Friday, 23 July 2021

 

 Nicaragua TV double-hop

YNFA-302 Channel 2 Managua 

YNFA-304 Channel 4 Managua

                 Channel 3 Matagalpa


A 4-hour long double-hop sporadic E-skip event on July 22, 2021 brought TV signals from Nicaragua into Canada. Channel 2 Managua was first noted at 3:01 p.m. EDT. This was followed by the stronger Channel 4 Managua at 3:15 p.m. with a Multinoticias logo. Later the station returned to its usual '4' logo. YNFA-304 was in colour at times. A new catch, 1 kW Channel 3 Matagalpa was seen at 4:34 p.m. This repeater station was // to channel 4. The Nicaraguan signals managed to stick around until ~ 7 pm.

Seen here is a recording of Channel 4 Managua. This video uses frame-stacking, which although causes motion blur, increases the sharpness of still objects. The audio change partway through is a result of changing from NFM to WFM.









Thursday, 15 July 2021

 Colombia TV double-hop

5JA-5166 Channel 4 Santa Marta + 

5JA-8295 Channel 3 Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta +

5J...          Channel 3 Monteria


A long lasting double-hop sporadic E-skip event on July 13, 2021, that also brought in TV from Dominicana and FM from Puerto Rico, allowed reception of Colombia on channels 3 and 4 from here in Canada. The first sign of Colombia came at 4:24 p.m. EDT with relog Channel 4 Caracol Te Ve in Santa Marta. This continued until 5:09 p.m. when a new catch was seen, Channel 3 Caracol Te Ve in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (near Valledupar) // to Channel 4. Later on at 6:38 p.m., another new catch on Channel 3 with Telecaribe in Monteria. The Colombian opening lasted well over 2 hours.

Seen here are recordings of Channel 4 Santa Marta and Channel 3 Monteria.







 Puerto Rico FM into Canada !


WRTU-FM 89.7 San Juan at 1,891 miles on July 13, 2021


On July 13 during a double-hop E-skip event where Dominicana and Colombia were coming in on lowband TV, Puerto Rico appeared on the FM dial at 5:08 p.m. EDT, a new FM country for me (#8). The recording below begins at 5:27 p.m. Unfortunately my antenna switch wasn't pushed over completely, so the signal was about 10 dB lower than it could of been. Amazing strength for double-hop. Midpoint was in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Also received was an unID Spanish station on 97.1. No matches could be found in Puerto Rico, so Dominicana is suspected. 



Friday, 9 July 2021


 Trans-Atlantic FM DX into Ontario !

87.7 Azores confirmed - 2,816 mile double-hop

It took some investigation, podcasts, and a mix-up with Azores vs. Portugal time zones, but I managed to confirm reception of 87.7 RTP-3 Ponta Delgada, Azores (Pico de Barrosa xmtr) here in Grimsby, ON at 6:38-6:40 p.m. EDT July 8th. Top-of-the-band skip to Newfoundland was in at the time.

According to the schedule, the program 'Indiegente' was on at the time. (The podcast was found here : https://www.rtp.pt/play/p257/e556841/indiegente ). Recorded here are the few snippets of reception followed by clips from a podcast of the program.

My QTH is Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. Receiver : Icom R-8600 w/SDR Console. Antenna : CM-3671. no preamp.  
Update : As far as I know, this is officially a new North American FM DX record!
Note : The blank recording has been fixed.

Monday, 25 July 2016

40 Years of TV DXing

It was 40 years ago this morning that I started my bizarre hobby of trying to get distant TV stations on our antenna (in Niagara Falls, Ontario). Now after getting 1,086 stations from 9 provinces, 38 states and 15 countries, that keen interest still carries on.

The day before July 25, 1976, I decided I was going to get up early every morning and check the TV for distant stations. I had dabbled in TV DXing before, looking for those stations in the TV Guide that we never watched (or couldn't seem to get) as early as 1969, at the age of 6. I found my first "unlisted" station that same year, WICU 12 Erie, Pennsylvania, and then my first "real" DX in 1972 with WTOL 11 Toledo, Ohio. But now, this was going to be organized and I was going to keep a log.

WTOL had been my stagnant record for 4 years. That first morning, I was determined to find something equal or farther away. Luckily, conditions were favourable. I found a station battling with my semi-local Channel 6 Paris, ON, it ended up being WTVN 6 Columbus, Ohio. At a distance of 298 miles, I had already beaten my old record on the very first day. I was pumped wondering what I would get next.

On the 3rd day, in the evening at 6:29 p.m., I was totally blown away when I found a strong signal on Channel 3 that was showing the weather for Florida! That was crazy. It was in colour and easily watchable. It was WEAR Pensacola. Wow, how was this even possible? Florida? How come I couldn't get anything in between? Where was Ohio? Where was Tennessee? Why just one lonely station? My dad saw it too when he came to watch the news. He was impressed enough to tell the guys at work about it (but he also wanted me to change the channel, but relented).

Little did I know that what I saw was "sporadic E-skip", an unpredictable ionospheric propagation mode that was more like what you came across nightly on AM radio than on TV. I didn't find out about E-skip until I got hold of a brochure from the WTFDA (Worldwide TV-FM DX Association) in early 1977. I joined then and have been a member ever since.

WEAR-TV would turn out to be the only skip station I saw that summer. My tropospheric DX extended in all directions, with my best catch ending up being WOTV Channel 8 Grand Rapids, Michigan at 325 miles.

The next year, 1977, opened up the brand new world of E-skip DXing. By the end of that summer I was already up to 6 provinces and 20 states. I was hooked; and have been ever since.

Catches over the years can be found here... http://dxinfocentre.com/hepburn/tv_dx_vhf-lo.html



Friday, 10 June 2016

1st Trans-Atlantic E-Skip

It wasn't on TV or any of the other broadcast bands, but I'm still happy to receive my first Trans-Atlantic VHF signal yesterday via E-Skip mode rather than F2 Skip. It was also my first VHF DX from Africa.

The station received was EA8DBM Tenerife, Canary Islands, a ham station transmitting CQ and QRA messages on 50.1 MHz in Morse Code. Time of reception was 1:48 p.m. EDT. The distance of 3,591 miles broke my old record of 2,491 miles to TV Channel 4 Trinidad.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Another odd-ball TV station

While we're on the topic of strange-acting analogue TV carriers, I found another one yesterday during an E-skip opening. So far it's a UTV (unidentified television station) as I could not get any discernible video. It really is odd as the carrier seems to FM-modulate then narrow again. It was on channel 5z. Time of reception : 9:28 p.m. EDT. The signal seemed to peak west. Openings to Nebraska-Kansas, Manitoba and Alabama were active at this time. Target Area: Missouri ?

Spectrum capture and audio version are below :


Audio of video carrier.