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).
Soon after my return to the hobby a couple of months ago I picked up my interest for maritime radio as well. Thirtyfive years ago I received stations in morse code with CW and VVV markers. This allowed me to to QSL countries that were almost out of reach otherwise: D4A Cabo Verde, P2M Port Moresby, 3DP Suva…
But CW is gone, and DSC is what we got in return. And during the winter months I managed a couple of nice receptions on 2187.5 kHz in particular like Aasiaat Radio. But on the higher frequencies I was less successful, apart from nice catches like Charleville/Wiluna and Valparaiso. Despite the distance those stations are quite common however.
But since last week conditions are great. In the community I see DSC loggins from all over the world were made in Europe. My personal best catch was Honiara Radio from the Solomon Islands, the reception looked like this with the YADD decoder:
TIME: 2023-06-26 06:16:21 FREQ: 12577.0 DIST: — Km SYMB: 120 120 053 080 008 005 030 108 000 055 070 000 010 118 126 126 126 126 126 126 126 122 107 122 122 FMT: SEL CAT: SAF TO: SHIP,538008053,??? FROM: COAST,005570001, UNID TC1: TEST TC2: NOINF FREQ: — POS: — EOS: ACK cECC: 107 OK
And yes, it read UNID. But the DSC community made me aware that 005570001 is MRCC Honiara, Solomon Islands! The ship contacted was a bulk carrier “Golden Pearl” on the Coral Sea. The emails are out, letters soon to be followed. Let’s see if I can QSL this one!
This post is a bit of a “catch up” as I received this nice QSL letter by email from Guangzhou Coast Radio 8414.5 kHz before I started this webblog. I sent my report to email@example.com.
I was very pleased with this QSL. I received Guangzhou Coast Radio with their callsign XSQ many years ago when they were still broadcasting “VVV” markers in CW. But where Shanghai Radio did return a QSL – the tiniest QSL in my collection – I never got one from Guangzhou. Today it seems the other way round, unless some of you can give me a better address for Shanghai.
As always I attached a photo of my home town Woerden with my report. In return I got a beautiful picture from Pearl River and Guangzhou city. It is always nice to see how proud people are of their city! If I look at their skyline I’m living in a prehistorical hamlet 😊
I bought a RSPdx receiver plus Boni Whip antenna for use on the campsite. It immediately delivered some nice results. My catch of Valparaiso Playa Ancha Radio, CBV, Chile was awarded with this beautiful QSL. I listened to a DCS message on 12577 kHz.
I also got a nice detailed letter plus some photo’s of their facilities.
Charleville Wiluna Radio with DCS messages on 16804.5 kHz is a relatively easy catch. Two things are a little bit more complicated:
First problem: what was the station I was actually listening to? Australia is a big country. In the 80-ies, individual stations had dedicated callsigns. I received VIP (Perth), VIS (Sydney), VIM (Melbourne) etc. in CW. But like in many other countries everything is now centralized, and Charleville (east coast, near Brisbane) and Wiluna (west coast, near Carnarvon) operate under the callsign VIC (formerly the Carnarvon callsign if I’m right). Mind you, both Charleville and Wiluna are not even coastal towns. Bad news: this is probably not going to change anymore…
Second problem: whom to write to? Again “modern times”. As far as I know RCC Australia falls under the responsibility of AMSA “Australian Maritime Safety Agency“. But my email to them was answered with “this is something for Kordia”. Kordia is a service provider in Australia. But when I searched the internet I learned that Kordia was changing to “Ventia”. From my own experience I know that such changes typically result in a change of email addresses etc… so I decided to send a physical letter to the RCC Canberra address. And here comes the good news: my letter ended up with Craig Bloom, Senior Communications Operator at what is still Kordia. Craig answered with a kind email and the beautiful VIC QSL card! Drop a comment if you want to receive the contactdetails as I don’t like to publish email addresses that are not part of public domain.
UPDATE: Craig confirmed that rebranding of Kordia is complete, but their part of the operation will continue as Kordia.
Unless you go for HAM radio or into FM DX there are not a lot of options anymore to receive a QSL from Belgium. Fortunately Oostende Radio is still a reliable verifier. I received this QSL Oostende Radio 518 kHz for my reception of their NAVTEX message announcing gunnery exercises on the North Sea:
2023-04-21 07:10:10> ZCZC TA63 2023-04-21 07:10:12> 210611 UTC APR 2023-04-21 07:10:16> OOSTENDERADIO MSI 187/23 2023-04-21 07:10:20> DE PANNE-OOSTENDE 2023-04-21 07:10:27> GUNNERY EXERCISES IN THE MIDDLE SECTOR OF LOMBARDSIJDE 2023-04-21 07:10:35> TODAY 21 04 2023 FROM 0630 UNTIL 1030 UTC. 2023-04-21 07:10:43> GUNNERY SECTOR IS LISTENING ON CHAN 16 AND 67. 2023-04-21 07:10:49> CANCEL THIS MSG 211030 UTC APR. 2023-04-21 07:10:49> NNNN
Reading the letter I somehow got the feeling that they forgot to include the QSL card. So I “copied” one from Hugo’s DX hoekje… 😉
With centralization and the introduction of remote operation it is not always easy or even possible to identify what you actually heard. Sending DSC messages with MMSI 002301000 this station is referred to as Mariehamn Radio in the DSC community. The ITU list gives MRCC Turku as the station however, and Turku is definitely the control centre for operations in the western part of Finland. Helsinki seems to be the other main control centre.
Anyway, as QSL Mariehamn / Turku Radio for a reception of their DSC test message on 2187.5 kHz I got a short email from firstname.lastname@example.org, which is the email address for the headoffice in Turku.
In the old days things were easier: I added the QSL I received in 1989 for my reception of Mariehamn Radio on 1852 kHz which definitely originated from the Aland Islands.
When you are collecting QSLs it is ups and downs. Sometimes you receive a QSL every single day, and sometimes the (e)mailbox is a barren desert. It was like that when I started this hobby in the 80-ies, and it’s still like that since I returned to the radio waves. But… it is also a good opportunity to reflect upon some old QSL cards. And since my last post was on “Kystradio Sør”, I’d like to share three QSLs from Norwegian Coastal Radio Stations that don’t exist anymore as “independent” stations: Florø, Tjøme and Aalesund. In the 80-ies there were at least a dozen stations Norwegian Coastal Radio stations active on MF. 2182 kHz was the “calling frequency” where vessels and coastal stations made the initial contact. Announcements of weather bulletins and navigational warnings were made here. Most sought after by DX-ers were the stations like Jan Mayen, Bjørnøya and Longyearbyen, as they provided the opportunity to QSL Jan Mayen and Svalbard, two separate EDXC radio countries (I did hear Jan Mayen once, but never got a QSL… I had to hunt NDBs to get these countries). Receiving the stations was one thing, but QSL-ing the Norwegian stations was another challenge. In the end I only managed to get three of them: Florø, Tjøme and Aalesund. Want to learn more? Check this Wikipedia article on the history of Telenor Kystradio.
I already made a post about the QSL from Kystradio Nord, Bodoe, Norway. Earlier this year I also received a QSL card from Kystradio Sør (Coastal Radio South) from Sola in the southern part of Norway. It was broadcasting a DSC message. In the past the station in Sola was called “Rogaland Radio”. But with the merger of the operations of Tjome Radio, Floro Radio and Rogaland Radio, the name was changed to Kystradio Sør. Actually, the TX location I received was located in Flor. Kystradio Sør operates with 24 operators, mainly on VHF and MF. Everything south of 65N is the responsibility of Kystradio Sør, everything north of it is for Kystradio Nord. Both stations are operated by Telenor and are not owned by the government.