The deluge of recent new HD Radio and RDS decodes on my radios has continued. On June 22, I received HD Radio for the first time from 94.9 WPTE and 104.9 WSJO. WPTE’s decode was a surprise, given its first adjacents that carry the signal (94.7 and 95.1) are occupied by a local and a semi-local frequency, respectively. These screenshots were added to my RDS/HD Radio Screenshots page.
Philadelphia, PA is a market that I’ve been trying to get HD Radio decodes from for years. At 144 miles away, the city is in a normal range for this to happen, however, it remains to be seen. The lack of IBOC from Philadelphia is peculiar, because I’ve received HD from nearby stations in Wilmington, DE and Princeton, NJ. On June 21, I received HD Radio from a signal north of Philadelphia, making the lack of HD from the city even more interesting.
HD Radio was decoded on June 21 for the first time from relog 101.5 WKXW, over local WBQB. I also decoded RDS for the first time from relog 93.3 WMMR over local WFLS. These screenshots were added to my RDS/HD Radio Screenshots page.
93.3 WMMR Philadelphia, PA, 6/21/17, tropo, 143 miles over local WFLS
101.5 WKXW Trenton, NJ, 6/21/17, tropo, 177 miles over local WBQB
Minor tropo enhancement on June 20 brought in RDS for the first time from two relogs: 101.3 WROZ and 102.5 WRFY from southern Pennsylvania. These screenshots were added to my RDS/HD Radio Screenshots page.
It’s a rarity these days that tropo under 150 miles brings in any new stations, but that is exactly what happened during the early morning hours of June 16. I received strong tropo from the Delmarva Eastern Shore and with it, three new signals, two over local frequencies. 88.5 WHRG was found on a whim when tuning by local WAMU. I heard a slight “repeat” in the NPR audio superimposed over WAMU and found out it was an entirely different station I didn’t know existed. 101.5 WOWZ has been on my radar since they signed on last year, but I didn’t think I’d get them over local WBQB, which is a very strong signal at my home. Equally surprising was 105.7 W289CE. I thought it was 105.7 WRSF from Coastal NC, but it was coming in way too strong, and the other usual coastal NC relog signals that appear with WRSF were absent. I’m glad I kept on listening. I also added 25 new RDS signals from relogs; 98.3 WHRL’s RDS being the first time received from that station. My DX Logs, Audio and RDS/HD Radio Screenshots pages have been added with the new content below.
88.5 WHRG Gloucester Point, VA, 99 miles, over local WAMU
101.5 WOWZ Chincoteague, VA, 108 miles, over local WBQB
During exceptional downstate Virginia tropo in the early morning hours of June 4, I received HD Radio for the first time from 105.5 WOJL. I also received RDS for the first time from Richmond’s 105.7 WKJS. My HD Radio/RDS Screenshots page has been updated to reflect these changes.
May 31 and June 1 have been phenomenal regional tropo days in Northern Virginia. Although the radio dial didn’t expand too far beyond the usual 100-mile range for typical signals, the quality of signals within that range increased stronger than usual to the point where I received HD Radio or RDS for the first time from previously-logged stations. HD Radio decoded from Baltimore-area 89.7 WTMD and 95.9 WWIN for the first time since I added IBOC capabilities to my shack in 2008, received right over local 89.7 W209BY and semi-local 95.9 WGRQ, respectively. WTMD was a surprise, as I was unaware that they broadcasted IBOC. Longtime tropo signals 101.7 WKWI and 104.9 WIGO from Virginia’s Northern Neck also came in with RDS for the first time. Although the highlights are below, I added 18 more screenshots from other stations to my RDS/HD Radio Screenshots page.
The 2017 Sporadic E-Skip season is officially underway in Northern Virginia after an average opening on May 28 brought in signals from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas into my area. The skip started shortly after 4:20 PM and dipped out of FM a few minutes later. It came back a little stronger about an hour and a half later, ending abruptly at about 6:50 PM. All in all, about 10 minutes cumulative of skip. The MUF, or maximum usable frequency, of the opening was 106.1 FM. My DX Log, RDS/HD Radio Screenshots, and Audio pages have been updated with the new content below.
@ = new
88.1 KLBT Beaumont, TX, “88.1 KLBT” – ccm, 1108 miles
88.7 unID public radio
89.1 unID religious
91.5 KGRM Grambling, LA, RDS hit, 782 miles (undecoded RDS)
93.1 KQID Alexandria, LA, “Q93” – CHR, 972 miles
93.7 KQBT Houston, TX, “93-7 The Beat” – urban, 1214 miles
@ 95.7 KROK South Ft. Polk, LA, “95.7 KROK” – rock, 1046 miles
94.1 WEMX Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.