One of the most amazing things about hosting and curating a massive collection of shortwave radio recordings is listening to each recording as they’re published on the site.
I created the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) in 2012 as a dedicated space to post and share off-air recordings with the world. Listening to SRAA recordings and subscribing to the podcast is 100% free, and entirely void of any advertising. The fact is, I pay for this site out of my own pocket, although some of your generous coffee fund and Patreon gifts are used to reinforce the archive’s longevity and future.
Not only does the SRAA serve as a historical record of radio–and even as audio samples for musicians–it’s also for radio listeners like us to enjoy. We have over 3000 podcast and RSS subscribers. We invite you to subscribe as well as to contribute content in the form of your own radio recordings!
Great content, great contributors
Speaking of recordings, check out a sampling of our latest offerings from our amazing contributors:
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Bird, who shares the following story from RadioInfo.com.au:
In an example of radio industry cooperation during adversity, commercial network Grant Broadcasters is working with the ABC on the South Coast of NSW to keep transmissions on air during the fires in that area.
As fires raged through the area last week, the ABC’s Mt Wandera transmission site at Bateman’s Bay was disabled by flames (see pictures below) and is expected to take some time to repair.
The ABC, through its transmission provider Broadcast Australia (recently renamed BAI Communications) asked if it could share Grant Broadcasters’ nearby transmission mast and infrastructure, and has now combined its transmissions onto the Grant Broadcasters antenna.
Local radio services, including ABC South Coast, are now back on air, but operating at reduced power. The ABC’s television transmitter on the site is also off air.
BAI has also established additional temporary low power facilities at Batemans Hill for ABC Local Radio (operating on 101.9 MHz) and ABC television (operating on Channel 41). As this facility operates from a lower altitude and at lower power than those at Mt Wandera, its coverage will be largely limited within the town of Batemans Bay.
On the South Coast, the Grant Broadcasters stations 2EC and Power FM had “no issues with transmission coverage” and have so far remained on full power. Diesel generators have 4-5 days capacity and are being refuelled continuously.
[…]Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has commended media and transmission providers for their efforts to keep services operating:
“I commend the network operators’ efforts in responding, which has included deploying temporary facilities to restore communications services for impacted communities, particularly those that are isolated. Many of the outages are due to power supplies being cut off, and in some cases are the direct impact of fire on network infrastructure. The current fire situations across Australia have made access difficult and unsafe at some sites to assess and restore services…
“In many cases, a portable transistor radio with a spare set of batteries is a vital way to receive emergency information, in the event there is a loss of mains power or mobile coverage.
“The ABC and other local radio stations are doing an excellent job transmitting vital emergency information to Australian communities. Telstra and Optus are offering targeted relief packages in affected regions in NSW and Victoria, including free use of payphones, call diversions from affected lines and other financial assistance.”[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike S, who shares his assessment of the Retekess TR608. Mike writes:
For this model, the company marketing electronics under the Retekess brand seems to be using a different supplier compared to the previous digital-radio-plus-memory—card-player products. The result is a more traditionally styled multiband DSP radio which runs on (gasp) traditional AA batteries. Its feature set takes inspiration from the Radiwow R108 and original CCrane Skywave, but with mixed results (albeit at a fraction of the price). It delivers decent performance for its price class but more serious listeners would be advised to spend a little more on a more established model.
Usual set of features: sleep timer, alarm, scanning, auto memory fill.
Uses replaceable alkaline or NiMH “AA” cells.
Decent sensitivity across the board.
Full shortwave coverage.
Frequency display is large and contrasty.
Dial light is effective and can be disabled. Display is readable without it, even in dim light.
No annoying keypad “beep”, so no mad rush to discover how it can be disabled.
Speaker can play reasonably loud without distortion.
FM reception is solid with good frequency response and stereo reception through headphones; this also activates a display indicator.
MW/SW reception is NOT plagued by digital hash bleeding through from the processor as with most other models in this price range!
Significantly larger than expected.
Unfortunately the added cabinet space is not utilized for a more wide-range speaker; audio is tinny.
Clumsy mounting of one spring in the battery compartment on my sample makes it almost impossible to insert the third AA battery without risking damage.
Many keypad buttons are so tiny and almost flush with the cabinet, that they are difficult to press.
Lens over LCD display is molded and unpolished with moiré distortion at some viewing angles.
Air band reception marred by birdies, bleed-through from other bands, and lack of squelch.
Volume control defaults back to level “10” under some circumstances (the manual warns about this).
Confusing 2-level LOCK function requires close attention to almost microscopic indicator on LCD.
No battery level indicator.
Although the manual advises that batteries can be charged using the 4.5V coaxial socket, no charging indicator is obvious.
Rotary knob, used for both tuning and volume adjustments, has no detents and so can easily spin off target.
Assigned function (no indication) depends on whether the tuning or volume buttons on the keypad were the last to be used.
No fine tuning outside of pre-programmed increments.
MW selectivity is a bit too wide for congested night reception.
MW reception occasionally exhibits weird artifacts; ghost images, sputtering audio on marginal signals, and “processed” sounding voice audio. Don’t know if these are DSP or AGC related, or a mixture of both. I have observed the same thing with the Eton Mini and other inexpensive portables using marginal DSP implementations.
SHOWSTOPPER ALERT: MW band channel assignments marred by 9kHz-centric firmware bug. Even after changing to 10kHz channel spacing (undocumented), the CPU still “thinks” in 9kHz assignments for direct input. Entering FREQ-1-0-1-0-FREQ should get you to 1010 kHz; but it actually lands on 1018 kHz because that is the nearest channel in the 9kHz band plan. You are now stuck in frequency step hell, as the up-down frequency keys still operate in 10KHz mode but do not know they are now off bandplan. UP/DOWN yield 1028/1008, not 1020/1000. The only way to recover is to enter a MW frequency that is the same in both bandplans, or to power off and double-reset the step rate resulting in all memories being lost.
Thank you so much for the review, Mike. It sounds like this little receiver isn’t ready for prime time yet. The issues with frequency steps on the mediumwave band is certainly a show-stopper for anyone in North America. Indeed, it sounds like mediumwave reception, in general, is mediocre at best. At least the receiver isn’t plagued with internal noises.
With pricing around $29.99-$39.99 it’s certainly a bargain radio. But I’m sure you’re thinking what I’m thinking: you pay for what you get.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who writes:
You probably have already seen this, but from The ARRL Letter, November 21, 2019:
Art Donahue, W1AWX, of Franklin, Massachusetts, has posted his “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting” video in recognition of the centennial of formal radio broadcasts. The video features a complete scan of the AM broadcast band (530 – 1700 kHz), with station IDs for all 118 AM radio channels.
It was a lot of fun to watch the video, hear the on-air id checks, and compare what he heard to the list of stations that I have heard.
Thanks for sharing this, Bill–I missed reading about this in the newsletter. This goes to show you that the AM dial is chock-full of stations here in North America. Those who complain that it’s “dead” simply aren’t listening.