Mark’s multi-user SDR is now online

mark-fahey-beagle-kiwi-sdr

SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, has just announced that his new Beaglebone-powered KiwiSDR receiver is online.  Mark notes:

Please try out my multi-user 0-30MHz SDR[.] The test system is operating from my monitoring station at Freemans Reach in south east Australia (near Sydney).

fahey-qth

Freemans Reach, Australia

[…]The test system is fully self contained and self operating. The antenna (ALA1530S+) we are using is a magnetic loop with an impedance tracking amplifier designed and manufactured by Wellbrook Communications, Llanwrth Wells in Wales. The receiver and CPU is the result of the Kickstarter funded project “KiwiSDR” which was conceived and designed by John Seamons ex Pixar and Lucas Films.

[…]You can use Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Firefox – but Internet Explorer is not supported at this stage. Tune in on this URL…

http://mediaexplorer.ddns.net:8073/

mark-fahey-shack

Mark’s radio shack.

[Four] simultaneous users are supported with totally independent tuning and control

Mark's Wellbrook antenna

Mark’s Wellbrook ALA1530S+ antenna

Many thanks for sharing your KiwiSDR, Mark! Though demand has been quite high, I have managed to claim one of the four user seats on Mark’s SDR and “listen like a local.”

Mark: you’ve done a great job making a proper listening post for your remote listeners. The KiwiSDR/Wellbrook ALA1530S+ combo is performing admirably!

Click here to use Mark’s KiwiSDR.

New Brunswick town “haunted by the radio”

unnamed

I’m very happy to see that the CBC has reported on the premier of Amanda Dawn Christie’s film, Spectres of Shortwave.

(Source: CBC)

For seven decades, a mysterious site on the Trans-Canada highway marked Sackville, New Brunswick. Where the hills and trees faded just past the Nova Scotia border, 13 120-metre towers rose up from the town’s Tantramar Marsh. They encompassed CBC’s Radio-Canada International (RCI) shortwave broadcasting site, built during the Second World War to send broadcasts worldwide.

Like others in the area, artist and filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie was fascinated by the site — which not only transmitted Canadian content around the world in various languages, but also relayed Radio Free Europe broadcasts during the Cold War. This week, she’s premieringSpectres of Shortwave, her experimental documentary film on the site, at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. It’s a project seven years in the making.

“[The transmission site’s] purpose wasn’t for the locals,” Christie says. “So my interest was in what its relationship was to the local people who lived around it.” That relationship was more than just landscape: the transmission site affected the appliances, homes and even dreams of local residents.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full story.

NPOTA Activations this morning!

elecraft-kx2-appalachaintrail-npota-tr01

If you’re around the radio this morning (Sunday, Sep 25), and you’d like to make some NPOTA contacts, note that I plan activate:

Look for me around 14,286 kHz and 7286 kHz +/- 6 kHz.

Once again, I’ll operate the lightweight Elecraft KX2/EFT Trail-Friendly combo–and that’s a good thing. To activate these sites, I’ll log at least 1 hour 15 minutes of hiking (the AT portion over steep terrain). Having a small radio package makes the experience much more enjoyable!

I hope to hear you on the air or, perhaps, you’ll hear me. I expect there will be a lot of NPOTA activators in the field today.  Should be a lot of fun!

Rare Hitachi KW-WSI WorldSpace Receiver on Ebay

This is the first and only “WorldSpace” satellite receiver I’ve seen on Ebay, currently offered at a $175 Buy-It-Now price from a seller in Australia:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HITACHI-KW-WSI-DIGITAL-RECEIVER-WS-FM-MW-SW1-SW2-/282192383263

The radio is listed as in excellent condition with the original box and literature. Besides the long-gone WorldSpace satellite frequencies, the radio covers medium wave, FM, and most of the shortwave range. A brief PDF data sheet for the radio gives a description of features and operations.

hitachi-kw-wsi

Wikipedia describes this radio’s satellite service as 1worldspace, formerly known as ‘WorldSpace’, is a defunct satellite radio network that in its heyday provided service to over 170,000 subscribers in eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia with 96% coming from India. It was profitable in India, with 450,000 subscribers.

I wonder if the Hitachi KW-WSI is a reasonable performer for shortwave listening? Does anyone know any technical details of this receiver?

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

A new way to navigate the BBC Archives

Zenith-Dial-2

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who shares a link to this article on the BBC Blog:

Currently there are over 15,000 permanently available programmes, largely radio programmes, on the BBC website dating back decades, but they can be very difficult to find. From today, we’re launching a new piece of technology called ADA (Automated Data Architecture) that unearths and helps people navigate the BBC’s rich archive of permanently available programmes.

As you can see below, it adds a list of related topic tags under the description of the programme. So if you’ve just listened to an episode on Ada Lovelace and were interested in other notable women of the Victorian era, you can now click that tag and find all the permanently available programmes on that topic. There are programmes on Beatrix Potter, Florence Nightingale and Sylvia Pankhurst to name a few. There will also be up to three recommended programmes on the right hand side, with a link to the topic that connects them.

This seemingly small change to a programme page can lead you down interesting little alleyways to fascinating places you never expected to visit. For example, starting off at Ada Lovelace can take you all the way to a programme on Julius Caesar via ‘the Byron family’ followed by ‘Fellows of the Royal Society’ then ‘Captain James Cook’ and finally the ‘Deaths by stabbing’ topic tags. Give it a try here and see where you end up.

Some programmes like Desert Island Discs, which have a lot of programmes available, have navigation which is tailored very carefully to the brand. This makes it easy to find programmes but also means the system cannot be re-used across other BBC brands or programmes.[…]

Click here to continue reading this article on the BBC Blog.