Tag Archives: Newfoundland

Allen looks back at 50 years of DXing

Broom Point Fishing Premises, Gros Morne National Park (Source: Newfoundland Tourism, Flickr)

Many of you might remember Allen Willie’s story from our SWLing Post “Listener Posts” collection.

On Sunday, Allen shared the following note with his radio friends. He has kindly given me permission to post it here because, frankly, it’s a most impressive accomplishment from an amazing life-long radio listener:

Fifty years ago today ( June 17, 1968 )

My radio DXing journey began in my hometown of Lacombe, Alberta here in Canada .

Throughout the following years since that day I have been involved in a number of different modes of DXing. From Medium Wave (AM), Ultralight Radio DXing, Shortwave , FM radio , Ham Radio Listening and even TV DXing for a number of years,

They have all played a wonderful part in my DXing enjoyment over the past half century.

My first evening of DXing began on the AM (Medium Wave) radio dial as I logged 560 KMON Great Falls, Montana for my first DX catch. The rest as they say is history and was to remain a lifelong enjoyment in such a great hobby.

Here is a list of some of my DX totals I have been fortunate to achieve in certain categories of DXing from both Alberta and Newfoundland:

  • Heard all 7 Continents via radio overall
  • Heard all 195 countries on earth via radio overall
  • Heard all 50 USA States via radio overall
  • Heard all 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories via radio overall
  • Heard 1820 stations on AM (Medium Wave) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 787 stations on AM (Medium Wave) radio from within Alberta
  • Heard 5 Continents on AM (Medium Wave) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 123 Countries on AM (Medium Wave ) and Ultralight radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 48 / 50 USA States on AM (Medium Wave ) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard all 10 Canadian provinces and 2 Territories on AM (Medium Wave ) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 1712 Medium Wave (AM) stations on Ultralight Radios
  • Heard 607 FM DX stations from within Alberta
  • Logged 109 DX Television Stations (non-local) from within Alberta

Countries heard on Shortwave: 179 from within Alberta

Logged 334 stations from within Newfoundland

  • DXCC Ham Radio Countries heard 338/340 from within Alberta and Newfoundland overall.
  • Heard All 50 US States on Ham radio from within Alberta and Newfoundland both.
  • Heard All 10 Canadian Provinces / 3 Territories on Ham radio from within Alberta and Newfoundland both

Looking forward to Year 51 ahead and many more in the hobby!!

Allen Willie VO1-001-SWL / VOPC1AA
Carbonear, Newfoundland

Bravo, Allen! Those are most impressive accomplishments! That took a lot of time, patience and radio fun. Here’s to 51 and onward!

Spread the radio love

Action Alert: To gauge listener reaction, CKZN Goose Bay goes off air

“Is anybody even listening?”  So said the powers-that- be at CKZN.  To find out, the relay was (temporarily) shut down.

You, too, may have noticed that the CBC Radio 1 relay through CKZN on 6,160 kHz has been off air for several days. I’m traveling in Canada this summer, and noticed that CKZN has been completely silent lately, whereas earlier this month their1 KW signal was actually penetrating the RFI here where I’m staying in Québec.

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors–including Ed, Matt, Richard Cuff, Ed McCorry, and Dennis Dura–who’ve provided a few details about this development:

Richard Cuff shared the following:

[T]he CBC has apparently switched off the CKZN shortwave transmitter on purpose — to see who notices that it’s missing, it appears — much like Radio Australia did just before shutting down its shortwave service.

I know I would miss them — they frankly have been an enjoyable companion especially when I’m away from home and unable to connect to the Internet via WiFi.

Richard then included email correspondence that Glenn Hauser received from CBC representative Katie Rowe; Glenn published Rowe’s reply on the DX Listening Digest:

“Hi Glenn, They are currently conducting some testing to gauge listenership. I’ve been advised that they will likely be off-air for a couple of more weeks. “

Ed McCorry also received a reply from Katie Rowe when he inquired about CKZN:

I’ve been advised that the system is being tested. I should have some more information soon I can pass along.

Thanks for reaching out.
Katie

Richard and Glenn have hit the nail on the head.  The CBC is taking the same approach the ABC did prior to closing down their shortwave services; they’re gauging listener reactions by turning off the relay…and simply waiting for a response from those in the target region.

The WRTH featured CKZN in their 2017 issue.

Some of you might recall that Hans Johnson, featured an article about CKZN in the 2017 Word Radio TV Handbook, noted that the CBC intended to not only continue the shortwave service directed at Labrador’s most remote areas, but was planning to replace their 1 kW Elcom Bauer transmitter in the coming years.

Why, then, this sudden silence?

I rather suspect the CBC are looking at the cost of this transmitter upgrade and considering simply shutting down the service instead of re-investing in it.  A worrisome––and potentially short-sighted–– development.

Contacting the CBC

If you listen to CKZN––even if you’re not in their target broadcast footprint––consider contacting them to let the know you’re listening…to nothing.

Certainly, if you’re a listener in Labrador, northern Québec, or indeed anywhere in Canada where you might benefit from this service, or in any rural area where radio is sometimes (or often) preferable to inadequate internet service, I’d strongly suggest you make your voice heard. The CBC have been clear about this point.

Why is this important?  Because as most regular readers of this blog already know, losing a shortwave radio relay––a useful service that becomes especially vital in the event of an emergency––is cutting off a vital channel of communication.  It is, metaphorically speaking, putting all one’s eggs in one (digital and/or FM) basket.  Yet the Internet, which has now largely supplanted radio, is certainly not infallible, especially in rural regions; many rural Canadians, even those who don’t regularly listen to this station, may rely upon this very service in the event of a emergency such as a weather event or other crisis, and unquestionably during an interruption of digital service.  However, this sort of event is not likely to take place during this testing period, giving the CBC a narrow view of the radio relay’s actual utility.

One reader provided this link for a host of email addresses for CBC Newfoundland & Labrador:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/contact-us-cbcnl-1.3990861

I also contacted Ms. Rowe this morning for comment, but have not yet received a reply. Her email address:  katie.rowe@cbc.ca

Keep in mind, Saturday is Canada Day, and the country is celebrating their 150th…I wouldn’t expect to hear back until next week.

Happy Canada Day, Canadian friends!

And let’s keep listening…even for inexplicable silence on the radio dial.

Spread the radio love