Last season’s DX trip to Lista was not a big success with in general mediocre to poor conditions. Listening through the recordings afterwards haven’t been very exciting either. Luckily, there were exceptions. One of the biggest surprises when reviewing the recordings was discovering the signal of a station I haven’t even heard about earlier: Radio Glan Clwyd broadcasting from Bodelwyddan in North Wales. The station faded up on 1287 kHz one afternoon playing pop music with some jingles in between the music played.
Radio Glan Clwyd is a hospital radio station broadcasting from Glan Clwyd Hospital (or Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Welsh). Station Manager Chris Reeves, who is even a HAM with the call sign GW8FVI, confirmed my reception of the station and says the station broadcasts with a power of 4 watts ERP from a 10 metre vertical antenna.
My very first QSL from Washington State arrived quite some time ago when Rick Van Cise, Program Director at KOMO in Seattle sent a kind e-mail confirming my reception of KOMO on 1000 kHz. A couple of weeks later an envelope also arrived in my mailbox containing a.o. some KOMO pens and even a KOMO ice scraper which will no doubt be used now that fall and winter arrives here in Norway.
Receiving stations from the West Coast of North America is rare at our listening post at Lista. We have been able to catch only a handful of stations from the west coast through the years. My report to KOMO dated back to November 2009 when we enjoyed pretty good reception of KOMO on 1000 kHz. Reception of KOMO is of course completely different in Arctic Scandinavia where the 50 kilowatt signal of KOMO can easily be heard in the winter season.
In January I was again back at Lista on the south western coast of Norway with my good friend Torgeir Nyen for a weekend of DX-ing and a much needed break from the usual work and family life. A 800 metre long antenna towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba and a 500 metre long antenna towards the Midwest/West Coast of North America was again rolled out, with the hope of catching many new US and Canadian stations.
Sadly conditions were pretty poor and well below average this time making it one of the less memorable trips to Lista. Just like last year, propagation indices were pretty good, but the actual propagation was poor with average signal levels. Add to that significantly more splash from nearby European stations than usual. The frequencies 1360 and 1370 kHz were e.g. unusable due to splash from nearby UK stations most of the time.
Just like the last several years, signals from Central and South America were more or less absent during the entire DX-pedition. The Transatlantic signals making it through to our radios were mainly from the US and Canada. Despite average to poor conditions, some interesting stations were noted such as 950 WTLN Orlando FL, 1280 WPKZ Fitchburg MA, 1380 WPHM Port Huron MI, 1390 WMER Meridian MS, 1420 WBSM New Bedford MA, 1420 WCED DuBois PA, 1590 WIJK Ocean City MD and 1610 CHRN Montréal QC.
Our log is available in a Google Docs spreadsheet. As usual the log is a work in progress with new stations added continuously as the files from our Perseus and SDR-IQ trawlers are examined.
Hearing daytimers from Texas is by no means a common occurence. At Lista in January 2014, however, we were lucky to catch the signal of Christian station KCTA signing off at 00.00 UTC. Their signal was quite good at close down, even beating the signal of superdominant station on 1030 kHz WBZ in Boston for a minute or two.
KCTA is a daytime only station broadcasting with a power of 50 kilowatts. For this they call themselves “the most powerful station in South Texas”. The station is located in the coastal city of Corpus Christi and broadcasts traditional and conservative Christian programming.
My attempts in contacting KCTA by e-mail resulted in absolutely nothing. A letter and CD sent by postal mail (yes, this is still possible…) was substantially more successful. Gracie Dinsdale sent me a nice and friendly letter also by postal mail. Besides confirming my reception of the station, Gracie also enclosed a colourful KCTA calendar, some stickers and a pen. Such a reply is certainly not a common occurence in 2016!
First QSL in more than 4 months: Italian semi-pirate I AM Radio sent me a nice QSL card (see above) just 6 days after submitting a reception report my e-mail. The QSL card was sent from Milan, but the exact location of the station and of its transmitter remains unknown. The excellent European Mediumwave Guide just refers to the transmitter site as “Northern Italy”. According to the European Mediumwave Guide, I AM Radio transmits with a day time power of 500 watts and a night time power of 1 kilowatt.
I AM Radio is an easy catch on 1350 kHz here in Southern Norway, and can be heard most evenings. My reception of I AM Radio was made one evening at our most recent DX-pedition to Lista (January 2015).
The outbreak Pridnestrovie Republic in Moldova has a large radio transmitter site with several mediumwave and many shortwave transmitters as shown above. The exact location of the complex is Maiac east of the city of Grigoriopol not far from the border with the Ukraine.
3 mediumwave frequencies (999 kHz, 1413 kHz and 1548 kHz) are currently in use from Maiac. I sent a reception report to Sergey Omelchenko, Technical Director of Pridnestrovskiy Radiotelecentr, for a report on 999 kHz some time ago. Sergey promptly replied with an e-mail with this nice full detail QSL-card as an attachment. The frequency of 999 kHz is currently only used for broadcasts from Trans World Radio. My report was made at Lista in January 2015 for a broadcast in Ukrainian and in Russian.
Vahon Hindustani Radio has been heard quite regularly here since they started broadcasting on 1557 kHz in October 2012. When the station changed its AM frequency to 1566 kHz in December 2013, reception clearly improved here as 1566 kHz is subject to much less interference than 1557 kHz.
QSL Manager Koos Wijnants promptly verified my reception of the station with a “do-it-yourself” QSL card. My reception was made one afternoon at Lista last January. According to the QSL card, Vahon Hindustani Radio is a cable radio station owned by the Hindustani community and has around an estimated 30.000 listeners in and around The Hague. The transmitter is located at Nootdorp near The Hague using two 500 W power modules.