Using SDR.HU to listen to AM radio sports

The Cubs won the pennant, and the Buckeyes lost to Penn State. I was able to listen to the radio calls of both of these through recievers connected to sdr.hu.

The Cubs radio call was from WMVP-AM, ESPN Chicago 1000. I had some practice listening to them through the Farmington Hills, MI SDR run by KB8SPI. That system is a KiwiSDR with a PA0RDT Mini-Whip, and it tunes from 0-30 Mhz including all of the longwave (broadcast AM) band. I also had a chance to pull in WTAM-AM Newsradio 1100 in Cleveland from the same receiver, though I had to work a bit to avoid adjacent channel interference from WCAR-AM 1090 in Detroit.

The Ohio State call was from WIMA-AM, Lima Ohio 1150. This was very easy to pick up from KH6ILT’s KiwiSDR in nearby Elida, OH. WIMA is part of the Ohio State IMG Sports Network, and it broadcasts all of the Buckeye football games. The signal is very strong (S9+30) and there is no interference from other stations. I was able to find this station from the list of Ohio State Buckeye radio stations, and it’s possible that this particular receiver might pick up other sports broadcasts as well; I’m also able to pull in WMVP-AM ESPN Chicago 1000 here.

Chasing AM radio sports is a lot of fun. Even if the major networks broadcast their video streams via cell phone apps for free from time to time - ESPN was showing the Ohio State game on their app at the end for free - it’s still useful to pick up the radio call. In this particular case the radio feed was a couple of plays ahead of the video, so I got about 45 seconds of lead time by listening to the radio.

The only small limitation about SDR.HU and its OpenWebRX software is that when I try to view it on a small cell-phone sized screen it doesn’t handle it very well. Note that these receivers are based on the Beaglebone hardware and can only handle four simultaneous listeners. With those two constraints in mind, it’s a great way to extend your listening reach.