Last year’s DX-pedition to Lista didn’t result in many new stations for us. A couple of new stations came through though, one of them being WPKZ in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on 1280 kHz. The dominant station on 1280 kHz is NotiUno in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, but WKPZ fought its way past the Puerto Rican one morning with a clear “K-Zone” identification in a sports programme.
Engineer Mark Bisbee confirmed my reception with a kind e-mail. He says their ground system of the antenna array has seen better days. Some of the copper radials have also gone missing over the years, so the efficiency of the antenna is not as good as when it was built back in 1950. The station is listed with a night time power of 1 kilowatt.
My first QSL in 2017 arrived yesterday from Jeff Pierce, Operations Manager at 560 WGAN in Portland, Maine. Jeff confirmed my audio file of the WGAN repeater WGIN on 1400 kHz.
WGIN was received briefly one morning on last year’s DX pedition to Lista. 1400 kHz is not the most interesting channel there as this frequency is almost always occupied by either CBG in Gander, Newfoundland and/or WOND in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Other US stations rarely make it through, even though there are plenty of stations which it should be possible to hear on this frequency.
WGIN does not have own programming, it merely relays the programming of News Radio WGAN. Previously, it used to relay the programming of 1490 WBAE branded as “1400 and 1490 The Bay”. WBAE is an old friend of ours and can be heard easily on 1490 kHz every time at Lista. Both 560 WGAN, 970 WZAN, 1400 WGIN and 1490 WBAE belongs to the Portland Radio Group.
The transmitter of WGIN is located in Biddeford south of Portland and is meant to cover the York County. The power of the transmitter is 1 kilowatt.
West Coast stations are a rare treat at our Lista QTH. Propagation has to be very good for their signals making it all the way to Southern Norway. Still, we have managed to hear a number of the most common stations through the years. One of the stations heard by us is KGA on 1510 kHz, which was heard with quite a good signal at times back in October 2008.
My previous attempts to get a QSL from KGA have been unfruitful. I noted some recent replies to other DXers from Jerry Jensen who is their Market Manager and was tempted to get a reply from the station as well. And this time: Success! Mr. Jensen replied promply to my e-mail too and verified my reception of the station. Jerry Jensen tells me that he has Norwegian ancestors, his grandfather came from Tingvoll in Central Norway.
KGA is an all sports station based in Spokane, Washington. The power of their transmitter is 50 kilowatts daytime and 10 kilowatts nighttime.
KGA was only my 4th QSL in 2016 making 2016 an all time low when it comes to QSLs. Certainly, 2017 can’t be worse than that…
My very first QSL from Washington State arrived quite some time ago when Rick Van Cise, Program Director at KOMO in Seattle sent a kind e-mail confirming my reception of KOMO on 1000 kHz. A couple of weeks later an envelope also arrived in my mailbox containing a.o. some KOMO pens and even a KOMO ice scraper which will no doubt be used now that fall and winter arrives here in Norway.
Receiving stations from the West Coast of North America is rare at our listening post at Lista. We have been able to catch only a handful of stations from the west coast through the years. My report to KOMO dated back to November 2009 when we enjoyed pretty good reception of KOMO on 1000 kHz. Reception of KOMO is of course completely different in Arctic Scandinavia where the 50 kilowatt signal of KOMO can easily be heard in the winter season.
Hearing daytimers from Texas is by no means a common occurence. At Lista in January 2014, however, we were lucky to catch the signal of Christian station KCTA signing off at 00.00 UTC. Their signal was quite good at close down, even beating the signal of superdominant station on 1030 kHz WBZ in Boston for a minute or two.
KCTA is a daytime only station broadcasting with a power of 50 kilowatts. For this they call themselves “the most powerful station in South Texas”. The station is located in the coastal city of Corpus Christi and broadcasts traditional and conservative Christian programming.
My attempts in contacting KCTA by e-mail resulted in absolutely nothing. A letter and CD sent by postal mail (yes, this is still possible…) was substantially more successful. Gracie Dinsdale sent me a nice and friendly letter also by postal mail. Besides confirming my reception of the station, Gracie also enclosed a colourful KCTA calendar, some stickers and a pen. Such a reply is certainly not a common occurence in 2016!
WHBY is the most common Transatlantic catch on 1150 kHz at Lista, along with CKOC in Ontario. Chief Engineer Steve Brown confirmed my reception of the station with an e-mail and a Word attachment. Steve writes that WHBY operates with 20 kilowatts daytime and 25 kilowatts nighttime from a six tower directional antenna system from Kimberly, Wisconsin. Kimberly is located in Northeast Wisconsin, west of Neenah and north of Oshkosh.
WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the most common station of all on the crowded but interesting frequency of 1300 kHz. Their distinctive “Newsradio 1300 WOOD” identifications are frequently heard, often along with the New York stations WXRL and/or WGDJ. My previous attempts of getting a verification from WOOD has not been successfull. Some weeks ago, however, Phil Tower, Program Director, confirmed my reception with a brief e-mail.
WOOD broadcasts with a night time power of 20 kilowatts so no wonder they get out so well. The logo of the station features Willie Wood, the station’s woodpecker mascot.