Sporadic-E 2014

http://radiacja.blogspot.com/2014/10/sporadic-e-2014.html2014 has become the first year when my tuner was more exposed to foreign stations actually being abroad than at home in Poland via Sporadic-E.

Rome (in May) Subsequently after last year, in 2014 I outstripped the begin of Sporadic-E season again and travelled to a country where we usually in Poland get Es signals from. This year it was Rome, Italy, which I reported here on blog in many posts in Polish.
It was so strange to see people listen to the stations like Radio Deejay or RTL102.5 at shops, caffees, in cars. THE stations that I only associate with DX propagation. As if those people were constantly listening to a Sp-E opening - are they crazy? I can't get over this impression during my foreign trips. Here's "Summer time" jingle on one of Italy's most popular networks - Radio Deejay:

Back at home I observed my first propagation opening as late as  May 25th. Sure there were some openings before that, but due to my working hours and the preference of spending free time outside. I skipped many skips.

May, 25th was bringing in Spain and Italy, with not very high MUF (Maximum Usable Freqiency). Actually, that day the lower frequencies with their unusual transmissions turned out to be most interesting. Because it was sunday, many catholic churches in Italy aired holy mess on frequencies just below the FM band: 85,7 MHz, 86,0 MHz, 86,2 MHz, 86,5 MHz, 87,1 MHz
They seemed to be radiolinks from a church to a local radiostation (to be rebroadcast somewhere between 87,5 and 108 MHz FM), sound quality of these transmissions was sometimes very poor. It's worth tuning below 88MHz whenever Sp-E favors Italy. Apart from chrurches they have plenty of other feeds.

TRT-1, Turkish National Radio1 top-of-hour ident and news jingle:

May, 31st This saturday afternoon, Sp-E marked with Turkish dominance within 88-108 MHz (high MUF) and with stations from the opposite coast of Black Sea in the OIRT band (66-74 MHz). The latter area, as you probably already learned, doesn't want to be a part Ukraine anymore. Due to political turnoil earlier this year, Crimean Peninsula has chosen to join Russian Federation right after separating from Ukraine. That being done, the radiostations from Ukraine were also forced to switch off in Crimea. Their frequencies were instantly overtaken by Russians. Today's Sporadic-E to Crimea offered a nice preview of what changes occured in this area - many new stations turned up on channels previously occupied by Ukrainian Radio 1&2.
I received:
68,90 R.Vanya
66,80 R. Krim (goddamn strong!)
68,48 Vesti FM
Apart from that, many Radio Rossii's and Mayaks showed up from neighbouring Russia, as usual.
Did you know couple of them broadcast RDS signal? For example, what I received today:
69.080 7786 _MAYAK__
Oddly it wasn't Radio Mayak as PS may say. It was Radio Rossii! (site: Maykop)
OIRT broadcast band specification does not include RDS subcarrier, so i think some transmitter engineers in Russia were erratic (or too keen and eager on modern technology) to install an RDS-encoder on this transmitter. Enough to mention that there are no custom OIRT tuners that would receive and display RDS data (apart from our modded Sony XDR tuners of couse:) More examples of RDS-compliant OIRT transmitters you may find at my Dx-friend's Konrad site

Back to 88-108 FM band. I noticed that Turkey was joined by some arab voices. Although arabic stations from Middle East are amongst furthest that can be reveived in Poland, they remain the least identified ones. No RDS, no arabic language knowledge, seldom on-air identifications or jingles are not helpful.
That's why I'm so grateful for 89,6 Ninar FM from Aleppo, Syria (a city which name also has been known from the news), which clearly said its name in a jingle.
I'm even more happy with today's best catch. Who knows, maybe the best this year. -PALESTINE! (Gaza Stripe) appears for the first time in my logs!
Again, I was lucky to have heard clearly on-air idents of 105,8 Ayjal FM. The signal was strong, so I thought it's a good chance to try to log other stations from Palestine. But no, apart from additional 106,6 MHz (strong with arabic speech), no other PSE (my new ITU) stations were present. In fact, even Israel wasn't that numerous either.

Here's the recording of my 105,8 MHz Palestine reception in Poland:

June, 2nd I think one particular station from Spain draws many European FM-DXers' attention this season. 87,5 Spektra FM become a common guest during many Es openings (i caught it today for the first time), loudly blasting 90s eurodance tracks! What a nostalgia for me.
Spektra broadcasts from Valencia city area, and was one of dozens stations from there which I received today. Up the dial, at 88,5 MHz I meet another significant station for Valencia. "Doble ocho punto cinco" ("Double eight point five") as sounds its on-air identification, or AIRE88.5 in RDS, specialises in latin music - mostly imported stuff from across the Ocean.
I also caught two Valencian stations with English language programming and English ads - a reminder that Costal del Sol is destination for many UK expats.

What was surprising - in a flood of Spain a single local station from France popped up with RDS quality on 88,9 MHz:
88.895 F450 STEBAUME
I looove receiving tiny local stations! This one comes from small town Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in Provence, southern France DX@1481km. Seems rather like a short-skip treat in this predominantly Spanish opening.

But out of all today's catches I'm most proud of one low-power local station: 99,4 Radio Albesa with network programming from catalan chain "Emun FM"
And I'm a bit disappointed with 90,1 COPE which I initially took for Canary Islands -TX, but it turned out to be a low-power TX in Catalonia.

June, 26th Turkey in again. I heard 94,6 Radyo Turkuvaz with "HD kalistesinde radyo shov'u" slogan, which stands for "HD-quality radio show". Funny, since HD doesn't apply for FM audio here in Europe, especially for many turkish stations. This is the clear sign of the HDTV-hype which spread around the world, actually making HD meaningless and pointless.
Speaking of  TV on the radio, I heard again the sound idents of TRT Haber - a single station which works as both radio & tv channel. On FM dial you can hear TV-channel's audio, which is quite smart idea for a countrywide news service.
High MUF that day provided couple of local low-power stations like:
92,7 Radyo Turkiyem
101,1 Megasite (oddly pronunced as "megah-see-teh")
107,3 Avrasya Turk
But the best sign of a high MUF was the reception of 109,3 MHz Burc FM with RDS, well beyond the borderline of 108 MHz!!!
I also noticed some networks expansion in Turkey, the best example being Radio Diyanet with Quranic readings, islamic teaching and religous singing. I was lucky to encounter an islamic song in English on Diyanet.

June, 28th (10:00-30 CET) Nice half-hour opening to Italy, I recorded couple of jingles on italian commercial networks. And a piece of mix on m2o (94,5MHz). Take a look:

July, 20th (16:30-18:15 CET)
My last this long Es-skip session brought some very nice DXs:
88,8 Radio Bari, local station from Italy, briefly in
90,1 RM/Teletaxi from Andorra! 2nd time ever received!
90,2 Nova - French alternative music station, which I'm a huge fan of (I listen through satellite, it's great to chatch this traditional way!)
98,2 Ionica Radio from Itally, best known from its 65,0MHz feed
88,0 WDR5 - nice short-skip from Bonn, Germany (988km)

The second half of summer I travelled a lot - to Vilnius, Riga and Berlin. So I think I spent more time catching stations from other countries being abroad than at home via Sporadic-E. But both situations were equally exciting for interesting catches.

Typing this year's catches to my all-time log has got me thinking about differtent log scheme to be implemented. It's just no point logging nationwide networks such as RAI and Deejay in Italy or France Musiques and NRJ in France. I plan to focus more on local stations, stations from selected regions or very low powers.
Current log can be viewed here, but I think sooner ot later the entries will be reorganised.

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