Category Archives: Recordings

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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April shares her collection of Japanese language WebSDR recordings

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, April TimeLady, who writes:

To aid in my knowledge of the Japanese language I have been using SDRs and recording what I hear.

I have uploaded a collection of recordings of Japanese audio made from various SDRs, primarily those located in Japan itself. Those with 6105 kHz in the title were generally made off of American SDRs. Occasionally there will be some European and African off air recordings in there. These are in .ogg format.

https://archive.org/details/JapaneseSDRrecordingsApril2020


Thank you for sharing your recordings with the world, April!

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Check out this amazing QSL and off-air audio from shortwave pirate “The Purple Nucleus of Creation”


This morning, I uploaded a recording of 2001 shortwave pirate The Purple Nucleus of Creation to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA). The recording was submitted by Adam C. Smith, a regular over at the SRAA.

Adam’s six minute off-air recording was made on October 27, 2001 at  0009UTC on 6,928 kHz USB with Adam’s Grundig 800 and 100’ wire antenna. Check out the audio embedded below or via the SRAA.

But first? Check out this extraordinary QSL card:

This QSL is more intricate than a wedding invitation! I love it! Thanks for sharing, Adam!

Here’s Adam’s off-air recording:

Adam also included other correspondence from The Purple Nucleus of Creation:

Again, thanks so much, Adam, for submitting this recording and memorabilia with everyone via the SRAA. Now your recording will (literally) be shared with our thousands of podcast subscribers and also streamed to devices across the globe via TuneIn. It’ll also be permanently preserved on the SRAA website and the Internet Archive.

Note that 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.

Post readers: Did you log The Purple Nucleus of Creation back in the day?  Who sent you your favorite pirate radio QSL card? Please comment!

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The Airspy Youloop is a freaking brilliant passive loop antenna

Before I start talking Youloop, I have a little confession to make up front:

At the Winter SWL Fest when I gave a presentation about Portable SDR DXing, not only did I give attendees the wrong name of the Airspy Youloop antenna, but I also configured it incorrectly, hence the poor performance via my Miscrosoft Surface Go tablet PC.

I had assumed the the crossover component of the antenna was the transformer component. I realized the mistake I made when I saw some of the first promotional photos of the Youloop antenna a few weeks ago.

The crossover connects both sides of the loop while the tee junction contains the transformer.

Doh! I’m trying to forgive myself for making such an obvious mistake, but in my defence–and in the spirit of full disclosure–my antenna was a very early sample prototype without instructions, diagrams, etc. so I set it up imagining it being similar to the homebrew loop Vlado and I built. (FYI: When I say “Vlado and I built” it, I really mean, “Vlado built it.”) 

So obviously I made a poor assumption.

Once I assembled the antenna correctly? Wow. Just. Wow!

Youloop: The ideal travel antenna for high dynamic range SDRs

The Youloop, Airspy HF+ Discovery, SDRplay RSPdx, and all cables easily fit in my Red Oxx Lil Roy pack.

The Youloop is truly the travel antenna I’ve always wanted for portable SDR DXing. Here’s why:

  • It’s incredibly portable and can be rolled up to fit in a small travel pouch
  • It has all of the low-noise characteristics of other magnetic loop antennas
  • It’s wideband unlike many passive loop designs
  • It requires no variable capacitor or tuner
  • It’s made of quality components
  • It requires no external amplifier nor power source
  • It takes one minute to assemble
  • It’s affordable (~$35 USD shipped)

The only caveat? To take advantage of the Youloop, you must use a high dynamic range receiver.

Airspy HF+ Discovery SDR

I can verify that this antenna works brilliantly with the Airspy HF+ Discovery.

The AirSpy HF+ SDR

It will also pair well with the Airspy HF+  if you shortcut R3 via the R3 modification.

SDRplay RSPdx SDR

I’ve also used it numerous times with the new SDRplay RSPdx while using SDRuno in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode. With the RSPdx, I can make spectrum recordings of the entire AM broadcast band. Note that HDR mode is only available on the RSPdx at 2 MHz and below, using the SDRuno app.

I have not tested the Youloop with other SDRs yet. I will soon test it with my WinRadio Excalibur.

So how well does the Youloop perform?

Listen for yourself!

I’m doing a little cargiving family members today. Their home is swimming in RFI (radio interference/noise). In the past, I’ve struggled to make good mediumwave recordings at their home–certainly an ideal situation for a mag loop antenna.

This morning, I wanted to record one of my favorite local AM stations (WAIZ at 630 kHz), so I set up the Youloop in the middle of a bedroom, hanging off a large bookshelf set against an interior wall. In other words: not an ideal situation.

When I plugged in the Airspy HF+ Discovery and loaded the Airspy SDR application, I fully expected to see a spectrum display full of broadband noise.

Instead, I saw signals. Lots of signals:

Sure, there’s some noise in there, but it’s low enough I could even do proper mediumwave DXing on most of the band if I wished.

In fact, if you’d like to experience the HF+ Discovery/Youloop pairing in this compromised, less-than-ideal DXing setup, why not tune through one of the spectrum recordings I made?

Click here to download the spectrum file [885.7MB .wav].

The recording was made on March 30, 2020 starting around 10:50 UTC. You’ll need to open this file in AirSpy’s free application SDR# or a third party SDR app that can read AirSpy .wav files.

I can’t wait to try the Youloop in other locations. Since we’re in lock-down due to Covid-19, I won’t be able to try the Youloop in a hotel any time soon. Almost all of my 2020 travel plans have been canceled.

Highly recommend

If you have one of the SDRs mentioned above, go grab a Youloop. At $35 USD, it’s a fantastic deal.

Click here to check out the YouLoop at the RTL-SDR.com store ($34.95 USD shipped).

Click here to check out the YouLoop at Airspy.US ($29.95 + shipping).

Click here to search for AirSpy distributors in your region/country.

If you don’t have a high dynamic range receiver, note that Airspy is exploring the idea of making a pre-amp for the Youloop. If interested, you might drop them a note of encouragement!

Do you have a Youloop? Please share your comments!


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Radio Nostalgia Trip: RCI Shortwave Listener’s Digest from July 26, 1982

Over at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, we receive some truly amazing recordings from our devoted contributors.

How many of you remember Ian McFarland’s Shortwave Listener’s Digest on Radio Canada International? It was certainly one of my favorite DX and SWL shows!

Our good friend Tom Laskowski recently sent in the following recordings of the Shortwave Listener’s Digest recorded (in part) on July 26, 1982 starting around 21:30 UTC on 15,325 kHz.

Tom notes:

Here are two more back to back episodes from my collection of recordings of Shortwave Listener’s Digest from Radio Canada International, this time from July 26 and August 02, 1982.

This program’s highlights are: ANARC 1982 Convention promo, Larry Magne’s test of the Sony ICF-6500W, a look at underseas intercontinental cables with Walter Foster of Teleglobe Canada, Glenn Hauser’s DX tips.

The second program highlights are: coverage of the 1982 ANARC convention with guest co-host Bab Zanotti of Swiss Radio Intl., interview with David Meisel about the solar cycle, a rundown of the awards given out at ANARC 82.

This recording is chock-full of shortwave nostalgia. How many of you remember some of the folks featured and mentioned in this show?

Use the embedded player below to listen to the full recording or click here to listen at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Note that there have been some other amazing recordings posted on the archive recently.  Here’s a small sampling:


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Shortwave Radio Audio Archive: A treasure trove of radio history and nostalgia

One of the most amazing things about hosting and curating a massive collection of shortwave radio recordings is listening to each recording as they’re published on the site.

I created the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) in 2012 as a dedicated space to post and share off-air recordings with the world. Listening to SRAA recordings and subscribing to the podcast is 100% free, and entirely void of any advertising. The fact is, I pay for this site out of my own pocket, although some of your generous coffee fund and Patreon gifts are used to reinforce the archive’s longevity and future.

Not only does the SRAA serve as a historical record of radio–and even as audio samples for musicians–it’s also for radio listeners like us to enjoy.  We have over 3000 podcast and RSS subscribers. We invite you to subscribe as well as to contribute content in the form of your own radio recordings!

Great content, great contributors

Speaking of recordings, check out a sampling of our latest offerings from our amazing contributors:

Note that 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.


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Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

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Video: “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who writes:

You probably have already seen this, but from The ARRL Letter, November 21, 2019:

Art Donahue, W1AWX, of Franklin, Massachusetts, has posted his “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting” video in recognition of the centennial of formal radio broadcasts. The video features a complete scan of the AM broadcast band (530 – 1700 kHz), with station IDs for all 118 AM radio channels.

Following is ARRL Link:

Radio Amateur’s “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting” Video Debuts on YouTube

Following is YouTube link to the video:

It was a lot of fun to watch the video, hear the on-air id checks, and compare what he heard to the list of stations that I have heard.

Thanks for sharing this, Bill–I missed reading about this in the newsletter.  This goes to show you that the AM dial is chock-full of stations here in North America. Those who complain that it’s “dead” simply aren’t listening.

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