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Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA]

Established: January, 1958  an ARRL Affiliated Club since 1961

"Whiskey 8 Quack Quack Quack"

Meets at: James P. Capitan Center, Lower Level; 149 E. Corunna Ave.; Corunna, MI 48817

Club station located in the James P. Capitan Center - Lower Level.
Grid Square EN72wx   Latitude: 42.9819 N   Longitude: -84.1164 W   Alitude: 760 ft.



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BCB Basics - DXing the 'clear-channel' and 'shared channel' giants.

Using your 'communications skills' to listen to the AM broadcast band [BCB] can be a fun experience. The following method will allow you to start gaining an understanding of propagation characteristics and enjoy just listening to signals. Many enjoy DXing the BCB and then add shortwave listening [SWL] experience. Individuals find like minded people and start to form groups and clubs. The internet allows people in a wide geographical area to connect and carry on these specific hobbies. Many people find the 'radio listening hooby' their only interest. A radio ham and his equipment can quickly start a concentrated examination of these approaches to these exciting hobby areas. Typically regional politics, local emergencies and some intensive propaganda campaigns make use of the broadcast band as there primary media outlet which you can directly follow.

The 'local' AM stations play a leading role in reporting much of the news and sports entertainment in a 'local' area. For a DX'er, these stations represent a great source of firsthand news even better than short-wave bands. The abilty to 'hear them' is the key. A good communications receiver and a little knowledge can get you started on this area of interest. Your abilities will depend on what skills and equipment you choose to use.

The hobby can be expanded in listening to some foreign stations (near border stations) as your skill set and interests start to branch out. During the daylight hours, local staions will fill the band, but in the 'dark hours' things start getting interesting for DX'ing {stations further away}. Separating 'local stations' on a tuned frequency can be accomplished with directional systems. Prime DX'ing hours seem (for me) to be between 2:00 AM to 6:00 or 7:00 AM. The sensitivity and selectivity of a good communication reciever allow for great listening. Using special directional antennas and electronic filtering (Phasing and noise cancelling - see MFJ/DX Engineering) with multiple antennas will increase your capabilities. Getting started you should target your listening to the "giants of the AM band" - they usually have 50,000 watt transmitters. There are two types of these giants, the 'clear channel' stations (one major station on these frequencies in the U.S.) and the 'Shared Channel' stations (more than one station with many others being daylight only on a shared frequency ~ leaving a single station on the frequency at night. To assist your search see the table below (list is NOT all inclusive). See the link after the 'Shared Channel Station List' For FCC assignments.

Clear Channel Station List ~ USA

You can use online caluclators for bearing and distance from your specific location to the latitude/longitude values to determine headings and distance. If you have your location, try putting in the Lat/Long from table to this site: Indo Distance Calculator ~ a simple distance calculator site. It gives distance with heading and reverse heading.

Call SignLocationLatitudeLongitudeFrequency (kHz)
KFILos Angeles, CAN 33 52' 48"W 118 00' 12"640
WSMNashville, TNN 35 59' 50"W 86 47' 32"650
WNBCNew York, NYN 40 51' 35"W 73 47' 09"660
  WBAB/WFAA  Fort Worth, TXN 32 56' 40"W 96 59' 26"820
WCCOMinneapolis, MNN 45 10' 40"W 93 20' 55"830
WHASLouisville , KYN 38 15' 40"W 85 25' 40"840
WWLNew Orleans, LAN 29 50' 14"W 90 07' 55"870
WHODes Moines, IAN 41 39' 12"W 93 20' 56"1040
KSL  Salt Lake City, UT  N 40 46' 46"W 112 05' 56"1160
WOAI San Antonio, TXN 29 16' 03"W 98 16' 28"1200

 

Try tuning to frequency during daylight hours. Depending on distance you may or may not hear the station. Try again after dark and you should start to hear longer and longer distances. Be advised results vary greatly with solar sunspot activity.

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Shared Channel Station List ~ USA

Call SignLocationLatitudeLongitudeFrequency (kHz)
WMAQChicago, ILN 41 56' 01"W 88 04' 23"670
WLW     Cincinnati, OH    N 39 21' 11"W 84 19' 30"700
WGNChicago, ILN 42 00' 42"W 88 02' 07"720
WSBAtlanta, GAN 33 50' 43"W 84 15' 12"750
WJRDetroit,MIN 42 10' 07"W 83 13' 00"760
WABCNew York, NYN 40 52' 50"W 74 04' 12"770
WBBMChicago, ILN 41 59' 32"W 88 01' 36"780
KGOSan Francisco, CAN 37 31' 39"W 122 06' 05"810
WCBSNew York, NYN 41 51' 35"W 73 47' 09"780
WLSChicago, ILN 41 33' 21"W 87 50' 54"890
KDKAPittsburg, PAN 40 33' 25"W 79 57' 08"1020
WBZBoston, MAN 42 16' 41"W 70 52' 36"1030
  WYW/WWWE  Clevland, OHN 41 16' 50"W 81 37' 22"1100
KMOXSt. Louis, MON 38 43' 20"W 90 03' 16"1120
WHAMRochester, NYN 43 04' 55"W 77 43' 30"1180
 WCAU  Philadelphia, PA N 39 58' 46"W 74 59' 13"1210

 

Use these to check out your phasing and noise cancelling equipment. Also great to use with a K9LAY directional antenna as your 'main' antenna. This will start to give you some good capability tryouts for your equipment. Enjoy your AM band experiences and good luck. You can then gain better daytime reception of many other stations. My experience is that the directional phasing and noise cancelling works okay on the BCB. Let us know your results with a quick email !

A usefull site for AM station information is: FCC List of AM License Classes. Also a 'general query page for AM stations is at: FCC AM Query Page.

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Some Other Giants Station List ~ non-USA

Lets try for some 'giant' stations in North America, but outside the United States (mostly). {We are working to verify current standings on the below information - January, 2019.}

Call SignLocationLatitudeLongitudeFrequency (kHz)
CBKRegina, SaskatchewanN 50 40' 48"W 105 26' 48"540
CKGMMontreal, QuebecN 45 17' 43.08"W 73 43' 18.12"690
  XEX  Mexico City, MexicoN 19 21' 54.18" W 98 57' 27.73" 730
CBZMToronto, Ontario N 43.6489  W 79.3817 740
CKLWWindsor, OntarioN 42.0569W 83.0028800
XEROKCiudad Juarez, MexicoN 31 41' 44"W 106 23' 01"800
CJBCToronto, OntarioN 43 34' 30"W 79 49' 03" 860
XEWMexico City, MexicoN 19 21' 54.18"W 98 57' 27.73"900
CINW  Montreal, Quebec  N 45 23' 34.08"W 73 41' 53.16"940
XEQ  Mexico City, Mexico  N 19 21' 36.78" W 98 59' 31.9"940
CBWWinnipeg, ManittobaN 49 50' 10"W 97 30' 46"990
CFRB  Toronto, Ontario  N 43 30' 39.67"W 79 37' 48.07"1010
{VOA}  Marathon Key, FL [Inside US] N 24 41' 58"W 81 05' 19"1180
CBEF  Windsor, Ontario  N 42 12' 56"W 82 55' 15"1550
XERF  Cuidad Acuna, Mexico  N 29 20' 52"W 101 01' 55"1570

I know we are not supposed to use direct links to Wikipedia, so copy and past this link to look at "clear channel" stations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear-channel_station .

 

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