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.

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.