Saturday 13 June 2015

Sun 14.6.2015: Mid-France 1h - Utö16 is over - Summary

Utö16-pedition is over! Sunday morning gave us nice surprise with very strong France up to 108 MHz for 1h starting around 06.10 utc! This was the best and strongest opening giving a lot of local stations with RDS-levels. The opening-area was below Paris and also close to Germany border for some moment.
H-antenna  dismounted quickly around midday and the crew left Utö.

It is difficult to estimate and judge this Utö16-pedition, but the crew gave 3,8 points with 1-5-scale. Last morning rised this number. Last year it was under 2.

Positive: Openings with one skip were to rare areas; Corsica and Sardinia: and douple-hops gave nicely many North African countries: Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and tentatively Egypt. The real highlight and surprise was Malta!
Sports: MB did run 5,2 km every morning at 9 (others rarely). New record is now over 60 km running during pedition!!

Negative: Only one big bang-opening, on last morning! We had fairly good condition-time totally only for 2-3 hours  - and MUF reached 100 MHz perhaps only for 70-80 minutes, aömost all of that last morning. Most of the openings were very short peaks in the lower FM-band.
Negative is also that we had no Spain or southwest France (only two sharp peaks) and also no U.K., Serbia or Turkey. Greece was also weak giving usual stuff.
The strongest moments were to mid-France twice (+Marseille) and South Italy (Rome, Puglia).
The weather here was the coldest ever because of continuous wind. 

New never-heard-before in Finland-stations (=plus-stations) were counted this summer 38 (last year 27): Now we had Italy: 14 / Greece: 5 / France: 3 / Macedonia: 3 / Tunisia: 3 / Spain: 2 - One new station were obeserved from these countries: Kaliningrad (tropo), Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania (tropo), Malta, Montenegro and Hungary.
Note: These stations were observed in real time. There are something more in the SDR-recordings with 5 / 10 MHz bandwidht for later id.
        Next pedition, Utö17,  will be on 8.6 - 19.6.2016.

Sat 13.6.2015: Silence

Whole Saturday was silent, weak OIRT in the evening. This is the last full day here in Utö. The antennas were taken down in the evening, except the best one for Es, horizontal Körner. It will be dismounted aroud the last minutes of this pedition on Sunday midday.

Here in Utö the difference between horizontal and vertical during Sporadic E is significant. Perhaps only 1/10 of the audible station have been observed with vertical in the openings past week. Sometimes with vertical the lively Es-band looks like empty.

According to our crew, there are some conditions when vertical is better, especially with very short E-skips, under 1000 km (not observed here).

Meteor-reflection examples

Here in Utö meteor-reflections are always very dense in the beginning of June. There are constant short flashes - even that this time of the year there are no big meteor-showers.
Here you can see AirSpy-waterfall screen-captures as an example of the phenomenon here in Utö. There are a lot of constant quick random flashes on almost every frequency - and in the lower screen an example of one meteor-burst for larger area giving one second long reflection to every frequency.

   Example of short random scattered meteor-flashes 92.8 - 95.3 MHz (click)
  And here below usual one second long burst for wider area, mostly C-Europe high-powers:
And here below Otso's 4x Sony XDR-set with Jurgen's StationList Auto PI-feature. All visible ids comes from meteor-bursts except the right-one, Italian R.D.S. 94.2 MHz is Sporadic E-skip.

Friday 12 June 2015

Fri 12.6.2015: Midday Russia OIRT - In the evening South France for 1-2 minutes

Friday local midday brings Russia on OIRT with several very short peaks to CCIR. Opening areas on OIRT were Tatarstan, Ulyanovsk, Moscow, Penza etc. No fun so far.

In the evening MUF rised quickly and gave South France for only 1-2 minutes. Two local stations were identified, Radio Totem 88.1 (2100 km) and Radio Présence 88.9 (over 2300 km, close to Spain border) with one skip.

Thursday 11 June 2015

Thu 11.6.2015 evening: Italy 3 minutes

The MUF-map looked promising even for Spain, but we had only 3 minutes to Italy started 19.25utc. Once again Genova and Corsica was up for this short moment. Nice catch was Radio Calvi Citadelle with RDS on 91.7 MHz and again Radio Aldebaran on 88.8 and 92.9 MHz. Several networks among these and that was it.

This afternoon we visited close Ormskär-island (local lady Disa carried there us by boat). Very nice to see these rocky, beautiful scenes, old military cannons and abandoned bunkers.

Thu 11.6.2015: South Italy (Brindisi,Taranto etc.), some Balkan

Surprising opening started quickly at 08.55utc giving South Italy (around Brindisi - Taranto - Barletta) and several peaks to Croatia, Montenegro etc. Not much MUF either this time. This fun lasted some 30 minutes.

Whole Wednesday was very silent and Thursday morning as well. We had sauna in Wednesday evening and almost the whole crew swam in only 10 degrees cold water (not HKU, JUS).
(Unfortunately JTK had to leave the island even on Monday because of job-duties)

Today we try to visit the uninhabited Ormskär-island beside (=Snake-islet island). Yesterday it was too windy to go there by small boat, although it is only a few hundred meters away.

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Wed 10.6.2015: Silence

Very silent MUF-map this morning. If the whole day is silent, it is expected that there will be a longer silent period ahead, perhaps several days. We will see that in the evening.
Looks like today we are going to visit the uninhabited desert Ormskär-island beside this lived one. There is only one big cannon and ancient bunkers in that island.
There were a manned military base in Utö till 2006. Now here are only some reserves, automated supervision systems and big elder cannons in military areas.
One cannon is quite close to our QTH pointed to our camp. Photo below:

The card-game below is called "Välttö-kasino". No idea what it is in English.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Tue 9.6.2015 late afternoon: Corsica, Sardinia and more Italy - silent evening

After 1,5h silence we had again nice surprise concerning the opening area. This time Corsica and Sardinia were up for 40 minutes starting 15.05utc. These are rare in Finland although the skip-distance is ideal.
Many smaller local stations were identified like Alta Frequenza 93.7, Nostalgie Corse 91.4, Jazz 88.7 MHz. From Sardinia: Radio Zero, Radio Del Golfo, Studio 2000, Radiolina etc. Later more from the recordings.
                               Antenna wood in Utö 2015 (Click):

Tue 9.6.2015: Weak Balkan, Greece, better South France - MOROCCO, TUNISIA-locals with RDS!

Tuesday morning was promising starting at 06.30utc with Balkan and Greek-signals. Quite sharp and weak but gave some ids. Some new stations from Macedonia, like Life Radio 89.1 and Radio Vati 88.4 MHz.

Strong South France started around 08.00utc for almost an hour, up over 100 MHz. Strongest signals so far. Same path gave the longest skip as Morocco, MFM 92.2 MHz with RDS!!

Again Italy up after 08.50utc to Rome-area and later other parts strongly for 20 minutes - and at the same time TUNISIA, Radio Zitouna, 88.0 MHz with RDS.
In the afternoon around 13utc The Best TUNISIA-opening ever! Several local stations were up: Shems FM 88.7 with RDS and audio-id / Radio Safra FM 89.0, Jawhara FM 89.4 and RTT Radio Culture 89.5. The last 3 were PI-code identifications.

Here below printscreen of Otso's 4x XDR-set on the run:. Radio Zitouna RDS is visible on the left up corner  and Italian RTL 102.5 with RDS at the same moment on 92.4 MHz on XDR3. CLICK THE PHOTOS!

Here below are part of Otso's Es-skips mapped from this morning from Utö. Middle-Italy, and Tunisia on the same line via douple-hop-skip.

Monday 8 June 2015

Mon 8.6.2015: Weak Italy, Greece and France in the evening

Sunday was empty and Monday looked bad.  But after 16.30utc we had Italian stations from Lecce area, but mostly weak and peaks. Later some Greece, but again signals were mostly weak and short. For the end South France close to Spain border, but only networks id'ed.

Still we are waiting for the big bang - and it was close today, the MUF-clouds were 100-200 km too south for us.

Thanks for the link-hints given by PUL (the comment below this message). For N1LF from USA: Please see our updated equipment-list on the right column of this blog and my comment for your comment on Sun 7.6-message!

Here photos of the crew taken yesterday evening. You might notice it is not warm here because of wind.  CLICK THE PHOTOS FOR BIGGER VIEW!

Sunday 7 June 2015

The most advanced XDR-GTK-studio for FM-DXing

Below you can see Otso Ylönen's FM-DX-setup on the table here in Utö. It defenately is the most advanced FM-DX-studio using Sony XDRs modified with Konrad's GTK.

There are 4 Sony XDR-receivers under the table. Each receiver is visible on the screen with different colors and all of them are recorded on individual colored audio-tracks with Reaper-software. The receivers are positioned to ear-phones with Reaper, to left and right ears, and can be chosen individually as well.
On the right-down corner XDR-GTK-bandscans are visible.
Nice feature is also home-built knob-tuning panel for each receiver!

Two other computers are for maps, loggings and station-lists. Works very well after some fight with extra-USB-soundcards.
Later Otso added also RTL-SDR USB-stick to the system as the fifth receiver!
                               CLICK THE PHOTOS FOR BIGGER VIEW!

Later Reaper-recorded was moved to left display and StationLits installed below every XDR.

Sun 7.6.2015 empty...

This morning was practically empty giving very short Turkey. Only one transmitter was up for one minute on 87.8 MHz, remained UNID. That's it so far.

Saturday 6 June 2015

Sat 6.6.2015 - Whole Saturday empty band

Snakeskin cable
Saturday did not give anything for FM. A lot of meteors hitting ionosphere all the time. On an empty monitored frequency there is almost all the time signal burst from short flashes to several seconds.

Friday evening card-game results: JTK took Utö-championship 2015 with hands down win (2nd HKU and 3rd JJS). Congratulations!

Half of the crew (OSY, MB, JTK, JY) runs "Utö-marathon" (5,2 km / about 28 minutes) every morning at 9. This morning the crew encounted big snake on the ground. There are a lot of snakes in this island so it is a bit dangerous to run here.
Here is a photo of snakeskin in HKU's hands, found Fri evening.
(Note the  new Körner antenna-photo below on Friday update)

Friday 5 June 2015

Fri 5.6.2015 - Italy 15 minutes, new Lithuanian Classic Rock FM

This early morning promising start even at 0245utc with Greek and Balkan for several minutes, but that died very soon and the crew went back to bed.

Later in the morning we had usual Italian stations for 15 minutes after 8 utc, from Macerata,Chieti etc. Not interesting stuff.

So, there were time to tune yesterday's SDR-files. Several new Sicilian station were found and even LIBYA with RDS on 88.8 MHz, Al-Shababiyah Radio, Tripoli.

The rest of the Friday was totally empty, so one new antenna for 50 MHz (4-element yagi) was built up during the sunny and warm afternoon. That is for UK STL-links around 50 MHz.
In the warm evening whisky based grilling and UTÖ-championship 2015  in card-game. Result later here.

JY found new Lithuanian station with tropo scatter, Classic Rock FM, Kaunas-tx, om 90.3 MHz. Tropo scatter is very heavy, many Kaliningrad station are identified and Radio Bialystok 98.6 etc.

Thursday 4 June 2015

Thu 4.6.2015 Malta!!, South Italy, Greece etc.

Very nice opening for the end of the first full day in Utö!!
One of the very first catches was extremely rare MALTA!! - for 1-2 minutes on 88.7, station is VIBE announcing www-address "" etc! Nice start!

Then some Southern Italy. like Trapani, Salerno, Palermo etc. which are also rare areas to hear. Later, starting at 16.30utc we had nice peaks to Greece (+ ROU, BUL, TUR) giving many local stations for almost 45 minutes. The MUF passed 100 MHz several times but not wide area in Greece, some cities were up here and there for short moments.

Wed 3.6.2015

The crew arrived to Utö at 15.20 and faced heavy wind 10-15 m/s.

It was very hard to erect antennas because of cold and windy weather, so only the horizontal yagi antenna and 6-element yagi for OIRT (65-74 MHz) rised up in Wednesday evening.

We had two unsed Körner 15.11's released from the cardboard packeages to build first time and it took many hours to have them ready.
Also we have now new ultra low noise FM Preamp Type 1301 88-230 MHz (Research Communication Ltd / UK) FM-amplifiers to try first time. The first impression is very good. Before we have had Triax 88-108-amps.

We have here all kind SDR-receivers connected to computers - and in all over 20 Sony XDR-receivers with GTK/StationList-features.

The crew wish ionospheric weather to be very cloudy but stratospheric not...