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Author Topic: Irish Church Radio vs. Pagers 26 27 MHz CB Logs UK Remote SDR - 23 June 2017  (Read 2582 times)

Offline R4002

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Via UK based SDR.  11 meters is VERY active, but I wanted to focus on the church broadcasts on 27 MHz, Irish Churches, CADS, Community Audio Distribution System and WPAS - Wireless Public Address System 27MHz broadcast service churches starting at 1830 UTC (1930 local time)

Friday evening services heard on:

26.965 MHz FM - Prayer service, with pager QRM and AM voice traffic underneath, very messy frequency
27.005 MHz FM - Very messy frequency, hearing music, Spanish, French and what I think is a church service here...
27.215 MHz FM - "pray that they may feel the love of Christ in the lives in Christians" with terrible German-language QRM
27.265 MHz FM - Mention of "Pentecost" with heavy QRM
27.405 MHz FM - Irish church service with SSB QRM
27.601 MHz FM - Barely readable Irish accented OM giving sermon, getting clobbered by pager signals and SSB on 27.600 MHz
27.611 MHz FM - S4-S7 signal, "we have many memories of this church and Ireland", minor fading
27.621 MHz FM - S3 Latin heard, two English-accented OMs talking over it with roger beeps.  
27.641 MHz FM - "as we [faded out] for the dead", lots of fading, Irish accent with minor QRM
27.671 MHz FM - "we may be gathered together as one" Irish accent, solid S5 signal with minor SSB QRM
27.675 MHz FM - Bits and pieces of Catholic mass heard, very heavy QSB / fading
27.681 MHz FM - S5 signal, being obliterated by S9+30 SSB voice traffic on 27.685 MHz USB
27.691 MHz FM - S6 signal, also suffering intense QRM from 27.685 MHz USB.  Choir heard with quality audio when 27685 USB is quiet
27.701 MHz FM - Church services heard down in noise, a FM QSO going on on top of it however
27.711 MHz FM - FM carrier, background noises heard, not 100% sure if this is a church radio broadcast or just a stuck mic
27.741 MHz FM - S3-S4 signal, carrier with background noise - an FM QSO on same frequency stepping all over it though
27.751 MHz FM - S9 signal, choir singing heard, "the gospel of the Lord" with QRM from pager on 27.750 MHz and SSB traffic on 27.755 MHz USB
27.761 MHz FM - S3-S4 Catholic mass, mixing in with 27.765 MHz FM (German language)
27.791 MHz FM - Catholic mass music heard, S2-S3 signal but good readability (no QRM on this frequency!)
27.841 MHz FM - S8-S9, very high quality FM signal! - Catholic mass Irish Church radio (closer to 27.840 MHz) w/QRM from 27.845 MHz pager
27.875 MHz FM - Prayer service, heavy Irish accent with some minor fading
27.881 MHz FM - S2-S3, carrier signal here, no audio or modulation heard
27.885 MHz FM - S4 "we pray in our community that light may be animated by the love of Christ" "Lord hear us"
27.931 MHz FM - S3, "O, Holy God Almighty Father, Irish accent, lots of fading and slight QRM
27.955 MHz FM - S2, barely readable, but Bible readings heard w/ Irish accent
27.975 MHz FM - Prayer service, with QRM from French language trafic on 27.975 MHz USB
27.981 MHz FM - S3-S4 carrier signal, signing heard in background, also suffering from 27.975 MHz USB QRM
27.991 MHz FM - Faint Irish accented OM heard, minor QRM from French language traffic on 27.997 MHz USB

Looking through the regular "mid band FM" or "CEPT", "FCC" "US", "mids" etc band (26.965-27.405 MHz) was extremely difficult because of how busy every single channel was.  Often, as with previous logs on this remote SDR, the "in-between" Polish/Russian channels were also active with FM traffic.  Additionally, an extremely strong and wide POCSAG signal on 26.950 MHz caused QRM to the signals on 26.965 MHz.  Strong paging signals on 27.300 MHz and 27.360 MHz were also noted.  The usual 26 MHz paging channels were all active, indicating a European wide opening.

26.150 MHz FM - Paging - have not previously logged this frequency
26.200 MHz FM - Paging, very strong commonly logged UK hospital/on-site pager frequency
26.220 MHz FM - Paging, weak
26.250 MHz FM - Paging, strong
26.350 MHz FM - Paging, commonly logged UK hospital/on-site pager frequency
26.450 MHz FM - Paging, mixing in with Russian voice traffic also on 26.450 MHz USB (and 26.455 MHz USB)
26.500 MHz FM - Paging
26.510 MHz FM - Some sort of data link here, data bursts every 1-2 seconds, looks like FSK on the waterfall
26.695 MHz FM - Paging, very strong commonly logged UK hospital/on-site pager frequency
26.700 MHz FM - Paging, different from nearby signals
26.745 MHz FM - Paging, very strong commonly logged UK hospital/on-site pager frequency
26.835 MHz FM - Paging, POCSAG Pager
26.950 MHz FM - Paging - strong wideband POCSAG pager signal (almost 20 kHz wide!)
27.000 MHz FM - Paging, also previously logged (wideband signal)
27.300 MHz FM - Paging - commonly logged during European band openings, unknown origin
27.360 MHz FM - Paging, wideband POCSAG pager
27.600 MHz FM - Paging, causing severe QRM to church service radio WPAS CADS church broadcast on 27.60125 MHz FM
27.650 MHz FM - Paging, causing minor QRM to nearby church service radio broadcast on 27.64125 MHz FM
27.750 MHz FM - Paging, causing severe QRM to church service radio WPAS CADS church broadcast on 27.75125 MHz FM
27.845 MHz FM - Paging, POCSAG pager causing minor QRM to 27.84125 MHz FM church service radio 27MHz CADS WPAS

Lots of use of the UK FM channeling, as well as the WPAS "high" channels (27.605-27.995 MHz, AM/FM, straight 10 kHz steps, overlaid on the regular 27.60125-27.99125 MHz FM only UK FM 27/81 CB channeling, which is the same as the WPAS "low" channels).  Ireland actually allows both AM and FM on the UK 27/81 "UK FM" channels for 27 MHz church broadcasts.  Lots of SSB QRM all over the band, as well as pagers and other data links.  Open band today.  Heard a station in Germany working a UK station on 27.901 MHz FM while searching for church broadcasts.  

I'm not sure if Ireland's COMREG organization thought these allocations through.  I think they were just trying to legalize the already widespread practice of using 27 MHz frequencies for local church broadcasts, including the UK FM 27/81 band channels.  AM and FM are allowed on both sets of channels (I'm yet to hear AM church radio broadcasts on 11 meters though), and many of the FM signals are quite wideband.  Take the two sets of Wireless Public Address Service (WPAS) channels:

WPAS Channel LW01 - 27.60125 MHz
WPAS Channel UW01 - 27.60500 MHz
WPAS Channel LW40 - 27.99125 MHz
WPAS Channel UW40 - 27.99500 MHz

Now, its clear that the LW01-LW40 channels track the UK FM 40 channels exactly.  The UW01-UW40 channels are simply 27.605 MHz to 27.995 MHz in straight 10 kHz sequence.  This sounds great on paper (even though there's large amounts of other users of these frequencies including pagers and dozens of illegal freeband SSB signals) but the difference between the UK FM channels and and WPAS UW channels is only 3.75 kHz!  That's an absurd channel spacing even for narrowband FM signals.  Take for example, today's logging of a church using 27.67125 MHz FM and another using 27.675 MHz FM, both legal channels under the WPAS system, but way to close to each other interference wise.  That's also assuming that both transmitters in question are right on-frequency.  Knowing that many of the users of the UK FM frequencies are operating export equipment with open clarifiers and simply go three decimal points (i.e. - channel 19 is 27.781 MHz, since that's all the frequency display will show, or even 27.780 MHz).    I know that this really only matters to DXers, as the intended audience is likely within at most 2-3 miles of the transmitter site, FM capture effect, etc.  

The signal on 27.84125 MHz was a delight to listen to.  A solid S9 signal nearly the whole time.  After the church signal went QRT, several other stations almost immediately started having QSOs on the same frequency, indicating that 11 meter freeband DXers use these broadcasts to indicate band openings.  At 1907 UTC, I'm hearing two Spanish-speaking stations on 27.841 MHz (or 27.84125 MHz to be exact) having a QSO in FM mode.  27.791 MHz FM also features stations working DX (again in FM mode!) as well as various SSB signals popping up in the 27.6 to 28 MHz region, including powerful French-speaking traffic on 27.997 MHz (appeared to QSY from 27.995 MHz, possibly to escape church broadcast QRM on 27.951 MHz / 27.95125 MHz FM).  

The church service on 27.60125 MHz / 27.601 MHz was suffering from such intense QRM (powerful wideband POCSAG pager signal on 27.600 MHz, along with SSB voice traffic signals on 27.595 MHz USB, 27.600 MHz USB, 27.605 MHz USB).  When the pager was quiet and the SSB signals gone, the church radio transmission on 27.601 FM was actually also quite enjoyable to listen to.  

Both 27.681 MHz FM and 27.691 MHz FM suffered severe destructive interference / QRM from nearly non-stop French and Spanish language QSOs on 27.685 MHz USB.  The French signals were often pushing 30db over S9, whereas the Spanish speaking traffic is coming in at S7-S8.

Given the variation in deviation as far as these FM transmitters go, some of them are what would be considered "narrow FM", NFM or NBFM (8-10 kHz wide emission) and others are more ham radio like FM, with 12-20 kHz wide emissions.  The wider signals wreak havoc on nearby SSB traffic unless the SSB signals are VERY strong.  

Another interesting frequency of note is UK FM 27/81 CB channel 19 - 27.781 MHz / 27.78125 MHz.  Lots of signals going at once, with stations calling CQ, people playing music over each other, and general chaos.  Reminds me of US "mid band" CB channel 19 - 27.185 MHz during a band opening.  Now hearing very thick accented English traffic on 27.781 MHz FM with European stations calling CQ DX underneath this very casual QSO.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 0054 UTC by R4002 »
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/transceivers/scanners/receivers - land mobile system operator - focus on VHF/UHF and 11m


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