Touring Radio Stations
Around the World
It is always wonderful to tour
the world as a DX-listener. No matter where you
go, you are warmly welcomed. This time we will visit
radio stations in Manila, Sardinia, Asmara and Nordkapp.
Mr. June Bingbing hosting
DZME's current affairs program.
Philippines: DZME 1530 and DZRH 666
For him, who loves soft songs,
there's no better
place than Manila. The FM band in Metro Manila is
crowded with excellent stations playing beautiful
love songs all day long, 24 hours a day. The announcements
between songs are made both in Tagalog and English,
which makes listening a unique experience. Mabuhay
Besides these wonderful FM stations,
Manila has plenty of AM stations, too. These AM
stations can occasionally be heard even in Finland.
One of the easiest catches is DZME on 1530 kHz.
However, during the years I have not had any luck
in qsl'ing the station,
so I had a good excuse to visit them.
Mr. Erick Rempillo, the
chief engineer of MBC.
We (me and my wife) arrived at
DZME in the middle of the afternoon's
current affairs program, but the host, Mr. June
Bingbing had no problems taking us into the studio
and interviewing us. Soon we realized that political
programming was dropped for a while and we became
the number one news item. And of course we got the
chance to tell DZME's
audience how we liked Manila. We surely loved it!
After visiting a couple of other
stations (DZXQ 1350 and DZRB 738), we headed to
Manila Broadcasting Company (main station DZRH 666
This station has been heard quite often in Finland
with its night program Operation Tulung.
I have been wondering what this program is all about.
MBC's chief engineer
Mr. Erick Rempillo told me that it is a voluntary
program, in which specialists on different sectors
(such as lawyers, government officials etc.) answer
During the day DZRH has many
news and current affairs programs. Besides DZRH,
Manila Broadcasting Company owns two nationwide
FM networks, Radio One and Radyo Natin. In total
there are more than 600 stations affiliated to MBC,
plus naturally a TV station as well as an amusement
center, to where we were kindly welcomed that evening
to watch Ms. Patricia Javier's
concert! Not a bad experience at all! Beautiful
lady, great voice and nice performance.
Italy: Mondo Radio Sassari 102,0 and Radio Nuoro
Sardinian FM stations are very,
very rare in Finland, but on the 1st of June 2002
we Finnish FM DXers who live in South-Western Finland
experienced a wonderful 30-minute opening to this
Mediterranean paradise island.
During the summer vacation I
had a chance to visit two Sardinian cities, Sassari
and Nuoro. Sassari is the second largest city on
the island, located in the North. Nuoro on the other
hand is located more centrally on the highlands.
When fathers are listening
distant tropospheric signals, kids and wives
are enjoying a one-meter-long Italian pizza.
At both stations - Mondo Radio
Sassari and Radio Nuoro Centrale - the welcome was
a very warm one. Small talk in the beginning, a
short explanation of the hobby, some Finnish souvenirs,
a visit at the studios and the verification.
At Radio Nuoro Centrale the QSL had already been
written, but so far they had had no time to mail
it. But that is understandable, after all, only
13 months had passed since the reporting date.
The views in Sardinia
Sardinia is a dream come true
for a tropo listener. Stations from Menorca, Ibiza,
Mallorca, mainland Spain and Algeria are coming
in very well during the summer months. Some stations
provided even the RDS code on the car radio, despite
the distance of over 1000 kilometers!
My good friend Mr. Antti Aaltonen
and his family spent their vacation at the same
hotel (which - believe it or not - was a surprise
for both families).
Naturally we had to spend one
evening listening to these marvellous tropo signals.
At the same time kids and wives were enjoying a
The FM channel of Eritrea broadcasts local and
international pop music in the capital area.
Eritrea: Voice of the Broad Masses of Eritrea
Voice of the Broad Masses of
Eritrea is the only station in this beautiful and
extremely friendly country, broadcasting Channel
One in Tigrinya and Tigre languages on 945 and 7100
Channel Two broadcasts in Afar, Amharic, Arabic
and Oromo on 837 and 7175 kHz.
Transmitters are located 15 kilometers south from
the capital Asmara. All these frequencies have been
heard in Finland, mediumwave frequencies occasionally
and shortwave frequencies on a daily basis.
On FM there is just one station
in the country. It is called Channel Three and is
broadcasting, if I remember correctly, on 95 MHz.
This FM service plays a great deal of music, mixing
local and international pop. They are on the air
three times a day, about 8 hours daily. Naturally
all this means that Eritrea would be a great location
for an FM DXer, if there were any DXers down there.
The FM band is almost empty, making distant FM reception
A young sheep farmer fron the town of Kheren
The FM channel of Eritrea broadcasts
local and international pop music in the capital
Eritrean people are the friendliest
people I have ever met. It is not rare that kids
run after you wanting to give you flowers or that
the one who is sitting next to you at a bar would
like to pay for your beer. You really feel that
you are very welcome to this beautiful country.
Dahlak islands on the Eritrean
coast are great for snorkeling and scuba diving.
These barren islands were our target, too. Enjoying
the underwater world and sleeping outside under
the moon was definitely one of the highlights of
I was eager to check the mediumwave
band, too. A lot of Arabic stations were audible,
almost on every single frequency. But one surprise
showed up, too, Family Radio from Taiwan on 1557
kHz. Only a simple Sangean 909 receiver with its
own antenna was enough to bring in this distant
A splendid view from the studios of Radio Nordkapp.
The capital Asmara is located
2500 meters above the sea level. Landscape outside
the capital is superb.
Honningsvåg, Norway: Radio
Nordkapp, 103,9 MHz
Radio North Cape (Radio Nordkapp
in Norwegian) is one of the most northern stations
in the world. They are broadcasting two hours a
day on 103,9, 106,9 and 107,6 MHz. Rest of the day
Radio North Cape retransmits the techno music channel
The economy of the station is
based on commercials and bingo, which is indeed
a very popular game in Honningsvåg and surrounding
Radio North Cape has been heard
once in Finland. This happened at Utsjoki, Northern
Finland in summer 2000. With my four wheel drive
Honda I followed a small track up to the mountain
near the town of Utsjoki, put up my 4-element yagi
antenna and opened my Grundig 700 receiver. The
signal was not very strong, but still it was fascinating
to hear this extremely rare station. (By the way,
the Finnish DXing rules state that only stations
which are heard within Finnish borders are approved
in our QSL "competitions").
In early December you
wont meet anyone at Nordkapp.
Nordkapp, the northernmost part
of continental Europe is a popular tourist destination
during the summer and midnight sun. However, if
you want to experience it all by yourself, why not
pay a visit in early December, when there is nobody,
not even the sun. Being alone on top of Europe is
a truly outstanding experience!
Published on January 8, 2004. Photos © Jim