Tag Archives: Russia

Radio Waves: Holme Moss Transmitter, Sherwood Tools, World of LPFMs, Shortwave Revival Response, and Russia “Thrown Back 40 Years”

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!


Holme Moss transmitter (BBC Archives)

A look at how the BBC’s third television transmitter in West Yorkshire was built.

These original masts broadcast to the surrounding population until 1985, when they were replaced by a new generation of transmitters.

Originally broadcast 12 October 1951

Click here to watch the video at the BBC Archives.

Sherwood Tools Available (K4FMH Blog)

The work that Rob Sherwood NC0B has contributed to the public over the past decade is unique and an amazing service to hams worldwide. I’m talking about, of course, his summary Table of receive bench tests published at this Sherwood Engineering website. He is independent so no one can think that advertising dollars could skew his assessments or how he presents them. As a CW contest operator, he is very clear that he sorts his table on the basis of what his experience and training has shown him to be the single most important measurement in his table: the narrow dynamic range.

I am not a CW operator or accomplished contester (lol) but enjoy the latter with my small team of fellow hams. But I am a statistician who likes to focus on problems where analytic tools can help foster a wider understanding of the data surrounding the problem area. So, working with Rob NC0B, I’ve created a set of “Sherwood Tools” to visualize his data as well as link them to a couple of other critical aspects of a rig purchase: market-entry price, consumer satisfaction, and the year the radio entered the market. These four vectors of data drive all of these tools, now available over at foxmikehotel.com.

The tools include a sortable Sherwood list where you can sort on any of the nine tests he publishes as well as the composite index of them that I created and included in my two-part NCJ articles in 2021. A set of 3D data visualizations are available to simultaneously view radios on four data elements (that does make it 4D, technically). Several graphs illustrate key aspects of the data, including how to not get tripped-up in the “ranking” of radios where the bench measurements are just not appreciably different. Seeing how the past 50 years of radios appearing in Rob’s Table have made a remarkable and clear progression toward the best receiver performance that modern test equipment can detect is in another tool. In addition, how the trend in getting a receive bang-for-the-buck has progressed over this 50 year period is there, too. Finally, I’ve used the industry-standard tool by Gartner, the Magic Quadrant, to help isolate radios in Rob’s Table that perform and are rated above average at various price points. I call these the Golden Quadrant Lists. Continue reading

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CTV: “How shortwave radio is resurfacing as a tool in Ukraine”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who shares this story from CTV which focuses on the resurgence of interest in shortwave radio following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This item features our good friend, John Figliozzi; author of the Worldwide Listening Guide:

How shortwave radio is resurfacing as a tool in Ukraine (CTV)

In a world of mobile phones, satellites and the internet, some old school technology is making a major comeback. The shortwave radio, used by spies for decades to send encrypted messages, is being resurrected for the war in Ukraine.

According to Dr. Andrew Hammond, curator and historian at Washington, D.C.’s International Spy Museum, the shortwave radio “is a classic tool that was used for espionage.

“With a shortwave radio like this, you can transmit information over huge distances,” he told CTV National News.

But now, decades later, shortwave is coming back into use. [Continue reading…]

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Radio Waves: First BNR Overseas Broadcasts, Russian Milcomm Intercepts, Mount Merapi Community Radio, and Saskatchewan’s Oldest Station Turns 100

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!


The fascinating story of the first overseas broadcasts BNR (Radio Bulgaria)

In 1936 BNR, then under the name of Radio Sofia, started broadcasting on short waves via the ELZA transmitter (the abbreviation coming from the radio station’s international code – L-Z-A). The same year the radio started broadcasts to abroad.

In 1936, information about Bulgaria could only be heard in Bulgarian and in the artificially created language Esperanto. It was after 1 May 1937, when programs began to be broadcast in French, German, English and Italian.

In the spring of 1938, broadcasts for foreign audiences were further developed to include “Special Broadcasts for Some European Countries”.

What was special about these was the advance publicity which the radio made in the countries for which the broadcast is intended. Such publicity was carried out through the legations, business representatives, foreign radio stations and newspapers so as to attract the attention of listeners abroad in advance.

Authors and hosts of the first broadcasts abroad were free-lance collaborators, among whom were legendary Bulgarian journalists and intellectuals like Petar Ouvaliev, Georges Milchev, Bory Ganchev, Mikhail Hadzhimishev and others.

After 9 September 1944, when the communist regime seized power in Bulgaria, Radio Sofia’s foreign language broadcasts continued to air news bulletins and commentaries on events in Bulgaria and around the world. From 1945 to 1950, Bulgarian Radio Sofia broadcast 10-minute news bulletins in Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, Greek and Turkish.

The Bulgarian Radio began broadcasting in Turkish language in July 1945. The programme targets the Turkish population in this country as well as listeners from neighbouring Turkey. It was run by Chudomir Petrov, BNR Deputy Director and head of the Foreign Information Department.

There were two 10-minute broadcasts each day. Editor was Boris Pilosoff, who then also led the French-language broadcasts. The first hosts of the program in Turkish were Ulfet Sad?kova, R?za Mollov, Mustafa Bekirov, Sali Baklaciev among others.

The Greek-language emissions started in the first half of 1948. By then, democratic power had already been installed in Greece under US and Western European pressure. The Greek Communist Party’s resistance movement was destroyed and many Greek functionaries found refuge in Bulgaria. Curiously, it was with their help that the Greek editorial board was set up.

Similarly, after the political events in Yugoslavia and Albania in 1948, political immigrants seeking protection from the Bulgarian communist government created broadcasts in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian.

The first editors and speakers of Serbo-Croatian language had their quarters at 10 Danube Street in Sofia. There they prepared and translated the material for the Bulgarian radio broadcasts.

Based on historical accounts collected by Bozhidar Metodiev – founder and curator of the BNR Museum.

To be continued.

Compiled by: Krasimir Martinov

Editor: Darina Grigorova

English version: Elizabeth Radkova

Clcik here to follow this series on the BNR website.

How does Ukraine keep intercepting Russian military communications? (NPR)

Russia is regarded as one of the world’s most advanced countries when it comes to anything and everything related to spying, and that includes secretive, high-tech military communications.

For Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a former intelligence officer, this is a particular point of pride. Yet Russia’s reputation has taken a major blow with the often bumbling way the military has handled communications in Ukraine.

Here’s a look at how the Ukrainians have effectively countered the Russians on multiple fronts:

Q. Ukraine keeps publicly releasing what it says are intercepted Russian communications from the battlefield. Wouldn’t Ukraine want to keep this under wraps?

Ukraine feels there are huge public relations benefits in releasing intercepted material that’s either embarrassing to Russia or points to Russian wrongdoing, possibly even atrocities.

Ukraine’s military intelligence recently put out audio on social media, saying that as two Russian military members were speaking, one called for Ukrainian prisoners of war to be killed.

“Keep the most senior among them, and let the rest go forever. Let them go forever, damn it, so that no one will ever see them again, including relatives,” a voice says on the tape. [Continue reading at NPR…]

Hot rocks, smouldering ash: Community radio a vital source of information around Indonesia’s Mount Merapi (Channel News Asia)

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia: With a soft, soothing voice, Mujianto greeted his listeners before reading out an important update from the volcanologists at Indonesia’s Center for Geological Disaster Research and Technology Development (BPPTKG).

Mount Merapi, located just 4km from Mujianto’s village in Boyolali Regency, Central Java province, continued to show signs of heightened activity, he warned.

Since 2019, the mountain has been hurling glowing hot rocks from deep inside its magma chamber. Occasionally, Merapi erupted, spewing a column of smouldering ash high into the air and blanketing nearby villages in black and grey soot.

“People are advised not to conduct any activity in potentially hazardous areas,” Mujianto, who like many Indonesians goes with one name, told his listeners, concluding his announcement.

A farmer by day and an amateur radio DJ by night, Mujianto and six others at MMC FM have been providing residents of Samiran village with information about the dangers posed by Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, as well as educating them on disaster mitigation since 2002.

MMC stands for Merapi Merbabu Community, with Merbabu being another volcano north of Merapi. Mujianto’s MMC FM is one of eight community radios run by people living on the slopes of Merapi, which straddles along the border of the Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces. [Continue reading…]

Oldest radio station in Saskatchewan turns 100 (Discover Humboldt)

It is thought to be the fourth oldest radio station in Canada, and it is the oldest radio station in Saskatchewan. This weekend, Moose Jaw’s CHAB is celebrating 100 years on the air.

The story started in 1922 – April 23rd, 1922 when, after many meetings, planning and anticipation, 10-AB began broadcasting. According to Broadcasting-History.com, the Moose Jaw Amateur Radio Association “had planned originally to operate the station, but found they couldn’t afford to run it, so handed it over to the Kiwanis Club. 10-AB was licensed as a non-commercial station at 1200 kHz with 50 watts of power.”

One hundred years later in 2022 the signal at 800 on the AM radio dial booms across the province and into the northern United States with 10,000 watts of power with studios located atop Main Street in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, broadcasting through a transmitter located near Pasqua, just southeast of Canada’s “Most Notorious City”.

It was in the fall of 1922 that the Kiwanis Club turned 10-AB back to the re-organized Moose Jaw Radio Association and in 1924 the studio was moved from the old YMCA building to the top floor of the Bellamy Furniture Store, a building which still stands to this day, having been turned into an apartment block on Main Street, downtown.

In 1931 there was another move to new studios at The Grant Hall Hotel, a lovely, historic building that has been completely refurbished.

Financial struggles in 1933 would lead to 10-AB leaving the air on November 11th. The history books tell us that Rudy Vallee “provided the background to the sign-off singing I’m Heading for the Last Round-Up”. It was just a few weeks later when 10-AB returned to the air as CHAB after being issued a commercial broadcasting license by the federal government. Carson Buchanan, the secretary of the Amateur Radio Association, would own the radio station with partners and become the general manager at CHAB.

It was in 1937 that one of the first true radio stars to come out of Moose Jaw would begin his career. Elwood Glover got his start at CHAB, working for $5.00 a week. Glover would later move on to become CBC Radio’s Chief Announcer.

In fact, CHAB was an affiliate of the CBC from 1933 through 1962 when CBC’s Dominion Network folded and they became an independent station. [Continue reading…]

 


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Radio Pravda dlya Rossii: A new crowdfunded shortwave program aimed at Russia

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Borgnino, who notes on Twitter that there’s a new “uncensored” shortwave program targeting Russia. Andrea links to this crowdfunding site which describes the initiative and asks for support:

We are going to broadcast an uncensored program in Russian for people in Russia. The technical possibilities have already been clarified.

The internet is becoming more and more restricted and sometimes at risk for the Russian people.

Right now, uncensored news in Russia is absolutely essential. We draw our motivation from these experiences and see it as a social responsibility to act. The programs will be broadcast on shortwave. Ir is possible to receive that programm with the simplest Radio and the listener is not exposed to the risk of being tracked.

Technically everything is ready for the start, and it could start immediately.

In addition we have some journalistic partners with us to create a daily program of around 60 minutes in length. The program will be broadcast twice a day. Everyone works for free and even the studios will not earn any fee. The only thing we have to pay is the powerful transmitter. every fund is welcome [sic]

It appears this crowdfunding campaign started a couple weeks ago. Chris Greenway added this helpful info on Twitter:

This new station is Radio Truth for Russia (Radio Pravda dlya Rossii). It is hiring airtime on SW transmitters in Germany & Austria:

    • 0500 GMT on 9670 kHz (Mon/Wed/Fri)
    • 1500 GMT on 13600 (Tue/Thu/Sat)
    • 1900 GMT on 6070 & 9670 (Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun)

Times/freqs probably subject to change

Many thanks Andrea and Chris for the information.

Please note that none of us are involved in this initiative. It’s for this reason I can’t vouch for the information being broadcast; indeed, I don’t believe I even know the organizers. I’m simply sharing what we’ve learned about the initiative and schedule. 

Please feel free to comment if you can provide further insight and background. Thank you!

Update: According to @Radio22_HFthis is the YouTUbe channel associated with this project. Perhaps the organizers of this project can comment with details.

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Radio Waves: Insomnia-Fueled Pirate, Cold War & High-Tech Tactics for Russia, PL-660 Panadapter, Women-Run Radio in Somalia, and Building an SDR Transceiver

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!


Meet the 68-year-old ‘bad-boy nerd’ behind this North Side pirate radio station (WBEZ)

If you’re driving through the greater Ravenswood area and tune your radio dial to 87.9 FM, you might just enter a sort of radio twilight zone. On tap? Old timey, crime-thriller radio dramas, complete with sleuthy melodramatic music, damsels in distress and classic radio sound effects – footsteps, doors slamming, the gun going off.

There are no call letters or DJs, just “audio noir” floating out over a two-square-mile sweet spot on Chicago’s North Side.

It’s all broadcast illegally out of a nondescript two-flat on a residential block. There’s a spindly antenna on the roof, visible mainly from the alley, and a 50-watt transmitter in the upstairs apartment. And there’s Bill, a retired computer and audio engineer who’s been operating this illegal station for some 15 years. He asked us not to use his last name for fear of “FCC prison.”

“People on the lakefront up in the high rises can hear it,” said Bill. “And they used to listen at Lane Tech somewhere on an upper floor. So it gets out a little ways, but not that far.”

Bill got into noir not because it’s gripping radio, but rather because it’s not. He has insomnia, and the plot lines from Dragnet and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar help him fall asleep. [Continue reading and listen to this piece at WBEZ.]

U.S. and Ukrainian Groups Pierce Putin’s Propaganda Bubble (NY Times)

U.S.-backed news outlets and Ukrainian activists use Cold War techniques and high-tech tactics to get news about the war to Russians.

WASHINGTON — Using a mix of high-tech and Cold War tactics, Ukrainian activists and Western institutions have begun to pierce the propaganda bubble in Russia, circulating information about the Ukraine war among Russian citizens to sow doubt about the Kremlin’s accounts.

The efforts come at a particularly urgent moment: Moscow appears to be preparing for a new assault in eastern Ukraine that could prove devastatingly bloody to both sides, while mounting reports of atrocities make plain the brutality of the Kremlin’s tactics.

As Russia presents a sanitized version of the war, Ukrainian activists have been sending messages highlighting government corruption and incompetence in an effort to undermine faith in the Kremlin.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a U.S.-funded but independent news organization founded decades ago, is trying to push its broadcasts deeper into Russia. Its Russian-language articles are published on copies of its websites called “mirrors,” which Russian censors seek out in a high-stakes game of whack-a-mole. Audience numbers have surged during the war despite the censorship. Continue reading

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Radio Waves: Trend in Tropical Bands, AM Drive Time and EDT, RTI Russian Service, and Feedback from RW Guest Commentary

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!


Trends in Tropical Bands Broadcasting (EDXC)

EDXC co-founder Anker Petersen has published the latest Trends in tropical bands broadcasting and Domestic Broadcasting Survey.

Anker writes: “Since the Danish Short Wave Club International published the first annual Tropical Bands Survey in 1973, I have registered which stations are active, based upon loggings from our members and other DXers around the world. Here is an updated status outside Europe and North America, where Clandestine and Pirate stations are not included.”

Both of the documents are available at the DSWCI website, to study and enjoy. Click on the two blue boxes on the left side of the website for the current versions, and also to look back over previous versions. Hopefully, these will also encourage more DXers to listen regularly to the Tropical Bands. [Click here to read the original post…]

Universal Power-Up Time For AMs Seen As One Potential Fix For Proposed Clock Change. (Inside Radio)

Talk in Washington about making Daylight Saving Time permanent may bring cheers from people who hate the “spring forward” and “fall back” disruption to their body clocks. But it has the potential to upend radio stations, especially during the darkest winter months. New Jersey Broadcasters Association President Paul Rotella is urging the bill’s sponsor to consider adding some protections for AM radio into the bill.

“If this legislation is adopted, many if not most, AM stations will lose an hour of morning drive with no or reduced power and no one seems to be addressing the issue,” said Rotella in a letter to Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Permanent daylight-saving time would mean that AM daytime-only stations and AMs with directional signals would not be at full power until after 9am in some parts of the country.

Rotella says such a move would mean that these stations would lose most of their critical morning drive daypart when a lot of ad revenue is made. The upside is the change would give AMs more time during their afternoon drive, when some stations need to power down before 5pm during the winter months. But many AM owners have said that the amount of money they would make from an extra hour of broadcast time during the afternoon would not make up for the losses they would suffer in the morning. [Continue reading…]

Letters from Ukraine – Taiwan Insider (RTI English via YouTube)

[What RTI’s Ukrainian listeners are saying]

RTI’s Russian broadcasts are reaching Ukraine, and the Ukrainian people are talking back. The head of RTI Russian tells Insider what listeners are saying and how RTI is supporting Ukraine from Taiwan. Continue reading

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FT Video: “Ukraine’s battle of the airwaves”

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors who share a link to the following video via the Financial Times.

Description:

A look at three aspects of wartime radio in Ukraine: the interception of communications between Russian soldiers, how broadcasters are using radio to combat censorship online, and the mysterious silence of a radio transmitter known as ‘The Russian Lady’

Click here to view on YouTube or click here to view on the Financial Times website.

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