Radio Malaysia QSL and memories

In response to our post regarding Radio Sarawak, SWLing Post contributor, M Breyel, shares the following:

These were the shortwave frequencies RTM used in 1975. This is my QSL card for an RTM transmission originating from Penang, as received on Denver, Colorado. [Click images to enlarge.]

Most MW stations in Malaysia ceased operation after 2000. That said, a 750 kW MW station in Sabah remained operational as late as 2008, if I remember correctly. My guess is FM became more prominent thereafter.

Certainly here in peninsular Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), particularly in 1987, we had six government FM stations. Sign-off was usually at midnight or 1 am, depending on the station. An annual license (tax) was issued for each radio owned.

Note, the QSL card [above] appears to have first been printed in 1973, judging by the smaller date printed at the bottom of the card. It was one of the few folded cards I received in my DXing years from 1967 to 1980. It features three sections, folded twice and printed on both sides. The Angkasapuri studio in Kuala Lumpur, map and flag of Malaysia, caption about the country, transmitter sites and frequencies and verification data is depicted on it.

This particular card was issued for a reception report I posted on 22 November 1975, nearly 40 years ago. Unbeknownst to me then I had picked up Radio Malaysia via Penang, according to the frequency legend (4.985 kHz) stated on the card. I assumed it was Kuala Lumpur and, more importantly, I was excited to have logged a new country to my growing list of international broadcasters.

At the time I lived in Northglenn, Colorado — a suburb north of Denver. As I recall Radio Malaysia was usually received in the early morning hours between 5 and 8 am. Reception was always weak, yet music and speech was audible despite atmospheric noise.

The receiver I used was a Zenith Trans-Oceanic H-500, a 5 valve/tube radio originally manufactured in the early 1950s. The antenna was an inverted L, elevated at over 30 feet, spanning approximately 75 feet in length.

This is a photo of Angkasapuri, the RTM Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, as it appeared in 1987. The HQ as changed very little since then:

Interestingly, the Australian Armed Forces had a radio station based in Penang in the late 70s-early 80s.

For more on vintage QSLs from Malaysia, please refer to my blogsite.

Or see this video.

Wow–thank you for sharing your DXing experience with us! It sounds like the Zenith Trans-Oceanic H-500 served you quite well back then! What a classic set.

Post readers: Please check out M Breyer’s blog for more interesting DX and radio history.


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3 thoughts on “Radio Malaysia QSL and memories

  1. Mark Fahey

    Wow great – I have a few of these Radio Malaysia QSLs as well! When back home I will have to look and see which sites they are verifying, I’m sure I will have Kuching (Sarawak) verified.

    Also maybe of interest – BTW the Kajang shortwave transmitter site in metropolitan Kuala Lumpur is still there and maintained even though they don’t promote (or operate?) shortwave anymore. You can get a great view of it riding an above ground section of the the Kuala Lumpur Metro, the train skirts right by the transmission site at Kajang metro station. I took some videos there last year. Here it is in Google Maps…

    https://goo.gl/maps/z6ZwdyTqemAhg6E29

    On the subject of past QSL folder cards – I also have cardboard folding QSLs from Kuwait and Dubai.

    Have fun!
    Mark

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Radio Malaysia QSL and memories – dxradio.de

  3. Kire

    Thank you, especially for including your antenna, I think that the real life applications of antennas proves their usefullness, and makes me want to try them.
    Also doesn’t Malaysia still broadcast on SW? I seem to remember regularly logging one or two frquencies (9835) quite regularly in the mornings up to last year, here in California. A couple times even high quality, I’ve got a few recordings.

    Reply

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