My third QSL from a French CROSS station. This email confirms my reception of CROSS Étel from Bretagne. They can be easily received here in The Netherlands. Though not as frequent as the CROSS Gris-Nez and CROSS Jobourg stations who are situated along the very busy Channel. Jerôme Christ was so kind to send me the QSL a few hours after I sent my report.
I found a nice picture on the internet showing the service areas of the various CROSS stations in France, 5 main ones (in red) and the sub-station on Corsica (Corse):
A very nice QSL letter from CROSS Jobourg on 2187.5 kHz. And radiating the French spirit, which makes it stand out. The station is located on the French coast of the Channel (the French hate it when you refer to it as the English Channel, and I agree), one of the busiest seaways in the world. And as a result it can be heard often. I sent my report to email@example.com
I started this blog a little bit later after resuming the hobby, and after I getting this nice QSL letter. But it’s good to have something in stock!
A nice e-QSL from CROSS MED La Garde, France, on 2187.5 kHz. A station that can be heard regularly with DCS messages.
I have to admit that I’m still trying to establish the link between the new DSC stations and what I heard some 40 years ago. Coastal Radio stations like Bordeaux Arcachon, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Brest-le-Conquest and Grasse are gone. But the current CROSS stations are not their descendants. They are the successors of the French Navy stations that were easy to hear in CW in the 80-ies, not only from France, but from all over the world… resulting in nice QSLs from countries like Reunion, Tahiti, New Caledonia and French Guyana for example.
CROSS La Garde is one of 6 CROSS stations in France. The others are Jobourg, Gris-Nez, Étel, Corssen and Ajaccia. The latter, also known as CROSS Corse or “Aspretto” is a secondary station that heard less often. The community of La Garde is situated adjacent to Toulon, the most important French Navy harbor on the Mediterranean Sea (which also features in the movie “Napoleon” (2023))
As far as I know JRCC Piraeus, Greece, is not heard too often with DSC messages, but this week the station was heard a few times on 12 and 8 MHz with DSC messages. I sent my report to firstname.lastname@example.org . Within a day I received an email from the Duty Officer to QSL JRCC Piraeus on 12577 kHz.
A quick update on my previous post on DSC and NAVTEX in Sweden. Following my QSL from JRCC Sweden I wrote an email to Stockholm Radio with a little query (and a reception report of Stockholm Radio on 2187.5 kHz).
Bjorne from Stockholm Radio was so kind to explain the current situation:
All transmission of weather and MSI (maritime safety information or navigational warnings) on MF are done by “Sweden Traffic” which is part of the Swedish Maritime Administration: Sjöfartsverket
All Emergency monitoring (GMDSS/DSC) is done by JRCC Sweden, located in Gothenburg. JRCC Sweden is also part of Swedish Maritime Administration: Sjöfartsverket. For this purpose JRCC Sweden has access to all Stockholm Radio facilities. I received my QSL for JRCC Sweden via email@example.com
In addition to providing VHF telephone services Stockholm Radio (www.stockholmradio.se ) is only responsible for coastal weather transmissions on VHF during summertime (June 15th – September 15th according to their website).
Göteborg and Stockholm Radio can be received regularly on 2187.5 kHz with DSC messages. As I already had QSLs from the 80-ies for I didn’t bother to send a reception report and QSL request for these two stations. But then I saw a QSL from Artur at MaresmeDX for JRCC Sweden. And I wondered how they are actually organized these days.
Within an hour of sending my reception report for a reception of MMSI 002653000, Göteborg Radio on 2187.5 kHz to firstname.lastname@example.org I got an answer:
So it seems that everything on MF is now under the jurisdiction of JRCC Sweden. The HF band isn’t covered anymore. And I guess that the name Stockholm Radio is used for VHF DSC watch and weather broadcasts: https://stockholmradio.se/ .
In the 80-ies you could listen to a couple of stations on MF. In addition to Göteborg (SAG) and Stockholm Radio (SDJ) I remember Karlskrona (SAA), Härnosand (SAH) and Tingstaede (Visby, SAE). The nice thing was that they had matching set of QSL cards. But although I heard all stations, I managed to get the QSLs for Göteborg and Stockholm Radio only…
Two weeks after sending my report I received an email with a QSL letter for Varna Radio, call sign LZW, broadcasting a DSC message on 16804.5 kHz. I sent my report to email@example.com .
It is always interesting to see how coastal radio and GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) monitoring is organized. From what I’ve seen it is usually an integrated part of the Coast Guard, which is either integrated in a Department of Transport or in the National Navy. In the case of Varna Radio however the station is embedded in the National Port Authority: Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Co.
The signature of the QSL was attached in a separate picture:
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.
Coast Guard Radio in Spain is remotely operated from three centers: Coruna, Valencia and Las Palmas. This e-QSL CCR Las Palmas confirms my reception of the latter, operating from the Canary Islands on 8414.5 kHz. It was my 2nd attempt to get a QSL from this station via firstname.lastname@example.org , so maybe they reply a little bit irregular.
Unfortunately the e QSL doesn’t show the station name, so I have to save the email that went with it in my files as well:
A real QSL card for Cyprus Radio 5BA on 8414.5 kHz. I heard this coastal station with a DSC message. It is nice that they still award QSL cards by mail. Forty years ago they were also reliable verifiers. I attached an old QSL letter from 1982 for a reception of a broadcast in A1 (Morse code).