Category Archives: Nostalgia

1296 kHz: Help Andy identify this 1970s/80s mediumwave broadcaster

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andy (G0FTD), who writes:

Back in the 1970’s, there was a rather strange medium wave transmitter on
1296Khz. Originally I think it was in Sussex, and then changed to Orfordness
in Suffolk UK.

It was a weird thing.

I think it was “owned” by the UK’s Diplomatic Wireless Service, not the BBC.

It seemed to be fairly random in its transmissions, and often sent the letter
V in a strange bong-bong-bong-BONG! loops for hours.

Programmes were English by Radio, and a seemingly random mix the BBC World
Service, and BBC Radio 1 (I think).

It slso had a creepy signature tune for the English by Radio programme,
and the modulation had an odd tinge to to it, like it was slightly over modulated.

At some time (the 80’s), I think it’s QTH changed, and the pause between the
letter V being sent was shortened from about 3 seconds to 1 second.

I understand that it had a sharp antenna beam, towards easter Europe, and
was not widely heard in the UK. Those of us that lived in the south east
of the UK could of course hear it off the back of it’s beam.

I’ve never ever seen it mentioned on any radio forums, no archive recordings
seem to exist of these creepy English by Radio them tunes or programmes,
or any off air recordings.

Saying that, I did come across a studio copy of the interval signal, but no
details about it. (But I knew what it was).

Click here to download MP3.

Sometime about 1995 I think it might have been mothballed, and lays ready
for possible future use should there be a need to by the DWS.

If you can help Andy identify, or at least provide more information about this station, please comment! I would love to know about this broadcast service myself.

Relive This Day In Radio History: When WJSV recorded an entire broadcast day

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Patalon, who reminds us that 78 years ago today (September 21, 1939) radio station WSJV made an audio recording of its entire 19 hour broadcast day. Bill points to these details from Wikipedia:

This undertaking was a collaboration between the station and the National Archives, and it was the first time that such a comprehensive recording of a radio broadcast had been made. The station then donated its original set of recording discs to the National Archives, giving it a rare and complete artifact from an era frequently called the Golden Age of Radio. Due to their historical significance, the United States Library of Congress has since added these sound recordings to its National Recording Registry.

https://www.radioarchives.com/WJSV_A_Day_in_Radio_History_p/ra140.htm

Let’s travel back in time…

If you would like to relive September 21, 1939, you can listen to all of the WSJV recording segments courtesy of Archive.org. I’ve embedded the full playlist below–simply press play at the top of the player and each segment will load automatically as long as this page is open. Note that in the very first segment, due to a WSJV equipment glitch, there is a period of silence. Enjoy:

Click here to view or download the full set of recordings on Archive.org.

Many thanks for sharing this bit of radio history, Bill! As a radio archivist, this sort of thing makes my day.

TW Communicator spotted in “The Avengers” TV series

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andy Howlett, who writes:

Some while back I spotted an elderly ‘TW Communivator’ in use the a late episode of The Avengers TV series. The episode in question is called ‘All done with Mirrors’.

Studio Canal are a bit touchy about people nicking stills from their videos, but I sent my screen-grab to the website ‘TW Radio’ which is a site dedicated to Tom Withers and his products. The owner got permission for a one-off reproduction.

You can see the photo by going to http://www.twradio.uk/page98.html

Thanks, Andy! The Avengers is one of my favorite action/adventure TV shows of the 1960s. Lately, I’ve been waiting for a used DVD box set of the series to appear at a local retailer. The fact that I’ve always had a crush on Diana Rigg (a.k.a. Emma Peel) has nothing to do with this. 🙂

Check out other radios spotted in film and TV series by clicking here.

Click here to read more about The Avengers.

A photo tour of the 2017 Shelby Hamfest

My Labor Day weekend was free of travel again this year, so I was able to make another pilgrimage to the Shelby (North Carolina) hamfest with my good buddy, Vlado (N3CZ).

The Shelby Hamfest–referred to, locally, as “The Grand-Daddy of them All”–has long been regarded as one of the largest hamfests in the southeast US. This is the third year I’ve made a concerted effort to publish a photo tour of the event.

I sold both my Hammarlund SP-600 and Hallicrafters SX-99.

Like last year, we set up a table in the flea market to sell a few items along with other good friends from the NCDXCC. In other words, once again, I was in selling mode, not buying mode, as I need to downsize some of my collection and use the money to offset costs of review radios, and some of the conferences I’m attending this year (including the Radio Preservation Task Force Meeting in Washington DC on behalf of our Shortwave Radio Audio Archive).

Overall turnout was a little less than last year, I believe. No doubt, this was due to the possibility of rain that never materialized. By lunch time the sun was out and the foot traffic increased.

Shelby Photo Gallery

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge or comment on the photos:

Note that if you’re viewing this post via our email newsletter, the embedded gallery (above) might not be viewable. Click here to view via web browser.

WWII Radio: Truman and the Scott Radio Labs RBO-2

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kim Elliott, who recently shared the photo above of President Harry S. Truman via @RealTimeWWII.

If I’m not mistaken, that is a Scott Radio Labs Model RBO-2.

I’m guessing that’s also the speaker mounted on the wall directly above the receiver.

Scott Radio Labs marine receivers were shielded to the point that they had very low local oscillator radiation. This design prevented detection of the ship via the enemy’s use of radio direction finding gear.

I have a commercial Scott Marine Radio Model SLRM–it is my favorite receiver and I use it daily.

Post readers: Anyone else have a Scott Radio Labs receiver in their shack? Please comment!