Category Archives: Recordings

Shortwave Radio Recordings: SWL Digest from January 4, 1982

Do you miss Ian McFarland on Radio Canada International?

Yeah, me too.

That’s why I’m always pleased to receive off air recordings from Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Tom Laskowski.

I’ve just posted his latest off-air recording on the archive and thought I’d post it here as well. Tom note:

Here is another one of my many recordings of Shortwave Listener’s Digest from Radio Canada International, this time from January 4, 1982. This program highlights are: Glenn Hauser with his Year in Review for the previous year of 1981; part 1. Larry Magne with a test report for the Panasonic RF-9000 which listed at $US 3800!!!. The program ends with Glenn Hauser’s second part of his review of the previous year’s highlights. Unfortunately the broadcast suffers from some adjacent-channel interference.

Starting time: 2130 UTC on January 4, 1982

Frequency: 15.325 MHz

Receiver location: South Bend, Indiana

Receiver: Realistic DX-302

Click here to download this MP3 audio.

If you enjoy off-air recordings, check out some of the recent ones on the archive which include:

Thanks again, Tom, and thanks to the dozens of contributors that make the shortwave archive such a treasure trove of shortwave history!

Guest Post: Backpack Shack 3.0 – Part 3

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, who shares the following guest post as a his Backpack Shack 3 continues to evolve:


Backpack Shack 3.0 – Part 3

by TomL

I have now gone overboard since I think bigger must be better.  The temptation was just too great and now there is an MFJ-1979 17-foot telescoping whip antenna in my car (with consequences).

MFJ Angst

I have a love/hate relationship with MFJ products because of what I think are useful ideas that are made somewhat poorly.  But I went ahead and bought the large whip since I figured they could not possibly screw up something so simple, right?

Wrong.  As I excitedly tried to screw the supposed 3/8”-24 threaded end into the nice standard Firestik K-11 magnet mount, I realized I was turning and turning it but it was not going in!!!  I even had a small steel sliver of metal sticking into my flesh to prove I was not dreaming. The previous day, it had screwed in very tightly, but it did screw in. So, there I was after a long day of work, ready to listen to some SWL-Nirvana and I could not get the blasted antenna into the mount–?  That Firestik mount is a VERY standard 3/8”-24 female thread and the other third-party antenna shafts fit perfectly and easily EVERY time I use them. I hate $60 of poor workmanship and MFJ seems to be the poster child of overpromising and underdelivering.

I was determined to make this work, by force if needed.  One of the Trucker antenna shafts by necessity had an extra coupling nut on it to allow the extra 18 inch shaft to connect, so I took it off there and tried to thread it onto the MFJ-1979.  It barely moved. Not to be thwarted, I dug out an adjustable wrench and 3/8” socket wrench with ½” socket and grunted and twisted and tightened until the coupling nut was threaded all the way “up its shaft”.  That is what I feel like telling MFJ! That coupling nut is never coming off and now that I truly have bought it and cannot return it, I might as well use it.

The stainless steel telescoping rod is extremely thin and feels like it can bend and dent with any kind of mishandling.  So it resides collapsed in a 27 inch PVC pipe with plumbing pipe foam inside to baby it when it is not being used. It remains to be seen if I can remember to “Handle With Care” when extending/collapsing it.  We’ll see.

Ready-to-go

OK, so using the 18 inch antenna shaft attached to the magnet mount, then the coupling nut on the MFJ antenna, I extended it to a total of about 13 feet.  With the DX Engineering Pre-amp turned on, and using the SDR Play RSP2, I was getting many signals booming in. All the usual names we are familiar with – RMI, CRI, Turkey, Cuba, etc.  But also the noise level was very high. I know it is summer but I may have been overloading the Pre-amp a little bit. Here is an example, Radio Progresso from Cuba with some very nice acapella music but also a noisy background (plus, a noisy laptop computer pulse!):

Click here to download MP3 audio.

So I decided to come back in the morning before my workday started and see if the static crashes would have died down.

Preamp Angst

The next morning I had everything hooked up again in the same spot at the Forest Preserve (located in a suburb of Northern Illinois).  I moved the Cross Country Preselector to be directly connected from the roof, then to the antenna switch on the “Breadboard” (see part 2) to better prevent overloading.  I turned on the Verizon battery pack and nothing. No Pre-amp light. Switched it on, off, on, off – nothing. So, I thought I must have burnt it out the previous session?

Later on, I found it was some sort of short in the switch and I will have to move the D-cell batteries to a backup battery pack. In the meantime, I had to do without the Pre-amp and was forced to extend the MFJ antenna all the way.  With the 18 inch extension attached to the magnet mount, that was a total of 18.5 feet from antenna tip to the top of my car roof.

This was actually fortuitous since I was already concerned about overloading the Pre-amp or perhaps amplifying background noise.  This forced me to test it in a more “barefoot” manner, hearing what it would natively hear without any Pre-amp. It was also lucky there was no wind to blow it over!  It seems that if one is in an RFI-quiet area with decent view of horizons, the 20+dB Pre-amp may not be needed, depending on frequency band involved.

I have read that “Norton” style 10 dB Pre-amps and custom handmade transformer baluns are used by Dr. Dallas Lankford in his Low Noise Vertical antennas.  I don’t want to get into winding baluns so I am using one Palomar Longwire Balun to simulate the “magnetic” transfer. His design uses two, one 10:1 at the antenna and a 1:1 balun at the feedline into the house.  For more reading on LNV antennas, see these references:

UNAMPed Results

I purposely monitored Voice of Korea for their news statement on the De-Nuke talks on the 25 meter band and found it came in great, just as many others have heard it.  This was encouraging. Examining carefully the Data file from the SDR, here is what I pulled from it. I am pleasantly surprised and happy with the results; some stations I had never heard before and the language and music are very exotic.  All of it was a little more than one half hour of recording time (14 June 2018, 1300 UTC). You may have to crank up the volume on the weaker recordings to hear those properly.

Recordings

(Station, Frequency, Language(s), Transmitter site from www.short-wave.info):

Voice of Vietnam, 12020 kHz, English, Hanoi Vietnam (with local UFO noises near me)

Click here to download MP3 audio.

HCJB Beyond Australia-India, 11750 kHz, Nepali, Kununurra OZ

Click here to download MP3 audio.

Veritas, 11850 kHz, Vietnamese, Quezon City Philippines

Click here to download MP3 audio.

VOA, 11695 kHz, Cambodian, Tinang Philippines

Click here to download MP3 audio.

KCBS, 11680 kHz, Korean, Kanggye North Korea

Click here to download MP3 audio.

CRI, 11650 kHz, Esperanto (they get PAID to speak Esperanto!), Beijing China

Click here to download MP3 audio.

Taiwan International, 11640 kHz, Chinese, Kouhu Taiwan (blasting in strongly plus strong echo of broadcast at top of the hour – is a second transmitter signal going around the earth the other way and getting to me??)

Click here to download MP3 audio.

FEBA India, 11580 kHz, Malayalam scheduled but announcer says “Kannada”, Trincomalee Sri Lanka

Click here to download MP3 audio.

Radio Free Asia, 11540 kHz, Tibetan, Tinian Island signoff and transition to Kuwait (very faint)

Click here to download MP3 audio.

BBC, 12065 kHz, English, Kranji Singapore (ETWN not on air to mask this)

Click here to download MP3 audio.

Japan NHK, 11740 kHz, Thai, Kranji Singapore

Click here to download MP3 audio.

CRI, 11910 kHz, Amoy signoff transition directly to English, Beijing China

Click here to download MP3 audio.

FEBC, 12095 kHz, Hmong signoff transition directly to Khmu, Bocaue Philippines

Click here to download MP3 audio.

Radio Free Asia, 12140 kHz, Cambodian signoff transition directly to Burmese, Saipan

Click here to download MP3 audio.

Extreme Loading

Eighteen feet of whippy rod can sway in the gentlest breeze (consequences of “bigger must be better”).  The described setup has fallen over in as little as a 12 mph sustained wind when fully extended because I had the base in a plastic box.  I want plastic under the magnet(s) in order to get it off easily and put away out of sight!  Now installed is a larger QUAD magnet mount for better stability:

ProComm PCTM54 Quadruple Mag Mount

I am using the flat plastic lid from a 20 gallon tote container under the quad mount and a mover’s tie down strap to the main bar of the quad (I have room for multiple straps if needed). Ten foot fits just fine:

Erickson 34415 Black Retractable Ratchet Straps 2 Pack

A spring is attached to the base as well (strongest one I could find):

Hustler SSM-3 Super Heavy Duty Spring

Finally, the connecting stainless steel shaft at the base is a 5 inch Wilson 305-5 stainless steel shaft.

Because the backpack and quad mount can fit inside the 20 gallon tote container, this setup can be attached to a picnic table in a state park or campsite if I choose.  The Firestik single magnet mount will be recycled as a VHF antenna mount. I can go virtually anywhere now.

Instead of the 20+dB DX Engineering Pre-amp, perhaps one of those “Norton” 10 dB Pre-amps might be optimal (Kiwaelectronics.com broadband-preamp).  And I need to figure out why my Verizon battery pack failed as each Tenergy D cell measured fine.  Oh yeah, I have to buy an extra coupling nut, too……

Happy Listening,

TomL


Thanks so much for sharing this latest iteration of the BackPack Shack 3.0, Tom! It seems to me, as you imply, your current setup could be installed pretty much anywhere. 

I’m sorry to hear about your troubles with MFJ. I’ve only had good experiences with them in the past, but I suspect the specs on the 3/8”-24 thread were simply incorrect or perhaps metric and mislabeled.

Post readers: Read Tom’s past contributions and articles by clicking here

Click here to read Backpack Shack 3.0 – Part 1 and Part 2.

Listening across the globe: The 2018 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast

Halley VI: The British Antarctic Survey’s new base (Source: British Antarctic Survey)

On Thursday, 21 June 2018, the BBC World Service officially transmitted the 2018 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast–an international radio broadcast intended for a small group of scientists, technicians, and support staff who work for the British Antarctic Survey.

This is one of my favorite annual broadcasts, and I endeavor to listen every year. Once again, the SWLing Post called upon readers to make a short recording of the broadcast from their locale.

Below are the entries, roughly organized by continent and country/region. We had a total of 28 recordings submitted this year–simply amazing! If I’ve somehow missed including your entry, please contact me; I’ll amend this post.

So, without further ado….

The 2018 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast Recordings


Europe

Austria

SWL: Gerald LANDL (OE5TET)
Location: Eidenberg, Austria
Notes:

Preperations with my 6y old son – highly professional with clip board, frequency setting on equipment, adjusting the antenna tuner. setting the alarm clock and preparing cups for warm drinks.

Wonderful broadcast with heaps of feelings and good music – I reckon the crew in Antarctica enjoyed it.

I used to listen with my dad to Norddeich Radio – also broadcast for crews and sailors out on sea.

2018-06-21 2130 UTC antarctic midwinter broadcast 2018 of BBC
from QTH
Longitude : 14.23225 E (14° 13? 56” E)
Latitude : 48.44367 N (48° 26? 37” N)
QTH locator : JN78CK

5.985 – Woofferton – via FT 991 + HiGain 640 vertical
7.360 – Ascension – via FT 817 + MLA-M magnetic loop
9.890 – Woofferton – via FT 2000 + Diamond W8010 – multi band trap

enjoyed the slight time delay between Woofferton and Ascension – broadcast (echo you hear)
looking forward to record the whole broadcast from Ascension via FT2000

OE5TET – Gerald & SWLing ZALhoch2

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

France

SWL: Philippe Autret
Location: Brest, France
Notes:

This is my recording, from Brest, France:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Germany

SWL: Ralf Bender
Location: Germany
Notes:

Full reception of the 2018 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast on my little YT-Channel.

Received with a AFEDRI SDR with HDSDR and a Wellbrook ALA1530LN. Nice signal on all frequencies at my QTH (JO40BT) in Germany.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Italy

SWL: Gabriele Barbi
Location: Ferrara di Monte Baldo
Notes: Received in Ferrara of Monte Baldo (Verona) 850 msl, with Sangean 909 receiver and 30 meter row antenna, good signal on all 3 frequencies 5985 7360 9890 hours of reception (Italian) 23.55 today 21062018. Good Radio 🙂

Note that the audio file of the 3 frequencies is divided by the beep signal respectively from the beginning to the end of the file 5985 7360 9890:

Click here to download.

SWL: Grabriele Sommas
Location: Roccapiemonte, Italy
Notes: Hi Thomas, like every year attached I send you the youtube link of the broadcast BBC MIDWINTER 2018 with the hope of seeing it published also this year on swling. Receiver is an SDRplay RSP2 and Antenna a Wellbrook ALA 1530.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Davide Borroni
Location: Origgio (VA) Italy
Notes:

I am Davide Borroni from Origgio (VA) Italy. On 21 June 2018 at 2130.-2200 UTC on 5985 kHz AM, i listened BBC Winter Radio with SINPO 54444
I use my  Hallicrafters SX 42, Siemens E 401, Collins HF 2050 and Teletron TE 712S receivers with a magnetic loop antenna.
73s
Davide Borroni

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Giuseppe Morlè (IZ0GZW)
Location: Formia, Italy
Notes:

I’m Giuseppe Morlè, iz0gzw, from Formia, central Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
I send you 2 videos about the Antartic Midwinter 2018 to be included on the Swling Post.
You can see how you listened to from my house on my 3 receivers the transmission and as the only Tecsun pl660 with its antenna on my balcony.
Thanks for everything and I always wish you excellent listening.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Renato Feuli (IK0OZK)
Location: Marta, Italy
Notes:

Hi Thomas.

I send You my reception report to BBC Midwinter 21.06.2018, UTC Time 21.30-20.00

Frequency 5.895-9.890 to Wofferton, 7.360 to Ascension, not signal on 6.035 to Dhabayya.

Nice Signal to Wofferton +20/30 db and S 9 to Ascension.

My Reception Setup:

RX: JRC NRD 545 DSP, JRC NRD 91, Watkins & Johnson 8718-9, SDR Elad FDM S2. Antenna loop Wellbrook ALA 1530 Lf, QTH Marta Italy JN52XM

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

My Blog Articles: https://ik0ozk-radio.blogspot.com/2018/06/bbc-midwinter-2018.html

Malta

SWL: Adrian Micallef
Location: Malta
Notes:

Listenined yesterday (21 June 2018) at 21.30 UTC from Malta 5985 kHz SINPO 53553 using a Tecsun PL-660 and a longwire antenna 27 metres.
Wonderful programme and good job.

Click here to download audio.

Romania

SWL: Tudor Vedeanu
Location: Romania
Notes:
Receiver location: Romania. I used an Airspy HF+ SDR and a Wellbrook ALA100LN antenna (20m delta loop).

Click here to view on YouTube.

England

SWL: Mark Hirst
Location:  Basingstoke, England
Notes: 

QRM levels at my QTH were noticeably higher this year than last, continuing a years long trend in my area.

Woofferton is only 100 miles from Basingstoke in Hampshire, and while it doesn’t lie in the direction of the transmission, the signal was strong and steady, overwhelming almost all of the interference.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Gareth Buxton (M6VOV)
Location: Belper, England
Notes:

This is my recording. Fair reception on 7360khz. I was out in the garden using a Tecsun PL 880 connected to a homemade active loop antenna. My location is Belper, Derbyshire, UK

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Paul Capewell
Location: London, England
Notes:

Three 1-minute clips of the BBC World Service Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast on 5985kHz, 7360kHz, and 9890kHz, recorded on a Tecsun PL-380 in north west London at 2230 (2130 UTC) on 21 June 2018.

5985kHz (start)
7360kHz (about 01m20s)
9890kHz (about 02m30s)

Click here to listen via SoundCloud.

SWL: Steven
Location:  Ayrshire, Scotland
Notes: 

All three signals were good at my location in Ayrshire, Scotland.
The best of the two Wooferton signals was 5985 AM.
Here is a youtube video of my reception of the signal from Ascension Island on 7360 AM.
Rx = Trio R-1000
Ant = End fed Wire, 20 meters long and ATU.
Thank you.
HAPPY MIDWINTER !
73
Steven

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Cap Tux
Location:  Scotland
Notes: 

BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast 5985kHz Woofferton 2130-2200UTC 21/06/2018. Captured in Scotland using SDRuno/RSP2 and homebrew passive Mag Loop.


Israel

SWL: Adi
Location: Israel
Notes:

In Israel only 9890 was loud and clear on my SRW-710 (V-115)

Click here to view on YouTube.

Saudi Arabia

SWL: Rawad Hamwi
Location: Turaif – Northern Borders Province – Saudi Arabia
Notes:
Date/Time: 21/6/2018 @ 21:30 UTC | 22/6/2018 @ 00:30 Arabian Standard Time (UTC+3)
Frequency: 9890 kHz
Receiver: Sony ICF-SW7600GR / Sony ICF-SW11
Antenna: 30 LM Longwire Antenna
Location: Turaif – Northern Borders Province – Saudi Arabia

Click here to view on YouTube.


North America

Canada

SWL: Richard Langley
Location: Hanwell, New Brunswick
Notes:

I obtained decent recordings of the BAS broadcast both here in NB on 7360 kHz using a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna strung to a nearby tree and using the U. Twente SDR receiver on 5985 kHz. Attached are two two-minute clips, one from the start of each recording. Also attached [above] is a photo of the “listening post” at the back of my yard. Note the mosquito spray!

You can hear my full half-hour recordings, with more details on reception, on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive: https://shortwavearchive.com/archive/bbc-world-service-annual-antarctic-midwinter-broadcast-june-21-2018

Click here to download audio.

Click here to download audio.

United States

SWL: Ivan Cholakov
Location: New York and Florida
Notes:

This year’s Midwinter Antarctic broadcast from the BBC was a special opportunity for me. I thought I would share the story because it has something to say about the state of technology in today’s world of radio. On the day of the broadcast, June 21, 2018 I was on a business trip to New York City. I had brought with me three very useful and very portable items: an SDRPlay receiver, a W6LVP portable amplified loop and an Eton Satellit shortwave radio.

I was able to receive the broadcast in the following order:

  • By remotely accessing my home station;s kiwiSDR receiver via the internet
  • By remotely accessing my amateur radio station that I maintain in Michigan using a remotehams.com server
  • By using the SDRPlay receiver and the amplified loop from the 35th floor hotel room in Manhattan
  • By using the Eton Satellit pocket sized shortwave radio from the hotel room in Manhattan

I created a youtube video with the four modes of reception above. it is amazing how connected the world has become!

Click here to view via YouTube.

SWL: Becky Shepherd
Location: NE Ohio
Notes:

I was able to get 2 different videos of the BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast. One video is of the broadcast coming through an KiwiSDR channel and another is a recording of BBC through my Tecsun PL-380.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Stan Horzepa (WA1LOU)
Location: Wolcott, Connecticut
Notes:

Here in Wolcott, Connecticut, USA, I heard the full 30 minute broadcast
on all three channels using my ICOM IC-R8600 and an 80-meter inverted
Vee antenna. 9890 was very good, 7360 was good, while 5985 was poor.
(The broadcast reminded me of The Beatles Fan Club Christmas recordings.)

Click here to download audio.

SWL: Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD)
Location: Smithville, NJ
Notes:

I got good copy on 9890 here in Smithville, NJ (5 miles north of Atlantic City).
Readable copy on 7360 and almost readable copy on 5850.
Used a combination of Tecsun Radios: PL-310et, PL-880, and S-8800.
Used the telescoping antenna and a long wire antenna strung up in the house.

Was surprised at how good the copy was on 9890.

Following are video’s of my receptions:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Thomas Witherspoon (K4SWL)
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Notes:

I managed to listen to a bit of the broadcast myself in the parking lot of the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I only brought my C. Crane CC Skywave SSB along. The signal was quite weak, but I did log the 9,890 kHz broadcast from Woofferton, UK. Pretty impressive considering the modest portable receiver and the fact the broadcast’s target was Antarctica! Pure shortwave magic.

Click here to view on YouTube.

SWL: Brett Saylor (W3SWL)
Location: Pennsylvania
Notes:

[H]ere’s my recording, made from the University of Twente webSDR from the 7360 kHz Ascension transmitter…

https://soundcloud.com/bds2psu/bbc-antarctic-midwinter-broadcast

My recording of 9890 kHz in Pennsylvania was much weaker.

SWL: DanH
Location: Northern California
Notes:

Just awful reception here in Northern California suburbia near three in the afternoon. I can just make out “Jingle Bells.” BBC Woofferton has been coming in well here from 04:00 – 06:00 UTC on 9915 kHz on some nights.

Click here to view via YouTube.


South America

Chile

SWL: Luis Valderas
Location: San Antonio, Chile
Notes:

Date of recording: 6/21/2018

Starting time: 2130

Frequency: 7360

Receiver and antenna: JRC NRD 515 T 10 m

Click here to listen via SoundCloud.

SWL:Claudio Galaz
Location: Ovalle, Chile
Notes:

From Ovalle, Dipole Antenna and Tecsun PL 660.

Click here to download audio.


Oceana

New Zealand

SWL: Chris Mackerell
Location: Marahau, Tasman Bay, New Zealand
Notes:

The start of the broadcast on 7360 kHz heard here in Marahau, Tasman Bay, New Zealand. Elad FDM-DUOr receiver & Wellbrook loop antenna.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Once again, many thanks to all of you who submitted your recordings of the BBC Midwinter Broadcast!

We’ll be sharing this post with both the British Antarctic Survey and the BBC World Service. And to all of you, from the SWLing Post: Happy (Belated) Midwinter! Happy Summer/Winter Solstice!

Update: BBC Midwinter broadcast recordings

Once again, SWLing Post readers did an amazing job of capturing off-air clips of the BBC Midwinter broadcast to Antarctica! Thank you so much for submitting your recordings!

I managed to listen to a bit of the broadcast myself in the parking lot of the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I only brought my C. Crane CC Skywave SSB along. The signal was quite weak, but I did log the 9,890 kHz broadcast from Woofferton, UK. Pretty impressive considering the modest portable receiver and the fact the broadcast’s target was Antarctica! Pure shortwave magic.

Here’s a very short video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

I hope to have a formatted post with all reader recordings published next week. It’ll actually take me a few dedicated hours to put it all together, so I appreciate your patience.

These are very busy days for me, so if you’ve contacted me via email, I apologize for taking so long to reply. So far in the month of June, I’ve only been home perhaps a total of three nights. July will be equally as busy, plus I’ll also present at the Circle of HOPE 2018 conference in NYC. Really looking forward to that!

If you missed the Midwinter broadcast, Richard Langley has already posted recordings on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive [thanks, Richard!].

Again, thank you all for such an amazing job! I’m looking forward to going through the recordings!