Category Archives: Books

The Worldwide Listening Guide: A deep dive into online and over-the-air listening

I recently received a review copy of the 9th Edition of the Worldwide Listening Guide by John Figliozzi:

While WRTH is my favorite guide for radio frequencies and schedules, Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening Guide (WWLG) is my go-to for programming and content, not only helpful on the shortwaves, but especially handy when tracking online content.

The WWLG is a unique guide–there’s nothing quite like it on the market. I look forward to each edition because it truly takes a deep dive into the world of broadcasting, technology, and programming.

“Deep dive” almost feels like an understatement. I received the latest edition only a few days before Christmas travels, so packed it in my luggage and read it over the course of a week. Being the editor of the SWLing Post, I’m in the middle of a constant stream of news items and tips about the world of broadcasting and communications technology. When I read the WWLG, however, I discover so much information about the broadcasting industry as a whole, the health of various platforms, particular media companies, and even the history and technology behind content delivery systems.

Case in point: I always assumed SiriusXM satellite radio was delivered by a network of geostationary satellites. Turns out, they use a hybrid system of both “roving” satellites that orbit in a figure 8 pattern and geostationary satellites in the Clarke Belt. The WWLG is chock-full of details like this.

Each media delivery platform–AM, Shortwave, FM, Satellite Radio, Internet (WiFi Radio), and Podcasting–has a dedicated section in the book where Figliozzi explores each in detail. He also includes a “State of the Radio Platforms” chapter where he examines the health and potential direction of each.

SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, recently summed up his love of the WWLG in the following comment: 

[I]t’s the best guide to digital streaming media I have ever found. An indispensable guide to the world’s public broadcasters and others broadcasters who appeal to us raised on decades of shortwave.

As shortwave transmitters close, don’t make the mistake of thinking your favourite broadcasters disappear – they in most cases continue and the Worldwide Listening Guide will guide you to them as live and on-demand programs.

I use the guide as a directory for online listening, but of course RF transmission broadcasts are comprehensively covered as well.

I agree 100%.

Like Mark and many SWLs, I’m something of a “Content DXer:” I love chasing obscure programming––news, documentaries, music, and variety shows, anything the broadcasting world has to offer.  For this, I often turn to Wi-Fi radio.  Wi-Fi radio offers the discerning listener the ability to track down fascinating regional content from every corner of the globe––content never actually intended for an international audience.

Digging into local content via a WiFi radio isn’t nearly as challenging or fun (for me, at least) as scanning the shortwave bands in search of elusive weak signal DX or a pop-up pirate radio station. Though my WiFi radio offers an easy and reliable way to “tune” to online content–both station streams and podcasts–the actual content discovery part is quite difficult.

Truth is, there’s so much content out there–tens of thousands of stations and shows–it’s hard to know where to start!

This is where the WWLG comes in: Figliozzi exhaustively curates thousands of programs, indexing their airing times, stations, days of broadcast, program types, frequencies, and web addresses. Additionally, he sorts the programs by genre:  arts, culture, history, music, sports, and more. And Figliozzi also includes a well-thought-out directory of at least forty genres. In my shack and office, the WWLG has been an invaluable tool for content discovery.

There’s a surprising amount of information packed into this slim, spiral-bound edition of the Worldwide Listening Guide…enough to keep even a seasoned content DXer happy for years.

The 9th edition of Worldwide Listening Guide can be purchased here:

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Ninth Edition of The Worldwide Listening Guide

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan (KB0RTQ), who writes:

Hi Thomas!
Apologies if you have covered this and I missed it – the 9th edition of John Figliozzi’s Worldwide Listening guide is available on Amazon (apparently, it has been since 11/15/19).

Click here to view on Amazon (affiliate link supports the SWLing Post).

Just thought I’d pass it along.

Thank you very much for passing this along, Dan! I see that Universal Radio also has the new guide in their inventory (click here to check it out).

The publisher is sending me a review copy of the ninth edition, so I’ll be posting my overview soon!

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WRTH 2020 now available for order

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Thomas Ally, who writes:

The new World Radio TV Handbook is on Amazon.

Click here to view on Amazon (affiliate link).

Or the WRTH shop: http://www.wrth.com/_shop/

Thanks for the heads-up, Thomas. Also, I see that both Universal Radio and the Book Depository has posted the new addition on their websites.

I can’t wait to check out WRTH 2020!

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EQUINOX: A novel that blends sci-fi with ham radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader and author, DM Barrett (N4ECW), who recently shared the following press release which features his latest book:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EQUINOX Blends Science Fiction And Amateur Radio

1 May 2019 (Tampa, Florida)

A new science fiction narrative, EQUINOX, has taken amateur and shortwave radio into the cultural mainstream in its version of a limited alien invasion story line.

“It’s been quite a while since the world depended on amateur and shortwave radio as lifelines. In EQUINOX, both are critical for the success of The Resistance.” – DM Barrett, EQUINOX author

DM Barrett, callsign N4ECW, lives and breathes amateur radio. He is well known in the ham radio community having developed and manufactured several different specialized radio antennas through his former company, Transworld Antennas.  He holds two earned doctorates with majors in law, economics, and religion.

The EQUINOX story line begins on a warm, slightly breezy day on Florida’s east coast as the vernal equinox marked the beginning of spring.  Suddenly, there was a thunderous crash, a blinding light, and a vortex swirling in the blue Atlantic. The invading alien army arrived. The world surrendered. The Resistance made a stand.

When the science fiction novel was recently released as a Kindle Unlimited eBook, it moved steadily into Amazon’s top ten science fiction eBooks in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Australia.  After only a few days, the paperback version of EQUINOX was ranked in Amazon’s top third for science fiction paperbacks.

DM Barrett may be contacted at DMBarrettPHD@aol.com or by text to 931-239-3760.

EQUINOX and other books by DM Barrett can be ordered online through Kindle, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

If you are a radio amateur or shortwave enthusiast, or you are just interested in the topics, don’t miss the chance to join others that are enjoying the science fiction novel, EQUINOX.

I have been sent a paperback preview copy of Equinox and plan to read it in the coming weeks.

Equinox can be purchased from the following retailers:

Also, the author notified me that there are a limited number of paperback copies available on eBay for $14.95. These copies are a First Printing and are autographed by the author. Click here to view on eBay.

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Summer 2019 Global Radio Guide now available as ebook

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Eric McFadden (WD8RIF), who notes that the Global Radio Guide: Summer 2019 is now available at Amazon.com as an ebook.

The price is $8.49, but if you belong to the Kindle Unlimited program, it’s free to read.

Click here to check it out at Amazon.com (affiliate link).

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The Cat’s Whisker – 50 Years of Wireless Design

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

Searching archive.org found this [compilation] book: 50 Years of Wireless Design (click to view on Archive.org)

Click here to download a PDF copy.

I hope it will be interesting for you and the readers of the blog.

[The attached] cartoon is very funny… How eliminate “the hand
capacity”:

Excellent find, Elilio! Thank you for sharing!

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Now available: The 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual

Listening to Channel Z in a parking lot with the Tecsun PL-660.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Thomas Ally, who notes that Andrew Yoder has released the 2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual.

Here’s the announcement from the Hobby Broadcasting Blog:

2017-2018 Pirate Radio Annual is done and I’ve received the copies back from the printer already! This edition is 308 pages and contains an audio CD-R (playable on standard CD players) with clips from 87 different pirate stations from around the world, nearly all from 2016 and 2017. This edition contains 181 illustrations and entries for approximately 307 stations reported in North America in 2016 and 2017 (280 North American shortwave stations and 27 from Europe and South America).

It also contains some “articles” on the Common and Precious Beacon, Radio Pirana International from South America, and upcoming Global HF Pirate Weekends/propagation for reaching different parts of the world.

This edition will cost $20 ($16.50 + $3.50 shipping) in the U.S. I took the packed book to the post office for the international shipping cost and was shocked to discover that it will cost $24 to ship it anywhere in Europe (so, $38.00 = $16.50 + $21.50 to Europe) I’ll eat a couple dollars of the cost because the shipping is so high. It’s so expensive that it will soon pay for airfare to Europe just to deliver copies!

This price is good for the next month (up through 5/1/2019). I’m not sure if I’ll keep the price the same or raise it at that time.

Please send check or money order to:

Hobby Broadcasting
PO Box 109
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214

or send the money via PayPal to info [at symbol] hobbybroadcasting.com.  If you trust that I won’t run off with the money to Sealand, please use the “Friends and Family” option so that PayPal won’t charge a fee.

4/2 update: One final note about ordering via PayPal: Could you please include your shipping address with the PayPal order? The PayPal messages haven’t included addresses and when I sign into PayPal and click on the “more information about this transaction,” the address still isn’t coming up. So, I’ve been e-mailing people for addresses, which could delay shipping.

Thanks for the tip, Tom!  I just ordered my copy!

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