5 GHz Wi-Fi DX record – Denmark logged in Poland @ 745 km

A remarkable tropospheric ducting occurred on August 11 and 12, 2020 between Poland, Sweden and Denmark. The propagation forecasts, which use color hue to scale their intensity, featured red shades over the Baltic Sea. Such a propagation strength is very rare, if ever seen on a forecast for this area. I was looking forward for something extraordinary, especially on the microwave bands. My stationary Wi-Fi DXing setup has been damaged three months ago. I could not miss such an opening, so a DX-pedition was the only option. In the evening of August 11 I made an opportunistic decision to visit the Dylewska Góra in north-eastern Poland. A few hours later, I was standing there with an antenna inside a lookout tower. 

With its tip at 312 m ASL, Dylewska Góra (Dylewska Mountain) near Ostróda is the highest hill of the whole north-eastern Poland. There is a wooden lookout tower atop which provides fantastic unobstructed views between 175° to 340° azimuth with optical visibility up to around 50 km. The driving distance from my location is 135 km and I arrived there in two hours, in the middle of the night (2 AM). I knew that place as I have visited it already once with my friend. Back then in the 2018 we encountered a typical morning inversion without any notable long-range ducting (see the report: Early morning on Dylewska Góra).

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New Year 2020: Excellent inversion over Poland

Ten wpis jest dostępny także w języku polskim: Nowy Rok 2020: Rekordowa inwersja nad Polską

This year’s winter in Poland has been very mild so far and it does not resemble this season in our country at all. In fact, it is more like late autumn with possible light frosts. The forecasts for January are still in line with current weather, so this month will be definitely warmer than average. Starting from the end of December 2019, subsequent high pressure systems began to move to Poland. Such weather favors good propagation conditions, which can significantly increase the range of radio emissions. An inversion in the troposphere can enhance the reception within a wide frequency range, starting from the lower VHF (typically 50-70 MHz), through broadcast radio, television, microwaves and finally even… optical waves.

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Nowy Rok 2020: Rekordowa inwersja nad Polską

This post is also available in English language: New Year 2020: Excellent inversion over Poland

Tegoroczna zima wcale nie przypomina tej pory roku w naszym kraju. W rzeczywistości nadal trwa późna jesień z możliwymi słabymi przymrozkami. Obecne prognozy nie pozostawiają złudzeń i w większości styczeń ma być bardzo łagodny. Od końcówki grudnia 2019 roku z zachodu zaczęły nadciągać nad Polskę kolejne wyże. Taka pogoda sprzyja podwyższonej propagacji, która potrafi w znaczny sposób zwiększyć zasięg emisji radiowych. Inwersja w troposferze może wpływać na odbiór w szerokim zakresie częstotliwości, zaczynając od dolnego UKF-u (typowo 50-70 MHz), przez pasma radiowe, telewizyjne, mikrofale, a nawet… widmo optyczne.

Mój zestaw odbiorczy to antena RocketDish 5G31-AC + DBII F52N-PRO na maszcie 18 m n.p.t. z rotorem w okolicach Płocka (114 m n.p.m.).

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Warflying (Wi-Fi scanning) in an airplane up to 450 km

Recently I was traveling by plane over Europe. Of course, I could not resist to check what could be received on 5 GHz there, at an altitude of over ten kilometers…

I took the following equipment for Wi-Fi scanning onboard:

  • Mikrotik Routerboard SXT 5HPnD (AR9280),
  • Raspberry PI 3B with GNSS receiver, RTC and 10 V PoE output – see more: Wardriving @ 5 GHz,
  • USB power bank (5V/2.1A),
  • Nexus 7 tablet.

I was scanning using MikroTik SXT antenna with a built-in radio module. This device is as small as 14×14 cm. The dual-polarization antenna rated at 16 dBi is even smaller, at just 11×11 cm. It was connected to Raspberry PI single board computer.

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Lato i jesień 2018: nowe rekordy Wi-Fi DX 5 GHz

Jest to kontynuacja wpisu Wiosna 2018: nowe rekordy Wi-Fi DX 5 GHz.

Lato 2018 roku zapisało się jako najcieplejsze w historii obserwacji meteorologicznych, zarówno w całej Europie, jak i Polsce. Rekordowa pogoda, trwająca od wczesnego początku wiosny, przynosiła znakomite warunki propagacyjne na pasmach mikrofalowych rozszerzając standardowy zasięg nadajników poprzez zakrzywianie ścieżek sygnałów lub formując dukty troposferyczne.

Korzystając z mojego zestawu odbiorczego, składającego się z masztu o wysokości 18 metrów wraz z rotorem i dwupolaryzacyjną anteną paraboliczną o zysku 31 dBi na pasmo 5 GHz, mogłem prowadzić dalsze obserwacje propagacji mikrofalowych w troposferze w okolicy Płocka. Dzięki integracji programu z obsługą rotora możliwe jest automatyczne skanowanie sieci w wybranym zakresie azymutów i zapisywanie wszystkich danych, bez mojej ingerencji.

Podczas wiosny uzyskałem nowy rekord odbioru sygnału Wi-Fi w paśmie 5 GHz (i to dwukrotnie) w odległości 370 km. Ale to był przecież dopiero początek sezonu na tropo. Jak powszechnie wiadomo, najciekawsze, najsilniejsze i najbardziej spektakularne propagacje troposferyczne występują w Polsce na jesieni. Tak też było i tym razem…

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October 2018: Wi-Fi DX record at 460+ km (UKR/LTU)

Out of the four seasons, autumn is well known among radio enthusiasts as the best period for spectacular propagation of radio waves. The tropospheric ducting is a propagation mode based on temperature inversion in the vicinity of the Earth’s surface. Such an enhancement extends the regular line-of-sight distribution of electromagnetic waves to the areas out of their general, daily service. During special conditions, air layers may form some kind of a guide for the radio signals. This phenomenon usually happens during periods of stable anticyclonic weather and affects radio frequencies in VHF, UHF and microwave bands. While it is possible to watch distant TV channel or listen to a foreign FM station, one can also check other, less explored radio frequencies… like the 5 GHz band widely used for the wireless LAN communication.

This year was really extraordinary in Poland. The spring was very amazing, as both April and May smashed through all previous temperature records. We have also experienced the warmest summer, at least since the beginning of measurements in 1781. Such weather allowed often occurrence of radiation inversions that produced good tropospheric propagation throughout nights and mornings. I set my previous personal Wi-Fi DX reception record in May twice in a row from Wolin, Poland during unattended scanning on 2018-05-28 and 2018-05-29 mornings, at a distance of 370 km.

In the first half of October 2018, a high pressure system settled down over Eastern Europe and brought excellent propagation conditions in Poland. Again, the summer-like weather brought sunny days and 20-25 °C temperatures. This time I logged some networks from Ukraine, Lithuania and almost… 3600 other from Poland.

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