Sunday, August 28, 2016

From the Isle of Music Programming Schedule

Our August 30 (August 29 in the Americas on WBCQ) program
offers more of Caribe Nostrum, winner of Cubadisco 2016 in the Concert and Chamber Music category and one of the two Gran Premio winners. Guido López Gavilán, the Director, will join us to talk about the music. Our Jazz guest is Carlos Averhoff Jr., whose album Iresi was nominated in the Jazz category of Cubadisco 2016. Mr. Gavilan with converse with us in Spanish, Mr. Averhoff in English, and we will feature music from both albums.
Two options for listening on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000-0100 UTC
(8pm-9pm EDT Mondays in the Americas)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900-2000 UTC
(2100-2200 CEST)

See the NOTES section of our Facebook page for more information
(Bill Tillford)

Friday, August 26, 2016

VOA Radiogram weekend schedule

VOA Radiogram has many listeners in Italy. We hope they and their families are OK after the August 24 earthquake. Our thoughts are with the people in the affected region.

VOA Radiogram for the weekend of August 27-28 will again be all MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz, so another “set and forget” decoding is possible. The show will again end with an Flmsg blank form starting the most recent VOA English radio newscast. (See this post from last week for information about how to make Flmsg work with Fldigi.)

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 178, 27-28 August 2016, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz:

1:34  Program preview

 2:46  NASA finds "lost" space probe*

6:53  Octobot, a soft cheap robot*

12:33  North Korea confiscating popular video player*

19:41  RFA anniversary*, new DRM receiver*

25:50  Closing announcements

28:52  VOA newscast via Flmsg
* with image

Please send reception reports to

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

 The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. This is part of its North America broadcast  Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC. Reports to Eric: .

DigiDX will transmit MFSK32 and probably other modes:
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
For schedule updates, visit DigiDX at  or

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. And IBC has added MFSK32 transmissions via WRMI in Florida: Friday 0125-0200 UTC on 9955 kHz (Thursday 9:25 pm EDT), part of its 0100-0130 broadcast. And Saturday at 0155-0200 UTC (Friday evening 9:55 pm EDT), on 11580 kHz, part of its 0130-0200 broadcast.  See for the complete schedule and contact information

Videos of the WRMI digital special, showcasing text and images via analog radio, are available here:

Thank you for your reports from last weekend. I’m now compiling the gallery of images from the weekend of August 13-14 and hope to start sending those out this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.
Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (active especially before, during, and after broadcasts)

Shortwave Service slated for weekend broadcasts

The Shortwave Service in Germany are carrying some more programs from Gavar in Armenia, this time from Radio Prague in various languages, plus another broadcast from Radio. Menschen & Geschichten:

August 28
11845 1700-1800 Radio. Menschen & Geschichten, via Armenia
9535 1630-1700 Radio Prague Russian 08/31/2016, via Armenia,
to Russia - still subject!
11845 1800-1830 Radio Prague Deutsch 08/31/2016, via Armenia
11845 1830-1900 Radio Prague French 08/31/2016, via Armenia
9985 1930-2000 Radio Prague Czech 08/31/2016, via Armenia
9985 2000-2030 Radio Prague English 08/31/2016, via Armenia
9405 2100-2130 Radio Prague Spanish 08/31/2016, via Armenia

Channel 292 also sees a new weekly program called 'DX News', and this starts at 1900 UTC this coming Sunday 29th of August. This, I assume, will be in the German language:

August 29
Sunday 1900 - 2000 UTC
DX News - The Media Magazine
The Media magazine reports on current events in the field of media and DX. Have your own messages or DX-observation, then we share that love with - by phone: +49 (0) 392 92-580 110
Email: radio @ presse
QSLs inquiries are welcome!
Like us on Facebook:

The Media Magazine keeps you up-to-date on current events in the field of media and DX
If you have own reports or DX news for us, please contact us:
- by phone: +49 (0) 392 92-580 110
- by email:
QSL requests are welcome!
Like us on Facebook:
(Alan Gale/BDXC)

VOA Deewa Radio Marks Ten Years on the Air

VOA Deewa staff at their 10th anniversary celebration
WASHINGTON D.C., August 26, 2016 --  The Voice of America's Deewa Service to the critically important Afghanistan-Pakistan border region celebrated its 10th anniversary on Thursday at a ceremony at VOA headquarters in Washington.

VOA Deewa (Light) began broadcasting in Pashto on August 25, 2006, with only five minutes of radio daily. Today, the service produces nine hours of radio broadcasts per day, three of which are radio on TV, including a popular call-in show for women, Adorable Woman, that has "given a voice to half the population of the region," according to VOA Deewa Service Chief Nafees Takar.

VOA Director Amanda Bennett commended the service as a vital communications link with the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan Provinces in support of freedom and democracy during the rise of the Taliban, and through the challenges this volatile region faces today. "This is a small but mighty service. This speaks to its creativity and bravery, and especially its work that brings women out of the shadows," said Bennett.

"They are serving one of the most difficult areas and most complicated areas of the world, where violence and extremism are a daily occurrence," said VOA South and Central Asia Division Director Akbar Ayazi.

VOA Deewa radio and television provide news and information to a potential audience of more than 50 million Pashtuns. The region lacks local independent sources of information on regional, international and U.S. news. With a military narrative, jihadi agenda and extremist groups dominating the region's state and private media market, VOA Deewa is a respected source of objective and accurate news and information via digital platforms, direct-to-home satellite, radio and the Internet.

Key Channel Radio on the air Saturday

From KCR – Key Channel Radio
Dear Friend,
KCRadio will be on air next Saturday 27/08/2016 on the KHz 6920 with the following schedule:
UTC: 1300 to 0100.
(Friday and sunday probably tests).
You can listen to beautiful songs from Europe, Asia, Africa and south America.
The reception reports are welcomed.
Good listening from "The KCR Team" !!
Caro Amico, KCRadio sarà in onda il prossimo sabato 27/08/2016 con la seguente programmazione:  UTC 1300 a 0100.
Venerdi serae domenica mattina potremmo essere in aria con test.
Potrete ascoltare meravigliose canzoni da ogni parte del Mondo!
I vostri rapporti di ascolto sono i benvenuti!!
Buon ascolto dal " The KCR Team" !!

Radio Taiwan Special Programming

August 27, 28

Radio Taiwan Intl’l

German service direct from Tanshui, Taiwan

1600-1700 UTC on 11665 TSH 300 kW/325 deg to West Europe in AM Mode

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HAARP Facility to Reopen in 2017 Under New Ownership

See more at:
by Rick Lindquist, ARRL

This article appeared on the website of ARRL, the national association for amateur radio, and is used with permission.
 Let the conspiracy theories resume! Alaska’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility will reopen in 2017. The sprawling facility now is under the ownership of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the UAF Geophysical Institute is preparing HAARP for a new sponsored research campaign that’s set to begin early next year, UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, told ARRL.
 “This involves, for example, reinstalling the vacuum tubes in each of the 10 kW amplifiers — eventually 360 in total — that were removed by the US Air Force [the facility’s former owner] for warm storage in the main facility,” Fallen said. He later clarified that’s just one-half of the 720 tubes required to equip all of HAARP’s transmitters. “For the first campaign we will only be bringing half of the array online, as we will only have half the tubes installed,” he explained. “It’s a long process and we have limited resources.” He noted that the transmitter shelters have been unheated since the previous campaign in the summer of 2014. “The five generators — approximately 3 MW each — have recently been tested individually and are verified operational.”
 Fallen said the HAARP ionosonde (DPS4D “Digisonde”) will be brought back online. “Some instruments on site need to be repaired or replaced,” he said. Those would include riometers and a UHF radar. “Optical instruments will be brought back. The flux-gate magnetometer is operational again.”
 Fallen said other researchers are planning to install instruments at the science pads. “We are still investigating models for increasing Amateur Radio involvement with HAARP, which, in addition to announcing operating schedules, can potentially include hosting one or more ham stations on or near the science pads,” he said.
 UAF describes HAARP as “the world’s most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter for study of the ionosphere.” Built in three phases, starting in the early 1990s and continuing through 2007, at a cost of some $300 million, HAARP over the years has inspired a wide range of conspiracy theories that became grist for late-night radio talk shows. Some have claimed that HAARP’s transmitters and 30-acre antenna farm — capable of generating up to 5 GW ERP — have been used to control the weather, while others have argued that HAARP has caused earthquakes.
 The FCC recently granted two Part 5 Experimental Service licenses for HAARP ionospheric research “across multiple bands.” WI2XFX will cover experiments in discrete parts of the HF spectrum, including 2650-2850; 3155-3400; 4438-4650; 4750-4995; 5005-5450; 5730-5950, and 7300-8100 kHz. A second Experimental license, WI2XDV, covers ionopheric research between 1 and 40 MHz.
 UAF is hosting an open house at HAARP, located near Gakona, Alaska, on Aug. 27. The event will feature facility tours, a mobile planetarium, a permafrost exhibit, science demonstrations and talks, and barbecue.
 Fallen will deliver a free science lecture on Friday, August 26, at the Wrangell-St Elias National Park Visitor Center Auditorium, “Radio Modification of the Ionosphere, and Who Uses This HAARP Thing Anyway?” in partnership with the Wrangell Institute for Science and the Environment (WISE).
 HAARP is aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere. Operation of the research facility was transferred from the US Air Force to the University of Alaska Fairbanks last August, allowing HAARP to continue exploring ionospheric phenomena via a land-use cooperative research and development agreement. - See more at:
(Radio World)

Return to Florida: Early Wireless and a Mysterious VOA Relay Station

Beginning in the year 1962, the Florida Keys have been home to two separate mediumwave stations that have served as relay stations for the broadcast of programming on behalf of the Voice of America.  Over the years, both stations have been on the air from more than one location; one station is still on the air to this day, and the other disappeared soon after it was taken into service. 

            In our Wavescan opening feature here today, we present the complete outline of this temporary station that was on the air for no more than four years.  To begin today’s story, we go back in time more than a century to the early wireless era, and we travel to a small isolated and uninhabited island far beyond Key West in the Mexican Gulf.

            This small island is shown on a detailed map as Garden Island, and it is one of the 7 islands under the collective name of the Dry Tortugas.  This cluster of small and low coral islands was discovered and named by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513, and it is the second oldest surviving European name in the United States. 

            The islands were home to a large colony of sea turtles, hence the Tortugas; and there was no available fresh water, hence the Dry.  This seafaring area has seen its shipwrecks over the passing centuries, and legends tell of huge cargoes of gold and silver still lying on the sea floor, spilled booty from unfortunate Spanish galleons. 

            Garden Island was chosen as the location for an American armed fortress that was given the name Fort Jefferson.  Work on this massive structure began in 1846, and though it housed as many as 2,000 people at one stage, it was never totally completed.

            Fort Jefferson is the largest masonry structure in the United States, and 16 million building bricks were incorporated into its construction.  The outline of the fort is in the shape of an irregular hexagon, maybe a squashed hexagon if you please, and it occupies much of its host island, Garden Island.

            In the year 1902, a tall wireless mast was installed in the northwest corner of the fort, between two dormitory buildings in the bend of the corner of the hexagon.  Wireless equipment was shipped in from 70 mile distant Key West and the station was inaugurated for Morse Code traffic two years later under the informal callsign RF.

            The naval wireless station RF was described back then as a successful venture, but it was too costly and too difficult to operate; absolutely every item of life support for the wireless personnel had to be shipped in from Key West.  The station was officially closed in 1909, though it had been non-operational for a while before that.

            Now comes the story of the Voice of America relay station which was located on island X, as “Alice Brannigan” told us in Popular Communications several years ago.  At the time, the location for this station was not publicly revealed.

            During the year 1962, there was trouble brewing in the Caribbean, between the United States and Cuba.  In order to provide an authoritative radio voice into Cuba, the United States government decide to install two high powered mediumwave stations in the Florida Keys; initially one on Island X, and another on Marathon Key.

            Some time after mid year (1962), equipment for a portable mediumwave station was obtained from various areas in the United States, including a 20 year old Westinghouse transmitter that had previously been on the air under the callsign WBAL in Baltimore, Maryland.  Restoration on the old 50 kW Westinghouse Model 50G, or more completely, Model 50HG1, was undertaken in Rockville Maryland.

            The total equipment was loaded into 5 semi-trailers for the onward journey towards Miami, but on the way, the weight of the massive power transformers was too great for the trailer tires, which exploded.  The heavy convoy carrying all of the electronic equipment eventually travelled into Florida and then over the Ocean Highway and arrived in Key West, where it was transferred onto two navy boats, twin LCMs.

            At dusk, under the cover of darkness, the two LCMs headed out into the Caribbean for the 70 mile voyage to the unannounced secret location X, which we now know was Fort Jefferson on Garden Island, where they arrived before daylight, at 4:30 am next day.  That was in October 1962.

            The station was set up in the fort and it was ready to go on air with 50 kW on 1040 kHz.  Initially the program feed was via a terrestrial microwave link from Key West, but the 70 mile single hop was just too distant, and reliability was inadequate.

            However, work on the installation of the VOA sister station on Marathon Key was nearing completion, though at that stage the output at Marathon was only 900 watts due to uncompleted work on the antenna system.  However, a communication receiver was brought in to Garden Island by helicopter, and from that time onwards, VOA programming from VOA Garden on 1040 kHz was an off air relay from VOA Marathon on 1180 kHz. 

            There were times though when Garden Key took an off air relay from Radio Swan/Radio Americas on Swan Island in the Caribbean.  That station, Radio Swan/Radio Americas, was on the air in parallel on both mediumwave and shortwave, with 50 kW on 1160 kHz and 7½ kW on 6000 kHz.

            After less than 3 months of active on-air service on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas, the VOA relay station on Garden Key was closed in December (1962) and much of the equipment was removed and re-installed at a new location on Sugarloaf Key.  However, the antenna towers and grounding system were left intact on Garden Key.

            The new location, Sugarloaf Key, was about ¾ of the way from the Florida peninsula towards Key West.  This highly irregular coral key was named perhaps for a particular hill on the island that looked like a loaf of sugar, or maybe it was because a particular variety of pineapple that was grown on the island was named the sugarloaf pineapple.      

            In January of the next year (1963) the Garden Key station was installed on Sugarloaf Key, though a new highly directional 3 tower antenna system beamed on Cuba was erected.  This new location was shown in current VOA scheduling back then, and it was also listed in the WRTVHB for three years in a row 1964, 1965 and 1966.  We might also add that VOA headquarters in Washington DC verified listener reception reports for this station which had been somewhat regularized on Sugarloaf Key.

            After three years of on air service from Sugarloaf, this mediumwave VOA station was closed during the year 1966, and the aging equipment was mothballed.  The official statement declared that a hurricane demolished the antenna system and rendered the station inoperable.  A subsequent report 10 years later stated that the transmitter was still serviceable, but it would appear that it was never in use again.  

            That was the story of the first VOA mediumwave station in the Florida Keys; at island X Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas and then at Sugarloaf for somewhere around 3 years in total.  Next time when we return to the radio scene in Florida, we will tell the story of the other VOA  mediumwave station down there in the keys, VOA on Marathon.
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 391)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

FRS Summer evening broadcast August 21st 2016

This Summer FRS-Holland plans another evening broadcast: on Sunday August 21st FRS-Holland will be heard across Europe on 31 metres 9300 (stand by freq=9335 kHz) and most likely on 48 metres in the 6200- 6300 kHz range. It will be the inofficial celebration of our 36th (!) anniversary.For this time we think 48 metres is to be preferred above the familiar 7700 kHz. The 5 hour evening broadcast will have a thematic character.  For instance last 2015 Summer we featured Psychedelic 1967 oldies, 80s rarities, Made in Holland about the Dutch 1970s pop scene, station & deejay theme tunes  and Banned Songs. Something similar will be presented this Summer. For detailed programme information take a look at the programme schedule below.  

Streaming: Choosing for ‘the best of both worlds’ FRSH goes for broadcasting on short wave in good old AM and digital high quality web streaming. Listeners can make their choice out of two streams: [] and [] .
[ August 27th 16- 21 UTC=18 -23 CEST.
[ August 28th 07- 12 UTC=09 -14 CEST.
[] à Sunday August 28th 17- 22 UTC= 19- 24 CEST.

QSL-cards: Understandably reception reports and letters with comments are much appreciated and will be verified with a QSL card from our current series ‘FRS through the Years’. Each QSL of this series shows an 'element' which played an important part in FRS' 36 year life. Curious about the previously published QSLs from this series? Surf to []. E-mails please to [ ] and for an excellent large format hard copy (plus sticker & badge) use our Herten maildrop: P.O.Box 2702, 6049 ZG Herten, the Netherlands. You can make make your own choice and choose one of the 8 QSLs which have been offered so far in our long time running 'FRS-Holland Through the Years’ series.

More (website)news: In the past months a lot of work has been done to achieve improvents and add new data to our website. In the mean time the years 1992-1993-1994 have been added in the History menu. The years 1990-1991 have been revised: new pictures and audio files have been added (including the October 1990 10th Anniversary clips).
In addition new pictures/audio archive recordings etc. have been added to the period 1980-1991. Presenters Now has got an update (Bert van Leer) and the Download menu item is now accessible offering a number of outdated infos/programme sheets but also FRS News pdf files. Much more downloadable stuff to follow!! Soon a new menu item will be added: links to several radio related websites regarding offshore, SW, commercial radio and landbased free radio.

And…FRS remains happy to receive digital copies of QSLs sent in the 80s, 90s etc. from its listeners. We will add them into a new QSL gallery on the FRS site. We invite listeners to send in their personal memories regarding FRS. Those will be used to add on the Listener’s Memories article (see

FRS-HOLLAND Programme-Schedule for SundayAugust 21st 2016
UTC Time Programme CEST Time 16:52 Station-opening: ID's & Theme tune 18:52
17:02 Mi Amigo 1974-1979 Tribute- Bert van Leer kicks off with great memories to the songs, jingles and commercials frpm former offshore radio station Radio Mi Amigo (1974-1979). 19:02
18:00 German Show: Space songs- Jan van Dijk is focusing on songs that are all somehow connected with "Space". Also included the usual items "Forgotten Pirates" and "Uplink". 20:00
19.00 Dave Scott's Radiowaves: this time Dave will feature on classic rock tracks combined with a landbased free radio recording.21:00
20:00 FRS Magazine- Peter Verbruggen only plays pop songs about the topic “Radio”. In addition a landbased SW pirate archive recording. 22:00
21:00 FRS Golden ShowRoger Davis. This time all attention goes out to Motown classics. Familiar but also rare stuff. Most likely also an Offshore Radio item will be included. 23:00
23:00-23:05 Close down 00:00-00:05

73s  Peter V.

Friday, August 19, 2016

VOA Radiogram set for Saturday broadcast

Hello friends,
YouTube videos showing the decoding of the WRMI digital special are now available via . If one or more of the videos is blocked in your country, it's because the music we used as an example of annoying co-channel interference may have run into rights issues.

This weekend on VOA Radiogram, most of the show will be straightforward, all in MFSK32. There is one twist in the form of an Flmsg item at the very end of the program that should result in an audio surprise. 

Here, again, is the information about Flmsg: Download it from .

To make Flmsg work with Fldigi, in Fldigi: Configure > Misc > NBEMS > under Reception of flmsg files, select Open with flmsg and Open in browser, and below that indicate where your Flmsg.exe file is located – probably somewhere in Program Files(x86). (Mac users, this page might help: )

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 177, 20-21 August 2016, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz:

 1:31  Program preview (now)
 2:42  China launches hack-proof satellite*
 8:32  Twitter closes terror-linked accounts*
13:59  Why is Washington's subway system falling apart?*
26:40  Closing announcements
29:09  Flmsg surprise (with audio)

* with image

Please send reception reports to .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. This is part of KBC's North America broadcast Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC. Reports to Eric: .

DigiDX has a scheduled extra broadcast this weekend via WINB:
Saturday: 0230-0300 UTC, 9265 kHz, via WINB Pennsylvania (Friday 10:30 pm EDT)
Sunday 2130-2200 UTC, 15770 kHz, via WRMI Florida

Sunday 2330-2400 UTC, 11580 kHz, via WRMI Florida

Monday 2000-2130 UTC, 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 Germany
Visit DigiDX at or

IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) has a broadcast to Europe on 6070 kHz, Wednesdays, 2000-2200 UTC, with MFSK32 and Olivia 16-500 at 2030-2100 UTC. And IBC has added MFSK32 transmissions via WRMI in Florida: Friday 0125-0200 UTC on 9955 kHz (Thursday 9:25 pm EDT), part of its 0100-0130 broadcast. And Saturday at 0155-0200 UTC (Friday evening 9:55 pm EDT), on 11580 kHz, part of its 0130-0200 broadcast.  See for the complete schedule and contact information.

Thank you for your reception reports last weekend and for the WRMI special. I hope to be responding to your emails today and through the weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (active especially before, during, and after broadcasts)

DX Stamp Service sets up for HAMFEST Aug 20

This SATURDAY I'll have a table inside at the RAMAPO MT. ARC HAMFEST in Ringwood, New Jersey ...Looks good for now....

Opens at 8am.....Vendor co-ord. guy said place is A/C gym of Church.

I will have with me:

DX return postage

Euro Airmail Envelopes

Stateside Envelopes

QSL Albums

Packs of extra album pages


Discount FOREVER stamps

Discount 47c made up in 2 stamps


Vintage Parker ballpoint Jotters

And a Few vintage Sheaffer fountain cartridge pens

  (a new hobby and extras to sell off)

Hope to see some of you there...if this works out ok....I'll get back to the Hamfest circuit again
staying with some NJ and eastern PA events that I had table at years back.




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Radio Scene in the Indian City with the Longest Name

Currently, both India and Pakistan are celebrating important national occasions.  At this season of the year back 69 years ago, India celebrated its independence from Great Britain; and Pakistan, though populated by peoples of Indian ethnicity, celebrated its own nationhood separate from India.

            These days, India is a united country of some 1.25 billion people; and after China, it boasts the second largest population in the world.  Within this massive accumulation of humanity, 23 languages are constitutionally recognized as official national and regional languages, though a report issued three years ago by the People’s Linguistic Survey of India estimated that as many as 880 different languages are currently spoken by the peoples of India.  This report also stated that 220 Indian languages have disappeared during the past half century, and another 150 will vanish during the next half century.

            At the time when India obtained its independence from Great Britain in 1947, one historic report stated that there were 565 princely states and 14 British provinces, with 2 additional European powers still holding territories in the sub-continent, Portugal and France.  Another report stated that there were more than 700 princely states still active at the time.    

            It is suggested that the largest princely state back then, taking into account both territory and population, was the state of Hyderabad.  One account tells that the smallest princely state was Vejanoness in present day Gujerat with a population of 206 people on less than 200 acres, and an annual state income of just Rs 500 (Rupees), though another report stated that the smallest was not much more than just a local water well.

            In all of the princely states there was usually an official residence for the local ruler and some of these palaces are nowadays maintained as museums.  At least one palace housed a radio station at one stage, such as the palace of the Maharajah of Mysore.  The palace of the Maharajah of Aundh on the edge of Poona (Pune) became the residence of the president of Spicer Adventist University.

            On Friday June 17, the mediumwave tower of AIR All India Radio in Trivandrum fell during a heavy rain storm, and so on this occasion here in Wavescan, we present the story of radio broadcasting in this southernmost major city in India.  During the colonial era, the name of this city was shortened by the British to Trivandrum, but in 1991 the state government officially changed the name back to its original long name in the Malayalam language, Thiruvananthapuram.                 

            In the early European colonial era, the Dutch established several small colonies in the coastal areas of India, including the Malabar Coast on the west side of the sub-continent.  The Dutch influence gave way to the English, and the Kingdom of Travancore was a princely state up until it was absorbed into the Indian Union in 1949.  The new state of Kerala was formed on November 1, 1956, with Trivandrum as the state capital.

            The Travancore government authorized the establishment of the first radio broadcasting station in this area of south India in 1937 and over the next few years the wheels of implementation moved very slowly, due mainly to wartime movements over in Europe.  A new 5 kW STC transmitter from England was installed in the MLA Palace Building and it was inaugurated on 658 kHz under an Indian callsign VUR on March 12, 1943.  The radio tower stood 250 feet tall.

            This new radio station was developed with co-operation from AIR All India Radio and it was officially inaugurated by the Maharajah himself, Shri Chitira Tirnnal Balrama Varama.  Initially, this station was on the air for just two hours each Friday evening.

            Three years later, in March 1946, Travancore Radio VUR passed under the control of Mr. M. K. N. Abraham who served as the Radio Supervisor in the local YMCA.  At this stage, the station was given a new official callsign, VUG, though it was also still well known as VUR.  It is suggested also that the station was removed from the Palace and installed into the YMCA facility.

            On April 1, 1950, station VUG-VUR was taken over by All India Radio and it was re-installed in the Diwan Palace in Trivandrum where it was officially inaugurated by the Kerala State Governor, Sir C. P. Rajagopalachary.  Even to this day, the studios and offices of AIR Trivandrum are still located in this same palace building, a princely state palace building, and we might add, the office for the Station Engineer was previously the palace bedroom.  The entire studio facility was totally refurbished 9 years later.

            In 1966, a 1 kW mediumwave transmitter, a Japanese made NEC MB122, was installed for the local VB Vividh Bharati program service.  This transmitter was installed at the studio location and it radiated through a 90 ft self-radiating mast.  The VB service in Trivandrum was transferred to FM in 1999, but the small mediumwave unit was retained for standby service, though the antenna was changed to an end fed inverted L.

            A new mediumwave transmitter site was established in a heavily wooded area near Kulathur some 8 miles from the studio location.  This new facility was officially taken into service with a 10 kW BEL HMB104 transmitter Model 4, on February 15, 1973.  A 2011 list gives the callsign for this transmitter as VUT2.

            At the end of the year 2001, a 20 kW solid state Harris DX20, which can be run at 5 10 or 20 kW, was installed at this mediumwave location; and simultaneously, a 400 foot self-radiating mast was installed.  The previous 10 kW BEL transmitter was retained for standby usage, and it was briefly energized each morning for a few minutes just before the main transmitter was opened for the regular daily broadcast service.

            It was this Kulathur tower that collapsed in the rain storm on June 17; a new tower was brought in from Chennai and the regular mediumwave service was reactivated just nine days later.  During the interim period, the regular FM channel carried the usual mediumwave service, and the silent FM transmitter that had previously carried the Gyan Vani service was reactivated.  

            However, the mediumwave relay transmitters at Allapuzha (200 kW 576 kHz) and Kavarati in the nearby islands (10 kW 1152 kHz) still carried the Trivandrum programming as usual.  Likewise, the program relay on shortwave was not interrupted either.

            That’s as far as we can go today, and we plan to present the shortwave scene in Trivandrum here in a coming edition of Wavescan.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 390)

Fews days left for RFA Olympic QSL card

With the Olympics scheduled to close soon, we send this reminder to our blog readers


RFA’s QSL commemorating the 2016 Summer Olympics
Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces its 61st QSL card. This latest design commemorates the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil scheduled for August 5-21, 2016. The Games always bring people together from around the world in peace and harmony to respect universal moral principles. This new design shows an adaptation of RFA’s first panda design originally used for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This updated version of the original design adds a hat made of various fruits. The fruit hat was popularized in the 1900’s by Brazilian singer and actress, Carmen Miranda. This QSL design is used to confirm all valid reception reports from May – August 2016.

Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin (including the Wu dialect), Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a ‘surrogate’ broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest.  More information about Radio Free Asia, including our current broadcast frequency schedule, is available at

RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports.  Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions. RFA confirms all accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card to the listener.  RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX’ers, but also from its general listening audience

Reception reports are also accepted by email at and by mail to:

          Reception Reports
          Radio Free Asia
          2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
          Washington DC 20036
          United States of America 

RFA Broadcast Frequency Schedules
Schedule effective 27 March 2016 through 29 October 2016

0030-0130 UTC   9940 12115 15700
1230-1330 UTC   7530 11805 13820
1330-1400 UTC   7530 11805 12140
1400-1430 UTC   7530 11805
1630-1730 UTC   9940

1400-1500 FNP*
2200-2300 FNP*
* Frequency available, but not promoted

1230-1330 UTC  12140
2230-2330 UTC  13740

1500-1700 UTC   1188  5830  7455 11850
1700-1800 UTC   1188  9975 11985
1800-1900 UTC   1188  9975 11830
2100-2200 UTC   7460  9700 11945

0000-0100 UTC  15690
1100-1200 UTC  15120

0300-0400 UTC  13790 15700 17520 17665
0400-0500 UTC  13790 15615 17520 21505
0500-0600 UTC  13790 15615 17520 21690
0600-0700 UTC  13790 15615 17520 17810
1500-1600 UTC   9455 13675 15430
1600-1700 UTC   9840 11610 13675 13810
1700-1800 UTC   9355  9965
1800-1900 UTC   9355  9965 11560
1900-2000 UTC   1098  9355  9745
2000-2100 UTC   1098  6025  9355  9745
2100-2200 UTC   1098  7435  9685
2300-2400 UTC   9440 11785 15570

0100-0200 UTC   9680  9885 11780 17730
0100-0200 UTC  
0200-0300 UTC   9885 11745 11780 17730
0200-0300 UTC   FNP*
0600-0700 UTC  15720 21550 21690
0600-0700 UTC  FNP*
1000-1100 UTC  13800 15330
1000-1100 UTC  FNP*
1100-1200 UTC   7470 13830 15265
1100-1200 UTC  FNP*
1200-1300 UTC   7470 11540 13830 15265
1200-1300 UTC  FNP*
1300-1400 UTC   7470 11540 13830 15275
1300-1400 UTC  FNP*
1500-1600 UTC   9355 11870
1500-1600 UTC  FNP*
2200-2300 UTC   7505  9370
2200-2300 UTC  FNP*
2300-2400 UTC   6075  9555  9875
* Frequency available, but not promoted

0100-0200 UTC   9350  9400  9780 11640 11945
1600-1700 UTC   9355  9555  9975 11560

0000-0030 UTC   9940
1400-1430 UTC   1503  9950 12045
1430-1500 UTC   9950 12045
2330-2400 UTC   9940

All times and dates are Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Frequencies are in kiloHertz (kHz). 1 MegaHertz (MHz) is equal to 1000 kHz. Conversion to meter bands: Meters=300000/frequency in kHz. e.g.: 17705 kHz --> 16.9 meters 
Reception reports are also accepted by email at and by mail to:
Reception Reports
Radio Free Asia
2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
Washington DC 20036
United States of America
(A.J. Janitschek/RFA/Alokesh Gupta, India)

Monday, August 15, 2016

From the Isle of Music Monday evening schedule

Our August 16 (August 15 in the Americas on WBCQ) program
marks the beginning of several weeks of Caribe Nostrum, winner of Cubadisco 2016 in the Concert and Chamber Music category and one of the two Gran Premio winners. Guido López Gavilán, the Director, will join us each week to talk about the recording. Our other special guest will be Roberto Carcasses, leader of Interactivo, one of the most exciting modern music ensembles in Cuba today. And, of course, we will have a few other musical surprises.

Two options for listening on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000-0100 UTC
(8pm-9pm EDT Mondays in the Americas)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900-2000 UTC
(2100-2200 CEST)
See the NOTES section of our Facebook page for more information.
(BIl Tilford)

WINB schedule update

Red Lion, PA, USA
Effective 14 August 2016
All times UTC

Updated shortwave schedule WINB Red Lion effective Aug.14:
1100-1200 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Sun#
1200-2000 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Sat/Sun
1700-1900 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Mon-Fri*
1900-1945 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Mon-Fri
1945-2000 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm Eng/Spa Mon-Thu
1945-2000 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Fri
2000-2230 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Daily
2230-2300 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm Spanish Mon
2230-2300 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Tue-Sun
2300-2400 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Daily
0000-0300 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Daily
0300-0400 on  9265 INB 050 kW / 242 deg to CeAm English Wed-Mon#
# changes; * relay  The Overcomer Ministries
(DX Bulgaria/13 Aug)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2016 Aug 15 0115 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact #
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 08 - 14 August 2016

Solar activity was at very low to low levels with C-class activity observed on 08, 09, 11 and 14 Aug. Region 2574 (N05, L=173,  class/area Dho/290 on 09 Aug) was the most active region recording
six C-class flares. The largest of these was a C8/Sf observed at 09/0042 UTC. Regions 2571 (N13, L=268, class/area Dac/200 on 08 Aug)  and 2572 (N13, L=320, class/area Dao/110 on 07 Aug) each produced weak C-class flares on 08 Aug. The period ended with a C1 flare observed at 14/1936 UTC from an unnumbered region on the NE limb. A few CMEs were observed during the period, but none had an Earth-directed component.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at high levels throughout the summary period. A maximum of 12,032 pfu was observed at 13/1745 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to active levels on 08 Aug through early on 12 Aug due to effects from a positive polarity CH HSS. Quiet levels were observed for the remainder of the period.
Solar wind speeds reached a maximum speed of about 675 km/s at 10/0830 UTC. Bt ranged between 3-8 nT while the Bz component varied between +7 to -5 nT early in the period. The phi angle was in a predominately positive sector throughout the period.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 15 August - 10 September 2016

Solar activity is expected to be very low with a chance for C-class activity through the outlook period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at high levels on 15, 19-23, 26-28, 31 Aug and 01-10 Sep. Normal to moderate levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at G1 (Minor) storm levels on 16 and 30-31 Aug due to recurrent CH HSS activity. Unsettled to active levels are expected on 15, 17-19, 24-25 Aug and
01-08 Sep, all due to recurrent CH HSS activity. Mostly quiet conditions are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2016 Aug 15 0115 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact #
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2016-08-15
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2016 Aug 15      90          12          4
2016 Aug 16      90          18          5
2016 Aug 17      90          10          4
2016 Aug 18      90           8          3
2016 Aug 19      85           8          3
2016 Aug 20      80           5          2
2016 Aug 21      80           5          2
2016 Aug 22      75           5          2
2016 Aug 23      75           5          2
2016 Aug 24      75          15          4
2016 Aug 25      75          15          4
2016 Aug 26      75           5          2
2016 Aug 27      75           5          2
2016 Aug 28      75           5          2
2016 Aug 29      75          15          4
2016 Aug 30      75          25          5
2016 Aug 31      75          18          5
2016 Sep 01      75          15          4
2016 Sep 02      80          15          4
2016 Sep 03      85          12          4
2016 Sep 04      90          12          4
2016 Sep 05      90          15          4
2016 Sep 06      90          15          4
2016 Sep 07      90           8          3
2016 Sep 08      90          10          3
2016 Sep 09      90           5          2
2016 Sep 10      90           5          2

Blog Logs

// parallel frequency   *sign-on/sign-off*
Logs edited for clarity
All times UTC

11845, 1815, SIO 433. SW Relay Service via Gavar. Rock'n Roll Review program with DJ format. Musical variety of tunes from 60' and 70's. Comments from DJ, reading listener's e-mail. (Gayle Van Horn, NC) 4810.00, Armenian Public Radio, Noratus, 1740-1750. Turkish announcer to Armenian songs, 1745 station melody. Farsi service for talks and music, SINPO 45232. Also heard at 1835-1845,* Subsequent log in Arabic with Armenian folksongs and  closing announcement. SINPO 45333. (Anker Petersen/DX Window 561)

6135, 0015-0135, SIO 322/434. Radio Santa Cruz. Tune-in to Spanish vocals, ad jingles, and Bolivian vocal music on pan flutes. Intermittent signal fading, improving by 0100. Latin pop vocals to lady's clear "Radio Santa Cruz" identification twice. Addtional regional music. (GVH)

5952.49, Radio Pio XII, Siglo XX, 0015-0025. Spanish chat, SINPO 33343. Heterodyne from 5950. (Petersen). Also heard in Pennsylvania at 0115-0228*, with sports coverage with background crowd noises, many group conversations. Later some musical selections before closedown with familiar theme music. Poor with some fair peaks. (Rich D’Angelo/PA). Also heard in California until 0230*, Jul 20, started the normal sign off format, but off in mid-ID. Signal almost fair with QRN (static). (Ron Howard, CA/DX Window 561)

Congo Republic
6115, 1925. RTD-Radio Congo, Brazzaville. French sports commentary at tune-in (soccer). SIO 322. Still audible to 2055, this Sunday afternoon (NL-SDR/GVH)

11700, 2025, SIO 433. Radio Biafra via Bulgaria transmitter relay. Tune-in to announcer's talk about problems in Nigeria to Afro pop tune. Phone-in calls discussing Biafra and continuing disputes. Abruptly left the air at 2100, with any station ID or information. Also checked on SRD, and observed station was dramatically overdriving it's signal. (GVH/Harold Sellers CAN)

5830, *2000, SIO 444. Bible Voice BCN/Radio Dardasha 7. Sign-on with religious melody to two host (male/female) open program in Arabic. Presumed program announcements into religious discussion. Easy-listening tune to lady's station ID and contact info to 2014.* (NL-SDR Twente/GVH)

9650, 1010-1035. Radio Guinea, Conakry. Vernacular language for male announcers talks and conversation. Lady announcer talks to station ID. Good signal, very slight interference by Voice of Korea on 9650kHz (at 1030, interval signal to national anthem) and fair to poor modulation SINPO 44332. Additional log on 9650, 1550-1615 in French/vernaculars text and announcer talk. Station identification at 1610. Fair signal/poor modulation.   Musical program with local songs, announcer's chat. SINPO 35433 (Jota Xavier, Brazil/HCDX).

9445, 2115-2200. All India Radio (Gen Overseas Service). English service, with Indian vocal tunes to "GOS" identification and station info. Announcer's intro to recorded speech from India's President for annual Aug 14 Independence Day. Noted on // 11670, 11620, and 9950. No // signal on 9910 or 7550 kHz. PM speech to 2138. Fanfare music to lady announcer's mention of previous speech and occasion, station ID and intro to music program from noted Indian vocalist.

12035, 1000-1010. Voice of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Chinese service including interval signal and male/female announcer's text and talk. Signal fair with poor modulation (Xavier)

New Zealand
15720, 2003. Radio New Zealand International. Announcer's “RNZ News.” Fair signal quality (Sellers).

North Korea
11635, 2009. Voice of Korea. Lady announcer's intro into vocal choir tune. Also observed station on 13760 at 1512 with newscast. (Sellers) 6400, Pyongyang Broadcasting Station, Kanggye, *2124. Korean sign on with whistle, at 2129 interval signal and national anthem. Announcer talk and foxtrot music, SINPO 25342. (Pankov/DX Window 561)

11850, 2045. Radio Romania International. Lady announcer presents feature about tourism in Transylvania. Good signal quality (Sellers)

Sao Tome
4960.00, VOA, Pinheira, *0358-0405. English ID twice: "This is the Voice of America, Washington DC, signing on", "Yankee Doodle", VOA news in English, SINPO 35233. (Petersen/DNK)

Solomon Islands
5020, SIBC, Honiara, 1139-1200.* Tok Pisin chatting on phone, music dedications and pop songs in English, 1157 "Evening devotional" in English. Station off with full ID and national anthem. Signal almost fair with QRN (static). (Howard/CA)

13800.003, Radio Puntland. Somalia in Somalian Arabic, noted in 1430-1445 UT slot at S=7-8 fluttery up to -76dBm in peaks. Somalia Arabic male presenter on air. Was already off air at next 1503 UT check. Accompanied by another station BUZZ tone of 141 Hertz heterodyne distance on lower side at exact 13799.82 kHz. (W Bueschel, Germany/playdx)

4765.00, Tajik Radio 1, Yangiyul, 1830-1835. Tajik announcement to folksongs, SINPO 35333. Also heard at 2350-2400. in Tajik, SINPO 45333. (Petersen)

9770, 0132-0139. Voice of Turkey, Emirler-TUR. Spanish service including music to announcer's station ID and talks. Signal very poor and barely audible modulation, SINPO 25332 (sometimes, 25331). Parallel on 9870kHz-on air, but barely audible. (Xavier)

9515, Voice of Turkey, Emirler, *0259-0322. Interval signal to “Voice of Turkey” ID, time pips, opening ID and announcements. English service announcements with news and news of Nice, France attack, but no mention of attempted coup in Turkey. (D’Angelo/DX Window 561)

Vatican State
11625, 2005 Vatican Radio. Church news, station ID and introducing “African News Panorama.” Fair signal //13765 very poor quality. (Sellers)

11735, 1955-2000. ZBC Radio at 1955 with indigenous music to 2000. Announcer's Swahili with ID and announcements to time pips. Presumed news service. Good signal. (Sellers) Tune-in 1853 to African group regional vocals to 1900. Time tips signal, lady announcer's Swahili station ID with mention of frequency and "metre band" information, followed by world newscast headlines. (GVH)