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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. 

5 comments:

  1. Well lucky you, I live in Shirley, L.I. and have a hard time hearing WLNG in my QTH! WLNG was always my favorite oldies station here in the NY area. I used to live in Hicksville (Nassau County) and whenever I would drive into Suffolk county, LNG was always quickly tuned in on the car radio...I have found things are slowly changing though since the passing of Paul Sidney. Some of the new format has me waxing nostalgic for earlier days! 73 de Jim K2MIJ

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    1. I noticed the changes, too. And I still miss Rusty Potz!
      73 - Stan, WA1LOU

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    2. Hey, 1 more thing for you Stan, completely off this topic but I saw you had mentioned this in one of your NDR post's way back...I used to live in Hicksville less than a mile from NDR Beacon "FR" on 407 kHz and when I moved out here to Shirley I was surprised to be able to hear the beacon out this way even during daylight hours...I noticed around December of 2020 while listening for it it seemed to have gone silent and I wondered if it had been decommissioned. About the beginning of February I was relieved to hear it again but was shocked by what I heard...it was now beaconing "UR" instead of the normal "FR"! At first I thought there must have been a problem and someone messed up getting it back on the air...Well it has been that way ever since and I guess it is now "UR" or somehow it has lost the last "dit" in dit di dah dit F! give a listen and see if you hear it...Jim K2MIJ

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    3. I researched FR/UR and FR is still the correct callsign, but the beacon has a history of mis-keying the F as U. When the mis-keying occurred in the past, it was eventually fixed, but not right away. BTW, I have logged FR, but I usually don’t hear it here even though it is only 65 miles away.

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    4. Ok Stan I just noticed someone had reported this anomaly back in 2018 also...I personally have never heard it before...before I beat this dead horse anymore...I will just leave you with this video of the Beacon and a quick glimpse of the "FR" shack...I stopped on a drive home one day and recorded a bit of it on the cars AM radio. ;-) https://youtu.be/d3_w0estbLc

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