Category Archives: Schedules and Frequencies

Mark is developing an Alexa skill to search shortwave broadcast schedules

I’ve been an owner of the Amazon Echo smart speaker since it was first released and even reviewed it here on the SWLing Post a couple years ago. Although it’s not a perfect device–and many feel IOT products like this invade their privacy (rightfully so)–it is a nice hands-free way to call up a radio station, set a timer, get the weather, set reminders and even do a little light research.

SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, decided he wanted to develop an Alexa skill to help him with shortwave radio listening. Mark writes:

I’m excited to share my ‘work-in-progress’ Alexa skill for searching shortwave broadcast schedules!

I’ve often stumbled over a station tuning the dial and have had to step away from the radio, grab a computer, go to a web site, type in a frequency… what a fuss – what if I could just ask my Echo dot….?

Since my day job involves chat bots, machine learning, and AI, I was recently asked to look into Alexa and suddenly I had a new home project!

Like they say, “the last 10% takes 90% of the time,” but it’s already functional enough to demo:

Click here to watch demo video.

That’s brilliant, Mark! I’m sure I’m not the only SWL who would love to add this Alexa skill to their Echo device.

Mark did add that this is very much in prototype development and he hasn’t sorted out a way to host it affordably, or better yet, for free if he publishes it publicly. If you have any suggestions about a host server, please comment.

I’m sure Mark would love any early constructive feedback readers might have. Please comment if this is an Alexa skill you would value.

Mark, please keep us apprised of your progress!

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Alex’s updated frequency charts

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alex, who notes that he’s updated his frequency charts once again. Alex writes:

I have updated my short wave charts for the summer season. There was a lot on this summer, so sadly the charts are rather late in the season, but at least there is still a month to go.

Nice to report an increase in what you can hear clearly in English in the UK. Radio Kuwait seems to have a new transmitter and are pumping in a good signal in the mornings on 15.53 from 05-08 GMT to add to Romania plus music from Radio Austria and Greece. Short Wave lives on!

Indeed it does, Alex!  Thank you for once again updating and sharing your excellent charts!

Click here to download Alex’s updated shortwave charts.

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VORW Radio International updated schedule

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor John with TheReportOfTheWeek who writes:

Hello Shortwave Listeners! A few changes to the radio schedule of VORW Radio Int. have been made, please check below and take a look. I’ve both added and deleted several transmissions.

My show is a weekly light entertainment program, featuring misc talk and commentary as well as listener requested music spanning genres and eras!

Wednesday 1100 UTC – 15670 kHz – WINB 15 kW DRM – Europe
Thursday 2000 UTC – 7780 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America
Thursday 2200 UTC – 9955 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – South America
Friday 0000 UTC (Thu 8 PM Eastern) – 7730 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America
Friday 0000 UTC – 9395 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America
Friday 0100 UTC – 7490 kHz – WBCQ 50 kW – North America
Friday 0100 UTC – 7780 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America
Friday 0100 UTC – 5850 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America
Friday 0400 UTC – 7730 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America
Friday 2200 UTC – 9955 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – South America
Sunday 2200 UTC – 7570 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America

Questions, comments, reception reports and music requests may be sent to vorwinfo@gmail.com

Reception reports will receive a QSL!

Happy listening,

John (VORW Radio Int.)

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Help record the 2018 BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast

Every year, the BBC broadcasts a special program to the scientists and support staff in the British Antarctic Survey Team. The BBC plays music requests and sends special messages to the small team of 40+ located at various Antarctic research stations. Each year, the thirty minute show is guaranteed to be quirky, nostalgic, and certainly a DX-worthy catch!

After successful listener events from years past, I’m calling on all SWLing Post readers and shortwave radio listeners to make a short recording (say, 30-60 seconds) of the BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast today and share it here at the Post (frequencies and time below).

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

The recording can be audio-only, or even a video taken from any recording device or smart phone. It would be helpful to have a description and/or photo of your listening environment and location, if possible.

Audio should be in the MP3 format and videos either hosted on YouTube or Vimeo so that I can easily embed them without having to convert and upload myself.

If you submit your recording to me, I will post it here on the SWLing Post–and insure that the British Antarctic Survey receives the post, too.  The recordings will be arranged by geographic location.

Frequencies

This year, there have been few details about the broadcast announced in advance–I’ve seen no test broadcast announcements as in years past–so my fingers are crossed that it’ll take place on the air, on schedule.

Please note that the broadcast begins at 2130 UTC on (Thursday) June 21, 2018. The following frequencies were provided by Mauno Ritola who sourced them from a German SWL list serve:

From ASCENSION

7360 kHz

From DHABAYYA

6035 kHz

From WOOFFERTON

7230 and possibly 5985 kHz

I’m sure there will be live reports in the SWLing Post chat room during the broadcast.  Please sign in and share your report as well!

I hope I’ll be able to receive the broadcast this year–I’m traveling again, but will have a receiver in tow. Worse case, I’ll snag the broadcast from a WebSDR in Europe (which is a pretty easy catch).

Listening for the Midwinter test transmissions last week with the Elecraft KX2.

The Midwinter broadcast is one of my favorite programs of the year. I suppose, in part, this is because it happens on June 21–the Summer/Winter solstice–which also happens to be my birthday! Woo hoo!

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North Korea Summit: Voice of Korea English language shortwave frequencies

Photo of Singapore skyline by Mike Enerio.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, DanH, who writes:

I recorded and edited clips from two Voice of Korea SW broadcasts in English at different times earlier today (UTC). The radio clock in this video is fairly accurate and is set to UTC. The VOK announcer reads a list of VOK English language broadcast times and frequencies near the end of the video. Happy listening! Propagation conditions aren’t that bad.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you for sharing this, Dan. I’m travelling at the moment but will certainly listen via one of my favorite WebSDRs. I’m hoping some listeners will submit recordings to the shortwave archive!

I’ve copied the times and frequencies below for reference:

  • To Europe on 13650 and 15245 kHz
    • 15:00-16:00 UTC
    • 18:00-19:00 UTC
    • 21:00-22:00 UTC
    • 13:00-14:00 UTC
  • To North America on 9435 and 11710 kHz
    • 15:00-16:00 UTC
    • 13:00-14:00 UTC
  • NE Asia on 7620, 9445, and 9730 kHz
    • 4:00-5:00 UTC
    • 6:00-7:00 UTC
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