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Old 08-18-2017, 4:45 PM
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Lightbulb DXing AM Radio during the eclipse

I'm not sure if this is going to work. Maybe a more seasoned radio person can chime in.

At night, the AM broadcast band signals travel huge distances. I'm wondering if during the eclipse, will the daytime only station get a boost. Will their signals be able to go out further while the sun is blocked?

It may be a futile experiment, but since Phoenix, AZ won't have much of the sun blocked, I can watch the eclipse on TV, but I'm going to try to DX some of those lower powered daytime only stations to see what happens.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:57 PM
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The maximum length of time for totality is 2 minutes and 40 seconds for a specific location in Kentucky.
It will probably be less than 2 minutes here in the Valley, with less than 70% coverage of the sun.
I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt that even 2:40 is long enough for any significant change in the D-layer of the atmosphere that prevents long distance AM reception during the day. (The D-layer disappears at night, allowing AM DX, IIRC.)
It won't hurt to try, though.

John
Peoria, AZ
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Old 08-19-2017, 3:09 AM
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I do remember fiddling with my DX440 during a 1994 partial eclipse in the Pittsburgh area and as the moon was covering the sun, I did pick up AM DX. IIRC, I remember getting 670 out of Chicago, KMOX 1120 out of St. Louis, WABC 770 and WCBS 880 out of New York City, 710 WOR and 810 out of Schenectany. I think I also got WLW out o Cincinnati and 870 New Orleans.
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Old 08-19-2017, 5:04 PM
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I'm in the first city in the pacific northwest which will have 100% darkness.

Unfortunately anywhere along the eclipse path the duration of darkness probably isn't long enough and as others mentioned, there won't be enough darkness for the D-LAYER absorption to dissipate and enhance long distance AM reception.

My major radio listening will be public safety comms, what with the population of my state increasing by ~1.3 million people which is a ~ 33% increase above our total population and about 1/4 of these 1.3 million transient viewers trying to make camp along an active forest fire path in the cascades is making for fire and police channels running non stop.
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Old 08-19-2017, 6:55 PM
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Evening all, not attempting a thread hijack but are any of you members AM broadcast band DXers? If so what equipment are you using? Just getting into AM/FM broadcast band monitoring, possible DX'ing & could use some tips. Take care all.
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Old 08-20-2017, 5:57 AM
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Great question. As a DX'er of the AM bands for decades, would guesstimate that the effect would not be that significant due to the short time of the eclipse versus the normal nighttime time span, but since eclipses of this magnitude appear only once in a while it would be a great opportunity to gather some info. The last eclipse of this type that I can remember was in the mid '60's.

Another factor to take into consideration is that some stations shut down at night allowing the DX'er a clear(er) channel, so that will be a factor to consider. You'd have to choose a few frequencies in your area to DX that have no daytime-only broadcasters.

Great post and great comments!

Last edited by spongella; 08-20-2017 at 6:00 AM.. Reason: Added important content
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Old 08-21-2017, 8:13 PM
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I'm located in Ogden, UT, which is about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City. My location had approximately 93% coverage during the eclipse, and I did log a couple of AM stations during the eclipse totality that I don't usually hear during the daytime. The first was KRKE in Milan, NM, a 250 watt (!) daytime only station. The other station I heard was either KHAT in Laramie, WY or KRSV-AM in Afton, WY (no positive ID heard, just a country music format). While not exactly long range DX, it's still very unusual for me to hear any stations from New Mexico or Wyoming during the day at my location, especially a 250 watt station nearly 600 miles away! The DX reception only lasted for about 10 minutes before both signals faded into the static.

FWIW: I used a Sangean PR-D7 and Sangean PR-D5 for AM DX'ing.

Last edited by yaesu_dave; 08-21-2017 at 8:52 PM..
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Old 08-22-2017, 9:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaesu_dave View Post
I'm located in Ogden, UT, which is about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City. My location had approximately 93% coverage during the eclipse, and I did log a couple of AM stations during the eclipse totality that I don't usually hear during the daytime. The first was KRKE in Milan, NM, a 250 watt (!) daytime only station. The other station I heard was either KHAT in Laramie, WY or KRSV-AM in Afton, WY (no positive ID heard, just a country music format). While not exactly long range DX, it's still very unusual for me to hear any stations from New Mexico or Wyoming during the day at my location, especially a 250 watt station nearly 600 miles away! The DX reception only lasted for about 10 minutes before both signals faded into the static.

FWIW: I used a Sangean PR-D7 and Sangean PR-D5 for AM DX'ing.
Glad to hear yaesu_dave that you were able to DX a few stations. Pulling in a 250 watter at that distance is pretty good. Hope you can notify the station. They may send you a QSL card. My experiment turned out to be a total dud. I pulled my Radio Shack DX-390 out of moth balls. Darn thing still works and looks like it's brand new. My hope was to pull in a few stations out of Nebraska. No luck. Phoenix just doesn't seem to be one of those places where skip is common. Must be 'cause we sit in the bottom of a bowl.
Anyway, it was fun trying. Anyone else that had luck, very glad to hear it.
Doug
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Old 08-26-2017, 5:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elephant101 View Post
Glad to hear yaesu_dave that you were able to DX a few stations. Pulling in a 250 watter at that distance is pretty good. Hope you can notify the station. They may send you a QSL card. My experiment turned out to be a total dud. I pulled my Radio Shack DX-390 out of moth balls. Darn thing still works and looks like it's brand new. My hope was to pull in a few stations out of Nebraska. No luck. Phoenix just doesn't seem to be one of those places where skip is common. Must be 'cause we sit in the bottom of a bowl.
Anyway, it was fun trying. Anyone else that had luck, very glad to hear it.
Doug
Not sure if this is the exactly correct forum for this but anyway...

With about 80% coverage here in MI, was able to notice considerable enhancement of various AM stations out about 200-300 miles. They are normally noisy during daytime but around the time of maximum eclipse coverage they sounded like locals. Unfortunately did not notice any real AM DX but that may be my fault as my listening efforts were not focused... spent too much time jumping around LW, MW, HF.
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Old 08-26-2017, 5:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SpinThatDial View Post
Evening all, not attempting a thread hijack but are any of you members AM broadcast band DXers? If so what equipment are you using? Just getting into AM/FM broadcast band monitoring, possible DX'ing & could use some tips. Take care all.
Just about anything will work for starters as most AM radios have sufficient sensitivity. You will find that the antenna is the really important thing. Just start listening and have fun.
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Old 08-29-2017, 7:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WA8ZTZ View Post
Just about anything will work for starters as most AM radios have sufficient sensitivity. You will find that the antenna is the really important thing. Just start listening and have fun.
Thanks for the info. I have a few table top AM/FM stereos, SDR's and a GE portable but I just snagged an old Pioneer analog car radio powered by a 3 amp Walwart feeding a DIY long wire and it picks up more then all the other AM/FM capable radios combined.
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Old 08-31-2017, 6:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SpinThatDial View Post
Thanks for the info. I have a few table top AM/FM stereos, SDR's and a GE portable but I just snagged an old Pioneer analog car radio powered by a 3 amp Walwart feeding a DIY long wire and it picks up more then all the other AM/FM capable radios combined.
Old car radios are great DX machines.
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Old 09-03-2017, 8:15 PM
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I remember reading a Popular Communications article about AM DXing after the 1994 annular eclipse. As I recall, there were a few reports in the SW USA (near 4 corners i think) of KRLD and WBAP coming in, when they normally shouldn't.
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