Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Balázs Kovács, who writes:
Happy New Year! Some pictures in two topics:
1.) First, a nice Zenith H511 Consoltone (MW) got a few seconds of screen time recently in the fourth episode of the third (final) season of “His Dark Materials” series:
2.) At the end of December in an old pub in Budapest (Helvecia) I ran into some more or less old radios as a part of the eclectic decoration. Since these are partly Eastern European, they may be less well known elsewhere (deep in the basement, so even if they were still functioning, not many radio signals would reach them anymore):
With best regards,
Wow! I love those pub radios! I especially love the dial markings on the R 926 A!
Lysychansk (Ukraine) (AFP) – The portable radio in the dark cellar of the rocket-damaged kindergarten was transmitting news in Russian over whistling airwaves about the Kremlin’s military triumphs in Ukraine.
The six frightened women and lone man cowering in the heart of the east Ukrainian war zone had no idea whether to believe the monotone voice — or who was actually patrolling the streets of the besieged city of Lysychansk above their heads.
All they knew was that their building was hit a few days earlier by a Grad volley that left the tail end of one of the unexploded rockets sticking out of the pavement at a sharp angle just steps from the back door.
Their feverish fears vacillated between the idea that their shelter’s lone entrance might get blocked by falling debris and that the Kremlin’s forces might come knocking unannounced.
“The Russians on the radio just said that they have captured Bakhmut. Is that true?” Natalia Georgiyevna anxiously asked about a city 30 miles (50 kilometres) to the southwest that remains under full Ukrainian control. [Continue reading…]
In this guest commentary, DRM’s Ruxandra Obreja dives back in to the shortwave debate
Radio World’s “Guest Commentaries” section provides a platform for industry thought leaders and other readers to share their perspective on radio news, technological trends and more. If you’d like to contribute a commentary, or reply to an already published piece, send a submission to [email protected]
Below is perspective from Ruxandra Obreja, consortium chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), in response to the commentary “Shortwave Revival a Non-Starter? The Authors Respond.” Her commentaries appear regularly at radioworld.com.
Seldom have we seen so much passion and polarizing views as in the recent articles for and against shortwave. From “it’s dead and gone” to “this is the revival,” all shades of opinion concerning this simple and all-encompassing platform have been expressed vigorously.
Shortwave Has a Pedigree
Shortwave, currently used for large-area, regional and international coverage in the developing world, certainly registered a decline in the past two decades (but it never died, as you can see here). This loss of pre-eminence in the developed world after the Cold War is not surprising. The platforms available nowadays, in the so called “global village,” include “basic” internet connections (browsing, emails, messaging apps of any type), to the prolific social media products (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit), as well as video, radio and TV apps, satellites, mobiles give the impression that the whole world is truly connected!
At least this is the view from Washington, London, or Berlin. But there are the same proportion of people in Europe and America with everyday internet access as there are in Africa with no way to access to it. In such regions, shortwave and mediumwave radio remains essential for many, one of only a few reliable means to receive communication.
Since the arrival of AM and FM some seventy years ago, the invention of at least three largely recognized digital broadcasting systems (DRM, DAB/DAB+ and HD) is the most notable radio development. Digital Radio Mondiale — the DRM open-source global standard — is the latest and most advanced of the three systems, but the only one that can digitize radio in all frequency bands and the only digital option for shortwave.
Closing shortwave transmitters and then trying to restart them presents a huge time, effort and financial challenge. However, nowadays, broadcasters can often buy shortwave transmission hours, in digital, too, from third party distributors, and do not necessarily need to rebuild a comprehensive infrastructure. [Continue reading at Radio World…]
The closure of the public media organisation’s bureau demonstrates further curtailment of independent and free press in Russia.
CBC/Radio-Canada – the only Canadian news organisation with a permanent presence in Russia – has been ordered by the Kremlin to close its bureau. After more than 44 years of reporting from Moscow, CBC/Radio-Canada staff have been told to leave the country. However, Vladimir Proskuryakov, deputy chief of mission of the Russian Embassy to Canada, said they would not be rushed out of the country. He told the CBC News the staff would not be forced to leave in “less than three weeks.”
CBC/Radio-Canada currently has 10 employees working in Moscow, including locally hired staff.
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Intellectuals, broadcasters and cultural figures from Hungary’s Roma community are using the airwaves to reframe narratives and elevate the voices of the country’s largest minority group.
Radio Dikh — a Romani word that means “to see” — has broadcast since January on FM radio in Hungary’s capital, Budapest. Its 11 programs focus on Roma music, culture and the issues faced by their community, and aim to recast the way the often disadvantaged minority group is perceived by broader society.
“Roma people in general don’t have enough representation in mainstream media … and even if they do, it’s oftentimes not showing the right picture or the picture that is true to the Roma community,” said Bettina Pocsai, co-host of a show that focuses on social issues.
Radio Dikh, she said, aims to “give voice to Roma people and make sure that our voice is also present in the media and that it shows a picture that we are satisfied with.”
Some estimates suggest that Roma in Hungary number nearly 1 million, or around 10% of the population. Like their counterparts throughout Europe, many of Hungary’s Roma are often the subjects of social and economic exclusion, and face discrimination, segregation and poverty.
Adding to their marginalization are stereotypes about Roma roles in society, where they are often associated with their traditional occupations as musicians, dancers, traders and craftspeople that go back centuries. [Continue reading…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Balázs Kovács, who writes:
As it was first announced last September as a possibility now happens: (one of?) the last major independent talk radio station in Hungary, the Klubrádió is forced off the air (92.9 MHz, Budapest region) from Monday (they will continue online).
“There is a huge propaganda balloon built up by the government and Klubrádió was a little hole, a little piece of truth where the air could escape, so they had to close this little hole in the balloon and so they can construct their own propaganda world which does not reflect the realities of Hungary.”
The latest news in a shorter form at the CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/09/europe/hungary-klubradio-ruling-intl/index.html
“Finally, Ms. Karas says that Klubrádió still has a chance to be on air in case of a successful tender, but then right after this, she symbolically pulled the plug out of the transmitting equipment.”
Latest news release in response to the state from the radio: https://www.klubradio.hu/adasok/klubradio-news-release-116227
with best regards,
Balazs also shared this video which captures the last broadcast of Klubrádió:
Thank you for sharing this Balázs. I’m certain there are other SWLing Post readers in Hungary and throughout Europe who appreciated this independent voice over the air.
BUDAPEST, Hungary —Digital Radio Mondiale transmissions began from Budapest, Hungary, last June. Although two Hungarian broadcasters previously tested DRM on medium wave, the transmissions are the country’s first DRM trials on shortwave.
The Department of Broadcast Info-Communications and Electronic Theory at the Budapest University of Technology is conducting these latest trials. Csaba Szombathy, head of the broadcasting laboratory, is also head of the project, which will last for at least 12 months.
While the 11-meter 26,060 kHz frequency is well known for use in local broadcasting, it’s rarely implemented for international broadcasting. […] Researchers have also performed tests in this frequency to measure coverage and determine optimal mode and bandwidth on various occasions in Mexico and Brazil. The new Hungarian trials will add to this research.
Szombathy initially operated the transmitter with just 10 W of power into a 5/8-inch vertical monopole. Radio Maria, a Catholic station, is providing a 25-hour program loop, while a Dream DRM software-based encoder broadcasts the signal using AAC encoding. In spite of the low power, the program was reportedly received in the Netherlands.
In early September, Szombathy moved the antenna and transmitter to a slightly different location to improve coverage. He increased the power to 100 W.[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post executive producer, Scott Gamble, who shares the following article from Hungary Today:
From October 19th until November 12th, Radio Free Europe‘s (RFE) Hungarian broadcast recorded around and during the 1956 Revolution can be listened to online, exactly how it was aired 63 years ago minute by minute, HVG reported.
The Hungarian broadcast of RFE’s 1956 program that was aired on shortwave, through foreign transmitters, was recorded at the repeater stations, and has been preserved thanks to the German government’s examination of the radio’s role in the revolution, launched after the events.
After the inquiry, however, the footage, consisting of 60 tapes, was concealed in a basement for decades, until it was rediscovered in the 90s, transferred to cassettes, and digitized.
In the framework of the First University Radio in Pest’s (Els? Pesti Egyetemi Rádió- EPER) voice memorial project dubbed “SZER56” (derived from the radio’s Hungarian name: Szabad Európa Rádió), people can hear (once again) these recordings. The recordings were restored, digitized, and published by the National Széchényi Library (OSZK), which EPER then restored to the original broadcast session.
The footage includes four days that preceded the outbreak of the Revolution, making it the only available recording that preserved the 50s’ “every day” shows. Moreover, this would be the first time the public can hear this outstanding piece of media history. In addition to political broadcasts, the recordings include radio plays, musical compositions, and even quizzes.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the U.S. government-funded organization that broadcasts news and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East “where a free press is banned or not fully established,” is set to restart in Hungary, following recent relaunches in Bulgaria and Romania.
During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe – whose motto is “Free Media in Unfree Societies” – was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it wound up the service in Hungary in 1993, considering the collapse of communism to be mission accomplished, recalls a report in The New York Times (NYT) dated September 6.
The article comments that the move to relaunch the service by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent federal agency, reflects Hungary’s drift away from a free and open government under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán[…]
“We’ve done our homework, and we know this has broad backing, and we’re preparing to move forward,” the agency’s chief, John Lansing, is cited as saying. He adds that the service’s initial budget could run up to USD 750,000, and that a bureau would be established in Hungary. He expects a soft launch of the service in May 2020, with a hard launch one year from now.[…]