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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What I'm Reading Now

New York City AM radio has a presence in my neck of the woods. So over the years at different times, I have been a regular listener of WABC, WCBS, WFAN, WINS, WOR and WNBC—AM stations whose daytime and nighttime coverage area included my hometown, Waterbury, Connecticut and thereabouts.

Being a New York City radio fan as well as a student of radio history, I purchased The Airwaves of New York, subtitled Illustrated Histories of 156 AM Stations in the Metropolitan Area, 1921-1996 as soon as I saw it while book browsing books on Amazon recently.

The first chapter of the book concentrates on the history of AM radio in New York City and briefly touches upon the history of FM radio and television.

The second chapter describes the history of each AM station that operated in New York City between 1921 and 1996... 156 stations from WAAM to WZRC. (The book was published 20 years ago, so the history after 1996 is not covered.)

The book is well illustrated with photos of the radio stations and the people who staffed the stations.

I enjoyed reading the book and recommend it.

Monday, July 23, 2018

1600 x 2

Logged two new stations on 1600 kHz last night.

WKWF in Key West, Florida, transmitting 500 watts, 1282 miles to the south-southwest at 0350 UTC

WEJS in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, transmitting 20 watts, 226 miles to the west-southwest at 0358 UTC

Equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 80-meter inverted Vee antenna.

I heard other stations on 1600 around the same time including a French language station, but I was unable to identify them.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


WEUP 1700 kHz in Huntsville, AL, transmitting 1 kW 881 miles to the southwest heard here Thursday for my 32nd state on the AM/MW band!

Equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and the Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A vertical antenna.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


My dog woke me up at 4 AM to take her outside. After she was done, I climbed back upstairs and concluded I could go back to sleep after I checked the radio bands.

Starting at 1710 kHz, I slowly began tuning and stopped short at 1700 kHz where I heard a weak signal. WJCC (Miami Springs, Florida) shows up here often enough that I thought that's what I was hearing, but after a few minutes, I realized that the back-to-back music with no announcements was not WJCC's format.

With no announcements, it was going to be a difficult ID, so I had Radio-Locator list all the stations on 1700. Then I went down the list clicking each station's audio link to find the station audio that matched what I was hearing on the air. Thus, I was able to identify the station: KKLF in Richardson, Texas, transmitting 1 kW, 1419 miles to my west-southwest; my first logging of a Texas station on the AM band!

Equipment used was the ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and the Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB-A vertical antenna.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Four years ago, I logged what I thought was a pirate radio station on 87.7 MHz listening on my Subaru's stock radio in my workplace parking lot. The station had a Russian language format and for some reason, I had it located in Brooklyn, New York.

VHF has been wide open most mornings this month and while tuning around the low end of the FM band with my IC-R8600, I noticed a weak signal below the FM band on 87.75 MHz. It was a foreign language format that I was unable to identify.

Hearing it again this morning, I researched 87.75 and discovered that it was the audio for "low-power television stations in the United States that operate on VHF channel 6 as radio stations." (Source: Wikipedia).

Wikipedia listed the Channel 6 stations and the one nearest to my location was WNYZ-LP transmitting from Brooklyn with a Korean language format simulcasting WWRU radio (1660 kHz) in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Wikipedia indicated that the station had a Russian language format ("Danu Radio") in the past, so my 2014 logging on 87.7 was incorrect, but that was due to the fact that my car radio tuned in 100 kHz steps. Considering the low power (3 kW) of WNYZ-LP and being off frequency by 50 kHz, I was lucky to hear them at all on my car radio!

And for what it's worth, I just checked (at 1600 UTC) and now that the band opening has collapsed, I can no longer hear them, whereas their signal was full-quieting although not strong two hours ago.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

NOAA Radio Times Three

On the morning's of July 4 and 5, NG0E's APRS map indicated that there were VHF band openings along the East Coast.

On the air, I logged three new stations on the NOAA radio channels that are quiet here during normal conditions:

162.425 MHz: WNG574 - Gloucester NOAA Radio in Essex, Massachusetts, 130 miles to the northeast

162.450 MHz: WXM60 - Howell Township/Lakewood NOAA Radio in Southard, New Jersey, 120 miles to the south-southwest

162.450 MHz: KZZ40 - Deerfield NOAA Radio in Deerfield, New Hampshire, 136 miles to the north-northeast

Equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and ICOM IC-AH7000 discone antenna.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

In today's mail

I mentioned here that I received WWV on 25 MHz. I did not mention that I e-mailed a reception report to the station. And I did not think anything more about it.

In today's mail, I received a surprise: a QSL card from WWV.

Monday, July 2, 2018

This Wheel's on Fire

This year is the 50th anniversary of the release of the L.P. Music From Big Pink by The Band. In conjunction with the anniversary, Rolling Stone published an article titled "The Band’s ‘Music From Big Pink’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know" by Jordan Runtagh.

One of the ten things I didn't know was that the Morse Code and a semi-automatic telegraph key was instrumental in the creation of one of the songs on the LP, "This Wheel's on Fire."

Here is the story from Mr. Runtagh's article:

When it came time to record “This Wheel’s on Fire,” a Rick Danko tune put to Bob Dylan’s lyrics, Hudson created an unusual staccato keyboard effect by hooking up his RMI Rock-Si-Chord electric piano to an old semi-automatic telegraph key purchased from an army surplus store. “It has a reiteration feature, so that if you move the key in one direction, you would get one dot or dash, and if you move it the other way, you would get reiterated dots,” he explained in a December 1983 interview with Keyboard Magazine. “I got a little box and mounted some quarter-inch receptacles into it through which you could connect the key to the instrument. Then you set the reiteration rate, and you were ready to play.” Manipulating the on/off signal on the device created an abrupt, percussive sound, much like Morse code. “Garth just hit that key when he wanted the sound,” remembered Helm.