Author Archives: Thomas

Can you identify this radio from the 1992 film, ‘Sneakers’–?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Emilio Ruiz, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I’m sending you and The SWLing Post readers these screenshots from the cult
movie Sneakers; a great movie about incipient world of hacker security
(phreaking, hacking, cryptography, etc).

In a scene with Robert Redford and Dan Aykroyd, it looks like a radio communications receiver in the background, but i don’t know what brand is.

Could you help for identification?

Great job spotting that radio in the background! Readers: please comment if you can help Emilio identify this rig!

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Back when Superboy encouraged kids to build radios with razor blades

Talk about hitting all of my nostalgia points! Hat tip to SWLing Post reader, Mitch, for sharing this ad from a 1960s comic book:


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The ALT-512: A new general coverage QRP transceiver

There’s a new QRP transceiver on the market: the twelve band ALT-512 by Aerial-51.

At first glance, you’ll see a similarity between the ALT-512 and the LnR Precision LD-11/Aerial-51 SKY-SDR. The LD-11 and SKY-SDR, are very similar, save the LD-11 is marketed to North America (via LnR) and the SKY-SDR to Europe. The SKY-SDR had several iterative upgrades, most importantly the dual-threaded software used in the firmware, which cut CPU latency in half. Both the LD-11, SKY-SDR and now the ALT-512 are made in Europe.

Click here to read my review of the LnR Precision LD-11.

ALT-512 Waterfall display (Photo: DJ0IP)

According to Aerial-51, the new ALT-512 is built on the LD-11/SKY-SDR platform, has the same chassis design but has many improvements over the SKY-SDR:

  • 4m Band
  • 2.4 in. Color Display
  • Improved receiver pre-amplifier
  • 2 transistors in the transmitter PA (was 1)
  • Waterfall in addition to the Pan-Adapter Bandscope
  • 4 additional front-panel buttons
  • User friendly front-panel adjustment of often used parameters (formerly embedded within the software menu)
  • FULL TS-2000 command set implementation
  • Built-in Sound Card; Digi Modes run using only one USB-2 cable connected to the PC. No additional hardware required.

If the ALT-512 performs as well as or better than its predecessor, it’ll certainly be a great little QRP radio and an excellent general coverage receiver for HF broadcast listening.

Pricing has not yet been posted, but Aerial-51 plans to make this transceiver available in the next few weeks.

Click here to check out the ALT-512 on the Aerial-51 website.

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Radio Caroline North via Ross Revenge for Easter fundraiser

(Source: Southgate ARC via Eric McFadden)

Join us this Easter, our 55th Birthday, for our Annual Fundraiser.

We will be broadcasting Radio Caroline North live from our radio ship, Ross Revenge, anchored in the estuary of the River Blackwater, from 9:00 am on Easter Friday until 2:00 pm on Easter Monday (all UK times).

You will be able to hear us on 1368 AM (courtesy of Manx Radio) in the north west of the UK (and parts of Ireland) and on our own 648 AM frequency in the south east, and also round the world online at www.radiocaroline.co.uk and on our mobile app.

In addition, you will be able to hear our regular Radio Caroline album format and Radio Caroline Flashback programmes on their normal channels, when they are not carrying the Radio Caroline North programmes.

It’s been quite a year, with our 648 AM and London DAB transmissions both building a substantial new audience for Radio Caroline.

However, with each expansion, our annual running costs increase substantially. And there’s lots more we would like to do.

This year, we have created a stylish Radio Caroline Bell teeshirt, based on a design that  was originally used for the Radio Caroline Roadshows.

Starting on Easter Friday, and ending at midnight UK time on Easter Monday, if you are able to make a one off donation of 25 Pounds or more, or join the Radio Caroline Support Group (for a minimum monthly donation of 7.50 Pounds, cancellable at any time), we will send you your Retro Radio Caroline Bell teeshirt.

And remember, donations of any amount will always be gratefully received.

The donation button will go live on our website early on Easter Friday.

After deducting the cost of the teeshirt, we are planning to use approximately one half of your donations to maintain and expand our broadcast operations, and the other half for the maintenance and upkeep of Ross Revenge.

Happy Easter!

Radio Caroline

www.radiocaroline.co.uk
www.facebook.com/radiocarolineofficial
twitter.com/theradcaroline

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Radio Doc: New York City’s pirates of the air

SWLing Post friend, David Goren (the same fellow behind Shortwaveology and the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map) has just produced and presented a BBC World Service documentary about the pirate radio scene in NYC.

Spoiler alert: it’s amazing–!

Below, I’ve included the description and audio links from the BBC World Service:

New York City’s pirates of the air

As the workday winds down across New York, you can tune in to a clandestine world of unlicensed radio stations; a cacophonous sonic wonder of the city. As listeners begin to arrive home, dozens of secret transmitters switch on from rooftops in immigrant enclaves. These stations are often called ‘pirates’ for their practice of commandeering an already licensed frequency.

These rogue stations evade detection and take to the air, blanketing their neighbourhoods with the sounds of ancestral lands blending into a new home. They broadcast music and messages to diverse communities – whether from Latin America or the Caribbean, to born-again Christians and Orthodox Jews.

Reporter David Goren has long followed these stations from his Brooklyn home. He paints an audio portrait of their world, drawn from the culture of the street. Vivid soundscapes emerge from tangled clouds of invisible signals, nurturing immigrant communities struggling for a foothold in the big city.

With thanks to KCRW and the Lost Notes Podcast episode Outlaws of the Airwaves: The Rise of Pirate Radio Station WBAD.

Producer/Presenter: David Goren

Click here to download New York City’s pirates of the air via the BBC World Service.

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