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Old 28th Nov 2023, 6:32 pm   #1
G6Tanuki
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Default MW DXing.

I've always been more interested in hearing radio stations [and recording them in my log] rather than listening to them; in days-past the only real things that captured my 'listening' attention were the pop-pirates and the similarly-60s/early-70s rebroadcasts of baseball/boxing from the US on the American Forces Network catering to their troops posted in Germany.

Now with the retreat of local broadcasters on MW, the opportunities for DX listening once again emerge [near-field EMI from SMPS/solar-panels/inverters/plasma-tellies notwithstanding].

It's interesting to tune around MW during the dark-hours; down the LF end of the band there are a few cracking African stations that anyone with a decent receiver should be able to hear.

Radio Algérienne 531 - - rebroadcasting "Jil FM" - is interesting; if you can't hear this you really need to upgrade your receiving system. They run 300/600KW!

Moving up the band there's a bunch of Spanish stations - after midnight they seem to be broadcasting the same content. I suspect that there's a lot of these who are running the same content from multiple transmitters on the same frequency, because they often have the strange slow-fading thing that comes with transmitters not being precisely in-phase with each other.

Caroline, on 648KHz, is totally swamped.

Listen around, and tell us what you're hearing in the night-time!
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Old 28th Nov 2023, 7:52 pm   #2
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Default Re: MW DXing.

The MW band still comes up with some nice surprises if the conditions are right. Around a fortnight ago I heard World Music Radio from Denmark on 927 kHz. Slovenia and Macedonia appear to have gone from MW, but there are many other interesting stations that can be heard, not to mention the powerhouse signal of Kossuth Radio from Hungary on 540 kHz.

The biggest problem I have is severe electrical interference possibly from the neighborhood and it's around 95 percent of the time. DIY loop antenna minimises the problem but cannot get rid of most noise even after rotation. I've tried a longwire in the garden with a copper pipe stake, but it didn't make too much of a difference to the electrical RFI.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 12:02 pm   #3
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: MW DXing.

I'll have to have a listen for Kossuth on 540KHz.

Interference seems to be less after midnight - I guess people go to bed and turn their RFI-generating lightbulbs/tellies off.

Last night was good for Algeria on 531; though it's interesting to note how over a period of 10 minutes it can go from decent listening-quality down to barely-detectable.

Propagation is a fickle mistress to us DX-types!
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 9:19 pm   #4
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Default Re: MW DXing.

As a keen medium wave DXer one European worth trying for if you've got a directional aerial to null out Spanish QRM is country radio from Ceske Budjovice on 954 kilocycles with 5 kW comes in here with a weak but listenable signal after dark. They have a parallel transmission on 639 kilocycles at 20 kilowatts from Liblice which originally had a 1500 kW transmitter back in the day was fighting with west Germany at 600 kilowatts. Also from that area brass band radio on 792 kc.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 9:43 pm   #5
Jolly 7
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Default Re: MW DXing.

I too have heard Country Radio using my homebrew loop in the recent past. It has a good mix of music. A short while ago Romania was coming in on 630 kHz, a frequency which I normally receive Tunisia on. I'm not sure what's coming in on 756 kHz at present. It could be either Romania or Portugal. Radio Dechovka from the Czech Republic is also currently on 792 kHz. I can't hear Bretagne 5 on 1593 kHz at the moment.
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Old 2nd Dec 2023, 2:57 am   #6
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Default Re: MW DXing.

I use portable radios run on internal batteries and use directional properties of built in ferrite rod aerial to null out co channel stations and local electrical interference. After dark I have been picking up North African stations, R Capodistria and GHR on 1548 from Edinburgh/Sheffield, 1161 from Dundee and 1584 from Perth. Occasionally I can hear Canadian and USA stations.
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Old 2nd Dec 2023, 3:27 pm   #7
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: MW DXing.

Further on this, tuning around on my Eddystone 840A last night, right off the bottom of the MW scale [it goes down to 500KHz, presumably to cater for maritime distress-signal listening] around 518 kHz and 490 kHz I heard some data-transmissions, which a bit of Googling revealed were Navtex broadcasts.

I haven't yet hooked up a laptop to try and decode them [the 840A is live-chassis so I am treading carefully here] but the freeware FLDIGI program has a Navtex mode.

Will be interesting to see what I can hear. The nice thing about Navtex transmissions is that they include the originating station's callsign making identification easy!

[For those who have never heard of Navtex, it started in the 1980s as a way to replace the old Shipping Forecasts that used to clutter up BBC radio back then. It's a form of RTTY with error-correction based on SITOR, and with a well-defined message format making it easy to decode on extremely simple hardware]

More info here: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/tempus...vtex_notes.htm


If you've got a receiver [CR100? AR88LF?] that goes down to around 500KHz, hook up a computer or a phone and give it a listen!

See here: https://assets.publishing.service.go...018_August.pdf for details of the UK coastal stations transmitting Navtex and their scheduled 'slots'.
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 12:59 am   #8
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Default Re: MW DXing.

That’s really interesting. Thanks.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 3:26 pm   #9
Sean Johnston
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Default Re: MW DXing.

[QUOTE=G6Tanuki;1603070]Further on this, tuning around on my Eddystone 840A last night, right off the bottom of the MW scale [it goes down to 500KHz, presumably to cater for maritime distress-signal listening] around 518 kHz and 490 kHz I heard some data-transmissions, which a bit of Googling revealed were Navtex broadcasts.

I haven't yet hooked up a laptop to try and decode them [the 840A is live-chassis so I am treading carefully here] but the freeware FLDIGI program has a Navtex mode.

Yes, I get that at 516.5 kHz and 488.5 kHz using an SDR radio and decoded with YAND freeware, but haven't heard it using my valve radios.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 3:34 pm   #10
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: MW DXing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Johnston View Post
Yes, I get that at 516.5 kHz and 488.5 kHz using an SDR radio and decoded with YAND freeware, but haven't heard it using my valve radios.
It's a bit off the bottom of the dial for your average MW radio, though if your radio was intended to include the old 500KHz Maritime distress frequency then you should be able to hear the Navtex stations.

Nice thing about them is that they have dedicated time-slots for each station's transmissions, and the station ID is also included in each transmission, so there's no problem IDing which one you are receiving.
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 1:20 pm   #11
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Default Re: MW DXing.

I used to receive Bretagne 5 on 1593 Kc/s in the evening until a few weeks ago when I think a storm may have taken its MW transmitter off air. I wonder if it is to return?
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Old 19th Dec 2023, 3:46 pm   #12
Jolly 7
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Default Re: MW DXing.

There seems to be a folk or pop music station transmitting on 1620 kHz on Saturday nights. The content doesn't appear to be English. Has anyone else heard this station ?
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Old 19th Dec 2023, 4:42 pm   #13
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Default Re: MW DXing.

Hi Jolly,

These will be pirates, mostly Dutch that transmit between 1615 and 1680 kHz. Often heard as many as 8 on at the same time, they usually play a selection of Dutch folk and 60's rock and pop music. They can also be heard QSO'ing one another sometimes. Weekends are the best time to hear them.
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Old 20th Dec 2023, 8:16 am   #14
Jolly 7
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Default Re: MW DXing.

Thanks for confirming my suspicion that these are clandestine broadcasts.
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