Monthly Archives: October 2015

Special broadcast from PCJ International

From the PCJ International website:

Special PCJ Broadcasts for Europe & Southeast Asia 

Beginning November 14th, 2015. PCJ Radio International will offer a series of special broadcasts before the end of the year for listeners in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Time: 0900 to 1000 UTC

Frequency: 17825khz

  • November 14th – Say It With Music
  • November 21st – Call it Ukraine
  • November 28th – Rockin’ with Raoul
  • December 5th – Classics with David Monson
  • December 12th – Special Jazz For The Asking
  • December 19th – European radio during WW2 (documentary)
  • December 26th – Special listeners program

Each of these special transmissions will have a special E-QSL.

Good Listening!

B15 changes

It’s that time of year again, and all the broadcasters are changing their schedules for the B15 season. These changes will be in place until the end of March next year. So if you were wondering where your favourite station(s) had gone to, this is the reason.

They don’t all seem to change at the same time, with some, such as RRI, starting around the 25th of the month, with others changing over the next few days. I was attempting to put together some lists for publication on here, but unfortunately work and family commitments ensured that I could not do that. However, a radio friend in Australia, Rob Wagner, who is an avid shortwave listener and generally all round knowledgeable chap, has beaten me to it. Published today on his blog are a whole series of schedule changes for the major and not so major broadcasters.

Rob’s blog is great go-to site for all sorts of info, so without further ado, point your browser at: Mount Evelyn DX Report

More logs from CQ WW

I snatched some more listening today at various times, between chores and the Rugby World Cup. 10m was wide open again, it’s amazing the countries one can log during such an event. It seems a shame that more hams don’t get on the bands normally and only break out the mic. when there’s a contest.

I also had a monitor of 20m later in the day, when the propagation for 10m had dropped away, and that was wide open too.

Logs:

10m  – CN3A, UP0L, UW7LL, C44C, HS5NMF, CT3MD, HZ1HZ, A93JA, TC2C, A73A, D4Z, ZW5B
20m  – TF3JB, VE3MIS, YL2BJ, HZ1HZ, 3V8SS, K3LR

I was pleased to log HS5NMF from Thailand and TF3JB from Iceland. D4Z from Cape Verde Island was quite a catch too.

All-in-all a very interesting experience, but I must confess it is quite nice to get back to the relative peace of the SWBC bands and away from the cacophony of all those hams vying for a contact.

The CW section of CQ WW kicks off in November, but my CW is far too rusty to copy of that. The high-speed merchants will be out in force for that one!

Ham listening logs

With now having the Yaesu 450D, with the finer tuning and multiple filtering, listening to hams is a much better experience. Therefore, with CQ WW being in full swing this weekend, I decided to see who was on. The propagation has been excellent over the last few days, and this afternoon I wasn’t disappointed. Europe, Asia, America, South America, you name it, they were on air. I decided to concentrate on 10m as this band is not usually open much with low sunspot counts.

Coupled to the 450D is my homebrew half size OCFD and this combination managed to bag the following stations:

PX2A, UN7MMM, PQ5B, NQ4I, V47T, 4L0A, ED8O, P33W, IB9T, YT5A, PX5E, RX4W, E7DX, 4X0A, CE6DFY and A71CV

I did have a quick look on 15m which turned up the following: VE3JM and VA3SWG

I shall be tuning in again tomorrow to see what the band throws up and I think I’ll stick with 10m. At the end I shall be sending listener e-qsls to all stations that can receive them.

I hope some of you manage to bag a few in the log this weekend. 73’s

CQ WW Contest this weekend

This weekend sees one of the big amateur radio contests of the year, CQ WW. This weekend is the SSB section and runs from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday. If like me you are a non-active ham or listener, it gives a great opportunity to get some call signs in the log. Unfortunately, it is usually dominated by the ‘big guns’, but with some skill the lower powered stations can be dug out. Anyway, a bit of fun if you don’t take it too seriously!

For more details see: http://www.cqww.com/

A new receiving experience

Over the last few months, after much deliberation and saving, I finally took the plunge and purchased a Yaesu FT-450D. Although my main area of interest is listening, and primarily the shortwave broadcast bands, an amateur-grade transceiver provides so much more than a receiver at the equivalent price point. Along with the DSP filtering options, most of which are available in AM, they usually have very well designed front-ends. This is the case with the 450D. I don’t intend this to be a review of the 450D as I have only had it 3 days, that will come later when I have used it more.

I was also interested in getting a transceiver for when time allows me to get back on the amateur bands. I see this sort of rig as a long-term investment, so hopefully within the next 5 years I should be back on the air. There are certain practical aspects to overcome such as bringing antenna feeder into the house correctly. At the moment, with having double-glazed windows, the feeder is trapped in the window, which is OK for receiving but could cause problems with even 20 watts power.

Overall, the experience over the last 3 days has been very positive. Most controls are very easy to learn and use, with not too much referral to the manual. I must admit that this is the first rig I have owned where I have read the manual FIRST, before switching on. It has made digging out the weak ones much easier and for those high power stations, the audio is very pleasant. Audio through the small internal speaker is not too good, as with most rigs at this price point, but as I usually use headphones this is not a problem. Audio through the headphones is much better. At some stage I may make an external speaker for those times when I wish to listen and do some other activity, but that can keep for now.

So the Tecsun PL-600, along with the FL1 filter and the homebrew pre-selector, have been relegated to portable use. Next year, when the better weather returns, I intend to try and get out and do more portable listening away from all the urban RFI and in this role the PL-600 is ideal.

Below is a log of those stations heard over the last three days. None of them are outstanding DX, just the normal fare, but the ease of listening to them has been much better. Not noted here are the amateur stations I have logged. That is the area where, unsurprisingly, the 450D wins hands down over the Tecsun PL-600. Tuning is much finer and the filter options for digging out the low power ham stations is so much better.

9965 Khz Thailand VOA Deewa Radio 18:43 UTC Pashto. Music and chat SINPO: 44444 2015-10-19

9575 Khz Morocco Medi1 20:14 UTC Arabic. Music and chat SINPO: 44444 2015-10-19

9730 Khz Vietnam V.O. Vietnam 20:23 UTC Russian. Male presenter SINPO: 44444 2015-10-19

9760 Khz Guam AWR 20:29 UTC ID in English at 20:29. Close down at 20:30 SINPO: 43333 2015-10-19

9815 Khz Sri Lanka R. Farda 20:33 UTC Persian. Male announcer SINPO: 43344 2015-10-19

9835 Khz Malaysia RTM Sarawak 20:37 UTC Malay. Music and chat. SINPO: 22222 2015-10-19

15580 Khz Botswana VOA 18:40 UTC English. Football results from around Africa. ID at 18:41. Music from 18:44 SINPO: 44444 2015-10-20

13740 Khz Cuba R. Habana 21:20 UTC Spanish. Male announcer SINPO: 44444 2015-10-20

12095 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 21:25 UTC English. Politics situation in Nigeria. SINPO: 33333 2015-10-20

9835 Khz Malaysia RTM Sarawak 21:38 UTC Malay. Music and chat SINPO: 32233 2015-10-20

17690 Khz Kuwait R.Azadi 14:18 UTC Dari. Female announcer with discussion program. ID at 14:20 SINPO: 43333 2015-10-21

17640 Khz South Africa BBCWS 14:26 UTC Hausa. Discussion program. Some severe interference from CRI on 17630 SINPO: 42333 2015-10-21

15470 Khz Phillipines Vatican Radio 14:46 UTC Hindi. Female announcer SINPO: 43333 2015-10-21

15345 Khz Australia Reach Beyond Australia 14:49 UTC English. Broadcast about family values SINPO: 43333 2015-10-21

Some Sunday listening

In between gardening and a few other jobs around the house, I managed to kick back and do some listening. The bands were in great shape, with the having quietened down considerably. How long this will last is anyone’s guess, but it’s nice to make the most of it whilst it lasts.

One of my favourite programs on a Sunday (it is also on throughout the week) is VOA’s ‘Music Time in Africa’. Hosted by Heather Maxwell, this features the eclectic mix of musical styles which abound on the African continent. All manner of styles are featured, from modern electronic pop, to traditional tunes using traditional instruments. This show has been running since 1965, way before the term ‘World Music’ was coined. And a lot of the musicians featured would not be heard anywhere else, even given the popularity of World Music. This is the sort of thing that Short Wave does really well, and yet another reason why none of the ‘big-gun’ broadcasters should be cutting their output. It allows those of us outside of the country to really connect with the culture, and yes, look for these musicians on CD and hopefully improve their lot by buying them.

V.O. Turkey tonight had the Ankara bombings as their headline news feature. It was also, as would be expected, in the ‘What’s in the newspapers’ section. Again, this is getting the news first-hand, without it being filtered through other news agencies before being served up to us by our media. Their was no presumption about who had carried out the atrocities, just a simple ‘no-one has yet claimed responsibility’ statement. A very measured tone to the whole bulletin.

And so to the logs from today:

6095 Khz Germany The Mighty KBC 08:27 UTC English. Country music. Part of the ‘Trucker Radio’ program SINPO: 43344 2015-10-11

21505 Khz Saudi Arabia BSKSA 14:32 UTC Arabic. Discussion program. SINPO: 54455 2015-10-11

17870 Khz Sri Lanka VOA 14:41 UTC Kurdish. Discussion program. SINPO: 43444 2015-10-11

17550 Khz Pakistan R. Pakistan 14:45 UTC Urdu. Female presenter SINPO: 43333 2015-10-11

17895 Khz Botswana VOA 16:01 UTC English. Music-time Africa. Sudden cut-off mid-song at 16:00! SINPO: 43344 2015-10-11

15275 Khz Sri Lanka DW 16:16 UTC Amharic. Female presenter with discussion program. SINPO: 43344 2015-10-11

13765 Khz Madagascar Vatican Radio 16:28 UTC Signature tune prior to next broadcast at 16:30.Amharic service started at 16:30. SINPO: 44444 2015-10-11

11750 Khz Sri Lanka SLBC 18:23 UTC Music. SINPO: 44333 2015-10-11