Alexanderson alternator in the SAQ Grimeton VLF transmitter.
The annual transmission “Alexanderson Day” with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call SAQ will take place Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at 09:00 UTC (tuning up from after 08:30 UTC) and will be repeated at 12:00 UTC (tuning up from after 11:30 UTC).
Amateur Radio Station with the call “SK6SAQ” will be QRV on the following frequencies:
– 7.035 kHz CW or
– 14.035 kHz CW or
– 21.035 kHz CW or
– 3.755 kHz SSB
Two stations will be on the air most of the time.
QSL-reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ are kindly received via:
– E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by mail to: Alexander – Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner,
SE-432 98 GRIMETON
S W E D E N
On Tuesday, 21 June 2016, the BBC World Service officially transmitted the 2016 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast–an international radio broadcast intended for a small group of scientists, technicians, and support staff who work for the British Antarctic Survey.
This is one of my favorite annual broadcasts, and I endeavor to listen every year. Once again, the SWLing Post called upon readers to make a short recording of the broadcast from their locale.
Below are the entries, roughly organized by continent and country/region, including reader’s photos if provided. I had planned to post these recordings by Sunday, but my travels interfered and I discovered an additional ten recordings in my inbox! (If I’ve somehow missed including your entry, please contact me; I’ll amend this post.)
So, without further ado….
The 2016 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast Recordings
Paul’s Icom IC-7300 tuned to the BBC Midwinter broadcast.
SWL: Paul Philbrook Location: Adelaide, South Australia Notes: Here are a couple of recordings from this mornings broadcast. Just had a quick listen before heading off to work and recorded these two with the IC-7300. Radio: Icom IC-7300 Aerial: Multi-band loaded dipole. 5985 Khz strength 5 readable, 6035 Khz strength 8 good readability, 7360 Khz no copy.
SWL: Bryan Clark Location: Mangawhai, New Zealand Notes: Listening in New Zealand, reception was not as good as last year.
Here are short audio files of the 3 frequencies. I used an EWE antenna aimed southeast, that is across South America, for the best signals. Receiver is a WinRadio Excalibur Pro SDR.
SWL: Christoph Ratzer Location: Salzburg, Austria Notes: Here my complete recording for you. Received at my remote station http://remotedx.wordpress.com in Salzburg, WinRadio G33 Excalibur PRO, Delta loop antenna with Bonito ML052 amplifier.
SWL: Philippe Location: L’Hôpital-Camfrout, France (few km south of Brest) Notes: Very good conditions here, good sound. Equipment: Yaesu FT817ND + V inverted antenna and Yaesu Vx7r + original antenna (little stick on the radio). On both radios, reception: 59 / 59+
SWL: Renato Feuli (IK0OZK) Location: Valentano, Italy Notes: Woofferton at 5.895 Khz AM
Time UTC 21.33
Signal Report R/S R5 S 9+15 Db Very Good signal and audio
RTX JRC 245 and Windom antenna
To Ascension at 7.360 Khz AM
Time UTC 21.33
Signal Report R/S R5 S 9+10 Db Very Good Signal and audio
Receiver JRC NRD 545 Dsp and Long-Wire antenna
SWL: Joseph Location: Ponza island, Italy Notes: I am Joseph in Ponza island, Italy, with pleasure I send you a video of the Antarctic Midwinter 2016 recorded yesterday night with my old smartphone … great about the 5985 and 7360 frequencies, very poor reception on 6035, I used the 3 receivers Yaesu vr5000 connected on a discone antenna “Midland full band”, AOR ar 3030 and Kenwood R1000 on antenna “Mini Whip”.
SWL: Davide Borroni Location: Saronno, Italy Notes: 21 June 2016 at 2130-2200 UTC on 7360 KHZ AM. I listened to the BBC broadcast with SINPO 54444. I listened to beautiful music and talk. Thanks for show ! I used my R&S ESH3 (see above) with my magnetic loop 2 meter diameter antenna.
SWL: Chris Inwood Location: Conrwall, England Notes: [R]ecorded on 5.985 MHz. This frequency was by far the best quality. I was able to copy 7.365 here but there was slight QSB and some interference from an adjacent broadcaster HCJB. 6.035 was not heard at all neither was 9.720 MHz. Very best wishes and thanks, I always look forward to my email.
SWL: Mark Hirst Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire Notes: Thanks for alerting shortwave listeners to the British Antarctic Survey broadcast. It felt very poignant listening to a broadcast aimed at such a small number of people, with the voices of their loved ones being launched around the world.
I was able to record the broadcast from only 100 miles away from the Woofferton transmitter, so needless to say the quality and strength was very good. I imagine hearing that broadcast buried in the noise from far away with those happy birthday songs and best wishes must have been very emotional for its intended audience.
My recording location was Basingstoke, Hampshire in the UK – locator IO91LH 20HH
[Note that Mark also recorded the full 30 minute broadcast which you can download by clicking here.]
SWL: Dean Allison Location: Bedlington, Northumberland, England Notes: I have attached an audio file of the BBC transmission to Antarctica. My location is Bedlington, Northumberland, England, about 100 feet above sea level, using a Kenwood R5000 receiver and a 30 feet longwire antenna about 12 feet off the ground. This was the 5985 kHz transmission.
SWL: Jerry Rhys Location: Surrey, England Notes: Attached are two recordings of today’s BBC Antarctic Broadcast made between
2130 and 2150z. The first recording was made using AM mode with 8 kHz bandwidth on 5985 then 7360, followed by 6035. The second recording was made using SAM mode with 10 kHz bandwidth on 7360, 6035, and 5985.
The best signal was on 5985, 7360 was weak but readable, on 6035 I could detect a carrier and occasional modulation – on this frequency there was also interference from a digital transmission on 6037. Nothing heard on 9720.
I was using a RF Space SDR-IQ Receiver, and a Wellbrook ALA1530S Loop
Antenna installed in my loft. Many thanks for the SWLing Post, always an enjoyable read!
SWL: Alan (G4TMV) Location: northern England Notes: Reception of this special broadcast was excellent here in northern England on 5985 kHz. It was an enjoyable broadcast again, but Babcock weren’t wasting any electricity on it, it came on and went off again almost spot on 2130 and 2200!
SWL: Lawrence Beedle Location: Manchester, England Notes: Here is my recording of the mid winter broadcast by the BBC 21st June 2016. Tecsun PL660 telescopic aerial, indoors, sat at kitchen table in a house in Manchester, England, UK. 5985khz good reception. 6035 kHz not as strong, 7360 kHz no reception. Recorded on iPhone next to speaker on radio. 36 seconds.
SWL: David Mappin Location: Filey, England Notes: Just thought I would let you know how I got on with the BBC WS broadcast to Antarctica. I used my Icom IC-R75 receiver and a Wellbrook ALA1530 inside the house. 5985 kHz was very strong with me here on the east coast of the UK (NVIS propagation?). Nothing heard on 6035 or 9720 but a weak signal on 7360. Attached (above) is a photograph of my listening post. This is a link to a YouTube video of the start of the broadcast. My very best regards and thank you for your excellent website.
A screenshot from Cap’s Elad FDM-S1 SDR.
SWL: Cap Location: N.W. Scotland Notes: Here is my attempt last night with SDR screenshot attached, Elad FDM-S1 with homebrew mini Mag Loop (<250mm dia) sitting on my bookcase. No doubt there will be better signals/recordings than mine as the signal was really strong from WOF and considering my setup is 100% indoors, it came out ok. External antennas don’t last here as I am by the sea and regular 100mph+ storms in the winter is too much hassle.
SWL: Richard Langley Location: New Brunswick Notes: Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in AM mode with 5.0 kHz RF filtering at the back of my yard. The photo [of Richard’s outdoor portable listening post] was taken during some other recordings last year.
Click here to listen to Richard’s recording, or simply use the embedded player below:
SWL: Thomas Witherspoon Location: Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec Notes: I traveled to an RFI quite spot in the parking lot of the Basilica in St.-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec. Click here to read a full post about my set-up and conditions. Note that I used a Sony ICF-SW55 receiver (above), perched on top of my vehicle and tuned to 7360 kHz.
SWL: Dan Hawkins Location: Davis, California Notes:Here is my YouTube video. I’m using both the Sangean and Hammarlund receivers to hunt down the BBC Midwinter Antarctic Broadcast. Probably a somewhat different result than on most of the videos, but probably typical of West Coast propagation at these frequencies and times.
SWL: Nace Magner Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky Notes: Please find attached a video of my reception of the BBC broadcast. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm passed through about 10 minutes prior to the video and the audio is dominated by lightning-related crashes. However, the BBC signal can be heard periodically. My location was on a university campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is about 50 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee. I received the signal using a Tecsun PL-660 and its whip antenna. I enjoy the SWLing site. Best regards, Nace Magner (KW4LY)
Once again, many thanks to all of you who submitted your recordings of the BBC Midwinter Broadcast! We’ll be sharing this post with both the British Antarctic Survey and the BBC World Service. And to all of you, from the SWLing Post: Happy Midwinter! Happy Summer/Winter Solstice!
February 13th is World Radio Day, a day “to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe,” as UNESCO reminds us. At the SWLing Post, we get it: shortwave radio listeners understand the unique power of information unhindered by borders, censors, or subscription fees, as supplied by radio.
This year, the UNESCO theme for World Radio Day is a worthy one: “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster.”
And here are just a few ways you can celebrate World Radio Day 2016…
Of course, at my non-profit Ears To Our World, we celebrate the unique power of radio everyday. While we use a variety of technologies in rural and remote communities, radio still plays a central role since it’s such an accessible technology.
In 2014 and 2015, for example, we distributed Sony AM/FM radios that gave children in Sierra Leone the opportunity to listen to over-the-air classes while their school system was shut down due to Ebola.
Powered by this success, we’re now in the process of putting together radio projects for rural, off-the-grid communities in Haiti, Cameroon, and Kenya, where children and their families need the education and information radio can provide.
The Phoenix Amateur Radio Club will celebrate World Radio Day on the 13th and 14th of February with on-air shortwave activities, as a key part of the club’s ongoing British Scientists Commemorations. This sounds like an enjoyable way to honor the day as well as the contributions of British scientists.
Radio Romania issues the following fun invitation:
On World Radio Day 2016, we invite you, dear friends, to send us short recorded messages on this [year’s] topic, by e-mail, as audio-attachments, at email@example.com. You can also send us short written messages on the importance of radio in times of disaster by e-mail or…post them on RRI’s Facebook page, on Google+, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
The most interesting texts and audio messages will be included in a special program on RRI, around February 13th, 2016.
Also, if you have royalty-free personal photos illustrative of the role played by radio in your life, or… the role of radio in times of emergency and disaster, please send them to us in electronic format, accompanied by the necessary explanations, in order to create a photo gallery on RRI’s website and to post them on our social network profiles. Click here for the full article.
VOA Radiogram will honor World Radio Day with text and images sent via shortwave radio; you may enjoy receiving this fun “coded” message:
Old shortwave, medium wave, and longwave transmitters can be used to transmit text and images. This can be useful when the Internet is not available for any reason.
VOA Radiogram, an experimental Voice of America radio gram, transmits text and images via a 50-year-old shortwave transmitter located in North Carolina. VOA Radiogram during the weekend on 13-14 February will include a mention of World Radio Day. Receive VOA Radiogram on any shortwave radio, patch the audio into a PC or Android device using software such as Fldigi from w1hkj.com.
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul Walker, who writes:
I will be doing another broadcast on Shortwave and it’s going to be even bigger and better right now.
Tentatively, this is how the broadcast schedule times/frequencies work out to be:
WBCQ 5110khz and 9330khz Friday March 11th, 2016 10pm to 12midnight Eastern (which is 0300 to 0500 UTC Saturday March 12th)
WRMI 11580khz Thursday March 10th, 2016 Thursday March 10th, 2016 8pm to 10pm Eastern (which is 0100 to 0300utc on Friday March 11th)
Channel 292, 6070khz (Germany transmitter site) Friday March 110th, 2016 10pm to 12midnight UK time (which is 5pm to 7pm eastern, not that Channel 292 can be heard in the US… just giving you a frame of reference)
I am in the process of booking all this time, so something could change in terms of times/dates between now and the broadcast dates.
I’ll be doing 2 hours of rock n roll and country music .. no commercials, no pleading for money, no asking for donations.. just me, playing the music I like.. because. well I want to and I can.
I’m paying for time on all 4 of these stations out of MY OWN POCKET, again for no reason, other then I want to.
So many complain about what radio lacks, wether am, fm or sw and lament about the old days or suggest what would work today.. but want it done with other people’s money.. they won’t put up and shut up. What I do won’t change radio or make much of a difference in the grand scheme of shortwave radio, but I can have fun and share my love of radio and music with others.
I am trying to secure an hour or two on a United Kingdom area AM station as well if it is affordable and I can find one to sell me time.
Writing to you from an apartment only 500 feet from the frozen Yukon river in Alaska’s interior region.
Excellent news, Paul! Please keep us informed as I’m happy to post any updates you may have. We’ll be listening!
SWLing Post reader, Troy Riedel, received a gift like no other from his son this Christmas. No, it wasn’t the fabulous Celestron telescope in the above photo. On Christmas Eve (December 24) Troy sent the following message:
Merry Christmas, Thomas.
I have to tell you what my son gave me for Christmas a few hours ago.
He purchased 1-hour of radio time for me on WBCQ (5110) for Wednesday, 30 December at 8 P.M. EST.
I will have to pre-record approximately 50-55 minutes over the coming days (not much time to prepare).
After telling my son this is cool – I also added this is the most stressful gift I’ve ever received.
My son suggested I may want to talk about astronomy.
A cool gift, indeed. Evidently––and even more cool–– Troy is something of a hardcore amateur astronomer. I also encouraged him to do a show on this topic; I can’t think of the last time I heard a show about astronomy on shortwave!
Troy Riedel, host of The Amateur Astronomer
So, despite the challenge of putting a show together in less than a week, Troy confirmed yesterday that he has already completed the show and WBCQ will air it at the following time/frequency:
5,110 kHz on Dec 30, 2015 at 8:00 PM EST (1:00 UTC December 31, 2015)
Troy is looking forward to reception reports and will announce the address during the broadcast.
Oh––and being the good man he is, Troy is also including a PSA for Ears To Our World. Thanks, Troy!