Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Mighty KBC testing transatlantic signal on 9.4 MHz, October 7, 2012

See if you can catch this test transmission on Sunday, October 7 (oo:00-02:00UTC) from The Mighty KBC in the Netherlands:

(Source: The Mighty KBC)

The Mighty KBC is testing on 9400 kHz on Sunday, October 7th, 2012 between 00.00 – 02.00 UTC with 100kW beamed to the USA, South America and Canada.

Propagation Map (Source: The Mighty KBC)

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Pirate Radio Recordings: Wolverine Radio

Wolverine Radio sent this SSTV image at the end of the broadcast. This one was decoded with the PC freeware, RX-SSTV.

Wolverine Radio was yet another pirate station I recorded last Saturday night (along with Radio Ronin and Radio Appalachia).

Wolverine Radio was broadcasting on 6.95 MHz in the upper side band. Their signal was very good and fidelity excellent for SSB. Lots of variety and a common “radio” theme throughout WR’s music mix.

Wolverine Radio–at least each time I’ve heard them–sends an SSTV image at the end of the broadcast. I decoded the one in their Satuday night broadcast (see image on right) using RX-SSTV, a very intuitive and simple freeware PC application.  Make sure you use the “Scottie 1” mode.

Click here to download an MP3 of the broadcast, or stream from the embedded player below:

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Microtelecom Perseus software updates

The Microtelecom Perseus SDR

I just received the notification below from Microtelecom. I find it very encouraging that they are still tweaking and working on the Perseus software (which is quite mature at this point). No major upgrades here, but they’re worthy updates.

Note that this is a BETA release for the client and server versions:

(Source: Microtelecom)

A new Perseus release is now in the BETA phase.
Here is the download link:

There are quite a few changes in both client and server.


-The servers map is no longer integrated in the Perseus software (when clicking on the “Show Map” button, a default browser window will open).

The link between the map and the Perseus software is done by a tool (included in the package) called mttps.exe. During the first run, administrative privileges are required to properly register the MTTP protocol.

-Buttons font rendering was modified to address some users that reported “blocky” or hardly readable labels on some buttons.

-Audio Delay: this new feature inserts a configurable delay in the DSP chain, please refer to the release notes (included in the package) for more information about it.


-Support for the delay feature

-Restarting the server is no longer needed after a DNS change

-Blacklist support: using a text file (as explained in the release notes) it is possible to reject connections from an IP address or family of IP addresses (server software settings has a new section).

Enjoy this new release!
The Microtelecom Development Team

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Pirate Radio Recordings: Radio Appalachia

Radio Appalachia is the only pirate I’ve ever heard on the shortwaves which features bluegrass and gospel music. This recording was made Saturday night on 6.9349 MHz (AM).

At 8:28 in the recording below, you’ll hear Radio Appalachia’s station ID :

“Radio Appalachia, you are listening to Radio Appalachia…the free voice of the Ohio Valley. Broadcasting from high above Moundsville, West Virginia, this is Radio Appalachia.”

You then hear their signature Three Stooges audio sample and a repeat of the ID.

Click here to download the MP3, or listen to the entire broadcast below:

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Radio Australia to broadcast coverage of the AFL Grand Final

(Source: Radio Australia via NASWA)

Radio Australia will broadcast coverage of the AFL Grand Final on Saturday 29 September 2012 from 0430-0745 UT. It will be part of our regular Grandstand sports coverage.

The coverage will be available on our HF (shortwave) and local FM relays, but it will not be available on RAs web stream due to content rights limitations.

Our HF coverage will be as follows.

South Pacific – 11945 kHz and 15160 kHz

South-west Pacific – 12080 kHz and 15240 kHz

Papua New Guinea & West Pacific – 9660 kHz and 15415 kHz

South-east Asia – 17750 kHz

Reception may also be possible on 4835 kHz from the ABC domestic HF service at Alice Springs. 4835 kHz would be a good choice for land-mobile operators within 1,500 km of Alice Springs. Reception of 4835 kHz may be possible beyond 1,500 km.

Note: Reception of particular HF channels may be possible beyond the nominal target areas. Please try all frequencies to ascertain if reception is possible in your area.

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Three years (and counting!) with Grundig G3

My trusty Grundig G3 (Click to enlarge)

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been over three years since I published my first review of the Grundig G3 shortwave radio. My initial impressions were mostly positive, and since then, the G3 has become a staple in North America and a fixture in my radio collection. I bought one of the very first G3s in production in the summer of 2009, and about a year ago, I replaced it with a current model.

So, what do I think of it now? After having two different production-run models and traveling with my G3s for over three years?

The G3 now

I have to admit, I continue to love this radio.  In fact, if you write me an email inquiring about a good portable shortwave radio in the $100 price range, you can bet that I will still recommend the G3.

The G3’s biggest competitors (roughly in the same price range) are the Sony ICF-SW7600GR and the Tecsun PL-660. I may very well review them all side-by-side in a portable showdown in the near future–but until then, it’s worth noting that the G3 is the least expensive in this crowd, and is simply an excellent performer for the price.  So I just can’t hesitate to recommend it.

Why do I like the G3?

Quite simply, the G3 features the following:

  • Superb shortwave sensitivity and selectivity for this class of portable
  • Effective sync lock (that is, if you adjust the frequency 1 kHz below the actual frequency with sync engaged)
  • Tuning is simple, fast and ergonomic
  • Adaptive tuning wheel–mounted on the right side–keeps speed with your thumb; it’s a band-scanning demon!
  • Sync can be adjusted for USB or LSB
  • Audio, via built-in speaker, is pleasant
  • Line-in and line-out
  • Excellent backlighting
  • RDS on the FM band–a handy feature when traveling
  • Not to mention, all that I mention in my first impressions post!

Simply put, the G3 functions as a portable shortwave radio should. It’s easy to tune, great to listen to, it functions well, has SSB and line out, has an external antenna jack, has two well-apportioned filters (wide/narrow), and still manages to be relatively inexpensive.

Perfect?  Well…almost. Though I never use the Air band, and I rarely use the MW (medium wave) band (mainly for DXing), many reviewers and critics of the G3 point to less-than-stellar performance in these areas.

I’ll admit, the Air band is a nice add-on, but is certainly no reason to buy the G3. I find MW listening quite pleasant and I’ve certainly heard a little DX on it, but it probably doesn’t compare to some of the well-known ultralight radios which handle the MW amazingly well.

And a couple of years ago, some reviewers complained of quality problems; I assume these were associated with specific production runs. As I’ve had two radios from two different production runs and have never experienced a quality-control issue, I must have been luckier in obtaining solidly-produced units.

Perhaps it was my recent review of the Degen DE1129 that made me realize that many of the newer, smaller portables add features, but toss out many of the basics I expect from a shortwave radio. In other words, the things that make a radio pleasant to use, like ergonomics, performance, and an intuitive design.  The G3 has these in trumps.

So, if you’re sitting on the fence about a $100 shortwave radio, I would snag the G3. I did–and haven’t looked back.

NOTE: At time of this posting, Universal Radio is selling the G3 with a Grundig Mini400 for $99.95 US. I have no idea how long this promotion will last, but I certainly believe it’s a good deal. Check it out…

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Pirate Radio Recordings: Radio Ronin Shortwave

Radio Ronin starts off his set with Steppenwolf.

Saturday night was one of the most active nights for pirate radio I’ve heard in some time. No doubt, pirates were taking advantage of the quiet atmospheric conditions.

Radio Ronin was the first station I heard Saturday evening. His AM signal was very strong with only slight fading on 6,955 kHz. The mix includes mostly classic rock, starting things off with groups like Steppenwolf, the Steve Miller Band, and Pink Floyd, then moving into rock music of the 80s and beyond. I also included a few minutes of his interval signal (yep, even pirates have interval signals).

Enjoy below, or download the MP3 here:

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