13 March 2006

shortwave summary: mar 2006 (part 1)

I'll start early this month with reception reports. I've been working with the faint, distant signals in addition to the easy catches, so some logs lack details. Kim Andrew Elliott tells us that Radio Slovakia is ending shortwave broadcasts.

Broadcasters covered below:
* Radio Havana Cuba
* Voice of Korea, North Korea
* Voice of Croatia
* Radio Japan
* Radio Taiwan International
* Radio Sweden
* Radio Bulgaria
* Voice of America
* China Radio International

* 02 Mar 2006, 0515 UTC: 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): President Bush's approval rating at all-time low. Halliburton will be paid all of its disputed charges from a no-bid contract to provide fuel in Iraq. Company is accused of benefiting from connection with VP Cheney. "World sports for all" event coming up in Cuba, 31 Oct - 03 Nov. Ed Newman said: "winter day in beautiful Cuba, where it's warm out." 01 May 2006 will mark Radio Havana Cuba's 45th anniversary. SIO 444.

* 03 Mar 2006, 0200 UTC: 13650 khz (Voice of Korea, North Korea): "Democratic People's Republic of Korea." Not strong enough to understand. SIO 222.

* 0300 UTC, 7285 khz (Voice of Croatia): "This is Croatian Radio." "A warm welcome to our listeners." DNA testing of cows helped analyze mad cow disease in Croatia. Cash awards given to Croatian olympic medal winners. Wooden vessels were constructed on a Croatian island in the 1500s. One trademark was eyes carved into the bows. Announcer spoke very fast! It's a shame that this broadcast is so short. Shipbuilding story was very interesting. SIO 333; fading, static.

* 0500 UTC, 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): A majority of troops in Iraq favor ending the occupation. 72% of troops want the USA to leave Iraq within a year. Mentioned how an announcer would read newspapers and magazines to cigar-rollers (like I saw in a James Bond movie once!) Bolivia launched a literacy program in all of its eight provinces, in cooperation with Cuba. Editorial viewpoint regarding the USA's involvement in a human rights organization within the United Nations. USA wants to reduce the number of members, and introduced a sanction clause. A rare moment on RHC: spanish speaking in the background overlaid with an english translation. 6000 languages are spoken on this planet. Negative comments for the USA economy; 76% of households carry debt. Stagnant wages, rising healthcare costs, costly education and housing. 25 million Americans depend on food donations. SIO 544.

* 04 Mar 2006, 1700 UTC, 9535 khz (Radio Japan): Bush, Musharraf confirm their commitment to defeat terrorism. China will increase military budget by 14% this year. China has "neither the intention nor the ability to become a military superpower." (Was that wishful thinking?) Japan wants China to stop natural gas exploration in the East China Sea; countries dispute ownership. 317 Guantanamo prisoner names released to the Associated Press. A man who died in China might have had H5N1; eight previous bird flu deaths there. I can hear the announcer turning pages while reading the news.

"Welcome to: Hello from Tokyo!" 2-10C (35-50F) outside; people heard sniffling on the trains. The "Hello from Tokyo" show will be terminated in April. Female announcer is getting married and moving to Denver, Colorado. Male announcer plans to pursue an acting career. They called a listener and interviewed him. Later in the show, they encouraged people to write in and include their phone numbers. The listener lives in Santa Barbara, California. They asked him for a music request at the end of the call. Now interviewing Kim (Andrew) Elliott from the IBB. Seeing a decline in shortwave broadcasting. Radio Slovakia going off the air (that's the first I heard of it...). VOA closing down its News Now service. China Radio International, on the other hand, is expanding and buying transmitters; venturing into FM. "Listening is more difficult in my house." Xenon lights cause a lot of interference. Shortwave is a difficult medium to block, compared to the Internet and satellite communications. DRM is more sensitive to interference than analog broadcasts. "Thank you Tokyo! An honor to be on Radio Japan" -- Kim Andrew Elliott at the end of the interview. Music: "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys. SIO 544-555.

* 05 Mar 2006, 0200 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan Intl): Plans to draft a new constitution. Current constitution is from before WWII. China launched military exercises after Taiwan suspended the unification council. The number of Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan increased by 200 over 6 years. Taipei weather for Sunday: mostly cloudy, occasional showers, 17-20C (62-68F). Station id: "brought to you by Radio Taiwan International." "Broadcasting from Taipei, Taiwan, the Republic of China." SIO 433; fading.

* 0230 UTC, 6010 khz (Radio Sweden): Flute intro music. "Shortwave to North America... half-hour program in English." From Stockholm. Sweden drawn into protests over the Mohammed caricatures. The government is under fire for slow response to the Asian tsunami. Bird flu reaches Europe. I was disappointed that they spent so much time discussing the tsunami as it was mostly old news. SIO 333.

* 0300 UTC, 7285 khz (Voice of Croatia): "This is Croatian Radio, the Voice of Croatia." Weak signal; couldn't copy most of it. Heard "the need to establish a coast guard..." SIO 232.

* 06 Mar 2006, 0007 UTC, 9700 khz (Radio Bulgaria): Did not hear identification. Transmission too weak to understand clearly. "Powerful army", "Bulgarian", "Bulgarian people". The E5 volume was at 14 (usually it is around 6-8). SIO 121.

* 07 Mar 2006, 2104 UTC, 17825 khz (Radio Japan): Interceptor missiles; Japan developing the nose cone. Experiments conducted off Hawaii. Test flight of a radio-controlled plane with no flight time limit. Working with Chinese to increase understanding; relations at their worst. It's important to hear military and political news, but there was nothing fun in this broadcast. SIO 545.

* 2135 UTC, 15580 khz (Voice of America): Music program; interviewing a female musician who plays a harmonica. Song: "Goodbye Charlie Brown." A Google search revealed her name: Terri Hendrix. SIO 544.


Chuck said...

Radio Slovakia to end shortwave transmissions? I knew today was going too well. I had just recently added R Slovakia to my Sony SW55's memory bank and was enjoying their programs. Somehow we have to turn around this abandonment of shortwave by broadcasters.


weatherall said...

Hi Chuck:
Yep, and I just had my first Radio Slovakia reception in February.

So the SW55 doesn't have a speaker? Do you use headphones or an external speaker?