CPC DX Test QSL Report WWKY 990 and WMST 1150- Dual Test DX From Kentucky
My apologies for the lengthy delay in verifying this season’s DX Test receptions. The fault is mine. The rest of the CPC, including Joseph, Paul, and George, have all volunteered to take this off my plate. Now that I’ve completed listening to all the recordings and compiling a list of verified receptions, Joseph Miller, KJ8O, will design cards and send out electronic QSLs in the coming weeks. Please be patient with him.
This is the first report. I hope to finish those for KJJR, KQKD, and WCGA tomorrow.
WWKY 990 Winchester, KY & WMST 1150 Mount Sterling, KY DUAL-DX TEST
One of my favorite tests in recent years was conducted by the owner of the stations, Hays McMakin. After an exhausting schedule of broadcasting high school basketball playoffs in Kentucky, which involves a lot of travel and late night, Hays agreed to stay up late to offer a rare chance to log new stations from the Bluegrass state.
These particular tests were arranged by Harry Dence, who went to bat for the entire hobby. Without DX’ers willing to leverage their local contacts, most DX tests would never happen. Thanks so much, Harry!
Wayne Heinen, N0POH, amlog@..., managed to null posts KRKS just five miles west of his QTH in Colorado and CBW in Winnipeg to snag WWKY on 990 from Kentucky. Including a great recording of three minutes of rock-solid Morse Code IDs from the station.
Walt Salmaniw, canswl@..., also managed to log WWKY 990 from his home in Masset in SW Ohio using his Perseus SDR and ALA-100LN antenna.
Vince Cavaseno, vince48@..., logged WWKY 990 “barefoot” on his CCRadio Plus in Brookline, MA, with sweep tones. No joy with WMST, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.
Vasiliy Lazarev, lazarevvasiliy3@... in Stavropolsky raion, Russia, used an online Kiwi SDR owned by Christopher Smolinksi, W3HFU in Westmister, MD to log the test. Chris’s SDR is not only online for all to use. But it’s also equipped with a 500-foot beverage antenna. Congratulations to both Vasiliy and Chris for logging the station from Maryland.
Tom Jasinski, jasinskitom4@... in Joliet, IL, managed to snag both WMST 1150 & WWKY on 990. It was nicely done, Tom!
Timmy Harvath, DX101D@... in Clarksburg, WV, logged both stations using a PL-330 portable. Timmy sent in an excellent MP4 video recording of his receptions. Could you keep them coming? I love to hear reports from Mothman Country!
Sylvain Naud, esnaud@..., used sweep tones to his advantage to log both stations from his DX shack in Portneuf, QC, Canada, snagging the first international test reception.
Steve Howe, showe@... in Saint Albans, Vermont, also managed to log both tests to add two new stations to his logbook. This, despite a lot of QRM from CKOC, making it challenging to pull WMST 1150 out of the noise. In the end, Morse Code, sweeps, and the sound of a landline telephone in off-hook condition made it through. For Paul Walker and our other younger DX’ers, remind me to explain what the term “off the hook” means to you. Or Google it. Get off my lawn!
* Steve, we could use your help in arranging a DX Test with a station in Vermont. Please contact me and let me know if you have any contacts that could help.
Not everyone was as fortunate as Steve. Stephanie Battaglino, in Palm Desert, CA, decided to sit this one out due to the high winds at her location. She wanted to try for it but didn’t want to chance losing one of her loop antennas. You’ll get them next time.
*Stephanie, we’re also looking to line up a couple of stations to test from California in the fall. Please reach out to me if you have any leads for us!
Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, stanzepa@... logged WMST 1150 quickly on his trusty Icom IC-R8600 receiver from Wolcott, CT. WWKY was a no-go despite a lot of attempts using four different antennas. WNTY 990 is only 4 miles from Stan’s shack, making it a long shot at best. Still a new station in the log for Stan—so well done!
James C. Reda, jreda@... of Beaver Falls, PA (Shout out to the home of Broadway Joe! Roll Tide!) sent in dynamite recordings of both WWKY and WMST. He uses a Sony ICF SW7600GR portable for his DXing. This is an underrated portable capable of excellent receptions.
Russ Lay, russlay@... of Nags Head, NC, used the impressive Eton 850 with the rotatable MW loopstick antenna to log both stations. Lots of QRM and noise, but the sweep tones, phone off-hook, and CW cut through everything to be heard in both recordings. Thanks for sending those in, Russ. Nice catches!
Ronald Musco, ronaldjmusco@..., used the legendary R-390A to snag both stations from the Bluegrass in Poquonock, CT. Ronald is a former CPC Chairman, so he understands what is involved in setting up these tests. He passed along his sincere thanks to both owner/engineer Hays McMakin and Harry Dence for making these tests possible. We’re grateful for Ronald’s years of service to the hobby. His DX Tests helped put many new ones in my logbook. Happy to be a small part of returning the favor.
It was a good night for DX’ers named Ronald. Powder Springs, Georgia’s listening legend Ronald Martin, ronaldbmartin@..., also heard both tests on a Radiowow R-108. He had some trouble from WAKM in Memphis logging WWKY, but the CW was audible underneath in his recording. Thank you for two great recordings and a clear, concise report.
Rob Ross, VA3SW, va3sw@... in London, Ontario, Canada, but both stations into his logbook. WWKY 990 was a new station for Rob, while WMST was an always welcome relog from Kentucky. Mr. Ross is rocking some top-of-the-line gear with an Elad FDM-S2 SDR receiver and a Wellbrook ALA-1530 Imperium loop making the magic happen.
And Rob Keeney, rkeeneybbq@..., reported both stations were “blasting into his QTH in West Union, SC.” Rob can hear a pin drop from his shack, so these loggings came as no surprise.
Rik, farmerik@... in CT, used a PL-368 along with a beverage-on-the-ground antenna to log WMST 1150 but had no joy hearing WWKY on 990.
Rick Dau, drummer1965us@..., added two new ones to his already impressive logbook. Living in South Omaha, Nebraska, he’s heard nearly every station on 1150. He quickly heard WWKY’s Morse Code IDs despite interference from CBW. And then he struggled a bit more with QRM from KSAL to pull in WMST. Rick uses a Kenwood R-5000 and a Quantum DX Pro Loop. (I always wanted one of those Quantum loops!)
Rich Line, richardrradio57@..., in Sterling Heights, Michigan, employed the consistently effective WinRadio WR-G31DDC and a 40 Meter Delta Loop antenna to snag both stations. Rich was surprised by the signals' strength, especially from WWKY 990. Nice catches, Rich.
Kostiantyn Pravotorov, kostiantynpravotorov80@... in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, used a KiwiSDR near the stations in Lexington, KY, to log both tests. These online SDRs provide an opportunity for DX’ers in other parts of the world to hear tests that would otherwise be impossible due to antenna restrictions, conditions, etc.
Phillip Chiello, Jr., pjchiellojr@... of Elm Grove, WI, used one of the top portables of all time, the Sony ICF-2010 “barefoot,” to log both stations from his home near Milwaukee. He sent along two crystal clear recordings. You could even hear the singing jingles for both stations in the recording. What a treat to listen to. Well done, sir.
Peter Laws, N5UWY, plaws0@... in Norman, logged WMST on 1150 with CW overcoming the pest from Kansas running “Art Bell-Somewhere in Time” programming. But had no joy with WWKY due to QRM from nearby KTOK 1000 on the next channel. In addition to his exploits on MW, Peter is an impressive ham with nearly every award that amateur radio offers to his credit.
Paul Staupe, W0AD, staupe@..., does his DXing from Minnetonka, MN. He put great equipment and skill to work to log both stations despite a lot of QRM from nearby WHBY in Kimberly, WI. Paul employed an AirSpy HF+ Discovery SDR (top performer that can outperform a Drake R8B) and a 500’ long SE Beverage antenna to snag the Kentucky duo.
*If you want to try your hand at SDR technology and want a receiver that will compete head-to-head with Perseus, Elad, etc., you cannot beat the AirSpy HF+ Discovery. It’s under $170 right now at: https://v3.airspy.us
Chris Rigas, paokara66@..., of Wood Dale, IL, heard both stations near his shack in the Chicago area. WWKY 990 was battling it with CBW but winning! While WMST 1150 was mixing it up with WHBY and holding its own. WMST was an ATNO (All Time New One) in the log for Chris. Congratulations.
MIke Gorniak, Radionorthstar@..., reported both stations were strong in East Central Minnesota. Sweeps and Morse Code broke through the QRM. Mike likes a more leisurely approach to the hobby, doing his DXing from the kitchen table using the top-notch CC Radio 3. Mike is about having fun in the pursuit without sweating the small stuff. A good lesson for the rest of us, Mike. You don’t need an antenna farm or CIA-worthy equipment rack to hear great DX.
Master DX’er Nigel Pimblett, nige2730@..., may operate a listening post for the Candian Security Intelligence Service! He certainly could with his great location in Dunmore, Alberta, Canada, and the impressive list of equipment he uses. Nigel has logged just four Kentucky stations in over 40 years of DXing but added two more with these tests. He used a Perseus SDR and a phased Array of Wellbrook loops to put them into the log book. Nigel would tell us more about how he does it, but then he’d have to kill us.
Pimblett also logged Cuba, XECL, and KRSL during the test period. Sounds like a great night.
John Johnson, John_Johnson@... of Mesa, Arizona, couldn’t pull WWKY 990 out. Blowtorch XECL was too much. But he did manage to snag WMST 1150 with the tone, codes, and sweeps despite some QRM from KEIB. His semi-local KCKY seemed to be off the air during the test in a nice bit of luck! He nicely included a recording and photo of what the sweep tones looked like on his Perseus SDR.
Legendary UK DX’er Steve Whitt of Clashmore, Scotland, reported a “very poor night” for North American signals during the test. Nothing from the USA except for a few regular 50 kW stations. Good news to those in the Old World, Hays McMakin has already hinted that he has some additional maintenance coming up in the fall, so another test is possible. Stay tuned.
Mike Booker, keval.mike@..., of the most diverse city in North America, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reported Morse Code IDs, sweep tones, and more under CBW on 900 kHz to add WWKY to his log. But 800lb gorilla CKOC proved too much to allow reception of WMST. Nice catch, Mike.
The “other” Mike B, Mike Bugai of Enfield, CT, mbuga46@... logged the Kentucky Duo with Morse Code IDs copied on both stations. Mike mentioned, "I haven’t stayed up late for a DX Test in decades. I guess I picked a good one to lose sleep over!”
Martin Foltz, martinfoltz@..., of Sarasota, Florida, battled QRM from Cuba to log WWKY on 990. He also used one of my favorites, a Sony SRF-M37W, to pull in both stations. Martin sent along four great recordings to document his great catches.
Cuba also gave CPC Chairman Les Rayburn, N1LF, les@..., some difficulty with WMKY, but with some phasing, I could put both stations in the logbook for two new catches. For some reason, Kentucky can be tough to hear from Alabama. Thanks to Hayes and Harry for the new ones!
Mark Connelly, WA1ION, MarkWA1ION@... in Cape Cod, MA, seems to hear everything from his seaside perch. No surprise that he managed to log not only both tests but even to listen to the singing jingle for WMST. This is despite some competition from WDXC and WWDJ. Tip of the hat to you, sir.
Mark Garrett, KA9SZX, ka9szx@..., is another fortunate DX’er who managed to log both stations from Kentucky from his shack in Macomb, IL. Mark used a Radio Shack DX-440 with its internal antenna to null QRM from both KCPS and CBW to turn the trick.
Mark DeLorenzo, midcapemarc@... of South Dennis, MA, logged WWKY 990 under both WNTP and WDCX. He thanked the DX Gods for the sweep tones, which did the trick. This is KY station #12 for Mark. He notes that the Bluegrass State is brutal to hear, except WHAS 840. We agree!
Linda Brodsky, zekesgm@..., “bagged ‘em both!” from her home in Maiverne, NY. She used a CC Crane Skywave SSB portable and even managed to record the jingle! The CC Crane Skywave is my “portable of choice” for some great SSS DX when walking the dogs. It’s put dozens of new stations in the log. Highly recommended.
Thanks for the great recordings, Linda.
Kiv Zichi, radioguy73@..., logged the test from his listening post in Willamston, MI using an RSPdx SDR receiver, +ANC-4 for noise reduction, and a random wire. He used I/Q recordings to record the test and could play it back later to hear both stations. He sent in great recordings and this screenshot of WWKY.
Kraig Krist, KG4LAC, Kraig@..., described 990 kHz as being “similar to a graveyard frequency” at his location in Manassas, VA. He battled interference from WTLN in Orlando, WMNL in Knoxville, and even the Cuban national anthem to add WWKY to his log. Having some great gear in the form of a WinRadio G33DDC SDR and a Wellbrook ALA1530S+ Imperium loop antenna made sure he would come out on top. You can hear for yourself at the links below:
0000:43 Morse code. Brief audio
0003:28 bubble up tones. Brief audio
DX’er Karl Forth, koolmotor@..., of Chicago, did even better. He successfully logged the pair of Kentucky stations during the test. Fortunately for Karl, he had less QRM to deal with than Kraig faced in Virginia. Like real estate, DXing is all about location, location, location!
John Hanna, W9HC, kc9hzc@..., included two of the best recordings received by the CPC for the test. You can make out the opening announcement. He logged both stations but noted that WWKY 990 was a challenge due to the blowtorch station, WMVP on 1000, just 7 miles from his home in Brookfield, IL. He even sent a YouTube video link showing off his receptions. His shack is an excellent mix of vintage and modern gear. This video is a treat! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvrmKdG1hhs
Top-notch gear also turned the tide in favor of John Fisher, jcfontario@..., of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, who used a Perseus SDR and a 65-foot-long wire feed by the Wellbrook ALA100LN transformer/amplifier to hear both stations from Kentucky. The opening announcement for WMST 1150 is clear despite a lot of QRM. Thanks for sending in two great MP3 recordings, John.
Joe Burke, W1INC, hyedesigns@..., also logged WMST from his shack in Concord, NH. His recording was made using a Grundig 600 Pro with a center-fed dipole antenna. It was remarkably free from QRM for most of the recording. Morse Code ID and sweep tones could be heard. Good job, Joe.
Alex Kaminski, N8UCN, email@example.com, nailed both stations from the Buckeye Monitoring Post in Springboro, Ohio. He used a C Crane CCRadio Plus with a small loop to capture both logs, despite heavy interference from CBW. It was nicely done, Alex. But I’m still never going to pull for Ohio State.
Jim Renfrew, jim.renfrew@..., also bagged his limit by logging both stations. Not sure this is legal at his QTH in Holley, NY, because DX Hunting Season usually closes before April. In all seriousness, Jim is one of the top hunters for weak signal DX. So much so that WMST was a relog for Jim. He captured it during sunset DXing back in January 2021. WWKY was a new one in his logbook.
Jim brought out the big guns for these late-season trophies. His weapon of choice was the Drake R8B with two long wire antennas and a Quantum phaser to help tweak the signals. The R8B is one of the best receivers I’ve ever owned, and nothing sounds better. You can listen to it for hours.
Not surprising that James Niven, jniven@..., pulled off the “Texas Two-Step” by logging both stations from the Lone Star State. James constantly logs an impressive amount of DX from his home in Austin and overcame interference from nearby KRCD to pull in WWKY 990. WMST on 1150 was considerably more accessible for him to hear—another successful round of tests for the Western DX ace.
Bill Whitacre, bw@..., of Alexandria, VA (just outside Washington, DC) heard both WMKY and WMST, with 1150 being the more potent. He even managed to copy the voice ids and jingles. Bill uses a Perseus SDR receiver, running JAGUAR software which is tailored for MW DXing, and a 15 X 50-foot Superloop antenna. This is a powerful listening post near our nation’s Capitol.
Greg Harris, wdx9khy@..., logged both stations from his QTH near Chicago Heights, IL. The former US Navy Radioman (RM1) had no trouble copying the Morse code ids on his Icom R75 and Quantum Loop antenna combination. For fun, Greg also copied both stations using only a Sangean DT200X Ultralight receiver! Go Navy!
Glen Small, gsmall735@..., was another DX’er who grabbed both stations for his log. This time from his shack in Shrewsbury, MA. Nice catches, Glen!
Gerard Hart, gehart@..., also successfully copied test signals from both stations from his monitoring station in Niagara Falls, NY. As with many others, WMST on 1150 was the more straightforward catch. G-Man used an AirSpy HF+ Discovery SDR running SDR Console software and a YouLoop antenna.
Fred Zalupski, fzalupski@..., in Atco, NJ, used an Icom IC-R75 with the MLA-30+ Active Loop to receive both stations. The great part of Fred’s reception is that the MLA-30+ is indoors, not outside. He also experimented with the CCRadio 2 and the Sony ICF-2010. All three worked to receive both stations—but Sony was the standout performer. Hard to be a legend, and the Sony 2010 is that.
Fred Schroyer, ibfreditor@..., of Waynesburg, PA, marveled at his ability to receive both DX Tests. With the WMST test, he heard the opening announcement. Fred was wondering to whom the silky smooth female voice belonged. He may be surprised to learn that it is a computer-generated voice. I input the text I want, and the computer generates a human-sounding voice. It takes a bit of tweaking to make call letters sound natural, but once the timing is right—it’s great. Great job with the test, Fred!
Fernando Cano, fernandoacano@..., logged the WMST 1150 DX Test, sending in an excellent recording of the sweep tones. I heard using his RSP DX SDR and a Wellbrook loop antenna. Unfortunately, Fred didn’t mention where he was listening from. This is essential information for the station. Please let us know your QTH, Fernando, so that we can pass it on.
Dene Lynneberg, dlynneberg@..., listened to both tests on the Kiwi SDR online. This SDR is located in nearby Lexington, KY. It was built and maintained by Christopher Gay, KU4A. The SDR is connected to the MFJ-1886 Wideband loop antenna. It performs well indeed on the AM band. There was a crowd using the SDR, including listeners in Norway, Hesperia, California, and even Oklahoma DX’er Glenn Hauser. Dene makes his home in New Zealand, so the online SDR was his ticket to hearing these dual tests.
David J. Sullivan, djmsullivan@..., of Jersey City, NJ, sent in a fantastic clear MP3 recording of both tests. The opening announcement could be heard like a semi-local. The code was an armchair copy. David uses the AirSpy HF+ Discovery SDR connected to an indoor YouLoop, which does an excellent job of rejecting noise sources. Nicely done, David.
The New York/New Jersey pipeline into Kentucky continued with the success of David Hochfelder, dphochfelder@..., in Albany, NY. He included two prominent recordings with his emailed reception report.
Carl Dabeisein, ckdabel@..., included recordings of the dual tests as well. Bagging both stations with relative ease. His listening post is Maple Grove, MN, and features an Icom R-75 receiver and a 15’ X 32’ Flag Antenna, which is doing an excellent job for Carl. Please keep these DX Test reports coming from the North.
The West Coast was represented well by Bruce Portzer, portzerbt@..., Seattle, WA. His attached recording left no doubt of his success, with several Morse Code IDs heard for WWKY 990. Bruce is a superstar DX’er who often digs weak signals out with his Perseus SDR receiver and Delta Loop antennas. He phases them against each other to reduce noise and peak the signals. The proof is in the pudding with this 2,020-mile reception! Take a bow, Bruce!
Brent Taylor, VY2HF, vy2hf.radio@..., of Stratford, Prince Edward Island, Canada, logged both tests. He provided forensic evidence that would convince any CSI technician in Exhibit A (WWKY recording) and Exhibit B (WMST recording). If it might please the DX court, we declare him guilty of a Reception in the First Degree!
We’ve determined that the weapons Brent used were the SDRPlay RSPdx and the Wellbrook ALA-1530AL.
More success to report from the Garden State too. Bob Antoniuk, N2SU, radion2su@..., overcame QRM from nearby Philadelphia stations to hear both stations from Kentucky. Bob has his shack in beautiful Clifton, NJ.
Superman is allergic to Kryptonite, and the dual DX test from Kentucky proved that Super-DXer Bjarne Mjelde of Artic fame isn’t truly invulnerable either. His Fortress of Solitude comes in the form of two (very) remote sites. They feature remote-controlled Perseus SDR receivers, low noise locations, and kilometer-long Beverage antennas. All this adds up to super-hearing to rival the Man of Steel himself. But poor conditions and the rapidly approaching sunrise left Bjarne with nothing to show for his efforts this time. If you’ve never seen his incredible DXing efforts, take a look at:
Bill Coury, N8UUP, wcoury3@..., of Ypsilanti, Michigan, knows something about freezing temperatures, even in April. But he had better fortune than Bjarne, capturing both stations despite the best efforts of arch-villain WDEO, who attempted to defeat our hero. Thanks for the great recordings of both stations, BIll.
Dalton, Georgia, is best known for carpet mills and an “eccentric” Congresswoman. But Brian Dominguez, briandominguez515@..., managed to pull in the iPhone ringtone signal from the WWKY 990 test as it briefly faded up. Excellent job, sir.
Andree Bollin, bollin@..., of Wolfsburg, Germany, logged both tests using an SDR in Westerville, Ohio. Andree noted that he does a lot of DXing the old-fashioned way, with no Internet involved from Wolfsburg, a town of 125,000 people. It’s known as “Motorcity” because it’s the home of the main plant for VW. Learn more about his AM DXing exploits at:
Closer to home, Tom Jaskinski, WDX9HVL, amdxer@..., of Joliet, IL, was happy to log a new one in the form of WWKY 990. He sent along four great MP3 recordings to prove his good fortune. One included an armchair copy of the “Retro Singing Jingle” produced by the CPC just for use in this DX Test.
Allen Willie, VOPC1AA, vo1001swl@..., used an Icom R75 with a 600-foot terminated Beverage antenna to pull in both stations. He had to battle QRM from Spain and CBW Winnipeg to log WWKY, while CKOC Hamilton and WHBY in Wisconsin provided competition for 1150. He sent in an excellent MP3 recording that made verification a snap. Keep it up!
The Dual DX Tests from Kentucky generated more reception reports than any test in recent memory. Despite rising static levels and a surprise solar storm just hours before the test, this success was achieved. An April test ruled out any international receptions from Europe or Scandanavia, as we might see in the winter months. Still, domestic reports poured in from diverse specialty groups of DX’ers.
The Ultralight crowd got involved, amateur radio operators who rarely Medium Wave DX joined in the fun, and so did DXers from coast-to-coast. The Courtesy Program Committee would love to thank Hayes McMakin, the owner of both stations, and Harry Dence, who helped with the coordination. They did all the heavy lifting.
Hoping we can twist Hayes's arm and arrange a wintertime test later this year. With longer nights and more darkness for our international DXers, it will be fun to crank it up and see what WWKY and WMST can do!
Les Rayburn, N1LF
121 Mayfair Park
Maylene, AL 35114
NRC & IRCA Courtesy Program Committee Chairman
Member WTFDA, MWC
Perseus SDR, AirSpy + Discovery, SDRPlay RSP Duo, Sony XDR-F1HD [XDR Guy Modified], Korner 9.2 Antenna, FM-6 Antenna, Kitz Technologies KT-501 Pre-amps, Quantum Phaser, Wellbrook ALA1530 Loop, Wellbrook Flag, Clifton Labs Active Whip.
“Nothing but blues and Elvis, and somebody else’s favorite song…”