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January 31, 2015

DX Extra Shortwave News No.20 Released!

So you came for the Pirate Station Special? Click here.
Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 20 to the world wide web! Another jam packed show!
 In this fortnight's podcast: 
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) ready for USA storm
  • Radio Vanuatu shortwave upgrades
  • German weather station to begin
  • Radio Australia schedule changes
  • Public radio overtakes TV in funding
  • Pirate Radio Logs and recordings (Audio: Zex Chettle Alien Broadcast)
  • Pirate news: YHWH closure
  • Audio Archive: Radio Thailand

via embedded player:

To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to:

Hear us on shortwave via Achims Free Radio blog. 6240kHz 1/2/15 Via Cupid Radio 15h27UTC SINPO 54444

“Snowfall that started early this morning in the Mid-Atlantic States was just the first hint of what weather forecasters are calling a potentially historic and dangerous winter storm that is predicted to affect the entire Eastern Seaboard of the US. In addition, the gathering storm carries the threat of high winds, blowing and drifting snow, “whiteout conditions,” and possible — perhaps likely — power outages. A state of emergency has been declared in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and Connecticut Gov Dan Malloy ordered a statewide travel ban effective at 9 PM on Monday, January 26. 
Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Joe Ames, W3JY, reported that the Eastern Pennsylvania Phone and Traffic Net has been put on standby/watch mode on 3917 kHz. “We anticipate no particular activation in Eastern Pennsylvania,” he said, “but if it’s as bad as predicted, we’ll assist however we can.” Snow has already begun falling in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Connecticut Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, said all ARES District Emergency Coordinators have been asked to let Red Cross offices in their areas know that ARES is available, if needed. “Red Cross shelters lately are opening after the storm settles, unless otherwise needed,” she said. “The usual activities are going on, with batteries being charged and go kits ready.”
Doane said the Connecticut Digital Mobile Radio network was up and running, with ARES officials monitoring, and the state EOC is tied in with the Connecticut ARES network.
In Maine, store traffic has been brisk in coastal areas as residents stock up on necessary food, fuel, and supplies as well as generators, additional batteries, and auxiliary heaters, in case of a power outage. Maine SEC Phil Duggan, N1EP, has placed Maine ARES on a Yellow Alert (Level 1), due to the approaching storm, which is forecast to reach the state sometime after midnight. In a Yellow Alert, ARES/RACES members are advised that they may be called up and should monitor available ARES nets and public safety radios as well as weather radios and broadcast radio and TV to stay current with the situation. Duggan said the NWS office in Caribou — in Maine’s northernmost tier — has requested that he call up some Maine ARES weather and SKYWARN nets on 75 meters to collect ground-level weather information during and after the storm for relay to the NWS offices in Caribou and Gray, Maine.
The approaching storm has caused airlines to cancel some 5000 flights so far. Schools have called for early dismissal in parts of New Jersey. New York anticipated closing the New York Thruway and the Long Island Expressway. The entire New York City subway system may be shut down by this evening."


We now take you to audio from Radio New Zealand International's dateline pacific program on plans to fix the state of broadcasting in Vanuatu: [Audio: RNZIdateline_048_vanuatu.mp3]

“Along with plans for new management and to shed a third of the staff of Vanuatu's national broadcaster, the government is also looking to modernise the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation.

Despite millions of dollars of aid poured into the VBTC over the years, it is unable to provide adequate radio coverage for the outer islands, and even in areas close to the main centre.
By the government's own admission, the VBTC is hamstrung, and has not been able to move with the times, but it says it has the political will to make changes for the good.
Leilani Momoisea reports.
Just last week, worries were raised that some communities in Vanuatu could miss out on cyclone warnings due to transmission problems with the national broadcaster's Radio Vanuatu. Our correspondent, Hilaire Bule, says there's confirmation that Pentecost Island is not receiving transmissions from Radio Vanuatu, and people in Ambae and further North in the Banks and Torres island groups also have trouble getting the station. He says transmission problems with Radio Vanuatu have been ongoing for years, and it's not just the outer-islands that have issues.
HILAIRE BULE: In the Daily Post people from Efate, they are complaining about the reception of their national radio, and it's about three kilometres from the main radio station in Port Vila. It's dangerous because Vanuatu is now entering the cyclone season and people cannot receive the warning of the possible cyclone in the villages or in the communities.
In 2009, Japan, New Zealand and Australia poured millions into funding a project which allowed the VBTC to set up a new shortwave transmitter to provide a radio signal to all the Vanuatu islands. However, over the years since then, signals have failed, with some equipment now having major corrosion issues. Jean Gabriel Manguy, a private consultant who was involved in helping Radio Vanuatu improve its services back then, says it's been a pattern of millions of dollars invested into the company, going down the drain. He says that's partly due to a lack of maintenance and political interference.
JEAN-GABRIEL MANGUY: There has also been mismanagement, and in spite of a very significant aid project to help them, it hasn't helped the situation. It's disappointing to see once again there hasn't been any money allocated to maintaining transmitters. In other words, people in the rural areas, in the islands and in the remote areas, are being forgotten.
The government has set up a committee to review the VBTC, with plans to retire or make redundant about a third of the staff, and is looking for a new general manager to head the VBTC. The Vanuatu Media Association says the government needs to recruit the right person to steer the company forward, and it needs strong leadership from the top to bottom levels. It says it is perhaps a good idea for the government to down-size the company, however, the government restructured the VBTC in 1999, and some 16 years later, the same problems are happening again.
The Public Relations Officer for the Prime Minister's Office, Kierry Manassah, says the problems with the VBTC are perennial, and are partly due to a lack of political will from the national level, political interference, and people going into the company through the wrong channels.

KIERRY MANASSAH: A lot of those has caused a lot of problems for the organisation. The government still sees a lot of value in VBTC, it's like the bridge between the government and the people. And so the government still values it's contribution to the national conversations, and we still think that the government can do something about it.
Kierry Manassah also chairs the task-force that is looking at how the corporation can move from analog to digital programming, and he says there's a need to look at who from VBTC needs to go in light of new technology. He says they are currently looking for partners to help with the national digitisation of TV, and will look to these partners to also address radio transmission issues. Mr Manassah says depending on expressions of interest, there's the possibility that the government will contract out the management of the digital TV broadcast service to a private company. And in terms of fixing radio transmission issues, he says the government is considering switching to FM.
KIERRY MANASSAH: That's the way forward, a lot of those that are still there now are short-wave and medium wave transmitters, especially with the short-wave transmitters, those are quite old and it's very difficult to find spare parts and replacements. So a lot of those need to be overhauled.
Jean Gabriel Manguy says the government's committment to do something about broadcasting is welcomed and very encouraging. However, he says while in theory FM radio is a great idea, it's not really manageable.
JEAN-GABRIEL MANGUY: Instead of having one or two transmitters to manage, then you need probably 50 transmitters to manage. Not only do you have to manage them, but you have to have electricity to make them function. So there are technical issues there that limit the FM option.
Mr Manguy says new technologies need to be investigated, like perhaps making use of the substantial telephone network going across the country. Kierry Manassah says the government is not blind to the concerns and complaints about VBTC, but the taskforce is trying to address these issues, and ensure the VBTC is the national broadcaster that everybody expects.”

“German Weather Service (DWD) will begin transmitting weather information for the Baltic Sea and North Sea. Broadcast will be three times a day from their site in Pinneberg, near Hamburg. Broadcast will commence on April 1, 2015 on the following schedule:
0600-0630 UTC 6040 kHz

1200-1230 UTC 6040 kHz
2000-2030 UTC 5905 kHz” via the shortwave central blog 

“Effective February 1, there are key frequency changes from Radio Australia. There will be an end of shortwave transmissions (including DRM), from the Brandon site, and a reduction in transmission hours from the Shepparton transmitter site. There are no further DRM transmissions currently planned.
In combination with the end of the HF Relay services from 14 January 2015, this represents a major change in content delivery for Radio Australia, with an increasing focus on local FM re-transmission and satellite delivery of programming.
The following revised broadcast schedule supersedes all previously published plans. Radio Australia will operate on three frequencies, on a 24 hour broadcast schedule. Earlier reports of broadcasting 0900-2100 UTC on 6080, and 6150 are incorrect.

All times UTC
Effective 01 February 2015
All programming targeted to various Pacific regions only
0000-0100 15240 15415 17840
0100-0200 15240 15415 17840
0200-0300 15240 15415 17840
0300-0400 15240 15415 17840
0400-0500 15240 15415 17840
0500-0600 15240 15415 17840
0600-0630 15240 15415 17840
0700-0800 15240 15415 17840
0800-0805  Sat/Sun  15240 15415  17840 
0815-0900 15240 15415 17840
0900-1000 9580 12065 12085
1000-1100 9580 12065 12085
1100-1200 9580 12065 12085
1200-1300 9580 12065 12085
1300-1400 9580 12065 12085
1400-1500 9580 12065 12085
1500-1600 9580 12065 12085
1600-1700 9580 12065 12085
1700-1800 9580 12065 12085
1800-1900 9580 12065 12085
1900-2000 9580 12065 12085
2000-2100 9580 12065 12085
2100-2200 15240 15415 17840
2200-2300 15240 15415 17840
2300-0000 15240 15415 17840

0800-0805  Sat/Sun  15240  15415  17840

Tok Pisin
0630-0700  Sat/Sun  15240  15415  17840
0900-0915  Sat/Sun  9580   12065  12085 
(Gary Baxter, Transmission Planning Executive/Radio Australia/RAOS B14 v3.3)”

(Via the shortwave central blog)

“Public radio is beginning to surpass public television in terms of donations, according to a report issued by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The number of individual donors to public television dropped from 3.9 million in 2003 to 3.03 million in 2013; at the same time, public radio donors grew from 2.52 million to 2.85 million from 2003 to 2013, according to the report.
The average contribution for radio is slightly higher for radio than for TV; it was $92 per person in 2003 and grew to $137 in 2013, according to CPB. The average contribution for TV was $93 in 2003 which grew to $134 in 2013.
Across the board for both radio and television, several donation categories — CPB, federal and state grants, local governments and local business — went down from 2012 to 2013, according to the findings. CPB doesn’t speculate on the reasons for the change, however RW has reported that public broadcasting has been heavily impacted by the economic downturn.
Revenue from categories like state colleges and universities, foundations and subscribers offset those losses for both public radio and television. Total support for public radio in 2013 was $1.08 billion, with public TV at $1.69 billion. That’s a 0.3% change for television and a 4.8% increase for public radio, compared to the year before, according to the findings.
The bulk of station revenue, some 29%, comes from individual subscribers, with 15% from CPB and 14% from foundations. The rest comes from a mixture of funds from colleges, foundations, business and other sources, according to CPB.”

[Pirate Theme]

Yes it's time to have a look at the latest pirates logs:
Here are the Europirate logs for the end of January
Wednesday 28th Januray 2015
6300 1805 Radio Blauwe Panter. Rolling Stones "Angie," some utility QRM. SINPO 43433. Moved to 6297 at 1813. SINPO 54444.
6305 1728 Radio Merlin Int. Canned Heat "On the Road Again," ID, address, utilty QRM. SINPO 42332

Sunday 25th January 2015
4026 1729 Laser Hot Hits. The Kane Gang. SINPO 34333.
5815U 1735 Barracuda Radio. Lenny Kravitz. SINPO 44444.
6205 1715 Laser Hot Hits via Magic. KC & Sunshine Band, swamped at 1719 by Iran signing on. SINPO 44433.
6305 0956 Radio Merlin Int. Sixties music. SINPO 24332.
6320.5 1656 Wizard Radio. Short song, female singer. SINPO 23332.6401.5 1649 Radio Joey. "Swamp Thing." SINPO 34333.
6875 0916 Radio Europe. Chaka Khan "I Feel for You." SINPO 34333.
6940 0913 Radio Enterprise. "Addams Family." SINPO 34333.
7300 0906 U Boat 66 Radio. "Last Picture of You." SINPO 24332.
9865 1415 Radio Spaceshuttle via Revival. ID, "Telstar." //6035. SINPO 54444.
12105L 0948 Radio Barracuda. ID, soft rock. SINPO 45444.

(Via shortwave dx blog)

I really enjoy the quirky pirates on air and I'd like to share the Zex Chettle Alien Broadcast from 2008 6925USB. Reminds me of the movie “Mars attacks”. [Audio]

Heading over to North America:
6925USB 00h52 Radio Ga Ga 28th January Just signed on with unshazammable music, S7 signal. By member Chris Smolinski
6770 22h50 Old Time Radio 27th January Radio program from the golden age in process. Fair signal keeping above persistent static. QRM from adjacent UTE? By member Edward Insinger
6950 23h41 Weather Control Radio 25th January 2356 Riders on the storm, 2359 stormy monday, 022off s5 here but rather fady. By member jFarley.
11428 Channel Z 23h33 27th January S6-7 signal with Andy Walker show. By member kilokat7
North American Logs via the HF underground forum. (We also thank other members contributions to the pirate logs that may have not got a mention.)

We also have a pirate news story to share:
“The FCC has ordered an unlicensed California religious broadcaster, who sometimes broadcast on a frequency in the 40 meter phone band, to shut down his station. The FCC’s Los Angeles District Office on December 31 issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to Martin K. Elliott of Inyokern, California. The FCC said it issued the Notice in response to a complaint of unlicensed operation on multiple HF frequencies, including some allocated to aeronautical stations. The FCC said its agents used radio direction-finding techniques to confirm that signals on 6280 kHz and 11,595 kHz were emanating from a residence located near Inyokern, and that property records indicated that Elliott was the current owner and resident.
“The Commission’s records show that no license was issued for operation of a station on either the frequencies of 6280 kHz or 11595 kHz at this location,” the FCC wrote. “Unlicensed operation of this radio station must be discontinued immediately.”
The pirate station, which identified itself as “YHWH,” was not cited for operating on Amateur Radio frequencies, although ARRL Official Observers had monitored the station in the past on 7185 kHz LSB. One short-wave listener said the operator of YHWH changed frequencies regularly, and the station had not been heard on the ham bands for at least several months.
The FCC warned Elliott that operation of radio transmitting equipment without a valid authorization violates federal law and could subject the operator to severe penalties, including, but not limited to, substantial monetary forfeitures, equipment seizure, and criminal sanctions.
The Commission gave him 10 days to respond. The FCC said its Notice “does not preclude this office from pursuing additional sanctions based upon our investigation of this incident.””
(Via ARRL) 

DX Extra is being relayed via World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, Worldfm dot co dot nz and on shortwave via relay partners as well so look out for us on Focus International, Magic 6205 Europe, Pandora Radio, Premier Radio and Cupid Radio. A big thank you to all our relay partners. Your generosity means a lot!

Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a shortwave recording of Radio Thailand January 23rd 2015 on 9390 at 12h30UTC.

[Audio: Radio Thailand.mp3] (Via

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe

Image: Radio Australia - following more cutbacks. 

January 18, 2015

Pirate Station Special 2015

Ahoy fellow DXers,

Like me you would have fond memories of hearing pirate stations from yesteryear. This is an absolutely wonderful special that we hope will gain enough momentum to be audible across the world on shortwave by none other that shortwave pirate stations. We haven't entered into North American shores yet so are on the lookout for a relay.  

In the one-hour pirate station special you will hear:
-Cracker Radio
-KIPM: Illuminati Prima Materia 
-WBNY - The Bunny Revolution
-Radio Mustang
-Premier Radio
-Bangalore Poacher
-Laser Hot Hits
-Radio Barracuda
-Take It Easy Radio
-RNI: Radio Northsea International
-Sensation AM
-AlfaLima International
-Zex Chettel Alien Broadcast
-Radio Ice Cream
-Radio Kaleidoscope
-Voice of Captain Ron 

LISTEN via embedded player:

To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to:
Statistics: 3/Feb/15 495 listeners, 135 downloads.

We had average reception into Europe on Thursday the 29th January 2015 and are still getting reports, below is a recording of 11 minutes of the shortwave broadcast:
LISTEN via Shortwave Radio:
Pirate Station Special via Premier Radio 6910kHz 29/01/15 21h00-22h00 heard & recorded by Gino Italy. SINPO 44433

We also were shocked and excited to be informed by listeners that we were on air 6975kHz 23h32UTC 31/1/2015 by UNID relay into USA. We thank the relay and hope to continue into the continent. Our reception HF Underground forum

So the American relay was a shock, I have now been informed our show also featured on WBCQ Allan Weiner Worldwide into USA. While we have not had correspondence from WBCQ we do fully thank them for their efforts and hope this may bridge a new relay partner.

Reception Reports (eQSLs):
We will offer a special electronic (eQSL) reception report if you hear the pirate station special on shortwave. Sometimes stations relay us without informing us, so if you hear the broadcast and have an idea who the relay is please include your hunch. The below blank eQSL could have your name on it!

One listener has put one they got on their blog. In fact many hobbyist blogs are filling up with these special eQSLs! 
Thanks to Klaus for his publication and promotion on the VoDX blog.

Ahoy and Welcome to the Pirate Station Special. If you are into the shortwave hobby you will know that there are vast things to hear, from number stations, aircraft, amateurs, cladenstine stations and of course pirate stations as well. Sit back and relax as Andrew Yoder on coast to coast AM with Art Bell explains how pirate broadcasting works. We'll be back soon.

Welcome back to the pirate station special here on Hobart Radio International, it's great to be here especially as we crack open the archives and look and modern and later on pirates of the sixties and seventies. We'll be touching on Radio North Sea International later on as well. But right now here's a sample of Kracker Radio: 

Kracker Radio is a station that you can call pretty artistic for the fact that whoever it was back in 2005 could produce such variety in shows. Kracker is also known as CB Savage In 2007 a station took America by storm, scaring many into thinking a bunny revolution was coming, (not really) WBNY “Radio Bunny – Voice of Rodent Revolution” appeared on air sounding like a number station. It was however revealed that Kracker was linked with that station.

Welcome back to the pirate radio special here on Hobart Radio International. Now we will have a look at a relatively new station called Mustang Radio which started back in 2011 in the Netherlands. It's suppose to be transmitting with 3kilowatts. I recorded this clip November 2014:

A new oddity to the pirate scene is the Bangalore Poacher. This seems to follow on from WBNY providing an Indian accent with numbers read out, the Lincolnshire Poacher number station interval signal and ads and random utterings. Sure is an odd but hilarious station worth the entertainment value. Possibly from the Toronto area using 25 watts. Enjoy the insurance ads! This is exactly what makes listening to pirate radio so fun!

Another station that is regularly on air and has been for a while is Laser Hot Hits. It's a usual to be logged and plays plenty of music. Heard weekends regularly on 4026 and 6205. (Audio via

Borderhunter Radio has been around for some time now, playing techno from the Netherlands.

The other thing with Pirate radio is that some stations only last a month, others may be a once-off broadcast. So now let's have a listen to some of the latest one's that such as this one heard January 27th 2015 Radio Barracuda 5819USB: 

Audio: Radio Barracuda (from Achims free radio blog)

Another one around for a decade since the closure of Jolly Roger Radio is Premier Radio from the republic of Ireland: premier6325 audio (from Achims free radio blog)

Here's one that didn't hang around too long, Take it Easy Radio from 2004 on 6925USB.

The question I wonder is if pirate radio is really a bad thing. As many International broadcasters abandon short wave there won't be as much left for listeners and if you are after music, entertainment and something a bit more than just news you don't have many options on shortwave except for listening to pirates.

There's one station from the last decade that really got a lot of people talking;

“KIPM - Illuminati Prima Materia, was a shortwave radio pirate active from the early to mid 2000's. The host, Alan Maxwell, produced long, elaborate shows that featured dramatic, literate story lines, often with elements of science fiction woven in. Story lines employed spooky twists and elements akin to the 1960's TV broadcasts of The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. Common themes included alien encounters from other worlds and deep insight into the inner human mind.

Maxwell produced and broadcast 34 shows using homemade equipment of elaborate design and has a unique sound style. The talents of many contributors, actors and musicians were integral to these stories. Broadcasts would take place on random nights of the year, usually holidays, running the entire night eluding discovery by the Federal Communications Commission while radiating massive amount of transmitted power.

Alan Maxwell disappeared from the pirate radio scene amid rumours of attacks and abuse by others in the pirate community; it has never been made clear what these consisted of.” (

Now let's hear from a couple of samples of KIPM Illuminati Prima Materia: <- you can listen and download the entire KIPM studio quality series.

Another station that became quite famous in the 1970s would be the Europe offshore radio station run by Mebo Communications, a Swiss firm. “This station, RNI, was to have a troubled and controversial life. The ship was violently attacked twice, its output was jammed by the governments of two European countries and there were numerous allegations about the source of its funding and its reasons for broadcasting. We may never know the whole truth about RNI but the station won a large and loyal audience across the continent who, forty years on, still remember its programmes with great affection.” The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame <- the whole story.

The station made many enemies as Medium Wave signals interfered with emergency services and then when moving to a new frequency interfered with Dutch national radio. The British Post Office who controlled the airwaves also started jamming the station making it difficult to hear in England.  

The station's ship moved away from England due to jamming and headed to Holland where an attempted hi-jack took place. A tug boat and another boat with thirty men pulled beside the Mebo II demanding to tug the boat into port. The DJs barracaded themselves in the studio pleading to their listeners to come to their aid. Let's hear that audio from 29th August 1970:

After the attempted hi-jack of the Mebo II had been thwarted, life returned to normal and RNI had a short period of uneventful and stable broadcasting. Radio Northsea International in 1971 was firebombed causing $₤30,000 of damage but not stopping transmissions. Let's listen to the audio of that event:

On the 31st of August 1974 at 6pm Radio Veronica closed down. At 7pm Radio Atlantis followed suit and an hour later, at 8pm, both services of RNI ended transmissions. The station had closed before, back in 1970, but this time it really was the end for Radio Northsea International.

Music: Roaring Sixties – We love the pirate stations

Welcome back to the pirate station special here on Hobart Radio International. Just a reminder that you can send a reception report for electronic QSL verification to hriradio at gmail dot com. I am sad to say we are very close to finishing the show and I still feel there is so much more to the pirate world. I still have many more recordings in the archive and I can't leave without sharing some more. So, to end I have created a mix, a mish-mash if you like of other pirate radio stations. Thank you for listening in, I hope you enjoyed the show and keep an eye out for us on shortwave with more exciting programs and of course we are on the internet at hriradio dot org. See ya!

January 16, 2015

DX Extra Shortwave News No.19 Released!

Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 19 to the world wide web! Another jam packed show!
 In this fortnight's podcast: 
  • Number stations and their intelligence role
  • BBC ads three Afghan shows
  • DW frequency update
  • Radio Netherlands special shortwave show
  • Radio Australia cuts transmissions
  • Pirate Radio Logs and recordings (Audio: WFRL)
  • Audio Archive: Radio Berlin International (1990)
  • Hobart Radio International Mailbag

LISTEN via embedded player:

To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to:

We had great reception into Europe on Friday the 16th January 2015 and are still getting reports, below is a recording of 20 minutes of the shortwave broadcast:
LISTEN via Shortwave Radio:
DX Extra No.19 via Premier Radio 6910kHz 16/01/15 21h20-21h047 heard & recorded by Gino Italy. SINPO 45433

Image: Gino's Delta Loop antenna in the backyard.

“Many nights, Spooks turn on their shortwave radios and drift through the frequencies. On any given night, one can hear amateur radio stations broadcasting church sermons, utility traffic for aircrafts – with the right equipment, you can hear/contact the International Space Station. Yet one of the most eerie, mysterious uses of shortwave is that of the numbers stations: stations that feature ominous – sometimes robotic – voices saying seemingly random number patterns.

Shortwave radio boomed in the 1920s: For decades, it was the only way to receive transmissions from far way. Numbers stations, as they are called now, have been around since World War I, though many of the most famous transmissions took place during the Cold War. These mysterious stations are all, to date, unlicensed. Some feature automated voices, others have what sound like children’s voices, another with a sultry woman announcing numbers. One station – a Moscow-based broadcast during a Communist party coup – featured only the number five repeated for hours.

Numbers stations and use of shortwave have declined after the Cold War, but there are still transmissions heard every day – the shortwave decline has not been as pronounced as one would expect. Part of the reason for this is that it is a secure means of one-way communication. Since the airwaves are being released out into the ether – the intended recipient is completely untrackable. Presumably, spies would carry a one-time pad, which would have the encryption code to be used (ideally) for just one broadcast (hence one-time). This makes decryption from pedestrians and enemies nearly impossible unless that one-time pad is misused or corrupted.

Almost all of the information we have on these numbers stations is due to hobbyists listening, sourcing, and sometimes attempting to decode the stations with their own radios. The communities of hobbyists are vast – and their logging can be prolific. There is the Spooks Spy Numbers Station Mailing List, the Conet Project (which compiles recordings of shortwave), the Spy Numbers Station Database, and many others. They keep track of the frequency, the time, the numbers, and sometimes record audio each time spooks hear a Numbers broadcast. These shortwave enthusiasts sometimes spend hours trying to locate the source of these broadcasts – sometimes, to no avail.

Akin Fernandez, who started the Conet Project ,recalls his initial interest in these mystery stations. "Once you hear them, it has an effect on you," he says in an interview with BBC. "I never expected to be talking about it 17 years after hearing it for the first time – when the Conet Project first started."”

Via the high brown magazine

[Audio: DX Extra Promo No.4]

“The BBC World Service says it has expanded its service to Afghanistan through three new live programs.

The new BBC Afghan daily broadcasts are one-hour audience-participation programs, Word of the Day in the morning and News and Views in the evening; and Global Newsbeat bulletins in Dari and Pashto.
News and Views has now become part of the evening schedule following a successful trial run. This daily program is split into two half-hour Dari and Pashto sections.
Matin Samsoor, Gulistan Shinwari, Jawad Samimi and Sharif Walid anchor the morning live interactive show, Word of the Day (which started in December) and examines how stories are being covered by the Afghan papers.
The Pashto and Dari editions of BBC World Service’s Global Newsbeat bulletins launched in late December and target younger listeners. It is presented live from Kabul and broadcast alternately every half hour, between 10 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. local time.

BBC World Service broadcasts to Afghanistan on shortwave and FM, in Pashto, Dari, Uzbek and English.”

Via radio world dot com

“At the end  of December, some Deutsche Welle frequencies that were originally part of the October schedule plan, were terminated, or replaced. This confirms that services for English, Hausa and Amharic were not eliminated - but instead the frequencies were updated.

Germany, Deutsche Welle  (winter schedule relay revisions)

Effective: 20 Dec. 2014

All times UTC

0400-0500  9600af (Rwanda)  9800af (Rwanda)  15275af (UAE)
0500-0557  9600af (Rwanda)
0500-0600  9800af (Rwanda)  15275af (Madagascar)
0700-0730  17800af (Armenia)
0700-0800  9800af (Rwanda)  15275af (Rwanda)
0730-0800  17800af (Rwanda)

1700-1759  15275af (France)
1700-1800  9800af (Rwanda)  12005af (Rwanda) 17800af (Rwanda)”

Via shortwave central blog

“Peter De Groot writes:
A series of special Radio Netherlands broadcasts will begin on January 17th and 18th, 2015.  Presenters will be John van den Steen, Jerry Cowan and Tim Thomasson. See frequencies and times below:
  • 0100 to 0200 UTC on 7,570 kHz
  • 0100 to 0200 UTC on 11,790 and perhaps 13700
Peter sent no more information than this, so I’m not sure where the transmissions will originate. Since RNW is no longer on the air, I’m certain these broadcasts aren’t coming from Hilversum.
Hopefully, someone will attempt to record these broadcasts in case I’m not in the broadcast footprint. Would like to add this to the SW Radio Audio Archive.” via the shortwave listening blog

“AUSTRALIA. The ABC has announced major cuts to Radio Australia shortwave transmissions.
From 14 January all overseas relays (via Dhabaya, Kranji and Palau) will end.
From 31 January the Brandon shortwave site will close.

From Jan14 all shortwave transmissions to Asia will cease.”
From 31 January output from Shepparton will be reduced from six full time transmitters to only three transmitters, all operating 24 hours per day with the following schedule:
0900-2100 on 6080 6150 9580
2100-0900 on 15240 15415 17840
(Radio Australia via WRTH via Jan BDXC-UK Communication via DXLD)
There had been fears that the ABC might abandon shortwave completely so although output is significantly reduced, RA will retain a welcome presence on SW for the time being and hopefully some of the above frequencies will be audible in Europe. Programming includes relays of ABC National and TripleJ (Dave Kenny, ed., Jan BDXC-UK Communication via DXLD)” via the DX Listening digest

[Pirate Theme]

Yes it's time to have a look at the latest pirates logs:

Here are the Europirate logs for the middle of January

Tuesday 13th Januray 2015
6210 16h48 Radio Experience Playing Dance Music. Fair Signal With Some Fading
4026-22,15 Laser Hot Hits Paul Stewart With Music From Oddesy And Shakatak. Good Signal

Sunday 11th January 2015
6940 10h30 Premier Radio Music From Suzie Q, Blur And Oasis. Good Signal
6205-7.50 Radio King Shortwave Rock Music Including Poison And Roxy Music. Fair Signal
6875 8h55 Radio Europe Music And Talking In Italian. Weak Signal
6255-9.35 Radio Merlin International With Music  New Order, Ultravox And Depeche Mode. Fair Signal

Via Irish Paul's Radio Blog

We also have an interesting studio recording of a Europirate I've never heard before but you may have catched on shortwave on 6300 and 7385 January 12th, WFRL from the United Kingdom.
[Audio: WFRL]
Recording from Achims free radio blog

Heading over to North America:
6940USB 1h5UTC Radio Hummingbird 80s rap with electric guitar. Great reception.
Jive music. 0150utc, "Humbear? Radio testing" 0155 Hummingbird Radio ID

In AM mode its very crunchy or messed up by propagation. In usb its nice and understandable.

Its 0251utc, haven't heard Hummingbird in a while. It was on and off. By member Antennae

There's also been some unusual NAVTEX data messages broadcast into North America, one on 6950 2h05UTC 11th January 2015 “This NAVTEX message came across the wire shortly after Wolverine signed off tonight

Another on 6928USB 2h47UTC 12th January 2015. I'm assuming it is Wolverine Radio ending their broadcast with some extra goodies.
3440 00h57UTC WHYP 12th January 2015 “Signing on now with "Whip It".  S6-S7 in NY. Really cool to hear these shows from the archives once again. Via member curious george

Logs via the HF underground forum. (We also hank other members contributions to the pirate logs that may have not got a mention.)

DX Extra is being relayed via World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, Worldfm dot co dot nz and on shortwave via relay partners as well so look out for us on Focus International, Magic 6205 Europe, Premier Radio and Cupid Radio. A big thank you to all our relay partners. Your generosity means a lot! Also an extra thanks to Pandora Radio who relayed the last DX Extra show, thanks for the out of the blue relay! 

Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a shortwave recording of the last episode of DX-tra from Radio Berlin International October 2nd 1990 at 00h45UTC on 9730khz. “RBI ceased broadcasting at the end of the day on 2 October 1990, the day before German reunification took place.” Via shortwave listening blog:

[Audio: Radio Berlin International.mp3]

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe


Ok so that's the end of the DX Extra, on Hobart Radio International it's time to look in the mailbag and read out some reports from you – “Hello HRI,  here is a quick email  to let you know I was just listening to your DX show being relayed by Cupid Radio in the Netherlands. The Australian accent got my attention !! DX Programme talking about Pirate review of the Year for 2014 and details of when stations were on on air. Show ended with details of QSL and the email address for reports.” From Iain Cameron in Scotland. Thank you.
“Dear Hobart Radio International

I listened your DX Extra No.18 via Cupid Radio.
I used Software Defined Radio at University of Twente in the Netherlands.
I heard your program on January 3, 2015 from 15:32 to 16:02 UTC on a frequency of 6240 kHz with good reception status.
Its signal were strong and there was no interference.
It was regrettable that its sound quality was not good.
Of course, I listened to you again on your website.” From Masahiro Hihara, Japan.

And we are aware of the audio quality which is a fault with the current microphone. I have an eye on a new one this weekend and also have try compressing the show lighter to try and help. Thank you for your report.

We just have time for one more, “thanks from  Gino Italy nice info on Radio Cochiguaz many thanks,     i send  mp3  audio file. .
I used  RX  Teletron TE 712S   and antenna  magnetic loop
I hope in you QSL   e-mail   and many thanks for Info SW
73s  Ciao Happy New Year 2015” From Davide Borroni in Italy.

Of course we would love to hear from you, come on send us as eQSL reception report to hriradio at gmail dot com and tell us what you think of the DX Extra show.

I don't think I've mentioned the website much today, all our shows are archived on the website, which includes transcripts photos and a whole heap more and soon to be released is an exciting Pirate Station Special which fingers crossed will be ready next fortnight when the DX Extra number 20 is released. Make sure you join us on facebook, we're up to nearly 150 likes, at facebook dot com forwardflash dx extra

Hobart Radio International is now closing on this frequency, thank you for listening and we hope you will hear us again soon on shortwave.
Image: Hobart's well-known Tasman Bridge. Remembering the 40th anniversary of the 1975-2015 bridge collapse.