Category Archives: SWLers

Central Alaska: Paul shares photos of his listening post

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Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who writes:

You’ve posted shack photos before from other readers.

I guess this is a shack, so here’s mine. By the banks of the thawed and now flowing Yukon River.

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Paul braves some pretty cold weather in the winter to snag elusive DX from this very listening post in Galena, Alaska. He’s shared photos and a video of the frozen Yukon before–click here to check it out.

And, once again, thanks for sharing a little part of your world, Paul!

Mark’s rekindled interest in shortwave radio

Sony-ICF-2001D

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mark Lane, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I just wanted to thank you for a great website, I have been interested in SW since I was a boy and used to listen to my grandfather’s world radio. I cannot remember the make or model now but it was an amazing experience.

After all these years, at the age of 44, my interest perked again and I happened across your site.

Like a lot of people I was wondering “is there anything left to listen to on SW now we are truly in the ‘digital’ age”? After reading the content on your site and the blog I made up my mind, jumped onto eBay and after a number of failed attempts at winning any auctions I managed to bag a near mint Sony ICF 2001D [photo at top of page]!

I did get rather over excited and probably paid a bit too much for it, but too be honest I don’t care. I have already had a good couple of evenings trying to bag some far off stations and I am still trying to figure out all the buttons on the thing.

Then this past weekend, my daughter (15) asked about the radio and I showed her what I had been doing–she was hooked and kept asking me to try for some more stations. We spent the whole evening with the help of a couple of other websites trying to track down more distant stuff.

I have to say the 2001D is now my prize possession and my daughter was messaging her friends telling them all about the wonders of SW.

All I can say is keep up the good work and let’s hope SW does continue for as long as possible I will certainly be listening in until the airwaves go quiet, I trust that won’t happen for some considerable time.

Regards
Mark Lane
Worcester UK

Mark: thank you so much for sharing your message! It’s an honor to know that the SWLing Post played some part in your renewed interest in shortwave radio. The community here is simply amazing and I learn a lot myself from so many reader contributions.

Being a father of two daughters, I can say that there’s no better feeling than to know that a little radio listening time also translated into quality father and daughter time!

You just made my day!

Recordings: Paul records Vanuatu and Solomon Islands from central Alaska

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Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following recordings of Radio Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting. Paul lives in Galena, Alaska, and records most of these broadcasts outside of his broadcasting studio:

7260 kHz:

5020 kHz:

5020 kHz:

3945 is much weaker then 7260 for some reason and Nikkei is on that channel till 0900 UTC, so about the only chance I have of hearing Vanuatu on 3945 CLEARLY is when Nikkei signs off.

9545 kHz Monday Night 1130 AKDT/(0730 utc Tuesday)

7260 from April 19th at 1135 AKDT /0735 UTC)

5020 from April 20th at 1248 am AKDT/0848 UTC

Thanks for sharing your recordings, Paul! You’ve certainly done a fine job DXing in the northern latitudes all while standing next to a broadcast station.

Keep up the great work!

Paul’s DXing location in Galena, Alaska with sample logs and an update of music broadcast

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Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the image above and the following:

How about a video [from Galena, AK]? Here’s one I shot on the evening of April 15th while DXin’g and apparently logging Radio Bandeirantes 9645 kHz in Brazil:

Looks like a beautiful DX location you’ve got there, Paul. You’ve obviously found ways to mitigate receiver overload from the broadcast station with the number of loggings you’ve been posting as of late.

Indeed, Paul recently forwarded the following sample of logs from this very DXing spot. Paul writes:

Unless otherwise noted, all loggings were from a Tecsun PL-880 with an 80 foot long wire 5 feet up in a tree. My location is Galena, Alaska which is a village of 500 people about 300 miles east of Nome, Alaska and 300 miles west of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Comments questions or thoughts always welcome!

I was able to log Channel Africa broadcasting in French on 15235 kHz, two mornings last week.

This recording was made on Friday April 8, 2015 at 8:45 AM Alaska Daylight Time/1645UTC. I would rate the signal about 6 1/2 out of 10 with good audio, some light fading and no interference.

Audio here:

This recording was made on Wednesday April 6, 2015 at 8:37 AM Alaska Daylight Time/1637UTC. The signal was about a 6 out of 10 with moderate fading, a little more then the recording made on April 8th.

Audio here:

Radio Thailand 9390 kHz

This recording was made on Saturday April 9, 2015 at 10:36 AM Alaska Daylight Time/1836UTC. I would rate the signal about 7 1/2 to 8 out of 10 with good audio, some light fading and no interference.

Audio here:

Voice of Indoneisa 9526 kHz

This recording was made on Saturday April 9, 2015 at 10:36 AM Alaska Daylight Time/1836UTC. I would rate the signal about 4 1/2 out of 10 with ok audio, some light to moderate fading and some interference.

Audio here:

Voice of Vietnam 9625 kHz

This recording was made on Saturday April 9, 2015 at 9:00AM Alaska Daylight Time/1700UTC. I would rate the signal about 4 out of 10 with fair audio, some light to moderate fading and little interference.

Audio here:

All India Radio 11620 kHz

This recording was made on Saturday April 10 , 2015 at 1:29PM Alaska Daylight Time/2129UTC. I would rate the signal about 6 out of 10 with GOOD audio, some light to moderate fading and no interference.

Audio here:

Note: This was by FAR the best reception I’ve ever had of AIR. Their audio is usually pretty piss poor with poor quality and low modulation. Plus, their signal just isn’t that good usually.

I have also logged Voice Of Korea on 2850, 3320, 6100, 6400, 12015, 7220, 11910, 11935, 11735, 15105, 15180, 13760, 13650, 7580, 9650, 9875, 9445, 9665, 9425, 6170 and 3250 kHz.

Radio Algerienne Holy Quran and Radio Saudi are fairly regular visitors here and at times, pretty strong.

6160 kHz via Vancouver is heard several times a week…sometimes just barely, and other times, like a few days ago, nearly like a local.

The upper bands, 15 and 17 MHz seem to do real well here, especially by day, even smack in the middle of the day. I’ve heard RFI and DW via Issoudun right around lunch time in the 15 MHz area of the band.

I get Zanzibar on 11735 kHz from time to time…usually at least at fair levels.

CFRX 6070 is heard just about nightly, sometimes poor and barely audible but many times at least poor to fair and listenable. Now and then it’s pretty strong and listenable.

That is an impressive number of stations you’ve logged. It appears one of your easiest catches is Voice of Korea–I’m not surprised since you’re certainly within their broadcast footprint.

New Music Show and Contest

Many of you know that Paul also hosts an occasional music show via shortwave. Paul recently set times and frequencies for the next show–he notes:

I will be on WRMI, 7570 kHz from 0400-0600UTC Saturday June 2nd, Which is 12 midnight to 2 AM Eastern/9 PM to 11pm Pacific on Friday June 1st.

More oldies and rock n roll music with some country thrown in. I’m working on a CONTEST with some cool radio prizes and even bigger…. I am ironing out the technical details and going to try and do the 2 hot show live from my studio in Galena, Alaska.

My target audience this time with be the West Coast of the US and Canada. I expected the Midwestern US to get a good signal from the 315 degree beam towards Vancouver, Canada as it has to pass over the Midwest to get to the West Coast.

Contest details and QSL information to be released before the show!

I’ll plan to re-post this announcement, with any updates, closer to the broadcast date of June 2, 2016.

Thanks again, Paul, for sharing some of your radio world!

Part 3: SWLing Post shack photos

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Rajesh Chandwani (VU2OEC), Gurgaon (Haryana), India INDIA

Several months ago, we conducted a shack photo contest sponsored by Universal Radio. I’m posting all of your excellent photos as time allows and putting them under the tag, shack photos.

The following is the third set of ten photos along with any notes that were included.

Click on images to enlarge and enjoy:


Robert Gulley (AK3Q)

ak3q-shack

Notes: I have a Kenwood TM-D710G with lots of bells and whistles (center-right), including APRS and packet capability, Echolink, computer control, programming and data output, not to mention the regular functions of a dual-band, cross-band repeat radio. Another rig above and to the left (under the computer monitor) is my main all-mode rig, a Kenwood TS-2000. To the right is an old Swan 350 transceiver and power supply. There is an old manual Dentron tuner above that, and sitting atop of it all is an analog Uniden Bearcat BC898T scanner. There is an amplifier, a 220Mhz rig, several HTs, and on the bottom right my pride and joy Yaesu FRG-7 shortwave receiver. I currently have 6 speakers for various sound outputs. Out of the frame are two more computers, two SDR receivers, another monitor and a sound mixing board. I won’t begin to mention all the portable SW radios and several old DX-160s (my first real SW radio). I love listening/transmitting here, but I also take portable radios around the house and on the front or back porch as the mood hits.


Mahesh Jain (57HS4688)

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Notes: I am radio hobbyist particularly my beloved shortwave radio. But it makes me sad to see that most of the radio stations on shortwave in my country India are closing their shortwave broadcast and they are going online and digital, which is available to few not the all people. Hope the radio and specially shortwave radio revive soon. Hope we all have good old days back. 🙂

I love my Graundig Yacht boy 80 radios which I won from DW (german radio) and later i bought Sony ICF SW35. I use telescopic antenna and sometimes I use a reel antenna. I have very little technical knowledge about the radios and antennas used. Still, I keep on experimenting and sometimes found far far away stations, which is obviously a thrilling experience. with this hobby of DXing I have learned a lot about different cultures and nations. Moreover i am using the internet technology to get far away stations which are not targeting my country/region and the WEB SDR is the best source.


Ray Sylvester (NR1R)

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Notes: Ray’s main shack rig is the Yaesu FTDX5000MP.


Darwin McDonald (SWL/W8)

Shack2 Shack1Shack4 Shack3

Notes: The Drake Receiver is my best–using a long wire and an antenna tuner.


S B Sharma

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Notes: In the photo above, I am listening to radio at world famous Buddhist temple in Barbadur, Indonesia. Photo taken while I was surfing and listening voice of Indonesia and general overseas service of India on the temple. I have been listening to radio for the past 32 years and continue today. Due to this hobby, I won two free foreign tours till date and hope there will be some more.


Clyde Ramsdell (N1BHH)

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Notes: My simple station/listening post is the Icom IC-735 using one of three antennas:

  1. Off Center Fed Dipole (130 feet) at 45 feet high,
  2. 160 meter (250 feet long) dipole at 30 feet high,
  3. Random wire, roughly 45 feet draped around my room.

My bedside radio is a Grundig Yachtboy YB-400 with another random wire draped around the room. In the photo (above) you’ll find the Icom IC-735 on the Astron RS-35 power supply, MFJ-949E tuner and Bencher paddle, a Radio Shack Pro-106 scanner, Icom IC-3AT 220 HT and Yaesu FT-2900R.


Jawahar Shaikh

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Notes:  My favorite receiver is none other than Tecsun PL-660 as it pulls a lot of far away radio stations without any external antenna!!! On MW I could log a number of South Korea, Japan, and Australian radio stations.On shortwave, numerous far away radio stations including 1 KW Australian Marine Weather Broadcast station VMW. On longwave…Vow…Ireland radio on 252 khz…What else do I need from a budget Tecsun?

The tinyTecsun PL-660 is my DX magic box !!!! So,This is my listening post!

Location: Tamil Nadu state, India.


José William

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Notes:  This is my little shack that is located in my backyard.

Features:
Receiver- DEGEN DE 1103
Antenna- RGP3-OC Loop Magnética and DEGEN 31MS active loop antenna
Amplifier- Amplificador Indutivo de RF DXCB-V1
Recorder- Sony ICD-PX312F


Peter Ströhlein

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Notes: My Listeningt post consists of my fav. Kenwood TS-50 (30khz – 30Mhz) and a VHF YAESU FT-1900.

All night long when my kids are in bed, I spend my time listening to numerous SW Stations.

This is my hobby since nearly 30 years! 🙂 So that’s my little listening post, illuminated with two little LED-Spots for SWL Nights with “Style”. 🙂


Hank Dean (KU8S)

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Notes:  Here are four photos of a portable outing “QRP to the field” op in April 2013. This park is called Bear Pond and is located in the Seminole State Forest, west of Sanford, FL on SR 46, about four miles from my house. I love this place. Great place to have lunch and play radio.

The rig is a Yaesu FT-817ND QRP transceiver, a PAR end fed wire antenna, and SLAB 12v 10AHr battery. Apple IPad does the logging chores. Add some Chinese food, some almond cookies, a little sweet tea, Hmmnnnnnn, life is good!


Life is good, indeed, Hank!  What a great way to cap off this third set of shack photos!

Again, many thanks to all who sent in their listening post photos. I absolutely love the variety! 

Follow the tag Shack Photos for more!

RIP: Frans Vossen

Frans-Vossen

Photo from Frans’ Facebook page.

Many thanks to Jonathan Marks who notes the passing this week of Frans Vossen, former journalist at Radio Vlaandern Internationaal:

Belgium has lost a great communicator who had a deep understanding of international affairs, especially those connected with Belgium and the African continent. I’ll always remember his great stories and infectious laugh. I posted a programme I made with him in 1995 where he explains the fascinating history of Belgian international broadcasting. http://jonathanmarks.libsyn.com/radio-vlaanderen-internationaal-profile RIP Frans. It was an honour to know you.

Many SWLing Post readers probably recognize Frans’ name as he was the head of the English Language Service at Radio Vlaandern Internationaal for about four decades and was a prominent (and well-loved) personality on the air. Frans’ memorial service will happen today. RIP, OM.

Paul’s shortwave logs, commentary and audio from Alaska

KIRA in Galena, Alaska

KIYU in Galena, Alaska

SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, is a radio host for KIYU in remote village of Galena, Alaska–we recently posted a few photos of Paul on site.

Many thanks to Paul for sharing the following notes about SWLing at his location. Paul writes:

Right now, all I have to DX with is a Tecsun PL-880 and PK’s loop 6-18 MHz tuneable SW Loop antenna. I am investigating a location to put up a long wire or massive box loop antenna somewhere away from home.

It has to be away from home as I have 2 FM and 1 TV transmitter above my head plus an ungodly amount of electrical noise and RF overload. The banks of the Yukon River are 500 feet from my office and apartment, so that’s a good location.. just need a way to secure a long wire or box loop. I am also in the process of finding an FM Low pass filter to filter out the FM stations real nearby that overload certain parts of the SW dial.

I am in Galena, Alaska. It is a village of about 500 people in the central part of Alaska, we are 300 miles west of Fairbanks and 300 miles east of Nome. Off the road system, everything is flown in 8 months or so out of the year and when the river is flowing, it’s barged in.

Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand are weak here, some days barely listenable, other days passable, but not very strong here. I’ve not heard anything from Radio Taiwan International here, yet I could get them weakly in California and in Arkansas.

I can hear CRI daily, the stuff that comes from their Beijing area SW transmitters is quite listenable.

What I can hear with regularity and strangely, a very good signal depending on the frequency, is The Voice Of North Korea. I’ve logged The Voice Of Korea on about A DOZEN different frequencies! What I can’t figure out is why? Some of the Voice of Korea broadcasts are near local AM radio station like strength many nights. I could hear them fairly well in northern California, but not always so strong.

Why I can’t figure out is the Voice Of Korea broadcasts that I’m hearing, what is their target area? It would sure seem I am not in the direct beam for any of their target areas, being so far north.

The strongest Voice Of Korea broadcasts for me are generally, not always, 15180 kHz and 11735 kHz. I’ve heard them on several 6 and 7 MHz frequencies which are listenable, but never very strong. I’ve also heard them in a few places in the 9mhz band and those are generally pretty listenable.

I did hear Voice Of Korea on 3250 kHz about a week ago. The signal was weak but steady and it was very clearly them.

I’ve heard them in the 13 MHz band one night and that signal was pretty strong. I did get them a few days ago smack in the middle of the day at 11910 kHz which was a bit surprising.

I expect when I construct a massive(and very directional box loop) or put up a longwire, My DX will greatly improve beyond the average stuff I’m getting now.

I’ve also logged Radyo Pilipinas on 17700 and 17820 kHz, several instances of the Firedrake Jammer on different frequencies, CRI and NHK (CRI & NHK are to be expected here).

I did have a surprising reception of All India Radio on 7550 kHz.

Also logged recently was RFI on 15300 kHz, BBC WS on 15400 kHz, Voice of America on 15580 kHz, Radio Exterior De Espana 15390/15500 kHz, RN de Brasilia 11780 kHz among others.

You can hear audio of my reception on my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/OnAirDJPaulWalker

Some of my clips range from merely 30 seconds long to 20 minutes. The longer clips are usually when I had much better. Some clips are video, held up to the radio showing the dial, others are audio onlly.

As always, comments and discussion always welcome.