Tag Archives: Shortwave Radio

Norddeutscher Rundfunk Christmas Eve Broadcast

Photo by Jens Rademacher on Unsplash

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl (DL1AX), who shares the following announcement from the NDR regarding the annual Gruss an Bord Christmas Eve broadcast. Harald notes:

This year on December 24 Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) will again broadcast its program “Gruss an Bord” on shortwave.

They verify reception report by a detailed QSL card.

gruss-an-bord@ndr.de

ndr@ndr.de

Press release below (translated via Google) with schedules and frequencies:


“Greetings on board”: How to receive the broadcast

It has tradition and exudes a very special pre-Christmas mood: On Christmas Eve greetings are sent to the seafarers around the world from 8:05 pm – 10:00 pm and from 11:15 pm – midnight on NDR Info. And on the most different channels and technical ways, so that the greetings and messages can be guaranteed to be received on all seven seas.

The ship’s crews have several options to receive the program “Greeting on board”. Also the shortwave belongs to it.
The livestreams of the program (20.05 to 22 clock and 23.15 clock to 24 clock MEZ) can be found here: NDR Info and NDR Info Special. In addition, there is the possibility to listen to the program via the NDR radio app. NDR Info can also be received via FM, DAB + and DVB-S radio, NDR Info special only via DAB + and DVB-S radio.

So that all crew members on board – on the seas or in the harbors – can receive the traditional program, the NDR radio has also rented shortwave frequencies:

From 19:00 to 21:00 UTC (20:00 to 22:00 CET), the shortwave transmits over the following frequencies (UTC is the abbreviation for Universal Time Coordinated):

“Greeting on board” via shortwave

Frequency target area
6.080 kHz Atlantic – North
11,650 kHz Atlantic – South
9,800 kHz Atlantic / Indian Ocean (South Africa)
9,740 kHz Indian Ocean – West
9,570 kHz Indian Ocean – East
6.030 kHz Europe

Between 21:00 and 23:00 UTC (22:00 – 24:00 CET) the shortwave transmits over the following frequencies:

“Greeting on board” via shortwave

Frequency target area
6.145 kHz Atlantic – North
9,830 kHz Atlantic – South
9,590 kHz Atlantic / Indian Ocean (South Africa)
9,740 kHz Indian Ocean – West
9,675 kHz Indian Ocean – East
6.155 kHz Europe

NDR Info sends the “Greeting on board” from 20:05 to 22:00 CET. This is followed by the transmission of the Christmas Mass from the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Bochum-Wattenscheid from 22 to 23.15 CET. Then you will hear the second part of “Greetings on Board” until midnight CET.

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ABC’s review of shortwave broadcasting released

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Bird, who shares a link to RadioInfo that summarizes the recently-released “Review of Australian Broadcasting Services in the Asia Pacific” by the ABC. Micheal notes:

So what do we take from this report? No recommendations. The status quo continues although there were many respondents who would favour [shortwave radio’s] return:

“There are no formal recommendations for action, only a finding that the Government “clarify the objectives of its Asia Pacific broadcasts… in achieving Australia’s broader strategic policy objectives, as well as the target audiences for those broadcasts.”

Click here to read the full article at RadioInfo.

Click here to download the full report [PDF].

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Modifying a Degen DE1103 DSP for longwave/VLF?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jiri Kaplan, who writes:

Is it possible to modify the new (DSP) DEGEN DE1103 for VLF reception?

Like before, the old Degen version (without DSP), see these videos:

I wonder if instead of the DE1103 I should buy the PL-660 or PL-680?
I think DSP is worse and the old version can no longer unfortunately be purchased.
My main concern is good selectivity and sensitivity, I live in the city, there are many strong signals.

Thank you for your question, Jiri.

I’m certain you can’t use the same modification of the original DE1103 on the DSP version to achieve VLF reception. In fact, unless the DSP chip itself can be hacked, I imagine modding the DSP DE1103 for VLF would be quite difficult.

I hope more knowledgeable SWLing Post readers can comment with a definitive answer.

Regarding the choice between the DE1103 DSP and the PL–660 or PL-680? I wouldn’t hesitate to grab either Tecsun receiver over the DE1103 DSP. Check out my short review of the DE1103 DSP for more info about this particular model’s shortcomings.

You’re right about finding the original DE1103. I did create this eBay link that should help filter out the DSP models from the search results. At time of posting, there were no listings.

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The new Malahit-DSP: A portable all-in-one wideband SDR receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, H. Garcia (PU3HAG), who writes:

Hey Thomas,

Some very exciting news on the topic of portable all-band receivers comes from Russia! A group of engineers have just released for ordering the new Malahit-dsp. And it’s truly impressive! Picture an Icom IC-R8600 with the size of a Sony 7600G!

It seems it all started in June this year. Back then, RX9CIM George posted a note in QRZ.com forum about a new project he had been working of a standalone, SDR-based, all-band, all-mode receiver called Malahit-dsp.

Fast forward to November and it seems the project is finally complete as new posts started to bubble up in Youtube and in Russian forums. George is now taking orders of the Malahit DSP.

I can’t read Russian, but with the help of Google Translator, we can find some interesting details:

The project authors are RX9CIM George, R6DAN Vladimir and R6DCY Vadim. It seems their goal was to design a low-cost portable SDR radio, using only easily obtainable components and to become the natural successor of the popular Degen and Tecsun radios.

Technical Specifications

  • 1 MHz to 1000 MHz.
  • Bandwidth 160 kHz.
  • Modulation types AM, WFM, NFM, LSB, USB.
  • Powered by one Li-ion cell.
  • Consumption up to 300 mA
  • Main chip ARM STM32H743VIT6 MCU High-performance and DSP with DP-FPU, ARM Cortex-M7 MCU with 2MBytes Flash, 1MB RAM, 400 MHz CPU
  • Printed circuit board is used four-layer, factory-made; for purchase, refer to RX9CIM. malahit_sdr@rambler.ru

PCB only: ~ USD 17.22
Finished receiver delivered inside Russia: USD 195.65

From the forum, there is also this important note: “Attention! Fraud/Scammers detected! You can purchase components or finished devices from George only ”

It seems the project is open source, the schematic, PCB and software are available to download.

I really hope this receivers becomes popular and available world wide. I also hope this new project “shakes” a bit the industry of shortwave receivers. Since the Degen 1102/03, Tecsun 450/600, Tecsun PL310/880, we have been seeing only iterations of the same designs.

Pages

Group dedicated to Malahitdsp
https://vk.com/malahitdsp

Recent discussion on Malahit, annoucement of ordering is now available, pictures and videos
http://hamforum.ru/viewtopic.php?t=193

Videos

Video 1: Shows the soldering of large components (encoders, speaker, SMA jack) on the radio board and installing it into the metal enclosure. Next a demo of receiver working. Prepared by Sergeyenkov Alexander:

Video 2: It shows a bit of the manufacturing process and demonstrates how one can build the receiver at home using kit pre-made board and components acquired in AliExpress. Also includes a test of the receiver barebones. Prepared by R2AJI Vladimir on his YT channel “HAM Radio Channel”

Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing this!  The Malahit-DSP looks like a fantastic little receiver–I especially love the fact that it has a backlit color touch screen with both a responsive spectrum and waterfall display. It also looks and sounds like the built-in speaker is of decent quality and the audio amplification is more than adequate.

I’ll see if I can get one to evaluate. Thanks again for the tip!

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The Sony ICF-7600A at my “happy place”

Yesterday afternoon, the family and I spent some time at my happy place: Mount Mitchell State Park. This might be our last visit there until spring of 2020 since the Blue Ridge Parkway is often closed during the winter.

Yesterday was unseasonably warm at 48F (9C)–a shot of warm weather before an Arctic front moves in tonight dropping temps to about 10F (-12C) and, likely, dropping 1-3″ of snow as well.

The afternoon at Mount Mitchell gave me a little time to play radio, of course, and put my recently acquired Sony ICF-7600A on the air.

How did I acquire the Sony ICF-7600A? Via the generosity of SWLing Post reader, Ed Earps.

Ed reached out to me after I made the following comment in a recent post:

“The ICF-7600A is a cool analog portable and one I’ve thought about acquiring at some point.”

Ed contacted me immediately:

“Thomas, if you would still like to acquire a ICF-7600A, I have one I would give you. This would be in appreciation of all the work you do in writing the SWLing Post blog.”

A few days later, the ICF-7600A with original box and accessories arrived. Wow!

Thank you so much, Ed! Over the years, members of the SWLing Post community have been so kind and so generous, it makes a guy feel humbled and appreciated. Thank you!

The ICF-7600A fits perfectly in my Red Oxx Hound pack.

I’m loving the ICF-7600A.

There’s something so authentic about tuning a good analog portable. It’s hard for me to describe, but I can certainly say it always takes me back to my radio roots.

The ICF-7600A has a low noise floor and seems to be incredibly sensitive. I easily snagged several stations on 31 meters, but ended up enjoying music via All India Radio while brewing a little coffee with my alcohol stove (handmade by my buddy, Greg–thanks, Greg!).

Hey, when you’re a coffee snob, you brew where you are!

But I digress…

I’m especially impressed with the ICF-7600A’s mediumwave performance. I logged a number of benchmark daytime and greyline stations yesterday. I haven’t opened the ‘7600A, but I imagine it has a decent ferrite bar inside based on its overall performance on the AM broadcast band and its nulling capabilities.

Next time, I’ll bring the AN200 mag loop and couple it with the ‘7600A. I’m pretty sure that’ll make for a winning combo.

All-in-all, I couldn’t have asked for a better day: the weather was wonderful, the coffee freshly-brewed, and the gifted ICF-7600A was the perfect radio companion as our family soaked in the scenery after a hike to the summit.

I couldn’t ask for a better happy place!


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Australia: “Whispering to the Asia-Pacific”

(Source: Australian Strategic Policy Institute via William Lee)

Australia gropes and stutters towards a renewed embrace of international broadcasting—the vital need to ‘speak for ourselves’ in the Asia–Pacific.

The latest lurch towards fresh understanding is the silent release of the review of Australia’s media reach in the Asia–Pacific. Note the irony that a report on broadcasting is soundless on arrival.

Behold a classic orphan inquiry, not wanted by either the government or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, nor particularly desired by the public service. The orphan was created as part of the price to win a Senate vote, and is dumped on the public doorstep without a word of welcome.

The review was completed last December but only released (published on the Department of Communications website) on 17 October. No announcement. No government decisions.

The inquiry matters because it nods towards significant policy failure and the absent-minded trashing of Oz international broadcasting.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article.

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Giuseppe catches the 40th Anniversary broadcast of LRA36

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Giuseppe Morlè, who writes:

Ciao Thomas,
I’m Giuseppe Morlè, iz0gzw, from Formia, central Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea … this is what I managed to hear about the 40 years of transmission of LRA 36 from the Antarctic Argentina to 15,476 …

I took two receivers and two different antennas to the sea … the Kenwood R1000 was connected to my tested “Simil beverage on salt Ground” with salt water tip and the Tecsun PL-660 to my Loop Mea Casali self-built …

Both antennas are directed to SSW where we find the LRA36 station …

The main problem was the boring and tragic Chinese Jammer that strongly raged on 15.470 until 15.00 UTC and then calmed down a bit so I could hear the last part of the transmission with fading and spoken female and male in Spanish …

On the Tecsun and the loop I have not found the station …but on my Kenwood R1000 and my similar beverage on salt grond I listened to about 13 minutes of final transmission.
You can watch the video on my YouTube channel at the link:

Thanks to you and a warm greeting from Italy.
Giuseppe Morlè iz0gzw.

Wow! Great catch, Giuseppe!  I understand the Chinese jammer made it difficult, but obviously your antennas did the trick. I tried to catch the same broadcast from home, but only received a very faint signal. Most of the audio was lost in the noise.

Thank you for sharing.

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