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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Twofer

WJJL I suspected conditions were good this morning when the first thing I heard was a French language station (I assume Canadian station CJWI) interfering with local WPOP on 1410 kc. So I slid up the band, parked on 1440 kc for the ride to work, and logged two new ones: WCDL and WJJL.

Sports talk station WCDL is located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, transmitting 37 watts, 134 miles to my west.

Oldies station WJJL is in Niagara Falls, New York, transmitting 55 watts, 334 to my north-northwest.

During my 35-minute commute, the two stations took turns dominating 1440 on the stock AM-FM radio in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Taco Bandido and the Dead Zone


AM band radio conditions have not been wonderful lately and I have nothing to add to the log.

Listening to 1400 kc on the way to work this morning, there were a handful of stations in the mud without not much intelligence except for an advertisement for a restaurant called "Taco Bandido" or "Taco Bandito." No location was announced and looking up the restaurant on the Internet was not much help because there were more than one with the same name. The nearest Taco Bandido is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which jives with WICK on 1400  and would have been a new logging, but that is not good enough for a logging.

I noticed something odd while driving to work. My commute takes me through Meriden, Connecticut, via I-691 and I noticed that if my radio is tuned in the neighborhood of 1400 kc as it was this morning, the receiver becomes dead quiet as I approach the downtown Meriden exits and continues to be dead for over a mile as I pass through the downtown area. In this dead zone, I do not hear any signals and I wonder if I am actually hearing a strong unmodulated carrier that is blocking out everything else in that area.

Monday, March 23, 2015

WEAV in the log


New Haven’s WELI usually lays claim to 960 kc around here, but last night, WEAV popped in for about five minutes with a stronger signal than WELI. The Plattsburg, NY, station with transmitters in Peru, NY, peaked at an S-5 at 0158 UTC. WEAV was transmitting 5 kW, 205 miles to my north while running an advertisement for Poulin Auto Sales.

Receiver used was my barefoot C.Crane CC Skywave.

Friday, March 20, 2015

73 Magazine


Without an Elmer, I depended on magazines to learn about radio.

Before becoming a ham, I read Popular Electronics and Electronics Illustrated to learn about medium and shortwave listening. When I got the ham radio bug, I read CQ and became an Associate Member, that is, an unlicensed member of the ARRL so I could read QST. After I got my ham license (WN1LOU), I became a Full Member of the ARRL and soon had subscriptions to the "big four," that is, 73, CQ, Ham Radio and QST.

73 was the most entertaining of the "big four." It's publisher, Wayne Green, W2NSD, stirred the pot in his monthly editorials. Whether you agreed with Wayne or not, his words were usually interesting and often thought-provoking.

When the FM repeater mode was taking off, 73 covered that mode extensively while the other magazines barely acknowledged the mode. 73 via Wayne also recognized the potential of home computers before most of the rest of us did (and I thank him for getting me interested in computers way back when). And finally, 73 was the first magazine to publish yours truly, which kicked-off my professional writing career.

73 is long gone and although I saved many back issues of the big four, they are tucked away back in a corner of the attic, so they might well be in the Copernicus Crater as far as easy access is concerned.

Good news is that every issue of 73, from October 1960 to May 2003, 519 issues, are now available as pdfs on four DVDs for $14.97 from Amazon.

I ordered the discs on Sunday and they arrived Thursday, so now I won't have to visit my attic or Copernicus to read 73 back issues.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Will is Ill

I have been ill this week and not up to listening to noisy radio stations. So I have no new loggings to share with you, but I do have this very cool ham radio video to show you.


Friday, March 13, 2015

1,000 Watts, 1,000 Miles


No sign of aurora today, but conditions on the AM band were very good and I nabbed KCJJ on 1630 kc transmitting 1,000 watts from Iowa City, Iowa, nearly 1,000 miles to my west. I had already logged KCJJ from the home station, but it was nice to copy it from the Subaru on the way to work.

About a quarter mile into my commute, I heard the station ID loud and clear. I stayed on frequency to see how KCJJ’s signal would play the rest of the way to work. The signal was up and down most of the trip, but during the last 10 minutes, the signal kept building in strength and sounded like a local by the time I parked the car in the company yard.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Aurora and WDND

wdnd Weird conditions on the AM band on the way to work this morning…

Tuning around the upper 1600s, I heard a couple of stations that sounded very unusual with muddied, watery audio. After listening to the stronger of the two stations for about five minutes, I realized that I might be hearing the effects of aurora.

In the past, I have worked many stations via aurora on 2 meters and even a few on 10 meters, but never on the AM broadcast band. The station I was listening to was using an unfamiliar language. And the forecast was positive for aurora, so it is likely that what I heard was an aurora propagated station, but I was unable to identify it.

After the aurora subsided, I was able to identify a new one on 1620 kc: WDND transmitting 1,000 watts from South Bend, Indiana, 690 miles to my west. WDND was simulcasting a contemporary hit radio format from WNDV FM.

Receiving equipment was the usual: the stock radio and antenna in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

C.Crane CCRadio 2E Enhanced Updated

CCRadio2EEnhanced When I reviewed their CCRadio 2E Enhanced radio here last January, I complained about its default display:

“By far, my biggest complaint is the frequency display. When you tune the radio, the radio displays the frequency, but when you stop tuning, the frequency disappears after a few seconds and displays the time, if the clock has been programmed or nothing, if the clock has not been programmed. To display the frequency again, you must press the Freq button momentarily and again, the frequency disappears after a few seconds and displays the time or nothing!”

“When I am DXing, the frequency is much more important than the time of day, so I would prefer that the frequency was the default display, not the time. Or at least allow the user to select the default display”

C.Crane listens to its customers and I am happy to pass along the news that the default display is now user-programmable, that is you can program the radio to display by default either the time or the frequency! Version 2 of the 2E manual indicates that this is so and an e-mail query to C.Crane confirms it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No news is bad news


I have been listening, but I have not heard anything new in over a week. With Daily Savings Time kicking in over the weekend, I am now driving to work at dusk, so I expect that there will be many opportunities for DX on the way to work.

For example, Cincinnati’s WLW has been loud and clear on 700 kc each morning and I reheard WSJP out of Wisconsin on 1640 kc this morning. It’s hard to believe they are running only 1 kW!

At home, I am still working out with the C.Crane CC Skywave, but nothing new was heard at home either. But we’ll keep on listenin’.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Party’s Over!

I had a very productive sunrise drive to work on Friday and logged three new stations with the stock radio in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport:

- WSJP on 1640 kc transmitting 1 kW from Sussex, Wisconsin, 785 miles to my west-northwest

- WKKX on 1600 kc transmitting 33 watts from Wheeling, West Virginia, 418 miles to my west-southwest

- WHGT on 1590 kc transmitting 58 watts from Maugansville, Maryland, 286 miles to my west-southwest

Sunday evening, I logged a brand new station with the C.Crane CC Skywave:

- WFME on 1560 kc transmitting 50 kW from Queens, NYC, 81 miles to my south-southwest. 

Logging WFME means the party is over! WFME takes over 1560 from the dearly departed WQEW. During the transition from QEW to FME, for about ten days neither station was on the air and I logged four new stations that I would unlikely be able to hear if QEW or FME were on the air. It was fun while it lasted!