Tag Archives: RAI

Radio Time Travel: Brian’s 1974 shortwave radio recording

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:


HalliDial

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)

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 Nothing great in terms of sound quality; I was using a Hallicrafters S-108 that was outdated even at the time.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.

Click here to download an MP3 of the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:


Wow–what an amazing trip back in time, Brian! Thank you for taking the time to digitize and share your recording with us.

Post Readers: If you can help Brian ID the few unidentified stations in his recording, please comment!

Note that Brian is a frequent contributor to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Click here to listen to his contributions. 

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RAI may face reform

RAI-ItalyMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bill Patalon, for sharing this article about potential reform at Italy state broadcaster, RAI:

(Source: The Economist)

“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.

[Continue reading at The Economist…]

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“Interferenze” Interview on RAI Radio3Mondo

Andrea Borgnino, Journalist & RadioRai Internet Content Manager

Andrea Borgnino, Journalist & RadioRai Internet Content Manager (T. Witherspoon, photo)

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Andrea Borgnino, journalist and Internet Content Manager for RAI (RadioTelevisione Italiana)…and, remarkably enough, reader of the SWLing Post.

(You’ve probably seen me refer to Andrea on the SWLing Post as I follow his Twitter feed @aborgnino. Andrea, it seems, follows us here at the SWLing Post because he’s quite a dedicated shortwave radio enthusiast.)

To my utter surprise, Andrea introduced himself to us at Ears To Our World last month during the Dayton, OH, Hamvention: you see, I’ve been in communication with Andrea for several years via email, and was simply not expecting to meet him in Dayton.  It was a true pleasure to meet this fellow radio enthusiast–and talented journalist–in person.

At any rate, Andrea interviewed me (in the middle of a noisy Hamvention crowd) for the Radio3Mondo program, Interferenze. The show aired today, and Andrea kindly shared the audio, which I have posted below (or click here to download). If you speak Italian, you might just understand some of the interview:

Radio3Mondo

Again, many thanks to Andrea Borgnino for interviewing me and giving me a chance to tell Italian listeners about the important work of Ears To Our World (ETOW).  (Indeed, I understand ETOW has already received a donation from Italy as a result–on behalf of the organization, we thank you!)

Click here to follow Andrea on Twitter. You’ll find a full list of Radio3 Mondo podcasts by clicking here.

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Berlusconi chased women, Monti chased DX

Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy

(Source: Kim Elliott via ABC)

Italy’s Mario Monti, the sober economist nominated to replace the larger-than-life Silvio Berlusconi, is a former European commissioner who is markedly different from the outgoing premier.

[…]Asked about any acts of rebellion in his youth, he conceded that there really were none and said he just studied hard, enjoyed cycling and was passionate about listening to foreign news on his short-wave radio.

Read the full article here. As Kim Elliott pointed out, it’s a shame he became prime minister four years after Italian public broadcaster RAI abandoned its extensive international shortwave broadcast schedule.

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Radio Australia Now in Burmese

ABC RadioFor the first time in 15 years, Radio Australia has added a new language service to better serve Burma. From the Australian Network News:

Mr [Hanh] Tran [Radio Australia’s Chief Executive] told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia program that the creation of the Burmese service expands the broadcaster’s brief to provide impartial news and information to the region.

“Our audience has always been those who are in developing countries. Their access to information is limited, for reasons of poor infrastructure, or state control, or sometimes the reasons relate to stability in the region”…

The new service went into effect Monday, November 9, 2009 and can be heard seven days a week on 12010 and 17665 kHz. Read the full story here.

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