Friday, 20 April 2018

Logs of Friday 20th April 2018

Hi, I am back on here after a short stay in my local hospital. Hopefully, normal service will be gradually resumed! I had a quick listen earlier and I will increase my time at the listening post as I get better and things become more comfortable.

Freq Time
6205 1805 Laser - 35333 “Strange Magic” by Electric Light Orchestra
1620 1807 Edelkampioen - 35434 “Down In The Boondocks” by Billy Joe Royal, “Als Het Vriest in Madagascar” @ 1814
1656 1820 DB - 35434 “Oldies” “Jump Back” by The Beatles, “Mighty Joe” by Shocking Blue @ 1825, @ 1835 “Baby Come Back” by The Equals, ID as (Dikke Bertha)

A index = 3, K index = 5
SN = 14, SFI = 70 @ 1838 UTC

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Logs of Sunday 15th April 2018

Freq Time
6285 0843 Energy FM - 35432 Broken and intermittent feed, relaying Tenerife FM station, Dance music, “I Remember” by SOJO
6205 0851 Laser - 25322-3 “Going Back To My Roots” by Odyssey, “DISCO” by Ottawan
6375 0916 Harmony - 24222 “Off To Philadelphia” by John McCormack, ID
1642 1935 Digital AM - 3-45444 “That Same Old Feeling” by Pickettywitch
1620 1941 Sapporo - 24322-3 Chat in Dutch, reporting to other stations, “Happy Time” by Tanzorchester Konrad Grewe, ID
1613 1953 Bison 25322-3 “Red River Rock” by Johnny & The Hurricanes, reporting to stations in the QSO
1625 1959 Pandora - 3-45444 “Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight” by Earth & Fire, reporting in QSO to Lowland
1621 2004 Uitzendkracht - 34333 Close to another NL station, report for Lowland and Pandora in QSO, “Bimbo” (Dutch version)
1665 2030 Polkaman - 35434 ID and brief chat in Dutch, selection of polka and old tunes.

A index = 6, K index = 1
SN = 11, SFI = 70 @ 2132 UTC

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Logs of Saturday 14th April 2018

Freq Time
1629 1746 Vriendschap - 25333 QSO in Dutch with a number of other stations, polka music
1665 1751 Polkaman - 25322-3 Reporting in Dutch to stations in the QSO, polka music
1655 1755 Golfbreker - 35333 “Rocket” by Mud, “Hoken In De Tent” by Heinoos @ 1803
1620 1757 Meteor - 34444 Reporting to Polkaman, Vriendschap etc. in the QSO, “Hawaiian Lollipop” by The Waikikkis
1625 1824 Pandora - 35444 “Fly To Me” by Aleph, “We Love The Pirate Stations” by The Roaring 60’s
1640 1835 Relmus - 34333 “Let there Be Drums” by Ricky Nelson
1636 1855 Bluebird - 45544 “Tiroler Polka” by De Vrijbuiters, ID in Dutch @ 1857
6265 1910 CWR - 2-35333 Crazy Wave Radio ID, “Born To be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez, @ 2050 on 6220 
1624 1925 Jeneverstoker - 25333 report for Pandora in QSO
1621 1930 Turftrekker - 34433-4 report from Turf to Jevenerstoker, ID, polka song
1648 1947 Moby Dick - 35434 “Louise (Kon en dans Met Mij)” by Four Tak
1611 2022 Polydor - 34333 “Angelina” by Die Flippers @ 2025
1643 2026 ROS AM - 35434 ROS ID jingle, “Big yellow Taxi” by Counting Crows & Vanessa Carlton, “Call Me The Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
6205 2031 Laser - 35434 6205 was not audible all day and early evening, appeared around 2030 here: “Keeping The Dream Alive” by Freiheit
6285 2037 Atlantis FM - 35444 not heard at all until this time: “Living On The  Ceiling” by Blancmange, “Jive Talkin’” by The BeeGees, ID @ 2049
1680 2055 Bogusman - 23222 Heard introducing a tune, then SSB QRM, some peaks up to 33333, Bogus ID, co-channel QRM also (Greek or Baltic), “Iron Sky” by mega City Four @ 2105

1657 2109 Vrolijke Mijnwerker - 35444 Wide signal, ID and chat in Dutch, Dutch music, Indian Dance song in English

A index = 9, K index = 2
SN = 14, SFI = 69 @ 2106 UTC
Where Have All The Signals Gone?


In April 2014, I could tune through the 48m band and listen to stations on a Saturday morning from all over Western Europe. These stations faded down and were replaced with short skip stations, mainly from the UK. In the evening the band would open again and I could hear UK  and NL stations as late as 2230 UTC on many occasions. 

Over the last few weeks I have heard no English stations at all and more recently even the Dutch and Irish stations are virtually non-existent. So what is going on here?

I found some solar data history which gives some clue as to what is happening:

                  Solar Flux Index (SFI)    Sunspot Number (SN)

April 2013           125                             111.8
April 2014           144.3                          130.5
April 2015           129.2                          72.5
April 2016            93.4                           39.2
April 2017            80.9                           30.4
April 2018            69                               0

We appear to be at or near the bottom of the sunspot cycle which is having these limiting effects on the 48m band. Of course, if you live further away you may benefit from long skip and hear some stations. 

So what is the big deal? After all, the sunspot cycle has been affecting communications since we first started using electro-magnetic waves for radio. Also there is nothing we can do about it except wait for the rare days where propagation improves.

Two things are happening though: firstly the age of many operators is over 65 and we have sadly lost many. Secondly, the number of operators is decreasing significantly, due in part to the popularity of short wave being in decline but also because operators like to be listened to. If there is no audience, whether through lack of propagation or lack of interest in SW broadcasts, it matters not. They will not be on the band!

When the band starts to improve - maybe next year, in 2019 or maybe 2020, will there be any operators left ready and willing to transmit on the SW bands? Will there be any listeners left? 

Friday, 13 April 2018

Logs of Friday 13th April 2018

Freq Time
1630 2115 Monte Carlo - 35434 ID and chat in Dutch, in QSO, instrumental music
1630 2124 Noordzee - 35434 ID and report for MC and Zwarte Boer in Dutch, QSO, “Ik Kan Met Jou De Hele Wereld Aan”

A index = 9, K index = 1
SN = 13, SFI = 69 @ 2128 UTC

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Logs of Thursday 12th April 2018

Freq Time
3905 2019 Underground - 2-35333 ID and chat in English, “Den Uyl Is In Den Olie” by Vader Abraham

A index = 14, K index = 2
SN = 0, SFI = 68 @ 2152 UTC

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Logs of Wednesday 11th April 2018

Freq Time
1625 1749 Pandora - 35434 “The Right Side Won” by What Fun!
1629 1903 Mustang - 45434 “Where Did Our Love Go” by The Supremes, ID and chat in Dutch, “All I Really Want To Do” by The Byrds
1655 1927 Melkbus - 35333 Greetings to me, Love of The Common People” by Paul Young
1636 2111 Bluebird - 45544 Barrel organ music, polka song, ID, chat in Dutch

A index = 18, K index = 0
SN = 0, SFI = 68 @ 2105 UTC