Wednesday 24 December 2008

QSL-replies from Utö-pedition

Our FM-DX-pedition to Utö last June brought us many replies from stations. For example Jussi Suokas got around 20 QSLs.
Jukka Soini
received a message from Radio Sei (www), Rome, Italy (91.4 MHz). Among the verification there were long mp3-clip of their programme. In this clip the DJs talk and wonder about the distant reception in Finland on FM!!
Listen the mp3-clip.(2.4 Mb-file)
Radio Sei seems to have moved from 91.4 MHz to 98.1 MHz later. It is part radiogroup Gruppo Roma Radio which owns two sport-stations: Rete Sport and Radio Sei, and oldies station Radio Italia Anni 60.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Mp3-examples from Utö

Here a few examples of stations-id's and reception qualities from Utö:

Tilsitskaya Volna
, Kaliningrad 106.9 MHz - mp3
Evropa Plus, Kaliningrad 104.5 MHz - mp3
Russkoje Radio, Kaliningrad 96.3 MHz - mp3
Radio Kelyje, Klaipeda, Lithuania 99.8 MHz - mp3
Radio Lietus, Klaipeda, Lithuania103.7 MHz - mp3
Extra FM, Klaipeda, Lithuania 100.2 MHz - mp3
Eska Rock, Gdynia-tx, Poland 105.6 MHz - mp3

We were very lucky with the conditions in Utö! Since we left the island there has been total silence with E and tropo - for over one week!! A big surprise!

Friday 13 June 2008

Utö DX-QTH is available for anybody!

Any FM-DXer is wellcome to listen in Utö DX-QTH.
You can ask more details from Harri Kujala / Erik Sjöberg (owner).
This cottage costs 100 € / night and even 4 DXer can listen at the same time (with 4 antennas devided 2/2). There is very high-speed WLAN which is very big + !!

We leave here three 6-7 meters towers, so 3 antennas can be built up quite easily. Ask more from Harri.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You absolutely need amplifiers (forexample Triax-amplifiers) to pick up also the weakest signals!!!

There is a little shop, sauna, inside swimming pool (15m), restaurant, coffees etc. servicies available. It takes 4h with ferry from Nauvo (Pärnes) to Utö (costs 9€).
More Utö-information from

UTÖ FM-BANSCAN VIDEO (low tropo / direction south / FM amplifier)

Utö FM-DX-pedition is over

Friday evening at 21.00 local time we ripped out the antennas to leave the island at 06.15 on Saturday morning. It takes 4h to land to Nauvo and again 1,5h more to Turku by car >.

Sporadic E was disappointment: Only one 2 h condition to southern Italy plus two very brief openings to Balkan area, no more.
Tropo gave us nice results mainly to Kaliningrad, Poland and Lithuania although there were no mega-tropos according to maps.
Tropo scattering was observed now first time clearly by us. Some Polish high-power stations (over 10 kW) and forexample Evropa Plus Kaliningrad 104.5 MHz (5 kW H) popped up from nothing to clean audio many times during daylight hours. It is kind of reflection on empty band giving stations from 500 - 650 km distance! Very strange sounding propagation but it might to be daily here.

Top 5-station-highlights from this pedition:

1. Tilsitskaya Volna, Kaliningrad 106.9 MHz
2. Evropa Plus, Kaliningrad 104.5 MHz
3. Russkoje Radio, Kaliningrad 96.3 MHz
4. Extra FM, Klaipeda 100.2 MHz
5. Idea Radio Alternativa, Latiano (BR), Italy 100.5 MHz
.... Radio Lefkada, Lefkada, Greece (tentatively) 88.4 MHz
+ a few new tropo-stations and a couple of never-heard-before Italians

Last day - Friday 13.6.2008

Last chance to get Es!! If there will be a good Es-opening today, there is a chance to stay one extra day. During daylight hours we had much tropo-scattering observations specially to Poland (over 600 km), Gdansk, Olsztyn, Bialystok. Same thing with southern Sweden (Göteborg 101.9 MHz etc.).

This morning brought two e-QSLs more, Radio Eska Rock (www). They confirmed my report and told in a brief message that they play quite a lot Finnish rock music. Eska Rock is 2 years old and they have now 18 tx's around the country.

The other replied station was Radio Celje (www) from Slovenia. It was heard here in Utö via Es on 7.8.2008. I got nice reply to my e-mail within 15 minutes. Technician Aljosa Boncina confirmed kindly my clip!

Waiting for Es - Thursday 12.6.208

Two days left of this pedition and we are begging for some Es-conditions to fill the silent band!!
We are leaving on early Sat morning (HKU and JUS have a chance to leave Sunday midday).

Todays's highlight was
Evropa Plus Kaliningard 104.5 MHz with tropo-scatter during whole day! Now with local spots!
NO Sporadic-E on Thursday!!! E-skip-map was not much better than this whole day >

Yesterday HKU wrote an e-report to new Rigan dance-station
Top Radio 91.9 MHz (www). They replied in two hours confirming the mp3-clip!!
This station has very strange history. They have started broadcasting 15 years ago without license. They made the station as a hobby with no commercials.
However, authorities took their transmitter once per year!! "But we survived", wrote Mihails from Top Radio.
Now they have legal 2 kW V on 91.9 MHz (rent frequency) and surprisingly this station was weakly audible in Utö almost all the time fading up and down!!

Another QSL came on Thursday 12.6.2008: Religious station,
Marijos Radiojas (www) confirmed my mp3-clip. They had one other report from Finland before (must be Marko Brask) and they wondered why this 91.8 MHz (Siauliai-tx) can reach Finland so well!

Empty band - Wednesday 11.6.2008

The FM-band here in Utö is quite weak on Wed morning. Tropo is now on low level. This means that only a few high-powers are audible from Finnish YLE, Sveriges R., Eesti and Latvia/Lithuania R. transmitters. Many stations have deep and fast fading up and down! This must be tropo scattering (See more / Tnx JTK)!


A DESCRIPTION OF SITUATION IN LOW TROPO in Utö when antenna direction is south:

- Naturally
YLE's Åland (88.6, 91.3 etc), YLE Turku (89.8, 92.6, 94.3 etc.) are blocking frequencies. Also YLE Fiskars, YLE Eurajoki and Espoo are fading up/down but they can be blocked by Es-signals very well.
Some Finnish-vertical privates stations are coming up and down weak.
Sveriges Radio Stockolm tx's 92.4 / 96.2 etc. are very weak. Gotland is also weak but peaks up often (with antenna-direction to South!). No other SR-transmitters. Great!!
Only a few H-high-powers from Estonia are audible: 105.9 / 107.8 etc.
- Latvia's national radio transmitters are weak: 90.7 / 91.5 / 95.9 / 101.3 / 107.7 etc.
-Latvia's Kurzemes Radio 106.4 MHz is the strongest.
Audible all the time!!
- Kristigais Radio 98.5 MHz and SWH 105.2 are coming up and down.
National network Lithuania are very weak up/down - 102.8 / 105.3 MHz (Klaipeda)

Kaliningrad - Lithuania - Tuesday 10.6.2008 Utö FM-DX

Willam Hepburn's Tropo-forecast (www) predicted Tuesday morning's tropo perfectly for us !! (Click the map)

We had strong signals to Klaipeda and deeper Lithuania starting 03.00 utc. Later we finally had Kaliningrad coming up with local ID of Russkoje Radio Kaliningrad on 96.3 MHz. Totally new station from KAL was Tilsitskaya Volna (Sovetsk) on 106.9 MHz!! This is the best catch of this pedition so far!! First timer was also Extra FM from Klaipeda on 100.2 MHz (500 W) !!
Kaliningrad stations are extremely difficult to hear in Finland!!! We have heard strong signals very near around Kaliningard, from Poland and Lithuania, but during the past years only weak KAL on about 5 frequencies (now 3 KAL-station observed in Utö)! There are a lot stations to try from Kaliningrad!

The weather outside did not look like giving tropo - all the time more clouds and even light rain and wind! The best conds were over around 06.00utc.
According to Hepburn's page we will not have tropo-signals anymore this week. Once again we had perfect match of the tropo-forecast on Hepburn's page!

Loggings Tuesday 10.6.2008 (Red=First time in Finland)

91.8 MHz - Marijos Radijas, Siauliai-tx. 04.50-
91.9 MHz - Top Radio, Riga, Latvia. 03.00-
91.9 MHz - Opus 3, Klaipeda-tx, Lithuania (nat. network). 03.11-
92.5 MHz - ZIP FM, Klaipeda-tx. 03.30-
94.9 MHz - Laluna, Klaipeda. 07.20-
96.3 MHz - Russkoje Radio KALININGRAD local programme. 04.56-
99.8 MHz - Radio Kelyje, Kaunas. Klaipeda-tx. 03.00-
100.2 MHz - Extra FM, Klaipeda (500 W). 04.30-
103.7 MHz - Radio Lietus, Klaipeda. RDS-level. 04.40-
106.9 MHz - Tilsitskaya Volna, Sovetsk, KALININGRAD. 05.00-
+ dozens of other network-transmitters around W- and SW-Lithuania.

Monday 9.6.2008 Utö FM-DX

Tropo conditions falled completly down in the early Monday morning after Lithuania (Klaipeda).

At the same time we got quite heavy NE wind (at least 14 m/s) and we had to take one antenna down temporarily. We have learned that towers for antennas should be at least 3.8 cm thick.

According to forecasts there might be chance for one tropo-condition next night. Hope so.
NO E-SKIPS ON MONDAY - unfortunately!!!

Sunday 8.6.2008 Utö FM-DX

Summary of Sunday tropo-conditions:

We are wondering what can be heard here in Utö during really strong tropo!!!
According to the Hepburn's preview-map the conditions should have been only fair on Sunday (CLICK THE MAP) but there were stations coming from all around Baltic Sea with strong signals!!

Conditions were going on the whole Sunday starting from SE Sweden (new stn Radio Wix was highlight, first catch) in the morning.
Danmarks Radio Bornholm was strong for long time on 99.3 MHz etc. In the morning conds moved soon to Gdansk, 625 km distance (best were Hit FM, 94.6 MHz, 1.5 kW H and Radio Kaszëbë, 92.3 MHz, 2 kW H). Dozens of Polish frequencies were audible, even with RDS! Gdansk was up for hours. Kaliningrad was on 96.3 MHz but only with network-px Russkoje Radio.

On Sunday afternoon tropo moved more to Latvia and Estonia. Highlights were new Top Radio, Riga on 91.9 MHz (First time in Finland) and local Radio Paldiski, Estonia.
At late night tropo moved to Lithuania. Klaipeda gave us almost all stations from the city, forexample LaLuna and Kelyje. Kaliningrad came up again at night on 96.3 MHz and 104.5 MHz (Evropa Plus network).

LOGGINGS SUNDAY 8.6.2008 (utc)
Red= First time in Finland

87.7 MHz - Radio Paldiski, Paldiski, Estonia. 2nd time in Finland! 16.30-
91.900 MHz
- Top Radio, Riga. Brand new station in Riga!!! 12.50-
92.3 MHz - Radio Kaszëbë, Gdansk tentatively, spots/talk but no id in 25 min!! Distance between Utö and Gdansk is 625 km! 09.06-

94.6 MHz
- Hit FM, Gdansk. 08.20-
94.9 MHz - LaLuna, Klaipeda, Lithuania. 23.00-
96.3 MHz - Russkoje Radio KALININGRAD tentatively for hours, not local unfortunately. 09.50-
99.5 MHz - Fit FM, Riga. New station on this old frequency! 10.00-
99.8 MHz - Radio Kelyje, Klaipeda. Almost all Klaipeda-stations were audible. 23.30-
102.9 MHz - RMF Maxxx, Lebork-tx. Local Pomorze!!. This new RMF-network seem to have locals!!! 08.53-
103.0 MHz - Radio Zlote Przeb, Gdansk. 08.50-
104.1 MHz - Laisvoije Banga, Klaipeda. Is listed as European Hit R. 23.58-
104.5 MHz - Evropa Plus KALINNGRAD. Not local unfortunately. 22.28-
105.6 MHz - Radio Eska Rock, Gdynia-tx. 08.40-
106.7 MHz - Radio Eska Nord, Gdynia-tx. 08.45-

The early morning brief Sporadic E:
88.4 MHz - Radio Lefkada, Lefkada, Greece (tentative, spots). 05.46-
88.9 MHz - ERT-NET, Greece (RDS-id) 05.43-
89.1 MHz - Radio Svilajnac, Svilajnac, Serbia. 05.45-

Morning tropo
97.9 MHz - Valdemarsvik närradio, Valdemarsvik. New station! FIRST TIME IN FINLAND !! 04.40-

Utö FM-DX 7.-14.2008

We are listening FM in Utö-island (map) for one week. Listeners are Harri Kujala (HKU, from Naantali), Jukka Soini (JJS, from Kurikka) and Jussi Suokas (JUS, from Joensuu).
We have four H- and V-antennas (4 x 8 el. yagi) with amplifiers.

QTH is nice cottage (own kitchen, WC, bedrooms) close the sea with open view to S and SW.
The cost of this is 100 € / night. Seems to be good place for FM-DXing.

We leave antenna towers here, so it is easier to come again - or anybody else. CLICK THE PHOTO >>>

LOG Sat 7.6.2008 (Times utc)
Short opening to Italy, about 15 minutes going up and down

88.4 MHz - Radio Cuore with local ad to Pisa-area but this is supposed to be MO-tx. 08.58-
90.15 MHz - Radio Zeta, Caravaggio, Italy. Never heard befpor on this frg / 87.5 MHz. 09.00-

NICE OPENING TO SOUTH ITALY from 16.40 to 19.00 UTC.
A few highlights ! Red= First time in Finland:

89.3 MHz - Radio Day,
Frosinone, Italy. Possibly Rome-tx. 1642-
90.6 MHz - Radio Celje, Celje, Slovenia. 1648-
91.4 MHz - Radio Omega Sound, Rome. 18.02-
100.0 MHz - Radio Play Capital, Chieti province. New network owned by Delta Uno. 16.59-
100.5 MHz - Idea Radio Alternativa, Latiano (BR). 17.30-