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Author Topic: Remember SWLing when it was fun?  (Read 76750 times)
K0JEG
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« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2013, 06:20:21 PM »

It's too bad the US won't eliminate the rule that won't allow SW broadcasters from transmitting to the CONUS audience. It's seems like a 20th century anachronism in a world with satellite radio, Internet stations, and massive consolidation in broadcast band ownership.
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K5TED
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« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2013, 10:08:10 PM »

Even in the last 10 years (since I started my SWL career) I have noted a marked decline in the number of stations on the air.  There are always the vitriolic "christian" stations going 24/7 though, and I'll be danged if I haven't noted interesting digital subcarriers in their transmissions, especially since obtaining a software defined radio.

If they are really running spook radio under the fire and brimstone, it would finally explain how they can afford to be on the air 24/7 with such high powered transmitters.

So, while there isn't as much fun stuff to listen to as there was in the old days, we can still find interesting things!

Tell us more about these "digital subcarriers" on SW. Very interesting.
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AF6WL
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« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2013, 10:29:12 PM »

  There are always the vitriolic "christian" stations going 24/7 though, and I'll be danged if I haven't noted interesting digital subcarriers in their transmissions, especially since obtaining a software defined radio.

If they are really running spook radio under the fire and brimstone, it would finally explain how they can afford to be on the air 24/7 with such high powered transmitters.

So, while there isn't as much fun stuff to listen to as there was in the old days, we can still find interesting things!

"In general, tunable subcarrier receivers are prohibited because they violate Section 605 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which states that no one may receive, or assist in receiving, any radio communication to which they are not entitled and use that information for their own benefit.  In addition, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510 through 2521 prohibit the manufacture, assembly, possession, and sale of any device primarily useful for the surreptitious interception of such radio transmissions. "

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/broadcast-radio-subcarriers-or-subsidiary-communications-authority-sca

spooky stuff indeed.

A well known subcarrier broadcast is 198kHz Radio 4 in the UK.
The subcarrier is used to control white meter ( low cost ) storage heating activation.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2013, 03:20:03 PM »

I haven't listened in several years, but Arnie Coro (a ham) had some pretty good stuff on his regular Radio Habana Cuba show.
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KE7TMA
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Posts: 446




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« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2013, 03:40:08 PM »

In addition, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510 through 2521 prohibit the manufacture, assembly, possession, and sale of any device primarily useful for the surreptitious interception of such radio transmissions.

Since I use my ordinary radio gear to receive these signals, along with SDR software, I would think that it'd be difficult to prosecute under this law.  After all, my gear is primarily useful for ham radio and communications monitoring ie utility and public safety.

Spooky, yes sireee!

The subcarriers are typically pretty narrow, and without a nice panadapter they would not be noticeable.  If you have really narrow filters you can tune them in yourself, but as they are almost certainly encrypted it'd be tough to do any more than verify their presence.

I will look in my log book and list the ones I have noted soon.
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N4OI
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« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2013, 04:08:39 AM »

In addition, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510 through 2521 prohibit the manufacture, assembly, possession, and sale of any device primarily useful for the surreptitious interception of such radio transmissions.

I am not a scofflaw, but the idea of someone regulating what I can or cannot receive out of the ether grates on me.  After all, do I not have the right to use the electromagnetic energy that is bombarding my home and body?  If they do not want me to receive it, then they should not transmit it into my personal space! 

73
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G4FUT
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« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2013, 12:33:44 PM »

Plenty of details about the BBC stuff here:-
http://www.bbceng.info/Operations/transmitter_ops/Reminiscences/Droitwich/droitwich_calling.htm
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Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas
RENTON481
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« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2013, 02:32:14 AM »

RE: the US religious broadcasters' subcarriers: Is it digital data? What does it sound like?  Just curious.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »

I started listening to shortwave when I was 9 and got a multiband portable.  Some of my favorite things from 1965-1980 on the shortwave bands:  1.)  Listening late at night to music from Radio Tahiti (11 or 15MHz) or Africa Number One--GREAT music most people never heard in those days.   2.)  Also late at night on 11 or 15MHz, lying in bed listening to cricket matches broadcast live on Radio New Zealand.  3.)  Glenn Hauser's show--was the name "World of Radio?"  DX and programming news, Glenn's occasional commentary.  4.)  Radio Nederland's shortwave listening show.  5.)  The occasional postcard in the mail from Radio Poland or one of the Bloc broadcasters.   5.)  Hearing the morning news from Radio Australia on 10MHz.  6.)  Hearing local advertising on shortwave domestic broadcasters--what movie is playing in Honiara or Alice Springs?   7.)  Afrikaans lessons and that great interval signal from Radio South Africa.  8.)  Every SWL's good friend: Ian McFarland on RCI!    Those days were a LOT of fun, weren't they?
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2013, 05:40:03 PM »

RE: the US religious broadcasters' subcarriers: Is it digital data? What does it sound like?  Just curious.

I don't have any way to decode it, but it sounds like a whistle that alternates between two tones.

You can hear it on pastor Melissa Scott's 24/7/365 broadcasts, 5.9 something MHz.
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VK3DWZ
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #55 on: August 11, 2013, 12:20:26 AM »

I remember the good old of SWLing, back in the 1960's.  What a pity they have gone forever.  Just about every country had S-W back then.  Where we were living, at the time, reception of European S-W stations was poor but reception of Asian stations was phenominially good.  

I remember the old Radio Moscow--my first QSL was for one of their Medium-Wave transmissions--and the old Radio Peking.  I was lucky enough to visit C.R.I. in 2004.

Back then, there were so many S-W stations that sending for QSL's was almost a full-time job!  And many stations sent gifts, too.  I still remember the local postman here complaining about the weight of some of the books he brought me from Radio Japan--that was in the days before we had a parcel delivery service here.

Of course, we will never forget HCJB Ecuador.  Remeber "DX Partyline" with Clayton Howard.  I supplied the theme to that program.  It was on a 305mm, 45 r.p.m. gramophone recording.  

We still like listening to Shortwave.  I like Voice of Korea.  These days, the station plays more music than previously.  This was at my suggestion.



« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 12:22:58 AM by VK3DWZ » Logged
RENTON481
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2013, 10:53:15 AM »

You mean North Korea, right?  I know they play a lot of music.

Although I'm not really into that style of music, it's actually quite good.  Very well executed, well played, and it's different enough from what you hear on most radio it's refreshing in an odd way.

I've often wondered who the guys are that play on their records.  I know it's just two or three bands and orchestras that get played on VoK.  The bass player on the more 'modern' style band is actually pretty good.  It sounds like they give him a lot of latitude to play around a bit.
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F8WBD
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Posts: 61




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« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2013, 02:53:42 AM »

I remember swling in the mid-1950's from my USA QTH. Radio was a S-38 Hallicrafters purchased with after-school job funds. Recall the suspicious look of the postman every time a Radio Moscow package arrived. He probably phoned J. Edgar after each delivery. I loved it. More importantly, I discovered WCC marine radio and a life-long love of cw.
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N0YBC
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« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2013, 09:27:51 PM »

I remember when I got my first shortwave radio.  It was 1989 and I was in USAF Tech School at Keesler, AFB, MS.  It was a little pocket-size radio, a Panasonic I think.  I used to lay in my bed in the evenings and listen to the stations that crowded the bands back then.  I especially loved listening to the BBC World Service on 6.005 MHz (if my memory serves correctly).  Then when I got out of the service and went back to college, I found a Panasonic RF-2200 that somebody threw away because the power switch was broken.  I added a switch from Radio Shack and that radio got a lot of work from me.  It finally died when I was going through my divorce and one of my kids left it out on the back porch.

I just got a Tecsun PL-600 this last week and while I love it, there just isn't as much on the SW bands as their used to be.  It about broke my heart when the BBC announced they were ending their English-language service to the Americas.  It's getting harder to find something worth listening to now.  At least I can get the USCG radiofax broadcasts now, but it's not the same.  The internet is OK I guess, but there are times when I just want to sit back, close my eyes, and listen to the radio.
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KE7TMA
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Posts: 446




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« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2013, 12:34:27 AM »

You mean North Korea, right?  I know they play a lot of music.

Although I'm not really into that style of music, it's actually quite good.  Very well executed, well played, and it's different enough from what you hear on most radio it's refreshing in an odd way.

I've often wondered who the guys are that play on their records.  I know it's just two or three bands and orchestras that get played on VoK.  The bass player on the more 'modern' style band is actually pretty good.  It sounds like they give him a lot of latitude to play around a bit.

There is nothing in the world like North Korean music.  I rather fancy it.
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