Radio Waves: New Massive Over-The-Horizon Radar, Evolution of Receivers, Tour of Eisenhower’s Air Force One, and ABC on Cricket in 1930s

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

US Begins Installing ‘Mighty’ Over-The-Horizon Radar In Palau That Can Detect Objects Thousands of KMs Away! (The EurAsian Times)

The United States has begun work on the deployment of a new long-range over-the-horizon radar system for the United States Air Force, which will be placed on the Pacific island of Palau.

The sensor station, known as the Tactical Mobile Over-the-Horizon Radar, or TACMOR, will be set up on the highly strategic island of Palau. The sensor station intends to improve the situational awareness of US and allied forces operating in the region in the air and maritime domain.

The Department of Defense announced on December 28 that it had granted Gilbane’s Federal business a $118.4 million contract to develop the structural foundation of a new US Air Force radar station to be built in the Republic of Palau.

Gilbane Federal will build reinforced concrete pads and other foundational components as part of the firm-fixed-price contract to set up the Tactical Mobile Over-the-Horizon Radar system, the Department of Defense said.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific acts as the contracting activity for what is known as the TACMOR infrastructure project. The work is anticipated to be finished by June 2026. [Continue reading…]

The Evolution of Radio Receivers (Euro Scientist)

Radio receiver is one such gadget that people have been using for many generations. After the invention of radio communication by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895, the first radio receiver was also invented by Marconi. A radio receiver is an electronic device that can only receive radio signals and can convert the radio signals to audio and sound. A radio receiver can receive radio signals of various frequencies by tuning to a particular frequency. These frequencies are of two types – Amplitude Modulation (AM) and Frequency Modulation (FM). A radio receiver capable of receiving any analog audio on AM/FM frequency is called analog radio receiver and for many years people were using analog radio receivers.

Since the invention of analog radio by Marconi in 1895, many companies started manufacturing radio receivers. First came the De Forest RJ6 in 1916, and later many analog radio receivers like Sony TR-63 (1957), and H.H. Scott 350 (1961) came in the market, and they were the first analog radio receivers of that kind. After the emergence of digital electronics and digital radio transmission, digital radio receivers started to capture the market – receivers capable of receiving Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) – digital radio transmission. In 2003, Pure launched the PocketDAB 1000 and It was the world’s first pocket digital radio capable of playing DAB radio stations. However, radio receivers became diversifying when internet technology was implemented in them, which made it possible for the companies to introduce internet radio receivers. An internet radio receiver can be either an app of a computer or can be a standalone receiver, connected to the internet to receive internet radio stations. Kerbango internet radio receiver from 3com was the first standalone internet radio receiver of 21th century. This change in the technology of radio receivers even went beyond internet radio – after the arrival of Software Defined Radio (SDR).

An SDR receiver is a radio receiver which can receive both analog and digital radio transmission but can be configured and controlled using software. This became possible after the introduction of System-on-a-Chip (SoC) fabrication technology, and the first SDR receiver was made with the BCM21551 processor by Broadcom in 2007. Such SDR radio receivers became popular among the ameture radio enthusiast and the USB dongle with the Realtek RTL2832U/R820T2 demodulator chip is often used by such enthusiasts as an SDR receiver. The technology of radio receivers has changed many times since the invention of the first radio receiver, and the radio receivers are becoming smarter with the advent of various new technologies. [Continue reading…]

Tour of Eisenhower’s Air Force One (YouTube)

Many thanks to Dan Robinson who shares this video and notes, “Perhaps somebody noticed, perhaps not. At approximately the 4:40 point in this tour of Eisenhower’s AF1, to 4:50, a Hallicrafters SX-62 in the wall. Have to wonder what reception was like up there!

How ABC commentators fabricated broadcasts during the synthetic cricket era of radio coverage (ABC News)

The radio murmurs with a commentator running through the placement of the field before describing the bowler steaming in to release a delivery defended for no run.

Everything is expressed in intricate detail — except the whole description is entirely fabricated.

With all the vision, instant replays and even decision review system that form part of today’s cricket coverage on radio and television, it’s hard to believe at one point cricket commentators made up entire overs.

A pencil being tapped on the table is the enduring imagery of synthetic cricket, but there was a lot more that went on to bring the broadcasts to life.

When shortwave radio wasn’t up to direct broadcasts from the United Kingdom in the 1930s, cricket commentators on the ABC had to use some creativity and ingenuity.

Cables arrived at the end of each over with information, but only detailed the shots where batsmen had made runs. Any dot balls were filled by the commentator with a bit of imagination.

But in the 1930s even the regularity of cables couldn’t be assured, meaning even more liberties were taken when there was a delay in communication being received.

Bernard Kerr was at the beginning of his career during the synthetic tests, before a lengthy career at the ABC. His job was to scribe down the cables sent direct from the London Post Office to the Sydney Post Office.

“We had our fun when the cables broke down,” he said when reflecting on the synthetic Tests years later.

“And of course we had some stories, made up, but nevertheless they were fairly true, such as a batsman having trouble with his glove, and then having trouble with the strap on his pad.” [Continue reading…]

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4 thoughts on “Radio Waves: New Massive Over-The-Horizon Radar, Evolution of Receivers, Tour of Eisenhower’s Air Force One, and ABC on Cricket in 1930s

  1. mangosman

    Over the horizon radar is not new. The Australian Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar commenced in 1969 and in stage 6 is currently being digitised. One of its important tasks is to monitor illegal fishing to the North of Australia. The coast is so long it cannot be effectively be monitored for illegal and external threats except for remote monitoring.
    Search “Jindalee”, Wikipedia has a good history and there are some other sources as well.

      1. 13dka

        That was my first thought as well. But it’s probably more likely that it’ll be just yet another OTHR like all the others we currently have to bear with, just with a new location reflecting current strategical requirements.


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