The weather in first days of summer brought a widespread high pressure system that has settled down over Eastern and Central Europe. Very good tropospheric conditions were forecasted between Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic and partially Poland. 

In the evening on June 23, I quickly checked the signals before sleep. There was nothing interesting on the 87.5-108 MHz band… except one low modulated station on 107.3. I have already received hr4 from Germany on this frequency twice before, but with weak signal levels. I was quite busy, so I kept the 107.3 tuned for any upcoming identification. In a moment I saw a PI code: D704. Well, that was odd, because I thought that hr4 carries a different PI code. And I was right, shortly I heard an ID – SWR4 verkehr! So, this time I got Raichberg @ 898 km on this frequency.

swr4

I was a bit shocked, as the signal escalated quickly to a 27dBf level, which produced a partial RDS PS. This time the tropospheric ducting was very directional and at the beginning I heard Raichberg only. Together with 107.3 SWR 4 I also logged 103.4 Antenne 1 and 91.8 SWR 2. Few minutes past 22 UTC I found 96.6 SRF 2 from Rigi @ 1015km. Raichberg was slowly fading down and up. Signals from other locations, included in a log below, were unstable and weak. Another Swiss location – Säntis @ 952km appeared on 99.9 (RSR La Première) and 101.5 MHz (SRF 1).

Just before 23:30 UTC I noticed that 107.1 Radio Zet from a semi-local Konin (30kW, 99km) has just disappeared. There was no scheduled maintenance and all other stations from this location were up and running. What an excellent chance for the DX reception! B5 aktuell from Ochsenkopf quickly produced the RDS PI code and partial PS on this frequency. In next 20 minutes I observed a transition from B5 aktuell to… Radio TON from Aalen, which finally also produced RDS, reaching even better level than Ochsenkopf. Aalen is at exactly the same azimuth as Raichberg from my QTH, so the strongest ducting path was still extremely narrow.

Aalen reached the RDS level also on 95.1 SWR 1 Baden-Württemberg, on an adjacent channel to my local Eska 95.2 in an opposite polarization.

20160623-234053-95075-D301 

Meanwhile Raichberg peaked to the strongest signal and 107.3 SWR 4 produced full RDS PS: SWR4_TU_. Other stations were interfered by adjacent signals, however detuning from 91.8 to 91.775 allowed PI decoding on SWR2 (D3A2) despite a distorted signal.

20160623-235309-91775-d3a2

Radio 7 from Aalen on 103.7 also reached the RDS level few minutes past 0 UTC and then tropo started to fade down. Around 1 UTC I logged DLF 100,6 from Tuttlingen @ 932km. Shame that there was no sign of France… 

June 23/24, 2016 – evening & night log:

UTC MHz ITU Program Location ERP QRB Details
2132 107.3 D SWR4 Raichberg 25 898 D704, SWR4 verkehr [1st]
2138 103.4 D ANTENNE 1 Raichberg 50 898 //web 25dBf [1st]
2202 91.6 D Bayern 2 Hoher Bogen 50 608 D312 ??yern_2 30dBf
2209 96.6 SUI SRF 2 Kultur Rigi/Kulm 30 1015 //web
2234 96.2 D SWR2 Hornisgrinde/SWR 80 927  
2235 94.9 D SWR2 Waldburg 60 892  
2236 91.3 D Deutschlandfunk Rimberg 50 737  
2238 105.7 D SWR2 Stuttgart-Degerloch 80 858  
2242 101.5 SUI SRF 1 Säntis 60 952 18dBf
2246 99.9 D SWR3 Heidelberg/Königstuhl 100 849 //web
2255 99.9 SUI RTS La Première Säntis 60 952  
2255 102.1 AUT FM 4 Bregenz 1/Pfänder 50 908 //web
2256 101.6 D hr4 or Bayern 1  
2308 89.6 AUT Hitradio Ö3 Bregenz 1/Pfänder 50 908  
2327 92.5 D MDR Thüringen Inselsberg 100 669 D4F1 MDR_THUE
2329 107.1 D B5 aktuell Ochsenkopf 30 621 D315 B5_a????, Zet Konin down
2340 95.1 D SWR1 Aalen/Braunenberg 50 794 95.075 D301 SWR1_BW_
2343 88.0 D BR Klassik Gelbelsee 10 712 //107.9
2343 107.9 D BR Klassik Kreuzberg (Rhön) 100 721 //88.0
2348 107.3 D SWR4 Raichberg 25 898 D704 SWR4_TU_ 30dBf
2350 107.1 D Radio TON Aalen/Braunenberg 20 794 D70D RADIOTON, Zet Konin down [1st]
2353 91.8 D SWR2 Raichberg 40 898 91.775 D3A2 27dBf
2357 99.5 D Bayern 3 Hühnerberg 25 767 Bayern 3 ID ~25dBf
0006 89.3 D DKultur Hof/Großer Waldstein 20 613 //89.6
0014 103.7 D Radio 7 Aalen/Braunenberg 50 794 D30B RADIO7__ 30dBf
0017 94.5 D Deutschlandfunk Auerbach/Schöneck 3 568 //97.7
0030 89.3 D hr3 Großer Feldberg 100 825 //89.5
0105 100.6 D Deutschlandfunk Witthoh (Tuttlingen) 40 932 jingle ID

Before going to sleep I left my XDR tuned to 91.8 for an overnight recording. Unfortunately Raichberg faded quickly away and there was only MDR JUMP from Löbau @ 385km at night and in the morning. Around 10 UTC Oschenkopf (90.7 Bayern 1 & 99.4 Bayern 3) and Hoher Meißner (89.5 hr3) produced RDS signals. There was also very weak 99.3 Bayern 3 from Büttelberg and unid German song on 107.9 audible for a moment. Hepburn’s forecasts for the morning were definitely overrated.

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