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Author Topic: NOAA Weather Radio VHF DX Logs July - August - Sept 2019  (Read 66436 times)

Offline R4002

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**EDIT**      I modified the title to show just July 2019 VHF / NOAA Weather Radio ducting discussion

See:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmXVWFQCMAk

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExXEhgXHYSc

From this morning, roughly 0645 to 0655 local time (US east coast), I was able to hear activity on all 7 NOAA Weather Radio NOAA WX frequencies, with all except the local station having multiple signals at once.  162.400 and 162.550 seemed to have three stations going at various points.   The band does appear to be open to one degree or another every morning, but this morning was an extreme example. 

« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 1134 UTC by R4002 »
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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I just (1446x) checked and have stations on all 7 channels here as well. Some channels have what sounds like possibly non local stations (but not super DX), fading in and out.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline Davep

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I havent really kept track on stations,dates or times this year but noticed  things had really picked up early this week as well. 
 Very nice catches in the video  New Bern and KJY86 i think i heard  . Did you identify 162.425?  Thanks for sharing.

Just about everything is north this am . Ill try to catch something more interesting.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=34-UDA1QB3Q
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 0257 UTC by Davep »
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Offline Davep

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https://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/station_listing.html


7/22/19  around 4z  conditions were great like R4002 showed.  No real dx but Salisbury and others  in the region were armchair  and another competing with our local KHB37 but never quite made it. All were North of my qth with exceptional signal strength .
Noted the same warble tones as in R's video
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 1712 UTC by Davep »
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Offline R4002

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Not sure what I was hearing on 162.425 MHz as far as the station's ID goes.  Odd conditions today (23 July) too.  Well, this morning anyway. 

Noted activity on 162.400 but lots of fading - likely either WXM57 or WXL42, considering the marine forecasts heard, I'm leaning more towards WXM57.  162.450 was coming in very strong at points, but didn't seem to have anything underneath it (compare to the July 17th records, where there certainly was another station underneath the usual KZZ28 station on 162.45 MHz).   Propagation today was decidedly worse than the previous days. 

My best bets for the UNID station underneath, and at points, mixing with KZZ28 are WWG33 or WNG736.  Unfortunately, when the conditions are good, KZZ28's mountaintop transmitter location means it is booming into Richmond, and at points sounding like the local WX station for Richmond (WXK65 on 162.475 MHz, which is transmitted from a tower about 5 miles ESE of downtown Richmond proper).  KZZ28's transmitter location on Mount Oliver really helps. 

I have a feeling its WWG33 fighting with KZZ28 on 162.450.  WWG33 is roughly 65-70 miles (almost due south) from my receiver, and KZZ28's transmitter is about 73 miles west-north-west from my receiver.  Looking at the KZZ28 coverage map, it would seem that the transmitter is on the eastern side of the mountain, favoring transmission towards the eastern half of Virginia. 

Then there's WZ2500 on Sand Mountain, 205 miles from my receiver (doing only 300 watts, but has elevation on their side, if tropo ducting is present)  That's a longshot but I believe I've heard it before (underneath KZZ28 yet again) when propagation to the west of my location was favorable.  162.525 MHz is likely KJY99 on Virginia's Eastern Shore, or KJY86 out of Halifax, VA (97 miles from RX site, compare that to KJY99 which is...97 miles from the RX site!).   I'm leaning towards KJY99 over KJY86 based on what was heard on 162.525.  Considering I'm equal distance from the two closest transmitters on 162.525 MHz, that makes 162.525 an interesting frequency to listen to during these early morning openings.

162.425 MHz is another wildcard.  162.425 MHz could be WZ2527 out of Fredericksburg, VA. Like WZ2500, WZ2527 is another 300 watt "filler" transmitter.  Then there's WXM72 on 162.425 (doing 1000 watts from the top of a mountain.....clocking in at just under 190 miles from receiver site).  Considering the Washington, D.C. area and Chesapeake Bay-related forecasts on 162.425, I believe its WZ2527. 

Captured two more videos - both have been uploaded to the same YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/R4002/videos). 

Propagation was doing something this morning, even though it wasn't as good as it has been in days past, as I could hear the mystery pager on 152.120 MHz (while in the parking deck!!!) - 152.12 MHz appears to be another local (or local-ish) pager.  All three of those, 152.12, 152.63 and 152.69 are so strong in the downtown Richmond area that they de-sense some VHF gear, including scanners, when they're transmitting.  I have the same issues on the UHF band due to the extremely dense concentration of high powered UHF systems operating in the downtown area.  The local bus/transit system (Greater Richmond Transit Company aka GRTC) operates an extremely powerful DMR trunking system on 452.825 MHz, 452.850 MHz, 453.375 MHz and 461.025 MHz.  The 452.825 MHz frequency transmits 24/7 (it's used for GPS data location tracking on the buses, in conjunction with a 4.9 GHz system). 

The 452.850/453.375/461.025 frequencies are used for digital voice and all four frequencies are transmitted from a tower on top of City Hall, 453.375 MHz is licensed for 237 watts ERP and the 452/461 MHz frequencies are licensed for 75 watts ERP.  Considering how the 452.825 MHz GRTC data signal gets into everything on UHF, I have a feeling its doing more than 75w ERP.  When I'm trying to scan the UHF business frequencies and FRS/GMRS, the DMR signal on 452.825 causes a major headache, just like the powerhouse 152 MHz pager signals on VHF. 

There are several other powerful UHF systems in the area that desense the hell out of my scanner in the downtown area (the Greater Richmond Convention Center has its own DMR trunking system, and of course Philip Morris has literally hundreds of frequencies, most of them high power repeaters on UHF, licensed to them - a mixture of digital voice with some analog stuff). 

The 452.8250 MHz DMR data signal mixes with other signals (likely when the other UHF repeaters located at the same site transmit, as anyone who has monitored a bus/transit radio system knows, there's a lot of chatter), I get intermod on the frequencies I'm trying to monitor, specifically several of the FRS frequencies (462.6250, 462.6375, 462.6500, 462.700,0 462.7125 and 462.7250 MHz are the worst hit) and several of the UHF business band/itinerant frequencies (namely 466.0375, 469.5000, 469.5500, 451.8125, 456.8125 and several other itinerants are also obliterated when 452.825's signal mixes with another UHF signal at or nearby.  It doesn't help that the local power company operates a very powerful UHF repeater network (mostly analog FM, with some isolated digital/DMR voice usage) on 451 MHz and 452 MHz.  The mixing products of these high power signals make my Pro-96 scanner very unhappy.  The attenuator does nothing.  The best spot I have for scanning the lower power FRS/GMRS/simplex business band chatter I'm trying to hear is also about 1200 feet from the City Hall roof transmission site. 


In addition to the local pagers on 152.630 MHz and 162.690 MHz, I could hear the Fork Mountain STARS Project 25 control channel on 152.7125 MHz (with the squelch open anyway).  The 152.0375 MHz signal is the local (Richmond) STARS control channel and the 152.7575 MHz signal is another local-ish STARS frequency. 

The STARS system makes extensive use of the old Part 22 paging frequencies for both P25 voice and data, but usually the control channel (152.03 MHz - 152.24 MHz and 152.51 MHz - 152.81 MHz), often with 7.5 kHz offsets (152.0375 MHz instead of 152.030 MHz, 152.7575 MHz instead of 152.750 MHz, etc) and, in the western portion of Virginia, the 161 MHz "B" (shore) marine channels 161.8000 MHz to 161.9500 MHz in 12.5 kHz steps, I believe they had to get a special authorization from the FCC to use those frequencies, and only in certain areas.  So, if you hear digital signals between 161.8 and 162 MHz, chances are you're hearing one of the western Virginia STARS sites:

https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=3783

Unfortunately they do re-use frequencies to a certain extent, so a Project 25 trunking scanner is needed to further narrow down which site you're hearing for sure.  The control channels are on 24/7 and make great propagation indicators.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 1519 UTC by R4002 »
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 1251 UTC »
Some more VHF DX (NOAA Weather Radio) propagation this morning.  Received while mobile at street level in downtown Richmond, VA (with all the obstructions and multipath propagation issues found in a built-up urban area)

162.550 MHz KHB36 - Manassas, VA NOAA Weather Radio powerhouse transmitter mixing in with KHB37 Norfolk, VA - heard KHB36 ID clearly twice.  For most of the time, KHB36 was clearly the winner.  Independent Hill, VA transmitter location coming in nicely

162.525 MHz KJY86 - Halifax, VA mixing in with KJY99 Accomack, VA (Eastern Shore) - heard marine forecasts (indicating KJY99's service area, also heard mention of southside Virginia and northern North Carolina locations similar to the WNG586 audio loop, strongly indicating KJY86

162.500 MHz - WNG586 -  Henderson, NC - good signal, heard forecast for locations in Virginia and North Carolina, all within WNG586's service area...possibly a second station's signal down underneath

162.475 MHz - WXK65 - Richmond, VA - local NOAA Weather Radio transmitter

162.450 MHz - KZZ28 - Covesville, VA (Charlottesville, VA) with another, unidentified station underneath it.  Similar to the station-vs-station signals heard yesterday morning on 162.45 MHz

162.425 MHz - no identifiable signals heard this morning

162.400 MHz - possibly WXM57 Heathsville, VA, although there was another station mixing in at points, heard mention of Baltimore Inner Harbor and other marine weather, I might have been heard KEC83 Baltimore, MD 162.4 MHz mixing in with WXM57. 

Two more videos uploaded this morning, showing parts of this morning's NOAA Weather Radio activity (see: https://www.youtube.com/user/R4002/videos)
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Offline Davep

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 1802 UTC »
Quote: Not sure what I was hearing on 162.425 MHz as far as the station's ID goes.

With the southern Carolina coastal city reports would be either Warsaw or Mamie , both 300 watts . That would be a notable catch from your qth

Edit, i looked at it again. At the end you flipped between New Bern and Warsaw both running the Newport loop,
Fantastic catch if it is Warsaw - thanks for posting
https://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/site2.php?State=NC&Site=KXI95

Nothing at all last 2_3 days either before or after the cool front.  I'm at + 12 feet sea level .
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 0313 UTC by Davep »
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2019, 1334 UTC »
The 162.425 MHz frequency is interesting because it seems to mostly be used by the lower-power (300 watt) fill-in transmitters. 

I was able to catch "the usual suspects" this morning, including KHB36 on 162.550 (lots of fading up and down on that frequency, probably due to multipath, I was driving through downtown while listening).  162.400 was also up and down, but at points was full-scale and SIO 555.   162.450 MHz had two stations almost equisignal to each other, with KZZ28 still "winning" but just barely this time, the other station might have been Margaretsville WWG33.   I believe I heard WNG586 out of Henderson, NC yet again this morning on 162.500 MHz.  162.525 MHz also came in nicely, likely KJY99 again. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXeB2UBO8OI
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Offline Davep

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2019, 2251 UTC »
WXM80  162.475 received 2215- 2230 UTC  7/25 in  Virginia Beach Va.
Riverhead New York 332 air miles. Signal entirely over water
No other stations!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4a8AECImzN0

At 0310z same evening 162.475 has returned to fair/ weak Salisbury in Delaware.  I started wondering how wide or the confines of these conditions .
This dx calculator/ map draws a nice red line  . https://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is-it-between.htm
They certainly seem to very or relativity narrow going by exclusion
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 0340 UTC by Davep »
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2019, 1025 UTC »
Nice catch on the late night tropo with WXM80 on 162.475 MHz.  Hopefully this morningís commute will yield some
 more logs, if the propagation is good Iíll post another video.
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Offline Josh

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2019, 1926 UTC »
There is/was an "overwater" 2m route between Omaha and Sewer City Ia via the Missouri river every morning more or less, I presume this overwater enhancement/inversion layer happens much more often than not.
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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 1041 UTC »
Here is a VHF SDR in the DC area that will receive WX broadcasts. Might be interesting during openings or to help ID stations.

http://na5b.com:8902/
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Offline Davep

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2019, 0548 UTC »
7/28 at 0500z  , 
162.475 KIG77 Buxton NC
162.450 WWG33 Margarettsville NC 300 watter
162.400 KHB38 Atlantic City Nj  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq4FQAKmF2Q
 and KJY99
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Offline R4002

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2019, 1728 UTC »
No sign of WXK65 (1000w out of Richmond City) on 162.475 MHz in Virginia Beach? Just KIG77. 
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Offline Davep

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Re: NOAA Weather Radio Tropo Ducting VHF DX Propagation July 2019
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2019, 2230 UTC »
During the 3-4 years I've been paying attention to this, I've never heard WXK65 here.
With the rare exceptions, west of here just doesn't happen


Ok forget that! I started not to post this or remove it, never say never. Weird, very weird indeed!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pHkJrfMnH2M
« Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 0502 UTC by Davep »
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