Category Archives: Radio Memories

Lennart’s Malaysia QSLs

Radio Malaysia QSL

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lennart Weirell, who shares the following in reply to our recent posts regarding Radio Malaysia and Radio Sarawak:

Back in early 80-ies (1981-1984) I lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I used my Panasonic DR-28 with a short indoor wire to listen.

RM Sabah QSL

Of course some of the loggings were “local”, i.e. RAAF Butterworth, RM Sarawak and RM Sabah. RAAF Butterworth answered with a letter and RM Sarawak with card and RM Sabah with letter and card. All these 3 QSLs are from 1982.

RAAF Butterworth

Brilliant, Lennart! Thank you for sharing these QSLs.

I’m very curious how many listeners were able to snag the 1,000 watt Butterworth signal on 1,445 kHz from outside of Malaysia. Please comment!


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Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round Founder Bob Thomann (HB9GX) is Silent Key

Readers old enough to remember listening to SBC/Swiss Radio International will, no doubt, remember Bob Thomann. I just received the following note from Bob Zanotti:

Dear Friends and Broadcasting Colleagues,

[O]ur old friend and colleague, Bob Thomann HB9GX, passed away peacefully on Saturday afternoon 3 August local time. He would have been 91 in September.

Image via Radio World

[…]Bob Thomann was the founder of the Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round on
SBC/Swiss Radio International back in the 50’s. He and I were teamed up in 1970, when I joined SRI. We co-presented the technical mailbag show,
which became know as “The Two Bobs” for 24 years between 1970 and the show’s ending in June 1994. Bob never missed a show, even when we had to do a telephone hookup when he was hospitalized back in the 80’s.

the Schwarzenburg transmitter site, often mentioned by the Two Bobs (via Jonathan Marks)

This is the end of “The Two Bobs” Era and an era in shortwave broadcasting in general. But I’m happy to say that the show lives on at www.switzerlandinsound.com, where it has its own section. All that survived from the “Merry-Go-Round” is there, including new material we produced especially for the website. And this will remain as a memorial to Bob Thomann and his contribution to shortwave broadcasting as long as I’m still around.

Mid-1960s photo showing Bob with Heidi Schweizer and Pamela — SBC’s DX Trio at the time. (Image courtesy of Richard Langley)

Bob Thomann was my friend, colleague and fellow ham operator for many years. I will always fondly remember those golden days we shared together. Long live those memories.

73,
Bob Zanotti

Click here to listen to archived episodes of The Two Bobs at Switzerland in Sound.

Bob, we’re so sorry for the loss of your dear friend and colleague. His memory certainly lives on.

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From the Post Archives: Honoring Memorial Day with Dame Vera Lynn

The following Memorial Day post was originally published on May 25th, 2015:


Dame Vera Lynn

Dame Vera Lynn

Today is Memorial Day, and I’m feeling humbly grateful to all of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Since I’ve been reading a lot of WWII history lately, I’ve also been playing a lot of WWII-era music here in my sanctuary to all things radio.

Few songs sum up the yearning sentiment of World War II better than Vera Lynn’s 1942 rendition of “The White Cliffs of Dover.” It’s an iconic song, one that helped British soldiers see beyond the war while mourning its painful toll. It was written in 1941 when England was taking heavy casualties, just before American allies joined the effort.

Scott-Marine-Radio-SLR-M

This morning, seeking something with a little authenticity, I played “The White Cliffs of Dover” though my SStran AM transmitter, and listened to it through “Scottie,” my WWII-era Scott Marine radio (above). I made this recording by placing my Zoom H2N recorder directly in front of the Scott’s built-in monitor speaker.

So here you go: a little radio tribute to all of those who fell–on both sides–of that infamous second world war.

And thanks to all who serve and have served in the name of “peace ever after.”

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen below:

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Radio Memories: Andrew’s brush with HCJB

HCJB, 1987 (click to enlarge)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Doug Evans, who shares the following radio memory:

I have been an SWL on and off for the past 30+ years, listening from New York, North Dakota, Texas, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and now from Denver and loving my Tecsun PL-660. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s the SWL waves were full of awesome. It was huge fun to dial up Radio Saigon or Radio Pyongyang and listen to their opinions, in return the USA fired back with Rush Limbaugh on WRNO

Through my early years in SWLing I would always find HCJB in Quito Ecuador “The Voice of the Andes” I loved their shows especially “DX Party Line” but I’d settle for the other  programming, “HAM Radio Today”, “The Music of the Andes”, “Tips For Real Living”… I always had a SW radio and a longwire where ever we went and especially on camping trips, and HCJB could always be found.

Job changes caused me to box up my radios for several years, but around 2010 I broke out the radios and found that HCJB was nowhere to be found. The hobby lost a lot of it’s attraction because of that. Not long after that my future wife asked me to drive with her from our home in Denver down to Colorado Springs to visit her relative, her mother’s cousin Tommy. She said he was a missionary in South America and handed me a book he wrote. In the preface he mentioned radio station HCJB.

Her mother’s cousin Tommy lived near the HCJB work headquarters in Colorado springs and I asked him about HCJB, he told me he was an engineer there for over 30 years and spent the afternoon telling me glory days of the largest radio stations on earth, and eventually having to take down the huge antenna farm to make room for the Quito airport. I wish I had taken notes, and I wish I had a chance to meet with him again, but like HCJB Tommy is no longer with us.

What an amazing coincidence it was to meet one of the men who kept HCJB on the air.

What a coincidence indeed! Thanks for sharing your memory, Douglas!

Post readers: Do you have a radio memory you’d like to share?  Please contact me with your story!

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