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

Sunday, August 23, 2015


After a few fruitless days of scanning the AM band, I finally logged a new one this morning at 0435 UTC  WCAP in Lowell, Massachusetts, transmitting 5 kW, 108 miles to my northeast. Playing 1960's oldies, "the Beatles and before," the station was vying with two other stations, one unidentified, the other identified as "ESPN 980" (probably WTEM in D.C., which I logged previously).

I used my C.Crane CC Skywave receiver with my Terk Advantage antenna to catch this new one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


I was on vacation last week and on Friday, I managed to get away from the chaos with a shotgun trip to Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. On the way, we drove through Wells River, Vermont, and passed right by WTWN on Route 302. I added WTWN to my logbook back in February and I thought it would be cool to get a snapshot of the station.

So on the return trip, we slowed down as we passed the station and I snapped a few photos with my iPhone 6. The best of the bunch is above.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Listening with the Meteors

While sitting in the dark watching the Perseid meteor shower, I bagged two "new" stations with my barefoot C.Crane CC Skywave receiver:

CFZM  This Toronto station is a fire-breather running 50,000 watts on a clear channel (740 kc) 354 miles to my north-northwest. I was surprised that I had not logged this one before and when I checked the log, I discovered I had worked it on 2011 when it was CHWO.

WTEL  Transmitting 5,000 watts on 610 kc from Philadelphia 164 miles to my southwest, like CFZM, I had logged this station before using a different callsign... in 2013 when it was WIP.

I did see two meteors last night, one a whizzer, and then the clouds rolled in and obscured my view.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Two New Oldies are Old!

Tuning up and down the AM and FM bands yesterday afternoon and I came across a new oldies station where there used to be an old Hispanic station. For a moment, I thought I had a new entry for the log, but the station identified and it turned out to be WXCT on 990 kc, 4 miles away in Southington, Conn.

WXCT changed formats earlier this month and is now simulcasting the 60's oldies format with WACM on 1490 kc in Agawam, Mass. I tried to listen to WACM to see if they were really simulcasting, but I could not hear them and for what it's worth, WACM is already in the log, too.

By the way, I was using my C.Crane CC Skywave receiver sans external aluminum.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mail from the Mailman

A friend, who wished to be anonymous, responded to yesterday's post Mail from Mao:
I can go you one further with the Radio Peking monitoring. I also got a “Little Red Book”, which I still have somewhere.
What you apparently didn’t get was the type of letter I got from the Post Office circa 1964 indicating that an envelope addressed to me from China was “unsealed” and they determined that it contained propaganda. 
I had to check off one of four choices:
  • Please send all mail of this type.
  • Please send only this item.
  • Never send any mail of this type.
  • Don’t send this item.
Also worrying about a future reputation (I was in high school at the time), I chose the don’t send me anything more option. I do miss the calendars they sent, though. The photography was spectacular. 
I think it was the Supreme Court that declared this practice of the PO to be unconstitutional.
I looked it up and it was Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965), a landmark First Amendment Supreme Court case, in which the ruling of the Supreme Court struck down § 305(a) of the Postal Service and Federal Employees Salary Act of 1962, a federal statute requiring the Postmaster General to detain and deliver only upon the addressee's request unsealed foreign mailings of "communist political propaganda."

Under the stricken code, a recipient of material deemed "political propaganda" was required to indicate their intent to receive such materials before they were delivered and accept the material by indicating a desire to do so on a card provided by the Post Office. The card stated that except with the addressee's name and consent to receiving the material, it would be returned within 20 days, the Post Office assuming that the addressee does not want that publication or any similar one in the future.

The Court held:

the Act, as construed and applied, is unconstitutional, since it imposes on the addressee an affirmative obligation which amounts to an unconstitutional limitation of his rights under the First Amendment.

The Court was unanimous in the judgment (8-0, with Justice White recused). Justice Brennan wrote a concurring opinion (which Justice Goldberg joined) and Justice Harlan also wrote a concurring opinion. (Source: Wikipedia)