Saturday, June 20, 2020

MN.14.08.1986.EAP and Laser 558


This edition of programme was subtitled “Crime Time”, a tongue in cheek look at the offshore pirate radio ship Laser 558, later sold to East Anglian Productions. I spoke with Ray Anderson, who said that Laser was going to Gibraltar. The UK Customs authorities have been very active in trying to prevent the ship leaving the UK. Ray Anderson says he has made a profit on the sale of the vessel. In InfoDutch, we talk about the HCC Hobby Club and the new CD-ROM player which can store a massive 600MB of data (remember this was the era of data on compact cassettes). We discuss the use of modems and the FIDO computer network. Victor Goonetilleke and Sarath Weerakoon report on new stations being launched in Sri Lanka. TWR is going on shortwave. RAE Argentina is being heard in South Asia on 15345 kHz at 1745 UTC.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.20.12.1984. Radio Monique


An early edition of the show. We were more reliant on off-air recordings because the phone was poor quality and very expensive.  Radio Monique, from the Ross Revenge ship in the North Sea has appeared on-air as expected. All the usual discussions about where the programmes are being made. The FM bands are full. A WARC has been held to tackle the overfull FM – there are 51,000 FM transmitters in the world in 1984. Nic Newman and I test out the new Panasonic RFB600L . We conclude it represents fair value, with some strange tuning quirks. Michael Murray updates on plans for the EDXC meeting in Madrid. The theme will be satellite communication. Richard Ginbey reports that a number of new transmitters are coming on the air in Botswana. Angola has launched an international service. We concluded this edition with Pubspot. Larry Miller has revamped his shortwave programme guide by turning it into a newspaper. We concluded with our own version of propagation – before Mike Bird appeared on the scene.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.27.10.1986.STADAMS.RadioTruth


Another news edition of the programme. We reported that VOA Europe has been saved. Director Frank Scott in Munich explains how they plan to save money. Plans in French and German have been shelved. A reporter from Radio Marti has been asked not to ask any more questions at US presidential press conferences. Dutch TROS public broadcaster announces a plan to go commercial. Laos is being heard in Europe via transmitters in the USSR. 11852 kHz is being heard from Caracas. Jeff White reports that Radio Discovery is back on the air. Also on 6245 kHz. Europa TV is in financial trouble. We did a feature on Radio Truth, a South African based clandestine. Rob Horvitz went to investigate a new US address being announced by the station on the air. It turned out to be home Ndabaningi Sithole (photo), former leader of ZANU, who was living in exile in Silver Spring, Maryland. We also did a feature on STAD Radio Amsterdam, interviewing Director Leo Jacobs, At that time the stations broadcast 3 hours a day from a converted house in the capital city. They had a curious way of doing bilingual programmes. They are waiting for the green light to becoming a provincial station. We can also hear a bandscan of some of the pirates on the FM bands heard in Amsterdam.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, June 14, 2020

MN.31.07.1986.CaptainMidnight.Woodpecker


Analogue satellite stations are scrambling as a result of the HBO Captain Midnight incident. Now the mystery has been solved. John Campbell reports that there are still pirate radio stations operating from Ireland, including Radio Rainbow. Richard Ginbey has new recordings of Voice of the Black Cockerel. Media Network’s research file looks at the Woodpecker Project. We discuss this in some detail with ANARC’s Robert Horvitz. There is a lot of publicly available now becoming available. It is amazing now to see how accurate Robert's research turned out to be. Youtube contains many videos too. of the abandoned site in Ukraine.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.14.09.1989.AudienceResearch


A news edition of the programme. This year (1989) we’re starting to see the spectrum analysers on radio, ten years after frequency readouts appeared in 1980. The Italian Radio Relay Service is expanding with PLAY DX with Dario Monferini. There’s news of a clandestine Radio Venceremos from El Salvador. CHU Canada has a new voice. Tim Hendl in Miami reports has suddenly identified as La Voz de Nicaragua. We did an interview with Tom Fikkert and Dr Kim Andrew Elliott (pictured) about international broadcast research. We discuss the challenges of measuring the size of international broadcast audiences in a pre-Internet era. There was also a strong rise in satellite-delivered relays, plus poor frequency management on shortwave. We review a shortwave radio that is made in Poland made by Sabena. And we call Kaz Matsuda who is leaving Radio Japan after 18 years and heading for Australia. We were sad to learn that Kaz passed away in 2010


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.21.05.1993.dianaross.kurdistan


We always had fun with openings on Media Network in an era when programmes had signature tunes, ours included. So we had the BeeGees and Diana Ross open this edition. Radio Netherlands launched a European Press Review – a project which was doomed to failure. Marcel Rommerts reports on new relays via Moscow. Julius Hermans has an update on his recent trip to Radio Vilnius. He gives great insights on how they recovered from Russian occupation in 1991 as well as some idea of the size of station – 20 journalists in 1993. There is also a report on the satellite service Euronet and its link with Radio Caroline. Correspondent Heddy Lubberdinck takes us on a visit to rebel radio station in Iraqi Kurdistan. The report contains some unique off the air recordings.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, May 31, 2020

MN.25.09.1985 Fake Radio Bandung


Black Clandestine stations go back decades with many appearing during the Second World War. Media Network documented many stations like Soldatensender Calais run from Crowborough in the UK. But in 1985 (yes this is time travel stuff) we reviewed a Japanese publication which told the story of a fake Radio Bandung set up by the Japanese in Vietnam.  John Campbell explains that many DX clubs are giving up their subscriptions to the BBC Monitoring Services World Broadcasting Information because of a major price hike. In other news, there has been an earthquake in Mexico. Victor Goonetilleke has spotted a new clandestine station Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front. Germany is switching off its chain of time stations like 12763.5 kHz. A nice escape from lockdown don't you think?


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, May 03, 2020

MN 03.02.1983 Turkish jamming FRG8800


BBC Turkish service is being jammed. Dennis Thompson explains. DW and VOA are also affected. The audio on the Radio Netherlands Flevo transmitters are being tweaked. We have an in-depth review of the FRG-8800 shortwave receiver from Yaesu. UN Radio is expanding its broadcasts for an hour in English and French to Africa.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.22.10.1984 Blue Danube Radio


This early edition of Media Network reports that there have been reception problems. Reports on Radio Marti for Cuba has resurfaced. We hear the voice of Rudy Espinal who is now hosting The World on Radio Earth. We interviewed Peter Bradley about the difficulty in predicting shortwave propagation. I also looked at the BBC’s experiments to measure the state of the oceans. This is not the Russian Woodpecker but it is a radar system. Dick Klees looks at the growth of home computer club.  The programme concludes with a feature on Blue Danube Radio, on 102.2 MHz. I recall one of the DJ’s on BDR was the now-famous presenter from New Zealand Paul Holmes. I interviewed John Wilde, who I knew from my days at the ORF shortwave service.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.30.06.1983 First Flevo visit


The end of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Radio Australia is in danger of grinding to a halt. Radio Thailand is planning to expand its English language programmes. I went out to the new Flevoland shortwave transmitter site. Some of the masts are up. Henk ter Loo of the Dutch PTT explained what they have installed. In equipment news, we looked at the Grundig Yacht Boy 700 together with Wolfgang Scheunemann of WeltWeit Hoeren magazine. There is a new shortwave receiver from Bearcat which is made in Japan. President Reagan has appeared in a James Bond promotion for the new film Octopussy. Roger Tidy has news about Brazil.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.24.11.1983 RDI and Garriott


There was a postal strike in the Netherlands which gave us a lot of headaches both in terms of taped contributions to Media Network but also a vast drop off in listeners letters. Dennis Powell reports on an ELF system for communicating with submarines. We announced plans for ham radio communications on the Space Shuttle STS-9 from astronaut Owen Garriott W5LFL. We call Bill Whitacre who reports on new stations from Costa Rica. Radio Impacto is targeting Nicaragua. It seems that people in New Zealand who will not be prosecuted for watching satellite television feeds. We look at what can be received with a 6 metre dish! There is a souvenir issue of Monitor Magazine from Benfleet. We also interviewed Larry Magne on his forthcoming Radio Database International publication.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.10.01.1985 Radio Truth Zimbabwe


Not sure of the exact date of this early Media Network but I am guessing 10.01.1985

We started with a visit to the Sunspot Index Data Centre in Brussels. I remember assuming that with a name like Koekelenberg, the head of the centre would speak Dutch, but discovered he would only speak French and a smattering of English. Belgium remains a mystery to me with the language divide. We then looked at a proposal for a new Radio Free Europe programme called Radio Maccabee. The programme concludes with reports about various strange stations coming out of the northern part of South Africa. Irish music has been heard, but no station announcements. Reporter Roger Tidy went down to Stockbridge Post Office to investigate a letterbox announced by the South African political clandestine station Radio Truth which is beaming to Zimbabwe. We included several off-air clips from the station. The British Foreign Office wasn’t all that interested. Richard Ginbey has been noting some strong signals from Burundi, Kenya and Mauritius.

 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.10.02.1983 Canadian Forces


A newsy edition of the show. Good Morning Britain launches with David Frost. TVAM has some challenges with the unions. Quality Media said they were planning to expand their Caribbean Beacon station to include shortwave. They were planning 2 100 kw transmitters. Guyana is being heard in the European mornings on 5950 kHz. Radio Mediterranean in Malta is also been heard. We broadcast another short feature on spy number stations, this time a feature from a Swedish newspaper. This edition also included Part 2 of Forces Radio, where we featured the Canadians in Europe. I found some interesting post-war recordings and that prompted a visit to Brunssum to find out about the 5 Canadian radio outlets for their troops in Europe. Arthur Cushen has been hearing 7355 kHz is a new outofband channel for WYFR as well as several mediumwave stations from North America. KYOI in Saipan is also QSLing.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Monday, April 13, 2020

MN.09.11.1989. Proceedings Publication


Tony Barratt in the UK reports on the VOA Bethany Closedown transmission. There are updates on KHBI, the Christian Science Monitor Station which took over KYOI in the Mariana Islands. There are changes going on at Radio Berlin International. In PUBSPOT we look at new Fine-Tuning Group's Proceedings 1989 which contains 27 articles from real specialists. John Bryant is one of the editors and explains why they went into so much detail. This edition is both for beginners and advanced alike. Bryant wrote a very practical article on the Beverage antenna. John Fisher has an excellent article on broadcasting in Brazil and Hans Johnson on broadcasting in the Middle East. A lot of information may be “dated” in 2020, but for someone who travels and wants to kill some time reading about SWL, they are a great resource. It’s like sitting down with a veteran DXer and picking his/her brain. The authors were “giants” of the hobby back in the day. All the books were available on a single CD-ROM for US$10 from Harold Sellers of the Ontario DX Association.. (http://www.odxa.on.ca)

There are earlier interviews with John Bryant of Fine tuning in these editions of Media Network:

http://jonathanmarks.libsyn.com/mn-18-08-1988-poland-and-radio-solidarity

plus two other programmes with John Bryant which we did:

http://jonathanmarks.libsyn.com/mn-11-09-1995-turkish-police-radio-and-zenith-sw-radios covered the Zenith Transoceanic

http://jonathanmarks.libsyn.com/mn19091991-drake-r8 which went into some depth about the Drake R-8.

In another publication “Latin America by Radio” Swedish DXer Henrik Klemitz has made a study of Latin American broadcasting. We report on the Ulysees mission from the European Space Agency. Roy Neal reports that in the wake Hurricane Hugo, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands have asked amateur radio operators for help.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, April 12, 2020

MN.04.12.1983 Laser 576


Offshore station Laser Hots Hits is back with a new formula of hot hits on 576 kHz. Barry Johnson of Anoraks UK has more details. For some reason, Laser were running several Public service announcements, with an address in New York.  Another project from the ship the Nanelle will come later.  Europa TV has closed down.  It seems viewers in Portugal miss it most. 

We speak with Jonathan Hill, author of the excellent reference book Radio, Radio. He thinks that that radios of the 1930’s are the most interesting. He also tells the story of why the Pye Rising Sun radios were withdrawn. Jonathan also explains that some of the international collectors are getting together. We hear a complaint about shortwave books review. We look at the mystery alphabet Morse stations. Arthur Cushen reports KSDA, Guam is asking for reports. BBC Monitoring reports a new mainland Chinese station targeting Taiwan.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.23.10.1986 Clarin and Canada


Radio Canada International has announced a possible deal with South Korea to relay programmes into China. Next edition of RN's booklist is out. Jeff White reports on Radio Clarin in the Dominican republic. The crystal for 9950 kHz has just arrived! Dr John Campbell explains why reception in the Pacific seems to be better. Indonesian stations are also disappearing from shortwave. Victor Goonetilleke has been observing test transmissions All India Radio Bangalore. We also hear about the rise of local radio in Finland from Kauto Houpio. Dr Kim Andrew Elliott reports on TV Marti which will be part of VOA. VOA Tibetan has also been announced as a new language. We conclude with a piece of direction-finding Asian Broadcasting Institute who tracked down a couple of clandestines beaming into North Korea.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.21.09.1989 SW Film Review


The programme starts with an international radio film review. That includes the parody Top Secret. Paul Hunter of KVOH in Van Nuys, CA says that testing has started at his station.  Radio Station Peace and Progress seems to have inherited staff from an Iranian clandestine. Andy Sennitt reports that some Florida stations like WQVA are asking US government for compensation. Radio Antilles is now on 5955 kHz. AWR Forli has suspended operations.  INFODUTCH feature on the FIDO bulletin board. Dr.John Campbell explained how Prolog works. A new station BBC Essex is testing on mediumwave. Dynamic Carrier Control is being adopted by the BBC to save money on transmission power. Mark Warner has left the Voice of Peace. Late-night pornographic TV broadcasts may be coming from a mining site in Australia.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.21.02.1985 After PA6FLD


The programme starts with some of the furthest contacts made during the PA6FLD event the previous weekend from the Flevo transmitting site. The new facility is nearly ready for full operation. Hans Bakhuizen has written a computer program to help people tune in to the broadcasts. It is written BASICODE. Richard Ginbey reports changes from Angola in the African Media News. Lusaka is back on the air. Nic Newman reports from London on the development of community radio stations. The idea is to license some of the pirates. We review the World Radio TV Handbook for 1985. There may be more offshore stations in the North Sea shortly. Radio Time from Italy is being heard.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.06.11.1986. Cushen Book


We may have passed the sunspot minimum as cycle 21 comes to an end. Charles Z. Wick head of the USIA reports that the Soviets have offered to stop jamming. The US wants mediumwave access is the Soviet Union. The soviets have also stopped jamming Radio Tirana and Radio Peking. Rudi Hill of Radio New Zealand International is annoyed that the country’s external service only gets one page in a very expensive Royal Commission report. A Dutch group is trying to raise money for clandestine radio stations. Media for Resistance movements, including EPLF, Eritrea, as well as El Salvador, Philippines, and East Timor. Victor Goonetilleke reports a strange pre-echo on BBC transmissions at his location in Sri Lanka. Arthur Cushen visited us in the studio to discuss work on his new book called The World in My Ears.  Trevor Brook of Surrey Electronics announces plans for his own shortwave radio station. We close with propagation news.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.06.05.1988 Dayton Travelogue


A travelogue to the 1988 Dayton Hamvention in Ohio. Some 30,000 ham radio enthusiasts head for the disused airfield on the outskirts of the city. Grove Enterprises showed off the SR-1000 prototype. Fred Osterman of Universal Radio explained his new book about shortwave receivers past and present. We also learned that the VOA is to mothball its transmitter site in Dixon, California. There are alarming reports of DOD laboratories in the US are doing tests with Electro-Magnetic Pulses. We also look at early experiments with Packet Radio with Ben Kobb.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Friday, March 13, 2020

MN.14.12.1989. Spy Numbers special


This programme focuses on the mysterious world of spy number stations, a topic which frequently came up in the early Media Network programmes. One of the most interesting editions included an extensive interview with the author "Havana Moon" who we were able to contact on condition we didn't reveal his location or name. 

"Spy Numbers Transmissions" are a shortwave oddity which have been around for the last 70+ years. In 1989 they were commonly heard in English, German, Spanish and the Slavic languages and took the form of four and five-digit groups of numbers which were preceded by a three-digit "identifier" and a "group count" which corresponds to the number of number groups transmitted in the crypt. They are generally broadcast by a mechanical-sounding female announcer, although Morse code (CW) "cut number" transmissions are also frequently reported. The "who" and "why" aspects of these transmissions are, for the most part, unknown. Their mysterious nature has resulted in their common characterization as 'spy' transmissions. The spy theory has been enhanced over the years by the FCC's inconsistent position in response to numerous inquiries by the Shortwave Listening community. In regards the "where" - a number of sites have been identified in recent years, notably in Warrenton and Remington, VA and Miami, FL. In addition, with the aid of sophisticated (radio direction finding) equipment and the invaluable assistance of highly authoritative and professional resources, several new transmission sites have been positively identified, including sites in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba and Cozumel. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, March 08, 2020

MN.22.05.1986.EDXC Paris


I remember recording this edition of the programme very late at night in the hotel room. I made the recordings on a UHER 4000 and spent about 3 hours cutting tape with a razor blade and splicing block. I recall that EDXC didn't get too much support from Radio France that year, so they resorted to holding it in a rather dodgy hotel. When I got back to my car, all four tyres had been spiked and we had to pay a local garage a small fortune to tow the car and repair things. 

The programme starts with progress on France's first direct broadcast satellite TDF-1. In the end, the whole project was eclipsed by the Astra satellite. We were at the very beginning of connecting a computer to control a shortwave radio. I spoke with the late Kjell Stroem of Yaesu who was clear that this was the future. Roger Ellis of Japan Radio Company said the 1985 turnover of the company was 450 million dollars. We spoke to Larry Magne in PA, USA who had published a series of test reviews. They had the RDI NRD-525 and an overview of how to judge specifications. Jeff White had news to report about Radio Discovery. George Wood of Radio Sweden explained about the DXers Guide to Computing and why they had to charge $3 for it. Andy Sennitt updates us on the WRTH 40th anniversary. He reports hearing the clandestine Radio Iran on 9400 kHz. Roland Paget the conference organiser said there were 170 participants. Mike Bird concludes with the propagation report. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.10.03.1983 PA6PCJ Botswana HOS


This is an early Media Network in which John Campbell reports that Radio Liberation, the voice of Chilean Resistance, has been trying some guerrilla broadcasting by breaking into the audio of several sports networks during football matches.  Radio Delmare in Belgium has become more audible. There was a promo for PA6PCJ, with a special ham radio station operating from the station building. I remember co-hosting some of the broadcasts on April 30th together with Grant Coburn. We review the Moscow Muffler, designed to improve reception when the Russian Over the Horizon station in Ukraine was active. We talk to Mike Lamb on a rather ropey line to Lynwood, WA to ask him how it works. There was a fascinating interview with David Harris who was technical director of Radio Botswana in Gabarone. In 1985, shortwave was the only viable way to serve such a huge country. VOA has also benefitted. David was quite critical of DXers who were sending in useless reports and therefore decided NOT to QSL foreign reports. The programme concludes with Richard Ginbey who reports Voice of the Gospel via Moyabi, Gabon. Stations are opening in Nigeria. Paris Calling Africa from RFI is expanding its English output. We concluded with an interview with Henri Remmers who claimed this new satellite programme called Holland on Satellite was reaching 6 Million viewers. This marketing exercise didn’t last long, despite a contest to win a trip to the Netherlands. Feedback on this programme or the collection welcome to medianetworknewseries@gmail.com 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, March 07, 2020

MN.04.05.2000 Revealing Making Of MN


As we enter Media Network's 19 years on the wireless, and 5 years on the Internet, it's time to share a few anecdotes on how the programme is made. Diana asked Jonathan whether production of Media Network was a full-time job, we solve the mystery when Radio Netherlands and Radio Sweden were swapped around, we remember PA6FLD in February 1985, how did Jonathan build on the heritage of DX Juke Box, How Victor Goonetilleke discovered a new station from Baghdad before the official monitoring stations and the philosophy behind the jingles. We also reviewed a new Worldspace Sanyo DSB-WS1000 after a visit to a mall in South Africa. We encountered some challenges with this radio. We concluded this was a rather expensive way to pick up the BBC Radio, Kaya FM.  But the 4-inch satellite dish is not weather-proof. We predicted that Worldspace will be the next Iridium. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Monday, March 02, 2020

MN.26.05.1988 EDXC Antwerp Analysis


A report on The Antwerp EDXC Conference organised by (the late) David Monson. This was an unusual meeting. We learned about the danger of solar flares on satellite communication. The BBC World Service had a rather boastful promo and an interesting speech from Andrew Popperwell. Brian Flowers of the Eurovision explains how their system works. Radio Moscow has started broadcasting its English programmes via the SatCOM satellite to North America. Radio Sweden announces it is on ASTRA. Page 496 has the schedule plus extracts of Sweden Calling DXers. We talk to Wolf Harranth about the QSL Card collection and what they are doing in Vienna to preserve the past. The DSWCI Tropical Band Survey is just out. There is news about Caroline on 558 KHz. Tom Walters explained that the BBC’s Hong Kong relay is performing well. Seychelles will also be used to serve East Africa. Radio Antilles is also important for the Caribbean. The launch of Newshour is announced. Wolfgang Pleines reports that DW Trincomalee is being reactivated.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.12.05.1988. Glasnost Berlin


Driving back from a visit to the VOA Greenville transmitter site, we passed through Fredericksburg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fredericksburg That reminded me that Mike Bird has started referring to the Fredericksburg Index in his solar forecasts. It turns out there is a connection.

On the last Monday in the month Radio Glasnost, a new programme on a West German FM station is airing messages from East German (religious and environmentalist) groups. The show airs via Radio 100. But conservative groups object to the programmes and attempts have been made to silence the broadcasts. There has also been talk of jamming of recent broadcasts. The programme also talks to Pat Gowen who explains what the Phase 3C satellite will do for Amateur Radio. Pat explains the problems with earlier launches including Oscar 10. The memory has gone because of the Van Allen Belt. The Transatlantic Traveloge reports from the Dayton Hamvention. We talk to Joseph Fell, who explains why NiCD batteries fail earlier than expected.  He has developed a solution called the GMS-403. Bob Horvitz reports on a new Interactive radio system called TV Answer so you can broadcast answers to the cable head end on 218.5 MHz. But in fact, it only being used for music videos. The programme concludes with a propagation forecast from Mike Bird.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.30.07.1987 Radio NY International


This edition covered the history of US Offshore broadcasting.  The good ship Sarah fitted out in Boston harbour has just taken to the high seas to broadcast as Radio New York International. Lou Josephs and Dennis Powell helped tell the story of various stations like Carl Macintyre’s 1973 Radio Free America and KPF941. MTV Europe is coming to Europe spending 25 million dollars in the launch. We find out why. And some people are questioning the need for USIA WORLDNET with a budget of 30 million. They claim reach to 81 cable systems. Victor Goonetilleke has been recovering from the tropical flu but thanks to a new receiver he has been hearing a new transmitter in Burma. Thailand is also booming.  Voice of Kenya is also an easy catch at 0200 hrs. Iran’s Flag of Freedom clandestine station is being heard at 1630. Christian Science Monitor station. I'm pleased at the sound of this recording taken from the 15 ips master. Agree?


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, February 22, 2020

MN.30.04.1992. Newsreview


There was a lot going on the shortwave bands in April 1991.

Radio Afghanistan has been taken over and they have suspended all their external broadcasts. The Message of Freedom Radio has also been heard on 7090 kHz. Radio Georgia has been heard in English. Radio 16th of December has appeared targeting Haiti. We re-tested the Sony ICF-SW-77. We bought a new one to see whether it has really been improved. Bob Grove reports that the SR-1000 receiver has been cancelled and replaced by the SW-100 project at 800 dollars. Radio Netherlands your official information station. World Radio Network has started up on the Astra satellite. Tim Ashburner spoke to us from Wimbledon. The programme concludes with a call to Vasily Strelnikov in Moscow who notes that radio stations are sprouting like mushrooms in the rainfall from Chernobyl. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.07.02.1991 Mother of Battles Remembered


This programme was made a couple of weeks after Operation Desert Storm had started. After an item about Kashmir, we contacted Victor Goonetilleke to catch up on Operation Desert Storm. I think we underestimate just how up to date our monitors were. 

From Wikipedia: The Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. 

 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.17.01.1991 Cry from Kaunas


Well, I believe that listening to a shortwave radio in the 80’s and 90’s was far more exciting then than now when over 120 countries had stations active on the bands. Thanks to support from a global network of listeners and monitors we were able to make weekly updates on what was being heard on the wireless. And will never forget the programme we made about the Russian invasion of Lithuania on 17th of January 1991. While the world was focusing on an invasion in the Gulf, our listening antennas we turned towards Vilnius. Towards the end of the programme, we also had a short update from the Gulf. The photo shows a Russian jamming station in Vilnius designed to block shortwave broadcasts coming from the West. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.02.04.1992 Falklands Retrospective


Jonathan Marks here with another dip into the Media Network vintage vault. I think, listening to shortwave radio in the 80’s and 90’s was far more exciting then than now when over 120 countries had stations active on the bands. Thanks to support from a global network of listeners and monitors we were able to make weekly updates on what was being heard on the wireless. And on anniversaries, like 10 years after the Falklands conflict in 1982, we were able to give the story much more context. I’ve been looking for this programme from 1992 for some time, but now here it is. We also asked Dr Kim Andrew Elliott to report on a meeting of International broadcast bureaucrats. We can see that the broadcasters were having problems defining their mission. And when it comes to frequencies, Jan Willem Drexhage said that at a conference in Budapest 1180 incompatibilities.    


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, February 16, 2020

PA6FLD, ham radio from the largest antennas in the world


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.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

PA6FLD Misusing a giant antenna array


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. 


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

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