Many thanks to an SWLing Post contributor in Italy who notes that Friday, March 16, 2020 at 11:00 local, (10:00 UTC) RAI will broadcast a special program across their entire network. The transmission will start with the Italian national anthem.
The announcement below was translated by Google in English. You can find the original announcement in Italian on this page.
ROME, 16/03/2020 – United for Italy. It is the meaning of the operation that all radios are organizing for Friday 20 March at 11.00 am. Rai Radio, together with all the other Italian radios, will broadcast the anthem of Mameli and three songs of the national musical heritage. Almost one hundred years after the first radio program of 6 October 1924, for the first time ever in the history of our country, all Italian and national radio stations will unite for an unprecedented common broadcasting initiative. All the radios of the group will be for Rai Radio: Rai Radio 1, Rai Radio 2, Rai Radio 3, Rai Isoradio, thanks to the availability of the directors Luca Mazzà, Paola Marchesini, Marino Sinibaldi and Danilo Scarrone. In addition, the following will also join the initiative: Gr Parlamento, Rai Radio 1 Sport, Rai Radio 2 Indie, Rai Radio 3 Classica,
“Participating in this initiative is a duty but also a clear testimony of our role as a public service – comments Roberto Sergio, director of Rai Radio -. Rai Radio strongly wants to make Italy’s voice heard, fighting this battle and supporting all Italians. The directors of the four main channels immediately joined the proposal, and as a group I am proud to be able to start the operation. In these days, Rai Radio colleagues are doing a commendable job, almost all in smart working from home, others in the studios, all with great enthusiasm and a sense of belonging. At a time like this I feel all my colleagues proactive and ready to do. Proposals for new programs are coming, some are starting. A true testimony of unity by all channels, generalists and specialists “.
Many thanks to SWLing Post and SRAA contributor, Brian D. Smith (W9IND), for the following guest post and recording.
Note that Brian could use your help to ID a few unidentified broadcasters in this recording. If you can help, please comment:
Shortwave Radio 1974: Canada, Argentina, Spain, West Germany, Albania, utility stations
Want to know what shortwave radio sounded like in 1974?
This 55-minute recording, recovered from a cassette, was never intended to be anything but “audio notes”: I was an 18-year-old shortwave listener who collected QSL cards from international stations, and I was tired of using a pen and a notepad to copy down details of the broadcasts. I wanted an easier way to record what I heard, and my cassette tape recorder seemed like the perfect means to accomplish that goal.
But it wasn’t. I soon discovered that it was simpler to just edit my notes as I was jotting them down — not spend time on endless searches for specific information located all over the tape. To make a long story shorter, I abandoned my “audio notes” plan after a single shortwave recording: This one.
Hallicrafters S-108 (Image: DXing.com)
Still, for those who want to experience the feel of sitting at a shortwave radio in the mid-1970s and slowly spinning the dial, this tape delivers. Nothing great in terms of sound quality; I was using a Hallicrafters S-108 that was outdated even at the time. And my recording “technique” involved placing the cassette microphone next to the radio speaker.
Thus, what you’ll hear is a grab bag of randomness: Major shortwave broadcasting stations from Canada, Argentina, Spain, Germany and Albania; maritime CW and other utility stations; and even a one-sided conversation involving a mobile phone, apparently located at sea. There are lengthy (even boring) programs, theme songs and interval signals, and brief IDs, one in Morse code from an Italian Navy station and another from a Department of Energy station used to track shipments of nuclear materials. And I can’t even identify the station behind every recording, including several Spanish broadcasts (I don’t speak the language) and an interview in English with a UFO book author.
The following is a guide, with approximate Windows Media Player starting times, of the signals on this recording. (Incidentally, the CBC recording was from July 11, 1974 — a date I deduced by researching the Major League Baseball scores of the previous day.)
Guide to the Recording
0:00 — CBC (Radio Canada) Northern and Armed Forces Service: News and sports.
7:51 — RAE (Radio Argentina): Sign-off with closing theme
9:14 — Department of Energy station in Belton, Missouri: “This is KRF-265 clear.”
9:17 — Interval signal: Radio Spain.
9:40 — New York Radio, WSY-70 (aviation weather broadcast)
10:22 — Unidentified station (Spanish?): Music.
10:51— Unidentified station (English): Historic drama with mention of Vice President John Adams, plus bell-heavy closing theme.
14:12 — RAI (Italy), male announcer, poor signal strength.
14:20 — Unidentified station (Spanish): Theme music and apparent ID, good signal strength.
15:16 — Unidentified station (foreign-speaking, possibly Spanish): Song, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.”
17:00 — Deutsche Welle (The Voice of West Germany): Announcement of frequencies, theme song.
17:39 — Unidentified station (English): Interview with the Rev. Barry Downing, author of “The Bible and Flying Saucers.”
24:36 — One side of mobile telephone conversation in SSB, possibly from maritime location.
30:37 — Radio Tirana (Albania): Lengthy economic and geopolitical talk (female announcer); bad audio. Theme and ID at 36:23, sign-off at 55:03.
55:11 — Italian Navy, Rome: “VVV IDR3 (and long tone)” in Morse code.
“SELDOM has an organisational chart prompted a defamation trial. Yet judges in Milan recently heard a case involving a colour-coded table published by Libero, a newspaper. The chart listed 900 executives of Italy’s public television and radio network, RAI, and the political parties to which they supposedly owed their appointment. Dismissing charges of libel, the judges said it was well known that, in RAI, “even the most meritorious individuals are favoured by their acquaintanceships in political circles”.
Italian commentators call RAI the “mirror of the nation”: an institution so permeated by competing interests that it sometimes anticipates political shifts even before they surface. Once, this was not unhealthy. Instead of being in thrall to the government of the day, RAI offered contrasting viewpoints. The Christian Democrats controlled the first television channel, the Socialists the second and, from 1979, the Communists a third. All three parties disintegrated in the 1990s, but the idea that politicians were entitled to meddle in RAI survived. The number of newsrooms grew to 11, as did a spirit of fierce internal rivalry.