Tag Archives: shortwave

Radio Taiwan International: French and Spanish language services to leave shortwave

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, G. Koopal, who who sent a tip regarding RTI’s French language service leaving shortwave. I followed up directly with RTI and received the following reply from their French language service team:

[English Translation]

We have just announced this news in the last “courriers des auditeurs” this Sunday, February 4th.

From March 25th, the French service and the Spanish service of RTI will unfortunately stop broadcasting on shortwave.

The schedule of programs will change a little but you can always listen to us on the new website that will be online very soon. More videos will be posted in the future. We have also opened a youtube channel where you can find all these videos!

Thank you for your question, see you soon.

The French service team of RTI


[Original French]

Nous venons tout juste d’annoncer cette nouvelle dans le dernier “courriers des auditeurs” de ce dimanche 4 février.

A partir du 25 Mars, le service français et le service espagnol de RTI cessera malheureusement de diffuser sur ondes courtes.

La grille des programmes va donc un peu changer mais vous pourrez toujours nous écouter sur le nouveau site internet qui sera en ligne très prochainement. Plus de vidéos seront postées à l’avenir. Nous avons d’ailleurs ouvert une chaîne youtube sur laquelle vous pourrez retrouver toutes ces vidéos !

Merci pour votre question, à bientôt.

L’équipe su service français de RTI

BBC launches new shortwave services for Ethiopia and Eritrea

(Source: BBC Media Centre via Mike Hansgen)

The BBC is launching new daily radio services which will be aired Monday to Friday in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya. The new language services have been available online since September 2017 when they launched websites and Facebook pages in all three languages.

The new radio services will provide impartial news, current affairs, features and analysis for Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as regional and international news. There will be a strong focus on culture, health and original journalism from the region. These services are part of the largest investment in the BBC World Service since the 1940s and are funded by the UK government.

The programme will be broadcast on shortwave, satellite – and streamed directly onto each service’s Facebook page.

In addition content produced by BBC Learning English, part of the BBC World Service which teaches English to global audiences will feature prominently across the schedules for all three languages, with daily content as follows:
·
Essential English – Beginners (airs on Monday, repeated on Wednesday)
A functional five-minute audio course presented by an English speaker and a local presenter, which aims to help beginners to learn English. Learners will be introduced to essential chunks of functional language, which will allow them to start having simple conversations in English immediately.

English Expressions – Intermediate (airs Tuesday, repeated on Thursday)
This five-minute audio course focusses on common expressions used in everyday English. An English speaking presenter and a local language presenter discuss the meaning and use a different expression each week.

English Together Advanced (airs Friday only)
This is a bilingual five-minute audio with three presenters (2 English and one local language) discussing a current (safe i.e. non news) topic and examining the language used in the story allowing the user the practise their listening skills and equip them with the grammar and vocabulary needed to discuss the story.

The programmes are broadcast Monday-Friday at the following times:

  • 17:30 – 17.45: Amharic news
  • 17.45 – 17:50: Amharic Learning English
  • 17:50 – 18:05: Afaan Oromo News
  • 18.05 – 18.10: Afaan Oromo Learning English
  • 18:10 – 18:25: Tigrinya News
  • 18:25 – 18:30: Tigrinya Learning English

Programmes will also be streamed via the respective BBC websites and Facebook pages (see links below).

Details of how to listen:

Amharic

Afaan Oromo

Tigrinya

Notes to Editors
The Initial shortwave broadcast to go out at 17:30 GMT/ 20:30 EAT on three transmitters providing coverage across Ethiopia and Eritrea:

  • 7.595MHz
  • 11.720MHz
  • 12.065MHz

Repeat to follow at 18:30 GMT /21:30 EAT

  • 9.855MHz
  • 15.490MHz

Satellite Radio content will go out on the following channels:

  • Arabsat (BADR4) – 11.966GHz, Horizontal
  • Nilesat 201 -11.843GHz, Horizontal
  • Hotbird 13D – 12.597GHz, Vertical

Evening satellite broadcast to go out at 17:30 GMT and will be repeated until 21:30 GMT.

  • The BBC World Service reaches a global audience of 269 million weekly, on radio, TV, and digital.
  • BBC World Service received further funding of £291m until 2019/20 from the UK Government to launch twelve new language services: Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Serbian, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba. This additional funding is not part of the licence fee.

MF

Click here to view thisnews item at the BBC Media Centre website.

Comparing the XHDATA D-808, Digitech AR-1780 and Tecun PL-660 on shortwave

On Friday, I managed to set aside an hour to finally do a video comparison of the Digitech AR-1780 and the new XHDATA D-808.

I placed a table in my driveway, far away from any source of RFI, and set up the radios in identical configurations: same orientation, antennas fully-extended, same AM bandwidth (4.0 kHz), same audio levels, etc. For good measure, I also included the venerable Tecsun PL-660 in the mix.

This was still daytime listening, so all of the stations were from 31 meters and up.

Apologies in advance: somehow the cord from my monitoring headphones is in the shot on some of these videos! I’m still getting used to the new Zoom Q2n video camera:

WRMI 9,455 kHz

Click here to view on YouTube.

WWV 15 MHz

Click here to view on YouTube.

Deutsche Welle 15,200 kHz

Click here to view on YouTube.

Afia Darfur 9,825 kHz

Click here to view on YouTube.

I should add that QSB was slow and deep on Friday. Twice I had to re-shoot videos because the station simply faded into oblivion.

I plan to do a few more comparisons with the XHDATA D-808 and Digitech AR-1780 soon as I’m very curious how SSB reception may differ.

Please comment with your observations. Which radio did you prefer? I’ll hold my comments for now.

Going By the Numbers

For those who follow numbers stations or, like me, enjoy seeing articles about numbers stations, below are a few paragraphs from a recent article in Radio World by author James Careless:

“6-7-9-2-6. 5-6-9-9-0.” Tune across the shortwave bands (above AM/MW), and chances are you will come across a “numbers station.” There’s no programming to speak of; just a mechanical-sounding voice (male or female) methodically announcing seemingly random groups of single digit numbers for minutes on end.

Congratulations! You are now officially a spy-catcher, to the extent that you may have tuned into a spy agency’s “numbers station” transmitting one-way instructions to their minions worldwide.

Numbers stations are unidentified radio broadcasts that consist usually of a mechanical voice “reading out strings of seemingly random numbers,” explained Lewis Bush, author of “Shadows of the State” a new history of numbers stations and the spies who run them. “These are sometimes accompanied by music, tones or other sound effects.” He said. “There are also related stations broadcasting in Morse Code and digital modes.”

The article goes into some of the history of numbers stations, but also talks about modern stations from all over the world. A worthwhile read for those so interested!

Do Shortwave ‘Numbers Stations’ Really Instruct Spies?

Cheers! Robert AK3Q

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

Ivan compares the AirSpy HF+ to the KiwiSDR

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ivan (NO2CW), who writes:

I have been running a public Kiwisdr server for a while and yesterday decided to plug in the new Airspy HF + into the same antenna for a side to side comparison. The antenna is an 80m dipole and the test was done during local afternoon, around 3 PM. I did not use any of the many new noise reduction features that are incorporated into both SDR Console 3 and the SDR web server. The 11 minute video is located here:

Click here to view on YouTube.

When I have the time I will run a similar test in nighttime conditions and also test the Airspy HF+ against a few other radios sitting on my desk.

Thank you for sharing this, Ivan!