Tag Archives: BBC

Listening across the globe: 2016 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast!

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On Tuesday, 21 June 2016, the BBC World Service officially transmitted the 2016 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast–an international radio broadcast intended for a small group of scientists, technicians, and support staff who work for the British Antarctic Survey.

This is one of my favorite annual broadcasts, and I endeavor to listen every year. Once again, the SWLing Post called upon readers to make a short recording of the broadcast from their locale.

Below are the entries, roughly organized by continent and country/region, including reader’s photos if provided. I had planned to post these recordings by Sunday, but my travels interfered and I discovered an additional ten recordings in my inbox! (If I’ve somehow missed including your entry, please contact me; I’ll amend this post.)

So, without further ado….

The 2016 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast Recordings


Australia

SWL (Shortwave Listener): Rob Wagner
Location: Mt Evelyn, Victoria, Australia
Notes: [A] 12 minute video record of the broadcast that also demonstrates some tuning techniques and DSP facilities on the Yaesu FTDX3000. You can view the video below or by clicking here:


Paul's Icom IC-7300 tuned to the BBC Midwinter broadcast.

Paul’s Icom IC-7300 tuned to the BBC Midwinter broadcast.

SWL: Paul Philbrook
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Notes:  Here are a couple of recordings from this mornings broadcast. Just had a quick listen before heading off to work and recorded these two with the IC-7300. Radio: Icom IC-7300 Aerial: Multi-band loaded dipole. 5985 Khz strength 5 readable, 6035 Khz strength 8 good readability, 7360 Khz no copy.

Click here to download recording 1 and recording 2, or simply listen via the embedded players below:


New Zealand

SWL: Bryan Clark
Location: Mangawhai,  New Zealand
Notes: Listening in New Zealand, reception was not as good as last year.
Here are short audio files of the 3 frequencies. I used an EWE antenna aimed southeast, that is across South America, for the best signals. Receiver is a WinRadio Excalibur Pro SDR.

7360 kHz recording:

6035 kHz recording:

5985 kHz recording:


Europe

Austria

ChristophRatzer_Austria2016

Christoph Ratzer

SWL: Christoph Ratzer
Location: Salzburg, Austria
Notes: Here my complete recording for you. Received at my remote station http://remotedx.wordpress.com in Salzburg, WinRadio G33 Excalibur PRO, Delta loop antenna with Bonito ML052 amplifier.

Christoph's Delta external loop antenna

Christoph’s Delta external loop antenna

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

Denmark

SWL: Willy Andersen
Location: Soeborg, Denmark
Notes: Here is my recording from 7360kHz on June 21. 2016. Very strong and clean signal. Vy 73 de Willy, OZ4ZT

Click here to download the recording or simply listen via the embedded player below:


France

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SWL: Philippe
Location: L’Hôpital-Camfrout, France (few km south of Brest)
Notes: Very good conditions here, good sound. Equipment: Yaesu FT817ND + V inverted antenna and Yaesu Vx7r + original antenna (little stick on the radio). On both radios, reception: 59 / 59+

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Google map link to the city.

YouTube video of 5985 kHz broadcast.

YouTube video of 7360 kHz broadcast.


Ireland

SWL: Alan
Location: County Kildare, Ireland
Notes: 5,985 kHz Woofferton. Distance: 280km. Recorded from County Kildare, Ireland
with an Icom-718 and 20m Random wire on an Olympus vn-741pc.

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


Italy

Renato Feuli's (IK0OZK) staion

Renato Feuli’s (IK0OZK) staion

SWL: Renato Feuli (IK0OZK)
Location: Valentano, Italy
Notes:  Woofferton at 5.895 Khz AM
Time UTC 21.33
Signal Report R/S R5 S 9+15 Db Very Good signal and audio
Equipement:
RTX JRC 245 and Windom antenna

To Ascension at 7.360 Khz AM
Time UTC 21.33
Signal Report R/S R5 S 9+10 Db Very Good Signal and audio
Equipement:
Receiver JRC NRD 545 Dsp and Long-Wire antenna

Click here to watch video via YouTube.

Woofferton and Ascension at 21.45 UTC:

Click here to watch video via YouTube.

To Dhabayya at 6.035 Khz AM
Time UTC 21.38
Signal Report R/S R3 S 4/5 Low Signal and many QRM and QSB
Equipement:
Receiver JRC NRD 91 and Long-Wire antenna

Click here to watch video via YouTube.

Below, please find an audio file for Ascension at 7.360 Khz AM 21.40 UTC:

Please check out Renato’s radio blog by clicking here.

SWL: Joseph
Location: Ponza island, Italy
Notes: I am Joseph in Ponza island, Italy, with pleasure I send you a video of the Antarctic Midwinter 2016 recorded yesterday night with my old smartphone … great about the 5985 and 7360 frequencies, very poor reception on 6035, I used the 3 receivers Yaesu vr5000 connected on a discone antenna “Midland full band”, AOR ar 3030 and Kenwood R1000 on antenna “Mini Whip”.

Click here to watch via Vimeo.


R&S ESH3

SWL: Davide Borroni
Location: Saronno, Italy
Notes: 21 June 2016 at 2130-2200 UTC on 7360 KHZ AM. I listened to the BBC broadcast with SINPO 54444. I listened to beautiful music and talk. Thanks for show !  I used my R&S ESH3 (see above) with my magnetic loop 2 meter diameter antenna.

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

David also included the following videos featuring his Siemens E401 and Racal RA 1778:


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SWL: Alessio Proietti
Location: Rome, Italy
Notes: Receiver: Yaesu FRG 7700 Antenna, 10mt rybakov, Frequency: 5985 kHz AM, Details: nice reception today S9+40 with a light QSB.

Click here to download the recording, or listen via the embedded player below:


SWL: Andrea Borgnino
Location: Rome, Italy
Notes: BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast 2016 – 5985 khz 21/6/2016 recorded in Roma Italy. Click here to listen on SoundCloud.


SWL: Adalberto Maria Tassi
Location: Rome, Italy
Notes: 5985 kHz, SINPO 55544, Icom IC-R71e, Antenna: Wellbrook ALA-1530

Click here to view the video on Vimeo.


Screenshot from Marc's SDR.

Screenshot from Marc’s SDR.

SWL: Marc Vittorini
Location: Favria, Italy
Notes: Frequency of 5985 KHz, SINPO 43333, Receiver RTL Dongle +, SDRSHARP, Antenna: homemade longwire

Click here to download or simply listen via the embedded player below:


BBC Midwinter Antarctic B.

SWL: Gabriele Somma
Location: Roccapiemonte province Salerno, Italy
Notes: Frequency 5.985 Khz AM, S.I.N.P.O 5.4.5.5.5 SIGNAL S9+30+,

Receiver Icom PCR 1500:

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Antenna ALA 1530 LN:

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Gabriele includes the following video of his IC-PCR1500 tuned to the broadcast:


SWL: Rotunno Vincenzo
Location: Italy
Notes: I0550/RM, 5.985.00 MHz AM, Sr 59+40, Kenwood ts 870 ant random

Click here to view on Vimeo.


Northern Ireland

SWL: Jordan Heyburn
Location: Northern Ireland
Notes:

BBC World Service Special Broadcast to Antarctica 5985khz received in Northern Ireland using a SDR Play RSP & Wellbrook ALA1530LN Active Loop Antenna. Click here to view on YouTube.


Poland

SWL: Chris Ditrich
Location: Poland
Notes: Reception on 5985 kHz and 7360 kHz was very good 59 – 58, however reception on 6035 kHz was not that good, signal was there but not much readable

5985 kHz

Click here to listen via YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

7360 kHz

Click here to view on YouTube.


Russia

SWL: Dmitry Elagin
Location: Saratov, Russia
Notes: I accepted BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast in Saratov, Russia. I made video record by means of my SDRPlay.

Click here to view on Vimeo.

I also listened to the test program on June 14.
I published my supervision here – http://freerutube.info/2016/06/22/e-qsl-bbc-antarctic-midwinter-broadcast-14-iyunya-2016-goda/.

[Dmitry also included the following YouTube video:


United Kingdom

SWL: Chris Inwood
Location: Conrwall, England
Notes: [R]ecorded on 5.985 MHz. This frequency was by far the best quality. I was able to copy 7.365 here but there was slight QSB and some interference from an adjacent broadcaster HCJB. 6.035 was not heard at all neither was 9.720 MHz. Very best wishes and thanks, I always look forward to my email.

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


Mark Hirst's listening post.

Mark Hirst’s listening post.

SWL: Mark Hirst
Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire
Notes: Thanks for alerting shortwave listeners to the British Antarctic Survey broadcast. It felt very poignant listening to a broadcast aimed at such a small number of people, with the voices of their loved ones being launched around the world.

I was able to record the broadcast from only 100 miles away from the Woofferton transmitter, so needless to say the quality and strength was very good. I imagine hearing that broadcast buried in the noise from far away with those happy birthday songs and best wishes must have been very emotional for its intended audience.

I enclose a short segment from my 30 minute recording, plus a photo (above) taken the next day of my set up (it was dark at the time of the recording).

My recording location was Basingstoke, Hampshire in the UK – locator IO91LH 20HH

[Note that Mark also recorded the full 30 minute broadcast which you can download by clicking here.]


SWL: Dean Allison
Location: Bedlington, Northumberland, England
Notes: I have attached an audio file of the BBC transmission to Antarctica. My location is Bedlington, Northumberland, England, about 100 feet above sea level, using a Kenwood R5000 receiver and a 30 feet longwire antenna about 12 feet off the ground. This was the 5985 kHz transmission.

Click here to download or simply listen via the embedded player below:


SWL: Jerry Rhys
Location: Surrey, England
Notes: Attached are two recordings of today’s BBC Antarctic Broadcast made between
2130 and 2150z. The first recording was made using AM mode with 8 kHz bandwidth on 5985 then 7360, followed by 6035. The second recording was made using SAM mode with 10 kHz bandwidth on 7360, 6035, and 5985.

The best signal was on 5985, 7360 was weak but readable, on 6035 I could detect a carrier and occasional modulation – on this frequency there was also interference from a digital transmission on 6037. Nothing heard on 9720.

I was using a RF Space SDR-IQ Receiver, and a Wellbrook ALA1530S Loop
Antenna installed in my loft. Many thanks for the SWLing Post, always an enjoyable read!

Recording 1: 

Recording 2:


SWL: Alan (G4TMV)
Location: northern England
Notes: Reception of this special broadcast was excellent here in northern England on 5985 kHz. It was an enjoyable broadcast again, but Babcock weren’t wasting any electricity on it, it came on and went off again almost spot on 2130 and 2200!

Click here to download, or simply listen via the embedded player below:


SWL: Dom B
Location: Newcastle Under Lyme, England
Notes:  I live streamed the midwinter broadcast on my Tecsun PL-380 from my location in Newcastle Under Lyme in the UK

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQXgYSDjTkI


SWL: Lawrence Beedle
Location: Manchester, England
Notes: Here is my recording of the mid winter broadcast by the BBC 21st June 2016. Tecsun PL660 telescopic aerial, indoors, sat at kitchen table in a house in Manchester, England, UK. 5985khz good reception. 6035 kHz not as strong, 7360 kHz no reception. Recorded on iPhone next to speaker on radio. 36 seconds.

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


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David’s (G4EDR) listening post.

SWL: David Mappin
Location: Filey, England
Notes:  Just thought I would let you know how I got on with the BBC WS broadcast to Antarctica. I used my Icom IC-R75 receiver and a Wellbrook ALA1530 inside the house. 5985 kHz was very strong with me here on the east coast of the UK (NVIS propagation?). Nothing heard on 6035 or 9720 but a weak signal on 7360. Attached (above) is a photograph of my listening post. This is a link to a YouTube video of the start of the broadcast. My very best regards and thank you for your excellent website.

A screenshot from Cap's Elad FDM-S2 SDR.

A screenshot from Cap’s Elad FDM-S1 SDR.


SWL: Cap
Location: N.W. Scotland
Notes: Here is my attempt last night with SDR screenshot attached, Elad FDM-S1 with homebrew mini Mag Loop (<250mm dia) sitting on my bookcase. No doubt there will be better signals/recordings than mine as the signal was really strong from WOF and considering my setup is 100% indoors, it came out ok. External antennas don’t last here as I am by the sea and regular 100mph+ storms in the winter is too much hassle.

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


North America

Canada

BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast Test (not) 0 00 16-29

SWL: Richard Langley
Location: New Brunswick
Notes: Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in AM mode with 5.0 kHz RF filtering at the back of my yard. The photo [of Richard’s outdoor portable listening post] was taken during some other recordings last year.

Click here to listen to Richard’s recording, or simply use the embedded player below:

Click here to listen to Richard’s full half-hour recordings on the SRAA.


Sony-ICF-SW55-Midwinter-Antarctica

SWL: Thomas Witherspoon
Location: Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec
Notes: I traveled to an RFI quite spot in the parking lot of the Basilica in St.-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec. Click here to read a full post about my set-up and conditions. Note that I used a Sony ICF-SW55 receiver (above), perched on top of my vehicle and tuned to 7360 kHz.

Click here to download the full recording of the broadcast, or simply listen via the embedded player below:


Unites States

SWL: Dan Hawkins
Location: Davis, California
Notes: Here is my YouTube video. I’m using both the Sangean and Hammarlund receivers to hunt down the BBC Midwinter Antarctic Broadcast. Probably a somewhat different result than on most of the videos, but probably typical of West Coast propagation at these frequencies and times.


SWL: Nace Magner
Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Notes:  Please find attached a video of my reception of the BBC broadcast. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm passed through about 10 minutes prior to the video and the audio is dominated by lightning-related crashes. However, the BBC signal can be heard periodically. My location was on a university campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is about 50 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee. I received the signal using a Tecsun PL-660 and its whip antenna. I enjoy the SWLing site. Best regards, Nace Magner (KW4LY)

Click here to view on Vimeo.


Wow–Thank you!

Once again, many thanks to all of you who submitted your recordings of the BBC Midwinter Broadcast! We’ll be sharing this post with both the British Antarctic Survey and the BBC World Service. And to all of you, from the SWLing Post: Happy Midwinter! Happy Summer/Winter Solstice!

BBC Waveguide and Letterbox archives now available online

Waveguide

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Barraclough, who writes:

BBC World Service Archives continue to put up programmes on the main site, they were previously available on a beta site you had to register for and were allowed to add tags or edit data. 64 editions of Waveguide, their radio broadcasting developments programme now up, first one 21 April 1988. last one 14 March 2001.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0338l70/episodes/guide

There were only 4 editions of the long running Letterbox on the beta site but they have been transferred over, includes the final edition. None of World Radio Club in the archives unfortunately.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033dqhr/episodes/guide

Many thanks for the tip, Mike! I’m happy the BBC is making their archives even more accessible as a part of their strategic plan. Please let us know if you note any other archives of interest!

From the BBC Archives: The first 21 years of the World Service

BBC-AT-WAR

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Borgnino, who shares a link to the excellent archived radio documentary, The first 21 years of the World Service, via the BBC World Service‘s online audio archives.

The recording/broadcast dates from December, 18 1953. Here’s the description of the recording:

The first 21 years of the World Service: how it began in 1938, its important role in WW2 and its aftermath, including historic moments as they were first broadcast by Churchill, de Gaulle, Eisenhower.

Click here to listen to the documentary via the BBC World Service.

VOG Interval Signal

I learned an interesting fact in this documentary: I had no idea that the BBC used the Greek radio interval signal for their Greek language service while Greece was occupied in WWII. After liberation, the BBC Director General “solemnly” handed the famous interval signal–“the sound of shepherds’ pipes mingling with the bells of their flocks”–back to Greece. Amazing.

The Greek radio interval signal is one of my all-time favorites. Indeed, my mobile phone’s ringtone is the VOG interval signal:

If you would like to add this ringtone to your mobile phone, check out this post from 2013.

BBC to “protect” World Service in strategic plan presented to Parliament

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Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, has made public the UK government’s plan for the future of the BBC, which among other things, will now include Ofcom regulation.

The BBC Trust will also be dissolved and the BBC will have a new unitary board comprised primarily of members independent of the government.

The plan includes major structural changes to the BBC–indeed, possibly some of the most sweeping changes in the corporation’s history. Most major UK/European news outlets will report on this today.

Of course, I was very curious where the BBC World Service would fall in terms of priority. Based on what I’ve read in the report, there will be a serious effort to “protect” the World Service. The following excerpt from the report outlines the plan:

(Source: A BBC for the future: a broadcaster of distinction)

(Image source: BBC)Prioritising funding and protecting the World Service

The decisions that the BBC makes in allocating funding between services will have important consequences for the overall distinctiveness of the BBC. In radio, budgets have a broad spread across the wide range of services.

This is not the case in television where BBC One receives a far greater concentration of funding (see box 19). While of course the BBC needs to invest in its flagship services, the BBC board will need to give careful consideration to its service-level funding decisions.

Matching investment to the strategic priorities for the BBC is generally a matter for the BBC board. But there is one area so critical to the public interest role of the BBC that it is appropriate for the Charter to be more directive. The World Service is one of the BBC’s most distinctive services.

It is hugely valued by audiences and a vital part of the UK’s ability to lead the world in terms of soft power and influence, with its reach and reputation helping to project UK’s cultural and democratic values to more than 246 million people worldwide.

The government will therefore ensure that the BBC protects licence fee
funding for the World Service at its current level of £254 million
per annum.

The BBC will also receive additional funding from the government for the World Service of £34 million in 2016/17 and £85 million a year in the three subsequent years, a significant proportion of which will be Official Development Assistance. As a provider of accurate, impartial and independent news the BBC World Service helps to strengthen democratic accountability and governance, and promote Britain and our values around the world.

The languages in which the World Service operates, and the objectives, priorities and targets of the World Service will continue to be agreed with the Foreign Secretary.

BBC World News is the prime means by which the BBC distributes its television news and current affairs programmes to international audiences. But it does not have the same reputation for quality as the World Service – which is renowned for its radio output. This is in part a question of funding: BBC Global News, the commercial subsidiary that operates the service, had revenues in 2014/15 of just £94 million, less than 10 per cent of the revenues of BBC Worldwide, and a staff of just 120. The BBC must ensure that all its prominent international services have a reputation for delivering high quality, distinctive output. The new unitary board should therefore consider what reforms are needed to improve the quality of BBC World News.

I’ve skimmed the full report and found no specific mention of shortwave radio broadcasting (no surprise). I’m certain the BBC will continue to broadcast over shortwave to strategic regions of the world in the short-term, but over time will certainly decrease offerings.

Click here to download the full report as a PDF.

South Sudan: Eye Radio reaches new audience via shortwave

EyeRadio

You might recall a post from Robert Gulley earlier this week about Eye Radio. Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Borgnino who shares a link to the following article from the BBC about Eye Radio’s broadcasts over shortwave:

(Source: BBC)

A radio station in South Sudan is using older, but tried and tested technology to reach new audiences.

Radio is a crucial medium in South Sudan, where illiteracy is high and many areas lack an electricity supply.

But many people living in remote villages are out of range of existing FM and mediumwave (AM) broadcasts.

Huge distances

To reach these potential listeners, Eye Radio, which is based in the capital Juba and can be heard in regional capitals, has just started broadcasting on shortwave.

The new service covers “the whole of South Sudan, including remote areas in which communities are not able to access FM radio”, says Eye Media head Stephen Omiri.

[…]The station is thought to be renting airtime on a transmitter based outside South Sudan.

Funding for the shortwave service comes from USAID, the international development arm of the US government.

[…]Eye Radio broadcasts in English, standard Arabic, and local languages Dinka, Nuer, Juba Arabic, Bari, Shilluk, Zande and Moro.

The shortwave broadcasts are on the air from 7-8 a.m. local time on 11730 kHz, and 7-8 p.m. on 17730 kHz.

Another station using shortwave to reach South Sudan is Radio Tamazuj, which is based in the Netherlands.

Click here to read the full article at the BBC Monitoring website.