Ionoscatter

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Alex Cator
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Ionoscatter

Post by Alex Cator » 10 Apr 2016 13:13

Hello fellow DXers,

I have seen videos on YouTube of a Romanian DXer receiving various signals from Europe and the Middle East via ionoscatter, as well as one video on YouTube of a DXer from Hungary receiving a Turkish station for a few minutes on Band 2, again via ionoscatter. I am sure that I have also heard about a DXer on this forum receiving Belorussian TV via ionoscatter in the Peak District, with a daily presence during the summer.

How easily received is ionoscatter, and where would I have to go and what would I have to use, at what time, to receive ionoscatter on Band 2? :-)

I understand that it's like troposcatter, but in the ionosphere as opposed to the troposphere, and the distances are roughly the same as single-hop Es paths.

Alex Cator
East Harling, Norfolk, United Kingdom
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Tim Bucknall
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by Tim Bucknall » 11 Apr 2016 10:30

good question
I can speak about my location in the grim north where ionoscatter signals are very weak
possibly it gets stronger further south-but that's just a guess


you don't have to go anywhere but you need to wait another month
I'm the dxer who received Belarusian TV in the peak district
being up a mountain helps for the continuous reception, but when ionoscatter surges its possible to detect something weakly at ground level

optimum distance seems about 2000km with no major variation

when i'm at 551 meters above sea level in summer, and getting Belarus/st petersburg video carrier continuously (49.75) during normal ionoscatter condx
St Petersburg 66.3 will just be about audible at slush level. during a "surge " st Petersburg tv on 77.25 will come in and
finland will appear very weakly but stable without fading on 87.6-87.9
so weak in fact that I have to use 15khz filters - but YLENYKSI has quiet modulation and classical music so theres not much of a distortion problem

that's on top of a mountain, you can imagine how weak it is a ground level, so much so that
when I wanted to test band ionoscatter at ground level I used the Belarusian TV carrier on 93.25 so I could tune to 93.249 usb and listen to the 1khz tone


what filters have you got in your modded Sony ST-SB920 ?
you'll need 50khz filters for such weak signals
hows your random meteor reception?, that will show you how sensitive your set up is

at band 2 at sea level its going to be hard to distinguish ionoscatter from weak shortlived e skip

I have absolutely no idea why reception favours the north east


beware of that Romanian dxer who makes stuff up, faking it with lp txs etc

Tim Bucknall
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Alex Cator
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by Alex Cator » 11 Apr 2016 13:50

Thank you, Tim. Your ionoscatter reception of Finland, Russia and Belarus in the Peak District sounds fascinating!

My ST-SB920 still has the stock filters, which are three 230 kHz MuRatas in the wide position, and a 150 kHz MuRata E10.7JA in the narrow position. By "modified", I meant that the narrow gain and stereo threshold controls have been tinkered about with, and I have removed the tuning mute.

I get meteor scatter every now and then. 87.9 is the best frequency, on which I have heard a tentative SR P1 I think, although, thinking carefully, I think that was actually 87.6 from Visby. That was on a completely unmodified, stock 920, with a UHF TV aerial in the loft of my old house in East Harling, although I used my usual One for All booster.

More recently, at my current house, with my Triax FM3, I managed to get France Culture on 87.9 via meteor scatter, which was probably from Parthenay. I just remember that the programme was the same as what was on my semi-local France Culture on 98.0, from Lille/Bouvigny. I still think that the 920 was modified then, and I used the booster again then. I also managed to get a pop station on 103.2 via MS even more recently, again with the FM3 and the booster, although it was with my Sony XDR-S10HDiP this time. It was a tentative Antenne Bayern from Ochsenkopf.

My dad didn't enjoy fitting the 110 kHz MuRata 10.7HY filters to my G5, so, personally, I think that an SDR would be the best way to go. I wonder if the Elad FDM-S1 is any good on FM? I wonder if it's as bulletproof as the FDM-S2? Particularly where I am, with Tacolneston on my doorstep, I personally don't think that an RTL-SDR would cope with ionoscatter in my location; the Tac signal levels would be too high for the weak front-end to cope, especially if the sensitivity would be set to almost full, which it would have to be to even think about touching ionoscatter.

By that Romanian DXer you're talking about who fakes DXing with low-powered transmitters, Tim, do you mean Daniel Albu (zvartoshu)? He's the one who said about the ionoscatters he received. Apparently, he got CCTV1 from Baoji on channel C1; was this real or did he fake it with a TV transmitter and CCTV1 on satellite? :lol:

Alex Cator
East Harling, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 12 Apr 2016 14:08

I remember ionoscatter DX being reported on band 1 TV some years ago and tried to find it myself. I think I may have had something on the odd occasion, but it was carrier level and so weak that the carriers were not even audible - they were only visible on SpectrumLab.

I haven't been able to find much out about ionoscatter on the internet, but this article is interesting:

http://www.qsl.net/oz1rh/ionoscatter/io ... oc10594132

Jim (Bournemouth)
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 12 Apr 2016 20:34

Going back to the late 80s when I first got going on 6m, I ha d a 6 element beam and the carriers on R1 49.750 were always present on ionoscatter, and to a lesser extent E2 48.250 as well.. as heard in SSB or CW mode. They would ring away like as good-un, but just above the noise.

Would be surprised if FM signals were strong enough to hear anything tangible via the same mode, though some kicks from MS would certainly be on. Being on a mountain with a beam and a low noise floor might make things possible though.
Jim, Bournemouth, Dorset. IO90BR.

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Tim Bucknall
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by Tim Bucknall » 15 Apr 2016 16:05

>Daniel Albu (zvartoshu)?
that's the bugger! yeah he is Mr Fakey Pants, sorry
I was gutted when he showed how he faked CNR 1 88.7 from Urumqui, I passed on his log to Glenn Hausers World of Radio before I realised it was fake :(
he also faked Brazil but luckily he used a channel not used in Brazil (88.8) so that was easy to spot
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Tim Bucknall
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by Tim Bucknall » 15 Apr 2016 16:18

good info Jim, pretty much proves that being further south is a big help

also the hollow ringing sound, I forgot to mention that!

this season will be interesting now R1 Belarus has gone
Glubokoye was the other tx that used to come in
N.E yet again.
I have no idea why Lviv or other directions don't come in on ionoscatter here, same reason meteor scatter favours the north east?


every so often a dxer will sell their 50khz modded tuners,
JF might have a Sony Sa3es to sell?
i'm sure eventually sdrs will be able to cope with overload like yours but we're a long way off yet sadly
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 15 Apr 2016 16:40

I have TWO Sony SA3ES available. They both need the tuning sorting. Those rotary encoders wear out - or they may simply need cleaning. I haven't checked.

I think £30 might be reasonable for each, though I am open to offers.

Alex Cator
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by Alex Cator » 16 Apr 2016 13:19

John Faulkner, Skegness wrote:I have TWO Sony SA3ES available. They both need the tuning sorting. Those rotary encoders wear out - or they may simply need cleaning. I haven't checked.

I think £30 might be reasonable for each, though I am open to offers.
My 920 has the same problem; it started not long after I stopped the tuning mute. I now have to type the frequency in every time. :-(

Alex Cator
East Harling, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
Mobile: Ford Fiesta (Style, 2013) and Ford Focus (2012) car radios
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Ionoscatter

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 16 Apr 2016 13:26

The same thing happened to my Kenwood KT6040. Servisol kept it going for a while, then it conked completely. A new encoder had to be fitted.

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