VOA and RFA via homemade radios in North Korea

FlagNorthKoreaMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Anil, for sharing this article regarding the importance and inspiration radio provides to many North Koreans. This comes from our favorite North Korea independent news site, NK News.

Here’s a quote from the article from a North Korean defector known as “Park”:

“I have been listening to the North Korea Reform Radio and other outside radios since 13 years ago,” he said.

Using this homemade radio, Park could access VOA, RFA, NKRR, VOP, RFC and ONK over the past five years.

“Frankly, the ideological education in North Korea is so strong that many people including myself could not believe the content of the outside world radio,” he said of his first experience listening with the device. “I was once certain that this radio signal was sent by someone who was trying to deceive us.

“But this radio played strong role in motivating me to escape North Korea. My friends and I used to regularly listened to NKRR and other radio programs inside the underground hideout.

“Many told me to quit listening to those radio signals and start making money for myself, but with the help of this radio, I finally decided to escape the North.”

Read the full article, including a description and photos of Park’s homemade radio at NK News.

In addition, note that North Korea is the theme of this year’s San Fransisco Hackathon.

To follow other posts about North Korea, please note the tag: North Korea

Posted in Clandestine, International Broadcasting, News, Shortwave Radio, What's On Shortwave | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Pirate Joe via WBCQ

SX-99-Dial

For your listening pleasure: one hour of Pirate Joe.

My good friend–and SWLing Post reader–Mike Hansgen recently apprised me that WHVW’s Pirate Joe show is being relayed on WBCQ here in North America in the afternoons. Last week I recorded Pirate Joe starting at 3:00 PM (EDT). Propagation was not in our favor, so the signal strength is low, but the program is still enjoyable.

If you’d like more info about Pirate Joe, follow this link.

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

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Dave’s Radio Receiver Page has a new home

Dave was a contributing editor to Passport To World Band Radio--you'll find a number of in-depth shortwave radio reviews on his site.

Dave Zantow (N9EWO) was a contributing editor to Passport To World Band Radio from 2000-2009. You’ll find a number of in-depth shortwave radio reviews on his site.

I’ve just been notified by Dave Zantow (N9EWO) that he has moved his excellent receiver page to a new home on the web. For many years Dave has been using the free web host Anglefire, but a lack of reliability and invasive ads prompted him to move to a new host via Charter.

Click here and bookmark Dave’s Radio Receiver Page!

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SWLing on a mountain with the Tecsun R1212A

Tecsun-R1212A-MtMitchellLast week we visited Mount Mitchell, the highest elevation in North America east of the Mississippi River.

We enjoyed a leisurely picnic at the mountain’s state park, and since I had a little extra time, I pulled out the Tecsun R1212A I carry in my messenger bag, and tuned to Deutsche Welle. Even though propagation wasn’t superb that day, the little Tecsun did a fine job pulling in a DW service targeting Africa.

Tecsun-R1212A-MtMitchell-2My friend the Professor had convinced me to purchase the R1212A as an open-box deal Anon-Co listed several months ago, and I’m glad he did. Not only does it have great shortwave sensitivity, but it has superb AM (medium wave) reception–indeed, it’s one of the best portables I have that can null out unwanted MW signals.

The Tecsun R1212A is no longer produced, but occasionally they pop up on eBay (click here to search for one).

Anyone else have this little portable?

Posted in AM, News, Radios, Shortwave Radio, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BBC World Service Documentary: “Hang On, I’ll Just Speak to the World”

BBC-WorldServiceMany thanks to Mike Barraclough who shares this documentary about the BBC World Service from 1982: “Hang On, I’ll Just Speak to the World.”

I’ve embedded video players and linked to each of the four parts on YouTube:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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

Radio deals: Tecsun PL-380, Grundig Mini 400, G5 and Satellite 750

Grundig-Mini400-RadioGrundig Mini 400

Discount retailer, Blinq.com is selling the Grundig Mini 400 for $15.09 US shipped.

I have a Mini 400; it’s a handy radio, though not especially sensitive. The built-in speaker is rather shallow as the radio is very thin–you can’t expect great audio fidelity.

Still, $15.09 is an excellent deal for a small radio that can be tucked away in your car’s glove compartment for impromptu SWLing.

Grundig G5

GrundigG5Blinq.com  is also selling a number of used Grundig G5′s via Amazon.com and via their website for $45.59 US shipped.

According to Blinq.com, these units are slightly used and may show some signs of wear. The Grundig G5 is a great, full featured radio that is no longer in production. The G5 is a sensitive and selective radio–certainly a great deal at $45.59. Note, however, that some G5′s have a rubberized coating that, over time, can feel sticky. We have a couple of posts that describe how to remove the sticky residue.

Grundig Satellite 750

Grundig-Satellite-750Blinq.com is also selling a number of used Satellite 750′s for $170.19 via Amazon.com and their own site. The ’750 is a larger footprint portable shortwave radio that has above average performance. I like the large controls and analog signal meter. Audio fidelity from the 750′s built-in speaker is also top-notch. The 750 is surprisingly light weight for its size.

Keep in mind that all of the radios above are used units; most likely open box items Blinq.com acquired. If you purchase one, test it thoroughly and contact Blinq if you notice any problems. SWLing Post reader, Eric (WD8RIF), purchased a used DX-402 from Blinq.com two weeks ago–turns out his unit was defective. Blinq gave Eric a hassell-free refund within a couple of days.

Tecsun PL-380

My Tecsun PL-380 and the small Eagle Creek pack that also holds my Zoom H1 recorder, earphones, audio cables, external antenna, spare batteries and Kindle.

My Tecsun PL-380 and the small Eagle Creek pack that also holds my Zoom H1 recorder, earphones, audio cables, external antenna, spare batteries and Kindle.

The price of the Tecsun PL-380 was recently lowered to $41.99 US (shipped) on Amazon.com. Price includes a new unit with headphones, clip on antenna, and soft case.

As I’ve mentioned before, the PL-380 is one of my favorite compact travel radios. I’m very tempted to buy a spare one.

Posted in News, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

CC Skywave release delayed

CC-SkywaveSWLing Post reader, Ed, writes:

“It looks like the new SW/AM/FM/Air  Skywave radio from C.Crane will be delayed according to their website. The new date for release will be October 31st. But, you can reserve yours now to avoid the rush that is sure to come.”

I hope to review this radio shortly after its release. Click here to view the CC Skywave on C.Crane’s website.

Posted in New Products, News, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , | Leave a comment