Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mark’s studio version of Firedrake

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

As I suspected, the unidentified broadcast I recently posted was the Chinese jamming service, Firedrake.  Thanks to all who confirmed.

Mark Fahey even commented with a link to an article explaining how he made a studio recording of Firedrake from Chinasat 6B. Read Mark’s article here.

Mark also has the full 60 minute studio copy of Firedrake available as a 90MB MP3 file.

 

Mike’s home brewed amplified antenna

Active Ferrite Rod Antenna (Photo: ON2NLT)

Active Ferrite Rod Antenna (Photo: ON2NLT)

In my recent post, The truth about portable amplified shortwave antennas, I argue that small, portable amplified antennas are, by and large, ineffective. The post comments are interesting, however; many readers agree, and some tout the Sony ANT-LP1 as worthy, but Mike made the following comment about his amplified antenna:

The one active antenna that I have been pleased with is one I built myself.  The design was by ON2NLT and uses a ferrite rod, so it is somewhat directional.  Rotating the unit (it is very compact) often allows nulling out noise or interference.  You have to be careful not to crank up the gain too much though, or you will amplify the noise floor.  The link is here

http://www.kolumbus.fi/juha.niinikoski/Ferrite_antenna/Ferrite_antenna.htm

Looks like a fairly simple project.  Thanks, Mike!

Shortwave Radio Recordings: All India Radio – Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar passed away December 11, 2012. Like many people, Shankar was a complicated fellow, but no one can deny his talent on the Sitar. His music will live with us forever, not to mention through the musical talents of his children, Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones.

I recorded this clip of him on All India Radio some weeks ago.  Click here to download or enjoy below:

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Firedrake?

"Who can this be?"

“Mum, this sounds like Firedrake. Quick, make a note of it in the logs!”

I’ve noticed a broadcaster that routinely transmits weekends at 11:00 UTC on 6,970 kHz.  Some mornings, it’s much stronger than others. Saturday morning, my time, I managed to record it in its typical format: music. Specifically, Chinese folk music, at least so it sounds to my untrained ear.

I searched through logs and in the WRTH, and I could find no mention of a broadcaster on 6970 kHz. It doesn’t help that the 27 minute broadcast contained no audible IDs.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that my initial hunch is correct–that this is the Chinese jamming service, Firedrake.  Using Firedrake, the Chinese government transmits music on top of broadcasts they wish to block. It’s fairly effective (and annoying). While I’ve heard Firedrake a number of times over the bands, I can’t say I’ve ever tried to listen to the one-hour production.

The following recording contains a 27 minute broadcast of what I believe may be Firedrake on 6,970 kHz, starting around 11:00 UTC, Saturday January 26, 2013. Click here to download the MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Note that the first two minutes have some digital noises (in the lower side band) that affected my receiver’s AGC.

If you can confirm or correct my supposition, please comment!