Daniel’s Radio Havana Cuba QSL card from August 15, 2015

Radio-Havana-Cuba-QSL-Front

Front of RHC QSL card (click to enlarge).

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Daniel Amoroso, who shares this QSL card and notes:

Hello Thomas, 

Attached is QSL # 1 from Radio Habana Cuba for their shortwave broadcast on 8- 15-2015

This was the day the US Embassy in Cuba was officially re-opened.

Back of RHC QSL card (click to enlarge).

Back of RHC QSL card (click to enlarge).

Card was received on April 18 , 2016.

Very cool!  Thank you for sharing this card and noting that relevant bit of history, Daniel.

Curating a list of endangered shortwave stations

RCI-Sackville-2012

That’s my minivan parked in front of the RCI Sackville transmitting station in June, 2012. The site was closed by the end of 2012 and towers demolished shortly thereafter.

Recently, my friend and fellow archivist, London Shortwave, and I engaged in a discussion about creating a curated list of “endangered” shortwave radio stations.

The idea being we could use such a list to focus our efforts and those of the archiving community on recording broadcasters that were most likely to disappear in the near future.

London Shortwave published an excellent post about this on his blog.

Please click here to read his post.

We quickly put this page on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as a starting point.

We need your help to curate this list!

Please comment either on London Shortwave’s blog, or on this post, and suggest any additional broadcasters we may have missed. Please include a link to news item(s) which may indicate the broadcaster faces closure.

Of course, this list and the categories are subjective–we’re simply using our best judgement in this process. Often, broadcasters can shut down with little or no notice.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Radio Vanuatu on target for nationwide coverage under new leadership

Vanuatu-Map

(Source: Radio New Zealand via Mike Terry on the WRTH FB Page)

The recently appointed chair of the board of the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation is confident nationwide coverage will be achieved by Radio Vanuatu soon.

The new government recently replaced the old board following concerns over the lack of the public broadcaster’s ability to reach the outer islands.

Its new chairperson Johnety Jerety said transmission had deteriorated over the years, mostly because of poor maintenance.

He said under the government’s hundred day plan nationwide coverage had to be implemented by July 1st.

But Mr Jerety said part of the problem was that people were buying cheap radios.

“They’re not compatible to meet the standard for our transmission system within here so that is why most of the ni-Van [indigenous people] within the islands are not able to have the coverage received throughout the island.”

Johnety Jerety said they were now advising people to buy short-wave radios that are compatible.

Read this article on Radio New Zealand’s website.

This article is a little vague, but I assume when the new chairperson, Johnety Jerety, is claiming that the problem with reception has to do with “cheap radios” perhaps he means receivers that don’t cover Vanuatu’s nighttime frequency of 3945 kHz? Almost all radios with shortwave should receive their 7260 kHz frequency. Of course, perhaps he simply means that fewer and fewer listeners are purchasing shortwave radios?

Vanuatu is certainly being heard around the world–indeed, only two days ago, SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, was over the moon when he snagged Vanuatu on 7260 kHz from Galena, Alaska.  Paul wrote:

I bagged my most wanted shortwave station ever tonight!

Radio Vanuatu on 7260!!!! Heard something under a bunch of Asian hams. [Q]uite good considering they are only running 1.5 kw out of their licensed 10 kw (that’s what they told me after the cyclone awhile back).

Great catch, Paul!

I’m happy to read that Vanuatu is investing in their station once again.

Follow all Vanuatu updates using the tag: Radio Vanuatu

Paul’s rare and classic shortwave QSL cards

QSL collage

A couple months ago at my local ham radio club meeting (the NCDXCC), my buddy Paul Greaves (W4FC) mentioned that his passion for amateur radio DXing originated with shortwave broadcaster DXing. He told me:

“When I was a teen I could hardly wait to check the PO Box to see what treasures were awaiting me. After getting a QSL card many times there were many more mailings with program schedules and propaganda. I even got Chairman Mao’s little Red Book.”

Paul noted that he had quite a few SWL QSL cards, so naturally I asked if he’d share a few of his favorites with the SWLing Post. He kindly obliged.

Click on the images below to enlarge.


ABCRadioFront-001

ABCRadioBack-001


GhanaBroadcastingCorpOpenFront-001 GhanaBroadcastingCorpFront-001GhanaBroadcastingCorpBack-001


Radio4VEHFront-001 Radio4VEHBack-001


RadioAustriaFront-001 RadioAustriaBack-001


RadioBelizeFront-001RadioBelizeBack-001


RadioBerlinInternationalFront-001RadioBerlinInternationalBack-001


RadioBucharestFront-001 RadioBucharestBack-001


RadioBudapestFront-001RadioBudapestBack-001


RadioCairoFront-001 RadioCairoBack-001


RadioDenmarkFront-001 RadioDenmarkBack-001


RadioFinlandFront-001RadioFinlandBack-001


RadioKievFront-001 RadioKievBack-001


RadioNacionalDeEspanaFront-001 RadioNacionalDeEspanaBack-001


RadioSofiaFront-001 RadioSofiaBack-001


RadioSwedenFront-001 RadioSwedenBack-001


RadioTiranaFront-001 RadioTiranaBack-001


RadioVoiceOfTheGospelFront-001 RadioVoiceOfTheGospelBack-001


USStationBalboaFront-001 USStationBalboaBack-001


VaticanRadioFront-001 VaticanRadioBack-001


VoiceOfNigeriaFront-001 VoiceOfNigeriaBack-001


WWVHFront-001 WWVHBack-001


Wow–thank you so much for sharing these, Paul! What a beautiful QSL collection!

Post readers: If you also have some classic SWL QSL cards you’d like to share here on the SWLing Post, please contact me!

All India Radio considering shut down of shortwave service?

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo source: Wikipedia.

(Source: Sunday Guardian Live)

AIR mulls shutting down soft power short wave units

By AREEBA FALAK 

The Prasar Bharati Board is contemplating shutting down the short-wave service of the External Services Division (ESD) of All India Radio (AIR) even as a proposal to switch to an affordable internet-based radio service is still under consideration. A section of the board is keen on closing down the short wave service as an exorbitant amount is being spent to maintain the current infrastructure.

“The total budget allocated to ESD is Rs 100 crore annually. Out of this, approximately Rs 95 crore is spent on the maintenance of short wave transmitters, which includes the high cost of spare parts that are not easily available. The remaining Rs 5 crore is spent on the production of programmes in 27 languages, and to pay the salaries of the staff who are hired on a contract basis,” said a senior official in the ESD.

“One would expect to gain a large fan base after spending so much money, but this has not been the case with ESD. Since no survey has ever been done to determine the number of listeners, we cannot give an exact or even an approximate number of people who listen to AIR’s ESD channels across the world. But we know that we have a good following based on the feedback that we receive from people in countries where ESD is being listened to. Our listeners send us postcards or emails from Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, etc. But the following is not in proportion to the money being spent on this service,” said the senior officer.

“The proposal suggests the shutting down of short wave and the service being made web-based. Since internet is far reaching, listening radio live on the web should not hurt our existing fan base. But of course there is the argument that short wave can reach even the remotest corners of the world, which is not the case with internet signals. The shutting down of short wave, without a doubt, will affect the propaganda value of India among its listeners abroad. This is why there are chances that the short wave service might continue in neighboring countries like China, Nepal, etc. Also, India’s edge in a continent like Africa will suffer a blow if the short-wave is to be shut down,” said sources in AIR.

[…]At present, ESD broadcasts 57 transmissions daily, with almost 72 hours covering over 108 countries in 27 languages, out of which 15 are foreign and 12 are Indian. The Indian languages are Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Nepali, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. The foreign languages are Arabic, Balochi, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, French, Indonesian, Persian, Pushtu, Russian, Sinhala, Swahili, Thai, Tibetan and English (General Overseas Service).

Read the full news item on the Sunday Guardian Live website…

Madagascar World Voice now broadcasting on shortwave

Madagascar-World-Voice

(Source: Radio World)

World Christian Broadcasting launched its second shortwave station, Madagascar World Voice, on Easter Sunday in late March.

The nonprofit organization is based near Nashville, Tenn. Station KNLS launched in 1983. 

President/CEO Charles H. Caudill announced the launch. “More than 10 years of planning and work have gone into making Madagascar World Voice a reality,” he said in a statement.

[…]WCB said the new Madagascar World Voice airs 13 hours daily in Arabic, African English, International English, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish. The signals will reach Africa and the Middle East, and most of Europe and South America.[…]

Read the full article at Radio World online.

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike H, who shares the following Summer A-16 schedule for Madagascar World Voice:

MADAGASCAR   Summer A-16 of WWCB Madagascar World Voice
0100-0200 on  9665 MWV 100 kW / 040 deg to SoAs English
0200-0300 on  6190 MWV 100 kW / 250 deg to SoAm Spanish
0300-0400 on  6150 MWV 100 kW / 265 deg to SoAm Spanish
0400-0500 on  9480 MWV 100 kW / 295 deg to CeAf English
1800-1900 on  9570 MWV 100 kW / 355 deg to EaEu Russian
1800-1900 on 17640 MWV 100 kW / 310 deg to CeAf English
1900-2000 on 11945 MWV 100 kW / 355 deg to N/ME Arabic
1900-2000 on 13710 MWV 100 kW / 340 deg to EaAf Arabic
2100-2200 on 11615 MWV 100 kW / 325 deg to WeEu Chinese
2200-2300 on  9455 MWV 100 kW / 055 deg to EaAs Chinese
2200-2300 on 11770 MWV 100 kW / 325 deg to NoAf Arabic

BBC Predicts Internet-Only Radio in the Future

BBC-logo(The following is part news / part editorial)

According to a report going to Parliament for the BBC’s broadcast charter proposal, the BBC is preparing for an Internet-only world for broadcasting. This has prompted an investigation of other radio broadcasting services by Radio World magazine to get their take on this perspective. Part of the article “Is Broadcast Radio Doomed”  follows:

 Conventional radio and television broadcasting are doomed, eventually. Or so one might reasonably assume from reading “British, Bold, Creative,” the BBC’s broadcast charter proposal for the next decade of its mandate. The BBC’s 10-year broadcast charter is up for renewal in 2016. The proposal is the Beeb’s funding pitch to Parliament.

To be sure, the BBC didn’t use the word doomed, or put a timetable on it. However, over the next 10 years, “We will be moving to an Internet-fit BBC, to be ready for an Internet-only world whenever it comes,” states the BBC proposal. The only limiting factor will be to “move at the pace of our audiences”; ensuring that older subscribers have access to content on radio and TV as long as they need it.

Subsequent to issuing this proposal, the BBC announced that it is reorganizing its internal divisions along content rather than platform lines. For instance, “Each overarching division would have subsidiary divisions such as BBC Youth, a mooted subdivision of BBC Entertainment, which would include the online channel BBC Three, and pop music station Radio 1,” reported The Telegraph newspaper . . . .

In the current transitional environment, it is impossible to see just where broadcast radio will be in 10 and 20 years’ time. The BBC’s prediction of an inevitable “Internet-only world” notwithstanding, there are still many parts of the Third World where one-way radio broadcasts remain the only economical, effective way to reach mass audiences; no matter what advances are being made in 4G-and-beyond smartphones in the First World. Add broadcast radio’s resiliency in the face of natural and man-made disasters — compared to the frequent overloading and failure of cellular telephone networks during such incidents — and the notion of shutting down broadcast lifelines seems unlikely in these regions.

– See the full article at: http://www.radioworld.com/article/is-broadcast-radio-doomed/278577#sthash.YrBAkCfQ.dpuf

The demise of broadcast radio has been predicted many times in the past 50-60 years and yet it remains. Still there is a growing mindset in what I call  the Western culture’s business mindset that the pervasiveness of the Internet is the dominant factor in future media decisions. This is the same justification for various governments reducing or eliminating SW Broadcast budgets. After all “Everybody has the Internet now!”

This is a mistake, and belies a Western-centric view of the world. I cannot claim to know the real numbers, but I have little doubt the numbers representing Internet availability are inflated, partially because of assumptions and partially for selfish business interests.

In an ever-competitive entertainment market broadcasters (and governments) are naturally worried about such things as market share and the like, but this is only looking at things from one side of the coin. Anyone who uses the Internet outside of the home knows data fees can become enormous, and therefore we watch just how much traffic we pass through our wireless devices. (Yes I admit it – any place I go regularly which has “free Internet” gets loaded into my list of networks so as to keep my data charges down.)

How many people are going to listen to radio streams like they do now to radio broadcast stations? Are you going to drive home with your radio on through the Internet? I doubt it. Similarly how many people listen to the radio in places where there would be no coverage of wireless? I believe the market share would decrease rather significantly in these same western cultures where the Internet is indeed plentiful, but not certainly not free.

Having been involved in the early days of the public Internet back in the 90s, I remember meeting with city planners when they were looking to offer free Wi-Fi within the city so everyone could have access. While the idea sounded good, the logistics of equipment, and more importantly the expense of such an ongoing system, quickly laid such plans to rest for most government budgets.

I hope the pendulum swings back over time and business leaders and government officials recognize the value of both shortwave and OTA radio broadcasts. The Internet is a shiny diversion to be sure, but it is not the answer to all of our media needs. And whether folks like to admit it or not, the Internet is a fragile thing. As the old saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. How many times a year does your Internet service go out for no apparent reason, much less because of weather or other disasters?

Broadcast radio needs to be supported for many of the same reasons as shortwave radio – there simply is no more reliable way getting information out to the most number of people over the greatest possible coverage area.

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.