Central Texas Radio Stations Heard in Far Away Lands… And Tyler, TX
A phone call and an email have confirmed that our madness put out to Central Texas each day on the radio airwaves is making it far beyond just the 254 area code.
We're a world connected at the press of a button. We can instantly be in Paris, Istanbul or Beijing in the blink of an eye. Through webcams, online TV and radio streams and Wikipedia, we can become fully immersed in a society without ever leaving our chair.
Despite our streams and webcams, we can't pick up radio stations over the radio through traditional means without being relatively close to said radio station, right? Right? Actually, a phone call and an email have confirmed that to be false.
When I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 80s while my dad was stationed at Kirtland, AFB, I remember once or twice a year picking up an Oklahoma City am radio station on my dad's clock radio. He explained to me that radio signals traveled far at night. That's the only science behind it I've ever needed. Until now. I might need to take a physics course after this.
There was also the time my clock radio right here in Central Texas picked up a football game out of St Louis while I was setting my alarm. I've never understood how I can't pickup my own am station on my clock radio, but Radio Free Finland seems to be coming through loud and clear (exaggeration)?
A phone call about a month ago from our Ops Manager, Vince, continued this mystery on the fm side of things. He was in Tyler, TX and was picking up one of our fm stations as he scanned through the stations. Again, we're talking several hours to the east by car coming through loud and clear, yet Ft Hood's interference kills us 5 miles to the west.
The real kicker, though, is getting an email from far above the Arctic Circle. In the email below, you'll see how crazy this whole atmosphere of ours can be as KTEM-AM, a station on-air for over 75 years in Central Texas, was heard in Finland.
Would you ever have imagined that one day KTEM 1400 AM might be heard
as far away as in Finland, some 4500 miles ? In any case, providing you
can agree to what I am hearing, that is what seemed to happen a few
months back... Let me take a moment of your precious time to explain
in a bit more detail...
I am an enthusiast for distant AM radio reception, every now and then
spending cold and dark winter days 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle
here in Finland - with a hope for distant signals with my
communications receiver and 3000-foot longwire antenna. And sometimes
miracles happen !
Back in February this year I spent again 2 weeks "up there" and the
atmospheric skip was quite favourable in the direction of your great
country. Around 1 am on February 13, your time Central I had been
monitoring 1400 AM .On this frequency no station was well audible.
However , on the top of the hour many stations started with news, but I
thought that I had no identification on any of them. However, while
examining my recording in more detail toda, after the news between
1.05 am and 1.06 am I am hearing a male voice before the program
continues with the Coast to Coast AM with George Noory show., even if
the signal is very weak with lots of static noise. He says what sounds
"...This is Newsradio 1400 KTEM". After this the tuner musicto the
Coast to Coast show.
So it was not very much I heard but hopefully right ! Providing I have
right, thank you very much for extending your signal all the way to
In order to prove authentity of the reception, I am enclosing an mp3
audio file of this reception. The recording starts right on with the
station identification, as quoted above. It is very weak, so I have
repeated it 3 times. I hope you can listen to it with good speakers or
headphones, since otherwise it may be too difficult to hear. But in
that way you should get it - I hope - and you woyuld certainly know, if
this is the way you identify your station !
Should you be able to confirm that this indeed is your station, this
is undoubtedly one of my best catches in my 40 years of this hobby !
Hoping to hear back from you with positive news, I take the
opportunity to wish you all the best with your fine station !
Very best regards