Before the end of the summer, Rai will end radio broadcasts in medium wave .
[…]The news, already anticipated in recent months by sector magazines such as Italradio , is made known by the Easy Web section of Rai .
Everything comes from the audio description for the blind, available for some programs in the second audio track of the TV channel concerned, but also in medium wave on Rai Radio1 .
With regard to this latter service, the site (accessible by clicking HERE) specifies that “from 11 September 2022, due to the termination of Rai radio broadcasts in medium wave modulation, the audio descriptions of television programs for the blind will be available only on dedicated audio of digital terrestrial television.
The regular Rai radio programs , therefore, will continue in FM , DAB + , web and app .
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bob Colegrove, who shares the following guest post:
Calculate Station Distances Using Excel
By Bob Colegrove
On occasion, I’ve wanted to know just how far away a station was from my home. I’ve never been much of a contester, but I know distance can play a part in the results. There are a number of Internet cites which let you enter latitude and longitude information and then calculate the distance across the surface of the earth. These are alright on an occasional basis, but I often wind up getting the data mixed for the two locations, and it is not handy when you want to make several measurements. Here’s a way to generate the distance from your home to thousands of stations with just a little effort.
Many years ago, armed with my faded knowledge of high school trigonometry, I used Excel to calculate the surface distance between any two points on earth. I managed to find the spreadsheet (file dated 1998) which has no fewer than 11 steps in the algorithm. Although it worked, when I came back to it a few months later to make a change, I couldn’t remember my thought process. There are Internet sites which develop earth surface calculations in highly esoteric terms and heavy-duty math. But life is short, and I wanted to cut to the chase. There are, in fact, several formula variations which have somehow managed to distill all this down to a neat single-cell calculation, and they seem to work very well.
The spreadsheet figure below is the simplest form used when you have decimal latitude and longitude data as input. The convention is to use negative numbers for the Western and Southern Hemispheres. Home is your reception location and all other locations are compared with that to determine the distances. If you’re curious, the home location (yellow cells) used in these examples is the monument marking the geographic center of all 50 US states in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Google Maps is one easy source to determine the exact latitude and longitude of any point on earth.
To calculate the distance between any two points on earth, copy the formula below directly into a cell, then change the reference cell names as appropriate, and you’re ready to go.
$B$5 and $C$5 are the cell references for your home address (yellow in the figure above). Of course, the dollar signs indicate these data remain fixed in each calculation. B9 and C9 are corresponding latitude and longitude for the example radio station, WTOP (green). Change these four cell locations as necessary. The constant, 3959, at the end of the formula is the average radius of the earth in miles. Use 6371 if you want kilometers. The data cells in Columns D and E are populated with the formula and produce the result. These values are dynamic and can be replicated down the columns for the rest of your station location data.
Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds Format
The US FCC on-line database contains latitude and longitude tower locations for medium wave stations in Region 2, North, South, and Central America. However, coordinates are in degrees, minutes, and seconds format and must be converted to digital format for calculation of distances. The conversion process can also be done in Excel.
In this case, the inclusion of the coordinate hemispheres, N or S, and E or W is important. Whereas, the hemispheres in the decimal example were signed + or -, the inclusion of the appropriate letters here is necessary. Cell L5 reads
and cell Q5 is similar for longitude, except “W” is substituted for “S.” These formulas are then replicated in columns L and Q for each data item. Columns R and S contain the distance calculation formulas as described above. Line 14 is not necessary, but can be used to see if your formulas are correct; that is, the distance from home to home should be zero.
Let Excel Get the Information for You
What follows is for anyone tired of copying cumbersome latitude and longitude data. Unfortunately, it only works on the current version of Microsoft 365 Excel, and apparently goes off into the big cloud in the sky to instantly download the information.
Enter the town followed by either the US state, Canadian province, or other country name (Column A).
Copy these locations to the next column (Column B). The cells in Column B will become temporary geography cells. Note: As shown above, the data have already been converted to geography format (Step 4).
Make sure you have all the geography cell locations selected (Column B).
On the Data ribbon select Geography. A map icon will appear at the left of each cell, and the state, province and country will be truncated.
For the first latitude (Cell C7), enter =B7.Latitude; likewise, =B7.Longitude in Cell D7.
The formulas in C7 and D7 can be replicated down your list.
Columns for miles and kilometers (E and F) can be added using the distance formula as described above.
The geography data (Column B) cannot be replicated. If you want to add data later, you will have to reapply the geography format for the new data. Or, latitude and longitude can still be inserted manually for any additional entries. The geography data (Column B) are not needed beyond this point and can be deleted or hidden.
Note: I logged on to my first mainframe computer in September 1976 and have never ceased to be amazed at what these confounded things can be made to do. I tried as best I could to trip the system with small, obscure towns in faraway places, as well as duplicate names. I finally succeeded with a relatively large city, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. To be fair, I tried to get it to accept alternate spellings. So, if you need that one, you’ll have to enter it manually.
Medium Wave Example
This example is for medium wave DXers in Region 2, the Americas. It makes use of the FCC AM database at https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/am-query. The database currently contains more than 24,500 entries, many of these are duplicate entries for stations using different daytime and nighttime powers.
Download the database as a pipe-delimited text file.
Import the file into Excel.
Create additional columns to convert the latitude and longitude data from degree-minute-second format to decimal as described above.
Add some rows above and enter your home coordinates in decimal.
Create another column to calculate the distance from home to all the stations, again using the base formula above.
Hide any columns in the FCC database that you don’t need.
Finally, by creating an Excel table from all of the data, except your home location, you can do some on-the-fly filtering.
The example below shows some of the stations near our example home in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The Distance column on the right has a filter applied to limit the listing in the table to stations within a 150 mile radius, that is, it only lists potential daytime stations. You could also use the conditional formatting feature of Excel to highlight the same information in the unfiltered data.
The AOKI log, http://www1.s2.starcat.ne.jp/ndxc/, has listings for all of the recent broadcasting cycles, B21, A21, etc. The Excel format files are zipped for download, and include the latitude and longitude of each station. Unfortunately the coordinates are not only in degrees, minutes and seconds, but they are all mashed together in one cell for each listing. Excel to the rescue again. Select Text to Columns in the DataTools portion of the Data ribbon. This feature will allow you to divide the single column into four columns each for latitude and longitude, that is, degrees, minutes, seconds and hemisphere. Then you can use the conversion formula to change degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal. Note that the first three digits used for longitude are minutes (they go up to 180); the remaining numerical columns have two digits each (up to 60 or 90), and the hemisphere columns (alpha) one character each.
Here are a few things affecting accuracy:
The constants 3959 or 6371 used in the formula for miles and kilometers are generally accepted averages for the earth’s radius. The difference between the equatorial (longer) and polar (shorter) radii is about 13 miles.
If you are using town locations in your data, remember that the actual distance to the tower in that town is likely to be different. The FCC and AOKI data are assumed to be station tower locations.
Some decimal sources of latitude and longitude data have less resolution, which could lead to a slight error.
You’re on Your Own
You may have noticed the examples shown in the figures all have multiple station locations. My thought in doing this was provide some test for accuracy and secondly to provide a seed for developing the spreadsheet into a more inclusive log of stations. There is likely enough basic Excel knowledge among the folks gathered here, and each person will likely have an individual preference in designing a spreadsheet. Nevertheless, the spreadsheet shown in the figures can be downloaded by clicking this link.
The first sheet shows Figures 1 and 2 from this article; and the second sheet, Figure 3. The link in Cell I2 of the second sheet describes how to use the geography feature of Microsoft 365 Excel. The third sheet is a recent copy of the FCC AM database (Figure 4). To facilitate storage and downloading, only stations from 530 kHz to 600 kHz are included. Numerous unused columns from the FCC AM database have been hidden; so you can still copy the full, pipe-delimited FCC database into Columns A through AH. The FCC database has been converted to an Excel table; the Home location is not part of the table. Try substituting your own location for Home (Cells AI2, latitude and AJ2, longitude) and setting a distance filter from your home in Cell AK4. In the example, the distance filter has been set limiting the list of stations to less than 600 miles from our example in South Dakota. Note also that the Conditional Formatting feature on the Home ribbon has been used to highlight stations less than 100 miles from home.
If you have any interest in developing your own spreadsheet, perhaps you can comment on what you have done, or provide the rest of us with something I have missed. Hopefully, I have provided enough information to get you started.
We encourage you to explore the creative work from over 120 artists and composers.
A great many of these remarkable dynamic works draw on a wide array of recordings from the SRAA; the resulting compositions and soundscapes are rich with sonic textures, evocative collages of sound and memory, which emerge into further sources of inspiration.
For World Radio Day 2022, we tune in to radio stations around the world that connect communities, spark conversations, keep traditions alive and give a voice to their listeners. From Aboriginal Koori Radio in Australia to a community station in India run by rural women from the lowest Dalit caste, the airwaves carry intimate wisdom, vital knowledge, beats and tunes that keep reminding us who we are.
Matt has also kindly shared an audio recording of this transmitter. He notes that the reception “was weak but readable” from his home:
What’s more, Matt’s tweet was picked up by The Drive and turned into a post, thus exposing our radio geekery to the populos at large. Many thanks to the numerous SWLing Post readers who shared a link to the article.
I have to assume someone from the DDOT was paying attention too because Matt posted that as of March 3rd, it appears the transmitter has been taken off the air:
This reminded me of another transmitter stuck in time that I thought David Goren once mentioned. I checked with him and he confirmed:
Yes, there’s a transmitter somewhere on MW in NYC that has been broadcasting: “this is a functional test of the text-to-speech capability of the [VR or BR 2000] software package”. They’ve probably been on at least 10 years.
Many thanks to David for sharing the following recording:
America’s rural radio stations are vanishing – and taking the country’s soul with them
When I arrive at the radio station, Mark Lucke is standing in the doorway, looking out at the spitting, winter rain. He’s slim and stoic, with sad, almost haunted, eyes. The first thing he asks is if I’d like to see “the dungeon”. Who wouldn’t?
Lucke pulls on a Steeler’s jacket and a baseball cap over brown hair that falls halfway down his back, and leads me across the five-acre yard. Out here, 90 miles east of Tucson, the desert is a long sweep of brush the color of beach sand. Lucke seems to slip through the rainy day like a ghost.
The radio station, whose call letters are KHIL, has long been the daily soundtrack for this frontier town (population 3,500) that prides itself on its cowboy culture and quiet pace of life. But six decades after the founding of the station, the property is in foreclosure, with utility disconnect notices coming nearly every month.
Small-town radio is fizzling nationwide, as stations struggle to attract advertisement dollars. And as station owners are forced to sell, media conglomerates snap up rural frequencies for rock-bottom prices, for the sole purpose of relocating them to urban areas. In a more affluent market, they can be flipped for a higher price. With limited frequencies available, larger broadcasters purchase as many as possible – especially those higher on the dial – in a race not dissimilar to a real estate grab.[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, who shares the following piece from Politico:
The Lo-Fi Voices That Speak for America
For decades, AM radio has felt as commonplace as a utility, such a basic fact of life that it’s taken for granted. But that’s changing: Across America, AM radio stations are dwindling in number and profitability, as better-sounding FM signals become cheaper to broadcast and would-be listeners turn to the internet for entertainment.
Yet even in decline, it has a strength that politicians and media insiders who want to understand America would do well to heed. In 2019, thousands of AM stations remain on the air, many of them thriving—in part because they serve unique sets of people whose voices aren’t always heard loudly. For generations, it was considerably cheaper to buy or start an AM station than any other form of mass media, making ownership more accessible to people of color, immigrants, non-English speakers and those with political views outside the mainstream. Without the line-of-sight restrictions of FM radio, AM radio can also cover vast geographic areas, and so remains a staple of rural media. Even now, if you tune into the right frequency on a clear summer night, you can hear a broadcast from half a continent away—listening in on the kinds of conversations that shape identity and politics far outside the Beltway.[…]
The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association on Wednesday urged the government to allow them to abolish costly AM radio by 2028 amid falling revenues.
Many broadcasters are struggling to maintain both AM and FM radio services. “Resolving the overlapping investment for AM and FM radio services is essential,” an official of the association said in a meeting held by the communications ministry.
The association also called on the government to take measures to conduct an experiment to stop broadcasting AM radio in some areas in around 2023.
If the government approves the necessary legal change, FM complementary broadcasting, currently used for fringe areas of AM radio and as a disaster countermeasure, could be standardized as FM radio while AM radio services are terminated in most areas of Japan.[…]