Saturday, January 27, 2018

QSLS for Month of January 2018

Birinchi Radio. Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
Las Noches con Mirka / PCJ Radio (via WRMI). Okeechobee, Florida, USA.
Reach Beyond Australia. Kununurra, Western Australia.
Radio Thailand World Service. Phuket City, Phuket Island.
AIl India Radio Raipur. Chhattisgarh, India. 
AIl India Radio Vijayawada. Andhra Pradesh, India.
Radio Free Asia. Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Radio Free Asia. Tinian, Northen Mariana Islands.
Radio Free Asia. Lampertheim, Germany.
Voice of Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam.
Voice of Turkey. Emirler, Turkey.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Radio Free Asia (via Dushanbe/Tinian/Lampertheim)

Radio Free Asia was heard on the short-wave frequencies of 9.315 kHz (Dushanbe), 11.555 kHz (Tinian), 12.055 kHz (Lampertheim) and 15.375 kHz (Dushanbe) on 24 December 2017, from 12.15 till 12.45 UTC (broadcast time 12.00 till 13.00 UTC.

Three of the four frequencies were barely audible under CNR programming, whereas transmission from the Tinian site offered the best reception.  Reception on   9.315 kHz  was SINPO: 23433 - QRM from CNR (China), but faintly audible underneath. Reception on 11.555 kHz  was SINPO: 23443 - QRM from CNR (China), but faintly audible underneath. Reception on 12.055 kHz  was SINPO: 54554 - very strong and clear content with CNR barely audible underneath. Reception on 15.375 kHz  was SINPO: 12421 - QRM from CNR (China), but faintly audible underneath. HERE's RFA on 11.555 kHz.  

Reception report was emailed and submitted to their online website on the following day. QSL card(s) -- there are four in this series -- arrived in the mail on 24 January 2018.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Rhein-Main-Radio-Club Calendar for January 2018

Rhein-Main-Radio-Club Calendar for the month of January 2018

Rhein Main Radio Club Calendar 2018

A few days ago I received a pleasant surprise in the mail. A fellow radio enthusiast in Germany gifted to me a copy of the 2018 Rhein-Main-Radio-Club Calendar. This rather remarkable calendar depicts a collection of colourful QSL (verification) cards of radio stations from a bygone era, many of which are now defunct. The calendar appears in cross-format (A4) and is in English. To order, please refer to the RMRC website. Fill in the contact form and send the amount requested.  Alles Gute im Jahr 2018  und 73!

Radio Habana Cuba Pocket Calendar 2018

Radio Havana Cuba has mailed their 2018 pocket calendar, depicting José Ramón Fernández, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, on the 35th anniversary of the Cuban victory at Playa Girón.

As in previous years, it is illustrated with the work of Oswaldo Guayasamin, Painter of Iberoamerica. Interestingly, RHC emailed me a month prior to posting, asking whether I would like the pocket calendar. Most broadcasters send their souveniors without permission.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Voice of Vietnam

Voice of Vietnam via Hanoi was heard on the shortwave frequency of 9.840 kHz, under good conditions with an SINPO of 54554. News, Current Affairs and Society Segment was observed from 10.00 till 10.27  UTC. on 12 December 2017.

Reception report was emailed on the same day. QSL card arrived on 18 January 2018.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Voice of Turkey

Voice of Turkey was logged with Indonesian programming and several Turkish pop songs from 04.58 till 05.51 UTC, on the short-wave frequency of 17.530 kHz. Reception  was poor to fair, audible and occasionally clear despite dominant atmospheric noise and fading, earning a SINPO of 25332. Reception did however improve sightly to 35443 after 05.30 UTC.

QSL card arrived in the mail on 17 January 2018.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Birinchi Radio (KTRK) (via Bishek)

Birinchi Radio (Public Broadcasting Corporation of the Kyrgyz Republic), transmitting from Bishkek, was received on 8 January 2018. Music and commentary in Kyrgyz was monitored from 13.50 till 14.15 UTC. Reception on 4.010 kHz rated a (SINPO) 24332 -- weak signal with occasionally clear audio, despite static bursts and atmospheric noise.

Reception report with audio files was emailed and posted on the following day. An email confirming reception was received on 15 January 2018.

eQSL letter by email


Perchance, a Time for a Break

From time to time the thought of hanging up the headphones, dismantling the antennas and shelving the radios  has come to mind. I've mused why invest further in the ultimate antenna, the newest state-of-the art receiver, the latest WRTH handbook. In this age of web-radio, social media, poor propagation, dwindling stations, non-responsive broadcasters and know-it-all BCLers, I've found it simply more and more difficult to sustain interest in a hobby I have known since the early 1960s. 

It is by no means the first time this hobby has lost its charm. Back in the 1980s and for nearly 30 years thereafter, radio was merely a flip of the switch and a twist of the dial, in the pursuit of nothing more than news, documentaries and music. There was no desire to DX, no need to QSL for this or that station. My focus by then had shifted entirely to career and family.

When I retired in 2009, I returned to the hobby with newfound interest, new radios, new antennas. Soon the old spark was rekindled. But much had changed. Stations heard in my youth like Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Budapest, Radio Sweden had disappeared. And more long time favorites would gradually fade into the sunset with their antenna masts gleaming their last red glow. Of course, new ones came along too, and kept the flame for DXing and QSLing alight.

Nowadays, I tire very easily. Interest in all things related to radio has begun to wane. Perhaps, it is time I fade away too. Take a hiatus. Tune in only for the ad hoc or special broadcast. Log and blog less frequently. Post the occasional QSL. It is time for a change.

Happy DXing to those who still possess the passion for this hobby. Thank you  and 73.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Las Noches con Mirka / PCJ Radio (via WRMI - Okeechobee)

Las Noches con Mirka via WRMI was received from 22.40 till 23.00 UTC, on 17 November 2017. Transmission on 9.955 kHz rated a SINPO of 35343 -- fair signal strength and clear audio which remained so until this programme of Cuban, Caribbean and Spanish language songs ended at the top of the hour with Jeff White's announcement of WRMI ID.

PCJ Radio via WRMI was received from 23.00 up until 23.35 UTC, on 17 November 2017. While clarity of content was lacking a bit, as the grey-line between Miami and Kuala Lumpur was just beginning to close. I did manage to detect mention of a 'special' PCJ broadcast, an interview with a former PCJ announcer -- my guess is Tom Meier, a couple of light jazz tunes and the Eddie Startz signature song "A Nice Cup of Tea". Overall, from 23.00 till 23.10 UTC, SINPO on 9.955 kHz rated 35343 -- fair signal strength and clear audio. Ten minutes into the broadcast, reception gradually deteriorated with increased atmospheric noise to 24222. By 23.30 UTC, audio and atmospheric noise were mixing at equal strength, making content difficult to decipher. HERE's an idea of how WRMI sounded at around 23.00 UTC.

Reception report was emailed to WRMI ans PCJ Radio the following day. A QSL for both programmes arrived in the mail on 13 January 2018.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (via Nauen and Moosbrunn)

Norddeutscher Rundfunk via Media-Broadcasting (Nauen and Moosbrunn) in their annual "Gruß an Bord" broadcast of Christmas greetings from seaman and families was received from 19.00 till 19.30 UTC (18.00 till 18.30 CET), on 24 December 2018. During the half hour monitored, five music requests, including "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" and "Sitting by the Dock in the Bay", were noted between messages read by the families and moderated by NDR announcers. Reception was received only the short-wave frequencies of 9.740 kHz (Nauen) and 9.790 kHz (Moosbrunn); additional frequencies advertised for this event were not heard in Southeast Asia. Reception on 9.740 kHz was (SINPO) 25332 -- weak signal and slight fading with atmospheric noise being the most troublesome aspect. By 19.25 UTC, reception worsened to 25211 -- fading under atmospheric noise; reception on 9.790 kHz was (SINPO) 35433 - a slightly stronger and clearer signal despite noisy propagation. But, 15 minutes into the broadcast, transmission faded rapidly under atmospheric noise and was not heard. HERE's NDR, first, on 9.740 kHz (Nauen), then on 9.790 kHz (Moosbrunn).

Reception report was emiled to Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Media-Broadcasting after Christmas. Report was also posted to NDR and a follow-up email was sent to Media-Broadcasting in January 2018. An eQSL from Media-Broadcasting was received on 12 January 2018.
QSL card from NDR arrived in the mail on 17 January 2018.

Radio Sawa / BBG (via Cap Greco)

Radio Sawa / BBG via Cap Greco was received  on the medium-wave frequency of 990 kHz, rating a SINPO of 24432 -- weak to fair signal strength, occasionally clear and discernible content whenever signal peaked (every two to three minutes). An Arabic language broadcast featuring news reports / discussion was heard from 17.25 till 17.45 UTC.

Reception report with audio files was emailed to several contacts at Radio Sawa and BBG shortly afterwards. A follow up report was emailed on 10 January 2018; an email reply from Gerhard Straub promised to forward report for QSL card on the same day.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Logbook 10 - 11 January 2018

All India Radio Tezu (Akashvani Tezu) in the Lohit District, Arunachal Pradesh  was observed from 17.15 till 17.30 UTC with folk/traditional Indian music. Reception on the medium-wave frequency of 1332 kHz was (SINPO) 23322 -- weak signal strength but with audible and clear content  depending on duration of fading (which on average was approximately two minutes apart) and QRM from a Thai station.

Voice of Mongolia
(Ulaanbaator) at 09.40 UTC with Mongolian programming and Mongolian music,  on 12.085 kHz with SINPO 34433. HERE's  how VOM sounded.

Thazin Radi
o (Pyin U Lwin), was observed on 9.590 kHz, at 05.28 UTC with local pop music, ID and interval in Chin dialect. Programming in Kachin followed. SINPO rated 35443. HERE is Thazin Radio.

Radio Taiwan International
featured a special  programme in conjunction with the Fisheries Council of Taiwan Government Agriculture Agency was heard from 10.58 to 11.59 UTC. Programmes in 2o-minute segments of Mandarin, English and Indonesia was observed during this time; it featured a mix of pop songs, language lessons and tourism related information. Initially reception on 12.100 kHz rated a SINPO  of 54544 -- powerful signal at sign-on, despite some transmitter hum and slight station splatter from FEBC (Bocaue) when signal faded. Reception deteriorated slighted just before the Indonesian segment of the broadcast to SINPO 44444. HERE is an excerpt from this broadcast.

Voice of Vietnam
(Hanoi) was heard on the shortwave frequency of 12.020 kHz, under excellent conditions with SINPO of 55555. News, Current Affairs and Economy Segment in English, as well as few Vietnamese pop songs, was observed from 10.00 till 10.27  UTC. HERE is an excerpt of this VOV English broadcast.

RX: Sangean ATS-909 (MW); Tecsun S-2000 (SW) ANT: internal ferrite rod (MW); 1/4 wave (SW) QTH: Kuala Lumpur

Monday, January 8, 2018

Reach Beyond Australia (via Kununurra)

Reach Beyond Australia in Kununurra, Western Australia was received on 3 January 2018. Station interval in English for South Asia broadcast noted, along with religious sermon (Daula Ujina Dehra) and vocal music in Kurux language was monitored from 12.27 till 12.45 UTC on the short-wave frequency of 15.345 kHz with SINPO of 55544 -- excellent signal strength, strong and clear audio, slight fading but not enough to seriously degrade reception. HERE's Reach Beyond Australia.

Reception report was submitted online at Reach Beyond Australia website on the following day. This eQSL was received on 9 January 2018.

Friday, January 5, 2018

All India Radio Raipur (Chhattisgarh)

All India Radio Raipur (Akashvani Raipur) in Chhattisgarh was logged on on the medium-wave frequency of  981 kHz, between 17.10 till 17.35 UTC, on 13 October 2017. Reception from 17.10 till 17.20 UTC rated a SINPO of 23432 -- weak to fair signal with co-frequency interference from stations in Taiwan and China when not fading every few minutes. After 17.20 UTC, overpowering interference from Voice of Kuanghua (Taiwan) and possibly a broadcaster in China blocked reception of  AIR Raipur. Before 17.00 UTC, reception was impossible due to a Thai station. Content of programming consisted of possibly Indian folk song, performed by a female singer. HERE's AIR Raipur.

Reception report was emailed and posted on the following day to Spectrum Management & Synergy. QSL card arrived in the mail on 6 January 2018, confirming not only AIR Raipur, but also AIR Vijayawada.

All India Radio Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh)

All India Radio Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh was heard with classical Indian music (flute composition), from 17.10 till 17.30 UTC, 13 and 18 October 2017. News in English and Hindi followed until sign-off around 17.40 UTC.  Reception on 837 kHz rated a SINPO of 34323 initially, but signal gradually disappeared after 17.28 UTC, with news only faintly observed till transmission ended. HERE's AIR Vijayawada.

Reception report was emailed and posted on the following day to Spectrum Management & Synergy. QSL card arrived in the mail on 6 January 2018, confirming not only AIR Vijayawada, but also AIR AIR Suratgarh and AIR Raipur.

Radio Thailand World Service (via Phuket Island)

Radio Thailand World Service (HSK9) via Phuket Island was heard on the medium-wave frequency of 1062 kHz, rating a SINPO of 33433 -- fair signal strength with occasionally clear audio content, despite co-frequency interference and moderate fading. This broadcast was simulcast on an FM outlet in Phuket as well; at one point, the ID for the FM station was announced. Apparently this station is designed to attract Western tourist visiting the island of Phuket, if one considers the music content. Western pop music with station IDs in English was observed from 13.05 till 13.30 UTC, on 6 November 2017. HERE is Radio Thailand in Phuket. John Lennon's song "Imagine" and Radio Thailand ID can be heard in this recording.

Reception report was emailed the following day. QSL card arrived in the mail on 6 January 2018. 


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Logbook for 31 Dec 2017 - 3 Jan 2018

Radio 4KZ in Innisfail, Queensland was logged between 17.50 till 18.25 UTC, on 31 December 2017. For over a week I have chased this station with varying degrees of success, always quite poorly, either with just a carrier or content barely audible and mixing with scratchy atmospheric noise. Finally, at the end of 2017 (New Year's Day in Australia and Malaysia), propagation improved for the first time and their signal broke just above the noise, allowing for the best reception to date. I mean, I was actually able to listen to a late night talk show and some music for a remarkable period without it fading under the noise every few seconds. Not bad for a shortwave station operating with just 500 watts and approximately 5,374 km away from Kuala Lumpur. Reception on 5.054 kHz (slightly off their 5.055 kHz) rated a modest SINPO of 25432 -- weak signal with audible and occasionally clear content, with less QRN than previous nights. Any chance of receiving Radio 4KV before 16.00 UTC is impossible due to station splatter (5 Hz +/-) from Voice of Beibu Bay which operates on 5.050 kHz. At any rate, Radio 4KZ is usually detected shortly before or after 17.00 UTC here, and has been heard as late at 20.00 UTC on one occasion, but again poorly and mostly carrier observed. While the content of the following audio files represent how poorly and noisy reception is, Aussie accents, gender of announcers/guests and even Peter Gabriel's song "In Your Eyes" presented here are all heard; and while no station other than Radio 4KZ operates on this frequency, Al Kirton (the station manager) deems the audio files insufficient to ID the station, and therefore is unable (or unwilling) to issue the station's QSL. With the power increase to 1 or 1.2 kW in coming weeks, reception should improve slightly, although I won't count on much of a big improvement. Be that as it may, HERE and HERE is how Radio 4KZ sounded in my quarter. 

Reach Beyond Australia in Kununurra, Western Australia was received on 3 January 2018. Station interval in English for South Asia broadcast noted, along with religious sermon and vocal music in Kuruk language was monitored from 12.27 till 12.45 UTC on the short-wave frequency of 15.345 kHz with SINPO of 55544 -- excellent signal strength, strong and clear audio, slight fading but not enough to seriously degrade reception. HERE's Reach Beyond Australia. 

RX:  Tecsun S-2000 and Degen DE-1102 ANT: long wire of 10 metres  QTH: Kuala Lumpur

Voice of Korea Souvenirs

These souvenir items from the Voice of Korea  in the DPRK (North Korea) arrived in the mail just before the start of the New Year.  They included an A3 size magazine full of colourful pictures  praising the North Korean people, their nation and their glorious leader Kim Jong Un. What to say? It's propaganda at its finest. Along with this magazine, I received The Pyongyang Times (an English language propaganda newspaper), QSL card and order form to purchase DPRK postage stamps. Rather than display the magazine content, photo after photo, I compiled this video and recording of the  Voice of Korea radio interval. 

Radio Taiwan International Calendar for 2018

Just before New Years's Day I received a calendar for 2018 from Radio Taiwan International.  Rather than display each individual picture, I put together this video on Taiwanese "food art" featured in their calendar. The audio track on this video is recognisably RTI's interval signal. 

Monday, January 1, 2018