Monthly Archives: May 2014

Logs for 26th May

Listening has had to take a back seat these last couple of weeks due to work and garden commitments. We have had a spate of fine weather so catching up on jobs in the garden after work has taken precedent. Longer evenings help! Tonight I managed to find some time and logged the following:

 

6130 Khz Swaziland TWR 19:10 UTC Barely audible under noise, but occasional improvement reveals male announcer plus african-style music. Assuming TWR as only station on 6130 at this time. Unknown language but sounds like one of the African languages. Signal a little better at 19:20  (22222). Language sounds like a switch to Portugese which would confirm TWR. SINPO: 21122 2014-05-26

7250 Khz Bangladesh Bangladesh Betar 19:50 UTC English. Male announcer but difficult to define broadcast content as too much interference from CRI on 7255. SINPO: 33333 2014-05-26

7275 Khz South Korea KBS 20:38 UTC English. Female announcer with news. Jingles followed by further news. Heavy ACI from CNR SINPO: 33333 2014-05-26

7325 Khz Sao Tome VOA 20:46 UTC Hausa. Male announcer. Jingles followed by announcement in English of Real Madrid’s victory in football, then back to Hausa. Interspersed with commentary in English from the match. Sao Tome relay. SINPO: 43344 2014-05-26

7585 Khz Sri Lanka R. Farda 20:53 UTC Pop music. ID at 20:55 .Iranwilla relay SINPO: 43333 2014-05-26

6050 Khz Tibet PBS Xizang 21:02 UTC Chinese Pop music. Lhasa relay. Lot of QSB SINPO: 33333 2014-05-26

With TWR in Swaziland, that’s a new country. That gives me a grand total of 76 since my time back listening on the broadcast bands (18 months). Logging Africa is getting better, its South America that eludes me. I am hoping over the next few weeks to get a new set of ladders and put up a longer antenna. i will keep you posted

Logs for 13th May

9565 Khz Morocco R. Mediterranean Intl 20:18 UTC Fantastic Blues/Rock music. Clapton with “Baby don’t you cry no more” followed by more blues from a singer I didn’t recognise. Heavy ACI at times from REE. No ID, but R.Medi assumed from schedules. Some commentary in French. Rest of the musical output standard rock/pop fare up to 20:55 SINPO: 43333 2014-05-13

9545 Khz India A.I.R 21:00 UTC English. ID at 21:00 followed by news from India and around the world. Slight fading with some heterodyne interference. Followed by coverage of 2014 General Election, with results expected 16th May. V. High electorate turnout. This was followed by a short musical segment. SINPO: 54444 2014-05-13 I sent a reception report shortly afterwards.

6100 Khz Bosnia-Hertzegovina R. Serbia Intl 21:29 UTC English. Sign-off of the English service, with contact info. Followed by the Serbian service SINPO: 54444 2014-05-13

Featured Broadcaster – Voice of America

Over the years, I have received VOA broadcasts on Shortwave many times, and still do to this day. They have an incredible regional output and a wide and varied range of interesting programs. They also embrace the new forms of output such as digital media.

Potted History

It all started in 1941 as the U.S. Foreign Information Service (FIS), which became the Voice of America the following year. Within a year it had added The Amoy, Cantonese, Portuguese-to-Latin America, Spanish-to-Latin America, Tagalog, and Manderin services. During the war years, they added many more languages to their output. Unfortunately, during the post-war years up to the 1950’s, output was severely cut, with many debates about the continuing need for such a service (sounds familiar!). However, with the advent of the Cold War period, broadcasting was ramped up, as the U.S. Government saw the role it could fulfill as a powerful exponent of democracy.

In 1959, VOA inaugurated “Special English” – slow-paced, simplified English broadcasts — to facilitate comprehension for millions of listeners. Special English programs quickly became some of the most popular on VOA, and they retain that status today.

During the 60’s and 70’s, the VOA covered many areas of conflict and world events via their news services. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the first steps of Neil Armstrong on the Moon to name but two.

VOA Today

In more recent times, VOA has gone through some turmoil regarding funding and the need to keep some of the services, including those on Shortwave. As with many international broadcasters over the last few years, a lot of content has shifted to digital as it is much easier and cheaper to produce and distribute. However, with the situation in Ukraine, it would appear that some of those decisions have been reversed, and new funding streams found to support Shortwave output. There has been a realisation that not everyone will have access to the internet, or if they do, access can be easily removed by Government bodies.

Programs

As I mentioned before, VOA has an extensive output covering many subjects. News, Sport (both US and regional), Culture, Politics etc. At some point during the day I reckon that whatever language you speak, you would be able to find a VOA broadcast to suit your tastes.

Here in the UK, I find their relays from Sao Tome, Botswana and Thailand to name but a few are easily received, even with modest equipment. I usually find the 31m band gives me the most favourable reception.

Schedules

The following shows the current A14 schedules.

VOA Broadcast Frequency Schedules

Effective 30 March 2014 through 25 October 2014/  (Updated 10 April, 2014)
All times and dates are Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).Frequencies are in kiloHertz (kHz). 1 MegaHertz (MHz) is equal to 1000 kHz. Conversion to meter bands: Meters=300000/frequency in kHz. e.g.: 17705 kHz –> 16.9 meters

Abbreviations: All programs/frequencies are on daily unless noted otherwise.
* – Monday through Friday
# – Tuesday through Saturday
> – Friday and Saturday
$ – Saturday and Sunday
^ – Sunday through Thursday

English to Africa

0300-0400 UTC    909  1530  4930  6080 15580
0400-0430 UTC    909  1530  4930  4960  6080 15580
0430-0500 UTC    909  4930  4960  6080 15580
0500-0600 UTC    909  4930  6080 15580
0600-0700 UTC    909  1530  6080 15580
1400-1500 UTC    4930  6080 15580
1500-1600 UTC    4930  6080 15580 17895
1600-1700 UTC    909  1530  4930  6080 15580
1700-1800 UTC    6080 11845 15580 17895
1800-1830 UTC    6080 15580 17895
1800-1830 UTC$  909  4930
1830-1900 UTC    4930  6080 15580
1830-1900 UTC$  909
1900-2000 UTC    909  4930  6080 15580
2000-2100 UTC    909  1530  4930  6080 15580
2030-2100 UTC$  4940
2100-2200 UTC    1530  6080 15580South Sudan – English    
1630-1700 UTC* 11620 13870 15180

English to Far East Asia, South Asia and Oceania

0100-0200 UTC    7430  9780 15205
1100-1200 UTC$  1575
1200-1300 UTC    7575  9510 12075 12150
1300-1400 UTC$   7575  9510 12075 12150
1400-1500 UTC*  7575 12110 15490
1500-1600 UTC    7575 12110 15490
2200-2300 UTC^  5895  5915  7480  7575 12150
2230-2400 UTC>  1575
2300-2400 UTC    5895  7480  7575 12150

Learning English

0030-0100 UTC   1575  7430  9790 12015 12150 15290 17820
0130-0200 UTC#  9825
1500-1600 UTC    6140  7540  9400
1600-1700 UTC   11915 13570 17895
1900-2000 UTC   7485
2230-2400 UTC   7460  9570 11840

For further info (and a more detailed history etc) see: http://www.voanews.com/ and http://www.insidevoa.com/

 

Amateur RAdio News items

40m Counties Contest

Next Sunday, 18th May, the Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) will host the first IRTS Counties Contest on 40 metres.

This generally follows the very successful format of the 80 metres contest and the full rules are available on the IRTS website.

It is hoped that the smaller scale of antennas required for 40m will encourage many more stations to participate, particularly the newer licensees. It is also a great band for ‘Portable’ operation and it is expected that many of the ‘rare’ counties will be activated.

The contest is open to all and EI and GI stations send their county as well as the report and a serial number starting with 001 for the first contact.

Note in articular the rule about the permitted frequencies for this contest which are for CW 7000-7040 and for SSB 7060-7100 & 7130-7175.

SD by EI5DI supports this contest, and is free from ei5di.com.

This information came from the excellent Southgate ARC News site: http://www.southgatearc.org/

 

 

Logs for 10th May

Again, just a short listening period with the following noted:

7445 Khz Madagascar BBC 18:37 UTC English. Discussion about sport. Madagascar relay SINPO: 43333 2014-05-10

6240 Khz Pirate R. Flying Dutchman 22:38 UTC Steppenwolf, followed by Roxy Music. ID at 22:40 but couldn’t here due to noise. Accent sounds Dutch. Followed by T-Rex. ID again at 22:47 but missed. Polka followed. ID Radio Flying Dutchman at 22:50 followed by David Bowie. SINPO: 43333 2014-05-10

Radio Flying Dutchman is well-worth seeking out as they play some excellent music. Noise, at times, marred getting a good ID and there was also some CW (Morse) that came over the transmission from time to time. After the listening period I sent a reception report by email so here’s hoping for an E-QSL from them. The pirates usually send quite colourful cards.

I have found over the last few days that conditions generally seem a little poor. My two favourite bands for listening are the 31m and 41m bands, with listens also in the 49m band. All have been plagued with high noise levels. I am unsure at the moment whether this is local or atmospheric noise, it’s sometime difficult to pin down.

I am hoping over the next few weeks when time permits, I can get a longer and higher antenna up, which will hopefully get it away from some of the more local noise.

Logs for 9th May

Just a short listening period this evening, hope to get more time over the weekend.

 

9375 Khz France R. Algerrienne 20:20 UTC Arabic. Koran chant.  Issoudin relay SINPO: 54455 2014-05-09

9430 Khz UAE V.O. Vietnam 20:25 UTC German. Female broadcaster. UAE relay. At 20:28 strange humming noise suddenley came over the transmission, followed by loss of transmission 1 minute later. This relay goes off air at 20:30 so 2 minutes early. SINPO: 54455 2014-05-09

9620 Khz Sao Tome VOA 20:44 UTC Hausa. Sao Tome relay. Male broadcaster with commentary, followed by music jingle. Following segment sounds like a phone-in program SINPO: 43333 2014-05-09

9655 Khz Rwanda Deutsche Welle 20:51 UTC English. Program about same-sex marriages in Russia. Part of the ‘Inside Europe’ program. Coverage of UK veterans who witnessed the nuclear bomb testing in Australia in the 50’s .  Kigali relay. SINPO: 43333 2014-05-09