Friday, February 8, 2013

Diego Garcia AFRTS 1485 kHz QSL and Audio

Diego Garcia - a tropical, coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

It was a pleasant surprise to hear AFRTS, Diego Garcia on 1485 kHz for the first time during a holiday/dxpedition at the South African coastal location of Cintsa (45 km from East London).

The 200 watt signal made it through over a distance of 5 366 km on the 16th July 1991 via the FRG7 and 50 metre longwire antenna.

The reception turned out to be a rare occurrence as the station has not been heard here since, despite numerous attempts to tune in!

The AFRTS 1485 kHz AM tower, showing the lagoon and cargo ships in the distance. Apparently there are many sharks in the lagoon which offers a good swimming opportunity until one spots gray dorsal fins! The photograph (courtesy of the VQ9Z website) was taken from the top of the 90 ft. VQ9Z log periodic antenna tower.

I was fortunate to receive a QSL letter (pictured above) and a postcard of an aerial view of the atoll from Chief Journalist and U.S. Navy Officer in Charge, Steven Pitruzzello, in response to my reception report.

Steven added, "Our 1485 station normally operates at approximately 80 percent of its 250 watt capability, so you're doing well to have received our signal over such a distance. I have no record of our station being received in South Africa prior to your reception."

At the entrance to the 1485 kHz transmitter "shack" (Photograph courtesy Joe Talbot).

Another view of the entrance to the "shack", showing the medium wave transmitter inside (Photograph courtesy Joe Talbot).

Close up of the medium wave transmitter (Photograph courtesy Joe Talbot). Thanks to Joe for his kind permission to include the above four photographs. Visit Joe's website for additional photographs.

Coconut Plantation, East Point, Diego Garcia (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

Audio Clips

Recorded on the 16th July 1991 at 2028 UTC - a remarkable peak!

Recorded on the 16th July 1991 at 2030 UTC.

The DX location at Crawfords Beach Lodge, Cintsa East, South Africa.

Any memories or futher information regarding AFRTS Diego Garcia on 1485 kHz medium wave would be greatly appreciated. You are welcome to add your comments below.


Anonymous said...

Why can't I listen to the audio clips on your page?

Gary Deacon said...

You might want to allow a minute for the audio clips to download before clicking onto the "play" icon.

Gary Deacon said...

I have also included direct links to the two audio clips. Hope that helps.

Joe Pechie said...

Nice blog. I had to laugh a little when I first found it. I was born in 59 and an amateur guitar player. Just getting back into DXing because it is just getting to hard to gig anymore.