2020 DX Review

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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2020 DX Review

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness »

I was thinking about what a strange year it's been regarding DX in general. FM didn't produce much in the way of out-of-the-ordinary DX catches and MW has been feeble when you consider this has been the solar minimum. Of course, there were some exceptional catches for some lucky people even so.

What were the highlights in your year? Anything unusual or noteworthy?

I have posted this in the 'Off Channel' board as it's not specific to MW, FM or short wave, etc. Did 2020 bring you the DX you were hoping for?
Ben Smith
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Location: Tompa,Hungary

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Ben Smith »

In a nutshell, 2020 gave me an amount of received stations I had never dreamt of before, including some regions I had previously thought I would never be able to receive (Moldova,Faroe Islands,Malta,Andorra+ Norway). 2020's sporadic did not stop at the usual stations, the SpE propagations were so various, like Israel did not bring the boring "E","B"s but "A","C","F","J" etc..., I received the Netherland and Denmark up to 108MHz as well as Georgia.(These countries had been underrepresented in my logbook before -By the way, I am still having more Maltese logs than Dutch ones-)

The 24th of June is the day I will never forget, I received more than 1100 stations in 6 hours via Sporadic-E (Had I been told a few years ago that I would reach more than 1100 logs on a single day, I would have not believed this)

Even though 2020 was an extraordinary year in terms of DXing (sadly DXing is the only thing in my life I can use the term "extraordinary" on a positive way for the 2020 performance),I am still missing a few things that I thought 2020 would give to me, such as a double hop on CCIR.
OIRT brought me one confirmed double-hop on 72,11 from the distance of 3280km, which is a personal best.

Ben
theme
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Location: Western Sardinia

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by theme »

Pretty meh on my side. Definitely the least exciting June ever down here, not a single decent opening, not even to Spain. End of May did its job though, BBC R2 still on at 2:30 in the morning - DX has lasted a staggering 16 hours on that day.
Probably scanning the band atm. And definitely complaining about the conditions.
daveB
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Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by daveB »

Bleh!
Tropo - just 4 days when anything further than 550 km was logged with any RDS. 01 Jan, 23 Jan, 13 Sep, 16 Sep
SpE - OIRT band. More openings than previous years - 30 days in total
SpE - CCIR band. The last few days of May were really good. Jun 16th was obviously the highlight of the year, but the only day with significant double-hop. The rest of the time the opening were just not as intense/extensive as previous years, but there were a couple of exceptions. The openings didn't often get up to 108 MHz.

I would say that a good proportion of openings, although of a resoanable length also tended to be quite patchy with individual signals only lasting a minute or two. I think that anyone relying of live-dxing only would have had a poor year.

I've yet to get the Canaries, or Madeira, but with my FM5 pointing due South, they are a bit off beam. But because the F/B ratio is so poor at the bottom of the band I did manage to log Iceland off te back of the beam once.

David
Location: Sittingbourne, Kent JO01ji
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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness »

You'll do it Dave. The Canaries did manage to get through here this season, but it was a bottom of the band opening. Double hop was just not a real feature this season. It was very average overall here, or maybe less than that.

There was however one BIG surprise for me in the 2020 Es season, and it came right out of the blue. Lichtenstein!

I can't remember why I was tuned to 87.8 on the morning of May 18th, but it was a stroke of pure luck that I was. I think somebody had been receiving E skip on the chat, probably Chris Howles in Lichfield and I remember the skip being too close to home for me. So you can imagine the surprise when FM1 from Vaduz popped up with full RDS. This is just 935 km from my antenna. What I found astounding about this reception was the fact that Vaduz is surrounded by some of the highest Alpine peaks in that part of Europe. I have never heard of anybody logging Vaduz outside of Lichtenstein, although I'm sure somebody must have done. Consider that Lichtenstein is probably too close for most countries in Europe to receive via E skip. Tropo probably wouldn't work either due to the mountains, so this is my prize catch from 2020. I always seem to get the shorter Es at my QTH on the Lincolnshire coast.

https://youtu.be/6TOhK-VBTVE

Medium wave has been hugely disappointing, almost to the point where I am considering giving it up. I won't just yet, and there have been some surprising gems getting through, but always so weak. This solar minimum has not felt at all like a solar minimum.
Stuart Heathcock

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Stuart Heathcock »

good riddance 2020 i say . for me that year did not happen it has been deleted , i missed most of the Es season due to a on off house move due covid , the meteor showers were non events a total waste of time , lets hope this year is much better , David
Nick Gilly
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Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Nick Gilly »

Not too bad here although tropo was somewhat lacking. There was that big opening from 15-22 September which provided some extended distances into Sweden.
Es - a decent season. May 25th was the best day for exotics with the following logged:
89.3 Galey Israel Jerusalem area 3676 km (presumed)
87.6 KAN 88 Jerusalem 3667 km + KAN 88 Safed=Tzefat 3598 km xfading
87.5 Damla FM Istanbul Instanbul 2579 km
87.8 Bayram FM Yalova-Merkez GSM 2617 km (full RDS)

Both May 23rd and July 2nd had openings to the Canary Islands with a few new ones for me.
Plus there were a few openings into Libya as per the last few seasons.
A huge opening into Scandinavia on 13th July
18th July Like FM Balashikha (Moscow) 2606 km on 87.9 logged with RDS
Best ever opening for me to Iceland on July 28th

So pretty good here from the Es point of view.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore receiver, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator
Ben Smith
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Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Ben Smith »

Nick Gilly wrote: 05 Jan 2021 12:33 Es - a decent season. May 25th was the best day for exotics with the following logged:
89.3 Galey Israel Jerusalem area 3676 km (presumed)
87.6 KAN 88 Jerusalem 3667 km + KAN 88 Safed=Tzefat 3598 km xfading
87.5 Damla FM Istanbul 2579 km
87.8 Bayram FM Yalova-Merkez GSM 2617 km (full RDS)

18th July Like FM Balashikha (Moscow) 2606 km on 87.9 logged with RDS
Congrats on these double hops,in Hungary 3600km would be a record distance on FM,I suppose.

May I ask you how you distincted those 2 KAN88 transmitters? As far as I know, Israeli SFN transmitters are perfectly synchronized(unlike Egyptians).
Nick Gilly
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Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Nick Gilly »

Hi Ben.

Here's the recording:

https://app.box.com/s/v8z6b4x5yznxjr6m8w8iup7hil03wp2g

There is phasing and distortion in places there (listen to the YL talking after the Beatles track) which I think is caused by the two txes clashing.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore receiver, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator
Ben Smith
Posts: 506
Joined: 25 Jun 2020 22:47
Location: Tompa,Hungary

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Ben Smith »

Nick Gilly wrote: 05 Jan 2021 15:04 Hi Ben.

Here's the recording:

https://app.box.com/s/v8z6b4x5yznxjr6m8w8iup7hil03wp2g

There is phasing and distortion in places there (listen to the YL talking after the Beatles track) which I think is caused by the two txes clashing.
It sounds really interesting,but I would not exclude the possibility of this having recorded from one transmitter,I have never heard any delay or distortion caused by different Israeli TXs' clashing,though I have received several times different Israeli TXs within a few minutes. I will search for files including Jerusalem on 87,6 to find something sounding similar. My reason for asking you about this reception is Safed being really rare at my location,it has been received once every year since 2016,therefore I suppose that Safed is a low-power TX and unlikely to be received via double-hop. (Israel comes at least once every week during summer and I received 107,8 A-Nas or 107,6 Kol-Play more times than Safed on 87,6)

Ben
Nick Gilly
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Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Nick Gilly »

Hi again Ben.

According to FMLIST both Safed and Jerusalem are 40 kW vertical on 87.6 so either should be possible. There is a note that the power for the Jerusalem tx is estimated based on other frequencies from this location.

Maybe next time the signal(s) will be strong enough for RDS so the exact site can be determined ;)
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore receiver, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator
Catherine
Posts: 266
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Location: Norwich, England

Re: 2020 DX Review

Post by Catherine »

2020 was such a weird year I can barely remember anything non-covid related...but Nick mentioned the September tropo which reminds me that around that time I dropped DXing into a conversation with a friend (a fellow science-lover) who then said "oh yeah, from Holland and stuff" so it was a nice surprise to realise that someone I know has noticed some of the regular stuff we get in Norwich, haha.

Apart from that, there were some crazy Es towards the end of the spring and that's about all I can remember radio-wise.
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