Monthly Archives: February 2016

Logs for the week ending 28th February 2016

This last week has provided, once again, some good DX from S.E. Asia. Propagation conditions have been very good, with the Sun being particularly quiet just lately. A number of times I have experienced excellent reception during the grey line. To check on this I use GreyLineMap, a very useful online tool which is updated in real time. This has proved useful in the past to try and listen out for ABC Alice Springs on 4835 Khz.

Over the last few weeks, 25m has become my favourite band as it always seems to have something to listen. And, CRI has fewer frequencies on this band than most others, which is a bonus. As we move towards the equinox, it is supporting communication later in the day, usually going quiet around 20:00 UTC.

I received a beautiful QSL card this week from Geronimo Shortwave, a pirate broadcaster located in Holland I think. I have uploaded this to the Gallery page.

And so to this weeks logs.

9485 Khz Germany MV Baltic Radio 10:40 UTC German. Music and chat. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-21

9560 Khz Germany R Mi Amigo 11:09 UTC English. Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-02-21

6280 Khz Pirate Geronimo Shortwave 11:20 UTC English. Music and chat. Playing ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ AC DC. ID at 11:25 SINPO: 32233 2016-02-21

15215 Khz Germany R Oomrang 16:15 UTC English and German. Male announcer. Poor transmission quality so difficult to understand what they are talking about. SINPO: 21122 2016-02-21

11615 Khz Botswana Afia Darfur 18:15 UTC Arabic. Discussion program. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-21

11750 Khz Sri Lanka SBC 18:20 UTC Sinhalese. Phone-in program with music. SINPO: 54444 2016-02-21

11800 Khz South Africa R Japan 18:26 UTC Japanese Pop music. SINPO: 44444 2016-02-21

11735 Khz Zanzibar ZBC 19:19 UTC Swahili. Music and chat. ID at 19:21Started to fade at 19:30. Down to 32233. SINPO: 43344 2016-02-24

11750 Khz South Africa AWR 19:33 UTC Igbo. Some music and chat. SINPO: 44444 2016-02-24

11685 Khz Taiwan R Taiwan 15:25 UTC English. What sounds like a radio play starting at 15:26. ID at 15:30. SINPO: 32233 2016-02-27

11730 Khz Belarus R Belarus 15:37 UTC Russian. Music with male announcer. SINPO: 54455 2016-02-27

11730 Khz Guam KSDA 11:42 UTC Mandarin. Male announcer. Also R Belarus on the same frequency doing a head-to-head at about the same strength. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-28

15360 Khz Sri Lanka AWR 16:13 UTC Urdu. Male announcer SINPO: 44444 2016-02-28

11625 Khz Madagascar Vatican Radio 16:48 UTC Tigrinya. Male announcer. SINPO: 54444 2016-02-28

11645 Khz North Korea V O Korea 16:52 UTC English. Usual propaganda. SINPO: 32233 2016-02-28

11660 Khz Swaziland TWR 16:55 UTC Oromo. Female announcer. SINPO: 22222 2016-02-28

11860 Khz Saudi Arabia Yemen Radio 17:02 UTC Arabic. Male announcer SINPO: 21122 2016-02-28

12015 Khz North Korea V O Korea 17:06 UTC French. Military music. Good strength but poor modulation SINPO: 33333 2016-02-28

12065 Khz Australia R Australia 17:08 UTC English. Discussion about Beethoven symphonies. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-28

5855 Khz Northern Marianas RFA 18:12 UTC Korean. Discussion program. ID at 18:14 SINPO: 33333 2016-02-28

5875 Khz Thailand BBCWS 18:17 UTC Dari. Music with voice over SINPO: 33333 2016-02-28

5955 Khz Austria V O Vietnam 18:20 UTC English. Program about Vietnamese music, it’s instruments and ritual singing. Part of the ‘Sunday Service’ program. Contact info followed by close down at 18:27 SINPO: 54455 2016-02-28

5935 Khz Iran V O Iran 18:40 UTC French. Middle east news. SINPO: 44444 2016-02-28

5980 Khz Turkey V O Turkey 18:43 UTC Turkish. Football match commentary SINPO: 44444 2016-02-28

6080 Khz Belarus Belaruskaye Radio 1 18:47 UTC Belarussian. Traditional Folk music SINPO: 33333 2016-02-28

 

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VK0EK Heard Island DX-pedition – Update

From VK0EK web site:

“On March 1, 2016 the first of the Heard Island Expedition Team board flights for Cape Town, South Africa, the accumulation point for the expedition to Heard Island.

The first three to depart, Bob Schmieder KK6EK, Ken Karr NG2H, and Adam Brown K2ARB, will arrive in Cape Town at 1:00 PM local time, to be met by members of the South Africa Support Team. They will be followed over the next four days by the other team members: Fred Belton KM4MXD, Arliss Thompson W7XU, Gavin Marshall VK2BAX, Hans-Peter Blattler HB9BXE, Alan Cheshire VK6CQ, Bill Mitchell AEØEE, Dave Lloyd K3EL, Jim Colletto N6TQ, Vadym Ivliev UT6UD, Dave Farnsworth WJ2O, and Carlos Nascimento NP4IW.

The Cape Town Support Team has been interfacing with the vessel (also due to arrive in Cape Town March 3), and the local agency for inspecting the vessel and cargo for biological threats. We will be shopping, cleaning the tents, and loading the Braveheart, preparing for the scheduled sailing on March 10.

All news while the team is en route and at Heard will be posted here,

 http://www.vk0ek.org “

Of noisy power supplies and logs

An interesting week on the bands. Some days have been plagued by poor propagation, whilst others have shown what the shortwave bands can offer up when conditions are good. The 13th gave an excellent illustration of the importance of MUF (Maximum Usable Frequency) to international broadcasters. This is the maximum frequency which can support good communications to the target area. During the late afternoon/evening of the 13th, I started monitoring on the higher bands (16m and 19m). These proved to be somewhat poor in offerings, so I moved down to the 25m band. Well, what a difference! S.E. Asia, Africa and Australia, came bounding in. ABC Australia on 12065 was the strongest I had ever heard it! I’m guessing that with the prevailing conditions, the MUF was probably around 13 Mhz.

I use a laptop for logging and checking station ID’s (using SWSKEDS lists). This is a somewhat ancient (in modern terms) Lenovo Z60m. I bought it s/hand about 3 years ago, when it was already about 5 y.o.. It came with an after market power supply/charger, the original probably having been lost or broken. This power supply, being a poorly constructed switch mode type, has always caused huge amounts of noise across all bands. Even adding a filter on the mains side made no difference. It also became very hot during use, which became apparent when I checked the specs. The original charger supplies 20v at up to 4.5 A. The after market one was rated at 20v and 3.25 A! No wonder it was getting hot. During any listening activity, I had to unplug the charger, which only gave me about 45 minutes listening time at a spell.

So I have now purchased the correct one and what a difference. Completely noise free across all bands, and it doesn’t get hot. So now my listening sessions can span a much longer period! It has been the best £20 I’ve spent in a long time. Sometimes it pays to get better equipment!

And so to the logs. All received, as usual, using a Yeasu FT-450D, a homebrew half size OCFD, via a homebrew ATU.

5025 Khz Cuba R Rebelde 06:23 UTC Spanish. LA Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-02-16

17830 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 16:10 UTC English. West Ham v Norwich City SINPO: 54444 2016-02-13

13640 Khz India AIR 18:55 UTC Music. SINPO: 54455 2016-02-13

11635 Khz North Korea V.O. Korea 19:36 UTC English. Military music. SINPO: 33333 2016-02-13

11660 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 19:38 UTC Hausa. Music and chat. SINPO: 33333 2016-02-13

11735 Khz Zanzibar ZBC 19:41 UTC Swahili. Music and chat. Some deep QSB SINPO: 32233 2016-02-13

11750 Khz South Africa AWR 19:47 UTC Igbo. Religious broadcast. SINPO: 44444 2016-02-13

11810 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 19:51 UTC English. Magazine article about renewable technology in Costa Rica. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-13

11900 Khz Sao Tome VOA 19:54 UTC French. Female announcer with discussion program. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-13

12050 Khz Oman R Sultanate of Oman 19:58 UTC Arabic. Music and chat SINPO: 33333 2016-02-13

12065 Khz Australia R Australia 19:59 UTC English. ID at 20:00 followed by News. SINPO: 54444 2016-02-13

9390 Khz Thailand R Thailand 19:04 UTC English. ‘The Morning News Hour’ SINPO: 44444 2016-02-17

9420 Khz Greece V.O. Greece 19:38 UTC Greek. Discussion program. SINPO: 54444 2016-02-17

9470 Khz Botswana VOA 19:40 UTC Kinyarwanda. Discussion program SINPO: 43344 2016-02-17

15340 Khz Australia Reach Beyond Australia 15:15 UTC English. Religious discussion. SINPO: 32233 2016-02-19

15505 Khz Bangladesh Bangladesh Betar 15:18 UTC Hindi. Female announcer SINPO: 32222 2016-02-19

15545 Khz Vatican City R Tamazuj 15:22 UTC Sudanese. Music and chat. SINPO: 32233 2016-02-19

11650 Khz Phillipines FEBC Manilla 15:51 UTC Russian. Discussion program. SINPO: 54444 2016-02-19

11695 Khz Phillipines Vatican Radio 15:53 UTC Classical music. Tinang relay SINPO: 44444 2016-02-19

11870 Khz Phillipines VOA 16:02 UTC Burmese. Phone-in discussion. SINPO: 33333 2016-02-19

11995 Khz Thailand BBCWS 16:09 UTC Farsi. Discussion program. Unbelievably strong signal. Arm-chair copy. SINPO: 54455 2016-02-19

12045 Khz Thailand BBCWS 16:12 UTC Dari. Discussion program.
SINPO: 54444 2016-02-19

9390 Khz Thailand R Thailand 19:24 UTC English. ‘Radio Thailand News’ SINPO: 44444 2016-02-19

9505 Khz Sudan V O Africa 19:29 UTC Hausa. Closing music and sign off SINPO: 22222 2016-02-19

9525 Khz Indonesia V O Indonesia 19:33 UTC English. ID and contact details at 19:34. Somewhat muffled modulation. Discussion about the problems of plastic bags. SINPO: 43344 2016-02-19

9625 Khz Japan R Japan 20:08 UTC Japanese. Male announcer SINPO: 22222 2016-02-20

Texas APRS balloon crosses Atlantic

From Southgate ARC News:

The solar powered amateur radio APRS balloon BTL-42.1 W5BTR-11 has successfully crossed the Atlantic
The balloon was released by the South Texas Balloon Launch Team on February 7 and its signal was picked up at 17:57 UT on February 10 off the coast of Northern Spain.


BLT-42.1 balloon 1910 GMT on February 10, 2016

The balloon payload normally transmits on 144.390 MHz FM but has the capability to switch to 144.800 MHz FM (5 kHz wide deviation, 25kHz channel spacing) when in range of Europe.

Real-time track at
http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=6&call=a%2FW5BTR-11&timerange=259200&tail=259200

Pics of balloon and payload at
http://www.w5acm.net/b421.html

The IARU Region 1 meeting in Vienna on April 15-17 will discuss Global Harmonization of the APRS frequencies, see
http://amsat-uk.org/2016/01/27/iaru-paper-aprs-harmonisation/

Some random loggings

Some days I may stick to one band and see what it has to offer over a couple of hours. Or I may try and log all the VOA (or some other station) outlets on the bands at a particular time. At other times I randomly scour several bands to see what they are all like at a particular time of day. And that was this evenings listening pattern. Try a range of bands, usually starting at the highest one that appears to be supporting communication, and slowly work down through all the bands, snipping out stations of interest.

This is what I logged this evening. Nothing outstanding, but an interesting spread of stations.

9925 Khz Phillipines R.Pilipinas 18:31 UTC English. Female announcer. Chat and music. SINPO: 22222 2016-02-11

15400 Khz Ascension Island BBCWS 18:37 UTC English. Discussion about negative interest rates. SINPO: 54444 2016-02-11

15580 Khz Botswana VOA 18:45 UTC English. Music followed by discussion about teaching in Ghana. Part of the ‘Africa News Tonight’ program SINPO: 54444 2016-02-11

11670 Khz India AIR 19:37 UTC English. Maths tutorial program. Strange heterodyne on signal. SINPO: 54455 2016-02-11

9465 Khz USA R Marti 21:32 UTC Spanish. News. Deep QSB at times SINPO: 42333 2016-02-11

7240 Khz Tibet PBS Xizang 21:43 UTC Mandarin. Music. SINPO: 22222 2016-02-11

7485 Khz Kuwait RFE 21:50 UTC Russian. News and magazine program. SINPO: 43333 2016-02-11

6090 Khz Anguila Caribbean Beacon 22:10 UTC English. Religious broadcast SINPO: 21122 2016-02-11

3985 Khz Belarus R Belarus 22:25 UTC German. Music and chat. Female announcer SINPO: 43344 2016-02-11

AIB celebrates World Radio Day 2016

Via Radioactivity:

Radio, the oldest electronic mass medium, is in good health and well positioned for the future. That’s the message from the Association for International Broadcasting as World Radio Day 2016 is marked internationally.
“Radio generates revenues of well over US$25m every year,” comments Simon Spanswick, chief executive of the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB). “Radio is a major a generator of economic growth and employment – both in front of and behind the microphone. Every day, it touches the lives of billions of people, providing news, information, entertainment and education. At the AIB we’re delighted to join with our Members to celebrate the continued relevance and importance of radio on 13 February, the day designated by UNESCO as World Radio Day.”
The AIB is publishing a special souvenir book to demonstrate the value of radio internationally. ‘The Business of Radio’ provides insight into the radio industry and profiles Members of the AIB who operate radio networks and the service providers that keep radio on the air around the world.
‘The Business of Radio’ is being sent to opinion-leaders including parliamentarians and media regulators around the world to remind them of the key role that radio continues to play, even in the digital age of mobile apps and social media.
“The strength of radio is its ability to connect people in a way that other media cannot,” continues Spanswick. “At the AIB, we are delighted to see that our radio Members are reacting positively to the changes in media consumption habits. For example, they make sure that their programmes are available via multiple platforms, increasing their reach as they do. The AIB is pleased to be accompanying them on their journey into radio’s bright future.” or as a downloadable PDF at
‘The Business of Radio’ includes articles contributed by a number of the AIB’s Members, including the BBC, Broadcasting Board of Governors, RNW Media, Radio Taiwan International and DW. It is available in digital page-turning format at http://goo.gl/MClhld or as a downloadable PDF here :

Outreach organises Radio Fair in Bhubaneshwar on World Radio Day

Via Radioactivity Blog:

Outreach International Radio Fair (OIRF) is to be organized by social organization, Outreach on this World Radio Day. Honorable Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Sri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Sri Dharmendra Pradhan, eminent News reader Sri Upendra Pahadsingh and many dignitaries and radio personalities has given their consent join Radio Fair this year.
Including overseas broadcasters, and All India Radio, Private FM, Community radio and internet radio stations will participate in the event.
The objective of the event is sensitizing radio station owners, executives, broadcasters to gender related policies and strategies for Radio. And building radio skills for youth radio production, with focus on girls, as producers. Also encouraging broadcasters to prepare programs for promotion of culture and eradication of social evils. Most important is to make public understand the importance of Radio, by entertaining and educating them. Many Radio stations from all corners of India and some stations from abroad will join the fair to celebrate the occasion and also project/publish themselves. There will be an exhibition of all Radio stations. Separate stalls for old radio sets, radio equipments exhibition, latest innovations and SW listening will also be there. There will be a sand sculpture of Radio and much more attractive creativity to be shown in the exhibition.
Simultaneously, there will be cultural programs on stage. The program will contain popular Radio Contents. Audience can see the visual version of popular radio contents of All India Radio and other channels. Popular radio artists and celebrities will perform on stage. Artists from many other states and countries will make the evening colorful. Bharatnatyam, Kathaka, Odishi, Sambalpuri, Bhangda, Manipuri, Bihu and other classical, folk and modern dance performances will be there. Selected radio star presenters from different radio channels of India will host both the evenings.
Radio Choklate produced drama ‘Upahar’ and All India Radio Cuttack produced drama ‘Amritakhyara’ will be staged both the evenings. Radio magazine ‘Vetaar Vanee’ will be inaugurated on stage. Radio personalities will be felicitated.
Highlights of the event
Event :             Outreach International Radio Fair
Venue :            Bhanja Kala Mandap, Bhubaneswar
Date :               13th and 14th February 2016
Attraction :   Cultural Programs by artists from different states and countries, Sand Art, Drama, Hosts from different radio stations of India.
Exhibition (Old and new Radio set, Old Broadcasting Equipments, Ham Radio, Radio Studio, Stalls by radio stations and many more.)