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

Friday, January 4, 2019


RMQ (Source:
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


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.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Loud and Clear

Transatlantic long wave broadcast stations were loud and clear here Wednesday evening. Some of the stations were louder and clearer than I have ever heard them and I logged one new station:

Polskie Radio Jedynka on 225 kHz at 0030 UTC transmitting 1 million watts from Solec Kujawski, Poland, 4048 miles to the northeast.

Previously logged, but probably louder and clearer than when I originally logged them:

Radio Mediterranee Internationale in Nador, Morocco on 171 kHz

Europe 1 in Felsberg, Germany on 183 kHz

Rikisutvarpid RUV Ras 1 in Gufuskalar, Iceland on 189 kHz

BBC 4 in London, England on 198 kHz

RTL in Beidweiler, Luxembourg on 234 kHz

Radio Algerienne in Tipaza, Algeria on 252 kHz

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Antenna Weirdness

I was monitoring an unknown station on the FM band using my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and ICOM IC-AH-7000 VHF/UHF discone antenna. The station was weak and not intelligible enough to identify due to splatter from a strong station on the next FM channel.

Just for laughs, I switched to my Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A HF vertical antenna and the station's signal improved dramatically and I was able to identify it.

I would have never expected a HF vertical to perform better than a VHF/UHF antenna on the FM band. Go figure!

For the record, here are my latest new loggings:

WYPH-LPFM on 102.5 MHz transmitting 100 watts from Manchester, Connecticut, 25 miles to the east-northeast (Antenna: Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A)

WNHA-LPFM on 107.5 MHz transmitting 26 watts from New Haven, Connecticut  23 miles to the south  (Antenna: ICOM IC-AH-7000)

YBM on 230 kHz transmitting 25 watts from St. Bruno de Guigues, Quebec, 514 miles to the north-northwest (Antenna: 80-meter inverted Vee)

CN on 235 kHz transmitting 100 watts from Cochrane, Ontario, 644 miles to the north-northwest (Antenna: 80-meter inverted Vee)

YBG 356 kHz transmitting 250 watts from Saguenay-Bagotville, Quebec, 471 miles to the north (Antenna: 80-meter inverted Vee)