Friday, February 24, 2017

From the Isle of Music plans special test

The following is of special interest to DXers in Russia and neighboring countries:

On Sunday, February 26, from 1500-1600 UTC,  From the Isle of Music, a program dedicated to Cuban music, will be broadcast in a special test transmission on shortwave using Spaceline, 9400 kHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria using an array especially suited for reception in Russia.   If the test and a subsequent one are successful, we may use this to improve access to the program for listeners in Russia and neighboring countries.

 We will be continuing on Channel 292 and WBCQ for their target areas regardless of the outcome of the tests on Spaceline.

I will be monitoring an SDR near Moscow but would appreciate any and all reception reports.  

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
Email for reception reports:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Voice of Azerbaijan revised winter schedule

Voice of Azerbaijan - revised Winter Schedule 2016/2017

0900-1000 daily   Cau 1296hqb

0425-0725 m.w.fss IRN 1296hqb
0425-0730 .t.t... IRN 1296hqb

Azeri/ Armenian*
1300-1400 daily   AZE 1296hqb

1100-1200 daily   IRN 1296hqb

0740-0800 m.w.f.. Cau 1296hqb

0745-0800 .t.t... AZE 1296hqb

0725-0740 m.w.... AZE 1296hqb

1800-1830 daily   Cau 1296hqb

0730-0745 .t.t... AZE 1296hqb

0800-0900 daily   TUR 1296hqb
1000-1100 daily   TUR 1296hqb
1200-1300 daily   TUR 1296hqb

* For ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan
(Azeri/Armenian: Prgr "Vaetaen" (Homeland) for listeners in Mountainous

** Prgr "Gueney Azaerbaycan" (South Azerbaijan) for Azeri listeners in

Notes: The table shows the current satellite / online schedule.
1296 kHz continues to be announced as terrestrial freq in the various
language services, but the current use of the MW tx has still to be
confirmed. Taken from


(WRTH B16 update;  via AK Anatoly Klepov, Moscow-RUS,
RUSdx #911 via wwdxc BC-DX TopNews Febr 12)
(WWDXC/Top Nx)

Blog Logs

A sampling of station's broadcasting on shortwave. What are you hearing in your listening post. Contributions are always welcome at to the above email address. Best of DX your way !
Gayle Van Horn

All times UTC

Radio Nacional, Brasilia 11780 at 0220. Portuguese programming to sign-off. Additional monitoring as; 11780, at 1015. Sign-off on 6180//11780 kHz. (Iota Xavier, Brazil/HCDX)

Radio Clube do Pará, Belem, 4885, 2134-2145, Portuguese comments, SINPO 14321. Also 0717-0735 with Brazilian songs and Portuguese, comments. SINPO 24322. (Manuel Méndez/HCDX)
Additional Brazilian monitoring as; Voz Missionaria, Camboriú, 5939.98, 0810-0823 with religious comments. Radio Aparecida, Aparecida, 6135.1, 0727-0744 with religious songs and comments. Station ID as "Radio Aparecida". SINPO 14321. Radio Cançao Nova, Cachoeira Paulista, 9674.8, 2105-2112 with religious comments and songs. SINPO 14321. Radio Brasil Central, Goiania, 11815, 0925-0940, Brazilian songs, "6 y 27." SINPO 34433.  Radio Inconfidencia, Belo Horizonte 15190 at 1140-1202 with program comments and Brazilian songs. SINPO 14321. Also 0915-0933 with Brazilian songs and program "Trem Caipira." Station ID. SINPO 24322. (Méndez)

Alcaraván Radio, Puerto Lleras, 5910, 0707-0810. Spanish, religious comments by Martin Stendal, Latin American songs to station ID as, "Alcaraván Radio." SINPO 34433. La Voz de tu Conciencia, Puerto Lleras, 6010, 0715-0745 with Spanish, religious comments. SINPO 14321. (Méndez)

China National Radio on 11685 at 0303 via Baoji-Sifangshan. Tibetan Amdo progframming with lady announcer's talks. Poor transmission quality. SINPO 35332 (Xavier)

Dandal Kura 12050, tune-in at 1915. Announcer's conversation is presumed to be Kanuri, as listed in ISWBG Winter 2017 edition. Fair signal quality. Clandestine station Denge Kurdistane 7455 kHz at 1923 tune-in. Brief Kurdish announcement to Kurdish vocal music. (GVH)

EBC Radio Fana 6110. Tune-in 1850. Conversations among announcers. ISWBG Winter B16 edition, list languages at this time as Afar, Amharic, and ethnics to China Radio Internaitonal sign-on at 1900 on 6100eu 6110eu, 7245eu. Interval signal to sign-on ID and Russian newscast.(GVH)

Radio Oromiya 6030, 1904. Horn of Africa musical vocals at tune-in. ISWBG B16 winter edition, list languages as Amharic, English and Oromo. HOA music to 1909. Three minutes brief announcements, to HOA style music with vocals. SIO 323. (GVH) Amhara State Radio from Addis Ababa on 6090 at 0352. Amharic service with talks with fair signal and slight to moderate interference by Caribbean Beacon on 6090 English religious teachings. SINPO 33432 (Xavier).

Radio France International 9790, 11995, 13790, 15350 with French features from 1935 tune-in (possibly a sports commentary). Not heard on // 13695 or 17850 kHz. (R Pearson, FL) 9790, at 2058. Two announcer's with French comments to sign-off at 2059. (Harold Sellers, BC Canada)

RTA Algerienne via Issoudun, 11660. French announcements from 1805 to Arabic Qur'an 1819-1840. Arabic text to 1849, and Arabic music vocals to 1858. Poor copy but routine followed a news headlines style. Switched to 9870 kHz at 1900. No French news bulletin as listed, instead Arabic vocals to 1904, followed by French. Back to Arabic at 1913 with Qur'an. Freq 11660 fair-poor signal quality (SIO 232) 9810 SIO 323) Shifted to 9710 in Arabic at 1958. Arabic service still audible on 9710 at 2045 recheck (GVH).

RTA Algerienne 9810 Qur'an recitations at 2035 with CNR 1 China dominating the frequency. Poor signal noted. (Sellers)

Radio Guinea, Conakri on 9650 at 1020 with local vernacular talks to woman's comments and station ID. Transmission with slight interference by Voice of Korea on 9650kHz, at 1029 with interval signal and national anthem. SINPO 44433 (Xavier).

All India Radio via Bangalore in English on 13605 at 1048. Indian music to talks and station ID. Postal P.O Box quote and bits of song "Fernando." Time pips to sign-off for poor quality transmission. SINPO 35432. Noted on 13640 at 1937 via Bangalore, in Arabic. Arabic songs to announcer's talk to 1945 interval signal. French service from 1945 with ID and music. Good signal and fair modulation. SINPO 45433. All India Radio also noted on 15410 at 0115 via Panaji (Goa) in Thai language. Interval signal to announcer's talks and Indian music. Transmission barely audible and sometimes very poor. SINPO 25331 to 25332 (Xavier).

All India Radio via Gangtok (Sikkim) on 4835. Unusually good propagation, the best reception I have ever had here. Noted at 1508 with subcontinent music. Switch at 1512 switch over to audio feed from New Delhi, starting with tone. Singing ads in Hindi. Tone signal at 1515 before news in Hindi. (Ron Howard, CA/DX-India)

Radio Mali, Bamako, 5995 at 0718-0736 in French. Program comments and music. SINPO 14321. Radio Mali, Bamako, 9635 at *0759-0815. Tuning music to French station ID as "Içi Radio Mali emettant du Bamako ...." Program comments. SINPO 14321. (Méndez

Radio Medi 1, Nador on 9575 at 0135. Noted transmitter problems with text and sign-off. (Xavier).

New Zealand
Radio New Zealand International, Rangitaiki, in English. Audible on 15710 at 0400. Time pips to lady announcer's talks and station ID. Very poor signal. SINPO 25432, sometimes as 35432 (Xavier).

Saudi Arabia
Radio Saudi Gen Prgm 1, 9555//9870 Tune-in at 1835. Two male's Arabic conversation about Iran. Saudi Arabia, R Saudi Gen Prgm 2, 9580 kHz at 1845. Discussion with mentions of Yemen and Iraq. Fanfare intro music for program feature. Radio Saudi Holy Qur'an, 11820 from 1845 with Arabic recitations // 11925 and 11930. (S Write,MS)

ZBC Radio 11735 at 2030. Swahili service with announcer's two phone calls to local indigenous music. God signal quality. (Sellers) Noted on 6015 at 0334. Lady announcer's text, joined by male's concersation.  Transmission with interference as presumably jamming. SINPO 43332 (Xavier).

Voice of Turkey on 9650 at 0226. Spanish talks to newscast. Program "Las Fortalezas de Turquía": hoy, sobre la Fortaleza de Alania; Everything about a monument. "La Pregunta del Més" at 0237, and at 0240 Música Turca" program with good signal and modulation. SINPO 45544 (Xavier).

9955. Feb 21 at 2330, Hobart Radio International relay via WRMI Okeechobee, Florida on 9955 at 2330. English programming with ID and talks and music. Fair signal quality with SINPO 35433 (Xavier).

Armenia monitoring

Voice of Armenia QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)
International Public Radio of Armenia is the foreign service of Armenian Radio.

Transmitter site: Gavar, near Noratus, Gegharkunik
MW - 1000 kW; SW - 100 kW.

Time/UTC  Days    Language  Target           Freqs/kHz
1530-1545 Daily   Assyrian  Middle/Near East 4810
1545-1600 Daily   Greek     Middle/Near East 4810
1600-1630 Daily   Kurdish   Middle/Near East 1314 4810
1630-1700 Daily   Yezidi    Middle/Near East 1314 4810
1700-1715 Daily   Turkish   Middle/Near East 1314 4810
1715-1730 Mon-Fri Azeri     Middle/Near East 1314 4810
1715-1730 Sat/Sun Turkish   Middle/Near East 1314 4810
1730-1745 Daily   Turkish   Middle/Near East 1314 4810
1745-1815 Daily   Persian   Middle/Near East 4810
1815-1845 Daily   Arabic    Middle/Near East 4810

Middle East & Caucasus on Mediumwave and Shortwave published by / British DX Club, UK.
(via Anatoly Klepov-RUS, RUSdx #912 via wwdxc BC-DX TopNews Febr 19)
(WWDXC/Top Nx)

World Radio Network, Russian schedule

World Radio Network in Russian schedule from Feb. 1, 2017. This schedule may change.

All times UTC

UTC / Broadcast
0000-0029  Golos Nadezhdy
0030-0059  KBS World radio
0100-0128  Radio Polonia*
0130-0159  Radio Slovakia International
0200-0229  "Radiosetka" (Mon, Fri, Sat, Sun)
0200-0229  "Radiopanorama" (Tue)
0200-0229  "Special program" (Wed, Thu)
0230-0259  Radio Exterior de Espana (Mon, Thu)
0230-0259  Russkoe radio Australia (Tue, Sat)
0230-0259  UN - a weekly review (Wed, Sun)
0230-0259  Radio Prague (Fri)
0300-0329  On the Islamic culture and civilization
0330-0400  Radio Japan*
0400-0429  KBS World radio
0430-0458  "Radiosetka" (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)
0430-0458  "Radiopanorama" (Mon)
0430-0458  "Special program" (Tue, Wed)
0500-0529  Radio Slovakia International
0530-0559  Radio Japan*
0600-0629  On the Islamic culture and civilization
0630-0659  KBS World radio
0700-0729  Golos Nadezhdy
0730-0759  "Radiosetka" (Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat)
0730-0759  "Radiopanorama" (Sun)
0730-0759  "Special program" (Mon, Tue)
0800-0829  Radio Exterior de Espana (Mon, Thu)
0800-0829  Russkoe radio Australia (Tue, sat)
0800-0829  UN - a weekly review (Wed, Sun)
0800-0829  Radio Prague (Fri)
0830-0859  Radio Slovakia International
0900-0928  Radio Polonia
0930-0959  On the Islamic culture and civilization
1000-1029  Golos Nadezhdy
1030-1059  KBS World radio
1100-1130  Radio Japan*
1130-1159  Radio Slovakia International
1200-1228  Radio Polonia
1230-1258  "Radiosetka" (Mon, Wed, Tue, Fri)
1230-1258  "Radiopanorama" (Sat*)
1230-1258  "Special program" (Yue, Sun*)
1300-1329  Radio Exterior de Espana (Mon, Thu)
1300-1329  Russkoe radio Australia (Tue, Sat)
1300-1329  UN - a weekly review (Wed, Sun)
1300-1329  Radio Prague (Fri)
1330-1359  KBS World radio*
1400-1429  On the Islamic culture and civilization
1430-1459  Radio Slovakia International*
1500-1529  "Radiosetka" (Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat)
1500-1529  "Radiopanorama" (Sun)
1500-1529  "Special program" (Mon, Tue)
1530-1559  KBS World radio
1600-1630  Radio Japan*
1630-1659  Radio Slovakia International
1700-1729  On the Islamic culture and civilization*
1730-1759  KBS World radio
1800-1828  "Radiosetka" (Thu, Fri, sat, Sun)
1800-1828  "Radiopanorama" (Mon)
1800-1828  "Special program" (Tue, Wed)
1830-1859  Radio Slovakia International
1900-1929  On the Islamic culture and civilization
1930-1959  Radio Polonia (Sun-Thu)
1930-1959  Russkoe radio Australia (Fri)
1930-1959  Radio Slovakia International (Sat)
2000-2029  KBS World radio
2030-2038  "Radiosetka" (Tue*, Wed, Thu*, Fri)
2030-2038  "Radiopanorama" (Sat)
2030-2038  "Special program" (Mon, Sun)
2100-2129  Golos Nadezhdy*
2130-2159  On the Islamic culture and civilization
2200-2230  Radio Japan
2230-2259  Radio Exterior de Espana (Sun, Wed)
2230-2259  Russkoe radio Australia (Mon, Fri)
2230-2259  UN - a weekly review (Tue, Sat)
2230-2259  Radio Prague (Thu)
2300-2329  Radio Slovakia International
2330-2358  "Radiosetka" (Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri)
2330-2358  "Radiopanorama" (Sat)
2330-2358  "Special program" (Sun, Mon)
*- New release
(via Anatoly Klepov-RUS, "RUS-DX" #910  Febr 5)
(BDXC/Top Nx)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Radio Öömrang annual February 21 broadcast

Radio Öömrang (“Radio Amrum”) is tentatively scheduled for their annual February 21st broadcast. Each year, on this special day, broadcast are conducted to celebrate the major North Frisian holiday (Biikebrånen).

The initial programs were founded by radio amateur Arjan Kölzow on the island of Amrum in North Germany. The first shortwave broadcast was on 21 February 2006, and have continued their annual programming aimed at the descendants of North Frisian immigrants in North America. Programming is presented bilingually in Standard German and English, including interviews in the North Frisian language, which is part of the Öömrang dialect.

This year’s broadcast is tentatively scheduled for 1600-1659 UTC on 15215 kHz, relayed via the Nauen, Germany or the Issoudun, France transmitter sites. For a full data QSL, send your reception reports to: Media Broadcast

You Tube link from 2016 broadcast

From the Isle of Music, Week of February 20-25, 2017

This week, special guest Julio Montoro shares the music of Alma Latina; some music from one of Cuba's first JoJazz competition winners, Carlos Sarduy, and the Timba of Pedro Pablo & La Rebambaramba.

WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0100-0200 UTC (8pm-9pm EST Mondays in the Americas)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Fridays 1100-1200 UTC (1200-1300 CET) and Saturdays 1200-1300 UTC (1300-1400 CET)
(Tilford Productions)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Feb 20 0107 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center # Product description and SWPC contact
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 13 - 19 February 2017

Solar activity was at very low levels with only weak background flare activity observed. An 11 degree long filament eruption, centered near N08E02, was observed in SDO/AIA 193 imagery beginning around 19/0525 UTC. A faint CME was observed off the NE limb, observed in LASCO C2 imagery, at around 19/0648 UTC. WSA-Enlil analysis indicated a possible glancing blow at Earth mid to late on 22 Feb. No other activity was observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels on 13-14 Feb with moderate levels observed on 15-19 Feb.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet levels on 13-15 Feb, quiet to isolated unsettled to active levels on 16 Feb, quiet to active levels on 17-18 Feb and quiet to unsettled levels on 19 Feb. A recurrent, positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) became geoeffective early on 17 Feb affecting the geomagnetic field through late on 19 Feb. During this period, solar wind speeds
generally ranged from 500-600 km/s, total field Bt peaked at 13 nT early on 17 Feb while the Bz component reached a maximum southward extent of -8 nT early on 17 Feb. Phi angle was in a predominately positive orientation.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 20 February - 18 March 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels with a chance for isolated C-class activity throughout the period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at high levels on 20-27 Feb and 01-13 Mar. Normal to moderate levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels on 28 Feb and G1 (Minor) storm levels on 24 Feb, 01-02 Mar and again on 16 Mar due to recurrent CH HSS influence. Active geomagnetic field activity is expected on 23 and 25 Feb, 03-05 Mar and 17 Mar due to CH HSS influence. Isolated active conditions are likely on 22 Feb due to a glancing blow from the 19 Feb CME. Quiet to unsettled activity is expected for the remainder of the period under a nominal solar wind regime.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Feb 20 0107 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC contact
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-02-20
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Feb 20      82          12          4
2017 Feb 21      82          10          3
2017 Feb 22      82          12          4
2017 Feb 23      82          15          4
2017 Feb 24      82          20          5
2017 Feb 25      82          18          4
2017 Feb 26      80          10          3
2017 Feb 27      76           8          3
2017 Feb 28      76          30          6
2017 Mar 01      75          25          5
2017 Mar 02      75          20          5
2017 Mar 03      73          15          4
2017 Mar 04      73          15          4
2017 Mar 05      72          15          4
2017 Mar 06      72           8          3
2017 Mar 07      72           5          2
2017 Mar 08      73           5          2
2017 Mar 09      74           5          2
2017 Mar 10      75           5          2
2017 Mar 11      75           5          2
2017 Mar 12      75           5          2
2017 Mar 13      75           5          2
2017 Mar 14      75           5          2
2017 Mar 15      74          10          3
2017 Mar 16      75          20          5
2017 Mar 17      77          15          4
2017 Mar 18      79          10          3

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sunday, February 19 relays on shortwave

All times UTC
Please be advised that  Marconi Radio International will be on the air  Sunday, 19 February, from 1315 to 1615 on 7700 kHz USB Mode.

Reception reports with audio clips (mp3-file) are welcome and confirmed by QSL verification. Some lucky listeners will ALSO receive our printed QSL card, so don't forget to include your postal address.

We hope to hear from a lot of shortwave listeners about our transmissions.
Best 73's
Marconi Radio International (MRI)

Hamburger Lokal Radio via Göhren, Germany with 1KW to Western Europe:
 9485 KHz 10.00 - 13.00      
Contact email:

Shortwave Station Göhren on 9485 KHz 09.00-10.00
Channel 292 on 6070 KHz 16.00 - 17.00
Contact email:

Internet Repeats
EMR will repeat this months Transmissions via two streams running at: 16.00, 18.00, 20.00 will be on 96 kbps /44 kHz stereo for normal listening will be 24 kbps / 22 kHz mono will be especially for low bandwidth like mobile phones.
KBC via:
Media Broadcast to America on 6145 kHz 00.00-01.00
Contact email: 

Hobart Radio via:
WRMI to Americas, Asia/Pacific on 9955 04.30-05.00
Contact email:

For outside the listening area please try the Twente/Netherlands Web RX at

You can also hear many European free and alternative stations via the Internet at 

Radio Channel 292  Transmission schedules on 6070 kHz

Radio Mi Amigo Transmission schedules
 Good Listening!
Tom Taylor

Friday, February 17, 2017

BBC to Expand Audio Content Globally

The broadcaster hopes to use its vast radio archives to attract more listeners
by James Careless

OTTAWA — Nothing less than “a Netflix of the spoken word”: That is what BBC Director-General Lord Tony Hall promised on Nov. 23, 2016, when he announced the BBC’s plans to offer its full archive of audio content to online listeners around the world.

“The BBC makes the best radio in the world ... and we have an extraordinary wealth of audio riches at our disposal,” said Lord Hall during his keynote address to the Voice of the Listener and Viewer Autumn Conference in London. With our world-class content, we could use our current output and the richness of our archive to create a Netflix of the spoken word. It’s one of the things that will help the BBC carry the full weight of Britain’s culture and values, knowledge and know-how to the world in the years ahead — and say something really important about modern Britain.”

Additional article at:
(photo/BBC & Radio World)

VOA Radiogram 18-19 February

Hello friends,

Last weekend, we marked World Radio Day with a malfunction of the radio transmitter on 17580 kHz, during the time that the World Radio Day logo should have been broadcast.  Other than that, we had a good weekend of reception and decoding!

For a good example of Olivia 64-2000 performing well despite poor reception, try decoding from this audio that I recorded from an SDR in Australia:

This weekend, we will again transmit an excerpt of text in a non-Latin Alphabet. This time it will be Ukrainian. Use the UTF-8 character set, which, in Fldigi, you can adjust (if necessary) via Configure > Colors & Fonts.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 203, 18-19 February 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

1:50  Program preview
 3:17  Trump Administration sued over bumble bee protection*
9:18  India rocket launches 104 satellites*
16:09  Olivia 64-2000: First white dwarf pulsar discovered
20:44  MFSK32: World Radio Day items from RFE/RL*
23:27  Ukrainian text**
25:59  Closing announcements*

* with image

** use UTF-8 character set

Please send reception reports to

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule (temporarily expanded):

UTC Time
Also try in …
North Carolina
Asia-Pacific, Europe
North Carolina
Americas, Asia-Pacific
North Carolina
North Carolina
Americas, Asia-Pacific
WRMI Florida
WRMI Florida

IBC Italy

IBC Italy

The Mighty KBC broadcast to North America will be Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 7-9 pm EST) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: . See also and

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI and IBC.  See and

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) has digital modes as follows:
EVERY WEDNESDAY ON 3975 KHZ 20.30-21.00 UTC in MFSK32 and OLIVIA 16-500
EVERY FRIDAY ON 9955 KHZ 02.25-02.30 UTC in MFSK32
EVERY SATURDAY ON 1584 KHZ 21.25-21.30 UTC in MFSK32
EVERY SUNDAY ON 7730 KHZ 00.55-01.00 UTC in MFSK32
EVERY SUNDAY ON 6070 KHZ 11.30-12.00 UTC  in MFSK32 and OLIVIA 16-500 (VIA RADIO BCLNEWS)
For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including voice broadcasts, visit

Winter SWL Fest.  I am planning to attend the Winter SWL Fest, March 2-4, 2017, at Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Hope to see you there. Information at .  (Single-day walk-ins are welcome.)

Thanks for your reports from last weekend.  I am now sending out confirmations from program 201, with hopes to send out confirmations from program 202 during this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in.


Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)

PS: A few operating notes:
  • For best Olivia 64-2000 performance, turn Fldigi's squelch (SQL) off.
  • The RSID at 1500 Hz sometimes mixes with the transmitter hum, most noticeable at 360 Hz, to move your receive audio frequency down to 1140 Hz, resulting in no decode. To prevent this, in Fldigi: Configure > IDs  > RsID > unselect Searches passband.  Your center audio frequency will wander no more than +/- 200 Hz.
  • Fldigi automatically saves your decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\ (in Windows; folder names might be different with other operating systems). You can attach those png files with your reception report.
  • The VOA Radiogram Twitter account @VOARadiogram is especially active before, during, and after the broadcasts. You don't need a Twitter account: just go to and refresh it occasionally.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

RTÉ on longwave will continue to 2019

According to this report in the Irish Post (Feb 10) RTÉ longwave 252 kHz will continue until 2019.
RTÉ had said it intended to close the service in 2017:

RTÉ are set to continue transmitting their longwave 252 service until at least 2019 after positive talks took place at a consultative meeting in London.

The news follows a statement issued by RTÉ back in October in which the state broadcaster announced its "intention to close the service in 2017". 

RTÉ said at the time that they were exploring the possibility of using "alternative technologies" to help maintain links with its audiences in Britain beyond the service's closure. But longwave is now set to continue transmitting through 2017 and 2018 after a week which saw calls for the service's retention heard in the Seanad.

Last week, independent Senator Billy Lawless sought government assurances that the Irish in Britain would not lose access to longwave 252.

Senator Lawless urged Minister of State for the Diaspora Joe McHugh to "implore RTÉ management to reconsider this ageist and discriminatory cut" to its longwave 252 service. Minister McHugh responded saying that he was hopeful that a positive outcome can be achieved on the matter in comments hinting at a better future for the service.

A date was set for a consultative meeting in London between representatives of RTÉ, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish community in Britain which has now produced positive results.

Irish community representative Tony Corcoran told The Irish Post: "There are no immediate plans in 2017 or even in 2018 to shut off longwave 252. It won't be shut off within the next two years, I can definitely tell you that. Minister McHugh' s recent comments were the best indication that longwave 252 isn' t going anywhere for the immediate future.

A DFA spokeswoman said: "The Consultative Group met earlier today. I understand that the Group has made progress and I'll update you in the coming weeks with anything further." The sentiment was reiterated in a statement issued by RTÉ, who would not deny that the service is set to continue through 2017 and 2018.
A spokesperson for the broadcaster said: "RTÉ's position remains as it has been. However, positive progress has been made by the Group and it is intended that an announcement will be forthcoming in the coming weeks." 

(BDXC/Alan Pennington) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Vatican Radio’s English to Africa will be moving to a digital platform

Vatican Radio (Gayle Van Horn Collection)
Vatican Radio’s English Africa Service would like to inform listeners in Rome, Italy, that the English Africa Service program broadcast five times daily on Rome's FM 103.8 MHz is moving to a digital
platform beginning Wednesday, 15 February 2017. From this date onwards, the English Africa Program can be heard only through the Vatican Radio World Channel on Digital Audio Broadcasting standard known as DAB or its updated version DAB+, which will require the purchase of a digital radio receiver. However, listeners can continue to listen to the podcast of the daily program throughout the day by logging on to our website, click on English and then go to the On-demand and Podcast section on the right hand side of the page; click on English for Africa Programme.

In recent years, Vatican Radio has experimented with digital transmission technologies, including DAB, which is said to be cheaper and has a better sound quality,according to experts. In Africa, the main outlet for our English Africa programmes will continue to be through the re-transmission of the daily program by several Catholic radio stations in Africa. Most of these radio stations are owned by various African Catholic dioceses, parishes, religious congregations and some by the Radio Maria network.

The times and frequencies of shortwave broadcasts to Africa and the rest of the world remain the same:

All ties UTC

0140-0200 on  5940 SMG 250 kW / 086 deg to SoAs English till March 4
0140-0200 on  7410 SMG 250 kW / 090 deg to SoAs English
0140-0200 on  9515 SMG 250 kW / 086 deg to SoAs English from March 5
0300-0320 on 15470 PHT 250 kW / 283 deg to SoAs English
0300-0330 on  7360 MDC 250 kW / 320 deg to CEAf English
0500-0530 on  9660 MDC 250 kW / 250 deg to SoAf English
0630-0700 on  9660 SMG 250 kW / 210 deg to WeAf English
0630-0700 on 11625 SMG 250 kW / 184 deg to WCAf English
0730-0745 on 15595 SMG 100 kW / 107 deg to N/ME English Mon-Sat
0900-1130 on 21550 SMG 250 kW / 145 deg to CeAf English Special events
1130-1200 on 17590 SMG 100 kW / 112 deg to N/ME English Fri
1130-1200 on 21560 SMG 100 kW / 113 deg to N/ME English Fri
1530-1600 on  9510 PUG 250 kW / 285 deg to SoAs English
1530-1600 on 11695 PHT 250 kW / 283 deg to SoAs English
1530-1600 on 11940 SMG 125 kW / 090 deg to SoAs English DRM
1730-1800 on  9660 MDC 250 kW / 258 deg to SoAf English
1730-1800 on 11625 SMG 250 kW / 148 deg to CEAf English
1730-1800 on 13765 SMG 250 kW / 184 deg to NWAf English
2000-2030 on  9660 SMG 250 kW / 210 deg to WeAf English
2000-2030 on 11625 SMG 250 kW / 184 deg to WCAf English
(DX Bulgaria/13 Feb)

Focus on the Middle Americas - Puerto Rico on Shortwave: The Early Years

 In our program today, we pick up again the story of radio broadcasting on the American island of Puerto Rico, and on this occasion, it is the story of early shortwave radio on this Caribbean Island.  It is true, there never has been a regular shortwave radio broadcasting station on Puerto Rico, but nevertheless, shortwave radio has played its part on this island of tropical delights.
  Most of the professional shortwave events on Puerto Rico have centered around the activity of RCA, the Radio Corporation of America, or under its local name, the Puerto Rico Radio Corporation.  They established the first medium wave broadcasting station WKAQ in 1922, and soon afterwards, work began on establishing a shortwave communication station in the capital city area, San Juan.
  The first test transmissions went on the air in the middle of the year 1925, and these were described as “satisfactory”.  These transmitter tests were radiated under the callsign WGT, and they were noted in the United States on 13705 kHz and 13780 kHz.
  The major purpose for this new shortwave station was to communicate with the continental United States, and the mainland station in this procedure was station WNC, located at Hialeah in Florida.  It is apparent that the shortwave transmitters on Puerto Rico were all operating at a lower power rating, probably considerably less than 10 kW.
  During the pre-war years, RCA-RCPR in San Juan was logged on shortwave under a plethora of callsigns, and perhaps not all of the in-use calls were noted in the continental mainland.  Back in those days, it was the confusing practice to issue a callsign for each shortwave transmitter with also  additional callsigns for each shortwave channel is use.
  The first block of callsigns for San Juan was in the WG series, including for example: WGT WGU WGX and WGXX.  A second block of callsigns was utilized soon afterwards, and these were in the WC series, including: WCT WCU and WCV.  A third block of callsigns was noted in the WD series, such as for example WDF.
  There were many notable occasions when one of the RCA-RCPR shortwave transmitters was taken into use for the transfer of radio programming from Puerto Rico to the mainland for rebroadcast  via the mediumwave networks across the United States.  These shortwave program relays containing news, commentaries and island features were produced usually in the studios of the San Juan medium wave station WKAQ.
  There were numerous occasions also, when San Juan’s WKAQ received a relay of mainland programming for rebroadcast in Puerto Rico.  This was during the era of escalating tensions in continental and islandic Europe, immediately prior to the commencement of World War 2.
  The mainland programming was beamed to Puerto Rico from the two CBS 10 kW shortwave stations W2XE (Wayne New Jersey) and W3XAU (Philadelphia Pennsylvania).  After the official regularization of experimental American shortwave callsigns on September 1, 1939, these two stations continued  to provide a relay of programming for Puerto Rico under the new callsigns WCAB and WCBX.
  In addition to the two way shortwave services in Puerto Rico from RCA-RCPR WKAQ, there was also another similar though somewhat smaller shortwave service provided by another mediumwave station in San Juan.  The mediumwave station was the original WNEL, and the shortwave counterpart was allotted the callsign W4XP.
  Mediumwave WNEL was inaugurated in San Juan in 1934, some 14 years after the island’s first station WKAQ.  At the time of the inauguration of the original WNEL, it was announced that a shortwave outlet would soon be added with the callsign W4XP.
  Back then, a comparatively new series of consecutive callsigns was issued by the FCC in Washington DC in the W4X series.  A well known experimental callsign during that pre-war era was W4XB, which was the shortwave counterpart of the historic mediumwave WIOD on the Isle of Dreams in Miami Florida.
  Shortwave W4XP on Puerto Rico was described as a low power remote experimental transmitter which at times relayed the WNEL mediumwave programming in the 49 metre band for the benefit of country listeners on Puerto Rico.
  Mediumwave WNEL in Puerto Rico also received a relay of American radio programming by shortwave, and this was via the two NBC shortwave stations W3XL and W3XAL at Bound Brook, New Jersey.  At the time when the experimental callsigns of American shortwave stations was regularized on September 1, 1939, these two stations became WRCA and WNBI.
  In June 1944, station WNEL-W4XP was heard by the noted Rex Gillett in Adelaide South Australia with news and commentaries on 15130 kHz.  This program transfer to the American mainland had to be via one of the RCA-RCPR transmitters, not the little W4XP, which in any case was no longer in use.
  Another shortwave station of note in the pre-war era was the communication station operated by Pan American Airways.  This station was noted with the callsign WMDU and it was allocated seven shortwave channels for communication with company planes as well as with company land based stations at other locations.
  Now, as was stated above, there never has been a regular shortwave broadcasting station on the island of Puerto Rico.  However, and less well known, is the fact that there were indeed at least four major attempts to establish a shortwave broadcasting station on this strategically located island.  That’s our story on the next occasion when we focus on the radio scene in the Middle Americas.
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 416)

Unusual QSLs

  During the past century and more, untallied millions of QSL cards have been issued by equally untallied millions of radio stations, large and small, amateur and professional, political and religious, spark and voice, in every country upon planet Earth.  The vast majority of these QSL cards follow a rather regular procedure in which the transmission and reception circumstances are listed, with perhaps a simple straightforward text, or perhaps also with ornate adornings and pictures in black and white or even in color.  
Then too, some stations have at times issued QSL cards that are very different in style and in appearance.  In our program today, we take a look at some quite different and unusual QSL cards. 
Back in the early 1970s, BR Bayerische Rundfunk in Germany issued a QSL card that had a rotatable dial attached to the front face.  At the time, Bayerische Rundfunk operated a 10 kW shortwave transmitter at Ismaning near to Munich on the 49 m band channel 6085 kHz.  

  The rotatable disc on this BR QSL card is a thin plastic circular sheet affixed to the card with a thin metal hollow rivet.  Upon the clear plastic dial is imprinted a row of 16 curved lines in blue ink.  Underneath upon the card a similar pattern of 16 curved rows is imprinted in black ink.  As the dial is rotated, varying patterns of interwoven black and blue curved lines are shown. 

  The 1971 QSL card, dated for reception on April 17, was received by an international radio monitor living in Lahore, Pakistan.  The text upon this card is printed in dual languages, German and English.
Back around the same era, the Broadcasting Corporation of Taiwan issued a QSL card that showed four local scenes in color on the picture side.  The shape of the card could be described as crenellated, or maybe you could say that there are flanges on each side that look as though they could be folded.  
  Some international radio monitors have suggested that the card could be folded to look like a small table, and others have suggested that if you take five of these cards, they can be folded and stuck together in the shape of a closed box.  The text side of the card is printed entirely in Chinese, and perhaps if this could be translated, maybe the purpose of the card is explained.
  This unusual QSL card verifies the reception of their shortwave transmission on 11745 kHz on October 10, 1970. An unusual QSL card prepared for use by amateur station KB9YOZ in Chicago in the United States presents a very large UPC symbol on the picture side of the card.  It would be presumed that the bar code symbol on this QSL card would yield a printout of the actual callsign KB9YOZ.  
  The UPC or Universal Product Code is a bar code symbol that is printed on the side of food packets which are scanned at the checkout in large food shops.  This product symbol was invented in the United States, and the very first item that was ever scanned anywhere was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum at a Marsh Store in Troy Ohio at 8:01 am on June 26, 1974.  This food item was worth 67 cents, and it is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington DC. The UPC bar code QSL card verified an amateur QSO with VP2MHX in Montserrat in the Caribbean on July 25, 2003.
  A QSL card from NHK in Tokyo Japan in 1974 shows an artistic representation in color of a Sumo Wrestler in nine parts.  It is suggested that the nine parts shown on the card can be carefully cut out and strung together with thin string to form a dangling picture of the Sumo wrestler.  

  It is known that some international radio monitors have actually cut up their QSL card and they have hung it dangling fashion in their radio room.  However, it is most probable that usually the card is kept in its uncut form in the listener’s QSL collection. Another similar QSL card from NHK Tokyo shows a Samarai Warrior in the same cut out style.
  Our copy of this unusual Sumo Wrestler QSL card is dated for reception on July 9 (1974), on 15410 kHz.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 415)

The Radio Scene in Madras-Chennai

Three weeks back, we presented Part 1 in a mini-series of topics on the radio scene in Madras-Chennai with particular reference to the inroads of the recent disastrous Cyclone Vardah. This brief topical series was researched and written by Jose Jacob VU2JOS in Hyderabad India and it includes information that was gleaned during a visit he made to the station a few years earlier.  Last time in Part 1 here in Wavescan, we presented the story of the shortwave station at the three part transmitter complex at Avadi where one of the antenna systems was felled by the high winds of the recent cyclone.
            In our program today, we present the story of the two other stations located at this three part transmitter complex in Avadi.  The shortwave station is the first that you will encounter as you enter this large radio complex, and in our program today we move on to Transmitter Building No. Two. 

     Avadi Transmitter Complex: Building  - Mediumwave
            As Jose Jacob reports: A second transmitter building is about half a mile away from the shortwave building.  In this building there are two 10 kW BEL HMB163 medium wave transmitters which were commissioned on October 14, 1994.  These two units operate on 783 kHz with Vividh Bharati programming on a down link satellite relay from Mumbai-Bombay. 
            Next to these two 10 kW transmitters is a 20 kW Harris DX20 medium wave transmitter operating on 1017 kHz with B channel programs from the AIR studios in Madras-Channai.  This third transmitter at this second station at Avadi was commissioned on October 17, 2001.  Back in 2001, a mobile BEL 10 kW transmitter was in use here temporarily while the Harris transmitter was under installation.
            Interestingly the signals from these transmitters that are assigned the two frequencies 783 kHz and 1017 kHz are diplexed into the same self radiating mast antenna at a height of 300 feet.  Up until 2001, an NEC MB124C was in use here on 1395 kHz as the AIR B Channel, and this unit was moved to the A channel building complex to be used as a standby for the main transmitter.  There are also standby generators in this building.

     Avadi Transmitter Complex: Building - Medium Wave
            Less than a quarter mile away from Building Two, is the third building, in which the original transmitter, a 20 kW BBC SM42A3 mediumwave unit, was commissioned on January 11, 1956.   At first it used to operate on 940 kHz but shortly afterwards it was changed to the present channel of 720 kHz. This transmitter was dismantled in the mid 1990's. 
            Currently in this building, there are two medium wave transmitters at 100 kW each, both BEL model HMB140 operating on 720 kHz.  This double set of transmitters replaced the earlier 20 kW BBC medium wave transmitter that was commissioned thirty one years earlier.
            There is also a 10 kW NEC MB124C transmitter here in Building 3 that is in use as a standby unit.  It was previously in use in Building 2 for a period of seven years and it was transferred to its new location in 2001.  There is a standby generator for this 10 kW NEC transmitter, too
Avadi Transmitter Complex
            Because the Avadi transmitter site is near the coast of the Bay of Bengal, they use directional antennas to beam their programming within the Indian mainland.  For this reason, the main self radiating tower is 485 feet tall with a nearby reflector tower 400 feet tall.  
            Programming on five channels from the AIR studios in suburban Mylapore is received by a studio to transmitter link on 1440 MHz, though some programs are also received by satellite. The original Mylapore studios were inaugurated on April 13, 1969.
            In the entire three station site, says Jose Jacob, "I could see more than 15 towers. Several cows were grazing under the antennas, maybe to bring down the grass.  The staff uses Motorola walkie talkies throughout the site". 
            At the time of my visit in 2004, the security personnel and others were seen using transistor radios and wired speakers and they were listening to their station keenly while it was giving the results of the Indian General Elections.
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 415) 

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Feb 13 0049 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
Product description and SWPC web contact

#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts

Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 06 - 12 February 2017

Solar activity reached low levels on 09 Feb due to C-class flare activity from Region 2635 (N14, L=304, class/area=Dai/110 on 10 Feb). Solar activity was at very low levels throughout the remainder of the period and no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached
high levels each day of this period.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to active levels on 06 Feb, quiet to unsettled levels on 07, 10-11 Feb, and quiet throughout the remainder of the period.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 13 February - 11 March 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels with a slight chance for isolated C-class flare activity throughout the period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 13, 16-18, 22-26, 28 Feb, and 01-11 Mar. Normal to moderate flux levels are expected for the remainder of the period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels on 28 Feb and G1 (Minor) storm levels on 27 Feb, 01-02 Mar due to recurrent coronal hole high speed stream influence. Active geomagnetic field activity is expected on 15, 23 Feb, and 03-04 Mar. Quiet and quiet to unsettled geomagnetic activity is expected for the remainder of the period under a nominal
solar wind regime.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Feb 13 0049 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-02-13
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Feb 13      78           5          2
2017 Feb 14      78           8          3
2017 Feb 15      78          12          4
2017 Feb 16      78          10          3
2017 Feb 17      80           8          3
2017 Feb 18      80           8          3
2017 Feb 19      80           5          2
2017 Feb 20      82           5          2
2017 Feb 21      85           5          2
2017 Feb 22      82          10          3
2017 Feb 23      80          15          4
2017 Feb 24      80          10          3
2017 Feb 25      78          10          3
2017 Feb 26      78           5          2
2017 Feb 27      76          25          5
2017 Feb 28      76          30          6
2017 Mar 01      75          25          5
2017 Mar 02      75          20          5
2017 Mar 03      73          15          4
2017 Mar 04      73          15          4
2017 Mar 05      72          15          3
2017 Mar 06      72           8          3
2017 Mar 07      72           5          2
2017 Mar 08      73           5          2
2017 Mar 09      74           5          2
2017 Mar 10      75           5          2
2017 Mar 11      75           5          2