A number of low powered Dutch radio stations have started transmitting on mediumwave during the past year. Licensed Dutch radio that is, unlicensed Dutch stations (pirates) have existed for as long as I can remember. The pirates are still there, but for those of us who prefer listening to licensed and regular radio stations this is a welcome development.
The most common of these low powered stations is without doubt Radio Seabreeze AM transmitting from Grou in the north of The Netherlands on 1395 kHz. Radio Seabreeze transmits with a power of 100 watts from a transmitter located 1,3 metres below sea level. The station was heard with fair to good signals at Lista last winter playing nonstop pop music with a few annoncements in between the music played.
Marcel Joustra confirmed my reception with an e-mail and also sent a non data QSL card by postal mail (shown above). Marcel is also a HAM with the call sign PH1MRF and knows the importance of QSLs!
Hearing RTBF can’t be considered DX-ing as its 300 kilowatt transmitter at Wavre south east of Brussels on 621 kHz can be easily heard on almost any radio. This is a station I “forgot” to report in my DX-ing youth. An e-mail report a month ago resulted in a real QSL card in my mailbox (see above). My report was on RTBFs “La Première” programme.
I never thought I would get a reply from Mauritania. I tried several times when Radio Mauritanie transmitted on shortwave, but as with most other DXers no response.
In February we were very pleased about being able to hear Radio Mauritanie once again. Not on shortwave this time, but rather on mediumwave 783 kHz where Radio Mauritanie at times dominated the frequency. Reception was no doubt improved a lot by our antenna directed towards Spain and South America. Stations from North Africa were also heard well on this antenna.
An even greater surprise than hearing Radio Mauritanie was getting a reply from the station. Hasan Mohamed at the station replied with a short, but perfectly adequate e-mail verification within just a few hours.
Radio Mauritanie transmits with a power of 50 kilowatts on 783 kHz. Despite a powerful transmitter located outside the capital Nouakchott ,the station is not reported very often in Scandinavia.
Last year’s DX-pedition to Lista didn’t result in many new stations for us. A couple of new stations came through though, one of them being WPKZ in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on 1280 kHz. The dominant station on 1280 kHz is NotiUno in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, but WKPZ fought its way past the Puerto Rican one morning with a clear “K-Zone” identification in a sports programme.
Engineer Mark Bisbee confirmed my reception with a kind e-mail. He says their ground system of the antenna array has seen better days. Some of the copper radials have also gone missing over the years, so the efficiency of the antenna is not as good as when it was built back in 1950. The station is listed with a night time power of 1 kilowatt.
NBC Radio – “The Sound of The Nation” – in St. Vincent left the mediumwave band already in 2010. It used to be heard every now and then on its frequency 700 kHz even in Norway.
By chance, I saw NBC Radio recently sent a reply to a Finnish DX-er. Realizing I never sent a reception report to the station when it was still broadcasting on AM, I decided to give it a try too. After a couple of tries, I received a friendly reply from Colvin Harry, Program Manager at NBC Radio. Colvin says the AM transmitter went off air in 2010 following a lightning strike that fried a critical piece of equipment. Because of the repairing costs, it was decided to close the AM Service permanently in favour of FM and Internet only. Their AM Equipment is for sale right now so if anyone is interested I am sure they would love to get in touch…. 🙂
I received NBC Radio back in 2008 at Lista. Pretty good signal, but reception spoiled a bit by the super power transmitters of BBC on 693 kHz. Very pleased to get a reply out of this station – the only radio station which I have ever received from St. Vincent!
My first QSL in 2017 arrived yesterday from Jeff Pierce, Operations Manager at 560 WGAN in Portland, Maine. Jeff confirmed my audio file of the WGAN repeater WGIN on 1400 kHz.
WGIN was received briefly one morning on last year’s DX pedition to Lista. 1400 kHz is not the most interesting channel there as this frequency is almost always occupied by either CBG in Gander, Newfoundland and/or WOND in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Other US stations rarely make it through, even though there are plenty of stations which it should be possible to hear on this frequency.
WGIN does not have own programming, it merely relays the programming of News Radio WGAN. Previously, it used to relay the programming of 1490 WBAE branded as “1400 and 1490 The Bay”. WBAE is an old friend of ours and can be heard easily on 1490 kHz every time at Lista. Both 560 WGAN, 970 WZAN, 1400 WGIN and 1490 WBAE belongs to the Portland Radio Group.
The transmitter of WGIN is located in Biddeford south of Portland and is meant to cover the York County. The power of the transmitter is 1 kilowatt.
The traditional (and for my part annual) DX-pedition to Lista took part during the first week of February. My DX partners in crime this time was Torgeir Nyen and Tore Johnny Bråtveit.
Conditions were very different from my last 5-6 trips to Lista thanks to much more disturbed conditions this time. This naturally lead to less North American stations being heard. Stations from Central and South America were present on many frequencies though. It has been many years since we heard so many stations from Latin America – a welcome change from what we usually hear at Lista!
Besides the usual 800 metre long antenna directed towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba, we also set up an antenna aimed at UK and Spain. This antenna proved very successful with UK and Spanish stations popping up on nearly all frequencies. Many of the Spanish stations were new to us. The UK/Spain antenna also provided a number of stations from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, a DX area which for us is mostly uncharted territory.
Highlights worth special mentioning was hearing RdP Açores on 828 Khz and Mauretania on 783 kHz. Personally, I especially enjoyed hearing the UK low power stations L&D Radio on 1134 kHz and Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio on 1575 and the new Dutch low power stations Groeistad Radio and Radio Babylona, both on 747 kHz. Most interesting Transatlantic catches noted so far: 960 YVSS Radio San Sebastián, 970 CX22 Radio Universal, 1200 WJUA Pine Island Center FL and 1490 WCEC Haverhill MA.
Our log is now available as a Google Docs spreadsheet. As usual the log is a work in progress with new stations added as our recordings are examined.