Tag Archives: Mike (K8RAT)

The “PIRATE Act” promises fines up to $100,000 per day

(Source: Radio World via Mike Hansgen)

Pirate Radio Bill Formally Introduced

Bipartisan legislation designed to thwart and penalize radio pirates and supporters

BY SUSAN ASHWORTH, MAY 9, 2018

Another legislative step has been taken in the effort to fight illegal pirate radio operations.

On May 8, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) formally introduced a bill to Congress designed to thwart and penalize illegal radio operations.

Known as the ‘‘Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act,” the PIRATE Act will increase the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on pirate activity by increasing fines, streamlining enforcement and placing liability those who facilitate illegal radio broadcasts.

“It is time to take these pirates off the air by hiking the penalties and working with the Federal Communications Commission on enforcement,” Lance said in a statement. Chairman Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly have been able partners in making sure these broadcasts are stopped. This bill will give the FCC even more tools to take down these illegal broadcasts.”

As a commissioner who has long been searching for more Congressional authority to address pirate radio operations, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly commended the effort after the news was announced.

“This bill rightfully increases the penalties, requires regular enforcement sweeps, and augments the tools available to the commission, which are woefully inadequate and outdated, to deal with illegal pirate broadcasters,” O’Rielly said in a statement.[…]

Click here to read the full article via RadioWorld.

The history of Deutsche Welle’s interval signal and signature tune

(Source: Deutsche Welle via Mike Hansgen)

Beethoven on the air: the DW signature tune

When Deutsche Welle went on the air 65 years ago, the broadcaster opted for a melody from “Fidelio” for its signature tune. Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera is about an act of liberation.

A political prisoner is starved and nearly tortured to death because the prison’s military governor knows that the prisoner could incriminate him. The incarcerated man’s wife masquerades as a young man and, thus camoflaged, makes her way into the dungeon. When the governor attempts to stab the prisoner, the woman jumps between them and pulls out a pistol. At that very moment, trumpets sound out and the Minister, a higher authority, enters the scene. A friend of the prisoner, he recognizes what has been going on and sets the political prisoners free.

At this happy ending of the opera “Fidelio” by Ludwig van Beethoven, Minister Fernando sings the words “Es sucht der Bruder seine Brüder” (The brother seeks his brothers), and continues: “Und kann er helfen, hilft er gern” (And if he can help, he does so gladly.)

The melody to the words is anything but catchy; it is nearly ungainly in fact. Nonetheless, it was chosen as the signature tune when Germany’s international broadcaster began its shortwave radio transmissions on May 3, 1953.

The symbolism in the words

The choice not only had to do with the musical motif, but was also based on the symbolism in the words. Only eight years after World War II’s end, building new friendships and international relationships was no easy task for the new Federal Republic of Germany.

One sought to proceed in a “brotherly” manner with listeners and partners abroad through friendly exchange. Trust was to be built in a fair and impartial sharing of information.

For many years, the melody, played on a celesta keyboard, penetrated the constant ebb and flow of interference noise on the shortwave radio spectrum. It thus made its way to the speakers of shortwave radio sets around the world – often in endless repetitions leading up to the news at the top of the hour.

Click here to download a clip of the DW interval signal recorded on February 22,1982 at 1400 UTC. (Source: IntervalSignal Database)

The broadcaster then had its headquarters in Cologne, and the Beethovenfest classical music festival took place only sporadically in Bonn, 30 kilometers upstream the Rhine.

The move from Cologne to Bonn, and the media partnership with the re-established and much bigger music festival, had to wait until the new millennium. Then it seemed only fitting that Deutsche Welle should once again associate itself with Beethoven.[…]

Continue reading and listen to a number of “Fidelio” variations at Deutsche Welle.

“Burundi to suspend BBC and VOA radio broadcasts”

(Source: The Independent via Mike Hansgen)

Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Burundi’s press regulator on Friday said it was suspending broadcasts by the BBC and Voice of America (VOA) by local radio stations ahead of a constitutional referendum on May 17.

The head of Burundi’s National Communications Council told journalists in the capital Bujumbura that a six-month ban would come into force on Monday.

Karenga Ramadhani accused the BBC and VOA of “breaches of the law governing the press and ethics”.

The BBC, he said, “damaged the reputation” of President Pierre Nkurunziza during a discussion programme and had “ignored” previous warnings.

Burundi’s government earlier this week urged the regulator to “take action” against the BBC which it accused of spreading “incendiary statements… hatred and subversion”.

VOA is accused of spreading “very tendentious” information and hiring a journalist “sought by Burundian justice”.

French broadcaster RFI also received a warning for disseminating “tendentious and misleading” information.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Independent.

Grimeton Radio / SAQ LF transmitter on the air May 1, 2018

Alexanderson alternator in the SAQ Grimeton VLF transmitter.

(Source: ARRL via Mike Hansgen)

Low-frequency World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station, SAQ, will transmit from Sweden on May 1 as participation in the European Route of Industrial Heritage’s “Work It Out” observance.

“As part of the event, we plan for the first SAQ transmission since 2016,” said Lars Kalland, SM6NM. The transmitter start-up will begin at 0930 UTC, with the transmission to follow on 17.2 kHz CW at 1000 UTC.

A live video stream of the event will be available. Kalland said no QSL cards will sent, nor will SAQ post a list of reports, but SAQ does invite brief listener reports via e-mail.

“We sincerely hope that all the SAQ transmission on 17.2 kHz will go as planned,” Kalland said. “But, as always, there is a reservation that the transmission [may be] cancelled on short notice.”

Click here to read on the ARRL website.

WTPF’s former site: A “Time Capsule from the 1940’s”

(Source: ABC11.com via Mike Hansgen)

Photo source: WTPF.com

The distinct Art Deco style clearly defines the WPTF radio station as a 1940’s classic.

With rounded windows and curved edges, the building looks tiny on the outside, but cuts deep underground into a shelter that allowed announcers to broadcast through wars and hurricanes.

Today, it’s hidden behind tall shrubs, a chain-link fence, and a set of train tracks – it often goes unnoticed, a relic from a long past era of Raleigh history.

Decades ago, this station was staffed 24-hours a day, which means it provides amenities like a kitchen and shower. However, this enticing building has been closed to the public, mostly forgotten, for decades. Nearly 80 years old and sealed to most of the outside world, it harbors dust-coated secrets that time forgot, like a living time capsule.[…]

Click here to read the full article and view photos of the site.

Also, check out the following photos of WTPF courtesy of this imgur.com account:

Former WPTF 680 AM art deco studio – Cary, NC