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, 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.