eHam

eHam Forums => SWL (Shortwave Listening) => Topic started by: NK7Z on January 30, 2013, 05:41:37 AM



Title: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on January 30, 2013, 05:41:37 AM
Remember the days when:

1.  Radio Moscow used to send you "awards"?
2.  Radio Peking existed?
3.  The woodpecker?
4.  The rhetoric on SW was a hoot to listen too?
     a.  "The american government preys on it's people like insects" sort of banter...
     b.  Vlad Posner of Radio Moscow?
     c.  Pretty much anything out of Radio Peking.
5.  A simple antenna would work, you did not need a multiband antenna, you just put up a long wire.
6.  A simple radio would work?
7.  You were young!
8.  Box 88

I miss those days a lot now...


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: K0OD on January 30, 2013, 06:49:55 AM
"1.  Radio Moscow used to send you "awards"?" Don't know about you Komrad but they never gave ME any awards. :)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Others listened to Radio Moscow; I ONLY listened to Ronald Reagan on TV :)

- You built the receiver you used

- In my case the above receiver ONLY picked up CHU Canada

- Re-tuned the family AM radio above and below its intended range

- You pretty much got electrical shocks from everything

- You knew nothing about antennas - No one knew anything about antennas

- When you owned zero test equipment or tools

- Only electronic genius you knew was the TV repair guy

- Took bus to ham/surplus stores

- (If ham) lived in utter fear of the FCC. I actually got two Pink Tickets. (Heath VFO, ya know)

- Bought replacement tubes at Walgreens

- All the good AM stations began with "X."

- Local AM (KWK in St Louis) ended the scourge of Rock n Roll with this:
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N92bt6W30UI ]


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on January 30, 2013, 08:33:20 AM
Nice, and correct...  I miss those days sometimes...  Especially liked the Stations begin with X!


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: RENTON481 on January 31, 2013, 12:49:31 PM
I remember those days... when stations from Communist countries used all that Communist jargon: "imperialist running dogs, and their stooges..." etc.... especially on the Voice Of Vietnam, the North Korean station, and Radio Havana used a lot of it, too, up until the late 1980's.

I also remember Vladimir Posner and Joe Adamov on Radio Moscow.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KF6QEX on January 31, 2013, 01:58:41 PM
Radio albania in the seventies: GDP was increasing 10-15 % every month or so! !!


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on January 31, 2013, 03:06:57 PM
Are there any stations really left anymore, or did most of them go to Internet delivery?  I do so miss them...  Been doing pirates for the past few years...


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on January 31, 2013, 03:09:01 PM
"1.  Radio Moscow used to send you "awards"?" Don't know about you Komrad but they never gave ME any awards. :)

I got several little "awards" from them...  If you sent in reception reports on a regular basis, you got pins, and such you could wear...  I was young, then, and loved them so...  Komrad!  :)


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: ONAIR on January 31, 2013, 08:24:19 PM
Are there any stations really left anymore, or did most of them go to Internet delivery?  I do so miss them...  Been doing pirates for the past few years...
   Radio Havanna Cuba is still around!  They were really fun to listen to way back when.  Today it costs nations quite a bit to set up powerful transmitters on the SW bands.  They can now put their stations online for a heck of a lot less, and regardless of the propagation conditions, they will always be heard.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on January 31, 2013, 10:23:13 PM
Are there any stations really left anymore, or did most of them go to Internet delivery?  I do so miss them...  Been doing pirates for the past few years...
   Radio Havanna Cuba is still around!  They were really fun to listen to way back when.  Today it costs nations quite a bit to set up powerful transmitters on the SW bands.  They can now put their stations online for a heck of a lot less, and regardless of the propagation conditions, they will always be heard.
I fear you are correct...  A SW station IS a lot more expensive than a PC...  Of course, you no longer need all fo the studio/glue to hold it together either...  I wonder what this new generation will thing of the Internet stations in 50 years...


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: HFCRUSR on February 06, 2013, 09:24:52 PM
You guys are kidding. I'm convinced. Trying to get a rise out of us SWLers lol. I am supposed to believe that with all your expensive equipment and massive antennas and vast ham knowledge, you don't get anything on SW BC?
I will let this site speak for me
 http://www.short-wave.info/
oh-and the Voice Of Korea still refers to the US as "imperialists"-in english too.
http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,84920.0.html

lol


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: W7ASA on February 07, 2013, 04:02:54 AM
'Hegemonistic, imperialistic, air-pirate, knee-walking stooges of capitalist mopery..."  //Sounds like what comes out of Washington D.C. these days . . //

There is still much to listen to on SWBC. However, it is a shadow of what was on SWBC during the pre-internet days.  That's just a simple fact. Internet is marvelous in that high quality audio/video is sent world wide for a fraction of the budget of any significant HF broadcaster with no fades, no jammers, no phase distortion - when it is all working correctly, which IS most of the time.  Furthermore, the audience for internet broadcasting is many times larger than those who listen to short-wave radios, especially in the United States in particular, which was was always oriented toward near monopoly 'networks' in the short range market of AM/FM & TV stations, rather than global short-wave.  Even the BBC has gone the way of 'Happy Station', "Swiss Radio International" and etc. for North Americans.  Unfortunately, it makes fiscal sense - though I regret it.

Is it handy to have audio on demand, or to watch Japanese cooking shows on NHK on-line rather than listening to the same show in audio only through 6,000 miles of 'ether'?  - sure.  However, I still love my short-wave with Voice of Russia and All India Radio at the top of my list for news & commentary and U.S. short-wave broadcasters for entertainment and the occasional forray into the world of the bizzarre...    ::)

However, the problem with internet ONLY communication is that in the case of a loss of commercial infrastructure , we'd WISH that we still had short-wave radio broadcasting on a scale to make it useful.  This is one reason why I greatly appreciate HF ham: the ability to communicate without commercial infrastructure - plus, it's enjoyable.   :)


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._




Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 07, 2013, 08:10:27 AM
Ray is correct, the SW broadcasts of today are nothing compared to what they were 50 years ago...  You had to fight your way to a station because teh bands were so crowded.  The stations used to value the listeners...  Take a listen to Radio Havana, they have not changed a lot over the past 20 or so years...  On the other hand Radio Peking used to be a hoot to listen to.  Now it is very tame...  Radio N. Korea, (or whatever they call themselves now), has always been the way it is today, insane! 

73's


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: HFCRUSR on February 07, 2013, 10:39:26 AM
ok let's see-there's still the VOA all day with world news&views relating to Asia in special english out of the Asias in my morning; world news&views, news segments given by African folks, music like African, American rock&jazz and pop etc out of Africa/Ascension in my daytime; more of the same out of Africa/Madagascar/Seychelles in my evenings. Then there's R Australia, BBC, DeutschWelle, R.Romania, Channel Africa, CRI, V Of Russia, V Of VietNam, V Of Korea, R Cairo, R Japan, good old Alex Jones going nuts every night etc. all in English that I get here on a regular basis every day. That is not even 1/8th of what there is just in English still out there. Then there's the vast services in other languages and bible thumpers and good old Canada is still in there too at night on 6070 and 6130.
Not to mention the tons of utilities that can keep you busy hunting for the whole night on ssb aside from BCs. Just saying, no it aint "the same" as years gone by but it also aint nowhere near as "dead" as some would like to portray it.
And I can still fire up my trusty old boatanchor here and run some fine SW BCs through its awesome FM sounding audio and still get that nostalgic feeling some say is long-lost. No it isn't. Get in on it while we still have it I say ;)

EDIT @ 1904utc: right now I have V Of Korea on 11535kHz, R Australia on 11880kHz, VOA on 15580kHz, bible thumper on 9479kHz, bible thumper on 21630kHz all 5 BCs in English. It's 11:06am my time. I remember as a kid in the 60s-70s, I was lucky if I got ONE English station along with WWV on the old Transoceanic 3000-1 in the daytime. In that respect it hasn't changed much at all. Come 0100utc, they'll all start loading up the bands like crazy and as usual, I'll have a bunch more to cruise :)


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 07, 2013, 11:28:31 AM
HFCRUSER,

Really not trying to get a rise out of the SWLers...  How long have you been listening to SW?  Again, not trying to be contentious here, but just want to be sure you are old enough to remember SWLing 50 years ago is all? 

It really is very very different than it is now...  It is all ever so much more friendly now...  Back in the old days, you could listen to Radio Moscow, (now Voice of Russia), talk about how evil the US was; how we wanted them all dead; and would probably pull off a first nuke strike if we thought we could get away with it...  Oh yes, they were always trying to convert the listeners to Communism as well.  Now we all get to have a sharing moment on Voice of Russia...  I miss Vlad and his scathing commentary on US policy...  All the old timers will know who I am talking about.

Radio Peking was even better, they would really would get wound...  I remember one transmission from when I was a kid, they were talking about the American Government: "preying on the American people like insects"...  Now, we all get to have a sharing moment, and to learn Chinese...  Not at all like it used to be... 

Radio Vietnam, they simply hated us in the 70's, probably had to do with that war thing we had going with them then...  North Korea has not changed much...  I think what I am saying is that the stations now are all trying to be everyone's friend, as opposed to 50 or 60 years ago, when they all hated the US, and had no issue telling us about it.  SWLing was a lot more entertaining then than now is all I am saying.

SWLing is still fun, no question about it, but it is not like it used to be...  I still like to listen for Utilities...  I do so miss SWLog though...  I was going to get much more active in SWLing again recently, and discovered that SWLog was no longer supported...  That is sad, it was one of the most well thought out programs I have ever seen for the SWLer... 

Please take this in the manner it is intended, not to be contentious, but to sort of bemoan missing the old days of SWLing...  Remember the US was different then too, the postman was convinced that I was some sort of radical anti US type because of the QSL cards I got from all over the world.

73's,



Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 07, 2013, 11:29:37 AM
I remember those days... when stations from Communist countries used all that Communist jargon: "imperialist running dogs, and their stooges..." etc.... especially on the Voice Of Vietnam, the North Korean station, and Radio Havana used a lot of it, too, up until the late 1980's.

I also remember Vladimir Posner and Joe Adamov on Radio Moscow.

Oddly enough, I miss that... It was a great source of entertainment for me in my youth...
73's


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: HFCRUSR on February 07, 2013, 11:58:03 AM
Whatsup Dave-I think your post #5 got me going. I see your angle on this looking at the hate prop as "entertainment" that's cool-but for me, I refuse to listen to habana because their rhetoric pisses me off. Korea's garbage speak in horrendously applied English is flat annoying so I cannot stick there much either-to each his own I guess. I got you wrong with post 5 because you sounded like it all went away to the net and that's what I chimed in about.
Me personally, I get more than my fill of America hate off the TV. I don't want it coming in on the wire too.
73-Frank


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 07, 2013, 02:45:34 PM
Whatsup Dave-I think your post #5 got me going. I see your angle on this looking at the hate prop as "entertainment" that's cool-but for me, I refuse to listen to habana because their rhetoric pisses me off. Korea's garbage speak in horrendously applied English is flat annoying so I cannot stick there much either-to each his own I guess. I got you wrong with post 5 because you sounded like it all went away to the net and that's what I chimed in about.
Me personally, I get more than my fill of America hate off the TV. I don't want it coming in on the wire too.
73-Frank

Yes, TV has gone to pot of late, well, it has always been pretty bad, but once "Reality" programming came to be, it went in the Shi##er fast...  Not to worry...  E-Mail always makes things sound different than the author intended...  I could have not been clear...  For me, the rhetoric always seemed so far out it was funny, I developed a love of it at about age 15 or so...  Never lost it, and I am 60 now...  :)


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: HFCRUSR on February 07, 2013, 03:56:07 PM
+1! I made a vow to never ever sit down to "honeybooboo". Ever. To me, the material in that show brings TV to an all time low and it opens the door for more scumbags to get their fat faces on TV. I'd rather watch an old sitcom rerun 25 times but that's me. I know a couple of what I consider "respectable" people who say they just can't take their eyes off that show-go figure. Funny thing, I pay good money for cable, but I'm in front of the radios more than the TV. I'm 51 here so kinda the same generation as you-I can't always comprehend what this country's turning out to be.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 07, 2013, 04:43:37 PM
yeah...  The concept of a show called Honey Boo Boo scares me...  I worked in Television, (Broadcast Engineer), for 20 years or so.  I got my fill of TV in that time frame...  About the only "odd" show I like is South Park...  If you actually watch it, you will discover they are actually very conservative.  It took me a few episodes to realize this...  Then they go nuts about every 5th one...  :)...


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: HFCRUSR on February 07, 2013, 07:03:09 PM
goofy cartoon for sure-for me it's news, Raymond, old sitcoms and hopes they'll throw me a bone now&then...and thank God for this radio thing!!
73-Frank


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 07, 2013, 07:54:58 PM
ABC has a Tim Allen show, (can't for the life of me remember the name now), one about an outdoor store...  The main character is Tim Allen, and he is a Ham, both in real life, and in the show...  If you look, there are all sorts of ham things around...  QSL cards, ARRL Handbooks, mics, etc...  The show is actually good as well...


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: WK2E on February 16, 2013, 10:26:12 AM
Talking about 'rewards', Radio Berlin International sent me a hardbound book listing all the former Nazis working in West Germany.  Strangely, there seem to have been no former Nazis working in East Germany.  Radio Peking sent a copy of Mao's Little Red Book.  And Radio Havana Cuba sent me monthly log sheets to fill out and lots of extra postcards and other stuff.  I still remember how they excitedly announced, 'Esta es Radio Habana Cuba, transmitiendo desde CUBA'.  All this was back in the mid 60's.  After I left for college, my dad found all this stuff and got mad as , well you know.  Threw it all out.  Yes, those were fun days.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: WD5GWY on February 16, 2013, 02:23:56 PM
I remember how excited I was when I got an official reception report confirmation back from
WWV back in the mid-60's!!! Got all kinds of printed info from them too.
Then, I started sending reports to other shortwave stations and accumulated
even more stuff.  Then I got a QSL card from some ham in Arkansas. ( I was surprised
that he even responded to my reception report) And from there things went downhill !
 ;D
 Got the bug to become an Amateur Radio operator, but, wasn't until the early 70's that
that happened. (amazing how wife and kids have to come first !)
Still enjoy SWL , but, it doesn't seem near what I remembered from my younger days.
james
WD5GWY


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: NK7Z on February 16, 2013, 06:11:57 PM
Talking about 'rewards', Radio Berlin International sent me a hardbound book listing all the former Nazis working in West Germany.  Strangely, there seem to have been no former Nazis working in East Germany.  Radio Peking sent a copy of Mao's Little Red Book.  And Radio Havana Cuba sent me monthly log sheets to fill out and lots of extra postcards and other stuff.  I still remember how they excitedly announced, 'Esta es Radio Habana Cuba, transmitiendo desde CUBA'.  All this was back in the mid 60's.  After I left for college, my dad found all this stuff and got mad as , well you know.  Threw it all out.  Yes, those were fun days.

I believe I still have one of Mao's little red books from Radio Piking...  I never got the current Nazis book however...  One time my postman, who was somewhat to the right of Darth Vader, asked me what all the "Commie" stuff was I was getting...  I looked at him and said, "not your business comrade." with a slight Russian accent...  I was about 15 at the time, and he must have been 50 or so... He turned on his heal and walked away...  He never said another word to me or my family...  After 50 years, I still get a kick out of that incident...  In his defense, I was getting a lot of Radio Moscow, Radio Peking, and Radio Habana propaganda at the time...


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: SWL535 on February 17, 2013, 10:10:41 AM
Yes....glued to my Hallicrafters XS-25 Super Defiant. I loved that old boat anchor.
Mind you it hadn't really reached the Boat Anchor moniker in 1959 when I got it
for Xmas. :-)

Ken
 


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KJ6ZOL on February 18, 2013, 10:56:02 AM
Honey Boo Boo and Teen Mom sort of scrape the bottom of the barrel. To me, Teen Mom is downright evil, have a baby at 17 and neglect it to party, do drugs, and get into fights, and have Grandma actually raising the kid, AND get paid big bucks for doing so, which then enables the teen mom to get a breast job and go out partying with more money than an 18 year old female can handle. I'm surprised that they haven't killed any of the young women yet, either by drugs or by outright suicide. Amber Portwood probably came the closest to meeting her maker, if she hadn't gone to prison she would have died. I sold my TV a few years ago, I don't miss it a bit. My mom likes daytime talk like Dr. Phil and his endless parade of 800 lb people. My dad watches old war movies. I get my news from the net and from local radio, and that's all I'm really interested in. I have the net and my radios, and I'm happy. I have autism and mental illness so I can't work.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: K3NRX on February 19, 2013, 09:38:35 AM
Remember the days when:

1.  Radio Moscow used to send you "awards"?
2.  Radio Peking existed?
3.  The woodpecker?
4.  The rhetoric on SW was a hoot to listen too?
     a.  "The american government preys on it's people like insects" sort of banter...
     b.  Vlad Posner of Radio Moscow?
     c.  Pretty much anything out of Radio Peking.
5.  A simple antenna would work, you did not need a multiband antenna, you just put up a long wire.
6.  A simple radio would work?
7.  You were young!
8.  Box 88

I miss those days a lot now...

In Short, YES!!!!..... ::) :'( ::) :'(....It's what got me into ham radio in the first place.....

V
KA3NRX


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: WW7KE on April 05, 2013, 02:49:07 PM
Are there any stations really left anymore, or did most of them go to Internet delivery?  I do so miss them...  Been doing pirates for the past few years...

Still quite a few left, but most of the old-time Europeans are gone, and those that remain broadcast mostly to Africa and Asia.  The BBC, VOA, Deutche Welle, Voice of Russia (Radio Moscow), CRI (Radio Peking), All India Radio, Radio Japan, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand, and a few others are still around from the good old days.  And of course, the American religious broadcasters and Radio Habana Cuba are almost omnipresent.

But the old 120/90/60 meter broadcasters from South America are almost all gone now, having moved to FM.  Still some in Africa and Asia, though.  But what I don't understand is why the FCC is now allowing American religious stations to use those frequencies.  They have never been authorized for broadcast use in the US.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: W7ASA on April 06, 2013, 04:07:41 PM
The lack of domestic shortwave was because of the terrible policy of forbidding American broadcasters to use shortwave to reach a domestic audience - by regulation.  This was done waaaaay back in the beginning of US domestic broadcasting for profit, to give the networks a defacto monopoly.  What a shame.  This is such a large continent that continental broadcasting on shortwave a la Europe and Asia would have been a tremendous boon for the people - rather than for the few short range AM/FM stations in the network matrix. At present, many domestic shortwave stations are -cough cough- 'international', and in fact this is true, in that they can be heard internationally.  However, even for these stations, shortwave radio listeners are still pretty rare in the USA, compared to those who know no better than to listen to the usual rubbish on the AM/FM dial.

When I had shortwave in the car, I used to listen to it.  Now that I have a different car - I rarely have the radio on at all. It's a puppet show - and I get the feeling that WE'RE the puppets.  IMHO


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: W9KDX on April 14, 2013, 03:08:17 PM
I cut my SWL teeth on my grandparents tube set and then followed a misspent childhood yearning for a Zenith Trans Oceanic which I eventually got with the earnings from two summers (still on my shelf).  College got me a beautiful Hallicrafters SX-25 purchased from the ham across the hall (still on the shelf) and too many more radios that have come and gone.  I don't know which I miss more, the old stations world wide or the equipment.  I still look at the old Allied and Lafayette catalogs and dream.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: WW7KE on April 17, 2013, 01:02:41 PM
I don't know which I miss more, the old stations world wide or the equipment.  I still look at the old Allied and Lafayette catalogs and dream.

The old equipment should still be usable.  Most of the old stations are off the air, but many are still available online. Yeah, I know - not as much fun, but the object of the game in worldwide broadcasting is to get the message out, clearly.

Besides the old receivers should still work perfectly (or at least, as-designed) on the ham bands.  We're not going anywhere.  ;D


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: RENTON481 on May 09, 2013, 05:02:07 AM
Quote
I don't know which I miss more, the old stations world wide or the equipment.  I still look at the old Allied and Lafayette catalogs and dream.

RE: those old radios:  I've been able to get a couple old multiband SW radios, ones that would have been my dream radios back when I was a kid...

I've been lucky, only one of them needed a re-cap job (in the audio section), and fortunately it was easy to get to the audio PC board.  The other one still works well.  They're surprisingly good performers when you attach a 15 or 20 ft. wire to the antenna....  A lot of times I tune them into Radio Rebelde because they come in pretty reliably and they play a lot of different music.

On a more general note, the other day I was tuning around on one of my digital portables and the 19 meter band was completely dead, except for a station from the Philippines.  I remember when that band was literally crammed with signals.  It seems that sometimes even the 49 meter band has some vacant channels nowadays. Times have definitely changed.

Like WW7KE mentions, the ham bands still have a lot of activity.  I've been learning to read CW, which has provided me a new world of listening.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KE7TMA on May 16, 2013, 03:51:16 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!


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: VA1CQ on May 25, 2013, 07:59:07 AM
Remember SWL registration callsigns? I was VE7PE1EO eventually changing to VE7DX1EO when Popular Electronics no longer ran the program. And you can still register via Popular Communications. My current registration is VEPC1CQ: http://johndenver.ca/

No greater excitement as a youngun than hearing my mail read by The Record Roost gang over XELO on 800kHz from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. If they'd been on the Moon that station could not have seemed more exotic to me. And the special on-air invitation from the DJ at CKOK also on 800 kHz to call him live just because I was "hundreds of miles away" from their small town in central B.C.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: WW7KE on May 25, 2013, 09:15:23 AM
Remember SWL registration callsigns? I was VE7PE1EO eventually changing to VE7DX1EO when Popular Electronics no longer ran the program. And you can still register via Popular Communications. My current registration is VEPC1CQ: http://johndenver.ca/

I received mine (WPE9JZT) about a week after I received my Novice ticket (WN9EAZ) in May 1970. Popular Electronics discontinued the program later that year.  I never did change it to a WDX.  I figured that since they weren't real callsigns anyway, it didn't matter.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: VA1CQ on May 25, 2013, 09:55:01 AM
The registration program was clever to bring into the group those who weren't hams and therefore didn't have a recognized identifier (callsign).

SWLing was fun when HCJB broadcast from Quito, Ecuador and had their weekly DX Party Line show. There used to be many shows on SW dedicated to the hobbyist. I wonder if this is still true. The only one I'm still aware of is Radio Havana's DX show.

I live not too far from the former Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter site in Sackville, NB. It is truly a splendid sight with a massive collection of towers suspending a LOT of wire in the air. Besides RCI programming, that site used to broadcast Radio Japan, Radio Netherlands, and probably many more signals. Hard to believe it is silent now and unused, probably only remaining due to the massive cost to remove the towers and installation.

http://j-source.ca/article/radio-canada-international-goes-air-moving-online-only-after-67-years-shortwave-service


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KJ6ZOL on May 26, 2013, 01:09:25 AM
The registration program was clever to bring into the group those who weren't hams and therefore didn't have a recognized identifier (callsign).

SWLing was fun when HCJB broadcast from Quito, Ecuador and had their weekly DX Party Line show. There used to be many shows on SW dedicated to the hobbyist. I wonder if this is still true. The only one I'm still aware of is Radio Havana's DX show.

I live not too far from the former Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter site in Sackville, NB. It is truly a splendid sight with a massive collection of towers suspending a LOT of wire in the air. Besides RCI programming, that site used to broadcast Radio Japan, Radio Netherlands, and probably many more signals. Hard to believe it is silent now and unused, probably only remaining due to the massive cost to remove the towers and installation.

http://j-source.ca/article/radio-canada-international-goes-air-moving-online-only-after-67-years-shortwave-service

Not totally shocking, as Canadian administrations had tried for years to shut down RCI, only to bow to letter writing campaigns. Voice of America has been gutted too, courtesy of a bureaucrat who believed that "MTV won the Cold War" and who thus turned VoA into a pop music station.  >:( ::) Winning hearts and minds is not America's strong suit any longer.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KJ6ZOL on May 26, 2013, 01:21:45 AM
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!

It would also explain the way out of band broadcasts that the FCC seems to have no interest in stopping.

Anybody remember the Yosemite Sam signal back in 2004? It was so weird that hams set to work DFing it. I wonder if that was a test to see what they could get away with. They couldn't, so they fell back on the cover of religious stations.

I think that after a while the only stuff that will be left will be the spooks/preachers and the Chinese and Russian domestics. I've heard Chinese broadcasts that sound like a Chinese version of 1930s American radio, complete with "radio plays". China and Russia are too large to cover with TV, and many people even in the cities can't afford TV sets, so radio still plays an important part in popular culture. South America used to be that way, but people have been gradually moving into cities, and general prosperity in places like Brazil mean it's TV time. China still has 800 million peasant farmers, most of them living in a level of poverty that simply doesn't exist in the US. Chinese radios come with rechargeable batteries because alkaline batteries are hard to get in much of China, and what is available is cheap and tends to leak and cause damage. But most people have AC mains power.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: RENTON481 on May 27, 2013, 04:48:24 AM
KE7TMA,
What sort of 'digital subcarriers' are you referring to?  Is it something that is audible on AM or SSB, like the IBOC one hears on the AM band?

RE: SW broadcasts dying off: I've noticed a marked change in just the last two years.  There are even less broadcasts in Spanish to Latin America than there used to be.  It may have been accentuated the past few weeks by lousy night time SW conditions.

I've more or less been 'forced' to try the Utility DX route, along with monitoring the ham bands more.  Winters I DX MW, but during Spring and Summer MW DXing is hit and miss.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: W8IFI on June 11, 2013, 05:40:38 PM
I used to spend a lot of time listening to ship to shore. One time I listened to a Coast Guard ship as it was chasing down and stopped a "drug" boat off of Florida. I also heard George Bush senior when he was vice president. Secret Service link wasn't working and they didn't realize the Air force talk was in the clear. Heard Regan plane Air Force One  as he was leaving Iceland with his talk with Gorbachev. Once a large ship had an ill crew member and was trying to get a coast guard helicopter to lift him off the boat. they told the ship captain to stop his ship for the pickup. He reminded them that it took 45 minutes to come to a full stop. I listened to SAC all the time. Some really spooky moments a few times!
Now with digital and satellites there isn't much left to listen to.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: W8IFI on June 11, 2013, 05:57:09 PM
Back in the 50's the shortwave broadcasts from Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Britain, Sweden etc., played beautiful Christmas music during the holidays. I had the innards from a great big console radio with the large speaker. (No cabinet, just the inner workings.) I would take it into the basement and place it so the speaker was near the furnace hot air ducts and the music would drift through out the house. Poor man's version of stereo! Beautiful. last few years I couldn't find one station playing holiday music.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: SCOWL on June 26, 2013, 11:00:55 AM
All the local stations here start playing Christmas music right after Halloween so who needs shortwave?

Back in the early 80's (when I was a kid) I sent a QSL request to Radio Moscow and asked if they had an oil crisis in the Soviet Union. This was a perfect question for them so they read their answer on the air, which was that the Soviet Union is one of the largest oil producers in the world so they don't have any shortages. Oh, and the so-called "oil crisis" in capitalist countries is caused by the oil companies behaving like kulaks, driving up the price of oil by creating artificial shortages. Dang, even Radio Havana doesn't broadcast stuff like this any more.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: G4FUT on July 02, 2013, 02:49:12 PM
HCJB broadcast from Quito used to be a HUGE signal here in Northern England. But going back to my early SWL days, I used the family's radiogram ...(is that the same term in the USA?) in the early 1950s ...(Yes I am that old !!! :D ). The family couldn't get local UK stations after I had tweaked up some coils inside the thing to get ham radio AM station on 20 metres.
Also do you remember the various signature tunes which identified each SW station?  There was some bird song which Radio South Africa played before their programmes.  And the stirring national anthems.  
BTW, Russia of course has adopted the old national anthem which had been used by the USSR as the one they originally had after the fall of the USSR was not stirring enough! ;D
Ah....happy innocent days.
Funny enough, I've just started SWLing again as I have added a Kenwood (Trio in UK) R-1000 rx to my Kenwood 30+ year old rig collection.
Jon G4FUT


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KE7TMA on July 07, 2013, 11:37:08 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!

It would also explain the way out of band broadcasts that the FCC seems to have no interest in stopping.

Anybody remember the Yosemite Sam signal back in 2004? It was so weird that hams set to work DFing it. I wonder if that was a test to see what they could get away with. They couldn't, so they fell back on the cover of religious stations.

I think that after a while the only stuff that will be left will be the spooks/preachers and the Chinese and Russian domestics. I've heard Chinese broadcasts that sound like a Chinese version of 1930s American radio, complete with "radio plays". China and Russia are too large to cover with TV, and many people even in the cities can't afford TV sets, so radio still plays an important part in popular culture. South America used to be that way, but people have been gradually moving into cities, and general prosperity in places like Brazil mean it's TV time. China still has 800 million peasant farmers, most of them living in a level of poverty that simply doesn't exist in the US. Chinese radios come with rechargeable batteries because alkaline batteries are hard to get in much of China, and what is available is cheap and tends to leak and cause damage. But most people have AC mains power.

I surely hope that SWBC stays around for some time.  It is very popular still in Europe and Asia, and Oceana.  Too bad it is not popular for foreign nations to send over English language programming more often.  The quality of reportage on our state-sanctioned media (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc) has gone below that of Radio Havana Cuba, which I find more credible and believable than any domestic outlet with the exception of the Christian Science Monitor.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: VA3AEX on July 08, 2013, 12:50:26 PM
For different 'perspectives' I still like to listen to Radio Havana and Radio China, and then tune BBC World news and CCN.  Not sure at times that they are reporting on the same thing as the slant of the story is often very different.   

It is sad that a lot of stations have disappeared as my interest in ham radio came out of SWLing as a kid.  I have great memories of listening to the BBC and VOA news on a tube radio my dad had built from a kit.  That radio gave us the world or at least current news from 'outside' as we were living in Central America at the time.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: K0JEG 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: K5TED 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: AF6WL 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 (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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: W0BTU 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KE7TMA 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: N4OI 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


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: G4FUT 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 (http://www.bbceng.info/Operations/transmitter_ops/Reminiscences/Droitwich/droitwich_calling.htm)


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: RENTON481 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: AC4RD 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?


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KE7TMA 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: VK3DWZ 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.





Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: RENTON481 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: F8WBD 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: N0YBC 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.


Title: RE: Remember SWLing when it was fun?
Post by: KE7TMA 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.