Monthly Archives: September 2017

BBC World Service: new shortwave services to Ethiopia and Eritrea

Note that, in terms of press freedoms, Reporters Without Borders ranks Eritrea the second most repressive country in the world, next to North Korea.

(Source: BBC Media Centre)

BBC World Service continues expansion with new services for Ethiopia and Eritrea

Three new language services for Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the diaspora are being launched today by the BBC World Service as part of its biggest expansion since the 1940s.
BBC News in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya will be available online and on Facebook. This will be followed later in the year with shortwave radio services in each language consisting of a 15-minute news and current affairs programme, followed by a 5-minute Learning English programme, from Monday to Friday.

The new BBC services will provide impartial news, current affairs and analysis of Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as regional and international news. Boosting the BBC’s operation in the Horn of Africa will also provide the rest of the BBC’s global audience with a better understanding of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Programmes will target a younger audience with social media playing a key role. In addition to news and current affairs, there will be extensive coverage of culture, entertainment, entrepreneurship, science & technology, health and sport – including the English Premier League.

These services will benefit from a growing network of journalists across the region and around the world.

Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service Director, says: “The BBC World Service brings independent, impartial news to audiences around the world, especially in places where media freedom is limited. I’m delighted we’re extending our service to millions of people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the diaspora worldwide.”

Will Ross, Editorial Lead for Africa, says: “We know that there is a great deal of hunger for audiences in Ethiopia and Eritrea to access a broad range of high quality content in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya. It has been a privilege to work with Ethiopian and Eritrean journalists who are so keen to learn new skills and to ensure the new language services are a success.”

Servosila develops a robot with onboard SDR package

(Source: Servosila Press Release)

Servosila introduces a new member of the family of Servosila “Engineer” robots, a UGV called “Radio Engineer”. This new variant of the well-known backpack-transportable robot features a Software Defined Radio (SDR) payload module integrated into the robotic vehicle. Servosila introduces a new member of the family of Servosila “Engineer” robots, a UGV called “Radio Engineer”. This new variant of the well-known backpack-transportable robot features a Software Defined Radio (SDR) payload module integrated into the robotic vehicle.

“Several of our key customers had asked us to enable an Electronic Warfare (EW) or Cognitive Radio applications in our robots”, – says a spokesman for the company, “By integrating a Software Defined Radio (SDR) module into our robotic platforms we cater to both requirements. Radio spectrum analysis, radio signal detection, jamming, and radio relay are important features for EOD robots such as ours. Servosila continues to serve the customers by pushing the boundaries of what their Servosila robots can do. Our partners in the research world and academia shall also greatly benefit from the new functionality that gives them more means of achieving their research goals.”

Coupling a programmable mobile robot with a software-defined radio creates a powerful platform for developing innovative applications that mix mobility and artificial intelligence with modern radio technologies. The new robotic radio applications include localized frequency hopping pattern analysis, OFDM waveform recognition, outdoor signal triangulation, cognitive mesh networking, automatic area search for radio emitters, passive or active mobile robotic radars, mobile base stations, mobile radio scanners, and many others.

A rotating head of the robot with mounts for external antennae acts as a pan-and-tilt device thus enabling various scanning and tracking applications. The neck of the robotic head is equipped with a pair of highly accurate Servosila-made servos with a pointing precision of 3.0 angular minutes. This means that the robot can point its antennae with an unprecedented accuracy.

Researchers and academia can benefit from the platform’s support for GnuRadio, an open source software framework for developing SDR applications. An on-board Intel i7 computer capable of executing OpenCL code, is internally connected to the SDR payload module. This makes it possible to execute most existing GnuRadio applications directly on the robot’s on-board computer. Other sensors of the robot such as a GPS sensor, an IMU or a thermal vision camera contribute into sensor fusion algorithms.

Since Servosila “Engineer” mobile robots are primarily designed for outdoor use, the SDR module is fully enclosed into a hardened body of the robot which provides protection in case of dust, rain, snow or impacts with obstacles while the robot is on the move. The robot and its SDR payload module are both powered by an on-board battery thus making the entire robotic radio platform independent of external power supplies.

Servosila plans to start shipping the SDR-equipped robots to international customers in October, 2017.

Web: https://www.servosila.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/servosila/videos

About the Company

Servosila is a robotics technology company that designs, produces and markets a range of mobile robots, robotic arms, servo drives, harmonic reduction gears, robotic control systems as well as software packages that make the robots intelligent. Servosila provides consulting, training and operations support services to various customers around the world. The company markets its products and services directly or through a network of partners who provide tailored and localized services that meet specific procurement, support or operational needs.

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, Sept. 24-30

From the Isle of Music, Sept 24-30

Electric 60s-70s
Most of this episode will be dedicated to some very interesting Cuban Rock and dance bands in the 60s and 70s, including some groups that were very popular in Cuba but little-known in other countries except among close followers of the music then.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz,from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
From the Isle of Music is not available for listening on demand but some broadcasts can be heard online during the time of the broadcast using Web SDRs or the WBCQ website (during their broadcast) if you are not receiving the radio signal.

Adults Mostly……
Send the kids out in the yard to play this week, on Episode 29 of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, we are going to listen to some classic Party records (if you are of a certain age, you know what those are) with a little bit of Greece on the side. Sunday, September 24 at 2200-2230 UTC (6:00pm-6:30pm EDT US) on WBCQ 7490 Khz, right after Marion’s Attic, and right before a rebroadcast (we think) of Ramsey’s Furthermore 29/54. Check us all out – if we’re going to Hell, we want company!

Photos of WRMI antenna field damage

Since we’ve been following WRMI in the wake of Hurricane Irma, I’ve posted a few photos below that WRMI shared on their Facebook page. These photos give us an idea about the magnitude of damage to their antenna farm.

Amazingly, Jeff White confirmed a few days ago that WRMI is back up to full power on all of their frequencies.

All of the caption below were noted by WRMI:

One of the towers holding our 44-degree antenna to Europe was folded in the middle by the hurricane.

A mess of crossed transmission lines in the field.

Transmission lines on the ground that should be above ground on poles.

Transmission line poles were knocked down.

A second tower holding the 44-degree antenna was snapped in the middle.

We had some requests a few days ago from listeners who wanted to see a diagram of our transmitter-antenna connections. This may blow your mind, but here goes…

For all WRMI updates, please bookmark the WRMI Facebook page.

Herrington: Grundig shortwave radio sale

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who notes that Herrington has advertised a three day sale on Grundig portables.

Evidently, these prices include free shipping–not a bad deal!

Click here to view Grundig radios at Herrington.