Updates to this blog has been very scarce lately. Very few reception reports have understandably resulted in even fewer QSLs. The first QSL since April arrived some weeks ago when Jana Pusova of Czech Radio Dechovka replied with a full detail verification card attrached as a PDF file.
This was for a reception report from Lista in January 2014 when I had excellent reception of the station on 1233 kHz. Radio Dechovka broadcast with a power of 6 kilowatts when I heard them, but has since risen the power to 10 kilowatts. This should cover the entire country and also many of the neighbouring countries. The main AM transmitter is located in Libeznice just north of Prague.
Radio Dechovka has been on the air on 1233 kHz since May 2013, but started broadcasting on the Internet already in July 2009. The station describes itself as “the first brass music radio station in the Czech Republic”. When asked if Radio Dechovka is also the first brass music radio station in the world, Jana replies that there are also some brass music stations in Slovakia, but these are only Internet radio stations wihout on air announcers. Czech brass music is certainly not my favourite music, but nice still to see that there is also a market for such niche radio stations! :-)
Another gap in my QSL collection: In my 30 year DX career I have never bothered reporting the national radio channels from Hungary. Both Kossuth Rádió (National Programme 1) and Petöfi Rádió (National Programme 2) have been regular guests for many years. Petöfi Rádió is now gone from the mediumwave band, but Kossuth Rádió is still going strong. Their 2000 kilowatts transmitter at Solt in Central Hungary is the most powerful mediumwave transmitter in Europe and even in the world (shared with 3 mediumwave transmitters in Saudi Arabia which also transmits with a power of 2000 kilowatts).
Although Kossuth Rádió is certainly the most commonly heard station on 540 kHz at Lista too, it is by no means the only station heard because our antennas are pointing towards the Americas there. The signal of Kossuth Rádió was very strong one morning at Lista last January and I finally submitted a reception report. Miklós Kenderessy, Director of the Technical Department at MTVA sent me a very detailed verification letter by registered mail last week and also included a fridge magnet of Kossuth Rádió.
I recorded the entire longwave band for about 1 hour at Lista back in January. I have several gaps in my QSL collection from longwave stations. One of the stations I have never bothered reporting was the Czech longwave station at Topolná.
Motivated by rumours of the station closing down at the end of February (it is hard to obtain QSLs from stations which have closed down!) , I sent along a CD and a letter directly to the transmitter station at Topolná. Some weeks later I received a nice full data QSL card (depicted above) and a postcard of Topolná village.
The longwave transmitter wasn’t turned out on February 28, 2014 though, as originally annnounced. The power of the transmitter, however, was reduced to just 50 kilowatts. Compared to the 650 kilowatts used when I heard them in January, this means that the signal is now considerably weaker than it was. The transmitter still transmits the “Radiožurnál” programme of Czech national radio (“Český rozhlas”).
Hearing Iceland’s national radio Ríkisútvarpið on longwave isn’t exactly “hard core dx”, but it is a fun station to listen to both because of the beautiful Icelandic language and because of the often nice programming they carry.
At Lista we often monitor Iceland’s longwave channels 189 and 207 kHz to see how propagation is across the North Atlantic. Strong signals from Iceland usually implies good propagation to North America on mediumwave.
I sent along a recording of Ríkisútvarpið’s longwave signal to Sigrún Hermannsdóttir who confirmed my reception of the station with a brief but friendly letter. This recording was made at Lista one evening in January when we had good signals from both transmitters, especially from 189 which suffers from less interference than 207 kHz. At this time the programme heard was the national programme 2 called RÁS2.
The longwave transmitters mainly serve the Icelandic fishing fleet in the North Atlantic Ocean. The transmitters are located at Gufuskálar on the western coast of Iceland (189 kHz -300 kilowatts) and at Eiðar on the North East coast of Iceland (207 kHz – 100 kilowatts). The radio mast at Gufuskálar is the tallest structure in Western Europe, according to Wikipedia.
WEEX was heard briefly at Lista in January 2011. Previous attempts at getting a reply from the station were all in vain untill Tom Fallon, Program Director, confirmed my reception of WEEX some weeks ago. My thanks to Bjarne Mjelde for providing a working e-mail address for Tom and especially (of course) to Tom for replying to my not-so-perfect recording of his station.
1230 kHz is a frequency where it is possible to dig out many North American stations. I have only been able to hear WEEX once so far, so WEEX is definitely not the most commonly heard station on the frequency. WEEX broadcasts with a night time power of 1 kilowatt from Easton, Pennsylvania. The station usually carries ESPN programming.
Another good catch from the latest DX-pedition to Lista was hearing WCRW at close down on 1190 kHz. On 1190 kHz we usually only hear WLIB in New York in the evenings, but on this DX-pedition the signal of WCRW was also heard several evenings just prior to their close down at 22.15 UTC. WCRW was heard with a perfect station identification before playing “Stars and Stripes” at sign off. Prior to that, the programming consisted of a relay of the English language programme from China Radio International.
WCRW broadcasts from Leesburg, Virginia, north west of Washington DC with a listed day time power of 50 kilowatts. Hearing day timers is always fun, and this was a new one for both of us. Brian C. Edwards, Vice President of Operations and Engineering at New World Radio Group confirmed our reception of WCRW with a friendly e-mail.
WYSL was heard with a very good signal at 22.00 UTC on January 16 at Lista. The signal disappeared just after 22:00, when they powered down from 13.2 kilowatts power to their night time power of 500 watts. WYSL is a news talk radio station serving the Rochester area in New York. The city of license is Avon just south of Rochester.
Robert D’Angelo, Business Manager at WYSL, confirmed my reception of his station some weeks ago.