Log: AM BCB, March 12th, trans-Pacific reception

AM broadcast band DXing with:
Antenna 1: 6-foot diagonal wooden-frame tuned loop
Antenna 2: 23-foot “fishing rod” vertical with MFJ-1020C amplified pre-selector
Combiner: Quantum Phaser
Receiver: RTL-SDR dongle, Ham It Up upconverter into laptop

This was mostly a low-band morning, and some of the best conditions I’ve had this year. It didn’t get off to a particular early start, but after 5am MST (12UT), things were hopping.

I finally got intelligible audio from NHK Radio 2 during their weekday English lessons (late in the evening in their time zone). I’m not sure if “Were you taken to the hospital?” is necessarily a common phrase, but that’s the first English audio I’ve received on the AM band from overseas at 5:22am MST (1222UT):

Here’s some more typical Japanese language fare an hour later:

Most of the rest of the audio is more about getting audio at all, rather than sound quality. I picked up two presumed Korean stations, 972-HLCA (new) and 1566-HLAZ. I caught some music into conversation on the former at 6:04am (1304UT), just enough to think it was Korean language:

I’ve had much better audio on 1566 earlier this month, but for completeness, here is a sample from 6:30am (1330UT):

NHK 2 has other transmitters besides 774 kHz, and I was able to finally get some weak audio on 747-JOIB. (Presumably, of course, since I didn’t hear an identification, but it is highly likely.) Here is a sample from 6:23am (1323UT):

I also picked up the presumed China National Radio station on 1593 kHz, with just enough signal to produce weak audio at 6:30am (1330UT):

I also could see carriers on the SDR display on a bunch of frequencies that were too weak to produce audio, including: 693, 738, 765, 828, 864, 873, 945, 963, 981, 1422, 1503, 1521, and 1557. There may have been others, but with my tuned antenna system, I can only peak up a limited range of frequencies at any given time. Thus, even going through the SDR recordings, I can’t check the entire band.


2 thoughts on “Log: AM BCB, March 12th, trans-Pacific reception

  1. Aaron Reed

    Impressive catches! I used to MW DX ages ago and bagged quite a few from Europe here in eastern Massachusetts with my simple Radio Shack DX392 (if memory serves me right) , wanting to get a Drake R8 tho I never could justify the cost. I’m amazed at your Asian catches, thinking your Arizona location would be too far inland. In 3 weeks I’m moving to Tucson and it’ll be a thrill just to hear the big west coast powerhouses and others for the first time, as well as getting to hear KOA 850 Denver again (last heard in Illinois in 1999) and KSL 1160, which I haven’t picked up since the late 70s when I’d get up early Monday morning to catch when Chicago was off. The late 70s , early 80s and early 90s were my big periods for MW DXing. Thanks for sharing your audio clips. I loved hearing that English lesson from Japan. They obsess over Eigo (English ), yet, even with thousands of English words borrowed into Japanese, most of their people never learn or retain it well. A shame public radio here doesn’t offer language lessons. Again, thanks for sharing!


    1. azswdxing Post author

      Aaron, thanks for your message! I had no idea that TP reception was a semi-regular occurrence in Arizona, either. There is a small group of active AM BCB DXers (many from Tucson) that occasionally gets together for lunch in Casa Grande or Phoenix during fall and winter. I haven’t been able to make it down for a meeting, but I’ve been in email contact. I agree that it would be neat if there were language lessons on U.S. radio!



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