Tag Archives: Swan Island

Radio Waves: AM Vehicle Act Passes Committee, iHeart Supports AM, Swan Island and Equatorial Guinea

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Dennis Dura and Tracy Wood for the following tips:

Senate Committee Passes “AM For Every Vehicle Act,” Sends It to Senate Floor (Radio World)

Committee gives the legislation a green light

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation officially passed the AM For Every Vehicle Act on to the Senate floor. The executive session was broadcast live and facilitated by committee chair Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat representing Washington state.

The ranking Republican, Sen. Ted Cruz, supports the measure, saying in a statement that “AM radio is vital to free expression and viewpoint diversity” and “allows Americans, especially conservatives, to communicate their points of view and help free speech flourish.”

The legislation was passed via a voice vote, and, while not every senator’s vote was recorded, the National Association of Broadcasters said Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, asked that he be recorded as a ‘no.’” Michigan is home to the U.S. automaker industry, which opposes the AM For Every Vehicle Act. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which has a base in Michigan, recently said, “Congress has never mandated radio features in vehicles ever before.” It called the bill unnecessary. [Continue reading…]

“iHeart Is Still Focused on AM as a Medium” (Radio World)

Littlejohn and Mullinax describe recent projects to protect and extend its investment

At a time where the viability of the U.S. AM broadcast band has come under the microscope, what’s the prevailing attitude of iHeartMedia and the 250 AM properties it owns and operates?

Continue to invest, says Jeff Littlejohn.

“iHeart is still focused on AM radio as a medium,” said the company’s executive vice president of engineering and systems integration. “We see the importance AM has not only as an entertainment medium, but for news and information.”

Among other things, Littlejohn strongly believes in AM’s importance for emergency weather coverage. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in South Florida.

In addition to being an iconic AM signal dating to the 1920s, iHeartMedia’s news/talk 610 WIOD in Miami has received notoriety and awards — including regional recognition from the Associated Press — for its breaking news and weather coverage, notably during Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Wilma. [Continue reading…]

Notes about two Spanish language stations (Tracy Wood)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tracy Wood, who writes:

I continue to enjoy the blog. Yes, those radio sets that appear in Spanish TV (and in the movies) are great! Lots of Grundigs, Philips, Telefunkens, and national brands.

Here are the two items

(1) Swan Island

At one time this was the home to Radio Swan, the US-funded anti-Castro clandestine radio station on AM and shortwave of the 1960s. Now Honduras wants to convert it to a prison island


For more details see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Swan

(2) Equatorial Guinea

Thanks to WorldRadioMap for originally posting this audio link [note that this playlist must be downloaded and used with an audio streaming application]: https://rrsatrtmp.tulix.tv/tvgeradio/tvgeradio/playlist.m3u8

Yes. Radio Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, Malabo, is now streaming on the Internet. The main language is Spanish but I suspect other languages may be heard. The hosting company (out of Atlanta) handles both their TV and radio streams. The TV channel’s website is https://tvgelive.gq/ but there is no radio-specific website yet.

As a reminder, the country’s other station is commercial – Asonga Radio. It is owned by the president’s son. Audio is at https://asongaradio.com/

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Swan Island featured in philately magazine

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Stan (WA1LOU), who writes:

Besides being a radio aficionado, I also dabble in philately and subscribe to a couple of stamp magazines.

The cover of the October 15 issue of Linn’s Stamp News caught my eye displaying a QSL card from Swan Island (HR6SWA) (see attached). As it turns out, the magazine contains an extensive article about the history of Swan Island and its various  inhabitants (including the RF variety).

Being a philately magazine, the article concentrates on how mail was handled to and from the island, but its mention of the radio operations is interesting nonetheless. The article is well illustrated and includes a number of QSL cards from the various Swan radio operations.

I found the article interesting from both a radio and philately perspective.

And I’m sure glad I kept the envelope that delivered my Radio Americas QSL card!

I bet you are happy you kept that envelop, Stan!

Thank you for sharing this. While I’ve never been a stamp collector, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for stamps from around the world. I’m sure much of this has to do with being a radio listener and receiving QSL cards and listener material with all of those amazing stamps affixed.

We actually have a collection of articles about radio philately here on the SWLing PostClick here to read articles from our archive.

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Hackaday recounts an “An Unlikely Radio Story”


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Michael Letterle, who shares this story from the excellent website Hackaday.

The following is an excerpt from Swans, Pigs, and the CIA: An Ulikey Radio Story:

Shortwave radio is boring, right? Maybe not. You never know what intrigue and excitement you might intercept. We recently covered secret number stations, and while no one knows for sure exactly what their purpose is, it is almost surely involving cloaks and daggers. However, there’s been some more obvious espionage radio, like Radio Swan.

The swan didn’t refer to the animal, but rather an island just off of Honduras that, until 1972, was disputed between Honduras and the United States. The island got its name–reportedly–because it was used as a base for a pirate named Swan in the 17th century. This island also had a long history of use by the United States government. The Department of Agriculture used it to quarantine imported beef and a variety of government departments had weather stations there.

…[T]he most famous occupant of Swan Island was Radio Swan which broadcast on the AM radio band and shortwave. The station was owned by the Gibraltar Steamship Company with offices on Fifth Avenue in New York. Oddly, though, the company didn’t actually have any steamships. What it did have was some radio transmitters that had been used by Radio Free Europe and brought to the island by the United States Navy. Did I mention that the Gibraltar Steamship Company was actually a front for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?

Read the full story on HackADay…

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