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.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Update for July 2010

In addition to the things I've already posted about for July, here are some of the highlights from my radio logbook for July 2010:

1. 128.8 MHz, July 5 at 0225 UTC: Logged Toronto Pearson Airport Departures - Air Traffic Control working aircraft departing the airport.

2. 132.8 MHz, July 5 at 0232-0240: Heard various aircraft in contact with Toronto Pearson Airport. This is a frequency for incoming aircraft.

3. Logged W1AW, the ARRL HQ station in Newington CT, transmitting Morse code practice bulletins on several frequencies. July 9 at 0249 UTC on 3581.5 kHz, July 13 at 0245 UTC on 1802.5 kHz, July 14 at 0222 UTC on 7047.5 kHz, and July 15 at 2346 UTC on 14047.5 kHz.

4. Logged various amateur stations on the HF bands.

5. Heard various shortwave broadcast stations. Nothing new.

6. Heard a pirate radio station on 6925 kHz on July 14 at 0240 UTC. He was playing music, but no ID was heard and he disappeared after a few minutes.

7. Heard New York Radio (air traffic control for NYC) on 6586 kHz working various aircraft. This was on July 14 at 0415 UTC.

8. On July 24 I managed to hear CBC Radio from Kingston, 107.5, on my car radio. This was in the morning when I was down at the Lake Ontario shore.

9. Did some listening for local utility communications on VHF.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Pearson Airport Arrivals - 132.8 MHz

One thing I like to do with radio is to explore new types of signals - discovering new things to hear on the radio bands. I haven't spent much time on the frequencies above 30 MHz, except for the FM and TV bands. But there is another VHF band that many radios include, the VHF air band that runs from 108 MHz (right at the top end of the FM broadcast band) to 137 MHz. On July 4 I spent a few minutes listening to 132.8 MHz, which is one of the frequencies that aircraft use to communicate with Toronto's Pearson International Airport when they're approaching the airport. If you sit on this frequency you can hear different flights checking in with the airport. Between 2215 and 2223 UTC I heard three flights contacting the airport here, Exec Jet 937, Air Canada 590, and Eagle 4441.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Numbers Station - 5898 kHz

On July 3 when I was tuning around the bottom end of the 49 metre broadcast band, I happened across a station on 5898 kHz that was transmitting in Morse code, sending text in 5 character groups at a fairly rapid clip. This was at 0505 UTC (around 1 a.m. local time). This is probably one of those spy stations you read about in the news, where some country's intelligence service sends encrypted messages over shortwave to their agents abroad. A lot of these stations apparently operate from Cuba. I obviously have no idea where this station was from or what message it was transmitting. But even when you have no idea what the station is or is sending, it is still fascinating to run across these sorts of stations. Another example of the unusual sort of thing you find on the radio bands.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Radio Ronin Shortwave

One aspect of radio DXing that appeals to some listeners is the search for "unofficial" stations - stations that operate without a licence in defiance of the rules that govern broadcasting in their home country. These are usually known as pirate radio stations. I don't normally go looking for these, but when I hear them I log them. In North America these stations often operate around 6925 kHz on shortwave.

On July 1, I caught a broadcast by one such station, Radio Ronin Shortwave, from 0210 to 0224 UTC. The signal was poor but I was able to copy it. They were playing oldies pop songs from the late 60s and 70s by bands like the Moody Blues, ELO, and the Eagles. There were also IDs and an email address to contact them at (radioroninshortwave@gmail.com). The station appeared to go off the air at 0224. Shortly after that more pop music was audible, but I think it may have been a different station - Radio Ronin was in AM mode and the subsequent signal was SSB.

Another example of the amazing variety of signals you can find on the radio bands.