After 199 stations heard on the Sony SRF-59, I was starting to take its amazing performance for granted. But station 200 blew me away. The radio gods decided to give me a present for station 200: my fourth country, my first transatlantic station, my first European station. And they convinced me that almost nothing is beyond the reach of these little radios.
Keep in mind that station 200, like the 199 preceding it, was heard on an unmodified Sony SRF-59 Walkman using only its built-in antenna. Keep in mind that this is a simple consumer-grade pocket AM/FM radio. Keep in mind that I'm located in Toronto, hundreds of miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. And then consider that I received an AM station from Croatia on this tiny thing. Unbelievable.
1134 Glas Hrvatske, Zadar, Croatia - 17-Nov-2008 0440-0510 UTC - Music with no talk up to the hour. Talk in Croatian - sounded like a newscast thereafter. Severe interference from U.S. stations on 1130 and 1140, but strong enough at times that the language was identifiable. 600 kW. (Poor-Very Poor).
I actually verified the identity of this in three steps. I'd read on the ultralightdx list that some other ultralight DXers had got Glas Hrvatske (Voice of Croatia) recently. So I tuned to between 1130 and 1140 to see if I could hear it. I did hear something that sounded like a station in there. So I went to the Internet and found Glas Hrvatske's web stream (through delicast.com/radio/zagreb/HR_Glas_Hrvatske). This was my reference. Then I tuned to 1134 on my Kaito KA-1103 and waited for the signal to come in strongly enough to compare to the webcast. It took a few minutes but eventually the signal was strong enough to compare and I verified that what I was hearing on 1134 was indeed Croatia. Then finally, I started listening on the SRF-59 to compare it to what I was hearing on both the KA-1103 and on the webcast. It took about 15 minutes of listening but eventually the signal on the SRF-59 was strong enough that I could hear that it was the same programming as I was hearing on those other two sources.
I've gotten Glas Hrvatske here in Toronto several times in the past, in previous years. But it is the only transatlantic station I've ever received here (I have heard many more from Newfoundland). And now I've heard it on a little pocket radio. Very cool.