Category Archives: Shortwave Radio

Shortwave’s Giant: Carlos explores evangelical broadcasting to MENA

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares the following guest post:


WINNING HEARTS, MINDS AND…SOULS!

Catechizing via shortwave.

by Carlos Latuff, special for The SWLing Post

During the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the expression “hearts and minds” became popular and referred to the US government’s strategy to gain allies among the South Vietnamese against the Vietcong guerrillas. Over the years this strategy has been used in different contexts. What I’m going to talk about in this short article is how the radio waves have served Christian evangelical churches, to win hearts and minds, specially in Africa and Middle East (MENA).

Different from what I did with the Ethiopian clandestine broadcasts, when I spent around 3 months monitoring, with evangelical radios it took only two days in January 2022; quite simple, since they’re stations with regular programming. Most of them have good signal reception, there’s no jamming from other countries and, despite transmitting in different languages, little translation was necessary since the content is always the same: religious preaching.

All listenings happened in Rio de Janeiro. The radio sets used in this monitoring were the XHDATA D-808 and an old analog radio Sanyo RP-8351, made in Brazil in the 70’s. A 7-meter long wire antenna was used in all listenings. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: La TopoRadio Radio, Campaign Promise for ABC Shortwave Restoration, Malahit-DDC Early Review, and “Cordial Cold War” Now Free on Amazon

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors NT, Mark Fahey, and @SAKURARadiochan for the following tips:


Launching La TopoRadio (Radio Preservation Task Force)

The RPTF is pleased to announce the launch of La TopoRadio— the best place on the web to explore historical research about Spanish-language radio. La TopoRadio is an interactive map that lets users discover publications about historic and contemporary stations.

The project supports the goal of the RPTF to bring attention to the multifaceted history of radio in the United States. Spanish-language broadcasters have been part of the nation’s heritage since the dawn of the radio era, but this history is often sidelined in official accounts of radio history. Spanish-language programs continue to grow in popularity and geographic reach even while English-language listenership has declined. [Continue reading at the RPTF website…]

Labour promises $2m shortwave radio restoration (Tescun Radios Australia)

Note: the following was copied from the newsletter of Australian radio retailer, Tecsun Radios Australia.

A controversial decision in 2017 lead to the ABC turning off its domestic shortwave radio service, much to the disappointment and anger of remote listeners. It’s reasoning for turning off the shortwave broadcasts was that it would only affect a small number of listeners and in fact save operating costs of $1.9M, which could be re-invested in providing infrastructure of digital services located in populated regional areas.

Many industry groups were outraged, particularly in remote areas of the Northern Territory where residents had come to rely on the service as their only regular source of news and entertainment.

In February 2011, cyclone Yasi crossed the Australian east coast between Cairns and Townsville, causing enormous damage and knocking out all local communications.

Radio Australia carried ABC Queensland coverage of the storm, which was extraordinary.

[…]The federal Labour party has announced that if elected next year, they will provide the ABC with $2M in funding to re-establish the shortwave funding across the territory. [Continue reading…]

A review of the soon to be released Malahit-DDC portable SDR (RTL-SDR.com)

The Malahit DDC is the latest in portable SDR packages coming out of the Russian designer and manufacturer known as ‘Malahiteam’.  In the past they released the hugely successfull Malhit-DSP. We want to thank Manuel Lausmann for sending us a video and review that comprehensively looks at one of the first Malahit DDC devices that have been received. Manuel writes:

[…]The comparison took into account the results from the DDC versions with two ADC versions – AD9649 and MDRA1A16FI.

1) the sensitivity is about the same, there is no difference.

2) The dynamic range blocking is a big difference in favor of DDC. It is caused by the properties of the radio reception path and not by the difference in the classes of radio receivers. This has the practical advantage that a radio receiver with large antennas can be used under difficult conditions, for example when it is necessary to receive a weak signal in the presence of a strong interfering one.

3) The dynamic range of third order intermodulation is a big difference in favor of DDC. It is caused by the properties of the radio reception path and not by the difference in the classes of radio receivers. The practical advantage of this is the lack of parasitic or false reception channels. [Click here to read the full article and watch the video at RTL-SDR.com…]

Cordial Cold War: Cultural Actors in India and the German Democratic Republic (Amazon.com)

Note that “Cordial Cold War: Cultural Actors in India and the German Democratic Republic” is now free in eBook form on Amazon.com. Here’s the description:

Cordial Cold War examines cultural entanglements, in various forms, between two distant yet interconnected sites of the Cold War—India and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Focusing on theatre performances, film festivals, newsreels, travel literature, radio broadcasting, cartography and art as sites of engagement, the chapters spotlight spaces of interaction that emerged in spite of, and within, the ambits of Cold War constraints. The inter-disciplinary collection sheds light on the variegated nature of translocal cultural entanglements, at work even before the GDR was officially recognized as a sovereign state by India in 1972. By foregrounding the role of actors, their practices and the sites of their entanglement, the contributions show how creative energies were mobilized to forge zones of friendship, mutual interest and envisioned solidarities.

This volume situates actors from the Global South as mutual co-shapers of the cultural Cold War, therein shifting its Euro-American and Soviet epicenters to Non-Aligned India. Going beyond official state channels of international political dialogue, it locates cordiality in the micro-histories and everyday experiences of interpersonal engagements, bringing to focus a hitherto underexplored chapter of India–Germany entanglements.

Click here to view on Amazon.com.


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Radio Waves: Radio Atlantique, Car Radio History, BBC Norfolk Features CW, and IC-R30 Firmware Update

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Trevor, Dennis Dura, and Markku Koskinen for the following tips:


Radio Atlantique Broadcasts Against All Odds (Red Tech)

Its broadcasting territory is restricted and unlikely to grow significantly, and for good reason. Since 1982, Radio Atlantique has been broadcasting in the heart of the French overseas territory of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, a 252 square kilometers, self-governing Atlantic clump of islands just off the south coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland. The radio station has cultivated its uniqueness, becoming a key partner in the local life and cohesion of the 6,000 or so Miquelonnais. However, this state of mind has not prevented the project from going through difficult times and bringing uncertainties to its future.

Broadcasting in the territory of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon is an extraordinary adventure every day. For example, coverage of the entire archipelago was only concluded in 2010 with effective broadcasting in Miquelon, only 18 nautical miles away from the main island. This challenge for the station has only reinforced its unique place within the islands’ society. The population on the islands is highly mixed, and the vast majority of the inhabitants have French and Basque origins. [Continue reading…]

The history of car radios, from AM to Apple (The Globe and Mail)

“Hey, Google. Play Toosie Slide by Drake.”

Within seconds, the Toronto pop singer’s silky voice wafts from the speakers of the ELS Studio audio system of my Acura MDX. Ten speakers in the cabin pump out trilling highs and chest-thumping bass, transforming my vehicle into a soothing audio studio on wheels. Bored, I flip over to SiriusXM for a little Hip-Hop Nation.

Modern car audio systems are so highly evolved, so seamless and so intuitive, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always this way. But it’s been 90 years since the first mass-produced car radio appeared, and the road to audio perfection has been a bumpy one indeed.

Michael Lamm remembers. At 84, the California-based auto historian’s car-ownership experience spans back to the early 1950s, when staticky car radios were powered by primitive vacuum tubes.

When he was growing up in Texas, he says he “didn’t really care that much about radio,” in part because programming was so limited. “I didn’t listen to the preachers who were constantly haranguing everybody.” [Continue reading…]

BBC Norfolk features ham radio Morse code (Southgate ARC)

January 11 was Learn your Name in Morse Code Day and Roger Cooke G3LDI was interviewed on BBC Norfolk by Chris Goreham about Morse

Roger has been a keen proponent of the advantages of Morse code since he started teaching it as a teenager when he was first licenced in 1956.

You can listen to the interview by fast-forwarding to 1:54:27 in this recording
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bcktml

Free Morse training courses are available Online, see

New Icom IC-R30 Firmware Update (via Markku Koskinen)

Updated Icom IC-R30 firmware has been posted on the Icom Japan web site.

Battery health status (Normal/Caution/Warning) judgment has been improved.

Click here to check it out and download at Icom Japan.


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Carlos’ Shortwave Art and Recording of the Voice of Korea (12 Jan 2022)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares yet another example of his radio log art, this time for The Voice of Korea.

Carlos notes:

Voice of Korea, 9650 kHz, broadcasting in Japanese from Kujang, North Korea.

Newsletter: Kim Jong Un watches test of new hypersonic ballistic missile.

Transmission with jamming, probably from South Korea.

Signal captured in Rio de Janeiro, 01/12/2022, 05:07, local time.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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Radio Waves: The Barbed Wire Comms Line, FCC Denies AM Appeal, Raspberry Pi Radio Astronomy, and Interview with Dick Smith

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Paul, Dennis Dura, Dan Van Hoy, Alokesh Gupta,  and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Atrocious but efficient: How ranchers used barbed wire to make phone calls (Texas Standard)

A barbed wire telephone call didn’t sound great but could quickly warn others about something such as a wildfire.

Historian J. Evetts Haley wrote that, in its time, the old XIT Ranch up in the Texas Panhandle was “probably the largest fenced range in the world.” He recalled that its barbed wire enclosed over 3 million acres of land. At the north end alone, the fence ran for 162 miles. The unique enclosure helped keep in enormous cattle herds, keep out rustlers, and also gave rise to the creative use of a new technology: the telephone.

I’ll come back to the XIT in a moment, but first, consider these smattering of reports from that era. In 1897, The Electrical Review, reported that “on a ranch in California, telephone communication had been established between the various camps . . . by means of barbed wire fences.” The article says the novel use of the phone was a great success and was being used in Texas as well. That same year, the New England Journal of Agriculture was impressed that two Kansas farmers, living a mile apart, had attached fine telephone instruments to the barbed wire fence that connects their places and established easy communication. From the Butte Intermountain in 1902 we see this notice: “Fort Benton’s latest development is a barbed wire telephone communication.” The article points out that people of the range were not all that happy with barbed wire, which they thought was an “evil” that had arrived with the railroad, but they had decided to look at the practical side of its existence and use it to create a telephone exchange that would connect all the ranches to Fort Benton. [Continue reading…]

FCC Says No to Appeal for a New AM in L.A. (Radio World)

Schwab Multimedia has lost an appeal to the Federal Communications Commission in a case involving a planned AM station near Los Angeles for which it had a construction permit.

This is a “tolling” case, one that involves the FCC construction clock. The history is complex — the FCC’s summary is 2,500 words long, not counting many extended footnotes — but the upshot is that KWIF in Culver City was never built and, barring further developments, apparently will not be. Its call sign has now been deleted.

Levine/Schwab Partnership, which does business as Schwab Multimedia, had applied in 2004 to build a new AM station in the Los Angeles area. It eventually secured a CP in 2016 for the station at 1500 kHz. [Continue reading at Radio World…]

Radio Astronomy with Raspberry Operating System (Glen Langston)

Check out this fascinating radio astronomy project by Glen Langston that is not only affordable, but quite accessible. Thank you for the tip, Paul!

This article is in PDF form and can be downloaded from with this link.

Dick Smith Live: Adventuring, Electronics & Amateur Radio (Ham Radio DX on YouTube)

Dick Smith, VK2DIK has lived an adventurous and extraordinary life. He is a proud Australian, businessman, adventurer, entrepreneur and he single handedly changed electronics and CB/Amateur Radio in Australia.

Dick has recently released his autobiography titled, Dick Smith: My Adventurous Life and tonight we’re privileged to sit down live with Dick, speaking to him about his adventures, including the first solo helicopter flight around the world, his business ventures and being a pioneer for Amateur and CB radio.


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Frugal Radio’s Loop On Ground (LoG) Antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Rob, with Frugal Radio, who writes:

On New Year’s Day I decided to spend some time make a Loop on the Ground HF antenna. It had been a project I had wanted to undertake for a while, after seeing the KK5JY web site.

The LoG is supposed to work fairly well in noisy RF environments, and with my house being in suburbia,I thought it would be worth a shot.

I use some old speaker wire, RG6, some connectors I had lying around, and some random items from the back yard (old tyre, flower pot etc). It only took about 30 minutes to build with the stuff I already had lying around. I used a NooElec balun as my transformer.

Despite the snow on the ground, it all worked.
I made a video showing the construction and initial testing which your readers may enjoy.

As you mention, Rob, the LoG has become a very popular antenna for folks living in an urban RFI jungle. Paired with a nice high dynamic range SDR, the results are quite impressive and the noise floor much lower than it would be with a traditional wire antenna or even a sky loop. I am curious how it compares with any other antennas as your home. Thanks for sharing!

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