Cookies help us deliver our services.

We may use session cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation through
the site, or to allow you to customize your preferences for interacting with the site.

By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. OK
home QRZCQ - The database for radio hams 
2018-12-09 22:52:55 UTC









Active user

activity index: 1 of 5

Mark Fosella

Ellenton 34222
United States, Florida

united states
image of wa4282swl

Call data

Last update:2018-09-22 23:54:37
QTH:Ellenton, FL USA
Main prefix:K
Federal state:Florida
US county:Manatee
DXCC Zone:291
ITU Zone:8
CQ Zone:5…

QSL dataUp to date!

Last update:2018-01-14 02:30:51
Bureau QSL:no
Direct QSL:YES


Thank you for visiting my page!

I am returning back to SWLing after a long hiatus . I was an SWL in high school in the 1970s and continued into the early 1980s. One of my high school friends was a ham radio operator and so was his father (WA2OMH, W2GOW respectively).

I was interested in other strange utility signal transmissions that I would come across along the bands. I also listened to HF ham radio (AM/SSB) transmissions and many of the the shortwave broadcasting hourly interval signals at the time. (Radio RSA was my favorite). My favorite ham bands are 160 and 80 Meters.

I listened mostly to the Numbers Stations broadcasts. My first "numbers encounter" was with the Spanish lady and her 4-digit groups. That was very strange and things weren't the same after that.

My favorite was the Counting Station (Cynthia E5) and just kept monitoring that every day. These were five-figure groups spoken by a digital female voice. I found that on that particular station that the messages would change every month. Maybe that spy was a slow learner? Regardless this station was always on time down to the second. They were very professional and had high quality broadcasts. Unfortunately this station has been inactive since 2003. To learn more about this type of station please see link below and scroll down to the "The counting station [E5/V5]" section. A great article by Chris Smolinski.

A picture and sound sample of the original voice generation device can be found on the bottom of this page (before they changed it to digital):

As far as SWL'ing goes, I am amazed at how much computer technology has changed things, especially what you can now do on the internet in regards to radio. It really is amazing to be able to use another receiver and antenna somewhere else in the world AND to share the same receiver with others simultaneously. What is also good is that you can choose a receiver in a part of the world where the likelihood of picking up a certain known local station there would be greater.

I have also heard U.S. amateur stations bombing into Europe and then not receiving them well at all when switching to a receiver here in the U.S. It really gives you a picture on the behavior of skip and propagation conditions and how they affect the signals.

Going forward, I am looking forward to working with WebSDR.


Previous receivers over the decades (never owned any two radios at the same time):

1st) An ancient Grundig table-top radio (this must have came over from Germany on the Mayflower) with push-buttons for band switching and and a green "magic-eye" tuning indicator. I took all of the electronics and speaker out of it and remounted it on a flat plywood base. It was much more interesting to look at and was really cool! My uncle who gave it too me said that maybe it just needed some more "air" around it to breath better! ;-) I had a lot of fun with this radio as it was the first radio to really introduce me to the world of shortwave listening. (Sort of like a "first love".)

2nd) Allied Radio's Knight Kit Star Roamer receiver. I received this kit for the holidays and put it together. It did not work at first until my ham radio friend came over and looked at it. I really liked that the tuning dial had the types of meter bands silkscreened on it like "Amateur", "Broadcast", "WWV", "Aviation" etc. I think that it inspired a lot of imagination for a young person in thinking about the world and radio.

3rd) Hallicrafters S40B . This was given to me from some type of trade. This was a fun receiver to operate and it worked really well. It had this cool military look to it.

4th) Realistic DX-200. This really looked nice, however I was not too happy with it's stability, especially when using the Microlog SWL Morse/RTTY interface cartridge for the Commodore 64. But it was still a fun rig to use.

5th) JRC NRD-525 with an indoor active/amplified vertical antenna (Dressler ARA 40). Now into the world of digital tuning. It made me realize that I really liked and missed the analog way. With analog tuning, how effortlessly it was to breeze through a band and find the numbers stations. Now I had to rely more on schedules and "make appointments". It just wasn't the same. It was like zooming in so close to the frequency that now it would take light years to tune from one end of the band to the other. I had sold the NRD in the early 1980s to concentrate more on learning the computer at that time.

Since then I have not own any receivers or antennas but I am moving forward with WebSDR.

Thank you for visiting!

Mark F

Other images

second pic
WA4282SWL / Just sitting at the kitchen table waiting for my next directive. Just kidding! :-)

Site Rev. 18112