The Master List of Part 15 Radio Stations of North America
Basis and purpose:
This site was created because of your author's long-time fascination and involvement with FCC Part 15 legal low-power radio operations. While there are many excellent resources and station listings on the Internet for low-power radio in general, including TIS/HAR, etc. (e.g., Bill Harm's Ultimate TIS/HAR Digest, Terry Krueger's Florida Low Power Radio Stations, IRCA and NRC to name a few) there is essentially nothing specifically and solely dealing with those tiny radio stations permitted under the Federal Communications Commission's Part 15 Rules as unlicensed, but legal operations. Since there are many excellent resources available online for both illegal "Pirate Radio" or "Microradio" and for licensed, TIS/HAR type operations, these type stations are not covered here; this site is strictly for those operations which can be classified as authorized under the various subsections of 47 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), Part 15. It is hoped that this site will serve to inform both potential listeners and DXers and those contemplating operating their own Part 15 stations, as well as helping to popularize legal low power radio.
All stations listed on this site are believed to be, to the best of the author's knowledge, strictly compliant with the FCC's Part 15 Rules. Some stations are personally known to the author and have been determined to his satisfaction to be operated in accordance with the applicable Part 15 Rules. Certain stations listed here also have been officially inspected and declared legal by FCC authorities. The author's "unofficial" determination as to whether a station is compliant is based upon specifications, equipment and engineering knowledge as well as frequent consultation with FCC officials for the purpose of specific Part 15 rules clarification and interpretation. However, the author/creator and host(s) of this site and any third parties associated therewith cannot be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly by any party or entity, for incorrect information which may result in erroneous classification of a station as "compliant" when it is not, nor for any legal, financial or other losses or consequences to any party or entity arising directly or indirectly from the listing of, operations of, statements concerning, or opinions of the author about, any station, company, organization, agency, product, service, or any other entity mentioned on this site. Whew! Having said that, let us begin!
Very minor update: March 23, 2004. "WHPW" 1690 AM temporarily removed at request. Will return as historical listing in next major update. ALWAYS under construction!
Frequencies in BOLD denote stations which are either believed to be currently active, or positively confirmed active.
Frequencies in bold RED denote stations which are, or are believed to be, currently inactive or are unconfirmed as of the latest site update. In some cases, these stations in the course of normal operations regularly leave the air at certain times of the year (see explanation in LF Stations Key below) and will return at the normally-scheduled time. The station in question may also be temporarily off-air while undergoing repairs. In other cases, the station may be off-air permanently and will be so noted if known.
Frequencies in PLAIN type are to denote stations which are planned and/or under construction and not on-air yet, or are in a testing phase and not yet on a regular operating schedule. This plain type is also used to specify experimental stations which are not normally on-air except by request.
"QSL" means that the station will honor all verifiable reception reports with a QSL card. However, no "QSL" listing does not necessarily mean that a particular station will not QSL; the information may simply be unavailable at present to the author.
Hours opn = Hours of Operation, if not specified then the information was unavailable to the author. Times are always given in local time, for the zone where the station in question is located. In a few cases UTC (Universal Coordinated) time may also be given.
On air: For some stations, the date when station first began transmitting is known and duly noted.
Station callsigns are in quotation marks because they are not officially assigned by the FCC; it is generally the opinion of FCC officials that it is permissible to use the Wxxx or Kxxx format under the following conditions: (a) the callsign is not currently in use by a licensed station and (b) that if it is assigned to a licensed station, the Part 15 operator must cease using it and choose another, unused callsign. For this reason, many Part 15 stations do not use callsigns per se, but rather a name or slogan, since such a mandated change could be disruptive, in terms of necessitating changes in business letterhead, website and email addresses, bumper stickers, etc, etc. Operators may use 5-letter calls (example: "WXLWR") since these are not currently assigned by FCC to any class of licensed station. Essentially, it is legal to use any (non-profane) means for identifying a Part 15 station and preferably including it's location, in keeping with the above guidelines; but station identification in some manner, is required, even of Part 15 stations.
Longwave or LF Part 15 Stations (160 - 190 kHz)
Longwave Part 15 stations operate under the provisions of 15.217 which permits 1 watt final input power, and an antenna, feedline and ground lead combined length (not height) of 15 meters (~49.2 feet) maximum. All LF systems known to the author use an antenna, which may be any of various types but usually are the typical vertical monopole, either a mast/tower or a "flattop" (wire "T" as used by aviation LF beacons) and with radials and/or a ground screen. The 160-190 kHz band is often referred to as "the 1750 Meter Band".
Despite the limitations imposed by 1 watt of power and a physically very short antenna compared to wavelength, LF Part 15 stations have been received by experimenters at distances of well over 1000 miles. The current overland DX record, 1,903 miles from Helena, Alabama to Reno, Nevada was just set 03/01/01 using the new WOLF mode beating out the former 1,515-mile Texas - Ontario BPSK mode continental record. (Over water, the California - Hawaii 2500-mile record stands as the longest distance ever spanned by a Part 15 LOWFER signal but seawater always provides stronger signals than over land). Typical reliable daytime groundwave communications range of a well-equipped station in this band at Part 15 power levels is 30 - 40, and not infrequently, 100 miles or more.
As with mediumwave, nighttime is best for LF DX, with skywave providing more stable, relatively fade-free signals on this band. Interestingly, unlike medium- and shortwave, there is no "skip zone" at LF; the skywave simply extends from the groundwave coverage area. Daytime D-layer absorption occurs here also, as it does at mediumwave frequencies, and this limits an LF station's range during daylight hours.
Sometimes, Part 15 LF stations are operated only during the "winter DX season", generally taken to be November to March. This is because of the very high summertime static levels on LF which seriously impair weak signal DX; therefore, some operators don't consider it worthwhile to operate in the summer. Where this is the case, and known, it is duly noted. Some operators who do remain on-air for the summer switch to AM voice mode, with weather broadcasts or other material, instead of "normal" winter modes such as QRSS or WOLF to garner the interest of other local Hams or potential LOWFERs who otherwise may not be aware of this type operation due to not having reception capability for those more "exotic" modes.
(LOWFER): Acronym for "Low Frequency Experimental Radio"; the vast majority of Part 15 Longwave stations are operated as experimental beacons, usually on-air 24 hrs. a day (unless otherwise specified) and repeating their ID continuously. These operations are conducted with an eye toward the study of propagation in this part of the spectrum and the development of new communications and equipment technique, rather than as "broadcast" stations per se. These will be denoted by the suffix "LOWFER" to distinguish them from those stations operating primarily as "broadcasters". However, from time to time some Longwave stations do air material of a 'broadcast' nature (i.e., music or other entertainment, news, talk, etc.) NOAA weather or local weather station telemetry are the most common broadcast formats when used. Some LF stations are equipped for two-way communications as well, as in Amateur (Ham) Radio (many if not most of these stations are operated by licensed Hams, although of course being licensed is not a requirement). No distinction is made between two-way capable and primarily one-way LOWFERs as the status may change upon the whim of the station operator. Most common modulation modes are:
CW = Continuous Wave or "Morse Code". The rate where known is specified in wpm (words-per-minute).
BPSK = Binary Phase-Shift Keying (a digital encoding/decoding mode). Can only be demodulated into useful intelligence by a receiver (connected to a computer) which is running the proper protocol. As the name suggests, encoding of modulation is by phase-shifting technique. This method is popular with LOWFERs as well as Hams and is very useful for weak-signal work. The software needed is available from a LOWFER's site where you can also get AFRICAM, a software package allowing you to receive BPSK using only your soundcard!
CCW = Coherent CW; a type of CW but using extremely accurate frequency control and locked to a common timebase. Synchronous transmission/reception mode.
QRSS - A "new" mode employed by LOWFERS which is rapidly increasing in popularity. It is simply very slow CW (Morse Code), usually at a fraction of a word per minute rate. This makes it easier to pick out the weak Part 15 signal (by digital time integration of the received signal on a computer) from the noise even in severe conditions. The rate where known is specified in wpm (words-per-minute): e.g. "0.5 wpm" is 1/2 word per minute or 1 word every 2 minutes. Dot length is length of the shortest fundamental character element (in Morse Code it is the "dot" or "dit") and when known is specified in seconds. QRSS(S) is a super-slow variant on this mode just recently (Jan/Feb. 2001) pioneered by Lyle Koehler (see 186.7 "LEK" below) which has given better results than even "regular" QRSS. Typical QRSS(S) would be using 90-sec. (1-1/2 min.) dot length. QRSS as a means of communication is very slow, but it allows an exchange of information to take place under conditions where it might otherwise be impossible.
WOLF - Another "new" mode developed by Stewart Nelson, Amateur Radio KK7KA, which is becoming very popular and is responsible for the new LOWFER continental DX record of 1,903 miles. It works by using phase-shift technique like BPSK to which it is related, and uses visual readout allowing you to "see" rather than "hear" the signal buried in noise by looking for an expected, repeating pattern in the time-integrated recorded signal. (See the developer's page at http://www.scgroup.com/ham/wolf.html for a detailed explanation and downloads; see also "WOLF For REAL Dummies" on the LOWFER list at http://www.qth.net .) Requires Cool Edit, a free soundcard input, and the DOS-only WOLF software.
AM = Amplitude Modulation - this is fairly self-explanatory; if not airing broadcast-type programming, AM is usually used by LF stations for "MCW" (tone modulated Morse Code). MCW may also be executed by shifting the carrier frequency a specific fixed amount (usually 400 or 1000 Hz) to produce each character element. This is similar to the method used by aerobeacons.
SSB = Single-Sideband; a form of AM sans one modulation sideband and the carrier; may be upper (USB) or lower (LSB) sideband.
Other modes are occasionally used and are described under the appropriate entries where applicable.
LOWFER Stations traditionally use callsigns which are comprised of either: (a) the last 2 or 3 letters of their Amateur (Ham) radio callsign (if licensed Hams), (b) the station owner's intials, or (c) the initials of their station's city and/or state of operation. Sometimes, arbitrary letters are chosen.
For LOWFER stations the operator's name, when known, is given. The owner's Ham callsign is also given, if known and applicable. This information can assist listeners in submitting reception reports.
Most LF stations welcome reception reports and readily QSL.
Very few manufacturers make transmitters for this band; because of this and due to the fact that most LF operators are inveterate experimenters and often Hams, most stations use homebrew units, custom tailored to the particular operators' needs. Three firms known to the author which at present do offer LF transmitters for this type operation are Curry Communications, Inc., North Country Radio, and a new outfit by the name of PCS Electronics which offers the "LW MAX", a PC-based transmitter which is in ISA card format (plugs into a spare slot) and is software-controlled. The software is open-source; the code is available for download here.
160 (LOWFER) "HTTP", Alden, NY. Operated by: Andrew Kroll.
170 (LOWFER) "GSD", Gary, SD. Operated by: Gary Carlson, W0GC. Intermittent hours of opn.
170 (LOWFER) "LAB", Daytona Beach, FL. Operated by: Jim Labor, KE4NZG. CW.
172.418 (LOWFER) "NF", New Freedom, PA. Operated by: WN3F. QRSS and 7 words-per-minute CW. Hours opn.: 24.
174 (LOWFER) "NUT", Simi Valley, CA. Operated by: Amy Caputi. May be off-air as of late 2000.
174.6 (LOWFER) "8TXT", Sandusky, OH. Operated by: Michael Agsten, WA8TXT.
175 (LOWFER) "D", Des Moines, IA. Operated by: Tom Gruis, K0HTF. Alternate freq. 164.44 kHz. Co-located at a "real" aeronautical beacon site, that of station IKV at 275 kHz.
175 (LOWFER) "5FEK", Bixby, OK. Operated by: Jerry Moyer, N5FEK.
176 (LOWFER) "CA", Carmel, NY. Operated by: K2PUT.
176.33 (LOWFER) "RLD", Stanfield, NC. Operated by: Brian Helms, KD4RLD. Now (02/04/01) off air until next season. See also the new "RLD" 510.6 kHz MEDFER, which is currently on-air.
177.777 (LOWFER) "NC", Stanfield, NC. Operated by: W4DEX. On-air November through March only. CW day, QRSS night. Widely heard. Off-air at present due to late winter storm damage; according to a post by Dex: "...The LF beacon's coil house was blown off the building roof when a guy line broke during high winds... The 40 pound coil with variometer was badly damaged. A fast moving front produced 60+ MPH winds here on the hill top. 177.777 kHz will be off until further notice. The MF beacon survived due to insufficient wind loading and continues to ionize the atmosphere. Skywave QSL #2 is still available. 510.500 kHz QRSS 3 sec dots [sic]" Dex plans to restore the LF beacon to operation when repairs are complete.
177.9 (LOWFER) "MPK", Chittenango, NY. Operated by: Donald Moth, W2MPK. CW mode. Presently off-air due to new antenna construction. Expects to be operational for this year's DX season starting in fall, using a PCS Electronics LW MAX transmitter.
178.6 (LOWFER) "ZWI", Baldwinsville, NY. Operated by: Howard Mortimer, WB2ZWI. Pulls the plug when storms threaten, otherwise 24 hrs.
180 (LOWFER) "QSL via Amateur Station K3DI" (no actual callsign). Arnold, MD. Operated by: Dick Wilder, K3DI. VFO (variable-frequency oscillator) operation, by prearranged schedule.
180 (LOWFER) "AZK", Kingman, AZ. NEW. CW mode, DAID (dash-after-ident). More info pending.
180 (LOWFER) "BKR", Girard, OH. NEW. On air: 02/09/01. Operated by: Donald R. Moler, N8BKR. CW at 5 wpm. Currently random hours opn. but will be 24 hrs. once established. Antenna is high-Q 5 ft. square loop. Uses unique and highly accurate frequency control - the NIST (former NBS) VLF station WWVB at 60 kHz in Boulder, Colorado is received off-air, then amplified, tripled in frequency and amplified again to the 1 watt input level - thus one could call BKR's carrier "NIST-traceable" (or by not much of a stretch, "atomic-clock controlled"). This also allows a listener to use WWVB as a common timebase so that synchronous detection (like CCW) schemes could be used to hear "BKR" under conditions where it might otherwise be impossible.
181.167 (LOWFER) "IZJ", San Gabriel, CA. Operated by: Ed Phillips, W6IZJ. Hours opn: 24.
181.62 (LOWFER) "RL", Herndon, VA. Operated by: Robert Laney, WB7PZU. Intermittent operating schedule.
182.20 (LOWFER) "BRO", Duluth, MN. Operated by: Bryce Ofstie, KI0LE. CW at 12 wpm and QRSS at 0.4 wpm. Will operate BPSK mode by request. Ident cycle is 2 reps. of call in QRSS then 15 reps. of callsign in CW. Take a look at the new "BRO" transmitter to see an example of fine handiwork. Check out the antenna too.
182.5 (LOWFER) "UD", Wakefield, QC. Our brethren in Canada have essentially the same "Part 15" rules as we do (although of course they aren't called "Part 15" there, but rather "RSS-210"). Operated by: Don Dawson, VE2UD. Intermittent hours opn.
182.5 (LOWFER) "T", Batavia, IL. NEW. Operated by: K9EUI. QRSS mode, 5 sec. dash, 5 sec. space. Now may be off-air until next season.
182.516 (LOWFER) "NR", Riverside, CA. Operated by: Bill Gates (no, not the Microsoft one!), N6WHP. Hours opn: Sat/Sun 24 hrs.
182.7 (LOWFER) "TFQ", Centertown, KY. Operated by: Doug Smith, WB4TFQ. On-air 24 hrs. on Sat/Sun and holidays only.
182.9 (LOWFER) "A3O", Monroeville, PA. Operated by: Mike Lamanna, WA3O.
183.14 (LOWFER) "IHX", Olean, NY. NEW. Operated by: Chet Koziol, W2IHX.
183.16 (LOWFER) "PRK", Saratoga, CA. Operated by: Dan Smith, K6PRK.
183.333 (LOWFER) "3ZIM", N. Toronto, ON. Operated by: VA3ZIM.
183.5 (LOWFER) "PLI", Burbank, CA. Operated by: Dave Curry. CW and BPSK. SSB on Saturdays at 8 am. Dave Curry owns Curry Communications, which manufactures transmitters for LOWFER operation, among other things.
183.5 (LOWFER) "ELU", Simi Valley, CA. Operated by: R. Seden, WD6ELU. SSB voice mode on weekends.
183.5 (LOWFER) "ZTM", Layton, UT. Operated by: Pete Smith, K7ZTM.
183.544 (LOWFER) "MEL", San Jose, CA. Operated by: Mitchell Lee. Operated upon request.
184.283 (LOWFER) "TLTX", Sherman, TX. Operated by: Tony Levstik. QRSS mode. Off-air at present; will return in Fall 2001 for the beginning of the "DX season". Tony also operates a HIFER beacon at 13,560 kHz (see listing).
184.3 (LOWFER) "A3P", Catawissa, PA. Operated by: Larry Thomas, AA3PX.
184.318 (LOWFER) "RI", Rifton, NY. Operated by: Pierre Thomson, KA2QPG. CW at 6 wpm. Check out the website for some nice pics of the "RI" antenna. Off for the summer, will return for fall/winter "DX season".
184.32 (LOWFER) "YWK", Dallas, GA. Operated by: Will Payne, N4YWK. Intermittent operating schedule.
184.3241 (LOWFER) "LEA", Salem, OR. Operated by: Mick Reed. CW mode. Now (as of 03/01/01) temporarily off air but when it returns will be running QRSS and likely WOLF mode as well we are told.
184.509 (LOWFER) "JDH", Bonaire, GA. Operated by AB4MS. On-air November through March 1 only. CW.
184.722 (LOWFER) "JJX", Garden City, NY. NEW. CW mode. More info pending.
184.877 (LOWFER) "R", Durant, OK. Operated by: John Wright. CW mode. Weekends only, after Nov. 1. Alternate freq. 169.8 kHz.
184.9 (LOWFER) "XMGR", Helena, AL. Operated by: Les Rayburn, N1LF. CCW and BPSK modes; in BPSK run length is 5. (Run length is number of characters in a message unit, including the spaces; in this case the ID, i.e., "XMGR XMGR XMGR..." When decoded on a computer running the program to read BPSK, that is how the screen capture will look). Alternate freq. 183.31 kHz in QRSS mode; signs as "XM" when in the QRSS mode. "XMGR" is also experimenting with the new WOLF mode and is one of the stations responsible for the new 1,903 mile continental LOWFER DX record. Nice website with beautiful pics of the station. Update 04/15/01: the beacon's main freq. has been measured as 184.8988 kHz exactly and "XMGR" is now operating in WOLF mode only.
185 (LOWFER) "WMT", Westfield, MA. Operated by: Michael Koscak, WA1MTZ. 10 wpm CW, MCW and AM voice. Hours opn: Thursdays at 8:30 pm local time, for between 30 min. to 1 hr. Then, listens for replies to attempt a QSO.
185.185 (LOWFER) "FAW", Riverton, UT. Operated by: Chris Spencer, WB7FAW. Formerly 184.4 kHz out of South Jordan, UT.
185.3 (LOWFER) "WA", Andover, MA. Operated by: William Ashlock. QRSS, 30 sec. dots. Formerly on 167.5 kHz. Uses experimental rotating loop antenna. According to a post by Bill: "...The loop rotation is a two-leaf pattern rather than the normal four-leaf and contains a long 20 second space between the end of the E/W loop 'WA' and each new N/S 'WA', as a marker." Exact frequency measured as 185.301 kHz.
185.5 (LOWFER) "RED", Wausa, FL. Operated by: C. Wadford. BPSK mode on even days, CW mode on odd days. Testing QRSS mode. Has been heard in Minnesota at more than 1100 miles by Lyle Koehler (see 186.7 "LEK" below).
185.9 (LOWFER) "3SCO", Scarborough, ON. Operated by: Scott Reynolds, VE3SCO.
185.97 (LOWFER) "YK", Evansville, IN. Formerly "EVV". QRSS mode. Hours opn. 24. Off for the summer.
186 (LOWFER) "GW", Athens, OH. Operated by: Greg Weinfurtner, NS8O.
186.375 (LOWFER) "BA", Lancaster, IL. Operated by: Brice Anderson, W9PNE. CW. Hours opn. 24.
186.7 (LOWFER) "LEK", Aitkin, MN. Operated by: Lyle Koehler, K0LR. QRSS at 0.4 wpm with a 3 second dot length, and BPSK mode by request. Currently also testing WOLF and QRSS(S) modes. This station has one of the strongest signals and is one of the most widely heard Part 15 LF stations on the air. Lyle's website is one of the best LF resources available online. There you can download the programs needed to decode BPSK, QRSS, PSK31, and other digital modulation modes, or find links to sites offering these programs for download. Also at his site, you can listen to .wav files of other LOWFERs Lyle has received at distances up to 1172 miles, and find schematics of LF transmitters, among many other things.
186.713 (LOWFER) "1A", Marshfield, MA. Operated by: Dave Riley, AA1A. CW. Intermittent operating hrs.
186.8 (LOWFER) "MS", Scottsburg, IN. Operated by: Michael Stidam.
186.89 (LOWFER) "VPMO", Valley Park, MO. Operated by: Gary G. Herbst.
186.92 (LOWFER) "RB", Freeport, IL. Operated by: R. Bicking, W9RB. A widely-heard beacon. Now off-air for the summer.
186.986 (LOWFER) "BOB", Mahomet, IL. Operated by: Bob Hoffswell, AA9DH.
187.088 (LOWFER) "M", Brawley, CA. Operated by: Mark Monte, AB6ZQ.
187.3 (LOWFER) "1LF", Calera, AL. Operated by: Les Rayburn, N1LF. QRSS, and by request, BPSK modes. Solar powered. See also 184.9 kHz "XMGR" listing above. Different station, different location, but same operator. Off-air for repairs.
187.352 (LOWFER) "DCH", Berlin, MD. Operated by: Dave Holland. Now (04/15/01) off until next season.
187.37 (LOWFER) "HM", Prescott, AZ. Operated by: Howard Myers, W7ILW. Hours opn: 24, except during rain.
187.46 (LOWFER) "BK", Shell Lake, WI. Operated by: Bruce Koehler. BPSK at settings MS100, ET1 and CW modes; weather telemetry info. Historically has been one of the stronger LF Part 15 signals on the air, widely heard. Formerly on 184.7 kHz.
187.47 (LOWFER) "JMN", Arden, NC. Operated by: Jeff Nicklaw, KF4PZA. Intermittent operating sched.
187.5 (LOWFER) "YD", White City, FL. Operated by: KQ4YD. CW mode, BPSK by request. Hours opn: 24. Ident cycle is 50 reps of call in CW at 12 wpm, followed by 4 reps of ID in QRSS at 0.4 wpm.
187.5 (LOWFER) "K", Oak Ridge, TN. Operated by: Michael Coffey, Jr., KE4QDZ.
187.5 (LOWFER) "COV", South Coffeyville, OK. Operated by: KC0EH.
187.5 (LOWFER) "3GOATS", Portland, OR. New beacon. Operated by: Fred Lord, KB7GRB. ID is currently 1 sec. dashes. This is temporary and a keyer will soon be in operation.
187.6 (LOWFER) "RAD", Radford, VA. Operated by: Tim Pauly, N2GFT. Not on air: operation planned for Fall 2001. Tim previously operated this LOWFER as "MV" from Salisbury, NY on this frequency but it is presently off due to the move to Radford; the beacon had to be disassembled, brought to the new location and reinstalled.
187.6 (LOWFER) "XP", Durham, NC. Operated by: Dave Johnson, WA4NID. Intermittent operation.
187.78 (LOWFER) "MOO", Monroeville, NJ. Operated by: Norm Harbison, Jr., K2NH. Intermittent operating schedule.
187.8 (LOWFER) "VA", Smith Mountain Lake, VA. Operated by: Bart Prater, N4ZV. Now off air for summer, will return in October.
188 (LOWFER) "DJL", Newbury Park, CA. Operated by: Darwin Long IV. Hours opn: 24. LSB MCW with 400 Hz shift DAID (dash-after-ident), and AM voice ID. Format is 3 reps. CW and 1 voice ID in each cycle. Site has pics of transmitter site, coverage map, and more!
188 (LOWFER) "MXW", Scotch Plains, NJ. New beacon, not on air; target date Summer 2001 (Has been pushed back due to 13,560 kHz HF construction). Station to be operated by the author, Amateur Radio W2MXW. Will operate 24 hours continuously, year-round. Presently under construction; will commence operation once the 30-foot top-hatted vertical monopole antenna is installed. Modulation to be AM MCW 1020 Hz tone at 7 wpm, and CW both at 7 wpm and QRSS(S) at an undetermined speed (probably 90-sec. dots); ident cycle/ time split for modes undecided at present. Transmitter may be a Hamilton AM1000 modified for LF operation.
188.15 (LOWFER) "YHO", Mason, OH. Operated by: Bill Dawson, K8YHO.
188.295 (LOWFER) "LP", Pasadena, MD. Operated by: Larry Putman, WB3ANQ. Now off-air, until next season.
188.57 (LOWFER) "QYV", Donora, PA. Operated by: Bob Sethman.
188.78 (LOWFER) "IMG", Crystal, MN. Operated by: Sam Eastey, W0IMG. Intermittent operation. See also parallel 189.2 kHz "SAM" listing.
188.81 (LOWFER) "R", Durant, OK. Operated by: John Wright. BPSK mode. Intermittent operating schedule. See also parallel 184.877 kHz listing.
189.09 (LOWFER) "TEXAS", Haslet, TX. Operated by: Bill Cantrell, WD5CVG. Now (03/01/01) running in WOLF mode at 187.04 kHz 24/7. (This new frequency is currently temporary). Also ran QRSS at 0.4 wpm and BPSK, and may do so again in future or upon request. Identifier is: "TEXAS AGGIES". Historically has been one of the strongest and most widely-heard beacons in the country. Bill will move the beacon's frequency by request, for valid experiments. Formerly on 189.7 kHz. Update 04/15/01: "TEXAS" is back on 189.7 kHz and running WOLF mode. See parallel listing.
189.2 (LOWFER) "GIR", New Eagle, PA. Operated by: George M. Jacob, KA3GIR. Hours opn. 24. Formerly 189.6 kHz.
189.2 (LOWFER) "SAM", Crystal, MN. Operated by: Sam Eastey, W0IMG. See also parallel 188.78 kHz "IMG" listing. Formerly 189.29 kHz.
189.3 (LOWFER) "ARK", Leslie, AR. Operated by: W9ECH. On-air November 1 to March 1 ("DX season") only.
189.37 (LOWFER) "TH", Colts Neck, NJ. Operated by: Carl Lundgren, Jr. CW mode ID as "Colt's Neck NJ" day, CCW mode ID as "TH" night. One of the most widely heard East Coast beacons. Has been received by, among others, Lyle Koehler in Aitkin, Minnesota (see 186.7 "LEK" above), a distance of 1060 miles! See Lyle's website for a .wav file of this and other LOWFER DX "catches".
189.5 (LOWFER) "X", Wheatland, WY. Operated by: Max Carter. CW.
189.6 (LOWFER) "IDF", Idaho Falls, ID. Operated by: Tod Olson, K0TO. BPSK and CW.
189.6 (LOWFER) WA4LIP, So. MS. NEW. Operated by: Lewis Denton, Sr., WA4LIP and apparently breaking with LOWFER "tradition" in using that amateur radio callsign (it's not technically illegal to do so). Mode: 5 wpm CW.
189.7 (LOWFER) "TEXAS", Haslet, TX. Operated by: Bill Cantrell, WD5CVG. WOLF mode. Hours opn: 24. Formerly at 189.09 kHz, this beacon has moved back to this frequency (it was here prior to operating at 189.09). See that listing for more details.
189.8 (LOWFER) "RM", Duluth, MN. Operated by: Roger Magnuson, K0MVJ. ID toggles between CW and QRSS modes.
189.95 (LOWFER) "OK", Davenport, OK. Operated by: Bill Bowers. CW and BPSK modes. BPSK mode is run for the last 30 min. of each hour, and the message is the call repeated 3 times. Use MS100, ET1 settings to decode. Another widely-heard station.
AM or Mediumwave Part 15 Stations (510 - 1705 kHz)
NO SUFFIX = 100 mW (0.1 W) final input power, radiating antenna system, compliant with Part 15.219. Antenna, feedline and ground lead combined length (not height) limited to 3 meters (~9.84 feet). No field strength limit. The antenna is usually a simple vertical whip on commercial transmitters although homebrew units (as often used by MEDFERs) may use more elaborate systems.
(CC) = Carrier Current Station, compliant with 15.221. Emissions limited to 15 uV/m at LAMBDA/2*PI meters (or 47,715/f(kHz) meters; induction field boundary) from powerline or radiating cable. This scales the emissions to the frequency, allowing more field strength on lower frequencies where skywave is less prevalent, and penalizing operations higher in the band due to better "skip" characteristics. Since noise level increases with decreasing frequency, this also helps to permit operations lower in the band to overcome this handicap. Carrier current transmitters may range from 1 to 100 watts output (many models have variable output controls) but the vast majority of installations are in the 5-10 watt range. In many cases multiple transmitters are used, fed via phone line, coax or fiber from the studio distribution amp. Systems may use as the transmission medium, electrical power wiring, other types of wiring such as alarm, low-voltage, etc. or may operate through dedicated radiating cable or "leaky coax" installed in building walls, overhead on poles or buried (signals in the mediumwave range especially the low end can penetrate 6-12 inches of soil or pavement, of course with significant attenuation however). Contrary to popular opinion (and misinterpretation), carrier-current operation is not restricted to educational campuses only; anyone may broadcast using this technique in compliance with 15.221. However, operations under 15.221 Paragraph (b), so-called "Campus Free Radiate" systems (see below) are only permitted on the properties of educational institutions.
(FR) = Campus Free Radiate system, compliant with 15.221, Paragraph (b). Emissions limited to 24,000/f(kHz) uV/m at 30 meters from campus boundary, no in-campus field strength limit. Usually use vertical short monopole antenna. As with Carrier Current above, this formula scales the emissions to the frequency, allowing more field strength on lower frequencies where skywave is less prevalent, and penalizing operations higher in the band due to better "skip" characteristics. Also, this helps lower frequency operations deal with the higher prevailing noise level they encounter. Operation under this provision is available to educational institutions only.
Canadian "Part 15" (RSS-210, License-Free Devices) Rules have the same provisions as 15.219 and 15.221 above.
(MEDFER) = Acronym for "Medium Frequency Experimental Radio"; as with LOWFERS these are stations primarily concerned with more scientific aspects rather than with broadcasting per se. All operate under 15.219 (100 mW/3 meter antenna) and most use similar modulation modes to those used by LOWFER stations; usually they are operated as beacons. Additionally, many operate on "odd" frequencies (i.e., not corresponding to US broadcasting's 10 kHz spacing) since it reduces interference potential from powerful licensed broadcasters and also because MEDFERS don't necessarily need to ensure reception on the 10 kHz-channel spaced digitally-tuned radios operated by the general public.
QRSS - very slow CW. See detailed explanation in the LF section Key. This mode makes it easier to pick out the little Part 15 signal (by time integration of the received signal) from all the high-power broadcast splatter, hash and noise. It is possible for the MEDFER station running QRSS to be copied 100% even when it is inside the modulation envelope of a full-power station's signal!
NOTE: Operation on 1710 kHz is not permitted by present Part 15 rules (although there is some talk by the MEDFER community of a petition to FCC to open this frequency to Part 15). Don't hold your breath. We get asked about this a lot and so it is worth mentioning here. 1700 kHz is the highest standard (full-carrier, DSB AM with 5 kHz max. audio) frequency permitted under present Part 15 regs. (up to 1705 kHz may be used for non-standard, i.e., MEDFER use). For the time being, however, any stations operating on 1710 are not in compliance and would not be listed here.
510.46 (MEDFER) "HCN", Magdalena, NM. Operated by: Mike Mideke. CW mode. New MEDFER beacon; no further info at present.
510.5 (MEDFER) "NC", Stanfield, NC. On air: Dec. 31, 2000, 6:00 pm EST. Operated by: W4DEX. CW day, QRSS mode night, keying with 3 second dots and 9 second dashes. According to the operator per online report, "NC" is running a synthesized exciter with oven controlled reference oscillator. Again according to operator, "QRSS operation will begin about half an hour before sunset and continue to half an hour after sunrise to allow DXers to take advantage of gray line propagation". (Gray line propagation is that which occurs during the time window between daylight and darkness - dusk and dawn. Skywave propagation which occurs during these windows is also referred to as "sunset skip" and "sunrise skip" and is well-known to produce spectacular DX. AM broadcast stations must leave the air, adjust power or use PSSA/PSRA power depending on authorization, because of this phenomenon). Update 01/27/01: Per online report, this new station has already been heard in Ontario, a distance of 535 miles. LOWFER "NC" (177.777 kHz) operates on the same schedule. See also parallel LF listing at 177.777 kHz. Update 04/15/01: as of 03/07/01 MEDFER "NC" is now testing in WOLF mode, 24 hours. Look for more MEDFER activity around 510 - 525 kHz, being dubbed by some as the "new MEDFER band", as the Expanded Band (1610 -1705 kHz) which was formerly traditionally the prime "MEDFER band" fills up with broadcast stations.
510.6 (MEDFER) "RLD", Stanfield, NC. On air: Feb. 4, 2001. Operated by: Brian Helms, KD4RLD. Hours opn: 24. QRSS mode. See also parallel 176.33 kHz LF listing.
530 (CC) "WCPE", Union County College Radio, Cranford, NJ. Format: College; music, news, talk, sports. Wide variety of music genres including metal, house, alternative, classic rock, etc. Hours opn: varies somewhat but usually during classes; morning through early evening. Uses 5 watt carrier transmitter by LPB, Inc. Signal as last heard by the author was very poor, barely receivable on a highly sensitive car radio in student parking lot adjacent to main building. Building wiring may be run in metallic conduit and/or otherwise shielded by concrete structure resulting in poor radiation.
530 (CC) "WKUS", Kettering University campus radio, Flint, MI. Format: College; mostly music, esp. metal, techno-industrial, rave, trance, electronica. Hours opn: noon - midnight most days. A non-profit operation. Also broadcasts online. Site is quite lean information-wise.
530 (CC) "KWTR", Whittier College, Whittier, CA. Format: College; many different types of music incl. hip-hop/Urban, metal, jazz, etc. Hours opn: 10:00am - 11:00pm, M-F according to schedule. Oddly, the online listening page (Win Media Player) lists them as being 10:00am to 1:00am Pacific time, Monday to Sunday. Online submit request form page also. Nice little studio according to pics on the "Hall O' Fame" page.
530 (CC) "WFIT", Fashion Institute of Technology SUNY, New York, NY. Referenced on Student Organizations page but no specific info. Supposedly a 10 watt CC transmitter from another source. Nothing further at this time.
530 (CC) "WYUR", Yeshiva University, New York, NY. Format: College, primarily student-produced shows emphasizing Jewish-interest; religion, talk, contemporary and classical music, as well as live YU sports. Studio location is at the Main Campus at 500 West 185th Street (YU has 4 campuses). This station returned to the airwaves after a 3-year hiatus having been off-air since 1995: an article from the student newspaper details it here. Station page nothing but a caption telling students to tune in: but doesn't even give the frequency so that they can! Uses LPB, Inc. 30-watt carrier transmitters, located, according to the article, in the undergraduate dormitories: uptown in Muss, Rubin, and Morg; and midtown in Brookdale and Schottenstein. According to another article concerning the return of "WYUR", "...Nachum Segal, a YU Alumnus and one of the most popular Jewish radio personalities in the country, initiated his professional communications career while working as a D.J. for WYUR."
540 (CC) "WRGW", George Washington University student radio, Washington DC. Format: College; mostly techno, Goth, metal, sports, campus news and a considerable amount of talk programming for a college station (2 hrs. daily most days). Hours opn: 10:00 am - midnight Tue. through Sat. and noon - midnight Mondays and Sundays. Cool website. Also online broadcasts, requires Quicktime 4 or better. Offers Quicktime for download at their site. Yes, it is Win/Mac compatible and in this author's opinion was a wise choice on their part; it is a good audio player.
540 (CC) "WVAU, American University Student-Run Radio", American U., Washington DC. Format: College; "free-form", the typical varied music genres esp. metal, Goth, alternative, etc., student-produced shows. Hours opn: 24. Websites (there are two) are both pretty crippled at present (you'd think at least one of them would work...) Alternate site at http://welcome.to/wvau/. Offers online listening in RP format.
550 (CC) "KULV", University of LaVerne, LaVerne, CA. Format: College; music, esp. alternative and "modern rock", sports (ULV Leopards football, baseball, basketball), and training of broadcasting majors. Hours opn: 7:00 am - 11:00 pm. See also parallel 107.9 FM entry. FM dups AM 100%. Site has playlist.
560 (FR) "WMBC - Freeform Radio", University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD. Format: College; diverse, eclectic music forms; as quoted from their website: "...WMBC is dedicated to providing DJs with the latest music from almost all genres. We encourage DJs to play music that they and/or the campus community may not have heard before, therefore we discourage the playing of music that can be heard through traditional media outlets..." Also news, sports, talk. Hours opn: generally 9 or 10 am to 1 or 2 am; see their site for schedule. Also broadcasts online. Uses campus free-radiate system, with LPB, Inc. equipment. Well-designed site details everything up to the antenna itself, and has pages such as "If you're having trouble hearing us, go here first..." (help with and technical explanations of reception problems). Plans to apply for LPFM grant.
570 (CC) "WAUG", Augustana College student radio, Rock Island, IL. Format: College; wide variety of musical genres incl. hip hop, variety and alternative, and student advice/talk shows. Hours opn: 24. Automated by minidisc when no show scheduled. Also see parallel 97.9 FM entry. Also online listening via Winamp (an excellent choice!) Site has playlist. Note: link will go to main AU website; since the station's site is in a frame, a direct link couldn't be provided. You'll have to search for it. Sorry!
590 (CC) "WHLC", Lehman College CUNY, Bronx, NY. Format: College; diverse music, campus events, news, editorials. Supposedly a 25 watt CC transmitter.
610 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", New Holland, NC. Mattamuskeet Lodge. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 1040, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1510, 1590 and 1600 kHz entries.
610 (CC) "WQBR", Eastern Michigan University student radio, Ypsilanti, MI. On air: 1995. Hours opn: 2:00 pm - midnight, M-F. Broadcasts with 4 watt CC transmitter in the Quirk Building (hence "Q-B-R"; Quirk Building Radio). Very lean site, no mention of even their format or playlist. Don't bother with their "News" page. It's from 1999.
610 (CC) "WSAM", University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT. Format: College; mostly music esp. metal and progressive, sports, talk. Strictly student-produced shows. Hours opn: varies; generally noon - 8:00 am. Also on 106.3 FM; see listing. Site has Spring 2001 program schedule. May be a commercial operation since there is listed contact info for a "sales manager". Live broadcast online (unfortunately RP format only). Also has webcam! UH also operates licensed FM WWUH at 91.3 MHz. Unlike "WSAM", this station is not student-run however. "Interference hotline" on WWUH page has phone no. and interesting commentary on how Connecticut Public Radio (NPR affiliate) muscled a new station (WRLI) in on their frequency, wiping out reception in many areas, but because FCC approved the application, nothing could be done.
620 (CC) "WDTS", Delaware Technical & Community College Owens Campus, Georgetown, DE. No other info available at present.
640 (CC) "WUVT" Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. On air: Apr. 1, 1948. Format: College; diverse programming both musical and talk. Music includes hip-hop, experimental, bluegrass, Goth/Darkwave, ska, electronica, 'modern' classical, progressive rock, and jazz among other genres, a local bands show ("The Local Zone") on Sundays, and talk and cultural programming of great variety is offered including Greek, Indian, African, Turkish, Native American and Chinese, as well as childrens' programming. Also "5-minute" news and sports. Hrs. opn: 24. Online listening (RP format). Site has program guide. WUVT is also a licensed noncommercial station on FM at 90.7; the CC AM is used in part as a 'training ground' for prospective FM DJs but is fully commercial unlike the latter. Programming may therefore not be 100% duped by the CC outlet; the percentage of simulcast time is not known.
640 (CC) "WECB, Big Corporate Rock", Emerson College, Boston, MA. Format: College; typical widely-diverse programming reflecting students' interests; music incl. metal, Indie rock, funk, Urban and Top 40 among others. Also news, campus events, talk pgmg. Commercial. Hrs. opn: 8:00am -1:00am. Online listening, Win Media Player. Fascinating "Entire History" page details many aspects of the station both technical and political through the years and experiments tried along the way. Among the more interesting: one of the former staff designed a way to obtain assymetrical modulation (100% downward and 150% upward) of the LPB, Inc. model 25C, 20 watt tube carrier-current transmitters as well as a hum cancellation circuit both of which supposedly dramatically improved audio quality; contact information is given in the article for a former GM who offers the information on these modifications to anyone who is interested. "WECB" also now apparently has a parallel outlet at 99.9 FM (not to be confused with licensed/noncommercial 88.9 FM WERS also owned by Emerson); but there is no information concerning the type of system on their website. It most likely is a radiating-cable system since the aforementioned history page mentions their previous experiments with that type system. See 99.9 FM entry.
640 (CC) "WUPJ", University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Campus Radio, U. Pittsburg Johnstown Campus, Johnstown, PA. No further info. No actual website; just a contact phone no. in Student Affairs directory. Known to be a CC at 640 from another source.
640 (CC) "WRDP", DePaul University student radio, DePaul U., Chicago, IL. Format: College; a wide variety of musical genres incl. alternative, jazz, blues, reggae, folk, techno and contemporary R&B. Also comedy and talk, hourly newscasts. Blue Demons (DPU teams) sports. Hours opn: 9:00 am - midnight Mon. - Sat.
640 (CC) "WVYC" York College of Pennsylvania, York, PA. Format: music; emphasis on classic rock, country, some hip-hop, alternative and punk. Not much "meat" on website, except for schedule. Hours opn: 8:00 am - midnight. York College also owns licensed WVYC-FM, listed in FCC database as 88.1 MHz and 36 watts, but their website says 99.7 MHz. The CC AM site references the 99.7 frequency also; the AM apparently dups the FM during certain time slots (mostly mornings, esp. Sat.)
640 (CC) "WVAW - Blue Marlin Radio" Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, VA. Format: College, with the emphasis on music programming; according to their site "...WVAW offers the widest selection of music on the radio today. We play everything from modern alternative rock to classical music." According to their playlist, mostly hard rock/heavy metal. Also college sports, and some news. Site history discusses how they want to go FM (radiating cable) but haven't been able to due to lack of interest/funding. Surfer warning: site hard to navigate and riddled with P.I.A. Java script. Also hasn't been updated since 1997, so who knows what's really going on now??
640 (CC) "WTBU", Boston University Student Radio, Boston, MA. On air: 1965. Format: College, but perhaps more "educated" than most...eclectic, off-the-wall and maybe even thought-provoking shows, talk, comedy, and rock. Hours opn: 24. This station has the distinction of being Howard Stern's alma mater. "WTBU" is shown in "Private Parts" although it was not the actual station but a mockup that was used. This station also was the first to fire Howard for airing a piece he called "Making the Bishop Blush". Location of the AM transmitters is given as being at Danielson Hall on Beacon Street, Shelton Hall and Myles Standish Hall. Uses LPB, Inc. CC AM transmitters. Also on radiating cable FM at 89.3; see parallel listing. Broadcasts online as well, in RP format but promises Windows Media and MP3 coming soon. Excellent website details all aspects of the station; its history, program schedule, pics of the studio, and even the location of all the AM and FM transmitters. If only all college station's sites were this thorough!
650 (CC) "WJMD", Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo MI. According to the website (not an official station site but an overview of sorts): "WJMDs primary goal is to entertain and inform the student body through musical programming and entertainment shows. This radio stations secondary goal is to train and teach interested members of the student body how to operate a radio station with regard to radio broadcasting, radio production, radio engineering, and computer filing systems. WJMD is run on carrier current operating in Kalamazoo Colleges campus dormitories serving a community up to 1,200 residents." No other info given except rules and regs - not even the format!
660 (CC) "KRJC", Modesto Junior College campus radio, Modesto, CA. Hours opn: 11:00am - 8:00pm Mon-Fri.
670 (CC) "WPPJ", Point Park College Student Radio, Point Park College, Pittsburgh, PA. Not much "meat" on their site, but they mention a "sales office" and give sales phone #, so must be a commercial operation. Probably typical college type format with student-produced programming.
680 (CC) "KASR - The Blaze", Arizona State University student radio, Tempe, AZ. Parallel outlet for their 1260 kHz free-radiate system; see that entry for details. Dups. 1260 100%.
680 Drive-In Christian Church, Daytona Beach Shores, FL. See also parallel FM 88.5 MHz entry. Broadcasts of services and sermons to patrons/worshippers on and in the near vicinity of the church property.
680 (CC) "WLMU", LeMoyne College student radio, Syracuse, NY. Format: no information on website yet but probably religious-format, since LeMoyne is a Jesuit institution.
730 (CC) "WQHS", University of Pennsylvania student radio, UPenn, Philadelphia, PA. Hours opn: 24 but student-originated programming dependent on students' schedules; erratic but noon-midnight most days. Online broadcasts in your choice of RP (yuck!) or Shoutcast/Winamp (yes!!) formats. UPenn also operates 4 licensed noncomm. FM's (the "WXPN Family"). These used to be student-run but the students were squeezed out to make way for the "professionals", because, according to their site, of an investigation by FCC of certain students who aired controversial programming and because it was felt that there was a lack of competence on the part of the student leadership which resulted in the University trustees (who own the FM stations) being threatened to either get rid of the student involvement, or the stations. There is no more student involvement on these FM stations and their programming is no longer targeted to student listenership. "WQHS", however, is entirely student-run and independent of the WXPN group stations however it does dup. WXPN's pgmg. 58% (WXPN programming is rebroadcast whenever there is no student broadcast being aired). "WQHS" is a commercial operation; site has link to ad rates page but your editor couldn't get it to work (Java problems). Maybe you'll have better luck. Mentions being at 720 kHz on their main page but at 730 on the History page; this may have been an error on their part (but it could also be a move and the History page not updated to reflect it). Here it will stay unless and until someone says otherwise.
730 (CC) "KORD" Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. Format: College; wide variety of musical genres, campus news, comedy, talk. Hours opn 24. Live online listening, RP format. Site has program listings.
750 (CC) "WERW", Syracuse University campus radio, Syracuse, NY. Format: College; anything-goes variety of musical genres. Hours opn: 24. Dups. 1570 main outlet 100%. See parallel 1570 kHz free-radiate entry. Operated by SU's University Union. This CC system serves as an adjunct to the main 1570 kHz FR system, to augment the latter's signal in certain dorms where there are reception problems.
830 (CC) "WSMC", St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, MD. Very strange site. Not very informative either. Also on 91.7 FM, see listing. No other info presently available.
840 (CC) "KEWP", Hickman High School Radio, Columbia, MO. Format: Local news and school information.
900 (CC) ThunderDome, St. Petersburg, FL . Format: Sports; rebroadcast of Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey) games carried by WFNS 910 AM (a licensed station). Hours opn: duration of games only.
960 (CC) Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL. Format: Sports; live broadcast of Tampa Bay Devil Rays games. Simulcast of broadcasts on WFLA 970 AM, a licensed broadcast station. Hours opn: duration of games only.
1020 (CC) "WUTZ", University of Tampa, Tampa Bay, FL. Format: College; progressive, eclectic music, talk, news. Hours opn: varies but usually afternoons and evenings; during classes.
1040 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Swan Quarter, NC. Providence United Methodist Church. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1510, 1590 and 1600 kHz entries.
1130 (CC) "WFSH", St. John Fisher College radio, Rochester, NY. According to brief mention on Student Organizations page, "The station gives students an opportunity to put such interest (in broadcasting) [sic] into practical use, providing broadcast experience as well as experience in production, programming, operation, and management of a radio station." That's about it...no further info available at this time.
1200 Oregon Sea Grant, Boiler Bay State Park, OR. Format: Scientific, educational; tourist info concerning the Park and whalewatching activities; Gray Whale migration, feeding, mating habits, etc. News article describes their project to use low power AM to benefit tourists in this and other Oregon parks.
1210 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Lake Landing, NC. Octagon House. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1370, 1420, 1510, 1590 and 1600 kHz entries.
1260 (FR) "KASR - The Blaze" Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Format: College; primarily music, wide variety of genres: punk/ska, metal, hip-hop, techno/industrial, Goth, and jazz. Also sports. News progs. are 5 minute soundbites, mostly an afterthought. Surprising since the station is part of ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication. Hours opn: 24. Fully commercial operation with a sales staff. Per Keith Elster, the station "...runs 30 watts and puts out a good signal into the ASU campus and downtown Tempe." Thanks to Keith for this entry. It is surprising that they get away with being a free-radiate and commercial; most of the other schools running FR are cautioned by FCC not to sell ads if they wish to exceed campus boundaries with their signal. This station also has a parallel CC outlet on 680, see that entry. Also broadcasts online.
1360 (CC) "WCCG", Canisius College, Buffalo, NY. Also at 97.9 FM, see entry. Assumed typical college format, although being a Jesuit institution, perhaps a bit "milder"; site says it "...provides opportunities for students to learn about the radio broadcast process". No other info at site or elsewhere about this one.
1370 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Lake Landing, NC. St. George's Episcopal Church. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1420, 1510, 1590 and 1600 kHz entries.
1370 "Bronc Radio", Billings Senior High School, Billings, MT. Format: student-produced programs, news, Old Time Radio. Hours opn: 24. See also parallel 90.5 FM entry. Simulcasts online, site has program schedule. Site also mentions that they were on FM first, and that the AM is new, currently experimental and rarely used. This may change as they gain more experience with the AM system.
1420 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Lake Landing, NC. Amity Church. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1370, 1510, 1590 and 1600 kHz entries.
1440 (CC) "KGRK, The UNI Rocker", University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA. Format: College; very broad range of musical genres incl. hip hop, metal, rave, Top 30 and dance party among others. Also listen online, but only in RP format. Site has playlist. Formerly on 970 kHz.
1500 "SCWIS", Salmon Creek Wireless Information Service, Salmon Creek, WA. NOAA Weather relay service, but with additional programming; BBC news, Radio Hong Kong, Old Time Radio recordings, and local want ads, among others. Hours opn: 24. Site has detailed station info and program guide. Update 12/29/00: Web page says they are now on 92.7 FM as well (dups AM 100%). Update 07/17/01: the FM is now off-air permanently according to Kevin Hoult, the operator. Kev says the transmitter blew and will not be repaired, so SCWIS is back to AM-only.
1500 "WKTW, Radio 1500 AM Stereo", Warren Twp., NJ. Stereo. This station is the first AM Stereo (Motorola C-Quam) Part 15 operation known to the author. Format: presently a full-time simulcast of "Magic 98.3" WMGQ-FM, a local (licensed) station. This is because the station is currently experimental; when pro audio processing equipment is installed as planned by the operator, the station will switch to original, automated musical programming. Hours opn: 24. QSL. The operator Kevin Tekel, who is also a licensed Ham, uses an "Alfredo Lite" exciter designed and hand-built by Chris Cuff, based on a circuit design by Alfredo Torrejon. The exciter is crystal-controlled with a frequency stability of better than 5 Hz. According to Kevin: "...I am putting out FM-quality audio that is flat in response to at least 14 kHz, and extends up to 20 kHz. I also use 75-microsecond treble pre-emphasis, the same type used by commercial AM, FM, and TV stations, to deliver crisp, clear sound even on ordinary AM radios." Those interested in AM Stereo in general should visit this website. Kev sez "...Right now I have about a half-mile of solid coverage radius during the day, and much less than that at night due to the skywave signal of 50,000-watt station 1500 WTOP from Washington, DC." Because of this, a move to possibly 1580 kHz is being contemplated. Check out the station's present coverage here. Also, some airchecks can be heard here (MP3 format). Kevin says there is other low power AM Stereo activity of which he is aware, so stay tuned for possibly more stations to come to light in the near future.
1510 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Ocracoke Island, NC. Ocracoke Lighthouse. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1590 and 1600 kHz entries. This one ought to have a very nice groundwave signal, being (a) up high in a lighthouse and (b) near seawater!
1530 (CC) "KRCX - The New Experience" Regis University Northwest Denver Campus radio, Denver, CO. Format: College, a little bit of everything; according to their site: "...rock, alternative, ska, punk, metal, hip hop, classic rock, Christian, rap, techno, house, soundtracks, news, talk, and more." Whew! Hours opn: 7 am - 3 am. (Site has conflicting times, one page on main college site mentions hours of operation as being from 10 am - midnight and the radio station's main page says "around the clock" but the program guide never lies!) Mentions "underwriting" by area businesses - commercials? Formerly on 1490 kHz. See also parallel 101.5 MHz FM entry.
1550 "Old Navy Radio", Chicago, IL. Billboard radio; transmitter is located on a billboard, and broadcasts Old Navy clothing advertisements to passing motorists.
1570 Tustin, CA. Billboard transmitter, advertsing an area business (specifics not known). Uses USI transmitter. Supposedly inspected and approved by FCC.
1570 (FR?) "WIUS, Pure Student Radio", Indiana State University, Bloomington, IN. Format: College; alternative music styles not found in mainstream media, including jazz, hip-hop, punk, ska, techno and more. Sports and news pgmg also. Hours opn: 24. Also broadcasts online, and via cable FM (not Part 15 radiating cable; cable-TV radio). Site does not specify type of AM system; however it "seems" like it most likely is a free-radiate, although possibly could be a 100 mW setup.
1570 (FR) "WERW", Syracuse University campus radio, Syracuse, NY. On air: August, 1995. Format: College; anything-goes variety of musical genres. Hours opn: 24; early Sept. through early Dec. and late Jan. - early May. This station is a 20 watt free-radiate (15.221[b]) and can be heard throughout greater Syracuse. See also parallel 750 kHz carrier current entry. Operated by SU's University Union. Look for this one to give potentially good DX opportunities due to its power and the fact that it is on-air during (most of) the winter DX season. Presently (June 2001) off-air for summer.
1580 (CC?) "The Apex - KSSU", California State University Sacramento Campus Radio, Sacramento, CA. Format: College; heavy emphasis on alternative/indie and rock. Hours opn: 7:00 am - 12:00 am M - F, off-air Sat. and 9:00 am - midnight Sundays. Mentions being a 3 watt station so most likely carrier current. Site does not specify. Neither does staff handbook, available in .pdf format at the site. Formerly a CC on 530 kHz, however; this is another reason for the assumption of them still being a CC. This huge institution has- count 'em - 23 campuses!
1580 "Joe Boxer Radio", Kenmore Square, Boston, MA. Billboard radio; advertisements for boxer shorts and other underwear products made by Joe Boxer company.
1580 "KIDS - Beavertown Radio", Beavertown Elementary School, Kettering, OH. On air: Labor Day, 1998. Format: 5th grade student-produced broadcasts; school news, what's for lunch?, birthday announcements, fundraiser information, interviews of the principal, songs from recent school productions. 12-minute tape loop. Hours opn: 24. Uses ISS-type (REI) transmitter.
1590 (CC) "WAQU" Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI. On air: 1993. In 1998 the station moved to 1590 from 1580 kHz to minimize interference with WFUR at 1570. The station originally was at 550 kHz, prior to operating at 1580. Format: news, music, sports; student-produced programming. Hours opn: 24. Note that link is for an AQU student newspaper article on the station; there is no official station website.
1590 (CC) "WSIN", Southern Connecticut State University Campus Radio, New Haven, CT. Format: College; educational, trains students in b'cast journalism and DJ-ing. Music, campus and world news via AP newswire. Hours opn: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm. Now broadcasts online as well. Formerly on 530 kHz, by the name of "WOWL". Thanks to "990 Dude" of WNTY Blaze 990, a licensed AM station, for the update (01/17/01).
1590 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Middletown Village, NC. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1510 and 1600 kHz entries.
1590 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Ocracoke Island, NC. British Cemetery. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1510 and 1600 kHz entries.
1590 "Radio Cadillac", Hialeah, FL. Car dealer advertising transmitter; format is an endless loop promoting Cadillac vehicles but made to sound like live talk shows. Part of a nationwide network of such transmitters; see 1610 and 1700 kHz listings for more details. This one is broadcasting from a billboard on the Palmetto Expressway per Terry Krueger.
1600 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Sladesville, NC. St. John's Episcopal Church. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1510 and 1590 kHz entries.
1600 "Hyde County's Talking Houses and Historic Places Tour", Swan Quarter, NC. Hyde County Courthouse. Format: Part of a historical tour of Hyde Co., various xmtrs. on several freqs. at major historic sites around the County broadcasting tourist and historically relevant info. 4-1/2 min. loop. Use ISS-type (REI) transmitters. See also 610, 1040, 1210, 1370, 1420, 1510 and 1590 kHz entries.
1600 (FR) "WDGR - The Underground", Miami-Dade Community College (Kendall Campus), Miami, FL. Format: College; eclectic, varied music, news, sports, talk. Student productions, teaching broadcast technique. Hours opn: 24, M-F. Noncommercial; website says that their system's broadcast coverage extends well beyond the campus boundary, and that FCC allows them to operate this way as long as they don't cause interference or sell commercial ads. Although, if they are compliant with 15.221 then the only range limitation (other than interference) is that imposed by the field strength formula in 15.209 at 30 meters off-campus and, of course, the sensitivity of a particular listener's radio. Supposedly a "cult" station among the local high-schoolers. Plans to obtain an FM license (perhaps LPFM?) and to broadcast online. Excellent, well-designed website; some other college stations' sites could take a hint or two from this one.
1610 "Radio Cadillac", Hollywood, FL. Car dealer advertransmitter; part of the "Radio Cadillac" network of stations promoting their cars particularly the Escalade. Format consists of looped "talk shows" made to appear like live banter, complete with "call-ins". See 1590, other 1610, and 1700 entries for both NJ and FL for further details.
1610 "Radio Cadillac", Tampa, FL. "Sister" station to the Hollywood operation above and the others in FL and NJ on 1590 and 1700 kHz (see listings). Format: looped adverts for Cadillac cars, made to sound as if they were live broadcasts (at least, that is, until the loop repeats! :-) These stations are located at dealerships or on billboards and all are part of a nationwide "network" of supposedly 45 such transmitters. Look for more of these to be listed here in the near future as we find out about them, and there may be one coming to (or already in) a town near you!
1610 Austin, TX. NOAA Weather relay service. Also broadcasts concerning land for sale by the station's operator. Operated by amateur radio station W5CDT. Uses ISS (Information Station Specialists, Inc.) transmitter.
1610 (CC) "WCCB", Clarion University of PA, Clarion, PA. Format: probably typical "college" (site doesn't give much information). Seems to have an emphasis on alternative. Site hasn't been updated in about 2 years, so if you were hoping for current program or DJ info forget it. The DJ's they mention probably have graduated by now! Note: Clarion U. also has WCUC, a licensed FM at 91.7 MHz and 3.2 kW (and a much better website). The CC AM outlet is probably used as a "trainer" or stepping-stone for new students before they "graduate" up to the "real" FM station.
1610 "Radio Omega", Lebanon, PA. Format: Hispanic/Spanish music; merengue, salsa, Latin pop, etc.; news of concern to Lebanon's growing Hispanic community. Spanish language only. Hours opn: 24. Very professional outfit; uses digital studio equipment. Excellent website too. Uses USI transmitter. Update: as of 05/29/01, Radio Omega now has 500 watts of AM at 1600 kHz; per online press release, a business deal was worked out by Radio Omega's owner with JVJ Communications, owner of licensed AM WPDC 1600 to carry the former's programming. Radio Omega now brings Hispanic programming to an underserved community estimated at 57,000. The Part 15 remains on-air however, with no plans to discontinue the service due to the fact that WPDC does not provide adequate signal to the Lebanon area served by the 1610 kHz transmitter.
1610 Chevrolet car dealer, Stockton, CA. Billboard radio. Referenced on "Transmitter Sites from Hell", a website by a broadcast engineer. The site's author rants about how this transmitter can't be Part 15 legal, and even has field strength readings on his page to "prove" it. This despite the fact that it was inspected and approved by FCC agents. It appears to be a simple matter of the site's author not being familiar with what 100 mW can do from an efficient, Part 15 legal transmitter, properly installed and tuned, especially if it is on a very open channel. Additionally, an AM transmitter complying with 15.219 has no field strength limit imposed. F/S measurements cannot be used to extrapolate a given operation's compliance under 15.219 as there are far too many variables. However, in all fairness, the site's author does encourage would-be community broadcasters to exploit this type operation. He would certainly be surprised how many already are, across the country!
1610 "Toyota of Garden Grove Micro-Radio". Garden Grove, CA. Another car dealer advertising transmitter. Per online report, "...The tape loop audio consisted of a 'Toyota of Garden Grove' sales announcement, a "joke of the day" and a request to set a car radio button to 1610 so you can listen when you're near the dealership. 100% copy in Huntington Beach near Westminster". This one uses an Ultra Sensors TA100 and has been inspected and approved by the same FCC personnel as the 1570 Tustin, CA. operation, above. Update 03/07/01: According to Gardner L. Harris, this one is now off-air. He may be purchasing their transmitter though, so it may be on again, from a new location! Gard reports they used to get out 3 - 5 miles on the car radio along the Garden Grove Freeway. Again, a Type Accepted transmitter, FCC inspected station, good range. I rest my case.
1610 "Falls Lake Radio", Wake Forest, NC. On air: Jan 1997. NOAA Weather relay service. Hours opn: 24. Uses a Hamilton transmitter, model AM1000. This station is operated by Hamilton PCB Design, the manufacturer of the Hamilton AM1000 transmitter.
1610 (CC) "WCKS" Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI. Not much of a site...just the station logo which is a mailto: prompt.
1610 (CC) "WCIR", New York Institute of Technology Central Islip Campus, Central Islip Long Island NY. Station known to exist from several online sources, as well as being mentioned briefly on the NYIT site, but has no website of its own. No other info available at this time.
1610 (CC) "WFAL" Bowling Green State University student radio, Bowling Green, OH. Format: College; music, mostly metal/thrash/Goth/punk. Hours opn: 24. Site has program guide.
1610 Trump Taj Mahal Casino, Atlantic City, NJ. Looped info about the casino, hotel rates, entertainment, etc. Uses LPB model AM-2000 transmitter.
1620 (CC) "WEHR, East Halls Radio", Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. DEFUNCT. No longer on-air as a carrier current station; this is a dorm cable-TV FM (not radiating cable) station only now. Listed here for historical and clarification purposes. Often seen listed in online directories as being a CC AM and operational at this frequency, which is outdated information and which is why it is shown here. Formerly at 620 kHz, at that time using a homebrew tube transmitter having a screen-modulated 807 final. Note that Penn State is not to be confused with UPenn, which does operate a CC AM station at 730 kHz (see listing).
1620 (FR) "WBUL - The Underground" (No relation to 1600 kHz "WDGR - The Underground"), University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Format: College; eclectic, varied music, including hip-hop, metal, Gothic, industrial and alternative; talk. Hours opn: varies with schedule but usually 7:30 am to 1:00 am. Assumed to be a free-radiate system, although not specified on their website, as they mention the use of a new "AM tower". Could also be a 100 mW/3meter antenna (15.219) setup mounted atop said "tower". Plans to apply for an LPFM grant.
1620 (CC) "WMCR", Western Maryland College Radio, Westminster, MD. Formerly 640 kHz. Format: College; progressive music.
1620 (CC) "K-UTE", University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Info about their being a CC or even being on this frequency is old, therefore may no longer be the case. Included here in case it is still so, or at least for historical value, if not. Website is a nightmare, requires annoying Macromedia Flash/Shockwave plugin to work properly, and tells absolutely *nothing* about the station - not even the frequency! Whoever designed this site is totally without a clue. Promises more info in scheduled update (Nov. 27, 2000) but of course, nothing forthcoming. Apparently, they do have online broadcasts, but they're in Real Player format (another peeve of mine). Good luck if you visit them and pray your machine doesn't crash!
1620 Elizabeth, NJ. Format: Hispanic; Spanish-language only. This station has a (collectively speaking) powerful signal and has been heard by the author in Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Springfield, Cranford, Rahway, Linden and Clark, NJ. According to a colleague, uses 16 USI transmitters in various locations in the above listed towns - arguably making it perhaps the largest 100 mW antenna-type (Part 15.219) setup in the nation. Has been heard by the author for about 3 years, and probably was on-air prior to that time. No other information known to the author concerning this station at the present time.
1620 "WVRM", VillageRadio Montclair, Montclair, NJ. On air: June, 1997. Format: Community radio; music, esp. Big Band, also classic rock and hip-hop; Sunday religious sermons; talk, comedy, live sports call-in show ("Sports Yak") hosted by Al and Mike from WFAN 660 AM, NY (a licensed 50 kW station). Hours opn: 24. Simulcast on Internet, and on Comcast Cable channel 34 in Montclair. AM system only; although website still says "91.9 FM", the FM system has long since been taken out of service due to interference problems. A professional outfit; the owner George Louvis also operates a recording studio ("Stardust") on premises, and publishes a very successful monthly local newspaper ("Montclair This Month") as well. Your author has dubbed George the "Rupert Murdoch of Montclair"! Currently uses one USI (Ultra Sensors, Inc.) AM transmitter at 1620 kHz atop the studio at 615 Valley Road and as of 04/15/00 one Hamilton AM1000 transmitter at 1640 kHz from the center of Montclair (on the Municipal Building) as well. This 1640 transmitter dups 1620 programming 100%. This station has received some major publicity at both the local and national level; National Public Radio mentioned it and it has been written up in various local and statewide NJ newpapers. It is one of the very first "serious" Part 15 AM operations in the country. This station's AM setup has been inspected and approved by the FCC. QSL. Plans to upgrade existing facilities to include more Hamilton units on 1640 and to eventually abandon the 1620 frequency due to splatter from 2nd adjacent 1600 WWRL (a licensed NY station). Update 05/29/01: Village Radio soon will also be broadcasting on 22 meter shortwave at 13,560 kHz as "Village Radio International". See that listing for more info.
1620 "Sound Waves" - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) Sea Grant; Woods Hole, MA. Format: Scientific, educational; broadcasts aimed at Woods Hole ferry users related to ongoing oceanographic/marine biological research and environmental issues; local attractions and historical information. NOAA Weather relay service also. Being located near seawater, the groundwave signal of this station is likely to be exceptional! Site has rather detailed information on system and potential audience statistics. Uses ISS (Information Station Specialists, Inc.) transmitter.
1620 "KRMS Secrets", Decatur, IL. Format: Urban; African American issues, music, entertainment, talk. On air: August, 2000. Hours opn: 24. Operated by Keith Anderson. Uses USI transmitter. The call letters K-R-M-S represent the initials of Keith's family members. Referenced in online Herald Review newspaper article.
1620 "WCTD, Jammin' Gold 1620", Westerly, RI. Format: "Jamming Oldies" (The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Donna Summers, etc., according to their site.) Hours opn: 24. Back on the air after a long hiatus, this station is operated by DiPonti Communications, a company with a rather colorful history including former operation of a 10 watt AM TIS licensed to the "Washing County Chamber Of Commerce" as a commercial station including music and leased-time programming! "WCTD" however is a legal Part 15.219 compliant 0.1 w station. DiPonti Comms. also owns WBLQ 88.1 FM, a licensed, 100 watt noncommercial/educational station (they sure can make money with it though - see their "How to Become a Benefactor" page). "WCTD" is co-located at the WBLQ studio in the Westerly Credit Union Building in Westerly. The programming on both stations is separate, however; "WCTD"'s "Jammin' Gold" broadcasts are fully automated. The bread-and-butter of this operation is the Part 15 transmitter business; they are authorized distributors for the USI "TransAM" TA-100 Part 15 AM transmitter (which is of course also what "WCTD" is broadcasting with). They offer the TA-100 complete for about $1500 each, and apparently have sold many.
1620.1 (MEDFER) "GK", Kailua-Kona, HI. Operated by: Herb Vanderbeek. Nighttime operation only.
1630 (FR) "WDKW - The Claw", Dundalk, MD. Format: mostly heavy metal. Operated by the Technology Education Department, Dundalk High School. Has been heard as far as Ontario, Canada (as per online report, March 1997). Runs about 20 watts, as permitted under 15.221 provided field strength is in compliance. Despite frequent online rumors of this being a pirate, it is a legitimate FR station.
1630 "Allston-Brighton Free Radio", Allston, MA. Alternate transmitter for A-B Free Radio, off-air as of 05/08/01 but should return within a few weeks. See this station's primary listing at 1670 kHz for full details. Update 08/04/01: Due to financial difficulties, this TX will remain off the air for the forseeable future. We're sorry to hear that!
1630 "Radio Colchester", Colchester, CT. TEMPORARY: On-air Aug. 13, 2001 from 4:00pm - 9:00pm local time. According to the operator: "...I tested a legal, low-power Part 15 signal at 1630AM....The signal went 1 1/4 miles in one direction down Lebanon/Norwich Avenues towards the center of town, but only went 3/4 mile up Norwich Avenue towards Bacon Academy (due to power line interference and leaning of the antenna). If anyone would like a copy of the programming we aired and a signed copy of the coverage map, please let me know, and I will be happy to send you a copy of each! If anyone heard the broadcast, please email me: NLRadio@newlondonradio.com " This test may hopefully lead to a more permanent operation - the editor wishes them luck!
1637.6 (MEDFER) "NH", Monroeville, NJ. Operated by: Norm Harbison, Jr. Intermittent hours of opn.
1638.75 (MEDFER) "0KVL", North Branch, MN. Operated by: Tom Lambert.
1640 "Scotch Plains Weather Information Service", Scotch Plains, NJ. NOAA Weather relay service (rebroadcasts station KWO35 at 162.550 MHz from New York City). On air: April 1999. Hours opn: 24. This station is operated by the author, amateur radio station W2MXW. Uses a Hamilton model AM1000 transmitter. QSL.
1640 (MEDFER) "JN", Mahomet, IL. Operated by: John Horton, N9RLV. On-air Sept - May only.
1640 "WRNM - Radio Nouveaute", Mattapan, MA. On air: Jan. 21, 1998. Format: Community radio; emphasis on talk; esp. education and religion. Community news and events. Trilingual programming; Haitian Creole, French, and English. Formerly called "Radio Haitienne/Radio Libertie". Hours opn: 24. Live online broadcast, program guide. According to Radio Nouveaute's Chief Engineer Mario Turner, this is the first Haitian format low-power station in the US, and there are 3 transmitters, located in Mattapan, Everett, and Brockton, MA. Also can be heard in Boston area according to Mario. Thanks to Mario for the info. This is a commercial operation, and from all appearances quite professionally executed.
1640 Hartford, CT. According to a respondent, this one is located in the Sigourney St. area of Hartford and the format is Spanish/Haitian. No other info available at present.
1640 "WVRM", VillageRadio Montclair, Montclair, NJ. See parallel 1620 kHz listing for details on this station. Update 06/02/01: The 1640 transmitter is presently off-air for repairs. Severe winds damaged the antenna and transmitter. The unit will return to the air when repairs are complete.
1640 "WFUN", Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club radio. Orlando, FL. Format: looped travel "news" and Club advertisements.
1640 "La Primerisima - Pura Salsa 1640 AM" Ybor City, Tampa, FL. Format: Salsa and merengue. Also local Hispanic community news, events. Hours opn: 24. Spanish-language-only site. Live online broadcasts (RP format), live webcam. This station is located in the Arena Plaza strip mall, (actually has a "real" storefront in the mall; site has pics of studio, with big storefront sign outside - check their "Mas Fotos" page). Also apparently has own mobile broadcast unit - minivan with logo on sides and flashing yellow dome beacons! Transmitter mounted atop 40 foot mast, at studio location. Make not known.
1650 "MonsterFM.com", formerly "Hawk FM", Monroe, LA (now Baker, LA). See also FM 104.7/106.9 listings for full details on this complicated and interesting operation. AM dups. FM 100%. Now a broadcast engineering consulting firm. Their site is definitely worth a look-see if you are contemplating an LPFM grant (or full-power, for that matter). Not presently on-air but plans to return soon. Also plans to operate a LOWFER station in the near future.
1650 Northtown Dodge Inc., Tonawanda, NY. A car-dealer advertising transmitter. Uses an ISS InfoMAX transmitter, mounted atop the roof of the dealership. According to Will Walker, who kindly provided this listing, they have been heard several times over the past 2-1/2 years. The station/dealership is located at 2020 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Tonawanda. More info on this one is pending.
1651.1 (MEDFER) "YHO", Mason, OH. Operated by: Bill Dawson.
1670 (CC) "KLBC", Long Beach City College Radio, Long Beach, CA. Website a blank page at present, but we're assured it's "Coming Soon" (whatever that means). See also 1700 listing.
1670 "JEN Radio", Needham, MA. On air: Nov. 1999. Format: One minute tape loop consisting of an introduction to what the station owner hopes will be a community oriented radio station. Owned by Alan Segal of Needham. Voice done by owner's daughter Jen, hence the name. Uses USI (Ultra Sensors, Inc.) transmitter. Update 12/29/00: Not heard in November 2000 on visit to the area, according to William Walker (pers. comm.) May be off-air. Thanks to Will for the info.
1670 "The Fort Bragg Information Station", Fort Bragg, CA. Format: information for travelers, featuring places to stay, play, eat, and more. Hours opn: 24. More info pending.
1670 "Allston-Brighton Free Radio", Allston, MA. (Despite the "Free Radio" name having a "pirate" connotation, and the fact that the station was formerly a 20 watt FM pirate and was busted by FCC, this AM operation is a legal Part 15.219 compliant 0.1 watt station). On air: Mar. 11, 2000. Format: Community radio; diverse political, religious and cultural views and music. Hrs. opn: generally 3 :00 pm - 11:30 pm weekdays; Sat. noon -8:30 pm, Sun. 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm. See schedule. Studio formerly located at 105 Brighton Ave., antenna on Braintree St., Allston. Studio now at 451 Cambridge St. Originally went on air with much publicity and fanfare (article in Mar. 9 Boston Globe, and even a mini-parade in front of the station!) Formerly at 1580 kHz, this station now has upgraded to two transmitters at 1670 and 1630 (Update, the 1630 TX is unfortunately off-air and we are told it may be so indefinitely). See parallel 1630 kHz listing. One of the best websites of any Part 15 station, well laid-out and designed. Even includes range map for the 1670 transmitter showing the primary and secondary service contours. Now broadcasting online as well (note that this will cue up Winamp!) In a novel idea which your author wholeheartedly supports, A-B Free has hit upon an ideal way for the listener to participate in broadcasting. To paraphrase from their website, volunteers in the community would download the radio station's webcast programming. The staff will then provide and install small transmitters and antennas at their houses or places of business which will allow these people to rebroadcast the A-B Free signal to their immediate neighborhood thus making the programming more widely available to the public in general and specifically permitting elderly or handicapped people who might not have been able to come to the main studio, to go to a site in their neighborhood to produce their own broadcast. These 'repeaters' will rebroadcast the programming of A-B Free, but they can begin to add their own programming and eventually will evolve into independent community stations. A-B Free is an operation of the non-profit "Citizens' Media Corps". The staff also broadcast public affairs programming on WJIB AM 740 (a licensed station) on Saturday nights from 9:00 pm to 12:30 am.
1675 (MEDFER) "XP", Durham, NC. Operated by: WA4NID. Intermittent hours opn. Alternate freq. 1678 kHz.
1678 (MEDFER) "N", Lake Wildwood, CA. Operated by: Carle Bumpus, KB6QQJ. Hours opn: dusk - dawn.
1680 (FR) "WBAR", Barnard College Radio, Columbia University, New York, NY. On air: April 1998. Format: College, mostly music; according to their website, "...programming consists of five genres of music: college rock, urban, dance/rpm, punk/ska, and loud rock." Hours opn: 8:00 am - 4:00 am. Mentions a 7 foot tall antenna atop the Sulzburger Tower in a news article and says that a recent change in FCC rulings allows them to do this - while this might seem like 15.219 100 mW, it is more likely free-radiate 15.221[b] since that is a newer ruling. According to this article, the station "...can be heard in the Morningside neighborhood from W. 110th to W. 122nd Sts., between Morningside and Riverside Drives". Also operates on 87.9 FM "carrier current" (actually radiating cable) but is not listed in the FM Stations section of this site because technically, this frequency is not legal for Part 15 use (but who's gonna bother a big school like them about it??) Also offers live streaming Internet b'cast. CUNY also operates licensed noncommercial WKCR 89.9 FM (but this is not student-run like "WBAR"). WKCR claims to have been closely associated with Major Edwin H. Armstrong, inventor of FM.
1685 (MEDFER) "PH", Riverdale, MD. Operated by: N3IZV. Transmitter operates exclusively on solar power, and is on-air afternoons only.
1689.4 (MEDFER) "PC", Harwinton, CT. Operated by: Paul Cianciolo, W1VLF.
1690 "WY2K - What 1690", Springfield, IL. On air: Nov. 2000. Format: Community radio; "old school" R&B, broadcast eduction (trains local students from disadvantaged neighborhoods about radio), African American issues, neighborhood news, weather. Hours opn: 24. Referenced in article about the station in the State Journal-Register. Also mentioned in an online directory for African-American businesses in Springfield. Operated from "Washington's Cafe and Record Shop" at 610 Martin Luther King Drive, by the son of the establishment's owner, Bill Washington. According to article, a non-profit operation and therefore cannot sell ad spots. It is a 0.1 watt station operating under Part 15.219 despite mention of FCC "license" in the article. Transmitter is mounted atop a 70 foot tower (!) and according to article, the owner had to clear it with the FAA. No doubt the signal is tremendous for a Part 15 AM. Also mentioned is that he wanted an LPFM grant originally but missed the filing window for Illinois and thus turned to low-power AM instead. We wish him the best of luck!
1690.591 (MEDFER) "SOLAR", St. Adolphe d'Howard, QC. Operated by: Bill de Carle. BPSK; MS100, ET1 (settings required to decode using BPSK program). Run length is 6 (see explanation of run length above in LF Stations section). Solar powered.
1690.798 (MEDFER) "STLMO", St. Louis, MO. Operated by: KA0TUP.
1700 (CC) "KLBC", Long Beach City College Radio, Long Beach, CA. Website "Coming Soon" we're told. See also 1670 listing.
1700 "Radio Cadillac", Harrison, NJ. Another car dealer advertising transmitter, this listing comes courtesy of Doug Douglass. Doug says the programming consists of: "...Two guys chatting about sports and girls. Didn't take long to realize it was on a loop. No IDs.. Two hours later, same tape..." According to a later update by Doug: "...Heard it along Harrison Avenue (Route 508) east to Kearny, the next town. The 60-second loop promos the Escalade by Cadillac and this website..." On the site, you can download all their 'spots' in MP3 format for your listening pleasure, with fancy names like "Radio Cadillac Sports, Blues, Opera, Folk, Tickets and Fundraiser (yeah, just buy a car from them, you'll raise funds... :-) Since your author lives fairly nearby, he is going to mosey on down to this station and check it out and will report any findings here.
1700 (MEDFER) "ESA", San Jose, CA. On air: Feb. 2001. Operated by: James Vander Maaten, WB6QZL. MCW AM, 800 Hz tone, ID-ing as 3 reps of "ESA" followed by a 4 sec. dash. According to Jim: "...I can hear my beacon for about 1 mile using my AM car radio." Up from 1689.43 kHz.
1700 "Radio Cadillac", Palm Harbor, FL. Yet another car dealer transmitter; part of the "Radio Cadillac" network of stations (supposedly 45 nationally!), which broadcast from billboards or dealerships. Format consists of looped "talk shows" promoting Cadillac vehicles, and made to seem live, complete with "call-ins". See also 1610 entries for Hollywood and Tampa, 1590 for Hialeah, FL and 1700 for Harrison, NJ.
1700 + (MEDFER) "G4", Palo Alto, CA. Operated by: Herb Vanderbeek. May now (May 2001) be off-air, or possibly have moved to another freq.
1700 + (MEDFER) "WM", Prescott, AZ. Operated by: Howard Myers, W7ILW. See also parallel 187.37 kHz LF entry. Unconfirmed as of late.
1704 (MEDFER) "XM", Helena, AL. Operated by: Les Rayburn, N1LF. QRSS mode at 0.75 words per min. See also parallel LF entries at 184.9 and 187.3 kHz.
1704.8111 (MEDFER) "LEA", Salem, OR. Operated by: Mick Reed of LOWFER "LEA" (184.3241 kHz). On air: July 10, 2001. QRSS mode.
1704.957 (MEDFER) "CT", West Jordan, UT. Operated by: Clint Turner, KA7OEI. First 30 min. of each hour QRSS mode w/3 sec. dots; 2nd half hour PSK31 mode: this is another digital mode which has become extremely popular with Hams and for general weak signal experimental work as of late; it allows more reliable detection of weaker signals than most other modes. Requires computer running decoder program to receive. Up from 1704.917 kHz.
1704.98 (MEDFER) "SEA", Warm Springs, GA. Operated by: John Davis. QRSS; 3 second dot width. Intermittent hours of operation. This station's nighttime skywave has been heard as far as Minnesota (J. Davis, pers. comm.) This one may now be off-air permanently.
Shortwave or HF Part 15 Stations (13,553 - 13,567 kHz)
(HIFER) = Acronym for "High Frequency Experimental Radio", basically the same thing as a LOWFER or MEDFER but at HF (see LF and MF Keys for more detailed explanations). "New" term coined by the LOWFER/MEDFER community to accommodate this "newly discovered" and rapidly-burgeoning field of experimentation.
No Suffix = As with the other listings these denote stations operating primarily or solely as broadcasters rather than as HIFERs, or those which include a significant broadcast-type program content in their operations.
HF Part 15 stations occupy a narrow slice of the 22 meter shortwave band in accordance with the provisions of 15.225, which specifies a field strength limit of 10,000 uV (10 mV) per meter at 30 meters from the antenna. In practice this works out to 1.8 mW transmitter output power into a 1/2 wave dipole, or 3 mW into an isotropic (0 dBi) radiator. While this power level may sound minuscule remember that by comparison, only a fraction (< 1%) of the power a 100 mW Part 15.219 AM transmitter feeds to its antenna is actually radiated by even the most 'efficient' 3 meter antenna; in fact, the amount radiated is roughly comparable what is permitted in this HF band, yet some impressive DX as well as local coverage has been achieved at MF. On this HF band, unlike Part 15 mediumwave, there is no limitation on the size or type of antenna, feedline or ground nor on power output of the transmitter, except with respect to whichever combination of antenna and power chosen is required to reach the legal limit of field strength without exceeding it (and recalling that any gain effect even if incidental, such as might result from proximity to a reflecting suface or object, would cause an increase in field strength in the direction of maximum reflection which must be taken into account). In any case while the power output allowed here is not tremendous, it is indeed enough to "work the world" based on Amateur Radio observations on similar frequencies and power levels, via the excellent ionospheric skip characteristics of the band. Local range depends of course on the receiver used, its antenna, the prevailing noise and interference levels, etc. but should be at least comparable to and probably significantly better than that of a mediumwave Part 15 station - unlike MF, at HF especially this high in frequency, there is essentially no significant groundwave component and thus a major source of path losses is removed - local propagation is via direct wave - and also the baseline atmospheric noise level is far lower here than at mediumwave.
The other main requirement under this Rule subpart is a frequency stability of +/- 0.01% under supply voltage variations of 85 to 115% of normal at 20 C (68 F) and under temperature variations of from -20 to + 50 C (+4 to +122 F). This might tend to scare off some potential builders but it is actually only 100 ppm, which is easily achievable with any reasonably decent oscillator and power supply circuit design and good quality crystals which are readily available from a supplier such as JAN or Bomar. Another possible design example: a CB crystal for 27.120 MHz and a simple 74HCTxxx series frequency divider would give 13.56 MHz and whatever the stability of the crystal originally was, it would be doubled (drift halved) using this scheme. It is also probable that this rule really applies to commercial manufacturers seeking Type Acceptance and for the homebrewer the FCC would tolerate a lesser degree of accuracy.
Canadian RSS-210 rules, Section 6.2.2 (e) permit operation in the same band but at slightly higher field strength, 15.5 mV/m at 30 m. Their frequency stability requirements are similar. Canada also has another license-free HF band not available in the USA; 6,765 - 6,795 kHz. Field strength and frequency limits are the same as those for 13,553 -13,567 kHz.
For AM broadcasting use, assuming a standard 5 kHz max. audio frequency (10 kHz occupied bandwidth), there really is only one frequency which can be used in such a narrow band: 13,560 kHz (this leaves a 2 kHz guard band on top and likewise, on the bottom of the band as well). It is recommended, in the interest of allowing as many as possible to use the band, that those considering broadcasting here either (a) reach an equitable time-sharing or scheduling agreement with other stations to avoid mutual interference, if using AM, or (b) operate SSB (Single Sideband), which is used by many full-power HF broadcasters around the world and occupies much less bandwidth than AM does. Inasmuch as most shortwave receivers can "hear" SSB (have a BFO), this should not be a problem. Using less audio bandwidth on AM, when possible (for instance, 3.5 or 4 kHz instead of 5) can help reduce interference potential as well. Narrowband FM can also be used but unfortunately, many shortwave receivers likely to be owned by the public cannot "hear" this mode. NBFM might be better than AM though, due to less noise, for wireless studio-to-transmitter link (STL) use of this frequency range in feeding other Part 15 units on AM (MF) or FM bands (an idea originated by the author).
To the author's knowledge, no commercial manufacturer currently sells Certified transmitters for this band; or not, at least, for hobbyists/broadcasters - so it's "homebrew heaven" for those so inclined. Here is a page with some schematics to get the experimenter started. One company, MaxNet, does offer lease of Certified NBFM transmitters for this range, at a HIGH cost, for STL/TTL use as part of a complete system of Part 15 FM's to be used along highways as sort of a commercial "TIS" setup.
Contrary to what some folks have been (erroneously) told by FCC personnel not intimately familiar with Part 15 Rules, this band is not strictly for ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) use only; the author, in consulting with contacts in the FCC who write these Rules has learned that broadcasting here is indeed permissible (there are no written provisions to the contrary). However, United Parcel Service is planning to use this spectrum for specific applications and being a Part 15 operation as well, sharing the band and acceptance of occasional interference will necessarily be the order of the day (let's hope UPS sees it that way!) Also, those electronic anti-theft tags (RFID) found on clothes, CDs and just about everything else in stores today operate here too; you may want to avoid transmitting on this band too close to your local Mall!
The lack of experimental broadcast stations operating here is truly amazing, considering the relatively generous field strength allowance and great (world-wide!) propagation in this frequency range. This Part 15 band is available in the USA and Canada for use by people like us: hobbyists, low-power radio and broadcast enthusiasts, and experimenters; not many people in other countries are so lucky, and in the face of commercial pressures there increasingly is less and less spectrum available anywhere to the average RF experimenter - why not make good use of the band?
13,554.41 (HIFER) "MP", London, ON. Operated by Mitch Powell, VE3OT. On air: June 8, 2001. This station was one participant in the first-ever HIFER QSO on June 15, the other end being Jonathan Jesse's "JJ" (13,557.5 kHz) in Plymouth, MA. That distance is over 540 miles! Mode used was QRSS; a random number (3) chosen by Mitch, and callsigns were exchanged. Update 07/18/01: Both this station and "RY" (13,555.37, see below) were involved in a 12 wpm CW QSO with 100% copy according to Mitch.
13,555.3 (HIFER) "GL", Austin, TX. Operated by KI5GL. Mode QRSS, 3-sec. dots. Operator will QSY higher and can operate higher CW speeds upon request. Power is 1.5 mW into a 1/2 wave Cushcraft R5 vertical mounted 20' AGL. This station was heard in Maryland on Aug. 28 by W3NF; the distance is 1,295 miles.
13,555.36 (HIFER) "RY", Raymond, ME. On air July 15, 2001. Operated by: John Andrews, W1TAG of HIFER "TAG" 13,555.6 (see entry). Formerly "regular" QRSS mode but now (Sept. 2001) operating in DFCW (Differential-, or Dual-Frequency, CW) mode, 10-sec. dots and 5 Hz shift (dashes also 10-sec. duration but 5 Hz higher than dots). Heard by Mitch Powell, VE3OT in London, Ontario (545 mi.) on it's first day of operation! John had originally put this HIFER on-air with the intention of operating it on a temporary basis; but has decided to keep it operational for the time being since it is doing well and is widely-heard, perhaps more so than his other beacon "TAG"! This station was at the other end of the recent successful CW QSO at 12 wpm (also see 13,554.41 "MP"). According to a recent (Aug./Sept. 2001) post by John, the station will be taken off-air in Mid-October for the winter, until a better frequency-controlling scheme (more stable) can be designed as it is felt that the stability will suffer during the winter in the unheated environment where the beacon is located at present.
13,555.4 (HIFER) "LEK", Aitkin, MN. Operated by Lyle Koehler, K0LR of LOWFER "LEK" (186.7 kHz) reknown. On air: May 20, 2001. Ident cycle toggles between 12 wpm CW, 1 rep. ID and QRSS at 0.4 wpm, 1 rep. ID. 1.5 mW power, antenna is a ground-mounted 51' HyTower vertical. QSL. Amazingly, HIFER "LEK" has already (05/22/01) been copied in California and Massachusetts!
13,555.5 (HIFER) "NC", Stanfield, NC. Operated by Dexter McIntyre, W4DEX of MEDFER 510.5 and LOWFER 177.777 "NC" fame (see those listings as well). On air: May 9, 2001, making this the first "HIFER" beacon. Mode is QRSS, 3 sec. dot length. Power is 2 mW into a 1/4 wave vertical antenna. QSL. Since the recent 'discovery' of this site by a fellow Part 15 experimenter who posted a link to it on the LOWFER messageboard there has been a huge response vis a vis the possibility of experimental operations in this HF band, of which most MEDFER/LOWFER operators were not aware up to this point. Expect much more activity on this band shortly, now that they are! Update 05/20/01 A "band opening" has produced a slew of reception reports of the NC HF beacon from listeners in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, Oklahoma, S. Florida and Ontario - and many of the reports indicate signal strengths sufficient for "armchair copy" and CW QSOs! Dex has prepared a special QSL card for the occasion. Update 05/25/01 Dex now also calls CQ at 5 wpm for possible CW QSOs at the top of the hour, every hour whenever possible.
13,555.6 (HIFER) "TAG", Holden, MA. Operated by: John Andrews, W1TAG. On air: July 4, 2001. DFCW mode; the carrier is shifted (in this case 5 Hz) to form "mark" or "space". The transmitter according to John, "...uses an Analog Devices AD9850 DDS chip, run by an 80C51 style microcontroller. It has an LCD display and a keypad, allowing menu selection of modes, IDs, speeds and frequency." See also John's other HIFER "RY", 13,555.36.
13,555.63 (HIFER) "WV", Richwood, WV. On-air 4:10pm Aug. 27, 2001. Operated by: Michael Tyler WA8YWO. Mode: CW, 4 wpm. ID is string of 6 "E"'s followed by 3 "WV"'s; 5-sec. silence between IDs. Hrs. opn: 24. Power is 1.5 mW, into a "sloper" dipole antenna.
13,556.51 (HIFER) "AWV", Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Operated by: Don Burns, K9AWV. On air: June 25, 2001. Ident. cycle is 0.3 wpm QRSS, 10-sec. silence. Uses 1/4-wave vertical antenna, Epson SG-8002 oscillator and K1EL keyer chip. Already (07/06/01) copied by Bill Ashlock of LOWFER/HIFER "WA" in Andover, MA - about 1,200 mi.
13,557.87 (HIFER) "PBJ", Apex, NC. On-air: Aug. 29, 7:30 pm. Operated by: Chris Waldrup, KD4PBJ. Mode is CW, 6 wpm. Hrs. opn: 24. The homebrew "Lyle Koehler Special" transmitter is enclosed in a weatherproof 5-gallon bucket container and powered by a gel-cell rechargeable lead-acid battery from a UPS, so is essentially an entirely independent system. Antenna is halfwave dipole oriented North/South fed with open wire transmission feeders. This new station was already heard in Massachusetts on Aug. 31 at midnight by John Andrews of HIFERs "TAG" and "RY". Thanks to Chris for kindly providing all the details on his operation!
13,557.9 (HIFER) "YK", Evansville, IN. Operated by Chris Lantaff, KE9YK. On air: June 6, 2001. QRSS mode. Uses an Epson SG-8002 oscillator on twice the frequency, with the output freq. divided by 2.
13,560 "Village Radio International", Montclair, NJ. A joint effort between the author (Amateur Radio W2MXW) and Village Radio Montclair (see their listings at 1620 and 1640 kHz). Not on air: target date Fall 2001. Format: Diverse programming - Big Band era, oldies, classic rock, and other musical genres; experimental/unsigned songwriters' workshop, talk, comedy, sports (live call-in show). Dups Village Radio pgmg. 90%. The author will be hosting additional talk and musical programming which will replace some of the Montclair-specific local material. Proposed hours opn: 2:00 pm - 12:00 am local time (1800 - 0400 UTC). AM mode. Power to be approx. 1.5 - 2 mW, into a 1/2 wave Inverted-V dipole antenna. QSL. At some future time, QRSS keying will be added during non-broadcast hours but at present VRI will leave the air when not broadcasting.
13,560 "FSR, Fallout Shelter Radio", Helena, AL. Not on air, target date Fall 2001. Station to be operated by Les Rayburn, N1LF in addition to HIFER "XM" (13,566.25 kHz - see parallel listing). This station however, will be a broadcast operation; the format will be 50's and 60's nuclear-era "Fallout Shelter" programs and audio clips from old "duck and cover" training films. Examples of this type programming can be found here. AM mode. Also, when not broadcasting, "FSR" will send CW messages, at QRSS (0.4 wpm) and normal (12 wpm) speeds, the slow message to be 3 reps of the call and the 12 wpm message being "DE FSR FSR FSR PART 15". QSL. Will operate on a time-sharing schedule with VillageRadio Montclair's operation. Your author is presently building a transmitter for Les, so operations will commence when that project is complete!
13,560 (HIFER) "TLTX", Sherman, TX. Operated by Tony Levstik who also operates LOWFER "TLTX" (184.283 kHz - see listing). Toggles between QRSS and 45 baud RTTY (Radio Teletype for those who didn't know :-) Power 2 mW into a 1/4 wave "longwire". Current operating schedule is weeknights and weekends.
13,560 (HIFER) "DG", Polk Co., IA. NEW. Not on air, planned for summer launch. Operated by: Dr. Tom Gruis, K0HTF. To be QRSS mode, 6-sec. dots.
13,562.7 (HIFER) "JJ", Plymouth, MA. Operated by Jonathan Jesse, W1JHJ. On air: June 5, 2001. QRSS mode, 3-sec. dot width. Hrs. opn: 24. This station was at one end of the historical first HIFER QSO of June 15, 2001, the other station being VE3OT's "MP" (13,554.41 kHz, see listing). Transmitter is an Epson SG-8002 programmable oscillator feeding a sloped vertical ("sloper") dipole antenna. According to a post by Lyle Koehler of LOWFER and HIFER "LEK", "JJ" is copiable in Minnesota even while "LEK" is transmitting only some 2.1 kHz away. Update: As of 07/23/01 "JJ" is temporarily off-air for repairs and will be silent for a "couple of weeks". Update: As of late Aug. 2001, "JJ" is back on, on it's new frequency of 13,562.7 kHz (formerly 13,557.5).
13,562.8 (HIFER) "WA", Andover, MA. Operated by William Ashlock of LOWFER "WA" 185.3 kHz - see listing. On air: May 28, 2001 at 8:00 pm EDT. QRSS, and experimenting with other digital modes. Uses a CB Ch. 14 crystal, freq. divided by 2. Bill sez: "...Will probably change over to the 13.555,X region of the band at a later date using one of the Epson programmable devices, but who knows maybe a Ch. 14/2 cult will form around my freq." We wish him luck! Uses 1/4 wave groundplane antenna. Update 05/29/01: On it's first full day of operation, "WA" has already been copied in Ontario! Update: on June 1, 2001, "WA" was heard in England, making this the first verified transoceanic Part 15 signal! "WA" was dubbed a "PondFER" by the receiving operator Jim Moritz, M0BMU of Hatfield, England, who received the signal on his computer running DL4YHF's SpectrumLab FFT software via a Racal RA1792 receiver and a "lash-up" dipole antenna. Hatfield is about 15 miles north of London. According to a post by Jim, "copy was not wonderful, but I saw several "WA"s between about 2230 and 0040 UTC last night. The signal was fading in and out, and was visible for a few minutes at a time. "...software was operating with a resolution of about 0.5Hz. The received frequency was 13,562.835 kHz +/- several Hz drift". The format was variable-rate QRSS according to Bill. Apparently, "WA" drifts a bit and has been variously logged at 13,562.69, and 13,562.75 kHz as well as the aforementioned frequency, so the figure specified in this listing's header is approximate. Those seeking the signal would do well to tune around a bit or use a wider RX bandwidth before "zooming in".
13,565 (HIFER) "ESA", San Jose, CA. Operated by: James Vander Maaten, WB6QZL of MEDFER "ESA" (1700 kHz). On air: July 9, 2001. 8 wpm CW, ident cycle is 4 reps "ESA" and DAID. Xtal controlled TX, 2 mW power and antenna is a 40-meter Inverted-V. Hours opn: 24. QRSS mode upon request.
13,566.25 (HIFER) "XM", Helena, AL. Not on air, target date June 2001. Beacon to be operated by Les Rayburn, N1LF who is well-known for his "XMGR" LF operation at 184.9 kHz and his excellent website about Part 15 experimental operations known as "The Noise Floor". Mode to be QRSS at 0.75 wpm. QSL.
VHF "Low-Band" or 6 Meters (49.82 - 49.9 MHz) Part 15 Stations
6 Meter Part 15 operations are subject to the regulations of Section 15.235 which stipulate the following rather unusually strict limits: field strength not to exceed 10,000 uV (10 mV) /meter at 3 meters (~10 feet), measured using an average detector (this means modulation is included, making FM the most advantageous voice mode); the total power input to the entire device (not just finals but the whole unit) must not exceed 100 mW including modulation (again FM is to be preferred for this reason), the antenna must not exceed 1 meter (3.28 ft.) in length (not height) and must be permanently attached to the transmitter and of course out-of-band emissions must be attenuated to 20 dB down or better (if within 10 kHz of a band edge, 26 dB or better), and operating bandwidth including sidebands must lie wholly within the band.
Any mode may be used (there are no provisions to the contrary) except that cordless telephones are not permitted to operate under the provisions of this Section. They may still operate in this band, however, but in accordance with their own Rule part (15.233). Children's toy walkie-talkies and baby monitors also operate here, as well as R/C car and plane controllers (although on the bright side, all the above also make for readily available sources for inexpensive transmitters or parts). Radio Shack is one potential source for such rigs. CW esp. QRSS would be best for weak-signal DX, and as recommended above, FM should be used for voice operations.
Receiving is a whole other story: the low-noise GaAs FET preamps familiar to EME operators and large Yagi antennas or arrays will likely be needed to maximize the potential of this range. Propagation here is identical to that in the amateur 6 meter band (50 - 54 MHz); an unusual and fascinating melange of both HF and VHF-like characteristics, a kind of 'transition band' if you will. Because of this, at any given time there is likely to be some anomaly or another which will make for interesting DX potential. Ionospheric propagation modes such as F-layer reflection, transequatorial propagation and sporadic-E skip are present here with F-skip most prevalent in peak sunspot years, giving rise to worldwide DX possibilities; but so are tropospheric ducting and refraction, meteor scatter, aircraft reflection, and other more VHF-like modes. Ionospheric E-skip or sporadic-E is most prevalent in the seasons of the longest and shortest days of the year (midsummer and midwinter) with the summer openings being more frequent and stronger. Tropospheric refraction is also most prevalent in the summer months with temperature inversions being the cause.
Apparently at one time there was much experimental activity here but it has long since died out. According to a recent post by Les Rayburn, N1LF (of LOWFER/MEDFER "XMGR"/"XM"): "...Just got in a batch of back issues of the VHF/UHF Digest (Official Publication of the Worldwide TV-FM Association). In the March 1991 issue, there is a full page ad for "The Association to Promote 49MHz"...According to the ad their aim was to promote interest in the 49MHz band. The club issued unique W49 and K49 identifiers, similar to callsigns, to all members. They also published a journal and a directory of active stations. The publisher was Michael Goetsch of Lakewood Ohio...It would be interesting to see what kind of results these guys had on the band." However, interest is now being revived, perhaps in part because of our present good sunspot conditions and also because of a need for a band which performs in the summer as well as LF does in winter (as mentioned, VHF sporadic-E and tropo modes are most prevalent in the warmer months). Also, in light of the recent major strides made in weak signal modes, this band, as well as any other Part 15 segment can now be used to greater advantage than was ever before possible.
More activity is expected here from the LOWFER/MEDFER community very soon, as per much discussion on the LOWFER Reflector. These stations have been dubbed "49ers" so following the LOWFER/MEDFER/HIFER convention in this site, experimental beacons will be so designated.
49.8525 (49er) "NC", Stanfield, NC. Operated by Dexter McIntyre, W4DEX of LOWFER, MEDFER and HIFER "NC" reknown. This is the first 49er in operation: on air 06/06/01. CW mode. Hours opn.: during E-skip openings (which might occur at any time, thus the frequency is designated here in bold). Dex sez: "...I could only get 50% efficiency from the old Western Electric transistor so it's 50 mW output until someone helps me with a more efficient design....The directly attached antenna is a  meter whip loaded with a 40 - 50 MHz Larsen mobile coil with one added turn to get the required whip length to resonate....Presently the signal source is a synthesized generator. I plan to replace it with a crystal oscillator when I get one to operate stable enough for QRSS. Keying is synchronized with NC Hifer and MedFER as the keyer is common to all beacons running 3 dot second QRSS. I probably won't run this beacon continuously until a crystal oscillator is used. I monitor the 6 meter [amateur] band just about all the time and am usually aware of sporadic E openings. As soon as I hear any E skip signals on 6 meters I will crank up the 49er if it isn't already on." We wish Dex good luck!
FM (88 - 108 MHz) Part 15 Stations
FM systems operated under Part 15 usually do so under 15.239, which limits radiated emissions to 250 uV/m at 3 meters (~1 wavelength) from the antenna or radiating cable. This equals an EIRP of 19 nanowatts. Actual transmitter output power usually works out to roughly 8 - 10 mW, for a compliant system. This would produce a radiated field in the "ballpark" of compliance (but should not be used to determine compliance) when fed into a unity-gain (0dBi) antenna. There is no physical limit imposed by Part 15 rules on antenna, feedline, or radiating cable length. Therefore, no distinction is made between systems employing an antenna and those utilizing "carrier current" (actually "leaky", or intentionally radiating, coaxial cable), except to note the type of system when known. Radiating cable systems usually employ from 1/2 to several watts of transmitter power and a terminator or dummy load at the end of the cable runs to reduce radiation to within compliant limits.
Many FM Part 15 stations use multiple transmitters to cover a larger area than would otherwise be possible due to the very restrictive field strength limit.
In Canada under RSS-210 (their "Part 15") in accordance with Section 6.2.2 (k) Paragraph 2, unlicensed FM stations may operate with up to 0.1 mV (100 uV) per meter at 30 meters (~100 ft.) This obviously permits far more allowable useful range (roughly 4 times greater) than the USA Part 15 rules for this frequency range do. RSS-210 requires stations using this field strength provision to adhere to standard FM broadcast frequencies (odd numbered channels spaced 200 kHz, as in the USA) and to use FM modulation only. Canada also has a provision for operation with a 250 uV at 3 meter limit as in Part 15.239 but it is optional and applies mainly to non-standard operation (and given the choice, who would choose to use the lesser limit anyway?)
"Stereo" is self-explanatory; however, no stereo indication does not necessarily mean that the station is monaural; it may mean that the information was not available to the author.
It should be noted that despite the fact that most FM radios tune it, 87.9 MHz is not allocated as an FM broadcast channel; it is part of TV Channel 6. Since Part 15 operations are not permitted in TV bands, especially not at this frequency which is specified as restricted, being for perimeter protection and security systems only - not broadcasting - and additionally since 15.239 specifies 88.0 MHz as the start of the band, stations transmitting on this frequency are not in compliance with Part 15 and are not listed here for that reason.
88.1 Northfield Drive-In Theater, Winchester, NH. Format: Provides movie audio in stereo each evening May-Oct. (approx.) Operates daily beginning about 1 hr. before dusk with oldies music and snack bar promos, at dusk switching to the movie audio to the end of feature(s). Stereo during movie(s) only. This one comes from Doug Bassett of Brattleboro, VT. Many thanks to Doug for the info.
88.3 Happy Days Restaurant FM Radio. Pompano Beach, FL. Format: broadcasts entertainment to patrons in parking lot and in adjacent area. Hours opn: evenings.
88.3 Bair Middle School, Sunrise, FL. Format: Student-produced shows, most likely the typical messages from the principal, lunch menu, PTA announcements, etc. Probably looped, as this is one of the many Fla. schools using the digital PLL FM "advertising" transmitter sold by the firm of Paul Dale and Assoc. and which usually is operated in this manner. Later on in this list the reader will see what is meant by "many" schools!
88.5 Drive-In Christian Church, Daytona Beach Shores, FL. See also parallel 680 kHz entry. Dups. AM 100%.
89.1 Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL. Format: Sports; rebroadcasts of game audio. Hours opn: duration of games only. Assistive listening for the hearing impaired (to meet ADA requirements). Uses LPB transmitter system. Receivers can be rented at stadium or listeners may bring own. Pro Player Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins (football) and Florida Marlins (baseball).
89.3 "WLMK" Landmark School Radio, Beverly, MA. School for children and young adults with language-based learning disabilities. Plans to apply for LPFM grant.
89.3 "WTBU", Boston University Student Radio, Boston, MA. On air: 1994. BU also operates 90.9 WBUR, a licensed FM (and NPR affiliate; not student-run). WTBU 89.3 is a radiating cable system, utilizing 3 transmitters in Warren Towers and additional units in the West Campus buildings. Transmitters are of LPB, Inc. manufacture. See parallel 640 kHz listing for details on this station. Dups. AM 100%.
90.5 "KSLU - The Source" St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. Format: College; techno, alternative, loud rock, campus happenings, talk. Hours opn: 8:00 am - 1:00 am. Schedule is scanned handwritten scrawl which is essentially unintelligible. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did. Assumed to be a radiating cable system. Listen online with Winamp! According to site, "KSLU's predecessor WCAD started broadcasting in 1923, making KSLU the oldest continually operating college radio station in the country." Formerly a CC AM at 640 and CaFM at 88.9.
90.5 "Bronc Radio", Billings Senior High School, Billings, MT. Format: student-produced programs, news, Old Time Radio. Hours opn: 24. See also parallel 1370 AM entry. Simulcasts online, site has program schedule.
90.9 "WICS - Youth Power Talk", Immaculate Conception School, Hialeah, FL. On air: Feb. 1999. Format: student-produced shows; school announcements, lunch menu, sports, etc. Short tape loop updated weekly. Hours opn: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm. Referenced in Mar. 4, 1999 article in The Florida Catholic.
91.7 "WOCC - SuperMix 91.7", Onondoga Community College (SUNY) radio, Onondoga Hill, NY. Stereo. On air: Dec. 6, 1999. Format: mostly music programming; variety. Hours opn: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, M-F. 1 watt radiating cable system (field strength compliant with 15.239).
91.7 "WSMC", St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, MD. Also on 830 CC AM, see entry. Not known whether this is a hardwired cable (cable-TV radio) or radiating-cable system. Assumed to be radiating until we hear otherwise.
91.7 "WBHE, Bobcat Broadcasting Network", Boulevard Heights Elementary School, Hollywood, FL. On air: 1996. Format: student-produced shows; PTA meeting announcements, upcoming field trips, lunch menu, congrats to teachers giving birth, principal's announcements, etc. Short tape loop, updated monthly. Referenced in Mar. 11, 1998 article from Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Antenna-type transmitter.
91.7 Coconut Creek High School, Coconut Creek, FL. Format: student-produced shows. Tape loop. Like many of the other Fla. schools listed here, their FM system was purchased from the firm of Paul Dale and Associates. They all use the same manufacture antenna-type PLL FM transmitter.
91.7 Winston Park Elementary School, Coconut Creek, FL. Format: student-produced endless tape loop recorded shows. Same as most of the other Fla. elementary and high schools listed.
91.7 Griffin Elementary School, Cooper City, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news, principal's message, PTA meeting announcements, etc. Tape loop. Same make transmitter as most of the other Fla. elementary and high schools listed. No further info at present.
91.7 Coral Gables Elementary School, Coral Gables, FL. Format: student-produced shows; tape loop.
91.7 Shenandoah Middle School, Coral Gables, FL. Format: student-produced shows; probably the usual school news, principal's message, PTA meeting announcements, etc. Tape loop. Yes, this is yet another of the same type transmitter.
91.7 "WFHE", Forest Hills Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows. Same type setup as all the rest here.
91.7 Maplewood Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: probably the usual student-produced shows.
91.7 Coral Springs High School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows; tape loop. See also 91.9 listing below; it is not known whether these simulcast or carry separate programming (perhaps there are 2 "campuses" of this school, each with own station??).
91.9 Coral Springs High School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows; tape loop. See also 91.7 listing above; it is not known whether these dup each other or not.
91.9 Coral Springs Middle School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows; likely the usual tape loop.
91.9 Forest Glen Middle School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows, probably looped.
91.9 Park Springs Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows, most likely looped.
91.9 Ramblewood Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows.
91.9 Westchester Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Probably typical student produced format. Yet another of the myriad P.D.& A. jobs in this portion of the state.
91.9 Hernando Co. School, Brooksville, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news, principal's message, PTA meeting announcements, etc. Tape loop. No further info at present.
91.9 Cooper City Elementary School, Cooper City, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news, principal's message, PTA meeting announcements, etc. Endless tape loop.
92.7 "SCWIS", Salmon Creek Wireless Information Service, Salmon Creek, WA. NOAA Weather relay service, but with additional programming; BBC news, Radio Hong Kong, Old Time Radio recordings, and local want ads, among others. Hours opn: 24. Site has detailed station info and program guide. See also parallel 1500 AM entry. Update 07/17/01: The FM is now off-air permanently; unfortunately the transmitter blew and according to Kevin Hoult, the operator, it will not be repaired.
93.1 "KSTO" St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. On air: 1965 as CC at 590 kHz AM; present FM system 1997. CC AM system no longer in service. Format: College; student-produced shows featuring diverse musical genres, comedy, talk. Emphasis on music. Hours opn: 8:00 am - 2:00 am. Radiating-cable system ("slotted coaxial transmitting cable" according to site). Actually, it is comprised of 4 systems each with own transmitter, covering various areas on campus. All are on same freq. and simulcast. Interestingly, the site has a range map! Also gives locations of each Crown Broadcast, Inc. FM transmitter. Also offers online listening in RP format. St. Olaf also operates licensed FM WCAL 89.3 (NPR affil., not student-run).
93.6 Hammock Pointe Elementary School, Boca Raton, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news and events, etc. Tape loop. Note the odd frequency - but that's how it's listed. Not much else available at present.
94.1 "WCRL", Carousel Center Mall Radio, Carousel Center Mall, Syracuse, NY. On air: 1995. Format: looped advertisements for stores in the Mall, announcements of Mall events, etc. Per online report, the station can be heard in the Mall parking lot, on Interstate 81 near the mall, and in nearby regions of the city. A local licensed FM, 100 kilowatt WYYY 94.5 ("Y94"), helps with the production of the programming. Radiating cable system; per online profile, 1 watt transmitter output is split into 2 cable runs each operating at 0.5 watt. This station is operated by The Pyramid Companies.
96.5 "US Country Radio", Decatur, IL. Format: Country music. Part 15 operation of a popular Internet broadcaster; FM dups. Internet 100%. According to their site however, in the near future additional programming will be offered on the FM only, consisting of local high school sports and local news and information of interest to Decatur residents. Transmitter is atop a tower at 50 meters HAAT according to their site; this is cited as being the reason for exceptional coverage for a Part 15 FM. Website gives the technical and legal specs on the station and has a range map showing what appears to be quite good coverage, indeed. Also, according to their site, they will have a booth at the 2001 annual Decatur Celebration and will be broadcasting live on the radio and Internet, including a "crowd-cam" that will show live images of downtown Decatur on the website. See also their parent website for the original Internet operation, and for online listening (iRadio/MP3 format).
97.9 "WAUG", Augustana College student radio, Rock Island, IL. See parallel 570 CC AM entry for details. Believed to be a radiating-cable setup although not specified on their website.
97.9 "WCCG", Canisius College, Buffalo, NY. Also at 1360 CC AM, see entry. Assumed to be radiating cable.
98.9 "Showtime Radio", United Artists Breckenridge Theatre, Little Rock, AR. Broadcasts movie showing times to patrons in the parking areas.
99.7 "WNJL - The Breeze", Florence, NJ. Formerly "WNJL Smooth Jazz 99.7" Stereo. On air: Nov. 12, 1997. Format: AC, 70's/80's Classic Hits, long music blocks, local news and info, public affairs, humor. Hours opn: 3:10 pm - 9:00 pm. Very nice website, unfortunately no mention that this is a Part 15 compliant station (verified by author per pers. comm.) nor is there any info on the station itself (multiple transmitters? studio equipment?, etc.) Site does have program guide. Update 01/16/01: Now mention Part 15 on their site and also that their format is exclusively "Smooth Jazz". Hours opn. now 4:15 pm - 9:45 pm, M-F. Now offers online streaming audio as well! Update 07/10/01: Check out their temporary operation to be run from July 11-14, 2001 from Hudson, Ohio on 101.5 (see listing).
99.9 "WECX - Eckerd College Radio", Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL. Stereo. Format: College; alternative, eclectic music, talk, campus life, student produced shows, etc. Hours opn: varies but usually during classes. Radiating cable system.
99.9 "WECB, Big Corporate Rock", Emerson College, Boston, MA. Format: College; typical widely-diverse programming reflecting students' interests; music incl. metal, Indie rock, funk, Urban and Top 40 among others. Also news, campus events, talk pgmg. Commercial. Hrs. opn: 8:00am -1:00am. Online listening, Win Media Player. This is believed to be a radiating cable system; although not so specified on their site, another page mentions their previous, rather successful experiments with such a system and that school politics/red tape prevented them from putting it into regular operation at the time. This station's first and main outlet is the CC AM at 640 kHz; see that entry for more details. Emerson also operates licensed/noncomm. WERS 88.9 FM with which this Part 15 station should not be confused; they are entirely separate, including different studios and pgmg.
101.5 "KRCX - The New Experience" Regis University Northwest Denver Campus radio, Denver, CO. For details, see parallel 1530 kHz AM listing.
101.5 "Smooth Jazz 101.5" Hudson, OH. An interesting operation in that it is temporary; chances are, by the time you, the reader, see this it will be just a memory! Operations will commence at 8:00 am July 11, and will end on July 14, 2001. According to their website: "...With an FCC Part 15 compliant low-power signal, we will be serving the area known as Hudson Farms in Hudson, Ohio, possibly reaching more areas of the community. The station is hosted and programmed by Nick Langan, who runs sister station Smooth Jazz 99.7 The Breeze in Florence, New Jersey [see listing]. Hudson's own Lee Barnhouse co-hosts the broadcast, and Hudson local news and information will be given by aviation enthusiast Sebastien Dauby. Smooth Jazz 101.5 is the only real smooth jazz on radio, playing the best variety of lite jazz instrumentals and soft adult classic and recent vocals. Check us out on-line or in Hudson, at 101.5 FM".
101.7 "Lake 101.7 FM", Muskego, WI. Format: Easy listening, OTR, Polish programming, talk. Hours opn: Sat. 3:00 pm - 11:45 pm, Sun. 2:00 pm - 10:30 pm. Occasionally Friday nights also. Site has program guide. The owner John Lentz produces a Polish/Slavic -oriented show called the "Polka Party" which he offers for other Part 15 stations to rebroadcast. See Links section below, "Programming Resources" for more info.
101.9 "House FM", Seattle, WA. Stereo. Format: House music; all music. Site says they are "100% totally digital", transmitting in "digital stereo" with 3 computers and 3 transmitters. Transmitter/computer locations given as SeaTac, Queen Anne and Madison Park. Also states that they will be webcasting soon.
102.9 "Dade City Community Radio", City of Dade, FL. Format: Community radio; an eclectic variety of music, local news, talk.
103.3 "Dolphin Pride Radio", Coral Sunset Elementary School, Boca Raton, FL. Apparently a student-run radio station. Antenna-type transmitter. No further format info available at this time; most likely an endless tape loop of the usual principal's announcements, lunch menu, etc.
104.1 Reid Hillview Airport, San Jose, CA. Stereo. According to James Vander Maaten of MEDFER "ESA" (1700 kHz, see listing) from whom this listing comes: "...The airport tower communications are being re-broadcast for spectators near the runway. Right channel is tower and left channel is ground. The range is very short, just enough signal for the spectators! " A very interesting and unique application of low power radio, and thanks to James for the info!
104.7 "MonsterFM.com", formerly "Hawk FM", Monroe, LA. (Also see 106.9 FM main listing for more details, and 1650 AM listing). 02/04/01 Update : Now located in Baker, LA and is a broadcast engineering firm. This station's operation has had a complex history of which the 104.7 site was only a part (although an important one). The owner tells it best in his own words: "...The 104.7 was a "single site" job. It was my personal "jab" at the "lowlife" mentioned above" (for background see http://www.monsterfm.com/engineering/lowlife.html [sic.]) "...(He owned a 100 kW station on 104.1 and a 50 kW station on 105.1... so, the logical "double whammy" was to put new competition on 104.7, EXACTLY midway between his two stations... And, it WORKED!!! For about a month and a half, we had a three night a week remote contract from one of the areas most popular night clubs! Everyone, in town, listened to THOSE! We also "borrowed" - with permission - the Marti frequency of the lowlife's commercial competition to accomplish this..." The MonsterFM.com stations are not presently on-air since the move from Monroe, but we are assured will return soon.
104.7 "WERU", Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Campus Radio, Daytona Beach, FL. Format: College; music, talk, eclectic. Hours opn: varies but usually 12 pm to 12 am, M-F. Schedule available on site, current to March 2001. This station may go off-air for summer, as it has in previous years. Station was formerly an AM CC on 710 kHz. Now uses radiating cable for FM system, formerly on 97.3 but now at 104.7 MHz.
105.5 "WEGL - The Eagle", Pioneer Middle School, Cooper City, FL. Format: student-produced shows; PTA meeting and principal's announcements, field trips, lunch menu, rock and rap music, a 60 sec. movie review, sports and an advice segment called "Ask Anonymous". Uses digital studio equipment. 1 hour loop, updated each school day. Digital-tuned PLL FM "advertising-type" transmitter (short whip antenna attached to transmitter box free-radiates signal - in other words, an "ordinary" transmitter, not radiating cable). Same transmitter as most of the other Fla. middle and high schools listed here. Referenced in Mar. 11, 1998 article from Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. 20-student staff (at that time) according to article.
105.5 Eagle Ridge Elementary, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows; tape loop. To carry on with the "Eagle" theme... This is a "Paul Dale and Associates" installation; uses the same PLL FM transmitter as most of the other Fla. schools listed.
105.5 Coral Springs Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Format: student-produced shows on a tape loop. Yet another Paul Dale & Assoc. job. Yawn.
105.5 Coral Gables High School, Coral Gables, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news, principal's message, PTA meeting announcements, etc. Tape loop. No further info on this one available other than that it uses the same PLL FM transmitter as all the others.
105.5 David Fairchild Elementary School, Coral Gables, FL. Format: student-produced shows on a tape loop. The reader may well be wondering by now why there are so many listings for Fla. schools all seemingly either on 105.5 or 91.7 MHz - this is because the same firm, Paul Dale and Associates, which sells these systems, set up all these schools and these apparently are the clear channels available in most of central Florida (the frequencies can be reused at short distances because these transmitters only broadcast a few blocks at best, as is expected at Part 15 power levels on FM).
105.5 Citrus Cove Elementary School, Boynton Beach, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news and events, principal's/PTA info, etc. Tape loop. Nothing more info-wise available at this time.
105.5 Brooksville Elementary School, Brooksville, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news and events, etc. Tape loop. Not much else available at present, except that this and many of the other Florida schools listed were sold their Part 15 FM systems by the same company, Paul Dale and Associates.
105.5 Moton Elementary School, Brooksville, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news and events, PTA announcements etc. Tape loop. Same setup as above Brooksville Elementary listing.
105.5 Coconut Creek Elementary School, Coconut Creek, FL. Format: student-produced shows. Tape loop. Not much else available at present except that like many of the other Fla. schools listed here, their FM system was purchased from the firm of Paul Dale and Associates.
105.5 Riverside Elementary School, Coral Springs, FL. Same format as others in this list.
105.5 Ramblewood Middle School, Coral Springs, FL. Same student-produced format, most likely. Lots of info at site, just nothing about the station!
105.5 Davie Elementary School, Davie, FL. Same P.D.& A. setup, probably same format.
105.7 NEW FM, Long Beach Island, NJ. A new broadcast operation currently in testing mode. According to the owner, "format is mainly Dance/CHR re-broadcasting Internet radio stations such as London's Kiss100 and Chicago's Energy 92-7/5. Rebroadcasts of some Shortwave radio shows are planned for when I go 24/7." The owner also says coverage includes part of Ship Bottom, and part of Surf City, as well as a portion of Cedar Bonnet Island. Present hours of operation are sporadic; plans are to go 24/7 when a PLL tuned transmitter can be obtained, target date fall/winter 2001. "The current transmitter, [a CanaKit UK165] is hard to tune exactly at 105.7000 and drifts after a hour or so", says the owner, who also is the author of the Jersey Shore Radio Guide.
106.3 "WSAM", University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT. Format: College; mostly music esp. metal and progressive, sports, talk. Also on 610 CC AM; see listing for full details. Dups AM 100%. Although not specified on their site, this is believed to be a radiating-cable FM outfit. Not to be confused with licensed FM WWUH at 91.3 MHz, also operated by UH (but not student-run).
106.9 "MonsterFM.com", formerly "Hawk FM", Monroe, LA (now Baker, LA). See also 104.7 FM and 1650 AM listings. Dups 1650 AM programming 100%. Format: Community radio; music, news, talk. Website has nice coverage radius map, which compares the Part 15 station's range to that of local licensed 250 watt KLIP-FM (once maintained by the owner of MonsterFM who is also a broadcast engineer) and mentions that 8 FM transmitters at 106.9 are used. Read the sordid tale of KLIP at: http://www.monsterfm.com/engineering/lowlife.html . This station was (indirectly) responsible for the "birth" of the 104.7 operation (see above listing). Site also says "Part 15 Compliant - CERTIFIED!" (This was because KLIP's new owner had this Part 15 operation inspected by FCC as a "revenge" tactic...and it passed muster with flying colors! Unfortunately KLIP was operating at 200% power at the time according to MonsterFM operator/CEO T. K. Hammond. Also unfortunately, the FCC personnel refused to investigate). Owner seemed "gung-ho" about FCC LPFM ruling; complete with image of tombstone with Eddie Fritts' epitaph, a`la Rodger Skinner. Unfortunately, besides the prohibition of commercial operation (which renders the LPFM 'service' as it was envisioned by many would-be entrepreneurs fairly useless) the ruling will make it anywhere from extremely difficult to impossible for most people to obtain a license unless they are a non-profit corp., preferably for two years prior to the ruling in cases of mutual exclusivity, or are a governmental, school district, or highway authority! Individuals are not eligible to obtain LPFM licenses; which makes Part 15 all the more valuable. Update 04/21/00: Site majorly redesigned; now the operation is called "Broadcast Services", specializing in engineering studies assisting potential applicants in securing LPFM and full-service FM slots. Unfortunately, no more tombstone... I loved that one! :-) Update 01/16/01: The firm is now called "MonsterFM.com Broadcast Engineering and Consulting Service" and is full-time into AM, FM, LPFM, LPTV, etc. engineering services, FCC applications preparation, consulting, etc. Very thorough, well-designed and informative site. And, the tombstone is still there, it just moved! Part 15's are presently off-air since the move to Baker but we have been assured they will return! Note that this and the other two MonsterFM listings have been completely updated on 02/04/01 so there may seem to be some non sequiturs. This was done in an attempt to preserve the original 'flavor' and history of the station and it's listings here. We apologize for any confusion!
107.1 J.C. Mitchell Elementary School, Boca Raton, FL. Format: student-produced shows; school news and events, etc. Tape loop. Nothing further available at present.
107.9 "KULV", University of LaVerne, LaVerne, CA. Format: College; music, esp. alternative and "modern rock", sports (ULV Leopards football, baseball, basketball), and training of broadcasting majors. Hours opn: 7:00 am - 11:00 pm. See also parallel 550 AM entry. FM dups AM 100%. According to site, can be heard in the residence halls, student center and dining hall, so despite the fact that it is not so specified on their site, it is believed to be a radiating-cable system and not a cable-FM (cable TV-radio or "CaFM") system.
Corrections, updates, feedback and additions to listings lacking in information are appreciated: contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org (Remove "spam.graveyard." - anti spam-bot tactic.)
For submissions to be considered for addition to the list, please provide as much of the following information as possible:
PART 15 LINKS
Straight to the FCC's website homepage!
FCC ID number search...check that transmitter to see if it's Certified/Type Accepted!
Our fave division within the FCC, the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) - they're the ones who write the Part 15 Rules!
The "Good Book" of Part 15 worshippers...the Part 15 Rules, latest edition (Feb. 2001), .pdf format.
A tutorial about how to interpret the Part 15 Rules, by our friends at the FCC's OET, Bulletin 63 (.pdf format)...makes for really interesting bedtime reading :-)
The Canadian low power unlicensed radio frequency devices rules (RSS-210) are available in .pdf format here.
Online Resources, Websites, etc. (In no particular order)
The Longwave Club of America (LWCA): If you have any interest whatsoever in Part 15 LF and MF operations, then this site is a must-see! Here you can find a detailed discussion of LOWFER/MEDFER operations, schematics, rules and regs., listings of member stations, and many interesting links which will keep you busy for a long time! The place for information on LF-related topics, including DXing and logging of NDB's (aerobeacons), and esoteric and fascinating fields of study like VLF/ELF and "natural radio" (whistlers, 'spherics, etc.) If you operate a LOWFER or MEDFER station, or are contemplating doing so, then you should join! They publish a monthly members-only print newsletter called "The Lowdown" appropriately enough, with DX loggings, member station listings, articles on construction, the science of natural radio, etc.
The Medium Wave Alliance: anything and everything to do with mediumwave; Part 15, TIS/HAR, DXing, etc. Has an online newsletter, "The Ionospheric Messenger", and links to many MF-related sites.
Community Radio USA: the messageboard for low power broadcast radio enthusiasts; Part 15, LPFM, and other legal neighborhood radio stations and those who love them!
Hobby Broadcasting Magazine: Yes, a "real" magazine for low power broadcasters! It is available from your local newsstand or a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, as well as online. Although it has a heavy emphasis on pirate (illegal) operations (including many excellent articles about former pirate operations which the pirate radio historian will enjoy), it also covers Part 15; there have been many good articles concering our beloved legal micro-stations. Also construction and other technical tips and topics; latest FCC LPFM news and classified ads.
"WOCR Summeradio": The fascinating story of the defunct, Ocean City Maryland AM carrier current station can be found here. Perhaps one of the most ambitious attempts in recent history to provide community radio via carrier current (Part 15.221), this interesting story also goes to show what can happen when Big Business, special-interests and bureaucrats begin to take notice. A worth-read for any low power radio buff.
The 'famous' "Lil'7" 1 Tube AM Broadcast Transmitter; okay tube fans: here's a cute little circuit you could whip together in an hour on an old cakepan 'chassis', to broadcast to your collectible radios! While this circuit is perhaps quite well-known already in net-savvy 'Glowbug' circles, it bears linking from here, just-in-case! Based on a 117L7 tube (which has a 117-volt filament, diode and pentode in the same envelope, having been designed for AC/DC receivers as halfwave rectifier-and-audio-output stage) this little rig is basically a modulated oscillator, the frequency selection being by tuning the L/C tank. Thus, expect lots of FM along with your AM, and lots of drift too. Perhaps, one might wish to use a crystal for frequency control with this rig for better stability (although without a buffer stage, or a separate final, you still will get some incidental FM, but at least no drift). Despite these drawbacks it's a neat little TX and one you might wish to have handy - and it will give you that "warm tube sound" and a nice glow to boot!
And another one, by Scott Todd, N0BST; the "A-1 Minicaster". This one is a portable one-tuber based on a 1A7 "heptode converter" tube; the B+ is supplied by series-connected 9-volt batteries, using say 10 for 90-volts. Filament is 1.5 volts supplied by a D-cell. Like the "Lil'7", this one is a simple L/C tuned modulated oscillator - you'll get about as much FM as AM so there could be considerable distortion when listening on a digital receiver - and drift will be a household word! Crystal control could be used instead and is recommended for more "serious playing". Nonetheless, it is a cute little transmitter and it does "glow in the dark". Prospective builders of these or any low-power tube transmitters might wish to use a "12-volt" tube or a regular 6-or 12-volt filament, "high-voltage" tube run with 12 volts for B+. It is a little-known fact that many familiar standard tubes will work just fine with plate/screen voltages as low as 12; while power output will be small, this is perfect for Part 15 applications! Indeed it is difficult to get "regular" tubes, even small ones to work efficiently at very low power with high B+; at "normal" (high) voltage they want to run with much more plate/screen current than Part 15 levels would permit (at least for the 100 mW input level). Not only that, it is much safer to use low voltage; no shock hazard. The tubes will also last much longer and you won't need to invest in a major battery manufacturer's stock just to keep up with all the 9-volters (you could even save more by using a rechargeable battery).
Carrier Current History: Hailing from General George Owen Squier, the inventor of Muzak, among other things, is the original concept of carrier-current broadcasting. This fascinating article, excerpted from a 1923 issue of Radio Broadcast Magazine deals with Gen. Squier's invention and tells how it all began. This original carrier-current system operated at a wavelength of 8,000 meters (37.5 kHz), what is now considered "VLF", and used amplitude modulation. Originally a one-channel, paid-subscriber system, where subscribers were given a simple receiver, detailed in the article, which enabled them to tune in the signal. This concept gave rise to our 'modern' cable-TV. Visions for future expansion included having multiple channels; a "Dance Wavelength, Advertising Wavelength (target audience, according to the article: women), Educational Wavelength"...gotta love those Victorians! The article makes a good case for carrier current and other low power broadcasting methods in general, to serve communities: "...Programs originating in a wired radio broadcasting studio in New York could be sent as far as Chicago if it were necessary to do so. But the difference in time in Chicago (which would make bedtime stories from the Metropolitan area, for example an hour too early for the Windy City's younger generation), as well as the fact that people will generally prefer programs of more local interest, make it unlikely that wired radio will ever be used over distances of many hundreds of miles. Space broadcasting will take care of the long-distance work sufficiently well."
22 meter HF (13,553 - 13,567 kHz) Part 15.225 Transmitter Building Blocks: the author's page noted in that section but repeated here for those who might've missed it.
Companies and distributors which manufacture and sell Part 15 compliant transmitters and systems. (Alphabetical order)
The following companies offer for sale various FCC Certified Part 15 equipments suitable for broadcasting or other uses. The equipment offered by the firms listed here is believed by the author to be truly Certified/Type Accepted for Part 15 use, strictly compliant with all applicable provisions of the pertinent Part 15 Rules and to not be modified post facto by the manufacturer or distributor. Many perhaps well-known outfits may be conspicuously absent from this list because it is believed that they may not offer equipment which is truly compliant or may sell gear which might have been modified after Certification in a non-permissive manner thus voiding the Certification. (Of course just because a given entity wasn't listed here doesn't necessarily mean they're selling noncompliant gear; it may also be that the author isn't aware of their existence!) Also note that kits are not listed here, although some of the mfr's. shown here may make kits in addition to their ready-built line of gear. Kits are not considered legal for Part 15 use and are frowned upon by the FCC; only the following are recommended: (a) Type Accepted/Certified ready-built units (preferred) or (b) truly "homebrew", not-for-sale, one-off transmitters (a`la amateur radio) made by the user in quantities of 5 or less for his/her own personal use and according to "good engineering practice" as defined by the FCC. When available, the FCC ID number of a Part 15 Certified transmitter is provided; go to the FCC's ID# Search Page and enter the number to see the actual Certification documents for that model transmitter. PLEASE NOTE that any listing or mention here does not constitute an endorsement (even if it sounds otherwise :-) and the author and web host cannot be held legally and/or financially liable for any reason by any entity for any listing or mention here, or for any repercussions resulting directly or indirectly therefrom, nor for the absence or omission, intentional or otherwise, of a listing or mention of or for any entity.
CTO Technologies : Distributors for the OutReach Radio System, a Part 15 AM, PLL synthesized transmitter with built-in digital audio recorder. This unit is actually manufactured by Realty Electronics, Inc. (REI) and was formerly sold by Information Station Specialists (ISS) of TIS/HAR fame as the "InfoMAX" (CTO is still affiliated with ISS). The transmitter is different from any of the others listed here in that it is a relatively complete system and not simply a transmitter alone. It consists of a VCR-sized box with LED frequency readout containing everything including the PLL, digital recorder, microphone, and RF circuitry including a servo-driven automatic antenna tuner! There are provisions for a remote antenna connected via RG-6QS nonradiating quad-shielded cable to an ATU (antenna tuning unit). Of course, there are audio input jacks, a lockout key to keep probing fingers from changing the settings, and a beefy "wall-wart" power supply which is very well-filtered for RF internally (your author has cracked one open) to prevent RF feedback into the power lines and thus that nasty hum (and ensures compliance with Subpart B "conducted emissions" standards). CTO also offers many options mainly for the TIS/HAR user such as weatherproof lockable enclosures, phone-line recording interfaces, solar panel backup systems with charge controllers, mobile accessories for event and portable temporary broadcasting from a vehicle and a 20' diam. metal mesh groundplane (the "PowerPlane") which is advertised to give a 40% signal boost (of course, mounting the transmitter on a metal-roofed building would be even better but not many are that lucky!) The barebones, basic system sans all the fancy accessories is $800 but the price mounts quickly when those are added. FCC ID: DLB5LTT98.
Hamilton PCB Design Contact: Keith Hamilton Hamilton PCB Design offers the Hamilton AM-1000 Part 15 AM transmitter, arguably the best such unit on the market. Unlike any other AM transmitter available, this one sports provisions for frequency and phase synchronization of multiple units via a simple RS-485 Serial twisted-pair interface, so that many transmitters can be used on the same channel within each other's coverage radii. No other Part 15 AM transmitter known to the author is capable of this (or at least as easily and cheaply) and as is well-known, attempts to operate other AM transmitters unsynched within each other's coverage areas will result in terrible heterodynes. This transmitter has a built-in lightning arrestor, is crystal-controlled for high stability and is also unique in that it is fully digital. The remote power supply stays inside, and a supplied ferrite bead choke ensures compliance with Subpart B standards. The Hamilton transmitter also has superior audio quality to just about any other unit on the market (this verified by side-by-side tests, and by many others, not only the author). The Hamilton AM-1000 transmitter costs $800 ea., including a fiberglass-epoxy weatherproof box. FCC ID: NWXAM1000.
LPB, Inc. Offers many low-power broadcasting options, having been pioneers in the field. Most of concern to potential neighborhood broadcasters: the AM-2000, Part 15 Certified AM transmitter. This unit is a newcomer to the low power AM arena, but actually appears to be a re-branded USI TA-100, which is a venerable rig. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. Just an observation. Another reason it is suspected that the AM-2000 is merely a USI-made unit is that LPB are authorized distributors for USI. It is enclosed in a weatherproof metal box, has a built-in tuning meter and is PLL synthesized, DIP-switch selectable. It also has a separate "brick" power supply which stays inside. Price is around $1,800 each. LPB also offers the FM-50, a truly FCC-legal FM unit which looks like it could actually be the Panaxis ACC100 (see below). LPB also offers many other products and services including the AM carrier-current and Free-Radiate systems so ubiquitous in college radio, leaky-cable FM systems, programming and installation services and complete turnkey stations. LPB is also famous in the broadcasting community for their great consoles, so widely used in many educational as well as full-service stations (yes, this author has done his stint on one of these!)
Panaxis Productions: Makers of perhaps one of the only truly compliant Part 15 antenna-type (not leaky-cable) FM transmitters, the ACC100 FM Broadcaster. An excellent unit, this is a PLL synthesized, rock-stable transmitter, has great audio, fully complies with the 250 uV@ 3 meter emission limit with its built-in wire antenna, and is self-contained, "plug 'n' play". Plus, the $195 price tag can't be beat. It is a monaural unit which as FM-ers know, will give up to twice the S/N ratio and usable range of a stereo transmission for a given power level and thus is to be preferred. If you are planning a serious FM operation this would be the first unit to consider.
Radio Shack: Sells a "CD to FM radio wireless adapter" (Cat. no. 12-2051) which is a small, inexpensive crystal-controlled Part 15 compliant FM transmitter used to transmit audio from a portable CD player to a car's radio. Could be used for broadcasting unless "hacked" or modified which would of course void the Type Acceptance. Range is very limited as there is no external antenna proper (most likely the audio patch cord doubles as one with capacitive 'gimmick' coupling) but for shorter-distance applications may suffice just fine. Also, you are limited by the choice of crystal frequencies given, if none correspond to a clear channel in your area, you're out of luck.
Radio Systems, Inc. A major manufacturer of carrier-current AM transmitters and couplers, Campus Free-Radiate systems and TIS/HAR, as well as studio equipment (consoles, distribution amps, telephone line couplers, etc.); basically, LPB's major competitor in these fields. They offer a "Camp Radio" package which is a complete mini-station to be used in summer camps or schools consisting of a carrier-current AM transmitter, line coupler, a small board, microphone, headphones, monitor spkrs., tape deck or CD player, etc., basically, all the "makin's" of a little turnkey Part 15 station-in-a-box (these items are also sold separately).
Realty Electronics, Inc.: The actual makers of the PLL AM transmitter marketed by CTO as the "OutReach" and formerly by ISS as the "InfoMAX". FCC ID: DLB5LTT98.
Ultra Sensors, Inc. (USI) are makers of the familiar "TransAM TA-100" Part 15 AM transmitter. This is perhaps the first AM unit on the market and is still one of the most popular. It has a metal enclosure, with the 8-1/2 foot whip antenna sprouting directly from the top, a built-in tuning meter and is PLL synthesized with DIP-switch frequency selection. The "brick" power supply stays inside. It should be noted that USI does not sell direct but rather through distributors such as LPB (see above). Price varies but is in the $1200 - $1800 range depending on the particular dealer in question. FCC ID: DPD624TA100.
Wild Planet Toys offers the "Radio DJ", which, although it is admittedly a toy AM transmitter not anywhere in the same league as the others above, is mentioned here because it can be useful for very short-range applications, for "hardware hacking" (keeping in mind that modifications will void the Certification), education and just plain fun. It has good audio quality and is crystal-controlled (and only comes in 1610 kHz so if you live near the usual DoT TIS/HAR you are out of luck unless you replace the crystal). At $19.99 from Amazon.com among others, the new crystal is likely to outprice the whole rig! The unit is in the form of a "broadcast console" complete with gooseneck mic, a cassette deck (both with fade-in level controls), 4 sound effects and provisions to patch in an external source such as a CD player! Certainly excellent for educational purposes, even a well-known consumer magazine (which doesn't like to be named ;-) gave it high marks. Due to the apparent popularity of this rig, one is more than likely to hear a young voice now and again in their neighborhood at 1610 kHz - now you know what sort of rig they may be transmitting with! Actually, some more serious work can be done with this unit; at least one MEDFER of which the author is aware is planning to use this as the basis for a proposed beacon operation.
Programming Resources for the Neighborhood Broadcaster (In no particular order)
The following sources generally are known to be "Part 15 -friendly" in that they permit or even encourage Part 15 stations to rebroadcast them, usually free of charge. Before rebroadcasting any material, however, always ask permission!
Yesterday USA Old Time Radio: The source for Old Time Radio (OTR)! They also permit and encourage Part 15's to rebroadcast them! They offer live streams online (RP format) and via C-Band satellite (Galaxy 5, Transponder 7 (WGN-Chicago), 6.8 MHz mono audio narrow band) as well as on some cable-TV systems and give permissions to rebroadcast free...all you have to do is ask.
The Tom and Darryl TVRO Satellite Radio Show: Tom and Darryl are LPFM advocates. They currently can be heard online (RP format), on satellite (W0KIE network - SATCOM C3, Transponder 24, 7.5 MHz wideband audio), WBCQ 7415 kHz shortwave and on WQNA-FM 88.3 Springfield, IL. Being low power radio advocates they certainly would not object to having a wider audience by being carried on a Part 15 station - contact them and ask!
WOKIE Network: Lots of interesting shows carried on satellite (SATCOM C3, transponder 24, 7.5 MHz wideband audio). Shows about Amateur Radio, low power radio, the cosmos, philosophy... If you have or can scrounge a dish, or would like to use archived shows, just ask them for rebroadcast permission!
The Crazy Jay Show: A very cool comedy show like the well-known "Dr. Demento", but for Part 15 stations! Contact Jay for permission to rebroadcast. You can now hear the show live in RP G2 format!
The Polka Party with John Lentz: A weekly show featuring a wide range of Polka, Slovak and German music, and more. John encourages Part 15-ers to broadcast his shows (he also operates his own Part 15 station; see 101.7 "Lake 101.7 FM".) Generally he will provide the shows on tape: 2 hrs. for $5 at last check. May also offer them on CD now.
News Direct: Downloadable news, categorized. Awesome!
The Water Foundation: Offers a number of water conservation, ecology and environmental issues radio shows such as 60 sec. "Bog Frog", with 12 editions weekly; 2-1/2 minute, 2ep./wk. "Ocean Planet Trivia" produced in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, and "Eco-Auto Tips" 60 sec., 6 ep./wk. vignettes which will help you maximize fuel efficiency and save money while saving Planet Earth! Thanks to Will Walker for this one.
The Stan Solomon Show: Political talk show with Libertarian (conservative/right-wing) bent; also technical and medical topics. Live on internet (when on-air) as well as on several radio and TV (full-service) stations. Program schedule on site. Stan will give permissions to Part 15's - just ask.
Best Radios... (In no particular order)
This section provides brief reviews of what the author believes to be the best consumer receivers and accessories for DX-ing and listening for weak signals (especially Part 15 stations). All opinions are based on real-world tests both by the author and others. This information is provided to promote the use of better radios by the general public. Strongly biased towards AM.
The Radio Shack(tm) ("Optimus(tm)") no. 12-201A AM Pocket Radio: All that can be said about this one is: go, NOW, and buy one - or several. This little rig will blow you away! For $6.99, you get sensitivity comparable to or perhaps better than that of a decent car radio, in a shirt-pocket package - no kidding! Your author has done extensive side-by-side tests to verify this. This little radio is pretty close to unbelievable. It is AM only (who needs FM, anyway?) OK, so it is analog, the "accuracy", if it could be called such, of the little dial is pretty much non-existent, and you have to tune very slowly to get optimal reception of a weak signal because only a slight movement of the dial means a significant change in frequency, at least when dealing with weak signals. But what did you expect for a $7 pocket radio? This tricky tuning issue can be resolved but it takes some practice - you have to use your thumbnail, and move the dial very slowly with a rolling action once you've ballparked it - you should barely see it move, if at all. This is one you lock-on your fave station and then duct tape over the dial. Once tuned correctly however, in addition to having outstanding sensitivity, the selectivity of this rig isn't half-bad at all. It could separate a Part 15 AM station's minuscule signal at 1.5 miles from that of a 10 kW 2nd-adjacent station 5 mi. away. Better than many supposedly "good" digital radios. The sound ain't bad either for a pocket radio - the speaker has a beefy magnet on it. All in all, worth every bit of the price and then some. Radio Shack products often seem to have a "stigma" in that they are thought of by some as being overpriced underperformers - this radio will definitely change your mind about that. This one is an excellent candidate for a "promo" giveaway scheme (see below) if you are a Part 15 station owner due to low cost, great sensitivity and ready availability. They can be purchased online or from your friendly neighborhood Radio Shack store.
The C.Crane Co. "CC Radio(tm)": If you want the ultimate in AM sensitivity (better than a good car radio) this is the one to buy. It has PLL digital tuning, AM, FM, TV sound and NOAA Weather bands, and if you can't hear it on this one, it can't be heard! The AM tuning can be in 1 kHz fine steps (good for MEDFER reception, for example). This has got to be the AM DXer's choice, for certain. Don't know how the FM section (or other bands for that matter) compares with other radios (haven't tested it that way) but in side-by-side with a very good car radio on AM it heard a weak signal the car radio simply couldn't. This is one you buy for the AM performance anyway. It is a bit bulky - typical shortwave-set size (a bit smaller than a ream of paper) and heavy-ish due to the 4 D batteries, but this is one rig you can't do without if you are serious about this weak-signal AM thing. According to an online report from a user of this radio, this rig isn't particularly battery-efficient; the batteries supposedly don't last as long as one would expect for their size in this radio. The radio sports provisions to connect an external antenna. It goes for about $160 but is worth it in spades for it's outstanding AM performance. The sound supposedly has been optimized for talk radio, although a number of online reports have described the sound quality as being "muddy" or something to that effect. In your author's opinion, the articulation could be better. Despite this and the other rather minor drawbacks mentioned, overall, if there is one "Ultimate AM Radio", this is about as close as it gets!
The GE "Superadio(tm)" and its clones: There are several models of this venerable rig, the present one being the Superadio III(tm). With an 8 inch internal ferrite bar antenna it ought to have "Super" sensitivity on AM. However, reputedly quality control problems after Thompson Consumer Electronics bought out GE's division which made this radio have resulted in less-than-stellar performance. As it comes from the factory, it often needs a realignment - and then it will perform the way it should (very well, that is). Supposedly a properly-aligned SR III can outperform, by a slight margin, the highly-rated CC Radio(tm) above, sensitivity-wise. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to align a receiver (or can't be bothered, or don't have the equipment to do it properly). But, if you want a go at it, here's the mother lode of online info about this radio: The GE Superadio FAQ. It has been and remains a very popular DXer's rig and rightly so - as mentioned the sensitivity on AM is outstanding once the radio has been "tweaked" up to par. Being analog, the dial accuracy is typically poor, but can be improved (see the FAQ). This is another table radio, a bit bulky to be in the "portable" class but at $60 or less it is a worthwhile investment at least if you like to "tweak" things rather than plug-and-play. It is available from many sources including for example Wal-Mart but you should shop around for best price.
Select-A-Tenna(tm): This is the classic passive loop antenna for AM - it consists of nothing more than a loop of turns of wire about a foot in diameter and a variable tuner capacitor. There are no batteries or AC adaptor, no power source at all. You place it atop or alongside your radio and rotate it for best signal while also tuning it to the station your radio is tuned to. By inductive coupling, the signal it picks up is fed to the internal ferrite rod antenna of your AM radio (works only on AM and only if the radio you use it with has the ferrite core antenna - most do). Since it has a larger "capture area" (or "equivalent receiving aperture") than most internal ferrites do, it gets a stronger signal to your radio, without direct connection or power supply of any kind. All loops work in this way. This one is a favorite of many AM DXers. It does help pull in the weak ones and can turn a marginal radio into a DX machine. It is rather pricey at $60 especially when you can make the same thing at home for a fraction of the cost (but then you don't get the nice rugged plastic housing and dial). But it does work, although not so well with radios like the CC Radio(tm) which have a deeply-buried ferrite antenna which the loop has trouble coupling into. This one also comes in a version with a patch cord for just such radios, (those having an external antenna jack or screws) and a ferrite coupling loop model (this cuts down on noise but may not couple any better to a radio with a deeply-buried ferrite of it's own than the regular model does). Also there is an active (amplified) version ("Super Select-A-Tenna(tm)") which sells for about $190 and uses a 9 v battery, and is likely to perform better than the passive types. All of the Select-A-Tennas are available from C. Crane Inc. among others.
Radio Shack AM Loop Antenna: This new product is Tandy's answer to the Select-A-Tenna(tm); it is a good-looking unit...review pending
Kiwa Loop: review pending
LF Engineering E-Field Active Whip Antennas: review pending
The Promo Idea:
A business idea for Part 15 station operators: purchase the more inexpensive items in bulk and give them to the public free as a promotional campaign, allowing people to hear your station better and at the same time, obtain advertising revenue via promotion of a local business which pays to have it's logo printed on the items and advertisement broadcast on the station. For example, George Louvis of VillageRadio Montclair (1620 and 1640 AM, see listing) who originated this idea over 2 years ago, is considering doing this with either the Radio Shack 12-201 or the author's own design of active antenna (which was removed from the Review section until we can mass-produce it).
Copyright 1999 - 2001 JBS. All rights reserved. Reproduce with permission only. Trademarks are registered marks of their respective companies.