Kilokat7 Radio Blog

West Michigan DX Log

New Perseus SDR WAV file: The Disco Palace DRM Transmission

Posted by kilokat7 on June 27, 2014

Two Perseus WAV recordings have been uploaded containing a relatively good reception of The Disco Palace as captured here in 2011.  Use your favorite SDR client and DRM decoder to enjoy the music:


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WJDI 15KW Christmas Eve 1996 off-air recordings

Posted by kilokat7 on March 25, 2014

A big thanks to “Doug” for writing in and sharing his memories of 1620 WJDI and sharing his off-air recordings of WJDI’s big Christmas Eve broadcast of 1996.  Doug recorded two hours of the show in amazing clarity from his home in Shandaken, NY.   Doug’s recordings capture the moments right up to the point when the pole transformer blew.  The third recording ends with the sound of dead air after the incident.  Please see the 1620 WJDI story to read more about this.

Doug recalls the following:

“The day I helped Dave and Jim with the cage antenna erection will never be forgotten.
Dave used spade lug crimps on each side of the disks on every wire……..lots of painstaking work.
The antenna was so heavy we had to use 2 ATVs’ to pull it up. ”

My thanks go out to Doug for the WJDI memories and cassette recordings that he digitized so they could be shared here:

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The 1923 Crosley ACE Model V antique radio

Posted by kilokat7 on March 9, 2014

This ACE Model V has been sitting on the bookshelf for at least 20 years, neglected and worn.  This weekend I brought it back to life.  I have a few 1920’s battery sets in the radio collection but have never fired any of them up. I got the urge today. This early Crosley seemed like the easiest to get running. Wrong! After a struggle removing the chassis from the case to repair the open filament rheostat, I got it repaired for a test run tonight. Amazingly this thing fired right up and I’m “DXing” with it right now! I’m using a UV200 bright emitter and a pair of 9 volt batteries for B+.  I had an old pair of Brandes high impedance headphones that are probably as old as this radio that I put to use too.  It all resulted in several hours of entertainment.  Regen sets are just cool, especially one tubers from the 1920’s!  These stations were heard clearly tonight on the little ACE:

WTAM Cleveland

KMOX St. Louis

WRVA Richmond, VA.

WPHT Philadelphia

WXYT Detroit

CKDO Oshawa, ON.

WAKR Akron

CHHA Toronto

Now I just need to clean all the contacts and give the whole thing a good cleaning and get it back together and see what other stations it will pull in.


ACE Model V one tube regen


The front panel screws were stripped so their heads were ground off and drilled out so the chassis could be pulled from the case. Finally, it’s out. Now to tackle that rheostat…


The filament rheostat was open and had to be removed for repair. Luckily the rheostat winding can be removed separately from the knob and shaft assembly by removing two contact screws.


Here’s the removed winding. There are actually two coils here that meet in the center via a twisted connection.  It was at this spot where the circuit was “open”.  Removing the twisted connection, cleaning the wire, and re-twisting the wires restored continuity from one end to the other.


Here’s the rheostat with the wire coil removed.


Back together again but still out of the case. I need to find a suitable tube now. A UV200 bright emitter should work nicely and only require a pair of 9 volt batteries to supply the B+


Rheostat works, we have adjustable filament voltage!


Don’t you just love that glow?

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The 1620 WJDI Story

Posted by kilokat7 on February 4, 2014

I connected with Dave Schneider a year ago after posting some old WJDI audio clips on my blog.  After exchanging some emails, we thought it would be nice to properly document the history of WJDI with facts provided by the person behind the operation, Dave Schneider.  This story documents Dave’s interest in DXing at an early age and how this interest evolved into the first WJDI in 1970 using only 7-1/2 watts.  WJDI would later be recognized as running one of the most powerful hand-crafted pirate transmitters on the AM dial on 1620 kHz during the late 1980s through the mid 1990s.  If anyone has any memories of hearing WJDI then I would encourage you to leave a comment at the bottom of the page this story appears on so Dave will see it:


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1720 heats up!

Posted by kilokat7 on December 23, 2013

Pirate activity has continued to be slow at the top of the AM dial for most of this DX season, especially with the void left by the absence of The Big Q on 1710.  Some new life has been discovered on 1720 kHz though, perhaps the new MW pirate “clear channel”.  There have been a number of shortwave pirate radio shows being relayed on 1720 kHz during the last few weeks including Radio Free Whatever, Pirate Radio Boston and Partial India Radio.  DXers from Montana to Florida and the Midwest have reported hearing these broadcasts.  I’ve caught a few of these shows in West Michigan, including Pirate Radio Boston’s 21st anniversary show on 1720 kHz and Radio Free Whatever.  Here’s a two hour off-air recording of last night’s 1720 kHz MW pirate fest:

1720 kHz RFW-PRB Relay 23DE13 0229-0425 UTC.mp3

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80s Pirate Radio: Part 8

Posted by kilokat7 on November 25, 2013

On October 28th, 1989 I logged an old Halloween favorite, pirate radio station “WBST” on 6210 kHz at 0412 UTC.  Here’s a scratchy off-air recording of that reception including a nice ID: WBST Pirate 6210 Khz 0412-0421 UTC 28OC89.mp3

“Free Radio One” was a very active shortwave pirate during the late 1980s. Classic shortwave anti-government ramblings using an interview format was the norm for this “Christian Patriot” station: Free Radio One 7415 KHz 0244-0305 UTC 26JN89.mp3

Another 80s pirate gem in the form of “Radio Angeline” as heard here with their chilling Send In The Clowns music box interval signal, poetry readings set to odd background music, and other weirdness: Radio Angeline 7418 KHz 0313-0353 UTC 24JN89.mp3

Radio Comedy Club International was another active pirate during the late 80s that I caught a few times. As usual, I had the recorder running when I caught this scratchy summer reception of RCCI: Radio Comedy Club International 7414 KHz 0202-0232 UTC 27JN89.mp3

Enjoy 🙂

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Sunrise scan

Posted by kilokat7 on July 27, 2013

I got up an hour before sunrise this morning to do some MW DXing.  Conditions were relatively poor, but low powered 740 KVOR Colorado Springs was blasting in – unusual – and only heard one time before.  Otherwise, a dud as far as catching any South Pacific signals.  738 kHz Tahiti was only showing a faint carrier this morning, while faint audio could be heard a few mornings ago at sunrise.  The strong 1017.008 Tonga carrier that was present a few mornings ago was non-existent this morning.  A check of the tropical bands also showed poor signals in the 120 and 90 meter shortwave broadcast bands.  Moving up, I found the pirate “Boombox Radio” on 6925 kHz AM spinning some nice electronic music, so the morning wasn’t a total waste!

Posted in Logs, Pirate, Radio | 2 Comments »

The Big Q bids farewell

Posted by kilokat7 on April 21, 2013

A much unexpected announcement was heard over the airwaves from 1710’s favorite oldies pirate, The Big Q, on April 14th:

It’s a sad loss for 1710 kHz and medium wave DXers across the country who were always eager to catch The Big Q.  It’s unclear right now if the April 14th broadcast was indeed the final show.  My thanks and congrats go out to the people behind The Big Q for always providing a very unique broadcast with a top notch signal and sound.  1710 will not be the same during those late nights.  73 my friend and best wishes for the future.

Posted in Logs, Pirate, Radio | 3 Comments »

SDR File Analyzer: Taking a closer look at 1710 kHz

Posted by kilokat7 on February 8, 2013

A big thanks to Simon at for his release and continual tweaking of a useful tool that comes bundled with the V2 suite known as the SDR File Analyzer (for 64 bit Windows machines only).  Here’s a spectrogram showing a variety of AM signals present over a course of 6-1/2 hours on 1710 kHz New Year’s Eve 2012 generated by feeding my Perseus .wav files into the File Analyzer tool.  The strong AM carrier in the center belongs to The Big Q which signed off between 1030-1100 UTC.  The moment of sign-off is quite obvious on the image.  Carrier drift is also interesting to visually examine.

Big Q 0555-1255 UTC 01JA13




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Pirate radio meets Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)

Posted by kilokat7 on February 3, 2013

It was bound to happen at some point with pirates now pushing the technological envelope.  First, Red Hat from X-FM Shortwave experimenting with C-QUAM AM Stereo broadcasts on shortwave, and now with Undercover Radio dabbling with Digital Radio Mondiale.  Obviously this isn’t practical for a number of reasons as demonstrated in the video below, but it’s great to see pirates experimenting with new modes and proves that DRM isn’t just reserved for the big 100kw broadcasters.

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