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Deutsche Welle?

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dnlbrrg

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If you go to the Deutsche Welle website to find out about frequencies they say they do not broadcast to North America. However, this month, while surfing around the SW bands, I've come across DW on a few occasions both in German and English. The signal, by the way, was very decent.

I'm wondering, can anyone shed some light on this? Are they now broadcasting to North America again or am I picking up something sent to a different region due to weather conditions?

If it helps, the last time I picked them up was today 09/24/11 at around 21:00 UTC, the frequency was 15640 and the programming was in English.
 

ka3jjz

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Local weather conditions won't have much to do with this, but solar weather might. More than likely you are picking up a transmission beamed in another direction, which by coincidence, has a good path to North America. Propagation on the higher HF bands has been better with a higher flux level, so this is to be expected

best regards...Mike
 

k9rzz

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Thank you for giving the time and frequency! That makes the detective work SO much easier.

I looked up their current "Summer" schedule: http://www.dw-world.de/popups/popup_pdf/0,,8920340,00.pdf

2100 - 2157 daily 09735kHz (31 m) SINES East & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011
2100 - 2200 daily 11865kHz (25 m) KIGALI West & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011
2100 - 2200 daily 15275kHz (19 m) SINES East & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011
2100 - 2200 daily 15640kHz (19 m) KIGALI West & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011

So, you're hearing their programming from a transmitter in Kigali, Rwanda aimed at West and Central Africa.

I made up a map for 2100z so you can see how the signal travels from Rwanda straight to North America.



Their transmitter probably runs 100Kw, so at their target in Africa, the signal is probably crazy loud, able to be heard well on just about any piece of junk radio. You're getting them on the second or third hop off the ionosphere, and the pattern on those antennas isn't narrow like a laser, it's fairly broad, probably like 45 degrees or so. Plenty wide to cover a broad area and still plenty loud.

Hope that helps!
 
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ka3jjz

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Interesting that Kigali is in darkness at that time, but the signal still makes it. The higher flux levels makes all the difference...best regards..Mike
 

k9rzz

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Right you are. As the solar flux climbs that band will be open 24/7. Just like the 20 meter ham band, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can turn on the rig and always find someone, somewhere in the world to talk to. Fun!
 

dnlbrrg

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Thank you for giving the time and frequency! That makes the detective work SO much easier.

I looked up their current "Summer" schedule: http://www.dw-world.de/popups/popup_pdf/0,,8920340,00.pdf

2100 - 2157 daily 09735kHz (31 m) SINES East & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011
2100 - 2200 daily 11865kHz (25 m) KIGALI West & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011
2100 - 2200 daily 15275kHz (19 m) SINES East & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011
2100 - 2200 daily 15640kHz (19 m) KIGALI West & Central Africa 27.03.2011 - 29.10.2011

So, you're hearing their programming from a transmitter in Kigali, Rwanda aimed at West and Central Africa.

I made up a map for 2100z so you can see how the signal travels from Rwanda straight to North America.



Their transmitter probably runs 100Kw, so at their target in Africa, the signal is probably crazy loud, able to be heard well on just about any piece of junk radio. You're getting them on the second or third hop off the ionosphere, and the pattern on those antennas isn't narrow like a laser, it's fairly broad, probably like 45 degrees or so. Plenty wide to cover a broad area and still plenty loud.

Hope that helps!

First of all, I can't thank you enough for your thorough response and the time you took to generate a map.

It is amazing how far a broadcast travels and how many people it reaches. Just looking at the empty space between continents tickles my philosophical mind, but that's another topic.

I know of some people in North America who were quite fond of "Learning by Ear" and were bummed when DW stopped broadcasting to this area. I haven't been in touch with them in a while but now I wonder if they are listening to it again.
 

mfn002

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I've been picking up their German language broadcasts on both 5905 and 7400 until 1100 UTC for some time now. They come in perfectly strong down here in Southeast Texas, especially 5905.
 

w2xq

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Generally transmissions to Africa from the BBC UK sites, France, Radio Netherlands, Germany, etc., are fairly decent here on the east coast of NA. Typically there is a smaller rear lobe off the directional antennas. And during the fall equinox long path signals from India and Australia are good, even down to 41m. And don't forget about the tilting ionospheric layers around twilight reflection points.
 
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