Monday, August 20, 2007

Florida Everglades DXpedition

Thanks to Terry Kruger for sending in the following DXpedition logs from the Florida Everglades.
Gayle VH

All logs were made local daytime between August 16 through 18 during breaks while hiking in (mostly) The Everglades National Park and points nearby. Any times listed are GMT, unless otherwise specified. Frequencies in kHz unless otherwise indicated. Logs were made using the 2007 Hyundai Sonata's stock radio and RadioShack DX-399 portable, with the latter coupled to the non-active RadioShack loop.

Logs are segmented in two parts: FLORIDA and CARIBBEAN.

Appended static monitoring locations key are: JPCRSP = John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Florida; BNP-CP = Biscayne National Park at Convoy Point, Florida; ENP-F = Everglades National Park at Flamingo, Florida; ENP-EC = Everglades National Park at Everglades City, Florida. All other logs made while in driving mode.

New discoveries (at least for me, and with no prior reports to my Florida Low Power Radio Stations archives) are indicated by ***[frequency]***.


530 FLORIDA (TIS) Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers; only briefly audible with female parking loop while passing nearest to the location on I-75 August 16 and 18. Not nearly the former signal level, just as noted by David Potter a few weeks ago.

1180 FLORIDA (CLANDESTINE) Radio Martí, Marathon; these are my various observations: equal level with at least two Rebelde transmitters on 1180 at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, August 16; Martí local level at Everglades City and a little north on CR-9336 on August 17, almost no trace of Rebelde until a few miles away from the water; nearly local level at Everglades City and Chokoloskee Island on August 18, with Rebelde breaking through not far away from the water (traces of it appeared after leaving the road from the Everglades City
airstrip) but still clearly audible all the way across US-41 and then north on State Road 29, then westbound on I-75/Alligator Alley, where the signal slowly dropped out and Rebelde pieces were more dominant. Here at home (Clearwater, Florida) at 2100 GMT, August 19, Martí was punching through quite well with the theme sounder under Rebelde and the 1181.00 carrier.

1300 FLORIDA WFFG, Marathon; August 18. Terrible telco-ish audio with Rush Limbaugh feed, whilst the Miami area station also carrying the feed sounded fine. [ENP-F]

1320 FLORIDA WLQY, Hollywood; August 16. Presumed the one with Kreyol talk, very good. [JPCRSP]

1450 FLORIDA WOCN, Miami; August 16. Presumed the one with Kreyol talk, excellent. [JPCRSP]

1610 FLORIDA (PIRATE) ethno-Haitian format, North Ft. Myers; August 16. Noted on I-75 southbound near Exit 136 on August 16. Pretty much gone by Exit 128/Alico Road. Nonstop Kreyol talk with telco-ish audio. Seemingly an Internet feed and not locally generated programming. Not on the air during the early evening return on August 18th.

1610 FLORIDA (PIRATE) R-C-H, Homestead; this long-active Haitian ethno-pirate was noted throughout extreme south Florida. Of course, excellent in the Homestead/Florida City area. Also fair to good through the northern half of Key Largo (weak to no trace on the southern half of Key Largo), and also heard north to near the Miami-proper vicinity where signal then drops off. Also present in the southeastern quadrant of The Everglades National Park, daytime. The most amusing log of this one was made at Biscayne National Park-Convoy Point (2031 GMT, August 16), when a live, accented male came up between Kreyol programming and said, in English, "You are listening to Radio R-C-H, operating under FCC Part 15 rules, OH BOY!" Brilliant, and that made my day!

***1610*** FLORIDA (TIS) FDOT Highway Advisory Radio, Sarasota; August 18. Noted a sign on northbound I-75 south of Fruitville Road (Exit 210). Tune-in to female loop on lane closures due to bridge reconstruction over Palmer Blvd., with work due to be completed by January, 2008. Nasty weather with horrid rain as I tried to drive; cars hydro-skidding all around me but yet I managed to take control of the radio and log it. The art of DX?

1610 FLORIDA (TIS) FDOT Highway Advisory Radio, Brandon; August 18. This female looping I-75 median repair TIS remains active, peaking just north of the SR-60 junction.

1610 FLORIDA (MIS) City of Sunrise; August 16. Huge signal, audible on I-75/Alligator Alley, a good 15 miles west of the I-595 exchange. Male loop referencing their website, city commission schedule, ComCast channel 78 airings, etc. Logged on I-75.

1620 FLORIDA (MIS) City of Hialeah Gardens; August 16. Possibly the worst MIS/TIS ever experienced. Logged while southbound on the Florida Turnpike with overmodulated audio consisting of a boring English/Spanish female with generic city information, abrupt audio gaps, DTMF and manual telephone keypad tones spastically atop, fragments of live NOAA Weather Radio audio and other audio anomalies too extensive to document while traveling in excess of 80 mph. An absolute insult to the concept of MIS/TIS licensing. Amazingly stunned I remain
at this one, which has left my brain so damaged it is likely not to recover.

1620 FLORIDA (MIS) City of Plantation; August 16. Heard on I-75 with Parks and Recreation events, backyard wildlife tips, generic traffic department information with honking horns sound effects, male voice on all. Logged on I-75.

***1620*** FLORIDA City of Coral Gables WQFW220; August 16. A new one, apparently I'm the first to find this one which per the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau dB states this was granted active (issue date) as of August 13th. Female loop over instrumental music bed, with babble about how not to dispose of used motor oil, mention of roads, several uncopiable URLs (...miamidade-dot? and, "... And here's what's happening in Coral Gables... Coral Way... www.coralgables..."). Poor signal on the car radio. [BNP-CP]

1640 FLORIDA (TIS) Florida Turnpike, Miami; August 16. Noted a sign on the Turnpike southbound near Exit 29. A male with traffic construction updates and generic hurricane evacuation blather.

1640 FLORIDA (MIS) City of Ft. Myers Beach; August 16. Presume the one, barely audible for a couple of minutes on I-75 at the nearest point to Ft. Myers Beach, August 16. Male with mostly uncopiable loop, but one clear and predictable quote by a likely pasty, translucent-skinned, bald and grossly bloated/snotty/pigfaced yankee transplant (and no doubt a gloriously self-appointed city council-type) with the proclamation of (direct quote) "...fines will be enforced..." Blessed are those of us who don't live under your silly and frivolous bylaws that make you and only you feel so important in your own pathetically small "this is they way we do it up north" mind.

1670 FLORIDA (MIS) City of Pembroke Pines; August 16. Male and female with loop on city events, how they will save you in the event of a hurricane because they bought 16 generators and have two contracted companies to clean up the debris, and all other things that would make me warm and fuzzy about living in PP. Logged on I-75.

92.1 MHz W221AY (WLRN translator), Islamorada; August 16. BBC World News feed till 1933, WLRN ID, into local programming. The 93.5 Key Largo translator was definitely not on the air during this check. But see the below 93.5 log. No other WLRN translators audible this far north (93.5 Grassey Key; 89.1 Big Pine Key; 100.5 Key West). [JPCRSP]

***92.7 MHz*** FLORIDA (PIRATE) unidentified, south Miami-Dade County; August 18. Mono. Noted on Redland Road just north of Homestead with Old School rap, recheck with Jimmy Cliff "The Harder They Come" and into other old reggae songs, Caribe male announcer with live advertisement reads for stores such as Maribu Café nightclub at 9940 Pines Blvd.

93.5 MHz FLORIDA W228AY (WLRN translator), Key Largo; August 18. Presumed the one, briefly popping up with male "...serving Ocean Reef to Marathon..." then nothing else heard. That is assuming WLRN has some generic promo's for the various translators in the Keys which they may sporadically drop in.

***95.3 MHz*** FLORIDA W237CP (74 watts) relaying Florida International University 88.1 WRGP.

96.5 MHz FLORIDA WSLR-LP, Sarasota; August 16. The usual folkie music, including Gordon Lightfoot. Male DJ IDed a couple of times as simply WSLR. Excellent on I-75 while passing by Sarasota on August 16.

98.7 MHz FLORIDA WFLP-FM, Collier County Rest Area (I-75/Alligator Alley); August 16. One of two State of Florida LPFM stations on I-75/Alligator Alley. At the Rest Area, I listened to a loop regarding the Blackwater River, Collier-Seminole State Park, and interestingly the current (for the day) weather forecast provided by a male, appended by "... provided by WGCU Public Media..." A sign is posted eastbound for 98.7, as well as at the Rest Area re-entry ramp.
Presume this one is coming off the huge microwave tower at the Rest Area. Stereo.

***99.5 MHz*** FLORIDA (PIRATE) "Radio Galaxie," Homestead; huge signal, stereo. Kreyol and with a long commercial block for small stores in mostly Homestead, one in Kendall. Haitian konpa and pop-ish Kreyol vocals, several ID's by male DJ that sounded like "Radio Gak-SEE" but the more I though about it, the more I decided it is probably "Galaxie" (a popular name for Haitian pirates for reasons I've yet to figure out). Well, I'll stick to this station ID until someone can prove otherwise. Suspect no relation to my FLPRS "Radio Cinque Etoile" Miami entry on 99.5 MHz, as this one is definitely in or near Homestead. A very big signal, fragments audible until a couple of miles south of the Krome Avenue/US-41 junction.

104.3 MHz FLORIDA WORZ-LP, Key Largo (Ocean Reef Club); August 16. Wow, they operated as an alleged Part 15 station as "WORC" prior to gaining an LPFM license. Now they blatantly operate with commercials, in violation of LPFM rules. Commercials included the, Daniels Jewelry, Andy Fisher and Sons Jewelry, KC Electrical Services and Card Sound Properties. This is the most pathetic LPFM ever heard, including signal coverage. The audio actually breaks up 1-3/4 miles south of the Ocean Reef gates (at the CR-905A split to the mainland). Audio is atrocious, with spastic audio breaks, clipping, no functioning limiter. A canned male ID (wow, actually legal) was dropped at one point. Format is slightly "hipper" -- now we have The Four Seasons, David Essex and Amy Grant. This one was much cleaner and with far greater coverage when it was a pira... uh, Part 15 station. I can't believe there is actually an LPFM at licensed 100 watts that only covers a one mile radius with an A-grade signal, but we have one with WORZ-LP!

107.9 MHz FLORIDA WFLU-LP, Miles City (I-75/Alligator Alley at State Road 29); August 16. One of two State of Florida licensed LPFM stations along this stretch of I-75 that function essentially as TIS's. I've long wondered if these are active, and indeed both are. Programming consist of 30-minute cycled loops (seemingly two-to-three segments). All are very professionally produced with discussion of The Everglades eco-system, water management, Road Ranger patrols, etc. References to and quasi-ID's as "ERN" in the mix. Signal was still pretty good at the Coller County Rest Area (home of the second LPFM on 98.7 MHz -- see entry). Stereo. Legal ID for both stations inserted, where cycle allows. Both this station and 98.7 are in perfect parallel with the same audio feed. One 30-minute segment is a bit dated, with references to Governor Jeb Bush. A 107.9 sign is posted eastbound, not too far past the toll booth. No visible sign of a tower from I-75, at least that I
could see while zooming along at 80+ mph.

107.9 MHz FLORIDA WMFM, Key West; August 18. Spanish relay (presumed) of the Miami station,this listed at 25 kW. Fair to poor under another Florida station with Country music format. Logged in the parking lot of Miami-Dade Fruit and Spice Park.

OBSERVATIONS: Not heard and certainly inactive/never to reappear: 530 Biscayne National Park-Convoy Park, 530 Tropical Everglades Visitors Center, Florida City; 530 John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo; 1610 Florida Bay Research at US-1/Mile Marker 111. 530/1610 JN "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island also remains inactive.

Who are the occupants of the building with tons of antennae just NE of the Florida Turnpike and Bird Road in Miami?


530 TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS Radio Visión Cristiana, South Caicos; August 16. The only location they were audible was at Convoy Point. Cuba's Rebelde on 530 dominated everywhere else across extreme south Florida. [ENP-CP]

570 CUBA Radio Reloj, Santa Clara, Villa Clara; August 18. Fair. [ENP-F]

860 CUBA Radio Reloj, Arroyo Arenas, Ciudad de la Habana; August 16. Presumed site, good. [JPCRSP]

1060 CUBA Radio Veinteseis, Matanzas; "26, desde Matanzas" by male at 1830 on August 16. [JPCRSP]

1100 CUBA wobbler (possibly Radio Cadena Habana, la Habana); August 16. No audio but huge wobbling. [JPCRSP]

1181 CUBA unidentified (jammer?); I say Cuba as in presumed. Per Gerry Bishop's report and my follow-up here, a huge and non-fading signal all day 19 August, seemingly right on 1181.00 and AM modulated with no audio (but that's just my guess on the mode). No trace of this August 16-18 in extreme south Florida, however the car and portable radio were not of any great quality and also Radio Martí-Marathon was huge (the reason for the 1181 signal?). Not sure if Martí was so strong because I was on the back end of the beam (Florida City, Everglades City) or something else is happening with the Martí signal. But interestingly, GMT 20 August 0100+ Martí is pretty good over/under Rebelde, and the 1181 carrier here at the Clearwater QTH.

1540 CUBA Radio Sagua, Sagua de la Grande, Villa Clara; 1745+ August 16 with an oldie Cuban vocal at tune-in followed by two Mexican rancheros, neat (and never-before-heard) interval signal of sorts just prior to 1800, then live male, "Radio Sagua, desde Sagua la Grande, Cuba, 2 de la tarde." into Cuban pop vocals. Excellent local level, in fact I though it was domestic until the ID. [JPCRSP]

1550 CUBA jammer; August 16. Huge signal, the WRHC, Coral Gables blocker, not to be confused with a wobbler. [ENP-F]

96.7 MHz CUBA Radio Rebelde, Ciudad de la Habana; August 18. Only threshold pieces of signals noted with the six-note (or 12, if they double it) Rebelde sounder at times. The only Cuba FM logged. [ENP-F]

OBSERVATIONS: No Bahamian FM or any Cuban FM (save for traces of 96.7 MHz) were noted in Key Largo or Homestead, presumably due to just not so great conditions.
Terry L Krueger
Clearwater, Florida