Monthly Archives: July 2015

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio St. Helena

radiosthelenaMany thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Brian Smith, who shares the following recording of Radio St. Helena Day 2006 and notes:

“Beginning in 1990, Radio St. Helena was known for transmitting an international shortwave radio broadcast only once a year — and sometimes not even that — on a frequency of 11092.5 kHz USB. I managed to hear its 2006 broadcast to North America for about an hour on Nov. 4 and 5 UTC (straddling the 0000 hour).

Because of its relatively low power, it was never an easy catch in the American Midwest. That’s why this recording, which lasts just over an hour — I spliced together both sides of a cassette — captures a signal quality that is merely fair at best. But that was typical of Radio St. Helena, whose 1 kw signal in 2006 (it was 1.5 kw in the 1990s) seldom packed much of a punch.

I was listening on the borrowed rig of a now-deceased friend, Mike Koss, W9SU, and have long since forgotten the type of radio (probably a ham rig) he let me use. However, if memory serves, it was attached to a Beverage antenna that stretched across his 10-acre property in the heart of Indianapolis.

Mike deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the creation of this recording.”

In all of the years I tried to hear Radio St. Helena’s annual broadcast, timing never worked on my end; either I was travelling, the station had transmitter problems, or conditions were simply too poor. Many thanks for sharing this recording with us, Brian!

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

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Degen refreshes shortwave product line


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul, who commented with a link to the new Degen DE221 “ultralight” radio:

Paul’s link lead to the discovery of several new Degen models, in fact. Many of the new models have the same form factor–and a slightly different model number–from their predecessors.

Degen DE221 (updated from Degen 321)


Degen DE22


Degen DE23


Degen DE26


Degen DE27


Degen DE36 (updated from Degen DE32)


There may be even more 2015 Degen models than those I listed here and, in fact, they could’ve been on the market for a while.

I’ve already purchased the Degen DE221 for review since its predecessor, the DE321, was an acceptable radio for the $20 price tag. The DE321’s analog dial made for very vague tuning, however, so I’m curious if the DE221’s new digital display will be a worthy improvement. At this point, I don’t plan to review any of the other models above.

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Online petition to keep Radio France on longwave

Maison_de_la_Radio_ParisMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Clive Bilton, who comments:

An online petition has been started in an effort to keep Radio France on 162 kHz longwave, you can sign here:

Sample entry. Click to enlarge.

Sample entry.

Note that the petition is in French. It’s quite simple to sign, though, as you simply enter your details in this order:

  1. email address
  2. name
  3. country
  4. and postal/zip code

You will need to know the name of your country in French (the USA, for example, is États-Unis). Select it from the drop-down box.

You must check the terms and conditions (first check box).

I opted to un-check the last check box which asks if you wish to receive future updates about the petition and from the website WeSignIt.

Then simply click “Je Signe.”

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LondonShortwave: “Scanning the skies”

Fullscreen capture 7302015 124403 PMMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, LondonShortwave, who shared (via Twitter) this video with recordings made with his portable SDR in a London park:

Brilliant recordings, LS, and amazingly QRM-free!

You can follow LondonShortwave on his blog and via Twitter.

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Radio France: mediumwave and longwave broadcasts to end

Maison_de_la_Radio_ParisMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Marc, who sends this news from France Inter.

The article (in French) states that Radio France, in a cost-cutting measure, will end mediumwave transmissions by the end of this year (2015) and longwave transmissions by the end of 2016. It’s estimated that this will save 13 million Euros annually.

Though I haven’t listened to Radio France on mediumwave since I actually lived in France, I have been attempting to log France Inter on long wave from here in the States. This will certainly motivate me to put them in the books as soon as conditions are favorable.

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Update: Sangean ATS-405 initial review

Sangean-ATS-405After publishing my initial review of the Sangean ATS-405, I received feedback from several ATS-405 owners (via comments and email–thank you!) who do not have the internally-generated DSP “birdies” that plague my receiver on 800 and 1600 kHz AM. I strongly suspect my ATS-405 has a manufacturing defect of some sort.

Sangean is kindly sending me another ATS-405 review sample for comparison purposes. I will post an update to the initial review as soon as I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the new sample.

Follow the tag ATS-405 for updates.

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Mike’s thrift store find: a Panasonic RF-888

Mike's Panasonic RF-888 (left) and his  GE Super Radio II (right)

Mike’s thrift store Panasonic RF-888 (left) and his GE Super Radio II (right)

SWLing Post contributor Mike (K8RAT) writes:

I happened upon a good find of a vintage radio recently when I visited my local Goodwill store in a small city in Ohio.

Among the electronic equipment on a shelf I discovered a Panasonic RF-888. I was not familiar with this radio. The large speaker along with switches and knobs for features found on the better radios impressed me.

The price on the sticker read $3.50. I paid at the counter and motored away not knowing what a bargain I had received.

The RF-888 audio is very good on FM and good on AM. Sensitivity and selectivity are very good on both bands. The tuning meter is useful.

I recommend visits to local second-hand stores. You never know what you might find.

Mike, K8RAT

Many thanks for sharing this story, Mike, as it provides a good lesson for us all: never pass by a thrift store! I’ve never had the good fortune of finding a gem like the RF-888–or a Sony ICF-2010 like Vlado–but I shall keep searching.

Panasonic RF-888s sell on eBay for $100 US and higher–at $3.50, I’d say Mike snagged a deal.

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