DX QUICK TIPSMarch 3, 2023
Over the past few weeks, reception conditions have been very good, especially on the higher shortwave frequencies above 12 MHz. There has been the occasional burst of solar disturbance that unsettled the ionosphere, and that is often accompanied by a few hours of high signal absorption and radio blackouts. But these are usually short-lived, and the bands spring back to life again quite quickly.
The last week has seen plenty of activity on the ham bands from exotic locations. These include 3B7M (Saint Brandon Island), J8NY (Saint Vincent Island), XU7GNY (Cambodia), 3X1A (Guinea), HD8M (Galapagos Islands), 9U5R and 9U4WX (Burundi). Plus, FT8WW (Crozet Is) has received permission to extend his expedition time on the island, so he is active again. I managed to jag contacts with XU7 and J8NY several days ago, so happy times here at Mount Evelyn! 😁 Lots of exciting DX at the moment!
CYCLONES: EXTENDED RADIO VANUATU SERVICES
The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has been coping it badly over the past few days with not one but two big cyclones arriving within days of each other. Cyclones Judy and Kevin are playing havoc with one of the poorest countries in the Pacific. Radio Vanuatu has been running 24-hour operations with emergency traffic on 7260 kHz. You can follow updates on this frequency, via online remote SDRs in Australia and New Zealand, or via Radio Vanuatu streaming.
SHORTWAVE BROADCAST DX TIPS
4750 INDONESIA. VoIndonesia - Cimanggis. 2017 French, talks and musical interludes, frequent IDs. Fair to poor signal with CNR 1 co-channel QRM, Feb 11.
5045 AUSTRALIA. Bay Islands Radio - Russell Island, QLD. 1125, no anncts. Old rock hits, poor signal in the summer static. And again at 2010, with more antique pops and still a poor signal. Feb 18.
5900 TAIWAN. National Unity R. - Tamsui. 1105 Korean to NEAs, pop songs and chatty anncers. Good signal with light jamming. Feb 12. And again for the morning service at s/on 2000 with majestic theme music, ID and anncts. Then more chatty talk. Fair signal, Feb 18.
5910 V of Turkey - Site unknown. 2030 Turkish, on-location and studio earthquake reports. Is this via the Vatican's SM Galeria site as part of the HFCC International Radio for Disaster Relief service? Good signal. // regular scheduled Turkey freqs of 5980 and 6120 kHz, which were also good signals. 11/2. (See also 9430 kHz.)
6180 BRAZIL. R. Nacional Amazônia - Brasilia DF. 2050 Portuguese. Brazilian pop music programming, a weak signal. // 11780 also heard and also a weak signal here, Feb 11.
7260 VANUATU. R. Vanuatu - Emten Lagoon. 1025 Bislama with island-style choral work. 1030 - ID and TC for 9:30 pm. Fair to good signal over co-channel PBS Xinjiang. Feb 9.
7600 ARMENIA. Afghanistan Int'l TV - Gavar. 2120 Either Pashto or Dari, interview program, many mentions of the Taliban. Good signal with the exception of the sawtooth-quality transmitter hum in the background, Feb 16.
7630 UZBEKISTAN. Voice of Martyrs - Tashkent. 2125 to s/off 2130 Mandarin to EAs, commentary. Fair signal, Feb 16.
9430 TURKEY. V of Turkey - Unknown tx site. 0625 Turkish. News reports on the earthquake disaster, lots of pauses in the description, plus on-location and live reports. Background sound effects of children crying, people cheering when someone is pulled out alive, shouting and yelling - somewhat harrowing and making it feel very real. Poor signal. I wonder if this is via the Vatican's SM Galeria site as part of the HFCC International Radio for Disaster Relief service? At 0645, I found it running // 11660 via Emirler to the ME with a fair signal. And also // 15235 for what is normally VoT's Hausa service to WAf with a good signal. Later, I noted it // 15350 at s/on 0700 for what is usually the service to Eu with a very good signal. Feb 10.
9490 TAIWAN. R. Taiwan Int'l - Paochung. 1115 Russian to NEAs, commentaries. Excellent signal, Feb 12.
9500 ALGERIA. R. Algerienne - Bechar (presumed site). 0615 Arabic to NAf and CAf. Friday morning prayers, fair to poor signal during unstable propagation conditions, Feb 10.
9670 TAIWAN. R. Dáp Lòi Sông Núi - Paochung. S/on 1230 Vietnamese to SEAs. Siren jamming on 9671 kHz creates the added bonus of a het with the opposition station. Both the het and the jamming can be easily removed by switching to LSB. Excellent signal, Feb 4.
9670 GERMANY. Channel 292 - Rohrbach. 0549 Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams", the horrible Chris Andrews "Yesterday Man" and other assorted "classics". Non-stop music, no anncts heard in 45 min of listening. Weak signal at first but got respectably stronger by 0625. First time I've heard 292 this year via the long path! "Must be moving towards winter", I think to myself as I sit under the air con on this 40C (104F) day in late summer! :-) The LP for 292 to Australia is across the Atlantic, over the top of Sth America and into the southern Pacific. Feb 17.
9710 VATICAN. Vatican R. - SM Galeria. 0525 Ukrainian to EEu, poor signal, Feb 17.
11725 NEW ZEALAND. RNZP - Rangitaiki. 1105 English to Oc, reading donations and community anncts relating to the recent floods, additional freq for this service and good signal. // 13755 but not as strong there, Feb 18.
13870 PHILIPPINES. FEBC - Bocaue. 1145 Khmer to SEAs, talks, fair signal, Feb 18.
15030 INDIA. AIR - Bengaluru. 0520 to 0530 Farsi to Iran. Into Arabic for ME at 0530. Subpar distorted audio and squealing transmitter sounds. A good signal strength, but the audio quality has been much better in recent months than on this day! Feb 11.
15560 PHILIPPINES. FEBC - Bocaue. Late s/on at 0101, Javanese to INS. Off-air one min later but returned another minute after that. Txer trouble? Fair to good signal, Feb 17.
17600 ALGERIA. R. Algerienne - Bechar. 1035 Arabic to CAf. Muis then telephone interview. Fair to poor signal, 1/2. And again at 2003 French to CAf, news. No formal ID when changing to Arabic at 2011. Then Qur'an programming. Fair to poor signal and the only station on this band at the time. //15410 also heard where the signal was slightly stronger. Feb 11.
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