Category Archives: Medium Wave

Blast from the Past – Radio Cayman


Radio Cayman was one of the most regular of Caribbean stations heard in New Zealand. The split frequency of 1555kHz gave it solus position and the bird song interval signal prior to the 1100z sign-on was magical to hear. They were also heard signing off around 0500z some days.

Thanks to Tony King, here is their sign-off  announcement:


Blast from the Past – Atlantic Beacon


Back in December 1986, MW DXers were tuning their radios to 1570kHz to hear a new radio station operating out of the Turks & Caicos Islands. That station was “The Atlantic Beacon” and Tony King made this recording of their opening announcement  

The Jamming of 1ZB

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Following on from the post about the curious case of the jamming of Uncle Scrim, here is a story that appeared in the October 1990 DX Times penned by Barry Williams.


When we talk of jamming we tend to think of the Cold war during the 50s and 6os on shortwave when there was a real battle of the airwaves between the East and the West. However New Zealand had a case of jamming much earlier than than that.

Aloha Honolulu 1976


Martin Hadlow has forwarded an interesting article describing the Honolulu radio dial in 1976. DXers will fondly remember Alan Roycroft and recall the comments he used to write on the back of the “Broadcasting Services” QSL cards.

Entitled “Honolulu Radio: A Wasteland”

“The Honolulu Star-Bulletin on February 12th issued it’s second annual survey of radio stations on Oahu. There are 21 stations. The news-paper noted a number of changes which have taken place over the past year. These include: 12 instead of 9 stations broadcasting 24 hours; a reduction in the number of employees the replacement of eight general managers and four major ownership changes. There is apparently a greater number of stations broadcasting the sane format — “Beautiful music, that is. ‘the same pop music, ranging (if that phrase can be used meaningfully) from Golden Oldies to popified mellow rock.‘ Janos Gereben. the reviewer, noted that ‘an astonishing tom of 12 stations‘ are involved in broadcasting a “musical vast wasteland”

Dates of Importance to NZ MW DXers

There have been a number of significant dates affecting MW stations and therefore DXers, in New Zealand.

1919: the first experimental radio station started broadcasting in Dunedin, New Zealand when founder “Toots” Mitchell was presented with a triode amplifying tube by his engineer friend Edward Meining. The opening song was “Robin Adair,” sung by Mitchell’s girlfriend at the microphone while Meining pedalled his bike the three kilometres from the sending station to his house where he had built a receiver. The station later became 4XD. They broadcast intermittently until 1921, then started regular scheduled programming two days a week. Those broadcasts led to the start of the Otago Radio Association. 4XD is still broadcasting, now on 1305 kHz and 99.2MHz often using the slogan “We were here first.”

WLW Cincinatti 500,000 Watts



That’s not a mis-print… WLW had a 500kW transmitter on the MW band in 1934.

For many of us, WLW was the first Ohio station we ever heard. Here, thanks to K7AGE, is a Youtube presentation on the history of this iconic US broadcaster.

The following comment comes Barry W9UCW from the Topband reflector:

The Ultimate Compact MW DX Antenna?


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Whether you’re a ham, MW or SW DXer, there are times when a receive antenna will be very handy. I’ve experimented with EWEs, K9AYs and coax loops. Just recently, Shared Apex Loop Arrays have received a lot of publicity and this excellent Youtube presentation certainly caught my interest.

Here is a good PDF article from the designer, Mark Baumann.

And now Array Solutions are selling them.

Very compact and as for performance, we’ll let the Youtube video provide the answer.

KVTK Bites the ah.. Grass

Listeners to KVTK-AM of Yankton, South Dakota,
were recently without the station for a few
days. This is because an accident caused the
stations broadcast tower to fall to the ground.

The tower, which was 309 feet tall, was situated
in the middle of what was described as a small,
grassy field located about five miles west of the
town of Vermillion. Reportedly, a man cutting
the grass Monday afternoon June 10th clipped one
of the tower’s guy-wires, causing it to collapse
shortly after 4 p.m. local time.