Friday, December 19, 2008

Arctic Lights Around Winter Solstice

Here on 71 North, it is dark almost 24h around Winter Solstice; only around noon do we see some twilight. But sometimes light itself is spectacular, such as today when iridescent clouds coloured the southern sky. These clouds are typical for the polar areas and are formed 20-30 km up where the temperature is down to -80 Celsius.With light like this, who cares if it's dark the rest of the day?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

QS1R Selectivity, Audio Quality

Selecting the appropriate bandwidth is a two-step process. Clicking "FILT" or the bandwidth label (in the case of the picture: "4K") opens a new window from which you can select one of 16 preset bandwidths. Each can be tailor-made to your own liking. I was somewhat surprised to see that in AM mode, "4K" bandwidth is not 4 kHz, but 8! As long as you know, it's ok. Making a passband shift effect is easy enough; just adjust the slider on the bandwidth line. The bandwidth setting will reset to default if you press one of the bandwidth buttons on the bottom. Less elegant than the Perseus, but perfectly acceptable. I have no tools to measure the ultimate rejection of these bandwidths, so a comparison between the QS1R and the Perseus had to be made with ears only. I could not detect any difference between the two SDRs.

As we know, audio quality relies on a well designed AGC function. The QS1R GUI offers Long, Slow, Med, Fast AGC, or you can choose to turn it off. The settings can be adjusted the same way bandwidth can - at least in theory. The current GUI has the AGC options greyed out but the problem has been acknowledged by Cathy the GUI designer so I expect the option to be available soon. At present, even the "Long" AGC setting has a too short release time to cope with rapid fading. In such instances, "pumping" effects will be heard.

But audio quality and audio recovery is nonetheless superb. In situations with heavy interference, the weaker signal often appears more readable on the QS1R than on the Perseus. The difference is subtle, and the average listener may not detect it at all, but in some cases it could be the difference between hearing an ID or not. Audio recovery appears to be more "open" than the Perseus, making it easier to separate between several stations on the frequency.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

CKAT North Bay ON 600 Verification

Another most wanted station arrived with the superb conditions I experienced on Sept 27 and 28, and with a very good signal too. Brief email today confirmed my reception. At the same time, relatively rare CKGL had a monster signal on 570, so Ontario stations were really getting out those days.

Monday, December 08, 2008

QS1R Extremely First Impressions

Got my QS1R today. Although I have heard of others having trouble installing it to a PC with Perseus, I decided to give it a try. Absolutely no problems at all! CPU load on my dual core 8400 processor is around 15% Perseus, 6-9% QS1R server and around 15-20% for the QS1R GUI (SDRMAX II).

What a wonderful new toy. Phil, I hope you have the recording function up and going soon.

More as I explore the QS1R, and compare it to the Perseus.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WGR Buffalo NY 550 Verification

September 27 and 28 proved to be excellent dates for eastern North America and also Central and northern South America DX. WGR is a most wanted station and they surfaced on one half-hour with excellent signal and an ID to match. Next target on 550: WKRC.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

WKAR 870 Press Release

Picking up WKAR's daytime signal was indeed one of the highlights of the KONG18 DX-pedition. Interesting to note then, that the reception caused similar enthusiasm on the studio end of the signal path! Here is a press release from Michigan State University.

Needless to say, we have received both email and letter confirmations.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Recent Verifications

WEBC Duluth MN 560 has been heard a few times here, but without getting any reports from me. Quite good signal on September 27 triggered me to send off an email though, with a swift and friendly response in return.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recent Verifications

WSOO Sault St. Marie MI 1230 was heard during my lunch break on Nov 21, and with a very good signal. Apparently there was a short spot opening just then.  Unfortunately conditions went back to "normal" a minute before the full hour.

WCTS Maplewood MN 1030 is another KONG18 catch; good signal at the time. I've heard it a couple of times before, but never got a positive ID until now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recent Verifications

WMRN Marion OH 1490 is a station I heard several years ago. No luck with any reports until a friendly email arrived on Nov 17.

KARI Blaine WA 550 was quite a surprise catch on Oct 17 since it had apparently not been heard before on this side of the Pole. Their nighttime power or pattern must have improved quite a bit though, since it has been picked up by several DX-ers this autumn.

KGED Fresno CA 1680 is not an uncommon guest here, but I've had bad luck trying to ID it. At 1300 UTC on Nov 15 KGED finally came clear from the Seattle station, and gave an excellent ID. Thanks Pat Martin for a swift response.

"I consider king crab to be one of Nature's most heavenly treats" - those were the words from the v/s on WSYR Syracuse NY 570, heard on Sept 19. I did not expect this one, but they popped up with a fine ID one half-hour. He really knows what he's talking about!

CFCO Chatham ON 630 has been very high on my wish list, and during a few minutes on Sept 19 they and CHLT totally owned 630, dwarfing NRK Vigra.

WMMB Melbourne FL 1240 is only my second in-band Florida station verified in Kongsfjord - curiously enough both heard on 1240. Heard on the excellent east coast night on Sept 19.

WENE Endicott NY 1430 has amazingly enough not been heard by me before, but put up a superb signal on Sept 19.

Radio Club AM, Sydney NSW 1683 was heard with excellent signals at times during KONG18. They peaked with signal levels I haven't heard before from an Australian x-bander. Exact frequency 1683.23.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

KNML Albuquerque NM 610 Verification

Hearing KNML has been rather high on my wish list, and when I finally got to hear them, I was taken aback at the superb signal level. KNML has been heard once before in Kongsfjord, in October 2007, but when I got to the frequency at the time they had already ID'ed and started to fade.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

WKAR East Lansing MI 870 Verification

October 23 was a good evening for US daytime stations, such as WKAR which signed off at 2300 UTC with a brief identification. Not very strong, but for once WWL wasn't there.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kongsfjord Pictures

A grey November morning, around half an hour before sunrise - windy, rainy, cold (+1C) but around this time KNML Albuquerque NM totally owned 610. A first time for me. View towards NW - the 30 degrees beverage antenna supports are visible.

I have uploaded some pictures from the KONG18 DX-pedition to my web album. You can access the album below.

Recent Verifications

I couldn't resist the temptation to send off a few reports, could I. Here are the latest in my inbox:

KPRO Riverside CA 1570 is a new station in our logs, but appeared frequently during the KONG18 DX-pedition.  The station is 30 years old in December.

WLBL Auburndale WI 930 was my second great surprise on 930 in only a few weeks. I received two replies from the station; they also mentioned a recent report from Jan Alvestad (AND3?)

Friday, October 31, 2008

KKIN Aitkin MN 930

For me to hear new stations nowadays requires extraordinary conditions. They don't come often, and sometimes the openings only last a few minutes. So, the name of the game is to be at the right spot at the right time. SDRs make this easier than it used to be.

KKIN has apparently not been heard on this side of the Pole before. So imagine my surprise when I noted big band jazz music on 930 on Sept 18, followed by a strong and crystal clear KKIN identification! KKIN runs 2500 watts day, 360 watts night, in a non-directional pattern. Aitkin is a small town, less than 2,000 people mostly of German, Swedish and Norwegian heritage.

A friendly response from KKIN's CE confirmed my reception.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Recent Verifications

KTCT San Mateo CA 1050 was heard with good signal levels some days during KONG18. Their CE responded quickly after returning from his Pacific Ocean sailing trip.

Islamic Voice, Melbourne VIC 1701 is a new station on the Australian x-band scene. Very good signal levels during KONG18.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One, Possibly Two SDR-IQs For Sale

I suppose they would need no further presentation for the readers of this blog.  Impeccable, both visually and performance-wise. Asking EUR 340 or USD 425. Preferably electronic bank transfer but Paypal accepted if 4% added. Shipping would be somewhere around EUR 30 or USD 35 (not insured). Email bm at kongsfjord dot no.

Update November 10: Both have now found new homes in Norway and Canada.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

KONG18 Loran C Reflections

Sorry about not keeping you up to date on preps and events on the KONG18 DX-ped. OJ is maintaining this job excellently on this web update, so I'll rather post some specific comments instead.

Loran C has, as most of my readers will know, been a major challenge for good readability. Through careful planning, good cables and 100 kHz notch filters for each beverage feedline I have managed to reduce the Loran C noise to an acceptable level. But this autumn, the noise level has inceased substantially. So much in fact, that on many frequencies low signal level DX has become impossible. The picture to the left says a bit about the problem here. 1070 to 1110 used to be frequencies with only very light interference; now the noise bleeds through even quite strong signals. Similar problems are seen from 660 to 700, 860 to 900, 950 to 1010, 1270 to 1300 and to a lesser extent 1460 to 1490 and on the x-band. The strong signal on 1134 is RSt. Mayak, Murmansk RUS.

I don't know what has changed. I talked with the Loran C technician some days ago, he claimed there had been no changes done with the transmitter the last year. At any rate, surely locations without Loran C noise have a clear edge over Kongsfjord this year.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Recent Verifications

I don't send many reports anymore, but a few still goes out. The past couple of weeks I had the pleasure of hearing two stations in the Fargo, ND area that I hadn't heard before, KFNW-1200 andWZFG-1100 (Dilworth MN), and I received very friendly responses from both. WZFG is currently covering Norsk Hostfest (which would translate to Norwegian Fall Festival) in Minot; North America's largest Scandinavian Festival. I have been invited to Fargo. We'll see how this evolves.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Running Two SDR-IQs On An MSI Wind

The MSI Wind is one of the new generation of "netbooks" - small laptops with Intel Atom processors and 10" or smaller displays. My Wind worked well with the Perseus, running at 800 kHz.

The ultimate portable reception setup would be a Wind and two SDR-IQs, since you don't need external power supplies for the IQs. This evening I tested this setup, and I was pleased (but not very surprised) to see that the Wind copes admirably with two SDR-IQs. The screendump to the left shows two instances of SpectraVue running. The CPU load was 60-75%. Luckily SpectraVue is resizeable, so the two windows can match the small display reasonably well.

Now, the current 3-cell Wind doesn't have much to brag about in terms of battery capacity, so you should either buy the 6-cell Wind or a replacement battery if you plan to spend a few hours on the beach. The two IQs take their toll on battery life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Season - New Logs

Time to list what is heard. To the right you will find a link to a Google spreadsheet comprising my 2008-2009 loggings. In the beginning all stations ID'ed will be listed, but the most common ones are likely to disappear, leaving only the better catches.

The log so far is very modest. It will improve in both quantity and quality as the season progress.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sept 6: A Few La Plata Stations

Not much to hear with A-indices near 30. The last half-hour before sunrise did bring a few La Plata stations though, some with good strength. The strongest being the rather common ARG stations Radio América 1190 and Radio Provincia 1270. Buenos Aires 1350 was weak. I also heard a Spanish-language station on 1450. Morada do Sol (new for me) was strong on 1260, and a few others from Brazil were also heard. Lots of carriers but too weak for audio.  Time: 01:45 - 02:15 UTC. Receiver: Perseus. Antenna: Backlobe of my 600-m Far East beverage.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Antenna Out - First Transatlantic Signals Heard

The 310-degree beverage directed towards eastern North America was erected Saturday evening, and the first signals this season from the Americas were heard today at 0200Z. I hadn't expected this, after all it's not even properly dark at local midnight on this latitude, but I did hear the stronger La Plata/Brazil stations and there were carriers on most frequencies. Best audio from 870, 930 and 980.

The 310 isn't very good towards this area so a properly directed antenna like the 85-degree backlobe would probably have yielded much better results. The 85 is due up the coming Friday.

We are underway!

Audio from Radio Nacional Brasilia, 980 here.

Monday, August 04, 2008

NHK1 Kushiro, Nemuro Relay Station 1584 Verification

I don't send much reports anymore, so don't expect too many verie posts here. I got one today though, for a written report I sent this winter. The 100 watt Nemuro relay of JOPG Kushiro (531 kHz) was audible several times on 1584 in October 2007, and a letter today confirmed my reception. Cool that 100 watts can travel so far.

Friday, August 01, 2008

New Season Approaching

Every year, when the midnight sun disappears on July 27, I know that another season is only weeks away. So I've started antenna repairs, and purchased various equipment. Nights are still very light, so I don't expect to hear anything interesting until the end of August when Australian MW stations can be heard in the evening. Since we're still in the solar minimum and there is no sign of increased solar activity any time soon, we should look forward to an interesting autumn.

In the mean time, why not take a look at these pictures, shot when I was on a photo shoot mission in July (just about the only clear day this summer). On the first picture, my location is the blue house all by itself on the top of the picture. A close-up is on the second picture. My home town Berlevåg is third.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The MSI Wind Netbook And Perseus

Conventional wisdom says that in order to run Perseus satisfactory, you need a PC as well equipped as possible. Preferably dual-core, lots of RAM and a good graphic board. Well, do you really. I travel a bit, and I wanted to replace the rather heavy Dell Inspiron with a smaller travel companion. After a bit to and from, I decided to settle on the MSI Wind. It uses Intel's new Atom 1.6 GHz processor, has 1 GB RAM and an 80 GB HDD. The display is 1024x600 pixels over 10.1”. It weighs a little over 1 kg with a three-cell battery included. It is really, really small, although somewhat bigger than the Asus eee series. The Wind is available in black, white and white with pink cover.

But the early eee’s use Linux don’t they, and so do the new Acer mini-laptop. I wanted Windows, and the Wind is equipped with XP Home. For more information please do an internet search. Interestingly enough, the keyboard is quite large, and I have little or no problems writing with my touch method, although the speed is a little slower than with a larger keyboard. The keys are responsive and with the ”correct” tactility, at least to my taste. Battery life isn’t out of this world with around 2.5 hours on the three-cell battery, but a six-cell battery is supposed to be available in September.
I was lucky enough to have one of the first four Winds to arrive in Norway. Unfortunately all four were pink but I can live with that.
The MSI Wind is not primarily going to be an SDR PC, but I was curious about how it would perform. After all, an SDR and a mini-laptop look like an ideal pair if one wants to travel light.

I didn’t expect any problems with the SDR-IQ since the IQ’s hardware demands are modest. So the conclusion is simply this: It works.

The Perseus
The Perseus in its current state can demodulate 800 kHz, which is of course quite a bit more than the IQ’s 192 kHz, and with a higher bitrate in addition. Another thing about Perseus is that the display is fixed size, and quite a bit larger than Spectravue (unless you maximise it of course).

The Persus’ width fits exactly with the Wind, but the Wind’s display is a little too low for the Perseus to fit vertically. But as long as the task bar is minimised, you get access to all command buttons and there’s really no problem using the software.
So what about demodulation? 100 kHz: No problem. 200 kHz: No problem. 400 kHz: No problem! 800 kHz: Ooops… it does still demodulate, and recording is possible (as well as playback), but I noted that the signals were rather distorted. I had a couple of other programs open at the same time (Messenger and Opera).

It is indeed possible to use the MSI Wind with SDRs. But when using it with the Perseus, 400 kHz seems to be upper limit.

Update 1:
You can in fact change the display resoluiton from 600 to 768 pixels vertically by going to Display Properties -> Settings -> Advanced -> Monitor, and uncheck "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display". You will need to scroll up and down with your mouse/pad to show the hidden areas, but this may be the way to go if you want to run the Perseus on the Wind.

Update 2:
After downloading the latest Perseus software (version 1.1b), I was actually able to demodulate and record 800 kHz without problems. Typical CPU load in demod mode was 35%; in recording mode 40-50%. This is very good. The MSI PSU is a rather noisy one, however it should be tolerable during nighttime DX when the signal levels are high.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recent Verifications

KEDO Longview WA 1400 surfaced a couple of times during KONG17, and two recordings, from Oct 16 and Oct 22, were sent to the station. Prompt email reponse on May 29.
Longview/Kelso is a community of approximately 50,000 people located about 45 miles north of Portland, Oregon.  It sits along the banks of the mighty Columbia River.  The main industry is lumber and fishing.
KSHO Lebanon OR 920 was finally heard on Oct 16, 2007 after years of trying. Friendly email from the General Manager came on May 27. My 750th North American (USA, Canada) AM station.

Newstalk ZB Hawke's Bay, NZ 1278 put up a good signal on Oct 16 with local commercials from Napier. Email response on May 26. My 20th Kiwi verie on MW.

Newstalk ZB Hamilton, NZ 1296 was heard several times last October. Email response on May 22.

WBSM Bedford MA 1420 was heard back in 2006 while visiting Rolf Torvik's excellent QTH at Kalvøya. Email confirmation received on May 21.

CHKT Toronto ON 1430
is one of the dominant stations on 1430, but difficult to obtain a verie from. Friendly email on May 21 remedied that situation. My 40th Ontario verie.

KBRF Fergus Falls MN 1250 hasn't been easy to get through CHSM/WSSP/KKDZ/KWSU, but finally I did hear C&W music on the frequency followed by a weather report which ended with a KBRF ID - all this on Oct 17. A friendly email on May 19 confirmed my reception.

WKCU Corinth MS 1350 is my first in-band Mississippi station. Quite surprisingly they faded up to quite good signal levels on the top of the hour at 0500 on Oct 17, 2007. Brief but detailed email response on May 19 confirmed my reception.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Recent Verifications

KVTA Port Hueneme CA 1520 made a surprise visit on Oct 22, 2007, as late as 1100 UTC (on day power?) with a very good signal on the hour. After I found the SDR-IQ recording ID, KVTA's CE was quick to respond to my reception report, just as he did when I heard KKZZ Ventura CA 1590 some years ago. California verie no 40.

KPRZ San Marcos CA 1210 was more difficult than expected to log this season. On Feb 27 I finally managed to pull 1210 free from 1215, and a weak but clear full-hour ID was noted. Email response on May 15. KPRZ, together with the four stations below, was heard on an SDR-IQ.

KSBN Spokane WA 1230 was briefly heard on Oct 15, 2007. Email from the Station Manager on May 12 confirmed my reception. 1230 was the first frequency on the air in Spokane, as long ago as 1921.

KLYQ Hamilton MT 1240 was a first log for me on Oct 22, 2007, briefly fading up as they ended a newscast. Email verie received on May 12. My 100th verified "graveyard" channel station.

KNBR San Francisco CA 680 has been a most wanted station for me. Actually I heard KNBR briefly once during my first season as a MW DX-er, in 1974, but never since. KBRW Barrow is extremely dominant but one morning in early October they were surprisingly weak, allowing KNBR to surface to good signal levels around the top of the hour. Email on May 5 finally brought KNBR home.

CINL Ashcroft BC 1340 was a great surprise on Dec 17, 2007; a good signal for a few minutes. I still haven't managed to hear its "mother" station CHNL 610 which should be a lot easier. Friendly email with a Word attachment from the CE came on May 5. At the same time I heard CIOR Princeton BC 1400, another rare one, so BC was getting out well that day. My 30th British Columbia verie.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kiwi Verifications

Radio Sport, Blenheim NZ 1539 is my 2nd South Island verie, with the arrival of an email from the GM on Apr 23.

Newstalk ZB, Ohaeawai (Northland) NZ 1215 was a station I only heard briefly, on Oct 17. This station is listed as located in Kaikohe but according to the GM the transmitter is located in Ohaeawai which is east of Kaikohe closer to the Bay of Islands.

Newstalk ZB, Nelson NZ 1341 is my first confirmed NZ from the South Island. Heard Oct 16 - Nelson is the fishing capital of NZ.

Radio Sport, Kapiti Coast NZ 1377
was heard a few times in mid-October. Friendly email received on Apr 17.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Recent Verifications

KSOP South Salt Lake UT 1370 is a very rare station but came up with a brief "Gold Country AM 1370" ID on Oct 16, 2007 when KXTL was in a fade. Brief but friendly email on Apr 17. Heard on an SDR-IQ. My 18th Utah verie of 19 reported.

WPTX Lexington Park MD 1690 has been a frequent guest here. Swift and brief email received on Apr 16. Heard on an IC-746Pro.

WDWS Champaign IL 1400 is a logging from Oct 2004 but most welcome verie received on Apr 12. Heard on an IC-746Pro.

KHOW Denver CO 630 had a most surprising visit on Feb 26. Email with a WordPerfect attachment from their CE on Apr 11. Heard on my Perseus SDR. My 20th Colorado verie.

XETRA W Radio 690 Tijuana BC is heard every now and then, "then" being Oct 10, 2007 when they dominated over Vancouver on the top of the hour. Brief email confirmation received Apr 9.

KALL North Salt Lake City UT 700 was finally heard with a positive ID amidst Loran C noise on Feb 26 with the Perseus SDR. Brief email Apr 9 confirmed my reception.

WCCW Traverse City MI 1310 sent an email with a Word attachment today to confirm my Nov 3, 2007 reception. I have been chasing WCCW for quite some time, but with little luck as 1310 houses several dominant stations - such as CHLW, CIWW, WDTW and KNOX. Another SDR-IQ log.

AFN Misawa, Japan 1575 had occasionally good signals with local programming on Oct 15, 2007. Friendly email today with the promise of "something more official" later on. Thanks Phil Hunsberger for kind assistance with getting to the station. Usually, Thailand kills everything on 1575, but this was quite early (1000 UTC) which is too early for Thailand. Heard on SDR-IQ.

KBIS Forks WA 1490 had a fair signal once on Oct 14 2007; until then I had only heard them once, and very weak at that. OJS spent a couple of minutes finding what I had spent weeks on not finding - a valid email address - and a friendly response came overnight. Heard on SDR-IQ.

Forks is in the Northwestern Washington rain forest, where it rains 300 days a year. Sounds like Bergen to me. But then they're both on the west coast.... Receiver was SDR-IQ.

WIZZ Greenfield MA 1520 was heard as long back as 2004, when they surfaced amidst heavy attacks from WWKB and Mayak in nearby Zapolnyarny (1521). Friendly response as I was preparing breakfast. Thanks to OJS for contact info. Heard on an Icom IC-746Pro.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Recent Verifications

KWEI Weiser ID 1260 confirmed a tentative reception from Dec 27 on April 3. Their ID was less than obvious to me but Arnstein Bue and Henrik Klemetz put me on the right track and Tuomo Ahonen kindly submitted the correct contact info. I've been chasing KWEI for quite a while but has proved difficult to ID.
WCRN Worcester MA 830 was a first one for me on Oct 15; friendly response on April 3. Thanks Arild for contact info.
KMPC Los Angeles CA 1540 was another of my Feb 26 loggings. Korean programming but a full English ID on top of the hour just as KXEL was fading a bit. KMPC's towers were rebuilt in 2005 which may at least in part be the reason why KMPC is less rare now than it used to be. Received March 28.
KGHF Pueblo CO 1350 was heard quite well on Feb 26, but their CE remarked that they were only running 300 watts nights at that time!
KUTR Salt Lake City UT 820 finally made a good appearance on Feb 27. Swift email response on March 27.
CJRJ Victoria BC 1200 has been a very dominant station after they started transmissions late 2006. I finally came around to send a report after I found a nice ID on Feb 26. Their Manager says all their distant listeners so far have come from Finland, Norway and Sweden.
KSZN Gresham OR 1230 was up briefly on my Perseus on Feb 26 with a "Gresham - Portland 1230 AM ESPN Deportes Radio" at 0900. New log for me; confirmed with a brief email March 24. Thanks Olito for helping with the ID.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Recent Verifications

KUJ Walla Walla WA 1420 "Many have tried but yours was the easiest to verify." This statement from the v/s may suggest that we sometimes submit audio clips that are too infested in noise, or too weak, to the stations we hear? I heard KUJ on the Perseus SDR on February 26 with quite a good signal.
KWYZ Everett WA 1230 has become a very good verifier with a great QSL jpg you can enjoy on Arnstein's blog.
CINF Montreal QC 690 is a station that is occasionally heard here, but rarely strong. Friendly email confirmed a 2006 reception. Thanks OJS for contact info.
KBRO Bremerton WA 1490 was heard October 15, 2007 with a Spanish full-hour announcement. KBRO is one of four stations comprising Radio Mision Cristiana in Washington; the others being KDLY-1280, KNTB-1480 and KXPA-1540. Thanks to RealDX members for directing me to KBRO.
CHHA Toronto ON 1610 took some time - a 2005 reception. Email-verie and a request to voice a "distant listener" promo. CHHA is currently ND, but will change to a directive antenna system soon. Powers will be 10 kW days, 225 watt nights.
KZDC San Antonio TX 1250 brief email this evening. KZDC was heard on a couple of occasions during KONG17 with their "La Lupe" moniker - until then unheard at least in Norway. Nice catch. Texas verie no. 10.
CHTM Thompson MB 610 after a number of tries, email verie this afternoon. Thanks ABU for contact info. And that concludes the Manitoba hunt. 19 of 19 stations confirmed, none left to chase. Today there are only 16 stations left, after CKY-580, CKRC-630 and CKX-1150 left AM.
CJBC Toronto ON 860 - this Societé Radio Canada station heard with a fair signal early night on October 15, 2007. Thanks Jean Burnell for doing the ID work. Yes, my French is lousy.
WSHY Lafayette IN 1410 - heard September 18, 2007 on an SDR-IQ. Thanks OJS for contact info.

My KONG17 Logs - New Update

Seems like it takes forever to produce logs from last autumn's DX... anyway here is the second update from my logs during the KONG17 (October) DX-pedition. Most updates on the Asia and Pacific parts. They are beginning to look good. As usual, stations names in bold are new logs for me, and the most common stations are omitted. Times in UTC, dates in format.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kiwi Verifications

Two new veries from New Zealand tonight, with
Radio Trackside, Rotorua 1548 kHz
(listed as 990 watts), and
Radio Trackside, Gisborne 1485 kHz
(listed as 1 kW).
1548 had occasionally good signal levels, while 1485 was totally obliterated by superstrong NRK Svalbard except for a three-second period on the top of the hour when NRK did one of their rare time pips. Cool timing. Heard with the SDR-IQ.

Friday, March 14, 2008

1XX "One Double X" Whakatane NZ 1242 Verification

Rather amazing that a 2 kW Kiwi is able to break the dominance of 100 kW JOLF Tokyo, but early in the day stations in the southern part of Japan are often weaker than usual. A few minutes on October 17 1XX was actually audible with readable levels for the KONG17 crew to enjoy. Friendly email today confirmed my reception. One Double X operates in the Bay of Plenty on 1242 and several FM frequencies with a hot adult contemporary format, extensive news coverage and local information.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

V6AJ Kosrae State Radio 1503, Micronesia Verification

V6AJ was heard on October 16, 2007 by the KONG17 crew in Kongsfjord with a relatively good signal a few minutes before being drowned by Japan and New Zealand. To our knowledge it is the first MW reception from the Federated States of Micronesia in Europe. (Some may remember that I claimed V6AK 1593 in October 2006. It proved to be wrong, and most likely was Radio Samoa, NZ). We had to use the creative parts of our brains to be able to verify this. Apparently, there is still some creativity left...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Recent Verifications

KSLL Price UT 1080 - heard October 15, 2007. It was running "KASL 1080" jingles so not immediately apparent which one this was. Thanks OJS and members of the RealDX reflector who solved this.
KWOR Worland WY 1340 - heard October 16, 2007.
WBEV Beaver Dam WI 1430 - heard October 16, 2007. My 25th Wisconsin verie.
KDMA Montevideo MN 1460 - heard October 8, 2007
KZPA Fort Yukon AK 900 - heard October 15, 2007
WBEN Buffalo NY 930 - heard on November 15, 2007. My 2oth NY verie. Had some trouble getting to people through their normal email addresses, but the contact form on did the trick.

All were heard on an RF Space SDR-IQ.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Recent Verifications

KMAS Shelton WA 1030, heard October 15, 2007
KWBY Woodburn OR 940, heard last Saturday.

Both were heard on an RF Space SDR-IQ.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

WBIX Natick MA 1060 Test Heard

I heard the 0500 UTC announcement and morse code at 0515. Not much else. Further south in Norway they had much better signals. Heard with an RF Space SDR-IQ and a 350-metre beverage antenna. Conditions in general were poor despite good K-indices, not even CKMX was at readable levels and I heard a weak XEEP. My guess is that WBIX got out extremely well though.

Friday, February 22, 2008

100 Watts Over 6,000 km

Early on October 15, conditions towards the northern part of Japan were excellent, giving AFN Misawa 1575 with a good signal, and also low-powered HBC Sapporo relays on 1494 and 1557. Here is another low-powered relay, that of NHK-1 station JOPG in Kushiro, Hokkaido. The main station is on 585; the Nemuro relay is on 1584. You wouldn't expect 100 watts to sound this good. There is another NHK-1 station which a friend of mine in Japan is trying to ID for me. Cool catch! Some might want to rename this blog to Heard with an RF Space SDR-IQ; the audio file is recorded in 64 kbps quality with Total Recorder.

Internet Explorer users may not find this as easy to access as Firefox users. I don't know why.

JOPG-NHK1 1584.mp3

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some Recent Verifications

KMNS Sioux City IA 620 - heard Sept 17, 2007
KFWB Los Angeles CA 980 - heard Oct 15, 2007
KFGX Pierre SD 1060 - heard Oct 15, 2007
KQIK Lakeview OR 1230 - heard Oct 16, 2005
WLJW Cadillac MI 1370 - heard Sept 27, 2007

All except KQIK (IC-746Pro) were heard with the SDR-IQ.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Current AM IBOC Stations

Ibiquity ( has a list of 1618 stations currently carrying FM and AM HD, of which 259 are AM as per today (I don't know how old the list is and how often it is updated). I took the liberty of copying the AM list, shuffle the columns a bit to better suit a DX-er, and pasted it into the Google spreadsheet you can access here. I don't know if I have violated copyrights or not; if so the list might need to go away. All of the stations listed are not necessarily running IBOC, and several are probably running IBOC daytime only. I believe the list is of stations that are authorized by Ibiquity to run IBOC.

Unfortunately (for the DX-er, and for the low power station owner nearby), many of the 50 kW stations run IBOC. KSL below is a classic example. Others: WXYT-1270, WTAM-1100, WBZ-1030. The good thing (for the DX-er, not for the low power station owner nearby), is that it seems like a certain signal level is necessary for the digital hash to occupy the neighbouring frequencies. Unlike DRM, which requires very little signal indeed before the frequency is left useless. So a relatively weak KSL will not pollute 1150 and 1170. At least that is my experience.

Monday, February 11, 2008

IBOC Rules The Waves - Or Waives The Rules?

"Impressive" bandwidth KSL has here. 30 kHz just to make so-called High Definition AM? Did FCC approve this? One can become a DRM-fan for less. Wait! No. One can't. Ever.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

WLQV Detroit MI 1500 Verification

I think I heard WLQV (was it WDEE in those days?) back in 1975. It is the by far most dominant station on 1500, only occasionally losing ground to KSTP. This evening I finally got a reply from them after a number of tries. Thanks OJS for contact info. Much wanted.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

WARV Warwick RI 1590 Verification

Finally heard this one, which is very common further south, in Kongsfjord. And with a signal strength that impressed the station's President! Still, it was up only a few minutes around a full hour on October 9, 2007 before it faded into nothingness. New state. Thanks Arild Skalmeraas for contact info. Receiver: SDR-IQ.

Monday, February 04, 2008

CKRW Whitehorse YT 610 Verification

Finally got an ID! I've been hunting CKRW all autumn, and sometimes heard it with good signals, but never during an ID. CKYL never allowed it enough space. On January 12 though, I had set my new Perseus SDR to record via remote control, and finally on the full hour I got a partial ID. I didn't hear the call, but did hear "...and 98.7 in communities" which is part of their ID and which can be heard on their web stream as well. A long and detailed response came tonight by email. Thanks Arnstein Bue for contact info.

Conditions that morning favoured the Washington state to Alaska region with CBC Whitehorse 570 the strongest I've ever heard them, and Alberta stations surprisingly weak for a change.

KVBR Brainerd MN 1340 Verification

September 26, 2007 was a good day for Minnesota stations in Kongsfjord. KVBR surfaced on top of the hour with a rather weak, but clear identification. I received an email verie this evening. Heard on an SDR-IQ. My 25th Minnesota verie.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

3ME Radio Lebanon, Melbourne/2ME Radio Lebanon, Sydney 1638 Verification

Radio Lebanon's 1638 "narrowcast"is spread quite wide and a common guest in Northern Europe. Somewhat uncommon though was that I was able to get local IDs from both the Melbourne (3ME) and the Sydney (2ME) stations - at the same time. Sydney was the weaker one. Owner Sid Merhi confirmed my reception with an email this morning.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

KATA Eureka CA 1340 Verificaton

A most welcome verification came this evening. KATA was heard very briefly on October 24 with a legal ID on top of the hour before slipping into the noise again. From the email I received perhaps I shouldn't have heard it: "KATA's tower is short due to lightning storm decades ago. The old owners re-licensed the station with a short tower so it is amazing that you could pick it up at all."

My 90th "graveyard" or Local Channel station.

KPDQ Portland OR 800 Verification

Normally, when one hears a station never heard before, signal strengths are so-so. Not KPDQ. On October 22 they dominated 800 totally for more than three hours, peaking at excellent strengths. A most friendly response came this afternoon. Thanks Tuomo Ahonen for contact info. For the first time I have a 100% Oregon reply rate.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

KELO Sioux Falls (not Sioux City) SD 1320 Verificaton

My South Dakota stats rounded a dozen when KELO confirmed my reception this afternoon. KELO was briefly heard on October 8, but with an announcement not to misunderstand - Keloland live doppler weather forecast. Several stations were audible at the time I heard KELO - I also had IDs from CKEC, CHMB, KOZY and KFNZ.

Monday, January 28, 2008

KCKX Stayton OR 1460 Verification

KCKX is not an easy station to hear with 1 kW in competition with KUTI and KARR when conditions favour the west coast. I have heard KCKX a few times though, and this afternoon I received a very friendly response from the station, including sticker scans from KCKX and KWBY-940. Thanks OJ Sagdahl for contact info.

WILS Lansing MI 1320 Verification

WILS came up well on September 27, 2007 with a nice ID. A friendly email this afternoon confirmed my Michigan station no. 20 of 22 reported.

WILS also informed me that they increased their night-time power from 1,000 watts to 2,000 watts effective Friday, January 25. Their daytime power has increased from 5,000 watts to 25,000 watts. In February daytime power beings at 1230 UTC and ends at 2300 UTC. The transmitter facilities are moved 10 miles SW of the former site.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

September SDR-IQ Logs

Finally listened through most of the SDR-IQ recordings from September. Some good logs which you can see here. New stations (for me) in bold. Many of the more common stations are not included.

Friday, January 25, 2008

10 Watts From Japan Heard In Kongsfjord

10 watts make a lousy reading light but can travel 7,000 km! On September 19 I heard Kanmon Martis Radio 1651 kHz. Kanmon Martis is operated by the Japan Coast Guard and is a maritime traffic information center for the Kanmon Strait near Fukuoka. The signal was quite good in both AM and USB (1649.5). Thanks Takashi Kuroda for identifying the station. Their grounding system must be exceptional.

ABC Newcastle, NSW 1233 Verification

September 19, 2007 was a good day for hunting Aussies, and I heard ABC Newcastle around the top of the hour at 1700 with local IDs. Email verification came this morning.

That day I also had tentative receptions of 2DU-1251 and 2ZW-1314 - definitively stations worth checking out during similar conditions.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

KLSG St.Louis MO 1380 Verification

In the late 70's I heard KWK for the first, and until September 23, 2007, the last time. For relatively irrational reasons I desperately wanted to hear the station again and at last I succeeded when KSLG, as are their present call letters, dominated the top of the hour at 0400. The signal was quite good and I received a (in my eyes) well-earned verification tonight.

KSLG left their ESPN affiliation on December 3 and became The Team 1380. They are presently awaiting approval from the FCC for a call letter change.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

KIML Gillette WY 1270 Verification

I heard KIML on October 24 with a very good signal, and their standard full-hour ID "AM 1270 KIML Gillette. The Information Leader In Wyoming For Over 60 Years" was excellent quality. I received an email confirming my report today, with the promise of a "proper" QSL to follow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

KWLM Willmar MN 1340 Verification

Very briefly, KWLM surfaced on top of the hour at 0400 on September 19 with a legal ID before ABC News. News Director JP Cola confirmed my reception today with a very friendly email including a studio-quality legal ID for my collection.

Willmar is very Scandinavian - according to JP Cola the "Johnson" section of their phone book is 4 pages long, and lots of Norwegian and Swedish names on streets, lakes and townships.

Receiver used for this and most of the other recent veries is the RF Space SDR-IQ.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

KRSA Petersburg AK 580 Verification

I received a long and friendly email from Greg Lewis today, confirming my October 24, 2007 reception of KRSA. KRSA, previously very difficult to hear, has had a good signal over the Pole this winter, and I was able to send a good quality audio clip to Greg. Greg is at sister station KCAM Glennallen 790 today, but will be moving back to KRSA coming May.

Petersburg was founded by Norwegian Peter Buschman who established a fish processing plant there. Today, Petersburg is a fishing community not very different from many Norwegian coastal communities, around 3000 inhabitants and a seafood industry worth 34 mill USD annually. Petersburg's Norwegian connection can be found in street names (Haugen Drive, Odin Street, Fram Street), shop names like Hammer and Wikan, and their Mayfest. Those capable of reading Norwegian may find this article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten interesting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WDGY Hudson WI 630 Verification

I rarely copy station logos to my posts, but this one deserves it. As with KTSM below, I heard WDGY during a short period of excellent spot conditions on September 18, combined with coming daylight taking the momentum out of NRK Vigra (which was said to be running on reduced power in addition). A great surprise. CE Paul Orth sent me a friendly email this afternoon, with a Word QSL-attachment.

It is my "second" verification of WDGY... As a novice DX-er in the 70's I had the thrill of hearing and QSL-ing WDGY 1130, now KFAN. Hudson is located just SE of Minneapolis, which is also their main market.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

KTSM El Paso TX 690 Verification

KTSM was heard with a fair signal for 45 minutes on September 18, 2007. A first time for me. A very swift response from Tom Connelly this afternoon confirmed my reception. Conditions were good towards MN/ND and TX/Mexico this night; I noted very good signals from WNAX-570, presumed WEBC-560, KDAL-610 and not least WDGY-630 which made a very surprising visit.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

WWRU Jersey City NJ 1660 Verification

Took a while until I was able to get the first official US X-band station confirmed! Not a common guest here but I heard WWRU with a nice signal at Smøla Island in February 2006. George D. Butch, MRBI's Regional Engineer, kindly confirmed my reception with an email today. Thanks OJ Sagdahl for email info. The station went on the air in December 1995, expanding to 24h operation in January 1996.

KKMO Tacoma WA 1360 Test Heard

The test started 0800 today and lasted for 15 minutes. Conditions were very poor, as the usually dominant KKMO was almost not audible; WTAQ was the strongest station on 1360 and also KKBJ was heard. I heard the sweep tones and 1 kHz tone. I heard none of the station identifiers but they may have been voice and not morse. The sweep tones were by far the easiest to hear. Thanks Jim Pogue and CE Monte Passmore on KKMO for conducting this test.

Some minutes after KKMO resumed to normal programming I am actually hearing KKMO much better...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

KRTA Medford OR 610 Verification

"Confirmed!" was the short and to the point message from Brian Fraser, Director of Sales, in response to my emailed report this afternoon. KRTA "Radio Sensación" had nice signals a few days last October; at one instance I was able to record a 30-second pre-recorded ID with superb signal strength. A most wanted station.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

KGRV Winston OR 700 Verification

KGRV was heard very briefly and not at all strong under KBYR Anchorage on October 22. It took a few tries but today KGRV's GM Phil Morrow confirmed my reception. Incidentally my 40th Oregon station (of 42 reported) and 500th mainland US station (of 554 reported). Think I'll celebrate with taking my Icebugs on a nice jog...

Norwegian DX-ers Popular With CBC

On the links to the right you will find two interviews; one with me from October 2007 (CBC Prince Rupert BC 860), and one with OJ Sagdahl from today (!) on CBC Moncton 1070. They are a bit lengthy so expect some download time. Moncton set their 106.1 FM transmitter in operation yesterday and will leave AM 90 days from now.

More files will be uploaded as time permits.

KKNX Eugene OR 840 Verification

I heard KKNX a few minutes on October 22, 2007 giving their "Solid Gold Radio 84" moniker before losing ground to the more common KSWB. Last night I received an email from owner John Mielke who confirmed my reception. John informs that KKNX has gone digital. They also have a 32-kbps webcast from

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

KWSU Pullman WA 1250 Verification

I heard KWSU for the first time last Saturday while running my Perseus SDR remote by using LogMeIn Pro. I recorded the full-hour ID from KWSU using Total Recorder on my home PC. There is a risk of the occasional audio drop-out using this technique though.

General Manager Dennis Haarsager, of Norwegian origin and OJ Sagdahl's distant cousin, confirmed my reception with an email this afternoon.

Weather in Kongsfjord was awful at the time so I am glad that I didn't need to spend time there...

My Perseus Impressions

My impressions on the Perseus SDR is published on It's a bit of a work in progress since I plan to update it should there be software updates or if someone finds errors in the article.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Flex-5000A Given "Best SDR" Award From WRTH - Why?

The 2008 edition of World Radio TV Handbook did a review of the Flex-5000A SDR, a follow-up from last year's review of the FlexRadio SDR-1000 which has now been discontinued. Somewhat to my surprise, the Flex-5000A has been given the "Best SDR" award from WRTH. My surprise is founded not on the qualities of the Flex-5000A (of which I can say nothing, since I don't own one), but on the competition. Surely, when one SDR is rated "best", it must have been compared to the rest of the SDRs on the market. Has it?

One can wonder. The WRTH HF Receiver Guide 2008 (page 23) lists the two Flex SDRs, the Elad FDM77 and a few Winradios. The CIAOradio H101 is not listed. The DiRaBox DRB30 is not listed. The RF Space SDR-14 is not listed. The RF Space SDR-IQ is not listed. And maybe there are others that I do not know about. The WRTH is of course excused for not having listed the new Perseus. I am particularly puzzled by the omission of the two SDRs from RF Space. The -14 and the -IQ have been widely acclaimed by dedicated DX-ers worldwide, hence one would assume that an authoritative publication like the WRTH would find interest in reviewing them. Not so.

I am not taking sides as to which is the best SDR of 2008. I am simply saying that a number of candidates didn't get the chance to run.