24 September 2013

help id this 1570 khz station

Can anyone listen to this recording of a top-of-the-hour station identification on 1570 kHz? I think I know what it is, but I won't bias you by revealing that upfront.

The recording is not pleasant to listen to due to the weak reception and static. I used a lowpass filter to make it somewhat more tolerable. Anyway, have a listen and let me know what you think.

1570 kHz recording on soundcloud

1570 kHz, recorded in San Francisco from my Eton E5, Sep 24 2013 at 11pm.

[Update, 2013-10-18: "KGTE. 1570, 1570, Salinas California, Salinas California"]

19 September 2013

mediumwave logs, sep 2011 - mar 2012

Around autumn 2011, I began another batch of mediumwave DX logs with my Eton E5. I was also hanging out on an irc channel for mediumwave DXers, and I got helpful reception and identification tips from others. Apparently I sat on these logs for quite a long time, so I thought I would finally publish it.

Challenges: AM HD/IBOC, ESPN Radio, Fox. IBOC causes overwhelming static on both adjacent channels, really putting a damper on DXing those frequencies. ESPN Radio and Fox don't like to give out their callsigns. To them, the brand is important and the callsign is not. When sports stations are broadcasting games, they have short breaks during the game for station identification, but these happen at irregular times (not always at :00 or :30).

Identified stations:

530: WPUV620 (San Mateo, CA) -- 10 miles
540: CBK - CBC Radio One (Watrous, Saskatchewan, Canada) -- 50 kW
550: KOAC (Corvallis, OR) -- Oregon Public Broadcasting
560: KSFO (San Francisco, CA)
580: KMJ (Fresno, CA) -- 50 kW
590: KUGN (Eugene, OR)
600: KOGO News Radio 600 (San Diego, CA)
610: KEAR (Berkeley, CA)
620: KPOJ (Portland, OR) -- 25 kW day, 10 kW night
620: KTAR (Phoenix, AZ) -- 5 kW - ESPN Radio
630: KIDD (Monterey, CA) -- ESPN Radio
630: KPLY (Reno, NV) -- Fox Sports
640: KFI (Los Angeles, CA)
650: KSTE (Rancho Cordova, CA)
660: KTNN (Window Rock, AZ) -- 50 kW
660: KWVE (Bakersfield, CA)
670: KBOI (Boise, ID) -- 50 kW
680: KNBR (San Francisco, CA) -- 50 kW
690: CBU - CBC Radio One (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
690: XEWW (Tijuana, BN, Mexico) -- 50 kW night (english ident at top of hour)
710: KFIA (Sacramento, CA)
720: KDWN (Las Vegas, NV) -- 50 kW
740: KCBS (San Francisco, CA) -- 50 kW
760: KFMB (San Diego, CA) -- 50 kW
770: KCBC (Manteca, CA)
770: KKOB News Radio (Albuquerque, NM) -- 50 kW
780: KKOH News Talk (Reno, NV) -- 50 kW
790: KABC (Los Angeles, CA)
790: KFPT (Clovis, CA) -- ESPN Radio
810: KGO (San Francisco, CA) -- 50 kW
830: KNCO News Talk (Grass Valley, CA)
840: KMPH (Modesto, CA) - Bernal Radio
840: WPEX988 roadside transmitter (Belvedere, CA) -- 10w TIS - 8 miles
850: KOA (Denver, CO) -- 50 kW
860: KTRB (San Francisco, CA) - Spanish
870: KRLA (Glendale, CA)
870: WWL (New Orleans, LA) -- 50 kW
880: KKMC (Arroyo Grande, CA)
890: KDXU (St. George, UT)
900: CKMO (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
910: KNEW (Oakland, CA)
920: KXLY (Spokane, WA)
920: KVIN (Ceres, CA)
930: KAGI (Grants Pass, OR) -- Jefferson Public Radio; 5 kW day; 0.123 kW night
940: KYNO (Fresno, CA) -- 50 kW
950: KAHI (Auburn, CA)
950: XEKAM (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) -- "eckees e kahm"
960: KKGN (Oakland, CA)
980: KFWB (Los Angeles, CA)
990: KATD (Pittsburg, CA) - Spanish
1000: KOMO (Seattle, WA) -- 50 kW
1010: KIQI (San Francisco, CA) - Spanish
1030: KTWO (Casper, WY) -- 50 kW
1050: KTCT (San Mateo, CA)
1070: KNX (Los Angeles, CA) -- 50 kW
1090: XEPRS (Rosarito, BN, Mexico) -- 50 kW
1100: KFAX (San Francisco, CA)
1110: KBND (Bend, OR)
1120: KPNW (Eugene, OR) -- 50 kW
1120: KZSJ (San Martin, CA) - Asian language
1130: KRDU (Dinuba, CA)
1140: KHTK (Sacramento, CA) -- 50 kW
1150: KTLK (Los Angeles, CA)
1160: KSL Newsradio (Salt Lake City, UT) -- 50 kW
1170: KLOK (San Jose, CA) -- Pravasvani
1180: KERN (Bakersfield, CA)
1190: KDYA Gospel Flashback (Vallejo, CA)
1190: KEX (Portland, OR) -- 50 kW day; 5 kW night
1200: KYAA (Soquel, CA) - was humsafar, now oldies
1200: WOAI (San Antonio, TX) -- 50 kW
1220: KDOW (Palo Alto, CA)
1230: KGEO (Bakersfield, CA)
1240: KSMX (Santa Maria, CA)
1260: KSFB (San Francisco, CA)
1270: KBZZ The Buzz (Sparks, NV)
1280: KWSX (Stockton, CA)
1280: KXTK (Arroyo Grande, CA)
1290: KAZA (Gilroy, CA)
1310: KMKY (Oakland, CA)
1320: KCTC (Sacramento, CA) -- ESPN Radio
1330: KJPR (Shasta Lake City, CA) -- 1 kW; Jefferson Public Radio; BBC World Service relay at night
1330: KWKW (Los Angeles, CA)
1350: KSRO (Santa Rosa, CA)
1370: KZSF (San Jose, CA) - Spanish
1380: KTKZ (Sacramento, CA)
1400: KVTO (Berkeley, CA)
1410: KERI (Bakersfield, CA)
1430: KYKN (Keizer, OR)
1440: KVON (Napa, CA)
1450: KEST (San Francisco, CA)
1460: KION (Salinas, CA)
1470: KIID (Sacramento, CA) -- Radio Disney
1470: XERCN (Tijuana, BN, Mexico) -- identified by matching radio reception with online stream
1490: KTOB (Petaluma, CA) -- Spanish; ident was in spanish
1500: KSJX (San Jose, CA) -- Asian language
1510: KSFN (Piedmont, CA) (formerly KPIG)
1520: KVTA (Port Hueneme, CA)
1530: KFBK (Sacramento, CA)
1540: KMPC (Los Angeles, CA)
1550: KZDG (San Francisco, CA) - Radio Zindagi
1560: KNZR The Voice of Bakersfield (Bakersfield, CA)
1580: KBLA (Santa Monica, CA) -- 50 kW
1590: KLIV (San Jose, CA)
1600: KUBA (Yuba City, CA)
1640: KDIA (Vallejo, CA)
1650: KFOX (Torrance, CA) -- 490w at night
1660: KTIQ (Merced, CA) -- 10 kW day, 1 kW night
1670: KNRO (Redding, CA)
1680: KGED (Fresno, CA)
1700: WPTZ516 (Oakland, CA) oakland intl. TIS -- 11 miles
1700: XEPE (Tijuana, BN, Mexico) -- 10 kW

Total: 111

States/provinces logged:

• Arizona
• California
• Colorado
• Idaho
• Louisiana
• Nevada
• New Mexico
• Oregon
• Texas
• Utah
• Washington
• Wyoming
• British Columbia, Canada
• Saskatchewan, Canada
• Baja California, Mexico

Distant receptions (500+ miles):

• Boise, ID (520 miles)
• Portland, OR (540 miles)
• Salt Lake City, UT (600 miles)
• Phoenix, AZ (650 miles)
• Seattle, WA (680 miles)
• Spokane, WA (735 miles)
• Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (750 miles)
• Window Rock, AZ (750 miles)
• Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico (790 miles)
• Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (800 miles)
• Albuquerque, NM (900 miles)
• Casper, WY (915 miles)
• Denver, CO (950 miles)
• Watrous, Saskatchewan, Canada (1250 miles)
• San Antonio, TX (1500 miles)
• New Orleans, LA (1900 miles)

One of my absolute favorite discoveries during this project was the brilliant hour-long "Quirks and Quarks" show on CBC Radio One. The episode I heard contained several interesting segments on various scientific topics. It was so refreshing after hearing hours upon hours of political, conspiracy, sports, and infomercial broadcasts from the all-too-typical United States stations.

Quotes, excerpts, and oddities:

• "You look pretty!" "Thank you! You look pretty too!" (Two female announcers on 1170 KLOK)
• Invitation to a "peaceful, weekly meeting" at an abortion clinic in Mountain View, CA.
• "If it looks good, worship it!"
• "I became sexually impotent."
• "You know what I'm gonna play right now? You're young enough to know this one."
• "Panzy pundits and politicians!"
• "I have worms on all kinds of flowers."
• "Satan's business is in the realm of the spiritual!"
• KAZA 1290 briefly aired the sound of a phone off the hook.
• "The discarded cello was indeed old."
• "Uhhhh Ohhhhhh Ahhhhhhh Ooooooo Eeeeeeeee!" (Chanting on an Asian language station)
• "What are all those pockets on your jacket, Jay?" "Emergency snack compartments."
• "We are honored to be on this flamethrower of a station!"
• "Everybody kisses his ass. He has the cleanest ass in baseball, this Tony La Russa."
• "There's nothing wrong with the south, but they screwed up Italian food."
• 08 Oct 2011, 11pm PDT; KSTE missing from 650 kHz
• 08 Oct 2011, 11pm PDT; KMKY (1310 kHz) HD seems to be off; country music audible on 1300 kHz


• Eton E5
• Kaito AN-200 passive loop antenna
• Kaito KA1103

15 September 2013

w6cx repeater affected by fire

A wildfire recently struck Mount Diablo in the San Francisco bay area. I heard an activation of the emergency alert system on a local AM station to announce an evacuation order. I followed the news to learn how the community was affected and how much of the fire was contained. I was also curious about the status of W6CX, a two-meter repeater owned by the Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club.

At first, the repeater was operating normally. I heard at one point that the regular power supply was interrupted, but a backup power supply was available. I'd be curious to find out how much downtime the repeater had during this emergency.

Operators using the repeater mentioned that the Salvation Army and possibly other organizations were using the repeater to coordinate emergency activities. They stated that repeater traffic should be minimized to keep the service available for emergency purposes. On Sunday September 8, two nets that would've been held on the repeater were affected: one net was cancelled, and another was moved to a simplex frequency.

Fortunately, the Mount Diablo / Morgan fire is now 100% contained. I hope that the community can get back to normal soon.

09 September 2013

fcc member seeks am radio overhaul

Ajit Pai, a member of the US FCC, is hoping to modernize AM broadcasting regulations. I originally saw this story tweeted by Ulis Fleming and Jeff McMahon, and now my local CBS affiliate on AM is interviewing Mr. Pai about the story.

A quest to save AM radio before it's lost in the static

One part of his proposal is that all AM stations use digital broadcasting, purportedly to reduce interference problems. I only own analog AM receivers, and stations broadcasting AM HD are an annoyance for DXing because of the static on adjacent channels.

For the majority of the population, AM radio is not a very attractive option. AM radio struggles to compete with the internet. And it's unlikely that FCC will take the needs of hobbyists into account. Any changes to AM broadcasting regulations will undoubtedly focus on business requirements of broadcasters.