View Full Version : What kind of DX is this?

05-24-2009, 03:24 AM
Hi guys. I'll start off by admitting that I'm a newbie to FM and TV Dxing, and only got serious about it in the past few months or so.

In the past two years, I have received Es on several occasions, but never tropo being that I am in the western U.S. (or so I have thought).

I do however from time to time, get signals from not as far away that come in when they normally wouldn't. This is about FM by the way.

For example, today while heading home to my parents house in Green River, Wyoming, I received a station from Rock Springs, Wyoming KYCS. The odd part is that I was 114 miles from the transmitter, near the town of Coalville, Utah. That and Coalville is in a mountain valley area, with a range in the way.

Normally KYCS doesn't even make it to Evanston, Wyoming, but here it was coming in with a clear ID and their Retro Saturday Night program coming in loud and clear. It was battling a currently unidentified AC station I have yet to figure out.

The question is, at this short of distance, what kind of DX is this? Is it troposcatter, tropo, a short Es? I'm so confused! :confused:

Another example was from yesterday, a station fromDelta Utah (KMGR), 70 miles from Salt Lake City, being received loud and clear.

Obviously there is no way LOS would work here right??? Help!!!

05-24-2009, 10:09 AM
First off, welcome aboard and to the hobby!

The distances you're talking about can't be E skip. They could be tropo or troposcatter, although it's hard to tell, especially as I've never DX'ed from anywhere W of the Mississippi.

05-24-2009, 02:04 PM
Without studying the topography of the area it would be just a wild guess but, it might be what I'd call "knife edge refraction." Electromagnetic waves can be "bent" downward as they pass over mountain ridges. This may explain, at least in part, why you were able to hear a distant station while you were down in a mountain valley.
73, Ed NN2E
Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds

05-24-2009, 02:05 PM
Welcome to the forums, great to have another DX'er in the Western US.

Although I am certainly no expert on this - I would say that this is tropo. Tropo is less common in mountainous areas, and doesn't get as strong or long-distance as flat land tropo, I've seen reports of it many times, and have experienced it myself. If these signals were sustained for more than a few minutes, you can probably rule out tropo scatter, as, hence the name, signals would fade up briefly and then fade out completely. Es very rarely get under 400-500 miles even in the strongest of events, and there has been nothing of the sort this year.

Although I'm located in a low-lying valley adjacent to the ocean, I do spend a lot of time in the high desert of Southern California, about 50 miles from home. This area is surrounded by mountainous and desert areas in all directions, certainly not conducive to tropo - but I occasionally hear "unusual" signals with sustained strength. Just yesterday from this location, I caught a 580 watt station 92 miles away with a solid signal. The path to this station (KSOQ Escondido, CA), would have it crossing a large mountain range and a few more groups of smaller hills. Normally, this station is not audible at all from this area. I didn't have a chance to check for other stations, but this sounds similar to what you had - and was probably tropo!

Edit: Looking more closely at your post, I'd agree with Ed - in the case where you are driving in an area with varying terrain. In this case, the signal should always be there at that location, so you may want to check next time you are in the area and see if that signal is there. If not, there was probably some sort of tropo involved.

05-24-2009, 08:22 PM
First off, thanks guys for such a quick and detailed response. I am glad to be a part of such a cool DX association.

As far as the signal, it was sustained for quite some time, long enough for me to hear KYCS ID itself and some local commercials. I used to work for them so they are hard to miss. This station was heard from about Kamas, Utah to Echo Utah, which are both in the same valley, just about five miles a part, in a relatively straight line.

I also heard what I believed to be KFRZ (which is also from the same area), but on 92.1.

The other area signals from Rock Springs were not present, although a few of them come from the same mountain as KYCS. Odd!

Thanks again for all of your help guys, I'll be sure to come here first when Es decides to poke its head in the west. Lets hope its not only often, but soon.

-Justin Wolffing

05-24-2009, 09:32 PM
I vote for NN2E. It can't be tropo. How else would account for Fresno on 95.5 or Bakersfield on 107.9 or Las Vegas (I forget the freq after all these years) being heard in Anaheim on Monday mornings with locals off the air. The mountains are just too high for tropo but they sure can do some crazy reflecting.

05-27-2009, 07:01 PM
I have confirmed this to be knife edge refraction because I drove through the area again the other day and I could still hear KYCS in certain spots in and around Coalville, Utah. I also was able to reconfirm that I did have KFRZ as well. Both broadcast from the same mountain... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilkins_Peak - Wilkins Peak