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.



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



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:


(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.


Tokyo Ham Fair 2017

September 2-3, 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight….



Preparing the booth of Japan Shortwave Club.

Booth Preparation


Show starts!





JT65 lovers.



Magnetic loop antennas…







Icom’s prototype model IC-9700, which is a tribander of 2m-70cm-1.2GHz.



Japan Shortwave Club Booth




Another SWL booth “BCL is the King of Hobby” hosted by Asuka Sekiyama.  He organizes “Akihabara BCL Club” (ABC) and has issued its first publication journal “ABC 50’s,” where I also contributed a chapter.










A D-STAR Booth


Another D-STAR booth.



ID-31s are now Plus model.






Perhaps a unique point in the Tokyo Ham Fair is that many singers and personalities contribute the show.  They are of course hams.

JARD promotes “e-Learning” system to obtain an operator license.  Presentation given by Momoka Matsuda (actess, JI1NYO).




Live show of Masaco (singer-songwriter, JH1CBX) and Kaori Mita (traditional singer, JI1BTL).  Kaori also hosts a radio program “CQ Ham For Girls” in a local FM station.



Chanson singer Sayoko Aoki (JJ3WWS).  She also used to be a radio personality for such as long-run program “FM Variety,” as well as some radio shows for hams.



“Theme-song singer” Maiko Watabe (JJØSDQ) singing a theme song of a radio program for hams, with a dancing costume character Watamai-chan, who has just obtained (surprisingly) a callsign of JJ1FUL.




See you all again next year!


“Propagation” Ed. 5 Released!

This year too, Totsuka DXer’s Circle (TDXC), a local SWL/DXing club in Yokohama Japan, has published a 157-page club journal “PROPAGATION.”    This is the 5th edition as TDXC previously published once per year since 2013.  The journal is now downloadable in PDF format for FREE to everybody!   Please be advised that this journal is written in Japanese in most pages, but there are so many pictures that give you idea how they enjoy the hobby.  Some pages are also written in English.

The follwoing contents are just a part of this year’s edition.

  • US-JA joint DX-pedition to Oregon Cliff
  • Radio tour to Lima, Peru
  • Equipment and camping goods for MW DX-pedition
  • Visit report of local communty FM stations
  • Detailed report on Flag Antenna
  • Test reports on small loops and bar antenna for MW DXing
  • Old-day DXing life
  • Each club member’s unique DXing activity

If you are interested in the “PROPAGATION” journal, visit the following site to download.


Radio Malabo (Presumed) 2

5250 kHz. Received in northern New Jersey, USA.

27-July-2016, 2251 UTC (6:51 PM Local Time)   Language: Spanish and others

Receiver: Microtelecom Perseus   Antenna: MFJ-1899T whip

In the following video, at 00′ 30″ , I hear the announcement like “Radio Malabo” but I am not sure if it is in Spanish or not.  Can anybody take dictation for me?

Radio Malabo (Presumed)

5250 kHz. Received in northern New Jersey, USA.

27-July-2016, 0112 UTC (9:12 PM Local Time)   Language: Spanish

Receiver: Microtelecom Perseus   Antenna: MFJ-1899T whip

Can anybody explain what the Spanish talk is saying about?  Otherwise they kept playing African music.