Monthly Archives: February 2016

Free webinar on receiving antennas

SX-99-Dial-NarMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Tim Anderson (KF7JBM) who writes:

You may have seen this already, but I ran across this at the ARRL site and thought it might be of interest to your readers:

Receiving Antennas Will Be Focus of Free Webinar

“High Performance RX Antennas for a Small Lot” will be the topic of a free webinar by Jose “JC” Carlos, N4IS, and sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF).

Carlos will explore basic concepts of receiving antennas and share his experiences with low-band receiving antennas on a small lot, including the Waller Flag.

The webinar will take place on March 4 at 0200 UTC (the evening of Thursday, March 3, in US time zones). It will run for about 1 hour.

Registration is required. — Thanks to Ken Claerbout, K4ZW, via The Daily DX

Many thanks, Tim! I may try to attend this next week.

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Radio astronomers track the source of fast radio bursts

PARI-East-26M-Antenna(Source: BBC)

For the first time, scientists have tracked the source of a “fast radio burst” – a fleeting explosion of radio waves which, in this case, came from a galaxy six billion light-years away.

The cause of the big flash, only the seventeenth ever detected, remains a puzzle, but spotting a host galaxy is a key moment in the study of such bursts.

It also allowed the team to measure how much matter got in the way of the waves and thus to “weigh the Universe”.

Their findings are published in Nature.

Continue reading on the BBC website…

Being a fan of radio astronomy, I find this sort of news fascinating.

Six billion light-years…that’s some serious DX!

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AM radio proposal has Class A broadcasters upset

WHKY-AM-Radio-Tower(Source: Times Union)

When the sun goes down, AM radio signals travel much farther. You can listen to 50,000-watt stations such as WGY hundreds of miles away.

But that could soon change, if the Federal Communications Commission goes through with a plan to let more local stations broadcast through the evening hours and potentially makes changes in the daytime signal of WGY and other powerful stations.

The proposed change in protections to Class A stations such as WGY would ease restrictions on the smaller stations, which are now required to reduce power or change the direction they broadcast their signal so they don’t conflict with the more powerful Class A stations.

WGY has begun an online petition drive to oppose the changes.

Called “Save AM Radio,” the petition opposes reducing WGY’s so-called “protected service area.”

The changes, WGY says, “will make it very difficult for many of our listeners to receive our programming, especially at night and during morning and evening drive times.”

[…]The FCC, meanwhile, says the changes are being considered in an effort “to help revitalize the AM service.”

More local stations would give listeners a wider choice of programming, supporters of the change argue.

[…]WGY’s online petition is at
The FCC is accepting comments through March 21 and replies through April 18, at www.fcc/ecfs. Click on “submit a filing.” The proceeding number is 13-249.

Read the full article at the Times Union online…

I’m very curious what Post readers think about this proposal from the perspective of both access to regional information, as well as from MW DXing. Will this move crowd the AM broadcast band or give local stations a stronger voice?

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DigiDX: a new digital broadcast via Channel 292

DigiDXMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Stephen Cooper, who shares the following news about the new DigiDX broadcast:

DigiDX is a 30 minute MFSK32 broadcast covering shortwave and DX news, radio related reviews, schedule information and listeners letters and after a success test broadcast to Europe, a broadcast for North America is planned for 0200 UTC Sunday.

Broadcasting from Channel 292 in Germany on 6070 kHz the time has been chosen to maximise chance of reception on the East Coast of North America and beyond.

The programme features the majority of the broadcast in MFSK32 but around 10 minutes of the broadcast is in the slower Olivia 64-2000 mode to test for resilience against bad propagation to North America and interference on 6070.

The tests to Europe on Channel 292 earlier this week showed good reception and near perfect decodes despite Radio China International and Vatican Radio being on the same frequency during some of the test.

To decode use FlDigi, MultiPSK or the Tivar Android app, just putting your radio next to the PC microphone or phone/tablet is enough to decode the broadcast. If you have decoded the VOA Radiogram before, DigiDX uses the same digital modes.

Please send reception reports and decodes of the text/images in the broadcast to, an e-QSL will be sent by email and on the next broadcast an e-QSL card will be broadcast over the air in MFSK32 mode as well.

For European listeners the second edition of DigiDX with an include e-QSL card from the last episode will be broadcast on 6070Khz at 1100 UTC. For information on further broadcast times like DigiDX on Facebook ( or follow on Twitter (

This is brilliant, Stephen! I’ll attempt to log DigiDX this weekend if conditions are fair!

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Max’s Barlow Wadley receiver is a keeper


In reply to our post about the Barlow Wadley XCR-30, SWLing Post reader, Max Youle, replies:

I have a Barlow Wadley with the FM tuner here in New Zealand. [see photo above]

These fabulous receivers are reasonably common here as many SWLs bought them in the 1970s because of New Zealand’s remote location

My Barlow Wadley has just recently had an alignment and a thorough going over, and will now match my Sony ICF 2010,and Yaseu FRG 8800 for stations received on the shortwave bands, but not so good on the MW band.

I love this radio, and its quirky tuning system. This reminds me of the days of knob twiddling to find those elusive signals, not like the ease of todays digital receivers.

Thanks for your comment, Max. Your Barlow Wadley portable is certainly a keeper! Perhaps someday one will find its way to my radio room!

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Radio Canada International’s 71st anniversary

RCIMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:

Today February 25 th is the 71th anniversary of Radio Canada International.

They published this:

Earlier this month, I listened to a 2012 spectrum recording of the 31 meter band–RCI’s north Quebec service was transmitting on 9,625 kHz. I sure do miss them on the shortwaves but I’m glad I can do a little radio time travel with my SDRs and tune in once again from time to time.

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Home from the ‘Fest

MapIf you’ve emailed me in the past two weeks there’s a good chance you haven’t received a response; my apologies.

The reason is that I’ve been travelling through DC, Philadelphia, and surrounding areas, visiting friends and colleagues, as well as attending (and presenting at) the 29th annual Winter SWL Fest. It’s been a fantastic trip and, fortunately, inclement weather happened on days I didn’t need to drive in crazy traffic–about all you can ask for in the northeastern US in the middle of winter.

Late night listening at David Goren's Shortwave Shindig

Late night listening at David Goren’s Shortwave Shindig

But while travelling I had very little time to keep up with email and tips from readers, as is so often the case when one is on the road. Now that I’m back at home base, nearly a hundred emails from Post readers beg responses–so if you haven’t heard from me yet, this is why. As I catch up on my backlog of email, thanks, readers, for your patience and understanding.

But first, let’s see what’s on the shortwave bands this evening…

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