Sunday, April 24, 2016

Isle of Music program schedule for April 26

Our April 26 (April 25 in the Americas) program will feature special guest Cuban Jazz/Blues/Fusion guitarist Hector Quintana, a nominee in the Jazz category in Cubadisco 2015.
Also, some nice Charanga from Orquesta America, also a Cubadisco 2015 nominee (Traditional Son), some of David Alvarez & Juego de Manos (yet another nominee, in Popular Dance Music) and more of the beautiful concert piano album Danzas Para Piano de Ignacio Cervantes.

Two listening options on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000 UTC (8pm EDT Mondays)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900 UTC (2100 CEST)
On Facebook: From the Isle of Music
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
5713 N. St. Louis Av
Chicago IL 60659-4405

Friday, April 22, 2016

VOA Radiogram weekend schedule

Hello friends,

Last weekend, Radio Habana Cuba had a special transmission on 17580 kHz, creating an interesting co-channel situation with VOA Radiogram Saturday at 1600-1630. RHC caused only minor interference in Europe, but in parts of the Americas, decoding VOA Radiogram was difficult. In this video by Tim in Colorado, VOA Radiogram and RHC are fairly evenly matched …   

Last weekend’s Olivia 64-2000 provided some good decodes despite poor reception conditions.  Here is an example from a receiver in Sydney, NSW, Australia …

On the other hand, some listeners were not as successful with Olivia 64-2000, and found that this mode did not perform as well as MFSK32 – which is much faster. I wonder if the problem is related to the receiver’s bandwidth. Olivia 64-2000 extends to 2500 Hz above and below the carrier. If any of that data is “clipped,” the decode might be less than 100%. We could try some experiments with this in future programs.

This weekend, all the content will be in MFSK32, except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 mixed with the closing music.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 160, 23-24 April 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

1:34  Program preview
2:44  Can AC and DC power integrate?*
12:13  Radio Farda TV signal jammed in Iran*
16:38  New report finds media freedom declined globally*
26:53  Closing announcements*
28:17  Olivia 64-2000: Frequency schedule under music

* with image

Please send reception reports to   

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 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 about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT) on 6040 kHz, via Germany. This is part of KBC’s North America broadcast at 0000-0300 UTC. Reception reports to Eric: .

DigiDX will transmit DX news in MFSK32 and perhaps other modes:  
Sunday 2130 UTC - 15770kHz via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330 UTC - 11580kHz via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000 UTC - 6070kHz via Channel 292 Germany
Consult for any additions or changes to this schedule.

Thank you for your reception reports from last weekend. I’m still compiling the gallery of MFSK images from program 158 and hope to send those out this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @VOARadiogram (especially active just before, during, and after shows)

Plan to return Radio Vanuatu to its former glory

It's hoped Radio Vanuatu will soon return to the standard it once was when it could be heard by everyone in the archipelago.

It's hoped Radio Vanuatu will soon return to the standard it once was when it could be heard by everyone in the archipelago.
Years of neglect and political interference have resulted in the deterioration of transmission to the outer islands but there's a new push to get nation-wide coverage again.
As Bridget Tunnicliffe reports, short wave radio is being seen as important as ever in the Pacific.
The need to get early warnings to people, especially in more remote areas has been highlighted by the increased frequency of severe tropical cyclones. The government recently replaced the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation board following concerns over the lack of the public broadcaster's ability to reach the outer islands. An MP for Tanna, Tom Louniwan, says they don't get clear reception on Tanna and it's unreliable.
TOM IOUNIWAN: We depend much of the radio for information because we're now living in the climate change and you know cyclones, and tsunamis and you know.The board's new chair Johnety Jerety says nation-wide coverage has to be implemented by July 1st under the government's 100 day plan. He says they are on track to achieve that but says part of the problem is people have been buying cheap radios that are not compatible. He says out of habit people have also become more accustomed to tuning into the island's main FM station.
JOHNETY JERETY: Because they have lost coverage with Radio Vanuatu for so long they now have difficulties in tuning in to our frequency system and that is what we are doing now to promote all these frequencies to the islands, to ensure that everyone knows which type of frequency they should be tuning in.New Zealand radio transmission engineer, Steve White, has made several trips to Vanuatu and other Pacific countries to help set up transmission equipment. He says the big advantage of short-wave radio is that receivers are extremely cheap to buy. Mr White says the other benefit is that the transmission is capable of covering enormous distances.
STEVE WHITE: From Port Vila you can cover the entire country of Vanuatu, which spans something like 1100 kilometres in a roughly North-South direction, that can't be achieved by any other transmission mode.Johnety Jerety says despite increases in government funding to the Corporation over the years, changes in government and political interference have been disruptive.
JOHNETY JERETY: Politicians come as members of parliament and then they use the opportunity to turn out funds from the institution and make it very difficult for the institution to have enough or appropriate funds to maintain its transmission system.Johnety Jerety says Radio Vanuatu's financial difficulties have been heightened by the emergence of several other FM stations, who are all competing for advertising dollars. The former mayor of Luganville, Maurice Emboe, says the quality of information being broadcast is also critical. Early this month there were claims in northern parts of Vanuatu, that the public broadcaster did not broadcast warnings about the approach of Cyclone Zena. Maurice Emboe says information needs to be accurate, timely, and regular.
MAURICE EMBOE: The authorities concerned, the media also should take more responsibility in communicating with regards to disaster or such information. To inform people, communicate with people, the tracking of these depressions, its whereabouts.Johnety Jerety says he's had several meetings with technical people and is confident nation-wide coverage will be achieved by Radio Vanuatu by the July 1 deadline.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Radio Free Asia Releases New Olympic 2016 QSL


RFA’s QSL commemorating the 2016 Summer Olympics
Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces its 61st QSL card. This latest design commemorates the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil scheduled for August 5-21, 2016. The Games always bring people together from around the world in peace and harmony to respect universal moral principles. This new design shows an adaptation of RFA’s first panda design originally used for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This updated version of the original design adds a hat made of various fruits. The fruit hat was popularized in the 1900’s by Brazilian singer and actress, Carmen Miranda. This QSL design is used to confirm all valid reception reports from May – August 2016.

Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin (including the Wu dialect), Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a ‘surrogate’ broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest.  More information about Radio Free Asia, including our current broadcast frequency schedule, is available at

RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports.  Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions. RFA confirms all accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card to the listener.  RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX’ers, but also from its general listening audience

Reception reports are also accepted by email at and by mail to:

          Reception Reports
          Radio Free Asia
          2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
          Washington DC 20036
          United States of America 

Monday, April 18, 2016

All India Radio ponders their future on shortwave

AIR mulls shutting down soft power shortwave units

By AREEBA FALAK | NEW DELHI | 17 April, 2016
The Prasar Bharati Board is contemplating shutting down the short-wave service of the External Services Division (ESD) of All India Radio (AIR) even as a proposal to switch to an affordable internet-based radio service is still under consideration. A section of the board is keen on closing down the short wave service as an exorbitant amount is being spent to maintain the current infrastructure.
“The total budget allocated to ESD is Rs 100 crore annually. Out of this, approximately Rs 95 crore is spent on the maintenance of short wave transmitters, which includes the high cost of spare parts that are not easily available. The remaining Rs 5 crore is spent on the production of programmes in 27 languages, and to pay the salaries of the staff who are hired on a contract basis,” said a senior official in the ESD.
“One would expect to gain a large fan base after spending so much money, but this has not been the case with ESD. Since no survey has ever been done to determine the number of listeners, we cannot give an exact or even an approximate number of people who listen to AIR’s ESD channels across the world. But we know that we have a good following based on the feedback that we receive from people in countries where ESD is being listened to. Our listeners send us postcards or emails from Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, etc. But the following is not in proportion to the money being spent on this service,” said the senior officer.
“The proposal suggests the shutting down of short wave and the service being made web-based. Since internet is far reaching, listening radio live on the web should not hurt our existing fan base. But of course there is the argument that short wave can reach even the remotest corners of the world, which is not the case with internet signals. The shutting down of short wave, without a doubt, will affect the propaganda value of India among its listeners abroad. This is why there are chances that the short wave service might continue in neighboring countries like China, Nepal, etc. Also, India’s edge in a continent like Africa will suffer a blow if the short-wave is to be shut down,” said sources in AIR.
To understand the importance of short wave radio services overseas one can take a look at the efforts that neighbouring China puts in for its own propaganda among audiences abroad. “The communication strategies of China are impressive. For example, they have respective radio documentaries about neighbouring countries that educate the listeners about China’s take on the issues in that particular country. Their transmitters are used to their full capacity which helps the listener get a perfect signal. In India, none of our transmitters are being used to their full capacity. So a listener would automatically prefer to listen to a frequency that is clear and easy to hold on to. They also invest a lot in the content of their programmes. There are Tamil radio programmes made by the Chinese who speak Tamil. We have a programme in Swahili, which is produced with the help of some African students who study in India. The reason why India has failed to match the strategic communication design implemented by our neighbour is that India is still a developing country. We have more important issues that need to be addressed immediately. The decision to save money and put it in improving our internet services and the quality of our programmes is not a bad idea either,” said a senior official in ESD.
The e-mail sent by this correspondent to Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati, did not get any response until the time of going to press.
All India Radio had started external broadcasting shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, with a service in Pushtu for listeners across the country’s then North West Frontier. The service was designated to counter radio propaganda from Germany, directed at Afghanistan, Iran and Arab countries. After the war ended, the equipment was presented to AIR, which took over active control and continued external broadcasting.
At present, ESD broadcasts 57 transmissions daily, with almost 72 hours covering over 108 countries in 27 languages, out of which 15 are foreign and 12 are Indian. The Indian languages are Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. The foreign languages are Arabic, Balochi, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, French, Indonesian, Persian, Pushtu, Russian, Sinhala, Swahili, Thai, Tibetan and English (General Overseas Service).


VOA Swears in New Director

Amanda Bennett to serve as Director of the Voice of America

Amanda Bennett is sworn in by BBG CEO John Lansing as VOA's new Director. Kelu Chao, who served as acting VOA Director for nearly a year, holds the Bible.

WASHINGTON D.C., April 18, 2016 -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amanda Bennett was sworn in today as the 29th Director of the Voice of America (VOA).

"I am happy and excited to be joining such a vital news organization," said Bennett. "VOA has a critical role ahead as it uses all its journalistic skills and abilities to cover the stories of our country and its people, as well as serving as the only source of reliable, objective and credible news and information for a large part of the world."    

Bennett has had a distinguished career in journalism. Most recently, she has been a contributing columnist for The Washington Post. She served as executive editor for Bloomberg News, where she created and ran a global team of investigative reporters and editors, and also co-founded the Bloomberg News' Women's Project. Bennett was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Lexington Herald-Leader. She also served as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland.

Bennett was a longtime reporter, correspondent and editor for the Wall Street Journal. In 1997, she shared the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting with her Wall Street Journal colleagues, and in 2001 led a team from The Oregonian to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

She was a member of Pulitzer Prize Board from 2003 to 2010 and served as the Board's co-chair in 2010. She has also served on the boards of The Gerald Loeb Awards, the American Society of News Editors and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

A graduate of Harvard College, Bennett is the author of six books, including "The Cost of Hope," her memoir of the battle she and Terence Foley, her late husband, fought against his kidney cancer. She is co-founder of TheDream.US, which provides college scholarships to the children of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

"The Board and I are thrilled to have found a world-class journalist to lead this great organization," said John Lansing, BBG CEO. "Amanda has an excellent track record of strong and collaborative leadership. This, combined with her deep understanding of the rapidly evolving digital news marketplace, makes her uniquely qualified to lead VOA successfully into the future. We are pleased to welcome her into our dedicated and talented VOA and BBG family."

VOA's Associate Director of Language Programming Kelu Chao has served as Acting VOA Director since June of last year. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Isle of Music program schedule for April 18-19

Our April 18 (in the Americas) / April 19 (in the rest of the world) program will feature Bellita Exposito, leader of Bellita y Jazztumbata and much more – she has also been a presence in TV and radio in Cuba. You'll hear some great Cuban Jazz and an interesting.interview about her own history and the expanding roles of women in Jazz in Cuba generally. Also, some intense music from Pure Mezcla by Pablo Menéndez & Mezcla, more of the beautiful concert piano album Danzas Para Piano de Ignacio Cervantes, and some vintage 1980s popular dance music from Juvenia 2000.
The WBCQ broadcast is best for the Americas, the Channel 292 for the rest of the world (to date, we have received favorable reception reports from as far East as Moscow and as far Southeast as Thessalonika, but we should be audible beyond as well).

Two listening options on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000 UTC (8pm EDT Mondays)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900 UTC (2100 CEST)
(Tilford Productions)

VOA Radiogram weekend schedule

Reception was good last weekend, allowing for successful decodes, including the nuances of the gray-scale images. Here is the photo of the migrant as decoded by Dmitry in Kursk, Russia, on 15670 kHz …

VOA Radiogram this weekend will include a seven-minute segment of Olivia 64-2000, so let’s hope for poor reception to give this slow-but-robust mode a workout. If reception conditions are good, try a cheap receiver, or a compromised antenna, or a location with electrical noise.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 159, 16-17 April 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

1:31  Program preview
2:39  Octopus makes daring escape*
7:53  Kerry calls for more connectivity in poor countries*
12:42  Trolleybuses in Moscow to be retired*
16:10  Olivia 64-2000: Tiny spacecraft to explore space
23:21  MFSK32: Closing announcements*

*with image

Please send reception reports to

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 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 have an extra digital mode transmission this weekend. The usual minute of MFSK32 is Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT), on 6040 kHz, via Germany, part of KBC’s broadcast to North America Sunday 0000-0300 UTC.  Eric van Willegen’s Giant Juke Box show will then be repeated to Europe, Sunday, 0800-1000 UTC, on 6095 kHz, also via Nauen, Germany. The MFSK32 will be at about 0920 UTC. Outside of Europe, you can listen via .

DigiDX will transmit MFSK32 and possibly other modes …
Sunday 2130-2220 UTC - 15770kHz - via WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC - 11580kHz - via WRMI Florida
Monday 2000-2030 UTC - 6070kHz – via Channel 292 Germany
Consult for any additions or changes to this schedule.

Thank you for your reception reports last weekend. In keeping with the pattern of alternating between oldest and newest reports, I am now compiling the gallery of MFSK images from program 158.  I hope to start sending those out this weekend.

Please tune in and write in.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

Twitter: @VOARadiogram

Domestic Broadcast Survey now available



edited by DSWCI Chairman, Anker Petersen.
ISSN 1399-8218

The 59 years old DSWCI, which counts experienced DX-ers in 33 countries all over the world as members, will in April issue
the 18th  Edition of its annual Domestic Broadcasting Survey. This survey is divided into three parts:

Part 1: The 44th  edition of the Tropical Bands Survey covering all ACTIVE broadcasting stations on 2300 - 5700 kHz, including clandestines.

Part 2: Domestic stations on international shortwave bands above 5700 kHz broadcasting to a domestic audience.

Part 3: Deleted frequencies between 2 and 30 MHz which have not been reported heard during the past five years, but may reappear.

This new Survey is based upon monitoring by our members, many official sources and DX-bulletins. A16 schedules are included when available. About 65 domestic shortwave stations frequencies have left the bands. In order to make the DBS reliable, our own monitors around the world have checked throughout the period April 2015 – March 2016, if each of the 500 station frequencies is on the air.  ACTIVE stations are marked with an A (”Regular”), B (”Irregular”) or C (”Sporadic”) in the list.   D means ”Likely inactive”.

A unique feature is the right column called ”Last log”. It shows the last month and year before DBS deadline on March 31, 2016   when the particular station was reported logged by a DX-er somewhere in the world. This is another way of indicating the current audibility of the station. To avoid inactive stations in this DBS, most frequencies which have not been heard during the past year, have been deleted and are moved to Part 3. No other frequency list has this feature!

Other useful features for easy identification (ID) are the parallel frequencies and reference to Station ID slogans.
All buyers of DBS-18 will get a username and password to the monthly updates on the tropical bands published as "Tropical Bands Monitor" on our website. The similar, historical data from 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 are available to anybody at .

The 18 pages A-4 size DBS-18 is available by e-mail as pdf-format (about 350 kB).
A limited number is also available printed on paper for the last time, because the DSWCI is dissolved at the end of 2016!

Both are sold by the treasurer until December 01, 2016:

c/o Bent Nielsen, Egekrogen 14, DK 3500 Vaerloese, DENMARK

The Radio Scene in the World’s Largest Abandoned City

During the past score of years, several hundred new cities have been constructed in many different areas of China.  These new cities: Some are large and some are small, some are independent self contained units out on the edge of nowhere, and some are nearby adjuncts to large and older cities. 
            This seemingly frantic and hideously expensive building frenzy has produced an uncountable  number of cities that are still largely uninhabited, and the announced intention is to continue this rapid escalation at the rate of 20 new cities each year for the next 20 years.  If the sum of all these building projects is ever completed, and if ever the citizens do move in, it is said that this would be the largest mass migration in the history of planet Earth.   
            Take for example, the new city of Jing Jin.  This project is located south east of the national capital, Beijing.  The entire city was planned to cover 100 square miles, with a major city center and wide spread suburban areas.
            Construction at Jing Jin began in 2002, and thus far 3,000 suburban single family villas have been built, each on its own spacious plot of ground, and plans are in hand for the construction of an additional 4,000 similar villas.  But, currently Jing Jin is just 2% occupied, and the rest lies abandoned.
            The city also contains two colleges, a museum and a golf course, a hot springs resort, as well as a huge number of shops with only a few in operation.  A multi-storeyed 5 star Hyatt Regency Hotel with a capacity for 800 guests is largely empty.
            Jing Jin lies an hour drive from Beijing, but it is just too far for residents to make a daily commute to the capital city.
            Fifty miles inland from Hong Kong lies another massive building project, the New South China Shopping Mall.  This huge shopping center was built on confiscated farmlands and it was planned as the largest shipping mall in the world with space for more than 2300 different shops.  The facility lies almost unoccupied, with 1% in use, and 99% abandoned.            
            Twenty miles outside Beijing, another grandiose project lies in demolished ruin.  The Disneyland style Wonderland Amusement Park was intended to become the largest amusement park in Asia.  Work began on this 120 acre project in 1998, and well before completion it was abandoned. 
            Fifteen years later, what was left was demolished and the land was taken back by its previous owners.  Tentative plans have called for a luxury supermarket on this isolated location. 
            There is one abandoned city in China that has been left vacant for another reason altogether.  The city of Beichuan, with its population of 160,000, is located almost in the center of the nation of China.
             In 2008, a massive earthquake rated at 8.0 destroyed most of the buildings in Beichuan, with the death of 100,000 people, including more than 1300 children at two high schools.  Instead of rebuilding at the same dangerous location, another city with the same name was built for the survivors some 15 miles down stream. 
            Described as the world’s largest abandoned city is Kangbashi, on the edge of the already inhabited city of Ordos in the territory of Inner Mongolia.  Planning for this huge new city began in 2003, and construction work began just one year later.      
            Original planning called for construction on a total of 137 square miles, though work on only 14 square miles has been completed.  This new city would hold one million people, and the total investment would involve $161 billion.  However, Kangbashi is only 2% occupied, snd the rest is going to rot and ruin.
            As completed, Kangbashi has a multi-storeyed unfinished and largely unused hospital, a huge sports stadium complete with unoccupied seating, a futuristic style museum with almost no items on display, an unusual style library with practically no readers, and wide well planned thoroughfares with almost no traffic.  There is a five-storeyed food court, with almost no food available, and a Dancing Music Fountain, the largest in Asia, with a tourist display each evening but very few to watch it.
            What about the radio scene in this fantastic and largely unused fabulous city?  If the city is largely abandoned, then you would expect that there are no radio and TV stations within the city itself.                 If that is your expectation, then you would be correct.  There are no active radio and TV stations in Kangbashi New City.
            However, there is a major radio and TV service in the nearby parent city Ordos, which provides electronic coverage to the few who have taken up permanent residency, some as squatters, in the new Kingbashi.  The government head office for the Bureau of Radio and Television in Ordos is located on 
E'erduosi Street in the district Ejin Horo.
            The Ordos Broadcasting station is located at Manduhai Xiang in Dongshen Ou, and it provides four channels of radio program service, with nine active transmitters on both mediumwave and FM.  On mediumwave are four transmitters, each rated apparently at 10 kW.  The frequencies for these four transmitters are: 603          792  896 and 936 kHz.
            That is the story of Kangbashi New City, which is touted as China’s most famous tourist city.       

 (AWR/Wavescan NSW 372)

Focus on the South Pacific: Cook Island Montage

The Cook Islands are an island group in the South Pacific located quite close to Tahiti.  The Cook Islands Maori language is quite similar to the native Tahitian language.  But while Tahiti was colonized by France and its inhabitants speak French as well as Tahitian, the Cook Islands were colonized by New Zealand and their inhabitants speak English as well as Cook Islands Maori.  The Cook Islands were given autonomous status in 1965, but they remain very closely associated with New Zealand.
            Last September, my wife Thais and I stopped over in the Cook Islands for a few days on our way back from New Zealand to the United States.  Air New Zealand very conveniently makes a stopover there.  And a very pleasant stopover it was.  The main island of Rarotonga is one of those idyllic South Pacific paradise islands with consistently warm weather, warm people, beautiful tropical vegetation, perfect sandy beaches and turquoise water.  We stayed in a modern thatch-roofed bungalow right on the beach at a place enticingly called the Magic Reef Resort.

            We rented a car and drove all around the island -- which can be done in a few hours -- and I asked some of the local people what their favorite radio station was.  Most of them told me 88 FM, and they mentioned a DJ named George Williams, who goes by G-Dub on the air.  So off I went in search of G-Dub.  I caught up with him at an outdoor cafe in the island’s capital city.
Radio Cook Islands on 630 kHz AM began broadcasting as a government-owned station in the 1970’s using a 5 kilowatt transmitter.  Later, the power was cut in half due to power costs.  Radio Cook Islands also had a shortwave channel for a time - 11760 kHz -- but this has not been on the air since the early 1990’s.  
            The station’s website says that it is heard on AM all over Rarotonga, the main island, as well as the southern Cook Islands.  It says it can be heard in the north Cook Islands on car radios with wires strung between coconut trees.  It’s also streamed live via Internet, so local FM stations on the outer islands can rebroadcast it.  
Radio Cook Islands was privatized in 1996, then went back to the government in 1998.  In 1999, a private company acquired the station and decided to continue its commitment as the national station of the Cook Islands in the absence of a public service broadcaster.  Program content includes news, Cook Islands culture and language, local music and community events.  
            In 2006 it added an FM frequency of 101.1 MHz.  Programming includes some rebroadcasts of Radio New Zealand.

            Matariki FM broadcasts in both Cook Islands Maori and English, but its programming is mostly music from the Cook Islands and Tahiti, with some music from other South Pacific islands.  Matariki FM’s live stream, by the way, can be heard on the Internet at  

April specials from DX Stamp & Supplies

Dear Customer,
Below are specials for April.
 If you need a current stamp list or supply list, I can mail or email it to you.
GREAT NEWS: Domestic rate DROPS!! April 10th to 47c and additional ounce drops from 22c to 21c....International rate DROPS to $1.15. Postage grids below are updated for this. The postage Grab Bags have been discontinued. Check out special deal for 47c in 2 stamps listed below April DX Stamp Specials.
MORE NEWS:   I have several hundred of $1.15 in 3 stamps available. 100 for $90.00ppd or 300 for $260.00ppd.   
 NEW RATES: Moldova now 15,50 up from 8,50
France, Andorra and Monaco rates increased, was 1,20 euro now 1,25. France is 20g world forever, no update needed. I have update for Andorra if you need it. I will be selling the Monaco forever stamp now.
Philippines increased from 40p to 45p. I can update if you need it.
Gibraltar rate increased from 51p to 80p. No problem as Gibraltar forever stamp covers the new rate.
If you hear of or notice any new rates, let me know.
NEW PRICES:  Moldova now priced at $2.00 up from $1.50
STAMPS ON BACK ORDER:  Fiji, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Thailand.
Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster
your envelope with colorful stamps.
47c Units
in 2 stamps
in 3 stamps
in 4 stamps
in 5 stamps
x 100
x 200
x 400

International Rate

$1.15 Units
Global forever
x 20
x 100
x 200
x 500
2 Germany-$2.60    2 Russia-$2.60    3 Japan-$3.90  
2 UK-$3.00    2 France-$3.60    2 Spain-$4.00
 U.S. Postage Deals!!
200 x 47c in 2 stamps: regular price $78, this month $73. or
400 x 47c in 2 stamps: regular price $152, this month only $140.ppd!!!
200/200 European Mailers and Returns -$40.00
400/400 European Air Mailers and Air Returns - $75.00
600/600 European Air Mailers and Air Returns - $100.00
200/200 Stateside Mailers and Returns - $19.00
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

Monday, April 11, 2016

Isle of Music schedule for Monday night

Since the addition of Channel 292 we are now getting excellent reception reports from as far east as Moscow.

Our April 11 (in the Americas) / April 12 (for the rest of the world) program will have more dance music than usual, with special guests Jesus Chappottin and Miguelito Cuni Jr. of Conjunto Chappotin, some classic dance tracks from Conjunto Los Bocucos and some Timba from El Niño y la Verdad. On the Jazz front, a new release by Brenda Navarrete, and more beautiful Cuban concert music from the album Danzas Para Piano de Ignacio Cervantes.

Two listening options on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000 UTC (8pm EDT Mondays)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900 UTC (2100 CEST)
See the NOTES section of our Facebook page for program updates and other information.

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
5713 N. St. Louis Av
Chicago IL 60659-4405
phone: 773.267.6548

Friday, April 08, 2016

VOA Radiogram weekend schedule

Hello friends,

The German communications regulator Bundesnetzagentur jhas changed its mind about allowing digital modes on shortwave broadcast transmitters in Germany. Apparently BNetzA thought that Channel 292 was transmitting the text and images in single sideband (SSB), which is how amateurs, military, etc, transmit the digital modes. Now that they know that the MFSK32 and other modes are sent as program audio on an analogue amplitude-modulation shortwave transmitter, their objections were withdrawn.  (It's similar to A2A modulated CW.)

BNetzA prefers that the term MFSK32 not be used to describe these broadcasts, but we have to specify the mode so that you can set Fldigi or other decoding software to the correct mode. In any case, the weekly MFSK32 transmission will resume on The Mighty KBC, and DigiDX will return to Channel 292.

Meanwhile, VOA Radiogram this weekend will be all MFSK32 except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 under the closing music.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 158, 9-10 April 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

  1:32  Program preview
  2:46  China domain name rules*
11:58  South Korea blocks North Korea Tech website*
18:09  Mars Opportunity rover photographs dust devil*
23:01  Photo of migrant from RFE/RL Top Shots*
26:24  Closing announcements*
28:01  Olivia 64-2000: Frequencies under music

* with image

Please send reception reports to

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 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 (after a one-week break) transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0220 UTC (Saturday 10:20 pm EDT) on 6040 kHz, via Germany.  Sometimes the MFSK32 is as late as 0228 UTC. Reports for this KBC reception to Eric:

DigiDX will broadcast DX news in MFSK32 (and perhaps other modes)  …
Sunday 2130 UTC 15570kHz via WRMI (Florida)
Sunday 2330 UTC 11580kHz via WRMI (Florida)
Monday 2000 UTC 6070kHz via Channel 292 (Germany)
Check for any changes or additions to this schedule.

Thank you for your reports to VOA Radiogram last weekend.  I am now compiling the MFSK image gallery from program 136 (November 2015) and hope to send that out this weekend.

Fldigi saves decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\.  When you send a reception report, please attach those png files.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @voaradiogram (especially active before, during, and after broadcasts)