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!
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.
Big L has had a pretty turbulent time broadcasting on 1395 kHz. The station has been off the air since around February 1, owing both to a weak daytime signal in the targeted audience area in England, technical problems with the transmitter and financial problems according to the usually very reliable Media Network blog.
When I heard them in January 2011, their signal was certainly very impressive at Lista (with a 800 long antenna, I have to add). The transmitter, located in Trintelhaven near Lelystad, The Netherlands, used to broadcast with a power of 20 kilowatts (reduced to 10 kilowatts at times).
Big L replied with a nice full detailed QSL-card as promised on their web page, some stickers and some information about the station. The QSL card is depicted above. Despite Big L being off the air, there was nothing in the information provided in their reply nor on their web page indicating that the station is no longer transmitting on 1395 kHz. Weird. Will the station ever return to the mediumwave band? I doubt it very much.