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

Friday, January 30, 2015

WWDJ 1150

Good conditions continued last evening when I caught up with WWDJ on 1150 kc. Using the Skywave receiver, WWDJ went into the log at 2338 UTC running 5 kW out of the Boston area, 100 miles to my east-northeast. The Spanish format station had an S1 to S3 signal and I was happy to log it after a two-week dry spell chasing DX down the rabbit hole.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Good Conditions

Conditions on the AM band were good overnight.

Turned the Skywave on briefly before going to bed last night (0300 UTC) and CHOK on 1070 kc had a very strong, solid signal broadcasting the Toronto vs. New Jersey hockey game for the 10 minutes or so I had the radio powered up. It was by far the strongest signal I have heard on 1070 since the Skywave freed that frequency from WTIC on 1080.

Forgot my iPod this morning, so I listened to the radio and discovered that conditions on the AM band were still good during my 35-minute commute to work just before sunrise at 1205 UTC. I did not hear anything new on the stock radio in my 2007 Subaru, but what I did hear was loud and clear  in particular, WIBX on 950 from Utica, NY, and KDKA on 1020 from Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bill Monboquette RIP

From the Stan Horzepa Tape Stains and All Collection
Bill Monboquette was my favorite Red Sox pitcher back in the Red Sox Village days. Sorry to see him go.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Nothing new in the log, so, I keep going back to 1070 kc.

Saturday evening, about 2300 UTC, I heard three stations simultaneously on 1070 kc. I identified one as CHOK, but I had no luck identifying the other two. It was very frustrating because one of the two stations was very strong for about 10 minutes (a woman and man were discussing the Boston marathon murder trial).

So with nothing new in the log, I leave you with another item from the WTIC Alumni Site's online museum, a QST cover story about the venerable radio station. By the way, the whole WTIC story from QST is available on the museum's webpage.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Dave Kaplan, WA1OUI, responded to the previous post about the current state of QSLing by domestic radio stations. Back in the 1970s, Dave actually handled the QSL chores at WTIC and is currently the webmaster of the WTIC Alumni Site.

The site includes an online museum, which was the source of the WTIC QSL shown here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015



I received the following question from a reader, "Do domestic stations issue QSLs anymore? When I was a kid they did."

Yes, they do, but probably at a diminished rate than in the past.

I had about a 50% success rate with AM radio stations way back when. Today, I don't know for sure because I have not sent a reception report in eons, but I expect that the success rate is poorer due to smaller staffs and automated stations.

The reader also asked, "To whom would I address the reception report?"

Address your reception report to the Chief Engineer of the radio station. Station addresses can be found at Radio-Locator.

Like I wrote above, I have not sought a QSL in a long time, but I think it is time to try again and experience QSLing in the 21st Century.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What’s wrong with this picture?

I received the above envelope from a Boston area eBay seller containing stamps I purchased for my collection. 

At first blush, the envelope looked innocuous: three commemorative stamps, 4¢, 20¢ and 25¢ denominations adding up to 49¢, the current rate for First Class Mail for 1-ounce letters.

I did not notice anything unusual until I took scissors to the envelope to clip off the stamps. Only then did I notice that the 25¢ denomination stamp was not a U.S. stamp; rather it was a United Nations stamp (Scott #284 from 1977)!

UN stamps (or any foreign country’s stamps) cannot be used for postage for mail originating in the U.S., yet this one got through the USPS system with a Boston, Mass. postmark.

Believe it or not!

1070 Update

At 0000 UTC Saturday (Friday night EST), the chatter that I heard on 1070 earlier in the week was building in strength and peaked for about ten minutes around 0010 UTC when I was able to hear pre-game hockey talk from CHOK. Although CHOK is ready in the log, it is still nice to hear something on 1070 other than WTIC 1080! Anyway, I think I will give 1070 a rest and move on to other AM kilocycles.

(Radio used was the new C.Crane's CC Skywave AM-FM-SW-WX-Air portable receiver.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dwelling on 1070


I recently logged three new stations on a frequency (1070 kc) that was previously unusable due to the proximity of a 50,000 watt station (WTIC), that is, its  proximity of operating frequency (1080) and proximity of distance between it and my location (12 miles).

My success on 1070 is due to a new radio: C.Crane's new CC Skywave AM-FM-SW-WX-Air portable receiver that my sister gifted to me on Christmas. I have been so impressed with its capabilities on AM that I have not spent much time on its other bands, but I have noticed that it's sensitivity and selectivity on the FM band is top-notch and probably the best receiver I own in that regard.

Getting back to 1070... during the past week or so, I have concentrated on that frequency trying to catch another new entry for the log (so far I logged CHOK, WINA and WKOK, 488, 384 and 208 miles away, respectively ). I can still hear some WTIC on 1070, but I can null it out by positioning the CC Skywave 90° away from their transmitter site. That position puts WINA in the null (gray on the map) along with WTIC, while CHOK and WKOK fall somewhere in between the null and the sweet spot (green on the map).

By the way, I have the CC Skywave's bandwidth set to 2 kc for AM band DXing, which I find works well for extracting intelligence from weak signals with this radio (bandwidths from 1 to 6 kc in 1 kc steps are selectable).

The last two nights at around 0000 UTC, I heard voices and music occasionally pop up through the noise, but the signal(s) were not strong enough nor long enough to extract any intelligence.

I will keep on trying and keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WSKP 1180

wskp_www I sat in an icebox (also known as my car) for nearly a half-hour during my lunch hour watching snow flurry onto the windshield while tuning the radio searching for a new entry for the log. I settled on 1180 kc listening to what I thought was WHAM out of Rochester, NY.

WHAM is already in the log, but I had given up finding anything new and decided to listen to the oldies. But looking up WHAM in my log, I had it logged as a talk radio station. Either they changed their format or I had something new (WHAM was my only 1180 log entry so far).

I stuck it out and at 1758 UTC, the station identified as Hope Valley, Rhode Island’s WSKP. Transmitting 1800 watts 54 miles to my east, it had a solid S-4 signal.

Monday, January 12, 2015

crumb_zap I have owned the domain for years,
but I just reconfigured it for this blog instead of my old WordPress blog. As a result, you can now use, or to access this blog.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Reorg

Nothing new in the log since Monday.

During my lunch hour on Thursday, I spent about 15 minutes listening on the AM radio in my Subaru and conditions were excellent. Nothing new for the log, but most of the stations were stronger than usual on probably the coldest day of the winter, so far. Go figure.

I took some photos of the radio shack after its reorganization over the holidays. The photo below provides a good view of the current layout. The second photo is the same as the first with the addition of the annotations.

During the reorg, I found a sock buried among the wires and cables under the desk. Squeaky, our kleptomaniac cat, is probably responsible for the sock's relocation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Number 3 on 1070

I logged my third station on 1070 kc last night at 2317 UTC using the C.Crane CC Skywave receiver: WINA in Charlottesville, Virginia, 384 miles transmitting 5 kW to my southwest with an S-1 to S-2 signal.

As mentioned previously, 1070 was dead to me before using the CC Skywave; none of my other radios could hear anything on 1070 due to the IBOC splatter from WTIC on 1080 blasting 50,000 watts 12 miles to my northeast.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Where's WHEN? Here (Hear) on 620

First new logging of the new year occurred at 2200 UTC on January 1, when I heard WHEN on 620 kc transmitting 5 kW from Syracuse, New York, 194 miles to my northwest. "Central New York's Only R&B" had an S-3 signal on my C.Crane CC Skywave receiver and C.Crane CC twin coil ferrite external antenna.