DXer.ca: Down but not out

DXerDotCaMany of you might have noticed that the popular Canadian DX website, DXer.ca, has been offline for a few days.

The server where DXer.ca is hosted has been under a persistent “denial of service” attack (much like we experienced last year) which has forced a move to a different web host.

I’ve been in touch with Colin Newell, editor and creator of DXer.ca, and he’s hopeful he’ll have DXer.ca back online within a few days or (worse-case) few weeks.

We’ll make an announcement when DXer.ca is live again!  Good luck, Colin!

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Introducing Shortwave’s Newest Broadcaster: Global 24 Radio

Global24

This is one of the most exciting developments I’ve seen in international broadcasting in ages: an around-the-clock, fixed-frequency, commercial shortwave radio broadcaster, transmitting via WRMI.

The new Global24 will begin broadcasting on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 19:00 EDT (0000 UTC November 1st) on 9395 kHz.

Below, you’ll find Global24’s first press release:

(Source: Global24Radio.com)

(Hollywood, FL) Oct. 21, 2014 – Global 24 Radio LLC announced today that its inaugural broadcast will go live at 7:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31 (0000 UTC November 1), with a line-up of new and well-known programs and around-the-clock English language programming.  The broadcast can be heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 9395 kHz on WRMI broadcasting from Okeechobee, Florida.

“We’re very excited about launching Global 24 and the important contributions it will make to shortwave radio listening – as both a medium worth preserving and a vital part of the modern media mix for so many listeners around the world,” said Phil Workman, general manager of Global 24.   “Our broadcast will appeal to dedicated shortwave listeners (SWL) all over the world looking for breaking news, opinion and music.”

Global 24 aims to revitalize the shortwave medium by bringing general interest news and entertainment into sharper focus for listeners looking for high quality programming on a daily basis.  Regular listeners will be informed, entertained and engaged in an ever more complex world.

According to Jeff White, general manager of WRMI,  “Global 24 represents another step in the long overdue commercialization of shortwave radio.  We are excited to be working with them on their ambitious program to engage and entertain a global audience.”

Additional press releases in coming days will announce our broadcast schedule, our Listeners’ Club, contests, sponsors, our web store, staff and much more.  Follow us on Twitter at @Global24Radio or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/global24radio.  Visit our website:  http://www.global24radio.com  to join our email newsletter for the most current updates.

I’m in contact with Global24 and will continue to post updates as they become available.

Simply follow the tag: Global24

Posted in Broadcasters, International Broadcasting, News, Schedules and Frequencies, Shortwave Radio, What's On Shortwave | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Radio blackout: X-Ray Event exceeds X1

latest_sxi

I’ve heard from several of you this morning that the shortwave bands are dead.

It’s not your radio…it’s our sun. We’re currently experiencing an X-ray event exceeding X1 on the NOAA Space Weather Scale. This equates to wide area blackout of HF radio communication and loss of radio contact for about an hour on sunlit side of Earth.

SWLing Post reader, Richard Langley, shares this space weather alert from NOAA:

Space Weather Message Code: SUMX01
Serial Number: 105
Issue Time: 2014 Oct 22 1454 UTC

SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2014 Oct 22 1402 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Oct 22 1428 UTC
End Time: 2014 Oct 22 1450 UTC
X-ray Class: X1.6
Optical Class: 2b
Location: S14E13
NOAA Scale: R3 – Strong

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales

Potential Impacts: Area of impact consists of large portions of the sunlit side of Earth, strongest at the sub-solar point.

Radio – Wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour.

Fear not, this shall eventually pass and SWLing will return to normal. Indeed, you might even catch a few rare band openings between event. I believe you can expect overall unsettled conditions near term, based on recent solar history.

Posted in News, Shortwave Radio, Space Weather | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Uncovering Wullenweber’s “Elephant Cages”

800px-CDAA_Elmendorf_AFBMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bill Patalon, for sharing this article via Gizmodo:

In the early days of electronic espionage, the US intelligence community didn’t have the benefit of all-seeing spy satellites—it had to intercept and interpret high-frequency radio waves transmitted by the Soviet Union. To do so, the Americans relied on a network of mysterious structures whose real purpose was kept highly classified throughout the Cold War.

Nicknamed “Elephant Cages” by outside observers, these structures were actually high-frequency antenna arrays, part of the US military’s AN/FLR-9 “Iron Horse” system. These arrays, commonly known as “Wullenweber” antennas—and named after German WWII scientist, Dr. Hans Rindfleisch was Wullenwever—are a type of Circularly Disposed Antenna Array (CDAA). They can be used for a variety of purposes from intelligence gathering and identifying high-value targets to navigation and search and rescue operations.

Each elephant cage consisted of an inner ring of antennas tuned for high frequency waves surrounded by one or more outer rings tuned for lower frequencies. These antennas would listen for HF radio waves bouncing off the ionosphere (which is what also allows HF radios to communicate beyond the horizon) and triangulate the precise location of the signal’s source.

Click here to continue reading at Gizmodo…

If you’d like to read more about “Elephant Cages” check out the following links:

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

london-geographical-institute_the-peoples-atlas_1920_dominion-of-new-zealand_3012_3992_600

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).

Posted in Broadcasters, News, Nostalgia, Radio History, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

GrundigG2Front

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 , | 5 Comments