Monday, March 27, 2017

Lonely little shortwave station in Canada closed

According to several recent reports, the small, isolated and low powered shortwave station located on the west coast of Canada is now declared to be off the air, permanently.  The CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation shortwave station CKZU has been serving northern communities in British Columbia for ¾ of a century, it left the air last year due to equipment failure, and it is now confirmed that the cost of replacement is not financially justified.
            Several astute international radio monitors observed that the station was providing only intermittent service since about the middle of the year 2015, perhaps more often off the air than on the air.  However, the noted international radio monitor Harold Sellers stated in the Danish bulletin, DX Window, that he heard shortwave CKZU with a strong signal on its regular 49 m band channel 6160 kHz on September 30, 2016. 
            Harold Sellers lives in retirement in the city of Vernon in the central interior of British Columbia, which is within the main target area of shortwave CKZU.  That monitoring observation last year appears to be the last reliable logging of the signal from shortwave CBC in Vancouver, British Columbia.
            Canadian international radio monitor Walter Salmaniw lives on Vancouver Island in the provincial capital Victoria, which is 60 miles across the waterway from the city of Vancouver, the home for shortwave CKZU.  Quoting Colin Newell, Walter Salminaw stated in an internet release, that the CBC in Vancouver has declared that the old CKZU transmitter is beyond repair, and the cost for replacement is not justified, due to the very limited number of listeners who tune in to its shortwave signal.
            Shortwave CKZU has always been co-located with the main CBC mediumwave station in Vancouver and it was taken into service in December 1941.  At the time, the mediumwave callsign was CBR and the shortwave callsign was CBRX.  The low power RCA transmitter was rated at just 150 watts, and the operating channel was 6160 kHz, the only channel ever used for CBC shortwave in Vancouver.
               The transmitter and antenna system were co-installed with mediumwave CBR on Lulu Island, in what we would call the southern suburban areas of the city of Vancouver.  This transmitter was placed into service for two specific purposes: as a program feed to a network of small LPRT low power CBC mediumwave relay transmitters throughout the province of British Columbia, and for direct reception by isolated listeners in the same areas.
            Lulu Island is a small, low and flat island at the southern edge of Vancouver city.  It is a silt island with some areas below both sea level and river level.  The island was named in honor of a popular entertainer Lulu Sweet, apparently from Hawaii, who bought property on the island.  Perhaps it was true that Lulu Sweet was indeed from Hono-lulu.  An elevated dyke has been built up around the entire populated area of Lulu Island as protection against flooding from the Fraser River and against storms coming in from the Pacific Ocean.
            The first transmitter base for CBC mediumwave CBR and shortwave CBRX was in the area of  Lulu Island which is now built up as suburban housing.  The first antenna system was a diamond shaped rhombic, supported on four towers 50 feet tall and each leg was 240 feet long.  The main lobe from this antenna system was directed a little to the northwest, thus ensuring coverage into the hilly coastal areas of British Columbia to the north. 
            On January 25, 1952, the callsign for mediumwave CBR was changed to CBU, with the CB indicating CBC and the U indicating Vancouver.  At the same time, shortwave CBRX became CBUX, with the X indicating shortwave.
            Two years later (1954), the small 150 watt RCA transmitter was replaced by a Marconi transmitter from England, rated at 1 kW input and ½ kW output.  Then, eleven years later again (1965), the shortwave callsign was changed once more, due to the fact that international radio callsigns beginning with the two letters CB belonged to Chile, not Canada.  Thus CBUX became CKZU.
            Give two more years (1967), and a completely new transmitter station was constructed for CBC Vancouver.  This new facility was still located on Lulu Island, though it is now on the water-logged ocean side of the protective dyke surrounding the built up housing areas of the island.  Shortwave CKZU was moved into its new location alongside 50 kW CBU.  
            Then, in 1983, a new shortwave transmitter was installed for CKZU, an American made 1 kW Elcom Bauer, Model 701B, from California.  This was the third shortwave transmitter for CBC Vancouver, and the one that has been sputtering somewhat during the last few years.  The antenna system, supported on four wooden poles, is a dipole with passive reflector, thus still providing coverage to the north.
            In 2008, it was rumored that shortwave CKZU might close; in 2013 the CKZU license was cancelled, though soon afterwards reinstated; in 2015 the station was off the air, though in September last year it was noted on the air again, at least for a while.  Then in February earlier this year, shortwave CKZU was declared inoperable.
               Yes, CBC shortwave in Vancouver has now joined the mounting pile of silent shortwave stations, though you can still see on Google Earth the wobbly antenna system, and the old transmitter building that still houses the 50 kW mediumwave CBU on 690 kHz.  You will also see a scattered clustering of old pine tree trunks that have been washed up into the area due to storms and flooding.

            So what then is left these days in the shortwave scene in Canada?  Yes, you can still hear the CBC shortwave station CKZN in St John’s Newfoundland with 1 kW on 6160 kHz; and CFVP in Calgary Alberta with 100 watts on 6030 kHz; and CFRX in Toronto Ontario with 1 kW on 6070 kHz.  And don’t forget the three channel operation of the chronohertz station CHU in Ottawa Ontario on 3330 7850 & 14670 kHz.  
(AWR Wavescan) 

DX Stamps & Supplies April Specials

Dear Customer,
Below are specials for APRIL 2017.
 If you need a current stamp list or supply list, I can email it to you. 
NEWS:   Can make up several per 100 49c units using 2 stamps to total 50c (32c + 18c for example) What's an extra penny?? See grid below.
BIGGER NEWS:  Thinking it's about time to close up this DX biz....2016 was worst yr ever. 2017 continuing the trend. Offering some MAJOR price breaks and bulk discounts listed below. Will add more stamp offers next month, especially on those countries that have a global forever stamp.
I will be keep the US discount postage going.  Nearly 35 yrs doing this. "The time has come..." the Walrus said.
 United Kingdom: England, Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales. Increased their rate late March. I updated all units 1st week of March. New rate for 20g is now 1,40 GB pounds. For the past several yrs in supplying their 20g rate, I have used 2 x 1st stamps (their version of forever stamp.) Their 1st stamp = 65p now For proper rate, you should have 2 x 1st plus 10p. If you need a makeup, let me know how much you need to bring to current rate.
IN STOCK AGAIN:  Algeria, Mexico, Peru, Suriname.
Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster 
 your envelope with colorful vintage stamps!
49c units

in  2 stamps
3 stamps  
 4 stamps
x 100

x 200

x 500


Payment by Credit card, check or money order
               for forever stamps and 49c units                   
No Charge for posting Discount Postage Offers, sending only to USA addresses. 

2 Germany-$2.60       2 Russia-$2.60       3 Japan-$3.90  
2 Italy-$7.00    2 UK-$3.00    2 France-$3.60    10 Spain-$17.50
10 Netherlands-$15.00    10 Belgium-$17.50    10 Austria-$20.00   
200/200 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $40.00
200/200 European Air Mailers and Plain Returns - $40.00
European AIR Returns are SOLD OUT!!
200/200 Stateside Mailers and Returns - $25.00
1000/1000 European AIR Mailers and Plain Returns - $150.00 ppd.
1000/1000 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $150.00 ppd.
1000/1000 Stateside mailers and Returns - $90.00 ppd.
4 Deluxe QSL Albums - $110.00 ppd.
4 Deluxe QSL Albums Slightly damaged - $90.00 ppd.
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 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

The Early Radio Scene in El Salvador

Focus on the Middle Americas: The first radio broadcasting station in Central America   
The Central American isthmus joins South America to North America, and these days there are seven countries in Central America, with El Salvador as the smallest.  (However it should also be stated that the Panama Canal Zone held that honor for almost a century, during its American occupation from 1904 - 1999.)
            In the pre-colonial eras, Amerindians inhabited Central America, and when the Spanish arrived nearly five hundred years ago, the Nahua speaking Pipil people from southern Mexico occupied what is today the independent country of El Salvador.  These tribal peoples knew the area as Kuskatan, meaning the Land of Precious Jewels.
            The first European visitor to the area was the Spanish Admiral Andres Nino who led an  expedition that landed on Meanguera island, which they named Petronila.  That was on May 31 in the year 1522.  Three years later, Spanish colonists established a settlement, though there was considerable turmoil with the local tribal people during that era.
            Fifteen years later, El Salvador was recognized as a Spanish colony; in 1821 El Salvador gained independence from Spain; and in 1840, El Salvador achieved its own independence as a separate country in Central America.  However, it seems that El Salvador has subsequently experienced more than its share of political and internal unrest and turmoil.
            This smallest of countries in Central America is considerably less than 200 miles long and considerably less than 100 miles wide.  It is the most densely populated country in Central America with a population of six million.  The country has 25 volcanoes (together with many associated earthquakes), 14 lakes, a thousand species of butterfly, and just three major cities: San Salvador, Santa Ana and San Miguel.
            Tourism is one of the main sources of income for El Salvador, with over a million visitors each year.  In 2001 the country adopted the American dollar as its official currency, replacing the Colon; and El Salvador is sometimes described as: The country with a smile.
            The first wireless station in El Salvador was installed in Las Lomas de Candelaria, on the southern edge of the capital city San Salvador, and it was already in operation in 1921.  Four years later, the location was shown as Venustiano Carranza, and the official callsign was given as SDA. 
            However, the geographic co-ordinates for the 1921 listing are impossible, way out to sea; and the 1924 co-ordinates are listed as only approximate.  Nevertheless, the available information would show that this first wireless communication station in El Salvador was indeed located in a forested area on the southern edge of suburban San Salvador.
            It was on Monday March 1, 1926 that El Salvador’s first radio broadcasting station was inaugurated by President Alfonso Quinonez Molina under the callsign AQM, the initials of the president himself.  El Salvador lays claim that this was the first radio broadcasting station in Central America.
            This new radio broadcasting station, with studio and transmitter, was installed on the second floor level of the National Theater Building in San Salvador.  The original transmitter was an imported 500 watt unit from Western Electrical in England.  The Teatro Nacional de El Salvador, completed and officially inaugurated in 1917, is itself the oldest National Theater in Central America.
            A subsequent callsign for this original radio broadcasting station was RDN, standing for Radio Nacionales, and when internationally approved callsigns were enjoined, RDN was allocated the three now well known call letters YSS.  In 1933, the mediumwave channel was listed as 864 kHz.
            On September 14, 1977, El Salvador issued four postage stamps, each with the same design, though in different colors and values, commemorating the 50th anniversary of radio broadcasting in their country.  Fifty years earlier from September 14, 1977, would bring us back to September 14, 1927, which is one and a half years after the recognized date for the first broadcast over the original station AQM.  So perhaps the four postage stamps honored the occasion when the early experimental station AQM-RDN metamorphosed into YSS, an officially recognized government radio broadcasting service.
            As the years went by, station YSS Radio Nacional grew into a nationwide network; at first on mediumwave only, and subsequently with a transfer to the standard FM Band 2 that is still on the air to this day.  The earliest mediumwave frequency listing was on 864 kHz, and subsequent mediumwave channels have been 638 kHz, 640 kHz and then their familiar split channel listing 655 kHz.
            During the 1980s, additional mediumwave relay stations were installed in regional city locations, and ten years later, there was a total of 6 stations in the network.  During that era, their international callsign YSS was modified to YSSS, in conformity with the national system of station identification with four letters, each beginning with the two letters YS.
            The largest number of mediumwave stations in El Salvador was around the mid 1990s, with by that time almost 100 nationwide.  These days there are somewhere around 60 mediumwave stations on the air throughout El Salvador, together with a full band of FM stations throughout the country.  Radio Nacional in San Salvador is heard these days on 96.9 FM, and their national program is heard throughout the country on a network of FM relay stations.

            More about the radio scene in El Salvador in a coming edition of our DX program Wavescan. 
9awr wavescan/NWS 421) 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

From the Isle of Music, and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, week of March 26- April 1, 2017

This week, in honor of the International Rueda de Casino Multi Flash Mob day that takes place April 1, our special guest Juanito Gómez, a leading figure in the Rueda de Casino dance movement in Cuba, will discuss the development of the Rueda de Casino phenomenon (in Spanish), and we also will have some excellent Cuban dance music that is popular with casineros.
Three opportunities to listen via shortwave:
1. For the Americas and parts of Western Europe:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000-0100 UTC (Mondays 8pm-9pm EDT in the Americas)
2. For Europe and beyond,
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Fridays 1100-1200 UTC (1200-1300 CET) and Saturdays 1200-1300 UTC (1300-1400 CET)

Episode 5 of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a musical variety program that features genres from A-Z, will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, March 30 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). Brought to you by Tilford Productions, which also brings you From the Isle of Music.  
(We aren’t showing on the WBCQ website yet, but we’ll be on.)
Check us out, and let us know what you think! Reception has been quite good in parts of Western Europe of late.
Episode 5 is our belated “welcome” to Spring and the related time change.

Promo graphics attached,  Thanks as always for all you do for radio.

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
Chicago IL 60659-4405

Monday, March 20, 2017

BBC World Service rolls out new Spring schedule

BBC World Service’s new Spring schedule rolls out from the end of March, continuing to reflect the funding boost received last year with strengthened original journalism, a fresh approach to arts programming and the launch of a new season of programmes exploring a varied collection of human stories.
New culture series In the Studio will give unique access to the world’s leading creative people in the process of making their art and work a reality. BBC OS will bring together Outside Source and World Have Your Say into a new extended two-hour programme, and The Newsroom will increase its coverage of key stories, with up to six broadcasts a day.
Launching in April is Life Stories - a new season exploring fascinating stories about who we are and how we live. BBC World Service is also rolling out a new product launch with BBC Minute On… - additional 60-second programmes which will explore a single subject in greater detail and be available to partner stations around the world.

Additional article at:

From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot weekly schedules

From the Isle of Music, Week of March 20 -25, 2017
This week, our special guest Oriente López, the Musical Director of Afrocuba during much of the 1980s and now with his own excellent projects, will discuss both Afrocuba, one of Cuba’s most interesting Fusion/Cuban Jazz ensembles, especially during the 1980s, and his own current projects, which are also fascinating. We will, of course, listen to some wonderful music from these ensembles.
Three opportunities to listen via shortwave:
1. For the Americas and parts of Western Europe:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000-0100 UTC (Mondays 8pm-9pm EDT in the Americas)
2. For Europe and beyond,
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Fridays 1100-1200 UTC (1200-1300 CET) and Saturdays 1200-1300 UTC (1300-1400 CET)

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot,  March 23, 2017
Episode 4 of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a musical variety program that features genres from A-Z, will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, March 16 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). Brought to you by Tilford Productions, which also brings you From the Isle of Music.
Uncle Bill doesn’t like us to say too much, because part of  the idea is to surprise you with things, but Episode 4 is especially recommended for fans of music from the Balkans and for members of the Michigan Area Radio Enthusiasts (MARE)
We aren’t showing on the WBCQ website yet (apparently it likes surprises even more than Uncle Bill),  but we’ll be on the air.  Check us out, and let us know what you think!

(Tilford Productions)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Mar 20 0323 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 13 - 19 March 2017

Solar activity was at very low levels with no observable spots on the solar disk. No Earth-directed CMEs 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 to moderate levels with high levels observed on 13-15 March. The largest flux value of the period was 8,800 pfu observed at 14/1655 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to unsettled levels. Solar wind speed was at nominal levels between 300 km/s and 400 km/s through most of the period with total field near 5 nT. On 15-16 March, a slight increase in solar wind speed and total field was observed just after a solar sector boundary crossing at 15/0008 UTC.
This was likely due to a weak connection to a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Total field increased to 9 nT while solar wind speed increased to near 433 km/s. The geomagnetic field responded with isolated unsettled periods on 15 and 16 March.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 20 March - 15 April 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels for the forecast

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 likely on 24 March and again from 29 March - 11 April due to recurrent CH HSS activity.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 21-24 March and again from 28 March - 06 April. G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels are likely on 23, 28-31 March and 02 April while G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels are likely on 28-29 March due to recurrent CH HSS effects.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Mar 20 0324 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 2017-03-20
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Mar 20      70           5          2
2017 Mar 21      70           8          3
2017 Mar 22      71          12          4
2017 Mar 23      72          20          5
2017 Mar 24      72           8          3
2017 Mar 25      72           5          2
2017 Mar 26      72           8          3
2017 Mar 27      72           8          3
2017 Mar 28      72          35          6
2017 Mar 29      72          30          6
2017 Mar 30      72          20          5
2017 Mar 31      72          18          5
2017 Apr 01      72          15          4
2017 Apr 02      72          20          5
2017 Apr 03      72          15          4
2017 Apr 04      72          12          4
2017 Apr 05      71          12          4
2017 Apr 06      70          10          3
2017 Apr 07      70           5          2
2017 Apr 08      70           5          2
2017 Apr 09      70           5          2
2017 Apr 10      70           5          2
2017 Apr 11      70           5          2
2017 Apr 12      70           5          2
2017 Apr 13      70           5          2
2017 Apr 14      70           5          2
2017 Apr 15      70           5          2

Friday, March 17, 2017

Weekend VOA Radiogram schedule

Hello friends,

Now that most of North America has changed to Daylight Savings Time, most Americans and Canadians will hear VOA Radiogram one hour later by local time. This is because VOA Radiogram stays at the same UTC time year round. The same will happen for European listeners beginning 26 March 

Also that last weekend of March, many shortwave broadcast stations will change some of their frequencies to correspond with seasonal shifts in propagation. The only change for VOA Radiogram from North Carolina is that the Saturday 0930-1000 UTC broadcast will move from 5865 to 5745 kHz, effective 1 April.

Effective 26 March, IBC (Italian Broadcasting Corporation) will drop its 3975 kHz frequency for the summer. IBC will no longer broadcast VOA Radiogram. There might be one more VOA Radiogram via IBC, Wednesday, 22 March, at 2100-2130 UTC, on 3975 kHz.       

This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will be all MFSK32, except for one item in MFSK16, in case reception is difficult.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 207, 18-19 March 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

1:46  Program preview  
 2:56  Fog-clearing apparatus used at Oregon airport*
9:52  'Boaty McBoatface' submarine to embark on first mission*
16:44  MFSK16: RFE/RL photo archive from 1950s USSR
21:50  MFSK32: Images* and closing announcements

* with image(s)

Please send reception reports to .

VOA Radiogram Transmission Schedule

UTC Time
Also try in …
5865 *
North Carolina
Asia-Pacific, Europe
North Carolina
Americas, Asia-Pacific
North Carolina
North Carolina
Americas, Asia-Pacific
WRMI Florida
WRMI Florida

3975 **
IBC Italy

* Moving to 5745 kHz effective 1 April
** Discontinued after 22 March

The Mighty KBC broadcast to North America will be Sunday at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 6145 kHz, via Germany. A minute of MFSK32 will be transmitted at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: . See also and  (KBC will move to 9925 kHz on 7 May.)

DigiDX is taking a few weeks off, hence the VOA Radiogram transmissions via WRMI and IBC.  See and

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule, including changes after 27 March, visit  The new English version of IBC’s “Shortwave Panorama” begins  31 March, via WRMI Florida, Friday 01.00-01.30 UTC on 9955 kHz, Saturday 01.30-02.00 UTC 11580 kHz, and
Sunday 00.30-01.00 UTC on 7730 kHz. The last five minutes of these shows will be in MFSK32.

Thanks for your reception reports from last weekend. In comparison of the two 58-wpm modes, MFSK16 and Olivia 8-1000, it appears that MFSK16 performed better, based on most reports.

Due to commitments related to my audience research work at VOA, I am vastly behind in answering your reports, but I hope to get back on track this weekend.

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


Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram  (especially active just before, during, and after broadcasts)

 PS: A few operating notes:
  • For best Olivia 64-2000 performance, turn Fldigi's squelch (SQL) off.
  • The RSID at 1500 Hz sometimes mixes with the transmitter hum, most noticeable at 360 Hz, to move your receive audio frequency down to 1140 Hz, resulting in no decode. To prevent this, in Fldigi: Configure > IDs  > RsID > unselect Searches passband.  Your center audio frequency will wander no more than +/- 200 Hz.
  • Fldigi automatically saves your decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\ (in Windows; folder names might be different with other operating systems). You can attach those png files with your reception report.
  • The VOA Radiogram Twitter account @VOARadiogram is especially active before, during, and after the broadcasts. You don't need a Twitter account: just go to and refresh it occasionally.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Euro weekend relays

All times UTC

Hamburger Lokal Radio via Shortwave Station Göhren, Germany with 1KW to Western Europe:
 6190 KHz     Every Saturday      07:00-11:00
 7265 KHz     Every Saturday      11:00-16:00    
 9485 KHz     Every Sunday        10:00 to 13:00    
Contact email:
Next scheduled transmissions from Radio City
Friday March 17th at 19:00- 20:00 via IRRS on 7290 kHz and repeated Saturday March 18 at 09:00-10:00 via IRRS on 9510 kHz
Older programs may be repeated at random other Saturdays. Older programs may also be transmitted by Challenger Radio in Italy on 1368, 846 and 567 kHz.
Saturdays at 00:00 and Saturdays at 20:30 (two different slots). There will be a different program via Hamburger Lokalradio Saturday March 25 at 13:00-14:00 on 7265 kHz. After that, during the period of daylight shifting time transmissions will be one hour earlier in UTC schedules.

Our contact address remains Website:

European Music Radio Transmissions via:
WBCQ to Central & North America on 5130 kHz on March 18, 23:00 to 00:00.
Shortwave Station Göhren on 9485 kHz on March 19, 09:00-10:00.
Channel 292 on 6070 kHz on March 19, 16:00-17:00.
Contact email:  
Internet Repeats on 19th March 2017:
EMR will repeat this months transmissions via two streams running at the following times:16:00, 18:00, 20:00. will be on 96 kbps /44 kHz stereo for normal listening. will be 24 kbps / 22 kHz mono will be especially for low bandwidth like mobile phones.

KBC via:
Media Broadcast to America on 6145 kHz Every Sunday between 00:00 to 01:00
Contact email:

 Hobart Radio via:
Channel 292 to Western Europe on 6070 kHz Saturdays fortnightly between 09:00 to 09:30.
WRMI to Americas, Asia/Pacific on 9955 kHz Sunday between 04:30 to 05:00
WRMI to Americas, Asia/Pacific on 9955 kHz Tuesday between 23:30 to 00:00
WBCQ to North America on 5130 kHz Mondays 04:30 to 05:00
Contact email:

For outside the listening area please try the Twente/Netherlands Web RX at

You can also hear many European free and alternative stations via the Internet at:

Radio Channel 292  transmission schedules on 6070 kHz (on the air every day):
Radio Mi Amigo Transmission schedules:
Good Listening!
Tom Taylor

Final End of Another VOA Relay Station

Several emessages on the internet dated for January 19 inform us that the previous VOA Voice of America relay station located at Iranawila in Sri Lanka is under demolition.  This is now the second VOA station on the island of Ceylon-Sri Lanka that has been closed and demolished; and this Iranawila station was listed as the largest VOA station outside of the United States.  This is the story.    
            In December 1984, authorities representing the Voice of America and the Sri Lankan government signed a document of approval to establish a new VOA station on the island.  This new station would be set up with a total of 6 shortwave transmitters; 2 at 250 kW and 4 at 500 kW.
            At the time of my visit to the Iranawila site by taxi during the following year (1985), I found the projected new location, though it was still in occupation by the local village people, with all of the protected coconut palm trees still standing.  At the approach to the property on the track leading to the projected station, there was a big signboard in the two languages, English and Sinhala (SING-a-la or sin-HA-la), indicating that this was the location for the huge new VOA relay station.  This station was located on the coast on an extensive property of 1,000 acres, in walking distance to the Indian Ocean.
            According to international radio reports back then, supplementary information about the new station included the installation of an additional powerful 600 kW mediumwave transmitter.  In addition, the already operational receiver station a few miles distant at Seeduwa would be upgraded.
            During the initial stages of development of the property, there was considerable opposition to the project on the part of the 188 fisher families that would be displaced.  Their opposition included attacks on construction personnel, one resulting in death, and damage to the station itself. 
            Villagers attending the local Catholic Church supported the opposition to the radio project.  It seems that subsequently the acquisition of the property was modified somewhat, and perhaps moved just a little further inland.
            Progress on the project was slow and the first four transmitters, new 500 kW units from Cincinnati Electronics in Ohio Model 86128 were installed in 1992.  Three years later, three transmitters from the closed VOA station in Bethany Ohio, BBC Model SK53C3, were taken out of storage in Brooklyn New York and shipped to Sri Lanka for installation at Iranawila.  
            An additional four Marconi transmitters at 500 kW Model B6132 were subsequently shipped to Iranawila, but during installation, one was destroyed by fire.  The three remaining units were still in their original unopened shipping containers and not damaged. 
            It is officially stated that the cause of the fire on November 5, 1996 remains unknown.  An additional replacement transmitter was shipped out from England soon afterwards.
            Then in 1997, three more transmitters were shipped out to Sri Lanka from the recently closed VOA relay station at Gloria in Portugal.  These additional units were nine years old, Continentals at 250 kW Model 419F2.
            The first test transmissions from the new VOA Iranawila were noted in the United States on October 30, 1997.  One transmitter was on the air, and test tones were radiated progressively on several different shortwave channels. 
            Some eighteen months later, the station underwent a weeklong series of proof of performance tests, beginning on July 17, 1999.  At the end of seven long years of construction activity, this new VOA relay station was now on the air, carrying a full load of VOA programming beamed to the many countries of Asia.
            However, give another seventeen years, and the antenna systems needed considerable repair, including the replacement of a quarter million bolts due to salt air corrosion.  It was declared that the station was too expensive to operate, and it would be closed.  Friday June 10 (2016) was the last day of on air operation.  Next day, the station lay silent.
            On January 19 (2017), English newspapers in Colombo Sri Lanka reported that the VOA shortwave station at Iranawila was being dismantled.  The station assets would be taken over by the Sri Lankan army, Sri Lanka Telekom, and SLBC the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. 
            It was reported that SLBC planned to take over one of the 250 kW transmitters, presumably as a replacement at their recently acquired station in Trincomalee.  The land, now measuring only 410 acres for which VOA was paying $40,000 a year on lease, will be taken over by the island government and developed as an eco-friendly tourist zone.
            On March 16, 1999, two well known and highly respected international radio monitors, Anker Petersen from Denmark and Victor Goonetillike from nearby Colombo, paid a visit to the station by prior appointment, and they reported that the station contained 4 transmitters at 500 kW each, together with 26 curtain antennas. 
            At the time of closure in the middle of last year, the newspapers reported that the station contained a total of 8 transmitters in use; 6 at 250 kW and 2 at 500 kW.  At this stage, the 2016 edition of the WRTVHB listed 7 transmitters at Iranawila; 3 at 250 kW and 4 at 500 kW, though the 2004 edition of the WRTVHB listed 10 transmitters; 6 @ 250 kW and 4 at 500 kW.
            Relying upon all of the international radio reports over the past nearly quarter century, we would suggest that a total of 13 shortwave transmitters had been installed at VOA Iranawila, including the one that was destroyed by fire.  Only 8 were listed as active at the time when the station was closed. 
            What happened to the other 4 transmitters?  Were they active but not listed?  Were they on site but inactive?  Had they been removed and sold as scrap?  Or is our information not totally accurate?  I guess we will never know. 
            And in answer to another question: Was the VOA relay station at Iranawila the largest outside the United States?  It is true, VOA did contemplate enlarged plans for their station in Sri Lanka.   However, even if all 13 transmitters are taken into account, the VOA station at Tinang in the Philippines does actually possess a larger contingent of shortwave transmitters than the one in Sri Lanka.


Monday, March 13, 2017

QSL Report

2325 kHz (Tennant Creek), 2485 kHz (Katherine) and 4835 kHz (Alice Springs) verified as the last day transmission sent by regular postal mail with a nice, long e-mail response from Ryan MacArthur who works in Master Control at ABC Darwin. Received in 14 days. He attached a scan of their previous QSL card, since they no longer have any physical cards to send out. "Our presenters and staff enjoyed hearing from shortwave listeners all around the world. Most recently, we heard from a listener as far away as Finland.  It is a shame that yours will probably be the last correspondence we receive, now that the shortwave service has ended."
(Rich D'Angelo-PA-USA, DXplorer via wwdxc BC-DX TopNews March 5)

QSL card from the "Voice of the Andes" for Voronezh for the reception in Russian - 04 Febr 2017 at 1530-1600 UTC {only Saturdays, 1530 UT Russian, 1600 UT Chechen language, wb.) on 11900 kHz (the transmitter is MBR Nauen, Germany, 100 kW). The report sent via e-mail: Winter landscape on QSL. (DK  Dmitry Kutuzov, Ryazan, Russia / "deneb-radio-dx" via RUSdx #915 via wwdxc BC-DX TopNews March 12)

4055 kHz. E-QSL from Radio Verdad, plus photo and calendar, sticker and banner. Received via email fro e-report of 28 February 2017,at 0420-0450 UTC on 4055 kHz. Best to send via email, as mail has not worked for them for seven months. Email: (VL  Vasily Lazarev, Samara region, Russia, "deneb-radio-dx"
via RUSdx #915 via wwdxc BC-DX TopNews March 12)

7245 kHz. Received an E-QSL from Ovozi Tojik, plus photos of employees. They accepted the transmission of the radio station Ovozi Tochik in Russian on February 18, from 0800 to 0900 UTC.
(SR  Shukhrat Rakhmatullaev, Tashkent, Uzbekistan / "deneb-radio-dx" via RUSdx #915 via wwdxc BC-DX TopNews March 12)

7280 kHz. Received for station's Russian service, "Voices of Vietnam" for reception on January 15, 2017, at 1630-1658 UTC, via transmitter in Hanoi Son Tay 100 kW. Card notes "Lace bridge Longbyen." Reception report was sent via email to:
(WWDXC/Top News 13 March 2017)