Tag Archives: Ham Radio

Radio Waves: Radio Atlantique, Car Radio History, BBC Norfolk Features CW, and IC-R30 Firmware Update

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’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Trevor, Dennis Dura, and Markku Koskinen for the following tips:


Radio Atlantique Broadcasts Against All Odds (Red Tech)

Its broadcasting territory is restricted and unlikely to grow significantly, and for good reason. Since 1982, Radio Atlantique has been broadcasting in the heart of the French overseas territory of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, a 252 square kilometers, self-governing Atlantic clump of islands just off the south coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland. The radio station has cultivated its uniqueness, becoming a key partner in the local life and cohesion of the 6,000 or so Miquelonnais. However, this state of mind has not prevented the project from going through difficult times and bringing uncertainties to its future.

Broadcasting in the territory of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon is an extraordinary adventure every day. For example, coverage of the entire archipelago was only concluded in 2010 with effective broadcasting in Miquelon, only 18 nautical miles away from the main island. This challenge for the station has only reinforced its unique place within the islands’ society. The population on the islands is highly mixed, and the vast majority of the inhabitants have French and Basque origins. [Continue reading…]

The history of car radios, from AM to Apple (The Globe and Mail)

“Hey, Google. Play Toosie Slide by Drake.”

Within seconds, the Toronto pop singer’s silky voice wafts from the speakers of the ELS Studio audio system of my Acura MDX. Ten speakers in the cabin pump out trilling highs and chest-thumping bass, transforming my vehicle into a soothing audio studio on wheels. Bored, I flip over to SiriusXM for a little Hip-Hop Nation.

Modern car audio systems are so highly evolved, so seamless and so intuitive, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always this way. But it’s been 90 years since the first mass-produced car radio appeared, and the road to audio perfection has been a bumpy one indeed.

Michael Lamm remembers. At 84, the California-based auto historian’s car-ownership experience spans back to the early 1950s, when staticky car radios were powered by primitive vacuum tubes.

When he was growing up in Texas, he says he “didn’t really care that much about radio,” in part because programming was so limited. “I didn’t listen to the preachers who were constantly haranguing everybody.” [Continue reading…]

BBC Norfolk features ham radio Morse code (Southgate ARC)

January 11 was Learn your Name in Morse Code Day and Roger Cooke G3LDI was interviewed on BBC Norfolk by Chris Goreham about Morse

Roger has been a keen proponent of the advantages of Morse code since he started teaching it as a teenager when he was first licenced in 1956.

You can listen to the interview by fast-forwarding to 1:54:27 in this recording
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bcktml

Free Morse training courses are available Online, see

New Icom IC-R30 Firmware Update (via Markku Koskinen)

Updated Icom IC-R30 firmware has been posted on the Icom Japan web site.

Battery health status (Normal/Caution/Warning) judgment has been improved.

Click here to check it out and download at Icom Japan.


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Radio Waves: Pocket SSB Transceiver, Radio On The Bay Event, New Book on History of Spaceweather, and PSK31 on 437 MHz from the Moon

The uSDX/uSDR QRP transceiver (Chinese version)

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’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Ham Radio SSB Transceiver Fits in Pocket (Hackaday)

Talking about this Chinese ham radio transceiver requires a veritable flurry of acronyms: HF, SSB, QRP, and SDR to start with. [Paul] does a nice job of unboxing the rig and checking it out. The radio is a clone of a German project and provides a low-power radio with a rechargeable battery. You can see his video about the gear below.

SSB is an odd choice for low power operation, although we wonder if you couldn’t feed digital data in using a mode like PSK31 that has good performance at low power. There are several variations of the radio available and they cost generally less than $200 — sometimes quite a bit less.

There isn’t much on the front of the radio. There are a few buttons, a rotary encoder, and an LCD along with a speaker and microphone built-in. There are ports for power to run the radio if you want to not use the battery and a separate port for battery charging. There are also ports for a key, external microphone and speakers, and audio connections that look like they’d work for digital modes. According to commenters, the radio doesn’t have an internal charging circuit, so you have to be careful what you plug into the charging port. [Continue reading…]

(SIDE NOTE: I have been testing one of the USDX / USDR transceivers (a Chinese version–not the open source homebrew project) over at QRPer.com and have been very displeased with performance. So much so, I returned it for a refund. One of the biggest issues being spurious emissions that were produced in harmonics, but also the receiver is one of the worst I’ve ever tested. -Thomas) Continue reading

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BBC Newshour and the first shortwave Transatlantic Tests

Former BBC World Service HQ – The Bush House

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors, Doug and Kris, who both share a link to BBC Newshour which was broadcast yesterday (Dec 12, 2021).

The final segment of the show focuses on the birth of international shortwave radio and the first Transatlantic tests. You can listen to this report over the next month via the BBC Sounds website. This is the final piece in Newshour and starts at the 45:05 mark. Very much worth your time!

Click here to listen to this segment on BBC Sounds (starting at 45:05).

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Large archive of CW off-air recordings from Italy

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, LUIGI Ciampoli (IZ4KBW), who writes:

Some time ago with a friend of mine I created a very big archive of CW QSO recordings available for everybody who want to listen to CW traffic. The idea was born by the need to give to newcomer HAMS material to train on real CW traffic on the bands (with QSB, QRN, QRM, etc.).

So we started to record our ragchewing, ordering files with date/calls of participants/frequencies/keys used and WPM speed of QTC. At the beginning it was not a serious matter, but nowadays the archive counts thousands of records with local and international radio friends…hours and hours of “swinging morse code.” Some of these QSOs are made with ex professional RT involved on radio ham bands spending time talking about the past golden era and having QSO with OMs on the radio.

We released this large archive of recordings in a Google drive folder that can be shared. The archive is located at the following link : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1XaF3Mvwa6WvgOCzZjp0NwzgnYdNHsW2Q

de IZ4KBW/op Luigi

Sample recording made on November 21, 2021. I8QFK, IZ8VKW, IU1MRY (Using a Paddle on 7036 kHz):

Thank you for sharing this, Luigi! What a wonderful idea. I think I will approach you about adding a few of these to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as well as there are very few ham radio CW recordings.

Click here to check out IZ4KBW’s CW QSO off-air recording archive.

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Radio Waves: Cassette’s Role in Creation of Internet, AU2JCB Special Event, Joel Hallas (W1ZR) SK, and Shortwave Chatter

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’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Datta (VU2DSI), Kim Elliott, Ron, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


How the Cassette Tape Helped Create the Internet (WNYC Studios)

In 1983, Simon Goodwin had a strange thought. Would it be possible to broadcast computer software over the radio? If so, could listeners record it off the air and onto a cassette tape? This experiment, and dozens of others in the early 80s, created a series of cassette fueled, analog internets. Our friend Simon Adler at Radiolab reports.

This is a segment from our November 26th, 2021 program, How Cassette Tapes Changed the World. [Read and listen to this piece at WNYC Studios…]

AU2JCB operation 19 NOV to 14 DEC 2021 (Datta, VU2DSI)

AU2JCB is a special event callsign to commemorate the birth date (30 NOV) & to pay homage & tell about the great INDIAN scientist Aacharya JAGADISH CHANDRA BOSE who is recognized as the “Father of Wireless Communication” by the scientific community of our world.
VU2DSI- Datta Deogaonkar will operate with this AU2JCB special event call sign. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: UNESCO on Radio, Fallout After Reciva, Local Radio Appeal, 2022 Hamvention a Go, and Pandemic Ham

Radio Taboo FM in rural Cameroon

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’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Why UNESCO Believes in Radio (Red Tech)

Chief, Media Development and Media and Information Literacy at UNESCO Mirta Lourenço shares insight on radio’s evolution and challenges. She explains how the international organization is working to support radio stations around the world to ensure they’re able to accomplish their crucial mission.

RedTech: How do you view the role of radio in our society?

Mirta Lourenço: Thanks to radio, we benefit from many essential public services that we seldom reflect on. These include global positioning systems, satellite navigation, environmental monitoring, intelligent transport systems, space research, etc. Radio broadcasts offer information and the possibility for people to participate, regardless of their literacy levels and socio-economic situation.

The medium is also especially suited for multilingualism. Audiences may need to hear programs in their primary language, particularly if said language is local and endangered, or in the case of refugee radio or isolated communities. Also, when literacy levels are low, local languages are crucial to the populations’ access to information, as radio constitutes the main source for reliable journalism. History has shown us that radio is the most effective emergency communication system and in organizing disaster response.

All this does not mean that radio broadcasting is free from challenges. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: Build a Ham Radio Voice Keyer, Sony TFM1000 Decrustification, Shift at RTHK, and RFE Cold War Thriller “Glória”

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’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Marty, Dennis Dura, Dave Zantow, Al Holt, and Rich Cuff for the following tips:


Build a ham radio voice keyer for the backpack (Nuts and Volts)

I have an MFJ-434 voice keyer that has saved a lot of wear and tear on my vocal cords over the years. It has been a big asset during ham radio contests and when I’ve been calling CQs with reduced power (QRP) transceivers.

One of my new favorite pastimes has been operating QRP radios from remote off-the-grid locations. Most of the time, it’s important to pack only the bare essentials for these mini-DXpeditions. I have never taken the MFJ keyer, primarily due to its size. An “accessory” measuring 6-1/2 x 7 x 2-1/2 inches fills up a lot of backpack. It also weighs a pound and a half. On the other hand, I’m absolutely positive the lack of a keyer has resulted in fewer radio contacts. I always run out of voice before I run out of battery.

Last winter, I was packing a QRP “Go Box” for a trip to Florida. Since that stay was planned to last longer than my normal field trips, I decided to take my MFJ keyer for its first outing. What a difference that keyer made! In less than three months, I worked stations in 31 countries and five continents running a 10 watt transmitter and a dipole antenna!

The enormous number of contacts warranted a closer look at a keyer for shorter field trips. The MFJ-434 has 11 buttons to push, three potentiometers to turn, and two LEDs to show me the keyer is doing what I told it to do. Could I get by with fewer amenities and shrink the size, weight, and power requirements to something more backpack friendly? It was worth an investigation.

The MFJ keyer stores five messages. For field operation, I could live with a single CQ. I found a 20 second record-playback module on eBay for $2.59.

I also found a repeat-cycle timer (variable on and variable off delays) on eBay for $2.38. I could use it to “turn on” the playback message, then turn it “off” for a predetermined period of time before turning it on again.

A relay could be added to key the transmitter’s PTT circuit every time my CQ message was played. The receiver would automatically listen for any replies between messages. (This might actually work!) [Continue reading…]

Sony TFM1000 AM FM SW Vintage Radio Decrustification (YouTube)

Click here to view on YouTube.

Hong Kong Broadcaster’s Swift Turn From Maverick Voice to Official Mouthpiece (NY Times)

RTHK has often set the news agenda with its aggressive coverage of the city. But a Beijing clampdown has changed that, with pro-China coverage filling the void.

HONG KONG — Not long after Patrick Li took over as the government-appointed director of Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, a digital lock pad appeared outside his office entrance.

In the past, the director’s office had been where staffers at the broadcaster, Radio Television Hong Kong, gathered to air grievances with management decisions: programming changes, labor disputes. Now, the lock pad signaled, such complaints were no longer welcome.

For many employees, the closed room was an emblem of the broader transformation sweeping through RTHK, the 93-year-old institution venerated by residents as one of the most trusted news sources in Hong Kong’s once freewheeling media landscape.

RTHK was once compared to the BBC for its fierce editorial independence. But under a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed last year to silence dissent, many say it now more closely resembles China Central Television, the propagandistic Chinese state broadcaster.[Continue reading…]

‘Gloria’: Netflix’s First Original Series From Portugal Is A Great Spy Thriller (Forbes)

Netflix has released its first Portuguese original series. Glória is on Netflix since November 5. Produced by the SPi production company of Grupo SP Televisão and co-produced with RTP, Glória is an intense historical spy thriller taking place during the Cold War. It is a high-quality series from Portugal with an intricate storyline.

Set in a small Portuguese village named Glória do Ribatejo in the 1960s, the ten-part series follows João Vidal (played by Miguel Nunes), a young man whose family has connections with the leaders of the Estado Novo, the authoritarian Portuguese Regime. João works as an engineer at RARET, a U.S. re-broadcasting office of Radio Free Europe. The series shows how this small village became “an unlikely Cold War stage where American and Soviet forces fought through dangerous sabotage maneuvers to achieve control of Europe,” the Netflix synopsis explains. João gets recruited by the KGB, and will find himself in the middle of the intricate webs of spy games at play in RARET.

An original series created by Pedro Lopes and directed by Tiago Guedes, Glória is a slow-burning series that is a mixture of historical drama based on real events and espionage thriller. The series paints a dark image of Portugal’s past, its violence toward women and its brutal colonial war. It is the highest budget series in the history of Portuguese production, according to The Portugal News. [Continue reading…]


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