If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ll likely know that I’m a Word War II history buff and I especially enjoy exploring the deep rabbit hole that is WWII radio and propaganda.
Radio broadcasts were heavily used by all of the players in WWII, and some prominent personalities emerged from the Axis propaganda machines: most notably Axis Sally and Lord Haw Haw in the European theatre, and Tokyo Rose in the Pacific theatre.
Toguri being interviewed by the press in September 1945 (Source: Public Domain)
Although Tokyo Rose was the name given to an array of female personalities on Radio Tokyo (NHK), at the end of WWII Iva Toguri was widely accused of being the “real” Tokyo Rose. After attempting to return to her native US, she was arrested, tried, and became the seventh person in U.S. history to be convicted of treason.
Her trial in 1949 resulted in a conviction on one of eight counts of treason and she received a 10 year sentence. Her sentence was eventually cut to 6 years due to good behavior.
U.S. President Gerald Ford pardoned Toguri in 1977 based on new evidence that important witnesses in her treason trial had been forced to lie.
The story of Iva Toguri is truly one of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you enjoy comics/graphic novels and WWII history, then you’re in for a treat. Last week, I purchased a new graphic novel about the life and trial of Iva Toguri written by Andre Frattino and illustrated by Kate Kasenow.
This book is beautifully illustrated in black and white and the author does an amazing job of telling the story of Toguri, woven into a narrative, while keeping it historical accuracy.
It’s obvious a lot of research went into this particular graphic novel.
If this sounds like something that would interest you, I highly recommend it.
Image Source: Twenty Thousand Hertz. Art by Jon McCormack.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Wilbur Forcier, who recently shared a link to the latest episode of the excellent Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast. This entire episode also explores Iva Toguri’s life and involvement in NHK’s propaganda broadcasts.
I also highly recommend listening to this episode.
An intracellular antenna that’s compatible with 3D biological systems and can operate wirelessly inside a living cell.
A new study could allow scientists to create cyborgs at a cellular scale, thanks to MIT Media Lab for designing a miniature antenna that can operate wirelessly inside a living cell. This could have applications in medical diagnostics, treatment, and other scientific processes because of the antenna’s potential for real-time monitoring and directing cellular activity.
Scientists named this technology Cell Rover. It represents the first demonstration of an antenna that can operate inside a cell and is compatible with 3D biological systems.
Deblina Sarkar, assistant professor and AT&T Career Development Chair at the MIT Media Lab and head of the Nano-Cybernetic Biotrek Lab, said, “Typical bioelectronic interfaces are millimeters or even centimeters in size and are not only highly invasive but also fail to provide the resolution needed to interact with single cells wirelessly — especially considering that changes to even one cell can affect a whole organism.”
The size of the newly developed antenna is much smaller than a cell. The antenna represented less than .05 percent of the cell volume in research with oocyte cells. It converts electromagnetic waves into acoustic waves, whose wavelengths are five orders of magnitude smaller, representing the velocity of sound divided by the wave frequency — than those of the electromagnetic waves. [Continue reading…]
This episode was written and produced by Jack Higgins.
We’ve all heard the iconic recordings from the Apollo missions. But how exactly does NASA manage to run live audio between Earth and the moon? And how might we chat with astronauts on Mars and beyond? Featuring Astronaut Peggy Whitson, NASA Audio Engineer Alexandria Perryman, and Astrophysicist Paul Sutter.
Australia’s communications regulator ACMA has asked radio amateurs to comment on their proposed amateur class licence and considerations for higher power 1 kW operation
The ACMA say:
Following the extensive 2021 public consultation and associated response to submissions, we have released a consultation paper on the proposed amateur class licence and supporting operational arrangements, along with considerations for higher power operation. This is the next step in our review of regulatory arrangements for the operation of non-assigned amateur stations.
The draft class licence for amateur radio has been amended to incorporate changes suggested by representative bodies, amateur radio clubs and individual amateurs during the 2021 consultation.
Questions about the consultation
If you have an important question about this consultation, please send it directly to [email protected]. Please note, we may use the Amateur radio update e-bulletin to answer frequently asked questions.
In the late 1950s television networks ruled the airwaves from 7 to 11 PM, but outside of that timeslot television was live, local and unpredictable.
Jim Hanlon, W8KGI, worked as a summer relief engineer at Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV from 1956 to 1958. At that time WCPO-TV did not have any video recording technology, so all local TV was live TV and provided a refreshing dose of live programming, equipment failures and production creativity that been lost in today’s pasteurized, homogenized TV ecosystem.
Join Jim as he recalls what it like producing live TV programming in the early days of television broadcasting.
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’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Paul, David Goren, Pete Polanyk, Ulis Fleming, Troy Riedel, Tracy Wood, Dan Robinson, and Kris Partridge for the following tips:
This episode was written and produced by Olivia Rosenman.
Since World War I, countries around the world have been broadcasting mysterious numerical messages via shortwave radio. Though concrete evidence is hard to come by, the general consensus is that these coded messages are meant for undercover agents operating abroad. And one particular Russian station may have an even more sinister purpose. Featuring computer engineer Andrus Aaslaid, historian Maris Goldmanis, and documentary photographer Lewis Bush.
A public SDR network triangulates the island as the source of mystery signals
By Stephen Cass
As anti-government protests spilled onto the streets in Cuba on July 11, something strange was happening on the airwaves. Amateur radio operators in the United States found that suddenly parts of the popular 40-meter band were being swamped with grating signals. Florida operators reported the signals were loudest there, enough to make communication with hams in Cuba impossible. Other operators in South America, Africa, and Europe also reported hearing the signal, and triangulation software that anyone with a web browser can try placed the source of the signals as emanating from Cuba.
Cuba has a long history of interfering with broadcast signals, with several commercial radio stations in Florida allowed to operate at higher than normal power levels to combat jamming. But these new mystery signals appeared to be intentionally targeting amateur radio transmissions. A few hours after the protest broke out on the 11th, ham Alex Valladares (W7HU) says he was speaking with a Cuban operator on 7.130 megahertz in the 40-meter band, when their conversation was suddenly overwhelmed with interference. “We moved to 7170, and they jam the frequency there,” he says. Valladares gave up for the night, but the following morning, he says, “I realize that they didn’t turn off those jammers. [Then] we went to 140 the next day and they put jamming in there.”[…]
Houlton School, where Rugby Radio Station once stood, is set take its first influx of pupils in September
Plans for a new school at the historic former home of Rugby Radio Station are being fine-tuned and remain on track for a September start.
Houlton School, which will be named after the town in America that received the first transatlantic voice broadcast from Rugby Radio Station in 1927, will take its first influx of 180 Year 7 pupils this autumn.
The school, which forms part of the 6,200-home urban extension in Houlton, east of Rugby town centre, will take a new year group of 180 pupils every 12 months.
Michael McCulley, the school’s Principal Designate, said: “Whilst building a fantastic £39m new school during three lockdowns has had its challenges, we are also acutely aware that we have had a completely blank page from which to develop our exciting curriculum and pastoral programme.
“This freedom has been important as we have needed to evolve to the changing needs of our first group of students.[…]
Ham Radio Outlet to open store in Florida (Amateur Radio Newsline)
Ham Radio Outlet, the nationwide amateur radio retailer in the US, has announced that its ongoing expansion plans will include a store in the state of Florida. The new store will join 12 already open in such states as California in the West, where the company is based, to Delaware in the East, Arizona and Texas in the South, New Hampshire in the North. The company’s announcement on social media set off a wave of speculation about the new location, especially on Instagram where the company wrote, “We’re not telling yet! We’re open to suggestions.” The closest Ham Radio Outlet to Florida is in Atlanta, Georgia. The company, which calls itself the world’s largest supplier of amateur radio equipment, is also known for shipping internationally.
Every Sunday, an operator with Pune Police’s wireless wing sends a Morse Code message to the office of the Director General of Police, Maharashtra.
IN THE era of satellite communication, which involves transmitting signals into space and back, and internet based systems transferring gigabytes of data in a flash, police have kept alive the age-old system of Morse Code – a primitive method of sending messages in the form of dots and dashes.
Every Sunday, an operator with Pune Police’s wireless wing sends a Morse Code message to the office of the Director General of Police, Maharashtra. While this is their way of paying tributes to one of the earliest modes of telecommunication, it is primarily a way of maintaining a robust stand-by mode of message delivery in case all other means of communication fail.
Pune City police have recently started a series of tweets featuring the communication systems used by the police and their evolution till date. On Sunday, Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta tweeted, “As an ode to the beginning of wireless communications, the Commissioner’s Office still uses Morse Code to transmit Messages every Sunday.”[…]
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW saw a World War II spy radio which was disguised as a toolbox fetch a huge valuation when it travelled to Kenilworth Castle.
Antiques Roadshow’s expert Mark Smith marvelled at the ingenuity of a spy radio which was used in World War Two in a recent episode. The item, from the outside, was made to look like a toolbox but when opened, displayed a detailed radio which could be “powered by any source”. So how much was it worth? Mark put a £10,000 to £15,000 price tag on it.[…]
Former WNYC director Seymour N. Siegel suggested that WNYC once received fan mail from Einstein. As I continue to look far and wide for evidence of this alleged bit of praise, I can’t help but wonder, what broadcast prompted the great man to write? Alas, so far, the document has eluded me. But, we do know that the father of the theory of relativity was a subscriber to both the WNYC and WQXR program guides. And we have no less than Erwin Panofsky, the noted German-American art historian and friend of Einstein’s, to thank for that.
It all began when the distinguished gang at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey decided to chip in and build the Nobel laureate a “high-fidelity” radio for his 70th birthday. The 1949 gift included subscriptions to the WNYC, WQXR, and WABF program guides.[…]
NBC’s three little chimes didn’t just define a television network, they defined a generation. Where did they come from and what is the surprising impact they have had on current and future media? Featuring the last person to play the NBC chimes on the NBC radio network, broadcaster Rick Greenhut, and radio historian, John Schneider.