Monday, April 30, 2018

Kim Jong Un announcers time change

Our regular contributor for North Korean broadcasting, Arnulf Piontek, sent word of North Korea's upcoming time change. From May 5, 2018, North Korea will adjust time to former UTC + 9 hours from then.

 Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, put forward a proposal for resetting the standard time of the DPRK. During his visit to the southern area for the third historic Inter-Korean summit and talks, he discussed with South Korean President Moon Jae in the matter of unifying the standard times of the north and the south.

He noted, proposing unifying the times before doing anything else. It is not an abstract meaning that the north and the south become one, but it is just a process in which the north and the south turn their different and separated things into the same and single ones, he said, expressing his resolution to unify the two times existing in the Korean peninsula as the first practical step for achieving national reconciliation and unity.

 True to his suggestion of examining and approving the proposal by a relevant field in the north, the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly adopted a decree "On Resetting the Pyongyang Time".

 The decree reads:  
Firstly, the Pyongyang time shall be reset into GMT+09:00 (30 minutes earlier than the present time) with 135 degrees of east longitude as the prime meridian.

Secondly, the reset Pyongyang time shall be applied from May 5, Juche 107 (2018). Thirdly, the Cabinet and relevant organs of the DPRK shall take practical measures to implement the decree.

By-hour listings in the upcoming summer edition of International Shortwave broadcast Guide, are based on the original summer schedules. It is unknown at this time how the time change will affect North Korean radio schedules. Any schedule adjustments will be posted at Shortwave Central.

According to hobby radio forum reports, North Korean broadcasts will be 30 minutes earlier UTC from that date.

Swaziland is now Kingdom of eSwatini

The Independent news announced that from April 28, 2018, the small landlock country of Swaziland, will be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini. King Mswati announced the change at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence.

Africa’s last absolute monarch was also celebrating the King's 50th birthday, and said the country was regaining the original name it had before being colonized by the British adding that whenever he goes abroad, people refer to Swaziland as Switzerland and therefore he wants to clear that confusion.

Before making this announcement, the king has been recently referring to the nation as ‘kingdom of eSwatini’ during international conferences like the UN General Assembly last year. Swaziland gained independence from Britain in 1968 and is a member of the Commonwealth.

Africa’s last absolute monarch was also celebrating the King's 50th birthday, and said the country was regaining the original name it had before being colonized by the British adding that whenever he goes abroad, people refer to Swaziland as Switzerland and therefore he wants to clear that confusion.

Before making this announcement, the king has been recently referring to the nation as ‘kingdom of eSwatini’ during international conferences like the UN General Assembly last year. Swaziland gained independence from Britain in 1968 and is a member of the Commonwealth.

All former listing's as TWR Swaziland, are now listed a eSwatini, TWR Africa in the summer edition of International Shortwave Broadcast Guide 2018.

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 Apr 30 0140 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 23 - 29 April 2018

Solar activity was very low. The strongest event of the period was a B2/Sf from Region 2706 (N03, L=281, class/area Dao/130 on 22 Apr) on 24/2145 UTC. The region slowly decayed to plage by 28 Apr. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.  No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit were at high levels on 23-24 Apr, normal to high levels on 25 and 28 Apr, and moderate to high levels on 26, 27 and 29 Apr. The slowly decaying elevated levels were enhanced from CH HSS activity prior to 23 Apr.
Geomagnetic field activity was mostly quiet with isolated periods of unsettled observed on 23 and 27 Apr. No notable disturbances in the solar wind were observed.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 30 April - 26 May 2018
Solar activity is expected to continue at very low levels over the outlook period.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 30 Apr and 07-26 May. Normal to
moderate levels are expected from 01-06 May. Enhancements in electron flux are expected due to the anticipation of multiple, recurrent CH HSSs.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to range from quiet to G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm levels. Quiet conditions are likely to persist until the arrival of the first of two negative polarity CH
HSSs. Unsettled conditions on 06 May are likely to increase to G1 (Minor) storm levels on 07 May before decreasing to active on 08 May and finally unsettled over 09-10 May as the CH HSS wanes. Quiet conditions are then likely to persist over 11-16 May until the arrival of the second CH HSS. G2 (Moderate) storm levels likely on 17 May during the onset of the CIR ahead of the HSS. Unsettled to
active conditions are likely on 18 May as total field strength decreases to around 5 nT with the HSS proper. Quiet to unsettled conditions are expected over 19 May as solar wind speeds slowly
taper off. The remainder of the outlook period is expected to be mostly quiet under a nominal solar wind environment.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2018 Apr 30 0140 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 2018-04-30
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 Apr 30      70           5          2
2018 May 01      70           5          2
2018 May 02      68           5          2
2018 May 03      68           5          2
2018 May 04      68           5          2
2018 May 05      68           5          2
2018 May 06      68           8          3
2018 May 07      68          15          5
2018 May 08      68          12          4
2018 May 09      68          10          3
2018 May 10      68           8          3
2018 May 11      68           5          2
2018 May 12      68           5          2
2018 May 13      68           5          2
2018 May 14      70           5          2
2018 May 15      70           5          2
2018 May 16      70           5          2
2018 May 17      70          42          6
2018 May 18      70          12          4
2018 May 19      70           8          3
2018 May 20      70           5          2
2018 May 21      70           5          2
2018 May 22      70           5          2
2018 May 23      70           5          2
2018 May 24      70           5          2
2018 May 25      70           5          2
2018 May 26      70           5          2

Sunday, April 29, 2018

May Specials from Airmail Postage & DX Supplies

Dear Customer,
Below are DX supply Offers and news for MAY 2018. 

DX Supplies 2018:  Sorry to say, but I do not plan to restock Euro envelopes once they sell out. Envelope sales for 2017 were half the envelope sales of 2016, and a dismal 20%  of what I sold in 2013. I know 2018's selling pace will be even slower. Below are listed new envelope ordering options designed to maximize sales based on what I have on hand.  QSL Albums and pages will not be restocked either, once supply is exhausted. At this point, it just doesn't make sense to re-stock items that take so long to sell...or not to sell.   DX Postage: Some countries will be deleted over time, when supply is exhausted.  US Discount postage offers will continue, as this is the only area of my business that shows growth. It's something.  Fountain Pens:   I'll continue my pen selling efforts to customers via email and in person at local flea/craft fairs and hamfests--- it's a day out to socialize...a good break. I have 11 events planned for this year---will certainly add 5+ new ones.


I will keep you informed of supply stock in future emails.


European AIR Mailers are almost gone!

QSL albums about 15 good ones and 4 slightly damaged ones remain..

European PLAIN Mailers are in greatest supply.

 QSLing Methods have changed greatly since I started this business about 35 yrs ago!!

 DISCOUNT POSTAGE!!:  The Forever stamps I have listed below in the grid are mostly full sheets. Single Forever stamps:  Offered CHEAP!!  None on hand now....but I'm sure to acquire more in the future...Stay tuned!

HAMFESTS & Flea Markets/Craft Shows:

May 5th: Ringoes Grange, Rt 179, Ringoes, NJ with pens and mech. pencil hoard.

July 15th: Sussex Hamfest, Augusta, NJ with pen/pencil hoard.



   Isle of Man increased to 1,40 GB pound for 20g rate early April

   Guernsey increased to 85p for 20g rate in early April

   Jersey increased to 94p for 100g rate

   Finland increases on May 18th: Int letter 20g priority goes to 1,60...Int letter 20g eco goes to 1,50

Domestic 1st class aka 1 LK is 1,50 for 100g within Finland....BUT can be used for Int eco....That is what I currently am supplying.

PLUS!! a nice bonus, just noted on Finland Post website...Old 2nd CL. (2 LK stamp) will get bump up to the 1,50 value of 1st Cl rate!! That's a kind gesture to their customers...Finland no longer has a 2nd class domestic rate. They could have just demonetized the 2 LK stamps....glad they didn’t and glad I kept my supply!!  You'll be seeing them when you order Finland, soon.

***IF you notice rate increases, let me know.***





Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster 

 your envelope with colorful vintage stamps!


50c units

in  3 stamps
4 stamps  
 5 stamps
x 100

x 200

x 500


        Sent to USA addresses only.        

Add $1.00 for P&H

       MAY 2018  DX  SUPPLY  OFFERS

NOTE: NEW Envelope Options With NEW PRICING!!!

50/50 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $16.00

200/200 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $45.00

400/400 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $85.00

200/200 European AIR Mailers and Plain Returns - $45.00

400/400 European AIR mailers and Plain Returns - $85.00


Wanna Use Just the One larger Euro Mailer Envelope?

$ave on These Clearance Deal$!

400 European PLAIN Mailers only - $40.00

400 European AIR Mailers only - $40.00


Slightly Damaged QSL Binder Sale!

(slight cut or break in green vinyl)

Buy Now & $ave!!

1 Standard Album - $30.00

2 Standard Albums - $55.00

100 #6-3/4 Forever Stamped Envelopes - $48.00

(save a little on shipping and order with other supplies!)

Only 3 remaining!!!

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

Animal and Insects in Radio - Part Two

On this occasion here in Wavescan, we present another episode in the story of animals and insects in radio - literally!  We begin with a story from Australia, back in the middle of the year 1936. 

            It just so happened that a wayward field mouse crept stealthily into the transmitter building of a medium wave station located in a country area adjacent to the River Murray in the state of New South Wales.  The radio station was the government-owned ABC mediumwave outlet, 2CO, which was located a few miles north of the town of Corowa and the mouse was a common field mouse.

            During his intrusive explorations, the mouse crawled unobserved into the 7½ kW transmitter itself.  Being unable to read, and not knowing just how dangerous this excursion could be, he crept stealthily over the high tension areas of the transmitter.  Unwittingly, he shorted the high tension to earth, there was a brilliant flash, and the medium wave channel 670 kHz went silent for half an hour.

            Likewise, there was a similar event at the small AWR shortwave station located at Forli in Italy.   The 10 kW Collins shortwave transmitter there had previously been on the air with the programming of Radio Free Europe in Holzkirchen in Germany, though with AWR in Forli the power level had been reduced to 2½ kW.  Back in October 1993, two mice entered that transmitter, they were electrically roasted, and they successfully put the station off the air.

            On at least a couple of occasions the American radio journal, Radio World, has drawn attention to the technical problems mice can cause in radio transmitters.  In 2002, they published a story about a radio engineer who had found on one occasion a large mouse nest inside a phasor housing unit.  Five years later, they also reported a suggestion from another radio engineer that copper wool or stainless steel wool could be stuffed into small openings to prevent them from otherwise being used by mice to gain entry into technical equipment.

            The larger rodent, the rat, can also cause its share of damage in the electronic equipment of a radio station.  The AWR shortwave station KSDA on the island of Guam reports that a rat entered one of their transmitters back in 1993; in so doing, the large rodent was roasted, and the transmitter turned silent.

            In a very interesting incident, Popular Communications (now no longer in print) reported that an American army Brigadier General was on service in South Vietnam during what Americans call the Vietnam War, and the Vietnamese call the American War.  The army officer was interested in Morse Code, and he would sometimes practice sending Morse Code on his own little Morse key and oscillator in his underground bunker.

            One evening, he was awakened by the sound of very irregular Morse Code coming from his little oscillator; and he was surprised to discover that a rat was playing with the Morse Code key and enjoying the sound it made.  The army officer stated that this unusual event occurred on several subsequent occasions.

            In the same issue of that now defunct American radio magazine Popular Communications, there is also a report that a swarm of flies put a radio station off the air in southern Sweden.  The small FM station, Radio Active in the town of Ystad, maintained a small transmitter building adjacent to their studio building.

            Unbeknownst to the staff, a swarm of flies had laid their eggs inside the transmitter equipment and when the eggs hatched, the new flies swarmed and disabled the transmitter.  When the main door to the small building was opened, many thousands of newly hatched flies swarmed out into the open air.  It took the staff another three hours to install new equipment and thus restore the station to its regular programming.

            That reminds me of another animal story that occurred here at WRMI in central Florida.  We have a very large C-band satellite dish which we use to receive the signal of Radio Japan.  We rebroadcast the Spanish service of Radio Japan live at 0400-0430 UTC on 5985 kHz. 

            Well, a year or so ago, we suddenly started having trouble getting the Radio Japan signal via the large satellite dish.  It was sporadic; sometimes it came in, and sometimes it didn’t.  We checked with the engineers at Radio Japan to see if they had made any changes to the satellite parameters that might account for the problem, but they said there had been no changes. 

            Our engineers scratched their heads and tried all kinds of things to try to figure out what was going on.  Finally, they went out to the dish, took the LNB receiving device off and looked down inside.  Much to their surprise, they found a wasp nest in there, and it was blocking the signal.  They very carefully removed that wasp nest and its inhabitants, and our listeners in Central America were once again able to hear NHK World from Tokyo.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 478)

The Northern Quebec Shortwave Service from RCI Shortwave in Sackville

RCI Sackville (Wikipedia)
It was in the Summer of the year 1923 that the Westinghouse radio complex in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania launched its earliest programming that was beamed on shortwave to the frigid areas of the far north in Canada.  This early programming grew into what became the KDKA-8XS Far Northern Service, and it was on the air from 1923 - 1940, a total of 18 years.

            Out of the KDKA-8XS Far Northern Service grew the equally famous Canadian Northern Messenger Service, a program that was originally produced by CRBC, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, in its Toronto studios at mediumwave CRCT in 1933.  This radio program,  the Canadian Northern Messenger, was taken over by CBC the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation nearly four years later towards the end of the year 1936.

            However, radio coverage of the far northern areas of Arctic Canada grew from this single weekly program on mediumwave and shortwave into a multi-station network of programming services, again on mediumwave and shortwave.  Here’s Ray Robinson with what happened.

            Back in 1938, CBC established a 50 kW mediumwave station, CBA, on the edge of the huge Tantramar Marshes near Sackville in the province of New Brunswick.  The Tantramar Marshes, one of the largest tidal salt water marshes in the world, cover an area of nearly 80 square miles.  They are located on the edge of the Bay of Fundy, which claims the highest tidal movement in the world, a rise and fall of 55 feet twice each day.  The maximum tidal rise there of 71 feet occurred in 1869.

            At the same location, they later installed an RCA 50 kW shortwave unit, and the first test broadcast on shortwave took place on December 16, 1944.  A few days later, on Christmas Day, CBC made a special broadcast for the benefit of Canadian personnel on duty in Great Britain and continental Europe.  A second shortwave transmitter was then added, and a regular daily international shortwave service via the two RCA 50 kW transmitters began exactly two months later, on February 25, 1945.

            A year or two later again, CBC began special programming that was beamed to the frozen north, and the two shortwave transmitters carried the same programming in parallel on 6090 and 9620 kHz.  At this stage, the northern programming was presented under the title CBC North West & Arctic Settlements.  During the winter, the Northern Messenger program was included in this shortwave scheduling.

            In 1958, the CBC announced plans to install a 50 kW shortwave transmitter in Vancouver, British Colombia, for coverage into the western areas of the Canadian Arctic, that is the Yukon and the North West Territories.  However, that project was never implemented, and instead the CBC augmented its daily Northern Service on shortwave from RCI Sackville and gave it a new name, The CBC Northern Canada Service.

            At this stage, the CBC also took over a small community medium wave station in Yellowknife, station CFYK on 1450 kHz, which had been established by the Royal Canadian Signal Corps in 1948.

            Nearly 40 years later, the Northern Canada Service became the Northern Quebec Shortwave Service, though it was still on the air from the same transmitter site at Sackville.  However, over the intervening years, the older 50 kW transmitters (by this time now three RCA units on air) were retired in favor of newer transmitters rated at 100 kW and ultimately 250 kW.

            In the 1960’s, a total of eight northern medium wave transmitters were carrying a relay of the CBC northern service, generally as an off-air relay from shortwave RCI Sackville.  In 1968, the CBA mediumwave transmitter and one 460 foot high antenna tower were removed from the Sackville shortwave station and re-installed near Moncton, New Brunswick, on Dover Road at Fox Creek.

             During the 1970’s, the specialized program service, the Northern Messenger, was phased out as no longer being necessary, due to other more modern forms of communication, though the Northern Quebec Shortwave Service itself continued as usual.

            The international shortwave service from CBC-RCI Sackville, with its official callsign CKCX, ended on June 23, 2012; though the Northern Quebec Shortwave Service was continued for several more months, coming to a final end on November 30 in the same year 2012.  The northern Canadian programming was now available via satellite, and a total of five new low power FM relay transmitters took over this programming for the benefit of small local communities.

            For much of the lifetime of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s northern programming, CBC issued a special QSL card for the verification of their shortwave programming from Sackville.  At least half a dozen of these very attractive QSL cards are known over the years.

            Interestingly, after the CBC-RCI shortwave station at Sackville was closed, the entire property was sold off.  In February 2017, a First Nations group, MTI, bought the entire property, including the 2½ storey building with its bevy of transmitters and additional electronic equipment.

            Included in the sale, was the on-site original RCA transmitter from 1944, Model MI733A, no longer in working condition, but preserved as a museum piece.  In an endeavor to save this historic transmitter from destruction and sale as metallic scrap, MTI offered it to any interested buyers for $5,000.

            And just a couple of months ago, in February this year, William Steele purchased the historic old unit and announced plans to install it as a museum piece in an old and equally historic prison that he procured a few years ago.  The prison is located in nearby Dorchester, New Brunswick.  The building is now in use as a guest house, and the old transmitter will occupy pride of place in a former prisoner cell.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 477)

Friday, April 27, 2018

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules, April 29 - May 5

From the Isle of Music, April 29-May 5:
International Jazz Day is April 30, and this year the official concert site is St. Petersburg, Russia, but in 2017, Havana was the official concert site, and this week we listen to some of that 2017 concert.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, Sun, April 29 and Tues, May 1:

What better way to celebrate the addition of Channel 292 to the UBMP family than with Colombian big band dance music?
Thanks to a recent trip to Colombia, we will be featuring some of the best of it in Episode 60.
1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz shortwave from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesdays  2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe.  If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to the Middle East, AND a long bounce to parts of New Zealand.

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
5713 N. St. Louis Av
Chicago IL 60659-4405
phone: 773.267.6548

Shortwave Radiogram schedules, Apri 27-30

Hello friends,

The first broadcast of Shortwave Radiogram program 45 is today (Friday) at 2030-2100 UTC on 7780 kHz from WRMI Florida. (Although reception tends to be difficult beyond eastern North America.)

Last weekend's experiment with six modes was interesting. Of the three fast Thor modes, Thor 100 seemed to be  less successful than Thor 50x1 and Thor 50x2. Of course, in difficult reception conditions, our "go to" MFSK32 mode prevailed over all the faster modes. Zach in Alabama had difficult reception of the Monday 0800-0830 UTC show, with these results:

MFSK128: <10 span="">📻MFSK64: <15 span="">📻MFSK32: ~75% 📻Thor50x1: <15 span="">📻Thor50x2: <10 span="">📻Thor100: <5 br="">
Videos and audio of last weekend's (program 44) broadcast can be accessed as follows:

UTC Time
Freq kHz
New York SDR
BlackApple 62
Audio archive

See also this analysis by Roger in Germany of last weekend's Shortwave Radiogram, as well as IBC, KBC, and Broad Spectrum Radio digital broadcasts.

This weekend's Shortwave Radiogram will be simpler, with only two modes: MFSK32 and MFSK64.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 45, 27-30 April 2018, in MFSK modes as noted:

1:36 MFSK32: Program preview
2:45 White House rejects US press freedom downgrade*
11:15 ESA's Sentinel-3b satellite*
18:02 MFSK64: Nuclear accidents make mutant bugs and birds*
25:28 Image of Virginia bluebells*
27:42 MFSK32: Closing announcements

* with image

Please send reception reports to

Twitter: @SWRadiogram or (check frequently during the weekend for listeners' results)

Shortwave Radiogram Program 45
(27-30 April 2018)

2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
9455 kHz
WRMI Florida
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
0800-0830 UTC

7730 kHz
5850 kHz
WRMI Florida

 The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 5960 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and (UTC 6 May KBC's new frequency at 0000-0200 UTC will be 9925 kHz.)

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)   Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule available here:

Broad Spectrum Radio MFSK32 might be available Monday 0730-0800 UTC on 5850 and 7730 kHz from WRMI Florida, although I heard only music on those frequencies on 23 April.
Thanks for your reception reports! 


 Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram
Reporting on international broadcasting at