Tag Archives: Daniel Hawkins

VOK shifts broadcast schedule due to North Korea time zone change

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

I put up a couple of videos on my “Willow Slough DX” YouTube channel nine hours ago that may rate at least an Arte Johnson (Laugh-in) “verrry interestink”. These are two videos of the North Korean shortwave station Voice of Korea operating with their new time zone and on their new schedule.

These are the two most recent videos of SW station receptions that I have posted during the last couple of days.

[The first video] is the VOK shortwave sign-on recorded at the newly scheduled time of 04:00, May 5, 2018 UTC on 15180 kHz. Distance: 5600 miles. Receiver: Sangean ATS-909X. Antenna: suburban 83m horizontal loop. Receiver location: Davis, California, USA. North Korea has changed its time zone to match UTC +9 which is used by South Korea. I was accustomed to tuning in Voice of Korea at 38 minutes past the scheduled hour for the English language news. Now I tune in at 8 minutes past the same hour. VOK broadcasts that were scheduled for 04:30 UTC now begin at 04:00 UTC. At the time I write this VOK shortwave programs listed on Short-Wave.info still show the old times:

Click here to view on YouTube.

[The second video] is the VOK shortwave newscast at the new time of 04:08, May 5, 2018 UTC on 15180 kHz. Some interference is heard half way through the clip:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thanks for sharing this, Dan!  It never crossed my mind that VOK would change their international broadcast time based on the fact they shifted their country’s time zone. From a North Korean perspective, though, I suppose this makes sense. Thanks for the tip!

Click here to check out other recordings on Dan’s YouTube Channel.

Review: LE Rechargeable Book Light as a shortwave radio listening accessory

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Daniel Hawkins, who shares the following guest post:


LE Book Light as an SWL Accessory

by DanH

The LE Book Light (Lighting Ever, LTD.) is a handy portable LED lamp that provides light for reading, music stands, or even use with portable radios. I have run into very bad luck in the past with cheap LED reading lights that run directly from USB power. The LEDs always burned out after a couple of days or weeks making me very nervous about putting my computer power supplies at risk by using these things. This LE light is very different. The LE lamp runs from a rechargeable built-in Li-ion battery. This battery may be charged by plugging the included USB cable to USB or the included AC power adapter.

LE makes a few different models of book lights. This model features two lighting pods on sturdy goosenecks. These pods look like classic cobra head street lights to me, which I kind of like. Each pod includes four bright white LEDs and an OFF/LOW/HIGH switch. The lamp will stand unaided on a flat surface and features a clip for temporary mounting. The end of the clip is jointed and padded for improved grip. I purchased a pair of these LE lights early in 2017 and have used them often for eleven months. Each lamp has been charged at least a half dozen times since then. I get about ten hours of light if one pod is lit at low power. Charging time from dead battery (no light) is about two and a half hours. I keep one LE light in use and another charged and ready to go when needed.

My Sangean ATS-909X has a very nice display for use in the dark but the front panel controls are not lit, just like every other multi-band portable I know of. Just try to use keyboard frequency entry or enter a station into memory in the dark! The LE Book Light comes in handy for using portables at home or on field trips in low to no light. Likewise, the meter light on my vintage Hammarlund SP-600 is unlit. I simply clip the LE lamp onto the side panel of the SP-600 for that. There is no way that I’m going to drill into that Marion Electric meter to hack in an indicator light. I can also read the WRTH from the LE Book Light.

This is a nice accessory for portable radio listening at night and many other jobs. I paid $10.88 plus shipping for one of these on eBay in January. I think that was a good deal. Here is $9.99 with free shipping from the Walmart online store. Sold directly by LE from Walmart. The LE Book Light is a very nicely made little light and small enough to make a nice stocking stuffer.

LE Book Light at Walmart

DanH


No doubt a great accessory for the SWL! Thanks for the review, Dan!

Video: Dan’s RNZI reception

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins, who writes:

Thomas, this RNZI transmission is on the new schedule:

Click here to view on YouTube.

RNZI is exceedingly well received at my location. That may have something to do with the following factors.

1. The RNZI antennas were designed, built and are maintained by a contractor located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2. This contractor has SW receiver locations in the SF Bay Area.

3. I am located about 50 miles away from the SF Bay Area receivers and in-line to the New Zealand signal path.

Then again, maybe not. LOL.

Time: 09:00 10-31-2107 UTC. Frequency: 9765 kHz. Receiver location: Davis, California, USA. Radio:Sangean ATS-909X. Antenna: 83m horizontal loop. Transmission distance: 6,600 miles.

I do love RNZI–thanks for sharing, Dan. Indeed, since the demise of Radio Australia on, RNZI has become the voice of the Pacific on shortwave. Amazing signal!

Video: Air traffic on the HF bands

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins, who writes:

Air traffic bands on VHF is well-known.

Not so well-known are the shortwave (HF) communications networks that must be operated by transoceanic flights.

This is an ARINC station for San Francisco, California. I am located about 70 miles inland from this station. I assume ARINC is using a directional antenna system beamed westward toward the Pacific Ocean.

I recorded this video of an ARINC station late last night for my YouTube channel.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Many thanks, Dan!

I enjoy monitoring air traffic on VHF and often forget that when I’m outside the range of an airport’s tower, I can still hop on HF and often hear international traffic. Thanks again!

One vintage radio in two classic films

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins, who writes:

This evening I watched the excellent Undercover: How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines on Netflix streaming. This is a 1943 training film for Office of Strategic Services personnel learning how be secret agents. The film was directed by the legendary John Ford who also took an acting role in the film. In this scene, Al is receiving his forged papers from an OSS agent before leaving for Germany. A radio may seen on a shelf in the background.

Undercover: How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines is also available on YouTube:

Click here to view on YouTube.

The next film is much better known. The same model radio makes a foreground appearance in Some Like it Hot. Osgood Fielding III has one of these on his yacht.

Maybe Osgood is laughing because the film takes place in 1929 and the company that made the radio was founded several years later.

I won’t spoil the secret of this radio’s maker and model. It will probably not take long for SWLing Post readers to come up with an answer.

Post readers: are you up for the challenge? 🙂 What model of radio do we see here? I’ll keep quiet, because it’s one of my favorite manufacturers.

And, Dan, many thanks. I really do owe you one because I was not familiar with Undercover: How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines. I can’t believe there was a WWII era Ford film I had missed. I, too, have Netflix but the YouTube copy you suggested is actually a better restored version in terms of audio.  Thanks again!