Superb tropo opening into New York City; Long Island 5/21/17. 3 new FM stations and HD/RDS records made

May 21 was a phenomenal day for tropo in Northern Virginia–the likes of which I haven’t seen in a while.  It marks the first true tropo duct in my new home since moving here in March.  Throughout the day, the band was open to Ocean City, MD and Delaware, which isn’t unusual at all, just not during the day.  RDS from relog 95.3 WKDB Laurel, DE, at 87 miles, was constant at all hours, and through the IBOC hash from my local DC stations, I picked up two new stations, one of them a translator from Delaware.

The main event didn’t happen until about 10:30 PM, when 97.9 WSKQ from New York, NY came in strongly over Baltimore’s WIYY.  This happens maybe once every 2-3 years, almost always in the fall, never in the spring like now.  WSKQ, at 226 miles away, is the usual “beacon” that alerts me to a tropo duct forming northward.  Shortly afterward, New York’s 101.9 WFAN and 107.5 WBLS came in.  WBLS, with its HD Radio subdecode, is the furthest northward signal I’ve ever received IBOC from, and WFAN is the furthest northward FM station to decode RDS on my radio via tropo.  But like many New York tropo ducts, they don’t last long.  The band abruptly dropped back to deadband conditions by 11:45 PM, with a lone HD Radio decode for the first time from Lancaster, PA’s 94.5 WDAC serving as the opening’s goodbye wave.

@ = new


@ 88.7 WKNZ Harrington, DE, 93 miles


94.5 WDAC Lancaster, PA, 101 miles


@ 97.5 WALK Patchogue, NY, 271 miles


97.9 WSKQ New York, NY, 226 miles


101.9 WFAN New York, NY, 225 miles


@ 102.1 W271CX Milford, DE, 97 miles


102.5 WRFY Reading, PA, 135 miles


103.9 WRCN Riverhead, NY, 282 miles


107.5 WBLS New York, NY, 225 miles

RDS received from DC-area pirate on 98.1

I recently wrote about a pirate FM station that can be heard in the Washington, DC suburbs of Oxon Hill, MD.  It airs a classic hits format and is called “98-1 The Fox.” I’ve finally confirmed that the station runs RDS.


98.1 PIRATE 5/5/17, car radio in Springfield, VA.

Since my initial logging of the station last month, I’ve noticed that “The Fox” airs only in the late afternoon/evening hours and not in the morning, save for one day in the past week where it was heard during both my morning and evening commute.  As the pirate station’s signal is very weak, it is of no concern in terms of DXing.  Even though the station has minimal imaging, it is amusing to listen to, as the station sounds much like a legal FM signal, save for the lack of local positioning, DJs, and a lot of dry segues between songs.  Before one song, the station randomly inserted a pre-recorded liner that said the current temperature.

The screenshot above from this station has been added to my RDS and HD Radio Screenshots page.

HD Radio finally decoded from 102.7 WQSR Baltimore, MD

Baltimore is a fairly close city to my home–just over 50 miles away.  Their FM stations boom into my Northern Virginia home and are considered semi-locals.  At any given time, I can receive HD Radio reception from their 95.1 WRBS.  Other FM signals from the city, such as 91.5 WBJC, 92.3 WERQ, 101.9 WLIF, and 105.7 WJZ, have HD Radio signals that decode very often year-round as reception conditions warrant.  Two Baltimore FM stations, however, never decoded IBOC reception at my house until recently: 102.7 WQSR and 104.3 WZFT.  WZFT decoded for the first time last week.  WQSR finally did too in the early morning hours of April 16.

WQSR is usually strong enough at my home to decode RDS.  I knew it broadcasted HD Radio since it decoded on recent trips to the city, but it rarely did here since its IBOC sidebands on 102.5 and 102.9 are occupied by other signals locally.  The stars aligned and WQSR’s IBOC decoded for about 15 minutes before disappearing.  The screenshots below were added to my HD Radio and RDS Screenshots page.


102.7 WQSR Baltimore, MD, 57 miles

Baltimore’s 95.1 WRBS adds HD Radio signal

2016-post-trWhile doing a routine dial scan on January 22, I found 95.1 WRBS from Baltimore has turned on HD Radio service for the first time.  WRBS is a strong, almost local-grade signal at my home, even at 51 miles away.  However, the fact their digital signal decodes is a mystery.  WRBS’ HD Radio sidebands–the frequencies in which it actually broadcasts its digital signal–are 94.9 and 95.3 FM.  At my home, 94.9 also houses local 94.7 WIAD’s IBOC sideband, while local 95.5 WPGC’s IBOC sideband is on 95.3.  The below screenshots from WRBS have been added to my HD Radio/RDS Screenshots page.

wrbs-hd1 wrbs-hd2 wrbs-hd3
95.1 WRBS Baltimore, MD, 51 miles away

New HD Radio/RDS decodes from two relogs added

2016-post-trWhile in Manassas, VA on November 24, I received RDS for the first time from 102.5 WUSQ and HD Radio reception from 106.9 WWEG.  IBOC interference from local 106.7 WJFK drowns out WWEG at home to the point where typical analog reception, let alone an IBOC decode, from WWEG is impossible.  However, WWEG came in with HD reception and WUSQ came in with RDS 15 miles west of my home in Manassas.  My HD Radio/RDS Screenshots page was updated with these new screenshots.

Relogs received:

wusq
102.5 WUSQ Winchester, VA, “Q102” – country, 65 miles

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106.9 WWEG Hagerstown, MD, “106.9 The Eagle” – classic hits, 60 miles

Woodstock, VA travel DX log updated with new HD Radio/RDS screenshots

2016-post-trI added many new HD Radio and RDS screenshots to my Woodstock, VA travel log on November 25.  Although the majority of these signals are my local signals from home, they are distant signals in Woodstock.  For most of these stations, the screenshots below are from the first time I received IBOC reception from them.  The page has been added to reflect these new screenshots.

Relogs received:

woodstock-112516-885
88.5 WAMU Washington, DC, “88.5 WAMU” – public radio, 75 miles

woodstock-112516-919
91.9 WGTS Takoma Park, MD, “91.9 WGTS” – ccm, 82 Continue reading

New travel DX logs added from New England

Portland Breakwater Light in Portland, ME, taken during my September 2016 trip to New England.

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.

New RDS screenshot added from 89.7 W209BY

wper

WPER

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.

w209by
89.7 W209BY Woodbridge, VA, “Positive Hits PER” – ccm, 1 mile

New travel DX logs added from Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

ohioI 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.