I noticed while doing a dial scan on February 4 that local 96.3 WHUR had its IBOC off-air, rendering both 96.1 and 96.5 open for DXing. In fact, at the time of writing the next day, WHUR’s IBOC is still off. Later that night, unattended recordings netted a new FM signal, 96.1 WMAX, with a perfectly-timed meteor scatter ping:
96.1 WMAX Holland, MI, 534 miles, “ESPN Radio”
On top of WMAX, the usual regional Tr ‘pests’ located within 70-200 miles that are heard when 96.3 WHUR’s IBOC is off (Norfolk’s 96.1 WROX, Eastern PA’s 96.1 WSOX, and Richmond’s 96.5 WKLR) were received, along with ultra-rare station 96.1 WKST Pittsburgh, PA @ 187 miles. In almost 20 years of DXing, I’ve only received WKST once, in 2006.
The Audio section of this blog is now fully updated and revamped with a much easier-to-use interface. The page has been dormant since this summer, when I started on a project to remove the cumbersome tables (that were hard for me to update) to a more easier layout. In the meantime, I had been posting new audio files to the blog, but I was not been adding them to the audio section. The page has now been fully updated with all content from this summer until today. To hear an audio file, you can now click on the “” icon next to a station listing, as seen below.
While scanning the dial early this morning, just hours after logging new signal 96.1 WCTO, I heard religious talk on 100.7 FM. Come to find out, I was picking up another new signal, 100.7 W264DB Falls Church, VA, which relays 1220 WFAX. Thankfully, W264DB is fairly weak at home and I should still get some good tropo or Sporadic E on 100.7 during favorable conditions. My FM DX Log has been updated to reflect this new logging.
100.7 W264DB Falls Church, VA, “WFAX 1220 AM” – religious, 15 miles
HD Radio service from Washington’s 96.3 WHUR has been offline in the past 24 hours, which has allowed signals to come in on 96.1 and 96.5 FM–two frequencies that are usually rendered useless in my area due to the interference caused by WHUR’s IBOC sidebands.
While WHUR’s IBOC was off, I received several relogs, including 96.1 WROX Exmore, VA @ 118 mi, 96.1 WSOX Red Lion, PA @ 93 mi, and 96.5 WKLR Ft. Lee, VA @ 92 mi. At 6:30 PM on October 30, I received a signal for the first time from 96.1 WCTO Easton, PA. My FM DX Log has been updated to reflect this new logging.
96.1 WCTO Easton, PA, “Cat Country 96” – country, 165 miles
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.