For my reception of a DSC message I received this beautiful QSL for Iqaluit Coast Guard Radio on 12577 kHz. I sent my report to: IQANORDREG@innav.gc.ca .
The duty officer apologized for taking so long to reply (about 5 months) but they had a very busy season. Of course that’s no problem at all and I’m grateful for the service they provide to us listeners. They also wrote that they enjoy receiving letters from all around the world!
As far as I know all DSC communications on shortwave (4 MHz and higher) are coordinated via Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut in Canada. The station in Prince Rupert seems to be the only exception to the rule. I’m not sure what the status of the Canadian mediumwave Coast Guard stations is these days. In the 80-ies and 90-ies I could regularly hear them in SSB on 2182 kHz. But I don’t see any of them listed with DSC. So my guess is that, like their counterparts in the USA, distress calls are no longer monitored on medium wave.
In the Netherlands we just celebrated the arrival of Sinterklaas this weekend, a children’s party that culminates in a festive gifts evening on December 5. Only after December 5th we start preparing for Christmas.
However in Canada VOCM is already in the Christmas spirit. After the Aurora of the past few days, reception conditions seem to be recovering. So for those who want to get into the Christmas mood right now: tune in to VOCM 590, “your Merry Christmas station is back!”. Click on the link for a short YouTube clip.
Receiving Transatlantic medium wave stations is still one of the nicest aspects of the DX hobby. Rick Furniss, engineer at CFGO was so kind to QSL my reception of CFGO Ottawa, Canada, better known as “TSN 1200”. I heard them with a TSN network program, broadcasting the NFL game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Detroit Lions.
In his email Rick wrote that he receives more reports for the 50 kW sister station CFRA on 580 kHz, most likely because the antenna direction is more favorable for Europe. So that is another challenge for this winter. Rick also sent two nice pictures with comments which I’d like to share:
“The first is one of the Current Main Tx, a Nautel NX50 sitting beside our old backup Tx a Gates 10kW full tube unit. The Nautel is about 5 years old and the Gates is built in 1962 from a 1959 Gate Corp. drawing. It was removed from service after a small electrical fire in the power supply cabinet about 5 years ago but it worked great right up till then. We have not owned it from new but we did buy it from the station that did. We have it’s complete documentation and log books since the day it went on air, Truly a museum piece today. We also have a Nautel ND50 Tx not shown that is our current backup Tx for this site.”
“The second picture is of the 6 towers in the CFGO antenna array in south Ottawa. I was waiting to go into the site while a thunderstorm passed (It had taken us off the air with an Hydro failure) and I noticed the rainbow.”
A big “thank you” to Rick for the QSL and the nice pictures!
UPDATE!: Earlier I wrote about my recently received QSL for my reception of CBI Sydney on 1140 kHz. In addition to my email (not knowing if it would be answered) I also filled in a web form on the CBC site. Pat from CBC Client Services was so kind to return a detailed email confirming my reception.
I got quite a bit of information about the program I listened to. It was called “Unreserved”. It is a platform for the voice of the indigenous voices of the people in Canada. That also explained why the nice music I listened to was not the usual country or “middle-of-the road” style.
Pat explained that QSL cards were sent in the past. An example from CBW Manitoba 990 kHz was attached. While thanking Pat for taking the time to provide all this nice feedback I also suggested the use of an e-QSL card. It would have taken less time! We DX-ers are usually not part of the target audience of the stations we receive. But I do believe it is important that, as a community, radio stations make a little investment to connect with listeners that tune in to the radio from a more technical perspective. Even if it was only to interest talent for technical careers in support of their stations.
Let me start with saying that receiving stations from Canada is always special for me. I lived 4 years in Edmonton, Alberta with my family. My (then 8 year old) son learned to play hockey in those years and is still playing hockey (I always have to say “ice hockey” back in Europe 😉) and my wife became a hockey-mum and is still watching NHL plays of the Edmonton Oilers at night. #97 Connor McDavid is our hero! So I really liked listening to CBI with the CBC One program from Sydney on 1140 kHz.
Better enjoy it while it lasts as they are planning to move to “FM only”. Fortuntaely, as FM coverage is a concern they are still in the air on 1140 kHz. Good for us DX-ers! I have to admit that when we lived in Canada we relied heavily on satellite radio services like Sirius XM given the distances we traveled through sparsely populated areas.
As CBI is one of the trans-Atlantic stations that are easier to receive I was surprised to find out that I did not have a QSL in my possession from my early days as a DX-er. So I was very pleased that Meredith Dellandrea replied to my email to confirm my reception report.
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!
I received this e-QSL and a nice friendly email from Pop Shop Radio. I heard their programme on 5950 kHz via WRMI, Okeechobee, FL, USA. Pop Shop Radio is a program made in Hope, British Columbia, Canada. Having lived in Alberta, Canada for 4 years such a Canadian QSL is always special. And yes, I have driven through hope on a trip to Vancouver. No suprise, because as Tony from Pop Shop Radio wrote: all 4 highways to Vancouver pass through Hope.
Check this link for their latest schedule. The schedules posted on the WRMI website seem a little bit outdated.
VOCM is one of the Transatlantic mediumwave stations from Canada that can be heard frequently. But I never managed to get a QSL from them. That changed this year when Loren Butler was so kind to send me a confirmation of my reception of their “Open Line” program.
January 28th (2023) offered excellent conditions for Transatlantic DX. Among many other stations I received CRFB “Newstalk” 1010 from Toronto, Canada, and I received their QSL card this week. Steve Canney is verie signer, and he also signed my QSL for CFRX 6070 almost 30 years ago! If you are interested in receiving a QSL, check this link: https://cfrx.webs.com/toreceiveaqslcard.htm