Monday, January 30, 2012


Review of the A12 HFCC Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
By Dr. Jerry Plummer, WWCR and George Ross, KTWR

Courtesy : National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters

HFCC A12 - Opening remarks by Oldrich Cip, chairman HFCC

Few more HFCC A12 public files are available at :

Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi

Saturday, January 28, 2012

AIR Puducherry commissions new txer

Puducherry AIR`s FM channel commissions new transmitter

Puducherry station of All India Radio (AIR) today
commissioned a state of art new 10 kW transmitter installed at a cost of Rs
2.25 crores. The transmitter of FM channel would provide superior quality
of broadcast of its programme, a release said. The transmitter would help
the channel expand its reach over a radius of 80 kms covering listeners in
Puducherry and neighbouring Tamil Nadu districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram
and Tiruvannamalai, the release said.
Alokesh Gupta Via PTI

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First radio broadcast of speech and music in Bulgaria

Bulgarian National Radio The first reports about transmission of wireless telegraph radio signals in this country go back to 1903 when the Sofia military garrison made such broadcasts. The first official Bulgarian radio transmitter was operational in the early 1911 on board the Nadezhda cruiser off the Varna coast. A radio telegraph station opened in 1914 in Sofia too, and later three other stations with smaller capacities were launched in the capital's vicinity. 

All transmitters used the Morse code for transmission and reception and were of the so-called spark-gap type. At the time they operated it was impossible to listen to any foreign radio stations with speech and music in their vicinity resulting from the powerful jamming created by the spark-gap transmitter. In 1926 the authorities decided to buy new radio telegraph transmitters for dislocation in Sofia. A tender was held that was won by the British company Marconi Wireless. It delivered the devices and in 1929 they were already functioning. 

One of them was for telegraph and telephone communications on long waves at a frequency of 105 kHz, and the other two – on shortwave on 7460 and 14970 kHz, for radiotelegraphy. In 1929 Bulgaria had more than 2000 radio subscribers. They listened to speech and music from foreign countries as there was no Bulgarian transmitter available. Under international agreements a Bulgarian transmitter should have the frequency of 1390 kHz, but following the conference in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929, that frequency changed to 940 kHz. 

While the authorities failed to act for the purchase of a transmitter for speech and music, some enthusiasts from the army's radio-technological service decided to carry out the job. In 1929 a group of military technicians led by Georgi Vulkov assembled a radio transmitter for broadcasts of speech and music. Georgi Vulkov was a Bulgarian born in 1902 in Tulchea in present-day Romania. He had graduated from a polytechnic in Germany in 1917 and worked as a radio technician in the army. In 1935 he assembled his own telegraph radio transmitter and came in radio contact with telegraphers from all continents. And so we come to the date of 24 November 1929 when at 9 am Bulgarian time on 210 m or 1429 kHz the words, "Radio Sofia calling" were heard on the air. 

This has been recognized as the first radio broadcast in the history of Bulgaria. In the days that followed broadcasts were carried on 350 m or 857 kHz. For the transmission of the programs a receiver antenna 50 m long and 14 m high, was used positioned on the roof of the barracks. The power for the radio transmitter came from a petrol motor with a generator. The transmitter itself was equipped with two Marconi radio bulbs with a capacity of 80 watts each. This was how radio broadcasting in Bulgaria started. It continued using the transmitter of the civil association Rodno Radio (Native Radio). In 1935 the radio became the monopoly of the state.  

Latest issues of SWN and DXW for free download

The homepage of the Danish Shortwave Club International ( has

been updated as follows:

A present to our not-yet-members:

The latest issues of Shortwave News (January 2012) and DX Window (No. 445)

can be downloaded for free as sample issues at :

or these direct links :

SWN Jan 2012

DXW 445

(Rolf Wernli, Danish Shortwave Club International)

India's Radio One, partly BBC owned, will switch from Hindi to "English/International."

"New Year has brought a baggage full of surprises for the radio and music industry. 94.3 Radio One, a joint venture between Next Mediaworks Ltd and BBC worldwide has taken a giant leap to go international in the two metros; Delhi and Mumbai. Radio One MD Vineet Singh Hukmani in conversation with, reveals the business strategy behind the huge change in the two metros, stresses on the fact that there is a huge market for an English radio station and claims that the station will offer better ROI to advertisers. Excerpts: Q: Radio One is going English in Delhi and Mumbai… VSH: We researched clients and listeners about what they thought were the problems in radio and we got a clear answer; all radio stations sound the same. We had begun to correct this problem across our markets but now the change we make will be highly audible in Mumbai and Delhi. We want Radio One to be different, intelligent, international and involving to 'English speaking' Indians who have a global outlook. Q: Do you think there is a market for an English FM station in the highly dominated Bollywood music culture? VSH: There is a huge misconception about English per say in radio circles. Famous speeches like 'freedom at midnight' or 'tryst with destiny' by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru were made in English on radio. Indians today 'thrive' globally because of their comfort with English as against the Chinese or many other 'non English adopting' countries. So if English or an international feel can do well in infotainment in Print, TV, Internet, Cinema, Outdoor then WHY NOT IN RADIO?. The audience is ready. The radio medium is lagging behind on this front and we aim to correct it. English / International beckons with open arms! The listener and advertiser have already embraced it in other media and they will do so in Radio too." (, 10 Jan 2012)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mahabalipuram Ham meet - 2012

10th Eyeball meet (Maha meet ) @ Mahabalipuram  

Date    : 11th February 2012 (second  Saturday)
Time   : 09 am to 04.30pm
Venue : Hotel Mahabs , East Raja Street,  Mahabalipuram     
                        (opposite to Mahabalipuram main bus stand, behind SBI ATM)
Phone No       : 044 - 27442645 & 43 (rooms are available and make your own arrangements)
Mobile No      : +91 9444283695 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +91 9444283695      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
 N O   D E L E G A T E   F E E
 For boarding and lodging please make your own arrangement. (OM Vittal, VU2VIT)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

RFI's The Sound Kitchen Quiz

This week's question is about a birthday, that of South Africa's African National Congress, the ANC, founded 100 years ago. The ANC is South Africa's governing party and has been since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994. But the ANC was not always called the ANC … the name was changed in 1923.

My question to you is, what was the original name of the ANC, founded on 8 January, 1912, in Bloemfontein, South Africa?

Send me your answer by 13 February; the answer and the winners will be announced on the 18 February programme. Be sure you send your postal address in with your answer … and be sure and tell me if you are a Mr. or a Mrs. or a Ms. or a Miss – I don't want to get it wrong!

Send your answers to:
Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
BP 9516
75016 Paris

Valentine's Day is just around the corner … send in your musical request and dedication for your sweetheart!
And remember, it's not just the quiz which wins you a prize. If your essay goes on the air, you'll find a package in the mail from the Sound Kitchen. Write in about your community heroes – the people in your community who are quietly working to make the world a better place, in whatever way they can.

I am still looking for your "This I Believe" essays, too. Tell us about the principles that guide your life … what you have found to be true from your very own personal experience. Or write in with your most memorable moment, and/or your proudest achievement.

Send your mini book reviews, your musical requests, your secret "guilty" pleasure (mine's chocolate!), your tricks for remembering things, your favourite quotations and proverbs, descriptions of the local festivals you participate in, or just your general all-around thoughts to:

Include a phone number, if you can. I'd like to call you and put you on-the-air … and send you a thank-you gift for participating.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

All the best, 

(Source : Radio France International)

Sri Lankan hams meet

The Sri Lankan hams meet daily for an informal rag-chew on SSB Lower Side Band on

7060 kHz anytime between 0200-0245 UTC. 

(Via Viktor Ji FB)

“Radio Monitoring – A How To Guide” Available As Free Download

3rd Edition of "Radio Monitoring – A How To Guide" Available As Free Download

Author Skip Arey is now offering his third edition of the popular "Radio Monitoring – A How To Guide" as a free download via the NASWA website. This guide was originally published by Index Publishing Group and later released by Paladin Press–it had two very successful editions that sold for many years.
The guide recently went out of print but Skip has released it on line (for FREE) via Creative Commons license.
You can download a copy thanks to the North American Shortwave Association (NASWA) who have consented to be the primary online source for distribution. The direct link is .
On Skip's Facebook page, he said, "The hobby has been good to me over the years. I am happy to give this book back to
the radio community. Enjoy."
Thanks Skip! We will enjoy your fine publication.

Shortwave Radio Buying Guide - 2012's 2012 Holiday Shortwave Radio Buying Guide

Would you like to buy a shortwave radio as a gift, but don't know a thing about radios? Or want help leaving a hint for Santa or Ms. Claus? 
Following, you'll find a handful of select radios I recommend for this gift-giving season. I've arranged this selection by price, starting with the most affordable.
This quick guide is basic, non-technical, and to the point. For more comprehensive reviews, please consult our Radio Reviews page.
Updated for the 2011-12 holiday season on 23 November 2011.

High-tech stocking-stuffer

The Degen DE321 ($21 US)
Don't be fooled by looks: the Degen DE321 is not your dad's portable shortwave radio. Behind the analog face hides cutting-edge DSP (digital signal processing) technology that makes this slim cell-phone-sized radio a quirky yet pleasing portable.  The impact upon your wallet will be slim, as well:  this radio will set you back only $21 bucks. One additional note to tuck away–don't hesitate to order the DE321 if you want to put it in your sweetheart's Christmas stocking. There's an approximate two week delivery time, as this radio can only be ordered from vendors in Hong Kong, and airmail doesn't come with a confirmation date. [Read our recent full review of the DE321 if you want more details about this little radio.]

Pint size performer

When I flew cross-country to visit a friend on the coast of British Columbia earlier this year, I had very limited space in my carry-on bag. I required a radio companion of a modest size, one that performs well on all bands–not just the shortwaves–for I intended to listen to local and distant AM (medium wave) stations, too. My choice was simple:  the Tecsun PL-380.  This little radio is affordable, compact, and has (especially with the aid of headphones) excellent audio. It's powered by a pretty innovative DSP chip that helps pull stations out of the static, as well.
Keep in mind, if you're planning to purchase any Tecsun product, to allow at least a two week delivery time, especially if ordering from eBay.  Occasionally, Kaito (the US distributor of the PL-380) will sell some stock on eBay; in this case, delivery is quicker and the unit carries a US warranty.
Purchase a PL-380:

Best performance for price

The Tecsun PL-600 ($70.00 US)
Simply put, the Tecsun PL-600 offers the best bang for your buck in 2011. The PL-600 is not the newest offering from Tecsun; in fact, it's a model that has been on the market for several years. (Tecsun's PL-660 is basically the updated version of the PL-600.) For $60, though, you get a very capable, sensitive and selective portable shortwave radio with SSB capabilities and nifty auto-tune features. I liken its performance to the legendary and highly-regarded Grundig G5 (which is no longer in production).
The PL-600 is easy to use, has reasonable audio fidelity from the built-in speaker, and sports a display with all of the essential elements for casual shortwave listening or hard-core DXing. I have found the quality of Tecsun radios to be superb. The PL-600 is a great size/weight for portability–it will easily fit into a suitcase or carry-on–it is not, however, a pocket radio.
The Tecsun PL-600 would make an excellent first radio for the beginner or seasoned radio listener. Click here to read full specs and links to other reviews of the PL-600 in the Shortwave Radio Index.
Purchase the PL-600:

It's like a PL-600 on steroids

The Tecsun PL-660 ($100-120 US)
Okay, so forget everything I said about the PL-600 if you're able and willing to invest another $50-60 into your radio gift. The beefier Tecsun PL-660 is new to the market in 2011 and has quickly gained the respect of the shortwave community. It is, in essence, an updated version of the PL-600, with improved performance, sync detection, a band for listening to aircraft, and RDS for displaying FM radio station info. As with other Tecsuns, eBay sellers provide better pricing, but Kaito does sell these radios on as well. If you purchase from Ebay, do so at least two weeks in advance of gift-giving time–again, these radios make a trip from Hong Kong via airmail.
Purchase the PL-660:

Performance, Audio Fidelity and Simplicity

The Grundig S450DLX  ($100 US)
This large portable (along with the C.Crane SW) is still my first pick for someone who wants excellent radio performance, but also wants a radio that is simple and straight-foward, with ease of use in mind (i.e., grandparents, children, your uncle who gets muddled by the TV's remote control).  It comes with an owner's manual, but you most likely won't need it.  The S450DLX has robust, room-filling sound. Ergonomics are excellent, and it sports a large, comfortable tuning knob. Audio performance is very good and enhanced by its large front-facing speaker. This is not a pocket or travel portable, rather a tabletopportable.  The S450DLX will please both the beginner and seasoned radio listener.

Quality and classic performance

The Sony ICF-SW7600GR
This Sony shortwave radio is a classic, with solid, time-tested performance, and features to please both the beginner and the seasoned radio enthusiast. I like to include different radios each year in the gift guide, but the Sony ICF-SW7600GR is on the list again this year.  It's probably the only radio on this list that isn't made in China–it's made in Japan!–and is built, as one of my ham buddies says, "like a brick toilet." (Ahem, just meaning that it's sturdy and reliable).  The '7600 will deliver some of the best performance that you'll find in a portable on this page. At $120-150 US, it's not the cheapest on the market, but certainly one of the best. I regret that its days are limited as Sony pulls out of the shortwave market; but mark my words, this one will become a classic.

Chase DX

The Alinco DX-R8T
The Alinco DX-R8T is new to the market in 2011. We reviewed it, in detail, only recently; in short, it impressed us. It's full-featured, performs well, and comes at a very affordable price. If you're buying this for a ham radio operator, they'll understand the reason why the Alinco DX-R8T needs a 12 volt power supply and an external antenna. It's a receiver version of a ham radio transceiver–as such, it does a fine job on SSB modes.

Crazy money? Crazy performance

The Ten-Tec RX-340 ($4,450.00 US)
Let's face it, these are tough economic times. So, you may be wondering why I would put a radio in this list that's priced the same as two Tata Nano passenger cars. Why? Because, if you have the money, I promise the performance of the RX-340 is not likely to disappoint even the most discerning of radio listeners. It is a textbook-perfect, 12.5 lb. example of form following function.  Heavy, man.  But it is very, very good.  Sure, you could buy two hundred (and eleven) lightweight Degen DE321s for that kind of money, but who wants that many portables cluttering up the den when you could lounge by the fire and tune in an RX-340 instead?  Close your eyes, sip your favorite scotch, and just…listen to the world.
If you doubt me, Check out our RX-340 page in the Shortwave Radio Index. It's chock-full of stellar reviews on this radio work-of-art.