I asked the AI image-generator DALL-E 2 to create a an image based on this song title.
For those of you who attended David Goren’s Shortwave Shindig at the virtual Winter SWL Fest were treated to a song called Tea With The Queen. This was no ordinary song–as David notes:
This is what happened when I asked ChatGPT to write a country song about a trucker who has tea with Queen Elizabeth whilst they listen to BBC on shortwave radio. Then I got Chris Johnson, an extremely talented and savvy musician, to set it to music.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and word traveler, Chris Johnson, who shares the following:
This past year while traveling for business in Japan I decided to explore a district within the city limits of Tokyo known as Akihabara or better known to locals as the “Electronics District”.
After jumping off the train I found my senses bombarded by a cacophony of sounds and enough neon from the street to the sky to put your senses into overload. The streets were crowded and the stores were filled with every modern electronic device known to man.
My imagination ran wild, I started wondering what this place would have been like in the 1970’s when some of the most cutting edge electronics were CB radios or shortwave receivers, the different brands, models etc… Perhaps some of that still existed here so I started wandering the streets and found more of the same you would find in a big box store but multiplied by 10, overwhelming.
Just when I was ready to give up the search I turned the corner down a side street and discovered a red awning with “Tokyo Radio Department Store” emblazoned on it, I felt like I discovered a lost treasure amongst the modernity.
I walked through the main entrance and was immediately drawn down a maze of narrow corridors that were staffed with small stores and stalls that sold electronic parts both popular and obscure, it was incredible. That was just the first floor with 3 more above to discover, I thought to myself if I ever wanted to build a transmitter this is the one place in the world where you could shop and find all the parts you need.
As I ventured up the narrow stairs to the floors above once again I felt like I found a treasure of gold, before me were shelves and displays crammed full of radios, some I haven’t seen in many years and some from the recent past .
This was like a Hamfest and eBay together under one roof. Truly incredible as you will see in the pictures below. I couldn’t get close to some of the ones wrapped in plastic but maybe a sharp eyed enthusiast can Identify them. I highly recommend anyone traveling to this part of Asia to check out this hidden gem you will not be disappointed.
Thank you so much for sharing this photo tour, Chris! I mean…WOW! There are so many radio gems here. I see some classic solid-state receivers, ham radio transceivers and even valve gear I’ve never seen before. Amazing!
Thank you for taking the time to share your tour of the Akihabara district of Tokyo!
Post readers:Please comment if you’ve ever visited the Akihabara district or any other “Radio Row” districts in the world. please consider sharing your photos!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Chris Johnson, for sharing the following guest post:
Shortwave Recordings from Kilimanjaro
by Chris Johnson
Last month, I took a trip of a lifetime to Tanzania Africa to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro: Africa’s highest point and the world’s highest free standing mountain. It is also known as the “Rooftop of Africa” its summit stands at 19,341 feet or 5895 meters.
With this high elevation I figured that I could pick up a multitude of shortwave signals that I would normally not receive at lower altitudes. So I packed my Sony ICF- SW7600G to capture recordings of various signals, some common, others not so common.
Each night I unpacked my radio and extended the reel-wire antenna and scanned the bands. I came across an assortment of stations that I normally do not hear back home in the USA, but some were quite familiar such as the BBC, Radio Romania, and DW which had Africa as their target. In some cases their broadcast was targeted for Asia.
Below is a map of our trek along the Lemosho route and the camps where we stayed are listed with the recordings and the elevation (in meters) of each camp. The higher we climbed, the signals received were sometimes stronger but the surrounding mountains also limited the reception of others. I did find that the bands were congested with signals from stations that spoke Arabic, Swahili and Chinese, not surprising considering my location. For the purpose of this blog I only included the English speaking stations except for a few.
Unfortunately, the critical weight in our day packs was closely monitored and we could carry only the essentials on our climb from Barafu to the summit so I could not record at the summit of Uhuru Peak. Additionally, our time up there was limited to 15 minutes due to the lack of oxygen at that altitude. Below are selected recordings at each of the camps on the Lemosho route. Enjoy.
Map pointing to Truk Lagoon (Source: truk-lagoon.com)
SWLing Post reader, Chris Johnson, recently sent me a message confessing his love of travel combined with shortwave radio listening. When he told me about his enviable plans to travel to the tiny islands of Truk Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia–and to record some of the broadcasts he heard–I asked if he would allow me to share his recordings on the Post. Fortunately for us, he agreed!
Below are two of his recordings, the first from the Voice of Mongolia, the second from the Voice of Korea. Both happen to be very difficult stations to catch here in eastern North America. His comments follow each recording:
Voice of Mongolia Shortwave Broadcast to Asia and Europe. Using a Sony ICF-SW7600G with a whip antenna. Recorded on 29 January 2013 at 1030z on 12085 khz from the Blue Lagoon Resort, Truk Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia. The broadcast interval signal begins at 1:35
Voice of Korea; Recorded on a Sony ICF-SW7600G using a whip antenna. 7 February 2013 on 15100 khz at 0500z Location; Puka Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines. The program was scheduled for 60 minutes but due to the frequent power outages in the DPRK, the program ceased at approximately 52 minutes.
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