Tag Archives: propagation

Propagation and the weekend’s logs

Propagation has not been too bad this weekend. The Sun appears to have calmed down a bit, with no reported flares, although sun spot counts have been low. As we move into the winter season here in the Northern Hemisphere, we should see improved reception on the lower bands. Although, at this QTH, the local RFI hits the lower bands particularly hard, and of course, the interesting stations are usually low power, so it becomes a big challenge. I am primarily thinking about the myriad of stations in South America, who’s transmitter power rarely gets above 10 KW, as they are there for local coverage. But sometimes, when ‘the planets aline’, conditions can be that these stations come out of the noise. So of course, minimising the local noise becomes paramount, but again, a big challenge.

Anyway, enough waffling, here are the logs. It was nice to hear Voice of the Broad Masses from Eritrea, as it has been many months since I logged this one.

13630 Khz Botswana VOA 18:22 UTC Portugese. Music and chat SINPO: 43344 2016-10-21

4930 Khz Botswana VOA 19:10 UTC English. Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-10-22

5910 Khz Romania RRI 19:41 UTC Serbian. News and reports. SINPO: 44444 2016-10-22

4840 Khz USA WWCR 06:22 UTC English. Religious broadcast SINPO: 32222 2016-10-23

5025 Khz Cuba R Rebelde 06:27 UTC Spanish. Music and chat SINPO: 32222 2016-10-23

5085 Khz USA WTWW 06:32 UTC English. Music, David Soul and others. SINPO: 22222 2016-10-23

17580 Khz Cuba R Habana 12:05 UTC Spanish. Music and chat SINPO: 32233 2016-10-23

17640 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 12:08 UTC French. OM announcer. SINPO: 33333 2016-10-23

17660 Khz Madagascar RFI 12:10 UTC French. Some deep QSB at times. OM announcer SINPO: 43333 2016-10-23

17680 Khz Phillipines VOA 12:16 UTC Burmese. YL announcer SINPO: 43344 2016-10-23

17690 Khz Kuwait R Azadi. 12:21 UTC Pashto. OM announcer with frequencies and contact details at 12:21 SINPO: 43333 2016-10-23

17730 Khz Cuba R Habana 12:24 UTC Spanish. YL announcer SINPO: 43333 2016-10-23

18930 Khz Kuwait RFA 12:27 UTC Tibetan. OM announcer. Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-10-23

15225 Khz Phillipines R Veritas Asia 12:42 UTC Kachin. OM announcer SINPO: 32233 2016-10-23

7146 Khz Eritrea V.Broad Masses 17:47 UTC Music and chat. SINPO: 32233 2016-10-23

7280 Khz Vietnam V O Vietnam 19:32 UTC French. YL announcer. SINPO: 43344 2016-10-23


Weekend logs

Over this last weekend of 1/2 of October, I managed to get in some good listening sessions, amongst the chores! Propagation was good on Saturday, but decidedly worse on Sunday. However, there were still stations to hear and log. A new one for the log was R.Munansi, relayed from WWRB in the USA. From the Radio Munansi website comes the following info:

“Radio Munansi is a community radio station that seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals, groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by the current Ugandan government.”

The transmission was in the Luganda language so no idea what was being discussed.

On Sunday, I managed to log Ethiopian BC Corp French transmission, not one I manage very often. So that was nice to get in the log.

It just goes to show that when conditions are marginal, don’t turn the radio off. Have a tune around, you never no what may make the trip!

And now for the logs.

13730 Khz Kuwait R Ashna 15:51 UTC Dari. Discussion SINPO: 33333 2016-10-01

15150 Khz Madagascar R Dabanga 15:54 UTC Discussion, the ID at 16:00 SINPO: 43333 2016-10-01

15240 Khz USA R.Munansi 16:07 UTC Luganda. OM announcer. VIA WWRB SINPO: 32222 2016-10-01

15275 Khz Sri Lanka DW 16:12 UTC Amharic. SINPO: 33333 2016-10-01

15580 Khz Botswana VOA 16:17 UTC English. Program of news and views from around Africa. SINPO: 44444 2016-10-01

9310 Khz Thailand Deewa Radio 18:10 UTC Pashto. Discussion SINPO: 43344 2016-10-02

9390 Khz Thailand R Thailand 18:14 UTC Thai. Thai rock music SINPO: 44444 2016-10-02

9515 Khz South Korea KBS World Radio 18:20 UTC Korean. Chat. SINPO: 32233 2016-10-02

9525 Khz Indonesia V O Indonesia 18:23 UTC German. Schedules and contact details. SINPO: 43333 2016-10-02

9710 Khz Ethiopia Ethiopian BC Corp 19:00 UTC French. Discussion SINPO: 43333 2016-10-02

5865 Khz Kuwait R Farda 21:28 UTC Farsi. Discussion. SINPO: 32233 2016-10-02

6115 Khz Phillipines R Veritas Asia 21:34 UTC Mandarin. Music and chat SINPO: 32233 2016-10-02

6195 Khz Botswana VOA 21:36 UTC English. Country music SINPO: 32233 2016-10-02

4800 Khz China CNR1 21:52 UTC Chinese. Music SINPO: 33333 2016-10-02

4920 Khz Tibet PBS Xizang 21:54 UTC Tibetan. Music and chat SINPO: 43333 2016-10-02

Latest propagation and logs

Propagation over the last couple of weeks doesn’t seem to be particularly good. Maximum MUF during the day seems around about 12 Mhz. During the evening, the lower bands don’t appear to be performing too well either. My ability to copy either Radio Sonder Grense on 3320 or ABC Alice Springs on 4835 have been patchy to say the least. I am assuming these so-so conditions are what we can expect from this equinox part of the year. As the days here in the Northern Hemisphere become shorter, and the period of darkness is longer, then the lower bands will start to dominate. I would like to be able to get some of the rarer S American stations in the log, but in reality, this may be impossible living in a suburb with high levels of RF ‘mush’. An ‘dxpedition’ to the Lincolnshire Wolds may pay dividends here. I also keep promising myself to improve my antenna arrangements here, but other jobs around the house always seem to get priority! Maybe, just maybe, before the winter weather gets here it may happen!

And so to the logs. Mainly the usual ‘Big Guns’, but one or two other interesting ones.

15090 Khz Kuwait R Azadi 13:45 UTC Pashto. Discussions. Some deep QSB. ID at 13:49 SINPO: 33333 2016-09-26

15320 Khz Australia Reach Beyond Australia 13:55 UTC English. Religious broadcasts. ‘Insight for Living’ at 14:00 SINPO: 43333 2016-09-26

15360 Khz Swaziland TWR 14:04 UTC Urdu. SINPO: 32222 2016-09-26

11585 Khz Guam KTWR 14:20 UTC Hindi SINPO: 21122 2016-09-26

11695 Khz Phillipines VOA 14:23 UTC Khmer. Magazine program, with ID at 14:24 SINPO: 33333 2016-09-26

11795 Khz Singapore BBCWS 14:27 UTC Hindi. News reports. ID at 14:28 SINPO: 43344 2016-09-26

11870 Khz Phillipines R Veritas Asia 14:30 UTC ID at 14:30 in Hindi SINPO: 43444 2016-09-26

11890 Khz Singapore BBCWS 14:31 UTC English. News followed by ‘The Why Factor’ program. SINPO: 43444 2016-09-26

12055 Khz Armenia TWR 14:49 UTC Sinhalese. Male announcer SINPO: 43333 2016-09-26

12065 Khz Uzbekistan TWR 14:52 UTC Hindi. Male announcer SINPO: 43333 2016-09-26

9390 Khz Thailand R Thailand 20:45 UTC Thai. News. SINPO: 54455 2016-09-26

9445 Khz India AIR 20:47 UTC English. Program about security and military matters in India SINPO: 54455 2016-09-26

RSGB propagation Report

Solar activity was a little more settled last week. The solar flux index was in the range 104-113 and the K index was mainly around one or two later in the week, after reaching four on Sunday.
This week the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the range 100-118, with lower activity on Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th. The K index will be mostly settled, but possibly reaching four on Tuesday or Wednesday.
During this past week the noon critical frequency as measured by the Chilton Ionosonde reached 7.5MHz on Wednesday, offering a maximum usable frequency over 3,000km of about 27MHz. Ten and twelve metres have shown some activity with Bob, VP8LP on the Falkland Islands making an appearance at times.
Staying with the South Atlantic, the VP8SGI DXpedition should hopefully be on the air this week from South Georgia Island. On 7MHz and 14MHz, the best times for working them will be on 40m after midnight and 20m in the late evening and early hours of the morning.
During daytime, all the upper HF bands may offer opportunities, with even the possibility of a 10m opening from around 1000 to 1500 UTC. The optimum band, with a 90% probability of an opening, is 15m during late morning.
VHF and up propagation news:
The hoped-for tropo didn’t materialise last week and the charts look very unsettled again. Later in the week one of the weather models predicts a small high in the cold air over northern Britain, but others are less convinced and maintain a much larger high near the Azores. Any useful ridging from this extending into the continent to give some tropo across the Mediterranean, France and Iberia is sadly just out of reach from the UK.
The Moon reaches minimum declination on Friday so we will have short moon windows and low elevations with losses still quite high.
We are still in the early-year minimum of random meteor rates, so persistence and early morning activity is still the order of the day for meteor scatter operators.
Overall then, it is not looking promising for any significant tropo, but perhaps other modes will come to our rescue like rain scatter on the GHz bands or possibly aurora. This is perhaps a good week to try some satellite QSOs if you want to keep your VHF and up QSO rates ticking over.

Some thoughts as 2015 comes to a close

A heavy work load has kept me away from this blog since late November. The same work load has also kept me away from getting in much listening so I am hoping over the Christmas break to remedy both these things.

With only a couple of weeks until year end, a bit of reflection on the year from a radio-related point of view (and any others as I ramble through this post!). I am writing this listening to Radio Rebelde on 5025 in the late evening, with their curious mix of Latin-American music. And this is the first area of reflection for the year, and for any other year for that matter. And that is the enduring power of radio, and especially shortwave radio, to entertain, enlighten, educate and excite. And all that sometimes in a language that I cannot understand but if it is music, as this evening, it still has the power to entertain. I cannot hear music like this on any other medium, and although some of it I don’t care for, much of it is good. This is the same with the ‘Music Time Africa’ program that is transmitted by VOA. Where else could you hear the diversity of music that is available from Africa. Yes occasionally it is featured on either Radio 2 or Radio 3 (BBC) here in the UK, but it will be the odd snippet. Not a whole hour or two’s program devoted to it. Wonderful stuff!

Another area of interest is the cultural, heritage and historic information one can get from various places around the globe. Earlier this year I learnt about the migration of Japanese people to South America during the last century, due to persecution and starvation caused by China and the economic problems of the time. And how even now, there is a large community of Japanese still in South America, notably Argentina. Again where else would you learn these things other than on shortwave? Another station which, during an hours program, manages to educate, entertain and generally stimulate the senses is Radio Romania International. Their daily segment covers the culture, history, and politics of Romania past and present, along with places to visit if you happen to travel to Romania. They are also excellent at responding to signal reports, with a great range of QSL cards. A listeners post bag is featured twice a week, where a selection of signal reports and other listener correspondence is read out. They are a station that really value their listeners, and are usually an excellent signal here to the UK.

An area in which I have taken a lot more interest this year are propagation reports, using either QRZ.COM for there quick display of A and K indices, or SolarHam.com for a more detailed view. It is an area in which I am trying to learn a lot more, but have learnt this year that these indices can predict what bands will be busy, and which will be too noisy to hear any stations other than the ‘big guns’. Several CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections) have occured this year, which at times, has caused an almost complete blackout of the HF bands. But there can still be surprises, and stations can be heard where the noise levels should be too high. But they will suddenly pop up out of the noise and that never fails to excite even after all these years. I have requested a book about propagation for Xmas, to be able to further extend my knowledge, and I hope to share that knowledge on here.

Other changes this year have been my main radio. For nearly 3 years, after getting back into shortwave listening, I have used either a FRG-7 or Tecsun PL-600. The FRG-7 went to a new home earlier this year, and the 600 became my main receiver. For a portable, I can’t fault it and it has enabled me to log numerous stations. It still doesn’t fail to astound me that such a diminutive receiver can pack such a punch. But as with all we SWL’s, I was looking for something better. So I finally purchased a Yaesu 450-D. I decided on a transceiver for a couple of reasons. Ham transceivers these days usually have excellent filtering, and the 450 is no exception, having excellent IF-based DSP filtering. Secondly, I wanted a receiver with better handing of SSB/CW. The 600 was OK, but left a lot to be desired in terms of resolving SSB signals. But again, for what it is, it still a good job even in this area, it’s just the 450 does it a whole lot better. And third, at some time in the future, I would like to get back on the ham bands and transmit. That will be a while in the future, as my current listening post is in the living room, where my XYL is usually watching the TV whilst I listen. Voice transmissions in that environment would not really work. And my current laptop is not up to handling PSK31 operation, so some changes before going down that route.

I also switched from a 45 foot (15m) long wire, to a homebrew Off Centre Fed Dipole (OFCD). This works a lot better than the long wire, but unfortunately suffered some damage in this years  Autumn gales. I am hoping to get some repair work in over Christmas if the weather is fine.

A downside to the year in question, is that yet more stations have gone off air and resorted to an internet-only presence. The DW Kigali transmitter was shut down, which was a great shame to me and no doubt the people of Africa who enjoyed their programmes. I do believe that in an increasingly turbulent world, where the poor and disenfranchised are likely to become greater in number because of conflicts, that shortwave radio is just as important as ever before. A radio can be run on batteries or solar power and is a small outlay in comparison to the cost of getting on the internet. For a lot of peoples, the internet is just not an option, it being either not available, or blocked by government decree. Even relatively prosperous countries such as China, who don’t have a working democracy, block web pages to which they do not agree. And so information is limited. Yes radio can be jammed, as indeed it is by China, but the jammers are not on all the time on every frequency. And the power of radio knows no boundaries. I am pleased that both the BBC and VOA have decided to increase their budgets in over seas broadcasting. Let us hope others follow suite.

Well that was a bit of a ramble, but I hope you enjoy it. I’m sure many people out their have had similar experiences over this year and it would be great for you to get in touch and tell me about them. New antenna’s, new radios, new stations heard, any of that. It is all of interest. Even if you think I’m talking rubbish, let me know!

I will end this post with a few stations logged this evening. With a K-index of 4, I was quite surprised to receive even these, but the bands always have the power to do that!

9870 Khz Saudi Arabia BKSA 19:13 UTC Arabic. Music and chat. SINPO: 54444 2015-12-11

9895 Khz UAE R. Taiwan 19:18 UTC French. Female announcer SINPO: 43333 2015-12-11

9940 Khz Swaziland TWR 19:22 UTC Lingala. Male announcer SINPO: 43333 2015-12-11

11750 Khz South Africa AWR 19:30 UTC ID in English followed by male announcer with news in Igbo SINPO: 43344 2015-12-11

11765 Khz Brazil Super Radio Deus e Amor 21:20 UTC Portugese. Male and female announcers SINPO: 22222 2015-12-11

12095 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 21:24 UTC English. Discussion about Islam. A very odd buzzing interference SINPO: 32222 2015-12-11

5025 Khz Cuba R. Rebelde 22:40 UTC Spanish. Playing Private Dancer. Lot of rtty type interference. SINPO: 32233 2015-12-11


Some Sunday listening

In between gardening and a few other jobs around the house, I managed to kick back and do some listening. The bands were in great shape, with the having quietened down considerably. How long this will last is anyone’s guess, but it’s nice to make the most of it whilst it lasts.

One of my favourite programs on a Sunday (it is also on throughout the week) is VOA’s ‘Music Time in Africa’. Hosted by Heather Maxwell, this features the eclectic mix of musical styles which abound on the African continent. All manner of styles are featured, from modern electronic pop, to traditional tunes using traditional instruments. This show has been running since 1965, way before the term ‘World Music’ was coined. And a lot of the musicians featured would not be heard anywhere else, even given the popularity of World Music. This is the sort of thing that Short Wave does really well, and yet another reason why none of the ‘big-gun’ broadcasters should be cutting their output. It allows those of us outside of the country to really connect with the culture, and yes, look for these musicians on CD and hopefully improve their lot by buying them.

V.O. Turkey tonight had the Ankara bombings as their headline news feature. It was also, as would be expected, in the ‘What’s in the newspapers’ section. Again, this is getting the news first-hand, without it being filtered through other news agencies before being served up to us by our media. Their was no presumption about who had carried out the atrocities, just a simple ‘no-one has yet claimed responsibility’ statement. A very measured tone to the whole bulletin.

And so to the logs from today:

6095 Khz Germany The Mighty KBC 08:27 UTC English. Country music. Part of the ‘Trucker Radio’ program SINPO: 43344 2015-10-11

21505 Khz Saudi Arabia BSKSA 14:32 UTC Arabic. Discussion program. SINPO: 54455 2015-10-11

17870 Khz Sri Lanka VOA 14:41 UTC Kurdish. Discussion program. SINPO: 43444 2015-10-11

17550 Khz Pakistan R. Pakistan 14:45 UTC Urdu. Female presenter SINPO: 43333 2015-10-11

17895 Khz Botswana VOA 16:01 UTC English. Music-time Africa. Sudden cut-off mid-song at 16:00! SINPO: 43344 2015-10-11

15275 Khz Sri Lanka DW 16:16 UTC Amharic. Female presenter with discussion program. SINPO: 43344 2015-10-11

13765 Khz Madagascar Vatican Radio 16:28 UTC Signature tune prior to next broadcast at 16:30.Amharic service started at 16:30. SINPO: 44444 2015-10-11

11750 Khz Sri Lanka SLBC 18:23 UTC Music. SINPO: 44333 2015-10-11



Solar storms and this weeks logs

Well, that was a poor week for reception. With the K-index hitting 7 at times, and a large solar storm battering earth with 600 km/s winds, reception conditions could be described as less than ideal. Even the strong stations such as R. Thailand and V.O. Vietnam were down on their usual signal strengths. Both these stations can usually be received very well here in Lincoln during the early evening, but not this last week. The ‘difficult’ ones such as ABC from Alice Springs on 4835 Khz were just impossible at this QTH. I keep a close eye on Solarham, which gives regular K-index updates and details of which bands have the favourable propagation. I find it a very useful resource.

As of today, conditions have improved immensely, with a K-index of around 4. I noticed some noise still on 25 and 19 metres, but by this afternoon, that had died away. So lets hope it stays that way for a while longer!

Here are my logs for this week.

5025 Khz Cuba R. Rebelde 07:20 UTC Gospel music. Followed by female announcer. Spanish SINPO: 32233 2015-09-06

15140 Khz Oman R. Sultante Of Oman 16:32 UTC Arabic. Male announcer. Mention of Shakespeare and Hamlet. Sudden breakthrough from AIR at 16:34 SINPO: 33333 2015-09-06

15205 Khz Saudi Arabia BKSA 16:35 UTC Quran chant. Followed by words from male announcer. SINPO: 43334 2015-09-06

15275 Khz Sri Lanka Deutsche Welle 16:47 UTC Amharic. Female announcer with discussion program. SINPO: 43333 2015-09-06

15420 Khz South Africa BBC 16:52 UTC English. Discussion about the various teams in the upcoming six nations rugby. Female anchor. Meyerton relay SINPO: 33333 2015-09-06

15580 Khz Botswana VOA 17:05 UTC English. Discussion about the Iran deal in the US. SINPO: 43344 2015-09-06

15580 Khz Botswana VOA 18:20 UTC English. Program about the attempts to restrict the ivory trade in Africa. Followed by a sectoin about the problems of tackling Ebola. A section on the court hearing about the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia in the 1970’s. ID 18:30 SINPO: 43344 2015-09-06

9540 Khz Thailand RFE 20:20 UTC Russian. Discussion program SINPO: 44444 2015-09-08

9730 Khz Vietnam V.O. Vietnam 20:49 UTC English. Information about development of Vietnamese industry. Many Vietnames businesses just act as an outsource for other companies. Followed by music. Program close at 20:58 SINPO: 43444 2015-09-08

13630 Khz Botswana VOA 17:50 UTC Portugese. News. ID at 17:54 followed by Sports news. Further ID and schedule info. at 17:57 SINPO: 44444 2015-09-09

9525 Khz Indonesia R.Republik Indonesia 18:08 UTC English. Male announcer with news of Indonesia. Difficult to follow as modulation is low. SINPO: 33333 2015-09-09

9755 Khz UNID UNID 20:15 UTC Greek-style music. Until 20:20 then suddenly off. Nothing listed SINPO: 54444 2015-09-09

9815 Khz Sri Lanka R. Farda 20:25 UTC Farsi. Music. ID and contact info at 20:26. Followed by ‘Hey Joe’. Pips at 20:30 followed by news. SINPO: 43344 2015-09-09

7425 Khz Thailand BBC 18:33 UTC Dari. News. Male announcer. Nakhon Sawan relay SINPO: 43333 2015-09-10

7480 Khz Pridnestrovie R.Payam e-Doost 18:38 UTC Farsi. Male announcer. SINPO: 43333 2015-09-10

5865 Khz Kuwait R. Farda 21:47 UTC Farsi. Local music. SINPO: 32233 2015-09-10

15120 Khz USA VOA 21:52 UTC Bambara. Discussion program SINPO: 33333 2015-09-10

15770 Khz USA WRMI 21:58 UTC English. ID at 21:59 then off SINPO: 43333 2015-09-10

13580 Khz Bangladesh Bangladesh Batar 18:10 UTC English. Local music followed by a discussion about Islamic art. Burst of noise at a high level probably due to the tail-end of the GM storm. SINPO: 43244 2015-09-11

13360 Khz Botswana VOA 18:15 UTC Portugese. Interview with a singer, with music in between. SINPO: 43244 2015-09-11

11735 Khz Zanzibar ZBC 18:23 UTC Swahili. Music and chat. Very noisy this evening SINPO: 32222 2015-09-11

17850 Khz Thailand R. Thailand 10:20 UTC Non-stop music. SINPO: 43233 2015-09-13

11600 Khz Bulgaria Denge Kurdistan 16:20 UTC Kurdish. Male announcer. SINPO: 42333 2015-09-13

11890 Khz Singapore BBC 16:38 UTC English. Leicester v Aston Villa SINPO: 43333 2015-09-13

11910 Khz Phillipines VOA 16:41 UTC Tibetan. Discussion program. Some QSB SINPO: 43333 2015-09-13

12075 Khz Bulgaria Bible Voice 16:46 UTC farsi. Music and chat with female announcer SINPO: 43333 2015-09-13

12125 Khz Armenia IBRA Radio 16:49 UTC Amharic. Male and female announcers SINPO: 32233 2015-09-13

9526 Khz Indonesia R. Indonesia 17:30 UTC Spanish. ID at 17:33 followed by discussion from male announcer SINPO: 43333 2015-09-13

9540 Khz Romania RRI 18:35 UTC English. Male and female announcers. “Listeners Letterbox”. Followed by music and then a feature about a Romanian jazz legend (missed the name). Close down musci and schedule and contact details at 17:55 SINPO: 54455 2015-09-13