Monthly Archives: May 2013

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Australia’s Jazz Notes

Sydney_opera_houseIf Radio Australia ever stops broadcasting on the shortwaves, one program I will certainly miss is Jazz Notes.

Jazz Notes showcases the best in Australian jazz, often featuring new and original recordings made in ABC’s studios. The show is hosted by Ivan Lloyd and has been offered on Radio Australia for several years.  I listen to the show Wednesday mornings at 9:30 am EDT.

Click here to download the full recording of Jazz Notes as an MP3, recorded yesterday (May 29, 2013) or simply listen via the embedded player below:

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Radio Vacation


The front cover of MT features a photo I took at Pointe-à-la-Renommée lighthouse and Marconi station in Quebec, Canada. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful lighthouses I’ve ever seen.

Some of you may remember that I took an extended vacation last year in the maritime region of Canada.

Monitoring Times Magazine just published an article I wrote about the vacation which includes a visit to Sackville, New Brunswick, four weeks in an off-grid cabin in eastern Prince Edward Island and a trip through the Gaspe region of Quebec.

Looking back, it’s amazing how much radio time I packed into that trip.

Read the full article in the June 2013 issue of Monitoring Times magazine.

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PCJ Radio International moves to 11,835 kHz

pcj(Source: PCJ Media)

Due to co-channel interference on 11750khz we will change frequency for this Sunday. The new frequency is 11835khz. Your comments and reports about this new frequency are important. So tune in this Sunday and let us know.

June 2nd – 1300 to 1400UTC

June 9th – 1300 to 1400UTC

June 16th – 1300 to 1400UTC

June 23rd – 1300 to 1400UTC

June 30th – 1300 to 1400UTC

July 7th – 1300 to 1400UTC

Frequency: 11835khz (25 meter band)
Target Area: East and Southeast Asia
Power: 125kw

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Check out the AFRTS Archive

AFRTSMany shortwave listeners are familiar with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS); we’ve mentioned them before and the wide variety of programming they offer via several transmission sites.

I recently discovered the AFRTS Archive, an excellent blog that posts archived audio and memories from the AFRTS. The AFRTS Archive is actively updated and chock-full of nostalgia.

It’s Memorial Day here in the States and found this a fitting time to dig through the AFRTS Archive.

Of course, you can still listen to the AFRTS on shortwave–here are the frequencies:

AFN/AFRTS 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
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Chris’ Hamvention find: a Sharp Z-1000

Chris' Sharp Z-1000

Chris’ Sharp Z-1000 AM/FM radio (Click to enlarge)

I had the pleasure of seeing SWLing Post reader, Chris, again this year at the 2013 Hamvention.  Chris has enjoyed remarkably good luck in the flea market/tailgate section of the Hamvention; in fact, last year he found a Zenith Transoceanic 1000 and a Transoceanic Royal 7000. (I have a special affinity for the Royal 7000, as it this was the first radio on which I cut my teeth, and which I still fire up from time to time.)

Chris just sent a photo of his find from this year’s Hamvention: a Sharp Z-1000. The name was familiar…and when he sent a photo, I knew where I had seen it. Earlier this year, Jeff at the Herculodge posted a link to a Z-1000 on eBay.

Chris reports that the Z-1000 audio is pleasant and that FM and especially AM reception are impressive. Great find, Chris!

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This BBC radio adapts programming to match your environs

Thank to SWLing Post reader Mike for passing this along. The possibilities of adaptive radio broadcasts in distance learning alone are most inspiring:

(Photo: BBC Technology; Greg Povey)

(Photo: BBC Technology; Greg Povey)

(Source: BBC Technology)

A radio that is able to change a broadcast depending on where you are and what you are doing has been demonstrated by the BBC.

The Perceptive Radio, produced by the corporation’s Future Media North Lab, is thought to be a world first.

The team produced a computer-generated radio drama where the script altered depending on factors such as weather.

The device was shown off at the Thinking Digital Conference in Gateshead.

The proof-of-concept drama, which used a computer-generated voice for one of the characters, could adapt on the fly according to data pulled from external sources.

For instance, it could make reference to local places which would differ depending on where in the world you were.

Or it would mention weather conditions that were dependent on what was happening in the real world – such as replacing the phrase “it’s sunny outside” with “it’s raining”.[…]

Continue reading on BBC Technology.

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Introducing EARL: a rugged, solar-powered GPS and Android tablet with built-in shortwave radio


The Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet

A good friend recently introduced me to the Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet; a crowd-funded project that may very well come to fruition.

What makes this tablet really stand out are its impressive list of features which are all based on outdoor survival/adventure. Features include:

  • A rugged, waterproof/weatherproof body; IP67 rated!
  • Built-in solar panel
  • 20 hour battery life
  • An E-Ink, touch sensitive display screen
  • An excellent GPS chipset
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for devices to measure heart rate, pace and cadence
  • Android Beam technology
  • Built-in thermometer for measuring temperature, hygrometer for measuring the water density of air (humidity) with dew point, barometer for measuring air pressure and altitude and an anemometer (micro hot-wire) for measuring wind speed
  • A two-way radio featuring a FRS, GMRS and MURS transceiver. Earl can send secure text or voice messages via Walkie-Talkie; transmit weather, location, and route information
  • An eReader
  • A radio receiver that covers AM (medium wave), FM, LW, NOAA weather radio (North America) and Shortwave
  • Much more: check out the Earl project page

EarlRadioOf course, I’m very interested in Earl’s receiver. Not only does it cover shortwave, but it covers a very wide frequency range (2.3 – 21.85 MHz)! Most impressive.

I don’t expect Earl to be a fantastic performer on the shortwave and medium wave bands–I doubt it’ll compare to the PL-390, for example– but perhaps it will be good enough to hear the major broadcasters. An inductively coupled loop antenna may help on AM (medium-wave). A port for an external SW antenna, would be a major plus.

Better yet, with the right Android app, I bet Earl could decode VOA Radiograms on the fly. Imagine being miles away from civilization, far out of reach of 3G/4G mobile systems, yet you’d be able to receive your news on your eReader over the shortwaves.

A dream? Perhaps, but one that’s well within grasp.


EarlRadio2At time of posting, Earl is 90% funded. You can pre-order Earl for $249 US–a 30% discount from projected retail. (A price that is only $100 more than a Sony ICF-SW7600GR.)

I just pre-ordered an Earl. I will plan to give a full review here on the SWLing Post. They expect to ship production units in August 2013. If they don’t receive funding, all pre-sales purchases will be refunded in full.

If you would like to back this project, check out Earl’s full list of features and pre-order on their website:

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