K57 heard in the Arctic Circle

Jyrki Hytönen, the forest researcher, said he is over 6,000 miles away from Guam.
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The AM radio signal of the Sorensen Media Group’s K57 radio was heard in Finland last week by a forest researcher who tuned in from above the Arctic Circle.

He sent us an email to let us know and PNC’S Kevin Kerrigan called him up to find out what he heard.

Jyrki Hytönen, the forest researcher, said he is over 6,000 miles away from Guam.

“That’s really far,” he said.

It’s a fluke of nature called “skywave” propagation that enabled Jyrki Hytönen to pick up the K57 radio signal last week as he was sitting in a cabin above the Arctic Circle in faraway Finland.

“I heard you when I traveled 200 miles above the Arctic Circle in Finish Lapland. I had a long directional antenna, over 3,000 feet long,” Hytönen said.

At night, when the conditions are right, an AM radio signal can bounce off the ionosphere and skip around the globe for thousands of miles.

“Because of the darkness, the signals can be reflected back to earth. They can hop from earth to the atmosphere and back several times to reach Finland,” he said.

Hytönen says conditions have been especially good in recent weeks because sunspot activity is at a minimum.

“The sun very quiet. The solar cycle lasts for 11 years and now is the minimum. It helps for long-distance reception,” Hytönen said.

Hytönen is a forestry researcher who has been studying the effects of carbon emissions on the forests of Finland. But he has also been a radio aficionado since he was 15 years old and he is an avid fan of DXing which is the hobby of receiving and identifying distant radio signals and making contact with those distant stations which is what he did over the weekend when he sent K57 an email after picking up our signal.

“It’s always amazing to hear far away signals,” Hytönen said.