Radio St. Helena: November 4, 2006

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Brian Smith,  who notes:

Beginning in 1990, Radio St. Helena was known for transmitting an international shortwave radio broadcast only once a year -- and sometimes not even that -- on a frequency of 11092.5 kHz USB. I managed to hear its 2006 broadcast to North America for about an hour on Nov. 4 and 5 UTC (straddling the 0000 hour).

Because of its relatively low power, it was never an easy catch in the American Midwest. That's why this recording, which lasts just over an hour -- I spliced together both sides of a cassette -- captures a signal quality that is merely fair at best. But that was typical of Radio St. Helena, whose 1 kw signal in 2006 (it was 1.5 kw in the 1990s) seldom packed much of a punch.

I was listening on the borrowed rig of a now-deceased friend, Mike Koss, W9SU, and have long since forgotten the type of radio (probably a ham rig) he let me use. However, if memory serves, it was attached to a Beverage antenna that stretched across his 10-acre property in the heart of Indianapolis.

Mike deserves the lion's share of the credit for the creation of this recording.

Thanks for sharing such a rare recording, Brian!

Radio Cook Islands (Recording #2 Mediumwave): circa 1993

Two engineers from Radio Cook Islands, photographed during my visit in April, 1993. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

Two engineers from Radio Cook Islands, photographed during my visit in April, 1993. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

The following is the second recording of Radio Cook Islands by SRAA contributor, Guy Atkins. Click here to read the recording description and original post.

Recording 2: Radio Cook Islands

Notes: “Party Time” music request show; weather; local ads; more music.

Radio Cook Islands (Recording #1 Mediumwave): circa 1993

A view from the driveway entrance to the Radio Cook Islands studio in 1993. Insulators on an antenna (T2FD or multiband dipole) can be seen as dark spots against the cloudy sky. A feedline is also seen rising above the left side of the building. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

A view from the driveway entrance to the Radio Cook Islands studio in 1993. Insulators on an antenna (T2FD or multiband dipole) can be seen as dark spots against the cloudy sky. A feedline is also seen rising above the left side of the building. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

SRAA contributor, Guy Atkins, writes:

In 1993 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Rarotonga with my wife, courtesy of a nice award through my company which afforded me an all-expenses-paid trip anywhere we’d like to go.

I chose the South Pacific island of Rarotonga, partly because I wanted to visit Radio Cook Islands after listening to their “island music” on 11760 and 15170 kHz through my teenage years.

During our visit to the island I recorded 90+ minutes of RCI on 630 kHz with a local quality signal using a Grundig Satellit 500 and a Marantz PMD-221 recorder.

Sadly, RCI will likely never be on shortwave again; a fire in the local tele-comm building a few months before my 1993 visit destroyed RCI’s transmitter. I had an amusing exchange with the secretary when I visited; she insisted that their station was still on shortwave. Of COURSE we’re on the air she said, because “the frequencies are published right here in the newspaper!” The engineer and announcer confirmed, though, that the silence on their former frequencies was for real. They indicated they were covering the outer islands just fine with FM translators and had no intention of restarting shortwave.

Recordings

The programming of Radio Cook Islands is bilingual, and announcers are fluent in both English and Cook Islands Maori. Music selections on RCI encompass all styles, to appeal to many age groups. These recordings was scheduled to include as much local music as possible.

RCI programming includes all the hallmarks of a small, non-professional station: stuck records & tape carts, dead air, poor modulation, and other miscues.

However, that’s part of the flavor of local radio, and these errors are heard throughout this recording. Particularly noticeable is the bassy, over-modulation of the studio announcer during sign-on announcements.

Recording 1

Notes: National anthem & hymn; sign-on announcements & music.
Music; weather; sign-off announcements & national anthem.
Local & regional news; weather; ads; music.

Recording 2 follows in the next post....

National Broadcasting Corporation, Papua New Guinea: July 10, 2015

SRAA contributor, Richard Langley notes:

Live three-hour recording of the 2015 Pacific Games coverage of the National Broadcasting Corporation, the Voice of Papua New Guinea (PNG), via a transmitter in Australia on 10 July 2015 beginning at 07:01:21 UTC on a frequency of 12025 kHz. At the time of the uploading of this sound file, it is not clear if the signal originated from the former Australian Broadcasting Corporation's lower-power facility at Brandon (as registered with the High Frequency Co-ordination Conference (HFCC) organization; 25 kW beamed 80°) or their higher-power Shepparton site with 100 kW transmitters. 

The recording, mostly in English with some Tok Pisin, includes commentary on the games being held in Port Moresby, music, news bulletins, public service announcements, and the NBC's drum, flute and bird call interval signal near the top of some of the hours. Note that PNG time is 10 hours ahead of UTC.  

The broadcast was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with its built-in telescopic whip antenna in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada. Signal quality is generally good and gets better towards the end of the recording as propagation conditions improved.

Nigerian Armed Forces Radio: July 8, 2015

At 06:00 UTC this morning, I recorded one hour of the Nigerian Armed Forces Radio test on 13,775 kHz. This broadcast was transmitted from a 250 kW transmitter in Issoudun, France.

Hypothetically, this may have been the last test transmission of the NAFR as WRMI's announcement stated the test period would last only one week, beginning June 30th.

Click here to download this recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

WWV changes announcement format: July 1, 1971

Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Brian D. Smith, recently contacted me; I was enthused when he described the recording he was sharing:

"This recording captures the last 5 minutes of WWV’s old format (giving the time every 5 minutes) and the first 5 minutes of the new format (giving the time every 1 minute), which took place on July 1, 1971 UTC.

Apologies for the less-than-stellar audio quality, but I recorded this as a 15-year-old fledgling SWL with limited knowledge of audio recording techniques. So I simply placed the microphone from my cassette tape recorder next to the speaker on the receiver and hit the record button. The signal quality wasn’t the greatest, either — lots of QSB and QRM — but I still managed to get what I was going for.

The resulting recording has accompanied me everywhere since then, preserved only on its original cassette, until 2008, when I finally decided it was time to learn how to transfer it onto my hard drive, burn it onto a CD and stop having to rely on the integrity of 37-year-old audio tape.

Even as a teenager, I regarded the WWV changeover as historic, and felt I should attempt to record it for posterity. Consider yourself posterity!"

Brian received this broadcast on 10 MHz care of a Hallicrafters S-108, with random length of wire attached to the back of the receiver serving as an antenna. Location was Franklin, Indiana.

As Brian mentions, the audio quality is a little rough, but this is still quite a treasure of a recording!

Click here to download as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:


Hamburger Lokalradio relays in English: July 4, 2015

Hamburger Lokalradio in English recorded in Europe July 4, 2015 at 1400 GMT, shortwave frequency of 7265 kHz (transitter site in Göhren, Germany, transmitter power: 1 kW). Recording made using SONY ICF SW77 receiver ('sync U' button switched on) and 33m longwire antenna with magnetic baloon. Transmission consisted in relays of "Media Network Plus" programme and "World of Radio" recorded on July 1, 2015

Nigerian Armed Forces Radio: July 4, 2015

SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, writes:

Live recording of a test transmission of Nigerian Armed Forces Radio on 4 July 2015 beginning at 06:00:01 UTC (carrier on; audio file begins at 06:01:30; program begins at 06:01:36) on a frequency of 13775 kHz. The test was broadcast from a 250 kW transmitter of TDF in Issoudun, France. The antenna beam direction was 170 degrees towards west Africa. 

The test, which is running daily for a week, consists of Nigerian traditional and military music interspersed with brief announcements and identifications in Hausa and English. In addition to 13775 kHz, a frequency of 11825 kHz was announced. The first musical piece features the line "I remember when I was a solider." The IDs include an SMS number to which to send messages: +2348148366886. The test program ended abruptly at 06:57:17 UTC when the transmitter cuts off in mid-song.
  
The signal was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 5 kHz RF filtering.

Radio Mediterranee Internationale in French & Arabic: July 3, 2015

Radio Mediterranee Internationale in French and Arabic, recorded in Europe on July 3, 2015 at 19.30 UTC, broadcasting on shortwave frequency of 9575 kHz, beamed towards North Africa, Middle East and Europe (transmitter site: Nador in Morocco; transmitter power: 250 kW). Recorded using Kenwood R-5000 and Wellbrook ALA 1530+ active antenna.

CHU Canada, Leap Second: June 30, 2015

(Image: NASA)

(Image: NASA)

SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, writes:

Live recording of time signal station CHU, Canada, on 30 June 2015 beginning at exactly 23:55:00 UTC on a frequency of 7850 kHz. The recording last exactly 10 minutes and 1 second, ending at 0:10:00 UTC. A leap second occurs at 23:59:60 UTC. This can be noted by the 1 second of silence between the 5m:00s mark in the recording (23:59:60 UTC) and the 5m:01s mark (0:00:00 UTC) denoted by the start of the one-second-long tone. This is followed by 9 seconds of silence. Before the leap second, the forecast difference between UT1 and UTC (DUT1 = UT1 minus UTC) to a precision of one tenth of a second was -0.7 seconds. This is indicated by CHU by using a sequence of double tones at 9 seconds through 15 seconds after the start of each minute except for the minute beginning an hour. Following the leap second, DUT1 is +0.3 seconds, marked by double tones at 2 seconds through 4 seconds after the start of the minute, again, except for the minute beginning an hour. 

The strong CHU signal was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 5 kHz RF filtering. There is some atmospheric noise (static).