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Author Topic: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018  (Read 1536 times)

Offline R4002

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NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« on: August 22, 2018, 1105 UTC »
Since we're more than halfway into August at this point I figured I'd start a new thread:

162.425 - possibly WZ2527 Fredericksburg, VA and another station two stations mixing in  - nearly equal signal strength
162.450 - KZZ28 coming in with maybe WNG538 or WZ2500 underneath, unable to ID weaker station
162.500 - WNG586 Henderson, NC (98 miles / 158 km straightline distance from RX location) SIO 555 at 0645 local time
162.550 - KHB36 (85 miles away) vs. KHB37 (82 miles away) heard Chesapeake Bay forecast

162.400 and 162.525 had unidentifiable signals on them, but they were too weak to get any sort of clues as to which station(s) they were.  162.500 was full quieting at tune-in but suffered from extreme fading as I drove through downtown...at points completely dropping down into the noise and then back up again.  It was SIO 555 for its ID / callsign. 

162.475 is the local NOAA Weather Radio station, WXK65, transmitting from a tower roughly 7-8 miles from my receive location with 1000 watts power output.  It is full scale even with a handheld radio's antenna disconnected.  Very strong transmitter and will mix in with intermod from a VHF paging network on 152.690 MHz, including one site that is less than 2 city blocks from my receive site doing 500 watts TX power from a high-rise rooftop. 
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 1129 UTC by R4002 »
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 1159 UTC »
Is there a particular time of the day you tend to get reception of distant NOAA stations? I'll give it a try sometime, but with all the channels occupied here by local and and local stations, it could be tough for a DX station to overpower one of them.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 1235 UTC »
Early morning (from 0600 to 0700 local time) seems to be the best for me anyway.  I noticed yesterday afternoon (around 1600 local time) however, that KHB36 out of Manassas, VA on 162.550 MHz was coming in full quieting SIO 555, with no trace of KHB37 which usually mixes in (KHB36 and KHB37 are almost equal distance away from me) so there must have been a better tropopheric ducting path due north.  This was right before some thunderstorms rolled through too so unsettled weather seems to help a lot.

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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2018, 1331 UTC »
My knowledge of the mechanism of tropo is sktechy at best, but I understand it is often driven by weather systems, such as fronts and inversions.    It would be fun to put up a directional FM/TV antenna, except since I am in a bit of a valley, not sure how well that would work out.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline Josh

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2018, 1832 UTC »
I suspect your beam in the valley will do fine, the ducting will still be there, as well as knife edging effects from the surrounding hills.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife-edge_effect
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2018, 1854 UTC »
I suspect your beam in the valley will do fine, the ducting will still be there, as well as knife edging effects from the surrounding hills.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife-edge_effect

Indeed.  A VHF/UHF TV/FM beam would probably give you excellent results for FM broadcast band tropo DXing.  Even a dedicated FM band beam (which would be smaller than a full size TV beam) would do the same. 

From what I've observed, the morning right after sunrise seems to be the best time for NOAA Weather Radio and other VHF high band tropo activity.  My experience is limited to my commute to/from work and my car is equipped with a VHF high band transceiver only (at least mounted in the vehicle).  Unfortunately I park in a parking deck and it has very low clearance...a 5/8 wave VHF whip is out of the question, even mounted on the trunk.  I use a trunk-mounted 1/4 wave VHF whip and it works very well, even though I know its a compromise and it would perform better on the roof.

Chris, since you're running a dipole mounted high above ground level, you're in a better position I would think.  Check out the 150-174 MHz band between 0600 and 0800 local time and see how many signals pop up out of the noise (not just the NOAA Weather Radio frequencies either!)

Another thing to check would be the five MURS frequencies (151.820 MHz, 151.880 MHz, 151.940 MHz, 154.570 MHz and 154.600 MHz).  I used to have a base station set up on VHF for 2 meter FM and MURS and would notice when the band was open all sorts of data bursts would come in (usually just enough to break the squelch, but sometimes stronger...) on the first three 151 MHz channels...if the band was really open data link systems could be heard on all five MURS frequencies, sometimes multiple systems on the same channel.  Seems like they default to channel 1 (151.8200 MHz).  With 2 watts and unlimited antenna gain some of these data link systems really get out.  The most common seems to be a simple burst every couple seconds. 

Of course, there's also voice on the MURS frequencies in addition to data.  Certainly a worthy monitoring target when the VHF band is open.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 1910 UTC by R4002 »
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2018, 1240 UTC »
I'm using a discone up at the top of a tree  ;D   162.450 seems to have several signals, although one is dominant, waiting for an ID now... aha one of the local transmitters run by NWS Sterling VA.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2018, 1747 UTC »
Probably WNG736 on 162.450 MHz out of Washington, D.C. at 300 watts transmitter power, or KZZ28 also on 162.450 MHz out of Covesville, VA on Mount Oliver (near Charlottesville, VA) at 1000 watts transmitter power.  WNG736 is your best bet though. 
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2018, 1940 UTC »
Indeed, I finally heard the WNG736 ID.

I remember years ago hearing hunters on the FRS channels. Now that I have a better/higher discone, I will have to check those frequencies out more often.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 0036 UTC »
Indeed.  With the hunting season right around the corner, the FRS/GMRS, MURS and VHF marine band frequencies will be active with hunter chatter - with your discone-in-a-tree setup you'll probably be able to hear a lot.
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Offline skeezix

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 0141 UTC »
A long, long time ago, I used to DX VHF TV & FM via ducting in the morning.  This mode of propagation needs a temperature inversion.

So far (in 2018), I haven't noticed anything here. In 2017, I did get 87.7 from Chicago all the way up here (that's logged on HFU somewhere).

Since then during spring through fall, I check when I drive to work for them. But nothing since.

Minneapolis, MN

Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2018, 1111 UTC »
Driving to work this morning (0645 local time to 0655 local time - 1045 UTC to 1055 UTC) heard a decent opening on VHF:

162.400 MHz - a total mess, several stations going at once, S5-S7 signal, but unable to ID anything
162.425 MHz - another mess, weaker signals but unable to ID anything
162.450 MHz - KZZ28 fighting with another UNID station, very strong signals
162.475 MHz - WXK65 (local station)
162.500 MHz - WNG586 - Henderson, NC - 300 watts - SIO 555 full scale signal with another UNID station underneath it
162.525 MHz - KJY99 vs. WNG537, heard forecast for Albemarle Sound as well as Delaware beaches, full scale
162.550 MHz - another mess, at least 3 stations coming in at once, heard KHB36 ID and mention of northeast North Carolina

WNG586 on 162.500 MHz is 100 miles / 161 km from my receive location and only transmitting 300 watts. 

KJY99 in Accomack, VA is 98 miles / 157 km away from my receive location, they're basically right on the water and are transmitting 1000 watts, WNG537 Windsor, NC is 110 miles / 178 km away transmitting 300 watts. 

I then started to scan the rest of VHF (didn't have a lot of time) but heard DMR digital voice/data traffic on 151.565 MHz, 151.775 MHz as well as analog voice on 151.595 MHz, 151.625 MHz, 151.700 MHz and 151.955 MHz.  Lots of paging signals and P25 digital signals in the 152 MHz region.  152.120 MHz, 152.180 MHz, 152.630 MHz and 152.690 MHz had strong paging signals on them.  I checked the 152.0075 and 163.250 on-site hospital paging frequencies and those frequencies were clear. 

Strong Project 25 digital signals on 152.0625 MHz, 152.0975 MHz, 152.1575 MHz, 152.5775 MHz and 152.7125 MHz - all of these are part of the Virginia STARS public safety P25 VHF digital system. 

Considering how humid it is this morning there could be a decent temperature inversion going on the East Coast right now...
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 1121 UTC by R4002 »
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Offline Davep

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2018, 1333 UTC »
Wow , I did not see this until today. Thanks for the extension..
Haven't had much time at all for radio recently.

Hearing Salisbury and stations North this am , and have noted casually one last week was edging out local KHB37 .   

wx  Bermuda High mid 90s no wind
8/29/18 KIG77  162.475  Cape Hatteras NC Buxton/  weak 1500 UTC  112mi
8/29/18 KHB38. 162.400 Atlantic City NJ / weak 1500 UTC 193mi

8/30/18    no stations  1400 UT

« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 1410 UTC by Davep »
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2018, 1344 UTC »
Davep,

It seems like the early morning is the best time (at least this time of the year) for these tropo VHF propagation catches.  All 7 WX frequencies were alive with activity when I flipped the radio on this morning.  Even as I drove into the parking garage I could hear KHB36 at full scale SIO 555 for a few moments before the concrete and steel completely blocked the signals of everything except the local station. 

When I park on the roof of the parking deck (7 stories up) the intermod on both VHF and UHF bands is very strong.  VHF paging systems combined with numerous high power analog and digital land mobile systems in the 450-470 MHz range make casual scanning from that location right in the middle of downtown very difficult.
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Logs August September 2018
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2018, 1253 UTC »
Another morning drive with all 7 NOAA WX frequencies full of stations...seems to be a more or less daily occurrence! 162.550 was impossible to make out, 162.525 was KGY99 with another station underneath, 162.500 had two stations more or less equal signal..same with 162.450, 162.425 and 162.400 MHz.  162.400 seemed to have three different stations going at once, but the S-meter never made it more than halfway up the scale.
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers