And just like that, my best frequency for DXing for the past 17 years is no more. Once free from any HD Radio interference or tropo pests within 120 miles and my best spot on the dial for detecting early Sporadic E openings, 92.9 FM is now occupied by a new, very strong translator in Northern Virginia. It seemed to have signed on in the past few days.
The signal, W227BM, apparently a construction permit to a Washington, DC move-in from nearby Winchester, VA’s 93.3 FM, rebroadcasts 730 WTNT Alexandria, VA with mono audio. My FM DX Log and Local FM Stations pages have been updated with this new logging.
Prior to W227BM signing on, I received almost 50 signals on 92.9 FM via tropo, Sporadic E and meteor scatter since 1999. To be honest, I was expecting this frequency’s availability for DXing to end any time now, given how translators are popping up exponentially in the past year and how this was the last true free spot on the local dial.
92.9, it was great while it lasted.
92.9 W227BM Centreville, VA, “La Capital” – spanish, 14 miles
Portland Breakwater Light in Portland, ME, taken during my September 2016 trip to New England.
This past week, I visited all states in the New England region and DXed in most of them. I also updated my existing logs from New York and Philadelphia with new RDS screenshots, adding 18 new logs from the latter city. Click below to see the new logs, and check out my Travel DX Logs page to find these and many more logs I made from various places across the United States.
While doing a regular dial scan on Sept. 11, I found that local translator 89.7 W209BY Woodbridge, VA now broadcasts RDS. The text display references its parent station 89.9 WPER from nearby Culpeper, VA. This comes after the translator started rebroadcasting WPER in June 2016. The screenshot below was added to the FM RDS & HD Radio Screenshots page.
89.7 W209BY Woodbridge, VA, “Positive Hits PER” – ccm, 1 mile
While in Oxon Hill, MD on September 5, I logged one new station, 94.3 WOWD-LP Takoma Park, MD. This station, which airs a variety format spanning from indie rock to smooth jazz and 1940s music back-to-back at the time of my reception, is a fairly new signal, signing on in July 2016. I’ve been trying to log this station ever since, but it has proven to be impossible to do at my home since 94.3 is occupied by fairly-strong WWXX Buckland, VA, at 32 miles away. But WOWD-LP blasts in with stereo reception in Oxon Hill, 17 miles NNE of my home. My FM DX Log page has been updated with this new logging.
New FM log:
94.3 WOWD-LP Takoma Park, MD, “Takoma Radio” – variety, 12 miles from car radio location in Oxon Hill, MD
I went on a two-day trip last week to Cleveland, OH and Pittsburgh, PA. While in both cities, I DXed the FM dial, complete with several Canadian FMs popping in while in Cleveland. On the way home from Pittsburgh, I briefly stopped in Hagerstown, MD and updated my log from that city with several new RDS screenshots. Click on the links below to view the new DX logs, which were also added to my Travel DX Logs page.
Is it even summer?
That was a question that I asked myself multiple times this past few months, and I’m still asking it as the 2016 Sporadic E-Skip season came to a close in Northern Virginia on July 31.
One can receive FM signals up to 1500 miles away, on average, with local, stereo strength during a Sporadic E, or E-Skip opening. Although it can happen at any time of the year, it most commonly occurs mid-May to late July, a period of which I consider a ‘skip season.’ This year’s season just ended, and with it came continued disappointment seen locally almost every year since the 2009 season.
The 2016 year seems to be a repeat of the 2015 season, with the few substantial openings observed occurring within a few days of each other late in the season. 2016 continues the local trend where long swaths of otherwise eligible weeks/weekends had no trace of FM Es at all. 2016 was just like 2015 where the first half of the season (May-mid June) saw few openings. This contrasts with the 2014 season, where the last half of the season (June-late July) saw no or little Es, but the beginning of the season had a lot of activity. This is also the first year since I started to monitor daily FM Es in 2006 where there was no FM Es observed at all in the Continue reading
I’ve been lucky this past two months with getting new RDS screenshots in my car. Today, I received an RDS decode for the first time from relog 107.5 WNNT. This is my second RDS decode from any station on 107.5 FM, a frequency that is often difficult to DX due to strong IBOC interference from local 107.3 WRQX. However, WRQX’s HD Radio signal has been off for the past few months, making 107.5 a clear frequency for DX. The screenshot below was added to the FM RDS & HD Radio Screenshots page.
107.5 WNNT Warsaw, VA, “River Country 107-5” – country, 57 miles
While driving on June 26, I received RDS for the first time from 102.5 WBOC. The station must’ve recently turned on RDS, since I’ve received it with local grade reception many times in the past without RDS. The screenshot below was added to the FM RDS & HD Radio Screenshots page.
102.5 WBOC Princess Anne, MD, “102.5 WBOC” – hot AC, 95 miles
As one of the most-visited pages of my blog, I was wondering how I could improve the Local FM Stations page. I decided to add details to every FM signal, such as previous formats, DXing characteristics, and, where appropriate, personal commentary. Click on the link above to see the new content.
A weak FM Es opening was heard in Northern Virginia on July 23. Skip was heard with a MUF of 100.7 FM for 28 minutes between 7:43 PM and 8:46 PM. IDs were few and far between this opening, as signals often faded just before identification was given. My HD/RDS Screenshots page has been updated with the new screenshots below.
88.1 unID NPR
89.1 WBSN New Orleans, LA, public radio, 945 miles
89.5 unID religious
89.9 unID religious
91.5 unID bluegrass
91.7 unID NPR
92.3 unID country
92.7 unID country over local WWXT
93.5 unID country
96.7 KCIL Gray, LA, “C96.7” – country, 998 miles
100.7 WTGE Baton Rouge, LA, “The Tiger” – country, 982 miles