Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Transworld Radio Swaziland (TWR Africa) - Verified with e-QSL

It was early spring in 1997 when I started listening to distant radio signals on my 10-band Kchibo shortwave radio receiver. Back then, the shortwave bands were open and teeming with radio stations. The BIG 5 international broadcasters in my region (ITU Zone 41) were - British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Voice of America (VOA), China Radio International (CRI), Deutsche Welle (DW) and Voice of Russia (VOR). Apart from them, there were the major gospel stations transmitting every morning and evening in dozens of South Asian and South East Asian languages preaching the message of Jesus! The BIG 4 broadcasters of the time were - Family Radio, Adventist World Radio, Transworld Radio (KTWR) and FEBA Radio.

Apart from these 'usual' stations that every listener would eventually hear on the radio bands, there were others too! The challenge for SWLs/ DXers back then was to tune in to those 'other' stations - the ones that were hard to tune and harder to decipher! Most of these dx stations  either targeted their transmission to zones other than mine (zone 41) or were using low-powered transmitters to broadcast to local communities.

Every nation has its unique culture and music! And stations broadcasting out of Africa were the most alluring ones as they would play drums, pipes, flutes and indigenous musical instruments specific to their culture at the beginning and end of their radio broadcasts everyday! These short musical notes, commonly referred as 'signature tune', bore the identity for each radio station. As a DXer, freshly introduced to this wonderous world of shortwave radio listening, I was mesmerized to say the least! 

One such station was Transworld Radio Swaziland broadcasting from Manzini in Eswatini (Swaziland)! It is part of TWR's global ministry in Africa. TWR Swaziland opened their radio broadcast every evening (IST) around 14 hrs. UTC with a unique signature tune and station ID. The station would broadcast only 45 mins of programming in Urdu back then. Their other broadcast times did not match with my local time zone! TWR Swaziland remained one of my favorites for years during that period of my DXing hobby-life! 

A good two-decades hence and today, while I was sorting through truck loads of DX interactions from all these years - and archiving email communications with radio stations those hold dear memories, up came an e-QSL from TWR Africa (erstwhile TWR Swaziland)  confirming my reception of  their broadcast in Malagasy on 18th Dec, 2017. 

                                                                        LISTEN HERE

transworld radio africa qsl

I have been quite a sporadic listener ever since the pandemic has ebbed! DXing took a backseat due to major broadcasters closing doors on shortwave, Chinese stations dominating the air waves left vacant by the media houses and governments running the big radio stations and shifting the most prominent radio stations to digital media. However, amid my dwindling interest of shortwave listening and the predominance of online SDRs and app-based tuners like radio garden et al. eclipsing the ever-so-alluring art of distant shortwave listening, this e-QSL from TWR Swaziland was a stark reminder that - "past can never be forgotten" and it eventually pops up in our present at the most unlikely hours and instantly takes us back to where our hearts belong!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

DX Logs from Chandipur Odisha Covering SW MW & FM bands

It's been a long time since I posted here last! The impetus was missing somehow!
After a gap of 3 broadcast seasons, I am looking forward to ending A18 on a warm note and feeling hopeful of rekindling my DX blogging in B18. Now without further ado, allow me to present before you my recent DX Logs from a visit to the coastal town of Chandipur in the state of Odisha.

Date - 21.10.2018
QTH  Chandipur, Odisha (INDIA)
Latitude: 21.439861 | Longitude: 87.014944
Altitude: 7 meters
RX - Tecsun PL 310 (with telescopic whip)


15600 KHz 0019 UTC - CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in PORTUGUESE from BEIJING-MATOUCUN (CRI/CNR). SINPO = 34333. Song by YL band retro number. OM & YL talk. song followed.

15435 KHz 0016 UTC - FEBC MANILA (PHILIPPINES) in SHAN from BOCAUE (FEBC). SINPO = 54444. OM talk (gospel discourse?)

15400 KHz 0015 UTC- REACH BEYOND AUSTRALIA (AUSTRALIA) in ENGLISH from KUNUNURRA WA. SINPO = 43433. Sign off YL with ID & Freq declaration

15320 KHz 0012 UTC- VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in MANDARIN from TINANG (VOA). SINPO = 32322. YL & OM in talks (firedrake in the background).

11790 KHz 0007 UTC- CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in ENGLISH from XIAN-XIANYANG (SHAANXI). SINPO = 55555. OM & YL in talks "trends in public dancing in the social life of China" (lifestyle mag prog). 

11780 KHz 0006 UTC- CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in MANDARIN from JINHUA. SINPO = 54344. ID followed by prog highlights by OM. 


558 KHz Bangladesh Betar (Khulna) sig tune 0026 UTC SIO 555

621 KHz All India Radio (Patna) 0028 UTC ID then into news (YL) 0030 UTC onwards SIO 433

711 KHz All India Radio (Siliguri) Talk in Bengali followed by (Baul)folk song 0040 UTC SIO 454

747 KHz All India Radio (Lucknow) prog 'krishi karya' heard, prog ends followed by prog id (OM) 0043 UTC then into Govt Ads, Stn. ID at 0044 UTC Prog 'Aalok' discourse on topic - "Gandhiji aur bharat chhoro andolon/ Gandhiji & Quit India Movement" SIO 444

792 KHz Radio Nepal with a talk by OM. 0048 UTC SIO 454


76.4 MHz FM (?) Ghazal by YL, host YL 6:20 am SIO 555 (!) Hindi

89.2 MHz ABC Radio, Bangladesh, Bengali song, singer Kishore Kumar entitled "ekdin pakhi urre" 0055 UTC SIO 454

90.0 MHz Saptakoshi FM, Nepal, talk in Nepali by YL RJ 0102 UTC with songs & radio commercials in between. At O115 UTC 'Saptakoshi Time Check' local time announcement followed by 'news in brief' in Nepali then into songs. SIO 433

90.8 MHz Radio Smile, Balasore, sign in 0130 UTC with 'VANDE MATARAM' followed by Odisha's State anthem 'Vande Utkalo Janoni' then stn jingle by YL followed by OM ID. Inspirational msgs followed. SIO 555

Click to listen to my audio recording on Soundcloud

102.9 MHz All India Radio (Baripada) news in Sanskrit (Delhi relay?) 0127 UTC. News read by OM. SIO 555

FM stations from Kolkata - Aamar FM, BIG FM, Fever 104 FM, Radio Mirchi & Vivid Bharti 101.8 MHz were all audible from the DX location.

Distance between Kolkata and Chandipur Odisha is 256.6 km.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Radio Orion 2000 QSL - Free Radio Station on Shortwave

One of my new-found DX addiction is listening to radio broadcasts via web based Software Defined Radios (WebSDRs). For those of us who entered this magical world of DXing by manually turning the knobs of analog radios, SDRs are nothing short of Aladdin's Magic Lamp! I remember the first time when I actually operated an SDR during ADXL DXpedition 2014, I was simply awestruck! The ease of tuning along with the real-time feed of the station signals appearing in waterfall view on the SDR user interface screen mesmerized my senses! Online (Web-based) SDRs are even more thrilling! The sheer excitement of operating a WebSDR located thousands of kilometers away, right from the comfort of my home and listening to low powered radio stations that are practically impossible to hear from my QTH was something unimaginable even a few years back. 

Now SDRs are just a click away! Hence, once I started tuning SDRs I never got tired, and the thrill continues. Nowadays, (almost every other day) I tune into pirate radio and free radio stations operating with very low power in Europe via WebSDRs located in different countries of Europe. I love the variety of programming, the music, the 'accented' presentation, the local commercials and the colorful QSLs/ eQSLs of these free radio stations. Puritans might say that QSLing a radio station using WebSDR isn't fit to be counted among laurels. I agree, but then WebSDRs provide refreshment to my ever-hungry DX soul, enabling me to relish slices of exotic entertainment, in our present era of dwindling 'powerhouse' broadcasters. 

Radio Orion 2000 logged via Twente SDR

With the onset of A16 broadcast season a plethora of (low powered) pirates/ free radio stations seemed to have emerged in Europe and I have been listening to a lot of these stations every weekend. My recent log of Radio Orion 2000 was quite by chance! I followed up the live blog of a fellow radio aficionado and tuned in to Radio Orion 2000's broadcast on 6940 KHz between 1720-1735 UTC ON April 29, 2016 via Twente WebSDR. A musical program was heard with both German and English songs being played. Prominent IDs in German “Radyo Orion Zweitausend” and in English was heard. Reception quality was overall Average to Fair. Reception suffered from noise (probably QRM from electrical gadget / power source at remote receiver QTH) vicinity. Except this QRM audio stream was flawless with NO breakups in audio feed. A reception report was mailed on May 2nd and eQSL verification was received on May 3rd from Commander Cliff Allister McLane of Radio Orion 2000. Their contact email id is <> .

Monday, May 9, 2016

HCJB Deutschland in Weenermoor Germany Verified!

In early March, I have received a package from HCJB Deutsch – Neuesleben (New Life) in Germany. Inside was a view card, station material (promotional), ‘donate us’ form, the gospel of Luke, HCJB newsletter for January 2016 and most importantly a QSL Verification Letter addressed to me and signed by Mark-Thorsten Wardein (Editor in Chief) of HCJB Deutsch – Neuesleben. The QSL verified my reception report of their broadcast dated 12 Dec 2015 on 3995 KHz from Weenermoor heard via Twente SDR.

HCJB Deutschland transmission from Weenermoor started from June 2012 and this was the first occasion that I happened to QSL this station. Besides producing a German (Neuesleben) and Spanish radio program (Radio Amigos), they give their programs to 40 FM stations in Germany, Latin-America, Spain and USA. 

Here’s a link to an article on HCJB Weenermoor with glimpses of the transmitter centre and antennas (by the way it’s written in German!) Click HERE

For details about the station visit these websites > and

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Reach Beyond Australia - QSL Verification

Reach Beyond Australia is a prompt verifier of reception reports. Thanks to the untiring efforts of Shelley Martin, Listener Correspondent for Reach Beyond Australia, listeners across the globe can get access to updated broadcast schedule of Reach Beyond at the onset of every broadcasting season, and she also responds ‘real fast’ be it on Facebook or via emails. At the onset of A16 broadcast season I was monitoring Reach Beyond’s frequencies (as I often do twice every year after seasonal frequency changes in March and October), only this time I happen to note that I haven’t heard their Rawang broadcast anytime before, although it’s been around for quite a few years now. Rawang (as per Wikipedia entry) is a Sino-Tibetan language of India and Burma with over 63,000 native speakers. On 14th April (which happened to be Bengal New Years day and hence a state holiday) I made fruitful use of my leisure and tuned in to Reach Beyond Australia’s Rawang broadcast on 15575 KHz between 1145-1200 UTC. Programming consisted of gospel talk and religious hymns and music. Reception at my QTH in Kolkata on my portable Tecsun PL310 was SIO 454.

Nowadays with the availability of web SDRs (Software Defined Radio) it has become easier for DXers to monitor local/global listening conditions, signals strength, propagation of broadcasts from around the world. I tuned in to WebSDR at Twente, Nederlands to compare listening conditions of Reach Beyond’s Rawang broadcast in Europe with that audible over my Tecsun radio at my QTH. Promisingly, the signal from Kununurra was moderate to fair in the Nederlands. A detailed reception report was mailed to Shelley Martin with a video file of the broadcast and screenshots of web SDR. In just over 3 days I received a nice acknowledgement with E-QSL verifying my report. Indigenous (Aboriginal)Australian Art is featured on the full data verification e-card.

Reach Beyond Australia QSL
E-QSL from Reach Beyond Australia

Reach Beyond Australia monitored via Web SDR @ Twente, Nederlands
Tecsun PL310

Reach Beyond Australia, Rawang Service as received in Kolkata, Apr 14, 2016

HCJB Australia Vintage QSL
HCJB Australia Vintage E-QSL (2004)

I have been listening to Reach Beyond from the days when the station started broadcasting to Asia-Pacific region as HCJB Australia which was later changed to HCJB Global Voice. It’s been a long journey of over 12 years! I feel happy to see that in spite of changes in the policy of the parent organization they have stuck to shortwave and still going strong! May the Lord bless them infinitely to carry on their humanitarian mission in the decades to come and may we (the radio lovers) remain ever happy listening to Reach Beyond Australia on shortwave transmitting across the ether from the Great Southland!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marconi Radio International - Full Data Electronic QSL Verification

Marconi Radio International (MRI) broadcasting from Italy was heard broadcasting on 7790 KHz in USB mode with just 100 watts power on 2nd April, 2016, between 1445 -1500 UTC via remote SDR in Rimini, Italy. Location of listening was my QTH Kolkata, India. The Program Host was heard talking in Italian on various topics. DX related information was shared with listeners. MX (music) was heard in the background. A listener based in Potomac in Maryland, USA was mentioned in the show. 

A DX reception report was read out with “SINPO uno quarto tre quarto uno” or SINPO 14341. At 1458 UTC Station ID in Italian followed by Station announcement in English “This is Marconi Radio International…” by Male (OM) announcer. A reception report was mailed to on the next day. A full data Electronic QSL Verification from Marconi Radio International (MRI) was received on April 25, 2016 along with ‘History of MRI’ & ‘MRI Newsletter’ PDFs.

Marconi Radio International QSL

Here’s a synopsis of verification email received from Marconi Radio International (MRI) -

“Thank you for your reception report about one of the first transmissions of Marconi Radio International on 7 MHz carried over a new transmitter capable of tuning between 3 and 30 MHz Our full data electronic QSL verification is enclosed. We are a small free radio station broadcasting from the Italy which, after 15 years of dormancy, returned back to the airwaves on 15 August 2015. MRI began its short wave transmissions on 4 January 1986 and this year celebrated its 30th anniversary. Until a few weeks ago our test broadcasts were aired on our historic frequency of 11390 kHz with a power in the region of 30 watts. On 21 March 2016 a new transmitter was added and, for the first time in our history, a test was made outside the 11 MHz band. We used the frequency of 7700 kHz (USB mode) which gave good reception in Europe. The station was also heard in Newfoundland (Canada). As from 3 May 2016 MRI will start a regular service  on Wednesdays, from 18 hrs to 19 hrs UTC, 20 hrs to 21 hrs UTC, and 22 hrs to 23 hrs UTC on 7690 kHz USB mode  (alternative frequencies: 7700 and 7790 kHz) with a power of 100 watts. Additional broadcasts may also be aired during week-end. When this occurs a circular message with details about days, times and frequencies of these transmissions will be sent in advance to short-wave community and listeners in our mailing list…We hope to extend the duration of our broadcasts in the near future and also to increase power. We also plan to send in printed QSL cards by snail-mail but only to some lucky listeners. That’s why it’s vital to let us have your postal (street or P.O. box) address. Unlike a number of free radios from Northern of Europe we know what a QSL is and our verifications will always come with all details about reception of MRI. 

Last but not least, we need your help! If you use social networks, please post an announcement on Facebook about MRI.  You can also forward this message to a friend. This should help increase our potential audience. We would be glad to hear from you again.Yours sincerely, Marconi Radio International (MRI).”

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Mighty KBC QSL - A Wish Fulfilled

"The Mighty KBC is a European shortwave station that blasts out rock n’ roll oldies and classic rock to truckers across the continent." 

On June 28, 2015 at 00:15 Hrs UTC I logged The Mighty KBC on 9925 kHz (SIO 232) with station id in English “we're The Mighty KBC” by male (OM) announcer from my QTH in Kolkata, India using Tecsun PL 310 receiver and the standard telescopic rod antenna attached with the RX. English pop and rock ’n’ roll oldies from 50’s-60’s era were played in the musical program with multiple station IDs, RJ mentions & commercials and jingles in between. 

I was lucky enough to know about the date and time of the SW transmission from their Facebook wall post, the day before. I tried my luck and guess what I heard them for the very first time! It was raining since early morning. I was apprehensive yet as it turned out The Mighty KBC signal from Nauen was audible at my QTH. The transmission was heard till 00.36 Hrs UTC. 

Reception report was emailed on the same day to >  Within an hour of emailing the report, I received an eQSL reply (electronic verification) from Eric van Willegen. 

To learn more about this iconic radio station, Click Here  73's