Reprinted from the January 2009 DX Times:
This is a good time of year to try to tune in an American medium wave station.
You will need:
- To listen around 0700 to 0900 UTC (currently 8.00pm to 9.00pm);
- To have a reasonably sensitive and selective receiver on the medium wave band. If your receiver has selectable bandwidths, choose narrow (3kHz or better).
- To experiment with antennas. A box loop antenna aimed to the northeast will boost signals from that direction, usually helping to reduce the signal levels from Kiwi stations north and south of you. In urban locations, they ill generally outperform ‘short’ longwires on medium wave. Of course a EWE antenna beaming NE will be even better!
- To be in a relatively noise free listening location. This could be outside on an outside deck or other area away from the noise interference generated by TV,
- computer, washing machines and dishwashers (to name some of the main culprits). If you can run your receiver on batteries, so much the better, as you can avoid noise coming through the electrical wiring;
- To tune your receiver to one of the 10kHz frequencies used in the Americas. Best heard North American channels are: 1120 KPNW Oregon with talkback; 1170 KFAQ Oklahoma with talkback; 1180 Radio Marti, Florida in Spanish; 1580 KMIK Arizona with “Radio Disney”; 1640 KDIA California with religious talk; and 1700 XEPE Mexico identifying as “San Diego 1700”.
- To be patient. Distant medium signals fade up and down. Using the BFO or SSB will help you detect that there are signals coming through on a 10kHz channel long before the actual audio fades up. If there’s a lot of static noise around, try another night.
Report on how you fare to our Mailbag Editor to help encourage others to try.