In this fortnight's podcast:
- Madagascar World Voice progress
- World Radio Day: February 13th
- Digital Radio Summit 2015
- Italian Group Free-Wave Contest
- Pirate Radio News, logs and recordings
- Audio Archive: Radio Singapore International (2004)
LISTEN via embedded player:
To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to: https://archive.org/details/DxExtraNo.21
TRANSCRIPT:“World Christian Broadcasting (WCB) has been given permission to put their new station on air in Madagascar - a sister station to their Alaskan KNLS transmitters. The station is to be known as Madagascar World Voice (MWV). This has been in the planning stages for some years now and building commenced in 2006. But local political instability and coup have played a large role in the delay of the realisation of this project. Finally, recent elections have given WCB an opportunity to work with the Government in bringing its dream to fruition. The transmitting facility is stationed at Mahajanga, Madagascar. It is on the western side of the island, more than seven hours and over 550 km away from the long established Talata-Volonondry site on the eastern side.
As some DXers will recognise, KNLS has often been a difficult station to hear in many parts of the globe. But, we know from the past that Madagascar has proven itself to be a fabulous staging point for transmitting to Africa, the Middle East and Asia by other broadcasters. So with new transmitters and antennas, WCB expects to make significant inroads in getting its voice heard around the world.
World Christian Broadcasting’s freshly minted 100 KW transmitters were loaded on a cargo ship in the Port of Houston on January 12, 2015. A few days later the ship sailed, bound for the Indian Ocean. Arrival date is expected to be somewhere around March 25. The ships will cross many, many miles of open Atlantic Ocean before they sail under the tip of Africa to head north to their destination. The two transmitters were built at a cost of $1,000,000 each, so we are praying for smooth sailing and a safe arrival!
Once the transmitters are unloaded at our station, much work is left to be done. They must be installed in the transmitter building that has been awaiting their arrival. They must be connected to the diesel generators that will power them. Technicians from Continental Electronics in Dallas must go to fine-tune their installation. Once all that has been done, we can begin the testing process—which in itself will take more than a month. Once everything is in order, we can begin broadcasting in late 2015 or early 2016.
The new transmitters will send out life-giving messages through these antenna wires. Radio signals will leave each of three antennas with 16 million watts of power.
Initially we will broadcast in six languages: Arabic (covering the entire Mid-East), Spanish (for South and Central America, plus the Spanish-speaking countries of Africa), English with an African sound (for the continent of Africa), Chinese (for western China), Russian (for the populous regions of western Russia, including St. Petersburg and Moscow), and International English (for India and nearby countries where English is a second language).
Via the Mount Evelyn DX Report blog http://medxr.blogspot.com.au/
“If memes are to be believed, then it is true when it is said, ‘Home is where the wifi is.’ Wifi signals have become almost synonymous with one’s connect to the world. But before all this came, there was only the humble radio. Be it entertainment or news, that was the world’s only medium to know what was happening elsewhere.
It is World Radio Day. A day formally announced by UNESCO in 2011, after a suggestion put forward by Spain to celebrate this important means of communication. While we fret and fume with weak wifi or 3G connectivity, in some parts of the world, radio still remains an important lifeline to the outside world.
The need to celebrate Radio day is all the more important because as a site says, “In remote farming communities in Australia, children learn their school work through radio. In poor communities in Africa, villages gather around the radio each evening to keep up to date on national news and hear music and speeches. Radio has been superseded by the internet and satellite communications for large parts of the world, but for millions of less fortunate people, radio is still a miracle of technology.”
For some, radio as an instrument might just be a nostalgic piece but even today there are people who feel radio has more potential than the internet or any other networking medium. When the floods ravaged Visakhaptnam and every network including electricity failed, it was the radio that connected and helped rescue work, points out Farhan Ashhar, convenor of Hyderabad Amateur radio. Farhan, who also restores and collects radios, has more than nostalgic moments to share. “Worldwide, radio is seeing resurgence. More and more smaller radio stations are coming up, primarily with governments making it easier to get licenses and setting up a studio and transmitter with modern technology.
In India, the government looks upon private radios as a source of revenue rather than an essential outreach initiative. The FM licenses are prohibitively expensive and the license fee is impossible to recover without resorting to aggressively commercial content.
The government is winding up its shortwave and medium wave transmissions and encouraging private commercial FM stations instead. In effect, providing the rural areas with content that is pertinent to them is being replaced with FM radios that sell filmi content with urban aspirations. The Vividh Bharati, for instance, is no longer available on medium wave.” He makes a point when he says, “For a city that boasts of multilingual image, not a single FM channel has any Hindi/Urdu programming. All of them incessantly play Telugu film content.”
Farhan explains as he shows his radios, “The second radio is a German Metz. My parents used to play it all the time when I was growing up. One of my earliest memories is that of abba listening to BBC world service on this radio. I made my first ham radio contacts with just this radio.” Of the radios that he has, one of the radio them in his possession was made by his friend Venkata Narasappa. “He made it sitting in his village many years ago and is entirely made from valves, before transistors became common in radios,” points out Farhan. Also in Farhan’s possession is a BC-348. It was produced by the American Air Force and flown on almost every war plane during the World War.
However, for many, radio brings in a lot of nostalgia. Promiti Phukan, a music teacher, says the radio was her first teacher and before she knew about the Grammy awards it was the Sunday afternoon music programme that kept her updated about the charts and latest tracks. “In Guwahati, every youngster kept track of that time in the afternoon. All India radio did a great job. One of our school teachers and my aunt used to be the announcers on radio. It was a joyous time. While I love my iPod, I still cherish those days,” she recollects.”
Via The Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/thank-you-for-the-radio/article6886601.ece
12 Feb 2015
“Yesterday’s Digital Radio Summit marked the 8th anniversary of such an event. With over a 110 participants from 25 difference countries as far as Australia and the United States, the event showed that the discussions around the future of digital radio are still top on the agenda of many organizations.
Director of Technology & Innovation, Simon Fell, opened the event with remarks on the many exciting developments showing the promise of digital radio in today’s crowded consumer electronics marketplace. He pointed to the example of visual radio coming into its own, with the EBU currently supplying visual radio to at least 20 radio stations and websites for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Colorado. “We need to ensure that radio has a bright future by continuing to develop and push the boundaries of what is possible,” he said.
The first keynote speaker to take to the stage was Michael Hill, Founder and Managing Director of UK Radioplayer Ltd. Setting the scene for the rest of the day, he focused on how broadcast and internet radio will offer an attractive listener experience in the future. In particular, there are 3 things that he urged participants to do in their countries to help take hybrid radio to the next level: “Launch your own shared player platform; help solve the data-jigsaw and commit to RadioDNS, if you haven’t already; and, help fight back against the companies that want to steal our place on the dashboard.”
Digital radio is not so much about platforms anymore but rather about offering a simple and attractive listening experience to audiences. Often, the digital radio experience in cars is too complicated compared to newer applications and services. For digital radio to work and maintain its attractiveness, it must be seamless and automatically select the best way to receive services (i.e. service following). Frank Nowack, Ford’s Function Owner for Broadcast Media and Reception, noted in his keynote speech on the topic that the car industry (Ford) is dedicated to going forward with digital radio, but more coverage of European roads must be achieved to do so. He recommended that broadcasters pay attention to send correct information for service linking and information. There is no doubt that connected cars are coming but, streamed radio in cars won’t replace broadcast radio.
The rest of the morning’s session focused on updates from various organizations, including WorldDMB, DRM, RadioDNS, TISA and IDAG, and different country perspectives. In Sweden there is now a report recommending the deployment of digital radio for public and commercial radio with a FM switchover scenario. Government will give the decision in 2015 for the rollout. Polish radio continues its DAB+ deployment, targeting cities first. In France, there was recent news that the regulator (CSA) has produced a report on radio and has the objective to launch tender targeting cities first. In Germany, ARD has restructured its DAB strategy to go forward and it is planned to define an FM switchover strategy proposal in 2015.
Other key topics of the day included digital migration, smart and hybrid radio, and radio in smartphones. Switzerland has completed the definition of its FM switchover strategy. The objective is to have FM switched off by 2024 latest. Participants also heard more about the EBU Smart Radio Initiative and the latest EBU Digital Radio Toolkit that focuses on best practice and actions for the successful deployment of digital radio.
Paul Brenner, SVP/CTO of Emmis Communications, showcased the Nextradio Hybrid Radio App, a working example of hybrid radio smartphones from the United States. His company found that when you give audiences something to look at (it has to be interactive), their listening time nearly doubled – an interesting piece of advice for broadcasters.
The development of interactivity and personalisation in radio also seems inevitable. To achieve this, BBC has worked within the EBU framework to help create a Cross Platform Authentication Standard which allows user devices to pair with apps and avoids one having complicated logins on every device and for every station. This is just the start.”
Via the European Broadcasting Union https://tech.ebu.ch/home/news/main/newsList/2015/02/10/digital-radio-summit-2015-unifyi.html
“Italian Group Free Wave have organised a radiophonic contest that will be on the shortwaves in Amplitude Modulation, 1st March 2015. The Game is very simple. “TAKE THE MESSAGE".
Each free station will be on air at different times, in their own quarters, transmitting a single part of a complete message in Italian and English, that is not the same. Your challenge is to recreate the complete message!
All parts of the message start with a particular advising sound for all free stations. The single part of the message will be transmitted following this schedule:
6.870 Radio Samurai from 08.00 to 08.30 UTC
6.875 Radio Europe from 08.30 to 09.00 UTC
6.940 Radio Enterprise from 09.00 to 09.30 UTC
7.300 Radio U-Boat 66 from 10.00 to 10.30 UTC
7.300 Mistero Ghost Planet from 10.30 to 11.00 UTC
The complete message will be transmitted instead only via:
3.905 Radio Arcadia from 21.00 to 22.00 UTC
To participate in the game you only have to recreate the complete message, but you also have to write the single part you heard from each Italian Free Station.
All short-wave listeners may participate in the game by using either their own radio/antenna or by web-SDR receiver. Please send your report to:firstname.lastname@example.org
International Contest Rank and Special Paper Certificate
The first through fifth report(s) emailed and received without mistakes will get a paper QSL direct to your postal address (if provided).
To compose the final ranking we will consider the time when we received your email. The ranks of Italian short-wave listeners and International short-wave listeners will be separated, and we will send a total of 10 paper certificates. The final results will be published within 10 days from 1 March 2015. We hope good conditions prevail, and we invite you to participate to the Game!”
Via South East Asia Dxing blog http://shortwavedxer.blogspot.com.au/
First up we have broadcast annoucements news:
GERMANY: Radio Spaceshuttle International, Rohrbach on 6070 kHz Saturday 14th February 2015, 14-15 UTC.
SWEDEN: Radio Spaceshuttle International, Sale on 6035 kHz and 9865kHz Sunday 15th February 2015, 08-10 UTC
Wishing that conditions will be fine and good reception all over Europe is possible!
All correct reports sent (with 2 EUROS/ 3 International reply Coupon) to our address: Radio Spaceshuttle International, P.O.Box 2702, NL-ZG 6049 HERTEN, The Netherlands will be verified with our printed QSL! (+ some promotional material!)
COMPETITION: After six month period(January-June) special big surprises 1,2 and 3 (valuable Spaceshuttle stuff) will be sent to three listeners sent THE MAXIMUM NUMBER of correct reports [-max one report/transmission counted].
Dick Spacewalker” via shortwavedx Blog http://shortwavedx.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/radio-spaceshuttle-14-15th-february.html
It's time to have a look at the latest pirates logs:
Here are the Europirate logs for the middle of January
Monday 9th February
3905 2100 Maverick Radio. Oldies. Weak signal. SINPO 24332.
Tuesday 10th February
4026 2130 Laser Hot Hits. Dance music. SINPO 54444. (via Twente SDR)
Friday 13th February 2015
4026 2320 Laser Hot Hits. Recordings of offshore station Radio Scotland. SINPO 54444.(via Twente SDR)
6295-20.00 Unid Playing Dutch Music. Fair To Good Signal Sinpo 43433
6747-20.10 Radio Pioneer Playing Dance, Pop And Country Music Including Fergal Shakey And Johnny Cash. Fair Signal, With Some Fading Sinpo 43323
6950-20.50 Radio Enterprise With Music From The Housemartins, The Tornadoes And Robin Beck. Also Id Jingles. Fair Signal Sinpo 43333
6930-23.40 TRX Radio Playing Rock N' Roll Music Including Elvis Presley, Fats Domino And Buddy Holly. Good Signal Sinpo 44344
6295-23.50 Hit Mix Radio Playing Dutch Music. Fair Signal Sinpo 43333
Saturday February 14th
6380-9.21 Little Feet Radio Playing Pop And Soul Music Including Roy Orbison And Hottie & The Blowfish. Good Signal Sinpo 44344
European logs via Pauls Irish Radio blog and shortwave DX blog.
[Audio: ] if time permits to fill.
Heading over to North America:
6770 02h21UTC Feb 13th Old Time Radio “02:52 Big band music followed by George and Gracie. Should be Old Time Radio, but no ID yet.”By member Tom Haus
6925USB 12th February 01h06UTC XLR8 “SINPO: 33222
0106 - Just signed on with punk ? music” By member ByteBorg
6950USB 00h44UTC February 11th XLR8 “Music now at S4 here at 0044 UTC Playing an alt rock tune...something about "Freedom"” by member shipmuck
6919 00h50UTC February10th Boombox Radio “Just signed on, S8 signal.” “Song called "Girls" [According to Shazam] @ 0058.
Boombox ID @ 0102.
Up to S7 @ 0130 with a Tove Lo song.
Back to S6, but stronger audio @ 0203.” By member Chris Smilonski
North American Logs via the HF underground forum. (We also thank other members contributions to the pirate logs that may have not got a mention.)
Play some music - Donkeyboy
DX Extra is being relayed via World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, Worldfm dot co dot nz and on shortwave via relay partners on Focus International, Magic 6205 Europe, Pandora Radio, Premier Radio and Cupid Radio. A big thank you to all our relay partners. Your generosity means a lot! We also were very excited to be on WBCQ Alan Weiner Worldwide with the Pirate Station special. We hope we can get back on there soon.
Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a shortwave recording of Radio Singapore International 6150 23h00UTC
Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe
Image: Tulip Festival, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, The Domain, Tasmania.