Category Archives: Books

Book review by Dave Porter: The History of Rugby Radio Station

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter (G4OYX), who shares the following:

Enclosed is a book review of a recent one published in the UK.

Click here to download PDF copy of review.

I wrote it for Signal the quarterly journal of the Vintage Military Amateur Radio Society.

I also write a column in Signal called Tricks of the Trade and many of those are here:

https://www.bbceng.info/Technical%20Reviews/tott/tott.htm

There is more about the Rugby book in article ToTT for Signal issue 50.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Dave! Sounds like a fascinating read!

I should also note that you can feel good about your purchase of this book as all proceeds benefit the Air ambulance. Click here to purchase.

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Free radio e-books for download

(Source: Southgate ARC)

There are a number of vintage radio and amateur radio related eBooks available for free download on the Gutenberg site

Among them is the 1922 edition of The Radio Amateur’s Handbook by A. Frederick Collins.

Jarno de Haan @PA3DMI tweeted this link that will display the books available:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=radio

A. Frederick Collins
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_Frederick_Collins

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WRTH 2019: Now at Book Depository

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:

WRTH 2019 is finally available from Book Depository — quite a bit later than last year.[…]

It’s up on their website today at $32.59 U.S. (26% off) with free shipping:

https://www.bookdepository.com/World-Radio-TV-Handbook-2019/9781999830014

Thanks for the tip, Richard! Book Depository is a great source. You can also check pricing at the publisher’ site, or from a distributor like Universal Radio (US), and Amazon.com (US). Book Depository’s price is hard to beat, though, especially for those living outside the US.

Click here to read our review of WRTH 2019.

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David Vaughan on Czech radio and the role of propaganda leading up to WWII

Czechoslovak Radio in the mid-1930s, photo: Czech Radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Palmer (KC8RZM), who writes:

Was listening to Radio Prague yesterday evening, there was a very interesting item where author, David Vaughan, was interviewed and talked about his most recent book “Hear My Voice” a novel which deals with the lead-up to WWII and in which Czech Radio plays a part:

Click here to view on Amazon (affiliate link).

The play, on which the novel is based, was commissioned by Czech Radio and was awarded the Czech Book readers’ award for 2015. In the interview the importance of this then new technology called radio was discussed and its influence, for good or bad, in the world at large, an interesting parallel to today’s discussion on the role of the internet and social media. From the capsule bio on the book cover his background is in languages and radio (BBC and Czech Radio).

I’m sure his other book, Battle of the Airwaves: Radio and the 1938 Munich Crisis, will be of interest to shortwave listeners:

Click here to view on Amazon (affiliate link).

From the Amazon description:

“1938 was a turning point in the histories of Europe and the media. When Hitler annexed Austria and then turned his attention to Czechoslovakia, radio was at the heart of events. Battle for the Airwaves looks at the Munich crisis as it was played out on the radio stations of Czechoslovakia, Germany, Britain and the United States, and reveals just how central a role radio played in the run-up to the Munich Agreement and beyond. It is a story of propaganda and counter-propaganda, censorship and self-censorship. It is also a story of courage and innovation. Munich was a fateful step in the road to World War Two; it also marked the beginning of the age of the electronic media. Published in English and Czech in a single, illustrated, hardback volume, Battle for the Airwaves is accompanied by a CD recording of key British, Czechoslovak, German and American radio broadcasts from 1938.”

Anyway, just thought the above might be of interest to others at the SWLing Post. I’d like to learn more from him on the role of radio in those early days on the events leading up to WWII. I’m probably going to check out his novel.

Thank you so much for sharing this John! I received an Amazon gift card and have already put Hear My Voice in the cart. I look forward to reading it!

I missed the live broadcast, but did find Pavla Horáková’s interview with David Vaughan on the Czech Radio website. Here’s the introduction and audio:

Earlier this year the Czech Republic marked the 80th anniversary of the Munich Agreement, signed in September 1938 by the leaders of Germany, France, Great Britain, and Italy, resulting in the annexation of the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany. Radio Prague’s David Vaughan recently published a book in the UK titled “Hear My Voice”, most of which is set in Czechoslovakia in the months preceding the Munich agreement. Its narrator is an interpreter for the international press corps in Prague and he watches the events of 1938 unfold in Central Europe as the atmosphere is getting tenser ahead of the outbreak of the Second World War. Pavla Horáková spoke to David Vaughan and their conversation begins with a few paragraphs from the book.

Click here to download the MP3 audio of this interview.

Check out the full story and listen to the interview via Czech Radio/Radio Praha.

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WRTH 2019: A look inside

I received my copy of the 2019 World Radio and TV Handbook (WRTH) directly from the publisher earlier this week. It arrives annually–without fail–just prior to my Christmas holiday travels.

I look forward to receiving this excellent staple radio reference guide–and this is their 73rd edition! The WRTH has never disappointed, so my expectations are always quite high.

Once again, the WRTH lived up to my expectations.

WRTH’s team of noted DXers from around the world curate frequencies and broadcaster information by region; while I’m not sure how they orchestrate all of this, the end result is truly a symphony of radio information. In addition to broadcaster listings, WRTH’s radio reviews, feature articles, and annual HF report make for excellent reading.

But the WRTH isn’t just a frequency guide: the publication always devotes the first sixty or so pages to articles relating to various aspects of the radio hobby. Following, I offer a quick overview of these.

The first article always features a WRTH contributor:  this year, they feature Kai Ludwig who is their contributor for Germany. His lifelong passion for international broadcasting started in what was then East Germany–he watched with interest as the broadcasting world change around him as the Iron Curtain fell.

The second set of articles is always my favorite: WRTH receiver reviews.

The AirSpy HF+ SDR

This year, WRTH begins with a review of the WinRadio Excalibur Sigma SDR receiver–which essentially set a new benchmark.  They also review the SDRplay RSPduo, AirSpy HF+ (which truly impressed), the Reuter RDR51 “Pocket” SDR, XHDATA D-808 and the new Icom IC-R30 wideband handheldWhat I love about the WRTH review selection is they span products ranging from £70 all the way up to £6200! Certainly, choices for everyone.

 

The next feature article, written by none other than Dave Porter, focuses on curtain antennas–the true work horses of international broadcasting. His article speaks to the history and theory behind curtains and notes several types often used by international broadcasters. A must-read!

Hans Johnson’s feature, Broadcasting For Peace, tells the inspiring story of how two stations with one mission helped promote peace in a troubled region of Africa. It truly is amazing how these stations gave their listeners a voice and hope.

The following article highlights a broadcaster on the opposite side of the globe: V7AB in the Marshall Islands. For this feature, journalist Mika Mäkeläinen traveled to the Marshall Islands and visited this powerful national AM broadcaster.

Speaking of powerful broadcasters, TWR Broadcast Engineer, Dave Pedersen, authors an article outlining the reasons for and challenges of operating and maintaining TWR’s Bonaire MW transmitting station.

Next, WRTH spotlight the annual Digital Update which summarizes the dynamic state of digital broadcasting. I’ve found this feature to be incredibly informative as we see how digital broadcasting is penetrating both domestic and international services.

The final article–a tradition–is the WRTH  HF propagation report/forecast by Ulf-Peter Hoppe. Always an informative read despite the fact we’re in a solar low!

The 73rd is another fantastic edition of the World Radio TV Handbook. As I say every year, I’ve never been disappointed with WRTH. Their publishing standards are such that the quality of their reviews, their writing, and (most importantly) their broadcast listings are simply unparalleled.

For DXers who collect QSL cards, you’ll find that broadcaster contact information in WRTH is often more up-to-date than a broadcaster’s own website. When readers contact me asking for QSL information from an obscure broadcaster, the first place I search is the current WRTH. Remember: their information is based on volunteer contributors who specialize in specific regions of the world–the most knowledgeable regional DXers keep this publication accurate.

Purchase your copy of WRTH 2019 directly from WRTH’s publishers, or from a distributor like Universal Radio (US), Amazon.com (US), Radio HF (Canada), or check BookDepository.com (International).

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