A Beginners look at Starting Band 2 DX'ing

The beginners part of the title refers to myself! This is how I started DX'ing on the FM Band.

Part Two - PI Codes

Next more information on my discovery of PI Codes. I obviously knew about RDS but did not realise that every station transmitting RDS had a hidden PI Code. It was this PI code that helped to positivley ID the Station. Here are a few examples, (remember the underscore "_" is a space on the receiver's display:

_*RADIO* AC0C Radio Wien from Austria.
__RADIO_ 3222 Polskie Radio 2 from Poland.
__RADIO_ 5849 Punto Radio Bologna from Italy.
*RADIO*_ 5158 Radio Camaldli from Italy

By looking at the table above I think you will now realise why PI codes are so important to a DX'er. In a Sporadic E opening if you saw "RADIO" on your RDS display where is it from? It could be any Country in Europe almost! No use what so ever to a DX'er. Enter the PI Codes. As you can see PI Codes have 4 digits. Below is a table which will help ID the origin of a PI Code from Europe.


European PI Codes based on my Logs from the years 2000 to 2010

00 to 4F

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
00 Portugal, Spain
10 Greece, Morocco, Spain, Italy
11 Italy, Morocco
12 Greece, Spain
13 Morocco
17 Germany
20 Italy, Czech Rep, Eire, Spain
22 Eire, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Rep
23 Latvia, Slovakia, Czech Rep, Slovenia, Eire
24, 25, 26, 28, 2A, 2D and 2F Czech Rep
30 Poland, Italy
31 Greece
32 Poland, Turkey
34 Poland, Greece
37and 3F Poland
3B Poland, Spain
40 Montenegro
41 Vatican
43 and 44 Switzerland
4E Macedonia


50 to 5F

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
50 Italy, Slovakia, Greece
51 Italy, Spain, Finland, Romania
52 Italy, Slovakia, Greece, Spain
53 Italy, Slovakia, Spain
54, 55, 56 and 58 Italy
59 Italy, Slovakia
5A, 5D, 5E and 5F Italy


60 to 7F

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
60 Finland, Croatia, Belgium
61 Finland, Serbia
62 Finland, Slovenia
63 Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro
64 Croatia, Belgium
67 Slovenia
68 Finland, Montenegro
6B Belgium
6C Slovenia
6E Finland
70 Spain
71 Italy
72 Tunisia, Latvia, Lithuania
77, 78 Russia


80 to 9F

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
80 Portugal, Croatia, Serbia
82 Portugal, Holland, Spain, Bulgaria
83 Portugal, Bulgaria
84 Portugal, Holland
88 Serbia, Greece
8E Portugal
90 Turkey, Greece, Spain, Slovenia
92 Denmark, Slovenia, Albania
94 Slovenia, Croatia, Spain
95 Slovenia, Denmark
97 Denmark
98 Slovenia
99 Denmark, Czech Rep, Spain
9C Denmark
9F Denmark, Italy, Slovenia


A0 to DF

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
A0 Italy, Spain, Greece, Croatia
A2 Iceland, Austria
A3, A8, A9 and AC Austria
B0 Spain, Canaries
B1 Spain
B2 Hungary, Spain
C0 Croatia, Italy, Spain
C1, C2, C4 Croatia
C3 Croatia, Lithuania
C7 Spain
CC Portugal
D0 Germany, Montenegro
D2 Germany, Serbia, Spain
D3, D4, D5, D6, D8, D9, DC and DD Germany
DD Croatia


E0 to EF

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
E0 Spain, Sweden, Romania
E1 Romania
E2 Sweden, Spain, Andorra
E3 Spain
E4 Spain, Sweden
E7 Spain, Sweden
E5, E6, E8, EA, EB, EC and ED Spain
EF Spain, Sweden


F0 to FF

First Two Digits of PI Code Countries
F0 France, Spain, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece
F2 France, Norway, Spain, Bosnia
F4 Norway, Francce
F6, F8, F9 and FA France
F7, FC Norway, France
FE Norway, France
FF Romania, Spain, Bosnia,  Croatia, Belarus, Italy, France, Bulgaria

From the above lists you can see how the PI codes help quickly ID a Station. Remember there are two other numbers to a PI Code, so after a few weeks of openings to say Italy you soon learn that 545F is Radio Capri or 5849 is Punto Radio Bologna. You will also soon learn that if an opening is to Scandinavia and you log a PI code of E201 with no PS then you can be very confident you have logged Sweden and not Spain. The same applies if you log a PI of F201, it will be Norway and not France. So now armed with the PI information you can soon build up a database of PI codes to frequencies and PS names you log.

As can be seen from above it is possible to have two different stations using the same PI Code. A good example of this is a PI Code of 8201, this can be Antena 1 from Portugal or Radio 1 from Holland. This is not a problem as the PS will sort it out for you, if no PS is recorded then the experience you gain will tell you whether the opening was to Holland or Portugal. If you are in the U.K. for example it would not usually be possible to receive Holland via Sporadic E so the station would be Portugal. Likewise if there was a big Tropo event taking place to the east then the station would be Holland which is a common catch during such conditions.


Below is the official Allocation of Country Codes for the European Broadcasting Area

Country PI     Country PI
Albania     Luxembourg
Algeria     Macedonia 4
Andorra     Madeira 8
Austria     Malta
Belgium     Morocco
Belarus F     Moldova
Bosna-Herzegovina F     Monaco
Bulgaria     Netherlands
Canaries [Spain]     Norway
Croatia C     Poland
Czech Republic     Portugal
Denmark     Romania
Estonia     Russia 7
Finland     San Marino
France     Slovakia
Germany D or 1      Slovenia 9
Gibraltar A     Spain
Greece     Sweden
Hungary     Switzerland
Iceland     Tunisia
Ireland     Turkey
Italy     Ukraine
Latvia     U.K.
Liechtenstein     Vatican
Lithuania C     Yugoslavia


I hope this will throw some light from a DX'ers point of view of PI Codes. If you want the technical side of PI Codes then visit the RDS Forum on the Internet or simply Google RDS for many technical pages on the subject. At the end of the day the DX'er is mainly interested in what Country we are receiving the codes from.

A Beginners look at Band 2 DX'ing Contents
 Part One Introduction and Clubs
 Part Three PS Names
 Part Four Receivers and Computers
 Part Five Aerials and Propagation
My Band 2 Home Pages