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

Friday, February 19, 2016

19 Watts Over 200 Miles

Randomly dialed up 1050 on the AM dial as I started off to work this morning at 1120 UTC and I could hear a weak station playing Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock." I prefer chasing stations playing music rather than stations playing talk radio, so I hung in there while the mystery station faded in and out vying with WEPN. A mention of "central New York State" pinpointed the station as WSEN in Baldwinsville, NY, 202 miles to the northwest transmitting a mere 19 watts as detected by the stock radio in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

On the FM radio

This time of year, I don’t expect to work anything new on the FM band, but yesterday, I logged two new stations.

On an early morning grocery run, I noticed a handmade sign on the side of the road in Bristol, CT, that read, “105.3 Christian Radio.” I don’t recall logging many religious stations on FM, so I tuned the car radio to 105.3 Mc and found a religious station, WJYC, that was loud and clear.

I continued monitoring 105.3 during my grocery run and WJYC was solid until I crested South Mountain. WPTY out of Long Island took over the frequency.

After I unloaded the groceries, I looked up WJYC on It is the Riverside Baptist Church’s LPFM station transmitting 76 watts from Terryville, CT, 3 to 4 miles to my west as I drove around Bristol, CT.

Since WJYC was a new station right under my nose, I decided to check what other new stations might be under my nose and ready to be logged.

Using the “find U.S. radio by your location” feature, the website came back with a list of AM and FM stations I should be able to hear. Perusing the list, only one was not in my log: W253BQ on 98.5 Mc. Their transmitter is 7 miles line of sight of my QTH, so I thought it was a sure-thing and sure enough, they were loud and clear on the C.Crane CC Skywave receiver. W253BQ transmits 250 watts 7 miles to my southwest and is is a relay station for Spanish station WSGG.

Friday, February 12, 2016

1510 in the morning

Logged two new ones just before dawn on 1510 kc:

WFAI on Thursday morning 1145 UTC transmitting gospel music with 2500 watts from Salem, NJ, 190 miles to the southwest. Elecraft KX3 radio and C.Crane CC twin coil ferrite antenna were the equipment.

WLAC on Friday morning, 1125 UTC, transmitting 50,000 watts from Nashville, 830 miles to the west-southwest. Began hearing WLAC as I pulled out of my driveway and continued hearing it until it was captured by WMEX about half way to work. Also heard WFAI briefly near the end of my commute. Equipment was the stock radio and antenna in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Monday evening (2220 UTC), I logged Chinese language station, CHIN, transmitting 30 kW from Toronto on 1540 kc. CHIN is 360 miles to the north-northwest. Equipment used was the Elecraft KX3 radio and C.Crane CC twin coil ferrite antenna.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

1710 TIS

Earlier this week, there was a discussion on the International Radio Club of America (IRCA) e-mail list about the low level of activity on 1710 kc. During the e-mail exchange, some folks listed the stations that they had heard on 1710. Among those stations was the Travelers Information Station (TIS) for the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

Springfield is less than 40 miles away as the crow flies, so I thought that that TIS was my best shot at logging something on 1710.

I began monitoring 1710 on the car radio during my daily commute to and from work, but did not hear any intelligence.

At home, I did the same with the KX3 switching between antennas to hear what I could hear.

Tuesday evening with the KX3 connected to the C.Crane CC twin coil ferrite antenna, I could hear a station down in the mud, but it was too weak to make any sense of it. Wednesday evening, conditions were better and I heard a woman describing the Armory and giving directions to the Armory from the nearby Interstate highways. Her announcement was on a continuous loop and was repeated every minute or so.

The Springfield Armory is 38 miles to the north-northeast and their TIS is transmitting a maximum of 10 watts. Looking it up on the FCC database, there is nothing listed for this station, so I have no call sign for it, but nevertheless, it is now in my log.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The time now is 4:45

Driving to work this morning listening to a Tower of Babble on graveyard frequency 1400 kc, I heard, "The time now is 4:45," but nothing more. Considering that it was 6:45 when I heard that time check, it would have been a very good catch if I identified the source two Time Zones to my west (a minimum of 1400 miles away), but I did not.

C'est la vie.

I started listening to 1400 on the way to work Monday morning. I don't know why they call 1400 and the other graveyard frequencies "graveyard" frequencies because they sure are alive. 1400 sounds more like a beehive than a graveyard.

I continued listening to 1400 when I returned home after work and was rewarded with a clear station identification at the top of the hour (0300 UTC): WICK in Scranton, Pennsylvania, transmitting 1 kW, 140 miles to my west. Heard that on the Elecraft KX3 and the Terk Advantage antenna. By the way, I think I heard WICK briefly on the car radio this morning, too.

Sunday evening (2200 UTC), tuning around, I stopped briefly on 700 kc to listen to somebodies whining about their constitutional rights on WLW (Cincinnati). Listening closely, I could hear a weak Spanish station under WLW, so I nulled out WLW as best I could with the C.Crane CC twin coil ferrite antenna and managed to identify WDMV transmitting 5 kW from Walkersville, Maryland, 275 miles to my southwest.

WDMV was a nice catch ― only the second station logged on 700, which is usually dominated by WLW in my neck of the woods.