Category Archives: Shortwave Radio

Nova Spaceline shortwave broadcasts to Antarctica

The following information was first shared with me by SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl. As I looked for more details, I discovered the following note in the excellent CIDX Messenger:

From Alan Roe of Teddington, UK, here is information on new transmissions targeting
Antarctica:

According to posting on “Shortwave Airtime” Facebook page:

“Spaceline Ltd and Radio Nova News are to start transmissions to Antarctica for campaign for access of information to the Bulgarian Antractic base. Shortwave is the only media that can reach directly Antarctida at the distance of 13.000 km. Transmissions will start on 1’st of January, 01.00 – 02.00 UTC daily on frequency 11600 kHz. For more information visit www.spaceline.bg”

I couldn’t find any more information at either the Spaceline website or the Radio Nova news
website at https://nova.bg/

However, I received today the following reply (below) from Spaceline:

Hello Alan,

The information on the Facebook page is correct, and Space Line will start the transmissions of Nova News to Antarctica very soon.It was been planned to start the project on January the 1’st, but due to some logistic problems with the base, is postponed for middle or the end of January this year, but there was a test transmission on January the 1st 2017 on 11600 kHz. After the test it appeared that here may be a frequency change from the announced one, due to some propagation anomalies.

The retransmission of Radio Nova News on shortwave is a common project between Nova, Spaceline Ltd. and Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, for reaching the scientists in Bulgarian Antarctic Base on South Shetland Island with fresh news information feed about the social life in Bulgaria.

Stay tuned to the shortwave.airtime FB page for more information about the project.
Best Regards,
Ventsislav Georgiev
Manager R&D
SpaceLine Ltd. | www.spaceline.bg
Mob : +359 888 554 297
E-mail: georgiev@spaceline.bg
James Baucher blvd 71, Fl. 6, Office 5,
1407 Sofia , BULGARIA

Thank you Harald and Alan for the tip!

Lennart reflects on Radio St. Helena Day history

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lennart Weirell, who shares the following:

Some Radio St. Helena History

The idea to put St. Helena on the shortwave map came up in conjunction with the preparations for the Nordic Championships in DX-ing in 1990 arranged by Stora Tuna DX-klubb.

The two Swedish dx-ers Jan Tunér and John Ekwall wanted to add a special station into the competition. John was also the person behind the shortwave transmission from Radio Syd in Gambia in 1984.

The first shortwave transmission from St. Helena took place in the evening of 1990-10-06. I participated myself in the competition, but I did not manage to hear the station at that time. The response for the Radio St Helena was so good that they decided to continue once a year with what was known as Radio St. Helena Day.

In 1993 I managed to hear the station and I got it verified.

More about Radio St Helena can be found at http://www.sthelena.se/radioproject/

Lennart also included scans of Radio St. Helena’s 1993 newsletter (click on each page to enlarge).


Thank you for sharing this with us, Lennart. Honestly, much of these hidden, fascinating bits of radio history would be lost and forgotten if it weren’t for folks like you and our other contributors who share them with the world!

SDR-Console V3 Preview now supports the SDRplay RSP2

Many thanks to Jon Hudson at SDRplay who has just informed me that SDR-Console V3 Preview supports the new SDRplay RSP2.

SDRplay posted the following on their blog:

Many thanks to Simon Brown for updating SDR-Console V3 Preview to fully support both the RSP1 and the RSP2- you can download the software from http://sdr-radio.com/v3_preview_downloads  (be sure to click on the software link  under where it says ‘Downloads’ unless you want to download the software from the advertisers who support Simon’s work!)

As new YouTube demo videos of SDR-Console V3 in action become available, we will add them to the playlists on our YouTube Channel:  www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP

Click here to read on the SDRplay blog.

Very cool, Jon!  Happy to see app support for the new RSP2 is propagating. Thank you for sharing!

Klaus demonstrates his folding mag loop antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Klaus Boecker, who follows up after our recent post showcasing his homebrew magnetic loop antenna.

One of the cool things about Klaus’ antenna is that he can easily position it vertically (see above), or fold it over into a horizontal position (see below).

While one would think Klaus would get optimal performance from his loop while vertically-oriented, it’s not always the case. Klaus has discovered that on some frequencies, placing the antenna in the horizontal position lowers the noise level and increases the target signal’s strength.

To demonstrate, Klaus made the following short video for us:

Click here to view on YouTube.

That’s a pretty amazing difference, Klaus! I’m no antenna expert, but perhaps what’s happening is you’re eliminating noise that is polarized in the plane of your antenna, thus the signal “pops out” much better when oriented horizontally?

I’m curious if any readers can explain this.   I know very little about loop antennas–especially small loops since so much of their surroundings affect their performance.

Thanks for sharing, Klaus!

Oxford Shortwave Log: Sony ICF-SW77 vs ICF-SW55 vs Tecsun PL-310ET

Hi there, I recently posted an article regarding a couple of recent DX catches with the Sony ICF-SW77 receiver and went on to explain the background to a multi-receiver test I had started conducting, comparing it with its stablemate of the time the ICF-SW55 and, just for the hell of it, a more modern, yet modest portable in the shape of the brilliant little Tecsun PL-310ET.                                                Sony ICF-SW77

The initial results confirmed the performance of the Sony receivers to be very similar and thus the justification for the original price delta of £100 in the UK to remain in question. The first target signals chosen and in the original post were ABC Northern Territories on 4835 kHz and Radio Mali on 9635 kHz.

Sony ICF-SW55                                                        Tecsun PL-310ET

The initial results reinforced my view that the PL-310ET is a great portable for relatively small money; it managed to copy both signals, something you might not expect from what is essentially a budget receiver.

Below are links to the next 6 reception videos on the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel and once again, featuring all three radios. I have used two different antennas during the testing – a 75 metre longwire and the Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop, running on batteries. The accompanying text description to the videos indicates which antenna was used.

Although the PL-310ET clearly struggled with the more ‘hard-core’ DX signals amongst those detailed below, the fact is, for less than £40 in the UK (and I’m certain even less elsewhere), Tecsun have delivered us a portable radio that really is capable of real DX. With DSP, a number of audio bandwidth filter options and great sensitivity, it’s a winner for beginners to DXing and to ‘old hands’ who want a radio in their pocket when they take the dog for a walk for example (something I do all the time – you never know when you’re going to come across the next barbed wire fence!). As for the Sonys, well I’m still not convinced one way or the other that the £100 price delta on the original price of the ICF-SW77 was worth the money – the ICF-SW55 is pretty close to it in terms of delivering discernible audio across all of the below reception videos. I’d be interested in your views and note there will be a final posting on this 3-way receiver comparison to wrap things up. In the meantime, thanks for reading/watching/listening and I wish you good DX!

Enbedded videos follow below.

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.