Category Archives: DX

Shiva DX Cluster for broadcast listeners

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Walter Panella (IU2MEH), who writes:

I have written a software that connects to a ham radio dx cluster and repeats the dx spot to its clients while adding spots based on list files.

This to show markers on SDR Console or similar software to see broadcasting stations, for example, based on scheduling day and time.

This software already runs 24h on my server accessible from the internet. If someone helps me I can give him access to it.

You can check out my project  by clicking here and the related Github page by clicking here.

Thanks for sharing, Walter. Connecting SDR Console with a DX cluster would make it even easier to spot DX.

Check out Walter’s Shiva DX Cluister project page here.

Spread the radio love

KJJR DX Test on Saturday (May 2, 2002)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following announcement:

KJJR 880 Whitefish, MT(Kalispell) will test for 1 hour at 10kw non directional Saturday May 2nd 12:01am to 1am mountain time. It will consist of morse code, sweep tones, along with various telephone sound effects

There will be no paper QSL’s issued for this test. Only emailed confirmation. Send an email to walkerbroadcasting@gmail.com with “KJJR 880 DX Test” in the email (You MUST put that in that subject line so I don’t accidentally delete it thinking it’s spam!). The reply will likely be a simple email reply with details of the station and confirming the details of what/when you heard it. You WILL get a reply from me in due course, please give me some time!

This is done on short notice and being kept simple as to not burden anyone involved. Thanks to Les Rayburn for creating the test material and Todd Clark for generously offering up the station. I’ve already seen communication between him and the station, asking them to block out an hour from the logs, so he can tinker around with things at the tower site.

Thanks for the heads-up, Paul! Here’s hoping a few MW DXers can log this test.

Spread the radio love

Adam’s Andes DXers International certificate

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adam Smith, who shares the following certificate and writes:

I was going to share a piece of history I just came across going through some of my shortwave radio boxes. Lots of QSLs but this its a membership in ANDES DX Club!

Good times!

Thank you for sharing this bit of shortwave radio nostalgia, Adam! Any others in the SWLing Post community belong to the Andes DXers International? Do you still have your certificate? Please comment!

Spread the radio love

CPRM Lisboa: Another mystery signal solved

In response to our latest mystery utility signal challenge, SWLing Post contributor, Dean Bianco replies:

This is the musical marker for CPRM Lisboa, a radiotelephone terminal that provided overseas telephone and telegraph communications in the days prior to satellites.

I remembered the non-broadcast HF frequencies being loaded to bursting with many of these radio services. When not scrambled for privacy, one could hear a telephone call in progress. Instead of a musical IS such as this one, most were loop tape voice ID’s in several languages (almost always including English). So naturally these musical loops made it quite difficult to know what exactly one was hearing, to say the least!

To verify check out the following embedded audio file made by Willi Passmann  (via the excellent UtilityRadio.com website):

Once again, thanks to Dean Bianco for solving yet another mystery! Obviously, Dean is a Black Belt SWL and DXer!

FYI: I’ve received a number of emails from readers who really enjoy these mystery signals. Since we all seem to have more time at home these days, I’ll plan to keep them coming!


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Radio Nostalgia Trip: RCI Shortwave Listener’s Digest from July 26, 1982

Over at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, we receive some truly amazing recordings from our devoted contributors.

How many of you remember Ian McFarland’s Shortwave Listener’s Digest on Radio Canada International? It was certainly one of my favorite DX and SWL shows!

Our good friend Tom Laskowski recently sent in the following recordings of the Shortwave Listener’s Digest recorded (in part) on July 26, 1982 starting around 21:30 UTC on 15,325 kHz.

Tom notes:

Here are two more back to back episodes from my collection of recordings of Shortwave Listener’s Digest from Radio Canada International, this time from July 26 and August 02, 1982.

This program’s highlights are: ANARC 1982 Convention promo, Larry Magne’s test of the Sony ICF-6500W, a look at underseas intercontinental cables with Walter Foster of Teleglobe Canada, Glenn Hauser’s DX tips.

The second program highlights are: coverage of the 1982 ANARC convention with guest co-host Bab Zanotti of Swiss Radio Intl., interview with David Meisel about the solar cycle, a rundown of the awards given out at ANARC 82.

This recording is chock-full of shortwave nostalgia. How many of you remember some of the folks featured and mentioned in this show?

Use the embedded player below to listen to the full recording or click here to listen at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Note that there have been some other amazing recordings posted on the archive recently.  Here’s a small sampling:


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

A Compact RSPdx & Wellbrook Loop Kit for the Beach — My Approach

I have enjoyed three to four medium wave and shortwave DXpeditions per year since 1988, to sites on the Washington and Oregon coasts. I love the chance they give to experiment with antennas in a (hopefully!) noise-free location, and concentrate on catching stations that might not be heard from home.

All of my DX trips have been via car–until now! I’ve just returned from nine vacation days in Hawaii (Waikoloa Beach, on the Big Island), and I thought others might like to see the radio related items I chose to take along for air travel. I’m pleased to report that everything worked as planned, and I have five days of SDR IQ WAV files of the MW band for review, all recorded in the time frame surrounding local dawn.

My goal was not the smallest, most compact portable setup, but one with high performance and modest size. Fitting everything into a day pack was another requirement. A simple wire antenna and an even smaller Windows tablet or laptop than the one I’ve used (and a smaller SDR like the HF+ Discovery, for that matter) would make a much smaller package. However, the items I’ve assembled worked excellently for me during my enjoyable Hawaii vacation. The directional loop antenna provided nulls on medium wave of 30 dB during preliminary tests indoors, a less-than-ideal test situation.

Waikoloa Beach–just one of a zillion picturesque scenes in Hawaii.

Here is a list of what I’ve put together for my DXing “kit”:

    • SDRPlay RSPdx receiver
    • Short USB cable for receiver<>PC connection, with two RFI chokes installed
    • Lenovo X1 tablet— a Windows 10 device with magnetically attached keyboard; this model is a competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet
    • Wellbrook Communications’ ALA1530 head amp module, modified for female SO239 connectors enabling use of large diameter LMR-600 coaxial cable as a 2-turn loop element. My antenna setup is similar to Wellbrook’s commercial flexible loop
    • Wooden base for the antenna (ALA1530 is bolted to the base)
    • 20 feet of lightweight RG-174 coax
    • Wellbrook DC interface module for the ALA1530
    • 3.0 Ah LiFePO4 rechargeable battery for the Wellbrook antenna
    • 15 foot long section of high grade “Times Mfg.” LMR-600 coax cable with PL259 connectors (bought from Ebay already assembled/soldered)
    • Fold-up beach mat
    • Small day pack to hold everything

All the contents of this DXing setup fit a standard size day pack.

You’ll note the absence of headphones in the list. This is because my intent from the start was to record all the DX (MW band) as SDR WAV files for DXing post-vacation. That said, I did have headphones in my travel luggage for later spot checks of a few frequencies. That’s how I found 576 kHz Yangon, Myanmar lurking at their 1700 sign-off with national anthem and English announcement. The remainder of the DX to be uncovered will have to wait until I’m back home near Seattle!

The LMR-600 is a very thick and stiff coax cable, whose diameter approaches that used in the standard aluminum tubing ALA1530 series from Wellbrook. It has the benefit of being self-supporting in a 2-turn configuration and will also coil up into an approx. 12-inch package for transport. It just barely fits within the day pack I’m using. As I understand it, magnetic loops with tubing or large coax as the active element, versus simple wire, are more efficient in operation. Whether or not this holds true in practice remains to be seen.

I fashioned a wooden disc 3/4″ thick to attach the ALA1530 head amplifier, as I didn’t want to bring along a tripod or other support stand. The Wellbrook antennas all work well near or at ground level, so I was able to get great reception with the antenna right on the beach. The diameter at two turns of the coax is only a few inches smaller diameter than Wellbrook’s aluminum tubing loops. Three strips of strategically placed Velcro straps help keep the turns together when deployed as well as during storage.

In theory a two-turn loop should give 5 dB less gain than a single turn version; however, my older ALA1530 module has 5 dB more gain than the newer “LN” type, according to Andrew Ikin of Wellbrook Communications. The net result is that my two-turn antenna should have equal gain to the larger one-turn variety. Future experimentation with this DIY coax loop antenna is in order!

The Wellbrook loop antenna, RSPdx receiver, and Windows 10 tablet on the beach in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Another view of the DXing position. Being this close to the water with my radio gear was unnerving at first, but the wave action on a calm Hawaii beach is totally different from the Oregon/Washington beaches with waves that can move in and out by a hundred feet or more.

The Wellbrook “DIY FlexLoop” works fine at beach level, and is less conspicuous this way, too.

The ALA1530 module is bolted to the 11-inch wooden disc for support. I’ve modified the module’s sockets to securely hold SO239 female connectors.

The commercial Wellbrook FLX1530LN is a fine product, and worthy of your consideration as a compact and high performance travel antenna. Full details can be found at this link.

SDR WAV Files for Download

One of my goals from the start for my Hawaii trip was to bring back SDR “IQ” WAV files for sharing with others. These approx. 900 Mb files cover the entire medium wave band as heard from my beach location in Waikoloa.

The overall page is: https://archive.org/details/@4nradio   Clicking on any of the entries will bring you to a details page. From there just right click on the “WAVE” link, and choose “Save as…” to download. For a few of the recordings I also posted the file that precedes the one that goes across the top-of-the-hour, because things seemed a bit more lively prior to 1700 (which  was at local sunrise, give or take a couple of minutes).

The IQ WAV files are only playable with suitable SDR radio software: SDRuno is first choice (but you need a RSP receiver connected). The files are also is compatible with HDSDR and SDR-Console V3. It may also play on Studio 1 software.

I hope other DXers enjoy the chance to tune through the MW band, as heard from the Big Island of Hawaii.

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

Spread the radio love

First logs from November DXcamp on Marajó Island

Martin Butera (left) and Ivan Dias (right) at the Marajó Island DX Camp

Many thanks to Martin Butera and Ivan Dias who inform us that their first logs from the Marajó Island DXpedition have been posted.

They provided a link to both a full story (click here) and a direct link for the logs (click here). They note that the logs will be updated monthly. They expect the process of processing the logs to be complete by August 2020. Click here to view their website.

Spread the radio love