Category Archives: News

Bob Colegrove on “The Joys and Challenges of Tuning Analog Radios”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bob Colegrove, who recently shared this excellent article and has kindly allowed me to share it here in the the Post. Bob prefaced it by saying, “Being a retired technical writer, I started the attached article some time ago for my own amusement, but it quickly got out of hand.

“Got out of hand” in a very good way, Bob!

An excerpt from Bob’s article.

I love how this piece takes us through receiver history and explains, in detail, the mechanics and innovations. It’s also a very accessible piece that both the beginner and seasoned radio enthusiast can appreciate.

But don’t take my word for it, download it and enjoy!

Click here to download The Joys and Challenges of Tuning Analog Radios as a PDF.

Thank you again, Bob. This is a most enjoyable and informative read! This was obviously a labor of love. Thanks for sharing it with our radio community!

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FTIOM & UBMP, August 8-14


From the Isle of Music, August 8-14:

This week, we enjoy music from two of the albums nominated in the Jazz category of Cubadisco this year: Luz by Carlos Sarduy and Transparency by Dafnis Prieto.
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)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 kHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US).
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/fromtheisleofmusic/
Our V-Kontakte page is https://vk.com/fromtheisleofmusic
Our Patreon page is https://www.patreon.com/tilford

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, Àugust 8-14:
In episode 229, we listen to most of a raga from 200 Sitars by R.B. Datta
The transmissions take place:
1.Sunday 2200-2300 (6:00PM -7:00PM EDT) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesday 2000-2100 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe.
3. Saturday 0800-0900 UTC on Channel 292, 9670 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe with a directional booster aimed eastward.
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/UncleBillsMeltingPot/
Our V-Kontakte page is https://vk.com/fromtheisleofmusic
Our Patreon page is https://www.patreon.com/tilford

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KMTS Summer Test Transmission August 1, 2021

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Fastburstradio23, who shares the following announcement:

Beaming to you from the transmitter’s location, forget summer vacation, it’s time for summer school. Get your pencils sharpened and thinking caps on for the KMTS Summer Test (transmission)! Numbers, poetry, the science of strange tones, music and mountaineering are all part of the curriculum.

And if you are one of those cats who was too hip for school the first time around, we understand. We’ve been there! When you use one of our proprietary quantum radios passing is as easy and pleasant as a breeze blown in from a deserted tropical island. All the answers tp all the questions are right in some reality or timeline!

And after you’ve peaked out with us at the crown of KMTS, you can join us for a Mai Tai at the Tiki bar on top of the mountain as we go over the summer test results.

Thanks for the tip, Fastburstradio23!

As a bonus, I was also sent this video of KMRT’s broadcast from February 2021:

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Relighting an authentic Apollo DSKY screen

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave (N9EWO), who writes:

A current YouTube Video I accidentally came across. Ever wonder about those digital displays used in the Apollo space missions ? What were they ? Actually it’s quite a story how these Raytheon displays were developed. One has to remember we are talking about the mid 1960’s here and before the days of LED’s. Reminds me of the electro luminance nightlights still sold today.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Many thanks for sharing this, Dave. Being a massive fan of all things Apollo era, I love the deep dive into this crucial, yet very basic computer. The screen looks (and sounds!) amazing.

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Recommendations for an HF/VHF/UHF station in an apartment or flat

Photo by jay blacks on UnsplashMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jamie, who writes:

Hi,

I would like to ask a few questions about what would be a good set up for my situation.

I am in a 2 storey property, which is not owned by me (renting via community/public housing), located in a large city in Australia. I currently have an SDRPlay RSP2, along with standalone AM/FM tuners – Sony XDR-F1HD and Onkyo T4970. The computer and all radios are upstairs at the back in a room that is not attached.

Given renting would limit what I can do, what would be best for me to get. For MW and SW frequencies, I am trying to decide between the MLA30+ or the AOR LA400. For above 30MHz (6m, 2m, broadcast FM etc) I am deciding between the AOR SA7000 or a Discone.

I have been told that putting antennas in the roof space is not recommended. Would they work fine in the room near a window? I should mention, I do have a 50ft end fed longwire with 9:1 balun, that has been in storage and never used.

I am also looking at upgrading my receiver. Trying to choose between the WinRadio WR-G305e or the Icom IC-R8600 (would also get the RS-R8600 CD software for computer controlling the receiver). How do the specs compare between these two?

Thanks for your time, and hope that wasn’t too many questions.

Regards,

Jamie

Thank you for your inquiry, Jamie, and I hope you don’t mind, but I’m sharing this message as a post as we have readers who are in the same type of living situation and listening environment. In addition, I believe owners of the gear you’ve mentioned might be able to offer some helpful advice!

I can tell you that you’re correct: in general, antennas want to be near windows or, better yet, outdoors. Even placing an antenna on a balcony can make a big difference in terms of lowering the noise floor. This is less an issue with VHF/UHF, but those antennas also benefit from being outside since there’ll be less attenuation from obstructions.

For HF, I would personally suggest you check out the MLA-30 loop first since it’s such a modest investment and is fairly flexible in terms of how you can configure it. I’m sure our regular contributor, Grayhat, will have some helpful advice as he’s a bit of an expert with urban HF antennas.

Also, the IC-R8600 is a brilliant wideband receiver. Depending on what you wish to have for frequency coverage, I would also suggest you check out the Icom IC-705 transceiver (noting that its RX coverage is not as comprehensive as that of the IC-R-8600).

Post readers: Please feel free to comment with some suggestions for Jamie, especially if you have experience with urban radio listening.

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Photos from the 2021 WCARS Hamfest

This past weekend (July 24, 2021), my buddy Vlado (N3CZ) and I attended the 2021 Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society (WCARS) hamfest in Waynesville, North Carolina.

Due to Covid-19 lock-downs and social distancing, this was the first hamfest we’d attended in 18 months. I think all of us were having serious hamfest withdrawal, so this regional hamfest was very well-attended. Who knows what will happen in the future with regards to Covid–numbers are climbing sharply again here in NC–so I think many of us were there enjoying everything “while the gettin’ was good.” It helped that even the indoor area is incredibly spacious and had a constant airflow.

It was so great seeing so many friends, readers, and subscribers. Thank you for stopping by our tables.

Photo Gallery

This gallery has about 117 photos. So that the images don’t all load from the SWLing Post homepage, you may need to click on the “Continue reading…” link below to expand the post and view the photo gallery.

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FTIOM & UBMP August 1-7; Special Broadcast July 29


From the Isle of Music, August 1-7:

This week, our guest is Manolito Simonet, producer/participant in the album Al son del caballero by the Alianza Musical de Cuba. This tribute to Adalberto Álvarez won a Grand Prize, the Producer’s Prize, and one of the Popular Dance Music prizes in Cubadisco this year.
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)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 kHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US).
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/fromtheisleofmusic/
Our V-Kontakte page is https://vk.com/fromtheisleofmusic
Our Patreon page is https://www.patreon.com/tilford

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, Àugust 1-7:
In episode 228, we enjoy some excellent rock jazz from 1970s Bulgaria.
The transmissions take place:
1.Sunday 2200-2300 (6:00PM -7:00PM EDT) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesday 2000-2100 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe.
3. Saturday 0800-0900 UTC on Channel 292, 9670 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe with a directional booster aimed eastward.
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/UncleBillsMeltingPot/
Our V-Kontakte page is https://vk.com/fromtheisleofmusic
Our Patreon page is https://www.patreon.com/tilford

Perú le canta a las Américas (Peru Sings To the Americas)
Date/Time: Thursday, July 29th, 0300-0400 UTC**
**(Wednesday July 28 2200-2300 Lima Time/CDT)
WRMI 5800 kHz
In honor of the bicentennial of Peru’s independence, a special hour of Peruvian music hosted by Luis Alejandro Vallebueno with guests Estefania Rivera and  “Uncle Bill” Tilford will air on WRMI, which is  sponsoring the program.   It will be in Spanish and directed towards Central and South America, but the back end of the transmission should be listenable in much of North America.  The music will be a combination of world-famous artists and others probably not known outside of Peru.  There will also be some items regarding history, customs and shortwave in Peru.

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