After writing about the lack of evening FM Sporadic E-Skip this summer, I finally experienced a respectable opening into the upper Midwest on July 15. FM Es first popped up at 6:01 PM for 50 seconds, then it returned at 7:23 PM and stayed in FM until 9:21 PM. The MUF went up and down, but it stayed at 107.9 FM for the majority of the opening and brought in sustained signals–something rare this season. New log 97.5 WJIM, at 469 miles away, tied the #2 spot for the closest ever FM Es signal received here via Sporadic E since I started DXing in 1999. What also surprised me from this opening were the amount of HD Radio and RDS decodes. Overall, this opening helped salvage an otherwise poor FM Es season to bring it to a point where it is not completely a dud. My DX Log and HD/RDS Screenshots pages have been updated with the new content listed below. My Audio page will be updated with the new audio clips below as time permits.
Click on the icon to hear audio from the applicable stations.
= new logs
88.1 KVSC St. Cloud, MN, “88.1 KVSC” – ccm, 987 miles
88.9 WLSU La Crosse, WI, “Wisconsin Public Radio” – public radio, 813 miles
89.3 KCMP Northfield, MN, “89-3 The Current” – public radio, 913 miles over local WPFW
88.9 KNSR Collegeville, MN, “Minnesota P Continue reading →
As the old saying goes, a watched pot never boils. I can sit in front of my radio every evening and weekend all summer long this year and not see any Sporadic E-Skip. But once I am at work and unable to actively DX a radio, let the festivities begin. Like usual, I missed a mammoth of an E-Skip opening, the first trace of any Sporadic E reception in Northern Virginia in 13 days (the last opening was also a missed daytime opening from work–where’s the evening openings this year?) Based on unattended recordings on 93.7 and 100.7 FM, skip started at about 10:25 AM and doused the FM dial with strong, local-grade reception, at least 191 minutes in FM until 3:03 PM. Skip started in Miami, then quickly shifted into MS, LA, and then the Midwest, ending in Minnesota and (supposedly) Manitoba. My HD Radio/RDS Screenshots and Audio Files pages have been updated with the new content below.
93.7 KXKS Shreveport, LA, “Kiss Country 93-7” – country, 1020 miles
93.7 KISR Ft. Smith, AR, “Kisser 93-7” – CHR, 967 miles
93.7 KYEZ Salina, KS, “Y93.7” – country, 1082 miles
93.7 KKRL Carroll, IA, “93.7 KKRL” – hot Continue reading →
For the past week or so, I’ve heard a weak religious station on 89.7 while doing my dial scans at home and in my car. This puzzled me, because since 2008, 89.7 has been home to an 8-watt translator, W209BY Woodbridge, VA, with its transmitter a mile away from my home. W209BY put in a local-grade signal with a contemporary Christian music format. I figured this translator must’ve changed formats and, somehow reduced power or changed transmitter locations. Upon checking unattended recordings on 89.7 FM today, I found that I was actually hearing a totally different station, 89.7 WXMD, from nearby Southern Maryland. Apparently W209BY is off-air. Being a new station, My FM DX Log and Audio Files pages were updated with the information from WXMD below.
89.7 WXMD California, MD, “Redeemer Broadcasting” – religious, 40 miles
A word to all DXers: make sure your unattended radio recordings are running 24/7! Mine were off while I was at work on June 13 and, you guessed it, a Sporadic E-Skip opening blanketed the U.S. East Coast for most of the day, with signals coming in from the Deep South and Midwest. I was able to enjoy the tail end of it while driving home from the office. All signals below are relogs. The opening had a MUF of 93.5 FM, but there’s no way of knowing if it was higher earlier in the day, nor can I guess if the opening lasted longer than the 40 minutes I experienced in my car. Signals were, for the most part, weak and mixing with regional tropo. Regardless, it is nice to see some signs of Sporadic E in Northern Virginia, a little more than a week after I wrote about the lack of skip. My Audio Files page was updated with the audio below.
89.5 KHCD Salina, KS, “89.5 Radio Kansas” – public radio, 1080 miles
92.9 KTGL Beatrice, NE, “92-9 The Eagle” – classic rock, 1044 miles
93.5 KKDT Burdett, KS, “My Country 93-5” – country, 1208 miles
Winter 2015/2016 continues to be intriguing in terms of off-season Sporadic E-Skip. There were reports of top-of-the-band FM Es into Jamaica in my region. Lee, a DXer 70 miles south of me in Richmond, VA, positively logged 88.5 Mello FM from Montego Bay, Jamaica and likely other nearby countries on Jan. 13.
Click above to hear Lee’s slam-dunk positive ID from Mello FM, which corresponds to the station’s programming listings online (thanks to Lee for the clip). He also received other Spanish and Caribbean signals, many with strong signals, during the 7-8 p.m. hours.
Locally, my FM band was more or less devoid of skip, except for a fade-up of a NPR-like station on 89.1 which had horrible audio processing, and a religious station that faded in and out briefly on 91.3. Both signals disappeared at about the same time that Lee’s signals went away.
I believe that I matched my 91.3 FM station to the webstream of NCU 91.3 from Kingston, Jamaica. Although the music seemed to be a match, the Es-reflected signal was weak and not in-sync with NCU’s stream to the point where I was unable to confirm reception. Either way, it was intriguing to pick up such exotic DX when the temperatures outside are below freezing!
Listen to Lee’s other unidentified station audio clips, plus a full list of what was received, after the jump. Continue reading →
While doing a routine dial scan upon seeing emails from the WTFDA email list regarding signal enhancement in the region, I came across a new log and a new station: 96.7 WERA-LP, Arlington, VA. The signal is 21 watts at 17 miles away. I’ve been trying to get this station for a while, as I read recently on DCRTV.com that it would be starting soon. Without even knowing, I received the station 38 minutes after its 6 p.m. debut.
96.7 WERA Arlington, VA, “WERA” – community, 12/6/15, 6:38 p.m., 17 miles.
As noted in the above audio clip, WERA’s signal at my house is extremely weak, given the distance and wattage of the station. Thankfully, it is of least concern with regard to DX interference. My DX Log and Audio pages have been updated with the new content as noted in this post.
A great tropo opening in the early morning hours of Sept. 6 brought in one new log, HD Radio decodes for the first time from four relogs, and several New York, NY FM signals (93.1, 97.9, 101.9, 104.3 and 107.5) at over 220 miles away. The surprise of the night was a first-time HD Radio decode from relog 101.5 WRAL from Raleigh, NC over local WBQB that was received regardless of where my antenna was aimed, and at a point in the opening where few other Raleigh-area signals were in. The opening started at 3 a.m. with Philadelphia FM relogs booming in, replaced sparingly with NYC and Raleigh signals at 4 a.m., and then it all died down around 5 a.m. with my usual Norfolk, VA tropo pests starting to come in. My DX Log, HD/RDS Screenshots and Audio pages have been updated with the new content listed below.
A mammoth of an FM Es opening, full of top-of-the-band HD Radio decodes and many new stations, filled my radio dial in Northern Virginia on June 29. Without a doubt, the strongest opening of the 2015 season. Only 11 minutes into the opening, signals were up to 107.9 FM from the Atlanta, GA area under 550 miles with full IBOC decodes. The opening lasted about 100 minutes in the FM band, before completely dropping out as fast as it appeared.
What surprised me during this opening, save for the short <600 mi distances, was the prevalance of RDS and HD Radio decodes. Many of the stations listed below were ‘HD hits,’ or stations IDed by the HD Radio calls received upon immediately tuning to the station. Signals were also fairly strong in this opening, a major difference from previous openings this season. My DX Log, HD/RDS Screenshots and Audio pages have been updated with the new content listed below.
@ = new log
88.1 WUWF Pensacola, FL, HD hit, 794 miles
@ 88.1 WJSP Warm Springs, GA, HD hit, 579 miles
89.1 KUAR Little Rock, AR, HD hit, 883 miles
90.5 KLRE Little Rock, AR, HD hit, 877 miles over local WJYJ
90.7 WWOZ New Orleans, LA, HD hit, 945 miles
91.3 WMPN Jackson Continue reading →
Sporadic E was very active in Northern Virginia for most of the afternoon on June 23. Based on unattended recordings on 97.7 and 101.9 FM, FM Es first appeared at about 2:15 PM and continued off and on, save for a dip during most of the 6 p.m. hour, until 8:16 p.m., for a cumulative 231 minutes in FM. I, unfortunately, was only able to DX the last hour or so of the opening due to work, but I did log a few new stations via the unattended recordings.
In terms of locations covered during this opening, it seemed to be across the entire midwest with signals from multiple states being received all at once. At times, signals were 2-3 stations deep at once, making identification difficult. For the most part, signals were weak and sparingly. The opening had a MUF of 106.9 FM.
As others have commented on the TV/FM Skip Log, I would call this a surprise opening. Out of nowhere at 8:23 p.m. June 22, FM Es shot up to 100.9 FM, staying there for 54 minutes with a MUF of 105.7 FM before disappearing almost instantly. During this opening, I received many signals from Ontario, Manitoba and upper Michigan–an area often overlooked during upper midwest openings in lieu of Minnesota FMs. My DX Log, HD/RDS Screenshots and Audio pages have been updated with the new content listed below.
@ = new station
88.7 unID religious
88.9 unID VCY Radio station
89.1 unID french
89.5 CJRL Kenora, ON, “89.5 The Lake” – ccm, 1141 miles
89.9 unID french
89.9 unID classical
90.3 unID public radio
90.5 unID CBC radio
@ 91.5 CKPR Thunder Bay, ON, “91.5 CKPR” – hot AC, 900 miles
@ 91.5 WJOH Raco, MI, “91.5 Smile FM” – ccm, 647 miles
@ 92.7 CKDR Dryden, ON, “CKDR” – hot AC, 1083 miles over local WWXT
92.7 KZDR Kindred, ND, “92-7 The Drive” – classic hits, 1127 miles over local WWXT
92.9 WSCD Duluth, MN, HD hit, 937 miles
92.9 KKXL Grand Forks, ND, “XL93” – CHR, 1177 miles