The wonderful world of listening to the radio

Month: February 2024 (Page 1 of 2)

Peter’s DX Corner first anniversary

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!

73s, Peter

QSL Radio Marabu via Channel 292

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.

QSL card from Radio Marabu

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.

You can find Radio Marabu on www.radiomarabu.de.

QSL NDB SAY-431 Stornoway

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:

PPC for my reception of NDB SAY-431 Stornoway, United Kingdom
PPC QSL for NDB SAY-431 Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.

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 info@hial.co.uk. 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

QSL Polish Rescue Radio 2187.5 kHz

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.

Email to QSL the reception of Polish Rescue Radio on 2187.5 kHz

I snet my report to gmdss@umgdy.gov.pl . Polish Rescue Radio replaced Witowo Radio on January 1st, 2020. They have a very nice website that provides lots of info on their operations.

QSL TWR PANI Kyrgyzstan 1467 kHz

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.

QSL TWR Pani 1467 kHz
QSL TWR Kyrgyzstan 1467 kHz

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.

QSL NDB L-365, L-372, B-429, R-534 Czech Republic

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:

NDB L, Karlovy Vary,  365 kHz
NDB L, Prague, 372 kHz
NDB B, Brno, 429 kHz,
NDB R, Ostrava, 534 kHz

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.

NDB L-365 Karlovy Vary
NDB L-372 Prague
NDB B-429 Brno
NDB R-534 Ostrava

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

QSL Sveriges DX Förbund (SDXF) on 9670 kHz

The Sveriges DX Förbund, SDXF (or Swedish DX Assocation) can be heard with a program via Channel 292. December 26th I heard them on 9670 kHz with a special Christmas edition. Unfortunately the program was mainly in Swedish, with a few minutes in German language only. Reception report should be sent to qsl@sdxf.se. QSL manager Gert Nilsson sent me an email confirming that my report was received, and a few weeks later I received their nice QSL card by mail.

QSL SDXF via Channel 292

Not sure when they are on the air again (they had a show on World Radio Day yesterday), so please check the websites of SDXF or Channel 292 for more information.

QSL Tianjin Coastal Radio 8414.5 kHz

Today I received a polite email to QSL my reception of Tianjin Coastal Radio on 8414.5 kHz. I sent my report to tianjinradio@163.com, and three hours later I received my reply. The call sign of Tianjin Radio is XSV.

Tianjin is the third largest port in the world, after Shanghai and Singapore. That said, I don’t see them in the DSC logs as often as for example Shanghai and Guangzhou Radio. The port is situated on the Haihe river. Tianjin has a population of 14 million.

Tianjin Coastal Radio Centre

By the way, last week I was away on a skiing holiday, but I kept my receivers on DSC watch. I also triggered remote logging on the YaDD decoder. The beauty is that I could see in Tirol what was being received via YaDDNet . So I already knew that I had received Tianjin before I got home… and DX Atlas confirmed it. Not all is bad in the modern age of DX-ing!

DX-ing continued while I was skiing…

QSL NDR “Gruß an Bord”

A rare opportunity to get a paper QSL from a main European broadcaster on shortwave: the NDR “Gruß an Bord” program. It is a special program that is being broadcast by the Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) on Christmas Eve.

Paper QSL from NDR for their “Gruß an Bord” Christmas program

As they write on their website (where you can also listen back to the 2023 program):

This year “Greetings on Board” celebrates its 70th anniversary. The traditional NDR program was broadcast for the first time on Christmas Eve 1953. So that ships on the world’s oceans can receive the broadcast, NDR rents additional shortwave frequencies.
The series is a bridge between seafarers who travel the world’s oceans and their relatives in Germany. The sailors send greetings home. Families and friends wish them a happy holiday at sea or in distant ports.

Apart from the paper QSL I really enjoyed this program for a number of reasons.

First of all this program was brought from the “Hamburger Duckdalben“. The Duckdalben is the International Seaman’s Mission in Hamburg. There is a lot to be told about the good work they do, please visit their site to learn more. They had a significant role during the Covid-19 episode. This had a huge impact on sailors as they couldn’t travel back home to their families for months, as was discussed in the program.

Celebrating it’s 70th anniversary, the design of the program takes you back to the old days. There was no satellite. Shortwave radio was the only way to connect sailors and their beloved ones at home. And I can’t say it better than the “Gruß an Bord” team does:

The emotional, melancholic but also happy messages from the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children of our sailors reflect the life that continues, at home and on board. And this connection between the two, this bridge between land and sea is needed – today just as much as it was 70 years ago!

I vividly remember how Radio Nederland had similar programs for Dutch people abroad when they were still active on shortwave!

Three transmitter sites, three countries verified on one QSL!

Another reason why I enjoyed this program is because my dad (who passed away two years ago) was an engineer – “machinist” – on merchant ships of the KNSM, The “Royal Dutch Shipping Company”. For my Dutch readers: it was also referred to as “Kleine Nietige Scheepjes Maatschappij” according to my dad. In the 50’s of the previous century he made many trips to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean seas, but also to Hamburg. The “Reeperbahn” was one of the first streets abroad that I heard about as a 6 year old kid. But it took me another 10 years to find out what the Reeperbahn was really all about 😜!

I understand that for many years this program was broadcast via Norddeich Radio, a former German coastal station. I have a QSL for one of their USB transmissions on MF, see below.
These days NDR rents time with some of the few major transmitting stations that are still active on shortwave. My QSL was for Issoudun, Nauen and Tashkent. The latter one is nice. I do have QSLs from Uzbekistan from the past, but it is the first QSL from this country that I can add to this blog which I started after my return to the DX hobby.

1980s QSL of Norddeich Radio, a former coastal radio station in Germany

Let’s hope that they will continue this tradition, looking forward to their 71st program this year!

QSL NDB WCK-344 Wick

My 4th QSL from a HIAL airport! The other ones are Islay, Benbecula and Kirkwall. I sent my report of my reception of NDB WCK at 344 kHz, Wick, to info@hial.co.uk, and got a detailed letter plus a holiday brochure by regular mail from Neil Bramble, Senior Air Traffic Controller at Wick John O’Groats Airport.

posted by regular mail: QSL letter confirming reception of NDB WCK Wick/John O’Groats

Wick John O’Groats Airport is located in the northern tip of Scotland and hence the most northern airport of mainland United Kingdom. The only scheduled flights are by Eastern Airways to and from Aberdeen.

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