World music marathon on the Voice of Greece

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Voice of Greece are well-known for their multi-hour sessions of phenomenally diverse music from around the world. So, without much further commentary, here is a recording of their signal made yesterday at 1904 UTC using AirSpy HF+ Discovery and the YouLoop passive loop antenna, mounted onto a tripod on the balcony of my QTH. The first hour contains tracks from Indonesia, the Middle East, Latin America, and beyond, while the second hour has a selection of traditional Greek music.

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All India Radio can be heard in English on shortwave once again

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Thursday, May 21, 2020
All India Radio office in New Delhi. Photo by Sanjeev Verma
When I returned to the shortwave bands two weeks ago I was sad to learn that All India Radio had suspended its overseas shortwave transmissions at the end of March, owing to the COVID-19 lockdown imposed by the Indian government. It was also being reported that AIR National Channel – a more difficult catch in Europe compared to the External Services Division (ESD) broadcasts – was running on reduced power. However, it seems that we can now hear AIR's English language news bulletins once again, on the same frequency where a limited number of non-English language ESD broadcasts were announced to be broadcasting two weeks earlier. The transmission takes place daily at 1500 UTC on 11560 kHz and is only 30 minutes long. The mixture of English and Hindi suggests that it is a high-power relay of AIR National Channel programming. Below is a recording of this transmission made on May 21st, 2020 with a PocketCHIP handheld Linux computer, AirSpy HF+ Discovery and a YouLoop passive loop antenna. The antenna was positioned on the balcony of my current QTH in London.

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A series of retrospective radio archive posts from under lockdown

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Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Hello, dear blog readers and Twitter followers. I hope you are all well and keeping safe in these extraordinary times. I'm sorry I have been out of action on the radio front for a long time and that many of your emails and DMs had gone unanswered until recently. Like many of you, I have been readjusting to life under the COVID-19 lockdown and this has been consuming a lot of my time and energy. My ability to venture outdoors to hunt for faint and exotic radio signals has so far been quite limited. Consequently, I decided to use this blog as a space to explore my previous recordings – spectrum and otherwise  – to take us back to the times when life was normal and to remind us that it will be so again. I will also occasionally post recordings that I am able to capture from my current residential location, but expect fewer of those.

To kick things off, below is a recording of Radio New Zealand International ringing in the Year of 2020, captured outdoors in a rural location in the Russian Central Region, using a Tecsun PL-680 and a long-wire antenna. Listening to it, one gets the sense of a very different outlook on the year ahead compared to what then followed.

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Submission to the Shortwave Archive: All India Radio

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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

All India Radio recorded in London, UK on August 5, 2019 at 1759 UTC on the frequency of 9445 kHz using SDR#, AirSpy Mini, SpyVerter and DX Engineering NCC-1 phaser connected to two Wellbrook ALA1530S+ antennas (positioned indoors) to mitigate severe local man-made interference. The transmitter has a power rating of 250 kW and is located in Bengaluru, India. The news bulletin mentions the presidential order under Article 370 relating to Jammu and Kashmir, issued on the day of the broadcast.

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Submission to the Shortwave Archive: Radio Thailand (English)

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Saturday, August 03, 2019

Radio Thailand's English service recorded in London, UK on August 2, 2019 at 1900 UTC on the frequency of 9920 kHz using SDR#, AirSpy Mini, SpyVerter and DX Engineering NCC-1 phaser connected to two Wellbrook ALA1530S+ antennas (positioned indoors) to mitigate severe local man-made interference. The transmitter has a power rating of 250 kW and is located in Udon Thani, Thailand.

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Back to blogging

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Saturday, August 03, 2019
Current portable, wideband shortwave spectrum recording set-up: GPDWin, AirSpy R2, Spyverter 2, Bonito GI300 isolator, Bonito MA305 portable antenna. Photo taken in Lanzarote, Las Canarias, Spain
I hope that this post marks my return to regular blogging for London Shortwave. I know I had said this in one of my previous posts over a year ago, but this time I am more optimistic. Many things have happened since I last blogged: several stations have sadly gone off air, I have traveled to a few far flung destinations where I managed to do some radio monitoring, and I have experimented with further miniaturising my portable spectrum capture set-ups.

One of the things I would like to write about first is my PocketCHIP SDR recording solution. I was originally planning to share a step-by-step set-up guide last year, only to discover that PocketCHIP's maker, NextThingCo, had gone out of business and stopped selling the units. However, it turns out that there are still some for sale, so this should still be relevant to the SDR community.

NextThingCo's PocketCHIP
I was also lucky enough to receive one of the first AirSpy HF Discovery SDR production units, which I look forward to evaluating and writing about on this blog. I hope you stay tuned and visit again for more updates.

P.S. I hope my blogging efficiency will improve with the help of this neat little device.
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Greece and Turkey's shortwave broadcasts recorded one early July evening

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Thursday, July 04, 2019

Some traditional Greek and Turkish music for your listening pleasure.



Both recordings were extracted from a spectrum capture of the 31 meter band made outdoors in London, UK on July 2, 2019. The recording equipment comprised of GPDWin, AirSpy HF+, Bonito GI300 and Bonito MA305 portable active antenna.
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