Conditions were occasionally very good towards the East Coast of North America at Lista in March. Several rare stations from Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina were noted with daytime power in the evening on March 5. One of the stations heard this evening was WKGM which was heard with a surprisingly good signal announcing a.o. their web address yourministrystation.com.
WKGM is licensed to Smithfield, Virginia and carries, as the name of the web site implies, religious programming. They broadcast with a day time power of 10 kilowatts. Despite a relative powerful transmitter, this was the very first time we caught WKGM at Lista. A short but sufficient e-mail confirmed my reception of the station some weeks ago.
Another good catch from the latest DX-pedition to Lista was hearing WCRW at close down on 1190 kHz. On 1190 kHz we usually only hear WLIB in New York in the evenings, but on this DX-pedition the signal of WCRW was also heard several evenings just prior to their close down at 22.15 UTC. WCRW was heard with a perfect station identification before playing “Stars and Stripes” at sign off. Prior to that, the programming consisted of a relay of the English language programme from China Radio International.
WCRW broadcasts from Leesburg, Virginia, north west of Washington DC with a listed day time power of 50 kilowatts. Hearing day timers is always fun, and this was a new one for both of us. Brian C. Edwards, Vice President of Operations and Engineering at New World Radio Group confirmed our reception of WCRW with a friendly e-mail.
The star logging from this spring’s DX-pedition to Lista was without doubt WESR on 1330 kHz. WESR, licenced to Onley-Onancock, Virginia, broadcast with a night time power of a mere 51 watts. We are quite sure they were on their day power of 5 kilowatts though when we heard them. The signal of WESR was heard one morning with a perfectly readable station identification on the hour under dominant station WRCA. Will Russell, Account Executive, swiftly confirmed my reception with a brief e-mail reply.
According to the authorative KOJE list, WESR had not been logged in Norway, Sweden and Finland previously. Given the otherwise pretty average (or at times downright lousy) conditions, we were very surprised and most pleased about this logging.
920 kHz is an interesting frequency now that CJCH has left the frequency. Nowadays the frequency is normally occupied by another Canadian, CKNX in Wingham, Ontario. Other and more interesting radio stations occasionally turn up on this frequency too. On the last DX-pedition to Lista some months ago (January 2011), I noticed a station playing Mexican music on 920 kHz. I expected this to actually be a Mexican station too, but upon reviewing my recordings it turned out to be WURA licenced to Quantico, Virginia. The station played nice Tex Mex music identifying in Spanish as “Una Señora Emisora”. WURA is certainly not a regular visitor here, this might have been the first logging in Norway, but the station was also heard by several Finnish DX-ers at about the same time. WURA is listed with a night time effect of just 970 watts.
A short but friendly e-mail from Al Hammond confirmed my reception of the station some weeks ago. My thanks to Jari Ruohomäki for providing a workable e-mail address to the station.
Updates to this blog has been very rare lately. I discovered it is now nearly a year since my last blog posting. Well, there are times when DX-ing can’t be high on your list of priorities. 2010 has been such a year for me, hopefully 2011 will provide some more time for the radio hobby.
A few QSLs did arrive in 2010 however. One of them – and probably the most surprising one – came from WHKT in Portsmouth, Viriginia, a station which can easily be heard here in the winter season. The reason for my surprise was the time it took to respond. My last reception report to the station was sent in October 2005 so it lasted more than 4 1/2 years before the QSL arrived here. A big thanks to Monica Rae for sending a full detailed QSL diploma to both me and a number of other DX-ers.
Untill January 2010, WHKT was a Radio Disney affiliate. The station was then sold from Radio Disney to a religious broadcaster. The station now broadcasts conservative talk programmes and is branded as “Freedom 1650”.
One of many highlights at Lista in October 2008 was hearing WDZY in Colonial Heights, Virginia, on 1290 kHz. WDZY was heard one evening with a clear station identication and Radio Disney programming. They were apparently still on their daytime power of 25 kilowatts when I heard them, otherwise the night time power of their transmitter is just 41 watts! WDZY is not an easy catch as there is always heavy competition from other stations on 1290 kHz, a.o. from WRNI in Rhode Island and from WKBK in New Hampshire.
Station Manager Laura W. Haemker made my day when confirming my reception with an e-mail last week.
Hearing the unexpected is to me the main thrill about DX-ing. We heard several unexpected stations during the October 2008 DX-pedition to Lista. One of the highlights was hearing WBTX licenced to Broadway-Timberville in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on 1470 kHz, a daytimer with a power of 5 kilowatts. WBTX was a station we never had heard about, and much less expected to hear. The station was heard at sign-off at 6.45 p.m. EST one evening with about the same signal strength as the usual dominant WLAM in Maine.
WBTX belongs to a group of 3 radio stations and broadcasts a Southern Gospel format. The station confirmed my reception with an e-mail last week and also asks me to make a liner to the station. I’ll do as requested of course, so may be you will hear my voice if you listen in to WBTX one time! 😉