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My DX Goldmine: 90.9 MHz

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.

4 thoughts on “My DX Goldmine: 90.9 MHz

  1. FM BC band was also a good bellweather for troposperic ducting. When I resided along the New Jersey coast, I would hear southerly stations override the NYC stations when a coastal front hit. (I fished a lot, then and my house was just 8′ ASL, so I paid close attention to the weather.). That was my hint to fire up the dualbander and throw out my call. It was amazing to me then to be able to light up 146.520 and 446.000 through the Carolinas by calling those freqs with FM29 at the end of my CQ, but I could tell that I didn’t discover anything new by the way they responded. 20 years ago, this worked well along the Front Range of the Rockies, too, but not so much now, since the FMBC is well occupied. I think I need to revisit this, though and do some exploring. Thanks for the spark.

    1. I do not understand the callsign you worked. Is this a typo?

      I was most impressed by working W215CJ in Tampa, Florida, at 1096 miles transmitting only 25 watts!

      1. 47 CFR § 74.1283 Station identification.
        (a) The call sign of an FM broadcast translator station will consist of the initial letter K or W followed by the channel number assigned to the translator and two letters. The use of the initial letter will generally conform to the pattern used in the broadcast service. The two letter combinations following the channel number will be assigned in order and requests for the assignment of particular combinations of letters will not be considered.

  2. Sporadic E propagation for FM BC in Japan around May to July is a regular seasonal event every year. I’ve heard the stations in Tokyo, Japan from South Korea, DPRK, China, Taiwan, and Russia this year with a dipole. 73 Kenji JJ1BDX

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