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.

BBC World Service (Hong Kong relay): March 9, 1988

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

The BBC Hong Kong relay was usually a tough catch in the mid-west. This was recorded March 9, 1988 on 15435 kHz using my Sony ICF-2001 and random length long wire. The program appears to be a language lesson in Chinese and English. Note the strong polar flutter on the signal.

BBC World Service Annual Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast: June 21, 2017

Rothera Research Station (BAS photo)

Rothera Research Station (BAS photo)

Two live, off-air, half-hour recordings of the BBC World Service special Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast on 21 June 2017 beginning at 21:30 UTC. The broadcast features special messages and music for the staff of the British Antarctic Survey overwintering in Antarctica.

The first recording is of the transmission on a frequency of 7360 kHz from the BBC's Ascension Island relay station (250 kW transmitter power, antenna beam 207 degrees). The transmission was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 5 kHz RF filtering. Reception was fairly good with some atmospheric noise.

The second recording is of the transmission on a frequency of 5985 kHz from the BBC's Woofferton, England, transmitting station (300 kW transmitter power, antenna beam 184 degrees). The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in USB mode (to avoid potential adjacent-channel interference) with 2.40 kHz RF filtering. Reception of the broadcast was very good with occasional atmospheric noise.

The program started very slightly late for both transmissions with the first or first two words ("This is") missing.
 

2017 BBC Midwinter Antarctica Broadcast: June 21, 2017

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Cap Tux, who shares the following recording and notes:

BBC World Service Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast 2017. Cerys Matthews (Catatonia) presents music requests and special messages to the staff at the British Antarctic Survey, broadcasting in English, June 21 2017, 2130-2200 GMT on 5985 kHz (transmitter power of 300kW, transmitter location: Woofferton, UK).
Recorded in Scotland using an SDRPlay RSP2 using SDRuno and a homebrew passive Mag Loop

BBC World Service - Queen's Christmas Message: December 25, 2016

Live, off-air, approximately twelve-minute recording of the Queen's Christmas Message, preceded by a news bulletin, as broadcast by the BBC World Service on 25 December 2016 beginning at about 15:00 UTC on a shortwave frequency of 7465 kHz. This broadcast originated from a 250 kW transmitter at Kranji, Singapore, and was beamed to south Asia with an antenna beam azimuth of 320°.    

The recording begins with a station ID and the Greenwich Time Signal and is followed by the usual five-minute news bulletin. Queen Elizabeth II's 2016 Christmas Message to the peoples of the Commonwealth begins at about the six-minute mark in the recording. It concludes with the National Anthem (the Royal Anthem in some Commonwealth countries).  
 
The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in AM mode with 5.08 kHz total bandwidth RF filtering. Reception was excellent with a strong interference-free signal.

BBC World Service Annual Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast: June 21, 2016

Two live, off-air, half-hour recordings of the BBC World Service special Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast on 21 June 2016 beginning at 21:30 UTC. The broadcast features music requests and special messages for the staff at the British Antarctic Survey.

The first recording is of the transmission on a frequency of 7360 kHz from the BBC's Ascension Island relay station (250 kW transmitter power, antenna beam 207 degrees). The transmission was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 5 kHz RF filtering. Reception was good with some atmospheric noise. The interruption in the audio around the 11-minute mark was due to a check of other parallel frequencies.

The second recording is of the transmission on a frequency of 5985 kHz from the BBC's Woofferton, England, transmitting station (300 kW transmitter power, antenna beam 184 degrees). The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in AM mode with 5.17 kHz RF filtering. Reception of the broadcast was good with some noise cracks.  

Recording 3 -The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt (BBC reports): August 19, 1991

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Jack Widner, who shares this third (and final) recording which includes coverage of the August 19, 1991 Soviet Coup Attempt from the BBC. Jack shares the following recording notes:

BBC news & reports.  Starts with battle at Parliament building (known as the White House)
   03:32 Kevin Connaly's on the scene report after the battle started

Recording 2 -The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt (BBC reports): August 19, 1991

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Jack Widner, who shares this second recording which includes coverage of the August 19, 1991 Soviet Coup Attempt from the BBC. Jack shares the following recording notes:

BBC reports
  • 03:35 plays R. Moscow reading TASS bulletin of Gorbachev unable to fulfill duties
  • 43:00 comments from Frank Gaffney; Gaffney was an ardent supporter of SDI under Weinberger & as late as 1996 was attempting to get new House leader Gingrich to get it going again.
  • 43:45 a clip about Gorbachev's (?) attempt to quash Lithuanian independence (report says it was not clear that Gorbachev authorised this).
The majority of this audio assumes Gorbachev will be replaced

Recording 1 -The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt (BBC/Radio Moscow): August 19, 1991

Poster of the putsch of August 1991. The confrontation between the Republican Russian Government and the Union State Government the USSR (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Poster of the putsch of August 1991. The confrontation between the Republican Russian Government and the Union State Government the USSR (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Jack Widner, who shares this recording that includes coverage of the August 19, 1991 Soviet Coup Attempt. Jack shares the following recording notes:

  • Reports from BBC, radio Moscow, and a snip at the end of Czech Radio announcing the end of the state of emergency
  • Radio Moscow--Slight interruption at 5:15-30
  • BBC 05:30 - 12:46
  • Radio Moscow 12:47 -- note the news item on Yugoslavia of Slovenia's independence moves 18:25.  This was the beginning of the dissolution of Yugoslavia
  • BBC 20:08
  • Radio Moscow 26:16 "News & Views"
  • BBC 27:10
  • Radio Moscow World service 28:11
  • Their interval signal at 38:03 the news that Gorbachev is back in control
  • BBC 40:24
  • Moscow 46:33
  • Radio Prague (?) 46:56 announces end of state of emergency

BBC World Service report of Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster: January 28, 1986

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who submits these notes with his timely off-air recording of the BBC World Service from January 28, 1986:

Thirty years ago today the US Space program came crashing down with the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.
I was a student at Purdue University at the time, living in a dormitory.
I decided to make some recordings knowing this would be a historic event.
This is a recording I made of the BBC on the evening of Jan 28 (0200 UTC on January 29). The frequency was most likely 5975 kHz or 9590 kHz.  The dorm environment didn't make a great place for SWL reception and the recording is noisy but still of decent quality.
Recorded using a Sony ICF-2001 with a wire attached to a window screen for an antenna.

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

BBC Radio 4, The Shipping Forecast: September 29, 2015

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, who notes:

Live recording of the Shipping Forecast broadcast by BBC Radio 4 Longwave on 29 September 2015 beginning at 23:46 UTC on a frequency of 198 kHz from the 500 kW transmitter at Droitwich, near Worcester, England. 
Reception was fairly good with slight co-channel interference and some static. The recording includes "Sailing By," the introductory music for the late-night version of the Shipping Forecast. The recording ends with the national anthem ("God Save the Queen") signalling the end of the broadcast day for Radio 4, and the Greenwich Time Signal (the Six Pips). 
The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in AM mode with 8.09 kHz RF filtering.

BBC World Service, "Click": June 23, 2015

SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, notes:

Live recording of the BBC World Service program "Click" on 23 June 2015 beginning at 19:30 UTC on a frequency of 15400 kHz. The broadcast is from the BBC's Ascension Island transmitter site (125 kW transmitter power, antenna beam 27 degrees). The recording begins with the program "teaser" followed by a short bulletin of news. The program itself begins at 2m:30s. Topics discussed include the technology behind the European spacecraft Sentinel-2A; the book "Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin; Banqer, an online educational app for teaching financial literacy; and transforming line drawings instantly into 3D models. 

The broadcast was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 5 kHz RF filtering. The slightly noisy reception might have been due, in part, to disturbed ionospheric conditions in the wake of a geomagnetic storm along with being outside the target area (west and central Africa) of the transmission.

Many thanks for this recording, Richard! Please listen via the embedded player below and/or download the MP3 file with the link provided.

BBC World Service: 2014 World Cup Final, Part 1 (pre-game and first half)

For your listening pleasure: Part 1--pre-game and first half--of the 2014 FIFA World Cup via the BBC World Service. 

This recording was made on Sunday, July 13, 2014 starting around 18:30 UTC on 13,660 kHz. The broadcast originates from the BBC Wooferton (UK) transmitter site.

Part 2 (second half) and Part 3 (extra time and post-game) are also available on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

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

BBC World Service: 2014 World Cup Final, Part 2 (second half)

For your listening pleasure: Part 2--the second half--of the 2014 FIFA World Cup via the BBC World Service. 

This recording was made on Sunday, July 13, 2014 starting around 20:00 UTC on 11,810 kHz. The broadcast originates from the BBC relay on Ascension Island.

Part 1 (pre-game and first half) and Part 3 (extra time and post-game) are also available on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

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

BBC World Service: 2014 World Cup Final, Part 3 (extra time & post game)

For your listening pleasure: Part 3--extra time and post-game analysis--of the 2014 FIFA World Cup via the BBC World Service.

This recording was made on Sunday, July 13, 2014 starting around 21:00 UTC on 11,810 kHz. The broadcast originates from the BBC relay on Ascension Island.

Part 1 (pre-game and first half) and Part 2 (second half) are also available on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

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

BBC World Service, World Cup (Portugal vs. Ghana): June 26, 2014

Yesterday, I tuned to the BBC World Service on 17,830 kHz at 16:00 UTC, hoping they would be covering the USA vs. Germany game of the FIFA World Cup. I was pleased to hear World Cup coverage the moment I tuned in–but was a little disappointed that BBC had selected the Ghana vs. Portugal game.  Still, I can’t complain; this BBC service is, after all, intended for Africa. And a lot was at stake for Ghana…

So, I listened to the BBC coverage of that game while watching the USA vs Germany game stream over ESPN. I also watched a little of the Portugal/Ghana game, and realized I had an advantage over others streaming the game because the shortwave coverage from the BBC was almost 5 seconds ahead of the live stream. That’s the power of shortwave: goals at the speed of light!

For your listening pleasure, here is the full recording I made from the BBC World Service today. Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

BBC midwinter broadcast to the British Antarctic Survey Team: June 21, 2014

Every year, the BBC broadcasts a special program to the 41 scientists and support staff in the British Antarctic Survey Team. 

As promised on the SWLing Post, here are the recordings of the BBC World Service’s thirty minute broadcast to the British Antarctic Survey. The broadcast started at 21:30 UTC on June 21, 2014 and was broadcast on 5,875, 5,985, 7,350 and 9,890 kHz.

As in previous years, this broadcast was lighthearted, filled with humorous shout-outs from the team’s family and friends. Even a couple of special guests were included. Listen for yourself:

This excellent recording was made by SWLing Post reader, Dominik, in Europe:

Click here to download Dominik's recording as an MP3.

Post reader Rob Wagner (VK3BVW), in Australia, could receive the broadcast on three frequencies (5,875, 5,985, and 7,350). He's included clips of each broadcast on his excellent blog, The Mount Evelyn DX Report.

As for me, I was traveling to visit family yesterday afternoon when the broadcast started.  I knew from listening endeavors on previous visits that receiving a broadcast indoors at their home is not feasible; there is some sort of power line noise in that area that overwhelms anything on the short or medium wave bands, unless the station is very strong.

To cope with this noise, I knew I would need to move my operation outdoors, away from the house, and employ an outdoor antenna. So I packed the following, all into my small flight case: the CommRadio CR-1, a NASA PA-30 15 foot passive wide-band wire antenna, and the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder.

I hung the PA-30 antenna in a nearby tree, spread a wool army blanket on the ground for lounging, and put the mini flight case to use as a stand to hold the radio and recorder. The CR-1 required no external power supply, as its internal battery had been charged in advance (one of the reasons I love this little receiver for travel).

To try out the set-up, I tuned around the bands. Conditions were rough, thunderstorms were in the region, but I was most impressed that I could hear several broadcasters on 31 meters. I knew that the BBC broadcast would be a tough catch; after all, none of their transmissions were targeting my part of the globe–rather, the opposite!

When I tuned to the BBC broadcast on 7,350 kHz, here's what I heard:

This is (very) rough copy; for five or so minutes, you'll hear me switching between AM/USB and LSB to find the best mode for the signal. I also check the other BBC frequencies to see if any were more audible.

In the end, using ECSS (zero-beating the signal in USB) seemed to work best.

For fun, I had also brought along the Tecsun PL-660--a choice portable radio for weak signal DX. I tuned to 7,350 and could just hear the BBC signal in the noise, but voice and music were unintelligible.

Shortwave Radio Interval Signals 1976-77

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Greg Shoom, who shares this recording of interval signals from 1976-1977. He has kindly logged the interval signals as:

  • Deutsche Welle
  • R. Nederland
  • Unidentified interval signal 1
  • Voice of Spain
  • History of R. Nederland's interval signal
  • R. Nederland Arabic service
  • Unidentified interval signal 2
  • R. Canada International
  • R. Nacional de Brasilia
  • Interval signal history from R. Nederland
  • R. RSA
  • Voice of Iran
  • R. Habana Cuba
  • BBC Spanish Service
  • Voice of Turkey

Recorded 1976 and 1977 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3 or simply listen via the embedded player below. Please subscribe to our podcast to receive future recordings automatically.