Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following video of his open-air DX shack in McGrath, Alaska. Paul notes:
I got my iRig working and recorded audio of Rádio Nacional da Amazônia on 11780 kHz directly from the radio into my phone and it sounds really good with such a strong signal here in ALASKA. Take a listen….
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete Jernakoff, who writes:
Last Saturday evening, I was cruising through the SW bands and came across music and talk on 2640 kHz, a rather odd (I would think) frequency on which to find such a broadcast format.
The music was of the soft pop variety (for example “Vou de Taxi” by Angelica; “A Time For Us – Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” by Jack Jones; “A Lua E Eu” by Cassiano), and it sounded to my ears that the on-air talent (male) was speaking (between songs) either in Portuguese or in a Brazilian dialect of said language.
I have attached an audio clip of this broadcast [see below] which begins at 0158 UTC (on 26-March-2023). The recording is a little over 13-minutes long and ends when the signal abruptly leaves the air.
Note that there is a seeming mention in the recording of the words ‘Brazil’ and ‘Brasilia’ at the 4:40 and 5:03 time points, respectively. I have no clue where this signal originated, and I’m hoping that you or one of your many readers might be able to help ID this one. As far as I’m aware, there is no station that broadcasts on this frequency at least with this kind of programming. The signal seemed too strong to be a harmonic of a station broadcasting on, say, 1320 kHz. Perhaps a pirate? A mystery to me…
Thanks for sharing this recording, Pete!
If you can help Pete ID this mystery recording, please comment!
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 →
February 9, 2023 – 04:12:00 p.m. UTC – Frequency: 12015kHz
The announcer describes in laudatory and emphatic terms the recent solemn military parade which took place on the night of February 9 to 10 in Kim il-Sung square in Pyongyang. I recorded for 5’40” in order to show the stability of the signal (no fading) but the recording is too long, at least I think so. It’s up to you to cut if this recording catches your attention
The receivers may have improved but I believe that North Korea now uses more modern and more powerful transmitters (200 kW according to the site www.short-wave.info).
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, who shares the following guest post:
Listening to LRA 36
I finally had time to go outdoors to listen to LRA 36, Antarctica. People were gushing about how well it is being received. My location was a park across the street from the Forest Preserve I usually go to (the Forest Preserves are shutdown and gates locked after sundown). Even though it was after sunset, this Park has no gate or chain to prevent people from parking there. In the dark, I setup the trusty amplified Loop-on-Ground antenna, SDR, and laptop. Solar Flux Index about 179, K index 2.
Started recording and, NOTHING! ARRGH. But I had just heard it at home in the noise!?!? Waited about two minutes and all of a sudden music started playing in the middle of a song. S6 – S7 strength with lots of fading. Very cool. 20 minutes later, went off the air. Then 10 minutes later, came back on again in the middle of another song. They must be tweaking the transmitter. This feels like the 10 kW transmitter; no way could a 1.5 kW be this loud over 12000 kilometers! Also, an advantage with IQ recording of a spectrum is I could tune into it later. Good thing because between their tweaking the transmitter, my SDR, and the crazy propagation, I had to tune to 15475.983 kHz in order to get the USB signal perfectly in pitch.
For your listening enjoyment if you have not had a chance to hear it clearly, I have uploaded both recordings to archive.org where you can listen as long as you want. Worth listening to, playing music of Argentina music bands. Happy Listening! Here is the link to Archive.org and the audio files are also embedded below:
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares his radio log art of a recent Voice of Korea broadcast.
Part of Voice of Korea news bulletin, broadcasted in Spanish via shortwave: a message of solidarity from Kim Jong-un to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad regarding the massive earthquake that struck northwest Syria. Listened in Porto Alegre, Brazil.