AM broadcast band DXing with:
Antenna 1: 6-foot diagonal wooden-frame loop (“loop”)
Antenna 2: 23-foot “fishing rod” vertical with MFJ-1020C amplified pre-selector (“vertical”)
Combiner: Quantum Phaser (“phaser”)
Receiver: RTL-SDR dongle, Ham It Up upconverter into laptop
Includes audio of some station identifications, best heard with headphones. All times given in MST and UT; the dates are MST.
December 20th, 2014
Set up at 4:51pm trying to get some pre-sunset reception enhancement. I started on 820 kHz and was already getting WBAP Fort Worth TX well, but when I rotated the loop N-S, I was getting a religious station. This would be a new log, probably KUTR Taylorsville UT still on day power. However, at 4:59pm, right before they would have identified, the signal disappeared, probably because they cut to nighttime power. D’oh!
I fumbled around unsuccessfully on a few other frequencies until ending up on 720. There, I was able to mostly phase out KDWN Las Vegas NV and was hearing Spanish music, which was coming in fairly well. I waited through the top of the hour, and was rewarded with a new Mexican station:
720 XEJCC, Cuidad Juarez CH, medium at 6:02pm (0102UT), 10000W, call (new; phaser)
I ended the short session on 800 kHz, and instead of the usually dominant XEROK out of Mexico, I managed to pick up “Comedy 800”, which could only be:
800 KBFP, Bakersfield CA, weak at 6:19pm, 1000W, slogan and format (new; phaser)
December 21st, 2014
Being off work for the holidays, I set up just after 4pm to do some additional testing of my phased antenna system, while hoping for some pre-sunset enhancement. I ended up on 950 kHz, and at 4:49pm, I heard holiday wishes from the Española school district, which implied KDCE out of New Mexico. I thought I heard the “K-D-C-E” call not long after, but had to wait for the top of the hour to be sure I had the call:
950 KDCE, Española NM, weak at 4:59pm (2359UT), 4200W, call (new; loop)
Even then, the beginning of the indent was almost washed out because they didn’t kill the music in time for the start of the pre-recorded ident:
On 830 kHz, I was hearing a “Family Life Radio” affiliate, and thought I was finally going to finally hear the call letters for KFLT out of Tucson, but right after saying “88.5” (their FM translator) at 5:15pm, they cut back from their day power of 50000 watts to 1000 watts and disappeared! That’s one of the downsides to DXing near sunset, but at least the station was playing by the rules. I’ve logged them before, but just based on the affiliation, webcast, and FM translator frequency.
I did some more testing, then managed to log another Mexican station:
960 XEIQ, Cuidad Obregon SO, weak at 6:29pm (0129UT), 500W, slogan and webcast (new; phaser)
This is one I’ve heard before, but finally got enough to count it. Unfortunately, I spent another 1.5 hours without picking up anything new.
December 22nd, 2014
With non-work flexibility, I was up early and ready for some pre-sunrise DXing before 6am…until I realized that the 9V battery in the pre-selector for the vertical antenna was dead. It happened the night before and I didn’t have any spares. A quick trip to the Evil Empire, and I was DXing for real at 6:24am. I was going to try to phase out 1580 KMIK and see what else I could get. However, I noted a significant carrier at 1566 on the SDR display. Hmmm. One of the strongest Asian stations that makes it over the Pacific to the U.S. is 1566 HLAZ out of South Korea. It’s a Christian station with the FEBC (Far East Broadcasting Company). Even better than the carrier, I actually had weak audio when I tuned there!
I enved up listening to this until just after sunset around 7:30am. At first, the speaking sounded Japanese, with a switch to Chinese. That matched their website, and I was able to get a solid webcast match. Not that I could understand anything that was being said, but it was obviously the same thing. So, country #6!
1566 HLAZ, Jeju KO, weak at 7:08am (1408UT), 250000W, webcast (new; phaser)
None of the audio was very impressive, but here is a representative sample of the little peak-ups that kept happening:
I also briefly checked the usual Japanese NHK powerhouses on 747 and 774 kHz, but didn’t get anything there.
December 24th, 2014
I listened from 4:39pm to 7pm, and other than hearing parts of “Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas” on several stations, not much to write about.