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Author Topic: AM broadcast in Hawaii  (Read 16846 times)

Posts: 1400

« on: March 10, 2012, 11:24:03 AM »

For anyone in Hawaii:what do you hear at night on standard am broadcast? Any dx? Where from?

Posts: 166

« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 11:52:50 AM »

Great question!
Would love to know too.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:06:37 PM by EI4GMB » Logged

'You can never plan the future by the past'

'Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.'

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Posts: 6

« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 06:41:08 PM »

I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii near Hilo on the east side of the island. I didn't do much DX listening on the AM broadcast band but what little I did do was amazing! The experiences that stand out most in my mind are sitting in the car in the driveway and tuning for stations. My house is located about one mile from the salt water. It was very easy to hear west coast stations in the early to late evening hours. I mean tuning to 1190 KEX in Portland on any night and there they were! Sometimes while driving from one side of the island to the other in twilight hours would be interesting. If you were on the right side of the island and had a clear shot over the salt water to Maui or Oahu (250 mi. distance) it was quite easy to hear their local AM stations. But, as soon as you go too far around the bend traveling around the island, the station would begin to fade and finally dissappear, either loosing the clear path over salt water or going behind the Mountain. (Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa).
At other times I had interesting experiences when the bedside AM alarm radio went off at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. If the local AM station was off the air (which does happen more so than other places I think) you could hear other stations in the background. I never really cared to find out where they were (probably west coast) but if I turned the dial while laying in bed I would usually land on a strong signal coming over from Oahu or the likes.
I do remember listening a couple times on my Icom IC-751A in the evening hours with a 40M full wave delta loop antenna and hearing the easy west coast stations. That's a 2500 mile trip! I may have heard a few Mexican stations also. As memory serves me, the longest hop was perhaps KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am sure that if a serious listening effort were to take place out in the islands, you would hear some amazing things. Of course, the closer to the salt water you are, the better it will be!
I'm currently living in Anchorage, Alaska for a few years with my work until I retire and long for the day to go back to the islands, which will happen in time. As for now, your question has peaked my curiosity as to what can be heard up here. If it is anything like propagation in the ham bands, I can tell you right now it will be dissappointing. After hearing radio in the middle of the Pacific, Alaska is a real bummer...I will be out of here as soon as possible!

Kelly KH6KM/KL7

Posts: 3030

« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 07:41:12 PM »

What about AM broadcast from other directions from Hawaii?  Australia, Japan, China, Russia?

Posts: 4

« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 01:54:34 AM »

I vacationed in Hawaii in 2010.
Here is the Hawaii Medium wave DX report I posted on the SCADs (Southern California Area DXers) support group on Yahoo groups upon my return to California (home) in 2010.  SCADs is a landed club which meets monthly in Seal Beach California.  It is one of the very few SWL groups in the USA which still has meetings open to the public.  While I havent attended a meeting in over a year, I suspect the meetings are under threat of disbanding due to lack of interest.  Seems SWLing is down these days due to the internet, and other factors. During some of SWL golden years in the 1960s and 70s, I understand the SCADs meetings had appx 100 people attending the public meetings held in souhern California. Here is my report:

"Just back from Hawaii (2010)"

"Two nites ago, Sept 1, was the last night of my 10 day vacation on the Island of Oahu.
I had prioritized my vacation to allow for things other than radio. However, one
of my objectives during my vacation was to do some Medium wave DXing from that
island. Having beeen stationed there before in the US military (Kaneohe Marine
Base), I had worked the world from my Ham mobile station on all of the HF bands.
What I did not do enough of (and regret) was Medium wave Dx (back then).

So, I gave it a brief try Wednesday evening Sept 1st.
From Ala Moana park in Waikiki and before I departed for the "windward" side of the island (facing North and south America), I logged all the strong Honolulu stations in Honolulu from the
"Leeward" side of Oahu (facing Oceania) which is where Honolulu is situated.
I logged the following local stations from Waikiki  and Honolulu 590, 690, 760,
830, 880, 990, 1040, 1210, 1420, 1500, 1540 Khz.

I jumped on "The Bus" route 65 and it took me over the mountains to Kaneohe
(facing the Americas). Kaneohe (or K-Bay) was familiar to me as I was stationed there in the early eighties.
I exited the bus at a bus stop close to the Pacific ocean facing the Americas.
It was appx 8:30 PM and I had only about 90 minutes time to DX and get on the last bus back to Honolulu and my hotel room.

Of the above mentioned stations, only two remained "strong" on the windward side
(toward the Americas). Remember, there is a mountain range between Kaneohe and
Honolulu. 590 KSSK and 830 KHVH remained strong. The others lost some of their
"field strength" over the mountains that divide the island. I will get back to
these in a moment.

As I departed the bus in Kaneohe at about 8:30 PM local time (now dark out), I
realized I had to use the bathroom and I also knew I had only about an hour or
so before I had to catch the last route 65 bus back to Honolulu.

I exited the route 65 bus and quickly saw a small local church having an evening
"get together". Wow, what a good opportunity to try to use the church bathroom. Mission
accomplished, I began walking out of the church with reality hitting me, that
was, where could I sit down for one hour so I could turn on my Grundig G5 and

As I departed the church doors, and dark out, I looked to the rear of the church and
saw a very large body of water. I walked to the rear of the church and found a couple of chairs
near the water. I took a seat and pulled out my G5 and headset. I want to
mention here, the G5 was useless for Dxing from Honolulu since there were many
very strong medium wave stations which seemed to overload the G5 front end
causing images, and ghost signals throughout the entire Longwave, MW and HF
bands. Realizing this a problem, I was eager to give this radio a try away from
the strong stations and on the "other" side of the island. My hunch proved
correct, the G5 was no longer overloaded when I used it from Kaneohe (away from
Honolulu town).

After sitting down in a chair behind the church and thinking of a possible
response to a "nice" church member questioning me, I very quickly heard dozens of medium wave DX
and local Hawaiian stations. I was quick to realize the weak to moderate
stations of steady strength were from nearby hawaiian islands - there was no
signal fluctuation (QSB) on them.

550 Khz Maui Island
570 Khz Hawaii county (isle of Hawaii)

The weak to moderate stations which fluctuated interested me greatly and I
pursued them:

640 Khz KFI Los Angeles, California
730 Khz Vancouver Canada - 24 hr traffic info
750 Khz KFQD Alaska, USA
780 Khz KOH Reno Nevada USA - inland USA station - non west coast
1070 Khz KNX Los Angeles, California

I also picked up a few spanish speaking stations which were perhaps from mexico,
central or south America. I want to mention that the two Los Angeles stations
did not "come in" right away , and I even thought that I would never get them.
Patience revealed that they indeed rolled in.

To my surprise, San Francisco 50 KW giants KGO 810Khz and KCBS 740 were never
heard - including at the same time Los Angeles 50 KW giants came rolling in. 8 -
9PM local Hawaiian (11 -12 midnite california). Interesting. My guess is, they
can be heard at other times.

Had I more than one hour, Im certain, I could log many more conus stations, and I bet I could have picked up more stations from including Russia (Sakhalin, Vladivostok, near Alaska, and other Pacific isles).
With a dedicated loop or long wire and more time, Im certain, I would have heard New Zealand, Japan, Russia and all the other Pacfic basin countries.
I plan to return and DX again with much more time alloted.

For those on the west coast of the USA who want to try to log Hawaii, I suggest
830 KHVH only when your local 830 goes off the air (maintenance, etc).

I will always envy hams who reside in Hawaii and the Pacific who can erect medium and large antennas and DX the world.

I fondly remember to this day many HF pile ups from all over the world FOR ME  as a MOBILE KING HENRY SIX (Yaesu FT-707) . A mobile KH6 was kinda rare in 1980 (icom 706 hadnt been invented yet). Always fun to be the attention of a pile up!

I was about 20 yrs old at the time. I suspect Mr Obama was perhaps also on the island along with Magnum PI and Tom Seleck.

In summary, LW, MW and HF is and always will be "a blast" from the pacific


former mobile /KING HENRY SIX.


Posts: 1400

« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 08:02:18 PM »

Thanks to all! If I ever go I`ll take a radio.

Posts: 4


« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 03:48:09 PM »

The first thing you need to do is change your way of thinking. Don't say "If I ever go", say when...  Grin

Mike - Maui Hawaii
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