Tag Archives: Mediumwave

Rolf experiments with MW antenna coupling

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rolf, who writes:

I made a great discovery tuning using a second passive analog radio.

When I tune to Radio Caroline, for example, on my portable I can receive the signal okay. When I put the receiving radio on minimum then place it next to and couple it with the second radio, it is receiving a lot better!

Even stations I could hardly hear, now i can hear them!

Check out my short demonstration video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

That is fascinating, Rolf. Thank you for sharing. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why I try to maintain a good distance between radios when comparing them in reviews. In this case, though, you’re using coupling to your advantage!

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DRM: a solution to the “medium-wave problem”–?

(Source: Radio World)

Is medium wave in decline? Some people think so.

In the 1950s radio was declared mortally wounded by TV. But then FM with its new music rescued it, becoming one of the most successful technologies and platforms ever. Radio survived and thrived but AM should have died at the hands of the nimbler, younger and more attractive FM.

Only it did not and the medium reinvented itself by using presenter-led programming, commercial music and sport. In the United States it took until the end of 1990s for the FM and AM audiences to be equal and to this day the big AM stations are going strong, bringing in the ad dollars.

REASONS

Still, it’s undeniable that the whiff of decline has enveloped AM in the past two decades. The reasons are well-known: Analog medium wave doesn’t always deliver the best sound, it can suffer from interference, it can behave annoyingly different by day and night and even by season. Medium wave mainly appeals to a maturing population (a global phenomenon, considered shameful by some!) using aging receivers (this is bad!).

[…]

THE SOLUTION

Recently cricket fans were able to enjoy an open-air demonstration of three different DRM programs on one frequency ahead of an important match in Bangalore. The fans also received data (stock exchange values) available on radio screens. This demonstrated that digital DRM is a game changer for medium wave.

In DRM the crackling audio disappears as sound is as good of that on FM. The electricity consumption and costs decrease, the spectrum is trebled and reception, even in cars (as available in over 1.5 million cars in India currently) is excellent, too.

If it is so good then why isn’t DRM medium wave conquering the world faster? Maybe it’s about confidence in a new platform. Broadcasters and governments need to market DRM digital radio once signals are on air in their countries.

As for receiver availability and their costs, let us remember how many receivers were on sale in the 1970s when FM was taking over the world. Nowadays, many listeners consume radio in their cars rather than sit in front of a retro looking wooden box. Digital receivers (DRM alone or DRM/DAB+) are a reality and a bigger push for digital would help with volumes sold thus bringing down the prices.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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Mediumwave DXing: Radio setup offers “cheap thrills”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Rich Stahl (WR3V), who shares his frugal but effective mediumwave DXing setup:

My MWBC directional reception on the cheap (see photo above):

Tecsun PL-310ET $40.85
Tecsun AN200 loop $12.95
Walmart Lazy susan $7.95
Cardboard box -0-

Total $61.75

Who says its an expensive hobby?

Indeed! That’s a very basic, yet very effective setup, Bill. Thanks for reminding us that this doesn’t have to be an expensive venture!

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Ron is impressed with the PK Loop Mini (A-LOOP-MTAM)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who shares the following review of the PK Loop Mini (A-LOOP-MTAM):

Standard PK Loose-Coupled Loops (the “A” series) are 14 inches in diameter…they are
for use with a receiver having a built-in ferrite bar antenna.

Don’t think they’re not capable of serious DX…a few years ago a friend in Texas
snagged and recorded France Inter (162 kHz) on a 14 inch standard PK LW
loop using a Sony 7600GR.

But this is about the PK Mini 10 inch loop for Medium Wave (there are none for
other ranges).

The build quality is superb as with all PK loops. The band has two ranges: 525 to
710 and 710 to about 1720 kHz. Paul Karlstrand uses a unique design consisting
of flat computer cable and a custom made circuit board to connect the turns
end-to-end.

The low end simply switches in a fixed capacitor across the variable to lower the
frequency.

The Mini has 25% less sensitivity than the standard 14 inch loop according to the website.
Currently it can be had for $66 USD delivered to your door from Melbourne…this one
was ordered on a Monday and showed up a week later,which is outstanding considering
it had to clear customs in NYC.

Performance is virtually identical with the Tecsun or Terk loops, which are 9 inch loops.
So why buy a PK?

You get what you pay for, or not…the PK is fairly robust compared to the Tecsun or Terk.
It’s made to last and it’s a PK Loop.

Here are some links for comparison purposes:

If you wish to enhance your loop try co-coupling it to your receiver with a Q-Stick :

http://dxtools.com/QStick.htm

Thank you, Ron, for sharing your experience with the PK Loop Mini. It certainly sounds like an excellent option for travelers and, like you, I agree that the construction quality is superb!

Click here to check out the PK Loop website.

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The Guardian: The loss of rural radio leaves US communities with “another cultural and informational gap”

(Source: The Guardian via BJ Leiderman and Kris Partridge)

America’s rural radio stations are vanishing – and taking the country’s soul with them

When I arrive at the radio station, Mark Lucke is standing in the doorway, looking out at the spitting, winter rain. He’s slim and stoic, with sad, almost haunted, eyes. The first thing he asks is if I’d like to see “the dungeon”. Who wouldn’t?

Lucke pulls on a Steeler’s jacket and a baseball cap over brown hair that falls halfway down his back, and leads me across the five-acre yard. Out here, 90 miles east of Tucson, the desert is a long sweep of brush the color of beach sand. Lucke seems to slip through the rainy day like a ghost.

The radio station, whose call letters are KHIL, has long been the daily soundtrack for this frontier town (population 3,500) that prides itself on its cowboy culture and quiet pace of life. But six decades after the founding of the station, the property is in foreclosure, with utility disconnect notices coming nearly every month.

Small-town radio is fizzling nationwide, as stations struggle to attract advertisement dollars. And as station owners are forced to sell, media conglomerates snap up rural frequencies for rock-bottom prices, for the sole purpose of relocating them to urban areas. In a more affluent market, they can be flipped for a higher price. With limited frequencies available, larger broadcasters purchase as many as possible – especially those higher on the dial – in a race not dissimilar to a real estate grab.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Guardian.

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FEBC to blanket North Korea with 250,000 watt AM signal

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tracy Wood, who notes:

New construction – a 250 kw FEBC medium wave outlet coming southwest of Seoul. BTW, FEBC currently leases at least one hour of VOA-Korean on FEBC 1188 khz Seoul.

An interview with the FEBC president on CBN News:

(Source: CBN NewsCBN News)

Communist North Korea is about to get hit with a massive new radio signal carrying the message of Christ’s love like never before.

“It’s an AM station, 250,000 watts, which will clearly cover North Korea,” said Ed Cannon, president of Far East Broadcasting Company, also known as FEBC.

For over 75 years, FEBC has been using radio signals to send the message of Jesus Christ around the world.

Cannon says this new “super station” will be erected close to the border of North and South Korea.

“We’ve secured a location on the western coast of South Korea just a few miles south of the Demilitarized Zone,” Cannon told CBN News. “It’s a perfect location because the signal goes across the ocean for a few miles and then goes right into North Korea.”

FEBC’s president says the radio signal will launch in a few months and will carry gospel programs produced from neighboring South Korea.

“The strategy of our organization is to use indigenous people in their native language to produce programming,” Cannon said. “We have a large segment of South Korean people broadcasting and we also have a number of escapees, refugees from North Korea, who’ve come to our organization.”

Cannon claims the signal will be “unblockable” by North Korea’s regime and will “reach far past the northern boundary of North Korea covering the entire country with the message of Jesus Christ.”

According to its website, FEBC’s broadcasts can be heard in 107 languages and 49 countries from 149 stations and transmitters.

“Our goal in North Korea is the same as it is in all of our other countries: to share the gospel through radio so that people will be inspired to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior,” Cannon told CBN News in an earlier interview.

North Korea is the most dangerous country in the world for Christians. Cannon says anyone caught listening to FEBC programs faces severe consequences.

“The {North Korean} refugees themselves say ‘pray for courage, pray for perseverance’ because the Christians are reaching out in ways to gather together in the Name of Christ, to pray together, to listen to the radio together, and they are willing to endure severe persecution,” Cannon told CBN News.

Each year, Open Doors USA releases their World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution.

North Korea has taken the top spot for 18 years in a row.

“If Christians are discovered, not only are they deported to labor camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot, their families will share their fate as well,” Open Doors asserted on their website. “Christians do not even have the slightest space in society, on the contrary, they are publicly warned against.”

Click here to read the full article art CBN News.

Thank you for sharing this, Tracy!

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“AM radio matters more than you might think”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Fahey, who shares the following piece from Politico:

The Lo-Fi Voices That Speak for America

For decades, AM radio has felt as commonplace as a utility, such a basic fact of life that it’s taken for granted. But that’s changing: Across America, AM radio stations are dwindling in number and profitability, as better-sounding FM signals become cheaper to broadcast and would-be listeners turn to the internet for entertainment.

Yet even in decline, it has a strength that politicians and media insiders who want to understand America would do well to heed. In 2019, thousands of AM stations remain on the air, many of them thriving—in part because they serve unique sets of people whose voices aren’t always heard loudly. For generations, it was considerably cheaper to buy or start an AM station than any other form of mass media, making ownership more accessible to people of color, immigrants, non-English speakers and those with political views outside the mainstream. Without the line-of-sight restrictions of FM radio, AM radio can also cover vast geographic areas, and so remains a staple of rural media. Even now, if you tune into the right frequency on a clear summer night, you can hear a broadcast from half a continent away—listening in on the kinds of conversations that shape identity and politics far outside the Beltway.[…]

Click here to read the full article and view photos at Politico.

 

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