Various Mediumwave Airchecks: 1969 - 1978

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Russ Edmunds (WB2BJH), for sharing this collection of mediumwave airchecks dating from 1969 to 1978.

If you’ve subscribed to the SRAA podcast, you might only automatically download the first of these recordings. I would encourage you to view and listen to all 29 recordings on this dedicated Shortwave Radio Audio Archive post.

Click here to download a spreadsheet with full details of each clip.

Radio Australia (International Report): June 15, 1993

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

This is the way I remember Radio Australia.

Their signal used to boom into Eastern North America in the late evenings on 17715 and 17795 kHz with a reliable signal during the summer months. This program called International Report was one of my favorites.

Unfortunately I did not record the date and time when I made this recording. But judging from the content is must have been sometime in mid-June 1993. I was probably using my Sony ICF-2001. This program was likely aired around 1200 UTC as this was announced as the Southeast and North Asia Service on 21745, 6080, or 9710 kHz.

Korean Central Broadcasting Service (KCBS) Pyongyang: November 16, 2016

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Manfred Reiff, who shares the following recording and notes:

[The following recording is of] the sign-on of Korean Central Broadcasting Station domestic service from Pyongyang. The recording was made on Nov 16, 2016 at 20:27:36 UTC (when North Korea was on UTC + 8.5 hours) on 2850 kHz.

The programming begins after approx. 57 seconds with ID signal and station identification in Korean by male and female. Following the time signal it's their national anthem (instrumental version). After that opening announcements my male and female and a second announcement by female. After that you can listen (like on each day of the year) to their "Number One Hit" - a vocal version of s"Song of General Kim Il Sung". After that KCBS presents their #2: "Song of Genal Kim Jong Il". A very boring programme scheme.

Radio Australia "DXers Calling" Final Program: October 30, 1977

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Manfred Reiff, who shares the following recording and notes:

I made this recording on (our) Sunday 30 October 1977 at 0841 to 0853 GMT (now: UTC) on 21570 kHz. It was one of my first recordings made with a newly bought GRUNDIG Satellit 600 Professional. I used both the built-in Telescope Antenna (144 centimeters in length) and a self-made outdoor antenna consisting of steel mast of 10 meters in height. On top of the mast my dad and I installed a copper pipe of nearly 5 meters in which we put a solid steel mast. In the gap my dad filled in liquid silicone to stabilize the system. We connected both metallic parts so it looked like a conductor. The antenna still exists although I moved to another location in 1987.

Please note that it is the original recording without editing it (reduce noise).

This recording was made on 30 October 1977, starting at 0841 GMT on 21,570 kHz:

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 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.

Radio Canada International's final episode of DX Digest

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From the radio history archives - Ian McFarland of Radio Canada International - this is the final show of the DX Digest from March 24, 1991 - in its entirety! This was recorded in Manitoba by legendary DXer and SWL Shawn Axelrod (who may soon be joining us on the DXer.ca team!) This is a one of a kind recording - and we release it the very day Shawn, Ian McFarland and I got together for lunch in Duncan, British Columbia! Happy listening!

Three stations sign on--Rhodesia, Zambia and Swazi Music Radio: February, 1976

Photo of Dan Robinson's Hammalund HQ-180A.

Photo of Dan Robinson's Hammalund HQ-180A.

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Jack Widner, who shares the following recording and notes:

Three shortwave stations from Southern Africa signing on in 1976.  
The first is the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation on 3396khz, the date is probably February 4, the time is 0355UTC.  This was during the white occupation.  The dips in the audio is due to my tape lifting from the heads slightly  until it smooths out.  Identification and a long list of FM affiliates.  
The second is the Zambian Broadcasting Corporation on 4911khz, believed  to be February 16.  This is an anthem-like clip of a band, an announcement by a woman, then in English "One Zambia One Nation" before a local language program.  The het is awful.  
The third is the sign on for Swazi Music Radio on 4980; their Interval Signal was a pop music instrumental of the day called "Popcorn."  Programs were DJ playing current hits.  Time given would be 0400 and the date also given: 24 February 1976.  
Monitored on a Hammarlund HQ-180 with 100 foot inverted V longwire in Indianapolis, IN.

Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26, Day 25: January 3, 1978

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Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Colin Anderton, who shares a series of off-air recordings, originally made on reel-to-reel tape, of Radio Moscow in the late 1970s. This is the sixteenth recording in this collection--recorded exactly 40 years ago today. Colin notes:

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. I have some other flights as well.
I received them all on 227 metres Medium Wave at 22.00 hrs GMT each night. I was in a village called Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk, England at the time.
In fact, an announcer gives the general daily broadcast details on this first recording.
I used a similar system with all the files, that is: where any edit takes place, I have placed a one-second break to identify the spot. No other editing of any kind has been done.

Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26, Day 21: December 30, 1977

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Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Colin Anderton, who shares a series of off-air recordings, originally made on reel-to-reel tape, of Radio Moscow in the late 1970s. This is the thirteenth recording in this collection. Colin notes:

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. I have some other flights as well.
I received them all on 227 metres Medium Wave at 22.00 hrs GMT each night. I was in a village called Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk, England at the time.
In fact, an announcer gives the general daily broadcast details on this first recording.
I used a similar system with all the files, that is: where any edit takes place, I have placed a one-second break to identify the spot. No other editing of any kind has been done.

Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26, Day 18: December 27, 1977

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Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Colin Anderton, who shares a series of off-air recordings, originally made on reel-to-reel tape, of Radio Moscow in the late 1970s. This is the twelth recording in this collection. Colin notes:

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. I have some other flights as well.
I received them all on 227 metres Medium Wave at 22.00 hrs GMT each night. I was in a village called Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk, England at the time.
In fact, an announcer gives the general daily broadcast details on this first recording.
I used a similar system with all the files, that is: where any edit takes place, I have placed a one-second break to identify the spot. No other editing of any kind has been done.

Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26, Day 17 (and Chaplin tribute): December 26, 1977

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Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Colin Anderton, who shares a series of off-air recordings, originally made on reel-to-reel tape, of Radio Moscow in the late 1970s. This is the eleventh recording in this collection. Colin notes:

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. I have some other flights as well.
I received them all on 227 metres Medium Wave at 22.00 hrs GMT each night. I was in a village called Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk, England at the time.
In fact, an announcer gives the general daily broadcast details on this first recording.
I used a similar system with all the files, that is: where any edit takes place, I have placed a one-second break to identify the spot. No other editing of any kind has been done.

Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26, Day 16: December 25, 1977

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Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Colin Anderton, who shares a series of off-air recordings, originally made on reel-to-reel tape, of Radio Moscow in the late 1970s. This is the tenth recording in this collection. Colin notes:

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. I have some other flights as well.
I received them all on 227 metres Medium Wave at 22.00 hrs GMT each night. I was in a village called Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk, England at the time.
In fact, an announcer gives the general daily broadcast details on this first recording.
I used a similar system with all the files, that is: where any edit takes place, I have placed a one-second break to identify the spot. No other editing of any kind has been done.

Radio Moscow - Soyuz 26, Day 15: December 24, 1977

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Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Colin Anderton, who shares a series of off-air recordings, originally made on reel-to-reel tape, of Radio Moscow in the late 1970s. This is the ninth recording in this collection. Colin notes:

As a space flight nut, I have many recordings from the 1970s from Radio Moscow. They used to broadcast on the medium wave, and I used to record the news bulletins during some of the space flights.
In particular, there was a period between December 1977 and March 1978 when Soviet cosmonauts first lived aboard the Salyut 6 space station. I recorded each days' news reports on the flights, and also some additional items about them. I have some other flights as well.
I received them all on 227 metres Medium Wave at 22.00 hrs GMT each night. I was in a village called Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk, England at the time.
In fact, an announcer gives the general daily broadcast details on this first recording.
I used a similar system with all the files, that is: where any edit takes place, I have placed a one-second break to identify the spot. No other editing of any kind has been done.

BBC World Service - New Year's Eve, Millennium Celebration: December 31, 1999

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

New Year's Eve has always been a good night to stay home and play radio. This recording is one I won't ever have the chance to hear live again. Here are the last four minutes and forty seconds of the GMT year 1999 and the first 25 minutes twenty seconds of the year 2000. As a tradition I would always welcome the GMT New Year by tuning in to the BBC to hear the chimes from Big Ben (which I believe were heard live).
Date of recording: 12/31/1999
Starting time: 23:55:20
Frequency: 6.175 MHz
Receiver location: South Bend, Indiana
Receiver and antenna: Icon IC-725 transceiver

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) English language service: September 22, 2017

Tehran, Iran

Tehran, Iran

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following recording and notes:

IRIB recorded on September 22, 2017 at 1930 UTC on 9810 kHz. Receiver used was a JRC NRD 535D, 25 ft long by 10 ft tall volleyball net magnetic loop antenna connected to an ALA100ln, DXEngineering HF preamp and Emtech ZM2 antenna tuner.

Listeners record final moments of the Radio Australia shortwave service: January 31, 2017

Many thanks to all of the SRAA contributors who have shared their recordings of the final moments of Radio Australia. Below, you'll find a number of recordings from around the world.

If you have a recording you would like to share, please submit it to us and we'll add your recording.

The first SRAA contributor, Mark Fahey, lives near Sydney, Australia. Mark recorded the shortwave service and RA satellite feed simultaneously. Mark shares the following recordings and notes:

Recording 1
This is RA’s final few minutes on shortwave – it was recorded on 17840kHz.
The file picks up the regular program ending, then into a Promo for RA “Pacific Beat” (a Pacific current affairs program), then the classic RA Interval Signal then the transmitter clicks off and the void is heard.
Recording 2
The file starts at exactly the same time as the first file, but in this example we are monitoring the Network Feed from Intelsat 18 at 180.0 degrees east (above the equator right on the international date line). This satellite feed is the way Radio Australia gets to the network of FM Transmitters they have scatted around the Pacific Region (which is why they feel they don’t need shortwave anymore for – most populated areas of Radio Australia’s target area now is covered by a network of Radio Australia FM transmitters).

Ian P notes:

Recorded from A Global Tuner in Broome, WA, Australia
Receiver: Icom PCR-1000 Antenna: Discone
Last 30 Minutes Of Radio Australia On Short Wave

Phil Brennan writes:

I managed to catch the last 45 seconds of the NT ABC broadcast on 5025 kHz. Unfortunately it's from my phone and not of great quality, but it may be the only recording of it given the time of day and propagation conditions.
Click here to view on YouTube.

Dan Hawkins writes:

I set up the 909X (also my favorite travel radio) on a chair in a backyard and ran the little ANT-60 reel-up antenna up to a pear tree. This is a recording of Radio Australia Pacific Service on 17840 kHz that includes the last top of the hour newscast at midnight, 1-31-2017 UTC. It includes promos, an ID and a news story on the shortwave closure. Less than a hour later there was no more RA on shortwave. RA came in very well for northern California on several frequencies. Conditions were fantastic for this one considering the 7,800 mile transmission distance. Birds and traffic are also heard in this hand-held field recording. I didn’t bring the tripod. I’ll miss Radio Australia, but I still have excellent reception of RNZI.