Monthly Archives: October 2019

FCC to consider allowing AM broadcasters to transition to digital

(Source: Radio World)

All-Digital on the AM Band? The FCC Might Allow It Soon

AM radio station operators in the United States may soon have the option of switching their transmissions to all-digital.

It’s not a done deal; but the concept is about to take a step closer to reality, because the Federal Communications Commission will consider a proposal at its next meeting that would start a process. It will take comments on whether to allow AM band licensees to make the switch if they want.

Ben Downs, VP/GM of Bryan Broadcasting in Texas, petitioned the FCC in March to initiate a proceeding to authorize the all-digital mode of HD Radio.

Allowing stations to use all-digital transmission is an idea that some broadcasters feel could give business-challenged AM stations in the United States new life or at least another option. Turning off their analog signals would mean that most existing receivers could no longer pick up that signal; but many AM broadcasters are currently heard on FM translator simulcasts now. And adding the all-digital AM option could open up new possibilities for them as the number of digital receivers in the marketplace continues to grow.

[…]Chairman Ajit Pai described the proposal in a blog post Monday: “Just as the FCC is trying to keep pace with changes in the market, so are AM radio operators, and the commission wants to give them as much flexibility as possible to compete in the digital age,” Pai wrote.[…]

Read the full article at Radio World.

Click here to read the proposal (PDF) that will be discussed at the November FCC meeting.

The Radio World article mentions WWFD in Frederick, MD–a station that has been broadcasting AM digital for over a year. We posted a note about this last year and I even included a short recording/video with reception when traveling through the area.

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The new C.Crane catalog cover

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

SWLing Post readers might enjoy your reporting about the brilliant
cover of the new 2020 C.Crane catalog. Have you seen it? I think
you’d agree it’s brilliant:

Here’s Bob Crane’s message about the cover:

This year our catalog cover is based on one of the most famous TV
commercials of all time. It was the day Apple® announced Macintosh
computers during the 1984 Superbowl. . . the first iPhone® was released in
2007. Now that we are all significantly attached to our brilliant pocket phones,
maybe it’s gone too far? As a tool the Internet is hyper-revolutionary, but the
pace of incoming polar information is intense and beyond anyone’s faculty to
follow. . . radio is far less invasive and does not know who you are.
Radio continues to ring a big bell with a surprising percentage of dedicated
listeners by reaching more people every week than any other media type. We
all need reflective time to rediscover who we are. While a cell phone demands
your focus, the simplicity of radio sparks creativity, regardless of the signal
source. Walking, gardening or any activity that does not require conscious
attention allows you to mentally focus on a specific problem to gain wisdom
and promote insight. We are here to support you in your resistance to
distraction with great radio products . . . including Internet radio. Please peruse
our custom radios and earphones to see if one rings a bell with you.
It has become important to have WiFi available in every corner of your house
and property including a guest house, greenhouse, barn or a garden. While
inexpensive repeaters work in most circumstances, please check out our
extended range WiFi repeaters to create a new WiFi zone up to 1/2 mile away.
. . we love making weak signals strong and bringing radio everywhere YOU
want to go.

Click here to check out the new C.Crane catalog (PDF).

Thank you for sharing this, Ed. I agree–I think this is a brilliant cover! If you’d like to see the 1984 commercial that inspired this design, click here to view on YouTube or watch below:

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Halloween: A playground for shortwave pirates!

Halloween is typically the most active day of the year for shortwave pirates. Halloween falls on Thursday, October 31st, and although this is the middle of the week, expect pirates to emerge like The Great Pumpkin!

Here are three things you’ll want to do Halloween night:

1. Hobby Broadcasting Blog

Check out Andrew Yoder’s pirate radio blog ,the Hobby Broadcasting blog.

Andrew is the author of the Pirate Radio Annual and a guru on shortwave pirate radio. Andrew has already logged some Halloween stations this weekend.

2. HF Underground


Follow real-time pirate radio spots and loggings on the HF Underground discussion forum. Chris Smolinski at HFU typically posts post-Halloween pirate stats on the SWLing Post as well–always a fascinating overview.

3. Listen!

Photo by Bill Patalon

Listen for pirate radio stations today and throughout the weekend!  Turn on your radio anytime today, but especially around twilight and tune between 6,920 – 6,980 kHz. Pirates broadcast on both AM and SSB; you’re bound to hear a few. If you’re brand new to pirate radio listening, you might read my pirate radio primer by clicking here. I will be listening until late in the evening.

Happy Halloween to all! 

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FTIOM & UBMP, November 3-9

From the Isle of Music, November 3-9:
By popular demand, we repeat our recent episode with Los Hermanos Arango.
The broadcasts take place:
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 Sofia, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
If you don’t have a shortwave radio or are out of range, you can listen live to an uplink from a listening radio in the Netherlands during the broadcast at
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC (New UTC) on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US).
If you don’t have a shortwave or are out of range, you can listen to a live stream from the WBCQ website here (choose 7490):
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
If you don’t have a shortwave radio or are out of range, you can listen live to an uplink from a listening radio in Europe.
Visit our Facebook page at

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, November 3 and 5:
Episode 137 presents Lautari music from Romania.
The transmissions take place:
1.Sundays 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
If you don’t have a shortwave or are out of range, you can listen to a live stream from the WBCQ website here (choose 7490):
2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe.
If you don’t have a shortwave radio or are out of range, you can listen live to an uplink from different web SDRs in Europe.
Visit our Facebook Page at

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Help Paul identify this antique radio device

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who writes:

I hope you’re well. Thanks for all you do with SWLing Post etc. I’m so grateful to you for the consistency with which you update that site. Almost every day there’s something of interest to me.

I wanted to see if this might be something you and your wonderful army of readers could help with?

There’s this family photograph of my granddad (see above). It would have been taken in London in about the late 1920s or early 1930s, and it looks kind of like it’s posed or in a studio. But they seem to be listening to a radio device, and I wondered if anyone out there might be able to identify it? Perhaps there’s a whole genre of studio photographs of the era which showcased new technology? Or maybe not…? Any ideas would be so welcome!

Kind regards,

Post readers: If you can help Paul, please comment!

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Jack’s Mediumwave Lazy Susan Mag Loop System

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jack Blanke (WB5LVP), who writes:

I stole this idea from another SWLing Post contributor and I hope he won’t mind.

However, placing the Ferrite Antenna near the center of the loop does enhance its performance and the Lazy Susan was something I had been using long ago to quickly re-orient the radio azmuth to accommodate the signal source. But, like my mentor, minor improvements like this can really enhance performance of smaller portables on medium wave. He used cardboard and I used scrap wood from the work shop. Either way, not much money was involved in this minor enhancement.

These inexpensive additions to the listening post really make the PL380 and the AN200 combo provide hours of enjoyment from medium wave DXing. Now,if only I can find the gent’s name who came up with this little gizmo, I’d love to thank him!!


Thanks for sharing your setup, Jack! I can assure you that Rich Stahl (WR3V) will be happy you “stole” his idea. That’s what it’s all about–helping each other! I love the little table/stand you built for the portable and how it perfectly accommodates the loop. Great job!

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Encore – Classical Music on Radio Tumbril – Sunday and Friday

Encore – Classical Music this weekend is being broadcast as usual by Channel 292 (Europe) on 6070 kHz at 15:00 UTC Sunday 27th of October.
And by WBCQ on 7490 kHz at 00:00 – 01:00 UTC Monday 28th of October
There is a repeat on 6070 kHz on Friday 1st November at 19:00 UTC.
This week’s programme starts with some Wagner – the Act 3 Prelude to Parsifal followed by a recording of Bernstein conducting some Rossini – another overture – William Tell. Then we have a flute sonata by Thomas Hoppe and a polonaise by Chopin. Next part of a double bass concerto, some Greek music and a Monteverdi vespers. Finishing with part of a Schubert piano sonata and a movement from a Beethoven string quartet.
Both Channel 292 and WBCQ can be pulled live off the internet if the reception is poor in your location. Easy to find their sites with a google search.
Thank you for spreading the word about Encore – Classical Music on Shortwave. And thank you to everyone for letting us know how well the signal is received where you live.
Brice Avery – Encore – Radio Tumbril.
Regular Broadcast times are:
15:00 – 16:00 UTC Sunday, and repeated 19:00 – 20:00 UTC Friday on 6070 kHz (Channel 292 Germany).
00:00 – 01:00 UTC Monday on 7490 kHz 9WBCQ – Maine).
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