My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Power Down, DX Up

AWS in Fort Mitchell, Alabama
We lost power mid-afternoon on Friday. After I phoned in the outage, I got on the radio to take advantage of the lack of noise in the neighborhood.

Conveniently for power outages, the ELAD FDM-S2 SDR receiver gets its power from my laptop. So I don't need to be on the grid for some serious monitoring. The only problem yesterday was that I had been using my laptop for hours and the battery was down to about 40% capacity.

During the day under normal noisy conditions, I may hear one local navigational beacon (JWE), but yesterday, I could hear many more and I logged six new ones. Five were located nearby in Massachusetts and Eastern New York, but one was 925 miles away in Fort Mitchell, Alabama (AWS on 335 kHz).

When the laptop battery ran out, I switched the C.Crane CCRadio 2E Enhanced receiver, which was loaded with fresh batteries and connected to the outdoor antenna switch.

When I turned on the radio, it was tuned to 1710 kHz and I was very surprised to hear an old friend that I normally only hear at dusk, the unidentified mystery station playing Spanish music. Occasionally, the mystery station had competition from the Hudson County (NJ) TIS (WQFG689), which I only heard at night in the past.

After monitoring 1710 for about ten minutes hoping to hear a voice ID from the Spanish station, power was restored and the stations on 1710 disappeared into the noise.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sony SRF-39FP Reception Report

Last night, I listened up and down the AM band with the Sony SRF-39FP radio I purchased on eBay and I was very impressed with what I heard. Besides all the usual suspects in the Northeast, the radio also heard all the flame throwers on the right side of the Mississippi: CHML, WLW, WSB, WHAS, WSCR, WJR, WGN, WLS, etc.

The radio is very sensitive even with its diminutive 1.75-inch ferrite antenna. It's selectivity was good, too, and it managed to keep the two nearest (2 and 4 miles away) AM transmitters in check.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sony SRF-39FP

The mailman delivered the latest addition to my radio collection, a Sony SRF-39FP AM/FM Walkman. I purchased the radio on eBay for $20.

The New Yorker published an article about this radio describing it thusly, "The pocket analog radio, known by the bland model number SRF-39FP, is a Sony 'ultralight' model manufactured for prisons. Its clear housing is meant to prevent inmates from using it to smuggle contraband, and, at under thirty dollars, it is the most affordable Sony radio on the prison market."

The article added, "...the SRF-39FP is superior to virtually every other pocket analog radio, praising it for its large tuning thumbwheel, over-all sensitivity and audio quality, and, above all, its reputed indestructibility."

(You can read the entire The New Yorker article here.)

This afternoon, I tuned through the AM and FM bands and was impressed with the number of stations the Sony received. I will give it a workout tonight and I will let you know how the radio performs during nighttime conditions.

I own a lot of radios and this is the first one my wife described as "cool.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Eight New AM/MW Loggings

During the past month, I added 8 new loggings on the AM/MW band.

Best DX (December 23, 0500Z) was WHKY on 1290 kHz, transmitting 1 kW from Hickory, North Carolina, 607 miles to the southwest.

Trans-Atlantic LW stations have been very strong during the last 30 days. No new loggings, but in most cases recent reception has been better than when I originally logged these stations.

Equipment used: ELAD FDM-S2/FDM-SW2 SDR receiver, 80-meter inverted Vee antenna or Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A vertical antenna.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Year in Review

Here is my year in review compared with my all-time stats.

LW new 2017 loggings: 6
LW total all-time loggings: 119

LW best 2017 broadcast station DX: 3919 miles, Radio Algerienne, Tipaza, Algeria
LW best all-time broadcast station DX: 4598 miles, Antena Satelor, Brasov Bod, Romania

LW best 2017 navigational beacon DX: 1183 miles, YPH, Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada
LW best all-time navigational beacon DX: 1647 miles, DDP, San Juan, Puerto Rico

MW new 2017 loggings: 50
MW total all-time loggings: 492

MW best 2017 DX: 5489 miles, ERTU Quran Karem, Santah, Egypt
MW best all-time DX: 5489 miles, ERTU Quran Karem, Santah, Egypt

MW best 2017 domestic DX: 973 miles, WTAD, Quincy, Illinois, USA
MW best all-time domestic DX: 1666 miles, WJCC, Miami Springs, Florida, USA

FM new 2017 loggings: 3
FM total all-time loggings: 113

FM best 2017 DX: 315 miles, WCOT, Jamestown, New York, USA
FM best all-time DX: 744 miles, WLHR, Lavonia, Georgia, USA

The dearth of new FM loggings is not a surprise because I don't spend much time monitoring that band. However, the dearth of new LW loggings was an eye-opener because I spend a lot of time monitoring that band!