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Author Topic: 200 kHz and Below Full of Euro Broadcast Tonight  (Read 20361 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2559




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« on: January 18, 2012, 09:11:35 PM »

Something different:

Was playing with my TS-850 on longwave tonight around 0330z and was surprised to hear a bunch of broadcast stations far below our normal AM broadcast band. At first I assumed they were spurs from local stations. But many were French language. The frequencies coincided with well known broadcasters in Europe and the spacing was mostly the European standard of 9 kHz.

The BBC on 198 KHz was the only station in English. I heard France Inter on 162 KHz which is supposed to run 2 megawatts. A louder yet French language station was on 183. A station playing Arab sounding music on 171 is said to be in Morocco. There was even an unidentified  station way down on 82 kHz.  Signals were decent with very little QSB. 

Equipment: Kenwood TS-850. Antenna DX Engineering 43' vertical.

From what SWL websites say, picking up these Euro Lowfer broadcasters in the U.S. Midwest isn't that common.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 11:48:44 PM »

I'm hearing at least some of them too, at 1:45 AM CST. (Listening on my IC-765 and 580' NE unterminated Beverage.) Louder than I've heard them before. If you were hearing them on a vertical, they must have been very strong earlier.

European hams were coming in VERY loud on 75 meters, as well.

Here's a list of stations down there: http://www.w0btu.com/AM-longwaveStations.html
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 11:54:54 PM by W0BTU » Logged

N3OX
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 06:42:34 AM »

Europeans were strong on Topband last night here.

I don't have anything worthwhile below our AM BCB... cool stuff though...
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
EI4GMB
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Posts: 166




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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 09:23:49 AM »

This side of the pond I enjoy receiving east coast U.S AM BCB stations. I can tune every 10Khz between stronger local  Europeans and usually have no problem picking up the american stations especially during the winter months. It's great listening to U.S sport commentaries. Great stuff!

Kind Regards

Fred EI4GMB
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'You can never plan the future by the past'

'Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.'

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
K0OD
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Posts: 2559




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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 10:02:50 AM »

About an hour before sunrise this morning the only thing I heard was a weak spur on 80 kHz. I thought it was a real broadcaster but I still hear it... at noon!

Here's an excellent brief guide to lowfer AM broadcasting.
http://www.angelfire.com/mb/amandx/longwave.html

I'm eager to compare my two older Kenwoods I KNOW my Flex-5000A is worthless and shouldn't even be spec'd for operation below the BCB. The highly regarded 850 picks up WWVB loudly on 60 kHz and to some degree it works a bit lower. Operation cuts off at 30 kHz. My old 430 only goes down to 150 kHz. It hears NDBs pretty well but I'd like to do some a/b tests.

Both Kenwoods have 25 dB attenuators that unfortunately extend from the BCB down to 500 kHz. I started to do the simple mod to bypass the attenuator on my 850, but I'm not 100% sure yet of the solder points.

Will definitely be monitoring the lowfer AM broadcasters this evening.   

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K0OD
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 07:27:57 AM »

Lowfer conditions to Europe were excellent again last night. Kept receivers going from sunset thru about 0600z. Peaks noted just after dark and again around 0400.  The French language station on 162 KHz was almost arm chair copy at one time.

I wondered how my lowly TS-430 would do in comparison with my TS-850, a cult radio among lowfer fans. My 30 year 430 is displaying some of that model's common BPF relay flakiness. But other than a few cut-outs, the cheapie 430 heard the Euro broadcasters every bit as well as the 850.   
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SV1EBY
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 12:32:38 AM »

BTW, which transceiver of the modern ones can be used to monitor these frequencies? I mean, not just to tune but actually listen to and monitor LW.

And, is the TS-590S worth as the reliable TS-850, regarding the <500 kHz?
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K0OD
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 10:28:20 AM »

Reviews often ignore lowfer performance. And who knows how reliable the manufacturer specs are. That's a shame with the increasing interest in several bands of lowfer beacons. There's even talk of a ham allocation <500 kHz.

Kenwood gives the LW sensitivity specs for the TS-590 and they're excellent. LW sensitivity isn't given for many other radios, like the FT-450  I believe the popular Elecraft K3 only goes down to 500 kHz. Flex says the 5000 works down to 10 Hz BUT "Customer provided preselector or appropriately selected low pass filters required to eliminate images when used below 1.8 MHz."

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SV1EBY
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 02:05:50 PM »

The K3 only goes down to 500 kHz.
About the same with TENTECs.
And all the ICOMs reportedly have mediocre performance on LW.
No word of yaesu, unfortunately.
It seems that nowadays only a dedicated receiver would have adequate efficiency on 30-500 kHz. That's why I asked.
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K0OD
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Posts: 2559




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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 09:46:44 AM »

Quote
From what SWL websites say, picking up these Euro Lowfer broadcasters in the U.S. Midwest isn't that common.

That seems to be the case. I've listened to the 150-200 KHz range several times lately and heard only the weakest sounds where Euro broadcasters were nearly armchair copy in January. 
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K0OD
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Posts: 2559




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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 06:18:54 AM »

Longwave AM broadcasters came in fairly well last night. Odd thing was that different European stations would peak at different times. One would become strong while another would disappear. I hadn't noted much QSB on them last winter.

Around 0530z I was hearing Iceland on 189 kHz playing Christmas music including, of all things, "Jingle Bell Rock."

Heard from 0500-0630z, when I went to bed:
--------------------------------------------------
162 kHz France. Usually the loudest but not last night
171 kHz Morocco which uses both Arabic and French
183 kHz Germany
189 kHz Iceland

I didn't copy the BBC station that often comes in on 198 kHz.
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N1NQC
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 03:19:41 AM »

Hey All,

France  162  OK last  night, others V. or U.  weak.

K
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K0OD
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Posts: 2559




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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 07:46:51 AM »

All five booming in last night. 183 kHz was rock solid into Missouri for hours with an exceptionally clear channel.  I presume 160M was good too. 
--------------------------------------------------
162 kHz France.
171 kHz Morocco which uses both Arabic and French
183 kHz Germany in French
189 kHz Iceland
198 kHz BBC
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W3TTT
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 01:49:44 PM »

Thanks for the list.  I will try it tonight.
BTW the NAQRP is having a "sprint" tonight on 160.  Should be busy between 8:30-10:30 pm eastern, on 1805 to 1815
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