Monday, April 24, 2017

The First Wireless Experiments in Indiana


It was in April 1899, that Professor Jerome Green at the University of Notre Dame at South Bend, in the north of the state of Indiana, made his first experiments in wireless transmission.  Working with several interested students, Professor Green assembled the necessary equipment for a spark transmitter and a coherer receiver as a locally made copy of the equipment assembled by Guglielmo Marconi in Italy and England.    
            In his first experiments, Professor Green hung a wire ten feet long from the ceiling in the Physics Laboratory in Science Hall (now La Fortune Hall) as the antenna, and another wire connected to a nearby steam pipe as the earthing system.  The transmitter was a battery powered spark coil that could produce sparks nearly a foot long.  
            In an adjoining room, a suspended wire six feet long formed the antenna and the earthing wire was again connected to a nearby steam pipe. The receiver was a coherer, that is a very small glass tube with an internal diameter of just 1/8th inch, filled with silver and nickel filings.  Successful wireless transmissions were achieved with the sending and receiving apparatuses in the adjoining rooms. 
            Next they set up their apparatus in two separate buildings 100 feet apart, with similarly successful results.  Then they ventured further apart, with the receiver in another building, Sorin Hall, 500 feet distant.  On each occasion, the transmitter remained in the Science Building, and the receiver was installed in buildings progressively further apart. 
            However, we should mention that on each occasion, the earth connection from the transmitter and the earth connection from the receiver were always attached to nearby steam pipes.  It would seem to us that on each occasion the transmission was achieved successfully through both pathways simultaneously; through the air from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna and also through the connections to the steam pipe system.    
            However, in a subsequent experiment, they attached the transmitting antenna wire to a flagpole 125 feet high and reception was achieved at a distance of two miles.  The receiver was then moved to another location another mile further distant with suburban South Bend in between.  Strong signals were again received in this experiment over an air distance of three miles.
            Their next experiment was from Notre Dame University to a location in Mishawaka, an air  distance of six miles.  However, that distance was just too much for their primitive apparatus, and this time no signal was received.  That failed experiment was the end of the wireless  experiments at the Notre Dame University in April of the year 1899.
            However, due to their successful experimentation in South Bend, Professor Green was invited to conduct similar experiments during the month of May (1899) in the downtown area of the city of Chicago in nearby Illinois.  Initially the transmitter was setup at the Polk Street Railway Station and the receiver in the Tribune (newspaper) Building, a distance of ¾ mile.  Due to excessive electrical interference from many intervening wire systems, this experiment was not successful.  
            In a subsequent experiment, the transmitter was installed in the new skyscraper Monadnock Building and the receiver again in the Tribune Building, a clear distance of less than half a mile with no intervening wire systems.  The received signal on this occasion, according to a news item in the Tribune newspaper, was described as strong.  Similar experiments also occurred in another new  skyscraper, the Marquette Building.
            Later the transmitter was set up at the Life Saving Station at the mouth of the Chicago River and the receiver on a tugboat out on the lake.  That final experiment was indeed successful with the reception also of a very strong signal. 
            In all of those wireless experiments, Professor Green acknowledged that he invented nothing, that all he did was to copy the work of the famous Guglielmo Marconi, and he demonstrated that yes, the Marconi system did work.  Transmissions over water, he affirmed, were stronger than over the land.  However, his pioneering work at Notre Dame University is accorded the honor of being the first wireless experimentation in the state of Indiana.

 (AWR Wavescan)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot weekly programming



From the Isle of Music
Week of April 24-29, 2017
For the benefit of our new listeners, we share one of our earliest episodes from last year with modern Cuban concert music (Piñera Concertante), Timba (El Niño y La Verdad), Danzón (Ethiel Failde, who is also our special guest), and some rare Cuban Jazz Fusion (Estado de Animo)

Four possibilities to listen via shortwave:

1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Episode 9 of Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, a clandestine musical variety program that features everything from everywhere EXCEPT music that you are probably familiar with, ,will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, April 27 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). Brought to you by

Tilford Productions, which also brings you From the Isle of Music.(The WBCQ website keeps us Top Secret, but we'll be on, and propagation has been great lately....)

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
email: bill@tilfordproductions.com

The Shortwave Scene in the Indian City with the Longest Name


On the previous occasion when we looked at the radio scene in the city of Trivandrum in South India, we presented the story of their local radio stations, AM mediumwave and FM.  In our program today, we present the story of their shortwave station which is often heard in continents afar, such as Australia, North America and Europe,
            The name of the city, Trivandrum, is an English abbreviation of the very long name in Malayalam, the official language of the Indian state of Kerala.  The Malayalam language is a Dravidian language that was derived from ancient Tamil with an admixture of the ancient classical Sanskrit language.
            The Malayalam language contains 52 letters, consisting of 16 vowels and 36 consonants, which when combined in various pronunciations produce a total of 576 syllabic characters, making a total of more than 900 separate glyphs.  The Malayalam language contains the most written characters of any of the many languages in India.
            In 1981, the writing system in the Malayalam language was officially reduced down to 90 characters, thus simplifying typesetting and the usage of computers.  The name of the southern city in the Malayalam language is Thiruvananthapuram which when translated into English, means the City of the Eternal Lord.
            It was back in the early 1960s that the first attempt was made to establish a shortwave transmitter in conjunction with the already existing mediumwave facility in Trivandrum.  However, due to rising tensions with China which developed into a month long border conflict, the shortwave transmitter intended for Trivandrum was quickly diverted to Kurseong in West Bengal.
            This new 20 kW transmitter was installed out among the tea estates in the high hill countryside out from Kurseong and it was officially inaugurated on June 2, 1962.  At the time, there was no mediumwave station in Kurseong, and programming was produced locally and taken on relay from Delhi and Calcutta.  This station operated on 3355 kHz early morning and evening, and on 6100 kHz during the day.
            Two years later, All India Radio announced that a 250 watt transmitter would be installed in Trivandrum and it would operate on 7280 kHz.  However, this intended plan was never implemented either.
            Then twenty years later again, All India Radio announced that Trivandrum was again under consideration for the installation of a shortwave transmitter, a project that would be implemented under the next Five Year Plan.  However, once again, and for the third time, Trivandrum missed out. 
            However, comes the year 1992, and a 50 W transmitter manufactured by BEL Bangalore Electronics Limited Model HHB144 was actually installed at a coastal location at Muttathura in suburban Trivandrum, some eight miles from the studios of All India Radio mediumwave.  The transmitter site also includes an emergency on air studio.
            The shortwave antenna system is readily visible on Google Earth and the three towers can be seen in close walking distance to the beach, a little south of the sewage farm which itself is a little south of the jetty.  The three self supporting towers are in a straight line, at an angle of approximately 750 and they are supporting two simple curtain antennas.  The main coverage area for AIR Trivandrum shortwave is towards the north from Trivandrum and across to the neighboring island of Sri Lanka. 
            Test transmissions consisting of mainly test tones began in October 1992, and two years later on November 6 (1994), the station was taken into a regular schedule of on air service.  Currently, shortwave AIR Trivandrum is on the air morning and evening on 5010 kHz and during the day on 7290 kHz.  QSL cards for this shortwave station are usually processed at the AIR head office in New Delhi.

            VoH Zambia reception report from Trivandrum
(AWR Wavescan)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Original Vatican Radio

(via Gayle Van Horn Collection)
A surprising move in the international radio world is reported in the March issue of the Australian DX News.  The Japanese shortwave service NHK in Tokyo has made an enquiry regarding the possibility of buying the shortwave station at Santa Maria di Galeria that is owned and operated by Vatican Radio.  This unusual report is contained in a news release from the Catholic World News service, as copied into the latest issue of the Australian DX News.
            In recent years, it has been reported that Vatican Radio has been attempting to cut its operating costs by a reduction in some of its transmission services, and also by operating its complement of shortwave transmitters at a lower power level.  In addition, Vatican Radio has also co-operated in  exchanging reciprocal relay services with other international broadcasting stations, such as Radio Canada International, Radio Netherlands and NHK Tokyo.       
            The Catholic World News Report states that the newly appointed prefect of the Secretariat for Communications in the Vatican, Msgr Dario Vigano, will cut off all shortwave broadcasts as a move to cut costs.  One of the first moves in this regard occurred on March 24 when all English language broadcasts to Asia came to an end.  This dramatic move in ending its shortwave transmissions will include the closure of their large  shortwave station at Santa Maria di Galeria.
            No specific date was indicated in the brief three paragraph news release as to the target date for closure.  However, this same news release refers to the fact that the Vatican will no longer use the shortwave station at Santa Maria di Galaria, and that NHK Tokyo has already enquired regarding the possibility of buying this station.  
            In our program today here in Wavescan, we go back to the beginning, and we investigate the origins of Vatican Radio and its first shortwave station.  This is the story.
            Back on July 25, 1925, a senior Vatican official issued a memorandum calling for the Vatican to establish its own radio broadcasting station, primarily for the broadcast of astronomy news from the Vatican Observatory.  Two years later, the Italian-Irishman of radio fame, Guglielmo Marconi, received an official invitation from the Vatican to make plans for establishing a radio broadcasting station in the Vatican.
            Two years later again, on February 11, 1929, a concordat was signed between the government of Italy and the Vatican, thus re-establishing the Vatican as a separate political entity with extra-territorial status.  Then four days after the signing of this concordat, which is known as the Lateran Treaty, Marconi was entrusted with the installation of a radio broadcasting station, Vatican Radio. 
            Under the Marconi initiative, a new 10 kW shortwave transmitter was installed in Vatican City, or Leonine City as it is sometimes called.  This transmitter and its associated equipment was manufactured in Marconi’s own factory at Chelmsford in England.
            The transmitter and self-supporting antenna tower, together with its associated reflector at the base, was erected in the area of the enclave known as the Vatican Gardens.  Interestingly, this new radio broadcasting station would operate solely on shortwave, and a mediumwave service would not be established until a dozen years later, during the stressful years of World War 2.
            At 3:30 pm on Thursday February 12, 1931, Marquis Marconi arrived and he entered the small studio where he announced to the world in fluent English that the official inauguration ceremony would begin just one hour later.  This introductory shortwave transmission was heard loud and clear, it was reported, in New York City USA, Melbourne Australia and Quebec Canada.  All of the new electronic equipment was then switched off.   
            One hour later at the previously appointed time of 4:30 pm, the electronic equipment was officially switched on again, stage by stage.  The transmitter operator sent out a short four word message in Morse Code in the Latin language as an indication that the official inauguration program was about to begin. 
            A few minutes later, Guglielmo Marconi himself, speaking again in fluent English, announced in two brief paragraphs the birth of shortwave station HVJ,  the new Vatican Radio.  Vatican dignitaries speaking in the Latin language for a full hour and a half, then pronounced the official inauguration of the new shortwave radio station whose signal could be heard around the world.  Monitoring reports received subsequently indicated a good signal into so many different countries around the world.
            Initial programming from shortwave HVJ consisted of two brief broadcasts each day; 15 minutes each, beginning at 5:00 am on 15120 kHz and at 2:00 pm on 5970 kHz.  Program content was usually astronomy information from the Vatican Observatory presented in the Italian language.  There were however, special broadcasts on special occasions, and occasional broadcasts in the English language.
            Some six years later, in 1937, a German made 25 kW Telefunken transmitter, Model S379GR, also shortwave, was installed, though programming still remained much the same, with English on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  However, with war clouds ominous over continental Europe, developmental plans were laid in the Autumn of 1939 with increased programming in multiple languages. 
            The first mediumwave transmitter for Vatican Radio was installed during the year 1943 under the callsign HVI.  From where did the Vatican obtain an additional radio broadcasting transmitter when active war was wreaking havoc and devastation in so many countries of continental Europe, including Italy itself?  
            By this time, the European war was turning against the central powers, and Italy signed a Peace Memorandum with the allies on September 3, 1943, the very day that British forces landed on the toe of Italy.  And American forces followed very quickly afterwards, just three days later. 
            With the British and American presence already in Italy, we could guess that the new 1 kW transmitter in the Vatican came from either England or the United States.  Perhaps the Marconi company in England, or perhaps RCA in the United States? 
            Over the years, additional mediumwave transmitters have been installed in the Vatican, including 100 kW on 1529 kHz in 1951, and several smaller units at 5 kW 10 kW 15 kW and 20 kW. Also in 1951, a Philips 100 kW shortwave transmitter was installed in Vatican City, though this was transferred six years later as the first transmitter in Santa Maria di Galeria. 
            The last shortwave transmitter in Vatican City itself was a double unit made up of a Marconi 50 kW and a Telefunken 30 kW combined to produce 80 kW on the out of band channel 6210 kHz.  This unusual operation was closed down half a dozen years ago.

            Later this year, we plan to present the story of the Vatican shortwave station at Santa Maria di Galeria, which, we understand, NHK Tokyo would now like to buy.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 423) 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Radio Free Asia Releases 4th QSL in IBB Site Series

IBB Kuwait - 2017

Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces the release of the fourth QSL card in the series highlighting the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) transmitter sites used for RFA programming. RFA programs also broadcasts from these IBB sites: Biblis, Lampertheim, Saipan and Tinian. IBB Kuwait is one of the most cost-effective transmitter site’s in IBB’s inventory and is also an integral part of IBB’s global satellite interconnect system (SIS) carrying RFA programming where needed. This is RFA’s 64th QSL overall and will be used to confirm all valid RFA reception reports from May 1 - August 31, 2017.


RFA’s 4th IBB transmitter site QSL – IBB Kuwait



RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin (including the Wu dialect), Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a ‘surrogate’ broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest. More information about Radio Free Asia, including our current broadcast frequency schedule, is available at www.rfa.org.
RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports. Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions. RFA confirms all accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card to the listener. RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at http://techweb.rfa.org (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX’ers, but also from its general listening audience.

Reception reports are also accepted by email at qsl@rfa.org and by mail to:
Reception Reports
Radio Free Asia
2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
Washington DC 20036
United States of America
(A.J. Janitschek/RFA)

The Radio Scene on an Almost Scottish Island in the Caribbean


Lying some ten miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean is the lonely and almost isolated island called Vieques.  This island is 20 miles long and not quite 5 miles wide.  A dozen or so smaller islets and rocklets may be seen nearby.
            La Isla de Vieques has no permanent rivers or streams; it is subject to tropical storms and hurricanes; it boasts the world’s brightest oceanic bioluminescence in a bright neon blue; and one of its tourist attractions is a 300 year old Ceiba Tree, a silk cotton tree.  According to the international tourist authority, TripAdvisor, Island Vieques boasts several uncommercialized pristine beaches that are listed among the top 25 in the world.  One of these unique beaches is Black Sand Beach, where the sand at the waterfront is very finely ground volcanic rock.
               The very earliest settlers on Vieques were the Amerindians from the mainland areas of the Americas.  They arrived by small boat via the many intervening islands throughout the Caribbean.  About a thousand years ago, the combined inhabitants of Vieques with their various tribal backgrounds developed what is known as the Taino culture.
            It is said that the famous Iberian explorer, Christopher Columbus must have at least seen the island called Vieques during his visit to the Caribbean in 1493.  This small island came under Spanish influence at the same time as did nearby Puerto Rico.  It was described as a lawless outpost way back 500 years ago, and there were attempts by Spain, France, England and even Denmark to colonize the island, though with very little success.
            Interestingly, back during the early colonial era, Scotland ventured into establishing their own outpost settlements in the Americas, though with almost no success anywhere.  Their initial attempt was in the year 1629 when they established a small colonial settlement in what is now Nova Scotia (New Scotland) in Canada.  This was the first of a dozen Scottish settlements in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
            During the latter part of the 1600s, Scotland made numerous attempts to buy Vieques Island which was identified at the time by the British as Crab Island.  In a desperate attempt to obtain the island, a Scottish fleet made landfall and took possession of it in the name of the Company of Scotland in 1698.
            A total of five ships were on their way at the time to what is now Panama and a few of their colonial passengers dropped off on Vieques to found a small Scottish settlement.  However, because of European rivalries in the Caribbean, the Scottish settlement on Vieques was no more successful than any of the other Scottish settlements in the Americas.
            In 1811, Vieques was colonized from Puerto Rico; in 1854 the island was annexed by Puerto Rico; and in 1898 the island, along with Puerto Rico itself, was ceded by Spain to the United States.  These days there are two small towns on the island, Isabel and Esperanza; and the total population of the entire island numbers nearly 10,000. 
            On  September 1, 1922 the Department of Commerce in Washington DC issued a license for a new Commercial Land Station on Vieques under the sequential callsign WGW.  Station WGW was operated by the Bureau of Insular Telegraphy for communication with the main RCA communication station in the regional capital city San Juan on Puerto Rico.  
             An entry in Radio News for April 1925 lists station WGW as a program broadcasting station on 600 metres, 500 kHz.  Many other radio stations in the United States with callsigns beginning with the two letters WG were also listed as radio broadcasting stations, and this would lead us to believe that the Vieques communication station WGW was also on the air at times with entertainment and information programs.  In 1933, this same station WGW was listed with five different shortwave wavelengths, though 52 metres seems to have been their most used channel.
            In 1942, the United States Navy purchased or seized 2/3rds of the island for use in conjunction with their base at Roosevelt Roads on nearby Puerto Rico.  Their original intent was to construct a lengthy stone breakwater connecting the two islands, Pueto Rico and Vieques; thus forming a massive artificial harbor.  This artificial harbor was originally intended to be a refuge for the Royal Navy if Hitler should conduct a successful invasion against England, but it was never constructed.
            In April 2001, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (Vessel No CVN65) was in the waterways between Puerto Rico and Vieques and its planes were on patrol conducting a practice drill with bombing runs against vacant areas on Vieques.  In order to warn the local inhabitants, an American radio station was on the air with information in English and Spanish regarding the air raids.  We would presume that this station was on the air from the USS Enterprise and that one of its many radio transmitters was tuned to a mediumwave frequency in the AM mode.  
            In 2003, local citizens on Vieques began the production of a one hour weekly radio broadcast under the title Radio Vieques and this program was transmitted by two mediumwave stations in Puerto Rico; one in San Juan and the other in Humacao.  This program was on the air for five years, though when it ended in 2008, plans were formulated for the development of a community operated local FM station on the island.
            After five years of planning, preparation and fundraising, the new Radio Vieques was finally airborne four years ago on June 23, 2013 with 4 kW on 90.1 MHz.  Their very appropriate callsign is WVQR, with the W as an American prefix, and the VQ indicating rather obviously Vieques, and the R standing for Radio.

            Here is a brief excerpt of the top of the hour programming from Radio Vieques, the community FM radio station on Vieques Island, station WVQR:-
(AWR/Wavescan-NWS 424) 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Apr 17 0204 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 10 - 16 April 2017

Solar activity was at very low levels throughout the summary period. Region 2650 (N11, L=193, class/area=Cao/40 on 11 Apr 2017) produced numerous B-class flares throughout the period and was the only active region with sunspots this period. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached moderate levels on 16 Apr and high levels on 10-15 Apr with a peak flux of 3,860 pfu observed at 1715 UTC on 10 Apr.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet levels on 10, 13, and 16 Apr. Quiet to unsettled levels were observed on 12 and 15 Apr, and quiet to active levels were observed on 11 and 14 Apr due to waning CH HSS influence and a solar sector boundary change.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 17 April - 13 May 2017

Solar activity is expected to be very low with a chance for C-class flare activity throughout the outlook period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach very high levels on 29-30 Apr and high levels on 18-28 Apr and 01, 06-12 May. Moderate flux levels are expected throughout the remainder of the period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels on 23 Apr and G1 (Minor) storm levels on 17, 24-27 Apr, and 01 May due to the influence of recurrent CH HSSs. Active conditions are expected on 19, 28 Apr and 05-06 May with generally quiet or quiet to unsettled levels likely throughout the remainder of the period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Apr 17 0204 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-04-17
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Apr 17      83          20          5
2017 Apr 18      88          15          3
2017 Apr 19      90          18          4
2017 Apr 20      90          12          3
2017 Apr 21      90           8          3
2017 Apr 22      85           5          2
2017 Apr 23      85          40          6
2017 Apr 24      85          30          5
2017 Apr 25      85          20          5
2017 Apr 26      85          25          5
2017 Apr 27      85          30          5
2017 Apr 28      80          15          4
2017 Apr 29      80          10          3
2017 Apr 30      80           5          2
2017 May 01      80          20          5
2017 May 02      75          10          3
2017 May 03      75          10          3
2017 May 04      75          10          3
2017 May 05      75          15          4
2017 May 06      75          15          4
2017 May 07      75           5          2
2017 May 08      75           8          3
2017 May 09      75           5          2
2017 May 10      75           5          2
2017 May 11      75           5          2
2017 May 12      75           5          2
2017 May 13      75           5          2
(NOAA)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Frm the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot weekly schedule


From the Isle of Music, Week of April 16-22, 2017

No guest this week, just a wonderful mix of multiple styles of Cuban music from the 1950s to today.
Four possibilities to listen via shortwave:

1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)

2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)

3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany
From the Isle of Music is not available for listening on demand but some broadcasts can be heard online during the time of the broadcast using Web SDRs or the WBCQ website (during their broadcast) if you are not receiving the radio signal.

2.  Episode 8 of Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, a clandestine musical variety program that features everything from everywhere EXCEPT songs that you are probably familiar with, will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, April 20 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). Brought to you by Tilford Productions, which also brings you From the Isle of Music.
(The WBCQ website keeps us Top Secret, but we'll be on, and propagation has been great lately....)

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Saturday, April 15, 2017

MarconiRadio International plans Easter Broadcast

(Gayle Van Horn QSL Collection)
Please be advised that  Marconi Radio International will be on the air  tomorrow, Sunday, 16 April 2017 from 1745 to 1945 UTC on 7700 kHz  (alternative 7690 kHz) USB Mode.

Reception reports with audio clips (mp3-file) are welcome and confirmed by QSL verification. Some lucky listeners will ALSO receive our printed QSL card, so don't forget to include your postal address. E-mail: marconiradiointernational (at) gmail.com

As usual, we need your help! If you are a DX blogger, or use social networks, please post an announcement on your own  blog and/or Facebook or send out a tweet. You can also forward this message to a friend.

Last but not least: We kindly ask our listeners, who are still waiting for a QSL verification, to remain patient. All pending reception reports will be acknowledged  by the end of April.

We hope to hear from a lot of shortwave listeners about our transmissions.

Best 73's
Marconi Radio International (MRI)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Monitoring North Korea on shortwave


Day of the Sun - is North Korea preparing to detonate a new nuclear bomb ?

New satellite images have emerged purportedly showing how North Korea is preparing to detonate a nuclear bomb to coincide with its 'Day of the Sun' national day on Saturday.

Aerial photos taken yesterday show continued activity at the Punggye-ri Nuclear site where US officials fear a nuclear device has been installed in a tunnel ahead of another test.  

It comes as the regime today warned foreign journalists to prepare for a 'big event' on Thursday and as tensions remained high after President Donald Trump sent a US Navy strike group steaming toward the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea's most important national day is on Saturday April 15 when North Korea commemorates the birth anniversary of its founding president Kim Il Sung. However, the big event may have been the grand unveiling of a sprawling housing project in Pyongyang.


What will be the next developments from North Korea ? Monitoring Voice of Korea from Pyongyang is increasing among those following world events. 

North Korea A17 - summer schedule
Frequencies may adjust without notice.

Programs last 47 to 57 minutes. Data based on monitoring and on-air announcements. Special thanks to our regular International Shortwave Broadcast Guide contributor, Arnulf Piontek.

All times UTC/target areas

Voice of Korea
Arabic
1530                  9890    11645                                                    Near & Middle East; North Africa
1730                  9890    11645                                                    Near & Middle East; North Africa

Chinese
0330                13650    15105                                                    Southeast Asia
0530                  7220      9445      9730                                      Northeast China
0630                13650    15105                                                    Southeast Asia
0830                  7220      9445                                                    Northeast China
1130                  7220      9445                                                    Northeast China
1330                11735    13650                                                    Southeast Asia
2130                  7235      9445                                                    Northeast China
2130                  9875    11635                                                    China
2230                  7235      9445                                                    Northeast China
2230                  9875    11635                                                    China

German
1630                  9425    12015                                                    Europe
1830                  9425    12015                                                    Europe
1930                  9425    12015                                                    Europe

English
0430                  7220      9445      9730                                      Northeast Asia
0430                11735    13760    15180                                      Central & South America
0530                13650    15105                                                    Southeast Asia
0630                  7220      9445      9730                                      Northeast Asia
1030                11710    15180                                                    Central & South America
1030                11735    13650                                                     Southeast Asia
1330                 9435    11710                                                    North America
1330               13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
1530                 9435    11710                                                    North America
1530               13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
1630                  9890    11645                                                    Near & Middle East; North Africa
1830               13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
1930                  7210    11910                                                    South Africa
1930                  9875    11635                                                    Near & Middle East; North Africa
2130               13760    15245                                                    Western Europe

French
0430                13650    15105                                                    Southeast Asia
0630                11735    13760    15180                                      Central & South America
1130                11710    15180                                                    Central & South America
1130                11735    13650                                                    Southeast Asia
1430                  9435    11710                                                    North America
1430                13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
1630                  9435    11710                                                    North America
1630                13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
1830                  7210    11910                                                    South Africa
1830                  9875    11635                                                    Near & Middle East; North Africa
2030                13760    15245                                                    Western Europe


Japanese
0730                    621      3250      9650    11865                        Japan
0830                    621      3250      9650    11865                        Japan
0930                    621      3250      6070      9650    11865          Japan
1030                    621      3250      6070      9650    11865          Japan
1130                    621      3250      6070      9650    11865          Japan
1230                    621      3250      6070      9650    11865          Japan
2130                    621      3250      9650    11865                        Japan
2230                    621      3250      9650    11865                        Japan
2330                    621      3250      9650    11865                        Japan

KCBS Pyongyang
Korean
0330 (PBS)*      7220      9445      9730                                      Northeast China
0730 (PBS)*      7220      9445                                                    Northeast China
0930 (KCBS)    7220      9445                                                    Northeast China
0930 (PBS)*      9875    11735                                                    Far Eastern Russia
0930 (PBS)*    13760    15245                                                    Europe
1030 (PBS)*      7220      9445                                                    Northeast China
1230 (KCBS)  11710    15180                                                    Central & South America
1230 (KCBS)  11735    13650                                                   Southeast Asia
1230 (PBS)*      7220      9445                                                    Northeast China
1330 (PBS)*      9425    12015                                                    Europe
1430 (KCBS)  11735    13650                                                    Southeast Asia
1730 (KCBS)    9435    11710                                                    North America
1730 (KCBS)  13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
2030 (KCBS)    7210    11910                                                    South Africa
2030 (KCBS)    9425    12015                                                    Europe
2030 (KCBS)    9875    11635                                                    Near & Middle East; North Africa
2330 (KCBS)    7235      9445                                                    Northeast China
2330 (KCBS)    9875    11635                                                    China
2330 (KCBS)  13760    15245                                                    Western Europe

Russian
0730                  9875    11735                                                    Far Eastern Russia
0730                13760    15245                                                    Europe
0830                  9875    11735                                                    Far Eastern Russia
0830                13760    15245                                                    Europe
1430                  9425    12015                                                    Europe
1530                  9425    12015                                                    Europe
1730                  9425    12015                                                    Europe

Spanish
0330                11735    13760    15180                                      Central & South America
0530                11735    13760    15180                                      Central & South America
1930                13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
2230                13760    15245                                                    Western Europe
(Arnulf Piontek, Berlin Germany) 

KCBC - Korean Central Broadcasting Station
* PBS - Pyongyang Broadcasting Station (currently inactive)
(photo/businessinsider)