AM Frequency of the week: 1520
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Thread: AM Frequency of the week: 1520

  1. #1
    cyberdad's Avatar
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    AM Frequency of the week: 1520

    Up one position as our journey to the top of the dial continues. This week, we stop at a frequency where I spent a lot of time in my college days, 1520. That was then, this is now. So what are you hearing these days whey your radio lands at the 1520 spot?

    Daytime here is a weak WLUV from Loves Park, IL. 500 watts ND from about 40 miles west of me. This little station is nothing if not consistent. They've been running a country format for at least 50 years.

    At night, WLUV goes to 12.5 watts (that's right, twelve and a HALF), and disappears. What's left is a mix of weak signals with KOKC most likely to be on top, but not always. The next most likely station to emerge is KRHW from Sikeston, MO. 1600 watts with a "pencil thin" north-south pattern. I've also heard KOLM from Rochester, MN a few times around sunset.

    Back in it's top 40 "glory days", as posted previously, I listened to KOMA quite a bit while away at school in Iowa. But trying to listen when I was back at home was a challenge. KOMA was usually alone on 1520, but got routinely stomped on by the much stronger signals from WLAC and WCKY. The exception was Sunday nights when the two adjacent channel pests signed off at midnight and left KOMA "in the clear" and very listenable until Dale Weeba signed the station off at 2am.
    Owner of a radio receiver

  2. #2
    WKBW/WWKB 1520 did come in occasionally, sometimes quite strong, despite the engineer's claims that it had to go completely around the world to get to SE MI and I think David probably encountered this explanation when hearing the station near Cleveland. I don't buy it. It's high angle skywave, and it usually came in better in the Summer and during Auroral events when they started to recover. WTTO came on the air from Toledo, which came in at Night, because the Day site facility in Michigan went South to protect WYNZ/WYFC Ypsilanti, which could be heard in SE MI in the Daytime, before that facility moved to 990. Also I would hear the WSVL Shelbyville, Indiana old Class B and the Sikeston, Missouri 1520 facilities at times. At Sunset, I would often hear KOMA before pattern change. While I heard WMLM St. Louis, MI quite well on 1540 Daytime only, when it went to Class B on 1520 with a DA, I rarely heard it. WKJR Muskegon Heights, MI, which was 10000 watts Day with 3 towers and 1000 watts Night with 9 towers, was rarely heard. WKJR was once coowned with WCKY 1530 by Pathfinder. The story was that you could go to the South part of the WKJR 9 tower transmitting site at Night and hear WCKY just fine.
    Last edited by Schroedingers Cat; 02-12-2017 at 11:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Years ago, KOMA (now KOKC) was a nighttime regular. At night in eastern Iowa KOKC is not there as often, replaced instead on many nights by KRHW from Sikeston, MO. Daytime, nothing on 1520, maybe a hint of KOLM Rochester, MN.

  4. #4
    In the near north Chicago burbs I hear virtually nothing during the day on 1520. At night it's a weak KOKC with Sikeston, Mo fighting it out. In the KOMA days OKC came in considerably better than it does now. WKBW was rare back in the day.

  5. #5
    From Reynoldsburg, Ohio, this is a pretty empty frequency.
    Nothing days, and very little at night. I might have heard WKBW at some point, but basically 1520 at night is slop from WLAC and little else next to WCKY from down the road in Cincinnati.

  6. #6
    KOMA was wonderful in its day - made DX'ers out of a lot of teenagers around Texas and surrounding states at night. A few of us extended our reach to WLS and even WABC. There was a time in the early 00's that they were oldies - even daytime Dallas had good reception with a longer than normal whip antenna on my card. Pity they went talk.

  7. #7

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    The frequency has treated me pretty good here, in DX semi-retirement, Northeast PA.

    For the longest while, there was no 1520 daytime DX here. From the roof of our previous house you could see WMBT's 1530 tower, three miles to the north.
    One January 8th, after a huge overnight nor-easter, WMBT was off the air. I guess their satellite dish got buried ... or there was no way for anyone to get up that mountain to the studios. In their absence that day I got WTRI from Maryland; not even SSS yet. (Also managed a log of WJIC NJ, but that's on the '1510' thread)
    WMBT Shenandoah has been dark for over ten years now. So idle and casual sunsets have proffered results such as WTHE from Long Island, WCHE West Chester PA, and WARR from NC.
    I only have WTHE and WTRI taped.
    WWKBW is the nighttime occupant on 1520. I believe it was they who claimed to've reached 11 states and 36 provinces at night. I believe it. One early SSS -- still very much daylight -- they were so loud and clear during a paint job I was doing in St. Clair, six miles south of me, that I truly thought Pottsville had put on a new radio station! There was WPPA 1360 .... WPAM 1450 ... and .... huh? KB was louder than both those locals!

    * * * * * *

    Triple irony here, from the JFK Airport-area DX days .....

    1) I was technically the worst of the four DXers who hung out there. Cavaseno, Lamerson and Javetski all had better radios plus were more scheduled and knowledgeable than I was. Yet, all of us, including caboose Green here, still wound up hearing 46 of the 50 states from there. And the missing four states between the four of us differed.

    2) One serendipitous MM at around 3:30, I found KB off. And KOMA must've been off, too. In came a pop music station calling itself 'kim' -- real faint. They gave one time check as being around 12:30, and weather for some place in Oregon. Well, the logbook was good enough for me -- KYMN Oregon City. Lol -- Ol' One Ear here was the only one of the four DXers who ever heard Oregon.

    3) At that very time .... that very MM .... Cavaseno was trying to ID a station saying 'The A-B-C'. Not 'ABC' but 'theee ABC'. He was befuddled, not knowing until a few days later -- and he got a QSL out of them, too -- that he was hearing 2NA from New Castle Australia!
    On 1510. He and I lived four blocks' aparts .... and were riveted just one frequency away. That must have been one incredible night for AM reception.
    Vinny never heard Oregon. And I don't think it's necessary to say I never heard Australia on AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbrucecarter5 View Post
    KOMA was wonderful in its day - made DX'ers out of a lot of teenagers around Texas and surrounding states at night.
    You did not listen much. Their coverage... and sales... zone was much more than Texas and OK.

    Typical movie ads would give openings of films with lists like "Jamestown (SD), Sheridan (WY), Raton (NM) and Livingston (MT)." with the theatre name. Even more fun were the ads for touring rock and roll shows (such as the one Buddy Holly died while doing) that would give dates in different cities all around the area, from Lamar, Colorado to Yankton, SD, to Pampa, TX or Guymon, OK.

    I can still remember those ads today. I was always a geography buff, so I'd feel bad if I did not know where any of the cites were located.
    www.americanradiohistory.com
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  9. #9
    Interesting frequency. From Huntsville, AL at night is WWKB or KOKC. Once in a while in evening have picked up the heterodyne and broadcast of 1521 in Saudi Arabia when the conditions were right and they are on 2,000,000 watts of directional power. Critical hours in A.M. have been WDSL or other regionals.

  10. #10

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    True on those other states, Rube and David.

    Every so often, a gal does a show on the great internet nostalgia station Top Shelf Oldies. She's from Kansas .... record collector ... wonderful voice. She should be on more often.

    I had asked in their chat what station she grew up enjoying as a teen in her tornado cellar. There couldn't have been too many faithful Top 40 signals in Kansas back then.

    Without hesitation, she said, in effect, that 'the main one was KOMA'.

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