Check out the new web-based KiwiSDR in New Zealand

Kiwi-SDR-1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Borgnino, who shares a link to a new web SDR in New Zealand: The KiwiSDR installation.

Andrea posted the following on Twitter:

I agree with Andrea: this WebSDR has an amazing display and user interface. It even includes both a spectrum and full-color waterfall.

I’ve enjoyed tuning around the mediumwave band in New Zealand this morning. My Internet connection is terribly slow (and unreliable) but I was still able to view the full display while streaming audio with only a few hiccups.  With a moderately robust Internet connection, I believe you’ll be pleased with the KiwiSDR.

Click here to visit the KiwiSDR online.

Many thanks, Andrea, for the tip!

The Mighty KBC is seeking sponsorship

DX-402-KBC-2

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike Nikolich (N9OVQ), who writes:

Hi, Tom:

Uncle Eric mentioned [this past weekend] on The Mighty KBC (6040 kHz) around 0145 UTC that they will be leaving the airwaves if they cannot attract enough advertising revenue.

I would really miss this radio station if it left the air. 

[…]I’m sure Kenwood, ICOM, Ham Radio Outlet and C Crain have enough discretionary funds to advertise on this station and I can’t imagine a more targeted ad buy for shortwave listeners than The Mighty KBC.

Thanks for the message, Mike! Yes, I would also miss The Mighty KBC if they left the air–their music program, “The Giant Jukebox” is one of my favorites.

If you have any sponsorship leads or ideas, please contact The Mighty KBC via their website.

Paul schedules new shortwave broadcasts via WRMI, WBCQ and Channel 292

SP600Dial3

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul Walker, who writes:

I will be doing another broadcast on Shortwave and it’s going to be even bigger and better right now.

Tentatively, this is how the broadcast schedule times/frequencies work out to be:

  • WBCQ 5110khz and 9330khz Friday March 11th, 2016
    10pm to 12midnight Eastern (which is 0300 to 0500 UTC Saturday March 12th)
  • WRMI 11580khz Thursday March 10th, 2016 Thursday March 10th, 2016
    8pm to 10pm Eastern (which is 0100 to 0300utc on Friday March 11th)
  • Channel 292, 6070khz (Germany transmitter site) Friday March 110th, 2016
    10pm to 12midnight UK time (which is 5pm to 7pm eastern, not that Channel 292 can be heard in the US… just giving you a frame of reference)

I am in the process of booking all this time, so something could change in terms of times/dates between now and the broadcast dates.

I’ll be doing 2 hours of rock n roll and country music .. no commercials, no pleading for money, no asking for donations.. just me, playing the music I like.. because. well I want to and I can.

I’m paying for time on all 4 of these stations out of MY OWN POCKET, again for no reason, other then I want to.

So many complain about what radio lacks, wether am, fm or sw and lament about the old days or suggest what would work today.. but want it done with other people’s money.. they won’t put up and shut up. What I do won’t change radio or make much of a difference in the grand scheme of shortwave radio, but I can have fun and share my love of radio and music with others.

I am trying to secure an hour or two on a United Kingdom area AM station as well if it is affordable and I can find one to sell me time.

Writing to you from an apartment only 500 feet from the frozen Yukon river in Alaska’s interior region.

Excellent news, Paul! Please keep us informed as I’m happy to post any updates you may have. We’ll be listening!

Hallicrafters booth at the 1970 Consumer Electronics Show

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bob, who writes:

A great photo for your blog, for no particular reason…

[The image above is a] part of a long blog post by Lenovo about CES history, but I did not see any attribution to Hallicrafters.

Here is the post:

http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/ces-history-technology-consumer-electronics-show/

Very, very cool! What I wouldn’t give to travel back to the CES shows of the 1970s and 80s.

According to the Levono blog, the 1970 CES was when the VCR made its debut. Amazing.

Thanks again, Bob.

I’m curious if any SWLing Post readers have attended the CES in past decades.  I really wanted to attend CES in the 1990s, but since I was a university student half of that decade, I never had the funds (or justification) to do so!

Your favorite radio stations that stream online?

The Grace Digital Mondo WiFi radio

The Grace Digital Mondo WiFi radio

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with WiFi radios.

You see, I’ve been preparing a three part series about WiFi radios for The Spectrum Monitor magazine (Part 1 will appear in the April 2016 issue). Not only have I been evaluating and reviewing several radios, but also station aggregators: the curated databases of radio stations to which WiFi radios link.

Internet radio = Local radio discovery

Internet (or Web/WiFi) radio is a fantastic platform for discovering small, even semi-isolated, community radio stations that, until the Internet, had never broadcast signals beyond their local communities. With Internet radio, we can enjoy these stations as if we, too, are locals. Local becomes international.

WHKY-AM-Radio-Tower

As I travel, I try to note the callsigns of AM/FM radio stations I enjoy.

Sadly, not all of my favorite local radio stations stream online as it’s a major expense for a small broadcaster and yields very little in the way of ad revenue. After all, who in South Africa is going to buy auto parts from a store in Homer Alaska? It’s a conundrum for sure, and one shared by private shortwave broadcasters.

Still, there are a number of stations that do manage to have a reliable streams online.

In no particular order, here’s a short list–a handful–of some of my favorite stations that stream (click on the callsign to listen to the station live):

  • WTZQ Everything from Glenn Miller to Steve Miller (Hendersonville, NC)
  • WXRC Classic Rock (Charlotte, NC)
  • WDRV Classic Rock (Chicago, IL)
  • WHGM Classic Hits (Havre de Grace, MD)
  • WFED Federal News Radio (Washington, DC)
  • CBAL French language music from (Moncton, NB, Canada)
  • CKUT McGill University radio, (Montreal, Canada)
  • CIAO World Music and Talk Radio (Brampton, ON, Canada)
  • 6WF ABC local talk and music (Perth, Australia)
  • Fréquence 2 (Ivory Coast, Africa)
  • CFZM Nostalgia (Toronto, Canada)
  • Saint-Pierre & Miquelon 1ère French music/talk (St. Pierre and Miquelon)
  • WNMB 1950’s music (North Myrtle Beach, SC)
  • KBON Cajun/Zydeco/Blues and variety (Louisiana, USA)

What are your favorite stations?

Please comment and share some of your favorite streaming AM/FM radio stations! I’m all ears!

China Radio International’s overwhelming AM bandwidth via Havana

Scott-Marine-SLR-M-Dial

This morning, I listened to Radio Australia on 9,580 kHz with my WWII era Scott Marine Radio SLR-M (above).

Radio Australia provides a reliable, strong signal into North America every morning and it’s where I typically tune for the morning news at the top of the hour.

China Radio International also fires up on the adjacent frequency of 9570 kHz around 1200 UTC–their signal is also incredibly strong here as it’s relayed from Radio Havana Cuba at 250 kW. CRI’s bandwidth is almost always wider than 10 kHz–indeed, it’s often 20 kHz–which means that it completely wipes out any average adjacent signal.

Indeed, when I’m testing selectivity on portable shortwave radios, I’ll often tune to Radio Australia and wait for CRI to fire up on 9570 kHz. If the portable radio can still lock onto Radio Australia after CRI is on the air–or, better yet, if an upper side band sync lock can eliminate all traces of CRI–I know the receiver has decent selectivity.

This morning, when CRI began transmitting at 1200 UTC, their signal completely wiped out every trace of Radio Australia. Though the SLR-M’s narrow AM filter is still quite wide, it can typically cope with the adjacent CRI carrier.

I fired up the TitanSDR to see what CRI’s signal looked like on a spectrum display–here’s what I found:

China-Radio-International-Bandwidth

CRI’s AM bandwidth was 30+ kHz wide! 

In my book, that was an abusive use of the band.

This was, by no means, an isolated event. It was just particularly annoying for me this morning as I was enjoying a good cup of coffee and the morning ABC news.

I’ll send a message to CRI and RHC about this, but I have my doubts anyone will take action.

Okay–sorry about the rant!

Sweden (Again) Rejects DAB

Degen-DE27Digital Radio FM Europe blog is reporting Sweden wants to keep FM radio:

Parliament Confirms Rejection of DAB Radio in Sweden [updated]

Public radio continues on FM and will push for extending its remit to include digital radio online.

The Constitutional Standing Committee (KU) in Riksdagen (the Parliament) has processed the government missive regarding the 2015 National Audit review of digital radio in which the proposal for a transition from FM to DAB+ in 2017-2022 was rejected. After a short debate and without objection from any of the eight political parties Riksdagen today appended the missive to the protocol. This marks the end of 24 years of efforts to replace FM with DAB in Sweden.
Already in June 2015 the Government took the decision to reject the proposal for a digital transition for terrestrial radio. In November this was piggy-backed in the budget proposal to the Parliament.
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This vote in the committee did not come as a big surprise as there has been an increasing skepticism in most parties against closing the FM band. A year ago in the consultation round the proposal was put into question or rejected by most qualified state institutions as PTS the telecom authority, KTH Royal Institute Of Technology, the Armed Forces, the Transport Agency and the Competition Authority as well as organizations as Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, Ericsson and the Community Radio Assn.
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KU has been listening to the arguments for DAB+ from the two commercial networks and the public radio Sveriges Radio (SR) as well as critical comments by the Public Service Council. KU notes that the Government in its missive says that it cannot be ruled out that the question of digitalization of terrestrial radio will be on a future agenda. KU is satisfied with the Government plan to observe international developments. However, there was no other comments by the committee other than the missive should be appended to the protocol.
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This marks the end of 24 year period of futile efforts to introduce the DAB technology in Sweden. SR started testing DAB in Stockholm continuous since 1992 and officially went on air 1995 the same year as BBC introduced DAB in the UK.  2005 DAB was rejected for the first time by the social democratic government. Program have been broadcast in an inofficial mode via DAB and DAB+ transmitter in four major cities but few listeners are reported.
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Today up to a third of all listening on the public radio channels are on-line. This is much due to the high smartphone usage on 3G/4G LTE networks in Sweden. While forced to leave the DAB agenda SR will now request that the politicians will include its Internet activities in the next public service remit 2018.
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The two commercial radio networks Bauer and MTG still hold licenses to start DAB+ broadcasting later this year. But they are not expected to go DAB alone without having the public radio onboard. 60 % of the radio audience in Sweden is listening to SR. In the consultation round the DAB proposal was rejected by the community radio organisations.

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.