Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Degen DE32 combines analog styling with MP3 features

The Degen DE32

I just ordered the Degen DE32–a new addition to the Degen shortwave product line. The DE32 is unique in that it has a (nearly retro) analog radio dial for tuning across the FM/AM/Shortwave bands, yet features MP3 playback.

Details are a bit scarce, but I have to assume that this is an analog radio as I see no mention of DSP in the description. (Though building on the DE321’s DSP chip could make sense.) It appears that MP3 recordings can be played back from an SD card and/or potentially from internal memory. Since there’s no digital display, sorting through recordings will be similar to using the iPod shuffle.

At $27 US shipped from Hong Kong, it’s certainly affordable, and my expectations will be adjusted accordingly. Still, I’m eager to see what this little radio has to offer. Check back as I will publish a review soon–simply follow the tag: DE32.

Thanks, Michael, for bringing this little radio to my attention!

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Perhaps listening is good for us

I’ve always believed that, over time, the process of listening through static to hear a distant shortwave broadcast, has been good for not only increasing my listening skills in general, but has been healthy for the grey matter. Seth S. Horowitz, auditory neuroscientist at Brown University, has just substantiated this belief in his NY Times piece, The Science and Art of Listening:

[…]Hearing, in short, is easy. You and every other vertebrate that hasn’t suffered some genetic, developmental or environmental accident have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. It’s your life line, your alarm system, your way to escape danger and pass on your genes. But listening, really listening, is hard when potential distractions are leaping into your ears every fifty-thousandth of a second — and pathways in your brain are just waiting to interrupt your focus to warn you of any potential dangers.

Listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload.

And yet we dare not lose it. Because listening tunes our brain to the patterns of our environment faster than any other sense, and paying attention to the nonvisual parts of our world feeds into everything from our intellectual sharpness to our dance skills.[…]

Read the full article in the NY Times. Thanks, David, for passing this along!

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The Mighty KBC’s December special broadcast frequencies

In a previous post we mentioned that the Mighty KBC, who has been very active on the shortwave bands, announced a line of special broadcasts in December. They’ve just published the frequencies for the broadcasts:

The extra frequencies and transmitters for 22, 23, 25 and 26 December are:

EU (German time) UTC +1
9835 kHz, 1500-1600 UTC, Non Directional, 125 kW

USA (East Coast time) UTC -5
21600 kHz, 1500-1600 UTC, 300°, 250 kW

Asia (Vietnam time) UTC +7 / Australia (Sydney time) UTC +11
15470 kHz, 1500-1600 UTC, 75°, 250 kW

And on 22, 23 December we also have our 6095 transmitter on the air as
well with 100 kW 09.00 – 16.00 UTC.

During weekdays we also have The Mighty 6095 on the air between 09.00
– 11.00 UTC with 100kW

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The Mighty KBC announces additional special broadcasts in December

(Source: The Mighty KBC)

The Mighty KBC is going globally with The Giant Jukebox!!

Extra broadcasts on December 22, 23, 25 and 26 2012 between 15.00 – 16.00 UTC.

We are using 3 extra transmitters to go globally:

One 125 kW TX extra on +/- 9 MHz, 1500-1600 UTC, Non Directional (we already use 6095 on 22 & 23 December),

One 250 kW transmitter for the USA (East Coast time) UTC -5  n +/- 21 MHZ, 1500-1600 UTC, 300°, 250 kW

One 250 kW transmitter to Asia (Vietnam time) UTC +7 / Australia (Sydney time) UTC +11

We will soon announce the exact frequencies for those 4 days in December

A one time KBC Radio event
Sponsored by and

For a QSL card check the link below

Spread the word, tell your friends about The Mighty KBC

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The BBC in the news

(Photo source: NY Times)

(Source: CS Monitor)

Britain’s BBC could be doomed unless it makes radical changes, the head of its governing trust said on Sunday, after its director general quit to take the blame for the airing of false child sex abuse allegations against a former politician.

Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, said confidence had to be restored if the publicly funded corporation was to withstand pressure from rivals, especially Rupert Murdoch‘s media empire, which would try to take advantage of the turmoil.

“If you’re saying, ‘Does the BBC need a thorough structural radical overhaul?’, then absolutely it does, and that is what we will have to do,” Patten, a one-time senior figure in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party and the last British governor ofHong Kong, told BBC television. [continue reading…]

(Source: NY Times)

[…]Mr. Patten, 68, a former Conservative cabinet minister who gained a reputation for feisty independence when he was Britain’s last colonial governor in Hong Kong, said critics of the BBC should not lose sight of its reputation at home and abroad for impartial, trustworthy journalism.

“The BBC is and has been hugely respected around the world,” he said. “But we have to earn that. If the BBC loses that, then it is over.”

Public confidence in the broadcaster has slumped further in opinion polls in the wake of its coverage of a scandal involving allegations of abuses by a senior politician at a children’s home in Wales in the 1970s and ’80s. But the British public would not support breaking up the BBC, Mr. Patten said, adding, “The BBC is one of the things that has come to define and reflect Britishness, and we shouldn’t lose that.”

Barely 12 hours earlier, Mr. Patten stood outside the BBC’s new billion-dollar London headquarters with George Entwistle, the departing director general, as Mr. Entwistle announced his resignation after only eight weeks in the post to atone for his failings in dealing with what he called “the exceptional events of the past few weeks.”

Mr. Entwistle’s resignation was prompted by outrage over a Nov. 2 report on “Newsnight,” a current affairs program, that wrongly implicated a former Conservative Party politician in the pedophile scandal. Responding to reports that the “Newsnight” segment was broadcast without some basic fact-checking that would have exculpated the 70-year-old, retired politician it implicated, Alistair McAlpine, Mr. Entwistle said it reflected “unacceptable journalistic standards” and never should have been broadcast.


More immediately, the BBC has to deal with a rebellious mood in its own ranks. Over the past 48 hours many of the BBC’s top journalists and presenters have unleashed angry outbursts against the broadcaster’s management, mainly directed at Mr. Entwistle and Mr. Thompson for what the employees have called a pattern of failed leadership. A persistent complaint has been that reforms initiated in the 1990s have created a vast hierarchy of overpaid managers who were insulated from programming decisions.

It was a critique Mr. Patten endorsed in his remarks on the Marr show, saying at one point that “there are more senior leaders in the BBC than in the Chinese Communist Party.” Jonathan Dimbleby, a well-known presenter, said on the same show that because of the layers of bureaucracy between Mr. Entwistle and the “Newsnight” producers, “George was at the receiving end of nothing, when he should have known everything.”

[continue reading…]


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Get your radio nostalgia fix from The UK 1940s Radio Station

Several months ago, I wrote a post confessing that I recently embraced internet radio, and since then have been using a very affordable Cricket Android Phone as an inexpensive, portable wi-fi radio. You see, though I prefer listening to shortwave radio, and though there are notable exceptions, it’s not always the best source to pipe music through the hi-fi system in our house.

At one point, I actually subscribed to XM satellite radio. I eventually dropped it, and found there were only two things I really missed from XM: Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure, and the 40s on 4 station, which played music from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.

Introducing The UK 1940s Radio Station

Fortunately, there is an excellent radio station–indeed, better than XM/Sirius’ 40s on 4–that fills my need for nostalgic radio,  The UK 1940s Radio Station.

The UK 1940s Radio Station runs 24 hour a day and plays an amazing mix of 1940s era music. Unlike 40’s on 40,  The UK 1940s Radio Station has authentic recordings of news clips and even original advertisements they play throughout their music mix.  The 40s on 4, at least when I last listened, still had a pseudo-1940s-sounding announcer (Ed Baxter) and often reproduced news broadcasts; I prefer the real period recordings, personally. Also, The UK 1940s Radio Station has interviews and commentary from experts on the era.

The UK 1940s Radio Station are supported by their listeners, so if you like their programming, consider supporting them with a donation via PayPal.

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Greece and hours of music

This past Friday and Saturday evenings I had an opportunity to record several hours of music from the Voice of Greece. I am continually amazed with the audio fidelity from a station that is well over 5,000 miles away.

You can listen to the recordings below or download the mp3 files on (who graciously hosts and archives all of our radio recordings).

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