Within a day I got an email QSL for Radio Centrale Milano 1575 kHz. Thanks to a tip in Hugo’s DX Hoekje I learned that they are testing on 1575 kHz.
You can already listen to Centrale Milano via an internet stream. The station intends to start broadcasting via mediumwave from Alessandria, Italy, as well. Despite a power of only 10 Watts and a distance of 840 kilometers the reception was pretty good August 28th, 23h UTC. During the tests the station transmits a pulse with increasing pitch. That results in a very interesting waterfall on the HDSDR as you can see in the picture below. But it is even nicer to view and listen to a little YouTube clip I made.
In the email reply on my reception report Enzo at Radio Centralo Milano wrote:
Yes, we are testing our site near to Alessandria where we are authorized to use the 1575khz formerly in charge of the Italian Rai and now assigned to us.
The test are performed with a 50mt folded dipole and 10w carrier.We are authorized to 1kw and it seem we will reach you again probably much better !The regular programs currently available online will be soon activated replacing the test tones and increased (in quality and number of direct ‘on air’) starting from January next year.
I’m 60y/o, owner of the radio and very happy to meet person as you, with your passion for the radio. Congratulations for you ability to capture a so low signal coming from so far away !
You will receive soon our QSL, for the moment thanks again and stay tuned !
Last weekend I participated in the “SQUEEZE 100” NDB event, organized by the NDBlist group. Aim was to log 100 NDBs (Non Directional Beacons) in an as small frequency range possible. Hence the name “SQUEEZE 100”.
I had participated in two earlier events this year in which I logged only 4 and 13 stations respectively. So I decided that I needed a bit of help and installed Pskov NDB software. The result was impressive. Not knowing what to expect I started monitoring between 300 and 500 kHz. After I had 100 NDBs logged I could start to zoom in a bit, trying to squeeze the frequency range.
In total I logged over 183 NDBs. Between 350 and 403 kHz I had exactly 100 NDBs, close to 2 per kHz! The picture above shows the most distant ones I heard. With 3033 km OZN from Prins Christian Sund in Greenland was on top of my list. I was also very happy to catch three beacons from Iceland (KF-392; VM-375 and HN-330) and two from Algeria (ON-415; BJA-423).
I have QSLs from various program owners that had there programs broadcast via WRMI, Florida, USA. But until now I didn’t manage to QSL the station itself. I was worried my reception reception report of 5050 kHz in March this year would also remain unanswered. But today I got this beautiful postcard QSL. Definitely worth waiting for!
Radio Taiwan International usually transmits their German program from the Kostinbrod site in Bulgaria. But in July they were also in the air from Tamsui in Taiwan. I received them on 11995 kHz. Reception reports were award with a special QSL Radio Taiwan International.
Don’t know why but I always liked NDB (Non Directional Beacon) DX-ing. Maybe because it because it is all about low power stations in CW. Maybe it is because they brought me a QSL that everyone was looking for in the 80-ies: Jan Mayen Island and Bjornoya (Bear Island) in addition to Andoya. In the EDXC country list Jan Mayen and Bjornoya, the latter being part of Spitsbergen/Svalbard, count as separate radio countries!
Actually i was quite surprised that NDBs are still in the air as navigation aids these days. I understand that the beacons that were mainly serving maritime traffic (like the ones above) are gone, but their are still plenty of airports that have an NDB up and running.
40 years ago I had this Murphy B41 tube receiver working for me on my NDB hunts. Designed shortly after WWII it was standard British Admiralty issue. It was rock solid and had a superb S/N performance, but it also weighed over 45 kgs! I vividly remember how much effort it took to carry it to the attic in my parents house. It was even equipped with a manual that described how you could effectively destruct the receiver should it risk falling in enemy hands.
Back to today: I opened this post with “Daddy’s got a brand new tool!”. It is called Pskov NDB. Of course many of you will probably know it already, but hey, I’m just 8 months back in business. NDBs have a periodic signal. With this knowledge a Fourier analysis technique is used to pull the CW signals out of the noise… So just record 10 to 30 minutes of long wave bandwith with your SDR, and let Pskov have a go at it. I’ve been playing with it for a day – and I love it already!
You can downloaded Pskov from the NDBlist site. The good news is “it is for free, and with your RSPdx receiver and laptop, you have to carry significantly less than 45 kgs!”. The bad news for me personally is that I do realize that I have programmed and done many Fourier analyses in the past working to get my PhD in Physics. But I really forgot how to do it….
I received Alcaravan Radio on Sunday night on 5910 kHz. Following a program with Latin American music I heard a DX program “Onda Continua”. In this program they also transmitted their call sign and frequency in CW, so I could practice my morse skills again. The e- QSL Alcaravan Radio 5910 kHz arrived in just two days.
The DX program was presented by Rafael Rodriguez who is also QSL manager for Alcaravan Radio: firstname.lastname@example.org . He wrote me that “Onda Continua” is aired on Saturdays and Sundays at 1, 4 and 9 hr UTC.
Radio Piepzender (Peep-sender) is a station that can be heard in the 41 m band during the weekend. The station is also testing on various other bands, but as far as I know there is no regular schedule.
I got this email for my reception report of their transmission on 7405 kHz. As you can see power is 150 watts. The transmitters of Piepzender are quite impressive: robust Rohde and Schwarz.
Stationmanager Henri asked me to make it explicit that reception reports should go to email@example.com. Other email addresses are not monitored anymore.
You can also get a paper QSL if you send 5 Euro to:
Thanks to a tip from Artur at Maresme DX I tuned in to a program of Radio Andorre. This program, broadcast via Kall-Krekel at 3985 kHz, told about the history of Radio Andorra. I really recommend to visit their website to get acquainted with the history of this radio icon. Unfortunately there no stations other than on FM in Andorra these days. So it is difficult to get anything else than an amateur radio QSL from this tiny mountain country in the Pyrenees.
In 1939 Jacques Tremoulet, who owned several private stations in France, founded Radio Andorra. The main reason for this was that he feared prohibition of his stations in France whereas the country (principality) of Andorra had a special – independent – status.
During WWII, thanks to the neutrality of Andorra, the station continued broadcasting without control from neither France nor Germany. But after the liberation of France problems started for Radio Andorra. Tremoulet was accused of collaboration for his attempts to preserve his stations in the occupied territory. He was sentenced to death and sought refuge in Spain and Switzerland until he was acquitted in 1949.
That did not put an end to the “war” between the French government and Radio Andorra. Aiming for full control over radio in France the government initially jammed the station with transmitters in Bordeaux and Paris. When the court found this unlawful the French government decided it was better to beat Radio Andorra through competition. Ultimately this resulted in the start of Radio des Vallée, later renamed to Sud Radio in Andorra. But not after the French government closed the border with Andorra for a year to frustrate the operation of Radio Andorra and to put pressure on Andorra to allow construction of this new station. In 1961 both stations got a license to operate for a period of 20 years.
In 1981 the government of Andorra decided not to renew the contracts of Radio Andorra and Sud Radio, as they wanted to establish their own radio company… And that was the end of medium and shortwave broadcasting from Andorra. Fortunately I have my QSLs and I can say that I traveled through Andorra, crossing the Port d’Envalira with my wife on bicycle…. but that was, like my QSLs, years ago.
I received this e- QSL from Atlantic 2000 International for my reception of their program transmitted via Channel 292, Rohrbach-Waal, Germany. What I like about their program is the music selection which also features French popular music. When I was young we heard much more French chansons on the radio…
With the e-QSL I also received some information in French about this station which has a 45 year old history. About as long as my own radio/DX-ing career! I took the liberty to translate some of it here:
After broadcasting on FM from 1978 to 1982, Atlantic 2000 International was heard for the first time on shortwave on June 6, 1982, on 7325 kHz. The following shows aired monthly until July 1988 with 25 and 30 W transmitters.
After more than 19 years of absence, Atlantic 2000 returned to the airwaves on October 28, 2007, on 6280 and 6210 kHz.
From 2008 to 2010, Atlantic 2000 broadcast its programs from Italy, on the transmitters of Mystery Radio, then Radio Amica.
From December 2010, our programs were broadcast from Germany by different relay stations:
on 3985, 6005 and 7310 kHz via Shortwave Service at Kall-Krekel (12/2010 to 02/2017)
on 9480, then 9485 and 7265 kHz via MV Baltic Radio in Göhren (10/2011 to 01/2016)
on 3955, 6070, 7440 and 9670 kHz via Channel 292 at Rohrbach Waal.
In July 2016 and January 2018, Atlantic 2000 was relayed by the WINB transmitter, located at Red Lion in the USA, on the frequency of 9265 kHz, with a power of 50 kW.
In 2021, several shows were aired by Radio Miami International (WRMI) from Okeechobee in Florida (USA), with a power of 100 kW.
On their website you can learn that the name Atlantic 2000 is much older than 45 years. That name belonged to a station broadcasting from San Sebastian to the French Atlantic Coast, with roots going back to Radio Andorra (which will be a topic of my next post). Following the death of dictator Franco this station was closed in 1975 by the Spanish government. The FM broadcasts from the French Atlantic coast starting in 1978 were a tribute to this station.
Having sent my report I should be informed about future broadcasts, which I will post accordingly on this blog. Stay tuned!
Other Gold mediumwave stations closed already in June this year. Gold 1548, servicing London from the Saffon Green transmitter, will follow end-September (source: Ydun’s Medium Wave Info).
Before the merger of many independent local radio stations in the United Kingdom this was the transmitter of Capital Radio. With 97.5 kW this station was significantly more powerful than other ILR stations and easy to receive here in The Netherlands. The higher power probably has to do with the size of the London area and the urban environment.
In the 1980s I had a lot of fun chasing the different ILR (and BBC) local radio stations. The stations all had their own local identity and studios and hadn’t merged into larger conglomerates yet. Below you can see the Capital QSL I received in 1980. Had it been a post stamp it would have been a collector’s item given the apparent misprint of the frequency. Truth be told, I regularly get confused with the 1458, 1485, 1548 and 1584 frequencies myself.