Category Archives: Art

Dan spots an Icom IC-R71A in Narcos

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

I like to note appearances by shortwave receivers in TV programs…here’s the latest…at the 14 minute mark of the new season of NARCOS (one of the best TV series there is by the way) a ICOM IC-R71A makes an appearance. At the point in the show, a key character is listening to reel-to-reel tapes, so it’s not quite clear why they stuck in a 71A tuning to a shortwave frequency….ah, the drama! Another show, The Americans, features numerous shots of various receivers, including Zenith Transoceanics and Hallicrafters…

Great catch, Dan–thank you for sharing! I’ll add this find to our growing archive of radios in film.

From the Archives: Yes, there is a shortwave…!

Note: Jeff Murray and I posted at Christmas in 2014–I thought it would be fun to dig it out of the archives once again.  Enjoy!


Virginia letter Dash

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no shortwave. Uncle DX Dash! says, “If you see it on the SWLing Post, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a shortwave?

Virginia E. Layer
330 Independence Ave., S.W.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a digital age. They do not believe what can’t be heard or seen on their smart phone. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by Google. They seek credit cards, not QSL cards.

Yes, Virginia, there is a shortwave. It exists as certainly as sound and circuits and tubes exist, and you know that these abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no shortwave! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no heterodynes, no band openings, no propagation to make tolerable this existence. It would be a world without London Calling.

Not believe in shortwave! You might as well not believe in the ionosphere. You might get your papa to hire men to listen to all of the wi-fi radios of the world, but even if you did not hear shortwave, what would that prove? The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see ground waves dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can casually conceive or imagine all the wonders there are heard and unheard in the listening world. For that, you must wear headphones.

No shortwave! Thank goodness! It lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, shortwave will continue to make glad the hearts of listeners.


Happy Holidays from your friends at Dashtoons and the SWLing Post!

With apologies to The New York Sun.  Our tongue-in-cheek editorial borrows from the timeless classic, “Is There a Santa Claus?” printed in the September 21, 1897, issue of The New York SunClick here to read the original

Sergio & Serguéi: a new radio-centric international film

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cap, who shares a link to the international trailer of Sergio & Serguéi: a new Cuban film featuring shortwave and ham radio:

Click here to view the trailer on YouTube.

Looks like a fun film!  Thanks for the tip, Cap! Click here to read more about Sergio & Serguéi at the IMDB.

Crosley biographer to speak at National VOA Museum of Broadcasting

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Best-selling Crosley biographer to speak at National VOA Museum of Broadcasting Nov. 10

Rusty McClure, author of the New York Times bestseller, Crosley: Two Brothers and a Business Empire that Transformed a Nation, will speak Friday, Nov. 10 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester.

Cost to attend is $25, which includes a copy of McClure’s book, a $15 value. Attendees can also view the ongoing Crosley exhibit at the museum, which displays some of Crosley’s most engaging inventions and products. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the lecture beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are payable at the door.

To reserve a place at the Nov. 10 lecture, call (513) 777-0027 or email admin@voamuseum.org .

McClure will also be on hand at the museum on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. to discuss Powel and Lewis Crosley’s extraordinary lives and work and sign books, said museum director Jack Dominic.

Powel Crosley, Jr., inventor, industrialist, entrepreneur and founder of the Crosley Corporation, is considered the Henry Ford of radio. When his son wanted a radio in the early 1920s, he thought they were too expensive, so built one with him instead.

Blast from the past: The Shelvador refrigerator, which featured shelves and a built-in AM radio in the door, is one of the fun and innovative Crosley products on display at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting. (John Kiesewetter Photo)
The Crosley Radio Corporation that resulted from that innovation quickly became the largest radio manufacturer in the world.

Crosley and his brother Lewis built a business empire that included WLW radio station, the concept of radio advertising, ownership of the Cincinnati Reds, the creation of many household products, and an economy automobile known as the Crosley car. Crosley Corporation engineers built the rhombic antennas at the VOA-Bethany Station and operated it during World War II and part of the Cold War.

An exhibit featuring Crosley products such as the Shelvador refrigerator; a “Reado,” home Fax machine; and Xervac hair-growing machine is free with regular museum admission.

The VOA museum is now open each Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.

The museum, located at 8070 Tylersville Road, just commemorated the Sept. 23, 1944 dedication of the VOA-Bethany Station with a successful fundraising gala. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America.

For 50 years, the VOA-Bethany Station transmitted Voice of America broadcasts to countries worldwide that lacked a free press, first in Europe during World War II and to South America during the Cold War. The station was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994.

Lunch with a friend (and a hearty side of enabling)

That’s BJ on the left and me on the right at our favorite burrito joint.

A few weeks ago, I had lunch with my good friend, BJ Leiderman.  If you ever listen to public radio programming, especially NPR, you’ve probably heard BJ’s name.

BJ is a musician, singer, and composer, and has written the bulk of the theme music you hear on National Public Radio (NPR). His music is hard to get out of your head. Every time I listen to NPR shows like Marketplace, Morning Edition, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, Car Talk, or Science Friday, I hear BJ’s catchy tunes.

Moreover, BJ is an awesome fellow.  But it’s dangerous hanging with him because he’s also…well, an enabler, when it comes to sound gear.

Often, when we hang out, I walk away from the meet-up with a new app, a new song in my head, or the sudden need for a new piece of kit.

Friday was a prime example.  You may notice that I’m wearing headphones in the photo at the top of the page. Here’s how this played out…

BJ asked if I had seen one of his latest animated music videos–one that is was featured on his new album, “BJ.”  Instead of simply showing the video to me on his phone and/or playing the music through his iPhone’s speaker, BJ ran to his car and came back with a set of Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Noise-Cancelling headphones, then handed me his phone with the video queued up.

We were in a crowded, noisy restaurant during the lunch hour, but when I put on the headphones, all ambient sounds were instantly and utterly squelched. As his video played, it sounded like I was sitting in a recording studio listening to monitors. Absolutely phenomenal.

The headphone’s noise-cancelling technology is so good, in fact, I could barely hear my own voice as I spoke.

The audio fidelity was spot-on, too––there’s a nice balance from bass to treble.  Though I’m sure your audio player’s EQ could customize this.

I walk around all of the time with a cheap pair of in-ear headphones in my pocket for use with my phone, radios, or simply to decrease ambient noise while I’m trying to work or sleep.

Here’s the video BJ shared, by the way:

Click here to view on YouTube.

BJ, being the cool and compassionate character he is, had this fun song animated by young adult artists with autism at Exceptional Minds Animation Studios in LA, with the support of Howard Hoffman. 

In real life, his dog Maizey is a sweetheart, and certainly BJ’s fuzzy brown soulmate.

You can check out BJ’s album on his website, and if you like it, there are a number of ways you can purchase both digital and physical copies. Click here to buy a copy.

And BJ, if you’re reading this––thanks a lot for spending $300 of my hard-earned cash on headphones.

And I get accused of enabling––?  Karma, I guess.