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Surfin’: Got E-s?


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ literally takes a look at Sporadic E propagation on YouTube.

Last week's “Got Tropo” got me an e-mail from Mike Schaffer, KA3JAW, located in Tampa, who directed my attention to his recent YouTube video that illustrated the following:

On Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 0045-0116 (UTC), Mexican XHTAU, Azteca-7 relayer analog channel 2 from Tampico, Tamaulipas was detected in Tampa, Florida via Sporadic E propagation (also known as E-skip) at a distance of 1036 air miles broadcasting the American animated series The Simpsons.

Mike has other videos on YouTube that document his television and FM band radio DXing successes, including propagation events that exceed his impressive Tampa-to-Tampico catch on Tuesday. By the way, searching YouTube for “Sporadic E” returns more than 3800 results, so Mike has a lot of company.

This reminds me of some involuntary TV DXing that I experienced in my youth while I was watching Andy’s Gang or some other kid fare. The picture would start rolling, but the vertical hold control could not stop it. I'm sure you’ve been there and done that.

Sporadic E on our TV usually brought us stations from north of the border speaking French, but on one occasion, the language was Spanish and came to us from Havana -- nearly 1400 miles away from our Waterbury living room. That was with a console TV set connected to a monster Yagi antenna mounted on a rotor on the roof. But one time, stations from Iowa rolled into my battery-powered portable with a one-element telescoping antenna, which just goes to show you that some E-skip is easier than other E-skip.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.




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