Radio Waves: G4 Solar Storm, AM for Car Safety, AI DJs Next Month, and NYC Pirate Fined $2 Million

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Troy Riedel, Dennis Dura, and Richard Cuff for the following tips:


Strongest solar storm in nearly 6 years slams into Earth catching forecasters by surprise (Space.com)

The powerful solar storm supercharged auroras as far south as Colorado and New Mexico.

The most powerful solar storm in nearly six years slammed Earth today (March 24), but strangely, space weather forecasters didn’t see it coming.

The geomagnetic storm peaked as a severe G4 on the 5-grade scale used by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assess the severity of space weather events. The storm’s unexpected ferocity not only made auroras visible as far south as New Mexico in the U.S., but it also forced spaceflight company Rocket Lab to delay a launch by 90 minutes.

Geomagnetic storms are disturbances to Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar material from coronal mass ejections (CME) — large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the sun’s atmosphere. It turns out that this particular geomagnetic storm was triggered by a “stealth” CME which — as the name suggests — is rather tricky to detect. [Continue reading…]

Congressman Says Make AM a Mandatory Car Safety Feature (Radio World)

Gottheimer also supports federal spending on AM infrastructure to assure continuity of service

A congressman from New Jersey wants the government to add AM radio to the list of safety equipment that carmakers must include in their vehicles.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer has called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to “add AM radio to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to require that all automakers, including EV manufacturers, include AM radio as a stock feature in their vehicles. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are the minimum safety standards that a manufacturer must meet when making a vehicle — including requirements related to airbags, brakes, seatbelts, tires, controls and displays.”

The National Association of Broadcasters welcomed his effort.

Gottheimer, a Democrat who represents a district along the state’s northern border, held a news event next to a Tesla dealership in Paramus, N.J., along with New Jersey Broadcasters Association Executive Director Jordan Walton. [Continue reading…]

AI-generated DJs are coming to radio stations in the US and Canada next month (Business Insider)

An AI-generated radio DJ could be coming to your local radio station.

RadioGPT, a GPT-4-powered radio content generator from media company Futuri, is set to debut next month in radio stations in the US and Canada, Axios Cleveland reported.

Powered by the same tech that ChatGPT draws upon, RadioGPT aims to man radio airtime spots with AI-generated scripts and voices, as well as tailored local news content.

You can listen to a demo from the company that gives you a preview of what the AI-generated DJ voices sound like — which tell listeners that they are, in fact, fully AI — sprinkled between curated songs. The page includes snippets of RadioGPT-generated voices presenting news, weather, and traffic updates.

“Anything a radio human can do, I can do better,” one of the AI hosts can be heard saying in between songs. “Every voice you hear is 100% AI.” [Continue reading…]

FCC Fines 15 Year-Old Pirate Radio Station in NYC $2 Million (Vice)

The FCC is using its new powers to ask from the maximum fine from an Ecuadorian pirate radio station that’s run for more than 15 years.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is using a new law to fine a pirate radio station operating in New York City for more than $2 million. For 15 years, Impacto 2, which has been operated by two brothers, has broadcast Ecuadorian news, culture, sports, and talk-radio on 105.5 FM in Queens. The feds have tried to shut it down repeatedly, but have never succeeded.

The FCC announced the fine in a press release last week. “The Commission proposed the maximum penalty allowable, $2,316,034, against brothers César Ayora and Luis Angel Ayora for pirate radio broadcasting in Queens, New York,” the release said. The FCC also said it was trying to seize $80,000 in equipment from a man broadcasting pirate radio in Eastern Oregon.

The Ayoras have been on the FCC’s radar since 2008 when they started broadcasting Impacto 2 for the Ecuadorian community in Queens: “The brothers César and [Luis] Angel Ayora in September 2008 founded the first Ecuadorian FM radio station in New York City. . . The station never sleeps, because a team of communication professionals are working for you 24 hours a day,” their website, which is currently down, said. The station is broadcast over the internet and has moved around the FM spectrum several times over the years. [Continue reading…]


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We’re off to the KZOO again

Hi SWLing Post community, Fastradioburst23 here letting you know about a transmission of  KZOO, another installment of the imaginary radio stations show to be broadcast this weekend via the good folks at WRMI.

It’s on Sunday 26th March 2023 at 2200 UTC on 9395 kHz and will feature those strange and wonderful instruments that wouldn’t be encouraged in your music class. After the broadcast the studio audio will appear on the KMTS mixcloud here. 

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Wellbrook Communications is closing shop

Mark Fahey’s Wellbrook antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares the following news from the Wellbrook Communications homepage:

Wellbrook Communications will cease trading at the end of April 2023.
This is due to retirement.
I would like to thank everyone for their custom over the past 27 years.

No doubt, the venerable Wellbrook loop has helped thousands radio enthusiasts mitigate RFI/QRM and make it possible to once again DX from home.

We wish Wellbrook owners a wonderful retirement!

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In which C.Crane displays a high degree of “cool”

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Okay, let’s get this straight to begin with: I’m not on C.Crane’s payroll; I get nothing for what you are about to read. I have bought two of their radios with my own money, and they sent me one for review.

Today I received an email from C.Crane, headlined “How to make a shortwave antenna.” It links to an online article, written by Bob Crane, with the same title. Here’s the link.

It explains, clearly and concisely, how to make your own shortwave antenna, and it also adds some safety warnings. Check it out; it’s worth reading and maybe home-brewing your own antenna.

What makes this a high degree of cool is that C.Crane also sells shortwave antennas . . . and yet they tell you how to make your own if you so choose. Nice.

Frankly, I’ve been a fan of the C.Crane company for years. Now I am a bigger one.

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The International Radio Club’s Reprints collection

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Nick Hall-Patch who shares the following announcement:


IRCA Reprints open to public

The International Radio Club’s Reprints collection of over 1100 articles about antennas, radio propagation, receivers, accessories, plus items of general interest to MW DXers, continues to grow.   We’ve published an update to the index, at DXer.ca [PDF] , so that everyone can get access to these latest additions.  (also accessible at https://www.ircaonline.org/ “Free IRCA Reprints” button)

The latest update includes items from DX Monitor up the end of June 2022. as well as many items of interest from elsewhere, used with permission.

Added items in this update are marked “(NEW)”,  plus there are a few updated articles as well.

Please pass on this information to others as you see fit.

(if you’ve used the index before, you may need to refresh your browser page to see the latest update, dated December 2022)

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Marwan discovers vintage radios in the family

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Marwan, who writes:

Hello Thomas,

I hope this email finds you well and you will enjoy the photos I am attaching.

Two weekends ago my wife and I and went to see our grand daughter who lives and hour and a half away. On our way back we decided to drop by my sister in law’s house. I had not seen my sister in law since she moved in with her new boyfriend.

It was a beautiful day and we joined them on their outside porch. The first thing that caught my eye when we arrived were the two 1950’s Fords, and a double rear wheels motorcycle he was working on in his shack. They were beautiful, polished and spot less machines.

I made a comment on how her boyfriend must like to collect old vehicles. My wife said, well you need to take a walk inside the house and see what else he has got in there. My goodness. I really thought I was at some museum of old antique items.

There were too many things to list here so I am going to limit it to the radios he had. One of the rooms he has is filled with old radios, and an old TV. On top of the TV there were three shelves with various old radios that I had to take photos of.

On the other side of the room he had a Crosley Super II. It is not working but still had the speaker(s) on the inside. Gary had ran a cable from an old receiver he had to the speaker(s). He played music from his receiver to the Crosley and oh my.

The crisp sound that came out of that cabinet was amazing. I could not believe how crisp the sound was, made me wished I had a Crosley like that one. The sound filled the room, it was so magical to listen to it.

I was so exited and grateful we passed by their house and wanted to share some of the photos I took with you and your subscribers.

Cheers,

Marwan

Thank you for sharing these, Marwan. I hope that he restores that Crosley Super II. That is certainly a magnificent console radio! He’s got some beautiful radios in his collection!

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Survey results: What type of radio is your daily driver?

Last week, I published a post asking SWLing Post readers what type of radio their “daily driver” is at present. Click here to read that post.

I created a survey form and left it open for about five days. In that time, we received 639 responses! If you’d like to read the results, continue scrolling or click on continue reading below.
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