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AAA Catches

Hard to believe I've only been DXing the FM band for four months (counting from the time I got my Sony HD radio). Now that I've entered the season for Gulf tropo and had my first openings to the Keys, Bahamas, and up the Gulf coast, I feel my logbook is already broken in. In fact my number of DX catches is about to overtake the number of locals (this is much more impressive for my 71 FM locals than it had been with 9 TV locals, LOL).

The best opening so far was the night of February 16th, where two of my more stubborn DX records from New York finally fell. One record was farthest low-power station: a digital -LD in Panama City finally snatched the title away from analog W45BG in Norfolk, VA. The other was quite a surprise. Since 1997, WTAT 24 in Charleston, SC had been my farthest tropo catch overall. But my first good opening DXing the FM band has already done what TV couldn't. On 93.3 I heard a rock station ID as "KGSR", which is in Austin, Texas! (If we're gonna hear Texas, might as well go way inland past Houston.) KGSR is a whopping 587 km farther than WTAT had been and is the first-ever K-call I've logged by tropo... if we exclude oddball KYW in Philadelphia, that is. There were no other FM stations west of Alabama leading up to this or afterward, although I should note I was more focused on getting new TV catches.

I'm planning to rewire everything next month so I can make more flexible use of my now-two antennas and be ready for e-skip this summer. I'll also set myself up to record FM catches just as I already do TV. Perhaps another AAA catch (in a AAA format) is just around the corner... might as well be recording next time. :)


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