The wonderful world of listening to the radio

Month: August 2023 (Page 2 of 3)

QSL Reach Beyond Australia 15460 kHz

Reach Beyond broadcasts from Kununurra in Northwest Australia. For my reception of their “Women of Hope” program in Tamil I received this nice e- QSL in about three days. I sent my report to .

QSL Reach Beyond Kunumurra Australia
E- QSL from Reach Beyond, Kununurra, Northwest Australia

In 2001 HCJB was granted permission for the construction of a transmitter in Kununurra, and the station went live in 2003. In 2014 the ministry changed its name from HCJB Global into Reach Beyond. Fortunately their dedication to DX-ers all over the world with their QSL policy did not change. Today Reach Beyond is broadcasting to the the Asia Pacific region in 25 languages. You can learn about the history of Reach Beyond Australia on their website.

QSL DCF77 Time-Signal 77.5 kHz

QSL DCF77 Mainflingen
QSL DCF77 Mainflingen Time-Signal 77.5 kHz

I received this beautiful QSL card DCF77 Time-Signal on 77.5 kHz by mail. The transmitter is located in Mainflingen, Germany. The QSL was accompanied by a folder on how time is managed. I also received a 2009 magazine from the PTB (Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt) with a special topic on 50 years of DCF77. This magazine is also available online. I sent my report to .

As you can read on the QSL there is no voice announcement of the time. Instead the date and time are transmitted by in code through the interval between second markers (0.1 s = “zero”; 0.2 s = “1”). You can see this in my waterfall map below. The gap prior to second 53 and 57 is twice as big. At the minute there is no gap.

DCF77 signal. The binary code is clearly visible.

QSL VORW via WRMI 5950 kHz

A very original QSL card from VORW Radio

John Jurasek the program host of VORW Radio International sent me a very original e- QSL via I heard them on 5950 kHz via WRMI, Okeechobee, USA.

VORW stands for “Voice Of the ReportoftheWeek”. “ReportoftheWeek” is a podcast on YouTube reviewing fast food, frozen meals and energy drinks. But what I heard on shortwave was a mix of pop music and a summary of reception reports received.

John also attached the latest schedule for VORW:

Main Broadcasts:
4840 kHz at 2 AM Eastern every Saturday Morning (New Show)
4840 kHz at 12 AM Eastern every Monday Morning (New Show)

Repeat Airings:
6115 kHz at 6 PM Eastern every Saturday Evening (Rebroadcast)
5950 kHz at 7 PM Eastern every Saturday Evening (Rebroadcast)
5950 kHz at 8 PM Eastern every Sunday Evening (Rebroadcast)
15770 kHz at 4 PM Eastern every Tuesday Afternoon (Rebroadcast)
15770 kHz at 12 PM Eastern every Thursday Afternoon (Rebroadcast)

QSL Radio Igloo via WRMI 5950 kHz

I received a this nice e- QSL from Radio Igloo. Via WRMI 5950 kHz they brought a program about Britt Wadner, owner of offshore pirate Radio Syd. In 1962 Radio Syd was the successor of Skånes Radio Mercur, the first Swedish pirate station. The popularity of pirate radio is easily understood if you know that Swedish National Radio played a maximum of 60 minutes of recorded music a day, with only two or three “pop songs”.

QSL Radio Igloo via WRMI
QSL Radio Igloo via WRMI showing Britt Wadner and the radio ship.

Unfortunately for me Radio Igloo targeted North and South America from the WRMI location (Okeechobee, Florida, USA). In combination with some propagation disturbance that night it made it difficult for me to really understand the details of what was said about Britt Wadner and her ship. But the 60’s music was very enjoyable.

Hopefully there will be broadcasts targeted to the European audience in future, as happened in the past using a transmitter in Europe. Reports to are welcome. Please do specify not only technical details but let them know what you think of program content.

QSL SAQ Grimeton Alexanderson Day

I received an e- QSL from SAQ Grimeton, Sweden, for their transmission on 17.2 kHz to celebrate Alexanderson Day.

Ernst Alexanderson was the inventor of the Alexanderson alternator, a rotating machine used for the generation of a high frequency alternating current, which could be used to produce an electromagnetic wave for radio transmissions. The first alternator based stations were installed in 1906 for long wave telegraphy. In the early 1920s vacuum-tube transmitters came available, replacing the alternators. The Grimeton historical station is the only station in the world that still operates on the basis of an alternator.

QSL SAQ Grimeton 17.2 kHz
e QSL SAQ Grimeton 17.2 kHz Alexanderson Day 2023

I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to receive SAQ on VLF 17.2 kHz at noon in the middle of the summer. Not that I know a lot about VLF propagation. But the signals came through in much better quality than last time I received them on World Radio Day on February 13th this year.

QSL Sublime FM 90.7 MHz

I received a QSL from Sublime FM 90.7 MHz, broadcasting from IJsselstein, The Netherlands. From September Sublime will no longer be received on FM.

After the allocation of FM frequencies to national and regional public radio there are 9 “packages” of frequencies left for commercial parties. These are sold via an auction mechanism. In the auction of last July “Mediahuis”, the company behind Sublime, gave up the Sublime frequencies. They were taken by newcomer Financial News Radio which acquired the rights until September 2035.

The fact that Sublime will disappear from FM (they will continue on DAB+ and internet streaming) made me send a QSL request to . Nowadays nobody at these networks knows what a QSL is, so I had to explain it a bit, after which I received a kind email from Audiohuis.

QSL Sublime FM 90.7 MHz
Email QSL Sublime FM 90.7 MHz (IJsselstein)
Frequencies of Sublime. From September onwards: Financial News Radio

QSL LRA36 RN Arcángel San Gabriel

I think I am chasing a QSL LRA36 RN Arcángel San Gabriel for about 40 years now. To be precise, the station started transmitting from Esperanza Base in 1979. That is exactly the year in which I started with my hobby as a 17 year old kid. They featured in every WRTH I bought since…

I heard them once, many years ago. But I never received a reply on my report. On Saturday July 8th this year at 19.00 h UTC I heard them again on the usual frequency of 15476 kHz in USB. I was afraid that I tuned in too late, as reception quality soon deteriorated, and after 19.15 h UTC I couldn’t pick up their signal anymore.

QSL LRA36 Antarctica 15476 kHz
LRA36 RN Arcangel San Gabriel sends a nice PDF as QSL

But during these 15 minutes I heard a conversation between a man and woman, and more importantly: a fragment of a passionate Argentinian ballad. As I could neither specify details of the discussion, nor the title of the song I sent a small MP3 clip along with my reception report. And one month later I got his beautiful PDF as QSL in return.

Clearly the Argentinian government has a geopolitical motive maintaining a shortwave radio station in Antarctica. That said I’m still grateful to the LRA36 team for their commitment to the DX-ing community all these years!

It is not always clear to me when LRA36 is in the air. They seem to have regular programs on Saturday between 18 and 22 h UTC. I also heard that they have programs on Monday and Wednesday evening (UTC). My advice is to monitor DX sites like SWL-ing post, HF Underground or Hard-Core-DX for the latest information. Reception reports can be send to .

Woerden – Esperanza Base : 13916 km

QSL Taupo Radio 8414.5 kHz

Last night I received Taupo Radio, New Zealand, with a DSC message on 8414.5 kHz. Within the hour I received a polite email confirming my reception report via .

QSL email Taupo Radio DSC New Zealand
Email QSL from Taupo Radio, New Zealand

Now obviously I’m very grateful that operators of Taupo Radio took the time to send me answer. I do realize that replying to reception reports is not their core business. Many stations don’t even bother… But while a reply within the hour is an example of efficiency, it also makes me longing for the old days and it raises some concern…

In 1989 I received Awarua Radio, ZLB. It was one of 4 coastal radio stations in New Zealand, and it was the one that covered HF. So with proper propagation conditions you could pick up their CW signals. Yep, we were still on morse code. I think rationalization kicked in between 1991 and 1994, and 4 stations became one: Taupo Radio. And in itself that was not a bad thing. You can learn a bit more on this site about NZ coastal radio station history and here on Awarua Radio in particular.

At the time my reception report took about three weeks to land on their desk and another three weeks for an envelope to drop in the mailbox. The days we worked with printers if not typewriters. When there was no email and we had to rely on airmail. But I received a comprehensive letter with lots of information about the station, their transmitters, the receivers (JRC NRD515s – nice detail is that I made today’s Radio Taupo reception on my 30 years old JRC NRD 535!). And a beautiful QSL card that displayed pride in the coastal radio stations of New Zealand.

QSL Awarua Radio New Zealand
Proud of your Coast Radio Station… the QSL of Awarua Radio shows it!

And that is what is lacking today. Call me an old dude, a radio geek whatever… but I do think it is an opportunity missed. Driven by efficiency and bureaucrats who don’t understand the difference between a Volt and an Ampere there is no more space and time for pride and passion in engineering and technology and what it brings society… How much effort would it take to just include one promotional picture in an email from an interested listener? Promotion has never been so easy…
And that – as a PhD Physics and retired technology manager – worries me… How are we going to foster interest in engineering studies so much needed in western society? Your thoughts? Leave a comment!

QSL Awarua Radio New Zealand
The back of the QSL: Awarua Radio was the HF presence in a network of 4 coastal radio stations

QSL Bremen Rescue 2187.5 kHz

Earlier this year I received this beautiful QSL Bremen Rescue 2187.5 kHz. I really appreciate DSC stations (and other stations) that offer this service. Somehow I do hope that it helps younger people to develop an interest in the hobby and therefore in radio and electronics. I sent my report to .

QSL MRCC Bremen 2187.5 kHz
QSL from MRCC Bremen on 2187.5 kHz.
QSL Bremen Rescue on 2187.5 kHz
QSL Bremen Rescue on 2187.5 kHz

QSL Kossuth Rádió 540 kHz

Via Mr. Ivan Kovacs ( I received my third QSL for a Hungarian medium wave transmitter. Kossuth Rádió, the first national radio program of Hungary is broadcast via a transmitter in Solt in central Hungary. With 2000 kW it is the most powerful station in Europe. And with 304 mtrs the antenna is also one of the highest structures. Of course it targets Hungary, but also the Hungarian speaking minorities in many other countries in Central and East Europe. Kossuth Rádió is named after Lajos Kossuth, a famous politician who fought for freedom of the press in Hungary.

eQSL Kossuth Radio, Solt Hungary
e QSL Kossuth Radio, Solt, Hungary 640 kHz

The eQSL for Kossuth is red, similar eQSLs from Nemzetiségi Rádió and Danko Rádió are orange/green and purple. I think I’ve seen a green eQSL for Petöfi on the internet, but like Bartók Radio that’s FM, and not as easy to receive overhere in The Netherlands.

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