Category Archives: Articles

Wembley Stadium: A Superb DXing location

Oxford-Shortwave

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Clint Gouveia, who writes:

As the designated driver, I found myself waiting for friends at the Beyonce concert at Wembley Stadium last Sunday [July 3rd], Not wishing to miss an opportunity and taking advantage of 8 stories of elevation (top floor of the car park!) I spent about 3 hours DXing with the legendary Panasonic RF-B65 and a Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop, running on my home-brew battery pack.

Rather counter-ituitively, I quickly discovered there was basically zero QRM and recorded wonderful signals from Zanzibar BC, Radio Bangladesh Betar and Radio Oromiya. Links to the reception videos on my youtube channel ‘Oxford Shortwave Log’ follow below. I thought readers of your excellent website/blog might be interested to learn that sometimes the most unlikely of places can provide just about optimum conditions for DX! There are more reception videos for this particular session to upload,including Radio Fana, Voice of Tigray Revolution and Radio CANDIP.

73!

Reception Videos

Video 1: Zanzibar BC 11735 kHz, best ever reception

Video 2: Bangladesh Betar 13580 kHz, wonderful reception

Video 3: Radio Oromiya 6030 kHz, Ethiopia, best reception to-date

Wow! What amazing reception, Clint!  I would have never guessed that a car park next to the largest stadium in the UK would offer up such excellent listening conditions. Honestly–that Bangladesh Betar broadcast sounds like a local station.

You also have a great receiver there in the Panasonic RF-B65. If memory serves, the RF-B65 is also a favorite of SWLing Post contributor/DXer, Dan Robinson.

Post readers: Follow Clint’s many DX catches on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log.

Thanks again for sharing, Clint, and reminding us that DXing locations aren’t always remote and exotic.

Propaganda from the air

China-y-8gx8

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ken Hansen, who (several weeks ago) shared a link to this article from The Daily Beast:

China Now Has A Flying Propaganda Machine

The Chinese military has a new warplane with an unusual purpose: to beam propaganda and disinformation into hostile territory.

In that way, the new, four-engine Y-8GX7 psychological operations plane—also known by its Chinese name, Gaoxin-7—is analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s EC-130J, which it says“conducts military information support operations and civil affairs broadcasts in F.M. radio, television and military communications bands.”

A flying radio outpost might seem rather retro, even quaint, in the internet era. But in many of the world’s worst conflict zones, internet access is limited—and people still get much of their information from radio and television.

EC-130s—which has its own nickname, “Commando Solo”—and similar U.S. aircraft like it have broadcast propaganda in nearly all U.S. conflicts since the Vietnam War. Perhaps most famously, EC-130s flew over Libya during the 2011 international intervention in that country, in one case advising Libyan navy sailors to stop resisting and remain in port.

“If you attempt to leave port, you will be attacked and destroyed immediately,” the EC-130J crew warned via radio in English, French, and Arabic. A Dutch ham radio operator overheard and recorded the broadcast.

According to the Air Force, the EC-130Js deployed to the Middle East in 2015. While the flying branch didn’t specify exactly where the psyops planes went or why, it’s likely they supported the U.S.-led war on ISIS, perhaps bombarding militant fighters with warnings similar to those the EC-130J crews broadcast over Libya five years ago.[…]

Click here to read the full article on The Daily Beast.

Icom IC-7300: Field Day reports?

Icom-IC-7300-Front

I’m curious: any Post readers use the new Icom IC-7300 on Field Day?

While I gave Icom’s new transceiver a very positive review, it was based on operation at my home QTH. There were no significant contests in progress during my review window.

Field Day has, arguably, some of the toughest receiver conditions out there.  If a transceiver/receiver performs well during Field Day’s dense signal environment, without overloading or distorting, it’s a good receiver.

I’m very curious if anyone tested the IC-7300. I assume someone took it out to play on Field Day!

Please consider commenting with your report!

BBG, take note: Shortwave radio distributes smartphone apps

smart-phones

Many thanks to Andy Sennitt, who posted a link to this Mission Networks News article on Facebook.

Imagine being able to download an app…without the internet.

Well, it’s finally happened, thanks to shortwave radio.  Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), take note:  Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), a Christian organization that distributes Bibles in parts of the world where they are difficult to distribute, have a free smartphone app called Bible.is.  The only problem is, the app wasn’t available in countries where there is no access to the Internet nor where authorities block the app…at least, until now. By using Trans World Radio’s Guam shortwave transmitter site, they have successfully “downloaded” this app to multiple smartphones in Thailand:

[D]ue to a major recent breakthrough by Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), they were able to deliver the Bible to an unconnected smartphone using shortwave radio towers over 3,000 miles for the first time ever.

Troy Carl, Vice President of FCBH, explains, “Yesterday, we were able to transmit file casting data packets from Guam all the way to Thailand using shortwave frequencies, and we were able to do that in partnership with Trans World Radio. So it was really quite exciting! Basically what we did is created one-way internet access turning that tower into a super WiFi router. And that’s quite a story because it’s never been done!”

To put it another way, Carl wrote this description in a recent post:

Just like the one you use everyday in your house, where you connect a data source (internet cable) and a power source (you plug it in) and the little antennas broadcast internet around your house (say 500 ft.) and you connect to it with your phone to read/listen/see the data it’s transmitting.

In Guam, we took a HUGE antenna, (supplied by Trans World Radio), hooked up a data source (a Bible.is app device), turned the power on (250kw) and sent the data into the air bouncing it off the ionosphere over 3,000 MILES!

Our team in Chang Mai Thailand, hooked up to this giant router with a proprietary decompiler. Then sideloaded the Bible.is app with all its content to multiple smart phones using a simple wifi broadcaster!

As I wrote in, Does Shortwave Radio Have a Future?, I’ve always believed that the shortwave medium could be leveraged for international digital/data communications, and should be, especially in countries under repressive regimes such as North Korea. In my article, I focused on Radio Canada International (RCI), which was then dismantling their shortwave transmitter site:

[B]roadcasters should not dismantle their transmission sites as Canada is currently doing. Not only is the current service originating from these sites a more reliable form of emergency communications than the Internet, should a national disaster befall us; not only do they continue to provide a broad-spectrum mode of diplomacy; but should future digital communication modes find a way to take advantage of the HF spectrum as is now under discussion, this would be most unfortunate.

Imagine a wi-fi signal with a footprint as large as several countries, digital devices with tiny fractal antennas that receive this signal containing rich media (e.g., audio and video)––these are not science fiction, but highly plausible uses of these transmission sites, even within the next decade…

FCBH’s innovation is simply a first step in this direction. If it turns out that this method is both accessible and affordable, this could truly pave a new road on the mobile information highway.

URE: Radioaficionados available as free download

RUE-Spain-HamRadio

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Spain’s national amateur radio society the URE has made annual compilations of its magazine Radioaficionados available for free download

PDFs of the magazine are available from 2001 to the end of 2015.

To download each year click on the Descargar buttons at
http://www.ure.es/component/docman/cat_view/110-revistas/156-.html?orderby=dmdate_published

URE website in Google English
http://tinyurl.com/SpainURE