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Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Night of Elevens

Tuesday evening, I tuned the ICOM IC-R8600 to 92.1 MHz to listen to my favorite oldies radio station, WLNG, and I was surprised to hear people conversing in a foreign language. WLNG usually pounds in here via the ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna on the roof, so I assumed what I was hearing was more local than WLNG on Long Island. 

On the shelf above the IC-R8600 is my Grundig Satellit 750 receiver, so I tuned it to 92.1 and WLNG was loud and clear. (I was using the 750’s telescoping antenna.) There was no sign of the foreigners on the 750, but they were still loud and clear on the IC-R8600! It was a Twilight Zone moment!

I listened to the mystery station for awhile and successfully heard and recorded their station identification, but I could not make sense of it except for one word, “nacional.”

Last night, I tuned to 92.1 again and they were louder than Tuesday evening, but occasionally, there were fades and I could hear WLNG. By now, I assumed they were speaking in Portuguese and after doing some research on the Internet, I concluded that the station was W221CQ-FM transmitting 125 watts in Naugatuck, Connecticut, 11 miles to the south-southwest. 

I actually have heard them before on the car radio when it was tuned to WLNG and was driving in a southerly direction. They would momentarily swamp WLNG, but the language barrier and brevity of the signal dissuaded me from trying to figure out who they were. Now they are in the log. 

Wednesday night, I also logged WAMA on 1550 kHz transmitting 133 watts from Tampa, Florida, nearly 11 hundred miles to the south-southeast. The IC-R8600 and 128-foot Loop on Ground antenna captured that one.