Friday, August 31, 2018

Shortwave Radiogram schedules, August 31-September 3

Hello friends,

Last weekend was very difficult for Shortwave Radiogram, between the poor propagation and technical mishaps.  Saturday at 1600 UTC, the transmitter in Bulgaria went off the air shortly after Shortwave Radiogram began. But it came back on a few minutes later, starting from the top of the show, with the transmitter staying on the air past 1630 UTC to allow the entire program to be broadcast. We are grateful to Space Line for doing this, as illustrated by this tweet from Ralf in Germany.  

Then, Sunday at 2330 UTC, we had a repeat of the problem that occurred the previous week: At about 2331, the Shortwave Radiogram audio flipped over to 5010 kHz, another WRMI frequency. At least this time many listeners were aware of the problem and retuned to 5010. That frequency, however, did not propagate very far north of Florida. I heard it in Virginia, with difficulty. Jeff at WRMI tells me the cause of the problem has been found, so we are optimistic that the Sunday 2330 UTC transmission will be nominal this weekend.

Because of the difficult weekend, I arranged for an extra transmission of Shortwave Radiogram on Channel 292 in Germany, 6070 kHz, Wednesday at 1800-1830 UTC, just before Slow Scan Radio. This worked well, even though the propagation at dusk was “interesting.” I have not yet decided if this will be a permanent addition to the Shortwave Radiogram schedule.

There is a video of Shortwave Radiogram program 62 from Ralf in Germany (Saturday 1600 UTC). Mark in the UK has the audio archive.  And Roger in Germany provides analysis.

This weekend, Shortwave Radiogram will transmit in our usual combination of MFSK32, MFSK128, and MFSK64, including eight MFSK images.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 63, 31 August to 3 September 2018, in MFSK modes as noted:

  1:31  MFSK32: Program preview (now)

 2:51  Studies show aspirin risks outweign benefits*

 7:07  MFSK128: Ships abandoned in Nigerian waters*

10:54  MFSK64: Where the Hayabusa2 will land on asteroid*

14:12  Lithium-oxygen batteries are getting an energy boost*

18:14  Tage der offenen Tür im Deutschlandradio-Funkhaus*

21:33  Images of the week*

28:15  MFSK32: Closing announcements

* with image(s)

Please send reception reports to

Twitter: @SWRadiogram or (visit especially during the weekend)

Shortwave Radiogram Program 63
(31 August-5 September 2018)

2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
5950 kHz
WRMI Florida
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
0800-0830 UTC

7730 kHz
5850 kHz
WRMI Florida
And maybe …
1800-1830 UTC
6070 kHz

Channel 292, Germany

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 Reception reports to

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 ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and

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  

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

Thanks for your reception reports! 


Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB

Producer and Presenter

Reporting on international broadcasting at

Thursday, August 30, 2018

FCC and US Justice Department investigate Mexican-Chinese connection

A followup to : Mexican Radio to Beam Chinese Propaganda to United States ?

XEWW-690 may be Spanish or Chinese
  Peterson's report last issue of XEWW-690 Rosarito, BCN in Chinese on August 1, 2018, appears to be a violation of  an FCC temporary authority effective July 20; that restricts the station to Spanish language programming.

A 1992 agreement gives the FCC authority to block the sale of Mexican stations that target U.S. audiences.

Both the FCC and the U.S. Justice Department are investigating the sale, based on intelligence reports, that the Chinese government has the potential to control XEWW's programming through the new owner.

Formerly known as XERTA, XEAK and XEAC, the station's currnt 77, 500 watts, during the day has been a directional pattern that equated to at least 100 kW to much of California, from a transmitter site close to the border near Tijuana.

In the Sa-Diego-Los Angeles corridor, more than 600,000 people are fluent in at least one of the Chinese languages.
(DX Monitor-28 Aug)

earlier coverage of this situation

So-Cal Targeting Mexican Flipping to Chinese

A change of language is in the works for a cross-border AM station targeting the San Diego and Los Angeles markets. Grupo Latino de Radio (GLR) has informed the Federal Communications Commission that it is selling the Tijuana-based XEWW (690) and the station will flip from Spanish-language news-talk “W Radio” to a Chinese-language programming.

In a filing with the International Bureau, GLR says it has agreed to sell its equity stake in XEWW to H&H Group USA. Financial terms were not disclosed. H&H Group USA is 97% controlled by Vivian Huo, with the remaining 3% owned by Julian Sant. Both are U.S. citizens. Huo is the founder of H&H Capital Partners, a New York-based investment banking firm. The XEWW purchase is believed to be its first media-related deal. The sale, which doesn’t need FCC approval since it’s a Mexican-licensed station, is expected to close in mid-July. 

The International Bureau will however get a say in whether the Irwindale, CA-based radio team can continue to relay programming via the internet to the Mexican radio station. In a request, the company says other than ownership and programming language, the operation of the station will be similar to the permit last renewed by the FCC in June 2017. “The applicant proposes to provide a full range of Mandarin Chinese language programming,” the filing says, “including music, entertainment, weather report, local (Los Angeles) traffic report and local Chinese community news.”

Additional story at InsideRadio: 

Mexican Radio to Beam Chinese Propaganda to United States ?

U.S. probes links between buyer of Tijuana station and China's Phoenix TV
By Bill Gertz

A large Spanish-language radio station in Mexico will soon begin broadcasting in Chinese in a deal critics say will bring Beijing propaganda to Chinese Americans throughout Southern California.

A Federal Communications Commission filing on the sale of radio station XEWW AM 690 radio near Tijuana reveals the buyer has ties to Phoenix Satellite Television US, a subsidiary of Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Phoenix TV.

According to government sources, signs that Phoenix is involved in the purchase of the radio station prompted the Trump administration last week to begin an investigation into the national security implications of the sale.

Additional story at Washington Free Beacon:

China to Purchase Mexican Radio Station, Could Soon Start Blasting propaganda to U.S. Citizens 

The Trump administration has opened up an investigation into the sale of a large Spanish-language radio station in Tijuana which could have national security implications.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the FCC filing on the station XEWW AM 690 reveals the buyer of the station is linked to the Phoenix Satellite Television US, which is a subsidiary of the pro-
There are concerns that the station will begin blasting propaganda to the United States.

The station is located about 10 miles from the U.S. border.

Additional story at World News: 

Dxers Unlimited – midweek edition, 28 August 2018

By Arnie Coro CO2KK

Hola amigos radioaficionados, this is the mid-week edition of Dxers Unlimited your favorite radio hobby program. I am your host Arnie Coro, my ham radio callsign is CO2KK and yes, I certainly enjoy having this unique opportunity to share with you and others information about our wonderful hobby, yours and mine¨RADIO

By the way the most recent G3 class geomagnetic storm really took a big toll on the short wave propagation conditions, but I expect that they will make a comeback in the next several hours The information starts with a briefing about solar activity… or should I say solar lack of activity, with only very small sunspots active regions seen by observers and the daily international sunspot number was down to one point five, yes, you heard it right just less than two sunspots average associated with the also extremely low solar flux figures below 69 unitsn.

Looking at my archives I found that the month of August of 2008 went down to the history of solar monitoring with absolutely ZERO sunspot number, something that didn´t happen for many, many years of meticulous optical observations carried out by the most experienced astronomers.

And that was of course, during  solar cycle´s 23 tail end.Yes, we must no deal with another extended period of very low solar activity that during the next winter seasons will send the maximum usable frequency curve way down, as a matter of fact it may go as low as four or five MHz, during the local evening hours.

Now let me share with our radio amateur listeners and those of you that enjoy listening to hams communicating with each other on the short wave bands, information about hams that defy the bad propagation forecasts and call CQ into an otherwise absolutely empty band, only to be rewarded by a DX station coming back to the call.

It happens quite often, especially on the 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters amateur bands during periods of very low solar activity. Just to provide you with an example – a few days ago I was monitoring the 12 meters band, that spans from 24.890 to 24.990 MHz. It is one of the amateur bands that was granted to us radio hobby enthusiasts by the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference, and unfortunately it is among the least used of the HF amateur bands.

Well, to make the story short, I found a station from Colombia handling a pile up, working one station after the other and giving them nice reports. I scanned the entire 100 kHz of the band several times, and the Colombian station was the only one heard here in Havana.

Obviously, he was reaching the United States quite well because all stations that he was working where from that country. Then I prepared by QRP or very low power station, tested it about 10 kHz, up from the Colombian station, retuned back to his frequency and gave him a quick call when he ended a QSO,
and sure enough amigo, my four watts received a five-seven report of the single side band voice signal, while running a center fed dipole up at around 10 meters above the roof.

Yes, even when apparently the higher frequency amateur bands are closed, it is very often not the case. What happens is that no one is using them at that given time, and that is why it is so important to call CQ on the well-known spot frequencies for the different transmission modes.

Nowadays if you have the possibility of using the FT8 digital communications mode, by all means, use it and you will be surprised by the amazing results. As it happened to me you may be rewarded with a nice two-way contact.

Yes, you are listening to Radio Havana Cuba, the name of the show is Dxers Unlimited and get ready to listen to something really amazing, I have named it the DUMMY LOAD antenna system… and that will be explained in detail here at our technical topics section of the program.

Amazing, hard to believe, surprising, those are the words I hear when doing a practical demonstration of the antenna I am about to describe, but the fact is that despite all the odds, it does work.

Are you puzzled with what I am talking about? Want to know what it is?
Well, it is yet another version of what is known by engineers as a resistive loaded antenna system, which can be easily improvised with just a standard 50 or 75ohm dummy load, a coaxial T connector and a length of antenna wire.

I have named it the WONDER DUMMY LOAD ANTENNA The idea of using a dummy load as part of an antenna system can be traced to the very early days of radio. Our grandfathers used light bulbs as dummy loads to test their vacuum tube transmitters, and they soon found out, quite by accident  that even when their AM and CW transmitter was hooked to a 100 or 200 watt light bulb via a length of the then popular twisted pair feed line, their signals  sometimes could be heard across town, and surprisingly, they could also be heard at far away locations, while using the light bulb dummy load instead of an antenna, especially on the 10 meters band.

As many of you know well, one of the best compromise antennas, and I always  will insist in that it is a compromise antenna, the TTFD, or Tilted Terminated Folded Dipole, uses a terminating non inductive resistor and although it has losses that may amount up to 10 dB and even higher at the lower frequencies, many users install them for the convenience of not having to invest in an antenna farm. 

The real advantage of the resistive loaded antenna is that you can change frequencies fast, and if the antenna is well designed, the standing wave ratio will be reasonably low, so that the automatic antenna tuners used at those professional installations really don’t have to work very hard to bring the radio to maximum power output.

Now with the antenna I am describing here at Dxers Unlimited today, the concept of a resistive loaded antenna is carried a step further, by using a terminating resistor that is a perfect match to the coaxial line.

That means that a 50 ohm dummy load resistor is connected to the coaxial cable coming from the rig using a T type coaxial fitting, then to the free end of the T type fitting, you simply connect a random length of wire and start testing !!!

Amazing as this may seem, it works! And to test the concept you will only need a coaxial T fitting, a length of coaxial cable and a dummy load resistor capable of dissipating whatever power you want the transmitter to deliver to this rather unique antenna system... NOW, this is not an April’s fool joke, … remember we are in August ... and all what has been described so far about this unique antenna is absolutely field tested by yours truly, under the most diverse circumstances. .

The incentive behind using this dummy load plus wire unique radiating system is no other than experimenting, and at the same time, this might be a useful approach if you want to avoid problems with your solid-state rig’s final output transistors while using a stealth antenna!

During the recent Hurricane Irma emergency, I installed a DUMMY LOAD PLUS WIRE ANTENNA, that consisted of a 50 ohms dummy load rated for 100 Watts continuous service and 15 meters of number 10 copper wire, and of course a T coaxial connector… The length of the coaxial cable from the transceiver to the dummy load was 10 meters, and the dummy load was located below the 500 gallons water tank on my reinforced concrete roof top.

The wire was extended from there and tied to one of my towers…. the antenna worked very well on both the 20 and 40 meters band. As expected the standing wave ratio reading was a perfect one to one, and all stations to which I contacted were surprised to hear about the extremely rare type of antenna that I was using.

And now amigos as always at the end of the show, here is Arnie Coro´s Dxers Unlimited´s HF plus low band VHF propagation update and forecast….

I expect that soon we will see the appearance of the yet to be fully explained by scientists trans equatorial propagation openings that bring VHF signals across the equator with amazing regularity every year and without any connection to the solar cycle.

Send your signal reports and comments to and via Air Mail to Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana Cuba.
(Arnie Corro CO2KK) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

NRC AM Radio Log 39th Edition is now available

The National Radio Club, the world’s oldest and largest broadcast band DX club, is proud to announce the publication of the 39th edition of the AM Radio Log.
he AM Radio Log is a source for information on AM radio stations in the United States and Canada. It contains 302 pages of data and cross references and 12 pages of instructions in 8 1/2ʺ x 11ʺ size, 3-hole punched, U.S. loose leaf format. It fits nicely into a 1ʺ three-ring binder. 10,000+ updates since last yearʹs 38th edition of the Log!

New for this year is a cross reference by State/Province in frequency order – ideal for targeting needed areas. Additional reference lists include call letters of FM simulcasts, listings of regional
groups of stations, a cross reference of those stations that are licensed to use IBOC digital audio, and a comprehensive list of FM translators that are simulcasting with AM broadcasters.

To the United States (Priority Mail):
NRC members $26.95, non-members $32.95
To Canada (Global Priority Mail):
members/non-members US$40.25
Outside US/Canada (Global Priority Mail):
members/non-members US$51.25
Order by snail mail by check or money order in US
funds to National Radio Club, PO Box 473251, Aurora,
CO 80047-3251, USA or order by using your PayPal account at

TWR with Superpower on Bonaire

The government administration on Curacao Island had been very gracious and very generous to TWR, and the same courteous attitude was again demonstrated towards TWR by the government administration on the nearby island of Bonaire.  In fact, a total of one square mile of island territory was made available for TWR usage.

            The studio and office building were erected near the west coast, a little north of the main town of
Kralendijk, directly opposite the tourist hotel, Hotel Bonaire.  The transmitter building was erected likewise near the west coast of the island, half way between Kralendijk and the southern tip of the island, right against the tidal salt flats with their Pink Flamingos.
            The first transmitter on the air at TWR Bonaire was the Continental 500 kW on 800 kHz.   This massive transmitter was inaugurated at 1:00 am on Thursday August 13, 1964, as the highest powered mediumwave transmitter in the Western Hemisphere.
            Electrical power came from their own generators, two 16 cylinder diesels with Westinghouse generators each one weighing 45 tons, providing at a total power output of 3.2 megawatts.  The programming came from the studio site via an FM program link, and over a period of time, programming in generally five languages was broadcast; English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German. 
            One important daily program on mediumwave was a local marine weather forecast, at 20 minutes past each hour.  Then too, Radio Netherlands from Hilversum in Holland took out a regular program relay over TWR superpower mediumwave during the years 1965 to 1977, a total of twelve and a half years.   
            Six months after the TWR mediumwave and shortwave complex was taken into regular service, an official opening ceremony was conducted at the Studio & Office Building complex on  February 25, 1965.  Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands was the official guest, and she honored TWR during the occasion of this, her official visit to the Netherlands Antilles.
            In June 1972, a new antenna system was installed on the 24 acre transmitter site, with a main tower surrounded by four smaller towers in a parasitic arrangement.  The well known Arthur Cushen in Invercargill New Zealand reported a nicely enhanced signal from the superpower mediumwave station on 800 kHz in the Caribbean.
            In 1987, after a total of nearly twenty three years of on air service, the original 500 kW Continental transmitter was removed and replaced by another unit of similar power.  However this newly installed unit was a used transmitter, manufactured by BBC in Switzerland and previously on air with Capital Radio in the Transkei republic in southern Africa for just a few years.  Still superpower at 500 kW though and still on 800 kHz.
            Shortwave transmissions on TWR Bonaire ended six years later on June 30, 1993, though the super power mediumwave unit continued in regular service.  Then four years later again (1997), a 50 kW Omnitronix from North Wales in Pennsylvania was installed.  As an economy move, the new 50 kW was in use during the day and the 500 kW was on the air at night.
            Then a further two years later (1999), a 100 kW Nautel from Nova Scotia in Canada was installed as an economy replacement for the 500 kW BBC unit that had previously been on the air in southern Africa.  We are informed that the BBC unit was shipped overseas, but where to?  That’s an interesting question.  However, that was the end of superpower on Bonaire, at least temporarily.
            According to James O’Neal, writing in the May 9 (2018) issue of Radio World in the United States, TWR on Bonaire procured a new 440 kW mediumwave transmitter, again from Nautel in Nova Scotia, Canada; and Kintronic in New York modified the existing antenna system.  The electronic equipment was shipped to Bonaire in eight crates at a total weight of two tons.
            This brand new highly efficient superpower mediumwave transmitter at a total cost of $4 million was dedicated in a special ceremony on January 30 earlier this year (2018).  Yes, TWR is back again, as the superpower mediumwave giant in the Western Hemisphere, with 440 kW on 800 kHz.
TWR website sound English TWR 800 kHz 800 AM Dutch Spanish

The Highest Powered MW Station in the Western Hemisphere - TWR Bonaire Projected Locations

On previous occasions here in Wavescan, we have presented the story of three medium wave stations that have been at some stage, the highest powered medium wave station in the Southern Hemisphere.  
These three stations were 2CO Corowa and 5CK Crystal Brook both in Australia, and 2YA in Wellington New Zealand.

            In our program today, we take a look at Part 1 in the story of another high powered mediumwave station, not this time in the Southern Hemisphere, but rather in the Western Hemisphere.  This interesting station is located on the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, and it is operated by TWR, Trans World Radio.
            It is true that there were several attempts at implementing super power on mediumwave in North America back during the 1930s.  The most famous cases in the United States were KDKA in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with 400 kW, WGY Schenectady New York with 500 kW, and the big daddy of them all WLW Cincinnati Ohio with even up to 1,000 kW, one megawatt.  Several mediumwave stations in Mexico also shared in the superpower race on mediumwave back during that same era. 
            However these days, the highest power on mediumwave in Canada and the United States is 50 kW, though in Mexico and South America there is a handful of mediumwave stations on the the air with a power of 100 kW and 250 kW.  Above that power level, TWR Bonaire stands out with prominence.  This is their story.
            Let’s go back to the beginning!  It was back in the year 1954 that the Freed family embarked on a new venture installing and operating a Christian shortwave station in Tangier, North Africa.  Six years later (1960) the project was transferred to a larger facility in Monte Carlo on the Mediterranean coast of continental Europe.  Soon afterwards, their attention was drawn to establishing a similar station for coverage in Latin America.
            In fact at that stage, TWR purchased at a very good price an old shortwave transmitter that had previously been on the air with the Voice of America near Cincinnati in Ohio.  This transmitter had been obtained by TWR apparently for installation somewhere in the Middle Americas.
            A comparison with known dates for VOA in the Cincinnati area reveals that this transmitter that TWR procured was either WLWK, a 50 kW composite unit installed in 1940, or WLWO a 75 kW Crosley unit installed in 1941, and probably the latter.  These two transmitters were installed at what became the VOA relay station at Mason (not Bethany) Ohio in the Crosley transmitter building on the north side of Tylersville Road.  These two transmitters radiated through two re-entrant rhombic antennas located on Everybody’s Farm on the south side of Tylersville Road, almost opposite the Crosley mediumwave station WLW.
            However, the WLW shortwave transmitter that TWR procured was never taken into service, and instead it was sold off and the funding was then used for the purchase of more modern equipment.  It is not known who the new buyer was for this historic shortwave transmitter, nor if it was ever placed on the air again at another location.
            In 1962, TWR filed an application with the FCC for a 250 kW shortwave station near Vega Baja in the middle of the north coast of the American island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean.  Nothing else is known about this projected TWR radio station, though it is referred to in at least two historic references; one of Jerome Berg’s shortwave history books and also in the Australian monthly magazine, Radio and Hobbies.
            In Book 2 of his quadrilogy on shortwave radio history, the noted radio historian Jerome Berg of suburban Boston refers to the projected TWR shortwave station in Puerto Rico.  Then also in the same paragraph, he also states that TWR gave consideration to establishing an international radio broadcasting station on Curacao, a Dutch island in the Caribbean.
            A promotional  brochure from Trans World Radio states that work had already begun on the construction of a radio building on Curacao and that the delivery of all of the electronic equipment from Continental in Dallas Texas was expected in October (1963).  A similar statement is made by Arthur Cushen in New Zealand in his monthly radio column in the June (1963) issue of the Australian magazine Radio & Hobbies.
            However, this reported information may have been more aspirational than practical, because an analysis of subsequent historic information reveals the fact that very little work on the TWR station on Curacao Island had actually been implemented.  Due to the proximity of the international airport to the projected location for the new shortwave and mediumwave station, the TWR project on Curacao was cancelled and transferred instead onto another of the islands in the Netherlands Antilles, Bonaire Island.  
            That’s our story next week: TWR Superpower on Bonaire

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Shortwave Radiogram slated for Wednesday broadcast

Hello friends,

Shortwave Radiogram just had a miserable weekend, given the technical mishaps and very poor propagation.

As compensation, Shortwave Radiogram program 62 will be transmitted one more time, Wednesday (tomorrow), 1800-1830 UTC, on 6070 kHz, via Channel 292 in Germany. This is just before Slow Scan Radio at 1830-1900 UTC, also on 6070 kHz.

Outside of Europe, this broadcast can be received via ; or other SDRs in Europe.

I hope you can tune in.


Radio France International frequency updates

Effective: 02 September 2018

All times UTC

0400-0500 on 11700 ISS 500 kW / 137 deg to ECAf French till Sept.1
0400-0500 on  9620 ISS 500 kW / 137 deg to ECAf French from Sept.2
1200-1230 on 13730 ISS 500 kW / 198 deg to WeAf Mandingo Mon-Fri till Sept.1
1200-1230 on 17815 ISS 500 kW / 198 deg to WeAf Mandingo Mon-Fri from Sept.2
1200-1300 on 13740 ISS 500 kW / 200 deg to NWAf French till Sept.1
1200-1300 on 15300 ISS 500 kW / 200 deg to NWAf French from Sept.2
1200-1300 on 13855 ISS 500 kW / 180 deg to NWAf French till Sept.1
1200-1300 on 15390 ISS 500 kW / 180 deg to WCAf French from Sept.2
1600-1700 on 13690 ISS 500 kW / 170 deg to WCAf Hausa till Sept.1
1600-1700 on 15670 ISS 500 kW / 170 deg to WCAf Hausa from Sept.2
(DX Bulgaria)

Radio Edit: Tools can help you listen to shortwave radio

By Steve Marlow

The idea of using computers to make receiving international radio signals easier has been around since the 1970s. It was only in the ‘90s when governments and military forces began using the technology in force, and only in the last few years that the technology has become available and affordable for the general population.

Software-defined radios, or SDRs, combine the utility of analog shortwave radio and the precision of modern computing. An analog radio receiver can be teamed with a computer via a sound card and analog-to-digital coupler to make international radio signals — which are sometimes plagued with noise, interference and static — cleaner and easier to hear.

Additional article on the benefits of SDR radios at:

International broadcasting: not so simple as ABC

a followup to Australian senate rejects bill to restore ABC shortwave, posted 27 August 2018

Australia’s international voice, once strong, influential and broadcast across much of the Asia-Pacific, has become little more than a croak into the ether.

Substantial cuts to funding, waning government commitment, changing national priorities, and digital disruption have resulted in Australia becoming something akin to a fringe broadcaster at a time when our region faces sweeping geopolitical, social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Despite punishing financial and staffing “efficiencies”, particularly since 2014, the national broadcaster still manages to transmit a 24/7 digital multi-platform international service (radio, television, and online) to the region. But the ABC’s role, impact, and commitment to international audiences has been diminishing for two decades now, and markedly so in recent years.

The model that has sustained almost 80 years of Australian international broadcasting is no longer up to the task, and its effectiveness – as prescribed by the ABC Charter – must now be seriously questioned. Our ability to project a vision of ourselves to the Asia-Pacific region has undeniably diminished with the decline of the ABC’s international service.

The Australian Government is currently in the midst of a Review of Australian Broadcasting Services in the Asia-Pacific which is assessing the reach and effectiveness of Australia’s media in the region. Some submissions to this review will argue for additional funds to be made available to the ABC as a means of rejuvenating and enlarging its now-modest international broadcasting effort.

Additional story at the interpreter: 

Monday, August 27, 2018

One station left in Russia to monitor on shortwave

Once a powerhouse on shortwave, Russia has one station left to hear. 

Adygey Radio (GTRK Adygeya) is currently the only Russian regional station still broadcasting on shortwave. They hire the nearby Krasnodar (Armavir) transmitter site as follows:

All times UTC

1800-1900 Mon 6000-arm 100 kW to ME in Adyghe/Arabic/Turkish
1800-1900 Fri 6000-arm 100 kW to ME in Adyghe
1900-2000 Sun 6000-arm 100 kW to ME in Adyghe

The Adygey Republic is a small autonomous republic in the North Caucasus, within the Russian Federation. It has a population of around 440,000. It has its own language, Adgyghe, and you can also hear some very distinctive music from here during these broadcasts.
(Dave Kenny-UK, BrDXC-UK ng "Communication" monthly magazine Aug 2018,
Edition 525; direct, and via Anatoly Klepov-RUS, RUSdx #991/Top News 1353)

Radio Sakha remains silent on shortwave, from 27 April, 2018, broadcasting on HF has been terminated due to the stoppage of funding.

Radio and TV Marti's New Attempt to Penetrate Cuba

HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government warned on Thursday against Radio and TV Marti’s new attempt to begin broadcasting its programming on the island starting on August 13, the birthdate of the late Fidel Castro, according to the official Cubadebate website.

The government denounces that “radioelectric attacks affect the normal functioning of national telecommunications and directly violate the letter and spirit of numerous international agreements.”

The warning responds to the announcement of the new director of the Office of Transmissions to Cuba (OCB, for its acronym in English), Tomas Regalado, that Radio and TV Martí will “soon” be throughout Cuba, without interference and in high definition, notes dpa news.

“Millions of dollars of US taxpayers money is wasted every year to try to take the propaganda from Miami to Cuban territory. All the methods tried thus far clashed with the effectiveness of the authorities to block the signals, which constitute a violation of international standards for the use of radioelectric space,” says the article in Cubadebate.

Additional story at Havana Times:

Australian senate rejects bill to restore ABC shortwave

The bill would have required the ABC to restore its shortwave transmission services which the broadcaster ended in January this year.

This move was described in the bill as having deprived communities in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and other parts of the Pacific of access to reliable emergency broadcasting.
Submitters of the bill questioned the ABC's assertions that very few listeners accessed Radio Australia's shortwave service.

Concerns of the submitters included perceived neglect of remote communities in the Pacific, and the loss of capacity for emergency warning broadcasts.

They also appealed to Australia's own regional interests, warning of the potential loss of an avenue for diplomacy and "soft power" in the Pacific.

But the senate committee concluded that the measures proposed in the bill were not an appropriate way to address the concerns raised about the end of the shortwave services.
However the committee's decision came with some dissenting reports.

In one of them, Senator Nick Xenophon described the decision to shut down ABC shortwave as a significant foreign policy failure."The board cannot really be blamed for this oversight; foreign policy is a responsibility of the whole of government," he said."In allowing the ABC Board to shut down ABC shortwave, the government has failed."

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 Aug 27 0539 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC contact
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 20 - 26 August 2018

Solar activity was at very low levels. Regions 2719 (S07, L=131,  class/area Cro/040 on 23 Aug) and 2720 (N08, L=136, class/area Dao/100 on 25 Aug) developed on the solar disk on 18 Aug and 23 Aug respectively. Both regions were responsible for several low level B-class flares. The largest was a B4 flare at 25/1048 UTC from Region 2720. Other activity included two coronal mass ejections
(CME) observed on 19 and 20 Aug. The first was a narrow CME off the SW limb at 19/0812 UTC in SOHO/LASCO C2 imagery. The CME originated from a filament eruption near S09W06 at 19/0542 UTC. The latter CME was caused by a filament eruption at approximately 20/1100 UTC from
the NW quadrant. An associated faint partial halo CME was observed off the W/SW limb at 20/2136 UTC in C2 imagery. WSA/ENLIL modelling of the events showed only weak effects from possible glancing blows late on 21 Aug and late on 24 Aug.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels throughout the period. The largest flux of the period was 10,300 pfu observed at 21/2150 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to G3 (Strong) geomagnetic storm levels. The period began under the influence of a negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Solar
wind speeds were elevated to near 670 km/s with total field initially at 12 nT on 20 Aug. By 21 Aug, solar wind speed was in decline while total field was at 5 nT or less. Solar wind slowly decreased over the next few days as nominal conditions were reached by 23 Aug. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to active levels on 20 Aug, quiet to unsettled levels on 21-22 Aug and quiet
levels on 23 Aug. By 24 Aug, a small discontinuity could be seen in the total field. A small increase to 7 nT was observed at 24/1116 UTC while the Bz component deflected southward to -6 nT, however the solar wind speed continued to decrease to near 325 km/s by the end of the day. As a result, quiet to unsettled levels were observed on 24 Aug. By 25 Aug, solar wind speed increased briefly to 460 km/s at 25/1305 UTC before declining once again, however total field began
to increase beginning at 25/1210 UTC as effects from the 20 Aug CME were beginning. By 26 Aug, total field increased to 18 nT and remained there for approximately 12 hours. The Bz component was
mostly negative reaching a maximum of -17 nT for approximately 24 hours beginning at 25/1600 UTC. Solar wind speed once again showed an increase at 26/0730 UTC from 370 km/s to near 550 km/s by the periods end as the solar wind stream was transitioning into a positive polarity CH HSS. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to active levels on 25 Aug and unsettled to G3 (Strong) storm levels on 26 Aug.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 27 August - 22 September 2018

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels with a slight chance for C-class flare activity on 27-29 Aug and again on 11-22 Sep as Regions 2719 and 2720 return to the visible disk. Very low
levels are expected for the rest of the forecast period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at high levels on 27 Aug-03 Sep, 12-15 Sep, and again on 17-19 Sep due to recurrent CH HSS influence.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 27-30 Aug, 01-02 Sep, 07 Sep, 11-17 Sep, and 22 Sep with G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels expected early on 27 Aug due to CH HSS activity.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2018 Aug 27 0539 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC contact
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2018-08-27
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 Aug 27      69          18          5
2018 Aug 28      69           8          3
2018 Aug 29      69           8          3
2018 Aug 30      67           8          3
2018 Aug 31      67           5          2
2018 Sep 01      67           8          3
2018 Sep 02      67           8          3
2018 Sep 03      67           5          2
2018 Sep 04      67           5          2
2018 Sep 05      67           5          2
2018 Sep 06      67           5          2
2018 Sep 07      67           8          3
2018 Sep 08      67           5          2
2018 Sep 09      67           5          2
2018 Sep 10      68           5          2
2018 Sep 11      68          15          4
2018 Sep 12      69          15          4
2018 Sep 13      70          12          4
2018 Sep 14      70          12          4
2018 Sep 15      70          10          3
2018 Sep 16      70          12          4
2018 Sep 17      70           8          3
2018 Sep 18      70           5          2
2018 Sep 19      70           5          2
2018 Sep 20      70           5          2
2018 Sep 21      70           5          2
2018 Sep 22      70          12          4

Saturday, August 25, 2018

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules, August 26-Sept. 1

From the Isle of Music, August 26-September 1:

Our special guest this week is José Dos Santos, one of Cuba's foremost living experts on Jazz, the Producer of La Esquina del Jazz, a fine radio program on CMBF, and Editor in Chief of D'Cubajazz, the most important website about Jazz in Cuba.
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, Sunday, August 26 & Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Episode 77 is a musical mystery box. What's in it? That would be telling....
The broadcasts 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