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

Friday, April 3, 2020

92.9 MHz Pirate


This morning, I tuned around the FM band and discovered a pirate radio station on 92.9 MHz with shouting male and female DJs playing rap music. The station was fading in and out and had lots of completion from WEHM, so I never heard any identification. But I clearly heard an ad for the Lion’s Den Restaurant in Hartford, CT, so I assume the pirate is located in the Hartford area, 30 miles to the northeast. Receptors here were my ICOM IC-R8600 and ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

My Faux QSL Cards

I just created a new webpage, My Faux QSL Cards, to accompany this blog.

I don’t send listener reports to broadcast and utility radio stations because of the time and expense involved. Instead, I create my own QSL cards for stations I log and write about in my blog.

My new webpage collects all the QSL cards I created including cards that have never seen the light of day on the blog. I hope you enjoy viewing the collection and check back often because I will add new cards to the page as I create them.

Dit dah dit

Sunday, February 23, 2020

DYO


Navigational beacon DYO was the only new logging this week. Transmitting 25 watts on 221 kHz from Rutland, Vermont, 143 miles to the north, it was a far cry from last week’s loggings of KKOH in Reno, Nevada and Radio Coro in Venezuela, but it is a new logging nonetheless!

My ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 80-meter dipole were my receptors.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Tung-Sol World Radio Log

While looking for something else, I found this booklet in my archives. I think I acquired it about 30 years from my wife’s uncle, who was a ham radio operator.

Copyrighted 1935, the Tung-Sol World Radio Log was the World Radio TV Handbook of its day. It was very interesting perusing it and I was surprised how few radio stations were on the air from Connecticut – six to be exact. Three are still on the air today with their original call signs (WATR, WICC, WTIC. One with a different callsign (WHUS nee WCAC). And the remaining two (WMFI, WNBC) are gone. I was also surprised that back then the AM radio band ended at 1500 kHz nee kc.

The 32-page Log also lists US television stations (all 27 of them!), foreign AM/MW radio stations, world shortwave stations, ocean liner radio stations and other useful radio-related information.

You can download a copy of the booklet from here.

Monday, February 17, 2020

780 Bounty


The following announcement appeared on the IRCA mail list Saturday:

“With special thanks to Chief Engineer Daniel Appellof, and Broadcaster/DX’er Paul Walker, we have arranged for a DX Test tonight for KKOH 780 Khz in Reno, Nevada. At approximately midnight Pacific time, KKOH will switch to 50 KW Non-directional. They plan to run 15-20 minutes of DX Test material that we have provided.

“This material includes sweep tones, Morse Code IDs at 700 hz (10 words per minute), telephone off-hook sounds, and vintage voice sounders for the station. The sweep tones and telephone sounders are especially good at cutting through noise, and should give many DX’ers a chance to log the station. 

“After the test period, KKOH 780 will power down the transmitter for additional maintenance. This will provide a ‘silent period’ for West Coast DX’ers to log new stations on 780 Khz.”

WBBM in Chicago dominates 780 here and I did not think I would hear anything but WBBM if I got up at 3 AM local time to hear the test. But as luck would have it, the cat woke me up at 2:50 AM and since I was up, I went to the radio shack, turned on the IC-8600, tuned to 780 and at 07:59 UTC, turned on the recorder function of the 8600.

WBBM was loud and clear as usual, although it did experience two deep fades during the 20 minutes of  monitoring 780, but the fades did not help me hear much from KKOH. However, when WBBM was at full strength, I did copy Morse code from KKOH at 08:05:00 UTC.

Then from about 08:07:30 on, Radio Coro was very copyable playing salsa music under WBBM.

So it was a very productive morning – a new state and a new country in the log. KKOH in Reno, transmitting 50,000 watts, 2429 miles to the west and Radio Coro in Coro, Venezuela, transmitting 15,000 watts 2079 miles to the south.

I was continuously switching between antennas during the test and I heard the KKOH Morse code on the 80-meter dipole and Radio Coro on both the dipole and the 60-foot Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Happy World Radio Day!


Hug a radio because today is World Radio Day!

Nothing new in the radio log. I listen every evening and before I go to bed. Conditions have been good. In fact, last night conditions were very good – I heard a half-dozen navigational beacons that were over 1,000 miles away, but nothing new to report.

Since my DNA tests 99% Polish, I will leave you with the Polish version of the World Radio Day GIF.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Capitol Records Building Morse Code


This iconic Los Angeles landmark has been emitting secret messages since it opened. However, only those with a keen eye for Morse code can decipher what they say.

It was the former president of Capitol Records, Alan Livingston, who got the idea to have the light on top of the building send out a signal in Morse code. The word chosen for this secret message was “Hollywood.” When the building opened in 1956, Samuel Morse’s granddaughter Leila Morse had the honor of turning the light on.

Read the rest of the story at Atlas Obscura.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Recent Loggings


Three new loggings to tell you about including two graveyard stations!

CJLV on 1570 kHz at 0100Z Jan 18, transmitting 10kW from Laval, Quebec, 273 miles to the north.

WICY on graveyard frequency 1490 kHz at 2315Z Jan 20, transmitting 1kW from Malone, New York, 232 miles to the north-northwest

WWSC on graveyard frequency 1450 kHz at 2358Z Jan 21, transmitting 940 watts from Glens Falla, New York, 121 miles to the north-northwest

All stations were heard on my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 60-ft Loop on Ground (LoG) antenna.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Norton Outlook

I live on a ridge of mountains that are the highest points in the county, but you would never know it if you visited my home because I am surrounded by trees, which essentially blocks the horizon in all directions. Up on the roof, I can see some of the horizon the six months of the year when the trees are defrocked, but it is still not visually impressive.

To be impressed, you have to hike into the woods to Norton Outlook, an outcrop of rock that is in the clear. Once or twice a year, I like to be impressed so I hike to Norton Outlook. Although Norton Outlook is only two-fifths of a mile from my home, you can't get there from here and I have to hike about a mile and a half over various trails to get there.

Wednesday's weather was inviting. Clear skies and temperatures in the mid-40s, so I decided to hike up to Norton Outlook. It was a fairly easy hike. There was no snow or ice to slip me up. It was muddy and puddly in spots, but my Totes waterproof boots kept my feet dry.

Forty minutes later, I reached the outlook and was pleased to see that I picked a perfect day. The sky was perfectly clear – minimal haze and smog to ruin the view from Long Island Sound to Mount Holyoke in Hadley, Massachusetts.

I spent about a half hour on Norton Outlook taking photos, enjoying the view and getting impressed!

View to Southeast

View to Northeast

Annotated Southeast View

Annotated Southeast View

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

WTOS in Log


I have not made a top-of-the-hour recording in awhile. Since LW and MW band conditions have been so good lately, I decided to make a recording at 0600 UTC on Tuesday.

I lucked out – band conditions were excellent and I heard stations from all over the eastern half of the continent on MW and stations from all o er Europe and North Africa on LW, but I had only one new logging: WTOS on 910 kHz transmitting 5,000 watts from Bangor, Maine, 303 miles to the northeast.

ELAD FDM-S2/SW2 receiver/software and 80-meter dipole antenna were my receptors.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Six on the Sixth

UN on 388 kHz in State College, Pennsylvania

Good conditions/propagation this morning resulted in six new entries in the longwave log.

LE on 242 kHz transmitting 100 watts from Lexington, Kentucky, 670 miles west-southwest

D7 on 350 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Kincardine, Ontario, 472 miles west-northwest

AZ on 370 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Kalamazoo, Michigan, 648 miles west

IRS on 382 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Sturgis, Michigan, 644 miles west

UN on 388 kHz transmitting 25 watts from State College, Pennsylvania, 353 miles west

IL on 407 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Wilmington, Ohio, 585 miles west-southwest

ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and 80-meter dipole antenna were my receptors.


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Mobile DX


I always have my car radio tuned to an oddball frequency to hear what I can hear as I go mobile. The radio is a stock AM-FM unit in a 2007 Subaru Outback Sport. It is sensitive, but its selectivity could be better.

Anyway, Friday afternoon (3:30 PM EST/2030 UTC), I had a 10-minute run to the grocery store, so I tuned to 1710 kHz to maybe hear a pirate or a TIS. Nothing but static going down the mountain, but on the way back, I heard WQFG689, the Hudson County, New Jersey TIS, transmitting 10 watts, 85 miles to the southwest (photo above). I almost never hear them during daylight from the radio shack, so I was surprised when they popped up and put in a solid signal as I topped the mountain and pulled into the driveway.

By the way, my best AM band mobile DX so far is WAPA in San Juan, PR, on 1030 kHz, about 1650 miles to the south-southeast. Best FM band mobile DX so far is WLHR in Lavonia, Georgia on 92.1 MHz, about 750 miles to the southwest.