Tag Archives: Radio Vanuatu

Pacific Beat: Vanuatu invests in shortwave service

(Source: ABC Pacific Beat via Michael Bird)

Click here to listen.

In the age of social media and internet technology, shortwave may be seen as traditional technology — but it still plays an important role in reaching far-flung communities, with Vanuatu’s public broadcaster now investing millions of dollars to boost its shortwave service.

The Vanuatu Broadcasting Television Corporation (VBTC) is investing AUD$12 million in upgrading its national radio service through its shortwave and and medium wave service.

VBTC chief executive officer, Francis Herman told the ABC that only 30 per cent of the country can access national radio but after the upgrade, this would increase to 100 per cent coverage across Vanuatu’s 80-plus islands.

“Radio as you know is cost effective, people can pick it up on their phone, in the villages where television can not reach, radio is the companion for people,” Mr Herman said.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation shutdown its shortwave service to the Pacific in 2017, in favour of a digital presence while China and New Zealand have increased their shortwave coverage.

Technology commentator Peter Marks said investing in shortwave is a great way to complement Vanuatu’s national radio service.

“Shortwave comes from over the horizon it will continue to work even when local conditions are difficult like extreme weather that might knock out local FM and AM stations and internet,” Mr Marks said.

Vanuatu is listed by the United Nations as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world and regularly experiences, earthquakes, cyclones and floods.

Mr Herman said this makes having a national shortwave service even more important.

“We have general elections in March next year, we are about to head into the cyclone season beginning in November and so its important, it’s crucial that the people of Vanuatu can get access to a reliable and credible broadcaster,” Mr Herman said.

Along with its shortwave broadcasts, the VBTC is also looking to improve its television coverage over the next two years, with funding support from the Vanuatu government, New Zealand and China.

Click here to read the full article and listen to the audio at Pacific Beat.


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Radio Vanuatu: New shortwave and mediumwave service through infrastructure upgrade

(Source: Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation via Peter Marks)

RADIO VANUATU CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT WORK BEGINS

With the support of the Government of Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television
Corporation (VBTC) has begun work this month on a 942 million vatu (US$8.1m)
infrastructure upgrade to improve radio and free-to-air television service throughout
Vanuatu.

The first phase involves the design, installation and commissioning of a new shortwave (HF)
and medium wave (MF) service for Radio Vanuatu, the country’s public radio service. Costing
for phase one will be in excess of 242 million vatu (US$2.2m) and is funded by the
Government of Vanuatu. Following the improvements to shortwave and medium wave
services, VBTC will also undertake technical work to strengthen the coverage and reliability
of its FM services.

A 10kw MF Nautel transmitter imported out of Canada and a 10kw HF transmitter
manufactured by Hanjin Electronics of South Korea will be installed at VBTC’s major public
service transmission site at Emten Lagoon on Efate. Both transmitters will be commissioned
before the end of 2019.

The second phase, beginning early 2020, will reopen Radio Vanuatu’s medium wave radio
transmission facilities at St Michelle in Luganville on the island of Santo. This will provide AM
service to provinces in the top half of Vanuatu at a cost in excess of 300 million vatu
(US$2.5m).

The third phase will expand the national television free-to-air service, Television Blong
Vanuatu, along with a new digital television service. This final phase will cost an estimated
400 million vatu (US$3.5m).

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas launched the capital development upgrade at a
special function attended by cabinet ministers, senior members of the public service,
members of the diplomatic corps and members of Vanuatu’s business and non-profit
communities on Friday September 20 in Port Vila before he departed the country to attend
the UN General Assembly in New York.

In his address, the Prime Ministerspoke atlength about the importance to Vanuatu of having
a strong national public radio and television broadcasting service and announced assistance
from Vanuatu’s development partners to help achieve this objective.

The Government of Australia funded the scoping study for the radio upgrade project and is
providing funding support to implement the strategic reform programme of VBTC which the
Prime Minister said is making good progress.

“I’m also happy to announce that the New Zealand Government is keen to support the
second stage of the Radio Vanuatu technical infrastructure upgrade while China is
considering my request to support the upgrade of Television Blong Vanuatu’s technical
infrastructure.”

Meanwhile Kordia New Zealand Limited has been awarded the contract to project manage,
design, install and commission the new radio transmission facilities beginning with the
facilities at Emten Lagoon outside Port Vila.

VBTC Chief Executive Officer, Francis Herman said that “Kordia has extensive experience in
the broadcasting and telecommunications industry in the Pacific, and recently completed a
major project in Samoa for State-owned Radio 2AP funded by the Australian Government”.
“We’ve worked hard with Kordia and a number of other technical experts to investigate the
most efficient and sustainable transmission solution for Vanuatu taking into account the
inclement weather, and the need to keep operating costs affordable.”

The shortwave service, which will be commissioned before the end of this year, will provide
national radio coverage to the 82 islands spread spanning 1,300 kilometres between the
most northern and southern islands.

“Our role as Vanuatu’s national broadcasting service is centered on helping create an
informed public opinion so our people can contribute more effectively to national
development”, Herman added.

“VBTC has struggled to remain relevant over the past decade because its technical
infrastructure was obsolete and badly neglected making it challenging for us to provide an
efficient, reliable, and responsive national radio and television service.”

Alongside the infrastructure upgrade, is an extensive programme to strengthen the technical
capacity of Vanuatu’s broadcast technicians along with a long-term maintenance regime to
expand the life of the equipment.

September 23, 2019

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Radio Vanuatu reduces broadcast time due to budget

Vanuatu-Map

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who noted that Radio Vanuatu has reduced broadcast hours.

Friday night, Paul received a rare opening that allowed him to hear Vanuatu on both 7260 kHz and 3945 kHz. Paul noted that it’s very rare to hear Vanuatu’s 75 meter band broadcast from his listening post in Alaska.  As he was setting up his receiver for a recording, they signed off early.

Paul discovered the following notice on Radio Vanuatu’s Facebook page:

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Radio Vanuatu i wantem infomem olgeta gudfala lisna blong hem se Radio Vanuatu i jenisem ol hour blong brodkas blong hem folem high cost blong operation blong hem.
Timing blong brodkas i ko olsem: 05:30am- 9:15pm evridei
Jenis ia hemi blong smol taem nomo.
Endorsed by VBTC Board & Management

Courtney Gordon, via Facebook, provided Paul with a simple translation:

Radio Vanuatu wants to inform its good listeners that the hours of broadcast are being changed due to the high cost of operation. Broadcast times are now 5:30 am to 9:30 pm every day.

So, broadcast times are now 18:30 UTC to 10:15 UTC. Thanks, Paul and Courtney, for sharing the news!

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Antenna advice needed for field station

Paul Walker's listening post in Galena, Alaska.

Paul Walker’s listening post in Galena, Alaska.

I know you can’t cheat physics or RF and that magic pixie dust won’t work, but I’m hoping those with a little more technical expertise can help me solve an antenna dilemma.

I’m in the central interior region of Alaska and want to pick up Radio Vanuatu 7260 kHz a bit better. I also get a somewhat poor signal from them (they may not be running the full 10,000 watts) and I just want something a little better. My problem is that my set up can’t be permanent as I don’t technically have rights to the land I’m on; it’s somewhat public.

Paul-Wlaker-Listening-Post-2

I’ve looked at HF beam antennas and some of them can be huge, so that’s likely out of the question. I don’t think a 1/4 wave or 1/2 wave wire dipole would provide drastically better results then a longwire with a tuner, so I don’t want to waste the time and the effort.

Wellbrook-Paul-Walker-Galena-AK

I do have a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP and that’s somewhat directional. I also have a 225 foot long wire with an Emtech ZM2 tuner. The Wellbrook and ZM2 do OK.

I do have a Tripod and telescoping mast, so I can handle a beam antenna, it just cant be 30-40 feet! I have no problem carrying a beam antenna and tripod back across the street to my house at the end of a DX session.

Something directional would probably be what’s on order to make this work.  I am not going to cheap out on this, but I am certainly not spending $1000 on an antenna….. something in the $200 to $400 range would be fantastic. Returning stuff would be a hassle for me, so I can’t do that.. so I need to buy something that stands a good chance of working.

Am I stuck with my current set up and have no real better options based upon my limitations, is there someway I can make my set up better or is there some kind of antenna that’s directional which I can point right towards Vanuatu which will work that isn’t as big as a house and that doesn’t cost an arm, leg, kidney and foot?

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

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Shortwave Logs from Alaska’s Central Interior Region

Wellbrook-Paul-Walker-Galena-AK

Here are some Shortwave logs from the central interior region of Alaska. I used a Tecsun PL880 and 225 foot long wire with Emtech ZM2 Tuner or a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP.

I’ve only used the Wellbrook for two days so I can’t really offer a thorough comparison yet. There was one case in particular where the 225 foot long wire and ZM2 tuner beat the Wellbrook by a large margin.

I don’t log everything I hear, but everything I do log gets recorded into an mp3 format audio clip. The audio recording helps tremendously with my QSL return rate, especially when I am hearing a broadcast in a language I don’t understand

I hear China Radio International, China National Radio, Radio Nacional de Brasilia/Amazonia, FEBC, World Harvest Radio and others regularly so I don’t log them because I try and keep my logs to what is interesting for one reason or another (programming, music, etc.) or rare/interesting.

3260 & 3325 kHz Papua New Guinea, NBC Radio. 1027 to 1034 UTC. 3325 Bouganville is carrying a man talking in a combination of Pidgin and English discussing mines, mine safety and mine regulations. Better then average signal with only light fading and interference. 3260 kHz Mandang is running music followed by an announcer talking about what I think are upcoming programming highlights. Fair signal, way better then usual

NBC Radio Mandang 3260 kHz audio: https://goo.gl/pmB8DD

NBC Radio Bouganviulle 3325 kHz audio: https://goo.gl/WKKEPJ

4870 kHz Indonesia, Radio Republik Indonesia Wamena. June 12 1001 UTCA regular visitor in the early morning hours here. not daily, but here often. Today’s signal is fair but with a moderate amount of fading and static crashes/interference. Usual fair of what I think is local music is being played.

Radio Republik Indonesia Wamena 4870 kHz audio: https://goo.gl/hjF1JL

5020 kHz Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation. June 12 1011UTC. Higher side of good signal with all factors taken into account. Only a little bit of fading during christian music.

Audio of Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation 5020 kHz here: https://goo.gl/d8BFX2

5745 kHz US, VOA Radio Gram. June 11 0943. The first time I logged VOA’s Radio Gram broadcast. There was something creating a loud buzzing noise but I could still hear the digital data. Only a little Russian text and text in english decoded for me. I will definitely try again!

VOA Radio Gram 5745 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/LfxJ6w

6070 kHz DPRK, Voice of Korea.June 11 1005UTC. Fair signal, but low modulation. Announcers voice is lower then the music. Fair amount of fading. I heard their usual marching/patriotic music. This is not a frequency I usually hear them on, wether owing to I am not out when this frequency is on, conditions or I hear usually CFRX Toronto.

Voice Of Korea 6070 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/SzXuEg

6115 kHz China, Voice of Strait. June 11 1008 UTC. Fair signal with a fair amount of fading. Sounds like a man talking, could be a news broadcast or interview. Not sure.

Voice Of Strait 6115 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/V92tlD

7260 kHz Vanuatu, Radio Vanuatu. June 7 0857UTC. Low side of fair signal with interview in english and mentions of Vanuatu. Interview ends and music plays, one song sounds like it’s a kids chorus. There is a fair amount of fading and static crashing/atmospheric noise. Radio Vanuatu is habitually, chronically, woefully unde rmodulated on a daily basis. Just a few days after this logging was made, I had what my radio signal meter showed as a good signal but NO audio. The signal was so under modulated I had no audio but I had a signal! I would actually listen to them if they played more music and had better modulation

Radio Vanuatu 7260 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/V1GMQS

9545 Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation. June 11 0835. SIBC was on over 3 hours late on 9545 kHz, it’s supposed to sign off at 0500UTC and switch to 5020 kHz but at 0835UTC this night it was still on. 9545 kHz staying on late has been happening a lot lately. 9545 kHz is used as SIBC’s workday frequency with 5020 kHz being used in the early to mid morning and afternoon/evening. In this recording SIBC is fairly strong here with light fading and static. Whenever 9545 kHz is on late, it seems to be stronger then 5020 kHz would be. My logging tonight starts with an interview then music is being played.

Audio of SIBC 9545 kHz here: https://goo.gl/0AIj5n

12035 Mongolia, Voice of Mongolia. June 11 1018UTC. NEW! This is a new logging for me. weak signal playing music. Was able to match the interval tune and the announcers voice heard during my logging with a clip of a recent broadcast on their website.

Audio of Voice of Mongolia 12035 kHz here: https://goo.gl/Y2QXH7

15400 kHz Romania, Radio Romania International. June 12 1006 UTC. News broadcast in French. Somewhat weak, but steady signal with only light fading.

Audio of Radio Romania International 1540 kHz here: https://goo.gl/OBK0Q9

17770 kHz Phillipines, Radio Liberty targeting Siberia. June 12 0948. What sounded like a man in Russian during a news broadcast or interview. Weak but steady signal.

Audio of Radio Liberty 1770khz here: https://goo.gl/5fxzxJ

I could use some opinions and inputs from others on something:

I am DXing about 500 feet from the transmitter sites for KXES-LPFM 92.9 and KIYU-FM 88.1 along with K10LJ Channel 10. The FM’s are only 100 watts and the TV station is only 10 watts of Digital RF. However, the FM’s overload my Shortwave radio around 9.4 to 9.6 MHz along with the lower to mid part of the tropical bands. I have a MCM Electronics and Radio Shack FM trap and they help a bit, but don’t do nearly enough. I am willing to spend $100 or so for a good FM Trap/Filter. I’ll spend a little more if I have to and the product is proven at works. I can null out the interference by rotating my Wellbrook ALA1530LNP, but I may be nulling out the signal I want to hear at the same time. Returning things for me is a hassle so I’d rather pay good $ for something that works. Feel free to email me, walkerbroadcasting@gmail.com or reply to this thread.

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

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Solomon Islands and Vanuatu On Shortwave

Paul Walker's listening post in Galena, Alaska.

Paul Walker’s listening post in Galena, Alaska.

by Paul Walker

I tried logging the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu shortwave broadcast stations for years, however, owing to my location and poor antenna along with technical problems with the stations, I was never able to log them.

Well, I recently moved to Alaska and was able to take the stations off my “Most Wanted List.”

SIBC has two frequencies–5020 kHz and 9545 kHz–both with 10,000 watts.  They use 9545 kHz during their local workday time frame and the 5020 kHz frequency is their late night and early morning frequency.

A few times, I have caught 9545 kHz not signing off at 0500UTC for the switchover to 5020 kHz like it should of. When 9545 kHz is on late, the signal is usually pretty darn good.

In fact, on April 25th, I caught 9545 kHz on about 2 1/2 hours past the scheduled switchover and the signal was AMAZING!  It was near perfect with a rock solid signal, fading so slightly it’s barely noticeable, no interference and pretty good audio!!

For whatever reason, when 9545 kHz is on late, It seems to have a better signal most times then 5020 kHz would if it was on at that time. SIBC has one transmitter so two frequencies can’t be on at once. Both times I’ve caught 9545 on late, it signs off abruptly and minutes later, 5020 kHz is on, as it should be.

As for 5020 kHz, this recording on May 22 at 1148 UTC  this was about the best I’ve ever heard it.

Listen closely when SIBC goes to dead air before shutting off the transmitter, I clearly hear two people talking.

As for Radio Vanuatu, their signals seem to be chronically/habitually under modulated and combine that with the large amount of speech programming they ran…and they are hard to catch. Good luck hearing them on 3945 kHz. Even with Radio Nikkei off, the best I’ve ever gotten from 3945 kHz was a signal so poor all I could make out was the speech on 3945 kHz and 7260 kHz matched.

On May 14th at 0923 UTC, I got about the best signal out of Radio Vanuatu on 7260 that I’ve ever had. Conditions must have been good and that combined with the fact they were running music made them a bit easier to hear.

For those that don’t know me, I am living in Galena, Alaska a village of 500 people in rural central Alaska, halfway between Nome & Fairbanks. I work here as the Program Director for a small network of community radio signals along the Yukon river. I DX from the river bank 500 feet from my apartment with a Tecsun PL-880 and 80 foot or 225 foot long wire, soon to be a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP.

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

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Recordings: Paul records Vanuatu and Solomon Islands from central Alaska

IMG_0866

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following recordings of Radio Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting. Paul lives in Galena, Alaska, and records most of these broadcasts outside of his broadcasting studio:

7260 kHz:

5020 kHz:

5020 kHz:

3945 is much weaker then 7260 for some reason and Nikkei is on that channel till 0900 UTC, so about the only chance I have of hearing Vanuatu on 3945 CLEARLY is when Nikkei signs off.

9545 kHz Monday Night 1130 AKDT/(0730 utc Tuesday)

https://soundcloud.com/paul-walker-11/9545-april-25-2016-11-21-37-pm

7260 from April 19th at 1135 AKDT /0735 UTC)

5020 from April 20th at 1248 am AKDT/0848 UTC

Thanks for sharing your recordings, Paul! You’ve certainly done a fine job DXing in the northern latitudes all while standing next to a broadcast station.

Keep up the great work!

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