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

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!

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