This blog is about listening to the radio and not only about the reception of QSLs. So I’d like to share this nice surprise.
Aasiaat Radio in Greenland was my most remote log on 2187.5 kHz. Until last night when all of a sudden Bangkok Radio from Thailand showed up on DX-Atlas. I have received Bangkok Radio a couple of times on 12 Mhz but never on 2 MHz.
With a DSC message they responded to a test call from bulk carrier “BASS” near Banda Aceh on its way from Sikka, India to Singapore.
Unfortunately I don’t have an email address of Bangkok Radio, and I couldn’t find recent QSLs on the internet. But if you have info, feel free to drop it in the comments.
I received a fully detailed email QSL from WWKB “The Bet” on 1520 kHz from Buffalo, NY, USA. WWKB follows a trend in which more and more stations use a catchy name. Since 2021 they brand themselves as “The Bet 1520” as they focus on sports gambling. I heard quite a few “BetMGM” commercials.
Receiving a Transatlantic station might be a challenge, getting their QSL is another one. The websites of the stations are often blocked for IP addresses outside Europe, so you have to use a VPN connection. But even then often the only contact opportunity granted is via a web form. This makes it difficult to personalize your reception report and impossible to include a MP3 recording. And so far I had poor experience in getting a reply. But as you can see, Kevin Carr from WWKB did reply with a nicely detailed email within a day.
In the last few days I enjoyed pretty good Transatlantic medium wave conditions. This resulted in a couple of QSLs that I will post in the coming days. The QSL for WJR 760 Detroit, Michigan, USA, is the first of those. Mr. Keith Bosworth, regional director of engineering for the Cumulus Group was so kind to confirm my reception with full details:
Whenever you receive a station with a three letter call-sign you can bet it is an older station with a great legacy. The roots of WJR go back to May 4th, 1922, albeit under the call-sign WCX. That is only 5 months after December 1st, 1921. On this date the US government adopted regulations formally defining “broadcasting stations”. The wavelength of 360 meters (833 kHz) was designated for entertainment broadcasts, while 485 meters (619 kHz) was reserved for broadcasting official weather and other government reports (source: Wikipedia).
WCX obtained a license for both frequencies. With a fast growing number of stations competition was fierce. Stations in the same region had to “time-share”. It took until 2023 when a band running from 550 to 1350 kHz was opened for broadcast activities. But even then WCX had to time-share on 580 kHz with WWJ from Detroit. This situation lasted until 1925, when WWJ was assigned to 850 kHz. That was also the year in which the Jewett Radio & Phonograph Company received a license for a new station. The letters of the call-sign letter WJR apparently refer to this company. This company took over WCX and the call-sign WJR survived until today.
The studios are still located in the Fisher Building, a “sky scraper” in Art Deco style, built in 1928. The antennas on top of the building relay the signals to the transmitter site.
Austro Control sent a nice fullly detailed I got my QSL NDB GRZ-290 via email@example.com . The beacon was located on Graz Airport in Austria.
And yes: “was located”. Because this is another NDB that can’t be heard anymore. More and more of them are taken out of service, as they are deemed obsolete as modern VOR and GPS systems are now available to support navigation.
NDB GRZ was taken off the air on September 7th, 2023. Fortunately I still had a Pskov recording from its final month of operation. I guess I better hurry to get my other Austrian NDBs QSLed.
Pretty amazing… today I’m running this blog for a year now. When I started I still had no idea what to expect from taking on my DX hobby again. A year later I have written 246 posts. And it means that I must have received around 250 QSLs as well!
More importantly is probably that made a couple of new DX friends through this blog. It is definitely true that modern communication tools have impacted our hobby. But it is not all bad as we can share and discuss our results “real time”.
To celebrate the anniversary I dug in my QSL collection to add some party decorations to this post… Thanks for reading my posts and leaving your comments!
Radio Marabu celebrates its 40th birthday this year. The station started as early as 1984. I received a classic QSL of Radio Marabu for their broadcast on Channel 292, Rohrbach, Germany. Their QSL is printed on a beautiful shiny silver card.
As I said, Radio Marabu exists 40 year. It started as an independent non-commercial platform for an alternative music selection. Music that you typically won’t hear on today’s FM band. Personally I really enjoy listening to their web stream when I’m doing stuff like writing reception reports or working on my blog.
QSL for NDB SAY-431 from Stornoway signed by Peadar Smith, Air Traffic Controller. Peadar answered my reception report by email first and offered me to sign a PPC as well. And since I thought of starting using PPCs again I gladly accepted his offer:
Stornoway is situated on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom. The airfield was opened in 1937, primarily for military purposes. Today it is owned by HIAL and mainly used for domestic services.
My QSL is the 5th from a HIAL airport (Islay, Wick, Benbecula and Kirkwall other the other NDBs I received a QSL for). I sent my initial report to firstname.lastname@example.org. But you could also send your report to directly to Peader at the address below. Mind you: Peader is an avid stamp collector, so trust he will be very happy if you could add some stamps with your report!
Peadar Smith Air Traffic Controller Port Adhair Steòrnabhagh Highlands and Islands Airports Limited Stornoway Airport, Isle of Lewis, HS2 OBN United Kingdom
My second attempt to QSL Polish Rescue Radio on 2187.5 kHz was successful! Polish Rescue Radio operates from the city of Gdynia in Poland. I heard them with a DSC message to a cargo ship GT Foresti. When I checked the ship was in the Kiel canal, connecting the East (Baltic) Sea with the North Sea, on its way to Brake, a harbor in the Weser river, north of Bremen.
I snet my report to email@example.com . Polish Rescue Radio replaced Witowo Radio on January 1st, 2020. They have a very nice website that provides lots of info on their operations.
When I resumed the DX hobby about a year ago I didn’t think that I would be able to add new EDXC radio countries to my total. But this QSL for TWR PANI Kyrgyzstan on 1467 kHz already adds my 3rd new country to my list. It brings my total on 191st as I was never able to get a QSL from the Kyrgyzstan national radio.
TWR has always been a very DX friendly station. But the structure of their organization and website is really tuned to meet the needs of the individual target audiences. As a result it is a bit complicated for DX-ers to find schedules and program/station owners. As Mr. Kalman Dobos from TWR Europe was so kind to send me a QSL for the TWR broadcast from Armenia, I asked him. And indeed within 5 weeks I had my eQSL. The report I sent to TWR Asia via a web form remains unanswered at the time of writing.
As was the case for Armenia, the QSL unfortunately only mentions Central Asia. Fortunately there is no confusion possible with TWR from Roumoules, which dominates the frequency in the evening with its high power transmitter from France.
The programs from Kyrgyzstan are referred to as TWR PANI: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Northern India. And the languages spoken are from that region, which makes it difficult to pick up details. But at 15:43 a recording of male voice in English mentioning TWR360.org twice was played. It was followed by the well known TWR interval signal and a telephone number that was repeated in English. That’s probably the best way to identify the station, as there was also another Middle East station from either Saudi Arabia or Iran present on the same frequency. And yes, a local LPAM, Radio Eldorado, contributed to the QRM as well.
More info on the station can be read on the very informative Ydun’s Medium Wave Info site.
In the last three months of last year I received 11 beacons from the Czech Republic. My report to ANS remained unanswered. Arvid Husdal was so kind to provide me with the email address of Miroslav Najman, OK1DUB, who works at ANS as Radiocommunications Systems Adminstrator.
Within a day Mr. Najman sent me an email. 7 of the 11 beacons in my report were military and outside ANS responsibility (see below). But he could confirm my reception of 4 of them:
The beacons are Thales NDB 436, operating on 50 Watts power. In addition to the technical info I received 4 nice pictures of the transmitter containers and antennas.
The following beacons are owned by the military: CF-345.5 and C-715 for Caslav Airbase PK-432 and P-888 for Pardubice Airport (shared mil/civil) K-438 for Praha-Kbely Airbase LA-514.5 and XU-563 for Namest nad Oslavou Airbase