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

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Is WTIC 's IBOC Gone for Good?

WTIC's IBOC'd signal extended from 1065 to 1095 kHz!
Living 13 miles line-of-sight of WTIC’s 50,000-watt transmitter site on 1080 kHz makes DXing on 1070 and 1090 kHz very difficult especially since WTIC uses IBOC (In-band on-channel), a hybrid method of transmitting digital radio and analog radio broadcast signals simultaneously on the same frequency. 

With IBOC on, I can’t hear a thing but IBOC on 1070 and only 50,000-watt WBAL manages to break through on 1090.

Good news is that it seems that WTIC is no longer using IBOC. It has been off for weeks (maybe months) and I hope it is not coming back. 


Thursday, February 2, 2023

Missing Person

It has been over three months since I last posted here. I had a very messed up knee and had been doing very little radioing because sitting at the radio (or anywhere else) was painful after 10 minutes or so.

Shots to my bad knee provided temporary relief, but temporary was not satisfactory. 

I finally had total knee replacement surgery on Monday and my condition is improving rapidly. I am undergoing physical therapy and expect to be getting back to normal soon.   

Thursday, October 27, 2022

87.9 MHz Mystery Station

About a week ago, I noticed a radio station on 87.9 MHz. It was a Spanish language station playing continuous Spanish contemporary music (perhaps, Spanish Christian contemporary music). The only voices heard were short announcements at the 27 and 57 minutes past the hour. 

Despite taking Spanish in high school and college, I had a difficult time translating the announcements, but I believe that the station is called “Radio de Morte e Vida” (Death and Life Radio).  

Springfield, Massachusetts was mentioned once, so the station may be located in that city or thereabouts, which is about 40 miles to the north-northeast. (I can receive the station on my car radio if I travel north or northeast from my home in the general direction of Springfield. Traveling south of here, there is no signal.)

As you know, there are supposed to be no radio stations on 87.9 MHz in the USA. So when I first heard the station, I figured it was a fly-by-night pirate that would pull the plug soon. But the station has been on the air 24/7 everyday since I first heard it. With a name like Morte e Vida, maybe it is a Halloween pirate station that will go away after the holiday.

I’m stumped, but I will stay tuned and let you know if I discover anything more.

Equipment used ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna.

UPDATE: Less than one day after publishing the above, I tuned to 87.9 and find a dead carrier – no audio, just RF; an S-4 signal with the pre-amp on.

UPDATE 2: The dead carrier lasted all day on Friday, but this morning, the audio (voice and music) has returned.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Radio Progreso

WSB on 750 kHz was off the air for maintenance, so I monitored 750 last night to hear what I could hear and Radio Progreso transmitting 10 kW from Palmira, Cuba was loud and clear for awhile and then disappeared into the noise. Radio Progreso is a new logging 1408 miles to the south-southeast. Also heard CBGY in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland (1050 miles, east-northeast) on 750, but CBGY was already in the log.

Equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 130-foot loop underground antenna.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Found on the Aisle of Shame

Grocery shopping today, I made a pass through the Aldi Aisle of Shame and came upon the LED novelty lamp that you see in the accompanying photo. 

I could not resist buying it. Not because I am a big cacti fan, but because the lamp is a dead ringer for the logo of TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio). (I am a TAPR member, its secretary, newsletter editor and on its board of directors.)

The lamp now sits on a desk in my ham shack. I was worried that the LED might cause RFI, but so far, so good.