A site about the radio listening hobby and my activities therein - longwave, mediumwave, shortwave, FM, and television DXing. A site about the radio listening hobby in all its forms, or at least the forms that interest me.

I am also a licenced amateur radio operator, callsign VE3LXL. Information about my amateur radio station is found on my station website.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Recording: DX Partyline on HCJB from 1976

I've uploaded yet another of my recordings of shortwave radio from the late 1970s. This one is a recording of the DX Partyline show on HCJB from Quito, Ecuador. This program was broadcast on December 7, 1976 at 0230 UTC on 6095 kHz in the 49 metre band. The main feature of this episode is a discussion with an HCJB engineer of the design and construction of their steerable broadcasting antenna.

Another Ancient Shortwave Recording

I've posted another ancient shortwave recording to archive.org. This is a recording of a half-hour program of the Voice of Iran, from December 5, 1976 at 2000 UTC on 9022 kHz in English. This is interesting from the historical viewpoint because it is from a few years before the revolution in Iran that overthrew the Shah and established the present Islamic Republic.

Update: This recording has now been included in the Shortwave Archive podcast.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Today's Receptions on Shortwave

Did a bit of listening today on shortwave and here's what I caught. The receiver was the JRC NRD-525 attached to the 20 metre amateur band mobile whip. Not an ideal match but it worked well enough:
  • WRMI, 15770 kHz, Okeechobee  FL USA, at 1945-1952 UTC with fair to good signal. Overcomer Ministry religious program hosted by Brother Stair.
  • Voice of America, 15580 kHz, from Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana relay transmitter site at 1955-2000 UTC. In English. ID at top of hour and then into program "Music Time in Africa". Fair signal.
  • WEWN, Vandiver AL USA, at 2000-2005 UTC on 15610 kHz. Good signal. In English. EWTN Catholic radio.
  • Voice of America, 15730 kHz, from Greenville NC USA, in French with good signal.
  • WWCR, 15825 kHz, Nashville TN USA, at 2010 UTC with good signal. English. Christian preaching.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Radio Kuwait

One logging on shortwave today: Radio Kuwait at 2038 to 2050 UTC on 15540 kHz in English with a fair signal. Public service announcement followed by ID and frequencies. Then into some European-sounding techno music and a song by John Lennon.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

DX Tape 02

I've uploaded a second vintage shortwave radio recording to archive.org. This is a compilation of clips recorded in early 1977. Included on this recording are:
  • Transworld Radio - Interval signal and ID.
  • Radio Veritas ID, as heard on Radio Nederland.
  • Radio Nederland - The story of Radio Nederland's French language service interval signal (in English).
  • Radio Nederland - Clip about interference in Scandinavia from Soviet over-the-horizon radar on shortwave.
  • Radio Santa Fe ID. Probably from Radio Santa Fe, HJAF, Bogota, Colombia, which used to operate on 4965 kHz. I don't know if this was my recording of this ID, or one I heard on a DX program.
  • Radio Nederland - French language service interval signal and ID.
  • Unidentified utility interval signal.
  • Radio Alvorada da Londrina, Brazil ID - heard on Radio Nederland.
  • BBC World Service - Interval signal and ID in Portuguese.
  • Radio Nederland - Story of Radio Nederland's official tune.
  • Disturbing trends in DXing - From HCJB's DX Partyline show.
This one has also been accepted for inclusion at the Shortwave Archive podcast. I assembled these clips into this compilation sometime in the late 1970s and unfortunately I have no records of dates, times, or frequencies for these clips. Enjoy.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Shortwave Loggings

Last weekend I spent a bit of time listening to shortwave. Here's what I logged. Date was Sunday March 23, 2014 from 0520 to 0645 UTC. JRC NRD-525 connected to Sony AN-12 outdoor active antenna.

Loggings from 40 metres:
  • 0520-0530 Radio Algierienne Chaine 1, via Issoudoun, France, 7295 kHz in Arabic. Arabic music, talk on half hour. 500 kw.
  • 0530-0542 Radio Romania Actualitati, from Galbani, Romania, 7220 kHz in Romanian. Talk, ID, music. 300 kW.
  • 0548-0551 Radio Dabanga, via Vatican City, 7315 kHz. This was in Arabic, I think. Frequent IDs, talk, bits of music. 250 kW. 
  • 0552-0600 BBC World Service, via Ascension Island, 7325 kHz in English. 250 kW. Off air abruptly at 0600, followed almost immediately by....
  • 0600-0602 BBC World Service, Wooferton, UK, also on 7325 kHz in French. Noticeably weaker than the Ascension signal. 250 kW.
  • 0602-0613 Radio Romania International, Galbani, Romania, 7360 kHz in French. Talk and music.
  • 0615-0617 Radio Marti, Greenville, NC, USA, 7405 kHz, in Spanish to Cuba. Music and talk. Jamming from Cuba audible, but from my location Cuba's jamming never interferes much with Radio Marti.
 And one logging from the 60 metre band:
  • 0625-0645 Radio Clube do Para, Belem, Brazil, 4885 kHz. Very weak and heard only one partial ID. But it was in Portuguese and I compared it to their webcast, which was the same. Talk between two men, and some music.
The Sony AN-12 active antenna works very well, if you have limited space for an outdoor antenna. Too bad it was never sold in North America - I had to order mine on eBay from Japan.

DX Tape 01

Back in the 1970s, when I was still brand new to radio, I would sometimes record things from the radio onto tape. I assembled these clips onto a series of DX tapes. In the early 2000s, I digitized these tapes, and archived the files. Several months ago I discovered the Shortwave Radio Archive podcast and have been listening to it regularly since. When I discovered that the archive accepts contributions, I decided to contribute the recordings from my DX tapes. They're now over 35 years old and represent a world of international broadcasting that has now almost entirely disappeared.

The primary repository for my radio recordings will be archive.org. So far I've only uploaded the first one, DX Tape 1. The main feature on this recording is the Christmas edition of Radio Nederland's Happy Station Show from December, 1976. The folks at the Shortwave Radio Archive have also made it available through their podcast and website. If you were a listener to Radio Nederland in the 1970s I think you'll enjoy listening to Tom Meijer once again.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Mediumwave DXing from Saskatchewan

From August 3 to 11, 2013 I travelled around Saskatchewan. In the evenings I spent some time DXing the AM and FM bands. One of my goals was to try to hear as many of Saskatchewan's AM stations as I could. I came very close to receiving all of them. In fact, I only missed one, CJBW on 1330 kHz in Jans Bay. I was listening from Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, and Lake Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park. There is another station on 1330 that's sort of in the middle of all that, CJYM in Rosetown, which dominated the frequency.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Your Comments Requested

I have a request. If you're a reader of this blog, even if only occasionally, I'd like to hear your comments on it. I'm interested in hearing what you like and don't like about it. If you find it interesting or boring. If you have suggestions for improvements I'd like to hear those too. Post your replies in the comments section of this post.

One of the things motivating me as a radio hobbyist is curiosity about all the different ways in which wireless communications are used today. The radio spectrum is full of interesting signals created to serve hundreds of different purposes. My interest is in exploring this. I began keeping this blog to communicate this interest to others. That's why my posts focus on reports of what I've heard in my journeys across the radio bands.

However, keeping this blog requires a lot of time, so I want to find out if people actually find value in it. I get so few comments, I don't have any sense of how many people are actually finding this interesting. I'm also wondering if I should change the focus of the blog, or perhaps discontinue keeping it. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks, Greg.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Final Post from Newfoundland

Today was my last day in Newfoundland before returning home. Two last loggings, made from Deer Lake:
  • WRCA, 1330 kHz, Waltham MA, at 0656-0700 UTC. English, fair signal. Danny Styles Nostalgia Show, then ID with location on the hour. 17 kW. Relog.
  • XLM616, 162.4 MHz, Gander NL at 1104-1130 UTC. Fair signal. English and French. Environment Canada weather radio with conditions for southwestern Newfoundland. ID with callsign and location at 1128.
I logged a lot of new stations while I was in Newfoundland and made a few good DX catches. On the whole, however, it was not as productive for DXing as I had hoped. The main problem was the amount of electrical interference present at most of the places I stayed. A secondary problem was that it was getting dark late so good DX conditions each night on AM didn't really get started until well after 10 pm local time, and I usually needed to get to bed by midnight in order to be up for the next day's activities. Most of the places I stayed also did not have the option of setting up outside to listen.

From this I've drawn a few conclusions. If you want to go on a listening DXpedition, you need to scout out a suitable listening location beforehand to ensure it is free of electrical noise and has the physical facilities to enable you to set up your equipment and to put up antennas. You will also need to plan to stay in that location for several days. If you need to check out in the morning, that pretty much prevents you from staying up late DXing the night before. This is an important consideration when DXing the mediumwave or longwave bands in the summer at northern latitudes because it doesn't get dark until quite late. A place without maid service is also preferable, for the same reason. Finally you'll need to focus on the DXing. If you're spending your days doing other activities, you'll need to get up early, which prevents you from staying up late.

Friday, 17 August 2012

CFGN 1230 kHz

Here's a logging I was excited about until I checked my records later. I was in Barachois Pond Provincial Park (about 20 km east of Stephenville) for a hike (in the rain). After returning to my car I spent about half an hour listening to a faint almost unintelligible station on 1230 kHz waiting for an ID. Finally I heard the VOCM ID I was expecting, which meant this was CFGN in Port aux Basques NL (which is part of the VOCM network). It was exciting because CFGN was one of the few mediumwave stations in the province that I hadn't yet logged. At least that's what I thought. Checking my logbook later I discovered I'd actually logged this station back in 2007, and from a much farther distance (Twillingate NL). To top it off, I forgot to note the time of today's reception, so all I can say is that it was in the early afternoon local time.

Loggings from Stephenville

In Stephenville, NL. Several new stations for the log here but all are routine local or semi-local stations:
  • XLW201, 162.4 MHz, Codroy Pond NL, at 0115 UTC with fair signal in English and French. Environment Canada weather radio for Southwestern Newfoundland. No ID or location, but Codroy Pond is only about 50 km south of here so there's little doubt of the identity.
  • CBNC-FM, 88.7 MHz, Stephenville NL at 0119-0125 UTC. Excellect signal. English. CBC Radio One. 3.5 kW.
  • CBAF-FM-16, 94.3 MHz, Port au Port NL. 0125-0128 UTC. Excellent signal. French, SRC Premiere Chaine network. Talk. 1.03 kW.
  • CBN-FM-4, 95.1 MHz, Stephenville NL, at 0128-0132 UTC. Excellent signal. English. CBC Radio Two with show "The Signal". 8.9 kW.
  • CKXX-FM-1, 95.9 MHz, Stephenville NL at 0133-0137 UTC. Excellent signal. English. K-Rock classic rock. Parallel to CKXX 103.9 Corner Brook (also audible here). 230 W.
  • CIOS-FM, 98.5 MHz, Stephenville NL at 0145-0147 UTC. Excellent signal, English. OZ FM. 4.3 kW.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

FM from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

This afternoon I was touring the Port au Port peninsula (on the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast west of Stephenville, NL) and caught two stations from across the water on FM. These were heard on the Mazda 3 car radio:
  • CKPE, 94.9 MHz, Sydney NS, at 1602-1610 UTC, with fair to good signal. Pop music, callsign ID with location, and slogan "The Cape". 61 kW. New.
  • CFCY, 95.1 MHz, Charlottetown PE, at 1715 UTC. Poor signal and audible only briefly. ID and music heard. I was listing to the CBC radio station from Stephenville on this frequency and CFCY broke through briefly while I was on the coast near Mainland driving by a mountain that blocked the path to Stephenville. 73 kW. New.

Other Loggings from Steady Brook

In addition to UVB-76, I also heard the following while in Steady Brook, NL:
  • VOAR-9-FM, 105.7 MHz, Corner Brook NL, at 0147-0149 UTC with excellent signal. Show "Night Sounds with Bill Pearce". Religious music. Some audio distortion, 250W. New.
  • Unidentified digital station on 4610 kHz at 0151 UTC with fair signal. Mode unknown. Strange digital sounds.
  • XLW200, 162.55 MHz, Corner Brook NL, at 0945-1000 UTC with good signal in English and French. Environment Canada weather with conditions for southwestern Newfoundland towns. New.

UVB-76

The highlight of today's DXing is that I finally have heard the mysterious UVB-76 (also known variously as UZB76, MDZhB, and The Buzzer). I've been trying for almost a year to catch it, after reading that article about it in Wired magazine. Frequency: 4625 kHz. Time: 0155-0200 UTC. Station location: believed to be located somewhere near Pskov in Russia. The signal was very weak but its distinctive buzzing came through clearly at times. I also compared it to a webstream of the station to verify that the station was actually transmitting at this time. My location: Steady Brook, NL, just a little bit north of Corner Brook.