Just a quick note for anyone who reads this blog (all 2 of you!). I haven’t forsaken it, I just got to a point where I didn’t have a lot to say, a sort of bloggers block! I have also been pursuing my other hobby, photography, quite ernestly, and that, along with much gardening through the summer has curtailed any thoughts of writing. Normal service will be resumed as the nights draw in and more time is spent on the radio.
It was on January 31st the ABC ended its shortwave transmission service in the Northern Territory and to international audiences.
Yesterday a coalition of protesters gathered outside the ABC headquarters in Ultimo to protest restructure plans by new Managing Director Michelle Guthrie, including ending shortwave transmission.
Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), Hands off Radio National Music and ABC Friends say a range of management decisions have created a crisis at the national broadcaster, telling radioinfo that recent decisions demonstrate how out of touch the ABC Executive has become.
Among the speakers yesterday was ABC Friends NSW President Mal Hewitt who spoke about the impact the shortwave closure is having on local communties, but not before outling a list of people that rely on it.
- Tour operators and passengers virtually over the whole of the north of Australia.
- Aboriginal Sea Rangers who work right around the top end.
- Fisherman both commercial and indigenous.
- Stock camps always on the move.
- Cattle Stations.
- Grey Nomads – there are clusters of them around their FM receivers on a Saturday afternoon listening to the footy.
- Road construction workers
- Miners and prospectors ever the oil rigs off the north west coast take short wave.
- Tradesman on the road…
“And residents of about 150 remote Aboriginal across the Northern Territory, the top of Western Australia and Queensland. Another very important group of people that totally goes under ABC management’s radar, I suspect ABC management doesn’t recognise brown people and it specifically doesn’t recognise brown and poor people…..read more at->
As most people who use short wave radio are aware, ABC Australia pulled all of their short wave services on the 31st January 2017. For those of us around the world who have enjoyed ABC broadcasts over the years, this at least, disappointing and at most, well, disappointing. They had a good range of interesting programs, from in-depth reports to music programs and light comedy. Some of us, me included, also used their Alice Springs and Tennent Creek low-power transmissions as a pointer to how the lower Tropical bands were performing. If you could get Alice Springs on 4835, then you knew the 60m band was holding up well and worth an explore.
But let us now turn our attention to the ranchers and ranch workers who live around the remote areas of Alice Springs and Tennent Creek. These places are literally, out in the middle of nowhere, with ranch sizes being calculated in square miles and not acres. Also the truckers making the long-haul trips via outback roads through some of the most inhospitable country known to man. All these people rely on good communications supplied locally for such items as weather reports/forecasting and anything that could be pertinent from local news. This sort of information can only be delivered successfully over these terrains using short wave. A network of FM stations would not give the coverage over the difficult topology encountered in these areas. A satellite system would have similar problems, and relies on having a ground station at a ranch with all the power requirements to receive such transmissions. If a rancher is fixing a fence several tens of miles from home will not be able to receive these transmissions.
We also need to turn to the needs of those people living on the plethora of Pacific islands which ABC also used to serve using their short wave transmissions. Some of the governments of Micronesia are not, at all times, stable, so up to date news and weather forecast/reports of a timely nature cannot necessarily be relied upon. Indeed, a few years ago, the government of Fiji closed down the local internet so any information supplied by that route was unavailable. This is where the short wave transmissions from Australia were so important through this period.
For all the non-recreational uses mentioned above, these transmissions can literally be the difference between life and death. ABC has mentioned savings as the reason for this move, but I saw a report where this amounts to only 1.9 million for the Northern Territories. But surely this cost is going to be swallowed up by having to supply content delivery via either satellite or expanding FM services.
Fortunately, a lot of debate is currently going on in Australia from community groups, MP’s in government and Union heads. If ABC thought that no-one would notice then they must be severely disappointed already with all sections of Australian society seemingly being up in arms over the decision. I think this will roll on for quite a while and ABC will either be completely bloody-minded or come to some sort of agreement. Maybe the Australian government may step in to save the day. All I know, its not going away in a hurry!
The R Thailand now listing the B16 schedules.
A feast of Cuban vocal music with Los Van Van for dessert…
From beautiful harmonies to stunning a cappella imitations of instruments, Cuba’s best vocal groups are a delight.
Our October 25 (October 24 in the Americas on WBCQ) program offers a few of them along with special guest Luz Divina Reyes, Director of Vocal Elé. We’ll include a little Los Van Van from the 90s, so come to listen, stay to dance.
Two options for listening on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000-0100 UTC
(8pm-9pm EDT Mondays in the Americas)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900-2000 UTC
See the NOTES section of our Facebook page for instructions for listening online if you are out of range or don’t have a shortwave radio.
The upcoming time changes across the world will affect us as follows:
1. The Channel 292 transmission will remain at 1900-2000 UTC, when the clocks change in Europe (Oct 30), this will mean 2000-2100 CET rather than 2100-2200 CEST).
2. The WBCQ transmission will remain at 8pm Eastern time US, which means that when the clocks change in the US (November 6), we will be from 0100-0200 UTC
Please be advised that today, 21 October 2016 Marconi Radio International will once again be on air, as follows: 1800-2000 UTC on 5700 kHz (New frequency) USB mode with an unscheduled test broadcast. Reception reports with audio clips (mp3-file) are welcome and confirmed by a “solid” QSL card! (Please note that reports on reception via remote web sdr receivers will be acknowledged ONLY by electronic QSL).
Our regular weekly broadcasts on Tuesdays are confirmed with the following schedule, which remains valid until the end of October: 17.00-2 1.00 UTC on 7700 kHz (USB Mode) with 100 watts. This means that next transmission will be on 25 October 2016.
Last but not least, we need your help! If you are a DX blogger, or use social networks, please post an announcement on your own blog and/or Facebook or send out a tweet. You can also forward this message to a friend. This should help increase our potential audience.
We hope to hear from a lot of shortwave listeners about our transmissions.
Marconi Radio International (MRI)