Category Archives: Shortwave Listening

RNZ QSL card received

Spinning the dial on the HF radio, the other night, I ran across Radio New Zealand International broadcasting news and music.  A bit shocked to hear sounds coming from the opposite side of the globe at such a late hour I confirmed that they were, indeed, broadcasting from Rangitaiki!  (This is about the same time that I used to work a ZL2BLQ on 18MHz CW so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.)

Sent in my report of 45534 for 13840kHz using their web form and a few days later received this card via email:

RNZ QSL Card showing the RNZ logo
I also copied their broadcast on 11725kHz but with a report of 25511 it wasn’t worth mentioning.

Shortwave Radiogram for the weekend of 29 September 2017

This weekend’s reception of Shortwave Radiogram was cut off at the beginning due to an operator error.  I had left my computer up and listening to WRMI but had also left the automatic frequency control (AFC) feature turned on.  This meant that fldigi ended up surfing around the bandpass instead of locking onto the signal and decoding it.  Luckily I came up to the shack in the nick of time and was able to correct the problem.

Here is my download of this weekend’s Shortwave Radiogram:

deployments. The hams and their equipment will be sent to Red
Cross shelters extending from San Juan to the western end of the
island.

“This generous outpouring of response represents the finest
qualities of the Amateur Radio community,” ARRL CEO Tom
Gallagher, NY2RF, said. “These individuals are dropping whatever
they are doing now, heading off to an extended hardship-duty
assignment, and offering their special talents to Americans who
have been cut off from their families, living amid widespread
destruction and without electrical power since Hurricane Maria
struck the Caribbean region last week.”

ARRL’s Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said this
was the first time in the nearly 75-year relationship between
ARRL and the American Red Cross that such as request for
assistance had been made. “Hurricane Maria has devastated the
island’s communications infrastructure,” Corey said. “Without
electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of
service, millions of Americans are cut off from communicating.
Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services. And,
people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The
situation is dire.”

Full text:
http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-s-force-of-fifty-answers-the-red-cross-call-in-puerto-rico

See also:
https://www.voanews.com/a/puerto-rico-radio-station-hurricane-maria/4047762.html

Image: NOAA satellite images of Puerto Rico before and after
Hurricane Maria …

Sending Pic:437×101;

NOAA satellite images of Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria

This is Shortwave Radiogram.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net

From the BBC Media Centre:

BBC News launches Korean language service

25 September 2017

The new Korean language service announced in November 2016 by the
BBC World Service began broadcasting today. Audiences in the
Korean peninsula and Korean speakers around the world can now
hear radio broadcasts and access the latest news online at
BBC.com/korean .

BBC News Korean is one of 12 new language service launches now
underway as part of the biggest expansion of the BBC World
Service since the 1940s, funded through a £291 million grant in
aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Director of the BBC World Service Francesca Unsworth says: “BBC
News Korean will build on the long-standing reputation for
fairness and impartiality the BBC World Service has earned all
over the world.”

BBC News Korean features a daily 30-minute radio news programme
broadcast at 15.30 GMT on Shortwave (SW) and 16.30 GMT Medium
wave (MW). The service will also feature a digital offer with
written stories, videos and radio programmes which can be
downloaded and shared. The new service features a wide range of
news, sport, business, culture, in-depth reports and English
language learning.

BBC News Korean journalists will be based in Seoul, London and
Washington and will draw on the full extent of the BBC’s global
network of correspondents.

Notes:

Service launched Monday 25 September at 15.30 GMT (Tuesday 26
September in Korea):

Shortwave service to broadcast for three hours, 15.30 – 18.30
GMT

Medium wave service transmission for 1 hour 16.30 – 17.30 GMT

All transmissions to be 7 days a week

Medium wave (MW) Frequency: 1431KHz

Shortwave (SW) Frequencies: 5810 kHz & 9940 kHz (from launch
to 28 October 2017) then; 5810 kHz & 5830 kHz (from 29 October
2017 to 24 March 2018)

The BBC News Korean website will be available at BBC.com/korean

The BBC World Service is currently launching in 12 new languages
– Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin,
Punjabi, Serbian, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/bbc-news-launches-korean-language-service

Image: From BBC video comparing North and South Korean usages of
the Korean language …

Sending Pic:230x103C;

From BBC video comparing North and South Korean usages of the Korean language
This is Shortwave Radiogram.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net

From New Atlas:

Highest-capacity transatlantic data cable completed

David Szondy
25 September 2017

The highest-capacity data cable stretching across the Atlantic
has now been completed. A consortium including Microsoft,
Facebook and Telxius recently finished threading the complex
4,000-mi (6,400-km) cable across the ocean floor from Virginia
Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain to produce a high-speed data
connection that will be more secure from disruption by natural
disasters.

Though modern telecommunications may conjure up images of lasers
skittering between communication satellites high above the Earth,
the backbone of today’s internet is heavily dependent on a giant
spider web of cables spanning between continents and along coast
lines carrying everything from tweets to high-definition live
streaming videos.

Unfortunately, these cables are vulnerable to natural and manmade
disasters. In the aftermath of the October 2012 Hurricane Sandy
that wreaked havoc on the east coast of the United States,
wireless, internet, and home telephone services were knocked out
for days. Therefore, it was decided by Microsoft and Facebook,
along with Telxius, to develop, design, build, and lay a new
cable farther south than existing transatlantic connections.

Work on the new cable, called Marea or “Tide” in Spanish, began
less than two years ago and Microsoft says the project was
completed three times faster than a typical undersea cable
project. The route for the cable required the surveying of the
seabed to depths of up to 11,000 ft (3,300 m) to avoid hazards
that include active volcanoes, earthquake zones, and coral reefs.

Marea consists of eight pairs of fiber optic cables encased in
copper, a hard-plastic protective layer, and a waterproof
coating. The whole thing measures 1.5 times the diameter of a
garden hose and is buried in a set of trenches close to shore to
protect it from fishing nets and anchors, but lies open on the
seabed in the mid-ocean.

Marea is expected to go operational early next year when it will
carry up to 160 terabits of data per second, which is 16 million
times faster than the average home internet connection. This is
the equivalent to 71 million high-definition videos streaming
simultaneously and will allow the cable to serve hubs in Africa,
the Middle East, and Asia. In addition, its open design will
allow it to be upgraded as demand grows.

“Marea comes at a critical time,” says Brad Smith, president of
Microsoft. “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55
percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more
data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question
that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue
to increase and Marea will provide a critical connection for the
United States, Spain, and beyond.”

http://newatlas.com/highest-capacity-transatlantic-cable/51488/

Image: Route of the Marea cable between Spain and Virginia …

Sending Pic:228x71C;


Route of the Marea cable between Spain and Virginia
Finally, this photo of a young Anatoly Karpov, Soviet chess
grandmaster, includes his multiband portable radio — probably
capable of receiving shortwave …

Sending Pic:346×254;

Photo of a young Anatoly Karpov, Soviet chess grandmaster, includes his multiband portable radio -- probably capable of receiving shortwave
Photo from:

Transmission of Shortwave Radiogram is provided by:

WRMI, Radio Miami International, http://wrmi.net

and

Space Line, Bulgaria, http://spaceline.bg

Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net

And visit http://swradiogram.net

Twitter: @SWRadiogram

I’m Kim Elliott. Please join us for the next Shortwave
Radiogram.

Sending Pic:192x151C;

VOA Radiogram #155 as received in Maryland

I finally remembered to listen in to this weekend’s VOA Radiogram transmission from the Edward R. Murrow transmitter facility in Greenville, NC.

The signal strength on 5745 kHz was marginal even with strong S9 to +10dB signals.  It seems the bands are quite noisy with a noise floor of ~S7.  As you can see below, the MFSK32 was received much better than the Olivia 64-2k.  None of the images transmitted came out particularly well, either.  Fldigi also failed to automatically change from MFSK to Olivia but did manage to make the change back to MFSK.  I’ll try to receive the last transmission tomorrow afternoon to see if I can copy that better.

Welcome to program 155 of VOA Radiogram from the Voice of
America.

I'm Kim Andrew Elliott in Washington.

Here is the lineup for today's program, all in MFSK32 except
where noted:

 ¸
Gerogr bKa.(now)
 3:01  NASA plans large fire on spacecraft*
 7:26  Rotten tomatoes produce renewable energy*
11:54  Olivia 64-2000: Legislation to counter propaganda
19:48  MFSK32: Over the horizon radar in amateur HF bands*
25:04  Early General Electric shortwave broadcasting*
27:05  Closing announcements

* with image


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: @VOARadiogram


<EOT>
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NASA Plans to Light Large Fire in Orbiting Spacecraft

VOA News
March 16, 2016

In order to see how fire-resistant to make the new lightweight
materials that will be used to build next-generation spacecju!nu
NASA plans to start a large fire in space.

The test "is crucial for the safety of current and future space
missions," said NASA's Gary Ruff in an interview Tuesday with
AFP.

In the experiment, NASA wants to see how big the flames get, how
they spread, and the amount of heat and gas released.

The fire will take place aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus capsule,
which is used to transport cargo to and from the International
Space Station, after it has made a drop-off.

The spacecraft will be launched March 23 from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, then head to the space station. Once it has moved a safe
distance away, NASA will trigger the fire.

Called "Saffire-1," the experiment is designed to give NASA
engineers a better idea about how fire behaves in space and how
much fire resistance to incorporate into new spaceships, as well
as space suits.

"Understanding fire in space has been the focus of many
experiments over the years," said Ruff, who added that while have
small fires have been purposely lit in space, NASA needs to
understand how a major fire would behave.

The fire is expected to burn for 20 minutes, during which data
about temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide will be recorded.
The event will also be filmed.

Once the experiment is over, the capsule will re-enter Earth's
atmosphere and burn up.

http://www.voanews.com/content/nasa-plans-to-light-large-fire-in-space/3240548.html


<EOT>
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Image: Orbital ATK's Cy<SOH>o &argo craft ...


<EOT>

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This is VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


Rotten Tomatoes Produce Renewable Energy

Rick Pantaleo,
VOA Science World Blog
March 16th, 2016

About 21-percent of world electricity generation is estimated to
be from non-fossil fuels such as the wind or sun.

But scientists hope to boost that number by looking at new ways
to create it – one of which involves spoiled fruit.

A team of researchers found that damaged or spoiled tomatoes can
be turned into a unique and powerful source of renewable energy
when fed to biological and microbial electrochemical cells.

And the good news is, there seems to be a nearly endless supply
of damaged and rotten tomatoes. Florida alone generates 396,000
tons of tomato waste every year.

The scientists admit that right now the power produced by their
tomato fueled energy cells is quite small.

But they're quite optimistic that with continued research they'll
be able to greatly increase the electrical output of their energy
cells.

http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/2016/03/16/bright-spots-of-ceres-rotten-tomatoes-produces-energy-black-hole-flashes-red/


<EOT>

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Image: Overripe tomatoes on a compost heap ...


<EOT>
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<EOT>
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VOA Radiogram now changes to Olivia 64-2000 ...


<EOT>
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Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


From Rh~Gwd4?l^)rope/Radio Liberty:

U.S. Senators Seek New Center To Counter Russian,0t<RS><(
gz5|{ropaganda'

By RFE/RL
March 16, 2016

WASHINGTON -- New legislation being introduced in the U.S. Senate
aims to improve Washington's efforts to counter "propaganda and
disinformation" spread by Russia, China, and other countries.

<SYN>}n\<RS>#C<EM>4 BQalled the Countering InformatiU3T;KWszx<GS>*@<GS>d:)C2016,
99jR amid gro<ETB>in;e_YJ
s in Congress and in man{u(lU<CAN>pean
W,@5<GS>s<DC3><FF>Ee to fight foreign disinformation campaigns.

Russia, in p<DC2>tiul3<SO>v_ through the portrayal of its @m-<DC4><ETB>K<DC3>
<EM>SMnUkraine and along the per    r5<SUB>Lm<GS>"9HNn}<DC1>uropean Union and NATO
-- has alarmed lawmakers and policymakers on both sides of the
Atlantic.

The EU 0$n!6f<EM>=<UoA small unit 1{B^[YR<VT>T4[<SUB>uropean Exte<DC2>nalm
5nvE[
 Service to counter narr<DC4>ives<FF>ln9`d by Kremlin-backed
media, such as RT and Sputnik, and govey${X8Edl8a<CAN>ored Internet
activists. NATO has also set up a Strategic Communications Center
ofu#]t_Dye<FF>L based in the Baltic state of Latvia, to counter
Russian p<DC2>#oS5J<SYN><ETB>0E9~j&u<FF><FF>@>zfg<DC4>!p://www.rferl.org/content/us-senators-seek-to-counter-russia-china-propaganda/27617521.html

VOA Radiogram now returns
Before RSID: <<2016-03-20T02:50Z OL 64-2K @ 1422100+1500>>
 to MFSK32 ...

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This is VOA Radiogram in MFSK32.
pQ eav send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


From ARRL:

Over the Horizon Radars Becoming Routine Visitors on Amateur HF
Bands

03/14/2016

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (Europe/Africa)
Monitoring System (IARUMS) reports a spate of over the horizon
(OTH) radar signals on various Amateur Radio HF bands — exclusive
and shared. Many of these signals are being heard outside of the
Region 1 confines.

A 50 kHz wide Russian OTH radar has been heard in the evening on
80 meters, often in the CW part of the band. An "often
long-lasting" Russian OTH signal about 13 kHz wide is beheCv bre00-7100 kHz segment oetn
 t zn
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traffic (FSK or PSK), and a "Codar-like radar from the Far East"
are being heard in the 7000-7200 kHz segment as well as
non-amateur CW transmissions.

The same OTH radar being heard on 40 meters also is appearing on
20 meters, along with digital traffic in FSK or PSK and on CW and
broadband OTH radar signals from China. Some monitoring reports
are intriguing, such as this one on 14.280 MHz from IARU Region 1
Monitoring System Coordinator Wolf Hadel, DK2OM: "Female voice
with encrypted msgs — figures — "SZRU" = Foreign Intelligence
Service of Ukraine in Rivne — every Wednesday at 1005 UTC."

Broadband OTH radars from China, Australia,D¶ rus, and Turkey
have been monitored in 15 meters. On 10 meters, radars from Iran
with FM CW and different sweep rates have been monitored, as well
as fishery buoys on CW, and taxi operations on voice from Russia.

Voice traffic from fishing operations has been heard on all or
most HF bands, as well as a variety of broadcasters, including
Radio Tajik on 14.295 MHz, Radio Taiwan and Myanmar Radio, both
on 7.200 MHz, and Radio Hargaysa in Somalia on 7.120 MHz.

The February 2016 IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter
offers more details. There is an online archive of past issues. —
Thanks to the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System

http://www.arrl.org/news/over-the-horizon-radars-becoming-routine-visitors-on-amateur-hf-bands


<EOT>
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<EOT>

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This is VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


The 14 March 2016 edition of Radio World includes an interesting
article by John F. Schneider aboout the early shortwave
broadcasting operations of General Electric in the United States.

See:

http://www.radioworld.com/article/schenectady-shortwave-transmitters-1941/278353

This image of GE's Schenectady, New York, shortwave operation in
1941 accompanies the article ...


<EOT>
 
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<EOT>
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Please send reÃeoytn´ts to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: fê½yRadioge tm

Thanks to colleagues at the Ed§,d R. Murjirortwave
transmitting station in North Carolina

I'rm El   rG: Please join us for the next VOA Radiogram.

This is VOA, the Voice of America.

Fifty years of transmitting at BBC Woofferton

I ran across a paper that was written discussing the shortwave broadcast station at Woofferton, UK, last year, and thought I’d share it.  It’s a really interesting read and gives you a perspective of what it took to maintain such a station with a near-constant change to technology.  It’s in PDF format so you should be able to read it on most any device.

VOA Radiogram program 61 reception

pic_2014-06-01_024620zJust copied program 61 of the VOA Radiogram on 5145.  The program was transmitted from the Edward R Murrow Transmitting Station down in Greenville, NC.  I’ve seen this place many times and am happy to have copied its transmission now.  I’m also lucky that I was watching Twitter just before the program started and was reminded to tune in.

Here is the text as I received it.

Welcome to program 61 of VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America.

I'm Kim Andrew Elliott in Washington.

On today's program, instead of the usual news stories from VOA
News, we will experiment with the transmission and decoding of
images.

In the first part of today's program, we will experiment with
MFSK images. Later in the program, an EasyPal digital image will
be transmitted. (Please start your EasyPal software.)

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: @VOARadiogram


<EOT>

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MFSK IMAGES

The Fldigi software allows for the transmission of MFSK images at
different speeds: X1, X2, and X4. X2 and X4 "paint" more quickly,
but result in lower resolution: X2 is fuzzier, and X4 is
fuzziest. (Fldigi software is required to decode the X2 and X4
images.)

As the symbol rate (baud) of the MFSK modes increases from MFSK32
to MFSK64 to MFSK128, the resolution of images sent in those
modes also increases. The time required to send a picture is the
same for MFSK32, MFSK64, and MFSK128.

We therefore have two variables: the transmission speed and the
symbol rate of the MFSK mode.

We will transmit the same VOA Radiogram test card (254x197
pixels) as follows:

MFSK32 X1
MFSK32 X2
MFSK32 X4

MFSK64 X1
MFSK64 X2
MFSK64 X4

MFSK128 X1
MFSK128 X2
MFSK128 X4

First the MFSK32 images in X1, X2, and X4...


<EOT>
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<EOT>

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<EOT>
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<EOT>

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VOA Radiogram now changes to MFSK64...


<EOT>
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<EOT>
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<EOT>
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<EOT>
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<EOT>

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VOA Radiogram now changes to MFSK128...



<EOT>
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This is VOA Radiogram in MFSK128...


Now the MFSK128 images in X1, X2, and X4...



<EOT>
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<EOT>
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<EOT>
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<EOT>
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 VOA Radiogram now changes to MFSK32...



<EOT>
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In MFSK32, this is VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com

And visit voaradiogram.net

Twitter: @VOARadiogram



If you have not done so, please start your EasyPal software.

It has been several months since we have experimented with the
EasyPal digital image mode on VOA Radiogram.

EasyPal is the work of Erik, VK4AES, in Australia. His software
uses DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) encoding to allow the sending
of image files over an HF or VHF using only 2.5Khz (same as
voice). EasyPal is also known as Digital SSTV (slow scan
television).

Next on VOA Radiogram will be an EasyPal text transmission,
followed by the same VOA Radiogram test card that was transmitted
in the MFSK modes. The card will be larger and in higher
resolution. The picture transmission will be just over 7 minutes.
The picture might appear before the 7-minute transmission is
completed, or it might not appear at all -- there is a rather
high failure rate with EasyPal on shortwave.

Now the EasyPal transmissions...


<EOT>
(EasyPal transmission)
In MFSK32, this is VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America...

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: @VOARadiogram

Thanks to colleagues at the Edward R. Murrow shortwave
transmitting station in North Carolina.

I'm Kim Elliott. Please join us for the next VOA Radiogram.

This is VOA, the Voice of America.

Shortwave reports via Twitter

I use a program named Shortwave Schedules to tell me what’s on the radio at any given time.  It used to just digest a CSV file from Eibi and tell you who was on and when.  Now it’s gotten fancy (propagation maps for one).  A feature I stumbled upon last night while searching for the frequency for Radio Romania International (it’s 9645kc, BTW) is it now allows you to log your reception report, locally, and then share it in a variety of ways (pretty much anyway your phone is designed to share).  You can even record some of the broadcast for later review.  A very nice feature.

So last night I shared part of my reception report:

Now I added the “@RRInternational #shortwave” and edited the text a bit but this is basically what went out last night.  I suspect that whoever monitors the Radio Romania International Twitter feed was probably confused about receiving the report and I’ll also provide this report in a better way but I think it’s a neat idea myself.

As for my little app, the log still needs a little bit of work but I’ll provide that feedback via a different method.

QSLs Received: NMN and Radio Bulgaria

QSL from NMN

QSL from NMN

I checked the mail, yesterday, and was surprised to see a whole box full!  Not much in the way of junk mail but I did receive two radio-related mailings.  First was an envelope from “Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard CAMSLANT…” and the second was from “Radio Romania”.

I couldn’t imagine why I would be receiving something from CAMSLANT but when I saw the QSL card inside I remembered sending them a signal report after seeing such a request on a NAVTEX broadcast.  I wasn’t really expecting a QSL from NMN but it’s always great to receive one!

Likewise, I sent Radio Romania a letter thanking them for their continued broadcasts on the shortwave bands and commented on a program I had heard.  They sent me back a nice QSL, broadcast schedule, calendar, sticker, and a letter.  I always enjoy hearing broadcasts from Europe as they seem to take great pride in their transmissions.  It’s unfortunate that two of my favorite stations, Radio Ukraine International and Radio Bulgaria, are now both off the air.

Beautiful music from around the world

I love to use my little Grundig shortwave receiver to tune in the world, at night, in hopes of tuning in traditional music from lands I’ve never visited.  With fewer stations on the air it’s becoming more difficult to find these stations.  I thought I’d share one station that continues the tradition of news, current events, and music.

Radio Taiwan International can be heard on 5950kHz and 9680kHz each night in North America.  On Wednesday mornings (UTC) a signature program, Jade Bells and Bamboo Pipes, is broadcast.  The program is great and brings the sounds of the orient right to your home.  It is an award-winning program that should entertain your ears.

Radio Ukraine International used to broadcast several classical music programs before their transmitters went dark.  Radio Bulgaria was also an excellent station that was worth tuning in before it went Internet-only (not much radio in the Internet).

If anyone knows of any other good stations please post a comment and I’ll include them.