Monthly Archives: June 2015

WRTH update to A15 schedule

WRTH2015(Source: Sean Gilbert, WRTH Facebook Page)

WRTH has released a free update for the A15 schedules file. This PDF contains frequency changes, address etc., updates and some new stations. Please visit and navigate to ‘Latest WRTH Updates’, choose the link under ‘International Radio’ and select the file you wish to download. The file is also available from our webshop:

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The new Sangean ATS-405 shortwave portable

Sangean-ATS-405[UPDATE: Click here for a full review of the Sangean ATS-405]

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Aaron Hyde, who reports that Sangean has a new travel radio on the market: the Sangean ATS-405.

Aaron writes:

“While looking around the internet today, I came across a new DSP shortwave radio called the Sangean ATS 405. The 405 looks a lot like its 404 predecessor except that it includes 3 bandwidths, 148 memories, a squelch control and comes along with some other interesting features.”

The ATS-405 came as very much a (welcome) surprise to me as Sangean hasn’t introduced a new shortwave radio in years. This radio is obviously based on a DSP chip and has three selectable bandwidths–I hope its AGC circuit is well suited for weak DX. I am a little disappointed the ATS-405 doesn’t have a tuning wheel. Still, I hope this will be a winner.

The ATS-405 owner’s manual (download here) lists the following features:

  • Full shortwave 14 meter bands
  • Five tuning methods-direct frequency access, auto scan, manual tuning, memory recall and rotary tuning
  • ATS (Auto Tuning System)-auto scan and preset stations
  • Shortwave meter band selection
  • 148 station presets
  • 2 alarm timers by buzzer and radio
  • Real time clock
  • Adjustable sleep timer
  • Tone control (Music/Normal/News)
  • 1 kHz fine tuning
  • Squelch function adjusts the receiving threshold and eliminate weak transmissions
  • Easy to read LCD display with backlight
  • Eco-friendly recharging function with LED indicator
  • Stereo/mono switch

I will plan to purchase an ATS-405 in the near future and review it in due time. Please comment with your impressions if you’ve purchased one!

The Sangean ATS-405 is available from the following sellers from $89.00 to 95.00 US:

Many thanks agin, Aaron, for the tip!

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Jon spots a Yaesu FR-101 on eBay


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jon, who writes:

“Just noticed this very clean Yaesu FR-101 this morning on eBay.  When I first saw the FR-101 in the search results, I thought it was the more popular FT-101 series transceiver. Not sure where the price will go on this one, but I would sure snatch it up if I found it at a hamfest!”

Many thanks, Jon. I was not aware that the FR-101 had a general coverage receiver; the seller lists the frequency range as “1.8 – 29.9 MHz continuous.”

Click here to view on eBay.

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Listening across the globe: 2015 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast!

We gathered in the Comms Office to listen to the audition, during which our loved ones sent us their messages. Even though we all can talk to our families and friends on the phone with relative ease today, it was still a very touching moment. (Credit: Michal Krzysztofowicz, Halley VI Research Station)

We gathered in the Comms Office to listen to the audition, during which our loved ones sent us their messages. Even though we all can talk to our families and friends on the phone with relative ease today, it was still a very touching moment. (Credit: Michal Krzysztofowicz, Halley VI Research Station)

On Sunday, 21 June 2015, the BBC World Service officially transmitted the 2015 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast–an international radio broadcast intended for a small group of scientists, technicians, and support staff who work for the British Antarctic Survey.

This is one of my favorite annual broadcasts, and I endeavor to listen every year. This year, the SWLing Post called upon readers to make a short recording of the broadcast from their locale. We received a total of thirty (!) recordings, from every continent (save Antarctica, that is; I’m sure the BAS team were too busy celebrating)…Wow! Thank you, participants!

Below are the entries, roughly organized by continent and country/region, including reader’s photos if provided. (If I’ve somehow missed including your entry, please contact me; I’ll amend this post.)

So, without further ado….

The Recordings





SWL (Shortwave Listener): @K7al_L3afta
Location: Chaouia-Ouardigha, Morocco
Notes: The BBC World Service Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast. Woofferton transmitter.
Receiver: Tecsun PL-660 + 15m wire antenna.



GuptaSWL: Babul Gupta
Location: Barasat, West Bengal, India
Notes: Babul listened to the broadcast with his ICOM IC-R75 receiver, connected to a 176 meter long beverage antenna oriented in a West South direction.


SWL: Timm Breyel
Location: Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Notes: Here is a sound file of the broadcast monitored in central Malaysia, using the frequency 5.985 kHz via Ascension Island at 21.30 UTC. By 21.35 UTC, QRM from presumably Myanmar Radio overwhelmed this frequency. Worst of all, reception on 9.590 kHz via Wooffeton was in audible due to strong QRM from PBS Xizang. Transmission on 5.905 via Dhabbaya was the only audible signal after 21.35 UTC, and it was a paltry (SINPO) 15341, best heard in USB.




SWL: Rob Wagner (VK3BVW)
Location: Mount Evelyn, Victoria, Australia
Notes: All three freqs noted here at Mount Evelyn, southeastern Australia: 5905.1 – Off freq and with a slight hum but a good signal, 5985 – Best of the three freqs, strong and clear, 9590 – Good signal but with moderate QRM from PBS Xizang co-channel. Pity! I suspect that freq would not have been as good down south either. Overall, a reasonable success this year.


SWL: Michael Stevenson
Location: Port Macquarie, NSW on the east coast of Australia
Notes: “5905 kHz Dhabbaya was only just fair and rather noisy while 5985 Woofferton was fair and still noisy with 9590 kHz Woofferton was the strongest signal but was marred by CRI China here in Port Macquarie, NSW on the east coast of Australia!”

New Zealand


SWL: Chris Mackerell
Location: Motueka, New Zealand
Notes: Receiving setup: Elad FDM-S2 SDR, Wellbrook ALA-1530S+ loop. QTH Marahau, Tasman District, New Zealand 41.00S 173.01E



SWL: Arjen Huisman
Location: Kissonerga, Cyprus
Notes: Attached my recording of the BBC Antarctic Midwinter broadcast on 5985 kHz. last Sunday June 21st. Something about my listening conditions: I have been listening with a JRC NRD-535DG to which a 13,5 longwire has been connected, hanging outside on the (large) uncovered balcony of my apartment, 3rd (top) floor.

Arjen Huisman - Shack Arjen Huisman - Antenna siteI live about 500m from the coastline of the western part of Cyprus, about 8 km. north of the city of Paphos in a village called Kissonerga. Generally reception conditions are very good here, so close to the sea with no high buildings around.



SWL: Willy Andersen (OZ4ZT)
Location: Soeborg near Copenhagen, Denmark
Notes: Willy used an Icom IC-756 Pro with an inverted V antenna. He noted that 9590 kHz and 5985 kHz were equal in signal strength and quality.


SWL: Gunther Rose
Location: Wetter, Germany

Notes: Here is my recording of the last 1,5 minutes of the Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast 2015 on 5985 kHz. My receiving-setup: Tecsun PL-880 with telescope antenna (indoor near a window on the 4th floor), line out to Macbook (audacity-software) Unfortunately I got lots of RFI from my neighbour’s powerline adapter so the signal from Wooferton was strong but not noise-free.


MIA STAZIONE (1)SWL: Alessio Proietti
Location: Rome, Italy
Notes: Receiver: Tecsun PL-660 Antenna: Homemade dipole 20 meters long, 6 meters height Frequency: 5985 kHz AM


SWL: Gabriele Somma (IZ8094SWL)
Location: Salerno Roccapiemonte, Italy
Notes: recorded the broadcast on his Icom IC-PRC1500 with an antenna at 10 meters high.


SWL: Giuseppe Morlè (Joseph)
Location: Ponza island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy
Notes:  I heard the BBC broadcast with my AOR AR 3030 receiver and Mini Whip antenna, and Tecsun PL-660.



SWL: Jonathan Marks
Location: University Twente, Netherlands
Notes: Here’s a clip from the University Twente SDR reception from Woofterton 5985 from 2145 onwards.


SWL: Dominik
Location: southwest Poland
Notes:  5845 kHz


SWL: Sérgio Pimenta
Location: Porto, Portugal
Notes: [H]ere is my reception in Portugal (Porto, northern of Portugal), using a Tecsun PL-310ET with just the telescopic antenna on my kitchen window, very strong signal.


SWL: Tudor Vedeanu
Location: Gura Humorului, Romania
Notes: Receiver setup: Eton E1XM, 60m wire antenna.


Russia-003SWL: Dennis
Location: Moscow, Russia
Notes: BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast 2015 – for Moscow. Grundig Satellit 1400 built-in mini whip.


SWL: Michael Haun
Location: Menorca, Spain
Notes: Please find 2 recordings from your special Midwinter broadcast: 5905 kHz (S9+10, rapid fading, quite noisy) and 5985 kHz ( S9+40, fantastic signal).


Receiver used was a PERSEUS SDR and a 5×10 meters active loop antenna. Keep up the good work and 73 also to all in the Antarctica!


SWL: Oktay Egi
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Notes: I am located in Istanbul, Turkey. I used Sony ICF-SW77 for listening with internal antenna on 5905 KHz. The sound was not clear but understandable. Time was 21:35 UTC.

United Kingdom

SWL: Mark Harper (MW1MDH)
Location: Saltney, England
Notes:  “I’m running an IC-R75, on an internal, RF systems Windom, the ATU isn’t connected in the attached video. I’m located in Saltney, which is about 2 miles west of Chester, but just over the Welsh border by about 200 yards, I’m also just north of Wooferton! Hope the audio is ok, I’m running my 75 on an external speaker, just off to the side.”

United Kingdom

SWL: “Driverfilms”
Location: Newcastle Under Lyne in Staffordshire, England

United Kingdom

SWL: Andrew Svonja
Location: Hinckley, Leicestershire in the Midlands in the UK
Notes: On Sunday 21/06/15 at 21:30 UTC I recorded a segment of the BBC Winter Solstice broadcast to the Antarctic–SINPO reading was a complete 5 across the board

United Kingdom

SWL: Stephen Cooper
Location: Southport, England,
Notes: 9,590Khz on the Elad FDM-S2 with a 15m random wire.

North America



SWL: Fred
Location: London, Ontario
Notes: The recording was made using a camera in AVI format, which has been converted to MP3. The time stamp on the video is 17:46 EST. The recording is from a Grundig Yacht Boy 400. The best reception was by laying the Grundig flat with the radio antenna facing North East. No longwire or external aerial was used. I was also able to receive the signal on my Tecsun PL-380, but the signal was very muffled with excessive static.


SWL: Richard Langley
Location: Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada

Richard's Tecsun PL-880 and digital recorder in a protective plastic case outdoors.

Richard’s Tecsun PL-880 and Tecsun digital recorder in a protective plastic case outdoors.

Notes: Richard listened to the broadcast on 9,590 kHz. He notes that it was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in AM mode with 3.5 kHz RF filtering.

United States

SWL: Dan Robinson
Location: Potomac, Maryland, USA
Notes: using a JRC NRD-515 receiver, with Wellbrook 1530 loop antenna.

Dan also included the following audio recording:

United States

SWL: Frank Colella
Location: Westchester County, New York
Notes: Sangean ATS-909 receiver

United States

A screen capture of the TitanSDR Pro as I recorded all three frequencies of the BBC Midwinter broadcast simultaneously.

A screen capture of the TitanSDR Pro as I recorded all three frequencies of the BBC Midwinter broadcast simultaneously.

SWL: Thomas Witherspoon
Location: North Carolina, USA
Notes: I recorded the broadcast on a total of three SDRs simultaneously: the TitanSDR Pro, Elad-FDM-S2 and the WinRadio Excalibur.

Screen capture of the WinRadio Excalibur

Screen capture of the Elad FDM-S2

I was very pleased to hear the broadcast on 9590 kHz. Since North Carolina was not in the path of this broadcast, it was a weak signal. All three receivers were using the same large outdoor horizontal delta loop at 60′ above the ground.

Screen capture of the WinRadio Excalibur

Screen capture of the WinRadio Excalibur

The following embedded audio player, should contain all three recordings. Note that the FDM-S2 recording (which is perhaps the best of the three) starts in the middle of the broadcast.

South America



SWL: Flavio PY2ZX
Location: Brazil
Notes: Also noted the three frequencies in Brazil but 9590 kHz sounds better despite the presence of PBS Xizang. Great to hear such friendship spirit through the shortwaves! Congratulations BBC and BAS team. My recording:



SWL: Rafael Rodriguez R.
Location: Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Notes: Greetings from Colombia. I could only hear the signal at 9590 KHz. The location is [at] a park close to my house (aprox. Lat 4 72 62 N Long 74 02 85 W; alt 2577 m over level sea).


I use a Degen DE1103 with Sony AN61 Antenna, to record a Sony ICD-P320 digital recorder.

Thank you!

Once again, many thanks to all of you who submitted your recordings of the BBC Midwinter Broadcast! We’ll be sharing this post with both the British Antarctic Survey and the BBC World Service. And to all of you, from the SWLing Post: Happy Midwinter! Happy Summer/Winter Solstice!

Please note that any map graphics used in this post were originally designed by NuclearVacuum and Ssolbergj–they have been modified for this post under a Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 3.0.

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G4-class geomagnetic storm in progress

(Source: NASA) The geomagnetic storm began as forecasted and quickly ramped up to severe (G4)  levels.  In Europe watchers should be looking for the aurora now and there is hope for those over the US tonight.

(Source: NASA) The geomagnetic storm began as forecasted and quickly ramped up to severe (G4) levels. In Europe watchers should be looking for the aurora now and there is hope for those over the US tonight.

Depending on where you live, this G4 geomagnetic storm may completely disrupt the HF band conditions. From

SEVERE GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS: A severe G4-class geomagnetic storm is in progress on June 22nd. This follows a series of rapid-fire CME strikes to Earth’s magnetic field during the past 24 hours. Magnetic fields in the wake of the latest CME are strongly coupled to Earth’s own magnetic field. This is a condition that could sustain the geomagnetic storm for many hours to come. High- and mid-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras tonight, especially during the hours around local midnight.

On the up side, after this is over, there may be some excellent, short-term band openings. My buddy, David Goren, also reminds us that this is a good time to keep an eye on the broadcast bands for auroral conditions.

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Thanks for recording the 2015 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast!

1024px-Antarctica_6400px_from_Blue_MarbleMany thanks to those of you who made a video or audio recording of your reception of the 2015 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast.

I’m putting together a post with all of the recordings to publish by mid-week. If you haven’t yet sent in your recording, please do so today! Simply contact me with a link to download.

Again, many, many thanks!

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