM @ 36kHz BW
0920 107.0 WDR Eins Live Olsberg // 105.5
0921 107.2 WDR Eins Live Ederkopf // 107.0 105.5
0924 96.3 CRo Vltava Chomutov/Jedlová  
0924 96.9 MDR JUMP Sonneberg/Bleßberg // 89.8
0925 92.0 Radio PSR Auerbach/Schöneck Radio PSR vocal ID
0928 88.0 SR 1 Europawelle Göttelborner Höhe // web! boosted with MS
1001 105.5 WDR Eins Live Teutoburger Wald D391 _1LIVE__ 29dBf
1006 100.5 WDR 4 Teutoburger Wald D394 WDR_4___ 29dBf
1022 107.7 Hit Radio FFH Hohes Lohr  
1023 103.7 Hit Radio FFH Habichtswald  
1030 95.0 hr-info Rimberg // 99.6
1036 105.7 Antenne Niedersachsen Steinkimmen vocal ID, 9dBf
1040 103.0 BFBS Radio Bielefeld/Hünenburg 13dBf
1055 90.6 WDR 5 Teutoburger Wald D395 WDR_5___
1113 91.6 SWR3 Koblenz  
1358 101.7 hr4 Hoher Meißner D364 __hr4___ 38dBf :O
1401 101.5 RPR 1. Koblenz/Kühkopf 22dBf, RPR1 jingle
1401 104.0 big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz) Koblenz/Kühkopf 22dBf
1402 104.9 big fm (Rheinland-Pfalz) Ahrweiler // 104.0
1406 94.0 SWR2 Koblenz 20dBf
1415 105.6 MDR JUMP Remda (Saalfeld) D3C2 MDR_JUMP
1416 105.5 WDR Eins Live Teutoburger Wald  
1443 107.4 SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz Koblenz under VOX FM @ 42kHz BW
1449 97.7 YOU FM (hr) Rimberg D366 25dBf
1450 96.8 Landeswelle Thüringen Kulpenberg landeswelle id
1457 106.0 Hitradio RTL Sachsen Auerbach/Schöneck D3C9 30dBf
1508 103.7 Hit Radio FFH Habichtswald D368 _F_F_H__ 35dBf
1517 97.0 WDR 3 Teutoburger Wald D393, over Zet DLF, 37dBf
1521 100.3 Planet Radio Eisenberg //web, ads, over PiK
1545 103.0 BFBS Radio Bielefeld/Hünenburg D390 _BFBS_1_ 32dBf
1549 97.0 WDR 3 Teutoburger Wald D393 WDR_3___
1550 105.5 WDR Eins Live Teutoburger Wald _1LIVE__ 40dBf
1559 94.1 WDR 2 Münster/Baumberge // 93.2
1611 91.7 MDR 1 Radio Thüringen Sonneberg/Bleßberg D6F1 MDR_THUE
1649 89.3 hr3 Großer Feldberg still here, since yesterday evening!
1700 91.3 Deutschlandfunk (DLF) Rimberg D210 __DLF___ 30dBf
1704 95.0 hr-info Rimberg D367 hr-iNFO_
1818 93.7 NRK P2 Hovdefjell // web!!
1820 87.8 NRK P1 Hovdefjell //web
1846 100.7 Q-music IJsselstein //web
1847 96.8 NPO 3FM IJsselstein  
1857 98.4 NPO Radio 1 Markelo/Alticom Toren  
1905 94.1 WDR 2 Münster/Baumberge vocal ID
1944 96.8 Landeswelle Thüringen Kulpenberg 21dBf
1949 104.7 Antenne Thüringen Kulpenberg  
2009 98.5 MDR 1 Radio Thüringen Keula  
2120 93.7 NRK P2 Hovdefjell 16dBf stereo
2123 89.5 SR P4 Hörby/Sallerup TM E224 SR_P4___
2130 89.3 SR P1 Göteborg 11dBf
2131 91.3 NRK P1 Kongsberg/Jonsknuten // 87.8 :-)
2134 95.5 NRK P2 Kongsberg/Jonsknuten // 93.7
2135 97.8 NRK Petre Kongsberg/Jonsknuten  
2137 105.2 Radio Norge Skien 1/Vealøs  
2212 105.7 Antenne Niedersachsen Steinkimmen 22dBf
2214 93.0 BFBS Radio Braunschweig 28dBf
2217 90.1 MDR JUMP Dresden-Wachwitz over Eska Lodz, almost RDS level
2225 102.2 Antenne Thüringen Inselsberg D3F8 ANT.THUE
2231 94.9 Landeswelle Thüringen Ronneburg (Gera) //106.7
2233 97.7 YOU FM (hr) Rimberg D366 _YOU_FM_
2245 96.8 Landeswelle Thüringen Kulpenberg 24dBf
2300 89.4 SR P1 Borlänge 8dBf
2329 105.5 WDR Eins Live Teutoburger Wald D391 _1LIVE__ 37dBf
2332 103.0 BFBS Radio Bielefeld/Hünenburg D390 _BFBS_1_ 31dBf
2336 102.6 NDR 2 Stadthagen D382 _NDR_2__
2337 100.8 NDR 1 Niedersachsen Stadthagen D381 NDR1_NDS 33dBf
2339 103.8 Antenne Niedersachsen Barsinghausen over PR3, 34dBf //105.7
2341 106.1 Deutschlandfunk (DLF) Stadthagen // 97.7
2342 104.4 NDR Kultur Stadthagen @ 9kHz BW, //98.7
2345 103.9 Antenne Thüringen Dingelstädt // 102.2
2350 104.5 Landeswelle Thüringen Keula // 96.8


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