DX Radio Contributions received

These are in approximate order of reception by me. I've not included email addresses.

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Name of contributor Contribution
John Faulkner 1

Sounds like:

"WE'RE FEELING ALRIGHT NOW, IT'S 5:26. YOU'RE LOOKING AT A LIVE PICTURE..." (Woman interrupts) "A GUEST... OH I'M SORRY TO (INTERRUPT YOU (?))" Man carries on saying "OUR CHANNEL FOUR..." then lost.

Reckon there's only one station as the woman seems to be interrupting the man, hence the "OH I'M SORRY" bit from her. There would be more mush on the channel if there were two stations. Both individuals can definitely be heard relatively mush free.

Some thoughts:

* Holland is probably too close for meteor scatter.
* Meteor scatter from the west? Forget directions for a moment, it somehow seems unlikely that the signal could be from across the Atlantic. In the past I have tried for Ireland on meteor scatter but it's difficult. I once had RTE-1 on 89.6 while beaming east but it was a one-off. Beaming west never did any good for meteor scatter at all.
* Minus six hours time difference is pushing it a bit. How many multiple hops would you need? Meteor pings here have (so far) never extended beyond Poland - to the east.
* Tim Bucknall just phoned to say - according to Garry Smith, there MAY be Greek AFRTS stations using 87.7 or 87.75 (not sure if he meant TV audio or FM radio - always difficult to obtain up-to-date Greek lists.

The odds seem to be against it being transatlantic.

Difficult innit. I wouldn't rule out meteor DX completely, but it seems highly unlikely. You'd need a meteor storm or intense shower for sufficient reflections.

We definitely need to get somebody to monitor 83.25 on a scanner, possibly also other known transatlantic stations around 45ish - 87.5ish MHz.

Think the only way to go transatlantic for sure on FM would be a midsummer DX trip to the west of Ireland. Hope for a large Atlantic high to co-incide with the visit too. Think Cornwall or Scotland could be equally worth considering, providing there is enough sea path. I'm sure it can be done - Hawaiian hams can get across to WCNA on 2 metres - 3000 odd miles, so someone is going to do this across the Atlantic before long, I have no doubt.

It would be a good idea to get ECNA FM DXers to beam east for transatlantic meteor scatter / sea path, especially since most of the FM frequencies below 88.1 should be empty.

Peter Schwarz 1

On 87.7 there's a low-power-relay from BFBS 1 in Maastricht/Netherlands... but I always thought you've got a lot of "RSL"-stations on this frequency in Britain, isn't it so?

Peter Schwarz 2

You said it was a meteor scatter? What's your guess? Transatlantic reception??? Sometimes you can hear American slang on BFBS (e.g.) too, in Interviews at News Shows, but mainly by phone, not by the presenter in the studio..but working for the BBC, you aren't able to check out the programm-table of BFBS to see, what was going on there at this moment?? Maybe there are AFN-relays somewhere in Ex-Yugoslavia or somewhere else on 87.7? and there's no hint hidden in the clip, that leads to a town, a region, a country or something else...Bad luck!

Ian Kelly

Wow -very tantalising reception!

You are probably aware that 87.75 MHz is the sound channel for the North American sound channel for television Channel 6 . I would presume you had a brief snippet of two NA TV sound carriers!

Yes, the OM sounded like he said Channel 4. I wonder if what you heard was a repeater for a higher powered TV station who ID as Channel 4, which would broadcast on A4.

Were the numbers he gave a time check or temperatures? I think your log said 1115GMT, but the OM sounds like he said "five...twenty six". Could have been the time (somewhere in States/Canada on GMT-6, if the real time was 1126GMT. However, I think 26F equates to roughly minus 5C - but I didn't hear him say "minus"??? Caroline heard the next bit better than I did "you're looking a live picture".

Listening again, he might even be saying Channel "Fourteen" or even Channel "Forty....". Shame the lady newsreader from somewhere else interrupts along the way.

Well done whatever they were - double meteor skip? F2? Was the skip running yesterday with a high MUF?

Jorge Garzon

I have listened to your clip and it is real strange. My mother tongue is not English but I would bet that the announcer has a strong American English, isn't it?. Than that woman cutting the words with a supposed "I guess", if any English at all...

My only idea about this could be an AFRTS relay from ???, or any other station relaying American News. But this is a Meteor reflection, isn't it?, so where the aerial was pointing at that time?.

Pertti Ayras

You think it is USA or Canada? The accent sounds like that. Maybe there are two stations mixed? I cannot hear anything which helps, however.

Pentti Lintujarvi

Sounds like American English, but... There's no NA stations on 87.7 MHz. The North American FM-Band starts at 88.1 MHz.

My bet for the first transatlantic FM-catch would be CBAF-FM, Moncton, NB with 50 kW on 88,5 MHz.

Based on the location, relative transmitting power and frequency.

Kenneth R Simon

From the West side of the Atlantic....I agree with Pentti.

Mike Bugaj

Sounds like American English, but... There's no NA stations on 87.7 MHz. The North American FM-Band starts at 88.1 MHz. Mark, remember that 87.7/87.75 is US Channel 6 audio! And these stations run 150kW. It could be ...

Doug Smith 1

I'll try to give it a few more listens later tonight. Sure sounds like meteor scatter of two different American (or Canadian) stations!

I'm curious what time it was recorded. It's a bit hard to tell for sure, but I would guess the "526" was the time, part of a weather report most likely. (many American stations have live cameras either on their transmitting towers, or on tall buildings in the city center, and use them as background video for weather statistics) Many (though not all) American stations have a local news broadcast beginning at 5pm. (some, including the one I work for, also have one at 5am!)

Note that the CBC operates a high-powered station on channel 6 in St. John, Newfoundland, about as far east as you can get in North America. Also note that Newfoundland Standard Time is offset by 30 minutes from the rest of North America -- if you logged this at 56 minutes after the hour it was almost certainly Newfoundland. There are also private stations of moderate power on channel 6 elsewhere on the island, one of those might have been the other signal heard.

If you have a time, I can poke around the CBC website & see what their program schedule was in Newfoundland at the time.

Doug Smith 2

There is an I-26, which runs from Charleston, South Carolina to Asheville, North Carolina. (and eventually to Kingsport, Tennessee) Problem is, there is no channel 6 station that covers any city along that highway. I believe I can say with reasonable confidence there is no link between WECT and WYFF. WYFF does have some low-power "translator" repeater stations in the mountains of western North Carolina; it is quite possible one or more are on channel 6. However, to my knowledge none of these have ever been logged by meteor scatter within the USA; I would be VERY surprised to see one logged in the UK! (these relay stations generally use 1 or 10 watts transmitter output, for an ERP of less than 500 watts, usually *much* less. One in Wyoming was logged by E-skip this summer - the first time such a station has been DXed since 1982!)

I examined maps of eastern Canada for any highway 526. Couldn't find any, though the maps I have (at work - I'll check again when I get home about 0515UTC) are a bit old and may be missing some newer roads. I will also check other parts of the eastern U.S. when I get home. However, except for those low-power relays in the Carolina mountains, I'm not aware of any U.S. channel 6 stations east of the Mississippi relaying any channel 4. Which really points me back into Canada.

There is a highway *126* running north out of Moncton, New Brunswick. CBC TV in New Brunswick has two high-powered transmitters on channel 6, and at least one on channel 4. There are also one each high-powered and moderately powerful channel 6 transmitter for the "ATV" private station in Nova Scotia - - ATV's coverage is throughout the Maritimes so it is possible Moncton news would air on the Nova Scotia transmitters. Canadian stations sometimes identify with the numbers of the channel on which they're carried on *cable*, which is always different from their air channel.

Again, I'll make some more checks when I get home & see if I can find anything else that makes sense.

Mike Bugaj 2

Hi again Mark. I have run that clip over and over again and here is what it sounds like to me:

"...we are feeling right now at 5:36. You're looking at a live picture...our guest...from our channel 4 studios..."

The "our guest" sounds like Barbara Walters to me. She does have a morning TV show with guests (my wife doesn't care for it). I think you caught the end of a sentence. The next sentence could mean a live traffic report since stations now use cameras at points along expressways to show you how bad the traffic is going to be when you hit the freeway. They do this as early as 5am.

However...from our channel 4 studios? Perhaps this was a report from a network that has ch4 as a base...like NBC.

I have no doubt you this is a U.S. TV station. Possibly Canadian but I doubt it. Their sound is a bit different.

I'm going to post this on our WTFDA list, along with the URL so others can hear it. I want some other opinions.

Mike Bugaj 3

Mark heard this in London!

Also, he heard this at 1115 UTC, which would be 0615 EST, so if it was Nfld, then Nfld time would be 0745, so the 5:36 doesn't make sense.

And the portion that says "our guest" is a woman. Its like a burst on top of a burst.

And to me, the guy speaking sounds like Peter Jennings, but I may be hallucinating.

Also, what about channel offsets? Would 87.7 be zero offset, or minus offset?

This really sounds like a US TV station to me. You really need to listen to the clip a few times. It could be Nfld, but the time doesn't make sense but the ch6/ch4 does, though.

Steve Whitt

American man "we're appealing right now its 5.26 you're looking at a live picture" then woman over man saying "a gas..."

Sounded like two different signals unless woman is butting in over the man.

Is this American TV audio signal at VHF?

Without headphones I can't get any more audio from the weak bit at the start of the clip.

Doug Smith 3

I re-checked my database, and WYFF has no translators on channel 6. Which would seem to mark that a dead end.

I think the most likely possibilities are:

WCSH-TV Portland, Maine, mentioning "Highway 26". This is a major road running north out of the city, towards the state capitol at Augusta. The apparent mention of "channel 4" was something else.

CJCH-TV-6 or CJCB-TV-1 in Nova Scotia. Both belong to "ATV", a network that covers that province, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Mentioning "Highway 126", a major road running northwest out of Moncton, New Brunswick. The CJCB station relays a channel 4 station in Sydney, N.S.; the CJCH station relays a station on some other channel (3, I think) in Halifax. But Canadian cable systems are required to carry free-to-air stations on channels other than the ones they broadcast on, so CJCB may well be on *cable* channel 4 in Halifax. And, many Canadian stations identify by their *cable* channel rather than their air channel. (example: CICT in Calgary, which IDs as "channel 7" even though its air signal is actually on channel 2)

CBAT-TV-1 or CBAT-TV-3 in New Brunswick. These are transmitters of CBC New Brunswick, which has a studio in Moncton. The main CBC NB transmitter (at St. John) is on channel 4 - and they could be on cable channel 4 in Moncton.

CBNAT-4 St. Anthony or CJON-TV St. John's, both in Newfoundland. The former is a CBC transmitter (I think it relays one in Labrador on the mainland); the latter the key station of "NTV", a province-wide private network. I've no idea what the "526" was, but maybe "channel 4" was actually "Channel Port" (...aux Basques, a town in the southwest corner of the province where the ferries from the mainland land)

I might suggest the next step might be to email the URL to that audio file to some of these stations & ask if they recognize it.

Harri Kujala

What I hear: "We are feeling all right at 5-26. You are loooking a lot xxxxor........." (clearly american accent). What is the word in the place of xxxx?

Very interesting clip. The pronouncing sounds like to be part of public radio broadcasting - and not some utility - airtraffic or so - or could it be? - turned into wrong frequency and passing over ?? 5-26 could be anyting instead of time as it does not fit with the time of your reception.

However, sounds clearly meteor reflection.There are also two female words over male and they sound also to be English (a word "a guest"? but of course difficult to be sure) !

Low power communty radio?? Usually these meteors need high power transmitters to go through - and not under 10 W as these temporary stations usually are!

Robert M Bratcher Jnr

What you seem to have is TV Channel 6 audio from 2 stations. I can't tell who they are or where in the US they are located.

Glenn Hauser

First of all, there are no 87.7 MHz FM stations in North America (except maybe an occasional pirate}; the band starts at 88.1. TV channel 6 audio however is at 87.75. It certainly is an American accent. Sounds like a meteor burst with one station briefly overriding another. The 5:26 does not make sense if it is a timecheck. The frequency itself leads one to suspect European origin.

Graham Powell

"We're feeling wrecked now , it's 5 - 26 you're looking at a live picture"

So - American TV Sound? VHF Channel 6 is 83.25 MHz + Sound diff of 4.5 MHz = 87.75 MHz ?

or is the sound lower than vision which would be 78.75 Mhz which rules that out. (I'm not sure what the split is)

Time of 5-26 doesn't match UTC-5 Hours or -UTC-6 Hours for the US East Coast, but they definately said you're looking at a live picture. Whatever the news event they were covering must have been going on all night if they are wrecked?

Chris Greenway

87.75 is the audio frequency for North American TV channel 6. The mention of "five twenty-six" can't be a time check if the recording was made at exactly 1115 GMT, but could be if the clip was recorded at 1126 GMT. This would place it in the Central time zone. Nice catch!

Cyril Willis 1

I have listened to the clip I can hear one tx in the noise but cannot understand what is being said or what language then strong signal American/Canadian male says time 5:26 followed by another tx also strong with female also American/Canadian. What time did you hear this please?

Cyril Willis 2

The female voice I am sure is another station as it rolls over the other signal. Sounds as if M/S but that doesn't make sense for the possible distance involved and if it was AFRTS/ AFN etc Europe they wouldn't have two tx on same frequency and I don't think anything is listed. If it was F2 or E surely the signal would be there for longer fading in and out. I'm stumped on this one.

Tony Boreham

Sounds like some cross channel interference being brought in by a carrier wave or something like that

Al Bolton

It sounds like a meteor scatter signal. The man speaking does seem to have an American accent but he also seems to mention "5 26". This would be rather at odds with your reception time of 1115-if he was mentioning US time it would be "5 15"! So maybe this is not the time he is mentioning after all.

I noticed a woman's voice (with an American accent)appearing briefly after the man, again sounding like a meteor scatter signal.

Meteor scatter signals are usually useful up to 1, 500 miles or less so it would be likely that the signal originated from somewhere inside a circle of this radius from your reception site. How about one of the American Forces Network stations?

However....I have always believed that it is possible to receive VHF Band 2 signals from the US by mixed propagation modes. This would imply multiple hop Sporadic E PLUS Tropo, or a Tropo/Meteor Scatter/E's combination. Although we are at or approaching solar maximum, it's unlikely but not impossible that the MUF could reach 90 MHz for a few seconds. The signal might then be sent another hop by meteor scatter.

The chances of this mixed mode producing a monitorable signal are VERY unlikely. However, it's only a matter of time before someone does receive the US-maybe you have!

Tom Bryant

That's about the most definitive thing that can be said about the two stations heard in that brief clip. The DO sound "American"...and the male announcer does sound a great deal like Peter Jennings (who is a Canadian).

Considering the opinons put forth by some of the best DX hounds on this continent, I think we'd better chalk this event up as two UNid channel 6, PTA, North America.

Sans additional detail further speculation seems futile.

Ruud Brand

There were no reports on 6 (50 MHz) at that time. Maybe meteor scatter from the US/Canada because it's really that type of language and not English.

John Zondlo

That's a most interesting recording you have there, but I'm afraid I have no idea who it is. It sounds like a local station's early morning newscast. Mike Bugaj has put it out on the WTFDA reflector to see if anyone else can identify it. With more than 70 folks getting to hear it, surely someone will be able to give you some ideas.

Steve Williams

I've had a listen to your audio clip and took it to a TV-dxer friend of mine. He said late Sunday/early Monday he had some unusual 'lifts' and thought he was getting US stuff too. He is reasonably confident that whatever you got was a US program but is unsure of the original transmission location (probably central or west US). He also mentioned that the US have some low power TV transmission sites at their military bases in Germany/Central Europe. Maybe it was from one of those?

Kent Winrich

Did I hear 5:26? That would be Central Time in the US (at least the right hour). It alo had the "sound" of a US affiliate, meaning that I did not detect and Canadian accent.

Danny Oglethorpe


Although nobody over here seems to know exactly what you heard, they (mostly) agree that you received North America.

Ruud Poeze

This could be an AFN- (American Forces Radio) station somewhere on the continent. They do relay live programmes from the USA, including original time-check's.

"Grateful in Philly"

Try WPVI Ch6 out of Philadelphia, PA an affiliate of ABC. Just a guess. Let me know what I won! Thanks

Raymond Blau

Originally thought it could be WPVI Ch6 out of Philadelphia, PA Sounds like the beginning of a traffic report. "Looking live..."

However, listened to the poor audio quality and now doesn't seem to have same voice as Either Marc Howard or Rob Jennings who would most likely have been on the news at that time. I'm going to play with the audio some more.

Peter Wilson

I have been following with interest the suggestions about your reception. - I don't have a sound card so I can't listen to the sample.

I don't know if anybody else has pointed out, but if your time of 11:15 UTC was correct, then it would be impossible for there to be a time check of "5:26" in the excerpt. I was of the impression that americans give the time as "26 after 5" or "26 minutes past the hour" rather than "5:26" ???

If it wasn't the time than perhaps it refers to temperatures in degrees F (very cold!) or road numbers? The reflection from a UFO 500 million km away is unlikely but not impossible!

Jurgen Bartels

I think it was one tx, because the male stops when the female starts. Like when one is interrupting the other.

Sounded like an outdoor broadcast?

But an important clue is the time. 5:26 That should indicate the time zone.

Pertti Ayras 2

How about this:

November 29th a US/Canadian TV station has a news broadcast at 5.25 (UTC-5 time zone). The audio signal at 88.75 MHz is transmitted and part of it goes directly into the space. After travelling some 500 million kilometers with a speed of light a fraction of the transmission signal meets a solid object (a comet, asteroid, UFO maybe?) and is reflected back at a correct angle. After travelling again some 25 minutes it reaches Mark's aerial and the signal is saved in his recorder, at 11.15 UTC.

The above might not be the truth (however, the truth is out there, they say) but Mark's recording is very interesting, and continuous monitoring on the relevant TA frequencies could bring in something interesting. I once visited La Palma island of the Canary Islands and the tropo signal from the Cape Verde Islands were quite strong at times. Looking from the Cape Verde Islands the distance to north-eastern Brazil is only about twice as much. A mid-summer monitoring during proper ES/tropo conditions could bring in stations from Brazil in Cape Verde Islands, and probably also on the Canary Islands. These islands belong geographically to Africa and the situation in Europe is more difficult for TA-FM of course, but not hopeless, I believe. I have heard that something from North America on FM has been heard in Norway in the past?

John Faulkner 2

I have listened to Mark's recording of the station, many times. It does indeed sound like a station from across the Atlantic, more of a U.S accent than Canadian. But I think there is only one station on the frequency.

We'll probably never know who or what this was for sure, but it brings a few questions to mind.

On all my meteor DX catches, I only ever get success when beaming my antenna between east or north-east. It has never been possible to get good meteor DX when beaming in any other direction. Most of the DX received is also from the east or north-east.

The only station I have ever heard from the west was 89.6 RTE-1 from Ireland, my antenna was beaming east and I was listening in at the time - definitely meteor scatter.

How many hops would a signal have to take to travel across the Atlantic? There would surely need to be a meteor storm or intense shower present. Does anybody have any experience with multiple hop DX via meteor?

Also, I wondered if there are any Weblist members on the eastern side of the US or Canada who can beam their antennas to the east/north-east to see if they hear anything on VHF from Europe via meteor scatter? Has this already been done?

Sorry for so many questions!!!

Ken Simon

Could have been TV audio from A6 at 87.75 MHz?

Niels A Holst

No AFN Stations on 87.7 MHz. - It seems, acording to their web page:

Dick McCollum

You may want to look at www.metronet.com/~chipk/tv-searches.html to at least get an idea of the problem. It lists all of the stations on channel 6. Ones labeled something like W06xxx are not amateur, they are repeaters out in east nowhere. It sounds to me as if you have two stations. Listed are power, HAAT and lat/long.

There is a quirk in the assignments that may help you a bit. Major cities are almost always assigned 2,4,5 to maximise packing, the only set to allow 3 VHF Lo channels in the same city. So 6 is generally away from big cities. 4 and 5 are separated by the 72-76 Mhz band which is not available for TV.

If I were to indulge in guessing, I would suggest the ones from Washington DC south. That path opens first and when you find it it will most likely be about 10-15 min before local sunrise. Good luck

Jean Burnell

I've listened to your clip a number of times. Yes, it does sound like a moment of audio from a "Channel 4" TV station. The accent sounds to me like an American. (Channel 4 in St. John's is in French!) The frequency is peculiar -- I don't do TV/FM DX, but isn't this high for channel 6? I thought that channel 6 audio was around 83 or 84 MHz. We do have a channel 6 (which would ID as "NTV"..."CJON" is never used), but at that time NTV has cartoons, not news. I will forward your message to Neil Kazaross, my sometime partner in crime on MW DXpeditions. When he's not visiting me in Newfoundland he's heavily into FM and TV DX. Even if he can't ID this he might be able to locate people who can. I would guess that the most likely Channel 4 (although the frequency's wrong) to make it across the Atlantic would be WBZ-TV from Boston, which I've sometimes seen barging through our channel 4 during times of E-skip.


How about WTVR TV-6 in Richmond VA. 1,000 ft tower in the middle of town.

Robert Copeman

This is possibly, a very unlikely source, but here in Australia, we allocate 87.6 to 88.0MHz inclusive to various low power narrowcast stations.

These stations are mostly used by minority groups such as Ethnic, Tourist Information, Horse Racing, Real Estate, etc. In most cases, the stations are only around 1W ERP. Many are in mono only, though some are stereo.

Seeing they are at such low power, more likely, they would only be heard in this part of the world, though many have reached into New Zealand and across Australia, during intense SpE openings.

The question is, would F2/TEP reach up to these frequencies? If so, there may be a slim chance of one of these stations being heard.

We have some unusual stations over here:

87.6MHz Knox FM Knox City Vic (East of Melbourne) occasionally runs Radio Caroline programming.

1620kHz 3GBR "Great Britain Radio" Ferny reek Vic (East of Melbourne) runs programmes, around 24 hours behind, of various UK FM stations. This one is now on the AM band, but years ago tested on 94.7MHz on the FM band in stereo.

New Zealand run a number of narrowcast stations at low power on 88.2, 100.4 & 100.8MHz. 88.2MHz is in English and the other two are usually German and Japanese. Though, in some cases, certain particular low power stations do use 100.2, 100.4, 100.6 & 100.8MHz in English.

Anyway, I hope this info is of assistance.

Michael Bugaj 4

John, what I would like to know is this: Are there any high power FM stations on 87.9 in the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Spain or France or anything else on the coast? If there are, I would really like to try for some multi-hop Es from Europe on that freq. Over here there is absolutely NOTHING on 87.9.

Maybe it would be good to have one of you TV-FM Circle fellows on our WTFDA list to give us an instant alert when Es pops up over there. you'd also get an instant alert when Es is heard here.

From my location 80 miles west of Boston, the distance to Ireland and the UK is just a little more than the distance from my location to Los Angeles. And FM and TV multiple Es reception has occurred from US west coast to US east coast. So, it is possible.

Who knows...maybe this would be possible on an even freq (88.0, 92.6) since we only use the odd freqs. But someone would have to give me some freqs with powerful stations on them.

Being in the WTFDA and British TV-FM Circle myself, this could be a neat project for the clubs. I think I could get some people interested. Anyone interested on your side?

Jurgen Bartels 2

Although they had US accent, don't forget, it could still be American DJ's working in a European station. For example in Monte Carlo there is Sunshine Radio (if my memory serves well), at that time I only heard IK-accent. But there could be other stations (in English) as well, in Geneva there's one too.

Peter Schwarz 3

Michael Bugaj schrieb:

John, what I would like to know is this: Are there any high power FM stations on 87.9 in the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Spain or France or anything else on the coast?

On 87.9:

UK: Nothing (maybe sometimes low-power temporarian stations)

France Inter from Toulouse 72kW h
France Culture from Parthenay 13kw h
R. France Drome from Valence 10kW h


The Netherlands
Radio 2 from Goes 15kW(vertical polarised)

Only low-powers

RNE-Clasica from Alfabia
RNE-4 (in Catalan language ) from Alpicat
RNE5 Todas Noticidas (News-Progr.) from Lerida

RDP Antena 1 from Lousa with 50kW h
(maybe the most possible?)

MDR Kultur from inselberg 60kW h
NDR Info from Heide 15kW h

(Data source: FM-LIST 99)
Hope that helps you a bit...

John Figliozzi

WRGB Channel 6 in Schenectady, NY transmits audio spot on 87.7 MHz. It can be picked up on all FM car radios in this area and the station even advertised that fact for its newscasts at one time. The audio sounds to me more like a network feed of some sort, although it could be Philly if they have an early morning news program prior to the network program at 7am.

Brent Taylor
CBC Moncton

hello mark,

greetings from moncton, new brunswick, canada.

I listened to that short audio burst you received. you're right, it's north american, but not from us. could be early morning tv from a u.s. station or stations.

brent taylor, information morning, c.b.c. radio, moncton.

Wayne Tiner
Chief Engineer, WECT Wilmington NC

-----Original Message-----
From: Tiner, Wayne
Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 4:38 PM
To: Mark Hattam
Subject: RE: question about your output 0615 on 11/29/99

Hi Mark,
I listened to your recording. The female voice is the voice of our Anchor person, Frances Weller. She is on our 5, 6 & 11pm news shows. You were right, it is us. The male voice sounds like the reporter in Charleston, SC which is also on the coast.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hattam
Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 12:49 PM
To: 'Tiner, Wayne'
Subject: RE: question about your output 0615 on 11/29/99

Hi Wayne,

Just to confirm ... the audio clip was 6.15 am Eastern ... which I believe would have been your "Carolina in The Morning" 6:00 2nd Half Hour segment according to your website.

Is it still Frances that you hear?

I don't want to jump up and down too much just in case.

From: "Tiner, Wayne"
To: Mark Hattam
Subject: RE: question about your output 0615 on 11/29/99
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 12:34:19 -0600

Yes it was. Fran does a recorded piece for the morning show every day.

Go ahead and JUMP.

Doug Smith 4

According to Dr Jean Burrell in Nfld, CBNAT is in French, and CJON carry cartoons at this time (7.45 am)

Interesting. Most French stations outside Quebec have the letter "F" in their callsigns. (like CBFJ in St. John's, or CBUFT in Vancouver) CBNAT doesn't meet that pattern - but they've changed patterns before...

BUT ... the chief engineer of WECT Wilmington NC recognises the female voice as Frances Weller their evening news anchor, who does a pre-recorded slot for the "Carolina in The Morning" program. Wilmington are right on the coast so it's therefore feasible for a dawn sea-path tropo duct/inversion to get it at least part way across the Atlantic.

Wilmington does frequently get into coastal ducts; the FM and UHF-TV stations in the area are frequently seen in the New York City area and southern Connecticut/Rhode Island. Another thing that probably helps is that the transmitting towers are unusually high in that area. (why, I have no idea)

That is a pretty good haul. I would have never guessed it was anything that far south!

Now for the station with the male presenter ...

I keep trying but just can't seem to find any highway 526 in a channel 6 city. I've checked as far west as Ohio and Alabama. One problem is that, sometimes, these highways are pretty short and don't show up on national maps..

Eric J Cooper 1

The male voice sounded very much like a local newsreader in Los Angeles, California named Kent Schocknek. He sounds as if he is referring to one of our local earthquakes. But the local television station he is on is KNBC-TV which operates on channel number 4 in our USA/Canada frequency bandplan which would be 66 to 72 MHz, NOT 87.7 . He sounds as if he is giving a time check for 5:26(?)--since Mr. Schocknek does the early morning news broadcast on that station, it fits.. However we had NO earthquakes that day that were reported by our local science labs that track these things, so it could have been a tape of something (I hear a woman's voice in there at the end). Or it could have been on another US affiliate of the National Broacasting Company network, which owns KNBC-TV. But the voice and what he is talking about definitely point to Los Angeles.

Eric Cooper
Mission Viejo California

Kralj Mirlan

FOS 5 WASHINGTON DC SKY FOX WITH RICHMOND WTVR ON TOP AND WHO ONLY KNOWS WHAT!!!!! You can watch both halfway between R and DC that was the mornig traffic reporter/weather guy there are two that sound similar.

WOW you're in England I would send it FOX 5 TV in Washington or TV 6 in Richmond they both use huge power outputs story is a ERP of millions I don't know I just watch but that sounds like FOX 5 in DC ALOT doing a traffic report from SKY FOX (they fly over my town at around 5 10 to about as late as 5 30 so you could have been hearing my towns traffic update!

Eric J Cooper 2

Nope, Sorry Kralj, That voice you heard WAS from Los Angeles, California. I live near there and I recognized it!
Eric Cooper

Chris McWhinnie

US TV Ch 6 VHF vision is 83.25, for sound add 4.5 MHz = 87.75

Its two stations I think in there.


This is a TV audio frequency.

Barry Steinholtz

The recording was definitely from an area which has Channel 6 in North America. This is the only tv audio frequency that overlaps FM on our side of the pond.

Arnold Evans

This is obviously a channel 6 somewhere in the US. To narrow it down, all you need to do is figure out where in the US it was "5:26" and you should be able to cut the possible number of channel 6 stations to a half dozen or so.. You'll be able to narrow it down even more if you can then determine which stations were airing news at the time and might have used a "live picture" as the voice mentioned.

Tom Messer

"obvious a channel 6 somewhere in US" ......and only find where it was 5:26. Taking the EASTERN TIMER ZONE for starters, there must be very many channel 6's where it's 5:26 at least twice a day. And 5:26 is a time that most stations are doing a newscast. In Milwaukee we have a channel 6 and yes the audio part of the signal was receivable on on any FM receiver on 87.5 MegaHertz.

Michael Bugaj 5

John Faulkner wrote
Apparently West coast US radio hams can communicate with Hawaiian hams in the summer via sea path - a HUGE distance. (nearly 3,000 miles?)

Not only that, but there is a guy in Hawaii who is a ham and an FM DXer who has logged FM stations from California and up and down the west cost via tropo. Two years ago he had a fantastic tropo opening into Mexico logging some FM stations from the Acapulco area. The .wav files were posted on the internet.

This is the equivalent distance as from London to New York City!

Jan Alvestad

Pertti Ayras wrote
I have heard that something from North America on FM has been heard in Norway in the past?

On July 31, 1988 I taped two American (probably US) stations fighting it out on 88.9 MHz. I heard the signals for a couple of minutes in heavy fading starting at 18:56 UTC. At the time there was an excellent Es opening towards northern Spain and Portugal and I had my antenna aimed at the southwest. It is possible that Es was even more intense towards the west and that there was a triple or quadruple hop towards the US. In FM News #53 (Aug.13, 1988) I wrote a few lines about this reception and a.o. I copied the following from the dominant of the 2 stations: "... continue working down south ..." and "... Right now with 3 minutes to go, here's the traffic". I even heard a reference to Cape Canaveral just before the station disappeared. The second station was more difficult to copy and the only words of interest were "... Rendezvous Houston, a laser- and-light show is going to use ..." The first station may have been a Floridan, the second I don't even want to guess about. Had the reception occurred just a couple of minutes later, a positive identification would have been possible...

Pentti Lintujarvi 2

The unid signal(s) recorded by Mark Hattam have aroused quite a lot of detection work. OK, let's play Sherlock Holmes and try to rule out the most obvious:

Since almost everybody have heard Channel Four mentioned, would it be possible it was the British Channel Four Television. The station's schedule for Monday 29th at 1115 says: 'The Mix: Art Store 2' and the educational programme was dealing with different kind of 3D-structures. This would explain the word 'picture'... I don't know anything about the prgramme and if it has a presenter with American accent. But I'm sure it's easy for Mark to check out this.

The signals (I think there were TWO separate stations) could have been a product of a temporary cross modulation or perhaps a leakage from a cable-TV system (we have had experiences of those here in Finland).

Jake Rees 1

I recognize the male voice to be reporter/news anchorman Kent Schocknek of KNBC-TV Channel 4 in Los Angeles, California. I'm certain of this. I live in that area. Click on his name under "On Air News Team" at:
Update ... this link is now dead. Kent Schocknek joined KCBS in April 2001. Here is his new biography page.

He is saying:

"We are feeling right now at five twenty-six...you're looking at a live picture.........our Channel 4 seismo-cam..." The beginning of the last word "seismo-cam" can just be made out.

Here is my theory. A TV station in North America was broadcasting a news feature about earthquakes. This would be on a channel 6 (?) at 11:15 UTC. At that time (6:15 AM Eastern, 5:15 AM Central, 4:15 AM Mountain, 3:15 AM Pacific) there are many news programs on the air both local and network on weekday mornings. The local ones start at 5 AM but there are earlier weekday overnight CBS & ABC network programs and early AM (5-7AM) CBS, ABC, & NBC programs. A local station or network (I'd guess a network) was running a feature story on past earthquakes. Or it could have been a Canadian network or local station running such a feature on earthquakes.

Kent Schocknek is somewhat famous for being on duty during the early AM (4:30 AM) Jan. 17 (16th?), 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles. Although he wasn't on air at 4:30 AM when the main quake hit, I'm pretty sure he was on air by 5:26 AM. And there were many sizable aftershocks all through that memorable day. I had been awake at 4:30 AM and it was the strongest quake I've ever felt. I think we are hearing an excerpt from that broadcast of Jan. 17, 1994. Although there may have been other days, I think, when Schocknek was on early AM duty during smaller quakes. The female voice is definitely (to my ear) another station interferring with the reception. My guess is that it is another station, as someone mentioned, maybe from Wilmington, North Carolina???

When he refers to the live picture he is talking about the seismo-cam that is switched to air when a quake or aftershock is happening. There was an aftershock happening at that moment. There was one time when he got partially under his table and this may have been that clip. I think he's taken some good-natured ribbing for doing that.

So, I don't know much about meteor skip but, understand, I don't think it was from Ch-4 in LA directly but from another station somewhere maybe in North America (or somewhere else?) broadcasting a feature on past earthquakes.

I'm absolutely certain it is Kent Schocknek in LA reporting a live quake (or aftershock) happening when he's on air.

Jake Rees 2

Mark asked
Wonder if it therefore narrows it down to NBC affiliates?

No, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure it was a Schocknek clip from either a news feature or documentary about past earthquakes. I know that Schocknek clips have been used in these type of programs that I've seen. PBS (Public Broadcasting System) has aired a program on earthquakes in which I think they used a clip of Schocknek. If you can find a Ch-6 PBS station that was airing such a documentary at that time. Or check with ABC & CBS to see if they had done a feature on one of their overnight or early AM news programs. Then find a Ch-6 affiliate that matches. It seems like the type of story that ABC or CBS might have run on their overnight news programs. They sometimes run retrospective type features whereas the early morning news programs tend to stick more to today's news. But any broadcaster might have used the clip, not just NBC. And as mentioned before, a Canadian broadcaster is a possibility.

I may try to do some checking myself. I've really gotten interested in this. A DX'er friend had e-mailed me about your web site. I'm sending him a cc of this e-mail. Congrats on the DX catch. I lived in Florida in the 1960's and used to catch sporadic E skip off of TV channel 3 which had no local broadcaster. I picked up stations from many northern states and Canada too. Meteor scatter is something I've never done but it sounds interesting.

Jake Rees 3

The Schocknek clip may have been from a PBS-TV series called "NOVA".

Of the earthquake documentaries, two that were produced in 1994 or later are "Killer Quake" and "Day The Earth Shook (The)". I think the Schocknek clip very well might have been from one of these two or possibly both. If that is the case, then it might have been a PBS station broadcasting on Ch-6.

Jukka Kotovirta

The male looking at "live pictures" of something, the lady fading on top with just a few words -seemingly from a different station. Hints towards tv news coverage.

Hard to tell their origin from the accent (as newsreaders tend to be very polished and "standardised" in their language). And it could be network px anyway. Still sounds a lot like US East Coast, not really Canadian... (I just spent a few days in Boston.)

Mode of propagation - meteor soundalike fading, probably SpE involved, or a rare double hop meteor (we have examples in Finland of Portuguese FM stations heard via meteor at 3300 kms distance...)

Anyway, most likely genuine North American TV sound... a great achivement! (I'm getting hungry, too!)

Harry Brown 1

We have Ch 6 in the Philadelphia area. I did not recognize any of the voices (others may).

Sounds like at least two different signals. The female voice at 10 seconds does not seem to be connected with the voices before. I've similar situations when in the car receiving the FM broadcast stations fade in and out via sporadic E over a 1000+ mile path.

Harry Brown 2

The voices are definately American.

US TV Channel 6 audio can be picked up easily on a radio tuning 87.7 MHz. I frequently listen to Channel 6 using my automobile FM radio (with the audio gain control increased due to the broad deviation of TV FM). US FM radios tune below the standard FM band (low end 88 MHz) and are on 100 KHz increments. I can hear the stations at 87.9 but 87.7 is much better.

Definitely seemed like two different stations with the propagation being either F or multihop Es. Very doubtful that it was MS.

Bryn (N4VM)

The anouncer sounds American. In part of the transmission he says 5:26 as a time, which would put the station in Central Standard time. This time is a little off your recoded time. He also says he is looking at a live picture, so this must be audio from a TV station.

That is about it.

Roger W. Amidon

"We're feeling it. At about 5:26..." I remember there was an earthquake on the West Coast - Los Angeles area - the other day. Wouldn't it be interesting if the earthquake itself caused some sort of bizzare propagation! It didn't sound like my local channel 6 (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

Tom Bryant

I just scanned through all of the comments and theories regarding the audio file of your mystery station on 87.7 MHz.

I feel that there can be NO DOUBT that the station with the female announcer is WECT in Wilmington, North Carolina. That in itself is a truly remarkable logging.

Based on reports thus far, your other station (with the incorrect time and channel 4 mention) is almost certainly an NBC affiliate. While WCSH would appear to lead the list of likely candidates (Miami is also a coastal NBC 6); the lack of local content will likely preclude positive identification. If the coastal transmitter location supposition is eliminated, the entire process of identifying immediately goes totally crazy by allowing consideration of everything from Johnstown, Pennsylvania to San Luis Obispo, California, to Corpus Christi, Texas...and a dozen or so others.

The mere fact that you were able to get positive identification on ONE of the stations, considering the brevity of the recording, is phenomonal.

Congratulations, Tom Bryant

Richard McCollum

Try WTVJ Miami FL which is also coastal and an NBC affilliate and runs a soft news show called Early Today. It is in fact owned by NBC as is KNBC.

Peter Wilson


UK TVDXers spend years trying to receive the USA, and you receive the TV sound by accident whilst looking for FM meteor scatter! - such is life.

Perhaps the 1994 earthquake report travelled into space for two and a half years than travelled back!!!! Have you had that explanation yet from Finland? UK Channel 4 leakage, with an American presenter was the "best" suggestion!

Peter Wilson

David Austin 1

Mark --- finally I was able to listen to your tape. I do not have Windows 95 on this computer (so much the better!) and I downloaded your WAV file.

The "our guest" is very, very likely Denise Weller (I know her last name is Weller; I am guessing at the "Denise" part) from WECT-6 in Wilmington NC. Perhaps it is the power of suggestion that I'm recognizing this voice, but she has kind of a fake-sounding, overly enunciated female newscaster voice, and it's really quite distinctive. We got WECT as our NBC affiliate when we lived in Myrtle Beach SC, so I heard her quite often. WECT runs "Carolina In The Morning", a soft-news program, in that time slot. It is quite likely that they would be introducing a guest at any point in this program.

I wonder if there is any way WECT could get a copy of this clip and play it for Ms. Weller, see if she recognizes her own voice?

David Austin 2

Frances Weller... that's it, *Frances* Weller. Somehow I didn't think "Denise" sounded quite right.

As Tom Bryant said, even if you were able only to get a positive ID on WECT, that would still be an excellent DX catch, from Wilmington NC to Britain!

David Austin 3

Mark asked: I presume of course you recognised Ms Weller's voice before reading WECT's contribution.

Not quite. When I heard mention of WECT, I instantly thought "Denise (really Frances) Weller", then replayed the audio clip to see if it sounded like her. She does, in fact, sound somewhat like Barbara Walters, which would explain why someone thought they recognized the voice. I can't discount the power of suggestion, but I can tell you that the voice is very distinctive.

I read the contributions on your page. The theory that this is a PBS documentary replaying the NBC Los Angeles reporter (Kent Schocknek) is interesting. I wonder if someone might get hold of both documentaries, play them, and see how far into the documentary this clip comes up. US TV programs generally begin on the hour or half-hour. If the clip appears 15 or 45 minutes into the tape, then you can look at the documentary beginning on SOME ch 6 PBS affiliate at 4:30 am or 5:00 am EST. I can tell you, though, that PBS affiliates rarely run documentaries at that hour, if they are even on the air at all. A few PBS affiliates run all night and replay evening programs in the middle of the night (as does NBC with part of its schedule). VHF PBS affiliates are far more common west of the Mississippi; I can't think of a PBS affiliate on channel 6 right off the top of my head but I'll see what I can produce.

David Austin 4

So we've got WECT more or less positively identified. As for the Kent Schocknek clip, I think it's fallacious to conclude that the second ch 6 **MUST** be an NBC affiliate. As Tom Bryant pointed out, it could be a "century in review"-type program, and I think it's more reasonable to think that the second ch 6 could be any full-power ch 6 along the east coast of North America. My hunch is that it's either WCSH Portland ME, WLNE New Bedford MA, or WPVI Philadelphia. But I can't prove it.

Karel Honzik

It reminds me of two English speaking DJs at Radio Flash in Presov, Slovakia (103.7 MHz). Their show is called "Ebony And Ivory", they are Henry Brandon (a black DJ from Brooklyn, New York, living in Presov) and Jonathan Gresty (a language and literature teacher at the English Faculty in Presov). Gresty is on the air at 10-11 pm and Brandon at 11pm-midnight. Their shows have a 50-50 talk-to-music ratio.

Bernd Trutenau

Another example is the "David Fox Show" on the Polish R.Plus network, Mon-Fri 17:00-18:50 UTC.

Lisa Cacicia

Hello from Johnstown, PA.
Has anyone gotten back to you on this issue? Interesting ... we also broadcast on 2 audio channels. The second is for Radio Reader which is a service for the blind in our region. I am one of the overnight producer/writer/editors and we get alot of calls because people end up having the SAP audio and not the broadcast audio on their sets. If you don't hear from anyone in the next couple of days just drop me another line and I will found out about it myself for you. Just E-mail me at home, because we usually end up not seeing any of our mail, because by the time we get there its gone. I am surprised that I found this one..

Ernie Belanger

You can RULE OUT WRGB in Albany, NY. The voices are not any of their morning reporters.

Michael Bugaj 6

Tom Bryant seems to think this is as far as we can go with this, but I disagree. If that earthquake segment was from NBC, which it was, then it had to be aired on an NBC station, from either the network or one of it's affiliates.

Now at 5am stations run local news. So that bit had to be run on a local NBC affiliate. With that in mind, and if I am correct about this (which I hope I am), then the NBC affiliates to check would be WCSH Portland, ME and WTVJ Miami, FL.

Outside of those two, it would really be a stretch. WJAC in Johnstown PA would be the next to check. The rest of the NBC 6s are really way out there. CJCH-6 in NS runs 100kw, CHSJ-TV1 -6 in NB has 100kw, also CJON-6 in St John, NFlnd runs 100kw, but I think that one has been ruled out. I have no idea if any of the Canadians takes pgms from NBC.

Nice going on the confirmation from WECT! Truly amazing! Just as I thought, two separate meteor bursts.

That explanation of the "...we are feeling at 6:38"..., or whatever time that was , the word "feeling" seemed out of place. Now I know why. Are you sure you are not related to Sherlock Holmes??? Great detective work on this.

I sent an attaachment. It came from Monday's local newspaper. It is part of the weather page. Maybe you can use it?

This is now on the weather page

Doug Smith 5

Mark Hattam wrote: I'll put up the weather picture on the site tonight ... it's a screen grab from a full screen RealVideo stream, so it's not great ... but good enough.

I'll try to take a look at that tonight. I'm on vacation with a laptop with only a 14.4KB modem so am not going to be looking at any streaming video! (ironically, I will probably be in Wilmington NC sometime early this week! - but only for about an hour. Maybe I should stake out 87.7 for some European signals (grin).)

That pattern has certainly yielded interesting openings in the past. Southern Florida to Nova Scotia on the 144MHz ham band; also, a ham in the Turks & Caicos Islands (eastern end of the Bahamas chain) once received a UHF TV station in Portland, Maine that way about 10 years ago. Due to lack of land, we really don't know how far east this can go -- a TV DXer in northeast Maine did receive a Band III station from St. John's Newfoundland just this year. It could certainly propagate a signal a fair fraction of the way across, enough to link with one good meteor burst.

I should say, if this was a duct assist, it severely limits the list of possible targets. It is rather rare for tropo to cross the Appalachian Mountains. There are only eight U.S. channel 6 stations far enough east to be possible into this duct:

ABC - WJBF Augusta, GA; WLNE New Bedford, MA; WPVI Philadelphia
CBS - WCPX Orlando, FL; WTVR Richmond, VA
NBC - WTVJ Miami, FL; WCSH Portland, ME; WECT Wilmington, NC

Note that there are no PBS atations on this list. In fact, the furthest east such station on channel 6 is in northeastern Michigan. (or Puerto Rico - I'm unclear on how much of that station's schedule is in Spanish)

Regarding Pertti Ayras' comments about FM ducting among the islands off Africa's northwest coast (Canaries, Cape Verde, etc.)... There was a report in the QST amateur radio magazine about 20 years ago of trans-Atlantic FM tropo from the Azores. A U.S. amateur stationed at the US Air Force Base there reported first hearing stations from the mainland of Europe (as far east as Germany if I recall properly); the opening then swung the other direction, bringing in several U.S. stations. Atlantic City, New Jersey 96.9 is the only one I remember for sure. In any case, at least in that region the ducts *can* make it all the way across.

Tom Bryant 2

I neglected a relatively major consideration in evaluating the origin of transmitter which aired the NBC clip.

Someone mentioned that PBS had used that particular snippet in a documentary on tornadoes several years ago.

Overnight PBS programming is something I know almost nothing about. My guess is that most PBS stations that remain on the air all night probably carry whatever is uplinked from the main headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. In that event, it would be relatively easy to find out if there was indeed such a program available for broadcast at that time.

Should you positively determine that, you have another problem! It might been received from ANY of the channel 6 PBS transmitters (less that 10 nationwide, I believe). None of them is at an eastern coastal location.

In the event such programming was NOT originated in Virginia, individual checks of each station might be worthwhile...and would perhaps ferret out a non-conforming station which was airing material other than the national feed.

While I am not optimistic that the exact source will ever be known, there are at least a few unturned stones.

Loraine Koski

Thank you for your interesting e-mail report!

I am unable to listen to audio on my PC but can tell you that you were not listening to WLUC-TV 6 from the dialogue you described.

I took a look at our commercial log for that morning (615-617A, Mon, 11/29) and at that time we would have been giving a local weather forecast (live from our studio) followed by a short commercial break (Frei Chevrolet).

Hope you're not too disappointed.

Loraine Koski
WLUC Programming Assistant

Jane Hefler

CJCH-TV was airing a local information/entertainment program called 'Breakfast Television'. We do air news updates within the show.

Joe Jackson 1

dear mark i can tell you exactly what you heard. i live north of Sacramento, California. what you heard was the television station channel 6, which is our local pbs t.v. station. you heard the audio on 87.7 fm radio for the television station. after seeing your info in the shortwave news group i suspected your hit to be the channel 6 pbs t.v. station in sacramento california. the station is kvie. i confirmed this by turning on the t.v. and turning on my radio(dx 398) and tuning to the frequency range that you stated....... and there it was.....kvie channel 6 public broadcasting television station.

Joe Jackson 2

i emailed you earlier today. you picked up kvie channel 6 in sacramento, california. kvie is a public television station,commonly called pbs over here in the states. i tuned my radio to 87.7 this morning and picked up kvie from the television station. hope this helps.

Jake Rees 4

I'm still wondering about the identity of your FM 87.75 MHz. DX catch.

Perhaps I've gone off the deep end. But it's challenging to try to pin it down. Again, I have no doubt whatsoever that the male voice is Kent Schocknek (actually the KNBC website spells it Shocknek) describing an earthquake (or aftershock) as it was happening. The female voice is from a different station and I can believe it was from the Wilmington, North Carolina Ch-6 since some people recognized the voice.

I wrote an e-mail to both CBS and ABC asking if they had aired a segment concerning earthquakes of the past. No response so far and I'm not holding my breath waiting for one. Someone mentioned "Early Today" on NBC and that they sometimes do soft news. That's a possibility. Someone might try to contact them. The problem is getting a response from these New York produced overnight and early morning shows. This is such a "niche" thing. The other thing that came to mind is: why would anyone be doing a retrospective story on past earthquakes? The last big quake was in Turkey in the middle of Nov., if I'm not mistaken. Nov. 29 seems too late to be doing something like a general retrospective about earthquakes.

I don't know if another network other than NBC could have used the Shocknek footage. NBC may have released the footage for historical use.

I did a little web research and determined that the Northridge LA 1994 earthquake was on Jan. 17 and happened at 4:31 AM PST local time. There was indeed a sizable aftershock at 5:26:45 AM PST. That morning Shocknek was on duty. I even have a tape of some of his coverage but not at 5:26 AM. That morning I had two VCR's and was recording various satellite feeds and local off-air TV stations. I reviewed the tapes but did not have Shocknek on Ch-4 at 5:26 AM. In any case, I know it's his voice on your DX catch clip.

A new idea has come to mind. I found out via web surfing that there is a video tape for sale called "CNN: Quake". It is specifically about the 1994 Northridge LA earthquake and the first days afterwards. It is certainly possible that a TV advertizement was being run to sell this video tape at 11:15 UTC Nov. 29 on some Ch-6 in probably the US but maybe Canada. The idea being that the Shocknek clip was part of the ad. Now, I don't know if the Shocknek clip is on the video or if it's being advertized on TV. Obviously, the producers of the video would have gotten a release from NBC or buy the rights to use the footage. I would venture a guess that it has local TV video footage in it. I know that I've seen plenty of other video tapes being advertized on TV but don't remember seeing this one. Just an idea anyway. Commercials are logged by the stations, I assume, but if you contact all the local Ch-6's, how many will check for you and respond?

Someone might contact the producers of "CNN: Quake" or Kent Shocknek and ask if a clip of Mr. Shocknek was used in the production. Or ask if the video tape is being advertized on TV. But even if all this is so, it leaves every commercial Ch-6 in the US (& Canada?) as possibilities. Not too much help. I guess that the strongest possibility is that the station was more or less within a line going from London to Wilmington which would skirt the east coast of the US and the Maritimes of Canada and go all the way down to Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. So would that eliminate the rest of North America?

I brought up the idea of an eathquake documentary being broadcast by a PBS affiliate. I agree that it is not likely that such a program would be broadcast at 6:15 AM in the Eastern time zone or at 5:15 AM in the Central time zone and probably not at 4:15 AM and 3:15 AM respectively in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. I brought it up because sometimes you might see all kinds of programs on PBS in the wee hours of the morning at least in big cities. But 5 AM or 6 AM for a documentary would be odd, I guess. I checked KRMA Ch-6 in Denver, Colorado via a website and as best I could determine, they were not airing anything about earthquakes at that time.

Here is a URL that tells about "CNN: Quake":


I can't offer the translation, but I can suggest that it is not WPVI-TV 6 from Philadelphia. I'm a regular watcher and I do not recognize either of the voices. My expectation is that it would be a Boston area station, since they sound like they are getting live footage fed in and there was just a horrible fire and 6 firemen died near Boston. WLNE-TV (New Bedford, Massachusetts) or WCSH-TV (Portland, Maine) would be my suggestions as most likely.

Nice DX catch!

Ray Vaughan

At first I thought the 'at 526' was a time check. But that doesn't match your record time. So '526' could be a highway.

The accents are American... I'm almost positive I can rule out any of the news anchors on WTVJ, Ch 6 in Miami. I know our low band stations can really fly on the Gulf Stream.

Maybe search the news sources for any report of a gas leak on that date on the east coast. Good luck with your hunt... just hearing it gave me goose flesh.

Bob Knott 1

Your guess of a tropo duct linked to a meteor burst (or multiple bursts) works. The front extends from the Carolina coast to the mid Atlantic. The BBC map indicates an extension of the front towards England. Typical M/S contacts extend 1200-1500 miles. Some tropo to the mid-path point, coupled to a burst would complete the path. Another possiblity is an Es link extending west from England linking to the duct, with the burst. We have had some Es in the past month over here but I don't know what conditions have been on that side. 50 MHz. Es contacts are weaker and shorter single hop distances than F2 contacts. F2 contacts on 50 MHz. could extend worldwide.

It was early in the day for F2 propagation to EU. We had F2 on 50MHz. to Europe several days in Nov., but the typical times are 1330-1500Z, occuring around 1200 local time at the mid-path F2 point. There are several "beacons" operating from the east coast of the US as propagation indicators. Two from New England are on 50.61 (W1VHF) and 50.71Mhz (W1RA). A 144.282MHz. beacon, W1RJA/b is on 24/7 beaming to EU from RI (FN41fo) in an attempt to complete a trans-Atlantic QSO on 144MHz.

For further 50 MHz. DX spots/info check the following pages:
http://raven.cybercomm.net/~slapshot/dxing/50prop.html (or the Magic Band link at the top of the page)
http://oh2aq.kolumbus.com/dxs/ then select the frquency you are interested in for real time reports of propagation.

It would be helpful to know the ham prefixes of the countries. Ex. EA=Spain, CT=Portugal, ZL=New Zeland Reports like: Dec 5 13:48 48.242(CT) to s7 direct >FN65 de W1xxx means: Portuguese video via direct path being received in grid FN65 (Maine) or Dec 5 13:39 48.250 very weak skewed SE (Not 3ctv)>FN65 de W1xxx: 48.250 video (EA) being received via a skewed path to the southeast of the expected bearing, probably a F2 reflection from over the equator, not 3c (Equatorial Guinia) televison. Many amateurs from around the world monitor these pages for propagation reports. 28.885 MHz USB is also a reporting/liasion frequency for 50 MHz. propagation. Activity to here from England begins about 1300Z, 1/2 hour before the video begins. There are also Ch. 6 XMTRs in Portland ME. and here in Providence RI, both coastal locations, which is why I mentioned the 6 meter beacons as indicators. There are mulitple FM TV sound carriers on 59.75 MHz, 65.75 MHz, 71.75 MHz and 81.75 MHz as well as 87.75 MHz. from over the entire east coast. The Boston National Public Radio station is on 89.7 with an ERP of 100,000 watts. That one is probably your best chance of hearing US radio. Most FM's here are 50KW ERP. They also have streaming audio from the web site so you could verify the source! www.wgbh.org

73 and GD DX!
Bob, K1RWK


There seem to be two different transmissions. One is describing what a camara is showing (perhaps from a helicopter) at 5:26, while the other transmission with a woman's voice is reporting about a gas leak.

Bob Knott 2

In response to your thoughts on the ducted path vs. meteor enhancment. I would assume the duct is mearly a vehicle to carry the signal. Once the duct runs out the signal resorts to "normal" dispertion or atmospheric attenuation. But yes, I understand what you are saying about the size of a tropo duct. My thought was the signals were ducted by the front to the mid Atlantic and then by scatter on to you. I do believe there were 2 meteors at different angles and intensity, one causing the longer burn and the other the short burst. When I work meteor scatter, I do not use elevation on my antennas. I rely on "normal" propagation to pick up my signal and link it to any ionized trail left by the meteor. Some hams with EME arrays have checked the angle of received signals from various modes of propagation, but most of us do not tilt the antenna.

Coastal tropo on low VHF here is quite common, but not at this time of the year. I routinely hear lower power FM's and have the low VHF channels in at my house from southern coastal areas in July and August. I usually see enhancement on the low V's and then have it move up in frequency, but there are also times UHF is wide open and there is no hint of it at the lower frequencies. There are many evenings that I cannot watch Ch.2 from Boston (55 miles) due to co-channel interference from Ch. 2 in New York (150 miles) wiping it out off the back of my antenna.

David Storrs

Perhaps you rx'ed AFN in Eu. They have many Tx's Broadcasting throughout the world, in Germany there are many Tx's within the 1800 to 2500kms best reflection zone.

Keith Naylor

Without speculating the transmission source(s) it quite definatively displays all the characteristics of a meteor reflected FM signal. Despite any deficiencies in the recording/sampling/translation, if I perform an FFT analysis on the clip it shows the same characteristics as many other known FM MS clips at distances of circa 1700-1950km. "Double" hop MS bursts have been reported on 144MHz, but are very rare. Since the reflection medium is expected to appear at similar altitudes to that of the E-layer then one might anticipate this is to be expected. There is no definative records of triple hop via Es or MS, however, this is tongue in cheek since failure to identify the signal in many cases has led down a blind alley.( e.g 49.750+/- from the Urals/Siberia is x3 from the UK....).

I understand that the ch6 TV outlet in Wilmington NC (Locator:FM14cg) confims the transmission and IDENTIFIES the announcer. I am not sure of your location (W.London) but the distance is around 6300km. I have no idea of the ERP of the reported station, however, assuming it is that close to the coast then what antennas are they running, surely maximising the pattern inland ?. How accurate is the timing of the recording ?, because it should be absolutely possible to determine the precise transmission source given some further investigations. For the future maybe you could consider a dual channel receiver: Feed some of the I.F signal of your RX into a product detector and record as a stereo pair. This means the doppler shift on the signal(s) may be ascertained quite/more simply with a sound card and FFT software.

Mathias Volta

I listened several times to your WAV-file and I guess it must be surely an US-Amerikan station.

My English is pretty OK so I'm able to realize some differences not only between US and UK accents but also in the US and UK.

I frequently listen to Forces' radio BFBS 1 here in Germany, sometimes to AFN in Frankfurt and I also have some tapes of US radio given by a friend from Kentucky and taped by myself in Dallas/TX.

I compared your file with my tapes of US radio and I conclude your "catch" comes somewhere from the Eastern US.

Sorry for not helping you more but thats my idea...

Good luck catching more of that !!!

Michael Smith

Very Interesting. Some thoughts, in no particular order. Having lived in Moncton ,NB several years, and having lived somewhere in NB nearly all my life, I think I can say with some assurance that this is NOT a Canadian or NB accent. Sounds to me not like a VO1 accent either ,as most there are very distinct. Sounds more like something near Washington, DC ,USA accent (etc.)

I definately believe transatlantic receptions @ VHF are most certainly possible. My friend G4CQM, Derrick has heard 90MHz+ from Cape Breton, NS during multi-Es. My friend VE1RG (when he lived in VO1) has had Airline pilot friends rx UK sigs @ 122MHz during the 1960's/70's from Shannon control. (ETC. ETC.) During a strong Perseids a few years ago we ran a number of 2m skeds with the UK, and I, myself, heard weak garbled audio briefly from the UK station.

VE1ASJ (now ve9dx) has also had limited success at 70MHz (and 144MHz?) years ago via MS to the UK. (consult the archives over there...)

I guess I can't help you on this *specific* report, yet I can at least say, "keep listening!".

Shame no one on this side was monitoring 70.185MHz at the time! (and 50.185 or 28.885)
73 de Mike ve9aa, a VHF Transatlantic believer... :-)

Mike Hie

Very interesting, sounds like a live news feed with another comming in over top of it. The male voice distinctly says "looking at a live..". Try checking into newspaper archives for major natural disasters or anything of great importance which would warrant live coverage at that time of day. Also one may try the news services like CNN or Reuters, they may even be so kind to search their data if you point out that this may be a possible world record for dx ( they could use it as advertising as an insentive for them to search!). I would try to identify the male voice first as this contains more information. Also try checking what the conditions were eg. flux possible solar flares or any meteors which may have been a contributing factor (who knows?). I am going to forward this web page to Art Bell in hopes he will play it over the air on his talk show, someone may be listening who knows what it is.

Gary Mitchelson

"Now at 5:26, you are looking at a live picture." This is most likely the newscast showing live traffic cameras, but they claim the time is 5:26 (local) and you recorded this a 15 past the hour.

Peter Crosland

The www.fcc.gov web site lists NO FM stations on 87.7. Could it be Canadian or even an American forces in Europe station?

David Edwards

sounds US. Could it be US tx in Europe?

Andy J

Sounds like just the one signal to me, with the female voice interrupting the male - you can hear both at once at one point which is impossible with two signals and the FM capture effect.

The flutter builds to a short period of stable signal in much the same way as aircraft reflections - I assume MS is similar although I admit I've no experience of MS.

I don't think you can draw any definite conclusions from this.

The programme audio seems most likely to be a documentary about 'quakes - it was originally TV commentary but could just as easily have been used to make a radio programme.

Given that the content of the audio is not live, it could have come from anywhere! I once heard "Kacy Kasem" (sp?!) presenting a US Chart show but that was almost certainly from a US forces station in Europe (the best bit was later on when the tape was playing in reverse).

It could even have been audio from a satellite broadcast that found its way to you from a local pirate radio experimenter! Unlikely, but I'm making the point that it's going to be quite difficult to prove anything conclusively from this.

Your best hope is to somehow find out if any station anywhere (!) was airing an item on 'quakes at the time - good luck!

Dave Austin 5

I was in Myrtle Beach last weekend and did listen to Frances Weller on WECT, but unfortunately I was not able to record her voice for you. I took a Radio Shack tape recorder that I had never before used for recording, and it malfunctioned.

Anyway, I did listen to Frances Weller, and I have no practical doubt that the "our guest" is her talking. I listened to her voice and speech pattern very closely, and it has to be her.

Congratulations on a spectacular DX logging!

John McCullagh 1

Obviously American - but uncertain as to source, I wonder what your RX set up is, there sounds like possible intermod/crossmod but rather difficult to tell

Andy Napier


Andy J

I don't think it was aircraft scatter, it doesn't sound the same, I meant that it was SIMILAR in some ways, I'd put my money on MS.

I've put the sample into WaveLab and played around with it - I'm sure there are definitely two voices simultaneously on the same carrier.

Even if it was two signals that just SO HAPPENED to fit together (time-wise) to give the interruption effect (I'd be most surprised if it were so) what are the chances of getting two bursts on the same frequency from different stations in the same ping?

Tim B. Gunter

It sounds like you were picking up TV transmission from somewhere in America. On 87.7 FM, one may pick up a TV signal from either channel 5 or channel 6 and it sounds like some cheesy talk show, but I don't know where exactly.


Hi Mark, that's an interesting signal you have recorded. However 87.7 MHz is used in the UK for low power FM broadcasting to a local area. One such is Bailrigg FM a station run by students at Lancaster University covering the University and the surrounding couple of miles, or thereabouts. This same frequency is used for similar stations throughout the UK. Maybe it's one of these signals you have heard. They do transmit a lot of "junk".

John McCullagh 2

Yes, I have now read the results page and it seems fairly conclusive that you really have landed one! On listening again (and again) I think meteor scatter must indeed be the answer. The transmission sounds fairly similar to ones that I used to hear on 4 metres from Poland and the Eastern Block when they used low band for FM broadcast. I am not sure if all stations have moved up to the normal 88 - 108 yet or if some are left down there.

Anyway congratulations and I will watch out for further developments. By the way I am plagued with overload from the high power transmitter at Divis which is only a few miles away and fully line of sight, that's probably why I mentioned crossmod!

Derek Hilleard

You seem to have been quite lucky in what you have heard and recorded. However I do recall that in November some local UK FM stations were doing link ups with stations in North America as part of the 'Thanksgiving' celebrations, this may have been a short burst of one of these? I can confirm what Mike Smith told you, I heard CBC Sydney Nova Scotia on TWO occasions during intense Sporadic 'E' to North America. First time was 15th June 1994 at 23.14 UTC and again on 22nd June 1994 at 21.48 UTC, frequency 95.9Mhz. This was a French speaking local station running 500W RF O/P. 1994 and 1995 being particularly good years for TransAtlantic Sporadic 'E' propagation, 95 infact the peak. I have also copied the TransAtlantic beacon VE1SMU/H on 144.300Mhz as a very weak Tropo signal on Monday 6th July 1998 at 13.15 UTC for around 20 minutes. Also VE1HD claims to have heard an MS burst from me during tests in the 1993 'Persids', 11th August 22.07 UTC sequence. All of this has been the subject of many News Reports and Magazine open debates. The TransAtlantic path on 144Mhz remains as difficult as ever.

Richard Newstead

Sounds like the time was maybe 5:26??


Sounds like part of a live audio feed from a live remote operation from a tv station, like the tv station using that freq. To send audio back to their studio. I would not be suprised if you found that no one is licensed for that freq.

Kent Shocknek via Jake Rees

Hi Jake: We're finally getting up to speed in our newsroom, and I'm just now discovering e-mail from months ago... including yours.

Interesting! The spoiler is, that I have no idea, where this tape might have started life. I doubt seriously that nbc would sell or give tape to cnn for a commercial tape they could profit from. But with so many cable nbc nets this days, who knows where our material ends up in the end. It sounds like a fascinating hobby. Good luck with it; sorry I couldn't shed any light!

kent shocknek

Bob Mobile 1

This sounds (male voice "looking at a live picture") like USA and not with a Canadian accent. I've played this over and over! Between 1339-1443 UTC on that date, I was working into Scotland and N. Ireland on 50 MHz. Conditions were "fair" here in NH. It remains possible that this (clearly N. American) reception may have been a linkup "feed" to the Canadian provinces and based upon the very short reception, likely MS-F2 propagation linkup.

Best Regards,
Bob K1SIX (ex-WA1OUB)
FN43ad New Hampshire

Bob Mobile 2

The first time I listened to this completely unbiased. Now, I've read many of the reports. The female appears to be a separate and distinct signal and not an interruption of the male dispatch. Pay particular attention to the LAST audible portion of the male dispatch (after "live picture"). If the female has been positively identified as from N. Carolina then it is likely the male voice (yes it does sound like Peter Jennings) is being transmitted from a source in relatively close proximity to NC (Unlikely from the West Coast of the USA). Again, on this date I was able to contact N. Ireland and Scotland on 50 MHz direct F2 but not within this particular time frame (about 2 hours later). If you agree that the Solar Angle has a bearing on the propagation and the propagation is from N. America-- then it was likely a re-broadcast of an earlier event from a station located somewhere in the extreme Eastern USA or Canada. I can do Solar Elevation angles from ANY locati! on and it is my belief that this propagation was from a location(s) within the greyline!

Best Regards,

Norman Fitch

I've played your audio clip several times but haven't yet looked at your 'results' file. This sounds typical of US or Canadian news-type broadcasts, the characteristics of which seem to be very quick delivery of headlines, rather than the more leisurely delivery of 'proper' news readers in the British media.

At the beginning of the clip, in amongst the noise, there is a background of mumbled speech. Was that there all the time, I wonder? This phenomenon has been reported many times by those who have regular skeds on 2m with stations well out of normal tropo range. Opinions vary regarding the propagation mode - FAI, ionoscatter, etc.

The operators reporting these phenomena are generally those with large antenna arrays, eg EME-type stations using masthead preamps. These very low-level signals have been observed quite often during MS skeds, interspersed with the usual pings and bursts.

Now MS contacts on 2m rarely exceed the theoretical range of around 1,800km for E-layer reflexions. There are instances of greater distances - the DUBUS Toplist lists many over 2,000k, though, eg DK6AS/UA4NM at 2,510km.

Your clip has all the characteristics of a meteor burst but it would have to be a multiple hop event, but I know of no such example in the amateur field. The crucial factor is this low-level background signal as I can imagine long distance propagation by this mode enhanced by a 'local' meteoroid reflexion at one end.

Polar-E propagation on the northern side of the auroral zone is a known fact and there are plenty of instances of such very long distance QSOs, even on low power FM, across the Canadian Arctic.

Now you time this clip at 1115UT and there is the phrase containing the words "five twenty six..." If this is a time check that would put the transmitter in a time zone six hours behind us, ie the CST in the States and Canada. However, 526 might be nothing to do with time, so I could be barking up the wrong tree.

So my guess would be that the station(s) heard were in northern Canada, maybe even in the NWT, and that the backgound signal is by the aforementioned Auroral-E mode. I swop VHF/UHF with my colleague Emil Pocock, W3EP, who writes 'The World Above 50MHz' column in QST. I've asked him to listen to your clip in case he can come up with ideas.

One final point, I am quite convinced that the signals did *not* originate in Europe.

Doug Smith
WSMV-TV Engineering

FYI, the ERP of this station (and of virtually all other USA Band I main transmitters) is 100kW. Despite the coastal location, the transmitting antenna is non-directional. (Directional antennas are relatively unusual for American main transmitters on FM and TV. They're slightly more common for UHF TV and low-power relay transmitters.)

I have a list of NA Band I main transmitters on http://home.earthlink.net/~w9wi/tvdb/natv.htm, and a more comprehensive list of NA TV transmitters (both main and relay) on http://home.earthlink.net/~w9wi/tvdb/.

Doug Smith


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