Tropo and E-skip DX, 20 January 2011

I was down in Geelong and unfortunately feeling unwell on Thursday, so I didn’t make it in to work. That proved to be handy from a DX point of view, as I got to enjoy one of the strongest tropo openings to Launceston I’ve seen in a long while. Below is a log of the stations I received (bear in mind this was with the Sony tuner hooked up to the household TV antenna which was pointing the wrong way for Launceston).

90.1 7EXX “Chilli” Launceston TAS – 1 bar (click to listen to a brief recording of this one transmitting a test loop)

90.9 7JJJ Launceston TAS – 3 bars

91.7 7NT Launceston TAS – 3 bars

92.5 7PB Launceston TAS – 3 bars

92.9 7JJJ Hobart TAS – 1 bar (first time catch)

93.3 7ABCFM Launceston TAS – 3 bars

94.1 7ABCRN Launceston TAS – 2 bars [1]

106.9 7RPH Launceston TAS – 1 bar (first time catch)

[1]: Received over splatter from adjacent local 93.9 3BAY Geelong and co-channeled semi-local 3WBC Box Hill

The Hobart reception was a first for me. Others in Melbourne have received Hobart FM and even TV in the past, but it generally takes a very strong opening to Tassie to get it. I was a bit surprised to not have received any more of the low-powered Northern Tasmania stations, but it didn’t worry me. I should also mention that local analogue TV GTV9 Melbourne was suffering from co-channel interference from TNT9 Launceston, despite our antenna aimed to block out Tassie and specifically receive Melbourne.

Later in the evening, thanks to a tip-off from a friend and fellow DXer in Brisbane, I noted some sporadic-E FM reception from Queensland. The opening only really lasted for about 10 minutes after I first got to listening, but I noted most of Brisbane’s high-powered FM stations.

93.3 4SBSFM Brisbane QLD [2]

97.3 4BFM “973 FM” Brisbane QLD [3]

102.1 4ZZZ Brisbane QLD

104.5 4MMM Brisbane QLD

105.3 4BBB “B105” Brisbane QLD

106.1 4ABCFM Brisbane QLD

106.9 4BNE “Nova” Brisbane QLD

107.7 4JJJ Brisbane QLD

[2] 4SBSFM was fighting with 7ABCFM Launceston for the frequency. When 4SBSFM faded, 7ABCFM was heard.

[3] Very weak, probably due to adjacent channel splatter from 97.4 3WRB Hoppers Crossing

93.3, 106.1 and 107.7 were much stronger than the rest, probably due to them being much higher powered transmitters. Still, it’s the first definite E-skip reception I’ve had this season. I suspected some reception a few weeks back, but couldn’t confirm it. It would have been really disappointing had this not occurred, and the season finished before I had at least heard something.

For the record, the E-skip season, especially for FM reception, generally winds up towards the end of January or start of February.

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