More AM broadcast band DXing with my 6-foot diagonal wooden-frame “loopzilla”, RTL-SDR dongle, Ham It Up upconverter combo from the back patio. Includes audio of several station identifications, best heard with headphones.
November 22nd, 2014
I set up a little before 6pm (1UT), and fiddling around on 650, I decided to try to get call letters out of XETNT out of Los Mochis, Sinoloa. I’ve confirmed it before with a webcast match and hearing a slogan over the air, but not call letters. Well, I was there at the top of the hour, but they just gave a very long promo for the type of music they play and I never heard call letters. But, I decided to put up the recording anyway:
I fiddled around a little more, then started working 1140 kHz. At 6:29pm (0129UT), I was hearing Spanish-language commercials and I hadn’t logged a Mexican station on this frequency, so that was a good sign. This station was fading in and out with what I presume was KGEM out of Idaho. However, when the Spanish station was strongest, I was able to get a webcast match at 6:42pm. In the next good fade up, I heard the “Radio Esperanza” slogan on the air:
1140 XEMR, Apodaca NL, weak at 6:51pm (0151UT), 50000W, slogan and webcast (new), 948 miles
That was a nice one. Even though it broadcasts with high power, it’s only the second station I’ve picked up from Nuevo León. I have to say that different sources list this station differently. I usually follow Fred Cantú’s list but the this list of the “Infraestructura de Estaciones de Radio AM” from the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones seems to be updated regularly and gives Apodaca as the city of license.
I kept trying to get call letters and/or identify other stations that were fading in and out, but that just led to re-logs of previous stations and nothing more for XEMR. I eventually went to 1190 kHz and once again probably had XEPZ, but couldn’t get a positive ID. Then, I decided to sit on 1240 kHz for an hour, but didn’t get anything new there. It was after 10pm by now and I decided to quit for a while to get in out of the cold and take care of some other things.
November 23rd, 2014
I didn’t get back to it until next 3am (10UT), but decided to put in some more time; what else is a weekend for? I decided to work 1490 kHz because I have a local pest that signs on at 5am. It’s a “graveyard” frequency and there are three other stations in Arizona on the frequency. I spent 2 hours here, including taking some breaks and checking the recording later. I had several stations fading in and out, including religious, Mexican, and sports. The sports one ended up being ESPN Tucson. I didn’t get the call letters, but got the slogan and several local Tucson ads.
1490 KFFN, Tucson AZ, weak at 3:29am (1029UT), 1000W, local ads and slogan (new), 182 miles
Once the local 1490 came back, I moved to 1400. There is a 24-hour local at 1450, and with two strong signals so close together, not only are nearby frequencies are difficult, but the 40 kHz separation creates spurious signals at 1410 and 1530. Anyway, 1400 is another graveyard frequency and I haven’t logged 2 of the 4 Arizona stations. However, I ended up getting a station just across the border in Nevada. This is one of the odder stations I’ve picked up so far, KSHP out of Las Vegas, an affiliate of the “Radio Shopping Show”. I confirmed with the webcast and the other affiliates are far away and/or on other frequencies. Also, there were mentions of Las Vegas when I started listening.
1400 KSHP, North Las Vegas NV, weak at 5:06am (1206UT), 1000W, webcast and unique format (new), 191 miles
I continued on this frequency and had some indications of other stations, but nothing I could log. I quit about an hour before sunrise after checking on the off chance that I might be getting a carrier from something across the Pacific, but that was futile as usual.
I was back at it at 7:30pm. I was surprised to hear English language on 540, which would imply a new station. However, it was “Rod and Reel Radio” a southern California fishing show on the otherwise Spanish-language XESURF out of Tijuana. Also nothing new on 550, but I did record the top of the hour call for XEPL, the first time I’ve caught its call letters:
550 XEPL, Cuauhtemoc CH, weak at 8:00pm (0300UT), 150W, call (re-log), 535 miles
I was then on 1190 for an hour, but nothing new, so I decided to sit on 1290. I’ve been trying to get KOWB out of Laramie WY, where I lived for most of the 90s. I started just after 9pm, but I had to go get some groceries and also hide inside from the cool weather. So, I just recorded audio on the frequency through 10:30pm when I got back to the radio. I listened to that recording later in the comfort of my living room and I got it!
1290 KOWB, Laramie WY, weak at 10:05pm, 1000, call (new), 599 miles
It only came in rather briefly a couple times and underneath another station, but luckily they were advertising their phone app in between the top of the hour newscast and the Bill Cunningham Show.
I didn’t necessarily listen to the station much when I lived there, but this catch still gave me some nice nostalgia from two decades ago.