Monthly Archives: April 2012

2+ Hours of Voice of Greece Jazz

If you need a little jazz music in your life today, you’re in luck. Saturday, I recorded over 2 hours of jazz programming from Voice of Greece (see update below) on 9,420 kHz starting around 20:00 UTC on a Microtelecom Perseus. Propagation was good, and other than an occasional static crash, fidelity excellent for the SW bands.

You can listen via the player below, or simply download the MP3 by clicking here.

UPDATE: Once again, this long stretch of music with VOG was due to a strike. SWLing Post reader, Christos, comments below:

Another strike-day of ERT, so another non-stop recording for you. On Saturday they played jazz and on Sunday they continued with Greek music. Doing an exception this time, because of the coming general elections on 6th of May, they provided short news bulletins every hour, along with the usual announcements “we are on strike for our rights”. I enjoyed the same program from local FM. It was the only program transmitted from all national networks in both FM and medium waves. I visited the ERT Radio House, (Radiomegaron), the day before your recording was made, to attend a concert and I took a photo of a banner of VOG, in Greek.

Christos kindly sent me the following ERT image with the Voice of Greece in Greek:

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Searching for a shortwave station with variety? Try the American Forces Network!

I remember the first time, many years ago, when I first tuned to the American Forces Network (AFN) on my shortwave radio. I was scanning the bands and happened upon a fairly strong single sideband broadcast. When I tuned in the signal I heard National Public Radio (NPR), a largely domestic public broadcaster here in the US. I thought, perhaps, it was some strange, temporary relay of that news broadcaster. But after hanging around on the frequency for a while, I heard other news sources, and finally the station ID: “This is the American Forces Network.”

The American Forces Network (AFN), in case you’re not familiar with it, is the brand name used by the US Armed Forces American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) for its entertainment and its command internal information networks worldwide. The primary mission of the AFN is to serve American service men and women, the Department of Defense, and other US government civilians and families stationed at bases around the world, as well as on U.S. Navy ships at sea. The AFN broadcasts a wide array of American radio and television programs from the major U.S. networks.

Though the AFN doesn’t broadcast at power levels typically associated with international broadcasters, their broadcasts span the globe. How?  By broadcasting in single sideband instead of AM.

What’s available over AFN radio?

Wikipedia offers a nice breakdown:

AFN […] offers a variety of radio programming over its various frequencies throughout the world. Not only is there local programming (with military disc jockeys), but there is satellite programming, as well. Music programming spans Classic Rock, Rhythmic R&B, Jack FM, Techno/Trance and country musicRyan Seacrest‘s AT 40The Rick Dees’ Weekly Top 40 and the American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks are broadcast weekly over AFN Radio. In addition to music, AFN broadcasts syndicated talk radio programs such as Car TalkKidd Kraddick in the MorningKim Komando,The Rush Limbaugh ShowThe Motley Fool Radio ShowA Prairie Home CompanionDoug Stephan,Titillating Sports with Rick TittleSports Overnight America, and other programs form a variety of sources. Weekly religious programming is offered to AFN stations via closed-circuit.

On December 5, 2005, liberal/progressive Ed Schultz and conservative talk show host Sean Hannity were added to the radio programs provided by the AFN Broadcast Center to its affiliate stations. Liberal Alan Colmes rounds out the political talk lineup on The Voice channel.

On April 24, 2006, AFN Europe launched AFN The Eagle, a virtually 24-hour-a-day radio service format initially modeled after “Jack FM” but most recently a “Hot AC” format. This replaced ZFM, which had more of a CHR flavor. When the Eagle was launched AFN Europe took control of what local DJs could play.

Altogether, AFN produces 12 general-use streams for AFN stations to use. Of these, seven are music-based, two are sports-based, and three general news/talk channels, including The Voice, which features live play-by-play of American sports (it’s also the one heard on shortwave, if the shortwave radio has Single sideband (also known as SSB) installed). How these stations use these formats is up to them. These formats are:

  • Hot AC (mainstream hits and yesterday’s favorites)
  • The Nerve (new rock)
  • TrancePort (trance/techno)
  • Today’s Best Country (country/western)
  • Gravity (urban rhythmic)
  • AFN Legacy – Deep Classic Rock Gems
  • MAX FM (80, 90’s)
  • The Voice (News, Talk and Information)
  • AFN Clutch (sports programming from ESPN and Yahoo Sports Radio)
  • AFN Fans (sports programming from FOX Sports Radio and Sports Byline USA)
  • Power Talk (liberal and conservative talk programming)
  • NPR (public radio programs from NPR and others)

The AFN is available on numerous FM relays around the world (basically, most places where US forces are stationed) and also via satellite. But, of course, you can find them on your shortwave dial as long as you have SSB. Note that reception will be much better if you have an external antenna–Navy ships, who primarily use the AFN on SW, have excellent receiving equipment.  To hear the AFN reliably on a portable radio, especially if you don’t live within the footprint of their target broadcast area, you will be at the mercy of propagation.

Shortwave Frequencies (note: all broadcasts are in USB)

  • Diego Garcia:
    • 12,579 kHz daytime
    • 4,319 kHz nighttime
  • Guam:
    • 13,362 kHz daytime
    • 5,765 kHz nighttime
  • Key West, Florida: Decommissioned – See post
    • 12,133.5 kHz day & night
    • 7,811.0 kHz day & night
    • 5,446.5 kHz day & night

It’s worth noting that the AFN previously operated a station in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but they have it listed as out of service for an indefinite period.

Want to hear a sample of an AFN broadcast? The following clips were recorded between 11:00-13:00 UTC today, via their transmitters in Diego Garcia and Key West:

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RCI listener comments carry common theme

On RCI’s Listener Letters and the RCI Action committee‘s website, you can read listener reactions to the looming RCI cuts.

To their credit, I’ve noticed that RCI programs (like The Link with Marc Montgomery) are continuing “business as usual.” I’ve noticed no degradation of their content or quality.

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Radio Australia: transmitter maintenance will lead to disruption of service for some listeners

(Source: Radio Australia via Keith Perron)

Details of an interruption to our shortwave services to Papua New Guinea, eastern Indonesia and the south west Pacific for Thursday April 19th.

This is an important announcement for shortwave listeners.

Due to essential transmitter maintenance, some broadcasts to Indonesia, PNG and the Western Pacific will not be available TODAY Thursday April 19th .

This will affect short wave broadcasts to: East Indonesia; French broadcasts to the south-west Pacific and numerous broadcasts to PNG and the central Pacific region.

The work will commence at 5am Jakarta time, 8am in Port Moresby, 9am in Port Vila, 10am in Suva, and is expected to take up to eight hours.

Some Pacific listeners will still be able to hear us 9660, or 12080 kHz.

Radio Australia’s FM, satellite and web streaming services will continue as normal. So you can still hear us on FM and the web.

The following shortwave frequencies will be suspended between 0800-1600 Melbourne time (2200-0600 UT):

  • 13630, 15515, 17715 & 17795 kHz to the south Pacific;
  • 13690 & 21725 kHz to PNG,
  • 15240 kHz to Solomons & Vanuatu
  • 11695, 15415 & 17750 kHz to east Indonesia (in Indonesian & English).
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Your shortwave could have delivered the newspaper?

1938: The Gernsback Radio Newspaper (Photo: Smithsonian Magazine)

(Source: Smithsonian Magazine)

The introduction of broadcast radio caused some in the newspaper industry to fear that newspapers would soon become a thing of the past. After all, who would read the news when you could just turn on the radio for real-time updates?

Newspapers had even more to fear in 1938 when radio thought it might compete with them in the deadtree business as well.

The May, 1938 issue of Hugo Gernsback‘s Short Wave and Television magazine included an article titled “Radio to Print News Right In Your Home.” The article described a method of delivering newspapers that was being tested and (provided it didn’t interfere with regular radio broadcasts) would soon be used as a futuristic news-delivery method.

[…]This invention of a wireless fax, as it were, was credited to W.G. H. Finch and used radio spectrum that was otherwise unused during the late-night hours when most Americans were sleeping. The FCC granted a special license for these transmissions to occur between midnight and 6am, though it would seem that a noisy printing device in your house cranking away in the middle of the night might have been the fatal flaw in their system. It wasn’t exactly a fast delivery either, as the article notes that it takes “a few hours” for the machine to produce your wireless fax newspaper.

The full article, is a must-read.

Fascinating to realize that even in the infancy of wireless, newspapers already felt threatened by new technology. Goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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RCI Action Committee: What you can do

(Source: RCI Action)

How can you help?

How can you help stop this drastic cut of 80% of Radio Canada International’s budget?

Please write to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore.  (See addresses below.) If they are your Member of Parliament, please mention that as well.

Ask whether CBC/Radio-Canada should be deciding how strong or weak Canada’s Voice to the World should be?

Whether they feel comfortable with the fact our Chinese audience will now be cut off from RCI’s uncensored news about Canada and the World.

We feel because of the continuing cuts to RCI since 1990 (See:, the government should give RCI financial autonomy and take RCI’s budget away from CBC/Radio-Canada’s control.

If you agree with us, please make your point of view heard.

We have very little time to achieve our goal. We’re counting on you.

Some points you might want to bring up with the ministers or your Member of Parliament:

  • RCI’s budget has been cut by more than 80% – from $12.3 million to $2.3 million
  • RCI newsroom will be eliminated, all newscasts cut
  • RCI will no longer be a broadcaster, whether on shortwave or satellite
  • Chinese audience will be cut off from uncensored news from RCI because only shortwave reaches the Chinese, the RCI website is blocked by China
  • Important potential trading partners such as China, India, Russia, Brazil will be cut off from news from Canada, because the RCI website is blocked or the Internet not as accessible as in North America
  • As Canadians we feel it’s essential Canada have a Voice to the World producing programming tailored for an audience not familiar with Canada
  • Canada’s Voice to the World has been a respected source of journalism for the past 67 years

Please consider sending an e-mail to the three ministers, even if you live outside Canada. If you are in Canada, you can send letters free to the ministers, MPs and Senators.

Thank you,

RCI Action Committee


Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird  E-mail:

Mailing address:

Hon. John Baird
418N Centre Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6


Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty:  E-mail:

Mailing address:

Hon. Jim Flaherty
435-S Centre Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6


Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore E-mail:

Mailing address:

Hon. James Moore
15 Eddy Street, 12th Floor
House of Commons
Gatineau, QC K1A 0M5


You’ll find e-mail and mailing addresses of all Members of Parliament here:

You’ll find e-mail and mailing addresses for all Senators here:

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List price of Bonito 1102S RadioJet for US

Universal Radio has published the “List Price” of the Bonito 1102S RadioJet at  $784.00 US.

This could make the RadioJet a very strong competitor to other SDRs on the market in North America. The list price (not necessarily the final price Universal will announce–which could be lower) is  $216 less than that of the Microtelecom Perseus ($999.95 US) and the $116 less than the WinRadio Excalibur ($899.95 US).

After reading Fernando’s review of the RadioJet–where he compared it to the Perseus–this may be one of the best SDR performers for the price. We will be reviewing the Bonito 1102S RadioJet in the near future as well.

To follow all updates of the Bonito 1102S RadioJet, please follow our tag: RadioJet

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