Tag Archives: Leeds Radio

Remembering Radio Canada International’s final shortwave broadcast

The transmitter building of Radio Canada International, Sackville, NB.

The transmitter building of Radio Canada International, Sackville, NB.

I spent the summer of 2012 in an off-grid cabin on the eastern coast of Prince Edward Island, Canada. That summer, I listened as two of my favorite shortwave broadcasters left the air within weeks of each other: Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Radio Canada International.

I was able to not only listen to the final broadcasts of Radio Netherlands, but also record them. I wrote a post about that memorable experience.

Ironically, though I was only a geographic stone’s-throw from the RCI Sackville transmitter site, I struggled to hear any Sackville signals as my location was too close for skywave propagation and a little too far for ground wave. Though I paid a visit to the transmitter site only two days prior, I was unable to hear or record RCI’s final broadcast.

Unlike RNW’s final broadcasts, RCI’s ended without fanfare and quite abruptly. This week, I heard a recording of that final RCI broadcast for the first time. My friend, Rajdeep Das, recorded it on June 24, 2012 in Kolkata, India. Rajdeep has kindly shared his recording with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive and here on the SWLing Post.

This is a short 10 minute recording, beginning at 1550 UTC, June 24, 2012 on 11,675 kHz. Listeners will note that the broadcast ends abruptly during the mailbag program–obviously the Sackville transmitters were turned off prematurely.

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

While we’re talking about RCI, I would also like to thank @LeedsRadio, @UKDXer and Al Holt for sharing the following brilliant QSLs and pennant:

UK-DXer-RCI-QSL

Source: @UKDXer via Twitter

LeedsRadio-RCI-NorthQuebecService-QSL

Source: @LeedsRadio via Twitter

Al-Holt-RCI-QSL

Source: @grovekid2 (Al Holt) via Twitter

 

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

SWLing Post readers should note that Rajdeep Das has a DX blog you should visit. I’ve added Rajdeep’s site to our blog roll. Thanks again, Rajdeep!

Leeds Radio featured in the NY Times

(Source: NY Times)

WHEN an insurance company declared the merchandise at Leeds Radio “not pilferable” last year, it meant that the store’s hundreds of thousands of analog electronic parts — all manufactured before 1968 — were unlikely to be stolen anytime soon.

[…]And yet Leeds, one of the oldest electronics stores in the country, has plenty of paying customers. Located at 68 North Seventh Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, two blocks from the Bedford Avenue stop of the L train, it attracts a steady stream of musicians, hi-fi aficionados, ham radio buffs and the kind of people who build Tesla coils in their basements.

The 2,500-square-foot space smells like a vintage record shop (an odor Mr. Matthews describes as equal parts phenolic resin, adhesive, old cardboard and wire insulation) and appears shockingly disorganized. Cubist piles of boxes overflow with switches, capacitors, Bakelite knobs and watt meters. The floor glitters with the glass of shattered vacuum tubes.

Sounds like my radio room, though on a much, much larger scale…the part with piles of boxes, at least. Thanks to the Herculodge for leading me to the NY Times article. We actually posted another article about Leeds Radio when it was featured on WNYC. As both articles mention, radio parts shops like Leeds are certainly on the decline [understatement alert]–luckily, the internet opens up a whole world of mom-and-pop vendors like Leeds, though with a virtual store front, so there is still hope.

Read the full article here.

WNYC features Leeds Radio

(Source: WNYC)

Now it’s 1952 all over again,” Richard Matthews said with satisfaction, after buffing a small black radio knob to a shiny gleam. “It’s beautiful.”

For those who tinker like it’s 1959, Leed’s Radio is Candyland. This 2,500 square foot warehouse is literally jam packed with an inventory of between three to five million parts, including vacuum tubes, transformers, coils, knobs, switches, light bulbs and just about anything requisite for a radio made before 1965. Some of the stock dates back to 1919, a few years before the original Leeds opened on Manhattan’s Radio Row in 1923.

But with the exception of the hulking 1940s-era Radio Free Europe machine in Matthews’ office, you won’t find a completely assembled radio here. Leeds is a store for people who like to build and tinker with antique technology, not for those who want to purchase pristine relics.

Listen to the full show at the WNYC website and browse Leeds Radio’s website.