Category Archives: Sports

RTÉ broadcasts the 2016 GAA finals via shortwave

rte-logo-web1(Source: RTÉ)

Wherever you are in the world, here’s how you can follow this year’s All-Ireland football finals with RTÉ Sport.

On TV with RTÉ television, online via RTÉ Player, worldwide with GAAGO, on your mobile device with RTÉ News Now and via shortwave to Africa with RTÉ Radio, there are no shortage of ways to access the centrepiece of the football season.

RTÉ.ie will have previews, reviews and analysis from the top GAA analysts, features, live TV and Radio streaming, player and manager interviews and a live blog to keep you right up to date with events in Croke Park.

On TV, Michael Lyster and guests will be live from Croke Park for all the build-up at 2.10pm Irish time. Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio will be live as usual from 1pm on LW and from 2pm across all frequencies. Throw-in for the senior game is 3.30pm.[…]

Shortwave to Africa

In Africa, where many Irish people live and work, often in relative isolation with poor communications, RTÉ is providing special transmissions on shortwave radio from 1pm-5pm

Frequencies:

East Africa and North Africa
1300-1700 9470 kHz

Southern Africa
1300-1700 17540 kHz

The CountyComm GP5/SSB: my go-to shortwave radio for hiking

CountyComm GP5/SSB while hiking

My two hiking companions: the CountyComm GP5/SSB and Hazel the dog.

Posting the Blinq deal a few moments ago reminded me that my favorite shortwave radio to use while hiking/walking is the CountyComm GP5/SSB.

I have CountyComm’s custom GP5 case which I clip to my belt or backpack. While hiking, I find it handy to open the case from the top, pull the radio out and operate/tune it with only one hand. Indeed, the vertical form factor of the GP5/SSB is ergonomically-ideal; I can control almost all of the radio functions without having to use two hands. A huge bonus while hiking on uneven terrain!

Typically, when I start a hike, I enable an EMT scan and within a minute or so, the GP5/SSB populates temporary memory positions with all of the signals it can easily receive. When you’re in the middle of the woods–far from sources of radio interference–you’ll be amazed by what you can hear.

GP5SSB-Top

Of course, with the antenna fully extended, one does have to watch out for low-hanging branches, etc.

CountyComm GP5/SSB while hiking

Since the telescoping antenna doesn’t swivel, it’s much easier to hold the radio in a way that the antenna points forward while you hike (bonus: it’ll catch all of the spider webs across the trail before your face does!).

GP5SSB-MW-Antenna

So far, I’ve never used the external mediumwave ferrite bar antenna while hiking–I worry that I could drop the radio and damage either the antenna or the 1/8″ antenna jack.

I typically listen to the GP5 with headphones unless I’m walking a trail during the time of year when black bears are active (in which case the speaker helps alert bears that I’m in the neighborhood).

GP5SSB-Front

Of course, there are a few other radio models with an identical vertical form-factor–most notably, the:

If you’re not familiar with the CountyComm GP5/SSB, click here to read previous posts. I also featured the CountyComm GP5/DSP (Tecsun PL-360) in an ultra portable shoot out in 2014–click here to read.

Do you have a favorite shortwave portable for hiking, biking or cycling? Please comment!

The best shortwave radio for cross-continent cycling?

image006

SWLing Post reader, Pat, is an avid cyclist and is seeking a radio for his next cross-continent adventure. There are a limited number of products on the market that meet Pat’s requirements, so I thought posting his inquiry might bring a few options out of the woodwork. Check out Pat’s requirements and please comment if you have a suggestion!

Pat writes:

I’m a professional ski coach from Colorado. When I’m not on skis, I like to get on my bicycle and go explore the world. I’ve ridden across the USA a few times, covering all 48 states in the Continental US. A couple of years ago I got my 49th state when I rode from Alaska back home to Colorado.

Next year I plan to ride to Argentina, a journey of 12,000 miles over six months.

One of the things that keeps me sane is to have a radio strapped to the handlebars of my bike. I used to have a cheap AM/FM transistor, but have slowly improved the choice of radios on each trip.

During my Alaska ride I used a Degen DE1123, which was a great item. Not a great radio, but having an mp3 player built in made a world of difference. There were some mighty long distances without radio signal, so having the mp3 was great. But like I said, the 1123 wasn’t the most user-friendly item. Plus, it ate up AA batteries, which were pricey in the Yukon. So I upgraded to the Degen DE1125. Certainly an improvement, but still some things that could be improved. [See photo above.]

For my Argentina trip I want to have something really good; something that works well and will hopefully last six months. Also, I really like the idea of having a radio with a mini SD slot. I’ll have to download a lot of music and podcasts to keep me happy.

Someone suggested the Melson S8. I purchased one and it is a great unit, but way too big to fit on the handlebars.

You obviously have experience with many different portables and I was wondering if you could give me your suggestions. Maybe something from Degen, ShouYu, Tecsun?

Things that are important:

  • Ease of use (I’ll be using the controls while pedaling)
  • Weight (smaller and lighter is better)
  • Durability
  • Mini SD capability
  • Radio reception
  • AM, FM and SW capability
  • Li-ion batteries

Not overly important:

  • Ability to scroll through songs/find songs
  • Sound quality (I’ll have wind in my ears anyway)

Things that are not important:

  • Recording ability (I don’t foresee recording anything along the way)
  • Looks
  • Cost (I don’t want to spend $150 on a CC Crane, as the radio may get broken or stolen, but I’m willing to spend some money on a quality product if available).

[…]I’d love to select the best option for this silly ride I’m taking next summer and will happily take any advice.

A cycling trip to Argentina? Nothing silly about that, Pat! What an adventure!

Shortwave radios with MicroSD slots are somewhat limited in numbers, but more and more models have appeared on the market in the past few years.

Readers: can you help Pat with some suggestions/options?  Please comment!

RTÉ broadcasts the 2015 GAA finals via shortwave

rte-logo-web1(Source:RTÉ)

Shortwave to Africa

In Africa, where many Irish people live and work, often in relative isolation with poor communications, RTÉ is providing special transmissions on shortwave radio from 1300-1700

Frequencies:

East Africa and North Africa
1300-1700 9470 kHz

Southern Africa
1300-1700 17540 kHz

Click here for game schedules and results.

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Pacific Games, July 10, 2015

mascotSRAA contributor, Richard Langley, recently shared the following recording of the 2015 Pacific Games coverage of the National Broadcasting Corporation on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Richard notes:

Live three-hour recording of the 2015 Pacific Games coverage of the National Broadcasting Corporation, the Voice of Papua New Guinea (PNG), via a transmitter in Australia on 10 July 2015 beginning at 07:01:21 UTC on a frequency of 12025 kHz. At the time of the uploading of this sound file, it is not clear if the signal originated from the former Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s lower-power facility at Brandon (as registered with the High Frequency Co-ordination Conference (HFCC) organization; 25 kW beamed 80°) or their higher-power Shepparton site with 100 kW transmitters.

The recording, mostly in English with some Tok Pisin, includes commentary on the games being held in Port Moresby, music, news bulletins, public service announcements, and the NBC’s drum, flute and bird call interval signal near the top of some of the hours. Note that PNG time is 10 hours ahead of UTC.

The broadcast was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with its built-in telescopic whip antenna in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada. Signal quality is generally good and gets better towards the end of the recording as propagation conditions improved.

Many thanks, Richard!

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

Please subscribe to the SRAA podcast to receive future shortwave recordings automatically.