Monthly Archives: May 2012

RCI Action: Last month of RCI broadcasts, unless…

(Source: RCI Action)

June 24, 2012, will be the last day of Radio Canada International’s radio programming unless we can convince Canada’s government that our national public radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada went too far when it cut our budget by 80% and decided we would no longer broadcast on shortwave or satellite, and be left with only a web presence on the Internet .

This decision to stop radio broadcasting fails to recognize that most people in the world do not have easy access to the Internet. It fails to recognize that there is very little access around the globe to contextualized Canadian news, news for those outside Canada. And since RCI’s mandate is to explain Canada to as much of the world as possible, CBC/Radio-Canada is making that harder for us.

That is why we are calling on Canada’s federal government to step in, stop the cut, and protect Radio Canada International’s international mandate.

Here’s where we need your help.

Please contact government (Conservative) Members of Parliament and tell them why access to Canadian news is important to you.

You’ll find the e-mail addresses for the MPs, and some more information on the impact of the cuts, announced April 4, 2012, here:

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Finding the “English Man” numbers station while scanning for pirates

While listening for pirate radio stations last night, I recorded a numbers station. I found it on 6,949 kHz at 1:30 UTC, 26 May 2012. It was broadcast in USB for almost exactly ten minutes. The ID was sent for a full four minutes of that time. I have a full recording below.

With a quick check on, I’m pretty sure this is a station called, the “English Man.”

If you’re not familiar with numbers stations, check out this previous post where Shortwaveology author, David Goren, explores numbers stations.

If you have trouble listening to the embedded player below, simply click here to listen to the mp3 file.

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The Tecsun PL-380: a great travel radio

My Tecsun PL-380 and Eagle Creek pack

SWLing Post reader, Alan, commented on our “most durable radios for travel” post:

You should include the Tecsun PL-380 [on] the list. It is an excellent tuner with good selectivity. The ETM feature was made for a traveler. The radio is cheap enough that it won’t bother you if you lose it or break it.

I have to say, I agree! In fact, I travel with the PL-380 quite often. It has become my back-up radio when I make field recordings (my primary portable for field is the Sony ICF-SW7600GR).

Eagle Creek pack with contents: Tecsun PL-380, Zoom H1 recorder, earphones, audio cables, external antenna, spare batteries and Kindle. Click to enlarge.

In fact, I have a small Eagle Creek bag with a shoulder strap that holds my field recording kit and other electronic “necessities:”  Tecsun PL-380, Zoom H1 recorder, ear buds, audio cables, roll up antenna, spare batteries, and, of course, my Kindle (so I can read while waiting for my plane/train/bus). In a pinch, it can even accommodate a Sony AN-LP1
active antenna (which I use primarily in hotel rooms with inoperable windows). To help you visualize, check out the photo on the right.  It’s my grab-and-go bag.

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Paul will never travel without a shortwave radio again

This South African traveler, Paul Ash, will never travel without his shortwave radio again. It has taken him around the world and he has taken it around the world:

(Source: The Times Live)

[…]Some time in the 1980s, my ma gave me a Sony shortwave radio, nine shortwave bands in a box the size of a deck of cards. It was the equivalent of a permanent round-the-world air ticket. Night after night, I hopped frequencies, roaming with the Voice of America, the BBC’s World Service – the mother lode – sometimes the Dutch (when I could find them), and, occasionally, Radio Moscow. So, the Russians were real!

There were no radio plays here, to be sure, but drama – and propaganda – on a grand scale. One night, instead of swotting for the next day’s exam, I listened to the Berlin Wall come down, utterly transported from a summer night in Jo’burg to cheering with Berliners as they helped topple the concrete barrier in an orgy of tearful happiness.

When I started travelling, the radio came with me for entertainment and as an alarm – I figured if there was trouble brewing in whichever dodgy part of the world I was in, it would be the BBC who got wind of it first.

The little radio has been to Vietnam and Kenya, France and Senegal. It filled lonely nights while I roamed America like a freight-hopping bum. It survived a long kayak expedition up Lake Malawi and gave me and my cameraman a passable diversion during an ill-advised summer fortnight in the rotten Hotel Zambeze in Tete, the worst city in Mozambique, if not the world.

Last year, I ditched the radio in favour of a smartphone for a short trip to Poland. The bill for five days of roaming was R2500 without a single moment of entertainment. Never again.

Now the little Sony has fresh batteries and the shortwave frequencies are copied on the back of a business card. No charger, no roaming hassles and free to air. E-mail can wait. I’ll send a couple of postcards instead.[…]

Read the full article at The Times Live.

If you’re thinking about buying a shortwave radio for travel, check out our recommendations for the best travel radios.

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Universal Radio at the Dayton Hamvention


Universal Radio president, Fred Osterman talking with Rob Sherwood of Sherwood Engineering

Universal Radio is the only radio dealer that has been to every Dayton Hamvention since its inception.  They always bring a large selection of portable and tabletop shortwave receivers. If you attend a Dayton Hamvention in the future, make sure you visit Universal in the East Hall. Even as I type this, inside vendors are closing their booths, yet Universal Radio is still serving a steady stream of customers.


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C.Crane at the Dayton Hamvention

As I walk around the Dayton Hamvention, I’m finding a lot of familiar faces from the shortwave radio community. In the North Hall, I came across non other than Bob Crane with C.Crane Radio. We had a nice chat about their CCradio SW–one of my favorites for simplicity of operation and excellent audio fidelity.


Bob Crane, President of C.Crane


CCRadio SW


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“Boatanchors” and antique wireless at the Dayon Hamvention

I’ve always found the Dayton Hamvention flea market to be a great place to find antique radios, but this year, the selection (along with the weather) seems to be exceptional.

I’ve attached a few photos I took yesterday morning as a gallery below. Simply click on a thumbnail to enlarge.  Enjoy

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