30 April 2006

mediumwave logs, april 2006

I recently purchased a red Tecsun BCL-2000, which is the Chinese version of the Grundig S350. Although it receives part of the shortwave spectrum, it earns its keep for its strength in AM and FM reception.

Here's my list of received mediumwave stations with the BCL-2000. Frequencies above 1640 khz were received with my SW7600GR because the BCL-2000 doesn't reach that high. I used the radios themselves without additional antennas.

First I identified stations by contents and best-guesses with some FCC lookups. Then I confirmed the stations on subsequent receptions by listening for IDs and call letters.

There's more I could do, but identifications were becoming harder and harder. And I want to put this project to rest for now!

I verified 89 stations during April 2006:

560 khz: KSFO 560 Talk Radio (San Francisco, California; 5 kW)
580 khz: KMJ (Fresno, California; 50 kW)
590 khz: KUGN (Eugene, Oregon; 5 kW)
600 khz: KOGO News Radio 600 (San Diego, California; 5 kW)
610 khz: KEAR Family Radio (Berkeley, California; 5 kW)
630 khz: KIDD Magic 63 (Monterey, California; 1 kW)
640 khz: KFI More Stimulating Talk Radio (Los Angeles, California; 50 kW)
650 khz: KSTE Talk 650 (Rancho Cordova, California; 21.4 kW daytime, 0.92 kW nighttime)
660 khz: KTNN The Voice of the Navajo Nation (Window Rock, Arizona; 50 kW)
680 khz: KNBR 680 The Sports Leader (San Francisco, California; 50 kW)
690 khz: CBU: CBC Radio One (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 50 kW)
710 khz: KFIA (Sacramento, California; 25 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime)
720 khz: KDWN (Las Vegas, NV; 50kW)
740 khz: KCBS All News 740 (San Francisco, California; 50 kW)
750 khz: KOAL (Price, Utah; 10 kW daytime, 6.8 kW nighttime)
750 khz: KXL Newsradio (Portland, Oregon; 50 kW daytime, 20 kW nighttime)
760 khz: KFMB (San Diego, California; 5 kW daytime, 50 kW nighttime)
770 khz: KKOB News Radio (Albuquerque, New Mexico; 50 kW)
770 khz: KTTH Newsradio 770 (Seattle, Washington; 50 kW daytime, 5 kW nighttime)
770 khz: KCBC (Riverbank, California; 50 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime)
780 khz: KKOH News Talk (Reno, Nevada; 50 kW)
790 khz: KABC Talk Radio (Los Angeles, California; 5 kW)
810 khz: KGO News Talk (San Francisco, California; 50 kW)
830 khz: KNCO News Talk (Grass Valley, California; 5 kW)
840 khz: KXNT (Las Vegas, Nevada; 50 kW daytime, 25 kW nighttime)
840 khz: WBEX (local traffic advisory transmitter) (Belvedere, California; ???)
850 khz: KOA Newsradio (Denver, Colorado; 50 kW)
860 khz: KTRB (Modesto, California; 50 kW) [Update, 04 Nov 2006, from ktrb860.com: "KTRB is silent after 73 years serving Modesto. We're moving to San Francisco. Now under construction."]
870 khz: WWL (New Orleans, Louisiana; 50 kW)
870 khz: KRLA News Talk 870 (Glendale, California; 20 kW daytime, 3 kW nighttime)
880 khz: KKMC (Salinas, California; 10 kW)
890 khz: KDXU (St. George, Utah; 10 kW)
910 khz: KNEW Talk 910 (Oakland, California; 20 kW daytime, 5 kW nighttime)
920 khz: KIHM Immaculate Heart Radio (Reno, Nevada; 4.6 kW daytime, 0.85 kW nighttime)
940 khz: KWRU (Fresno, California; 50 kW)
950 khz: KAHI (Auburn, California; 5 kW)
960 khz: KQKE The Quake (Oakland, California; 5 kW)
980 khz: KFWB (Los Angeles, California; 5 kW)
990 khz: KTMS (Santa Barbara, California; 5 kW)
990 khz: KATD (Pittsburg, California; 5 kW)
1000 khz: KOMO 1000 (Seattle, Washington; 50 kW)
1010 khz: KIQI (San Francisco, California; kW) - spanish [Update, 04 Nov 2006: Radio Unica]
1030 khz: KTWO (Casper, Wyoming; 50 kW)
1050 khz: KTCT 1050 The Sports Leader (San Francisco, California; 50 kW)
1070 khz: KNX news radio (Los Angeles, California; 50 kW)
1080 khz: KSCO Talk Back Radio (Santa Cruz, California; 10 kW daytime, 5 kW nighttime)
1090 khz: XEPRS XX Sports Radio (Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico; 50 kW)
1100 khz: KFAX (San Francisco, California; 50 kW) <-- 1090="" 1110="" and="" both="" br="" interfere="" losers="" with="">1120 khz: KZSJ (San Martin, California; 5 kW daytime, 0.15 kW nighttime)
1120 khz: KPNW (Eugene, Oregon; 50 kW)
1130 khz: KRDU (Dinuba, California; 5 kW daytime, 6.2 kW nighttime)
1140 khz: KHTK Sports 1140 (Sacramento, California; 50 kW)
1150 khz: KTLK Progressive Talk (Los Angeles, California; 50 kW daytime, 44 kW nighttime)
1160 khz: KSL Newsradio (Salt Lake City, Utah; 50 kW)
1170 khz: KLOK (San Jose, California; 50 kW daytime, 5 kW nighttime)
1180 khz: KERI (Bakersfield, California; 50 kW daytime, 10 kW nighttime)
1190 khz: KEX NewsRadio (Portland, Oregon; 50 kW)
1190 khz: KDYA Gospel 1190 AM The Light (Vallejo, California; 1 kW daytime)
1200 khz: KYAA Radio Humsafar (Soquel, California; 25 kW daytime, 10 kW nighttime)
1220 khz: KNTS (Palo Alto, California; 50 kW)
1230 khz: KWG (Stockton, California; 0.9 kW)
1240 khz: KSON (San Diego, California; 1 kW)
1260 khz: KOIT (San Francisco, California; 5 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime) (also on FM: 96.5 MHz)
1270 khz: KBZZ The Buzz (Sparks, Nevada; 13 kW daytime, 5 kW nighttime)
1280 khz: KXTK ESPN Radio (Arroyo Grande, California; 10 kW daytime, 2.5 kW nighttime)
1290 khz: KAZA (Gilroy, California; 5 kW daytime (0.088 kW nighttime plan))
1310 khz: KMKY Radio Disney (Oakland, California; 5 kW)
1340 khz: KEWE (Oroville, California; 1 kW)
1350 khz: KSRO Newstalk 1350 (Santa Rosa, California; 5 kW)
1360 khz: KFIV News Talk 1360 (Modesto, California; 5 kW)
1370 khz: KZSF (San Jose, California; 5 kW)
1400 khz: KVTO Voice of the Orient (Berkeley, California; 1 kW)
1410 khz: KERN (Bakersfield, California; 1 kW)
1430 khz: KFIG ESPN Radio (Fresno, California; 5 kW)
1440 khz: KVON (Napa, California; 5 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime)
1450 khz: KEST (San Francisco, California; 1 kW)
1480 khz: KYOS (Merced, California; 5 kW)
1480 khz: KGOE (Eureka, California; 5 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime)
1490 khz: KTOB (Petaluma, California; 1 kW)
1500 khz: KSJX (San Jose, California; 10 kW daytime, 5 kW nighttime)
1510 khz: KPIG (Piedmont, California; 8 kW daytime, 0.23 kW nighttime)
1530 khz: KFBK Fox News Radio (Sacramento, California; 50 kW)
1540 khz: KMPC The Ticket (Los Angeles, California; 50 kW)
1550 khz: KYCY (San Francisco, California; 10 kW)
1560 khz: KNZR The Voice of Bakersfield (Bakersfield, California; 25 kW daytime, 10 kW nighttime)
1590 khz: KLIV (San Jose, California; 5 kW)
1600 khz: KUBA (Yuba City, California; 5 kW daytime, 2.5 kW nighttime)
1640 khz: KDIA (Vallejo, California; 10 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime)
1700 khz: XEPE Cash 1700 (Tecate, Baja California, Mexico; xx kW)

Here are the approximate distances to logged stations that are more than 250 miles from my listening location in San Francisco, California:
* Albuquerque, New Mexico: 900 miles
* Casper, Wyoming: 900 miles
* Denver, Colorado: 1000 miles
* Los Angeles, California: 400 miles
* New Orleans, Louisiana: 1500 miles
* Portland, Oregon: 600 miles
* Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico: 500 miles
* San Diego, California: 500 miles
* Seattle, Washington: 750 miles
* St. George, Utah: 500 miles
* Tecate, Baja California, Mexico: 500 miles
* Vancouver, BC, Canada: 800 miles
* Window Rock, Arizona: 700 miles

29 April 2006

e5 replacement adapter delay

Here's what's going on with my quest to get a replacement Eton E5 power adapter that doesn't introduce interference:

I wrote to Eton directly to tell them about the problem I had with my E5 adapter. I described where and when I bought the radio, and how the adapter introduced interference but the batteries did not. I have not yet heard back.

Then I wrote to Universal Radio, who sold me my E5. I told them the same thing about the adapter problem. They wrote back a couple days later to tell me that they contacted Eton about the problem. But Eton hasn't responded to Universal Radio either.

So we wait, even for acknowledgement.

Passband receiver news is a good place to watch for news on this issue.

23 April 2006

mediumwave identification tips

Hearing a station identification or unique slogan over the air is the only good way to confirm a station reception. Some stations might verify reception reports, but this is time-consuming, and it is better to be certain of your results before submitting them for confirmation.

In one recent case, i was pretty sure I identified a particular broadcaster after looking up possible stations for the frequency. Then the frequency that was announced was not the frequency shown on the tuner readout. This was an image signal due to the single-conversion design of the BCL-2000.

While tuning in mediumwave stations and trying to obtain station identification, I found several tools and methods to be quite valuable for determining the probable id:

* Check affiliate station lists for nationally-syndicated radio shows. Programs such as Coast to Coast AM are broadcast on a number of frequencies across the country. Thankfully, the Coast to Coast AM website lists all of their affiliate stations. So when I hear this show on a frequency, I check the affiliate station list and try to match the frequency to its sender.

* The FCC AM Radio Database Query page allows lookups with parameters such as city, state, callsign, and frequency.

* The Find Radio Stations site performs searches based on city, zipcode, callsign, and frequency. This site's pages often turn up in Google search results for broadcast frequencies.

Some stations that are hard for me to identify are broadcasting in languages other than english. Sometimes they will broadcast an english station identification on the hour, or sometimes they will announce their station's nickname (e.g. Oakland's Best Japanese Radio) in English.

When receiving a signal that I can't identify, I track these reference points in my log:
* frequency
* approximate time of day (AM stations in the United States sometimes have different licensing conditions for transmission power during the daytime and during the nighttime)
* type of content
* language
* the approximate direction the radio is facing (weak and distant AM signals tend to be directional in relation to the internal ferrite bar)

By the way, I would like your advice on tracking down stations believed to be in Mexico. Is there a good way to look up the callsign, website address, transmission strength, etc?

20 April 2006

tiny update

Hi everybody. I haven't been doing much shortwave reception this month. I'm still working on verification of my mediumwave station logs, which is getting harder now that I'm down to the weak stations and the spanish stations.

A Sangean ATS-505P was going for a decent price on eBay so I bought it. It's larger than I realized, and the buttons have that spongy feeling that I experienced on the Grundig YB-400PE / G4000A. The tuning knob has a nice smooth action, not the kind of chunky action found on radios like the Tecsun PL-200 and PL-350. The speaker is a bit hissy but it seems to have good range into the lower frequencies. I'm still feeling my way around and trying to decide if I want to keep it.

So, what have you been up to lately?

17 April 2006

keeping in touch

Mitchell K posted on rec.radio.shortwave about a Kchibo radio that appears in the Sharper Image catalog. Here's part of the product description:

"Receives shortwave frequencies from 5.90-17.55 MHz so you can keep in touch with news, weather, sports and propaganda from around the globe."

15 April 2006

the end of "pop joins the world" (recording)

I was listening to Radio Japan (02 April 2006 ~ 0100 UTC), and their musical show called "Pop joins the world" aired. They announced that it would be the last episode of the show, so I recorded what I could. Here it is:

radio_japan-pop_joins_the_world-last_show.mp3 (6.6 mb, 28 mins)

Please let me know if you come across a complete recording of this episode, because I liked the songs at the beginning of the show.

13 April 2006

cq contest recording (ham radio)

One afternoon on a recent weekend, I checked out the daytime ham radio channels with my Eton E5. I heard something bizarre so I recorded it:

cq_contest_ve6jy_14160_khz_ssb.mp3 - 3 min 23 sec, 800kb

"CQ contest. Victor Echo 6 Japan Yankee." I looked up VE6JY on QRZ.com and obtained an email address. He responded to my email, and told me that he and a guest operator were participating in the CQ magazine WPX contest. The transmitter is near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. With a distance of approximately 1500 miles from my listening location, this is the farthest confirmed ham radio reception I've had.

10 April 2006

shortwave summary: apr 2006 (part 1)

I've been doing mediumwave DXing recently with my BCL-2000, so I am publishing this set of reception reports although it is shorter than usual. This month I'm giving my Eton E5 a break in order to get more use out of my Sony ICF SW7600GR and my Kaito KA1102.

* Radio Japan
* Radio Taiwan International
* Radio Thailand
* Radio Netherlands

* 02 Apr 2006, 0108 UTC, 17825 khz (Radio Japan): A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the eastern coast of Taiwan. 80% of respondents to a survey are concerned about Japan's declining birth rate. Couples have fears of the financial burden and the lack of workplace child care. Pop joins the world show - the final edition! Song: "Backseat baby." Sounds a lot like current pop music; derivative. Male announcer is from Canada. Next song: "Psycho analysis." "The fifth door." Cool rhythm but there's a repetitive melody. "Tobiko," "Golden lady." Yoshida brothers, banjo-like instrument. "Cuddle." The final song is titled "Two four six." The announcers said "life goes on! Everything must pass. It is time to say goodbye one last time." "From NHK studios in Tokyo, Japan."

* 0200 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan International): Taiwan has rejected China's offer of giant pandas. It was considered a propaganda ploy. Taiwan may accept China's offer to join the 2008 Olympic torch relay. China wants to see the torch go through Taiwan, "which China claims but does not control." The UN is abandoning the use of traditional Chinese characters in 2008, and will switch to Beijing's simplified script. China joined the UN in 1971 and has promoted the simplified character set. Taiwanese are more familiar with the traditional character set. I was aware that there were character sets known as traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese, but I didn't previously know the tensions involved. The station is running a "world's tallest building" contest. "You need to stay abreast of news in Asia." Oddly, I don't remember hearing about the earthquake in this broadcast. Maybe these shows are recorded more in advance than Japan's. The schedule for North America was given as: 0200-0300 UTC and 0300-0400 UTC on 9680khz and 5950khz; 0700-0800 UTC on 5950 khz.

* 0303 UTC, 5890 khz (Radio Thailand): Announcer is describing the appearance of the new ballots. Released today; forgery would be difficult. It is also difficult to forecast the election outcome. Some areas only have one candidate; the candidate only needs 20% of the votes to win. There has been an 80% increase in bus trips so people can return home and vote. Police will assist with transportation of the ballot boxes from remote areas. Transportation "mega projects" can continue under the new government. 10 electric rail lines. Jewelry industry is a main revenue source for Thailand. Growth of 20% is expected this year. Jewelry manufacturers are striving to improve quality. "Voting makes you one of the decision-makers." "It is your duty as a Thai citizen to cast your vote."

* 05 Apr 2006, 0400 UTC, 6165 khz (Radio Netherlands): "From Hilversum in Holland, this is Radio Netherlands." Relayed from Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Thailand PM bowed to pressure and stepped down. He won the election but failed to ease tensions. Demonstrations had an effect on his decision. He said it was in respect for the king that he stepped down. It's fun with shortwave listening to be able to follow the same story across different stations, with different viewpoints. Corruption is the biggest threat to the single-party system in Vietnam. Italy holding parliamentary elections on Sunday. The second of two televised debates focused on the economy. 80% of Italians own the house in which they live. Berlusconi proposed a new tax break. He's trying to get his voters from the last election to support him again. There are strikes across France due to new labor law which allows easier hiring and firing of younger workers. "The government makes a decision, announces it, and sees what happens." The Dutch try to come to a consensus first. Kenya might join Operation Enduring Freedom, the USA's campaign against terror. A member of a maritime organization was quoted, but his speech was very hard to understand due to incoherent speaking and a difficult accent. I think his name was Commadore Hank Boyt.

The Dutch Prime Minister is in Australia for trade talks. Australians like straightforward talk; don't like bragging. Dutch persons living in Australia are returning to their original language. Money laundering can benefit the economy. Legal authorities repeatedly blunder wiretaps. Police just don't understand modern technology. Sometimes victims are wiretapped instead of the perpetrators. This seems wrong given how many people understand such technology. Sounds like the police just can't get their help.

EuroQuest: The Eiffel Tower will be disassembled and reassembled inside EuroDisney. (April Fools' joke!) Nigerian scammers collect 1.5 billion euros per year. Scammers sometimes rent an office, decorate it like a bank, and get people to act like they work at the bank. This is a show to reinforce the scam, and the victim is fooled into thinking it is a legitimate deal. The Nigerians are proud of their accomplishments with this scam. Bulgaria seeks EU membership. EU is demanding the arrest of top organized criminals in Bulgaria. The EuroQuest EuroBlog was announced, and a podcast is also available.

Fashion designer named Vivienne Westwood - punk, famous, weird fashion designer. She reacts against "anything orthodox." British. She worked with Malcolm McLaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols. "Political clothing." Historical references were incorporated into her work. Designs exaggerate the female shape. Someone said "it's art, in a way." Westwood sayd that clothing can change the way people think. She's now 64 years old. She hasn't sold out to the establishment. She practices "active resistance" to propaganda. "You get out what you put in. You live an idiot, you die an idiot." I always appreciate the depth of coverage and the cultural stories available on Radio Netherlands.

08 April 2006

radio republica, jammed by cuba

On 26 Feb 2006 at 0035 UTC, I located a broadcast on 7205 khz. It was in Spanish, and I heard the familiar running-water sound of a jamming signal. This sounded like my previous receptions of Radio Marti. I checked the Radio Marti frequencies list, and didn't find 7205 khz listed but I found 7405 khz there. So I posted to rec.radio.shortwave to ask about this signal.

dxAce from Michigan replied: "Radio Republica, a clandestine broadcast to Cuba, has been using that frequency in the past few weeks".

Here's a page about Radio Republica on clandestineradio.com:
* http://www.clandestineradio.com/intel/station.php?id=50&stn=742

Here's the Radio Republica website:
* http://radiorepublica.org/

Are any of you fluent in Spanish and able to receive Radio Republica clearly? I'm interested in the kinds of information they are broadcasting.

05 April 2006

noisy eton e5 power adapters

Harry, K9HDT, posted a message in the Eton E5 Yahoo group about his E5's power adapter. He said that his adapter was causing interference and adding noise to the audio. After contacting Eton, he was offered a replacement adapter.

I located my E5 adapter and plugged it in to test it. In the shortwave band, my E5 has a much higher noise level compared to running on battery power. No problem was observed with the mediumwave or FM bands.

I asked Harry a couple questions about his conversation with Eton. After he replies, I will also contact Eton to request a replacement adapter. Other E5 owners can comment here or in the Yahoo group if they experience the problem.

04 April 2006

bpl implications for shortwave listeners

Radiointel.com does a great job of posting BPL / PLC (broadband over power lines / power line communication) news articles. The news stories often mention ARRL complaints to the FCC regarding radio interference caused by BPL systems, and non-compliance with FCC regulations by a BPL system operator.

Ham radio operators and organizations file complaints regarding interference, and hopefully obtain results. For BPL systems, this involves notching out the frequencies where interference is disrupting a radio service. Notched-out frequency ranges reduce the available bandwidth for the BPL system, so BPL operators are likely to resist or ignore such demands. Ham radio operators are fortunate to have the ARRL to act as its voice in these matters. Shortwave listeners do not have the same form of representation.

Here is an ARRL article discussing the BPL issue in depth, with plenty of useful links:
Broadband over Power Line (BPL) and Amateur Radio

Here's the official BPL interference resolution website:

Here's some more BPL interference information provided by the ARRL:
BPL database and interference information

Shortwave listeners need to be aware of these issues and determine how to respond in the face of HF spectrum interference.

overpriced sangean ats-505p on ebay

eBay auction 4624981337

What's this, you ask? It's a Sangean ATS-505P for US$499.00 plus shipping!

A quick search on Froogle suggests that this Sangean model can be had for under US$100.

02 April 2006

cuba television dx

Here are some cool freeze frames of Cuban television, including a TV Marti logo:

Christopher S. Dunne's Cuba TV DX