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CPC DX Test QSL Report KJJR 880 Whitefish, Montana
The CPC Chairman is slowly working through last year’s test reports. After completing my work, Joseph Miller, KJ8O, will design cards and send electronic QSLs in the coming weeks. Please be patient with him.
KJJR 880 DX TEST
It’s doubtful if anyone in the past thirty years has been personally responsible for arranging as many tests as a broadcaster & Alaskan DXer, Paul Walker. On January 8th, 2022, Paul leveraged a friendship with Chief Engineer Todd Clark to arrange for some transmitter maintenance at KJJR also to be used for a DX Test.
The test ran for two hours, starting at midnight local time and running until 2 AM. It was conducted at KJJR’s daytime power level of 10,000 watts. For many, it would provide the first realistic opportunity to log the state of Montana, and it didn’t disappoint.
The CPC would like to thank CE Todd Clark for his continued support of the DXing community.
Walt Salmaniw, canswl@..., was among the first to report the reception of the KJJR test from his post in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He utilized a Perseus SDR receiver and an unterminated NW Beverage antenna, some 750 feet in length. Some QRM from CHQT in Edmonton and KIXI in Seattle, but the sweeps cut through that like a hot knife through butter. Well done, Walt.
Tuomo Vesala, tuomo.vesala@..., used a Perseus SDR and a 2,800-foot Beverage antenna directed towards North America to log the test from his shack in Ivalo, North Finland, a distance of 4,113 miles. An amazing achievement! Now, all I need to do is convince about 30 of my neighbors to tear down their houses and move so that I can erect a similar antenna at my QTH! As the kids like to say, “I’m Jelly,” Tuomo.
Not to be outdone, Tore Vik, tvi2@..., also employed the combination of Perseus SDR (with JAGUAR software) and a 3,000-foot Beverage antenna to snag the KJJR test from a remotely-located monitoring post in Andoya, Norway. This reception was 3,928 miles from the station, yet the Morse Code IDs and sweep tones were an armchair copy. A truly impressive reception, Tore.
Closer to home, Milwaukee’s Tom Kirk, ymmot@..., used the bulletproof RFSpace Cloud-IQ SDR and a phased two-wire system to maximize the signal from Montana. He had a lot of competition from WCBS in New York and CKLQ but managed to pull out 1 kHz continuous tones, Morse Code IDs, and more.
Longtime CPC Committee member Paul Walker, alaskaradionerd@..., who helped to arrange the test, managed to hear it in McGarth, Alaska, without freezing to death! Paul often does his DXing standing in a field of snow with a portable radio and a large diameter FSL (Ferrite Sleeve Loop) antenna built by Gary DeBock. Imagine hearing a station at a distance of 1,847 miles with an Ultralight portable!
Steve Howe, showe@..., had convinced himself that his 30-year-old Sony ICF-2010 and Radio West loop antenna were not up to logging Montana from his home in Saint Albans, Vermont. Incredibly with powerhouse WCBS so close by. He was shocked to hear Morse Code IDs and sweep tones under the New York blowtorch starting at 0701 UTC. Never doubt a legend, Steve—and the Sony 2010 is certainly that.
The country total for KJJR continued to grow with a report from Kanngardarna Djura in the middle of Sweden. It’s a small village with red wooden houses, birch trees, and small lakes. It’s also the home of DXer Stefan Gustavsson, stefan.djura@..., who was thrilled to log Montana on 880. Stefan utilized a Perseus receiver and a 2,460-foot-long Beverage antenna. His reception at 4,390 miles was also an armchair copy. I don’t know about all of you, but I have a new thought when someone asks me if I’d like an “adult beverage.” Yes, please!
More fitting to my real estate holdings and budget, Stan Weisbeck, stanw@..., logged the test from Las Vegas, Nevada, on an XHDATA D-808 portable receiver. Stan took a few minutes out from enjoying his grandson’s birthday party to hear sweep tones and Morse Code IDs from Montana. A hot-rodded XHDATA D-808 graces my shack, too, thanks to the generosity of Gary DeBock. It’s a fantastic MW receiver.
Stan Weisbeck made a wise decision by trying for the test only briefly before returning to his grandson’s party. Family should always be our priority. But it could be argued that Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU made an even better decision. After looking at a map and listening to powerhouse WCBS from his home in Wolcott, CT, he decided to stay in bed! If someone ever decides to test on 650, I’ll do the same thing. WSM is unnullable by human technology from Alabama. Well played, Mr. Horzepa.
Sean Breazeal, talk2018@..., of Stansbury Park, Utah, live-streamed his reception of the KJJR test on YouTube. Using an RSPdx SDR, Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loop antenna, and SDR Console software on the RF side, Sean utilized QBS Studio to “broadcast” the stream to YouTube. You can watch and listen to the entire test at the link below:
It’s a brave new world, boys and girls!
Sal Dominianni tried his best to pull in the test. But his current shack is inside a ground-floor apartment in Richmond, KY. He’s utilizing a neighbor-friendly 50-foot-long wire but is blocked by nearby structures to the NW. Despite his obstacles, Sal manages to hear some impressive DX, including Canadians, Cubans, and more. Hang in there, Stan.
The DX Gods also shut out Ronald Musco. He lost a lot of sleep from his frosty locale in Windsor, CT. He heard some remnants of what may have been Morse Code at one point, but nothing he could claim as a good reception. Ronald has logged some impressive DX over the years, needing only Idaho to complete the lower 48 states.
Rolf Ronnberg, reor47@..., did much better with his remote SDR in Parkalompolo, Sweden. His recording had sweep tones coming through better than we heard in Alabama. This is despite a distance of 4,108 miles between transmitter and receiver. An impressive reception, sir.
Robert Wein, wienbob@..., provided a nine-minute-long recording of his reception from Albuquerque, NM. The test faded in and out a bit but was overall very clear. This was accomplished using a barefoot C Crane portable radio. KJJR shared the frequency with KRVN in Lexington, Nebraska, and KHAC in Tse Bonito, New Mexico. But the sweep tones and Morse cut through quickly.
Robert Ross, va3sw@..., has never failed an audiogram. He can hear a needle drop at 60 yards! True to form, he listened to the KJJR test from his shack in London, Ontario, Canada. He’s equipped with the Elad FDM-S2 SDR and a Wellbrook LNP Imperium loop antenna. Nice catch, Rob.
Robbie, challenger82901@..., checked in from Green River, Wyoming, to report he picked up the KJJR test on his barefoot DX-398 portable. He had some interference from KRDN in California but heard KJJR well enough to hear the voice announcements. Keep those reports coming in, Robbie.
Speaking of California, Rick Ferranti, remler@..., checked in from the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to report his reception of KJJR. 10kW Spanish language station KKMC in Gonzales, CA, gave him a fight, but his Wellbrook ALA-1530 loop and Ten-Tec RX-340 saved the day. Great catch, Rick.
Rob Keeney, rkeeneybbq@..., used the high-performance AirSpy HF+ Discovery and the Wellbrook ALA1530LNP antenna to record sweep tones, Morse Code IDs, and the telephone off-hook howler to nail down his reception from Big Sky country. His nemesis was WCBS, the blowtorch from NYC. He wanted to thank Todd Clark for the test personally. Happy to pass that along, Rob.
Per Ericsson, per.eriksson@... used a remote KiwiSDR that he built and maintained in Parkalompolo, Sweden, to log the test signals from Whitefish. The SDR is connected to a 3,000-foot-long Beverage antenna pointed toward North America. It is up about 15 feet in trees and runs through a forest so that elks won’t disturb it. The signal is evident. It is hard to imagine that the AM station is over 4,000 miles away. Hear for yourself at:
As best I can tell, the KiwiSDR remote site in Northern Sweden is a “club” operation, purchased and maintained by a group of MW enthusiasts who enjoy the low-noise location and remarkable antennas. It sounds like an idea that might also have merit here in the states.
KJJR was logged in yet another country, Finland. Per-Ole Stuntman, posteema@..., used the legendary JRC NRD525 receiver he purchased long ago from Universal Radio in the USA for his reception. It is connected to a 2,788-foot-long Beverage antenna directed towards the Western US. He heard the test relatively easily despite some QRM from CHQT in Edmonton. His listening post in Jakobstad, Finland, is 4,346 miles from Big Sky Country. What an achievement.
Paul Staupe, staupe@..., used a more modest Beverage antenna in Minneapolis for his reception. At 500 feet in length, it did a great job pulling in Morse Code IDs and sweep tones despite some bullying by WCBS. Paul didn’t have the correct termination dialed in, so NYC was also very loud. We can only dream of such antennas for those of us on city lots. Nice catch, Paul!
Good friend Patrick Martin, staupe@..., used his 370’ Beverage-On-The-Ground (BOG) antenna and a Drake R8 to put KJJR into his logbook. He noted their “very strong as expected” signal at his shack near Seaside, Oregon. Whitefish, Montana, is 450 miles East of his QTH. Well done, sir.
Wayne Heinen, N0POH, wayne@..., logged the test from his station in Aurora, Colorado (near Denver) under partially nulled KRVN. It came in well enough for Wayne to hear the opening voice announcement. This is how you roll when you’re the Chairman of the Board of the oldest Medium Wave DXing club in the world, The National Radio Club. It’s a relog for Wayne, but he’s never obtained a verification. Fear not, Wayne, it’s on the way.
Phil Chiello, Jr., pjchiellojr@..., of Elm Grove, WI, couldn’t copy any voice announcements during the test period, but the sweep tones and Morse Code came through loud and clear. He had his hands full with QRM: Sports talk from WKJG in Fort Wayne, IN, Coast To Coast talk from WPHM in Port Huron, MI, and an unidentified station playing pop music. His Sony 2010 portable was up to the task, as this great receiver usually is. Well done, Phil.
Arizona is in the chat with Mitch Plehn, KJ7CAT, itfcblue2002@..., pulling in the test using his AirSpy HF+ Discovery and the small but mighty YouLoop antenna. Despite blowtorch, KRVN out of Lexington, NB muscling in, Mitch could hear sweep tones and Morse Code IDs. If you’d like to see and listen to what it sounded like in Arizona, watch his MP4 video here:
Mike Jeziorski, mjeziorski@..., added Mexico to KJJR’s attempt to earn “DXCC” in a single night. We’ll need to get a ruling from the American Radio Relay League, but Todd Clark should at least get an honorable mention. He employed a Perseus SDR and a W6LVP loop oriented to favor the test. While weak, Mike's recording had clear Morse Code IDs several times in length. He notes that at night he typically hears KRVN and, on occasion, WCBS from his shack in Juriquilla, Queretaro, Mexico. At nearly 2,500 miles, this is a great catch, Mike.
Mike Booker, keval.mike@..., heard the sweep tones from his monitoring outpost in Toronto, Canada, just after 0201. This, despite the influence of the “800-pound gorilla, WCBS” nearby. I’ve DXed from Toronto on business trips and can vouch that NYC stations blast into the area. Nicely done, Mike.
Speaking of DXing from hotels, Martin Foltz happened to be staying in a hotel during the evening. Despite his efforts, local noise in the room prevented him from hearing the KJJR test. He managed to log KPLZ and an unidentified Spanish station on his Sony Walkman portable. If we can beg, beguile, or bribe Todd Clark into a future test, maybe Martin can be back home with the Hammarlund receiver and have better luck.
Mark Connelly, WA1ION, MarkWA1ION@..., somehow nullified WCBS well enough to hear sweep tones and Morse Code underneath. Mark had even better luck during the KJJR test on May 2, 2020. Listen to that remarkable clip here:
This is from his shack in South Yarmouth, MA, in FN41.
Super-DXer Mark DeLorenzo, midcapemarc@..., didn’t envoke a superhero catchphrase when he heard the KJJR test from his post in South Dennis, MA but instead a comical Marine. “Surprise! Surprise!” was all Mark could muster when he heard the sweep tones loud under WCBS. He had recorded the test audio using Total Recorder software and was doing playback the next day. The AirSpy HF+ Discovery and East/West Delta loop did the job. This is Montana #2 for Mark, with the other station being KGHL-790 in Billings back in 1968. Mark credited the sweep tones for his reception.
Larry Fravel, K8YYY, lfravel@..., heard only snippets of code under powerhouse WCBS. He was using the RSP1A SDR and a DXE loop antenna to try to null NY but could only claim the reception as “tentative” from his home in Shinnston, WV. Better luck next time, Larry.
Kraig Krist, KG4LAC, Kraig@..., had better luck from the shack in Manassas, VA. He used a WinRadio G33DDC SDR Excalibur Pro receiver with a Wellbrook ALA1530S+ Imperium loop antenna. Excellent job, Kraig.
Karl Jeter, jeterkarl@..., of Cumming, Georgia, used the Sony ICF-SW7600GR portable and a Kiwa loop antenna to pull in the KJJR test on January 8, 2022. He noted sweep tones, Morse Code, and more despite QRM from WCBS and Radio Progresso. This is Montana #4 for after over 50 years in the hobby! Congratulations, Karl.
Jonathan Ambarian, jsambarian@..., had ZERO trouble logging the 10,000-watt test tones from KJJR at his shack in Helena, MT, especially using excellent equipment. In this case, a Grundig Satellit 800 receiver with a longwire antenna. Jonathan mentioned that this was his first-ever DX test, which he heard about on the DX Central website.
Hopefully, Jonathan is now hooked on DX Tests and will send us recordings and reports from many more in the future.
Jon Pearkins, jon@..., near Edmonton, Canada, copied both the KJJR test and the KQKD test using a Sangean PR-D15 and a CCRadio 2E. This despite being in the backyard of CHQT Edmonton with their All News format. He was running both portables “barefoot,” using batteries to cut down on some interference from the electrical circuitry in his home.
Jim Solatie, jim.solatie@..., employed the “nuclear option” of medium wave DX equipment, a Perseus SDR, and a 3,280’ Beverage antenna to listen to the KJJR 880 test in Aihkiniemi, Lapland, North Finland. This is 250 miles North of the Arctic Circle. Lapland is the home of Santa Claus. Jim sent in a recording where KJJR sounded like a local. The voice announcement was crystal clear! And the views from the DX cabin aren’t bad either. Looking at the photos and listening to the KJJR test, I thought, “So this is what heaven looks like.”
Jim Renfrew, jim.renfrew@..., of Clarendon, New York, tried phasing to remove WCBS but was disappointed by the result due to an underperforming wire. Instead, he turned to his 600’ west wire to do the job. He copied Morse Code IDs, which were audible in his recording. This is Montana #3 for Jim. Previously, he logged KGHL 790 back in 1983 during a proof of performance test and KATL 770 in 1993. Glad we could help to provide a new one for you, Jim.
He was also treated to some nice relogs of country music from CKLQ and a Stevie Ray Vaughn song on KLRG. Sounds like a beautiful night at the radio dials.
James Niven, jniven@..., reported the DX Test was “Well heard into Austin, Texas” with CW at 07:00:55, followed by sweep tones which quickly punched through KRVN. James likewise expressed his gratitude to Todd Clark, Chief Engineer, for injecting our unique test material while maintaining the audio chain.
Vermont’s favorite son, Stephen Howe, showe@..., had a relatively easy time of it once he managed to null pest WCBS in NYC. The venerable Sony ICF-2010 portable was his weapon of choice, along with a Radio West amplified and tunable ferrite rod loop antenna. Well done, Stephen.
*Stephen’s recording, like many, included news clips on the death of Sidney Poitier, an acclaimed film director, actor, and diplomat. In 1963, he became the first African-American actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1974 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2009. He symbolized how far we’ve come as a nation striving to uphold the idea of “All men are created equal…” and just how far we have to go.
Harry Dence, N4HT, h.dence@..., copied the Morse Code IDs from KJJR from his home in Lexington, KY. According to Harry, it was a fight with WCBS booming into the Bluegrass State at 30 over S-9. CW really stands out to a long-time ham radio operator, so Dence used his Icom IC-7100 and a 6BTV vertical antenna to log the test. I listened to this recording with headphones, and the ID is present twice. Harry characterized it as “one step above an ESP reception.” Excellent work, sir.
Greg Harris, wdx9khy@..., a former US Navy Radioman, also overcame WCBS and other QRM to log the test. His shack is on the South side of Chicago, equipped with an Icom R75 and a Quantum QX Pro Loop. He heard sweep tones, the CW ID starting with the call for attention, VVV VVV VVV DE KJJR, and the 1 kHz continuous tones. This former Submarine Radioman RM1(SS) salutes you, sir.
Gote Lindstrom, gote.lindstrom@..., used an online KiwiSDR receiver to monitor the test from Walla Walla, WA. The remote SDR receiver is built and maintained by W7DP Walla Walla Valley Amateur Radio Club members. The recording sounded like a local, starting with the end of the IRCA theme song, “Hands Across the Sea,” then transitioning into CW IDs, and the closing announcement as the test ended…then into a station ID and news. You can even hear the station power down. Thanks for sending this along, Gote.
Fred Schroyer, ibfreditor@..., heard the test right away from his shack in Waynesburg, PA. He was using an SDR. He reported that WCBS was a bit weaker than usual at his location, allowing him to “see” the slower speed CW IDs in the waterfall. He also heard sweep tones and the telephone off-hook sounder. He had listened to the earlier KJJR test as well.
Eric Fretters-Walp, fettwalps@..., employed the Eton Elite receiver and an AN-100 indoor loop antenna to hear the test from his monitoring post in Lake Stevens, WA. Despite some QRM from KIXI, in the form of oldies music, Eric could copy code, sweeps, and even some of the synthesizer music we included in the test. You can watch a video of his reception at the link below:
Dene Lynneberg, dlynneberg@..., utilized a remote KiwiSDR online in Duvall, Washington, to copy the test. A 40-meter dipole antenna feeds the receiver. Despite some QRM from KIXI, the test signals were loud and clear. Dene makes his home in Pukerua Bay, New Zealand, often DXing using stateside SDR receivers.
Checking in from Grant’s Pass, Oregon was Dave Aichelman, N7NZH, daiche@...; he logged the test using a WinRadio G33DDC SDR and a Wellbrook 1530LN loop aimed towards the East. His recording included CW IDs, sweep tones, telephone off-hook sounders, and a bit of voice announcement by our female “virtual announcer.” Well done, Dave.
Darren Hennig, VE4VE, dhennig2@..., tackled the KJJR test using an Elad Duor SDR and a Hexagonal loop antenna fed with the Wellbrook ALA-100LN-M. Quite a bit of interference from CKLQ in Brandon, MB, about 125 miles away. However, the sweeps, telephone off-hook howler, and Morse pounded into Winnipeg regardless. Seven hundred eighty-six miles is a nice catch.
During the test, Darren also heard WCBS, NY, KVRN, WRFD, and KLRG—not a bad haul at all.
Sherwood, OR DXer Dan Riordan, KD7WRJ, kd7wrj@..., logged the test over the objections of semi-local KWIP in Dallas, OR, who was providing an objection. Their Ranchero SS music program can make things difficult on 880. Dan still managed to get great sweep tones and telephone off-hook sounder recording. Riordan opted for the high-performance Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR and a Palomar loop antenna for his success.
Yet another country made it into the log of Todd Clark and KJJR during the test, this one from Austria. DXer Christopher Ratzer, ratzer@..., has logged 41 US states from his location. Using a 650’ Beverage antenna and a WinRadio G33DDC SDR, he confirmed the carrier offset of KJJR exactly and sent along a screenshot of the result. Identifying stations using their exact carrier offsets is a big part of the hobby in Europe but is rarely used in the United States. This distance is 5,093 miles, where advanced techniques like this prove essential to put new stations into the logbook. Well done, Christopher.
The legendary Drake R8 receiver and a Quantum QX Pro Loop provided Christos Rigas, paokara60@..., a verification of the KJJR test. He logged it from his shack in Wood Dale, Illinois, sending in a recording of the Morse Code IDs tucked underneath the always-present WCBS signal.
Carl Dabeisein, K0SBV, ckdabel@..., copied the KJJR test “right off the bat” from his monitoring station in Maple Grove, MN. His Icom R-75 and 15’ X 32’ Flag antenna were more than a match from the QRM from WCBS and KRVN.
Craig Barnes, bevdxer@..., used one of my favorite portable receivers, the XHData D-808 “barefoot,” to pull in Sweep tones, Morse Code, and more in the null of KRVN. Surprisingly, it gave him a deeper null than he could achieve with the Elad FDM-S2 SDR and Wellbrook ALA-1530LN with a rotor. That’s no shock to those who use portables to DX daily. You can rotate and tilt them in 3D space, often achieving nulls that would be difficult on a fixed antenna. I’ve often wondered about mounting a Wellbrook loop on an AZ/EL rotor, such as those used for amateur radio satellite communications, to see if similar results could be achieved. All you need is time and money. I have neither.
In Seattle, Bruce Portzer, portzerbt@..., needed more than an excellent portable to log the KJJR test from his shack. It sits squarely in the shadow of KIXI, a Mercer Island transmitter just seven miles away. Bruce found it necessary to use a phasing unit to reduce its signal and pull KJJR out of a mix of other stations, including CHQT and KWIP.
Portzer uses a Perseus SDR with JAGUAR software and a pair of crossed Delta loops measuring 40’ X 12’. In this age of crowded bands, IBOC, and switching power supply QRM, we must embrace every available tool and technique. DXers like Bruce are leading the way.
Bob Galerstein, W2VGD, bobgale@..., logged the KJJR test (again) after successfully grabbing it in 2020. He reports it weaker overall but employed a Drake R8B, a Gerry Thomas Quantum Phaser, and an array of antennas for the reception. WCBS tried its best to rain out the party, but Bob had it beat this time.
No accolade could do justice to the accomplishments of Bjarne Mjelde, bjarne.mjelde@..., who logged the KJJR test quickly from his remote SDR sites in Arctic Norway. Even at a distance of 4,009 miles, you could copy the opening test voice announcement. KJJR was a new station in the logbook for Bjarne, which must be rare these days. Glad to be a small part of helping him put another notch in his gunbelt.
Mjelde utilizes a Perseus SDR and dual, staggered 1,115’ Beverage antennas to capture this incredible DX from the frozen wasteland.
Bill Coury, N8UUP employed the under-appreciated MLA-30 loop antenna at 12’ into an SDRPlay SDR to log the test. The distance between Whitefish and his shack in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was 1,540 miles. Great DX indeed. In his recording, WCBS sounded like a local, just booming in.
Brian Dominguez, briandominguez515@..., in Dalton, Georgia, had two nemeses to contend with. WCBS and his neighbor’s plasma TV! He finally found a null deep enough to allow reception of the Morse Code IDs from KJJR. His rig is the Tecsun PL-398BT, which is a hot little number.
Andrew Brade, andrew.brade@..., reported, “no joy” from his listening station in the United Kingdom. He could not coax it past the monster signal roaring off the East Coast in the form of WCBS. TO his knowledge, no one in the UK or Ireland managed it either. Better luck next time, Andrew.
Last season’s DX Tests were very popular with listeners worldwide. Reports poured in, overwhelming the volunteers here in the CPC. I’d like to thank those who were considerate and patiently waited many months for a reply. Our focus is always on scheduling more tests, not sending out verifications. These can and must wait for the Summer months sometimes.
Hoping that the 2022-2023 season allows us to bring you other rare targets to chase, including more daytimers which are always fun to hear. Thanks again to Chief Engineer Todd Clark, and the owners of KJJR for this widely heard test. And to Paul Walker for working his magic to arrange it.
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