Friday, May 18, 2018

Shortwave Radiogram schedules

Hello friends,

A special broadcast of Program 48 will be a demonstration of Shortwave Radiogram for the meeting of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB), this year hosted by SonSet Solutions in Elkhart, Indiana. Reception of Shortwave Radiogram will be on a SonSet radio, an inexpensive receiver designed for use in developing countries. Using an antenna on the roof of the steel warehouse building, replete with electronic equipment in operation, the signal will somehow be fed to the SonSet radio, and the modes will be decoded from what is received. What could possibly go wrong?

If for some reason an adequate signal does not reach the SonSet radio, Plan B will be to use audio on an mp3 recorded from program 47, using an SDR somewhere. For this reason, programs 47 and 48 have similar formats, but the content is different. Both shows will include slow modes, suitable for poor reception, such as on low-cost radios inside a steel building. And there will be some text in non-Latin alphabets.

To compensate for program 47 being bumped from the 0800 slot, program 47 will be broadcast at 0800 on  21 May. See this schedule chart ...

UTC time

Space Line Bulgaria
WRMI Florida
WRMI Florida

*Special for the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, 17 May at 2030 UTC. The transmission on 16 May at 2100 UTC is to test the receiving and decoding equipment and software. Listeners everywhere are invited to tune in to one or both of these transmissions.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, 21 May 2018, in modes as noted:

 1:34  MFSK32: Program preview
 3:09  Olivia 64-2000: Supervolcanoes have advance warnings
 7:10  Olivia 32-2000**: Continued
10:15  MFSK16: Text samples of Russian, Chinese, and Persian***
17:03  MFSK32: Australia invests in space agency*
21:30  MFSK64: President Macron visits New Caledonia*
26:23  Image: Railroad on 10th Street in New York City, 1910*
27:56  MFSK32: Closing announcements

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 48, 14-20 May 2018, in modes as noted:

 1:33  MFSK32: Program preview
 3:11  Olivia 64-2000: Mercury has thin but dense crust
 6:49  Olivia 32-2000**: Continued
 9:37  MFSK16: Text samples of Russian, Chinese, and Persian***
16:42  MFSK32: New solar still purified water*
20:29  MFSK64: South Georgia declared rodent-free*
25:13  Greetings to the NASB meeting*
27:43  MFSK32: Closing announcements

* with image

** Use Olivia Custom setting: 32 tones, 2000 Hz bandwidth

*** Use UTF-8 character set (default in TIVAR and newer versions
of Fldigi)

Please send reception reports to

And visit
Twitter: @SWRadiogram or (check frequently during weekends)

Last weekend's Shortwave Radiogram, program 46, experienced ups and downs of propagation. The Friday 2030-2100 UTC transmission continues to be difficult to hear most places in the world, and even most places in the USA. 

The Throb2 "surprise mode" saw errors in many places where the MFSK modes had no trouble. It's a reminder of why we don't use Throb more often, although ThrobX might be worth a try in a future broadcast.

You can see results from program 46 at . Roger's analysis of last weekend's Shortwave Radiogram, as well as IBC and KBC, is available here.
And here are videos …

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 8-10 pm EDT) on new 9925 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama. For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit ;

Broad Spectrum Radio is transmitted by WRMI Florida Mondays at 0700-0800 UTC on 5850 and 7730 kHz. MFSK32 is broadcast during the second half hour of the show (although it was not heard last weekend). Reports to

Thanks for your reception reports! 


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

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

From the Isle of Music, May 20-26:
No interviews this week, rather a concert hall of Academic, Chamber and Concert music recorded in Cuba.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
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 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.
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, Sun, May 20 & Tues, May 22, 2018
Episode 63 presents a potpourri of new Latin music releases.
1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to North Africa and the Middle East, AND a long bounce to parts of New Zealand.

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

Dengê Welat frequency update

Clandestine, Dengê Welat
Effective: 17 May 2018

All times UTC
0500-0600 on 11530 ISS 250 kW / 090 deg to WeAs Kurdish, ex same via KCH
0600-1500 on 11530 KCH 300 kW / 130 deg to WeAs Kurdish, ex 0500-1400UTC
1500-1900 on 11530 ISS 250 kW / 090 deg to WeAs Kurdish, ex 1400-1900UTC
1900-2100 on 11530 ISS 250 kW / 090 deg to WeAs Kurdish, ex same via KCH
(DX Bulgaria 18 May 2018)

KNLS Alaska updates schedule

KNLS QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)
ALASKA   Frequency changes of World Christian Broadcast, KNLS The New Life Station. All frequencies are registered May 17 in HFCC Database:

All times UTC

0800-0900 NF  9610 NLS 100 kW / 270 deg to SEAs English tx#1, ex 9655
0900-1000 NF  9610 NLS 100 kW / 300 deg to NEAs Russian tx#1, ex 9655
1000-1100 NF  9710 NLS 100 kW / 285 deg to EaAs Chinese tx#2, ex 9655
1200-1300 NF  6075 NLS 100 kW / 270 deg to SEAs English tx#1, ex 6045
1300-1400 NF  9760 NLS 100 kW / 300 deg to NEAs Chinese tx#1, ex 6075
1400-1500 NF  6090 NLS 100 kW / 270 deg to SEAs English tx#1, ex 6075
1500-1600 NF  9730 NLS 100 kW / 300 deg to NEAs Chinese tx#2, ex 6075
1500-1600 NF  9760 NLS 100 kW / 300 deg to NEAs Russian tx#1, ex 9730
1600-1700 NF  9560 NLS 100 kW / 315 deg to NEAs Russian tx#1, ex 9730
1700-1800 NF  9560 NLS 100 kW / 315 deg to NEAs Russian tx#1, ex 9730
(DX Bulgaria 18 May 2018)

America's Oldest Commercial Shortwave Station Testing in DRM

WINB QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)

WINB, America's oldest commercial shortwave station, is testing in DRM via two transmitters.
The test transmissions are directed to both parts of Europe and North America.

A new ASI transmitter, a CE-50000WS, is on the following test schedule:  Monday-Friday 1100-1700 UTC on 15670 kHz.  The transmitter is rated at 15 kW and is using a rhombic antenna at 62 degrees.

At times when the ASI transmitter is not being tested, WINB will be testing in DRM via its existing
Continental 417B transmitter on 9265 kHz via a rhombic antenna beamed 242 degrees.

Programming is from WINB's Internet audio stream and is in English and Spanish.

WINB is America's oldest commercial shortwave station, having come on the air in 1962.  The station is located in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, USA.
(via Hans Johnson, WINB Sales Manager,
(Alokesh Gupta/Cumbre DX)

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Highest Powered Mediumwave Station in the Southern Hemisphere

On a previous occasion here in Wavescan, we presented Part 1 in a mini-series on the topic of The Highest Powered Mediumwave Station in the Southern Hemisphere.  Today, we present Part 2 in this same series, though we begin with the story of the famous London to Melbourne Air Race in 1934.
 The purpose of the London to Melbourne Air Race in 1934 was to honor the centenary of the city of Melbourne, the earliest settlement of which was founded by European settlers from the island of Tasmania.  The small group of settlers disembarked from the ship Enterprize on August 30, 1835 and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum.  Initially the name for this new settlement was an Aboriginal name, Dootigala.

 Two years later, a planned city was laid out, and the name of the city was changed to Batmania, a name that was not related to Batman nor to Tasmania, but rather to honor John Batman, an early explorer in the area.  However, later in that same year, the name for the planned city was changed again, this time to Melbourne, in honor of the then British Prime Minister Viscount Melbourne. 
 For the first quarter century after the several states were federated into the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, Melbourne was not only the state capital for Victoria, but it was also the de facto national capital, until the city of Canberra took over in 1927.  According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Melbourne with its nearly five million inhabitants has been declared the World’s Most Livable City seven years in a row, 2011 - 2017.  Additionally, Melbourne was the host city for the 1956 Summer Olympics, and for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

 As Wikipedia informs us, the London to Melbourne Air Race began in October 1934 as part of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations.  The idea of the race was devised by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, and prize money of £15,000 was provided by Sir Macpherson Robertson, a wealthy Australian confectionery manufacturer, on the conditions that the race be named after his MacRobertson Confectionery Company, and that it be organized to be as safe as possible.
 The race was organized by the Royal Aero Club in England; it began at the Royal Air Force aerodrome at Mildenhall in East Anglia 70 miles north of London, and it ended at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne Australia, a distance of some 11,323 miles.  There were five compulsory stops on the way; at Baghdad Iraq, Allahabad India, Singapore Malaya, and in Australia itself at Darwin in the Northern Territory and Charleville in Queesnaland.   A further 22 optional stops were provided with stocks of fuel and oil, and the competitors could choose their own routes.
 The basic rules were: No limit to the size of aircraft or power, no limit to crew size, but no pilot to join the aircraft after it left England.  Each aircraft must carry three days rations per crew member, as well as floats, smoke signals, and efficient instruments.
 The take off was set at dawn (6:30 am) on Saturday October 20, 1934, and the planes flew off at intervals of 45 seconds.  By that time, the initial field of 64 planes had been whittled down to just 20, including three purpose-built de Havilland DH88 Comet Racers, two of the new generation of American all-metal passenger transports Douglas DC2, and a mixture of earlier Racers, light transports and old bombers.

First off the line, watched by a crowd of 60,000, were Jim and Amy Mollison in the Comet Black Magic (radio callsign GACSP) and they were early leaders in the race until forced to retire at Allahabad in India with engine trouble.   At the previous stopover, they found that no aviation fuel was available, and instead they took on a load of motor car petrol.  This burned out their plane’s motor.

An additional 8 planes withdrew during the flights due to technical problems and accidents.  In addition, a total of 6 planes took so long to arrive in Melbourne that they were discounted.
 Now in 1931, three years before the running of the London to Melbourne Air Race, the then highest powered mediumwave station in the British Empire the 7½ kW 2CO had been installed near Corowa in country New South Wales.  During the night of Tuesday October 23 (1934), the Dutch entry in the London to Melbourne Air Race got hopelessly lost.  It was a very stormy night, they did not know where they were, and neither did anyone else, in spite of the fact that they had radio equipment aboard the plane.     

 The Dutch KLM plane named the Uiver (Stork) was an American Douglas DC2 piloted by Captain K. D. Parmentier and First Officer J. J. Moll, together with three fare paying passengers.  While flying from Charleville in Queensland on the last leg of the flight to Melbourne, the plane encountered a fierce electrical storm which cut all wireless communication.  They were hopelessly lost and low on fuel.

Royal Australian Air Force RAAF wireless operators at Laverton near Melbourne were trying in vain to contact the plane Uiver (radio callsign PHAJU).  They alerted all towns along the route from Queensland to Victoria to be ready to help.  Radio stations were asked to broadcast emergency messages, navy ships switched on their searchlights, and railway stations along the Melbourne to Albury line put on signal lamps.

 The location of the missing plane was first discovered as it flew over the small town of Henty, midway between Wagga Wagga and Albury.  Not knowing where they were, the crew of the Douglas DC2 flew almost due east until they saw the night lights of a regional city and they flew over it hoping somehow to learn the name of the city.  This city was Albury, on the north side of the Murray River boundary between the states of New South Wales and Victoria.
 The Chief Electrical Engineer for the city of Albury Lyle Ferris heard the drone of the Douglas DC2 overhead and he realized that it was the lost plane.  He rushed to the electrical power station
and signaled A L B U R Y in Morse Code to the plane by turning the city lights on and off.  The crew stated afterwards that they did see the flickering city lights, but they could not read the Morse Code due to violent air turbulence.   

In the meantime, Arthur Newnham, the announcer on radio station 2CO in Corowa, made an emergency broadcast by phone from Albury appealing for cars to line up on the racecourse to light up with their headlights a makeshift runway for the plane to land.  A large number of people responded to the radio broadcast and they lit up the race course with a circle of cars so that the pilot could see where to land. 

At 1.20 am, the Uiver dropped two parachute flares and made its approach to land, coming in from the north.  It bumped several times on the undulating centre of the racecourse, and it slithered to a halt 100 yards short of the inner fence.  The aircraft had landed safely. 

The world was listening on shortwave and on local relays from international shortwave stations.  Millions of people around the world who were huddled anxiously over their wireless receivers breathed a collective sigh of relief; the ordeal was over. 
 Early next morning, radio station 2CO interviewed the crew and local citizens who had joined in with the rescue project of the Dutch KLM DC2.  This special programming was broadcast Australia wide on mediumwave, and on shortwave worldwide.

During this next morning the city mayor, Alderman Alf Waugh, rallied 300 local citizens to pull the plane out of the thick Albury mud.  All unnecessary cargo (including 3,500 pieces of mail), and all personnel except the two pilots were off loaded so that the Uiver could take off from the race course track.  The plane then flew on to Melbourne where it came in second in the race. 
 In gratitude, KLM made a large donation to the Albury Hospital, and Mayor Alf Waugh was awarded a title in Dutch nobility.  The Dutch postal system issued a special postage stamp honoring the Albury experience.

 For the rest of the story, we should mention that the first place winner in the air race was the scarlet Comet Grosvenor House, (radio callsign GACSS) flown by Flight Lt. C. W. A. Scott and Captain Tom Campbell Black.  This plane arrived in Melbourne in less than 3 days, despite flying the last stage with one engine throttled back because of an oil-pressure indicator giving a faulty low reading. 
 The Grosvenor House was awarded a magnificent trophy for its win; but seven years later, this trophy was given to the Red Cross in Australia, and they had it melted down for its metals as part of the war effort.

The Movietone Radio Newsreels gave complete coverage to the race; and it was two years after this race (1936) that the Southern Hemisphere’s most powerful radio station 2CO was put off the air for eleven minutes, simply by a tiny mouse that had crawled into the radio frequency amplifier.
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 481)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 May 14 0629 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 07 - 13 May 2018
Solar activity was very low throughout the period and no reportable events were observed.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached very high levels on 9-11 May and high levels were observed throughout the remainder of the period.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to active levels on 07-09, 11-12 May due to the influence of a negative polarity coronal hole/high speed solar wind stream. Quiet to unsettled levels were
observed on 10 May, and conditions were quiet on 13 May.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 14 May - 09 June 2018
Solar activity is expected to persist at very low levels throughout the outlook period. No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach very high levels on 05-07 Jun with high levels expected on 14-26 May and 02-04, 08-09 Jun. Moderate flux levels are likely though the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels on 02 Jun with G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storms levels expected on 17 May and 01 Jun due to the influence of
multiple coronal hole/high speed solar wind streams. Active conditions are expected on 18 May and 03-05 Jun and generally quiet or quiet to unsettled conditions are expected to prevail for the
remainder of the outlook period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2018 May 14 0629 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact:
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2018-05-14
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 May 14      71           5          2
2018 May 15      71           5          2
2018 May 16      71           5          2
2018 May 17      71          18          5
2018 May 18      71          15          4
2018 May 19      70          10          3
2018 May 20      70           5          2
2018 May 21      70           5          2
2018 May 22      70           5          2
2018 May 23      70           5          2
2018 May 24      70           5          2
2018 May 25      70           5          2
2018 May 26      70           5          2
2018 May 27      70           5          2
2018 May 28      70           5          2
2018 May 29      70           5          2
2018 May 30      68           5          2
2018 May 31      68           5          2
2018 Jun 01      68          18          5
2018 Jun 02      68          28          6
2018 Jun 03      70          16          4
2018 Jun 04      70          16          4
2018 Jun 05      70          14          4
2018 Jun 06      70          12          3
2018 Jun 07      70           8          3
2018 Jun 08      70           5          2
2018 Jun 09      71           5          2

WRMI schedule updates

Effective: 14 May 2018
All times UTC

1100-1200 5010 YFR 100 kW / 181 deg to Cuba Spanish AWR/Radio Prague, ex 5950
1200-1230 5010 YFR 100 kW / 181 deg to Cuba English Fri WRMI px, ex 5950
2200-2300 5010 YFR 100 kW / 181 deg to Cuba Spanish Mon-Fri RAE, ex 5950
2200-2300 5010 YFR 100 kW / 181 deg to Cuba English Sat/Sun WRMI px, ex 5950
2300-2400 5010 YFR 100 kW / 181 deg to Cuba Spanish Family Radio, ex 5950
0000-0100 5010 YFR 100 kW / 181 deg to Cuba Spanish AWR/R.Slovakia Int, ex 5950
(DX Bulgaria 13 May 2018)

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

From the Isle of Music, May 13-19:
No interviews this week, rather a potpourri of new releases of new Cuban Jazz and Popular Dance Music

Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
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 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.
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, Sun, May 13 & Tues, May 15, 2018
Episode 62 presents two of Uncle Bill’s favorite Brazilian singers, Elis Regina and Claudia (aka Claudya).
1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz  from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to the Middle East, AND occasionally a long bounce to parts of New Zealand.

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Summer 2018 International Shortwave Broadcast Guide Now Available at Amazon

Older ham radio operators and radio listeners might remember a time when shortwave radio stations broadcast a nearly constant drumbeat of political propaganda during the Cold War years. Shortwave radio stations such as Radio Moscow, the Voice of America, and the BBC, to name a few, played an important ideological role during that confrontation between the East and the West.

Once again, Global Radio broadcasters have moved to the front lines at what is now shaping up as a new Cold War by some of the world’s major super powers. As tensions heat up in the world’s hotspots such as eastern Europe, the Middle East and Eastern Asia, you can follow breaking international events on the radio waves, but you need an accurate and comprehensive guide to broadcast frequencies to hear it.

Teak Publishing is pleased release that important guide – the 10th edition (Summer 2018) International Shortwave Broadcast Guide (ISWBG) electronic book by Amazon bestselling author Gayle Van Horn W4GVH.

If you want to get in on the action, then this Amazon electronic book is your ticket to travel the Global Radio bands. The ISWBG is an exclusive 24-hour station/frequency guide with schedules for selected medium wave broadcasters and all known longwave/shortwave radio stations transmitting at time of publication. This unique resource is the only radio publication that has by-hour schedules that includes all language services, frequencies and world target areas for over 500 stations. It has a complete listing of DX radio programs and Internet websites addresses for many of the stations listed in the book. There are also listings for standard time and frequency stations, and even a few intriguing spy numbers station listings.

New in this 10th edition of the ISWBG is a feature, Monitoring Brazil on Shortwave Radio. It is more than futebol! by Gayle Van Horn. Soccer teams from around the world will compete this summer in the FIFA World Cup, and Brazil is expected to be a top contender to win the event. This article will aid you in monitoring broadcasters that will be carrying Brazilian soccer team news during this international event.

Other authors with articles in this edition include The Spectrum Monitor’s Fred Waterer, with a feature on summer radio programming, and Hans Johnson with a profile on the state of DRM broadcasting in 2018. There are also two First Look reviews on the new AirSpy HF+ SDR and the W6LVP Magnetic Loop Antenna by Loyd Van Horn W4LVH.

Spectrum Monitor e-zine columnist/feature writer Larry Van Horn N5FPW has a special feature on Who’s Who in the Shortwave Radio Spectrum that will assist the reader in monitoring Global Radio activity outside the broadcast radio spectrum. This article also includes an update to the Teak Publishing HF 1000+ non-broadcast frequency list.

International Shortwave Broadcast Guide 10th 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

Global 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. Global Radio broadcasts are not restricted by country borders or oceans, and can travel thousands of miles, reaching millions of listeners worldwide, now in over 300 different languages and dialects.

Listeners 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 a shortwave radio receiver or Internet connection, and this unique radio resource, you will know when and where to listen to your favorite radio broadcast station.

The International Shortwave Broadcast Guide will have wide appeal to amateur radio operators, shortwave radio hobbyists, news agencies, news buffs, educators, foreign language students, expatriates, or anyone else 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.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Radio Broadcasting Scene in Scotland

The country in our historical spotlight today is Scotland.  While there have never been any international broadcasts from Scotland, nor any broadcast transmissions from there on shortwave, the radio scene in Scotland has nonetheless been vey active.  In fact, the history of radio broadcasting in Scotland goes right back to the early 1920s during the era when experimental and demonstration stations were being set up around the world.

Scotland is a country that is a part of the United Kingdom and it covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain.  It shares a border with England to the south, and it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.  In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Hebrides, the Orkneys, and the Shetlands.

The geography of the mainland comprises three distinct regions; the Highlands in the north, a range of hills called the Southern Uplands in the south, and a rift valley known as the Central Lowlands that stretches right across the middle of the country, separating the Highlands in the north from the Uplands in the south.  The central lowlands are where the bulk of the 5½ million Scottish people live with the two largest cities being Glasgow in the west and Edinburgh the capital in the east.
 The first radio broadcasts in Scotland were made in 1922 from Bath Street in Glasgow.  Scotland’s first radio station was called Milligan’s Wireless Station and it had the callsign 5MG, after its founders Frank Milligan and George Garscadden.

Milligan had a radio shop and he wanted to sell more radios but there were no stations on the air at the time, so they set up a very crude station and broadcast at night.  This station could be heard as far away as Carlisle and Inverness and it survived for five months.

Then, in November 1922, a group of radio manufacturers in London clubbed together to form the British Broadcasting Company, so that they could produce daily programs and sell more radio sets.
Their first Scottish station was launched in Glasgow on March 6, 1923.  They bought 5MG, all of Milligan’s equipment, used the same flat in Bath Street, and they took on Milligan’s daughter Kathleen as a presenter.
 This new radio broadcasting station was launched as 5SC (SC for Scotland) with one small studio and and it was on the air daily.  The BBC went on to set up local stations in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, but then in 1932, these were consolidated into a regional broadcast called ‘The Scottish Programme’.

 When the Second World War began in 1939, the BBC combined the previous ‘National Programme’ and all the various ‘Regional Programmes’ (of which the ‘Scottish Programme’ was one) into a single ‘BBC Home Service’.  This operated from many transmitters throughout the UK, but used just two synchronized frequencies; 668 kHz in the south, and 767 kHz in the north.  The thinking behind this was that enemy aircraft would not be able to use regional transmitters on the same frequency as navigational beacons. 

On July 29, 1945, the BBC resumed its previous regional structure, and they provided local ‘opt outs’ from the Home Service in each of the regions.  In Scotland, the main transmitter was in Glasgow on 809 kHz.

 In 1967, the BBC Home Service was renamed BBC Radio 4, and on December 17, 1973, the Scottish regional opt-outs on Radio 4 were restyled as BBC Radio Scotland.  Five years later again in 1978, this became a full-time service with three synchronized transmitters on 810 kHz, made possible by the switch of Radio 4 programming onto the long wave frequency of 198 kHz.

 And incidentally, while the main 500 kW longwave transmitter for the BBC in the British Isles is located in Droitwich in the English midlands, there are also two 50 kW longwave transmitters in Scotland with synchronized signals on 198 kHz.  One is at Westerglen in the Central Lowlands midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh and the other is at Burghead to serve communities in the far north.

As would be expected, there are also now more than 20 FM transmitter sites carrying the BBC national services and BBC Radio Scotland throughout Scotland.  Interestingly, Radio Scotland itself now also has local opt-outs, with a Gaelic language service being carried at times from studios in Stornoway, on the FM transmitters covering the Hebrides and the north west coasts of the Scottish mainland.

One other BBC national service is still carried on mediumwave in Scotland, and that’s Radio 5 Live – the sports station that was launched in 1994.  That can be heard on 693 kHz in the north of Scotland, and on 909 kHz in the south.

On the commercial radio front, the first attempt at pirate radio in Scotland was in 1928.  The Daily Mail wanted a radio station to advertise their newspapers but didn’t have a license so decided to broadcast from a ship at sea.

They chartered a steam yacht and set off from Dundee but their equipment didn’t work.  So they sailed into Dundee harbor and played music on powerful loudspeakers that could be heard a mile away.  It was considered a success, but it wasn’t really ‘radio’.

 The most famous offshore radio station in Britain was Radio Caroline which started in 1964.  Other similar stations were launched around the British Isles, and in Scotland, Tommy Shields, a PR man for Scottish Television, launched Radio Scotland from the converted lightship the LV Comet, anchored off the coast of Dunbar, outside territorial waters to the east of Edinburgh.

 This station used two 10 kW RCA ampliphase transmitters model BTA10J combined through a home built diplexer to produce 20 kW.  However, that arrangement apparently was not reliable and most of the time only one transmitter was used.

 The station went on air on New Year’s Eve 1965, just a few minutes before midnight, using a wavelength of 242 m or 1241 kHz.  The first voice heard was that of actor Paul Young who later presented the popular ‘Ceilidh’ program of traditional Scottish music.  The station was a success, but it was on air for only 19½ months.

The British government made the support of offshore radio stations illegal, and Radio Scotland shut down on August 14th, 1967.  Sadly, Tommy Shields lost money, lost his business, and died soon after the station left the air.

But, Radio Scotland had a very big influence on Scottish broadcasting, which until then had been a monopoly by the BBC.  In the early 1970’s, the British government laid plans for commercial radio, and they passed the Sound Broadcasting Act in 1972.  The first licenses awarded were for stations in London and Glasgow, and Radio Clyde began broadcasting from Glasgow on December 31, 1973 on 1152 kHz.  Just over a year later, Radio Forth began broadcasting from Edinburgh, on January 22, 1975 on 1548 kHz.

A second tranche of licenses was awarded in 1980, and this saw the launch of:
  Radio Tay in Dundee (1161 kHz) October 1980
  Radio Tay in Perth (1584 kHz) November 1980
  Northsound Radio in Aberdeen (1035 kHz) 1981
  West Sound Radio in Ayr (1035 kHz) 1981
  Moray Firth Radio in Inverness (1107 kHz) 1982

Then in the 1990’s, there came a raft of community stations and regional stations such as Radio Borders in Selkirk, Scot FM (now Heart), and Beat 106 (now Capital).  In the mid-1990’s three Independent National Radio stations were licensed, and these included
  Virgin Radio on 1215 kHz with 100 kW from the BBC Westerglen transmitter site
  Radio UK, now Talksport, with 125 kW on 1089 kHz, same BBC Westerglen site.
 The BBC Westerglen transmitting site is located midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
 The independent commercial radio landscape in Scotland has changed enormously over the years, and one wonders how much of that would have happened, but for the influence of the offshore stations of the 1960’s.
(AWR Wavescan-NWS 480)

General Douglas MacArthur’s Favorite Shortwave Callsign

It was back on August 5, 1944, during World War II in the Pacific, that Corporal William Becker at an American weather station at Northern Samar in the Philippines, sent a radio message in Morse Code to General Douglas MacArthur at his headquarters in Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea.  As part of his radio message, he asked: Where is your radio station KAZ located?  Corporal Becker inserted into his question, a touch of mild profanity, which we have removed. 

            Quite unexpectedly as far as Colonel Becker was concerned, he did receive a reply from
 General McArthur about other matters that were in the colonel’s radio message.  However, MacArthur did not respond to the inquiry about radio station KAZ, and he did not reveal to the colonel the actual location of radio station KAZ.
            So then our question would be: Where was MacArthur’s radio station KAZ located?  In
response, we could ask another question: Which presidential aircraft is Air Force One?  The answer to that question is quite simple: In whatever airplane the president of the United States happens to
be a passenger, that is Air Force One. 
            Likewise, whatever radio station General MacArthur chose for the transmission of an official wartime message, that station was at that time station KAZ.  However, that answer is not totally
accurate either.  This is the story of radio station KAZ; before, during, and after World War 2 in the
middle of last century.
            It was back in the year 1924 that RCA, the Radio Corporation of America, established a regional office in the Philippine capital, Manila.  Two years later (1926), work commenced on the construction of their first shortwave radio station in the Philippines at a location nine miles south from Manila. 
According to a contemporary article in Time magazine, this large new radio station was established by RCP, the Radio Corporation of the Philippines, which was a Philippine subsidiary of American RCA, the Radio Corporation of America.
            The article in Time magazine goes on to state that this new radio station in the Philippines was one of the largest stations in the Far East, and it was constructed specifically for communication with San Francisco in California.  At that stage, the RCA communication station at San Francisco was in reality their large station located near Bolinas, a little north of San Francisco.
            During the following year, 1927, four radio transmitters were activated at RCA Manila, two on medium wave and two on shortwave.  The twin medium wave transmitters, rated at 1 kW each, were
inaugurated on February 12, 1927 under the callsign KZRM with a programming service from the city studios.  The first two letters in the callsign KZ indicated the Philippines back in that era; and the two final letters RM, indicated Radio Manila.  Quite simultaneously, a preliminary RCA communication circuit to Bolinas California was also inaugurated.
            Three years later again (1930), it was during the month of May actually, test broadcasts from RCA Manila were noted on shortwave in the United States and in Australia under the experimental
callsign K1XR.  Programming was a relay from the mediumwave station KZRM, and these test
broadcasts continued spasmodically for a period of some six months.  After that, the new shortwave communication service was officially dedicated, on November 26 (1930) under the callsigns KAZ and KBK.
            Exactly one month later (1930), a special Christmas broadcast was relayed from KZRM back to the United States on two shortwave channels; KAZ on 9900 kHz and KBK on 18750 kHz.  Over the
following months, many other notable program broadcasts from KZRM Manila were relayed by RCA shortwave and they were heard in the United States and in the South Pacific.
            In the early 1930s, additional shortwave transmitters were installed at RCA Manila, with
apparently at least one at 40 kW and another at 20 kW.  At the same time the KAZ channel was
adjusted from 9900 kHz to 9990 kHz
            Over the next decade or so, RCA shortwave communication transmitter KAZ on 9990 kHz was often logged in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.  However, with the Japanese military
advances in the Philippines beginning on December 8, 1941, and the impending threat to the city of Manila itself, American personnel began the destruction of major facilities in the capital city area. 
            On the very last day of the year, December 31, 1941, the RCA medium wave and shortwave station just nine miles south of Manila was deliberately destroyed.  The 40 kW KAZ was dead, gone forever.
            Nearly three months later: It was at 7:45 pm during the evening of March 12 of the following year (1942) that General Douglas MacArthur left Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, bound for Australia at the orders of the President of the United States, President Harry Truman.  It was indeed an
adventurous, though harrowing journey by small boat, plane and train that took them from Manila in the Philippines to Melbourne Australia where they arrived nearly ten days later. 
            A total of 23 people traveled in four PT boats from Corregidor island in Manila Bay, running the blockade of Japanese navy vessels along the western coasts of the Philippine Islands.  Initially this squadron of four navy boats traveled in a diamond pattern, though they all soon got separated in the darkness and the stormy night.  It was such a threatening storm, the weary travelers described the journey like traveling in a cement mixer; almost all of the people were seasick. 
            They arrived at the pineapple plantation owned by the Del Monte Corporation on northern
Mindanao Island two days later, only to find that a plane load of refugees had already been evacuated to Australia on the plane that was actually schedule to carry MacArthur to Australia..  The Australian government had sent a flight of four Boeing Flying Fortress B17 bombers from Darwin on the north coast of Australia to pickup the VIP contingent on Mindanao, though only one plane arrived, due to technical problems with the other three, one of which crash landed out of fuel in the ocean near the island.     
            Two days later Darwin on March 16 (1942), another flight of three Boeing Flying Fortress B17 bombers flew out from, though one turned back.  The two remaining planes landed on the dirt airstrip on Mindanao Island by the light of burning flares. 
            Next day in the early morning darkness, the two bombers took off from the Del Monte plantation for the nine hour flight back to Darwin.  General Douglas MacArthur himself sat in the Radio Operators seat in his plane; the plane was under radio silence and no radio operator was therefore needed. 
            However, as the planes approached Darwin, word was received that Japanese planes were bombing the city, and so the planes were diverted to the Batchelor Airfield, forty miles to the south.  However, no sooner had the American planes landed at Batchelor, then word was received that
additional Japanese planes were on their way to bomb Batchelor.  Hurriedly the MacArthur party, now aboard two ANA Australian National Airways passenger planes, the reliable Douglas DC3, took off for Alice Springs in the center of the Australian continent.
            Interestingly the daily newspaper, the Adelaide Advertiser, stated in a front page news item on Wednesday March 18 (1942), that the Japanese made their 19th bombing raid of Darwin “yesterday”.  On that occasion, the newspaper reported, the Japanese planes bombed Darwin and Katherine, though not Batchelor.  MacArthur and his party were part of the melodrama on that dramatic occasion.
            In Alice Springs, MacArthur and some of the staff boarded a special narrow gauge train that took them to Terowie, in country South Australia.  Thence to Adelaide for another train, the Melbourne Express, which conveyed them to the Spencer Street Station in Melbourne, where they arrived on Saturday March 21 (1942).  The MacArthur family were then ensconced in the ornate Menzies Hotel at 140 Williams Street where they took over the entire third floor in the new hotel wing.
            And so that’s where we leave the story of General Douglas MacArthur’s favorite shortwave
callsign KAZ for today. Thus far we have observed that the American callsign KAZ was applied to
several different transmitters (1 kW, 20 kW & 40 kW) usually on 9990 kHz at the RCA shortwave station located nine miles south of Manila in the Philippines from 1930 to 1941.  When we continue this topic in a few week’s time, we will observe the usage of the American callsign KAZ as it was applied to American shortwave stations in Australia.         
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 479)