Category Archives: Nostalgia

eBay find: R.L. Drake SW4A Shortwave Receiver (new old stock!)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Eric McFadden (WD8RIF) and Randy Moore (KS4L) who share a link to this rare find on eBay: a New Old Stock (NOS) Drake SW4A.

Click here to view on eBay.

The seller provides this short description:

New in original box and packing, R.L. Drake Short Wave Receiver Рmodel SW.4A. With manual. Old stock, never used. Stored in a safe/dry place.

Being sold AS-IS!

The seller doesn’t have a deep history on eBay, but 100% positive feedback.

I fully expect this price to rise way beyond a figure I could appropriate, but I would certainly love to purchase it. I know this: I wouldn’t leave it in the box for long. After carefully checking it and bringing the voltage up slowly, I would put it on the air. What a beautiful receiver.

At time of posting, the price was $322 US (free shipping) with one day, 10 hours to go. Click here to view.

Radio News archive at American Radio History

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jarno (PA3DMI), who reminds us that the American Radio History site is chock-full of radio nostalgia:

To keep you and your readers busy ūüôā

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Radio_News_Master_Page_Guide.htm

Many thanks, Jarno!

Check out the main index for even more radio periodicals.

Video: History of the Shipping Forecast

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, George, who writes:

With all of the recent postings about the Shipping Forecast, I thought I’d share this excellent little video¬†produced by the Met Office:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you, George!

95 Years: A celebration of radio station 2MT

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jim Salmon, who shares the following press release:

95 years ago on Tuesday 14th February 1922, a small group of young, gifted, charismatic – & perhaps slightly irreverent ‚Äď Marconi employees turned on a medium wave transmitter in a ‘long low hut’ in a waterlogged field in Writtle, Chelmsford, & began a year long experiment which is now regarded as the birth of broadcasting in the UK. Led by the irrepressible Captain Peter Pendleton Eckersley, the 2MT team broadcast regularly every Tuesday evening, & what started as a request for a station for ‘calibration purposes’ for the fast growing number of radio hams, transformed into an entertainment programme like none before.

A small group of us are celebrating the upcoming 95th anniversary of 2MT – ‘Two Emma Toc’ – with a combination of amateur radio transmissions & an internet radio service. On the 12th & 14th February, members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event amateur station using the callsign GB95 2MT, & these transmissions will emanate from the very same ‘long low hut’ now preserved at Sandford Mill Museum in Chelmsford, UK.

On the 12th, 13th & 14th February, radio enthusiast Jim Salmon will be running an internet radio service ‘Radio Emma Toc’ with radio related documentaries, vintage comedies, & 5 hours of live programming each day including a visit to the long low hut. We are not attempting to re-create 2MT, more a case of having fun, paying tribute & looking ahead to greater celebrations for the centenary in 2022.

We invite radio hams to join us on the bands & listeners to join us on ‘wired wireless’ (Peter Eckersley’s futuristic 1930’s phrase for what we now call the internet) to remember 2MT & pay tribute by having fun on the radio. Email us at Radio Emma Toc with your radio memories during our live programming & we will say hello to you !

For details of Radio Emma Toc including how to listen & our 3 day schedule – www.emmatoc.com

Email us – emmatoc1922@gmail.com

For details of Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society – www.g0mwt.org.uk

Jim Salmon 2E0RMI / Chelmsford Calling Network

Thank you for sharing, Jim–I’ll certainly make time to listen!

Guest Post: Radio Australia, and a sea story

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Harper (AE5X), who is kindly allowing me to re-post the following article originally published on his excellent blog:


Radio Australia, and a sea story

by John (AE5X)

From London Shortwave: “It’s official: Radio Australia are no longer on shortwave…”

Four submariners on a surface ship (1989-1990)

Nine of my 10 years in the Navy were spent in the Submarine Service – the other year was spent aboard a research ship operating between Perth, Australia and Singapore. Our mission was to make detailed contour charts of the sea floor in that area using precision fathometers and new-at-the-time GPS.

The detailed charts allow US submarines to get navigational fixes by correlating their soundings with the data we had collected without having to come to periscope depth for a satellite fix, thus the need for a small contingent of submariners on a surface ship. Gathering this data required the ship to stay at sea 28 days at a time, going back and forth in straight lines across the eastern Indian Ocean. At the end of those 28 days we would pull in to either Fremantle or Singapore for a week, then out again.

We enjoyed the sunlight, fresh air and the presence of civilian women onboard (oh, the stories I could tell if this weren’t a family-friendly blog!) but what we missed – and missed greatly – was news from the world. Big things were happening at a fast pace in those days as the Iron Curtain began to crumble and we knew nothing of it for long, event-filled month-long chunks.

There is a huge psychological disconnect that comes with being isolated from the world for a month at a time. We starved for news and any kind of connection to the outside world so, during a port call to Singapore, I bought a Philips D2999 shortwave receiver. It was small enough for shipboard life, ran on AC or batteries and even had a BFO for occasionally listening to hams.

After having it for a few days and mentioning to the other crewmembers various things that were happening around the world, their interest grew and I eventually moved the radio from my stateroom to a common breakroom so that anyone could listen whenever they wanted. For a while we even had a printout of news events – a one-page daily newspaper – that we posted in various locations throughout the ship. Many of us were glued to the radio during the week of events in December 1989 that culminated in the Christmas Day execution of Romanian President Nicolae Ceau?escu.

Some of that news came from the VOA, some from the BBC and even from Radio Moscow. All had good signals into the Indian Ocean area at times. But regardless of time of day or ionospheric conditions, Radio Australia was always there, like a beacon – reliable, dependable and with great fidelity due to no selective fading. It was our primarily source of news.

Frequencies of many stations and the best times to hear them were posted near the radio but everyone knew our two main frequencies for Radio Australia without having to look it up. We listened to Radio Australia so much that the announcers eventually lost their accents.

The beauty and utility of shortwave was introduced to people who otherwise would have had no interest in it. Thanks mainly to Radio Australia, we not only knew what was going on in the world, more importantly, we felt more a part of it and less isolated than we had been before.

The end of Radio Australia and so many other shortwave stations marks the end of an exciting era. What an amazing thing it was, in a pre-internet world, to be able to get information on the high seas, thousands of miles from land.

Farewell, Radio Australia and thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.


And thank you, John, for sharing your memories with us!

Post Readers:¬†I encourage you to bookmark John’s brilliant ham radio blog!

Do you have any memorable Radio Australia moments?  Please comment!