Horncastle Hill, Lincolnshire

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John Faulkner, Skegness
Posts: 4173
Joined: 19 Sep 2014 15:55
Location: Skegness, Lincolnshire. JO03dd
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Horncastle Hill, Lincolnshire

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 28 Aug 2015 01:35

When I used to live in the North Midlands, I felt it necessary to drive to some remote hillside in Derbyshire to DX on band 2. Well, it was more fun that way and the band at home then was quite overcrowded. I miss those hilltopping days. But since I moved to the east coast, I haven't done the same level of hilltopping as I expected I would. This really needs to be rectified.

This evening, I took a brief trip out to the West Keal area again, armed only with the car radio and a Degen DE1103.

The main plan was to walk up a hill just to the west of High Barn, with the DE1103, to have a look around for French stations. It was almost dark when I arrived so I didn't hang around for too long as I couldn't see my way, but I managed to spend about ten minutes at the top of the hill and I heard several French networks from transmitters like St Omer, Lille and Bethune.

Over to Horncastle Hill next, after enjoying a superb takeaway Balti from the Nasim Restaurant in Spilsby. Conditions were well below average, as has been fairly typical whenever I have been mobile this year. Egem was almost non-existent half of the time and there was NOTHING at all from Holland, either on the High Barn hill or on Horncastle Hill. I found that frequencies where Holland usually dominates were taken up with English or French stations.

Code: Select all

87.6 and 87.7 had RTL from Bethune/Lens and Saint Omer, respectively:

90.4 had a mixture of Klara from Egem and an unidentified French talk station. 

93.2 had BBC R4 from Crystal Palace.

93.3 had BBC R4 but where from? Maybe the low powered Cambridge relay. 

93.4, usually occupied by Radio Rijnmond from Rotterdam, was controlled by BBC R4, probably from Bilsdale. 

93.9 had a good signal from BBC R4 from Oxford, but nothing at all, not even a burble, from RTV-NH from Wieringerwerf.

95.2 usually has Slam FM from Alphen aan den Rijn, but it was BBC Radio Oxford this evening.

95.4 had a BBC station, possibly BBC Radio Newcastle, but there was a second station. Possibly BNR from Gilze, but I somehow doubt that if the main players weren't heard. 

97.2 had Gravity FM - a very difficult station to hear outside Grantham. 97.2 usually has RFM from Saint Omer yet this wasn't available this evening, despite Saint Omer being received well elsewhere. 

97.3 had LBC, noise free! But there was a pop station which kept mixing with it. This is an unusual one. Perhaps it was Vivacite from Wavre. 

97.6 Another oddity: This frequency is always totally dominated by Decibel from Rotterdam. Not this evening! The frequency was totally controlled by a good signal from the Scunthorpe relay of Lincs FM. I haven't heard this one up in these hills before.

87.9 was unusable due to the local pirate relay of Radio Caroline. I don't know the location of this and have always suspected it to be from nearby Boston, but I was in Boston yesterday, up to 1800 and there was nothing on 87.9 then. 
On the plus side, it's good to find that a location such as this can have such variation. It would be boring if the same stations were received here all the time. I must come here during high pressure to see if I can tap into any ducts. 300 feet (90 metres) above sea level probably isn't quite high enough, but this needs to be checked.

Hopefully, next time (yes, I've said this before) I will take the XDR-F1HD or the FDM-S2 and an FM3. I also want to make a comparison between the car radio in the C4GP and the XDR as I believe the car radio's DSP filtering is superior to the XDR in terms of selectivity and possibly also sensitivity, yet there is no intermidulation in the presence of strong signals.

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