Mistaken identity and radio station loggings

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.

Graphics referencing the #269269 texting code from CKAT on their website. Image credit: CKAT/Rogers Media.

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.

Recent AM DX, 37 new AM logs (audio)

I have logged 37 new AM logs between November 24 and December 12, 2019.  Click on an audio link below to hear corresponding audio from each applicable station below.  These signals have been added to my AM DX Log.

All-time radio signal distance record achieved: 600 CJWW logged at 1690 miles

While sitting in my car in a parking lot in Springfield, VA on November 26, I heard country music on 600 AM.  It was unusual, as the frequency is usually either gospel WCAO from nearby Baltimore, MD, or Radio Rebelde from Cuba.  The country signal was very weak, but it faded in right at the right moment.  I heard an ID: “Country 600,” and mentions of “CIWW Radio.com.”  I thought it was, at first, CIWW from Ottawa and that it moved from its previously-logged frequency of 1310.  Upon researching the signal after I got home, I realized I heard “CJWW” instead of CIWW and that the station was, in fact, broadcasting from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan of all places–1690 miles away from my location in Northern Virginia.

CJWW is my new my all-time radio reception signal distance record, unseating 94.1 KZOR Hobbs, NM, which I logged on 7/7/2006 at 1505 miles.  Unfortunately, I was not recording audio during my reception of CJWW.  A similar phenomenon happened during KZOR’s reception–I was recording directly to audio CD at the time, but the CD failed to burn properly, rendering my recording of KZOR permanently ruined, resulting with me having no proof of its reception.  Murphy’s Law strikes again.

Long-range AM reception is rare, from my experience.  The AM stations I usually receive at my home are 600 miles away or closer, with a few outliers such as 1200 WOAI San Antonio, TX, an occasional visitor to Virginia at 1346 miles away.  I think that the time zone difference had something to do with my reception of CJWW, as it was only 5:26 PM local time when I picked them up.  CJWW was likely still on its daytime signal pattern of 25 KW, versus its 8 KW nighttime array.

My AM DX Log has been updated with my logging of CJWW.

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