Tag Archives: Mediumwave

RFE/Radio Liberty add transmitter in Lithuania

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kim Elliott, who notes that Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty have added a new transmitter in Lithuania:

(Source: The Baltic Course)

A new transmitter will be launched in Lithuania this week for broadcasting the Russian and Belarusian-language services of the US Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) aimed at countering Russian propaganda, reports LETA/BNS.

It will replace a 52-year-old transmitter in Sitkunai, close to Kaunas, that has been transmitting programs for listeners in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova at a lower quality.

The medium wave (AM) transmitter was manufactured some five years ago and was used by the US Defense Department in Western Germany to broadcast a radio program for American troops stationed abroad.

The transmitting power of the new device is set at 75 kilowatts, the same as that of the old one, but it can be increased up to 300 kilowatts if needed, Rimantas Pleikys, the owner of Radio Baltic Waves International, said.[…]

Continue reading…

Kim noted that the US Embassy in Vilnius also reported on the RFE tower dedication. Click here to read the post.

Thanks for sharing, Kim!

Listener reports requested: Test transmissions targeting Venezuela on 800 kHz

Many thanks to Rocus de Joode who shares the following announcement and request for listener reports:

(Este mensaje seguirá en español.)

Dear radio friends,

I received your Email addresses from Jeff White, from WRMI in Florida.

[W]e would like to inform you about a possible new initiative for radio transmissions via mediumwave to Venezuela on 800 kHz.

We will perform test transmissions starting on Wednesday August 30th for seven days long at 1600 hours local time (2000 UTC). As you can understand we would like to receive test reports in order to verify the quality of reception.

The transmissions will be 30 minutes long and we will use two different antenna systems.

Therefore we ask you your kind cooperation to monitor as much as possible and report this back to us via this special Email address: test800am@gmail.com

This is our test schedule:

  • Dates of transmission: 30 August – 06 September 2017 (7 days)
  • Frequency: 800 kHz
  • Time of test broadcast: 1600-1630 LT / 2000-2030 UTC
  • Antenna 1: 1600-1615 LT / 2000-2015 UTC
  • Antenna 2: 1615-1630 LT / 2015-2030 UTC
  • Program content: General announcements and Music

We would like to receive your reception reports in the following order:

  • Dates of listening
  • Time of listening
  • Your location or city name
  • Reception quality in SIO or SINPO for both Antenna 1 and Antenna 2.
  • If possible also an S-meter reading
  • Audio quality
  • Type of radio used
  • Type of antenna used

We would appreciate if you also could inform other DX colleagues and radio enthusiasts you know.

We are also curious how the signal will perform while driving in a car.

On behalf of the initiators of this project I thank you already in advance for your cooperation!

73 from Rocus de Joode


Estimado amigo de la radioescucha,

Por medio de este mensaje me complace informarle acerca de una posible nueva iniciativa para transmisiones a través de la onda media para Venezuela en los 800 kHz.

Iniciaremos nuestras emisiones de prueba a partir del miércoles 30 de agosto durante 7 días a partir de las 16:00 hora local (20:00 UTC). Como bien comprenderá nos gustaría recibir sus informes de recepción de estas emisiones de prueba para así verificar la calidad de la recepción.

Las transmisiones tendrán una duración de 30 minutos y utilizaremos dos sistemas distintos de antena.

Le pedimos su amable cooperación en monitorear lo más posible y enviarnos sus informes de recepción

a la siguiente y especial dirección de E-mail: test800am@gmail.com

Este es nuestro esquema de pruebas :

  • Fechas de transmisión: del 30 de agosto al 6 de septiembre de 2017 (7 días)
  • Frecuencia: 800 kHz
  • Hora de la trasmisión de prueba: 1600-1630 HL / 2000-2030 UTC
  • Antena 1: 1600-1615 HL / 2000-2015 UTC
  • Antena 2: 1615-1630 HL / 2015-2030 UTC
  • Contenido del programa: Información de interés general y música

Nos gustaría recibir sus informes de recepción en el siguiente orden:

  • Fecha de la recepción
  • Hora de la escucha
  • Su localidad o ciudad
  • Calidad de la recepción en los códigos SIO o SINPO tanto para la Antena 1 como la Antena 2.
  • de ser posible, también la indicación del nivel relativo de la señal recibida – medidor S
  • Calidad del Audio
  • Tipo del receptor utilizado
  • Tipo de antena utilizada

También apreciaríamos mucho si usted pudiera informar sobre estas transmisiones a otros Dxistas y entusiastas de la escucha de la onda media que usted conozca. También estamos muy interesados en saber sobre la calidad de la señal cuando se escucha a bordo de un automóvil en marcha.

En nombre de los participantes en este proyecto quisiera agradecerles de antemano su amable cooperación!

Muchos 73!

Rocus de Joode

Video: Daytime mediumwave shootout with the Tecsun S-8800

The Tecsun S-8800

About a week ago, I received a re-engineered version of the Tecsun S-8800 from Anna at the excellent online retailer, Anon-Co.

If you recall, I evaluated an early production unit of the S-8800 in February and while putting it through the paces, I discovered loud, warbling DSP birdies throughout the mediumwave and shortwave bands. Tecsun, to their credit, pulled the S-8800 from production to address the issue.

My schedule last week made it impossible to carve out the dedicated time I needed to begin an S-8800 evaluation.

Yesterday, however, I spent the afternoon with my family at Richland Balsam, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway (6,000′ ASL) and a completely RFI-free zone. I brought the Tecsun S-8800 and a few other portables along for the ride–namely the Digitech AR-1780, the C.Crane CC Skywave and the Panasonic RF-2200.

I had just enough available space on my smart phone to record this one short video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Let’s be clear: comparing any modern radio with the RF-2200 on mediumwave is hardly fair.

For one, the RF-2200 has been out of production for a few decades.

Secondly (what I never finished saying in the video is that) the RF-2200 has a large rotatable ferrite bar antenna that provides excellent gain. The RF-2200 simply wipes the floor with all of my modern portables as their ferrite bar antennas are a fraction of the size.

In other words, the RF-2200 was engineered to rule mediumwave like a boss.

On shortwave, the RF-2200 does a fine job, but isn’t nearly as accurate and stable as modern DSP receivers.

Spoiler alert

Still, as the video indicates, my final review of the Tecsun S-8800 will indicate that it is not a receiver for the serious Mediumwave DXer. It’s been my experience that few shortwave portables are excellent on both HF and MW.

At home, tuned to local station 880 AM.

Of course you can’t tell from the video, but the S-8800 actually sounds brilliant when tuned to a relatively strong/local AM station, but either a lack of sensitivity or internal noise makes MW DXing a challenge.

I spent the better part of two hours yesterday evaluating its daytime MW performance–the video is pretty indicative of my findings. The S-8800 struggles with weak stations, but does a fine job with strong ones. It’s overall audio fidelity almost matches that of the RF-2200 when tuned to a strong broadcast. I’ve yet to test evening MW

The S-8800 still has some birdies on MW, but they’re not the loud warbling kind found on the previous model. Tecsun did properly address this, though in full disclosure, I haven’t fully explored the shortwave bands yet.

Shortwave?

I suspect the S-8800’s performance on shortwave will be much better than mediumwave because the previous S-8800 showed excellent results. As long as sensitivity wasn’t harmed while addressing the DSP birdies, I expect it’ll give the PL-880, PL-680 and Sony ICF-SW7600GR a run for their money.

Still…the lesson learned yesterday?

The Panasonic RF-2200 is the indisputable champion of mediumwave!

UPDATE: Click here to read our full Tecsun S-8800 review.

WNAH’s solar eclipse propagation test

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ivan Cholakov (NO2CW), who writes:

If you ever loved AM radio you will love this.

Thank you WNAH for recognizing there’s more to radio than plugging into a programming network and walking away!

Click here to view on YouTube.

Very cool! Many thanks, Ivan!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recorded the entire mediumwave (AM broadcast) band from my North Carolina home with a WinRadio Excalibur on August 21 (day of the eclipse). After receiving Ivan’s message last night, I played back my recording and moved the time forward to around the moment of totality.

The mediumwave band was hopping! Several stations were competing for 1360 kHz with eclipse-enhanced propagation. There were two large signals flanking 1360 as well.

I thought I would never hear WNAH, but as I listened, their ID in CW (Morse Code) popped out of the signal mix. Here’s a short recording of the first station ID I received around 2:26 PM EDT (1826 UTC):

Click here to download the audio.

True: this is rough audio, but it always amazes me how CW can so effectively punch through noise. Nice touch, WNAH!

WNAH’s signal strength increased with time, but so did the competing signals on 1360 kHz. Within 10 minutes, about the time of totality in western North Carolina, WNAH was 40% stronger.

I did submit my recording and notes to WNAH last night.

Due to my schedule, I haven’t had any meaningful time to go over my eclipse spectrum recordings. Indeed, I think I’ll need several dedicated days to review them. While searching for WNAH’s signal, I could see a significant difference in propagation on the waterfall display within a 26 minute span of time:

 14:15 EDT

14:41 EDT

Note that local time of totality was 14:36 EDT.

I made spectrum recordings spanning 0-2 MHz, 6-8 MHz and 13.5-15 MHz.

Post readers: Did anyone else log WNAH? Log any other shortwave or mediumwave DX? Please comment!

New Mediumwave Facility for Fiji

There’s an interesting YouTube documentary released by the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation on the refurbishment of both transmitters and antennas for the mediumwave outlets of 558 and 990 kHz. This was completed with the financial and technical assistance of the Japanese government. It will be very interesting for MW DXers to see how well the new facility will be heard beyond the Fijian borders.

 

There is also a somewhat less interesting YouTube video of the Fijian dictator Prime Minister Bainimarama at the official launch of the revitalized service, which can be found at https://youtu.be/kOza_Ov7f48

It was fascinating to hear Prime Minister Bainimarama talking about democratic freedoms in the broadcasting media….This from a man who for many years has done his level best to suppress and control the Fijian media on countless occasions!
(My thanks to Mauno Ritola and Bruce Portzer for alerting me to the above links)

73, Rob Wagner VK3BVW

Rob Wagner, VK3BVW, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. He also blogs at the Mount Evelyn DX Report.