It’s all Mee

On the evening of April the 23rd, a spontaneous decision was made to travel to Mount Mee. This mountain is also part of the D’Aguilar range. Access was via Dayboro (below).

Tourist drive sign, Dayboro

Once at the destination (below), altitude and temperature measurements were taken.

Tourist drive sign, Ocean View

The photo (below) illustrates conditions. The weather was fine with a temperature of 27.8 degrees celsius. The altitude was approximately 580 metres above sea level. There was no fog present (one indicator of potential tropospheric ducting).

Altitude, Mount Mee

The altitude is no match for the mountains of Glorious and Nebo on the same range, but the location is probably easier to navigate. Whilst permanent FM reception suffers at Mount Mee, there are far fewer residential streets. That means more remote parking spots are available to choose from. There is also less risk of getting the car bogged in mud.

This video shows broadcasts from Rocky & Bundy, including:

  • 105.5 News Radio – Rocky (QLD) – 80 kW – 435 km
  • 103.1 Radio National – Rocky (QLD) – 80 kW – 435 km
  • 93.9 4RUM Hitz FM – Bundy (QLD) – 3 kW – 252 km

Prefer a longer recording of News Radio?

This video shows broadcasts from the Kingaroy CBD and an unknown Christian station. If readers have any clues regarding 100.5 MHz, please don’t be shy! None of the stations filmed have been heard in the city:

  • 93.1 Radio TAB – Kingaroy (QLD) – 25 watts – 108 km
  • 96.3 K FM – Kingaroy (QLD) – 50 watts – 108 km
  • 100.5 Was ist diese Station?

K FM logo © 2012 Radio K FM

With the car facing north, co-channel interference from Lismore was alleviated. As a result, RDS (below) was possible from this 5 kilowatt station, 101 kilometres away.

Zinc 96.1 FM RDS

RDS (below) was taken from this 200 watt translator, 79 kilometres north.

Hot 97.9 FM translator RDS

The aforementioned Mount Mee highlights were made with a ‘marginal’ Hepburn tropospheric index of 1.4.

As good as it gets

Last year, memorable mountain top reception was heard at the same spot. On those occasions, moderate tropo ducting prevailed; so weather conditions were optimal for some planned mobile FM madness.

1 May

98.3 2NOW Now FM Mt Dowe – Narrabri – 100 kW – 435 km

10 May

107.9 Hot FM Mt Archer (pictured below) – Rocky – 10 kW – 471 km

Mt Archer, Rocky © 2011 Sophie Benjamin

The following bloggers have photographed D’Aguilar NP. Their travels and observations are definitely worth reading:

Mt Mee Wedding
Relocation to Mt Mee
Sunday drive to Mt Glorious
Day trip to Mt Nebo
Camping at Archer Creek

A previous trip to Dayboro can be found here. Coming up: the final entry from Mt Glorious.

Station logos are solely provided for the purposes of research & education under the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Act in this jurisdiction.

A glorious vista part two

Mount Glorious is an ‘urban mountain’ that is a well known destination for hiking, bird watching and televison/radio projects, situated in the D’Aguilar National Park. Briefly, FM radio reception was observed in a street with an altitude of 767 metres above sea level. This may be indicative of permanent reception possible.

Steps, Mt Glorious © 2006 Sherwin Huang

By using specialized car receivers & antennas, high altitude ‘mountain topping’ may offer better long distance FM reception compared to multi-element, rooftop yagi antennas in built-up areas. For the uninitiated, beware that there is a catch! Mountains rarely provide unobstructed paths to all towns. No matter how high the receiving location is, nearby mountains in this region tend to kill any opportunity of reception from one or more particular directions, even if the surrounding mountains have lower altitude. At Mount Glorious (for example) serious impediments affect line of sight to the north.

The on-line path profiler Hey What’s That suggested the mountains of O’Reilly (503 m), Lawson (473 m) and Samson (689 m) may obstruct reception towards the north. This proved accurate with no Bundaberg FM stations receivable under baseline conditions. Towards the north-east was another impediment, Mount Tenison Woods (757 m).

Sunrise, Mt Coot-tha © 2009 Angus Veitch

The 100 kilo Watt stations on Mount Coot-tha (above) are sited 22 kilometres east of Mount Glorious. Images of Nova & ABC Classic FM from there appeared on 102.3 & 103.1 MHz, respectively. These ghost signals were noticeable only when the automotive antenna was orientated towards the east.

The average portable may ‘shit its pants’ here in Brisbane Forest Park, which is why using a car radio is likely a better choice! Back in the 2000s, this sensitive portable (which is still functional) was taken to a vegie BBQ at Jolly’s Lookout, Mount Nebo. Regarding FM reception, no wonder there was disappointment!

Sony WM-FX77 © 2010 amormusicyjh (blogger)

Highlights from a predominantly unobstructed SSW-S-SSE coastal path (based on Hey What’s That terrain analysis) included:

91.3 2ABCRR ABC Central West Bonalbo (NSW) – 50 watt translator – 160km
(never heard in the city)

98.7 2ABCFM Classic FM Taree (NSW) – 100kW – 486km &

99.1 2NWR ABC New England Mt Dowe, Narrabri (NSW) – 200kW – 415km

*102.5 The Breeze Mt Mackenzie, Tenterfield (NSW) – 4kW – 211km (corrected)
(never heard in the city)

This video shows broadcasts on 98.7 & 99.1 MHz from Taree & Narrabri, respectively. Note the ‘spew’ audible on 102.3 MHz.

RDS was receivable on 88.9 MHz from the Breeze translator, 88 km south-south-east. 92.1 MHz also has RDS.
(88.9 MHz never decoded in the city)

RDS PS

RDS RT, The Breeze FM 88.9

On 99.1 MHz, a Toowoomba narrowcast operation was heard mixing with Narrabri. The music programming was ‘old time stuff’. According to the website, this is Kids FM. Without hearing an ID this is a guess but it fits, being 85 km west-south-west.

Kids FM © 2013 Southern Cross Austereo

These Mount Glorious highlights were based on half an hour of listening during the early evening on 18 March (recording denoted with an asterisk) & 15 April. Fine weather prevailed. The Hepburn tropospheric index was marginal / 1.4.

These two recent trips suggest it is likely that tropospheric scatter varies noticeably at this altitude on a daily basis. Permanent residents would be better qualified to judge whether this observation is accurate.

Thank you to the companions on the trips for assistance with compass direction-finding, photography, three point turns in bogged mud, car washing & night navigation. Not quite as bad as this!

Bogged car © 2006 mundoo

This is a three part entry. The rationale was to split this into parts rather than bombard ‘time-poor’ readers with too much information at once. Next week, the final section will be published with four more clips from Mt Glorious & Mt Mee. There will also be some photos of the beautiful scenery… so ideally it’s not too dull!

Southern Cross Austereo is owner of the copyright in the logo for Kids FM. Station logos are solely provided for the purposes of research & education under the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Act in this jurisdiction.

The copyright holders of photography included on this blog have licensed their works under the Creative Commons for non-commercial use (such as this not-for-profit blog) with attribution. To view more of their work, type the photographer’s name into Flickr.

Altitudes specified are approximate, based on GPS mapping. Distances are from FMscan.

News blander… than today’s thunderstorm

Welcome to another instalment of News Blander, the column where the trivial is celebrated almost as much as the Olympic Games! In fact, it is a column so boring that this blogger forgets to run it in regular instalments. Today’s Blander covers long distance FM reception & car audio.

Long distance FM radio reception rarely makes the mainstream press. But let’s face it, even FM radio announcers rarely make it… perhaps unless they are courting controversy.

Journalist Ben Beagle reported the following in the New York state electronic publication Daily News Online in his article ‘Atmospheric anamolies bring distant radio signals to area’…

Listening to your radio on the drive home Tuesday afternoon you may have thought your ears were deceiving you. Did the radio just say Tampa? Florida?

It’s OK, you can cancel the doctor’s appointment.

An especially strong e-skip brought distant radio stations onto the local dial, interfering with local stations’ broadcasts.

“Yesterday was one of the biggest e-skip openings in a few years,” said Scott Fybush, a radio industry observer and editor of Northeast Radio Watch, an online publication that tracks the radio industry.

For example, just before 5 p.m. Tuesday the broadcast of WFLK-FM (93.3) in Rochester was interrupted by a brief burst that sounded like nothing more than static. Until, after a couple of seconds the interference cleared long enough to hear a radio promo that clearly identified “WFLZ-FM in Tampa Bay.”

The top 40 station in Tampa also broadcasts on 93.3 FM and is more than 1,300 miles from Le Roy, where the signal was received.

Read the full report.

Let’s close the festival of the mundane with a video featuring the Blaupunkt Bremen MP74 Twinceiver employing a Dual Diversity Antenna system. Apparently at some point the bandscan even features a Dutch pirate playing classic eighties band Alphaville, responsible for the cult classic ‘Forever Young’. The band’s 2001 remix was a huge hit in the nightclubs. The track was covered by Australian indie band Youth Group.


Thank you to Günter Lorenz & Peter Wilson for drawing this blogger’s attention to these gems.