Tag Archives: SIBC

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation to end MW, but maintain shortwave & FM services

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, who shares the following:

SIBC [Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation] has ended its MF service on 1035 kHz.

Delivery on FM & HF has been retained. Audience surveys indicated HF delivery was more effective than MF. The decision will be reviewed in 2018

http://www.sibconline.com.sb/special-announcement-from-sibc-management/

Thank you for the tip, Nigel!

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The Eton Satellit: a short history & first impressions as a DX workhorse

Hi there, I’m sure some of you will read the title of this post and conclude ‘that’s exactly that the Eton Satellit could never be’. I was of the same opinion, having read many reviews online suggesting this little radio on shortwave at least was essentially a bit ‘duff’ as we say in the UK. The fundamental flaws identified when it was first released included, but were not limited to – a general lack of sensitivity, poor AM SYNC stability and poor AM SYNC audio, poor filtering, particularly in SSB mode, muting whilst tuning, poor display visibility in sunlight, poor AGC timing…the list goes on.

On MW and FM there was a general consensus that this little radio performed very well, but with all the other flaws highlighted here, it certainly did not represent good value for money. A number of reviewers concluded that the Eton was an insult to the ‘Satellit’ brand. Oh dear, yet another shot in the foot for Eton then. User perception was confirmed when I posted my first reception video using this radio –  a number of my Oxford Shortwave Log subscribers got in touch to say they were essentially scared off buying this radio at the time and that this was of course driven by the negative reviews that proliferated the internet.

 

Since the original launch, however, it would appear that firmware updates have improved this receiver immesurably, although I am quite certain this news hasn’t really filtered out into the market because there still appears to be a consensus that the newest Satellit is ‘not worthy’ so-to-speak. So, how did I come to buy a Satellit, a decision that could very well be perceived as risky to say the least, even foolhardy?! Well, one of my DXing fellows on YouTube (check out his YouTube channel – it’s full of amazing DX) posted a video of his recently purchased Satellit in a number of tests against the (largely) brilliant Tecsun PL-880. The Satellit equalled or bettered the PL-880 on MW and SW. I was very surprised at this outcome, for the same reasons as everyone else – it wasn’t supposed to be that good.

Even though the poster himself suggested the Eton might not be classified as a classic Satellit, it’s interesting to note that another DXer with three decades of experience and someone who’s owned the Satellit 400, 500 and 700 models concluded the opposite and that for various reasons, the newest Satellit is a far better performer with weak DX than those vintage receivers ever were. In his experience, the classic Satellit receivers always delivered excellent audio and thus were brilliant for listening to international broadcasters. However, for weak DX the Satellit 500 didn’t perform as well as the budget Sangean ATS-803A  and the ICF-2001D wiped the floor with the 700. So, is the Eton worthy of the Satellit branding? Perhaps the problem is it’s just so small – I mean compared to the Satellit 800….you could confuse the Eton to be it’s remote control – if it had one! It is diminutive and I’ve purposely taken a picture of it with my calculator to demonstrate this. It’s actually not much bigger than the Tecsun PL-310ET, so in terms of form-factor, definitely a departure from Satellits of the past.

 

What about performance? I tested the Eton at the woods I use for DXing, with a 50 metre longwire. In the space of a couple of hours, I’d recorded ABC Northern Territories on 2325, 2485 and 4835 kHz, Pyongyang BS, North Korea on 3320 kHz, Angola on 4950 kHz, Guinea on 9650 kHz and a weak signal from the Solomon Islands on 5020 kHz. The signals from ABC on 2485 kHz, Angola and Guinea were stronger and clearer than I’d ever heard previously. Pyongyang on 3320 kHz and the Solomon Islands were personal firsts.

The Eton performed way beyond my expectations and I hope this post will go some way to restoring the repuation of this brilliant little radio, which in my opinion fully deserves to be called a Satellit. More testing is necssary, including direct comparisons with other receivers – all of that to come in due course. Text links and embedded reception videos follow. Thanks for reading/watching/listening and I wish you all great DX!



Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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.

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Solomon Islands and Vanuatu On Shortwave

Paul Walker's listening post in Galena, Alaska.

Paul Walker’s listening post in Galena, Alaska.

by Paul Walker

I tried logging the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu shortwave broadcast stations for years, however, owing to my location and poor antenna along with technical problems with the stations, I was never able to log them.

Well, I recently moved to Alaska and was able to take the stations off my “Most Wanted List.”

SIBC has two frequencies–5020 kHz and 9545 kHz–both with 10,000 watts.  They use 9545 kHz during their local workday time frame and the 5020 kHz frequency is their late night and early morning frequency.

A few times, I have caught 9545 kHz not signing off at 0500UTC for the switchover to 5020 kHz like it should of. When 9545 kHz is on late, the signal is usually pretty darn good.

In fact, on April 25th, I caught 9545 kHz on about 2 1/2 hours past the scheduled switchover and the signal was AMAZING!  It was near perfect with a rock solid signal, fading so slightly it’s barely noticeable, no interference and pretty good audio!!

For whatever reason, when 9545 kHz is on late, It seems to have a better signal most times then 5020 kHz would if it was on at that time. SIBC has one transmitter so two frequencies can’t be on at once. Both times I’ve caught 9545 on late, it signs off abruptly and minutes later, 5020 kHz is on, as it should be.

As for 5020 kHz, this recording on May 22 at 1148 UTC  this was about the best I’ve ever heard it.

Listen closely when SIBC goes to dead air before shutting off the transmitter, I clearly hear two people talking.

As for Radio Vanuatu, their signals seem to be chronically/habitually under modulated and combine that with the large amount of speech programming they ran…and they are hard to catch. Good luck hearing them on 3945 kHz. Even with Radio Nikkei off, the best I’ve ever gotten from 3945 kHz was a signal so poor all I could make out was the speech on 3945 kHz and 7260 kHz matched.

On May 14th at 0923 UTC, I got about the best signal out of Radio Vanuatu on 7260 that I’ve ever had. Conditions must have been good and that combined with the fact they were running music made them a bit easier to hear.

For those that don’t know me, I am living in Galena, Alaska a village of 500 people in rural central Alaska, halfway between Nome & Fairbanks. I work here as the Program Director for a small network of community radio signals along the Yukon river. I DX from the river bank 500 feet from my apartment with a Tecsun PL-880 and 80 foot or 225 foot long wire, soon to be a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP.

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

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Solomon Islands Broadcasting adds to shortwave

SIBC-Solomon-Islands-Broadcasting-CorporationMany thanks to David Ricquish of the Radio Heritage Foundation for this tip.

David writes:

Solomon Islands Broadcasting has reactivated its daytime shortwave transmitter on 9,545 from 20:00-05:00 UTC daily for those who like to chase rare shortwave radio stations.

Indeed, this will be challenging DX for much of the world. I imagine the maximum output power will “only” be 10 kilowatts or so–enough power to cover the Solomon Islands, but not enough for reliable global coverage.  Still, this is the type of DX station I love to chase.

For a list of SIBC AM/FM and Shortwave frequencies, click here.

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