Category Archives: Shortwave Radio

Deutsche Welle closes Kigali relay station

DW's relay station in Kigali (Source: Deutsche Welle)

DW’s relay station in Kigali (Source: Deutsche Welle)

(Source: KT Press via Richard Cuff)

Germans Close Business in Rwanda After Half Century Lease Expires

Once a powerful facility in the region, the German owned Deutsche Welle radio center at Kinyinya hill outside Kigali is finally and completely shutting down. It’s no more.

In 1965, Rwanda leased 68.4 hectares on Kinyinya hill for fifty years to the Germans- that later set up a massive facility to boost Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster.

“We are stopping our short wave transmitters today and then next week we will start dismantling them and the masts in order to meet the deadline of August when our license expires,” said Bernhard Ahlborn, the deputy director of Deutsche Welle.

On March 28, 2015 the facility stopped its operations, to begin dismantling their equipment, to pave away for the handover of the Land to Rwanda government.

The Germans will today hand over the premises of the relay station with its infrastructure to the Government of Rwanda, to mark the end of 50 year concession agreement.

The Deutsche Welle relay station in Kigali has been serving African and the Middle East audiences. It was the only firm facility of the kind that was remaining. The Germans had similar facilities in other 60 countries.

Continue reading on the KT Press website…

David enjoys hammock mobile SWLing with his Icom IC-92AD

Icom-ID-92AD-Shortwave

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Korchin (K2WNW), for sharing this short video demonstrating the shortwave receive capabilities of the Icom IC-92AD handheld transceiver:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Frankly, I’m quite amazed at the clarity and fidelity of the Voice of Turkey interval signal on this handheld. Goes to show that with a proper antenna, and decent conditions, wide-band handhelds can certainly be used for shortwave radio listening! It also helps that David is outdoors, away from RFI, and was located on the coast of Long Island, NY.

Post readers: Have you had good fortune SWLing with wide-band handled transceivers? Please comment!

WWII Correspondence Collection highlights POW radio letters

Atwater-Kent-Dial

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Cuff, who shared the following article via the Winter SWL Fest email group:

(Source: Ithaca.com)

He Got News to Families of POWs

The word “archives” can conjure up an image of dusty boxes of documents and sepia photographs. Do not be deceived. In fact, the files in the Tompkins County History Center Archives are filled with stories and all manner of tantalizing clues and evidence about the lives of those who came before us. And in the hands of Archives Director Donna Eschenbrenner—knowledgeable, helpful, ever eager to assist—those files can come alive.

Such a collection is file V-63-7-6, the ‘Meredith Brill WWII Correspondence Collection. In early 1944 15-year-old Caroline resident Meredith (“Bub” to his family) Brill was a shortwave radio enthusiast. What made Brill remarkable is that he was able, with his radio, to get information from Nazi-occupied Europe thousands of miles away, about American servicemen who had been taken prisoner by the Germans. He wrote the names, ranks serial numbers and home addresses down, and then sent letters to the families of the prisoners. He wrote dozens of such letters. The archives file is comprised of thank-you letters from those families, Brill’s notebooks and some of his letters that were returned unread.

His own letters are extraordinary. They are simple without being blunt, and his all-caps typewritten directness doesn’t disguise the very human impulse to ease a family’s anxiety. “I hope this information will be of help to you because I know many parents worry a great deal about their sons and daughters in the service.”

Shortwave radios captured the imagination of a lot of young people in those days. The technology has been called the “first internet.” A shortwave radio uses frequencies just above the medium AM broadcast band, and it can be used for very long distance reception by means of “skip propagation,” in which the radio waves are reflected back to earth from the ionosphere. It allows communication around the curvature of the earth. Sound quality can vary greatly, and it depends on the season and time of day, but you can hear broadcasts from around the world. Generally, the signals are best at night.[…]

Continue reading at Ithaca.com…

Back in 2011, I posted a short review of Lisa Spahr’s book, World War II Radio Heroes, which also focuses on these amazing POW messages. Such a fascinating piece of WWII radio history.

Sangean ATS-909X on eBay

Sangean-909xSangean ATS-909x on eBay

For those who might be interested there is a black version of the 909X on eBay with an auction end day of Monday early afternoon. The condition looks good from the pics (of course buyer beware!) and current bid is $127.50 with two bidders. I have one of the white series which bought several years ago from another ham right at this price, so needless to say I was happy (and lucky!)

Item # 172219284531

Seller information

100% Positive feedback

 

(No connection to seller – just included for search purposes!)

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

BBC Waveguide and Letterbox archives now available online

Waveguide

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who writes:

BBC World Service Archives continue to put up programmes on the main site, they were previously available on a beta site you had to register for and were allowed to add tags or edit data. 64 editions of Waveguide, their radio broadcasting developments programme now up, first one 21 April 1988. last one 14 March 2001.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0338l70/episodes/guide

There were only 4 editions of the long running Letterbox on the beta site but they have been transferred over, includes the final edition. None of World Radio Club in the archives unfortunately.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033dqhr/episodes/guide

Many thanks for the tip, Mike! I’m happy the BBC is making their archives even more accessible as a part of their strategic plan. Please let us know if you note any other archives of interest!