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TRANSCRIPT DX EXTRA NO.31  22/08/15

From Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - welcome to the DX Extra. It’s a show about the shortwave and radio hobby featuring news, reviews, pirate radio and anything in-between. We’re on shortwave and also as audio on demand at the website www dot hriradio dot org

It’s great to have your company for our latest show and we hope you enjoyed hearing our Number station and oddities special the past couple of weeks. It is sad to observe poor propagation conditions for shortwave lately, but what goes down must come up - we hope good band openings occur soon!

In show 31 this fortnight:

  • Latest Voice of Korea (North) schedule
  • A review on a SDRplay SDR radio
  • Does the BBC World Service has a future
  • France longwave and mediumwave cutbacks
  • And check out pirate news and logs.

This is the DX Extra shortwave and radio news show on Hobart Radio International.

[Audio: music - to fade]

Our first article is from the Shortwave Central Blog entitled “Revised edition of Voice of Korea shortwave schedule”:

“”On Saturday, 15 August 2015, VOICE OF KOREA, the official external broadcasting service of the DPR Korea (North) from Pyongyang, has been introducing the amended A15 Summer schedule owing to the new Standard Time of the DPR Korea (North) now dubbed 'Pyongyang Time'. The new Standard Time is UTC (GMT) +8.5 hours (previously UTC + 9 hours).

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

That was from the Shortwave Central Blog. We have only included English transmission changes, but their are other language transmissions.

SDR or software-defined radio has been around for a while now, and is becoming very popular in the shortwave hobby as many see the benefits over a traditional shortwave receiver:

This next article in from the Shortwave Listening Blog entitled “A review of the SDRplay RSP software defined receiver”:

Good things often come in small packages.  But not all of these things are…well, affordable.

The SDRplay RSP is one of the recent generation of economical wideband SDRs based upon innovative, inexpensive chipsets; in the RSP’s case, based upon the Mirics MSI3101SDR chip, and a MSI001 tuner.  Priced at a mere $149 US (plus shipping), the SDRplay RSP is one of the least expensive, yet full-featured SDRs which actually include the HF bands and below, and which require no extra upconverter. Preliminary reviews of the SDRplay RSP were quite positive, so when the folks at SDRplay requested that I review an RSP on loan, I immediately seized the opportunity.

When I first turned on the RSP and tuned through the HF bands, I was quite amazed at the relatively low noise floor of this receiver. Stations seemed to “pop” out of the static. I had assumed that the SDR# application had some sort of DSP noise reduction engaged, but this proved not to be the case––I confirmed the same low noise floor level via the HDSDR application.

So, how about receiver performance?

I’ll going to cut to the chase here: For the $149 price tag? I’m very impressed.

SDRplay actually gave the RSP to me on an extended loan, so I’ve had the opportunity to use it both in quiet winter conditions and more unsettled, noisier conditions indicative of spring and summer here in the US. I used the RSP almost exclusively for two weeks in an effort to uncover its most notable strengths and weaknesses. But by the end of the two-week period, I began to suspect that the RSP might actually have sensitivity on par with my other SDRs.

I walked into this product review expecting to be…well, disappointed. As I have some benchmark SDRs on my desk at all times, I hadn’t investigated inexpensive SDRs because I felt they would simply be redundant.

Fortunately, the SDRplay RSP really impressed me from the beginning with its low noise floor, variable IF bandwidth options, and relative ease of installation. Since the RSP only requires one USB cable for both data and power, it’s also an ideal portable SDR.

Up to this point, I’ve always hesitated suggesting that those interested in a beginner’s SDR invest in any sub-$200 SDR, unless they simply want to get their feet wet and aren’t interested in performance. But at $149 US––the price of a good shortwave portable radio––I can confidently recommend at least the SDRplay RSP to those readers who want to start out with a good-quality rig. Indeed, for many, it might out-perform other receivers in their shack.

That article was from the Shortwave Listening blog.

Our next article is from Open Democracy entitled “Does the World Service have a future?”:

One of the difficulties in discussing the World Service is deciding what it is. The World Service Group, a fairly recent rebranding within BBC News, stretches well beyond what most would understand by that name. By the World Service, we mean those international-facing sections of the BBC that were funded principally by a Foreign Office grant-in-aid until April 2014 when they came under the licence fee:

- the English World Service, a 24-hour radio network which is also increasingly a content provider for digital as well as audio platforms;

- the twenty-seven language services, once radio operations but now with as big a reach on television, the internet and social media.

The more compelling case for the World Service is its continued success in attracting audiences. Across the world, one in every sixteen adults makes use of the BBC. Two-thirds of that reach comes from the World Service. It’s what sustains the BBC as a global brand.

The English World Service is by far the BBC’s biggest radio network. According to the 2015 Global Audience Measure, more than 50 million listeners tune in every week. The latest figures indicate an impressive year-on-year increase in audience of almost a quarter. A gradual fall-off in short-wave listening has been more than matched by increasing audiences to FM relays in major cities and by World Service content being carried on hundreds of partner stations who dip in to BBC output for part of the day. Half the total English audience is in Africa. Half of the rest is in the United States, where public radio pays (not a huge sum, but in total several million dollars a year) for the right to rebroadcast flagship programmes such as Newshour.

Over the past few years, the World Service has avoided the prospect of death by a thousand cuts through innovation and new investment, as well as a pursuit of greater efficiency. Judging by audience size, it has worked handsomely. That success offers the BBC the opportunity of remaining a vital force in international news at a time of retrenchment.

The new form of funding for the World Service carries risks, and it remains possible that a smaller BBC will turn in on itself and focus narrowly on a public service remit in the UK. That is not only unlikely, it would also be unwise. The harm it would inflict on the BBC’s global reputation, and so its ability to provide comprehensive news for domestic as well as international audiences, would be immense. As James Harding put it recently, ‘the BBC is unique, the most trusted, responsible and reliable news source in the world, and our biggest job in the next ten years is not to screw it up’.

That article was from Open Democracy

Our final article is from the Shortwave Central blog entitled “Radio France announces plans for longwave and mediumwave”:

Andy Sennitt writes in the PCJ Facebook group: Radio France is joining many other public broadcasters in Europe and will end all broadcasts on longwave and mediumwave. This will save 13 million euros annually.

Last week the details were announced: At the end of this year, the two mediumwave transmitters of France Bleu (864 kHz and 1278 kHz) and the remaining nine mediumwave transmitters of France Info (603, 711, 1206, 1242, 1377, 1404, 1494 and 1557 kHz) will be silenced. Last year, three high power stations of France Info were already closed.

At the end of 2016. France-Inter will disappear from the longwave frequency 162 kHz. (Radio.NL via DX-Clusive 10/2015)”

We’re in the world of a pirate.

Some interesting news for listeners in the Asia Pacific region: User skipmuck posted to the HF underground forum:

“It has come to my attention that Pirate BBC Radio will be testing to the South Pacific/Hawaii on 6850 from 1000-1030 UTC over the next few days! It's currently 2350 UTC August 11, 2015 here. Good luck! Thanks for the info Tony Blackburn! Correct reception reports for these tests will receive a specially designed serialized eQSL no matter where the listener is located. Reports to piratebbcradio@gmail.com

I’m not sure if they’re still transmitting but it may mean we have a pirate into the Pacific region.  

Let’s start with European shortwave logs:

Sun Aug 16

Long skip meant Dutch signals poor on Twente SDR but good on the Central England SDR:

6325 1758 Radio Zwarte Panter. Dutch music. SINPO 44433.

6385 1753 Zender Akenzo. Dutch music, greetings, strong peaks. SINPO 44444.

Heard on the Twente SDR

3905 1813 Radio Alice. Dutch songs. SINPO 34333.

4025 1819 Laser Hot Hits. Soul music. SINPO 34333.

6206 1805 Radio Onda Caliente. Weak signal. SINPO 24332.

6237 1938 Radio Digital. Zombies "She's Not There." SINPO 33333.

6254 1729 Radio Marabu. German rock, GM talk. SINPO 44333.

6280 1743 Celtic Music Radio via unid relay. Folk music, legal Scottish station. SINPO 54444.

6401 1930 Radio GSV. Rock music. SINPO 24332.

Sat Aug 15

4025 2133 Laser Hot Hits. "I Want to be With You Everywhere." SINPO 34333.

6254 1725 Radio Marabu. Soft rock. SINPO 44433.

6290 1827 Misti Radio. Oldies, fair peaks. SINPO 24332.

6305 1731 Radio Norton. Dutch songs. SINPO 34333.

6360 2142 Radio Altrex. Oldies. SINPO 24332.

6927L 2125 Over 60 Degree Radio. Relay of Artem's World of Music. SINPO 34333.

Fri Aug 14

4025 2051 Laser Hot Hits. Genesis "Abacab." SINPO 34333.

6235 2014 Radio Enterhaken. Talk in German, music. SINPO 23332.

6254 2020 Radio Marabu. Arabic sounding music. SINPO 44433.

6306 2023 Radio Mustang. "Venus," SINPO 55544.

6401 2046 Radio GSV. Oldies. SINPO 24332.

6875 2041 Radio Europe. Disco, talk in Italian. SINPO 44333.

6940 2029 Radio Enterhaken. Move from 6235, GM talk, offshore radio clip, U2 song. SINPO 34333.

6950 2035 Radio Enterprise. U2 "Where the Streets Have No Name." SINPO 54444.

European logs via Shortwave DX blog

Looking over to North America:

6969 USB Cold Country Canada 2331 UTC 18th August 2015

6962 USB and AM Burn It Down Radio *0045-0117* UTC 17th August 2015

6925.12 AM Liquid Radio 0035 UTC 17th August 2015

6945USB Radio Free Whatever  01:24UTC 16th August 2015

Logs via HF underground forum.

DX Extra is being relayed via the following affiliate stations: World FM 88.2FM in Tawa, near Wellington in New Zealand, on shortwave via Channel 292 6070 16h00UTC Saturdays, WRMI Radio Miami International 9955 and WBCQ Area 51 5110 3h30-4h00UTC Sunday nights in America and over the weekends on Radio Spaceshuttle World Service and on occasionally on Premiere Radio.

We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing the DX Extra on Hobart Radio International. We’’re already at the end of the show, to take us out here’s a little audio from our numbers station special made by Max Hall via Soundcloud:

Until next time remember shortwave radio is still full of mysteries – keep tuning and keep reporting. Take care and stay safe! Tune into us next week!

END

Page  DX Extra Shortwave News #30

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