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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

8AL Alice Springs NT 783 kHz - Audio

Mediumwave stations from the Northern Territory are rarely heard at Fish Hoek so it was a pleasant surprise to hear 8AL Alice Springs NT on 783 kHz on the 13th April 2007 and a month later on the 13th May 2007. There was intermittent interference from the usually dominant co-channel 6VA, Albany WA.

Audio Clips

13th April 2007 1829 UTC : An "ABC local radio" id was announced by the male presenter of the overnight programme.

13th May 2007 1734 UTC : Part of the ABC newscast by the female announcer included Sports news.

Alice Springs Telegraph Building (Photograph Wikimedia Commons).

Monday, February 4, 2013

6VA Albany WA 783 kHz QSL

6VA Albany WA on 783 kHz was heard on the 13th September 1989 via the FRG 7 and 30 metre longwire antenna at Fish Hoek.

Chief Engineer Gary Wheatcroft kindly responded to my reception report with an informative letter and included a listener club membership card.

The 6VA transmitter building and antenna mast, situated at Albany WA (Photograph Google Street View) .

Friday, February 1, 2013

Solomon Islands SIBC Honiara 9545 kHz QSL - Audio

The Pacific remains an interesting target area for the South African dxer. Apart from Australia and New Zealand, memorable and sensational shortwave catches such as the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu have been reported in South Africa by a few experienced dxers.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation was heard on 9545 kHz on the 4th August 1989 via the FRG 7 and 30 metre longwire antenna at Fish Hoek. I was fortunate to receive a QSL card in response to my reception report.

Audio Clip

It was a surprise to hear the S.I.B.C. 22 years later, during the March 2011 dxpedition at Seefontein. The station made it through on 5020 kHz on the 30th March 2011 at 1912 UTC.

Honiara, Solomon Islands (Photograph : Wikimedia Commons).