Category Archives: Broadcasters

New Managing Director of ABC signals a return to international broadcasting

Radio-Australia-BannerMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Phil Brennan, who writes:

The following piece regarding Radio Australia caught my eye last week. It was authored by Hamish McDonald and appeared in the 18 June 2016 edition of the Saturday Paper.

[McDonald] reports on a variety of foreign policy matters from an Australian perspective:

“Guthrie’s world view

Our mole at the ABC tells us new managing director wants to pull back from the embrace of the Chinese Communist Party’s Publicity Department, as the Ministry of Propaganda is known.

In her first meeting with the board on June 9, Guthrie questioned the value of the ABC’s Chinese language portal, AustraliaPlus.cn, which has been pinged by the ABC’s own watchdogs for pulling awkward content to avoid displeasing the CPC.

We are told she also “forcefully expressed” her interest in the corporation returning to full-blooded international broadcasting, and raised the fact that Radio Australia no longer broadcasts in Mandarin, nor in Tok Pisin, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. A return to international TV broadcasting two years after the Abbott government scrapped funding for the ABC’s Australia Network (to please Rupert Murdoch) would not come cheap. Nor would a revival of Radio Australia, once the major arm of Australia’s soft power in the region.”

I also spotted a reference to this meeting of the new ABC MD in a previous issue by another columnist which seems to be outside the paywall. Click here to view.

Many thanks, Phil, for sharing this! As I’ve mentioned before, Radio Australia is a staple source of news for many.  I hope Guthrie does, indeed, re-focus on their international content and all forms of delivery.

Radio Vanuatu reduces broadcast time due to budget

Vanuatu-Map

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who noted that Radio Vanuatu has reduced broadcast hours.

Friday night, Paul received a rare opening that allowed him to hear Vanuatu on both 7260 kHz and 3945 kHz. Paul noted that it’s very rare to hear Vanuatu’s 75 meter band broadcast from his listening post in Alaska.  As he was setting up his receiver for a recording, they signed off early.

Paul discovered the following notice on Radio Vanuatu’s Facebook page:

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Radio Vanuatu i wantem infomem olgeta gudfala lisna blong hem se Radio Vanuatu i jenisem ol hour blong brodkas blong hem folem high cost blong operation blong hem.
Timing blong brodkas i ko olsem: 05:30am- 9:15pm evridei
Jenis ia hemi blong smol taem nomo.
Endorsed by VBTC Board & Management

Courtney Gordon, via Facebook, provided Paul with a simple translation:

Radio Vanuatu wants to inform its good listeners that the hours of broadcast are being changed due to the high cost of operation. Broadcast times are now 5:30 am to 9:30 pm every day.

So, broadcast times are now 18:30 UTC to 10:15 UTC. Thanks, Paul and Courtney, for sharing the news!

Two hours of rock and roll music on shortwave tonight!

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Another two hour broadcast of rock n roll music–“The Classics Experience”–will happen tonight via the transmitters of Shortwave Service in Kall, Germany.

  • 6005 kHz Friday June 24th 1800-2000
  • 3985 kHz Saturday June 25th 0000-0200

Both broadcasts will have the MFSK32 text and picture as well. However, the picture will NOT decode properly and it isn’t a problem on your end. All it is is a rebroadcast of the WINB/WRMI, complete with WRMI/WINB mentions and no mentions of 3985/6005 kHz.

By the way, you can also expect my show on Laser Hot Hits in the 49 meter and 75 meter band sometime next month, airing on nearly a daily basis for a month or so.

QSL Information:

$2 is appreciated to cover costs

Paul B. Walker, Jr.
PO Box 353
Galena, Alaska 99741 USA

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

Alex’s BBC World Service frequency chart

BBC-WorldService-Frequencies

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alex, who has just informed me that he’s created a printer-friendly A4 sheet guide to BBC World Service frequencies for the 2016 summer season.

You can download his BBC World Service chart by clicking here (PDF) or by visiting his website Shortwavetimes.com where he has a number of charts.

Many thanks, Alex!

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.