The wonderful world of listening to the radio

Tag: FM

QSL Direct 107 Curacao

I got “Great!” as an answer on my reception report for Direct 107, a station broadcasting on 107.1 FM. Is it enough to count as a QSL or not? Probably not. But for me it is another nice souvenir from a holiday on Curaçao!

Nevertheless I’m still grateful to the people at the station for acknowledging my reception report. Nice logos on the email make up for the lack of detail! And I learned a new word in Papiamento: “Atministrashon”.

Direct 107 broadcasts in Papiamento, the language of the people on Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. On Curaçao it was recognized as an official language in 2007 (which is a bit late if you ask me). If you know a bit of Spanish and English you might be able to understand a bit of it. But the origin is Portuguese rather than Spanish. Which is a reminder of dark times when the Dutch “imported” slaves from the Portuguese colonies Cabo Verde, Senegal and Guinea Bissau to the islands.

Modern Papiamento is more a mixture of Spanish, English and Dutch though. There are 180.000 people on the islands that speak Papiamento. Together with the people from the islands that live in The Netherlands there are about 250.000 Papiamento speaking people in the world. I would have loved to send my report in Papiamento language, but there is no Google Translate for it…

Direct 107 is one out of two stations of Direct Media on FM. They also run a television program TV Direct13.

QSL Hitradio 915 Curacao

Maarten Schakel, station manager, was so kind to QSL Hitradio 915 Curacao. I submitted around 10 reception reports to various FM stations on Curacao. This was only the second report that got confirmed. Together with the email from Paradise FM it is the only detailed response I received so far.

I sent my report to info@hitradio915.com . Do visit the Hitradio 915 website. It is really very flashy and gives you that special Curacao holiday feeling: Bon Bini!

Email to QSL Hitradio 915

QSL Paradise FM 103.1 MHz

Since 2010 Curacao, a former Dutch colony, is an independent country. And thus the EDXC lists it as a separate radio country as well. Unfortunately, by the time I resumed my hobby about a year ago, the only medium wave station Z86 went bankrupt and is off air. The Dutch Coastguard in Willemstad, which I received often between 1980-1990, doesn’t have a significant HF presence anymore as ship traffic goes by satellite. All that is left is basically FM. So when I visited the island in March this year I decided to send QSL requests to the stations I heard, in an attempt to add Curacao to my collection.

Email to QSL Paradise FM.

Joris Reer from Paradise FM was the first to reply with an email confirmation of my reception. Joris, who is host of the afternoon show, also asked my phone number. Next day I was on the air in the “Reer in het Verkeer” show explaining what our beautiful hobby is all about. Unfortunately for English speaking readers the show, like the QSL, is in Dutch which is still the official language on Curacao, next to Papiamento and English.

If I did my homework correctly, Curacao is the 197th radio country in my collection. And yeah, Joris was correct that it is a bit of a “cheat” as it is obviously not really DX. The only other “cheat” in my collection is Liechtenstein. I received “Radio L” while traveling with my wife on a 1500 km bicycle tour through the Alps years ago. I drafted my reception report during a stop for lunch in the capital Vaduz.
But if anything, the Paradise FM QSL is a nice memory of a beautiful holiday on Curacao!

Joris Reer, afternoon show host on Paradise FM.

Curaçao DX adventure (3)

For an island with a population slightly over 190.000 people Curaçao has quite a few FM radio stations! I heard 17 different ones during my stay on the island. Ok this is not DX, but I’m just fond of radio. And it was nice to see the variety of radio stations in either Dutch, Papiamento (or a mix) or even in Spanish (like Radio Rumbera). Quite a few religious stations (New Song, Messianic Waves, Deltha), and a wide variety in music styles.

That said I didn’t get the impression that the situation is sustainable from a financial point of view. The economy of the island was severely impacted by the closure of the Isla refinery in 2019. Covid hit tourism, the only other main source of income, badly. And this impacts revenue streams from commercials.
Yes there are stations with sound programming, disc jockeys, up to date news bulletins, a healthy volume of commercials and presence on social media. But there are also a few that seem to be a “skeleton” operation with non-stop music mainly. The owners of the only medium wave station Z86 and Mi95 on FM went bankrupt earlier this year…

88.3Rockórsou
91.5Hitradio 915
92.1Direct Life
92.7Radio Deltha 92.7
93.3Telecuraçao FM
96.5Radio New Song
97.3Dolfijn FM
97.9Easy FM
98.5Radio Semiya
99.7Radio Mas
100.3Messianic Waves
101.9Radio Hoyer 1
103.1Paradise FM
104.5Radio Active
105.1Radio Hoyer 2
107.1Direct 107
107.9Rumbera FM

Messianic Waves seems to have replaced Hit 100.3 FM/Super Jumbo on that frequency. I did not receive anything on the frequencies for Laser 101 (101.1 MHz), Radio One (103.9 MHz) and Fiesta FM (106.3 FM). Not sure whether they are still online as their websites are also silent. And I might have missed logging Clazz FM on 95.1 MHz. The FM-Scan site does list a few other stations that I didn’t hear.

I did not actively search for stations outside Curaçao other than Aruba (which I tried from Westpunt) and Bonaire. But no results for these two islands. I did hear two stations from Venezuela though, both from Punto Fijo (145 kms away):

PDVSA on 105.7 FM, a station from the Venezuelean State Oil Company, also identifying as La Voz Petrolina.

Radio La Voz Internacional on 101.3 FM. I had this station listed on 106.9 FM, with Festivo FM listed on 101.3 FM, so maybe something changed overthere.

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 info@sublime.nl . 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 RadioFreccia on 88.3 MHz

June 13th late afternoon brought very good ionospheric conditions towards Italy. Around 17:50 h UTC I received a couple of Italian stations. RadioFreccia on 88.3 MHz was one of them. I sent my report to info@radiofreccia.it and qualita@rtl.it. Mr. Alessandro Palumbo was so kind to confirm my reception by email. The transmitter I received is located in Madonna del Tufo, south of Rome, almost 1300 kms from my QTH.

QSL RadioFreccia, Italy
QSL RadioFreccia, Italy on 88.3 MHz

This was the first Ionospheric DX reception I made since I picked up my hobby again last year. Reception was made with my ICOM R8600, HDSDR and Discone as antenna. I posted a small clip of my reception on Youtube.

QSL Ems-Vechte-Welle 95.6 MHz

There are many private German stations on FM. Sometimes, while on the Autobahn travelling south – with my wife driving 😉- I try to catch a couple of them. But getting a QSL from them seems more difficult today than it was say 20 years ago.

My reception of Ems-Vechte-Welle was made while spending a week in Exloo, earlier this year. Exloo is situated in Drenthe, closer to the border with the northern part of Germany than my home QTH. I used my littly Grundig G6 Aviator.

I received their transmitter in Lingen, Germany on 95.6 MHz. EVW is a socalled “Bürgerradio”, which translates as “citizen’s radio” (not to be confused with CB though). The station brings regional news and information without commercials. The name of the station refers to the two rivers in the region: “Ems” and “Vecht”.

Jan Schenkewitz (station manager) was so kind to send me an email confirming my reception report. And, when in the area again, I am invited to visit their station!

QSL Ems Vechte Welle, Lingen, Germany
QSL Ems Vechte Welle, Lingen, Germany

QSL Antenne Niedersachsen 105.7 MHz

When I’m travelling I like to bring my small Grundig G6 Aviator with me to do a quick check of the bands. During a stay in the province of Drenthe I was able to listen to Antenne Niedersachsen, Germany, just across the border. Fortunately they still use traditional QSL cards to confirm reception reports.
Antenna Niedersachsen started in 1990 and is, after Radio FFN, the 2nd oldest private station in Niedersachsen. They changed their name a couple of times to avoid confusion with other stations, but since 2013 they are back to Antenna Niedersachsen.

QSL Antenne Niedersachsen
Nice detail: the “Antenna Niedersachsen” post stamp!

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