Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What's Next for AM Radio ?




On AM revitalization, Peter Tannenwald asks, Are we really “revitalizing” AM, or are we walking around in circles?

Peter Tannenwald, 12 Oct. 2018

The author is a lawyer with Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. This commentary originally appeared at CommLawBlog. Radio World welcomes commentaries with a variety of viewpoints from numerous sources.

Late on Friday, October 5, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in a five-year ongoing effort to “revitalize” the AM radio broadcast service. The new proposals continue a trend toward allowing higher power operation by smaller stations, by reducing nighttime signal protection for some 60 Class A AM stations located in the continental United States and 16 stations in Alaska. The end result would be less wide area coverage and more local radio service to the public.

Additional story at Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/whats-next-for-am-radio

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

'This Is Electric' Broadcasts From the Cloud



The entirely virtual radio station broadcasts online and via DAB

Will Jackson, 12 Oct 2018
HULL, England — U.K.-based dance music radio station This Is Electric is an entirely virtual radio station broadcast on DAB digital radio and online, created using a dedicated “Radio In The Cloud” solution from Broadcast Radio.

The station uses the innovative system to broadcast a unique format of pure house music, without the need for a permanent studio base. Managing Director Quentin Nield, an experienced engineer and studio builder, said the station came about as he believed club music was being ignored by radio.

To learn more about The Setup and additional stoy, refer to: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/this-is-electric-broadcasts-from-the-cloud
(graphic/Dirty Sunset Disco)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Royal Bengal Tiger Invades Indian Radio Station

In a recent email message, Gautam Kumar Sharma of Abhayapuri in the northeast Indian state of Assam alerted us to two interesting items of radio information that we are pleased to pass on to Wavescan listeners.  One radio item that he referred to was the story of a Royal Bengal Tiger that prowled through the estate of All India Radio in Tezpur and the other was the story of a fire at All India Radio Itanagar.

Both stories, the Tezpur Tiger and the Itanagar Fire, transpired back in the year 2015.  In our program today, we tell the Tiger Story, and on another occasion some time soon, we will tell the story of the fire at AIR Itanagar.

The North East area of India, beyond the narrow Siliguri Corridor, is home these days to more than 200 ethnic groups and considerably more languages and dialects.  In ancient times, these peoples moved in from other areas of Asia and they settled permanently in those localities that have in the last two and three centuries become part of India.

In the colonial days under the British Raj, the North East India territories were organized somewhat into three major areas; the two princely states of Tripura and Manipur and the encompassing territory of Assam.  During the years after gaining independence from the British in 1947, four more states were cut off from the territory of Assam, thus ultimately constituting a total of seven North Eastern states known affectionately as the Seven Sister States.

As a result of a popular referendum in nearby Sikkim, this somewhat independent Himalayan country that was already under a protectorate status with India, was assimilated into India in 1975 as the 22nd state of the union.  Thus North East India, beyond the Siliguri Corridor, is made up these days of eight states, and a narrow section of the state of West Bengal.

The Siliguri Corridor joins North East India with mainland India, and at its narrowest, it is just 14 miles wide.  The narrow gauge railway line that runs through the Siliguri Corridor is currently under conversion to an electrified double broad-gauge line.

The Indian state of Assam as it is now constituted is the second largest state in the North East with an area of a little over 30,000 square miles, a population of 31 million, and a multitude of spoken languages.  The city of Tezpur with a population of more than 100,000 lies near the center of the state on the north side of the Bramaputra River.

Within the state of Assam there are four National Parks that have been created in an endeavor to preserve the Royal Bengal Tiger, as well as other indigenous and endangered animals, such as the One Horned Rhinoceros, the Eastern Swamp Deer, and the unique monkey known as the Golden Langur.

On Monday October 5, 2015, the Wildlife Trust of India in Tezpur received a phone call from the Divisional Forest Officer Narayan Mahanta informing them that a Royal Bengal Tiger had been observed on the transmitter campus of All India Radio at Tezpur.  By late afternoon, a team of experienced wildlife personnel from the Wildlife Trust arrived on the radio station campus and they discovered the remains of a goat that had been killed by the tiger.

A camera trap was set up near the animal carcass.  A replay of the video next day showed that a young male tiger had entered the scene for just a split second.  That same day, a more elaborate camera trap, together with a cage and live bait, were set up nearby.

This cat and mouse scenario, or more accurately, tiger and bait scenario, took place over a period of six days.  Occasionally the tiger was heard nearby with its loud roar, and also occasionally it was seen on the station property and nearby.

The last that was known of this tiger was on Saturday October 10, when fresh tiger tracks, known locally as pug marks, were observed near the Bramaputra River.  This active young male tiger, a Royal Bengal Tiger, had moved away to maraud in another area.

The studios of All India Radio in Tezpur are located at suburban Gotlong Gaon, Village Gotlong, just off Highway 37, and quite near to the commercial operation of Chand Ford.  All India Radio Tezpur is a relatively new mediumwave station, and a perusal of the WRTVHB shows that it was constructed and taken into service during the first few years of this current  21st century.

The transmitter facility is located at Morabhoroli, where the shadow of the single tall mediumwave mast can be seen on Google Earth.  The shadow of the tower also shows the FM antenna attached to the mediumwave mast.  This transmitter station was installed in the somewhat lengthy corner block, and the young Royal Bengal Tiger was seen on the cleared edge of the property near the stand of trees.
AIR Tezpur has always radiated 20 kW on the standard 9 kHz spaced frequency of 1125 kHz, and the FM channel carrying the same programming radiates at 102.4 MHz with 1 kW.
(AWR/Wavescan-NWS 503)

Dxers Unlimited, weekend edition, October 14 & 15

By Arnie Coro radio amateur CO2KK

Hola amigos radioaficionados... now enjoying somewhat better possibilities to communicate using the ionosphere as we continue to transit  passing right through the equinox.

It is quite obvious... propagation  conditions on  the  15, 12 and 10 meters bands will take a turn for the better, as always happen during the fall season... the higher free electrons concentrations at the height of the F2 layer during the daytime and of the  F layer during the evening hours will boost the DX conditions well into the winter season, even while extremely low sunspot numbers are happening.

That was the good news... now ready for the other side of the coin, the bad news:  F2, and F layer  propagation on those bands will decline thereafter, with only sporadic E  events making possible to use the frequency range between 20 and 50 megaHertz during the summer months of 2018 .

The lower bands -- 160, 80,  60 and 40 meters -- should be good going during the rest of the autumn and winter seasons.

It is expected that the 20 and 17 meters bands  will be the mainstays of daylight HF long distance  propagation.

In  a recent presentation at an international scientific conference, available  data suggest that  Cycle 24, the current solar cycle, will bottom out in an earlier than previously thought date. That translates into the following information: the year 2019 will see the worst HF propagation conditions since the year 1900.Be advised that radio amateurs may need to lower their expectations on the higher bands, 20, 17, 15, 12 and also 6 meters due to the expected periods of very low solar activity ahead of us.

My perception is that the only logical conclusion we can make with some confidence, is that we are headed for several very small solar cycles. It is quite clear from  various evidence related to the Sun's polar fields, which appear to be decreasing in strength, A index trends, and cosmic ray data to support his assertion.

Another fact to take into consideration is that"there seems to be a good correlation between how long does a solar minimum lasts and the behavior of  the next solar cycle," The longer time you spend at solar minimum, the smaller the next cycle is going to be is the logical conclusion."

Radio amateur operators that like yours truly were active since the 1950s and 1960s and have experienced short inter-cycles solar minimums of approximately two years, until the one between Solar Cycle 23 and Solar Cycle 24, lasted about four years producing terrible propagation conditions never before seen  My daily observations of HF propagation conditions since 1957 confirm the above mentioned data.

K9LA Karl Luetzelschwab a well known expert, cited historical sunspot cycle data going back centuries...including the "Maunder Minimum" of zero and near-zero sunspots between the years 1645 and 1715 and a later, less-drastic "Dalton Minimum." He pointed out that over the last 11,000 years, 19 notable grand maximums...including Solar Cycle 19 and the cycles around it, and 27 notable grand minimums were recorded. "We're likely to have more of both grand maximums and grand minimums in the future," he predicted. The current system of numbering sunspot cycles begins with Solar Cycle 1 in the mid-18th century.

"We don't fully understand the process inside the Sun that makes solar cycles," Luetzelschwab said. "Thus, you should exercise caution with statements seen in the news."

I am sure that many of you Dxers Unlimited listeners have heard me many times advancing forecasts about a very  small peak of solar activity to happen during cycle 25, while the 2014 cycle 24's maximum  of 114 sunspots count will probably not be happening again in many years to come..

As a preliminary conclusion, we will need larger and more efficient antennas for the lower frequency bands and shift our present operating habits to include more highly sophisticated digital modes like JT65 and FT8, as well as getting better acquainted with amateur radio satellites.

Cuban radio amateurs have now passed the FIRST PART of the 2018 Tropical Hurricane Season. Hurricane Michael impacted the western part of  the Cuban archipelago, when it was a tropical storm and later when its intensity increased to a Category ONE hurricane, just before it increased its speed and moved across the Gulf of Mexico where it developed fast into a huge Category 4 storm at landfall into the Florida Panhandle.

At the Cuban radio amateur federation website we could see from time to time advisories alerting to protect frequencies on several ham bands that were being used to handle emergency storm traffic in Central America and the Southern United States, areas that did received the impact of bad weather areas , including tropical storms , and in the case of the USA, one of them did reach the hurricane intensity level.

The high cost of commercially built amateur radio equipment with full capabilities places those sets well above what the average entry level ham operator is willing to pay. In the case of nations with low average national income, the development of ham radio is very slow, precisely because of the high cost of the typical HF that fortunately now is not the case with 2 meters band handie talkies that provide quite useful features at prices that are astonishing nowadays.

Attempts to reverse that trend making HF transceivers available at low cost are sprouting all over the world, with efforts coming mainly from radio clubs that count with the cooperation of the well experienced amateurs , capable of designing single band low power radios that enter into the low parts count category.  Some of them are sold as kits, that is full set of parts with comprehensive stept by step assembly and final adjustments procedures in the instruction manuals. Happily, some of those kits have proven to be the road to local growth of activity, and at the same time they have helped to boost the local club's meetings .

Here in Cuba several radio clubs are involved in the design and construction of single band 40 meters transceivers, based on a well proven design that originate way back in 1982... As a matter of fact, the original Jaguey 82 double side band transceivers were so well built that several of the original prototypes are still on the air, something

I learned this past week when receiving a call from a low power station located more than six hundred miles away... He told me that his Jaguey 82 transceiver was now helped by a home brew 50 Watts linear amplifier, built using MOSFET devices that he recycled from computer UPS power supplies.

The original Jaguey 82 rig is simplicity at its maximum , using a direct conversion receiver and a two diodes balanced modulator to generate the double side band signal. The rig is powered using 12 volts DC, that may come from a home brew power supply or from a standard 12 volts car or computer back up battery, making it an ideal rig for handling emergency traffic.

Currently an upgraded version of the Jaguey 82 is in the works, adding more audio filtering with a simple two transistors circuit, and now using a MOSFET final amplifier stage, in order to make use of available parts.  Homebrewing your own amateur radio HF bands transceiver is a real possibility that will not only save money but also make you the proud on the air operator of a set that was built with your own hands.

See you all at the middle of the week program next Tuesday and Wednesday UTC days, in the mean time enjoy the certainly better equinoctial propagation conditions now in progress, and expected to continue for at least the next two weeks. Send your signal reports and comments about our programs to inforhc@enet.cu or postal mail to: Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana , Cuba
(Arnie Coro/R Habana Cuba)

Ancient DX Report -1915

Sinking of the Lusitania
During the year 1915, we find that World War I, was in full swing in Europe with its vicious animosities and hostilities. Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare against shipping approaching the British Isles, England and its allies were defeated at the Gallipoli Peninsula, and both sides used poison gas as a weapon of war with widespread death and destruction.       

On January 19, the German forces made their first zeppelin air raid against the east coast of England. Zeppelins L3 L4 and L6 set off from their base at Fuhlsbüttel near Hamburg, though L6 encountered technical problems on the way and returned to base.  The other two zeppelins made their way across the North Sea with the intent of dropping their bombs on a military target. However, due to bad weather, instead they dropped their bombs on civilian locations near the coast in East Anglia, resulting in four deaths and damage to some residential housing and other structures.

A German submarine U28 sank the British passenger vessel RMS Falaba on March 28 at a location south of Ireland and 40 miles west of the coast of Wales, and among the many dead was an American citizen Leon Chester Thrasher. The submarine U48, the RMS Falaba, and another British ship trawler Eileen Emma, nearby were intercommunicating in morse code, with the submarine warning the trawler to remain clear. 

Less than six weeks later, the British ship RMS Lusitania was sunk at almost the same location by another German submarine U20 with the death of 1,198 passengers and crew, and 764 survivors. Before the Cunard liner left New York Harbor six days earlier, the German Embassy in Washington DC, placed advertisements in 50 American newspapers warning intended passengers of the possible danger in traveling across the Atlantic on the Lusitania.

The attack against the Falaba on March 28 (known in the United States as the Thrasher Incident) and the sinking of the Lusitania just 40 days later in a somewhat similar circumstance near the same location, brought the United States close to the brink of war. 

On April 22, German forces made the first major poison gas attack in the Great War against the Canadian sector in France. Five months later on September 15, the British took their turn at the usage of poison gas though with disastrous results; shifting winds caused 60,000 British casualties.

On April 25 ANZAC forces, the combined armies of Australia and New Zealand, landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the edge of the waterway between Europe and Asia and they took part in disastrous fighting against the Ottoman Empire. The fighting was so fierce that two bullets, one from each side, collided in mid air, one penetrating the other.  ANZAC Day, April 25 every year in both Australia and New Zealand, commemorates their participation. 

On the radio scene in 1915 set against that background, voice communication across the continental United States was first achieved on September 29 when AT&T president Theodore Vail spoke from the navy station NAA at Arlington Virginia and was heard by station NPG at Mare Island in California. This epic moment was also noted loud and clear at station UC in Pearl Harbor Hawaii.

Three weeks later the same station NAA was heard clearly at station FL on the Eiffel Tower in Paris when Engineer B. B. Webb spoke into the microphone. The NAA transmitter in use for this epic occasion, the first voice across the Atlantic, incorporated 300 valves (tubes) in its circuitry.

Earlier on July 9, the United States ordered the closure of the German Telefunken wireless station at Sayville on Long Island New York, due to the alleged transmission of belligerent messages. The United States navy took over the station and closed it, leaving a contingent of marines to guard it.  Soon afterwards though, station WSL was reopened and placed under stricter control.

During 1915, the 11 year-old Charles Litton set up his own amateur radio station in Redwood City; and Hiram Percy Maxim published the first issue of the amateur radio magazine QST. The three letters QST is a morse code abbreviation meaning “calling all stations”.  The Department of Commerce published the first issue of the Radio Service Bulletin in January. 

Three important callsigns were issued during the year 1915: Charles Herrold in San Diego was allotted the callsign 6XF for his Special Land Station; Hiram Percy Maxim was accorded the callsign 1ZM for his Special Land Station; and General Electric was granted the callsign 2XI for their experimental shortwave station located on Van Slyck Island in New York state. 

Four new experimental radio broadcasting stations were launched during this particular year, 1915. 
These stations were:
* Lee de Forest with station 2XG at his radio laboratory at 1391 Sedgewick Avenue in the Highbridge section of the Bronx in New York City.
* According to available information, radio station KUT at the University of Texas in Austin began broadcasting weather information and crop reports, in morse code.
* Robert Stull is said to have established a radio broadcasting station at the University of California in Berkeley.
* A radio station was established at the Hotel Ansonia in New York, apparently by the members of the recently formed Radio Club of America.

In other parts of the world, the United States Navy reported that they had already constructed a series of high powered wireless stations at many different locations, and that they were ready for active service. These new wireless stations were located in the Panama Canal Zone, Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cavite in the Philippines, Guam, and Samoa.

On September 16, a Marconi wireless station was opened for service at Mt Pearl in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This station with the callsign BZM was powered by generators attached to two six cylinder diesel Gardiner engines, and the transmitter emitted 30 kW under the Poulsen arc system.
(AWR Wavecran/NWS 502)
(photo/wikipedia)

Widespread Drought in Australia: Kangaroos in Canberra - The Medium Wave Scene




Quite recently here in Wavescan, Jeff White WRMI and Jerry Plummer WWCR at the HFCC meetings in Slovakia were commenting on the fact that the water level in the Beautiful Blue Danube as it flows through the city of Bratislava was quite low, due to drought conditions in continental Europe. 

Another country that is undergoing a widespread drought is Australia, and in particular, the state of New South Wales, together with neighboring areas in adjoining states.

So severe is the Australian drought, that some farmers are feeding their flocks and herds, cattle and sheep and pigs, with fruits and seeds in an endeavor to keep them alive.  In addition, multiple truck loads of hay at up to $3,000 a load have been driven 2,000 miles across the continent from Western Australia to the drought stricken areas in the east.

Some historians are stating that the current drought in Australia is the worst since the beginning of European settlement.  Some small towns, under enforced strict rationing, are now trucking in water for local usage. 

There is a danger now that hydroelectric power in some areas will soon fail due to an insufficient flow of water.  The water levels for the mighty Snowy River Hydroelectric Scheme are so low that electricity rationing is predicted for this coming (southern) summer.

A strange situation has developed in the city of Canberra, the national capital, which is located in the Australian Capital Territory, midway in the east between Sydney and Melbourne.  Mobs of hungry and thirsty kangaroos have invaded the city and they are feeding on the grass they can forage in parks, home front lawns, roadway verges and sports grounds.  Some sympathetic householders have even been offering food and water to the invading kangaroos that almost seem to feel at home in their new surroundings.  Kangaroos in Canberra!

A map of the area shows that motorists can enter Canberra on any of half a dozen major highways.  However, regardless of the direction of entry into Canberra, the most prominent tourist attraction is obviously Black Mountain Tower, or Telstra Tower as it is known these days.  The Black Mountain Nature Park is home to a 100 different bird species, 500 different plant species, and 5,000 different insect species.

Telstra Tower was officially opened in 1980, and these days there are several TV and FM stations broadcasting from this elevated position.  In fact, there is so much radio frequency energy in the nearby area from all of the FM, TV and communication transmitters, that a prominent sign warns motorists that they may have difficulty opening their cars and starting the engine with the usage of the wireless key fob.

An elderly man may sometimes be seen assisting stricken motorists.  The car door can be opened by removing the manually operated key from inside the key fob.  Then, a sheet of aluminium foil is placed on three of the car windows to restrict the flow of radio frequency energy, and voila, the car engine can then be started. 

The first mediumwave station in Canberra was 2CA which began as a small 50 watt experimental operation on 1050 kHz back in 1930.  This new radio broadcasting station was installed by Jack Ryan in the back room of his electrical and radio shop at 42 Giles Street in the suburb of Kingston.

As a commercial station, 2CA was then transferred three years later (1933) to Radio Hill in the southern corner of suburban Fyshwick.  A few isolated remnants from this old 2CA installation are still in place in the small tree covered area, though they are almost hidden from view by sand, debris and vegetation. 

Then later again, a few months before the beginning of World War II in 1939, a new 2 kW transmitter was installed for 2CA adjacent to the PMG-ABC radio station on Bellenden Street, between the suburbs of  Mitchell and Kaleen.  A new 2 kW transmitter was installed at this location, and it is stated that their famous Blaw-Knox aerial tower was the first in Australia.

Another medium wave commercial station on the air in Canberra is 2CC which was inaugurated in 1975, 45 years subsequent to the original 2CA.  This second station 2CC was independent from the original 2CA station, with separate offices and staff personnel.  However, the two stations have always operated from a combined transmitter facility adjacent to the ABC-PMG transmitter station at Gungahlin.

During the years in between the inauguration of the two commercial medium wave stations (1931 and 1975), two government operated medium wave stations were launched for coverage of Canberra city and the Australian Capital Territory.  These were stations 2CY in 1938 with 10 kW on 850 kHz, and 2CN in 1953 with 2 kW on 1540 kHz.

Both of these ABC stations are still heard today on medium wave; 2CN with 5 kW on 666 kHz and 2CY with 10 kW on 846 kHz, though 2CY was granted a change of callsign to the generic 2RN in 1990.  Interestingly, as last noted by an experienced radio tourist, both stations provide an excellent signal on their initial harmonics in the medium wave band, 1332 and 1692 kHz respectively .

 In addition, to the two older medium wave stations, the ABC brought out a half century old medium wave from the proceedings of Federal Parliament and subsequently regularly updated bulletins of international, national and regional news were added. 

Station 2PB in Canberra these days is heard only on FM.  The only transmitter site for the three ABC medium wave stations in Canberra is on Bellenden Street Gungahlin between the suburbs of Mitchell and Kaleen.

In addition to the three ABC stations and two commercial stations, there have been more than half a dozen other medium wave broadcasting stations on the air in Canberra and its suburban areas during the past many years.

These additional medium wave stations have each served a smaller clientele with programming for varied interests, such as in various European and Asian languages, major sports games, and short term major events.

These days, there are currently four major medium wave stations on the air in Canberra (ABC 2CN & 2RN, commercial 2CA & 2CC), together with half a dozen other stations each with a specialized listenership.  There is no word as to which station is preferred by the kangaroos!
(AWR/Wavescan-NWS 502)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins



Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 Oct 15 0146 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 08 - 14 October 2018

Solar activity was very low this period. Regions 2724 (S08, L=126, class/area, Hrx/20 on 12 Oct) and 2725 (S11, L=113, class/area, Axx/10 on 14 Oct) were the only numbered sunspots on the visible disk but were quiet and stable throughout the period. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed during the summary period.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels on 08-13 Oct then decreased to moderate levels on 14 Oct.

Geomagnetic field activity reached G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels on 10 and 13 Oct, active for conditions on 08-09 Oct, unsettled levels on 11 Oct, and quiet conditions on 12 and 14 Oct due to CH HSS influence.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 15 October - 10 November 2018

Solar activity is expected to be very low throughout the outlook period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 15-25 Oct and 04-09 Nov with moderate flux levels expected throughout the remainder of the period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels on 19 Oct and on 03-04 Nov with active levels expected on 18 Oct and 05-06 Nov due to the influence of the multiple recurrent CH HSSs.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2018 Oct 15 0146 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2018-10-15
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 Oct 15      72          10          3
2018 Oct 16      72           5          2
2018 Oct 17      72           5          2
2018 Oct 18      72          12          4
2018 Oct 19      72          18          5
2018 Oct 20      72          10          3
2018 Oct 21      72           5          3
2018 Oct 22      70          10          3
2018 Oct 23      70           8          3
2018 Oct 24      70           5          2
2018 Oct 25      69           5          2
2018 Oct 26      69          10          3
2018 Oct 27      69           5          2
2018 Oct 28      69           5          2
2018 Oct 29      69           5          2
2018 Oct 30      69           5          2
2018 Oct 31      69           5          2
2018 Nov 01      69           5          2
2018 Nov 02      69           5          2
2018 Nov 03      69          22          5
2018 Nov 04      69          20          5
2018 Nov 05      70          15          4
2018 Nov 06      70          15          4
2018 Nov 07      72           8          3
2018 Nov 08      72           5          2
2018 Nov 09      72          12          3
2018 Nov 10      72           8          3
(NOAA)

Radio Communications Dashboards
https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/communities/radio-communications

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Int'l Radio Festival Makes Its Way to Malta



Will look at how blockchain technology can benefit the radio industry
Marguerite Clark, 04 Oct 2018

The International Radio Festival is preparing for its ninth annual event, which takes place in Valetta, Malta — the European Capital of Culture 2018 — from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.

On tap for this year’s gathering will be a host of presentations focused around the business, production and curation of audio and radio content. Of special interest during the Audio Conference, held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on Nov. 1, will be the topic of blockchain technology and audio and how it can benefit the radio industry.

Additional story at Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/irf-makes-its-way-to-malta

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Federal News Radio Loses the “Radio” Tag



Hubbard changes branding to Federal News Network
Paul McLane, 09 Oct. 2018

Hubbard is making a change to the branding of one of its media platforms in the nation’s capital.

“FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500 AM changes its name to Federal News Network, a move aimed at highlighting its many distribution platforms and channels including on-air, online, podcasts, video and more,” the company stated.

The service was launched in February 2000 by then-owner Bonneville as a spinoff of the company’s WTOP news operation, to target a huge, specialized community of people in the Washington area who work for and around federal agencies.

Also changed is the website URL, from federalnewsradio.com to federalnewsnetwork.com/

Additional story at: Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/federal-news-radio-loses-the-radio-tag

Shortwave Radiogram, October 12-15

Hello friends,


Last weekend’s slant test produced interesting results. Please note that your sound card might be perfectly calibrated, but slant in MFSK32 images will still occur. This is because of disagreements in the sampling rates of my sound card, the sound card at the shortwave broadcaster, the sound card at any remote SDR you might use, and your sound card. If you use an external digital recorder, that adds another factor that can cause slant. For this reason a slant adjustment at the beginning of each broadcast might be a good idea in the future.

Videos of last weekend’s Shortwave Radiogram (program 68) are provided by Scott in Ontario (Friday 2030 UTC), Ralf in Germany (Saturday 1600 UTC), and 2010 DFS in Japan (Monday 0800 UTC). The audio archive is maintained by Mark in the UK. Analysis of last weekend’s Shortwave Radiogram and other programs transmitting text and images is prepared by Roger in Germany. See program 68 results at https://twitter.com/swradiogram .

This weekend we will transmit the usual combination of MFSK32, 128, and 64, with nine MFSK images.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 69, 12-15 October 2018, in MFSK modes as noted:
  1:38 MFSK32: Program preview
  2:55 Progress towards geostationary amateur radio satellite*
  8:56 MFSK128: Voyager 2 near edge of solar system*
12:21 MFSK64: International panel issues climate change warning*
17:28 New font might improve your memory*
19:36 Images and painting of the week*
27:25 MFSK32: Closing announcements*

* with image(s)

Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net


Twitter: @SWRadiogram or https://twitter.com/swradiogram (visit especially during the weekend)





Shortwave Radiogram Program 69
(12-15 October 2018)
Friday
2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
MFSK32
MFSK128
MFSK64
WRMI Florida
Saturday
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
Monday
0800-0830 UTC
7730 kHz
5850 kHz
WRMI Florida

Slow Scan Radio transmits SSTV images and text modes Wednesdays at 1830-1900 UTC on 6070 kHz via Channel 292 in Germany. The website is http://www.slowscanradio.com. Reception reports to x@xdv.me.

The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ). And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on the new winter frequency of 5960 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama. For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  

Broad Spectrum Radio is transmitted by WRMI Florida Mondays at 0700-0800 UTC on 5850 and 7730 kHz. MFSK32 is broadcast during the second half hour of the show. Reports to broadspectrumradio@gmail.com.

Thanks for your reception reports!

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram
Reporting on international broadcasting at https://twitter.com/kaedotcom



From the isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot Schedules, October 14-20



From the Isle of Music, October 14-20, 2018:
Our special guest this week is Gastón Joya, whose album Mama Ina won the Jazz Soloists category of Cubadisco 2018. We’ll speak with him about the album, listen to some of it, and we will also hear music from some of the other nominees.

The transmissions take place:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 kHz from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)


2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.


3-4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
Also recommended:
Jetzt geht’s los! (Here We Go!), an excellent program of early German Jazz produced by Radio Ohne Nahmen, comes on right before FTIOM on Tuesdays from 1800-1900 UTC on Channel 292.


Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, October 14 and 16, 2018
Episode 84 will feature some different types of recent music from the United States
The transmissions take place:
1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe


2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to North Africa and the Middle East, AND a long bounce to parts of New Zealand.


Also recommended:
Marion’s Attic, a unique program produced and hosted by Marion Webster featuring early 20th Century records, Edison cylinders etc played on the original equipment, comes on immediately before UBMP on Sundays from 2100-2200 UTC on WBCQ 7490 kHz. 


William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Friday, October 12, 2018

How radio has consumed the podcast world





By Dan Granger-10 October 2018 00:23am

 I left the radio business in 2013. I was working at iHeart, at the time bogged down by the regime change as it transitioned from Clear Channel, run by the Mays Family, then rebranded as iHeart under the new stewardship of Bob Pittman and friends.

The world was changing and I felt the dominant radio groups were falling too far behind. I just didn’t have the patience to wait around and see if it would catch back up, given the rate at which new technology was redefining the landscape.

Programming on-air was stuck in its ways, on a constant chase for Top 40 content, while the podcast ecosystem was catering to vigilant tribes, starving for someone to speak to them. Only them. Tall towers in big fields, the multi-million dollar sticks that gave radio value, were losing value at an alarming rate, barely worth the price that their broadcasting licenses were printed on. As the internet became ubiquitous, the value of a terrestrial signal diminished proportionately.

When all I could see was decline, I mistook it for a death spiral. A wise friend told me, “This thing ain’t over. The major players will not go quietly into the night.” I wasn’t so sure.

Additional story at: The Drum: https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2018/10/10/how-radio-has-consumed-the-podcast-world

The Next Radio Killer


By Eric Rhoads - October 4, 2018
(By Radio Ink Chairman Eric Rhoads) Watching the Radio Show over the past decades has been interesting, because most years there is a hot topic that is going to “change the face of radio.” We’ve been through it all, from citizens band radio to CDs, cell phones, the digital dash, Internet radio, iTunes, Spotify, and other threats to radio listening. The hot topics at this year’s show will be listening on smart speaker devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and the related topic of podcasting.

Predictions of radio’s death have happened over decades — in fact, I’ve made a few myself. Radio has watched the threats come and go, and most anyone you speak to who’s seen it happen will roll their eyes and say confidently, “Bring it on. Radio was strong before, is strong today, and always will be strong.” Is this what you believe?
Additional story at: Radio NK: https://radioink.com/2018/10/04/the-next-radio-killer/


Mexico’s Top Radio Station to Launch ‘Hallyu’ Program



Posted on October 1, 2018 by Korea Bizwire in Culture & Society

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Mexico’s largest radio station will launch a weekly program featuring Korean culture and entertainment next month, the Korean Culture Center in Mexico City said Sunday.

The “K-Hour” program of Radio Centro will air for one hour from 6 p.m. every Sunday.

The radio station has been broadcasting a trial program on “hallyu,” or the phenomenal popularity of Korean culture abroad, since June 24 on its channel “Alfa.”

In a survey recently conducted by Nielsen, the program drew at least 1.4 million listeners and recorded a 7.33 percent rating, putting it on the list of top ten radio programs.

Radio Centro said the show appealed to listeners with its diverse content from Korean pop songs to classical music and traditional culture.

It is rare for a foreign broadcaster to produce its own hallyu program. Some Chinese and Southeast Asian broadcasters have aired imported hallyu programs.

“The program reflects hallyu taking root in Mexican society,” said Lim Sung-min, head of El Coreano, a newspaper for Korean residents in Mexico. “I take pride in the launch of a program exclusively dealing with overall Korean culture.”
Grupo Radio Centro http://radiocentro.com/
List of streaming audio Grupo stations: http://radiocentro.com/radioenvivo
(Yonhap)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

.radio Internet Domain Grows as New Stations Launch


.radio domain logo (EBU)


Approximately 2,500 domains registered in the first year of new EBU-operated domain
Will jackson, 02 October 2018


GENEVA — Nearly 2,500 .radio domains have been registered since the launch of the new Top Level Domain (TLD) in August 2017.

ICANN, which manages internet domain names and IP addresses, granted the new .radio TLD in July 2016. It can be used for web and email addresses, and is managed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) with the support of other world broadcasting unions. The .radio domain is reserved for the exclusive use of the radio sector, broadcasters, internet radio stations, people working in radio, companies supplying goods and services to the industry, along with radio amateurs.

INCREASING ADOPTION

Prices for .radio domains depend on the registrar, however for individuals, a .radio domain is

likely to cost around €25 (US$30), or for companies, around €220 (US$255). To prevent “cyber-squatting,” applications for domains are checked by the EBU .radio team to ensure they meet the required criteria.

Additional story at Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/radio-internet-domain-grows-as-new-stations-launch

BBC Loses Pride of Place as Top UK Radio Platform



(via BBC) 
Defections of star BBC announcers to private radio signal changing times

James Careless, 05 Oct 2018
LONDON — The defections of top-rated BBC Two radio morning show host Chris Evans and BBC Radio 4 news host Eddie Mair to privately-owned Virgin Radio and LBC respectively, signal that the BBC is losing its status as the United Kingdom’s top radio platform.

Thomas Falconer, radio industry researcher at IBISWorld, a market research firm with offices around the globe, attributes the BBC’s declining status to changes within the UK’s radio industry; both outside of and within the public broadcaster.

According to Falconer, BBC Radio’s greatest undoing has been the U.K.’s transition to digital radio and the wealth of new content options the medium is offering U.K. listeners.

Additional story from Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/bbc-loses-pride-of-place-as-top-uk-radio-platform

Japanese are prepping for natural disasters by stocking up on hand-cranked radios, batteries and old tech


PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2018, 11:04am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 October, 2018, 10:00pm

Old-fashioned electronics, such as hand-cranked radios and battery operated lights, are making a comeback in Japan as more people become sensitive to the impact of natural disasters on their lives after heavy downpours and earthquakes hit the country.

Shops are running out of stock and electronic manufacturers are trying to ramp up production to respond to surging interest for appliances that do not depend on power points.

Additional story at: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2167405/japanese-are-prepping-natural-disasters-stocking-hand-cranked
(South China Post)

Blog Logs - SDR observations


All times UTC/in frequency order

Logs from 11 October 2018, 0500-0600 UTC, taken in remote SDR units at Doha Qatar, Germany, Austria, and Hungary.

Tunisia
  629.997 ???  Tunisia ?, HQ Arabic at 0501 UT.
  926.980 ???  TWR Izmir, Turkey, all MW disturbed and weak level.

Iran
 7410.004 IRN  IRIB Sirjan in Arabic at 0510 UT Oct 11, powerhouse signal in Qatar remote SDR as S=9+45dB or -32dBm.

Greece
 9420.002 GRC  VoGreece Avlis, female voice speaker, S=9+10dB or -65dBm  signal at 0512 UT.

Iran
 9799.997 IRN  IRIB Zahedan, Arabic sce, 0515 UT, registered 0230-0530 UT,  S=9+30dB or -51dBm, \\ 7410 Sirjan site.

Kuwait
11970.000 KWT  Radio Kuwait English sce in DRM mode. 10 kHz wide data  block visible on waterfall window. S=9+25dB in Doha Qatar. 0520 UT on Oct 11.

Turkey
11980.007 TUR  TRT Emirler in Turkish at 0523 UT. S=9+20dB signal

United Arab Emirates
13580.116 UAE  Much odd freq outlet of BBC London in English, via ME relay site Al Dhabbaya. S=9+5dB fair signal in local UAE skip zone area, at 0525 UT Oct 11.

Oman
13600even OMA  Radio Oman from Thumrait, noted at 0526 and 0540 UT, station ID at 05.40:50 UT.

Iran
13610.001 IRN  IRIB Zahedan site, scheduled 0530-1430 UT, heard at 0542 UT male Arabic singer program, S=9+30dB or -47dBm, also accompanied IRN Arabic in 22 mb by Saudi Arabia spoken and
 music program nearby on

Saudi Arabia
13609.994 ARS  Riyadh light Arabic program, co-channel as jamming against  IRIB Tehran. Little weaker heard in Qatar and Hungary remotes.

China
13669.964 CHN  Usual ODD fq of PBS Xinjiang Uighur sce from Urumqi western China relay site, RTC was often odd fq on this channel.S=9+5dB at 0530 UT, scheduled 0257-1227 UT.

North Korea
13649.034 KRE  Voice of Korea, Kujang, in English, only weak at 0544 UT.

China
13700even CHN  CNR13 Lingshi site, Uighur progr, S=8 in Qatar at 0549 UT.

Iran
13710.006 IRN  IRIB Tehran via Sirjan site, Turkish program registered at 0420-0550 UT. S=9+15dB sidelobe at 0551 UT.

13740.007 IRN  IRIB Tehran via Sirjan site, scheduled 0550-0820 UT, Dari language towards AFG/PAK central Asia. S=7-8 in Qatar SDR site.At 0553 UT on Oct 11.

Turkey
13765.680 TUR  TRT Emirler noted with over and over TRT interval signal  at 0554-0600 UT, opening with Turkish mx, scheduled 0600-0655 UT

North Korea
13759.998 KRE  Voice of Korea, Kujang, registered 0500-0557 UT, noted an S=6 signal ID in Spanish language at 05.56:40 UT. Full Vo Korea Spanish schedule to South America target read...

Iran
13780.008 IRN  IRIB Tehran Arabic service via Sirjan site, S=6 level, noted at 0559 UT, scheduled 0530-0830 UT, and accompanied by  Saudi Arabia jammer service at 0559 UT on Oct 11 on

Saudi Arabia
13780.002 ARS  underneath music jamming by Riyadh security service.
(selected SDR options, span 12.5 kHz RBW 15.3 Hertz/(wb, df5sx, wwdxc BC-DX TopNews Oct 11)

FCC Seeks Workable Solution on Protecting Big AM Signals


Commission puts forth several revised interference regimes

Paul McLane
09 Oct 2018

Next move in the AM revitalization effort:

The FCC has proposed revised interference protections for Class A AM stations in the United States. One proposal is for daytime hours, two are for protection during the “critical hours” periods and two are for protection of Class A AM stations at night.

The question of what to do about interference rules concerning big Class A signals has been a notable one. Class A stations operate on clear channels with 10 to 50 kW.

“These alternative proposals are designed to preserve some of Class A stations’ wide area coverage, while relieving more local stations of their current obligation to protect Class A stations from interference,” the commission wrote in adopting its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. “Our proposals should enable local stations to provide greater and improved local service to their communities, especially at night.”

Additional story at Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/fcc-seeks-workable-solution-on-protecting-big-am-signals

Radio Grades Itself After the Storm

Hurricane Michael 2018
Radio Ink
11 Oct 2018

We were able to monitor the radio coverage of Hurricane Michael all day long Wednesday on both iHeartRadio and Tune-In, depending on which radio station or company we wanted to listen to, as radio stations went wall-to-wall once the storm approached landfall. Late last night we reached out to three managers to get their assessment on how their teams performed.

We spoke to Kevin Malone, the Market Manager for Community Broadcasters who was in Ft. Walton Beach when the storm hit. Paul Rogers is President for iHeartMedia in Panama City iHeartMedia, which has about 80 stations in the markets affected by Michael. And Doug Hamand is Vice President Programming Operations for Cumulus which owns 5 stations in Tallahassee, 5 in Ft. Walton Beach-Destin, 5 in Pensacola and 5 in Mobile.

Interview at: https://radioink.com/2018/10/11/radio-grades-itself-after-the-storm/

Radio Pakistan: home to forgotten music instruments and archives


Veena, also known as a Saraswati Veena
Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018

The headquarters of Radio Pakistan in G-5 is home to musical instruments used by musical legends of the country and thousands of minutes worth of archives.

The announcement made for the birth of Pakistan at midnight on Aug 14, 1947 also marked the birth of Radio Pakistan. The announcement began with “this is Pakistan Broadcasting Service”.

It was converted into the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) on Dec 20, 1972 as a statutory body governed by a board of directors and the director general. The foundation of the existing headquarters was also laid at this time.

PBC has an extensive national network of AM, FM and SW stations covering 98pc of the population in around 80pc of the total area of Pakistan.

Broadcasts are made from the 20 studios in the headquarters in English, Urdu, local languages and regional languages including Tamil, Gujrati, Farsi, Dari, Bangla, Nepali and Sinhalese. China Radio also transmits its news and current affairs programmes from one of these studios.

Additiona story at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1437306

Observations on music formats, talk radio and podcasting




Research observations on music formats, talk radio and podcasting from Warren Kurtzman of Coleman Insights
Thursday 11 October, 2018

Why is the hip hip format on the rise in America at the moment?

What is the best way to build a successful talk format?

How long is the right length for a podcast?

Coleman Insights' President Warren Kurtzman was in Australia this week and radioinfo's Steve Ahern caught up with him to get answers to these and other questions. Listen to the whole chat in the podcast at the bottom of this page.

Through its work with hundreds of radio stations in more than a dozen countries, Coleman Insights delivers information to help build and strengthen media brands.


Read more at: http://www.asiaradiotoday.com/news/research-observations-music-formats-talk-radio-and-podcasting-warren-kurtzman-coleman-insights?utm_source=dlvr.it&u

Medium Wave Transmission Goes Big


TWR Bonaire towers at night
How operators are minimizing future operating costs through large broadcast facilities
Wendall Lonegan
05 Oct 2018

Nautel was recently closely involved in the formation of two of the largest medium wave transmitting facilities in their respective regions.

The first is a 400 kW broadcast site in Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands operating a Nautel NX400 transmitter. The second is a 2 MW site in Solt, Hungary, a small community about an hour South of Budapest, operating five NX400 transmitters through a sophisticated combiner.

A Closer Look
So, why operate such large broadcast facilities? And how do they minimize future operating costs?

The Bonaire site is owned by Trans World Radio and broadcasts a Christian program, which has a strong listenership in the Caribbean Islands, Central America and northern countries in South America.

Additional story at Radio World: https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/medium-wave-transmission-goes-big 
(The author is head of broadcast sales for Nautel)
(photo credit: TWR)