30 June 2007

shortwave summary, jun 2007 (part 2)

These receptions are smaller bites than I'm accustomed to providing here. I picked up Kol Israel for the first time and logged a couple Firedrake frequencies. My Eton E5 receiver and Degen DE31 active loop antenna did all the work here.

Received stations:

* Kol Israel
* Firedrake
* Radio Thailand

* 20 Jun 2007, 0330 UTC, 11590 khz (Kol Israel): English news about Israel. The local time and date in Israel was announced. Inaudible, then "the Egyptians are aware of this." Gaza, Iran, George W. Bush. Someone is returning to the Middle East after visiting the White House. Financial news from Tokyo and New York. The Dow and NASDAQ both had slight gains. Weather forecasts. Headlines were reviewed, and concluded with "shalom." It was a female announcer. Then a male announcer came on and speoke a language I didn't understand.

This signal was only moderately strong, and was plagued by noise. I wrote to the station engineer and requested better signal coverage for the west coast of the United States. What I got in return looked like an Excel document, but I couldn't open it with Google Docs.

* 24 Jun 2007, 1703-1715 UTC: Firedrake broadcasts were audible on 11540 khz and 11795 khz.

* 25 Jun 2007, 0200 UTC, 5890 khz (Radio Thailand): "From the public relations department of the royal Thai government..." During the news segment, background music was too loud and the words were a bit hard to understand. Demonstrations against the government are expected to disperse soon since the demonstrators have changed their objectives. More Thai government news was here, but I didn't log the details. Problems in the past can be used as lessons for the ongoing development of government. The public was encouraged to help make the upcoming general elections a success. Security checkpoints were set up in response to insurgent attacks. 130 suspects were detained and interrogated. Buddhist Organization of Thailand cancelled its planned demonstration. Some parties in Thailand are not cooperating, causing political scientists to doubt the chances for stability. Completing the elections could lessen the tensions.

The national housing authority is dealing with unstable buildings. USA will start importing irradiated fruits from Thailand in July 2007. National news concluded at 0214 UTC. A statement on behalf of "his majesty" about plans to improve rural life. There was a statement encouraging the backing of the constitution, and again, the backing music was too loud. This year is the king's 80th birthday. "The public is invited to put up the national flag... until the end of the year." Only 10 minutes left in this broadcast, and there has been no mention of the oil industry yet. A French cartoon artist will have an exhibit at an art gallery in Thailand. A video artist and painter from New York will have a separate gallery exhibit. Weather forecast. Fancy music and gentle phrases: nice packaging for emergency procedures for responding to protesters. Bangkok: cloudy, thundershowers, 26-35C (78-95F). Grandfather clock bells came on at 0229 UTC.

As is often the case, Thailand's broadcast was very high quality, as it comes to me from Delano, California. This broadcast didn't resemble previous broadcasts I have heard from Thailand, however; nobody mentioned the oil industry this time!

23 June 2007

shortwave summary, jun 2007 (part 1)

I have a set of Asia/Oceania receptions to share with you. These receptions were received by my Eton E5, coupled to a Degen DE31 active loop antenna.

Received stations:
* Radio Taiwan International
* Radio Australia
* Radio New Zealand International

* 11 Jun 2007, 0300 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan International): "Radio Taiwan International... Taipei, Taiwan." Steve Chen, a YouTube cofounder and native Taiwanese, was recently at a Taipei conference. He was discussing YouTube's user-first philosophy. Hakka language and culture learning is on the rise in Taiwan. Heavy rain and storms were expected in Taiwan on Monday due to a low-pressure system. Taipei: 23-27C (73-80F).

Taiwan is a nation of animal lovers. "The pets you like die first, while the ugly ones go on and on." That show was "The Occidental Tourist." Now, week in review. Costa Rica switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China. Costa Rica's relations with Taiwan dated back to 1944. Taiwan will experience a 9% increase in the minimum wage, which now amounts to around US$520 per month. Taiwan is Vietnam's largest foreign investor. Reporter Eli Alberts gave the news roundup. Students are involved in a public speaking competition. They train to be able to discuss or debate a wide variety of topics.

* 17 Jun 2007, 0200 UTC, 9560 khz: I expected KBS (South Korea) in English on this frequency, but the broadcast I picked up was in a foreign language. I should have tried to pick up some context for identification.

* 19 Jun 2007, 0400 UTC, 15240 khz (Radio Australia): "This is Radio Australia news." There's concern in Washington D.C. over the political crisis in Pakistan (which wikipedia calls a "semi-presidential republic"). Pervez Musharraf is facing the biggest challenge to his power since becoming president. Australia's winter crop harvest this year should have twice the output of a year ago when droughts damaged crops. New South Wales residents were informed to prepare for a severe storm, with winds expected up to 125 km/hr (77 mi/hr). People were urged to stay indoors when the storm hit. Sydney will be hit tomorrow.

A Papua New Guinea candidate was accused of attempting to murder the deputy prime minister. There was a brief mention of an art and film festival, and a website address was given out (hross.org.au) but I have been unable to find the website. A hop-hop track called "Umbrella" was played, and the lyrics mentioned Little Miss Sunshine. A second music track was played, and although I didn't mention this in my notes, I think it was a rock song. At this point, the signal was very noisy, and the signal was cut off at 0414 UTC.

* 19 Jun 2007, 0427 UTC, 13730 khz (Radio New Zealand International): Drinking before going out - it's cheaper to drink at home. In New Zealand, a lot of intoxicated women are around. Police are reporting more violence caused by drunk women. Are these women students, or employed? Police are out picking up drunk girls while other crimes are happening.

Traffic reports -- this might be a first in my shortwave experiences. There was a bike-versus-car accident in Wellington. Traffic in Auckland is starting to get backed up. Weather: cloudy, inland frosts, some snow, coastal showers.

A restaurant won a ruling against a food critic that gave the restaurant a bad review. He labeled the food as unpalatable and the service as bad. Writers in the fashion industry receive a lot of freebies. Does that influence reviews? Air New Zealand will offer an option to purchase carbon credits with flight tickets. How much would it cost? How are the funds used? One person involved in this report advised against donating through a corporate structure, and recommended donating directly. Tourism is the single biggest industry in New Zealand.

"This is the Pacific service of Radio New Zealand International. We are now closing on this frequency." Radio New Zealand had a stronger, clearer signal than Radio Australia, and I'm glad I found it! That was a fun and informative broadcast, and it's unfortunate that I only caught about half an hour of it.

08 June 2007

local radio station founder died

This news article is primarily of interest to radio enthusiasts living in Northern California, a group that includes me. I'd like to offer rest in peace to Laura Ellen Hopper:

Laura Ellen Hopper -- founded KFAT, KPIG (sfgate.com article)

Laura Ellen Hopper, a Santa Cruz radio personality who pioneered the "Americana" format of American roots music, has died from complications of lung cancer.

Ms. Hopper was 57 when she died May 28.

She founded alternative country station KFAT in Gilroy in 1975 and eclectic KPIG in Santa Cruz in 1988, and throughout her career retained a commitment to FM radio as a meeting ground for alternative ideas, music and community.

KPIG is an FM station but is also available in this area on 1510 khz. Here's a wikipedia article about KPIG, and a wikipedia article about the defunct KFAT.

06 June 2007

mediumwave logs, southwest, may-june 2007

Arizona was a fun location from which to try mediumwave DX. I spent a little more than four hours trying to log stations, mostly at night. There were plenty of clear, strong spanish signals, but I didn't try to identify them because I don't know the language. Surely several of them came from Mexico!

These receptions were done with my Eton E5 with no additional antenna. My E5's alkaline batteries finally needed to be changed. They were installed back in December, so that was definitely a good run. But I had to reset the radio after putting in the new alkalines because the display froze up and the radio wouldn't power on. When the radio came on again, I got a blast of level-20 volume in my earphones despite using level-5 before the reset. Ow ow ow ow ow! Don't forget: resetting the radio resets the volume.

540: Jumbled spanish.

550: Jumbled english. "Newstalk 550 KFYI." (KFYI; Phoenix, Arizona; 5 kW day, 1 kW night)

570: Spanish.

580: "I love you more than I can say" - soft rock song. Faint signal. Local interference in the house - the fans? Damn it! Sinatra - "New York, New York." Did the Yankees just win? This signal disappears if local/dx is switched to local. The DJ referred to New York as his favorite vacation destination. Breakfast spot in Tucson - ad. "KSAZ 580 AM - Arizona's best radio." (KSAZ; Marana, Arizona; 5 kW day; 0.39 kW night)

600: "Hi, this is Corky of Corky's pest control." Music: Abracadabra by Steve Miller band. Coast to Coast with George Noory.

620: "Sports 620 KTAR." "Kobe Bryant wants out of Los Angeles." (KTAR; Phoenix, Arizona; 5 kW)

630: "Let me hear you say penis..." "Penis." "Let me hear you say vagina..." "Vagina." That was on Dr. Laura. ... Art Bell's daughter, Asia, was born. Coast to Coast with a clear signal.

640: Coast to Coast: George with Ian Punnett on the phone.

650: Spanish.

660: "KTNN." Very clear signal. "66 degrees..." Most of the talk is in a native american language but there are some english phrases. "Keep up the good work." (KTNN; Window Rock, Arizona; 50 kW)

670: Spanish music.

680: Spanish.

680: Sports. "Kobe Bryant is our new favorite player." "KNBR 680." (KNBR: San Francisco, CA; 50 kW)

690: English. Sean Hannity is on this station.

700: English. "It may be used, but it's still a Honda." Fox Sports radio.

720: "Bring our troops home now? I don't want that!" Moderate strength signal with static. "We'd rather have Bill Clinton... for the rest of the term." Conservative talk show. "Newstalk 720 KDWN." (KDWN; Las Vegas, Nevada; 50 kW)

740: "KCBS newstime, 10:38." 280 southbound was closed in Cupertino, and traffic had to exit at De Anza. Ahhh, San Francisco calling. (KCBS; San Francisco, California; 50 kW)

740: Spanish music.

750: Faint english. Call-in talk show.

760: Jumbled.

770: "Tap in to michigan.org... Michigan can give you the upper hand." Sean Hannity is doing a mattress ad. "New Mexico's talk monster, 770 KKOB." (KKOB; Albuquerque, New Mexico; 50 kW)

780: Medium-strength signal with english. Talk show. Coast to Coast. Mentioned fark.com. Drew is on the show. "I haven't had as much beer as I'd like but I'm working on it," he said.

780: English, country music. "780 KAZM." (KAZM; Sedona, Arizona; 5 kW day; 0.25 kW night)

790: "Newstalk 790 KNST." (KNST; Tucson, Arizona; 5 kW day, 0.5 kW night)

800: Spanish music. Chihuahua.

820: 866-445-GREG. Street view for Google maps. "I'm looking at a California license plate on a car parked in the street in San Francisco..." He said that Google "tapped into" some surveillance camera. Obviously not! ... Trucking show. Tips on how to get a cheap laptop. Test-drive of a new Freightliner. Rack-and-pinion steering is optional. Cruise control is included? I have a hard time understanding cruise control on a manual transmission vehicle. Fading.

820: Trucking show. 800-288-9227. "In Juckland, Missouri" - ad. "Las Vegas truck show" - ad. "Midnight radio network." Interference from music on the same frequency. I missed the station id because of fading!

840: Spanish music.

850: English, sports. Low fastball, Tony La Russa. Rockies radio network. "Newsradio 850 KOA." (KOA; Denver, Colorado; 50 kW)

860: This was a really unusual signal. "Set your radio now to sports 620 KTAR! All sports, all the time. Sports 620 KTAR. Set your radio now to sports 620 KTAR. That's sports 620 KTAR. KMVP Phoenix." That phrase just kept looping forever. (KMVP; Phoenix, Arizona; 1 kW)

870: "Newstalk 870 KRLA." Some interference. (KRLA; Glendale, California; 50 kW day, 3 kW night)

880: English. King of spam arrested. ... Same trucking show as heard on 820.

880: Nebraska? "KRVW." (KRVN; Lexington, Nebraska; 50 kW)

910: Giveaway for a $50 gift certificate to Radio Shack. What are they talking about? Talking about the Stanley cup. Snoop Dogg's kids - do they call him dad, or do they just call him Snoop? Phone number: 877-996-? Speak slower and clearer, idiots! Stupid interview with the gift certificate winner. He doesn't know what he'll get at Radio Shack. "Fox gametime Sunday." "Fox sports radio." "Action sports 910." Actually, after doing a quick web search, this is most likely "XTRA sports 910" in Phoenix. (KGME; Phoenix, Arizona; 5 kW)

930: English. Sports hilights. "ESPN radio." Weather. Highs in the 80s. "Sports talk 930 KIUP." (KIUP; Durango, Colorado; 5 kW day; 0.1 kW night)

960: Financial talk. "Wealth survival." 888-819-1023. Strong signal. Manage home equity - invest in something safe. They're not advising that people take equity out of their homes just to get extra spending money. They're offering a DVD - is it free? It's from a third party (so I doubt it is free). Sounds like it's only useful for homeowners. Properly manage your assets. Look up "arbitrage." Only Ron Paul stood up for what he believes - in the opinion of the hosts after they watched debates. What's the name of the DVD? They talked about it like it was the only DVD ever made. Tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is a strategy. End of show. That was a paid program. "Newstalk 960 KKNT Phoenix." (KKNT; Phoenix, Arizona; 5 kW)

980: California news. "KFWB newstime, 10:30." "KFWB news 980." (KFWB; Los Angeles, California; 5 kW)

990: Spanish.

1000: Spanish music.

1020: "That's the only girl that I ever thought about marrying." Religious. The host advises consulting God to get permission to marry.

1060: "Sporting news radio." Strange weather in Colorado.

1070: "KNX 1070 news radio." Four Escondido teens killed in an alcohol-related crash; racing involved. (KNX; Los Angeles, California; 50 kW)

1080: English. Interviewing the father of an incarcerated border agent. Shooting of drug smugglers near Mexico border. ... Baseball play-by-play. Rangers vs. Mariners. Game is over 3.5 hours long so far. A strikeout with a 68mph curveball ended the game. "This is newsradio 1080 KRLD." (KRLD; Dallas, Texas; 50 kW)

1090: English. Sports hilights.

1100: Baseball play-by-play. College level. Call to the bullpen. "Juco radio network." I think that's what they said.

1110: English. Savage nation.

1140: Spanish.

1160: "Tomorrow, high of 80... KSL news radio." (KSL; Salt Lake City, Utah; 50 kW)

1170: "If I were to give you three names, would you tell me if they were involved in the JFK assassination?" Two women guests (the psychic twins) on Coast to Coast. None of the named people were involved, according to the twins.

1200: Utah Jazz play-by-play. Game 5 of western conference finals. The Spurs are winning.

1200: Very clear signal of Coast to Coast. Something about a tidal wave hitting San Francisco? "Texas state farm agent." "Alamo community college." So many ads! "1200 WOAI news." Heavy rain in Georgia/Florida. "Newsradio 1200 WOAI." (WOAI; San Antonio, Texas; 50 kW)

1260: English.

1290: Fox sports radio.

1300: "Get out of debt" - ad.

1320: Sports. "ESPN arena football." "1320 KFAN." "ESPN radio sports center." Oh, they said K-fan, which is just a phrase, and not the callsign. Annoying! (KFNZ; Salt Lake City, Utah; 5 kW)

1350: "Welcome back to 'This is America' with John Elliott."

1380: Basketball play-by-play. ... BBC news brief. ABC news. Strong english signal. "ESPN radio." "This is the V-show..." "Here's Bob Valvano."

1420: Spanish.

1430: CBS news. Very faint. "Anaheim Ducks..." "AM 1430 KLO." (KLO; Ogden, Utah; 10 kW day, 5 kW night)

1440: Spanish music.

1500: English. "68 in the twin cities. Fading. "The talk station, AM 1500 KSTP." (KSTP; Saint Paul, Minnesota; 50 kW)

1510: Country music. Too bad I have no patience for it! I picked this signal up twice. With more time, I could have identified it.

1520: "Internet moonbats." Political talk. ... Sports talk? Zero-lot homes. People want a big home without having to take care of a yard. Two hosts are talking about water and a/c expenses. "Midnight radio network." Strong signal. Commercials that targeted truck drivers. Jobs and tips. "Give those big rigs a lot of room." "Talk radio 1520 KOKC." (KOKC; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; 50 kW)

1540: Spanish music.

1550: Faint english.

1570: Spanish.

1630: Music.

1700: "Cash 1700" Minor league baseball play-by-play. (XEPE; Tecate, Baja California North, Mexico; 10 kW)

Stations identified: 27

States/districts logged: 11
* Arizona
* Baja California North
* California
* Colorado
* Minnesota
* Nebraska
* Nevada
* New Mexico
* Oklahoma
* Texas
* Utah

Locations of furthest stations, with distance estimates:
* Dallas, Texas: 850 miles
* Denver, Colorado: 650 miles
* Lexington, Nebraska: 1000 miles
* Ogden, Utah: 625 miles
* Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 850 miles
* Salt Lake City, Utah: 575 miles
* San Antonio, Texas: 900 miles
* San Francisco, California: 800 miles
* St. Paul, Minnesota: 1500 miles