In February 1985, I helped to organise a rather special event over the weekend of 16th February. We broadcast live from the new Flevo transmitter site and invited ham radio operators from around the world to contact us. We were using some of the largest HF antennas in the world - 120 metres high. Today nothing remains of those giant beacons to the world having been demolished in 2019. But I like to think that for several decades more people came to know that Flevoland was the source of some very interesting programmes. This was the edition broadcast at 0930 UTC to Europe.
Sunday, February 16, 2020
35 years ago on Feb 16th 1985, a small group of radio enthusiasts "misused" the giant shortwave broadcast antennas on the new Flevo transmitting station near Zeewolde. At the weekends, the new station was off the air, the old shortwave broadcast site in Lopik being still operational. So we made a series of regular broadcasts from the Flevo station, using the transmitters at Lopik. And the engineers lashed up a special plug so we could connect ham radio gear to the new antenna masts to see how far we could be heard. It was a fantastic success, to a point where the official launch of the station a few months later was a bit of an anticlimax. This was the first transmission at 0730 UTC directed to the Pacific.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
We’re trying to solve some reception problems from Dushanbe. There are changes going on with Grundig North America, with the transfer of the design from Fuerth to California. Lou Josephs recommends shopping around for receiver bargains. 47th Street Photo adds 8% sales tax. We talked to Richard McLaughlin of LOWE electronics about the HF225 and HF150. Benelux and Germany are the strongest markets. They will launch the HF250 at Dayton. Radio Netherlands will launch its HTML pages on April 21st 1995. A special AM station on the NAB convention. Arthur Cushen heard it on 1660 kHz.
This was our regular visit to the Berlin Funkaustellung, held in those days every two years. 50,000 people would stream through the gates of the exhibition centre in Berlin to see new Hi-Fi and marvel at new shaped television sets (16 by 9). Most of the technology we talk about in this edition has long been superseded, but it makes for a nice recollection. There is also a call to Ireland to discuss the future of Irish shortwave broadcasting.
. Chris Greenway reports that jamming under Vatican Radio is actually aimed at an Iraqi clandestine. There’s a station called Iraqi Army Radio. We follow up on the Cherry Ripe Numbers Station. A listener recognised the music and played the melody over the phone. (It was later traced to a site in Australia). A Czech listener shares some thoughts on cryptography. AWR announces plans for a facility in Paraguay, Latin America. WRN has a new audio service from London. There is a discussion about the existing RN lunchtime broadcast. We played the Radio Morania spoof. Our Big Bells Contest means you have to identify 5 bells all played at once. We look at India’s investment in new shortwave transmitters. AIR is making more use of 13732 kHz. The EDXC conference will be held in Denmark this year. Victor Goonetilleke reports on programmes from the Philippines aimed at their nationals in the Middle East. He reports that the modulation is poor on many of these stations.
Review of the Sounds Interesting programme from the old Hilversum Broadcast Museum. We set up a special station PA6RNW. We contacted Ben Witvliet at the Radio Netherlands. Madagascar relay station. SKY Radio has built up a dedicated following (12%) leading to other commercial radio stations pushing for FM frequencies. We discuss how the FM frequencies in the Netherlands will be redistributed. HitRadio1224 are complaining about the way things are being handled. RCI Is still waiting to find out about whether cuts will be coming to Canada’s International Broadcaster. Radio Australia is also in the line of fire with a call for a switch from television and away from shortwave. Voice of America might be switched off by the year 2000. We spoke with VOA Director Geoff Cowan. Andy has news from Montserrat. George Wood has a go at making a Media Network jingle and sharing news about the Radio Sweden website – love those complicated URL. ORF also had a complicated one.
MN.25.03.1993. A spring edition of the programme including: UK Police in Cheshire played a prank on scanner listeners. Professor John Campbell is back after a short break. He is still interested in clandestine stations, especially in Sudan, Cambodia, Ethiopia and in the area of Iran and Iraq. Although there are not as many stations, they are more interesting to follow. UK Gold on Astra has started carrying BBC World Service. We talk with Elizabeth Smith, Controller of English Services at BBC World Service who explains the plans. As France elects a new conservative government, the future funding of both RFI and RFO is uncertain. Eric Beauchemin reports from Tahiti where he discovered the FM dial has been turned upside down by the launch of commercial stations. This is an excellent feature full of local station identifications. This country was a regular in the reports from Dan Robinson as the shortwave service was a regular catch in North America.
Monday, December 16, 2019
Libsyn is the home of Media Network's AUDIO productions. From 1980 to 2000, I produced and hosted a communications magazine on Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International broadcasting service. We made over 1000 editions of Media Network. Just over half of those shows still survive and are now on-line. Since then I have travelled the world several times in search of the stories of what made shortwave international broadcasting such a fascinating place to be towards the end of the 20th century. I am currently exploring what’s left of the Radio Netherlands archive.
Here’s another VIDEO discovery. In 1997 I contributed to a documentary commissioned by Radio Netherlands TV department, released on the 70th anniversary of international broadcasting, or so we thought at the time. It looks rather slow-paced by today’s standards of documentary producing. But there is some rather rare footage of Radio Tirana in Albania. If you were listening to a shortwave radio at the end of the last century many of these names will be familiar.
You will find it here: https://vimeo.com/378609827
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Here’s one discovery. In 1997 I contributed to a documentary commissioned by Radio Netherlands TV department, released on the 70th anniversary of international broadcasting, or so we thought at the time. It looks rather slow paced by today’s standards of documentary producing. But there is some rather rare footage of Radio Tirana in Albania. If you were listening to a shortwave radio at the end of the last century many of these names will be familiar.
Monday, December 02, 2019
Silly girlfriend opening. Tim Hendel asked about the Sony ICF100T. Irish Eyes are smiling in County Mayo. MidWest Radio, Box 1, Mayo Ireland is making programmes in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, St Patricks Day starts at 12 -16 UTC. 11715 kHz using 250 kW. We broadcast our in-depth review the AOR-7030 first production line. Retails in the UK at 799 pounds. Our review proved to be quite controversial in the UK, even though the conclusions were very positive. Arthur Cushen has news about the Cook Islands.
Friday, November 15, 2019
A warm welcome on a wintry day. Receiver survey feedback reveals shortwave sales are dropping. Voice of Nigeria has returned to the air. WRTH reports that Radio Jordan has expanded its output. Independent receiver review Sony ICFSW-1.
A week of shifting emphasis. Radio Vlaanderen International cancels German, Arabic and Spanish. They have decided to use Juelich site in Germany for broadcasts to Europe. In Indonesia private stations will, at last, be able to air their own news programmes instead of just relaying RRI. Donald McDonald of the ABC explains how they are going to cut 27 million AUS dollars from their budget. We look at the end of Sport7, a shortlived commercial network in the Netherlands. We investigate the strange new business network called Stocks and Funds based in Atlanta. Dennis Thompson, ex BBC Frequency Manager has been asked to set up the schedule. The programme concludes with a visit Diana made to the Baygen Freeplay clockwork radio factory in South Africa.
A news and science features edition of the programme. Victor Goonetilleke reports a problem on Radio Netherlands CIS relay – a loud hum. Arthur Cushen reports wider distribution of Radio Netherlands Dutch language material in New Zealand via Echo Radio. Space feature: We report on the European SOHO project and the results of the coronagraphs. Interview with Piet Maartens on the line from the Goddard Space Centre. We investigate a new top-level communications receiver one of the first software driven DSP receiver the Kneisner+Doering KWZ 30. We never got the chance to review the set because shortly after introduction one of the founders passed away. Interview with Hans Juergen Kneisner. Mike Bird comments on why shortwave receivers in Australia are so expensive. There is a 37% tax on sets and the market is small. Lou Josephs updates online audio. There has been a problem with compatibility. Netscape announces several new versions of their browser suite.
Will Ireland to return to shortwave? Michael Collins advises us of a radio conference in the West of Ireland where the keynote speaker will be Simon Spanswick. There is an extensive visit to SES Astra in Luxembourg. We get the tour from Yves Feltes. When the steel industry went down, the Luxembourg government looked for ways to diversify its economy. Satellites were the answer.