Saturday, March 29, 2014

Last two broadcast days for Voice of Russia


Final shortwave schedules of Radio Voice of Russia on Mar.30/31, 2014 

All times UTC

0600-0700 on 13800 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to WeEu English DRM
0600-0700 on 21800 IRK 250 kW / 152 deg to AUS  English

0700-0800 on 13800 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to WeEu English DRM
0700-0800 on 21800 IRK 250 kW / 152 deg to AUS  English

0800-0900 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu English DRM Ch1
0800-0900 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu Russian DRM Ch2
0800-0900 on 13800 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to WeEu English DRM
0800-0900 on 21800 IRK 250 kW / 152 deg to AUS  English

0900-1000 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu German DRM Ch1
0900-1000 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu English DRM Ch2

1000-1200 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu German DRM Ch1
1000-1200 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu English DRM Ch2
1000-1200 on 13805 IRK 250 kW / 180 deg to SEAs English
1000-1200 on 13860 IRK 250 kW / 152 deg to EaAs Chinese

1200-1300 on  7235 IRK 100 kW / 110 deg to EaAs Japanese (5965)
1200-1300 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu English DRM Ch1
1200-1300 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu Russian DRM Ch2
1200-1300 on 13805 IRK 250 kW / 180 deg to SEAs Vietnamese
1200-1300 on 13860 IRK 250 kW / 152 deg to EaAs Chinese

1300-1400 on  7235 IRK 100 kW / 110 deg to EaAs Japanese (5965)
1300-1400 on  7300 IRK 015 kW / 224 deg to SoAs Hindi DRM
1300-1400 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu English DRM Ch1
1300-1400 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu Russian DRM Ch2
1300-1400 on 13805 IRK 250 kW / 180 deg to SEAs English
1300-1400 on 13860 IRK 250 kW / 152 deg to EaAs Chinese

1400-1500 on  7300 IRK 015 kW / 224 deg to SoAs Urdu DRM
1400-1500 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu English DRM Ch1
1400-1500 on  9850 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu Russian DRM Ch2

1500-1700 on  6035 IRK 250 kW / 180 deg to SEAs English
1500-1700 on 12035 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to WeEu German DRM

1700-1800 on  9800 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu French DRM
1700-1800 on  9820 IRK 015 kW / 224 deg to SoAs English DRM
1700-1800 on 12035 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to WeEu German DRM

1800-1900 on  9800 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu French DRM
1800-1900 on 12035 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to WeEu German DRM

1900-2000 on  9800 KLG 015 kW / 220 deg to WeEu French DRM
2000-2100 on  6155 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to SoEu Spanish DRM
2100-2200 on  6155 MSK 040 kW / 260 deg to SoEu English DRM
(DX Mix Nx 845/29 March 2014)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

16 Gwendoline Street returns to shortwave

Just to let you know that 16 Gwendoline Street is back on shortwave, with an hour long special celebrating 50 years of Radio Caroline, over here in Europe. I have been on 1368 medium wave to Central and southern Europe since last year.
Anyway, the program can be heard on Friday 28th March at 1900 UTC on 7290 kHz (also on 1368 in central Europe), and Saturday 29th March at 0900 UTC on 9510.

The programs are also streamed at
(Stephen Jones)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Message from Malaysia to Amateur Radio Operators

          The Malaysian Amateur Radio Emergency Service Society (MARES/9M4CME) is calling all ham radios particularly in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Thailand to participate in the search and rescue of the missing aircraft, Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER bearing registration 9M-MRO flight MH370.
          The flight has gone missing from ATC radar at 1.21 am local time 8 March 2014.  Search & Rescue SAR was initially done within the vicinity of the South China Sea.  However, new confirmed evidence recently revealed has shifted the SAR activities to the vicinity of Malacca Strait, Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. This is a huge area to cover roughly 21,000 sq km.  To date, SAR efforts have the combined assets from at least 14 countries involving more than 50 aircraft and 30 vessels making it the single largest SAR mission ever.
          In light of the multinational effort that is undertaken, and also in view of the many rumours of the plane crashing or landing in islands within the SAR area, MARES is calling all ham stations, especially those from the countries within the search area, to participate in a daily reporting session.  The objective is for ham operators to provide any sightings, information or evidence that might help the authorities to find the missing MH370.  Details are as follows:
          Daily Check-in and reporting session will be done at UTC 1300 hrs - 1500 hrs on 14.250 MHz and 21.250 MHz (+- QRM)
          Any urgent message beyond the specified DX session time shall be communicated via email to
          All information and evidence obtained will be forwarded to the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation and Malaysian National Security Council by MARES.
          On behalf of Malaysia, MARES would like to thank in advance all participating stations for their time and effort in helping us find the missing 9M-MRO / MH370.  Let us all do our part in this moment of crisis.
          Please do spread this effort to stations and clubs you think might be helpful in our effort.
Thank you, and 73s,
9W2FG on behalf of MARES.
Yours sincerely,
Jose Jacob, VU2JOS
National Institute of Amateur Radio 

Hyderabad, India
(AWR?Wavescan 265)

AWR Wavescan Summer Broadcast Schedule

Adventist World Radio - Wavescan

Effective: March 30, 2014 - October 25, 2014

UTC Call   kHz kW Station  Location Country

Sun 0900 AWR  9790 100 Media Broadcast  Nauen (Italian DX Program)
1530 AWR 15670 250 Media Broadcast  Nauen Germany
1600 KSDA 11865 100 Adventist World Radio  Agat Guam
1600 AWR 11995 125 SLBC  Trincomalee Sri Lanka
2200 KSDA 15435 100 Adventist World Radio  Agat Guam
2230 KSDA 15320 100 Adventist World Radio  Agat Guam
2330 KSDA 15320 100 Adventist World Radio  Agat Guam
Mon 0200 KVOH  9975  50 Voice of Hope  Los Angeles California USA
0400 WRMI      9955  100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
1200 WRMI      9955 100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
1415 WRMI      9955 100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
Tue 0430 WRMI      9955 100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
Wed 1400 WRMI      9955 100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
Thu 0300 WRMI      9955 100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
Fri 0415 WRMI      9955 100 Radio Miami Int  Okeechobee Florida USA
Sat 1630 WWCR2 12160  100 Worldwide Christian  Nashville Tennessee USA
(NWS 265/25 March 2014)           Spaceline Bulgaria

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2014 Mar 24 0438 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 17 - 23 March 2014

Solar activity was at low to moderate levels. Low levels were observed from 17-19 March with the majority of the C-class flare activity originating from Regions 2010 (S15, L=202, class/area Dac/180 on 23 March) and 2014 (S14, L=169, class/area Dsc/190 on 23 March). Solar activity reached moderate levels on 20 March due to an isolated M1/1f flare at 20/0356 UTC from Region 2010. The event was associated with a Type II (572 km/s) and Type IV radio sweeps as well as a non Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME). Solar activity was once again at low levels on 21 March. By 22 March, moderate levels were reached again with an impulsive M1/1f flare at 22/0702 UTC from Region 2011 (S07, L=280, class/area Dho/300 on 22 March). Low levels returned on 23 March with multiple C-class flares observed including a long duration C5/Sf flare at 23/0348 UTC from Region 2014. Associated with this flare was a CME (estimated speed of 768 km/s) with the majority of the ejecta directed off the east limb, however there appeared to be an Earth-directed component that is expected to arrive late on 25 March to early on 26 March. 

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels throughout the period. 

Geomagnetic field activity was generally at quiet levels throughout the period with quiet to unsettled periods observed on 21 March due to prolonged periods of southward Bz. By 22 March, a rise in solar wind speed and temperature was observed at the ACE spacecraft just after a solar sector boundary change into a positive (away) sector.
This was indicative of the onset of a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Solar wind speed increased from approximately 350 km/s to 530 km/s and remained near 480 km/s through the end of the period. Total field measurements reached 10 nT initially during the onset of the CH HSS, however it decreased to near 5 nT by 23 March. Only quiet conditions were observed on 22-23

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 24 March - 19 April 2014

Solar activity is expected to be at low levels with a chance for M-class flares through 25 March and again from 15-19 April. From 26 March through14 April, moderate levels are likely with a chance for X-class flares as old Regions 1996 (N14, L=052) and 2002 (S19, L=326) return to the visible disk. 

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at normal to moderate levels. 

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled conditions on 24-25 March, 30 March-01 April, 09 April, and again on 7 April due to CH HSS activity and recurrent prolonged periods of the southward Bz component. Late on 25 March to early on 26 March, the 23 March CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to the geomagnetic field causing quiet to active conditions on 26 March. 

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2014 Mar 24 0438 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 2014-03-24
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2014 Mar 24     155          10          3
2014 Mar 25     155           8          3
2014 Mar 26     160          12          4
2014 Mar 27     155           5          2
2014 Mar 28     155           5          2
2014 Mar 29     150           5          2
2014 Mar 30     145           8          3
2014 Mar 31     145           8          3
2014 Apr 01     150           8          3
2014 Apr 02     150           5          2
2014 Apr 03     145           5          2
2014 Apr 04     145           5          2
2014 Apr 05     150           5          2
2014 Apr 06     155           5          2
2014 Apr 07     160           5          2
2014 Apr 08     160           5          2
2014 Apr 09     155          10          3
2014 Apr 10     150           5          2
2014 Apr 11     145           5          2
2014 Apr 12     140           5          2
2014 Apr 13     145           5          2
2014 Apr 14     145           5          2
2014 Apr 15     150           5          2
2014 Apr 16     150           5          2
2014 Apr 17     150           8          3
2014 Apr 18     145           7          2
2014 Apr 19     140           7          2

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Frequency Update - International Shortwave Broadcast Guide: March 22, 2014

The following is the final frequency update for the 2013-2014 Winter - International Shortwave Broadcast Guide. The 684 page Teak Publishing shortwave radio hobby e-book can be purchased at for US$4.99. The e-book is available at:

The 2014 Summer - International Shortwave Broadcast Guide, will be available at Amazon. Additional information on it's availability will be forth coming.

All time references are UTC and frequencies are in kHz (kilohertz) // indicates a parallel frequency.
Broadcast are daily unless otherwise indicated.


Algeria, R Algerienne
0600-0605  7295af (add)

Algeria, R Algerienne/Holy Qur'an
0605-0658  7295 (ex 0600-0658 5865af)

Armenia, VO Armenia
1615-1630  4810me (add)

Bangladesh, Bangla Betar
1915-2000  13860as (ex 7250as)
1745-1800  13580eu (ex 7250eu)
1800-1900  13860eu (ex 7250as)
1315-1345  9455as (ex 15105as)

Belgium, The Disco Palace
1530-1600  DRM  12115 (delete/broadcast cancelled)
1600-1630  DRM  12115 (delete/broadcast cancelled)

Clandestine, Clandestine, BBN/Berekah BC Network R
 (from 09 Mar)
1900-1930  fas  15155af (check 15160, 15165)

Clandestine, Democratic VO of Burma
1430-1500  11560as (ex 6225as)
1500-1530  11560as (ex 6225as)

Clandestine, Eritrean Forum (ex R Medrek)
1700-1800  stwf 11720af  (add)
1800-1900  Sat  11720af
1700-1800  tfs  11720af (ex hfas)

Clandestine, JSR Shiokaze/Sea Breeze
1330-1400  Sat/Sun  6135as (ex 5985as)
1400-1430  Sat/Sun  6135as (ex 5985as)

Clandestine, N Korea Reform R
1300-1400  9380as (delete/broadcast cancelled)
1400-1500  9380as (delete/broadcast cancelled)

Clandestine, R Assenna
1700-1800  mha  11720af (ex mwf)

Clandestine, R Free North Korea 
1530-1600  6295as (ex 6275as)
1600-1630  6295as (ex 6275as)

Clandestine, R Hilaac
1700-1730 asmtwh  15180af (add)

Clandestine, VO Khmer M'Chas Srok
1130-1200  17860as (add)

Clandestine, VO Tibet
1215-1230  15538as (ex 15537)
1345-1400  9338as (ex 9343)
1315-1330  15552as (ex 15553)
1330-1345  15563as (ex 11527as)
1345-1400  15563as (ex 11538as)
1400-1430  15557as (ex 1400-1500)

France, R France International 
1500-1558  13690as (ex 9700as // 9565as)

Germany, Deutsche Welle
0300-0400  5925af (ex 9800af) // 7425af

Germany, MV Baltic R
1000-1100  1st Sun  9485eu (add new entry)

Germany, Atlantic 2000 Intl
0900-1000  2nd Sun  9485eu (add new entry)

Germany, European Music R
0900-1000  3rd Sun  9485eu (add new entry)

Germany, R Geronimo
1000-1100  3rd Sun  9485eu (add new entry)
1100-1200  3rd Sun  9485eu (add new entry)

Germany, R Gloria Intl
0900-1000  4th Sun  9485eu (add new entry)
1000-1100  4th Sun  9485eu (add new entry)

India, TWR India
0030-0045  mtwhf  7280as (ex 7545as)
0045-0100  mtwhf  7280as  (ex mtwh 7545as)
0100-0115  mtwhf 7280as (add)
0115-0130  smtwh  7280as (ex sntw 7545as)
0030-0100  Sun  7280as (ex 7545as)
0045-0100  Sat  7280as (ex 7545as)
0100-0115  Sat  7280as (ex 7545as)

United Kingdom, BBC World Service
1330-1400  7565as (ex 7560) // 5845as, 12065as

USA, Overcomer Ministry
1600-1700 DRM  5895eu (delete/broadcast cancelled)
1600-1700 6000eu (delete)
1700-1800 DRM  5895eu (delete/broadcast cancelled)
1700-1800 6000eu (delete)
2000-2100 5895eu (delete)
2100-2200 5895eu (delete)

USA, VO America
1500-1530  15545as (ex 11695( // 9570as, 9715as, 11780as)

0330-0400  sm  9265ca (add)
1230-1300  Sun  9265ca (ex 1215-1300)
2330-0000  m  9265ca (add)

USA, WRMI/Okeechobee FL 
(from 04 Mar)
1100-2300  5850na //  7455ca (add)

USA, WWCR Nashville TN 
(from 09 March)
1215-1245  mtwhf  15825eu
0000-0100  4840na 5935af 6115eu
0000-0100  twhfa  7520ca
0100-0200  3215eu 4840na 5935af
0100-0200  twhfa  7520ca
0200-0300  3215eu 4840na 5935af
0200-0300  twhfa  5890ca
0300-0400  3215eu 4840na 5935af
0300-0400  twhfa  5890ca
0400-0500  3215eu 4840na 5890ca 5935af
0400-0500  twhfa  5890ca
0500-0600  3215eu 4840na 5890ca 5935af
0600-0700  3215eu 4840na 5890ca 5935af
0700-0800  3215eu 4840na 5890ca 5935af
0800-0900  3215eu 4840na 5890ca 5935af
0900-1000  4840na 5890ca 5935af 15825eu
1000-1100  4840na 5890ca 5935af 15825eu
1100-1115 smtwhf  15825eu
1100-1200  4840na 5890ca 5935af
1115-1200  15825eu
1200-1215  15825eu
1200-1300  mtwhf  9980ca
1200-1300  7490af 13845na
1215-1245  Sat/Sun  15825eu
1245-1300  15825eu
1300-1400  7490af 13845na 15825eu
1300-1400  mtwhf  9980ca
1400-1500  7490af 13845na 15825eu
1400-1500  mtwhf  9980ca
1500-1600  9980ca 12160af 13845na 15825eu
1600-1700  9980ca 12160af 13845na 15825eu
1700-1800  9980ca 12160af 13845na 15825eu
1800-1900  9980ca 12160af 13845na 15825eu
1900-2000  9980ca 12160af 13845na 15825eu
2000-2100  9980ca 12160af 13845na 15825eu
2100-2200  9350af 9980ca 13845na 15825eu
2200-2300  Sat/Sun  6115eu
2200-2300  9980ca 13845na
2300-0000  6115eu 9350af 9980ca 13845na
1100-1115  Sat  15825eu
2200-2300  mtwhf  6115eu
m (Monday)
t (Tuesday)
w (Wednesday)
h (Thursday)
f (Friday)
a/Sat (Saturday)
s/Sun (Sunday)
DRM Digital Radio Mondiale

Target Areas:
af (Africa)
am (Americas)
as (Asia)
ca (Central America)
do (Domestic)
eu (Europe)
me (Middle East)
sa (South America)
va (Various)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Voice of Russia - will the unknown comic please stand up

Voice of Russia trips up again
by Gayle Van Horn

This week the shortwave radio hobby, has been informed that Voice of Russia will cease all shortwave transmissions on April 1, 2014. That revelation didn't really surprise anyone as this year the station scaled back their presence on shortwave dramatically.

The original statement was posted by Alokesh Gupta at the Cumbre DX Mailing list. It was also reposted by Georgi Bancov on Prime Time SW group, as well as included within the WWDXC Top News 1154 on 21 March, 2014. We thank these individuals for their postings.

Within the hour, Teak Publishing contacted the same individual from Voice of Russia that released the original reply, to obtain a final confirmation and any additional information on the station's future plans. Our reply, from Ms Osipova, stated;

" I have already forwarded an inquiry to the VOR Technical Department to obtain an official confirmation of this information. I will get back to you when I hear from them."

Did I read that right ? So basically, this confirms once again to the hobby, the left hand of Voice of Russia doesn't know what the right hand is doing. It is inconceivable to believe that within hours - Voice of Russia stated " the Voice of Russia is closing shortwave broadcasts as of April 1st.", followed by "I will get back to you when I hear from them."

So what do we believe ? We have prided ourselves with the friendly working relationship we have shared with the station while associated with Monitoring Times and now Teak Publishing.

One would think, considering the continuing strifes, that Voice of Russia would consider increasing their world listening audience, rather than slam the door.
You be the judge...

Voice of Russia to close down shortwave broadcasts by 1st April, 2014

After several online stories & predictions about closure of shortwave services by Voice of Russia received this official response today....


Dear Mr Gupta,

This is just a short message to thank you for your letter and let you know that the Voice of Russia is closing shortwave broadcasts as of April 1st. Our programs will be available online at

We hope you will stay with the Voice of Russia and hope to hear from you soon again.

Sincerely yours,

Elena Osipova
Letters Department
World Service
Voice of Russia

Reply via web post Reply to sender Reply to group Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (1) 

Weekend VOA Radiogram schedule

Hello friends,

Last weekend’s all-MFSK32 “set it and forget it” broadcast of VOA Radiogram worked well for most listeners, so we will do another one this weekend. This time, however, the program includes six MFSK32 images.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 51, 22-23 March 2014 (all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz):

1:33  Program preview
 2:33  Russia Internet, with image
7:36  Greenland ice sheet, with image
13:45  Power from ocean waves, with image
19:26  Winter's slow retreat, with 2 images
25:30  Closing announcements and VOA Radiogram logo

Please send reception reports to .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 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 (transmitter in Germany) will broadcast a minute of MFSK64 Saturday at about 1230 UTC on 6095 kHz, and Sunday at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz. Reception reports to Eric: .

Amateur radio digital nets: As KD9XB, I usually check into the New York NBEMS net Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern (1400Z) on 7036 kHz, and the Pennsylvania NBEMS net Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern (1500Z) on 7072.5 kHz. Each is USB, starting with Olivia 8-500 centered on 1500 Hz, then changing to MFSK32 or other mode for messages.

I have just about finished responding to VOA Radiogram reception reports from the weekend of 8-9 March, and will now start on reports from 15-16 March (program 50). Eventually, I will catch up!

I hope to hear from you this weekend.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @voaradiogram

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What is a Kilohertz ?

In every DX program on the air, in all radio DX magazines, and in the identification announcements from shortwave stations, the technical word kilohertz is used.  So today, we ask the question:  What is a kilohertz?
In the early days of experimental wireless development, it was common practice to calibrate electromagnetic waves by measuring the distance from one crest to the next crest in much the same way as you might measure the waves of the ocean, from one crest to the next.  This distance is called the wavelength, and because many of the prominent early experimenters were European, it came to be measured electrically in metres.
Thus you will find the dials of most of the very old radio receivers marked in metres.  In the medium wave broadcast band, one station in particular might be on the air for example on a wavelength of 200 metres, and another on 300 metres.  On shortwave, one station could be shown as 30.99 metres, and another on 30.96 metres.
But, there's another way of calibrating a radio signal.  Instead of measuring the distance between crests, or length of complete wave cycles, you can count how many of those complete cycles pass a fixed point in one second.  This is known as the frequency.
The existence of electromagnetic waves was first demonstrated by German physicist Heinrich Hertz, and in 1930 the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC, established the unit of frequency of one cycle per second as being one Hertz, in his honor.  This is abbreviated with a capital H and a small z.
Following standard metric usage, a frequency of 1,000 cycles per second, or 1,000 Hz, is thus equal to 1 kilohertz.
As time went by, it was discovered that measuring a radio signal by its frequency in kilohertz was more accurate and easier to express than its wavelength in metres.  In addition, as the broadcast bands became more crowded, it was decided by international convention to adopt on mediumwave a 10 kilohertz separation between channels in the western hemisphere, and a 9 kilohertz separation in the rest of the world, including longwave in Europe.  On shortwave, where signals have a narrower bandwidth, a 5 kHz separation between channels was adopted globally.
In spite of this, however, radio stations in Europe continued to announce their spot on the MW or LW dial in metres, right up until June 1984.  During that month, they switched to using kilohertz instead, like most other regions had already done.
There is an inverse relationship between metres and kilohertz of 1:300,000.  You can divide the wavelength in metres, or the frequency in kilohertz, into 300,000, and obtain the reciprocal.
  As an example, for a shortwave station such as WWV which broadcasts on 10,000 kilohertz, you can divide 10,000 into 300,000 and see that its wavelength is 30 metres (just above the 31 metre broadcast band).  Decades ago when I lived in the London area, the BBC had a 150 kW mediumwave transmitter there on 330 metres carrying Radio 4.  Today that same transmitter now carries Radio 5 Live.  You can divide 330 into 300,000 and see that the frequency being used is 909 kilohertz.
Sometimes, instead of kilohertz, you might find a radio station channel designated in megahertz.  Longwave and mediumwave stations always use kilohertz, and VHF (FM) stations always use megahertz.  When you hear that a station is on 89.9 FM, the frequency being used is actually 89.9 megahertz.  But on the shortwave bands, between the mediumwave and FM bands, both kilohertz and megahertz are used.
To convert back and forth between kilohertz and megahertz, all you need to do is move the decimal point by three places, remembering that 1,000 kilohertz equals 1 megahertz.  Thus for example, the shortwave channel 30.99 metres can be expressed as either 9680 kilohertz, or 9.68 megahertz.

The standard abbreviations for these three radio terms are expressed in this way:
  Metres m Small m
Kilohertz kHz Small k, capital H, and small z
Megahertz MHz Capital M, capital H, and small z
(AWR/Wavescan NWS 264)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BBC Indian Ocean Relay Stations: Five in a Row !

Some time ago, the BBC announced that they plan to close their Indian Ocean Relay Station at the end of the month, Saturday March 29.  This station has been on the air for more than a quarter century and it will end its international shortwave service, though the local FM relay stations will still remain on air.
            As a tribute to the lengthy service provided from this important radio station, we are planning to present two topics here in Wavescan.  Next week, you will hear the story of the BBC Indian Ocean Relay Station; and this week, we present the story, Five in a Row, the steps leading up to the erection of their relay station in the Seychelles Islands.   
            Back at the end of last year, we presented the story of the temporary BBC relay station located  at Francistown in Botswana, Africa.  This station was hurriedly pieced together in an effort to counter the political events in neighboring Rhodesia, and it was officially identified as the BBC Central Africa Relay Station.
            Four transmitters were installed, two mediumwave Continentals at 50 kW each from the United States, and two shortwave Marconis at 10 kW each from England.  This station was taken into service on December 30, 1965, and its last day of on air service was March 31, 1968. 
            Around the time when the station was closing, a question was raised in the British Parliament in London regarding this BBC Central Africa Relay Station.  According to the Hansard Report, it was stated that the Francistown station was closing, and that additional antenna systems were under installation at the BBC Relay Station on Ascension Island.  These new antennas would ensure, it was stated, adequate shortwave coverage into Rhodesia.  This of course, would form only a temporary interim service into Rhodesia.
            In June 1966, the BBC was investigating the possibility of utilizing a large ship as a BBC relay station for radio coverage into East Africa.  The ship that they were looking at was a redundant aircraft carrier, HMS “Leviathan”.
            The good ship “Leviathan” was laid down at Tynside in England on October 18, 1943 as a nuclear powered aircraft carrier for use in the latter part of World War 2.  This ship, uncompleted, was launched on June 7, 1945, just as World War 2 was coming to an end, and it simply lay around awaiting its destiny.  But, it was never fully completed. 
            At the time when the BBC was investigating the possibility of taking the ship over as a relay broadcasting station, the suggestion was to have it stationed in the Mozambique Channel and that it would give radio coverage into Rhodesia and South Africa on behalf of the BBC.  At the time, Rhodesia had made a unilateral declaration of independence, UDI, and the South African government was a strong supporter of the Smith administration in the former British colony.
            It does seem at least mildly hypocritical that all this was going on at the same time that the BBC was complaining back home about the existence of unlicensed off shore stations on board ships and forts around the British Isles.
            It is probable that this mobile shipboard radio station would transmit on mediumwave towards East Africa, though shortwave could later be considered.  However, this radio project never materialized, and the entire concept was scrapped in May 1966.  Two years later, the empty and uncompleted aircraft carrier “Leviathan” itself was sold, and scrapped. 
            However, around the same time, the BBC was also investigating the possibility of establishing a large relay station on the island of Aldabra for broadcast into East Africa.  Aldabra is a tiny uninhabited atoll 500 miles off the coast of Africa, 300 miles north of Madagascar, and 500 miles from Zanzibar.  The only personnel on the island are a few officials, caretakers and research officers.
            The Aldabra atoll is 21 miles long, 8 miles wide and it is the second largest raised coral reef in the world.  This atoll is made up of four small islets around a shallow lagoon, though no fresh water is available.  There are many unique forms of life in the area, including an estimated 100,000 Giant Tortoises.
            Back in 1966, the Royal Air Force was giving consideration to establishing an air base on Aldabra, and the American air force was interested in a joint collaboration with the RAF as a refueling station for American planes en route to Vietnam.  American investment in the project would amount to
$11 million.
            In 1966, the BBC chartered a 600 ton coastal vessel from Mombassa, the “Southern Skies” for a six week exploratory expedition to Aldabra.  The BBC survey party was in contact London via a shortwave SSB transmitter on the ship, and the BBC communicated with the ship via one of the high powered shortwave transmitters at Daventry.  However, due to the incursion of tropical storm Angela, the survey expedition to Aldabra was cut short, and this project too was abandoned.
            If the Aldabra project had materialized, it was envisioned that four high powered mediumwave transmitters at 750 kW each would be installed with four independent directional antenna systems beamed westwards towards Africa.  These transmitters would be operated separately, or in pairs, or all with combined power on one mediumwave channel.  Though not stated, if this station had been installed, it is probable that shortwave coverage would be added subsequently.  
            However, the British/American air force base never became a reality, so neither did the BBC relay station.
            The next project in this sequence was the BBC relay station in the Seychelles Islands, and that of course, is our opening topic in Wavescan next week.  So, what then were the Five in a Row?  Here is the list:-
            1. The temporary BBC relay station at Francistown in Botswana, 1965 - 1968
            2. Installation of an antenna system at the BBC relay station on Ascension Island for                     coverage into Rhodesia on shortwave, 1968
            3. Possible usage of HMS “Leviathan” as a relay station in the Mozambique Channel, 1966
            4. Projected BBC station on the island of Aldabra, 1966

            5.  BBC Indian Ocean Relay Station Seychelles, 1988 - 2014

On the Air Shortwave from India's First Capital City: Calcutta Story

Focus on Asia

Quite recently, Jose Jacob VU2JOS in Hyderabad India sent us an email message in which he alerted us regarding the possible closure of VUC, the current shortwave station in Kolkata.  He stated that the shortwave transmitter at Kolkata was scheduled to close down on February 22 as per orders from the headquarters of All India Radio in Delhi.  However, the technical employees union in Kolkata protested this decision, and so the shortwave station still remains on the air, though for how much longer is uncertain.
            Two matters arise out of this information: -
                  1. If you do not yet have QSLs verifying the Indian regional shortwave stations, you should  send reception reports to them while they are still on the air; it is known that all of these 
analog shortwave transmitters in India will one day be closed in favor of digital  transmitters.
                  2. As Jose Jacob suggested, now would be an appropriate time to present a complete                              Station Profile on AIR Calcutta.  So, here we go!
            The city of Calcutta is located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, a branch of the Ganges River in the delta area, some 60 miles inland from the Bay of Bengal.  Back in the era before the arrival of the British, there were just three small villages in the area:-

                        Kolikata: a small fishing village
                        Sutanuti: a small weaving village
            The British East India Company was established in the area in 1690 and they bought the areas embracing the three villages, and thus the name Kolikata became the name for what became the entire city.  In its Anglicized version, Kolikata became the very familiar Calcutta.  Several different origins have been suggested for the original meaning of the name Calcutta and it would appear that the most logical would be that Kolikata, in the early Bengali language, meant the field of the goddess Kali.
            In the days of strife between the colonial British and the local Bengali people, Calcutta became notorious for what is called the Black Hole of Calcutta, a small prison in which many prisoners died overnight some 2½ centuries ago.  In 1773 Calcutta became the national capital of all India, a title that it held for more than 1¼ centuries; Delhi became the national capital in 1911.
            India’s first newspaper the Bengal Gazette was printed in Calcutta in 1780; the first Christian missionary William Carey arrived in Calcutta in 1793; Calcutta was the 2nd largest city in the British Empire in the year 1900 (with London as the largest); the national anthems for both India and Bangladesh were composed in Calcutta by the nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore; the city name was changed from the English Calcutta to the Bengali Kolkata in 2001; the port of Kolkata stretches for 20 miles on both sides of the river; and these days 14.1 million people live in greater Kolkata, the 3rd largest city in India.
            Among the many tourist attractions in Kolkata are the ornate Victoria Memorial that was designed in the style of the Taj Mahal; the city zoo in which successful cross breeding between tigers and lions has been achieved; and the huge Banyan Tree more than 250 years old and covering more than 4 acres.
            Most of the early wireless experiments in India took place in the Calcutta area and it was back in the year 1849, more than 1½ centuries ago, that the first wireless experiments were undertaken by Dr. Sir William O’Shaughnessy, Superintendent of Telegraphs.  He successfully transmitted wireless signals across the Huldee River ¾ mile wide with a wire along each bank of the river, and a metal plate at the end of each wire immersed in the water. 
            It seems that each succeeding Electrician in Calcutta conducted similar experiments and next came Mr. Blissett.  In 1858, he conducted similar wireless experiments with the use of a long wire on each bank of a river and in this way achieved fair success.
            Mr. Winter followed and he made some astute observations regarding cross modulation of Morse signals between parallel telegraph wires on the same poles in 1873.  Three years later, Mr. Schwendler carried out similar cross-river communications across the River Hooghly at Barrackpore, near Calcutta, using parallel wires with metal plates submerged in the water. 
            Mr. W. P. Johnston was next and he repeated the same experiments across a nearby waterway 200 yards wide on September 9, 1879.  Nine years later, he carried out many similar experiments across nearby canals in the Calcutta area, and also across the River Hooghly itself.
            Mr. Melhuish, was next and he discovered that the wires lying on the bank on each side of the river need to be at least as long as the river is wide in order to achieve reliable communication. 
            The first experimental work on the transmission and reception of radio signals in India was carried out by Dr. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.  Towards the end of the year 1894, Bose began his experimentation with wireless, and in November 1895 he gave a public demonstration in the Calcutta Town Hall with Bengal’s Lieutenant Governor Sir William Mackenzie in attendance. 
            In this public demonstration, Bose transmitted wireless signals at a wavelength of just ½ inch over a distance of 75 ft through several solid walls.  He also used a wireless signal to ring a bell at a distance, and to fire a gun remotely.
            India’s first wireless station was established just three years later (1902) and this was installed at Sandheads on Saugor Island out in the Bay of Bengal.  The original callsign for this station was ROS, though when regular international callsigns were mandated worldwide, this call was amended to VWS.
            During this same era, another wireless station was installed in the area, though this time much closer to Calcutta itself.  This station was licensed under the callsign VWC and it was installed a little northeast of the city itself.  When radio replaced wireless, a new location was chosen, just north of Calcutta.
            Station VWC is still in use today, around a century after its original installation and it was noted a few years ago with time signals for which QSL cards were issued.

            That’s as far as we go in the Calcutta story today, but in two weeks time, we plan to present the story of early experimental radio broadcasting.

Transnistria - Where to ?

By Paul Ivan

At the Vilnius summit of the Eastern Partnership in November 2013, Moldova initialled its Association Agreement with the EU, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement, and is expected to sign the documents before the end of August 2014.

Meanwhile, Russia has increased its presence and pressure in the region, as a consequence of which Armenia declined the AA and DCFTA with the EU and Ukraine, after months of protests and political paralysis, now has part of its territory occupied by Russia. Moldova is no exception to Russian pressure. As the country gets closer to upgrading relations with the EU, Russia has increased its activities in Moldova, including in the autonomous region of Gagauzia and in the breakaway region of Transnistria.

Additional story at:

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Issued: 2014 Mar 17 0446 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 10 - 16 March 2014

Solar activity was at moderate levels to begin the week. On 10 March, Region 2002 (S19, L=326 class/area Ekc/380 on 13 Mar) produced three M-class events, the largest an M1 at 10/1528 UTC. Region 1996 (N14, L=052 class/area Eac/220 on 12 Mar) also produced an M1/Sf that day at 10/2300 UTC followed by an M3/1f at 11/0348 UTC. Region 1991 (S24, L=093 class/area Eki/370 on 02 Mar) produced
an M1 flare at 11/1207 UTC. Region 1996 produced two more M-class events on 12 Mar, to include an M9/Sb at 12/2234 UTC, bringing activity to high levels for that day. Moderate levels returned on 13 Mar when Region 1996 produced an M1 at 13/1919 UTC before rotating around the west limb. Solar activity was at low levels for the remainder of the period. The largest C-class event recorded during that time was a C7/Sf at 16/0645 UTC from Region 2003 (N05, L=013 class/area Eac/200 on 15 Mar). Between 13/0001 - 0154 UTC an approximately 6 degree long filament, centered near S18W60, lifted off the disk in SDO/AIA imagery but was determined not to be geoeffective. A 14 degree filament centered near N12E17 disappeared between 14/1454 - 1746 UTC, but was also determined not to be Earth-directed. Finally, a 30 degree filament centered near S22E50 erupted between 16/0235 - 0323 UTC but model data indicated it was too far south of the ecliptic to be geoeffective. 

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels throughout the period. 

Geomagnetic field activity was mostly quiet with the exception of 13 Mar. Minor storm levels were reached in the first synoptic period followed by active and then unsettled conditions for the first half of the day due to a solar sector boundary change and a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Quiet conditions returned my midday 13 Mar and quiet levels prevailed for the rest of the period. 

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 17 March - 12 April 2014

Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class activity through 26 Mar. Moderate levels are likely with a slight chance for X-class activty from 26 Mar through the remainder of the period as old Region 1996 (N14, L=052) returns to the visible disk followed by the return of Region 2002 (S19, L=326). 

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be quiet to unsettled on 17 - 18 Mar due to anticipated CH HSS activity. Mostly quiet conditions are expected from 19 - 29 Mar. Quiet to unsettled conditions are expected from 30 Mar to 01 Apr due to recurrent negative Bz. The remainder of the period is expected to be quiet
with the exception of 09 Apr, which is expected to see quiet to unsettled conditions due to effects from a recurrent CH HS.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
Issued: 2014 Mar 17 0446 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 2014-03-17
UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2014 Mar 17     135           8          3
2014 Mar 18     135           8          3
2014 Mar 19     135           5          2
2014 Mar 20     135           5          2
2014 Mar 21     145           5          2
2014 Mar 22     150           5          2
2014 Mar 23     155           5          2
2014 Mar 24     150           5          2
2014 Mar 25     150           5          2
2014 Mar 26     150           5          2
2014 Mar 27     155           5          2
2014 Mar 28     155           5          2
2014 Mar 29     160           5          2
2014 Mar 30     165           8          3
2014 Mar 31     165           8          3
2014 Apr 01     160           8          3
2014 Apr 02     160           5          2
2014 Apr 03     155           5          2
2014 Apr 04     150           5          2
2014 Apr 05     150           5          2
2014 Apr 06     150           5          2
2014 Apr 07     150           5          2
2014 Apr 08     145           5          2
2014 Apr 09     145          10          3
2014 Apr 10     140           5          2
2014 Apr 11     140           5          2
2014 Apr 12     135           5          2

Thursday, March 13, 2014

VOA Radiogram: March 15-16

Hello friends,

Thank you for your reception reports for VOA Radiogram program 49, during the weekend of 8-9 March 2014. Because of various distractions this week, I will not be able to respond to those reports until early next week.

Last weekend's experiment with center audio frequencies was very useful. We learned that most of you were able to decode MFSK32 using a fixed audio frequency of 1500 Hz, even if the the actual received audio frequency was anywhere from about 10 Hz above or below 1500 Hz. This means that a simple MFSK32 decoding app would not require an RxID.

VOA Radiogram 50, during the weekend of 15-16 March 2014, will be an all-MFSK32 "set it and forget it" show. All of the text and images will be in MFSK32, centered on 1500 Hz. No need to change modes during the show. Here is the lineup:

 1:38  Program preview (now)
 2:33  Internet future
 9:36  Beet juice against ice on highways, with image
17:24  American art at the Phillips Collection, with image
27:42  Closing announcements

This weekend, use your RxID. The RSID for MFSK32 at 1500 Hz will be transmitted at the beginning and about half way through the program. Let me know what your actual received center audio frequency is.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC)
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz (good for western North America and Pacific region)
Sat 1600-1630 17860 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

The Mighty KBC, via Germany, will again transmit a minute of MFSK64 Saturday, 15 March, at about 1230 UTC, on 6095 kHz, and Sunday, 16 March, at about 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz. This will include The Mighty KBC weekend schedule as an Flmsg table. To make Flmsg work with Fldigi, in Fldigi: Configure > Misc > NBEMS -- Under Reception of flmsg files, check both boxes, and under that indicate where your Flmsg.exe file is located. At the end of the digital text transmission, you will see the small Flmsg box pop up, followed by the schedule as a new window in your default web browser. Please send reception reports to Eric at .

Even though I am behind with my emails, I look forward to your reports this weekend.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

Tunnel Radio on Corregidor

The small island of Corregidor lies at the entrance to Manilla Bay in the Philippines.  The island is shaped like a tadpole and it is four miles long, and 1½ miles wide at its widest point.  The name Corregidor is Spanish, meaning Chief Magistrate, Mayor.
            During the crucial times as the Japanese armies were moving towards Manila, there were 11,000 American and Filipino personnel on the island.  The voluminous Malinta Tunnel had been excavated beneath 200 feet of rock and it contained a 1,000 bed hospital.  When General Douglas MacArthur evacuated from Manila, he established his temporary headquarters in a side passageway in Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor Island.   
            It was on December 10, 1941, that the Japanese air force bombed the United States navy base at Cavite, just three days after Pearl Harbor.  Ten days later the Marines were ordered to evacuate Cavite; and on January 2, 1942, Cavite was totally evacuated except for medical personnel and patients in the hospital.
            In the meantime, American forces had also retreated into the Bataan Peninsula, a peninsula 50 miles long and 15 miles wide, jutting into Manila Bay just opposite Corregidor Island.  Some radio programming was broadcast from Bataan with the use of army and commercial radio equipment.
            It is understood that the radio broadcasting transmitter in use on this occasion was a 1 kW mobile unit licensed under the callsign KZRB which was owned by the former FEBC Far East Broadcasting Company (not related to the subsequent/current FEBC) in Manila.  The American army took this transmitter over for use mainly as a relay station for the programming from shortwave KGEI in San Francisco.   
            These transmissions from KZRB Bataan contained mainly news and information, sometimes produced locally and sometimes on relay from elsewhere including the Voice of Freedom Radio on Corregidor.  This station was heard in Australia at times on 11850 11940 or 15545 kHz.  The American forces on Bataan surrendered on April 9, 1942 and mobile KZRB was silenced. 
            In December 1941, a 1 kW shortwave transmitter had been removed from the commercial radio broadcasting station KZRH in Manila and re-installed in Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor Island.  Additional radio equipment, including mobile transmitters from elsewhere throughout Manila, was hurriedly collected and also transferred to Corregidor Island.
            The United States army blew up all private and commercial broadcasting equipment in the Manila area including all of the large transmitters, as well as the newly imported American equipment so recently installed for mediumwave and shortwave station KZRM.  Studios and papers and documents throughout the city were also hurriedly destroyed.
            The Malinta Tunnel also contained a bevy of radio equipment for use in communicating with Philippine regiments throughout the islands and also with forces headquarters in Australia, Hawaii and the United States.  The 1 kW shortwave transmitter previously on the air in Manila was installed in Malinta Tunnel along with a make-shift studio, and it was placed into use as a radio broadcasting station with antenna systems directly above, on top of Malinta Hill.
            The new “Voice of Freedom” was inaugurated at 6:00 pm on Monday January 5, 1942 with a recorded version of the Star Spangled Banner, followed by opening announcements and news in English from Carlos Romulo, the previous General Manager of FEBC.  This FEBC was a commercial organization, and as just mentioned, it was not related to the subsequent religious FEBC organization in Manila.  The initial English station announcement from the Voice of Freedom was followed by similar information in the Tagalog language presented by Francisco Isadoro.
            The main frequency for the shortwave Freedom Radio was 9645 kHz, though other nearby channels were taken at varying times in order to avoid Japanese jamming.  The Japanese reactivated station KZRH at its original location in Manila, and a broadcasting war took place between them and the Voice of Freedom Radio.  The KZRH operating channel was nearby 9640 kHz.       
            Soon after the Voice of Freedom was launched, one of the radio personnel on Corregidor went surreptitiously back into Manila and climbed into the revived KZRH via a fire escape ladder and stole some more equipment, including a recording of the Philippine national anthem.
            This new and relatively low powered shortwave Voice of Freedom Radio was heard far and wide, throughout the Philippines and beyond; in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the continental United States.  Another broadcasting station in the Philippines, KZRC in Cebu, regularly relayed the off air programming from the Voice of Freedom Radio via their own transmitters on 1200 kHz mediumwave and 6105 kHz shortwave, both at 1 kW each.  This tandem relay ended on April 9, 142, at the time when the American forces on Bataan surrendered.
            Although the Voice of Freedom did its best back then during the tragic events of 1942, yet there was some dissatisfaction on the part of its listeners.  Some locals described the station as the Voice of Boredom, due to a lack of variety in programming and poor quality production.  Another writer stated that the hopeful slant in their news bulletins lacked reality and sounded hollow.
            Interestingly, there was another clandestine radio station during this same era.  Radio transmission equipment was installed in a hidden area in the art deco Jai Alai sports building on Taft Avenue, Manila and this was activated in an attempt to obtain discreet communication with Corregidor.  However, this transmitter in Manila was on the air with no more than a few experimental test transmissions.
            On Wednesday May 6, the American General Wainwright made a broadcast over the Voice of Freedom in which he addressed the Japanese military governor, General Masaharu Homma, requesting surrender.  This broadcast was on the air three times in English, with a follow-on translation in Japanese, at 10:30 am, 11:00 am and finally 11:45 am.  Next day just before midnight, the surrender was implemented.
            Before the American surrender on Corregidor, most of the radio equipment in Malinta Tunnel was destroyed.  However, the 1 kW shortwave transmitter on the air previously as KZRH in Manila 
and then as the Voice of Freedom on Corregidor was spared intact.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 262)