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Thursday, July 28, 2011

FM DXing in Train with Cell Phone FM Radio

FM DXing in Train with Cell Phone FM Radio

On 30th June 2011, while travelling to Raghunathganj (constituency of Mr. Pranab Mukharjee, the FM of India) in Kamrup Express train suddenly I got a SMS from Swopan da (Swopan Chakraborty, a great DXer from Kolkata) suggestion me to do some Cell Phone FM DXing in Train. I liked that idea very much as few months back I read the article of Joes Jacob about his FM DX experiments with his Samsung mobile handset FM radio and surprised to read about his success in logging some very long distance FM radio stations via mare mobile FM radio from his hotel. I was surprised because before reading that article of Mr. Jacob I never thought that a cell phone FM radio can be so much powerful to catch stations of thousands of kilometres away places. 

Here is a list of railway stations between New Alipurdwar and Barsoi Junction come across by Kamrup Express. 

New Alipurduar, West Bengal (Coordinates26°30′N 89°31′E)
2. New Cooch Behar, West Bengal
3. Falakata, West Bengal
4. Dhupguri, West Bengal
5. New Maynaguri, West Bengal
6. Jalpaiguri Road,  West Bengal
7. New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal
8. Aluabari Road, West Bengal
9. KishanGanj, Bihar
10. Barsoi Junction , Bihar (Coordinates: 
25°37' 0 N 87°55' 0 E)

I started my experiments when the Kamrup Express train running between Guwahati (Assam) and Howrah (West Bengal) has stopped for some reason in a place near New Alipurdwar Station in West Bengal at around 08:00 UTC. I plugged on my mobile phone ear piece with my handset and did a band scan. Surprisingly I got the Kuzoo FM of Bhutan on 104.0 MHz with fair signal. Some beautiful Bhutani folk song heard along with some announcements, etc. This successful log inspired me in such a way that I keep searching for new FM stations in each and every station when our train stopped and also while the train was on move. Some very interesting Nepali, Bhutani, Indian and Chinese stations I logged until our train reached Barsoi Junction station on 13:30 UTC. My ear piece which come in the box of my Samsung C6112 handset, was very surprisingly working as an active wire antenna, as many times I noticed that when I pull on the wire up to a certain hight in the train some station's signal become very clear or audible. So it was acting as a good FM antenna. Please see the below chart for some important log details between the New Alipurdwar (West Bengal) to Barsoi (Bihar) railway stations.

Place of DX (Station/Nearest Station)

Frequency (MHz)

Radio Station Name & Location


Signal Strength
New Alipudwar104.0 MhzKuzoo FM, BhutanDzongkhaFair
New Alipurdwar105.0 MHzKuzoo FM, BhutanEnglishGood
New Alipurdwar106.6Unid ChineseChineseGood
New Coachbihar102.0 MhzKuzoo FM, BhutanDzongkhaGood
New Coachbihar90.0 MhzBBS, TrashigangLocal Bhutani, EnglishExcellent
New Coachbihar93.0 MhzBBS, TrongsaEnglish and LocalGood
New Coachbihar98.o MhzBBS, ChhukhaEnglish and LocalGood
Falakata90.0 MhzBBS, TrashigangLocal & EnglishGood
Falakata105Kuzoo FM, BhutanEnglishFair
Dhupguri100.0 MHzRadio NepalNepaliGOOD
New Jalpaiguri100.0 MhzRadio NepalNepali, EnglishExcellent
New Jalpaiguri105.0 MhzUnidentifiedUnidGood
New Jalpaiguri92.3Radio Hi, SiliguriBengaliExcellent
New Jalpaiguri94.3Radio Misti, SiliguriBengaliExcellent
New Jalpaiguri93.5Red FM, SiliguriBengaliExcellent
Kishangunj97.9Image FM, NepalNepaliGood
Kishangunj105.2Radio Karnali, NepalNepaliAvarage
Kishangunj90.0 MhzSaptakoshi FM, NepalNepaliGood
Kishangunj95.2Kalika FM, NepalNepaliGood
Kishangunj93.0 MhzGorkha FM, NepalNepaliGood
Kishangunj90.0 MhzUjyaalo 90 Network, NepalNepaliGood
Kishangunj96.1Kantipur FM, NepalNepaliExcellent
Kishangunj105.9Radio Sunrise, NepalNepaliExcellent
Barsoi105.0 MhzR. Paila, NepalNepaliExcellent
Barsoi93.6R. Jagaran FM, NepalNepaliGood
Barsoi100.0 MhzRadio NepalNepaliExcellent

On 1st July 2011 when I reached Howrah (Kolkata) I was thinking that may be some more surprise FM station logs are waiting for me in Kolkata, but nothing happened like that and I could only listen to local private and AIR FM services in Kolkata. 

On this very day I began my journey again by train to Jangipur Road  Station via Howrah Malda Intercity Express and once again I was doing FM scans on my mobile FM radio while on move. As my destination Raghunathganj (near Jangipur Road) is very close to the Bangladesh boarder, so I was excited to catch some Banglageshi FM stations and hopeful to hear BBC, Radio Japan, CRI, DW Bengali service which broadcast using Bangladesh Betar's  Rajsahi FM transmitters on 105.0 MHz. I started my FM band scan when our train was passing through Nabadwip and I heard some AIR FM broadcasts from AIR Shantiniketan and AIR Murshidabad very clearly. But still then there was no sign of any Bangladeshi station. But when we reached Ajimganj I kept searching for stations and surprisingly heard DW Bengali program via Bangladesh Betar Rajsahi on 105.0 MHz with fair signal strength. Also got much talked Radio Foorti on 88.0 MHz with crystal clear signal and also local transmission of BDB Rajsahi on 104.0 MHz. I was really overjoyed on  catching DW Bengali via Rajsahi FM. 

After reaching our Hotel in Raghunathganj I kept searching for new stations and once again heard NHK World Radio Japan's Bengali program via BDB Rajsahi on 105.0 MHz. The signal was good but some fading was observed. On 2nd July again I heard DW and Radio Japan's Bengali program via Bangladesh Betar, Rajsahi on 105.0 MHz, although with some disturbances in reception quality. May be catches with a specified receiver would have been great. But whatever the reception quality may be, but I found that Bangladeshi FM stations like Bangladesh Betar Rajsahi, Radio Foorti etc. are well received in this bordering town of West Bengal and after spending some times with FM logs with some great and interesting catches, I was just imagining that when that day arrive in my home town when we may be able to listen lots of FM stations in Jorhat in Assam and may be using some hi-tech systems and antennas I may be able to listen some Bangladeshi, Nepali or Bhutani FM stations sitting just near the window of our house. 

Here are some link where you can listen DW and Radio Japan Bengali program I heard via Bangladesh Betar Rajsahi station. 

Radio Japan:

Deutsche Welle:

It was a great cell phone FM Dxing in train as well as in the Raghunathganj hotel. This is my first successful experience with cell phone FM radio and this will be continued in future too....

Happy Listening and 73's.

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