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Now that we're in August it's safe to say my first e-skip season as an FM DXer is over. There were ten openings during the last couple months: most at home where I have my Sony XDR-S10HDiP and yagi, and the rest during my breaks at work. The Sangean ATS-909X definitely pulled its weight, and some recordings were even made on my car radio (the only of the three that isn't new). The results are posted on my FM DX page .
For a first season I don't think this was half-bad. Other DXers tell me it was a slow season, and since I returned from Alaska it's certainly been dead, but nonetheless I heard Texas, the Midwest, and Canada. One catch from Colorado broke my all-time distance record, so how bad could it have been? Maybe it says more for the band than the season. Maybe KLMR barely scratched the surface of what an "active" season can offer on FM.
Oddly I had no catches from Mexico (except two border stations during the first opening), the Carribbean, or points south. This reminds me of TV E-skip when I moved down here, which offered nothing from the south for three years. In 2008, when I decided to get in one last season before leaving the hobby, they were suddenly everywhere.
And what about TV? It was here first, and lower frequencies should mean more activity, so what did this year have to offer me as TV DXer? Well... That first opening into Mexico did provide some analog catches. Yep, analog. Swell. But what about the digital signals I've been focusing on? The fact that the new FM antenna also works for VHF? My ability now to monitor three DTV channels at once? I had zero catches last year, and I had zero catches this year. Digital TV and e-skip just do not get along. But I have to keep trying.
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