Radio Waves: La TopoRadio Radio, Campaign Promise for ABC Shortwave Restoration, Malahit-DDC Early Review, and “Cordial Cold War” Now Free on Amazon

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors NT, Mark Fahey, and @SAKURARadiochan for the following tips:

Launching La TopoRadio (Radio Preservation Task Force)

The RPTF is pleased to announce the launch of La TopoRadio— the best place on the web to explore historical research about Spanish-language radio. La TopoRadio is an interactive map that lets users discover publications about historic and contemporary stations.

The project supports the goal of the RPTF to bring attention to the multifaceted history of radio in the United States. Spanish-language broadcasters have been part of the nation’s heritage since the dawn of the radio era, but this history is often sidelined in official accounts of radio history. Spanish-language programs continue to grow in popularity and geographic reach even while English-language listenership has declined. [Continue reading at the RPTF website…]

Labour promises $2m shortwave radio restoration (Tescun Radios Australia)

Note: the following was copied from the newsletter of Australian radio retailer, Tecsun Radios Australia.

A controversial decision in 2017 lead to the ABC turning off its domestic shortwave radio service, much to the disappointment and anger of remote listeners. It’s reasoning for turning off the shortwave broadcasts was that it would only affect a small number of listeners and in fact save operating costs of $1.9M, which could be re-invested in providing infrastructure of digital services located in populated regional areas.

Many industry groups were outraged, particularly in remote areas of the Northern Territory where residents had come to rely on the service as their only regular source of news and entertainment.

In February 2011, cyclone Yasi crossed the Australian east coast between Cairns and Townsville, causing enormous damage and knocking out all local communications.

Radio Australia carried ABC Queensland coverage of the storm, which was extraordinary.

[…]The federal Labour party has announced that if elected next year, they will provide the ABC with $2M in funding to re-establish the shortwave funding across the territory. [Continue reading…]

A review of the soon to be released Malahit-DDC portable SDR (

The Malahit DDC is the latest in portable SDR packages coming out of the Russian designer and manufacturer known as ‘Malahiteam’.  In the past they released the hugely successfull Malhit-DSP. We want to thank Manuel Lausmann for sending us a video and review that comprehensively looks at one of the first Malahit DDC devices that have been received. Manuel writes:

[…]The comparison took into account the results from the DDC versions with two ADC versions – AD9649 and MDRA1A16FI.

1) the sensitivity is about the same, there is no difference.

2) The dynamic range blocking is a big difference in favor of DDC. It is caused by the properties of the radio reception path and not by the difference in the classes of radio receivers. This has the practical advantage that a radio receiver with large antennas can be used under difficult conditions, for example when it is necessary to receive a weak signal in the presence of a strong interfering one.

3) The dynamic range of third order intermodulation is a big difference in favor of DDC. It is caused by the properties of the radio reception path and not by the difference in the classes of radio receivers. The practical advantage of this is the lack of parasitic or false reception channels. [Click here to read the full article and watch the video at…]

Cordial Cold War: Cultural Actors in India and the German Democratic Republic (

Note that “Cordial Cold War: Cultural Actors in India and the German Democratic Republic” is now free in eBook form on Here’s the description:

Cordial Cold War examines cultural entanglements, in various forms, between two distant yet interconnected sites of the Cold War—India and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Focusing on theatre performances, film festivals, newsreels, travel literature, radio broadcasting, cartography and art as sites of engagement, the chapters spotlight spaces of interaction that emerged in spite of, and within, the ambits of Cold War constraints. The inter-disciplinary collection sheds light on the variegated nature of translocal cultural entanglements, at work even before the GDR was officially recognized as a sovereign state by India in 1972. By foregrounding the role of actors, their practices and the sites of their entanglement, the contributions show how creative energies were mobilized to forge zones of friendship, mutual interest and envisioned solidarities.

This volume situates actors from the Global South as mutual co-shapers of the cultural Cold War, therein shifting its Euro-American and Soviet epicenters to Non-Aligned India. Going beyond official state channels of international political dialogue, it locates cordiality in the micro-histories and everyday experiences of interpersonal engagements, bringing to focus a hitherto underexplored chapter of India–Germany entanglements.

Click here to view on

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9 thoughts on “Radio Waves: La TopoRadio Radio, Campaign Promise for ABC Shortwave Restoration, Malahit-DDC Early Review, and “Cordial Cold War” Now Free on Amazon

  1. Mike N7MSD

    ‘there are no votes in broadcasting overseas’

    That seems to apply to a lot of others like Radio Canada Int’l as well.

    Surprised that’s all anyone has commented on (so far). I think this and the Malahit release are related in that it appears WW3 is about to start or at least the pre-game:

    1. When the space-capable powers start knocking each others satellites off the air & cutting the under-sea cables (as the Tonga volcano has conveniently reminded us all), the only reliable thing left will be short wave for broadcast and some 2-way. There is not remotely enough bandwidth to go around, though, so the 2-way needs may knock out the broadcasting.

    2. When the New USSR invades Ukraine to make them join the New Warsaw Pact (I guess Kyiv pact this time), all exports to the West will stop, so all those Malahit orders that didn’t make it out in time will be stuck, among everything else. There’s also the firmware which becomes a problem during a war; we’re already there with routers and the like.

  2. Dafydd Jones

    I must say I’m pretty dubious Radio Australia will ever return to shortwave in the form we shortwave enthusiast’s miss so much! I think the last chance was before the election when Labor made that pledge about restoring it. It didn’t win them the election,though. Like allot of sw fans I’m always hoping something will happen to reverse the trend! Like vinyl making a come back! (I loved my record player when I was a youngster,but I’m stcking to cd’s!) Of course,for me it’s the hobby & the nostalgia! I like the sound of it. The idea of those radio signal’s travelling thousand’s of miles to reach me. And the ambience that comes with it! Listening down a telephone line just isn’t much of a hobby! The loss of Radio Australia on shortwave is far worse for the people who depended on it & might need it,when there is an emergency of some kind. As has been the case. I suppose I’ll have to make do with China Radio International (I think it’s China Plus,now?) in the day,if I want to listen to shortwave in english?! The signal blast’s in from the transmitter in Kashgen every morning. It’s all very professional;and it is shortwave! (They seem to have turned it into a rolling current affairs/news station). I wonder how many other’s will tune into these programs now that China has filled in where Radio Australia left off?! They say China just used it to jam frequencies;but allot tof people will listen,if there’s nothing else. Okay,and a quite interesting listen,as long as you bear in mind,the sort of government they have! But it’s the drip,drip effect! And I do think this is where those behind the switch off of Radio Australia mad a big mistake!
    Thank You for the SWLing Post,by the way! A wonderful resource!

    1. Dafydd Jones

      Another speliing mistake! Near the end! I’ve got hardly any room to type here!! Radio Australia “mad” sound’s kind of right to me,in the circumstances!! (smiley).

  3. Dafydd Jones

    I’d loveto see (hear!) Radio Australia back on shortwave,but I’ll believe it when I see (hear!) it! I think the last chance was when Labor first made that pledge! But they lost thev election! As Jerome pointed out,it’s been turned off & it will cost allot of money to “switch it” back on! Although,politician’s,undoubtedly,find equivalent amount’s,and more,for far less useful,and questionable things. Once,a transmitter is switched off they don’t usually switch it back on,or build a new equivalent,anyway! In the meantime,I wish All India Radio would resume their english language transmission’s. Yes,it’s a little soporific,but they play some nice Indian classical music,which makes for a nice soothing background ambience,in the summer;and there’s not allot I can get in english,on shortwave,on my portable communication’s receiver,these days. And the infrastructure is still there. All they need to do is switch it back on! And that’s another case in point! Will they? Won’t they? They’ve been under allot of pressure to cease shortwave broadcasting! The only reason it seems to have kept going is because of disagreement between Prasar Bharati (the parent body of AIR) and AIR itself. Even if they do resume english broadcast’s,how long before the naysayer’s & cost’s/budget cut’s convince the waverer’s that it’s time to switch off?! The big difference is that it’s only been suspended,so all you have to do in that case is “resume”! If Radio Australia were to resume on shortwave it would be unprecented for such a major broacaster! But,apparently (I just looked) the Shepparton transmitter’s are still extant………so far!!

    1. Ron F

      Unfortunately the Shepparton site is no longer owned by Broadcast Australia / BAI – it was sold in (I think) 2020 to property developers. There’s an historic overlay on part of the site that *may* protect the main building from demolition (and afaik a local amateur radio group is still pushing for it to become a museum) – but the antennas will almost certainly come down as soon as they start work on the housing estate.

      Unless the Government or BAI (or similar) buy it back from the developers, there’s approximately zero chance of Radio Australia or anyone else resuming transmission from there.

  4. Adam

    Nothing to contribute other than Radio Australia was my very first logged shortwave station. it was 1992 and I had just purchased a multi-band transistor radio. I was working graveyard shift at “the full service station” in the city. Around 2AM, I pulled the $9 flea market (4 D-cells included) transistor out of the trunk of my ’62 Biscayne and started dialing around.

    It only took a few seconds and I heard Australian accents…. I thought for sure it was a local station with some Australians chatting but lo and behold right before the hour the Radio Australia ID and interval signal came on… the audio was rich and I was immediately struck the coolness of it.

    Fast forward 30 years and I’m an amateur radio operator now. I’d love for shortwave to make a grand return but I understand the costs compared to the Internet are a bit exorbitant.

  5. Bill Lee

    Nice little 30 page sheet on shortwave propagation and sources at the Tecsun Australia site
    on the push for shortwave (for domestic use, but…..(wink, wink))
    in the link on that page
    with one SLG version 10 of Shortwave Listeners Guide
    as a good 28 page general explanation of E-layers, what is there etc. etc. that you can hand to the few people who don’t know about shortwave, 😉

    Of course Tecsun Australia shows the complete line of radios and accessories on other pages too,

  6. Tim Myers N4TCM

    Glad to see ABC radio possibly coming back on shortwave. Maybe someday Radio Australia will return on shortwave as well. One of my favorites in early mornings hear in the states. Saturday mornings on 19 meters was the best.

    1. Jerome van der Linden

      I can’t see Radio Australia making it back on air. A wiley Australian politician is said to have made the statement many years ago ‘there are no votes in broadcasting overseas’. So Australian politicians are unlikely to vote to allocate $$ to build a new transmitting station. I also agree that it would be great if this were to happen, and there is a real case to provide broadcasting services to the Pacific area where many people don’t have reliable radio services, particularly such as even today where a Volcano & Tsunami is affecting communications around Tonga.
      I do agree with the other comment that the services in the Northern Territory, if they can be restarted, should be tested at least with DRM so that we will have more than one program (ie not just ABC) for people in remote areas to listen to.


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