Monthly Archives: September 2013

Starting tonight, Radio Progreso on shortwave

Radio-Progreso-CubaAccording to Arnie Coro at Radio Havana Cuba, the Cuban medium wave broadcaster Radio Progreso will begin an “experimental” shortwave broadcast on 4,765 kHz from 00:30 till 04:00 UTC on October 1st, 2013. For those of us living in North America, this broadcast will begin at 08:30 PM EDT tonight.

I will attempt to listen and record the broadcast tonight.

Many thanks to David Goren for the tip and for Bryan Mangawhai’s original report to DX lists.

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Exterior de España

Plaza de Cibeles--MAdrid, Spain (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Plaza de Cibeles–MAdrid, Spain (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

For your listening pleasure: one hour, fifty minutes of Radio Exterior de España.

Recorded on September 16, 2013, starting at 00:00 UTC on 9,535 kHz.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Cuban Numbers Station HM01: serving up a little confusion

WFL_015On occasion, I hear the Cuban numbers station HM01 on 5,855 kHz on weekday mornings.

It seems that many of the mornings as I listen, I hear HM01 making mistakes or at least experiencing “technical difficulties” (click here for a recent case in point).

Though I don’t often record HM01, I did record it on the morning of September 20, 2013––and, yet again, I heard what seemed to be HM01 tripping over its own tongue.

Instead of the broadcast starting with numbers to identify the transmission, then implementing intermittent RDFT data bursts as per usual, this broadcast begins in the middle of a data burst, then shuffles awkwardly into a “normal” broadcast.  I imagine an operative in the field scratching his or her head…

But hear this for yourself.  Either click here to download an MP3 of the recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Worldwide All-Ireland GAA finals via RTÉ

22 September 2002; A general view of Croke Park at 3.29pm, a minute before the start of the game. Kerry v Armagh, All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

22 September 2002; A general view of Croke Park at 3.29pm, a minute before the start of the game. Kerry v Armagh, All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. (Photo credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE)

Sunday afternoon, I was at home to catch a bit of the GAA finals via RTÉ on 17,725 kHz, starting around 15:00 UTC.

I enjoy hearing sporting events broadcast over shortwave–perhaps it’s my imagination filling in the gaps from the live coverage or the washy sound of the crowds roaring.  Regardless, RTÉ has a long-standing track record of broadcasting the GAA finals on every medium possible.

As I listened to the live broadcast, Sunday, I read Norman Freeman’s account of listening to the GAA finals from a ship in the Indian Ocean, back in 1956. He writes:

“Almost 50 years ago, listening to the All-Ireland by radio was uncertain and frustrating.

In 1956, RTÉ knew how much the All-Ireland meant to the Irish diaspora. Arrangements were made with the authorities in the then French Congo to have the match rebroadcast the following evening, on the powerful short-wave transmitter in Brazzaville.

The time and frequencies were published in the Irish newspapers. This information was sent by letter to the Irish on oil rigs off the coast of Borneo, to round-the-year painters on Brooklyn Bridge, and to missionaries within sight of Mount Kilimanjaro.

I had noted the time and frequencies before I was sent out to Mumbai to join my first ship, the Amra, as second radio officer. The hurling final was between two giants, Cork and Wexford.”
[Continue reading…]

While Freeman doesn’t miss the uncertainty and fickle nature of shortwave radio as the messenger of his favorite sporting event, his look back is certainly nostalgic. After all, Radio Brazzaville transported Freeman and his boss back to Ireland for the length of the game. And to RTÉ’s credit, they continue to broadcast to the Irish diaspora on shortwave radio, if only for this event. 

If you would like to hear my recording of the GAA Finals, click here to download the MP3 recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Southgate ARC notes Ofcom’s approach to FM pirate enforcement

City_of_London(Source: Southgate ARC news)

“The UK communications regulator Ofcom have published information about tackling pirate radio

Although Ofcom have occasionally raided pirate stations operating in the 88-108 MHz band, such enforcement actions have been few and far between.

After the 2008/9 financial year, Ofcom stopped publishing their Prosecution/Formal Warning Statistics and subsequently removed all prosecution statistics from their website, perhaps to hide the fact that they no longer published them. It may be speculated the reason the statistics no longer appeared was because Ofcom had stopped undertaking enforcement action.

Currently in London there are over 25 pirate stations operating in the 88-108 MHz band. Many operate 24/7 so are not exactly difficult for Ofcom to locate if they wished.

In the Pirate Radio page Ofcom point out that they have issued Community Radio licences to former pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM and Kane FM. The inference that may be taken is Ofcom would like pirate radio stations to apply for community radio licences.

Read Ofcom’s pirate radio page at
http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2013/09/tackling-pirate-radio/

Large amounts of spectrum in 88-108 MHz will be vacated when national broadcasters shutdown their FM transmitters and move to DAB only from 2015 http://www.southgatearc.org/news/june2013/
dcms_dab_radio_reports.htm

2008/9 Ofcom radio prosecution statistics
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/may2010/ofcom_prosecutions.htm

Thanks to Mike Terry and BDXC for spotting this item”

And many thanks to the excellent Southgate ARC for posting this news.

For a brilliant mini-documentary on London pirates, check out this video.