TV and FM DX

TV and FM DX

TV DX and FM DX is the active search for distant radio or television stations received during unusual atmospheric conditions. The term DX is an old telegraphic term meaning "long distance."

VHF/UHF television and radio signals are normally limited to a maximum "deep fringe" reception service area of approximately 40–100 miles (64–160 km) in areas where the broadcast spectrum is congested, and about 50 percent farther in the absence of interference. However, providing favourable atmospheric conditions are present, television and radio signals sometimes can be received hundreds or even thousands of miles outside their intended coverage area. These signals are often received using a large outdoor antenna system connected to a sensitive TV or FM tuner and/or receiver.

While only a limited number of local stations can normally be received at satisfactory signal strengths in any given area, tuning into other channels may reveal weaker signals from adjacent areas. More consistently strong signals, especially those accentuated by unusual atmospheric conditions, can be achieved by improving the antenna system. The development of interest in TV-FM DX as a hobby can arise after more distant signals are either intentionally or accidentally discovered, leading to a serious interest in improving the listener's antenna and receiving installation for the purpose of actively seeking long-range television and radio reception. The TV-FM DX hobby is somewhat similar to other radio/electronic related hobbies such as amateur radio, Medium Wave DX, or short-wave radio, and organisations such as the Worldwide TV-FM DX Association have developed to coordinate and foster the further study and enjoyment of VHF/UHF television and FM broadcast DX.[1]



After the introduction of the Alexandra Palace, London 405-line BBC channel B1 TV service in 1936, it soon became apparent that television reception was also possible well outside the original intended service area.

For example, in February 1938, engineers at the RCA Research Station, Riverhead, Long Island, accidentally received a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) transatlantic F2 reception of the London 45.0 MHz, 405-line channel B1 TV service.

The flickering black-and-white footage, (characteristic of F2 propagation) included Jasmine Bligh, one of the original BBC announcers, and a brief shot of Elizabeth Cowell, who also shared announcing duties with Jasmine, an excerpt from an unknown period costume drama and the BBC's station identification logo transmitted at the beginning and end of the day's programmes.

This reception was recorded on 16 mm movie film, and is now considered to be the only surviving example of pre-war, live British television.[2]

The BBC temporarily ceased transmissions on September 1, 1939 as World War II began. After the BBC channel B1 television service recommenced in 1946, distant reception reports were received from various parts of the world, including Italy, South Africa, India, the Middle East, North America and the Caribbean.

In May 1940, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a U.S. government agency, formally allocated the 42 – 50 MHz band for FM radio broadcasting. It was soon apparent that distant FM signals from up to 1,400 miles (2,300 km) distance would often interfere with local stations during the summer months.

Because the 42 – 50 MHz FM signals were originally intended to only cover a relatively confined service area, the sporadic long-distance signal propagation was seen as a nuisance, especially by station management.

In February 1942, the first known published long-distance FM broadcast station reception report was reported by FM magazine. The report provided details of 45.1 MHz W51C Chicago, Illinois, received in Monterrey, Mexico: "Zenith Radio Corporation, operating W51C, has received a letter from a listener in Monterey, Mexico, telling of daily reception of this station between 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. This is the greatest distance, 1,100 miles, from which consistent reception of the 50 [kW] transmitter has been reported."[3]

In June 1945, the FCC decided that FM would have to move from the established 42 – 50 MHz pre-war band to a new band at 88 – 108 MHz. According to 1945 and 1946 FCC documents, the three major factors which the commission considered in its decision to place FM in the 88 – 108 MHz band were sporadic E co-channel interference, F2 layer interference, and extent of coverage.[4]

During the 1950s to early 1960s, long-distance television reports started to circulate via popular U.S. electronics hobbyist periodicals such as DXing Horizons, Popular Electronics, Television Horizons, Radio Horizons, and Radio-Electronics. In January 1960, the TV DX interest was further promoted via Robert B. Cooper's regular DXing Horizons column.

In 1957, the world record for TV DX was extended to 10,800 miles (17,400 km) with the reception of Britain's BBC channel 1 in various parts of Australia. Most notably, George Palmer in Melbourne, Victoria, received viewable pictures and audio of a news program from the BBC London channel B1 station. This BBC F2 reception was recorded on movie film.[5]

During the early 1960s, the U.K. magazine Practical Television first published a regular TV DX column edited by Charles Rafarel. By 1970, Rafarel's column had attracted considerable interest from TV DXers worldwide. After Rafarel's death in 1971, UK TV DXer Roger Bunney continued the monthly column, which continued to be published by Television Magazine. With the demise of Television Magazine in June 2008, Bunney's column finished after 36 years of publication. In addition to the monthly TV DX column, Bunney has also published several TV DX books, including Long Distance Television Reception (TV-DX) for the Enthusiast 1981 ISBN 0-900162-71-6, and A TV DXer's Handbook 1986 ISBN 0-85934-150-X.

Tropospheric propagation

F2 propagation (F2-skip)

Sporadic E propagation (E-skip)

Sporadic E, also called E-skip, is the phenomenon of irregularly scattered patches of relatively dense ionization that develop seasonally within the E region of the ionosphere and reflect TV and FM frequencies, generally up to about 150 MHz. Recently however the first ever two way contacts were made by amateur radio operators on the 220 mHz amateur band via E-Skip. When frequencies reflect off multiple patches, it is referred to as multi-hop skip. E-skip allows radio waves to travel a thousand miles or even more beyond their intended area of reception. E-skip is unrelated to tropospheric ducting.

By means of short-wave radio it is possible to transmit signals to distant countries around the world. Such communication is dependent upon a number of reflecting layers in the ionosphere, high above earth's surface known as the E, F1 and F2 layers. The E layer region lies at an approximate distance of 65 miles (105 km) above earth's surface. Under normal conditions the E layer reflects short-wave signals (at night, when the D layer dissolves, Mediumwave signals are reflected as well). Normally, VHF and UHF signals pass through the E and F layers into outer space. At certain times, however, intense patches of ionisation form in the E layer, a phenomenon known as Sporadic E. Incident VHF signals that strike these patches are reflected back to earth. During such conditions television and radio transmissions in band 1 (45 – 88 MHz), band 2 (88 – 108 MHz), and very occasionally band 3 (175 – 220 MHz), are capable of being reflected, allowing reception at considerable distances.

Although Sporadic E can occur at any time of the year, the most active period is during the summer months, from early May to August (Northern Hemisphere), and early November to February (Southern Hemisphere). A small peak of activity is also usually noted in mid-winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

The length of a single-hop E-skip path varies between approximately 450 and 1,500 miles (720 and 2,400 km). At times, double-hop Sporadic E can propagate signals over a 1,900-to-2,900-mile (3,100 to 4,700 km) path. During periods of extremely widespread Es ionisation, multi-hop signals up to 60 MHz have been received out to 5,000 miles (8,000 km).

Television and FM signals received via Sporadic E can be extremely strong and range in strength over a short period from just detectable to overloading. Although polarisation shift can occur, single-hop Sporadic E signals tend to remain in the original transmitted polarisation. Long single-hop (900–1,500 miles/1,400–2,400 kilometres) Sporadic E television signals tend to be more stable and relatively free of multipath images. Shorter-skip (400–800 miles/640–1,300 kilometres) signals tend to be reflected from more than one part of the Sporadic E layer, resulting in multiple images and ghosting, with phase reversal at times. Picture degradation and signal-strength attenuation increases with each subsequent Sporadic E hop.

Sporadic E usually affects the lower VHF band I (TV channels 2 – 6) and band II (88 – 108 MHz FM broadcast band). The typical expected distances are about 600 to 1,400 miles (970 to 2,300 km). However, under exceptional circumstances, a highly ionized Es cloud can propagate band I VHF signals down to approximately 350 miles (560 km). When short-skip Es reception occurs, i.e., under 500 miles (800 km) in band I, there is a greater possibility that the ionized Es cloud will be capable of reflecting a signal at a much higher frequency – i.e., a VHF band 3 channel – since a sharp reflection angle (short skip) favours low frequencies, a shallower reflection angle from the same ionized cloud will favour a higher frequency.

At polar latitudes, Sporadic E can accompany auroras and associated disturbed magnetic conditions and is called Auroral-E.

No conclusive theory has yet been formulated as to the origin of Sporadic E. Attempts to connect the incidence of Sporadic E with the eleven-year Sunspot cycle have provided tentative correlations. There seems to be a positive correlation between sunspot maximum and Es activity in Europe. Conversely, there seems to be a negative correlation between maximum sunspot activity and Es activity in Australasia.

Equatorial E-skip

Equatorial E-skip is a regular daytime occurrence over the equatorial regions and is common in the temperate latitudes in late spring, early summer and, to a lesser degree, in early winter. For receiving stations located within +/− 10 degrees of the geomagnetic equator, equatorial E-skip can be expected on most days throughout the year, peaking around midday local time.

Notable sporadic E DX receptions

  • In 1939, there were some news reports of reception of an early Italian television service in England about 900 miles (1,400 km) away.[6]
  • The Medford Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon reported on June 1, 1953, that KGNC-TV, Channel 4 in Amarillo, and KFEL-TV, Channel 2 from Denver had been received on the Trowbridge and Flynn Electric Company’s television set at their Court Street warehouse and, with a pre-amplifier, a New York station’s test pattern was reportedly picked up.[7]
  • On August 2, 1957, the world record for high-band (channels 7 – 13) sporadic E television DX was extended to approximately 2,300 miles (3,700 km) with the reception of the YVLV channel 9 relay from Maracaibo, Venezuela, by Bobby Grimes in Little Rock, Arkansas. Two hours later, Bedford Brown of Hot Springs, Arkansas, also received the channel 9 station, along with multi-hop sporadic E reception from Venezuela on channels 2, 4 and 5. Brazilian television on channel 2 and Argentina on channel 3 were also received via transequatorial propagation (TEP).
  • On June 30, 1975, Glenn Hauser of Enid, Oklahoma, logged WJCT-TV 7, WFLA-TV 8, WJHG-TV 7, WFTV-TV 9, & WTVT-TV 13 during intense Sporadic E conditions. The distances were all around 1,020–1,090 miles (1,640–1,750 km). Bob Seybold also noted band III Sporadic E, Dunkirk, NY KOAM-TV 7 on June 16.
  • In June 1981, Rijn Muntjewerff (the Netherlands) received 55.25 MHz TV-2 Guaiba, Porto Alegre, Brazil, via a combination of sporadic E and afternoon TEP at a distance of 6,320 miles (10,170 km).[8]
  • On May 30, 2003, Girard Westerberg[9] made the first known reception of digital television by sporadic E when he decoded the PSIP ID of KOTA-DT (broadcasting on channel 2 in Rapid City, South Dakota) in Lexington, Kentucky, 1,062 miles (1,709 km) away.
  • On June 26, 2003, Paul Logan (Lisnaskea, Northern Ireland) was the first DXer to receive transatlantic Sporadic E at frequencies above 88 MHz. Stations received included 88.5 MHz WHCF Bangor, Maine (2,732 miles / 4,397 kilometres), and 97.5 MHz WFRY Watertown, New York (3,040 miles / 4,890 kilometres). David Hamilton from Cumnock in Ayrshire, Scotland received CBTB from Baie Verte, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada on 97.1 MHz on this day also.[10]
  • On June 26, 2003, several Irish and British DXers received television signals from across the Atlantic via double-hop Sporadic E[11] (it was also achieved on June 7[12]
  • On July 20,[13] 2003, Paul Logan, Lisnaskea, Northern Ireland achieved a second reception of CBAF Moncton, New Brunswick on 88.5 MHz at 02:15 local time.
  • On May 12, 2004, Matthew C. Sittel of Bellevue, Nebraska received WKYC-DT[14] (channel 2 in Cleveland, Ohio) via sporadic E at a distance of 740 miles (1,190 km). A partially decoded video frame was also obtained.
  • On May 26, 2004, Girard Westerberg decoded several perfect frames of digital TV video, again from KOTA-DT, along with a few other DXers in his area.
  • On July 6, 2004, a spectacular intense high MUF Sporadic-E opening allowed David Pierce to receive KAKE-TV (channel 10, Wichita, Kansas) in Woodbridge, Virginia, 1,098 miles (1,767 km) away, and allowed Mike Bugaj to receive KATV[15] (channel 7, Little Rock, Arkansas) in Enfield, Connecticut, 1,176 miles (1,893 km) away.
  • On July 10, 2004, Matt Sittel achieved what was then the longest DTV reception,[16] receiving KVBC-DT (channel 2, Las Vegas, Nevada) at a distance of 1,088 miles (1,751 km) (note the NBC logo in the upper right corner of the picture).
  • On July 7, 2004, several UK TV DXers received channels A2, A3, A4 and A5 from Puerto Rico via multi-hop Sporadic E at distances of some 4,000+ miles (6,400+ km).
  • On several occasions in May 2005, Danny Oglethorpe of Shreveport, Louisiana received PSIP data from KVBC-DT, and on the 29th decoded some frames of video,[17] setting a new distance record in the process (1,236 miles / 1,989 kilometres). Oglethorpe would later receive frames from WKYC-DT in August (908 miles / 1,461 kilometres).
  • On June 15, 2005, Oglethorpe received a test signal from KBEJ-TV (channel 2, Fredericksburg, Texas) by Sporadic E at a very short distance for this propagation mode: 327 miles (526 km).[18][19]
  • On May 26, 2006, Westerberg received KBCO-FM's (97.3 MHz, Boulder, Colorado) HD Radio stream via E's, the first such reception, at a distance of 1,124 miles (1,809 km), and just two days later, picked up KAJA's (also 97.3 MHz, San Antonio, Texas, 1,004 miles (1,616 km) and KZPS's (92.5 MHz, Dallas, Texas) HD Radio streams as well.
  • On June 25, 2007, Paul Farley in Sussex, UK received CJCN, Grand Falls Canada on channel A4 (67.25 MHz) at a distance of 3,000 miles (4,800 km) via multi-hop Sporadic E. Signals were clear enough to watch and listen to the evening Newshour programme.[20] The following day he received WUND Edenton, North Carolina at a distance of 3,750 miles (6,040 km).
  • In the summer of 2008, the recent introduction of the Coupon-eligible converter box, which was highly affordable, and tolerated multipath interference better than older ATSC receivers, allowed many DXers in North America to receive and identify ATSC digital TV signals by Sporadic-E, something that had been very difficult to do in previous years.
  • On July 7, 2008, Daniel Albu from Bucharest Romania received via multi-hop Sporadic E SNRT Cahin(90,4 MHz) El jadida Morocco at a distance of 3,216 kilometres (1,998 mi).[21]
  • On May 25, 2009 Daniel Albu from Bucharest, Romania received 2 radio stations from the United Arab Emirates, Radio Aziziah 88,7 MHz, and Holy Qu'ran Radio 88,2 MHz from Dubai at a distance of 3,369 kilometres (2,093 mi).[22]
  • On June 26, 2009 Paul Logan from Lisnaskea, Northern Ireland, heard several stations from the United States and Canada including 90.7 WVAS Montgomery, AL, 90.7 WFUV New York, 94.1 WYSP Philadelphia, 95.1 WAYV Atlantic City NJ, 95.1 WXTK West Yarmouth MA, 97.3 WENJ Millville NJ, 97.3 WJFD New Bedford MA, 95.9 WOSC Cape Isle Of Wight MD, 95.9 WCRI Block Island RI, 98.1 WOCM Cape Isle Of Wight MD, and 92.1 CJOZ Bonavista ,Newfoundland, Canada. The event lasted for one hour starting at 2200 UTC. The reception of WVAS Montgomery, Alabama, USA at 4011 Miles / 6456 km at that time was a new world record for Sp E reception.[23]
  • A new world distance record for FM reception via Sporadic-E of 4302 miles/6924km was achieved by Mike Fallon in Sussex, England on May 31, 2010 when the religious station La Voz de la Luz in Salvaléon de Higüey, Dominican Republic was received and recorded on 88.7 MHz from 12:48 UTC for approximately 20 minutes. The recording was verified by the station to be their output.
  • Also on May 31, 2010 at 13:20 UTC Paul Logan, Lisnaskea, Northern Ireland received signals from WRTU 89.7, San Juan, Puerto Rico at a distance of 3946 miles/6350 km. A recording of the programme "Latinorama" was confirmed by the stations programme director.
  • On May 31, 2010 Partha Sarathi Goswami from Siliguri, West Bengal, India received radio stations from the Bangkok, Thailand, Balance FM 90 MHz, and DED National Radio 90.5 MHz from Bangkok at a distance of 1,640 kilometres (1,020 mi).
  • Israel's IBA 88 FM Kol Israel from Tzefat on 87.6 MHz was received by Mike Fallon in Sussex, England on June 11, 2010 at 04:45 UTC via SpE propagation at a distance of 2173 miles/3497km.
  • On June 14, 2010, 736 AM IST (Local Time) or 0206 UTC Partha Sarathi Goswami from Siliguri, West Bengal, India received radio station Thanh Hoá Radio from Thanh Hoá, Vietnam at an air distance of 1,940 kilometres (1,210 mi) with a Redsun 2100RP receiver and built in telescopic whip.[24]
  • On August 2, 2010, Paul Logan, Lisnaskea, Northern Ireland, received signals from 87.6 RCV-Rádio de Cabo Verde, Monte Verde, Cape Verde Islands at a distance of 4420 km/2746 miles.

Transequatorial propagation (TEP)

Discovered in 1947, transequatorial spread-F (TE) propagation makes it possible for reception of television and radio stations between 3,000–5,000 miles (4,800–8,000 km) across the equator on frequencies as high as 432 MHz. Reception of lower frequencies in the 30 – 70 MHz range are most common. If sunspot activity is sufficiently high, signals up to 108 MHz are also possible. Reception of TEP signals above 220 MHz is extremely rare. Transmitting and receiving stations should be nearly equidistant from the geomagnetic equator.

The first large-scale VHF TEP communications occurred around 1957 – 58 during the peak of solar cycle 19. Around 1970, the peak of cycle 20, many TEP contacts were made between Australian and Japanese radio amateurs. With the rise of cycle 21 starting around 1977, amateur contacts were made between Greece/Italy and Southern Africa (both South Africa and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), and between Central and South America by TEP.

There are two distinctly different types of TEP: afternoon TEP and evening TEP.

Afternoon TEP

Afternoon TEP peaks during the mid-afternoon and early evening hours and is generally limited to distances of 4,000–5,000 miles (6,400–8,000 km). Signals propagated by this mode are limited to approximately 60 MHz. Afternoon TEP signals tend to have high signal strength and suffer moderate distortion due to multipath reflections.

Evening TEP

The second type of TEP peaks in the evening around 1900 to 2300 hours local time. Signals are possible up to 220 MHz, and even very rarely on 432 MHz.

Evening TEP is quenched by moderate to severe geomagnetic disturbances. The occurrence of evening TEP is more heavily dependent on high solar activity than is the afternoon type.

During late September 2001, from 2000 to 2400 local time, VHF television and radio signals from Japan and Korea up to 220 MHz were received via evening transequatorial propagation near Darwin, Australia.[25]

Earth – Moon – Earth (EME) propagation (Moonbounce)

The Arecibo Radio Telescope spherical reflector antenna has been used for detecting terrestrial television signals reflected off the lunar surface.

Since 1953, radio amateurs have been experimenting with lunar communications by reflecting VHF and UHF signals off the moon. Moonbounce allows communication on earth between any two points that can observe the moon at a common time.[26]

Since the moon's mean distance from earth is 239,000 miles (385,000 km), path losses are very high. It follows that a typical 240 dB total path loss places great demand on high-gain receiving antennas, high-power transmissions, and sensitive receiving systems. Even when all these factors are observed, the resulting signal level is often just above the noise.

Because of the low signal-to-noise ratio, as with amateur-radio practice, EME signals can generally only be detected using narrow-band receiving systems. This means that the only aspect of the TV signal that could be detected is the field scan modulation (AM vision carrier). FM broadcast signals also feature wide frequency modulation, hence EME reception is generally not possible. There are no published records of VHF/UHF EME amateur radio contacts using FM.

Notable Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) DX receptions

EME CH 68 (System-M)

  • During the mid 1970s, John Yurek, K3PGP,[27] using a home-constructed, 24-foot (7.3 m), 0.6-focal-diameter parabolic dish and UHF TV dipole feed-point tuned to channel 68, received KVST-68 Los Angeles (1200 kW ERP) and WBTB-68 Newark, New Jersey via moonbounce.
  • At the time of the experiment there were only two known transmitters operating in the United States on UHF television channel 68, the main reason why this channel was selected for EME experiments.

For three nights in December 1978, astronomer Dr. Woodruff T. Sullivan III used the 305-metre Arecibo radio telescope to observe the Moon at a variety of frequencies. This experiment demonstrated that the lunar surface is capable of reflecting terrestrial band III (175 – 230 MHz) television signals back to earth.[28] While not yet confirmed, FM broadcast EME reception may also be possible using the Arecibo dish antenna.

In 2002, physicist Dr. Tony Mann demonstrated that a single high-gain UHF yagi antenna, low noise masthead preamplifier, VHF/UHF synthesised communications receiver, and personal computer with FFT spectrum analyser software could be used to successfully detect extremely weak UHF television carriers via EME.[29]

Auroral propagation

An aurora is most likely to occur during periods of high solar activity when there is a high probability of a large solar flare. When such an eruption occurs, charged particles from the flare may spiral towards earth arriving about a day later. This may or may not cause an aurora: if the interstellar magnetic field has same polarity, the particles do not get coupled to the geomagnetic field efficiently. Besides sunspot-related active solar surface areas, there are other solar phenomena that produce particles causing auroras, such as re-occurring coronal holes spraying out intense solar wind. These charged particles are affected and captured by the geomagentic field and the various radiation belts surrounding earth. The aurora-producing relativistic electrons eventually precipitate towards earth's magnetic poles, resulting in an aurora which disrupts short-wave communications (SID) due to ionospheric/magnetic storms in the D, E, and F layers. Various visual effects are also seen in the sky towards the north – aptly called the Northern Lights. The same effect occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, but the visual effects are towards the south. The auroral event starts by onset of geomagnetic storm, followed by number of sub-storms over the next day or so.

The aurora produces a reflecting sheet (or metric sized columns) which tends to lie in a vertical plane. The result of this vertical ionospheric "curtain" is reflection of signals well into the upper VHF band. The reflection is very aspect sensitive. Since the reflecting sheet lies towards the poles, it follows that reflected signals will arrive from that general direction. An active region or coronal hole may persist for some 27 days resulting in a second aurora when the Sun has rotated. There is a tendency for auroras to occur around the March/April, September/October equinox periods, when the geomagnetic field is at right angle to Sun for efficient charged particle coupling. Signals propagated by aurora have a characteristic hum effect, which makes video and audio reception difficult. Video carriers, as heard on a communications receiver, no longer can be heard as a pure tone.

A typical radio aurora occurs in the afternoon, which produces strong and distorted signals for few hours. The local midnight sub-storming usually produces weaker signals, but with less distortion by Doppler from gyrating electrons.

Frequencies up to 200 MHz can be affected by auroral propagation.

Meteor scatter propagation

Meteor scatter occurs when a signal bounces off a meteor's ionized trail.

When a meteor strikes earth's atmosphere, a cylindrical region of free electrons is formed at the height of the E layer. This slender, ionized column is relatively long, and when first formed is sufficiently dense to reflect and scatter television and radio signals, generally observable from 25 MHz upwards through UHF TV, back to earth. Consequently an incident television or radio signal is capable of being reflected up to distances approaching that of conventional Sporadic E propagation, typically about 1500 km. A signal reflected by such meteor ionisation can vary in duration from fractions of a second up to several minutes for intensely ionized trails. The events are classified as overdense and underdense, depending on the electron line-density (related to used frequency) of the trail plasma. The signal from overdense trail has a longer signal decay associated with fading and is a physically a reflection from the ionized cylinder surface, while an underdense trail gives a signals of short duration, which rises fast and decays exponentially and is scatter from individual electrons inside the trail.

Frequencies in the range of 50 to 80 MHz have been found to be optimum for meteor scatter propagation. The 88 – 108 MHz FM broadcast band is also highly suited for meteor scatter experiments. During the major meteor showers, with extremely intense trails, band III 175 – 220 MHz signal reception can occur.

Ionized trails generally reflect lower frequencies for longer periods (and produce stronger signals) compared to higher frequencies. For example, an 8-second burst on 45.25 MHz may only cause a 4-second burst at 90.5 MHz.

The effect of a typical visually seen single meteor (of size 0.5 mm) shows up as a sudden "burst" of signal of short duration at a point not normally reached by the transmitter. The combined effect of several meteors impinging on earth's atmosphere, while perhaps too weak to provide long-term ionisation, is thought to contribute to the existence of the night-time E layer.

The optimum time for receiving RF reflections off sporadic meteors is the early morning period, when the velocity of earth relative to the velocity of the particles is greatest which also increases the number of meteors occurring on the morning-side of the earth, but some sporadic meteor reflections can received at any time of the day, least in the early evening.

The annual major meteor showers are detailed below:

  • January 3 – 4: Quadrantids
  • April 22 – 23: Lyrids
  • May 5 – 6: Eta Aquariids
  • June 9 – 10: Arietids & zeta-Perseids
  • August 12 – 13: Perseids
  • October 21 – 22: Orionids
  • November 3 – 5: Taurids
  • November 16 – 18: Leonids (Note: activity varies, outburst only at about 33 year interval)
  • December 13 – 14: Geminids
  • December 22 – 23: Ursids

For observing meteor shower-related radio signals, the shower's radiant must be above the (propagation mid path) horizon. Otherwise no meteor of the shower can hit the atmosphere along the propagation path and no reflections from shower's meteor trails can be observed.

Satellite UHF TVRO DX

Although not by strict definition terrestrial TV DX, satellite UHF TVRO reception is related in certain aspects. For example, reception of satellite signals requires sensitive receiving systems and large outdoor antenna systems. However, unlike terrestrial TV DX, satellite UHF TV reception is far easier to predict. The geosynchronous satellite at 22,375 miles (36,009 km) height is a line of sight reception source. If the satellite is above the horizon, it can be generally received, if it is below the horizon, reception is not possible.

Notable Satellite UHF TVRO DX receptions

Digital modes

Digital radio and digital television can also be received, however there is much greater difficulty with reception of weak signals due to the cliff effect, particularly with the ATSC TV standard mandated in the U.S. For DVB-T, hierarchical modulation may allow a lower-definition signal to be received even if the details of the full signal cannot be decoded. A unique issue observed on analog TV at the end of the DTV transition in the United States was that very distant analog stations were viewable in the hours after the permanent shutdown of local analog transmitters in June 2009. This was particularly pronounced because June is one of the strongest months for DX reception on VHF, and most digital stations were assigned to UHF.

See also


  1. ^ Official WTFDA Club Website
  2. ^ "First Live BBC Recording". Alexandra Palace Television Society. Retrieved April 26, 2005. 
  3. ^ "FM Broadcasting Chronology". History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved May 22, 2005. 
  4. ^ "FM Radio Finds its Niche". R. J. Reiman. Retrieved May 22, 2005. 
  5. ^ "George Palmer - Australian TV DX Pioneer". Todd Emslie's TV DX Page. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2005. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ronald Kramer. "History of Television in Southern Oregon". Western States Museum of Broadcasting. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  8. ^ "Rijn Muntjewerff's 1961-2005 TV DX". Todd Emslie's TV DX Page. Retrieved August 29, 2005. 
  9. ^ Welcome to DX FM
  10. ^ Trans-Atlantic FM 26 June 2003
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "TA DX Band 1 - 2003". Skywaves. Archived from the original on 2009-08-16. 
  13. ^ tafm2
  14. ^
  15. ^ "High Band E Skip". Mike's TV and FM DX Page. Retrieved April 26, 2005. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ KVBC-DT-2 and WKYC-DT-2 via Es/My DTV DX
  18. ^ KBEJ-2 via Es
  19. ^ Short Eskip
  20. ^ "Band 1 DX Log June 2007". UKDX: VHF Broadcast DXing from the UK. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Sound Haaly Q'uran 88,2 MHz.
  23. ^ [2].
  24. ^ FM 105.1MHz Vietnam FM DX in Siliguri, WB, India, Sporadic E propagation.
  25. ^ Mann, Tony; Emslie, Todd. "Darwin, Australia VHF DXpedition". Todd Emslie's TV DX Page. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2005. 
  26. ^ "Space&Beyond: Moonbounce Advances the State of the Radio Art". ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Archived from the original on April 14, 2005. Retrieved May 5, 2005. 
  27. ^ K3PGP - Experimenters Corner - K3PGP UHF TV reception via EME (1970)
  28. ^ "Eavesdropping Mode and Radio Leakage from Earth". NASA CP-2156 Life In The Universe. Retrieved April 26, 2005. 
  29. ^ UHF TV carrier detection by moonbounce (EME)
  30. ^ "RWT and the History of TVRO". Real-World Technology Ltd. Archived from the original on April 16, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2005. 
  31. ^ "Amateur radio page of Ian Roberts, ZS6BTE". Retrieved April 26, 2005. 

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