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.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Your Comments Requested

I have a request. If you're a reader of this blog, even if only occasionally, I'd like to hear your comments on it. I'm interested in hearing what you like and don't like about it. If you find it interesting or boring. If you have suggestions for improvements I'd like to hear those too. Post your replies in the comments section of this post.

One of the things motivating me as a radio hobbyist is curiosity about all the different ways in which wireless communications are used today. The radio spectrum is full of interesting signals created to serve hundreds of different purposes. My interest is in exploring this. I began keeping this blog to communicate this interest to others. That's why my posts focus on reports of what I've heard in my journeys across the radio bands.

However, keeping this blog requires a lot of time, so I want to find out if people actually find value in it. I get so few comments, I don't have any sense of how many people are actually finding this interesting. I'm also wondering if I should change the focus of the blog, or perhaps discontinue keeping it. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks, Greg.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Final Post from Newfoundland

Today was my last day in Newfoundland before returning home. Two last loggings, made from Deer Lake:
  • WRCA, 1330 kHz, Waltham MA, at 0656-0700 UTC. English, fair signal. Danny Styles Nostalgia Show, then ID with location on the hour. 17 kW. Relog.
  • XLM616, 162.4 MHz, Gander NL at 1104-1130 UTC. Fair signal. English and French. Environment Canada weather radio with conditions for southwestern Newfoundland. ID with callsign and location at 1128.
I logged a lot of new stations while I was in Newfoundland and made a few good DX catches. On the whole, however, it was not as productive for DXing as I had hoped. The main problem was the amount of electrical interference present at most of the places I stayed. A secondary problem was that it was getting dark late so good DX conditions each night on AM didn't really get started until well after 10 pm local time, and I usually needed to get to bed by midnight in order to be up for the next day's activities. Most of the places I stayed also did not have the option of setting up outside to listen.

From this I've drawn a few conclusions. If you want to go on a listening DXpedition, you need to scout out a suitable listening location beforehand to ensure it is free of electrical noise and has the physical facilities to enable you to set up your equipment and to put up antennas. You will also need to plan to stay in that location for several days. If you need to check out in the morning, that pretty much prevents you from staying up late DXing the night before. This is an important consideration when DXing the mediumwave or longwave bands in the summer at northern latitudes because it doesn't get dark until quite late. A place without maid service is also preferable, for the same reason. Finally you'll need to focus on the DXing. If you're spending your days doing other activities, you'll need to get up early, which prevents you from staying up late.

Friday, 17 August 2012

CFGN 1230 kHz

Here's a logging I was excited about until I checked my records later. I was in Barachois Pond Provincial Park (about 20 km east of Stephenville) for a hike (in the rain). After returning to my car I spent about half an hour listening to a faint almost unintelligible station on 1230 kHz waiting for an ID. Finally I heard the VOCM ID I was expecting, which meant this was CFGN in Port aux Basques NL (which is part of the VOCM network). It was exciting because CFGN was one of the few mediumwave stations in the province that I hadn't yet logged. At least that's what I thought. Checking my logbook later I discovered I'd actually logged this station back in 2007, and from a much farther distance (Twillingate NL). To top it off, I forgot to note the time of today's reception, so all I can say is that it was in the early afternoon local time.

Loggings from Stephenville

In Stephenville, NL. Several new stations for the log here but all are routine local or semi-local stations:
  • XLW201, 162.4 MHz, Codroy Pond NL, at 0115 UTC with fair signal in English and French. Environment Canada weather radio for Southwestern Newfoundland. No ID or location, but Codroy Pond is only about 50 km south of here so there's little doubt of the identity.
  • CBNC-FM, 88.7 MHz, Stephenville NL at 0119-0125 UTC. Excellect signal. English. CBC Radio One. 3.5 kW.
  • CBAF-FM-16, 94.3 MHz, Port au Port NL. 0125-0128 UTC. Excellent signal. French, SRC Premiere Chaine network. Talk. 1.03 kW.
  • CBN-FM-4, 95.1 MHz, Stephenville NL, at 0128-0132 UTC. Excellent signal. English. CBC Radio Two with show "The Signal". 8.9 kW.
  • CKXX-FM-1, 95.9 MHz, Stephenville NL at 0133-0137 UTC. Excellent signal. English. K-Rock classic rock. Parallel to CKXX 103.9 Corner Brook (also audible here). 230 W.
  • CIOS-FM, 98.5 MHz, Stephenville NL at 0145-0147 UTC. Excellent signal, English. OZ FM. 4.3 kW.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

FM from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

This afternoon I was touring the Port au Port peninsula (on the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast west of Stephenville, NL) and caught two stations from across the water on FM. These were heard on the Mazda 3 car radio:
  • CKPE, 94.9 MHz, Sydney NS, at 1602-1610 UTC, with fair to good signal. Pop music, callsign ID with location, and slogan "The Cape". 61 kW. New.
  • CFCY, 95.1 MHz, Charlottetown PE, at 1715 UTC. Poor signal and audible only briefly. ID and music heard. I was listing to the CBC radio station from Stephenville on this frequency and CFCY broke through briefly while I was on the coast near Mainland driving by a mountain that blocked the path to Stephenville. 73 kW. New.

Other Loggings from Steady Brook

In addition to UVB-76, I also heard the following while in Steady Brook, NL:
  • VOAR-9-FM, 105.7 MHz, Corner Brook NL, at 0147-0149 UTC with excellent signal. Show "Night Sounds with Bill Pearce". Religious music. Some audio distortion, 250W. New.
  • Unidentified digital station on 4610 kHz at 0151 UTC with fair signal. Mode unknown. Strange digital sounds.
  • XLW200, 162.55 MHz, Corner Brook NL, at 0945-1000 UTC with good signal in English and French. Environment Canada weather with conditions for southwestern Newfoundland towns. New.


The highlight of today's DXing is that I finally have heard the mysterious UVB-76 (also known variously as UZB76, MDZhB, and The Buzzer). I've been trying for almost a year to catch it, after reading that article about it in Wired magazine. Frequency: 4625 kHz. Time: 0155-0200 UTC. Station location: believed to be located somewhere near Pskov in Russia. The signal was very weak but its distinctive buzzing came through clearly at times. I also compared it to a webstream of the station to verify that the station was actually transmitting at this time. My location: Steady Brook, NL, just a little bit north of Corner Brook.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Other Catches in York Harbour

I also caught the following while in York Harbour, NL. All are relogs:
  • JT, 390 kHz, Stephenville NL, at 0027 UTC with good signal. Non-directional aeronautical beacon with Morse code ID. This is one of the only longwave stations from Newfoundland that I've heard from Ontario.
  • BBC Radio 5 Live, 693 kHz, from the United Kingdom. 0241-0300 UTC. Fair to poor signal (weak but relatively little interference, some fading, but good enough to follow the programming). English with British accents. Talk about the early days of Apple Computer. ID on hour. BBC Radio 5 Live transmits from several locations on this frequency, including Droitwich (150 kW), Stagshaw and Start Point (both 50 kW) and Burghead (25 kW). I don't know which this is. Relog - I caught the BBC on 693 in 2007 from Twillingate, NL.

BSKSA 1521 kHz

This is an exciting catch: the most distant mediumwave station I've ever heard, and the first Asian one too. Station: BSKSA (Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) from Duba, Saudi Arabia on 1521 kHz at 0236 UTC. Signal was fair to poor: fairly strong but some fading and co-channel interference from WWKB 1520 (Bufallo, NY). Programming was talk in Arabic and some singing.

I'm classifying this one as tentative-but-probable. No ID was heard, but as far as I can tell there are no Arabic language stations on 1520 in North America, esp. at night; this was also definitely on 1521; and there are no other Arabic stations listed in Europe, Africa, or Asia, BSKSA on 1521 transmits at an incredible 2 MW of power (2000 kW) making it 40 times more powerful than the most powerful stations in North America, and it is a regular catch by DXers along the east coast of North America.

Today's listening location: a bed-and-breakfast in York Harbour, NL (on the Bay of Islands west of Corner Brook). The first place I've stayed in since Rocky Harbour where there was no electrical interference on AM (at least after everyone went to bed).

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Listening in Deer Lake

I stayed the night at Deer Lake, NL and spent a bit of time tuning the radio bands. Here's what I heard.

  • WUNR, 1600  kHz, Brookline MA, 0050-0100 UTC. Poor signal. Religious programming in Spanish. ID on hour in English, then into a religious program in English. Relog.
  • Unidentified station in Spanish at 0105 on 1485 kHz, which means it is probably from Europe. Very weak with only a few brief fragments of talk heard.
  • FK, 335 kHz, Deer Lake Junction NL, 0904-0908 UTC. Good signal. Non-directional aeronautical beacon with Morse code ID. New.
  • Unidentified station on 107.75 Mhz (slightly off the 107.7 channel frequency) at 0920-0930 UTC with excellent (local quality) signal in English. Audio from CPAC (Canadian Parliamentary Access Channel), a cable TV station. My guess is that this is someone's personal FM transmitter, like those used with wireless headphones, and is located close to the place I was staying in Deer Lake. New.
  • CKXX-FM, 103.9 MHz, Corner Brook NL, 0930-0934 UTC. Good signal. English. News, sports, weather. ID with callsign and slogan "109.9 K-Rock". 40 kW. New.
  • Unidentified station on 103.5 MHz at 0935-0937 UTC. Very weak and unintelligible. There is a station in Grand Falls-Windsor on this frequency; my guess is that this is it.
  • VOAR-5-FM, 102.1 MHz, Deer Lake NL at 0938-0940 UTC. Excellent signal in English. ID at "Listener-supported VOAR". 50 W. New.
  • CFDL-FM, 97.9 MHz, Deer Lake NL, at 0944-0946 UTC. Excellent. Campaign for school supply donations. ID as CFCBradio.com. (CFDL is parallel to CFCB). Only 16 watts. New.
  • CBDT-FM, 96.3 MHz, Deer Lake NL, at 0946-0949 UTC. CBC Radio One. Excellent signal. 670 W. New.
  • CKMY-FM, 95.9 MHz, Grand Falls-Windsor NL, at 0950-0958 UTC. Fair signal. OZ FM with hot adult contemporary dance music. 50 kW. New.
  • CBNR-FM, 95.5 MHz, Ramea-Burgeo NL. 1000-1002 UTC. Fair signal. CBC Radio One with news. 780 W. New.
  • CBN-FM-3, 90.5 MHz, Deer Lake NL, 1003-1005 UTC, with excellent signal. CBC Radio Two news. 980 W. New.
  • CBN-FM-2, 91.1 MHz, Corner Brool NL, at 1005-1007. Fair signal. CBC Radio Two. 3 kW. New.

Monday, 13 August 2012

BBC Radio 5 Live 909 kHz and XLW295 162.55 MHz

Just two things to report for my final night in Labrador. Location: L'Anse au Clair.
  • Tentative: BBC Radio 5 Live, 909 kHz, from somewhere in the UK, at 0020-0035 UTC. English, with poor signal. Received on Kaito KA-1103 using its internal ferrite bar antenna. Talk about the London Olympic games, the closing ceremonies of which had just ended an hour or so earlier. Call-in show with all callers from various locations in the UK. All accents British. No ID, so it is tentative, but the station was clealy from the UK and BBC Radio 5 Live is the only UK station on this frequency. Location unknown, as it transmits from numerous locations on 909 kHz. Also, this is a relog for me. I heard BBC Radio 5 on this frequency in 2007 when I was in Twillingate, NL.
  • XLW295, 162.55 MHz, Mount St. Margaret NL, at 0905 UTC with good signal. Environment Canada weather radio, but something was wrong because the only thing it was transmitting was its ID announcements in English and French. No weather.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Listening from Labrador

Today I am in Labrador, staying in a little town called L'Anse au Clair. Labrador is part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, but is on the mainland separate from the island of Newfoundland. I had hoped to do some DXing from here in a truly RF-quiet environment, but unfortunately there is an annoying electrical buzz across much of the AM band in my lodgings. This is coming from outside - I can hear it on the car radio while driving through much of the town. However it is possible to null it out by reorienting the radio and it isn't audible outside of town so there may be DXing possibilities here.

For today, I have two loggings of AM stations which I heard on the car radio, a longwave logging, and a bunch of FM stations logged from inside my room.

  • WLAM, 1470 kHz, Lewiston ME, at 0010-0020 UTC with fair signal in English. Oldies, IDs, and mentions of Lewiston. Relog.
  • WNYY, 1470 kHz, Ithaca NY at 0015 UTC. Poor signal. English. Mixing with WLAM, ID heard. Relog.
  • YMH, 250 kHz, Mary's Harbour NL, at 0053 UTC. Very weak but very little interference so no problem understanding ID. Morse code beacon. New to log.
  • CBSI-FM-21, 107.1 MHz, Blanc Sablon QC, at 0220-0224 UTC with excellent signal (as expected, as Blanc Sablon is only a few km from L'Anse au Clair). French, SRC Premiere Chaine network. Talk, music. 78 watts. New to log.
  • CBMS-FM, 102.7 MHz, Blanc Sablon QC, at 0225-0227 UTC. Excellent signal. English. CBC Rado One with show "Saturday Evening Blues". 78 watts. New to log.
  • CBYM, 98.7 MHz, Mount St. Margaret NL, at 0227-0230 UTC. Excellent signal. English. CBC Radio One. 10 kW. New to log.
  • CBTB, 97.1 MHz, Baie Verte NL, at 0230-0233 UTC. Poor signal. CBC Radio One in English. New to log. 24.2 kW.
  • CBTR-FM, 92.9 MHz, Roddickton NL, at 0233-0236 UTC. Fair signal. CBC Radio One in English. New to log. 2 kW.
  • CBNJ, 90.5 MHz, Port Saunders NL, at 0236-0238 UTC. Good signal. English. CBC Radio One. 260w. New to log.
All these CBC Radio One outlets were carrying the same programming. I didn't bother to wait for IDs - CBC stations seldom identify with their callsigns. Anyway, all of them are either semi-local or are the only plausible candidates.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Northern Newfoundland Loggings

I left St. Anthony today and drove west across the tip of Newfoundland's northern peninsula to St. Barbe on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with a detour up to Cook's Harbour (named after Captain James Cook, who visited here during his voyages to chart the coasts of Newfoundland). During the drive I caught the following stations on the car radio:
  • CKIM, 1240 kHz, Baie Verte NL, at 1615-1745 UTC with a fair to poor signal. English. Country music and IDs for VOCM (part of their network). Received from near St. Anthony to Cook's Harbour. Relog.
  • CBG, 1400 kHz, Gander NL, at 1730-1740 UTC. English, fair signal. CBC Radio One with show "Definitely Not The Opera". Received near Cook's Harbour, NL. Relog.
  • CBN-FM-6, 95.5 MHz, Baie Verte NL at 1753-1830. English, fair signal. CBC Radio Two with an opera by Gluck. Received beginning at the intersection of highways 430 and 435 and heard most of the way to the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast. New to log.
  • CJVA, 810 kHz, Caraquet NB, at 1840-1850 kHz, with fair signal. French, with oldies/variety music and talk. Received at Eddie's Cove, NL. Relog.

CBNA 600 kHz Harmonics

A radio transmitter that is tuned to transmit at one frequency will also naturally emit signals at multiples of that frequency. This is because the basic transmitter circuit is an oscillator and oscillators naturally oscillate at multiples of the frequency they're tuned to oscillate at. This base frequency is called the fundamental and the multiples thereof are called harmonics (although the fundamental frequency is also called the first harmonic, so if the fundamental is 100 kHz then 200 kHz is the second harmonic, not the first). This phenomenum is similar to resonance in musical instruments, except that it's happening with radio waves, not sound.

In a radio transmitter these harmonics are undesirable. If your station is authorized to operate on 1000 kHz, you don't want it also transmitting on 2000 kHz, 3000 kHz, etc., frequencies that you're not authorized to use. So radio transmitters include circuitry to suppress the harmonics, to prevent them from being radiated.

Sometimes, however, these measures fail and then you can start to hear harmonics on the air, sometimes at a considerable distance from the station. That's where the subject becomes interesting for DXers, some of whom find harmonics to be an interesting target to seek.

While I was checking out the mediumwave band from my hotel room here in St. Anthony, NL, I came across a fairly strong station carrying CBC Radio One (English) on 1200 kHz. There are no CBC stations on 1200 kHz anywhere in eastern Canada. I immediately checked 600 kHz, where local CBNA is located, and found that it was the same programming. So this must be CBNA's second harmonic. I was only a couple of kilometres from their transmitter site so I wasn't surprised to pick up the second harmonic - even a properly tuned station can still emit very weak harmonics that are audible close to the transmitter site. But this one was very strong.

Next I decided to see if CBNA was audible on any other of its harmonics. The results were surprising: I heard the station on almost every one of its harmonic frequencies up to 10200 kHz - the 17th harmonic. Specifically it was audible with a fairly strong signal (clear on some frequencies, distorted on others) on 1200, 1800, 2400, 3000, 3600, 4200, 4800, 5400, and 6600. Only on 6000 was it missing, and that's probably because Radio Havana was dominating that frequency. It was also audible with a much weaker, fragmentary signal on 7200, 8400, 9000, and 10200 kHz.  Time: 0202-0220 UTC.

I have no idea how far away these harmonics can be heard. But since even weak signals can propagate long distances on shortwave, this might give DXers a chance to hear Newfoundland on shortwave.

[Next day: I heard the second harmonic on 1200 kHz with a good solid signal on the car's radio as I was driving out of town. I was already on the highway a bit outside of St. Anthony, However, it wasn't audible when I was a few dozen km from St. Anthony.]

4XZ 4594 kHz

Heard on shortwave: station transmitting in Morse code, sending "V V V de 4XZ 4XZ BT". Time: 0150-0156 UTC. Frequency: 4594 kHz. Signal: Poor. 4XZ is an Israeli navy station, located in Haifa. This is my first time hearing it. "V V V" is what's called a V-marker, which a station that isn't currently handling traffic transmits to mark its frequency. "BT" is a prosign (the letters B and T sent together with no space, which is also the = character in Morse code). Literally it is supposed to mean "space down two lines" but in radio traffic it is often used to mean "break" or "pause".

DXing location: Hotel room at the Haven Inn, St. Anthony, NL.

DXing at Fishing Point, St. Anthony NL

Yesterday I said I would look for an alternate location from which to DX. I decided to try DXing from Fishing Point, a scenic spot overlooking the ocean on the edge of St. Anthony. This was shortly after sunset. First I tried listening on the Kaito KA-1103 while sitting on a bench, but this didn't work. I had no light with me and couldn't see the radio. So I retreated to the car and tuned around the AM band using the car radio. This unfortunately precluded the option of catching most transatlantic stations, since the car radio only tuned the North American 10 kHz frequencies. Only a handful of things to report, but at least one is a new station for the overall log:
  • 1610 kHz, 0120 UTC. Fair signal. Pastor Melissa Scott preaching. Same programming as can be heard on all of the "University Network" stations on shortwave. From past experience I know that those stations almost never ID, so I didn't bother waiting for an ID. Most likely this station is the 30 kW Caribbean Beacon in The Valley, Anguilla. That station is part of the University Network. Relog.
  • WBAE, 1490 kHz, Portland ME, at 0122-0126 UTC with fair signal. 1 kW. New York Yankees baseball on the Yankees Radio Network. Ad for MJ Storey (?) Landscaping. "ID" consisting of station's URL "am1400and1490.com", from which I was able to determine what the station is. New (although I did log this station way, way back in 1978 when it was WPOR).
  • 1510 kHz at 0127 UTC. Poor signal. Spanish language station with sports. No ID. Pretty sure it was a U.S. station.
  • 1520 kHz at 0127-0133 UTC. Fair signal. Station with talk in Arabic.

Friday, 10 August 2012

CFNN-FM 97.9 MHz and XLW299 162.4 MHz

Today I am in St. Anthony, the largest town on Newfoundland's northern peninsula. It's near the northern tip of the peninsula, on the east side on the Atlantic Ocean. (Rocky Harbour, where I was the past four days, is on the west side of Newfoundland on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.).

I'm staying at the Haven Inn. As a place to stay it's nice enough, with a decent restaurant attached. But from inside my room there's a high level of electrical noise across most of the AM band. DXing mediumwave from here isn't going to be possible. Tomorrow I'll try to find an alternate location from which to listen.

Only two loggings for today, both local stations. Both are new to the log:
  • CFNN-FM, 97.9 MHz, St. Anthony, NL, at 0022-0032 UTC. English, with excellent signal. ID for "VOCM-CFCB Radio Network" and also ID with CFNN's callsign and frequency. Call-in show: "Nightline". Ads for businesses in Corner Brook and Deer Lake. The only station audible on the entire FM band from here.
  • XLW299, 162.4 MHz, St. Anthony, NL, at 2210-2223 UTC. French with good to excellent signal. Environment Canada weather radio with weather conditions. I also heard this in English at a later time. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Final Day in Rocky Harbour

For the final DX session in Rocky Harbour, NL, I have loggings of two longwave stations, two mediumwave stations from Ontario, and two FM stations from the local area:
  • JT, 390 kHz, Stephenville, NL, at 0025-0030 UTC. Fair to good signal. Non-directional aeronautical beacon. Relog.
  • AY, 356 kHz, St. Anthony, NL, at 0035-0036 UTC. Fair signal. Non-directional aeronautical beacon. Relog.
  • CFRA, 580 kHz, Ottawa, ON. 0044-0047 UTC. English, fair to good signal. News/talk, phone-in show. ID. Ads for AlarmForce, BMR Builders, etc. Relog.
  • CFZM, 740 kHz, Toronto, ON, at 0100-0108 UTC. Good solid signal, dominating the frequency. English. "AM 740" with oldies. Relog, obviously.
  • CBNF-FM, 89.1 MHz, Bonne Bay, NL. 0140-0143 UTC. English, excellent signal. CBC Radio One, show "Q" with end of an interview with Daniel Radcliffe. New.
  • CKOZ-FM, 92.3 MHz, Corner Brook, NL, at 0147-0252 UTC. Poor signal. English. "OZ FM". ID for sister stations in Argentia and St. John's. Ads. Hot adult contemporary music. New.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

YHR 276 kHz

Little time for radio today; only one logging to report:
  • YHR, 276 kHz, Chevery-Harrington Harbour, Quebec, at 0130-0139 UTC with fair signal. Non-directional aeronautical beacon, repeating ID in Morse code. Received at Rocky Harbour, NL. New to log.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Absolute Radio 1215 kHz; BX 220 kHz

Just two stations logged today. Reception location: Rocky Harbour, NL. Receiver: Kaito KA-1103.
  • Absolute Radio, 1215 kHz, United Kingdom, at 0220-0236 UTC with poor signal. Pop music, including song by Lionel Ritchie. Absolute Radio ID. This is a relog, but the last time I logged it, in Newfoundland in 2007, the station was still calling itself Virgin Radio.
  • BX, 220 kHz, Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon, QC, at 0240-0244 UTC with fair to good signal. Aeronautical non-directional beacon with repeated Morse code ID. Relog.
One cool feature of DXing in Newfoundland is that transatlantic reception of mediumwave stations is not difficult there. I got Absolute Radio using the KA-1103's built-in ferrite bar antenna. The saltwater path plus the fact that Newfoundland is much closer to Europe than is Ontario are the main factors. But another important factor is that Newfoundland is so much farther east than the United States and the rest of Canada. This means that for a period of time after sunset, there's nighttime propagation to Europe while most of the rest of North America is still in daylight. So the transatlantic signals are coming in while North American DX stations are not yet competing with them.

Monday, 6 August 2012

VOBB 95.9 MHz Norris Point, NL

I logged one new FM station today while in Norris Point, NL (a town 8 km from Rocky Harbour): a community radio station located in Norris Point called VOBB (for the Voice of Bonne Bay) on 95.9 MHz. Time: 1828-1845 UTC. Signal was excellent in Norris Point but degraded as I drove back to Rocky Harbour. This was received on the stock car radio in the 2012 Mazda 3 I was driving (a rental). The station was playing Newfoundland music with some talk and identified as the Voice of Bonne Bay. A couple of hours later I also heard a VOBB ID.

I'm not certain what the callsign of this station actually is. I found some online sources (Wikipedia) that give the callsign as CHBB, but the station itself was identifying as VOBB. That could just be an acronym from their Voice of Bonne Bay slogan, but there are a few stations in Newfoundland that do have "VO" callsigns (VOCM in St. John's for example), so I suppose it's possible that the CRTC decided to let this station have a VO callsign.

Two days later: I happened to run into a man who is a volunteer at this station and he told me the station's output power is 30 watts.

Southern Ontario AM Stations

Whenever I start DXing the mediumwave band from a new location, I begin on the frequencies occupied by local stations in Toronto, especially by 50 kW powerhouses. I reckon that the best chance to pick up something new will be on the frequencies that I can't DX at home. I tried doing this tonight here in Rocky Harbour, NL, but was greatly surprised to find that most of the Toronto stations were coming in quite well, dominating their frequencies. It's a surprise because I don't think I've ever been able to receive stations from Newfoundland in Toronto. Well, maybe it shouldn't be a surprise because there are no 50 kW clear channel stations from western Newfoundland to receive in Toronto. The strongest station in western Newfoundland is  CBY on 990 in Corner Brook. It's 10 kW but in Toronto the frequency is dominated by CKGM from Montreal.

Here are the stations I logged:
  • CFTR, 680 kHz, Toronto, ON, at 0207-0211 UTC. Fair to poor signal. English. "680 News" with Toronto traffic, weather, and news.
  • CHUM, 1050 kHz, Toronto, ON, at 0212-0213 UTC. Fair to poor signal with lots of co-channel interference. "TSN 1050 Toronto" ID. Sports talk.
  • CFRB, 1010 kHz, Toronto, ON, at 0214-0215 UTC. Fair to poor signal with co-channel interference from New York. English. "Newstalk 1010" ID, ads for Toronto businesses, and talk.
  • CKOC, 1150 kHz, Hamilton, ON, at 0216-0219 UTC. Fair signal, little interference. English. "Oldies 1150 CKOC" ID and oldies music. This station is Canada's oldest radio station now, being on the air for 90 years. 
  • CKDO, 1580 kHz, Oshawa, ON, at 0900 UTC. Fair to good signal. English. Oldies music, and CKDO ID. One of the strongest DX signals on the mediumwave band.
I also heard other Toronto stations in passing after 0220 UTC, like CHIN on 1540, but didn't log them as it was late and the point had already been made.

DF 350 khz

Listening location: Rocky Harbour, NL, in Gros Morne National Park.
Receiver: Kaito KA-1103.
  • DF, 350 kHz, Deer Lake, NL at 0204 UTC with good signal. Morse code aeronautical non-directional beacon from Deer Lake airport. This is about 40 km from Rocky Harbour. Relog - logged from eastern Newfoundland in 2007.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Listening in Newfoundland

I'm going to Newfoundland and Labrador for two weeks on vacation, from Sun. Aug. 5 to Sat. Aug 18. I'm taking two radios with me and hope to do some DXing while there. Last time I was in Newfoundland, in 2007, I was impressed by all the transatlantic mediumwave stations I could hear, and by the European longwave broadcast stations I logged. I was in eastern Newfoundland that time; this time I'm going to the western side of the island. It'll be interesting to see what I can catch this time.

The main receiver will be the old trusty Kaito KA-1103, which covers AM/FM/LW/SW. I'm also taking the Sangean DT-400W AM/FM ultralight as a backup in case the Kaito quits on me. The DT-400W also covers the VHF weather channels.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

WJNY 90.9 and WRVO 89.9

Heard on the FM band today, thanks to tropospheric propagation:
  • WJNY, 90.9 MHz, Watertown, NY at 1129-1138 UTC (0729-0738 local time). Poor signal. Classical music. ID on half hour as WCNY Syracuse and as Classic FM. This is a new addition to the Toronto log, and is in fact the first station I've logged on 90.9 from Toronto. However, this is not a new catch for me - in my former home town of Kingston, Ontario, this is a semi-local station. This is station 161 in the Toronto FM log.
  • WRVO, 89.9 MHz, Oswego, NY, at 1138 UTC. Poor signal. NPR. ID heard. Relog.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Some Neighbor on FM

Is this worth logging? It's not a "real" station, but it was on FM. Received tonight on 88.3 MHz at 0000-0100 UTC with a good signal. Television audio. For the first 45 minutes it was the audio from TV Ontario (a show about Queen Victoria's Britain), and then the audio started jumping around, as if someone were changing channels. It then settled on CBC television, (show "This Hour Has 22 Minutes") for the rest of the hour. I think this was probably a neighbor who plugged one of those tiny FM transmitters designed to work with wireless headphones into his television. It was only audible on my indoor FM dipole; on the outdoor FM antenna WCOU was coming in and there was no sign of the television audio.

OK, I'm adding it to the log. It's an FM transmission and I received it so it counts. This is station #160 received in Toronto.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Heard on FM Near Georgian Bay

I spent the day near Georgian Bay and found a few minutes to tune around the FM band. This yielded two new stations plus a third interesting logging:
  • CFRH-FM, Penetanguishene, Ontario, 88.1 MHz, at 1800-1810 UTC with fair signal. In French. "Vague FM". Country music. Received on Airport Rd. near the Simcoe/Dufferin county boundary, not far from Creemore. The station was still audible when I stopped in Creemore. New.  8.6 kW.
  • CISO-FM, Orillia, Ontario, 89.1 MHz at 2205-2215 UTC with excellent signal. "Sunshine 89.1". Real estate talk show. Received in Collingwood, when parked on the shore of Georgian Bay. New. 2.1 kW.
  • Unidentified station that sounded like Espace Musique (Radio-Canada, French language CBC) on 90.9 MHz at 2215 UTC. French talk, classical music. Received in Collingwood when parked at the harbour; signal was fair but station disappeared in the noise after I drove away from the shore. No ID but the only Espace Musique station in Ontario on 90.9 is CBBX in Sudbury (which I've logged already). That seems like quite a good catch, although maybe it's not unusual (the path between Sudbury and Collingwood would be mostly over water).

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Unidentifieds on 88.1 MHz

Heard on the car radio today on 88.1 MHz while I was in Whitby, Ontario: a couple of stations battling for the frequency. Neither sounded like any of the semi-regular ones that come in on this frequency. Perhaps there was some tropo or e-skip in action. No IDs heard. First was a CBC Radio outlet with a program of acoustic music. English, but not parallel to either of the local CBC stations. This was mixing with a station playing country music. Both disappeared before any identifying material was heard. 1820-1831 UTC.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

New Analog TV Station Logged

This is something I didn't think would ever happen again, with the conversion to digital TV broadcasting last year in Canada, but I added a new analog TV station to the log today. Well, new to the log; the station itself isn't new:
  • CICO-TV-74, channel 18 (494-500 MHz) from Peterborough, ON, at 1511-1515 UTC. TV Ontario, parallel to local CICA with TVO Kids. Good audio, fair video. Tropo.
The reason that it's still possible to log analog TV stations is that last August's deadline for conversion applied only in Canada's larger markets. In smaller locales, stations were allowed to continue to broadcast in analog longer. This TVO outlet is one of these stations.

I also logged two other analog stations today. Both are relogs:
  • Unidentified station on channel 15 at 1516 UTC with fair signal. Religious programming. This is either WBNF Buffalo (a low powered repeater that was allowed to continue broadcasting in analog) or local Star Ray TV, a low powered broadcaster in eastern Toronto. I've logged both before.
  • CHEX-TV-2, channel 22, Peterborough, ON, at 1517 UTC with poor signal. CBC TV.

WSTM TV Syracuse

The weather was hot today and there was tropo in the air so I did a scan for digital TV signals. This yielded one (or three, depending on how you count them) new digital TV station for the log. There were three new channels, but all were subchannels of the same station:
  • WSTM-TV, Syracuse, NY, digital channel 3-1 (RF channel 24, 530-536 MHz) at 1435-1448 UTC. NBC Meet the Press. Ads. ID for WSTM. Excellent signal with occasional, infrequent pixellation and breakup.
  • WSTQ, Syracuse, NY, digital channel 3-2 (RF channel 24, 530-536 MHz) at 1448-1452 UTC. Rebroadcast of WSTQ 14 (analog) LP signal on WSTM. Infomercial from UsedCarKing.com with car ads for Chittenango, Cortland, and Cicero, NY. 
  • CNY Central, Syracuse, NY, digital channel 3-3 (RF channel 24, 530-536 MHz) at 1452-1510 UTC. Weather conditions and forecasts for central NY state.
This is the 39th unique digital station logged in Toronto. The count of digital subchannels is now 62.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

VE3WE 10 Metre Beacon

There's a new amateur radio beacon operating in Toronto: VE3WE, 28265 kHz. I received it today at 1540-1555 UTC with a good signal. Morse code, in English. Operated by the Scarborough Amateur Radio Club. 5 watts.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

WLNF 90.5 KHz

Logged today: a new FM station for the Toronto log. WLNF, Rapids, NY, on 90.5 MHz at 2025-2035 UTC with a poor signal. English, playing old pop music (e.g., Barry Manilow). ID and announced as "serving Lockport and the Niagara Frontier regions". Only 250 watts. Received on my car radio at Rouge Park in Scarborough.

This is the 159th FM station received in Toronto.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Firedrake Jammer - Maybe

Heard today on 13850 kHz a station that may be another appearance of the Firedrake Jammer. Time: 1255-1300 UTC, good signal. Traditional Chinese music like the Firedrake Jammer plays. Very brief voice announcement in unidentified language at 1300 and then off air. I'm not sure of its identity because the voice announcement is not typical for the Firedrake, and I only heard a few minutes of it. It's possible this is just a regular broadcast station.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Firedrake Jammer 13970 kHz

Came across the Firedrake Jammer from China again. Today it was transmitting on 13970 kHz at 1230 UTC. Signal was fair. No talking as is normal for this station, just traditional Chinese orchestral music.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

CKFG-FM 98.7 MHz

There's a new FM station on the air here in Toronto: CKFG-FM, 98.7 MHz. Heard it today for the first time at 2100 UTC with excellent signal (as you'd expect). Callsign ID on the hour. Slogan ID is "G987". Show "Soca Therapy" with Caribbean music. 446 watts.

This is the 158th FM station I've logged from here in Toronto.

Before CKFG-FM occupied the frequency the CBC Radio One outlet in Peterborough usually came in with a decent signal on 98.7. I was actually surprised that the CRTC authorized a Toronto station on 98.7, because of the potential for interference with the Peterborough CBC station.

Shortwave Receptions

Received today on shortwave:
  • R. Exterior de España, 3350 kHz, at 0425 UTC in Spanish with poor signal. A rare reception of a station on the 90 metre broadcast band. No ID heard but I've logged REE here before, and it's the only station on this frequency, except for one in North Korea. 100 kW. 
  • Radio Netherlands, 11615 kHz at 2010 UTC in English from Kigali, Rwanda relay station. Good solid signal. To Africa, with show "Africa in Progress". 250 kW.
  • BSKSA, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 11820 kHz at 2012 UTC with fair signal. Tentative because no ID heard, but I've logged BSKSA here before, and it operates at 500 kW and is scheduled on at this time, so I think the ID is likely. No talk heard, just Arabic music.
  • Adventist World Radio, 11755 kHz, at 2014 UTC from relay station at Meyerton, South Africa in French with fair signal. Another tentative one, as no ID heard. AWR is scheduled on here at this time in French, and the announcer was speaking French with an African accent.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Firedrake Jammer 13920 kHz

Firedrake Jammer heard today on 13920 kHz at 1340 to 1353 UTC with very poor signal transmitting from somewhere inside China. No talk, just traditional Chinese music – only fragments heard. Tentative, but sounds exactly like the Firedrake Jammer as I've heard it before (and heard recordings online). Also 13920 is one of the frequencies of the Sound of Hope from Taiwan, which is what the Firedrake Jammer jams.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

KRPI 1550 DX Test

I added two stations to the mediumwave log today, thanks to a DX test. One of these is my first reception of a station from Washington state here in Toronto. Station KRPI in Ferndale, WA, 1550 kHz, held a half hour DX test from 0900-0930 UTC (that's 4 a.m. local time here). I set up things to record that frequency overnight and then reviewed the recording later to see if KRPI showed up. I got two new stations:
  • WDLR, Delaware, OH, with a poor signal. Spanish talk, and "la que buena" slogan IDs. No legal ID, but the slogan is enough to identify it with reasonable certainty. This station is 500 watts daytime, and supposedly only 29 watts at night. Sounded suspiciously strong for 29 watts.
  • KRPI (tentative), Ferndale, WA with very very poor signal under WDLR.  All I heard were some fragments of Morse code at 0900, 0904, 0913, and 0928 UTC. No ID but at 0900 I heard “PI”. This DX test was widely heard across North America, including here in Ontario by several DXers using ultralights. Since there would be no reason to hear Morse code on 1550 except for a DX test, I think I got it but can't be certain. So it gets counted but as a tentative logging.
This brings the count of mediumwave stations logged in Toronto to 388, and the overall count (logged from anywhere but mostly from Kingston, Ontario) to 970.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Cuba y China desde Cuba

Two routine loggings for today, both transmitting from Havana, Cuba:
  • China Radio International, 13740 kHz, at 1430-1540 UTC in English with good solid steady signal.
  • Radio Havana Cuba, 13670 kHz, at 1542-1557 UTC in Spanish with good signal, although not as good as CRI's. Folk music, talk, ID, and off air at 1557.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


For the final day of January 2012 I have one interesting reception to report:
  • WLO, 8473 kHz, at 1302-1322 UTC in RTTY and SITOR-B. Weak signal. Transmitting in 45 baud RTTY in clear English – decoded using MultiPSK. Then station switched to SITOR-B mode, still in clear English. Content: Voice of America news bulletins. Weak and not able to decode at times. No ID, but found a blog post (here) about WLO now broadcasting in RTTY and SITOR-B on this frequency. The author posted the content of what he received, and it was exactly the same format as what I saw. So the identification is pretty likely.
And that's it. At the beginning of the month I set myself the challenge of finding something interesting on radio to log every day and I've succeeded at that. I do have a pretty broad definition of "interesting", but it's good to find that even in 2012, when shortwave broadcasters are dropping like plague victims, that there's still lots of interesting stuff to find on the radio bands.  And while shortwave broadcasting seems to be in real decline, most other uses of radio are just as active as ever. So get listening!

Monday, 30 January 2012


Normally I wouldn't post about hearing an ordinary sort of amateur station from the U.S. or Canada. But I set myself the challenge of logging something each day this month, and today I only found a few minutes to spend on radio. This is the only station that made it into the log for today:
  • W5TZC, Bismarck, AR, USA, on 7019 kHz (40 metres) in CW at 0553 UTC calling CQ. RST: 579.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Today's radio catches: reception of station NMF, Boston, MA, on three different frequencies with HF facsimile transmissions. NMF is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard for the marine service and broadcasts information of interest to mariners. These HF facsimile transmissions were broadcasting marine weather from NOAA. Information about NMF is found at weather.noaa.gov/fax/marsh.shtml. I think that NMF's transmitter site is actually located on Cape Cod, not in Boston itself. Receiver: Drake SW8. HF-Fax decoded using MultiPSK.
  • 6340.5 kHz, 1530-1550 and again at 1722 UTC. Fair to good signal. English. HF-Fax transmission with weather chart for Atlantic Ocean. NOAA logo on chart. Off at 1550. On again at 1722, with HF-Fax message that began with “CQ CQ CQ DE NMF NMF NMF” and “NOAA Rado Facsimile Charts Follow”. Charts then followed.
  • 9110 kHz, 1733-1737 UTC. Good signal. HF-Fax charts // 6340.5. Received based on schedule at www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfmarsh_links.htm. Much better picture quality here than on 6340.5.
  • 12750 kHz, 1737 UTC. HF-Fax charts // 6340.5 and 9110. Weather charts – best of the the three frequencies.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

NMF Navtex on Shortwave

Today on shortwave I logged four utility broadcasts from two stations in the maritime service. All but one are relogs:
  • WLO, Mobile, AL, USA on 17362 kHz at 1615-1630 UTC transmitting in SSB in English. Fair signal. Marine weather forecast. Female computer generated voice. ID for WLO and KLB at half hour, then off air.
  • NMF, Boston, MA, USA on 12578 kHz at 1650-1710 UTC. Good signal. Loud and steady SITOR-B signal, which I decoded using MultiPSK. Surprised to find that it was a standard Navtex broadcast from NMF like those on 518 kHz - I didn't know Navtex was sent on shortwave as well. Meteorological conditions and navigation safety warnings. English. Good signal. New to log.
  • WLO, Mobile, AL, USA on 12581.5 kHz at 1710 UTC with fair signal. Morse code/SITOR-A channel marker with WLO ID in Morse code.
  • WLO, Mobile, AL, USA on 12584 kHz at 1715 UTC with fair to poor signal. Morse code/SITOR-A channel marker with WLO ID in Morse code.

Friday, 27 January 2012

SITOR-B 8473 kHz

Unidentified station heard transmitting in SITOR-B mode today on 8473 kHz at 1355 UTC. Fair signal. Didn't have time to try to decode it.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

AFRTS 7812 kHz

AFRTS (American Forces Radio and Television Service) feed on 7812 kHz heard at 0600 UTC in English. Mode: SSB. Weak. Transmitting from Saddlebunch Keys, FL, USA. News, etc from AFN. 3 kW.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

NOAA HF-Fax Station

Received today on 8502 kHz at 1330-1345 UTC: unidentified station transmitting in HF-Fax mode. No ID seen (signal was weak and difficult to decode) but NOAA logo was visible so station is from the U.S.A. Decoded using MultiPSK.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Radio Martí

Only one logging for today: Radio Martí on 7405 kHz at 1345-1350 UTC in Spanish with good signal. Transmitting from Greenville, NC, USA. 250 kW. Sports news.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Massive Pileup

While tuning across the 40 metre amateur band today I came across a truly massive pileup of amateur stations in Morse code - hundreds of them all on 7030 kHz at the same time. They were all in a frenzy trying to contact the TN2T DXpedition station in the Republic of Congo. I couldn't hear TN2T, however. This was at 0443 UTC.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

BSKSA, All India Radio, and More

Several shortwave broadcasts logged today. (All are relogs except for the logging of All India Radio);
  • Deutsche Welle, 9655 kHz, at 2050-2100 UTC in English transmitting from Kigali, Rwanda relay site. Good signal. Show "Inside Europe" about hobby of letterboxing.
  • CBC Northern Quebec Service, 9625 kHz, at 2115-2130 UTC in English transmitting from Sackville, NB, Canada. Fair, somewhat fluttery signal. Show "A propos" about French Canadian music.
  • Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (tentative). 9555 kHz, 2150-2204 UTC, in Arabic, with fair signal. Tentative - no ID heard. Arabic music, ID (indecipherable) on hour, then into talk by man. Clearly a station from the middle east and WRTH has Saudi Arabia on here at this time. This would be from Riyadh. 500 kW.
  • All India Radio, 9445 kHz, at 2213-2217 UTC in English transmitting from Bangalore, India. Fair to poor signal. General Overseas Service of All India Radio. Talk, ID, then into Indian music. 500 kW.
  • La Voz Cristiana, 17680 kHz, at 2235-2300 UTC, in Spanish from Santiago, Chile. Poor signal. Pop Spanish music program. ID on hour with website URL (www.cvclavoz.com).

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Three Loggings on the 41 Metre Band

Today's loggings are of three shortwave broadcasters on the 41 metre band:
  • Radio Bulgaria, 7400 kHz, at 2135 UTC in French transmitting from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Good signal. DX reports, ID, and station URL heard.
  • Radio Romania International, 7380 kHz, at 2142 UTC in English transmitting from Romania. Good signal. Show "This Week in Review" with discussion of European agricultural policy. ID.
  • Voice of Vietnam, 7370 kHz, at 2145 UTC in Vietnamese transmitted from Wooferton, England relay. Fair signal. Talk with mentions of Vietnam.

Friday, 20 January 2012

19 Metre Loggings

Three shortwave broadcasters logged on the 19 metre band today:
  • R. Exterior de España, 15170 kHz at 1305-1318 UTC in Spanish via Costa Rica relay. Fair to good signal. Talk about Cuba, and IDs.
  • R. Havana Cuba, 15230 kHz at 1320-1331 UTC in Spanish, broadcasting from Havana. Fair to poor with co-channel interference from China Radio International. 
  • China Radio International, 15230 kHz, in English at 1325-1331 UTC with fair to poor signal. Broadcasting from Sackville, NB, Canada relay. 
Poor planning having both RHC and CRI on the same frequency at the same time, both broadcasting from North America to North America.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Weather Fax 12786 kHz

12786 kHz, 1350-1400 UTC. Station transmitting in HF-Fax mode with good strong signal. Decoding it (using MultiPSK) yielded tropical weather information in English. No ID, but NMG from New Orleans, LA, is listed on this frequency and the content received is consistent with that. So this goes into the log as tentatively identified as NMG.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Spain 9675 kHz

The only thing received on the radio today was R. Exterior de España in Spanish on 9675 kHz at 0550-0600 UTC. Transmitted via relay from Costa Rica. This happens to be the same scheduled transmission of REE I logged on Jan. 4. 100 kW. Spanish pop music followed by ID and frequencies, then off air. This revealed another much fainter unidentified station on the same frequency.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

WLO/KLB 8788 kHz

Today's entry in the logbook is a utility station: WLO from Mobile, AL, USA. WLO is a station in the marine radio service. Frequency: 8788 kHz. Time: 0620-0625 UTC. Signal: Fair. Language: English. Mode: SSB. Marine weather and water conditions. Frequencies and IDs for WLO and KLB. At 0625 they stated they're standing by for calls and then went off air. Synthetic female voice.

Monday, 16 January 2012

BBC World Service

I once would not have considered logging the BBC World Service to be noteworthy but they've so drastically cut back their broadcasting, especially to the Americas, that it now is a bit unusual to hear them. Today's logging is a tentative logging of the Arabic service of the BBC on 5790 kHz at 0520 UTC from Wooferton in England. No ID but the BBC is scheduled here at this time in Arabic broadcasting to North Africa.

Numbers Station

I stumbled across one of those mysterious numbers stations early today. These stations are presumed to be related to espionage in some matter, often from Cuba it is presumed (Google it). This one was on 5900 kHz, at the bottom end of the 49 metre broadcast band, at 0518 UTC. It was a fairly strong signal. The transmission mode was AM but they were sending five-letter groups in Morse code.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Radio New Zealand and Radio Free Asia

Today's additions to the logbook are four shortwave broadcasters:
  • Radio New Zealand International on 11725 kHz at 0550-0603 UTC  broadcasting in English from the transmitter site at Rangitaiki, New Zealand. Signal was fair to good. 100 kW. Radio drama, music by Neil Young. ID on hour, and then New Zealand news and weather. Relog on this frequency.
  • WWCR from Nashville, TN, USA, on 12160 kHz at 1725-1744 UTC in English with excellent signal. Religious preaching. Relog of station but new frequency.
  • WTWW in Lebanon, TN, USA, on 12105 kHz in French at 1745-1815 UTC. Excellent signal. Religious sermon. 100 kW. Relog but new frequency.
  • Tentative logging of Radio Free Asia at 2123 UTC on 11945 kHz in Chinese with fair signal broadcasting from Dushanbe-Orzu, Tajikistan. No ID heard. Fluttery signal typical of signal passing through auroral region so I presume it's from the other side of the planet. Short-wave.info lists R. Free Asia on here at this time in Chinese. That's the tentative ID.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cuba, France, and the USA

Today's loggings are of three shortwave broadcasters:
  • R. Havana Cuba from Havana on 11840 kHz at 0500 UTC in Spanish with a fair signal. Interval signal and ID on the hour. 250 kW.
  • Tentative logging of Radio France International on 11605 kHz, via relay at Meyerton, South Africa. Time: 0505-0535 UTC. Language: French, with France/Parisian accent. Very poor signal. No ID and no identifying information heard. Talk in French, usually too weak to copy. WRTH 2010 has RFI on here from Meyerton at 100 kW, and since the station sounded like RFI, I'm tentatively identifying it as such.
  • WEWN, Vandiver, AL, USA, on 11550 kHz at 1512-1518 UTC in Spanish. Very good signal. EWTN (Catholic) religious program with talk by two men. 250 kW.

Friday, 13 January 2012

CHU 14670 kHz

The January challenge continues with two utility stations logged today:
  • CHU, Ottawa, ON, Canada, on 14670 kHz at 1319 UTC in English and French. Standard time station. Weak but beeps on the seconds were clear and distinct.
  • Unidentified utility station in SITOR mode on 12966 kHz at 1325-1400 UTC. Weak to fair signal. I didn't try to decode it. I left the station on for half an hour hoping there would be a Morse code ID but there was none.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shannon VOLMET and WSL

For today, two utility loggings:
  • Shannon VOLMET in Shannon, Ireland, on 13264 kHz at 1305-1310 UTC, SSB in English. Aviation weather for the UK area. ID.
  • WSL in St. Augustine, FL, USA, on 13034 kHz at 1312 to 1345 UTC. SITOR-A and Morse code. Two SITOR-A stations heard here, one strong, one weak. No ID on strong one. Weak one was also sending Morse code Ids: "CQ de WSL". WSL is a station in the GLN Global Link Network. It provides HF data communications, including email (www.glnusa.net/?page-id=16)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Channel Africa

Heard today on 9955 kHz at 0610-0628 UTC: Channel Africa from Meyerton, South Africa. Fair to poor signal. In English with show "Africa Rise and Shine". News and current affairs. ID.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

6.3 MHz: Two Unidentified Digital Signals

Today's loggings are two digital stations for which I have no ID:
  • 6362 kHz at 0540 UTC: Digital traffic in a mode that sounded kind of like RTTY but different. Not able to decode it. Weak. 
  • 6352 kHz at 1230-1255 UTC: Very weak signal in SITOR mode. Decoding using MultiPSK and appeared to be sending three-letter groups (perhaps an ID?) but so weak it was probably just a jumble of errors. Occasional Morse code IDs but too weak to copy. Bits sounded something like "CK...DHL". 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Spain, China (via Albania), and Cuba

Three shortwave loggings for today:
  • R. Exterior de España on 13720 kHz at 1245-1257 UTC in Spanish with a fair to poor signal. Transmitting from Noblejas, Spain with 250 kW. Talk and ID, then off air at 1257.
  • China Radio International on 13665 kHz at 1257-1259 UTC in English with fair to good signal. Via relay site at Cerrik, Albania. 150 kW. Chinese language lesson, then off air on the hour.
  • R. Havana Cuba, from Havana, on 13670 kHz at 1259-1304 UTC. Fair to good signal. 250 kW. Spanish - talk, ID on hour, and then into news.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

HF-Fax on 17145 kHz

Received today on 17145 kHz: unidentified HF-Fax station transmitting weather information. I saw reports for the Gulf of Mexico and for the coast of Colombia. Time: 2040-2115 UTC. Signal was poor, and I didn't get an ID. I was also messing around trying to get the software to work properly (MultiPSK and WeFax) so I may have missed any IDs for that reason as well.

Radio Japan from Madagascar

At 2010-2030 UTC today I was hearing Radio Japan in French on 17650 kHz, transmitting from the relay station at Talata-Volonodry, Madagascar with a fair to good signal. Talk in French, with an ID in Japanese and English on the half hour, then off air. 250 kW.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

VOA on 17 Metres

There was a time when the Voice of America was one of the most prominent broadcasters on the shortwave bands. But years of service cuts have reduced its presence to the point where it is now unusual and noteworthy to stumble across it. That's why today's logging of something interesting is a logging of the VOA heard today at 1715-1732 UTC on 17655 kHz. Signal quality was poor. Programming consisted of talk in Portuguese with an ID on the half hour. Transmitting from Greenville, NC.

Friday, 6 January 2012

CRI 13865 kHz

Heard today: China Radio International transmitting from Kashi-Saibagh, Xinjiang, China on 13865 kHz in Mandarin at 1314-1330 UTC with fair to good signal. Slightly tentative because no ID heard, but programming format matches that of CRI and short-wave.info says that this is the only Chinese language station on this frequency. Off air at 1330.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Digital signal 13946 kHz

Unidentified station heard today on 13946 kHz. Radio was in SSB. Time: 1402-1404 UTC. Signal strength fair to good. Unidentified digital mode alternating between short and longer trills and chirps.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Shortwave Loggings for Jan 4, 2012

Logged on shortwave today:
  • R. Exterior de España, 9675 kHz at 0555-0600 UTC in Spanish from relay station at Cariari de Pococi, Costa Rica. Very good signal. Talk and pop music. ID and interval signal on the hour then off air. 100 kW.
  • 9310 kHz at 1245-1255 UTC. Very, very weak station heard – no program details, just a faint signal with occasional fragments of human speech. According to WRTH 2011 there are three stations on this frequency: (1) Family Radio from Kazakhstan, (2) VOA from Thailand, and (3) RFE/RL from Philippines. According to short-wave.info the only station on this frequency at this time is Family Radio in Filipino from Almaty-Nikolayevko, Kazakhstan. Since short-wave.info is pretty reliable, I'm very tentatively saying this is the Kazakhstan station.
  • 9350 kHz at 1300-131 UTC. Weak station with female announcer in unidentified language. Too weak to hear any identifying details. According to short-wave.info the only station on 9350 at this time is R. Free Asia in Tibetan from Tajikistan. ID is very, very tentative.
  • WTJC, Morehead City - Newport, NC, USA, on 9370 kHz at 1312-1318 UTC in English with fair to good signal. Religious - gospel program followed by music. Relog.
  • Radio Marti, Greenville, NC, USA, on 13820 kHz at 1430-1500 UTC in Spanish. To Cuba, 250 kW. Talk, music, ID on hour.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Voice of Turkey, 9700 kHz

Today's logging: Voice of Turkey (tentative) on 9700 kHz at 0545 to 0600 UTC with fair to good signal from transmitter site Emirler, Turkey. Turkish music and talk in Turkish. Is tentative because no ID heard but Voice of Turkey is scheduled to be on this frequency at this time in Turkish broadcasting with 500 kW, so most likely this is it.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Digital Traffic 11688 kHz

Unidentified utility station in unknown RTTY-like digital mode on 11688 kHz today. Logged from 1900 to 1941 UTC but actually on the air for hours on this frequency. No idea what it was - couldn't get Multipsk to decode it. Signal quality good.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Digital TV Loggings

I bought a new television a few days ago, but before I set it up today I decided to do one final scan for digital TV stations using the old TV and digital converter. No new stations turned up, but I did add, or rather re-add, several stations to the log. Analog TV broadcasting was shut down in Canada last August (except for in a few remote locations), but most of the local TV stations were broadcasting in both analog and digital for a few years already. Many of these stations were using temporary channel assignments for their digital signals, and when the analog transmitters went dark, they switched their digital signals to their permanent RF channels. Local CFTO, for example, channel 9, was actually broadcasting their digital signal on channel 40. But once the analog transmitter was shut off, they switched the digital signal to RF channel 9. So what I did today was log these stations on their new RF channels, and added them to the log. (In the logging system I've used since the dawn of time stations get re-logged when they change callsigns or operating frequency). Here are the updates to the log:

  • CFTO-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel: 9 (186 MHz). Digital channel 9-1. Time: 1744 UTC. CTV. 
  • CHCH-DT, Hamilton, ON. RF channel: 11 (198 MHz). Digital channel 11-1. Time: 1747 UTC.
  • CBLFT-DT, Toronto, ON. RF channel: 25 (536 MHz). Digital channel 25-1. Time: 1756 UTC. Radio-Canada, French.
  • CITS-HD, Hamilton, ON. RF channel 36 (602 MHz). Digital channel 36. Time: 1804 UTC. Religious.
  • CIII, Toronto, ON. RF channel 41 (632 MHz). Digital channels 41-1 and 41-2. Time 1806-1808 UTC. Global TV.
  • CFMT-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel 47 (668 MHz). Digital channel 47-1. Time: 1810 UTC. Omni 1.
  • CITY-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel 44 (650 MHz). Digital channel 57-1. Time: 1812 UTC. City TV.
  • CJMT-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel 51 (692 MHz).Digital channel 69-1. Time: 1814 UTC. Omni 2.

Challenge for January

For the month of January 2012 I'm setting myself the challenge of logging at least one interesting thing a day heard on the radio bands. Let's see what turns up.