Category Archives: News

Wireless Nights on BBC Radio 4 features London Shortwave

One of London Shortwave’s portable spectrum capture systems

I am very happy to share that the BBC Radio 4 program Wireless Nights, Series 5, features our own community member London Shortwave this week. The show aired tonight (March 27) and the audio is now available to stream via the Radio 4 website. I’ve also embedded the audio below:

Here’s the description of the show from Radio 4:

Megahertz

Jarvis Cocker navigates the ether as he continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition.

On a night voyage across a sea of shortwave he meets those who broadcast, monitor and harvest electronic radio transmissions after dark.

Paddy Macaloon, founder of the band Prefab Sprout, took to trawling the megahertz when he was recovering from eye surgery and the world around him became dark. Tuning in at night he developed a ghostly romance with far off voices and abnormal sounds.

Artist Katie Paterson and ‘Moonbouncer’ Peter Blair send Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to the moon and back, to find sections of it swallowed up by craters.

Journalist Colin Freeman was captured by the Somali pirates he went to report on and held hostage in a cave. But when one of them loaned him a shortwave radio, the faint signal to the outside world gave him hope as he dreamed of freedom.

And “London Shortwave” hides out in a park after dark, with his ear to the speaker on his radio, slowly turning the dial to reach all four corners of the earth

Jarvis sails in and out of their stories – from the cosmic to the captive – as he wonders what else is out there, deep in the noise

Producer Neil McCarthy.

I found Megahertz absolutely captivating! I’m very impressed with how all of the personal adventures in radio, including an array of motivations, were weaved together.

And brilliant job, London Shortwave! It was fun to go on a park outing with you and your spectrum capture gear!

Click here to listen to Megahertz on BBC Radio 4.

SDRplay RSP-1 OEM Metal Case

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rafman, who writes:

The SDRplay RSP-1 OEM Metal case is ready for order and shipment Worldwide

Includes:

  • 1x Black aluminum metal enclosure with two labeled side panels, 1x Broadcast FM band-stop filter plus SMA Male to SMA Male barrel adapter,
  • 1x Black semi-hardshell carry case,
  • 1x Thermal pad to keep the RSP-1 cool and mechanically stable inside the enclosure and
  • 1x Accessory set including enclosure screws, GND lug bolt set and 3M anti-slip rubber feet.
    Can be used to upgrade the SDRplay RSP-1 ONLY to a metal enclosure. Helps block RF interference.

Note that owners of the very first RSP-1’s with F-Type connectors may require an additional F-Type pigtail adapter, or a MMCX to SMA pigtail to be able to use the BCFM filter internally. The BCFM filter can still be used externally.

Click here to view the RSP-1 metal case at Amazon.com (availability expected March 27).

Thank you, Rafman! I have the first generation RSP-1, so appreciate the note about using the filter internally via an adapter. That’s a nice enclosure.

eBay find: The Braun T-1000

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Korchin (K2WNW), for sharing a link to this Braun T-1000 on eBay.

With two days left on the auction and already 73 bids, I believe David is correct in assuming this radio might fetch upward of 900 Euro. Braun models certainly tend to fetch premium prices. The T-1000 is possibly my favorite Braun portable and I certainly wish I had one. I love Dieter Rams’ designs.

Note that shipping seems very modest at 6 Euro worldwide via DHL.  I would check on that pricing prior to bidding if outside of Europe. This seller has a 100% rating with over 400 transactions on eBay. Again, thanks for the tip, David!

Click here to view on eBay.

Any lucky SWLing Post readers own a T-1000? I’d love a review!

The first maritime radio distress call

(Source: The Telegraph via Mike Barraclough on Facebook)

On 17 March 1899, the East Goodwin Sands Lightship, operating under a licence from the General Post Office, BT’s predecessor, sent a signal on behalf of the merchant vessel Elbe, which had run aground on the treacherous Goodwin Sands off the coast of Kent.

The message was received by the radio operator on duty at the South Foreland Lighthouse, who was able to summon the aid of the Ramsgate lifeboat.

Goodwin Sands featured again a few weeks later when, on 30 April 1899, the East Goodwin Sands Lightship sent a distress message on her own account when she was rammed by the SS R F Matthews.

Rather than the now-famous signals of “SOS” or “Mayday”, the recognised call sign for ships in distress at the time was “CQD”. Devised in 1904 by the British Marconi Society, it was popularly mistaken to mean “Come Quick – Danger” or, more bleakly, “Come Quickly – Drowning!”. However, its actual official meaning came from the land telegraph signal CQ – “sécu” from the French word sécurité – followed by D for Distress.

The “SOS” Morse code signal – three-dots/three-dashes/three-dots – was established as an International Distress Signal, agreed at the Berlin Radio Conference on 3 October 1906 – though the signal wasn’t formally introduced until 1 July 1908.

Continue reading the full story at The Telegraph online.

On Sale: Executive Editions of Satellit and Traveler III

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Troy Riedel, who writes:

“This [Executive series] sale has been going on since 18 March (and Amazon now lists that it will end in “5 days”):”

Many thanks for the tip, Troy!

Those are both great prices: the Traveler for $47.04 and the Satellit for $156.69 shipped.

Timing is great as I’ve had a number of readers ask about purchasing the Satellit lately.

Click here to view the Eton Traveler III Executive on Amazon.

Click here to view the Eton Satellit on Amazon.