sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

September 14, 2020 2:26 pm  #1


Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

This past Saturday morning I was able to tune into a station at 92.9 from Burlington Vermont. I checked the TV as well as the radio and I did not find any other station from such a distance. I tuned in the station on my Directed HD radio which is my best for DX'ing but not sound-wise. I was even able to get the RDS info for the station.

That was Saturday morning and later that day I was able to tune into CHEZ 106 from Ottawa. That I think is tropo and I have been able to get that station a few times. I recorded the sample below. Neat to hear ads for New England, Vermont and New Hampshire on FM here. The CHEZ segment starts at 10:11 and it's Vermont until then.

STAR 93 Vermont CHEZ 106 OTTAWA

https://lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/star-93-vermont.jpg

 

Last edited by Fitz (September 14, 2020 2:29 pm)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

September 15, 2020 9:37 am  #2


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Tropo. There was good tropo reported to the east (and elsewhere) in this general period of time. 98.9 and 107.9 from Burlington are also heard from time to time (107.9 not very easily from Toronto given Hamilton).

 

September 15, 2020 10:14 am  #3


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Before the FM dial became so crowded in the GTA, I would often hear in the early morning driving into work in the late 70's/early 80's 100.3, 101.1, 103.5 and 106.7 from Detroit. If there was a really strong tropo opening, 104.3 stood up well against CHUM. In Oakville, 95.9 from London had a reasonably regular signal. Now, I can listen online if I choose to.

 

September 15, 2020 10:27 am  #4


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

The greatest DX I ever had on FM occurred one day after high school in the mid-70s. Everything - and I mean everything - was coming in. The usual suspects from Ohio, Pennsylvania and parts of western New York sounded like locals. But so did stations from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and more. They faded in for about 10 minutes each (sometimes drowning out local signals) then faded out, only to have others take their places on the dial - enough time to make an I.D. 

I remember the radio blaring out a "WABB Mobile!" jingle, which was from the Alabama city. My late father happened to be passing by at the time and I recall his amazement when he asked me what I was listening to.

To this day, I've never had an experience or a DX session like it. And with the way the dial is now, it's unlikely to ever happen again. But what an incredible afternoon! 

 

September 15, 2020 4:50 pm  #5


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

RadioActive wrote:

The greatest DX I ever had on FM occurred one day after high school in the mid-70s. Everything - and I mean everything - was coming in. The usual suspects from Ohio, Pennsylvania and parts of western New York sounded like locals. But so did stations from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and more. They faded in for about 10 minutes each (sometimes drowning out local signals) then faded out, only to have others take their places on the dial - enough time to make an I.D. 

I remember the radio blaring out a "WABB Mobile!" jingle, which was from the Alabama city. My late father happened to be passing by at the time and I recall his amazement when he asked me what I was listening to.

To this day, I've never had an experience or a DX session like it. And with the way the dial is now, it's unlikely to ever happen again. But what an incredible afternoon! 

Had a day like that in Ottawa 20 years ago. Craziest catch was WRUM 100.3 Orlando taking out 100kw local CJMJ

Last edited by RadioAaron (September 15, 2020 4:52 pm)


 
 

September 15, 2020 4:56 pm  #6


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

The other friday night, I noticed all stations including Toronto in the car were slightly weakend.  Primarily lots of problems getting Buffalo while moving around and usual isnt an issue.

Sometimes is there a blockage in the atmosphere of signals? 

 

September 15, 2020 9:23 pm  #7


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

I am in the southern part of Ottawa.  I have a Bose radio on the second floor with a dipole antenna.  Tonight I picked up for the first time The Beat 92.5 from Montreal/  Usually 92.5 The Jewel is there.  I also picked up the Moose from Bancroft at 97.7.  I have heard this before, sent them a note and heard nothing back.  CHOM Montreal is the same frequency but I very rarely receive it.  And, I had to double check this one, 96.7 Kitchener. 
So, I have had some weird, although enjoyable scanning.
\

 

September 15, 2020 10:29 pm  #8


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

As for tv here in central Etobicoke on OTA I’m down to 6 channels from 40.  This includes half of Toronto channels.  How WGRZ is coming in and not city tv is very weird.  Earlier today all were there and it’s not my setup.

 

September 16, 2020 6:24 am  #9


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

When I bought my first "real" stereo system [Pioneer SX-980] I had access to an outdoor Wineguard non-directional antenna. I would always use 92.5 as a test frequency for tropo reception. In Oakville, if Rochester was coming in with the stereo light lit, it was going to be a fun day of DXing.

 

September 16, 2020 10:26 am  #10


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Heads up the tropo is still on.

I got the best results when I put an amplifier on  rabbit ears for FM. Yesterday around 6 pm I caught stations in Windsor, Detroit and then later Ohio and Pennsylvania. This morning Ohio was strong and right now I am listening to a station in Mansfield Ohio at 106.1. None of the locals were overtaken but I got distant stations at 98.5 and 107.9 and some other frequencies. Have not tried the TV but anyone with an outdoor antenna may pick up something. I got a digital lock from a radio station in Cleveland at 107.9.

The amplifier definitely helped as most stations disappeared without it. Have not checked the Hepburn DX map today but yesterday they were not showing a DX potential.

I will try to put together a sample montage at some point.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 11:05 am  #11


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Erie coming in clearly this morning in Etobicoke, even their university WERG station at approx 2000watts coming in as a local.  The best tuner I have for stations is a basic todays version of a Sony CD boombox.  I noticed Sony always has the best tuners.  Really locks in the weakest stations. 

Im wondering also if the california fire smoke in the atmosphere above is helping with tropo!? 

 

September 16, 2020 12:02 pm  #12


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

markow202 wrote:

Erie coming in clearly this morning in Etobicoke, even their university WERG station at approx 2000watts coming in as a local.  The best tuner I have for stations is a basic todays version of a Sony CD boombox.  I noticed Sony always has the best tuners.  Really locks in the weakest stations. 

Im wondering also if the california fire smoke in the atmosphere above is helping with tropo!? 

Was wondering that as well.  Last night in the car I couldn't pull in 99.5 KFUN between Stratford and Kitchener.  Usually this would come in fine. Also in Stratford 105.3 Virgin wasn't very clear.   Later I tuned into 106.3 Kool FM Sarnia perfectly clear in Kitchener.  This is a station that has a very poor signal, sometimes non existent in K/W.  

 

September 16, 2020 12:12 pm  #13


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

I third that about the smoke. I was wondering that yesterday but figured that it probably is not a factor but you never know..

Pretty wide-spread tropo and possible skip as now I just caught a station called WTFN from Bristol Tennessee.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 1:08 pm  #14


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Bristol TN (there's also the adjacent Bristol VA across the border) is not tropo if you have had that today. A DXer in Grimsby is reporting weather radio (just above FM band) from North Caolina and Tennessee. A DXer in London ON has had tons of KY and one from Roanoke. Last night I pulled an all-nighter (10pm arrival and 6:30 am departure) just north of Snowball within near-radiation distance of 88.5 CKDX tower. 92.5 Toronto was replaced largely by WBEE Rochester and WBKR Owensboro KY. I had four FMs from KY and one on 96.9 that had country and mentioned TN. Maybe that's the FM in Bristol - I'll review the MP3 recording and decide what to make of it. 96.9 was largely WLRD Willard OH playing souther gospel music. 96.3 no sign of Toronto, it was solidly Detroit WDVD. Anyhow, Fitz, no e-skip today. You've just had a seriously great tropo catch - whereabouts are you listening? 

 

September 16, 2020 1:08 pm  #15


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

The smoke is a really good question. I'll ask... I doubt on its own but we are dealing with an inversion with warmer air coming in and aloft, and yet relatively dry and stable. My best guess is the smoke aids and abets good tropo-producing conditions because it apparently is supposed to help keep temps down a degree or two. That would be pure sunlight blockage, but maybe signals can reflect off smoke. I'll ask...

Last edited by Saul (September 16, 2020 1:12 pm)

 

September 16, 2020 1:21 pm  #16


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Saul wrote:

The smoke is a really good question. I'll ask... I doubt on its own but we are dealing with an inversion with warmer air coming in and aloft, and yet relatively dry and stable. My best guess is the smoke aids and abets good tropo-producing conditions because it apparently is supposed to help keep temps down a degree or two. That would be pure sunlight blockage, but maybe signals can reflect off smoke. I'll ask...

Im guessing it is doing something.  There is alot of pictures online of southern ontario with the way the sun is being illuminated at sunrise/sunset (looks like a distant hazy fireball) and was told it was the smoke.  Thats the sun, nevermind what its doing to a radio signal.  

 

September 16, 2020 1:49 pm  #17


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

The amp I added to the rabbit ears is definitely helping. I just recorded this sample of stations WTFN from Tenn and Rocky FM from Maryland ( I think). WTFN till 1:37 and then Rocky FM. Anyway I unplug the amp at 00:46 and 3:01 and lose the station for a few secs.

DX Tenn  & Maryland


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 2:00 pm  #18


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

This is an idea of how busy DX has been since late last night in our region

https://i.ibb.co/ZRjbrf2/Image1.jpg

 

September 16, 2020 2:05 pm  #19


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Saul wrote:

Bristol TN (there's also the adjacent Bristol VA across the border) is not tropo if you have had that today. A DXer in Grimsby is reporting weather radio (just above FM band) from North Caolina and Tennessee. A DXer in London ON has had tons of KY and one from Roanoke. Last night I pulled an all-nighter (10pm arrival and 6:30 am departure) just north of Snowball within near-radiation distance of 88.5 CKDX tower. 92.5 Toronto was replaced largely by WBEE Rochester and WBKR Owensboro KY. I had four FMs from KY and one on 96.9 that had country and mentioned TN. Maybe that's the FM in Bristol - I'll review the MP3 recording and decide what to make of it. 96.9 was largely WLRD Willard OH playing souther gospel music. 96.3 no sign of Toronto, it was solidly Detroit WDVD. Anyhow, Fitz, no e-skip today. You've just had a seriously great tropo catch - whereabouts are you listening? 

I am listening in the western part of Pickering close to Scarborough and after my post about not losing any of the locals I got a digi lock on WBEE at 92.5. 

Have rccv'd all kinds of stations from Rust Michigan to Wingham Ontario to Maryland and Tenn. I was a radio fan back in the 1970's and had an outdoor antenna and do remember when the radio dial would light up with distant signals but not this many stations.
 


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 3:02 pm  #20


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

From Bill Hepburn at http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html ...

It's the high pressure ridge getting wedged in between the cold front to the NW and the hurricane to the south. 
Smoke collects under the inversion. It's a symptom, not a cause. The inversion caused smoke to collect, just like it causes signals to refract.

 

 

September 16, 2020 4:22 pm  #21


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

The smoke may have settled or at least the inversion may have abated We shall see. Am still getting 104.9 Erie very well and some Rochester and other Erie stations but I get some of those on a mild tropo day. Also that test I posted above with and w/o the antenna amp was not properly set up and basically what you got after I unplugged the amp is no antenna at all. Still I have no doubt that the amp helped.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 5:39 pm  #22


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

I was in the Detroit area last year and picked up a station from Texas on 104.7 instead of WIOT Toledo which is normal in the area. I couldn’t believe it. I love when it is this active!

 

September 16, 2020 7:06 pm  #23


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

I needed a break from the DX'ing and thought it might be at an end but just went back and caught a station from West Virginia called Nick 92.9.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 17, 2020 11:56 am  #24


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Fitz wrote:

I needed a break from the DX'ing and thought it might be at an end but just went back and caught a station from West Virginia called Nick 92.9.

A few DXers heard that one. I didn't. Did have one out of eastern Kentucky on 92.9. But I was running mobile all night at the start of it and while I considered a run to the Scarborough Bluffs for last night I ran out of stay-awake-power. What I need is a whole RV set-up for mobile DX (with the ability to extend a tower from the roof, etc), but sanity and reality get in the way and other priorities take precedence ...
 

 

September 17, 2020 8:54 pm  #25


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

I have edited and digitized about 2/3 of the content I recorded during the DX bonanza.  Will share the other third in the future.

First sample recorded Sep 16 during the day  includes:

WNCX 98.5 Cleveland, 93 Q Syracuse, Unknown station from Warren PA, WKYC Mix 97.1 Cleveland, Ohio, The Fish 95.5 Cleveland, The BTO segment is from a community station in Batavia NY that I left in by error, WENZ HD Cleveland starts at 10:58 and when signal drops a few times it does not switch to the analog feed for same station but rather another analog signal, WEBR FM 90.5 Rochester ( Alt rock with Kraftwerk and other act before that), Mix 96.1 WVNO FM Mansfield, Ohio, WGWE FM owned by Seneca Nations in Little Valley NY, WNCX again,WGWE again,  92 Gold WRRN, Warren Pa, 98.5 WTFM, Kingsport Tenn ( this was the most distant pick up), 104.7 WIOT FM Akron, Ohio

Second sample  recorded Sep 15 evening includes:

CIDR FM 93.9 The River Windsor, WLLZ 106.7 Detroit, CBC Music 89.9 Windsor, WOCM 104.3 Detroit, London Ontario station with ad for Porky's, Erie's Rocket 105 at 104.9,, WOMC again, London Pure Country 93, CKNX Wingham, WNED Repeater in Jamestown at 89.7, The Fish FM Cleveland, Hot 107.5 Detroit, WOMC again

Sample One

Sample Two




https://lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/WENZ-scaled.jpg


 

Last edited by Fitz (September 17, 2020 10:21 pm)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter
 

September 17, 2020 9:01 pm  #26


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

WTFM is a helluva catch, I've only had TN by Tr like one or two times over 40+ years. 
WIOT is Toledo, not Akron, so a bit farther out. You done well...

 

September 18, 2020 7:00 am  #27


Re: Is This a E-Skip or Tropo Catch

Saul wrote:

WTFM is a helluva catch, I've only had TN by Tr like one or two times over 40+ years. 
WIOT is Toledo, not Akron, so a bit farther out. You done well...

This proves that even with the crowded dial there's still DX opportunities even in a large city. No doubt that a good antenna and radio is a necessity. Also I think that not counting the FM repeaters perhaps 20 % of the stations on air now have added the frequencies since the late 1970's and so the crowed dial works both ways as there are some additional pick up opportunities.

I am happy with the Directed radio for DX purposes. I also have a Sangean HD tuner but that one may have nice sound but it does not have the FM sensitivity/selectivity of the Directed and it has a high threshold for switching stations to stereo. I have read a lot of good things about the Sony XDR-F1HD. An HD radio but I'm more interested b/c of it's ability to pick up a lot of stations. That one is expensive and hard to find. I did not see one on Amazon today and it's almost $ 400.00 cdn on Ebay.


 


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
     Thread Starter