Posts tagged ‘shortwave radio’

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Obituary: Julian Anderson, 1962 – 2014

Julian Anderson, an avid shortwave listener in Buenos Aires, Argentina, died on Wednesday, according to Glenn Hauser‘s audio magazine World of Radio as recorded and aired today. Anderson’s name was known to people who were interested in shortwave radio and who were always looking for information and advice, particularly in the days prior to the internet. From January 1988 to August 1992, Anderson published 51 volumes of a news bulletin on Latin American radio, Pampas DXing. With another radio fan, late Gabriel Ivan Barrera from Chile, he also published a number of editions of Latin American Radio World – Home Service Stations, and The Art of Latin American QSLing. Publications like these, often quoted overseas, helped listeners elsewhere in the world to understand what was going on on Latin American frequencies.

This was typical after-hours work of highly dedicated radioaficionados at a time when the easiest (or only) ways to keep people connected and information flowing were the phone, possibly a fax machine, and shortwave radio.

La Galena del Sur, a blog from Uruguay, contains a number of photos from the 1970s and 1980s, featuring a number of  active – and renowned, among shortwave listeners – South American radio fans, including Julian Anderson. The Galena blogger, Horacio A. Nigro, posted the news about Anderson’s passing on Facebook on Wednesday, according to World of Radio.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, July 2014: Radio Polonia terminates Broadcasts in German

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1. Radio Polonia’s German Service

Possibly along with Radio Budapest, and contrary to Radio Prague and Radio Berlin International (East Germany), Radio Polonia , Poland’s external radio station, was a rather liberal voice from the Warsaw Treaty bloc  through the 1970s and 1980s.

A Radio Polonia QSL card, confirming a report on the station's broadcast on February 9, 1986 at 16:00 UTC on 6095 kHz.

A Radio Polonia QSL card, confirming a report on the station’s broadcast on February 9, 1986 at 16:00 UTC on 6095 kHz.

The German department, started in 1950, wasn’t afraid of controversy, at least not in the 1980s. Even angry letters from West Germans who had once lived in the former eastern territories occasionally made it on the air (probably, the German department didn’t get too many letters of this kind anyway). The station never became one of my absolute favorites on shortwave, but many West Germans listened regularly.

2014 won’t mark the death of Radio Polonia, but the station’s German department has become history on June 30. Also in June this year, the Polish-abroad programs were terminated, and the Hebrew programs, Kol Polin, only established in 2007, apparently ended earlier this year.

Radio Polonia continues to broadcast in English, Russian, and Ukrainian – on the internet, through partnerships, and via satellite. The German audience still had the opportunity to listen on shortwave – a small shortwave transmitter operated by Radio 700 in Kall, North Rhine Westphalia, relayed Radio Polonia’s German programs. Last time I listend was in February this year, unaware that it would be the last time ever.

===============
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2. Recent Logs, July 2014

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AFS – South Africa; AIA – Anguilla; ARG – Argentina; BLR – Belarus; CHN – China; CUB - Cuba; D – Germany; EGY – Egypt; G – Great Britain; GRC – Greece; IND – India; J – Japan; MDG – Madagascar; SVN – Slovenia; SWZ – Swaziland; TIB – Tibet; UKR – Ukraine; USA – USA.

Languages (“L.”):
A – Arabic; BR – Belorussian; C – Chinese; E – English; F – French; G – German; Gr – Greek; H – Hindi; Sl – Slovenian; Sp – Spanish.

The table underneath will appear messy unless you click the headline of this particular post. The table is broader than the two columns of the overall blog frontpage. However, it is more convenient to find with a search engine this way.

kHz

Station

Ctry

L.

Day

GMT

S I O
15235 Channel Africa  AFS E July 2 17:00 5 5 5
   918 Radio Slovenia  SVN E July 2 20:30 4 4 4
   918 Radio Slovenia  SVN G July 2 20:34 4 4 4
   918 Radio Slovenia  SVN Sl July 2 20:38 4 4 4
 9540 Radio Japan  J C July 3 15:30 3 2 2
 3775.6 DARC/DL0DL  D G July 3 17:30 4 4 4
 9420 Voice of Greece  GRC Gr July 4 18:55 4 3 3
 6185 RTI Taipei  G G July 4 19:27 5 5 5
15120 AIR Delhi  IND H July 5 04:07 4 2 2
15120 CRI Beijing  CHN E July 5 04:07 3 2 2
 3995 HCJB Weenermoor  D G July 5 06:42 5 5 5
 7365 HCJB Weenermoor  D G July 5 09:30 3 4 3
 3995 HCJB Weenermoor  D G July 5 15:03 4 3 3
   918 Radio Slovenia  SVN G July 5 20:33 5 5 5
15345 RAE Buenos Aires  ARG G July 7 21:02 2 5 2
15345 RAE Buenos Aires  ARG G July 7 21:05 5 5 4
11710.4 RAE Buenos Aires  ARG E July 16 02:28 4 3 3
 6000 RHC Havana Cuba  CUB E July 16 03:00 5 4 4
 3774 DARC/DL0DL  D G July 17 17:30 5 4 4
 3995 HCJB Weenermoor  D G July 19 04:30 4 3 4
21480 Bible Voice BCN  MDG E July 19 11:21 3 3 3
 9965 Radio Cairo 1)  EGY A July 20 00:46 4 5 4
 9315 Radio Cairo 2)  EGY Sp July 20 01:00 3 5 2
 5850 RMI / Homecoming
Radio
 USA E July 20 01:06 4 4 4
 6090 Carribean Beacon  AIA E July 20 01:54 4 4 4
 9315 Radio Cairo 3)  EGY E July 20 02:01 4 4 2
 7505 Radio WRNO  USA E July 20 02:36 4 5 4
 3200 TWR Swaziland  SWZ E July 20 03:00 2 3 2
 6000 RHC Havana Cuba  CUB E July 20 04:00 4 5 4
15120 Voice of Nigeria 4)  NIG E July 20 08:17 4 3 3
11980.1 Radio Dniprovska
Hvylya 5)
 UKR ? July 20 08:00 3 4 3
11730 Radio Belarus  BLR BR July 20 11:34 4 5 3
15344.3 RAE Buenos Aires  ARG E July 23 18:26 5 4 4
 7550 AIR Delhi 6)  IND F July 25 20:15 5 5 4
 7550 AIR Delhi  IND H July 25 20:34 5 5 4
 7550 AIR Delhi  IND E July 25 20:45 5 5 4
 3995 HCJB Weenermoor  D G July 26 04:30 5 5 4
 6130 PBS Tibet 7)  TIB E July 26 16:30 4 3 3
11710 RAE Buenos Aires  ARG E July 30 02:06 4 5 3

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Footnotes

1) A splendid signal and – by the standards of Egyptian foreign radio anyway – splendid modulation, too. But that was only the Arabic program.
2) As far as the Spanish program, a bit later and 650 kHz further down, was concerned, modulation sucked as it does with all foreign-language programs from Cairo.
3) Of course, the English program’s modulation was no exception. It sucked, too. What a waste of energy.
4) Strong interference from China Radio International (CRI), by now the most undesirable shortwave station worldwide, in my view. Chinese shortwave radio appears to be everywhere, especially on frequencies where they can block sensitive or offending broadcasts, such as from Radio Japan. However, a primitive rotatable dipole antenna with a reasonably good directional effect worked wonders to push CRI (northeastern beam) aside and to get a clearer signal from Africa. Hence, at times, O=3.
5) I probably can’t tell Russian from Ukrainian. Therefore, I left the language column open here, with a question mark.
6) It was a surprise to find an All India Radio program in French on 7550 kHz at the time – it ought to be a Hindi program. I did enjoy the French program very much, because their approach is somewhat different to the English overseas service. It was a music program, and the French speakers actually explained the music.
7) Frequencies less than 10,000 kHz usually work best at nighttime or during winter. When tuning in to PBS Tibet on 6130 kHz at 16:00 UTC here in Northern Germany this summer, the signal isn’t better than O=2. By 16:30 UTC, it will usually improve to O=3, which is reasonably easy to listen to. Not necessarily true for reception in other places, obviously.

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Related

» Polish-German relations, Free Republic/Radio Polonia, 2006/2007

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

State Vandalism on the Air: from Beijing with Fear and Loathing

It couldn’t last. NHK Radio Japan‘s Chinese programs on 9540 kHz came in with a good signal here in Northern Germany for many months, but that seems to be over now. China People’s Broadcasting Station (CPBS), aka China National Radio (CNR) from mainland China occupies the frequency now.

Radio Japan QSL card from 1986, showing a tea plantation.

Can you pick us up? A Radio Japan QSL card from 1986, showing a tea plantation.

That doesn’t make Radio Japan completely inaudible here, but it’s no fun to listen to a faint Japanese signal behind vocal mainland Chinese commercials. I’ll probably switch NHK podcasts.

To use domestic radio to block international broadcasters is vandalism.

When it comes to certain historical Chinese facts, the Communist Party of China can’t even coexist with them. It seems that Beijing can’t coexist with information from abroad – no matter if facts, lies, or propaganda – either.

The way China is jamming Radio Japan is, by the way, a pussy-footed way of spoiling shortwave. The “Firedrake” would, at least, be a candid statement, even if still as ugly.

Rebroadcasts of China Radio International (CRI) programs and other Beijing-made propaganda, like the ones via Radio Luxemburg‘s 1440 kHz, ought to be tagged with an announcement at the beginning and the end of every hour on the air, informing listeners that while they can listen to the message from Beijing unimpeded, the senders themselves are denying Chinese nationals the experience of listening to international broadcasters.

That one line would tell more about China than a one-hour broadcast by China Radio International.

____________

Updates/Related

» Radio Japan Mandarin podcasts, regularly updated
» Jamming of BBC continues, March 28, 2014

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, June 2014: Russia, Ukraine, and Disasters

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1. Russian Domestic Radio / Use of Shortwave

The Voice of Russia (VoR) as a foreign radio service can probably be considered dead for good. But when it comes to domestic broadcasts, the picture may be somewhat different. Radio Rossii or Radio Rossiya Segodnya (the domestic service not the external “Russia Today” channel) and VGTRK abandoned their long wave and shortwave frequencies earlier this year (January 9 in Radio Rossii’s case), but the Security Council of the Russian Federation appears to have second thoughts about the move. A new agency, under the defense ministry’s jurisdiction, may be in charge of the transmission sites from 2016 on, Radio Eins (RBB) reports, quoting Russian website lenta.ru.

 A shortwave transmitter can reach both local and global audiences,

Oldrich Cip, chairman of the HFCC (high-frequency coordination conference) wrote in an article for UNESCO in 2013.

 This is due to the unique long-distance propagation property of shortwave radio by means of multiple reflections from layers in the upper earth’s atmosphere. Shortwave radio can provide service where other platforms such as satellite, FM or Internet are unavailable due to high cost, geographical location, lack of infrastructure, or even during natural or man-made disasters. Receivers are inexpensive and require no access fees. Shortwave radio is important for people living or travelling in isolated regions. It reaches across the digital divide to the most disadvantaged and marginalised societies.

This, in turn, would be in keeping with the Declaration and Action Plan of the World Summit on the Information Society, Cip added.

People at the margins of society would hardly be important business in Russian politics, but natural or man-made disasters may indeed be among the Russian Security Council’s concerns. In fact, Radio Vesti the news channel of VGTRK, returned to medium wave on March 2 or 3 this year. One of the reactivated frequencies, 1215 kHz, used to carry the Voice of Russia’s German programs on medium wave until 2012, apparently for ethnic Russian listeners or Russian speaking people in Ukraine. By March 22, Ukrainian authorities removed the Russian broadcaster from the national cable networks – medium wave thus became a backup for Vesti listeners.

Radio Kiev QSL, 1985

A bluesy QSL card from Kiev, confirming reception of a shortwave broadcast in German, on December 8, 1985.
Click picture for Radio Ukraine International (formerly Radio Kiev).

A high-tech country, too, stepped up shortwave broadcasts recently. On March 30, Radio Japan added broadcasts in Japanese to eastern Europe, on shortwave frequencies, from relay stations in the UK, the UAE, and directly from Japan – see Japan/UAE/U.K. Additional broadcasts of Radio Japan here. Apparently, NHK acts on the assumption that there are Japanese nationals in the region who still listen to shortwave.

And the Voice of Turkey (TRT Ankara/Emirler) broadcasts in Tatar daily from 10:00 to 10:25 UTC, on 9855 kHz shortwave. The target area is Crimea, with its minority of Crimean Tatars.

But not only man-made disasters may highlight the importance of shortwave. Many places in Asia are highly vulnerable to natural disaster. From June 5 to 6 this year, Radio Australia, the BBC World Service (Thailand relay), Radio Vatican, SLBC Sri Lanka, FEBC Philippines, IBB (this appears to be the International Broadcasting Bureau), MGLOB Madagascar, Radio Japan (Palau relay), RTC (i. e. China Radio International and CPBS transmission sites in China), and KTWR Agana took part in a shortwave trial program, practical test of a project developed by the HFCC – international Radio Delivery association in cooperation with Arab States and Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Unions.

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Related

» Dysfunctional, AFGE, probably Spring 2014

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2. Recent Logs, June 2014

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
ARG – Argentina; B – Brazil; BIH – Bosnia and Herzegovina; CAN – Canada; CHN – China; CUB – Cuba; D – Germany; IND – India; IRN – Iran; J – Japan; KRE – North Korea; TIB – Tibet; TJK – Tajikistan.

Languages (“L.”):
C – Chinese; E – English; F – French; G – German; P – Portuguese; S – Spanish; T – Tibetan.

kHz

Station

Ctry

L.

Day

GMT

S I O
 5040 RHC
Cuba
 CUB E June
1
05:00 4 5 4
15250 VoA  TJK C June
1
10:59 2 3 2
15250 CPBS/
CNR
 1) C June
1
11:00 4 4 4
 9540 Radio
Japan
 J C June
1
15:30 4 4 4
13760 Voice of
Korea
 KRE E June
2
13:00 4 4 4
 7550 AIR
Delhi
 IND E June
2
18:00 5 5 5
15345 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG E June
2
18:05 5 5 3
11711 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG ? June
5
01:57 2 3 2
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG E June
6
02:28 5 5 4
11780 Radio
Nacional
da
Brasilia
 B P June
6
02:57 4 5 3
 6160 St. Johns  CAN E June
8
02:35 4 3 3
 6005 Radio
Atlantic
 D F June
8
08:50 5 5 5
17510 AIR
Delhi
 IND E June
8
10:00 3 4 3
 9540 Radio
Japan
 J C June
11
15:30 4 3 3
11710 RAE
Buenos
Aires 2)
 ARG S June
12
02:00 4 4 4
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
14
21:00 5 4 4
 7365 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
14
21:07 5 4 4
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
14
21:21 5 5 5
 7315 IRIB
Tehran
 IRN E June
15
19:24 5 5 4
 6100 Radio
Serbia
Inter-
national
 BIH G June
15
20:00 5 2 3
 7550 AIR
Delhi
 IND E June
16
20:45 5 5 4
15345 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG G June
17
21:00 5 4 4
11711 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG E June
20
02:28 3 4 3
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
21
15:00 5 5 4
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
21
21:00 5 5 5
 4905 PBS
Tibet
3)
 TIB T June
21
21:28 4 4 3
 7230 CPBS/
CNR
 CHN C June
21
22:00 4 3 3
 7240 PBS
Tibet/
CPBS
 TIB C June
21
22:03 4 4 4
 7550 AIR
Delhi
 IND E June
23
18:00 5 5 5
11711 RAE
Buenos
Aires 4)
 ARG ? June
26
02:08 0 0 0
11711 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG E June
27
02:27 4 5 4
11711 RAE
Buenos
Aires
 ARG E June
28
02:39 3 5 2
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
28
06:30 5 5 4
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
28
09:44 3 2 2
 3995 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
1
09:45 4 4 4
 7365 HCJB
Weener-
moor
 D G June
1
09:52 4 3 3

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Footnotes

1) I don’t know of any CNR/CPBS stations outside China, but the frequency wasn’t listed for China at the time. Probably, CPBS’ sole purpose for broadcasting on 15250 kHz was to jam the Voice of America broadcast on the same frequency. However Shortwave-Info lists CPBS as a “CNR-1 mystery”, broadcasting daily from 22:01 to 22:02 UTC.
2) Should have been English program at the time, according to schedule.
3) Intermittent Morse signals; fine otherwise.
4)   Only the carrier signal audible, apparently without any modulation.

____

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Harmonizing Voice of America? U.S. “will never beat China and Russia in the Game of official Propaganda”

The Washington Post objected to ideas on Capitol Hill and within the Obama administration on foreign broadcasting last week. The concepts discussed among members of Congress and U.S. officials would spell a dangerous step toward converting the most venerable and listened-to U.S. outlet, Voice of America, into another official mouthpiece, the Washington Post wrote.The United States would never beat China and Russia in the game of official propaganda, but it could win the war of ideas — if it doesn’t lose faith in its own principles.

Radio Moscow QSL, apparently featuring the Lenin Mausoleum, 1980s.

“We now take you to the White House” (Radio Moscow QSL, 1980s)

____________

Related

» The Only Answer, May 24, 2014
» Deutsche Welle, Jan 26, 2012
» Radio Taiwan International, Oct 2008

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Obituary: Chris Gelken, 1955 – 2014

Chris Gelken, a former anchor and editor at China Radio International, Press TV (Iran), and media in Hong Kong and South Korea, died in the French city of Limoges on April 4, aged 58, according to the Korea Herald online.

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Related

» BC and AD, Ridealist, October 14, 2013
» Have we met, Dec 6, 2011
» Publish & be damned, Korea Herald, April 5, 2010

____________

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Monday Start-of-Work Links: Kim Jong-un “not the real Actor”?

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1. A Deity doesn’t need to have a mind of his own,

argues Korhonen Pekka, a Finnish political scientist, in a post for Sino-NK. Nor does Kim Jong-un, he writes. Pekka interprets Kim’s reign as rather ceremonial, and that the bureaucracy is calling the shots. That however doesn’t appear to bode well for the future.

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2. Lawyers should not Overestimate their Political Clout,

Fei Chang Dao quotes an editorial by Shan Renping (which is the pen name of Huanqiu Shibao‘s editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin). Fei Chang Dao (there appears to be a lawyer behind the blog) also explains the differences between the Chinese version of the article, and one published by Huanqiu’s sister edition in English, the “Global Times”. More recently, Fei Chang Dao explores how June-4 related searchwords are censored.

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3. Public Diplomacy and its Limits

Obama’s Policies on Syria and Egypt, as well as on intelligence operations of U.S. administrations as revealed by Edward Snowden [...] will have serious impacts on U.S. popularity in the world, Kilic Kanat, a political scientist, wrote on May 12, in an article for the English-language Daily Sabah from Istanbul. If Obama kept following his current policies especially on Syria and Egypt, [...] the U.S. may face another downward trend in its standing. Under those circumstances, public diplomacy campaigns will only waste money on U.S. foreign policy.

Russia, Ukraine, or the Far East don’t seem to matter at all.

-

4. Meantime, on Capitol Hill …

… American senators and retired propaganda apparatchiks are trying to make sure that money spent on public money gets wasted indeed, by demanding that the language of Voice of America’s mission [..] explicitly state that the outlet has a role in supporting American “public diplomacy” and the policies of the government. To bring it down to a round figure, Fulbright scholarships are apparently being targeted by budget cuts.

No need for international exchange when you can broadcast linear propaganda, be it on shortwave, be it on “social media”.

This is the Voice of America, signing on. Hello World, shut up and listen!

____________

Related

» Umstrukturierung des US-Auslandsfunks, Radio Eins, April 5, 2014

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The only Answer to Bad Journalism: bad Journalism

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Voice of America QSL, 1986

Going, going, gone? Voice of America QSL, 1986

-

Russia has returned to its old Pravda-like disinformation tactics, which is why we absolutely have to do the same thing China and the Arab nations are creating sophisticated new broadcasts, and Twitter and social networks are changing the game.

Walter Isaacson, a former Board of Governors Chairman, suggesting that the Voice of America (VoA) should follow a “double mission” to clearly present American policy as well as provide objective news. Quoted by the New York Times.

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