Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Greece

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The Voice of Greece is an unpredictable broadcaster these days. VOG is not on the air as much as in the past and doesn’t seem to follow a broadcast schedule. I only hear them perhaps once or twice per week now.

But I’m not complaining–after all, this is a shortwave broadcaster that basically came back from the dead.

I love VOG’s music programs and last night their Avlis transmitter was fired up and relaying some wonderful tunes.

The following recording was made on January 30, 2016 starting at 0145 UTC on 9420 kHz. I made this recording with the TitanSDR Pro receiver connected to a large skyloop antenna. Click here to download the MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

I also had the TitanSDR simultaneously recording pirate radio spectrum just below the 40 meter ham band. I’m saving that bit of spectrum for a rainy day!

Anyone else tune to VOG last night?

From the Shortwave Archives: BBC World Service report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who submits the following notes with his timely off-air recording of the BBC World Service from January 28, 1986:

Thirty years ago today the US Space program came crashing down with the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

I was a student at Purdue University at the time, living in a dormitory.

I decided to make some recordings knowing this would be a historic event.

This is a recording I made of the BBC on the evening of Jan 28 (0200 UTC on January 29). The frequency was most likely 5975 kHz or 9590 kHz. The dorm environment didn’t make a great place for SWL reception and the recording is noisy but still of decent quality.

Recorded using a Sony ICF-2001 with a wire attached to a window screen for an antenna.

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

Thank you so much for sharing this recording, Tom. What a brilliant way to remember and honor the Challenger crew.

To listen to a wide array of off-air shortwave radio recordings, explore the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

All India Radio DRM: Dan notes two simultaneous feeds

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Srebnick, who writes:

While DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) has long been pronounced DOA (dead on arrival), All India Radio seems to be taking it pretty seriously. Here’s a screenshot of not one, but two simultaneous feeds going out over the same 10 kHz wide 40 meter frequency (7,550 kHz) at 2027 UTC today. The signal on my Perseus was just a tad under S9+5db using my ham band Alpha Delta DX-CC antenna.

image001So what’s the twist, aside from the 2 feeds on 1 frequency? Even at +5 over S9, the feed was only strong enough to occasionally flutter in with some decoded audio. Mostly, it was silence.

[I had] about a 98% successful decode by 2051 UTC when the signal rose to S9+10 db. I could switch between streams by clicking channel button within Dream!

Dan wrote the message above yesterday, I asked him if he could record AIR  today and he kindly sent the following:

AIR DRM recorded today with announcements @ 1930 UTC. Some dropouts as a
great example of the dropout/echo effect heard on DRM when signals are quite
strong enough. This decode was done at S9 signal strength.

Dan actually calls the DRM dropouts, the Max Headroom Effect.”  That is the best description I’ve ever heard, Dan.  Thanks for sharing your notes and recording!

DXing on the Road in Colombia with Don Moore

Radio Mil Cuarenta's studio in Popayan, Colombia. (studio with station's car in front)

Noted DXer and South American radio enthusiast Don Moore (USA) is travelling again and posting fascinating photos & commentary of DXing and life in Colombia.

Don mentions:

The focus is MW. My postings include photos and local recordings of stations from southernmost Colombia including the cities of Pasto and Popayan.  I’m currently in Cali (the third largest city) for two weeks. I’ll also get a complete band scan completed in the next few days.

His current journal entries, photos, and DX clips are on his web site.The Todelar network building in Pasto.

Be sure and check out Don’s extensive coverage of the Central and South American radio scene, and coverage of his previous travels at http://www.pateplumaradio.com

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

Sean’s recording of an International Space Station EVA

ISSSean Gilbert, WRTH’s International Editor, recently shared this audio he originally recorded on June 19, 2014. Sean writes:

With all the interest in space and the ISS at the moment, I thought I would share a recording I made on 19 June 2014 @ 1715 UTC. This is from the Russian part of the ISS and the audio (which is in Russian) is of the cosmonauts talking during a spacewalk (EVA as they are known). The person speaking is actually in space, outside of the ISS. The audio begins about 2 mins into the recording and lasts for about 5 mins.

[Listen via the embedded player below, or click here for the MP3 version.]

[…]This was received on 143.625MHz NFM (+/- a few kHz due to doppler shift). Receiver here was a Funcube Dongle Pro + into a 2 element circular polarised turnstile in the attic. Signal was lost at a distance of 2000km (to the East of my location in IO92ma) at 3 degree elevation. Altitude of ISS was 418km above earth. 

Sean-Gilbert-ISS-Screen-Cap-Spectrum

The image [above] shows a grab of the signal, exhibiting doppler shift due to the ISS orbit in relation to the earth.

 […]I would be interested to know what they are saying. […]To me this was far more exciting than receiving SSTV pictures from the ISS. I may never hear another EVA – I am just thankful that I found this as it was an announced/schedules EVA.

That is very cool, indeed, Sean! At some point, I must make an effort to venture up to the VHF neighborhood and attempt to hear the ISS.

I hope there’s a Russophone reader out there who can help Sean interpret the EVA dialog! Please comment!

Recordings of final mediumwave broadcasts from Luxembourg, France and Germany

AM-Dial-Digital-Grundig-Mediumwave-MWMany thanks to several of you who recorded the final sign-ons and sign-offs of several European broadcasters who pulled the plug on mediumwave transmissions this past weekend.

SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, recorded the following broadcasts and posted them to our Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Click on the following links for recordings and Richard’s excellent notes:

Bernhard Albicker of IntervalSignals.org and AM-Tuners also contacted me with links to recordings he made of the following:

Radio Luxembourg (RTL) special broadcast in honor of the former English service:

Notes:

  • 00:00:00 CRI german, no closing announcement
  • 00:07:49 RTL special broadcast: final 2 hours of RTL “Great 208” from Dec., 1991
  • 02:12:12 National Anthem of LUX

Deutschlandfunk DLF final sign-off:

A special thanks to Bernhard for including the following notes from the final DLF broadcast (in German):

  • 01:03 Announcement of closure. This announcement was broadcast before the full hour since the month of November followed by time signal and news.
  • Within the news at 05:05–item about shutdown of Medium Wave “Era of medium wave ends in Germany” followed by weather report at 05:37
  • 46:35 switch from regular programming to interval signal loop
  • 51:57 sign off transmitter Nordkirchen 549kHz
  • 53:13 sign off transmitter Thurnau 549kHz

Star Wars sound designer is, indeed, a radio enthusiast

StarWars-LogoSWLing Post readers may remember a post I recently published in which I believed I’d identified a familiar shortwave time signal station in the Battle of Hoth scene from The Empire Strikes Back. If you haven’t read this post, feel free to do so and listen to the embedded video/audio clips.

Upon hearing this, I went so far as to muse that the Star Wars sound designer might be a radio listener. I asked our readers if anyone could confirm this–?

Well, we’ve got our answer!  I’m truly indebted to an SWLing Post reader who passed my post along to his friend, Ben, who could provide this definitive response:

“This is Ben Burtt, sound designer of the Star Wars films. A friend sent me a link to this blog thinking I would like to comment.

Ben and old recorders

Ben Burtt with his recording gear, circa 1980. The mike on the stand at Ben’s feet is one from his grandfather’s ham radio station in the 1950s, or possibly earlier.

“The answer is yes, I have always been a ham radio enthusiast.”

 

“My grandfather, Harold Burtt, operated W8CD out of his home in Columbus, Ohio 1930s-1960s. I was enthralled as a kid listening to the sounds on his receiver. I heard alien worlds and cosmic ‘voices.’

Harold Burtt, (Chairman of the Psychology Dept Ohio State) with his attic gear approximately 1935

Harold Burtt, W8CD. (Chairman of the Psychology Dept Ohio State) with his attic gear,  approximately 1935

“So not only did I record his radio, but continued to do so on the Star Wars series and Star Trek as well.

My memory of the Hoth transmission was that it was WWV but it could have been CHU since I was recording all that interested me on the dial.”

Terrific! Thank you, Ben, for taking the time to respond. As I said, you’ve certainly started off this radio enthusiast’s year on the right wavelength…no doubt some of our readers will agree.

Indeed, the powerful sonic experience of the Star Wars and Star Trek films has, in my estimation, helped shape many of us into the radio/sound enthusiasts we’ve become–myself certainly included. Thank you, Ben, for this!  You’ve sharpened my ear to a greater appreciation of sound, especially filmic sound, and your work in particular.    

For readers who are less familiar with Ben Burtt’s work, check out his Wikipedia page and IMDB profile–you’ll find he’s been the sound designer on numerous influential films including the recently released Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

A special thanks to Ben Burtt for sharing these wonderful photos and kindly giving me permission to use them here on the SWLing Post.  I must say, considering my love of radio in the thirties, I especially like that photo of Harold Burtt (W8CD) in his shack.