Band i
Cameroon reception on E2

Wednesday afternoon (7/6/06)from about 1300z I received a video carrier on 48.249.854Mhz, the signal had Sporadic E characteristics to the fading but was buried under Spain and didn't reach picture level until 1430z by which time Spain had faded out. Scenes were of a group of people dancing in what I'd describe as an African style, the clothing and headgear suggested it was African too. Two logo's were spotted both in the TRHC, the first resembled a J with a box in the middle of it and the latter, seen on the photo is a dark box with diagonal strokes across it. Signal level was quite unstable and rarely managed to lock sufficiently to get a decent photo, hence the processing on the grab, during the many periods of slipping video no VITS were seen on the picture. Beam heading was around 170°, the only other signal present on band 1 was Italy via Es although Tunisia had been very active on B2 shortly before. It was also received at scanner level by David Hamilton in Southern Scotland.

About thirty minutes later when the UNID had dropped back below video level a messy carrier started to fade in just above the regular signals, this poorly modulated carrier was thought to be Equatorial Guinea, wider than when I last saw it via TEP some years ago but still with the unmistakable sound and distinctive waterfall display.

I've emailed TVDXers in both Portugal and South Africa as both have a much better chance of knowing the current African transmitter line up due to TEP. First reply from Ian Roberts in S.A. suggested that the offset was Kenya and confirmed the higher 'mess' was almost certainly Eq. Guinea. Also mentioned was the lack of prop down there apart from some brief TEP early afternoons.

The reply from Hugh Cocks in Portugal was very interesting..

"The offset ties in with Cameroon.
They also use no Vertical Interval Test Signal at the top of the picture (whenever I've seen it)....
This must be Cameroon,good catch.
The logo is on the top right,sort of zigzaggy thing in a grey box.
Station is STV Cameroon (Spectrum TV).Started about 2 years ago.
They are on satellite at 72 East Panamsat"

So, much digging and Googling later I've still not found a copy of STV's logo shown in the photo, I'm hoping to enlist the help of someone with PAS4 capability at the weekend to see if STV1 is on it. What I did eventually turn up was an almost non existent website for STV, this just about confirms that I did see Cameroon on E2 yesterday afternoon. I now have both phone and fax numbers for STV and will try to contact them to confirm this reception. Assuming the transmitter is in Yaounde, this makes the path 5322km from here on the south coast of the UK, Yaounde is also due East of Malabo, Eq. Guinea.

This is the waterfall display showing the various carriers received that afternoon, Bantiger and Navacerada are weak Es and ionoscatter, Cameroon and Eq. Guinea were clearly via some form of Es, the exact type remains a mystery. TEP has been discounted due to the clarity of the image. The lack of amateur radio activity, beacons and such like in middle Africa means many of these openings go unnoticed. As far as I know this a is a UK first via Es and would have almost certainly been missed had I not been monitoring E2 on the PC waterfall display.


This shows the best grab from the screen with the dark logo TRHC.


This is the scribble from my notepad showing the 'J' logo as I saw
it emerge during a fade up


Finally, the logo as shown on www.stvgroup.com and a screen grab taken this morning from PAS4 showing STV2.

 

These are the four clearest images I captured during the brief period of strong video, each has been processed to improve the quality of detail and kept small to aid clarity.

                     
 

One other link of interest that I unearthed in my search is this to the Kathrein Antenna co. in Germany, the list of countries and clients for Band 1 antenna's almost reads like a who's who of transmitters!
Kathrein Antennas

 

UPDATE 14th June 2006

This is the best news all week, I've finally made contact with STV! The fax went through this afternoon and a couple of hours after an email arrived from their MD. Resending the above image via email I then received this reply from him.

Hi Paul,
  
After seeing your attachment , I can confirm it is definitely STV 2 broadcasting from Douala (main uplink and 5KW transmitter),
Yaoundé (2KW) Bafoussam  and Bamenda!
 I have copied our Technical Director Martin and senior management
  
  Simply amazing!
  
  Cheers!
  
  Mactar SILLA
  Director General
  SPECTRUM TELEVISION
  STV1 & STV2
  DOUALA - CAMEROON