Category Archives: News

Mario snags a Memorex TrackTec Scannocular!

Photo source: Universal Radio

Photo source: Universal Radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi (N2HUN), who recently wrote an article for the excellent Radio World magazine. His topic?  The Memorex TrackTec Scannocular! Mario writes:

Ever heard of a Scannocular?  Universal Radio used to sell ’em, they were for race fans, basically a scanner with surgically attached binoculars:

http://www.radioworld.com/article/whats-black-and-red-and-hears-all-over/279408

“I’ve always had a penchant for the weird, the off-beat, the non-mainstream. In high school I felt most at home with fellows who were ostracized by the general student populus, who acted and thought differently, had the intestinal fortitude to walk the road less traveled and were genuinely interesting individuals.

The same affinity goes for electronic devices; the weird stuff interests me. That’s why I recently acquired a Memorex Scannocular from an eBay auction.”[…]

Continue reading at Radio World…

Mario, I must say that I had never heard of the Scannocular–what an intriguing piece of kit! It sounds like a decent performer (especially for $26!). I’m surprised it actually has a proper BNC connector for an external antenna.

I just searched eBay, but had no luck finding a set of Scannoculars. Perhaps there’s been an increase in popularity–other members of the “bohemian brigade” who decided the Scannocular is the only item they’ll need to stand out among other race fans!

I always enjoy your articles and reviews, Mario! Thanks for sharing!

mySdrPlayback: new version adds a DGPS decoder

mySdrRecordingWaterfall

Many thanks to Chris Smolinski, at Black Cat Systems, who recently announced new mySdrPlayback features:

I’ve released a new beta of mySdrPlayback, which is a Mac app that lets you easily go through SDR recording files. It works with recording files produced by SdrDx and SpectraVue, as well as Perseus.

This version adds a DGPS decoder that decodes from every DGPS channel in parallel, looking for messages. Makes it super easy to DX DGPS stations, just record overnight, then run the recordings through the app in the morning, and you get a list of all of the decoded messages from the various stations.

Click here to view the information and download page at Black Cat Systems.

Radio Prague back on the air for one day via Shortwave Service

Radio-Prague-QSL(Source: Christian Milling via WRTH on Facebook)

Radio Prague celebrates 80 years of broadcasting. We bring them back on Shortwave for one day.

Tune in on Wednesday, 31st of August.

  • 1630-1700 UTC on 9535 kHz towards 65° Russia at 100kW (Russian)*
  • 1800-1900 UTC on 11845 kHz towards 305° Europe at 100kW (German / French)
  • 1930-2030 UTC on 9885 kHz towards 330° Scandinavia at 100kW (Czech / English)
  • 2100-2130 UTC on 9405 kHz towards 280° Southern Europe at 100kW (Spanish)

* tentative

As the broadcasts are shorter than 30 Mins we’d like to fill it with your Radio Prague Birthday Greetings. Please leave a message on our answering machine +4922517724266 or send a prerecorded file to Info@shortwaveservice.com

China’s campaign to eliminate pirate radio

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ken Hansen (N2VIP), who shares a link to the following news item on BGR India:

China to crackdown on unauthorised radio broadcasts

Reportedly, in a national campaign aided by more than 30,000 airwave monitors, in over past six months, more than 500 sets of equipment for making unauthorised radio broadcasts were seized in China.[…]

“The broadcast power of pirate radio stations can be 2,500 to 5,000 watts, which is several hundred of times that of commercial radio, and the signal can be received 300 km away,” the China Daily reported citing the department as saying. Pirate radios may also pose a threat to communication between aircraft pilots and ground controllers as their frequency band neighbours that of flight navigation signals and can create interference, the department said.
Under Chinese law, the unauthorised use of radio frequency bands can attract up to seven years in prison.

Click here to read the full story…

August 28: BBC Atlantic Relay station special DRM broadcasts

RNZI-DRM-2(Source: DRM Consortium)

DRM will be part of a big anniversary on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. On 28th of August at 1155 GMT Babcock International will ensure a special BBC digital transmission on 21715 kHz from the BBC Atlantic Relay station, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC’s first short-wave radio broadcast from Ascension Island.

Since 1966, the Atlantic Relay station has broadcast BBC World Service programmes to Africa and South America, and to this day, continues to broadcast over 250 programme hours every week to East and West Africa in English, French, Hausa and Somali.

BBCRelayStation-Ascension IslandThe two hour-transmission on 21715 kHz will start with the old, special sound of Bow Church Bell in east London, the sound of which, even if in DRM this time,  will remind older listeners of the BBC broadcasts of many decades ago. The 21-hour transmission will be the regular BBC programmes for West and South Africa and will end at 1400.

DRM – Digital Radio Mondiale, is an international digital radio standard designed by broadcasters, for broadcasters, in co-operation with transmitter and receiver manufacturers. DRM is a high quality digital replacement for analogue radio broadcasting in the AM and FM bands.

This special transmission will be sent with greetings from Ascension Island’s BBC and Babcock International staff and visitors, who will be celebrating half a century of sterling broadcasting on August 28th.

Click here to read more about the fascinating history of the BBC’s broadcasts from Ascension Island.

Transmission Details

FREQ   TIME (UTC)       SERVICE          TX        kW       Bearing Day      LANG               TARGET

21715   1155-1201         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa           (Special Announcement)

21715   1201-1400         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa            (English – ENAFW)

21715   1400-1430         BBC DRM         ASC     250       250       1          English             Brazil                (English – ENAFW)

Additional analogue transmission will broadcast from 13.30 GMT for ceremonial purposes.

15105   1330-1430         BAB                  ASC     250       27         1          English             W. Africa                   (Special Announcement)