Completing the Circle

Many hams got their start as short-wave listeners, or SWLs.  I’m no exception.  After awhile, the “big ones” such as BBC, Radio Moscow, and Deutsche Welle to name just a few, became ‘old hat’.  We SWLers would naturally start looking for more difficult conquests. 

Back in the days before airliners had inertial navigation systems, GPS, etc., they would use automatic direction finders (ADF).  These devices operated on LF, MF, and HF frequencies.  The transmitting stations used CW.  As a courtesy to SWLers (it was a more courteous world in many respects back then), these “non-commercial” stations were willing to confirm a reception report IF the SWLer were willing to make up his or her own card.  Usually, it was the Chief Engineer who did the signing.

The card below shows my homemade card – cut out of a piece of manilla folder – signed by a Mr. da Silva who just happened to be a ham operator with the callsign  CT3AV.  I’ve kept it all these years.  It confirms my reception of radio station CUB’s CW marker on 8.730 kHz on April  1, 1964.  Funchal is a port city on the southern coast of the island of Madeira. 

Ever the believer in cosmic balance, I was very pleased that after all these years, I was finally able to dump my QRP signal into Madeira Island from Fishkill, NY – 3141 miles away – on November 28, 2010 and complete the circle.  All is now right with the world!

P.S. – When this guy refers to his “shack” he ain’t kidding!

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