Radio Moscow Mailbag (Studio Recording #1): 1979

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Gavaras, who shares the following recording (from a series of seven studio recordings) and notes:

These recordings were originally provided to me on reel-to-reel tape directly from Radio Moscow (which I dubbed to a cassette). At that time, I was program director at St. Cloud State University's radio station KVSC-FM (St. Cloud, MN) and aired Moscow Mailbag once a week during the afternoon news block programming. Transcription shows from other shortwave stations were played on other weekday slots at the same time.


Radio For Peace International: Summer of 1996

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Bruce Atchison, for sharing the following recording and notes:

This is Radio For Peace International from the summer of 1996. I can't remember the frequency but I'm sure others will. I recorded this about 01:00 UTC with my Uniden CR-2021. By the way, it's the same model as the Radio Shack 430 receiver but it had LEDs rather than a analogue tuning meter.

World of Radio: August 1987

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Bruce Atchison, for sharing the following recording and notes:

This portion of Glenn Hauser's World of Radio show was taped in August of 1987 with my Sony ICF7600 receiver on 9850 kHz. It was on at 0200 UTC but I can't remember the station it was on. Perhaps it was WRNO.

Voice of Turkey: August 1, 2018

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Voice of Turkey recorded in London, UK on August 01, 2018 at 1900 UTC on the frequency of 9460 kHz using AirSpy Mini, SpyVerter and DX Engineering NCC-1 phaser connected to two Wellbrook ALA1530S+ antennas (positioned indoors) to mitigate severe local man-made interference.

Radio Tahiti (music): unknown date

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Mark Pettifor, who writes:

One of the great things about DXing and SWLing is the variety of music one can hear. One of my favorite stations to listen to on shortwave for “exotic music” was Radio Tahiti, Papeete, French Polynesia, when they were still on shortwave.

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe something happened to the transmitter, and they never got back on SW. They were on mediumwave through December of 2016 (738 kHz); now they are on FM only. (Maybe us hobbyists should start a funding website to put them back on shortwave!)

Many a Saturday night I would turn on the DX-160 (my first SW rig) and let it warm up for a while, before tuning in 15170 to see how band conditions were. If the band was good, I’d get ready to record through the air. Once I started recording, I’d often leave the room and shut the door, because having three brothers around meant the possibilities were high for having “extraneous interference” on my recordings.

Saturday evenings were a good time to tune in, because of a music program that aired with a good selection of island music. The program had an announcer who spoke in the island vernacular (Tahitian?), and when that program ended they switched to French.

Here is a 30-min recording of Radio Tahiti on 15170 kHz from a while ago, most likely around one of the solar maxima of either 1980 or 1991. I’m leaning toward the 1980 cycle. My apologies for not being able to be more specific than that. I kept terrible records of my recordings. This would be recorded either with the DX-160 or a DX-302. Apologies too for the jump in volume at around the 2:37 mark.

So close your eyes, imagine you are lying in a hammock on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific, with a warm breeze off the ocean and your favorite cooled beverage nearby, listening to some of the best island music anywhere.

UNID Spy Numbers Station: Summer of 1993

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Bruce Atchison, for sharing the following recording and notes:

This is a spy numbers station I recorded in the summer of 1993 but I forget the frequency. I used my Kenwood TS-690S transceiver and I believe the time was around 05:00 UTC.

Please comment if you can ID this numbers station!

Encompass (formerly Babcock) Test Transmission: October 15, 2018

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Paul Walker, who shares this recording of a test transmission from Encompass Digital Media. The recording was made on October 15, 2018 starting at 15:34 UTC on 11,810 kHz. Paul made this recording in Ridgway PA. Receiver was a Tecsun PL-880 connected to a 300 foot long (amplified) wire antenna.

VOA (Communications World): January 2003

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Bruce Atchison, for sharing the following recording and notes:

Recorded Communications World off VOA in January of 2003 but I forget the frequency. I used my Uniden CR-2021 receiver.

Note that Bruce is actually featured in this episode with Kim Andrew Elliott!

Final sign off of BFBS Malta: March 31, 1979

 Final farewell from the crew of BFBS Malta in 1979. L-R Standing Peter Attrill (Snr Engineer), Paul Zammit (Labourer), Hector Frendo (Chief Clerk), Tony Farrugia (Technician), Richard Astbury (Station Controller), John Crabtree (Programme Organiser), Terry Magri (Technician), Les Austin (Librarian); Sitting are; Judy Edmonds (Volunteer), Eileen Curmi (Typist), Isabel Darmenia (Assistant Librarian), Diane Clark and Linda Miller (Volunteers). Source: Source: RAF LUQA REMEMBERED

Final farewell from the crew of BFBS Malta in 1979. L-R Standing Peter Attrill (Snr Engineer), Paul Zammit (Labourer), Hector Frendo (Chief Clerk), Tony Farrugia (Technician), Richard Astbury (Station Controller), John Crabtree (Programme Organiser), Terry Magri (Technician), Les Austin (Librarian); Sitting are; Judy Edmonds (Volunteer), Eileen Curmi (Typist), Isabel Darmenia (Assistant Librarian), Diane Clark and Linda Miller (Volunteers). Source: Source: RAF LUQA REMEMBERED

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Sarah Boucher, who shares the following recording (believed to be an FM off-air recording) and notes:

Recorded by John Bruno, Richard Astbury was the last announcer to speak from Floriana, followed by the Evening Hymn and Last Post, an instrumental version of L-Innu Malti and a church choir sings God Save The Queen, accompanied by a Church Organ and a Military Band. The final program was the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, won by the host nation Israel. The studios of BFBS Malta are still around as of 2018 as for the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. This occurred on the final Saturday of March in the seventies because of the withdrawal of British troops ordered by President Anton Buttigieg.

Radio Romania International: June 6, 2016

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Davi Sousa, who shares the following recording and notes:

Radio Romania International, program in spanish to Europe. Good signal in South America. News and comments about political elections in Romania, cultural and historical comments.

Date of recording: 6/6/2016

Starting time: 1900 UTC

Frequency: 15,450 kHz

Location where received: Southeast Brazil

Receiver: Degen DE1103

Radio Canada International (Bonsoir Africa): January 4, 1982

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who shares the following recording and notes:

This program from January 24, 1982 from my archives is from Radio Canada International which was called Bonsoir Africa. This was somewhat of a mailbag program which read listeners letters. I was fortunate to have a tape recorder running since this was a program about astronomy that was requested by me. This may be the first time I ever heard my name read on shortwave. What a thrill. Enjoy.

Starting time: approximately 1800 UTC

Frequency: 15.325 MHz

Receiver and location: Realistic DX-302, South Bend, Indiana

Voice of Biafra: September 8, 1969

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Many thanks to both Dan Robinson and Jerry Berg who made me aware of this excellent--extremely rare--recording of the Voice of Biafra.

This broadcast was recorded by Al Sizer in North Haven, CT, on September 8, 1969 on 6,145 kHz starting at 2140 GMT. The receiver used was a Realistic DX-150. Mr. Sizer introduces the recording:

Radio Nacional de Venezuela: October 11, 2004

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following recording and writes:

With the news over the past few years, and especially over the last few weeks, of the rapid decline of Venezuela, it’s interesting to recall that there was a day when that country was a powerhouse on the shortwave band, with numerous private radio stations that SWL’s around the world could hear in the 90, 60, 49, 31, and 19 meter bands.
There was also a brief attempt to put Venezuela on the map as an international broadcaster, with Radio Nacional de Venezuela which was audible at good signal levels.

Our thanks to Dan for this 45 minute recording from 2004 when Radio Nacional de Venezuela was on the air (October 11, 2004 starting around 20:20 UTC):

NIST Radio Station WWVH as it sounded in the 1980s

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Myke Dodge Weiskopf, who shares the following recording and notes:

NIST Radio Station WWVH as it sounded in the 1980s. To contrast with other recordings of the WWVH station ID, note that announcer Jane Barbe does not say (her now-famous) “Aloha!” at the end of this version.
This recording was found at WWVH in 2015 on an undated cassette labeled “JB on Old Audichron TCG” (which stands for Time Code Generator, the device which reconstructs and plays back Jane’s voice over the air). As such, the precise broadcast year is not known, but it is consistent with the voice and broadcast format of the 1980s, until the introduction of the short-lived digital voice in 1991.
An excerpted version of this recording is found on "At the Tone: A Little History of NIST Radio Stations WWV & WWVH." This unedited version is being shared by special arrangement for the Shortwave Archive.

WWV Time Station (15 MHz): November 3, 2017

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Emilio Ruiz, who shares the following recording of WWV and notes:

Sad for the news, the closing of WWV is like close a park, a comunity place where scientifics and enthusiast of radio could learn and experiment not only about time, radio propagation too. I not have much money for bought radiofrecuency equipment for repair or make my own radios, i use WWV for that. 
To go to the future it is not necessary to destroy the past, I'm teaching to children about science and technology and when talk about radio share with they the listen of WWV with old radio receiver (BC-548Q), for they the sound of ticks and the history about radio and time is a amazing topic.
I wrote this review (in Spanish) about WWV for those SWListeners and Radio Amateurs who do not spoke English,--I think can be useful.
I hope radioamateurs of U.S. can reverse the decision.
Broadcaster: WWV
Date of recording: 11/3/2017
Starting time: 14:00
Frequency: 15000 kHz
Reception location: Chiapas, México.
Receiver and antenna: Dipole antenna, Keenwood R-600

Radio Fana: August 6, 2018

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Radio Fana recorded outdoors in London, UK on August 6, 2018 at 1800 UTC, on the frequency of 6110 kHz using a Tecsun PL-680 radio and a long-wire external antenna. The transmitter is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This non-directional transmission had a power rating of 100 kW. Reception improves markedly around the 30 minute mark in the recording.

Radio Netherlands (Media Network): April 9, 1982

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who shares the following recording and notes:

Along with RCI's Shortwave Listener's Digest, Radio Netherlands Media Network was another favorite DX program of mine. Here is a recording of an episode from April 9, 1982 which is the first recording of this program from my archive. The show highlights are: media coverage of the Falklands War from the British and Argentinian sides, Pete Meyers with a report that Radio New Zealand did not shut down, the US-Cuban media war, Richard Ginbey with African media news and John Campbell with a clandestine radio report. Audio quality is only fair for this recording. I will try not to post recordings of Media Network which are already available on Jonathan Marks' Media Network Vintage Vault website.
Date of recording: 4/9/1982
Starting time: 0230
Frequency: 9.590 MHz
Receiver location: South Bend, IN
Receiver: Realistic DX-302

Radio Trans Mundial (final shortwave broadcast and English transcript): August, 08 2018

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following notes about the final transmission of Radio Trans Mundial (RTM).

Dan writes:

FYI — I am monitoring Radio Transmundial via [the PY2BS KiwiSDR in] Brazil. They are in the midst of a final discussion in Portuguese between two announcers, mentioning advances/changes in technology, Internet, etc. that are forcing the station off the air. Many mentions of shortwave.

See attachments…..audio files are of studio discussion in Portuguese about their decision to end SW….then another file going right up until 1900 UTC or thereabouts when they went off.

At about the 9:36 mark in the 1st audio file announcer introduces a technical person (sounded like someone from TWR, but also mentioned was “director of communications”) to begin a discussion about their decision to end shortwave — that discussion lasts until about the 34:30 mark when they go into full IDs.

Second audio file you can hear Zanzibar gradually fading up and dominating the frequency, then in the clear after Transmundial goes off 11,735.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Fabiano Barufaldi, who kindly volunteered to translate the conversation between the RTM Director of Communication and the Director of Studios and Technical Affairs in this final shortwave broadcast of Radio Trans Mundial (RTM).

<– BEGINNING OF TRANSCRIPT –>

Hello Dear Listeners! It’s 2:46pm.

With us are André Castilho, our director of communication and also Samuel Marcos, director of studios and technical affairs, live.

Good morning all. It’s a pleasure to be in front of such important microphones in the history of Brazilian gospel radio.

First of all, I’d like clarify that we’re not the founders of Radio Transmundial, which was founded in 1970 in Brazil, initially transmitting from Bonaire in the Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, covering the entire Brazil’s territory in shortwave and mediumwave, reaching most of South America. They decided to discontinue the shortwave operation in the early 1990’s; they have recently resumed the 440KW power transmission from Bonaire, now with better quality, reaching the Amazon region and even listeners in the southern Brazil in MW 800kHz.

When the Trans World Radio (TWR) shut down its shortwave transmission, the Radio Transmundial (RTM) decided to invest in shortwave in the 1990s acquiring a transmission site in Santa Maria – RS, Southern Brazil, in three shortwave frequencies, covering up to 80% of the Brazilian territory. Recently, the Bonaire site increased the MW transmission power, reaching a greater territory share.

Talking about the 1990’s, a new, powerful transmitter was acquired for the Brazilian Santa Maria site, we always have been praised because of the quality of the transmissions. Our site was built with great diligence and care, mainly by Mr. Walter Wilke, who did excellent work during 20 years of dedication to our shortwave site, with the best equipment and sound, using three shortwave frequencies during these years that are now coming to an end.

That’s sad news, we’re not happy to say that but it’s an important, necessary announcement that the RTM shortwave transmissions are being shut down this midnight. We had ended the 31 meters transmission, now we’re ending the 25 meters, 49 meters also, and we are so sorry about that.

We have been asked by our listeners the reason, and it’s important to notice that this decision wasn’t made yesterday. We’ve been studying this matter since at least an year ago, considering the reach and audience and, of course, the financial aspects of it. The RTM has been keeping the shortwave transmission site and the equipment in excellent codition and, until now, Lord has provided the financial ways to maintain the operation but considering the low audience, the return of Bonaire to shortwave in high power, and elevated power expenses; all those factors contributed to take the decision some time ago of ending the operations – a decision that was matured – and now comes the time that we are finally shutting down the shortwave transmissions.

The summary of our decisions was that the audience was too low so it was not being worth to keep such expensive shortwave structure. To give our listeners a rough idea, when we increased the power (50kW to 25 meters, 10kw to 31 meters and 7.5kW to 49 meters) we had to hire a custom, special grid with the local power company – and that costs!! We are a non-profit organization, funded by voluntary donations, so we need to be very careful with our budget. It’s sad to say that, because we love the radio, but the audience was very low, not being worth expending that amount of money.

We are living a new tech era, so we as a mass media organization must be care about of our own survival, that’s why we took that decision and also because we’re experiencing over the years great increase in audience through the internet and by the local affiliates network as well.

Still talking about costs, our transmission equipment is nearly 20 years old, although it was bought brand new and being well kept by Mr. Wilke, it’s an old equipment that demands expensive maintenance because it’s imported equipment running on valves. To give you listeners and idea, a burnt valve had to be recently replaced and costed nearly 5,300 USD, so that give us an idea of how expensive is to keep that, beside the monthly power costs.

We have brainstormed on how to reach poor, isolated communities (Indian, forest people) with no access to new technologies for example by providing them our content stored in memory cards – we received reports of missionaries, social workers assuring that this is being welcomed. We’re also working to increase partnership with local stations to relay our content.

…[now they list some of the local affiliates currently relaying content throughout the Brazilian territory]…

There is a reason for us to be ending the shortwave transmissions on this particular day (August 8, 2018) – this is because our shortwave broadcasting license is expiring today, so due to the reasons explained above and also because the government’s bureaucracy, we are not going to renew it.

We are sorry for the listeners who have in the radio the only way of getting our content, the DXrs as well, but that’s a cost vs audience matter.

We’re having an average of 50,000 unique listeners over the Internet, some others through local affiliates, so we have to be responsible with our budget and focus on getting return over the investment, providing accountability to the donors.

[… now they explain how to listen over the station website or from the mobile app.. “ask your nephew how to do it LOL :-)” ]

[the host greets them by the detailed explanation on how the broadcast license process works, the costs and bureaucracy]

We thank our listeners for the support, care and understanding. We’ve been passionate shortwave listeners forever and that’s probably the reason why we do this for a living today.

New technologies arise in an incredible speed in these days–getting cheaper too, enabling more people to benefit from them.

Some people understand that in a near future the technologies will be unified and we will end on having a single media device for all content (TV, radio, internet, communications, etc), mostly cheap or even for free.

That will not be a happy day…that’s a sad day instead – we’d like to continue with shortwave broadcasting but we’re getting empathy and understanding from most of our listeners – we’re not stopping, the RTM keeps on going.

Thank you all for understanding and for your care; keep following us over the Internet, we’ll also be broadcasting every hour the list of local affiliates network.

Access our website at: https://www.transmundial.com.br/

… now they play the station’s identification jingle

… resuming the regular programming…

< END OF TRANSCRIPT >

Thank you, Fabiano, for taking the time to write up this excellent translation. This commentary was insightful and without your help, I would have never been able to understand or appreciate it.

And thank you, Dan, for making and sharing these historic off-air recordings.