Category Archives: WiFi Radio

Guest Post: Pavel’s Raspberry Pi-based homemade multimedia internet radios

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pavel Kraus, who shares the following guest post:


Raspberry and internet radio


by Pavel Kraus

Raspberry and Volumio

I recently read an article about a Raspberry microcomputer here and I would like to introduce you to an idea that is easy to implement, not too expensive and does not require special computer knowledge due to the number of detailed instructions on the Internet. With Raspberry and the Volumio free software audiophile system, it is possible to design devices that allow you to play music files from connected or network storage or listen to Internet radio, etc. You can also play music from Spotify using the available plugins.

The system can be controlled by touch from the built-in display, from a mobile phone or tablet or by remote control. There are a huge number of internet radios, you can search them by genre or by country. For example, radio stations in the United States are categorized by  state, in each state by city, and we can select individual stations in that city.

Volumio is the name for the project, which is presented at https://volumio.com/en/.

There is also the option to download this software and install it on a microSD card. Detailed documentation is available at https://volumio.github.io/docs/, so I will not describe it in detail here, the installation itself is not complicated. I used the following components to make this device: Continue reading

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Worldwide Listening Guide 10th Edition now available on Amazon!

I’m pleased to report that John Figliozzi’s latest Worldwide Listening Guide (10th Edition) is finally on Amazon.com!

Click here to check it out on Amazon.com (note: SWLing Post affiliate link).

Click here to read about the latest WWLG!

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A look inside: The Worldwide Listening Guide’s Tenth Edition

As I’ve mentioned many times here on the SWLing Post, I’m something of a “content DXer.”

Clearly, I enjoy chasing obscure programming––news, documentaries, music, variety shows, anything the broadcasting world has to offer.   Even though my favorite medium for doing this has been shortwave radio, these days, I often turn to Wi-Fi or over-the-internet radio.  Wi-Fi radio offers the discerning listener the ability to track down fascinating regional content from every corner of the globe––content never actually intended for an international audience.

If you, too, like the chase, The Worldwide Listening Guide (WWLG) will be your go-to, and this recent edition––the tenth!––is the latest in a long line of handy volumes that help the listener catch what’s out there, noting that with each passing year there’s more content to catch.

Cornucopia of content

The variety of content from online broadcasters today is surely orders of magnitude more than any one individual has ever had via over-the-air (OTA) radio sources.

Though my WiFi radio offers an easy and reliable way to “tune” to online content––both real-time station streams and on-demand podcasts––the content discovery part is actually quite difficult. I liken it to browsing a large public library looking for a new and interesting book to read, but without the guidance of a librarian. The options are so plentiful that even with superb indexing and organization, one simply doesn’t know where to begin.

On the other hand––and I’m speaking from very recent experience here––if you find a good local independent bookstore, you might actually discover more meaningful titles because the bookstore selections are curated by both the proprietor and the local community.

With this analogy in mind, The Worldwide Listening Guide is essentially my local bookstore for online content and programming.

I recently received a review copy of the new 10th Edition of the Worldwide Listening Guide  by John Figliozzi and, as always, I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover.

The WWLG speaks to the types of programming I enjoy as an SWL because the author, John Figliozzi, is a devoted shortwave radio and international broadcasting enthusiast.

And while the bulk of the WWLG is a detailed and beautifully organized programming guide, it’s also so much more…

“The Many Platforms of radio”

As I’ve so often said, the WWLG is a unique guide; there’s nothing quite like it on the market because it truly takes a deep dive into the world of broadcasting and content delivery both from a technology and programming point of view.

Each media delivery platform, whether on AM, Shortwave, FM, Satellite Radio, Internet (WiFi Radio), and Podcasting, has a dedicated section in the book where Figliozzi explores each in detail. He also speaks to the state of each platform both from the broadcaster’s and the listener’s perspective.

Indeed, each chapter dedicated to these topics very much reminds me of the old Passport to Worldband Radio that I first picked up in the 1990s. The WWLG serves as a primer, but also speaks to the health and potential longevity of each platform.

I appreciate the fact that Figliozzi also addresses the nuts-and-bolts side of both over-the-air and online broadcasting.  For while I’d like to think that I’m reasonably knowledgeable about the world of radio, I find I always discover something new in each edition.

There’s a surprising amount of information packed into this slim, spiral-bound volume. The Worldwide Listening Guide is enough to keep even a seasoned content DXer happy for years…or at least, until the latest edition comes out!

In short? The WWLG is a bargain for all it offers, and I highly recommend it.

The 10th edition of The Worldwide Listening Guide can be purchased here:

Note that at time of posting copies of the WWLG can be pre-ordered at Universal Radio. Amazon.com will soon have links to purchase the 10th edition when they’re in inventory. I assume the W5YI group will also have the 10th edition available for purchase soon!  

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Radio Waves: UNESCO on Radio, Fallout After Reciva, Local Radio Appeal, 2022 Hamvention a Go, and Pandemic Ham

Radio Taboo FM in rural Cameroon

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!


Why UNESCO Believes in Radio (Red Tech)

Chief, Media Development and Media and Information Literacy at UNESCO Mirta Lourenço shares insight on radio’s evolution and challenges. She explains how the international organization is working to support radio stations around the world to ensure they’re able to accomplish their crucial mission.

RedTech: How do you view the role of radio in our society?

Mirta Lourenço: Thanks to radio, we benefit from many essential public services that we seldom reflect on. These include global positioning systems, satellite navigation, environmental monitoring, intelligent transport systems, space research, etc. Radio broadcasts offer information and the possibility for people to participate, regardless of their literacy levels and socio-economic situation.

The medium is also especially suited for multilingualism. Audiences may need to hear programs in their primary language, particularly if said language is local and endangered, or in the case of refugee radio or isolated communities. Also, when literacy levels are low, local languages are crucial to the populations’ access to information, as radio constitutes the main source for reliable journalism. History has shown us that radio is the most effective emergency communication system and in organizing disaster response.

All this does not mean that radio broadcasting is free from challenges. Continue reading

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CC WiFi 3 firmware upgrade improves stability

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

Tom,

I would like to think that owners of the CCWiFi3 are recipients of an early Christmas present!

Approximately 2000 EST during the evening of 16. November I turned on my CCWiFi3 and was alerted to the download of an update.

My CCWiFi3 is suffering a problem that might be called stuttering; parts of speech are repeated in quick succession three or four times. The problem can be lived with but when it happens as a normal course it becomes a serious annoyance.

After the update was installed the radio operated normally and I resumed listening to the broadcast. About 15 minutes into the broadcast I realized that stuttering had become absent.

I did an internet search regarding recent CCWiFi3 updates but found nothing.

I thought it prudent to wait before making an announcement. After many hours of listening I have come to the conclusion that the update solved my CCWiFi3 stuttering problem—I have not heard it again on any of the internet broadcasts I monitor.

I have already made a comment to Rob’s post: “Reciva Gateway not responding.” Perhaps your connections can provide further details of the problem and the update.

I want to thank whoever is responsible; have a nice Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,

Mark

Thanks so much for the tip, Mark! I have not had this issue with my CCWifi3, but admittedly my internet connection at home is so poor I’m used to hearing dropouts no matter the platform. I haven’t noticed the particular issue you describe, but I’m pleased to hear it’s been sorted out! Thanks for sharing this!

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“Reciva Gateway not responding”: Rob offers more info & possible workarounds

The Grace Digital Mondo

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rob Gray, who shares the following tips:


Reciva Gateway not responding: More Info, possible workarounds.

Reading the comments in the SWLing Post blog, it sounds like many people are receiving the dreaded “Reciva Gateway not responding” message and at a loss how to proceed from there. I’m assuming that for every person that writes a comment, there are many experiencing the message and not writing. Hopefully, the following information will save some internet radios from becoming e-waste and ending up in a landfill.

As background, I’m only familiar with the CCrane WiFi1 radio, this one.:

The CC Wifi

There is a way on these radios to at least recover use of the stations stored in the presets (you did enter on the presets, didn’t you?). The material is repeated in the comments of this webpage. I suspect that many people won’t wade through the 100+ comments, therefore a separate blog posting is offered.

On to the important stuff…

Here’s what works for me as of October, 2021

During startup, the radio displays:

Message: Finding Gateway

Message: Network Error Reciva Gateway not responding

For the message “Network Error Reciva Gateway not responding”, press the BACK button (which then shows Select network). Then press the BACK button AGAIN. The display shows Preset x Stopped. At that point, select a preset from the remote or radio, and it should lock in and play your station preset (assuming the info entered to the preset is valid)!

I’ve been doing this for weeks and it seems to consistently work!

Some other possible options

Depending upon the internet radio (and I have personal experience with only two, both from CCrane), there may be some other possible solutions.

Sharpfin

I’ve looked into the Sharpfin project and it looks very interesting. With the demise of Reciva, there’s activity again with getting the radios functioning with this software. Do an internet search for the latest information and/or these links are a starting point of what’s involved:

https://github.com/jisotalo/reciva-radio-patching/blob/main/README.md

http://www.megapico.co.uk/sharpfin/mediaserver.html

Serviio

I’ve had success with my CCrane WiFi2 radio, which is TuneIn-based, using Serviio and the UPnP utility built into the wifi radio. I was NOT able to get Serviio to work with my CCrane WiFi1 (Reciva) radio for streaming live audio, but could access audio files stored on the main computer hard-drive (with tinkering). There may be other similar options usable with UPnP, but I haven’t investigated much beyond Serviio.

Rotel

It’s possible that Rotel is shut down, but the motivated can explore that option. There’s discussion of the topic on this webpage in the comments section, do a find for “Rotel.”

Summary

That’s all that I have on the topic for now. However, DON’T discard your radios yet. There are some talented and motivated people trying to figure out ways to keep these internet radios running. Keep checking back on the SWLing Post blog comments as people continue to post new information. Tinker around with them, you might get them running again! If you do decide to discard your radio, I’d urge you to find a responsible method of disposal, donate in general, donate to a gifted and motivated hacker, etc. Good luck to all that have been affected by this unfortunate and unnecessary decision to shut Reciva down.

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Guest Post: Simple Android Database Part 2

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill, who shares the following guest post:


Simple Android Database-PART 2

by Billy Hemphill, WD9EQD

In the first part, I showed how you could easily take a spreadsheet and create a simple database for viewing on an Android phone/tablet. The examples used in that article was two spreadsheets of radio schedules – one for Shortwave and one for FM Radio Programs. See the following link to the original article: https://swling.com/blog/2021/10/guest-post-radio-schedules-in-a-simple-android-database/

There are many lists on the internet of various radio databases. If the database can be downloaded as either a CVS file or a spreadsheet, then it is possible to load it into the PortoDB app on the phone tablet. I’ll show how this can be done with two popular databases that I reference all the time.

EIBI Data Base

Most of you are probably familiar with the EIBI database of shortwave schedules. Many of the Shortwave Schedule apps on the Phones reference this database. For example, I use the Skywave Schedules on my phone. While it does allow for me to search by many parameters, I thought it might be fun to have it in a PortoDB database. Plus it would be interesting to see how PortoDB performs with a large data set. Continue reading

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