Monthly Archives: November 2009

VOA Expands In South/Central America

voa logoFacing a group of presidents loudly critical of Washington, the U.S. government’s Voice of America broadcast is expanding its audience in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, VOA officials say.

VOA’s Spanish-language division also will step up its use of Radio/TV Martí’s production facilities in Miami because of budget pressures on both broadcasters, the officials added.

[…]”Our focus is on the Andean region because of the upheavals that are going on there,” said Spanish division director Alberto Mascaro. “Our second priority is Central America, especially Nicaragua and Honduras.”

Read the full report via The Miami Herald.

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Passport To World Band Radio No Longer In Print

A message from Larry Magne posted on PTWBR’s website:

ptwbrThanks for your many kind and helpful comments, which have touched us greatly.

Alas, although the long-term future of IBS’ activities continues to be mulled over, there will definitely be no printed 2010 edition of Passport to World Band Radio. At this juncture it appears nearly as certain that online options aren’t going to be feasible, either. Nonetheless, the Japanese-language (only) Blue Pages for 2010 will be offered within Japan, as in the past, by later this year.

As one comment mentioned, this is much like the passing of a good friend. PTWBR was one of the first frequency guides I used for the shortwave bands.

Fear not– the World Radio and TV Handbook (WRTH) is still very much alive and well and I use it almost daily. I wrote a post about this fine publication and how it differs from PTWBR. Their 2010 edition can be pre-ordered now.

For a good article on coping without PTWBR, check out this post by Helmuth Kump.

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David Goren Explores Numbers Stations

September, 22 2011: Out of SWLing Post archives–David Goren Explores Numbers Stations:

David Goren, independent radio producer and shortwave enthusiast, has produced a radio documentary about numbers stations for The Lost and Found Sound Series. It has been recently picked up by L.A. Theatre Works.

towersWhat are numbers stations?  I wish I knew–but if you’ve been listening to shortwave radio for long, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled upon these mysterious broadcasts of strings of supposedly meaningless numbers, too.

When I tune to a numbers station, I stop and listen for several minutes. Why? I’m not sure. Is it that I imagine a spy in some foreign country, huddled up to a radio with pen in hand, ready to decode a secret message on the back of an envelope? Or is it that I think I’m actually hearing the pulse of the shortwave bands over the ether? I’m not exactly sure, but I now know they’ve been part of the SWLing experience since the Cold War (or longer), and that I’m not alone in my curiosity about them.

David also produces and mixes his own fascinating brand of “sonic, aesthetic, and cultural resonances of the shortwave radio spectrum” at his site, Shortwaveology.

Listen to “Atencion: Seis Siete Tres Siete Cero: The Shortwave Numbers Mystery” by visiting  Shortwaveology.

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We’ll Miss You, Harry Helms

Harry Helms at 13,000 feet on Wheeler Peak.  Photo courtesy of Harry's Blog.

Harry Helms at 13,000 feet on Wheeler Peak. Photo courtesy of Harry's Blog.

Noted author and radio enthusiast, Harry Helms (callsign W5HLH) passed away on Sunday November 15, 2009 after a long battle with cancer. He was only 57 years old.

Harry wrote numerous articles and books focusing on SWLing, amateur radio and many other technical matters. He was a mentor to many radio operators and will be sorely missed.

For more information about Harry Helms, please check out the links below:

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PCJ Media Special About Shortwave Radio In Africa

etowlogocolor150dpiEars To Our World, a non-profit organization that distributes self-powered shortwave radios to classrooms in the 3rd world, is soon to be featured in a special dedicated radio show. The one-hour program will focus on ETOW and the importance of radio in Africa, in particular. The show was produced by Keith Perron of PCJ Media and The New Happy Station Show.

Listening Schedule

On shortwave radio via WRMI on 9955 kHz
November 20, 2009 – 02:00 UTC (Universal Time)
November 21, 2009 – 14:00 UTC

November 28, 2009 – 0900 UTC
Tawa, Redwood, Wellington/New Zealand
Freq: 88.5 FM

November 29, 2009 – 1305 UTC
Freq: Various, TBA

Check out ETOW’s website for full details.

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