Category Archives: Books

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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WRTH 2019 available for order

(Source: Nicholas Hardyman WRTH)

World Radio TV Handbook 2019

Published 7 December 2018 – Order your copy today!

We are delighted to announce the publication of the 73rd edition of WRTH.

For full details of WRTH 2019 and to order a copy please visit our website at www.wrth.com where you can also order the B18 WRTH Bargraph Frequency Guide on CD and Download.

WRTH 2019 is also available for pre-order, for readers in the USA, from Amazon.com or Universal Radio in Ohio.

I hope you enjoy using this new edition of WRTH and the new CD.

Best regards,

Nicholas Hardyman

Publisher

Click here to visit WRTH online.

WRTH Retailers:

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Hospitals and RF noise: FM and HD radio’s strong suit

The Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD radio

For the past week, I’ve been away from home spending time with my mother at the hospital while she recovers from a surgery. I’ve got a number of reviews and evaluations in the pipeline, but thankfully no shortwave or HF radios on the table this week (although the ELAD FDM-S3 and CommRadio CTX-10 are just around the corner). Listening to shortwave (or even mediumwave) in a hospital room can be an exercise in futility–there are just too many devices emitting noise and the buildings are built like bunkers with incredibly thick walls to attenuate signals.

I’ve had the little Sangean HDR-14 with me, however, and have been very pleased with its ability to snag FM stations both analog and digital. I’ve also had fun discovering a surprisingly diverse FM landscape in this metro area. I haven’t snagged an AM HD station yet, but my hope is one evening I might DX one (fingers crossed and not holding my breath).

The Sangean HDR-14 (left) and CC Skywave SSB (right)

At the end of most days, I’ve been able to catch a little shortwave action with my CC Skywave SSB (pre-production) portable at the guest house where I’m staying. The evenings have been surprisingly peaceful here with only the occasional popup thunderstorm to insert a little QRN in my listening sessions.

Last night, while listening to jazz on FM, I finished reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (affiliate link).

We’ve mentioned this book before and I know of at least dozen SWLing Post contributors and friends who’ve personally recommended it to me.

It is a superb novel and will, no doubt, tug at the heart strings of any radio enthusiast or WWII history buff. Highly recommended!

Indeed, last night I couldn’t fall asleep until I finished the book around 12:30 AM!

And mom? She’s recovering quite well and we hope will be discharged from the hospital soon.

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James recommends “Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, James Hukill (K7NEO), who writes:

So I just about wrapping up reading a new book that has morse code mentioned as a part of the plot in darn near 80% of the book. Well and not in a cheese demeaning way.

[Stephenson] is one of my favorite authors and popular enough to not be obscure to most folks.

Anyways, thanks for all your hard work.

My pleasure, and thank you for the book recommendation, James! I read through the synopsis and–being a sci-fi and dystopia fan–it does sound like a fascinating read indeed! Putting this on my wishlist.

Click here to view on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

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WRTH 2018: A look inside

I received my copy of the 2018 World Radio and TV Handbook (WRTH) directly from the publisher yesterday, just prior to my Christmas holiday travels. As I mention every year, I look forward to receiving this excellent staple radio reference guide–and this is their 72nd edition!

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.

WRTH broadcast listings are incredibly thorough and informative

The first article always features a WRTH contributor:  this year, they feature Torgeir Woxen who is the contributor for Norway and editor of the Asia & Pacific frequency list. Reading about how Woxen became interested in radio and DXing reminds me of how I–and many of my radio friends–got their start as well.

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

This year, WRTH begins with a review of the Icom IC-R8600 wideband tabletop SDR receiver.  They also review the Tecsun PL-880, Tecsun S-8800, Expert Electronics ColibriNano, SDRplay RSP2, and the new AOR AR-DV10 wideband handheld

(Photo: Cross Country Wireless)

Besides radio reviews, WRTH also includes an evaluation of the Cross Country Wireless Active Loop.

I must admit: the Cross Country sounds like an effective and affordable portable mag loop antenna. I might need to grab one in the future to use on impromptu travels and DXpeditions.

The following article features WRTH contributor, Brian Clark, and his travels from New Zealand to the geographic antipodes of his home: Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Of course, enjoying diverse radio broadcasts was an integral part of his journey!

I was pleased to find that the following feature article, entitled Receiving Noise, explores the radio interference that plagues our hobby. The article mentions several common sources of noise and some of the antennas that most effectively mitigate RFI. Sadly, radio noise/interference is an important topic for most radio enthusiasts.

Following this, WRTH writer, Hans Johnson, features an article on Radio Romania International. RRI is one of my favorite shortwave broadcasters, so this was a treat to find indeed–Johnson’s piece sheds light on the past, present and future of the station.

Next, in A New Voice of Hope in the Middle East, Founder and President of the Strategic Communications Group, John Taylor, writes about setting up a new mediumwave station in Israel.

The following article features Dr. Martin Hadlaw, a former advisor to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC), who explores the history of broadcasting in the South Seas.

Next, WRTH feature their Digital Update which assesses the state of digital broadcasting and–this year a special note about–Digital Radio Mondiale.

The final article–a tradition–is the WRTH  HF propagation report/forecast by Ulf-Peter Hoppe. Always an informative read and this year he ends on a positive note despite the fact we’ve hit the solar rock-bottom!

The 72nd 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.

My WRTH 2018 and Digitech AR-1780 fit perfectly in my Red Oxx Lil Roy and are ready for holiday road travel and radio fun!

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 2018 directly from WRTH’s publishers, or from a distributor like Universal Radio (US) and Amazon.com (US), Radio HF (Canada), or BookDepository.com (International).

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