Thursday, April 23, 2015
In this edition of Wavescan, we complete our four part story of radio broadcasting in New Caledonia, the French Island in the South Pacific. In particular, we present the brief story of another American radio station in New Caledonia, together with information about the various QSL cards and letters that were issued over the years, beginning with the original shortwave broadcasting station FK8AA way back before the middle of last century.
With the influx of American personnel into the South Pacific during the Pacific War, many American shortwave communication stations were established in many different locations. All of these stations were installed at temporary locations and most were moved with the forces as they moved northwards.
It was in the year 1942 that an American shortwave communication station was installed in Noumea, the capital city of the French colonial administration on the island of New Caledonia. This station, which was located in suburban Anse Vata, was allocated an American army callsign, WVJN, and it was inaugurated for communication service on May 14 (1942).
At that stage, General Douglas MacArthur had established his headquarters in Brisbane Australia and his station WTO communicated in high speed Morse Code with the army station in Hawaii WTJ, and also with the new Noumea station WVJN in manual Morse Code. However, the sophisticated army communication station WVY at the Presidio in San Francisco expressed difficulty in Morse communication with Noumea WVJN and at one stage refused to accept messages in manual Morse Code from them.
During the years 1943 and 1944, army station WVJN in Noumea was noted by international radio monitors in both Australia and the United States with the broadcast of radio programming for nationwide relay on mediumwave in the United States. According to the monitoring reports, the signal was heard at a low level, indicating that the transmitter power must have been quite low.
For example, South Pacific Headquarters New Caledonia was heard on 15410 kHz with a program insert for the NBC Army Hour on November 28, 1943. Another similar broadcast was noted on 15490 kHz a couple of months later; and again on 17785 kHz in August (1944).
The original (1942) transmitter site for American army radio WVJN was located in suburban Noumea. but it is understood that the transmitter station was moved to the American air force base at Tontouta a year later. The station was closed in 1945 or 1946 when American forces left New Caledonia and moved north.
The noted American radio historian, Jerry Berg of suburban Boston, advises that the CPRV QSL Collection holds a QSL letter from the American Expeditionary Station in Noumea, verifying the reception of a shortwave broadcast on 15460 kHz in April 1944. It would seem that the programming was produced in the Red Cross studios of the AFRS station WVUS and that it was broadcast over the American army communication station WVJN. The QSL letter was signed by the American serviceman Paul Masterson who, it is known, was on duty with WVUS in Noumea at the time.
We should also mention that a radio unit was operated in New Caledonia by the National Broadcasting Service of New Zealand during the Pacific War. This unit was stationed in Noumea from April 1943 to August 1944 and it produced programming for local broadcast and also for re-broadcast back home in New Zealand.
During its year and a half service in Noumea, this NZNBS radio unit produced a daily program, the Kiwi Hour, which was broadcast by Radio Noumea. Another regular program was prepared in Noumea under the title With the Boys Overseas and this was forwarded by plane to New Zealand twice weekly for re-broadcast over the NZNBS mediumwave network throughout New Zealand.
In August 1944, the radio equipment was donated to Radio Noumea, and the personnel returned to their homeland, New Zealand.
We come now to the story of other QSL cards and letters from the radio stations in New Caledonia. The amateur radio broadcaster FK8AA issued its own QSL card that was suitable for verifying both amateur QSO contacts as well as radio program broadcasts. This QSL card presented a simple QSL text, and international radio monitors in the pre-war era complained that it was just as hard to obtain a QSL card from the station as it was to actually hear the station.
The communication stations FZM, operated by their PT&T department, and FUJ operated by their navy, have been known to sign and rubber stamp a prepared QSL card. Then also the government radio station Radio Noumea has issued at least three different QSL cards during its more than half a century of radio program broadcasting.
The early cards in the 1950s were a plain text card, in two consecutive printing styles; and in the 1970s, a more elaborate card was issued showing a tower with radiating circles. In more recent time, Radio Noumea verified with a form letter showing a map of the island with a list of their mediumwave and shortwave transmitters.
Back in the 1980s, international radio monitors in Australia and New Zealand noted that an AWR program was on the air from the shortwave station in Noumea, New Caledonia. According to reception reports regarding these broadcasts, this program was produced in the La Voix de l’Esperance radio studio in Paris France, the same studio that produced programming for broadcast by Adventist World Radio.
The programs broadcasts from Radio Noumea on 3355 kHz & 7170 kHz were not under the direct oversight of Adventist World Radio, though the content and programming was just the same. Several courtesy QSL cards were issued from the AWR office in Southern Asia verifying these Pacific Island broadcasts.
The Indianapolis Heritage Collection contains two of these QSL cards, dated November 5 and November 23, 1982. The QSL card itself showed the orange colored world map that was issued by the original AWR-Asia in Poona India. The QSL information was neatly typed, and the cards were neatly signed by Jose Jacob during the time when he was serving as a volunteer with Adventist World Radio in Poona.
That concludes our four episodes on the story of radio broadcasting on the French island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. This complete story included information on the amateur radio broadcasting station FK8AA. Around the same era, there were two other shortwave stations with similar callings; FO8AA in Tahiti in the South Pacific and FG8AA in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Coming soon here in Wavescan, we plan to present the story of both of these unique amateur shortwave radio broadcasting stations, FO8AA & FG8AA.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 321)
at 10:49 AM
Friday, April 17, 2015
Ask any radio monitor what information they consider important during any monitoring session, and usually two items will top their list: frequencies and call signs. If you can hear activity on a particular frequency, unless you can fully identify the participants transmitting on that frequency, you can’t fully appreciate or document the traffic you are hearing.
With millions of radio stations furnishing a variety of communication services throughout the world, it is necessary that their transmissions carry distinctive call signs or identifiers. Call signs have a four-fold purpose: They may identify the nationality of the station, the agency operating a particular station, the type of station, and the identity of each individual station being heard on the monitored frequency.
The need for station identifications/call signs can easily be illustrated here in the United States, which leads all other countries in the use of the radio spectrum, that now has some 85 different kinds of radio services operated by the government, military and civilians entities, providing air, sea, land and space communication services. There are hundreds of thousands of stations on the air and call signs and other forms of identification help the radio monitor sort through the various stations that are heard.
A call sign is defined as any combination of alphanumeric characters or phonetically pronounceable characters (trigraph), which identifies a communications facility, a command, an authority, an activity or unit. To aid the radio monitor in their listening endeavors, the International Call Sign Handbook series of books/e-books has been published.
Teak Publishing is pleased to announce their latest Kindle e-book -- the fourth edition of International Call Sign Handbook. This e-book represents the most comprehensive collection of military and government station identifications ever published for the radio listening hobby. It is the result of year’s research, study and monitoring the HF/VHF/UHF radio spectrum, by the author. Many different radio monitoring disciplines have been used to compile the listings in this book. If you monitor the HF, VHF or UHF radio spectrum, there is something in this book for you.
The information presented in this book has also been gathered through personal correspondence, material published in the former Monitoring Times magazine, various radio publications, newsletters, public domain government and private internet web sites, but most have been gathered the old fashioned way via on-the-air monitoring. In addition, we have received generous support and contributions from many individuals in the radio hobby.
In addition to international and military/government tactical call signs, other types of identifiers such as Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) and Mode-S aircraft addresses have been included in this e-book. There is a chapter that had basic introductory material, as well as chapters devoted to call sign / words used by the Department of Defense including the US. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. There are sections that cover the various Military Auxiliary Radio Services and the U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol auxiliary service.
There is also a chapter that covers call signs and ALE identifiers for the U.S. Coast Guard service. Sections in that chapter include a Coast Guard aircraft fleet list, miscellaneous U.S. coast guard calls, and also their international call signs.
Another large chapter covers various U.S. Government call signs. Sections in this chapter include the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol COTHEN radio system and ALE address list, plus call signs from the following department and agencies - Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), General Services Administration (GSA), Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), Miscellaneous Listings, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Communications System (NCS), and U.S. Marshal Service (USMS) service.
One of the larger chapters is devoted to an international / worldwide call signs list. We have a sampling of government and military call signs from 75 counties and international agencies.
The latest craze in aircraft military is decoding Mode-S/ICAO24 radio signals and is included in this book. Our list in this edition covers primarily government / military aircraft and introductory material on Mode-S monitoring.
The last chapter of this book contains a large list of resource information, useful in interpreting the individual entries listed in the book. Sections on U.S. Navy ship/squadron classifications; U.S. Coast Guard cutter designators; a massive list of abbreviations and acronyms that appear in the book; a comprehensive country abbreviation list; and the latest Table of Allocations of International Call signs from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are included in the last chapter on the e-book.
The Teak Publishing 4th International Call Sign Handbook is now available for purchase worldwide from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VV7NR1U. The price for this e-Book edition is US$6.99. This book is being released internationally. Amazon customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia can order the e-Book from Amazon websites directly servicing these countries. All other countries can use the regular Amazon.com website.
You do not need to own a Kindle reader to read Amazon e-book publications. You can read any Kindle book with Amazon’s free reading apps. There are free Kindle reading apps for the Kindle Cloud Reader, Smartphones (iPhone, iTouch, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry); computer platforms (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and Mac); Tablets (iPad, Android and Windows 8), and, of course, all of the Kindle family of readers including the Kindle Fire series. A Kindle e-book allows you to buy your book once and read it anywhere. You can find additional details on these apps at this link on the Amazon website at www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771.
For additional information on this and other Teak Publishing radio hobby books, monitor the company sponsored Internet blogs – The Military Monitoring Post (http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com/), The Btown Monitor Post (http://monitor-post.blogspot.com/) and The Shortwave Central (http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/) for availability of additional e-books that are currently in production.
Information on other publications by the author is available on the author’s page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00G1QMO4C.
About the Author
Amazon bestselling author, Larry Van Horn, a native of San Antonio, Texas, started his radio listening hobby in 1964, when he received his first shortwave receiver.
In 1971 Larry joined the U.S. Navy and served on U.S. naval warships and in the naval aviation community until his retirement in 1993. He retired in New Orleans with the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
He was first licensed as an amateur radio operator in 1973 with the call sign WH6INU. Later, Larry upgraded to General Class and spent his early ham days operating out of the famed KH6SP ham shack in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with his his ham mentor and friend Butch Weber, WA4GIF, chasing DX and contesting.
Now a licensed Extra Class ham, holding the call sign N5FPW, Larry enjoys operating digital modes, contesting and chasing DX. Other aspects of the radio hobby that he enjoys include monitoring military communications (throughout the radio spectrum), federal government monitoring, chasing HF utility communications, satellite monitoring, and AM, FM and TV broadcast DXing.
Larry worked for Grove Enterprises in Brasstown, North Carolina, the publisher of Monitoring Times and Satellite Times magazines. His job on the MT staff was the magazines assistant / technical editor and staff journalist. He wrote for Monitoring Times magazine as a freelance writer and full-time staffer for over 30 years until that publication closed in 2013. Larry was the creative force behind a new publication Satellite Times magazine, and was the magazine’s managing editor, a position he held for more than five years.
He has written dozens of radio equipment reviews and several monthly columns in the pages of the former Monitoring Times including the Signals from Space, Utility World, Fedcom – Federal Monitoring column, Milcom- a military monitoring column, GlobalNet, First Look/MT Equipment/Book Reviews. Service Search, Ask Larry, and the magazine’s Whats New column.
Over the years Larry has also written 10 radio hobby books (some with multiple editions), dozens of magazine features, and numerous technical articles for a wide variety of communications publications and radio hobby club newsletters.
He currently resides in western North Carolina, with his wife Gayle W4GVH. They have one son, Loyd W4LVH, who is married and lives in South Carolina.
Larry is the founder and president of the Teak Publishing Company based in western North Carolina. His first e-book published under the Teak Publishing banner, the North American Enroute Aviation Guide, was an immediate Amazon #1 Best Selling Kindle eBook.
|Radio New Zealand Intl QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)|
All programming targeted to Pacific regions
All times UTC
1958-2000 Sun 11725
2051-2100 mtwhfa 11725
2100-2200 mtwhfa 11725
0000-0100 mtwhf 17675
0100-0200 mtwhf 17675
0200-0255 DRM off
0255-0300 mtwhf 17675
0300-0400 mtwhf 17675
0400-0458 DRM off
0459-0500 DRM off
0500-0600 DRM off
0600-0650 DRM off
0651-0700 mtwhf 11690
0700-0758 mtwhf 11690
0759-0800 DRM off
0800-0900 DRM off
0900-1000 DRM off
1000-1058 DRM off
1059-1100 DRM off
1100-1200 DRM off
1200-1258 DRM off
1958-2000 Sun 15720
2051-2100 mtwhfa 15720
2100-2200 mtwhfa 15720
2200-2255 DRM off
2255-2300 mtwhf 17675
2300-0000 mtwhf 17675
(Adrian Sainsbury/R NZ Intl)
1630-1700 twhf 17515af
1700-1730 Sat 17515af
1700-1800 smn 17515af
1800-1830 tw 17515af
0430-0445 Sat/Sun 9550me
0430-0450 mtwhf 9550me
0500-0515 f 9735me
0530-0600 mwf 9620af
0830-0900 f 17535af
0900-0915 Sat 17535me
0900-1000 f 17535af
1700-1715 f 13580me
1700-1715 Sun 13810me
1700-1800 mw 13810me
1700-1745 tha 13810me
1700-1745 Sat 13580me
1730-1800 sf 15215me
0200-0215 t 11790as
0200-0230 ta 11790as
0200-0300 Sun 11790as
0700-0730 Sun 5945eu
0700-0800 Sat 5945eu
1100-1200 Sat 21480as
1115-1130 Sun 21480as
1400-1500 Sat 17650as
1500-1530 f 15640as
1515-1545 Sat 15640as
1700-1715 Sat 15215me
1700-1730 sh 15215me
1700-1745 f 15215me
1730-1800 Sun 6130eu
1800-1900 Sun 6130eu
1815-1830 Sun 9435me 11855as
1830-1845 Sat 6130eu
1830-1900 Sun 9635me
1900-1915 Sun 9635me
1800-1830 h 11855as
1800-1900 h 11855as
1830-1900 st 11855as
1600-1630 smta 17515af
1800-1815 f 6130eu
1800-1830 t 6130eu
1630-1700 Sat/Sun 17525af
1800-1815 h 6130eu
at 11:12 AM
The Story of a Lonely Radio Studio in an Isolated Area of Africa
Let us take an interesting story from a recent issue of an American club magazine about a lonely radio studio in an isolated area of Africa and we adapt it for broadcast on radio. This story, about a radio production studio operated by Adventist World Radio, was provided by Ralph Perry in Wheaton Illinois and it is found in the NASWA Journal for February earlier this year.
The small city of Maroua is located in the far north of the country of Cameroon in Africa and it is the regional capital with a population of less than a quarter million. There is a small regional airport nearby and mail delivery in the area is described as spotty.
For many years now, Adventist World Radio has operated a small radio production studio in the building that serves as the headquarters for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the northern area of the Cameroons. Programming in this studio is produced in the widely spoken Fulfulde language and over the years it has been broadcast over various stations that give radio coverage into the Fulfulde language areas, including the usage of Meyerton in South Africa.
Radio coverage for the Fulfulde programming during this past shortwave Transmission Period B14 has been provided by the Deutsche Welle shortwave station located a little north of Kigali in Rwanda. However, as was announced quite recently, this powerful Deutsche Welle relay station is closing over this weekend, at the time of transition from the B14 to the A15 Transmission Period.
The director of the Cameroon AWR studio in Maroua, Pastor H. T. Richard, states his appreciation in receiving a letter from a shortwave listener in the United States who heard his programming via DW Kigali. He also states that the studio is quite small and quite simple, though plans are underway for location in another building with updated studio equipment.
It is intended also that live programming will then be added for broadcast locally to the Maroua city area. However, until the new studio becomes available, only programming for broadcast in the international scheduling from Adventist World Radio will be produced.
We might add that somewhere around 75 production studios around the world are affiliated with Adventist World Radio. Some of these studios are quite large and turning out programming in many languages whereas others are quite small and working in only one language.
If fellow DXers are making contact directly with AWR production studios, we would suggest that care should be taken in the these matters, remembering that the staff may not understand the circumstances associated with international radio monitoring and the nature of QSLs. Even though English is the international working language of the Adventist denomination, yet not all radio staff may be able to communicate in English.
Then too, it is possible that finances may be quite tight in some locations, and the cost of posting mail, perhaps even registered mail in order to secure assurance of delivery, may be very high in the local currency. Remember too, that some of the production studios are located in sensitive areas of the world where the staff has to be very careful about international contacts
at 11:09 AM
At the beginning of March, an important radio event was held in Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman Islands. This radio event was a large international amateur radio convention lasting nearly two weeks, and the initial venue was the Hotel Megapode Nest. Hamtec 2015 was held for two days, March 6 & 7, and the following ten days were given to lectures and presentations about the many varied aspects of amateur radio operating and activity.
This event was organized by NIAR the National Institute of Amateur Radio in Hyderabad, India, and two special callsigns were issued for the occasion; VU4A for foreign amateur radio operators who were visiting for the occasion, and VU4I for Indian amateur radio operators from the Indian mainland. Among the NIAR officials visiting Port Blair for this occasion, was Jose Jacob VU2JOS, who also provided us with an update on the radio and TV scene in the Andaman Islands.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a long chain of 572 tropical islands that extend for a distance of some 600 miles, though only 36 are inhabited. They are located in the Bay of Bengal on the edge of the Indian Ocean, and they are a territory belong to the Republic of India. The total population is a little over ⅓rd million, with Port Blair as the capital city, and the only city in the entire island cluster.
Some of the small primitive tribes living on isolated islands prefer to remain in isolation without any contact with the outside world. Some of these languages have not been identified and the relationship to other known languages is to this day completely unknown.
Port Blair is located on the east coast of South Andaman Island. It is the administrative center for both sections of the island cluster, the Andamans and the Nicobars, and it is developing into a recognized tourist destination.
The original inhabitants of the Andaman Islands are aboriginal peoples whose origins and languages are not fully substantiated. It is thought that they arrived more than 2,000 years ago and until European exploration of Asia and the Pacific took place, they lived in almost complete isolation. Occasional early travelers, such as the famous Marco Polo and others, described the islanders as very primitive, practicing a form of cannibalism.
The British came in 1789 and they established a settlement at what is now Port Blair, on South Andaman Island. The islands were occupied by the Japanese for two and half years beginning in March 1942.
The first wireless station in the Andaman Islands was installed by the British in Port Blair just before the beginning of World War 1 and it was on the air in Morse Code under the callsign ROB. Callsigns for early wireless stations in the eastern area of what was greater India under the British raj all began with the twin letters RO. After the war, the call in Port Bair was amended to VTP.
The first radio broadcasting station installed in Port Blair was a 1 kW mediumwave unit operating on 1440 kHz. The transmitter was located in the studio building at suburban Dilanipur which was built on an 8 acre property on an elevated area.
This first transmitter was a Japanese NEC Model No. MB122 and it was officially inaugurated on August 15, 1959. When the mediumwave band in Asia and elsewhere was changed from 10 kHz spacing to 9 kHz on November 23, 1978, Port Blair remained on the same 1440 kHz.
In 1975, an additional transmitter facility was constructed for All India Radio on a 40 acre property at Brookshabad, 10 miles south from the studio building. Two 10 kW Indian made transmitters Model HMB104 were installed and these were inaugurated on
November 6, 1975.
The original frequency was 680 kHz and this was modified to 684 kHz under the 9 kHz spacing in 1984. At this stage, the original 1 kW unit was taken into alternative programming, though subsequently it was in use only for emergency purposes, including as a studio to transmitter program link when needed. This unit was removed from service and dismantled in November 2004 and it was replaced in t5he same space by an FM transmitter.
In order to provide adequate coverage to distant islands in the Andamans & Nicobars, a Japanese 10 kW NEC shortwave transmitter Model HFB7840 was installed with a dipole antenna system beamed north & south. A lengthy series of drawn out test broadcasts began in September 1988, and it was taken into full service on March 11, 1989. Test frequencies back then were 4760 kHz, 6000 kHz, 7180 kHz & 9690 kHz, though 4760 kHz & 7115 kHz became its standard frequencies.
Fourteen years later, one of the exciters developed a fault, and the transmitter power was dropped back to 4 kW. A specially made Indian exciter was installed in January of the following year (2004) and the transmitter power was then increased to 8½ kW.
In 1992 an additional studio building was constructed on the hill top property adjacent to the older building. The total staff at AIR Port Blair in all areas of activity these days is a little more than 100, and they produce programming in the national and local languages.
A new 100 kW mediumwave transmitter manufactured by Thales in Switzerland was commissioned on the same 684 kHz channel in May 2003, and the twin 10 kW units were retained for standby usage. A 10 kW Nautel FM transmitter was installed at the studio premises in Dilanipur for direct broadcast of the VB Vividh Bharati network programming during the following year (2004).
During the disastrous earthquake and tsunami of 2005, AIR Port Blair carried special emergency programming. When power was not available locally and the station was off the air, a 250 kW shortwave transmitter in Delhi carried special programing beamed to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
In the Land of a Thousand Hills
On this occasion here in Wavescan, we return to the radio scene in the small landlocked country of Rwanda in Africa. Last weekend, the final broadcasts from Deutsche Welle Kigali were noted by international radio monitors in many countries throughout the world, and this majestic shortwave station has now gone silent. Also silenced at the same time, was the national broadcasting system on shortwave in Rwanda, and that is our story for today.
The first radio broadcasting station to go on the air for coverage of Rwanda was not located in Rwanda itself; it was located in neighboring Burundi, which at the time was linked with Rwanda as a politically double territory. In 1960, Radio Usumbura, located in their capital city Usumbura, was inaugurated with 10 kW on 6195 kHz.
In preparation for Rwanda’s coming independence, a radio broadcasting service was officially organized on May 19, 1961. Their first transmitter, we would suggest, was located at the government wireless station that had been established in Kigali in 1930. The first known reference to this new radio broadcasting service is found in the Australian magazine Radio & Hobbies for January 1962 in a note from the highly esteemed Arthur Cushen in New Zealand. Arthur Cushen appears to be quoting from another source for this item, perhaps in the United States or maybe in Sweden.
Programming from this new shortwave station, it was stated, was in the French language, and also in local languages. Perhaps some, if not all of this radio programming, was relayed from the new shortwave station already on the air in neighboring Usumbura in Burundi.
In 1962, the government of Belgium granted independence to the double unit Rwanda-Burundi, and Rwanda became a separate and independent nation in its own right. At this stage Germany had already begun work on establishing a shortwave relay station for Deutsche Welle, near Kinyinya, some ten miles north of the now capital city, Kigali. The inaugural broadcast from this new shortwave station in Rwanda took place on August 30 of the following year 1963, with the usage of a temporary 600 watt transmitter on 7225 kHz (mornings) and 7295 kHz (evenings).
However, around that same time, a 5 kW transmitter was installed in the same Deutsche Welle facility and this radiated programming on behalf of Rwanda National Radio on 6050 kHz. Then during the following year, a 50 kW Philips transmitter model 8FZ514/01 was installed and this took over the same shortwave channel in the 49 metre band, which was stabilized on approximately 6055 kHz.
Programming was produced locally in a studio in the capital city, though Radio Rwanda also relayed daily news bulletins in French from neighboring Radio Burundi.
A dozen years later, the 5 kW transmitter was reactivated in 1976, this time on the tropical band channel 3330 kHz. As time went by, a 20 kW RIZ transmitter from Croatia model OR20K1 was installed (1984) followed by a 100 kW ABB model SK51F3-2P (1992), apparently operating at half power. For the last decade or so, Radio Rwanda shortwave has been noted on usually just one channel, the same 6055 kHz.
Radio Rwanda has never been on the air on mediumwave, though two high powered mediumwave transmitters were planned in the early 1980s; 100 kW on 1512 kHz for Kigali, and 50 kW on 1530 kHz for Gitirama. Instead Radio Rwanda continued the development of a nationwide network of FM stations beginning around the mid 1970s and they abandoned the plans for mediumwave coverage.
During the time of trouble in Rwanda, the Deutsche Welle/Radio Rwanda shortwave station was safeguarded by a two mile long wall with metal spears on top completely surrounding the station, and the approach road was barricaded and mined. On April 13,1994, the German staff, (seven men, three wives and a child), were rescued by two Belgian helicopters and these personnel were taken to Nairobi in Kenya for safety.
At times during the long drawn out era of intertribal fighting, the relay station was sometimes off the air, particularly when the electric power was interrupted. During this era of turmoil, Radio Rwanda was still on the air at times with the usage of a standby generator powering the 20 kW transmitter. However, in all of these tragic events, the station remained undamaged .
However, after more than 40 years of on air service, the Deutsche Welle relay station was closed over the last weekend of March, and thus the broadcasts from Radio Rwanda on shortwave also came to an end. At the time, there were five active shortwave transmitters, four at 250 kW and one at 100 kW. These days, the nationwide network for Radio Rwanda is on the air on FM only.
Several Rwanda QSL cards of interest are known. The DW card that was issued from their headquarters in Cologne in Germany showed a map of Africa in yellow superimposed upon a background of strong blue, though other DW cards were also issued to verify the reception of their African relay station, with Kigali written in as the location.
The generic Radio Rwanda QSL card shows a bulls eye target of circles with no specific QSL details. A Radio Netherlands card verifies their relay via Kigali; and AWR also issued many different types of QSL cards to verify their relay via Kigali, usually with what is now a rare Kigali QSL stamp.
We should also mention that AWR established an FM station in Kigali some 10 years ago. The station is installed in the building that serves as the headquarters for the Adventist denomination in Rwanda, and it is located in the Kacyiru sector of Gasabo district in Kigali. This FM station was inaugurated on March 10, 2005 and it can be heard at 106.4 MHz.
And before we leave the Rwanda scene, we should mention that Adventist World Radio made two earlier attempts at instigating a relay over the Deutsche Welle shortwave station at KIgali. The first attempt was in mid 1975, when a series of daily half hour test broadcasts in the Swahili language was scheduled, and the second attempt was two years later.
There is no record that the two projected AWR relays via DW Kigali ever went to air, even though the first tapes were delivered to the station. There were unexpected delays in the production of AWR programing in the Swahili language.
On the third occasion for an AWR relay via Kigali, the programs were on the air for 2½ hours daily for just the recent B14 transmission period which ended during the last weekend in the month of March when the station was closed.
|AIR Panaji (GOA) QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)|
On April 15, 1995, Jose heard this new station for the first time at 9:50 am on 15290 kHz, and he posted his report to the station in Goa, but no reply was forthcoming.
Over a period of time, Jose submitted this reception report several times to the station by post, but always without receiving a response. Finally, he sent the reception report to his radio friend in Goa, Flavio Reposo and asked him deliver the report to the station in person. In response Jose received a QSL letter from AIR Panaji which was verified by the Assistant Engineer, All India Radio Panaji, Mr G. N. Shetti. It is understood that this QSL letter was the first issued from this station.
These days, AIR Panaji is on the air shortwave with the use of two BBC transmitters at 250 kW each, and QSL cards can be obtained in the usual way from the AIR head office in New Delhi.
Propagation during last weekend's broadcast Saturday at 1600-1630 UTC on 17860 kHz was probably the worst in the history of VOA Radiogram. The signal was generally unusable in Europe, and poor in most of North America. However, Loet in Curaçao had very good reception on 17860.
also had excellent reception using a receiver in Nova Scotia.
Let's hope for better conditions this weekend. The program will include an experiment with Russian text. The Cyrillic characters transmit at much slower speed than Latin characters: about 33 words per minute in MFSK32, and 70 wpm in MFSK64. We will try MFSK64 for the additional speed, but will this faster mode survive trans-Atlantic propagation?
For the correct display of the Russian characters, be sure to select the UTF-8 character set via Fldigi's Configure > Colors & Fonts
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 107, 18-19 April 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:
1:23 Program preview
2:29 India's net neutrality debate*
7:76 US Congressional hearing on Russian international media
22:46 MFSK64: VOA Russian story about Yuri Gagarin*
26:53 MFSK32: Closing announcements*
* with image
Please send reception reports to email@example.com .
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 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 MFSK64 Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7375 kHz, via Germany. This weekend's image: Dutch tulips. Reports to Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org .
WRMI, Radio Miami International, will transmit digital IDs this weekend, same schedule ...
|UTC Day||UTC Time||Center audio frequency||Mode|
|Saturday||1014:30||2000 Hz||MFSK32 image|
|Sunday||0329:30||1500 Hz||Olivia 32-2000|
|Sunday||1039:30||2000 Hz||MFSK32 image|
|Monday||0329:00||1500 Hz||Olivia 32-2000|
You may be able to decode the text even if you can't hear the WRMI voice broadcast.
AndFlmsg. If you have an Android phone or tablet, please try to decode VOA Radiogram using the beta AndFlmsg app, B0.5.0, which can be downloaded from http://www.w1hkj.com/vk2eta/ . This new version can decode MFSK images as well as text. AndFlmsg does not yet have the UTF-8 character set, so the Russian will not display.
Thank you for your reports on reception, or attempts of reception, from last weekend's program. The gallery of MFSK images will be interesting. I'll respond to your emails over the weekend.
Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
Radio City Relays:
17th April 2015: 18.00 to 19.00 UTC on 7290 kHz via IRRS & 1368 kHz via Challenger Radio
18th April 2015: 08.00 to 09.00 UTC on 9510 kHz via IRRS.
26th April 2015: 09.00 to 1000 UTC on 9865 KHz via Radio Revival (Sala) Sweden
2nd May 2015: 12.00 to 13.00 UTC on 7265 KHz via Hamburger Lokalradio
Every Saturday: 19.00 to 20.00 UTC on 1485 kHz via Radio Merkurs, Riga, Latvia
The address remains email@example.com Thank you!
European Music Radio Relay on 19th April 2015
15.00 to 16.00 UTC via Channel 292 on 6070 KHz with Tom & Mike Taylor
Please send all E.M.R. reports to: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
MV Baltic Radio: There will be no Transmissions from Gohren until May.
You can also hear many European free and alternative stations via the Internet at: http://laut.fm/jukebox
For outside the listening area please try the Twente/Netherlands Web RX at http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/
Radio Channel 292 Transmission schedules:
Radio Mi Amigo Transmission schedules:
Radio Revival Sweden Transmission schedules: