7/26/08

Trying for the big catch?
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Sam Buca
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7/26/08

Post by Sam Buca » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:03 pm

4p-5p eastern (had to leave before I could hit up the bottom end of the band):

96.9 - some country station completely buried my local WLAN 96.9 (which prompted me to listen)
WFDL 97.7 Lomira, WI
K100 100.1 (some satellite based "real country" format)
KTLK 100.3 Minneapolis, MN (no HD lock, but I got the call sign displayed)
WHMH 101.7 Sauk Rapids, MN
KBWS 102.9 Sisseton, SD (no HD lock, but the call sign displayed "LITE" and there was another ac station on top of them)
KGIM 103.7 Redfield, SD
WGVY 105.3 Cambridge, MN (WFRB in maryland was coming in and out over top)
KMOM 105.5 Roscoe, SD (listed an 100,000W cp??)
KPHR 106.3 Ortonville, MN

I found my dipole laying on the floor of my attic......must have fallen. Still pulled in all these stations.

Did I do some real tropo dx this time??? :mrgreen:

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Re: 7/26/08

Post by K9EZ » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:19 pm

Actually it may be some E, as 10 meters was open to the same area.
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Shane
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by Shane » Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:56 pm

Too far for tropo.

In reality most VHF propagation is tropo to begin with, otherwise it couldn't get over hills. It's not really line of sight. Not when you can do 60-100 miles on 6 meters on a normal day, for example.

Over that is "extended tropo" out to about 400 miles, sometimes more if over water. That's what we usually refer to as a "tropo opening." Past that, especially as far as your reception was today, that's skip. Whether it's E or F is open to discussion, but I'd bet that it was E today but only because it "sounds like" given the info here.

Any tie to E skip and the weather, I don't think has been proven, but there didn't appear to be a concentration of severe weather where you'd expect it to be with this propagation, but then it doesn't necessarily skip in a straight line either.
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by w9wi » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:46 am

Shane wrote:Too far for tropo.

In reality most VHF propagation is tropo to begin with, otherwise it couldn't get over hills. It's not really line of sight. Not when you can do 60-100 miles on 6 meters on a normal day, for example.

Over that is "extended tropo" out to about 400 miles, sometimes more if over water. That's what we usually refer to as a "tropo opening." Past that, especially as far as your reception was today, that's skip. Whether it's E or F is open to discussion, but I'd bet that it was E today but only because it "sounds like" given the info here.

Any tie to E skip and the weather, I don't think has been proven, but there didn't appear to be a concentration of severe weather where you'd expect it to be with this propagation, but then it doesn't necessarily skip in a straight line either.
The highest frequency ever reported for F-layer propagation is on the order of 70MHz. (and that only at the top of a very active sunspot cycle. We definitely aren't there now!) So I'd be confident any VHF ionospheric propagation you hear right now is E-layer. And yes, there was a very good East Coast<=>Midwest E-layer opening reported yesterday. Unforutnately around here it never got above TV channel 3.

Tropo can go considerably further - the current record is on the order of 3,000 miles between Hawaii and the bulge on Mexico's west coast - but mountains do a pretty good job of breaking it up. East Coast <=> Midwest tropo is not unheardof but it's pretty rare. As is anything much over the 400 mile figure you cite. The best openings happen over open water.
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Sam Buca
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by Sam Buca » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:48 am

It was really wild. I never listened during a window before. I was hoping to hear some dx HD but all I had was 2 display decodes.

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Re: 7/26/08

Post by w9wi » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:04 pm

Sam Buca wrote:It was really wild. I never listened during a window before. I was hoping to hear some dx HD but all I had was 2 display decodes.
Keep trying. Unless you have a Boston Acoustics you'll get some HD skip eventually...

I suspect this skip season is pretty close to done, though we've had pleasant surprises before. If possible, have a TV available with rabbit ears. When you start seeing signals on channels 4-6 it's time to start listening for FM skip DX. (if I recall properly the lowest channel in use locally in your area is 8?) This can also be handy for catching tropo openings, when you start seeing UHF signals on channels that don't normally have them. (the digitizing of TV next February is going to make it a lot harder to spot openings!)

http://www.dxsummit.fi can be a useful site, when people in your part of the country start spotting DX on 50MHz.
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by Sam Buca » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:53 am

w9wi wrote:Keep trying. Unless you have a Boston Acoustics you'll get some HD skip eventually...

I suspect this skip season is pretty close to done, though we've had pleasant surprises before. If possible, have a TV available with rabbit ears. When you start seeing signals on channels 4-6 it's time to start listening for FM skip DX. (if I recall properly the lowest channel in use locally in your area is 8?) This can also be handy for catching tropo openings, when you start seeing UHF signals on channels that don't normally have them. (the digitizing of TV next February is going to make it a lot harder to spot openings!)

http://www.dxsummit.fi can be a useful site, when people in your part of the country start spotting DX on 50MHz.
Yes....WGAL is analog 8. WHTM is digital 10.

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Re: 7/26/08

Post by K9EZ » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:42 am

Man the tropo this morning was horrendous. Most FM channels sounded like AM 1230.. a graveyarder. You could not pick anything out. Just a jumble of audio.
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by Sam Buca » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:44 pm

K9EZ wrote:Man the tropo this morning was horrendous. Most FM channels sounded like AM 1230.. a graveyarder. You could not pick anything out. Just a jumble of audio.
Still doing it this afternoon. I thought one of the locals was off the air....the rest were really scratchy.

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Re: 7/26/08

Post by themarcshow » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:41 pm

K9EZ wrote:Man the tropo this morning was horrendous. Most FM channels sounded like AM 1230.. a graveyarder. You could not pick anything out. Just a jumble of audio.
Is 1230 AM a crappy frequency? A lot of interference? A locally bad signal for you?
I have a 1230 AM that i'm trying to get better sound from. We've been dealing with a horrible air signal hum randomly comes and goes. Seems to be worse in late morning and late afternoon. Could this be an atmospheric condition or just old equipment?

If it was something out of my control I'd appreciate being able to stop banging my head against a wall trying to trace a hum.
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by NECRAT » Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:48 pm

During the day, 1230 shouldn't be too bad.

But try any one of the six graveyard channels at night, and its a mess. Even if you live close to a stick.

(1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450, and 1490)
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by Dave Loudin » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:44 am

Grasping:

Would your late morning/early afternoon equate to critical hours? If so, there might be enough residual skywave from slightly off-frequency co-channels to create noticeable heterodyne interference. Dropping carrier for a couple of seconds would put that possibility to bed.
What's that do....?

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Re: 7/26/08

Post by K9EZ » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:08 am

themarcshow wrote:
K9EZ wrote:Man the tropo this morning was horrendous. Most FM channels sounded like AM 1230.. a graveyarder. You could not pick anything out. Just a jumble of audio.
Is 1230 AM a crappy frequency? A lot of interference? A locally bad signal for you?
I have a 1230 AM that i'm trying to get better sound from. We've been dealing with a horrible air signal hum randomly comes and goes. Seems to be worse in late morning and late afternoon. Could this be an atmospheric condition or just old equipment?

If it was something out of my control I'd appreciate being able to stop banging my head against a wall trying to trace a hum.
1230 (known as a graveyard channel) can be crappy 10+ miles out.. sometimes less at night. Is it one of your stations? Dave might have a point in regards to one station being slightly off frequency. I would look to see who else in on 1230 close to you and chat to see if they have had their frequency measured lately.
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Re: 7/26/08

Post by awsherrill » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:55 am

Also wouldn't hurt to check the frequency on YOUR transmitter. Been in that situation a couple of times, including a brand new Gates-5 that somehow slid 400 Hz off frequency after it was installed.

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Re: 7/26/08

Post by K9EZ » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:31 pm

awsherrill wrote:Also wouldn't hurt to check the frequency on YOUR transmitter. Been in that situation a couple of times, including a brand new Gates-5 that somehow slid 400 Hz off frequency after it was installed.
Ohhhh good thought. No wonder they pay you the big bucks!
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