Radio Nacional de Venezuela: October 11, 2004

Venezuala-Map.jpg

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):

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

Radio TRansmundial.jpg

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.

Israel Radio and Radio Cairo: 1973 Yom Kippur War

Egyptian forces crossing the Suez Canal on October 7 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Egyptian forces crossing the Suez Canal on October 7 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits two recordings: Israel Radio and Radio Cairo, both made during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Dan comments:

These recordings of Israel Radio, and Radio Cairo were made during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. A lot of history here -- you hear a newscast from Jerusalem, mentions of King Hussein, President Nixon, and others. This was a time when shortwave radio could actually bring you information that was not immediately available, as it is today in 2014 via the Internet and news alerts.

Click on the recording title below to download each recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded players.

Israel Radio:

Yemen Radio (Aden): circa 1970s

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this short recording of Yemen Radio, Aden.

Dan comments:

Yemen was once two countries -- North and South -- with separate shortwave stations in Sanaa, and in Aden.   The country united in 1990, but before that for many years the separate capitals were represented on shortwave, with Aden using the 60 meter frequency of 5.060 MHz.  It was tough to hear.   This recording was made in the 1970's -- you will hear the station ID by a male announcer.

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

Voice of Saudi Arabia, test transmission: circa 1970s

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this 1970s era recording of the Voice of Saudi Arabia on the 25 meter band. As with many of Dan's contributions, this broadcast was received from his home in Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA, using a Hammarlund HQ-180C.

Dan comments:

Saudi Arabia obtained new transmitters in the 1970's and was widely heard with test transmissions before going on the air with full programming. This transmission was heard on a number of frequencies. Saudi Arabia is today, in 2014, still on the air on shortwave, one of the last of the Middle East countries still using this method of transmission.

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

Radio Mexico (XERMX), circa 1970s

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this short recording of Radio Mexico on 11,770 kHz.

Dan comments:

Radio Mexico, like Brazil some years later, inaugurated an international service in multiple languages, including English, heard on several major meter bands. This recording was made in the early 70's using a Pilot Radio T-133.

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

Radio Madagascar English Service

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this short recording of Radio Madagascar English Service with station ID.

Dan comments:

"Little known to many shortwave listeners, although a peek in the World Radio TV Handbook would have revealed, was the existence of Radio Madagascar's "International Service"   With a frequency of 17.730 mhz in the 16 meter band, this was one of the more difficult catches, though on a good propagation day such as this one, the station could be heard quite well in North America.   Here, you hear the station ID in the clear by a woman during a musical program.  Radio Madgascar was also quite good with QSLing and many listeners have one or more of their classic cards in their collections."

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

Radio Mali Bamako (International Service 16 Meters) circa 1970s

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this recording of Radio Mali Bamako

Dan comments:

Another in the unusual category from my 1970's archives is Radio Mali, with what it called its "International Service".   Mali, at some point in the 70's had acquired new shortwave transmitters -- it would be interesting history to determine where they came from, perhaps former Soviet Union or Eastern bloc.  These were listed in WRTH's and this reception was from the 16 meter band, heard in the afternoon in Levittown, PA.   This was among many stations I heard on the first radio I used as an SWL, a Pilot Radio T-133, my grandmother's radio, which I still have today.  I have played this audio at SWL Fests here in the United States, and offer it here on the archive as another example of SW stations of the past.

Many thanks for sharing this recording of Radio Mali Bamako, Dan.

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

Moroccan Radio & Television System - Rabat

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this recording of the Moroccan Radio & Television System - Rabat.

Dan comments:

While the Voice of America long had a relay transmitter in Morocco, one of the biggest challenges for DX'ers was hearing the Moroccan Radio & Television System local program in the 25 meter band. As I recall, this was on 11.730 mhz and in this recording you can hear, at about the 22 second mark, the English ID by a male announcer. Time of the program was 1730 - 1800 UTC.

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

Radio Turks & Caicos VSI8 circa 1970's

Grand Turk Lighthouse, Scott 339, 2 Feb 1978 (Source:&nbsp; http://lighthousestampsociety.org )

Grand Turk Lighthouse, Scott 339, 2 Feb 1978 (Source: http://lighthousestampsociety.org)

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this short recording of Radio Turks & Caicos.

Dan comments:

In the 1970's, one of the rare appearances on shortwave was Radio Turks & Caicos (VSI8) which at the time was using, only for a short time, a frequency in the 60 meter band, of 4.788 mhz. There is one mention I can find in the DX press, from DX LISTENING DIGEST MARCH 2003 ARCHIVE, from a SWL who recalled "Turks & Caicos Islands. VSI`s afternoon show on 4.788 MHz``
Those who have collected copies of NASWA or other bulletins probably have other historical records. Unfortunately, I no longer have the logbook details with date and exact time, but it was late afternoon, just as 60 meter frequencies began to be dominated by Brazilian and African stations. As I recall, 4.788 battled with an Angolan station, on 4.795, Radio Comercial, as well as with stations below 4.788.
Two recordings here, one a shortened version -- both end with a Radio Turks relay of a newscast from VOA, where I would eventually spend nearly 34 years as a correspondent. Among other things, reception of Radio Turks demonstrated the great flexibility of the HQ-180 receiver, which provided not only notch capability but fine (vernier) tuning and multiple selectivity positions. So, another blast from the past 1970's -- Radio Turks & Caicos.

Click the title of each recording below to download as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded audio players.

Radio Turks & Caicos (RAW recording):

Radio Tahiti, English

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Dan Robinson, who submits this short recording of Radio Tahiti's English language service--a very rare recording. 

Dan comments:

"Radio Tahiti was one of the most popular stations on shortwave for many years, audible on several shortwave frequencies. Many SWLs and DX'ers recall the pleasure of listening to hours of broadcasts, which because of the antenna orientation of the station, could be heard at strong levels, at almost all times of the day, including the middle of the afternoon on the East coast of North America. Primary frequencies were 15.170 and 11.825, though others were used. What many people might not recall, or perhaps never heard, was the only English language portion broadcast by Radio Tahiti, called "English by Radio". This recording, made early in my SWL career, was made with the first radio I ever used, a 1940's Pilot T-133, with a classic slide-rule type dial. This may indeed be the only recording in existence of this rare English from Radio Tahiti. Also included -- a recording of Radio Tahiti at sign off, and a longer raw recording of the station in Tahitian and French."

Click the title of each recording below to download as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded audio players.

Radio Tahiti English:

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