Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Voice of Vietnam English Summer Schedule Update

Voice of Vietnam (via JSWC)
Effective from: 01 September 2016
30 minute programs
Areas of coverage Hanoi Airtime/UTC
Western Europe 1:00 18:00 5955
Europe, Central Asia 2:00 19:00 7280 , 9730
Europe, Central Asia 4:30 21:30 7280 , 9730
UK, Central Europe 23:00 16:00 7280 , 9730
Africa, Middle East 3:30 20:30 7220 , 9550
Indonesia 6:30 23:30 9840 , 12020 ,
Eastern America 8:00 1:00 6175
Eastern America 9:30 2:30 6175
Central America -Caribbean 9:30 2:30 7315
Central America -Caribbean 7:00 0:00 7315
Hanoi 17:00 10:00 105.5
Indonesia  17:00 10:00 9840 , 12020
Laos, Thailand, Cambodia  18:00 11:00 7285
Japan, Guangzhou 18:30  9840 , 12020
Indonesia 19:30 12:30 9840 , 12020
Japan, Guangzhou 20:30  9840 , 12020
Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia  22:00 15:00 9840 , 12020 , 7285
Europe, Central Asia 23:00 16:00 7280 , 9730
Africa, Middle East 23:00 16:00 7220 , 9550
Hanoi 23:00 16:00 105.5
Our website:
Our email address:
Our phone number:
(+84) 439342456
Listen to VOV’s English program 24/7 (LIVE) at:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September Specials From Airmail Postage and DX Supplies

Special thank to our friend Bill Plum, for sending in his new September Price List. I have used Bill's services for many years and find his prices affordable and dependable. All stamps are enclosed within a glassine envelope, so no worries of stamps sticking to the letter, and you can enclose the stamps as is, within the letter to the station.
Bill can get help you get you ready for the upcoming fall and winter DX season! Recheck this blog regularly for Bill's monthly specials!
Gayle Van Horn

Dear Customer,
Below are specials for September 2016. Take advantage of them starting now. Keep kool!

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

 NEWS:  With new lower discount postage prices, please pay for them via check. Not much profit on these and credit card is extra 3% loss.

MORE NEWS:    Recent Hamfest venture was slow, but was pleased to move out a few QSL albums. Sold a few fountain pens and vintage Parker jotters from my collection. Plan to attend a few  more local Hamfests on the 2017 circuit.

 BIG  NEWS!!!: Getting low on European Air Return Envelopes (5,000 remaining)...with lower sales volume, I will NOT be restocking this item. With lower volume of sales, restocking would be a smaller qty. to purchase at a much higher cost...I will sell  the European PLAIN Returns in their place once the air return stock is depleted. A few customers are QSL managers and they tell me they rarely see an airmail envelope from overseas anyway, except maybe from JA. My supply of European Air Mailers is greater (about 15,000), so they will last longer. Take advantage of the airmail close out specials below while I have them!!!

IDEA:  Slightly damaged Deluxe QSL Album   now $30.00 -or- buy 2 for only $55.00!!!

NEW RATES: Slovenia increased their rates August 1st, no problem, as I've been supplying their priority global forever stamp.

If you hear of or notice any new rates, let me know.




                           Save Big on your domestic mailings with colorful vintage stamps!


47c Units


in  2 stamps

in 5 stamps

x 100



x 200



x 500



               Payment by Check or Money Order on Forevers Stamps 47cent offers.                                 

No Charge for shipping Discount Postage Offers 

00 x $1.15 in 3 stamps: ALL GONE!
2 Germany-$2.60    2 Russia-$2.60    3 Japan-$3.90  
2 Italy-$7.00    2 UK-$3.00    2 France-$3.60    2 Spain-$4.00
200/200 European Air or Plain Mailers and Returns -$40.00
200/200 Stateside Mailers and Returns - $25.00
500/500 Stateside Mailers and Returns - $45.00

400/400 European Air Mailers and Air Returns - $70.00
600/600 European Air Mailers and Air Returns - $95.00
500 European Air Mailers - $40.00
Priority Mail Shipping Rates: Orders up 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. (07/2015 modified)
 Stamps Only Orders: Just add $1.00 postage/handling for USA, add $2.00 for posting to Canada.
William Plum
12 Glenn Road
Flemington, NJ 08822
908 788 1020

Radio Prague back on the air for one day, August 31

On 31 August 1936 Czechoslovak Radio launched its international service on shortwave. The station identified itself as “Radio Prague, Czechoslovakia”. Radio Prague will mark its 80th birthday with a series of special reports and events posted on their website.
Special QSL
Radio Prague will issue a special QSL card to mark its 80th birthday. To obtain it, please send a reception report from their special birthday broadcast on 31st August 2016.
Meanwhile  has announced special transmissions via Yerevan to commemorate Radio Prague's celebration of 80 years of broadcasting.
Tune in on Wednesday, 31st August:
1630-1700 UTC on 9535 kHz towards 65° Russia at 100kW (Russian)*
1800-1900 UTC on 11845 kHz towards 305° Europe at 100kW (German / French)
1930-2030 UTC on 9885 kHz towards 330° Scandinavia at 100kW (Czech / English)
2100-2130 UTC on 9405 kHz towards 280° Southern Europe at 100kW (Spanish)
* tentative
As the broadcasts are shorter than 30 Minutes Shortwave service would like to fill it with your Radio Prague Birthday Greetings. Please leave a message on answering machine +4922517724266 or send a prerecorded file to
More about 80 years of Radio Prague at :
Radio Prague 80th Anniversary Competition
 (Alokesh Gupta, New Delhi)
 (dx_sasia yg)
(Larry Van Horn N5FPW/tarheelscanner)

Madagascar World Voice tentatively plans for winter schedule

Thanks to WWDXC Top News, for including MWV "proposed" winter scheduling. As noted, these are to be considered as a "tentative" schedule plan.

Planned MWV - a lot of Madagascar entries under MDG MWV WCB tentatively in B-16 winter season

All times UTC

9710 0100 0200 41,42S             100  40  15 218 Eng
7390 0200 0300 12-13,14N,14SE,15  100 250 -15 218 Spa
7390 0300 0400 12                 100 265   0 218 Spa
15670 0300 0400 41,42S             100  40 -15 218 Eng
11825 0400 0500 36SE,37,38W,46,47W 100 295 -30 218 Eng
17530 0400 0500 43,44W,49NW        100  55 -15 218 Chn
9570 1800 1900 19,20,29,30W       100 355  30 218 Rus
17640 1800 1900 36SE,37,38W,46,47W 100 310 -15 218 Eng
9540 1900 2000 19,20,29,30W       100 355  30 218 Rus
11945 1900 2000 38E,39,40NW,40S,48N100 355  30 218 Ara
13710 2000 2100 38,46NE,47N        100 340  15 218 Ara
17640 2000 2100 36SE,37,38W,46,47W 100 295 -30 218 Eng
11610 2100 2200 27S,28SW,37N       100 325   0 218 Chn
9535 2200 2300 43,44W,49NW        100  55  30 218 Chn
11790 2200 2300 38,46NE,47N        100 325   0 218 Ara
(wwdxc BC-DX TopNews Aug 22)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2016 Aug 29 0520 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  22 - 28 August 2016

Solar activity was at very low levels the majority of the period with low levels reached on 28 August due to an isolated C1/Sf flare  at 28/2128 UTC from Region 2583 (N13, L=023, class/area Dao/030 on 28 Aug). Regions 2579 (N12, L=034, class/area Dao/090 on 23 Aug) and 2581 (N12, L=337, class/area Cao/110 on 28 Aug) were the largest spot groups on the visible disk, but were in a decay phase as of 24 and 28 August, respectively. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the period.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels on 22 August, moderate levels on 23-24 August, and
high levels from 25-28 August. The maximum flux reached 2,334 pfu at 27/1705 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to G1-minor storm levels during the period. The beginning of the period, solar wind conditions were nominal with solar wind speeds between 350 km/s and 420 km/s. The geomagnetic field was at quiet levels on 22 August. By 23 August, total field increased to around 14 nT with the solar wind speed increasing to around 550 km/s as a negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) moved into geoeffective position. By midday on 24 August, total field had decreased to near 5 nT, however solar wind speeds remained elevated until late on 25 August when they began to decline. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to
G1-minor storm levels on 23-24 August, followed by quiet to unsettled conditions on 25-27 August. Quiet conditions were observed on 28 August under a nominal solar wind environment.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 29 August - 24 September 2016

Solar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels throughout the period. 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 with high levels expected on 31 August-12 September and again from 21-24 September due to recurrent CH HSS activity.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 29 August-08 September, 13-14 September, 17 September, and 19-21 September with G1-minor storm levels likely on 29-30 August due to recurrent CH HSS activity.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2016 Aug 29 0520 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 2016-08-29
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2016 Aug 29      85          20          5
2016 Aug 30      82          18          5
2016 Aug 31      82          10          3
2016 Sep 01      85          15          4
2016 Sep 02      85          12          4
2016 Sep 03      80          10          3
2016 Sep 04      80           8          3
2016 Sep 05      78          15          4
2016 Sep 06      78          15          4
2016 Sep 07      78           8          3
2016 Sep 08      78          10          3
2016 Sep 09      78           5          2
2016 Sep 10      78           5          2
2016 Sep 11      80           5          2
2016 Sep 12      82           5          2
2016 Sep 13      82          10          3
2016 Sep 14      82           8          3
2016 Sep 15      82           5          2
2016 Sep 16      82           5          2
2016 Sep 17      80           8          3
2016 Sep 18      80           5          2
2016 Sep 19      80          15          4
2016 Sep 20      80          12          4
2016 Sep 21      80           8          3
2016 Sep 22      82           5          2
2016 Sep 23      85           5          2
2016 Sep 24      85           5          2

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)