Happy Summer/Winter Solstice: Listening to New Zealand and Australia

Australia-NewZealand

I’ve been on the road a lot lately. A lack of time resulting from this, combined with frequent afternoon and evening thunderstorms when I am home, has meant that I’ve not had the radio time I often enjoy.

This morning,  I woke up around 5:50 AM determined to get a bit of time on the radio. After all, today is the first day of summer here in the US, and a special day for me. I walked outside and hooked my antenna back up; I had been forced to disconnect it yesterday as pop-up thunderstorms persisted throughout the afternoon and evening.

I then brewed a cup of coffee and settled into my “listening lounge” for some early morning tuning.

Elad-FDM-S2-Coffee

I started off this morning off by tuning the Elad FDM-S2 to Radio New Zealand International on 9,890 kHz in DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale). I was treated to one full hour of Peter Fry’s Saturday Night music; the DRM lock was completely stable.  Though I prefer the sonic characteristics of AM over digital modes, I’m most impressed with the audio quality DRM affords coming from a 50 kW signal being broadcast on the other side of the planet. The quality is so exceptional that, if you listen carefully, you can even hear the news reader shifting papers at the top of the hour.

That got me thinking: I’m flawlessly receiving and decoding a wireless digital audio signal from 13,500 kM away. Amazing. Especially considering that my laptop struggles to receive Wi-Fi in many hotels.

RNZI signed off after an hour, so I switched modes to AM and tuned to Radio Australia on 9,580 kHz.

BombersAs I had hoped, RA was broadcasting the second half of the AFL match featuring the Essendon Bombers who ultimately held a nine-point win over the Adelaide Crows. Alas, Radio Australia dropped the signal before the end of the final quarter, but I was able to watch the results roll in on my iPhone while making waffles in the kitchen. If this had been a World Cup match, I would have scoured the shortwaves for another Radio Australia frequency.

Immediately after tuning in RNZI, I hit the record button on the FDM-S2 (around 5:55 EDT/9:55 UTC) and didn’t stop the recording until after Radio Australia signed off, so there is a 30 second silence in the middle while I tuned and switched modes from DRM to AM.

Click here to download my full 2+ hour morning recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Depending on which hemisphere you live in, I hope you enjoy this summer–or winter– solstice.

As for me, I’m looking forward to a happy birthday with my family.  Cheers!

This entry was posted in AM, Broadcasters, DRM, News, Podcast, Recordings, Shortwave Radio, Software Defined Radio, Sports, What's On Shortwave and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Happy Summer/Winter Solstice: Listening to New Zealand and Australia

  1. james says:

    Happy Solstice on (or near) your b’day Thomas. June 21st was my dad’s birthday, too.

    I guess when you really want to hear content digital is a great option to have. Reliable reception from 8000 miles away of an hour long program is impressive, digital artifacts or not. While I’m not listening to Australian Rules Football on SW, I am taking in the Cleveland Indians on a Sony EX5-MKII playing at home against the Detroit Tigers this perfect first Summer evening here in southeast Pennsylvania. Bauer, the Indian’s starting pitcher, has just broken up a 2-2 tie ballgame by giving up back-to-back home runs. Doh!

    • Thomas says:

      Hi, James,

      Wow–your team is supposed to win if you’re listening with a Sony EX5-MKII. :)

      I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world, but there is somethign great about hearing a game on the radio. Especially if you have talented sportscasters.

      Cheers,
      Thomas

  2. james says:

    Yeah, that sync is great, but it doesn’t help the Indians win any :<} .

    Anybody know what the first MLB game was to be broadcast over the air? I've done some cursory checking and there doesn't seem to be much out there in the way of the history of the game on radio.

    It is a signal pleasure to listen to talented sportscasters call a game. Baseball on the radio is perfect theatre of the mind. I prefer the gents in the radio booth to the three man teams on television because they're content to let the game wash over them, and by extension, us. Every franchise it seems has its tandem of silken voiced warblers in the booth. I love the unhurried collegiality of the men behind the mike, the hush and murmur of the crowd, the stately progress of the game, and the promise of renewal each game and season brings. Boys of Summer indeed.

  3. james says:

    Yeah, that sync is great, but it doesn’t help the Indians win any :<} .

    Anybody know what the first MLB game was to be broadcast over the air? I've done some cursory checking and there doesn't seem to be much out there in the way of the history of the game on radio.

    It is a signal pleasure to listen to talented sportscasters call a game. Baseball on the radio is perfect theatre of the mind. I prefer the gents in the radio booth to the three man teams on television because they're content to let the game wash over them, and by extension, us. Every franchise it seems has its tandem of silky voiced warblers in the booth. I love the unhurried collegiality of the men behind the mike, the hush and murmur of the crowd, the stately progress of the game, and the promise of renewal each game and season brings. Boys of Summer indeed.

  4. Pingback: RNZI: Peter Fry says goodbye to Saturday Nights | The SWLing Post

  5. Nigel Holmes says:

    That’s an illuminating sample Thomas. RAs 9580 at 10 UT comes usually from a Continental 418F. Its stable mate is a shiny new 418G capable of 40 kW DRM (RNZI uses Thomson tx). The 418G was commissioned in DRM as well as AM.

    What aerial were you using with the Elad?

    Radio Australia is reviewing the costs & alternatives for delivering its programs into crucial markets across the Pacific. DRM may be utilised for delivery to part-time FM relays beyond the economical reach of IP or satellite feeds.

    I agree with the comments about radio embracing the listener with an intimate media experience. Philip Adams is a popular radio broadcaster here. Listening to his programs is sublime (on RA too). Not quite the same if you put him on TV. Of course outstanding radio content is vastly cheaper to produce & distribute than crap TV too.

  6. Thomas says:

    Nigel,

    Thanks for filling in those details on the TX side!

    Regarding my aerial, I use a large multi-band sky loop antenna (a horizontal delta loop). It’s probably 60+ feet high and there’s enough wore in it that I can get a good match all the way down on the 160M band. I use a remote (external) antenna tuner to tune the loop. Probably 40 feet of coax to the external ATU, then ladder line feeds the loop.

    Nigel, now you’ve got me focused on trying to catch Late Night Live to hear Adams on RA! I know I’ve heard his interviews before, but I don’t think I’ve ever snagged an off-air recording.

    Many thanks for your comments which are always welcome!

    Cheers,
    Thomas

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