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.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


For the final day of January 2012 I have one interesting reception to report:
  • WLO, 8473 kHz, at 1302-1322 UTC in RTTY and SITOR-B. Weak signal. Transmitting in 45 baud RTTY in clear English – decoded using MultiPSK. Then station switched to SITOR-B mode, still in clear English. Content: Voice of America news bulletins. Weak and not able to decode at times. No ID, but found a blog post (here) about WLO now broadcasting in RTTY and SITOR-B on this frequency. The author posted the content of what he received, and it was exactly the same format as what I saw. So the identification is pretty likely.
And that's it. At the beginning of the month I set myself the challenge of finding something interesting on radio to log every day and I've succeeded at that. I do have a pretty broad definition of "interesting", but it's good to find that even in 2012, when shortwave broadcasters are dropping like plague victims, that there's still lots of interesting stuff to find on the radio bands.  And while shortwave broadcasting seems to be in real decline, most other uses of radio are just as active as ever. So get listening!

Monday, 30 January 2012


Normally I wouldn't post about hearing an ordinary sort of amateur station from the U.S. or Canada. But I set myself the challenge of logging something each day this month, and today I only found a few minutes to spend on radio. This is the only station that made it into the log for today:
  • W5TZC, Bismarck, AR, USA, on 7019 kHz (40 metres) in CW at 0553 UTC calling CQ. RST: 579.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Today's radio catches: reception of station NMF, Boston, MA, on three different frequencies with HF facsimile transmissions. NMF is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard for the marine service and broadcasts information of interest to mariners. These HF facsimile transmissions were broadcasting marine weather from NOAA. Information about NMF is found at weather.noaa.gov/fax/marsh.shtml. I think that NMF's transmitter site is actually located on Cape Cod, not in Boston itself. Receiver: Drake SW8. HF-Fax decoded using MultiPSK.
  • 6340.5 kHz, 1530-1550 and again at 1722 UTC. Fair to good signal. English. HF-Fax transmission with weather chart for Atlantic Ocean. NOAA logo on chart. Off at 1550. On again at 1722, with HF-Fax message that began with “CQ CQ CQ DE NMF NMF NMF” and “NOAA Rado Facsimile Charts Follow”. Charts then followed.
  • 9110 kHz, 1733-1737 UTC. Good signal. HF-Fax charts // 6340.5. Received based on schedule at www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfmarsh_links.htm. Much better picture quality here than on 6340.5.
  • 12750 kHz, 1737 UTC. HF-Fax charts // 6340.5 and 9110. Weather charts – best of the the three frequencies.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

NMF Navtex on Shortwave

Today on shortwave I logged four utility broadcasts from two stations in the maritime service. All but one are relogs:
  • WLO, Mobile, AL, USA on 17362 kHz at 1615-1630 UTC transmitting in SSB in English. Fair signal. Marine weather forecast. Female computer generated voice. ID for WLO and KLB at half hour, then off air.
  • NMF, Boston, MA, USA on 12578 kHz at 1650-1710 UTC. Good signal. Loud and steady SITOR-B signal, which I decoded using MultiPSK. Surprised to find that it was a standard Navtex broadcast from NMF like those on 518 kHz - I didn't know Navtex was sent on shortwave as well. Meteorological conditions and navigation safety warnings. English. Good signal. New to log.
  • WLO, Mobile, AL, USA on 12581.5 kHz at 1710 UTC with fair signal. Morse code/SITOR-A channel marker with WLO ID in Morse code.
  • WLO, Mobile, AL, USA on 12584 kHz at 1715 UTC with fair to poor signal. Morse code/SITOR-A channel marker with WLO ID in Morse code.

Friday, 27 January 2012

SITOR-B 8473 kHz

Unidentified station heard transmitting in SITOR-B mode today on 8473 kHz at 1355 UTC. Fair signal. Didn't have time to try to decode it.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

AFRTS 7812 kHz

AFRTS (American Forces Radio and Television Service) feed on 7812 kHz heard at 0600 UTC in English. Mode: SSB. Weak. Transmitting from Saddlebunch Keys, FL, USA. News, etc from AFN. 3 kW.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

NOAA HF-Fax Station

Received today on 8502 kHz at 1330-1345 UTC: unidentified station transmitting in HF-Fax mode. No ID seen (signal was weak and difficult to decode) but NOAA logo was visible so station is from the U.S.A. Decoded using MultiPSK.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Radio Martí

Only one logging for today: Radio Martí on 7405 kHz at 1345-1350 UTC in Spanish with good signal. Transmitting from Greenville, NC, USA. 250 kW. Sports news.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Massive Pileup

While tuning across the 40 metre amateur band today I came across a truly massive pileup of amateur stations in Morse code - hundreds of them all on 7030 kHz at the same time. They were all in a frenzy trying to contact the TN2T DXpedition station in the Republic of Congo. I couldn't hear TN2T, however. This was at 0443 UTC.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

BSKSA, All India Radio, and More

Several shortwave broadcasts logged today. (All are relogs except for the logging of All India Radio);
  • Deutsche Welle, 9655 kHz, at 2050-2100 UTC in English transmitting from Kigali, Rwanda relay site. Good signal. Show "Inside Europe" about hobby of letterboxing.
  • CBC Northern Quebec Service, 9625 kHz, at 2115-2130 UTC in English transmitting from Sackville, NB, Canada. Fair, somewhat fluttery signal. Show "A propos" about French Canadian music.
  • Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (tentative). 9555 kHz, 2150-2204 UTC, in Arabic, with fair signal. Tentative - no ID heard. Arabic music, ID (indecipherable) on hour, then into talk by man. Clearly a station from the middle east and WRTH has Saudi Arabia on here at this time. This would be from Riyadh. 500 kW.
  • All India Radio, 9445 kHz, at 2213-2217 UTC in English transmitting from Bangalore, India. Fair to poor signal. General Overseas Service of All India Radio. Talk, ID, then into Indian music. 500 kW.
  • La Voz Cristiana, 17680 kHz, at 2235-2300 UTC, in Spanish from Santiago, Chile. Poor signal. Pop Spanish music program. ID on hour with website URL (www.cvclavoz.com).

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Three Loggings on the 41 Metre Band

Today's loggings are of three shortwave broadcasters on the 41 metre band:
  • Radio Bulgaria, 7400 kHz, at 2135 UTC in French transmitting from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Good signal. DX reports, ID, and station URL heard.
  • Radio Romania International, 7380 kHz, at 2142 UTC in English transmitting from Romania. Good signal. Show "This Week in Review" with discussion of European agricultural policy. ID.
  • Voice of Vietnam, 7370 kHz, at 2145 UTC in Vietnamese transmitted from Wooferton, England relay. Fair signal. Talk with mentions of Vietnam.

Friday, 20 January 2012

19 Metre Loggings

Three shortwave broadcasters logged on the 19 metre band today:
  • R. Exterior de España, 15170 kHz at 1305-1318 UTC in Spanish via Costa Rica relay. Fair to good signal. Talk about Cuba, and IDs.
  • R. Havana Cuba, 15230 kHz at 1320-1331 UTC in Spanish, broadcasting from Havana. Fair to poor with co-channel interference from China Radio International. 
  • China Radio International, 15230 kHz, in English at 1325-1331 UTC with fair to poor signal. Broadcasting from Sackville, NB, Canada relay. 
Poor planning having both RHC and CRI on the same frequency at the same time, both broadcasting from North America to North America.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Weather Fax 12786 kHz

12786 kHz, 1350-1400 UTC. Station transmitting in HF-Fax mode with good strong signal. Decoding it (using MultiPSK) yielded tropical weather information in English. No ID, but NMG from New Orleans, LA, is listed on this frequency and the content received is consistent with that. So this goes into the log as tentatively identified as NMG.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Spain 9675 kHz

The only thing received on the radio today was R. Exterior de España in Spanish on 9675 kHz at 0550-0600 UTC. Transmitted via relay from Costa Rica. This happens to be the same scheduled transmission of REE I logged on Jan. 4. 100 kW. Spanish pop music followed by ID and frequencies, then off air. This revealed another much fainter unidentified station on the same frequency.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

WLO/KLB 8788 kHz

Today's entry in the logbook is a utility station: WLO from Mobile, AL, USA. WLO is a station in the marine radio service. Frequency: 8788 kHz. Time: 0620-0625 UTC. Signal: Fair. Language: English. Mode: SSB. Marine weather and water conditions. Frequencies and IDs for WLO and KLB. At 0625 they stated they're standing by for calls and then went off air. Synthetic female voice.

Monday, 16 January 2012

BBC World Service

I once would not have considered logging the BBC World Service to be noteworthy but they've so drastically cut back their broadcasting, especially to the Americas, that it now is a bit unusual to hear them. Today's logging is a tentative logging of the Arabic service of the BBC on 5790 kHz at 0520 UTC from Wooferton in England. No ID but the BBC is scheduled here at this time in Arabic broadcasting to North Africa.

Numbers Station

I stumbled across one of those mysterious numbers stations early today. These stations are presumed to be related to espionage in some matter, often from Cuba it is presumed (Google it). This one was on 5900 kHz, at the bottom end of the 49 metre broadcast band, at 0518 UTC. It was a fairly strong signal. The transmission mode was AM but they were sending five-letter groups in Morse code.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Radio New Zealand and Radio Free Asia

Today's additions to the logbook are four shortwave broadcasters:
  • Radio New Zealand International on 11725 kHz at 0550-0603 UTC  broadcasting in English from the transmitter site at Rangitaiki, New Zealand. Signal was fair to good. 100 kW. Radio drama, music by Neil Young. ID on hour, and then New Zealand news and weather. Relog on this frequency.
  • WWCR from Nashville, TN, USA, on 12160 kHz at 1725-1744 UTC in English with excellent signal. Religious preaching. Relog of station but new frequency.
  • WTWW in Lebanon, TN, USA, on 12105 kHz in French at 1745-1815 UTC. Excellent signal. Religious sermon. 100 kW. Relog but new frequency.
  • Tentative logging of Radio Free Asia at 2123 UTC on 11945 kHz in Chinese with fair signal broadcasting from Dushanbe-Orzu, Tajikistan. No ID heard. Fluttery signal typical of signal passing through auroral region so I presume it's from the other side of the planet. Short-wave.info lists R. Free Asia on here at this time in Chinese. That's the tentative ID.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cuba, France, and the USA

Today's loggings are of three shortwave broadcasters:
  • R. Havana Cuba from Havana on 11840 kHz at 0500 UTC in Spanish with a fair signal. Interval signal and ID on the hour. 250 kW.
  • Tentative logging of Radio France International on 11605 kHz, via relay at Meyerton, South Africa. Time: 0505-0535 UTC. Language: French, with France/Parisian accent. Very poor signal. No ID and no identifying information heard. Talk in French, usually too weak to copy. WRTH 2010 has RFI on here from Meyerton at 100 kW, and since the station sounded like RFI, I'm tentatively identifying it as such.
  • WEWN, Vandiver, AL, USA, on 11550 kHz at 1512-1518 UTC in Spanish. Very good signal. EWTN (Catholic) religious program with talk by two men. 250 kW.

Friday, 13 January 2012

CHU 14670 kHz

The January challenge continues with two utility stations logged today:
  • CHU, Ottawa, ON, Canada, on 14670 kHz at 1319 UTC in English and French. Standard time station. Weak but beeps on the seconds were clear and distinct.
  • Unidentified utility station in SITOR mode on 12966 kHz at 1325-1400 UTC. Weak to fair signal. I didn't try to decode it. I left the station on for half an hour hoping there would be a Morse code ID but there was none.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shannon VOLMET and WSL

For today, two utility loggings:
  • Shannon VOLMET in Shannon, Ireland, on 13264 kHz at 1305-1310 UTC, SSB in English. Aviation weather for the UK area. ID.
  • WSL in St. Augustine, FL, USA, on 13034 kHz at 1312 to 1345 UTC. SITOR-A and Morse code. Two SITOR-A stations heard here, one strong, one weak. No ID on strong one. Weak one was also sending Morse code Ids: "CQ de WSL". WSL is a station in the GLN Global Link Network. It provides HF data communications, including email (www.glnusa.net/?page-id=16)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Channel Africa

Heard today on 9955 kHz at 0610-0628 UTC: Channel Africa from Meyerton, South Africa. Fair to poor signal. In English with show "Africa Rise and Shine". News and current affairs. ID.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

6.3 MHz: Two Unidentified Digital Signals

Today's loggings are two digital stations for which I have no ID:
  • 6362 kHz at 0540 UTC: Digital traffic in a mode that sounded kind of like RTTY but different. Not able to decode it. Weak. 
  • 6352 kHz at 1230-1255 UTC: Very weak signal in SITOR mode. Decoding using MultiPSK and appeared to be sending three-letter groups (perhaps an ID?) but so weak it was probably just a jumble of errors. Occasional Morse code IDs but too weak to copy. Bits sounded something like "CK...DHL". 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Spain, China (via Albania), and Cuba

Three shortwave loggings for today:
  • R. Exterior de España on 13720 kHz at 1245-1257 UTC in Spanish with a fair to poor signal. Transmitting from Noblejas, Spain with 250 kW. Talk and ID, then off air at 1257.
  • China Radio International on 13665 kHz at 1257-1259 UTC in English with fair to good signal. Via relay site at Cerrik, Albania. 150 kW. Chinese language lesson, then off air on the hour.
  • R. Havana Cuba, from Havana, on 13670 kHz at 1259-1304 UTC. Fair to good signal. 250 kW. Spanish - talk, ID on hour, and then into news.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

HF-Fax on 17145 kHz

Received today on 17145 kHz: unidentified HF-Fax station transmitting weather information. I saw reports for the Gulf of Mexico and for the coast of Colombia. Time: 2040-2115 UTC. Signal was poor, and I didn't get an ID. I was also messing around trying to get the software to work properly (MultiPSK and WeFax) so I may have missed any IDs for that reason as well.

Radio Japan from Madagascar

At 2010-2030 UTC today I was hearing Radio Japan in French on 17650 kHz, transmitting from the relay station at Talata-Volonodry, Madagascar with a fair to good signal. Talk in French, with an ID in Japanese and English on the half hour, then off air. 250 kW.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

VOA on 17 Metres

There was a time when the Voice of America was one of the most prominent broadcasters on the shortwave bands. But years of service cuts have reduced its presence to the point where it is now unusual and noteworthy to stumble across it. That's why today's logging of something interesting is a logging of the VOA heard today at 1715-1732 UTC on 17655 kHz. Signal quality was poor. Programming consisted of talk in Portuguese with an ID on the half hour. Transmitting from Greenville, NC.

Friday, 6 January 2012

CRI 13865 kHz

Heard today: China Radio International transmitting from Kashi-Saibagh, Xinjiang, China on 13865 kHz in Mandarin at 1314-1330 UTC with fair to good signal. Slightly tentative because no ID heard, but programming format matches that of CRI and short-wave.info says that this is the only Chinese language station on this frequency. Off air at 1330.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Digital signal 13946 kHz

Unidentified station heard today on 13946 kHz. Radio was in SSB. Time: 1402-1404 UTC. Signal strength fair to good. Unidentified digital mode alternating between short and longer trills and chirps.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Shortwave Loggings for Jan 4, 2012

Logged on shortwave today:
  • R. Exterior de España, 9675 kHz at 0555-0600 UTC in Spanish from relay station at Cariari de Pococi, Costa Rica. Very good signal. Talk and pop music. ID and interval signal on the hour then off air. 100 kW.
  • 9310 kHz at 1245-1255 UTC. Very, very weak station heard – no program details, just a faint signal with occasional fragments of human speech. According to WRTH 2011 there are three stations on this frequency: (1) Family Radio from Kazakhstan, (2) VOA from Thailand, and (3) RFE/RL from Philippines. According to short-wave.info the only station on this frequency at this time is Family Radio in Filipino from Almaty-Nikolayevko, Kazakhstan. Since short-wave.info is pretty reliable, I'm very tentatively saying this is the Kazakhstan station.
  • 9350 kHz at 1300-131 UTC. Weak station with female announcer in unidentified language. Too weak to hear any identifying details. According to short-wave.info the only station on 9350 at this time is R. Free Asia in Tibetan from Tajikistan. ID is very, very tentative.
  • WTJC, Morehead City - Newport, NC, USA, on 9370 kHz at 1312-1318 UTC in English with fair to good signal. Religious - gospel program followed by music. Relog.
  • Radio Marti, Greenville, NC, USA, on 13820 kHz at 1430-1500 UTC in Spanish. To Cuba, 250 kW. Talk, music, ID on hour.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Voice of Turkey, 9700 kHz

Today's logging: Voice of Turkey (tentative) on 9700 kHz at 0545 to 0600 UTC with fair to good signal from transmitter site Emirler, Turkey. Turkish music and talk in Turkish. Is tentative because no ID heard but Voice of Turkey is scheduled to be on this frequency at this time in Turkish broadcasting with 500 kW, so most likely this is it.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Digital Traffic 11688 kHz

Unidentified utility station in unknown RTTY-like digital mode on 11688 kHz today. Logged from 1900 to 1941 UTC but actually on the air for hours on this frequency. No idea what it was - couldn't get Multipsk to decode it. Signal quality good.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Digital TV Loggings

I bought a new television a few days ago, but before I set it up today I decided to do one final scan for digital TV stations using the old TV and digital converter. No new stations turned up, but I did add, or rather re-add, several stations to the log. Analog TV broadcasting was shut down in Canada last August (except for in a few remote locations), but most of the local TV stations were broadcasting in both analog and digital for a few years already. Many of these stations were using temporary channel assignments for their digital signals, and when the analog transmitters went dark, they switched their digital signals to their permanent RF channels. Local CFTO, for example, channel 9, was actually broadcasting their digital signal on channel 40. But once the analog transmitter was shut off, they switched the digital signal to RF channel 9. So what I did today was log these stations on their new RF channels, and added them to the log. (In the logging system I've used since the dawn of time stations get re-logged when they change callsigns or operating frequency). Here are the updates to the log:

  • CFTO-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel: 9 (186 MHz). Digital channel 9-1. Time: 1744 UTC. CTV. 
  • CHCH-DT, Hamilton, ON. RF channel: 11 (198 MHz). Digital channel 11-1. Time: 1747 UTC.
  • CBLFT-DT, Toronto, ON. RF channel: 25 (536 MHz). Digital channel 25-1. Time: 1756 UTC. Radio-Canada, French.
  • CITS-HD, Hamilton, ON. RF channel 36 (602 MHz). Digital channel 36. Time: 1804 UTC. Religious.
  • CIII, Toronto, ON. RF channel 41 (632 MHz). Digital channels 41-1 and 41-2. Time 1806-1808 UTC. Global TV.
  • CFMT-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel 47 (668 MHz). Digital channel 47-1. Time: 1810 UTC. Omni 1.
  • CITY-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel 44 (650 MHz). Digital channel 57-1. Time: 1812 UTC. City TV.
  • CJMT-TV, Toronto, ON. RF channel 51 (692 MHz).Digital channel 69-1. Time: 1814 UTC. Omni 2.

Challenge for January

For the month of January 2012 I'm setting myself the challenge of logging at least one interesting thing a day heard on the radio bands. Let's see what turns up.