Author Archives: Thomas

Voice of America Museum director to present history of Bethany transmitting station

(Source: Cincinnati.com)

If you’ve ever wondered why the VOA-Bethany Station needed a secured, square mile of land surrounding its 1944 art deco building in West Chester, Jack Dominic has the answer.

Dominic, the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting director, will speak on the “History of the VOA-Bethany Station and the VOA Museum Today” Wednesday, April 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the MidPointe Library in West Chester’s community room.

The free event is the second of a four-part series, “The Voice of Truth in America: Celebrating 75 Years of the VOA Bethany Station,” with the MidPointe Library System.

The VOA museum hosts other free events this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the VOA-Bethany Station, which now houses the Cold War-era history and broadcasting museum.

“From World War II through the Cold War, the VOA-Bethany Station played a vastly important role in transmitting real news via shortwave radio to people living in countries that lacked a free press,” said Ken Rieser, VOA museum board president. “And it all started here in Cincinnati, with two brothers who developed the technology that evolved into the commercial radio industry.”[…]

The VOA museum will host its fourth annual “75 Years of Rockin’ the Radio” fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 21, with dinner and dancing. Sponsorships are now available.

Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 8070 Tylersville Road. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.

For a complete schedule of 2019 VOA museum events, “The Voice of Truth in America,” series and WCARA events, visit www.voamuseum.org, www.midpointelibrary.org and www.wc8VOA.org.

Read the full new release at Cincinnati.com.

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Video demonstrating SDRplay remote operation

The SDRplay RSPduo

(Source: Jon Hudson at SDRPlay)

This video guide demonstrates the new RSP TCP server software which is now included in the latest Raspberry Pi SD Card image. The video shows how easy it is to set up an RSP at a remote location for access over the internet.

Click here to view on YouTube.

The video uses a Raspberry Pi at the remote location, and a Windows PC running HDSDR back at home base.

We are only demonstrating the Raspberry Pi version of the server here. Also, we are demonstrating extended mode (enabling the full RSP ADC resolution which only works with software which supports an EXTIO interface). Other (non EXTIO compatible) RTL-SDR software will also run via the server on an RSP device – but in “normal mode” meaning that the data resolution will be restricted to 8 bits.

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Thrift Store Find: A $2.50 GE Super Radio II

A few weeks ago, I stopped by our local Habitat For Humanity ReStore searching for reclaimed building supplies.

This particular ReStore is one of the largest in the area–it has an amazing selection of building supplies, furniture, housewares, books and even music, but has a very small section dedicated to electronics which is primarily stocked with DVD players, VCRs and occasionally the odd component system. The person who sets the prices for electronics always over-inflates them so it seems items sit on the shelf for ages.

In all of the years I’ve visited this store, I’ve never found a portable radio of interest…until a few weeks ago.

As I passed by the shelf, a GE Super Radio II caught my eye. Cosmetically, it was in rough shape (in other words, “well-loved”).

I expected a $50 price tag but instead was surprised when I saw $2.50! I put on my reading glasses just to make sure I was reading it correctly.

I plugged the radio in and tested it on FM. It easily snagged a number of FM stations and the audio sounded amazing although the loudness, treble and bass pots were very scratchy.

The AM broadcast band worked as well, but the RFI/noise inside the retail warehouse was overwhelming.

I opened the back of the radio and found an immaculate battery compartment. Obviously, the previous owner was either diligent with removing cells when not in use, or never used batteries.

The antenna was in great shape and had no bends or breaks.

The speakers were in tact as well.

I took the radio to the counter and the guy who rang up the order said, “Well…she ain’t pretty, but for $2.50 how can you go wrong?

My thoughts exactly!

I brought the Super Radio II home with the idea of immediately cleaning her up (like David Korchin did with his “barn find” II), but I’ve had a couple intense travel and work weeks, so it had to wait.

Fast-forward to yesterday when my father-in-law was in town and stopped by for a visit.

He mentioned in passing that after his favorite public radio station decreased power from one of its translators, he could no longer receive it easily with his small AM/FM portable at home. Of course, I have at least four dozen radios here that could easily receive this station, but few of those include a power cord, are incredibly simple to operate and have room-filling audio.

I took a look at the GE Super Radio II, then a look at my father-in-law, and decided he needed it. I knew the ‘Super II would make him a happy man.

I quickly dusted off the chassis and cleaned the pots with DeOxit–it played like a new one.

I tuned to an FM station playing classical music, turned up the volume and my father-in-law beamed when he heard the rich, clear audio.

No doubt, this time-honored portable will get a lot of use and love in its second life.

If I’m being honest with myself, this might not have been a truly altruistic move. You see, when we do an overnight at my father-in-law’s house, I can now do a little AM DXing without having to lug one of my own receivers!

A win-win in my book.

Post Readers: Have you snagged a good radio deal lately? Please comment/brag with models and prices!


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Radio Mi Amigo to go offshore May 30 – June 2, 2019

(Source: Southgate ARC via Mike Hansgen)

Radio Mi Amigo to go offshore 30 May to 2 June

Five years after their success with  Mi Amigo 40 in Ostend, the Mi Amigo team set their sails for the beautiful Belgian seaside resort of   Blankenberge, to organise a week of transmissions, “live from the ship CASTOR”.

This will happen from Thursday 30 May to Sunday 2 June during the Blankenberg Havenfeesten”MI AMIGO 45″.

The Mi Amigo40 ship being used in 2019 is the  Castor,  an identical sister ship of Radio Caroline’s Ross Revenge tender,  ‘Bellatrix’ and of the Greenpeace ship the ‘Sirius’.

Details here:  https://worldofradio.co.uk/MiAmigo.html

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WWII Machine Shop Supervision film includes the Hammarlund Super Pro

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Colin Snow (KM6NTW), who notes that the following 1944 film “Maintaining Workers’ Interest” from the US Office of Education, features the Hammarlund Super Pro.

The video starts at the point in the film where the Super Pro is featured. To view the film from the beginning, click here.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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