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:

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!

Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI) final shortwave broadcast: September 30, 2007

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Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Andrea Borgnino, who shares the following off-air recording clips of the final shortwave broadcasts from Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI): 

15380 kHz 6:30 pm UTC 30 September 2007 - Program for North America in Italian:

15380 kHz 18:40 UTC 30 September 2007 - Announcement of short wave broadcasts ending.

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.

Radio St. Helena, The final hour (sign-off) with Tony Leo: December 25, 2012

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Sarah Boucher, who submits this final sign-off of Radio St. Helena on 1548 kHz and notes:

Closedown begins with the last few seconds of love is everywhere by caught in the act (1995).

Deutsche Welle, final Kigali relay broadcast: March 28, 2015

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, for sharing this&nbsp;beautiful QSL card&nbsp;from the early days of the DW Kigali relay station.

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, for sharing this beautiful QSL card from the early days of the DW Kigali relay station.

Yesterday, Deutsche Welle transmitted its final broadcast from the Kigali, Rwanda relay station. Since I’ve only had moderate luck hearing the Kigali site the past few days–especially on 31 meters–I fired up the TitanSDR Pro (which is still currently under review) and set it to record all three final afternoon broadcasts from Kigali on 12,005, 15,275 and 17,800 kHz

Kigali produced a very strong signal on 17,800 kHz. The TitanSDR recorded the full broadcast, starting with one minute of the transmitter tuning, then one hour of DW’s French language service, followed by one hour of DW’s Hausa language service…then the transmitter went silent.

The recording begins around 1659 UTC on March 28, 2015 on 17,800 kHz:

Radio Berlin International, final episode: October 2, 1990

Many thanks to Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:

[The following is a] recording of the penultimate English broadcast from Radio Berlin International (RBI) and the last broadcast in the particular time slot. It was also the last broadcast of the popular DX program DX-tra.

RBI ceased broadcasting at the end of the day on 2 October 1990, the day before German reunification took place.

In addition to the final episode of DX-tra, the recording features the news (in progress as the recording starts a minute or two after 00:45), Commentary, RBI Press Review, and Spotlight on Sport. There are several “goodbye” songs including “The Final Countdown” by the Swedish hard rock band Europe, and “Goodbye Blue Sky” by Pink Floyd and some announcer goodbye comments like “the voice of the disappearing German Democratic Republic,” “that was it,” and “the last day of the good old GDR.”

The 45-minute recording ends with the familiar RBI interval signal and, at 01:30 UTC, the first part of the German-language transmission, also the last in its time slot.

This recording was made in Hanwell, NB, Canada, with a Sony ICF-7600D receiver and supplied wire antenna draped around Richard’s home office. This recording begins around 0045 UTC, October 2, 1990 on a frequency of 9,730 kHz.

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

Radio Exterior de España, final French language broadcast: October 14, 2014

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Frank, for sharing this final French language broadcast of Radio Exterior de España. Frank writes:

This is the final French language shortwave transmission to Europe by Spanish Radio REE, recorded in Europe at 1800 UTC on 9665 kHz, October 14th, 2014

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.

Radio Exterior de España, final Spanish language broadcast: October 14, 2014

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Frank, for sharing this final Spanish language broadcast of Radio Exterior de España. Frank writes:

This is the recording of the last and final shortwave English language transmission of the Spanish Radio - Radio Exterior de Espana, broadcast to Europe. Frequency: 9665 kHz, time: 1900 GMT, date: 14 October 2014 (On October 15th 2014 there was no signal of the station at the same time on 9665 kHz). Although the station was to stream live programming in English on its website, for the moment only podcasts are available and there is no stream availability for English programmes.

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.