Category Archives: News

Encore – Classical Music – Updated Schedule and Programme details

After this week’s very successful trial broadcast WRMI will be continuing the Tuesday 13:00 UTC repeats of Encore to Europe on 15770 kHz for the time being.
 
Regular Broadcast times of Encore are: 
10:00 – 11:00 UTC Saturday 6070 kHz Channel 292 to Europe
Repeated 
01:00 – 02:00 UTC Sunday 5850 kHz and 5010 kHz WRMI to the US, Canada and Central America.
08:00 – 09:00 UTC Sunday 7440 kHz Channel 292 to Europe
02:00 – 03:00 UTC Monday 9455 kHz WRMI to the US and Canada
13:00 – 14:00 UTC Tuesday 15770 kHz WRMI to Europe
19:00 – 20:00 UTC Friday 6070 kHz Channel 292 to Europe
Our email is  encoretumbril@gmail.com. Informal reception reports as well as those requesting eQSL welcome.
The website is www.tumbril.co.uk where we show transmission times and frequencies, the playlist for the most recent programme, more information about Radio Tumbril and the email link.
This weekend the programme contains music for stringed instruments. A violin piece by Prokofiev first, then a harp sonata by Petrini, the whole of Beethoven’s string Quartet No. 1, some Liszt, and finally part of a cello concerto by Schumann.
The playlist is on the website and will be updated as  soon as possible after Saturday’s broadcast of the new show by Channel 292 at 11:00 UTC.
Channel 292 can be pulled live off the internet if the reception is poor in your location. Easy to find their site with a google search.
In the meantime – thank you for spreading the word about Encore – Classical Music on Shortwave on Radio Tumbril. And thank you to everyone for letting us know how well the signal is received where you live.
Brice Avery – Encore – Radio Tumbril – Scotland
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Radio Waves: LPFMs Go Non-Directional, ABC Cuts Remain, WBCQ Videos, and Demolition of Hara Arena

Hara Arena during the 2016 Dayton HamventionRadio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: 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 Ulis (K3LU), Michael Bird, and Trevor Dailey for the following tips:


New FCC Rules Would Allow LPFMs To Use Non-Directional Antennas. (Inside Radio)

The FCC is scheduled to vote on controversial new rules that would potentially end a prohibition on low-power FM stations using directional antennas, among other things. At its April Open Commission Meeting, the agency will vote on a Report and Order to update its technical rules for LPFM stations.

Since the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 was passed nearly a decade ago, the number of LPFMs has grown to more than 2,100 stations. The LPFM service has “matured since engineering requirements were first established in 2000,” FCC Chair Ajit Pai said in a blog post announcing the April meeting agenda. “This maturation means that LPFM stations should be able to take advantage of additional engineering options to improve reception.”

In addition to improving reception, the proposed new rules would “increase flexibility while maintaining interference protection and the core LPFM goals of diversity and localism,” Pai said.

Along with expanded LPFM use of directional antennas, the proposal would allow LPFM stations to use FM booster stations.[]

The ABC is an essential service but funding cuts remain, says boss (The Age)

The ABC could have to look at closing a channel if the government remains committed to the funding cuts announced in the 2018 federal budget, according to managing director David Anderson.

“We don’t think we can bridge the gap purely from efficiency alone,” said Mr Anderson on Thursday, as the broadcaster revealed a suite of programming that it hopes will help Australians through the next three months of social isolation.

“That’s where you start to look at what it is you’re providing on what service. At the moment we have no plans to turn off a channel or a network, but I have to say that in the foreseeable future turning off a channel will happen one day. It’s just not right now.”

The ABC is in the second year of its current triennial funding round, in which the government declined to index its base funding, effectively meaning its budget has been cut by $84 million over the three years to 30 June, 2022.[]

Two WBCQ Videos by Peter Kroon

Trevor Dailey shares two videos produced by Peter Kroon that focus on WBCQ and their free speech mission. Click here for the first video (18:30) and here for the second video (4:37).

Note that while all of the commentary is in Dutch, Much of the content is in English.

Demolition of most of Hara Arena will start soon (Dayton Daily News)

Michael Heitz, the developer of the Hara Arena property, said Monday that sometime in the next two to three months, demolition of about two-thirds of the tornado-damaged property should begin.

Heitz said he is putting together a legal description of the recently rezoned former entertainment property, with an environmental report and surveys, for JobsOhio. He expects JobsOhio, the state’s private jobs creation arm, to put its marketing muscle behind the 130-acre site, to help him find a future user.

“This is one of their biggest tracts in the state of Ohio, under one piece of land,” Heitz said in an interview. []


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RNEI now broadcasting in Comb Stereo

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Roseanna, who shares the following announcement from Radio Northern Europe International:

Hello everyone,

The show is finished, transmitter time booked and pre-processing done so it’s time to announce RNEI #3 & TIAEMS April 2020 to all of you!

Before we continue, we need to announce something pretty special and unique about this and future RNEI broadcasts:

RNEI is now broadcasting in Comb Stereo. It’s a standard we made and it’s a really nice addition to having a mono only broadcast. It’s easy to decode and it doesn’t degrade the mono signal!

For more information about the system and how it is decoded please see https://rnei.org/stereo/

RNEI #3 features 30 minutes of our favourite music from all over Northern Europe; Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland this show. I’ve really enjoyed choosing the music and putting it all together, I really hope you enjoy listening to it.

We will also have the playlist sent in MFSK32 embedded into the final song, very similar to show #1 (we’ve worked extra hard to make it as hidden as possible which was a massive challenge this time, it’s in 2 parts during the final song with an RxID at the start of the final song).

Just like last month, TIAMS has been kind enough to join forces and make us a 30 minute express version of his show which I have loved listening to and I’m sure you will love it too![…]

Click here to continue reading the announcement and view the full RNEI schedule.

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Form follows function in the Tom Bihn Travel Tray

If you’ve been reading the SWLing Post for long, you no doubt know that not only am I radio geek, but a pack geek as well.

In a typical year––although, admittedly, this is not one––I do quite a bit of regional travel. I’m an minimalist traveler when I’m on the road, eschewing lots of unnecessary stuff, but I do still carry quite a bit of kit that’s important to me…in the form of radio gear.

Several years ago, I discovered Washington state pack designer and builder, Tom Bihn. Like Red Oxx (another favorite), Tom Bihn manufactures everything in their US factory, treats their employees like gold, and guarantees their gear for life. Breath of fresh air.

Yes, since it’s made on US soil, Tom Bihn gear can be pricey. But, hey, since it’s with you for life, I feel it’s worth the splurge.

I now own numerous Tom Bihn packs, bags, and accessories. But they make one product I use more than any other: the Travel Tray.

The Travel Tray (and don’t be fooled by the name; it’s definitely not for serving tea on a train) is an ingenious travel accessory––more of a pouch, really––that comes in two sizes: small ($22) and large ($25). I find the large size to be ideal.

So, what is it used for––? Let’s start with TB’s description:

Pop the Travel Tray out of your luggage when you arrive at your destination and drop in your keys, coins, wallet, cell phone — all that small stuff you don’t want to have wander off while you sleep.

Think of it as a babysitter for the miscellanea that ends up in your pockets: our Travel Tray keeps an eye on all that until you’re ready to face the world again. Unlike other travel trays, ours pulls shut with a drawstring so it can be used for more than just organizing the top of your bureau.

Need to depart with some degree of alacrity? Simply leave some or all of those little things in the tray, pull the drawstring, and hit the road.

The Travel Tray packs flat–in my GoRuck GR1 backpack, I store it in the inside front panel mesh pocket.

When I arrive at a hotel, B&B, AirBnB, or at a home I’m visiting, the first thing I do is pull the flattened travel tray out of my pack, pop it up (yep, it’s conveniently self-supporting), and throw in my keys, wallet, phone, earphones, passport, and everything else in my pockets. All kinds of little things land in there. If I pull something small from my pack, when not in use, it goes in the travel tray. This way, I’m way less likely to leave a small item in the hotel when I leave.

If you’ve ever been to one of my presentations, you might have even see me use a Travel Tray at the podium to keep track of any items I’ve brought to show. I’ve always carried a Travel Tray in both my EDC pack and my travel backpack.

And you know what? Since I’ve been using Travel Trays, I haven’t left even one small item in a hotel room.

Great! But what does this Travel Tray have to do with radio––???

Not only can it hold a small radio or two…The large TB Travel Tray is ideal for something else:  antenna cables, power cables, and connectors!

In fact, I just discovered that it’s the perfect portable storage for my recently-reviewed Airspy Youloop antenna!

The Youloop rolls up for storage, and it just so happens the diameter of the Travel Tray is nearly identical to that of the poly bag in which the Youloop was shipped.

That little organizer pouch in the middle of the bag? It contains the Youloop cross-over box and tee, along with some small patch cables. Tom Bihn actually sent the small pouch free with my recent order of yet another Travel Tray––they’re currently including one with every order (details here). Sweet!

I could easily fit an SDR and all associated cables in this pack, too. In fact, as you can see, the antenna only takes up a small fraction of the tray’s capacity when it’s popped up.

With the Youloop and all accessories inside, the Travel Tray packs flat

When I’m ready to travel, I just pull the drawstring, and squash the Tray flat! Then I have only to toss it in my pack…couldn’t be easier.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m doing what I can to support small businesses that are important to me, such as this small American company. I purchased the blue travel tray above because…well, you can never have too many, right?

If you’d like to check out the Tom Bihn Travel Tray, here’s a direct link to the product page on the TB website. Note that shipping times vary because the company is taking serious precautions, and also diverting much of their factory work to producing much-needed face masks right now. Go, Tom Bihn!

Again, I prefer the large Travel Tray, but they also make a handy small Travel Tray. These come in a number of other colors, but I go for the bright colors because they stand out, meaning a quick scan of that hotel room or wooded campsite will always reveal just where I left my gear. You can even choose your preferred fabric weight––”halcyon” fabric or a 210 ballistic. I prefer halcyon because it’s lighter weight, yet still incredibly durable (both trays seen above are made with halcyon).

Got this Tom Bihn pouch? What do you use yours for? Feel free to comment below!


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FTIOM & UBMP (NOW A FULL HOUR!), April 5-11

From the Isle of Music, April 5-11:
April is Jazz Appreciation Month! This week, our special guest is William Roblejo. We will chat about his new album Capitalia and listen to some of that and his previous album Dreaming.
The broadcasts take place:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Sofia, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
If you don’t have a shortwave radio or are out of range, you can listen live to an uplink from a listening radio in the Netherlands during the broadcast at
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/?tune=9400am
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 (New UTC) on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US).
If you don’t have a shortwave or are out of range, you can listen to a live stream from the WBCQ website here (choose 7490): http://www.wbcq.com/?page_id=7
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
If you don’t have a shortwave radio or are out of range, you can listen live to an uplink from a listening radio in Europe.
Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fromtheisleofmusic

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, April 5 and 7:
Episode 159 is our first full-hour regular episode and will include music from several continents.
The transmissions take place:
1.Sundays 2200-2300 NEW UTC (6:00PM -7:00PM Eastern US) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
If you don’t have a shortwave or are out of range, you can listen to a live stream from the WBCQ website here (choose 7490): http://www.wbcq.com/?page_id=7
2. Tuesdays 2000-2100 UTC (2200-2300 MESZ) on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe.
If you don’t have a shortwave radio or are out of range, you can listen live to an uplink from different web SDRs in Europe.
Visit our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/UncleBillsMeltingPot

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Radio Waves: The Future of On-Air DJs, SDR Comparison, Radios That Never Were, and an Internet Radio Player for Linux

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: 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 Jack Kratoville, Dave Zantow, and Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Live From Everywhere? The American Radio DJ In An On-Demand World (1A)

iHeartMedia owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, serving more than 150 markets throughout the U.S. The company reaches over a quarter billion monthly listeners ?in America.

In January, news hit that iHeartMedia was reassessing its ability to adapt to the modern music industry. The company said that it plans to make “significant investments … in technology and artificial intelligence.”

However, its on-air DJs were caught off guard when they found out that the company’s restructuring plan didn’t include them.

Streaming platforms has ushered in the digital age of music where each person make their own playlists. What does that mean for the future of the on-air DJ in the United States?

Click here to listen to the audio.

A comprehensive lab comparison between multiple software defined radios (RTL-SDR.com)

Librespace, who are the people behind the open hardware/source SatNOGS satellite ground station project have recently released a comprehensive paper (pdf) that compares multiple software defined radios available on the market in a realistic laboratory based signal environment. The testing was performed by Alexandru Csete (@csete) who is the programmer behind GQRX and Gpredict and Sheila Christiansen (@astro_sheila) who is a Space Systems Engineer at Alexandru’s company AC Satcom. Their goal was to evaluate multiple SDRs for use in SatNOGS ground stations and other satellite receiving applications.

The SDRs tested include the RTL-SDR Blog V3, Airspy Mini, SDRplay RSPduo, LimeSDR Mini, BladeRF 2.0 Micro, Ettus USRP B210 and the PlutoSDR. In their tests they measure the noise figure, dynamic range, RX/TX spectral purity, TX power output and transmitter modulation error ratio of each SDR in various satellite bands from VHF to C-band.

The paper is an excellent read, however the results are summarized below. In terms of noise figure, the SDRplay RSPduo with it’s built in LNA performed the best, with all other SDRs apart from the LimeSDR being similar. The LimeSDR had the worst noise figure by a large margin.[]

Radios that Never Were (N9EWO)

Dave Zantow (N9EWO) shares a new page on his website devoted to receivers and amateur transceivers that never quite made it to the marketplace. []

Shortwave: A Modern Internet Radio Player for Linux (It’s Floss)

Brief: Shortwave is a modern looking open source Internet Radio player for Linux desktop. We take a quick look at it after its recent stable release.

Shortwave is an interesting open-source radio player that offers a good-looking user interface along with a great experience listening to the Internet stations. It utilizes a community-powered database for the Internet stations it lists.

Shortwave is actually a successor of the popular radio app for Linux, Gradio. Its developer Felix joined GNOME and discontinued Gradio to create Shortwave from scratch in Rust programming language. If you were using Gradio as your preferred Internet radio station player, you can import the library as well.

Recently, Shortwave released its first stable version and seems to push new updates after that as well.[]


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