Category Archives: Books

Mike reviews The Pol Pot Conspiracy

PolPotConspiracyMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who writes:

Neil Ffrench Blake is a former BBC producer and journalist who launched and was Managing Director of Radio 210, first station Mike Read and Steve Wright worked at. He was also involved in psychological warfare radio stations broadcasting to Aden, Afghanistan and managed ones to the Falkland Islands and Cambodia.

The Kindle book The Pol Pot Conspiracy, a work of fiction, but solidly based on autobiographical fact, covers in one of its chapters his work on Radio Atlantico del Sur.

[Radio Atlantico del Sur was] run during the Falklands War using requisitioned BBC transmitters on Ascension and aimed at Argentinian conscripts. [T]he majority of the book [focuses on the] Voice of the Khmer (on the air from 1985 to 1992) and operated by members of the two non-communist factions who were in alliance with the Khmer Rouge and opposing the government set up following the Russian backed Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1978.

Radio Atlantico del Sur met opposition in Whitehall particularly from the Foreign Office and from Douglas Muggeridge at the BBC World Service though behind the scenes he says the BBC could not have been more co-operative. This resulted in stories fed to the press about amateur broadcasters speaking the wrong kind of Spanish which Neil asserts are not true.

Voice of the Khmer received covert funding from the CIA, some of which was siphoned off by the corrupt Thai military. It was received worldwide on 6325 [kHz]. Transmitters were in Thailand or just over the Thai-Cambodian border in areas not controlled by the Vietnamese.
Details of the background to the book and link to it on Amazon below.

It’s long and perhaps overly detailed in parts but written in a very readable style.

Two links to a summary of the 20 May 1982 programme of Radio Atlantico del Sur and an interim assessment of its programming in the comments:

Thank you for sharing, Mike!

Reserve your copy of the 2015-2016 Pirate Radio Annual

2015-16_PRA_cover1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who shares the following announcement from Andrew Yoder’s Hobby Broadcasting blog:

The 2015-16 Pirate Radio Annual is now nearly finished and I’m taking advance orders for copies of the book. I’ve had the CD ready for a while now (although I need to start burning copies). I started laying out the PRA about a month ago, then realized last week that my column margins were too narrow, so I re-set it. Just finished the cover tonight and the files are going to the printer tomorrow. From there, the finished books should be ready in 4-6 weeks.

In case you are wondering what the Pirate Radio Annual is, it’s a paperback book with an 5.5″ x 8.5″ trim size. This is the 6th edition. Each are divided into two parts: the first is pirate radio “articles” and the second part of the book is a listing of entries on North American shortwave pirate stations that were reported in the past year (and also European pirates that were reported in a large portion of North America). The book contains images from dozens of stations + contact information, URLs of websites, etc. Because this year’s edition is running long, I cut back on the “articles” in this year’s edition . . . WGM: World’s Greatest Mistake and the updates for next two Global HF Pirate weekends.
This year’s edition is 230 pages (34 pages longer than the last edition) and contains an audio CD-R with sample tracks of audio from pirates from the past year. 92 different stations (up 20 from last year) are represented on the CD….although the recording is on a CD-R, it is an audio CD that can be played in standard CD players, computers, etc. BTW, after creating hundreds of these CDs, I heard from one reader that the CD wouldn’t fit properly in his slot-loading Mac computer. If you want to use it in one of these computers or device with a narrow slot, let me know and I can send your CD without a label.

If you want an advance copy, the price until August 7 is $16 + $3 shipping ($19) to the United States. I’m not yet sure if the extra 34 pages will affect the shipping cost to the rest of the world. I should probably wait until the copies arrive so that I can check the shipping cost/weight to Europe/Australia/Canada/etc., rather than guessing and posting an amount that’s totally inaccurate, so I appreciate your patience while I get it figured out.
Also, I found a less-expensive printer for this edition. When I was offering advance copies at the Winterfest, I thought it’d be more expensive than it wound up being. So, if you advance ordered at the Winterfest, I’ll be returning $1 with your copy.

You can either send a check or money order in US funds to:

Cabinet Communications
PO Box 109
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214

or you can send the $ via PayPal to info /at/ hobbybroadcasting.com

I buy each issue of the Pirate Radio Annual, so I’ll order my copy ASAP. Thanks again for the tip, Tom!

What is the Pirate Radio Annual? Check out on of my reviews.

WRTH 2016: B15 season update now available for download

WRTH-2016Many thanks to Sean Gilbert who shares the following on the WRTH Facebook page:

WRTH has released a free of charge update file for the B15 (winter) international and clandestine/target broadcast schedules. The file is in PDF format and follows the same styling as the WRTH printed edition.

To download the file, please visit either: http://www.wrth.com/_shop or http://www.wrth.com/_shop/?page_id=444.

We understand from some of our web visitors that there was an issue with our donations button not working properly – this has been rectified and you are now able to make a donation to WRTH, should you wish to. This is entirely voluntary, of course.

If you haven’t already purchased your copy of the 70th anniversary edition of WRTH (2016), now is the ideal opportunity! Head to our website for more information. Best wishes and happy listening/DXing from the WRTH Editorial team.

Click here to read our overview of the 2016 WRTH.

Purchase your copy of WRTH 2015 directly from WRTH’s publishers, or from a distributor like Universal Radio (US) and Amazon.com (US), or Radio HF (Canada). BookDepository.com, a U.K.-based seller, is also offering WRTH at a discount and with free worldwide shipping.

The Worldwide Listening Guide: the content DXer’s handbook

WWLG-7th-EditionI’m very pleased to have just received the 7th edition of John Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide (WWLG), the latest, most updated version of the excellent guide I’ve often reviewed.

As I’ve said, you may want a copy of the WWLG in your shack, especially alongside your computer or Wi-Fi radio.

SWLing Post readers know that I’m a huge fan of the Word Radio TV Handbook (WRTH); it’s my go-to guide for radio frequencies and schedules. Well, Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide is my go-to for programming and content, not only helpful on the shortwaves, but also handy when tracking online content.

WWLG: The Content DXers Guide

Like many SWLs, I’m something of a “Content DXer:” I love chasing obscure programming––news, documentaries, music, and variety shows, anything the broadcasting world has to offer.  For this, I often turn to Wi-Fi radio.  Wi-Fi radio offers the discerning listener the ability to track down fascinating regional content from every corner of the globe––content never actually intended for an international audience.

But the fact is, there’s so much content out there, it’s hard to know where to start. This is where the WWLG comes in: Figliozzi exhaustively curates more than 4,000 programs (!), indexing their airing times, stations, days of broadcast, program types, frequencies, and web addresses. Additionally, he sorts the programs by genre:  arts, culture, history, music, sports, and more. And Figliozzi also includes a well-thought-out directory of at least forty genres.   In short, this directory has helped me not just locate, but identify, programming I would never have known about otherwise.

Frankly, I’m not sure how Figliozzi manages to curate such a vast assortment of programming.  But I’m happy that he does, and especially, that he offers it for the SWL’s benefit––!

Thus the WWLG  has become a permanent reference book in my shack, alongside my trusty WRTH. There’s a surprising amount of information packed into this slim, spiral-bound book…enough to keep even a seasoned DXer contented for years.

The 7th edition of Worldwide Listening Guide can be purchased here:

With a retail price under $25, I feel like the WWLG is an excellent bargain.

WRTH 2016: I’m glad I stopped by the post office

WRTH-2016

I just brought home my copy of WRTH 2016 from the post office. I didn’t expect it to arrive so soon from the UK, so I’m very much looking forward to reading through it over the next few days. It’s a special volume, too: WRTH’s 70th anniversary edition!

I’m also honored to have a feature article and two reviews in this particular edition.

You can order your copy from Amazon or Universal Radio here in the US, from Radio HF in Canada. Otherwise, consider ordering directly from WRTH online.

I’ll post an overview of WRTH 2016 in the coming days.