Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Radio Cochiguaz set for December 31st broadcast

Radio Cochiguaz will do a test transmission the 31st of December 2014 on the last day of this year. The frequency will be around 6300 kHz, but check our website at http://www.radio-cochiguaz.comfor more accurate information just before transmission begin at 02.00 UTC.

Straight Key Night - January 1, 2015

A Return to the Basics
“ARRL Straight Key Night (SKN) returns on January 1, 2015 (0000 to 2359 UTC), offering a chance for many to get back to their Amateur Radio roots. Those operators who began their years in Amateur Radio restricted to CW on the old Novice bands used some sort of manual key to send. Straight Key Night is an opportunity to relive those “brass-pounding” experiences. This 24-hour event is not a contest but a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage. Read the full article at www.arrl.org
(Larry Van Horn N5FPW)

Radio Mi Amigo slated for Saturday broadcast

For all friends of independent Radio:

Now our new transmitter finally seems to work with an output of more than 10 kW,
and we got a lot of good reports for indoor reception with portable radios and
telescopic antennas, as well as reception with car radio, from all over Europe.

Please notice, that you can rent airtime for only 15€ an hour for occasional broadcasts;
for broadcasts on a regular basis, please ask for conditions.
Remember that some hours, especially during the weekends, may be booked quickly!

Radio Mi Amigo will be on air next Saturday; they will be glad for reports.

We plan to be on air from Dec. 31st, later in the afternoon, for a longer period of time,
to make some final tests and checking the new security equipment that shuts down the
transmitter in cases of emergency.
Again we ask for your reports how you can receive us, and how you evaluate quality of our
modulation - thank you in advance.
(Tom Taylor)

Special January Postal Deals From DX Stamp Service

Happy DX New Year 2015!!
U.S. Discount Postage


(Offer expires Jan 31st, 2015)
Order TODAY!
>>>> See $$ Offer Below <<<<

Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster your envelope with colorful stamps.

49c Units
  2 stamps
 in 3 stamps
 in 4 stamps
 in 5 stamps

x 100

x 200

x 400

(3 stamps mean 49c unit is made with 3 stamps: 22c, 22c and 5c for example)
$1.15 Units
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x 100

x 200


100 x 32c - $27     300 x 32c - $73

100 x 33c - $28     300 x 33c - $75

                                                            $100 Grab Bags - $70                                                                                         Values from 3c to 29c in envelopes of 100 ea. I'll send a good mix.


Mostly booklets containing 25c stamps

$400 face value for $285. !!

For US postage deals, payment by  

  US postage deals to US addresses ONLY.

Buy 2 Postage Offers
The Booklet Hoard

Don't delay, order today!

DX Stamp Service: January Specials

Dear Customer,

Thanks for your orders during 2014!    Below are specials for  January 2015.

Discount postage:  Domestic and International units still available. Stock up for your Holiday mailings.
The 49c domestic rate and $1.15 Global rate will not increase in January.

If you need a current stamp list or supply list, I can email it to you.

NEWS: Lithuania joins the Euro community Jan 1, 2015. Stamps denominated in national currency will be valid until Dec. 31, 2016!
Belgium: Jan 1st 2015 rate increases to 1,42 euro. No problem, their "World 1" forever stamp covers it.
France: Jan. 1st 2015 rate increases to 1,20 euro up from 0,98 euro. No problem, their "Monde 20g" forever stamp covers it.
Monaco: Jan 1st 2015 rate increases to 1,20 euro, up from 0,98 euro.
Andorra: Jan 1st, 2015, rate increases to 1,20 euro, up from 0,98 euro.
Qatar rate now 4,50 up from 3,50
Belgium: now priced at $2.20 up from $2.00
Bulgaria: now $3.00 up from $2.75
France, Andorra, Monaco: now priced at $2.00 up from $1.70
Netherlands: now priced at $2.00 up from $1.80
Qatar now priced at $2.50 up from $2.00


BACK ORDERS will now be sent with your next stamp order, unless I have several to send you.  Am losing money by sending out one at a time. Sorry.

Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster
your envelope with colorful stamps.

49c Units
 2 stamps
 in 3 stamps
 in 4 stamps
 in 5 stamps

x 100

x 200

x 400

(3 stamps mean 49c unit is made with 3 stamps: 22c, 22c and 5c for example)
$1.15 Units
 3 stamps

x 100

x 200


100 x 32c - $27     300 x 32c - $73

100 x 33c - $28     300 x 33c - $75

 $ 100.00 Grab Bags - $70  Values from 3c to 29c in envelopes of 100 ea. I'll send a good mix.

Watch! a Special Email with More Savings on Discount Postage!

For US postage deals, payment by  

No charge for shipping US postage deals to US addresses.

2 Switzerland-$4.00 3 Japan-$3.90
2 Spain-$3.20       3 UK-$5.10

200/200 European Air Mailers and Air Returns -$40.00
200/200 Stateside Mailers and Returns - $19.00

Priority Mail Shipping Rates: Orders up to $16.00 add $6.50, orders from $16.01 to $40.00 add $9.00, orders from $41.00 to $100.00 add $15.00. orders from $101.00 to $150.00 add $20.00, orders over $150.00 add 15%. When ordering supplies and stamps, the stamps ride free, just use supply total to figure shipping costs. Shipments to Canada and overseas ship at a greater cost. (01/2014)

Stamps Only Orders: Just add $1.00 P&H for posting to USA, add $2.00 for posting to Canada.

73, bill

William Plum
12 Glenn Road
Flemington, NJ 08822
908 788 1020
908 782-2612 FAX
Email: plumdx@msn.com

Voice of Mongolia-Dec 30-31 Schedule

relay from Germany's Radio 700

Voice of Mongolia - December 30-31


All times UTC

1600-1630 on  7310 KLL 001 kW / non-dir to CeEu 
1700-1730 on  6005 KLL 001 kW / non-dir to CeEu 
2000-2030 on  3985 KLL 001 kW / non-dir to CeEu 
(Ivo Ivanov, Bulgaria/30 Dec)

Ancient DX Report-1909

Italian liner Florida (simplonpc.co.uk)
We begin our Ancient DX Report for the year 1909 with wireless reports about several shipping disasters in various parts of the world. 
            The most notable shipping disaster in association with the usage of the CQD distress signal took place early in the year 1909, on January 24, when the Italian liner Florida struck the White Star liner Republic out in the Atlantic off the American east coast near the Nantucket Lightship.  Jack Binns was the wireless operator at station MKC aboard the stricken Republic and over the course of time he transmitted some 200 emergency messages in Morse Code.
            Two other ships came to the scene of this maritime accident; another White Star liner the Baltic, and a Revenue Cutter the Gresham.  A total of 1500 people were successfully transferred, with the loss of only six people in the collision itself.  The Baltic sank at sea, and the Florida limped into port at New York.    
            On June 10 the Cunard liner Slavonia, callsign MVA, became stranded near the Azores Islands off the edge of Africa when she struck the rocks off Flores Island.  Two German ships, the Princess Irene and the Batavia heeded the call and rescued all 597 people off the Slavonia before she sank.  Some of the wreckage of the Slavonia is still visible to this day at the islet, Lower Rasa.
            It is reported that the first double usage of the distress signals, both CQD & SOS, was sent by the American ship Arapoe in August 1909 when it lost its propeller near Diamond Shoals off the American Atlantic Coast.
            Two other ships lost a propeller during this year 1909, and aid was summoned by Morse Code telegraphy.  These ships were the City of Racine, callsign JC, out from Chicago on Lake Michigan and the Georgia GC also on Lake Michigan.   
            The coastal steamer Ohio struck a submerged rock off the coast of Alaska on August 9, and Operator George Eccles at the ship transmitter AO continued sending out a Morse call for help even as the ship was sinking.  Eccles lost his life, though two nearby ships came to the rescue and picked up the nearly 200 passengers and crew.  
            Down in the South Pacific, the Norwegian freight and passenger steamer Ocean Queen was on a voyage from Tahiti to the small phosphate mining island of Makatea.  As the ship was entering the bay at Makatea, the engines broke down and the ship was driven onto the coral reef.  The passenger liner Mariposa HK heard the emergency call and took off all personnel before the Ocean Queen slid off the reef and sank.
            During the early part of the year 1909, explorer Robert Peary led an expedition to visit the North Pole.  On the return journey back to the United States, his ship called in to Indian Harbour in Labrador, Canada.  He had a message sent to the newspaper New York Times from the Marconi wireless station NR at Indian Harbour, stating I have found the Pole.  He claimed to have located the North Pole earlier, on April 6.
            In Denmark, Einer Dessau communicated with a government wireless station six miles distant on March 18; and in England the PMG Department took over all of the Marconi wireless stations on September 29.  In Australia there were just two active licensees on the air; Mr. L. C. Jones in suburban Adelaide and Mr. C. P. Bartholomew in suburban Sydney.  In New Zealand, the government complained that local amateur wireless operators were interfering with shipping communications.
            In the United States, the Junior Wireless Club was formed in New York on January 2.  Many more wireless clubs were formed throughout the country during the year, though this New York club, which later widened its activities as the Radio Club of America, claims to be the very first in the world.
            In 1909 the famous maritime wireless station PH moved its operations from Russian Hill in South San Francisco to Hillcrest, which became known as Radio Ridge.  During the transfer, station CH in the Chronicle Building filled in and operated the maritime service.
            In February, Dr. Lee de Forest installed his new Arcphone radio transmitter in the Terminal Building and a receiver in the Metropolitan Life Building, both in New York City.  His mother-in-law, Harriet Stanton Blatch, made a broadcast promoting Womens Rights which was heard by an audience of senior students from two nearby schools.
            In April, the now famous Doc Herrold began a regular broadcasting service over his spark wireless station in San Jose, California.  This station was located at his College of Engineering and Wireless in the Garden City Bank Building on 1st & West San Fernando Streets and the antenna system consisted of more than two miles of bronze wire stretched out over four city buildings.  The 15 watt transmitter, with a microphone and a battery, operated on long wave at 40 kHz.
            On June 21, William Dubilier made a public demonstration of radio broadcasting at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle WA in which he transmitted both music and speech.  He was the first to use small sheets of mica to provide a stable capacitance in the radio transmitter.
            We should also mention that the Great White Fleet, the American naval flotilla, made further radio broadcasts in January and February, in the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic.

            By the end of the year 1909, there were close to a thousand wireless stations on the air in 70 countries throughout the world, on land and on ship.  Amateur wireless operators were on the air in many different countries, including the worlds number one radio amateur Don Wallace in Los Angeles, who made his earliest beginnings in 1909 with a Model T spark coil and his own self-assigned callsign WU.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 302) 

The Story of the Good Ship Scotland

"Comet" Radio Scotland's floating flagship-and transmitter (offshoreradioco.uk)
The story of the Good Ship Radio Scotland begins back in the year 1904.  That was the year in which the John Brown Shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland built the 90 ft long, 500 ton, motorless barge LV Comet.  The Comet was constructed under contract to the Commissioner of Irish Lights in Eire for service as a lightship in Dublin Bay.
            At the end of some 60 years of service at anchorage as a lightship near the city of Dublin, the Comet was decommissioned and towed to St. Peter Port on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.  Here it was, now under the ownership of entrepreneur Tommy Shields, that the ship was fitted out as a mobile radio station, with studio, transmitters and additional electronic equipment.
            The studio was prefabricated at the RCA facility at Sunbury on Thames and two RCA Ampliphase transmitters, Model BTA10 at 10 kW, were shipped from the United States.  All of the radio equipment was assembled in a warehouse on Guernsey and readied for installation into the ship.  A mobile crane was used to lower the preassembled equipment into the Comet”           
            The studio was installed in what had previously been the Captains Cabin when the ship was operating in Irish waters; a 30 kW Deutz power generator was installed; and an aluminium mast 200 feet tall was attached to the stub of the previous wooden mast.  One of the main problems associated with the mobile crane and its task of transferring the heavy equipment from the dock into the ship was that the tidal movement at this location at the island of Guernsey varies as much as 30 feet each day.
            The Comet , still as a motorless barge, was towed from Guernsey up into Scottish waters via  the east coast of England.  On the way, the tow rope broke and it took two days to reattach the rope.

            The new stationary location for the Comet was 3½ miles off the Scottish coast near Dunbar, approximately 25 miles from Edinburgh.  The target date for the initial broadcast from the Comet under the identification slogan Radio Scotland was scheduled for the last day in December 1965.  This advertised time was barely achieved, only just 10 minutes before midnight, though this inaugural broadcast was on the air at reduced power.

The inaugural broadcast was heard at a good level in nearby Edinburgh and across the open waters in Scandinavia, though the signal into Glasgow and the west of Scotland was quite poor.  The signal into all of the mainland areas was improved significantly a couple of weeks later, on January 16, when a special part from the United States was installed, thus enabling full power operation.
            The initial mediumwave channel was 1241 kHz, though this was modified to 1259 kHz after the specialized American part was installed in 1966.  Though there were two mediumwave transmitters at 10 kW each aboard the Comet, and a locally made combining unit had been installed, yet usually only one transmitter was on the air at any one time.
            On February 10, still in the same year 1966, the radio ship Comet was flooded during a storm.  A Coast Guard ship came to the rescue with a bilge pump that removed this undesired intrusion.
            As with so many of the pirate radio ships around the British Isles and associated areas back then, Radio Scotland aboard the LV Comet underwent its share of troubles.  Due to a poor signal in the more heavily populated areas of Glasgow, arrangements were made for the motorless ship to be towed to the western side of Scotland.
            Again, this motorless ship was towed for the 1,000 mile voyage around the northern coast of Scotland, from its stationary location off the east coast of Scotland (Edinburgh side) to a new location off the west coast of Scotland (Glasgow side).  This voyage took a few weeks and initially they were on the air as they travelled.  However, due to the difficulty in replenishing the slowly traveling mini-convoy, radio transmissions were discontinued halfway through the journey.
            When they arrived at their new anchorage off the coast at Troon, Radio Scotland returned to the air, and a survey showed that almost half of the total population of Scotland listened to the pirate programming from the good ship Comet.  However, due to a misunderstanding as to the boundary between the legal coastal waters of Scotland and the open seas, Radio Scotland was taken to court and fined for illegal broadcasting from Scottish waters.
            So again, the Comet was towed to a new location, this time off the coast of Northern Ireland near Ballywater.  On April 9, 1967, the station returned to the air as Radio Scotland & Ireland, though briefly at one stage the identification announcement stated Radio 242.
            That didnt work financially, so again the ship was towed to another location this time the more then 1,00 mile voyage back to its original location at Dunbar, off the east coast of Scotland for improved coverage of Edinburgh and its surroundings. That was in May of the same year,1967.
            However, the end was on the horizon, and advertising revenues did not cover expenses.  Thus, the final epic broadcast of the very popular Radio Scotland ended in the evening of Monday August 14, 1967.  The ship was then towed to Dunbar on the coast and offered for sale.  When a sale did not materialize, the ship was towed to Methill Harbour in the Fife and all of the electronic equipment was removed.
            The Comet”’ was then towed to Holland where it was in use for a while as a house boat.  Then two year later, (1969) it was taken to Ouwerkerk and broken up.
            In addition to its shipboard facility, Radio Scotland also maintained an office in Scotland, on Cranworth Street, just off Byres Road in West Glasgow.  At one stage, an advertising office was in use in Royalty House on Dean Street in London.
            At the end, listeners by the thousand signed a petition to save Radio Scotland, with a request to grant a legal license for a land based station.  The petition with 2½ million signatures was presented to the government licensing agency in London, but the request was denied.
            A few short years later, entrepreneur Tommy Shields was hospitalized with a kidney problem, from which he never recovered.  He died at the young age of 49, with his lifelong dream unrealized.
 (AWR Wavescan/NWS 302)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Two days left for RFA 18th Anniversary Card

Radio Free Asia Releases 18th Anniversary QSL

Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces the released their 18th Anniversary QSL card. RFA’s first broadcast was in Mandarin on September 29, 1996 at 2100 UTC. RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Acting as a substitute for indigenous free media, RFA concentrates coverage on events occurring in and/or affecting Burma, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and Vietnam.  RFA does not express editorial opinions but provides news, analysis, commentary, and cultural programming in the languages of the country of broadcast. This is RFA’s 55th QSL design and will be used to confirm all valid RFA reception reports to December 31, 2014.

Radio Free Asia 18th Anniversary QSL card
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 www.rfa.org.

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 http://techweb.rfa.org (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 qsl@rfa.org and by mail to:

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

(A.J Janitscheck/RFA) 

BBG Denounces Harsh Treatment of RFE/RL Baku Journalists

Call for Bureau Reopening

WASHINGTON - The Broadcasting Board of Governors today called on Azerbaijani authorities to cease their investigations of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's (RFE/RL) Baku bureau journalists  and to immediately permit the news bureau to reopen.

In the past three days 23 RFE/RL journalists were interviewed by Azerbaijan's state prosecutor's office. A lawyer representing the Baku bureau staff said people were being "dragged" to the prosecutor's office "by force and threats." Another 13 RFE/RL journalists are waiting to be summoned for questioning. Authorities also began to question family members of journalists. The investigations follow the raid and closure of the RFE/RL Baku bureau  on Friday, December 26. In early December, authorities also arrested and jailed prominent Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova, a contributor to RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service programming.

"This harsh treatment, including direct threats against our journalists, violates every principle of media freedom," said BBG Chairman Jeff Shell. "We again call on Azerbaijani authorities to permit RFE/RL's Baku bureau to reopen, to halt the investigations and harassment of RFE/RL journalists and their families, and to release Khadija Ismayilova."

In a related development, on December 26 a Baku court heard and rejected Ismayilova's appeal . She remains in prison after being sentenced to two months of pre-trial detention on charges of inciting a colleague to attempt suicide. Reporters Without Borders has called this "the latest example of the appalling harassment to which this trailblazer of investigative journalism has been subjected for years by [Azerbaijan's] government in its drift towards despotism."

RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service is one of the last remaining independent media outlets in Azerbaijan.   Several international organizations that support civil society, including IREX , the National Democratic Institute, and Oxfam have been forced to suspend their operations in Azerbaijan this year.
(BBG/29 Dec)
(earlier post of raid on December 26)

Focus on Asia-The Philippines Radio Story

Special thanks to Adventist World Radio Wavescan program for the script of their last series on Focus on Asia

Press Wireless Returns to Shortwave

As the opening feature in our program today, we make a return visit to the Philippines.  This is the final feature in our year long series under the title Focus on Asia.  Next year, we are planning to present a year long series of topics under the new title, Focus on the South Pacific.  Even so from time to time, we will still present interesting topics regarding the fascinating historic backgrounds of other radio stations, large and small, in other parts of the world.  
            On this occasion, we pick up the Philippine story towards the end of the Pacific War at the time when American forces made a return visit to the Philippines.  That was towards the end of the climactic year 1944. 
            But first though, lets go back to the year 1929, and that was when the American news and radio organization, Press Wireless Inc, PWI was formed.  At that time, a powerful group of news organizations in the United States established PWI in an endeavor to improve the flow of news information into and out of the United States.

 At the time, radio was quite young, and the concept of international broadcasting on shortwave was just beginning.  Thus it was that PWI began to establish their own network of communication stations around the world; in some countries they installed their own shortwave communication stations and in others they utilized the facilities of already established stations.  PWI also began to manufacture their own transmitters and associated electronic equipment.
            The first communication station established by PWI was licensed under the callsign WJK and it was established at Needham in suburban Boston in 1930.  This station at this era operated as a longwave station and it communicated with a longwave station in Halifax Nova Scotia that was receiving a news flow from a longwave Post Office station in England.
             It is probable that the London end of this news link wireless network was at Rugby, with either of the two longwave transmitters, GBT or GBY.  It is known that the Halifax station was operated by the American Publishers Committee and it was installed at the British cable station at St. Margarets Bay.  An earlier temporary station had been located at Dartmouth, across the bay from Halifax.  
            Station WJK, with its receiving and transmitting facilities, circumvented the expensive landline costs from Nova Scotia into the United States, and it also overcame the usual delay in transmission over the landline system.  In addition, there were occasions when longwave WJK was able to communicate directly with London, thus making the relay of news messages via Halifax unnecessary.
            Then in 1932, PWI began construction of their massive shortwave station located near Hicksville on Long Island together with their nearby receiver station at Long Neck.  At the height of its activity, PWI Hicksville was operating a total of 28 shortwave transmitters ranging in power from ½ kW up to 100 kW, together with a bevy of antenna systems beamed on Europe and Latin America.
            It would appear that the lone station WJK at Needham in Massachusetts was a temporary unit that closed when Hicksville became fully operational.  Hicksville itself was closed in 1957 when another more modern station at Centereach was inaugurated.
            The first PWI wireless factory was opened in the late 1930s at West Newton in Massachusetts.  Then, in 1941 a new and additional factory was opened at Hicksville in association with their shortwave communication station.  During the war years, their famous 40 kW PWI shortwave transmitter was manufactured in quantity and these units were installed at many different locations in many different countries around the world.
            Press Wireless entered the Philippines in 1933; they opened an office in downtown Manila and they installed a shortwave station on the edge of Manila.  Two years later, PWI Manila was amalgamated with two other international news agencies and the combined organization was registered as Globe-Mackay Cable & Radio with offices and a studio building in Manila. 
            The entire facility in the Philippines was shut down in late December 1941 as Japanese forces began closing in on Manila.  American forces deliberately destroyed all of these press radio facilities in Manila on December 26, 29 and 30.
            Three years later, Press Wireless returned to the Philippines with a contingent of personnel and equipment at the time of the MacArthur return invasion.  Two PWI sub-units, identified as PZ & PY, had been formed at Hollandia on the north coast of the island of New Guinea and they were shipped into the Philippines as part of the massive invasion fleet.
            The PZ party installed a radio communication facility at what was described at the time as a secret location, though subsequently it is known that it was located at Tacloban on the island of Leyte. The studio for PWI station PZ was installed in a warehouse just opposite the MacArthur headquarters, and the transmitters were installed in a nearby sandbagged bunker, together with MacArthurs military transmitters.
            The PWI shortwave transmitter PZ with 400 watts was voice capable, though usually it was on the air with high speed Morse Code transmissions via a Boehme speed sender.  Callsigns in use at PWI Tacloban ran from PZ1 up to PZ9, according to frequency. 
            The inaugural news transmission from PWI PZ took place on November 14, 1944 and it was received by the new PWI shortwave station on the edge of Los Angeles in California.  Station PZ also acted as an intermediate relay for the transfer of news reports in Morse Code from the auxiliary ship FP47 for reception in Los Angeles.

            The PWI shortwave station at Tacloban was not a mobile station installed in a group of army trucks, though it could be removed and re-installed at another location quite speedily.  On February 28 of the following year (1945) PWI PZ in Tacloban was closed down, and the equipment was then transferred to Manila; and thats where we pick up this story on the next occasion.  
(AWR/Wavescan/NWS 305)