Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend VOA Radiogram Schedule

Hello friends,

This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will include some experiments.

Simultaneous text and image. One experiment will be the simultaneous transmission of text and an image. The text of the VOA News story about men overeating will be transmitted in MFSK32 at the usual center audio frequency of 1500 Hz. The MFSK32 image accompanying this story will be transmitted simultaneously at a center audio frequency of 2200 Hz. You will need two instances of Fldigi; that is, start Fldigi once, then start it again. If you cannot run two instances of Fldigi (some operating systems don’t allow it), you can decode the image at 2200 Hz later from a recording. (You could also run Fldigi and MultiPSK simultaneously.)

At 15 seconds after the text begins, a tuning signal will help you find the exact center frequency near 2200 Hz. The image itself will start 20 seconds after the tone begins.

 I had to reduce the audio level of both the text and image by 3 dB so that the combined audio of the text and image would not overload the transmitter and your receiver. This simultaneous transmission will be followed by the image only, at 1500 Hz, and at full audio level. 

QR codes. The broadcast will include two QR codes.  They look like this …

You scan the QR code, usually with your mobile device, to obtain information.

The first QR code will follow the VOA News Story about Middle East hackers. It will provide the link to the full text of the story. The second QR code will be at the end of the show, with the VOA Radiogram transmission schedule.

I don’t know much about QR codes, so your advice would be appreciated. Are the transmitted QR codes too big? Unnecessarily big? How small can I make them? (The smaller they are, the less time required to transmit them.)

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 138, 21-22November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:
 1:32  Program preview
2:44  Earth-like exoplanet may not be habitable*
7:29  New tool to search for extraterrestrial life*
11:13  Analysts warn of Middle East hackers*
20:43  Men overeat to show off to women (simultaneous image)*
23:45  Closing announcements*
28:41  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule

* with image

Please send reception reports to .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. This is part of the KBC broadcast to North America Saturday 2300  UTC to Sunday 0200 UTC on 7395 kHz. Reception reports for KBC reception and decoding to Eric: .

Thanks for your reception reports. Today I hope to answer the last of the reports from program 130, then I’ll put together the MFSK image gallery from program 131.

I hope you can tune in and write in.  Have fun with the experiments.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

DXtreme Announces New Log X

Product Announcement
DXtreme Reception Log X (Version 10.0)
DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for radio monitoring enthusiasts: DXtreme Reception Log X™ (Version 10.0).
Like other logging programs, DXtreme Reception Log X lets listeners and DXers log the stations they’ve heard. But unlike other logging programs, Reception Log X provides advanced features that can add a new dimension to logging activities.
New Features in Version 10.0
 Afreet Ham CAP1 Integration — Lets users run short- and long-path propagation predictions from the Schedule Checker, Reception Log, Countries, and Transmitter Sites windows. Reception Log X sends key data to Ham CAP which, in turn, displays a chart showing the signal-to-noise-ratio prediction by time and frequency and a Mercator projection showing the current propagation prediction for the path between the user and the target station.
 Improv Imaging™ — A dedicated tab on the Reception Log window, Improv Imaging lets users associate ad hoc images with log entries. Users can capture from their screen, scan from their image scanner, or paste from the Clipboard any images they want to associate with a displayed log entry, such as screen captures of stations received on digital applications, waterfall displays, Amateur TV pictures, Ham CAP maps showing propagation conditions at the time of reception, etc. An Improv Image Explorer lets uses peruse their collection of Improv images, and call up the log entries with which they are associated.
 Preview QSL Image Viewer — Is now larger and expandable on the Verification tab of the Reception Log window, and the new QSL Image Explorer lets uses peruse their collection of QSL images, and call up the log entries with which they are associated.
 Colorful User Experience Enhancements — Lets users set the foreground and background colors of heading and data rows on grids throughout the program — one set of foreground and background colors for odd data rows, and another for even data rows — making it easier to view schedules on the Schedule Checker, log entries on the Last Log Entries grid and window, and data in Reports.
Advanced Features
 Schedule Checker™ — Lets users import schedules from Aoki, EiBi, and FCC AM web sites and display that schedule data according to the filter criteria they specify. A list box lets users switch between the schedules at will. And, depending on the schedule type, users can filter schedule information by band, frequency, station, country, city, state, time of day, language, antenna direction, and target area. When the What’s On Now? function is activated, the schedule refreshes automatically at the top of each hour for Aoki and EiBi schedules.
For each schedule item, Schedule Checker queries the Reception Log X database to let users know – by means of user-defined, foreground and background display colors – whether they need to monitor a station for a brand-new or verified country. Schedule Checker also displays bearing and distance, runs Ham CAP propagation predictions and DX Atlas azimuth plots2, tunes supported radios to schedule frequencies when double-clicking schedule items3, and starts log entries for scheduled stations.
 Last Log Entries Grid— Located on the Reception Log window, the grid shows up to 5000 of the most recent log entries added. Its records can be sorted, and double-clicking records displays detailed data on the Reception Log window.
Users can resize the grid columns and scroll horizontally to columns that do not appear initially. But because the names of stations and NASWA countries can be quite long, users can also display a larger, resizable Last Log Entries window. A Properties dialog box lets users change the order of columns, the number of log entries to display, and the foreground and background colors and font attributes of grid headings and data rows system-wide.
 Reception Reports — Users can create customized paper and e-mail reception reports plus club report entries for reporting catches to clubs and magazines.
 Social Media Posting — When users add or display a log entry, Reception Log X prepares a post announcing their DX catch and displays it on the Social Media Post tab. From there, users can drag the post to their favorite social media web site(s) to share their catch with others4.
Using the Script Editor window, users can create and edit social media scripts that format social media posts to their liking. A browse button lets users select the script they want to use. Three scripts come with Reception Log X.
 Direct Print SWL and Address Labels — Users can prepare SWL and Address labels for direct output to their printers, and print labels one-at-a-time or in any number up to the maximum number of labels on each page of label stock.
 Rig Control — Retrieves the frequency and mode from supported radios and permits tuning from the Schedule Checker and Reception Log windows.
 Multimedia Features — An embedded Audio facility lets users maintain an audio archive of stations heard. An integrated QSL Imaging™ facility lets users scan, display, and explore QSL and e-QSL images.
 Performance Reporting — Produces reports that track the performance of the user’s monitoring station, and lets users FTP those reports to user-provided Web space for remote access. Reports integrate with DX Atlas to generate pin maps.
 Support for Monitoring Amateur Radio Operators — Users can retrieve call sign and address information for monitored hams from optional Web services (, Buckmaster™ HamCall™, and QRZ XML Logbook Data) and send automatic eQSL requests to monitored hams via
 Documentation — Includes on-line Help and a Getting Started Guide.
Operating Systems, Pricing, Contact Information
DXtreme Reception Log X runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista®, and XP. It retails for $89.95 USD worldwide for electronic distribution. Pricing for CD versions and upgrading users is available on our Web site. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail. For more information, visit
or contact Bob Raymond at
1 — Licenses for Afreet Ham CAP and Omni-Rig are required to use Ham CAP. 2 — A license for Afreet DX Atlas is required to perform plots and create pin reports. 3 — A license for Afreet Omni-Rig is required to use rig control with radios supported by Omni-Rig. 4 — The social media web site must be capable of accepting drag-and-drop operations; for sites that do not, users can copy and paste from the Clipboard.
(Bob Raymond)

The World’s Smallest Radio Island ... Another Tin Can Island

Willis Island Australia (VK9WI)
Back in the year 1861, the British government issued a decree in which the definition of an island was described.  This government decree stated that any small dot projecting above the surface of the ocean may be described as an island, if there is an inhabitant living on it, or if there is sufficient pasturage for just one sheep.  That means then, that Willis Island, off the eastern coast of Australia, is therefore officially classified as an island.
            Willis Island lies in the Coral Sea some 300 miles off the eastern coast of Queensland and out beyond the furthest edges of the Great Barrier Reef.  A little cluster of small islands and cays stretches for 7½ miles running northwest-southeast, and Willis Island is the third and last island to the south.
            Willis Island is aligned in the same northwest-southeast direction; it is an elliptical island around 1600 feet long and 500 feet wide, with the highest prominence at an elevation of just 30 feet.  There is very little growing on the island, though it is described as a very noisy island with the cackles and the calls of numerous birds, day and night.  The Booby Gannet can dive and catch and swallow flying fish, and the Frigate Bird can squabble with the Booby Gannet, thus making it disgorge its recently caught prey, which then becomes food for the aggressor.
            This little island was discovered in 1853 by Captain Pearson aboard the ship “Cashmere”, and it was named “Willis” in honor of the owner of the ship.  Seven years later, the island was surveyed by Captain H. M. Denham aboard the royal navy vessel HMS “Herald”, and in more recent times it was absorbed into the Australian Coral Seas Island Territory.  Willis is Australia’s (and the world’s) smallest inhabited island, and you could take a leisurely walk around the entire island in 15 minutes. 
            During the year 1921, John King Davis installed a small wireless station on Willis Island, together with ancillary buildings and a residence for two personnel.  This small habitation was  established in order to furnish advance weather information to mainland Australia, and the entire project was under the auspices of the government Bureau of Meteorology.  The term of duty back then for the two officers on this lonely and isolated island was 6 months.
            The new wireless equipment consisted of a 1½ kW spark transmitter and a crystal set receiver, together with a power generator and a wooden aerial mast.  The transmitter operated on either 300 or 500 kHz for communication with the AWA maritime station VIC at Cooktown on the Queensland coast.  In those days, 500 kHz was a main operating channel, simply because it was the natural resonant frequency of an untuned antenna on an average sized ocean going vessel.
            The official opening day for the new wireless station with the irregular callsign CGI was November 7, 1921, and the event was celebrated by raising the Australian flag on the radio mast.
            In 1928, Eric Riethmuller built a small shortwave transmitter at the York Street facility of AWA in Sydney, and he took this equipment to Willis Island for use during his term of service.  Thus, voice communication in addition to messages in Morse Code was enabled by the operators at station CGI on Willis.  This transmitter operated on 32 meters shortwave.  
            Three years later, AWA took over station CGI and they incorporated it into their widespread Coastal Radio Network which spanned the entire continent of Australia, and beyond throughout the islands in the South Pacific.  At this stage, the callsign on Willis was regularized to VIQ, a callsign that was held previously on Macquarie Island; and at the same time, AWA extended the term of service to one year.
            In 1934, Paddy Whelan began a year long stint as the radio operator on Willis Island, together with meteorologist  R. MacKenzie.  Whelan, whose home was apparently in country Queensland, was already an amateur radio operator with the call VK4KR.  He took his own amateur radio equipment to the island, and also a bundle of gramophone records.
            Soon after he arrived on the island, Whelan began a series of radio broadcasts over his own small transmitter in which he played records and made station announcements.  These broadcasts were radiated with a power of 10 watts on 1185 kHz under his home callsign VK4KR.  In those days, it was not only legal for an amateur radio operator to make out-of-hours program broadcasts on mediumwave, but they were encouraged to do so.
            A listener in New Zealand, the well known Merv Branks at Winton in the South Island, heard one of these low power radio broadcasts and he sent a reception report to the station.  In due course, Branks received a QSL letter of confirmation, perhaps the only QSL ever issued for these special program broadcasts from lonely isolated Willis Island.  This unique QSL letter is held in the archives of the Hocken Library in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand.
            Beginning in 1933, the very new passenger/cargo ship Malaita 2, began a regular periodic voyage from Sydney, up to New Guinea and nearby islands, and then back again to Sydney, a six week double journey.  As the ship passed Willis Island, sealed cans containing mail, newspapers and food packages, were tossed into the ocean, and the resident operators on the island would go out in a canoe to retrieve the floating tin cans.
            It was subsequently estimated that the islanders were able to retrieve about 50% of these highly prized deliveries over the years.  Even to this day, envelopes rubber stamped with the ship name, Malaita, and Willis Island delivery, are valuable collector’s items.  This delivery of mail by throwing a sealed Tin Can into the ocean was in vogue in earlier years at three other widely separated locations: Cape Race in Newfoundland, Cocos Island in the Indian ocean, and Niu’afoou in the Tonga group in the South Pacific.     
            During World War 2, it was initially thought that the staff on Willis Island could be in danger due to an attack from an enemy submarine.  However, it was subsequently discovered that the Japanese had deciphered the coded weather messages, and they used the information to their own advantage.  Thus, Willis Island was safe.
            The facilities on Willis Island were completely rebuilt in the early 1950s; and then in 1957 Cyclone Clara severely damaged the station with the onslaught of wind gusts rated at 125 mph.
While repairing the damaged facilities in the aftermath of Clara, shortwave voice equipment completely replaced the usage of Morse Code.  Then eight years later again, the transmitter equipment was changed to SSB single side band operation.
            Some time during the year 2009, a passing cruise ship was in radio communication with Willis Island, and the radio operator on the island made a special radio broadcast to the ship, giving the long and interesting history of the island.  This broadcast from the island was received aboard the ship, and the programming was fed into the ship’s public address system for.the benefit of all passengers.  
            Another cyclone, this time in 2011 and named Yasi, buffeted the island with wind gusts up to 115 mph and this time the impact of wind and wave modified the shape of the island.  It took nearly a year to bring all of the island’s radio and weather equipment back to parr.
            Over the years, among all of the 250 people who have served on Willis Island, only four women have been granted this opportunity, and these were:-    
Denise Allen 1983 & 1984,       V. G. Woolley 1984 & 1985,   C. Spry 1989 & 1990,   E. Foley 1991, 1992 & 1994.           
            We might add that Denise Allen subsequently joined an expedition to Antarctica in her role as a trained meteorologist.  It would be interesting to learn as to whether E. Foley who served on Willis Island in the 1990s was in some way related to Eileen Foley who was the manager and announcer for the shipboard radio station VK9MI aboard the Kanimbla in the 1930s.
             These days, the facilities on Willis Island are quite uptodate and modern, with many of the same amenities you would find in the homes on the Australian mainland.  You can take a picturesque two minute aerial tour of Willis Island on Youtube by clicking on Willis Island Aerial View.

 (AWR Wavescan/NWS 351)

Upcoming Radio Marconi International Test Broadcast

Greetings from Italy!

Here is the schedule for the next test broadcasts of Marconi Radio International:

21st November 2015, from 1300 to 1430 UTC
22nd November 2015, from 0900 to 1300 UTC
25th November 2015, from 1800 to 1930 UTC

Our frequency is 11390 kHz and power in the region of 30 watts. Test broadcasts consist of non stop music, station identification announcements in Italian, English, Spanish as well as DX shows in English and Italian.

MRI encourages reception reports from listeners. Audio clips (mp3-file) of our broadcasts  are welcome!

Until now reception reports, found to be correct, have been received from 13 countries:  Austria,  Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. We are anxious to receive feedbacks from more countries!

We QSL 100%. Our E-mail address is:

We hope that you will share this information with your members.

Thank you very much for your cooperation

Marconi Radio International (MRI)
Short wave test broadcasts from Italy
on 11390 kHz
(Dario Monferini/Cumbre DX)

The Radio Scene in Nepal - Regional Radio in the Himalayas

We come now to the fifth topic in this mini-series of presentations on the radio scene in the high mountainous kingdom of Nepal, and on this occasion, we look at the regional radio stations throughout their country, as well as the information regarding QSL cards from Radio Nepal.
            Beginning in the early 1980s, a whole new network of regional radio broadcasting stations was installed throughout Nepal, with financial aid and technical assistance from Japan.  Initially, the program feed from new studios in Kathmandu was by shortwave to the regional locations, though a higher quality program feed became available subsequently when a system of microwave units originating in Kathmandu and fanning out to the regional stations was inaugurated.    
            The first new facilities were officially inaugurated in a special ceremony on May 9, 1983, with a new suite of studios in Kathmandu, new mediumwave and shortwave transmitters on the edge of Kathmandu, and a new regional mediumwave station, complete with studios and a 100 kW transmitter at Pokhara, 85 miles north west of the capital city.  The operating channel for this new regional station was 684 kHz and its signal was heard quite widely in the subcontinental areas.  An additional 10 kW transmitter was installed as a standby unit.
            Two  more 100 kW regional stations with their own studios and an emergency 10 kW transmitter were constructed in Dhanakuta in eastern Nepal (648 kHz), and at Surkhet in the midwestern area of their country (576 kHz).  Two additional smaller stations at 10 kW each were installed at Dipayal in the far west (810 kHz), and Bardibas, 40 miles south east of the city (1143 kHz).  This latter station was originally intended to operate as a second program stream for the Kathmandu Valley, though these days it seems to be off the air.
            Interestingly, Radio Nepal announced some time around the turn of the century that they planned to erect a regional shortwave station, in addition to the main stations on the edge of Kathmandu.  This new station was to be co-located with a mediumwave station that was already on the air; it was intended to give coverage to the western areas of the country; and it would be a safety backup facility if any event should take the main Kathmandu station off the air. 
            The location for this intended new shortwave station would be near Surkhet, cosited with the 100 kW mediumwave station already on the air on the western side of the country.  However, nothing more has been heard about this projected station during the past 15 years.
            It is true, that there are many QSL cards from Radio Nepal in the collections of international radio monitors in various parts of the world.  However, obtaining a QSL from Radio Nepal could always be quite difficult.  The Heritage collection in Indianapolis holds many such cards, though most of them were obtained during personal visits to the station.
            For a couple of years, an onsite volunteer did issue QSL cards on behalf of Radio Nepal.  This was back around 1983 and 1984 and the Honorary QSL Secretary was Miss Mohini Shepherd.  During this time, Mohini was also providing uptodate news and information about Radio Nepal for broadcast in the old AWR DX program, Radio Monitors International.
            The early QSL cards from Radio Nepal were generally plain text cards with occasional printing variations, though in the 1990s, a full color country snow scene was featured on their regular QSL card.

            Back around half a century ago, it was thought that there was a small BFBS British Forces Broadcasting station on the air at the British Army Gurkha base at Dharan in eastern Nepal.  However, it was said subsequently that this broadcast facility was simply a cable radio service over the camp amplifier system.  These days though, BFBS is on the air on FM in Kathmandu itself.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 350)

Radio Broadcasting from the Statue of Liberty

            More than a thousand years ago, the Lenape people, a sub tribe of the Delaware Native Americans, arrived into the area of North America now known as New York and New Jersey.  In those days, they harvested the oyster beds in the tidal flats of New York Harbor for an abundant supply of food. 
            In fact, when the Europeans began to settle in the nearby localities, they named a cluster of three islands in New York Harbor as the Oyster Islands.  These three islands were individually designated as Black Tom, Ellis and Bedloe’s. 
            On the map, Black Tom Island originally seemed to have the shape of a Black Cat, though some authorities state that the island was named after an early resident.  Originally, Black Tom Island was a separate geographic unit of 20 acres, though due to land reclamation in the harbor, this island was ultimately absorbed into the New Jersey shoreline.
            Ellis Island gained its fame as the point of entrance for European migrants processing into the United States, and during its more than half century of official duty, more than twelve million people passed through its corridors.  Originally, Ellis Island was very small at only 2¾ acres, though through the harbor reclamation projects, it was expanded to 27 acres.  These days, Ellis Island is simply a major historic tourist attraction.
            Nearby is another Island, Governor’s Island, though this much larger island is not listed as one of the original Oyster Islands.  This island was originally 69 acres in area, and landfill from underground railway tunnels in New York City has increased its size to 172 acres.     
            Bedloe’s Island was named in 1609 in honor of an early Dutch colonist, Isaac Bedloe.  Over the years, this island has changed hands between the Dutch and the English and the French and various American interests on several occasions, until it was ultimately determined that the island belongs to New York, and the surrounding water belongs to New Jersey.  In 1956, by a special Act of Congress, Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island, in honor of the famous statue, a major tourist attraction that is still standing tall and proud.
            The famous Statue of Liberty was originally designed for installation at the head of the Suez Canal in Egypt as a functioning lighthouse.  It was designed by the Frenchman Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi in 1876, and it was first assembled and displayed in Paris on July 4 six years later; on that occasion, it was ceremoniously presented to the American ambassador in Paris as a gift from France to the United States.
            Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor was chosen as the American site for this famous statue, and it was disassembled in Paris during the following year (1885) and it was then shipped across the Atlantic to New York.  Altogether, the statue was separated into 350 pieces and packed into 214 packing cases for transportation. 
            The French ship, Isere, conveyed the noble lady to her new home.  It is said that the face that is displayed on the statue was that of the designer’s mother.
            As a base for the statue, a cement pedestal 154 feet thigh and weighing 27,000 tons was constructed; the statue itself stands almost as high at 151 feet, weighing 225 tons.  Re-assembly of the statue on Bedloe’s Island was completed on October 23, 1886.
            Five days later, on October 28, 1886, just 129 years ago, President Grover Cleveland presided over the dedication ceremonies which included a ticker tape parade in New York City that attracted one million visitors.  It was a cold, wet and windy day. 
            In 1944, the lights on the statue flashed out V for victory in Morse Code, as an encouragement during World War 2 when it looked like victory for the allies in Europe and the Pacific might be somewhere out there on the horizon.
            These days, five million visitors are attracted to Bedloe’s Liberty Island each year to experience the Statue of Liberty, an important national symbol in the new world.  It is stated too, that the statue is struck by lightning six hundred times each year.
            Two of these small islands in New York Harbor have featured in events associated with wireless communication and radio broadcasting, and these were Governor’s Island and Bedloe’s Island, now better known as Liberty Island.
            It is known that a wireless communication station was in use at the American army Fort Jay on Governor’s Island soon after the end of World War 1.  The usage of this wireless station was often mentioned in various ways with the station on nearby Bedloe’s Island, and there were occasions when it was noted with the broadcast of radio entertainment programming.
            In 1920, the callsign on Governor’s Island was listed as WYCB, and there were occasional mutual program relays to and from WVP on Bedloe’s Island.  These program relays were usually on the air between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm, when both stations were temporarily diverted from army communications for the purpose of radiating entertainment programming.
            The total wireless and radio scene on Bedloe’s-Liberty Island is these days quite well known.  Way back more than one hundred years ago, an experimental wireless station was installed on this island at Fort Wood.  This was in the year 1905.  Two years later, Fort Wood was listed in a wireless station directory, though no callsign was given.   
            Then in the latter part of October 1908, experimental radio transmissions were conducted between Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook in New Jersey and Bedloe’s Island, a distance of 18 miles.  The callsign on Liberty at this stage was FD, and the transmitter in use was a 3 kW spark unit.  At Sandy Hook, a 1 kW spark transmitter was in use, and gramophone records were played into an open carbon-style microphone.
            At the onset of World War 1 in Europe (1914) the callsign on Bedloe’s was WUM; and then during the following year an experimental portable wireless transmitter was taken to this same island.
            In 1920, the callsign in use on Bedloe’s was WVP for army communications, and for broadcast usage it was officially WZAB, though they would usually still identify as WVP.  At this stage a longwave 3 kW GE transmitter was in use, the frequency was 206 kHz, and the wire antenna was installed right behind the Statue of Liberty.  Broadcast programming was presented live from what was described as a modest studio.
            Spontaneous hour long radio broadcasts from WVP ended two years later, though the station was still used for army communications right up until the beginning of World War 2 in Europe.
            In 1935, during the era of great rivalry among the various passenger shipping companies plying their stately vessels across the Atlantic, the recently launched French liner,” Normandie", was given a tumultuous welcome on its first visit to New York Harbor.  While en route across the Atlantic, the “Normandie" made several music broadcasts under its communication callsign FNSK for the benefit of passing ships, and also for the benefit of any landlubber radio listener on either side of the Atlantic who happened to be at his radio receiver.
            On June 3, 1935, there was another spectacular radio broadcast, with participation from both the “Normandie" and the Statue of Liberty.  An elaborate welcoming program for the arrival of this majestic new passenger liner was prepared at a radio studio in Washington DC, and this was presented live and fed by telephone line (and probably by radio also) to the Statue of Liberty on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.
             In the torch in the upheld hand of the Statue of Liberty was a special radio transmitter that modulated a beam of light.  This pulsating light beam from the Statue of Liberty was picked up by a special radio receiver aboard the “Normandie” some five miles distant. 
            The signal from the unique location on Liberty Island was demodulated on the moving passenger liner and fed into the public address system as well as into a 50 watt shortwave transmitter.  This small and specially installed shortwave transmitter on board the “Normandie” relayed this roundabout radio broadcast back to New York where it was received by mediumwave station WEAF and fed into the NBC Red Network for a nationwide relay on mediumwave.
            In addition, the General Electric shortwave station at Schenectady, transmitter W2XAD, also carried the same programming which was picked up in France and rebroadcast throughout their country on mediumwave and longwave.  In addition, the French shortwave service also rebroadcast this unique program as a relay to the world.
            That unique and elaborate radio broadcast was part of the spectacular welcome to the United States for the majestic passenger liner “Normandie” on the occasion of its first arrival in New York at the end of its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.  At the time, it was the largest and most luxurious passenger liner afloat.
            Seven years later, the world was at war, in Europe and in the Pacific and Asia.  The United States was ready to launch its new international radio broadcasting service on shortwave which soon afterwards was identified as the Voice of America. 
            The first programming in this new international radio venture was broadcast over already existing shortwave transmitters and it was produced and co-ordinated in rented studios in New York City.  They needed to establish their own studio facilities, but where should this be?
            Early in the New Year 1942, Harold Ickes, Secretary for the Interior in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Cabinet, proposed to the president that a new suite of studios for this new international Voice of America should be built on Bedloe’s-Liberty Island, next to the Statue of Liberty.  This location, he proclaimed, would project to the world an image of liberty on the part of the United States.

            However, Elmer Davis, the newly appointed director for OWI, the Office of War Information, sent a letter to Harold Ickes, indicating that he understood the symbol in having the studios near the Statue of Liberty.  However, he pointed out the logistical difficulties that VOA staff would encounter in commuting by launch across the waterway to and from work and to various remote appointments.  The new studios were installed instead, in Washington DC, the nation’s capital, where they remain to this day.  
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 350) 

AWR Announces QSL Changes

Important Announcement from Adventist Word Radio

            The time has come for change.  For the past quarter century and more, the Indianapolis address for Adventist Word Radio has received listener mail and reception reports from more than 100 countries all around the world.  It has been our privilege to respond to all of the incoming mail, both postal and email, and to send out uncounted thousands of QSL cards.  
            However, because of major health issues for us both (my wife as well as myself) and due to our advancing years (we are both nearing our mid-80s) it has become necessary for me to reduce my work load, just as soon as possible.  It is with great reluctance that therefore I announce the fact that the processing of listener reception reports will be transferred from Indianapolis to a new address in Silver Spring Maryland.  Staff at AWR headquarters will take over the processing of all reception reports addressed to Adventist World Radio.  They are located in the building complex at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination on the edge of suburban Washington DC.
            Effective at the end of the year, the Indianapolis post office box address will be closed, and emails addressed to the Indianapolis address will no longer be received.  Likewise, postal mail addressed to the AWR street address in Indianapolis will no longer be processed locally.  The new address for all reception reports addressed to Adventist World Radio worldwide is:-  
                        Box 10188, Silver Spring, MD 20914, USA.
            Every item of  postal mail received at the Indianapolis box address up to December 31 will be processed here and QSL cards will be sent out in the usual way from this location.  It will take some time, well into the New Year, to complete the processing of all pending mail, but each item will be processed and all QSL cards will be posted out.
            We might add that a new QSL card has just been received, and this card will be the last QSL card ever issued from this address.  In addition, a new batch of many different types of AWR curios and souvenirs has been received, and these items will be sent out to listeners who enter our big annual DX contest.  These souvenirs and curios will never become available again.
            Remember to enter our big annual DX contest which has been extended till the end of November.  Many awards, and souvenirs, and new QSL cards are available, as well as a new award for listeners in New Zealand and Australia; a copy of the colorful Australian Radio History by Dr. Bruce Carty.
            In this year’s contest, you are invited to design the details for your own contest entry.  You are invited to tell what is your best QSL since our last contest, and to provide three AWR reception reports.
Complete details are available from many DX club magazines, and from various websites.  You may also contact Wavescan in Indianapolis for an email version of the contest details.
            In order to grant opportunity for listeners in Australia and New Zealand, the closing date for the 2015 DX contest has been extended by one month.  All entries worldwide now need to be postmarked by the end of November, and received at the Indianapolis postal address by the end of December.  Details regarding the results of the contest will be announced in Wavescan in mid January.
            It is intended that the AWR DX program, “Wavescan”, will continue as usual in the same regular way.  We are grateful for the DX reports from our DX reporters in India, Japan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Australia.  We are grateful for the professional production of this weekly broadcast by Jeff White in the studios of WRMI in Okeechobee Florida, and for the reading of regular features by Ray Robinson in the studios of KVOH in Los Angeles, and for the widespread broadcast of Wavescan via the shortwave facilities of Adventist World Radio, WRMI, WWCR and KVOH.

Dr. Adrian M. Peterson

DX Editor - Wavescan.

Focus on the South Pacific

Australia’s Coastal Radio Station VID in Darwin Suffers Again!
            In this edition of Wavescan, we pick up the story of the Maritime Coastal Radio Station VID in the city of Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, at the time when it was rebuilt after a Japanese aerial attack in 1942.  Radio station VID received its worst war time damage on August 27, 1942, when it sustained a direct hit, thus destroying or damaging all equipment and much of the structure as well.  However, soon afterwards the local staff repaired and rebuilt the station, and in progressive stages VID once again took over its regular communication services.
            Soon afterwards, on August 1, 1943, communication station VID began the relay of time pips from the ABC at 0900 & 2200 local time daily.  It would be presumed that this brief twice daily relay was taken from a radio receiver tuned to an ABC station on shortwave, probably VLQ at Bald Hills in Queensland.
            Six years later, that is in 1949, the historic old VID was by this time rundown and dilapidated, making it difficult even for its experienced personnel to operate effectively.  The original and oft-repaired 750 watt transmitter was almost beyond capability.
            A new communication station was constructed at a new location.  The old station at the original site in McMinn Street was silenced at midnight on June 15, 1950, and the property later became the site for the Darwin Botanical Gardens.  The new transmitter station at Gregory Street Parap, with all of its new electronic equipment, was now officially opened for service, with a new remote receiver station located at Shoal Bay, on the northern edge of Darwin.
            However, give almost a quarter century later, and once again disaster struck Darwin, and its coastal wireless station VID as well.  This time it was a cyclone, named Tracy, and it struck on Christmas Eve 1974 with wind gusts up to 150 mph.  This horrendous event, the most disastrous cyclone (hurricane, typhoon) ever to hit Australia, silenced the Radio Australia Darwin relay station at Cox Peninsula, across the water way from Darwin Habour, and it also silenced the communication station VID, at least for a week or so.
            It is estimated that 80% of the city of Darwin was destroyed, and it was necessary to evacuate 30,000 people to temporary housing in the southern areas of the continent.  The city of Darwin was subsequently redesigned and rebuilt upon its previous location, with the application of new and very stringent safety features in order to avoid a similar massive disaster in the future.
            The VID building at Parap was only slightly damaged though most of the antenna systems were disabled, including three tall masts and 20 smaller masts.  At the time of the onslaught from the cyclonic storm, Manager Bob Hooper hurriedly assembled some of his own home based amateur radio equipment into his four wheel drive Toyota, and drove to the station.
            From his stationary vehicle at the station location, Hooper carried on as much of the VID traffic as possible, and he also contacted coastal station VIP in Perth and passed on to them some of the details regarding the massive wind disaster in Darwin.  At this stage. much of the local radio traffic normally carried by VID Darwin was transferred to VIT in Townsville Queensland, and also to VII on Thursday Island up towards New Guinea.
            Then, in mid morning Christmas Day, approval was granted for the ship MV “Nyanda” now at berth in Darwin Harbour, to take over the VID radio communication service and to operate under the callsign VID2.  The “Nyanda” was previously registered as the “Transontario” for service in North America.
            Four days later, when the “Nyanda” departed from Darwin Harbour, the VID2 service was taken over by another ship, the “Darwin Trader”.  However, by that time the antenna systems at the land based VIP at Parap had been rehabilitated, and much of the the radio communication service was transferred back to the home station. 
            From the time of the onslaught by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve, mains power was not available at coast station VID and thus they were entirely dependent upon their own generation system.  However, nearly two weeks later, on January 5, (1975) the city power supply was again restored to this radio station.
            In May 1999, the operating staff at VID Darwin was withdrawn, and the station was then operated remotely from the coastal station VIP at Applecross in Perth Western Australia.  However, give three more years, and station VID was closed, at the end of the month of June 2002.  At the time, the station was on the air with 5 identical transmitters rated at 1 kW each.
            Thus it was that Coastal Radio Station VID in Darwin was closed after nearly 90 years of illustrious on air service; on this occasion, it was finally silenced forever.

            The radio property in Parap in suburban Darwin has since been absorbed into the neighboring housing estate.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 346)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The radio scene from Reunion Island

Radio Scene on a French Island in the Indian Ocean - Part 2

In our program today, we conclude the story of radio broadcasting on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.  On the previous occasion three weeks back, we covered the era of wireless transmissions beginning nearly 100 years ago, followed by the era of radio broadcasting on shortwave and mediumwave, up to the present time.  Today, we look at QSL cards from Reunion, and also the brief story of a projected large shortwave station for the island.
            According to the entries for Reunion in the World Radio TV Handbook, the government radio station on the island has always responded to reception reports from listeners, though usually this has been by letter.  However, beginning in 1980, these entries show that a QSL card was available from RFO Reunion, right up until the early years in this century. 
            We must admit though that as far as we can remember, we have never seen one of these QSL cards from RFO, the government radio broadcasting station on Reunion Island.           However, Dan Robinson in Maryland in the United States, reports that he did receive a colorful QSL card from ORF Reunion for a reception report dated back in the year 1973.
            Reproductions of QSL cards from amateur radio stations and also CB stations on Reunion are readily shown on the internet, including one from station FR8VX in 1936.  This amateur station was operated by Prince Vinh San who was exiled from French Indo China (Vietnam) to Reunion by the French colonial government back in the years before World War 2.
            The Marine Communication Station FUX at St Marie on the northern coast of the island has been a ready verifier of reception reports, and these are sometimes reproduced in various radio magazines.  The FUX QSL card appears like a very large rubber stamp, with an outline map of the  island together with the QSL text. 
            The FUX card in the Indianapolis Heritage Collection is dated for reception on March 26, 1987 at 5 kW on 8475 kHz.  A more recent card dated in 2011 shows an aerial photo of the station in color.
            Back around 1984, Radio France International gave consideration to establishing several shortwave relay stations in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific.  One of the locations under consideration was the island of Reunion for coverage of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 
            It is reported that the station for Reunion would contain four transmitters, rated at 100 kW each,  we would presume.  Five years later, RFI announced that the location for this station had been transferred from Reunion to Djibouti in Africa.  However, the Djibouti station was never erected either.
            Reunion was on the air with low power shortwave at St Denis from 1935 to 1975; and a temporary low power shortwave station was on the air at St Andre in 1975.  Currently, Reunion is on the air with just two stations on mediumwave, St Denis at 20 kW on 666 kHz, and St Andre at 5 kW on 1215 kHz, as well as an additional 100 FM outlets scattered throughout the island.

            Before we leave the radio scene on Reunion Island, we should greet the two radio brothers, Bernard and Rene Grondin.  Their monitoring endeavors in the international radio broadcasting scene are a real credit to their homeland, Reunion Island.
(AWR Wavescan.NWS 348)

Special programming from PCJ Radio

From November 14, PCJ Radio International is offering a series of special broadcasts before the end of the year for listeners in Europe/Asia 0900-1000 UTC on 17825 TRM 125 kW / 335 deg to Eu/As English Saturdays as follows

November 21 – Call it Ukraine
November 28 – Rockin with Raoul
December 05 – Classics with David Monson
December 12 – Special Jazz For The Asking
December 19 – European radio during WW2
December 26 – Special listeners programs

Each of these special programs will have a E-QSL. 
Good Listening, Keith Perron

November DX Stamp & Supply Specials

Dear Customer,
Below are specials for November 2015.
If you need a current stamp list or supply list, I can mail or email it to you.
NEWS: Check Out the bigger and super cheap new Grab Bag postage offers!!
IDEA: Here's an envelope combo idea that I didn't consider. 100/100 European envelopes made up with a 50/50 airmail mailers and returns combo & a 50/50 plain mailers and returns combo for $22.00...That's a good mix. 
 NEW RATE: Iceland increased their rate recently. It's now 240 ISK for 50g, up from 230 ISK. No problem tho as Iceland forever stamp covers this increase.
IN STOCK AGAIN: Argentina, Brazil.
STAMPS ON BACK ORDER: Fiji,  Russia(order posted 3rd week of October), Slovak Rep., UAE. 
Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster
your envelope with colorful stamps.
49c Units
in 2 stamps
in 3 stamps
in 4 stamps
in 5 stamps
x 100
x 200
x 400
(3 stamps mean 49c unit made with 3 stamps: 25c, 20c and 4c for example)

International Rate

$1.20 Units
3 stamps
x 20
x 100
x 200

(3 stamps mean $1.20 unit made with 3 stamps, such as 41c, 42c and 37c)
  $100 Grab Bag - $75        $300 Grab Bag - $210
$500 Grab Bag - $340      $1000 Grab Bag - $670!!
                           Values from 3c to 30c+ in envelopes of 100 ea. I'll send a good mix.      
                                No charge for shipping US postage deals to US addresses.
Buy 200 units of discount postage, domestic and/or international
and get
on envelope orders of 200/200 or 
on an order of 2 Standard QSL albums
Remember, you need to buy 200 units of discount postage
to get the FREE SHIPPING on the envelope or album deal.
2 Germany-$2.60    2 Russia-$2.60    3 Japan-$3.90  
2 France-$3.60      2 Spain-$3.40
10 Spain-$14.00    20 Spain-$24.00!!
200/200 European Mailers and Returns -$40.00
200/200 Stateside Mailers and Returns - $19.00
2 Standard QSL Albums - $50.00
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