Tag Archives: Happy Station Show

Between Broadcasts-Exploring Interval Signals

Lately, I’ve been listening to a plethora of shortwave broadcasts as I’m about to review several new radios. I’ve noted so many great interval signals that are still in use. The following is a reprise of a previous post–from over two years ago–about interval signals. If you’ve never heard of interval signals, this post offers an introduction. 

What are interval or tuning signals? Often the most recognized sounds in the shortwave bands are the repetitive tones and musical interludes heard between broadcasts, known as interval signals. These are simply characteristic  musical phrases that broadcasters play between programs.  In fact, for me, nothing is more nostalgic than to hear the interval signals of some of my favorite broadcasters from my youth. Here are a few classic examples of interval signals:Analog Radio Dial

Interval signals usually include station and program identification, and are often in multiple languages. Not only do they help identify the station, but in the days of crowded international broadcast bands, interval signals helped listeners tune in and adjust their radios prior to program commencement.

Broadcasters have been using interval signals since the 1920s, but there has been a decline with the advent of digitally tuned radios which, unlike analog tuners, take the guesswork out of tuning into a specific frequency.

So, in this digital age, are interval signals still around? Sure. Many broadcasters believe an interval signal is still the best way to announce station and program identification; one might say their interval signals have become audio “logos.”

Here is an audio clip I recorded on April 23, 2009, of the interval signal for the new Happy Station Show: [Click here to listen]

For comparison, listen to this audio clip of the Happy Station Show from Jan 20, 1980, when it was a part of Radio Netherlands: [Click here to listen]

Listening for Signals

Where can you hear interval signals today?  Fortunately, they can be heard all over the shortwave broadcast spectrum. The best times to hear interval signals are on the top of the hour and sometimes at the half or quarter hour.

Another great place to hear interval signals are on the web. There are several interval signal databases where you can listen to a wide variety of interval signals. One of my favorites is the Interval Signal Database. This site is in German and English and is well categorized and searchable. In fact, Bernhard, the webmaster of the Interval Signal Database, gave me permission to publish several of his audio clips above. [Danke, Bernhard!]

Here is a list of interval signal websites:

Since he’s somewhat of an interval signal guru, I asked Bernhard for his favorite interval signal recording. He pointed out this one from the Cold War era:  it is a recording of a special low-power (1kW) training station of the Austrian military. Bernhard informed me that in times of crisis, this station was to serve as a back-up for the Austrian Radio ORF.

Leave a comment:  What is your favorite interval signal, and why?

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On a side note–Bernhard also pointed out one of his favorite non-interval signal recordings.  In this recording, the news reader started the German language news by reading the frequencies, then noticed that the studio door was open.  You can clearly hear her getting up to close the door in the recording.

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The Happy Station Show’s New Year Contest

Radio Miami International

Radio Miami International broadcasts the Happy Station show on 9955 kHz.

Keith Perron of the new Happy Station Show is running a listener contest with some pretty cool prizes up for grabs. I find it encouraging that a new shortwave radio program is offering listener prizes–reminds me of the good old days!

The contest starts September 10, 2009 and winners will be announced on New Year’s day, 2010.  Read the full press release below or directly on the HSS blog.

The Happy Station Show broadcast schedule via WRMI to North and South America:
0100-0155 UTC Thursdays on 9955 kHz
Repeated 1500-1555 UTC Thursdays on 9955 kHz

From Keith Perron:

Hi Everyone,

Starting September 10th, 2009 we are launching a New Years contest with the winners to be announced at 1230am (local HK TIME) that’s 1730UTC on January 1st, 2010.

Times reflect the November time shift. Meaning 0100UTC now will be 0200UTC after that.

Let me fill you in the loop as they say. On December 31, 2009 both editions of Happy Station will be 2 hours each.

The transmission at 0200UTC will be a special program for South America and the Caribbean and will run for 2 hours. Details are still being worked on at this moment. I will fill you in when they become available. This program will be recorded.

The transmission at 1600UTC will be LIVE from Hong Kong. My friends at RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) are giving us a studio over looking Victoria Harbor where at 1659UTC we will do the countdown to 2010. They are also letting us patch into the audio feeds for RTHK, so you will be able to hear the countdown live as it happens in Hong Kong. After the countdown, plus a small concert of the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra I will announce the winner of the contest. Prizes listed below!

This contest is open to both email and post entries. But to enter you will need to send in the time and date you hear a short message that will start to air September 11, 2009 for the broadcast at 0100UTC. This message will also be used during the 1500UTC program, and for the shows for Indonesia and New Zealand. Now the message is in code, but if you can’t understand it. That’s not important! What’s important is you report the time you heard it and the date. I will announce the the shows next week more details about how it will work. But please remember to include your postal address! And that even goes to those who send in emails.

Keith Perron, host of the New Happy Station Show

Keith Perron, host of the New Happy Station Show

1st Prize: Sangean ATS909
2nd Prize: Sangean ATS606
3rd Prize: The 3 books from Jerry Berg about SW
4th Prize: 1 Year membership to Communication from the BDXC
5th Prize: 10 winners of a CD by Tom Meijer called Easy Come, Easy Go!

So good luck to everyone!

Warmest regards,
Keith Perron
Happy Station Show

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The New Happy Station Show via WRMI

SWLers will be happy to know that one of the longest running shortwave radio shows of all time will be back on the air after a 15 year absence. The return of The Happy Station Show? Well, sort of.

The original Happy Station Show host, Edward "Eddie" Startz. Photo courtesy of RNW.

The original Happy Station Show host, Edward "Eddie" Startz. Photo courtesy of RNW.

A little history…The original Happy Station Show was broadcast by Dutch station PCJJ from 1928 until 1946 when Radio Netherlands took the show.  The format was eclectic and very much tailored to an international crowd–it included popular music (mostly European), vintage recordings and multilingual banter; shows were in English or Spanish (sometimes both). As the name implies, the show was light-hearted and fun.

The Happy Station Show was first hosted by the popular Edward “Eddie” Startz who served until his retirement in the early 1970s.  Many hosts took the reigns after Eddie, including Tom Meijer, Pete Myers, Jonathan Groubert and Jaime Báguena. Unfortunately, the show was canceled by Radio Netherlands in 1995.

I was delighted to hear (via Kim Andrew Elliot) that The Happy Station Show will once again be on the air. At least, a show called “The Happy Station Show” will be on the air.  You see, this show will be based in Taipei, Taiwan and will not be sponsored by Radio Netherlands. The new host is experienced Canadian broadcaster Keith Perron.

Radio Miami International

Radio Miami International

I can’t wait to hear the first broadcast in March from WRMI to North America (9955 kHz)–sounds like those of you who’d rather listen on an iPod will probably have that option available, too.

I will post info here as it becomes available–please subscribe to our feed and comments.


Just heard from host Keith Perron, who writes:

The first show will be March 11th at 0100. March 11th, incidentally, is the same date Philips Radio signed on with broadcasts to the Dutch East Indies.

He adds, regarding the new format:

…I don’t want to give too many details, but the first new Happy Station in almost 15 years will have some surprises.

Tom [Meijer] will appear in the new series in guest spots every now and again.

Keith Perron, host of the New Happy Station Show

Keith Perron, host of the New Happy Station Show

I’m looking forward to it!  Thanks to Keith for the scoop.

More info on the new Happy Station Show:

Podcasts/MP3s of past shows:

Also, check out this great article on Edward Startz by Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

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