Category Archives: Band II

Elad FDM-S2 Not Deaf!

During the Whitsun week I tested the Perseus FM+ against the Elad FDM-S2 at the Carcassonne QTH. Now here’s the rub……..I identified a dodgy F female to BNC male adapter. And on testing the FM+/Elad/XDR I found they are all about the same sensitivity on 93.3 RNE Radio Nacional Cataluña from Rococorba – slight edge to the XDR. So I take it back (see previous post 21 April 2015) – the Elad is not deaf on Band II. Leaves me with some egg on my face but I’m happy that the discrepancy between receiving in London and Carcassonne has been resolved.

So why do some dxers find the Elad deaf? Dodgy connectors? Sample variations? Hmmmmm………….

Band II: Elad FDM-S2 vs Sony XDR vs RTL Dongles

I was at the Carcassonne QTH over Easter and I was wanting to do a test on Band II in between the Elad FDM-S2, Sony XDR (Konrad modded), E4000 generic dongle and an ezcap R820T2 dongle. The QTH is in a rural location and I can hear several Catalan stations over 100 km away through the gaps in the Pyrenees.

First I had to order and have delivered a 6m 3mm thick 50mm diameter alum pole to replace a 2mm thick one which had collapsed at the top bracket due to the high winds – the worst part of living in the area – no doubt. I reinstalled a couple of FM5s in H and V orientation. Feedlines come into shack and into a Maplin 2-way F switch. Then output from switch goes into a Maplin 4-way splitter (no pre-amp). So with one switch I can switch between H and V signals.

For the tests I beamed at 120 degrees on 102.2 Mhz – Catalunya Ràdio from Rocorba – 25kw and a distance from me of 139 km. (data from FMlist), and used H polarised twig.

Sony XDR was as usual superb – good signal on 102.2. Next came a generic E4000 dongle which gave up some audio in SDR# – not good though.The Elad and the R820T2 dongle had no audio on 102.2.

I was surprised the Elad was so poor – I can now see why pre-amps are required. I did not bring the Perseus FM+ but I will do next time.

I finally checked the powerful 103.6 Flaixbac outlet from Maçanet de Cabrenys at a distance of 103 km. FMlist says the power is 0.2 kw. I’m pretty sure it’s much higher than that. It’s audible in many locations in Aude and Pyrenees Orientales. At my QTH it powers in, and the XDR was rocking, both dongles were about the same while Elad had audio but trailed the dongles.

I was so surprised by how poor the Elad was that I by-passed the 4-way splitter on 102.2 – to no avail. I am very surprised that there has been no real outcry about high poor the Elad is out of the box on Band II. It certainly is not deaf on MF.



Tropo Enhancement in Carcassonne

Some excellent tropo enhancement in Carcassonne yesterday with 19 Catalan stations making it across the Pyrenees. Logs can be seen here:

I performed the Konrad mod on the Sony XDR I have out here and it is a superb performer with a horizontal Triax FM5 in the clear beaming 150 degrees. I also have a vertical FM5 available at the press of a button – 101.6 MHz in Horizontal brings in France Bleu Roussillon while switching to vertical you have RTL. Interesting to note the over-rated Hepburn maps showed no signs of tropo  for this area –

Tropo in Carcassonne

A bit of tropo in Carcassonne afternoon of 02 October 2013 . Duct was very narrowly focused to the SE across the Med to Sardinia. Video shows how RAI Radio 2 95.3 MHz from Tempio Pausania/Monte Limbara was sounding (and looking) on the Perseus FM+ with Triax FM5 at 125 degrees.

All the stations logged yesterday afternoon can be seen at
The Catalan stations are in virtually all the time wheras the Sardinians were tropo enhancement. Interesting to see the Catalan path just to east of where Pyrenees really start and to the west of the Alberes range.,

Incredible Signal Strengths

During yesterday’s tropo lift there were some incredible signal strengths – particularly from Belgian stations. Video below shows how RTBF’s Classic 21 was coming into London like a local.

The tropo was very narrowly defined as can be seen by my log on FMLIST. I did try beaming at 70 degrees but there was no duct to The Netherlands.