For years fans of wireless radios have campaigned to stop the apparently inevitable march of progress as Britain prepares to switch off its crackling analogue signal and become totally digital.
But now, the BBC will announce that it has shelved plans to force listeners to replace their analogue radios with DAB sets.
In a move that will also be welcomed by the two million motorists with analogue car radios, the corporation will admit for the first time that FM broadcasts must continue to keep audiences on side as music streaming and podcasts threaten its traditional strongholds.[…]
I miss the television snows of yesteryear. And I don’t mean easy nostalgia for the inevitable reruns of “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
I’m talking real television snow, a longing for static, ghost images and the picture endlessly rolling and flip-flopping. While we’re at it, I ache for well-used vinyl crackling like bacon sizzling in a skillet … and the eerie whistles and wheezes from terrestrial radio.
This eccentric pining for the primitive electric hiss and sputter of my 1960s childhood is an honest reaction to our modern culture’s unhealthy addiction to (apparent) perfection. We want it all, we want it now, and we want it sublime.
We not only demand our television, radio and music in unblemished HD on whatever device we choose, but also our weddings, children, houses and bodies. And in our heedless embrace of digital cosmetic surgery, we’ve forgotten that it’s the flaw that makes a thing all the sweeter — like the bruise on a peach.[…]
[Like TV, my] radio needed the human touch, too. As I listened to Boston Red Sox night games, I’d grip the radio like a vise, its hot, orange guts stinging my hand; my skin would lobster up, but I didn’t care, because I could hear the game better. (That radio, a yellowing white Sylvania, also hummed constantly, kind of like the ringing in your ears hours after a Metallica concert.)
Then there was the utter delight of reeling in a far-away station late at night: from Montreal, from Wheeling, from Nashville. Even more bewitching were the otherworldly soundscapes to be found between station stops: eeps and boops, trills and squeals, shrill dronings from the ether that maybe signaled an alien invasion, or first contact with another galaxy.[…]
Last week we visited Mount Mitchell, the highest elevation in North America east of the Mississippi River.
We enjoyed a leisurely picnic at the mountain’s state park, and since I had a little extra time, I pulled out the Tecsun R1212A I carry in my messenger bag, and tuned to Deutsche Welle. Even though propagation wasn’t superb that day, the little Tecsun did a fine job pulling in a DW service targeting Africa.
My friend the Professor had convinced me to purchase the R1212A as an open-box deal Anon-Co listed several months ago, and I’m glad he did. Not only does it have great shortwave sensitivity, but it has superb AM (medium wave) reception–indeed, it’s one of the best portables I have that can null out unwanted MW signals.