While on vacation near Rochester, NY over the Labor Day weekend, I heard the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) French language outlet on 94.3 MHz. In return for my reception report to the studios in Toronto, CBC sent the nice coverage map below and a QSL letter. Thank you Vincent Chenier.
Looking at the coverage map, the signal traveled a short distance over land and then straight across Lake Ontario before reaching my listening post in Walworth, New York. The signal was actually pretty strong, I assume due to some sort of tropospheric ducting propagation as the signal is usually not that strong.
This QSL card and letter from Radio Nacional de España was left in my mailbox this afternoon. It was for their station on 585 kHz with the transmitter located at Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. It was strong for about 30 or so minutes and I was able to pick out enough program details for the kind staff at the station to verify.It is RNE number 5 in my collection. A big thank you to José Antonio Garcia Merino for taking the time and effort to answer my reception report.
KBS World Radio in Korea 12 January 2016 via SDR Twente. 0859 Sign on
Radio Korea (and its successors Radio Korea International and KBS World Radio and its predecessor Voice of Free Korea) has to be my sentimental favorite shortwave radio station. They have been one of my connections to Korea, where I served as a missionary from 1975 to 1977.
On 7 July 1977, I had the opportunity to visit the KBS transmitter site at Kimje (김제). You can see the photos here.
Over the years, they issued some rather eye catching and classy QSL cards. I first heard Voice of Free Korea in 1969. Unfortunately, I did not send them a reception report for a QSL card. From what I understand they changed their name to Radio Korea in 1973. Then in 1975, I was called to be a missionary in Korea, so my interest in Radio Korea piqued. Since I was busy as a missionary, my time for listening to the radio was virtually non-existent, but I do remember hearing Radio Korea’s English language program for foreigners on medium wave on 600 and 750 kHz. I even picked up a shortwave broadcast and received a QSL for my reception report.
After I came home from my mission in 1977, I sent off a few more reports and received QSL cards in return. My interest in Radio Korea was in full gear. I listened to their Korean language transmissions to practice my Korean, in addition to listening to their English language programs.
In 1983, I became an official monitor and received a new QSL every month. I even listened to their English language program on FM during a three-month long visit to Korea in 1984. My term as an official monitor lasted until 1987 when we moved to Germany. I still sent reception reports to them on a fairly regular basis even after that.
After we moved to Korea in 1989, I began to spend less time listening to Radio Korea, mainly because they no longer broadcast on FM and medium wave and because it was difficult to pick up their shortwave broadcasts. That is because we were so close that their signals would skip over us, and so they were not strong. However, in addition to the American Forces Korean Network (AFKN), I listened to the Korean stations including KBS. I did send a few reception reports to Radio Korea nonetheless.
We returned to the USA in 1997, and discovered that it was still difficult to hear Radio Korea in Maryland. Propagation of their signal to Maryland was not good, and they started to beam their signal elsewhere. Additionally, my schedule did not mesh with their broadcast times. So, my reports were very sporadic.
I collected almost 100 different QSLs from Radio Korea and KBS World Radio, by far the most from any single station. Most of them are for their shortwave transmissions from Kimje. I also have a QSL verifying the reception of a transmission from their transmitter site in Suwon (수원) as well as several QSLs verifying their FM broadcasts in 1984 and a couple QSLs for overseas relay stations.
I hope to be able to listen to KBS World Radio more in the future as time and propagation permits.
You can see the QSL cards that I collected from Radio Korea and KBS World Radio over the years below. They bring back a lot of fond memories to me. Comments are welcome. (Click on the images for enlarged views.)
About KBS World Radio – http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/about/about_kbsworld.htm – accessed 25 September 2015
This nice QSL from Durham Radio in Oshawa for CKDO 1580 kHz showed up in my mailbox today. I heard them in the middle of the day near Rochester, NY over the Labor Day weekend. The signal was fairly good and steady. They are an easy catch at our home in Maryland.
This is putatively the last QSL card issued by Radio Berlin International. Instead of being the actual last QSL card, I think it is the last QSL card printed for RBI because I understand their final broadcast was on 2 October 1990.
I got this from someone on E-Bay. The DXer who received this QSL card was Manfred Lepp. Does anyone remember him? In any event, this is an interesting piece of radio history.
This is one of the stations that got piqued my interest in shortwave listening. They had a very strong signal into North America. Imagine picking up a radio station from Quito, Ecuador in English. That was so cool. I heard them for the first time on the 31 MB in the summer of 1969, and sent for for my first QSL from them in 1970.
It occurred to me that recording and writing down program details while driving might seem unsafe to some of you who may be reading my blog and Facebook posts. So, I would like to explain what we did. It was a team effort. One of us, usually my wife Becky would drive while I did the recording. The process consisted of finding a station, turning on the recorder, and writing the frequency, station, and the time the recording started on a note pad. That way one of us was always focused on driving and the other person could deal with the radio station. I would listen to the recordings later to pick out specific program details. It worked out well, as we were able to hear and record dozens of stations while driving. We even recorded stuff inside the tunnels in the Swiss Alps.
In Europe and in Korea, I mostly used a white-colored Panasonic radio-cassette recorder. (I don’t know the model.) It had dual cassette capability for dubbing. It got a lot of use until one day the motor in it failed. That was a sad day because it has been a good friend.
These days I use CC Crane Witness to record stations. If the signals are strong enough, I will record them just using the unit’s radio. If the signals are weak, I use the car’s radio. I wired an “auxiliary” output from the car radio speakers, and feed the audio into the Witnesses line input. I have to watch the audio level or it can get distorted. It works, and that is all that is important.
Radio Förderband was a local radio station in the Berne area from 1984 to 2001. I remember picking it up on our car radio as we drove through Berne. An audio clip of what we heard is included here. They replied with a QSL letter and a sticker for my reception report.
We heard Radio Wil, a local station in the town of Wil, St. Gallen, on 93.1 MHz on one of our trips to Switzerland. They were playing country music, and I could recognize some of the titles, so I decided to sent them a reception report. They replied with this nice letter in German. According to the letter, in addition to their local programming, they also broadcast programs in German from other sources like the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.
From what I have gathered, this station was founded in April 1985, but is no longer on the air and the frequency of 93.1 MHz in the town of Wil is now occupied by a station called Radio Top.
Radio 24 in Zürich is one of the oldest local radio stations in Switzerland with their roots in pirate radio. Their web site is at http://www.radio24.ch/
We heard Radio 24 in the town of Zürich while driving around. I recall it had a good signal in the town itself, but it faded out quickly once we left the town. An audio clip of what we heard is below. The station sent me the verification letter below for my reception report.
Radio Thurgau was a radio station which served the Thurgau Canton of Switzerland until 1 January 1998 when it merged with Radio Wil and Radio Radio Eulach to form Radio Top. According to the QSL letter below, they also broadcast German language programs from broadcasters such as the DRS.
We picked this station up at a campground in Balzers, Liechtenstein in the morning just before we left for the day. It had a good signal.
You can see the QSL verification that they sent in response to my reception report. We listened to their 100.3 outlet transmitting from Kreuzlingen.
Radio Zürisee was founded on 1 November 1983 and is still on the air. It primarily serves the Zürich Oberland or the area to the east of the City of Zürich surrounding the lake . When we heard them in 1988, their studio was in Stäfa. In 1994, they moved their studios to Rapperswil. They also underwent a major frequency re-alignment since we visited the area.
We heard them along the southern shore of Lake Zürich for several minutes with a clear signal. The frequency was 91.9 MHz, and the transmitter was located in Feusisberg. However, because it was low power, the signal quickly faded out. We heard enough for a good reception report (a tape recorder helps too.) So, they sent back the nice QSL letter you can see below. I am also including a short audio clip of what we heard. (Click on the arrow on the left side of the bar.)