Another tropospheric ducting propagation this month developed on October 30 and 31 night. This time I didn’t expect anything special at all. I was busy all evening and I was about to sleep, however I saw the tropo forecasts. Both of them directed my attention to Ukraine, which is mostly unexplored country in terms of a radio reception for us – DXers in Poland. There are two main reasons. Firstly, propagation from east and south-east occurs the least frequently. Secondly, a majority of stations use low transmit power and poor broadcasting locations. 

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October 30 and 31 – night:

In the late evening, when I turned my tuner on, I immediately found strong Lviv on few frequencies including 89.1, 89.7101.7, 105.4. I checked the OIRT and I heard two stations: 67.04 UR1 and 67.82 Svitle radio Emmanuyil at almost noise-free level. I don’t have an antenna for this band, so I rotated my vertical 2×9-el CCIR stack at… north for the best signal level. Unfortunately, I was not able to receive 68.99 UR2 Promin due to a local station on 90.4, which produced an image on 69.00 (21.4 MHz below). I think I need a low pass filter close at hand for such occasions.

Meanwhile I noticed a very strong 103.3 UR 1 (up to 35dBf!), which I initially identified as Skole, listed on FMLIST as the only one transmitter in this part of Ukraine. Now, according to the UKRTVR website, I see that 103.3 is a newly launched UR1 transmitter in Lviv.

I also logged 106.7 Radio Nezalezhnist’ and 107.2 Radio Vgolos for the first time. On 92.5 I heard an unintelligible talk. I checked UR3 Kultura webstream but I could not match it with my reception. Anyway, I don’t see any other candidate for this DX, except an unlikely Moldova Tineret. Because of a very wide deviation on this frequency and a semi-local 92.6 Radio Zet from Łódź, I was not able to extract a single word from the following recording. There is also a short snippet of a music (jingle?) at 1:36.

Few minutes later I checked the OIRT band in a horizontal polarization. Körner 19.3 is more predictable than 2×9-el for the out-of-band reception, as this is only a single antenna. However, the F/R gain transition occurs at the middle of OIRT band (actually, a slightly lower). Therefore, reception of frequencies below 68MHz is best when directed backwards – the reflectors act as directors for a longer wavelength. Over 68MHz, the antenna should be pointed normally.

I found a weak signal on 70.91. This frequency is usually occupied with BR 1 from Brest, which, however, is being powered down every night. I compared this signal with 68.24 and it turned out to be R.Mariya from Vinnytsya, my new ODX @ 712km from Ukraine!

7091

Tropo also brought Ivano-Frankivsk on 71.24 UR1 and 72.02 Karpaty FM in vertical. I have received this location only via aircraft scatter using a dedicated 9-el OIRT antenna in the past.

New tropo recordings from Ukraine are available in my log: http://konrad.fmdx.pl/?q=itu&id=UKR

October 31 – morning and afternoon:

When I woke up in the morning, there was nothing left from Ukraine. The sky was filled with a fog. I detected few WiFi networks via tropospheric ducting, including Tomaszów Mazowiecki and surroundings (~120km). You can read more about my 5GHz experiences in a previous article. At one point I also found an interestingly named network: „radio_zel-kunow” with radio name „radio zeleznik” and I wrote down the current antenna azimuth.

zeleznik

There are three villages near Nowy Sącz with such name: Żeleźnikowa Wielka, Żeleźnikowa Mała and Zagórze Żeleźnikowskie, which are at an azimuth of ~169°, that is still within -3dB antenna beamwidth of my reception. Moreover, there is also a place called Kunów very close to these villages. I measured distance over 340km, therefore that would be my new tropo WiFi ODX, but I’m not 100% sure. What about forecasts? They confirm the possibility of such DX with a ducting path arranged along the lines of an equal pressure. Update: location of this network has been confirmed: Analiza odbioru sieci WiFi 5GHz – 346km (Polish language).

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zeleznikmap zeleznikpressure

On the CCIR band I noticed some strong signals from Kaunas with full RDS on many frequencies: 102.1 LRT Radijas, 96.2 LRT Klasika, 104.1 ZIP FM, 97.6 M-1 Plius, 90.3 Classic Rock FM. Together with Lithuania I also logged some Finnish signals from Turku @ 881km. About 30 minutes later Yle1 89.8 and 98.2 Yle X3M produced RDS level for the first time ever! 103.9 Nova required a bit stronger signal for RDS, due to interferences from other stations, but it finally reached a sufficient level in another 30 minutes.

Lithuanian ducting path expanded to Vilnius and I received strong 89.6 Radiocentras over RMFMAXXX in the same direction. Tropo from Finland was moving east very slowly. Turku faded down around noon, but both Espoo @ 896km and Lahti @ 999km produced RDS level on many frequencies: 87.9 Yle1, 93.2 Yle1, 94.0 Yle Suomi, 95.5 YleX, 98.9 Yle X3M, 100.6 Yle Vega and 101.1 Yle Vega.

After the maximum peak around 12:30 UTC, all Finnish stations started to fade down. This was the strongest tropo from Finland I’ve ever seen, but of course not the furthest. I received 100.7 Radio Kuku from Estonia, as the duct had shortened. It should be noted that this station has a very high RDS subcarrier injection level and I got full RDS PS with just a 14dBf signal (with an additional low noise preamp). 

In the afternoon I noticed logs between the Netherlands and Poland. This was a good sign to check west on vertical antenna. Groningen @ 883km was already up with an almost noise-free signal on 97.5. Smilde @ 899km reached up to 20dBf level on 88.0. I have received these stations before, so I checked other frequencies. On 89.1 I heard weak „Radio NL” jingle and a bit more intelligible music! 97.5 Radio Noord peaked once to 23dBf – the strongest signal from the Netherlands ever! Unfortunately, this was still not enough to produce RDS at my location… maybe next time.

October 31, 2015 – morning & afternoon logs:

UTC MHz Program Location ERP QRB Details
0831 89.8 YLE Radio Yksi Turku – Åbo 60.0 881 6201 YLE_YKSI 25dBf
0834 98.2 YLE Radio Extrem Turku – Åbo 60.0 881 98.225 6204 YLE_X3M_
0901 103.9 Radio Nova Turku – Åbo 60.0 881 6209 __NOVA__ 33dBf
0952 87.9 YLE Radio Yksi Espoo – Esbo 60.0 896  
0953 93.2 YLE Radio Yksi Lahti – Lahtis 50.0 1000 20dBf
1006 93.1 YleX Fiskars 3.0 869 //web
1012 95.5 YleX Lahti – Lahtis 50.0 1000 20dBf
1022 93.2 YLE Radio Yksi Lahti – Lahtis 50.0 1000 93.175 6201 YLE_YKSI
1026 94.0 YLE Radio Suomi Espoo – Esbo 60.0 896 94.000 6203 YLESUOMI
1104 91.2 Raadio Elmar Valgjärve 6.5 744  
1125 87.9 YLE Radio Yksi Espoo – Esbo 60.0 896 87.900 6201 YLE_YKSI 20dBf
1135 95.5 YleX Lahti – Lahtis 50.0 1000 PI 6202 27dBf
1145 97.8 Retro FM Tallinn TV Tower 2.0 829 retro fm jingle
1153 92.8 YleX Anjalankoski 30.0 1005 //95,5
1213 101.1 YLE Radio Vega Espoo – Esbo 60.0 896 101.075 6205 YLE_VEGA 29dBf
1218 97.5 YLE Mondo Espoo – Esbo 5.0 896 NDR Info relay //web [1st]
1220 97.8 RS2 Siauliai 1.5 435 PI: ABBA
1229 98.9 YLE Radio Extrem Espoo – Esbo 60.0 896 98.915 6204 YLE_X3M_ 30dBf
1232 100.6 YLE Radio Vega Lahti – Lahtis 50.0 1000 6205 YLE_VEGA 26dBf
1308 100.7 Raadio Kuku Tallinn TV Tower 3.0 829 2323 __KUKU__
1410 105.7 Antenne Niedersachsen Steinkimmen 100.0 760 29dBf
1412 97.5 Radio Noord Groningen 20.0 882 //web
1418 88.0 NPO Radio 2 Smilde 90.0 898  
1419 89.1 RADIONL Groningen 4.0 882 jingle ID
1439 104.9 Antenne Niedersachsen Aurich 25.0 824  

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In the evening some German stations were still remaining, like 105.6 delta radio with RDS. On the next day, November 1, despite of interesting forecasts, tropo brought only very strong Grodno from Belarus.

This is one of three articles about tropo from October 27th to November 6th. Read more:

  1. Autumn 2015: Extreme tropo duct 5 GHz Wi-Fi 300+ km (Oct 27th – Oct 28th)
  2. October 2015: UKR, FIN, HOL ducting (Oct 30th – Nov 1st) – current article
  3. November 2015: extreme autumnal tropo (Nov 2nd – Nov 6th)

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