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TRANSCRIPT DX EXTRA NO.28 23/05/15

From Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - welcome to the DX Extra. It’s a show about the shortwave hobby featuring news, reviews, pirate radio and anything in-between. We are the extra thing you need to digest your shortwave news.

In show 28 this fortnight:

  • Nepali Amateur net suspended again
  • The QSL card...At what cost?
  • VOA additional transmissions to Burundi
  • IBB frequency updates
  • Pirate News (Borderhunter Meeting), logs and recordings
  • Audio Archive: Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran

05/18/2015

Amateur Radio emergency operations on 20 meters, resumed in the aftermath of the second Nepal earthquake, now have been suspended, according to Jayu [juh-ew] Bhide [Bid-ay], VU2JAU, the Amateur Radio Society of India National Coordinator for Disaster Communication. Bhide [Bid-ay] said he discussed the situation on May 17 with Satish Kharel, 9N1AA, and that the decision was based on the fact that all systems in the affected region “are working normally.” VU2JAU, 9N1AA and others have been among those active on 14.210 MHz since the initial earthquake on April 25.

Amateur Radio relief activity in Nepal had begun winding down before a magnitude 7.3 earthquake shook parts of the Himalayan nation on May 12, collapsing buildings and killing dozens in a region that’s still trying to recover from the much stronger earthquake on April 25. The latest quake revived the ham radio effort. Centered some 50 miles east-northeast of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu and near the border with Tibet, the temblor [temblore] was felt in India and Bangladesh. The US Geological Survey considers the May 12 tremor as an aftershock of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on April 25.

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) has been continuing to gather information and statistics on the earthquake tragedy in Nepal. Sanjeeb [sun-jeeb] Panday [punday], 9N1SP, has been passing traffic to Tim McFadden, T6TM/ KB2RLB, a MARS operator in Afghanistan.

Among other information, Panjay [punday] told McFadden that 8250 people died as a result of the earthquakes and nearly 480,000 residences were destroyed. Another 263,000 were damaged.

“Once Tim receives Nepal disaster traffic he has been preparing SPIREP and COMSPOT reports as needed and then relaying them through MARS networks to HQ, Army MARS and me,” Daniel Wolff, KA7AGN, the MARS EUCOM/CENTCOM/AFRICOM Regional Director. “He also has been posting the information to the Nepal disaster APAN [All Partners Access Network] website. Twice now, he has self-activated upon learning of disaster events in Nepal.” Wolff said APAN is “a collection of communities developed to foster information and knowledge sharing between the U.S. Department of Defense and non-DoD entities who do not have access to traditional DoD networks.”

The May 18 information summary indicates that things are starting to return to normal in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. Residents are reported to be moving back into the city, and more stores and restaurants are reopening. “Access to remote areas remains a critical issue, with landslides and rains expected to aggravate the condition of roads,” the report added.

Ironically, the scenario for last year’s MARS “Pacific Endeavour-14” regional disaster response was a major earthquake in Nepal.

Wolff said McFadden and Panday [pun-day] have been in regular contact through the earthquake disaster. “They exchange traffic related to the disaster recovery effort almost daily,” he told ARRL. “That information is channeled up through MARS networks, through HQ, Army MARS and to various customers as appropriate.””

Via ARRL

Originally titled "The QSL Card...At What Cost".

““The history of the QSL card and verification letter is almost as old as radio itself. The exchange of cards after a contact (QSO) is still an important part of the amateur radio hobby for many Hams worldwide. And listeners find this part of the hobby especially fascinating, proudly amassing vast collections of cards and letters from stations across the globe.

But things have changed somewhat for shortwave listeners in the last 15 years. With the disappearance from the bands of many international and domestic shortwave broadcasters, it’s much harder now to gather together a large QSL collection. Furthermore, those broadcasters still in operation are often no longer responsible for passing on listeners reports to their “technical department”…because the technical department no longer exists! Many stations now outsource (sub-contract) the distribution of their broadcasts to other companies that are specifically set up to handle the technical management and implementation of their transmissions.

As an example, for years now Radio Australia has been outsourcing its broadcasts to a large multi-layered, independent broadcasting transmission provider called Broadcast Australia. This company owns and operates the existing Shepparton transmitter site and determines the frequencies and schedules for Radio Australia broadcasts. The programming division of Radio Australia has virtually nothing to do with Broadcast Australia. So, if an overseas listener writes to Radio Australia commenting on reception conditions at their location, none of that feedback gets back to Broadcast Australia. This situation is the same for quite a number of international broadcasters these days.

A few broadcasters are still relying on regular communication with their nominated monitors - DXers with specific technical skills who report back every week or so with detailed notes on how reception has been in the targeted region. Other stations have abandoned the monitors and are using global remote receivers to assess their signal quality.

So over the years, in the view of many shortwave broadcasters, the importance and relevance of reception reports has diminished significantly. Detailed technical information about signal strength, interference, and propagation characteristics are of no interest to a station’s programming staff. They just want to know your thoughts on their program content. Their reply with a QSL card is merely a glorified acknowledgement of your report and a “thank you” for taking the time to write and provide feedback, in the hope that you will continue listening in the future. Call it a marketing exercise!

And, of course, many smaller domestic shortwave stations are largely focused on their own local and national audiences. They are not especially interested in receiving reception reports from international listeners. If they do, indeed, reply to a DX report, they are often responding only as an act of courtesy and generosity.

Europe and North America have flourishing pirate radio communities. The vast majority of these stations are active verifiers with brightly colored cards and e-QSLs. Of course, many of these operators were once SWLs themselves and understand the significance of the reception report. They are keen to build their audiences, and genuinely interested to know how far their signals are travelling. After all, they have both the programming and technical departments of their illegal operations all wrapped up in one! Here in Australia, we haven’t had pirate activity on a significant scale for many years now, mainly due to a very proactive and successful approach to law enforcement. And the signals from European and American pirates don’t reach our shores due to their much lower power.

So where does this leave the shortwave listener’s much-loved QSL card collection? Amateur radio operators still exchange cards and e-QSLs. SWL’s who monitor ham transmissions are often acknowledged by many operators happy to exchange cards with them. But for the SWBC DXer, it’s certainly much harder to build a collection these days.

Which brings us around to the title of this week's post. As we have seen here, it is clear that in at least a few cases, persistence can sometimes pays off when a listener sends follow-ups to their original reception reports. But at what point does sending multiple follow-ups constitute harassment of stations that don’t really care about receiving your reports? Not to mention the high costs of postage, stationery, dollar bills, postcards, stamps, and other inducements incurred by the listener. And, as we have also seen here, abusing broadcasters because they don’t deliver on your requests for a QSL certainly doesn’t work!

SWLs need to be mindful that when a station acknowledges a reception report, responding to your request requires time, energy, money and motivation to divert their limited staff and resources. If reports are no longer useful for many stations, then there have to be other reasons why a station would bother replying to you. Some listeners include superficial comments relating to the broadcasts heard. Token comments can usually be seen by station staff for what they are worth - not very much! Listeners who take the time to include meaningful observations and feedback about programs will have a much better chance of gaining the attention and interest of station producers.””

Via the Mt Evelyn DX Report by Rob Wagner VK3BVW. This article was written as part of "The World of Shortwave Listing" April 2015 issue of the Spectrum Monitor.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—

Voice of America today began boosting broadcasts to Burundi where at least 14 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza [ku-run-zi-za] running for a third term.

VOA has additional shortwave and FM broadcasts in Kirundi, Kin-yar-wanda, Kiswahili, French, and English with an expanded call-in show, more reporting from the ground, and new drive-time newscasts.

“At this critical moment for democracy in Burundi, we are stepping up to keep our audiences informed, “ says VOA Director David Ensor. “Voters deserve to know what is going on with presidential elections just one month away.”

The African Union and the United States say the Nkurunziza  [ku-run-zi-za] candidacy violates a regional peace deal that ended civil war in 2005. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the president’s move “flies directly in the face of the constitution of his country.”

President Nkurunziza  [ku-run-zi-za] says he is exempt from the two-term limit because his first term was chosen by parliament.

VOA is one of the last remaining sources of news in Burundi after authorities blocked access to social media, closed Radio Publique Africane, and suspended relay transmissions for two other independently owned stations -- Bone-sha FM and Isan-ganiro.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns this harassment and says the Nkurunziza [ku-run-zi-za] government is “blatantly trying to gag” coverage of its opponents.

VOA is adding reporters in Burundi and Rwanda along with additional staff in Washington D.C., where its U.S. government-funded transmissions originate.

Daily broadcasts air on 95.2 FM and 94.9 FM in Bujumbura and on 104.3 FM in Kigali.

“With thousands of Burundians fleeing to neighboring Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, VOA is committed to providing accurate and reliable news to this critical region,” says Ensor.”

Monday through Friday in Kin-yar-wanda & Kirundi languages:

0400-0530 7350 9815 11905

1600-1630 13630 15460 17530

1930-2000 9470 11615 12140

Via the Mount Evelyn DX Blog

We have some new changes from IBB:

Radio Free Asia from May 14

1300-1400 NF 11595 KWT 250 kW / 070 deg to CeAs Tibetan, ex 11605

1600-1700 NF 12035 TIN 250 kW / 303 deg to CeAs Uyghur [oi-ger], ex 12075

Radio Liberty from May 14

1400-1500 NF 15180 LAM 100 kW / 077 deg to CeAs Uzbek, ex 15480

Voice of America from May 14

1400-1500 NF 17595 LAM 100 kW / 077 deg to CeAs Tibetan, ex 17570

Voice of America from May 16

1600-1700 NF 15505 BIB 100 kW / 085 deg to CeAs Tibetan Mon, ex 15495

1600-1700 NF 11910 PHT 250 kW / 315 deg to CeAs Tibetan Tue, ex 15505

1600-1700 NF 15505 BIB 100 kW / 085 deg to CeAs Tibetan Wed, ex 15495

1600-1700 NF 11910 PHT 250 kW / 315 deg to CeAs Tibetan Thu, ex 15505

1600-1700 NF 15505 BIB 100 kW / 085 deg to CeAs Tibetan Fri, ex 15495

1600-1700 NF 11910 PHT 250 kW / 315 deg to CeAs Tibetan Sat, ex 15505

1600-1700 NF 11910 PHT 250 kW / 315 deg to CeAs Tibetan Sun, ex 15505

Via Shortwave Central Blog

Audio: [Pirate Theme]

“From the 3rd to the 5th of July 2015, everyone of distinction in the free radio scene meets once again – both listeners and stations! On this particular weekend, it’s provisionally planned that the next Borderhunter summer meeting (well-known and well-loved across Europe) will take place in the first weekend of July. Only those who already know about this fantastic meeting, know what the home stayers miss.

Radio Borderhunter will organise a meeting for friends of the free radio and pirate hobby, that is not only unique, but will also remain unsurpassed – that we promise all hobbyists! In order that we can plan better, we request that you let us know when you are coming, in advance if possible, as we want to make sure that we have enough food beforehand, for example.

Reservations, applications and questions should be directed to the following e-mail address: summermeeting2015@hotmail.com or to

PO BOX 2702, 6049 ZG HERTEN, THE NETHERLANDS.

The exact route to the meeting will be given in advance. Most of you will know it from previous years. Our motto for this meeting, as always is: come, see, be amazed, be at home.”

Find out more at: www.summermeeting.net  

Via Shortwave DX Blog

Here are the Europirate logs for the last weekend and this week:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

6300-17.30 Radio Merlin International Music From Mike & The Mechanics, The Fortunes, The Beach Boys And The Moody Blues. Fair, But Noisy Signal Sinpo 43233

6205-19.55 Shortwave Gold Soul Oldies Including George Benson. Fair Signal, Occasional Fading Sinpo 43323

Sunday, May 3, 2015

6300-8.10 Radio Condor Dance Music And Id's. Weak Signal With Some Fair Peaks Sinpo 33333

6250-9.40 Radio Casanova Dutch Songs And Id's. Fair Signal Sinpo 43333

6400-16.05 Radio Joey Europop, Instrumental And Dutch Music. Fair To Good Signal Sinpo 44333

6305-17.25 Radio Telestar Dutch Songs And Id's. Good Signal Sinpo 44344

6320-17.35 Radio Zwarte Panther playing Dutch Music. Sinpo 43333

6240-19.00 Radio Experience Playing Dance Music. Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6382-19.20 Radio Verona Playing Dutch Music. Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6320-19.35 Radio Montferland Oldies Including Lipps Inc" funky town". And Diana Ross" upside down". Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6380-20.15 Little Feet Radio Oldies Including Level 42 And Eternal. Fair To Good Signal Sinpo 43433

13800-20.28 Radio Spaceshuttle Finnish Music And Comedy Sketches Including a version Of " rasputin". Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6915-20.40 Premier Radio Music From Chuck Berry, The Stunning And Odyssey. Good Signal Sinpo 43444

Saturday, May 16, 2015

6205-6.10 Radio King Shortwave Oldies And Soft Rock Music Including The Brighouse & Rastrick Band" floral dance". Weak To Fair Signal Sinpo 33333

6295-18.00 Radio Shadowman Music From Fiction Factory" feels like heaven" And foreigner" cold as ice". Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6385-18.35 Radio Universe Oldies Including Bobby Fueller" i fought the law". Fair Signal Sinpo 34333

6305-18.50 Radio Quintus Music From The Supremes, Neil Sedaka, Fergal Shakey And Alvin Stardust. Strong Signal Sinpo 54444

6910-21.02 Premier Radio Oldies Including Ronnie Hilton, Moterhead And The Starland Vocal Band. Good Signal Sinpo 43444

European logs via Irish Paul’s radio blog

Looking over to North America:

BB King + Blues 6924.3AM 01h22UTC 20th May

Pirate Clip Radio 6919.6 AM 22h57UTC 19th May

Big Johnson Radio 6950 USB 01h16UTC 18th May

Big Boobs Radio 6924.25 AM 02h20UTC May 15th

Logs via HF underground forum.

Audio: [music to break up - flow into]

DX Extra is being relayed via the following affiliate stations: World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, on shortwave via Channel 292 6070 16h00UTC Saturdays, WRMI Radio Miami International 9955 3h30-4h00UTC Sundays, over the weekends on Cupid Radio, Premiere Radio, Radio Spaceshuttle and Focus International.

Audio: [promo]

Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a shortwave recording of The Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The clip is from SWLing Blog

Audio: VOIRI

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe!

END