International Radio- A Better Music Mix

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hrissy Brand looks at a range of diverse, more esoteric, radio offerings

 

Chrissy Brand looks at a range of diverse, more esoteric, radio offerings. She also shares readers' tips and observations made from monitoring the bands.

 

 

It makes me smile when I hear commercial FM stations in the UK declare that their station plays "a better music mix" or offers "more music variety". Such claims must pale into insignificance when compared to an evening of AM band listening. I am also sure that the appeal of short wave is, at least partly, due to the enormous diversity of content present on these bands. This month, I start with three examples that encapsulate the enthusiasm, the desire to engage with listeners and the variety of languages and music offered by short wave broadcasters.

Jordan CJ Heyburn (Fig. 1) is a short wave enthusiast and presenter based in Northern Ireland. He now has a ten-minute segment on the Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) called Jordan’s Corner of Radio. It can be heard on the second and fourth week of the month during IBC’s English transmissions. IBC airs to Europe on Wednesdays from 2000 to 2030 UTC on 6070kHz. On Sundays, the broadcast is from 1030 to 1100 on 6005kHz.

Jordan achieved some impressive FM logs during the Sporadic E season, including Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, who sent a QSL card confirming reception of 94.80MHz via a remote QTH in Finland on June 1st.

The Voice of Mongolia experienced an upsurge in audience numbers, thanks to its relay via Kall-Krekel in Germany. English is heard at 0700 UTC on 6005kHz when the station airs directly to Asia from 0900 to 0930 UTC on 12085kHz and from 1530 UTC on 12015kHz (Fig. 2).

The Voice of Mongolia invites listeners to complete a survey to help improve and refine programmes. Give your name, age, birthday, nationality, details of your family and interests and answer these questions: “How long have you been listening to the Voice of Mongolia? Through what channel did you first get information about us? How does Voice of Mongolia’s short wave broadcast sound these days? Have you listened to us on the internet? What kind of activities do you think will help increase the number of listeners to the station? How would you rate us? Any feedback?”

Send your answers by email.

[email protected]

Howard Barnett in Northamptonshire noted an SLBC (Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation) QSL card (RadioUser, August 2018: 44-45). He asked whether the SLBC broadcast in English. It does have an English service on the air from 0000 to 1700 UTC, which includes relays of BBC World Service. However, it is only on FM in Sri Lanka, (97.4 and 97.6MHz), if you're ever visiting.

Interestingly, I saw that DXer Timm Breyel in Malaysia did hear the All Asia Service of SLBC in English on 9770kHz back in 2013 and reported it on a blog post with a QSL card and an audio clip. The programme does not seem to air on short wave any longer, according to the WRTH.

You can read more and hear the various services online at the SLBC website, which is in English.

http://shortwavedxer.blogspot.com/2013/06/sri-lanka-broadcasting-corporation-via.html

www.slbc.lk

SLBC International Services are beamed from the Trincomalee transmitting station (formerly a Deutsche Welle relay) towards South East Asia and the Middle East. They can sometimes be picked up in Europe. The transmitter suffered extensive lightning damage in November last year. This temporarily affected some programme output.

The language services in operation are Hindi, Malayalam, Sinhala and Tamil. Short wave frequencies currently used are 9720, 11750, 11835 and 11905kHz.

 

Medium and Long Wave

Poland on 225kHz long wave seems to be back at full power, noted Graham Smith. He also read that Belgium’s RTBF International on 621kHz from Wavre has reduced its broadcasting hours and is now on the air between 0400 and 1800 UTC. However, there is a blank carrier on the frequency overnight. This is part of a progressive shutdown although a (future) upside of this is that it may be possible to hear Moldova on 621kHz.

The station in Algeria on 891kHz is back on the air. Graham could hear it most nights, carrying the programmes of Algérienne Channel 1 in Arabic.

There was a report on Ydun’s Medium Wave Info website (which is always a great resource) that a new station called Cyber Gold in the Netherlands had started broadcasting on 1602kHz from 0500 to 1700 UTC. However, Graham finds that reception on that frequency is usually poor. When listening at night, he heard Radio Seagull.

https://mediumwave.info

Graham added that the Italian station on 657kHz now goes off the air at night, with only 900kHz on the air through the night now. However, 657kHz stays on the air for most of the Italian midnight news at 2200 UTC, although it is cut off before the finish.

 

Short Wave Reports

Lionel Clyne received Radio Ndarason International on 12050kHz at 1825 UTC with a SINPO of 45333. It was broadcasting in the Kanuri language from a transmitter on Ascension Island. Radio Ndarason International is funded by international development agencies, to help build community resilience following the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and in neighbouring countries and regions. The station can be contacted and heard online, sometimes playing some really dynamic music (Fig. 3).

www.ndarason.com/contact

Among Lionel's many catches was HCJB broadcasting in German from Pinneberg at 2125 UTC on 5920kHz, with a SINPO of 44233. He was surprised to receive this station at all since it was advertised as broadcasting at a mere 1kW.

Lionel also heard an unidentified pirate station on 6300kHz at 1925 UTC. The programme content was mainly music and announcements in a language he could not recognise. The reception was excellent with a SINPO of 55455. Several stations have been logged on that frequency in the UK during recent months. These include Radio Merlin International, Radio Rainbow, Radio Northpole, Radio Europe, Radio Impact and Coast FM.

The Trunews programme, presented by Rick Wiles, was back on short wave in the second half of June, for one week only. Graham Smith heard it on 5920kHz, from 0200 to 0300 UTC, with a repeat at 0300 UTC. Trunews is now a television show, but it still works on the radio.

www.trunews.com

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It is always a pleasure to share Tony Stickells' DX catches with you. On the 60m band, he heard Brazil's Radio Sora de Congonhas on 4774.9kHz, Rádio Cultura on 4845kHz, Radio Difusora Roraima on 4875.3kHz and Radio Clube do Para on 4885kHz. The stations' offset frequency broadcasts could clearly be seen on the SDR waterfall display and identified by listening.

Lionel also received Radio Nacional Angola from Angola on 4949.7kHz. Tony commented that he is, "now at the stage where I can identify different languages by double checking the stations. For example, I can identify between Chinese and Tibetan and many more by listening to them, this is useful when identifying stations."

The 49m band was probably the best for DX during July, with many unusual stations logged. Tony was one of several DXers who heard Zenith Classic Rock Radio on 5780kHz. The station, with studios in Waterford City, has been online since 2007. It has also been heard on medium wave (1584KHz), FM and DAB across the south-east of the Republic of Ireland (Fig. 4).

www.zenithclassicrock.com

Tony also picked up Radio Northern Star (LKB/LLE) transmitting on 5895kHz from Norway in English, at times with a very clear signal, with a 1kW transmitter. Brother Stair's Overcomer Ministry is back in force and now using transmitters in Germany on 6070kHz and many other frequencies.

Stateside, WRNO was logged with a really good signal on 7505kHz. On 7730 and 7780kHz, various stations can be heard via WRMI. Tony wrote, "It's worth monitoring these, as Radio Prague, Radio Slovakia and many more, can pop up here. Being at the top end of the band, they are quite clear, with a low signal-to-noise ratio."

On the 31m band, KNLS in Alaska was booming into the UK on many occasions, using many frequencies. They transmit from Madagascar, but Tony has a feeling they may be using some unlisted transmitting stations.

On the same band, Radio Cairo have been attempting to clean up their transmissions, which are still distorted but not as bad as previously. He received them on 9894.8kHz in French.

 

Oldrich Cip

There was sad news in July with the passing of Oldrich Cip. Oldrich was the founder and Vice Chairman of the High-Frequency Coordination Conference (HFCC).

www.hfcc.org

He was an amateur radio hobbyist and later a staff member of Czechoslovak and then Czech Radio in the international broadcasting departments. He spent most of his working life as a frequency manager and schedule planner. From 1959, for over 25 years, Oldrich hosted Radio Prague Calling All Radio Hobbyists, where he went under the name of Peter Skala.

During the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Oldrich used his technical expertise to help Free Czechoslovak Radio, putting himself in danger while providing news about the events. Thanks to a large number of smaller facilities of Czechoslovak Radio scattered all over Prague – and owing to the complicated infrastructure that connected them – they were able to continue broadcasting for quite some time.

After the Cold War, he believed broadcasters from both sides of the conflict should come together and develop a new system of planning and coordination for shortwave broadcasting. This led to the establishment of the HFCC in 1991.

I will cover the August HFCC Meeting in Bratislava and the European DX Council’s Annual Conference, also being held in the Slovak capital, next month.

 

Pedagogical Pop

Steve Banks wrote to me, trying to find editions of the old BBC English by Radio programme, Pedagogical Pop. I mentioned it on my blog a few years ago but some of the links are now redundant. Occasionally, episodes, which have been recorded off the air appear on YouTube; it is always worth checking.

http://dxinternational.blogspot.com/2012/05/english-by-radio-pedagogical-pop-and.html

Steve wrote, "I built my hopes up that I might actually get to hear the brilliant Pedagogical Pop programme, which covered Marvin Gaye's I Heard it Through the Grapevine. If only I'd recorded it at the time. (I think I was teaching in Germany when I first heard it.) I loved the contrast between Marvin's soul brother sound and the rather plummy English couple, who were dissecting the song. It just seemed so incongruous it was hilarious, although the memory does sometimes play tricks. I would love to hear it again! "

Let me know if you can help locate any episodes of Pedagogical Pop. Perhaps someone has a stash of them on audio cassette tape in an attic.

 

Log Contributors

GS = Graham Smith, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Sony ICF-SW600 and a telescopic antenna.

LC = Lionel Clyne, Faversham, Kent. Lowe HF-150, random wire or homemade loop.

OR - Owen Rutherford, London. Lowe HF-150 and a Wellbrook loop.

TS = Tony Stickells, Wrexham. SDRplay RSP2, AOR AR7030 and a 500ft long wire.

 

Short Wave Logs

 

UTC

kHz

Station and location

Language

SINPO

Initials

0006

7260

Mongolian Radio, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Mongolian

33323

TS

0021

5040

Radio Habana Cuba

English

45444

TS

0030

7780

Radio Slovakia International, Okeechobee, Florida // 5850

English

45444

OR, TS

0114

5950

Radio Argentina Exterior, Okeechobee, Florida

English

25322

TS

0122

6070

CFRX (CFRB), Toronto, Canada

English

35223

TS

0122

6185

Radio Educaçion, Mexico City

Spanish

25122

TS

0211

7780

Radio Prague, Okeechobee, Florida

English

45444

TS

0417

6145

Channel Africa, Meyerton, South Africa

English

25223

TS

0440

7236.5

Voice of Peace and Democracy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tigrinya

25223

TS

0500

5975

NHK Radio Japan

English

45545

GS, TS

0508

6100

Radio Habana Cuba

English

45544

TS

1107

9510

Italian Radio Relay Service, Țigănești, Romania

English

35433

TS

1143

17590

Vatican Radio, Santa Maria, Vatican City

English

45544

TS

1212

6070

From the Isle of Music, Rohrbach-Waal, Germany

English

25223

TS

1238

6005

Radio Tirana, Kall Krekel, Germany

English

25243

TS

1304

5840

World Music Radio, Kurup, Denmark

English

25222

OR, TS

1308

15575

KBS World Radio, Kimjae, South Korea

English

35333

TS

1339

9830

Deutsche Welle, Pinheira, Sao Tome

Hausa

25222

TS

1400

15245

Voice of Korea

French

35544

GS

1409

6085

Radio Mi Amigo, Kall Krekel, Germany

English

35333

TS

1505

15550

Radio Tamazuj

Sudanese/Arabic

55455

LC

1509

9400

From the Isle of Music, Kostinbrod, Bulgaria

English

25323

TS

1615

15150

Radio Tamzug, Talata Volundry // 15559

Sudanese-Arabic

54555

LC, OR

1615

17815

WHRI, Cypress Creek, USA

English

35223

TS

1628

15140

Sultanate of Oman, Thumrait

Arabic

45333

LC

1715

15360

Voice of Amhara Radio, Issoudun, France

Amharic

25323

TS

1718

15520

TRT Voice of Turkey

English

42453

OR, TS

1747

12120

Radio Pilipinas, Tinang, Philippines

English

25233

TS

1747

13580

Radio Bangladesh Betar

English

45544

TS

1800

6065

Voice of Hope Africa, Lusaka

English

44233

LC, TS

1811

5960

TRT Voice of Turkey

English

44544

TS

1825

12050

Radio Ndarason International, Ascension Island

Kanuri

45333

LC

1840

15315

Radio Sawtu Linjilia, Issoudun, France

Fulani

35323

TS

1852

7550

All India Radio, Bengaluru

English

54344

LC, OR

1904

11720

Scandinavian Weekend Radio, Virrat, Finland

English

35323

TS

1905

6185

Radio Taiwan International, Woofferton

German

55555

LC

1915

6145

KBS World Radio, Woofferton

French

55555

LC

1917

7280

Voice of Vietnam, Hanoi-Sontay

English

45344

LC, OR

1919

6090

Radio Nigeria Kaduna

Hausa

44444

LC

1919

6285

Coast FM, Tenerife

English

45444

LC

1920

9920

Radio Thailand, Udon Thani, Thailand

English

45544

TS

1940

5895

LKB/LLE Radio Northern Star, Norway

English

35223

TS

1943

9810

IRIB WS // 9800

English

45444

OR, TS

2005

12015

Voice of Korea

Korean

43444

LC

2010

7360

Vatican Radio

English

35444

TS

2039

7220.1

Voice of Vietnam

English

33233

TS

2049

9818.7

Rádio 9 de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil

Portuguese

25233

TS

2110

11620

All India Radio

English

34223

TS

2116

9799.7

Radio Cairo, Abis, Egypt

English

55553

TS

2122

6285

Coast FM (Energy Tenerife), via the Republic of Ireland

English

45555

TS

2125

5920

HCJB, Pinneberg, Germany

German

44233

LC

2221

4845

Rádio Cultura, Manaus, Brazil

Portuguese

35223

TS

2221

7315

Radio Romania International

English

55555

OR, TS

2222

4875.3

Radio Difusora Roraima, Boa Vista, Brazil

Portuguese

35212

TS

2223

4885

Radio Clube do Para, Belem, Brazil

Portuguese

35233

TS

2238

5910.3

Alcaravan Radio, Puerto Lleras, Columbia

Spanish

25112

TS

2307

4949.7

Rádio Nacional de Angola

Portuguese

25323

TS

 

 

This article was featured in the October 2018 issue of Radio User