Deutscher Wetterdienst (Hamburg, Germany) Radio Fax – the Ultimate DX?

Deutscher Wetterdienst (also known as DWD for short) is the German Meterological Service. They currently operate a weatherfax service over radio as listed here.

The centre frequencies are as follows (from NWS’s documentation):

  • 3855khz at 10kW, callsign DDH3
  • 7880khz at 20kW, callsign DDK3
  • 13882.5khz at 20kW, callsign DDK6

Germany is almost half way around the world – about 16200km away if some online services are to be believed. As such, this would probably be the “ultimate” DX. One thing that makes it a bit of a cheat is the fact that they send at such high powers relative to other fax stations (typically 5kW and below). But compared to broadcast services, even 20kW is at the “lower end”.

Imagine my shock when I managed to pick up decent signals at 7880khz! By looking at the images, you will find that the images are even better than some of the “locals”! DDK3 sends white tuning tone continuously between faxes. The sync margin is white in the image area, and there is black tone transmitted after the end tone. This is quite similar to the Australian weather fax service. The big difference is that it seems to be greater than 800Hz shift – it’s close to 840-860Hz shift.

Unfortunately, the SNR was still not good enough for FLdigi to reliably detect the start/end tones – so a bit of work had to be done to process the faxes the images to align them. Surprisingly, the text on isobars is sometimes readable! Time presented in start time for the fax, UTC.

11th February 2013 1800UTC Surface Analysis

20130211-1800UTC-SurfaceAnalysis

11th February 2013 1800UTC Surface Analysis

20130211-1834UTC-SurfacePressureH+24

11th February 2013 1847UTC Surface Pressure H+48

20130211-1847UTC-SurfacePressureH+48

12th February 2013 0651UTC Multiple Charts

20130212-0651UTC-MultipleCharts

12th February 2013 0704UTC Multiple Charts

20130212-0704UTC-MultipleCharts

12th February 2013 0717UTC Surface Pressure H+30

20130212-0717UTC-SurfacePressureH+30

12th February 2013 0730UTC Surface Pressure H+48

20130212-0730UTC-SurfacePressureH+48

12th February 2013 0743UTC Surface Analysis

20130212-0743UTC-SurfaceAnalysis

12th February 2013 0804UTC Surface Pressure H+84

20130212-0804UTC-SurfacePressureH+84

12th February 2013 0817UTC Surface Pressure H+108

20130212-0817UTC-SurfacePressureH+108

12th February 2013 1800UTC Surface Analysis

20130212-1800UTC-SurfaceAnalysis

12th February 2013 1843UTC Surface Pressure H+24

20130212-1834UTC-SurfacePressureH+24

12th February 2013 1847UTC Surface Pressure H+48

20130212-1847UTC-SurfacePressureH+48

12th February 2013 1913UTC Swell Heights H+24

20130212-1913UTC-SwellH+24

12th February 2013 1926UTC Swell Heights H+48

20130212-1926UTC-SwellH+48

12th February 2013 1939UTC Swell Heights H+72

20130212-1939UTC-SwellH+72

All were received with my Icom IC-R75 with my trusty Wellbrook Communications ALA-1530L loop antenna from my location in Chester Hill, Sydney, Australia. I’ve posted this webpage to DWD in request for a QSL card if possible – lets see if I can get one :).

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2 Responses to Deutscher Wetterdienst (Hamburg, Germany) Radio Fax – the Ultimate DX?

  1. Gerry says:

    Excellent copy from my neighbour in Germany !… I struggle to copy BOSTON (USA) on 12750 ..

    still trying for Kyodo !… but I don`t have the advantage of a Wellbrook loop, only a 66ft long wire at about 20ft . (I think it runs North South but haven`t checked with a compass).

    (Gerry in Portsmouth, UK)

  2. Pingback: QSL Card: Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) | Gough's Tech Zone

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