Category Archives: Radio History

Stamp celebrating 20 years of radio in the German Democratic Republic

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nils (DO6AN), who shares the gorgeous stamp (above) celebrating twenty years of radio in the DDR.

Thank you, Nils!

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Radio Waves: Free Foundation License Course, More Titanic Radio, CQD, and ARRL Field Day Waivers

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 Trevor, Mark Hist and Ulis Fleming for the following tips:


Register now for free Amateur Radio Foundation Online training course (Southgate ARC)

The next free amateur radio Foundation Online training course run by volunteers from Essex Ham starts on Sunday, June 7

The Coronavirus outbreak and the RSGB’s introduction of online exams that can be taken at home has led to a surge in demand for free online amateur radio training courses such as that run by Essex Ham.

These courses have been very popular and early registration is advised. 313 people took the course that started on May 3 and a further 235 are on the course that started on May 17.

You can find out more about online training and register to join a course at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

Essex Ham
https://www.essexham.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/EssexHam

US court grants permission to recover Marconi telegraph from Titanic wreckage (ARS Technica)

But NOAA is fiercely opposed to the controversial salvage mission.

When RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, crew members sent out numerous distress signals to any other ships in the vicinity using what was then a relatively new technology: a Marconi wireless telegraph system. More than 1,500 passengers and crew perished when the ship sank a few hours later. Now, in what is likely to be a controversial decision, a federal judge has approved a salvage operation to retrieve the telegraph from the deteriorating wreckage, The Boston Globe has reported.

Lawyers for the company RMS Titanic Inc.—which owns more than 5,000 artifacts salvaged from the wreck—filed a request in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, arguing that the wireless telegraph should be salvaged because the ship’s remains are likely to collapse sometime in the next several years, rendering “the world’s most famous radio” inaccessible. US District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith concurred in her ruling, noting that salvaging the telegraph “will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived, and those who gave their lives in the sinking.”

However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is fiercely opposed to the salvage mission. The agency argues in court documents that the telegraph should be left undisturbed, since it is likely to be surrounded “by the mortal remains of more than 1500 people.” Judge Smith countered in her decision that the proposed expedition meets international requirements: for instance, it is justified on scientific and cultural grounds and has taken into account any potential damage to the wreck.[]

Why Titanic’s first call for help wasn’t an SOS signal (National Geographic)

When RMS Titanic set sail in 1912, it was blessed and cursed with the latest in communication technology—the wireless telegraph. In the last hours after Titanic hit an iceberg, radio messages sent from the storied sinking ship summoned a rescue vessel that saved hundreds of people, but also sowed confusion with competing distress calls and signal interference. More than 1,500 people died that fateful night.

Now, a recent court ruling may pave the way to the recovery of Titanic’s telegraph, designed by Guglielmo Marconi, a telecommunications pioneer and 1909 Nobel Prize winner in physics who invented the first device to facilitate wireless communications using radio waves.

[…]Despite the limitations of the Marconi telegraph—and the fact that it wasn’t intended to be used as an emergency device—Titanic was outfitted with a radio room and a Marconi-leased telegraph machine. Two young Marconi-employed operators, chief telegraphist Jack Phillips and his assistant Harold Bride, sent Morse code “Marconigrams” on behalf of Titanic’s well-heeled customers 24 hours a day during its maiden voyage in April 1912.

Both Marconi’s technology monopoly and the torrent of personal messages conveyed through Titanic’s telegraph proved fatal on that April night. Phillips was so overwhelmed by a queue of incoming and outgoing guest telegrams —one Titanic passenger wanted to “notify all interested” about an upcoming poker game in Los Angeles—that he didn’t pass on messages about the ice threatening Titanic’s ocean environs. When a nearby vessel, SS Californian, telegraphed that it was already surrounded by ice, Phillips testily responded “Shut up! I am busy.”

Once Titanic hit the iceberg, Phillips tone shifted and he used the Marconi distress signal: “CQD.”[]

Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day (ARRL News)

With one month to go before 2020 ARRL Field Day, June 27 – 28, the ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule waivers for the event:

1)      For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.

Field Day rule 4.6 defines Class D stations as “Home stations,” including stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using commercial power. Class D stations ordinarily may only count contacts made with Class A, B, C, E, and F Field Day stations, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows Class D stations to count contacts with other Class D stations for QSO credit.

2)      In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions).

Ordinarily, club names are only published in the results for Class A and Class F entries, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results following Field Day.

For example, if Podunk Hollow Radio Club members Becky, W1BXY, and Hiram, W1AW, both participate in 2020 Field Day — Hiram from his Class D home station, and Becky from her Class C mobile station — both can include the radio club’s name when reporting their individual results. The published results listing will include individual scores for Hiram and Becky, plus a combined score for all entries identified as Podunk Hollow Radio Club.

The temporary rule waivers were adopted by the PSC on May 27, 2020.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from 3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years, Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, because many radio clubs organize their participation in public places such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.

ARRL is contacting logging program developers about the temporary rule waivers so developers can release updated versions of their software prior to Field Day weekend. Participants are reminded that the preferred method of submitting entries after Field Day is via the web applet. The ARRL Field Day rules include instructions for submitting entries after the event. Entries must be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

The ARRL Field Day web page includes a series of articles with ideas and advice for adapting participation this year.[]


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Radio Waves: ABC Wage Freeze, A Titanic Radio, FCC “Tweaks” LPFM Rules, and Digitizing a DX-160 Display

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 Michael Bird, Dave Zantow, David Korchin, and Alokesh Gupta for the following tips:


ABC must freeze wages, government warns (The Guardian)

The Morrison government has put the national broadcaster on notice that it expects the ABC to embark on a six-month wage freeze to bring it in line with other taxpayer-funded agencies during the Covid-19 crisis.

The warning follows the government’s decision in early April to defer general wage increases for commonwealth public servants for six months. The public service commissioner followed up that directive by writing to all non-public service agencies – including the ABC – informing them the government expected them to adopt the same practice.

With no clear response from the ABC to the 9 April missive, Guardian Australia understands the communications minister Paul Fletcher wrote to the national broadcaster this week flagging his expectation that the organisation would defer a 2% increase for all employees scheduled to take effect in October under the ABC’s enterprise agreement.[…]

Radio used by the Titanic to call for help can be salvaged, judge rules (CNN)

A federal judge has ruled that RMS Titanic Inc. can salvage the radio used to call for help by the fated ocean liner after it struck an iceberg in 1912.

To get to the radio, divers would need to remove a part of the ship’s deckhand to reach the room known as the Marconi Suite, which houses the device.

The ruling modified an order issued on July 28, 2000, that said that RMS Titanic Inc. could not cut into the wreckage or detach any part of it.

Virginia’s eastern district court amended that order “for a unique opportunity to recover an artifact that will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived and those who gave their lives in the sinking,” Judge Rebecca Beach Smith wrote.

Experts in the case testified to the “significant deterioration” in areas above and around the Marconi room, according to the document, and photos showed the “increasing breakdown” in the deck above the suite.

The suite, made of steel, consisted of three areas: sleeping accommodations, an operator’s room and the silent room that housed the radio. Each area was separated by wood walls that officials believe have dissolved, according to court documents.

The Marconi device and the artifacts associated with it face “significant threat of permanent loss,” the judge said in her approval of the expedition.[]

FCC Tweaks LPFM Technical Rules (Radio World)

The FCC in April modified the technical rules covering low-power FM stations. It expanded the permissible use of directional antennas; permitted waivers of protections of television Channel 6 by a specific group of reserved channel stations; expanded the definition of minor change applications for LPFM stations; and allowed LPFM stations to own boosters. Read more about the changes here.

Michelle Bradley, founder of REC Networks, is an engineer and longtime LPFM advocate.

Radio World: What’s your overall assessment of the outcome and the scope of its impact in the LPFM community?

Michelle Bradley: While the FCC did not address three major issues that are impacting LPFM stations right now —the ability to address building penetration issues, the ability to reach “local” listeners in rural areas and the disparity in how LPFM stations protect FM translators vs. how translators protect LPFMs — the changes will benefit current LPFM stations by giving them more flexibility in moving locations, reduce the need for waivers and improve LPFM service in the southern border region. It will also open some additional opportunities for new LPFM stations in the next filing window.[]

RadioShack Shortwave Goes Digital (Hackaday)

If you spent the 1970s obsessively browsing through the Radio Shack catalog, you probably remember the DX-160 shortwave receiver. You might have even had one. The radio looked suspiciously like the less expensive Eico of the same era, but it had that amazing-looking bandspread dial, instead of the Eico’s uncalibrated single turn knob number 1 to 10. Finding an exact frequency was an artful process of using both knobs, but [Frank] decided to refit his with a digital frequency display.

Even if you don’t have a DX-160, the techniques [Frank]  uses are pretty applicable to old receivers like this. In this case, the radio is a single conversion superhet with a variable frequency oscillator (VFO), so you need only read that frequency and then add or subtract the IF before display. If you can find a place to tap the VFO without perturbing it too much, you should be able to pull the same stunt.

In this receiver’s heyday, this would have been a formidable project. Today, a cheap digital display will do fine.[]


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Pentti Stenman’s impressive collection of SWL recordings, QSLs, and pennants

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Just ran across this guy’s site Pentti Stenman, who is in Finland.
Check out his audio and QLS, pennants as well…

http://www.penan.net/dx-kuuntelu

Pentti’s collection is impressive indeed! Since he’s in Finland, some of his site is in Finnish, but it’s still quite easy to navigate and you can have Google translate it into any language.

I have pasted direct links below to Pentti’s various galleries.

QSL Gallery

Pennants

Recordings:

Thanks again, Dan, for the tip!

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Radio Waves: Canada Radio Stamps, Across the Pacific, Satellite Talk Presentation, and BBC Radio 6 Breaks Records

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 Richard Langley, Charlie Liberto, and Mike Terry for the following tips:


History of Radio in Canada stamps available May 20 (Linn’s Stamp News)

On May 20, Canada Post is issuing a se-tenant (side-by-side) pair of nondenominated permanent-rate (currently 92¢) History of Radio in Canada stamps. The new issue comes in a self-adhesive booklet of 10.

The stamps commemorate Canada’s inaugural radio broadcast, which hit the airwaves a century ago on the evening of May 20, 1920. According to Canada Post’s Details magazine for collectors, the radio program came from Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company’s studios in Montreal, Quebec, and was a closed broadcast for a Royal Society of Canada gathering at the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa, Ontario.

The show featured a live performance by soprano Dorothy Lutton.

“As reported in the Ottawa Journal by one of the journalists invited to listen in, when ‘the latest one-step’ was played, the clarity was so impressive that several of the newspaper writers began to dance,” the May Details magazine said.

The stamp designs list the 10 decades of radio from 1920 to 2020 on the outside edges.[]

A New PBS Documentary Series about Pan American Airways  (Pan Am Historical Foundation)

When the China Clipper took off for the first scheduled flight to Manila on November 22, 1935, it riveted the attention of people around the world. At that moment Pan Am vaulted to a commanding position and the world changed forever as a result. That’s the story brought to life in “Across the Pacific.” Newly unearthed archival motion pictures, photographs, and original sound recordings as well as stunning graphics, help bring this history back to life. The film by Moreno/Lyons Productions tells the epic story of how Pan American Airways became the first to bridge the mighty Pacific – the first airline to cross any ocean. Focusing in particular on the contributions of Pan Am’s visionary leader Juan Trippe, aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky, and radio engineer Hugo Leuteritz, the three-part program will be broadcast on public television, beginning May 18th, 2020.[…]

Charlie notes that this documentary series will feature radio as seen in the following trailer:

Zoom satellite talk now on YouTube (Southgate ARC)

A video of the talk on amateur radio satellites, EME, Meteor scatter and the International Space Station by Robin Moseley G1MHU given via Zoom on Wednesday, May 13 is now available on YouTube

Watch G1MHU talk on satellites
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKjCXepCK_s

The talk was organised by the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society, their next talk on Zoom will be by the Editor of Practical Wireless, Don Field G3XTT, at 7:30pm BST on Wednesday, May 20, Zoom meeting ID 278 609 9353

http://www.ddars.net/

AMSAT-UK https://amsat-uk.org/

BBC Radio 6 Music breaks its audience record as UK’s biggest digital-only station (BBC Media Centre)

BBC Radio 6 Music reached a record 2.56 million listeners (from 2.49m last quarter and 2.52m last year), with the station’s weekday breakfast show with Lauren Laverne also seeing its biggest audience ever with 1.3 million listeners, according to the latest Rajars.
The figures released today covering the first quarter of 2020 also reveal that BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast show with Greg James gained 343,000 young 10+ listeners on previous quarter, and BBC Asian Network saw a boost in its audiences.

Figures released earlier this week for the same three months show the audience on BBC Sounds is growing, with a record 3.5 million weekly users in March. The total number of plays of live and on-demand content on BBC Sounds between January and March was 275 million, up 25 million on the previous quarter, and there was a record 123 million plays of on-demand radio programmes and podcasts.

James Purnell, Director of BBC Radio and Education, says: “It’s wonderful that listeners have granted BBC Radio 6 Music the top spot as the UK’s biggest digital only station by tuning in in record numbers. It’s no surprise that the station’s brilliant presenters and talented teams are proving a winning formula with their love and passion for music.

“We’ve been holding on to our younger audiences with more than 13 million 15-44 year olds listening to our stations every week whilst competition for their time has continued to intensify. And with more than a quarter of the population now listening to live radio online every week, it shows what an important role BBC Sounds plays for our stations and for our audiences, with record numbers of both live and on-demand plays in the first three months of the year.”

Overall, BBC Radio had 33.54 million listeners and a share of 49.7% (from 33.58m/51% in last quarter and 34.44/51.4% last year).

BBC Radio 1 posted a reach of 9.81 million listeners aged 10+ (from 9.72m last quarter and 10.18m last year). There were 8.92 million 15+ listeners (from 8.79m last quarter and 9.30m last year). The Radio 1 Breakfast Show now attracts 5.47 million listeners 10+ (Mon-Thu), from 5.13m last quarter and 5.44m last year. This quarter saw 4.87 million 15+ listeners (Mon-Thu), compared to 4.81m last quarter and 5.04m last year.

BBC Radio 2’s weekly audience was 14.36 million (from 14.44m last quarter and 15.36m last year). The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show attracted 8.11 million listeners per week, compared to 8.24m last quarter and 9.05m last year.

BBC Radio 3’s audience was 1.98 million (compared with 2.13m last quarter and 2.04m last year).

BBC Radio 4 posted a weekly reach of 10.76 million during the quarter (10.98m last quarter and 11.01m last year). The Today programme (Mon-Sat) has 7.12 million listeners each week, from 7.37m last quarter and 7.32m last year.

BBC Radio 5 Live posted a reach of 5.22 million listeners (5.41m last quarter and 5.40m last year).

Amongst digital-only stations, BBC Radio 1Xtra had a reach of 1.05m weekly listeners 10+ from 1.06m last quarter and 1.13m last year (986,000 weekly listeners 15+ from 987,000 last quarter and 1.05m last year). BBC Radio 4 Extra attracted 1.98 million listeners per week (from 2.27m last quarter and 2.24m last year). BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra attracted 601,000 listeners per week (from 914,000m last quarter and 708,000 last year).

BBC Asian Network drew 543,000 listeners, compared to 519,000 listeners last quarter and 536,000 last year.

The BBC World Service posted a weekly UK audience of 1.35 million (from 1.38m last quarter and 1.48m last year). BBC local radio reached 7.8 million listeners per week, from 7.5m last quarter and 7.86m last year.[]


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Radio Waves: FCC Wipes Out Engineering Division, Last Nazi Message Decoded, Remembering Ronan O’Rahilly, and French Radio Society Free Publications

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 Mike, Eric McFadden, and Paul Evans, and for the following tips:


FCC Eliminates Its Own Engineering Division (Radio World)

The Federal Communications Commission has elected to eliminate the Engineering Division at the organization in an effort to, as it says, “streamline the organization of the Media Bureau” as part of the public interest.

The commission plans to fold the work of the Engineering Division into the Media Bureau’s Industry Analysis Division (IAD) due to changes in the duties of the Engineering Division.

“By incorporating the work and staff of the Engineering Division into IAD, we can better ensure that the bureau’s technical expertise is integrated more fully into the bureau’s adjudicatory matters and policy proceedings,” the commission announced on April 29.

Back in 2002, the Engineering Division was established to conduct technical reviews of media-related matters, including overseeing technical compliance of TV and radio broadcast licenses, as well as things like cable regulatory filings and license transfers. But as the industry transitioned from analog to digital and from paper to electronic filing, the Engineering Division’s tasks have diminished.[]

Last Nazi message intercepted by Bletchley Park revealed (BBC News)

The last German military communications decoded at Bletchley Park in World War Two have been revealed to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

They were broadcast on 7 May 1945 by a military radio network making its final stand in Cuxhaven on Germany’s North Sea coast.

The message reports the arrival of British troops and ends: “Closing down for ever – all the best – goodbye.”

After Germany surrendered, VE Day was declared the next day.

In 1944, this German military radio network, codenamed BROWN, had extended across Europe sending reports about the development of experimental weapons.

But a year later, as the Allies entered the town and closed in on his position, a radio operator at his post signed off to any colleagues who might still be listening.[]

Remembering ‘Radio Caroline’ Founder Ronan O’Rahilly, A Pioneer Of Pirate Radio (NPR)

NPR’s Scott Simon talks to U.K. broadcaster Johnnie Walker about Ronan O’Rahilly, the founder of the pirate Radio Caroline, who died on April 20 at the age of 79.[]

French Society makes Radio REF free for April and May

Paul Evans notes that two REF-Radio publications are now free to download via the REF website. If you know French, you’ll enjoy these quality radio publications:

Click here to download REF-Radio (PDFs) for:


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Radio memories on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) is a pure labor of love. I founded the SRAA back in 2012 as a place to archive and freely share off-air recordings shortwave radio enthusiasts have made over the years.

I fund the archive out of my own back pocket and the site is open to everyone free of charge. All of the recordings in the archive are safely stored in multiple off-site locations as well as in the archive’s online database.

We currently have over 2,400 RSS and podcast subscribers who automatically download each recording as it’s published. Many of these subscribers have a copy of the full archive at home.

All of the recordings come from our amazing contributors who take the time to digitize or share recordings with us.

Radio memories

One of the things I truly enjoy about the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive are all of the memories listeners leave in the comments section.

I was just reading through a few comments and thought I’d share a selection here. Note I’ve linked to each recording if you’d like to take a listen:

Comment from Heikki on Super Rock KYOI: September 13, 1983:

January 1985 to December 1986 I was a soldier in Soviet army at far east of Soviet Union.

Actually listening [to] this radio station was strongly prohibited for Soviet soldiers because Soviet communist propaganda [claimed] that rock’n roll music is not suitable for Soviet people. We [listened] anyway.

Once I switched this broadcasting into our military base public loudspeakers so Super Rock KYOI sounds widely and loud all around for all people. It lasted about 20 minutes.

After this incident the KGB agents [were] interested about me. Why I did it? Am I anti-Soviet propagandist or something? Actually, it was a good reason to put me into the prison for some years. Estonian guys in Soviet occupation army loved very much this radio station. It was only way to listen world’s newest music.

Comment from Ian Donaldson on 1991 cassette of shortwave IDs, interval signals and numbers stations:

Brought back many memories listening to your recordings, which seems a 100 years ago. I was a DXer in the 1970’s as a boy in southern Victoria. I had a radiogram with one shortwave band; no bandspread. My one compensation was living on a farm, and consequently, having ample room for long wires, etc. I remember listening to Radio Nacional de Espana during the days of Franco, and hearing very militaristic music at the beginning of their broadcast. When I wrote to Radio Peking, I received a picture book, calendar depicting impossibly happy peasants, etc. I sent a report to the BBC and thought that they didn’t take the bother of replying to me. A postcard of Big Ben came 12 months later. They had sent it via surface mail! During the Cold War, stations were jammed out, and I would hear day and night, high-pitched singing, which I learned later to be Peking Opera. I remember an announcement on VOA, which said: “This is the Voice of America, the following programme is in Special English”. And then It began: “President Nixon, today…..”, very slowly. So, thank you for allowing me to reminisce.

Comment from Mark Fahey on WRNO (Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio): April 11 & 25, 1982:

OMG!! This recording includes a news item about the pirate I ran in the 1980’s Radio CBN! Ha so cool! It was a slick operation, I built a fully featured professional studio for the station in my home and all of our on-air personalities actually used the station to launch professional careers at stations including TV New Zealand, CNN, Sky News, Radio Singapore and various Australian AM and FM stations. I’m so pleased hearing this – never head Glenn’s report back in the day. The transmitter was an FT-101 which I modified for broadcast quality AM bandwidth transmission and I used various antennas over time including verticals and half wave dipoles. We did eventually get received in the USA. We even received reports from Jerry Berg and eventually Glenn Hauser himself.

I still have all the reports, broadcast tapes and even blank QSL cards. I married one of the DJs (Shannon LaGuardia) and shut down the station when I needed the studio for another project.

Cheers,
Mark Fahey
Australia

Comment from Gino Galea Malta Wedding Photographer on Final sign off of BFBS Malta: March 31, 1979:

During the seventies, I had the luxury to tune in regularly to BFBS-MALTA, transmitting from St.Frances Ravelin, in Floriana, nowadays housing the MEPA offices.

This was associated with top quality entertainment varying from the latest UK pop music released in the charts to sports, particularly football, the golden oldies, Country music, the very latest news, interviews, etc. My favourite programs during those days were of course, the weekly UK TOP TWENTY. Another favourite has to be BFBS UK, aired daily in the afternoon, both presented by by the legendary Tommy Vance. I’ll never forget the other top presenters such as Richard Astbury, (Being the last station Controller) with his very own “Pop Around Europe”. Other top-class presenters were Richard Caperon, Alan Clough, Chris Russell, John Crabtree, P.McD, and Paul Gambaccini. Another favourite was “Solid Gold Singles” with Don Durbridge.

Christmas time with BFBS was also unique. We had the luxury to tune in to those amazing Christmas and ‘New Year’s Eve’ rich entertainment. That included the live charity program “Ring us up” which left its mark here in Malta to the extent that it inspired other local stations to come up with similar productions, even to this very day in support of the local charities! Being a student, BFBS MALTA was indeed a boost in my studies, particularly the language and current affairs.

Yes, I must admit that on the 31st March 1979, I really missed BFBS MALTA together with its great presenters. Although nowadays we have many other quality radio stations here BFBS MALTA always remained so very special.
Gino Galea

PS: I can also personally confirm that this clip is indeed the original voice, aired just minutes before the final closure by the station controller, Richard Astbury.

Many thanks, again, to all of our SRAA contributors! When your recordings are posted on the archive, they’re instantly shared with enthusiasts, historians, archivists, and (even) musicians around the world.

As you can see above, off-air recordings also bring back amazing memories for listeners.

Join us

You can subscribe to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as a podcast via iTunes or by using the following RSS feed: http://shortwavearchive.com/archive?format=rss You can also listen via TuneIn.

Of course, one of the best ways to listen to recordings and read all of the recording notes is by visiting the SRAA website.

If you’d like to contribute your recordings to the archive, check out this page.


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