Unexpected FM madness!

Dear readers!

I would like tho share with you a once in a lifetime Sporadic-E event that happened to me today along with videos of the catches I received during it.

It was about 12:00 UTC (1PM local time) and I was listening to NRJ on my personal FM transmitter (106.3MHz) when all of a sudden my pop music fuzzed and turned into classical music. It was then that I knew something was happening and I didn’t want to miss it!
I jumped up, got out my phone camera and started scanning around trying to find distant FM stations and my goodness did I get some amazing catches!
There was no tropo forecast for my area nor some of the places I heard and I wasn’t prepared in the slightest so I ask for your forgiveness on the shaky unprofessional footage and I hope you enjoy watching the following catches that I received!

For those interested my setup is a Sony ST-SE570 with a “bunny ear” telescopic aerial with the ground positioned vertically and the feed positioned horizontally. I put the feed to be facing at 90 degrees East to West.
Disclaimer: the order in which these stations were received has been altered to make this blog post more fun, the times in UTC are in the video titles for those of you interested in the chronological order in which I received these stations!

First stop: Czechia!

This is an amazing catch to start us off; 10kW at 1300km with RDS!
This one is even more impressive that the last one at 5.5kW with RDS, I still am surprised at these catches watching them back!!

Next stop: Romania!

This catch is just insane. I have BBC Radio 2 on 88.1MHz and you can hear RRA and BBC R2 fighting to be heard!
And this catch …. I have no words to describe my sheer amazement, surprise, shock and excitement hearing a station from Romania (Over 1800km / 1100 miles away) that is broadcasting at only 2kW. It is on the same frequency as France Musique broadcasting at 160kW which is much much closer; I still can’t believe I heard this at all!

After all that excitement we now stop over in Slovakia!

This is a much less insane catch compared to the last few but it is still awesome! Disclaimer: I skipped a load of fading in the recording where it fades.
And here is SRo 1 again, however this time a much lower powered transmitter compared to the last one and yet the signal is still really good and most of the RDS data was decode-able!
Here is SRo 4, 20kW and some of the RDS decoded. an UnID was on 94.6MHz which made this quite awesome to get the RDS PI!
And for our last stop in Slovakia we meet Fun Rádio, an 18kW station with RDS received!

Our last stop on our FM journey; Hungary!

This is Retro Rádió a 50kW station in Hungary. It was broadcasting over BBC Radio Wiltshire and I even got RDS!

I hope you all enjoyed going on this radio tour of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia with me, I certainly did!
Thank you ever so much for reading and watching and I hope to see you around for my next adventure!

8 comments on “Unexpected FM madness!

  1. Dave

    Hi, Great post. Found this via your video on Youtube. I’m literally just plotting my maps of the stations i received on the same day from 12.40 onward for about an hour. Loads of Czech, Slovak & Romanian stations. Great DX & i was also suprised at the amount of new RDS i received. Kiss Hady, SR02 Regina, SR01, Radio Jih, R-Vltava, Express, Impuls, Romania Actual/Cultural. Digi FM in Bucharest is currently my furthest at 1,395 miles. FYI, i’m based in Crowborough, E. Sussex & current Band 2 setup is a Yamaha RXV390 modded with 110khz ceramic IF filters & a homemade copper tube loop (centered at 98mhz) about 2.5m up, pointing 117 degrees ESE. Let’s hope this DX season brings us more gems like this & i look forward to reading the rest of your blog, once i’ve finished my logbook. 73’s & good DX, Dave.

    Reply
    1. The Girl with the Radio Post author

      Hi Dave,

      You received so many more than me, I’m really impressed with your setup!
      I have loads and loads of local FM stations in south central and they sadly block loads of DX opportunities!
      I heard and have recordings of stations on 88.8MHz, 89.2MHz, 89.3MHz (maybe express?), 89.6MHz, 89.9MHz and 90.4MHz (almost certain it was ČRo Vltava from Czechia since I got a PI from it that matches) from the same time but am yet to be able to ID any of them! Do you have any ideas on what any of these may have been?

      73s and I wish you luck with your DXing adventures!
      TGWTR

      Reply
      1. Dave

        Hi again,
        Shame about the local stations indeed. This is where the narrow filter mods often help….& a directional antenna! Most car radios are particularly sensitive & can be utilised for FM band 2 DX. Some older Pioneer/Sony etc models can be picked up relatively cheap second hand & used as great DX radios. Just sort a 12v supply & antenna and you’re off. I’m always scanning around the band when out & about in the car. It’s amazing what you can pick up. Foreign stations/pirates etc.
        I’m having a look on fmscan.org at the moment for your frequencies. The site really is a godsend when you’re trying to find out what station you’ve picked up. It even gives locations/data of antennas & where they are sited. If you find it difficult to navigate or get results, just put the frequency & any name/country you think it may come from into google search followed by “fmscan.” Results will be displayed that you can click on & go straight into the list & look from there.
        For instance, given that the conditions that weekend for us were predominantly from CZ, Romania, Bulgaria etc i’d say that your 88.8 could well have been Radio Romania Actual, transmitting horizontally from the Cluj-Napoca/Feleac site which is sited 750m up & with 30kW of power. Without RDS ID it’s a difficult one but often listening to words/place references/jingles you can narrow it down a bit. Also, if you have a recording, use your smartphone translator to try & translate some of the recording. I do this on HF too & it can be a great help. Anyhow, have a look/listen & see how you get on. If i get any further info on the frequencies, i’ll let you know & will be sure to keep an eye on your blog.
        best regards & have fun!
        Dave

        Reply
        1. The Girl with the Radio Post author

          Hi Dave,

          I have been using FMscan myself and swear by it! It is an amazing website!!

          I will certainly give the Google translate a go, that sounds like a really good idea and I’ll have to look into a narrow filter modification for my radio; that’d really really help since my current filter is about 300/400KHz at the biggest it would seem!

          Reply
          1. Dave

            Hi,
            Excellent!
            The Czech/Slovak/Bulg/Romanian stations were back on Saturday lunchtime for an hour or two – but this time i just couldn’t get an RDS signal. Anyhow, i wanted to let you know about some links which have helped in my quest to identify those elusive stations that we’ve received & have recordings of but just cant pinpoint. Checking out other DXer’s logs can be very helpful. Here’s some to look at.
            You may or may not know of them but knowledge is power & this may also help others who follow your blog.
            http://www.g4fbz.net/logs/band2/fm.htm
            https://skegnessdx.blogspot.com/search/label/Band%202%20FM%20Sporadic%20E
            https://www.apritch.co.uk/rdslogbook_logindex.htm
            http://www.fmlist.org/logfeed.php

            73’s, good DX & take care!

  2. Paul

    I wouldn’t say it was a once in a lifetime experience (well hopefully not LOL) some excellent reception much like I experienced during our southern summer (I’m in Christchurch, NZ). Although not as good as the previous summer we did have some good openings. On numerous occasions Australian FM stations obliterated the local translators via sporadic E.

    It’s early days for you, I hope you get more.

    Reply
    1. The Girl with the Radio Post author

      Hi Paul,

      I was thinking that I’d probably never get those exact low power relays again? (And that’s why I called it once in a lifetime!)
      After 3 years DXing my previous bests were Portugal and Italy and those were in the 10s and 100s if kW broadcasting power!

      I sure hope we get more of these events to enjoy!

      I wish you all the best, 73s!

      Reply

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