Author Archives: Thomas

New Brunswick town “haunted by the radio”

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I’m very happy to see that the CBC has reported on the premier of Amanda Dawn Christie’s film, Spectres of Shortwave.

(Source: CBC)

For seven decades, a mysterious site on the Trans-Canada highway marked Sackville, New Brunswick. Where the hills and trees faded just past the Nova Scotia border, 13 120-metre towers rose up from the town’s Tantramar Marsh. They encompassed CBC’s Radio-Canada International (RCI) shortwave broadcasting site, built during the Second World War to send broadcasts worldwide.

Like others in the area, artist and filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie was fascinated by the site — which not only transmitted Canadian content around the world in various languages, but also relayed Radio Free Europe broadcasts during the Cold War. This week, she’s premieringSpectres of Shortwave, her experimental documentary film on the site, at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. It’s a project seven years in the making.

“[The transmission site’s] purpose wasn’t for the locals,” Christie says. “So my interest was in what its relationship was to the local people who lived around it.” That relationship was more than just landscape: the transmission site affected the appliances, homes and even dreams of local residents.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full story.

NPOTA Activations this morning!

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If you’re around the radio this morning (Sunday, Sep 25), and you’d like to make some NPOTA contacts, note that I plan activate:

Look for me around 14,286 kHz and 7286 kHz +/- 6 kHz.

Once again, I’ll operate the lightweight Elecraft KX2/EFT Trail-Friendly combo–and that’s a good thing. To activate these sites, I’ll log at least 1 hour 15 minutes of hiking (the AT portion over steep terrain). Having a small radio package makes the experience much more enjoyable!

I hope to hear you on the air or, perhaps, you’ll hear me. I expect there will be a lot of NPOTA activators in the field today.  Should be a lot of fun!

A new way to navigate the BBC Archives

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Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who shares a link to this article on the BBC Blog:

Currently there are over 15,000 permanently available programmes, largely radio programmes, on the BBC website dating back decades, but they can be very difficult to find. From today, we’re launching a new piece of technology called ADA (Automated Data Architecture) that unearths and helps people navigate the BBC’s rich archive of permanently available programmes.

As you can see below, it adds a list of related topic tags under the description of the programme. So if you’ve just listened to an episode on Ada Lovelace and were interested in other notable women of the Victorian era, you can now click that tag and find all the permanently available programmes on that topic. There are programmes on Beatrix Potter, Florence Nightingale and Sylvia Pankhurst to name a few. There will also be up to three recommended programmes on the right hand side, with a link to the topic that connects them.

This seemingly small change to a programme page can lead you down interesting little alleyways to fascinating places you never expected to visit. For example, starting off at Ada Lovelace can take you all the way to a programme on Julius Caesar via ‘the Byron family’ followed by ‘Fellows of the Royal Society’ then ‘Captain James Cook’ and finally the ‘Deaths by stabbing’ topic tags. Give it a try here and see where you end up.

Some programmes like Desert Island Discs, which have a lot of programmes available, have navigation which is tailored very carefully to the brand. This makes it easy to find programmes but also means the system cannot be re-used across other BBC brands or programmes.[…]

Click here to continue reading this article on the BBC Blog.

eBay Sighting: Sony CRF-V21

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Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, London Shortwave, who shared a link to this Sony CRF-V21 on eBay:

Click here to view on eBay UK.

I’m sure a Sony collector will eventually snag this rig. Thought the listing mentions no shipping outside the UK, the Seller states otherwise:

“[I]f you don’t live in uk you can arrange a courier at your own cost”

Do any SWLing Post readers own the CRF-V21? Please comment!