Just DXing Around

Now that summer is officially upon us here in the northern hemisphere, I’ve gone back to DXing, which is the hobby of receiving and identifying distant radio or television signals, or making two way radio contact with distant stations in amateur radio, citizens’ band radio or other two way radio communications. As I do not yet have any sort of ham radio license, I’m simply doing the former, with my Tecsun PL-660 radio. Each night, around midnight, I’ve been switching off my laptop and wireless router (in order to eliminate crosstalk from such devices), and switching on my shortwave radio.

Anyway, one feature of the PL-660 (and any similar radio worth a damn) is the ability to store stations in memory, for quick access. Whenever I find a radio at night that comes in clearly, I store it in memory. I keep meaning to look up these stations and learn more about them, but I keep forgetting. Here, I will do just that. Let’s scroll through what I have stored in my radio’s memory.

Before that, let’s note some useful sites. Radio Shack still has their own shortwave radio station list. Don’t know when it was last updated, though. Klingenfuss has an updated 2015 list of shortwave stations. HFRadio has a useful list. However, my favorite resource is Short-Wave Info.

First we have 3215kHz. This looks to be a WWCR frequency (WorldWide Christian Radio). A lot of the stations I find while DXing are religious broadcasts (mainly Christian ministry shows), actually. WWCR is based in Nashville, TN, and uses four 100 kW transmitters to broadcast on four frequencies. Nothing here that interests me, just a station that I hear clearly at night.

Next is 4765 kHz. I’m finding two possible identities for this frequency, depending on the time you listen. It could be either R.Emissora de Educao Rural from Santarem, Brazil (meaning the station broadcasts in Portuguese) or Radio Progreso from Quivican, Cuba (broadcasts in Spanish), or Tajik Radio 1 on Voice of Russia from Dushanbe-Yangiyul, Tajikistan. What is on that frequency depends on the time of day.

Next is 4840, which I don’t even need to look up to tell you is another WWCR frequency. They broadcast Alex Jones late at night. Shortwave Info lists some other stations on that frequency from around the world, but I only ever hear WWCR.

5000 kHz and 10000 kHz (or just 10 MHz) are the same broadcast: at least in this region, I hear the current universal time. The 5000 kHz is WWV. WWV Broadcasts National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) time and frequency signals from a location near Fort Collins, Colorado. WWV uses a male voice. (There’s also WWVH. WWVH Broadcasts National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) time and frequency signals from a site near Kekaha at Kokole Point on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii. WWVH uses a female voice.) It’s useful for making sure my radio’s clock has the correct time displayed. (On a side note, you can call the US Atomic Clock and hear the time at +1-202-762-1401)

Next is 5085 kHz. This is WTWW (We Transmit WorldWide), based in Lebanon, TN. Looks like this is another Christian ministry. Primetime Shortwave lists this as “Overcomer Ministry”.

Next is 5920 kHz. What I’m getting at that frequency is WHRI, World Harvest Radio International (a troubling definition to be sure). This station, which broadcasts conservative religious programming, is based in Cypress Creek, SC.

Next is 6000 kHz. This is Radio Havana Cuba, RHC. This station is run by the Cuban government. I’m told they broadcast some great music, but I’ve never been able to catch any of that.

Next is 9570 kHz. This is China Radio International. At certain times of the day, they broadcast in English, otherwise in Chinese. Broadcasts from Beijing.

Next is 3990 kHz. This is Gannan, a Tibetan station broadcasting from Hezuo in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southern Gansu province in Western China.

I have 18860 kHz stored in my radio’s memory, but none of these sites give any information on that frequency. Maybe my storing it there was a fluke, as I only ever hear static there.

This next is on the AM band (MW), and is 1190 kHz. At this time, during the day, I’m only hearing static, but Wikipedia has a long list of possibilities.

Then I have 650 kHz (MW) stored, and this is WSM, a station based in Nashville, TN, that plays classic country tunes.

Next is 700 kHz (MW), and is WLW, based in Cincinnati, OH. Back in the 1930s, this station broadcasted at 500kW of radiated power, and covered half the globe at night. At that time, people who lived in the vicinity reportedly heard the station through all manner of non-radio devices, including pots, pans, and mattresses. If there’s any genesis for the idea of hearing radio stations in teeth braces, this would be it. (They no longer are powered at that level, thankfully) Let’s go back to the shortwave frequencies.cHI

Moving on, we have 3843 kHz, which is home to the Patriot Hams. In other words, this is the KD8QED-L Echolink Node 274998 2m simplex 146.555, based in Winchester, Ohio. I don’t hear much from them anymore, but they are entertaining to listen to when they go live in the evenings. They sometimes have to put up with people trolling the frequency.

Then I have 7520 kHz. This is All India Radio, broadcasting from Delhi.

Next is 7570 kHz, which is Family Radio, broadcasting from Okeechobee County, Florida. This broadcasts in both English and Japanese.

Next is 9420, which is Helliniki Radiophonia, a Greek station. (Another station on this frequency is Islamic Rep. Iran, broadcasting from Zahedan, Iran)

Last is 7730 kHz, which is another Overcomer Ministry station.

That’s all I have for now.

73s.

I’ve got some more frequencies to log. I was scanning the 41, 31, and 25 meter bands last night, and added a lot of new frequencies. Here we go.

Starting with 3915 kHz, which is actually a BBC frequency, broadcasting from Singapore.

5830 kHz is Radio Free Asia, broadcasting from Tinian Island, though what I was picking up was probably another WTWW frequency (which broadcasts from Lebanon, TN). (There is a BBC station that broadcasts from Nakhon Sawan)

6175 kHz is another China Radio International station, as is 7405 kHz.

7455 kHz is Radio Free Asia.

9330 kHz is listed as two things. What I heard was WBCQ (again), but this is also listed as a Cuban Spy Numbers station.

9395 kHz is active even now at mid-day, and is RMI, Tru News/R. Paradise, broadcasting from Okeechobee.

9515 kHz is a lot of things, but what I heard was probably another China Radio International. KBS World Radio, Voice of Turkey, and Pan American BC also broadcast here.

9530 kHz is Radio Transmundial, broadcasting from Santa Maria-Camobi.

9660 kHz is Vatican Radio.

China Radio International returns again at 9710 kHz.

9730 kHz is, among other things, Voice of Vietnam. It’s also China Radio International and Radio Romania International.

9790 kHz is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, along with China Radio International (again), and Radio France International.

9955 kHz is RMI, with a really long list of programming (looks to be mainly Christian ministry stuff).

9975 kHz, which I’m hearing stuff on right now, is Radio Free Asia, KTWR Guam, but what I’m hearing now is KVOH International Missions Fellowship.

11670 kHz is All India Radio.

11780 kHz is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. (Could also be China Radio International. Again)

11800 kHz is Radio Romania International. Could also be a French BBC station, but unlikely that I heard that.

11840 kHz is Adventist World Radio.

Friday Night Quiz Masters

If you miss Radio Free Caemlyn’s Friday Night Trivia, no worries, because Jeff The7thDoctor has started his own series.

Friday Night Quiz Masters carries on the tradition that I started in early 2010 on the Radio Free Caemlyn podcast. It’s the same formula: trivia questions, shenanigans among participants, and whoever wins gets the option of hosting the following week.

Thank you to Jeff for carrying on with Trivia after I’d lost all interest in doing so. I missed the first episode, but do plan on participating in future episodes. It will be odd, though, not being the one running the show, not being “Lord Quizmaster”.

On Ending Friday Night Trivia

Friday Night Trivia is a weekly show that I do for my Radio Free Caemlyn podcast. I started Friday Night Trivia back in early February of 2010 as a way of having something to do on a Friday night, as I had (and still have) no social life. It started off as a combination of Doctor Who trivia and word puzzles, and has become a weekly social event that a dedicated group of people look forward to each weekend.

So why would I bring something like this to an end, something that has become more than just about trivia, but a weekly social event?

Well, I’ve been considering ending trivia for a while. I want to change over to a conversation show. During our pre-shows, we have a lot of fun discussions on a lot of topics. These discussions are never recorded, and thus lost to the ether as soon as they are had. I want those to be the podcast, I want those to be the show. Trivia is fun and all, but…

Trivia has been fun. We’ve done nearly 200 episodes over nearly five years. As the saying goes, though, all good things must come to an end.

Trivia has run its course. It’s tired. It’s time to move on. It’s about moving on.

UPDATE (081202.2014): It’s been a month since I ended Friday Night Trivia. Since then, I’ve tried doing Radio Free Caemlyn Live shows, where conversations are the focus, but those proved unpopular. Everyone who showed up just wanted to go back to the trivia format. People wanted that gimmick to return. I still feel that the trivia format is limiting, and is something that has run its course. I have no plans of ever bringing trivia back. If someone else wants to run their own version of Friday Night Trivia, go right ahead. I’m sure they’ll end up on TalkShoe. (That’s something else: I tried my damnedest to move Trivia away from TalkShoe. I don’t like hosting Trivia shows there, the site is cumbersome and limiting. My preferred method would be to do Skype calls and broadcast that over Mixlr)

Anyway, 21 November was the final episode of Radio Free Caemlyn Live, where not that many people showed up. The following Friday was the Friday following Thanksgiving, here in the states, so I didn’t do a live show. This past Friday was the first Friday where I just didn’t do a Friday night show. Personally, I prefer not doing Friday night shows, as it gives me more time to rest. Even if I were still doing Friday nights shows, December is a busy month to even consider doing that. As for Trivia…the format was no longer fun; I was no longer enjoying Friday Night Trivia. Realizing that was the case, I decided it was better to end Trivia than let it decay and die due to a host that no longer loved the format.

There is still some confusion with Dave, whether he wants to run trivia. Others, if any of them want to start and run their own weekly Friday trivia show, go right ahead. I won’t be joining.

I’ve compiled all episodes of Trivia into their own RSS feed, which you can find here.

RFC Commentary: Twin Peaks Pilot Episode

I’m finally starting a series of commentaries for the Radio Free Caemlyn podcast. This time, Erica (from Marble Operator) joins me to talk all over the top of the American pilot of Twin Peaks. Hopefully we can continue this through the end of season one, at least.

Download the commentary track here, and listen along as you watch. We talk over the American version of the pilot episode.

Marble Operator 97: Entry 87 and the End of Marble Hornets

Episode can be downloaded here.

Rion, Logan, John, Abby, Katie, and Erica join Rand to discuss Marble Hornets Entry #87, which marks the end of the series. The panelists also discuss the conclusion of the series, and their thoughts on Marble Hornets as a whole.

This episode marks the final discussion for Marble Hornets. We have three series to discuss at this point, those being TribeTwelve, Dark Harvest, and Andersen Journals.

This episode also marks the end of the Marble Operator podcast. It’s been fun. Had some fun interviews. Met some cool people.

See you over on Radio Free Caemlyn.

Marble Operator Episode 96

Episode 96 of Marble Operator is available to download.

On this episode, John, Logan, Katie, Erica, and Abby join Rand to catch up on recent Slender-series videos. First, they cover the two most recent Marble Hornets videos, being Entry #85 and Entry #86. Then John, Logan, and Erica give their thoughts on the most recent upload from the Andersen Journals, being “GOODBYE”.

Total run-length of the episode is 1:08:32.

Behind the scenes note, I need to figure out why my Skype call recorder isn’t working correctly, then see if I can upgrade the audio quality.