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

Friday, February 1, 2019

VOA 77 Today

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the establishment of America’s largest international broadcaster – Voice of America.

Read all about it here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Recently Logged


Freezing rain and high winds resulted in a power outage in my neck of the woods Monday. I love the sound of a low noise floor in the morning and I logged three new navigational beacons among the 15 I could hear during the power outage that I normally cannot hear otherwise.

CAT on 254 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Chatham, New Jersey, 99 miles to the southwest

SW on 335 kHz transmitting 50 watts from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, 67 miles to the west.

FR on 407 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Plainview/Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, 65 miles to the south-southwest

Also added ZZR to the log on January 11 on 317 kHz transmitting 30 watts from Quinte West, Ontario, 290 miles to the north-northwest

All four were received with an ELAD FDM-S2/SW2 receiver and an 80-meter inverted Vee antenna.

Also added WPTK to the log on January 16 on 850 kHz transmitting 5kw from Raleigh, North Carolina, 512 miles to the southwest.

And on January 17, I added CHUM on 1050 kHz transmitting 50,000 watts from Toronto, Ontario, 363 miles to the north-northwest.

Both were received with an ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and an ICOM ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna.

Friday, January 4, 2019

RMQ = RQM

Source: townofrangeley.com
RMQ (Source: townofrangeley.com)
Getting nowhere fast trying to identify navigational beacon RMQ, I posted a message on the IRCA email list and quickly received replies that solved the mystery. It seems that navigational beacon RQM in Rangeley, Maine, has been identifying itself incorrectly as RQM for years! Go figure!

RQM transmits 25 watts from northwestern Maine, 354 miles to the north-northeast on 221 kHz.

By the way, some of the folks who responded to my plea for help belong to the NDB List. If I had been aware of the NDB List, I would have found the answer to my mystery because RQM's erroneous identification has been discussed a few times on the list. Anyway, I joined the list post haste.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Very Happy New Years Eve

Conditions New Years Eve afternoon and evening were interesting.

Earlier, Mike, KA3JAW, alerted me to a geomagnetic storm and possible aurora propagation. Not sure if that was the cause of what I heard, but something was playing tricks with the ether yesterday.

About 3 PM local time, I started tuning up and down the LW and MW bands. LW was dead, but MW was interesting. I immediately logged a new station: WCPA in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, transmitting 2500 watts, 288 miles to the west on 900 kHz. That distance at that time of day was a bit unusual.

As I continued to tune up and down the band, I noticed stations to the west and southwest pounding in — stations I normally don't hear until after dark like WLW on 700 kHz in Cincinnati, 635 mile away, which is way beyond ground wave propagation.

I took a break for dinner and when I returned, the band was still hopping. I could hear Cuban stations up and down the band. All were old loggings except for one new one that was very strong challenging WHAM on 1180 kHz: Radio Rebelde in San Cristobal, Cuba, transmitting 1000 watts, 1433 miles to the south-southwest.

After dark, LW became interesting, too. I was hearing beacons I rarely hear like and DIW on 198 kHz in Dixon, North Carolina, and SJ on 212 kHz in Saint John, Nova Scotia. I did log one new one: RMQ on 222 kHz, but I don't know where it is located because it does not show up on any navigational beacon lists. 

By the way, RQM in Maine transmits on 221 MHz and I had to make sure that I was not transposing its Q and M when I heard RMQ. Also, by the way, RMQ is located in the USA because it did not transmit the long dash between identifications like the Canadian stations do. Still one more by the way, RMQ is the three-letter designator for an airport in Taiwan — I am pretty sure I did not hear Taiwan on LW last night.

Radio equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver, 80-meter dipole antenna, ICOM IC-AH700 disco antenna.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Loud and Clear via Aurora

Source: www.swpc.noaa.gov
(Source: www.swpc.noaa.gov)

Mike, KA3JAW, wrote that the reason for the loud and clear transatlantic signals heard here on Wednesday evening was because during that time, aurora was active between my Connecticut location and Polskie Radio Jedynka in Solec Kujaski, Poland.

The center of the aurora was near 60°N 37.5°W (see figure above). The orange line indicates the path between my location and Poland. The thin yellow line is the mid-point at 2,024 miles.

A minor G-1 class geomagnetic storm was the result of a coronal hole spewing both low and high speed streams of solar winds towards Earth, which sparked the aurora.