Tag Archives: David Iurescia (LW4DAF)

Radio Canada International at 75 years

(Source: RCI.net via David Iurescia)

Today is an auspicious day for RCI. It was February 25, 1945 that the CBC International Service began shortwave broadcasting to Europe. It was designed at the time to provide accurate news to occupied areas in

English French and German, and to provide news from home for the huge contingent of Canadian military personnel serving and fighting in the Second World War.

Since then the “IS” has gone through a variety of changes, including the name which was changed to Radio Canada International in 1970. It has been through several moves, from its first location in a former brothel, to the converted Ford Hotel a few years later, to rented office tower space, to the main headquarters of the French service, Radio-Canada.

It has also gone through a number of language-service changes, from 14 languages during the cold war broadcasting to formerly free countries then under the control of Moscow, to its current five languages, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, English and French.

Other changes include the drastic cuts of 2012 which saw some 80 per cent of staff cut and the cessation of shortwave to become its current online operation.

Throughout it all RCI continues to inform on Canadian issues including political, scientific, cultural and societal and provide Canadian viewpoints and positions on world affairs.

Click here to read the full article at RCI.net.

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Radio Waves: Radio Bulgaria, Asur Community Radio, Digital Sign Compliance, and a Sound Card Scope

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Marty, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), and Phillip Novak for the following tips:


Radio Bulgaria to resume its audio broadcast (Bulgarian National Radio)

“Radio Bulgaria needs to resume its sound presence and we are to work together with the team, in order to build a firm concept in this direction.” This was what BNR Director General Andon Baltakov said in his first interview with Radio Bulgaria.

On the eve of Radio Bulgaria’s 84th anniversary, which is celebrated on February 16, 2020, Mr. Baltakov said that broadcasts of the National Radio aimed for foreign countries would be modernized, but would preserve their philosophy – being Bulgaria’s window to the world and vice versa. You can read the whole interview here. []

Radio aids revival of dying tribal language (The Hindu)

Tucked away in the hills of Jharkhand’s Latehar district, Asur, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, may not have access to good road or means of transportation to the outside world, but that has not deterred them from saving their language. Using mobile radio, the Asur community has been spreading the popularity of the language within their geographical limits.

As the voice Dahan-Dahan Turrarr .. Dang T inatang Turrarr.. Noa Hake Asur Akhada Radio Enegabu Degeabu Siringabu Urrarr (Come, sing, dance and talk.. This is Asur Centre Radio) is played out through loud speakers, the bustle at the weekly market at Kotia seizes briefly, as people turn their attention to the sound system that transmits songs and news transmitted in their native language.

Attention of the Asur tribals assembled at the market is immediately diverted to the sound system that transmits songs, news and information about government schemes — all in their native dialect.

[…]“The initiative has got a huge response from people. Now, villagers are requesting us to organise events at their places and they are also interested in preparing radio programmes,” said Ms. Tete.

“When we started working on languages, we focused on five tribal and four regional languages. Then we realised that the bigger groups can take care of their own languages, but smaller communities need help,” said Ms .Tete.

[…]Youth from the community are also being encouraged to write poems in their language and older ones narrate their experience in their own language.[]

FCC Digital Sign Compliance (International Sign Association)

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues to cite businesses because digital signs are interfering with the wireless spectrum, creating problems with commercial and public wireless devices. This may occur because the signs are operating at Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) levels not allowed under U.S. federal law and in violation of FCC regulations.

Click here for frequently asked questions to better understand these issues.[…]

How To: Surface Mount Soldering (Nuts & Volts)

Some people tend to shy away from using surface-mount components in their projects. It seems to be too difficult or needs an array of specialized equipment. In the past, I found myself in this same mindset — wary of using these types of parts. That all changed when I got involved with an open source motor controller project (OSMC).

It used a mix of surface-mount and through-hole components. I took the plunge and built up a pair of OSMC H-bridge boards and the MOB (Modular OSMC Brain) controller board which I used in the Battlebot Crash Test Junior.

At the time, there was little information available on how to mount these parts using an ordinary soldering station and tools that most hobbyists would have on hand. Not wanting to invest in a whole new set of tools (hot air stations, etc.), I experimented a bit and used common sense techniques to get the job done. A point I’d like to stress is the myth about requiring anything exotic to work with most surface-mount parts. I don’t own or use any special soldering equipment for this. All of the soldering that I’ve done on surface-mount boards is built with an old Weller WTCPT station and TC201 soldering iron. It has the fine tip that came standard on it. If you happen to have access to specialized tools, go ahead and use them but you still may find these tips helpful. It has been my experience that depending upon your techniques, you can get by just fine in most instances without specialized tools.[]

Turn Your Computer’s Sound Card Into A Scope (Nuts & Volts)

I’ve been using an oscilloscope for almost 50 years. It’s my go-to measurement instrument in every electronics project I work on, helping me debug and fine-tune hardware and software projects.

In this article, I’ll show how you can get started with a simple-to-use scope you probably already have. Best of all, it’s free! When you graduate from this simple scope, you can purchase a more powerful scope using the exact same user interface.

Full disclosure: I love scopes so much, 10 years ago, I joined Teledyne LeCroy — the third largest scope manufacturer in the world behind Tektronix and Keysight. However, I use the Digilent Analog Discovery 2 Scope (described in this article) in all my hobby activities and in the workshops I teach at Tinkermill — our hackerspace in Longmont, CO.

I think the free scope control software, Waveforms, is the simplest to use, most feature-rich pro-level software of any of the available options. Using a sound card as the hardware interface with Waveforms puts a simple — yet powerful — scope in your hands for free.[]


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Loss of BBC Hindi shortwave service and listener reactions

(Photo by Elle via Unsplash)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following story from The Print:

Emotional emails & offers to crowdfund — how fans tried to keep BBC Hindi radio on air

The service fell silent last month with its last transmission on 31 January. The BBC management now plans to boost its digital and TV presence.

New Delhi: It was the BBC’s Hindi radio on shortwave that slowly carved an identity for the British broadcaster in India after its launch 80 years ago. With an estimated audience of 40 lakh across India, the radio service was the first choice for consumers of serious news and entertainment alike, particularly in the remote and far-flung parts of the country.

But the service fell silent last month, on 31 January, with the BBC management citing a dwindling audience and plans to boost digital and TV presence as reasons to call time on this chapter of history.

It came as a rude shock for its loyal audience and the dismay was evident, according to BBC insiders.

“It was heartbreaking to see the kind of emotional emails and letters we received on the days preceding the shutdown and after that,” an insider told ThePrint. “They (the audience) pleaded to keep the service afloat. Some even said they were willing to crowdfund it. But it seems the management was interested in the numbers and the BBC Hindi radio service on shortwave was not giving them adequate numbers.”

Another insider in the BBC said audience numbers for the radio service had come down from 1 crore a few years ago to about 40 lakh now, even as its presence on platforms such as YouTube thrived. The service has also established its presence on television with a tie-up with news channel NDTV.

“But in our experience the quality of news consumers is poor in digital as compared to the loyal audience that BBC Hindi radio service in shortwave enjoyed,” the second insider said, basing the assessment on feedback received from both sets of audiences.

“I would say the management was insensitive to the millions of listeners in the remote corners of India who banked on the service as their daily source of news,” the insider added.

The decision to switch off BBC Hindi radio is part of the British broadcaster’s global cost-cutting efforts. It had planned to end the BBC Hindi radio service in 2011, but changed plans owing to massive outrage and a high-profile campaign supported by eminent journalist and author Sir Mark Tully, a former bureau chief of the BBC.

It’s not just the BBC Hindi radio service that has suffered on account of this twin push to cut costs and go digital. Even BBC Urdu announced in December last year that it will end the radio broadcast of its popular news and current affairs programme, Sairbeen.

In India, BBC also has internet broadcasts in other Indian regional languages, but no associated radio services. […]

Continue reading the full article at The Print.

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2020 Radio Prague QSL Cards

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:

“These are the new 2020 QSL Cards from Radio Prague International.
The theme of this year is “Transmitters” (Antennas):”

(Source: Radio Prague)

The three letters – QSL – constitute one of the codes originally developed in the days of the telegraph. All codes consisted of three letters beginning with “Q”. Later some of these “Q” codes were adopted by radio-telegraphists and radio listeners. QSL means “contact confirmed” or “reception confirmed”.

The expression “QSL card” or just “QSL” gradually came to be used among radio-amateurs and then more broadly as radio began to develop as a mass medium. Radio stations were keen to know how well and how far away their programmes could be heard and began to send their listeners “QSL cards” in return for reception reports. The card would include letters making up the “call sign” of the station – the system still used in the United States – or the broadcasting company’s logo or some other illustration. The card would also include a text stating the frequency and the transmitter output power, and a confirmation of when the listener heard the station.

Domestic broadcasters do not tend to use QSL cards these days, but their popularity remains among radio stations broadcasting internationally. They are still keen to know how well they can be heard in the parts of the world to which they broadcast. In the era of shortwave broadcasts Radio Prague sent out QSL cards for reception reports received. After curtailing our shortwave transmissions as of February 1, 2011 we will continue issuing QSL cards for reception via the Internet.

Here you can look through our current and past series of QSL cards:

Click here to view all of the new QSL cards from Radio Prague.

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Radio Romania International’s 2019 Person of the Year

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:

I’m sending you the following Radio Romania International article about the designation of the Personality of the year 2019.

The chosen one was Greta Thunberg.

(Source: Radio Romania International)

Dear friends, Radio Romania International continued its traditional poling of listeners on short wave, the Internet and Social Media, asking you which person you think left their imprint on the world in a positive way in 2019. The political leaders proposed for the title of ‘Personality of the Year 2019’ included Pope Francis, Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis, the Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelensky, the Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, the prime-ministers of India and Pakistan, Narendra Mody and Imran Khan respectively, the former Italian deputy prime-minister Matteo Salvini, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the Italian senator Liliana Segre, a Holocaust survivor.

The athletes nominated included the former world no. 1 Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, the Canadian tennis player of Romanian descent Bianca Andreescu and the former great Romanian footballer Gheorghe Hagi. The former president of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi, the entrepreneur Elon Musk and the Romanian-born German singer Peter Maffay were also nominated by our listeners.

Based on the proposals made by a majority of respondents to our poll, the personality of the year 2019 has been designated the young Swedish environmental activist on climate change, Greta Thunberg. Our listener Ralf Urbanczyk, from Germany, wrote about her: “No other person has polarized attention this year as Greta Thunberg has. Everybody has talked about her: regular people, scientists and researchers, the media. She’s been present in people’s lives more than any other person. I appreciate the fact that she can mobilize people and trigger discussions.”

Click here to read at the RRI website.

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RRI’s Personality of the Year 2019

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following announcement from Radio Romania International:

Dear friends, RRI continues its traditional polling of listeners on short wave, the Internet and social media, with a new challenge that, we hope, you will find interesting.

We would like to ask you which person you think left their imprint on the world in a positive way in 2019. We are preparing to designate, based on your options, “The Personality of the Year 2019 on RRI”. Will this person be a politician, an opinion leader, a businessman, an athlete, an artist, a scientist, or even a regular person with a special story? It’s up to you! We would also want to ask you why you picked that particular person.

You can send your answers, as usual, by commenting on our website, at rri.ro, by e-mail at engl@rri.ro, on our Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, on WhatsApp at +40744312650, by fax at 00.40.21.319.05.62, or by post, at 60-64, General Berthelot Street, sector 1, Bucharest, area code 010165 (PO Box 111), Romania.

We recall that:

The “Personality of the year 2018 on RRI” was the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The “Personality of the year 2017 on RRI” was the Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, former no.1 in the WTA rankings and the “Personality of the year 2016 on RRI” was the American president Donald Trump.

The Personality of the year 2019 on RRI will be announced on January 1st, 2020.

Click here to read at the RRI website.

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Radio Romania celebrates 91 years

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following article from Radio Romania International:

This Friday Radio Romania celebrates 91 years of existence. ‘Hello, hello, this is Radio Bucharest’ were the first words aired by this radio station on November 1st 1928, part of the first broadcast by the Radiotelephony Broadcasting Corporation in Romania.

The words were uttered by the then president of the aforementioned institution Dragomir Hurmuzescu, who was also the founding father of the Romanian radiophony. Along the years Radio Romania broadcast messages from leading figures who had their impact upon the country’s history.

Designed to be a means of information, education and entertainment, the Romanian public radio has been broadcasting for 91 years now adjusting its editorial policies and surviving the radical regime changes that took place during its existence, from the democratic system between the two world wars, to the right-wing dictatorship around WWll, or the communist dictatorship that followed.

Radio Romania celebrates 91st years of uninterrupted public service and broadcasts, 91 years of hard work and sacrifices but also of satisfactions in the sustained process of building the trust and confidence the station enjoys today, the institution’s president and director general Georgica Severin said on this occasion.

‘Either we speak about the accurate news on various daily events, the cultural broadcasts, the programmes devoted to theatre plays from national and world dramaturgy, or concerts and performances given by radio orchestras and choirs, this uninterrupted, relentless work has been always based on professionalism and respect for listeners’, Georgica Severin went on to say.

Besides its well-known channels, News and Current Affairs, Culture, Music and the Village Antenna, Radio Romania also boasts several regional and local stations, as well as the online channels devoted to children and young people.

The Romanian Public radio started to broadcast for listeners abroad as early as the 1930s and is currently broadcasting in 11 foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Serbian, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian as well as in the Aromanian dialect.

On its 91th anniversary, Radio Romania scheduled a concert given by the National Radio Orchestra as well as an exhibition on its premises, which can be visited until November 5th under the suggestive title ‘Afghanistan, Faces of War’. The exhibition has on display photos taken by Radio Romania’s correspondent in that country Ilie Pintea.

The exhibition was inaugurated in Los Angeles under the high patronage of the country’s General Consulate in Los Angeles and the Cultural Institute in Bucharest in 2018 when Romania celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Click here to read this article at Radio Romania International.

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