Category Archives: Recordings

Studio recording of the KMTS “Boot Up!” broadcast

Many thanks to the folks at KMTS who share the following:

A studio version of the KMTS Boot Up Special of 17.1.2021 on 7780 kHz at 0100 UTC. This transmission consisted of Country and Western sounds, engineer test signals, rare re-media mixes of cult radio favourites, strange tones, and vox.

Rebroadcasts: 7 pm eastern time Sunday January 17th 2021 and Sunday January 24th 2021 (0:00 UTC Monday 1/18 and 1/25 on 9395 kHz.

Click here to listen via SoundCloud.

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Loop-On-Ground Antenna Part 2: Tom upgrades his low profile, low noise, portable DXing antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, who shares the following guest post:


Loop on Ground Part 2

by TomL

My previous Loop on Ground (LoG) experiment was useful which entailed connecting my Wellbrook loop amplifier to a 100 foot loop of speaker wire in the field at my favorite local Forest Preserve. It really brought in stations I had never heard before or strong stations in a more powerful way that made the audio really pleasant to listen to.  This report will describe more experiments with smaller wire loops to see what the limitations are.  100 feet of wire is quite a lot of wire to mess around with especially in the cold weather or public places that do not have as much private space.

I don’t understand all the electrical interrelationships but a long posting at RadioReference.com had  a great discussion about creating a 160-20 meters LoG receive-only antenna. It is 11 pages long but is worth reading how “nanZor” experimented with various parameters for general use. Kudos to him for documenting the findings as the design changed over time. You can find it here:

https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/160-20m-log-loop-on-ground.370110/

nanZor basically boils it down to a few guidelines.

  1. Keep it on the ground. Lifting the wire more than an inch or two decreased the lower angle signal reception greatly.
  2. Calculate the optimal length for one full wavelength of wire at the highest target frequency, say for example, the top of the 20 meter band (14350 kHz). 936/14.350 MHz * 0.9 velocity factor of simple insulated wire = 58.7 feet.  You can round up to 60 feet, no big deal since this is broadband.  The antenna should have a predictable reception pattern from 1/10th wavelength up to 1 full wavelength. Outside that range, the pattern gets “squirrely”.
  3. Using a 9:1 balun seemed to be a little better than a 4:1 balun at the antenna feedpoint. This gets into things I cannot measure and has to do with rising impedance as a loop gets closer to ground level. I am not sure but I think my Wellbrook amp has a built in 4:1 balun and it seems to work just fine.
  4. Make sure to use an RF Choke at BOTH sides of the feedline coax cable. He was adamant that the loop can get easily unbalanced and allow noise into the antenna and/or feedline and so it must be isolated and the ground allowed to “float” in his words.

Personally, I also wanted to use less wire and happened to have a length of 42 feet of landscape wire which should work well below 5 MHz with the Wellbrook amp engaged.  Results were not bad even though on hard frozen ground. Signal levels were down a little compared to the 100 foot of wire.  Here are a couple of examples, first one in a fast food parking lot with a grass field next to it and second at the usual Forest Preserve parking lot on a grass field.  I made sure that my car blocked the view of the wire so people would not get nervous!

La Voz Missionaria, Brazil:

Voice of Welt from Issoudun France in Kurdish:

These are not necessarily “DX” but definitely good for SWLing. I like the signal strength with the amplifier inline at the antenna feedpoint and I did not have to use an RF Choke at the receiver side as was suggested.

I had a 75 foot long insulated wire and used that at the Forest Preserve parking lot on a couple of different days.  Lower frequency signal strength and signal/noise ratio improved a little bit to be noticeable.

US Air Force HFGCS “numbers” station. Remote controlled from Andrews or Grand Forks bases (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Frequency_Global_Communications_System), there was no way for me to know which of the 6 transmitters it was coming from:

BBC from Tinang Philippines in Korean:

Then, as nanZor suggested in his postings, I purchased a 9:1 balun/RF choke (it has both a balun and an RF choke built-in) from Ham Radio Outlet and put that in place of the Wellbrook amplifier.

I have not worked with it, but it is reported that the Nooelec.com v2 model is cheaper and works just as well – https://swling.com/blog/2019/10/the-nooelec-balun-19-v2/

Examples below with the 42 foot loop and 9:1 balun/choke, no amplifier:

KSDA, Agat Guam in English

WB8U doing a POTA activation of Leavenworth State Fishing Lake

VOLMET weather, Shannon Ireland

HCJB Quito Ecuador, probably in Quechua

As a side note, there is a posting that mentions low-angle DX is better with regions that have better “ground conductivity”, salt water being the best. I have no way of verifying this.  See post# 126 by KK5JY Matt.

So, bottom line is that a Loop on Ground can be useful for pleasant SWLing and portable.  Best to use it on grass, not asphalt.  The loop amplifier is useful to get signal levels up if you have to use a smaller loop size but the signal/noise ratio will suffer due to its smaller aperture.  And, warning, the public will find a way to trip over the wire no matter where you set it up (I may try putting the wire around my car if I can park on a grass surface and/or use the gaudiest, brightest neon green or orange wire I can find – they can’t trip over THAT, can they?).

TomL


Thanks, Tom, for sharing your update. Obviously, the LoG is working brilliantly. It’s amazing that you got such clear reception from the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.  If you were using a vertical instead, I bet signals would have been buried in the noise. 

I can also relate to people tripping over antenna wires. I remember one POTA activation recently (the first activation in this three park run) where I intentionally laid my counterpoise on the ground, off a foot path, in the brush and where I couldn’t imagine anyone ever stepping. Ten minutes into the activation and for no reason, someone walked off the path, into the brush, and it snagged them. Maybe I’m just a Ninja level trapper and never realized it!?

Thanks again for sharing the results of your LoG, Tom. Inspiring! 

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April’s collection of Japanese language WebSDR recordings for December 2020

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, April TimeLady, who shares her latest collection of Japanese language WebSDR recordings–this time, for December 2020. April notes:

Please find in this email a link to another batch of SDR recordings I have uploaded on archive.org that I made over the course of December.

I concentrated mostly on mediumwave stations to get Christmas music, and I also have New Year’s recordings in it too. I also have shortwave recordings too, but not as much as I have in the past few months.

Feel free to listen to her recordings via the clickable playlist below, or on her Archive.org page.

Thank you, April for once again uploading and sharing your recordings!

Click here for a link to this and all of April’s archived recordings.

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Studio Recording: Radio Moscow New Year’s Eve Show with Joe Adamov: January 1, 1980

Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Tom Gavaras, shared this studio recording of Radio Moscow from January 1, 1980. We posted this recording on the SRAA, but I also wanted to share it here as I’m sure there are readers who might have even heard this show over shortwave live back in the day.

I’m certain anyone familiar with Radio Moscow during the Cold War also remembers the voice of Joe Adamov. Enjoy:

Thank you for sharing this recording, Tom!

Happy New Year!

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SwissInfo shares a holiday recording from their archives

Kandersteg, Switzerland (Photo by Matt Foster)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following note from SwissInfo.ch:

Since you’re no doubt wondering what Christmas sounds like in Switzerland’s four national languages, we’ve dusted off an old radio interview, produced in 1975 by the Swiss Short-wave Service, later Swiss Radio International and ultimately SWI swissinfo.ch:

Thanks for sharing this bit of radio nostalgia, David!

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The Music Time in Africa Archive at the University of Michigan

(Source: Music Time in Africa Archive)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Zack Schindler (N8FNR), who writes:

If anyone wants to listen to archives of VOA’s Music Time in Africa many are now available. I received this email from the archivist at the University of Michigan

“At the present time we have roughly 600 shows online here: http://mtia.sites.uofmhosting.net/

Click on the “Listen” link to get to the streaming platform. The shows we have up now are those for which we also have printed scripts, so you can read the script and listen to the show. The dates of the shows are 1968 to 1998. There are five hosts represented in this group. Sometime in January 2021, we are planning to upload 109 more shows. These are the ones that are missing scripts so all that is there is the full show. Then, in February, we are planning to add about 400 more shows from the period between 2007 and 2017. These are programs where Matthew Lavoie or Heather Maxwell are hosts. The website contains some background information on the project.”

Here is more information about the archive project;
https://news.umich.edu/leo-sarkisians-music-time-in-africa-u-m-archivist-anthropologist-revive-popular-voice-of-america-show/

Wow! What a treasure trove of one of my favorite VOA programs! Thank you for sharing, Zack!

Click here to check out archived episodes of VOA’s Music Time in Africa.

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Studio Recording of the KMTS Winter Test Transmission on December 17, 2020

If you missed the KMTS (or is that KTMS?) test broadcast on the 17th of December 2020, you’re in luck. I’ve just discovered a studio recording of the entire broadcast on Soundcloud, via a Post reader tip.

I’ve embedded a Soundcloud audio player below, but you can also listen via Soundcloud:

I’ll admit that this broadcast had a lot of listeners scratching their heads–a bit of a mystery. Reminded me, to some degree, of the Boards Of Canada pirate radio broadcasts some years ago, and the mystery surrounding a BoC album release. Also reminded me on one of my all-time favorite pirate radio stations: Radio Strange Outpost. But, of course, this wasn’t a pirate station.

I know this: I absolutely LOVE the KMTS test broadcast! What fun! Kudos to the producer (or producers)! I’ll add this to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. If anyone was able to make a full off-air recording of the broadcast, please contact me and I’ll add that along with the studio recording.

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