Category Archives: Mediumwave

FM World reports that RAI will end mediumwave broadcasts later this year

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pedro Andrade, who shares the following article. Note that the following excerpt has been translated by Google from Italian to English. Click here for the original in Italian at FM-World.it:

On 11 September 2022 Rai radio broadcasts in medium wave will cease (FM World)

Before the end of the summer, Rai will end radio broadcasts in medium wave .

[…]The news, already anticipated in recent months by sector magazines such as Italradio , is made known by the Easy Web section of Rai .

Everything comes from the audio description for the blind, available for some programs in the second audio track of the TV channel concerned, but also in medium wave on Rai Radio1 .

With regard to this latter service, the site (accessible by clicking HERE) specifies that “from 11 September 2022, due to the termination of Rai radio broadcasts in medium wave modulation, the audio descriptions of television programs for the blind will be available only on dedicated audio of digital terrestrial television.

The regular Rai radio programs , therefore, will continue in FM , DAB + , web and app .

Thanks for the tip, Pedro.

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BBC World Service: Licence fee spending to be cut £30m

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jonathan Marks, who notes that BBC Director General Tim Davie announced a digital strategy along with a number cuts following the BBC licence fee settlement. This was all outlined in his A digital-first BBC speech to staff this afternoon.

I’ve pasted the full copy of his speech below, but regarding the BBC World Service, here is an excerpt: 

“The Government’s commitment to extend its £94m annual funding for the World Service for a further three years is very welcome. But UK licence fee funding for the World Service, which has been around £254m in recent years, is now running at over £290m including World News – a level that is unsustainable following the licence fee settlement.

We will set out plans in the coming weeks for how we will initially reduce licence fee spending on the World Service by around £30m by the start of 2023/24, while protecting the full breadth of languages.

At the same time, our strategic review will identify the right longer-term model for a digital-first World Service and lay out a strong case for more investment from government over the coming years. This case for a strengthened World Service is compelling but we can only expect UK licence fee payers to fund so much.”

In addition, they hope to save £500m annually by cutting services such as Radio 4 Extra, Radio 4’s Long Wave service, and Radio 5 Live’s mediumwave transmitter network.

The Director General’s speech to staff, of course, primarily focused on being a world-class digital and on-demand provider. 

Here’s the full text of the speech via the BBC Media Centre:


A digital-first BBC

BBC Director-General Tim Davie’s speech to staff on 26 May 2022

Published: 26 May 2022

Good afternoon everybody.

Today, in our centenary year, I want to set out a vision of how we keep the BBC relevant and offer value to all audiences in an on-demand age.

I will cover three things: the pressing need to build a digital-first BBC; how we spend our money now that we have the certainty of public funding for six years; and how we keep reforming the way we work. Continue reading

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Tecsun PL-990 Ferrite Rods

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gareth Buxton, who writes:

Hi Thomas

I see that Anon-co have the Tecsun PL-990 Ferrite rod aerial for sale. It even says in the product description “You can use it for your DIY projects.” I thought it might be of interest to your MW/AM radio constructors, especially if they can build a radio that receives more stations than the Tecsun using the same part!

Click here for the product page at Anon-Co.

Cheers
Gareth

Thanks for the tip, Gareth. This would indeed make it easy to construct an external MW antenna. Thank you for the tip!

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WBOB: Last minute 50 kW DX test on 600 kHz

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who notes that he has only a few details about what appears to be a last minute DX test of WBOB in Jacksonville, Florida.

According to Paul’s source, WBOB on 600 kHz will be running 50 kilowatts from midnight to 3:00 AM local (04:00-07:00 UTC) on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Paul’s source noted the test will take place Friday and possibly Saturday nights, but technically these are early Saturday and Sunday times.

We’ve no other details, but Paul wanted to share what info he has. Thanks, Paul!

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Special DX Test via WCGA: May 1, 2022 at 04:00 UTC

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Loyd Van Horn at DX Central who writes:

Wanted to share this with you…..our final DX Central Live stream for season 2 will coincide with the upcoming WCGA-GA DX Test coming Saturday night/Sunday morning. You should have a GREAT shot at hearing this one….would love to have you join us for the livestream, too, if you can make it!

The link to the release with all of the details can be found below….

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Apr 28, 2022

The Courtesy Program Committee (CPC) of the National Radio Club (NRC) and the International Radio Club of America (IRCA) is pleased to announce a special DX Test for distant listeners for WCGA on 1100 kHz in Woodbine, GA. The test is scheduled for 5/1/2022 at 12:00:00 AM Eastern Time (0400 UTC Sunday, May 1st).  This test is scheduled to run for 2 hours.

For WCGA, Wesley Cox, will be performing regular maintenance of the station’s audio chain and transmitter during the test. Listeners will hear: Morse Code IDs at 10 WPM at 800 Hz, Morse Code IDs at 20 WPM at 1000 Hz, Tone Sweeps, Long duration tones at 1 kHz, Off-hook Telephone Sounds, Voice IDs and more.

WCGA will be operating on a full daytime power of 10,000 watts during the test on their daytime antenna pattern.   This should aid DXers across the country and indeed the world in being able to receive this test!

RECEPTION REPORTS & QSL REQUESTS

WCGA is actively soliciting reports from DX’ers on their signal. They’re interested in hearing about frequency stability, audio quality, and overall performance. The station will accept both hard copy reports via USPS mail and email reports. They would love to receive audio recordings in either .WAV or.MP3 and videos in .MP4 video.

Reception reports should go directly to:

Wesley Cox

Owner/General Manager

News/Talk 1100 WCGA

714 Narrow Way

St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522

wcganews@yahoo.com

Physical QSL card senders will receive a physical QSL. Email QSLs will receive email QSL.

Best audio narrative recording and received via email in MP3 or MP4 about themselves and their passion for radio that includes their reception of WCGA and the who, what, when, where, why and how of that event taking place will receive a special prize from the station. DX’ers who submit recordings must grant permission to broadcast their recordings. The decision of WCGA staff on the winner is final.

The IRCA/NRC CPC would like to thank the owners of WCGA, Wesley Cox, and Hall of Fame DXer, Jim Renfrew, for helping to arrange the test.

Good luck to all DXers!

About the CPC

The Courtesy Program Committee (CPC) is a cross-functional group comprised of members of both the National Radio Club (NRC) and International Radio Club of America (IRCA) for the purpose of coordinating and arranging DX Tests with AM radio stations.  These DX tests both allow radio stations to conduct valuable equipment tests on their transmitter and audio chain as well as enable DX hobbyists to receive the testing station from greater distances than would normally be possible.  The CPC membership consists of:  Chairman Les Rayburn, Paul Walker, George Santulli, Joe Miller and Loyd Van Horn.

For radio stations interested in coordinating a DX test with the CPC, please visit the following Web site for more information:

https://amdxtest.blogspot.com/

For more information on the types of content heard during a DX test, the video  “An introduction to DX Tests” is available at DX Central:

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Radio Waves: Border Blaster Early Days, Resistance on the Radiowaves, Towers With Flared Skirts, and Palau Restores AM

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


In border radio’s early days, psychics and mystics ruled the airwaves (Mexico News Daily)

Charlatans originally built powerful ‘border blaster’ stations to evade scrutiny by US authorities

In radio’s early decades, among the oddball attractions found on the airwaves from 1920 to 1940 included a husband-and-wife team of psychics broadcasting from the U.S.-Mexico border under the stage names of Koran and Rose Dawn who became so popular that their extensive following helped them create a secondary income source: an organization called The Mayan Order.

Those who applied for membership and received its periodicals, the founders suggested, could harness the ancient Mesoamerican civilization’s secrets.

The pair were just two of the many psychics and other broadcasters of questionable integrity on the airwaves along the Rio Grande during radio’s beginnings. These characters built “border-blaster” stations of such epic size and scope that they could transmit from the Mexican side of the border into the United States.

Author John Benedict Buescher’s new book, Radio Psychics: Mind Reading and Fortune Telling in American Broadcasting, 1920–1940, unearths Koran and Rose Dawn’s forgotten story, as well as those of about 25 other border-blaster radio personalities on the Rio Grande who were heirs to a longtime American fascination with the occult.

“I was surprised how really dominant this stuff was in the early days of radio,” Buescher said. “Radio historians typically have just waved it off, not really focused on it, didn’t really take it seriously.” [Continue reading…]

Ukraine’s resistance on the radiowaves (DW Video)

Ukraine is fighting with more than weapons. The airwaves are also a frontier. Ukrainian computer specialists and radio operators have managed to jam Russian communications or intercept them. revealing some shocking details of the war’s brutality.

Click here to watch the view at DW’s website.

Why Well-Dressed Towers May Wear Flared Skirts (Radio World)

Cox, Dawson explore the benefits of umbrella-spoke feed for MW towers

Ben Dawson and Bobby Cox will talk about flared skirts at the NAB Show.

“A flared skirt is a set of symmetrically spaced cables around the tower, which attach electrically near the top of the tower, extend outward from the tower along a path similar to the top guy cables, and then turn back in toward the tower base at a point roughly halfway down the tower,” said Cox, senior staff engineer at Kintronic Labs.

“Insulators at this midpoint insulate the cables from ground. The cables terminate on an insulated feed ring encircling the tower base above ground level, similarly to a conventional skirt feed. The antenna is driven between this feed ring and RF ground. The resulting flared skirt takes the shape of a diamond, looking rather like umbrella spokes.”

These systems are used to provide a feed arrangement for grounded towers that is mechanically simple but has certain attractive aspects.

“The wide bandwidth characteristics of the flared skirt make these antenna designs extremely useful for multiplexing several AM stations onto a common antenna,” said Dawson, consultant engineer at Hatfield & Dawson. [Continue reading…]

Palau restores AM radio service (RNZ)

After erecting a new tower Palau’s state broadcaster has restored its AM radio service.

The previous AM tower was destroyed during Typhoon Bopha, in 2012.

Rondy Ronny, head of programming said that the new AM tower and radio service will benefit all the 16 states of Palau.

“A lot of the outlying states are not able to connect into the internet and just don’t have that capability or have very high tech phones like how we do here in Koror. People don’t expect people from Angaur, from Babeldaob to be on their phones all the time.”

Ronny said that the new tower will be crucial to Palauans during natural disasters. [Continue reading at RNZ…]


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Frans experiments with the MFJ-1026 Noise Canceling Signal Enhancer

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Frans Goddijn, who writes:

“Last week I purchased the MFJ-1026 ‘noise canceling signal enhancer’ and I posted two blogs with video about it. Initially the device seemed as useless as it is good looking but then I found a configuration where the device is not only pleasant to have but also useful for radio listening.”

Here are Frans’ reports which he kindly shares from these two posts originally published on his blog, Kostverlorenvaart:

Part 1: MFJ-1026 deluxe noise canceling signal enhancer

Using a GRAHN antenna, (a VENHORST wire antenna for noise reference), the iCOM R8600 radio and optional bhi DSP audio noise canceling, trying to see what’s the best way to cancel noise — on the antenna entry point of the radio or at the speaker output end.

In this case the MFJ-1026 seems ineffective. The DSP at the audio output end works well and easy.

I have also tried two GRAHN antennas on the MFJ-1026, one for MAIN and one for AUX but that was also not noticeably effective yet.

I will also try the little whip antenna that MFJ supplied with the box. Further tweaking may turn out to be helpful on some other frequencies / signals.

Before installing the MFJ i used the little TECSUN H-501x to scan the room for any devices producing radio noise. It turned out that the two Apple Homepods sit in a dense cloud of radio noise, the Macbook Pro also radiates noise, EVE smart plugs controlling lights also produce radio noise, two little label printers s well and the HP printer/scanner too. So I moved those to the other end of the toom or to another room. Continue reading

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