AM Radio Coverage
Fri Mar 2 13:00:33 EST 2007

There is a chance that you may have heard the BBC broadcast via CBN, 
St. John's, Newfoundland, on 640.

It is one of the CBC network stations that, for several years now, has 
been running broadcasts from overseas providers late at night.  These 
include BBC as well as English-language programming from the Deutsche 
Welle, Radio Netherlands, and others.

While the 648 Orfordness UK BBC rig has been heard in the US, it's not 
one of the more common catches since it beams away from us.  Spain and 
even Saudi Arabia on 648 are comparable, or better than, UK's signal on 
that channel heading this way.

In 1978 most European channels moved up 1 kHz in order to be exact 
multiples of 9.  Before then, the BBC World Service rig was on 647 kHz 
and sited in Daventry.  The pattern out of that one must have been 
wider, since it had a much stronger signal here in the States than 
present-day 648.

If your receptions were before the '80s, most likely it was Daventry 
that you heard.  I have an audio clip of this (recorded from an R-390A 
military receiver at Sudbury, MA in 1975) accessible from a link at 

Best-heard UK stations in the US now include BBC on 693, 882, and 909; 
TalkSport on 1053 and 1089; and Virgin Radio on 1215.

The major Boston and New York stations, as well as anything from the 
Canadian Maritimes, are what come in the best on their side of the 
"pond".  There are live receivers around the world you can access via 
the Internet ("") for a fee.  One night I used a 
receiver at a west-facing coastal site (Ilfracombe) in the UK and heard 
WWZN-1510 about as well as I can here in Billerica !  WBZ and WEEI were 
also coming in there, but weaker.  WBBR-1130 NYC was almost as good as 
1510.  A "lowly" 5 kW station that had a knock-your-socks-off signal 
was WDEA-1370 Ellsworth, ME.  Needless to say, the Newfies (VOCM-590 
and CJYQ-930 from St. John's) were standouts.

Occasionally the Brits will get good openings to the Great Lakes area 
and other parts of the upper midwest.  When you go up to far northern 
Scotland, over-the-Arctic reception of stations from the Rockies and 
Pacific Northwest can occur.

To find out about the many US and Canadian stations heard throughout 
Europe, the UK-based Medium Wave Circle club is undoubtedly your best 
source of information.  See "" for more detail.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA

This would be the site. It's used by the BBC World Service.


> I was in Germany last over Christmas and can confirm the BBC 
broadcasts at
> 648 kHz.
> As a side note years ago (circa 1985) when I was a newscaster on 
> seem to remember the station getting a reception report along with an 
> check of the station being received somewhere in the UK.
> -Mike
> >From: "Bob Nelson" <>
> > >>So if they can get US stations in Europe, howcome we don't get
> >European stations in the US (on medium wave, that is)?
> >
> >I used to pick up the BBC at what sounded like 640 kHz sometimes late
> >on a Sunday night...on a clock radio with an analog dial
AOL now offers free email to everyone.  Find out more about what's free 
from AOL at

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list