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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Another 1070 Catch: WKOK

Late this afternoon (2250 UTC), I logged a second station on the previously dead-to-me* 1070 kHz courtesy of the new C.Crane Skywave receiver (again barefoot using its internal antenna). The new logging was WKOK in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, transmitting sports talk with 10 kW 208 miles to my west-southwest with an S-1 to S-3 signal.

* dead-to-me due to 50,000 watts of WTIC on 1080 kHz 12 miles away

Friday, December 26, 2014

My Christmas Present

Sister Gigi gifted me with a C.Crane CC Skywave receiver for Christmas. As the holiday festivities wound down Christmas evening, I had an opportunity to slip a pair of AA batteries into the Skywave to see how it works.

Whenever I try out a new radio, I have two frequencies I tune to first to give the radio a quick check-out: 92.1 Mc and 1070 kc.

92.1 Mc

My favorite FM radio station, WLNG, transmits on 92.1 Mc, 55 miles away on the North Shore of Long Island. Every portable radio I own requires that I fully extend its telescoping antenna and position the antenna just so in order to receive WLNG.

When I tuned the CC Skywave to 92.1, I could hear WLNG clearly when I touched its antenna. By removing the antenna from its cradled horizontal position and positioning it vertically without extending it one iota, WLNG's signal was solid and stereophonic. I was impressed.

1070 kc

1070 is a dead frequency for me. The 50,000 Watt blowtorch known as WTIC is 12 miles away on the opposite side of the valley transmitting on 1080 kc.  Every portable receiver I own only hears WTIC's backwash on 1070, but not 1090 (go figure), and as a result, my AM radio log has no entry for 1070.

Tuning the CC Skywave to 1070, I did not hear any sign of WTIC, but I could hear the weak signal of a station playing Christmas tunes. Repositioning the radio, I peaked the signal to an S-3 level and at 0437 UTC, I heard the station identification: CHOK in Sarnia, Ontario, transmitting 10 kW from Petrokia, Ontario, 488 miles to my north-northwest.

Wow ‑ I was very impressed! A brand new station in the log on a frequency that was previously unusable using the radio's stock internal antenna!

Merry Christmas to me!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Frontier Communications ― The Worst

This fall, AT&T got out of Dodge and Frontier Communications took over as our landline and Internet provider.

Frontier screwed up our billing and their Internet service is the worst.

Getting e-mail is like playing Russian roulette. Frontier's system frequently fails to recognize my password when my e-mail app tries to retrieve new messages. I have found no fix for this problem and just have to keep trying to get my e-mail until Frontier's system finally recognizes my password.

Browsing websites is even worse. Occasionally, accessing a website reminds me of the good old days with AT&T, but most of the time, trying to access a website is like trying to pull teeth. Websites load so slowly that my browser often gives up and sends me an error message saying that Frontier's system can't access the website I am trying to hit.

Sometimes, rebooting the computer speeds things up, but that only works about half the time. But why do I have to resort to that fix? I never had to do that with AT&T.

I would drop Frontier Communications like a hot potato, but I dread having to deal with changing my e-mail addresses!

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Home for the Holidays

KJNP, 50,000 watts Gospel Station at the Top of the Nation,
North Pole, Alaska 99705, 1170 on the radio dial.

I have been listening regularly, but hearing nothing new on the AM band. So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Home for the holidays, I plan to do some reconfiguration of the radio shack equipment, as well as some shack housecleaning.

This is way overdue!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


12-13-14 is today's was yesterday's date. We won't see that happen again for awhile!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

820 Action... Not So Much

I monitored 820 kHz between 2230 and 2345 UTC last evening and all I heard was the previously logged WNYC out of NYC (actually transmitting from Kearney, NJ, 85 miles southwest of here). There was not a peep from any other stations on 820 last evening as compared to the three or four I heard the previous evening.

Go figure propagation!

Friday, December 12, 2014

820 Action


Last evening, I parked my receivers on 820 kHz because there were three or four stations vying for dominance of the frequency. I managed to identify two of the stations ― both new loggings here in Downtown Wolcott.

“Gamut Radio,” WWFD in Frederick, Maryland, 283 miles to my southwest was prepping to broadcast the Washington Capitals hockey game and was the dominant station on 820 transmitting 430 W, which resulted as an S-1 to S-3 signal in my neck of the woods at 2347 UTC.

“The Answer,” WNTW in Chester, Virginia, broke through WWFD at 2349 UTC transmitting 1 kW 379 miles to my south-southwest. Its signal peaked at S-1 at 2349 UTC just as it broadcasted its station identification.

I used a C.Crane CCRadio SW receiver with an C.Crane CC twin coil ferrite external antenna to log WWFD and a C.Crane CCRadio 2E Enhanced receiver with a Terk Advantage antenna to log WNTW.

I plan to revisit 820 kHz tonight and try to pick off some more stations from that busy frequency.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dust Settling

Ted and Jerry Williams After months of family health issues, the dust is finally settling and I can hunker down next to the radios to hear what I can hear.

In the past few days, I made two new entries into the log.

WMEX is a new call sign for a previous entry (WWZN). Transmitting 50 kW from Boston (104 miles to my north-northeast), it had a solid S-5 signal here on 1510 kc on December 1 at 2345 GMT.

WAIK is a real brand new one for the log. Transmitting a mere 55 W from Galesburg, Illinois, 902 mile to my west, their signal on 1590 kc wavered between S-0 and S-2, but I heard their station identification at the top of the hour on December 9 at 0000 GMT.

Both loggings were made using my C.Crane CCRadio 2E Enhanced receiver and Terk Advantage antenna.

By the way, rumor has it that I will be gifted with a radio on December 25: the brand new C.Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Aviation Band receiver. If the rumor is true, you can expect my review of the radio here in the near future.