NDR – Gruss an Bord: December 24, 2022

Live, off-air, three-hour recording of the special annual Gruss an Bord broadcast from German broadcaster NDR, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, on 24 December 2022 beginning at just after 18:00 UTC. The broadcast features music and greetings to and from mariners around the world. The Christmas greetings were recorded at two events on the third Advent Sunday (11 December) in Leer and on the fourth Advent Sunday (18 December) in Hamburg.

Relatives and friends had the opportunity to wish their loved ones at sea a happy holiday and a happy new year. The Leer event featured the Bingumer Shanty Choir and Anne-Fleur Schoch and her band while the Hamburg event featured Beatles experts Stefanie Hempel and The Silver Spoons. The broadcast was primarily in German with some greetings in English, Filipino, and Portuguese as well as German. A number of songs in English, too. A news bulletin (in progress when recording began) precedes the program for a few minutes.

In addition to being carried on the NDR Info and NDR Info Spezial networks, the broadcast was transmitted around the world on shortwave using transmitters in Nauen (NAU), Germany; Issoudun (ISS), France; Tashkent (TAC), Uzbekistan; and Okeechobee, Florida (RMI), U.S.A.; and was organized by Media Broadcast.

The schedule was:
1800-2100 on 6030 ISS 250 kW / 251 deg to North/East Atlantic
1800-2100 on 6080 TAC 100 kW / 301 deg to West/Central Europe
1800-2100 on 9740 NAU 250 kW / 130 deg to Indian Ocean - West
1800-2100 on 11650 ISS 250 kW / 148 deg to Indian Ocean - SoAf
1800-2100 on 13725 NAU 250 kW / 205 deg to Southern Atlantic
1800-2100 on 15770 RMI 100 kW / 044 deg to North/West Atlantic
RMI, Radio Miami International, experienced a power outage and was off the air for about the first two hours of the broadcast.

The recording is primarily of the transmission on the frequency of 11650 kHz for about the first two hours and 6030 kHz for the third hour as the signal degraded on 11650 kHz.

The program was received outdoors on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 2.3 kHz filtering. Reception was good for the most part on both recorded frequencies although, as previously mentioned, signal quality on 11650 kHz degraded during the second hour of the broadcast necessitating the switch to 6030 kHz. There was some adjacent channel interference on 11650 kHz at times. Also, there was about a one-minute dropout of the 11650 kHz frequency around the start of the second hour of the broadcast. The last minute or so of the broadcast on 6030 kHz was interfered with by a co-channel digital transmission from Radio Romania International.

SAQ, Grimeton Radio: November 16, 2022

Grimeton Radio

Live, off-air, recording of a morse code (CW or continuous wave) transmission in English from station SAQ, Grimeton Radio, Sweden, on 16 November 2022 beginning at 16:00 UTC on a very low frequency (VLF) of 17.2 kHz. The signal originates from the historic Alexanderson alternator transmitter at Grimeton near Varberg on the southwest coast of Sweden, running at about 80 kW. The antenna is essentially omnidirectional.

The transmitter was tuned up before the broadcast with many sequences of VVV VVV VVV DE SAQ SAQ SAQ being sent. The message, titled UNESCO 50th Anniversary Telegram, began at 16:00 UTC, lasted about 9 minutes and 30 seconds, and is as follows:

CQ CQ CQ DE SAQ SAQ SAQQ <BT> THIS IS GRIMETON RADIO STATION SAQ IN A TRANSMISSION USING THE ALEXANDERSON 200 KW ALTERNATOR ON 17.2 KHZ. <BT> THE 16TH OF NOVEMBER 2022 MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVER4RY OF THE WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION. UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES ARE IRREPLACEABLE ASSETS OF HUMANITY BUT MANY OF THEM ARE THREATENED TODAY THROUGH UNCONTROLLED URBANIZATION, UNCHECKED TOURISM, ARMED CONFLICT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. TO ENSURE THEIR PROTECTION,INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO PROMOTE PEACE, INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. <BT> SIGNED: LENA SOMMESTAD, CHAIR SWEDISH NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR UNESCO, WORLD HERITAGE GRIMETON RADIO STATION AND THE ALEXANDER-GRIMETON FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION. <BT> FOR QSL INFO PLEASE READ OUR WEBSITE: WWW.ALEXANDER.N.SE <AR> DE SAQ SAQ SAQ <SK>

Note that <BT> indicates the start of a new paragraph; <AR> means end of transmission; and <SK> means end of work.

The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in CW mode with 0.40 kHz RF filtering and real-time noise reduction. The CW tone is about 760 Hz and the message was sent at about 15 words per minute. Reception was fairly good with some occasional atmospheric noise (QRN).

Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor: October 22, 1992

RIAS BUILDING IN BERLIN WITH NEON LOGOS NOW USED BY DEUTSCHLANDRADIO (AVDA, WIKIMEDIA)

Live, off-air, approximately 45-minute recording of RIAS, Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor, on 22 October 1992 beginning at about 23:15 UTC on 6005 kHz. The signal was broadcast from a 100-kW transmitter in the Britz suburb of Berlin, Germany, using an essentially non-directional antenna.

RIAS began operations as the wired station Drahtfunk im amerikanischen Sektor on 7 February 1946 and began its radio life on 5 September 1946. On 1 January 1994, RIAS was merged into DeutschlandRadio Berlin.

The recording starts with a program of jazz music in progress. Initially, there is a heterodyne of approximately 520 Hz from a co-channel transmitter. At about the 12m:30s mark of the recording, the heterodyne disappears. This might be related to receiver adjustments. At the 15m:50s mark in the recording, station identification is given as "RIAS, Berlin" followed by "Nachrichten" (news). This is followed by autobahn news (preceded by the alert tone) and the program "Nightline." At about the 22m:30S mark of the recording, a new heterodyne appears with a frequency of about 850 Hz but it lasts for only about 30 seconds. This is during a program of pop music. At about the 40m mark of the recoding, the Bow Bells interval signal of the BBC World Service begins in advance of a co-channel transmission to South America from a transmitter at Ascension followed by station identification and the Lilliburlero signature tune.

In the audio file, the 520-Hz heterodyne has been notched out and the audio levels somewhat normalized to make listening a bit more enjoyable.

Reception of the broadcast was fairly good apart from the heterodynes.

The broadcast was received in Hanwell, New Brunswick, Canada, using a JRC NRD-535D receiver operated with a 6 kHz IF filter and with a random-length wire antenna draped around the listening room.

Thanks to Wolfgang Bueschel for help with documenting this recording.

Voice of Greece – Final Transmission: June 15, 2022

Live off-air recording of the final two hours of the shortwave transmissions of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation's (ERT's) Voice of Greece (I Foni tis Elladas) on 15 June 2022 on a frequency of 9420 kHz. Also known as ERA 5, the Voice of Greece broadcast its programs from Avlis about 50 km north-east of Athens using a transmitter with a registered power of 150 kW with an antenna beam of 323° towards western Europe. Avlis had a large transmitting complex with multiple transmitters and antennas but at the end of its service was reduced to just one operational transmitter.

The Voice of Greece continues to be available via Internet streaming and satellite.

The recording, all in Greek, starts with a time check, the beginning of the Voice of Greece interval (tuning) signal with station identification. At just after 16:00 UTC, there is news from ERA 1, the Proto Programma network, before returning to Voice of Greece programming. At the end of the recording, there is the short interval signal and identification of the Voice of Greece just before the transmitter leaves the air.

The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in synchronous AM mode with 5.08 kHz total bandwidth RF filtering. Reception of the broadcast was good with some fading at times and with some slight co-channel interference from a Chinese transmitter especially after 16:00 UTC.

BBC World Service Annual Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast: June 21, 2022

A live, off-air, half-hour recording of the BBC World Service special Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast on 21 June 2022 beginning at 21:30 UTC. The broadcast, hosted by Cerys Matthews, featured messages and music for the 32 members of the staff of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) overwintering in Antarctica at the Rothera (Antarctic Peninsula) and King Edward Point and Bird Island (South Georgia) research stations. In addition to personal messages from family and friends, there were special messages from BAS personnel and others including ones from Sir David Attenborough and Maj. Tim Peake. The transmitter came on the air with a test tone (1108 Hz plus harmonics) about a minute before the program started.

The recording is of the transmission on a frequency of 12065 kHz from the BBC's Woofferton, England, transmitting station (300 kW rated transmitter power, antenna beam 182 degrees). The transmission was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna outdoors in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 2.3 kHz RF filtering. Reception was quite good with little noise and fading and good signal strength, which was better than that on the parallel frequencies of 9505 kHz from Woofferton and 7305 kHz from Ascension Island.

War Room: Pandemic via IRRS: March 16, 2020

Special IRSS QSL card

Special IRRS Pandemic QSL card

Live, off-air, one-hour recording of the audio of Stephen K. Bannon's "War Room: Pandemic" podcast episode no. 46. The program was broadcast by IRRS Shortwave, the Italian Radio Relay Service of the NEXUS International Broadcasting Association in Milano, Italy, on 16 March 2020 from 20:00 to 21:00 UTC on a shortwave frequency of 9660 kHz from a transmitter believed to be in Kostinbrod, Bulgaria, and beamed to Africa. IRRS does not identify the locations of the transmitters it uses. The transmitter was switched on several minutes before 20:00 UTC but the usual IRRS sign-on music was not broadcast and the first few seconds of the program audio were skipped.

This episode of "War Room: Pandemic," entitled "Black Monday Deuce (Pt. 1)" concerned the effect of the pandemic on the economy on the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 3,000 points or about 13% of its value. The program lasts about 49 minutes with the rest of the hour being music fill. During the podcast, Bannon mentions the stations carrying the show including IRRS. There is an IRRS identification at the end of the recording before the transmitter signs off. IRRS broadcast "War Room: Pandemic" several times per day for a number of weeks in March and April 2020.

The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in AM synchronous mode with 5.08 kHz total bandwidth RF filtering. Reception was generally good although there is some noise possibly due to local interference.

Radio Prague International 85th Anniversary: August 31, 2021

QSL card for reception of a transmission from Radio Prague on 7 May 1964. ORL is the transmitter call sign.

QSL card for reception of a transmission from Radio Prague on 7 May 1964. ORL is the transmitter call sign.

Live, off-air, recording of the broadcast of two special sequential half-hour programs of Radio Prague International celebrating its 85th anniversary. The programs were broadcast via WRMI, Radio Miami International, using a transmitter at Okeechobee, Florida, on 31 August 2021 from 21:00 to 22:00 UTC on a shortwave frequency of 15770 kHz. The listed transmitter power is 100 kW with an antenna beam azimuth of 44°. The recording includes WRMI station identifications.

Czech Radio officially began its international service on 31 August 1936. Eventually, the service became known as Radio Prague, then for a brief time in the 1990s as Radio Czechoslovakia International and most recently as Radio Prague International. Radio Prague International is mostly an on-line service now with its own transmitters having been shut down on 31 January 2011. It continued to broadcast over the single WRMI transmitter in Miami and currently relays its daily programs in English, French, and Spanish using the WRMI transmitter complex in Okeechobee.

The special anniversary programs include archival recordings, interviews, and comments from listeners. The first half-hour program is in English followed by a second half-hour program in French.

The broadcast via WRMI was received outdoors on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver in AM mode with 2.3 kHz filtering and a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna strung to a nearby tree in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada. Reception was mostly quite good.

BBC World Service Annual Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast: June 21, 2021

Midday at Rothera Research Station in midwinter. Credit: Klara Weaver, Rothera Research Station.

Midday at Rothera Research Station in midwinter. Credit: Klara Weaver, Rothera Research Station.

A live, off-air, half-hour recording of the BBC World Service special Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast on 21 June 2021 beginning at 21:30 UTC. The broadcast, hosted by Cerys Matthews, featured messages and music for the staff of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) overwintering in Antarctica. In addition to personal messages from family and friends, there were special messages from BAS personnel and others including one from Sir David Attenborough accompanied by a blackbird. The transmitter had a "crash start" and the first two words of the introductory announcement ("This is") were cut.

The recording is of the transmission on a frequency of 7305 kHz from the BBC's Woofferton, England, transmitting station (300 kW rated transmitter power, antenna beam 182 degrees). The transmission was received on a Tecsun PL-880 receiver with a Tecsun AN-03L 7-metre wire antenna outdoors in Hanwell (just outside Fredericton), New Brunswick, Canada, in AM mode with 2.3 kHz RF filtering. Reception was fairly good with little noise and fading and reasonable signal strength, which was better than that on the parallel frequencies of 9505 kHz from Woofferton and 6170 kHz from Ascension Island. A fourth frequency, 6035 kHz, transmitted from Dhabbaya, United Arab Emirates, was not heard. At the very end of the program, there is some slight adjacent frequency interference.

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