Japan Radio Museum (Matsumoto, Japan)

I had a chance to visit Japan Radio Museum, which is located in Matsumoto-city, Nagano-prefecture, Japan.  To be honest, I am a little bit surprized that this museum is not located in Tokyo, but in a local city.  It is about 3 hrs from Tokyo (Shinjuku Station) by express train, but half-hour shorter if you take a bullet train via Nagano-city.  (The train line in the following map is just for example and please consult travel agencies to find out your best route to Matsumoto-city)

Map

The museum is located in an area with many traditional gift shops that are attractive to tourists.  Historical places such as Matsumoto Castle are also close.

Front

Front2 Front 3

The admission fee is JPY 500.  They have so many contents that are quite exciting for radio hobbyists.

Vintage Radio 2

↑ ↓ Vintage radios before/during WWII.

Vintage Radio

↓ Radios in the very beginning.  They had to use a large battery as power source instead of AC line.

Battery

↓ In the very beginning, people in Japan had to get a permission from government  in order to even “receive” (not only transmitting) radio broadcasts.  Each radio equipment had to be registered.  The following document is such example.  It does not seem that the government issued callsign (or SWL number lol) for receiving station, though.

Menkyo2

↓ The first FM tuner in Japan, made by Kasuga Radio Co., which later became TRIO.  They made it for RadioShack in USA, branding “REALISTIC”.

FirstFM

↓ Relatively newer models

Mid

↓ Not too vintage but portable TV sets of older time.  The SONY model (top middle) still looks cool.

Vintage TV

↓ Did you know that the first LCD pocket color TV in the world was not from SONY, but from EPSON?

Epson TV

↓ Of course, the shortwave gears are there!

BCL RadioBCL3

The museum is two-story, and on the second floor, they exhibits radios by selected category for limited period.  Currently they are showing “Fun Radios” until 11th of January 2019.

↓ Beverage radios.  Note that those cans have telescopic antenna.

Biverage Radio

↓ Toy radios.

Toy Radio

↓ Puppy radio, to make your girl friend happy.

Fun2

*****

Through the visit, I found that this museum is definitely a “must-go” place for radio hobbyists from all over the world!

*****

Japan Radio Museum

2-4-9 Chuo, Matsumoto-city, Nagano-pref., 390-0811 JAPAN.

Their official English site is:

http://www.japanradiomuseum.jp/index-e.html

BCL Audio Clips in Taiwan

Video clips during my business trip to Taiwan (only local medium wave stations).

(The Chinese letters in the video are Japanese version.)

Reception Data:

Received in Taipei, Taiwan

594kHz Fu Hsing B.S.   9-Jul-2018 2059UTC (Local 04:59AM)
684kHz Voice of Han    10-Jul-2018 1300UTC (Local 09:00PM)
855kHz Ming Pen B.C.    10-Jul-2018 1259UTC (Local 08:59PM)
999kHz Tien Nan B.S.  9-Jul-2018 2159UTC (Local 05:59AM)
999kHz Tien Nan B.S.  in Taiwanese   9-Jul-2018 2058UTC (Local 04:58AM)
1350kHz Chug Hwa B.C.    9-Jul-2018 2059UTC (Local 04:59AM)
1494kHz National Education Radio   11-Jul-2018 0100UTC (Local 09:00AM)
(The French part is perhaps a relay of Radio France Internationale)

Language: Mandarin, Taiwanese, French
Receiver: Microtelecom Perseus
Antenna: Small Loop(?.. See below) with BCL-LOOP Ver. 13 amplifier, inside hotel room

The regular loop did not work at all due to the building noise, but a hand-sized coil as the following photo worked for the medium wave, somehow.

TwHotel

BCL Audio Clips in Puerto Rico

Received in Puerto Rico – Central America during my bisuness trip in May 2018.

PR_Sea2

This time Medium Wave only, as Shortwave was not in a good condition.

 

Local Stations !

 

 

The following is a light DXing…


Reception Data:

Received in San Juan, PR.

WIPR 940kHz 1-May-2018 0000UTC (Local 8:00PM)
WSKN 1320kHz  1-May-2018 0000UTC (Local 8:00PM)
WGIT 1660kHz  1-May-2018 0000UTC (Local 8:00PM)
WBMJ 1190kHz  1-May-2018 0000UTC (Local 8:00PM)
WUNO 630kHz  1-May-2018 0900UTC (Local 5:00AM)
WPAB 550kHz  1-May-2018 0859UTC (Local 4:59AM)
WIAC 740kHz  30-Apr-2018 2359UTC (Local 7:59PM)
WCMA 1600kHz  1-May-2018 0000UTC (Local 8:00PM)

 

Radio ABC 540kHz   1-May-2018 0959UTC (Local 5:59AM)
ZBVI 780kHz   1-May-2018 0959UTC (Local 5:59AM)
National Voice of Bahamas 1540kHz  1-May-2018 1000UTC (Local 6:00AM)

 

Language: Spanish, English
Receiver:  Microtelecom Perseus
Antenna:  Small Loop with BCL-LOOP Ver. 13 amplifier (at hotel balcony).

PR_Loop

SWL/BCL Audio Clips in India

Received in Mumbai, India during my bisuness trip in April 2018.

All India Radio Asmita Channel  558kHz  18-Apr-2018  2355UTC (local time 05:25AM).
All India Radio Samvadita  1044kHz 16-Apr-2018  1630UTC (local time 10:00PM).
All India Radio Vividh Bharati  1188kHz  19-Apr-2018  0029UTC (local time 05:59AM).
All India Radio West Panaji  1287kHz  17-Apr-2018  1701UTC (local time 10:31PM).
Trans World Radio India  882kHz  18-Apr-2018  0000UTC (local time 05:30AM).
Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corp. 11905kHz  19-Apr-2018  0229UTC (local time 07:59AM).
Bangladesh Betar 7250kHz  18-Apr-2018  1636UTC (local 10:06PM).

Language: Hindy, English
Receiver:  Microtelecom Perseus
Antenna:  Small loop with BCL-LOOP Ver. 13 amplifier (Indoor).
Mumbai

12050kHz (Radio “International” ?)

This is about a broadcasting on 12050kHz at 1800-2100 UTC.  According to public information, this is supposed to be Radio Dandal Kura International or Radio Ndarason International (likely the former, due to imcompletion of their organization change), which is transmitted via Ascension.

Recently I listened to this broadcasting, which was well received in Japan with a good signal in early morning, possibly due to the grayline pass.   In the broadcasting, I encountered a program in English, which is produced by “Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF)”

12050 kHz. Received in Niigata, Japan.
02-April-2018, 1916 UTC (4:16 AM Local Time)   Language: English
Receiver: KiwiSDR   Antenna: Pro-1B Loop

After this program, I noticed something like a station jingle in a local language (perhaps Kanuri), saying many times “Radio International” but somehow I don’t hear any  word such as Dandal Kura or Ndarason.

12050 kHz. Received in Niigata, Japan.
02-April-2018, 1944 UTC (4:44 AM Local Time)   Language: Local (Kanuri?)
Receiver: KiwiSDR   Antenna: Pro-1B Loop

Yesterday, I checked the opening of the broadcast through a KiwiSDR in Sweden, and heard a starting program in which the language is likely French.  In this program the announcer also keeps saying “Radio International(e).”

12050 kHz. Received in Sweden.
06-April-2018, 1759 UTC       Language: French?
Receiver: KiwiSDR 

I thought I had to use remote SDR in Europe at this time, but surprisingly the signal was super strong in Japan as well.

12050 kHz. Received in Niigata, Japan.
06-April-2018, 1812 UTC (3:12 AM Local Time)   Language: French?
Receiver: KiwiSDR   Antenna: Pro-1B Loop

Is this “Radio International(e)” thier official name?   I would appreciate any assistance from French-speaking listeners.

BCL-LOOP Version 13

Hokushin Denshi(Electronics) Service in Japan has developed a newest version of BCL-LOOP amplifier (BCL-LOOP Version 13, Rev. 2.0).  This uses 2N5109s and works at power voltage from 5V to 15V  (the voltage actually affects the gain).

This time they supply only PCB so I purchased the parts and assembled by myself.

 

For the loop element, I used a dual cupper tube for air-conditioner which I found at a home-center (like Home Depot) in Japan.

BCLloop13element

 

Pixel RF-Pro-1B, for comparison.  (The supplier of this antenna has been changed to DX Enginnering from Pixel Technologies)

Pro1B

 

HF Span Video (initial 10 seconds with Pro-1B, then switched to BCL-Loop 13)

 

Radio New Zealand International on 9765kHz.  The SN ratio was not different, but BCL-Loop showed a lower noise base line.

“BCL Day” (December 17th)

In my home country Japan, December 17th is “BCL Day,” which is unofficially, but widely recognized among shortwave fans in Japan.

BCL” stands for Broadcasting Listening/Listener, and this word is typically used in Japan rather instead of SWL.   I have no idea who created this word.

December 17th was set as BCL Day since this is the birthday of late Mr. Koji Yamada, who significantly contributed to the shortwave listening boom in Japan during mid 1970’s through early 80’s.  Huge numbers of young people (mostly junior high school students, including myself) in Japan at that time were listening to shortwave everyday, wrote reception reports to get “Veri-Cards.”  Uniquely, the word “Veri-Card” (“Veri” comes from “Verification”) is used in Japan, still now, which means QSL card.   Again, I have no idea who created this word.

Mr. Yamada published so many books on BCL, monthly contributed radio magazines for young people, and spoke at many events and broadcasting.  He is called like “Maestro of BCL” (actually, in Japanese language we use a word meaning “BCL God” for him, but it may not be a proper word when coming into English) .  Sadly, he passed away by liver cancer in August 2008.  Radio stations such as KBS World Radio, Radio Taiwan International, and Voice of Russia broadcast his special tribute program.  Even now, some stations have memorial program around this date, such as HCJB Japanese program (Reach Beyond Australia) issuing the following QSL card:

HCJB201712a

(Cortesy of Mr. Ozaki, Reach Beyond Australia)

 

This QSL card (Veri-Card) shows Mr. Yamada’s photos when he was at a radio event show in 1977.

Last week on December 9th, HCJB-Japanese broadcast a memorial program of him and played a recorded sound clip of “SONY BCL JOCKEY,” a daily program for shortwave listeners at that time, when Mr. Yamada was interviewed.  The host of this program was a famous anime voice-actor Kei Tomiyama (he also passed away in 1995).   Here is its opening of the program, including a commercial of Sony Skysensor Radio:

(Cortesy of Mr. Ozaki, Reach Beyond Australia)

 

The following sound clip is a commercial of National (currently Panasonic) COUGAR 2200 Radio in a different radio program.  It is in Japanese, but you know this interval signal!

(Cortesy of Mr. Ozaki, Reach Beyond Australia)

 

In November, I visited Mr. Kazuo Ozaki, the host of HCJB-Japanese program (the middle gentleman in the above QSL card) in his home studio in Arizona.  I used to listen to his broadcasting from Quito Ecuador over 40 years ago, and this time face-to-face.  He is still active in creating his program at his home studio, which is transmitted from Australia to Japan on shortwave every weekend.   The BCL boom in Japan at that time significantly affected personal lives of many people, including myself who lives in USA now.

WithOzaki