Tag Archives: BBC

August 28: BBC Atlantic Relay station special DRM broadcasts

RNZI-DRM-2(Source: DRM Consortium)

DRM will be part of a big anniversary on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. On 28th of August at 1155 GMT Babcock International will ensure a special BBC digital transmission on 21715 kHz from the BBC Atlantic Relay station, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC’s first short-wave radio broadcast from Ascension Island.

Since 1966, the Atlantic Relay station has broadcast BBC World Service programmes to Africa and South America, and to this day, continues to broadcast over 250 programme hours every week to East and West Africa in English, French, Hausa and Somali.

BBCRelayStation-Ascension IslandThe two hour-transmission on 21715 kHz will start with the old, special sound of Bow Church Bell in east London, the sound of which, even if in DRM this time,  will remind older listeners of the BBC broadcasts of many decades ago. The 21-hour transmission will be the regular BBC programmes for West and South Africa and will end at 1400.

DRM – Digital Radio Mondiale, is an international digital radio standard designed by broadcasters, for broadcasters, in co-operation with transmitter and receiver manufacturers. DRM is a high quality digital replacement for analogue radio broadcasting in the AM and FM bands.

This special transmission will be sent with greetings from Ascension Island’s BBC and Babcock International staff and visitors, who will be celebrating half a century of sterling broadcasting on August 28th.

Click here to read more about the fascinating history of the BBC’s broadcasts from Ascension Island.

Transmission Details

FREQ   TIME (UTC)       SERVICE          TX        kW       Bearing Day      LANG               TARGET

21715   1155-1201         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa           (Special Announcement)

21715   1201-1400         BBC DRM         ASC     250       114       1          English             S. Africa            (English – ENAFW)

21715   1400-1430         BBC DRM         ASC     250       250       1          English             Brazil                (English – ENAFW)

Additional analogue transmission will broadcast from 13.30 GMT for ceremonial purposes.

15105   1330-1430         BAB                  ASC     250       27         1          English             W. Africa                   (Special Announcement)

BBC Monitoring: A tour of Caversham Park

HalliDial
(Source: Southgate ARC)

A tour of Caversham Park before it closes – the home of BBC Monitoring – a historical BBC World Service department which has been monitoring some of the world’s most seismic events for 75 years

Caversham Park became the BBC Monitoring Headquarters in 1941 and in light of recent news that, due to a £4million pound funding cut, it’ll be closing its doors for good, Rajan Datar visits the iconic building.

Coordinating Editor, Chris Greenway gives a tour of the building and a sense of its history, while Lina Shaikouni gives a taste of what the service provides today.

Over to You – The Home of BBC Monitoring
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p044jj9h

First broadcast on Saturday, August 20 the podcast should now be available at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsn8/episodes/downloads

Radio World: The evolution of shortwave radio

Panasonic-RF-2200-1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following article by James Careless in Radio World Magazine.

The article includes interviews with Andy Sennitt, Kim Andrew Elliott, Nigel Fry,  and even yours truly. The following is a short excerpt taken from the introduction of the article:

(Source: Radio World)

OTTAWA, Ontario — With the advent of radio in the 20th century, the shortwave band (1710–30,000 kHz) soon became a hotbed of long-distance radio broadcasting. Used primarily by state-run international broadcasters, plus ham radio operators and ship-to-shore radio communications, the shortwave band was prized due to its astoundingly broad reach.

That reach was — and is still — made possible by the tendency of ground-based shortwave radio transmissions to bounce off the ionosphere and back to earth; allowing shortwave broadcasts to “hop” repeatedly, increasing a broadcast’s range while minimizing its decay.

[…]At the height of the Cold War, the shortwave bands were packed with content as the Voice of America and West Germany’s Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) traded ideological punches with Radio Moscow and East Germany’s Radio Berlin International. This is because analog shortwave radio broadcasting was the only way for both sides to make their political cases cross international borders: There was no satellite TV, let alone any internet.

Read the full, in-depth article on the Radio World website…

This article is well worth reading and one of the more in-depth pieces I’ve seen in a trade publication or news site recently.

I should add that I completely agree with James Careless’ conclusion:

“[T]he research that went into this article suggests that the shortwave band is sufficiently alive to be still evolving.”

The fact is, the shortwave landscape is not what used to be in the Cold War. Many of those big voices have left the scene and, in the process, left the door open to others.

The shortwaves are a dynamic communications space that continues to evolve.

That’s why I keep listening.

Want to read more about the future of shortwave radio? Click here to read Does Shortwave Radio Have a Future?

Secret life of village that helped crack WWII code

WWii-radio(Source: Southgate ARC)

Whaddon: Secret life of village that helped crack WW2 code

On May 9, 2016, Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society members operated GB1SOE to establish contact with French special event station TM75SOE using WWII equipment

This was to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first transmission sent back to Whaddon Hall, Buckinghamshire, by Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent Georges Begue. They operated from Whaddon Hall during Monday using a replica MKIII transmitter and HRO receiver,  on the French side a WWII B2 spy set was used.

The BBC report: The Codebreakers at Bletchley Park are well known for their top secret work which helped to change the course of the World War Two.

But the Buckinghamshire village of Whaddon, just a few miles down the road, has long been forgotten, despite the vital role it played. It was codenamed Section 8 and was a satellite station for Bletchley Park.

It is hoped a new memorial will give it its rightful place in history.

Watch the BBC TV report on the commemoration at Whaddon
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36245666

A shorter version of the BBC report is at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36248874

Further information in the QRZ.com entries for TM75SOE and GB1SOE

Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society (MKARS)
http://www.mkars.org.uk/

BBC to cut monitoring jobs

(Image source: BBC)

(Source: The Guardian)

The BBC is cutting almost 100 jobs from its monitoring service as part of a drive to save £4m from the unit’s £13.2m budget by April next year.

The restructure will include the closure of its base in Mazar-i-Sharif in Afganistan, though it will retain an operation in Kabul, and two new bureaux will be opened in Jerusalem and Istanbul.

The unit, which currently employs about 320 staff, will also move its headquarters from Caversham Park, Reading, where it has been based since 1943, to London.

A total of 156 roles will be eliminated and 58 new ones created, leaving a net reduction of 98 positions. About 40% of UK-based staff and around 20% of those based overseas are facing the axe, leaving 99 roles left in the UK.

The unit provides translations and analysis of media from across the world including TV, radio, newspapers, online, and social media, for use by the BBC, government departments and other clients including companies and NGOs.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Guardian.