Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Nick Hall-Patch who shares the following announcement:
IRCA Reprints open to public
The International Radio Club’s Reprints collection of over 1100 articles about antennas, radio propagation, receivers, accessories, plus items of general interest to MW DXers, continues to grow. We’ve published an update to the index, at DXer.ca [PDF] , so that everyone can get access to these latest additions. (also accessible at https://www.ircaonline.org/ “Free IRCA Reprints” button)
The latest update includes items from DX Monitor up the end of June 2022. as well as many items of interest from elsewhere, used with permission.
Added items in this update are marked “(NEW)”, plus there are a few updated articles as well.
Please pass on this information to others as you see fit.
(if you’ve used the index before, you may need to refresh your browser page to see the latest update, dated December 2022)
In the song Por Eso Te Quiero Cuenca (That’s Why I Love You Cuenca) the singer recites a litany of the many reasons to love this city. What do I love about Cuenca? Well, unlike the song, I won’t include well-roasted guinea pig.
The elevation of 2560 meters (8,400 feet) gives Cuenca a comfortable spring-like climate year-round. Daily highs are usually around 20C/70F. Nights are chilly but not cold. Most days have at least several hours of sun, even during the rainy season (as it is now). There are numerous green parks and plazas including long tree-lined walking paths along the two main rivers that run through the city. The drinking water, which comes from high up in the mountains, is the best in South America. Yes, you can drink it right from the tap.
A walking/bike path runs along the Yanuncay River for over six kilometers through the south side of Cuenca. A similar path runs along the larger Tomebamba River in the center of town.
The people of Cuenca are among the friendliest I’ve found anywhere. It’s a well-run, educated city with lots of civic pride. The metro area population is only about a half-million so it’s small enough to easily get anywhere but large enough to have the benefits of a city. Cuenca has several good universities and theaters and the symphony orchestra gives free concerts most Friday evenings. It’s a pleasure to simply stroll through the beautiful architecture in the old centro neighborhood.
One of many beautifully restored buildings in Cuenca’s old centro.
Getting around Cuenca is easy. A ride on the excellent bus system costs just thirty cents and taxi rides usually run under two dollars. And, unlike the much larger cities of Quito and Guayaquil, Cuenca has a mass transit system. In 2013 city leaders voted to put in a light rail line. Doing so required digging up two of the main streets through the old downtown but rather than just dig up two streets they decided to dig up the entire old downtown … to replace the aging water and sewer systems, move all electric lines and cables underground, and install high-speed fiber optic Internet. (Fiber optic Internet was also run above ground in the newer neighborhoods outside the centro.) The result is one of the few places in Latin America where one can enjoy beautifully restored architecture and colonial churches without the views being marred by powerlines. And the Internet here is better than most places I’ve stayed at in the United States.
Those are just a handful of the reasons that I love Cuenca.
Early Radio in Cuenca
Radio broadcasting in Ecuador started in 1925 with Radio El Prado in Riobamba, a small city in the center of the country. Other stations soon started up in Guayaquil and Quito, including HCJB in 1931. Broadcasting came to Cuenca in 1934 when a group of friends purchased a homemade ten-watt transmitter from an engineer in Guayaquil and put it on the air as La Voz de Tomebamba. The name came from the main river flowing through Cuenca. At the time there were only four receivers in the city so the audience was rather sparse. La Voz de Tomebamba initially broadcast for only one or two hours a night and most of the musical selections were done live as there weren’t many 78 RPM records in town. Years later one early listener reminisced, “It was sixty percent noise. Only radio fanatics could be entertained by listening to such a thing.”
Old studio equipment from La Voz de Tomebamba
Gradually, the owners added new equipment and expanded the daily schedule. A fifty-watt transmitter was added in 1938 and by 1947 the power had been increased to two hundred watts. The first frequency listing that I’ve found for La Voz de Tomebamba was for 4200 kHz in a 1944 FBIS newsletter. The 1947 WRTH listed it as on the air from 0000 to 0430 GMT on 4200 kHz. And that was the station’s only frequency. Until the 1960s it was very common for radio stations in Ecuador to only broadcast on shortwave and not on medium wave. For example, the 1957 WRTH lists eighty Ecuadorian stations on shortwave (not counting HCJB) but only fifty-nine on medium wave.
Sometime in the early 1960s La Voz de Tomebamba made the switch to medium wave and left shortwave. Their 4200 kHz frequency is not listed in the 1965 WRTH, nor are they listed in any later ones. (I would be interested to hear from anyone who remembers listening to them on shortwave.) The changes may have had to do with financial problems the station was having. It closed in 1967 and remained off the air until returning under new ownership four years later. Today La Voz de Tomebamba is one of the most popular radio stations in town and has an excellent news department. Their sister station, Super Rock FM 94.9, is very popular with younger listeners.
La Voz de Tomebamba today.
The second station in Cuenca was Radio Cuenca, which began broadcasting in October 1945 on 2830 kHz with two-hundred watts. It was included in a 1953 list of stations logged by the Universal Radio DX Club of Indiana. To the local audience, Radio Cuenca was best known for its many live music broadcasts. Continue reading →
The father and son team of Joe and Jeff Geerling have teamed up on radio-related projects before.
Joe is a broadcast engineer, working into his fifth decade in the St. Louis market. He was market chief for CBS Radio for 20 years and today is the director of engineering for Covenant Network.
His son Jeff has spent nearly 15 years as a software architect and developer. He founded Midwestern Mac LLC and is active in many open-source software communities. Jeff recalls that one of his first web programming projects in the late 1990s was to construct an interface to display the current song on 98.1 KYKY(FM)’s initial website for his dad.
Last February, Joe appeared on a video on Jeff’s YouTube channel to install a Raspberry Pi IP KVM in a Covenant Network studio. That collaboration went so well that commenters on Jeff’s videos began clamoring for more appearances by the senior Geerling.
Over a family vacation, Joe and Jeff came to the realization that the iconic Crestwood Master Tower in Shrewsbury, Mo. — nicknamed by its original engineering community as “the Supertower” — would make for a perfect showcase for a new Geerling Engineering YouTube channel.
Given Joe’s expertise with the site, the idea for a video was a natural. In fact they ended up making two. [Continue reading…]
The investment activity of Amancio Ortega in the United Kingdom does not stop. Pontegadea, the group that manages the equity investments of the founder of Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka…) and the richest man in Spain, is negotiating the purchase of a new office building in London, as revealed on Wednesday by the specialized website CoStar News. This, citing market sources, indicates that the operation would be around 80 million pounds (89.7 million euros, at current exchange rates). The building, originally a printing press built in the twenties, is close to the BBC headquarters and, in fact, for years served as offices for the commercial division of British public broadcasting.
The property, renovated in 2015 by the construction company Kier and the firm Brimelow McSweeney Architects, currently houses a business of coworking (flexible office rental). Of the more than 3,000 meters built, 2,100 are available for rent, according to the building’s commercial brochure. Some websites advertise their tables for a price that exceeds 840 euros per table per month. It offers, in addition to parking for bicycles or changing rooms, a kitchen, private offices, meeting rooms or terraces on the upper floor (the fifth) and on the roof. To this we must add a privileged location in the center of the British capital, in the Fitzrovia neighborhood. The building is close to Soho, the British Museum and Regent’s Park. [Continue reading…]
Our smartphones have become our constant companions over the last decade, and it’s often said that they have been such a success because they’ve absorbed the features of so many of the other devices we used to carry. PDA? Check. Pager? Check. Flashlight? Check. Camera? Check. MP3 player? Of course, and the list goes on. But alongside all that portable tech there’s a wider effect on less portable technology, and it’s one that even has a social aspect to it as well. In simple terms, there’s a generational divide that the smartphone has brought into focus, between older people who consume media in ways born in the analogue age, and younger people for whom their media experience is customized and definitely non-linear. Continue reading →
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, JP, who shares a link to the FCC Pirate Radio database:
In accordance with section 511(g) of the PIRATE Act, the following databases are provided to identify (i) each entity against whom an enforcement action for pirate radio broadcasting has been issued, and (ii) licensed radio stations.
Pirate Radio Database
Licensed AM and FM Radio Station Database
As far as islands go, Manhattan is one of the most famous and instantly recognisable. But if you were to charter a boat and sail around its coastline and through New York’s natural harbour you’d come across many more islands so small that hardly anyone knows are there. There are around thirty or so of these odd little islands, all mostly uninhabited or privately owned and strictly off limits, but filled with strange tales and peculiar histories.
Many of these islands are tantalisingly close to New York City, but remain out of reach. As travel writer Robert Sullivan put it “the islands are our silent neighbours. It is easy to live here and never notice them.”
[…]This story however, is about one such tiny island, just 150 feet square, and so small you can barely spot it on Google Maps unless you knew where to look. Once known as Little Pea Island, it is located about a mile off shore from Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, and has room enough for just one building. It has been home to a Jazz Age era swanky yacht club, a radio station and for a while, the home to a glitzy Hollywood showbiz couple who ran a morning radio show from their home on the island. The last owner recently renovated the island into a self-sufficient, five thousand square feet luxury home, which today lies empty. [Continue reading the full story…]
A new ultra-low-power method of communication at first glance seems to violate the laws of physics. It is possible to wirelessly transmit information simply by opening and closing a switch that connects a resistor to an antenna. No need to send power to the antenna.
Our system, combined with techniques for harvesting energy from the environment, could lead to all manner of devices that transmit data, including tiny sensors and implanted medical devices, without needing batteries or other power sources. These include sensors for smart agriculture, electronics implanted in the body that never need battery changes, better contactless credit cards and maybe even new ways for satellites to communicate.
Apart from the energy needed to flip the switch, no other energy is needed to transmit the information. In our case, the switch is a transistor, an electrically controlled switch with no moving parts that consumes a minuscule amount of power.
In the simplest form of ordinary radio, a switch connects and disconnects a strong electrical signal source – perhaps an oscillator that produces a sine wave fluctuating 2 billion times per second – to the transmit antenna. When the signal source is connected, the antenna produces a radio wave, denoting a 1. When the switch is disconnected, there is no radio wave, indicating a 0. [Continue reading…]