All India Radio: a welcome voice

Also published on The SWLing Post:

Many afternoons, I'm drawn to All India Radio on 9,445 kHz. I love what the ether does to their Bengaluru transmitting station's signal as it travels at the speed of light over 8,700 miles to my home here in the southeastern US.

Pressing hands together with a smile to greet Namaste/Namaskar – a common cultural practice in India. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Pressing hands together with a smile to greet Namaste/Namaskar – a common cultural practice in India. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I enjoy, too, the way All India Radio announcers speak the news, in slow cadence, honoring the fine tradition of radio: "This is the general overseas service of All India Radio. It's time now for the news.  Please stand by..." I also delight in their English language news bulletins, which begin with "Namaskar."  I appreciate this--it makes it much easier for me to identify the station when listening on an analog radio like my BC-348-Q. I'm sure this makes a difference for many other listeners seeking their station, too.

I also love All India Radio--like I do the Voice of Greece--for their superb music. Where else on the shortwave dial will I hear the sitar sing, as on AIR?

But don't take my word for it. If you live in North America and Europe, when conditions are favorable, All India Radio is a favorite listening experience for many--myself obviously included.

For your listening enjoyment, here is a 30 minute recording I made of All India Radio only an hour ago on 9,445 kHz, starting at 22:00 UTC. Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:


RNW: The Happy Station Show, 26 July 1992

Jan Oversteen sends us this recording of the Happy Station Show and comments:

"Part of the Happy Station Show from July 26, 1992. This is the broadcast in where Tom Meijer announced that Pete Meijers is going to take over the program."

Thank you for sharing this recording, Jan!  If you would like to share recordings, simply submit a recording with this form.

Voice of Greece


For your listening pleasure: almost three hours of music--ranging from modern to folk--and a little Greek commentary, from the Voice of Greece. Recorded today, May 13, 2013 on 9.42 MHz starting around 01:52 UTC.

Click here to download the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Radio Strange Outpost 7 and Shrunken Head Rad

While attending the Winter SWL Fest this year in Plymouth Meeting, PA, I left my WinRadio Excalibur running day and night back home, recording spectrum in the pirate radio watering hole. I always find that while shortwave pirate activity is slightly lower during the SWL Fest (because many pirates are in attendance), there are always some interesting stations I miss.

This year, I was chatting with famed Pirate Radio enthusiast/author, Andrew Yoder and mentioned how I love rare pirates like Radio Strange Outpost 7. He then told me that he'd just noticed a logging of RSO7 on a pirate radio forum. I quickly logged into my home computer (via smart phone) and could see that my receiver had been capturing the right frequencies at the right time. When I returned home, I dug through the spectrum and found the broadcasts of RSO7 and Shrunken Head Radio (possibly the same pirate?) via the WBNY relay service. Woo hoo!

RSO7 is semi-cryptic, quirky and always fun (check out my off-air recording from last year). Though this broadcast contains no real music content from RSO7, Shrunken Head radio does.

Click here to download the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Myke shares 2012 season of ShortWaveMusic

swm_tkuMyke, over at ShortWaveMusic, has made his entire 2012 season of ShortWaveMusic freely downloadable on SoundCloud. This series was recorded from December 31, 2011 – January 16, 2012 throughout the West African country of Mali. The series contains some remarkable field recordings taken from both the shortwave and medium wave bands.

Note that Myke's ShortWaveMusic series and travels are supported by Kickstarter donors. I don't know where Myke's travels will take him next year, but when the time comes we will post an announcement along with a link for supporters.

Now put on your headphones, close your eyes and you will be transported to Mali:

For full SoundCloud features, click here for the 2012 series on SoundCloud.

Radio Cinco De Mayo

Radio Cinco De Mayo made its annual broadcast on (you guessed it!) May 5th, 2013, starting around 00:17 UTC on 6925 kHz USB.

Early Saturday morning, the band's condition sounded like that of summer, with atmospheric noises (a few static crashes, produced by local thunderstorms), but propagation was steady and the overall quality very respectable.

You can download an MP3 of the full recording by clicking here, or by listening via the embedded player below.

Check out Ragnar's off-air recording of Radio Cinco De Mayo (and more!) on his PiratesWeek podcast.

UPDATE (May 08): Just received my Radio Cinco De Mayo QSL:

radiocincodemayo 2013-2 qsl

The Mighty KBC

The Art of Noise kicks off this Mighty KBC broadcast. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Mighty KBC broadcast again early this morning (from 00:00-02:00 UTC) on their new summer frequency of 9,925 kHz. Their signal from Nauen, Germany was packing 125 kW--it was amazingly strong into North America. As we’ve come to expect, the KBC’s Giant Jukebox of music has a lot of rock-n-roll and Euro-pop variety, spanning the decades; DJ, "Uncle Eric" knows how to entertain and spin the tunes!

You can listen to the full recording below in the embedded player, or simply right click this link and save the MP3 file to your computer.

You’ll notice that Kim Elliott has another installation of digital text modes in this broadcast. Decode these digital modes using Fldigi from Be sure to check out Dr. Elliott's VOA Radiogram website for full details about this broadcast.

Shrimp Boat Radio, WSBR (a.k.a. Freakin' Awesome Radio, WFAR)

(Original source: Wikimedia Commons)

"We're shrimpin,' but they're not bitin'!"

Last night, a very unique pirate radio station emerged from the static on 6,925 kHz USB: Shrimp Boat Radio. It seems a shrimp boat radio pirate found himself bored on board, due to a lack of shrimp--but his boredom became our gain with an offer to talk shrimpin,' fishin,' or just take music

This is the stuff great pirate radio is made of.  He started with a request for the Rolling Stones; next Black Cat Radio's Greaser Bob chimed in with a request for GNR.  And there began an evening of pirate radio with live on-air requests.

You can tell that this was a completely impromptu production--and it was all the better for it.  Not too long into the show, he took on the alternate name Freakin' Awesome Radio (WFAR).

Hearing a live pirate radio request show was a first for me, and the sort of thing that gets this "content DXer" enthused. I'm glad I had the tape rolling!  I hope he reappears on the band in the future.

Note that I start the recording at the very first announcement from WSBR. If you want to skip to the first music request, fast-forward to about 11 minutes into the recording (you'll miss some great banter, though). There are a few long breaks of static in the recording where this pirate scrambled to find and play music requests, but this just adds to the authenticity.

Click here to download the full recording of Shrimp Boat Radio, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Enjoy!

Click here to download the full recording of Shrimp Boat Radio, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Enjoy!

Radio Panik injects shortwave audio into mixes

LetrangerI recently discovered that the radio show L'etranger, on Radio Panik, 105.4 in Brussels, used shortwave radio recordings of pirate radio and numbers stations, from the SWLing Post and other sources, in one of their mixes of eclectic music and sound clips. The end result is a splendid piece of sonic art.

Note that their audio is only available on until May 23, 2013. Click here to download the show, or listen via the embedded player below. You can also hear the show on the L'etranger website.

Voice of Greece


For your listening pleasure: four hours of music, and a little Greek commentary, from the Voice of Greece. I recorded this broadcast on Sunday, April 21st March 8th, 2013 on 9.42 MHz at 18:30 UTC. While recording, I piped the shortwave audio through our home hi-fi system--it sounded absolutely amazing. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Click here to download the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Radio Romania International

Victory Avenue (Calea Victoriei), a major avenue in central Bucharest (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Today at 20:30 UTC, Radio Romania International's signal on 11,745 kHz was  quite strong, as it so often is.  RRI is one of the few broadcasters that still target Europe and the eastern US on shortwave.

RRI is a treasure of a station, too, with true local flavor--Romanian news, music, and mini cultural documentaries. This Sunday broadcast features the program Inside Romania, Romanian Without Tears (a language program which always reminds me of the similarities between French and Romanian), DX Mailbag, and Roots.

Click here to download the full broadcast as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below. This recording features their interval signal before and after the broadcast.

If you enjoy Radio Romania International, I encourage you to send an accurate and descriptive reception report to: Maybe your letter will be featured on their DX Mailbag!

Radio Australia's Tok Pisin service

Monday morning, I was up earlier than usual and caught Radio Australia's Tok Pisin (Pacific Pidgin Language Service) on 9,475 kHz.

I doubt many English-speaking SWLing Post readers will understand Tok Pisin if you're hearing it for the first time, but as with other Pidgin languages throughout the world, Tok Pisin is a mixture of several languages: English, German, Malay, Portuguese and Austronesian languages. It has a comparatively simple structure and you might be surprised what you can understand if the topic shifts to something familiar. I've certainly enjoyed listening to it in the background as I work on other projects.

I recorded a full 90 minutes of the Tok Pisin service; you can download it directly by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

NHK Radio Japan

For you listening pleasure: thirty minutes of NHK Radio Japan's English language service.

This broadcast was recorded an hour ago, at 10:00 UTC on 9,625 (April 19, 2013).  Though NHK has dropped their English language services into North America, you can still receive their broadcasts targeting other regions quite easily.

Click here to download the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below. note that I include a full five minutes of their interval signal: Enjoy!

Tokyo, Japan (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Hard Tack Radio

For your listening pleasure: a 24 minute recording of the pirate radio station, Hard Tack Radio.

Hard Tack Radio plays US Civil War era songs "celebrating the Blue and the Gray."

I caught Hard Tack's broadcast Friday night (April 12) around 23:10 UTC. Their upper side band signal was pretty strong and well above the active noise floor, though there was a heterodyne/data noise located right around 6926.8 kHz. You won't hear this noise in the recording below, because I effectively used the WinRadio Excalibur's notch filter to eliminate it. At the very end of the recording, I turn off the notch and you'll hear the noise a few seconds before the broadcast ends.

Click here to download the full recording of Hard Tack Radio, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

This Hard Tack Radio SSTV image can be decoded at the end of the broadcast.

Propaganda from the source: Listening to the Voice of Korea on shortwave radio


One of the countries dominating the headlines of global news lately is North Korea. As Kim Jong-un raises tensions and rattles his nuclear saber, the rest of the world is attempting to determine if this is a egotistical show of power for the benefit of all observers (as with previous leaders) or if there is real intention behind the rhetoric. Just this morning Pyongyang has warned that Tokyo would be a primary strike target if war were to break out, or if their test missile is downed; they've even moved their missile launch pad into position.

Regardless of outcome of these provocations, I know that the bulk of the North Korean population will suffer. North Korean mainstream "news" consists of images of military parades in the immaculate capital city of Pyongyang; but the reality is that most of the population live in rural North Korea, which is subject to severe food shortages and extreme poverty.

We know North Korea is a country that carefully controls and manipulates their media internally; they also broadcast the same flavor of propaganda externally on shortwave radio via the Voice of Korea.

As shortwave radio listeners, we have the distinct advantage of being able to listen directly to the case of North Korea. We can actually hear (and analyze for ourselves) the North Korea propaganda directly from the source. Note that it's not uncommon for the Voice of Korea to unexpectedly go off air, likely due to power shortages: this fact is much more suggestive of the of general conditions in the country than the "news" itself.

Depending on where you live in the world, your ability to hear the (relatively weak) Voice of Korea will vary.  If you live in the Asia/Pacific region, the station is very audible.

Yesterday morning at 10:00 UTC, I recorded an hour of their English broadcast to South America on 11.71 MHz. You can download an mp3 of the recording by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below.

Below, you'll also find the current broadcast schedule for the Voice of Korea English service courtesy of North Korea Tech:


VOK English (time in UTC)

  • 04:00 on 7220, 9445, 9730 kHz to Northeast Asia
  • 04: 00 on 11735, 13760, 15180 kHzto Central & South America
  • 05:00 on 13650, 15105 kHzto Southeast Asia
  • 06:00 on 7220, 9445, 9730 kHzto Northeast Asia
  • 10:00 on 11710, 15180 kHzto Central & South America
  • 10:00 on 11735, 13650 kHzto Southeast Asia
  • 13:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe
  • 13:00 on 9435, 11710 kHzto North America
  • 15:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe
  • 15:00 on 9435, 11710 kHzto North America
  • 16:00 on 9890, 11645 kHzto Near & Middle East; North Africa
  • 18:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe
  • 19:00 on 7210, 11910 kHzto South Africa
  • 19:00 on 9875, 11635 kHzto Near & Middle East; North Africa
  • 21:00 on 13760, 15245 kHzto Western Europe

For a full schedule of the Voice of Korea, please visit this page on North Korea Tech.

Radio Australia Jazz Notes

This episode of Jazz Notes starts with a piece by the Australian band,  The Catholics. (Photo: Bugle Records)

For your listening pleasure: thirty minutes of Radio Australia’s Jazz Notes.

This broadcast was recorded today at 13:30 UTC on 9,580 kHz.  As on most mornings, the signal out of Shepparton, Australia, was very strong; the audio fidelity was, in consequence, very impressive for a transmission emanating from some 9,800 miles away.

You can download this recording of Jazz Notes by clicking here, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Voice Of Islamic Republic of Iran

Tehran, Iran

On Thursday, March 14th, I tuned to the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 9.895 MHz at 02:30 UTC.

The signal was strong, but audio somewhat typically over-modulated. However, I was able to record the full broadcast.

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

VOA Special English


I believe that VOA Special English may be one of the best educational resources on the shortwaves. At Ears To Our World, we find that it is often the most popular program in countries where English may be the official language, but where locals only speak it as a second language. Over four years ago, I mentioned a Special English broadcast honoring Henry Loomis, the creator and champion of Special English at the VOA. Click here to read the archived post.

I recorded this particular broadcast of VOA Special English on March 19, 2013 at 1:30 UTC on 5,960 kHz.

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

Radio New Zealand International

The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) provides the interval signal for RNZI (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

One of my favorite shortwave radio broadcasters is Radio New Zealand International. RNZI has authoritative news--with a focus on NZ and the Pacific islands--music, sports and their own unique character, though they operate on a very modest budget by international broadcasting standards.

The RNZI interval signal is charming and unmistakable: the call of the New Zealand Bellbird.

Fortunately, in the 3 hour recording of RNZI below, I caught not only the interval signal as the broadcast began, but also as it went off the air. This recording was made on March 14th 2013 starting around 8:00 UTC on 9,765 kHz. (You'll note news of the Pope.)

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

Note to SWLing Post reader, Mike: I hope you enjoy these sounds from home!