More AM broadcast band DXing with my 6-foot diagonal wooden-frame “loopzilla”, RTL-SDR dongle, Ham It Up upconverter combo from the dining room. Includes audio of several station identifications, best heard with headphones. All times given in MST and UT; the dates are MST.
I normally don’t do much DXing indoors. The weather here usually isn’t a problem with nighttime temperatures typically in the 20s except for the coldest nights. Precipitation is a problem though, since I’m tied to a computer. There was a light rain overnight, but I wasn’t sleeping well because I tweaked something in my back. So, I decided to find as comfortable sitting position as possible and see how well I could avoid interference. It turns out that when set up in the dining room, I only get electrical interference from the southeast. Otherwise, I wasn’t having any problems and ended up having an unusually productive morning.
I started on 880 kHz and was again getting a third station behind blowtorch KRVN Lexington NE and KHAC Tse Bonito NM. They play Spanish music and I presume it’s a Mexican station, probably XEPNK. They identify with a “wolf whistle”, which comes through well, but I usually don’t get a good enough signal to make out anything else. I tried from 2:30am-3am (10UT), but no luck.
After the top of the hour, I went to 910 kHz and picked up a new Mexican station. I heard the “Radio Mexicana” slogan and then got a webcast match:
910 XEAO, Mexicali BN, weak at 3:07am (1007UT), 250W, webcast and slogan (new; loop), 216 miles
I was also getting the other two stations I’ve logged on the frequency, KGME Phoenix AZ, and KPOF Denver CO.
Shortly after going to 950 kHz, I had the usual KRWZ out of the Denver area coming in with oldies, but I was also getting talk radio. Shortly afterwards, I heard them identify as “AM 950, 100.7 FM”, which turns out to only match KJTV, and then got a webcast match:
950 KJTV, Lubbock TX, weak at 3:40am (1040UT), 500W, slogan and webcast (new; loop), 613 miles
After that, I was getting a Spanish-language station coming over, which would have been a new one as well. I got a webcast match for XEKAM out of Tijuana, but it didn’t stick around long enough to get any identification on the air. This one gets hurt by being directly opposite of KRWZ and thus it’s hard for me to pick it up with a bi-directional loop antenna.
For the 4am hour, I was splitting between 940 kHz and 960 kHz. Unfortunately, despite having Spanish music consistently fading in and out on 940, and a webcast match for 960 XEIQ, in more than an hour I was not able to get enough information to log either one. During this time, I did get presumed CFAC Calgary AB, and KOVO Provo UT.
Back on 880 kHz at 5:10am (1210UT), I got the wolf whistle again and “La Rancherita”, but I wanted either a webcast match (which doesn’t exist), or a mention of the city (Los Mochis) to log it and that didn’t happen. Then, on 770 kHz, I got a webcast match for XEREV out of Los Mochis, which I’ve logged before underneath blowtorch 770 KKOB Albuquerque NM. It was a good session, but I wasn’t getting very many new logs! I decided to stick around until at least sunrise, and hope to pick up stations to the east turning on daytime power, and/or propagation enhancement from near sunrise itself.
This didn’t qualify for either, but shortly after going to 970 kHz, I heard “Sports Radio A-M 970”, “home of San Francisco 49ers football”, and “CBS Sports Radio”, along with ads for businesses in Stockton and Modesto:
970 KESP, Modesto CA, weak at 5:19am (1219UT), 1000W, slogan and local ads (new; loop)
You can tell from their call letters that they used to be an ESPN affiliate, but such affiliations seem fleeting in this day and age, and they shifted to CBS in January 2013.
I went to 980 and probably had a domestic station broadcasting Spanish music coming over KFWB Los Angeles CA, but couldn’t get anything positive. I went back to 970 and was getting American oldies with Spanish speaking in between, along with Spanish music at times. The latter ended up being XESW, but I was uncertain about the former.
Continuing the theme, I tried 1040 kHz, and with WHO nulled out, I was getting Spanish-language dance music. I thought this was XEGYS, but I quickly heard “Chihuahua, Mexico” and then got a webcast match for XEHES. I went back into my over-the-air recording and heard the “Estereo Sensacion” slogan, so I logged another Mexican station:
1040 XEHES, Chihuahua CH, weak at 6:31am (1331UT), 250W, webcast and slogan (new; loop), 557 miles
It’s possible they were on daytime power by this point, so the 250 watts might be more like 5000. There was some sort of Christmas greeting over “Silent Night” into the station slogan at 0:28 (“Estereo” is easy to hear, but “Sensacion” is pretty faint):
I worked up through the rest of the 1000s through around 7:10am. The most interesting thing is that I was getting Christmas music very faintly under 1070 KNX Los Angeles CA, the only station I’ve logged on this frequency. However, this music completely disappeared by 6:58am, just in time to miss a possible call at the top of the hour.
I decided to jump around a little bit, and on 1250 I was getting a fairly strong Spanish music station. They mentioned “Hidalgo del Parral” at 7:11am (1411UT) so this must have been XEAT, but I wasn’t able to get a webcast, nor any other identification other than something like “Radio Lata”. So many near misses this morning!
I had yet another near-miss with 1010 KSIR Brush CO. I assume they were on daytime power by this point, 25kW vs. 250W and they were broadcasting the network “Agrishop” program, a farm-related swap meet. Of course, what happened there is that KIHU Tooele UT popped in at 7:45am, presumably turning on the daytime power to their Catholic Immaculate Heart Radio affiliate, so that killed getting a top-of-the-hour call for KSIR at 8am.
With local sunrise having happened at 7:28am, I decided to try to fill in some relatively nearby stations that I hadn’t logged before. First, I went back to 950 kHz to try for XEKAM again, since it is nearby in Baja California and should be on day power at this point. Sure enough, got a webcast match immediately, and then heard the “Radio Formula” slogan:
950 XEKAM, Rosarito BN, medium at 8:15am (1515UT), 20000W, webcast and slogan (new; loop), 242 miles
I went to 1000 to try to get KFLG Bullhead City AZ, with all of the usual more distant skywave signal presumably washed out by the Sun. I quickly got “K-Star FM, 99.3”, “Cameron Broadcasting”, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The FM translator for KFLG is 99.3 FM just across the border in Laughlin NV. Plus, I heard many Kingman and tri-state area (AZ/NV/CA) ads:
1000 KFLG, Bullhead City AZ, medium at 8:21am (1521UT), 1000W, slogan and local ads (new; loop), 130 miles
I also heard a mention of EWTN.com, so that must have been KCEO Vista CA fading over at times. Here is the “K-star” ident:
Then, over to “graveyard” frequency 1230 kHz. I was trying for KINO out of Winslow AZ. What I first got was “California Headline News”, and mentions of “Imperial Valley”, which was presumably KXO. Rotating the loop around, I got a horse racing news show at 8:47am (1547UT). I was pointed towards Las Vegas and heard an ad for a business in Las Vegas. I stuck around, and got an excellent call just before the top of the hour:
1230 KLAV, Las Vegas NV, strong at 8:59am (1559UT), 1000W, call (new; loop), 190 miles
Finally, an an actual call letter recording to share!
I checked out a few more potential Arizona frequencies, but ended up back at 1230 to try again for KINO. I immediately had a country-flavored Christmas song and quickly got “1230 KINO” (KINO pronounced as one word).
1230 KINO, Winslow AZ, very weak at 9:46am (1646UT), 1000W, call (new; loop), 106 miles
Of course, my computer recording died before this. At 10am, I got a “K-I-N-O, Winslow, Arizona” ident, but wasn’t recording.
In between, I went after what should be one of the toughest Arizona stations to get, KTBA Tuba City. They broadcast relgious stuff with only 250 watts daytime and 60 watts at night. It wasn’t much, but I did get a joint call of all three of the Western Indian Network stations at the top of the hour:
760 KTBA, Tuba City AZ, weak at 9:59am (1659UT), 250W, call (new; loop), 130 miles
“You’re listening to K-H-A-C, Tse Bonito, K-T-B-A, Tuba City, and K-W-I-N Window Rock, all part of the Western Indian Network”
Quite a morning! That put me up to 349 stations total since August 15th, 52 out of 72 Arizona stations, and 60 out of 89 stations within 200 miles.