Category Archives: Interviews

Medium Wave DXer, Johnny Bråtveit, interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting

SX-99-DialCheck out this excellent in-depth interview with medium wave DXer, Johnny Bråtveit, via Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPD):

“About a month ago, our station received a fascinating email. It came from a Norwegian man named Tore Johnny Braatveit. He wrote: “I am one of those people who still really enjoys hunting for long-distance radio signals on the AM band. I am glad to tell you that I was able to pick up the AM signals of KOAC in arctic Norway.”

Braatveit sent us a recording of what he heard, and there’s no mistaking our litany of OPB stations beamed more than four thousand miles away.

Braatveit, who said we can call him TJ, says the serendipity of the search is what makes collecting radio signals appealing. “It’s the same as for a hunter or a fisher,” said Braatveit, “They know what they want, but they don’t know what they will get.”

Braatveit has been DXing – a hobby to receive, record and identify faraway broadcasts – since the early 1980’s. DX-ers use receivers along with computer software to collect the signals before reaching out to the stations with “reception reports” to verify what they picked up, hence the email he sent us.”

Listen to the full interview via OPB’s SoundCloud:

Tore Johnny Bråtveit also maintains a blog where you can listen to many of his medium wave audio samples. Click here to visit his site.

Jonathan’s interviews with Gerry Wells

sup-obsessionGerald Wells, the Curator of the British Vintage Wireless & Television Museum passed away on December 22nd, 2014. In our previous post about his passing, I pointed to a brilliant BBC radio documentary which featured Mr. Wells.

Last week, Jonathan Marks posted his own tribute to Gerry Wells on Critical Distance. Jonathan’s post includes two half-hour interviews with Mr. Wells from 1986/1987.

Jonathan has kindly allowed me to embed an excerpt from his post, below, along with his interviews.

Jonathan writes:

“Sad to note that the Curator of the British Vintage Wireless & Television Museum, Gerald Wells, passed away on December 22 2014.

At the end of the 1960’s Gerry gave up his job as an electrical contractor. He could see wireless sets being discarded and felt there was a need for a “Vintage Wireless Museum”. The Museum for Vintage Wireless came into existence in 1974 and was later expanded to include Television.

I made a couple of half hour documentaries with Gerry in 1986/1987, hearing the stories of how radios were built and got their names. Other documentaries focused on his life as a lifelong radio engineer.

I remember visiting the UK’s Vintage Radio Wireless Museum in Dulwich, South London as though it were yesterday. It’s just an ordinary terraced house from the outside, but inside its a celebration of the tube (Valve) radio, especially in the era 1920-1950. What’s more, Gerald Wells, was one of the world’s experts on valves – and had a flood of stories about the famous names I heard second-hand as a child. Did you know that Vidor Batteries were named after the manufacturers two daughters? And what were the better brands of radios.

Enthusiasts in the UK have since made a DVD about Gerald which I can recommend. Part Two of this programme was made in Dulwich one year later is also here on this blogpost. I am sure you could visit Gerald 1000 times and still take away new and different stories about this era of broadcasting. Anyone restoring early iPods? Thought not.”

I encourage you to check out Jonathan’s full post on Critical Distance. I’m always amazed at the number of topics Jonathan has covered in his radio career and, especially, his tenure at Media Networks. You’ll find hundreds of recordings like the ones above at the Media Network Vintage Vault

REE: Interview with Javier Sanchez, Head of Spectrum Strategy

REElogo2Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Ed, who has kindly downloaded and processed this Radio Exterior de España interview with Javier Sanchez, the Head of European Spectrum Strategy and Research and Development for REE.

The interview covers REE’s spectrum strategy and also the closure of shortwave radio services on October 1, 2014. While Mr. Sanchez is focused on delivering content via new channels (DAB and IP radio, for example), he believes it is a mistake to close all shortwave radio broadcasting as it still has both financial and content delivery advantages over newer methods.

Listen to the full interview via the embedded player below:

The part of the interview focusing on REE’s shortwave radio service begins at 13:30.

Again, many thanks for sharing this, Ed!

Victor Goonetilleke: The joy of DXing

SX-99-DialVictor Goonetilleke has kindly shared a passage he recently posted to Facebook. Victor pretty much sums up why I still listen to the shortwaves:

“For almost four score and 5 I enjoyed shortwave radio. Yes I was a DXer, and a dedicated listener. The thousands of hours of broadcasts I listened from the BBC, VOA, RNW, DW, RFI, Swiss Radio, NHK and many more of the international broadcasters influenced me over the years. The knowledge I gathered was transferred to hundreds of homes as I taught my students in class rooms and as a lecturer too in higher Colleges, in many social gatherings, day to day conversations with important people and everyday folks, what I gathered from my radio made them realize that there was a story out there.

And as the years went by one by one those stations started to go away and I became more and more a DXer and finally I have only those signals to bring me joy.

Tonight would you blame me for being a DXer, abandoned by the international broadcasters, if I sit back and enjoy this music through the crackle of shortwave and happy that I have a radio which few seems to understand these days.”

You can listen to the recording Victor made by clicking here:

I would also encourage you to read Victor’s guest commentary on BBG Watch which was prompted by the BBG pulling the (shortwave) plug on much of Asia.

Finally, in 2003, Jonathan Marks interviewed Victor Goonetilleke; you can watch the full interview below:

Visit with Victor Goonetilleke 2003 from Jonathan Marks on Vimeo.

“Interferenze” Interview on RAI Radio3Mondo

Andrea Borgnino, Journalist & RadioRai Internet Content Manager

Andrea Borgnino, Journalist & RadioRai Internet Content Manager (T. Witherspoon, photo)

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Andrea Borgnino, journalist and Internet Content Manager for RAI (RadioTelevisione Italiana)…and, remarkably enough, reader of the SWLing Post.

(You’ve probably seen me refer to Andrea on the SWLing Post as I follow his Twitter feed @aborgnino. Andrea, it seems, follows us here at the SWLing Post because he’s quite a dedicated shortwave radio enthusiast.)

To my utter surprise, Andrea introduced himself to us at Ears To Our World last month during the Dayton, OH, Hamvention: you see, I’ve been in communication with Andrea for several years via email, and was simply not expecting to meet him in Dayton.  It was a true pleasure to meet this fellow radio enthusiast–and talented journalist–in person.

At any rate, Andrea interviewed me (in the middle of a noisy Hamvention crowd) for the Radio3Mondo program, Interferenze. The show aired today, and Andrea kindly shared the audio, which I have posted below (or click here to download). If you speak Italian, you might just understand some of the interview:


Again, many thanks to Andrea Borgnino for interviewing me and giving me a chance to tell Italian listeners about the important work of Ears To Our World (ETOW).  (Indeed, I understand ETOW has already received a donation from Italy as a result–on behalf of the organization, we thank you!)

Click here to follow Andrea on Twitter. You’ll find a full list of Radio3 Mondo podcasts by clicking here.