Category Archives: News

BBC launches Ethiopian and Eritrean radio services

The BBC on Monday launched new daily radio services producing news, current affairs, features and English language training for Ethiopians and Eritreans. The BBC World Service programmes will be broadcast from Monday to Friday in the Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya languages and will be aired on shortwave radio and streamed on Facebook. “There will be a strong focus on culture, health and original journalism from the region,” the British broadcaster said. It will also offer beginner, intermediate and advanced English language lessons once a week to speakers of the three regional languages.

The BBC last year launched an online portal entirely in Nigerian Pidgin, which takes inspiration from Portuguese, English, as well as Jamaican patois. It also launched a Korean service that is said could be available to listeners in North Korea if the signal is not blocked.

The announcements came as part of the World Service’s biggest expansion since the 1940s, funded by the British government. The expansion is designed to bring “independent journalism to millions more people around the world, including those in places where media freedom is under threat,” according to the BBC. “Through war, revolution and global change, people around the world have relied on the World Service for independent, trusted, impartial news”, said Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service Director.

“As an independent broadcaster, we remain as relevant as ever in the twenty-first century, when in many places there is not more free expression, but less,” she added. The BBC World Service is the world’s largest international broadcaster, reaching a global audience of 269 million weekly, on radio, television and online.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall has set a target for the broadcaster to reach 500 million people worldwide by 2022.

Schedule :
1730-1830 UTC on 7595, 11720 and 12065 kHz
1830-1930 UTC on 9855 and 15490 kHz
1730 Amharic
1750 Oromo
1810 Tigrinya
1830 Amharic (repeat of 1730)
1850 Oromo (repeat of 1750)
1910 Tigrinya (repeat of 1810)

Heavy-handed action by Pakistan government

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on January 19 ordered the closure of Radio Mashaal after Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency accused the private, U.S.-government-funded broadcaster of airing programs “against the interest of Pakistan” and “in line with [a] hostile intelligence agency’s agenda.”

Steven Butler, the Committee to Protect Journalism’s Asia program coordinator, commented: “The order to close Radio Mashaal is a draconian move by Pakistani authorities and a direct threat to press freedom,”

See the full story at the Radio Free Europe news site

Special broadcasts by AIR for Republic Day 2018

From the RADIOACTIVITY blog:

Special broadcasts by AIR for Republic Day 2018

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 10:02 PM PST

India is celebrating its 69th Republic Day on 26 Jan 2018 (Friday). All India Radio will broadcast special programs in connection with the Republic Day celebrations as follows:
25 January 2018 (Thursday) : Eve of Republic Day
1330 UTC (1900 IST) onwards Hon’ble President’s address to the nation in Hindi &  English. This will be broadcast by all stations of AIR on MW, SW, FM. Shortly after this broadcast, the local stations will broadcast its translations in local languages.
SW frequencies:
kHz     kW       Station
4760    7          Leh
4760    4          Port Blair
4800    50        Hyderabad
4810    50        Bhopal
4835    10        Gangtok
4895    50        Kurseong (Off Air)
4910    50        Jaipur
4920    50        Chennai
4950    50        Srinagar
4970    50        Shillong
5010    50        Thiruvananthapuram
5040    50        Jeypore
5050    10        Aizawl (Off Air)
6030    250      Delhi
9380    250      Aligarh
9865    500      Bengaluru
26 January 2018 (Friday) : Republic Day
Live running commentary of Republic Day parade & cultural pageant from 0350 UTC (0920 IST) onwards :
Hindi : 7520 (Delhi 250 kW)  (Cancelling External Service in Urdu normally broadcast at this time on these frequency). 13695 (Bengaluru 500 kW)
English : 6030 (Delhi 250 kW); 15185 (Bengaluru 500 kW)
Also MW/FM frequencies as per above mentioned links.
The following regional stations will change from their Morning frequencies  on 60 Meters (4 & 5 MHz frequencies) to their day time frequencies between  0335-0350 UTC (ie much earlier than usual) as follows :
 6000 Leh
 6085 Gangtok
 7315 Shillong
 7325 Jaipur
 The following stations are already scheduled to be on air daily at this time and will also relay the running commentary.
 6110 Srinagar
 7270  Chennai
 7290 Thiruvanthapuram
 7380 Chennai
 7390 Port Blair
 7420 Hyderabad
 7430 Bhopal
 9865 Bengaluru
SPT Chinsurah (594 kHz) & HPT Tuticorin (1053 kHz) will carry the running commentary in English from 0350 UTC (0920 IST) onwards.
Please send your reception reports on line at:

Ampegon to Install Shortwave Array Antenna

From the pages of  comes this news:

“Ampegon says it is about to deliver and install its first rotatable shortwave high-power array antenna on the North American continent.

The system, which will be installed WBCQ in the United States, is designed for the transmission of shortwave signals of up to 500 kW, the high-power antenna offers different radiation patterns, an antenna gain of up to 23 dB and uses a technology characterized by a single-shaft structural design.

The tubular shaft with a diameter of four meters acts as a rotatable and supporting axis that is able to absorb static and dynamic forces originating from antenna components. This, explains Ampegon, allows the system to function under extreme weather conditions.

The antenna is made up of a low-band and a high-band array antenna, positioned back to back, each equipped with a reflector screen. Thus, WBCQ can access all shortwave frequency bands between 6 MHz and 26 MHz.

In addition, Ampegon points out that the computer-controlled and monitored system offers unlimited rotation capacity and will turn toward the coverage area using the shortest possible path. Intelligent drive control ensures the large rotating part of the structure is jolt-free, starting and braking to standstill with a high rotation speed of 1.2 degrees per second and a positioning accuracy of <1degree.

The system also features DC grounding, a minimal number of insulators and no insulation in structural parts.”

Should make their transmissions to the UK and Europe more audible.

Amateur Radio DX News

There are some interesting places being activated next year. From DXNews comes the following info:

AU2WBR Sagar Island

Radio Amateurs members of West Bengal Amateur Radio Club VU2MQT will be active again from Sagar Island, IOTA AS – 153, 1 January – 31 March 2018 as AU2WBR.
They will operate on HF Bands.
Recent DX Spots AU2WBR
Ads for direct QSL:
National Institute of Amateur Radio, 6-3-192/93, Raj Bhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad 500082, India.

C6ARU C6AUM C6AKQ Abaco Islands

Tim N4UM, Mike K4RUM and Bob N4BP will be active from Abaco Islands, IOTA NA – 080, 6 – 20 February 2018 as C6ARU, C6AUM, C6AKQ.
QTH – Marsh Harbor.
Recent DX Spots C6ARURecent DX Spots C6AUMRecent DX Spots C6AKQ
They will operate on 160 – 6m.
They plan to operate in CQ WPX RTTY and ARRL DX CW Contest.
QSL info:
C6ARU via N4UM direct.
Ads for direct QSL:
C6AUM via K4RUM direct.
Ads for direct QSL:
Mike Cotton, 37 W. 21st St. Apt. 1504, New York, NY 10010, USA.
C6AKQ via N4BP direct.
Ads for direct QSL:
Bob Patten, 2841 N.W. 112 TERRACE, PLANTATION, FL 33323, USA.

Hopefully, conditions may improve a bit and these stations can be at least heard, if not worked.

B17 Schedules

The new B17 schedules are starting to be published. As the clocks change at different times through the world (UK is last Sunday in October), these will all be coming in over the next few weeks. HFCC is a good place to keep an eye on for these, as well as the websites for your favourite stations. It is also a good idea to keep checking your favourite schedules list website. I use the the excellent lists compiled by Dan Ferguson, which are available from the SWSKEDS group on Yahoo.

Here is the link to the B17 schedules on HFCC:


Not forsaken, just word bound

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.