Author Archives: Thomas

Radio Waves: Absolute Radio’s Switch-Off, Pirate Database, Little Pea Island, Zero Power Transmitting, and is AM Radio Dead?

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dennis Dura, JP, NT, and Paul for the following tips:


Hear Absolute Radio’s 200KW Transmitter Switch Off Forever (YouTube)

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Don Moore’s Photo Album: Cuenca, Ecuador (Part One)

Cuenca Cathedral

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Don Moore–noted author, traveler, and DXer–for the latest installment of his Photo Album guest post series:


Don Moore’s Photo Album: Cuenca, Ecuador (Part One)

by Don Moore

For me travel is all about seeing new places and having new experiences. When I retired in 2017 my plan was to spend the next fifteen years visiting new countries and new places in countries I already knew. Is that a viable goal? Three years ago while crossing the border from Ecuador to Colombia I shared a taxi with Dutch man who, like me, was traveling overland by bus with just a knapsack and a suitcase. And two weeks earlier he had celebrated his eightieth birthday. I don’t remember his name but he’s my hero.

The pandemic put a pause on travel but I’m happy to be back on the road. I’m currently in Ecuador, the country where I’ve spent more time than anywhere except the United States and Honduras. After landing in Quito at the beginning of December I visited four provinces I hadn’t been to before, including spending three nights at the bohemian beach town of Montañita where I had some good DX. I like seeing new places but there is also something to be said for returning to a familiar place that holds a special meaning. For me that place is where I am now – Cuenca, Ecuador.

My ex-wife and I finished our Peace Corps service in 1984, flew home to get married, and then in January 1985 flew to Quito, Ecuador to begin a long journey that would take us overland all the way to Buenos Aires and back. On our way to Peru in late February we stopped for a few days in Cuenca and fell in love with the little city. We visited Cuenca again in July at the end of our travels. When we left I knew we would be back but I never could have imagined the circumstances that would lead to that next visit. In 1997 we returned with our seven-year-old daughter to adopt a six-year-old son. We spent almost three weeks in Cuenca doing all the required paperwork but we had no complaints as we enjoyed being there so much. I clearly remember sitting in a park one day and commenting that Cuenca would be a perfect place to retire in someday. I was only ten years ahead of my time.

La Voz del Río Tarqui

Cuenca was home to several shortwave broadcasters over the decades but La Voz del Río Tarqui was probably the best known to my generation of DXers. The station was founded in 1960 by Manuel Pulla but didn’t begin its shortwave service on 3285 kHz until 1982. My loggings of the station run from July 1982 through 1997 but I believe they were on shortwave for a few more years after that. (Don’t confuse La Voz del Río Tarqui with Radio Tarqui, a sometimes broadcaster from Quito on 4970 kHz.)

La Voz del Río Tarqui in 1985. The facilities inside were no more impressive than the outside of the building was.

La Voz del Río Tarqui takes its name from the famous Battle of the River Tarqui. After the new countries of South America gained their independence from Spain there was often disagreement over just where the boundaries were that they had inherited from Spanish rule. Ecuador was in a union with present-day Colombia and Venezuela until 1830 and during this time Peru claimed much of present-day southern Ecuador, including Cuenca and Guayaquil. In 1828 a large Peruvian army occupied Loja, to the south, and a few months later marched north to complete their conquest. In February 1829 General Antonio de Sucre, a hero of the war of independence, met the Peruvians on the banks of the Tarqui, twenty-five kilometers south of Cuenca. Both sides suffered heavy losses but Sucre’s army routed the Peruvians. Cuenca, Guayaquil, and Loja remained a part of Ecuador. Continue reading

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DRM Test Broadcast on 954 kHz in the Czech Republic

DRM Test Broadcast on 954 kHz from Transmitter in Czech Republic (DRM Consortium)

DRM is now on air in the Czech Republic, on a medium wave channel that used to carry a powerful AM signal. It is broadcast on 954kHz (power reported as 3kW) from the ?eské Bud?jovice transmitter site, located in the South Bohemian region re-using the old AM antenna with a modulator connected to the existing 30 kW AM transmitter.

The DRM transmission on 954kHz was even received in the country using a KiwiSDR.

This is a trial of DRM within the Czech Republic and is scheduled to come to an end possibly in the second half of 2023. The content is supplied by Radiožurnal, a news and journalism station that broadcasts 24 hours a day covering events at home and abroad. The station also carries music in between the news segments.

One of the listeners receiving the DRM signal in the country reported: “From my listening on the remote receivers, it seems to me that a few low-powered AM transmitters could cover the whole country”. [Click here to read the original article…]

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Carlos’ Shortwave Art and recording of BBC World Service (Jan 27, 2023)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares his radio log art of a recent broadcast from the BBC World Service (Somali Language Service).

Carlos’ goal is to vividly illustrate the broadcaster’s message in his own unique artistic style and is not a reflection of his own beliefs or those of the SWLing Post. His objective is for his artwork to add historical context and put a visual with the news, reporting, and broadcast content:


Carlos notes:

BBC shortwave broadcasting to Somalia.
Morning bulletin news.
Interview about Daesh’s regional leader Bilal al-Sudani killed by US forces in Somalia.
Listened in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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Sangean WFR-39 review update

Some of you know I’ve been working on a review of the Sangean WFR-39 WiFi/Internet radio. I’ve placed that review on hold as I’ve just learned that Sangean is working on updates to address a number of the issues I discovered while evaluating this unit over the past three months.

Besides an overly sluggish CPU, there are distracting audio artifacts present in the audio amplification chain when in Internet radio mode.

I’ll plan to publish a full review once they have updated and tested the new WFR-39 firmware. I think Sangean is an excellent radio manufacturer so I’m happy they’re addressing these issues in what would otherwise be a capable portable WiFi radio.

Stay tuned!

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Radio Waves: Shively Labs Broadcast Antennas, Fedora SWL, F-150 Lightning AM, and Young Listeners on the Decline

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Public radio engineers await fate of major antenna maker (Current)

The potential sale of one of the country’s only major manufacturers of high-power FM broadcast antennas is causing concern among public radio engineers who have long depended on the company for challenging projects such as directional antennas and multistation combiner systems.

Antennas and combiners made by Shively Labs carry the signals of many major stations, from Boston’s WBUR to Dallas’ KERA/KXT to Seattle’s KUOW. Shively’s headquarters in Maine boasts one of the few test ranges needed to fully prepare complex directional antenna systems for real-world performance.

Founded in 1963 by former RCA engineer Ed Shively, the company has been owned since 1980 by Howell Laboratories, an engineering firm that now has a wide range of product lines. Those include water purification systems, dehydrators and an increasing amount of contract work for the U.S. Navy.

While its military and commercial marine business has grown, broadcast antennas have become a smaller piece of the company’s portfolio, said Shively VP Angela Gillespie. [Continue reading…]

How to become a Shortwave listener (SWL) with Fedora Linux and Software Defined Radio (Fedora Magazine)

Catching signals from others is how we have started communicating as human beings. It all started, of course, with our vocal cords. Then we moved to smoke signals for long-distance communication. At some point, we discovered radio waves and are still using them for contact. This article will describe how you can tune in using Fedora Linux and an SDR dongle.

My journey

I got interested in radio communication as a hobby when I was a kid, while my local club, LZ2KRS, was still a thing. I was so excited to be able to listen and communicate with people worldwide. It opened a whole new world for me. I was living in a communist country back then and this was a way to escape just for a bit. It also taught me about ethics and technology.

Year after year my hobby grew and now, in the Internet era with all the cool devices you can use, it’s getting even more exciting. So I want to show you how to do it with Fedora Linux and a hardware dongle. [Continue reading…]

Did AM Radio Just Get Hit By “Lightning”? (Radio World)

There’s something missing from the newest F-150 Lightning truck

These days, the auto industry is as disrupted as broadcast radio. Like the radio companies – a group of independent operators, each moving down a different pathway – automakers are highly individual companies. Continue reading

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Report and photos from first LRA 36 broadcast of the season

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adrian Korol, who shares the following announcement. Please note that this announcement has been machine translated–click here to read the original announcement in Spanish (PDF):


First Short Wave Emission of Radio Nacional Arcangel San Gabriel Radio LRA 36 From the Esperanza Antarctic Base

Last Saturday, January 21, at 12:15 (15:15 UTC) Argentine time, the Antarctic shortwave radio station LRA 36 “Radio Nacional Arcángel San Gabriel”, located at Base Esperanza, began the program “Uniendo Voces”, from the cycle 2023 summer special of the RAE service, Radio Argentina abroad POR 15476 kHz (usb)

The program was carried out by Juan C. Benavente, a member of the Joint Antarctic Command and a professor at the National University of Quilmes; Marcelo Ayala, a journalist from LRA 1 Radio Nacional Buenos Aires, and Principal Corporal Nicole Valdebenito in the technical operation, a member of the Antarctic staff of that Argentine base. The proposal and general coordination is in charge of the director of RAE, the journalist and host Adrián Korol, who for years has coordinated the annual broadcasts of LRA 36.

In this first program, the Antarctic Joint Commander, Brigadier General Edgar Fernando Calandín; the head of the Esperanza base and current director of LRA 36, Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo Cordero Scandolo. For his part, the director of RAE spoke by telephone on the air before the closing of the program, emphasizing the importance and international repercussions of these wave broadcasts.

The broadcast was followed by diexers, radio listeners and radio amateurs from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, the United States, Spain, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, Belgium and France. Online SDR receivers (kiwisdr and websdr) in Latin America were active during the transmission with all their channels occupied and tuned almost entirely to the LRA36 frequency.

In addition, the Antarctic station LRA 36 is the only one that transmits on shortwave from Antarctica and also does so on FM for local coverage on the 96.7 MHz frequency, and on the Internet, from the site www.radionacional.com.ar/emisoras/Antarctica.

With the broadcast on Saturday, the start of the radio programming of the Special Summer Cycle is completed, which is part of the Antarctic Culture Agenda 2023 “Culture is Sovereignty”, an initiative for the sixth continent developed between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Defense, through the Joint Antarctic Command (COCOANTAR).

The other radio activities in the cycle include the broadcast of “Panorama de Noticias”, hosted by journalist Marcelo Ayala, which is broadcast on LRA 1 in Buenos Aires, and the activation of station LU1ZV from Base Esperanza on amateur radio bands.

The airing was in charge of Nicole Valdebenito and Esteban Romero, members of the Navy and Air Force respectively.

ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, a new 90-minute broadcast will be made on short wave on 15476 kHz (USB) at 12 local time (15 UTC) with repetition at 4 local time (19 UTC)

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