Shortwave DX log for evening of Thursday 15 March 2018

Logged via Tecsun PL-380 in NW London (currently GMT so UTC+0) via long wire antenna.

I’m still getting to grips with SINPO ratings and this Android app for logging; until now I’ve used a notebook and pen and rather fuzzier ratings like ‘fair but some interference’. But the app provides a decent, fast, offline schedule lookup, and the built-in logging function does 90% of what I would want it to.


5935Khz RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA) in ENGLISH from TIGANESTI. SINPO = 53443. 2098KM from transmitter at Tiganesti.
5955Khz RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA) in SERBIAN from SAFTICA. SINPO = 43333. 2170KM from transmitter at Saftica.
5970Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in FRENCH from CERRIK. SINPO = 43233. 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik.
5990Khz RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA) in ROMANIAN from GALBENI. SINPO = 44444. 2015KM from transmitter at Galbeni.
6010Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in AMOY from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 43323. 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI).
6070Khz CHANNEL 292 (GERMANY) from ROHRBACH. SINPO = 21111. 899KM from transmitter at Rohrbach.
6160Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in GERMAN from XIAN-XIANYANG (SHAANXI). SINPO = 33222. 8260KM from transmitter at Xian-Xianyang (Shaanxi).
7245Khz TRANS WORLD RADIO (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in TIGRE from GRIGORIOPOL. SINPO = 32112. 2177KM from transmitter at Grigoriopol.
7275Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in MANDARIN from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 32222. 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI).
7340Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in ITALIAN from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 54444. 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang).
7360Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in FRENCH from CERRIK. SINPO = 53433. 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik.
7375Khz RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA) in ROMANIAN from GALBENI. SINPO = 54444. 2015KM from transmitter at Galbeni.
7395Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in GERMAN from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 54333. 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang).
7405Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in ENGLISH from BEIJING-MATOUCUN (CRI/CNR). SINPO = 42332. 8209KM from transmitter at Beijing-Matoucun (CRI/CNR).
7480Khz RADIO PAYAM E-DOOST (CLA) in PERSIAN from GRIGORIOPOL. SINPO = 44343. 2177KM from transmitter at Grigoriopol.
7495Khz VOA DEEWA RADIO (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in PASHTO from BIBLIS. SINPO = 43333. 647KM from transmitter at Biblis.
7550Khz ALL INDIA RADIO GOS (INDIA) in ENGLISH from BANGALORE). SINPO = 54444. 8011KM from transmitter at Bangalore).
9400Khz BROTHER STAIR (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in ENGLISH from SOFIA-KOSTINBROD. SINPO = 44343. 2027KM from transmitter at Sofia-Kostinbrod.
9495Khz VOICE OF TURKEY (TURKEY) in SPANISH from EMIRLER. SINPO = 43233. 2867KM from transmitter at Emirler.
9555Khz BSKSA 1 (SAUDI ARABIA) in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 31111. 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh.
9570Khz MWV NEW LIFE STATION (MADAGASCAR) in RUSSIAN. SINPO = 43232. Local time: 1822.
9590Khz BBC (UNITED KINGDOM) in SOMALI from MEYERTON. SINPO = 32112. 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton.
9615Khz CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA) in GERMAN from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 32222. 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI).
9660Khz RADIO VATICANA (VATICAN CITY STATE) in PORTUGUESE from SANTA MARIA DI GALERIA. SINPO = 54344. 1415KM from transmitter at Santa Maria di Galeria.
9675Khz BSKSA RIAD (SAUDI ARABIA) in TURKISH from RIYADH. SINPO = 44444. 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh.
9715Khz BIBLE VOICE (UNITED KINGDOM) from MOOSBRUNN. SINPO = 44333. 1248KM from transmitter at Moosbrunn.
9830Khz DEUTSCHE WELLE (GERMANY) in HAUSSA from PINHEIRA. SINPO = 43433. 5727KM from transmitter at Pinheira.
9870Khz BSKSA 1 (SAUDI ARABIA) in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 43333. 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh.
11900Khz VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in AMHARIC from MEYERTON. SINPO = 32121. 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton.
11975Khz BBC (UNITED KINGDOM) in FRENCH from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 53332. 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island.
12065Khz BBC (UNITED KINGDOM) in TIGRINYA from MEYERTON. SINPO = 21111. 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton.
13630Khz VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in PORTUGUESE from MOPENG HILL. SINPO = 32221. 8536KM from transmitter at Mopeng Hill.
13845Khz DR.GENE SCOTT (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in ENGLISH from NASHVILLE, TN (WWCR). SINPO = 22221. 6734KM from transmitter at Nashville, TN (WWCR).
15200Khz DEUTSCHE WELLE (GERMANY) in HAUSSA from MEYERTON. SINPO = 32222. 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton.
15400Khz BBC (UNITED KINGDOM) in ENGLISH from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 43433. 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island.
15490Khz BBC (UNITED KINGDOM) in FRENCH from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 44343. 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island.
15580Khz VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) in ENGLISH from MOPENG HILL. SINPO = 32332. 8536KM from transmitter at Mopeng Hill.

 

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Using my old Android phone purely for FM radio

Samsung will be the next major phone manufacturer to enable the dormant FM chips in its devices. The FM chips will be switched on in Samsung’s “upcoming smartphone models,” which will allow users to listen to local radio stations.

via Samsung is the latest OEM to unlock FM chips in new phones | Ars Technica


This recent update is interesting to me at least because my current phone is a Samsung. Of course it means my current model won’t have its FM receiver unlocked (and, in fact, I’m not even sure the UK model has FM functionality, enabled or not).

When I first read a few years ago that most phones’ WiFi/Bluetooth chips also enabled FM reception, but that most manufacturers disable it in software, I was baffled. But I’d lived under this cloud of ignorance for many years and never questioned it.

Before my current Samsung, I had one, and then another newer, Motorola Moto G – cheap and cheerful – which both had FM radio apps built in. And great apps, too! Good reception (as always with smartphones, using the earphone cable as an antenna), and the software is simple yet robust. It covers the basics, like auto-scanning, presets, sleep timer, and even RDS display.

But it also has a really nicely-done record function which not only directly makes an MP3 of the station you’re tuned into (rather than, say, recording the speaker via the mic or something hideous), but also automatically inserts the frequency into the filename when it saves.

 

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The Motorola FM radio app makes for a great companion to pirate radio bandscans in a built-up area.

The presets/memory enables me to check for new stations I’ve not picked up yet, or to check on ones I’ve saved previously. Having a list of saved frequencies is great, and saving some as favourites makes it really easy to navigate a sea of potentially anonymous numbers.

The RDS enables me to get relatively quick station IDs with a decent enough signal (waiting for a twenty minute drum’n’bass mix to finish just on the off-chance the DJ actually name-checks the station is a bit beyond my levels of patience). And it turns out that pirate stations seem to love RDS – it’s rare I’ll find a station that doesn’t at least display the station ID. Some even post the show/DJ info, or a contact number/URL. There’s no easy way to export this data (not even copy and paste), but a quick screengrab will do in a pinch.

And, of course, the record function is fantastic for grabbing clear sample clips really easily. It lets me either record for 30-60 seconds to grab a reference clip, or I can even tune in, hit record, and leave it going with the screen off and audio on mute if I need a longer clip to grab a station ID.

It’s a bit of shame the recording function doesn’t have a buffer – quite often I’ll have heard a vital station ID or something else interesting and wasn’t recording. It’d be amazing to have a 5-second buffer for moments like that. Either way, the files are then saved on the device (or SD card, optionally), labelled and dated, and ready to be listened to on the device or exported to a computer/the web at a later date.

Anyway, now that I use my Samsung as my main phone, I held on to the old Motorola – and I’m glad I did. After a factory reset, and stripping off any unnecessary software (Moto phones run virtually stock Android, thankfully), the phone is a pretty decent pocket FM radio.

Running no other apps and living in airplane mode, the phone has a standby time measured in weeks rather than hours. And that’s if I choose to leave it on between sessions, which I do out of convenience, but could make it last month between charges if I needed to.

Of course it’s an overpowered/over-featured FM radio. But it’s one that lets me do some cool stuff, as well as make recordings, take screengrabs of RDS data, and make notes on the fly.

One next step would be to do some field tests – to compare the phone’s sensitivity with that of a ‘good’ FM receiver. Anecdotally, it certainly feels like the phone picks up a decent number of signals, locks onto them well, and performs pretty well. But until I’ve done some side-by-side tests, I can’t be sure. (Ironically, my ‘good’ FM receiver lacks both RDS and any recording function.)

Beyond that, I can also try again with the DVB-T dongle I’ve got for scanning other frequencies. But that necessitates some fiddly dongle/power/adapter compromises, as well as needed a more robust antenna. Simply using the phone as an FM radio with some cheap earphones and built in software is working brilliantly.

Shortwave DX log for evening of Sunday 16 July 2017

Logged via Tecsun PL-380 in NW London (currently UTC+1) via long wire antenna.

I’m still getting to grips with SINPO ratings and this Android app for logging; until now I’ve used a notebook and pen and rather fuzzier ratings like ‘fair but some interference’. But the app provides a decent, fast, offline schedule lookup, and the built-in logging function does 90% of what I would want it to.


17715Khz 1933 16 JUL – RADIO EXTERIOR ESPANA (SPAIN)  in SPANISH from NOBLEJAS. SINPO = 32332.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1353KM from transmitter at Noblejas. Local time: 2033.

15490Khz 1934 16 JUL – BBC (UNITED KINGDOM)  in HAUSSA  from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island. Local time: 2034.

15390Khz 1934 16 JUL – RADIO EXTERIOR ESPANA (SPAIN)  in SPANISH from NOBLEJAS. SINPO = 32333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1353KM from transmitter at Noblejas. Local time: 2034.

15140Khz 1935 16 JUL – RADIO SULTANATE OMAN (OMAN)  in ARABIC from THUMRAIT. SINPO = 22322.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6031KM from transmitter at Thumrait. Local time: 2035.

13740Khz 1935 16 JUL – RADIO FRANCE INT. (FRANCE)  in FRENCH from ISSOUDUN. SINPO = 42332.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 569KM from transmitter at Issoudun. Local time: 2035.

13695Khz 1935 16 JUL – ALL INDIA RADIO GOS (INDIA)  in ENGLISH from BANGALORE). SINPO = 21221.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8011KM from transmitter at Bangalore). Local time: 2035.

13640Khz 1935 16 JUL – ALL INDIA RADIO GOS (INDIA)  in ARABIC from BANGALORE). SINPO = 53333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8011KM from transmitter at Bangalore). Local time: 2035.

12050Khz 1936 16 JUL – DANDAL KURA (NIGERIA)  in KANURI from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 32432.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island. Local time: 2036.

11945Khz 1936 16 JUL – MWV RADIO FEDA (MADAGASCAR)  in ARABIC. SINPO = 31221.  Received at London, United Kingdom. Local time: 2036.

11930Khz 1937 16 JUL – BSKSA HOLY QURAN (SAUDI ARABIA)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 2037.

11895Khz 1937 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in CANTONESE from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 53433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 2037.

11850Khz 1937 16 JUL – RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA)  in SPANISH from TIGANESTI. SINPO = 54555.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2097KM from transmitter at Tiganesti. Local time: 2037.

11820Khz 1937 16 JUL – BSKSA HOLY QURAN (SAUDI ARABIA)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 54554.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 2037.

11790Khz 1938 16 JUL – ADVENTIST WORLD RADIO (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in FULANI from MEYERTON. SINPO = 21311.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton. Local time: 2038.

11695Khz 1938 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in FRENCH from CERRIK. SINPO = 44544.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik. Local time: 2038.

11660Khz 1939 16 JUL – BBC (UNITED KINGDOM)  in HAUSSA  from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 32322.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island. Local time: 2039.

11590Khz 1939 16 JUL – BROTHER STAIR (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in ENGLISH from SOFIA-KOSTINBROD. SINPO = 54544.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2027KM from transmitter at Sofia-Kostinbrod. Local time: 2039.

9940Khz 1942 16 JUL – TRANS WORLD RADIO (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in LINGALA from MANZINI/MPANGELA RANCH. SINPO = 44544.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9172KM from transmitter at Manzini/Mpangela Ranch. Local time: 2042.

9870Khz 1942 16 JUL – BSKSA 1 (SAUDI ARABIA)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 2042.

9820Khz 1943 16 JUL – MWV NEW LIFE STATION (MADAGASCAR)  in RUSSIAN. SINPO = 43443.  Received at London, United Kingdom. Local time: 2043.

9810Khz 1943 16 JUL – IRIB VOICE OF I.R.IRAN (IRAN)  in ENGLISH from SIRJAN. SINPO = 34544.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5171KM from transmitter at Sirjan. Local time: 2043.

9745Khz 1944 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in ESPERANTO from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 54544.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI). Local time: 2044.

9730Khz 1944 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in PORTUGUESE from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 54444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 2044.

9710Khz 1945 16 JUL – NHK RADIO JAPAN (JAPAN)  in ENGLISH from SANTA MARIA DI GALERIA. SINPO = 53434.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1416KM from transmitter at Santa Maria di Galeria. Local time: 2045.

9685Khz 1945 16 JUL – RADIO CAIRO (EGYPT)  in RUSSIAN from ABIS. SINPO = 14211.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 3358KM from transmitter at Abis. Local time: 2045.

9675Khz 1945 16 JUL – BSKSA RIAD (SAUDI ARABIA)  in TURKISH from RIYADH. SINPO = 53333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 2045.

9635Khz 1946 16 JUL – VOICE OF TURKEY (TURKEY)  in FRENCH from EMIRLER. SINPO = 32322.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2866KM from transmitter at Emirler. Local time: 2046.

9555Khz 1946 16 JUL – BSKSA 1 (SAUDI ARABIA)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 33333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 2046.

9500Khz 1947 16 JUL – RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA)  in ROMANIAN from GALBENI. SINPO = 54454.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2015KM from transmitter at Galbeni. Local time: 2047.

9480Khz 1947 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in FRENCH from CERRIK. SINPO = 55555.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik. Local time: 2047.

9460Khz 1948 16 JUL – VOICE OF TURKEY (TURKEY)  in TURKISH from EMIRLER. SINPO = 54433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2866KM from transmitter at Emirler. Local time: 2048.

7445Khz 1948 16 JUL – BBC (UNITED KINGDOM)  in ENGLISH from TALATA VOLONONDRY. SINPO = 32221.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9030KM from transmitter at Talata Volonondry. Local time: 2048.

7415Khz 1949 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in CZECH from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 32222.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI). Local time: 2049.

7385Khz 1949 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in ALBANIAN from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 2049.

7265Khz 1949 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in ESPERANTO from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 53333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI). Local time: 2049.

6145Khz 1950 16 JUL – KBS WORLD RADIO (SOUTH KOREA)  in FRENCH from WOOFFERTON. SINPO = 32222.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 169KM from transmitter at Woofferton. Local time: 2050.

6070Khz 1951 16 JUL – FROM THE ISLE OF MUSIC (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) (???)  in ENGLISH from ROHRBACH. SINPO = 32122.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 899KM from transmitter at Rohrbach. Local time: 2051.

5970Khz 1952 16 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in FRENCH from CERRIK. SINPO = 53333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik. Local time: 2052.

3955Khz 1952 16 JUL – RADIO TAIWAN INT. (TWN)  in FRENCH from WOOFFERTON. SINPO = 54444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 169KM from transmitter at Woofferton. Local time: 2052.

 

Shortwave DX log for evening of Tuesday 11 July 2017

Logged via Tecsun PL-380 in NW London (currently UTC+1) via long wire antenna.

I’m still getting to grips with SINPO ratings and this Android app for logging; until now I’ve used a notebook and pen and rather fuzzier ratings like ‘fair but some interference’. But the app provides a decent, fast, offline schedule lookup, and the built-in logging function does 90% of what I would want it to.


17780Khz 1719 11 JUL – BBC (UNITED KINGDOM)  in ENGLISH from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 32231.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island. Local time: 1819.

17655Khz 1720 11 JUL – VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in PORTUGUESE from SANTA MARIA DI GALERIA. SINPO = 42222.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1416KM from transmitter at Santa Maria di Galeria. Local time: 1820.

15680Khz 1720 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in FRENCH from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 44533.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 1820.

15570Khz 1720 11 JUL – RADIO VATICANA (VATICAN CITY STATE)  in FRENCH from SANTA MARIA DI GALERIA. SINPO = 42132.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1416KM from transmitter at Santa Maria di Galeria. Local time: 1820.

15520Khz 1721 11 JUL – VOICE OF TURKEY (TURKEY)  in ENGLISH from EMIRLER. SINPO = 33332.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2866KM from transmitter at Emirler. Local time: 1821.

15435Khz 1721 11 JUL – BSKSA 1 (SAUDI ARABIA)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 55444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 1821.

15400Khz 1721 11 JUL – BBC (UNITED KINGDOM)  in ENGLISH from ASCENSION ISLAND. SINPO = 53444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6684KM from transmitter at Ascension Island. Local time: 1821.

15300Khz 1722 11 JUL – RADIO FRANCE INT. (FRANCE)  in FRENCH from ISSOUDUN. SINPO = 21111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 569KM from transmitter at Issoudun. Local time: 1822.

15235Khz 1722 11 JUL – CHANNEL AFRICA (SOUTH AFRICA)  in ENGLISH from MEYERTON. SINPO = 44333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton. Local time: 1822.

15140Khz 1722 11 JUL – RADIO SULTANATE OMAN (OMAN)  in ARABIC from THUMRAIT. SINPO = 43444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6031KM from transmitter at Thumrait. Local time: 1822.

13870Khz 1723 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in HAUSSA  from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 43333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 1823.

13760Khz 1723 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in ENGLISH from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 55454.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 1823.

13730Khz 1723 11 JUL – VOA RADIO ASHNA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in PASHTO from SULAIBIYAH. SINPO = 11111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4641KM from transmitter at Sulaibiyah. Local time: 1823.

13710Khz 1723 11 JUL – BSKSA HOLY QURAN (SAUDI ARABIA)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 44433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 1823.

13640Khz 1724 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in RUSSIAN from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 44444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI). Local time: 1824.

13630Khz 1724 11 JUL – VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in PORTUGUESE from MOPENG HILL. SINPO = 22111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8536KM from transmitter at Mopeng Hill. Local time: 1824.

13590Khz 1724 11 JUL – VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in ENGLISH from SANTA MARIA DI GALERIA. SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1416KM from transmitter at Santa Maria di Galeria. Local time: 1824.

13570Khz 1725 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in ESPERANTO from BEIJING-MATOUCUN (CRI/CNR). SINPO = 52333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8208KM from transmitter at Beijing-Matoucun (CRI/CNR). Local time: 1825.

12055Khz 1725 11 JUL – VOICE OF AMERICA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in SOMALI from SANTA MARIA DI GALERIA. SINPO = 43222.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1416KM from transmitter at Santa Maria di Galeria. Local time: 1825.

12035Khz 1725 11 JUL – VOA RADIO ASHNA (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)  in PASHTO from UDON THANI. SINPO = 21111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9370KM from transmitter at Udon Thani. Local time: 1825.

12025Khz 1726 11 JUL – ALL INDIA RADIO GOS (INDIA)  in HINDI from PANAJI (GOA). SINPO = 21112.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 7565KM from transmitter at Panaji (Goa). Local time: 1826.

11975Khz 1726 11 JUL – RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA)  in ROMANIAN from GALBENI. SINPO = 45444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2015KM from transmitter at Galbeni. Local time: 1826.

11965Khz 1726 11 JUL – DIMTSE RADIO ERENA (CLA)  in TIGRINYA from SOFIA-KOSTINBROD. SINPO = 43223.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2027KM from transmitter at Sofia-Kostinbrod. Local time: 1826.

11875Khz 1726 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in RUSSIAN from URUMQI (XINJIANG, CRI). SINPO = 44343.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 6159KM from transmitter at Urumqi (Xinjiang, CRI). Local time: 1826.

11860Khz 1727 11 JUL – REP.YEMEN RADIO SANAA (YEMEN)  in ARABIC from RIYADH. SINPO = 32112.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 4955KM from transmitter at Riyadh. Local time: 1827.

11825Khz 1727 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in CROATIAN from BEIJING-MATOUCUN (CRI/CNR). SINPO = 44454.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8208KM from transmitter at Beijing-Matoucun (CRI/CNR). Local time: 1827.

11810Khz 1727 11 JUL – RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA)  in ENGLISH from TIGANESTI. SINPO = 54444.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2097KM from transmitter at Tiganesti. Local time: 1827.

11680Khz 1728 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in SWAHILI from XIAN-XIANYANG (SHAANXI). SINPO = 42221.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8259KM from transmitter at Xian-Xianyang (Shaanxi). Local time: 1828.

11650Khz 1728 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in ESPERANTO from XIAN-XIANYANG (SHAANXI). SINPO = 44333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8259KM from transmitter at Xian-Xianyang (Shaanxi). Local time: 1828.

11610Khz 1728 11 JUL – DEUTSCHE WELLE (GERMANY)  in FRENCH from MEYERTON. SINPO = 32332.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9062KM from transmitter at Meyerton. Local time: 1828.

9850Khz 1730 11 JUL – IRIB VOICE OF I.R.IRAN (IRAN)  in GERMAN from SIRJAN. SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5171KM from transmitter at Sirjan. Local time: 1830.

9770Khz 1730 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in CANTONESE from XIAN-XIANYANG (SHAANXI). SINPO = 31111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8259KM from transmitter at Xian-Xianyang (Shaanxi). Local time: 1830.

9730Khz 1730 11 JUL – VOICE OF VIETNAM (VIETNAM)  in VIETNAMESE from HANOI-SONTAY. SINPO = 32222.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9205KM from transmitter at Hanoi-Sontay. Local time: 1830.

9660Khz 1731 11 JUL – RADIO VATICANA (VATICAN CITY STATE)  in ENGLISH from TALATA VOLONONDRY. SINPO = 21112.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9030KM from transmitter at Talata Volonondry. Local time: 1831.

9500Khz 1731 11 JUL – RADIO ROMANIA INT. (ROMANIA)  in ROMANIAN from GALBENI. SINPO = 43222.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2015KM from transmitter at Galbeni. Local time: 1831.

9470Khz 1731 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in RUSSIAN from XIAN-XIANYANG (SHAANXI). SINPO = 21111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8259KM from transmitter at Xian-Xianyang (Shaanxi). Local time: 1831.

9460Khz 1732 11 JUL – VOICE OF TURKEY (TURKEY)  in TURKISH from EMIRLER. SINPO = 44333.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2866KM from transmitter at Emirler. Local time: 1832.

9435Khz 1732 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in CROATIAN from KASHI (KASHGAR) (XINJIANG). SINPO = 43433.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 5807KM from transmitter at Kashi (Kashgar) (Xinjiang). Local time: 1832.

9425Khz 1733 11 JUL – VOICE OF KOREA (DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA)  in RUSSIAN from KUJANG. SINPO = 11111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 8601KM from transmitter at Kujang. Local time: 1833.

9400Khz 1733 11 JUL – BIBLE VOICE (UNITED KINGDOM)  in PERSIAN from SOFIA-KOSTINBROD. SINPO = 32212.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 2027KM from transmitter at Sofia-Kostinbrod. Local time: 1833.

7445Khz 1733 11 JUL – BBC (UNITED KINGDOM)  in ENGLISH from TALATA VOLONONDRY. SINPO = 11111.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 9030KM from transmitter at Talata Volonondry. Local time: 1833.

7380Khz 1733 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in GERMAN from CERRIK. SINPO = 42332.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik. Local time: 1833.

5970Khz 1734 11 JUL – CHINA RADIO INT. (CHINA)  in GERMAN from CERRIK. SINPO = 43423.  Received at London, United Kingdom, 1938KM from transmitter at Cerrik. Local time: 1834.

The BBC World Service Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast

Phew. Just a couple of hours after walking home from work on what I think must’ve been the warmest day of the year, I was settling down to listen to a most unusual radio programme.

Just as it was mid-summer’s day here yesterday, in Antarctica (and elsewhere southern) it was midwinter.

Stranded for months in nocturnal eternity, the staff of the British Antarctic Survey get a rather special gift from the BBC. On this day, the scientists, engineers and other support staff traditionally give each other gifts, have a big meal, and get rather merry.

But they also tune in to a special BBC World Service broadcast directly pointing at them. And I mean literally: the Beeb utilises three shortwave transmitter sites around the world, points them south, and broadcasts a special one-off half hour programme directly to Antarctica in the hope that the bases will pick it up.

Shortwave audiences may be shrinking as time and technology move on, but this show deliberately only has a target audience of 50 or so. I’m not sure how long it’s been going on, but it seems to be something of a tradition.

The show features a bit of music, some messages of support from the great, the good and the weird, and primarily plays messages from family and loved ones of the intended audience. I imagine it provokes scenes of joy, tears, merriment and embarrassment to all listening in. The show was presented this year by Cerys Matthews of 6 Music.

As a shortwave listener, this kind of special broadcast is especially interesting. Because although the target audience is the bottom of the globe, the nature of the broadcast meant that other listeners could attempt to pick up the signal as it made its way south.

I was very pleased to get good reception from two of the transmitter sites: Woofferton in England, and Ascension Island, a dot in the South Atlantic. Signals from Dhabbaya in Abu Dhabi eluded me.

I usually get good reception from all three sites, and even though in theory they were all directing their signal south, I was still able to pick up Ascension almost as strong as I was Woofferton.

Shortwave radio has fascinated me for 15 years or more, and it continues to. For every ten relays of China Radio International you have to wade through, there’s always an oddity popping up. And the variations in the atmospheric conditions mean that every listening session is different somehow.

But even more so, special events like the BBC’s Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast can’t fail to intrigue me and I was so pleased to be able to ‘take part’ this time.

My trusty Tecsun PL-380 continues to do sterling work with the aid of the bundled long wire antenna draped out of the window across the balcony. I’m pleased to get pretty decent reception in my ground floor flat in NW London, despite masses of sources of interference, lack in height, and being surrounded by buildings.

The reception quality of the Midwinter Broadcast was less good than I’m used to, but this is to be expected as the signals were directed in a particular way and it was just nice to pick them up on their way.

I made some very sloppy recordings of the broadcast for the SWLing Post blog, and they’re online here. The show itself can be heard in much higher fidelity online here.