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, 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.

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