So, as I have been venturing back to the dials lately in pursuit of some tasty AM DX catches, I have been trying to use the power of the Internet to aid in my chase.
Back before the Internet, I remember shipping letters off to various networks such as CBS, ESPN and others, begging for affiliate lists so that I could use those as DX aids. Now, you can easily go online to find affiliate lists. Back then, I had more than my share of letters from affiliate managers questioning my motives for asking for this information.
One tool I remembered about tonight in my DX session, that can help not only DXers, but those interested in listening to station streams as well, are what we used to call 'show clocks' when I was an on-air guy in radio.
|Show clocks, like this one from Coast-To-Coast AM, are great DX aids|
I found a great Web site that will show all of the current 'show clocks' for all Premiere Radio Networks shows, including Coast-To-Coast and others. Anyone sitting there staring at their clock at 1:18 in the morning, wondering when you would finally hear a station ID, your salvation is a few clicks away.
Tonight, I used the C2C show clock to great effect. I had been listening for a while to 550 AM, which was a clutter of stations with no clear front runner. THere was, though, a station playing C2C that was the 'easiest' to hear. I used to clock to identify not only when a local break would come (the BEST time to hear call letters, weather, news, local ads, etc..), but how long it would last (the best times to tune in a local break are beginning and end.).
From the clock, I identified my next window to be between 30-34 minutes into the hour. I let George Noory do his thing, and came back at :29. Sure enough, the local break fired, there was some fading so I lost the signal. But, I was patient, as I knew at :34 after I would have one last shot. At :33 after, the station faded back up as they were finishing a weather forecast. Then, I heard it, the 55 KRC ID. WKRC - Cinncinati isn't a sexy or spectacular catch, but it was new for my location, and I was able to DX smartly, using the aids at my disposal.
How do you use the Internet to help you DX? Do you use streams to help identify stations? Share your tips, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your tips may just appear in a future GlobalNet column in MT!
73s and good listening!