Monday, January 12, 2015

The sound of Havanna

This morning I was working at my computer when I thought I would take a look at the Twente SDR to see if there was any MW pirate activity. I can only usually receive the Dutch pirates here during the hours of darkness as I am not near the sea. Signals can be audible in the hour or two before darkness and for a little while after sunrise, but generally I can listen on my own receivers only while the sun is down.

I found a signal on 1636 kHz using the SDR and listened to non-stop Dutch and German music. Reception was great and the modulation was impressive. After a few minutes I flicked on my own radio and to my great surprise I could hear the same signal. The time was 0913 and the SINPO was in the region of 25342, but perfectly listenable with no interference. This was a good hour after sunrise, so quite unusual to hear. Within ten minutes the signal had dipped, but it was actually still audible at just before 1000.

There are not many stations with the strength to beat the ionosphere, and I suspected I might be listening to Radio Havanna. I stayed listening to all of the broadcast with the better reception at Enschede, and sure enough came the ID I thought. It was en enjoyable 90 minutes, and good to hear the following qso which included Bannbreker, Noordzee and stations I haven't heard for a good while - Curacau, Silvia and Cobra. It was also a pleasant reminder of when I spent some time in the studio of Havanna during the summer with Herman from Radio Zeewolf. 

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