Radio Canada International (SWL Digest): March 13, 1982

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

Here are two back to back episodes from my collection of recordings of Shortwave Listener's Digest from Radio Canada International, this time from March 13 and April 5, 1982. This program's highlights are: A promo for the upcoming 1982 European DX Council meeting, part one of Larry Magne's discussion of shortwave receiving antennas, Glenn Hauser's DX news, part two of Larry Magne's antenna discussion focusing on antennae for apartment dwellers, Who's on the Air featuring TIFC Cost Rica and finally Glenn Hauser's DX news.

Tom notes that this recording was made in South Bend, IN, using a Sony ICF-2001. This recording starts around 2100 UTC on March 13, 1982 on 15,325 kHz.

Voice of Korea: March 25, 2005

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The following recording comes from the aircheck archives of The Professor—the late Michael Pool.

According to Michael’s notes, the following recording of the Voice of Korea was made on March 25, 2005 at 0300 UTC on 9345 kHz. The reception location was likely New York City. No other notes were included with this recording.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide (Amsterdam Forum): September 4, 2007

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The following recording comes from the aircheck archives of The Professor—the late Michael Pool.

According to Michael’s notes, the following recording of RNW was made on September 4, 2007 at 0100 UTC on 9845 kHz. The reception location was likely New York City. No other notes were included with this recording.

After Amsterdam Forum, Michael does do some band-scanning on the shortwave bands, so there are a number of other broadcasters represented here.

Please note as well that the date was marked “04-09-07”. I believe this to be September 4 instead of April 9. If you can confirm otherwise, please comment!

Voice of Korea: March 24, 2005

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The following recording comes from the aircheck archives of The Professor—the late Michael Pool.

According to Michael’s notes, the following recording of the Voice of Korea was made on March 24, 2005 at 0300 UTC on 9345 kHz. The reception location was likely New York City. No other notes were included with this recording.

Radio New Zealand International (Part 2): July 7, 2007

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The following recording was made by the late Michael Pool (The Professor) on July 7, 2007 with a Degen DE1103 in NYC. This recording (Part 1) was included in a post he had written on his blog, The Radio Kitchen. Click here to read this post in the SWLing Post Radio Kitchen Archive.

Here’s a description of this recording, written by The Professor. Note that the first recording was posted separately on the SRAA:

“[P]art two of this recording begins with the flip of the the tape. At the onset of this archive the interview is aborted in mid-sentence and a female announcer formally announces that Radio New Zealand International is closing on this frequency. After twice insisting that I “re-tune to six-zero-nine-five kilohertz in the forty-nine meter band” (followed by a clipped “This is New Zealand”), it all sounds so damn official that I felt compelled to follow the instructions. Although I knew that just because RNZI was booming in on 31 meters didn’t necessarily mean it would come in so strong (or might even be heard) on the 49 meter band.

You hear RNZI’s interval signal (the call of the New Zealand Bellbird) after the station ID, and then the signal at 9165kHz goes dead. I then put the tape deck on pause and punch up 6095 kHz on the Degen and release the pause button. And there it was! The call of the Bellbird is quite clear there as well, although a nearby signal is chewing on the edges of the reception a bit.

Whoever is running the board down there in the South Pacific was a little sloppy that night. After the interval signal the board-op starts to pot up the interview again (which is still running on one of the channels). But the mistake is corrected in a fraction of second, and it’s the news with Phil O’Brien. The lead story, a nationwide “Drunk Drive Blitz” the night before had netted over two-hundred inebriated kiwis on the highways down there. And an update on the aftermath of an unprecedented swarm of tornados that ravaged the North Island a couple of nights earlier.

After the news, it’s the beginning of a program I can barely believe I’m hearing in 2007. A faux flapper-era theme song launches a “nostalgia packed selection of favorites” that will saturate the skies of Oceania for the next four hours. While I love a lotta old music, the whole idea of “nostalgia” can get a little silly. Although I must say that old Joe Franklin used to pull it off with some charm on WOR here in New York City before he gave up the show a few years back. It’s really an approach to radio that’s all but dead here in the states. But apparently not in New Zealand.”

This recording was made on July 7, 2007 on 9615 kHz, then 6095 kHz, starting around 0658 UTC:

Radio New Zealand International (Part 1): July 7, 2007

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The following recording was made by the late Michael Pool (The Professor) on July 7, 2007 with a Degen DE1103 in NYC. This recording (Part 1) was included in a post he had written on his blog, The Radio Kitchen. Click here to read this post in the SWLing Post Radio Kitchen Archive.

Here’s a description of this recording, written by The Professor. Note that we will post the second recording in a separate post on the SRAA:

“This first bit is an interview with Canadian chemist and author Penny LeCouteur discussing her book about molecules that have changed the world. Of note here– the legacy of how James Cook and ascorbic acid made the south seas safe for European explorers and colonists.

Then the cassette came to an abrupt stop, and the part two of this recording begins with the flip of the the tape.”

This recording was made on July 7, 2007 on 9615 kHz starting around 0644 UTC:

Radio Educación XEPPM-OC (Cultura México Señal Internacional): April 6, 2019

Mexico City, Mexico (Photo by Jezael Melgoza @jezael)

Mexico City, Mexico (Photo by Jezael Melgoza @jezael)

For your listening pleasure: Radio Educación (XEPPM) from Mexico City. This recording was made on April 6, 2019 starting around 0058 UTC on 6,185 kHz. The receiver used was a WinRadio Excalibur hooked to a large horizontal delta loop antenna—the recording was made in North Carolina, USA.

This recording includes music and news—all in Spanish. Enjoy:

1966 Spanish Numbers Station recording with synopsis by Don Hibschweiler

Many thanks to the Numbers Station Research and Information Center who have kindly allowed us to share their published article about a 1966 Spanish numbers station recording made by Don Hibschweiller. Many thanks to Mr. Hibschweiller for kindly allowing us to share his home recording here with the SRAA community.

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(Source: Numbers Station Research and Information Center)

Spanish Language Numbers Station from 1966

The most active period of numbers stations monitoring began in 1980s as in efforts by “Havana Moon” or William (Bill) Thomas Godbey, Simon Mason and writers and editors of the “Monitoring Times” journal. Our site has studied numbers stations monitoring in 1980s. The great activity of numbers stations DX and monitoring lead to creation of online based groups like Enigma and Numbers and Oddities in early 1990s. However, number stations did not appear in 1980s, they been around since at least 1914. In their oldest simple form they started as Morse code transmissions, then live voice readings and finally automated voice transmissions, not stopping there yet as digital mode transmissions also hides numbers groups within.

The period before 1980s,1950s and 1960s were very active in terms of espionage. Many declassified documents tell us about CIA and SIS operations in Baltic States, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and elsewhere using Morse code messages. Then there is a case of Operation SOLO of FBI infiltration in the American Communist Party and Soviet secret service, where numbers transmissions from the Soviet Union were involved.

Numbers stations were in the air and there were people listening to them. So this brings to the subject of this article: a authentic tape recording of several transmissions of Spanish language Five Digit numbers station recorded in 1966.

The recording was made by Don Hibschweiler, who is currently a morning radio host on 90.1 WFYI Public Radio.

As Don describes “the broadcasts were daily at 1700 EST on 6.805 Mhz. The recording was made on July 20, 1966 at my listening post in West Central Indiana. There are Spanish numbers in groups of five.  He always slowed down during the last set of numbers and then says something like, “Toonigh, toonigh”. I also heard one broadcast where the announcer made a mistake.  The broadcast was repeated later with the same mistake and a weaker signal.  I thought this meant the second broadcast was a recording of the first or both were recorded ahead of time.  Also, the difference in signal strength may indicate the use of a directional antenna and/or a different transmitter power.”.

What we have here is a recording of supposedly male voice Spanish language numbers station. The technical issues and specifics of the broadcasts may point to Cuba. Cubans in 1980s to early 2010s used voiced five figure stations with characteristic“Atencion” at the start of the broadcast. This is was known as V02 and V02a before moving on to hybrid digital and voice station HM01  This station however has no such prefixes. It could be old predecessor to Antencion station. CIA was caught using four figure numbers station in Spanish language, so CIA involvement  also cannot be ruled out.

Mr Don Hibschweiler came across this station after reading an article on “Electronics Illustrated” 1966 May issue.

The article is called “How to eavesdrop on real spies” featured real use of numbers stations and radio signal announcements as of case of Bay of Pigs invasion and the Rudolf Abel the Russian spy. It also featured some of the frequencies used by the numbers stations back then and the time of broadcast. Thanks to this journal Don was able to tune into this Spanish language number station.

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The article points to various other numbers stations used in 1966. The German language station peculiarly plays “The March of the River Kwai” and classical music piece by Strauss as its interval signal. Such station has not been heard and any recording of such would be welcomed. 

In the 1960s the first automatic voice machines were developed. In the decade they spread also to Eastern Block. Automated voice creation improved numbers stations as the errors made during live reading were common. Cuba also eventually started using automatic voice transmissions, but this 1966 recording still indicates live or pre-recorded broadcast. 

This recorded Spanish language numbers station as for now stands unidentified until new documents pointing to it are found. This is one of the oldest recording of a number station publicly available and stands as important radio history source.

Many thanks to Numbers Station Research and Information Center and Don Hibschweiller for allowing us to republish this article and share this excellent recording.

Radio Educación XEPPM-OC (Cultura México Señal Internacional): April 1, 2019

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For your listening pleasure: Radio Educación (XEPPM) from Mexico City. This recording was made on April 1, 2019 starting around 0125 UTC on 6185 kHz. The receiver used was a WinRadio Excalibur hooked to a large horizontal delta loop antenna—the recording was made in North Carolina, USA.

Although XEPPM’s 1,000 watt signal often makes it into North America, it’s rare that it’s so clear and conditions are so quiet. Their jazz selection on this date was excellent. Enjoy:

Channel Africa French and English language services (Final Shortwave Broadcasts from Meyerton Site): March 29, 2019

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In February 2019, the South Africa-based company, Sentech, announced that they would close the Meyerton Transmitting Station effective March 31, 2019. Channel Africa used the Meyerton site for all of their shortwave broadcasts, so the closure meant and end to Channel Africa’s shortwave service. At time of posting, there is no news of other relay stations taking over the Channel Africa service.

The following two hour five minute recording of Channel Africa was made on Friday, March 29, 2019 starting about 1558 UTC on 15235 kHz.

  • The first hour (1600 - 1657 UTC) is Channel Africa’s French Language service.

  • The second hour (1700 - 1757) is Channel Africa’s English language service.

  • After the transmitter carrier dropped at the end of the English Language service broadcast, it did come back on for a brief period of time relaying a few minutes of what I believe may have been the program, “Chinyanja-Nkhani Ndi Zochitika Mu Africa.” I assume this was simply a mistake on the part of the station. I did leave this archived recording.

This recording was made using a WinRadio Excalibur SDR receiver connected to a large horizontal delta loop antenna. The receiver location was North Carolina, USA. Enjoy:

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 New Zealand International: March 16, 2019

Auckland, New Zealand by Dan Freeman

Auckland, New Zealand by Dan Freeman

The following recording of Radio New Zealand International—primarily in English with service to the Pacific islands—was made on March 16, 2018 starting at 13:40 UTC on 6115 kHz. The receiver was a KiwiSDR located in Canberra, Australia.

Note that the news headlines (10 minutes into the recording) mention the Christchurch mosque shootings massacre.

Uganda Broadcasting Corporation: 1976

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

English language broadcast from 1976 using a 250,000 watt transmitter. Recording consists of newscast and music.

Starting time: 20:30 UTC

Frequency: 9730 kHz

Location: Plymouth, MN

Receiver and antenna: Hammarlund HQ-180, longwire

Super Rock KYOI: September 13, 1983

(KYOI sticker courtesy of the Mount Evelyn DX Report)

(KYOI sticker courtesy of the Mount Evelyn DX Report)

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, for sharing the following recording and notes:

Here is a live off-air 47-minute recording of Super Rock KYOI from Saipan in the Northern Marianas Islands. I likely recorded this about 1100 UTC since their signal was best in our early mornings and I believe this was on 11900 kHz.

Their programming was mostly Top 40 rock. I believe the station struggled to retain listeners and ended being sold several times. I'm not sure of the complete story of this station and if it is still the station operating on Saipan. According the the Ontario DX Association's Target Listening publication: Stations on Tinian and Saipan were destroyed by Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018. Unknown when they will be rebuilt.

Mother of Battles Radio: January 27, 1991

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Live, off-air, approximately one-hour recording of Iraq's Mother of Battles Radio in Arabic on 27 January 1991 beginning at about 13:30 UTC on a shortwave frequency of 17940 kHz. As Iraq's main shortwave broadcasting facility was put out of action early during Operation Desert Storm but while Iraq still occupied Kuwait, the broadcast likely originated from one of the 500 kW transmitters of Radio Kuwait.

Mother of Battles Radio, named after the phrase "Mother of all Battles" used by Saddam Hussein to describe the upcoming war with the United States, replaced the regular domestic shortwave service of the Broadcasting Service of the Republic of Iraq.

The recording consists of music, talk including exhortations against America and Bush, and frequent station identifications, e.g., "Huna idha'atu Umm al-Ma'arik" ("This is Mother of Battles Radio").

Reception of the broadcast was excellent with no interference until about the midpoint of the recording (around 13:59 UTC) when a faint jamming signal can be heard in the background. The recording is briefly interrupted when checking the signal on parallel frequencies (15600 kHz -- weaker; 9570 kHz -- not heard). There is also a brief interruption at about the 29m:25s mark in the recording due to a tape change.

The broadcast was received in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada, using a Sony ICF-7600D receiver and supplied wire antenna draped around the listening room.

Radio Baghdad: January 16, 1991

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Live, off-air, approximately twenty-seven-minute recording of Radio Baghdad, the Broadcasting Service of the Iraqi Republic, in English on 16 January 1991 beginning at about 21:35 UTC on a shortwave frequency of 13660 kHz. The recording is a segment of the 21:00 to 23:00 UTC broadcast to Europe. It likely originated from a 500 kW transmitter at Salah el Deen, Iraq.

This broadcast took place just a few hours before the start of the bombing campaign of Operation Desert Storm. The broadcast was not heard the following day. Programming consists of news, commentary including discussion of the "American Monster," the program "Iraq Today," and Iraqi music.

Reception of the broadcast was fairly good although the audio is somewhat "muddy."

The broadcast was received in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada, using a Sony ICF-7600D receiver and supplied wire antenna draped around the listening room.