Reminder: Help record the 2020 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast today (June 21)

Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica (Source: British Antarctic Survey Team)

Every year, the BBC broadcasts a special program to the scientists and support staff in the British Antarctic Survey Team. The BBC plays music requests and sends special messages to the small team of 40+ located at various Antarctic research stations. Each year, the thirty minute show is guaranteed to be quirky, nostalgic, and certainly a DX-worthy catch!

After successful listener events from years past, I’m once again calling on all SWLing Post readers and shortwave radio listeners to make a short recording (say, 30-60 seconds) of the BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast today and share it here at the Post.

Important: Time and frequencies

There has been some confusion about the broadcast time.

Trusted DXers have reported the time as 21:30 UTC–this is the time when the broadcast has taken place in years past, no doubt coinciding with events at the BAS bases in Antarctica.

The BBC website has reported the broadcast time as 21:30 BST which would equate to 20:30 UTC.

I will listen at both times, but perhaps this is when the BBC are to broadcast the stream online? Likely a mistake on their part.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who confirms the three frequencies the BBC plan to use this year:

  • 5790 kHz from Woofferton UK
  • 7360 kHz from Woofferton UK
  • 9580 kHz from Ascension Island

Recording the Midwinter Broadcast has become an SWLing Post community tradition! Read our previous post for more details. We will also publish a reminder on June 21, prior to the broadcast.

I’m especially fond of this broadcast as it always falls on my birthday and–this year–Father’s day as well!

If you would like to participate in our BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast recording event, please read our original post which includes all relevant details.

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16 thoughts on “Reminder: Help record the 2020 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast today (June 21)

  1. Norge

    listened and recorded here in South Germany
    5790 kHz SINPO 54333 S90+20
    7360 kHz SINPO 54444
    9580 kHZ SINPO 34232

    R75 und Airspy Discovery with MA305FT

    73 N.

  2. Thomas Post author

    Thank you to everyone for the recordings! I will start formatting a post to publish within the next couple of weeks. It does take many hours to put it all together, so I appreciate your runderstanding!

    We’ve gotten an amazing response this year!


  3. neil

    In Hampshire ( Southern UK) 7360 was S9 & 5790 was S9 with some fading towards the end on 7360.
    Listened on a XHData D-808 and on my mcHF SDR QRP transceiver.
    There was a pronounced HUM on 5790 that was also in the background of 7360, but not as pronounced.

    Recorded the whole thing fro the mcHF in HDSDR the first couple of minutes on 5790 until the hum was too annoying, and the moved to 7360.
    if anyone wants the the HDSDR format files let me know here & I will send a link

    It was nice to hear Sir David Attenborough in there sending a greeting 🙂

  4. Richard Langley

    Here in NB, about 100 km from the Atlantic coast, 7360 kHz was reasonably good and recorded for archiving later (still recording my usual Sunday night WRMI broadcasts on 7780 kHz so not played back yet). Also checked 5790 kHz, where no audio could be heard except for a heterodyne, and 9580 kHz, which was weak.
    Using recordings made using the U. Twente SDR receiver:
    5790 kHz: Transmitter on at 21:29 UTC and test tone started about a half-second later; following the test tone, the program began at about 21:30 UTC with no beginning missing words this year. Very good signal. Program ended with “White Christmas” by Gypsy jazz guitarist Baro Ferret.
    7360 kHz: Similar beginning to 5790 kHz. No words missed. Also a very good signal.
    9580 kHz: Transmitter on late at about 21:30:12 UTC. Audio starts about 10 seconds later, missing the first part of the broadcast. A bit sloppy! Signal fairly good but not as good as that on 5790 and 7360 kHz.

  5. David Elden

    Received in Ottawa, Canada using an XHDATA D-808 with ~15 feet of wire clipped to the telescopic antenna. Location was on a balcony, east facing about 20 feet above the ground. Nothing heard on 5790, faint signal on 9580 and readable with variable fading on 7360 (maybe S3R3-4). Recording here:

    1. David Elden

      Apologies for the double post, first time poster here and wasn’t sure how long posts took to appear 🙂
      Anyone know how reception was at the S Pole?

  6. Rob

    Loc: MS Gulf Coast, 50 mi E. of New Orleans
    Freq: 9580 had a detectible signal; nothing heard on others.
    SINPO: 15421

    At best I could tell that there was a signal, and could discern male from female voices. Beyond that, nothing useable. I hope that the good folks down Antarctic way had better luck listening. And here’s to better propagation next year!

    1. Rob

      Ah, forgot several other key points:
      Receiver: Yaesu FTdx-1200
      Antenna: low 40m inverted-V
      Local Conditions: small town/suburban, fairly clean on RFI; clear weather

  7. David Elden

    Thanks for the heads up on this, was able to get a signal in Ottawa, Canada using an XHDATA D-808 with ~15 feet of wire clipped to the telescopic antenna. Location was on a balcony, east facing about 20 feet above the ground. Nothing heard on 5790, faint signal on 9580 and readable with variable fading on 7360 (maybe S3R3-4).
    Link to a recording:


    LOCATION: Buenos Aires – Argentina
    DATE: 21/06/2020
    TIME: 2130 – 2155 UTC
    FREQUENCY: 7360 kHz (inaudible on 5790 / 9580
    SINPO: 23332
    RECEIVER: SDRplay Model: RSP2pro
    ANTENNA: Homemade 50 feet sloping Long Wire and 9:1 balun, beaming 140-320 degrees
    CONDITIONS: Urban environment, very high EMI interference

    With good will and headphones able to pick up the music and a couple of greetings, the reception was barely understandable.

    WALDO (former Merchant Marine Radio Officer)
    CX2AD from Montevideo Uruguay currently living in Buenos Aires

    Have recording and print-screen. Did not find how to up load to report.

  9. Roger Fitzharris

    Location SW Ohio, USA
    Receivers: Tecsun PL-880 and CountyComm GP-5/SSB
    Indoor Longwire Antenna: 5.5-m (18-feet)
    Best Frequency Received: 7360 kHz
    Distance from Wooferton Transmitting Site: ~3800 miles
    SINPO Rating 13232
    Comments: Thunderstorms in the Ohio Valley region. QRN was severe. No audio recorded.

  10. Ayar Alazzawi

    I have been scanning all 3 frequencies since 20:30 UTC using 2 different radios and antennas but there is absolutely nothing to receive here in Switzerland!
    Radios in use are:
    – Elad FDM-S2 with a steerable Wellbrook loop.
    – JRC NRD-525 with a 40m dipole.

    Could it be that the BBC made a mistake regarding the time? Could it be same as previous years at 21:30 GMT (or UTC) instead of BST?!

    1. Nick B.

      Yes, BBC did make a mistake with the time on their web page announcement. 7360 in use by Vatican Radio up until 2130.


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