Listening to BBC “Click” on shortwave

PL-680-BBC-Click-Frequency

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:

“Last January, I wanted to see if I could hear the BBC World Service’s technology program “Click” via shortwave.

BBC_ClickI was and still am a regular listener to the podcast but I was home on a Tuesday afternoon stranded by a snow storm and tuned to one of the frequencies used by the World Service for west and central Africa, which usually come in reasonably well in eastern North America. To my disappointment, another program was aired at the time “Click” was going out on the real-time online streamed service. I kept listening but “Click” didn’t appear on shortwave later that afternoon either. In general, the programs going out shortwave were not the ones being streamed over the Internet.

I made enquiries to Bill Thompson, the knowledgeable co-host of “Click” and to others about when “Click” aired on shortwave but came up empty.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I got an e-mail from Bill asking me if I’d heard back from the BBC about the airing of “Click” on shortwave as he’d passed on my request for information. Unfortunately, I hadn’t, but his e-mail reminded me of my effort and so I did some more digging.

I once again scoured the BBC website and eventually found the World Service FAQ page. And, on that page, we find the answer to the question “Where can I find a schedule and frequency for BBC World Service programmes?”with the online program schedule as well as the program schedules for radio transmissions to the various world regions, including local AM and FM radio, DAB radio, satellite radio, and, for some regions, shortwave radio.

I noticed that, according to these schedules, “Click” is broadcast by radio at various times on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, depending on the target region, including some broadcasts by shortwave.

So, on Tuesday afternoon this week, I took one of my portable shortwave receivers (a Tecsun PL-880) to work and operated it from the back of my SUV in the parking lock of my building with a short wire antenna fed out through the rear window and recorded the audio.

Low and behold, I heard “Click” at 19:32 UTC on 15400 kHz from one of the transmitters on Ascension Island. Reception was not bad given the fact that the signal is beamed in the opposite direction to us and there’s a fair degree of radio-frequency interference (RFI) from various electrical and electronic devices in and around my building. The signal would have been much stronger in the African target zone. A short audio clip of the start of the program is [below] (lasts one minute).

I’m sure I could find a quieter location RFI-wise like one of the university’s playing fields and might try that next week.

After confirming that “Click” is indeed still on shortwave, I decided to make a chart of all the “Click” broadcast times including those via shortwave as the “Click” website only gives the times of the online streamed broadcasts. [Click here to download a] PDF-version of the chart. A “bullet” indicates a broadcast of “Click” by any transmission method for each target region. If, in addition to other types of radio broadcast, shortwave is used, then the frequencies (in kHz) and transmitter locations are listed. I think all the information is correct but I’m happy to receive corrections. The schedule should be good until October and I’ll try to produce an updated version after that.

It is good to see that the BBC technology program is still available via shortwave – a still-useful technology in many parts of the world. And, although I’ll still listen to “Click” via the podcast, it’s nice to know that I can still catch it on a Tuesday afternoon with a shortwave receiver.”

Click here to download Richard’s PDF chart of Click shortwave broadcasts.

Many thanks, Richard! Like you, I’ve been a long-time fan of Click. Indeed, five years ago, I had the honor of being interviewed for the program [then known as Digital Planet].

I’ve heard Click a number of times via the BBC World Service on shortwave, but never noted the times and frequencies.  Thank you so much for compiling this info for us, Richard, and happy listening!

Readers: Note that if Click’s shortwave schedule doesn’t work for you, you can always subscribe to Click’s podcast, or listen online

Note: This post was updated December 3, 2015 with current broadcast schedule.

Off air recording of the Shortwave Shindig?

ShindigLogoWhite

Are there any SWLing Post readers out there who could make an off air recording of the Shortwave Shindig broadcast tonight (22:00 EST, 02:00 UTC)? If so, please comment!  I would like to share your recordings on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Please note the type of radio used and what part of the world you live in. The more recordings, the merrier! Thank you!

The Shortwave Shindig goes live on shortwave Friday 3/14/14 from the 27th Annual Winter SWL Festival in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The Shindig signs on for one hour at 10 ET/0200 UTC on 7,570 khz via WRMI’s new Okeechobee facility. Please join us for a celebration of the art and culture of long distance listening.

Radio New Zealand’s Peter Fry will take you on a musical journey

Peter Fry, host of Saturday Night on Radio New Zealand

Peter Fry, host of Saturday Night on Radio New Zealand

If you’ve ever had the distinct pleasure of tuning to Radio New Zealand International when their musical request show, Saturday Night, is on the air, chances are that you’ve become, like I have, addicted to this show.

The show’s inimitable host, Peter Fry, has one of the best radio presences in the business. His warm personality and penchant for playing absolutely anything back-to-back will captivate you. You’ll hear songs and genres (including comedy skits) spanning the decades, and Fry offers his excellent commentary between sets.

What amazes me, too, (when I stop to think about it) is the relatively robust audio fidelity from RNZI’s shortwave signal here in eastern North America, especially considering that this broadcast originates in Rangitaiki, on the north island of New Zealand, and is powered by only 50 kilowatts, a modest signal by international broadcasting standards.  RNZI’s signal crosses the Pacific at the speed of light–and at 6 watts per mile, by my calculations–delivers my Saturday Night as clearly as if it originated…well, locally.

The RNZI signal travels a full 8,249 miles (13,276 kilometers) to reach my home.

The RNZI signal travels a full 8,249 miles (13,276 kilometers) to reach my radio.

Yes, shortwave radio is magic.  And so is Peter Fry’s show:  Enjoy.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

This broadcast was recorded on February 8, 2014 on 9,765 kHz, starting at 07:59 UTC.

Switzerland In Sound comes with a familiar voice

The host of Switzerland in Sound, Bob Zanotti.

The host of Switzerland in Sound, Bob Zanotti.

For any of you who listened to Swiss Radio International (SRI) on shortwave radio, you’ll no doubt know the name of long-time radio presenter Bob Zanotti. For me, his deep, rich voice was synonymous with SRI.

What you may not know is that Zanotti hosts his own website called Switzerland In Sound. It is chock-full of up-to-date Swiss information, news (Tina Turner became Swiss?), interviews, thoughts, musings and a wealth of vintage recordings from SRI.

SwitzerlandInSoundIf you were a fan of The Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round, you’ll be pleased to discover the many recordings he has of The Two Bobs (Bob Zanotti and Bob Thomann).

Bob also manages a Facebook page for Switzerland in Sound. If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to join his group.

Check out Switzerland In Sound:
http://www.switzerlandinsound.com

VOA Radiograms Today (17 March 2013)

VOARadiogram(Source: VOA Radiogram)

The third airplay of VOA Radiogram is coming soon, at 1300 UTC, on 6095 kHz. Another, directed to Europe, will be at 1930 UTC on 15670 kHz.

Thanks to the many listeners throughout Europe, North America, and even in Asia, who have sent reports, audio, screenshots, spectrum displays, etc. After the last transmission today, I will summarize the results in this website.

WRMI, Radio Miami International, 9955 kHz, is transmitting IDs in the Olivia 8-1000 mode until 0400 UTC Monday (midnight EDT). These are centered on 1300 and 2500 Hz. Don’t be discouraged by the low signal level of WRMI, or by the Cuban jamming on the frequency. You might get a good decode of Olivia 8-1000 anyway.

Wavescan focuses on Africa in 2013

AWRlogoFor those of you looking for an informative show on international broadcasting, shortwave radio and DXing, checkout Wavescan by AWR.

This year, I understand a lot of focus will be placed on radio and broadcasting to/in Africa. Wavescan’s full schedule follows Jeff White’s announcement below:

(Source: Jeff White, WRMI)

WAVESCAN this weekend:

The January 13 edition of Wavescan, which begins to air this weekend and throughout next week on WRMI, contains part 2 of the “100 Years of Wireless and Radio in Bulgaria” series, the Philippines DX Report with Henry Umadhay, and “Focus on Africa: Liberia.” Included is an interview with Allen Graham of HCJB in Ecuador, who is currently working in Liberia doing radio training and helping with a local university FM radio station. Allen talks about the importance of shortwave radio in West Africa.

Wavescan Scheduling: B12 Transmission Period

Radio Miami International

Radio Miami International

Sunday

0500 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

1200 UTC via AWR 17535 kHz – Media Broadcast Wertachtal Germany

1500 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

1530 UTC via AWR 15255 kHz – Sri Lanka Broad Corp Trincomalee Sri Lanka

1600 UTC via KSDA 11825 kHz – Adventist World Radio Agat Guam

1600 UTC via KSDA 15360 kHz – Adventist World Radio Agat Guam

1630 UTC via KSDA 11740 kHZ – Adventist World Radio Agat Guam

2230 UTC via KSDA 15320 kHZ – Adventist World Radio Agat Guam

Monday

1200 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

Tuesday

0430 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

Wednesday

0100 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

1200 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

2000 UTC via WINB 13570 kHz – World International Red Lion Pennsylvania USA

Thursday

400 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz – Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

1430 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz -Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

Friday

0415 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz -Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

Saturday

0800 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz -Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

1200 UTC via WRMI 9955  kHz -Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

1730 UTC via WWCR2 12160 kHz -Worldwide Christian Nashville Tennessee USA

2100 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz -Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

2330 UTC via WRMI 9955 kHz -Radio Miami Int Miami Florida USA

…………..

iPod AWR

Internet Stream AWR.org WRMI.net WWCR.com WINB.com

Telephone Feed WINB at 1 415 655 0846

Radio Australia’s Saturday Night Country is a part of my Saturday morning

Felicity Urquhart, host of ABC's Saturday Night Country. (photo: ABC)

Even though it’s well over 9,800 miles (15,800 kilometers) and many time zones from where I live, I listen to Radio Australia’s Shepparton broadcast site perhaps more than any other on the shortwave bands. For decades, it has beamed a broad and booming signal into North America on 9,580 kHz every morning. Well, I say “morning” here in the southeastern US, but in Australia, it’s their (or, for our Aussie readers, your) evening.

One show Radio Australia broadcasts that’s popular across the globe is ABC’s Saturday Night Country. Felicity Urquhart hosts the program, which showcases the best in Australian country and, indeed, country music worldwide. She knows her stuff, too–not only is she a talented host, but also an accomplished country music star in her own right. (What’s more–see above–she’s got “a face for radio”–? Try television:  she’s very photogenic.)

What I love about Saturday Night Country is that there’s lots of music, but also excellent interviews as Felicity chats with well-known and upcoming stars. Since the Radio Australia shortwave signal out of Shepparton is always so strong coming into the US, the audio fidelity is often on par with local AM (MW) stations.

I listen to the show many Saturday mornings, and I’m not even that big a fan of country music. And I’m not alone; several of you have written asking when I’d write a post about Saturday Night Country. For our readers, I’ve done one better:  check two hours out the latest show for yourself in the recording of ABC below (or click here for the mp3). The broadcast begins with a news segment at the top of the hour; if you like, fast-forward to 4:30 for the beginning of SNC:

Incidentally, I used making this recording as an excuse to test one of the newest receivers on my bench, the WinRadio Excalibur. Its recording functionality is perhaps the best in the SDR world–and, I’ve got to say, I’m most impressed with it. Out of the chunk of spectrum I recorded, I was also able to hear RCI’s Sackville site broadcasting All In a Weekend on 9,625 kHz. In the past, these two have had conflicting schedules between 8:00-9:00 local, but with the Excalibur’s three individual receivers, I can record one while listening to the other–or better yet, record both, and track down yet another station!