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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Más Cuba

I logged another Cuban station this morning at 0530 UTC: Radio Rebelde on 670 kc*. Probably transmitting 50 kW from either Arroyo Arenas or Santa Clara, 1403 or 1390 miles to the south-southwest. The Elecraft KX3 and 80-meter inverted Vee were the receivers.

* Radio Rebelde runs multiple stations on various AM band frequencies from various locations in Cuba.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cuba! Cuba!

Last night, I entered Cuba into the AM radio log for the first time  not once, but twice!

At 0340, Radio Rebelde overwhelmed WOR on 710 kc, transmitting 200 kW from Chambas, 1387 miles to the south-southwest. The photo shows the Radio Rebelde equipment line-up during the Cuban Revolution. Looks like a typical ham radio station layout during that era. (At one time, I owned that Heathkit SWR meter sitting on top of that pile.)

At 0400, Radio Angulo identified at the top of the hour on 740 kc, transmitting 10 kW from Sagua de Tanamo, 1461 miles to the south.

I heard the Cuban stations with my Elecraft KX3 and 80-meter inverted Vee.

Radio Angulo was my 300th entry into the AM radio log, which I began on Christmas Eve four years ago.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I added two new stations to the log.

WESR on 1330 kc transmitting 51 watts, 307 miles south-southwest in Onley-Onancock, Virginia, monitored at 0000 UTC Tuesday on my Elecraft KX3 and 80-meter inverted Vee.

WTSN on 1270 kc transmitting 5,000 watts, 152 miles northeast from Dover, New Hampshire, monitored at 1140 UTC Wednesday on the stock AM FM radio in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

1070 Night

It was an interesting night!

With 1080 kc occupied by 50,000 watts of WTIC and its IBOC 12 miles away, 1070 kc can be challenging. So I always check 1070 to see what’s happening.

Last night, shortly after sunset, there was no interference from WTIC (was IBOC off?) and I could clearly hear a weak station playing Christmas pop songs with the KX3’s receiver and the 80-meter inverted Vee. I listened for a station id, but I could never decipher what the announcer was saying. I quit listening after the signal faded into the noise.

I checked again around 1 AM local time (0600 UTC) and same thing: one Christmas pop song after another, but the announcer’s voice was muddled and I could not get any useful information.

Up at 5 AM EST /1000 UTC to feed the menagerie, I checked 1070 again and Christmas pop songs are still on the air. I switched to the Terk Advantage loop antenna and heard more of the same, but turning the antenna about 30 degrees, I nulled out the mystery station, but now I could hear an even weaker station also playing Christmas pop songs (Elvis’ Blue Christmas).

I switched back to the 80-meter antenna and sat on 1070 for awhile. Finally, I could decipher what the announcer was saying. After a couple of ads for businesses located in “Greenville,” I figured I was hearing WNCT in Greenville, NC, transmitting 10 kW 481 miles to the south-southwest.

Friday, December 18, 2015

LORAN's Comeback

Radio station at the US Coast Guard Reservation in Lower Township, NJ

From the Press of Atlantic City comes this story:

LOWER TOWNSHIP - The radio navigation system that helped win World War II and then guided mariners and aviators in peacetime may be making a comeback.
And it starts right here in New Jersey.
It won’t exactly be the old Loran C system southern New Jersey fishermen and general aviation pilots grew up with. It would be better. The so-called enhanced Loran, or eLoran, is being tested here at a decommissioned Coast Guard base that ran Loran operations from 1947 to 2010.
New Jersey became the first state to turn the signal back on Friday afternoon as two private firms, engineering companies UrsaNav and Harris, provided seed money for the tests supported by the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies under something called a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or CRADA.

You can read the rest of the story here and if you are local or propagation is enhanced, you might hear the New Jersey eLoran signal on 100 kHz.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

This Day in Radio History

On December 12, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi successfully sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.

Read all about it here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Top of the hour, specifically at 0000 UTC last night, the station ID of WEMJ popped out of the cacophony of 1490 kc. Transmitting 1,000 watts 152 miles to the north-northeast in Laconia, New Hampshire, I heard WEMJ on my KX3 and 80-meter inverted Vee.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


During my Monday morning commute, I decided to DX rather than play tunes on my iPod. So as I pulled out of the driveway. I tuned the receiver to 1160 where I could hear at least three stations simultaneously. And a minute later, in the midst of the cacophony, I heard the station ID of WODY as clear as a bell.

Now I had 35 minutes on the road to ponder WODY. Where was it? Was it a new one? Since I was driving, there was no way to check my log until I got to the salt mine.

Arriving at work, I checked my log and was happy to confirm that WODY was indeed a new logging! Located in Fieldale, Virginia (near Martinsville), 510 miles to the southwest, WODY was transmitting a mere 250 watts!

Equipment used was the stock AM-FM radio and antenna in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Stretching Stretch

The 40-meter inverted Vee that I stretched for 80 meters last week is a keeper. So I wanted to do something more permanent about how the antenna was supported.

Each end of the antenna was tied to trees with a rope. There was no give, so if one of the trees swayed enough in the wind, the antenna might break apart.

In the past, I used weighted plastic bottles as counterweights. But I thought there might be a better and simpler way, so I searched the Internet for ideas.

Somebody suggested bungee cords. (Why hadn't I thought of that?) So I bought some new bungee cords, shortened the rope on each end of the antenna, and placed a bungee cord between eye hooks bored into each tree and the shortened ropes.

Worked like a charm!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Duo at Dusk

I logged two new longer distance AM stations at dusk Friday evening:

WKGM on 940 kc transmitting 10 kW from Smithfield, Virginia, 378 miles to the south-southwest.

WGBR on 1150 kc transmitting 800 W from Goldsboro, North Carolina, 510 miles to the south-southwest.

Both were logged with the Elecraft KX3 and an 80-meter inverted Vee antenna.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2 new in 3 minutes

I was connecting a new power supply (a Powerwerx SS-30DV) to the KX3 and PX3 when I noticed that the top of the hour was approaching. So I powered up the KX3 and ended up on 1390 kc listening to a commercial for something or other, then at 0000 UTC, the station ID, WFBL in Syracuse, NY, running 5 kW, 200 miles to my west-northwest.

I quickly moved over to 1380 kc and heard a woman speaking Chinese. It had to be WKDM in New York City. I don't understand Chinese, so I confirmed that it was WKDM by listening to it on the Internet's TuneIn. Running 5 kW, their transmitter is located in the New Jersey Meadowlands, 81 miles to my southwest.

Both new loggings were captured with the Elecraft KX3 and an 80 meter inverted Vee antenna.