Author Archives: Thomas

The Voyager twins: weak signals and discovery from the depths of space

Artist’s concept of Voyager I (Source: NASA)

Yesterday, while listening to the BBC World Service, I heard this fascinating documentary focusing on the Voyager I and II spacecraft. It absolutely blows my mind that both of these spacecraft have been operating for 40 years and continue to send signals back to Earth. Talk about weak signal DX!

Note that you will have to visit the BBC World Service website to listen to the documentary via their media player.

(Source: BBC World Service)

Voyager 1 and 2: Still operating after 40 years in the depths of space. Voyager 1 is currently some 20 billion kilometres from Earth travelling at 15.5 kilometres a second. It takes 19 hours for a signal from the spacecraft’s 20 watt transmitter to reach home. Voyager 2 is 17 billion kilometres away and will soon leave the Solar System.

Launched in 1977, the twin spacecrafts have explored the giant planets and their strange moons, investigated the boundary of the Solar System and changed how we see our place in the Universe. The probes even carry a message for aliens in the form of a golden record.

Retired NASA astronaut Ron Garan meets many of the original team still working on the mission, nursing the twin spacecraft through their final years.

Click here to listen to the documentary via the BBC World Service website.

Trans World Radio’s “message of hope to the people of North Korea”

(Source: News & Observer)

CARY–Even as tensions increase between North Korea and the United States (and between North Korea and the rest of the world), the Cary-based group Trans World Radio is broadcasting daily messages of hope to the people there.

TWR president and chief executive officer Lauren Libby says the group started increasing its broadcast time into North Korea about a year and a half ago.

“We could see what was coming, and we really needed to be able to respond to give people hope,” Libby said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Our goal is to speak hope in the middle of not-so-much hope.”

Every day, TWR transmits to 190 countries in 230 different languages. The Christian messages TWR broadcasts to North Korea – currently 1.5 hours each day – are produced in Asia, in the Korean language, and sent via the internet to Guam and then into North Korea through “extremely high-powered short wave transmitters” in Guam.[…]

Continue reading at the News & Observer…

September 10: PCJ Radio International special

(Source: PCJ Press Release)

On September 10, 2017 PCJ Radio International will present a special Happy Station Show on frequencies outside our normal schedule.
This special edition is our way to say thanks to all those so far who have been assisting us in our continuing work to preserve programs that were produced by Radio Netherlands between 1947 and 1992.

The Happy Station Show distributed to our partner stations on that date will have a 55 minute version of the program.

All dates and times

Europe
0700 to 0900 UTC – September 10, 2017
9am to 11am CEST – September 10, 2017
Frequencies: 7780khz, 11580khz

North America
0100 to 0300 UTC – September 11, 2017
9pm to 11pm EDT – September 10, 2017
Frequency: 7570khz

There will also be a special program inside the program, which will have a lucky draw of two Sangean receivers. But you will need to tune in to find out more.

Dave reviews the Icom IC-R8600

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO) who writes:

Just FYI. My Icom IC-R8600 “Wide Band” Receiver Review is now available. Mind you this is subject to more updates than usual at least for awhile. For any questions, yes please send them along.

http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/icr8600.html

“The excellent ICOM IC-R8600 “Wide Band” SDR communications receiver. Direct Sampling SDR below 30 Mhz. Hybrid Superhet / SDR above 30 Mhz. It is NOT just a IC-7300 “receiver” section with VHF / UHF Coverage added on (however overall HF receiver performance is similar). In our view the best receiver Icom has produced to date (“Wide Band” or not). One MUST remember this is NOT a “scanner” type receiver, so no Trunking etc. Audio quality while very good, we detected some minor harshness and or spurious gremlins that we could not put a handle on in the AM / FM and WFM modes (with all 3 test speakers, Firmware 1.10, see text) ?? This was not an issue at all with the IC-7300 Transceiver cousin, but it has much less dynamic (flat) audio in comparison.”

Many thanks, Dave! Post readers, please bookmark Dave’s IC-R8600 page for all updates.