Sunday, October 15, 2017

Contacting

I've started contacting everyone that I can think of about the Global HF Weekend. It's a really tedious process that involves tracking down e-mail addresses and trying to get my e-mail program to work properly. Next, I need to post info on a few radio hobby pages. Thanks and good night!

Next Global HF Weekend: November 3-5, 2017

Every time I try to block copy into this blogging program, different Word styles get copied along with it and the text color is black on dark gray, black on black, etc., so I'm starting over with a fresh screen this time.

It's almost time for the next Global HF Weekend, where pirates are trying to get signals to people far away and DXers are trying to hear pirates from other parts of the world. This happens to some extent at any time, but there's a better chance of success if there's an event and it gets publicized. I've always enjoyed hearing pirates from around the world, so this is something that I try to publicize.

If you haven't caught on by now, the weekends are always the first weekend of April and the first weekend of November. This works out well because it's kind of the beginning and end of DX season, and it's generally just after Halloween and April Fool's Day. The latter isn't a big pirating holiday, but it is a good way to remember the broadcasts.

When Harri Kujala started organizing these broadcasts around 2010, the propagation was better and the goal was to get pirates to try frequencies on 19 meters and above, primarily either 19 or 13 meters, but stations also had success on 25 and 31. These days, it seems that the max is probably about 19 meters, with 25 and 31 being good options (but not many pirates use those frequencies).

During the last Global HF Weekend, a few North American pirates put together a test for SWLs who were on a DXpedition in New Zealand--and four stations were reported there. We've also had some luck in North America with European stations being heard here.

As always, I'll post any schedules that I receive here (but I won't post station names on advance schedules). So if any stations want to send schedules to me, I'll do what I can to post them and, likewise, if any listeners are planning DXpeditions, I'll be happy to post about them here, too. Thanks to all, we'll hopefully have a good weekend.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

10/12/17 Loggings

Via Twente webreceiver in The Netherlands
1620, 10/12, 2030-2042* Lots of talk in Dutch and schlager

1629, 10/12, 1910+ The Police "De Do Do Do," Status Quo "Whatever You Want"  Excellent signal

1655, 10/12, 2021+ DJ in Dutch, mentioned Boney M. Think he also said greetings to Theresa & hi to David.

Laser Hot Hits: 6220, 10/12, 1850+ Music by The Smiths, ELO, & Uriah Heap. DJ mentioned that it's Sunday night, so it's a prerecorded show that's being repeated. Excellent signal. DJ talking about how there's nothing to watch on TV on Friday nights, then about preview channels, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, & Prison Break.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Radio Compania Worldwide (RCW)

Last fall, I heard Radio Pirana International for the first time since 1992. On Tuesday evening, Chris Smolinski logged Lupo Radio, which claims a location in Argentina. Digging around a bit more, I found some links to Radio Compania Worldwide (RCW), which claims a location in Chile. In the past couple of years, I've seen that a station or two from Brazil has tested (such as Radio Cidade Oldies). It looks like we might be at the beginning of a pirate radio revival in South America.

Chris speculated that some of the weak carriers that we hear around 43 meters might be South American pirates and I tend to agree. Chances are good that some of the carriers are also North American pirates testing homebrew equipment, too. For that matter, I've seen some people test low-power equipment into an inadequate antenna (such as a wire across the floor), not expecting it to get out anywhere, but I wouldn't surprised if a few people could hear the weak carrier from it.

Enough speculating about the sources of weak carriers on 43m and back to the topic at hand: South American pirate radio . . . RCW, in particular.

Their Twitter feed is here (English translation) 
Here's a brief log on YouTube with classical music
And here's a longer recording (but with weaker reception) on 6925 kHz from Brazil

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

10-4

I didn't post for "talk like a pirate day," but at least I'm posting on 10/4, which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been counted as any kind of a holiday. Seems like a great day to celebrate the CB band, though. If I'd been home and near my receivers today, I would've scanned around at least a little bit so that I could talk about what I heard or decoded today.

But I wasn't home.

So, no loggings or SSTV scans from outbanders. So, here are some links.

First, a recording of someone playing music in the outbander area.

Next, a pirate CB ghost story that also works well for upcoming Halloween as well. Be on the lookout if Angela is "here"

And finally, Convoy

Happy 10/4, good buddy


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lupo Radio

I saw that Chris Smolinski logged Radio Lupo tonight on 6973 kHz. I hadn't heard of this station, but I ran some searches and found this tweet:

O6973 kHz listened to pirate station LUPO RADIOTango and folk musicThey would come out with 25 w from about 150 km to the west of CABA , from 15 to 22 hours .

I also found a few YouTube videos of Radio Lupo broadcasts. Most are really rough recordings. Here's the best one, received on a homemade regenerative receiver near Buenos Aires, Argentina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDTsstAU9tw.

With the next Global HF Pirate Radio Weekend coming up in a month (on November 3-5, 2017), it's exciting that another South American station is active.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Finally, another post!

It's been a long time since I've posted anything in the blog.

I don't really have a lot to say for this entry, but I wanted to just post something.

I should have posted last week for Talk Like a Pirate Day. I should have posted during the eclipse. Oh well, at least I'm posting tonight.

Over the past nine days, PBS has been airing episodes of Ken Burns' The Vietnam War. It's extremely well done, like his other projects. It covers the war from numerous angles, including the viewpoints of the South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese, and Viet Cong. This is a radio blog, so I won't go deeper into describing the documentary. But there have been two noteworthy radio-related bits so far: Ho Chi Minh started the Tet Offensive by broadcasting a poem over Radio Hanoi as a signal for the insurgency to start (FYI, I looked this up and Wikipedia says General Võ Nguyên Giáp read "The Big Victory, The Great Task," so maybe I didn't get this correct or maybe Wikipedia was wrong, I'm not sure). Also during the offensive, in Saigon, the undercover NVA troops and VC guerrillas attempted to overrun a radio station (presumably a local station), but they were fought off while the station just played waltzes and Beatles songs.

Probably most everyone who reads these words either knows about or has heard recordings of Radio First Termer, the Vietnam pirate operated by an AFN broadcaster. I wonder how many other less-conspicuous pirates operated in Vietnam?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Global HF Loggings Day 2: Sunday

I'll be away from the computer and radio between 1300 and about 1630 UTC, so if anyone wants to schedule a test during that time, please post it on the HF Underground on the Broadcast Announcements page.

1149 UTC Update: The bands are pretty dead right now, as I type this. No pirates are audible on 43m. 15000-15100 kHz is quiet, except for a carrier on 15040, a noise that always seems to be on 15049, and data on 15072 kHz. 21450-21550 kHz is completely quiet. I didn't see any loggings, but I wonder if more North Americans were testing to Oceania on 43m around 0600 UTC last night?

I checked the Twente tuner, but not much was happening in Europe, either. Radio Batavia was making a Global HF Weekend broadcast on 1620 kHz, so I helped make it global by tuning in:

Radio Batavia: 1620, 4/2, 1155-1208+  mostly Dutch music right now "Don't Waste Your Time with Only Dreaming," older-sounding novelty song in Dutch, Dutch pop song, REM "Shiny, Happy People."



1620 UTC: I'm back to the computer and radio. I'd heard from one station who was planning to be on at 1500 for a high-frequency test and another station who had planned to be on in the morning (EDT), but nothing has been on. I guess the station ops' plans changed.

1849 UTC: A station set up a test for me on 13870 kHz and if everything worked out, I had planned to announce it. But as he was tuning everything up, something failed and threw the breaker in his house. So, that station is off the air for today (and I hope that it's an easy and inexpensive fix for the station op).

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Global HF Loggings Day1, Saturday

Although I have not been receiving schedules or seeing schedules posted online thus far, I do see that some stations have been already been active and successful. For example, Radio Pirana International from South America was reported in North America last night. I could hear the carrier, but not get any audio. I was asleep at the time, but Captain Morgan Shortwave was on after 0600 UTC on 6950 kHz and the signal was reported in New Zealand! [update] I saw that FOUR North American stations were reported in New Zealand last night at 0600+ UTC:


1) WHYP- 6920 USB
2) XEROX- 6929 AM
3) Radio Free Whatever- 6940 USB
4) Captain Morgan- 6950 AM

WREC was also on (6960), but PJ didn't make it to NZ. And the NZ DXer also heard someone on 6955 kHz, but we don't yet know who it was

1230 UTC Bandscan: 15000-15100 kHz and 21450-21600 kHz are basically empty here. That doesn't mean that these bands won't be effective for some tests, but tests might not be as successful as on lower frequencies.

1230-1310 UTC: Hearing occasional weak Morse code on 6925. My guess is that it's pirate related

Moonlight Radio: 6925U, 4/1, 1330+ Very weak, funk music with sax. ID per station, who said it was a James Brown song. Thanks for the QSL & the info!



1400 UTC Bandscan: Weak data on 15072 and a carrier on 21505 kHz.

1430 UTC: Cupid Radio said he's on 15070 kHz. I'm listening right now and I've got something mixing with the 15072 noise. Not yet sure if it's Cupid, a computer noise source, or maybe a spur or receiver image

Cupid Radio: 15074, 4/1, 1440+ Cupid Radio (ID per op) starting to fade in here, with a YL vocal pop song. I've got some local noise on the freq, but others in North America should be able to hear it well. I've had a few very nice fade ups and I hope it'll keep getting better. 1508 UTC, yes, it does seem to be getting better!

XEROX: 6929, 4/1, 1449+ Reggae music, recording from a licensed station. Annual April Fool's Day broadcast. Excellent signal. DJ talking about the countdown. Up to #30, then cut to XEROX IDs & into what sounds to me like Andean folk music. Bart Sambo with Belfast USPS address and e-mail address

1635 UTC: Cupid Radio's broadcast has been really successful, with loggings on the HF Underground from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Mass., Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, and Virginia.

BTW, here's a clip of a Cupid Radio broadcast from the last Global HF Weekend (Nov. 2016):


1700 UTC: Just before 1700 UTC, Joe in Rhode Island heard a very weak station with music on 15075 kHz.

1755 UTC: A couple of Twente web receiver loggings while I paint the hallway & put up some drywall:

Radio Bandido: 6850, 4/1, 1540-1556* Pretty good signal & I love the IDs with the horses winneying and "Dueling Banjos" in the background.



Radio Europe: 6875, 4/1, around 1635-1655 VG signal with pop music. Signed off before I could write down any notes

Laser Hot Hits: 6220, 4/1, 1730+ VG signal with some CW QRM earlier. DJ Ian Lawrence with light pop & dance music through the decades.  "Night Has 1,000 Eyes,""Coming Up," poppy cover of "Sounds of Silence," Frankie Goes to Hollywood, etc. Taking requests, e-mail address, etc. I'm hoping that LHH will be audible closer to sunset here

2000 UTC Update: I finished sanding drywall compound on the ceiling, then swept up twice. Back at the radio now. It appears that the signals are starting to skip long in Europe. If some of those stations will just stay on late, we've got a chance to hear them.

Unid: 6925, 4/1, ca2005 Caught the last few words of a speech, then applause & off. Excellent signal

Unid: 6945, 4/1, ca2011 A few seconds of Styx "Too Much Time on My Hands" & off. Excellent signal

Unid: 6230, 4/1, 2104+ Foreign-language music, maybe southeastern Europe? Excellent signal. My guess is Radio Cinco

2142 Update: I still have my radio locked in on 6230 kHz, but DimBulb has been hearing a number of Europeans on 48 meters, including Borderhunter on 6210, Laser Hot Hits on 6220, RFD on 6260, Radio TRX (tent.) on 6300 kHz, and possibly some others.

2220 Update: I have a carrier on 6210 for Borderhunter, but no audio. I have just a little audio on 6220 for Laser Hot Hits, but I doubt I can copy anything yet. Fortunately, I am hearing something:

XEROX: 6929.3, 4/1, 2220+ Excellent signal with clear IDs, Bart Sambo, & music.

Captain Morgan SW: 6375, 4/1, 2320+ Twilight Zone theme, Paul McCartney "Band on the Run." No IDs, but based on the TZ theme, I'm guessing that this is Captain Morgan. Just checked the Twente receiver & it's still too early for the signal to reach Europe. A whole bunch of computer-voiced IDs at 2325, then off



WREC: 6950, 4/1, 2318+ Caught a clear computer YL ID on the way down to check 6375. By 2328, heavy QRM from pescadores

Radio Pirana International: 6930, 4/1, 2340+ weak carrier here, but maybe audio will come through later in the evening. Online, the station op said that he's received reports over the past week from US, New Zealand, Germany, & Finland! Only 10 watts.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Schedules for Global HF Weekend

I'll add test schedules here as I receive them. Update 4/2: A lot of stations have been on the air specifically for the Global HF Weekend, but few are sending in advance schedules. That's fine, but I'm mentioning it here because there's still radio to listen for--even if it's not scheduled. Also, one test didn't work out; I received an e-mail from a station at 3 AM my time (0700 UTC), asking what frequency to use. I was asleep and couldn't post it here. Sorry about that!

Friday
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC

Saturday
6285 or 6300, 1200+ UTC
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC
15070 kHz, 1430+ UTC

Sunday
6285 or 6300, 1200+ UTC
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC

Reminder to European hobbyists, unlike past years, transatlantic conditions are looking best between 0330 and 0630 UTC on 6 MHz, so any success with these signals might require getting up in the middle of the night. But I've been looking at the propagation to other parts of the world and the high frequencies are looking good.

We'll see as the weekend transpires.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Propagation, MUF, and long-distance radio for the Global HF Weekend

With the Global HF Weekend coming up and the recent blank sun phenomena that we've been experiencing, I thought it'd be best to check out the maximum usable frequency for different times of the day to different parts of the world.

In the past, the Global HF Weekends were great because stations could test on high frequencies that they usually don't operate on and listeners who normally either tune 48 or 43 meters could do likewise. Yup, I've heard a few station operators say "Why would I broadcast on 19 meters? A couple of years ago, I went on for a few hours on different weekends and I didn't receive any reports." Given the time and effort combined with the risks that the ops are taking, that makes sense. But if people are all on the same page; the stations are on a different band and the listeners are checking it, too, well, that changes everything.

Unless the Sun disagrees.

I've heard from at least one station who's planning to use frequencies on both 19 meters and 13 meters this upcoming weekend. It will be a good test to see if the predictors can be defied. And I really am interested in seeing what will happen with the long-distance (or any distance, really) signals at these frequencies.

But right now, my conclusion is that rather than shifting frequencies (at least dramatically), hobbyists might consider switching times for broadcasting and/or long-distance listening this weekend.

For this blog entry, I went to http://www.voacap.com and ran predictions based on a location of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (not far from here). FYI, if you set the transmitter at location X and the receiver at location Y, the results will be the same as if the receiver is at location X and the transmitter at location Y. I entered a power of 100 watts in SSB mode. Different power levels or modes and directional antennas will change the results, but this should give an idea of the propagation (at least to or from the northeastern US/southeastern Canada).

The largest number of shortwave pirates per capita in the world are in the Netherlands, so I'm starting off with the MUF between Harrisburg and The Netherlands:


As you can see, there's a weak spot from about 1500 to 1800 UTC where propagation should allow for signals to make it between Netherlands and Harrisburg in the 17000 to 19000 kHz area. But by far the best times are between about 0330 and 0630 UTC between 5000 and 7000 kHz.

You'd be safe to suspect that propagation between Harrisburg and Ireland would be similar:


It is, but the possibilities improve somewhat drastically, both in terms of potential signal strength and frequencies/times that should support transatlantic propagation.

Likewise, the opposite happens when the signal comes from or travels to a point deeper in Europe, Hungary in this case:

I think it's interesting that although 0330-0500 UTC around 6000-7000 kHz is still in the "sweet spot," there's a better window between 15000 and 21000 kHz.

Heading north to the Ukraine, the graph looks like this:


There are a few differences between Ukraine and Hungary on the map, but both are rather similar.

Now, for some exotic DX:


New Dehli looks very difficult!

Now, South Africa:


Reaching Johannesburg from the Northeast looks very possible. Even 21 MHz should work from 1700 to 1900 UTC, but is anyone listening . . . or are any South African shortwave pirates on the air?

I've never heard of any Japanese shortwave pirates, but here's the graph for Tokyo:

The best shot here appears to be 1000-1200 UTC around 9 MHz or 1200-1400 UTC around 11 MHz.

North American listeners who hear fishermen across the bands probably won't be surprised to see the graph between Harrisburg and Rio de Janeiro:

The peaks aren't as strong as those for Ireland or the Netherlands, but the levels are pretty decent for a very long time . . . and across a wide spectrum. If there were just more stations on the air from Brazil . . .

There's a DXpedition running in New Zealand this weekend. Here's the graph between Harrisburg and Auckland:


It looks like stations from the Northeast trying for New Zealand would do best between about 9000 and 13000 kHz from about 0700 to 1200 UTC.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Logs: 3/24/17-3/26/17

Back'n'forth from the radio. Great night for listening!

XLR8: 6955U, 3/25, 0038+ Recorded most of it with the tuning off by 3 Hz, whoops. That makes song identification kinda tough. Excellent signal with a variety of music, but a lot of punk. Fear "The Mouth Don't Stop," Circle Jerks "Paid Vacation," Parquet Courts "Ducking & Dodging," Flamin' Groovies "Teenage Head," Dead Kennedys "California Uber Alles," And lots of obscure music that I can't identify.

The Crystal Ship: 6876.1, 3/24, 2325+ Static crashes, but VG signal with Judas Priest, Autograph "Turn up the Radio," Van Halen "Unchained," The Who "Goin' Mobile," The Who "Magic Bus," 38 Special "Rockin' into the Night." TCS "Unchained" program promo, Promo for TCS merch to own a piece of pirate radio history, eBeastiality ad, Free Radio Cafe ad,

Liquid Radio: 6925, 3/25, 0140+ Pretty good signal, clear ID at 0140. More like '70s rock music, rather than the regular electronic. Peter Schilling "Major Tom." Static levels really jumped around 0150 (or the signal dropped?), making this much less intelligible.

Cool AM Radio: 6925U, 3/25, 1238+ ID not long after I tuned in. Lots of WMPR-like electronic dance music. Nice signal. Thought I was hearing This Is Not WMPR for the 1st time

Gospel Music SW: 6925.4, 3/25, 1824+ Contemporary Christian worship music, such as Matt Redman "Bless the Lord," Chris Tomlin "How Great Is Our God," "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord," "You Are the Everlasting God," "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty," "Here I Am to Worship," Promo with “on the 8th day, God created radio” & email address “Gospel Radio, your gospel shortwave station”

Unid: 6930, 3/25, 1824+ A pirate is also on with a nice signal here. I need to get another antenna up because I've got 6925.4 recording here & I'll check back here later after the I've got a decent chunk recorded.

6290, 3/25, 2223 Some audio on this

Radio Cinco (tent.): 6260, 3/25, 2245+ Big signal, Spanish?-language talk, Radio Cinco ID, into The Chiffons "One Fine Day." I'm calling this "Radio Cinco" for the time being, but I dunno if that's a real ID from the station

Captain Morgan: 6949.9, 3/26, 0023+ Strong signal--even above the noise of the dishwasher & vacuum cleaner running. I guess this is a Chuck Berry memorial show: Cpn Morgan playing Chuck Berry "Too Much Monkey Business," "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man," "Sweet Little 16" A number of audio dropouts. I wonder if RF is getting into the CD player or computer?

Radio Eclipse: 6925U, 3/26, 1914+ Tuned in to a Billy Joel song, then a Steve Mann editorial from Radio Eclipse and Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World." BTW, I believe this is an old show from about 20 years ago. Good signal

This Is Not WMPR: 6925, 3/26, 2117+ Good signal, but some bad local QRM here. My 1st time to hear it. Female computer-voiced IDs. Dance version of "I'll Be Glad When You Are Dead, You Rascal, You"

Radio Cinco (tent.): 6260, 3/26, 2230+ Nice signal, but terrible local QRM. I'm guessing that this is the same station that I heard IDs as "Radio Cinco" last evening.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3/21/17: A few recent logs

I've been sending out a bunch of generic informational e-mails about the Global HF Weekend. My apologies for not sending personal e-mails to everyone right now, but I don't have time. I have been trying to respond to everyone who writes back, but I still have a few more e-mails to catch up with.

Before I do that, I've had a chance to listen to the radio a little bit here'n'there, so next are a few loggings:

The Crystal Ship (tent.): 3425, 3/22, 0050+ Little more than a carrier on 90m in plenty of static crashes.

WHYP: 4065U, 3/20, 0111+ Excellent signal. I tuned in during an old Radio Bingo show, with lots of repeating phrases, etc. John Arthur wins the bingo prize! Also a few audio bits of Radio Free Euphoria and WMOE in the mix. Then into WHYP with plenty of music, including Sex Pistols “Anarachy in the UK” The Damned “New Rose” Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” The Lurkers “Shadow”
The Minutemen “History Lesson, Pt. II” The Nosebleeds “Ain’t Been to No Music School” Off after George Zeller repeated bits

The Relay Station: 5150, 3/21, 1608+ Manfred Mann "Blinded by the Light" The Doors "Riders on the Storm" & much more. Good/VG signal

Radio Free Whatever: 6930U, 3/19, ca. 0100+ Weak most of the broadcast. Didn't hear a lot, but did hear Dick Weed mention that he was going to sign off because the signal seemed to be skipping over most everyone now.

Europe
Radyo Oleg: 6965U, 3/20, 2148+ Poor, with some fair peaks. A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran” Laura Brannigan “Self-Control”Clear ID with “Radyo Oleg . . . Northern Ireland . . .shortwave, your station” with processing and delay on the final syllable of “station”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

E-mailing about Global HF Pirate Weekend

Just finished sending out info about the Global HF Pirate Weekend to a few hundred European stations from the UKDXer e-mail list. If you have a station that's on this list but you didn't receive an e-mail, let me know because it means that I either don't have it or a have a bad address for you (I have had a large number of bouncebacks). Now I need to post notices to more sites, etc. And, any listeners or operators can feel free to pass information, too. The event is already in place; I'm just passing information around so that more people will hopefully know about it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Some logs: Blizzard logs? 3/12-3/14/17

I hope that our heater or our neighbor's TV or whatever it is starts working properly because I'm getting S9+ noise on the low bands and if snow is a good reason to be on the air, then tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday should be awesome days for broadcasting most everywhere from Chicago to Maine. With NYC preparing for a blizzard, it'd be great to hear one of the old stations at the top of the AM band again, but I doubt that'll happen. Likewise for the long call-in shows from WONS in the 43m band. Regardless, I'll try to keep checking the bands for something interesting.


WHYP: 6940U, 3/12, 2200+ A Jay retrospective, with his last interview with JB. Fair signal. Off with "Goodbye to You"

The Crystal Ship: 3425, 3/13, around 0300 Probably a pretty good signal, but I could only hear the carrier & a bit of music because of wideband S9+ local noise from something. Maybe a bad heater?

The Relay Station: 5150, 3/13, 2208+ Boston "Don't Look Back" VG signal & audio

Well, the blizzard was pretty much a bust here. 6" instead of the 12"-18" that the weather forecasters were calling for. I spent the day sweeping, scrubbing, & polyurethaning a floor--and missed a pi-day themed station in the morning. But I've got one on now:

unid: 6925U, 3/14, 2251+ Run DMC "It's Tricky." Excellent signal

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that I heard a bit of something earlier:

unid: 6925U, 3/14, ca1600 Folks on HFU were reporting TV show audio. I tuned in and the signal was getting buried under local noise, still leftover from last night, around S7. Someone with a strong AM signal signed on overtop and swished the VFO back'n'forth a few times.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Next Global HF Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017

Next Global HF Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017
It's still a few weeks away, so be sure to mark the next Global HF Pirate Weekend on your calendar. The last one, which occurred during the first weekend in November was a sort of trial run. Cupid Radio and Mike Radio from The Netherlands were both widely reported in North America, and the former even made it to Japan. Sluwe Vos Radio wasn't reported as much in North America, but this Dutch station was reported in Brazil during the last GHF weekend.

March 30-April 2, 2017
General frequency ranges:
15010-15100 kHz
21455-21550 kHz

Basic schedule:
European morning, 0800-1200 UTC from Europe to Asia/Japan/Oceania.
European afternoon, 1200-1600 UTC from Europe to North America and vice versa.
European night, 2200-2400 UTC from North America to Asia/Oceania.

Of course, these are general frequency ranges where pirates have broadcast during prior Global HF Pirate weekends. Some stations will surely operate on frequencies and times outside of these ranges. These will be updated on HF Underground (https://www.hfunderground.com/) and on the Hobby Broadcasting (http://hobbybroadcasting.blogspot.com/) blog as it happens.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Winter SWL Fest: Day 2 Continued

I had planned to add more about day 2, but I was either away from a power outlet, experiencing some spotty Internet connectivity, talking to people, or at the mall eating mall-grade cheesesteaks (a misteak, so close to Philly). Anyway, there was plenty of great stuff to take away from day 2 . . . and we talked the whole way home about the people we talked to, the stories we heard, the information we gathered. Really energizing. I don't want to write about too much of it here because I know some people are sensitive about being written about. But, wow, when you're listening to a forum from a guy who was in a North Korean chemical weapons factory and he's showing videos that he secretly filmed while he was there . . . that's something else!

Changing topics a bit, here are a few of the receivers that were in the hospitality suite and were generously available to be tuned

A pair of JRC NRD-301A receivers
The Racal RA6790
The Racal RA3791
An Icom IC-R9500

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter SWL Fest Day 2

This morning, I've been learning about DXing in Japan, presented by Toshimichi Ohtaké and Sakaé Obara of the Japan Shortwave Club (JSWC). [I blockcopied their names from another page to get the accents & spelling right, but it's probably going to be messed up]. Sakae has a blog that's worth checking out for general shortwave-listening information. Some fascinating information. For example, Radio Australia received 20,000 letters per month from Japan alone in 1973.

Sakae said that although shortwave listening in Japan has dropped off significantly since the radio explosion of the '70s, Baby Boomers are getting back into the hobby. He also said that more young listeners are getting involved.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter SWL Fest

I've been out and away from the radio for quite a while, but I'm at the Winter SWL Fest and am sitting in the audience of the Shortwave Shindig (being broadcast live via WRMI on 6855 and 9395 kHz), hosted by David Goren. With the lights dimmed, it has a sort of low-key variety show feeling. I don't think that there are many experiences quite like this anywhere in the world.

I've spent a number of days over the past few years listening to vintage radio programs on the old-time radio unidentified station. Some of these broadcasts were variety shows, such as Jack Benny, Red Skelton, etc. I'm sure that it doesn't quite have the majestic vibe of attending the original variety shows of the '40s and '50s, but I still imagine that the feeling of being here is the closest I'll get to experiencing those shows of yesteryear.

The original "Gang of Three" NASWA Winter SWL Fest organizers being interviewed
There's always a lot of interesting information here. Tomorrow should be a fascinating forum with Chris Ise and Andy Walker, who will talking about Offshore '98, Radio San Marino, and Mystery Radio. Right now, broadcast anthropologist Mark Fahey is giving a teaser for his forum tomorrow regarding radio archiving.

I'll be writing more about it soon, but the next Global HF weekend is March 30-April 2, 2017. I've already heard from some hobbyists who are interested in participating, so I'm looking forward to activities over the weekend.

Burley Cathedral

On an entirely different note, I was trolling around through some little antique shops and found a cathedral radio made by Burley. I'd never heard of Burley and I found almost nothing anywhere on the Internet about the company or the radios. Someone refinished the cabinet, maybe in the '80s?, and there was no tube lineup/model number label glued inside the case. But it does have a decal on the chassis with patent numbers. And in small print is "Mfd by U.A.C.C." I found that this means "United Air Cleaner Company" and UACC made the Sentinel radios. I guess that Burley was probably some brand made for a little department store or hardware store, but I have no idea who . . . and this case doesn't match up with any other radio that I've found online. At some point, I'll probably write more about this radio. But for now, here are a couple of photos: