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February 15, 2015

DX Extra Shortwave Show No.21 Released!

Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 21 to the world wide web!
 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)

via embedded player:

To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to:

“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

“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

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

“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

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

[Pirate Theme]

First up we have broadcast annoucements news:

“Dear friends,

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].

Best regards,
Dick Spacewalker” via shortwavedx Blog

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.

January 31, 2015

DX Extra Shortwave News No.20 Released!

So you came for the Pirate Station Special? Click here.
Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 20 to the world wide web! Another jam packed show!
 In this fortnight's podcast: 
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) ready for USA storm
  • Radio Vanuatu shortwave upgrades
  • German weather station to begin
  • Radio Australia schedule changes
  • Public radio overtakes TV in funding
  • Pirate Radio Logs and recordings (Audio: Zex Chettle Alien Broadcast)
  • Pirate news: YHWH closure
  • Audio Archive: Radio Thailand

via embedded player:

To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to:

Hear us on shortwave via Achims Free Radio blog. 6240kHz 1/2/15 Via Cupid Radio 15h27UTC SINPO 54444

“Snowfall that started early this morning in the Mid-Atlantic States was just the first hint of what weather forecasters are calling a potentially historic and dangerous winter storm that is predicted to affect the entire Eastern Seaboard of the US. In addition, the gathering storm carries the threat of high winds, blowing and drifting snow, “whiteout conditions,” and possible — perhaps likely — power outages. A state of emergency has been declared in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and Connecticut Gov Dan Malloy ordered a statewide travel ban effective at 9 PM on Monday, January 26. 
Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Joe Ames, W3JY, reported that the Eastern Pennsylvania Phone and Traffic Net has been put on standby/watch mode on 3917 kHz. “We anticipate no particular activation in Eastern Pennsylvania,” he said, “but if it’s as bad as predicted, we’ll assist however we can.” Snow has already begun falling in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Connecticut Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, said all ARES District Emergency Coordinators have been asked to let Red Cross offices in their areas know that ARES is available, if needed. “Red Cross shelters lately are opening after the storm settles, unless otherwise needed,” she said. “The usual activities are going on, with batteries being charged and go kits ready.”
Doane said the Connecticut Digital Mobile Radio network was up and running, with ARES officials monitoring, and the state EOC is tied in with the Connecticut ARES network.
In Maine, store traffic has been brisk in coastal areas as residents stock up on necessary food, fuel, and supplies as well as generators, additional batteries, and auxiliary heaters, in case of a power outage. Maine SEC Phil Duggan, N1EP, has placed Maine ARES on a Yellow Alert (Level 1), due to the approaching storm, which is forecast to reach the state sometime after midnight. In a Yellow Alert, ARES/RACES members are advised that they may be called up and should monitor available ARES nets and public safety radios as well as weather radios and broadcast radio and TV to stay current with the situation. Duggan said the NWS office in Caribou — in Maine’s northernmost tier — has requested that he call up some Maine ARES weather and SKYWARN nets on 75 meters to collect ground-level weather information during and after the storm for relay to the NWS offices in Caribou and Gray, Maine.
The approaching storm has caused airlines to cancel some 5000 flights so far. Schools have called for early dismissal in parts of New Jersey. New York anticipated closing the New York Thruway and the Long Island Expressway. The entire New York City subway system may be shut down by this evening."


We now take you to audio from Radio New Zealand International's dateline pacific program on plans to fix the state of broadcasting in Vanuatu: [Audio: RNZIdateline_048_vanuatu.mp3]

“Along with plans for new management and to shed a third of the staff of Vanuatu's national broadcaster, the government is also looking to modernise the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation.

Despite millions of dollars of aid poured into the VBTC over the years, it is unable to provide adequate radio coverage for the outer islands, and even in areas close to the main centre.
By the government's own admission, the VBTC is hamstrung, and has not been able to move with the times, but it says it has the political will to make changes for the good.
Leilani Momoisea reports.
Just last week, worries were raised that some communities in Vanuatu could miss out on cyclone warnings due to transmission problems with the national broadcaster's Radio Vanuatu. Our correspondent, Hilaire Bule, says there's confirmation that Pentecost Island is not receiving transmissions from Radio Vanuatu, and people in Ambae and further North in the Banks and Torres island groups also have trouble getting the station. He says transmission problems with Radio Vanuatu have been ongoing for years, and it's not just the outer-islands that have issues.
HILAIRE BULE: In the Daily Post people from Efate, they are complaining about the reception of their national radio, and it's about three kilometres from the main radio station in Port Vila. It's dangerous because Vanuatu is now entering the cyclone season and people cannot receive the warning of the possible cyclone in the villages or in the communities.
In 2009, Japan, New Zealand and Australia poured millions into funding a project which allowed the VBTC to set up a new shortwave transmitter to provide a radio signal to all the Vanuatu islands. However, over the years since then, signals have failed, with some equipment now having major corrosion issues. Jean Gabriel Manguy, a private consultant who was involved in helping Radio Vanuatu improve its services back then, says it's been a pattern of millions of dollars invested into the company, going down the drain. He says that's partly due to a lack of maintenance and political interference.
JEAN-GABRIEL MANGUY: There has also been mismanagement, and in spite of a very significant aid project to help them, it hasn't helped the situation. It's disappointing to see once again there hasn't been any money allocated to maintaining transmitters. In other words, people in the rural areas, in the islands and in the remote areas, are being forgotten.
The government has set up a committee to review the VBTC, with plans to retire or make redundant about a third of the staff, and is looking for a new general manager to head the VBTC. The Vanuatu Media Association says the government needs to recruit the right person to steer the company forward, and it needs strong leadership from the top to bottom levels. It says it is perhaps a good idea for the government to down-size the company, however, the government restructured the VBTC in 1999, and some 16 years later, the same problems are happening again.
The Public Relations Officer for the Prime Minister's Office, Kierry Manassah, says the problems with the VBTC are perennial, and are partly due to a lack of political will from the national level, political interference, and people going into the company through the wrong channels.

KIERRY MANASSAH: A lot of those has caused a lot of problems for the organisation. The government still sees a lot of value in VBTC, it's like the bridge between the government and the people. And so the government still values it's contribution to the national conversations, and we still think that the government can do something about it.
Kierry Manassah also chairs the task-force that is looking at how the corporation can move from analog to digital programming, and he says there's a need to look at who from VBTC needs to go in light of new technology. He says they are currently looking for partners to help with the national digitisation of TV, and will look to these partners to also address radio transmission issues. Mr Manassah says depending on expressions of interest, there's the possibility that the government will contract out the management of the digital TV broadcast service to a private company. And in terms of fixing radio transmission issues, he says the government is considering switching to FM.
KIERRY MANASSAH: That's the way forward, a lot of those that are still there now are short-wave and medium wave transmitters, especially with the short-wave transmitters, those are quite old and it's very difficult to find spare parts and replacements. So a lot of those need to be overhauled.
Jean Gabriel Manguy says the government's committment to do something about broadcasting is welcomed and very encouraging. However, he says while in theory FM radio is a great idea, it's not really manageable.
JEAN-GABRIEL MANGUY: Instead of having one or two transmitters to manage, then you need probably 50 transmitters to manage. Not only do you have to manage them, but you have to have electricity to make them function. So there are technical issues there that limit the FM option.
Mr Manguy says new technologies need to be investigated, like perhaps making use of the substantial telephone network going across the country. Kierry Manassah says the government is not blind to the concerns and complaints about VBTC, but the taskforce is trying to address these issues, and ensure the VBTC is the national broadcaster that everybody expects.”

“German Weather Service (DWD) will begin transmitting weather information for the Baltic Sea and North Sea. Broadcast will be three times a day from their site in Pinneberg, near Hamburg. Broadcast will commence on April 1, 2015 on the following schedule:
0600-0630 UTC 6040 kHz

1200-1230 UTC 6040 kHz
2000-2030 UTC 5905 kHz” via the shortwave central blog 

“Effective February 1, there are key frequency changes from Radio Australia. There will be an end of shortwave transmissions (including DRM), from the Brandon site, and a reduction in transmission hours from the Shepparton transmitter site. There are no further DRM transmissions currently planned.
In combination with the end of the HF Relay services from 14 January 2015, this represents a major change in content delivery for Radio Australia, with an increasing focus on local FM re-transmission and satellite delivery of programming.
The following revised broadcast schedule supersedes all previously published plans. Radio Australia will operate on three frequencies, on a 24 hour broadcast schedule. Earlier reports of broadcasting 0900-2100 UTC on 6080, and 6150 are incorrect.

All times UTC
Effective 01 February 2015
All programming targeted to various Pacific regions only
0000-0100 15240 15415 17840
0100-0200 15240 15415 17840
0200-0300 15240 15415 17840
0300-0400 15240 15415 17840
0400-0500 15240 15415 17840
0500-0600 15240 15415 17840
0600-0630 15240 15415 17840
0700-0800 15240 15415 17840
0800-0805  Sat/Sun  15240 15415  17840 
0815-0900 15240 15415 17840
0900-1000 9580 12065 12085
1000-1100 9580 12065 12085
1100-1200 9580 12065 12085
1200-1300 9580 12065 12085
1300-1400 9580 12065 12085
1400-1500 9580 12065 12085
1500-1600 9580 12065 12085
1600-1700 9580 12065 12085
1700-1800 9580 12065 12085
1800-1900 9580 12065 12085
1900-2000 9580 12065 12085
2000-2100 9580 12065 12085
2100-2200 15240 15415 17840
2200-2300 15240 15415 17840
2300-0000 15240 15415 17840

0800-0805  Sat/Sun  15240  15415  17840

Tok Pisin
0630-0700  Sat/Sun  15240  15415  17840
0900-0915  Sat/Sun  9580   12065  12085 
(Gary Baxter, Transmission Planning Executive/Radio Australia/RAOS B14 v3.3)”

(Via the shortwave central blog)

“Public radio is beginning to surpass public television in terms of donations, according to a report issued by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The number of individual donors to public television dropped from 3.9 million in 2003 to 3.03 million in 2013; at the same time, public radio donors grew from 2.52 million to 2.85 million from 2003 to 2013, according to the report.
The average contribution for radio is slightly higher for radio than for TV; it was $92 per person in 2003 and grew to $137 in 2013, according to CPB. The average contribution for TV was $93 in 2003 which grew to $134 in 2013.
Across the board for both radio and television, several donation categories — CPB, federal and state grants, local governments and local business — went down from 2012 to 2013, according to the findings. CPB doesn’t speculate on the reasons for the change, however RW has reported that public broadcasting has been heavily impacted by the economic downturn.
Revenue from categories like state colleges and universities, foundations and subscribers offset those losses for both public radio and television. Total support for public radio in 2013 was $1.08 billion, with public TV at $1.69 billion. That’s a 0.3% change for television and a 4.8% increase for public radio, compared to the year before, according to the findings.
The bulk of station revenue, some 29%, comes from individual subscribers, with 15% from CPB and 14% from foundations. The rest comes from a mixture of funds from colleges, foundations, business and other sources, according to CPB.”

[Pirate Theme]

Yes it's time to have a look at the latest pirates logs:
Here are the Europirate logs for the end of January
Wednesday 28th Januray 2015
6300 1805 Radio Blauwe Panter. Rolling Stones "Angie," some utility QRM. SINPO 43433. Moved to 6297 at 1813. SINPO 54444.
6305 1728 Radio Merlin Int. Canned Heat "On the Road Again," ID, address, utilty QRM. SINPO 42332

Sunday 25th January 2015
4026 1729 Laser Hot Hits. The Kane Gang. SINPO 34333.
5815U 1735 Barracuda Radio. Lenny Kravitz. SINPO 44444.
6205 1715 Laser Hot Hits via Magic. KC & Sunshine Band, swamped at 1719 by Iran signing on. SINPO 44433.
6305 0956 Radio Merlin Int. Sixties music. SINPO 24332.
6320.5 1656 Wizard Radio. Short song, female singer. SINPO 23332.6401.5 1649 Radio Joey. "Swamp Thing." SINPO 34333.
6875 0916 Radio Europe. Chaka Khan "I Feel for You." SINPO 34333.
6940 0913 Radio Enterprise. "Addams Family." SINPO 34333.
7300 0906 U Boat 66 Radio. "Last Picture of You." SINPO 24332.
9865 1415 Radio Spaceshuttle via Revival. ID, "Telstar." //6035. SINPO 54444.
12105L 0948 Radio Barracuda. ID, soft rock. SINPO 45444.

(Via shortwave dx blog)

I really enjoy the quirky pirates on air and I'd like to share the Zex Chettle Alien Broadcast from 2008 6925USB. Reminds me of the movie “Mars attacks”. [Audio]

Heading over to North America:
6925USB 00h52 Radio Ga Ga 28th January Just signed on with unshazammable music, S7 signal. By member Chris Smolinski
6770 22h50 Old Time Radio 27th January Radio program from the golden age in process. Fair signal keeping above persistent static. QRM from adjacent UTE? By member Edward Insinger
6950 23h41 Weather Control Radio 25th January 2356 Riders on the storm, 2359 stormy monday, 022off s5 here but rather fady. By member jFarley.
11428 Channel Z 23h33 27th January S6-7 signal with Andy Walker show. By member kilokat7
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.)

We also have a pirate news story to share:
“The FCC has ordered an unlicensed California religious broadcaster, who sometimes broadcast on a frequency in the 40 meter phone band, to shut down his station. The FCC’s Los Angeles District Office on December 31 issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to Martin K. Elliott of Inyokern, California. The FCC said it issued the Notice in response to a complaint of unlicensed operation on multiple HF frequencies, including some allocated to aeronautical stations. The FCC said its agents used radio direction-finding techniques to confirm that signals on 6280 kHz and 11,595 kHz were emanating from a residence located near Inyokern, and that property records indicated that Elliott was the current owner and resident.
“The Commission’s records show that no license was issued for operation of a station on either the frequencies of 6280 kHz or 11595 kHz at this location,” the FCC wrote. “Unlicensed operation of this radio station must be discontinued immediately.”
The pirate station, which identified itself as “YHWH,” was not cited for operating on Amateur Radio frequencies, although ARRL Official Observers had monitored the station in the past on 7185 kHz LSB. One short-wave listener said the operator of YHWH changed frequencies regularly, and the station had not been heard on the ham bands for at least several months.
The FCC warned Elliott that operation of radio transmitting equipment without a valid authorization violates federal law and could subject the operator to severe penalties, including, but not limited to, substantial monetary forfeitures, equipment seizure, and criminal sanctions.
The Commission gave him 10 days to respond. The FCC said its Notice “does not preclude this office from pursuing additional sanctions based upon our investigation of this incident.””
(Via ARRL) 

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 as well so look out for us 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!

Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a shortwave recording of Radio Thailand January 23rd 2015 on 9390 at 12h30UTC.

[Audio: Radio Thailand.mp3] (Via

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe

Image: Radio Australia - following more cutbacks. 

January 18, 2015

Pirate Station Special 2015

Ahoy fellow DXers,

Like me you would have fond memories of hearing pirate stations from yesteryear. This is an absolutely wonderful special that we hope will gain enough momentum to be audible across the world on shortwave by none other that shortwave pirate stations. We haven't entered into North American shores yet so are on the lookout for a relay.  

In the one-hour pirate station special you will hear:
-Cracker Radio
-KIPM: Illuminati Prima Materia 
-WBNY - The Bunny Revolution
-Radio Mustang
-Premier Radio
-Bangalore Poacher
-Laser Hot Hits
-Radio Barracuda
-Take It Easy Radio
-RNI: Radio Northsea International
-Sensation AM
-AlfaLima International
-Zex Chettel Alien Broadcast
-Radio Ice Cream
-Radio Kaleidoscope
-Voice of Captain Ron 

LISTEN via embedded player:

To DOWNLOAD in 320kbps format or lower formats head to:
Statistics: 3/Feb/15 495 listeners, 135 downloads.

We had average reception into Europe on Thursday the 29th January 2015 and are still getting reports, below is a recording of 11 minutes of the shortwave broadcast:
LISTEN via Shortwave Radio:
Pirate Station Special via Premier Radio 6910kHz 29/01/15 21h00-22h00 heard & recorded by Gino Italy. SINPO 44433

We also were shocked and excited to be informed by listeners that we were on air 6975kHz 23h32UTC 31/1/2015 by UNID relay into USA. We thank the relay and hope to continue into the continent. Our reception HF Underground forum

So the American relay was a shock, I have now been informed our show also featured on WBCQ Allan Weiner Worldwide into USA. While we have not had correspondence from WBCQ we do fully thank them for their efforts and hope this may bridge a new relay partner.

Reception Reports (eQSLs):
We will offer a special electronic (eQSL) reception report if you hear the pirate station special on shortwave. Sometimes stations relay us without informing us, so if you hear the broadcast and have an idea who the relay is please include your hunch. The below blank eQSL could have your name on it!

One listener has put one they got on their blog. In fact many hobbyist blogs are filling up with these special eQSLs! 
Thanks to Klaus for his publication and promotion on the VoDX blog.

Ahoy and Welcome to the Pirate Station Special. If you are into the shortwave hobby you will know that there are vast things to hear, from number stations, aircraft, amateurs, cladenstine stations and of course pirate stations as well. Sit back and relax as Andrew Yoder on coast to coast AM with Art Bell explains how pirate broadcasting works. We'll be back soon.

Welcome back to the pirate station special here on Hobart Radio International, it's great to be here especially as we crack open the archives and look and modern and later on pirates of the sixties and seventies. We'll be touching on Radio North Sea International later on as well. But right now here's a sample of Kracker Radio: 

Kracker Radio is a station that you can call pretty artistic for the fact that whoever it was back in 2005 could produce such variety in shows. Kracker is also known as CB Savage In 2007 a station took America by storm, scaring many into thinking a bunny revolution was coming, (not really) WBNY “Radio Bunny – Voice of Rodent Revolution” appeared on air sounding like a number station. It was however revealed that Kracker was linked with that station.

Welcome back to the pirate radio special here on Hobart Radio International. Now we will have a look at a relatively new station called Mustang Radio which started back in 2011 in the Netherlands. It's suppose to be transmitting with 3kilowatts. I recorded this clip November 2014:

A new oddity to the pirate scene is the Bangalore Poacher. This seems to follow on from WBNY providing an Indian accent with numbers read out, the Lincolnshire Poacher number station interval signal and ads and random utterings. Sure is an odd but hilarious station worth the entertainment value. Possibly from the Toronto area using 25 watts. Enjoy the insurance ads! This is exactly what makes listening to pirate radio so fun!

Another station that is regularly on air and has been for a while is Laser Hot Hits. It's a usual to be logged and plays plenty of music. Heard weekends regularly on 4026 and 6205. (Audio via

Borderhunter Radio has been around for some time now, playing techno from the Netherlands.

The other thing with Pirate radio is that some stations only last a month, others may be a once-off broadcast. So now let's have a listen to some of the latest one's that such as this one heard January 27th 2015 Radio Barracuda 5819USB: 

Audio: Radio Barracuda (from Achims free radio blog)

Another one around for a decade since the closure of Jolly Roger Radio is Premier Radio from the republic of Ireland: premier6325 audio (from Achims free radio blog)

Here's one that didn't hang around too long, Take it Easy Radio from 2004 on 6925USB.

The question I wonder is if pirate radio is really a bad thing. As many International broadcasters abandon short wave there won't be as much left for listeners and if you are after music, entertainment and something a bit more than just news you don't have many options on shortwave except for listening to pirates.

There's one station from the last decade that really got a lot of people talking;

“KIPM - Illuminati Prima Materia, was a shortwave radio pirate active from the early to mid 2000's. The host, Alan Maxwell, produced long, elaborate shows that featured dramatic, literate story lines, often with elements of science fiction woven in. Story lines employed spooky twists and elements akin to the 1960's TV broadcasts of The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. Common themes included alien encounters from other worlds and deep insight into the inner human mind.

Maxwell produced and broadcast 34 shows using homemade equipment of elaborate design and has a unique sound style. The talents of many contributors, actors and musicians were integral to these stories. Broadcasts would take place on random nights of the year, usually holidays, running the entire night eluding discovery by the Federal Communications Commission while radiating massive amount of transmitted power.

Alan Maxwell disappeared from the pirate radio scene amid rumours of attacks and abuse by others in the pirate community; it has never been made clear what these consisted of.” (

Now let's hear from a couple of samples of KIPM Illuminati Prima Materia: <- you can listen and download the entire KIPM studio quality series.

Another station that became quite famous in the 1970s would be the Europe offshore radio station run by Mebo Communications, a Swiss firm. “This station, RNI, was to have a troubled and controversial life. The ship was violently attacked twice, its output was jammed by the governments of two European countries and there were numerous allegations about the source of its funding and its reasons for broadcasting. We may never know the whole truth about RNI but the station won a large and loyal audience across the continent who, forty years on, still remember its programmes with great affection.” The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame <- the whole story.

The station made many enemies as Medium Wave signals interfered with emergency services and then when moving to a new frequency interfered with Dutch national radio. The British Post Office who controlled the airwaves also started jamming the station making it difficult to hear in England.  

The station's ship moved away from England due to jamming and headed to Holland where an attempted hi-jack took place. A tug boat and another boat with thirty men pulled beside the Mebo II demanding to tug the boat into port. The DJs barracaded themselves in the studio pleading to their listeners to come to their aid. Let's hear that audio from 29th August 1970:

After the attempted hi-jack of the Mebo II had been thwarted, life returned to normal and RNI had a short period of uneventful and stable broadcasting. Radio Northsea International in 1971 was firebombed causing $₤30,000 of damage but not stopping transmissions. Let's listen to the audio of that event:

On the 31st of August 1974 at 6pm Radio Veronica closed down. At 7pm Radio Atlantis followed suit and an hour later, at 8pm, both services of RNI ended transmissions. The station had closed before, back in 1970, but this time it really was the end for Radio Northsea International.

Music: Roaring Sixties – We love the pirate stations

Welcome back to the pirate station special here on Hobart Radio International. Just a reminder that you can send a reception report for electronic QSL verification to hriradio at gmail dot com. I am sad to say we are very close to finishing the show and I still feel there is so much more to the pirate world. I still have many more recordings in the archive and I can't leave without sharing some more. So, to end I have created a mix, a mish-mash if you like of other pirate radio stations. Thank you for listening in, I hope you enjoyed the show and keep an eye out for us on shortwave with more exciting programs and of course we are on the internet at hriradio dot org. See ya!