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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Power Down, DX Up

AWS in Fort Mitchell, Alabama
We lost power mid-afternoon on Friday. After I phoned in the outage, I got on the radio to take advantage of the lack of noise in the neighborhood.

Conveniently for power outages, the ELAD FDM-S2 SDR receiver gets its power from my laptop. So I don't need to be on the grid for some serious monitoring. The only problem yesterday was that I had been using my laptop for hours and the battery was down to about 40% capacity.

During the day under normal noisy conditions, I may hear one local navigational beacon (JWE), but yesterday, I could hear many more and I logged six new ones. Five were located nearby in Massachusetts and Eastern New York, but one was 925 miles away in Fort Mitchell, Alabama (AWS on 335 kHz).

When the laptop battery ran out, I switched the C.Crane CCRadio 2E Enhanced receiver, which was loaded with fresh batteries and connected to the outdoor antenna switch.

When I turned on the radio, it was tuned to 1710 kHz and I was very surprised to hear an old friend that I normally only hear at dusk, the unidentified mystery station playing Spanish music. Occasionally, the mystery station had competition from the Hudson County (NJ) TIS (WQFG689), which I only heard at night in the past.

After monitoring 1710 for about ten minutes hoping to hear a voice ID from the Spanish station, power was restored and the stations on 1710 disappeared into the noise.

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