Category Archives: News

Radio Waves: Absolute Radio’s Switch-Off, Pirate Database, Little Pea Island, Zero Power Transmitting, and is AM Radio Dead?

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dennis Dura, JP, NT, and Paul for the following tips:


Hear Absolute Radio’s 200KW Transmitter Switch Off Forever (YouTube)

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Saturday morning fun: “fat” MW DXing with the MFJ-1886

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

It was a reader, Mario Filippi, who set me on this path. He posted a comment that said, in part: “An interesting place to DX would be the segment between 1500 – 1590 kc’s where there are a number of news stations, one being federal news on 1500.”

Huh, I thought, federal news? I wonder if I can hear that. So I hooked up the MFJ 1886 Receive Loop Antenna to my Grundig Satellit 800 receiver and tuned to 1500. With the 800’s whip antenna, I heard mostly static; switching to the 50-foot indoor room loop, pretty much the same; same thing with the 1886 with the amplifier turned off. But turn the 1886’s amplifier on, and it was like getting slammed against the wall by the schoolyard bully: LISTEN TO ME! A big, fat, S9 signal, sounding like WGY 810 just a few miles from me. Wow, I thought, this loop can really pull out a signal.

A little research revealed, as nearly as I can tell, that Federal News 1500 is in Washington, DC, over 300 miles from me. Over the next few days I would occasionally check on Federal News 1500 using the 1886 loop, and typically it was loud and clear here in Troy, NY.

Hidden behind a curtain, the 3-foot aluminum loop of the MFJ 1886 works well for MW DXing.

Early this morning, Jan. 28, 2023, a thought crept into my brain: how many big, fat, MW signals could I detect with the combo of the Satellite 800 and the MFJ 1886 loop antenna? (Bear in mind that my 1886 rests flat against a window and is NOT rotatable in its current configuration.) Here’s the log, with station IDs when I could get them.

Time                Frequency                   Station

1100Z              1520                            WWKB Buffalo

1102Z              1530                            Milwaukee? Sports, Australian open

1106Z              1540                            CHIN Toronto, old time radio programs

1112Z              1560                            religious music

1115Z              1660                            orchestral music, Strauss waltzes

1118Z              540                              middle eastern music

1121Z              660                              WFAN, NYC

1124Z              700                              WLW, Cincinnati

1127Z              710                              WOR, the Voice of New York

1129Z              730                              French language, Canada mentioned

1132Z              750                              WSB, Atlanta

1134Z              770                              WABC, NYC

1135Z              790                              ortho doctor show

1138Z              860                              French language, Canada mentioned

1140Z              880                              WCBS, NYC

1142Z              1010                            WINS, NYC

1144Z              1020                            Talk

1146Z              1030                            WBZ, Boston

1148Z              1050                            WEPN, ESPN radio, New York

1149Z              1060                            KYW, Philadelphia, PA

1153Z              1090                            WBAL, Baltimore

1154Z              1110                            WBT Charlotte, NC

Bottom line: it was immense fun, tuning around for “fat” MW stations in the early AM. Periodically I checked the other antennas as I traversed the band, but universally the MFJ 1886 was better at pulling them in.

Fat station DX? You bet! Try it; you’ll like it!

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Don Moore’s Photo Album: Cuenca, Ecuador (Part One)

Cuenca Cathedral

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Don Moore–noted author, traveler, and DXer–for the latest installment of his Photo Album guest post series:


Don Moore’s Photo Album: Cuenca, Ecuador (Part One)

by Don Moore

For me travel is all about seeing new places and having new experiences. When I retired in 2017 my plan was to spend the next fifteen years visiting new countries and new places in countries I already knew. Is that a viable goal? Three years ago while crossing the border from Ecuador to Colombia I shared a taxi with Dutch man who, like me, was traveling overland by bus with just a knapsack and a suitcase. And two weeks earlier he had celebrated his eightieth birthday. I don’t remember his name but he’s my hero.

The pandemic put a pause on travel but I’m happy to be back on the road. I’m currently in Ecuador, the country where I’ve spent more time than anywhere except the United States and Honduras. After landing in Quito at the beginning of December I visited four provinces I hadn’t been to before, including spending three nights at the bohemian beach town of Montañita where I had some good DX. I like seeing new places but there is also something to be said for returning to a familiar place that holds a special meaning. For me that place is where I am now – Cuenca, Ecuador.

My ex-wife and I finished our Peace Corps service in 1984, flew home to get married, and then in January 1985 flew to Quito, Ecuador to begin a long journey that would take us overland all the way to Buenos Aires and back. On our way to Peru in late February we stopped for a few days in Cuenca and fell in love with the little city. We visited Cuenca again in July at the end of our travels. When we left I knew we would be back but I never could have imagined the circumstances that would lead to that next visit. In 1997 we returned with our seven-year-old daughter to adopt a six-year-old son. We spent almost three weeks in Cuenca doing all the required paperwork but we had no complaints as we enjoyed being there so much. I clearly remember sitting in a park one day and commenting that Cuenca would be a perfect place to retire in someday. I was only ten years ahead of my time.

La Voz del Río Tarqui

Cuenca was home to several shortwave broadcasters over the decades but La Voz del Río Tarqui was probably the best known to my generation of DXers. The station was founded in 1960 by Manuel Pulla but didn’t begin its shortwave service on 3285 kHz until 1982. My loggings of the station run from July 1982 through 1997 but I believe they were on shortwave for a few more years after that. (Don’t confuse La Voz del Río Tarqui with Radio Tarqui, a sometimes broadcaster from Quito on 4970 kHz.)

La Voz del Río Tarqui in 1985. The facilities inside were no more impressive than the outside of the building was.

La Voz del Río Tarqui takes its name from the famous Battle of the River Tarqui. After the new countries of South America gained their independence from Spain there was often disagreement over just where the boundaries were that they had inherited from Spanish rule. Ecuador was in a union with present-day Colombia and Venezuela until 1830 and during this time Peru claimed much of present-day southern Ecuador, including Cuenca and Guayaquil. In 1828 a large Peruvian army occupied Loja, to the south, and a few months later marched north to complete their conquest. In February 1829 General Antonio de Sucre, a hero of the war of independence, met the Peruvians on the banks of the Tarqui, twenty-five kilometers south of Cuenca. Both sides suffered heavy losses but Sucre’s army routed the Peruvians. Cuenca, Guayaquil, and Loja remained a part of Ecuador. Continue reading

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DRM Test Broadcast on 954 kHz in the Czech Republic

DRM Test Broadcast on 954 kHz from Transmitter in Czech Republic (DRM Consortium)

DRM is now on air in the Czech Republic, on a medium wave channel that used to carry a powerful AM signal. It is broadcast on 954kHz (power reported as 3kW) from the ?eské Bud?jovice transmitter site, located in the South Bohemian region re-using the old AM antenna with a modulator connected to the existing 30 kW AM transmitter.

The DRM transmission on 954kHz was even received in the country using a KiwiSDR.

This is a trial of DRM within the Czech Republic and is scheduled to come to an end possibly in the second half of 2023. The content is supplied by Radiožurnal, a news and journalism station that broadcasts 24 hours a day covering events at home and abroad. The station also carries music in between the news segments.

One of the listeners receiving the DRM signal in the country reported: “From my listening on the remote receivers, it seems to me that a few low-powered AM transmitters could cover the whole country”. [Click here to read the original article…]

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Carlos’ Shortwave Art and recording of BBC World Service (Jan 27, 2023)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares his radio log art of a recent broadcast from the BBC World Service (Somali Language Service).

Carlos’ goal is to vividly illustrate the broadcaster’s message in his own unique artistic style and is not a reflection of his own beliefs or those of the SWLing Post. His objective is for his artwork to add historical context and put a visual with the news, reporting, and broadcast content:


Carlos notes:

BBC shortwave broadcasting to Somalia.
Morning bulletin news.
Interview about Daesh’s regional leader Bilal al-Sudani killed by US forces in Somalia.
Listened in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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Callling all agents

Hi all shortwave community, Fastradioburst23 here letting you know about KSPY on WRMI from the Imaginary Stations crew. We can’t give too much away but tune into 9395 kHz at 2300 hrs UTC on Sunday 29th January 2023 for further instructions. Remember if anyone asks, you didn’t read it here.

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Sangean WFR-39 review update

Some of you know I’ve been working on a review of the Sangean WFR-39 WiFi/Internet radio. I’ve placed that review on hold as I’ve just learned that Sangean is working on updates to address a number of the issues I discovered while evaluating this unit over the past three months.

Besides an overly sluggish CPU, there are distracting audio artifacts present in the audio amplification chain when in Internet radio mode.

I’ll plan to publish a full review once they have updated and tested the new WFR-39 firmware. I think Sangean is an excellent radio manufacturer so I’m happy they’re addressing these issues in what would otherwise be a capable portable WiFi radio.

Stay tuned!

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