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

Monday, February 17, 2020

780 Bounty


The following announcement appeared on the IRCA mail list Saturday:

“With special thanks to Chief Engineer Daniel Appellof, and Broadcaster/DX’er Paul Walker, we have arranged for a DX Test tonight for KKOH 780 Khz in Reno, Nevada. At approximately midnight Pacific time, KKOH will switch to 50 KW Non-directional. They plan to run 15-20 minutes of DX Test material that we have provided.

“This material includes sweep tones, Morse Code IDs at 700 hz (10 words per minute), telephone off-hook sounds, and vintage voice sounders for the station. The sweep tones and telephone sounders are especially good at cutting through noise, and should give many DX’ers a chance to log the station. 

“After the test period, KKOH 780 will power down the transmitter for additional maintenance. This will provide a “silent period” for West Coast DX’ers to log new stations on 780 Khz.”

WBBM in Chicago dominates 780 here and I did not think I would hear anything but WBBM if I got up at 3 AM local time to hear the test. But as luck would have it, there cat woke me up at 2:50 AM and since I was already up, I went to the radio shack, turned on the IC-8600, tuned to 780 and at 07:59 UTC, turned on the recorder function of the 8600.

WBBM was loud and clear as usual, although it did experience two deep fades during the 20 minutes of  monitoring 780, but the fades did not help me hear anything from KKOH. However, when WBBM was at full strength, I did copy Morse code from KKOH at 08:05:00 UTC.

Then from about 08:07:30 on, Radio Coro was very copyable playing salsa music under WBBM.

So it was a very productive morning – a new state and a new country in the log. KKOH in Reno, transmitting 50,000 watts, 2429 miles to the west and Radio Coro in Coro, Venezuela, transmitting 15,000 watts 2079 miles to the south.

I was continuously switching between antennas during the test and I heard the KKOH Morse code on the 80-meter dipole and Radio Coro on both the dipole and the 60-foot Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Happy World Radio Day!


Hug a radio because today is World Radio Day!

Nothing new in the radio log. I listen every evening and before I go to bed. Conditions have been good. In fact, last night conditions were very good – I heard a half-dozen navigational beacons that were over 1,000 miles away, but nothing new to report.

Since my DNA tests 99% Polish, I will leave you with the Polish version of the World Radio Day GIF.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Capitol Records Building Morse Code


This iconic Los Angeles landmark has been emitting secret messages since it opened. However, only those with a keen eye for Morse code can decipher what they say.

It was the former president of Capitol Records, Alan Livingston, who got the idea to have the light on top of the building send out a signal in Morse code. The word chosen for this secret message was “Hollywood.” When the building opened in 1956, Samuel Morse’s granddaughter Leila Morse had the honor of turning the light on.

Read the rest of the story at Atlas Obscura.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Recent Loggings


Three new loggings to tell you about including two graveyard stations!

CJLV on 1570 kHz at 0100Z Jan 18, transmitting 10kW from Laval, Quebec, 273 miles to the north.

WICY on graveyard frequency 1490 kHz at 2315Z Jan 20, transmitting 1kW from Malone, New York, 232 miles to the north-northwest

WWSC on graveyard frequency 1450 kHz at 2358Z Jan 21, transmitting 940 watts from Glens Falla, New York, 121 miles to the north-northwest

All stations were heard on my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 60-ft Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Norton Outlook

I live on a ridge of mountains that are the highest points in the county, but you would never know it if you visited my home because I am surrounded by trees, which essentially blocks the horizon in all directions. Up on the roof, I can see some of the horizon the six months of the year when the trees are defrocked, but it still not visually impressive.

To be impressed, you have to hike into the woods to Norton Outlook, an outcrop of rock that is in the clear. Once or twice a year, I like to be impressed so I hike to Norton Outlook. Although Norton Outlook is only two-fifths of a mile from my home, you can't get there from here and I have to hike about a mile and a half over various trails to get there.

Wednesday's weather was inviting. Clear skies and temperatures in the mid-40s, so I decided to hike up to Norton Outlook. It was a fairly easy hike. There was no snow or ice to slip me up. It was muddy and puddly in spots, but my Totes waterproof boots kept my feet dry.

Forty minutes later, I reached the outlook and was pleased to see that I picked a perfect day. The sky was perfectly clear – minimal haze and smog to ruin the view from Long Island Sound to Mount Holyoke in Hadley, Massachusetts.

I spent about a half hour on Norton Outlook taking photos, enjoying the view and getting impressed!

View to Southeast

View to Northeast

Annotated Southeast View

Annotated Southeast View