Wednesday, April 30, 2014

QSLs for April 2014

QSLs received and promised for the month of April 2014:

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (eQSL) transmitting from Honiara, Solomon Islands
Télédiffusion de France for Radio Hilaac (eQSL) transmitting from Issoudun, France
WRMI for PanAmerican Broadcasting (QSL card) transmitting from Okeechobee, Florida (USA)
Atlantic 2000 International (eQSL) Internet stream from France
FEBC Radio (eQSL and Letter) transmitting from Bocaue, Philippines
PCJ Radio International (eQSL) transmitting from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Voice of Russia (QSL card) transmitting from Novosibirsk, Russia
All India Radio (QSL card) transmitting from Aligarh, India
Voice of Vietnam 5 (QSL card) transmitting from Woofferton, UK
FEBA India "Test Transmission" (eQSL) transmitting from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
NHK World - Radio Japan (QSL card) transmitting from Medorn, Palau
STF Radio International (eQSL) transmitting from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Radio Romania International

Vatican Radio (via Santa Maria di Galeria)

Vatican Radio, transmitting presumably from Santa Maria di Galeria,  was logged on 30 April 2014. Between 18.40 to 19.00 UTC, a priest and congregation recited the Rosary. Avé María was repeated many time, i.e. "Avé María, grátia pléna, Dóminus técum. Benedícta tu in muliéribus...". Broadcast closed with brief instrumental music, then Vatican Radio interval tune. Transmission was observed on the 19 metre frequency of 15.595 kHz. Good reception was noted with strong and clear signal, despite occasional atmospheric noise -- (SINPO) 45454.

Reception report was emailed to Vatican Radio the following day. Sergio Salvatori, Vatican Radio, Frequency Management, replied with this email on 2 May 2014: "Thank you for the report. I have sent you the requested QSL". Their QSL card, along with a calendar, arrived on 15 May 2014.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Radio Veritas Asia

Radio Veritas Asia, the Philippines-based Catholic broadcaster transmitting from Palauig-Zambales, was logged on 29 April 2014. A radio programme for children and "Berita" (news) in Filipino was observed from 22.58 to 23.27 UTC. Station signed on and off with station interval and ID: "This is Radio Veritas Asia broadcasting from from Quezon City, Philippines. The following broadcast will be in Filipino". Reception on 15.355 kHz was (SINPO) 35333. Signal strength was poor to fair due to severe fading and atmospheric noise. Despite these conditions their transmission was audible and discernible.

Reception report was emailed and submitted on-line to Radio Veritas Asia's FaceBook page and website on the following day, 30 April 2014. QSL card, sticker and pocket calendars arrived in the mail on 24 June 2014.



Email (Filipino service):

Saturday, April 26, 2014

RNZI "Sounds Like Us - Kiwiana Radio" QSLs

One of my all time favorite short-wave broadcasters is Radio New Zealand International (RNZI). The first time I tuned in and caught their unmistakable bellbird interval I was mesmerized. The year was 1969.

Fish & Chips Radio
Back then the station broadcast with two 7.5 kW transmitters from Titahi Bay. These capable transmitters, which had been left behind by the US military after the Second World War, operated on the 25 and 31 meter bands from 1948 till 1990. Their signal carried well into the wee hours of the morning, between 06.00 and 09.00 GMT, reaching beyond New Zealand to the Rocky Mountains where I lived.

Bush Radio
What a delight it was to hear Radio New Zealand, as the station was then known. The regional news and weather, Pacific island languages, insightful programmes on New Zealand to contemporary music with quotations interspersed between songs seemed all too exotic, at least fascinating enough to entice me to listen frequently.

Anzac Radio
As the 1980s drew near I listened less, not just to Radio New Zealand, but shortwave broadcasters in general. By this time my life had become increasingly focused on career and family. Meanwhile political pressure grew for Radio New Zealand to take a more active role in the Pacific area. The New Zealand government upgraded the station's service and installed a new 100 kW transmitter, which commenced operation on opening day of the Commonwealth Games held in Auckland. At this point, the station was re-launched as Radio New Zealand International.

Pacific Radio
Today, RNZI has two transmitters – a 100 kW analogue transmitter and a 100 kW digital capable (DRM) short-wave transmitter. The transmission site is located at Rangitaiki, 41km east of Taupo in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. Audio is fed to the transmitters by a digital link from the studios in Wellington, 400km south of Taupo. 

Since resuming the hobby of short-wave listening I have rediscovered Radio New Zealand International. And their programming is just as captivating as it was all those years ago.
Pavlova Radio

One additional bonus is their attractive and creative series of "Sounds Like Us - Kiwiana Radio" QSLs. While I had the fortune to QSL Radio New Zealand twice in the late 60s and early 70s, on separate frequencies, I have been sufficiently impressed in recent years to submit several reception reports just to collect RNZI's current QSL series.

Grandma's Knitting Basket Radio
In 2007 Radio New Zealand International introduced this new and fresh advertising campaign focusing on iconic and traditional New Zealand images. With some Kiwiana twists these images were developed into ten classic and quirky model radios created by the very talented team at WETA Workshop. A further five radios were created from the winning designs in the 2010/2011 radio design competition.

Maori Radio
The competition alone attracted hundreds of students at schools and tertiary institutions around New Zealand. The aim was to display their Kiwi creative ingenuity and to explore why they were passionate about New Zealand culture, and what it meant to them to be a Kiwi. From a campaign concept and radio competition an assortment of fantastic radio creations, the "Sounds Like Us - Kiwiana Radio" QSL series evolved.

Equally important for QSL collectors, Radio New Zealand International remains a station willing to verify correct reception reports. This is especially unique in an age when international shortwave broadcasters have either ceased operation or issuing QSL cards. 

Gum Boot Radio
RNZI makes one request. To help defray costs, radio enthusiasts seeking their QSL are asked to enclose either two International Reply Coupons (IRCs) or US$2.00. It's a small price to pay, but one well worth it.

These and more designs may be also downloaded as screensavers HERE.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Radio New Zealand International

Radio New Zealand International, "The Voice of the Pacific", was logged on 23 April 2014. Their Dateline Pacific programme was monitored between 18.15 to 18.50 UTC. Reports highlighted Fiji indigenous land rights and loopholes, political history and media censorship in Pacific nations, assault on asylum seekers in Manus Island and New Zealand fisheries. This was followed with news about New Zealand in English, then Samoan. A country and western tune and RNZI bellbird interval wrapped up transmission on 9.700 kHz. Reception (SINPO) at 18.15 UTC was 55454 -- excellent signal strength with minor atmospheric noise. At 18.30 UTC reception was degraded to 53453 due to station splatter from China Radio International.
Reception report was posted to RNZI, c/o Mr. Adrian Sainsbury, on the following day. One may obtain a paper QSL card for reports mailed to RNZI, together with US$2 or 2 IRCs. Emailed reports are acknowledged with an eQSL, never paper QSL. I received their QSL card, programme schedule, brochure on RNZI and stickers on 15 May 2014.

Postal address:
Radio New Zealand International
C/O Mr. Adrian Sainsbury
P.O. Box 123
Wellington, New Zealand



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Radio Impala (via MGLOB Talata-Volondry)

According to the website of Radio Impala, this clandestine station is the voice of freedom for the East African Community. They provide live and recorded programmes from a studio based in London, UK, seven days a week, two hours a day. Programming includes talk show debates, opinions from listeners and music. Radio Impala is funded entirely by donations and sponsorship and is staffed entirely by professional journalists.

Radio Impala via MGLOB in Talata-Volondry, Madagascar was logged on 19 April 2014. A broadcast in the East African dialect of Kinyarwanda was heard briefly from 17.50 to 17.55 UTC (broadcast time 17.00 to 17.55 UTC). A male singer with guitar was observed singing just before sign-off, without announcement of closure. Radio Impala was logged again on 20 April 2014 from 17.00 to 17.57 UTC. Station ID with commentary/interview, along with a lovely choral song which  ran for over 10 minutes was heard until sign-off.

Reception on 17.540 kHz for both days was (SINPO): 35343 - poor to fair signal strength with atmospheric noise, yet audible and discernible speech.

The following clips were recorded on 20 April 2014, first a station ID and commentary, then choral song. CLIP NO. 1 HERE. CLIP NO. 2 HERE.

Reception report was emailed and submitted on-line to Radio Impala and MGLOB. This QSL card from MGLOB for Radio Impala features a textured effect (matte weaving) laminated to the card. It arrived in the mail on 6 May 2014.



STF Radio International 1-Hour Million-Watt Special

STF (Super Time Force) Radio International, based in Toronto, Canada, is a narrowcasting project designed to deliver specialised content to specific audiences in remote locations. And due to the nature of shortwave, STF Radio International is inviting the world to tune in.

A series of special multimedia broadcasts will explore new possibilities with aging technology. STF Radio International will air a 1-hour programme for broadcast on 20 April 2014. Depending on audience response, there may be additional programmes throughout the year.

The content of the digital modes will include ASCII art, photos, secret information, and hyperlinks to pages on the Internet, transmitted in a challenging variety of different modulator/demodulator formats.

1-Hour Million-Watt Special
Date: 20 April 2014
Time: 04.00 to 05.00 UTC
5.050 kHz (The Americas) - Saturday Night
5.110 kHz (North & Central America) - Saturday Night 
7.490 kHz (North & Central America) - Saturday Night
7.570 kHz (North America) - Saturday Night
7.730 kHz (Mexico & Central America) - Saturday Night
9.925 kHz (North & Central America) - Saturday Night
9.955 kHz (Caribbean) - Saturday Night
6.025 kHz (EU) - Sunday Morning
17.630 kHz DRM (EU, alternate programme) - Sunday Morning
17.760 kHz (Asia) - Sunday Afternoon
21.490 kHz (Pacific Aus/NZ) - Sunday Afternoon

Catch the Music, Voice, Digital Mode Text+Images, Internet Hyperlinks…and more! Happy DXing!


The "1 Hour 1 Million Watts" broadcast for STF Radio International was received on fair to excellent on two frequencies in South East Asia: 17.760 kHz and 21.490 kHz (primary frequency used). Transmission was monitored on 20 April 2014 as advertised, but with transmitter tuning beginning as early as 03.50 UTC and transmission concluding at 05.00 UTC. Transmission began with intermittent bursts of transmitter being switched off/on. This was followed at about 04.10 UTC and onward with techno music, digitised voice announcements and digital mode (facsimile) transmission.


Transmission originated presumably from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Reception (SINPO) on 17.760 kHz was 35443 -- fair signal strength with fading flutter, otherwise audible signal detected; (SINPO) on 21.490 kHz was 55545 -- strong signal with slight fade.

Reception report was emailed shortly after the transmission to STF Radio International. On 25 April 2014, Jason from STF Radio International replied with this email:

 "Thank you very much for getting in touch with us. Glad to hear that you could catch the program on 2 frequencies. Also, thank you for your thorough reception report. We are happy to send you eQSL card #010 for your reports.  We will be printing real QSL cards soon, and we'll send them along to the address you provided. HERE'S a rough remix of one of the quieter tracks from the show, using recordings from 3 different transmitters and a bit of the studio version underneath. Enjoy! Thanks again for tuning in the show!"

An eQSL followed a few days later. A paper QSL card with recorded message on the cover arrived in the mail on 15 August 2014.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Voice of Vietnam 1 (via DacLac)

Voice of Vietnam 1 (VOV 1), transmitting from the 20 kW site in DacLac (former South Vietnam), was logged on 18 April 2014. Vietnamese programming with news, current events, advertisements and national anthem with station ID was observed between 23.15 to 00.05 UTCReception on 7.210 kHz was (SINPO) 44544 -- good signal strength, despite persistent transmitter droning (common at DacLac transmitter site), interference from CRI and some atmospheric noise. By 00.00 UTC reception was significantly weaker at (SINPO) 34433.

Reception report was emailed to Voice of Vietnam on the following day. QSL card, along with a pocket calendar depicting Da Nang by night, finally arrived on 18 May 2014. 


Radio Taiwan International

Radio Taiwan International, transmitting from Tainan, was logged on 18 April 2014. A cooking programme and Chinese language contest in Bahasa Indonesia was monitored from  10.15 to 11.00 UTC (broadcast time 10.00 to 11.00 UTC). Chinese language broadcast followed at 11.00 UTC. Reception on 11.915 kHz was (SINPO) 54444 -- excellent signal strength despite minor station splatter and fading. Reception improved after 10.45 UTC to (SINPO) 55545.

Reception report in English was emailed and FaceBook messaged to RTI and submitted online in Indonesian at RTI website.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

53rd Anniversary of Radio Habana Cuba

Radio Habana Cuba celebrated their 53rd Anniversary on 16 April 2014. To commemorate the event RHC sent an email highlighting the occasion. It featured a photograph of Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries in 1961. A message accompanied the photo. 

Rosario Lafita Fernández, Head of Correspondence Dept., Radio Havana Cuba, wrote: "April 16th, 1961 is an extraordinarily significant date for our people. That day our Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, proclaimed the Socialist Character of the Cuban Revolution; he also told the world about the existence of  the “Experimental Shortwave “, founded officially, on May 1st of that year, with the name of Radio Havana Cuba.
"Let’s recall his words: '...Do they believe they’ll be able to hide it from the world?...Cuba already has a radio station, that is broadcasting for the entire Latin America; countless brothers in Latin America and throughout the world are listening to it.'

"That fire baptism has been a source of inspiration in these 53 years. Thanks
for the valuable collaboration you send to us."

Happy Anniversary Radio Habana Cuba!

Radio Hilaac (via TDF Issoudun)

Radio Hilaac (Hilaac Horyaal), a clandestine station broadcasting from Télédiffusion de France (TDF) relay facility in Issoudun,  was logged on 17 April 2014. A broadcast in Somali featuring discussions on Somaliland, recitation of the Quran and Horn of Africa music was observed from 17.00 to 17.30 UTCReception on 15.180 kHz (SINPO) was 45554 -- good signal strength, clear and stable.

Reception report was emailed shortly after transmission ended. This eQSL from TDF was received within a few hours on 18 April 2014. 

Télédiffusion de France Website: 

Radio Hilaac Website: 


Voice of America (via Santa Maria di Galeria)

Voice of America, transmitting from Santa Maria di Galeria (Vatican), was received on 17 April 2014. The English language broadcast of  "South Sudan in Focus" was observed from 16.30 to 17.00 UTC. News reports focused on South Sudan, African elections, genocide in Rwanda and abductions in Nigeria. Broadcast closed with a song called "Seasons of Peace". Reception on 15.180 kHz was (SINPO) 55444 -- excellent signal strength with minor atmospheric noise and fading.

Reception report was emailed to Voice of America shortly after broadcast closed. QSL card arrived in the mail on 11 June 2014.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Voice of Vietnam 5 "Die Stimme Vietnams" (via Dhabbaya)

Voice of Vietnam 5 "Die Stimme Vietnams", transmitting from Dhabbaya (UAE), was logged on 14 April 2014. A German language broadcast of  news about the world and Vietnam as well as  reports on economic development and industry in Vietnam, along with Vietnamese pop music, was monitored from 19.50 to 20.30 UTC (broadcast time 19.30 to 20.30 UTC). A lone female announcer presented much of this one hour broadcast. Transmission occurred on 9.430 kHz. Reception was good with a (SINPO) of 54544 -- excellent signal strength despite QRM station splatter and minor fading.

Reception report was written in German and emailed to the German language service. QSL card and postcard arrived in the mail on 5 May 2014.



Postal Address:
Die Stimme Vietnams
45 Ba Trieu,
Hanoi, Vietnam

Sunday, April 13, 2014

AM Radios with CONELRAD Symbol

If you grew up in the United States during the Cold War era, you are probably old enough to remember the US Civil Defense (CD) frequencies marked on AM (medium wave) radios. A "CD symbol" with simple white or red triangle highlighted the frequencies 640 kHz and 1240 kHz. These designated frequencies aided listeners in tuning to CONELRAD stations. 

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to Americans in the event of enemy attack during the Cold War. It was intended to serve two purposes: (1) to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and (2) to provide essential Civil Defense information.

Car radio with CD markers
I recall from the 1950s and 1960s -- especially the early 1960s -- radio stations (TV stations too) would occasionally interrupt regular programming and test the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS). It would begin with the message, "This is a test. For the next sixty seconds, this station will conduct a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test." It was followed by a shrill sound that combined sine waves of 853 and 960 Hz, an interval signal so unpleasant it attracted the collective attention of the public. Decoders at relay stations would sound an alarm, alerting the station operator to the incoming message. After the test an announcer would state, "If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to tune to one of the broadcast stations in your area."

Portable AM radio with symbols
The purpose of the test was to allow the US Federal Communications Commission and broadcasters to verify that EBS tone transmitters and decoders were functioning properly. In addition to the weekly test, test activations of the entire system were conducted periodically for many years. These tests showed that about 80% of broadcast outlets nationwide would carry emergency programming within a period of five minutes when the system was activated. Over the years the message and procedure changed, but essentially the content remained.

Today, you will find no radios with this symbol. It is the relic of a dreadful past, hopefully gone forever.

Source: Wikipedia