Bhubaneswar: Only a lucky few get to live and breathe their passion and Rajendra Sahu, a carpenter, is one of them.
From Odisha’s capital city of Bhubaneswar, Sahu steals time to give shape to his imagination. He has been carving radios of varied shapes and sizes since past decade-and-half.
“I make radios just because it makes me happy. I return from work by 7 pm and start with the daily ritual of making radio,” said Rajendra. He prepares the cabinet with plywood, sunmica and cane whereas the circuit board is affixed from discarded ones.
“It takes around five days to assemble a radio. I browse through online sites looking for designs,” said Rajendra, who also collects antique radio sets from various parts of Odisha.
“I grew up listening to the radio. There’s a charm to it that the gadgets today fail to deliver. My father too was very fond of them. He would make radios, but I learnt to make them by myself,” he added.[…]
SWLing Post readers might recall that, last year, I had the distinctly great honor of presenting at the 2017 Radio Preservation Task Force meeting at the Library of Congress.
Several readers have asked me to share my experiences at the conference, so I’ll note the conference highlights here.
I attended all three days of the conference. The first day (Thursday, November 2) was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center and focused on Cold War broadcasting. It goes almost without saying that this was absolutely fascinating. I learned a great deal. One of the day’s recurrent discussion themes, for example, focused on the keen awareness of those inside the Iron Curtain that they had been regularly subjected to propaganda. In other words, the Cold War somehow created very discerning news listeners savvy enough to separate fact from fiction quite skillfully––an ability that many fear may (unfortunately) be eroding among today’s media audiences.
That afternoon, SWLing Post reader, Phil Ewing, took me on an amazing tour of NPR’s new headquarters [thanks SO much, Phil!].
Later that afternoon at NPR, I attended an event celebrating NPR’s founding father and mission creator, Bill Siemering. Bill and I co-presented at the Winter SWL Fest in 2011, and I admire him greatly both as a journalist and as an individual; I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to be at this event held in his honor.
Friday and Saturday sessions were held at the Library of Congress and were equally riveting as they covered nearly every aspect of radio preservation.
I was on the Digital Curation panel along with Charles Hardy (West Chester University and National Council on Public History), Jonathan Hiam (New York Public Library), Matt Karush (George Mason University and Hearing the Americas), Elena Razlogova (Concordia University) and Mark Williams (Dartmouth College and Media Ecology Project).
The discussion was dynamic, and to my pleasure, our Radio Spectrum Archive was quite the hit. The sincere interest in this project was beyond encouraging. Indeed, after my presentation, I wasn’t able to address all of the questions from those in the audience because there were so many in line to speak to me about it; eventually the LOC had to re-arrange the room for a televised event, the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act.
But there’s more. And it’s a great ending to our story, which is really only a beginning: via Alex Stinson with the Wikimedia Foundation, I was introduced to the Internet Archive team last month, whom, to our profound delight, has wholeheartedly agreed to support the Radio Spectrum Archive by giving us nearly unlimited space to store our massive collection of spectrum files.
In a word? This conference was brilliant. There simply couldn’t have been a better outcome for the Radio Spectrum Archive and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Many thanks to the entire RPTF team, especially Director, Josh Shepperd, for putting this spectacular event together.
I’ve been invited to a couple other archive conferences as a result of the RPTF meeting, and I’ll give these some consideration. Regardless, I know this: I’ll make room in my schedule for the next RPTF conference. No way am I missing it!
And at the next conference I look forward to speaking to each one of those people with whom tight scheduling prevented my speaking at this one. After all, it’s this kind of enthusiasm that assures the Radio Spectrum Archive’s future.
If you’d like a more in-depth report of the RPTF conference, check out this article in Radio World (via Richard Langley). If you’d like to learn more about the Radio Preservation Task Force, check out their website by clicking here.
Many thanks to my buddy, Bennett Kobb, who also gave me a tour of the brilliant LPFM station, WERA (96.7) in Arlington, VA–what an incredibly dynamic station and staff!
I’d also like to thank my friend Kim Elliott for generously hosting me during the multi-day event. Even modest accommodation in the DC area is very expensive–no doubt, Kim’s hospitality made the conference a reality for me. Thanks again, Kim!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kim Elliott, who shares this link to a French company called a.bsolument who specializes in converting vintage valve radios into hi-fidelity Bluetooth-connected audio devices.
According to a.solument’s introduction video, they take vintage radios in disrepair, gut the insides and replace the components with modern hardware which includes Bluetooth 4.0 and aux-in capabilities:
While I LOVE vintage radios, I have conflicting feelings about this process.
I take pride in keeping my vintage gear in proper working order (through the help of a mentor). Something that simply cannot be replicated with digital hardware is the sound and warm fidelity of AM audio emanating from a valve classic. At home, I have the option of feeding all of my vintage gear Bluetooth and wireless connectivity via an AM transmitter. This allows me to play any digital content while preserving the original audio fidelity (and warming my radio room with those glowing tubes!).
With that said, I’m very much aware that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average consumer to find a technician who can repair tube gear affordably. Indeed, some feel it’s impossible thus toss their family radio in the trash.
If a.bsolument is giving vintage beauties–that would otherwise be in a landfill–a new lease on life, then I’m all for it!
What do you think? Please comment!
(Source: Shortwave Radiogram via Tom Ally)
The Shortwave Radiogram transmission schedule:
Sunday 0600-0630 UTC 7730 kHz
Sunday 2030-2100 UTC 11580 kHz
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC 11580 kHz
All via WRMI in Florida
Great to see that Kim Elliott isn’t skipping a beat moving from the VOA Radiogram to the Shortwave Radiogram in his retirement! Let’s support him by tuning in!
(Source: VOA RadioGram via Dennis Dura)
The last VOA Radiogram is this weekend. The successor to VOA Radiogram is Shortwave Radiogram, which will be broadcast for the first time on 25 June on the WRMI times and frequencies in the schedule below.
To help us keep in touch after the migration from the old Radiogram to the new Radiogram, please note the following changes …
This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will be all MFSK32 and will include seven images, including one optical illusion.
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 222, 17-18 June 2017, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz …
1:54 Program preview
2:59 Transition to Shortwave Radiogram*
7:48 Digitizing old reel-to-reel tapes*
10:57 Thanks to W1HKJ and the Murrow station*
20:48 Thanks to listeners*
23:10 Closing announcements*
* with image(s)
Please send reception reports to email@example.com.
See and submit results on Twitter: @VOARadiogram
The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1530 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ). And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC. Reports to Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/.
Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit http://ibcradio.webs.com/ Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:
18.55 UTC 6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
19.55 UTC 1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
02.55 UTC 1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
01.25 UTC 9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
20.25 UTC 1584 KHZ TO SOUTH EUROPE
00.55 UTC 7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
10.55 UTC 6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
Thank you for your support during the four-plus years of VOA Radiogram!