Soon after my return to the hobby a couple of months ago I picked up my interest for maritime radio as well. Thirtyfive years ago I received stations in morse code with CW and VVV markers. This allowed me to to QSL countries that were almost out of reach otherwise: D4A Cabo Verde, P2M Port Moresby, 3DP Suva…
But CW is gone, and DSC is what we got in return. And during the winter months I managed a couple of nice receptions on 2187.5 kHz in particular like Aasiaat Radio. But on the higher frequencies I was less successful, apart from nice catches like Charleville/Wiluna and Valparaiso. Despite the distance those stations are quite common however.
But since last week conditions are great. In the community I see DSC loggins from all over the world were made in Europe. My personal best catch was Honiara Radio from the Solomon Islands, the reception looked like this with the YADD decoder:
TIME: 2023-06-26 06:16:21 FREQ: 12577.0 DIST: — Km SYMB: 120 120 053 080 008 005 030 108 000 055 070 000 010 118 126 126 126 126 126 126 126 122 107 122 122 FMT: SEL CAT: SAF TO: SHIP,538008053,??? FROM: COAST,005570001, UNID TC1: TEST TC2: NOINF FREQ: — POS: — EOS: ACK cECC: 107 OK
And yes, it read UNID. But the DSC community made me aware that 005570001 is MRCC Honiara, Solomon Islands! The ship contacted was a bulk carrier “Golden Pearl” on the Coral Sea. The emails are out, letters soon to be followed. Let’s see if I can QSL this one!
I received Radio Emmeloord while camping in Appelscha on June 18th and sent a reception report to email@example.com . Dick Offringa is the man behind Radio Emmeloord as you can read in this article of De Ondernemer. He sent his regards via my website and forwarded my report to Dicky Denkers who sent a nice email with some details on the station which is located near Harlingen in Pietersbierum.
For a LPAM transmitter the station in Harlingen has an impressive antenna, a T antenna between two 30 meter masts. Unfortunately it is almost impossible for me to receive this station in my home QTH in Woerden, as MCB from Alphen a/d Rijn(15 km) dominates the frequency. In the evening I can indeed hear MCB in the background here in Appelscha.
Currently their are good conditions to receive some of the Weather Fax Stations from the Far East in the late afternoon, say between 17:00 and 21:00 UTC . The Japan Meteorological Agency is one of them on 13988.5 kHz, The callsign JMH is easily spotted top left:
They broadcast a satellit image at 19:10 h UTC:
Another station is Guangzhou Radio on 16826.25 kHz. Very clear image and ID, unfortunatly I didn’t sync them very well. I received them on 12629.25 kHz as well, but in lesser quality.
And on 13570 kHz there is HLL Seoul. Not every picture has their name attached, but the HLL callsign was obvious on this one:
Check this link for the best info on the few Weather Fax stations that are still in operation!
This post is a bit of a “catch up” as I received this nice QSL letter by email from Guangzhou Coast Radio 8414.5 kHz before I started this webblog. I sent my report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was very pleased with this QSL. I received Guangzhou Coast Radio with their callsign XSQ many years ago when they were still broadcasting “VVV” markers in CW. But where Shanghai Radio did return a QSL – the tiniest QSL in my collection – I never got one from Guangzhou. Today it seems the other way round, unless some of you can give me a better address for Shanghai.
As always I attached a photo of my home town Woerden with my report. In return I got a beautiful picture from Pearl River and Guangzhou city. It is always nice to see how proud people are of their city! If I look at their skyline I’m living in a prehistorical hamlet 😊
June 13th late afternoon brought very good ionospheric conditions towards Italy. Around 17:50 h UTC I received a couple of Italian stations. RadioFreccia on 88.3 MHz was one of them. I sent my report to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Alessandro Palumbo was so kind to confirm my reception by email. The transmitter I received is located in Madonna del Tufo, south of Rome, almost 1300 kms from my QTH.
This was the first Ionospheric DX reception I made since I picked up my hobby again last year. Reception was made with my ICOM R8600, HDSDR and Discone as antenna. I posted a small clip of my reception on Youtube.
More or less by accident I tuned in to a program of SM Radio Dessau via Channel 292 on 9670 kHz. I couldn’t find this slot on the SM Radio Dessau website. And did not see it on Channel 292 website either.
I received a repeat of a show from April 2021. Two hours later I heard the same show on 6070 kHz, which is in line with the schedule posted by SM Radio Dessau.
Anyway, within a day I received this beautiful eQSL card, with a bit of local flavor from Max Berger. Thank you so much!
I have never really been into amateur radio/HAM. Maybe that is something for later when the last broadcast station has left the waves for the internet. There is one exception to the rule though. I bought the MULTIPSK decoder a few months ago, and occasionally I like to keep it running on 14230 kHz to see if I can catch some SSTV DX. It is probably all about the instant satisfaction of receiving a nice picture.
One June 9th conditions allowed me to make my first Transatlantic SSTV catch: VE2JWC from St. Jerome, Quebec Canada. Cute detail is that the picture shows the QTH of the station.
And on June 10th I also received stations from New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Nothing spectacular probably for the seasoned radio amateur, but a first for me!
Today I received the QSL of Radio Six International for their 60th anniversary broadcast on June 6th. I listened to them on both 9670 kHz via Rohrbach Waal – Germany (Channel 292) and 1323 kHz via Villa Estense – Italy (NEXUS).
It is summer time and as a pensionado I really enjoy spending time at the campsite. But I’m still DX-ing. With my son’s old laptop, an SDRPlay RSPdx receiver, a Boni Whip Antenna and an MLA30+ loop I’m still “in business” on the campsite.
And not without success. I received Valparaiso Playa Ancha Radio, Wiluna and Charleville Radio, a few Italian local radio stations… and all with an old laptop, a less than 200 Euro receiver, and a 60 Euro antenna…. DX-ing has never been so affordable.
Below a picture of my antenna setup. We are camping here since April. Initially I had the PVC pipes without support. But now it got warmer the PVC piping flexed a bit more and required a little rigging.
Of course I’m just an amateur… a little over 5 kilometers from here there is the real stuff… The Celinex Tower in Hoogersmilde. It is 303 meters high.
In 2011 it caught fire, and FM and TV reception in the north east part of the Netherlands was severely compromised as a result. Today analogue TV has gone…. not sure they would rebuild the antenna today?
On June 6th Radio Six International celebrated their 60th anniversary. They ran a 24 h broadcast on 9670 kHz via Channel 292 Rohrbach. And there was also a 2 hr live evening show via Nexus 1323 kHz.
My reception report on 9670 kHz was read in the evening show. Hugo Matten was listening as well and recognized my name. He made a nice recording of my letter being read on the show and posted it via YouTube .
The Radio Six International team must have been very busy that day. And I probably didn’t convey my message on signal quality properly. I could receive them in good quality on both frequencies. But it is definitely true that on my suburb home QTH solar panels (almost every neighbor has them on their roof) produce a lot of interference on a sunny day. A loop antenna helps, but not everyone has one… evening hours are therefore always preferred!