It is October 28. There is some snow outside and sub-zero temperature. Well, nothing indicates an upcoming Sporadic-E propagation… In the morning, few minutes before 9 UTC, I heard a foreign station on 93.9. I was not sure what’s going on, but after a short investigation I realized that CCIR band is really open to Tunisia and Italy via ionosphere – Es. Definitely rare thing at this time of year. Sporadic-E lasted for about 35 minutes and at ~10:20 everything faded away.
Autumn is well known as a perfect season for tropospheric ducting. First notable long-path ducting occurred this year on September 7, but it was just a short propagation. This time, good tropo conditions lasted much longer. Everything started in the evening on October 18 with strong tropo from Lithuania and Belarus. I also got some stations on OIRT band (66 – 74MHz) including Babrujsk (~650km, 73.01 stereo O=5-). Actually I don’t have any OIRT-dedicated antenna and my all receptions were made using Körner 19.3. Stations from Vilnius reached RDS & clear stereo signal (98.3, 102.6, 106.8). Although the distances were not so great, I have received some stations for the first time.
Since I have modded my XDR-F1HD I can receive also everything above ~60 MHz during Sporadic-E propagations. Studio-transmitter links are typically placed below the CCIR band, somewhere between 50 and 87MHz. They often carry a full MPX signal with stereo and RDS, so these signals are quite easy to identify. Italy has a very high amount of such transmitters. STLs usually have low power but they almost always don’t have a co-channel or adjacent interference during reception – this band is empty here!
Although W. Hepburn’s tropospheric forecasts hadn’t predicted any extended conditions, just like almost a year ago (13.09.2011 – Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria – elevated ducting land paths up to 1350km!), the tropospheric propagation reached central Poland between 5 and 8 UTC on September 7, 2012. Tropo was developing all night long. I was receiving a weak but stable signal from Kreuzberg in the evening, which finally peaked to a perfect stereo reception with RDS in the morning. I logged lots of stations from south-western Germany. Unfortunately, bad weather didn’t let them stay for a long time.