Category Archives: Recordings

From the Shortwave Archive: Radio South Africa (RSA) New Year’s call-in program 1977

Minolta DSC

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Gavaras, who shares the following recording of Radio South Africa which was originally recorded on December 31, 1977 from his home in Plymouth, MN using a Hammarlund HQ-180.

Tom notes:

During the late 1970s, Radio South Africa (RSA) would broadcast a New Years call-in show. This recording is from 1/1/1978 (12/31/1977 in the US). At two minutes into the recording, you can hear the interval signal for RAI (Italy) in the background. I have scoped (edited) the music. Unsure how long RSA carried on this tradition, but heard a similar call-in broadcast the following year on 1/1/1979.

Click here to download this recording.

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Catching coastal shortwaves with the CC Skywave SSB

After Thanksgiving Day (here in the States) my family took a little camping trip on the coast of North Carolina. We spent a few nights near Holden Beach and Oak Island–some of my favorite parts of the NC coast.

Weather was splendid on Sunday, so we took a long walk on the beach and, of course, I packed a portable radio–this time, the CC Skywave SSB.

The Skywave SSB is a pricey portable, but it has certainly become my choice travel radio as it covers so many radio bands (AM/MW, FM, SW, AIR and WX). It’s also incredibly portable and can hang with the best in terms of sensitivity and selectivity.

I didn’t check propagations conditions on Sunday, but there were signals booming in from everywhere. I took a few short sample videos:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Being away from sources of radio interference and standing next to (and occasionally in—!) the Atlantic Ocean certainly helped a great deal with reception.

I had planned to put my Elecraft KX2 on the air while here, but simply didn’t have the time to fit it in with family activities.

Post readers: Do you have any radio vacations on the horizon?

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Shortwave Archive: 1979 Radio Moscow Mailbag Studio Recordings

If you’ve been a shortwave radio listener since the Cold War, you no doubt remember Radio Moscow‘s Mailbag program with Joe Adamov.

Tom Gavaras, a new contributor at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, recently shared a series of seven Radio Moscow studio recordings and noted:

These recordings were originally provided to me on reel-to-reel tape directly from Radio Moscow (which I dubbed to a cassette). At that time, I was program director at St. Cloud State University’s radio station KVSC-FM (St. Cloud, MN) and aired Moscow Mailbag once a week during the afternoon news block programming. Transcription shows from other shortwave stations were played on other weekday slots at the same time.

Here’s the first studio recording:

We’re publishing a new recording each week over at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Click here to follow this series.

Many thanks, Tom, for sharing these excellent recordings!

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Pure nostalgia: Mark’s shortwave recording of Radio Tahiti music

(Map Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Pettifor, who writes:

One of the great things about DXing and SWLing is the variety of music  one can hear. One of my favorite stations to listen to on shortwave for “exotic music” was Radio Tahiti, Papeete, French Polynesia, when they were still on shortwave.

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe something happened to the transmitter, and they never got back on SW. They were on mediumwave through December of 2016 (738 kHz); now they are on FM only. (Maybe us hobbyists should start a funding website to put them back on shortwave!)

Many a Saturday night I would turn on the DX-160 (my first SW rig) and let it warm up for a while, before tuning in 15170 to see how band conditions were. If the band was good, I’d get ready to record through the air. Once I started recording, I’d often leave the room and shut the door, because having three brothers around meant the possibilities were high for having “extraneous interference” on my recordings.

Saturday evenings were a good time to tune in, because of a music program that aired with a good selection of island music. The program had an announcer who spoke in the island vernacular (Tahitian?), and when that program ended they switched to French.

Here is a 30-min recording of Radio Tahiti on 15170 kHz from a while ago, most likely around one of the solar maxima of either 1980 or 1991. I’m leaning toward the 1980 cycle. My apologies for not being able to be more specific than that. I kept terrible records of my recordings. This would be recorded either with the DX-160 or a DX-302. Apologies too for the jump in volume at around the 2:37 mark.

So close your eyes, imagine you are lying in a hammock on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific, with a warm breeze off the ocean and your favorite cooled beverage nearby, listening to some of the best island music anywhere.

Click here to download an MP3 of this recording.

Wow Mark!  Thank you so much for sharing this recording–it certainly brings back memories of listening to Radio Tahiti on my Zenith Trans-Oceanic!

Post readers: Anyone else cruise Radio Tahiti for the amazing music?  Please comment!


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Dan catches the Bhutan Broadcasting Service

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who discovered that the Bhutan Broadcasting Service was on the air Friday with an uncharacteristically strong signal into Europe. Dan made the following screencast of his reception using the University Twente WebSDR on August 31, 2018 on 6,035 kHz starting around 2024 UTC:

Click here to watch via Vimeo.

Many thanks for sharing, Dan! I hope to hear them on the air again soon.

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