Category Archives: News

1961 Film: “Tuning In Radio Sarawak”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adid, who writes:

Hi Thomas, I just watched this very interesting DX film about RADIO SARAWAK.

It’s a behind the scenes look at radio in the tropics, with great vintage gear.

I don’t think it was FM as it’s was much expensive and coverage is limited. But on the other hand we don’t see the large MW antennas

What do you think?

Click here to view the film at the Imperial War Museum website.

Good question, Adid. The FM band wasn’t widely included on radios until the late 1950s and early 1960s. Since this film dates from 1961, I imagine some of those new transistor/valve radios could have included FM, although I imagine mediumwave was the choice band for regional broadcasts.

Hopefully, an SWLing Post reader can shed some more light on Radio Sarawak’s history! Please comment!

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FTIOM & UBMP, October 20-November 2

From the Isle of Music, October 20-26 and October 27-November 2:
October 20-26: We feature the rather unique music of singer/composer Francis del Rio.
October 27-November 2: Our special guest is Emilio Morales, whose album Todos los Caminos won the Instrumental Vocal category of Cubadisco 2019.
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 UTC (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)

Listen Live


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 the Netherlands during the broadcast at
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/?tune=6070am
Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fromtheisleofmusic/

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, October 20, 22, 27 and 29:
October 20 and 22: Episode 135 presents music from Reunión, a department of France in the Indian Ocean with a fascinating mix of musical influences.
October 27 and 29: Episode 136 presents Kurdish music.
The transmissions take place:
1.Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM 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)

Listen Live


2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC 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 a listening radio in the Netherlands during the broadcast at
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/?tune=6070am
Visit our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/UncleBillsMeltingPot/

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Paul attends “The Secret War” special exhibit at the Science Museum

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

From the SWLing roving foreign correspondent.

A couple of weeks before going to London on our recent trip, I was idly looking through the Science Museum web site when I spotted a special exhibit ‘The Secret War’ put on by ‘members of GCHQ’. It had to be booked in advance (but was FREE), so I duly registered and printed out our tickets.

Come the first full day of our visit, a short walk in Kensington took us to the museum and an 11am time slot. The exhibit was a little hard to find, way at the back of Floor 0 and down some stairs, however it wasn’t just shoved in a ‘lesser area’. Entry was through a computer check-in and helper. However, there was enough slack that anybody showing up could enter more or less ‘on demand’. The exhibit is limited to 100 visitors per hour (that’s the trick).

Well, it was very well done and went all the way through the earliest coding in Greece and Egypt, through WWII and Bletchley to GCHQ and modern exhibits such as Edward Snowden’s laptop.

We had the pleasure to hear G7VAK calling CQ on a straight key, so I went over and answered him and gave him a suitable signal report and we swapped cards. Paul is manning the show, it seems, through most of its run into next year [23 February, 2020]. We exchanged suitable quips about having to kill each other if we said what we couldn’t say. He had a letter about some questions asked at the exhibit printed recently in RSGB RadCom in the ‘The Last Word’.

Overall the Science Museum has improved very much, having moved from a place stuffed full of (fairly) boring exhibits, to a more open and curated layout. They have also added snack bars (very good quality but pricey) on each floor.

Well worth a visit to what is now one of the world’s best museums of any topic. One of the finest exhibits on the staircase entry to Mathematics is the recently finished Babbage machine. And it works!

P.S. Personal bias. My Uncle Fred was at Bletchley Park, Hut 6 for a couple of years before being placed overseas, including a couple of trips to the USA (shhhhhhh!)

Mum’s the word, Paul! Thank you for the quick review of this special exhibit.

If you’d like to book a free ticket for this exhibit, go to the Science Museum website and click on the “Book Now” link!

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Pacific Beat: Vanuatu invests in shortwave service

(Source: ABC Pacific Beat via Michael Bird)

Click here to listen.

In the age of social media and internet technology, shortwave may be seen as traditional technology — but it still plays an important role in reaching far-flung communities, with Vanuatu’s public broadcaster now investing millions of dollars to boost its shortwave service.

The Vanuatu Broadcasting Television Corporation (VBTC) is investing AUD$12 million in upgrading its national radio service through its shortwave and and medium wave service.

VBTC chief executive officer, Francis Herman told the ABC that only 30 per cent of the country can access national radio but after the upgrade, this would increase to 100 per cent coverage across Vanuatu’s 80-plus islands.

“Radio as you know is cost effective, people can pick it up on their phone, in the villages where television can not reach, radio is the companion for people,” Mr Herman said.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation shutdown its shortwave service to the Pacific in 2017, in favour of a digital presence while China and New Zealand have increased their shortwave coverage.

Technology commentator Peter Marks said investing in shortwave is a great way to complement Vanuatu’s national radio service.

“Shortwave comes from over the horizon it will continue to work even when local conditions are difficult like extreme weather that might knock out local FM and AM stations and internet,” Mr Marks said.

Vanuatu is listed by the United Nations as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world and regularly experiences, earthquakes, cyclones and floods.

Mr Herman said this makes having a national shortwave service even more important.

“We have general elections in March next year, we are about to head into the cyclone season beginning in November and so its important, it’s crucial that the people of Vanuatu can get access to a reliable and credible broadcaster,” Mr Herman said.

Along with its shortwave broadcasts, the VBTC is also looking to improve its television coverage over the next two years, with funding support from the Vanuatu government, New Zealand and China.

Click here to read the full article and listen to the audio at Pacific Beat.


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Knock John Sea Fort and life on Fort Roughs

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who writes:

This is a recent posting of a trip out to the Knock John Fort and also of a new book about life on a sister fort, Roughs Tower.

Report – – Knock John Sea Fort – May 2018 | Noteworthy Report

The fort is still dry inside. This was the home of R Essex and the RCA ET4336 + T aerial. When Bates closed Essex they moved to the Roughs.

Check Amazon for the book “Holding the Fort” by Bates son [affiliate link]. It’s a hardback book and is excellent. An early Christmas present!! Plenty of pics and Sealand as well plus their TX and studio.

Fascinating!  Thank you for sharing this, Dave!

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