If you are a copyright owner and believe that your copyrighted works have been used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, here is our DMCA Notice.

« Russia's Hell House of Wax | Main | Erik Mongrain's Guitar Gets Hammered (video) »

October 24, 2006



Hi Prof,

Concerning 11720 - (unknown jazz program):

It is indeed in french and some advertisement for "Paul Meddle" and his band..

From what i can hear, it is Ben Allison on bass, Ed Marsh & Michael Blake on sax and Matt Wilson on drums

He gives the www website adress and then plays a song.

The song playing is, it seems, a tribute to Man Ray.

And the host does have an english accent!

Unfortunately, there is no station call.

Hope it helps.



11720 is almost certainly VOA, which broadcasts in French to Africa from Morocco on that frequency from 2000-2030 on weekdays and 2000-2100 on weekends. They have a jazz and blues program in French on weekends that may or may not be broadcast at that hour.

If is down, you might want to check Eike Bierwirth's site, which contains an extensive list of broadcasts. It doesn't have the nice searchable interface that has, but the information Eike gathers is solid. I also sometimes find it useful to check the NASWA loggings database to see what other people are hearing. It's not comprehensive the way a WRTH or Passport would be, but it can be a useful source in pointing you in the right direction. (Disclaimer: I run the NASWA site.)

That's great that you got Zanzibar. I've heard the song in question a number of times on the station. Wish I could speak Swahili so I could understand the announcements and know what the song titles and artists are, but I suppose it's enough to be able to hear the music on a regular basis. I should be recording these broadcasts so I have something to listen to when the transmitter inevitably breaks down and they leave shortwave, if only for a while. They really are hands down one of my favorite stations in the world.

Now that we're pretty much past thunderstorm season and winter conditions on the bands are approaching, I hope to put something together for you covering 60 or 90 meters. 90 is more likely, as there's more English language broadcasts there. I need to do some work on my antennas first, though.

James W

Professor, another great post thank you! Passport To Worldband Radio is a terrific resource for clearing up 95% of those nagging questions the average listener has regarding the source of a broadcast and, most importantly for the DXer seeking QSL's, the location of the transmitter. The backmatter of that publication, and its listing of Station Addresses from around the world, including obscure broadcasters, Pirates, and clandestine operators, is essential for the would-be DXer in understanding in many cases to what precisely he or she is listening. It is arranged chronologically by frequency, and broken down hour by hour showing what entity is broadcasting, at what time their broadcast typically begins and ends, what language they are transmitting in, and the origin of the signal. This methodology is not fail- safe in identifying those seemingly elusive signals however. The success of any such scheme depends upon the currency of the information therein. Having been a casual consumer of this product for quite some time I can attest to its overall accuracy, precision, and informational shelflife. But this scheme should be used inferentially. It is no substitute for hearing a clear station I.D. when in pursuit of a QSL. It is often possible to identify the broadcast you're listening to by the language(s) employed. It also occurs to me that one could take advantage of the generous contact information (e-mail addresses and fax numbers) given in the Addresses section to well and truly nail down a signal mystery. I buy this publication year after year and it has become the source of great entertainment for me. I also believe Professor that Passport would save you many fruitless searches on the internet. Keep posting Professor. I am sure I speak for many when I say we LOVE YOUR BLOG.

James W

Allow me to add that Passport meets your requirement for a reference which lists broadcasts and times through the simple expedient of knowing the frequency. Another neat thing is that it gives transmitter power. Looking up your presumed reception of Radio Tanzania Zanzibar on 11735 kHz (listed in Passport's Blue Pages as Voice Of Tanzania but elsewhere referred to as the Voice Of Tanzania-Zanzibar) we see that this transmission is for the domestic market, that it weighs in at 50 kW, that the broadcast begins at UTC 15:00 and ends at UTC 21:00, and that Voice Of Tanzania broadcasts in English for a brief time starting at UTC 18:00. Further, there is a notation which tells us that this is a new or changed schedule from the previous edition of Passport. Other data which may be indicated are variable frequency, earliest heard, irregular operation, season, days if not daily, target zone, network, mode if not AM, alternative frequency, and latest heard. Just prior to the Blue Pages you will find an extensive glossary of shortwave related terminology. If you have a good understanding of propagation (I do not) and an adequate antenna, you can attempt targeted DXing using the Blue Pages as a guide. And then if you think you've got something, you can access the Addresses Plus section and write away for a QSL. After many years, I have just begun to do this myself. What might be the allure of such a geeky pursuit one might ask? I would say one need only see the photo of the smashing QSL offered by Radio Nederland for reception of their Madagascar Relay Station, sent in by the lucky recipient to Popular Communications (October 2006). This QSL is a work of art and I am going to work this winter at getting one of my own. At this point, I can count the QSL's I have received on less than five fingers, but one was for receiving CKZN's (CBC) 300 W signal from St. John's, Newfoundland, from approximately 1350 miles. Hardly a flea-powered signal from Oceania and nothing a seasoned DXer would mention let alone brag about, but satisfying nonetheless especially on a Sangean portable off a short length of antenna wire indoors. The preface to the Blue Pages also provides the novice with some good advice before he begins his hunt for QSL cards. I believe I just read on Mr. John Plimmer's blog that he has received his thousandth QSL. That should place him squarely in the middle of Guinness, or at least a couple of pints of Guinness squarely in the middle of Mr. Plimmer! The new Passport is just out Professor; I think you would have a lot of fun with it.


Are you sure 11695 isn't Italian? I can't tell and it definitely sounds kind of like Arabic or Farsi at first but then it settles into sounding really Italian to me. Maybe it's that gahspetti from earlier.


Or maybe Hungarian? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the in's and out's here but it might be this:

It seems like it's the right time for what you heard. Sorry for the double post.

The comments to this entry are closed.