Christian’s reception of Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel

RadioNacionalArcángelSanGabriel

On Wednesday, I received the following tweet from SWLing Post reader, Christian Diemoz, in Italy:


You can listen to Christian’s recording via Box.com.

If you’re not familiar, Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel is located on Esperanza Base in Antarctica. Here’s a bit more info from Wikipedia (and translated from Spanish into English via Google Translate):

LRA36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel (also known as Radio San Gabriel or San Gabriel Archangel Radio) is a radio station broadcasting on 15476 kHz on shortwave and 97.6 MHz for FM,  from Esperanza Base, Antarctica Argentina. Radio National Archangel Gabriel is the southernmost international radio station and the first to broadcast from the Antarctic.

The radio station was founded on October 20 of 1979 and is operated by the staff of the Argentine Army located on the base.

In its beginnings, Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel broadcast on 6030 kHz shortwave and operated with a power of 1 kilowatt .”

Since conditions have been favorable out of South America recently, I’ll attempt to hear Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel’s 10 Kw signal as well.  Thanks for the inspiration, Christian!

You can follow Christian on Twitter: @Chris_Diemoz

Posted in News, Recordings, Shortwave Radio, SWLers, What's On Shortwave | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tom’s overview of the Eton Field Radio 550

SWLing Post reader, Tom Stiles, has posted a video overview of the new Eton Field
radio:

Many thanks for sharing, Tom! Let us know how the new Eton Field Radio 550 compares with its predecessors: the 450 and 350!

You can follow Tom’s videos on his YouTube Channel.

Posted in New Products, News, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Virtual radio challenge II: two years, off grid in the Himalayas

BhutanShortwave listeners are interesting, creative people who do interesting, creative work: they’re scientists, veterans, corporate employees, students, retirees, volunteers, politicians, musicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, humanitarians, reporters, artists, researchers, sailors, pilots, pirates…and most seem to be travelers. But to say the least, they’re very diverse. The joy of the SWLing Post, for me, is the fascinating readers here and the great variety of questions and comments I receive from you.

Pack your bags! We're going on an assignment!

Pack your bags! We’re going on an assignment!

On this blog, I often write about selecting the “right” radio for home, boating, preparednessoff-grid living, and of course travel–but sometimes I like to go through the mental exercise of imagining a scenario a little more extreme.

Indeed, I occasionally receive such “extreme” questions from our readers, questions that push the limits of the hobby, demanding highly specific needs in a radio. And, I readily admit, I thoroughly enjoy these questions!  They give me a chance–and good excuse, really–to be imaginative and innovative, to push beyond mere practical or monetary constraints to consider unique environments, weather conditions, durability needs, power requirements, and/or resource availability…great fun.

If you enjoy this kind of brain game, too, check out our virtual challenge that follows:

Should you agree to take it on, you’ll need to complete it within two weeks. Why the time constraint? Let’s imagine that your flight leaves May 15th, and you’ll need to make sure you’ve received, tested, and packed all of your supplies by that date.

[By the way, this scenario is based on an actual reader question.]

Here’s your challenge…

Bhutan-001

Laya-Bhutan-Location-WikipediaLocation: LayaBhutan

Accommodation: A one room house

Electricity: Your village is completely off the electrical grid

Internet: You have no access to the Internet in the small town where you will be living. As a teacher you can use the Internet at any school in Bhutan, though you’ve been told there is no internet access in remote Laya.

Your budget: $1,200 US–which must cover all of your radio requirements (radio, antenna, batteries, and all accessories)

Flag_of_Bhutan.svgScenario: You’re serving a two year assignment as an English and Science school teacher in the extremely remote community of Laya, Bhutan. Your logistics, travel and living expenses will all be covered for you by the agency which arranges the teacher assignment.  That being said, your total amount of luggage cannot exceed the maximum amount of luggage allowed by your airline: one carry-on and two check-in bags, both of no more than 60 kg (132 lbs), total. There will be some winter weather clothing made for you locally in Laya. You’ve been told that Laya is “several days” walk from the nearest maintained road.

Once you arrive, you will primarily travel regionally within Bhutan on an infrequent basis.

View of Laya, Bhutan (Source: Roro Travel)

View of Laya, Bhutan (Source: Roro Travel)

Bhutan is a beautiful land-locked, mountainous country, nestled in the Himalayas. You will work and live in the town of Laya, Bhutan (population 3,000) as an English and Science teacher. Laya’s altitude is 3,820 meters or 12,533 feet.

Once you’ve settled in, ordering a new radio or accessories will not be an option. Repairing your radio will also be very difficult as you expect no access to electronic repair facilities. An emphasis on quality equipment is a must. You might be wise to consider a small, back-up radio as well.

You’ve allowed yourself a rather generous budget since this is such a long-term assignment. You’ve allocated $1,200 US –the price of a good laptop computer. You do not plan to bring a laptop, but you do plan to bring a lightweight tablet PC or smart phone for use when you travel regionally, in hopes that you will find internet access in other towns. Your main limitations will be:

  • Being completely off the grid
  • Weight and size of equipment
  • Allowance for alternative power supplies (how will you charge your batteries at home?)

Your small, one room stone cottage is attached to another similar cottage.  You will be able to string a wire antenna outside, and you understand that there is even “a small tree” outside the window. Weather, at this altitude, can be extreme at times.

We’ll assume you’re starting from scratch, that you have neither radio nor accessories.

Your goal is to have the best shortwave listening set-up possible for your budget and for this location.

If you are a ham radio operator (or plan to become one), you may chose a general coverage transceiver for this assignment. There is, however, no guarantee that you will be able to successfully procure a Bhutanese license, but there is some promise. (I can assure you that if you do get on the air, you’ll need to be familiar with operating split and working pile-ups!)

Obviously, the more you understand the unique geography and infrastructure of Bhutan and its limitations, the better choices you’ll make for your gear.

Limitations:

  1. You’re limited to a (virtual) budget of $1,200 US to procure your supplies; ideally, this includes shipping costs of the purchase
  2. You can select used gear, but must base your choices on reality (i.e., actually find item(s) online and document the price and time of availability). If you “shop” eBay, make sure you’re using the final price, not the current or opening bid. If you do locate something used on eBayQTH.com, QRZ.com or at Universal Radio, for example, include the link! (Just to add to the fun.)
  3. Your main objective is to listen to international broadcasters, and do a little DXing.
  4. Remember, you’ll be stuck with this radio for two full years! So choose something you’ll love to operate, and don’t forget your vital accessories.

Note that the limitations of this exercise are simply to level the playing field for everyone as well as to make the challenge a little tougher (and thus more fun!). Of course, they’re open to interpretation, but do try to honor the spirit of the game.

If you participated in our last challenge, it will be interesting to see if this one will have you opting for different equipment.

Up to the challenge? You’ve got two weeks–!

GrundigG3To participate, just comment on this post with your suggested set-up, any links, and a brief explanation for your choices.

You’re also welcome to email me directly with your response.

We’ll select some of the most interesting and relevant responses and post them in two weeks, on October 3, 2014.

Have fun!  We can’t wait to read the responses…!

Posted in News, Reader Challenges, Shortwave Radio, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

REE: Interview with Javier Sanchez, Head of Spectrum Strategy

REElogo2Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Ed, who has kindly downloaded and processed this Radio Exterior de España interview with Javier Sanchez, the Head of European Spectrum Strategy and Research and Development for REE.

The interview covers REE’s spectrum strategy and also the closure of shortwave radio services on October 1, 2014. While Mr. Sanchez is focused on delivering content via new channels (DAB and IP radio, for example), he believes it is a mistake to close all shortwave radio broadcasting as it still has both financial and content delivery advantages over newer methods.

Listen to the full interview via the embedded player below:

The part of the interview focusing on REE’s shortwave radio service begins at 13:30.

Again, many thanks for sharing this, Ed!

Posted in Broadcasters, International Broadcasting, Interviews, News, Recordings, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tecsun 2P3 AM radio kit

Tecsun2P3superhetAMkit

Many thanks to the excellent Herculodge blog for making me aware of this cool–nearly retro–Tecsun 2P3 AM Radio Receiver Kit on Amazon.

Should be a fun, inexpensive and relatively simple through-hole kit. I am curious how well the instructions are written in English. Has anyone assembled the Tecsun 2P3?

Update: Bob points out that the Tecsun 2P3 is also available on eBay. (for $26.99 US shipped)

Posted in AM, Kits, News, Radios | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Radio Exterior de España to abandon shortwave October 1st

RadioExteriorDeEspana

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Harold Woering, who recorded the announcement by Radio Exterior de España which mentions the imminent cuts to all shortwave radio broadcasts on October 1, 2014.

I’m confident this time REE’s exit will be permanent unlike the last time REE left the air in 2012.

The announcement is clear, and so is the opinion of the show host who recognizes why shortwave radio is a more accessible platform for many.

Listen to Harold’s recording below from REE’s English language broadcast service Saturday night on 6,055 kHz (00:00 UTC Sunday):

Posted in Broadcasters, International Broadcasting, News, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Song of India: shortwave broadcast added

pcjI’ve just learned from Keith Perron that the first broadcast of Song of India will be relayed via WRMI. Here are the details:

Target: Canada and the US
Frequency: 7,570 kHz
Time: October 4, 2014, 8:00 to 10:00 pm EDT (October 5th, 00:00 to 02:00 UTC)

Posted in Broadcasters, News, Schedules and Frequencies, Shortwave Radio, What's On Shortwave | Leave a comment