Thursday, February 04, 2010

QSLing in the Year of the Tiger

A new year brings new QSLing opportunities as stations release special card series to commemorate a variety of events and holidays. Radio Free Asia featured five colorful cards in 2009, including the popular Year of the Ox and their 13th Anniversary card. Look for a new round of RFA cards to add to your collection this year.

This is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac calendar, and fans predict China Radio International will once again wow their audience for the Chinese New Year. Radio Romania International’s Vintage Receivers was a hit, and DXers anticipate more vintage cards in 2010. Vancouver will host the 2010 Winter Olympics, February 12-28, so focus on broadcasters that may honor their participating athletes with commemorative cards.

The Rhein Main Radio Club has released their annual QSL card wall calendar for 2010. This year the club’s focus is, the best QSL cards of the last 30 years. The popularity of the annual calendars has grown in radio circles and this years’ edition too, will become a collectors favorite. For ordering information consult

Brazil’s Rádio Cultura is being heard again following a years absence on 3365 kHz. Reported as a 24 hour broadcaster, send your Portuguese program details to: Avenida Bento de Abreu789, Bairro Fonte Luminosa, 14802-396 Araraquara SP, Brazil. Website includes streaming audio at . Send listener feedback to Rádio Cultura do Pará has reactivated on 5045 kHz from 0800-0300 UTC. Portuguese details to: Av. Almirante Barroso 735, 66093-020 Belém PA, Brazil. Website Email

Take advantage of the early morning winter DX season by logging the low-powered Australian domestic stations. VL8-Katherine 5025; VL8A Alice Springs 4835 and VL8T Tennant Creek on 2325. Complete Aussie schedules are included in this months English SW Guide from 0000 UTC. Reception reports to: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Northern Territory HF Service, Administrative Office, 1 Cavenagh Street, Darwin NT 0800 (or) GPO 9994, Darwin NT 0801 Australia.

Free radio station, European Music Radio, has been broadcasting the latest from the European pop scene since 1977. Tom Taylor, the originator says, “we thrive on listener feedback.” Look for Tom and his small team of volunteers, weekends on 6140 kHz, 0900-1000 UTC, repeats at 1200, 1500, 1800 and 2000 UTC. EMR internet radio at Email reports to: Postal address: EMR, c/o A. Taylor, 32 Shearing Drive, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 1BL, United Kingdom.

The B09 winter schedule reveals Radio Bulgaria is broadcasting in ten languages. Send your email reports to the various services at: Albanian Bulgarian English French German

Postal address: 4, Dragan Tsankov Blvd., 1040 Sofia, Bulgaria (or) P.O. Box 900, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria. Broadcast hours in MT’s English SW Guide and MTXtra SW Broadcast Guide.

Pirate contributor, Delta Charlie verified All Aboard Radio on 6925 kHz, from operator Casey Jones at . Delta still marvels over the Catch the Train eQSL.
Clandestine, Cotton Tree News remains active on 15220 kHz, 0730-0800 UTC. Verifications are via Fondation Hirondelle, a private, nonprofit Swiss-based foundation, broadcasting to world crises areas. Email reports to Grame Loten Fondation Hirondelle, Fourah Bay College, Mont Aureol, P.O. Box 766, Freetown, Sierra Leone (or) Fondation Hirondelle, 3 Rue Traversiére CJ 1018-Lausanne, Switzerland

Broadcasting from Burkina Faso, is active again on 5030 kHz, 0530-0800, 1700-0000. Station address with French details and return postage or two IRCs to: 03 Boite Postal 7029, Ougadougou 03, Burkina Faso. Radio Mauritanie has resurfaced on 4845 kHz. Broadcast hours can be found in MTXtra SW Broadcast Guide. Currency or return mint postage to: Boite Postal 200, Nouakchott, Mauritania. ^ Streaming audio
Good luck on your Year of the Tiger QSLing !
(Gayle Van Horn,QSL Report/Jan 2010 Monitoring Times)

Monitoring China's New Year's festivities
February 14 with be the Chinese New Year. This will be the Year of the Tiger. It is an opportunity to hear and identify numerous Chinese stations which will be carrying a
relay of the CNR-1 (China National Radio) programming of the New Year's festivities. Last year I was able to catch PBS Hulun Buir, China Huayi BC and Voice of Strait, all in parallel with CNR-1 programming, from about 1320 to 1440 UT.

The New Year's program consists of live coverage of a variety show, with a wide range of entertainment (long comedy segments, traditional Chinese music and singing, sounds of the audience applauding and laughing, etc.). I imagine that this year will result in the same massive coverage. Because so many frequencies will be parallel, it should be fairly easy to identify them.

Also please be aware that this same New Year's programming via CNR-1 will also be used for jamming of such stations as the Sound of Hope, etc. It is very helpful to check with the Aoki frequency list to determine if one is hearing a "real" CNR-1 broadcast or just one used for jamming.

China is not the only country to celebrate the New Year on that day. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Mongolia are some of the other countries that also observe the Lunar New Year. Is worth checking on stations from these countries to see if they also have any special programming.

The first of May will mark the start of Expo 2010 in Shanghai. It is anticipated that the number of people attending this event will be the highest number ever in the history of the World's Fair. When I was last in Shanghai (2008); there were already massive building projects under way related to the Expo 2010 (new buildings, new underground subway lines, etc.).

There is no question that China sees this as an extremely important event, to showcase their booming economy. I have already started to hear lengthy items about it on the English program "Holy Tibet" via Xizang PBS-Lhasa. It would seem logical that China will be focusing on projecting their global presence during this important year. It may help explain why they have now started numerous identifications in English on their CNR-1 evening news. Perhaps we will observe shortwave activities relating to Expo 2010 Shanghai, so please keep an ear out for anything new.

Wish you good listening!
(Ron Howard, Asilomar Beach, CA/Cumbre DX)