Monthly Archives: November 2013

Listener Post: John C

SP600Dial3John C’s radio story is the latest in a new series called Listener Posts, where I will place all of your personal radio histories. If you would like to add your story to the mix, simply send your story by email!

In the meantime, many thanks to John for sharing his personal radio history:

John C

1979_stamp_Radio_MoscowMy story started when I was about 7-8 years old.  My Father was in the USAF and was stationed in Germany. I remember my parents had this big Telefunkun Console that had a radio and record player.  The radio had shortwave bands on it.  I used to listen to the Armed Forces Network on the radio.  I remember one day checking through the shortwave stations, I came upon an English language program that gave the station ID as “This is Radio Moscow speaking.”  I was also able to tune in to BBC World Service which I really liked.  After this initial contact with Shortwave Radio,  I really never got involved again until after a car accident I had two years ago.

TecsunPL-660My mobility became limited after the accident.  I started looking at low impact hobbies that I could become involved in that did not require a lot of physical activity.  I already collected stamps and coins but I wanted something more engaging.  In November, 2012, I saw an ad for a radio the Tecsun PL-660 and I ordered one.  I really liked it because I had Air Band along with Shortwave and SSB/LSB.  I remember the first overseas station I picked up in English which was Radio Romania International.  I was very excited even though I was 60 years old at that time.  I had studied about submitting reception reports and I immediately completed one and sent it out.  After this I was hooked really bad. I read about other radios and decided to purchase a Grundig Satellit 750.  What a difference that made along with a better antenna I started receiving stations the PL-660 could not get in.  About two -three weeks after I sent out my first reception report I received a letter and QSL card from Radio Romania International.  What a treat that was for me.  My first confirmation.

Winradio G33DDC Excalibur Pro

Winradio G33DDC Excalibur Pro

As I continued to study about antennas and radios I got interested in SDR’s.  What a neat concept I thought so naturally I had to try it out. I purchased a RF-Space -IQ and what a difference that made.  I  received more stations and had more control over noise filters and memory plus now I could record band spectrum for later review.  Well, being hooked good now,  lead to another purchase, a Winradio G33DDC Excalibur Pro.  I had two choices with the budget I had, get a transceiver and get my Ham license or get a better SDR or Shortwave receiver and new antenna.  I decided on the SDR/antenna and I am not disappointed.  It is a great unit and really compliments my other SDR.  I am still on the fence about becoming a Ham Operator as I would rather listen than talk.

I do realize that stations all over are stopping their broadcasts because of funding issues and newer easier forms of mass communication but I will not give up.  Every two to three weeks I end up catching a new station I had not identified before.  Many countries around the globe still depend on radio for communication and news so I really doubt if I will ever turn on the radio and be greeted just by a wall of noise.

naswa logoThis is a great hobby.  I have come in contact with many knowledgeable and interesting people who have and continue to help me on my journey through the shortwave hobby. There is more to this hobby than just putting on headphones and trying to listen in to a far away station.  I have had to do research, I have to read a lot to keep on top of the hobby, plus it has opened my eyes and mind to other cultures and their interesting histories. and it really keeps me busy. I also  joined the NASWA and highly recommend that club to all newcomers.

Daily I look forward to the mail coming in hoping I have received a confirmation.  This does not happen as much as I would like but when it does it is always a treat for me as I build my collection.  This November is my one year anniversary in the hobby.  I have no regrets and I will continue to enjoy my shortwave radio hobby.


John C.
Pennsylvania, USA

GordonWestTechBookJohn, many thanks for sharing your radio story!

I’m impressed that the radio bug hit so hard that you moved, in short order, from a Tecsun PL-660 to a WinRadio Excalibur Pro! What a leap!

I would encourage you to get your ham radio license, of course. By now, you understand enough about radio, that it would be a very easy step to take. Strike while the iron is hot! 🙂

I’ve had success with the Gordon West testing guides–they’re very informative while teaching you strategic techniques to pass the test.

Readers: Please click here to read our growing collection of Listener Posts, and please consider submitting your own!

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Voice of Greece has become a relay of Radio Station of Macedonia, ERT 3

ERT3In response to my post and recording yesterday, commented on the current state of the Voice of Greece:

“After the forceful eviction of the redundant ERT employees from the Radio House in Athens, the shortwave frequencies no longer transmit the normal program of Voice of Greece as there is no such service produced in Athens.  This happened on the 7th of November, when you probably noticed the station ID change.

Mediumwave and shortwave frequencies have been now set to relay the radio program of “Radio Station of Macedonia” by the redundant employees of ERT3, from Thessaloniki. (This used to be the independent program relayed for a few hours before midnight on 7,450 until June’s ERT switch-off, when phone lines were cut and the “guerilla” program started). They keep doing a full program during the day, but being unemployed, it seems that they cannot carry on overnight.

The official interim public radio (one single service for entire Greece) so far does not care for [the take] over [of] the shortwave and mediumwave resources in Athens. Probably they do not have the staff to operate them, as only the necessary personnel was hired to keep the single radio service running on FM.”

Many thanks to for this informative explanation.

Thus it looks like VOG’s shortwave service might be easily cut–and without warning. We already know that the Greek government is considering dismantling the Avlis transmitting site.

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Greece

Crete, Greece (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Crete, Greece (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I’m not sure what the future holds for the Voice of Greece. In many ways, I feel that the national shortwave broadcaster is already operating on borrowed time–but perhaps I’m wrong. I’ve been recording VOG a lot lately on 9,420 kHz and 7,475 kHz; most broadcasts these days contain very little commentary, only hours of a wide variety of international music with the occasional station ID (which, by the way, has recently changed). I feel like they’re just working to keep their seats warm.

On a personal note, it’s Thanksgiving here in the States–my favorite national holiday–and I’m certainly thankful for all of the kind SWLing Post readers out there. You are the reason I have so much enthusiasm for maintaining this site. There’s community here, and I, for one, like it. Thank you all…

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving–and/or, are just relaxing over the weekend–I hope you’ll enjoy a bit of this Voice of Greece recording.  I say “a bit,” as it is nearly five hours long. I started this recording around 20:30 UTC on November 26th, 2013 (9,420 kHz).

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

No matter where you live, here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tecsun PL-880 Operation Manual Published

Tecsun PL-880 Owners Manual

Click here to download.

The eBay seller, Anon-co, has posted the owner’s manual for the Tecsun PL-880. Click here to download the manual as a PDF.

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike, for sending me this file.

I purchased a PL-880 and expect to receive it soon. I will post some preliminary photos and a review in time to help you make any holiday buying decisions.

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Listener Post: Dave Humphries

Analog Radio DialDave Humphries’ radio story is the latest in a new series called Listener Posts, where I will place all of your personal radio histories. If you would like to add your story to the mix, simply send your story by email!

In the meantime, many thanks to Dave for sharing his personal radio history:

Dave Humphries

My interest in shortwave radio started in the early 1960s, I bought a National Transistor Radio that had the shortwave radio bands on it, I got the radio so I could listen to the local AM stations Top 40 Hits but that changed when I switched to shortwave.

NationalTransistorI could not believe what I was hearing, stations from all over the world in dozens of different languages, I was totally amazed as to how I could hear all these stations in my flat situated in Melbourne Australia.

I used to look forward to the evenings so I could sit in my chair with a set of headphones and listen to the world, I had no idea what DXing was I simply enjoyed listening to music and news from the world over.

In the mid 1970s I did what many others did and got into CB Radio, I was just as amazed to find I could talk to fellow CBers in the USA, Japan and many other countries, it was then that I found out what a QSL Card was, I also learned about sunspots, the 11 year cycle, ionosphere and skip.

About the same time I rekindled my interest in Shortwave Radio, I got a circuit diagram for a Receiver and went off the an electronics shop and bought the components, building the radio took me about three months of spare time but I got it finished, with great expectation I connected a length of wire to the antenna terminal, by this time I had the wife and four kids standing around waiting to see what would happen, all of a sudden the radio sprung into life and the kids were dancing around the kitchen to fantastic music from the UAR Radio Dubai.

Realistic-DX160-From-PrintI Like so many other shortwave listeners I used a Realistic DX160 for quite a few years, my circumstances changed and I went for years without shortwave, I got hooked on HiFi equipment and worked as Manager of a large Melbourne HiFi Shop, as time went on my hearing started to deteriorate and I got Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) so music did not sound the same anymore.

Fifteen years ago I got back into shortwave, bought several desktop radios the Lowe HF-150 being my favourite, for the first time I started chasing QSL cards and finished up with a reasonable collection, once again my circumstances changed and I started playing guitar in a Counrty Band, this went on until six months ago.

The Lowe HF-150 (Source: Universal Radio)

The Lowe HF-150 (Source: Universal Radio)

Now in retirement I decided it was time to get back into shortwave, not knowing what to expect when I found out that so many of the major broadcasters were shutting down I bought a couple of Portable Radios put up a couple of random wires plugged the headphones in and now enjoy the hobby again.

I do not go along with the rumours that shortwave radio is finished, I believe shortwave has never been better, with some of the major broadcasters leaving the airwaves it has made it so much easier to hear those lower powered stations that were so hard to hear because of splatter caused by the big guys, there seems to be plenty of smaller broadcasters that have filled the void left by major broadcasters which to me has made the hobby of SWLing so much more interesting.

I couldn’t agree more! Many thanks, Dave, for sharing your story!

Click here to read our growing collection of Listener Posts, and consider submitting your own!

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Shortwave Radio Recordings: beHAVior Night

Sir Scratchy (Source: Facebook)

Sir Scratchy (Source: Facebook)

For your listening pleasure: beHAVior Night, a shortwave radio show, relayed by WBCQ, dedicated to showcasing music from the first four decades of the 20th Century.

If you’re as nostalgic as I am, you’ll love the sonic combination of early records with the shortwave ether hosted by the inimitable “Sir Scratchy.” Relax, close your eyes, and indulge in a little radio time travel…

You can tune in beHAVior Night on Fridays at 17:00 EST or 22:00 UTC on 7,490 kHZ.

Though I could not find an official website for beHAVior Night, I would encourage you to “like” both Sir Scratchy and the beHAVior Night Facebook pages where show updates are often posted.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

If you like listening to early 20th century music via shortwave, you should also check out Marion’s Attic and the occasional pirate radio station, Radio Casablanca.

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