Category Archives: What’s On Shortwave

Terry remembers monitoring an eventful Sydney to Hobart yacht race

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Terry Cominos, who shred the following story following our recent post about the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Terry writes:

Here is my story…

It must have been 20 plus years ago whilst monitoring the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on my AOR AR3000.

Around midnight the yacht “Mem” announced a man was lost overboard. They were turning back to find him. The Captain of the oil tanker “Ampol Serel” on his way to Sydney declared he was turning back to assist in the search.

It was a long night with several yachts searching and the “Young Endeavour” providing radio relay support.

More than an hour passed before the “Ampol Serel” arrived on the scene with its powerful search light.

The search was hampered by a swell yet before first light “Ampol Serel” picked up a reflected flash off a life vest.

The sailor was eventually found by a competing yacht and taken on board where he was examined and treated for hypothermia by a doctor onboard.

Several years later I visited the Australian Maritime Museum where the life vest is on display.

That morning I learned a lot about the sea, radio and human nature…

Thank you for sharing this, Terry, and reminding us  that those of us who monitor radio sometimes have a front row seat to events as they unfold.

Source: OneTubeRadio.com

I recall this 1957 Hallicrafter ad from Boy’s Life magazine which of course implies that we may even be in a position to help.

The thought of hearing or assisting–remote as it may have been–certainly had an influence on me when I first started exploring the shortwave bands from my bedroom with a Zenith Transoceanic some forty years ago.

Thanks again for sharing, Terry.

Post readers: Have you ever been witness to events as they unfolded on the air?  Please share your story!


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Marine Weather Center daily weather reports on shortwave

Sail Boat Yacht On Sea

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Al Holt, who writes:

Your readers may be interested in tuning in the daily (except Sunday) broadcasts of Marine Weather Center on 4045 and possibly 8173, 12,350 kHz. These broadcasts use upper sideband mode. https://www.mwxc.com/index.php

It’s described as, “custom weather and routing information for small vessels in the Caribbean Sea, Bahamas and United States East Coast,” and is based near Lakeland, FL.

As a subscription weather service for pleasure craft, but they provide an interesting roundup and forecast of weather in this area of the world. They do take questions and traffic from subscribing vessels at the conclusion of their broadcast.

I am usually am able to receive the omnidirectional broadcast on 4045 kHz here in northern Florida. But, their coverage at greater distances is pretty good I think.

The chart below (taken from their ‘Services’ page https://www.mwxc.com/marine_weather_services.php ) shows this broadcast starting at 1100z, but I usually hear them closer to 1200z and that may be due to atmospheric conditions. I haven’t had much success catching their later transmissions. I’m not sure how often their webpage gets updated and schedule changes are probably relayed privately to their subscribers.

Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing this information, Al.

Post Readers: I know there are a number of SWLing Post readers who sail and cruise (some on very long voyages)—I’m curious if any use the Marine Weather Service regularity. Please comment!

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Radio in the field: SWLing on the coast of the St. Lawrence river

Yesterday, the weather was gorgeous here in Québec, thus a prime opportunity to find a beach, start a new book and, of course, play radio!

I found a fantastic spot on the north bank of the St. Lawrence river near Baie-St-Paul, Québec. There were only a few folks at the beach, so it was all very peaceful.

I found a picnic table perched on the edge of the beach shaded by an apple tree–a perfect spot to relax, play radio and start a new book: Dark Voyage by Alan Furst.

I brought two portables: the C. Crane CC Skywave SSB and the recently acquired Panasonic RF-B65.

I had not checked to see if propagation was good, but tuning to WWV on 10 MHz and 15 MHz confirmed that signals were travelling. In fact, as I started tuning around–first with the CC Skywave SSB, then with the Panasonic RF-B65–I discovered some of the best propagation I’ve experienced in ages!

I did a relatively quick scan covering the 31 through 19 meter bands. Some signals were absolutely booming in.

I jotted down some of the broadcast details on a make-shift log and recorded a few videos.

Note that after making the first video, I discovered I had limited space on my phone, so most of the clips are quite short:

The Voice of America

Click here to view on YouTube.

Radio France International

Click here to view on YouTube.

Radio Guinée

Click here to view on YouTube.

BBC World Service Extra English

Click here to view on YouTube.

Here are the stations I logged in the clear:

All in all it was a brilliant afternoon and the short band scan reminded me that there is still so much content to be found on the shortwaves.

You just need a little propagation, and some time to listen and explore!

Post readers: Have you snagged any elusive DX recently?  Please comment!

Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

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June 13: Spectres of Shortwave film screening and simulcast via German Shortwave Service

(Source: Amanda Dawn Christie)

Coming up this summer:

Spectres of Shortwave /
Ombres des ondes courtes

June 13 juin
Film Screening / Projection @ 7pm / 19 h
Cinémathèque Québécoise
Montréal, Québec

Radio Simulcast @ 23:00 UTC in Europe
German Shortwave Service – 3895 kHz

A film about radio waves, relationships, landscape, and loss.
This experimental documentary film about the Radio Canada International (RCI) shortwave radio towers, presents the site through four seasons, leading up to, and including, its demolition in winter of 2014. Images captured on 35mm film accompanied by personal stories from by people who lived with the site, interwoven with field recordings made by placing contact microphones onto the towers themselves.

Screenings of this film are accompanied by a radio simulcast, so that while viewers watch the film on a big screen in one part of the world, listeners can hear the sound track over radio waves in another part of the world. This Montreal screening is accompanied by a shortwave simulcast in Germany.

1 hour 53 minutes, colour, 5.1 sound
www.spectresofshortwave.net
http://www.amandadawnchristie.ca
Cinémathèque website and info
facebook event

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Dean records Voice of Korea’s Panmunjon Summit coverage

Front page of the North Korean newspaper “Rodong” on April 28, 2018. (Source: Mark Fahey)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dean Denton–our intrepid 13 year old DXer. Dean writes:

How are you doing? I have found a recording on the archives of a recent North Korean recording of the Voice of Korea on the Panmunjon Summit, between both North and South Korean leaders.

Not only am I pleased with the news, but I have uploaded the full 1 hour recording of the English broadcast on my YouTube Channel:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to check out Dean’s YouTube channel.

Great job snagging this particular VOK recording! You’re following a long tradition of SWLs before you who’ve made an effort to capture these fascinating bits of radio history. Keep up the great work, Dean!

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