A site about the radio listening hobby and my activities therein - longwave, mediumwave, shortwave, FM, and television DXing. A site about the radio listening hobby in all its forms, or at least the forms that interest me.

I am also a licenced amateur radio operator, callsign VE3LXL. Information about my amateur radio station is found on my station website.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Year End Update

It's the end of 2009 so I figured I'd make one post to catch up on. Here is what I've been hearing lately:
  • I added one more station to the ultralight log, bringing the count to 335. This was WORC 1310 from Worcester MA, which broadcasts in Spanish. Logged December 15.
  • Did some mediumwave DXing while up in eastern Ontario over Christmas. Added four new stations to the overall log.
  • I recently got interested in DXing Navtex stations on 518 kHz. These stations broadcast marine advisory information in a digital format. I set up an old laptop for decoding it and have caught a few new stations. The most noteworthy was OXI in Nuuk, Greenland. I think this is the first radio station I've ever received from that country.
  • Did a bit of shortwave DXing too. Most noteworthy things logged: (a) the Royal Air Force Volmet (aviation weather) station on 5450 (SSB) from the U.K., (b) the AFRTS station on 5446.5 kHz (SSB) from Florida, and (c) several frequencies of the Saudi Arabian international broadcaster BKSKA.
And that's it for 2009.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Ultralight Loggings Update

It's time for an update on my ultralight DXing activities. I haven't been spending as much time on it as I was doing this time last year. It has also become a lot more challenging because there are no easy catches left. But I've still managed to add a few more to the log. Used the Eton E-100 for all of these. Ultralight count is now 334.
  • 890 WKNV VA Fairlawn - 08-Nov-2009 1703 ELT - Gospel music. Ads. ID as "Joy 890 and ..." some FM frequency. Also heard slogan something like "Today's Southern Gospel Music". 10 kW daytime only. Spotted first on non-ultralight Palstar R30 receiver and then tuned in on the Eton E-100. New. (Fair).
  • 970 WZAN ME Portland - 09-Nov-2009 0015 ELT - End of Sunday Night Football broadcast: wrap-up of game. Ads. Callsign IDs with location. Then into some talk show already in progress. Overwhelming normally-dominant WNED. 5 kW. Relog, but first logging from Toronto - previous logging was from Newfoundland in 2007. (Fair).
  • 1550 WSRY MD Elkton - 29-Nov-2009 0020 ELT - DX test broadcast on day power of 1 kW. Heard talk and music under dominant CBE, and sweep tones and Morse code IDs: "V V V de WSRY WSRY WSRY WSRY K". Unable to copy the programming but the Morse IDs were clear. New. (Poor).
  • 1540 KXEL IA Waterloo - 06-Dec-2009 0115 ELT - Received when local CHIN was transmitting only a silent carrier. Talk show "Midnight Radio Network". Ads. ID for "News Talk 1540 KXEL". 50 kW. (Fair).
  • 1630 WRDW GA Augusta - 06-Dec-2009 0204 ELT - Promo saying to log on to wrdw.com. Sports show "Sporting News Radio". Ads, including a spot for a blood donor clinic in Augusta. Mixing with KCJJ, mostly dominant. 1 kW night power. New. (Poor).
  • 1250 WARE MA Ware - 06-Dec-2009 1745 ELT - Oldies. Fox news on the hour, weather, and then ID with callsign. Also ID as "Oldies 1250". Then into nostalgia music. Mixing with and occasionally overpowering semi-local CJYE. New. (Poor).
  • 1670 CJEU QC Gatineau - 11-Dec-2009 0020 ELT - "Radio Enfant". Children's music. Brief talk at top of hour. French. Brand new - just on the air a day or two. 1 kW. New. (Poor).
  • 620 WTMJ WI Milwaukee - 11-Dec-2009 1703 ELT - News, weather, ID. Sunset logging - still on day power of 50 kW. New. (Poor).
  • 1470 WLOA PA Farrell - 12-Dec-2009 1655 UTC - Country music. Partial ID on hour. Inaudible most of time under WNYY or under noise. @ approx. 1745 heard ID "Classic Country 940 and 1470". A few minutes later heard a very clear ID "Classic Country WGRP 940 and WLOA 1470". 1 kW day, 500 W night. Initially heard on the JRC NRD-525 but the best ID, with the callsigns, was heard on the Eton E-100. New. (Poor).
I should add that some of these were actually logged on a non-ultralight communications receiver first, and then tuned in on the E-100. I listened on the E-100 long enough to verify that I was hearing the same station, but the actual identification may have taken place on the communications receiver. The details of these loggings are combined from both radios.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Ultralight DX

I'm continuing with ultralight DXing this season, although it is becoming a tough slog. The limitations of my location for this type of DXing are making themselves felt. One of the features of the current crop of ultralight receivers is their superb nulling ability - by simply rotating the radio you can often null out a dominant signal, revealing other stations on the same frequency. This is a feature I cannot make use of from home. My apartment is in a steel frame building so the only way I can get good reception is by sitting by the large window in the living room with the radio's ferrite bar antenna broadside to the window. Rotating the radio causes ALL signals to be nulled out. Another problem here is the bad electrical noise on certain parts of the spectrum. Another is that signals in the upper end of the band (1500-1700 kHz) are badly attenuated by the building's frame. I can overcome these issues by finding a spot outside to listen, but that's not so practical, especially now that the weather is getting colder.

Nonetheless I am still making new loggings. And here is the latest batch, all logged on the Eton E-100:
  • 540 KWMT IA Fort Dodge - 23-Oct-2009 0722 ELT - Country music. Ads. IDs. ID on half hour: "True country 540 KWMT" plus location. 5 kW. New to overall log. (Fair).
  • 1310 WTLB NY Utica - 26-Oct-2009 0725 ELT - Sports talk. "TLB" ID. Ads for businesses in Syracuse and in New Hartford. 5 kW. (Poor)
  • 1380 WSYB VT Rutland 26-Oct-2009 0740 ELT - Talk, Ads, ID: "Here on WSYB". 5 kW. (Poor)
  • 1510 WWSM PA Annville-Cleona 27-Oct-2009 0719 ELT - Country music, chatter, IDs. (Very Poor)
  • 1440 WCDL PA Carbondale - 29-Oct-2009 0757 ELT - Nostalgia music. ID for WNAK and WCDL. 5 kW. (Poor)
  • 1290 WFBG PA Altoona - 01-Nov-2009 1845 ELT - ID: "The Big 1290 WFBG" repeated three times in promo for the Jim Bohannen show. 5 kW. (Poor)
Total ultralight count is now 325.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

On the Road: Loggings from Eastern Ontario

I spent the weekend of October 17/18 in Harrowsmith, a small village in eastern Ontario about 20 km north of Kingston. I like tuning the dials from there because the level of background electrical noise is so low. I can hear all sorts of faint signals that are buried under noise from home.

I brought the Kaito KA-1103 along and just used it with its built-in antennas. Got some interesting catches. Here's what I logged on the AM band:
  • 1440 WNPV PA Lansdale - 17-Oct-2009 1753 ELT - Penn State football. Ads for Pennsylvania Service. ID on hour. Mixing with an oldies station. 2.5 kW. Relog. (Fair-Poor).
  • 800 CJAD QC Montreal - 17-Oct-2009 1805 ELT - News, ID. Interference from CJBQ and from IBOC noise from WGY on 810. Even though this is 50 kW I never hear it in Toronto, because of its antenna pattern. Relog. (Poor).
  • 790 Radio Reloj Cuba - 18-Oct-2009 0004 ELT - Voices not audible but could hear sound of clock ticking and the Radio Reloj "RR" ID in morse code every minute. Relog (Very Poor).
  • 640 WWJZ NJ Mount Holly - 18-Oct-2009 0035 ELT - Radio Disney. Kids music. New. (Poor).
  • 700 WTUB MA Orange-Athol - 18-Oct-2009 0738 ELT - ESPN Radio; sports talk. Mixing with WLW. No ID but this is the only ESPN station in the eastern half of the country, so little doubt of its identity. Ex-WJOE. 2.5 kW daytime. New. (Poor).
  • 740 WNYH NY Huntingdon - 18-Oct-2009 0745 ELT - Korean language talk. In null of CFZM at about equal strength. 25 kW. New. (Fair).
  • 790 WTNY NY Watertown - 18-Oct-2009 0825 ELT - "The Garden Hotline" hosted by Ralph Snodsmith. Ads for North Country Urgent Care just outside Watertown, AIDS walk, etc. ID before hour as "AM 790 WTNY". 1 kW. Relog. (Fair).
  • 1440 WSGO NY Oswego - 18-Oct-2009 1210 ELT - Oldies, nostalgia music. IDs for WTLA and WSGO. 1 kW. Relog. (Poor).
  • 1440 WFNY NY Gloversville - 18-Oct-2009 1620 ELT - Oldies, nostalgia music. 3.6 kW. New. (Fair).
So three new stations for the overall log. None of these count for the ultralight log, of course. Some of the relogs were from me looking for stations that I've been trying to add to my ultralight log from Toronto but which I've simply been unable to hear yet. I wanted to hear what they sounded like.

One of these loggings is noteworthy: WTUB on 700 is only the second station I've ever logged on 700 kHz. It's amazing that after decades of DXing the AM band there are still a handful of frequencies on which I've only logged one station. 700 is tough because there are no daytime stations audible on it from my location, and at night in Toronto it is dominated by (a) WLW, and (b) horrible electrical noise.

I also made a few loggings of radio amateurs:
  • 14318 W0BH KS Hesston - 17-Oct-2009 2055 UTC - Calling CQ New York in New York QSO Party. SSB.
  • 3997 W1AAT VT Waitsfield - 18-Oct-2009 1221 UTC - In roundtable discussing emergency preparedness in Vermont.
  • 3997 W4YFJ VT Essex Junction - 18-Oct-2009 1221 UTC - In same roundtable. There was a third amateur in there too but I didn't get his callsign.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Ultralight Loggings!

The fall DXing season is here, which means I've returned to mediumwave (AM radio) DXing, largely in the form of ultralight DXing. When I left off last spring I was at 304 stations logged. I'm a bit behind on my recordkeeping, but as of October 14, I had reached 319. Here are the additions up to 319:
  • 580 WTAG MA Worcester - 24-Sept-2009 0320 UTC - Talk show. News on half hour. Promo for "Coast to Coast AM" with ID "on News Talk 580 WTAG". 5 kW. Grundig G8. (Poor).
  • 990 WXCT CT Southington - 28-Sept-2009 0357 UTC - Spanish. Religious talk. ID on hour "WXCT Southington" in English. Battling with CKGM Montreal. Listed as 80W at night but sounded too strong for that. Grundig G8. New. (Poor).
  • 850 WKGE PA Johnstown - 29-Sept-2009 0245 UTC - Monday Night Football. Under WKNR Cleveland and carrying same programming as it - audible as an echo under WKNR. Heard callsign ID slightly after WKNR callsign ID. 10 kW. Grundig G8. New. (Very Poor).
  • 990 WNTW PA Somerset - 29-Sept-2009 1040 UTC - Sunrise logging before WDCX Rochester asserted daytime dominance of the frequency. Sports scores, Ads, and "NTJ Morning Magazine" show. WNTW is // WNTJ 1490 and both are on the "NTJ Network". 10 kW. Grundig G8. New (Poor).
  • 790 WLSV NY Wellsville - 01-Sept-2009 0350 UTC - Country and western music. ID: "WLSV Real Country" and on the hour as "Your home for real country is WLSV Wellsville." News on the hour. 1 kW day, 41 watts night but sounded stronger than that. Grundig G8. New. (Poor).
  • 1300 WGDJ NY Rensselaer - 01-Oct-2009 2330 UTC - ID heard as "on Talk 1300 and Talk1300.com" (which is WGDJ's station website). 5 kW. Grundig G8. New. (Poor).
  • 1300 WJMO OH Cleveland - 04-Oct-2009 0355 UTC - Gospel music, under several other stations. Identified by comparing to WJMO's webcast at www.1490wjmo.com. 5 kW. Eton E-100. New. (Very Poor).
  • 1690 WVON IL Berwyn - 05-Oct-2009 2258 UTC - Medical ads. ID with location (Chicago). Received in null of local CHTO. Sunset logging when it was still on day power. 10 kW day, 1 kW night. Sony SRF-59. (Poor).
  • 1680 WPRR MI Ada - 06-Oct-2009 2250 UTC - Political talk show. Station website given: publicrealityradio.org. Sunset logging so still on day power of 10 kW. Sony SRF-59. New. (Fair to Poor)
  • 610 WIP PA Philadelphia - 07-Oct-2009 0325 UTC - Sports talk. ID "WIP Sports Center". Heard under semi-local CKTB. 5 kW. Eton E-100. (Very Poor).
  • 970 WBGG PA Pittsburgh - 07-Oct-2009 0350 UTC - Fox sports radio. ID with callsign on hour. Challenging normally dominant WNED for control of frequency. 5 kW. Eton E-100. New. (Poor).
  • 940 WGRP PA Greenville - 09-Oct-2009 1055 UTC - Ad for Macy's Columbus Day sale. Slogan "Classic country AM 940 and 1470". Mixing with CINW Montreal. Sunrise logging. 1 kW, Eton E-100. New. (Poor)
  • 830 WEEU PA Reading - 10-Oct-2009 2325 UTC - Science call-in show. Break on the half-hour for ads, Accuweather forecast. ID: "Voice of ??? county 830 AM WEEU". 20 kW day, 6 kW night. Post-sunset logging so not sure if they had switched to night power yet. Eton E-100. New. (Poor)
  • 1580 WVKO OH Columbus - 13-Oct-2009 2250 UTC - Religious talk. Spot for show "Catholic Connection" "here on EWTN". Weather. ID as "St. Gabriel Radio AM 1580". Callsign ID on hour for WUCO and WVKO in Marysville and Columbus (WVKO is parallel to WUCO 1270, Marysville, OH). Received in null of semi-local CKDO. Sunset logging so still on day power of 3.2 kW. Sony SRF-59. New. (Poor).
  • 1700 KBGG IA Des Moines - 14-Oct-2009 2300 UTC - Sports talk. Partial callsign on hour. ESPN network ID "ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com". Ads for some Iowa steakhouse and for businesses located in Des Moines. Very weak and often inaudible, and in slop from local CHTO on 1690. Sunset; 10 kW. Sony SRF-59. (Very Poor).
KBGG 1700 is noteworthy because 1700 kHz was the last remaining domestic channel on the AM band on which I hadn't logged anything on an ultralight.

Monday, 21 September 2009


Found an interesting DX blog by a DXer from down near Rochester, NY (sort of across the lake from here): The Radio-Timetraveller. Check it out.

Friday, 11 September 2009

My Old New Realistic DX-160

I got interested in radio as a hobby back in the 1970s when my father bought a portable Sony shortwave radio. After a couple of years I wanted a more substantial receiver, and since this was the '70s, the obvious place to find one in a small Canadian city was at the local Radio Shack store. In Feb. 1977, after saving for months, I purchased a brand new Realistic DX-160. That DX-160 became my DXing radio for shortwave, mediumwave, and longwave, and it got heavy use for the next eight years. For a time I also used it as the receiver at my amateur radio station.

But after eight years, the bandswitch seemed to be wearing out. I had to fiddle with it a lot to just get the radio to work and as time passed this problem only got worse. I was also losing interest in radio as a hobby around then. After 1985 I only occasionally did any DXing, and I quit entirely in 1987, not returning to it until 2000. So the DX-160 ended up sitting unused on a shelf as a keepsakee. It powered up but didn't receive anything. I never got rid of it, but never used it either.

Recently, however, when I saw some ads for DX-160s for sale online, I thought it would be nice to have a working one again. Which made me think that maybe I should get mine fixed, or fix it myself. So I went on the web to look for information about replacing the bandswitch. And there I found several DX-160 owners talking about their bandswitch problems. In most cases, their bandswitches had failed not because they wore out but because the contacts were oxidized so that no electrical connection was being made. They reported that using electronic contact cleaner often fixed the switch. I decided to try it.

Two weeks ago I went to Active Tech in Toronto and bought a can of contact cleaner. That evening I opened up my DX-160, blew out the dust, and then carefully squirted contact cleaner all over the bandswitch and into all the other switches and moving electronic parts. The result? The radio is working perfectly. The bandswitch is working fine. The radio doesn't seem to have lost any of its sensitivity - I set it up at my listening post and hooked it to my antenna and it is receiving just as well as my other, much newer, receivers.

I still can't quite believe that I've been thinking for over 20 years that this radio was broken and needed repairs, when in fact the only problem with it was that some contacts were dirty.

VE3LXL YouTube Channel

I've created a radio-related channel on YouTube. I haven't uploaded any videos yet, and I'm not sure if I ever will, but I will be bookmarking interesting radio-related videos that I find on YouTube there. So there will be items of continuing interest there. Check it out.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Recent FM Loggings

Here are the most recent FM stations I've logged. All were logged from my home in Toronto. Dates and times in UTC.
  1. CBL-3, 90.7, Orillia ON, 2009-08-11, 00:30, CBC Radio One, parallel to CBL 94.1. There was a good tropo opening to the north with lots of Barrie and Orillia area stations booming in. At the same time there was no sign of tropo towards the southwest. So I concluded that this must be CBL-3 in Orillia and not CBL-2 in Paris (which I logged already).
  2. CICX-FM, 105.9, Orillia ON, 2009-08-11, 00:32-00:35, Kicks 106.
  3. WMJQ, 104.9, Brockport ON, 2009-08-12, 23:46-23:50, K-Love - Religious.
  4. WJZR, 105.9, Rochester NY, 2009-08-12, 23:51-00:07, North Coast - smooth jazz.
  5. WCMF, 96.5, Rochester NY, 2009-08-13, 00:25-00:38, Rock music.
  6. WPHR, 106.9, Auburn NY, 2009-08-14, 04:27-04:39, Power 106.9.
And with this set, I've achieved a goal I set for myself when I began this focus on FM DXing in June - to log 100 FM stations from Toronto before the end of the summer. It's tough when so much of the FM band is blocked by local or semi-local stations. But there's more scope to DXing FM from here than I thought there would be when I started.

Recent Digital Television Loggings

A couple of tropo openings have yielded some more DX stations for the digital television log.
  1. WNYB-SD, RFC: 26, DC: 26-1, Jamestown NY, 2009-08-12, 23:54 - 23:56 UTC, TCT - Religious.
  2. WNYB-HD, RFC: 26, DC: 26-2, Jamestown NY, 2009-08-12, 23:56-23:58 UTC, TCT.
  3. WEWS, RFC: 15, DC: 5, Cleveland OH, 2009-08-16, 12:22-12:34 UTC, ABC.
  4. WQHS-DT, RFC: 34, DC: 61-1, Cleveland OH, 2009-08-16, 13:03-13:07 UTC, Univision - Spanish.
The two from Cleveland are the most distant digital TV stations I've got now. WQLN from Erie PA was also coming in, but that one I already have in the log. It's interesting that the signals on all three of these stations were strong enough that there was no pixellation or drop-outs. Essentially they were as good as if they were local.

FM Logs Mon. August 10, 2009

I took Mon. Aug. 10 off work to go out of town - namely to pay a visit to the Long Sault Conservation Area north of Clarington, Ontario. Went for a three km hike there. Was planning to go for longer, but a torrential rainstorm cut things short. Fortunately I was near the end of the first trail I was going to walk, and therefore near my car. So I still got soaked but not entirely. I did some DXing on my car radio and logged four new stations.

First there are two more stations for the Toronto log. Both were heard in Scarborough, one when I was heading out of the city and one when I was returning home:
  1. CKSG-FM, 93.3, Cobourg ON, 2009-08-10, 16:05-16:15, Star 93.3. Relog for the overall log, but new to the Toronto log.
  2. CICZ-FM, 104.1, Midland ON, 2009-08-10, 20:05-20:15, 104.1 The Dock- Rock music. New station for overall log. Received during a tremendous rainstorm - I had pulled off the road and was sitting in the parking lot of a pharmacy waiting for the rain to ease off.
The other two new ones were heard up at Long Sault Conservation area. These were also heard during a downpour - I was in my car parked in the conservation area parking lot. As you can see from these, there was some tropo afoot. Both are new to the overall log.
  • WFRG, 104.3, Utica NY, 2009-08-10, 18:45-18:50, Big Frog 104.3.
  • WMJQ, 104.9, Brockport NY, 2009-08-10, 18:50-18:55, K-Love - religious.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

FM Logs Sun. August 9, 2009

A few years ago I read a post by a Toronto FM DXer in which he said he often DXed FM from the Scarborough bluffs. Reception was good there because of the lack of any obstructions from there across the lake into New York State, and because of the height of the bluffs.

I decided to give it a try myself on Aug. 9, so I drove down there and started looking for stations on my car radio. Result was several new stations added to the Toronto log. I heard these at several places because I was looking for the best place to park and listen. Didn't really find an ideal place but still the results were good:
  1. CFBU, 103.7, St. Catherines ON, 2009-08-09, 20:50-21:02 UTC, Educational.
  2. WRTS, 103.7, Erie PA, 2009-08-09, 21:02-21:04 UTC, Star 104 - Rock.
  3. WFBF, 89.9, Buffalo NY, 2009-08-09, 21:37-22:00, Family Radio - Religions.
  4. WUBJ, 88.1, Jamestown NY, 2009-08-09, 21:37-22:00, NPR.
  5. CBOF, 90.7, Ottawa ON, 2009-08-09, 22:03-22:05, Radio-Canada - French CBC.
  6. WRRN, 92.3, Warren PA, 2009-08-09, 22:05-22:10, 92 Gold.
  7. CKWF, 101.5, Peterborough ON, 2009-08-09, 22:35-22:47, The Wolf.
As you can see from the two Pennsylvania loggings, there was a bit of tropo happening. CBOF was identified by the fact that it's the only French CBC station of any note on that frequency in Ontario. Its programming was the same as on CJBC on 860 AM.

Not having spent too much time DXing FM before this summer, I am pleasantly surprised at how much it supports long-distance reception. It's a lot less predictable than mediumwave but it's there.

Monday, 17 August 2009

FM and DTV Loggings Aug 5 to 7, 2009

There was some decent tropo this week (Aug 5-7) that yielded two new FM stations and another digital TV station. These were received at home here in Toronto.

  1. CBCK, 107.5, Kingston ON, 2009-08-05, 05:00-05:05 UTC, CBC Radio One.
  2. WQLN-FM, 91.3, Erie PA, 2009-08-07, 12:53-13:00 UTC, NPR.
Digital TV. Three subchannels of the same station, all carrying different programs:
  1. WQLN-HD, RFC: 50, DC: 54-1, Erie PA, 2009-08-07, 12:20-12:25, PBS.
  2. WQLN-1, RFC: 50, DC: 54-2, Erie PA, 2009-08-07, 12:25-12:30, PBS.
  3. WQLN-2, RFC: 50, DC: 54-3, Erie PA, 2009-08-07, 12:30-12:32, PBS.
Getting CBC Kingston was nice. My first time logging it in Toronto and it's from my home town (where I often listened to it). And the three loggings of WQLN TV are exciting because I think this is the most distant digital TV station I've received.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Weekend Trip to Eastern Ontario - Other Logs

I always bring a portable radio along when I go up to Harrowsmith because it is so incredibly radio quiet there. It's astounding how much can be heard. Example: in my Toronto apartment, on the Kaito KA-1103 I hear almost nothing except noise on the amateur 80 metre band (3500-4000 kHz) . Take the radio outside on my balcony and stick the antenna out away from the building, and there are lots of signals audible. But go to a place that is radio quiet and the entire band is alive with dozens or hundreds of stations. I don't think there's actually anything special about Eastern Ontario itself; rather I think it's good there because there are so few sources of electrical noise about and because I'm not in a steel frame building. No doubt my reception would be much better even here in Toronto if I were in a wood-frame house, but you just can't beat going to a place where there's so little electrical noise.

A few interesting logs from this visit on shortwave. Date and times in UTC (local time + 4 hours):
  • Radio Australia on 15240 from Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. 2009-08-02, 03:19-03:32 UTC. Sports talk show "Grandstand". 100 kW to Pacific, almost alone on the 19 metre band but coming in at a very nice listenable level.
  • On 2009-08-03 from 03:45-04:00 I was listening to three radio amateurs in a roundtable on 3885 kHz transmitting in the AM mode. They were W2PFY, W2NBC, and KC8ZEH, in New York State, New Jersey, and Ohio. AM interests me; someday I may give it a go. Currently I don't have a transmitter that's capable of outputting AM, except for one QRP rig that can output all of 2.5 watts in that mode. Most radio amateurs operating in AM use vintage tube-based gear, but one thing that interested me in this roundtable was that one of the members, the net control actually, was using a FlexRadio, one of those new software-defined radios. He sounded really good too. If I do get into AM, maybe that's the path I should take.
  • On 4170 I heard an unidentified station with talk and country and western music. This was at 04:05 UTC on 2009-08-03. This is a long way outside any of the broadcast bands.
  • Logged two utility stations (same day, at 04:15 and 04:20 UTC). The first was on 4316 and was giving weather and marine information from the National Weather Service. Didn't catch the ID but I think this was NMG in New Orleans, LA. The other was on 4425 and was just signing off. This was the U.S. Coast Guard station NMN in Chesapeake VA.
That was all I had time for. I want to try mediumwave DXing from there because there are no longer any local stations in the Kingston area on AM, so the entire band is open for DXing.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Weekend Trip to Eastern Ontario - FM Logs

On the long weekend of August 1 to 3, I went to Eastern Ontario. I did some radio listening on the trip. I was staying in Harrowsmith, a small village some 20 km north of Kingston, Ontario. Here's what I heard. As usual, dates and times are in UTC.

First, two more FM loggings to add to the Toronto log. I got these in my car on the drive there and back. Both of these were heard while I was driving through Scarborough.
  1. CKLY, 91.9, Lindsay ON, 2009-08-01, 18:20-18:40, Bob FM - 80s rock.
  2. CHUC, 107.9, Cobourg ON, 2009-08-04, 00:50-00:50, The Breeze - Oldies.
I also logged some other FM stations outside of the Toronto city limits. These don't go in the Toronto log, but some are new and have been added to the overall log.
  • CKSG-FM, 93.3, Cobourg ON, 2009-08-01, 18:55-19:00, Star 93.3 - Rock. Received in Whitby, ON on Honda car radio - in fact I was sitting in the parking lot of Durham Radio when I logged this. New.
  • CJOH-TV-6, 87.7, Deseronto ON, 2009-08-02, 03:15-03:19. Audio from CJOH-TV on channel 6 from Deseronto. Received on Kaito KA-1103 at my location 20 km north of Kingston, ON.
  • CJTN, 107.1, Quinte West ON, 2009-08-03, 21:00, Rock. Received on car radio at Frontenac Provincial Park. New.
  • CJXY, 107.9, Burlington ON, 2009-08-03, 21:04-21:05, Y108. Received on car radio at Frontenac Provincial Park. Tropo - a long way from Burlington to Eastern Ontario!
  • WWHT, 107.9, Syracuse NY, 2009-08-03, 21:09, Hot 107.9. Received in Frontenac Provincial Park. New.
  • CKQM, 105.1, Peterborough ON, 2009-08-03, 21:35-21:45, Country 105. Heard on car radio while passing through Harrowsmith, Ontario.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Air Band Loggings

The Grundig Satellit 800 includes the VHF air band (118-136 MHz), but I've almost never listened to it. But I started exploring it and made my first four loggings on this band. Mode is AM. I might start spending more time on here - interested to hear what's available.
  1. CYKZ, 127.1, Buttonville Airport, Buttonville / Markham ON, 2009-07-28, 12:20-12:32, ATIS- Weather and aviation conditions repeated about once a minute.
  2. CYHM, 128.1, Hamilton Airport, Hamilton ON, 2009-07-30, 11:25-11:34, ATIS - Weather and aviation conditions.
  3. CYYZ, 120.825, Toronto Pearson Airport, Mississauga ON, 2009-07-30, 11:40-11:44, ATIS - Weather and aviation conditions.
  4. CYTZ, 133.6, Toronto City Centre Airport, Toronto Islands ON, 2009-07-30, 11:45-12:00, ATIS - Weather and aviation conditions.
I got the callsigns from a site on the web. ATIS is Air Traffic Information Service, I think. Dates and times in UTC.

Two More Digital TV Loggings

Yesterday I logged two more channels on digital TV. Actually they're the two subchannels of the same station. There was a decent tropo opening.
  1. WWTI-DT, RFC: 21, DC: 50-1, Watertown NY, 2009-07-31, 13:30-13:31, ABC.
  2. WWTI-2, RFC: 21, DC: 50-2, Watertown NY, 2009-07-31, 13:31-13:31, CW.
Dates and times in UTC: RFC: Actual broadcast channel, DC: Displayed channel number.

Latest FM Loggings

I've logged a few more stations on FM from here in Toronto:
  1. WDVI, 100.5, Rochester NY, 2009-07-21, 11:43-11:48, 100.5 The Drive.
  2. CBL-2, 90.7, Paris ON, 2009-07-21, 11:54-12:00, CBC Radio Two.
  3. W214BB, 90.7, Lockport NY, 2009-07-21, 11:32-12:15, Reach FM.
  4. WBZA, 98.9, Rochester NY, 2009-07-22, 11:40-11:50, 98.9 The Buzz.
  5. Dollhouse FM, 90.7, Toronto ON, 2009-07-24, 02:21-03:31, Pirate?
  6. CJBC-5-FM, 106.3, Peterborough ON, 2009-07-25, 04:20-04:30, French - Radio-Canada.
  7. CJDV, 107.5, Cambridge ON, 2009-07-26, 04:10-04:20, Tri-cities Rock.
  8. WGCC-FM, 90.7, Batavia NY, 2009-07-31, 11:40-11:48, Rock.
As usual, dates and times are in UTC. Radios used here: Grundig Satellit 800, Grundig G8, Honda radio in my car.

I confirmed to my satisfaction that the CBC Radio Two station I was hearing on 90.7 on July 21 was from Paris, Ontario. There was a decent tropo opening to the south and southwest that morning, as shown by the reception of W214BB on 90.7 at the same time. It's only 27 watts. Meanwhile I saw no evidence of enhanced propagation from the north, so I'm pretty sure this wasn't the CBC outlet in Orillia.

"Dollhouse FM", which I received on 90.7, is interesting. I think it's either a pirate or someone in my neighbourhood with a legal low-power FM transmitter. I've received this a few times over the past month, although this was the first time I heard any sort of ID. The format is a mix of talk that seems like it's streamed from the Internet (e.g., Democracy Now from democracynow.org) and music and comedy bits. Twice, on other days, I heard the audio from a BBC TV documentary about Friedrich Nietzsche. No ads, no talk by an announcer, no IDs except for the rare "Dollhouse FM 90.7". It's worth noting that the content and the production both sound very professionally done. No idea who is doing this, but he's good at it.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Three Useful Sites for Digital TV DXing

Here are three websites that I've found to be very useful for TV DXing:
  • RabbitEars: A very useful site for looking up details about digital TV stations broadcasting in your area. This is where I go to find out the actual RF channel that stations broadcast on.
  • FCC TV Query: The FCC's official site for looking up TV station information. You can get the RF channel numbers here too, but they don't list the displayed digital channel numbers so it is slightly less useful. But they do list the station's transmitter power, which the RabbitEars site doesn't.
  • This techFAQ article shows the RF frequencies for each TV channel. If you want to know what the actual frequency a TV station is on, you can find out here.

Digital TV Loggings

I've occasionally dabbled in TV DXing over the years and now that over-the-air television is transitioning to digital, I decided to give digital TV DXing a try. That was one reason I bought that Tivax converter last month. Another, of course, was just that I wanted to see what was available to watch on digital TV. On the latter count, the results greatly exceeded my expectations.

I'm not sure how much DXing is going to be possible on digital TV. A month isn't enough time to get a good feel for it, especially as there hasn't been much good propagation lately. What I have seen so far is that, using my home-made TV antenna from my 12th floor apartment balcony, I get all the Toronto and Hamilton stations without fail; the Buffalo stations are present most of the time, and stations from Rochester NY are often present (maybe a third of the time). Beyond that, the only DX I've got is WSYR TV from Syracuse, NY, which has put in an appearance a couple of times. I also saw, once, poorly, a station from Jamestown, NY, but that was before I started logging digital TV, so it isn't in the log yet.

Here's what I've logged. Dates and times in UTC (subtract 4 hours to get local Toronto time). Each subchannel of a station is logged separately. There are two channels listed: RFC (RF Channel; the actual TV channel the station broadcasts on), and DC (Display Channel; the channel number that the station is displayed as). This list is basically a list of the digital TV stations you can expect to see here in Toronto.
  1. WGRZ-RTV, RFC: 33, DC: 02-3, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-06, 01:50-02:16, RTV.
  2. WGRZ-US, RFC: 33, DC: 02-2, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-06, 02:16-02:17, US Network.
  3. WGRZ-HD, RFC: 33, DC: 02-1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-06, 02:17-02:25, NBC.
  4. WROC-DT, RFC: 45, DC: 08, Rochester NY, 2009-07-06, 02:24-02:26, CBS.
  5. WXXI-HD, RFC: 16, DC: 21-1, Rochester NY, 2009-07-06, 02:27-02:30, PBS.
  6. WXXI-W, RFC: 16, DC: 21-2, Rochester NY, 2009-07-06, 02:31-02:34, PBS.
  7. WXXI-C, RFC: 16, DC: 21-3, Rochester NY, 2009-07-06, 02:34-02:36, PBS.
  8. WUHF-DT, RFC: 28, DC: 31, Rochester NY, 2009-07-06, 02:39-02:41, Fox.
  9. CBLT-DT, RFC: 20, DC: 05, Toronto ON, 2009-07-09, 03:40-03:44, CBC.
  10. WKBW-HD, RFC: 38, DC: 07, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-09, 03:44-03:47, ABC.
  11. CFTO-HD, RFC: 40, DC: 09, Toronto ON, 2009-07-09, 03:48-03:51, CTV.
  12. CHCH-DT, RFC: 18, DC: 11, Hamilton ON, 2009-07-09, 03:52-03:55, CH.
  13. WIVB-HD, RFC: 39, DC: 04-1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-09, 04:12-04:18, CBS.
  14. WHAM-HD, RFC: 13, DC: 13-1, Rochester NY, 2009-07-09, 12:06-12:06.
  15. WHAM-CW, RFC: 13, DC: 13-2, Rochester NY, 2009-07-09, 23:35-23:39, CW.
  16. WSYR-DT, RFC: 17, DC: 09-1, Syracuse NY, 2009-07-09, 23:43-23:45, Tropo.
  17. WHEC-HD, RFC: 10, DC: 10-1, Rochester NY, 2009-07-10, 03:30-03:36, NBC.
  18. WHEC-DT, RFC: 10, DC: 10-2, Rochester NY, 2009-07-10, 03:36-03:38, Weather.
  19. WNED-HD, RFC: 43, DC: 17-1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 15:35-15:38, PBS.
  20. WNED-SD, RFC: 43, DC: 17-2, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 15:38-15:39, PBS.
  21. WNED-TH, RFC: 43, DC: 17-3, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 15:39-15:42, PBS–TH.
  22. WNLO-HD, RFC: 32, DC: 23-1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 15:43-15:45, CW23.
  23. CBLFT-D, RFC: 24, DC: 25-1, Toronto ON, 2009-07-19, 15:45-15:47, Radio-Canada French.
  24. WUTV-HD, RFC: 14, DC: 29-1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 15:47-15:51, Fox 29.
  25. WUTV-SD, RFC: 14, DC: 29-2, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 15:51-15:52, Fox 29.
  26. CITS-HD, RFC: 35, DC: 36-1, Hamilton ON, 2009-07-19, 23:06-23:09, CTS Religious.
  27. CIII-DT-41, RFC: 65, DC: 41-1, Toronto ON, 2009-07-19, 23:09-23:13, GlobalTV.
  28. CJMT-TV, RFC: 44, DC: 44-1, Toronto ON, 2009-07-19, 23:14-23:15, Omni 2.
  29. WNYO-HD, RFC: 49, DC: 49-1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 23:15-23:17, MyTV.
  30. WNYO-SD, RFC: 49, DC: 49-2, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-19, 23:17-23:19, MyTV.
  31. CITY-HD, RFC: 53, DC: 57-1, Toronto ON, 2009-07-19, 23:23-23:26, CityTV.
  32. CFMT-TV, RFC: 64, DC: 64-1, Toronto ON, 2009-07-19, 23:26-23:28, Omni 1.
  33. CKXT-DT, RFC: 66, DC: 66-1, Toronto ON, 2009-07-19, 23:29-23:30, Sun TV.
  34. WPXJ-ION, RFC: 23, DC: 51-1, Batavia NY, 2009-07-20, 03:16-03:20, ION.
  35. WPXJ-Qubo, RFC: 23, DC: 51-2, Batavia NY, 2009-07-20, 03:20-03:22, Qubo.
  36. WPXJ-ION Life, RFC: 23, DC: 51-3, Batavia NY, 2009-07-20, 03:22-03:23, ION Life.
  37. WPXJ-Worship, RFC: 23, DC: 51-4, Batavia NY, 2009-07-20, 03:23-03:25, Worship.
  38. WSYR-2, RFC: 17, DC: 09-2, Syracuse NY, 2009-07-21, 05:05-05:09, Doppler 9 Weather and News Ticker.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Three More FM Stations Plus One More

Saturday I added three more stations to the Toronto FM log. These were received on the Honda radio in my car.
  1. CKDO-1, 107.7, Oshawa ON, 2009-07-18, 18:25-18:33, Oldies - parallel to 1580 AM.
  2. CBCO, 91.5, Orillia ON, 2009-07-18, 18:37-18:40, CBC Radio One.
  3. CKBT, 91.5, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, 2009-07-18, 18:37-18:40, "91.5 The Beat".
In addition to these three, there's one more to mention: CBC Radio Two on 90.7. It's not going into the log yet because I don't know where it's from. There are two repeaters of CBC Radio Two from Toronto on this frequency: CBL-2 in Paris, ON, and CBL-3 in Orillia, ON. I'm midway between both of them and both are approximately the same strength (4 and 4.8 kW), so it could have been either. I lean towards it being the one in Paris because there was very mild tropo that morning towards that direction, but I don't really know.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Build Your Own TV Antenna

A few posts back I mentioned that I got a converter to enable me to watch over-the-air digital TV. The other piece of gear one needs for watching over-the-air television is a TV antenna, and the one I already had is not very good. It's one of those "UFO" style omnidirectional VHF and UHF jobs and it worked but not quite as well as I'd like.

Coincidentally I happened to find a video on Make TV about how to make your own TV antenna out of scrap wood and cut-up clothes hangers. It's a DB4 "bowtie" antenna with four "bowties" that's cut for UHF.


I built this and it really does work. I bolted it to a pole and set it out on my 12th floor apartment balcony, and it is providing noticeably better reception than the antenna I had out there already. Including on VHF, which is a surprise.

The results? I've gotten every local Toronto digital TV station, of course. I've also received every digital station from Buffalo, NY. And most of the Rochester, NY stations. Analog channels are also coming in much better. It works much better than I expected it would. And it's made out of clothes hangers. Cool!

Here's another site with plans for the same antenna:


I also added some splitters and hooked this antenna up to the FM receiver on my stereo, which has improved reception on that thing considerably. And the antenna isn't even cut for the FM band. (This is temporary - I'm going to buy, or make, an FM antenna soon).

Latest Loggings on FM

A few more stations for the Toronto FM log. All of these were logged using my new Grundig G8 Traveler II, a little ultralight-style radio that I bought last week at The Source because of the reviews on the web that praise it for amazing DX performance on FM. The fact that I've logged six new FM stations using it shows that it is DX-worthy, although I haven't had enough experience with it yet to say just how good it actually is.

The new Toronto loggings (dates and times in UTC):
  1. CKJN, 92.9, Caledonia ON, 2009-07-12, 23:15-23:40, "The Moose"
  2. CFMU, 93.3, Hamilton ON, 2009-07-12, 23:43-23:48, McMaster University campus station.
  3. CKHC, 96.9, Toronto ON, 2009-07-12, 23:50-00:05, Humber College campus station.
  4. CKEY, 101.1, Ft. Erie - Niagara ON, 2009-07-13, 03:50-04:10, Z101 - hits.
  5. WHTT, 104.1, Buffalo NY, 2009-07-13, 12:02-12:07, Mix 104 - light rock.
  6. WGMC, 90.1, Greece NY, 2009-07-15, 11:30-11:42, Jazz 90.1 - tropo.
I also have one other new FM logging for the overall log, a station I heard while in Milton, ON on the weekend:
  • WUBJ, 88.1, Jamestown NY, 2009-07-11, 15:27-15:32, NPR //WBFO 88.7

Monday, 13 July 2009

Another FM E-Skip Logging

This one is from last Thursday evening, July 9.
  1. WUWF, 88.1, Pensacola - Fort Walton Beach FL, 2009-07-09, 23:18-23:22, 100 kW, NPR.
Dates and time in UTC. Radio: Grundig Satellit 800.

88.1 has been available for DXing lately because CKLN, the Ryerson campus station, has been operating on very reduced power - so much so that they were barely audible here. But today they've returned to full strength. Too bad for the DXing possibilities, but I don't mind that much because I actually listen to CKLN a lot - they have great Jazz programming in the morning.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Digital TV - Tivax STB-T8 Converter

Over-the-air television broadcasting is in the process of switching from analog to digital. In the United States the official switchover occurred in June; in Canada the switch will take place in 2011. However, many TV stations in Canada are already broadcasting in the new digital format as well as in the traditional analog one.

I was curious to see what digital TV is like, so in June I bought a digital-to-analog converter to connect to my purely analog Toshiba television. The converter is a Tivax STB-T8, which I bought at Durham Radio in Whitby, ON. I hooked it up to the TV and to an old TV antenna I had on my balcony. The results were much better than I had expected.

First, not only are most of Toronto's TV stations already broadcasting in DTV, I also get most of Buffalo's TV stations regularly, and irregularly I've been seeing Rochester, NY's stations. This was a surprise because I'd heard that DTV signals didn't travel long distances well, and so I expected only to see Toronto's stations.

Second, the picture quality is excellent. As good as cable TV. It's astounding to me to be watching a station like WXXI, the PBS station in Rochester, with a cable-quality picture over the air. (Actually, the picture quality would probably be better than cable if I owned an HDTV).

Third, I get a lot more stations than I expected. It depends on propagation conditions, but I've gotten close to 40 channels. I'm counting the subchannels of a station as separate channels - e.g., there are three channels from WGRZ-TV in Buffalo.

It's really cool and I've been having fun playing with it.

Some Real FM DX

On Mon. July 6, I got some real DX on FM. There was an E-skip opening underway when I got home from work and I managed to get IDs on three stations. (Sporadic E-skip is a propagation mode on VHF where distant signals get refracted back to Earth by highly ionized patches in the E-layer of the Earth's ionosphere).

Here are the three stations I identified. Dates and times in UTC:
  1. WMFE-FM, 90.7, Orlando FL, 2009-07-06, 22:47-22:53, 100 kW, NPR.
  2. WKGC-FM, 90.7, Panama City FL, 2009-07-06, 22:53-22:55, 100 kW.
  3. WVAS, 90.7, Montgomery AL, 2009-07-06, 22:55-23:15, 80 kW, Jazz & ID on hour with location.
Total Toronto FM log count is now 68.

E-skip is one of those phenomena that makes radio propagation so fascinating. Normally FM signals are purely local or regional, but under certain conditions, conditions that occur sporadically and unpredictably, they can travel thousands of miles and sound almost local when they arrive. That sort of thing is fascinating.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Blog: South Carolina DXing

Here's another radio blog similar to mine: South Carolina DXing. Stumbled across it today while googling for information about the new Grundig G8 Traveller II.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Three FM Stations on 90.7

90.7 is one of the few fully open frequencies in the lower end of the FM band here in Toronto. So I tend to check it a lot for possible DX. Between June 29 and July 4 I heard three noteworthy stations here, although I was only able to get a firm ID from one of them.

The one I was able to identify has been added to my Toronto FM log:
  1. CFU758, 90.7, Vaughan ON, 2009-07-04, 19:14-19:19, "RAV FM, The Voice of Vaughan"
CFU758, RAV-FM, is a low powered campus station. It's one of the very few campus stations in Canada operated by a high school - Vaughan Secondary School. It also calls itself the Voice of Vaughan. I logged this on the Honda radio in my '95 Civic while stopped in a parking lot near Wilson and Dufferin in North York.

At the same time as I was hearing RAV-FM, I was also hearing an outlet of CBC Radio Two on the same frequency at about equal strength. Most likely this was CBL-2 in Paris, Ontario, but I suppose it could also have been CBL-3 in Orillia. Not enough to identify which, so for now it doesn't go in the log.

The third station I heard on 90.7 I don't know what it was. On June 29 at 0235 UTC I heard, at home on the Satellit 800, a slightly-staticky but steady station. It was broadcasting music - good quality blues. Then without any announcement it transitioned into a documentary that ran to 0330, on the life and work of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Later I googled about this documentary and found that it was actually the soundtrack of a BBC-TV documentary about Nietzsche called Human, All Too Human. After the documentary it went into some type of ambient/electronica music to 0340, at which time it abruptly went off the air. Two days later I heard the station again. It was playing an eclectic but high quality mix of music, then went into a political show called Democracy Now, which sounded like it was coming off the Internet, and more music. I eventually turned it off when that Nietzsche documentary returned for an encore performance. This time there were a couple of brief IDs, but I missed them.

What was this? I don't think it was a licenced broadcaster. To me it sounded like it was either a pirate, or maybe someone with a legal low-powered FM transmitter doing a bit of broadcasting. In the latter case it would have to be one of my neighbours. I'm keeping an ear out for it on 90.7 just in case it puts in another appearance.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

FM Logbook

These are all the FM stations I've logged from Toronto between June 1 and June 24, 2009. I have logged a few more since the 24th but haven't updated my log files yet to include them. Equipment used for all of these: Grundig Satellit 800 and built-in whip antenna. Dates and times in UTC.
  1. CIXL, 91.7, Welland ON, 2009-06-02, 02:15-02:25, "Giant FM" Rock
  2. WXXI, 91.5, Rochester NY, 2009-06-03, 12:22-12:30, NPR Classical
  3. CHIN-1, 91.9, Toronto ON, 2009-06-04, 11:15-11:22, Italian
  4. CJRT, 91.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-04, 11:27-11:31, Jazz
  5. WBER, 90.5, Rochester NY, 2009-06-05, 12:05-12:16, Campus station
  6. CJBC-FM, 90.3, Toronto ON, 2009-06-05, 12:17-12:20, CBC R. Canada French
  7. CJKX-1, 89.9, Sunderland ON, 2009-06-06, 03:54-03:57, KX96 Country
  8. CIUT, 89.5, Toronto ON, 2009-06-06, 12:50-13:05, Campus - University of Toronto
  9. CIRV, 88.9, Toronto ON, 2009-06-06, 13:30-13:35, Multicultural
  10. WBFO, 88.7, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-06, 13:35-13:40, NPR
  11. CKDX, 88.5, Newmarket ON, 2009-06-06, 13:40-14:00, "Light Hits The Jewel"
  12. CKLN, 88.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-06, 14:07-14:26, Ryerson University campus station
  13. CKPC-FM, 92.1, Brantford ON, 2009-06-07, 14:35-14:40, Oldies
  14. CKRZ, 100.3, Ohsweken ON, 2009-06-07, 14:42-14:50, First Nations
  15. CJAQ, 92.5, Toronto ON, 2009-06-07, 14:56-15:10, Rock
  16. WBUF, 92.9, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-07, 15:11-15:20, Rock
  17. CHAY, 93.1, Barrie ON, 2009-06-09, 02:44-02:48, Rock
  18. CFXJ, 93.5, Toronto ON, 2009-06-09, 02:48-02:51, Urban music
  19. WBLK, 93.7, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-09, 02:51-02:53
  20. CBL, 94.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-11, 01:05-01:10, CBC Radio Two
  21. WNED-FM, 94.5, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-11, 01:10-01:42, NPR
  22. CIWV, 94.7, Hamilton ON, 2009-06-11, 01:43-01:48, Smooth Jazz
  23. CKGE, 94.9, Oshawa ON, 2009-06-11, 01:48-01:55, Rock
  24. CING, 95.3, Hamilton ON, 2009-06-12, 12:00-12:05, Country
  25. CFJB, 95.7, Barrie ON, 2009-06-12, 12:05-12:08, Rock
  26. CJKX, 95.9, Ajax ON, 2009-06-12, 12:08-12:11, Country
  27. CFMZ, 96.3, Toronto ON, 2009-06-13, 03:10-03:15, Classical
  28. WJYE, 96.1, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-13, 03:11-03:19
  29. CHYM, 96.7, Kitchener ON, 2009-06-13, 03:21-03:25, Light Rock
  30. WGRF, 96.9, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-13, 03:25-03:30, Rock
  31. CJEZ, 97.3, Toronto ON, 2009-06-13, 13:35-13:37, Light Rock
  32. CHTZ, 97.7, St. Catharines ON, 2009-06-13, 13:37-13;50, Rock
  33. CHFI, 98.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-14, 00:35-00:43, Rock oldies
  34. WKSE, 98.5, Niagara Falls NY, 2009-06-14, 00:43-00:46, Rock
  35. CBCP, 98.7, Peterborough ON, 2009-06-14, 13:50-14:06, CBC Radio One
  36. CBLA, 99.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-15, 11:14-11:17, CBC Radio One
  37. WDCX, 99.5, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-16, 11:25-11:35, Religious
  38. CKFM, 99.9, Toronto ON, 2009-06-16, 11:37-11:45, Rock
  39. CJLF, 100.3, Barrie ON, 2009-06-16, 11:50-11:54, Religious
  40. CHIN-FM, 100.7, Toronto ON, 2009-06-17, 03:28-03:31, Multicultural
  41. CJSA-FM, 101.3, Toronto ON, 2009-06-17, 03:40-04:10, Tamil - multicultural
  42. CIOI, 101.5, Hamilton ON, 2009-06-17, 04:12-04:21
  43. CFNY, 102.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-17, 11:45-11:55, The Edge
  44. WLOF, 101.7, Attica-Kenmore NY, 2009-06-17, 11:55-12:00, Religious
  45. WTSS, 102.5, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-18, 11:37-12:03, Rock
  46. CKLH, 102.9, Hamilton ON, 2009-06-18, 12:03-12:05, Light Rock
  47. CFMX, 103.1, Cobourg ON, 2009-06-19, 11:12-11:23, Classical
  48. WEDG, 103.3, Buffalo NY, 2009-06-19, 11:23-11:27, Rock
  49. CIDC, 103.5, Orangeville ON, 2009-06-20, 11:25-11:32, C103.5
  50. CIRR, 103.9, Toronto ON, 2009-06-20, 11:32-11:45, Proud FM
  51. CHUM-FM, 104.5, Toronto ON, 2009-06-20, 11:45-11:50, Light Rock
  52. WCOU, 88.3, Warsaw NY, 2009-06-20, 12:00-12:02, Religious
  53. CHOQ, 105.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-20, 12:03-12:06, French
  54. CFCA, 105.3, Kitchener-Waterloo ON, 2009-06-20, 12:06-12:09, Rock
  55. CHRY, 105.5, Toronto ON, 2009-06-20, 12:09-12:11, York University campus station
  56. CHRE, 105.7, St. Catharines ON, 2009-06-20, 12:11-12:16, Light Rock
  57. CIMJ, 106.1, Guelph ON, 2009-06-20, 12:21-12:23, Magic FM
  58. CKAV, 106.5, Toronto ON, 2009-06-22, 01:50-02:20, Aboriginal - AVN
  59. CILQ, 107.1, Toronto ON, 2009-06-22, 02:24-02:35, Q-107
  60. CKMB, 107.5, Barrie ON, 2009-06-22, 02:35-02:45, Kool FM
  61. WLKK, 107.7, Wetherfield-Buffalo NY, 2009-06-22, 02:45-02:51, The Lake
  62. CJXY, 107.9, Burlington ON, 2009-06-22, 02:51-03:03, Y108
  63. WFRW, 88.1, Webster NY, 2009-06-24, 11:45-12:15, Family Radio
  64. WBSU, 89.1, Brockport NY, 2009-06-24, 12:16-12:21, The Point
Total station count in Toronto log: 64.

Monday, 6 July 2009

FM Band Map

Here's that map of the FM band in Toronto that I put together in June. It's what I hear from my home in midtown Toronto on my Grundig Satellit 800, using its whip antenna. If you're located elsewhere in the city or have different equipment than I do, then what you hear might be slightly different.

Freq Station
87.9 ----
88.1 CKLN – Ryerson U.
88.3 WCOU – Family Life
88.5 CKDX – The Jewel
88.7 WBFO – NPR
88.9 CIRV
89.1 WBSU – The Point
89.3 ----
89.5 CIUT – U. Toronto
89.7 ----
89.9 CJKX-1 – KX 96
90.1 ----
90.3 CJBC-FM – R. Canada
90.5 WBER
90.7 ----
90.9 ----
91.1 CJRT – Jazz FM
91.3 ----
91.5 WXXI – NPR
91.7 CIXL – Giant FM
91.9 CHIN-1
92.1 CKPC
92.3 ----
92.5 CJAQ – Kiss 92.5
92.7 ----
92.9 WBUF – Jack FM
93.1 CHAY
93.3 ----
93.5 CFXJ – The New Flow
93.7 WBLK
93.9 ----
94.1 CBL – CBC Radio Two
94.3 ----
94.5 WNED – NPR
94.7 CIWV – The Wave
94.9 CKGE – The Rock
95.1 ----
95.3 CING – New Country
95.5 ----
95.7 CFJB – Rock 95
95.9 CJKX – KX 96
96.1 WJYE
96.3 CFMZ – Classical 96
96.5 ----
96.7 CHYM-FM
96.9 WGRF – 97 Rock
97.1 ----
97.3 CJEZ – EZ Rock
97.5 ----
97.7 CHTZ – Hits FM
97.9 ----
98.1 CHFI
98.3 ----
98.5 WKSE – Kiss 98.5
98.7 CBCP - CBC Radio One
98.9 ----
99.1 CBLA – CBC Radio One
99.3 ----
99.5 WDCX
99.7 ----
99.9 CKFM – Virgin Radio
100.1 ----
100.3 CKRZ, CJLF
100.5 ----
100.7 CHIN
100.9 ----
101.1 ----
101.3 CJSA – CMR
101.5 CIOI – C-101.5
101.7 WLOF – Station of the Cross
101.9 ----
102.1 CFNY – The Edge
102.3 ----
102.5 WTSS – Star 102.5
102.7 ----
102.9 CKLH – K-Lite
103.1 CFMX – Classical 96
103.3 WEDG – The Edge
103.5 CIDC – C103.5
103.7 ----
103.9 CIRR – Proud FM
104.1 ----
104.3 ----
104.5 CHUM-FM
104.7 ----
104.9 ----
105.1 CHOQ
105.3 CFCA – Kool FM
105.5 CHRY – York U
105.7 CHRE – Easy Rock
105.9 ----
106.1 CIMJ – Magic FM
106.3 ----
106.5 CKAV – AVN
106.7 ----
106.9 ----
107.1 CILQ – Q107
107.3 ----
107.5 CKMB – Kool FM
107.7 WLKK – The Lake
107.9 CJXY – Y108

Bold: Strong dominant.
Normal: Semi-dominant.
Italic: Weak; semi-regular.
---: Open.

FM DXing

After spending nine months focused on DXing the AM radio band, I decided it was time to turn my attention to the other local broadcasting band, FM. I've never been an avid FM DXer, but I have dabbled in it off and on over the years and find it interesting. I've only logged 270 FM stations in total, mostly ones logged locally or while traveling. But there have been some good DX catches in that time.

I decided to start a new FM logbook beginning June 1, 2009, that will include only stations logged from within the city of Toronto. I began by logging all the local and semi-local stations to produce a map of the band. This effort yielded some interesting results:
  • There are about 50 stations here that are strong locals or semi-dominant regional ones. These frequencies are pretty much blocked for DXing.
  • There are about another 10 frequencies with weak but semi-regular stations. DXing may be possible on these frequencies under the right conditions.
  • There are 100 channels on the FM band, and between the ones that are blocked, the slop from these on adjacent channels, and the weak semi-regulars, there's not a lot of DX-able frequencies left.
So DXing FM from Toronto has its challenges. But I'll see what I can accomplish here.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Some Shortwave Loggings

In late May and June I did some listening on the 31 metre band and logged the following stations:
  • 9690 China - China Radio International via Nobeljas, Spain, at 0302 in English with news show. (Good June 13)
  • 9700 Bulgaria - Radio Bulgaria, Plovdiv, at 0215 in English to North America with news magazine show. (Good June 3)
  • 9735 Russia - Voice of Russia via Montsinery, French Guiana relay at 0225 in Spanish with news magazine "Chronica" (Good June 3)
  • 9825 Germany - Deutsche Welle via Sines, Portugal relay at 0325 in German with talk show and news about Opel at half hour. (Fair May 29)
  • 9825 United States - WHRI World Harvest Radio, Cypress Creek, SC, at 0454 with religious programming. (Good May 30)
  • 9870 Czech Republic - Radio Prague, at 0302 in English. News, weather conditions in Prague. Feature item on unveiling of a statue having something to do with the anniversary of the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. (Fair May 28)
  • 9880 Russia - Voice of Russia, Krasnodar, at 0240 in Spanish with news magazine show. (Poor June 3)
  • 9885 United States - Voice of America, at 0455 in English to Africa with news program "Press Conference USA". Sign off at 0500. (Good June 6)
  • 9890 Russia - Voice of Russia, at 0147 in English with music program "Kalaidoscope". ID with email and URL. IS and news at 0200. (Very Good May 26)
  • 9895 Madagascar - Voice of the People, at 0400. Zimbabwean opposition station carried on R. Nederland's Madagascar relay. Programming in English, Shona, and a third Zimbabwean language. Talk with snippets of African music. Sign on was preceded by at least 15 minutes of silent carrier. To Zimbabwe. (Fair June 6)
  • 9925 Croatia - Croatian Radio, at 0203 via German relay with news in English. IDs as Voice of Croatia and as Croatian Radio. (Fair May 26)
  • 9955 United States - WRMI (Radio Miami International), at 0259 with Radio Prague IDs in Czech and R. Prague IDs. Then at 0300 WRMI ID and into WRMI programming in Spanish. (Poor June 5)
  • 10051 Canada - Gander Radio, Gander NL at 0220 in SSB with aviation weather for Canadian cities - covering Ontario at time of listening (Fair May 29)
Frequencies in kiloHertz. Dates and times in UTC. Radio: JRC NRD-525 attached to random length wire antenna.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Ultralight DXing - 300 Stations

May was a productive month for ultralight DXing. I reached three milestones I've been working towards:
  • 300 stations received.
  • 40 stations heard on the "graveyard" (local) channels.
  • 6 Canadian provinces logged.
I'm pleased to say that the Ultralight Awards Committee has issued me awards for these three milestones. I'm also pleased to have reached these goals because now I can take a break from ultralight DXing. It has been fun but I need a rest from it!

Here are the latest ultralight loggings:
  • 1240 WSKI Montpelier, VT 0802 UTC 04-May-2009 DT-400W
  • 1610 CJWI Montreal, QC 0145 UTC 07-May-2009 SRF-59
  • 1290 WHIO Dayton, OH 0204 UTC 07-May-2009 SRF-59
  • 780 CFDR Halifax, NS 0620 UTC 10-May-2009 DT-400W and E-100
  • 1160 WABY Mechanicville, NY 0415 UTC 16-May-2009 DT-400W
  • 1260 CKHJ Fredricton, NB 0420 UTC 18-May-2009 E-100
  • 1400 WRAK Williamsport, PA 0559 UTC 19-May-2009 DT-400W
  • 1400 WBFN Battle Creek, MI 0710 UTC 19-May-2009 DT-400W
  • 540 CBK Regina, SK 0502 UTC 20-May-2009 CC-SWP
  • 1650 CJRS Montreal, QC 0507 UTC 20-May-2009 CC-SWP
Total ultralight count is now 304. Total Canadian provinces is now 6. And total graveyard frequency stations is now 41. The radios used for these loggings were the Sony SRF-59, the Eton E-100, the Sangean DT-400W, and the new C Crane CCRadio-SWP.

CFDR 780 from Halifax, Nova Scotia yielded province number 5. This was a challenge. I heard country and western music underneath WBBM. Inaudible most of the time, but occasionally it rose up enough to allow me to compare the music with CFDR's webcast at www.780kixx.ca. Every time I checked it for over half an hour the music matched up (the two sounded like they were out of synch, with the webcast lagging quite a bit). I also heard a brief voice announcement once that I couldn't make out, and when I checked the webcast a moment later I heard a 780 KIXX ID in similar cadences. So it seems certain that this is CFDR. Not a new station to the overall log, but this is the first time I've heard CFDR from Ontario. The only other logging I have of this station is from Trinity, Newfoundland in 2007.

Another maritime province station, 1260 CKHJ Fredricton, NB, has the honour of being station number 300. Carries country music and IDs as KHJ Country.

Province number 6 was Saskatchewan, and the station logged for this was 540 CBK SK Regina (CBC Radio One). I've logged this station several times from elsewhere in Ontario, but this is my first logging of it from Toronto. This is also the first new station I heard on my new CCrane CCRadio-SWP, which I bought in February but never used until now. I hadn't used it at night yet, and I took it outside my apartment to give it a spin. CBK was one of the first things I heard. Actually, when I turned on the radio it was on my local CFRB 1010, and as I tuned down from there I heard CBW 990 in Winnipeg coming in. So on a hunch I switched to 540, and there was CBK. I guess the thing works!

And graveyard station number 40 was 1400 WRAK Williamsport, PA.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Recent Ultralight Loggings

Here's the latest batch of loggings of AM stations using ultralight receivers. The radios used here are the Sangean DT-400W, the Sony SRF-59, and the Eton E-100:
  • 1450 WMAJ State College, PA 0527 UTC 20-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 1450 WCTC New Brunswick, NJ 0546 UTC 20-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 1450 WKIP Poughkeepsie, NY 0838 UTC 20-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 1450 WTRO Dyersburg, TN 0919 UTC 20-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 950 WWJ Detroit, MI 0359 UTC 23-Apr-2009 SRF-59
  • 1200 WKOX Framingham, MA 0150 UTC 25-Apr-2009 SRF-59
  • 1570 WPGM Danville, PA 0229 UTC 02-May-2009 E-100
  • 600 CKAT North Bay, ON 0355 UTC 02-May-2009 E-100
Total ultralight count is now 294. Hope to reach 300 soon.

Two of these (WWJ on 950 and CKAT on 600) are stations that I've been trying to log for months because I originally thought they'd be easy catches. Especially WWJ, which is 50 kW and only a few hundred miles from me. They proved to be tough to catch but I've finally logged them.

The four stations on 1450 were all logged from an overnight recording. I've found that's an effective way to DX the local (graveyard) channels as hours can go by between intelligeable IDs, and when they do happen, they're usually weak enough that you have to listen to the ID several times before you can decipher it. With these four, the count of graveyard-channel stations is now 38.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Recent Ultralight Loggings

The latest loggings of AM radio stations on ultralight radios. Total count is now 286. Radios used here: Eton E-100, Sangean DT-400W, and Sony SRF-59:
  • 1350 WHWH Princeton, NJ 0240 UTC 04-Apr-2009 E-100
  • 1370 WSPD Toledo, OH 0250 UTC 04-Apr-2009 E-100
  • 1570 CFAV Laval, QC 0345 UTC 05-Apr-2009 E-100
  • 1470 WMBD Peoria, IL 0359 UTC 05-Apr-2009 E-100
  • 1570 WNST Towson, MD 1047 UTC 05-Apr-2009 E-100
  • 1490 WBCB Leavittown, PA 0631 UTC 06-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 1490 WDLC Port Jervis, NY 0642 UTC 06-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 1660 WFNA Charlotte, NC 0157 UTC 08-Apr-2009 SRF-59

Thursday, 2 April 2009

More Ultralight Loggings

Not much time lately for radio, but since the middle of March I've found time to log seven more stations for the ultralight log. Total ultralight count is now 278.
  • 1270 WCBC Cumberland, MD 2352 UTC 15-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 940 WKGM Smithfield, VA 1158 UTC 20-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 960 WHAK Rogers City, MI 2335 UTC 21-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 830 WCRN Worcester, MA 2333 UTC 22-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 790 CMAQ-R. Reloj Pinar del Rio, Cuba 0316 UTC 28-Mar-2009 DT-400W
  • 1420 WIMS Michigan City, IN 0359 UTC 02-Apr-2009 DT-400W
  • 1690 CJLO Montreal, QC 2345 UTC 02-Apr-2009 SRF-59
Radios used here: Sangean DT-400W, Eton E-100, and the Sony SRF-59.

The Radio Reloj logging on 790 is the fourth Cuban station in the ultralight log. Three of the Cubans I've logged have been Radio Reloj outlets. They're relatively easy to identify because of their regular "RR" IDs in Morse Code, which remain audible when nothing else is.

The Sony SRF-59 has excellent nulling capabilities, and the logging of CJLO on 1690 was made possible by it. I have a local station, CHTO, on 1690, but I was able to null it out almost completely using the SRF-59.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Recent Ultralight Loggings

Pretty much all of my radio listening activity continues to be focused on ultralight DXing. I didn't intend this; it just happened. But I will switch the focus away from this soon. The mediumwave DXing season will be coming to a close in the next month or two, and at that point I may shift to listening to other things over the summer. Of course, mediumwave DXing is still possible during the summer months, but conditions are not as good as during the fall-winter-spring season, so it's a good time to go explore other things. However, I am hoping to reach 300 stations in the ultralight log before the season ends.

Recent additions to the ultralight log:
  • 1230 WTSV Claremont, NH 0700 UTC 02-Mar-2009 DT-400W
  • 1230 WMPC Lapeer, MI 1003 UTC 02-Mar-2009 DT-400W
  • 1600 WWRL New York, NY 0447 UTC 07-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 580 CKWW Windsor, ON 0515 UTC 07-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 610 CHNC QC New Carlisle 0501 UTC 08-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 1590 WGGO NY Salamanca 2045 UTC 08-Mar-2009 E-100
  • 1590 WAUB NY Auburn 2100 UTC 08-Mar-2009 E-100
Total ultralight count: 271. Radios used here: the Sangean DT-400W and the Eton E-100.

The two stations on 1230, WTSV and WMPC, were logged from an overnight recording I did. Not a particularly productive one: over 8 hours and only two loggings. But still, it's two more stations on a graveyard frequency (bringing the count of those to 32).

Logging CKWW on 580 was a surprise. It is only 500 watts and is adjacent to the local Toronto station on 590, which is very dominant. But the E-100 has great selectivity, and allowed me to hear it. The Eton E-100 is really an amazingly good little radio. Too bad Eton has discontinued this model.

CHNC 610 is a station I've been chasing for a couple of months. I had thought I'd heard it several times before, faintly under semi-local CKTB. But this was the first time it that it was coming in strong enough to identify with certainty. Easy enough to identify when it's strong enough - it's the only significant French language station on this frequency in Canada. Glad to have caught it - as I understand, it's moving to FM soon.

WGGO and WAUB on 1590 are odd catches - odd that I hadn't logged them before. They're both semi-local (WGGO is audible during the day here). I guess it's because after doing my daytime bandscans on the ultralights last fall, I reckoned that I'd logged all the semi-local stations and haven't listened for any more during the day. Also, the band above 1500 kHz is badly attenuated inside my apartment, so to DX those frequencies I usually have to head outside. Oddly enough, there's another semi-local station on 1590 even closer to me that I haven't heard yet - WASB in Brockport, NY, near Rochester. No hint of that one yet.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Ultralight Loggings for this Weekend

Two more stations added to the ultralight log, this time using the Eton E-100:
  • 600 WICC Bridgeport, CT 0500 UTC 28-Feb-2009
  • 960 WHYL Carlisle, PA 2328 UTC 01-Mar-2009

Total ultralight count: 264.

600 kHz is a tough frequency for me because it is usually obliterated by slop from local CJCL on 590. But yesterday WICC was coming in strong enough to make it through the interference. So was WCAO from Baltimore (which is already in my ultralight log).

WHYL 960 is an adult standards / oldies station. Usually this channel is dominated by other stations, but tonight WHYL was the strongest one there. This is also a new station for my overall log.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Ultralight DXing Update

Recent ultralight loggings. All received on the Sangean DT-400W. The three stations on 1400 kHz are the result of an overnight recording session:
  • 1280 WFAU Gardiner, ME 2354 UTC 16-Feb-2009
  • 1400 WCCY Houghton, MI 0700 UTC 17-Feb-2009
  • 1400 WVAE Biddeford, ME 0858 UTC 17-Feb-2009
  • 1400 WHGB Harrisburg, PA 1032 UTC 17-Feb-2009
Total ultralight count: 262. This also brings me to 30 stations heard on the "graveyard" frequencies.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Ultralight Logs - 1340 kHz

A few days ago I did another all night recording of one of the local channels (a.k.a. "graveyard" frequencies), this time 1340 kHz. In AM radio there are six local channels or frequencies - 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450, and 1490. These frequencies are used for stations that provide purely local service, and therefore contain hundreds of low power stations, most operating at around 1 kW. The level of interference is very high and so DXing these frequencies can be a challenge.

I recorded about nine hours on 1340 overnight and spent the next several days reviewing the recording. This yielded seven new stations for the ultralight log, five of which were also new for the overall log. The radio used for this was the Sangean DT-400W. Here's what I heard:
  • 1340 WGAW Gardner, MA 0600 UTC 02-Feb-2009
  • 1340 WSTJ St. Johnsbury, VT 0722 UTC 02-Feb-2009
  • 1340 WBRK Pittsfield, MA 0821 UTC 02-Feb-2009
  • 1340 WWNH Madbury, NH 0824 UTC 02-Feb-2009
  • 1340 WMSA Massena, NY 1022 UTC 02-Feb-2009
  • 1340 WENT Gloversville, NY 1145 UTC 02-Feb-2009
  • 1340 WIRY Plattsburgh, NY 1200 UTC 02-Feb-2009
Total ultralight count is now 258. Total graveyard frequency count is now 27.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Ultralight Loggings

I've been busy this month and haven't been updating here as I should. Here are all the stations I logged in January 2009 using ultralight radios (the Sangean DT-400W and the Eton E-100):
  • 1410 WENU South Glens Falls, NY 2235 UTC 01-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1400 WSLB Ogdensburg, NY 2255 UTC 01-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1400 WAMC Albany, NY 2255 UTC 01-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 950 CKNB Campbellton, NB 2315 UTC 01-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 620 WSNR Newark, NJ 2358 UTC 01-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 1590 WONX Evanston, IL 0445 UTC 03-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 1510 WRRD Waukesha, WI 1402 UTC 03-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 1680 WTTM Lindenwold, NJ 1145 UTC 07-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 910 WAVL Apollo, PA 1215 UTC 07-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 600 WCAO Baltimore, MD 0650 UTC 18-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 1240 WOON Woonsocket, RI 0704 UTC 18-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 1110 WGNZ Fairborn, OH 2229 UTC 18-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 610 WTVN Columbus, OH 2259 UTC 18-Jan-2009 E-100
  • 1240 WHMQ Greenfield, MA 0531 UTC 19-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1240 WVKZ Schenectady, NY 0705 UTC 19-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1240 WRTA Altoona, PA 1022 UTC 19-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1240 WWCO Waterbury, CT 1030 UTC 19-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1500 WGHT Pompton Lakes, NJ 1231 UTC 24-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 1510 CKOT Tillsonburg, ON 1345 UTC 24-Jan-2009 DT-400W
  • 560 WCKL Catskill, NY 0708 UTC 28-Jan-2009 E-100
Total ultralight count is now 251.

The logging of CKNB on 950 gave me my fourth Canadian province. I've heard it several times since the initial logging earlier this month.

WOON 1240 in Woonsocket, RI was logged because of a DX test broadcast they did. The broadcast included regular Morse code IDs, which made hearing the station a lot easier. One DXer, Ole Forr, managed to hear this test broadcast from northern Norway!

I also logged four other stations on 1240 (WHMQ, WVKZ, WRTA, and WWCO), all on the same night. This was the result of an all-night recording session. I recently bought a small Sony digitial recorder, and on this night I let it record about nine hours of 1240 kHz. Reviewed it in my spare time over the next several days and heard four new stations. All these were new for the overall log as well.

WCKL 560 was logged one night when they appeared to have accidentally left their signal on their daytime power. This station is 1 kW during the day, but only 43 watts at night. The signal was much too good to be 43 watts. It also sounded like it was slightly off frequency, closer to 561 kHz than 560.

Friday, 9 January 2009

National Radio Club

After years as a mediumwave (AM band) DXer, I finally have joined the National Radio Club. The NRC is the oldest and largest mediumwave club in existence, being founded in 1933. During the DX season they publish their newsletter weekly, and it focuses on the kind of timely information that DXers want to get to help in their DXing efforts. The NRC is also the publisher of the best guide available to the AM stations of the United States and Canada. Ultralight DXing has turned me back into an active mediumwave DXer and so I figured that it was time to join the club.