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Author Topic: What is the station on 530 KHz?  (Read 28346 times)
W0BTU
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« on: May 07, 2012, 09:17:32 PM »

Who could the AM station be on 530 KHz? I couldn't find anything conclusive on a Google search of "530 KHz" or "530 AM". They list some stations in Ontario. Canada, but it's the wrong language (not French or English) and it's definitely coming from the wrong direction. Some of the Spanish-language Google search results showed 530 KHz AM stations in Cuba and Argentina, but nothing definite whatsoever. And Google Translate didn't work at all on those pages, surprisingly.

It's fairly strong, 35+ over 9 (the lightning QRN is 25 over S9). It's in a foreign language (very likely Spanish). They have been playing enjoyable instrumental organ, horn, piano, and guitar music for some time now. The announcers don't talk very long, when they do speak.

It's loudest to the southeast from here (SW Missouri).

I doubt that it's a pirate station. The DJ seƱorita sounds too professional. :-)

UPDATE: Now I hear the music (instrumental "Guantanamera") and another, weaker male Spanish voice. Two stations on the same freq? Sure sounds like it; if so, they are on exactly the same freq.

I've now been listening for ~1.5 hours. All instrumental music, no singing, and brief announcements in Spanish between songs.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 10:54:11 PM by W0BTU » Logged

K0OD
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 07:16:31 AM »

Mike, only thing I hear on 530 KHz is an Illinois Highway Department traffic advisory station broadcasting road conditions coming into St Louis from the east. There are many such traffic stations around the country. Your station is obviously something else, and quite a puzzle.

Can you hear that Spanish station in daytime? My traffic station is easier to copy in daytime as skywave crud disappears. But it is probably within 15-20 miles of me.  Does it ID on the hour? Does the signal fade, suggesting it's far away.

Does it fade out as the sun rises over Cuba, a possible location especially since you heard Guantanamera, a Cuban patriotic song?  Actually that may be the stations ID. Years ago many SW broadcast stations used a few bars of music to mark channels. VOA used "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_signal

Do you have an AM radio with a ferrite rod antenna? Those work well as direction finders. Rotate until you get a null off the end of the rod.

Anyone on this group near SW Missouri who can take a listen to 530 AM?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 07:28:44 AM by K0OD » Logged
W0BTU
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 09:31:38 AM »

Hi Jeff,

Mike, only thing I hear on 530 KHz is a ... Highway Department traffic advisory station

During the day, that's all I hear, too. It's apparently coming from I-44 south of me.

Quote
Can you hear that Spanish station in daytime?

No, just at night.

Quote
 Does it ID on the hour?

No. I was waiting for that as the hour approached, but the music continued from several minutes before to a couple of minutes after.

Quote
Does the signal fade, suggesting it's far away.

The signal strength does not vary much. It is fairly steady, about 25 over 9. I heard it again after dark yesterday, too.

Quote
Does it fade out as the sun rises over Cuba, a possible location especially since you heard Guantanamera, a Cuban patriotic song?  Actually that may be the stations ID.

I didn't know that about that song, and I don't recall when they played it. As to whether it fades at Cuban sunrise, I wasn't around then.

Quote
Do you have an AM radio with a ferrite rod antenna? Those work well as direction finders. Rotate until you get a null off the end of the rod.

I do, but my 580' bi-directional Beverage antennas make that little ferrite rod radio (a CC Radio SW) look like a kid's crystal radio with a wet string for an antenna.

I hear it the strongest to the SE, by far. (It is possible, but not likely, that the signal is coming from the NW. My neighbor hit my SE-NW Beverage with his truck, and I'm not sure it's working to the NW.)

Thanks for the reply. Maybe what we need is someone who understands Spanish to listen there.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 10:03:05 AM »

Mike, only thing I hear on 530 KHz is an Illinois Highway Department traffic advisory station broadcasting road conditions ...

I forgot to ask, What time did you listen, was that at night? If so, how strong was it? Maybe it's stronger than the Spanish station.

The Missouri traffic advisory station here is only S9. The Spanish station at night is S9+25 up to S9+35.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 10:12:31 AM by W0BTU » Logged

K0OD
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 10:16:36 AM »

I was listening around 10 PM. Couldn't detect any music under the traffic station which isn't very loud. 

----------
If it's that loud the ferrite rod AM radio is the way to go. You can't rotate your Beverage. Those ferrite rods had pin point nulls off the end but I'm not sure the sharp null exists on skywave.

Years ago when I had a 40 meter 4-square I spent tons of time DFing some of those Russian Single Letter Beacons especially the one that sent continuous Morse V's on 7002.  I had all sorts of sunrise/sunset charts of the USSR. Id hear it short path in the evening and sometimes long path in the morning when conditions were good.

Finally decided it was near Tashkent in Kazakhstan. I even made some tapes of it IDing, which it did very rarely in Morse code. It even sent its call once in a blue moon: RCQ45. The real mystery was the purpose of those Russian beacons. 

Fun to solve these puzzles. 

I'm guessing your station is in Cuba. (But why couldn't I hear it?) Maybe a Havana traffic advisory even. Did it mention an accident involving a 1958 Chevy and a '59 Ford?  Smiley   !!!!!!!!!!

 
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W0BTU
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 10:25:05 AM »

I see what you're saying. Let me try the portable radio, and a separate ferrite rod antenna that I also have.
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KR4BD
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 10:33:56 AM »

What you are most likely hearing nightly on 530 with beautiful instrumental music and in Spanish is coming from Cuba.  I hear it most every night here in Lexington, KY.  Some nights it is extremely strong.  I believe it is known as "Radio Encyclopedia" (en-SEEK-low-PEEE-dee-ah) or something like that).  If you listen long enough, you should be able to pick out references to Havana, especially around the top of the hour.
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K0OD
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 11:12:03 AM »

Thanks for that name, Tom.

Here's a lot more about 530 in Havana:
http://forums.radioreference.com/hf-mw-lw-general-discussion/160906-station-530-khz-am-2.html

I dug out my 1977 National Panasonic DR22 receiver which has a rotary ferrite rod antenna on top and an S-meter.
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/portable/dr22.html

That should easily null out the local traffic station. Will listen for your 530 station later, Mike
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W0BTU
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 03:17:11 PM »

Thanks for that name, Tom.

Ditto!  Smiley

Quote
Here's a lot more about 530 in Havana:
http://forums.radioreference.com/hf-mw-lw-general-discussion/160906-station-530-khz-am-2.html
... Will listen for your 530 station later, Mike

Sounds good, I will again also.

I found that station's Spanish web site, but neither Google nor Bing would translate it.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 08:01:29 PM »

Just got home (9:45PM). I can barely hear anything on my CCRadio SW tuned to 530 AM.

On my Beverages and IC-765, I hear three stations on 530:

1. The Missouri Highway traffic information transmitter along I-44 (I think),
2. A man speaking Spanish who sounds like he's an announcer for a sporting event, and
3. A station playing music with a female DJ, which I'm not certain is the Cuban station.

The lightning QRN is bad, too. What a mess. Another night. Angry

Anybody else have better luck?
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KR4BD
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 06:13:25 AM »

Conditions were not good for AM Band DX last night.  I usually hear the Cuban 530 station the best around midnight and through the early morning hours.  Last night, it was barely audible here in Central KY.  Some nights, it is so strong, it sounds almost like a local signal.

Tom, KR4BD
Lexington, KY
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K0OD
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 06:52:25 AM »

Went outside and listened last evening on my old portable and caught whiffs of Spanish by turning the ferrite rod to null the Illinois traffic advisory station. The ability to steer the antenna was vital to my hearing the Cuban station.

Here's an amazing list of every North American station on 530 KHz.  The call of Radio Encyclopedia is CMBQ and it runs 10 KW.
http://www.mwlist.org/mwlist_quick_and_easy.php?area=3&kHz=530

Interesting that those traffic stations run only 10 watts and use antennas about the size of my DXE vertical.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 10:00:34 AM »

Conditions were not good for AM Band DX last night.  ...

Maybe it was the M-class solar flare. The K index was up to 4 when I was listening last night.


Here's an amazing list of every North American station on 530 KHz.  The call of Radio Encyclopedia is CMBQ and it runs 10 KW.
http://www.mwlist.org/mwlist_quick_and_easy.php?area=3&kHz=530

Interesting that those traffic stations run only 10 watts and use antennas about the size of my DXE vertical.

Hey, I've been looking for a web site like that! Thanks.

They may only run 10 watts and have a tiny antenna, but there must be one heck of a radial system under it. And another thing that likely helps is that low frequency, with less ground wave attenuation. The station I am hearing is WQFV245 and for as strong as it is here, it's a lot farther away than I realized, probably 35 miles or more.
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K0OD
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 08:41:37 PM »

Just got back to St Louis from watching a weekend of Mizzou baseball in Columbia. Columbia, in central Missouri, is perfect for monitoring 530 KHz as no traffic advisory station is within 130 miles.

Driving west, I could copy the Illinois DOT 10 watt AM traffic advisory station up to about 40 miles from its antenna. Such stations are limited to antennas less than about 15 meters high. Don't know about its radial system, but I suspect it's modest. A large number of long radials at 530 KHz would require a huge amount of land and wire. 

Seems that part of the spectrum (and the nearby 600 meter ham band) propagates pretty well  And I was listening with a standard non-resonant car-radio antenna. Smiley

As for the 530 KHz mystery station, it was blasting into Columbia last night around 9 PM playing American standards from the early '50s. The announcements were in Spanish; I didn't catch any call letters or other ID. Almost certainly it's the Cuban station known as Radio Encyclopedia.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 05:14:50 AM »

 It's amazing that you could hear that DOT station 40 miles away in your car! What time of day was that?
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