tisdag 24 februari 2009

Some loggings from the DX shack Feb. 18-20

A few more loggings by JE. As for my own loggings they are still at home in my stationary PC so I will have to add to ´this later. However, nothing special about the conditions Feb. 18-20.

1210 20.2 0630 VOAR Mt Pearl, NL en av väldigt få NA som gick, men den gick desto bättre! ”Christian Family Radio” och räknade upp en väldigt massa fm-frekvenser. JE
1390 20.2 0530 WISA Isabella, PR ”lurades” med att prata en massa om Venezuela, men kom med ”Radio Puerto Rico”. JE
1610 20.2 0600 Caribbean Beacon. Har inte hört den så bra på år och dag. Verkade vara direktsändning med telefonnummer man uppmanades att ringa för att prata med en yngre upplaga av familjen Scott. JE
1310 20.2 0700 YVSM RNV, Barcelona. ”Radio Nacional de Venezuela Canal Internacional”. JE
1360 20.2 0633 HJTU Oxigeno, Cartagena id-ade. Snett som vanligt (1359,969). JE
1370 20.2 0701 HJKX Radio Mundial, Bogota presenterar sig som ”Radio Autentica”. JE
1400 20.2 0620 HJKM Emisora Mariana, Bogota. Är väldigt flitig med id. Gick bäst av alla transatlanter den här morgonen. JE
1470 20.2 0530 YVJW Llanerissima, Valencia med ett väldigt utförligt id. Ligger snett (1470,034). JE

fredag 13 februari 2009

Loggings from the Radio Shack by Jan Edh - JE

Fredriksfors 11.2
My expectations were for something better this night. It looked so good when I checked the ”sights”. And even, it started quite good also...It was a beautiful but quite cold (some -20 C) night. Almost as daylight with a full moon (missing just for a day), shining over heavy new snow on the ground and trees. But as Dan Andersson (he and Hans Olofsson with his SDR 5000 joined later) had put on the heating it was some +10 C inside when I arrived at about 21.00 UTC, I could just put some firewood in the stove and begin listening...And it started well even then; The Philippines on1314, Japan on 1413 and some eastern NA-stations when I changed antenna. A wink of some daytimers even. Then very broad (west coast to the Caribbean and Colombia) but nothing ”interesting”.And it didn´t make it better when I made some misstake with my recording on the IQ and only have two short files from the morning. Of course missing all that great stuff that was audible just that time...
1314 10.2 2103 DWXI, Paranaque. Religiöst. JE
1413 10.2 2100 JOIF Fukuoka gick strålande. JE
670 11.2 0706 WSCR Chicago, IL med en sjungen ”bokstavsjingle”. JE
1240 10.2 2130 CKIM Baie Vert, NL med VOCM bra styrka så tidigt. JE
1310 10.2 2307 WIBA Madison, WI med en promo för nattens C2C. JE
1330 11.2 0600 WRCA Waltham, MA med jazz. JE
1430 11.2 0600 CHKT Toronto, ON (egentligen bara tent för det kom aldrig något anrop) med religiös non stop-musik som ”overnightfyllnad”. JE
1450 11.2 0602 AM Gold ”14-50 AM Gold” efter att CNN-nyheterna var slut. JE
1460 11.2 0659 WHIC, Rochester, NY med EWTN. JE
1460 11.2 0659 WDDY Albany, NY. Disney. JE
1460 11.2 0659 CJOY Guelph, ON ”Greatest Hits”. Tredje inom mindre än en minut att id-a tydligt! JE
1470 11.2 0700 WKBV West Bend, WI ”BKV West Bend” och CNN-nyheter. Annars dominerade Vibracion totalt hela natten. På kvällen däremot WLAM med ”True Oldies” och toöpstyrka. JE
1470 11.2 0606 WMBD Peooria, IL kom fram med id efter Fox News men dök snabbt igen. JE
1480 11.2 0700 WSAR Fall River, NY stark. JE
1480 11.2 0600 WGVU Kentwood, MI med BBC World Service. JE
1500 10.2 2200 WFIF Milford. RI ”Life Changing Radio”. JE
1500 11.2 0700 WLQV Detroit, MI med Life Changing Radio över WFED. JE
1510 11.2 0700 WWZN Boston, MA ”Bostpn´s Sport Station The Zone” och inte religiöst som man brukat ha på morgnarna. JE
1520 10.2 21.59 WIZZ Greenfield, MA med ett halvdåligt id där mest ”IZZ” hörs. Hyggligt stark med nostalgimusik. Tyvärr var Voz för stark ett par minuter senare. JE
1540 11.2 0704 CHIN Toronto, ON spansk populärmusik utan annonseringar (även på timmen) men här kom en. Stark. JE
1570 10.2 2200 WNSH Beverly, MA ”Women´s TalkRadio”, men får egentligen bara räknas som TENT eftersom den gick riktigt läsbart bara när det var ”prat” (om jag inte mot förmodan lyckas klämma fram något senare). JE
700 10.2 2330 NCB St Vincent - precis så härligt som man vill att en västindier ska låta... JE
1400 20.2 0000 Harbour Light, Grenada (finns den inte med i frekvenstabellen iWRTH?) har varit frånvarande under vinterns NA-konditioner, men nu puffades CBG åt sidan. JE
1490 11.2 0700 HJBS Em. Punto Cinco, Bogota. ”Punto Cinco 14-90 AM”. JE
1550 11.2 0550 HJCB Radio El Sol, Baranquilla delade utrymmet med CBE. JE

onsdag 11 februari 2009

What is a QSL - and why bother?

What is a QSL? you may ask. Many visitors of this blog will have a very clear answer. It is a confirmation of reception of a particular radio station. You have heard a specific radio station at a certain time, sent them a reception report to tell them that you heard them and how well the signal was received. In return you will (hopefully) get a QSL - a confirmation that you have heard the station. The term 'QSL' initially is an abbreviation of the Q-code used in telegraphy communication, meaning simply 'I confirm our contact' or 'Please confirm our contact'. It has been widely used by telegraphy operators and radio amateurs (hams) over the years. So what has this got to do with broadcasting stations?

It used to be common practice for most radio stations to respond to listener's reception reports by a QSL, either in the form of especially designed QSL cards (verification cards) or by letter. For the listener (or DX-er, as they became known) these QSLs were nice memories of the contact with a foreign station and many radio listeners started listening to foreign stations and sending reception reports (that is, DX-ing) from a collector's point of view. Many even decorated the walls of their listening post with the QSL cards received. What was in it for the station, then? Well, in the early days of radio many stations were dependent upon reception reports from listeners in order to establish how far they were reaching and how their signal was being received. It became a win-win situation and the DX-ers were collecting verifications/QSLs just as stamp collectors collect stamps. Many DX-ers also started collecting stamps as many QSLs from abroad were sent in envelopes with exciting stamps and often the stations would send out promo material, stickers, pennants and so on together with the QSL.

As time passed by the need for reception reports from listeners disappeared but yet many stations kept on sending out QSLs anyway as a matter of courtesy and in many cases because they saw it as an interesting form of interaction with their listeners. Naturally, this was most useful for external service broadcasters and over the years they have often published series of different QSL cards to stimulate listeners to keep sending in reception reports.
Today many broadcasters have no idea what a QSL is and what the point is of confirming that somebody across the sea have heard their station. To most broadcasters, long distance reception is not as exciting anymore as it used to be. After all, you can listen to webstreams or via satellite radio. So what's the point, really. Why are there still people out there who bother to listen to foreign stations the old-fashioned way by a radio receiver and an antenna and take the time to send reception reports?

Well, as I am one of these peculiar persons myself I think the main reason why I keep on doing it is the excitement when after many endeavours you suddenly hear a rare station on the band. Just like a stamp collector will be happy in finding a rare stamp, a verification from a rarely heard station is the icing of the cake. Especially when it comes by ordinary post just it used to in the days before e-mail was introduced. After all, what's so exciting about a short e-mail telling you "Yes, it's us alright!"? I know that many DX-ers have given up and accepted the fact that they will only get e-mail replies in the future. Personally, I think this is sad. This attitude is killing the collecting part of the hobby which was the reason that many of us once started DX-ing. I value a "real" QSL coming by post much more than an e-mail, no matter how rare the station may be. After all, wouldn't a stamp collector rather have the actual stamps in his collection instead of scanned images of the stamps?

I think this focus upon e-mail verifiations has made the hobby less interesting. There was a time when it was really exciting to check your mailbox (and I'm talking about snail mail here) every day and when there was a thick envelope with exotic stamps in it you knew you had a new QSL from a distant radio station. The ultimate trophy of the DX hunt. Somehow an e-mail reply will never give the same feeling and I'd rather stop sending reception report entirely than concentrating on getting e-mail replies. No matter how rare the stations heard may be.

Fortunately there are still some stations out there that realize what it is that we want and keep on sending QSLs the good old way, like Granddad used to do. Here are a few examples:
CKDO 1580 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada still sends out QSL cards and the station has a highly enjoyable oldies format which I enjoy listening to every time they come through.

Japanese AM (medium wave) stations still often confirm reception reports by real QSL cards. Here is one from JOER 1350 Hiroshima which is regularly heard in wintertime.
Our dear friend Carlos Gamarra Moscoso have helped many of us getting QSLS from Peruvian stations over the years. Here is one from Radio La Hora 4 855 kHz.

So maybe there is still hope for real QSLs - or what do you think? Or does it really matter? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this.