Interval signal ringtones via PCJ

Apple-iPhonePCJ International has sent a press release regarding a series of interval signal ring tones they are selling on their web site.

PCJ states:

Package one includes 35 interval signals from the past and present. In a few months the second package will be released.

The price is $1.99 US.

Package one includes:

  • BBC World Service 1
  • BBC World Service 2
  • Deutsche Welle
  • Radio Afghanistan (70s)
  • Radio Algeria
  • Radio Andora
  • Radio Anguilla
  • Radio Argentina
  • Radio Australia (News jingle)
  • Radio Austria
  • Radio Belgrade
  • Radio Berlin International
  • Radio Botswana
  • Radio Busapest
  • Radio Ceylon
  • Radio Denmark
  • Radio Free Europe (50s)
  • Radio Kiev
  • Radio Netherlands
  • Radio Norway
  • Radio RSA External Service
  • Radio South Africa
  • Radio Singapore
  • Radio Sweden (Vintage)
  • Radio Tallinn
  • Radio Tirana
  • RAI International
  • Spanish Foreign Radio (Vintage)
  • Swiss Merry Go Round (Theme)
  • Swiss Radio International
  • Vatican Radio
  • Voice of America (60s)
  • Voice of America (70s)
  • YLE Radio Finland
  • PCJ Radio International

More information can be found at: www.pcjmedia.com/pcjshop

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:

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio New Zealand International

The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) provides the interval signal for RNZI (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) provides the interval signal for RNZI (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

One of my favorite shortwave radio broadcasters is Radio New Zealand International. RNZI has authoritative news–with a focus on NZ and the Pacific islands–music, sports and their own unique character, though they operate on a very modest budget by international broadcasting standards.

The RNZI interval signal is charming and unmistakable: the call of the New Zealand Bellbird.

Fortunately, in the 3 hour recording of RNZI below, I caught not only the interval signal as the broadcast began, but also as it went off the air. This recording was made on March 14th 2013 starting around 8:00 UTC on 9,765 kHz. (You’ll note news of the Pope.)

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

Note to SWLing Post reader, Mike:
I hope you enjoy these sounds from home!

Ian McFarland CDs now available as a digital download

Ian McFarland (photo courtesy: DXer.ca)

Want to do something good for yourself, your knowledge of SWL–and, in the process, help others? Let me tell you how…

Ian McFarland has made available his excellent shortwave radio CD series for download on DXer.ca (an already excellent site, if you haven’t yet visited). This CD set includes a series on interval signals, foreign language recognition, a look back at shortwave history, the state of international broadcasting today, and even a bonus antenna series.  I purchased these the moment I heard that they had become available as MP3 downloads in December.

And how, exactly, are you helping someone else by enjoying these programs?  Fully 100% of the proceeds benefit Ian’s favorite charity, a food bank and soup kitchen in Duncan, British Columbia.

It’s a win-win, and you need to be one of those winners! What are you waiting for? Click here to go to the DXer.ca online store!

Description of CD’s from DXer.ca:
Series 1 – Were you a shortwave listener back in 1974? If you were a regular listener to RCI’s popular SWL Digest program, which went off the air in March of 1991 in the wake of a devastating budget cut at RCI, then you may remember the SW station Idents & Interval Signals Series that was featured on this award-winning program.

That series featured over 100 identification and interval signals from SW stations around the world. Many of the ident signals heard in that long-running series are no longer on the air. If you feel nostalgic about the “good old days” of SWLing, you’ll be interested to know that this unique series is now available in an autographed two-CD set.

Series 2 – CD#1: The Foreign Language recognition course + A bonus CD of classic McFarland.

Ever feel like you could do better with radio listening on the SW, MW and LW bands if you could only identify the language? Help has arrived with the release of Ian McFarland’s foreign language-recognition course. CD One of this series contains 55 language samples analyzed by noted linguist, the late Dr. Richard E. Wood.  You’ll be pinning down DX faster than ever with this concise and complete audio series CD. A second bonus CD contains three flashback shows in their entirety from the Ian McFarland catalog of classics.

Series 3 – Yesterday and Today:  20 Years of SW Broadcasting. In what they feel is their “finest work ever,” Ian McFarland joins Bob Zanotti, Kim Eilliot of VOA, Jef White of WRMI, and a cast of listeners from the 20th Anniversary Kulpsville, PA, SWLing Winterfest in 2007. They combine a 2009 live forum with a flashback to 1989 – The joint SWL Digest-Swiss SW Merry-go-round program devoted to the International Radio Days conference in West Berlin in 1989.

Bonus Download Series A – The Ian McFarland Antenna Series – A must-listen for SWL’s, DXers, and radio enthusiasts at all levels, this 11-part study series covers all things made of solid and stranded copper wire. From the most basic random wire to the windom and the beverage antennas, Ian discusses the most common types of radio antennas, protecting your antennas and equipment with lightning arrestors, and some antenna book references. The McFarland Antenna series was first aired in the seventies, and this is the first time in almost twenty-five years that these recordings have been available in a high quality MP3 download. Two dollars provides one hour of interesting and informative listening on the subject.

Between Broadcasts-Exploring Interval Signals

Lately, I’ve been listening to a plethora of shortwave broadcasts as I’m about to review several new radios. I’ve noted so many great interval signals that are still in use. The following is a reprise of a previous post–from over two years ago–about interval signals. If you’ve never heard of interval signals, this post offers an introduction. 

What are interval or tuning signals? Often the most recognized sounds in the shortwave bands are the repetitive tones and musical interludes heard between broadcasts, known as interval signals. These are simply characteristic  musical phrases that broadcasters play between programs.  In fact, for me, nothing is more nostalgic than to hear the interval signals of some of my favorite broadcasters from my youth. Here are a few classic examples of interval signals:Analog Radio Dial

Interval signals usually include station and program identification, and are often in multiple languages. Not only do they help identify the station, but in the days of crowded international broadcast bands, interval signals helped listeners tune in and adjust their radios prior to program commencement.

Broadcasters have been using interval signals since the 1920s, but there has been a decline with the advent of digitally tuned radios which, unlike analog tuners, take the guesswork out of tuning into a specific frequency.

So, in this digital age, are interval signals still around? Sure. Many broadcasters believe an interval signal is still the best way to announce station and program identification; one might say their interval signals have become audio “logos.”

Here is an audio clip I recorded on April 23, 2009, of the interval signal for the new Happy Station Show: [Click here to listen]

For comparison, listen to this audio clip of the Happy Station Show from Jan 20, 1980, when it was a part of Radio Netherlands: [Click here to listen]

Listening for Signals

Where can you hear interval signals today?  Fortunately, they can be heard all over the shortwave broadcast spectrum. The best times to hear interval signals are on the top of the hour and sometimes at the half or quarter hour.

Another great place to hear interval signals are on the web. There are several interval signal databases where you can listen to a wide variety of interval signals. One of my favorites is the Interval Signal Database. This site is in German and English and is well categorized and searchable. In fact, Bernhard, the webmaster of the Interval Signal Database, gave me permission to publish several of his audio clips above. [Danke, Bernhard!]

Here is a list of interval signal websites:

Since he’s somewhat of an interval signal guru, I asked Bernhard for his favorite interval signal recording. He pointed out this one from the Cold War era:  it is a recording of a special low-power (1kW) training station of the Austrian military. Bernhard informed me that in times of crisis, this station was to serve as a back-up for the Austrian Radio ORF.

Leave a comment:  What is your favorite interval signal, and why?

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On a side note–Bernhard also pointed out one of his favorite non-interval signal recordings.  In this recording, the news reader started the German language news by reading the frequencies, then noticed that the studio door was open.  You can clearly hear her getting up to close the door in the recording.