Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For FM DXers

This is a little off our main subject (KAAY), but is radio-related, nonetheless....and fun!

The radio term "DX" means "distance"; "DXing" means chasing after and listening for other-than-local radio stations.

This morning, there was an interesting inversion layer in the atmosphere which caused stations in the FM broadcast band and in the VHF bands above it to travel and be heard well beyond their intended area.  I was listening to radio waves from several hundred miles away, up until about 7:30 AM, when the inversion layer changed with the rising sun.

This layer has cold sinking air on top and warm rising air on the bottom; where they meet causes a "trough" where very high and ultra-high (VHF and UHF) waves travel or "ride" well beyond an intended audience.  This can be fun at times, where a radio enthusiast can hear stations not heard before- and,sometimes not heard again for a long time (or ever again).  This also happened with analog TV signals in the past; I don't know what digital signals are doing now....

Remember I mentioned that weather can influence radio waves?  Get off that local station for a little while and twist that knob a bit in the early mornings, if you have time, and you may be pleasantly surprised!

Bud S. (

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