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 December 2011

Final Log Entry for 2011

The last loggings of the year - three stations on shortwave:
  • WWCR, Nashville, TN, USA, heard on 13845 kHz at 1420-1436 UTC. Excellent signal. English. Christian and political themed talk show called Liberty Radio. WWCR is not new but frequency is.
  • China Radio International, 13675 kHz, at 1437-1455 UTC in English with excellent signal. Transmitted via Sackville, NB relay. Chinese language lessons and feature on some rock band from the '90s. Relog.
  • Gander Radio, 13270 kHz, Gander, NL, Canada, at 1456-1458 UTC. In English with fair signal. Aviation weather conditions. Off air at 1458. Relog.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Standard Time and Frequency Station BPM

Heard today on the Sony CDX-GT180 car radio in Leaside in Toronto, near where I live: standard time and frequency station BPM from Kinshan, China, on 10000 kHz at 2230 UTC. Signal was fair to poor (RST 339). Morse code ID heard under WWV a couple of times. Very clear -  would have been quite good without WWV being there. 20 kW.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

ZIZ 555 kHz and WRKO 680 kHz

Some mediumwave loggings to finish up the day's reports. All logged in Harrowsmith, Ontario on the Kaito KA-1103 with its built-in ferrite bar antenna:
  • ZIZ (tentative), 555 kHz, St. Kitts and Nevis, at 0441-0508 UTC in English with poor signal. BBC programming. No ID heard, so identification is tentative, but there's not much doubt about it. ZIZ is the only station in the Americas that operates on 555 kHz, and it does carry BBC programming overnight. This is a relog but it has been many years since I last heard ZIZ. It's impossible to hear at my location in Toronto because of the noise level, and because of semi-local WGR on 550.
  • WNNZ, 640 kHz, Westfield, MA, USA, at 1325-1333 UTC with fair signal. New England Public Radio. Relog.
  • WRKO, 680 kHz, Boston, MA, USA at 1335-1337 UTC with fair to poor signal. Talk about U.S. presidential race. New to overall log. 680 is blocked in Toronto because of local CFTR, and even in Kingston CFTR is normally dominant. But this morning WRKO was beating it down..

WE2XGR/1 on 501 kHz

There is a campaign underway to get a new band allocated for amateur radio at the 600 metre wavelength (500 kHz). You can read about it at the website of the ARRL 600 Meter Experimental Group. There are some amateur experimental stations authorized to operate on these frequencies for purposes of evaluating its prospects for amateur radio. Early this morning I caught one of these stations:
  • WE2XGR/1 in Wayland, MA, USA on 501 kHz at 0436 UTC with a good signal (RST 569). The station was operating in beacon mode, repeating its ID. The operator is K2ORS.
Logged on the Kaito KA-1103 with its internal antenna, in Harrowsmith, Ontario.

Navtex on 490 kHz

In addition to 518 kHz, there are also Navtex broadcasts on 490. 518 is the main frequency and is used for English language broadcasts. 490 is used for other national languages. Today I heard a Navtex station on 490 for the first time ever. This was at 0435 UTC with a fairly good signal. Unfortunately I did not have the equipment with me to decode it so it remains unidentified.

More Longwave Beacon Loggings

More longwave non-directional beacons logged while in Harrowsmith, Ontario (near Kingston). As usual, these are all operating in Morse code. Receiver was the Kaito KA-1103 on its built-in antenna.
  • UL, 248 kHz, Montreal Quebec, 0325 UTC, poor signal. Relog.
  • VV, 326 kHz, Wiarton Ontario, 0344 UTC, fair signal. Relog.
  • YFM, 332 kHz, La Grande-4 Quebec, 0346 UTC, good signal. Relog. This one is from northern Quebec on the La Grande river leading into James Bay.
  • YLD, 335 kHz, Chapleau Ontario, 0347 UTC, good signal. Relog, but previous logging was from Manitoulin Island, which is much closer to Chapleau.
  • YY, 340 kHz, Mont-Joli Quebec, 0354 UTC, good signal. Relog.
  • SB, 362 kHz, Sudbury Ontario, 0415 UTC. good signal. Relog.
  • YMW, 366 kHz, Maniwaki Quebec, 0416 UTC, fair signal. Relog.
  • RJ, 378 kHz, Roberval Quebec, 0417 UTC, fair to poor signal. Relog. This is my first logging of RJ on 378, but there's an entry in my logbook from a long, long time ago for the same RJ on 379. That was probably actually 378 but I misidentified the frequency back then.
  • RYS, 419 kHz, Detroit-Grosse Ile Michigan, 0432 UTC, poor signal. Relog.

Monday, 26 December 2011

VOIRI 13790 kHz with ID

Finally I got an ID from the station on 13790 kHz that I suspected was VOIRI in Iran:
  • Voice of Islamic Republic of Iran (VOIRI), 13790 kHz from Tehran, Iran, at 1327-1333 UTC in Arabic. Good signal (SINPO 43433). Middle-eastern music. On half hour three tones, then ID, then into news. Heard a couple of mentions of Iran at the time of the ID. Some slight interference from China Radio International on same frequency.

Longwave Beacons

I logged the following non-directional aeronautical beacons on longwave today. Some are even new. All are Morse code beacons that just transmit their IDs repeatedly. Receiver: Kaito KA-1103 using built-in antenna. Received in Harrowsmith, Ontario, where the radio noise is almost non-existent.
  • YSL, 404 kHz, St. Leonard, NB, Canada, 0504 UTC. Weak signal. New - never logged before.
  • ZHU, 407 kHz, Montreal-St. Hubert, QC, Canada, 0507 UTC. Weak signal. Previously logged under former callsign of H, first time logged as ZHU.
  • ML, 392 kHz, Charlevoix-La Malbare, QC, Canada, 0513 UTC. Weak signal. Relog.
  • 3B, 391 kHz, Brockville, ON, Canada, 0514 UTC. Weak signal. New, which is a surprise, since Brockville is not far from here - thought I would have got this one already.
  • ZZR, 317 kHz, Quite West-Severn, ON, Canada, 1326 UTC. Fair to good signal. Relog.

BBC World Service via Oman

BBC World Service, 11860 kHz, 0450-0500 UTC, in English with fair to poor signal. Quiz show, then ID, then abruptly off air in mid-sentence.

My location: Harrowsmith, Ontario. Received using Kaito KA-1103 with built-in telescopic antenna.

WRTH 2011 lists the BBC here from multiple locations: Ascension, Cypress, French Guiana, and Seychelles. But I checked on short-wave.info and they have this transmission coming from the BBC relay station at Al Seela, Oman. I reckon that short-wave.info is probably more up-to-date than the WRTH, which is a year old now. So I'm logging this as Oman.Link

Sunday, 25 December 2011

All India Radio 11670 kHz

Today's logging is a first for two reasons: my first logging of All India Radio in their English language General Overseas Service (I've logged them many times in their Hindi language Vividh Bharati service), and my first logging on my new Sony CDX-GT180 radio.

The CDX-GT180 is a car radio, the only car radio available that has shortwave on it. And "available" is being generous - it is carried, as far as I know, at only one location in North America, at Durham Radio in Whitby, Ontario. I bought it there in September but didn't get it installed in my car until recently. The AM receiver is very good, and FM is too. Shortwave performs much better than you'd expect, given that it's attached to the regular car antenna. The radio doesn't have SSB, unfortunately, and the frequency coverage is a bit strange - full coverage of the amateur bands, which is kind of useless without SSB, but with part of the 31 metre broadcast band (that below 9500 kHz) missing. But it works very well and I'm happy with it.

Back to All India Radio. Details: Frequency: 11670 kHz. Time: 1910-1920 UTC. Signal: very good (SINPO 44444). Language: English. Transmitting from Bangalore, India. Details: News, ID as "General Overseas Service of All India Radio". Talk about women's rights and equality. Received in Eastern Ontario, near Harrowsmith (about 20 km northwest of Kingston). Transmitter power: 500 kW.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

VOIRI 13790 kHz

This morning I spent about 45 minutes listening to the unidentified middle eastern station on 13790 kHz that I think is probably the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran (VOIRI). Time: 1345-1425 UTC. Fair to poor signal. Middle eastern music, then western musical interlude. Talk in Arabic, including an interview. Heard a couple of mentions of Iran but no ID. Off air at 1425 UTC. Matches program times and description in WRTH 2011 for VOIRI, which is scheduled on this frequency at this time in Arabic, with a power of 500 kW.

Since this station is weak but shows up regularly I`m confident I`ll get an ID sooner or later.

More DGPS Loggings

I had another session trying out DXing of DGPS stations on longwave today. This yielded a few good catches. As previously, I'll refer to them with IDs like DGPS-123 (meaning the station's transmitted identifier is 123):
  • DGPS-110, 309 kHz, 0545 UTC, poor signal. Location: Pickford, MI, USA.
  • DGPS-176, 325 kHz, 0616-0618 UTC, poor signal. Location: Medora, ND, USA.
  • DGPS-094, 324 kHz, 0620 UTC, poor signal. Location: Hudson Falls, NY, USA.
  • DGPS-036, 319 kHz, 0633 UTC, poor signal. Location: Savannah, GA, USA.
  • DGPS-044, 290 kHz, 0645UTC, poor signal. Location: Penobscot, ME, USA.
North Dakota, Maine, and Georgia on longwave - not bad. Gear: Sony ICF-2001D receiver, Sony AN-12 active antenna, DSC Decoder software.

Two Longwave Beacons

I logged two Morse code non-directional beacons on longwave today. Both are relogs but both are good DX catches, and I`ve not logged either from Toronto before:
  • YLD, 335 kHz, Chapleau, ON, Canada, at 0609-0612 UTC with poor signal.
  • QT, 332 kHz, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada at 0616-0618 UTC with poor signal. My first logging of this was in 2008 from Espanola, ON, which is quite a bit closer to Thunder Bay than Toronto is.
Equipment: Sony ICF-2001D receiver, Sony AN-12 active antenna.

Friday, 23 December 2011

CRI, VOIRI, and R. Havana on 22 Metres

Three loggings this morning on the 22 metre shortwave broadcast band:
  • China Radio International, 13790 kHz, at 1257-1313 UTC, with poor signal. Transmitting in English from Urumqi, Hutubi, Xinjiang, China. 500 kW. News, and talk show "China Drive" with item about the online sale of e-books in China. Mixing with middle eastern station on same frequency - probably Iran.
  • Unidentified middle eastern station, probably the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran (VOIRI), 13790 kHz, at 1257-1313 UTC. Poor signal, language unidentified. Talk and middle eastern music. No ID, but VOIRI is on this frequency at this time and is broadcasting at 500 kW so it's likely that.
  • R. Havana Cuba, 13780 kHz, at 1257 -1300, and at 1315-1317 UTC, from Havana, Cuba in Spanish with good signal. Interval signal and ID on the hour. Later talk - sounded like news - with item about North Korea. 250 kW.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

BBCWS 7385 kHz

Two shortwave loggings today:
  • Unidentified digital station with RTTY-like signal on 7455 kHz at 0315 UTC with fair to good signal. Unable to decode it. No idea what this is nor where it is located.
  • BBC World Service, 7385 kHz, via Ascension Island relay station, at 0325 UTC with fair to poor signal. 250 kW. In English with talk.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Shortwave Loggings

Three stations logged on shortwave today:
  • CHU, 7850 Khz, Ottawa, ON, Canada, at 1913 UTC with a good signal. 3 kW. There's nothing unusual about receiving CHU, the standard time and frequency station, here in Toronto. But I noticed today that I'd never actually recorded it in my logbook after CHU moved to 7850 from 7335 a few years ago. So now it's logged.
  • WEWN, 15160 kHz, Vandiver, AL, USA, at 2225 UTC with very good signal. Catholic radio. Talk about issue of illegal immigration from a Catholic perspective. 250 kW.
  • Polish Radio, 15260 kHz, via Sackville, NB, Canada relay at 2234 with fair to good signal. 250 kW. This is tentative - no ID was heard. But according to short-wave.info the only thing in Polish on this frequency is the Polish Radio relay from Sackville.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Numbers Station on 12133 kHz

Today I was listening to the AFRTS station on 12133.5 kHz when a numbers station started transmitting on top of it. The stupidity of this astonished me. Everything about numbers stations is mysterious but most of them are probably operated by intelligence services and are used to transmit messages to agents abroad. Many of these transmissions heard in North America are coming from Cuba and are presumably being used to transmit message to agents - i.e., spies - in the U.S. The AFRTS station was just broadcasting general interest programming (news, sports, that sort of thing) but for that very reason it probably has a large audience among military personnel. Starting up the transmission of a numbers station right on top of a United States armed forces broadcasting station, which many U.S. military personnel are listening to, would seem like a pretty stupid thing to do.

Details: Freq: 12133 kHz. Mode: Morse code. Time: 1400-1430 UTC. Good signal. Came on air at 1400. Began with “DWNGA DDAWN URUSN” repeated several times. Then repeated just “URUSN” several times, followed by two BT prosigns. Then into five letter groups. At 1430 sent AR AR SK prosigns and went off air.

DGPS Loggings

Today I tried out something new: DXing DGPS stations. DGPS stands for Differential GPS and is a ground-based system that operates on longwave (around 300 kHz) for augmenting the satellite-based GPS system. Standard GPS is accurate to within about 20-30 metres, but for some applications this is insufficient. For example, the pilot of a large ship navigating through a narrow channel needs to know his position much more accurately than that. Using DGPS it is possible to get a location that's accurate to less than a metre's error.

I was using software called DSC Decoder to decode the DGPS signals. The decoded signal is mostly positioning information, but each line transmitted begins with a station identifier number. I found a guide on the web, the World DGPS Database, that lists all the DGPS stations worldwide. Using this guide you can look up the stations you receive by frequency and identifier to find out where they're located.

Here are the DGPS stations I received today. I'll refer to them with IDs like DGPS-123 (meaning the station's transmitted identifier is 123):
  • DGPS-118, 322 kHz, 0515-0522 UTC, good signal. Location: Youngstown, NY, USA.
  • DGPS-116, 319 kHz, 0547-0548 UTC, fair signal. Detroit, MI, USA.
  • DGPS-184, 291 kHz, 0551-0554 UTC, fair-poor signal, Hawk Run, PA, USA.
  • DGPS-136, 297 kHz, 0600-0602 UTC, poor signal. Location: Bobo, MS, USA.
All of these are obviously new loggings, since this is the first time I've logged DGPS stations. The logging of station 136 is particularly exciting because it's from Mississipi. This demonstrates that long-range DGPS DXing is possible, and it also demonstrates that my new setup for DXing longwave is actually working.

Longwave Beacons

I logged three Morse code non-directional beacons on longwave. Two were local:
  • TZ, 257 kHz, Gibralter Point (Toronto), ON. Good signal. 0526 UTC. This one is located on Toronto Island - I believe it is the beacon for the Toronto Island Airport.
  • KZ, 248 kHz, Buttonville, ON. 0528 UTC. Fair signal. This is the beacon for the airport in Buttonville (Markham), just north of Toronto.
I also logged one non-local beacon:
  • YGK, 263 kHz, Kingston, ON. Fair signal (better than KZ's). 0536 UTC. This is the beacon for Norman Rogers airport in Kingston. This is an old friend - when I was a teenager in Kingston in the 1970s I lived near that airport and YGK was a familiar sound on longwave. But I don't think I've ever logged it from Toronto before.

All of these are relogs.

DXing Longwave with the Sony AN-12 Antenna

I've always liked DXing the longwave band, but I spend very little time on it because DXing it from home is nearly impossible. There are high levels of electrical noise on those frequencies in my building, and I have no place here to put up a suitable outdoor antenna. At least, DXing from home has been impossible until now. I came up with a solution that works. Some months ago I purchased a Sony AN-12 outdoor active antenna (from an eBay seller in Japan) which works well at longwave and mediumwave frequencies. Tonight I hooked it up to the old Sony ICF-2001D (the same radio as the famous ICF-2010 minus the air band) and the combination of the two work really well on longwave. There were lots of signals apparent. So finally there's a way to DX longwave from here.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

2011 CQ WW DX CW Contest

One of the biggest amateur radio Morse code contests of the year was on this weekend. I was on the air making lots of contacts in it and I also logged over 100 stations heard. I spent most of my time on 10 metres, with some time also spend on the 15 and 20 metre bands.

There were tons of stations coming in from Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. 10 metres was particularly good. This is a band that is very sensitive to propagation conditions, and especially to the 11 year solar cycle. Around sunspot minimum the band can be dead for weeks, supporting nothing but local propagation. But when the solar cycle approaches the maximum, this band can support world-wide communication with solid signals at low power. Now that we're heading towards solar maximum, the band is improving a lot.

One of the highlights today was hearing TF2JB in Iceland on 10 metres at 1459 UTC. I don't think I've ever received a station from Iceland before.

Another highlight was hearing ZS4TX in South Africa at 1811 UTC on 10 metres. I've received plenty of broadcast stations from South Africa before but this is the first amateur station I've heard from there.

Another noteworthy station was ED9M, in Ceuta, Spain. Ceuta is a city on the North African coast that is part of Spain. Never heard any stations of any sort from that place before. This was on 10 metres at 1756 UTC.

At 2135 UTC I received VP2MWG in Montserrat on 15 metres. Another new country, I think.

At 2146 on 15 metres, caught HC2SL in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I've heard amateur stations in Ecuador before, but they were all contest stations in the Galapagos. I think this is the first amateur station I've got from mainland Ecuador.

Amateur 10 Metre Beacon - N1FSX

Logged another amateur Morse code beacon on the 10 metre band today. N1FSX, Matheson, Colorado, USA at 2112 UTC on 28232 kHz with a weak but copyable signal.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Firedrake Jammer

Logged today: the Firedrake Jammer on 9905 kHz betweem 18:30 and 20:00 UTC with a good signal. No ID or talking, of course, just traditional Chinese music the entire time. The Firedrake Jammer is operated by the Chinese government to jam foreign broadcasts. It never identifies, and just plays traditional Chinese music all the time. I've logged it before and have heard recordings of it on the web, and so was able to identify it that way. It was probably operating on 9905 today to jam Radio Free Asia, which was scheduled to be on 9905 at this time. If you want to find out more about the Firedrake Jammer, follow the link provided above, or just google it - there are lots of pages on the web about it.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

2011 Worked All Europe RTTY Contest

I was logging stations today while participating in the 2011 Worked All Europe RTTY Contest. There were several interesting catches from outside of the U.S.A. and Canada:
  • UT0U, Ukraine, 21099 kHz, 1608 UTC.
  • OZ1ADL, Denmark, 21091 kHz, 1615 UTC.
  • F1RHS, France, 21088 kHz, 1620 UTC.
  • YL2CI, Latvia, 21086 kHz, 1625 UTC.
  • EA8URL, Canary Islands, Spain, 21100 kHz, 1646 UTC.
  • OM5M, Slovakia, 21115 kHz, 1654 UTC.
  • OH2BBT, Finland, 21126 kHz, 1710 UTC.
  • 5C5W, Morocco, 21083 kHz, 1714 UTC.
  • OF150M, Finland, 21085 kHz, 1717 UTC.
  • CO2AJ, Cuba, 21096 kHz, 1722 UTC.
  • OK1KSL, Czech Republic, 21088 kHz, 1726 UTC.
  • IW1QN, Italy, 21103 kHz, 1729 UTC.
  • XE3N, Mexico, 28115 kHz, 1847 UTC.
  • CO2CW, Cuba, 21090 kHz, 2119 UTC.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Loggings on 10 Metres

I logged a bunch of amateur stations today in SSB on the 10 metre band while participating in the CQ WW DX SSB contest. Countries from which I logged stations were: Austria, Canada, Corsica (France), France, Germany, Guyana, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turks & Caicos Islands, USA, and Wales (UK).

I got one 10 metre beacon: K5AB, Georgetown TX, USA, on 28280 kHz at 1618 UTC in CW. He was running 20 watts.

I also logged several American amateur stations running in WSPR mode on 10140 kHz between 1304 to 1356 UTC.

The reason I post these reports of amateur radio stations logged is to suggest an alternative form of shortwave DXing to SWLs. It's no secret that shortwave broadcasting is in a real decline, and it is common for SWLs to lament how there are many countries that they can no longer hear on shortwave. But many countries that are difficult or impossible to find broadcasting on shortwave still support lots of active amateurs and can be heard on the ham bands.

That being said, since the amateur stuff is probably not of much interest to most SWLs, henceforward I'm going to stop posting reports of amateur stations heard, except for particularly noteworthy ones.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Today's Amateur Radio Loggings

Received on the radio today. PSK31:
  • 2026 UTC, 28120 kHz, K6JSS/KL, Anchorage, AK, USA, RST 459, English. QRP ARCI Station #1 in Alaska. I worked him on air.
  • 2036 UTC, 28120 kHz, LU9DGE, Buenos Aires, Argentina, RST 339, English, working KD4JMV.
  • 2036 UTC, 28120 kHz, KD4JMV, Naples, FL, USA, RST 599, English, working LU9DGE.
  • 2100 UTC, 28024 kHz, VO1TK, St. John's, NL, Canada, RST 599, English. Calling CQ - I worked him.
  • 0530 UTC, 10140 kHz, W3HH, Ocala, FL, USA, 1 W.
  • 0622 UTC, 10140 kHz, W4MO, Venice, FL, USA, 5W.
  • 1248 UTC, 10140 kHz, K3GEN, Montgomery Village, MD, USA, 1W.
  • 1254 UTC, 10140 kHz, N3TFM, Kalamazoo, MI, USA, 0.5W.
  • 1256 UTC, 10140 kHz, W4DJW, Greer, SC, USA, 5W.
  • 1302 UTC, 10140 kHz, WB4KLJ, Arlington, VA, USA, 5W.
  • 1302 UTC, 10140 kHz, K9IQY, Fairfield, IL, USA, 5W.
  • 1524 UTC, 28126 kHz, OK/AD6XP, Czech Republic, 2W.
  • 1532 UTC, 28126 kHz, OE1XRW, Vienna, Austria, 2W.
  • 1532 UTC, 28126 kHz, DL3HBT, Luebeck, Germany, 5W.
  • 1534 UTC, 28126 kHz, VE6PDQ, Edmonton, AB, Canada, 5W.
  • 1552 UTC, 28126 kHz, DB1CP, Viersen, Germany, 5W.
  • 1636 UTC, 28126 kHz, G0MBA, Clacton-on-Sea, England, 0.01W.
  • 2128 UTC, 28126 kHz, VA7XX, Charlie Lake, BC, Canada, 0.5W.
  • 2128 UTC, 28126 kHz, VE5DC, Sintaluta, SK, Canada, 5W.
  • 2130 UTC, 28126 kHz, KB4RG, Marion, TX, USA, 5W.
  • 2134 UTC, 28126 kHz, K5PA, Austin, TX, USA, 5W.
  • 2140 UTC, 28126 kHz, VE6GEL, Calgary, AB, Canada, 5W.
  • 2158 UTC, 28126 kHz, W5IPA, Corpus Christi, TX, USA, 5W.
  • 2226 UTC, 28126 kHz, VE6SKY, Calgary, AB, Canada, 5W.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Two PSK31 Receptions

Two interesting amateur stations logged in PSK31 mode today:
  • OX3IO, Nuuk, Greenland, at 2014 UTC on 28,120 kHz in the 10 metre band with an excellent signal. Name: Brian. I also worked him on air.
  • TG9AHM, Guatemala City, Guatemala, at 2018 UTC on 28,120 kHz. Good signal.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

More WSPR Receptions

Received today in WSPR mode on 28,124.6 kHz (10 metres):
  • 1306 UTC, MW0GRJ, Flint, Wales, United Kingdom, 5W.
  • 1312 UTC, OH8GKP, Liminka, Finland, 5W.
  • 1346 UTC, IZ1ANK, Coldirodi, MI, Italy, 2W.
  • 1524 UTC, G3PWJ, Pedmore, Stourbridge, England, United Kingdom, 5W.
  • 1630 UTC, EA6GF, Mallorca, Spain, 5W.
  • 1638 UTC, VE7VI, Gibsons, BC, Canada, 5W.
  • 1708 UTC, HB9CMI, Waengi, Switzerland, 5W.
  • 1708 UTC , DL4FMC, Germany, 5W.
  • 1710 UTC, G3JKV, Towerhill, Dorking, England, United Kingdom, 5W.
  • 1718 UTC, KF7O, College Place, WA, United States, 2W.
  • 1806 UTC, N7NEI, Edmonds, WA, United States, 5W.
  • 1844 UTC, N7YET, Dillon, MT, United States, 5W.
  • 1918 UTC, PB0AIC, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 5W.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

WSPR Receptions

Today I began once again to run my amateur station in WSPR mode. I was on for three hours but only received three stations, all near the start of the session. WSPR is amazing in the way it allows for stations operating at QRP or QRPp power levels to be received over very long distances. For example, today's receptions (all on 28,124.6 kHz in the 10 metre band):
  • LU8ENU, Buenos Aires, Argentina, at 2030 UTC running an unbelievable 0.001 watt (that's 1 milliwatt!).
  • N7NEI, Edmonds, WA, USA, at 2052 UTC at 0.5 watts.
  • N7YET, Dillon, MT, USA, at 2048 UTC, operating at 5 watts.

Of course, for me the effectiveness of this mode was proven last April when I was transmitting a 5 watt signal in WSPR on the 20 metre band and a station in Australia reported receiving it.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Four Amateur Stations

The 10 metre band was open today, so after returning from the hike I went on the air to see if I could make any contacts there. I logged four interesting amateur stations during this:
  • CO6CAC, Villa Clara, Cuba, on 28448 kHz at 2100 UTC in SSB. Operator's name: Carlos. He was working stations in English with a very good (59) signal. I worked him.
  • HC2SL, Guayaquil, Ecuador, on 28022 kHz at 2114 UTC in CW (Morse code) with an excellent (599) signal. He was calling CQ and working stations. I worked him too.
  • PZ5RA, Paramaribo, Suriname, on 28417 kHz at 2219 UTC in SSB working stations in Japan. He had a good signal.
  • JA4EPE, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan, on 28417 kHz at 2219 UTC in SSB with a weak signal. He was working PZ5RA. This is another first for me - although there are a huge number of radio amateurs in Japan, I'd never even heard one on air before today.

Two 10 Metre Beacons

As today is Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada, I had the day off work. The weather was nice so I decided to go out of town to go for a short hike in the woods to see the fall colours. I went to Mount Nemo Conservation Area in Halton, about an hour west of Toronto. I brought a portable radio with me, the Grundig G5. After the hike was done I spent a bit of time tuning the bands there. Logged two 10 metre amateur Morse code beacons. Both are relogs - I got both of these the previous weekend while in Algonquin Park:
  • K5GJR, 28244.5 kHz, Corpus Christi, TX, USA, at 1835 UTC. Good signal. 5 watts into vertical antenna. CW.
  • N7MSH, 28226.5 kHz, North Powder, OR, USA, at 1837 UTC. Weak signal but copyable. CW.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

W5TXR Beacon

Today's logging: Amateur 10 metre band Morse code beacon W5TXR on 28,260.8 kHz. Location: Schertz, TX, USA. Time: 2220 UTC. This beacon runs 5 watts into a vertical antenna. Heard here in Toronto with a weak but copyable signal (RST 339). Sending V markers "V V V de W5TXR...".

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Loggings from Algonquin Provincial Park

I went to Algonquin Provincial Park today to get in some hiking and to see the fall colours. This is about 250 km northeast of Toronto. I also did a bit of DXing while I was there and heard some interesting things.

In the car park of one of the hiking trails near the centre of the Highway 60 corridor I caught two local Environment Canada weather stations. One was in the regular FM band and the other in the weather band:
  • CJNK, Lake of Two Rivers, 100.1 MHz, at 1835 UTC in English and French with fair signal. Environment Canada Weather with weather conditions and forecast for Algonquin Park and area. 50 watts.
  • VEF956, Lake of Two Rivers, 162.4 MHz, at 1842 UTC. English and French with good solid signal. Environment Canada Weather, parallel to CJNK.
The other loggings are from late in the afternoon. I was finished hiking and dusk was about an hour off. I stopped at the picnic grounds at Tea Lake Dam, near the west gate to the park. I sat at a picnic table tuning shortwave, using my trusty Kaito KA-1103 with its built-in telescopic whip antenna.
  • NMG, New Orleans, LA, 8502 kHz, from 2140-2150 UTC. Fair to good signal. In English, in SSB. Marine weather conditions and weather forecast. Mentions of NOAA Ocean Prediction Center and National Weather Service Hurricane Prediction Center.
  • N7MSH/B, North Powder, OR, 28226.5 kHz at 2155 UTC. CW (Morse code) amateur radio 10 metre beacon. Good signal.
  • K5GJR/B, Corpus Christi, TX, 28224.5 kHz at 2155 UTC. CW with fair signal. Amateur 10 metre beacon.
  • K6FRC/B, Sutters Mountain, CA, 28250 kHz at 2157 UTC. CW with fair to poor signal. Amateur 10 metre beacon.
  • WI6J/B, Bakersfield, CA, 28287 kHz at 2157 UTC. CW with poor signal. Amateur 10 metre beacon.
  • K4SAK/7, Reno, NV, 28348 kHz at 2200 UTC. SSB with good signal. Net Control in Northern Nevada Sideband Net.
  • K5HK, Reno, NV, 28348 kHz at 2200 UTC. SSB with good signal. Checking into Northern Nevada Sideband Net.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


There's an interesting article in the October 2011 issue of Wired magazine about the mysterious Russian shortwave station UVB-76 (on 4625 kHz). It's not often that a non-radio magazine writes about shortwave these days. The article is well worth reading.

You can also listen to this strange station online at uvb-76.net.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Saudi Arabia and Mexico on 10 Metres

Two interesting amateur radio stations heard today on the 10 metre band:
  • HZ1FI, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 28116 kHz at 1429 UTC in RTTY mode with a fair signal. He was working stations in the CQ Worldwide DX RTTY amateur radio contest. This is the first amateur station I've heard from Saudi Arabia.
  • XE3D, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at 2223 UTC on 28215 kHz with a weak signal. This one was operating as a Morse code beacon.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Loggings on Shortwave

Today's loggings. Receivers: Drake SW8 and Yaesu FT-817:
  • W1AW, Newington, CT, USA, from 0247 to 0255 UTC, on 1802.5 kHz in the 160 metre amateur radio band. Fair to poor signal. W1AW is the club station of the American Radio Relay League. They were on the air with one of their regular Morse code practice transmissions.
  • Voice of Turkey, 9515 kHz, broadcasting in English from Turkey at 0345-0351 UTC. Good signal. Turkish music, news headlines, and broadcast schedule. Off air at 0351.
  • Radio Exterior de España, 9535 kHz, transmitting from Noblejas, Spain, at 0356-0401 UTC in Spanish with fairly good signal. Rap/house music in Spanish, then ID and into news.
  • Deutsche Welle, 9480 kHz, via Kigali, Rwanda relay station at 0410 UTC in German. Fair signal.
  • Voice of Greece on 9420 kHz from Avilla, Greece from 0415 to 0455 UTC in Greek. Good signal. Greek music and talk.
  • Unidentified digital station on 10100 kHz at 0500 UTC. Strong signal with digital traffic in unidentifed mode.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Two Utility Stations and Two CB Loggings

Still in Harrowsmith. I logged two utility stations on shortwave today, using the Kaito KA-1103:
  • KAG, 8462 kHz, at 11:50-12:00 UTC with poor signal. SITOR channel marker with "KAG" morse code ID. I have no idea what this station is - I can't find any information on the web about any maritime service stations called KAG. The transmission pattern is typical of other maritime stations like WLO, TAH, IAR, etc. I suppose it's possible I miscopied the ID but it's pretty hard to believe I'd mess up something as simple as that.
  • WLO, 17362 kHz, in Mobile, AL, at 12:15 with good signal. Transmission in English, in SSB, with weather from National Weather Service and notices to ships, etc. WLO and KLB IDs, and then off air.
I also caught a couple of CB radio transmissions around this time:
  • Unidentified CBers on 27025 kHz (channel 6) at 1221 UTC in incomprehensible jabber plus heterodynes.
  • CBer identifying himself as something like "Six Five" in Mobile, Alabama with fair to poor signal. 1222 UTC on 27215 kHz (channel 21).

Mediumwave Loggings, Including a Pirate Station

I'm still up in Harrowsmith for the Labour Day weekend. I logged three mediumwave stations today, two of them new and one of them a radio pirate. Receiver: Kaito KA-1103.
  • WCKL, 560 kHz, Catskill NY, at 0357 UTC (11:57 p.m. EDT Sept 4) with fair signal. "Family 560" playing nostalgia music. This station is 1 kW daytime, 43 watts at night. If it really was at the night power, then this is a good catch. Relog - logged once before in Toronto.
  • WLIE, 540 kHz, Islip NY, at 0359-0402 UTC with poor signal. ID on hour, also with slogan "South Asian Radio". 2.5 kW day, 220 W night. New to overall log.
  • Pirate, 1710 kHz, 0405-0410 UTC. Talk in Haitian-accented French and Caribbean music. Signal coming from south east. Very weak but strengthened at times to listenable levels. This is likely to be one of the French language pirate stations known to transmit from Boston, MA and operated by people in the Haitian population there. New to overall log, and only the second pirate ever logged on 1710.
This brings the overall mediumwave count to 967 (counting the pirate).

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Shannon Volmet, 3414 kHz

I'm up in eastern Ontario, in Harrowsmith (near Kingston). One logging to report for today:
  • Shannon Volmet, 3414 kHz, from Shannon, Ireland. 03:00 to 03:11 UTC, in English. SSB. Aviation weather for Ireland and U.K. Lots of static crashes from thunderstorms. Receiver: Kaito KA-1103. New logging - Shannon Volmet is not new but this is my first logging of it on this frequency.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Running Using Batteries

Some excellent and simple advice on how to really improve reception on a portable receiver: run the radio using batteries.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

New York Radio, 3485 kHz

New York Radio, 3485 kHz, New York City, 00:30 to 00:38 UTC in English, in SSB mode. Aviation weather for eastern and central U.S. cities: Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston, etc. Relog.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Digital TV: CICA-DT

CICA is the local Toronto TVO station. Today is the day they switched over from broadcasting in analog to digital. Logged them this morning at 1204-1215 UTC (8 a.m. local) with children's programming. Not DX and not a new station, but a new addition to the digital TV station log. Digital channel: 19-1. RF channel: 19 (500 MHz). Callsign: CICA-DT. This is the 30th distinct digital TV station I've received.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Radio New Zealand International, 11725 kHz

I was up late and decided to check out shortwave before going to bed. This yielded a good reception of Radio New Zealand International. The time was 05:10 to 05:22 UTC (01:10 local time) this morning. Frequency was 11725 kHz in the 25 metre band. The surprising thing was that the signal was quite good, fairly strong, steady, and clear - 44434 on the SINPO scale. This was on an older portable Sony receiver on its built-in telescopic antenna. The station had a program of local news and current affairs.

The next morning I also was listening to Radio Australia on 9580 kHz (31 metres) at 12:10 UTC (08:10 local). Fairly good signal. This one is nothing unusual - Radio Australia has been on this frequency for many years and is a regular in the morning.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

No Sporadic E Propagation

As the FM DXing season winds down, one of the most surprising things about it this year was the complete absence of any sporadic E propagation. I spent much more time on FM this year than in past years, and I heard no sporadic E propagation on the FM band at all. There probably was some when I wasn't listening, but nothing while I was.

No complaints, however. I've been very successful with receiving new stations via tropo. And the season's not quite over yet so maybe there's more to come.

Monday, 1 August 2011


Today's FM DXing yielded some interesting catches:
  • WYRK, 106.5 MHz, Buffalo NY at 04:25 UTC (00:25 local time) with country music and excellent signal. This one is interesting. There is a local station on 106.5 in Toronto, CKAV (Aboriginal Voices Radio), and it had a solid, excellent signal. 50 kW WYRK in Buffalo is normally not audible here. But WYRK broadcasts in HD Radio as well as analog, and the Sony XDR-F1HD can recieve HD Radio. There was strong tropo from the south tonight. So CKAV controlled the frequency, but when the HD signal from WYRK was captured it took over the frequency. Occasionally it would weaken and CKAV would return for a few moments. It was interesting in that the two stations were not interfering with each other - one would own the frequency and then the other would take over, until the first returned. This is a relog for the overall log, but is my first logging of WYRK from Toronto.
  • CFLZ, 105.1, Niagara Falls ON, at 04:33 UTC. This one is interesting because it's the second logging today of a distant station on a frequency with a local Toronto station on it. Local CHOQ was transmitting a silent carrier. I was getting CHOQ on the outdoor FM antenna, but CFLZ owned the frequency when I switched to the indoor dipole. CFLZ was playing 80s music and identified as "105.1 The River". 4 kW. Logged once before when I was in Niagara Falls; new to the Toronto log.
  • WQHZ, 102.3, Erie PA, at 04:46 UTC. Good signal. "Erie's Z-102" playing classic rock. Only 800 watts!
Toronto FM log count: 157. Overall FM log count: 376.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

FM: WVOR 102.3 and W248BH 97.5

Two loggings today, via tropo:
  • WVOR, 102.3 MHz, Canandaigua NY at 04:58-05:05 UTC. Fair to good signal. Rock/pop music with legal ID with callsign and location on the hour. 460 watts.
  • W248BH, 97.5, Gates NY at 05:20 to 05:27 UTC. Fair-poor signal. Mars Hill network with Christian talk. Translator of WMHR. Only 19 watts!
FM log counts: Toronto 154, overall 375.

Friday, 29 July 2011

FM: Islamic Prayers on 87.9 MHz

Today I came across an unlicenced radio station at the bottom end of the FM band, on 87.9 MHz. As soon as you hear a station broadcasting on 87.9 you know it's an unlicenced station because there is only one station in North America licenced to broadcast on this frequency (10 watt KSFH in California).

An unlicenced station is not necessarily transmitting illegally. It is legal to broadcast on FM without a licence at very low power but the range is very limited - a few tens or hundreds of metres at most. That's how those little "talking house" or business broadcasters, and those tiny FM transmitters you can buy for use around the house or in your car are legal.

Stations that transmit illegally are usually called pirate stations. In most big cities, unlicenced stations operating at illegal power levels appear occasionally on empty frequencies. That's what I think I heard today.

Details: 87.9 MHz at 02:40 to 02:56 UTC (10:40 p.m. July 28 local time). Fairly good signal. No talking or announcements. It was broadcasting what I think were Islamic prayers - sounded like a solo voice half-singing in Arabic. Went off air at 02:56.

I googled for information about this and found two references from a year ago in Glenn Hauser's DX Listening Digest about an Islamic pirate station in Toronto on 87.9:
  • DX LISTENING DIGEST 10-12, March 26, 2010: "On Air: ON, Toronto, 87.9, a pirate with prayers in Arabic from the Scarborough Muslim Assocation at the Jame Bakr Siddique Masjid, heard at 74 km. Industry Canada has been notified (FMedia! Final Issue 2009-2010 via DXLD)"
  • DX LISTENING DIGEST 10-16, April 22, 2010: "87.9 - Islamic prayers and talk, in mono, seems to originate from the city's northwest quadrant, perhaps in Etobicoke, Brampton or Mississauga. It carries well over a large area, despite adjacent 88.1 CKLN in downtown Toronto. I am guessing something in the order of 50 watts."
I count pirates in my log counts, so this brings the Toronto FM count to 152 and the overall FM count to 373.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

FM: WDDH 97.5

Early today (just after midnight local time) there was tropo coming in from the south and it gave me one more station for the FM log:
  • WDDH, 97.5 MHz, St. Mary's PA. Received at 04:19 to 04:25 UTC. Fair to poor signal. ID slogan "The Hound" with country music and mention of something in Bradford, PA. 19.5 kW.
Toronto FM log count: 151. Overall FM log count: 372.

Friday, 22 July 2011

FM: Stations from Ottawa and Huntsville

There was a good opening this morning from the north and northeast and it yielded four new stations for the Toronto log - three from Ottawa and one from Huntsville. I probably could have caught more but I had to leave for work:
  • CJMJ, 100.3 MHz, Ottawa ON. 12:25 to 12:30 UTC (08:25 local). Fair signal. Majic FM with pop music and talk. Ads for Ottawa businesses. 100 kw.
  • CISS, 105.3, Ottawa ON. 12:31 to 12:35 UTC. Poor signal. Kiss FM. News, Ottawa traffic report. Mixing with CFCA (Kitchener-Waterloo). 84 kW.
  • CHEZ, 106.1, Ottawa ON. 12:36-12:41 UTC. Poor signal. David Bowie's "Space Oddity", CHEZ 106 ID. 100 kW. Relog but first logging from Toronto.
  • CBL-FM-1, 106.9, Huntsville ON. 13:00-13:02. Poor signal. CBC Radio news. 70 kW.
Four new stations for the Toronto log and three for the the overall log. Counts are now 150 and 371.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

FM: CKJJ 102.3

One new logging on FM today:
  • CKJJ, 102.3 MHz, Belleville ON, at 11:05 to 11:34 UTC (07:05 local time). Poor to very poor signal. UCB Canada - Christian pop music and morning talk. News on half hour, followed by weather for Belleville and Kingston, and traffic report for Belleville. 15 kW.
Toronto FM log count: 146, Overall FM log count: 368.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Today's FM DXing yielded three new ones for the log:
  • WHTK-FM, 107.3 MHz, South Bristol (Rochester) NY at 13:15 UTC (09:15 local). Fair to poor signal. Sports talk, slogan "Sports Talk 1280" (parallel to 1280 kHz), ads for Rochester, WHAM, etc. 6 kW.
  • WSYR-FM, 106.9 MHz, Solvay (Syracuse) NY at 13:19 UTC. Fair to good signal. News talk. IDs. Parallel to 570 kHz. 9 kW.
  • WCTL, 106.3, Erie PA at 13:25 UTC. Religious, preaching/sermon. ID on half hour. Mixing with CJBC-5 in Peterborough. 3.4 kW. Relog - first logged on July 10 in Port Dover - but first time logged in Toronto.
Overall FM log count: 367. Toronto FM log count: 145.

Two NOAA Weather Stations

There was enhanced propagation from the south on VHF today and it gave me two new NOAA weather stations, although the identity of one is uncertain:
  • WNG539, Spencerport NY, 162.525 MHz, at 02:10 - 02:20 UTC (22:10 July 16 local time). Poor signal. Weather for area around Rochester, NY. Callsign ID.
  • Unidentified: 162.45 MHz at 12:25 UTC (8:25 a.m.). Poor signal mixing with VFI621 in Normandale ON. NOAA weather for the southern tier of New York State. Faded out after a few minutes. Is likely either (a) WXN55 in Mt. Washington NY, 300 watts, or (b) WWH35 in Cooperstown NY, 100 watts.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

WXN29: 162.425 MHz

I logged another NOAA Weather Radio station today: WXN29 in Cat Hill, NY on 162.425 MHz at 12:33 to 13:00 UTC (8:30 a.m. local time). Weather information for the southern tier of New York State, including Elmira, Corning, Wellsville, and other places. Tropo. 300 watts.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Taxi Dispatcher

Tuning around 162-163 MHz this morning, heard one thing to note:
  • Taxi dispatcher issuing instructions to cars. 163.29 MHz at 11:35 UTC. Excellent signal. Looked this one up at radioreference.com and it says this is Toronto's Arrow Cab, callsign XNG53.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Today's FM tropo logging:
  • CBLA-FM-3, 100.9 MHz, Wingham ON from 11:56 to 12:06 UTC (07:56 a.m. local time). Fair signal. CBC Radio One with program "Ontario Morning". News on hour. 11.8 kW.
Overall FM count: 365. Toronto FM count: 142.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

FM: Loggings from Port Dover

I visited Port Dover today, a nice beach town on the north shore of Lake Erie. While there I spent some time tuning the FM band on the Honda car radio in my Civic. Logged six new stations:
  • CJDL, 107.3 MHz, Tillsonburg ON, at 18:45 UTC (2:45 p.m. local time). Excellent signal. Talk, country music. URL given on air: country1073.ca. 4.5 kW.
  • WKZA, 106.9, Lakewood NY (near Jamestown), 18:52-19:00 UTC. Excellent signal. "Kiss FM", playing pop music. 5.1 kW.
  • CIKZ, 106.7, Kitchener-Waterloo ON, at 19:00 UTC. Very good signal. "Kix FM", country music. 1.7 kW.
  • WCTL, 106.3, Union City PA (near Erie), at 19:07 UTC. Good signal. "Life 106.3" playing Christian rock. 3.4 kW.
  • CFHK, 103.1, St. Thomas ON (near London), at 19:20 UTC. Fair signal. "Fresh FM" with talk and ads. 16.7 kW.
  • WEFR, 88.1, Erie PA. 19:22-19:30 UTC. Poor signal. "Family Radio". Religious with ID on half hour. Mixing with WUBJ from Jamestown NY. 630 watts.
I also logged one new station later when I stopped in Normandale, a bit west of Port Dover.
  • WXKC, 99.9, Erie PA, at 20:15 UTC. Very good signal. "Classy 100". 50 kw.
This brings the overall FM log count to 364.


FM DXing from home this morning. Logged new stations, both from the Erie PA area. Tropo.
  • WRKT, 100.9 MHz, North East PA. 12:28-12:36 UTC (08:28 local time). Fair-poor signal. "Rocket 101" with rock music (oldies). 4.2 kW.
  • WTWF, 93.9 MHz, Fairview PA. 12:45-13:00 UTC. Fair-poor signal. Country music "93.9 The Wolf". Verified against webcast at 939thewolf.com. 6 kW.
Toronto FM log count: 141. Overall FM count: 357.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Digital TV DX: W42CO Rochester NY

This morning there was good tropo propagation from the south and it yielded a new digital TV station logging (the first in two years):
  • W42CO, Rochester NY, from 11:55 to 12:08 UTC (around 8 a.m. local time). This is digital channel 42 and also operates on RF channel 42 (638 MHz). This station is a Christian broadcaster in the TCT network - I think it is actually rebroadcasting the programing from WNYB 26 in Jamestown, NY. It had four subchannels: (1) Religious programming, (2) health infomercial, (3) TCT Family with children's cartoons, and (4) TCT La Frente with children's cartoons in Spanish. It operates at only 8 kW so it's a good catch.
This is the 29th distinct digital TV station I've received here.

Equipment: Toshiba TV connected to outdoor four-bay UHF antenna through Tivax STB-T8 digital TV converter.

VFI621: 162.45 MHz

There was some tropo to the southwest today and because of it I received another Environment Canada weather radio station:
  • VFI621, 162.45 MHz, Normandale ON, 00:35 - 00:42 UTC (8:35 p.m. July 7 local time). Poor signal. Weather for north shore area of Lake Erie. Normandale is on Lake Erie, a bit west from Port Dover. ID with location also heard.
William Hepburn has compiled an excellent list of Canadian weather radio stations here.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

VAD320: Environment Canada Weather

I recently bought a small VHF/UHF outdoor antenna (actually a mobile antenna with a magnetic mount) and put it out on my balcony. It's hooked up to a receiver I got recently that can tune those parts of the radio spectrum, a Uniden BCT-15X.

Today I was tuning in the weather band at 162 MHz. There are two regular stations here: the Environment Canada weather station here in Toronto (XMJ225) on 162.4 MHz, and the NOAA weather station in Buffalo, NY (KEB98) on 162.55 MHz. Today I heard another one: VAD320 on 162.475 MHz, the Environment Canada weather station in Thorold, Ontario. This was at 11:50 UTC (just before 8:00 a.m. local time) with weather for the Niagara region. Poor signal.

It's funny. Thorold is closer to me than is Buffalo, but the NOAA station in Buffalo is a regular, whereas the Thorold station is not.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

FM: Loggings from Milton

I went for a hike today on the Bruce Trail at Crawford Lake Conservation Area in Halton Region. Afterwords I spent about half an hour tuning the FM band on the car radio. This yielded three new FM stations for the overall log.
  • CHES 88.1 MHz Erin ON. 20:58-21:05 UTC (5 p.m. local time). Erin Radio, with the "Crooners Show". Very good signal. 50 watts.
  • WNJA 89.7 Jamestown NY. 21:13 UTC. Fair-poor signal. Classical music program, WNED ID (WNJA simulcasts WNED from Buffalo). 6 kW.
  • WCOT 90.9 Jamestown NY. 21:21-21:30 UTC. Poor signal. Family Life Radio - Christian rock. 12 kW.
I also heard an NPR station on 90.1 MHz at 21:15 UTC, but nothing to identify which one it is.

Overall log count: 355.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

FM: CBLA-FM-1, 90.5 MHz

Today's FM logging:
  • CBLA-FM-1 (CBC Radio One) 90.5 MHz Crystal Beach (Niagara) ON at 00:50-01:15 UTC (8:50 p.m. Sat. July 1). Fair/poor signal. Parallel to CBLA 99.1. 320 watts.
Overall FM log count: 352. Toront FM log count: 139.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Noted in Passing

Tuning around the VHF & UHF bands with a wideband receiver, heard two things of interest:
  • TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) communications on 412.6125 MHz at 16:20 UTC. ID as "CCIS".
  • Air Canada Flight 359 in contact with Toronto Pearson airport on 132.8 MHz at 16:40 UTC.


Today is a statutory holiday in Canada, and so I was able to do some FM DXing during the day. There was decent tropo going on so I was able to log another four new ones.
  • WKRK-FM 92.3 MHz Cleveland Heights OH 04:45-05:15 UTC (00:45 local time). Fair to poor signal. Alternative rock music. Slogan "Radio 92-3". 41 kW.
  • WFXJ 107.5 MHz North Kingsville (Ashtabula) OH 13:56-14:08 UTC (09:56 local). Poor signal. Classic rock - "The Fox". 3.6 kW.
  • WGWE 105.9 MHz Little Valley NY 14:10-14:18 UTC. Fair. Classic hits, local announcements, callsign ID. 7 kW.
  • WGYY 100.3 MHz Meadville-Franklin PA 15:10-15:18 UTC. Fair. "Froggy 100.3 and 98.5". Country music. 20 kW.
All of these are new to the overall FM log, so the overall count is 351 and the Toronto log count is 138.

There is one more new FM station to note. On 100.9 MHz I heard a faint station in a South Asian language playing what sounded like Indian music. Its programming doesn't match any of Toronto's stations, I didn't hear anything that would identify it, and I wasn't able to track down any information on the web that would provide a clue as to what it is. There was also a lot of interference from local CHIN-FM on 100.7. For now it remains a mystery.

Thursday, 30 June 2011


There was a good tropo opening to the southwest this morning, which netted me two more stations for the FM log:
  • WERG 90.5 Erie PA 11:55-12:00 UTC (8 a.m. local time). Very strong signal. Rock music, callsign ID. 2.75 kW.
  • CBE-FM 89.9 Windsor ON 12:00-12:15 UTC. Very weak signal. CBC news on the hour. ID for CBC Radio Two. CBE-FM is the only CBC Radio Two station on this frequency in Ontario. 100 kW.
There was also tropo from the east. I didn't log anything new in that direction but I did hear CBCK, 107.5, the CBC Radio outlet in Kingston, ON with a strong signal at 12:17 UTC.

Overall log count: 347. Toronto log count: 134

Monday, 27 June 2011


There was a tropo opening towards the east this morning and it gave me another logging of an FM station.
  • WFRG 104.3 MHz Utica NY 12:29-12:33 UTC (8:30 a.m. local time). Poor signal. The Big Frog 104. Country music, news on the half hour from "the WIBX newsroom". 100 kW. Logged before from Clarington ON, but new to Toronto log.
Overall FM log count remains at 345. Toronto log count: 132.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Another warm day and with it decent regional tropospheric propagation. Three stations added to the log - two of them first time loggings and the third new to the Toronto log.
  • WMHN 89.3 MHz Webster NY 04:25-04:40 UTC (00:25 local time). Weak signal. Christian broadcaster with show "Unshackled". Identified by comparing to station's webcast at marshillnetwork.org. 1 kW.
  • CKNX-FM 101.7 MHz Wingham ON 11:48-12:02 UTC (07:48 local time). Poor signal. Pop music. Ad for "weilerscleaning.com" which is in Wingham. Popping out from under dominant WLOF. No ID but confirmed by comparing to webcast at 1017theone.ca. Relog but new to Toronto log. 100 kW.
  • WLLW 99.3 MHz Seneca Falls NY 12:07-12:15 UTC. Poor signal. The Bob and Tom Show. ID for "The Wall 99.3" and frequent mentions of the Finger Lakes, including weather for the Finger Lakes. Mentions of NY State towns in ads, including Seneca Falls and Canandaigua. 5 kW.
Overall log: 345. Toronto log: 131.

The purchase of the Sony XDR-F1HD has really paid off. The number of new FM stations I've logged because of it is great. Most of the loggings have been on frequencies that are adjacent to strong dominant stations, meaning they're blocked by interference on my other FM receivers. The Sony's selectivity is very very good. And the new outdoor FM antenna has helped a lot too.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Radio Romania International

One shortwave logging for today: Radio Romania International on 11,955 kHz at 23:28 UTC with programming in Spanish.


Another warm summery day with tropo enhancing regional propagation, and another three stations added to the log. Two of these are relogs but are first-time loggings from Toronto:
  • CBL-FM-4 97.1 MHz Owen Sound-Wiarton ON at 12:00 UTC (8:00 a.m. local). CBC Radio One with CBC Radio news popping up briefly over a rock station. Relog, new to Toronto log. 17.5 kW.
  • WKKY 104.7 MHz Geneva OH. 12:35-12:45 UTC. Country music and callsign IDs. Father's Day talk. New. 6 kW.
  • CBBP 103.9 MHz Peterborough ON. 18:55-19:01 UTC. Fair signal. CBC Radio Two with classical music. Received in northeast Scarborough on my Honda car radio, mixing with local CIRR. Relog; new to Toronto log. 17.5 kW.
Toronto log count: 128. Overall FM log count: 343.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


There was enhanced propagation from the Georgian Bay area this morning and this enabled me to add two more stations to the FM log:
  • CBCM-FM 89.7 MHz Midland-Penetanguishene ON 12:30-12:45 UTC (8:30 a.m. local time). CBC Radio One with weather for Ontario and program "Fresh Air". Weak signal. 28 kW.
  • CJOS-FM 92.3 MHz Owen Sound ON 12:48-13:03 UTC. Classic rock show "Flashback". Slogan "92.3 The Dock". Ads for Owen Sound businesses. Fair to good signal. 24 kW.
Overall FM log count: 342. Toronto log count: 125.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

CB Channel 6

The only thing to report for today is this. I was tuning around 27 MHz at 16:40 UTC and on 27025 kHz I heard a cacaphony of interference, feedback, and gibberish. What I could make out was in English, in southern U.S. accents, but none of it made much sense to me. This was CB Radio channel 6. Not sure what these guys are trying to communicate when they transmit this sort of stuff.

Friday, 10 June 2011


I logged another two new FM stations today:
  • WFHM-FM 95.5 MHz Cleveland OH. 04:35-04:55 UTC (just before 1 a.m. local time). Very poor signal with long fadeouts. Christian rock music. Ads. Cleveland area phone numbers. Verified by comparing to the webcast at www.955thefish.com.
  • WREO 97.1 MHz Ashtabula OH. 11:55-12:06 UTC (@8 a.m. local). Poor signal. Popular music of 70s, 80s, and 90s. IDs as Star 97.1 and with URL of station. ID with callsign and location on the hour, then into news from "the Action 24 newsroom".
Overall FM log count: 340. Toronto FM log count: 123.

Both of these were tropo loggings. Tropo has been decent this season, but I have not yet heard any E-skip propagation this year at all. Strange, that.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Another tropo logging this morning.
  • CJBC-4-FM 99.3 MHz London ON 11:45-11:56 UTC (07:45 local time). French. Radio-Canada Première Chaîne network. Parallel to CJBC 860 kHz. Weather, talk about Ontario schools. 22.5 kW.
Toronto log count: 121. Overall count: 338.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Another day, another two stations added to the FM logs. Both are tropo loggings:
  • WBBS 104.7 Fulton (Syracuse) NY 04:10-04:30 UTC (midnight local time). Fair-poor signal. "B 104.7" - Country music, show "After Midnight". Ads for Syracuse. 50 kW.
  • CJBX 92.7 London ON 11:52-12:10 UTC. Fair-poor signal. "The New Country BX 93". Country music. News on the hour "from our sister statrion 1290 CJBK". 50 kW.
Toronto log count is now 120. Overall log count: 337.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


I added two more stations to the Toronto and overall FM logs today, although only one is really new. The other is a local Toronto station with a new callsign, and as I've explained before, the logging system I adopted years ago has me counting callsign changes as new stations. This was adopted in the pre-Internet days when we didn't have the resources available to tell the difference between a mere callsign change and two different stations operating from the same city on the same frequency a few years apart. And it's too late to change it now.
  • CHBM 97.3 Toronto ON. 04:50 UTC with excellent signal. Boom 97.3. Local station, formerly CJEZ. Rock music.
  • WZXV 99.7 Palyra NY (south of Rochester). 04:58-05:02 UTC. Good signal. Religious, with show "Sound Words". ID on the hour followed by news. 2.8 kW. Tropo.
Overall log count: 335. Toronto log count: 118.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


There was tropo coming in from across Lake Ontario this morning, as is often the case during the warm weather months here. And because of it I added two Rochester NY area stations to the log.
  • WLGZ 102.7 MHz Webster NY 13:44-13:50 UTC (9:44-9:50 a.m. local time). Weak signal. Ads for Rochester. ID as "WLGZ" and as "Legends 102.7". Oldies rock music. 6 kW.
  • WKGS 106.7 MHz Irondequoit NY 13:52-14:13 UTC. Fair signal. Kiss FM - playing pop music. 3.5 kW.
Overall FM log count is now 333. Toronto FM log count is 116.

Friday, 3 June 2011


This morning before leaving for work I spent a bit of time tuning the FM band. There was some tropo to the south and north, and I had time to log two new stations before I had to leave.
  • WDNY-FM 93.9 MHz Dansville-Wayland NY 12:10-12:25 UTC. Weak signal. Classic rock, slogan ID "Y93-9". Phone number for station and callsign ID. 2.5 kW.
  • CBLU-FM 94.3 Huntsville ON 12:25-12:30 UTC. Weak signal. CBC Radio One with program "Ontario Morning". 70 kW.
Overal FM log count: 331. Toronto FM log count: 114.

Monday, 30 May 2011


Today, May 30, 2011, I added two stations to the Toronto FM log and one to the overall log. There was some tropospheric propagation bringing in stations from the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
  • WRVO 89.9 MHz, Oswego NY. 11:35-11:42 UTC. Good signal. NPR. WRVO ID. Logged before - this is a semi-local station in Kingston, ON. First logging of it from Toronto. 50kW.
  • WFRY 97.5 MHz, Watertown-Carthage, NY. 11:50-12:00 UTC. Good signal. "Froggy 97", news items, country music. ID on hour. New to overall and Toronto logs. 97 kW.
This brings the overall FM log count to 329, and the Toronto log count to 112.

Logged these on the Sony XDR-F1HD using the new outdoor FM antenna I bought recently. The antenna is omnidirectional with a single element curved around into a circle. I doubt it is very efficient but it has the virtue of being small, small enough to fit unobtrusively on my balcony. And even an inefficient omnidirectional antenna that's outdoors is a big improvement over an indoor antenna.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

CQ World Wide WPX CW Contest

I was on the air today making some contacts in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. Also kept a log of the stations I heard. Time: 15:00-21:10 UTC. Bands: 15 and 10 metres (21 and 28 MHz). Some good DX heard, plus the usual assortment of stations from the U.S. and Canada.
  • 15 metres: Stations from Colombia (HK1R), Chile (XQ1KZ), Aruba (P49Y), Puerto Rico (NP2/OL5Y), Martinique (FM5CD), Honduras (HQ9R), Senegal (6W/RK4FF), Brazil (PW7T), Azores (CR2X), Portugal (CS2C), and Italy (II9T).
  • 10 metres: Stations from Bonaire (PJ4A), Colombia (HK1NA), and Brazil (PW2D and PS2T).

Monday, 9 May 2011

More WSPR Receptions

Another WSPR session. Highlights included receiving 5 watt stations from Venezuela and Spain. Details here.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

WSPR Receptions

Listening for stations in WSPR today. Highlights included receiving a 1 watt station from the U.K. (G4BJO) and a 2 watt one from Switzerland (HB9TPL). Details here.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Two More FM Stations

Driving back to Toronto today, I heard two stations on FM on the car radio new to my log. Both were heard near Odessa, Ontario, which is just west of Kingston:
  • WBEE 92.5 Rochester NY at 20:40 UTC. Fair signal with country music. This is "new" in that I've never received this station with this callsign, but long ago I did log it under its former callsigns of WNYZ (1976) and WMJQ (1978).
  • WSLZ 88.1 Cape Vincent NY at 21:00 UTC. NPR, part of the North County Public Radio network. Classical music, ID on hour, and then NPR's "All Things Considered". Fair signal.
This brings the overall FM log count to 328.

I should mention that my logging scheme, adopted back when I was just starting out, long before we had the Internet to look up station histories, is to count frequency and callsign changes as new stations. In the old days it was difficult to tell if two different callsigns from the same location were actually the same station with a callsign change, or two different stations operating at different times from the same location on the same frequency. So I opted to count each new callsign as a new station. And after all these years, there's no way I'm going to spend the time revisiting all those cases to figure out which are which. So the actual number of different stations logged is somewhat less than the official count.

AM Roundtable

Late last night (02:41 UTC April 24) I was tuning around the 80 metre amateur band and heard several stations on 3885 kHz transmitting in AM. It was an AM roundtable. I caught the callsigns of two of the participants: KC2IFR in South Glens Falls NY, and WA1HLR in Skowhegan ME.

Its always interesting to tune the 80 metre band when I'm in Harrowsmith. There's little interference and the band is full of signals at night. By contrast, almost nothing is audible on 80 for me in Toronto because of the noise levels. The building's steel frame does half the job, and the masses of electrically noisy consumer electronics that my neighbours and I have does the rest.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

FM Logs in Kingston

I logged two new FM stations today while visiting Kingston, Ontario (my old home town). Neither station counts as DX from there since they're both local. Received these on the Honda radio in my old Civic:
  • 106.3 MHz, CIRJ, Kingston ON at 2100 UTC. This is Kingston Information Radio, a low power (50 watt) information station. It was broadcasting a loop of prerecorded information of interest to people in Kingston.
  • 106.7 MHz, WBDR, Copenhagen-Watertown NY at 2107 UTC. "The Border 106.7" playing hit music.
This brings the overall FM log count to 326.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Two years ago I spent some time DXing the FM band. Eventually I hit a wall which caused me to set it aside. The wall was the fact that the FM band in Toronto is saturated with local and semi-local stations. Almost every frequency has a dominant station on it, or is adjacent to one. Just about the only truly open frequencies are 90.7 and 88.1 (now that CKLN is off the air).

Recently I found a solution to this. Both Sony and Sangean have FM receivers, designed for HD Radio, that are highly selective. That is, they do an extremely good job at preventing strong stations on one frequency from bleeding over into the adjacent frequencies. For example, we have a strong local station on 91.1 in Toronto. On most of my FM recievers, this station also spreads over and covers 90.9 and 91.3. I figured that if I had a receiver that was selective enough to stop this from happening, it would open up a lot of frequencies for DXing. So recently I bought a used Sony XDR-F1HD on eBay to use for FM DXing. This is currently set up and connected to the indoor wire dipole antenna that came with the unit.

Today (Apr. 14, 2011) when I was trying it out I found that there was some tropospheric propagation happening, and that some distant and new stations were coming in. Here's what I heard:
  • 91.3, WQLN, Erie PA at 03:10 UTC. Decent signal. Classical music program - NPR. Relog.
  • 94.3, CJBC-1-FM, Belleville ON at 04:08 UTC. Poor signal. French - Radio-Canada. New.
  • 95.1, WFXF, Honeoye Falls NY (near Rochester) at 04:12 UTC. Fair signal. 95.1 The Fox. New.
  • 95.5, CJOJ, Belleville ON at 04;23 UTC. 95.5 Poor signal. Hits FM - classic rock. New.
  • 97.9, WPXY, Rochester NY at 04:32 UTC. Poor. Hit music. Relog; new to Toronto log.
  • 104.3, CKWS-FM, Kingston ON at 04:45 UTC. Very weak. Oldies. New.
Four of these are new to the overall FM log, so that brings the overall count to 324. Five are new to the Toronto log - the total count in that log is now 110.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


For the past week and a half my DXing activities have been about using a new amateur radio mode called WSPR. Stations use this mode to operate as low power beacons; I've been using it to log a bunch of these stations. Because I've been doing this as part of getting my own station on the air in WSPR mode, I've been posting about it over at my amateur radio blog. Rather than duplicate that material here, I'll direct you to the posts on that site, in case you're interested. Posts are here, here, here, and here.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

2011 CQ Magazine World Wide WPX Contest, SSB

Logged a lot of stations heard in another amateur radio contest, the 2011 CQ Magazine World Wide WPX contest, SSB. Date: Sun. March 27, 2011. Time: 11:50 - 13:00 UTC and 17:50 - 22:55 UTC. Bands: 20 and 15 metres (14 and 21 MHz).

Stations heard from Europe, North Africa, and the Americas: Anguilla, Argentina, Aruba, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Canary Islands (Spain), Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Martinique, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, United States, Wales.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

WKVQ 1540 kHz Eatonton, GA

Very early this morning the nice folks at WKVQ 1540 in Eatonton, Georgia, put on a special DX test broadcast to give DXers a chance to log them. I did not expect to hear this station because Georgia is a long way from Toronto, and because we have a 50 kW local station (CHIN) on 1540 here. WKVQ is 10 kW day, 1.6 at night. I don't know which power they used for the test but even a 10 kW station is a tough catch on a crowded frequency at that distance. Nevertheless, I knew that the station would be broadcasting Morse code IDs and that Morse code has a real ability to punch through the noise. I figured that if CHIN had a program of talk, not music, that there might be the occasional gap through which WKVQ might creep. I've logged other stations this way, by hearing IDs during brief silent pauses on the dominant station. So I set things up to record 1540 overnight so I could review the recording later.

The DX test was scheduled to run from 06:00 to 06:30 and from 07:00 to 08:00 UTC. That's 1:00 to 1:30 and 2:00 to 3:00 a.m. local time. CHIN was playing music, but there was an announcer between songs. At 06:29 I thought I heard a Morse code ID underneath CHIN during a momentary pause in the announcer's speech. Very, very faint. I had to listen to the recording over and over, fiddling with the equalizer settings in Winamp to boost certain audio frequencies and to suppress others. Eventually I was able to improve it enough to verify that I was hearing "WKV?" with the final letter being four elements long - it was partly wiped out by the announcer on CHIN. Since "Q" is a four element character in Morse code, and since no AM station is going to broadcast its ID in Morse code except in a DX test, and since there are no other stations on this frequency whose callsign starts with WKV, this was enough to convince me it was WKVQ. Cool!

This is station number 965 in my overall mediumwave log, and number 386 in the Toronto log.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

2011 ARRL International DX Contest, SSB

More DXing on the amateur bands - stations heard while I was making contacts in the 2011 ARRL International DX Contest, SSB. Date: Sunday March 6, 2011, Time: 15:10 - 20:30 UTC, Bands: 15 and 10 metres (21 and 28 MHz). Good conditions, and 10 metres was open to the south.

A sampling of what I heard:
  • 15 metres: HQ2GL Honduras, V48M St. Kitts & Nevis, DL2ARD & DL2DX Germany, PJ7DX St. Maarten, E71A Bosnia & Herzegovina, S50R Slovenia, 8P5A Barbados, 9A3TR & 9A5Y Croatia, TM6M & TM7F France, EA3EZD, EA3QP & EA7RU Spain, OQ4U Belgium, 5C5W Morocco, CR2A Azores, TI5N & TI8II Costa Rica, PJ4G Bonaire, CT3HF Madeira Island, J7Y Dominica, and YV5AM Venezuela.
  • 10 metres: NP2I U.S. Virgin Islands, LR4E Argentina, PJ7DX St. Maarten, P49Y & PJ2T Bonaire, HK1W Colombia, and XE1CWJ Mexico.

Friday, 4 March 2011

NRV 8422 KHz

Caught a distant one today, Friday, March 4, 2011 at 13:30-13:43 UTC. On 8422 kHz I heard NRV, a U.S. Coast Guard station located on the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. It was broadcasting a SITOR channel marker with Morse code IDs. I didn't have anything set up to decode the SITOR signal but the Morse code ID was clear. This is my first logging of this station, and of any station from Guam.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

2011 ARRL International DX Contest, CW

This weekend (Feb 19 & 20, 2011) has one of the big amateur radio contests of the year, the ARRL International DX Contest, CW. I was on the air making contacts in this contest, and during this time I also kept a log of all the stations I heard, worked or not. I've said this before but I'll repeat it again: if SWLs are looking for a new aspect to the hobby of shortwave radio, they should check out the amateur bands, especially during a major contest. There are a lot of DX targets available on the amateur bands from places that have few, or no, shortwave broadcast stations. Here are some of the highlights of what I heard:

Feb 19: Listening on the 10 metre band from 15:30 to 16:30 and from 19:15 to 20:30 UTC. Stations heard included:
  • PJ6A from the island of Saba in the Carribbean.
  • PJ4A in Bonaire.
  • VP2MMM on the island of Montserratt.
  • KP2M from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • V31RR from Belize.
  • CW5W in Uruguay.
  • FM5BH, Martinique.
  • V48M, St. Kitts & Nevis.
  • PY2MT, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • HK1AA in Colombia.
  • CE3/VE7SV in Chile.
  • YN3M, Nicaragua.

Feb 20: 40 metre band, 04:30-04:45 and 11:30-11:40 UTC:
  • C6AGU, Bahamas.
  • C6AGP, Bahamas.
  • PJ2T, Bonaire.

Feb 20: 15 metre band, 14:30 - 18:30 UTC:
  • CE1/K7CA, Chile.
  • EA8NC, Tenerife, Canary Islands.
  • PJ2T, Bonaire.
  • PV8ADI, Boa Vista, Brazil.
  • EF8R, Canary Islands.
  • HK1R, Colombia.
  • CR2A, Azores.
  • ZF2AM, Cayman Islands.
  • EA8URL, Canary Islands.
  • XE7S, Mexico.
  • CR3L, Madiera Island.
  • CN3A, Morocco.
  • IR4M, Italy.
  • CO6LP, Cuba.
  • C6AGU, Bahamas.
  • CW5W, Uruguay.
  • V48M, St. Kitts & Nevis.
  • HQ5A, Honduras.
  • CS2C, Portugal.
  • ED8A, Canary Islands.
  • EA5DFV, Spain.
  • EA4KD, Spain.
  • PY2NDX, Brazil.
  • TI5KD, Costa Rica.
  • EA4TX, Spain.
  • D4C, Cape Verde.
  • EA2W, Spain.

Feb. 20: 10 metre band, 20:35 UTC:
  • PY2NDX, Brazil.

Feb 20: 20 metre band, 20:50-23:55 UTC:
  • EF8S, Canary Islands.
  • V48M, St. Kitts & Nevis.
  • WP3C, Puerto Rico.
  • TI5A, Costa Rica.
  • D44AC, Cape Verde.
  • PV8DX, Brazil.
  • HK1N, Colombia.
  • CR3L, Madeira Island.
  • PZ5P, Suriname.
  • OA4SS, Peru.
  • PY2NDX, Brazil.
  • C6AGU, Bahamas.
  • PJ4A, Bonaire.
  • P4OL, Aruba.
  • P49V, Aruba.
  • XE7S, Mexico.
  • PV8ADI, Brazil.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Two Amateur Radio Contests

On the air this weekend making contacts in two amateur radio contests. Feb 12 & 13: CQ WPX RTTY contest. Feb 13: SKCC Weekend Sprintathon. Logged a lot of stations but nothing unusual.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

WCXN 1170 kHz Claremont, NC

I logged a new mediumwave station today, Feb. 12, 2011: WCXN, 1170 kHz, in Claremont, NC. I heard a Spanish language station on 1170 under WWVA, so I left the radio on overnight, using the Sony MP3 recorder to record it. The station was present all night, making the time of this logging 0340 to 1000 UTC.

The station was usually under WWVA, but sometimes dominated the frequency. Mexican music format with several “La que buena“ IDs. No callsign heard - not sure the station ever gave one. But “La que buena“ is WCXN’s slogan. Also while WCXN is a daytime only station, it has been reported widely on the DX reflectors as frequently staying on all night. Since there are no other plausible candidates, I concluded this must be WCXN.

There was also a second Spanish station heard with talk under WXCN a few times. But it was very weak with no identifying material heard.

This is the 385th station in my Toronto mediumwave log, and the 964th in the overall log.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Two More Repeater Loggings

The only recent loggings to report are two new amateur repeaters heard. These are just local stations, but logging these things is still a new activity for me, since I've spent so little time exploring the VHF amateur bands.
  • Mon. January 24, 2011 at 0015 UTC: VA3GTU, Toronto, ON, on 145.13 MHz with Morse code ID.
  • Sat. January 29, 2011 at 1345 to 1445 UTC: VE3RTC, Scarborough, ON, on 146.745 MHz with Morse code ID. There were two amateurs having a chat here but it was in Chinese and I didn't catch their callsigns.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Amateurs on 2 Metres

Today's loggings come courtesy of the 2 metre amateur radio band:
  • 1615-1630 UTC, 145.13 MHz. Heard several stations checking into the morning ARES net. ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. This net is run by the Toronto ARES Group. I think they meet here every morning at this time. First time I've heard them, mostly because I seldom visit the VHF amateur bands.
  • 1645 UTC. Heard the Morse code ID (in FM mode) of VE3RTR on 145.15 MHz. This is a repeater that covers a large swath of the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is located near Baltimore, Ontario. It is operated by the Heritage Amateur Radio Club.

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Today's radio activity: I was on the air making a few contacts in the BARTG RTTY contest and I kept a log of the stations I heard. Nothing special. Despite this being a British contest, the only stations I heard were in the U.S. and Canada, only 14 stations. Conditions didn't seem very good today. Listened between 1832 and 1923 UTC, and again from 2146 to 2219 UTC. 20 metre band, around 14.1 MHz.

Friday, 21 January 2011

CJY241 - 152.87 MHz

Continuing with the casual exploration of what can be heard on VHF, I caught an interesting one today. This morning, Fri. Jan 21, 2011 at 1320 to 1335 UTC (8:20-8:35 local time), I found a frequency that CBC Radio reporters use to talk to the studio. At least that's what I heard. Specifically, I heard a silent carrier on the frequency from 1320 to around 1330. Then one half of a conversation was heard. I already thought this was a CBC feed so I turned on an FM radio to CBC Radio One at 99.1, and heard the same conversation there. The CBC was broadcasting the news and the anchorman was talking to a CBC reporter at some location. What I heard on 152.87 was that reporter's half of the conversation. According to RadioReference.com the callsign of this CBC media feed station is CJY241.

I actually first heard this station on Jan 14 (that's why I was sitting on the frequency today) but on the 14th I didn't hear enough material to ID it.

There's such an incredible variety of signals on the radio bands and I'm always surprised when I discover yet another way in which radio is used.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Miscellaneous Loggings

Heard / seen on the radio today:
  • At 1544 UTC I heard VE3NUS on 224.3 MHz with a strong signal. VE3NUS is an amateur radio repeater in Unionville, Ontario (just north of Toronto). No traffic heard; just the repeater's automatic Morse code ID. This is the first amateur station I've ever heard on the 222 MHZ (1.25 cm) band. (I don't spend much time on the VHF and UHF amateur bands).
  • Saw two amateur stations operating in SSTV on 14230 kHz. At 1941 UTC caught K05Z from Krugerville, TX calling CQ SSTV with a weak signal. A few minutes later I caught another image from him, now working AB0HB. Then at 2040 UTC I got WA4PEQ working some stations, including VE3IYA. Decoded using MMSSTV.
  • Back on VHF, tuning around and caught one of the dispatch frequencies of one of Toronto's big taxi companies, Beck Taxi, on 150.28 MHz. Excellent signal. Issuing instructions to cars. This was at 2240 UTC. (I stumbled across this one while setting up computer control of one of my radios).
  • At 2246 heard an unidentified amateur radio net in progress on 146.810 MHz in the 2 metre band.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Amateur Loggings

DXing the amateur bands today. What I logged:
  • SSTV: Received KC4RP, McDonough GA, on 14230 kHz at 1538 UTC calling CQ. Only received a single image and no sign of an answer.
  • PSK31: Logged KT4WI in Ormond Beach FL, on 21072 kHz at 1653 UTC. In contact with F6EQZ, who was not audible here.
  • ARRL RTTY Roundup contest: Logged a lot of RTTY stations between 1700 and 2215 UTC on the 15 and 20 metre bands. Most were in the U.S. and Canada, but I did log a few from elsewhere: PZ5RA in Paramaribo, Suriname (15 metres); P49X in Aruba (15 and 20 metres), HI3TEJ in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (15 metres), and XE2K in Mexicali, Mexico (15 metres).

Monday, 3 January 2011

SSTV on 20 Metres

One of the many transmission modes that radio amateurs can use on the HF bands is slow-scan television (SSTV). SSTV lets one transmit pictures using a narrow bandwidth signal, one narrow enough to fit in the 3 kHz legal bandwidth limits on the HF bands. The tradeoff is that low bandwidth means slow transmission and low resolution. In fact, it can typically take between 30 and 120 seconds to send a single frame. There is also no audio. So SSTV doesn't allow for the transmission of video. Instead, it is more like a slow slideshow, with pictures in SSTV mixed with talk between them in standard SSB.

Anyone with a shortwave receiver that supports SSB and a computer with a soundcard can decode SSTV signals. I use free software called MMSSTV for this. MMSSTV also generates SSTV signals that can be sent to a radio transmitter, of interest if you're a radio amateur that wants to try out this mode.

Radio amateurs using SSTV tend to stick close to a small range of frequencies so they can find each other. On the 20 metre band they're usually found around 14230-14240 kHz.

Today I had MMSSTV running, monitoring 14230 kHz to see what would pop up. I caught two stations operating in SSTV:
  • WB5UXC, Pearlington MS at 2200-2220 UTC with a fair signal. He was in contact with KA0UNB (who wasn't visible to me) and with an N9 station. At 2219 he was calling CQ using a special CQ image.
  • XE1RK, Mexico City (D.F.), Mexico at 2221-2230 with a good signal. This station answered WB5UXC's CQ call and they swapped pictures and talked in SSB. Fairly clear picture.
It may just be a slow slideshow but I think it's great that amateurs can transmit a type of television signal on shortwave.

Note that SSTV is different from ATV (Amateur television), where amateurs transmit standard broadcast quality television signals. ATV allows for full video with audio, but is restricted to the UHF bands because of the wide bandwidth needed.