Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who shares the following recording and notes:
A few snippets from my old shortwave tapes that were too short to upload individually. These were made using a GE portable multi band that had poor selectivity, hence the annoying ute during the BBC clip.
Times of individual clips are:
00:00 – 01:59: 1979, July 19 – RCI, frequency announcements in English and french.
01:59 – 09:51: 1979, July 20 – BBC, newscast, bothered by an annoying utility station.
09:51 – 11:38: 1981, August 28 – VOA, science news item about Voyager 2
11:38 – 14:52: 1981, August 29 – VOA, science news item about Voyager 2
After a 2005-13 hiatus, I have rediscovered a childhood hobby and your reviews have helped me find my way to the post-Sony portable shortwave radio markets.
First, I obtained my “childhood dream” radio (Sony ICF 2001D), because at the time I made these recordings I was still in school and 1300 DM would have equaled over 1 year of pocket money, so a Supertech SR16HN had to do. I thought I got some fine results with this Sangean-Siemens re-branded receiver then, using a CB half-length antenna, a random wire, and much endurance.
The Supertech SR16HN (photo: Radiomuseum.com)
I kept regular logs throughout the years, wrote to 50 international and pirate stations for QSL and compiled this cassette.
A few years before I got that trusty SR16HN, however, I recorded a few number stations (such as G3, Four Note Rising Scale etc) with an ordinary radio cassette recorder, and in 1991 I put them onto this tape as well. The other recordings are done with the same radio placed right in front of the SR 16HN.
Feel free to make use of these recordings. Most of it are the well-known international state-owned shortwave stations of the past; plus European pirates; plus number stations; and at the end, a few (off-topic) local Am and FM stations interval signals.
As I said, this collection I made shortly after the Wende/reunification period, when all former-GDR state broadcasters changed their names, sometimes more than once.
Please continue your good work on the blogs! Weather permitting I am often outside cycling and always have the tiny Sony ICF 100 with me (which I call my then-student’s dream radio of the later 90ies).
Cassette Side 1
Frank’s original hand-written notes. Click to enlarge.
Wow! Frank, what a treat to listen to all these station IDs!
I had forgotten how many interval signals have changed over time and how many, of course, have disappeared. This tape represents a flood of nostalgia for me.
I should add, too, that I’ve enjoyed hearing so many IDs in German. It’s funny, but we all get hooked on listening to language programming from our native or second languages. It makes me realize just how many broadcasters used to have German language services.
Again, many thanks, Frank, for taking the time to digitize these recordings and scan your original hand-written notes. This stuff is invaluable, in my book!
Despite dismal propagation, I was quite happy to receive a relatively strong signal earlier this week (31 August 2015) from Channel Africa, starting around 16:40 UTC on 15,235 kHz.
This recording begins with the French language service (already in progress), followed by the English language service. Receiver used was a WinRadio Excalibur connected to a large horizontal delta loop antenna.
Shortwave Radio 1974: Canada, Argentina, Spain, West Germany, Albania, utility stations
-Brian Smith (W9IND)
Want to know what shortwave radio sounded like in 1974? This 55-minute recording, recovered from a cassette, was never intended to be anything but “audio notes”: I was an 18-year-old shortwave listener who collected QSL cards from international stations, and I was tired of using a pen and a notepad to copy down details of the broadcasts. I wanted an easier way to record what I heard, and my cassette tape recorder seemed like the perfect means to accomplish that goal.
But it wasn’t. I soon discovered that it was simpler to just edit my notes as I was jotting them down — not spend time on endless searches for specific information located all over on the tape. To make a long story shorter, I abandoned my “audio notes” plan after a single shortwave recording: This one.
Hallicrafters S-108 (Image source: DXing.com)
Still, for those who want to experience the feel of sitting at a shortwave radio in the mid-1970s and slowly spinning the dial, this tape delivers. Nothing great in terms of sound quality; I was using a Hallicrafters S-108 that was outdated even at the time. And my recording “technique” involved placing the cassette microphone next to the radio speaker.
Thus, what you’ll hear is a grab bag of randomness: Major shortwave broadcasting stations from Canada, Argentina, Spain, Germany and Albania; maritime CW and other utility stations; and even a one-sided conversation involving a mobile phone, apparently located at sea. There are lengthy (even boring) programs, theme songs and interval signals, and brief IDs, one in Morse code from an Italian Navy station and another from a Department of Energy station used to track shipments of nuclear materials. And I can’t even identify the station behind every recording, including several Spanish broadcasts (I don’t speak the language) and an interview in English with a UFO book author.
The following is a guide, with approximate Windows Media Player starting times, of the signals on this recording. (Incidentally, the CBC recording was from July 11, 1974 — a date I deduced by researching the Major League Baseball scores of the previous day.)
Guide To The Recording
00:00 — CBC (Radio Canada) Northern and Armed Forces Service: News and sports. 07:51 — RAE (Radio Argentina): Sign-off with closing theme 09:14 — Department of Energy station in Belton, Missouri: “This is KRF-265 clear.” 09:17 — Interval signal: Radio Spain. 09:40 — New York Radio, WSY-70 (aviation weather broadcast) 10:22 — Unidentified station (Spanish?): Music. 10:51— Unidentified station (English): Historic drama with mention of Vice President John Adams, plus bell-heavy closing theme. 14:12 — Unidentified station (Spanish?): Male announcer, poor signal strength. 14:20 — Unidentified station (Spanish): Theme music and apparent ID, good signal strength. 15:16 — Unidentified station (foreign-speaking, possibly Spanish): Song, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.” 17:00 — Deutsche Welle (The Voice of West Germany): Announcement of frequencies, theme song. 17:39 — Unidentified station (English): Interview with the Rev. Barry Downing, author of “The Bible and Flying Saucers.” 24:36 — One side of mobile telephone conversation in SSB, possibly from maritime location. 30:37 — Radio Tirana (Albania): Lengthy economic and geopolitical talk (female announcer); bad audio. Theme and ID at 36:23, sign-off at 55:03. 55:11 — Italian Navy, Rome: “VVV IDR3 (and long tone)” in Morse code.
Brian, this is a brilliant recording–regardless of audio quality–and we’re very thankful you took the time to share it. Propagation has left something to be desired as of late, so time traveling back to 1974 has been incredibly fun.
Post Readers: If, like Brian, you have off-air recordings on tape that you’d like to share, please contact me! Even if you don’t have the means to transfer your tapes to a digital format, I’m a part of a small community of shortwave radio archivists who would be quite willing to help.