Here are a couple cool vintage QSL’s from South Korea. I believe the Radio Korea QSL card from 1957 is from Glenn Hauser, and I obtained the Voice of Free Korea (VOFK) QSL card from eBay. As far as I can determine, the VOFK QSL is from the 1960’s. There is no indication who the owner of it was.
Beginning in 1927, the call letters KGA have been used in Spokane on AM longer in than any other set of call letters. The station is still operating in Spokane on 1510 kHz. Hope you enjoy these vintage QSLs from the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Images of QSLs, except last one, courtesy of the Committee for the Preservation of Radio Verifications (CPRV) – http://www.ontheshortwaves.com/cprv.html
(Scroll down to see images of the QSLs)
Here are some vintage QSLs from KFIO Spokane, Washington, two from the 1930’s and one from the 1940’s. KFIO was a predecessor of the current KSBN which operates on 1230 kHz in Spokane. (For more information about KFIO click here.)
The KFIO call letters are now used by a station on 1050 kHz licensed to Dishman, Washington, serving the Greater Spokane area. This station is owned by Thomas Reed of Liberty Broadcasting, LLC
Image of the photos from the Committee for the Preservation of Radio Verifications (CPRV) – http://www.ontheshortwaves.com/cprv.html
CFCN i n Calgary, Alberta was the usual channel dominant at night on 1060 kHz in the 1970’s . They were a great QSLer to boot. CFVP on 6030 kHz got out fairly well throughout western North America. DXers in other parts of the world could also pick them up under the right conditions. Since 1994, CKMX has occupied 1060 in Calgary, and as of this writing with a comedy format, with CFVP 6030 still on shortwave now relaying CKMX. The call letters CFCN are still retained by a TV station in Calgary.
KRED 1480 Eureka, California sometimes made it into Spokane (where this reception was made) in the middle of the day in mid winter. I also regularly heard them in Utah. Late IRCAn Ric Heald kindly sent this QSL letter to my address in Maryland.
KAAY 1090 in Little Rock, Arkansas is a widely heard station. I can hear them here in Maryland under a nulled WBAL (10 miles from WBAL’s transmitter). When our family drove across country from Spokane to Illinois in the 1970’s to visit my grandfather I would sit in the front seat with Dad and listen to them because they were so strong. The above reception was in Utah in 1982 where they were heard fairly regularly.
In the 1970’s , KRUX 1360 in Glendale, Arizona would sneak through KMO during the nighttime when the other co-channel stations were in the din. After several call letter and format changes, Salem Media Group now broadcasts a Christian radio format using the call KPXQ.
KFQD could be heard fairly regularly in Spokane back in the 1970’s right at sunrise during the winter and just before KXL in Portland, Oregon would sign on. Now the channel has become a bit crowded, so better than good conditions are required for them to make it through.
WYDE 850 in Birmingham, Alabama would boom into Maryland at sunset with their 50 kW blowtorch when I first heard them in 1983. I believe they were a country station at the time. Now a gospel station with the callsign of WXJC occupies the channel. Last time I tried, they were still strong before switching to their night time antenna pattern.
Radio Zanzibar is a relatively easy catch in North America on the nominal frequency of 11735 kHz (actual 11734). In 1998, I heard them blasting in here to Maryland, and decided to send them a reception report. However, I understood that they were a reluctant verifier. So, reaching into my bag of tricks, I made up a prepared card and sent it with a reception report. Below is the reply I received from them.
The verie signer was Ali Bakri Muombwa. He did not reveal his position with the station, but he had a working knowledge of the station because he completely filled out the card including the transmitter site, and noted he checked the news items I listed. So I assume he worked for the station in some capacity and so this QSL counts.
Last year on 10 April 2014, I picked up WWV on 25 MHz after hearing that the station had revived this frequency on 7 April for the first time since 1977 (here). So, I decided to send off a reception report to the station in Fort Collins, Colorado. In reply they sent me their usual QSL folder with the frequency of 25 MHz filled in. The verie signer was John B. Milton.
This was supposed to be done officially on an “experimental basis.” There are reports that they still may be on the air on 25 MHz as late as October 2015. There has been no signal there the times I have tried, but it could be because of poor propagation.
If you happen to hear them on 25 MHz and decide to send a reception report, I am sure they would be happy to hear from you.
Amateur Radio Relay League, WWV’s 25 MHz Signal Back on the Air, http://www.arrl.org/news/wwv-s-25-mhz-signal-back-on-the-air, accessed 23 November 2015.
Radio Jordan was the shortwave service for the Jordan Radio and Television. I am not sure exactly when they shut down, but they were broadcasting on on shortwave with a reduced schedule as late as 2011. They were another shortwave broadcaster which could be heard throughout the world. I heard them in 1987 in Germany and sent them a reception report. They replied with a QSL card that you see below.
FOOTNOTE 1. NASB Newsletter March 2011
Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBS) was widely heard on shortwave throughout the world. In Germany, they were a fairly easy catch. I managed to pick them up well enough to get some good program details for a reception report. They sent me this QSL card in return.
According the British DX Club in their Guide to Shortwave Broadcasts from the Middle East dated November 2015, QBS was last heard on shortwave in 2002. They can still be heard on 675 kHz medium wave and on FM.
Radio Moscow, the official international broadcasting station of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (after 1991 Russia) from 29 October 1929 to 21 December 1993, was easily heard throughout the shortwave bands during its hay day. It broadcast in dozens of languages for hundreds of hours per week. It ceased to exist on 22 December 1993 when the Voice of Russia took over the role as Russia’s official international broadcasting station.
I first heard Radio Moscow in 1969 and noticed it was all over the place on the band. In 1970, I sent a reception report to them and they sent the QSL card seen below. The program was about Soviet cosmonauts and was actually informative. I did not write to them again until 1979 after I read Sam Barto’s piece on receiving QSLs from USSR radio stations. In the piece, Sam noted that you could receive QSL cards from Radio Moscow with transmitter sites on them if you ask them when you send your reports. So I sent off a bunch of reports and many of the QSLs are seen below. There is some controversy about the accuracy of the transmitter sites, but they are still generally accepted by the DX community as good enough.
Most of the time, I just listened for the entertainment value, but I found many of their programs to be interesting and informative. My favorite program was Moscow Mailbag. Joe Adamov answered a question I had about the Soviet Union’s view on the situation in Korea. He also sent me a letter with his answer. Unfortunately, I lost it in one of my moves.
And who can forget Vladamir Posner?
Over the years, I received around 100 QSLs from them for over 50 transmitter sites, including medium wave. They even sent one for the reception of their English language service from a medium wave transmitter in Cuba on 600 kHz for a reception made in Utah.
If you have any comments about your experiences with Radio Moscow, please feel free to comment below. It would be fun to hear from you.
NEW ARRIVAL IN TODAY’S MAIL
Radio Station WINB, Red Lion, Pennsylvania, USA 9265 kHz sent this full data QSL card for an email report with an attached audio clip to firstname.lastname@example.org. The verie signer is Fred W. Wise.
Despite being close to their transmitter, their signal is usually not very strong here in Maryland, but it is almost always there and readable. That is because most of their skywave signal skips over, but the signal that manages to make it to Maryland is consistent and steady.
You can also see a QSL that I received from them in 1978.
In August 2007, I had the opportunity to visit their transmitter site. Bruce Collier was my tour guide and he showed me transmitter sites in and around the York, Pennsylvania area, including WINB. The antenna array is basically wire stretched out over a corn field in the shape of a rhombus. The transmitter and other offices associated with the station are located in the building shown here. The feed line from the antenna to the transmitter crosses Windsor Road.
On their website at http://www.winb.com/ WINB touts itself as the USA’s oldest private international shortwave station.
This nice package arrived today in the mail from the Gaweylon Tibetan Radio Program. The package included a QSL folder, postcard, business with frequency schedule, and a nice letter from program director Anil R. Alfred. According to Mr. Alfred, my report is the second one they have received from the USA, which I find surprising. I sent the report via the email address on the card, email@example.com. The signal on 15,215 kHz from Dhabbaya, UAE was not very good, but a few times peaked to a listenable level. This broadcaster has been on the air for 25 years.
Many thanks to Anil R. Alfred for taking the time to send such a nice reply. Their website is at http://www.gaweylon.com/
Click on the thumbnails below for full views.
There are two QSL cards from North Korea in my collection, both from Radio Pyongyang, the Korean Central Broadcasting Committee’s overseas broadcasting service. They can be a difficult station to receive a reply from. I guess I have been lucky because I am two for two. In 2002, Radio Pyongyang changed its name to The Voice of Korea. I don’t have a QSL from their Voice of Korea in my collection..
This QSL letter is from the clandestine Radio Truth. (Anyone remember them.) They were on the air for just a short while. It was associated with the political situation in Zimbabwe. I believe it transmitted from South Africa.
Radio Botswana is a governmental broadcasting service headquartered in Gaborone. Their broadcasts could be heard on shortwave on 3356 kHz and 4830 kHz. Who can forget their cow bell clanking interval signal when they signed on? I am not sure when they closed down their shortwave service, but I know they were still operating through the 1990’s. Today, their radio programs are broadcast on two networks, Radio Botswana 1 (RB 1) and RB 2. These can be heard live at http://www.radiobotswana.gov.bw/ A historical sketch of Radio Botswana can be found at http://www.dib.gov.bw
Botswana is still on the shortwave bands. The USA’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) operates a relay station in Selebi-Phikwe. So it is still possible to receive a QSL for shortwave broadcasts from Botswana if one missed receiving one for Radio Botswana. A short treatise of this relay station can be seen at http://www.paws.dircon.co.uk/Bots6a.htm
Over the years, three QSLs from Radio Baghdad have made it into my collection. The first one shown here, besides being the largest QSL in my collection, I would consider this to be one of the most unusual. It measures almost 22 inches by 11 inches. It features several icons of Iraq, including silhouettes of Shahazad and Shahrayar of One Thousand and One Nights fame. Also included are various scenes from around Iraq and some geographical information. Of particular interest are the two postage stamps displaying the likeness of Saddam Hussein.
As I remember, Radio Baghdad was a sporadic broadcaster. It seems that they were strong at times, and then would disappear. There is no international broadcast from the territory of Iraq today. These QSLs are a treasured part of my collection.
CBA Radio, Moncton, New Brunswick was a fairly reliable signal many times at night on 1070 kHz at my listening post in Maryland. CBC Radio One moved its programming to FM in 2008 and the AM outlet went silent.
CBW , the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) outlet in Winnipeg, Manitoba traces their origins back to 1923 when it signed on as CKY. In 1933, CKY became a partial CBC outlet. In 1948, CBC purchased CKY outright and started to use the call letters CBW. The Call letters CKY were transferred to a new commercial station. CBW programming is re-broadcast on several FM outlets in Manitoba.
CBW was an easy catch in Spokane, and I have also heard them several times in Maryland. They sent the two QSL cards for reception reports sent to them.
CBX, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) outlet in Edmonton started out on 1010 kHz in 1948. On 1 October 1964, CBX moved to 740 and CBR Calgary assumed the use of 1010. Currently, CBX is rebroadcast on several FM outlets throughout northern Alberta.
CBX would boom into Spokane in the 1970’s when conditions favored to the north. I sent a reception report off in 1977 and they responded with the QSL card below.
CBR Calgary, Alberta on 1010 kHz was a regular reception in Spokane in the late 1960’s and 1970’s (and still is I assume). I remember tuning my little 8-transistor hand-held radio to their signal and placing it under my pillow to listen to them as I went asleep. Their programming was relayed on an outlet in Medicine Hat on 1460 kHz for a while. The 1010 kHz is still on the air, while 1460 kHz has since gone dark. CBR is also relayed on several FM outlets and one AM outlet as of this writing.
This set of QSLs from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Vancouver is a sampling of different types of stations. I had fun picking up the various ways they transmitted their signals and receiving QSL cards for my reports. Continue reading to see what I am talking about.
The first one is for their medium wave flagship station (CBU) on 690 kHz. This outlet can be easily heard throughout the West, but it does have to contend with interference from the station in Tijuana, Mexico. I could hear it all day long, especially in the winter in Spokane.
The second QSL below is for their main FM outlet (CBU-FM) on 105.7 MHz. They can be heard in the Seattle area with a fair signal. For this report, the reception was made at Moran State Park, on the San Juan Islands, Washington State.
The third QSL is for their shortwave service (CKZU) on 6160 kHz which can be heard throughout the world under proper conditions. I could hear them all day long in Spokane, and occasionally all day long in Utah.
The fourth QSL is for the analog television station on channel 2. I managed to pick them up in Heber City, Utah on E-Skip. They were quite strong.
The fifth one is for the reception of a regional FM outlet (CBTA-FM) 94.7 MHz in Trail, BC. Amazingly, they could be fairly frequently heard in certain areas in Spokane on a car radio. I sent a report to Vancouver when I heard them on vacation to Spokane and received this card.
The sixth and final QSL is for their low-powered relay station (CBXQ) in Ucluelet, BC on Vancouver, Island. This 40-watt outlet on 540 kHz can be heard for a fair distance up and down the coast during the day. I heard them a couple of times in Utah on a beverage antenna after CBK signed off at midnight. My report this time is for a reception made at the Kalaloch Campground in the Olympic National Park along the coast. It was quite strong.
(Please scroll down to see all the QSLs)
(NOTE: Not all of the reception locations match my mailing addresses because they were vacation loggings.)