My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Swan Island in my QSL Collection

I saved this QSL for last because it is for a medium wave station reception rather than a shortwave station reception and the validity of the verification is incomplete, which comes as no surprise due to the nature of this particular radio station.

I received Radio Americas, also know as Radio Swan, in early 1967 (my logs are misplaced, so I don't know the exact date). In response, I received a signed QSL card that is otherwise blank and does not mention the frequency, time nor date of my reception report.

A program schedule accompanied the QSL card and both were contained in an envelope postmarked Miami, but with two conflicting return addresses and a fake Swan Island postmark.

Back in 2008, I wrote the following in my weekly Surfin' column on the ARRL website:
In early 1967, I heard Radio Americas operating on 1160 kc. Honduras-to-Connecticut (almost 1600 miles) on the AM broadcast band is an excellent catch in anybody's logbook, but what made this one more interesting was that Radio Americas was supposedly a clandestine operation run by a secret government agency that was trying to undermine the Castro regime in Cuba.
At the time, the Radio Americas story was just speculation, but it was pretty exciting stuff for this teenager during the height of the Cold War and the era of Goldfinger and 007. Just the words "clandestine radio" sounded exciting and mysterious back then. Needless to say, I was shocked when the Radio Americas QSL card arrived in the mail, since I did not think that spies acknowledged their clandestine operations.
Radio Americas was indeed a CIA operation broadcasting US propaganda into Cuba during the 1960s. The station claimed to transmit from US territory, but the FCC claimed that it knew nothing about it!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

United Kingdom to West Germany in my SWL QSL collection

Here are yet more QSLs from my mid-1960 shortwave listening days.

United Kingdom: BBC

United Nations: United Nations Radio

United States: Voice of America

United States: WINB

United States: WWV

United States: WWVH

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Radio Kiev

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Radio Moscow

Vatican: Radio Vatican

West Germany: Deutsche Welle

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mexico to Switzerland in my SWL QSL collection

Here are still more QSLs from my mid-1960 shortwave listening days.

Mexico: XEHH or XERR

This business card QSL is the smallest QSL in my collection. It was sent in the smallest envelope I have ever received through the mail. I misplaced my SWL logs, so I am not sure which station I heard XEHH or XERR, certainly not XERH on 1.500 kc.

Netherlands Antilles: Radio Nederland

Netherlands Antilles: Trans World Radio

A QSL booklet.

North Vietnam: Voice of Vietnam

I was surprised to receive this QSL because mail to and from North Vietnam was banned during the war. The postcard did not confirm anything, but the QSL letter did confirm my reception report and also noted that my report would be acknowledged on the air during the "Vietnam Mailbag." After the Radio Peking episode, I never showed this QSL to my father!

Portugal: Radio Portugal

Romania: Radio Bucharest

South Africa: Radio South Africa

Spain: Radio Nacional de Espana

Sweden: Radio Sweden

Switzerland: Swiss Broadcasting Corp.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Finland to Lebanon in my SWL QSL collection

Here are more QSLs from my mid-1960 shortwave listening days.

Finland: Finnish Broadcasting Company

I received two QSL cards for the same reception report of the Finnish Broadcasting Company's shortwave station.

France: RTF (Radiodiffusion Television Francaise)

Ghana: Ghana Broadcasting Corp.

Haiti: Radio 4VEJ

A folded QSL card for Haiti's "Evangelistic Voice of the West Indies."

Hungary: Radio Budapest

Iran: Radio Iran

A QSL letter in lieu of a QSL card from Iran during the Shah era.

Italy: RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana)

Japan: Radio Japan

Lebanon: Radio Lebanon