90.5 WPIR changes call letters second time within a month; swaps with another sister station

Logo of 89.9 WPIR and 90.5 WPER

On February 16, I wrote about how local 90.5 WJYJ Fredericksburg, VA flipped its calls to WPIR to better match its “Your PER” branding with sister station 89.9 WPER Culpeper, VA.  The WJYJ calls, at the same time, moved to a co-owned signal in North Carolina.

According to a tweet by RVAFM, 90.5 and 89.9 have now swapped calls, resulting in 89.9 WPIR and 90.5 WPER.  According to the “Your PER” page on Wikipedia, 89.9 has had the WPER calls since 1996.

My Local FM Stations page has been updated with this new development.


Car radio DX 2/24/18: three new FM logs

While in my car located in Sterling, VA on February 24, I received three new stations and picked up RDS from four other previously-logged signals that I had not received RDS from before.  I consider any new signal received within 30 miles of my home to be eligible to be added to my FM DX Log.  As Sterling, VA is 25 miles northwest of my home, the signals below are eligible to be added.  My FM DX Log, HD Radio/RDS Screenshots, and Audio pages have been updated with the new content below.

New signals:
101.7 W269DH Leesburg, VA, ethnic, 10 miles

102.1 W271BR Winchester, VA, “The Joy FM” – ccm, 47 miles
103.3 WTCF Wardensville, WV, “K-Love” – ccm, 54 miles

RDS screenshots from relogs:

92.1 WNUZ Mercersberg, PA, 60 miles

94.3 WLZV Buckland, VA, 29 miles

103.9 WTLP Braddock Heights, MD, 34 miles

106.1 WRQE Cumberland, MD, 89 miles

Local 90.5 WJYJ Fredericksburg, VA is now WPIR

Logo of 89.9 WPER and 90.5 WPIR

The WJYJ calls are gone from 90.5 FM in Fredericksburg, VA, a moderately-strong signal 37 miles south of me.  According to RadioINSIGHT via a retweet by VARTV, the station is now WPIR.  The former WPIR, co-owned 88.1 FM in Hickory, NC, is now WJYJ.

The call letter swap makes sense.  90.5 FM is a simulcast of nearby 89.9 WPER Culpeper, VA, a Christian Contemporary station known as “Positive Hits PER,” and the WPIR calls are very similar to WPER’s.  88.1 FM airs the same format as “Joy FM,” a name which befits their new WJYJ calls.  90.5 was also known as “Joy FM” prior to it joining WPER’s wide circle of simulcasts scattered throughout the upper half of Virginia, but the signal never updated its calls to match its new identity until now.

I have updated my Local FM Stations page with the new callsign.

Unattended recording of RDS/HD Radio decodes possible with WyzeCam

Motion-detected and timestamped screenshot of an HD Radio decode picked up by the WyzeCam on 1/19/18.

DXers with RDS and HD Radio-capable receivers now have a new and interesting way of seeing everything that comes across their radio’s screens while they are away — literally.

Wyze is a home security camera company that sells “WyzeCam,” an HD-quality home security camera.  I purchased a few cameras for my home in the previous month, and I have used them for their intended purpose until I realized that the device opens up a new world of capabilities for the average DXer.

Although I always have two radios continuously recording during the Sporadic E season, the problem is that I can only record audio from them, not screenshots unless I was Continue reading

Washington’s Z104: A look at its rise in the 1990s and its fall to Hot 99-5 WIHT

Every hour as a child and teen, I’d hear one phrase echo off of the walls in my bedroom:

“Z104 is WWVZ Braddock Heights/Frederick, WWZZ Waldorf/Washington, DC.”

It’s the legal ID of a radio station I’ll never forget.

The Washington, DC market had three full-time CHR stations in the 1980s: 105.1 “Power 105” WAVA, 106.7 “B106” WBMW, and 107.3 “Q107” WRQX.  Unfortunately for area listeners, these signals slowly left the format one by one — WBMW in 1988, WRQX in 1990, and WAVA in 1992, leaving Washington without a CHR station until 1996, when Z104 debuted.

Z104 was actually two signals: 104.1 WWZZ covering southern Maryland and the south and eastern suburbs of Washington, previously classic hits WXTR “Xtra 104,” and 103.9 WWVZ, which covered the nearby small market of Frederick, MD.  Prior to its debut, WWVZ was CHR as “Z104,” but it was an unrelated station that was replaced with the new Z104 simulcast.

The new signals often referred to itself as “The Z,” its music as “Z tracks,” and the capitol city as “DZ” instead of “DC.” From the get-go, it was obvious that station management knew that the Washington market was without a CHR station for the better half of a decade.  Because of this, the station ingeniously Continue reading

New travel DX logs added from Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Maryland

Pioneer Park in St. George, Utah taken during my trip to the southwestern United States in 2017.

I recently DXed in multiple cities within the southwestern United States.  Although all of the Arizona and Utah logs are new, I updated my existing Las Vegas, NV and Baltimore, MD logs with new RDS and HD Radio screenshots and a handful of new logs.  Click on the the links below to see the new logs, or view my Travel DX Logs page to see all of my logs from cities across the United States.

Tropo 10/22/17: 1 new FM log and new HD/RDS decodes from relogs

An tropo opening brought in signals up to 240 miles into Virginia Beach and coastal North Carolina on October 22, including a new translator on 100.1, a frequency usually full of IBOC interference from local 100.3 WBIG.  Also in were first-time HD Radio and RDS decodes from multiple signals.  My DX log, RDS/HD Radio Screenshots, and Audio pages have been updated with the new content below.

New log:

100.1 W261DI Norfolk, VA, 10/22/17, tropo, 138 miles

New content from relogs:

First-time HD decode from 88.5 WHRG Gloucester Point, VA, 99 miles, 10/22/17, tropo over local WAMU

First-time RDS decodes from 101.5 WOWZ Chincoteague, VA, 10/22/17, 108 miles, tropo over local WBQB

First-time HD decode from 106.1 WUSH Poquoson, VA, 10/22/17, 107 miles, tropo

First time HD and RDS decodes from 107.7 WMOV Norfolk, VA, 10/22/17, 138 miles over local WWWT

Tropo 10/5/17: 1 new FM log and several first-time RDS decodes from relogs

Tropo reception has picked up for the second day in a row in Northern Virginia.  During the early morning hours of October 5, signals were enhanced up to 150 miles away into southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, with many signals coming in over locals (94.7 WDSD over local WIAD, WJBR over local WIHT, 101.1 WBEB over local WWDC, among others).  For the first time, I logged 105.5 WAIV, a pleasant surprise, given 105.5 is crowded frequency in this area, usually occupied by nearby translator W288BS Reston VA, WRAR Tappahannock, VA, WOJL Louisa, VA, and other signals.

105.5 WAIV Cape May Court House, NJ, 10/5/17, tropo, 135 miles

I also logged RDS for the first time from relog 90.3 WNJZ.

90.3 WNJZ Cape May Court House, NJ, 10/5/17, tropo, 135 miles

My DX log, RDS/HD Radio Screenshots, and Audio pages have been updated with the new content above.

Local 92.7 WDCJ debuts RDS; new RDS received from 106.9 WKVP

After a long period devoid of any notable DX in Northern Virginia, I decoded RDS for the first time from two signals on October 4.

Local 92.7 WDCJ Prince Frederick, MD, one of a few Southern Maryland FM stations that didn’t run RDS, debuted it in recent weeks.  The RDS seems to mirror the station it simulcasts, nearby Washington, DC’s 102.3 WMMJ.  This comes a little over two months after WDCJ debuted HD Radio.

92.7 WDCJ Prince Frederick, MD, 10/4/17, tropo, 36 miles

WDCJ’s RDS PI code (F000), as seen in the above screenshots, is incorrect.  According to the RDS PI Code Calculator website, it should be 5CD1.  Due to this error, WDCJ’s calls do not display under the frequency, as seen in the screenshot to the left above.

I also logged RDS for the first time from Philadelphia’s 106.9 WKVP on October 4.  This came as a surprise, as 106.9 at my home is usually a hodgepodge of Norfolk, VA’s 106.9 WAFX, Ocean City, MD’s 106.9 WYPO, or Hagerstown, MD’s 106.9 WWEG.  Half of the time, 106.9 is full of IBOC interference from local 106.7 WJFK when the station turns its HD Radio on, which is only on occasion.  WKVP is a rare catch at my home.

106.9 WKVP Camden, NJ, 10/4/17, tropo, 144 miles

These screenshots were added to my RDS/HD Radio Screenshots page.

New Travel DX Logs from NJ, PA added

I recently visited the Philadelphia, PA and Atlantic City, NJ areas.  I added an all-new travel DX log from Atlantic City, and I also I updated my existing Philadelphia log with 65 new FM logs, most with digital RDS screenshots from the Airspy R2 radio, plus more.

Most of the new logs from the Philadelphia area were thanks to a spectacular tropo opening in the early morning hours of Sept. 13.  Signals from up and down the Mid-Atlantic region, including a handful from my hometown of Washington DC, were received with RDS strength.  The opening bottomed later in the morning with reception of a Norfolk, VA signal, 225 miles from where I was in Mount Laurel, NJ.  I haven’t seen tropo this good while traveling since 2012, when I received Miami FM stations via tropo at 552 miles while vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Click on the links below to view the new and updated logs:

Click here to view my other travel DX logs from cities across the United States.