Tag Archives: shortwave

Covert shortwave transmitters smuggled into trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann

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

I ran across this fascinating historical article about how the Associated Press and the New York Daily News each smuggled a covert shortwave radio transmitter into the 1935 courtroom trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was charged with kidnapping and murdering the young son of Charles Lindbergh.

http://www.rfcafe.com/references/short-wave-craft/short-waves-hauptmann-trial-short-wave-craft-june-1935.htm

Neither news organization knew of the other’s covert transmitter, and crossed signals led to erroneous news of the verdict being reported.

Wow! What a fascinating bit of history, Ed! I bet those briefcase transmitters were heavy!

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Free Advice: Stop worrying about solar minimums and just play radio!

Lately we’ve been getting some pretty dismal news about the upcoming solar cycles and the potential for a pretty dismal trend according to some researchers.

We report this news on the SWLing Post because the sun and space weather play an important role in radio signal propagation and one’s ability to snag elusive DX.

After publishing news items like this, though, I always receive a number of emails and comments stating that these trends surely marks the end of all radio fun. After all, if there are no sun spots whatsoever, why bother!?!

Truth is, it’s sort of like saying, “the weather looks lousy, I don’t think I’ll be able to have fun.”

I lived in the UK for several years. If I let the potential for lousy weather stop me from having fun, I’d have never gotten anything done!

The same goes for space weather in our radio world.

A couple weeks ago, I made a Parks On The Air (POTA) activation running 15 watts with the Elecraft KX3 into a simple 20 meter vertical in SSB mode.  Even though propagation was poor, I logged a new contact, on average, once per minute over the course of 30 minutes! It was non-stop!

The GE 7-2990A (left) and Panasonic RF-B65 (right)

I also listened to the Midwinter Broadcast to Antarctica with two portable radios. Propagation was poor and I didn’t even use an external antenna…but I caught the broadcast and had a load of fun hanging out on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

My advice?

As I said in a post last year, use the sunspot low as an excuse to explore frequencies and modes you’ve never used before. Use this as an opportunity to improve your listening skills and the most important part of your listening post or ham station–your antenna system!

I often receive email from people who’ve found the SWLing Post and take the time to write a message to me complaining about the death of shortwave radio: the lack of broadcasters, the prevalence of radio interference and the crummy propagation. They wonder, “is it all worth it?”

My reply?

“Hey…sounds like radio’s not your thing!”

While this same person is moaning and complaining, I’ll be on the radio logging South American, Asian and African broadcast stations.

I’ll be working DX with QRP power, even though everyone tells me that’s not possible right now.

I’ll be improving my skill set and trying new aspects of our vast radio world.

You see: I’ve learned that the complainers aren’t actually on the air. They gave up many moons ago because someone told them it wasn’t worth it, or they simply lost interest. That’s okay…seriously…but why waste time complaining? Go find something else that lights your fire!

While these folks are complaining, I’ll be on the air doing all of the things they tell me I can’t do.

In the words of Admiral David Farragut: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Go out there and play radio!

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Mali shortwave relay site back on the air with CRI

(Source: Radio World)

China Radio International Recommits to Africa

Mali relay site near Bamako is back on air diffusing China Radio’s shortwave signal. The site carries CRI’s shortwave broadcasts for more than 20 frequency hours a day to Africa. The move has also benefited Mali’s own shortwave transmissions, which were reportedly suffering from weak signals and poor modulation. “The reactivation of the facility is in contrast to the shuttering of other shortwave sites on the continent, such as the Sentech facility in Meyerton, South Africa,” writes Hans Johnson.

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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“The dream of Biafra lives on in underground Nigerian radio broadcasts”

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who shares the following story about Radio Biafra from the LA Times:

Every evening as 5 o’clock approaches, the clogged, perpetually dusty streets of this industrial city in southeastern Nigeria begin to empty.

Groups of men just off work go inside, shut their doors and tune their radios to 102.1 FM.

Then an anthem begins to play, and a voice says “Kedu” ­ “how are you” in the Igbo language ­ to welcome listeners to the daily broadcast of Radio Biafra.

For the next 90 minutes, hosts and various guests proselytize for the revival of an old dream: the creation of an independent state called Biafra.

The broadcasts, conducted live from an undisclosed location in Nigeria, are illegal, and the group behind them ­ the Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB ­ has been classified by the government as a terrorist organization since 2017. Its leaders say they eschew violence and want a peaceful settlement of the issue through a national referendum.

Activists say people caught listening to the station have been arrested or beaten. But many residents here say they are willing to take the risk.

Radio Biafra is a daily reminder of the bloody civil war that ravaged Nigeria between 1967 and 1970. The conflict started when a Nigerian military general, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, declared an independent state of Biafra. It ended after more than a million deaths, mostly from starvation after the government imposed a food blockade on the region.

Ultimately, the rebels surrendered and the area was reintegrated into Nigeria under the government motto “No victor, no vanquished.”

But the memory of the brutal war looms large in Aba, feeding enthusiasm for the broadcasts despite extremely long odds that Biafra will ever come to be.[…]

Click here to read the full story at the LA Times.

Radio Biafra has also been elusive and rare DX for radio listeners. Click here to read more Radio Biafra posts in our archive.

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Radio Tamazuj introduces English news via shortwave

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jochen, who shares this announcement via Radio Tamazuj:

Radio Tamazuj launches English news bulletin

The independent broadcaster Radio Tamazuj has launched its English news bulletin today to help expand its listenership in South Sudan and Sudan.

Broadcasting daily in colloquial Arabic and Juba Arabic from 6:30-7:30 a.m. [3:30 – 4:30 UTC] and 5:30-6:30 p.m., [2:30 – 3:30 UTC] Radio Tamazuj focuses on providing listeners with uncensored news and programmes.

Morning frequencies are 7315 on the 41 meter band and 11650 on the 25 meter band. Evening frequencies are 15150 on the 19 meter band and 15400 on the 19 meter band.

Enjoy listening to our English news every Tuesday and Friday on shortwave frequency. Also, enjoy listening to us on our social media handles on Facebook Live @tamazuj and on Twitter @RadioTamazuj from 18: 00 hrs every Tuesday and Friday.

Listen to today’s English news:

Many thanks for the tip, Jochen! Click here to read this news item on Radio Tamazuj.

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