NDR - Gruss an Bord: December 24, 2018

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Two live, off-air, two-hour recordings of the special annual Gruss an Bord broadcast from German broadcaster NDR, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, on 24 December 2018 beginning at 19:00 UTC. The broadcast features Christmas music and greetings for mariners around the world and a church service. The Christmas greetings were recorded at two events on the second Advent Sunday (9 December) in Leer and on the third Advent Sunday (16 December) in Hamburg. Relatives and friends had the opportunity to wish their loved ones at sea a happy holiday and a happy new year. The Leer event featured the Bingumer Shanty Choir and the trio Anne-Fleur Schoch trio while the Hamburg event featured Isabella Rapp and the Lars-Luis Linek band. At about 21:00, there was a protestant Christmas Mass from the Neust├Ądter Hof and Stadtkirche St. Johannis in Hanover. The broadcast was primarily in German with some greetings and songs in English. A news bulletin preceded the program segments at 19:00 and 22:00 UTC.

In addition to being carried on the NDR Info and NDR Info Spezial networks, the broadcast was transmitted around the world on shortwave using transmitters in Nauen (NAU), Germany; Moosbrunn (MOS), Austria; Issoudun (ISS), France; and Gavar (ERV), Armenia; and was organized by Media Broadcast.

The schedule for 1900-2100 UTC was:
6030 kHz ERV 100 kW / 305 deg to West/Central Europe
6080 kHz NAU 125 kW / 250 deg to Northern Atlantic
9570 kHz MOS 100 kW / 115 deg to Indian Ocean East
9740 kHz NAU 125 kW / 130 deg to Indian Ocean West
9800 kHz ISS 250 kW / 148 deg to Indian Ocean/South Africa
11650 ISS 250 kW / 195 deg to Southern Atlantic
and for 2100-2300 UTC:
6145 kHz NAU 125 kW / 250 deg to Northern Atlantic
6155 kHz ERV 100 kW / 305 deg to West/Central Europe
9590 kHz ISS 250 kW / 148 deg to Indian Ocean/South Africa
9650 kHz MOS 100 kW / 115 deg to Indian Ocean East
9720 kHz NAU 125 kW / 130 deg to Indian Ocean West
9830 kHz ISS 250 kW / 195 deg to Southern Atlantic

The first recording is primarily of the transmission on the frequency of 11650 kHz between 19:00 and about 20:00 UTC, then switching to the frequency of 6080 kHz. During the news bulletin, the various frequencies were tried. The second recording is of the transmission between about 21:00 and 23:00 UTC on the frequency of 6145 kHz. Again, the various frequencies were tried to find the best one.

The transmissions were received outdoors on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 5 kHz RF filtering. Reception started out just fair and somewhat noisy, not surprising given that the receiver was not in a target zone. Improves slightly with change of frequency at 20:00 UTC. Reception during the second recording was fairly good but, again, with some noise.