I recently received an email from SWLing Post friend, contributor and Patron, Mark Fahey, who is currently enjoying a fascinating DXpedition.
Many thanks to Mark who has allowed me to share a few of his notes from the trip. Mark writes:
I am at Susut, in the Bangli Regency, on the Indonesian island of Bali.
This treehouse is at the base region of Mt Agung, an active volcano, so the earth rumbles a few time each day.
For the next week and a half, I am alone in the Indonesian jungle with my WinRadio Excalibur a collection of loops and wire antennas and lots of storage for spectrum recording. No QRM, I am running on DC, but charge my gear during the day from an AC mains supply.
DX is fantastic – best today being CNR in DRM locked solid!
But the big disappointment is just like Malaysia, MW in most of Indonesia is now just white noise, nothing at all – and hardly any RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia) on the tropical bands now.
But FM jam-packed, I expect many are community pirate stations as well. I came all setup for FM capture as well.
Wow! What a brilliant DXpedition location, Mark! It appears you’ve truly removed all other distractions being in such a remote area.
Sign me up! I’m ready for some Indonesian tree house DXing!
Thanks for sharing, Mark! [And by the way, I’m not at all envious. Okay, maybe just a little. Or a lot.]
Post readers: Have you ever been on a DXpedition in an exotic or unique location? Please comment!
Switzerland Is Doing Away With Over-the-Air TV. Could the U.S. Do the Same?
Rabbit ears and other TV antennas could be useless in Switzerland before too long.
The Swiss government has given the country’s public broadcaster approval to turn off its digital terrestrial TV (known as over-the-air to most people) by the end of 2019. It will be the first nation in Europe to do so.
Most Swiss have high speed broadband internet connections and cable networks in their homes, so the move is unlikely to affect many citizens. Only 1.9% of the population, about 64,000 people, reportedly take advantage of the service that’s being discontinued.
Other European nations are expected to follow Switzerland’s lead in the next 10 to 15 years. And while many Americans believe the right to free, over-the-air broadcasts are protected, that’s not quite as cut and dry as it might seem.
Yes, the federal government licenses the airwaves to television stations (among other entities). […]But the government doesn’t license networks, only individual stations, as outlined by the FCC.
“We license only individual broadcast stations,”: the agency says in a 2008 report explaining its authority.
[…]Put another way: Networks are not required to broadcast their shows over the air.[…]
[T]here are now so many [KiwiSDR] receivers – how do you know which ones are best? Why not use this map as an alternative to sdr.hu/map:
[A]ll the same receivers are shown in a map interface but the receiver signal to noise ratio changes how big each receiver target appears. The bigger the blob, the better the lower the noise which usually equates to a better antenna system etc.
Wow! Thanks for the excellent tip, Mark! This map makes exploring the KiwiSDR network much easier. I especially like the full screen option.
Note, too, that Mark hosts a KiwiSDR in Freemans Reach, Australia (near Sydney). Mark sets the default auto logout for 2 hours to better cater to SWLs (which he says only represents about 10% of his SDR guests!). Most KiwiSDRs use the 30 minute default auto logout, which I find frustrating when I’m making broadcast recordings.
Front page of the North Korean newspaper “Rodong” on April 28, 2018. (Source: Mark Fahey)
With North Korea in the global spotlight, I’ve been making every effort to listen to the Voice of Korea on shortwave. Unfortunately, from here on the east coast of North America, conditions have simply not been in my favor.
Fortunately, a couple of SWLing Post and SRAA contributors have had my back.
This morning, North Korean propaganda specialist Mark Fahey uploaded the following VOK recording to the archive and included notes and insight:
[The recording is] off 9,730 kHz so a mint shortwave file.
Recorded at the “Behind The Curtain” remote satellite and HF receiving site near Taipei, Taiwan (the site is remotely operated from Freemans Reach in Australia and was specifically established to monitor North Korean radio & television 24×7).
[I] also have long domestic recordings (which is what I have been focusing on rather than VOK).
[…]Of course domestic in Korean – but that has been my main interest/monitoring – what does the regime say to the domestic audience–?
They seem quite serious (I mean genuine) even acknowledging South Korea as a separate place and Moon being the president of this place. The domestic propaganda now not hiding the fact that South Korea is a separate sovereign nation, which is very un-North Korean propaganda!
The news is still kind of breaking in North Korea and the radio reflects that – the reports sound like Friday was yesterday. It takes a long time for North Korean media to report anything, so news from 3 days ago is presented as if it only happened 3 hours ago.
Also since it’s all topical I will include a YouTube link to a Voice Of Korea Documentary (propaganda to our ears of course–!) that has recently been posted to the Arabia Chapter of The Korean Friendship Association:
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