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.
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!
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.
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Timm Breyel, who writes:
While browsing your site I noticed the QSL Gallery page. Interesting. I have many old QSLs from the 1960s and 1970s, all of which are stored away in the States, all except one. It’s a 40 year QSL from Radio Malaysia via Penang Island. The station was received in Denver, Colorado in 1975.
It’s not the most attractive of QSLs, but it certainly is quite rare.
Timm, I love this QSL card and I have never seen one like it before. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
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