14 January 2007

mediumwave logs, east coast, december 2006

Do you North American east-coasters have any idea how much easier mediumwave DX is for you? While there, I would often tune into a station and get a clear identification within 10 minutes. States along the east coast are smaller, so stations seemed to be from all over the place. In California, I can identify a mediumwave station 500 miles away, but it's still in California. Where's the fun in that?

I went to the east coast for the holidays last month, and my Eton E5 came along. Unfortunately, I grabbed the wrong set of rechargeable batteries, because they quit working after about an hour. "Batteries, don't fail me now!" I wrote, when I saw the battery meter drop down to two bars.

I was in northern New York, with my E5 running on fresh alkalines. I think the biggest weakness of the Eton E5 for mediumwave DX is that tuning off the main frequency dramatically increases the noise level. I am not sure what causes this; it could be IBOC sideband signals or just plain adjacent channel interference. Anyone have ideas about this?

Here are the highlights of my mediumwave DX attempts:

570: Strong english. "Isn't it about time you tried Viagra?" "We are news radio WSYR 570, Syracuse." (WSYR; Syracuse, NY; 5 kW)

580: "This is CFR news." Ottawa, strong english. (CFRA; Ottawa, ON, Canada; 50 kW day, 10 kW night)

600: Laura Bush's skin cancer. Joe Barbera (cartoonist) left us. Faint english. "Looking for something special for Christmas? How about a grand piano?" "You're listening to the big one - 600 WICZ." Uh, okay, I can't find a listing for this station at either fcc.gov or radio-locator.com . Connecticut has WICC, but it's a 1/0.5 kW station, so why would it identify as the big one? WICZ is the callsign of a television station.

610: "Eastern New Jersey." "Tailgate City USA." Address in NJ, "minutes from both bridges." "Sports radio 610, WIP." (WIP; Philadelphia, PA; 5 kW)

620: Strong english. Football. Cincinnati Bengals / ________ Colts. (Indianapolis Colts, in fact.) "Sports radio 620, WHEN Syracuse." (WHEN; Syracuse, NY; 5 kW day, 1 kW night)

640: "AM 640 (sir monta?) radio." Heard it four times but I didn't understand. Maybe "toronto radio?" (CFMJ; Toronto, ON, Canada; 50 kW)

660: Medium strength english. Football: Bengals / Colts. Fading. "Second and long." Seems to be east/west. "Monday night football on westwood one." "WFAN New York." (WFAN; New York, NY; 50 kW)

680: Sports. A commercial with a .ca website. "All news radio." Jumbled. Traffic on the 401. Toronto weather. "680 news." Top 5 albums of the week in Canada. (CFTR; Toronto, ON, Canada; 50 kW)

700: "700 WLW." (WLW; Cincinnati, OH; 50 kW). Well, that was easy.

720: Speaking to a Holocaust survivor who lost his parents but escaped with his sister to Holland. Station address: 435 North Michigan Avenue. 591-7200 (phone number). Signal is medium to faint. Evacuation at northern Illinois hospital. "Outbound Eisenhower is slow." "WGN forecast." "Weather voice of Chicago, WGN." (WGN; Chicago, IL; 50 kW)

740: Strong english. "AM 740." Don Franks, 'round midnight. Clock factory ad. 416 area code (Toronto). Christmas music from the 1930s. Nice jazz! "From Toronto, AM 740" ... "Welcome to the all-night jukebox." (CHWO; Toronto, ON, Canada; 50 kW)

750: Strong english. Muslims in Atlanta. Dressing up in full burqa and walking around in a mall to gauge reactions. "wsbradio.com." (WSB; Atlanta, GA; 50 kW)

760: Detroit. "News talk 760 WJI" (or WJR?) (WJR; Detroit, MI; 50 kW)

780: Strong english - religious. Advertising homes in Lake Geneva. Ad for Skokie/Highland Park. WBBM. "wbbm780.com." "Bears radio, news radio." Chicago? (WBBM; Chicago, IL; 50 kW)

790: Strong english. Christmas music. "790 WTNY mitten tree." (WTNY; Watertown, NY; 1 kW)

800: Medium-strength country music. "Q country." (CJBQ; Belleville, ON, Canada; 10 kW)

810: Medium-strength english. OJ book deal canceled. Boder patrol agents facing prison time, should get pardoned by President Bush. Rollie James show (sp?) with so many in-show commercials! She talked about a radio turntable, for "when you're DXing AM." Pajamagram.com, C.Crane, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Pepsi Arena. "810 WGY, Schenectady/Albany". (WGY; Schenectady, NY; 50 kW)

840: "84 WHAS." Fox news radio - Laura Bush had skin cancer tumor removed from shin. (WHAS; Louisville, KY; 50 kW)

870: Strong english. CBS news. Successful spacewalk to repair solar panels on the space station. Death of Barbera in Los Angeles. Fading. "Newstalk 870 WHCU." (WHCU; Ithaca, NY; 5 kW day, 1 kW night)

890: Medium-strength english. The jewelry exchange. Chicago weather at O'Hare. WLS. "WLS news." "Chicago's talk station." (WLS; Chicago, IL; 50 kW)

920: "AM 920 CKNX." Toronto hockey. Other stations are here too but CKNX is dominating the frequency. (CKNX; Wingham, ON, Canada; 10 kW day, 1 kW night)

930: "WBEN"-BCN,BZN? Weak-n-jumbled. (WBEN; Buffalo, NY; 5 kW)

940: "Every day on Montreal today." "The new 940 Montreal." Coast to Coast AM. Cool bumper music. Art Bell (is it a recording?) (CINW; Montreal, QC, Canada; 50 kW)

950: Strong english. "purplepages.com". "Winter in Central New York." Utica address in advertisement. Lars Larson. "Talk radio 950 WIES". I guess I got the callsign wrong. (WIBX; Utica, NY; 5 kW)

960: Strong clear english. Kingston mentioned in an ad. Hockey game at the Air Canada center. "They were good, we were horseshit." -- Paul Maurice, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. "oldies960.com". The Maple Leafs lost to the Florida Panthers. Saturn of Belleville advertisement. "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." "Oldies 960... AM 960 CFFX". (CFFX; Kingston, ON, Canada; 10 kW day, 5 kW night)

970: Faint. Loveline. "You know what a glory hole is?" (Possibly WZAN; not enough data to confirm.)

990: Sports. Medium strength; jumbled, fading. Allen Iverson is happy with the deal. "Sportscenter every 20 minutes. ESPN radio." (Possibly WTIG; CKGM. Thanks to Jon for suggesting CKGM.)

1000: English. Chicago team - ad. 708 areacode in ad. absolutepoker.net. "absolutepoker.net is not a gambling website." Oh, I see. They just let you download the poker app. Sports talk? Jim Rome? Yes. "Live from Southern California... Premier Radio Networks." T.O. fined $35k for spitting in someone's face. He admitted it after the game but later changed his story. Carmelo Anthony in trouble.

1010: "Newstalk 1010 CFRB." (CFRB; Toronto, ON, Canada; 50 kW)

1020: Strong english. "Matt Damon is a horrible guy." "1020 KDKA, the voice of Pittsburgh." Bill O'Reilly show. Yuck. CNN headlines. (KDKA; Pittsburgh, PA; 50 kW)

1030: Soft, clean english. 617 areacode. Should the first lady have any expectation of privacy? "He's next on WBG." (Actually, it's WBZ.) (WBZ; Boston, MA; 50 kW)

1060: English. "Join other Pennsylvania homeowners."- ad. "Delaware valley." "KYW news radio." (KYW; Philadelphia, PA; 50 kW)

1070: "Information radio, 1070 CHOK." (CHOK; Sarnia, ON, Canada; 10 kW)

1080: English, politics talk. "WTIC news talk 1080." Sean Hannity show. (WTIC; Hartford, CT; 50 kW)

1090: JT. Sports talk. CBS news. No sign of the 2 climbers on Mount Hood in Oregon. "AM 1090 WBAL Baltimore." (WBAL; Baltimore, MD; 50 kW)

1100: Strong english. George Noory? Yes it is. Doors, "Come on baby, light my fire." Italian dining in Macedonia. Ohio? WTAM.com. "WTAM 1100 Cleveland." (WTAM; Cleveland, OH; 50 kW)

1110: Strong english. Predicting Hilary will win. Neil Bort show of government outrage. "Newstalk 1110 WBT." WBT.com. (WBT; Charlotte, NC; 50 kW)

1130: Financial talk. Executive pay, Wall Street. Bloomberg rewind. Holland/Lincoln tunnel. GW bridge; traffic for NYC. "Five boroughs." "Bloomberg 1130." (WBBR; New York, NY; 50 kW)

1140: English, jumbled. "1140 WRVA forecast." WRVA.com. (WRVA; Richmond, VA; 50 kW)

1150: "1150 ?KOC." ... "CKOC." (CKOC; Hamilton, ON, Canada; 50 kW)

1170: Religious. "This is why people are not getting saved." "Radio bible hour...Jesus never fails." Midnight shift miners news. I've never heard this before! "Midnight shift...(place)...will work as scheduled." Mining bulletin board. "This is the big one - news radio 1170 WWVA." Does every AM station have to identify as "the big one"? (WWVA; Wheeling, WV; 50 kW)

1190: Religious. "WLIB." "1190 WLIB." (WLIB; New York, NY; 10 kW day, 30 kW night)

1210: English. Survey about pre-marital sex using government data. 45% of Americans had pre-marital sex. "Your tax dollars paid for the collection of data." "Here in Philadelphia on Big Talker 1210." Strong, clear signal. "The big talker 1210, WPHT." (WPHT; Philadelphia, PA; 50 kW)

1290: "News talk 1290 CJBK." (CJBK; London, ON, Canada; 10 kW)

1300: 702 areacode. Ronnie Duncan. "Cleveland's news talk 1300 WERE." (WERE; Cleveland, OH; 5 kW)

1320: Christmas jazz music. Also a french broadcast on the same frequency. "1320 WJAS Pittsburgh." CNN radio. (WJAS; Pittsburgh, PA; 5 kW)

1380: Taylor auto mall ad. Kingston. Memorial cup. "The limestone city." "1380 CKLC." (CKLC; Kingston, ON, Canada; 10 kW)

1500: Strong english. Massachusetts politician. Possible republican presidential candidates. "Right here on Washington Post radio." Jim Bohannon show. Light fading. "Washington Post radio ... 1500 AM." (WTWP; Washington, D.C.; 50 kW) <- there's your representation

1520: Southwest airlines. Green Bay Packers game. Strong signal. Same game (but with slight delay) on 1530 khz. This should be interesting. Packers vs. Vikings. 6-0 in the third. 8 penalties for Minnesota. Vikings go ahead 7-6 with a TD return on interception. Thursday night football on Westwood one. Still no station id... no id in over an hour is so lame! Got id finally. Packers win 9-7. "AM 1520 WWKB Buffalo ... Buffalo's left channel ... 50,000 watts." (WWKB; Buffalo, NY; 50 kW)

1530: Toyota dealer: Cincinnati/northern Kentucky. "1530 Homer, the sports animal." (WCKY; Cincinnati, OH; 50 kW)

1560: Strong music station. Odd christmas song - hiphop style. Radio Disney. (WQEW; New York, NY; 50 kW)

1650: Old Navy commercial. Radio Disney? (WHKT; Portsmouth, VA; 10 kW day, 1 kW night)


Stations identified: 48

States/districts/provinces logged: 16
* Connecticut
* District of Columbia
* Georgia
* Illinois
* Kentucky
* Massachusetts
* Maryland
* Michigan
* North Carolina
* New York
* Ohio
* Pennsylvania
* Virginia
* West Virginia
* Ontario
* Quebec

Locations of furthest stations, with distance estimates:
* Atlanta, Georgia (900 miles)
* Charlotte, North Carolina (700 miles)
* Cincinnati, Ohio (600 miles)
* Chicago, Illinois (700 miles)
* Louisville, Kentucky (700 miles)
* Richmond, Virginia (500 miles)


wholesomedick said...

How did loveline get on shortwave?

weatherall said...

This is an article about mediumwave, not shortwave.

lars said...

thanks for listening.
Lars Larson

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts - still in California you can get diverse enough areas, even if those in those small eastern states don't recognize it (how different is Connecticut from Rhode Island, really?). Southern California is almost a different country compared to the SF Bay area.

As for WICC - apparently *it* is called "The Big One" - check out this blog which mentions it a few times (be aware, it's a bit politically charged): http://radioequalizer.blogspot.com/2006/12/liberal-talk-radio-madison.html

E Pluribus Unum

weatherall said...

Mark: I share your California views!

Thanks for the blog link about WICC. That sounds like quite a unique station. I'll try to get a positive ID on it during my next east coast trip.

Anonymous said...

AM640 goes through more names and formats than one can remember. They used to be called MOJO.

680 News is the #1 all news station in Toronto.

AM740 is basically oldies with a huge coverage area. They can be listened to at www.am740.ca

AM920...not to sure about this one. Many AM stations do a simulcast when the Leafs are playing. If you say you picked up Sarnia, then Wingham is a possibility...a slight one.

1010 CFRB. Possibly the most listened to AM station in Ontario. Their coverage is vast as well. Also available over the net.

1150 CKOC has been around for ages. Plays nothing but oldies. Located in Hamilton.

I'm surprised you didn't get AM550 from Buffalo. It's all-sports radio and pretty good coverage.

weatherall said...

Thanks. Hmmm, 550 wasn't anywhere in my logs. I will try to get it next time. Buffalo was definitely in range.

Anonymous said...

good work! Working on my MW logs now. Sure they wont be that differenet than yours.

JB said...

You've inspired me to get my latest bandscan together... which got me to start a radio blog of my own. You can find it here.

Ben said...

From your description, 920am is definitely CKNX from Wingham. I can get it here in Delaware. Ontario stations can be tricky in the winter, as they will all simulcast 640am Leafs coverage.

weatherall said...

I appreciate the confirmation of CKNX, and it's cool to know that you can pick it up in Delaware!