Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

KLQR 1510 AM Heard in Arctic Norway

SHARE NOW

By Brenna Eller

 

OJ Sagdahl standing at the end of the antenna on a nice September day preparing the antennas for winter (Photo Arnstein Bue)

NORWAY/LARNED, Kan. — A Norwegian DX hobbyist by the name of Odd-Jorgen (OJ) Sagdahl, from Trondheim, Norway recently caught reception of KLQR (Larned’s Classic Hits station) in a small fishing village called Kongsfjord, located in the north-east of Arctic Norway.

The hobby of listening and identifying long-distance or foreign radio stations is called DXing. OJ caught KLQR’s signal about 4,500 miles away. OJ’s friend and fellow DX hobbyist Ole Forr also reached out to Ad Astra Radio with a KLQR reception report.

It was confirmed that both recordings they heard were of KLQR on March 8, 2024, at 6:35 p.m. on 1510 AM. 

Setup of receivers (black box with yellow rim), PCs (Intel NUC) and hard disks used to record the distant signals (Photo by Bjarne Mjelde)

OJ said he had been chasing the AM-band for distant broadcast signals using a Perseus Software Defined Receiver (SDR), which allows him to record the entire AM-band, save it to a hard disk and play it back later. The antenna he used is a 1200-foot (350 meter) wire, stretched out on 3-foot poles, directed towards central U.S.

Ole was using a different antenna at the time, but the two share a common radio listening post in Kongsfjord.

“My recording is made on our 310 degrees antenna and may be a bit weaker than OJ’s recording,” Ole said.

Both signals were weak and disturbed by other station signals, but on each one, a male voice is heard saying, “92.3 and 15-10 KLQR.”

When a radio station confirms the reception, that confirmation (QSL) is the ultimate proof of the DXer’s reception and is what they aim to collect in their DX expeditions.

Photo taken by Bjarne Mjelde at the location in Kongsfjord on Dec. 26 at noon

KLQR (1,000-watt daytime) is now the 39th Kansas station OJ has caught.

OJ said it was when he heard a music station on 1510, that made him check the recording on Saturday morning (March 9th). 

“Since I scan the band every day it is quite easy to detect if there is something new on a frequency,” he said. “Here, 1510 is a frequency dominated by talk stations, so if I hear a music station there, it is for sure something interesting.”

After listening to the recording for quite a bit of time, OJ shared that he was, “super-happy to catch the ‘92.3 and 1510 KLQR’ between two songs.”

“According to the statistics I have found, your signal has never been heard over here before,” OJ said.   

OJ has always been interested in radio. He bought his first radio at the age of seven and used it to tune in to foreign stations. 

“At that time, Norway had only one public radio channel. Private radio channels were not permitted,” he explained. “When I was 13, I realized that listening to foreign radio stations was a real hobby and I learned about “reception report” and “QSL” and became a member of DX Listeners Club of Norway.”

Taken at midnight on June 23 (Photo by Bjarne Mjelde)

In February 1980, OJ heard KOA in Denver. He sent a reception report and got a QSL card.

“That was the first time I heard a US AM station, and I was sold,” OJ said. “Since then, I have been collecting new stations and now have 2,252 AM stations from the lower 48, KLQR AM 1510 being the last addition.” 

In the beginning, OJ started out listening from home. He currently lives in Trondheim, which is Norway’s third largest “city” with a population of about 200,000. OJ is married, has two daughters, two grandchildren and will be turning 60 in the spring. He works with optimization for public transport in the Nordic countries. 

“I travel a lot for work and started to experiment with remote control of my radios over the internet,” OJ said. “One of my radio-friends, Mr. Bjarne Mjelde had a remote location in Kongsfjord in the north-eastern part of Norway and after traveling there for “listening expeditions”, we also established a remote-controlled setup there. We still go there a couple of times every year, but between the visits we can listen remote.”

From the left: Mika Mäkeläinen, Bjarne Mjelde, Odd-Jørgen Sagdahl, Ole Forr and Jim Solatie. Bjarne, OJ and Ole hosted a Norwegian-style dinner for their friends from Finland on Oct. 27, 2023. (Photo by Mika Mäkeläinen)

Currently three men maintain the listening site in Kongsfjord. OJ, Ole and Bjarne. They use four different antennas. One for mid-central US, one for western USA, one for the Pacific and eastern Australia and one for Western Australia.

“Our Pacific antennas have been working very well and we have heard over 80 stations from New Zealand, which also includes our distance record of 10,273 miles to Invercargill at the south end of New Zealand,” OJ said.

OJ added that he still finds it amazing that they are able to catch U.S. stations on “flea-power” overnight when conditions are right.

Image of the spectrum on AM 1510 at the time OJ heard KLQR (Photo by OJ Sagdahl)