Thursday, November 25, 2010

CKCW Moncton New Brunswick 1220 kHz QSL

The City of Moncton, New Brunswick, showing the 127 metre Bell Aliant Tower (centre). It is the tallest radio tower in Atlantic Canada and is used to provide directional radio services (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

It was a pleasure to hear CKCW Moncton New Bruswick on 1220 kHz for the first time (A South African First) on the 21st of December 1986. The station made it through via the FRG7 and 30 metre longwire antenna at Pinelands.

I was fortunate to receive a friendly and informative QSL letter from Brian Hooper from VP Engineering, Eastern Broadcasting, in response to my reception report.

In 2001 CKCW moved to the FM band and is presently known as "K94.5" with the slogan, "Today's Best Music".

Friday, November 19, 2010

CBW Winnipeg Manitoba 990 kHz QSL and Audio

It was a pleasure to identify CBW Winnipeg on 990 kHz for the first time (A South African First) on the 22nd of October 1986. The station made it through over a distance of 14 586 km / 9 063 miles via the FRG7 and 30 metre longwire antenna at Pinelands.

I was fortunate to receive a QSL card in response to my reception report.


An audio clip of the reception at 0410 hours UTC on the 22nd October 1986 has been preserved and is available here. A weather report, id and the beginning of the programme "Late Night Classics" with host Norris Bick, can be heard.

A dramatic photograph of the F5 tornado that struck the town of Elie, Manitoba (40 kilometres west of Winnipeg) on Friday, June 22, 2007 (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

The funnel cloud that produced the category F5 tornado that hit Elie, Manitoba on Friday, June 22nd, 2007 (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WNYM New York NY 1330 kHz QSL

WNYM New York NY on 1330 kHz was heard for the first time on the 21st October 1986 via the FRG7 and 30 metre longwire at Pinelands.

Chief Engineer H. Ed Smith kindly verified my reception report with a form letter.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ALASKA KNLS Anchor Point 9720 kHz QSL

Alaska, at over 17 000 km away, has proved to be an illusive medium wave target for the South African DXer.

However, Christian station KNLS from Anchor Point, Alaska made it through on 9 720 kHz shortwave on the 11th October 1986 via the FRG7 and 30 metre longwire antenna at Pinelands.

The picturesque QSL card above was received in response to my reception report to the station.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Distant SOS distress call received by South African Dxer / Amateur Radio Operator Reg Sweet in 1980

Reg Sweet (Photograph from the September 1980 issue of the SASWL). 

A dramatic account which recently caught my attention while researching through various back issues of the SASWL concerns a distant SOS distress call which was received by South African dxer / amateur radio operator Reg Sweet, back in 1980. 

The heart warming story serves as a tribute to Reg Sweet whose valuable dxing skills helped save the lives on an Australian yacht in distress. 

Reg Sweet, branch correspondent of The Daily News and an ardent radio ham, received a telephone call from Toowoomba in far-off Queensland, Australia : "My name is Chris and I am Jenny's sister. It's been five dreadful days, but we're very happy now. We just want to thank you." 

Six hours or so before that, Reg had picked up an almost inaudible SOS distress signal while listening from his QTH in Durban North, South Africa. It came from the Australian yacht White Wave, a tiny sloop which had taken a hammering from hurricane Albert, lost its mast and its radio antenna, and was unaccounted for somewhere in the Indian ocean. Five days had passed. Its radio operator was the girl Jenny, sister of Chris. She held the Australian novice amateur certificate, which was just as well, for it became their lifeline. The remainder of the crew were her husband Steve and his brother Gary. It took them five days to rig up a makeshift mast, a bit of sail and a rudimentary antenna for Jenny. 

Reg was one link in a far-flung radio hams "search party" when Jenny tapped out her SOS, her call sign, the name White Wave and her position on the morse key. He was the only one to read that morse signal. It never carried to Malaysia or Australia. But he read back to the others what he had copied from White Wave and informed Durban Radio of his find while the Australian hams reported to Marine Operations, Canberra. 

Three ships were diverted. One, the Alta Queen, found the yacht within 24 hours, 160 km or so from Rodrigues Island. The White Wave saga was over. 

"Certainly, that call from Toowoomba moved me. I confess I went to bed a very happy man", said Reg.

Reg himself sent out an SOS during World War 2 when he had to ditch his Spitfire in the sea off Malta. It saved his life ... 

From the Sepetmber 1980 issue of the South African Shortwave Listener (The monthly magazine of the defunct SADXC).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Recent Trans-Atlantic ULR Reception At Fish Hoek

The Sony SRF-M37V Ultralight Radio - an impressive performer with the internal 5cm ferrite antenna.

A few recent barefoot TA highlights were received while listening via the Sony SRF-M37V from my QTH at Fish Hoek :

710 0010 U.S.A. WOR New York NY w talkback 10/28 (12 561 km / 7 805 miles)

800 0024 NETHERLANDS ANTILLES TWR Bonaire mp3 w "Through The Bible Radio Network" and "This Day In History" 10/28 (10 449 km/ 6 492 miles)

1180 0045 U.S.A. Radio Marti Marathon FL mp3 (edited) w baseball commentary in SS and id 10/28 (12 327 km / 7 660 miles)

Google Earth Image of Radio Marti's mediumwave directional four-tower antenna array situated on Marathon Key, Florida.

1190 0045 U.S.A. WLIB New York NY w gospel mx 10/22 (12 562 km / 7 806 miles)

1400 2235 GRENADA Harbour Light Of The Windwards Carriacou mp3 w "Stories Of Great Christians" Threshold audio with a few key words and organ interludes were noted from the 5 kw station 10/20 (9 860 km / 6 127 miles) * new barefoot country.

1610 0055 ANGUILLA Carribean Beacon The Valley mp3 w religious sermon 10/17 (10 366 km / 6 441 miles)

Received barefoot via the Sony SRF-M37V.


Many Brazilian stations can be heard from across the South Atlantic via the barefoot SRF-M37V from late evening until sunrise at Fish Hoek. One of the most consistent is Radio Novo Tempo, Salvador on 920 kHz (listed 25 kw/2kw nights) which can get through with fair-good peaks at times - a 50 metre longwire antenna inductively coupled to the SRF-M37V opposite my QTH at Fish Hoek resulted in an astonishing signal from the station during the evening of 29th October.

The view over the harbor area with the Old Customs House in Salvador, Bahia state, Brazil (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

920 2150 BRAZIL Radio Novo Tempo Salvador mp3 w quality easy listening mx incl "Londonderry Air" ("Danny Boy") huge "local quality" signal 10/29 (6 173 km / 3 835 miles)