Tag Archives: Radio World

Radio World: WRTH “lives on” and new digital option

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia, who shares the following article from Radio World: 

“World Radio Television Handbook” Lives On

With its comprehensive listing of radio/television stations worldwide, including their frequencies and general program content, the “World Radio Television Handbook” has been an essential companion for broadcasting listeners and radio professionals.

So when publisher Nicholas Hardyman announced that the 2022 edition of the WRTH would be the last, many reacted in horror — but not the folks at Germany’s Radio Data Center.

[…]Because books are hard to update, Radio Data Center also offers the WRTH WebApp. It is an online version of the WRTH’s content that is easy for Radio Data Center to update on a regular basis.

“An electronic product like the WebApp doesn’t have the same problems as a book that has to be printed and shipped, because it’s available online anywhere,” said Gunter.

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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Radio Waves: Polish Trains Radio Hacked, Flawed Code, Radio Quiet Boxes, and EAS Reminder

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors NT and Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Poland’s Railways Halted by a Simple Radio Hack (Gizmodo)

he Polish Railway’s radio system was hacked on Friday and Saturday, bringing 20 freight and passenger trains to an unprecedented standstill. The hack, believed to be carried out by Russia, took advantage of a critical flaw in the railway’s radio security system, with the issue reportedly restored within hours.

An investigation into the cyberattack is underway, and the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported that the radio signals sent to stop the trains were interspersed with a recording of Russia’s national anthem and a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Poland is an important transportation hub that brings much-needed weapons supplied by Western countries and other aid to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, and Senior Security Official Stanislaw Zaryn told PAP: “For the moment, we are ruling nothing out.” He continued: “We know that for some months there have been attempts to destabilize the Polish state. Such attempts have been undertaken by the Russian Federation in conjunction with Belarus.”

Train services were reportedly restored within hours and the Polish State Railways said in a statement that “there is no threat to rail passengers” and the cyberattack only caused “difficulties in the running of trains.” [Continue reading…]

Code Kept Secret for Years Reveals Its Flaw—a Backdoor (Wired)

A secret encryption cipher baked into radio systems used by critical infrastructure workers, police, and others around the world is finally seeing sunlight. Researchers say it isn’t pretty.

FOR MORE THAN 25 years, a technology used for critical data and voice radio communications around the world has been shrouded in secrecy to prevent anyone from closely scrutinizing its security properties for vulnerabilities. But now it’s finally getting a public airing thanks to a small group of researchers in the Netherlands who got their hands on its viscera and found serious flaws, including a deliberate backdoor.

The backdoor, known for years by vendors that sold the technology but not necessarily by customers, exists in an encryption algorithm baked into radios sold for commercial use in critical infrastructure. It’s used to transmit encrypted data and commands in pipelines, railways, the electric grid, mass transit, and freight trains. It would allow someone to snoop on communications to learn how a system works, then potentially send commands to the radios that could trigger blackouts, halt gas pipeline flows, or reroute trains.

Researchers found a second vulnerability in a different part of the same radio technology that is used in more specialized systems sold exclusively to police forces, prison personnel, military, intelligence agencies, and emergency services, such as the C2000 communication system used by Dutch police, fire brigades, ambulance services, and Ministry of Defense for mission-critical voice and data communications. The flaw would let someone decrypt encrypted voice and data communications and send fraudulent messages to spread misinformation or redirect personnel and forces during critical times. [Continue reading…]

‘Radio quiet’ boxes will now power world’s largest telescope (Interesting Engineering)

Engineers have designed and built the first set of 24 Small Modular Aggregation RFoF Trunk, or SMART boxes.

Radio telescopes detect faint radio signals arriving from distant cosmic sources.

As a result, it is critical that the site is as silent as possible, meaning that it should be devoid of noise caused by any gadgets, such as Wi-Fi, mobile phones, telescope machines, and other electronic equipment, in and around the radio facility.

Noise interference of any kind can distort or block out these signals, making astronomical studies extremely difficult.

This is one of the primary issues a multidisciplinary team of experts recently tackled by designing an advanced “SMART box” to electrically power the Square Kilometre Array Low Frequency (SKA-Low) telescope in Western Australia.

SKA-Low is part of the upcoming world’s largest ground-based astronomy facility that includes one other telescope, which has been constructed in South Africa.

“The SKA-Low telescope will receive exquisitely faint signals that have traveled across the universe for billions of years. To detect them, the SKA-Low telescope is being built in a pristine radio quiet zone far from the interference created by modern technology,” said Tom Booler, Program Lead for Engineering and Operations at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) of the Curtin University.

“It’s so radio quiet at the observatory site that the biggest potential source of interference is the electronics like ours, due to the proximity to the antennas. That meant our project had to meet the strictest radio emission requirements across the entire Australian SKA site,” Booler added in the official release. [Continue reading…]

FCC Reminds Stations to Check EAS Readiness (Radio World)

The FCC is reminding U.S. radio stations and other EAS participants to make sure the upcoming national EAS test is accessible.

As we’ve reported, FEMA will transmit the nationwide test at 2:20 pm EDT on Oct. 4 using IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

To make sure it reaches the most people, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has issued a reminder asking participants to make sure they’ve upgraded their EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent version; ensured that their equipment can receive and process the National Periodic Test code and “six zeroes” national location code; and otherwise complied with FCC rules.

Here is the text of the planned EAS message:

“This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public.” [Continue reading…]


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Shortwave Modernization Petition: FCC declines request to extend comment period

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares this news from Radio World:

FCC Declines Request to Extend Comment Period on Shortwave Modernization Petition

A request by the Shortwave Modernization Coalition (SMC) for the FCC to amend its rules to allow fixed, long-distance, non-voice communications above 2 MHz and below 25 MHz has drawn a lot of interest, with 800 comments from observers being filed in the last 30 days. The proposal has drawn concerns from advocates for amateur radio.

However, the FCC decided not to extend the comment filing docket deadline, even after several groups requested it do so. Comments for RM-11953 were due July 31. Reply comments are welcome until Aug. 15. The proposal has drawn concerns from advocates for amateur radio.

The FCC’s Office of Managing Director in June asked for comments on the SMC proposal. It seeks to use multiple bands within the high frequency 2-25 MHz range for the transmission of time-sensitive data from fixed stations. The proposal would prohibit voice transmission and mobile operations. While the proposal excludes amateur bands, high power operations on immediately adjacent spectrum allocated to the Amateur Radio Service are being proposed. [Continue reading…]

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Radio Waves: The DLARC, NASA Citizen Science, PopShopRadio DRM to Europe, Hackers Disrupt Russian Radio, and Afghan Radio Closures

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Trevor Robbins and Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Digital Library Of Amateur Radio And Communications Is A Treasure Trove (Hackaday)

Having a big bookshelf of ham radio books and magazines used to be a point of bragging right for hams. These days, you are more likely to just browse the internet for information. But you can still have, virtually, that big shelf of old ham books, thanks to the DLARC — the digital library of Amateur Radio and Communications.

A grant from a private foundation has enable the Internet Archive to scan and index a trove of ham radio publications, including the old Callbooks, 73 Magazine, several ham radio group’s newsletters from around the globe, Radio Craft, and manuals from Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu, and others.

There are some old QST magazines and the index to newer ones. You can find catalogs and military documents. We miss a lot of these old magazines and newsletters. For example, RCA’s “Ham Tips” is something you won’t find anything like anymore. Most of the material is in English, but there are some other languages represented. For example, the Dutch version of Popular Electronics is available. There’s also material in Afrikaans, Japanese, German, and Spanish. [Continue reading at Hackaday…]

Ham Radio Operators, We Need Your Help During Solar Eclipses! (NASA)

Ham Radio operators, we’re calling you! Members of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) will be making radio contacts during the 2023 and 2024 North American eclipses, probing the Earth’s ionosphere. It will be a fun, friendly event with a competitive element—and you’re invited to participate.

Both amateur and professional broadcasters have been sending and receiving radio signals around the Earth for over a century. Such communication is possible due to interactions between our Sun and the ionosphere, the ionized region of the Earth’s atmosphere located roughly 80 to 1000 km overhead. The upcoming eclipses (October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024) provide unique opportunities to study these interactions. As you and other HamSCI members transmit, receive, and record signals across the radio spectrum during the eclipse, you will create valuable data to test computer models of the ionosphere.

For more information, go to https://hamsci.org/festivals-eclipse-ionospheric-science

DRM to Europe (DRM Consortium Newsletter)

The Canadian pop music station PopShopRadio in British Columbia has just announced that they will use the DRM standard to broadcast their best pop music towards Europe on the 5th March 2023 at 2000-2100 CET (GMT+1) on 5875 kHz (85kW) from Wooferton in the UK.

This radio station is specialised in transmissions of well-known pop music from the 60s and 70s or even before that. They are collecting the best tunes from various countries and offer them to the world using shortwave. This time round they wish to also use the DRM standard in SW to be able to reach distant parts of the globe in much better sound quality.

For more details please click here and here.

Hackers Disrupt Russian Radio (Radio World)

Air raid sirens broadcast in a dozen cities

Radio stations in several Russian cities were disrupted on Feb. 22 by the sound of air raid sirens and a warning of imminent missile strikes.

The broadcasts were reportedly heard in Belgorod, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Magnitogorsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novouralsk, Pyatigorsk, Stary Oskol, Syktyvkar, Tyumen, Ufa, and Voronezh, among other cities. Recordings of the broadcast were shared on the social media network Telegram and reported on by Meduza.

Meduza, an independent news agency now based in Latvia, was forced to move its operations out of Russia during the media crackdown that followed Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. [Continue reading at Radio World…]

Radio Closures Hit Afghanistan Hard (Radio World)

Only 223 stations remain on air 18 months after Taliban regained control of the country

In the 18 months since the Taliban retook full control of Afghanistan, 177 radio stations have gone off the air in the country, displacing about 1,900 journalists and other employees.

In a statement released on World Radio Day 2023, the Afghan Independent Journalists Association noted that during the Islamic Republic period from 2004–2021, there were as many as 401 radio stations operating in Afghanistan. As the Taliban Insurgency increased its control of the country, about 56 stations went off the air before the Taliban took control and reinstated the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in August 2021.

Since then, around 120 stations have ceased broadcasting due to economic pressures. The AIJA stated that only 223 stations currently operate in the country.

With these stations going dark, more than 1,900 journalists and media workers are now unemployed in the country, include 1,075 women. [Continue reading at Radio World…]


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Radio Waves: “No Power” Transmitter, Paid Subscriptions, OTA Still Important, Kyrgyz Radio Shutdown, Rti on WRD, and Brother Stair Still on the Air

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Ron Chester, David Iurescia, and Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Device transmits radio waves with almost no power—without violating the laws of physics (Tech Xplore)

A new ultra-low-power method of communication at first glance seems to violate the laws of physics. It is possible to wirelessly transmit information simply by opening and closing a switch that connects a resistor to an antenna. No need to send power to the antenna.

Our system, combined with techniques for harvesting energy from the environment, could lead to all manner of devices that transmit data, including tiny sensors and implanted medical devices, without needing batteries or other power sources. These include sensors for smart agriculture, electronics implanted in the body that never need battery changes, better contactless credit cards and maybe even new ways for satellites to communicate.

Apart from the energy needed to flip the switch, no other energy is needed to transmit the information. In our case, the switch is a transistor, an electrically controlled switch with no moving parts that consumes a minuscule amount of power. [Continue reading…]

A Threat Even Bigger Than No Car Radio (Radio World)

It’s about paid subscriptions — to the manufacturer, not the radio station

Apps for everything from optional equipment to entertainment is a big attraction for auto manufacturers.

For AM or even FM radio in cars, the solution could be worse than the problem: When manufacturers stop including radio as an in-console function, the workarounds make radio less local and face unimaginable competition, but what will roll out next is even more concerning.

The straight scoop
AM interference in electric vehicles, leaving radio out of the entertainment center, making radio more difficult to access — these are the real problems that the radio industry now faces.

Fact: Electromagnetic fields generated in non-gasoline engines make AM virtually unlistenable, spurring manufacturers to leave it out.

FM is more resistant to electromagnetic fields so for the present it survives.

Ford’s popular F-150 Lightning, Tesla, Volvo, Porsche and Audi have removed AM from their electric cars.

Tesla will sell consumers an app to get radio or satellite radio for a rental fee through internet delivery that gets around the electromagnetic interference. [Continue reading…]

Help Farm Radio Fight for Radio (Radio World)

We need to show carmakers that free OTA radio is still wanted and needed

his is one in a series of occasional commentaries produced through the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: Shively Labs Broadcast Antennas, Fedora SWL, F-150 Lightning AM, and Young Listeners on the Decline

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Public radio engineers await fate of major antenna maker (Current)

The potential sale of one of the country’s only major manufacturers of high-power FM broadcast antennas is causing concern among public radio engineers who have long depended on the company for challenging projects such as directional antennas and multistation combiner systems.

Antennas and combiners made by Shively Labs carry the signals of many major stations, from Boston’s WBUR to Dallas’ KERA/KXT to Seattle’s KUOW. Shively’s headquarters in Maine boasts one of the few test ranges needed to fully prepare complex directional antenna systems for real-world performance.

Founded in 1963 by former RCA engineer Ed Shively, the company has been owned since 1980 by Howell Laboratories, an engineering firm that now has a wide range of product lines. Those include water purification systems, dehydrators and an increasing amount of contract work for the U.S. Navy.

While its military and commercial marine business has grown, broadcast antennas have become a smaller piece of the company’s portfolio, said Shively VP Angela Gillespie. [Continue reading…]

How to become a Shortwave listener (SWL) with Fedora Linux and Software Defined Radio (Fedora Magazine)

Catching signals from others is how we have started communicating as human beings. It all started, of course, with our vocal cords. Then we moved to smoke signals for long-distance communication. At some point, we discovered radio waves and are still using them for contact. This article will describe how you can tune in using Fedora Linux and an SDR dongle.

My journey

I got interested in radio communication as a hobby when I was a kid, while my local club, LZ2KRS, was still a thing. I was so excited to be able to listen and communicate with people worldwide. It opened a whole new world for me. I was living in a communist country back then and this was a way to escape just for a bit. It also taught me about ethics and technology.

Year after year my hobby grew and now, in the Internet era with all the cool devices you can use, it’s getting even more exciting. So I want to show you how to do it with Fedora Linux and a hardware dongle. [Continue reading…]

Did AM Radio Just Get Hit By “Lightning”? (Radio World)

There’s something missing from the newest F-150 Lightning truck

These days, the auto industry is as disrupted as broadcast radio. Like the radio companies – a group of independent operators, each moving down a different pathway – automakers are highly individual companies. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: Brooklyn Pirate Radio Interview, Emergency Radio Evolution, SOTA Hams Prevent Forest Fire, and Morse Code Documentary

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Interview about Brooklyn pirate radio (Irish Pirate Radio Audio Archive)

Although Irish pirate radio is our main interest, today we explore the lively pirate scene in the Brooklyn area of New York City. The Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map is a fascinating project established by radio producer and audio archivist David Goren and provides interactive maps and historical and contemporary recordings of the many unlicensed stations in Brooklyn.

This is a longer version of an interview by John Walsh with David Goren first featured in Wireless, a series about radio, audio and media on Flirt FM in Galway. It covers the history of pirate radio in Brooklyn and New York generally, attempts to crack down on the unlicensed stations, the role of low-powered FM, the background to the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map itself and plans for the future. Many thanks to David for taking the time to explain this fantastic project for us. [Read the full article and listen to the interview on the Irish Pirate Radio Audio Archive…]

The Evolution of the Emergency Radio (Radio World)

From AM-only portables to multi-function machines

With the advent of the 9V battery-powered transistor radio in the 1950s, the “Emergency Radio” was born.

Unlike vacuum tube receivers with heavy batteries or unpowered crystal radios, these handheld AM portables were small and simple enough to keep in a drawer. They could then be retrieved whenever man-made or natural disasters knocked out the power, providing listeners with lifeline connections to news, weather and relief information. Continue reading

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