By Stana Horzepa, WA1LOU
Located on the highest hills in Connecticut’s New Haven County, about halfway between Boston and New York City, the FM radio band is wall-to-wall with stations. The handful of channels that are not occupied suffer from splatter from strong signals on adjacent channels except for 90.9 MHz.
Adjacent to 90.9 are stations 37 and 27 miles away, so 90.9 is very clean under normal conditions. If I hear anything on 90.9, it is likely to be DX, so whenever I am in the radio shack, I monitor 90.9 to alert me to band openings (usually of the Sporadic E variety).
I have been using this E-skip alert strategy for two years and have logged some interesting FM DX in that time. Most of the E-skip has been 800 to 1200 miles away.
The most distance stations have been KLRC in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, at 1224 miles, WLFE in Cutler Bay, Florida, at 1204 miles, KTBG in Warrensburg, Missouri, at 1129 miles and WMAO in Greenwood, Mississippi, at 1117 miles. I was most impressed by working W215CJ in Tampa, Florida, at 1096 miles transmitting only 25 watts!
My receiver is an ICOM IC-R8600 and my antenna is an antique, but still very serviceable 35-year-old ICOM AH-7000 discone.