I learned a new trick for reducing interference while indoors. A thread I started on rec.radio.amateur.general led to a suggestion to rotate my radio. For mediumwave broadcasts, this is how to null out interference and target weak signals. Although my radios' whip antennas were horizontal and aimed at my window, I was not getting the best possible reception. Turning the radios around and pointing the whip antennas at my refrigerator actually reduced the local interference. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Here are some of my shortwave reception reports for February 2006 from northern California. I used my Sony ICF SW7600GR and my new Eton E5. More reports will be posted soon.
Broadcasters listed in this report:
* Radio New Zealand International
* Radio Taiwan International
* Voice of Russia
* Radio Havana Cuba
* British Broadcasting Corporation
* 28 Jan 2006, 1843 UTC: 15720 khz (Radio New Zealand Intl): Talking about politics in the USA: republican power grab in 1994, controversial K Street project. Jack Abramoff issue could become the biggest scandal in a century. Investigation of UFOs; geiger counters measure radiation at sighting locations. SIO 433.
* 07 Feb 2006, 0700 UTC: 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan Intl): Discussing the arms budget bill. Taiwan planning "advanced weapons" purchase from the USA. Solar energy use is increasing in Taiwan, China, and Japan. The region seeks renewable energy due to oil costs. A large book fair is approaching, and will attract participants from around the world. Taipei weather for 07 Feb 2006: cloudy with temperatures in the range of 15...22C (59...71F).
The Taiwanese are proud of their ceramics. A region south of Taipei produces a lot of ceramics. Known for unique colors, shapes, and objects. Creative objects reflect influences of the west and the east. During the "You've got mail" show, the announcers are reading letters, laughing, and having a good time. Several letters are from India. RTI wishes its listeners a "fantastic, fabulous, and fulfilling year of the dog. Happy Chinese new year!" The announcers note that reception reports don't need to relay the show contents verbatim, but should include the listener's opinion and reaction.
Now onto dog stories (in recognition of the year of the dog). Adopt-a-dog organization helps sick and lonely people. One woman's beagle throws a ball for her, so that she has to stretch and pick it up. This helps with her physical therapy. SIO 544.
* 08 Feb 2006, 0410 UTC: 9840 khz (Voice of Russia): A letter-writer asks, "Is Russia gradually becoming the U.S.S.R.?" The country is working on consolidating unity. Some leaders have been elected fraudulently and were corrupt. Russia helps impoverished African children through its G8 obligations, which includes writing off debt. Discussing the American practice of awarding undistinguished behavior such as "best dressed." Russians don't do this. It is illegal to advertise alcohol on Russian television. But a Ukranian vodka ad has been running for years; regulators seem to look the other way. The announcer said that "the vodka...is quite good." Now discussing the Russia-India-China strategic triangle. Developed to counter the political, economic, and "military might" of the USA. Russia no longer views the USA as an enemy; partnering with the USA for energy development and anti-terrorism. USA's military spending equals "five thousand billion dollars" -- interesting way to phrase that number. Russia's military spending is 3-5% of GDP, second in the world behind the USA. Spain seeks membership in the G8. SIO 433.
I haven't heard from Voice of Russia in quite a while. VOR has interesting news but their announcers usually lack energy. I emailed the station my reception report and they promptly replied to point out that I forgot to list the frequency. After replying with the frequency, they confirmed my reception and indicated that a QSL card was on its way.
* 09 Feb 2006, 0515 UTC: 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): Pentagon is covering up widespread sexual harassment of females in the military. Mailbag show now. They want more females to write in! Former president Jimmy Carter says eavesdropping is illegal. SIO 533.
* 10 Feb 2006, 0201 UTC: 5975 khz (BBC): Discussing patriot act issues. Russian president invited Hamas leaders to Moscow; doesn't view Hamas as a terrorist organization. Italy is spending US$100 million on Olympic security. SIO 434.