Monday 5 August 2013

Monday, 5th August 2013: Utö13 is over - 2014 booked up

 Utö13 is over. Antennas were dismounted around 11.00 and the crew left the island at 13.15 with Eivor-ferry.
This session was succesful on SDXL Annual meeting, totally 40 participants. Everybody were very satisfied and it was fun.
The FM-conditions during the past week were not so good, but no much was also expected at this time of the year: We had south France-opening for 1h and also some tropo, even to Kaliningrad weakly.
Photo below: FUN Radio Besancon (25) France by OSY, Otso Ylönen.
Utö14 will be again next year for 5-15.6.2014. That is already booked up.
Photo above by JUS

Sunday 4 August 2013

Sunday, 4th August: Very short peaks to Italy, Greece and Germany

SDXL Annual Summer Meeting 2013 is over and over 30 participants left the island after midday. 6 listeners still left for one day to DX in the camp. We had very short peak to Italy, Greece and Germany before midday and some stations were logged, like ErreVuTi from Arezzo (Italy) on 90.1 MHz, Dionysos from Katerini (Greece) on 89.2 MHz and Rock Antenne, Ismaning (Bayern, Germany) on 87.9 MHz.
The Sherlock-map looked better than what we got as MUF. The camp will be dismounted on Monday around 11.00 for the summer.
In the evening there were no conditions, so we played frisbee. Cabin A-team (JMS,HKU,JUS) beated Cabin B-team very badly. Cabin B (JTK, JJS, TAK) had no chance and they losed all periods: 10-6 / 5-2 / 5-1. Frisbee-golf game was won by JTK.
Sunday-Monday night we had some tropo-peaks: Love Radio from Kaliningrad was id'ed on 102.9 MHz with network programme. KAL is very rare even in Utö.

Photo below: This is the result of the developing technology like Perseus. It is "Katiska-kuuntelu" in Finnish,(Fish)Trap-listening in English. We collect many stations with one recording. Here is katiska (=fish-trap) connected to Jim's Perseus. Click the photo (by JUS).

Saturday, 3rd of August: South France

Right after SDXL Summer Meeting official programme after 6pm we had nice opening to South France giving several new stations and also some Spanish signals.
Forexample departements 25, 30, 34, 74, 01 and even 66 at the Spanish boarder were up!! Nice surprise for the evening lasting about 1h!

Saturday 3 August 2013

Saturday, 3rd of August: SDXL Annual Summer Meeting 2013 is going on

Late yesterday evening the rest of the DX-meeting crew arrived to the island, Totally around 40 participansts are now present. We already had late-night card-games and sausage. This Saturday is full of DX-programme and also our guide Hanna Kovanen will tell us more about lighthouse and history of Utö.
Photo below: Blue/white "DX"-flag is rising up for the start of the meeting.

Photo below: VJR (Vesa-Jussi Rinkinen) built up 5-element yagi for Baltia-, Sweden- and Poland-DX right outside his hotel room.

Friday 2 August 2013

Friday, 2nd August: Weak France for 4-5 minutes

Both houses are now full with 8 DXers. In the afternoon we had very short opening to France: (close to Paris etc.) at 11.45utc.
Loggings from France:
88.4 Horizon, Sainte Genevieve des Bois (91)
88.7 Rire et Chansons, Étampes-tx (dep 91)
88.8 Evasion (also RDS,  77)
89.0 Hélène FM, Surgères (17)
89.0 France Culture, Le Mans-tx (72)
91.1 France Musique, Niort-tx (79)

Russian DXers Omar and Alexander (right) visited our DX-site on Friday. They come from St Petersburg and are participating SDXL summer meeting in Utö.

Saturday morning: Sacrifice for Essi

In the morning JMS and JTK made commited sacrifice for Essi (=Sporadic E) to call up Es-condition for the weekend. On the photo below you can see the guys in front of Utö-sandwich and Spanish Corona 10-brandy on the plate. This deep ritual consisted humble kneeling towards southwest with long lasting low throat-humming in Spanish.
  We will see if this ritual brings us good opening to Spain and Portugal. Click the photo.
(The guy on the left (JMS) is leading FM-DXer in Finland and on the right (JTK) is the chairman of SDXL, Finnish DX Association).

Friday, 2nd August: More DXers in Utö

FM-DXers JMS (Jim Solatie) and JTK (Jukka Kotovirta) joined the FM-DX-camp on Thursday evening and also around 10 others DXers arrived to the island - also two Russian DXers who already visited the FM-camp. Luckily we had short opening on OIRT. Some photos of the visitors etc later here.

The official SDXL summer meeting starts this evening. JTK (SDXL chairman) was on the air live on YLE Radio Åboland (national Swedish language network in Finland) on Friday morning telling about DXing and our Utö-meeting.

The forecat maps on tropo does not look good for the coming days and Sherlock map is giving nothing for Friday morning.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Thursday, 1st August: Brief Italian peaks

During the morning we observed 2-3 short Es-peaks towards Italy. Local and semilocal tropo-stations are interfering weak Es. Two new listerners will join the crew around 18.00 in the evening and the camp is full. JTK (Jukka Kotovirta) and JMS (Jim Solatie, here for the first time) will connect the receivers to the system.
Also many other DXers arrived to the island around 18.00 in the evning. The SDXL Annual summer meeting starts on Friday and over 40 participants will be at present in Utö (2.-4.8.2013).

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Wednesday, 30th July: Weak Turkey, Greece etc.

Beautiful and sunny day in Utö. A bit stronger tropo but nothing special. The forecast map is promising somthing better on tropo for the weekend, for Sunday.
After midday we had rapid and weak opening to South. Several stations were logged from Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. This was weak and lasted only about 20 minutes.

Here some loggings, after 10.40utc
66.44 BR Gomel FM, Smyatanichy, Belarus (at 1238utc)
89.0 R Metronom, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania
89.5 TRT FM, Canakkale-tx, Turkey
90.1 Radio Z, Zimnicea, Romania
90.6 R Energy, Belogradčik-tx, Bulgaria
91.2 Magic FM, Romania
91.2 Radio Veselina, Pleven/kv. Družba-tx, Bulgaria
93.0 TRT 1 Radyo Bir, Canakkale-tx, Turkey
93.2 Darik R, Bulgaria
93.6 Maximum FM, Alexandroupolis, Greece
95.3 Possibly R Evros, Alexandroupolis, Greece

Photo below: Tapio Kalmi (TAK) participating first time Utö FM-DX. Tapio uses 2 x Perseus FM+ and 2 x Sony XDR and records XDR-audio to minilab. Click for bigger view.

Below: JJK, TAK and JJS installing 2 x Triax 8-elem yagis (Photo JUS). CLICK for bigger view:

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Tuesday, 30th July: Utö13 FM-DX-camp is up!

FM-DX-camp in Utö is up again, for the 2nd time this season. The crew is here to prepare Finnish annual national DX-meeting 2013 (SDXL Summer-meeting 2013). Over 40 participants will come to Utö during the coming days and the offcial meeting will be 2-4.8.2013.
For the start the crew consists of 6 listeners: HKU (Harri Kujala), JUS (Jussi Suokas) , JJS (Jukka Soini), OSY (Otso Ylönen) , JJK (Jari Korhonen)  and TAK (Tapio Kalmi)  who is in Utö for the first time.

Many SDR Perseus FM+-receivers and Sony XDR's are on the tables and 8-el.Triax V-/H-antennas + 4-el yagi (for 50-70 MHz) are up.
We arrived to Utö after  midday and luckily it was not raining anymore during antenna installation. The weather will be sunny for the rest of the week!!

No conditions for the Tuesday afternoon or evening. but it is better this way, to built DX-sites with no rush or panic. We might have some tropo for the weekend. Let's see.

Much more photos will be published here later when the meeting is going on.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Utö13 will be 30.7 - 3.8.2013

Next Utö-pedtion (Utö13) will be very soon, from Tue 30.7 till Mon 3.8.2013. Finnish DX-Association will have an annual summer meeting (2-4.8.2013)  in Utö and this FM-DX-camp will be up for that time! Over 30 visitors is expected to participate this meeting.
All are wellcome to visit the SDXL-annual meeting in Utö and Finnish SW archipelago:  READ MORE

Saturday 15 June 2013

Sunday, 16th June: Utö12 is over - Compilation

Sunday morning gave us nothing but weak promises. Vertical antenna was removed already yesterday evening and horizontal yagi was up till to end, till Sunday around 11.00 local time. Ferry takes us to the continent leaving at 13.00.

The results of these 10 days looks good, altough the first days in the beginning were clammy.

The compilation of Sporadic E-openings:
-Friday, 7th June: Good opening to North Scotland at midnight our local time
-Wednesday, 12th June: The best Iberia-opening ever giving Portugal, Spain and Algeria - also France, UK and Benelux. Great day - over 7 hours opening! 
-Thursday; 13th June: Big opening to Russia around Samara, Togliatti and Zyzran-cities. Before that some weak Italy and Turkey.
-Friday, 14th June: Short peaks to south for one hour.

Tropo was very strong to North Sweden when we installed antennas. It gave distant DXing only with a whip-antenna to Umeå and Örnsköldsvik area! Many DX-stations were logged on the band with tropo but nothing new came up (but many new transmitters were observed).

Tropo-scatter: No hunting on tropo-scatter this time, although some scattering was observed on the band (in the year 2006 scattering was strong to Kaliningrad and Poland, but for example an year ago almost nothing). We do not know what kind of tropospheric conditions is needed over Baltic Sea for scattering here.

Meteors: A lot of stations were identified via meteors, especially Italy is very common here comparing to the continent. Perhaps all European countries noticed via meteors. Those are mostly high-power tx's.

Plus(+)-stations counting (=first loggings ever in Finland)
A lot of plus(+)-stations were logged (=logged first time in Finland). Here a rough compilation by country. Much more will be found later from the recordings:
Russia: 29 - Portugal: 17 - Spain: 5 - UK: 4 - France: 2 - Italy: 1 - Switzerland: 1, - Belgium: 1, Kazakhstan: 1
This list is very divergent comparing to previous years!! Almost no Russians noted before - and of course Iberia emphasis this year is nice.

The Skipmaster T-shirt ("Who catches the longest skip"-competition) goes to Jukka (JJS). He heard RFM, Monchique/Fóia-tx, South Portugal, 104.9 MHz and from the same tower Radio Renascensa 98.6 MHz. Both 10 kW. Distance 3277 km.

Saturday, 15th June: Silent day

This is the last full day in Utö12-pedition. The Sherlock-map did not look promising during the whole day - and finally Saturday gave us nothing. The crew rewinded recordings during the day finding a few new stations.
In the evening the vertical antenna was dismounted. Horizontal yagi is up for possible Sunday morning opening. The ferry leaves the island on Sunday at 13.30 local time.
Better leving the island with empty band on Sunday...

Friday 14 June 2013

Friday, 14th June: Very short Es-peaks to south

Only weak activity in ionosphere this Friday. Around midday we had very short peaks to direction south; Italy, Balkan, Greece and France, each lasting only 1 -2 minutes. However, some stations were identified:

14.6.2013 LOG (It is possible to write a short log because only a few stations id'ed). Time around 10-11utc:

52.60 - ITALIA:  Rete Radar, Porretta Terme (BO). STL-link frq. Also several Italian networks around 88-89 MHz
88.30 - ITALIA: Radio Margherita, Parabita-tx (LE).
88,40 - FRANCE: Radio Horizon, Sainte Genevieve des Bois (91).
88.40 - FRANCE: Yvelines FM, Trappes (78)
89.20 - SERBIA:  Radio Kulska Komuna, Kula 
89,40 - GREECE:  Arena FM, Thessaloniki 
89,40 - FRANCE: Plus FM, Blois (41).
90.90 - FRANCE: R. BLC 90.9, Cambrai (59)
92.80 - GREECE:  ERA1 Athens. Pilio-tx. Only RDS-id with a silent carrier!!! So, the closure of ERT was also noticed here!

No conditions in the evening.... So we played the most significant card-game of this pedition. It was the Utö Championchip 2013:
The winner was Harri (HKU). (Hard fight with JTK till the last round). HKU also won the total score of all games.

Thursday 13 June 2013

Thursday, 13th June: Early morning Italy, Turkey and strong Russia

The crew did sleep only a few hours after yesterday evening's push. Early morning check by JJS woke up the crew at 02.45 utc to Italy-opening. Stations from North Italy, but not big signals.
Later during the morning we've had short peaks to Bulgaria and Turkey (Istanbul).

Around midday local time there were very srong signals from Russia around Togliatti, Samara and Syzran cities. About 20 new stations (=never heard before) were identified on CCIR-band.

Short UK-opening with BBCs around the lower band, highest was The Wave 96.4. Also a few STL-links on 52.75 MHz (New Style Radio from Birmingham and islamic station on the same channel)

Nothing observed unfortunately. Expectations were at very high level...

It seems conditions might continue several days in a row.

The longest skip belongs now to Jukka (JJS): RFM, Monchique/Fóia-tx, South Portugal, 104.9 MHz and from the same tower Radio Renascensa 98.6 MHz. Both 10 kW. Distance 3277 km.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Wednesday, 12th June: Best Iberia-opening ever!

This Wednesday finally gave us excellent FM-day! We got nice opening lasting even over 7 hours, starting at 12.06 utc and going on till 19.47 utc !! Finally we had Portugal up to 108 MHz and Spain, too. This was the best Iberia-day here ever - they were audible every now and then during whole opening!
After those best Iberian multi-hops we identified a lot of French stations and also Benelux and UK up to 108!!

But who will get the longest distance transmitter and get the "Skipmaster" T-shirt? Some Algerian stations were noticed and perhaps Morocco but not yet identified for sure.
The longest distance nailed in the Wednesday evening to be Portuguese RFM Faro 89.6 MHz. Distance 3263 km. This might chance during next days after checking recordings.

In the morning after tropospheric silence we got slightly better Latvian signals. New transmitters were observed of Radio Valmiera. It seems to be national now with 9 new tx and 3 more to come. Radio Skonto has also new transmitters. They might have local programmes. Let's see (or hear).

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Tuesday, 11th June: Silence continues

With wonder we follow the empty days coming in a row. So far we've had only one opening on Friday midnight (local time) beamed to Scotland... Today weak meteors, zero tropo improvingin afternoon.

Before midday Iran's E2 TV-carrier 53,7396 MHz (100 kW) was obeserved with Icom. That gives a little hope for the coming days. OIRT gave some signals after midday. In the evening we followed Es-opening in SW Europe again - nothing here. Evening's card-game was won by JTK.

I must remind you of the characteristic of this QTH: When there is tropo going on here the band is full of signals and it is difficult to find an empty frequency - but the band is totally empty on zero tropo, so silent that you think the antennas or cable-connections are broken.

Here a photo (click) of the group in cabin A: JY, JTK, MB.

Front: Jukka (JTK), 3 x Sony XDR (2 x MD recorders) and Icom R7000 (for 48-74 MHz).

Left: Juha (JY), 2 x Perseus FM+ and 2 x Dientronk Perses (connected when needed, 48 - 74 MHz), 2 x Sony XDR (with Olympus-recorder)

Right: Marko (MB), Perseus FM+ / 2 x Sony XDR (Olympus-recorder) and Icom R8500 (for 48 - 74 MHz)

Monday 10 June 2013

Monday, 10th June: Only meteors

No sign of Sporadic-Es...!!! Total silent in Europe! Today's card-game was won by Juha (JY). After cards we had sauna. Those were the results of today.
Here one thing to be noted: MB, JTK and JY run "Utö Marathon" every morning before 9 o'clock. The length of that is about 5 km. The running path goes to every corner of this tiny island (size of 1 x 1,5 km).

Quite frequent meteors are crashing to ionosphere this morning and afternoon. Many countries and high-power transmitters are observed around the band - but not so long bursts.

Here below is a photo of Jari's (JJK) equipment today: You can see 2 x Perseus with FM+ on H- and V-polarization on the screens. On the table is 2 x Dientronik Perses for (48 - 74 MHz, grey boxies), connected when needed - and also one Sony XDR. On the backside of the table is Jukka (JJS) listening with 3 x XDRs. (click)

Sunday 9 June 2013

Sunday, 9th June: Empty Sunday

Boring Sunday on the wavelengths - totally empty day (there were good conditions in SW Europe) - so, playing cards. Today's game was won by JTK.

The "Skipmaster" T-shirt (longest skip's holder) is now on Juha (JY). He identified GR Parlamento (audio-id) via meteor on 101.7 MHz. This transmitter is located sligthly to the south of Bari, South Italy. Distance is 2246 km. A few more photos (click):

DTV300 Climax Digital SDR-USB-stick connected to Körner-antenna. This tiny receiver costs only 15 € but gives nice results in Utö. The highest sensitivity and gain can be used in Utö because there are no local transmitters. Below is a printscreen-photo around 90 MHz (2 MHz spectrum with V-polarization):

 Körner 15:11 and Utö lighthouse (red-white) and sea-pilot-building (yellow) with three radars.

This monument in the south part of Utö is mounted in 1989 for the little boat called Draken with the crew of 11 men. It stranded to Utö's rocks only 150 m away from island in 1929. Only 6 survived. They stayed in the close rocks even for 3 days before they were rescued after furious seafaring. Three men tried to swim this 150 m to Utö but only one survied.

Saturday 8 June 2013

Saturday, 8th June: Nothing!

Empty band today! Also less meteors today, altough we observed one long Italian meteor-peak giving Anni 60 on 87.7 and Capital 87.5 etc. Basic tropo gave Latvian signals, like Laluna on 94.9 MHz (with almost RDS-level) etc, but nothing special.

Usually after Es-opening to deep west (UK, Scotland) in Finland, one or more silent days will follow with Sporadic E (almost 30 years experience). That happened again today. After last night's Scottish opening we had silent Es-day today.

Skärgårds Radio (main frq 90.2 MHz) has new transmitter on 91.7 MHz. It is only 10 watts in Sandhamn 148 km away from Utö. Good signal here.

Evening's card-game was won by HKU (He won ice-cream).

Here below is a photo of Harri's (HKU) DX-set: 3 x Sony XDR connected to little Behringer-mixer (and little Minidisc-rec), Realistic Pro2006-scanner (for 50 MHz links + OIRT) and 2 x DTV300 USB-stick SDR-receivers connected to laptops. (Click)

DTV300 USB-stick SDR-receivers are working here well because of no local transmitters (no harmonics).

Friday 7 June 2013

Friday, 7th June: North Scotland!

The first full day in Utö gave a big surprise just before local midnight! A lot of BBC1, 2, 3-stations were up and BBC Scotland and Nan Gaidheal. Nice new locals (never heard before) were picked up: Caithness FM 102.5, Two Lochs Radio 106.0 /106.6 and The Super Station 105.4 from Orkney island - very nice one! Also MFR 97,4, Tay FM 102.8, Cuillin on 102.7 ided - and Isles FM on 103.0 MHz was very strong with RDS and id. For the end also RTE.
Very unexpected opening!

During the Friday good tropo-signals all around and also strong meteors, as usual. Meteor-skips are here exceptionally strong comparing to continent. For example on 87.5 Italian Radio Capital and tentatively Radio Norba was observed shortly many times.

The "Skipmaster" T-shirt holder is now Juha (JY). He identified Rete 105 on 93.6 MHz via meteor (Terracina-tx). This transmitter on this frq. is in Latina-province, south of Rome, Italy. Distance 2126 km. (Still long way to reach last summer's result).

                No conds in evening - Playing cards outside: 

The Utö12-camp is up, Friday 7.6.2013

Utö12-pedition was ready in Thursday evening. This is a 6th summer in a row. We arrived at 6PM. This time we have only two Körner yagi-antennas (V and H) devided to two houses for 6 listeners. Now we have better coax-cable to minimize losses (about 3dB/100m).

The group has in all 17 Sony XDR-receivers (not all connected) and 6 Perseus FM+,  2 x Perses-, 2 x DTV300-USB-stick-receivers.

During installation on Thursday evening there were exceptional tropospheric conditions to Northern Sweden
(and also all around Baltic sea). NRJ Örnsköldvik 107.1 (local id) was identified with only a whip-antenna in the the terrace!! The conditions died out when antennas were up but the band is now full of close transmitters.

On Friday-morning Skipmaster-T-shirt (longest distant-skip holder) is holded by Marko (MB) with Kiss FM, Romania 88.0 MHz. This is id'ed via meteor. No Sporadic E-yet.

Installation-photo below (Utö lighthouse is in the background) Left: JJS,JY,JTK,MB,JJK, photo HKU (the shadow).

Saturday 1 June 2013

Utö12-pedition will be 6 - 16.6.2013

Next Utö FM-DX-pedition will be from Thu 6.6. till Sun 16.6.2013. Again 10 days manic DXing on FM in distant island in SW Finland. This pedition is named Utö12. The participants (6) this summer are JTK, JJS, JJK, JY, MB and HKU (blogger).

Again we will have competition who will catch the most distant transmitter. This DXer will win "Skipmaster" T-shirt. Only one piece printed. Last summer this competition was won by Marko (MB) with MFM Oriental from Morocco, 89.2 MHz (16 kW). Distant of this multihop skip was 3685 km(ClickT-shirt for better view).

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