I’ve written a lot about local 96.3 WHUR’s IBOC signal off-air this past week. The unexpected absence of an HD Radio signal is a blessing for DXers since it allows signals otherwise permanently blocked away from reception to possibly be heard. WHUR’s IBOC has since resumed broadcasting, but while it was off-air on February 5, I logged one new station, 96.1 WMAX. On February 6, I logged another new signal, 96.5 WPEL.
At 232 miles away under deadband reception conditions, logging WPEL was a total surprise, much like it was when I logged 92.9 WEGX Dillon, SC at 318 miles in 2013 without any type of atmospheric enhancement. 96.5 FM, when not affected by WHUR’s HD Radio sideband, is usually always occupied by either WKLR Ft. Lee, VA (92 mi away) or WTDY Philadelphia, PA (144 mi away) and absolutely no other signals. But at 7:59 PM, WPEL faded in just long enough for a generous slam-dunk station ID. Listen:
96.5 WPEL Montrose, PA, 232 miles
In the image to the left, you can see my location (Woodbridge, VA) and WPEL in Northeastern PA. The light green is my usual tropo range, while the dark green area is where usual signals from the once-every-few-years tropo duct into the northeast comes from. WPEL’s signal made it through the Appalachian Mountains down an uncommon signal path into Virginia.
The above audio file has been added to my Audio Files page. I’m in the process of reformatting my DX logs, so although the stats are updated, WPEL will be added to my FM log very soon.