Category Archives: News

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.

Spread the radio love

Voice of Korea via Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Jamet, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

Several listeners have posted videos on YouTube about receiving broadcasts of “The Voice of Korea” on 6140 kHz DRM – Digital Radio Mondiale.

One video in particular caught my attention, from Indian listeners in the Kerala region:

Indeed, these headphones use a Chinese receiver, the G-226 from GOSPELL which is also sold by TECSUN in Australia: https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/product/tecsun-drm-radio/

So, you can see how this receiver works.

All this has aroused my curiosity! And yesterday, Friday 17 June 2022, at 20:00 UTC I connected to several kiwi SDRs in the Pacific area. The DRKP signal could be picked up almost 8,000 km from the transmitter site near Pyong-Yang.

Here attached a screenshot and an audio file recorded with a kiwi SDR located a few kilometres away near Perth, Australia – Distance according to Google Maps, about 7960 km

The signal is encoded in AAC and not xHE AAC

[Audio: Note that the audio level jumps several times, so don’t turn up the volume too high.]

Who is this program for? According to Indian radio listeners, probably to the North Korean fleet in the Pacific. To be continued.

Have a nice weekend. Yours sincerely

Paul JAMET

I would have never guessed VOK would broadcast in DRM. Very interesting indeed. Perhaps we’ll learn more about this with time or someone can confirm whether or not this is actually VOK. Thank you for sharing this, Paul!

Spread the radio love

RTI Transmission Test from Tamsui on Saturday, July 2, 2022

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following notice from RTI’s French language service. Note that the following article was translated into English by Google. Click here for the version français.

Direct broadcast from RTI’s Tamsui station

This year, the French service offers direct broadcasting from RTI’s Tamsui station to France and Europe.

Frequency and times of the test phase

A test broadcast will take place on four different frequencies on Saturday, July 2, in 10-minute increments, as follows:

-Frequency 11995 kHz (Angle 325 degrees)?17:00-17:10 UT and 17:30-17:40 UT.

-Frequency 9545 kHz (Angle 315 degrees)?19:00-19:10 UT.

-Frequency 7240 kHz (Angle 315 degrees)?19:20-19:30 UT.

-Frequency 7250 kHz (Angle 315 degrees)?19:40-19:50 UT

Depending on the results obtained and your feedback on these broadcast frequencies, the two best results will be selected for the direct broadcast in August.

Live Stream Schedules

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August, at 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. UT and 7:00-8:00 p.m. UT.

A special QSL card is being printed for any listening reports received as part of this summer 2022 direct broadcast from the French service (test phase and official broadcast). Thank you for your support!

The direct broadcast of the German service will take place in July (test phase on June 25).

Spread the radio love

Jack’s “Perfect Radio Trifecta”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jack Kratoville, for the following guest post:


My Perfect Radio Trifecta

by Jack Kratoville

Last Fall, I asked SWLing readers to assist me in my decision as to what portable radio I should take on a two-week trip to Germany. While I came up with an initial list of portables I already own, there were some excellent suggestions on what I might pack. (Sidenote to Thomas – yes, my wife and I packed everything we needed into two carry-on pieces, including my 3 radios. Your expertise continues to serve us well!) To all else, thank you again for your thoughts, suggestions and comments.

The Tecsun PL-310ET was a top choice of many, yet one I had previously never took into the field. It seemed a logical choice for this trip. The second is the Sangean PL-210 and it just fits in any pocket. The third is a DAB receiver someone had given me, tossed in a drawer, and forgotten about until I realized Germany implemented DAB to replace the MW and LW bands. The only name I can find online is the DAB-8. Being quite small, it made the cut and I shoved it in between a couple of tee shirts.

At our destination, I quickly realized I could not have chosen a better trinity for myself. Here’s why.

Tecsun PL-310ET

If this had been the only radio I brought, I would have been more than satisfied. SW signals abound (the war just two countries away was certainly a factor.) A quick hit of the ETM feature at the top of the hour brought in 40-50 listenable signals, with only a scant few broadcasts religious in nature. Even during the day, I could capture 25 easily. With the bandwidth set at 3 kHz, sound was most impressive. While some were the same broadcast on different frequencies, my only real disappointment was the lack of English-speaking broadcasts – but that was to be expected. The PL-310ET scans relatively fast and holds on to strong signals quite nicely.

We stayed with relatives who lived high on a hill not far from Kiel, in the north of Germany. One push of the ETM feature on FM filled the dial with German voices playing mostly English pop music (the eighties apparently a favorite decade there too.) Simply put, the selectivity on this radio is phenomenal. Odd / even frequencies happily sharing adjacent homes on the dial. And with the pre-emphasis on European FM at 50, the sound from this portable was absolute perfection. As a matter of fact, my first complaint about this radio was a bit of harshness on our over-processed FM commercial stations. In Europe, the audio characteristics of classical, pop, rock and talk stations was simply sweet.

My first night on the AM band was a disappointment. One, maybe two signals that didn’t come in very well. Thankfully, I quickly remembered to flip it to 9kHz and – wow! The BBC, Spanish, Italian, and signals that sounded very much like eastern Europe came booming in. I did not expect all of this and can easily say this was the most fun I’ve had band scanning and DXing in a long, long time! Traveling domestically, I’m more apt to load a memory page, but in this situation, the ETM feature was incredibly useful.

For all DXing, I only used the whip and internal antennas. The battery indicator dropped one notch on the second to the last day we were there. The PL-310ET is an absolute true travel performer.

The Tecsun PL-310ET now sits proudly alongside my CCrane Skywave, Digitech AR1780, Eton Executive Satellit (Grundig edition) and the semi-retired Grundig G5. When we travel to London next year, there’s no question this gets packed again.

Sangean PL-210

A radio that became my constant walking companion during Covid. Hand-sized with a really nice on-board speaker for its size. The sensitivity is impressive and considering its PLL circuitry, has excellent selectivity on FM. AM was also impressive for an antenna no more than a half-inch – if that. It went with me to Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfort and Denmark; always just a quick pull from the pocket for a quick scan. To say I like this radio, well, I own three.

DAB-8

My curiosity in DAB was basically zero. One reader actually PM’d me and offered their own DAB receiver, saying I should check it out. (Thank you, Mike, for that generous offer.) This radio sounds great, but has very poor FM reception. (No MW). It does have inputs for mp3 and Bluetooth, so I figured just in case there was nothing to listen to, I could stream something on it. Its small size was the biggest factor in making the trip. Once settled, a quick daytime scan grabbed nine signals easily on DAB and they sounded great. It was the only band that featured more traditional (even country!) music. It’s back in the drawer at home, but I am very glad it made the trip.

Summary

I truly had a blast listening to the various captures on these three radios, the Tecsun being the most impressive and fun. I’m sure many newer models would be excellent choices, but not once did I wish to have something bigger or better. That doesn’t happen on trips very often, so perfection indeed.

My apologies to those looking / hoping for recordings. I stopped recording from the radio back when I opted to purchase 45rpm records rather than record them, complete with DJ patter on my father’s Webcor reel-to-reel. Once I got into the biz, I recorded enough DJ patter to last a lifetime! Again, thanks to everyone for their input.

Spread the radio love

Microtelecom introduces the Perseus 22 four channel wideband SDR

Microtelecom has just announced their latest SDR receiver: the Perseus22. 

INTRODUCING NEXT-GEN SDR RECEIVER

Perseus22 is a 4 channels, direct sampling receiver with a continuous frequency coverage from 10 KHz to 225 MHz and a typical image rejection larger than 70 dB.

All channels are synchronously sampled by an high SNR, 14 bits A/D converter and processed by a software defined digital down converter, implemented on an FPGA, which outputs are routed to the host PC by a USB 3.0 controller, allowing wide-bandwidth IF applications.
The frequency coverage is split-up in 2 groups of channels (two for VLF-HF frequency range, the others for VHF), each one capable of diversity, which can reduce noise in order of tens dB. All channels includes an analog RF frontend equipped with attenuators, preselection filters and amplifiers.

The receiver enclosure is machined from solid aluminium and finished with a fine, non reflecting, black surface treatment.

I’ve no other details at present, but I’m eager to learn about pricing and availability.

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: Triple J is Shedding Young Listeners, Audio is the new Radio, Benefits of OTA, and RX Radio

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!


Triple J is shedding young listeners, but radio isn’t a dead medium yet (The Age)

I’ll never forget the excitement I felt as I bought my first transistor radio with a hard-saved pile of silver coins. I was 9, and I wasn’t just getting a piece of shiny kit, I was gaining access to a whole world of music and chat and cool that might somehow magically bind me to the other kids in my neighbourhood and at my school.

That thrill was only topped when, in my teens, I discovered the seditious sounds of student radio on the FM band, and realised there really were other people like me in the world. Like Jenny in the Velvet Underground song, I turned on a radio station and my life was saved by rock and roll.

It’s doubtful, though, that young listeners feel the same way about the medium today. While they consume vast quantities of music, much of it is via streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and TikTok. The radio isn’t the principal conduit to a world and identity – it’s just one channel among many. And when they do listen to radio, young people are increasingly shunning the stations targeting them in favour of golden oldies.

The latest Australian radio survey results saw Smooth FM pick up considerable market share in the younger demographics – 10-17, 18-24 and 25-39 – and much of it came at the expense of the ABC’s youth-focused network Triple J.

In the survey, which covered the period of February 27 to May 21, Triple J clocked an average audience of just 78,000 listeners in the five mainland capital cities across the full listening week (from a total of 1.56 million average radio listeners). In Sydney, it held a 3.9 per cent share of the listening audience, in Melbourne 4.5 per cent. It did better in Brisbane, where it has a 6.7 per cent share of listening, Perth (6.8 per cent) and Adelaide (5.1 per cent). [Continue reading at The Age…]

Audio – it’s Radio, but not as we know it. (Radio Today)

Comment from Dean Buchanan.

Much is made of Radio’s digital future in Australia. The publicly listed broadcasters and the industry body CRA are obsessed with digital. And so they should be as the content equation continues to fragment and the battle for your attention increases. The buzzword is AUDIO.

However, this appears to me at the significant risk of over-looking the goose that lays the golden eggs – FM and AM radio. The audience numbers and revenue this “traditional” medium continues to generate are staggering and dwarf many “digital audio” businesses.

This from radiotoday.com.au: “Commercial radio ad revenue in May was up 11.2% compared to May 2021, continuing months of sustained growth in the sector. (April was up 8.8%) That’s according to data released today by industry body Commercial Radio Australia. Ad revenue for the five major Australian capital city markets totalled $66.273 million during the month compared to $59.605 million a year ago. Commercial Radio is currently flying on all fronts with record audience listening levels in the most recent GFK survey and now an 11.2% year on year increase in commercial revenue for May.”

I would have thought that’s something for Radio to be very proud of, especially in the light of declining television viewership and publishing readership trends? But the word Radio is in danger of extinction.

This from SCA’s Annual report: “The four pillars of our refreshed corporate strategy are to entertain, inform and inspire our audiences; to establish LiSTNR as Australia’s ultimate audio destination; to use our assets to help our clients succeed; and drive and embed a digital audio first operating model.” Where’s Radio? [Continue reading at Radio Today…]

Don’t Overlook the Benefits of OTA (Radio World)

The author is a retired broadcast engineer who has been involved with advancing radio and television throughout his career, including for Qualcomm/MediaFLO, Harris, Nautel and ONEMedia LLC/Sinclair.

There are days when I feel like Ira Wilner, who wrote a piece here in reply to my commentary about NextGen TV.

Why bother with OTA broadcast? That is the question, isn’t it? But then, several explanations come to mind.

OTA is free. It’s hard to beat free. Streaming delivery requires an ISP or wireless data payment. Subscription satellite is needed when one drives through nowhere. Admittedly, many of us have connectivity in all the places we want it for other reasons; thus, sometimes it is a “sunk cost” for listeners, but always an additional, buy-it-by-the-bit, per-listener CDN cost for broadcasters.

OTA is low-friction. It’s hard to be smoother than navigating on-off/volume/tune.

OTA doesn’t buffer. It does not (and should not on NextGen) require searching with a browser. Done well, there isn’t even a “channel change” delay.

Try surfing through the dial on IP. Try scanning for local stations when travelling. I like local. On Sunday nights, I could stream “The Big Broadcast,” WAMU’s longest-running program, which I became addicted to when I commuted east; but I dial up KCFR or KUNC here in Denver instead. I am that lazy. I hate friction.

And if we don’t have an FCC license, just exactly what are we? Pause and contemplate what we’d be without a signal and those magic call letters. [Continue reading at Radio World…]

Groundbreaking children’s hospital radio station RX Radio appeals to public for support (IOL)

Cape Town – This Youth Month, award-winning RX Radio, run by and for children and based at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, are appealing to the public for help to keep the groundbreaking initiative going.

RX Radio celebrate their fifth birthday this year, with a studio based at Red Cross Hospital and their broadcast feed reaching the paediatric wards at Brooklyn Chest and Paarl Hospital.

With a vision of reaching every hospital with a paediatric ward in South Africa, RX Radio has trained over 135 young reporters from ages 4 and up.

A team of five staff, one intern, one mentor, volunteers and former reporters work behind the scenes to train, co-ordinate, and support the reporters – but the children are always behind the microphones and are active participants in the production; they design their own shows, choose the music, invite guests, write interviews, questions, and even plan fundraising events.

RX Radio founder, Dr Gabriel Urgoiti said: “Children make up 34% of people in South Africa; you see them everywhere, but at the same time you don’t see them, children are quite invisible. What RX radio continues trying to do is provide a platform where children can be heard and children can be engaged on things that are important to them. We provide them with an opportunity to talk, and working at hospitals has helped children with chronic conditions tell their stories and improve healthcare delivery.” [Continue reading at IOL…]

 


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love