Thoughts on KBS World Radio Automated QSL Card

Things have certainly changed in the QSLing world. Today, I received an automated QSL from KBS World Radio three minutes after the end of the broadcast using their Korean language online reception report form. The transaction took less than 5 seconds after I clicked on the submit button. The reception was for their Korean transmission via Kimje on 9740 kHz. While I understand the convenience of doing it this way, I feel like I will miss the human touch when no one on the other end looks at my report and sends back a reply. It is exciting to receive a paper QSL by postal mail, and even an email reply is satisfactory when a person is involved…. For me anyway, the hobby of QSLing is not just about getting a QSL card, although that is certainly part of it. It is about connecting with someone on the other end who has taken the time to connect back with the listener whether it is by a QSL card, a letter, or email just to say thank you for listening. What do you all think? And I still love Radio Korea/KBS World Radio.

4KZ Radio
5055 kHz
Innisfail, QLD, Australia

This nice QSL package was in our mailbox this afternoon. It included a QSL card, a handwritten note, a business card, a sticker, and a station information brochure. The signal for this station was very poor to null most mornings that I tried here in Maryland, USA. One morning on 17 March, they were loud enough to get a few program details for a reception report. Initially, I sent a report via email which apparently did not reach the station. About four weeks later I sent a report by postal mail and this is what they returned. Not bad for 1000 watts. Thank you to Mr. Al Kirton, Director and General Manager of the station for sending this reply.

Radio Budapest

Radio Budapest was launched in 1950 as the international broadcaster for Hungary. The station stayed on the shortwave bands until 2007. It was famous for broadcasting a statement by Hungarian Premier Imre Nagy charging the Soviets with attempting to overthrow Hungary’s “lawful democratic government” on 4 November 1956. I remember the station being fairly stable on the channel of 9835 kHz in the evenings. Below are the QSL cards they sent for my reception reports.

Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV)
The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service

Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV) is the national public-service broadcasting service in Iceland. It operates a network which consists of two longwave stations, a number of FM and television transmitters. They also used shortwave for some time. It is my understanding that they used shortwave to broadcast to seamen and fisherman while out at sea. They verified my reception report with the QSL seen here.

Radio Nederland Wereldomroep

Radio Nederland was a mainstay on the shortwave bands and a very popular station among shortwave listeners. International broadcasts from Holland were initiated by Phillips in the mid-1920’s mostly on an experimental basis. Regular broadcasts were heard in 1927. By 1929, the station used the call letters PCJ. During the Second World War, the Dutch government-in-exile produced programs which were transmitted by the BBC. On 15 April 1947, the Stichting Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (Radio Netherlands International Foundation) was established. Later that year broadcasts in English, Spanish, Dutch, and Indonesian began. After 2000, the Dutch government began the process of slowly defunding Radio Nederland and by 2014 all programming had ceased. An organization called RNW Media is Radio Nederland’s successor and they primarily work to build media communities for social change.

DX Jukebox and later the Media Network was a popular program among DXers. The program’s producers provided shortwave listening and DXing tips to its listeners. The Happy Station Show, another popular program ran from 1928 to 1995.

Radio Nederland was a great verifier and included a transmitter site on their QSL cards. You can see the QSL cards I received from them over the years for my reception reports. I managed to hear broadcasts from many of their transmitting stations and relay sites. However, I never verified the original one in Hilversum.

Radio Berlin International

Radio Berlin International (RBI) was the official international broadcaster for East Germany (AKA German Democratic Republic or GDR/DDR). It came on the air in May 1959 as a counter to West Germany’s Deutsche Welle. It left the air in 2 October 1990 just before German reunification. One of its transmitter sites, the one in Nauen, is still in use by shortwave broadcasters. They sent the QSLs seen below for my reception reports.

A Dear Old Friend –
Radio Australia

r885952_8834991Radio Australia was a dear old friend on the shortwave bands. They were one of the first stations I heard in 1969. Perhaps it was because of their strong signal or maybe it was because of the fact they broadcast in English. Besides, imagine the mystic of hearing a radio signal from the opposite side of the world. Who can forget their Waltzing Matilda music box interval signal as well as the call of the kookaburra when they signed on?

Listen to the interval signal here.

I listened to them in the late afternoons and early evenings when I lived in Korea beginning in the 1970’s on 9580 kHz.  I liked to  listen to them in the mornings before I going to work also on 9580 kHz.

Unfortunately, they signed off the shortwave bands on 31 January 2017. They still produce programs on other media such as as digital radio, digital television, podcasting, and vodcasting.

Over the years ten Radio Australia QSL cards made it into my collection, each picturing something uniquely Australian.

(Click on the thumbnails below for a larger view.)

Radio Liangyou – FEBC

I spent several weekends monitoring 9345kHz until I got a readable signal of this broadcast. (1400 UTC is during my work day Mon-Fri.) On 24 March, the signal was strong enough to hear some decent audio for a report. Radio Liangyou in Hong Kong, the producer of this broadcast, sent this QSL card for my reception report. As noted on the card, the station was FEBC (The Far East Broadcasting Corporation) using a transmitter in Iba, Philippines.

Radio Taiwan International
on Shortwave

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) sent a QSL for their English language service to Southeast Asia on 12,100 kHz. This is today’s fourth QSL. RTI is Taiwan’s current international broadcaster and has been on the air since 2002 when they were called Radio Taipei International. Reception of RTI is difficult here on the East Coast of North America.

WHAG-AM 1410 kHz
Halfway, Maryland

I received this response from Alpha-Media Radio Group for a reception report (and follow-up) for WHAG-AM 1410. The report included a request to verify my reception by letter on their letterhead or by QSL Card if they had them. I sent $2 and a self-addressed stamped envelope for postage and handling. I used the “I want to make a connection with you” approach. Does this explain why many stations do not reply to reception reports?

I wonder if somehow the shorthand phrase “QSL” has a poor connotation with some radio station folks. That could be understandable, if the perception that DXers have no interest in their station other than receiving a precious QSL. I admit may have come across that way to station personnel at times. Maybe a change in approach is needed. Something I have been trying lately is to state something to the effect that I am happy to be part of their audience even if it is from a distance and for short time and completely avoid the use of QSL in the report. The report ends up being, “hey I heard your station, and it was a great experience. I like to make connections with radio stations I hear and would love to hear back from you.” And ask them questions about their station.Remember that stations don’t have to reply, and they are actually doing DXers a favor.

What do you think?

Radio Taipei International

Radio Taipei International (RTI) was an international broadcaster from Taiwan from the late 1990’s to 2002. RTI sent this QSL for my reception report of their broadcast via WYFR, Okeechobee, Florida. I don’t think I heard them with this moniker transmitting directly from Taiwan. In 2002, they changed their name to Radio Taiwan International, which is what they are currently called.

AFN – Tokyo
810 kHz

This QSL certificate from America Forces Network (AFN) – Tokyo on 810 is the first QSL in my collection received as an MS .pub (Publication) file. The reception was made via the AcrticSDR in Kongsfjord, Norway. Thank you to TSgt USAF DMA AFN (USA) Candace L. Reese for taking the time to prepare and send the QSL via email.

This is also the first response I have had from the US Forces Radio station on 810 kHz in Tokyo after sending an unanswered report to FEN Tokyo 43 years ago for their 810 outlet.

Voice of Asia

The Voice of Asia was an external broadcasting service of Taiwan which transmitted programs in English, Mandarin, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia to Asia until 2002 when it was absorbed by Radio Taipei International. So far I have not found a date the station started its broadcasts, but it seems to have been on the air in the early 1980’s. Reception was on the difficult side on the East Coast of North America, but I did manage to hear them in Germany and in Korea.

HLQS 1485 kHz
KBS Gongju First Radio

When we lived in Korea, I prepared several QSLs for Korean radio stations, in particular the local KBS stations, to sign and send back. Below you can see one that I received from KBS Gongju First Radio (KBS 공주 제1 라디오) for a Korean language reception report. The transmitted on 1485 kHz.

I had good luck with this approach with the stations I tried it with.

The translated text of the QSL is found below the images. The card was postmarked at the Gongju Post Office.

This verifies that Mr. Bill Harms received KBS Gongju Radio 1 as follows:
- Station name (Callsign): HLQS
- Transmitter Location: 571, Seongwang-dong, Gongju City
- Reception Date: 12 April 1991
- Reception Time: 12-13 KST
- Frequency: 1485 kHz
- Signed: Signature illegible.

Central Broadcasting System of the Republic of China

Founded in 1928, the Central Broadcasting System was a broadcasting organization which broadcast mainly to Taiwan and the Mainland China in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. In 1996, it was dissolved when it merged with the Voice of Free China and became part of the Broadcasting Corporation of China. The first card below is for a reception made in Spokane, Washington. The other three were made in Seoul, Korea.

JOUC NHK-2 1377 kHz
Non-verie Verification

NHK in Yamaguchi sent this letter with a nice photo of their studio for a reception report of JOUC, their NHK-2 outlet on 1377 kHz. The reception was made via the ArcticSDR in Kongsfjord, Norway. They said they are happy to hear that I was able to hear their station at a distant place but it is against their company policy to issue any kind of verification, and they apologized. I am at a loss to figure this out. On one hand, they acknowledge that I heard their station, but at the same time, they cannot issue a verification. Any thoughts anyone?

Radio Free Asia

RFA (Radio Free Asia) is a great verifier. Over the past few years, several of their QSL cards have made it into my collection. They issue a new QSL once every four months. DXers can send reception reports to RFA’s web form at or via email to Their postal mail address is Radio Free Asia; 2025 M Street N.W., Suite 300; Washington, DC 20036; USA

NOTE: The reception for the HLAZ Jeju, Korea QSL was made via the Arctic SDR in Kongsfjord, Norway.

Xinjiang People’s Broadcasting Station
5800 kHz

Xinjiang People’s Broadcasting Station (新疆人民广播电台, Xīnjiāng Rénmín Guǎngbō Diàntái) is the name of a radio station which broadcasts from Urumchi, China. They broadcast programs in Uyghur, Chinese, Mongolian, and Kazakh languages. They were heard in Spokane, Washington in 1980, and replied with the all Chinese language QSL card and letter below. I cannot read Chinese, but a friend who does told me that they did indeed verify my reception report for their transmission on 5800 kHz.

Heilongjiang People’s Broadcasting Station,
Harbin, China
4915 kHz

Heilongjiang People’s Broadcasting Station in Harbin, China was a shortwave re-broadcaster on 4915 kHz. The name of the station in Chinese is 黑龙江人民广播电台 (Pinyin: Hēilóngjiāng Rénmín Guǎngbō Diàntái). The station’s successor Long Guang (Chinese: 龙广 Pinyin: Lóngguǎng) or Dragon Broadcaster in English does not broadcast on shortwave. I heard this station regularly on the West Coast of the USA around 1980. I sent a report to the Central Broadcasting Station in Beijing and they responded with the QSL card below.

For radio country counters, this station was located in the Manchuria portion of China (NASWA), a country that no longer has a shortwave station from what I understand.

Radio Omdurman
Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation

Radio Omdurman, the international service of Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation was occasionally active on the shortwave bands over the years. They responded with the mimeograph QSL form letter below for my reception report in 1986.

According to, Sudan is still on the air on 7205 kHz as Sudan Radio and on 9505 kHz as the Voice of Africa. Thank you to Dan Robinson for the information.

Rare QSL
KBS Daegu
2510 kHz

I am not sure what kind of scale one would use to rate the rareness of QSLs, but I am sure this rates high on any rareness scale. One morning in December 1977, I heard a signal fade up on 2510 kHz in Korean. After a couple of minutes, I heard them identify as “KBS Daegu, HLKG.” Wow I thought, I must send them a reception report. A few weeks later a friendly handwritten QSL letter from Mr. Oh Kap-hwan, TV transmitting engineer, at KBS Daegu arrived in the mail. He said he was at a loss because his station did not handle QSL cards, but those were handled by the main station in Seoul. That doesn’t matter to me, this is still a great QSL.

WRNO World Wide –
The Rock of New Orleans

WRNO, the Rock of New Orleans, first came on the air in February 1982 with a rock format. Its founder and owner was Joseph Costello III. The station started out with its own separate programming and later rebroadcast programming from its sister station WRNO-FM 99.5. It also leased time to religious and political broadcasters, and served as the shortwave outlet for the Rush Limbaugh Show and the New Orleans Saints Football Team. Radio Earth was one of the broadcasters which leased time on WRNO.

The station was off the air for several years due to a damaged transmitter. The religious broadcaster, Good News World Outreach, purchased the station in 2001. Progress to get the station back on the air was slowed when the antenna received damage in Hurricane Katrina. Finally, the station started to resume a fairly regular broadcasting schedule in 2009. The station can now be heard on 7505 kHz.

They issued several different QSL cards and a charter listener certificate personally signed by Mr. Costello. Below, you can see the QSL cards they sent for my reception reports, plus a bonus Rush Limbaugh QSL and a charter listener certificate.

Canadian Forces Network Brunssum – CFNB
91.5 MHz

This is a verification for a reception report of Canadian Forces Network Brunssum, Netherlands, heard on 13 July 1989 on 91.5 MHz. Like my report for AFN-SHAPE Maastrict, my original report must have gotten lost in the mail. They sent a copy of their original answer and a new letter for a follow-up in 1991. This station went off the air in 2014. I am happy with this one.

Radio San Marino International

Radio San Marino International was an unlicensed station which claimed to be broadcasting from the Republic of San Marino. Most of the DX world was not convinced at the time. Instead the consensus was that its signal emitted from Germany. It was widely heard throughout Europe and North America, and beyond in December 1997 on 7580 kHz. I was fortunate to pick them up. They responded with the  following QSL card.