Friday, April 18, 2014

Radio Taiwan International

Radio Taiwan International, transmitting from Tainan, was logged on 18 April 2014. A cooking programme and Chinese language contest in Bahasa Indonesia was monitored from  10.15 to 11.00 UTC (broadcast time 10.00 to 11.00 UTC). Chinese language broadcast followed at 11.00 UTC. Reception on 11.915 kHz was (SINPO) 54444 -- excellent signal strength despite minor station splatter and fading. Reception improved after 10.45 UTC to (SINPO) 55545.

Reception report in English was emailed and FaceBook messaged to RTI and submitted online in Indonesian at RTI website.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

53rd Anniversary of Radio Habana Cuba

Radio Habana Cuba celebrated their 53rd Anniversary on 16 April 2014. To commemorate the event RHC sent an email highlighting the occasion. It featured a photograph of Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries in 1961. A message accompanied the photo. 

Rosario Lafita Fern├índez, Head of Correspondence Dept., Radio Havana Cuba, wrote: "April 16th, 1961 is an extraordinarily significant date for our people. That day our Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, proclaimed the Socialist Character of the Cuban Revolution; he also told the world about the existence of  the “Experimental Shortwave “, founded officially, on May 1st of that year, with the name of Radio Havana Cuba.
"Let’s recall his words: '...Do they believe they’ll be able to hide it from the world?...Cuba already has a radio station, that is broadcasting for the entire Latin America; countless brothers in Latin America and throughout the world are listening to it.'

"That fire baptism has been a source of inspiration in these 53 years. Thanks
for the valuable collaboration you send to us."

Happy Anniversary Radio Habana Cuba!

Radio Hilaac (via Issoudun)

Radio Hilaac, a clandestine station broadcasting from relay facilities in Issoudun, France, was logged on 17 April 2014. A broadcast in Somali featuring discussions on Somaliland, recitation of the Quran and Horn of Africa music was observed from 17.00 to 17.30 UTCReception on 15.180 kHz (SINPO) was 45554 -- good signal strength, clear and stable.

Reception report was emailed shortly after transmission ended.


Voice of America (via Santa Maria di Galeria)

Voice of America, transmitting from Santa Maria di Galeria (Vatican), was received on 17 April 2014. The English language broadcast of  "South Sudan in Focus" was observed from 16.30 to 17.00 UTC. News reports focused on South Sudan, African elections, genocide in Rwanda and abductions in Nigeria. Broadcast closed with a song called "Seasons of Peace". Reception on 15.180 kHz was (SINPO) 55444 -- excellent signal strength with minor atmospheric noise and fading.

Reception report was emailed to Voice of America shortly after broadcast closed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Voice of Vietnam "Die Stimme Vietnams" (via Dhabbaya)

Voice of Vietnam "Die Stimme Vietnams", transmitting from Dhabbaya (UAE), was logged on 14 April 2014. A German language broadcast of  news about the world and Vietnam as well as  reports on economic development and industry in Vietnam, along with Vietnamese pop music, was monitored from 19.50 to 20.30 UTC (broadcast time 19.30 to 20.30 UTC). A lone female announcer presented much of this one hour broadcast. Transmission occurred on 9.430 kHz. Reception was good with a (SINPO) of 54544 -- excellent signal strength despite QRM station splatter and minor fading.

Reception report was written in German and emailed to the German language service.



Postal Address:
Die Stimme Vietnams
45 Ba Trieu,
Hanoi, Vietnam

Sunday, April 13, 2014

AM Radios with CONELRAD Symbol

If you grew up in the United States during the Cold War era, you are probably old enough to remember the US Civil Defense (CD) frequencies marked on AM (medium wave) radios. A "CD symbol" with simple white or red triangle highlighted the frequencies 640 kHz and 1240 kHz. These designated frequencies aided listeners in tuning to CONELRAD stations. 

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to Americans in the event of enemy attack during the Cold War. It was intended to serve two purposes: (1) to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and (2) to provide essential Civil Defense information.

Car radio with CD markers
I recall from the 1950s and 1960s -- especially the early 1960s -- radio stations (TV stations too) would occasionally interrupt regular programming and test the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS). It would begin with the message, "This is a test. For the next sixty seconds, this station will conduct a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test." It was followed by a shrill sound that combined sine waves of 853 and 960 Hz, an interval signal so unpleasant it attracted the collective attention of the public. Decoders at relay stations would sound an alarm, alerting the station operator to the incoming message. After the test an announcer would state, "If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to tune to one of the broadcast stations in your area."

Portable AM radio with symbols
The purpose of the test was to allow the US Federal Communications Commission and broadcasters to verify that EBS tone transmitters and decoders were functioning properly. In addition to the weekly test, test activations of the entire system were conducted periodically for many years. These tests showed that about 80% of broadcast outlets nationwide would carry emergency programming within a period of five minutes when the system was activated. Over the years the message and procedure changed, but essentially the content remained.

Today, you will find no radios with this symbol. It is the relic of a dreadful past, hopefully gone forever.

Source: Wikipedia

Public Service Announcement for Radio Free Europe (1971)

"Radio Free Europe. Radio Liberty. Prague...Radio Free Europe. Radio Liberty. Prague..." This is how Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty signed-on at 13.59 UTC one evening while tuning the 19 metre band (15.255 kHz).

On hearing this interval announcement, I was reminded of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) Radio Free Europe aired on American TV in 1971. At the time it validate for me the importance of short-wave radio listening.

The PSA was obviously aimed at attracting younger Americans to support RFE. The young Hungarian announcer and The Drifters' jazzy tune "On Broadway" featured in this clip say it all. It certainly resonated with me. It still does.