WRTH 2016: B15 season update now available for download

WRTH-2016Many thanks to Sean Gilbert who shares the following on the WRTH Facebook page:

WRTH has released a free of charge update file for the B15 (winter) international and clandestine/target broadcast schedules. The file is in PDF format and follows the same styling as the WRTH printed edition.

To download the file, please visit either: http://www.wrth.com/_shop or http://www.wrth.com/_shop/?page_id=444.

We understand from some of our web visitors that there was an issue with our donations button not working properly – this has been rectified and you are now able to make a donation to WRTH, should you wish to. This is entirely voluntary, of course.

If you haven’t already purchased your copy of the 70th anniversary edition of WRTH (2016), now is the ideal opportunity! Head to our website for more information. Best wishes and happy listening/DXing from the WRTH Editorial team.

Click here to read our overview of the 2016 WRTH.

Purchase your copy of WRTH 2015 directly from WRTH’s publishers, or from a distributor like Universal Radio (US) and Amazon.com (US), or Radio HF (Canada). BookDepository.com, a U.K.-based seller, is also offering WRTH at a discount and with free worldwide shipping.

The Worldwide Listening Guide: the content DXer’s handbook

WWLG-7th-EditionI’m very pleased to have just received the 7th edition of John Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide (WWLG), the latest, most updated version of the excellent guide I’ve often reviewed.

As I’ve said, you may want a copy of the WWLG in your shack, especially alongside your computer or Wi-Fi radio.

SWLing Post readers know that I’m a huge fan of the Word Radio TV Handbook (WRTH); it’s my go-to guide for radio frequencies and schedules. Well, Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide is my go-to for programming and content, not only helpful on the shortwaves, but also handy when tracking online content.

WWLG: The Content DXers Guide

Like many SWLs, I’m something of a “Content DXer:” I love chasing obscure programming––news, documentaries, music, and variety shows, anything the broadcasting world has to offer.  For this, I often turn to Wi-Fi radio.  Wi-Fi radio offers the discerning listener the ability to track down fascinating regional content from every corner of the globe––content never actually intended for an international audience.

But the fact is, there’s so much content out there, it’s hard to know where to start. This is where the WWLG comes in: Figliozzi exhaustively curates more than 4,000 programs (!), indexing their airing times, stations, days of broadcast, program types, frequencies, and web addresses. Additionally, he sorts the programs by genre:  arts, culture, history, music, sports, and more. And Figliozzi also includes a well-thought-out directory of at least forty genres.   In short, this directory has helped me not just locate, but identify, programming I would never have known about otherwise.

Frankly, I’m not sure how Figliozzi manages to curate such a vast assortment of programming.  But I’m happy that he does, and especially, that he offers it for the SWL’s benefit––!

Thus the WWLG  has become a permanent reference book in my shack, alongside my trusty WRTH. There’s a surprising amount of information packed into this slim, spiral-bound book…enough to keep even a seasoned DXer contented for years.

The 7th edition of Worldwide Listening Guide can be purchased here:

With a retail price under $25, I feel like the WWLG is an excellent bargain.

WRTH 2016: A look inside

WRTH-2016

I received my copy of the 2016 World Radio and TV Handbook (WRTH) directly from the publisher on Christmas Eve 2105. As many SWLing Post readers know, I always look forward to receiving this staple radio reference guide each year. This is a special year for the publication, too: it’s their 70th edition!

I should note that it was a special edition of the WRTH for me as well: upon request, I contributed two receiver reviews and a feature article. It was an honor working with the WRTH publication staff and being included in the 70th edition.

WRTH’s team of noted DXers from around the world curate frequencies and broadcaster information by region; while I’m not sure how they orchestrate all of this, the end result is truly a symphony of radio information. In addition to broadcaster listings, WRTH’s radio reviews, feature articles, and annual HF report make for excellent reading.

But the WRTH isn’t just a frequency guide: the publication always devotes the first sixty or so pages to articles relating to various aspects of the radio hobby. Following, I offer a quick overview of these.

The first article always features a WRTH contributor (indeed, it’s this very network of contributors that make WRTH and its listings such a success):  this year, Dave Kenny tells us how he got interested in the hobby and what being a contributor means to him. It’s fascinating to read about how his SWLing hobby turned into a career as he worked for BBC Monitoring for many years.

The second set of articles is always my favorite: WRTH receiver reviews.

AOR-AR-DV1

This year, WRTH reviewed the C.Crane CC Skywave (an update to one of my reviews on the Post).  They also review the new AOR AR-DV-1 (above), the Etón Satellit Grundig Edition (which impressed them favorably), the Tecsun PL-680 (again, an update of one of my Post reviews), and the Nti ML200 Megaloop.

The following article is “A Brief History of World Radio TV Handbook” which traces the publication’s history back to the Nazi occupation of Denmark in World War II. It’s a fascinating read and puts the publication into context as technology, international broadcasting and the WRTH team have evolved over the course of 70 years.

In the next article, UK MW & LW Broadcasting: the first 95 years, WRTH contributor Dave Porter (G4OYX), outlines the history and current use of MW & LW broadcasting. A fascinating history written by a former BBC senior transmitter engineer!

Next is the added feature 70 Years of Reception which looks at receiver technology and innovations that have had an impact over the course of WRTH’s long history. They highlight a few select receivers over the decades like the RCA AR-88, Eddystone 840-A, Eddstone EC-10, Barlow Wadley XCR-30, Kenwood R-1000, Drake R8 and the WinRadio Excalibur Ultra.

Timore-Leste-Map

Following this, WRTH contributor, David Foster, features an article on Radio in Timore-Leste.  Foster has been involved in Timore-Leste for many years–his article gives excellent insight into this part of Southeast Asia. Indeed, I always look forward to David Foster’s articles in WRTH!

This year, WRTH also features an updated and revised article I wrote for them on The Future of Shortwave. Again, I’m honored to have contributed to the 70th edition of WRTH.

WRTH International Editor, Sean Gilbert, also wrote an excellent Guide to SDRs–a brilliant little summary of what SDRs are, how they work, and some common terminology used in reviews.

The final article–a tradition–is the WRTH  HF propagation report/forecast by Ulf-Peter Hoppe. Always an informative read (even if the prediction isn’t positive for DXers).

As expected, the 70th is another great edition of the World Radio TV Handbook.

As I’ve said many times, though I use online frequency databases fairly regularly, there is just no replacement for a good printed frequency guide–especially for all of my off-grid DXing.

For DXers who collect QSL cards, you’ll find that broadcaster contact information in WRTH is often more up-to-date than a broadcaster’s own website. When readers ask me for station contact information, it is the current WRTH I reference.

Not only does WRTH contain more in-depth information on broadcasters and schedules, but it makes for quick reference, and doesn’t require a computer or Internet connection–much like, well, your shortwave radio.

Purchase your copy of WRTH 2015 directly from WRTH’s publishers, or from a distributor like Universal Radio (US) and Amazon.com (US), or Radio HF (Canada).

SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley (Canada), also noted that  BookDepository.com, a U.K.-based seller, is offering WRTH at a discount and with free worldwide shipping. Thanks for the tip, Richard!

WRTH 2016: I’m glad I stopped by the post office

WRTH-2016

I just brought home my copy of WRTH 2016 from the post office. I didn’t expect it to arrive so soon from the UK, so I’m very much looking forward to reading through it over the next few days. It’s a special volume, too: WRTH’s 70th anniversary edition!

I’m also honored to have a feature article and two reviews in this particular edition.

You can order your copy from Amazon or Universal Radio here in the US, from Radio HF in Canada. Otherwise, consider ordering directly from WRTH online.

I’ll post an overview of WRTH 2016 in the coming days.

WRTH 2016: now in publication

WRTH-2016I’m very happy to see this notice from Nicholas Hardyman, Publisher of the World Radio TV Handbook:

We are delighted to announce the publication today of the 70th edition of WRTH.

For full details of WRTH 2016 and to order a copy please visit our website at www.wrth.com where you can also order the B15 WRTH Bargraph Frequency Guide on CD and as a download.

WRTH 2016 is also available for pre-order, for readers in the USA, from Amazon or Universal  Radio in Ohio.

I hope you enjoy using this new edition of WRTH and the new CD.

Best regards

Nicholas Hardyman
Publisher

WRTH update to A15 schedule

WRTH2015(Source: Sean Gilbert, WRTH Facebook Page)

WRTH has released a free update for the A15 schedules file. This PDF contains frequency changes, address etc., updates and some new stations. Please visit www.wrth.com and navigate to ‘Latest WRTH Updates’, choose the link under ‘International Radio’ and select the file you wish to download. The file is also available from our webshop:

http://www.wrth.com/_shop/?page_id=444

Sean’s A15 Season International Broadcasting Statistics

VOA-Greenville-Curtain-Antennas

Many thanks to Sean Gilbert, International Editor at the World Radio TV Handbook, who is kindly sharing some international broadcasting statistics with us again. These statistics were originally posted on the WRTH Facebook group:

Seasonal Language Output Comparison

[F]or the top 19 languages used in international (and Domestic SW) broadcasting. There are 10 seasons worth of data to compare. In those 10 seasons, we have seen an overall drop of 33%, the biggest casualties being Farsi, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, English & Indonesian. Tibetan is usually fairly stable with it’s output being pretty constant over the past 9 seasons – this season, however sees a huge increase in output (+69%), mainly due to the USA hiking output of the language this season. In sheer numbers of data lines (which is how this table has always been generated), English is the biggest casualty, dropping 104 transmission periods per week.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

A transmission period is based on the following data structure:
Shown below are 2 “transmission periods” for WWCR and 1 for WWRB. 2 in English and 1 in Spanish. These transmission periods cover a weeks worth of output on that frequency at that time for that broadcaster.

WWCR 1630-2100 English wcr 100 NAm,Eu,NAf daily 15825
WWCR 2100-2200 Spanish wcr 100 NAm,Eu,NAf daily 15825
WWRB 0100-0400 English wrb 100 NAm daily 3195

So a transmission period could, in reality, be from 5 minutes on a single day to 24 hours, daily, depending on the broadcaster. There are nearly 5000 of these entries in our database for this season (When I started at WRTH back in 2000, there were over 10000 entries). Of these 5000 entries, over 3600 are taken up by just 19 languages. The other 1400 entries share somewhere in the region of 200 languages/dialects and combinations! Although this doesn’t show how many hours a particular language has decreased by, it does show the ongoing trend in International broadcasting by radio.

WRTH2015A15 International Broadcasting Season Facts

There are 191 schedules listed in the International Radio and COTB (Clandestine & Other Targeted Broadcasts) section of the WRTH A15 schedules file.

Who uses the most frequencies? CRI, with a whopping 279 frequencies in use. The next largest station, by frequency use is (probably quite surprising to many of you) Voice of the Iranian Republic of Iran (VOIRI) with 140 (that is half the amount of CRI!). Next is VOA with 126; then RFA at 112; BBC at 110 then Sound of Hope Radio International with 84 and All India Radio at 67.

Below is a list of the ‘Top 20’ broadcasters in terms of frequency usage. If you were to do a study of actual transmitted time, the list would look rather different. I will shortly post a table showing the top languages, by use, and what has changed over the past 10 broadcasting seasons.

  • CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL (CRI): 279 frequencies
  • VOICE OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN (VOIRI): 140 frequencies
  • BBG – VOICE OF AMERICA (VOA): 126 frequencies
  • BBG – RADIO FREE ASIA (RFA): 112 frequencies
  • BBC WORLD SERVICE: 110 frequencies
  • SOUND OF HOPE RADIO INTERNATIONAL: 84 frequencies
  • ALL INDIA RADIO (AIR): 67 frequencies
  • RADIO ROMANIA INTERNATIONAL (RRI): 56 frequencies
  • AWR ASIA/PACIFIC: 52 frequencies
  • RADIO JAPAN (NHK WORLD): 49 frequencies
  • VOICE OF TURKEY (VOT): 43 frequencies
  • RADIO TAIWAN INTERNATIONAL (RTI): 41 frequencies
  • BBG – RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY (RFE/RL): 33 frequencies
  • KBS WORLD RADIO: 32 frequencies
  • SAUDI INTERNATIONAL RADIO: 32 frequencies
  • AWR AFRICA/EUROPE: 30 frequencies
  • VATICAN RADIO: 29 frequencies
  • RADIO CAIRO 29: frequencies
  • VOICE OF KOREA (VOK): 27 frequencies
  • FEBC PHILIPPINES: 26 frequencies

63 broadcasters, or so, use just a single frequency.