FM Sporadic E opening 7/19/22 into South Dakota, 2 new FM logs

FM radio signals from South Dakota were heard in Northern Virginia via Sporadic E on July 19, 2022 after a quiet month in the middle of the skip season.  I turned on my car radio at 8:04 PM to find fairly strong signals on a handful of signals, mostly 92.3 and 93.1.  The opening lasted until about 8:45 PM with about 10 minutes of cumulative skip.  It had a MUF, or highest frequency of skip heard, of 100.7 FM.

My Airspy SDR at home was recording all signals from 93.1-102.7 FM, but it didn’t observe the strong signals that I was getting at my car at the same time.  It only received a brief, weak fade-in from 93.5 KIPI.

My DX Logs page have been updated with the new logs below.

new = new station logged
unID = unidentified signal

90.3 unID NPR
new 92.3 KQRQ Rapid City, SD, 1391 miles

92.3 unID rock
92.3 unID country
93.1 KKYA Yankton, SD, 1088 miles
93.1 unID CHR, likely KRCS Sturgis, SD
new 93.5 KIPI Eagle Butte, SD, 1303 miles

100.7 unID CHR

FM Sporadic E opening 6/18/22 into AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, and TX, 1 new FM log

FM radio signals from the Deep South were heard in Northern Virginia via Sporadic E on June 18, 2022.  The opening began at about 7:53 PM with signals from Louisiana and Texas.  About an hour later, a separate Sporadic E cloud brought in signals from Florida, while the first cloud slightly shifted to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

My Airspy SDR was recording all signals from 93.3-102.3 FM, and while I was actively monitoring the entire DX band on other radios, it seemed that most of the action was within the span my SDR was recording.  I didn’t hear too many signals below 93.3 FM, nor did I hear many above 102.3 FM.  In fact, 101.7, 101.9, and 102.1 were the most active during the entire opening, with 102.1 KDGE from the Dallas area in for most of the two hour opening.

The opening, while having a duration of about 2 hours from start to finish, had about 45 cumulative minutes of signals heard.  The MUF, or maximum usable frequency (the highest frequency skip was heard) was 106.1 FM, although the majority of signals I heard were below 102.5 FM.  My DX Logs and RDS/HD Radio Screenshots pages have been updated with the new logs and screenshots below.

new = new station logged
unID = unidentified signal

88.1 unID “Way FM” christian contemporary, suspect WAYH Harvest, AL
89.5 unID religious
93.5 unID religious
93.5 WZFL Islamorada, FL, 965 miles
93.5 unID K-Love, suspect WMLV Butler, AL
94.1 KLNO Dallas, TX, 1181 miles
94.1 unID classic hits
94.1 WLLD Lakeland, FL, 809 miles

94.5 unID classic rock
95.3 WBBN Taylorsville, MS, 842 miles

95.9 unID country
96.1 WRXK Bonita Springs, FL, 883 miles
96.5 unID CHR
96.5 unID spanish, suspect WOEX Orlando, FL
97.7 WYYX Bonifay, FL, 732 miles

97.9 KBFB Dallas, TX, 1180 miles
99.9 KTDY Lafayette, LA, 1011 miles

100.1 unID urban/CHR
100.1 WWLY Panama City Beach, FL, 759 miles
100.5 WJQX Helena, AL, 677 miles
new 100.7 KULL Abilene, TX, 1326 miles

100.7 KWRD Highland Village, TX, 1145 miles
100.7 WTGE Baton Rouge, LA, 982 miles

101.3 unID country
101.7 KBYB Hope, AR, 984 miles

101.7 WQRR Reform, AL, 700 miles
101.9 WWGR Ft. Myers, FL, 882 miles
101.9 WLMG New Orleans, LA, 945 miles
102.1 KDGE Ft. Worth, TX, 1181 miles

102.1 WQUA Citronelle, AL, 819 miles

102.5 unID CHR
105.7 unID classic country
106.1 unID country

FM Sporadic E-Skip opening 6/9/22 into Oklahoma

A very weak and short sporadic E opening brought FM signals from Oklahoma to Northern Virginia on June 9, 2022.

At 6:22 PM, 92.1 KFXI faded in, and shortly afterward, KOSU 91.7 was heard.  The opening itself was very weak, and while ending at 6:33 PM, I only heard about 1 minute of combined DX.  The MUF, or highest frequency FM Es was heard for the opening, was 92.1 FM.

Signals heard (all previously logged):

91.7 KOSU Stillwater, OK, 1130 miles
92.1 KFXI Marlow, OK, 1180 miles

FM Sporadic E opening 6/3/22 into FL, KY, KS, NE, and OK. 3 new FM logs and closest FM Es distance record set

FM signals from the Midwest and South Florida were heard at the same time in Northern Virginia on June 3, 2022.  I first noticed weak signals fading in briefly from both areas at 7:30 PM.  At the same time, other DXers were reporting very strong skip from the Northeast into the Midwest and Deep South, among other areas, so I wasn’t alone.  92.9 KGRC, a previously-logged signal from Missouri, popped in with RDS at 7:55 PM.

By 8PM, the opening got slightly stronger, with some signals coming in over adjacent-to-local station IBOC signals.  The opening ended at about 9PM.

I experienced most of the opening in my car about a mile away from my home.  My Airspy SDR was recording all FM frequencies from 89.1-98.1 FM.  I noticed, while going over its unattended recordings, that the SDR did not pick up anywhere near as many signals as my car did.  The Airspy did, however, receive a very strong signal for about 2 minutes on 92.1 FM.  The station mentioned Lexington in the liner as its RDS decoded.  I found this to be a positive ID for WBVX Carlisle, KY.  But what surprised me was how close the station was: 385 miles, a new distance record for the shortest station received via Sporadic E.  Typically, FM Es signals come in 700-1400 miles away, with ranges of 500-1500 miles generally possible via a single hop.  385 miles is very close and rare for FM Es, especially when the opening was otherwise fairly weak locally.  However, since the opening was strong elsewhere, I guess I got lucky with my reception of WBVX.

The opening, while having a duration of 1.5 hours from start to finish, only had about 10 minutes cumulative of signals heard.  The MUF, or maximum usable frequency (the highest frequency skip was heard) was 101.7 FM, although the majority of signals I heard were below 96.9 FM.  My DX Logs and RDS/HD Radio Screenshots pages have been updated with the new logs and screenshots below.

new = new station logged
unID = unidentified signal

88.3 unID public radio
new 89.1 KQOU Clinton, OK, 1214 miles

89.5 WAYJ Naples, FL, 904 miles
90.3 unID public radio
new 91.7 KPNE North Platte, NE, 1273 miles

91.7 unID religious preaching & gospel
new 92.1 WBVX Carlisle, KY, 385 miles

92.3 unID “Power 92” or “Power 92.3” (couldn’t hear exactly), likely KIPR Pine Bluff, AR, 878 miles
92.7 unID classic country mixing with local 92.7 WDCJ
92.9 KGRC Hannibal, MO, 760 miles

93.5 KKDT Burdett, KS, 1208 miles
93.5 unID local sports game
93.5 either WZFL Islamorada, FL, 965 miles, or WBGF Belle Glade, FL, 865 miles (stations simulcast each other)
93.7 unID classic country
94.1 unID commercials
94.5 unID hot AC
94.9 WZTU Miami Beach, FL, 894 miles
96.1 KICX Mccook, NE, 1250 miles
96.1 WRXK Bonita Springs, FL, 883 miles

96.9 unID CHR
100.7 unID CHR
100.9 unID classic hits
101.7 unID country

First Sporadic E opening of 2022 on 5/8/22 into TX

The first sporadic E opening of 2022 was heard on May 8 in Northern Virginia. While going over unattended recordings, I found 92.1 KTFW Glen Rose, TX, at 861 miles away, coming in at about noon.  Another signal that I couldn’t identify was heard on 91.7 FM, which I assume was KKXT Dallas, TX. I also heard something briefly on 93.5 FM but could not make out the format.

The opening was very brief and weak, lasting about 2 minutes cumulatively between 11:58 AM to 12:10 PM. The MUF, or maximum usable frequency, which is the highest frequency that skip is heard during the entire opening, was 93.5 FM.

Aircheck trading and DX update

Things have been very quiet on the DX front here in Northern Virginia since the spectacular Sporadic E opening events seen this summer.  While I usually have at least one good tropospheric opening in the fall each year, that has not happened in 2021.  I also had planned on writing my annual Sporadic E review in August as I have done for many years, but due to being busy with other things in life, I had to put that on hold.  I hope to write it before the end of this year.

On another front, I recently resumed trading airchecks.  Airchecks are recordings of radio stations.  I started trading airchecks in 1999 but went on a hiatus from trading in 2008.  Although my interest in radio (mainly focused on DXing) has continued until this day, I simply didn’t record what I heard.  During the pandemic, I digitized all of my old cassette tapes, minidiscs, and CDs that I have recorded or received from others worldwide.  I officially resumed trading airchecks in July 2021 and realized that many of the same great friends that I traded with over 20 years ago were still around and trading today.  My collection has grown to over 4000 individual recordings of stations from across the United States and around the world, spanning from 1949 to today.  On top of trading archived recordings in my collection, I can also record new airchecks from my local Washington, DC and Fredericksburg, VA radio stations, as well as some Baltimore and surrounding area stations.  Visit my Airchecks page for more information and to see a listing of my collection.

I have decided to split the focus of this blog to be 50/50 DXing and airchecks.  I will still post DX reports with HD & RDS screenshots and audio clips like always as reception conditions warrant, but I will also be posting about airchecks, too.

FM Es opening 7/22/21 into GA and FL

A very brief Sporadic E opening brought signals from Florida and Georgia into Northern Virginia on June 22.  Signals were first heard at 6:11 PM and lasted for about 2 minutes total between 6:11 and 6:20 PM.  The MUF of the opening was 96.1 FM.  Only one signal, 93.5 WMRG, was strong enough to decode RDS in the few seconds it came in.

Signals heard:

92.1 unID religious
92.1 unID CHR
93.5 WMRG Morgan, GA, 628 miles
95.1 WBPC Ebro, FL, 740 miles
97.7 unID rock, suspect 97.7 WYYX Bonifay, FL, 732 miles

Massive record-breaking Sporadic E opening 7/13/21. 39 new FM logs; 2000th FM log received

A massive, record-breaking Sporadic E opening blanketed the Eastern Seaboard of the United States on July 13, 2021, bringing in FM signals from Yucatán to Minnesota to my radios in Northern Virginia in a manner not seen in 11 years.

The banner day opening started at 8:30AM in earnest, with signals from Florida and Texas coming in off and on until about 2:30pm, when signals from Mexico were heard.  The skip returned at 7:10PM with two separate, simultaneous openings that shot up to the top of the FM band almost instantaneously without warning: one to the Upper Midwest, and a much more potent opening to the Deep South.  The skip ended at 10:10PM, resulting in 5.5 hours of cumulative Sporadic E reception. The majority of signals from the evening opening were from Southern Georgia, an area that is extremely rare to get here in Virginia due to distance and a usual deluge of signals from Louisiana and Tkexas that usually dominate the dial when skip is coming from that region–something that was largely absent this opening.

What set this e-skip opening apart from others in recent memory was its sheer force.  Most frequencies on the FM dial were full with at least four to five stations coming in at once, making identification of any of them very difficult.  Many of my local Washington, DC and Fredericksburg, VA local stations (89.7, 90.1, 92.7 97.1, 98.7, 99.1, 99.5, 100.3, 101.1, 101.5, 102.3, 107.3, and 107.9) were clobbered by Sporadic E-reflected signals, some completely gone without a trace at times.  In fact, I feel the only reason why I was able to get so many new logs was that I had my Airspy R2 SDR recording all frequencies between 88.7 and 98.3 FM.  Many of the new signals logged below were only received by a split-second RDS decode that I would’ve never received if I was manually dial scanning.  The amount of new logs from this opening, 39, is also something I have not achieved since an Es opening on 6/12/2009.  The July 13 opening also netted me my 2000th FM station logged, something I’ve been working toward since 1999.

The record breaking didn’t end there.  The July 13 opening brought in the closest FM station I have ever received in 21 years via Sporadic E: 89.9 WJWJ at 453 miles.  WJWJ’s state of South Carolina, with this opening, is the first new state received via Es in years, the closest state I’ve received skip from, and the only U.S. state I have received signals from both via tropospheric ducting and Sporadic E.  The day’s opening also added a new estado from rarely-received Mexico to my logbook, Yucatán.

My DX Logs and RDS/HD Radio Screenshots have been updated with the new logs below.

new = new station logged

88.9 WYFE Tarpon Springs, FL, 776 miles

new 88.9 WWIO-FM Brunswick, GA, 568 miles

89.1 WSMR Sarasota, FL, 852 miles
89.1 WUFT-FM Gainesville, FL, 683 miles

new 89.5 KYFL Monroe, LA, 934 miles

89.5 WAYJ Naples, FL, 904 miles

new 89.5 WGSG Mayo, FL, 682 miles

89.7 WUSF Tampa, FL, 801 miles over local W209BY

new 89.9 WJWJ-FM Beaufort, SC, 453 miles

89.9 WMAB-FM Mississippi State, MS, 758 miles

89.9 WWNO New Orleans, LA, 945 miles
new 90.1 WXVS Waycross, GA, 594 miles over local WCSP-FM

new 90.1 WFRU Quincy, FL, 689 miles over local WCSP-FM

new 90.3 WJLH Flagler Beach, FL, 679 miles

new 90.3 WHCJ Savannah, GA, 505 miles

new 90.3 WEJF Palm Bay, FL, 758 miles

91.3 WLRN-FM Miami, FL, 893 miles

new 91.7 WMVV Griffin, GA, 529 miles

92.1 WCTQ Venice, FL, 850 miles
92.1 WNFK Perry, FL, 690 miles
new 92.1 WBTR-FM Carrollton, GA, 557 miles

new 92.1 WKXY Merigold, MS, 816 miles

92.1 WZEW Fairhope, AL, 834 miles

92.3 WWKA Orlando, FL, 731 miles

92.3 WCMQ-FM Hialeah, FL, 906 miles
92.3 WZRH Laplace, LA, 974 miles
new 92.5 KVPI-FM Ville Platte, LA, 1014 miles

92.5 WYUU Safety Harbor, FL, 807 miles
new 92.5 WPAP Panama City, FL, 730 miles

new 92.5 WEKS Zebulon, GA, 556 miles

92.9 WMFQ Ocala, FL, 717 miles
92.9 WIKX Charlotte Harbor, FL, 862 miles
92.9 WBLX-FM Mobile, AL, 810 miles
new 93.1 WKRO-FM Port Orange, FL, 690 miles

93.1 WFEZ Miami, FL, 894 miles
new 93.1 WBBK-FM Blakely, GA, 672 miles

new 93.5 XHPTLM-FM Tulum, YUC, 1408 miles

93.5 WFDZ Perry, FL, 690 miles
new 93.5 WZFL Islamorada, FL, 965 miles

new 93.5 WMRG Morgan, GA, 628 miles

93.5 WKWX Savannah, GA, 645 miles

93.5 KKOT Columbus, NE, 1094 miles

93.7 WGYL Vero Beach, FL, 785 miles
new 94.3 WNFB Lake City, FL, 670 miles

94.5 WARO Naples, FL, 890 miles
94.5 WFLF Parker, FL, 762 miles (received detuned on 94.467 MHz due to local 94.7 WIAD’s IBOC sideband)

94.9 WWRM Tampa, FL, 803 miles

94.9 WZTU Miami Beach, FL, 894 miles

95.7 WBTP Clearwater, FL, 807 miles
new 96.1 WEJZ Jacksonville, FL, 627 miles

96.1 WHBX Tallahassee, FL, 705 miles

96.1 KMRX El Dorado, AR, 936 miles

new 96.1 WXFL Florence, AL, 617 miles

96.5 WZNS Ft. Walton Beach, FL, 779 miles

96.5 WPOW Miami, FL, 894 miles

96.9 WDJR Enterprise, AL, 719 miles
new 97.1 WOKK Meridian, MS, 776 miles over local WASH
new 97.3 WGEX Bainbridge, GA, 661 miles

new 97.7 XHGL-FM Mérida, YUC, 1424 miles

new 97.7 WTCQ Vidalia, GA, 531 miles

97.7 KNBB Dubach, LA, 608 miles
97.9 WXTB Clearwater, FL, 790 miles
97.9 WTSM Woodville, FL, 692 miles
97.9 WRMF Palm Beach, FL, 839 miles
new 97.9 WIBB-FM Ft. Valley, GA, 556 miles

98.5 KQKQ-FM Council Bluffs, IA, 1007 miles
99.3 WEBZ Mexico Beach, FL, 754 miles
99.3 WKCN Lumpkin, GA, 621 miles
99.7 WJMI Jackson, MS, 854 miles
100.1 KRVV Bastrop, LA, 919 miles
new 100.1 WWLY Panama City Beach, FL, 759 miles

100.5 KIKN-FM Salem, MO, 1099 miles
new 100.5 WJQX Helena, AL, 677 miles

100.7 WDMS Greenville, MS, 849 miles

100.9 WJXN-FM Utica, MS, 865 miles
101.3 WJDQ Meridian, MS, 777 miles
new 101.3 KDPX Pine Bluff, AR, 865 miles
101.7 KYDA Azle, TX, 1183 miles
101.9 KMVX Monroe, LA, 944 miles
101.9 WWGR Ft. Myers, FL, 882 miles
new 102.1 WWAV Santa Rosa Beach, FL, 778 miles

102.1 KYBG Basile, LA, 1044 miles
new 102.9 KRFG Nashwauk, MN, 993 miles
103.3 KIXB El Dorado, AR, 951 miles
103.9 WYAB Flora, MS, 843 miles
new 105.5 WSSQ Sterling, IL, 691 miles

105.5 WYZB Mary Esther, FL, 779 miles
106.1 KXRR Monroe, LA, 928 miles
new 106.1 KLSS-FM Mason City, IA, 881 miles

106.1 KXKU Lyons, KS, 1114 miles
106.1 KHKS Denton, TX, 1180 miles

new 107.1 WURN-FM Key Largo, FL, 943 miles

new 107.1 WCKT Lehigh Acres, FL, 891 miles
new 107.3 KISX Whitehouse, TX, 1097 miles over local WLVW

FM E-Skip Opening 7/8/21 into Canadian Maritimes and NE, 1 new log

Radio signals from the Canadian Maritimes, and an outlier from Nebraska, were heard in Northern Virginia on July 9 via Sporadic E.  While I missed this opening live, my Airspy SDR was recording all frequencies from 89.3 to 98.3 FM.  Upon reviewing the unattended recordings, I found 96.1 KICX from Nebraska in for some time at 3:31 PM.  Skip then dipped and returned with signals from the Canadian Maritimes between 5PM and 7PM.  Overall, skip was in FM for about 20 minutes cumulative throughout the day with a MUF of 96.1 FM.  Here’s what I heard:

(unID=unidentified)
new = new station logged

Early opening into Nebraska:
96.1 KICX Mccook, NE, 1250 miles

Later opening into Canada:
90.3 unID CBC News, suspect CBNM-FM 90.3

new 90.7 CBN-FM-1 Grand Falls, NL, 1303 miles

91.7 unID CBC Music, suspect CBN-FM-5 Marystown, NL
92.1 unID CBC News, suspect CBHY-FM Yarmouth, NS
92.3 unID French talk
92.5 unID French talk
93.5 unID French talk
96.1 unID syndicated talk
96.1 unID French soft AC/standards music

My DX Logs have been updated with the new logging above.

FM E-Skip opening 6/15/21 into FL, LA, MB, MN, MS, TX, 3 new logs and second opening from 6/11/21 to FL and Bermuda

Radio signals from Florida to Manitoba were received in Northern Virginia via Sporadic E on June 15, 2021, resulting in 3 new FM logs.  At about 9:39 AM, stations from Mississippi and the panhandle of Florida slowly came in with RDS strength.  Soon afterward, a few Miami-area low band FM stations were seen, also with RDS.  The paths shifted slightly to Texas and Louisiana, bringing in signals from Houston and New Orleans, respectively, before flipping back to the southeastern Florida and back to Lousiana by 11:40AM.  The skip dissipated by noon, but was quickly back at about 3:12PM, this time bringing in signals from northern Minnesota and Manitoba very briefly before ending for good.  All in all, about 95 minutes of cumulative skip with a MUF, or highest frequency skip was observed on, of 105.7 FM.

The opening has been the best so far in the 2021 season.  Signals, although with deep fades, were strong enough to decode RDS and be “seen” under local radio station IBOC sidebands on the Airspy R2 radio.  The stations received were not strong enough to decode HD Radio, nor did anything overpower a local radio station, although a few semi-local signals disappeared to skip signals.

My FM DX Log and FM HD Radio/RDS Screenshots pages have been updated with the new content below.

new = new station logged
unID = unidentified signal

Stations received on June 15, first opening into the southeastern USA:

88.1 unID religious talk
88.1 unID ccm
88.9 unID public radio
88.9 unID religious talk
89.1 WPAS Pascagoula, MS, 847 miles

89.1 WUFT-FM Gainesville, FL, 683 miles

89.1 WSMR Sarasota, FL, 852 miles

89.9 unID religious talk
90.7 unID jazz, suspect WWOZ New Orleans, LA, 945 miles
91.7 unID religious talk
92.1 KROI Seabrook, TX, 1212 miles
92.1 KTSR De Quincy, LA, 1082 miles
92.3 WZRH Laplace, LA, 974 miles
92.3 WCMQ-FM Hialeah, FL, 906 miles

92.9 WMFQ Ocala, FL, 717 miles
92.9 WIKX Charlotte Harbor, FL, 862 miles

93.1 WFEZ Miami, FL, 894 miles

93.1 KQID-FM Alexandria, LA, 972 miles
93.5 either WZFL Islamorada, FL, WBGF Belle Glade, FL, or W228BY Miami, FL (simulcasts)
93.7 unID ads
94.3 WTIX Galliano, LA, 953 miles over local 94.3 WLZV
94.5 WJZD Long Beach, MS, 877 miles
96.5 unID CHR, suspect WPOW
97.7 WAVK Marathon, FL, 984 miles

99.9 WKIS Boca Raton, FL, 891 miles
100.7 unID ads, suspect miami
101.3 unID ads
101.7 unID local ads, either WCZR Vero Beach, FL, 777 miles, or W269DS North Palm Beach, FL, 819 miles
102.1 unID country
102.5 unID talk, suspect tampa
102.9 WJGO Tice, FL, 884 miles

103.1 WIRK Indiantown, FL, 821 miles
103.9 unID CHR
new 104.3 WSFS Miramar, FL, 891 miles

new 105.7 WGAY Sugarloaf Key, FL, 997 miles

Stations received on June 15, second opening into the Upper Midwest:

new 92.5 KKWQ Warroad, MN, 1140 miles

92.9 unID hot AC
93.5 unID french talk
93.5 CJEL-FM Winkler, MB, 1255 miles
93.7 unID CHR
96.1 KQHT Crookston, MN, 1166 miles
103.3 unID classic rock
103.7 KKBJ-FM Bemidji, MN, 1072 miles
103.9 unID country

A few days prior, on June 11, a much briefer and weaker opening into South Florida and Bermuda brought in two previously logged signals, as listed below.  Even with about 10 minutes of skip and a MUF of 92.9 FM, this opening did net my first RDS decode from Bermuda, a country rarely logged here in Virginia.

Stations received on June 11:

89.1 ZBM-FM Hamilton, Bermuda, 829 miles

89.5 unID ccm
92.1 unID hot AC
92.9 WIKX Charlotte Harbor, FL, 862 miles