One of the most important things a DXer must do if they are serious with the hobby is be certain that the signals that they log are truthful, accurate, and honest. This has been one of the major rules that I have followed in my 20+ years of FM, AM, and TV DXing. Thankfully, modern technology such as Google, live streaming, HD Radio, RDS, and audio recording have made researching and positively IDing radio stations something relatively easy to do. Even with these tools available, extreme caution must still be made to ensure that one doesn’t inadvertently log the wrong radio station.
I rarely log any radio station, AM or FM, without some sort of confirmation that it is, in fact, the station I heard. This positive ID may come via a station ID, local ads, or an HD Radio or RDS decode. Or, I may match a station to its live webstream and, after confirming it isn’t part of a nationwide radio network, consider it a positive log. This has been the tried-and-true method of identifying signals ever since I started DXing in 1999.
It is rare for me to be scratching my head after hearing such a positive ID, but that is exactly what happened to me on December 16. On November 26, wrote how I logged my all-time distance record for all broadcast bands, 600 CJWW from Saskatoon, SK, a classic country station named “Country 600 CJWW.” CJWW was 1690 miles away from where I received it in Springfield, VA. Part of the frustration I faced with CJWW was that my recorder wasn’t running, so although I did hear a positive ID, I didn’t have “proof” of it to present on this blog. On December 26, I heard country music again on AM 600 while driving in Springfield and I hit “record.”
As heard in the above audio clip, the DJ gives the weather forecast in Celsius (indicative of the signal being from Canada), and she invites listeners to text the station at #269269. She then gives the “Country 600” station ID. I was ecstatic–I finally had an audio recording of my furthest broadcast logging. But something didn’t seem right. A simple Google search came up with a different result: the DJ was giving a forecast for 17 degrees, but the temperature in Saskatoon was forecast to be -25 Celsius at the same time. The 269269 text number, per Google, belonged to another radio station with the same name as CJWW: 600 CKAT North Bay, ON, at 524 miles away.
The audio clip above is a slam-dunk positive ID of CKAT. There’s no question that I heard that signal on December 16. But what does that mean for my previous logging of CJWW, which also identified as “Country 600?” Does this mean that I never logged CJWW, and that I, in fact, heard CKAT instead? Common logic would dictate that the answer would be yes, since CKAT is 1166 miles closer than CJWW.
Interestingly, the answer is actually “no.” I distinctly heard the DJ say “CJWWradio.com” during my logging of CJWW earlier this year. CKAT’s website is www.country600.com. The Saskatechewan station also identified as “Country 600 CJWW” a few times during my intial logging, while CKAT IDed as simply “Country 600.” Although I don’t have audio proof of my logging of CJWW (much to my frustration), their callsign was what I heard and, thus, proves that I heard both CJWW and CKAT. This is a rare situation where two stations on the same frequency have the same name and, even so, constitute separate logs.
I have added CKAT’s logging to my AM DX log. I will update this blog when (and if) I log CJWW again and record a clip from the signal.