Wednesday, May 9, 2012

States I've Logged via More than One Mode of Propagation

Of course, there's several different modes of propagation on FM, analog and digital TV. The types of propagation I have logged here have been tropospheric enhancement, E-layer skip (single and double hop), and meteor scatter. I've noted several states that I've pulled in stations via more than one mode of propagation. There are two markets I've pulled in stations via both tropospheric enhancement and E-layer skip: Pierre, SD (645 miles) and Buffalo, NY (665 miles).

Here are the states I've noted via two or more modes of propagation:

ALABAMA - Most stations via tropospheric enhancement, although WZEW 92.1 in Fairhope (a Mobile suburb) was noted via E-skip on July 28, 2009 at 1616 CDT (2116 UTC). All of the other Alabama FMs have been via tropo, concentrated on Huntsville, Florence/Muscle Shoals and Birmingham, with notable exceptions being WHHY 101.9 Montgomery on May 12, 2011 and WZBQ 94.1 Carrollton on July 28, 1998. On analog TV, it's all been tropospheric enhancement, primarily in Alabama north of a Tuscaloosa-Phenix City line, with the only exceptions being WHOA 32 (now WNCF) Montgomery on January 16, 1995 and WIIQ 41 Demopolis on November 11, 2000.

FLORIDA - The first tropo from Florida was noted on May 12, 2011 with the log of WKSM 99.5 Fort Walton Beach at 0015 CDT (0515 UTC). Also noted was NOAA Weather Radio station KEC86 on 162.400 MHz from Pensacola on May 11, 2011 at 2355 CDT (May 12 0455 UTC). 55 FM stations were noted via E-skip before pulling in WKSM via tropo. All analog TV loggings have been on E-skip propagation. Pensacola is another market I've noted via both tropo and E-skip (the other Pensacola station being an FM, WMEZ 94.1, logged on May 14, 1994.)

GEORGIA - I lived in this state from 1988 to 1992, and the one of only two I've received via three modes of propagation. The only meteor scatter log from the Empire State of the South is WSTR 94.1 in Smyrna (an Atlanta suburb), heard on November 16, 1998. The same station was heard again via tropospheric enhancement in the summer of 2005. All of the tropo on FM came from metro Atlanta, save for WTSH 107.1 in Rockmart (now licensed to nearby Aragon), which serves the Rome market. On TV, all tropo has been UHF and in analog, and all from metro Atlanta save for WLTZ 38 in Columbus, first logged in January 1995, along with GPTV stations WJSP-TV 28 in Warm Springs/Columbus (November 2000) and WCLP 18 Chatsworth/Dalton (July 2005). Even over-the-air TBS made it in (then WTBS 17) on November 12, 2006. All of the E-skip logged from Georgia has been on the Atlantic coast (from Savannah down to the Florida line). Only one Georgia analog TV station was noted via E-skip: WSAV 3 Savannah made several visits a year to my suburban St. Louis shack between 1993 and 2009.

LOUISIANA - I have logged one station via E-skip and tropo from the only state where their political subdivisions are called Parishes. That station is WLMG 101.9 New Orleans, logged via E-skip on July 5, 2000 and via tropo in the spring of 2003. The other FM stations in Louisiana have been logged via E-skip. Only one analog TV station was ever logged from the Sportsman's Paradise: KATC 3 Lafayette, noted on June 5, 2005 at 1153 CDT (1653 UTC).

MINNESOTA - All of the FM stations I've logged from the Land of 10,000 Lakes have been via tropo, save for KQDS 94.9 Duluth, logged via E-skip on June 8, 2008 at 1847 CDT (2347 UTC). All of the TV stations have been logged via tropo: KTTC 10 Rochester and three from Minneapolis on UHF. All analog TV stations were logged on August 30, 2000.

NEBRASKA - All but one analog TV station from the Cornhusker State have been logged via tropo, along with all 21 FM stations logged. The only station logged from Nebraska via E-skip was KDUH 4 Scottsbluff, noted on June 5, 2006 at 2000 CDT (June 6 0100 UTC), floating under local KMOV.

NEW YORK - I've logged my fair share of E-skip from the Empire State, but I've also noted one FM and two analog UHF TV stations from Buffalo via tropo. The tropo catches from Buffalo are: WNED-TV 17 on August 23, 1995 at 2145 CDT (August 24 0245 UTC), WUTV 29 on August 16, 1999 at 2022 CDT (August 17 0122 UTC) and WDCX 99.5 on the same night at 2255 CDT (0355 UTC). Via E-skip, the Buffalo stations I've logged were WBUF 92.9 on May 25, 2003 at 1651 CDT (2151 UTC), WGRZ 2 on June 1, 2009 at 1930 CDT (June 2 0030 UTC) and WIVB 4 on the same night at 1931 CDT (0031 UTC), both floating under locals KTVI and KMOV. This state was also where I pulled in my second digital TV station via E-skip: WRGB 6 Schenectady on July 29, 2009 at 1628 CDT (2128 UTC).

NORTH CAROLINA - This is the other state I've logged via three different modes of propagation. Via meteor scatter, I noted WZKB 94.3 Wallace on November 16, 1998 at 2315 CST (November 17 0515 UTC). Via tropo, I noted WMIT 106.9 Black Mountain (Asheville) on June 29, 2011 at 2320 CDT (June 30 0420 UTC). All of the analog TV stations I received have been via E-skip. I have noted WUND 2 from two cities of license: from Columbia on July 6, 1999 and Edenton on June 12, 2009 (the latter after KTVI switched off its analog transmitter at 0000 CDT/0500 UTC). Three others were noted on June 12, 2009 via E-skip: WFMY 2 Greensboro, WBTV 3 Charlotte and WUNC-TV 4 Chapel Hill (Raleigh/Durham).

PENNSYLVANIA - All of the FM stations I've heard from the Keystone State has been via E-skip, and all but one from Philadelphia. The only non-Philly FM noted from this location has been WJTL 90.3 Lancaster on July 7, 2009 at 1725 CDT (2225 UTC). All VHF analog TV stations have been noted via E-skip: two from Philadelphia (KYW-TV 3 and WPVI 6) and one from the State College area (WPSX 3, now WPSU). Via tropo, both Pennsylvania stations have been on UHF analog TV. WPGH 53 Pittsburgh was noted on August 24, 1995 at 0007 CDT (0507 UTC) through WWHO in Ohio. WQLN-TV 54 Erie was noted on August 16, 1999 at 2019 CDT (August 17 0119 UTC) in a pledge break. I would visit Erie four times between August 2008 and April 2010; it's a nice town, although the locals sometimes love to joke about it.

SOUTH DAKOTA - Pierre has been another market I've logged via both tropo and E-skip. Via tropo, I logged KTSD 10 on July 19, 2003 at 0800 CDT (1300 UTC). Via E-skip, I logged KGFX-FM 92.7 on June 18, 2005 at 1121 CDT (1621 UTC). One analog TV station has been noted via two modes of propagation. KPLO 6 Reliance (Pierre) was noted on June 21, 2001 at 1432 CDT (1932 UTC) via E-skip, and on the morning of July 19, 2003 via tropo. Most of the E-skip logs on FM have been from the Rapid City area, while most of the tropo logs on FM have been from the eastern part of the state. Both KOTA-TV and KOTA-DT have been noted at this location: KOTA-TV 3 was first noted on June 22, 1999 at 1850 CDT (2350 UTC), while KOTA-DT 2 decoded its PSIP on the third sub-channel on June 29, 2010 at 1200 CDT (1700 UTC). On the TV side via tropo, it's also been east of Pierre, mostly from Sioux Falls.

UTAH - This is the only state where tropo was NOT noted as the second mode of propagation. It's been E-skip and meteor scatter to Mormon Country. The only meteor scatter I noted from Utah was KURR 99.5 Bountiful, noted on November 18, 2000 at 0136 CST (0736 UTC). The station was also noted via E-skip the following summer. All but four FM stations logged have been from the Salt Lake City region.

VIRGINIA - Yes, I've also logged the birth state of eight U.S. Presidents (from George Washington to Woodrow Wilson) via two modes of propagation. All 17 FM stations logged have been via E-skip, mainly from the Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Richmond/Petersburg markets and the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. On the analog TV side, I've logged my E-skip on VHF channels 3 and 6. WTKR 3 Norfolk and WTVR-TV 6 Richmond were both noted on the evening of July 6, 1999, while WHSV 3 Harrisonburg was noted on the afternoon of June 10, 2006. Via tropo, both stations noted have been UHF TV stations. WLFG 68 Grundy was noted on August 25, 2003 at 2247 CDT (August 26 0347); WSBN 47 Norton was noted on August 3, 2008 at 2115 CDT (August 4 0215 UTC).

WISCONSIN - All of the FM stations logged from America's Dairyland have been via tropo; some parts of the state are less than 300 miles (as the crow flies) from my suburban St. Louis QTH. 17 analog TV stations logged have been via tropo, mainly from Milwaukee and Madison. One analog TV station was seen via E-skip. That station was KBJR 6 in Superior, noted on June 8, 2008 at 1924 CDT (June 9 0024 UTC).

In addition to the states above, I've logged one Canadian province via tropo and E-skip:

ONTARIO - The first analog TV stations from Ontario were pulled in on the tropo opening on December 26-27, 1994. CKCO3 42 Sarnia was the first one noted, on December 26, 1994 at 1949 CST (December 27 0149 UTC). That was followed by five more on December 27, 1994 between 0100 and 0430 CST (0700-1030 UTC): CICO18 18 London, CIII29 29 Sarnia, CICO32 32 Windsor, CICA 19 Toronto and CICO59 59 Chatham. The first E-skip from Ontario wasn't noted until May 30, 1997, when I noted CKVR 3 Barrie at 1732 CDT (2232 UTC). On FM, all my logs have been via E-skip, save for CJBC-FM 90.3 Toronto on May 29, 2000 at 2140 CDT (May 30 0240 UTC). Most of the E-skip logs on TV came after locals KTVI, KMOV and KSDK shut off their analog transmitters on June 12, 2009.

First E-Skip of the 2012 Season

Over the weekend of May 5-6, I noted my first E-skip of the 2012 season. After a Valentine's Day tropo opening into southwest Missouri and a March opening into Illinois and Iowa, I thought I was due for some E-skip.

May 5 was, of course, Cinco de Mayo. While it provides people on this side of the border an excuse to drink plenty of Cuervo Gold or Corona beer (beer is called "cerveza" in Spanish), it has more of a historical meaning in Mexico, because it celebrates a Mexican military victory over France in 1862.

The E-skip began at 4:00 p.m. local time (2100 UTC), when I pulled in wrestling with Spanish commentary on VHF Channel 2 in analog. The network ID was Azteca 7 (Azteca Siete); checking Fred Cantu's Mexican station list, this is XHTAU in Tampico, Tamaulipas. I also noted another station on VHF Channel 4 in analog, carrying military ceremonies to mark the Mexican victory over France 150 years ago, and to honor those who gave their lives defending Mexico from the French. This was around 4:30 p.m. local time (2130 UTC). The opening reached into the lower part of the FM broadcast band. At 4:05 p.m. local time (2105 UTC), XHMU Tampico, Tamaulipas was heard on 90.1 MHz with a "La Poderosa 90.1" ID, local spots and Ranchera music in Spanish. It's nice to hear someone other than Reynosa or Chihuahua on 90.1 MHz.

On May 6, the E-skip turned to the six meter (50-54 MHz) Amateur Radio band. Over the past several days, I've made it a habit to monitor 50.125 MHz to hear DX as it comes through. On May 5, I heard WD4AB from the Miami, FL area, which I had worked previously. On May 6, I worked my first E-skip of the summer, when I worked N7AMA from the Phoenix, AZ area. When working Amateur Radio stations on the VHF and UHF bands, an operator has to announce the grid square he or she is transmitting from. In this case, my grid square is EM48. Miami is in grid EL95, while Phoenix is in DM33. This map is from an Amateur Radio-related Web site.

So far, besides the U.S., Canada and Mexico, I've also worked the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on six meters, and have all but Cuba confirmed.

The same evening, I officially logged WMSH 90.3 Sparta, IL (55 miles via ground wave) for my 1,150th FM station. I expect to pull in my 1,200th FM station from my present location in 2012. I have a long way to go for my FM totals to catch up with my AM total of 1,312. My analog TV totals still stands at 556, along with 143 digital TV stations and 101 NOAA Weather Radio stations.