Tag Archives: Shortwave Radio

Radio Romania International: 2017 Listener’s Day

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following from Radio Romania International:

(Source: Radio Romania International)

2017 Listener’s Day on RRI

You are invited to take part in our 2017 edition of Listener’s Day on RRI, a show devoted entirely to you, our listeners

Dear friends,

Sunday, November 5, 2017, we will be airing our annual show “Listener’s Day on Radio Romania International”. As usual, we will be happy to take your contributions which will form the basis of our show. Our topic for this year is fake news and confidence in mass-media.

The last few years have seen a sharp drop in public trust in the media. This development has, to a certain extent, been affecting the press, radio and television, both in the private and public sectors. From the media’s ingressions in politics and the economy to sensationalizing the news and the consumerist rush to control the audience, the reasons behind this waning public confidence are diverse. They often include error-filled reporting and more often than not reflect people’s reliance on social media as a source of information. The latter are in most cases ridden with fake news, a phenomenon very widespread across social networks, whose general purpose is to manipulate public opinion.

So, this year on “Listener’s Day” we are asking you “How much confidence do you have in the media?”

We look forward to receiving your contributions, whether in writing (by e-mail, on Facebook, through the form on the RRI website, or by fax or post) or in audio format (if you agree, we can call to record your contributions). Our contact details are, as always: Radio Romania International, 60-64 General Berthelot, sector 1, Bucharest, PO Box 111, post code 010165, fax 00.40.21.319.05.62, e-mail engl@rri.ro. Our web page is at www.rri.ro.
Hope to hear from you soon!

DXtreme Monitor Log 11

Many thanks to SWLing Post sponsor, Bob Raymond with DXtreme Software, for sharing the following press release:


Product Announcement: DXtreme Monitor Log 11™

DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for radio monitoring enthusiasts: DXtreme Monitor Log 11.

Monitor Log 11 lets listeners and DXers log the stations they’ve heard using advanced features that can enhance their monitoring experience.

Finding Broadcast Stations to Monitor

The Schedule Checker™ lets users import schedules from Aoki, EiBi, and FCC AM web sites and display schedule data according to the filter criteria they specify. A list box lets users switch between schedule types, and depending on the schedule type selected, users can filter schedule information by band, frequency, station, country, city, state, time of day, language, antenna direction, and target area.

When the What’s On Now? function is activated, the schedule refreshes automatically at the top of each hour for Aoki and EiBi schedules.

For each schedule item, Schedule Checker queries the Monitor Log 11 database to let users know – through user-defined, foreground and background display colors – whether they need to monitor a station for a brand-new or verified country. Schedule Checker also displays bearing and distance, runs optional Afreet Ham CAP1 propagation predictions, draws optional Afreet DX Atlas2 azimuth plots, tunes supported radios to schedule frequencies when users double-click schedule items3 4 5, and starts log entries for scheduled stations monitored.

Finding Amateur Radio Stations to Monitor

Monitor Log 11 integrates with optional Afreet Band Master6 to let users see, on its graphical interface, where hams are operating. Monitor Log 11 supplies Band Master with an Entity Needed List based on the user’s Monitor Log database, making it possible for Band Master to indicate the stations whose entities (countries) users need to monitor. When invoking Band Master, users can select an Entity Needed List for all bands or individually for the 160- through 6-Meter bands.

Finding Utility Stations to Monitor

A Links menu provides convenient access to user-specified blogs and web sites that can inform users as to where utility and other stations may be operating.
Logging Stations

Monitor Log 11 lets users log all kinds of stations — radio stations, television stations, broadcast stations, Amateur Radio stations, utility stations, military stations, and more! And it lets them log stations across the radio spectrum — from long wave, to medium wave, to short wave, and beyond.

The Last Log Entries Grid on the Monitor Log window shows up to 5000 of the most recent log entries added. Its records can be sorted, and double-clicking records displays detailed data on the Monitor Log window. Users can resize the grid columns and scroll horizontally to columns that do not appear initially. And because the names of stations and NASWA countries can be quite long, users can also display a larger, resizable Last Log Entries window. A Properties window lets users change the order of columns, the number of log entries to display, and the font and color attributes of grids and other program components, such as the Content Editor for describing the content monitored, the Script Editor for creating and editing scripts, the Direct Tune interface for tuning radios, and the Comments tab for typing ad hoc comments.

Reporting Reception

Users can create customized paper and e-mail reception reports for sending to stations plus club report entries for reporting catches to clubs and magazines.

When users add or display a log entry, Monitor Log 11 prepares a post announcing their DX catch and displays it on the Social Media Post tab. From there, users can drag the post to their favorite social media web sites to share their catch with others.

Using the Script Editor window, users can create and edit scripts that format reception reports, eReports, and social media posts to their liking. The software prompts users to select the script they want to use. Dozens of scripts come with Monitor Log 11.

Users can also print SWL and Address labels on industry-standard label stock, and send eQSL requests to hams automatically through the popular www.eQSL.cc site.

Imaging

Improv Imaging™ lets users associate ad hoc images with log entries using Capture, Scan, and Clipboard functions. Captures of stations received on digital applications, waterfall displays, facsimile and Amateur TV pictures are popular. The Improv Imaging tab and Application let users view images anytime, and an Improv Image Explorer lets them peruse their entire collection and display associated log entries.

QSL Imaging™ functions the same as Improv Imaging, but specializes in associating QSL cards and eQSLs with log entries.

Other Features

Rig Control — Retrieves the frequency and mode from supported radios and permits tuning from the Schedule Checker and Direct Tune interface. Rig control is provided through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig and the SDR applications listed on our web site, currently HDSDR4 (High Definition Software Defined Radio) and SDR Console5.

Audio Archiving — An embedded Audio facility lets users maintain an audio archive of stations heard.

Reporting — Produces Performance, Stations, and Log Entry reports that track the performance and progress of the user’s monitoring station. The software lets users FTP those reports to user-provided Web space for remote access. Some reports integrate with Afreet DX Atlas to generate pin maps.

Documentation — Context-sensitive Procedural Help, Field Help, and Microhelp are accessible per window to provide instructions quickly. A web-based Information Center is accessible from the Help menu for late-breaking assistance, and Installation Instructions and a Getting Started Guide are delivered in PDF format with the software.

Operating Systems, Pricing, Contact Information

DXtreme Monitor Log 11 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. It retails for $89.99 USD worldwide for electronic distribution. Pricing for CD versions and upgrading users is available on our Web site. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail. For more information, visit www.dxtreme.com or contact Bob Raymond at bobraymond@dxtreme.com.

1 — Licenses for Afreet Ham CAP and Omni-Rig are required to use Ham CAP.
2 — A license for Afreet DX Atlas is required to perform plots and create pin reports.
3 — A license for Afreet Omni-Rig is required to use rig control with radios supported by Omni-Rig.
4 — Can be used for rig control. HDSDR is owned by Mario Taeubel. Refer to http://www.hdsdr.de/index.html for more information.
5 — Can be used for rig control. SDR Console is owned by Simon Brown, G4ELI. Refer to http://www.sdr-radio.com for more information.
?6 — A license for Afreet Band Master is required to use Band Master.

Click here to download a PDF of this press release.

October DRM Consortium news

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who shares the following news from the DRM Consortium via their newsletter:

Digital Radio Mondiale: Audio Codec xHE-AAC at No Additional Cost
to Boost DRM Receiver Industry

Via Licensing Corporation, a global intellectual property solutions
provider, announced that the highly efficient MPEG xHE-AAC audio codec
(Extended High Efficiency AAC) will become a default feature of the
popular Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The move to include
the XHE-AAC audio codec into the current patent pool at no extra cost,
is a move that could boost DRM receiver manufacturing. Read more.

DRM Delivers at IBC 2017

Following a very successful appearance at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam, with
many delegates attending the four successful DRM events hosted by
Gospell, Thomson Broadcast, Nautel and Ampegon, we have compiled a
slideshow from IBC to share. Click here to view.

DRM Delivers at IBC 2017

Following a very successful appearance at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam, with
many delegates attending the four successful DRM events hosted by
Gospell, Thomson Broadcast, Nautel and Ampegon, we have compiled a
slideshow from IBC to share. Click here to view.

All India Radio (AIR) External Services to Provide more Broadcasts

The External Services Division of AIR is to launch several new
services aimed at new overseas target areas. Read more.

US Coast Guard DRM Tests Continue

U.S. Coast Guard testing in DRM with Journaline Service continues and
the latest schedules can be downloaded here.

You can follow discussions on the project on the DRMNA Group here.

Fraunhofer Software Defined Radio (SDR) Digital Receiver Introduced
at IBC 2017

The Fraunhofer IIS audio blog published an article summarising the
products launched at IBC and powered by the Fraunhofer
MultimediaPlayer Radio App. Read more.

Radio Taiwan Carries Out DRM Tests

Radio Taiwan International carried out tests in DRM in German on Oct 4
and 10 from 1800-1900 UTC on 9680 and 12030 kHz from Tamsui. Read
more.

International Day for Disaster Reduction 13th October

On Friday 13th October, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk
Reduction, explores how communities around the world are reducing their
exposure to disasters. In a recent blog “When digital is more than
just radio”, the DRM Chair, Ruxandra Obreja, outlined the considerable
benefits to be realised if Governments and manufacturers were to fully
exploit the emergency warning feature embedded in DRM and digital
radio technology. Read more.

VORW Radio International’s New Schedule

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, John, who hosts TheReportOfTheWeek channel on YouTube and writes:

Hello Thomas, the broadcasting schedule of VORW Radio International has changed somewhat so I would like to provide an updated schedule for your readers!

The biggest update is that our service to Europe has been fully restored.Listeners in Europe, the Middle East and even South Asia can hear our broadcast clearly on 9400 kHz at 1600 UTC each Sunday!

Each broadcast features a mixture of my commentary and listener requested music. It’s the listeners who choose the playlist in every show, so you are guaranteed to hear a great variety of music! Hope you can tune in!

Thursday 2200 UTC – 9955 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – South America
Friday 0000 UTC (Thu 8 PM Eastern) – 9395 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America
Friday 0000 UTC – 9455 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Central America
Friday 0000 UTC – 7730 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America
Friday 0000 UTC – 7490 kHz – WBCQ 50 kW – North America
Sunday 1600 UTC – 9400 kHz – Spaceline – 150 kW – Europe / Middle East
Sunday 2000 UTC – 9395 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America

Questions, comments, reception reports and music requests may be sent to vorwinfo@gmail.com

Reception reports will receive a QSL!

Very cool, John!  Thanks for the update–we’ll be listening!

DXing in a large suburban garden with the Eton Satellit & Bonito MegActive MA305 antenna

Hi there, the garden at my house is pretty small and as a consequence, I am very limited in terms of what antennas I can usefully employ. You can’t position anything further than about 10 metres from the brickwork and to compound this, we are surrounded on all sides by neighbours in close proximity. All very nice people, but all very noisy – electrically speaking lol. I simply can’t get far enough away from these sources of electrical noise to achieve excellent SNR.

The solution to my problem was ultimately a Wellbrook ALA1530 magnetic loop, but prior to that I used an end-fed random wire, the performance of which deteriorated as the months went by as the ubiquitous blanked of local QRM continued to increase. Eventually, I was forced outdoors, well away from my town – effectively catalysing my forays into the Oxfordshire countryside on DXpeditions. That first experience of listening to the radio on shortwave, in the absence of any QRM was enlightening to say the least and of course, subsequently, DXpeditions have become a mainstay of my listening activities. However, despite enjoying some great DX successes out in the woods, one has to be realistic about how often it’s possible to leave the house just to listen to the radio. This led me to the purchase of the Wellbrook ALA1530 magnetic loop. It proved to be a triumph of electrical noise mitigation and an absolute necessity in copying transatlantic medium wave signals in such a noisy and compact space. A total game-changer. The brilliant performance of the Wellbrook eventually led to me purchase a second, cheaper active antenna; the E-field Bonito Boni Whip and in turn, that purchase led me to the MegActive MA305, kindly supplied by Bonito themselves for objective testing.

Have DXing kit, will travel…everything you need in a small flight case…

You might remember my initial tests at home confirmed, as expected, that E-field antennas don’t work well in electrically noisy environments (except at LW frequencies in my experience) but outdoors, away from noise, they are superb. I have a number of reception videos on my YouTube channel – Oxford Shortwave Log which clearly demonstrate identical performance of the Bonito MegActive MA305 antenna and Wellbrook ALA1530 magnetic loop out in the woods. So, what if you’ve got a large garden in a suburban area that allows you to be just far enough from sources of electrical noise…how much of a difference does it make to the noise floor of your receiving equipment? Can E-field antennas such at the Bonito MegActive MA305 do the job? Furthermore, how well does a random wire work in a larger garden?

 My MegActive MA305 antenna system for mobile DXing…and another use for a washing line…

I was fortunate enough to know someone who owns a house with a large garden, quite close to my QTH (a 10 minute walk) and who was more than willing to let me set up my DXing equipment and sit around until the early hours of the morning, listening to and recording various signals on my Eton Satellit. In preparation, I set up the Bonito MegActive MA305 antenna and hung the radiating element on the washing line – sounds ridiculous but actually worked very well, placing it about 2.5 metres above the ground. I also set up a 40 metre longwire, which at its closest point, was still approximately 25 metres from the house, and 30 metres from the neighbours. This post will focus on the performance of the MA305; a subsequent post will detail the performance of the longwire.

The large garden I ‘borrowed’ for my DXing session with the Bonito MegActive MA305 antenna

Suffice to say, the MegActive MA305 performed admirably during my first listening session. In the middle of the afternoon I copied a very strong signal from The Voice of Korea around 15:44 hrs UTC on the 25 metre broadcast band, followed at 17:10 hrs UTC with a superb signal from The Voice of the Broad Masses 2, Eritrea, on the 40 metre ham band. Later on in the evening I copied Radio Mail with excellent modulation, CHU Canada with voice announcements (almost impossible at home), Myanmar Radio with an untypically strong signal and XEPPM Radio Educación from Mexico City with a signal I would normally expect on a DXpedition-proper with a large antenna.

My conclusions to this experiment are simply that E-field antennas can work in a suburban environment, if you are able to site them far enough away from adjacent sources of electrical noise. I don’t have empirical data on this, however, I can confirm that 10 metres proximity is too close at my QTH and 30 metres is sufficiently far away at this test location. One has to assume the houses nearby are similarly equipped to mine with electrical appliances that generate electrical noise. Thus, if you’re interested in a very well-priced, compact antenna and you live in an urban or suburban environment with access to a large garden/ outdoor space, an E-field Boni Whip or MegActive MA305 might well be suitable – and you’ll have a superb portable antenna for those listening sessions away from home!

Finally, I should mention the Eton Satellit. Much-maligned in certain quarters when it was first introduced into the market, it continues to demonstrate superb DXing credentials. I won’t forget some words of wisdom from a friend of mine and fellow DXer, with more than 3 decades of experience in listening to the bands on HF. He told me that Judging from his own experience with some of the original Grundig Satellit models of the 1980s and early 90s (namely the 400, 500 and 700) he was quite sure that the Eton Satellit is a considerably better DX performer than those vintage sets, that offered great sound for casual listening to international broadcasters, but didn’t perform too convincingly on weak DX signals. The Eton Satellit has been a revelation and I’m pleased to have played a small part in turning around the rather widely held view that it was less than worthy of the Satellit branding.

Fresh out of the box, the Eton Satellit has surpassed all my expectations…

Please find embedded reception videos below and text links to the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel. My next post on this subject will cover the performance of a 40 metre longwire in this large garden environment. Thank you for reading/watching/listening and I wish you all great DX!


Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log

 

Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log

 

Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log

 

Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log

 

Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log

 

Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log

 

Click here for video on Oxford Shortwave Log


Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.