Tag Archives: The Guardian

Radio Waves: BBC radio reporters axed, Ham Radio on BBC Surrey, K6UDA on IC-705 features, and VLF balloon launched with request for detailed reception report

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Mark Hist, Kris Partridge, John Palmer, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Radio reporters to be axed by BBC and told to reapply for new roles (The Guardian)

Radio reporters to be axed by BBC and told to reapply for new roles
Critics fear end of an era because of plans to make audio journalists work across media platforms

BBC radio voices have described and defined modern British history. Live reports from inside a British bomber over Germany during the second world war, or with the British troops invading Iraq in 2003, or more recently from the frontline of the parent boycott of a Birmingham school over LGBT lessons have also shaped the news agenda.

But now the BBC plans to axe all its national radio reporters and ask them to reapply for a smaller number of jobs as television, radio and digital reporters, rather than as dedicated audio journalists. Many fear it is not just the end of their careers but the premature end of an era for the BBC.

“Radio reporting is a different job. Of course, you can do both, but a report designed for television starts from a completely different place. Radio is also more agile and also a lot less expensive,” said one experienced broadcast journalist. “I am pretty sure most of us will not be given new TV roles. It seems sad to lose all that specific radio expertise.”

Among the well-known voices likely to be affected are Hugh Sykes, Andrew Bomford – who has just completed a long feature on the child protection process for Radio 4’s PM show – and the award-winning and idiosyncratic Becky Milligan, as well as a wider team of expert correspondents.[]

Amateur radio on BBC Radio Surrey (Southgate ARC)

RSGB report Board Director Stewart Bryant G3YSX and SOTA organiser Tim Price G4YBU were interviewed on BBC Radio Surrey on Friday, September 11

The interview starts just before 1:43:00 into the recording at
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08pkykw

RSGB https://twitter.com/theRSGB

What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free UK amateur radio Online Training course
https://essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

10 Things That Make The Icom IC 705 A Revolution in Ham Radio (K6UDA YouTube)

 

VLF Balloon with 210m long antenna launches Sept 12 (Southgate ARC)

A high-altitude balloon experiment, launched by Warsaw University of Technology, is planned to lift off September 12, carrying a VLF 210-m-long fully-airborne antenna system, transmitting on 14.2 kHz

14.2 kHz is the former frequency of the Babice Radio Station in Poland.

The project is delivering very important data for a doctoral dissertation – any and all feedback on the reception of the signal (reception location, SNR, bandwidth etc.) is extremely important; your help with the listening to the transmission would be invaluable!

The balloon will also be transmitting APRS on 144.800 MHz FM, callsign SP5AXL.

Full details at
https://alexander.n.se/grimetons-sister-station-shall-reappear-in-the-stratosphere/?lang=en


Kris also points out this article which provides more detail about the station and request for reception reports:

Invented for the first time in 2014, in 2020 it will finally be implemented – the idea of „restoring” the TRCN, but in the stratosphere, where there are no mechanical limitations at the height of the antennas, and the achieved range can be gigantic.

The launch of a stratospheric balloon from the Przasnysz-Sierakowo airport of the Warsaw University of Technology is planned for September 12, 2020, in order to perform atmospheric tests – measuring UV radiation, recording the cloudy surroundings with a high-speed camera and conducting an inductive experiment at 14.2 kHz using a special antenna system.

The inductive system uses a modified long-wave transmitter (A1 emission, unkeyed) from the GLACiER project of the Warsaw University of Technology, implemented as part of the IGLUNA – a Habitat in Ice programme (ESA_Lab / Swiss Space Center). The power of the transmitter, due to the emission limits for this type of inductive devices, shall not exceed a few watts. The antenna system is a centrally fed (35: 1) dipole with capacitive (Hertzian) elements and a vertical axial coil. The electrical length is between 400 and 500 m, with a total system length of 210 m. The antenna is equipped with metalized radar reflectors.

The entire balloon mission will use 144.8 MHz (as SP5AXL) and 868 MHz (as part of the LoVo system) for navigation. Flight information will be available in advance in NOTAM (EPWW).
Planned balloon launch (even if the sky is full of ‘lead’ clouds) at 12.00 UTC (14.00 CEST, local time). The 14.2kHz experiment will be switched on on the ground, with the antenna initially folded in harmony. The predicted total flight time is 3 hours – around 13.30-14.00 UTC / 15.30-16.00 CEST it is planned to reach the maximum altitude of 30 km above sea level.

Source: https://trcn.pl/do-stratosfery-to-the-stratosphere/

How can you help with the experiment? By recording as much as possible! Every parameter is valuable – from the spectrum / screenshot with the spectrum, to the EM field strengths, SNR and bandwidth, to the change of the EM field strength over time. The collected data can be sent to our e-mail address: stowarzyszenie@radiostacjababice.org. On the day of launch, we plan to post updates on the launch, flight and the experiment itself via our Facebook page: facebook.com/radiostacjababice.
Stay tuned!


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Radio Waves: Burning 5G, WAUK Simulcasts C-19 Radio, Remote US Ham Exams, and Guardian’s Top 10 Radio Stations

Photo by Joshua Anderson Slate

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Tom Daly and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


5G Conspiracy Theories Trigger Attacks On Cellphone Towers (NPR)

Dozens of cellphone towers and equipment boxes have been set aflame in Britain, apparently by people who believe 5G technology is helping to spread the coronavirus.

Milwaukee AM Station Temporarily Simulcasting SiriusXM Channel (North Pine)

Good Karma Brands has temporarily set aside the ESPN Radio lineup on WAUK/540 (Jackson-Milwaukee) and is simulcasting a COVID-19 information from a satellite radio channel.

The temporary programming is coming from SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio and coronavirus information channels. The simulcast on WAUK began Monday, April 20. It wasn’t announced how long it will continue.

WAUK operates in tandem with “ESPN Milwaukee” FM signal WKTI/94.5 (Milwaukee), with the AM station normally continuing to carry ESPN from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. while the FM side is in local programming.

Locally, Good Karma also owns News/Talk outlet WTMJ/620 (Milwaukee).[]

USA: Fully-Remote Amateur Radio License Exam Administration (Southgate ARC)

The USA’s Ham Study group have released the latest update on the Fully-Remote Amateur Radio Exam Process

On March 26th, 2020, the first-ever fully-remote amateur radio exam was held to demonstrate the capabilities of these technologies and align with the needs of the W5YI VEC that authorized the trial.

Several other VE Teams have begun administering fully-remote exams using ExamTools.org along with video conferencing systems.

Read the Press Release at
https://blog.hamstudy.org/2020/04/fully-remote-amateur-radio-license-exam-administration/ []

10 of the best music radio stations around the world (The Guardian)

Thousands of radio DJs are employed around the globe to play Anglophone pop and rock. If there’s such a thing as “world music” to them, it’s REM and Queen.

But there are many more radio stations around the world that play music from their own cultures, past and present, mainstream and marginal. When it comes to virtual travel, music is arguably the easiest and most enjoyable way to transport your brain out of Covidland to places you’ve visited – or plan to – in person.

The net is pretty chaotic, with dozens of aggregators and formats. But here are 10 soundscapes to explore. Turn up the volume to Mexican cantina level.[]


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“My father paid four times his weekly wage for the greatest gift of my life”

Photo by Markus Spiske

(Source: The Guardian)

He bought me and my brother – both of us blind – a tape recorder that dominated Christmas Day and the remainder of the holidays, and led to a long and happy career

It’s eight o’clock on Christmas morning, and Uncle Tom wants to hear the news. My 11-year-old self is wondering why on earth grownups want to hear the news on Christmas Day when there are vital things to be done, such as handing out presents. And then, while I am only half-listening, something weird happens: the Greenwich time pips start. Surely we have already heard those. And then the boring man with the plummy voice begins going on about a Christmas message to the world from the Vatican. Surely that’s been on already, too.

It’s my older brother, Colin, who gets it! “Pete, Pete, it’s a tape recorder, you idiot! We’ve got our tape recorder.”

The penny drops: Uncle Tom and my dad have recorded the headlines, and are playing them back.

I think it’s often quite rare to experience real excitement over a present: in my experience, children are as good as adults at knowing what is expected of them and simulating joyful surprise, even when they don’t feel it. But for me this was one of those rare moments when my insides gave an involuntary lurch and the world did a little somersault.

Colin and I had both been blind from birth, and at this point were spending most of our time at a special boarding school, Worcester College for the Blind (now called New College Worcester). In the late 1950s, Britain had just reached the point when exciting consumer goods were coming within reach of the not-really-rich, and at Worcester reel-to-reel tape recorders were definitely the consumer gizmos of choice. For blind kids, they would trump cameras every time, especially at this moment when rock’n’roll was more of a religion than a pastime. For us, you could spot the better-off kids not by the clothes they wore, or the holidays they boasted about, but by the tape recorders they owned. So in our class, Iain Hopkin was marked out as something of a plutocrat by his Brenell recorder. Fortunately for us, Hoppy was a generous soul, and gave us all access to his recordings of Tony Hancock and Peter Sellers.

Still, a recorder of your own was the height of aspiration, and Colin – better informed and more realistic about family finances than me – had no real expectations.

I realised, much later, that at this time my dad, a very good joiner and carpenter, was probably earning about £8 a week. The tape recorder my parents had bought us, although nowhere near at the top of the range, would have cost more than four times his weekly wage. My parents could only afford it by borrowing the money from Uncle Tom, who had a thriving grocery business. Family or not, I know my mum and dad would have thought long and hard before incurring the debt.

The new toy, mains-powered and the size of a small suitcase, dominated the rest of Christmas Day and the remainder of the holidays. Once we had mastered the controls (Colin was the technical one, but was surprisingly patient in sharing his discoveries with me), we recorded everything in sight: each other, our parents, the milkman, the dog … And we very quickly learned the fun to be had at catching people unawares.[…]

Click here to continue reading at The Guardian.

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The Guardian: The loss of rural radio leaves US communities with “another cultural and informational gap”

(Source: The Guardian via BJ Leiderman and Kris Partridge)

America’s rural radio stations are vanishing – and taking the country’s soul with them

When I arrive at the radio station, Mark Lucke is standing in the doorway, looking out at the spitting, winter rain. He’s slim and stoic, with sad, almost haunted, eyes. The first thing he asks is if I’d like to see “the dungeon”. Who wouldn’t?

Lucke pulls on a Steeler’s jacket and a baseball cap over brown hair that falls halfway down his back, and leads me across the five-acre yard. Out here, 90 miles east of Tucson, the desert is a long sweep of brush the color of beach sand. Lucke seems to slip through the rainy day like a ghost.

The radio station, whose call letters are KHIL, has long been the daily soundtrack for this frontier town (population 3,500) that prides itself on its cowboy culture and quiet pace of life. But six decades after the founding of the station, the property is in foreclosure, with utility disconnect notices coming nearly every month.

Small-town radio is fizzling nationwide, as stations struggle to attract advertisement dollars. And as station owners are forced to sell, media conglomerates snap up rural frequencies for rock-bottom prices, for the sole purpose of relocating them to urban areas. In a more affluent market, they can be flipped for a higher price. With limited frequencies available, larger broadcasters purchase as many as possible – especially those higher on the dial – in a race not dissimilar to a real estate grab.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Guardian.

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ABC staff warned that substantial cuts may be on the way

Photo via Mark Fahey

(Source: The Guardian via Michael Bird)

ABC staff have been warned a $14.6m budget cut will be implemented in the next financial year after the re-election of the Coalition.

The new managing director, David Anderson, told staff on Monday morning that a “budget challenge” was looming after his lobbying efforts in Canberra to reverse the cut fell on deaf ears.

The Labor party had promised to reverse the Coalition’s $83.7m “indexation pause” if elected and one of the ALP’s election promises was to give the ABC and the SBS an extra $60m between them.

Anderson has long indicated that more jobs were likely to go to “free up” as much money as possible for content.[…]

Click here to read the full article via The Guardian.

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ABC has appointed David Anderson as managing director

ABC Melbourne (Photo: Mark Fahey)

David Anderson (Source: ABC)

(Source: The Guardian via Michael Bird)

David Anderson, a 30-year veteran at the public broadcaster, has been appointed ABC managing director by the chair, Ita Buttrose, replacing the sacked Michelle Guthrie.

“Mr Anderson is an exceptional media professional with strong content, digital and strategic experience,” Buttrose said.

“The ABC Board resolved unanimously to appoint David Anderson following a national and international search that produced many impressive candidates.

“With almost 30 years of service, David’s knowledge of the ABC is unsurpassed. He has a deep understanding of audience needs and the board is confident he has the skills and ability to respond to the challenges of a changing media environment.[…]

Click here to read the full story at The Guardian.

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The BBC World Service has a new theme

(Image source: BBC)

(Source: The Guardian)

For 70 years, far-flung listeners knew they had found the BBC on their radio dial when they heard the jaunty notes of the Irish jig Lillibulero. Its brassy, old-fashioned sound spoke of men in dinner jackets and vintage radio microphones, and there was a minor public outcry when it was formally dropped more than a decade ago.

Since then the World Service, which has an audience of 79 million, has used a musical motif which, according to controller Mary Hockaday “changed every now and then in rather an ad hoc way”.

But from tomorrow morning, the English-language station will have a new jingle, letting listeners across the world know unquestionably that London is calling. The signature tune is a nod to the station’s long traditions, with even a beat or two of the BBC’s famous pips to send a message about values in an age of “fake news”.[…]

Click here to read the full story at The Guardian.

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