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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mystery on 1420


I added five new stations listening to my 0900 UTC top-of-hour recordings on Monday and Tuesday (using an ELAD FDM-S2 receiver and 80-meter inverted Vee antenna).

WBEC on 1420 kc in Pittsfield, MA, transmitting 1 kW, 59 miles to my north-northwest.

WKOX on 1430 kc in Everett, MA, transmitting 1 kW, 109 miles to my east-northeast.

WCEC on 1490 kc in Haverhill, MA, transmitting 1 kW, 123 miles to my northeast.

WQCP849 (Rhode Island DOT TIS) on 1630 kc in Newport, RI, transmitting 10 watts, 85 miles to my east.

And finally, the mystery station: WAAF on 1420 kc. WAAF, "Boston's Rock Station," is an FM-only station, but I heard it loud and clear on 1420 AM at 0900 UTC Monday. Was this a test or a pirate or what? 

Twenty-four hours later, WBSM (New Bedford, MA) dominated 1420, but there was a station that I could not ID playing rock music under WBSM. Driving to work two hours later, WLIS (Old Saybrook, CT) dominated 1420 on my Subaru's receiver, but again I could hear an unidentified rock station under WLIS.

I will listen again tomorrow morning.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Four More

My July 17, 0900 UTC top-of-the-hour recording yielded four new stations (using an ELAD FDM-S2 receiver and 80-meter inverted Vee antenna).

WRSC on 1390 kc in State College, PA, transmitting 1 kW, 266 miles to my west-southwest.

WNRS on 1420 kc in Herkimir, NY, transmitting 64 W, 145 miles to my northwest.

WRED on 1440 kc in Westbrook, ME, transmitting 5 kW, 193 miles to my northeast.

WHKT on 1650 kc in Portsmouth, VA, transmitting 1 kW, 378 miles to my south-southwest.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Amazing DX


When I can hear the Hudson County (NJ) TIS in Jersey City on 1710, it bodes well for AM band DXing. Such was the case recording the 0200 UTC top-of-the-hour Wednesday night. As a result, I made four new entries in the log... two of them were amazing!

WOBM on 1310 in Lakewood Township, NJ, transmitting 8,900 watts, 123 miles to my south-southwest

WHOL on 1600 in Allentown, PA, transmitting 56 watts, 150 miles to my southwest

WQKJ417 (State of Florida Radio Service TIS) on 1630 in Fort Pierce, FL, transmitting 10 watts, 1063 miles to my south-southwest

WDHP on 1620 in Frederiksted, Virgin Islands, transmitting 1 kW, 1719 miles to my south-southeast

I'm not sure whether 10 watts over 1063 miles or 1 kW over 1719 miles is more amazing, but both impressed me!

Using an ELAD FDM-S2 receiver and 80-meter inverted Vee antenna.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

First Top-of-the-Hour After Dark


Monday evening, I recorded the first top-of-the-hour (9 PM EDST) after local sunset and heard two new ones for the log:

  • WWTR on 1170 kc transmitting 600 watts from Bridgewater, NJ, 113 miles to my southwest
  • WDER on 1320 kc transmitting 1,000 watts from Derry, NH, 120 miles to my northeast

The WDER catch was particularly nice considering 1320 is occupied by local station WATR, which is strong here day or night (5 kW or 1 kW, 5 miles away).

Equipment used: ELAD FDM-S2 receiver, 80-meter inverted Vee antenna

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Nielsen Loggings


Last summer, we became a Nielsen family.

In exchange for some crisp new $1 bills, my wife and I kept diaries of our television viewing for a week. My diary was easy: Law & Order binge-watching with an occasional switch to see how badly my Scarlet Hose were losing.

My wife's diary was more complicated. She switches channels all day long and I think she spent more time filling in the diary than viewing the shows she was logging.

After the week was up, we sealed the diaries and mailed them back to Nielsen.

I thought that would be the last we would hear from Nielsen, but lo and behold, in April, Nielsen asked us to do it again. But instead of keeping TV diaries, they wanted us to keep radio diaries.
We agreed and a few weeks later, an envelope arrived with some crisp new $1 bills and blank diaries.

My wife's diary was easy. She seldom listens to the radio, so she did not have much to log. And I played it straight and did not log any ham radio stations, nor any broadcast stations that I heard while tuning between 530 and 1710 kHz.

In addition to my "normal" radio fare (WCBS, WINS and WTIC on AM; WLNG and WAQY on FM), I could have included the flamethrowers out of the Midwest and South like WBT, WGN, WJR, WLW, WSM and WSB, as well as a variety of peanut whistles from all over the Northeast. I could have even included Cuba's Radio Rebelde a couple of times. But I want to keep receiving those crisp new $1 bills, so I only logged the stations I actually listened to for information and/or entertainment.

And after a week, we sent our diaries back to Nielsen. I wonder if we will be hearing from them again next year.

(Thank you, Art, W1AWX for suggesting that I write this story.)