Only U.S. AM signal on 1710 AM received in Virginia

There is only one signal on 1710 AM in the United States, a tiny 10-watt travelers information station in New Jersey.  At 223 miles away, such a signal should be impossible to receive where I live in Virginia.  But that is exactly what I heard on my radio on April 16.

1710 WQFG689 Jersey City, NJ

Reception of the signal was a complete surprise, given similarly-powered signals in my own area barely make it a few miles out, let alone hundreds of miles away.

In continuing the spectacular AM reception that I’ve received so far this month, I also logged 18 new signals via groundwave and skywave propagation in the past four days.  The new logs below have been added to my DX Logs page.

  • 640 WWJZ Mt. Holly, NJ, 4/15/19 8:33 AM, groundwave, 165 miles, “Relevant Radio” – religious
  • 690 WELD Fisher, WV, 4/13/19 3:45 PM, groundwave, 97 miles, “WELD Radio” – classic hits
  • 730 CKAC Montreal, QC, 4/15/19 1:07 AM, skywave, 502 miles, french talk, over local WTNT
  • 840 WKTR Earlysville, VA, 4/16/19 8:31 AM, groundwave, 67 miles, “CSN Radio” – religious
  • 910 WRNL Richmond, VA, 4/15/19 8:44 AM, groundwave, 73 miles, “910 The Fan” – sports
  • 1000 WIOO Carlisle, PA, 4/12/19 8:53 AM, groundwave, 103 miles, “Country Legends WIOO” – classic country
  • 1010 WOLB Baltimore, MD, 4/13/19 3:44 PM, groundwave, 58 miles, “WOLB Talk 1010” – talk
  • 1040 WCHR Flemington, NJ, 4/14/19 7:05 PM, skywave, 176 miles, religious
  • 1080 WKJK Louisville, KY, 4/14/19 2:48 AM, skywave, 464 miles, “Talk Radio 1080” – talk radio
  • 1150 WDEL Wilmington, DE, 4/15/19 12:58 AM, skywave, 123 miles, “WDEL” – news
  • 1210 WJNL Kingsley, MI, 4/15/19 1:00 AM, skywave, 592 miles, “WJNL News Radio” – news
  • 1240 WCEM Cambridge, MD, 4/13/19 4:04 PM, groundwave, 64 miles, Baltimore Orioles sports programming
  • 1330 WESR Onley, VA, 4/13/19 4:16 PM, groundwave, 108 miles, “105-7 Coastal Country” – country
  • 1360 WNJC Washington Township, NJ, 4/15/19 1:29 AM, skywave, 140 miles, “WNJC Radio” – classic hits
  • 1550 WMRE Charles Town, WV, 4/13/19 3:47 PM, groundwave, 53 miles, “Fox Sports Radio” – sports
  • 1590 WHGT Maugansville, MD, 4/14/19 7:00 PM, skywave, 83 miles, “1590 WHGT” – religious
  • 1610 W??? 4/13/19 3:48 PM, groundwave, Sentara Potomac Hospital information
  • 1710 WQFG689 Jersey City, NJ, groundwave, 4/16/19 8:12 PM, 223 miles, travel information

AM DX: 15 new AM radio logs

April continues to be a phenomenal month in terms of AM DX.  In the past few weeks, I have received 16 new AM logs.  Since my last report, I managed to log 15 more new AM signals, all either during favorable sunset propagation conditions, or in my car on my way in to work in the morning.  The new logs below have been added to my DX Logs page.

  • 560 WFRB Frostburg, MD, 4/9/19 8:47 AM, groundwave, 115 miles, classic country
  • 590 WLES Bon Air, VA, 4/9/19 8:30 AM, groundwave, 79 miles, “The Truth” – religious
  • 640 WHLO Akron, OH, 4/7/19 7:30 PM, skywave, 286 miles, “640 WHLO” – news/talk
  • 690 WOKV Jacksonville, FL, 4/7/19 7:42 PM, skywave, 633 miles, “ESPN Radio” – sports
  • 780 WCKB Dunn, NC, 4/7/19 7:45 PM, skywave, 243 miles, religious
  • 790 WNIS Norfolk, VA, 4/7/19 7:46 PM, skywave, 121 miles, “790 WNIS” – talk
  • 870 WHCU Ithaca, NY, 4/7/19 7:00 PM, skywave, 258 miles, “News Talk 97.7 & 870” – news/talk
  • 880 WRFD Columbus, OH, 4/7/19 7:30 PM, skywave, 320 miles, “AM 880 & 104.5 The Word WRFD” – religious
  • 1280 WHVR Hanover, PA, 4/8/19 8:36 AM, groundwave, 81 miles, “Classic Hits 95-3 WHVR” – classic hits
  • 1330 WEBO Owego, NY, 4/9/19 8:36 AM, groundwave, 243 miles, “WEBO Hometown Radio” – AC
  • 1390 WNIO Youngstown, OH, 4/7/19 8:00 PM, skywave, 239 miles, “The Sports Animal” – sports
  • 1410 WING Dayton, OH, 4/7/19 9:00 PM, skywave, 376 miles, “ESPN Radio” – sports
  • 1410 WRTZ Roanoke, VA, 4/8/19 8:33 AM, groundwave, 176 miles, “True Oldies Channel” – oldies
  • 1630 WPHG707 Oxon Hill, MD, 4/9/19 8:34 AM, groundwave, 12 miles, testing
  • 1650 CINA Mississauga, ON, 4/9/19 8:40 AM, groundwave, 364 miles, “CINA Radio 1650 AM” – ethnic

AM DX from the past few days: 8 new logs

April 2019 has started off right in terms of AM DX. I received 8 new logs in recent weeks, and in the past few days, I have added another 8 more, bringing my total AM log station count to 241.

April 4 was something else.  AM signals from Cuba dominated much of the AM dial in the overnight hours, displacing some normally strong regional signals.  It was obvious they were Cuban after I heard one signal give a network ID, and I found the other signals playing the same thing.  What I found even more interesting was that even with the slew of Cuban AM signals coming in, nothing from nearby South Florida came in.  Given how Cuban AM stations often have multiple signals on one frequency with no local legal IDs, I was unable to positively ID every single station listed below, but I am adding them to my DX Logs anyway as a placeholder (in the event I ever do get a positive ID) because it was definitely a Cuban signal that I received.

New signals received:

  • 600 CMKV San Germán, Cuba, 4/4/19 1:35 AM, skywave, 1246 miles, “Radio Rebelde” – spanish, 50kw
  • 620 CMGN Matanzas, Cuba, 4/4/19 1:35 AM, skywave, 1192 miles, “Radio Rebelde” – spanish, 25kw
  • 630 WBMQ Savannah, GA, 4/4/19 1:06 AM, skywave, 501 miles, “News Talk 630 WBMQ” – talk, over local WMAL
  • 670 CM?? Cuba, 4/4/19 1:35 AM, skywave, “Radio Rebelde” – spanish
  • 710 CM?? Cuba, 4/4/19 1:40 AM, skywave, “Radio Rebelde” – spanish
  • 890 CM?? Cuba, 4/4/19 1:16 AM, skywave, “Radio Rebelde” – spanish
  • 900 CM?? Cuba, 4/4/19 1:35 AM, skywave, “Radio Rebelde” – spanish
  • 970 WWRK Florence, SC, 4/7/19 5:42 AM, skywave, 335 miles, “Rock 94.1, 97.9, 105.9” – rock, webcast match

Recent AM DX: 8 new AM logs

I have been DXing a lot of the AM radio band in recent weeks, given the FM band has been devoid of any signal enhancement or DX conditions.  In the past week, I have received eight new AM stations.  I was unable to find the callsign for the low power 1610 AM signal listed below, unfortunately.  These new logs have been added to my AM DX Log.

New signals received:

  • 570 WMCA New York, NY, 4/3/19 8:29 PM, skywave, 222 miles, “570 The Mission” – religious
  • 850 WKNR Cleveland, OH, 4/3/19 1:56 AM, skywave, 299 miles, “Fox Sports Radio” – sports
  • 930 WDLX Washington, NC, 3/29/19 1:26 AM, skywave, 216 miles, “WDLX” – sports, local ads
  • 960 WEAV Plattsburgh, NY, 4/1/19 2:38 AM, skywave, 453 miles, “960 The Zone” – sports
  • 1080 WWNL Pittsburgh, PA, 4/3/19 7:30 PM, skywave, 196 miles, “Wilkins Radio Network” – religious
  • 1370 WTAB Tabor City, NC, 4/3/19 1:39 AM, skywave, 323 miles, “WTAB” – hot AC
  • 1590 WCGO Evanston, IL, 4/3/19 1:33 AM, skywave, 597 miles, “Smart Talk 1590 WCGO” – talk
  • 1610 W??? Ft. Belvoir, VA, 4/3/19 7:30 PM, groundwave, “Belvoir Radio 1610” – information

First-time HD Radio decode from Chicago’s WBBM 780

Chicago’s 780 WBBM is a fairly common signal at my home in Northern Virginia during the nighttime hours every night.  The station runs HD Radio, but the signal is usually not strong enough to receive its HD Radio broadcast.  On March 7, the station was unusually strong, allowing HD Radio to fully decode for the first time.

780 WBBM Chicago, IL, 3/7/19, 611 miles

The screenshot above has been added to my AM HD Radio Screenshots page.

Three new AM DX logs

While checking the AM radio dial around sunset on January 20, I came across three new stations, listed below.  These new logs have been added to my AM DX Log.

890 WKNV Fairlawn, VA, skywave, 210 miles, “Joy FM” – religious
990 WNML Knoxville, TN, skywave, 406 miles, “The Sports Animal” – sports
1550 WITK Pittson, PA, skywave, 201 miles, “1550 AM and 94.7 WITK” – religious

Billboards: An unusual radio station transmitter

billboardThe average person has likely driven by a billboard hundreds of times in their lives, if not several times every day.

But what they may not know is that these common advertisement spaces for local businesses may also be transmitting low power radio signals.

Larry Lanberg, a visitor to my site who lives in the Richmond, VA area, recently contacted me regarding an unidentified signal he was receiving on 1620 AM after he couldn’t find any stations on that frequency in our state (there are no commercially-licensed 1620 AMs in Virginia).  The only match he found was my logging of 1620 WPMU747 Lorton, VA, a low-power traffic information station operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

But something wasn’t right.  Lanberg said that he heard “snippets of songs” and a pre-recorded message mentioning the Virginia Lottery on the station–something I know VDOT traffic signals do not air.  Plus, the likelihood of the relatively weak 10 watt signal from WPMU747 reaching the Richmond area, at over 70 miles, was highly unlikely.  The existence of other VDOT traffic signals on 1620 AM in the Richmond area which likely do not air music made this an even larger mystery. Continue reading “Billboards: An unusual radio station transmitter”