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January 3, 2015

DX Extra Shortwave show No. 18 Released!

Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 18 to the world wide web! Happy New Year! 
 In this fortnight's podcast: 
  • Radio Australia cutbacks update
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty raided
  • International broadcasters shortwave demise
  • Pirate Radio Logs and recordings (Radio Cochiguaz)
  • Audio Archive: Radio France International

LISTEN via embedded player:

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

We had great reception into Europe on Saturday the 3rd January 2015 and are still getting reports, below is a recording of 20 minutes of the shortwave broadcast:
LISTEN via Shortwave Radio:

DX Extra No.18 via Premier Radio 6910kHz 03/01/15 20h48-21h08 heard & recorded by Gino Italy. SINPO 54444

The ABC could soon abandon international shortwave radio broadcasts to China and Indonesia, ending more than 70 years of beaming news and current affairs on high frequency into Asia.
But the public broadcaster's management insist it will not flick the switch on shortwave services of Radio Australia to Papua New Guinea and tiny Pacific nations for now.
ABC international chief Lynley Marshall said the older shortwave technology was still relevant in the Pacific, despite a drive to make mobile and internet devices the ''primary'' way of delivering news.
Staff had grown increasingly alarmed in recent months that the shortwave service to the Pacific would be canned - including a popular Tok Pisin service to PNG - raising fears expats and locals would be vulnerable to dangerous news blackouts during natural disasters or regional strife.
Radio is the cheapest and most widespread source of news in poorer Pacific provinces. Most nations run only a 2G mobile network with little coverage outside capitals. When Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits Port Moresby on Thursday almost twice as many locals will hear news of the trip on radio than see it on television or read it in newspapers.
But with a contract to broadcast shortwave from a 240-hectare site near Shepparton - costing the ABC about $4.1 million this financial year - set to expire some time after 2014, fears had grown shortwave would cease in favour of streaming audio online and deals to broadcast on local stations.
The ABC has been wrangling internally for months on how to best deliver international services, as mandated under its charter to provide an Australian voice on world affairs
High-frequency services had not rated a mention in an internal ABC memo in February flagging an ''online and mobile strategy as the primary focus'' for international broadcasting.
But Ms Marshall said there was no end in sight to shortwave broadcasts in the Pacific, and the Shepparton array was part of this strategy. ''One of the things we have to look at is what is the most effective way of reaching audiences?'' she said. ''You'd have to see a significant take-up in other devices to warrant moving away from shortwave.''
But the digital revolution accompanying the economic boom in Asia has led to a dwindling audience for shortwave. China also began jamming the Radio Australia signal in January, although that interference has since stopped.
Ms Marshall confirmed the continued targeting of China and Indonesia with shortwave was up for debate. ''We haven't made any final decisions on that but a number of the staff here have questioned the relevance of shortwave into markets like Indonesia and China,'' she said.
''I think there is justification for re-evaluating what we are doing there based on the way in which audiences are consuming media.''
Social media is highly popular in Indonesia, while the Radio Australia audience in the mostly closed China market is difficult to gauge.
Radio Australia was launched in 1939 on the eve of World War II, with prime minister Robert Menzies declaring in the first broadcast: ''The time has come to speak for ourselves.''
The service is intended to provide reliable, independent news and English-language training and also win goodwill for Australia.
Ms Marshall said Radio Australia had great ''heritage'' value in the Pacific and would not be lost under plans to bring the ABC's international radio, television and online services under one brand.
A confidential ABC research report for the Radio Australia audience in rural PNG shows at least 30 per cent of people rely exclusively on shortwave transmissions to listen to the station.
A megabyte of data in Fiji costs about $3. An hour of audio streaming used about 30 megabytes.” Via The Age Newspaper Online    

WASHINGTON - The Broadcasting Board of Governors today condemned the raid and closure of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Baku office by Azerbaijani authorities.

Investigators from Azerbaijan's state prosecutor's office entered the RFE/RL bureau on the morning of December 26 accompanied by armed police officers. They searched the company safe, ransacked files and equipment, and ordered staff members to leave the building after holding them in a room for several hours without telephone or computer access. Several staff members later were summoned for questioning.
"This unwarranted action is an escalation of the Azeri government's abusive attempt to intimidate independent journalists and repress free media," said BBG Chairman Jeff Shell. "We call on the authorities to immediately allow RFE/RL to resume its important journalistic work from Baku, and to release investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova." The government raid comes three weeks after the arrest and detention in Baku of prominent Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova, a contributor to RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service programming. Ismayilova was sentenced to two months of pre-trial detention, and if convicted could serve three to seven years in prison. Khadija's arrest has been widely condemned, including by the BBG. Amnesty International has declared Ismayilova a prisoner of conscience, "detained solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression."

"The raiding of our Baku bureau is a flagrant violation of every international commitment and standard Azerbaijan has pledged to uphold" said Nenad Pejic, RFE/RL's editor in chief and co-CEO.  "The order comes from the top as retaliation for our reporting, and as a thuggish effort to silence RFE/RL. This is not the first time that a regime has sought to silence us, and we will continue our work to support Azeris' basic right of free access to information and to report the news to audiences that need it."

"The operation of our bureau is incapacitated in Baku," said Kenan Aliyev, director of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service. "There has been a long ongoing crackdown on the media and NGOs in Azerbaijan, including the arrest of Khadija Ismayilova, the host of our show and our contributor. We view this as part of this ongoing campaign against independent media."
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG networks include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti). Via Shortwave Central Blog.       

OTTAWA, Ontario — At the height of the Cold War, the BBC World Service, Radio Canada International and the Voice of America used high-power, multilingual broadcasts on the shortwave radio bands (1710 kHz–30 MHz) to blast news and information behind the Soviet Union’s “Iron Curtain.”
In turn, Radio Moscow, Radio Havana Cuba and East Germany’s Radio Berlin International pumped their own versions of reality to the world via shortwave.

Thanks to the nature of shortwave propagation, in which radio waves can bounce around the world by reflecting off the ionosphere, then off the ground and then the ionosphere again, these broadcasts got through.

Granted, because they were AM signals, their audio was scratchy and often interference-ridden; and even sometimes blocked by government “jammer” stations operating on the same frequencies. But nevertheless, eastern Europeans heard at least some of these international broadcasts.

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, followed two years later by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Soon after, the Internet caught on. Collectively, these forces demotivated governments from maintaining multi-antenna/multitransmitter shortwave transmitter farms, where power-hungry 50 and 100 kW AM transmitters guzzled electricity like frat boys downing kegs of beer.

The result is that international broadcasters have reduced their shortwave broadcasts in favor of the Web, or — in the case of RCI — abandoned shortwave entirely for the Web. RCI’s massive shortwave antenna and transmitter farm in Sackville, New Brunswick, which provided stellar coverage of Europe during the Cold War, has since been torn down.  “It’s amazing how many of the major shortwave broadcasters have abandoned shortwave — completely or mostly — since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” said Jeff White, founder and general manager of Radio Miami International. WRMI is a United States-based commercial shortwave broadcaster, which covers the Americas, Europe and Africa via its 13-transmitter, 23-antenna facility located in Florida.

Mindful of radio’s continuing Third World popularity, the BBC and VOA have at least “maintained shortwave transmissions to places like Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia and Latin America,” White said. “But some of them, including the Voice of Russia, have ended all shortwave transmissions. The large religious shortwave broadcasters have more-or-less followed suit.”

There’s no doubt that money played a big role in the demise of international shortwave broadcasting, especially for cash-strapped governments.

“Shortwave transmitters are expensive to operate because of the electrical costs, and expensive to replace,” said Kim Andrew Elliott, an audience research analyst for the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau (which runs the VOA), expressing his own views. In contrast, “The Internet is a cheaper way to transmit globally — unless the audience gets really big — the signal is more reliable, and stations don’t interfere with one another,” he said.

The Web has also caught on with government broadcasters because it’s considered cool. “The World Wide Web is sexy new technology,” said White. “So the station managers have been able to say to their bosses and governments that they have saved a lot of money by eliminating the ‘old technology’ of shortwave and replacing it with the new technology of the Internet.”

As well, broadcasters like the BBC World Service have moved to FM where it is possible to deliver better audio quality and signal reliability. “For many years, the BBC World Service has been broadcasting its services through its own FM relay transmitters and by providing programs to affiliates,” said Nigel Fry, head of distribution for the BBC World Service Group.

“The oldest FMs have been in service for over 40 years, with many more coming into service from 20 years ago to the present day as markets liberalize and licenses are secured.”
In swapping shortwave for the Web, these broadcasters have put their program delivery at the mercy of hostile governments who can block their Web-based content, just by disrupting their country’s Internet traffic.

That’s what recently happened in China, as the authorities tried to prevent their people from learning what actually happened 25 years ago in Tiananmen Square.

“In an effort to prevent the dissemination of information related to this event, the Chinese censorship authorities have severely blocked most Google services in China, including search and Gmail,” said the China Web traffic watchdog in a June 2 email to Bloomberg News. “Our gut feeling is this disruption may be permanent.”

It is relatively simple for authoritarian regimes to block websites they don’t like. But in fairness, shortwave radio broadcasts can also be blocked by “jamming” stations. “Some BBC World Service Internet services are blocked in specific countries — most notably in China,” said Fry. “The English shortwave broadcasts to China and the surrounding countries are also being jammed by the Chinese and have been for some time. Our Uzbek broadcasts are also jammed.”

There are ways that Web-based services can get past government blocking through software programs, at least as long as some Internet traffic is getting through.

For instance, “some international broadcasters are employing technologies such as Psiphon that circumvent the blocking of Internet content,” said Elliott.“The circumvention technologies are not infallible, however, and they may fail in the face of more vigorous interdiction. They certainly will not work if a country physically cuts off Internet lines bringing in foreign traffic, or slows them down to debilitating speeds.”

To meet this challenge, VOA has an experimental program underway called “VOA Radiogram.” In this program, the station broadcasts both text and photographic information via shortwave to listeners equipped with radio-connected computers.

“VOA Radiogram is an experiment to provide information to any place where the Internet, or at least content from abroad, is unavailable due to dictators, disasters, conflict, or remote location,” said Elliott, who is leading the effort. He said that the experiment has been very successful. “We tried various modes, including PSK, MT63 and Olivia, but MFSK (multiple frequency shift keying) has been the best performer. MFSK32, at 120 words per minute, provides a good compromise between speed and accurate copy under challenging shortwave reception conditions.”

The pirate world has had the busiest time of the year, Christmas and New Year provide many pirates on the air.

We’re going to have a look at “Shortwave Pirate Radio 2014 - A year in review” written by Chris Smilonski
Here are the most common modes used in 2014:
AM 944
USB 776
LSB 49
CW 32
FM 16
AM beat out USB this year, last year they were virtually tied”

We all assume pirates are on air most on weekends and while that is true there’s definately ones during the week, here Chris gives statistics of logs over the year;

Sunday 387 (20%)
Monday 155 (8%)
Tuesday 189 (10%)
Wednesday 223 (11%)
Thursday 230 (12%)
Friday 331 (17%)
Saturday 460 (23%)”

We can see that 57% of transmissions are over Friday and the weekend. “But don’t give up on weekday listening! 40% of transmissions are on a Monday through Thursday”

The top 5 frequencies in use for 2014 are: 6925, 6930, 6950, 6940, 6770 with 6925 on 50% of all logs.
That was via the HF Underground blog.

Let’s have a look at some logs for Europirates and Ameerican Pirates:

Jan 1st
6940 1655 Enterprise Radio. "What A Feeling," then Madonna. SINPO 34333.
6990L 1702 Baltic Sea Radio. Michael Jackson "Bad." SINPO 344433.
Dec 31st
3325 1547 Misti Radio. Testing on usual freq. Rock. SINPO 24332.
6207 1603 Radio Caroline-Rainbow. Many IDs, dance mx. SINPO 34333.
6238 1710 Radio Pirana. Non-stop Latin American music, via European relay, good peaks. SINPO 34333.
6267 1554 Skyline Radio Germany. Rock. SINPO 34333.
6284 1559 Radio Black Arrow. Inst mx, signing off. SINPO 54444.
6284 1652 Radio Underground. DT song, ID, greetings, strong peaks. SINPO 44433.
6295 1611 Radio Babysitter (Black Bandit). Country and DT mx. SINPO 54444.
6305 1658 Radio Merlin Int. Supergrass, talk about NY Eve. SINPO 34333.
6803 1608 Radio Pink Panther. Country mx. SINPO 54444.
Via the Shortwave DX Blog

Radio Cochiguaz a pirate that has been off the air for some time is came back with test a test transmission on December 31st 2014 on 6238. They have also done test transmissions in October 18th and 19th 2014 but no one seemed to log them. It says on their website that “Many of you may not know that our Director and the operator of our station passed away some years back. Some of us innvolved with this grate station has decided to keep the station going on in the memory of our great friend and pioneer Cachito Mamani.”
I do not know who is relaying them in Europe them but it will be great to hear South American voices and pan pipe music.
Let’s have a listen to them via Gino Italy who heard them on New Years Eve:

3440 23h35UTC Jan 2nd WHYP playing old time tunes. S9+15 into New Hampshire by DimBulb

6850.5 23h45UTC Jan 1st The Crystal Ship Sign on with the doors, ID and intro talk by John Poet and A Trip to Pirates Cove by Tom Petty SINPO 43333 by ByteBorg

6920 USB 2h30UTC 1st Jan  Radio Doctor Tim music by female artist, non-English show with Happy new year chorus S7 into Chicago by RCCI

American logs via HF undergriund forum. (We also thank other members contributions to the pirate logs that may have not got a mention.)

DX Extra is being relayed on FM via World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, Worldfm dot co dot nz and on shortwave via Focus International, Magic 6205, Cupid Radio and we welcome a new relay - Premier Radio. A big thank you to all our relay partners. Your generosity means a lot!

Before we go it was great to see so many reception reports from Europe hearing the 2014 Christmas special. We always love to hear from you and would love to give you an eQSL for hearing us on the DX Extra - send your report to hriradio at gmail dot com and join us on facebook at facebook dot com forwardslash dxextra

It's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a bit of festive music for New Years heard on Radio France International’s transmission on 9665 on the 1st of January.

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

Image: Sydney to Hobart winner Wild Oats XI

December 18, 2014

DX Extra shortwave show No.17 Released!

Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 17 to the world wide web! It's the Christmas edition! 
 In this fortnight's podcast:  Radio Dabanga: (Govt) launches 10 shortwave stations (to combat Radio Dabanga) Santa on 3916  Radio Exterior Espangna returns Radio Australia - hostage crisis 
Radio Havana Cuba on diplomacy changes
Pirate Radio Logs and recordings
Audio Archive: Radio Vaticana 
(BBC World Service at end)

LISTEN via embedded player:

By the way, it's a week before Christmas day!

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

"Coming January, Sudan will launch ten shortwave radio stations in Darfur, and ten in South Kordofan The new radio stations will present programmes in local dialects, to counter the broadcasts by Radio Dabanga, in an attempt to reduce its impact on the populations of those regions, especially in Darfur, Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman told Members of the national Parliament on Tuesday.
As for South Kordofan, the radio stations will aim to reach the Nuba people living in the rebel-controlled areas, the minister noted.
Sudanese MPs have criticised the performance of the official media before. They described it as “weak, and failing in the delivery of information”. On Tuesday, 25 November, the daily broadcasts by Radio Dabanga from the Netherlands were discussed in the parliament. Some MPs stressed the need “to disrupt the activity of Radio Dabanga, or completely stop it”, and demanded from the Information Minister of State to develop a plan to at least reduce its impact.
Radio Dabanga broadcasts in shortwave to the whole of Sudan and neighbouring countries. Satellite broadcasts are confined to the larger cities." 

UPDATE: 19/12/14 Radio Dabanga is being combated by the 10 proposed shortwave stations and 10 FM stations. While the report says "10 shortwave stations" it is possible they will all be on FM. 

“For the 9th consecutive year, the 3.916 Nets will be giving good boys and girls a chance to talk to Santa Claus via the magic of ham radio.   The '3916 Santa Nets' will be held at 7:30 PM every night from November 28 through December 24th.    The Santa Nets are open to all licensed amateur radio operators who wish to invite kids to their shack to talk to Santa.  Third party rules will apply.

For 2014, The 3916 Santa Net will be on the air nightly during the Christmas season.  The net time is changing from 8:30 PM Central to 7:30 PM Central.   Pete Thomson (KE5GGY), commented on The 3916 Santa Nets.  He said, "Christmas is our favorite time of year on The 3916 Nets.  Each year on the Santa Nets we are blown away by the response.  It's incredible to hear the excitement in kids' voices as they talk to Santa Claus on Ham Radio.   Based on comments from last year, we're going to have the Santa Net every night during the Christmas season and we're moving the net back an hour so kids won't have to stay up too late."

Thomson added that The Santa Nets are a great way to let kids experience both the magic of Christmas and amateur radio.  He said, "We encourage hams to get their kids, grand kids and even neighbor kids into their shacks to participate in the Santa Net.  The kids love talking to Santa and we get an opportunity to show a young person how amateur radio works."

Each evening, The 3916 Santa Net will start at 7:30 PM (Central) on 3.916 MHz.  Pre-net check-ins will be taken on the air starting at 7:15 PM.   You can also do a pre-net check in by emailing

For more information on The 3916 Nets or The Santa Net, contact Pete ThomsonKE5GGY at” via Voice of Ham Radio Blog

[Audio: DX Extra Promo No.4]

At ISWBG deadline, we received information that Spain's Radio Exterior Espana was planning to resume broadcasting on shortwave. Severe budget cuts had forced the station to terminate all broadcast on shortwave at the close of their summer schedule season in October.
  After extensive deliberations, the RTVE Board of Directors approved to resume broadcasting transmissions from Noblejas, Spain. Plans are to mainly beam broadcast to four main target areas, four hours a day and eight hours on weekends.
  At this time the following schedule, which has been revised from the previous listing in Late Breaking News is noted as "tentative,"
A start date has not been released at this post. The definitive schedule will be released shortly.

The following revised schedule, has been registered for the winter broadcast
All times UTC

1600-2400 on 9620 NOB 200 kW / 290 deg to NoAm Spanish Sat/Sun
1600-2400 on 11685 NOB 200 kW / 161 deg to WCAf Spanish Sat/Sun
1600-2400 on 11940 NOB 200 kW / 230 deg to SoAm Spanish Sat/Sun
1600-2400 on 12030 NOB 200 kW / 110 deg to NEAf Spanish Sat/Sun

1600-2200 on 17715 NOB 200 kW / 230 deg to SoAm Spanish Daily
1600-2400 on 17755 NOB 200 kW / 161 deg to WCAf Spanish Daily
1800-2400 on 17850 NOB 100 kW / 272 deg to CeAm Spanish Daily
1800-2400 on 21610 NOB 200 kW / 110 deg to N/ME Spanish Daily
1900-2300 on 15110 NOB 200 kW / 302 deg to NoAm Spanish Daily

2000-2400 on 9620 NOB 200 kW / 290 deg to NoAm Spanish Mon-Fri
2000-2400 on 11685 NOB 200 kW / 161 deg to WCAf Spanish Mon-Fri
2000-2400 on 11940 NOB 200 kW / 230 deg to SoAm Spanish Mon-Fri
2000-2400 on 12030 NOB 200 kW / 110 deg to NEAf Spanish Mon-Fri
2000-2400 on 15385 NOB 200 kW / 161 deg to WCAf Spanish Mon-Fri
via Shortwave central blog [Audio: REE] in downloads folder

Audio via the Bulgarian DX Blog

Australia was changed when news surfaced of a hostage crisis that took place at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney on Monday the 15th of December. Terrorism has come to our shores. Shortwave has been highlighted as Radio Australia switched to a live feed from 702 ABC Sydney with rolling coverage that the short wave community would have benefited from if living outside Australia. It just goes to show even the ABC still thinks shortwave is important. A few years ago Radio Australia played an important role with a relay of ABC Queensland radio due to terrible floods in December 2010. 200,000 people were affected and a damage bill of 2.38million dollars. Many affected could not get vital information as power was cut, car radios out of reach as their cars were flooded and as we know smartphone's battery life is pretty average. As three quarters of the state was severely flooded only those who had an emergency radio could hear vital information.

[Audio: Radio Australia – hostage crisis]

The sad news for Radio Australia is news that has surfaced that in 2015 only the Shepparton transmitter will remain 24/7 a day and all other transmitters will close. I will be looking out for more clarity on this change in the weeks ahead.

“WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to “cut loose the shackles of the past” and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.
The surprise announcement came at the end of 18 months of secret talks that produced a prisoner swap negotiated with the help of Pope Francis and concluded by a telephone call between Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro. The historic deal broke an enduring stalemate between two countries divided by just 90 miles of water but oceans of mistrust and hostility dating from the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill and the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis.” via the New York Times
As this new news surfaced on Radio Havana Cuba many shortwave listeners wonder what the Cuban take on the diplomatic changes are. After all they can't talk about the Cuban five any more now the three imprisoned were released! Let's listen to news recorded today by Eric Bueneman from Missouri, USA.

[Audio: RHC 6000kHz...] 

[Pirate Theme]

The pirate world has been busy, last weekend produced more logs than normal and if this weekend on the eve of Christmas is anything to go by, expect it to be pretty full!

Here are American and Europirate logs for the last week of December:

6845 Happy Hanukkah Radio 17th December 1h22UTC “Hearing interval signal 0121, into classical violin music, different show or different station?  S-5 here
Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song 0127... faded out buy 0132 or so.” First reported by Chris Smolinski Was also broadcasting earlier before 1hr UTC.

6770 Old Time Radio 23h22UTC December 16th with a good s9 signal into USA. First reported by Chris Smolinski

[Audio: Old Time Radio] Thanks to William Callesen for the clip!
6323 Radio Underground 14th December 2014 17h15UTC playing Baba O'Reily by The Who. First reported by atrainradio

6880 Bangalore Poacher December 14th 2014 at 3h43UTC “with the usual zany mixture of nonsensical numbers and utterings by man and woman announcer, Lincolnshire Poacher IS, then some beeps, IS and OFF abruptly at 0353 UTC. Signal was about an S5, mostly above the noise with some fading. Nice to hear this one's been awhile!” (reference?)

I couldn't wait half the show to air you this clip, it is a recording of the Bangalore Poacher – get ready for some insane radio!

[Audio: Bangalore Poacher]

I received an email announcing some stations on air this weekend to keep an eye out for:

“Relays this weekend

Radio City will be on the air this weekend:
Friday December 19th at 19.00 to 20.00 UTC on 7290 and 1368 kHz,
and repeated on Saturday December 20th at 09.00 to 10.00 UTC on 9510 kHz
Our address remains

We will also be on the air Saturday December 27th at 13.00 - 14.00 UTC via Hamburger Lokalradio on 7265 kHz
There is also a separate weekly programme via Radio Merkurs, Latvia every Saturday at 20.00 - 21.00 UTC on 1485 kHz.

European Music Radio Relay on 21st of December 2014:
08.00 to 09.00 UTC  (Gohren) on 7265 KHz  Tom & Mike Taylor
09.00 to 10.00 UTC  (Gohren) on 9485 KHz  Tom & Mike Taylor
Please send all E.M.R. reports to:  Thank you!

If you live outside the listening area please try the Twente/Netherlands Web Receiver at

Every Saturday and Wednesday the programs of HLR:
07.00 to 09.00 UTC, on 7265 KHz
09.00 to 12.00 UTC, on 6190 KHz
12.00 to 16.00 UTC, on 7265 KHz
Every Sunday:
12.00 to 16.00 UTC on 9485 kHz
E-mail:  Thank you! “ via Tom Taylor Hard core DX digest

All logs via the HF underground forum. (We also hank other members contributions to the pirate logs that may have not got a mention.)

And if this news was not enough, we recommend The World of Radio by Glen Hauser, the website www dot world of radio dot com

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 last week on WBCQ USA on 5110 and 7490 during the Area 51 timeslot. We have new relays as well so look out for us on Focus International around 6285 the first week of the month, Magic 6205 Europe also on 15700 over weekends and Cupid Radio around 6305 or 15070 airing on the weekends as well. A big thank you to all our relay partners. Your generosity means a lot!

You may also hear our Christmas special on shortwave, it's to be aired on our relay partners and you can hear it in it's entirety n on the website at


Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is a bit of festive music for Christmas from Radio Vaticana's Portugese transmission.

[Audio: Radio Vaticana.wav]

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. We wish you a Merry Christmas a safe and prospertive New year.

[Audio: BBC World Service]

Image: Christmas light from a Hobart home in Warrane.

December 11, 2014

2014 Christmas Special

It's out and ready for anyone to listen to - the 2014 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.

In this year's show we play music by John Lennon and Cascada, we travel back to Australia in 1958 via Doctor Who's spare TARDIS and see what Christmas means then. On our journey home we get a comical cultural dose of a hot summers Christmas in Australia - it's no winter wonderland downunder! And as we do every year we finish it off with Jiminy Cricket's Twas the night before Christmas.


DOWNLOAD (also in lower kbps formats)

Image: One of Tasmania's most popular Christmas lights in a Hobart outer-suburb.

Reception reports:
We have had a great number of QSL reports received of Europeans hearing us via relay parter Cupid Radio on 6265kHz 10h50-11h20UTC on December 25th 2014.
Here is a YouTube clip of us.
Below is audio of the show via Cupid Radio on 6265kHz (courtesy of Achim

December 10, 2014

New relays

Good news, Focus International has very kindly offered to air our shows on shortwave. Look out to hear them6285 on the 23rd of December.

More good news, Magic 6205 Europe has offered to relay our shows on shortwave as well. These additions are very positive and exciting news as we progress into 2015.

December 6, 2014

DX Extra No.16 Released!

Hello fellow DXers, it is with great excitement to release the latest shortwave news programme DX Extra number 16 to the world wide web! 
In this fortnight's podcast: ABC cutbacks further affect radio Giant sunspot mass Solar storm Two German stations close Santa on Amateur radio Pirate Radio Logs and recordings Audio Archive: Radio Romania International
LISTEN via embedded player:

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


[Intro:] From Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, Welcome to the DX Extra, the extra thing you need to digest your shortwave news – its show number 16. Hope you are all doing well.

Just a reminder, our website is at our email address is hriradio[SPAM-remove] and we are now on facebook at


Interesting DX conditions this week, it went from being better than normal to solar flares almost wiping out the band the last few days. Currently have an M class flare.

In show number 16 this fortnight:

  • ABC cutbacks further affect radio
  • Giant sunspot mass Solar storm
  • Two German stations close
  • Santa on Amateur radio
  • Pirate Radio Logs and recordings
  • Audio Archive: Radio Romaina International

The Herald Sun and an ABC and SBS Government published document have shed light on the future of radio broadcasting. It looks like the ABC will try to ditch all DAB radio, reduce satellite broadcasts, cut or heavily reduce Radio Australia on shortwave, keep ABC Northern Territory on shortwave and shut ABC shops and centres.

“3.5.3 Shortwave radio: Radio Australia and Outback RadioThe ABC broadcasts Radio Australia shortwave services through two domestic transmitter sites and from three overseas shortwave facilities. In addition, Local Radio is broadcast on three High Frequency (HF) short wave services in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine. These HF services are known as Outback Radio and broadcast into remote areas of the Northern Territory. As theRadio Australia shortwave contracts are currently being renegotiated, the ABC is undertaking a strategic review of the continued application of shortwave distribution. Department of Communications Draft ReportABC and SBS Efficiency Study 91In contrast to the Australia Network television service which is funded under contract by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Radio Australia is a core ABC service which is funded through ABC base operating funds.
Radio Australia is distributed via both shortwave services and local FM retransmission sourced from the Australia Network satellite feed. If shortwave is terminated Radio Australia would continue to be broadcast on the FM retransmission. However, it should be noted that the current distribution ofsignals for FM retransmission relies on the Australia Network satellite service.DFAT has advised that shortwave delivery of Radio Australia provides the only current source of the service in some sensitive areas in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea; it supports a review of more cost effective alternatives for delivery of Radio Australia but considers that access tothe service in these areas should be maintained.

Offshore Radio Australia transmission servicesShortwave relay services to broadcast Radio Australia content off shore are provided through year to year contracts with Babcock Communications.These services are currently located at three sites: Singapore, Palau and the United Arab Emirates. All three provide coverage to the Asia region, specifically Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

Outback Radio – Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine NTABC local radio content from the Darwin and Alice Springs studios are broadcast by shortwave services to remote areas in the Northern Territory and sections of the Timor Sea. There is no measurement of listener engagement with these services in the data provided by the ABC.
FindingsNoting shortwave is largely a superseded technology, potential savings may be achieved by discontinuing Radio Australia shortwave radio services. Radio Australia would continue to be broadcast in target countries through FM retransmission sourced from Australia.

Network satellite feed or its equivalent. Based on current usage, the distribution of the Radio Australia signal by satellite is estimated at $0.2 million p.a., including satellite capacity and uplink costs.If the ABC was to maintain the current breadth of coverage for Radio Australia provided by shortwave, a body of work to increase FM transmission through partnerships in Myanmar, Bougainville, Manus and Western Province would need to be undertaken. This work would need to be undertaken in consultation with DFAT to ensure that regional and local sensitivities are taken intoaccount. This would impact on the savings achievable and wider strategic issues would dictate the timing of this change. In addition, should the Australia Network satellite service not be available, other feed arrangements would need to be purchased. An additional potential saving of up to from discontinuing shortwave transmission of Outback Radio may be possible. However, Outback Radio particularly covers the remote areas of Australia that may be of value to those communities. The study understands that the ABC believes there is merit in maintaining this service until an alternative can be sourced.”

It sounds like Radio Australia will only be completely cut on shortwave once the department of foreign affairs is happy there is wide enough saturation by FM to Asian regions. However as the ABC has deemed shortwave a superseded technology it shows speculation that a large reduction of shortwave could be likely. Even the possibility of complete closure of shortwave. This does tell us that at least Australia Network is definitely safe from being chopped. ABC Northern Territory radio is very unlikely to cease.

Domestically digital radio may be reduced:

““The cost of digital radio services comprises the content costs (which would be very small for simulcast services, and modest for services which largely stream music content), and the distribution costs. Significant savings could be realised if a decision is taken to cease terrestrial transmission which is currently only available in capital cities. Content would continue to be available on alternative platforms such as the web, mobile and through digital television.” Via the ABC and SBS Efficiency Study public document* Limit digital radio services to online and mobile platforms, doing away with terrestrial services.* There may no longer be a need for ABC and SBS to pay for their services to be rebroadcast on Foxtel.* The ABC and SBS could use a pay-per-view service once catch-up services were no longer available for free on their websites.* Over time investments in bricks and mortar shopfronts should shift more towards online distribution methods.”

Via the Herald Sun online and the Department of Communications ABC and SBS efficiency study

“The largest sunspot to appear on Earth's nearest star in more than two decades is once again pointed at the planet, and it will likely kick-start solar storms, NASA scientists say.The massive sunspot, previously known as Active Region 12192, was turned toward Earth in October and early November, but rotated out of view. While it was on the Earth-facing side of the sun, the sunspot did not produce any coronal mass ejections — hot bursts of material ejected into space at 4 million mph (6.4 million kilometers/hour) — which have the potential to damage satellites and power grids. Now the active region has rotated back around to face Earth again, and although the sunspot has shrunk in size, it will likely be disruptive, NASA scientist Holly Gilbert told"This time around, it's more likely to have some coronal mass ejections associated with it, even though the solar flares might be smaller," said Gilbert, chief of the Solar Physics Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. "We have a good idea, based on the structure of that magnetic field and the sunspot, that it's very possible that it will create some midlevel flares."Look out for some odd dxing this month!


1 December 2014The German national public broadcasters Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur will disappear from longwave at the end of this year. Wasteful channels are going off the air due to cost considerations. The money saved will be invested in digital terrestrial radio (DAB+). At the end of 2015 the mediumwave transmitters of Deutschlandfunk will also close.
Deutschlandfunk currently still broadcasts through longwave 153 and 207 kHz and seven mediumwave frequencies including 1269 and 549 kHz. Deutschlandradio Kultur broadcasts by means of the longwave frequency 177 kHz. The mediumwave frequency 990 kHz went off last year.
Keeping these transmitters on the air costs Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur millions of euros a year in electricity costs. All these stations transmit with a fairly high power. The three longwave transmitters are each 500 kW, and the mediumwave transmitters range between 100 and 400 kW.
Meanwhile Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur can be received on FM and DAB+ in large parts of the country. Further expansion of this network is proceeding rapidly. Earlier this year Deutschlandradio Kultur switched from the obsolete MP2 DAB standard to the modern DAB+, which is also used in the Netherlands.
In 2010 it was agreed that the public broadcasters will only get funding for the rollout of DAB+ if they cut down on other distribution methods. It therefore simply means that the medium- and longwave transmitters must be switched off. Meanwhile, several regional broadcasters have already turned off their AM stations. For example, MDR did so in March 2013.
In the Netherlands, the NPO will scrap the broadcast of Radio 5 via medium wave in September 2015. Again listeners are advised to switch to DAB+.”

This is a sign of things to come in Europe.

Via Shortwave Central blog

Kids chat with Santa on the North Pole and go secret shopping.Dressed in a shirt from Frozen and braids in her hair like the character Anna, Kapri Brumwell, 3, was beaming from ear to ear. I talked to Santa,” she said proudly, following her sit down to radio with and speak to Santa Claus on a television at the North Pole on Saturday at the Western Development Museum (WDM) via shortwave. “I talked about the Rocking Mally Horse.”That was one of her requests for Christmas. She also said she wanted a Barbie whistle horse.
Jackie Hall, education/program officer at the Moose Jaw WDM, said she saw the annual event as an official start to Christmas.It’s just a fun way to kick off the Christmas season,” she said. “Theturnout is fantastic.”The Moose Jaw Amateur Radio Club put on the Shortwave to Santa event. The club made all the arrangements for the kids to be able to chat with Santa Claus.” via the Moose Jaw Times Herald online.

[Audio: DX Extra Promo No.4]

[Pirate Theme]

Here are American and Europirate logs for the first week of December:


TCS “Touch and Go” 6885 “With S7 into Northern KY at 2355 UTC. SINPO 33233
2358 UTC "Announcement you are listening to the 80's sound on TCS"
2359 UTC "The Buggels - Video killed the radio star "”
Played more 80s music as signal became poorer at 00h04UTC. Heard December 5th by Chris Smolinski

Radio Abu Dhabi 6290 0h55UTC Today “I'm on the Dutch university SDR hearing very poor signal on 6290 a lot of fading. Talk and music.” “Tune in at 0101 UTC to UNID music, then BB with Abu Dhabi Radio ID at 0102 UTC! Fair signal with deep fades here.” Heard by myself member dxextra, thanks to member shipmuck for the ID.

[Audio: Abu Dhabi -----]

Radio Ga Ga6925 DSB today at 00h40UTC
0040 On with mx, "Radio Ga-Ga SDR Shortwave ID", baby laughing
0041 "Spiders and Snakes"
0042 sudden off
0045 back on with "Spiders and Snakes"
0047 ID, "Stone Free" by Hendrix
0054 "Don't Mess Around With Jim"” heard by jFarley.

All logs via the HF underground forum. (We also hank other members contributions to the pirate logs that may have not got a mention.)

This is an audio sample of Wolverine Radio 6950USB Nov 16th at 1h30UTC

And if this news was not enough, we recommend The World of Radio by Glen Hauser, the website www dot world of radio dot com

DX Extra is being relayed via World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand.. Worldfm dot co dot nz – all the details are on the website.


An exciting interview has been added to the website featuring Jamie Moses, rhythm guitarist of Queen + Paul Rogers. Jamie is also a member of Band Hiding in Public.

Before we go it's time to get an audio clip out of the archives. This is audio of Radio Romania International 13730 at 4h55UTC November 30th.

[Audio: Radio Romania International 4h55 13730 30.11.14.wav]

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

December 4, 2014

Exclusive: Jamie Moses Interview!

Today I had a listen to some old recordings I found on my PC and found what is in my eyes a world exclusive interview I forgot about. A big thanks goes to Aussie Queens for their cooperation.

Just after Christmas December 2007 I got the privilege to interview Jamie Moses. This was at a time in his career when he was working as rhythm guitarist with Queen + Paul Rogers (2005-2007). Jamie is also a member of Hiding In Public, The SAS Band, and The World Famous Red Sox. The interview focuses more so on Jamie Moses' time as second guatrist with Brian May and Queen since 1992. It also highlights his current work back in 2007 of album What Lies Ahead - Hiding In Public.



Image: Jamie Moses (left) Brian May (right) from

December 3, 2014

New website

There's so much new stuff happening here!
We now have a new website address at, we have new promos, a brand new facebook page at AND we are currently working on new logos as well.