Tag Archives: William Lee

78 Megahertz: Australian astronomers detect signal from the dawn of the universe

(Image: NASA – Hubble Space Telescope)

(Source: ABC Science via William Lee)

Astronomers detect signal from the dawn of the universe, using simple antenna in WA outback

They have picked up a radio signature produced just 180 million years after the Big Bang using a simple antenna in the West Australian outback.

The ground breaking discovery, reported today in the journal Nature, sheds light on a period of time known as the “cosmic dawn”, when radiation from the first stars started to alter the primordial gas soup surrounding them.

[…]The signal they’ve been looking for is a miniscule fraction — between 0.1 and 0.01 per cent — of the radio noise from the sky.

“It’s like trying to hear a whisper from the other side of a roaring football stadium,” Professor Bowman said.

The signal is also within the lower range of FM radio, so finding a place on Earth that is free of human radio interference was essential.

That’s why Professor Bowman and colleagues decided to base their experiment at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, 300 kilometres north-east of Geraldton.

“Going to Western Australia and working at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory was an absolutely critical first step for us,” he said.

There they built a small table-sized radio spectrometer with a radio receiver attached to two metal panels that act as an antenna. Akin to a set-up from the 60s or 70s, the EDGES instrument is much simpler in design than bigger array telescopes around the world.[…]

Click here to read the full article at ABC Science.

PNG Minister for Communication wants to invest in shortwave

(Source: The Post Courier via Bill Lee)

Minister for Communication, Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil wants all 22 provinces to have short wave frequency radio stations.

He said this during the Central Province assembly induction program last week Friday in Port Moresby.

“My role as the minister is to make sure that we go back to all the 22 provinces to make sure that we revive the radio stations,” Mr Basil said.

He said most of the radio stations currently using frequency modulation (FM) face the problem of signal loose in the rural settings as it is only powered by repeater and could not be able to penetrate when it meets obstacles.

“This is to ensure that people are kept informed and in tuned with the government of the day,” Mr Basil said.

[…]“I want to go short wave and we want to bring back to all the provinces capital in Papua New Guinea through National Broadcasting Corporation so that people in the mountains can have excess to communication,” Mr Basil said.

Click here to read the full article at The Post Courier.

British Columbia: Large collection of antique radios up for auction

(Source: Vancouver Sun via William Lee)

Victor Jaeggle loved radios.

“He had a big, shortwave radio he kept by his bedside,” said his daughter, Susan. “This thing would buzz all night. He’d have headphones on, listening to San Francisco, the British news. He was just a radio junkie.”

Jaeggle wasn’t just a radio listener, he was a radio collector. He bought his first cabinet radio from an auction as a pre-teen, and over the decades amassed a huge collection.

“He spent many hours torturing his family with the screeches, whines and whistles of accurate restoration in an ever-shrinking house full of radios,” Susan recounts, with a laugh.

“(The basement) was chock-a-block with radios,” said his ex-wife, Anne. “You kind of wandered down this narrow pathway to get from the bottom of the stairs to the laundry room.”

Jaeggle died on Dec. 8, 2014, at age 72. Almost three years later, his family has put his radios and gramophones up for sale Oct. 28 at Able Auctions in Abbotsford.

Sam Garandza of Able has never sold anything quite like it.

“This is the biggest collection I’ve ever sold,” said Garandza. “I think I had 70 radios in one consignment, but this has to be 400 or 500 radios. (There are so many) we are selling some in group lots, so we might end up with 200 to 250 lots.”[…]

Continue reading at the Vancouver Sun…

Many thanks for the tip, William! Thankfully, I live too far away from this auction to attend, else I’d be tempted by these beauties!

Radio Caroline at 50 years

Radio Caroline circa 1960’s.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who shares this item from ABC News:

Radio Caroline: Golden age of British pirate radio remembered, 50 years on

They were the pirates of the open seas — bringing rock and pop music to a new generation.

And the British government was furious.

Back in the 1960s, when pop and rock were taking over the music scene, British teenagers had to turn to pirate radio stations to hear bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Barred from broadcasting from land, stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London had taken to the water, using rusty old ships moored in international waters to broadcast to millions of eager listeners across the UK.

The government wasn’t happy and 50 years ago, on August 14 1967, the Marine Offences Act made it illegal to support the ships or broadcast from them.[…]

Continue reading…

William note that this story can be found on multiple news sources, but the ABC has more photos.

Other sources include:

Many thanks for the tips, William! Like many Post readers, I do love Radio Caroline!

Elettra: The story of Guglielmo Marconi through his daughter Princess Elettra Marconi

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William Lee, who notes that the radio documentary Elettra is now available to rent (A$5.10) or download via Vimeo. Note that this program has geographic restrictions and may be limited to streaming in Australia:

ELETTRA from Ronin Films on Vimeo.

Encouraged by her friendship with Australian broadcaster, Ben Starr, the Princess opens her home and her heart to recall and relive her family’s saga.

Her own story is counter-pointed by her memories of her father and all he achieved. As a girl, Elettra watched her father create magic. For her, the use of radio technology to save the?lives of the Titanic survivors and to track down criminals was just part of her father’s wizardry. He had started a revolution. Wireless became the most fabulous invention of the 19th century: the public thought it was miraculous, and leading scientists of the day could not understand how it worked.

Elettra inherited the Marconi empire when she was seven years old. Having spent her life travelling the world to promote her father’s legacy, the Princess now plans to turn her crumbling family palace in Bologna into a radiant academy for the arts and science.
From the gardens of enchanted villas, to the corridors of the Vatican, we peek into the cracks of a new “Dolce Vita”, where nothing is quite what it seems.

For all her joyful enthusiasm, the Princess has found little support for her plan in Italy’s dysfunctional ministries and is searching far beyond. Can she make her dream come true?

Click here to view the trailer on Vimeo.