Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, August 2012


Voice of Korea

The Voice of Korea (VoK), previously known as Radio Pyongyang, is the international broadcasting service of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. When I listened to the station in the 1980s, you got the national anthem at the beginning, and following that, some frequency announcements and the news. Since then, two not-so-collective leaderships, i. e. Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, have died, and all VoK programs begin with the national anthem, a song for Kim Il-sung, and another for Kim Jong-il (both military marches). But there’s still space for the news, readings from the works of Kim Il-sung, and a mixture of military marches and folk music (the latter of which is occasionally quite nice, but more frequently kitsch, sometimes with apparent Swiss characteristics).

Radio Pyongyang QSL, 1989

Radio Pyongyang – renamed Voice of Korea since -, QSL card, 1989.

There is currently no interference on 13760 kHz at 13:00 GMT (click here, or picture above, for a digital recording), but the Chinese program, although more silently than the scheduled English program, can be heard in the background, too. It is probably on the same feeder between the studios and the shortwave transmitters.


Recent Logs

Thanks to long vacations, it’s a pretty big list for August.

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AFS – South Africa; AIA – Anguilla; ARG – Argentina; ASC – Ascension Island; CHN – China; CLN – Sri Lanka; CUB – Cuba; IND – India; IRN – Iran; ISR – Israel; KRE – North Korea; MNG – Mongolia; PAK – Pakistan; RRW – Rwanda; RUS – Russia; SYR – Syria; THA – Thailand; TIB – Tibet; UAE – United Arab Emirates.

Languages (“L.”):
C – Chinese; E – English; Fa – Farsi; G – German; H – Hebrew; K – Korean; Pa – Pashto; Th – Thai; R – Russian; T – Tibetan.






Time GMT

5960 PBS Xinjiang CHN C Aug 2 23:00 3 4 3
7240 PBS Tibet TIB C Aug 2 23:13 3 4 3
9330 Radio Damascus SYR G Aug 3 18:00 2 3 2
15700 Voice of Russia RUS G Aug 4 09:30 4 5 4
9430 China Radio International CHN C Aug 4 14:21 4 5 4
6000 RHC Habana CUB E Aug 5 03:00 3 3 3
6090 Caribbean Beacon AIA E Aug 8 00:41 4 5 3
11540 VoA Radio Deewa CLN Pa Aug 8 01:36 3 5 3
15850 Galei Zahal ISR H Aug 8 02:55 3 5 2
6973 Galei Zahal ISR H Aug 8 03:05 3 3 3
13850 KOL Israel ISR Fa Aug 8 13:59 4 4 4
15760 KOL Israel ISR Fa Aug 8 14:35 4 4 4
4920 Tibetan Radio1) TIB T Aug 8 21:58 4 4 4
4800 CNR CHN C Aug 8 22:28 3 4 3
15235 Channel Africa AFS E Aug 9 17:00 3 4 3
11290 Royal Air Force Volmet2) ASC E Aug 9 19:18 4 4 4
9490 Deutsche Welle Kigali RRW E Aug 9 20:27 4 4 4
12010 Voice of Russia RUS G Aug 11 15:55 4 3 3
9855 Radio Australia UAE E Aug 12 23:20 3 4 3
17895 All India Radio IND E Aug 13 10:00 3 4 3
15180 Vo Korea KRE E Aug 14 10:00 3 4 3
17820 Radio Thailand THA Th Aug 14 10:31 4 5 4
15275 Radio Pakistan3) PAK E Aug 14 11:00 ? ? ?
9805 CNR CHN C Aug 14 23:00 4 5 4
11710 CNR CHN C Aug 14 23:05 4 5 4
9325 Vo Korea KRE K Aug 15 20:01 4 5 4
15345 RAE Buenos Aires ARG G Aug 15 20:55 4 3 3
9680 Radio Thailand4) THA G Aug 20 20:00 4 4 5
21590 IRIB Tehran 5) IRN E Aug 21 10:28 4 5 3
12085 Vo Mongolia MGL C Aug 23 10:00 2 4 2
9330 Radio Damascus 6) SYR R Aug 23 17:24 3 5 3



1) SIO 444 on parallel frequency 4905 kHz
2) probably Ascension Island
3) SIO = 3, but modulation as bad as usual.
4) Interference from 9675 kHz, probably Radio Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Turkish-language program.
5) SIO 454 on parallel frequency 21640 kHz
6) Modulation as bad as usual, but the better reception than later in the evening (as usual in August).



» Previous Logs, August 2, 2012



7 Responses to “Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, August 2012”

  1. Hi JR. What type of radio do you use, and what are the resources/newsletters/etc you use.
    Unfortunately, my sw radio came with Chinese instructions.

    Sounds addictive and probably a lot healthier than cats. Judging by the fawning commentary on PK, my views represent an extremist minority (unfortunately).


  2. Hi KT, I’ll be quite busy until tomorrow afternoon, and given that shortwave radio is one of my longest-running hobbies, I should write down a carefully-thought reply to your questions, re radio and online information. (You can also send me a pdf of your shortwave-receiver manual, and I’ll send you the gist of it in English.)

    Cats are part of European culture. You are Australian. Very simple.

    Will be back on Wednesday.


  3. Just some initial information, and feel free to ask follow-up questions!

    Receivers I use

    My main receiver is a Sony ICF 2001D (see picture there), a portable shortwave receiver with all broadcasting bands from 11 to 120 meters, and almost everything else. Built in 1986, and the “D” in the type number stands for Germany, as there were a few frequency restrictions here at the time. The international type would be Sony ICF 2001. Pretty sensitive (catches lots of weak shortwave stations even if you just use the built-in telescopic antenna), usually no “mirror” frequencies (stations only show up on exactly the frequency where they are supposed to), and if lucky, you can keep a desired signal clear from another one that may appear just one kHz further up or down. Should only be used with an outdoor antenna if there’s no strong radio transmitter near your place, as they might crack the transistors.

    But simpler stuff, like a Space Master XF900 (pretty big, late 1960s or early 1970s) or a Grundig Satellit 300 offer a really broad range of listening choices, too. (The drawback with a Space Master is that there’s no digital display, and you need to get a feeling for the frequencies on the dial.)

    Never bought new shortwave receiver after 1986, because there seems to be nothing in its league that would do better – receivers have become smaller since, though. The only thing that sucks is longwave, and the sound isn’t great, either. I usually use the Space Master as a loudspeaker for the ICF 2001D.

    I don’t know much about Tecsun, for example, but Chinese internet commenters seem to like the brand and the listening options it provides. Cheap receivers don’t become better with lots of wire added to their telescopic antennas, usually – anything more than five meters of extensions will usually drown your radio in tons of different signals on frequencies where they don’t belong. That doesn’t damage the receiver, but it leaves nothing to be listened to. Even the ICF 2001D needs an adaptor, once I’m using an outdoor antenna of more than ten meters length – besides, the adaptor also helps to tune the same antenna to different wavelengths (“meters”).

    Online information is great, especially when you listen to an unknown station and want to get an idea who’s broadcasting there at that time of the day. MT-Shortwave provides updates and propagation forecasts, and from a central European perspective,‘s schedules are very useful (de-tick “Sat” and “web” there).

    The biggest shortwave-listening countries are probably China, Germany, and Japan – when it comes to shortwave listening as a hobby, rather than of necessity (i. e. for a lack of FM radio, for example. Arguably, censorship and the still limited availability of the internet in China make shortwave radio popular there, too). So there are lots of listener associations in those three countries, but I guess there will be at least a few in Australia, too, with regular newsletters. There’s an indymedia website which seems to offer information on shortwave reception in your region.

    Information on shortwave itself

    A number of stations that keep broadcasting on shortwave also offer information on other broadcasting services. Radio New Zealand is one of them – see last item on their feature programs -, and so do Radio Havana Cuba, or RAE Buenos Aires, or Radio Taiwan International.

    Footnote: If you want to convert frequency information into meter-band info, it’s 300,000 / frequency. For example, Radio New Zealand’s 9655 kHz frequency would be 31.1 meters. Some receivers without digital displays only show meters, and no frequencies, on their dials.


  4. Great stuff JR and Thanks. Will print it out. Yes, I bought a Tecsun, but have never had much luck with SW whether in Fuzhou, Melbourne or my present abode.

    I have a feeling I should join some local forums and do a bit of serious research. Not up to buying a new receiver due to competing priorities, so shall look for an older receiver when the time is right.

    I recall one of the very first LP players we ever owned……big square item with a lid which one lifted in order to put in a record and then drop the needle arm. Talk about powerful. South American radio stations came thru clear as a bell.

    Speaking of radio, this link should make your day.

    One of Brinkley’s Mexican radio stations was so powerful it could be heard in Finland and the South China Sea. Also could be heard thru bed springs closer to home.

    Brinkleys bio is a hoot and a worthy comment on American credulity.


  5. KT, I know your soft spot for delirious biographies, but Brinkley’s even makes J. O. P. Bland look like a sucker. Pretty much a story that could happen in China today, with Vietnam (or North Korea, too) providing the base for the border blasters. You still get lots of weird broadcasts on privately-owned shortwave stations which rent airtime out to all kinds of political or religious prophets, and they seem to pay, as many have been on the air for years, with commercials in between every once in a while.

    As for your Tecsun, just give it a try sufficiently far away from personal computers, television, kitchen appliances, etc.. Possibly even outside the house, but at least near a big window. I’m sure you’ll get to listen to a surprising lot of shortwave stations. There may not even be a need to buy a new or second-hand receiver, depending on how much choice you want.

    Another receiver in my collection is a Blaupunkt Granada – a present from my parents as they moved on to a typically 1970s HIFI record-player/tape-deck/radio combination (one of those flat ones, not the “towers” that succeeded them) which has long since conked out. I still switch the Granada on when I want to hear a really warm tube-based sound. Wouldn’t pass as antique though, as I had to replace several tubes some ten or twelve years ago, and the spare parts probably weren’t exactly original. But its at least as good on shortwave than many “world-band” receivers sold these days.

    Still got a collection of records, some of them contemporaries bought in the 1980s, and a collection of jazz and beat-music records from the 1950s and 60s, bought on the university campus fleamarket in the early 1990s. But haven’t listened to them for about two decades – I don’t even know where I left the record-player.



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