Tag Archives: Shortwave Radio

Carlos’ Shortwave Art and recording of China Radio International

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares his radio log art of a recent China Radio International broadcast.


Carlos notes:

China Radio International, 9525 kHz, broadcasting in Russian from Beijing, China.
Listened in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
April 9, 2022, 20h (UTC).

Part of news bulletin, war in Ukraine.

    • Report from Borodiyanka
    • Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dept. Maria Zakharova: Bucha is provocation to end negotiations, impose more sanctions.
    • China, Israel: dialogue is the solution for Ukraine war
    • China and the US bioweapons

Click here to listen via YouTube.

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Carlos’ Shortwave Art and recording of Voice of Korea

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares his radio log art of a recent Voice of Korea broadcast.


Carlos notes:

Voice of Korea, 11910 kHz, broadcasting in English from Kujang, North Korea, listened in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

April 5, 2022, 19h10 (UTC).

News bulletin (excerpt):

“…In case South Korea adopts military confrontation against us, our nuclear combat forces are inevitably obliged to carry out its mission…”

Click  here to view on YouTube.

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Antiques Roadshow Radio and “The changing sound of radio”


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete Madtone, who writes:

[L]ast night while I was having my dinner, a lovely Marconi crystal set came on Antiques Roadshow that a chap had rescued from a skip!  In the end it was valued for £1000-£1500. A sort of radio you’d love in a museum cabinet at home.

Nice pics of radio in that time too in the little piece.

Click here to watch on iPlayer.

[Also,] I just got a recommendation about a wonderful series on the BBC called The changing sound of radio with Chris Watson (wildlife sound recordist and original member of Cabaret Voltaire). The first one is all about recording natural sounds which is wonderful but episode 2 has shortwave radio, binaural sound and tape loops in music. It is very very interesting!

Click here to check it out on BBC Sounds.

Thank you so much for these tips, Pete!

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Radio Waves: Pacific Broadcasting, Podcasting Ancestor, Spamming Russia Comms, WRMI Tour, Shortwave Necessary, and SW Revival a Non-Starter

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Good news for Pacific regional broadcasting – bad news for locals (Asia Pacific Report)

Good news — an Australian parliamentary review recommends a more “expansive” media presence in the Pacific.

Bad news — little of that expansion envisions a role for island media.

Instead, the committee endorsed a proposal for “consultation” and the establishment of an independent “platform neutral” media corporation, versus the existing “broadcasting” organisation.

That proposal was among several points raised at two public hearings and nine written submissions as part of Australia’s “Pacific Step Up” programme, aimed at countering the growing regional influence of China.

Former long-time Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney last month told the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade that Australia was previously leading regional media spaces.

“But the vacant space that was left there when Australia Network disappeared, as people have said, has really been taken over by China,” he said.

“Throughout my time as the Pacific correspondent for the ABC, I saw this Chinese influence growing everywhere.”

[…]Taking up ten of 176 pages, the report’s media section is nonetheless seen as relatively comprehensive compared with the dismantling of broadcasting capacity in recent years.

This includes the literal dismantling of shortwave equipment in Australia despite wide protest from the Pacific region.

Nearly three years previously, a 2019 Pacific Media Summit heard that discontinuation of the shortwave service would save Australia some $2.8 million in power costs.

A suggestion from a delegate that that amount could be spent on $100,000 for reporters in each of 26 island states and territories was met with silence from ABC representatives at the summit.

However, funding would be dramatically expanded if the government takes up suggestions from the submissions to the joint committee. [Continue reading the full article…]

Pay Your Respects To Radio, The Ancestor Of Podcasting (Rolling Stone)

In the 1890s, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi left a lasting legacy when he sent a wireless telegraph message via Morse Code to a recipient. By the turn of the 1900s, Marconi’s innovation would give rise to an entirely new industry, one focused on creating new ways for people to communicate even across vast distances: radio.

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, radio would not only play a major role in the international correspondence of countries fighting in both World Wars but it also became a widely popular phenomenon amongst the general public. By the mid-1920s, there were hundreds of licensed radio stations hosting news broadcasts, comedy shows, dramas, live music, sports programs and other forms of entertainment.

A century later, it’s not hard to spot the parallels between what made radio one of the most popular content mediums in history and the explosive growth of radio’s evolution in podcasting. Though there are some unique differences between the two mediums, I believe podcasters should still pay respect to how the evolution of radio gave rise to the advent of podcasting.

The Rise of Contemporary Audio Entertainment
On October 30, 1938 — the evening before Halloween — Orsen Welles hosted a radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’s science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds, “converting the 40-year-old novel into fake news bulletins describing a Martian invasion of New Jersey.” While Welles and his team reportedly had no intention to deceive listeners into believing the broadcast was in any way real, Welles would later go on to say in a 1960 court disposition about his desire to release the broadcast, “in such a manner that a crisis would actually seem to be happening…and would be broadcast in such a dramatized form as to appear to be a real event taking place at that time, rather than a mere radio play.” [Continue reading at Rolling Stone…]

Why Russian radios in Ukraine are getting spammed with heavy metal (The Economist)

Ukrainians are eavesdropping on the invaders and broadcasting on their frequencies

One of the many surprising failures of the Russian invasion force in Ukraine has been in radio communications. There have been stories of troops resorting to commercial walkie-talkies and Ukrainians intercepting their frequencies. This may not sound as serious as a lack of modern tanks or missiles, but it helps explain why Russian forces seem poorly co-ordinated, are falling victim to ambushes and have lost so many troops, reportedly including seven generals. What is going wrong with Russian radios? Continue reading

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Wireless Flirt episode explores shortwave radio

I’m very honored to have been interviewed by John Walsh who produces the excellent program Wireless on Flirt FM in Ireland. John reached out to discuss the relevance of the shortwave radio medium, particularly through the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here’s the show description:

In the April 2022 edition of Wireless, we look at the part of the radio spectrum called shortwave, consider its importance in the past and continued relevance in a digital world. Founder of the SWLing blog Thomas Witherspoon discusses the historical development of shortwave, including its heyday during the Cold War, and explains how it continues to be used today, for instance to evade Russian internet censorship during the Ukrainian war. The programme also remembers Irish pirate shortwave operators of the 1980s as featured on our related site Pirate.ie.

Click here to listen to the full show at Wireless Flirt.

John is a true kindred spirit and devoted radio enthusiast. I would encourage you to subscribe to his monthly Wireless episodes via your favorite podcast player; here are links to iTunesSpotify, and Stitcher.

In addition, John is the one of the founders and curators of Pirate.ie which is a brilliantly documented archive of pirate radio stations in Ireland. I highly recommend checking it out! 

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Video: “The Glory Days of Shortwave Radio”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adi, who writes:

Hi Thomas, this video just popped for me on YouTube. I searched the SWLing Post and didn’t find it, it’s not new so maybe you missed it.

Thank you, Adi. I’m almost positive I’ve posted this one before–but if I have it’s been so long it should be re-posted! A wonderful nostalgia trip! Thanks for sharing.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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WU2D and “Dream” SW Receivers of the 1960s and 70s

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Meara, who shares this most recent post from his excellent SolderSmoke Podcast blog:

Mike WU2D Looks at the “Dream” SW Receivers of the 1960s and 70s (Video)

Wow, I really liked Mike’s walk down memory lane. I saw several of my own dream receivers:

S-38E. Indeed, this little monster did add some danger to your life. AKA “The Widow Maker,” I gave one to my cousin’s husband so he could listen to what the commies on Radio Moscow were saying. He later told me that the receiver had given him a shock. I now have TWO S-38Es in my shack (two more than I really need). I have installed isolation transformers in both of them, so they have lost the one element (danger!) that made them attractive.

HA-600A. I got this one for Christmas in 1972. The A model is MUCH better than the plain vanilla HA-600. I recently got another HA-600A and found serious deficiencies in the Product Detector. Has anyone else noticed these problems? BACKGROUND INFO AND A PLEA FOR MORE INFO HERE: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/search?q=HA-600A+Product+Detector

HQ-100. Got one in the Dominican Republic. Fixed it up, repairing damages caused by radio life in the tropics. Disabled the goofy audio amplifier circuitry. I now wonder if this receiver might benefit from the insertion of a 455 kc ceramic filter.

NC190. Wow “Cosmic Blue” Perhaps this was an early influence that led to “Juliano Blue?”

HQ-180. “18 tubes and almost as many knobs!” FB!

HRO-500. Love the dial.

Transoceanic. Never had one, but built a BFO for the Transoceanic that W8NSA took with him to SE Asia during the war.

R-390A. I don’t have a crane for the workbench.

Thanks Mike — that was a lot of fun.

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