Monthly Archives: October 2017

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, Nov 5-11

Our B-17 schedule begins this week:

From the Isle of Music, November 5-11
If you were with us last week for Ruy López-Nussa, we mentioned the superb Estado de Animo project. This week, we listen to some of that along with some subsequent solo projects by Ruy and former members Elmer Ferrer, Roberto Carcassés and Descemer Bueno.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) 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 0100-0200 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US) (NOTE THAT UTC CHANGES BUT EASTERN US TIME IS STILL THE SAME)>
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Episode 35 of Uncle BIll’s Melting Pot will feature a nice mix of Mexican and Mexican-American music including some tasty Norteño, Latin Rock and Latin Funk.
Sunday, November 5 at 2300-2330 UTC (NOTE THAT UTC CHANGES BUT EASTERN US TIME IS STILL THE SAME, 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT US) on WBCQ 7490 Khz, for the Americas and parts of Europe.

Video: Watch students at KSDB perform a numbers station radio drama

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, James Copeland, who writes:

I have enjoyed reading the SWLing Post for years and appreciate all your hard work. I wanted to share something with you that might interest the readers.

A few months ago, I was inspired to start writing a radio drama about a number station after reading an article on the SWLing Post about someone working at a number station.

I am the program director for the student-run radio station at Kansas State University, and we performed this drama live last Tuesday on our radio station.

The plot follows a worker at the station who has to decide what to do when she learns that the numbers she reads end up killing people and could start a nuclear war.

There are also a lot of short recordings from various active and inactive stations, including one of my recordings of HM01 at the end of the show.

We at KSDB love producing radio dramas and make them just like the golden days of radio with as many live sound effects as possible.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Many thanks for sharing this, James! I love it!

I listened to the audio as I hiked this afternoon–I actually prefer “theatre of the mind” without visuals with the first listen. Now I’ll watch the studio video and enjoy the reading, sound effects and direction!

James, you’re welcome to share your radio dramas here anytime! Bravo for putting together such a cool little radio drama. I love the off air numbers station recordings and clips!

Post readers: If you’d like to learn more about KSDB-FM or to stream their programming, check out their website and TuneIn stream.

Shortwave Archives, Spectrum Archives and the Radio Preservation Task Force meeting

This week, I’m looking forward to participating in the three day Radio Preservation Task Force meeting in Washington, DC.

The Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF), a project of the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, will be held on November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 2017 at the Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the University of Maryland.

I’ve been invited to serve on the RPTF Material & Digital Curation panel where I’ll have an opportunity to talk about our work with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive and a new project I’ve been working on: the Radio Spectrum Archive.

The Radio Spectrum Archive

For several years, I’ve been championing the concept of archiving radio spectrum recordings.

As many of you know, through the use of software defined radios (SDRs), we can record not just one individual broadcast from one radio station at a time, but we can record an entire broadcast band, all at once. Each recording can easily contain dozens of stations broadcasting simultaneously. Later, via an SDR app, recordings can be tuned and listened to as if they were live. We believe spectrum recordings will be valuable material for the future historian, anthropologist, enthusiast, etc.

Screen shot of the RSA homepage.

I’ve published a new website for the Radio Spectrum Archive and I encourage you to check it out as it outlines our mission, goals and challenges. I also include a video demonstration using a spectrum recording from 1986 (originally recorded on a HiFi VCR!).

Note that the website is a work in progress, there are still sections to add including bios of our spectrum archive team.

Click here to check out the Radio Spectrum Archive website.

Though I didn’t mention this in my Patreon campaign post earlier this week, the Radio Spectrum Archive is yet another important radio project you are supporting with your pledge. This week, for example, extra funds help me with travel expenses associated with the RPTF conference (many thanks to a kind friend who is hosting me at his home for four nights, saving me several hundred dollars!).

If you have the means and would like to support the SWLing Post, the Shortwave Radio Index, the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, and the Radio Spectrum Archive please use the link/button below to become a Patron. If you’d like more details or support options, check out this recent post.

Become a Patron!

And to all of you who have supported us through Patreon and with one time gifts: thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you’re not in a position to become a patron or coffee fund supporter, no worries! Just enjoy our radio sites and resources!

One more note: Due to travels and a heavy workload over the next couple of weeks, please allow extra time for replies to correspondence and comments. Thank you so much!

RadioShack store re-opens: offers ham radio classes, Maker’s Space and educational outreach

Many corporate RadioShack stores, like the one above in North Carolina, closed after headquarters filed for bankruptcy.

I love it! Yet another story of a RadioShack store finding opportunity and serving their community in the wake of bankruptcy.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, for sharing this article from The Citizen Tribune:

It is not often that you see a company go out of business and quickly reopen in the same location, but that is exactly what Jeff Pederson and Trevor “Reed” Freers have done with the Jefferson City RadioShack.

Freers was the manager of the original store for six years before RadioShack went bankrupt and closed all of its stores nationwide.

“I saw a lot of people lose their jobs,” Freers said. “As the marketing manager, I was the one who had to let a lot of those people go. It was really sad.”

Freers’s store was one of the last to close as they continued to do well under his high level of customer service, which often including going to customers’ homes to make sure they were satisfied with their purchases and helping customers set up or troubleshoot new devices.

“Running this store, I really grew to love the community,” Freers, who is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, said.

When Pederson contacted him about managing a privately owned RadioShack in the same location, Freers was excited at the chance to get back to doing what he loves.

[…]The newest addition to the store, unique to the Jefferson City location, is the area Freers named the “Makers’ Space.”

This open area of the store will be home to the many classes the store now offers, such as soldering classes, drone classes and monthly training sessions on how to set up and use a cell phone.

Freers has already partnered with a local gym which has requested a monthly class teaching older participants how to set up their Facebook profiles, as well at the Lakeway Amateur Radio Club to offer HAM Radio classes.

Schools and other learning programs are welcomed to use the area for classes, and Freers will also make himself available to travel to schools to teach those classes.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Citizen Tribune.

Tecsun PL-300 series modification: disabling soft mute

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who shares the following tip. Troy writes:

While surfing the Net I found the following procedure that is said to “disable soft muting in Tecsun 300-series radios”.

I have a PL-390 and this has indeed seemed to work on it but I didn’t notice a difference with my PL-365.

Since I just found & tried this, I don’t know if this procedure must be repeated each time you use the radio? Maybe [Post readers] have heard of this before and/or have experience with it?

Here is the “reported” [supposed?] procedure that worked for the PL-390:

To disabling “Soft Mute” on Tecsun 300-series radios:

1. Select a shortwave frequency, preferably where there is no stations transmitting.
2. Tune down the frequency range with the dial, don’t tune up or it won’t work
3. Press the VF Scan button to let it automatically tune down
4. Tune down with the dial to stop the automatic scan. If the background noise is higher, then the “soft mute” / “dynamic squelch” has been disabled.

Thank you, Troy! I was unaware of this modification, but it seems easy enough to implement.

Post readers: Anyone have experience using this mod across the Tecsun 300-series receivers? Please comment!