Category Archives: Specials

World Radio Day 2016

fb banner greenFebruary 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…

Ears To Our World (ETOW)

GSM Bohnso School, Cameroon (Photo courtesy of ETOW partner, EduCare Africa)

GSM Bohnso School, Cameroon (Photo courtesy of ETOW partner, EduCare Africa)

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.

If you would like to help, please consider a donation of any amount.  This is unquestionably a meaningful way to give the gift of radio, as well as education.

Amateur Radio

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.

Click here for more info.

Radio Romania InternationalRRI-RadioRomaniaInternational

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 engl@rri.ro. 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.

VOARadioGramVOA Radiogram

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.

Want the full WRD events list?

There are dozens of World Radio Day events happening around the world.  For a full list of registered events, check out the World Radio Day website.

Here’s to WRD 2016!  Enjoy!

How will you celebrate World Radio Day 2016?

Paul schedules new shortwave broadcasts via WRMI, WBCQ and Channel 292

SP600Dial3

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!

The Amateur Astronomer: Tune in to Troy’s Christmas gift

imageSWLing 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

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!

Looking forward to the show!

QSO Today Interview with Bob Heil

Bob-HeilEric over at QSO Today has posted an interview with Bob Heil, the founder of Heil Sound, whose microphones have transformed both the amateur community and the professional recording industry (Heil Sound is the only technology company featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!)

The interview is about an hour and half long, and I was fascinated with every minute. In addition to talking about how Amateur Radio laid the foundation for his incredible career(s), Bob also talks about the need for Elmers in the hobby and the need to get hams building again. Along the way there are tips about audio for both transmitting and receiving, as well as a bit of discussion concerning the science of phasing – these alone are worth the price of admission!

Here is the info from the QSO Today site:

Bob Heil, K9EID, is no stranger to ham radio, as a pioneer in audio systems, not only for the rock and roll stars in the 60’s and 70’s, but for ham radio as well. As the founder of Heil Sound, Bob’s injection of audio experience and know how has raised the bar of what is acceptable for good sounding voice communications on amateur radio. Bob shares his ham radio story with Eric, 4Z1UG, on this episode of QSO Today.

Show Notes: http://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/k9eid

Podcast Link: http://goo.gl/ymGr6a

iTunes Store: http://goo.gl/CvLNmV

Stitcher: http://goo.gl/uhf1XZ

— 73, Robert

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

SRAA Recording: The Happy Station Show circa 1979

Crosley-Dial-BlackAndWhiteMany thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Richard Collings, who recently submitted this amazing off-air recording of the Happy Station Show. Richard notes:

The Happy Station Show of Sunday 23rd December 1979. A pre-recorded special Christmas show with Tom Meijer. Broadcast from 0930 to 1020GMT [on 9895 kHz and received in Plymouth, Devon, UK].

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

Note that this is one of many archived off-air recordings found on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.