Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Argentina Exterior

800px-Rosario_y_el_Parana

Rosario y el Parana, Argentina

For your listening pleasure: the English language service of Radio Argentina Exterior–recorded on September 20, 2014 at 01:56 UTC on 11,711 kHz.

RAE is one of the more casual broadcasters on the air; I enjoy listening to their music selection and commentary as they’re not quite as formatted as other international stations. This recording begins with RAE’s interval signal–one of my favorites.

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

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Bloomberg: Russia Plans Break From Global Web

"Russian Federation (orthographic projection) - Crimea disputed" by FutureTrillionaire - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Russian_Federation_(orthographic_projection)_-_Crimea_disputed.svg#mediaviewer/File:Russian_Federation_(orthographic_projection)_-_Crimea_disputed.svg

(Source: Bloomberg)

Russia plans next week to discuss contingency measures to cut the country off from the global Internet in what the Kremlin called a necessary step to shield the nation from the U.S.-controlled worldwide Web.

Russia’s state security council will examine ways to ensure domestic users can be redirected to servers inside the country rather than relying on the U.S.-managed Internet domain-names system, the Moscow-based Coordination Center for .RU domain said by e-mail today.

“We need to defend ourselves from the U.S. and Europe,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said by phone today. “This is not about isolating ourselves, it’s about getting ready for possible cut-offs as countries that regulate the Web may act unpredictably.”

[...]Russia last month banned anonymous access to the Internet in public spaces and expanded the regulation of media to the blogosphere, requiring those with at least 3,000 daily readers to register their real names and contact information. In February the authorities had passed a law allowing them to close webpages without a court decision if material is deemed “extremist.”

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who used to criticize Putin and reveal corruption among his inner circle, was the first victim of that law when his blog on LiveJournal.com was shut in March. Recent legislation requires Internet companies to store Russian users’ information on servers in the country, similar to Chinese regulations.

Click here to read the full article on Bloomberg…

I expect this will only lower Russia on the Press Freedoms Index, where they are currently number 148 out of a possible 180.

This post is being tagged:  Why Shortwave Radio?

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Hearing echoes on China Radio International

Earth

Bill Meara, producer of the popular SolderSmoke Podcast, recently recorded audio echoes on a couple of his home brew regenerative receivers.  Bill posted the following video, of his regen receiver tuned to China Radio International:

After Bill measured the echo delay at .133 seconds, he believes one possibility is that they originate from a propagation opening much like Lyle recorded on a 10 meter band opening last year (click here to listen to the audio and read the post).

A few days later, Bill recorded a similar echo effect while tuned to Brother Stair (Overcomer Ministries) on a different regenerative receiver. Click here to read the post and view the video.

The fact that Bill measured a .133 second delay (the amount of time it would take for a signal to circle the globe), makes me believe he’s hearing an echo similar to Lyle. But I must admit, I’m a bit amazed that a faint AM echo could penetrate blowtorch signals like CRI and Brother Stair’s relay generate State side.

Readers: What’s going on here? Is Bill catching rare propagation openings–or perhaps ducting in the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere–or is there another explanation?

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All-Ireland GAA Final on shortwave

RTE--AllFootbalFinalAs I publish this post, I’m listening to the GAA All Ireland Football Final (Kerry v Donegal) on RTE 17495 kHz. If you’d like to hear the end of the match (hurry!–only a few minutes left), use the schedule below:

(Source: RTE)

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.
Throw-in 1530 (Irish time)

Southern Africa
1300-1700 UTC, 100 kW, 7300 kHz

East Africa
1300-1600 UTC, 250 kW, 17820 kHz
1600-1700 UTC, 100 kW, 11750 kHz

West Africa
1300-1700 UTC, 300 kW, 17495 kHz

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Christian’s reception of Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel

RadioNacionalArcángelSanGabriel

On Wednesday, I received the following tweet from SWLing Post reader, Christian Diemoz, in Italy:


You can listen to Christian’s recording via Box.com.

If you’re not familiar, Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel is located on Esperanza Base in Antarctica. Here’s a bit more info from Wikipedia (and translated from Spanish into English via Google Translate):

LRA36 Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel (also known as Radio San Gabriel or San Gabriel Archangel Radio) is a radio station broadcasting on 15476 kHz on shortwave and 97.6 MHz for FM,  from Esperanza Base, Antarctica Argentina. Radio National Archangel Gabriel is the southernmost international radio station and the first to broadcast from the Antarctic.

The radio station was founded on October 20 of 1979 and is operated by the staff of the Argentine Army located on the base.

In its beginnings, Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel broadcast on 6030 kHz shortwave and operated with a power of 1 kilowatt .”

Since conditions have been favorable out of South America recently, I’ll attempt to hear Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel’s 10 Kw signal as well.  Thanks for the inspiration, Christian!

You can follow Christian on Twitter: @Chris_Diemoz

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Tom’s overview of the Eton Field Radio 550

SWLing Post reader, Tom Stiles, has posted a video overview of the new Eton Field
radio:

Many thanks for sharing, Tom! Let us know how the new Eton Field Radio 550 compares with its predecessors: the 450 and 350!

You can follow Tom’s videos on his YouTube Channel.

Posted in New Products, News, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Virtual radio challenge II: two years, off grid in the Himalayas

BhutanShortwave listeners are interesting, creative people who do interesting, creative work: they’re scientists, veterans, corporate employees, students, retirees, volunteers, politicians, musicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, humanitarians, reporters, artists, researchers, sailors, pilots, pirates…and most seem to be travelers. But to say the least, they’re very diverse. The joy of the SWLing Post, for me, is the fascinating readers here and the great variety of questions and comments I receive from you.

Pack your bags! We're going on an assignment!

Pack your bags! We’re going on an assignment!

On this blog, I often write about selecting the “right” radio for home, boating, preparednessoff-grid living, and of course travel–but sometimes I like to go through the mental exercise of imagining a scenario a little more extreme.

Indeed, I occasionally receive such “extreme” questions from our readers, questions that push the limits of the hobby, demanding highly specific needs in a radio. And, I readily admit, I thoroughly enjoy these questions!  They give me a chance–and good excuse, really–to be imaginative and innovative, to push beyond mere practical or monetary constraints to consider unique environments, weather conditions, durability needs, power requirements, and/or resource availability…great fun.

If you enjoy this kind of brain game, too, check out our virtual challenge that follows:

Should you agree to take it on, you’ll need to complete it within two weeks. Why the time constraint? Let’s imagine that your flight leaves May 15th, and you’ll need to make sure you’ve received, tested, and packed all of your supplies by that date.

[By the way, this scenario is based on an actual reader question.]

Here’s your challenge…

Bhutan-001

Laya-Bhutan-Location-WikipediaLocation: LayaBhutan

Accommodation: A one room house

Electricity: Your village is completely off the electrical grid

Internet: You have no access to the Internet in the small town where you will be living. As a teacher you can use the Internet at any school in Bhutan, though you’ve been told there is no internet access in remote Laya.

Your budget: $1,200 US–which must cover all of your radio requirements (radio, antenna, batteries, and all accessories)

Flag_of_Bhutan.svgScenario: You’re serving a two year assignment as an English and Science school teacher in the extremely remote community of Laya, Bhutan. Your logistics, travel and living expenses will all be covered for you by the agency which arranges the teacher assignment.  That being said, your total amount of luggage cannot exceed the maximum amount of luggage allowed by your airline: one carry-on and two check-in bags, both of no more than 60 kg (132 lbs), total. There will be some winter weather clothing made for you locally in Laya. You’ve been told that Laya is “several days” walk from the nearest maintained road.

Once you arrive, you will primarily travel regionally within Bhutan on an infrequent basis.

View of Laya, Bhutan (Source: Roro Travel)

View of Laya, Bhutan (Source: Roro Travel)

Bhutan is a beautiful land-locked, mountainous country, nestled in the Himalayas. You will work and live in the town of Laya, Bhutan (population 3,000) as an English and Science teacher. Laya’s altitude is 3,820 meters or 12,533 feet.

Once you’ve settled in, ordering a new radio or accessories will not be an option. Repairing your radio will also be very difficult as you expect no access to electronic repair facilities. An emphasis on quality equipment is a must. You might be wise to consider a small, back-up radio as well.

You’ve allowed yourself a rather generous budget since this is such a long-term assignment. You’ve allocated $1,200 US –the price of a good laptop computer. You do not plan to bring a laptop, but you do plan to bring a lightweight tablet PC or smart phone for use when you travel regionally, in hopes that you will find internet access in other towns. Your main limitations will be:

  • Being completely off the grid
  • Weight and size of equipment
  • Allowance for alternative power supplies (how will you charge your batteries at home?)

Your small, one room stone cottage is attached to another similar cottage.  You will be able to string a wire antenna outside, and you understand that there is even “a small tree” outside the window. Weather, at this altitude, can be extreme at times.

We’ll assume you’re starting from scratch, that you have neither radio nor accessories.

Your goal is to have the best shortwave listening set-up possible for your budget and for this location.

If you are a ham radio operator (or plan to become one), you may chose a general coverage transceiver for this assignment. There is, however, no guarantee that you will be able to successfully procure a Bhutanese license, but there is some promise. (I can assure you that if you do get on the air, you’ll need to be familiar with operating split and working pile-ups!)

Obviously, the more you understand the unique geography and infrastructure of Bhutan and its limitations, the better choices you’ll make for your gear.

Limitations:

  1. You’re limited to a (virtual) budget of $1,200 US to procure your supplies; ideally, this includes shipping costs of the purchase
  2. You can select used gear, but must base your choices on reality (i.e., actually find item(s) online and document the price and time of availability). If you “shop” eBay, make sure you’re using the final price, not the current or opening bid. If you do locate something used on eBayQTH.com, QRZ.com or at Universal Radio, for example, include the link! (Just to add to the fun.)
  3. Your main objective is to listen to international broadcasters, and do a little DXing.
  4. Remember, you’ll be stuck with this radio for two full years! So choose something you’ll love to operate, and don’t forget your vital accessories.

Note that the limitations of this exercise are simply to level the playing field for everyone as well as to make the challenge a little tougher (and thus more fun!). Of course, they’re open to interpretation, but do try to honor the spirit of the game.

If you participated in our last challenge, it will be interesting to see if this one will have you opting for different equipment.

Up to the challenge? You’ve got two weeks–!

GrundigG3To participate, just comment on this post with your suggested set-up, any links, and a brief explanation for your choices.

You’re also welcome to email me directly with your response.

We’ll select some of the most interesting and relevant responses and post them in two weeks, on October 3, 2014.

Have fun!  We can’t wait to read the responses…!

Posted in News, Reader Challenges, Shortwave Radio, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments