Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jerome van der Linden, who shares the following response from from the Australian Foreign Affairs department regarding any future shortwave services to the Pacific. As Jerome notes, the letter “suggests that all is not yet lost, though it’s lacking in commitment.”
Earth’s interior is a far from quiet place. Deep below our surface activities, the planet rumbles with activity, from plate tectonics to convection currents that circulate through the hot magmatic fluids far underneath the crust.
Now scientists studying satellite data of Earth have identified something inside Earth we’ve never seen before: a new type of magnetic wave that sweeps around the surface of our planet’s core, every seven years.
This discovery could offer insight into how Earth’s magnetic field is generated, and provide clues of our planet’s thermal history and evolution – that is, the gradual cooling of the planetary interior.
“Geophysicists have long theorized over the existence of such waves, but they were thought to take place over much longer time scales than our research has shown,” says geophysicist Nicolas Gillet of the Université Grenoble Alpes in France.
“Measurements of the magnetic field from instruments based on the surface of Earth suggested that there was some kind of wave action, but we needed the global coverage offered by measurements from space to reveal what is actually going on.
“We combined satellite measurements from Swarm, and also from the earlier German Champ mission and Danish Ørsted mission, with a computer model of the geodynamo to explain what the ground-based data had thrown up – and this led to our discovery.”
Earth’s magnetic field is the subject of much fascination for scientists. Research to date suggests that the invisible structure forms a protective ‘bubble’ around our planet, keeping harmful radiation out and the atmosphere in, thus allowing life to thrive. [Continue reading…]
Michelle Rowland sworn in as new Communications Minister
Australia has a new minister leading regulation in the screen sector.
Michelle Rowland M.P. has been sworn in as the new Communications Minister under PM Anthoyn Albanese.
Replacing Paul Fletcher, she has previously been shadow communications minister in opposition.
“It is an honour to be sworn in as Minister for Communications and to serve the Australian people under an Albanese Labor Government,” she said.
“This portfolio has the potential to further enable an Australia where connectivity and content enriches our quality of life, informs us, drives productivity and empowers us to fulfil our potential. I am dedicated to ensuring Australians, in our cities and regions, are united and connected. Now, let’s get to work” [Continue reading…]
Boats have not needed the broadcast for decades but radio bosses know nostalgia for it runs deep
Radio 4’s shipping forecast is a national institution, with millions of listeners reassured by the thought that, somewhere out at sea, British fishers are patiently waiting by their radios to find out whether there is a gale warning in Rockall or Cromarty.
Yet the announcement that Radio 4’s long wave signal will be shut down as part of the BBC’s latest cuts has left many wondering how the country’s fishing fleet will cope without access to the four-times-a-day updates.
The slightly less romantic reality, according to Mike Cohen of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, is that his members have not needed Radio 4 for decades. Modern fishers have far more accurate devices to warn them about the wind and rain: “Even the small 15-metre boats in Bridlington have satellite internet these days. I’ve had video calls from people in the middle of the sea.”
Yet that does not mean they are immune to the charms of Sailing By, the music that heralds the forecasts and was designed to help captains adjust their radios: “That theme tune is a link to other times, other people, other places. There’s as much a fondness among fishermen for that as there is for the rest of us.”
When the fishers’ trade body asked its members how they felt about the shipping forecast one said it “acted as a link across communities, a link across time”. Another added: “For us it is a bygone age but for many older folk it is a reassuring connection to the past.”
The BBC plans to end dedicated programming on its Radio 4 long wave frequency next year, which could mean the loss of two of the current four shipping broadcast updates. The early morning and late night forecasts will remain on FM, DAB and online broadcasts. But the loss of the long wave signal – accessible far from the British mainland – confirms they will essentially be nostalgia pieces, more about waking the nation up or lulling listeners to sleep. [Continue reading…]
Two Britons were quizzed on allegations of espionage by officers at Tirana International Airport in Albania after police discovered sophisticated Kenwood radios in their luggage
Two Britons have been arrested by Albanian spooks and accused of spying after border police found radio transmitters in their luggage.
The pair were quizzed on allegations of espionage by officers at Tirana International Airport after they discovered sophisticated Kenwood radios in their luggage.
They told the officials they were IT engineers who were carrying the amateur gear to indulge their hobby while on holiday in Albania.
One suspect was registered as using a “ham radio” in the Tirana region on online profiles, which also say he specialises in “electronic warfare”.
Albanian police confirmed that they have opened a probe over allegations of “spy activities” and “espionage”.
A source said: “It’s highly unusual to be carrying this sort of equipment and even more strange for someone to be stopped and accused of being a covert agent.”
The two Britons were held on May 30 and then allowed to return to the UK. However they remain under investigation, police say. The electronic kit by Kenwood – which makes a range of cutting edge communication devices – was sent to the Albanian Criminal Laboratory for further examination.
A group calling itself the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America has filed a petition with the FCC asking the Commission to revoke the license of the translator owned by John Garziglia. FM translator W288BS in Reston, Virginia rebroadcasts WZHF-AM in the Washington DC metro which carries Radio Sputnik. Continue reading →
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ray Robinson, who writes:
Hi, Thomas. I have recently been re-watching the Australian soap serial ‘The Sullivans’, which ran on Channel 9 from 1976-1983. I used to watch it on ITV in England, and also for awhile on the Tempo cable & satellite channel here in the States in the late 80’s. It is set in Melbourne during the second World War and after, and begins in September 1939. In the episodes covering the early part of 1940, much is made of one of the character’s abilities to listen to Nazi German broadcasts via shortwave, in both English and German (and they play clips of actual audio in the episodes). My question is, how realistic is this?
Were German broadcasts at that time able to be heard with good quality in Australia? Does anyone have a transmission schedule from that era? I know that German broadcasts were well heard throughout Europe and in North America, but I don’t have any details of broadcasts targeting Australia. Might they have been relayed via some Axis transmitter in the Far East? If any of your SWLing Post readers can shed any light on this, I’d be very grateful. Thank you.
Great question, Ray. This is certainly an inquiry for radio enthusiasts and WWII buffs in Australia and New Zealand. I’m sure there are accounts out there that could verify how easily and frequently Axis broadcasts could be heard in Australia and NZ. My guess would be that propaganda would have certainly targeted Australia and New Zealand during WWII.
Please comment if you can provide some insight and/or evidence for Ray!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Bird, who shares the following story from RadioInfo.com.au:
In an example of radio industry cooperation during adversity, commercial network Grant Broadcasters is working with the ABC on the South Coast of NSW to keep transmissions on air during the fires in that area.
As fires raged through the area last week, the ABC’s Mt Wandera transmission site at Bateman’s Bay was disabled by flames (see pictures below) and is expected to take some time to repair.
The ABC, through its transmission provider Broadcast Australia (recently renamed BAI Communications) asked if it could share Grant Broadcasters’ nearby transmission mast and infrastructure, and has now combined its transmissions onto the Grant Broadcasters antenna.
Local radio services, including ABC South Coast, are now back on air, but operating at reduced power. The ABC’s television transmitter on the site is also off air.
BAI has also established additional temporary low power facilities at Batemans Hill for ABC Local Radio (operating on 101.9 MHz) and ABC television (operating on Channel 41). As this facility operates from a lower altitude and at lower power than those at Mt Wandera, its coverage will be largely limited within the town of Batemans Bay.
On the South Coast, the Grant Broadcasters stations 2EC and Power FM had “no issues with transmission coverage” and have so far remained on full power. Diesel generators have 4-5 days capacity and are being refuelled continuously.
[…]Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has commended media and transmission providers for their efforts to keep services operating:
“I commend the network operators’ efforts in responding, which has included deploying temporary facilities to restore communications services for impacted communities, particularly those that are isolated. Many of the outages are due to power supplies being cut off, and in some cases are the direct impact of fire on network infrastructure. The current fire situations across Australia have made access difficult and unsafe at some sites to assess and restore services…
“In many cases, a portable transistor radio with a spare set of batteries is a vital way to receive emergency information, in the event there is a loss of mains power or mobile coverage.
“The ABC and other local radio stations are doing an excellent job transmitting vital emergency information to Australian communities. Telstra and Optus are offering targeted relief packages in affected regions in NSW and Victoria, including free use of payphones, call diversions from affected lines and other financial assistance.”[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Peter Marks, who was recently invited to attend an ABC celebration. Peter wrote up a summary of the event on his blog:
80 years of international broadcasting by the ABC was celebrated this week at the headquarters in Ultimo, Sydney.
David Hua, ABC Head, International Strategy introduced the event.
Geraldine Doogue was the MC for the evening. She described the International division as “Taking Australian culture beyond its shores”. Doogue described ABC International as the very best of the ABC and said that the people who work in it have a sense of pride in Australia and work out how to present it to the world.
Ita Buttrose, ABC chair, said “The birth of Australia’s international broadcasting service came at a time of global upheaval, uncertainty and disruption. Australia seemed far removed from the epicentre of conflict in Europe, but the technology of cable and wireless brought the war in to living rooms across the country.”
As Ms Buttrose noted in her recent speech at the Lowy Institute, radio technology also gave Australia the opportunity to speak directly, for the first time, to its near neighbours, countering the propaganda and fake news of the day.
An interesting conclusion in the report on page 128 is that the authors estimate that shortwave broadcasts to the Asia and Pacific by Australia have a net economic benefit since 2007-08 of $40.3 million.
Presumably this means it would make economic sense for Australia to get back in to Shortwave broadcasting like our clever Chinese neighbours.
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