Saturday, February 17, 2018

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules

From the Isle of Music, February 18-24, 2018
This week our special guest is Tony Avila, whose 2016 album Que se haga la luz is one of the most interesting Nueva Trova albums we have heard in many years. Also, some excellent Cuban Jazz.
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)

2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0100-0200 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This is running on a backup transmitter due to a recent fire.

3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, Sunday, February 18
Episode 50 of Uncle Bill's Melting Pot sends us to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (known as Zaire for a time) and back to the US for some US versions of African and Latin Soul.
Sunday, February 18, 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) onWBCQ T he Planet 7490 KHz shortwave from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Friday, February 16, 2018

* On the Air and in the Air

There was a time when it was possible to listen to a radio receiver while traveling in a commercial passenger airliner.  And back then, it was also possible on occasions to obtain access to the flight deck and to talk with the flight crew while they were on duty.  However, those days are long gone, and tight security while in the air is the requirement these days.

            On August 28, 1977, my wife and I were flying from Perth in Western Australia towards Indonesia on our way back for another term of service in Southern Asia with Adventist World Radio.  As the large passenger airliner was nearing the islands of Indonesia, the Captain invited me into the Flight Deck and he gave me the use of one of the plane’s radio receivers.  I tuned to the longwave channel 341 kHz and heard the aircraft radio beacon with its beeps in Morse Code, identifying the letters XMX.

            I sent a reception report together with a do-it-yourself QSL card to the airport on isolated and lonely Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.  Exactly eleven years later, I received the previously prepared QSL card, duly signed and rubber stamped, together with a note acknowledging the delay.  The do-it-yourself prepared verification information was rubber stamped onto a large double folded card from Radio Australia, showing a Tiger Cat on the  picture side of the card.  The power of the air beacon transmitter on 341 kHz is shown as 100 watts.

            Back on August 23, 1982, our DX editor Adrian Peterson, together with his wife Violet and their two children, were again aboard a passenger liner flying from Perth in Western Australia to Jakarta in Indonesia.  During mid flight, the Captain of the passenger plane invited Dr. Peterson into the flight deck and gave him unlimited use of one of the plane’s radio receivers.   

            Among the stations that he tuned to on the radio receiver was the lonely medium wave station VKW on isolated Cocos Island with 50 watts on 1404 kHz.  The Captain phoned station VKW on the island below stating that he had a passenger aboard who was listening to the live programming from his station.  Our DX editor reports that the on-air announcer then interviewed him live, an interview that was presented in real time over medium wave station VKW.

            A QSL card from medium wave VKW on Cocos Island in the Indian Ocean is very rare.  The verification that was received in response to this unique reception report from a high flying passenger plane is a tourist picture postcard from Australia with blank QSL text rubber stamped onto the address side of the card.

            For our weekly feature about unusual, rare and unique QSLs, our DX editor Adrian Peterson tells the story about his QSL card verifying the reception of a low powered radio broadcasting station in Turkey.  Back in the year 1980, he was flying from India to the United States via Europe to attend meetings at the head office for Adventist World Radio in suburban Washington DC. 

            While the passenger airliner was flying high over Turkey, he was invited into the flight deck of the passenger airliner and given the use of one of the plane’s radio receivers.  He tuned the radio to 1590 kHz and heard the desired station, the low powered AFRS American Forces Radio Station which was installed in the American Air Base near Adana, in the Mediterranean corner of Turkey. 

            At the same time as he was seated in the comfortable high flying airplane, he could see in the distance the clear outline of Mt Ararat, covered in brilliant white snow.  Mt Ararat is a reminder of another method of travel, in a long distant era, with a huge wooden boat, Noah’s Ark, the remains of which are said to be in that area to this day.

            In due course, a do-it-yourself, self-prepared tourist travel QSL card, replete with American postage stamps, was received.  This card, with full QSL details, verified AFRS Adana, with just 10 watts on 1590 kHz.  Interestingly, the wavelength is shown as 61886.792 feet which is actually a mistake in calculation.  By moving the decimal place by two positions, the equivalent is indeed 1590 kHz.
            This unusual QSL card features a unique threesome: a receiver in the flight deck of a passenger airliner, a low powered medium ave station on the ground, and a wavelength measured in feet, not in metres.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 468)

Shortwave Radiogram weekend schedules

Hello friends,

After a few years of inactivity, I am again relaying news about international broadcasting through the Twitter feed @kaedotcom . If you don't have a Twitter account, just visit . Most of the Twitter items are eventually also posted to .

Last weekend's experiment with Olivia  modes, all with 8 tones but bandwidths of 2000, 1000, and 500 Hz, generally showed the narrower bandwidths to provide better performance. Unfortunately, the narrower versions also provide slower text printout. I also noticed that MFSK32 usually provided a better decode than all the Olivia modes. Given that MFSK32 is faster and can transmit images, it becomes evident why it is our favorite mode. If we experience continuously poor reception on Shortwave Radiogram, e.g. if someone decides to jam to the program, we might look for a slower but more robust mode.

If you were not able to tune in last weekend and want to try decoding the three Olivia modes, as well as the MFSK32, these YouTube videos produced by Shortwave Radiogram listeners are available:  ;  ;  
This weekend's Shortwave Radiogram will be all MFSK32, including five images. The show includes news about a new Twitter feed that reports on FCC experimental license applications. Then two items from outer space. And finally a nod to the Winter Olympics taking place in a city whose name I can never remember, let alone spell. 

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 35, 17-18 February 2018, all in MFSK32:

 1:32  Program preview
 2:38  New Twitter feed tracks FCC experimental licenses*
 6:55  Search for an ionosphere for signs of planetary life*
16:58  Astronomers image 40-light-year-wide space donut*
23:12  Olympics image*
25:33  Closing announcements*

Please send reception reports to

Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Facebook group:

Shortwave Radiogram Program 35
(17-18 February  2018)

1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz

Space Line, Bulgaria
2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
0800-0830 UTC

7730 kHz
5850 kHz
WRMI Florida

The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 7-9 pm EST) on 6150 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:

2025-2030 UTC
5845 kHz
Europe, Middle East, Asia
0125-0130 UTC
5950, 11580 kHz
0225-0230 UTC
9955 kHz
0255-0300 UTC
5985 kHz
0155-0200 UTC
5850, 5950, 9395, 9455 kHz
0055-0100 UTC
7730 kHz
1155-1200 UTC
6070 kHz

 Thanks for your reception reports! 

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram
Reporting on international broadcasting at

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 Feb 12 0146 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 05 - 11 February 2018

Solar activity was at very low levels on 05, 08-09 and 11 Feb while low levels were observed on 06-07 and 10 Feb. All of the period's activity originated from Region 2699 (S07, L=165,
class/area Dai/240 on 10 Feb). The largest observed event was a C8 flare observed at 07/1347 UTC. No Earth-directed CME activity was detected during the period.  No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels the entire period.
Geomagnetic field activity was at predominately quiet levels under a nominal solar wind regime. Isolated unsettled intervals were observed on 05, 09 and 10 Feb.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 12 February - 10 March 2018
olar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels, with a chance for M-class activity, through 16 Feb due to the flare potential of Region 2699. Very low levels are expected from 17-28 Feb. A return to very low to low levels, with a chance for M-class activity, is possible from 01-10 Mar after the return of old Region 2699.  No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at normal to moderate levels on 12-25 Feb, with a chance for high levels on 19 Feb, due to influence from recurrent CH
HSSs. Mostly normal levels are anticipated on 26 Feb - 10 Mar. Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels on 15-18 Feb, 20-22 Feb and 04 Mar, with isolated active
periods likely on 16 Feb. This activity is due to influence from recurrent CH HSSs. Mostly quiet conditions are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2018 Feb 12 0146 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC contact on the Web
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2018-02-12
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 Feb 12      78           5          2
2018 Feb 13      78           5          2
2018 Feb 14      78           5          2
2018 Feb 15      76           8          3
2018 Feb 16      76          15          4
2018 Feb 17      72          12          4
2018 Feb 18      70          10          3
2018 Feb 19      70           5          2
2018 Feb 20      70           8          3
2018 Feb 21      70          10          3
2018 Feb 22      70           8          3
2018 Feb 23      69           5          2
2018 Feb 24      69           5          2
2018 Feb 25      69           5          2
2018 Feb 26      69           5          2
2018 Feb 27      69           5          2
2018 Feb 28      69           5          2
2018 Mar 01      72           5          2
2018 Mar 02      75           5          2
2018 Mar 03      75           5          2
2018 Mar 04      78           8          3
2018 Mar 05      78           5          2
2018 Mar 06      78           5          2
2018 Mar 07      78           5          2
2018 Mar 08      78           5          2
2018 Mar 09      78           5          2
2018 Mar 10      78           5          2

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Radio Free Asia frequency updates

RFA frequency updates

All times UTC

1500-1600 on  7415 TIN 250 kW / 303 deg to EaAs Chinese Mon/Wed, ex Daily
1500-1600 NF  7400 TIN 250 kW / 303 deg to EaAs Chinese Tue/Thu, ex 7415
1500-1600 NF  7440 TIN 250 kW / 303 deg to EaAs Chinese Fri, ex 7415
1500-1600 NF  7520 TIN 250 kW / 303 deg to EaAs Chinese Sat/Sun, ex 7415

0100-0200 on 15270 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Mon, ex Daily
0100-0200 NF 15150 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Tue, ex 15270
0100-0200 NF 15170 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Wed, ex 15270
0100-0200 NF 15210 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Thu, ex 15270
0100-0200 NF 15310 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Fri, ex 15270
0100-0200 NF 15325 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Sat, ex 15270
0100-0200 NF 15335 TIN 250 kW / 295 deg to CeAs Tibetan Sun, ex 15270
1000-1100 NF 17790 LAM 100 kW / 077 deg to CeAs Tibetan, ex 17830

0100-0200 NF  7520 DB  200 kW / 060 deg to CeAs Uyghur, ex  7480
0100-0200 NF 17585 TIN 250 kW / 309 deg to CeAs Uyghur, ex 17540
1600-1700 on 11800 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Mon, additional
1600-1700 on 11785 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Tue, additional
1600-1700 on 11805 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Wed, additional
1600-1700 on 11860 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Thu, additional
1600-1700 on 11885 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Fri, additional
1600-1700 on 11890 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Sat, additional
1600-1700 on 11775 KWT 250 kW / 058 deg to CeAs Uyghur Sun, additional
(SWLDX/revised by Teak Publishing)

Monday, February 12, 2018

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules

From the Isle of Music, February 11-17, 2018
More of Alejandro Falcón and his new album Mi monte espiritual; also some great music from Yunior Terry, Yosvany Terry and Estrellas de Areito.
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0100-0200 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This is running on a backup transmitter due to a recent fire.
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
From the Isle of Music is not available for listening on demand but some broadcasts can be heard online during the time of the broadcast using Web SDRs or the WBCQ website (during their broadcast) if you are not receiving the radio signal.

Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, Sunday, February 11
Episode 49 of Uncle Bill's Melting Pot sends us to Canada and Scotland with a slice of Swiss.
Sunday, February 11, 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz shortwave from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Absolute Radio threatens AM Service shutdown

Absolute Radio is wanting to reduce its medium wave coverage across the UK from 90% to 85%.
The Bauer station says that continuing to provide 90% population coverage is no longer ‘reasonably practicable’ and if permission is not granted for the reduction, it would result in Absolute Radio having to close down the entire AM Network.

Additional story at: 

Ofcom has published a consultation on a proposed variation to Absolute Radio’s national analogue radio license.
Absolute Radio is seeking to reduce its medium wave (AM) coverage across the UK, from 90% to 85%.
The station would continue to be available to listeners in the affected areas via DAB digital radio, via television on the Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media platforms, and via the internet.
We are now seeking views from interested or affected parties which must be submitted by 26 February 2018. We will take all responses into account before reaching a final decision.
The consultation can be found at
 Extract from the consultation:
On 17 January 2018, Ofcom received a formal submission from Absolute Radio proposing to introduce two changes to its AM network that, taken together, would reduce coverage to c.85.4%. These changes are:

a) reducing the transmitting power at five transmitter sites by 3dB as soon as possible following Ofcom’s approval, which would reduce total coverage from 90.5% to 88.7%; and

b) closing 12 transmitter sites from May 2018, which would further bring total coverage down to 85.4%. These transmitters are located at Plymouth, Redmoss (Aberdeen), Hull, Torbay, Redruth, Hoo (Kent), Greenside Scalp (Dundee), Wallasey, Pirbright (Guildford), Chesterton Fen (Cambridge), Rodbourne Sewage (Swindon) and Sheffield.
__Posted by: "BDXC"

Friday, February 09, 2018

International Shortwave Broadcast Guide, Winter 2017-2018, available at Amazon

There's still several weeks until most stations adjust to their summer broadcast schedules.  Until then, the winter edition of International Shortwave Broadcast Guide, is still available from Amazon. Get your copy NOW to complete your winter listening.

Winter 2017-2018 International Shortwave Broadcast Guide Now Available at Amazon

 Many long time shortwave radio listeners remember the bevy of shortwave radio stations that broadcasted a constant drumbeat of political propaganda from around the world during the old Cold War years. Shortwave radio frequencies, played a very important role in promoting the then ideological confrontation between the East and the West.

Once again shortwave radio has moved to the forefront of a new Cold War, as tensions heat up around the various world hotspots. To follow the action on shortwave radio, you need an accurate and comprehensive broadcast guide.

Teak Publishing is pleased to announce the release of that important radio reference – Winter 2017-2018 International Shortwave Broadcast Guide (ISWBG) electronic book by Amazon bestselling author Gayle Van Horn, W4GVH. This all important semi-annual information resource is your electronic guide to the world of shortwave radio listening.

The release of this book is very timely for international radio monitors given the recent outbreak of tensions in the world hotspots of Eastern Europe, Middle East, East Asia and specifically, the Korean Peninsula.

Shortwave radio listeners are routinely entertained with unique perspectives to events, music, culture, history, and news from other countries that you won’t see or hear on your local or national broadcast channels. Shortwave radio broadcast is not restricted by country borders or oceans, and can propagate thousands of miles, reaching millions of listeners worldwide, in over 300 different languages and dialects. These worldwide transmissions are monitored on internationally assigned radio frequencies between 1700 kHz and 30 MHz.

There are even broadcasts from the dark side, transmitted from broadcasters known as clandestine or clanny stations. Clandestine broadcasters are wrapped in mystery and intrigue, and they usually exist to bring about some sort of political change to the country they are targeting. Programming may largely be half-truths or sometimes even outright lies, but it is essentially propaganda for their cause.

Listeners who live in the United States can easily hear shortwave broadcast stations from China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, North/South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, and many other counties if you have an inexpensive shortwave radio receiver, and you know when and where to listen!

If you want to get in on the action, then this Amazon electronic book is your ticket the travel the world via radio. The ISWBG is our exclusive 24-hour station/frequency guide to “all” of the known longwave, selected medium wave and shortwave radio stations currently broadcasting at time of publication. This unique radio hobby resource is the “only” radio hobby publication that has by-hour station schedules that include all language services, frequencies and world target areas.

New in this ninth edition of the ISWBG is a feature, “Monitoring the Secret State of North Korea” by ISWBG author Gayle Van Horn. This timely article will guide you through the various broadcasts medium from rogue regime in Pyongyang. Other authors in this edition include The Spectrum Monitor’s Fred Waterer, and Hans Johnson. There are also two equipment reviews (Gospell GR-216 and T1VDIO receivers), a review of the NRC AM Radio Log and a review of the DXTreme Monitor 11 software program by the Teak Publishing team.

There is also an expanded special feature on Who’s Who in the shortwave radio spectrum by former Monitoring Times editor and Spectrum Monitor e-zine columnist/feature writer Larry Van Horn N5FPW. This story covers services and frequencies outside the regular broadcast and amateur radio bands, and includes our new, exclusive Hot HF 1000+ non-broadcast frequency list.

Also included in this edition is increased frequency and station coverage of longwave broadcasters, selected medium wave broadcast frequencies used by international broadcasters, all known international standard time and frequency stations transmitting worldwide, and some selected spy numbers broadcasts.

International Shortwave Broadcast Guide 9th edition of this semiannual Teak Publishing publication is available worldwide from Amazon and their various international websites at

 The price for this latest edition is still US$7.99. Since 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 this electronic book (e-Book) from Amazon websites directly servicing these countries. All other countries can use the regular website.

 Don’t own a Kindle reader from Amazon? Not a problem. You do not need to own a Kindle to read Amazon e-book publications. You can read any Kindle book with Amazon’s free reading apps on literally any electronic media platform.

A Kindle app is available for most major smartphones, tablets and computers. There is a Kindle app available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch; Android Phone; Android Tablet; PC; Windows 8; Mac Kindle Cloud Reader; Windows Phone; Samsung; BlackBerry 10; BlackBerry; and WebOS. This means with a free Kindle reading apps, you can buy a Kindle book once, and read it on any device with the Kindle app installed*. You can also read that same Kindle book on a Kindle device if you own one.

You can find additional details on these apps by checking out this link to the Amazon website at

For additional information on this and other Teak Publishing radio hobby books, monitor the company sponsored Internet blogs – The Military Monitoring Post (, The Btown Monitor Post ( and The Shortwave Central ( for availability of additional e-books that are currently in production. You can learn more about the author by going to her author page on Amazon at

The International Shortwave Broadcast Guide will have wide appeal to amateur radio operators, shortwave radio hobbyists, educators, foreign language students, news agencies, news buffs, or anyone interested in listening to a global view of world news and major events as they happen.

Whether you are an amateur radio operator or shortwave radio enthusiasts, and want to get in on the action outside of the ham bands, then this new electronic book from Teak Publishing is a must in your radio reference library.

Here are some of the public comments from radio hobbyists who purchased previous editions of the International Shortwave Broadcast Guide Amazon e-book.

Old-School Shortwave Folks Need to Buy This by James Tedford
There is still a lot to hear on the over-the-air analog shortwave radio bands. This book, updated semiannually will help you hear it. Good comprehensive frequency listings. A must-have for those of us who refuse to totally succumb to digital media.
An excellent guide for shortwave listeners of all levels everywhere by Bill Tilford
This is the best $7.99 you will ever spend on shortwave. This is excellently done and has some of everything - an excellent hour by hour "who is on", discussions of radios, propagation, antennas and some newsworthy items related to the B16 season. The author, Gayle Van Horn, also does the excellent Shortwave Central blog, and the book also has contributions from Fred Waterer, who writers about shortwave for The Spectrum Monitor. I am not a regular Kindle user and was originally concerned about the e-book format, but the Kindle app turned out to be easy to download and use (and the app, unlike the book, is free).

Broadcasters listed by UTC By E. Kapetanakis
Guide offers a lot of useful information for the novice as well as the seasoned shortwave radio listener. Listing of broadcasters and their respective frequencies has been broken down by the Universal Coordinated Time slot that they broadcast. Very useful to check and see who you are listening to at any time of day in your particular geographical location.

Five Stars by DLR and Heatwave
A great source and informative read and great book, well written.

VERY Useful Guide! By Dave in Ohio
Being rather new to the SW DXing, I needed a guide. Most of them were pretty pricey so I decided to give this one a try. When it arrived, I didn't have a lot of time to review it, just glanced at it and was a little upset. I had expected something with page after page of countries with their frequency listings, much like other guides I'd heard about. This one seemed to have a lot of articles about SWL and only in the back did I find frequency listings. But the next day I had about an hour to sit and review the book on my Kindle and I discovered how clever Ms. Van Horn had been in her formatting. I realized that the last thing I needed was just a list of frequencies. The gem of the book is the section that divides the day into UTC hours and what frequency in which country is likely to be on the air at that time. After all, what good does it do me to know that Radio Slobovia broadcasts on 1305 if I have no idea of when to listen for them? (The book also contains a long listing by frequency for identifying those broadcasts that you stumble upon.) I've looked around the articles towards the beginning of the book and the ones I've read are well written and interesting. I strongly recommend that the new readers of Ms. Van Horn's guide use the table of contents to skip around and become familiar with the format. Very useful book at a good price. Ms. Van Horn has herself a new fan ) 

Essential reference for SWLs By Hundedrek
Gayle knows international SW like few others. She used to write a monthly column and directory in the late, lamented Monitoring Times mag. A big reason why I I subbed to it for years. This guide continues the tradition. The Kindle version is more convenient to use. Now that so many international broadcasters are streaming their programming, Gayle's guide is even more valuable.

Gayle does us a great service by publishing this Shortwave Radio Guide By Tampa

A needed re hash of previous books. Gayle does us a great service by publishing this Shortwave Guide. Many on ships have stopped using short wave as they do not have radio distribution systems for the crews as Satellite takes over. Many ships have wired hanging out of portholes as a result and all kinds of antennas stuck around the ships creating hazards so they can listen to their home countries. CBC has shut down Radio Canada to save money OMG #Stupid. Clandestine Radio is on the Rise and this book lists and explains. That in itself is interesting. Should be of interest to any #SWL or #HamRadio people.

Shortwave LIVES!!!!!! By Walter C. Thurman
The Van Horns are shining stars in the Shortwave Radio and MilComms World.... this read is helpful for us DIE HARD shortwave listener's and Ham Radio folks alike. THANK FOR WHAT YOU GUYS DO!!!!! N0RDC

Great Useful (and highly affordable) Data For SWLs By Randy S.
Gayle's monthly Monitoring Times roundup of shortwave broadcast schedules was always tremendously useful. With the demise of the magazine itself it's nice to see that her massive database (and the years of work on it) aren't going to waste. And at the price (less than the cost of a monthly issue of the magazine) it makes for a fine bargain and is well worth it for shortwave-broadcast listeners with e-reader capability. The twice- yearly updates will keep the project relevant and useful.

Solid for HF listening! By Mr geocacher
Very useful for identifying what you hear on HF. Lot's of good tidbits for listening hints too.

Shortwave Broadcast Guide by Kindle Customer
Since Monitoring Times is no longer in publication, this guide is required for the dedicated shortwave listener. There is information provided that I have found no where else. It will be a welcome addition to any listener's equipment. Gayle Van Horn has been publishing this research for many years and the followers are numerous, from beginners to professionals. The author's work is accurate, concise and thorough. If you have a shortwave radio, you need this publication as much as a set of earphones. There is none better.

 Very Good Source for Shortwave Stations Broadcast Schedules by Kenneth Windyka
I've got to admit up front that I don't have a strong interest in this part of the hobby. HOWEVER, Gayle Van Horn makes it easy to determine what one can hear on the short wave bands during a particular time period (in GMT time sorted format). I also like the internet reference available, so that one can listen to programs via the internet even if its' not possible via the shortwave radio.

NJ Shortwave listener hears International Frequencies with new guide help by Stanley E Rozewski
This e-book is complete and accurate in presenting a low cost SW frequency guide and important must read topics for the new or experienced user. I liked the easy reading format, and understandable frequency guide. I will order the second edition next year.

This is my go-to-first reference by Mary C Larson
When I turn on the shortwave receiver and want to find out what's on and where to look, Van Horn's handy frequency guide is a smart place to begin. The format is not unlike the one Monitoring Times (R.I.P.) used each month. Presumably, updated ISBGs will be published twice per year, but you can check for the updates on her blog, (

Good value by DrP
This is an excellent well-written book that is very affordable when compared to encyclopedic guides, e.g., the WRTH. Much the same information is included. The first part is a nice introduction to SW listening pitched to the beginner. Included is an informative section on purchasing a radio spanning low-end <$100 models up through the most advanced transceivers. The bulk of the book contains a list of world-wide SW broadcasters, organized by frequency band. This makes it ideal for browsing one band at a time, but much less so if you want to search for broadcasts from a particular country.

I like this one by Charles
I have only had a brief chance to scan through this book. From what I have seen of it I will enjoy getting in to it.

 Excellent Shortwave Introduction and Program Guide by Don K3PRN
Excellent, very reasonable guide to shortwave radio. As a longtime shortwave listener, the listing of all shortwave stations by UTC time is very useful to me. I had previously a shortwave website that listed only English broadcasts rather than an all station listing with the language that will be broadcast. I would highly recommend this e book for all new shortwave listeners and those that interested in a very portable listing of all stations by UTC. I only hope that this will be updated twice a year for many more years.

Good Product by Radio Freq
Since Monitoring Times stopped publishing shortwave radio schedules, there has been a dearth of resources for radio-heads. This guide nicely fulfills gap. It is very comprehensive.

It is nice someone is dedicated to SWL by Robert K. Mallory
Very concise and well organized. Not much to choose from these days, it is nice someone is dedicated to Shortwave Radio Listening.

Shortwave Radiogram schedules

Hello friends,
Last weekend’s reception was generally good except for the Sunday 2030-2100 UTC transmission on 7780 kHz from WRMI in Florida. Lately it has been heard well only in parts of the eastern half of the USA. On the other hand, it’s a good test of decoding from a weak signal.

World Radio Day will be this Tuesday. Try not to get carried away with your celebrations.
Shortwave Radiogram this weekend will mostly be in MFSK32, but we will also try another experiment with Olivia modes. Two weeks ago, we transmitted five Olivia modes, all 2000 Hz wide, but with the number of tones decreasing from 64 to 4. This weekend, the number of tones will be 8, but the bandwidths will be 2000, 1000, and 500 Hz.
The RSID should set your software to the correct mode. If it does not, a 30-second tone will be sent after the RSID to give you some time to change the mode manually. The Olivia 8-2000 mode will require a custom mode change: Op Mode > Olivia > Custom > set bandwidth to 2000 Hz and the tones to 8. The Olivia 8-1000 (1K) and 8-500 modes can be set in the main Olivia window. Or you can create Fldigi macros: .
Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 34, in MFSK32 except where noted:
 1:35  Program preview
 2:54  World Radio Day 2018*
 6:15  Pakistani media warned against promoting Valentine's Day*
10:32  The launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy*
15:11  Olivia 8-2000: Chicago dinosaur skeleton will move
17:36  Olivia 8-1000: Continued
20:16  Olivia 8-500: Continued
23:24  MFSK32: Image* and closing announcements

Please send reception reports to
And visit
Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Facebook group:

Shortwave Radiogram Program 34
(10-11 February  2018)

Saturday 1600-1630 UTC 9400 kHz MFSK32,
Olivia 8-2000,
Olivia 8-1000,
Olivia 8-500
  Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday 2030-2100 UTC 7780 kHz  WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC 7780 kHz  WRMI Florida
Monday 0800-0830 UTC
  7730 kHz
5850 kHz  WRMI Florida

The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 7-9 pm EST) on 6150 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and 
Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:
Wednesday 2025-2030 UTC 5845 kHz Europe, Middle East, Asia
Tuesday 0125-0130 UTC 5950, 11580 kHz Americas
Friday 0225-0230 UTC 9955 kHz Americas
Friday 0255-0300 UTC 5985 kHz Americas
Saturday 0155-0200 UTC 5850, 5950, 9395, 9455 kHz Americas
Sunday 0055-0100 UTC 7730 kHz Americas
Sunday 1155-1200 UTC  6070 kHz Europe

 Thanks for your reception reports! 
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram
Reporting on international broadcasting at

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Abandoned Radio Stations

On three previous occasions here in Wavescan, we have presented the story of abandoned radio stations; and so in our program today, we take another look at the story associated with some more abandoned radio stations; this time four shortwave stations located in the United States and in Africa.  We begin with the long time silent shortwave station located near Upton in Kentucky.

            It was back in March 1986 that an application for a new shortwave station was lodged with the FCC on behalf of FM station WJCR which is located in a country area some 65 miles south of Louisville in Kentucky.  The radio station property, with its 200 acres of land, is situated adjacent to the Molin River a little west of the small town of Millerstown, some 9 miles west of Upton.

            Six years later on March 15, 1992, the first test broadcasts went on the air from the new shortwave WJCR on 7490 kHz at a temporarily reduced power.  This was a gala occasion for station owner Don Powell with more than a hundred supporters coming in for the event.

            Two years later (1994), WJCR shortwave was on the air with three used 50 kW RCA transmitters, each converted from medium wave by the Armstrong Transmitter Corporation in Marcellus New York.  There were just two shortwave antenna systems in use, both rhombics, for coverage of the Americas, Africa and Europe; thus only two transmitters were on the air at any one time.  A fourth RCA 50 kW medium wave transmitter was also installed in the transmitter building, though conversion to shortwave was never completed.

            Four years later (1998), WJCR bought two 100 kW Continental transmitters from the recently silent VOA shortwave station at Bethany Ohio and these 20 year old units replaced all four of the converted RCA units. 

            The shortwave station was sold to Bob Rogers at FM station WJIE in Louisville in April 2002, and they began programming the shortwave transmitters by subcarrier at 9:00 am on April 28.  However, the WJIE usage of the shortwave station was intermittent and irregular, and even a year later, it was stated that the paper work for the change of shortwave callsign from WJCR to WJIE had not been completed.  Just a few of the previous WJCR QSL cards were issued to verify the programming relay from WJIE. 

            Three years later (2005) shortwave WJCR-(WJIE?) was declared silent, and ownership was transferred to new owners with a new callsign WPBN.  However, with the aged transmitters deteriorating, it was probable that they were never activated under this new callsign.

            At the time of the last known visit to shortwave station WJCR-WJIE-WPBN by an international radio monitor some years ago, the silent electronic  equipment was still in place, though it was no longer considered to be of any use in international radio broadcasting.

            Let’s cross over to Africa now and we pick up the story of three shortwave stations that were at one stage in active usage, though they were subsequently abandoned. These three stations were located on the west coast of Africa in Liberia and Sao Tome.  

ELWA QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)
            In 1952, work began on a jungle property 11 miles south of the national capital Monrovia for the installation of a new shortwave station that would be operated under the aegis of SIM, the Sudan Interior Mission.  The new radio station ELWA (EL for Liberia and WA for West Africa, though subsequently and informally Eternal Love for West Africa) was inaugurated in a special ceremony on January 18, 1954, though their first transmitter was a 1 kW medium wave unit on 710 kHz, not shortwave.

            One year later (1955) the first shortwave transmitter was taken into regular service, a 10 kW Gates unit Model HF10A.  Then during the next dozen years, an  additional three shortwave transmitters were installed, 1 @ 10 kW and 2 @ 50 kW.   

            In the meantime, the American government took out a lease for a VOA relay station on 1300 acres of land near Careysburg, some 10 miles distant from both the city of Monrovia and from the now already established ELWA.  While the station was under construction, a transportable station with 3 shortwave transmitters at 50 kW each was flown in from the United States and taken into service in 1959. 

            At its full level of operation, VOA Monrovia contained 2 Gates transmitters at 50 kW and 6 GE transmitters at 250 kW.  Once the main station was operational, the transportable station was removed and reinstalled at the large VOA station at Point Poro in the Philippines.  

            In August 1990 during the civil war insurrection, both ELWA Monrovia and VOA Careysburg were attacked and destroyed.  Foreign staff had already been evacuated. 

            Some 4,000 Africans fled onto the VOA compound, hoping for protection from the murderous onslaughts.  The most massive destruction at the VOA station occurred on September 17 (1990), when the station was attacked and looted, and in reality, just totally destroyed.

            Meanwhile over at the ELWA compound, many Africans there also fled onto the property as refugees seeking protection.  However, insurgent militia took over the station and forced the remaining local staff to broadcast a (false) message stating that the government had been overthrown.  As a result, government forces attacked the station with artillery shells.

            Even though ELWA was virtually totally destroyed in the 1990 insurgency, yet the station was partially rebuilt three years later with a 10 kW Collins transmitter that had been rebuilt by Armstrong Electronics in New York and that was on air at only 5 kW.  Subsequently, a more than 44 year old 50 kW from the original KGEI in San Francisco was also installed at ELWA.

            However give one more year (1996), and insurgents again attacked the station, once more totally destroying it.

            Now in the meantime, the Voice of America sought a new and safe location for the installation  of another new shortwave station, and a location on a peninsula just 3 miles south of the coastal city Sao Thome, on the island of Sao Thome was offered to them.  Interestingly, this location was itself at the time an abandoned shortwave station which had previously been in use by Radio Nacional for a period of some sixty years. 

            At the time of the initial VOA inspection in 1992, the 10 kW shortwave transmitter (4807.5 kHz) was still in location, though it was obviously no longer usable.  Radio broadcasts from this new VOA station on Sao Thome Island began in May 1993.   

            Now what about the two damaged and destroyed  shortwave stations located near Monrovia in Liberia?  The ex-VOA station is now in use as an American military base for the training of local army personnel in Liberia. The main highway to the military encampment, Camp Sandee S. Ware, is no more than a sloppy mud track through an undeveloped country area.

            The ELWA station was twice destroyed (1990 & 1996) and twice somewhat temporarily abandoned. However to their credit, the station has again been rebuilt and it is now on the air shortwave with a 1 kW transmitter on 6050 kHz, together with a modern hospital facility and a village of modern staff housing.
(AWR Wavescan 467)