It all began when I was living in Marrickville, 4 miles SW of Sydney NSW, which was my family home. My dad arranged to rent a TV from Radio Rentals in January 1963 to give me something to watch when I was home on holidays alone, while he was at work. My mother had passed away in 1962 and I was an only child. It was a PYE B/W 23" TV, from what I remember. This was replaced by a Baird B/W 712, 23" TV some years later.

Only a matter of weeks after the TV was installed, I discovered WIN 4 Wollongong NSW and later NBN 3 & ABHN 5 Newcastle NSW, when local tropospheric conditions favored. I even used to experiment with aircraft reflection and would turn the TV to Channels 3 & 5 when planes flew over. This was all done on a standard domestic type outdoor TV antenna.

I first realised the possibility of receiving real TV DX at around 11 years of age, after reading the TV DX article by George Peterson in the "TV Times" magazine back in 1963.

During all those early years I never received anything on Channels 0 and 1. This was because most of the TV's in Sydney at the time were incorrectly adjusted to those channels and needed to be adjusted by a screwdriver in the tuner. Sydney didn't have a channel 0 in use until the SBS used it from 1980 to 1986.

The long distance "Deep Fringe" Crossfire TV Antenna was suggested by my dad's boss at work, who had an interest in amateur radio. I found out about Television magazine from a Radio Rentals technician. So really my interest was sparked in 1963, after reading the article on George Peterson, but I wasn't able to seriously DX until 1971. When I first received sporadic E TV DX on the Crossfire, I had audio only and had a technician adjust the tuner to correct it.

CX24 Crossfire aerial at Marrickville, Sydney on 20-7-75.

My first ever long distance sporadic E signal was from ATV 0 Melbourne, Victoria (440 miles), and they were running the "Love American Style" program. This was received on the 24th November 1971. It was like a dream coming true. Receiving TV like that in those days was literally "going where no one had gone before" at least in Australia and I have never looked back since.

On the 4/12/1971, I received DNTV 1 Hedgehope NZ for the first time via Sporadic E displaying the Checkerboard Test Card. This used to be shown in the mornings accompanied with audio programming from the YA National AM Radio Network.

CX28 Crossfire aerial at my current QTH in Melbourne, Australia on 17-7-84.

TV and FM DX aerials at Melbourne, on 14-10-2000.
CX17 Crossfire 45-230 MHz log periodic (vertical).
FM-G8 8 element 88-108 MHz yagi (horizontal).
91 element Jaycar UHF aerial (horizontal).

Hedgehope, New Zealand - DNTV1, checkerboard test card received at Marrickville, Sydney on 4-2-1975.

1,340-mile tropospheric reception of New Zealand TV-2 ch4 (175.25 MHz) received at Marrickville, Sydney on 3-12-1975.

Countries received from Marrickville, Sydney

BBC CH B1 England video and sound via F2 in late 1979.
KVZK chA2 American Samoa video via double-hop sporadic E, in 1976
Vladivostok Russia chR1 video via F2, in 1981.
New Zealand.


The art of TV and FM DX radio reception by Robert Copeman.

Copyright © 2009 Robert Copeman