AM Radio Coverage
Thu Mar 1 10:47:38 EST 2007

WBZ does better the farther north you go in Europe.  In southern 
Europe, 1030 is more apt to be dominated by stations from Argentina and 
Brazil (and splatter from Spain on 1026 and Portugal on 1035).

I heard WBZ OK just before local dawn in western Ireland in 1977 on a 
cheap Realistic 12-655 portable, but it was not as good as Boston's 850 
and 1510 and maybe just comparable to 680 and 1260.

Since 1510 went fulltime 50 kW, they have often been the best US 
station heard in western Europe.  New York City 50 kW'ers sited on 
island (660, 880) or salt-marsh sites also do well there.  Local dawn 
in Europe, with interference from the east fading, is the best time to 
hear US and Canada stations.

You can most certainly receive European stations in the US, but any 
kind of consistent reception requires several "ducks" being lined up:

* Favorable ionospheric propagation (low geomagnetic activity / A & K 

* Good timing: local sunset here is often best and Euro-dawn (around 
midnight here) can also be good.

* Directive receiving antenna, ideally a system forming a cardioid 
nulling west or southwest (see the Flag antenna info at 
"" for 
examples).  A loop and whip combination with a phasing unit has been 
used successfully for a cardioid-producing set-up that can be operated 
on top of a stationary vehicle at optimum receiving sites (an activity 
known as "DXpeditioning").

* Communications-type receiver with several narrow IF bandwidths from 
1.8 to 4 kHz - examples: Drake R8B, AOR 7030+, Icom R75, WinRadio G313i

* Good location: seashore is best, a hilltop or an open marshy area can 
do reasonably well inland; a sufficient separation from transmitters, 
power lines, other potential interference sources is advised.  Some 
hill or building blockage in directions you DON'T want to hear (e.g. 
west) can also help in reducing interference.

* A bit of knowledge on what the targets are helps.  The 
European-African Medium Wave Guide ("") is pretty much 
the "bible" on the subject and the World Radio-TV Handbook, available 
in most bookshops, is also very useful.  Membership in a club like the 
National Radio Club ("") is just the thing for 
folks who take this aspect of radio seriously.  A local group, the 
Boston Area DXers, meets in Stoneham once a month; see 
"".  The group's interests include 
AM, FM, shortwave listening, and ham radio.

One must remember that European stations transmit on channels that are 
a multiple of 9 kHz, rather than 10 kHz.  In some cases the separation 
is only 1 kHz (like UK on 1089 vs. WBAL on 1090), hence the need for 
tight filters in receivers.  Occasionally a transatlantic signal will 
get strong enough to overwhelm a domestic on a simple radio.  More than 
a few times on the car radio I've heard Algeria - 549 taking out the 
550's and Saudi Arabia - 1521 destroying WIZZ/WWKB-1520 when going down 
Wharf Road onto Granite Pier in Rockport around sundown.

For sample reports showing the typical European, African, and Middle 
Eastern signals that have been received in this area, see 
"" and 

Some audio clips are available from links at 
"".  You might be 
surprised at how loud some of the transatlantic AM's come in here in 
Massachusetts, even at inland sites such as Sudbury.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA

Subject: Re: AM Radio Coverage

On 28 Feb 2007 at 17:14, wrote:

> I remember that when we lived in Portugal, in the mid to late 1950's,
> my Dad would listen to WABC during the evening. He wanted to listen to
> WBZ, but couldn't because of the cardiod (sp?) pattern of BZ which
> sent most of the signal west. Are my recollections faulty?

So if they can get US stations in Europe, howcome we don't get
European stations in the US (on medium wave, that is)?
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