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

Friday, December 16, 2016

WTIC on 161.76 MHz

Wednesday evening, I was listening to the local NOAA weather station on 162.4 MHz (WXJ42 in Meriden) with the ELAD FDM-S2/SW2. The waterfall display showed activity on all seven NOAA weather channels, which is typical from my location. I also noticed another signal down the band a ways... on 161.76 to be exact.

I tuned in the signal and was surprised to hear the voice of Joe D'Ambrosio, who does a sports talk show on WTIC AM (1080 kHz). It sounded like he was doing the show on the air, but on FM instead of AM and on 161.76 instead of 1080. So I grabbed the nearest transistor radio and tuned it to WTIC AM. Lo and behold, there was Joe D doing his show, but delayed by about 15 seconds from what I was hearing on 161.76.

My initial thought was that I was hearing a radio relay from the WTIC studio to the WTIC transmitter.  The studio is in the valley below my QTH about 6 miles away, while the transmitter is 12 miles away.

I revisited 161.76 MHz Thursday evening and the signal was still there, but now the volume of the signal's audio was low. After about 15 minutes, the volume of the signal's audio jumped up in strength as its contents changed from talk radio to news. This just confused matters.

Researching the mystery, I found in the 1994 edition of the Connecticut Scanner Guide that 161.76 was assigned to Chase Communications. Chase was the previous owner of WTIC, so that made sense.

How they are using 161.76 is still a mystery. I am sure there is a simple explanation, but I don't know what it is.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Late November Loggings

New loggings since my last post:

Nov. 17, 2016, 0600 UTC: WEKZ on 1260 kc transmitting 19 watts from Monroe, Wisconsin, 854 miles to the west-northwest.

Nov. 22, 2016, 2355 UTC: YXK on 373 kc transmitting 25 watts from Rimouski, Quebec, 520 miles to the north-northeast

Nov. 28, 2016, 2100 UTC:

WZSK on 1040 kc transmitting 4 kw from Everett, Pennsylvania, 304 miles to the west-southwest

WCRW on 1190 kc transmitting 50 kW from Leesburg, Virginia, 297 miles to the west-southwest

WNWW on 1290 kc transmitting 490 watts from West Hartford, Connecticut, 14 miles to the north-northeast

Equipment used: ELAD FDM-S2/SW2 SDR receiver/software and 80-meter inverted Vee antenna