PG7M 28074.0 KL7J 16:53 30 Jun What a surprise !!, tnx Alaska
KL7TC 28074.0 5B4AMM 09:10 30 Jun Cyprus
DO2HQS-@ 28074.0 KL7XO 07:20 30 Jun -08 73s Alaska
On the 27th of June 2021, A65BR in the UAE posted on Twitter that he was hearing both Japan and the USA at the same time on the 50 MHz band.
This is an extract from the PSK Reporter website which shows it was open to Japan the USA.
Friday 25th June 2021: There was an extensive Sporadic-E opening on 144 MHz across Europe that lasted several hours. Stations in the south of England were able to work the south of Italy, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia. Most of there were in the region of about 2000kms which is pretty normal for one-hop Sporadic-E.
For a brief window of about 10-15 minutes around 16:40 UTC, the path on 144 MHz from England opened up to Israel.
The map above shows three stations in Israel that were heard by G4LOH on FT8.
4X/OM2IB was around 3840kms, 4X1GA was around 3845kms and 4X1BG was around 3820kms.
This is the map for G4FUF near London who heard two stations in Israel.
The distance to 4Z5CP was around 3750kms and around 3520kms for 4X4MH.
From what I understand, both of the English stations were unable to complete the FT8 contacts.
It once again highlights the FT8 paradox.
These are the spots from the DX-Cluster which are all for FT8.
As outlined in a previous post, Larry Horlick VO1FOG in Newfoundland heard a trans-Atlantic Spanish radio station on 88.8 MHz on the 21st of June 2021. Thanks to recordings that Larry has sent on to me, another Spanish radio station has now been identified.
This one was RNE Radio 3 on 95.8 MHz from the 100 kW transmitter at Navacerrada near Madrid.
The distance to Newfoundland is in the region of 3940 kms and it was very likely to have been due to double hop Sporadic-E as outlined in the previous post.
As well as the distance being 200 kms or so longer, it's interesting to note that the maximum usable frequency (MUF) for this double hop trans-Atlantic path was 7 MHz higher and well into the Band 2 broadcast band.
This is a recording of the signal on 95.8 MHz as it was heard in Newfoundland...
This matches the podcast for the RNE Radio 3 programme on the day. Link HERE
Credit: Thanks to FM DXer Paul Logan in the north of Ireland who helped identify this station and who also heard a FM radio station in Quebec during the same opening.
Sporadic-E footprint: It's interesting to see how the path from Madrid to Newfoundland is almost exactly in line with the other reception of the RNE R5 station on 88.8 MHz near Zamora.
Sporadic-E openings on the 88-108 MHz band are often like this with the stations heard stretched out in a straight line.
In Conclusion: I have covered the likely propagation mode in the earlier post which is HERE. As well as the distance and frequency of this second report, I am also struck by it's symbolism.
If a FM transmitter on 95.8 MHz serving Madrid, the capital of Spain can be heard across the North Atlantic in Newfoundland then what can FM Dxers and other radio enthusiasts in the Iberian Peninsula hear from North America?
And on a final note. Larry observes that there were MANY other radio stations in Spanish during this opening. We were able to identify just two from the audio recordings.
Mystery Station: There is a third and final recording but it's just a song.
It is the song 'Black Velvet' from Alannah Myles and it was heard from 11:55 UTC to 11:59 UTC on 89.9 MHz. Station? Location?
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Update - 27th June 2021: The mystery third station has now been identified as Los 40 Classic. A visitor to the blog (FinnDX) saw the comment above about the mystery station and then used this website to check back through the playlist of stations for the last week... https://onlineradiobox.com/
This is a composite of a screen capture that I took before it disappeared. The website seems to be showing what the time was in my location which is an hour ahead of UTC during the Summer months.
I can now confirm that Larry Horlick, VO1FOG in Newfoundland, Canada managed to hear RNE-R5 Todo Noticias in the north-west of Spain on 88.8 MHz on the same day!
This is I believe the very first reception of a European FM station station on the 88-108 MHz band in North America.
It looks as if the signal came from the 80 kW transmitter near Zamora in Spain and the distance was in the region of 3780 kms.
I have two recordings which Larry very kindly sent on. The first one is at 11:46 UTC...
In the above recording, the cities of Zamora, Segovia and Burgos are mentioned. It would seem as if this is from the Castilla y Léon regional news bulletin which runs from 13:10 to 14:00 Spanish time.
This is the second audio recording at 11:50 UTC...
This one is a bit more noisy but the distinctive little 'jingle' between the news items can be heard.
Credits: I must thank Paul Logan in Ireland and Jorge Garzon in Spain for confirming that these were indeed recordings of the RNE-R5 Todo Noticias radio station and that the transmitter site was near Zamora. Both are very experienced FMDXers and it's great to have their expertise to call on to make sure there was no mistake.
Newfoundland: On the receive side, Larry Horlick was using an ICOM IC-R8500 receiver with a centre-fed vertical dipole at 18m above ground level, cut for the lower end of the VHF LO TV band (essentially, non-resonant on Band 2).
Larry has only been listening seriously on the 88-108 MHz bands for a few weeks and he has already managed an incredible reception report. As well as being in a relatively quiet location (FM wise), he does have the advantage of being at the most eastern pat of Canada.
It also helps that anything that Larry hears on the 88-108 MHz band is likely to be in English or French so any other language really stands out.
Propagation Mode: It seems very likely that this was a case of double hop Sporadic-E at 88.8 MHz.
The above diagram shows the signals 'bouncing' off Sporadic-E clouds at about 110kms above ground level and being reflected off the ocean at the mid way point. It's possible that this was also chordal hop with the signal going directly between the two Sporadic-E clouds without hitting off the Earth.
Note that the angles and height of the Sp-E cloud in the above diagram are greatly exaggerated. In reality, the angles are very shallow and are probably just a few degrees above the horizon.
This is another diagram showing the suggested path and the two Sporadic-E regions.
Paul Logan in the north of Ireland reports that he was hearing FM radio station from the Azores Islands for about five hours that day which he says was highly unusual. The MUF went up as high as 104 MHz.
It's likely that the Sporadic-E region responsible for the Azores to Ireland path was also responsible for the eastern first hop of the trans-Atlantic path between Spain and Newfoundland.
It's seems as if this eastern Sp-E region was present for several hours and it just required one Sp-E path at the right spot on the western part of the path to complete the 2 x 1890 km circuit.
In Conclusion: This really is an amazing reception report and is part of radio history in that it is the first proven reception of a European FM station on Band 2 in North America.
It also raises some interesting questions...
1) If someone in Newfoundland can hear a FM radio station in Spain then why can't FM radio stations in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Maine be heard in Spain and Partugal?
2) If a Sporadic-E cloud in the western part of Atlantic can support a signal at 88.8 MHz then can it reach 144 MHz at times? And if so, could it couple into a tropo duct of say 1500 kms to complete the path to Spain or Portugal?
A double hop Sporadic-E trans-Atlantic path at 144 MHz is highly unlikely but a mixed Sp-E / Tropo propagation mode is much more likely.
The best thing about this trans-Atlantic reception report is that it now 'opens the door' on what might be possible. My hope is that it now raises awareness and more people will now listen for trans-Atlantic signals on the 88-108 MHz and 144 MHz bands.
Larry, VO1FOG informs me that he is building a 10 el K6STI Yagi for 88-108 MHz so hopefully we will get to hear of some more trans-Atlantic signals.
Addendum: This is a photo of the vertical Band 1 dipole that was used for the reception.
21st June 2021: This was a remarkable day for VHF propagation with a very rare trans-Atlantic opening on the 88-108 MHz FM band.
As outlined in a previous post, Paul Logan in the north of Ireland managed to hear a radio station from Greenland on 88.5 MHz from roughly 13:00 to 14:00 UTC on the 21st of June.
Near the end of this opening, Paul also managed to hear a radio station near Quebec in Canada, a distance of approximately 4,270 kms !
The radio station in question was the 100 kilowatt transmitter of CBRX-FM-3 ICI MUSIQUE which is located at Riviére-du-Loup just to the east of Quebec City in Canada.
A short audio clip from Paul is embedded below...
This second clip which is very noisy is of weak music and a woman speaking in French.
Paul was able to listen later to the podcast version of the show online and it matches what he heard on the radio.
Additional info: Paul Logan near Enniskillen in the north of Ireland is an avid DX-er and has logged hundreds of radio stations on the 88-108 MHz FM band over a period of 20+ years. For the reception, Paul was using a ELAD FDM S2 SDR receiver with a Band 2 9-element Yagi 8m above ground level.
Analysis: With the opening to Greenland and now the 4270 km opening to Quebec, it looks as if this was a very rare Band 2 double hop Sporadic-E opening across the North Atlantic.
While it it quite common for signals on say the 50 MHz band to cross the North Atlantic, the maximum usable frequency rarely reaches as high as the 88-108 MHz FM broadcast band.
Paul Logan has logged more of these trans-Atlantic Band 2 VHF openings than anyone else and this was only his 7th opening to North America in 20 plus years of listening.
As of 2021, not one single person in North America has heard a Band 2 radio station from Europe. Why?
Monday 21st June 2021: This was an exceptional day for Sporadic-E propagation with FM radio stations on the 88-108 MHz band in Greenland and Canada being heard across the North Atlantic in Ireland.
In this post, we'll look at the reception of the Greenlandic station.
Paul Logan near Enniskillen in the north of Ireland is an avid DX-er and has logged hundreds of radio stations on the 88-108 MHz FM band over a period of 20+ years.
On the 21st of June, he managed to hear the KNR radio station from Greenland on 88.5 MHz for the best part of an hour from 13:00 to 14:00 UTC. An audio recording is shown below...
Paul also listened to the online feed and it matched what he was hearing.
For the reception, Paul was using a ELAD FDM S2 SDR receiver with a Band 2 9-element Yagi 8m above ground level.
At the moment, Paul is trying to ascertain where the exact location of the transmitter in Greenland.
Analysis: It's very likely that this reception was via one hop Sporadic-E as the map at the top of the post suggests. The maximum distance for a single Sporadic-E hop is in the region of 2300kms and the southern part of Greenland seems to be just about within range of Paul Logan's location.
What is highly unusual about this reception report is getting Sporadic-E at 88.5 MHz from so far north in the North Atlantic.
It raises the question: If an 88 MHz signal can get from Greenland to Ireland then could a 144 MHz on a more southerly path head from say the south of Ireland the UK / NW France across towards Newfoundland and Nova Scotia??
Could one Sporadic-E hop with a tropo extension reach across the North Atlantic on 144 MHz???
Frank, VO1HP reports that the VO1FN monitoring station will be listening for trans-Atlantic FT8 signals on 144.174 MHz from the 21st to the 25th of June.
As I write this on the 21st of June, there are reports of Sporadic-E on 88.5 MHz between Ireland and Greenland.
If stations in the west of Europe can hear strong VO stations in Newfoundland on 50 MHz then they should consider trying to point their 144 MHz beams towards Newfoundland and give a few calls on FT8.
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This is the FT8 map for VK3DUT...
The paths for VK3DUT seem to be somewhat earlier than for VK3OT for whatever reason.
Txmtr Rcvr Band Mode Distance Time (UTC)
S59A VK3DUT 6m FT8 15993 km 04:30:11
SP4K VK3DUT 6m FT8 15675 km 04:31:14
HG2DX VK3DUT 6m FT8 15670 km 04:32:11
YL2GD VK3DUT 6m FT8 15256 km 04:24:56
UR3EO VK3DUT 6m FT8 14617 km 04:34:11
19th June 2021: After getting an email from Vernon VE1VDM, I fired up the Spectrum Lab programme and managed to grab TWO trans-Atlantic QRSS signals on 28 MHz...
(QRSS are morse code signals sent very slowly over a period of several minutes. This is an analogue method of reading signals that are buried in the noise)
It was probably the strongest capture I've got to date of VE1VDM and the first time I've managed to capture N8NJ. His power was 2-watts.
N8NJ is also the longest distance QRSS signal on 28 MHz I've captured as well. His power was 1-watt.
These are the WSPR reports around that time so you can compare what the QRSS signal looks like against the WSPR signal report.
VE1VDM at -13 to -15dB was at a level which would be barely detectable by ear. It's too weak for CW sent at normal speed.
N8NJ at -20 to -24dB was buried well into the noise.
In truth, there's nothing that remarkable about hearing Canada or the USA on 28 MHz during the peak of the Summer Sporadic-E season but it was still nice to get a screen capture of two low power stations from the other side of the Atlantic.
Thursday 17th June 2021: As I spend more time looking at Sporadic-E openings on 144 MHz, it's becoming clearer that distances in excess of 3000kms are actually a lot more common than we might have expected.
On the 17th of June, there was what I believe to be a double hop Sporadic-E opening from the Madeira Islands to Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and the Ukraine.
These are the FT8 paths on 144 MHz for CT3HF...
Wednesday 16th June 2021: There were extensive Sporadic-E openings on 144 MHz on the 16th with many parts of Europe working other regions. The FT8 map above shows what looks like a double hop Sporadic-E opening from the south of Russia to the east coast of Spain, a distance well over 3000 kms.
The map below for EA5WU in the east of Spain shows the extent of the openings and again, it shows the double hop Sporadic-E to Russia and the Ukraine.
You'll notice that the Russian and Spanish stations were both hearing plenty of stations at the mid-point suggesting that it was double hop Sporadic-E in this instance.
Just for the record, I have put some of the logs from the PSK Report website below and there are some DX-Cluster spots at the end of the post.
16th June 2021: I noticed a post on my Facebook feed yesterday about a Danish station transmitting on 25800 kHz on the 11m broadcast band. I really don't have much interest in short wave stations but this one caught my attention as it is reasonably close to the 28 MHz band.
The post from the 14th of June 2021 read... "WMR (World Music Radio) is now on the air on 25800 kHz - locally audible in Aarhus, Denmark - and sometimes by eskip og F2 propagation."
Today, I noticed I was hearing OZ7IT in Denmark on WSPR on 28 MHz via Sporadic-E propagation with a good 0dB signal. I then checked for the OZ7IGY beacon on 28.271 MHz and sure enough, it was there.
When I checked 25.800 MHz, the World Music Radio station was there on AM with a signal strength of about S '5' to '8' with a lot of fading. The distance was in the region of 1300 kms to my location.
In response to a question, they said that they were running 100-watts into a vertical antenna on top of a tall tower. Photo at the end of this post.
100w sounds like a lot but in terms of short wave broadcasting, it's very low power.
Sporadic-E propagation: If anyone wants to have a listen during the Summer Sporadic-E season (May to July), I have put together a map showing the likely range.
The signal is likely to be heard in the range of 500 kms to 2000 kms. Anything under 500 kms is in the skip zone. anything over 2000 kms is likely to be too weak.
The best spot is roughly between the two, say 900 to 1600 kms.
Normally, a reception report of a station at 1700km on the 144 MHz band isn't all that special as we're in the middle of the Summer Sporadic-E season but I found this one of interest.
13th June 2021: The VO1FN station at St.John's, Newfoundland was set up to monitor the 144 MHz for Trans-Atlantic signals. On the 13th of June, it heard a FT8 signal from K1TEO in Connecticut in the USA.
The distance was just over 1760 kms which is pretty typical for Sporadic-E or meteor scatter at 144 MHz.
This is the tropo prediction map for the day from Pascal, F5LEN...
It shows some enhancement on the 1760 km path but probably not enough to explain the propagation mode.
Propagation Mode: Frank, VO1HP outlined in the update at the end of this post how the signal was heard off the back of the beam. As there was just one decode, I don't think it was tropo. If it was meteor scatter then it required a burst that was at least 15 seconds long. The other option was a very short Sporadic-E opening.
My interest in this reception report is how it compares to the distance from Newfoundland to the Azores Islands.
The beam heading from VO1FN to K1TEO is 254 degrees which is 16 degrees south of West. I calculated what the equivalent point is at 16 degrees south of East and it is shown above.
As you can see, the distance to the Azores is just a few hundred kms.
It's my opinion that proof of a 144 MHz path between Newfoundland and the Azores would be a valuable first step in the eventual goal of a Trans-Atlantic 144 MHz contact on 2-metres. I think this is most likely to happen between the north-west of Spain / Portugal and either Newfoundland or Nova Scotia in Canada.
Update 15th June: From Frank, VO1HP... "The antennas were pointing at Ireland. I regularly monitor 144.174 even though EI2DKH is opearting on 144.488Mhz Q65 every time there is an opening on 6M. The actual decode took place on Jun 13 2021 not Jun 14. Jun 14 was the date displayed by WSJT-X on Monday when I logged on to the PC using Anydesk. The time stamp of the recording is 20210613_101845"
Update 16th June: VO1HO informs me that K1TEO was using 1 kilowatt to a 4 x 9-element Yagi array at 25 metres above ground level.