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. All times given in MST and UT; the dates are MST.
December 6th-7th, 2014
I started this one just before 10pm, but didn’t get any new stations until after midnight. I had several re-logs, including KYVA and KOTS on 1230 kHz, WIBW on 580, and XEGS on 610. However, shortly after midnight on 680, I was getting Spanish language under CBS Sports Radio (KNBR San Francisco CA). I timed it just right as they were giving their top-of-the-hour (TOH) call:
680 XEORO, Guasave SI, weak at 12:02am (0702UT), 500W, call (new), 667 miles
Much of it is rather hard to make out due to KNBR, but near the beginning, the call letters “eckes-eh-oh-eray-oh” are fairly clear.
I went up one notch and after aligning my loop NW-SE to null out XEWW in Baja California, I seemed to be getting another Spanish-language station and a country music station. After picking out “Lucille” by Kenny Rogers at 12:19am, I wasn’t hearing much on the frequency for quite a while. When I was, it was a mess, with presumed CBU out of Vancouver BC occasionally mixing in. At the very end of an English-language song, call letters popped out of the murk:
690 KRCO, Prineville OR, medium at 12:48am (0748UT), 77W, call (new), 813 miles
I knew that if it was country music and the format information on the web was correct that I was probably getting either KRCO or KPET out of Texas. However, KRCO’s nominal nighttime power seemed way too weak for me to receive at that distance, as opposed to 250 watts out of KPET and 200 miles closer. These stations are expected to run low power at night to protect the Mexican clear channel on 690 kHz (XEWW).
Anyway, a nice singing ident, “country’s greatest hits, K-R-D-O”, which led into another country classic, “Love In The First Degree” by Alabama:
At the 1am TOH, I tried to either get call letters out of CBU (like pulling hen’s teeth), or XEWW (I’ve only had a webcast match plus slogan over-the-air), but I struck out. On a whim, I went up to the “X-band” from 1620-1700. The frequency sounded a little funny, and I decided that 1680 KGED Fresno CA must be broadcasting an open carrier (i.e., “dead air”). That ended up being the case, as it suddenly started blaring in at 1:29am. However, there was a faint station audible when I got there at 1:10am, and within two minutes I had a webcast match for KRJO out of Louisiana! I had tentative call letters at 1:15am, but wasn’t 100% convinced after listening to the recording several times. But, with the webcast and hearing “We are your classic Christmas station” and country music, and the fact that there are only 5 stations on this frequency in North America, made the ident clear.
1680 KRJO, Monroe LA, very weak at 1:15am (0815UT), 1000W, webcast and format (new)
This is the second time that I’ve caught a new 1680 station in KGED dead air, but the two remaining unheard stations on the freq are in Michigan and Florida, so those will be tough.
What about “the end of an era”? Well, the next post will cover that…