The wonderful world of listening to the radio

Category: New Zealand

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 RNZ Pacific 11725 kHz

QSL RNZ Pacific 11725 kHz is my second QSL from the other side of the world in two days only!

It is always fascinating to receive radiosignals from the other side of the world. But when I got into DX-ing in the late 70-ies, Radio New Zealand International was not an easy catch. They were using two old US military transmitters from World War II with 7.5 kW only. I still remember vividly how “once-off “reception conditions allowed us to receive them in perfect quality during a DX-weekend with the BDXC in the Meppel Youth Hostel.

In support of a more proactive foreign policy towards the Pacific, new 100 kW transmitters were taken in service in 1987. Location is Rangitaiki on the Northern Island with studios in Wellington. They are rebranding to RNZ Pacific. I hear them frequently on 11725 kHz in the evening hours. Their latest schedule can be found here:

RNZ Pacific is no longer processing postal reports but offers a webform . It doesn’t generate an automatic QSL, reports are still being reviewed fortunately. I sent a report for my reception on my SDRPlay RSPdx with 10 meter longwire while camping in Appelscha, Drenthe.

QSL Radio New Zealand International
QSL RNZ Pacific 11725 kHz (formerly Radio New Zealand International)

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