Tag Archives: World Radio Day

Guest Post: Report from the 2019 Henry’s Island DXpediton

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Sandipan Basu Mallick (VU3JXD), for sharing the following guest post:


Henry’s Island DXpediton 2019

World Radio day is observed by the UNESCO on 13th February every year. This year is the 8th year world day being celebrated with theme “celebrate radio and how it shapes our lives”.  In recent times there has been a sea change in radio listening and radio broadcasting. More and more radio broadcasters are shifting to FM which radiate over a small distances and require low power transmitters. Medium wave broadcasting and shortwave broadcasting which is used to reach audience over larger distances is gradually becoming less important with the growth of internet connectivity. Broadcasters are increasingly streaming their content over the internet to reach their audience via the PC, Laptop and now via the mobile phone.

DXing is the hobby of listening to the faraway and distant signals and the hobbyist are called DXers. DXers would switch on their radio set, connect it to the piece of wire which is the antenna and turn the dial to search and listen to the far away and sometimes feeble radio signals. For these radio enthusiasts challenge is becoming greater. The big names of yesteryear such as BBC, Voice of America, Radio Moscow and Deutsche Welle, the German radio are all gradually shifting their content from shortwave broadcasting to the internet. Now with data connectivity to the mobile phone available to everyone, the shortwave broadcasters find a more reliable and popular route to reach their audience through the internet rather than troublesome “bounce” through the ionosphere. Then with the rise of household electrical devices which radiate “radio noise” such as the LED bulb or the TV, the radio signals from distant lands have to rise over this local noise to reach the ear of the audience.

That is why a band of radio enthusiasts from all over India have travelled to the listening camp set up at a resort in Henry Island at Bakkhali in the state of West Bengal, India. This year the listening camp ran from 10th – 13th Feb, which celebrated World Radio Day and the hobby of radio. The dedicated radio enthusiasts who have been drawn into this radio listening camp, are drawn from different parts of country varying from New Delhi to Tripura. Kolkata the home of the Indian DX club International (www.idxci.in), has been promoting the hobby since 1980 has naturally most participants in this camp. They were very upbeat while worldwide radio enthusiasts have to cope up with bad news for the hobby. In the last few years, stations after stations have closed down and so have iconic radio clubs like Danish Short Wave Club and periodicals like Monitoring Times. Broadcasting mega corporations like VOA and DW have reduced their presence in the airwaves to a faint whisper compared to their former roar.

Sandipan Basu Mallick (VU3JXD) with Dr Supratik Sanatani (VU2IFB)

Sandipan Baus Mallick (VU3JXD), who is the principal in organizing this year’s DXpedition from IDXCI says that the appeal of radio is still there among the various age groups. These camps are set up in remote locations, which enable the radio enthusiast to come together with likeminded people to exchange ideas and experiment with their equipments and brush up their skills with conventional radio. People from various races of life participated in this years camp.

Among the participants Sudipto Ghose (VU2UT) who just retired from a job with the Ministry of Finance is drawn by the technical part of the hobby and toys with new radio receivers and accessories such as antennas and preamplifiers.

C K Raman (VU3DJQ) from Delhi whose job incidentally involved professionally monitoring broadcast stations, has narrowed his interest down to the medium wave stations and the tropical band stations such as stations from Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia and has come down looking for such exotic signals.

Suvendu Das (SWL), who professionally managed ship communications has suddenly become interested in the hobby of broadcast band listening.

Pradip Kundu (SWL) of Tripura who after retiring as a Principal has more time to pursue his childhood passion and is an avid QSL collector.

Babul Gupta (VU3ZBG) an interior designer still spends time to seek those rare signals at the wee hours and has to his credit listening to some of the most rare to hear stations from India such as Cross Radio, an evangelist radio station broadcasting from the Carribean.

Alokesh Gupta (VU3BSE) has flown in from Delhi for the radio camp is an avid enthusiast who also served to coordinate the Listeners association of Radio Taiwan and runs the website radioactivity.org which disseminates information related to radio broadcasting.

Kallol Nath (SWL) is among the newest entrants in the DXer squad. Armed with XH Data D-808 receiver, he logged a number of pirate stations on the MW band.

For Sandipan, a marketing professional worked to set up this camp and bring together radio enthusiast from various parts of India. He is also drawn by the technical aspects of the hobby and can flaunt many a radio gear just like his friend Debanjan Chakraborty (VU3DCH) who is a radio collector and has radio sets.

Accompanying them is Eye Surgeon Dr Supratik Sanatani (VU2IFB), who has key interest in home brewing various radio equipment, and a veteran in DXpedition also came together explore the airwaves from the Bay of Bengal.

Henry’s Island marked with a red location pin.

Henry’s Island is at the tip of the Bay of Bengal which for the radio listener gives a good opportunity to hear distant signals from Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Indonesian archipelago and Papua New Guiniea.

DXpeditioners strung long wire antennas aimed in their favorite direction and then connect their modern digital radio receivers to try to catch the feeble signals from exotic radio stations. During their whole night listening sessions, some would exclaim at 2.30 am that the Phillipines medium wave station was opening with a greeting its local audience in the local language Tagalog–or someone might simply record the Maldivian medium wave station from Male ending its transmission with their national anthem. The fisheries ground also has the advantage of low noise from electrical devices. To run away from local noise, the hobbyist might even have to pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere and use their advanced radio receivers with battery power.

What is the pinnacle of success? Just like the bird watcher catching a glimpse of the rare migratory bird, for the DXers it is the thrill of listening to exotic signals such as from the American Forces Military Base at Diego Garcia to the barely audible Papua New Guinean station from Port Moresby. Then there are others like that Peruvian station Radio Tarma with excited football commentary which comes through to India only during a short window in the very early morning before day break and only on few days in a year. Even though the 11 year old solar sunspot cycle which influences radio transmission, is at its favorable “ low”, we can still confirm that DXing as a hobby is still alive and kicking!!!

DXers in Action


Thank you so much for sharing this report, Sandipan! It appears that you not only enjoyed some excellent DX on Henry’s Island, but you also strengthened friendships that will last a lifetime. Well done!


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Happy World Radio Day 2019!

(Photo Source: UNESCO)

(Source: UNESCO World Radio Day)

UNESCO invites all radio stations and supporting organisations to join us for World Radio Day 2019, a chance to strengthen diversity, peace and development through their broadcasting.

World Radio Day marks a time where people around the world celebrate radio and how it shapes our lives. Radio brings together people and communities from all backgrounds to foster positive dialogue for change. More specifically, radio is the perfect medium to counter the appeals for violence and the spread of conflict, especially in regions potentially more exposed to such realities. On that basis, World Radio Day 2019 will celebrate the theme of “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace” and the power of radio in promoting understanding and strong communities.

Please explore our webpage, brimming with ideas, activities and practical solutions, for you to do on or around World Radio Day.

As I note each World Radio Day, at our non-profit Ears To Our World, we celebrate the unique power of radio everyday. While we use a variety of technologies in rural and remote communities, radio still plays a central role since it’s such an accessible technology.

We’re currently preparing more than 100 self-powered radios for distribution in rural Haiti.

Happy World Radio Day!

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World Radio Day and special broadcast by Sveriges DX-Forbund

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald (DL1ABJ), who writes:

Just noted that SDXF (Sveriges DX-Forbund) on 13 February will have a program via Channel 292 on 7440 kHz from 0800 UTC and again from 1300 UTC.

Each year on February 13th UNESCO celebrates World Radio Day (WRD).

The WRD 2019 website will give more information about this years event in around two days from now:

https://www.diamundialradio.org/

Many thanks, Harald, for spreading the word! World Radio Day is a great reminder of how important radio still is in many parts of the world.

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Guest Post: “Why are Kolkata DXers upbeat on World Radio Day 2018?”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Sandipan Basu Mallick (VU3JXD), who shares the following guest post:

Dear Thomas,

On the even of World radio Day, 10 DXers of Kolkata, India gathered while the radio enthusiast around the world are coping with bad news for the hobby.

In this regard, please find a guest post written by fellow DXer and Amateur Radio Operator Dr Supratik Sanatani (VU2IFB):


Why are Kolkata DXers upbeat on World Radio Day 2018?

DXers gathers to celebrate World Radio Day 2018 at Kolkata Maidan

A small group of ten DXers gathered in a Kolkata Maidan tent on the eve of World Radio Day 2018. They were very upbeat while worldwide radio enthusiasts have to cope up with bad news for the hobby. In the last few years stations after stations had closed down and so had iconic radio clubs like Danish Short Wave Club and periodicals like Monitoring Times. Broadcasting mega corporations like VOA and DW have reduced their presence in the airwaves to a faint whisper compared to their former roar.

Why are the Kolkata DXers upbeat in 2018? AIR Kolkata which was the first transmitter of the AIR network beginning from 1926 as erstwhile Indian Broadcasting Corporation had gone nearly silent few years ago with woes from aging valve tube transmitters. Then there was the assault of the tropical storm Aila which had brought down one of its mw antenna towers. The situation is entirely different today.

There are brand new solid state DRM capable mw transmitters in place which are blaring out Kolkata A 657 kHz and Kolkata B 1008 kHz signals at signal levels which dare to compete with the FM stations. Rightfully the two iconic stations have been rechristened “Gitanjali” for Kolkata A and “Sanchaita” for Kolkata B both named after famous works of the noble prize winning prolific author poet composer and painter Rabindra Nath Tagore. In the outskirts of the city AIR Maitri 594 kHz 1000kw which is a external service Bengali broadcast to neighbouring Bangladesh proudly blares its signals across the wave. AIR Maitri was made possible by the personal enthusiasm of the former Chairman of Prasar Bharati, the holding corporation of All India Radio and Doordarshan TV, Mr Jwahar Sircar who hails from the city.

In this meeting there were veteran DXers such as Babul Gupta and Sudipto Ghosh who have had their first QSL in the late 60s to the early 70s, sitting side by side with Abhijit Dutta who started MW listening in Siliguri. When he moved to Kolkata Abhijit came across Kallol Nath who started DXing only a couple of years ago. Kallol introduced Abhijit to the joy of shortwave listening and that is why he was there at the meet. Kallol in this meet narrated how his Tecsun PL660 was bugged by technical glitches and had to be serviced twice in the warranty period by shipping it all the way to the vendor at Singapore. With his receiver Kallol, from his high rise apartment in the heart of Kolkata has to still climb to its roof for better reception. That is when the veterans lamented the rise of manmade radio frequency interference (RFI) from the array of household and community sources which bug the Short Wave DXers today. The present sunspot low is also a big obstacle before the new entrants to the hobby.

While the conventional radio stations are dwindling, the profile of SW and MW DXer is also changing. Debanjan Chakrabarti is a case in point. Starting from a conventional DXer he is now an avid radio collector. He is also a licenced radio amateur (VU3DCH) .His collection sports the iconic radio sets such as the Yaseu FRG 7 which was the apple of the DXers eye in the early eighties. A visit to Debanjans shack is like a trip to the museum of DXing from early 80s. Now a licenced radio amateur Debanjan is presently toying with the idea of adding a hybrid transeceiver to his collection. This would be a radio set sporting both tubes and transistors,

A distinct shift in profile of the Kolkata DXer is that many of them have either acquired or are in the process of getting their radio amateurs licence. Sandipan Basu Mallick (VU3JXD) is one such who was one of the organisers of this small gathering. The meet was graciously hosted by the veteran technical DXer Sudipto Ghosh (VU2UT). Sandipan is active in Short Wave DXing over 2 decades and recently local VHF bands and Hamsphere as well.

Babul Gupta after his years of Short Wave DXing is active in Hamsphere. I owe Babul Gupta (VU3ZBG) a QSL because he received my only transmission from my BITX made from my (VU2IFB) location at South of Kolkata to his place some 30 km away at North 24 Parganas. Most of the former SWL only Dxers have their call signs even though the activity level is abysmally low ranging from a a couple of contacts to no
contact.

The icing in the cake of this meet was the presence of the veteran homebrew radio amateur Atanu Dasgupta (VU2ATN). His conversation with the group was indeed a technical orientation programme for the semi advanced to the advanced DXer. His emphasis was focussing on basics and keeping the target small – “start with a small project like power supply or a grid dip meter” was his advice to the group. His brief presentation on the powerful history of innovative home brewing in amateur radio in this city from Anadi Ganguly (VU2GE) to Ganesh Banerjee (VU2LL) to Amal Piplai (VU2AT) was an eye-opener for most in this group. Atanau Dasguptas suggestion to those planning for the amateur licence was to aim for the general category because the restrictive category is too restrictive and does not permit Morse. His suggestions and narrative were so useful that that they have been documented in a separate blog page.

An invitee, though not a DXer himself, who could not make to the meet due to previous commitment was Bamaprasad Mukherjee. Mr Mukherjee is a writer for children’s magazines in Bengali. One of his articles which in the late nineties appeared in Bengali children’s monthly “Anandamela” was extremely popular and introduced many a DXers from the city who are very active today. Mr Mukherjee is planning to write another feature on the hobby of DXing, which surely will bring in more enthusiasts to this hobby.

The Kolkata DXers have much to cheer on World Radio Day 2018

Compiled by Dr Supratik Sanatani (VU2IFB) on World Radio Day, February 13, 2018

Video of World Radio Day 2018, Kolkata DXers Meet:


Thank you, Sandipan, for sharing your World Radio Day meet with the SWLing Post community!

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World Radio Day 2018

(Source: UNESCO World Radio Day)

The seventh edition of World Radio Day will be held on 13 February 2018 under the theme: Radio and Sports, with all radio stations, regulatory bodies and related organisations invited to celebrate radio and its contribution to democratic debate through information, entertainment and audience interaction.

As we look forward to a year of momentous sporting events – events that have the ability to unite the hearts and minds of people everywhere – we call on all radio stations around the world to showcase the beauty of sports in all of its diversity. Let’s celebrate the traditional sports that connect us to our cultural heritage, the grassroots sports that anchor within our communities, and the inspiring stories that challenge gender stereotypes and covers, equally, both men’s and women’s sports events.

World Radio Day 2018 will focus on the following UNESCO sub-themes:

  • Diversity in Sports Coverage: ?Through the coverage of traditional and grassroots games, radio can reconnect people with their cultural heritage, promoting freedom of expression and diversity through cultural expression;
  • Gender Equality in Sports Coverage: Sports coverage is hugely powerful in shaping norms and stereotypes about gender. Radio has the ability to challenge these norms, promoting a balanced coverage of men’s and women’s sports and a fair portrayal of sportspeople irrespective of gender;
  • Peace and Development through Sports Coverage: Through greater coverage of sports for peace and development initiatives, the universal values of non-violence, solidarity and tolerance are recognized and celebrated.
  • The World Radio Day 2018 website (www.worldradioday.org (link is external)) is live – with rights-free content, new broadcast packages, articles and blogs.

Please feel free to add your event or on-air programme to our World Radio Day 2018 global map so people around the world can tune in to hear what you have to say on World Radio Day.

World Radio Day was first celebrated in 2012, following its declaration by the UNESCO General Conference. It was subsequently adopted as an International Day by the United Nations General Assembly. Previous annual themes have included gender equality, youth participation, radio in humanitarian and disaster situations, and “Radio is You!” In past years, World Radio Day has seen wide success, with over 500 events taking place wordwide in 2017.

Of course, at my non-profit Ears To Our World, we celebrate the unique power of radio everyday. While we use a variety of technologies in rural and remote communities, radio still plays a central role since it’s such an accessible technology.

Happy World Radio Day!

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World Radio Day 2018: Radio Romania International seeks listener input

(Source: Radio Romania International via David Iurescia, LW4DAF)

February 13 is a day to celebrate radio, to improve international cooperation between broadcasters and to encourage major networks and community radios to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves. The theme of World Radio Day this year is “Radio and Sports”.

As we look forward to a year of momentous sporting events, events that have the ability to unite the hearts and minds of people everywhere, UNESCO calls on all radio stations around the world to showcase the beauty of sports in all of its diversity.

Radio Romania invites you to bring your contribution to our World Radio Day show by telling us what sports topics you would prefer hearing about in our programmes.

World Radio Day, celebrated on 13 February, marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, when it transmitted its first call sign: “This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world.”

World Radio Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio, and enhance networking among broadcasters.

To celebrate World Radio Day, we invite you, dear listeners and Internet users, to send us short messages, by email, at engl@rri.ro

Click here to view this post on RRI’s website.

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Guest Post: International Radio Fair and World Radio Day in Bhubaneswar, India

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ashok Shankar Das, who shares the following guest post originally published on his blog SWLDAS:


International Radio Fair and World Radio Day

by Ashok Shankar Das

For last few years Outreach International used to organize a radio fair. This year too they organized “International Radio Fair 2017” at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Besides other participants, Amateur Radio Society of Odisha (ARSO) participated in the fair too.

Main Attractions

The main attractions of this fair was HAM radio, vintage radio collection and radio related stamp collection.

International Radio Fair 2017 Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

The Sand Art for World Radio Day in the venue

Vintage Radio collection

Mr. Ghanasyam collected several radios Most of them are vintage tube radios. Though they are non functional but for a museum it is very nice to see radios from my Grand fathers time. Around 500 to 600 radios were on display.

Mr. Ghanashyam in his 80s now a radio lover, I would say Radio Crazy man.

Vintage Radio Stall from a distance.

Few Radios with close-ups.

His collection includes several radios from Philips, Murphy, Bush and HMV to name a few…

Radio Philatelist

The other attraction is Philatelist Mr. Ashok Kumar Tiwari. his collection includes Radio inventors/researcher, development of radio, broadcast history, Emergency Communication and HAM radio. A very nice and exhaustive collection.

Alexander Popov

J.C Bose

G.Marconi

HAM radio related.

I could not put all the pictures of his collections, its huge…

Last but not the end…

The HAM radio stalls

In this category ARSO Bhubaneswar and ARCCS from Kolkata put up their stalls. Evan they have made a special call-sign for this Event(AT0IRF). In ARCCS stall, they have displayed and try to promote ON-AIR and how to reach out more people. On the other hand ARSO team focused on HAM radio Homebrew and Radio concepts.

VU2PQS(sitting) VU3XUS and VU2AOR

VU2PQS describing About HAM radio

VU2ABG from Surat came to meet ARSO team.

Concluding remarks

Though it was a very nice initiative, participation should have been more. Though it is organized jointly by UNESCO no International participation seen. hope coming year these shortcomings are fulfilled.


Ashok, thanks so much for sharing your photos and comments from the International Radio Fair and World Radio Day in Bhubaneswar.

Click here to check out Ashok’s blog SWLDAS.

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