RNZ Sounds Historical: 90 years since first NZ/UK radio contact

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Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Frank Holden, for sharing this episode of Sounds Historical via Radio New Zealand. In commemoration of the first radio link between New Zealand and the UK, host Jim Sullivan features a 1964 recording of New Zealand radio pioneers, Frank and Brenda Bell:

(Source: Radio New Zealand)

The first radio link between New Zealand and England took place 90 years ago yesterday and last night it was re-enacted. In 1964 at the time of the 40th anniversary Frank and Brenda Bell recalled the 1924 event which Frank Bell orchestrated from their home in Shag Valley, East Otago. His sister Brenda recalls the historic occasion from her home. The recording was made at Shag Valley to mark the 40th anniversary between Frank and Cecil Goyder of London. Allan Frame and Clive Liddell also recall the event. Then Martin Balch reports from the vents at Shag Valley Station on 18 October 2014. He talks to Mike ZL4OL from Dunedin, Dave Mulder, ZL4DK and Mike Mather ZL2CC from Gisborne. Frank Bells’ great-grandchildren Henry and Lucy re-create the 1924 event by talking to children at Mill Hill School, London.

Below, I have embedded audio players for Part 1 and Part 2 of Sounds Historical. While I would encourage you to listen to the whole show, you’ll find the anniversary recording in Part 2 beginning around 36:00. Enjoy:

Part 1

Part 2

If you’d like to read more about this historic event, check out this article on nzhistory.net.nz. The Otago Daily Times also features a photo of the transmitter the Bells used.

I’m a little surprised to discover no articles about Frank or Brenda Bell on Wikipedia (of course, their uncle, Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell is featured).

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: The Talking Machine Show

EdisonRecordSleeveLivingArtistFor your listening pleasure: 30 minutes of  The Talking Machine Show via WWCR. This broadcast was recorded October 18, 2014 at 2300 UTC, on the shortwave frequency of 9350 kHz.

A big hat tip to SWLing Post reader, Thomas Ally, who first informed me about The Talking Machine Show via WWCR. As many of you may know, I’m a sucker for early recordings and radio nostalgia!

This recording was made with the Elad FDM-S2 SDR and horizontal delta loop antenna. Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Posted in News, Nostalgia, Recordings, Shortwave Radio, What's On Shortwave | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Close outs: Grundig G2 and RadioShack digital recorder

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Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike (K8RAT), who notes the Grundig G2 is now being sold at close out pricing.

Universal Radio is currently selling the G2 for $54.98 while Amazon has a price of $52.95.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the Grundig G2. It packs a lot of features and has good audio for the size, but tuning through the shortwave bands is somewhat cumbersome and the listener is limited to 5 kHz steps. Still, this radio also doubles as a stand-alone MP3 player and even records. FM reception is very good.

RS-MP3-recorder

[Update: See Ron's comments about this digital recorder below before making a purchase. This recorder has a serious weakness.]

I also noted that Blinq.com and Amazon have a Radio Shack 4GB Desktop Digital Voice Recorder (Model #1400214) on sale. While I’m not at all familiar with this recorder, the price is very attractive. It has a line-in (great for recording directly from a radio’s line out jack), SD card expansion, and very simple controls–reminiscent of old school cassette recorders.

I have no idea how well it performs as there are very few reviews on the ‘net, but with pricing in the $20-25 range, it seems like a bargain. I love the simple controls mounted on the face of the recorder.

Blinq.com is selling the RadioShack recorder for $24.99 shipped, Amazon.com actually has one left (at time of posting) for $19.99.

Has anyone ever used this digital recorder?

SWLing Post reader, Ron, writes:

“Stay away from the Radioshack digital recorder.

It works fine, is set up just like a cassette recorder. And just like a cassette recorder the sound in mono-all on one side!”

Many thanks, Ron.  Yes, I would avoid the recorder knowing this.

 

Posted in News, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Video: How to fight radio noise in urban areas

LondonLondon Shortwave, a regular contributor to the SWLing Post, lives in London, England and copes with serious amounts of radio noise (QRM) at his home. Unlike many urban radio listeners, the QRM didn’t chase him away from the hobby, rather he looked at it as a challenge. Besides taking his radio kit outdoors to escape the noise, he also has a noise mitigation set-up at his home which has been refined over the years.

London Shortwave shared this video demonstration earlier this year on his YouTube channel. Here’s his description:

In this video I demonstrate an improvement to indoor radio reception quality, which is possible to achieve in an urban environment.

I compare using a Tecsun PL-390 portable receiver to a radio set-up that combines Lowe HF-150’s sync detector, the Wellbrook active loop antenna and real-time noise reduction software.

I recently told London Shortwave that he’s a QRM-fighting Samurai; I believe he certainly deserves the title!

Any other QRM Samurai’s out there?

Posted in How To, News, QRM, Shortwave Radio, Tutorials, Videos | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Grundig G8 Traveller II price drops

Grundig-G8-Traveller-IIMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike (K8RAT), for informing me that the Grundig G8 Traveller II is now available for a close-out price of $34.98 at Universal Radio and $33.99 at Amazon.com.

I’m sure this low price is to make space for the new Eton Traveller III.

I owned a the G8 Traveller II for a few years and eventually gave it to a friend. It’s a simple radio, but quite an effective receiver. I love the international time dial (and glad they kept it on the Traveller III)–it came in handy when crossing time zones.

Negatives? Well there is no keypad for direct entry, very few controls and the receiver mutes between frequencies. Still, the audio is great and it gets high marks from me for MW/SW and FM reception.

For $35, it’s an excellent bargain for a handy, über-portable, travel radio. I’m tempted to buy another…

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RTÉ postpones long wave closure until January 19, 2015

rte-logo-web1This is a follow up to a previous post:

(Source: RTÉ)

RTÉ is postponing the closure of its long wave radio transmitter, the Managing Director of RTÉ Radio has told the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications.

Jim Jennings said what was evident was that more time was needed to engage with groups affected.

The closure has been postponed to 19 January 2015.

RTÉ had previously announced that it would be ceasing its service from the Clarkstown long wave transmitter on 27 October and migrating its Radio One service to digital platforms.

Mr Jennings said the decision to cease any RTÉ public service is not something that RTÉ takes lightly or without serious consideration.

He said: “We know that such decisions affect audiences who enjoy and rely on RTÉ’s services.

“However, we also know that the public expect us to manage our operations and services efficiently and evolve our services as technology changes and audiences adapt.”

“In balancing these broad considerations we have come to the decision that now is the right time to cease our long wave Radio One service after ten years on air.”

Continue reading on the RTÉ website.

In North America, RTÉ longwave is a tough DX. Still, during the quiet conditions of December, I may just try to catch them one evening.

Though the RTÉ website has already removed the long wave frequency from their Ways To Listen page, you can find them on 252 kHz. 

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The BBC Genome Project

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Many thanks to Mike Barraclough who shares this news:

“BBC has today launched a website publishing every BBC programme ever broadcast by the Corporation from digitised editions of the Radio Times 1923-2009. Getting occasional internal errors at the moment presumably due to heavy use following publicity. Well designed and easy to search. http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/

The archive is quite deep–if you’re the nostalgic type, expect to spend a few hours browsing.

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