10 April 2006

shortwave summary: apr 2006 (part 1)

I've been doing mediumwave DXing recently with my BCL-2000, so I am publishing this set of reception reports although it is shorter than usual. This month I'm giving my Eton E5 a break in order to get more use out of my Sony ICF SW7600GR and my Kaito KA1102.

* Radio Japan
* Radio Taiwan International
* Radio Thailand
* Radio Netherlands

* 02 Apr 2006, 0108 UTC, 17825 khz (Radio Japan): A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the eastern coast of Taiwan. 80% of respondents to a survey are concerned about Japan's declining birth rate. Couples have fears of the financial burden and the lack of workplace child care. Pop joins the world show - the final edition! Song: "Backseat baby." Sounds a lot like current pop music; derivative. Male announcer is from Canada. Next song: "Psycho analysis." "The fifth door." Cool rhythm but there's a repetitive melody. "Tobiko," "Golden lady." Yoshida brothers, banjo-like instrument. "Cuddle." The final song is titled "Two four six." The announcers said "life goes on! Everything must pass. It is time to say goodbye one last time." "From NHK studios in Tokyo, Japan."

* 0200 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan International): Taiwan has rejected China's offer of giant pandas. It was considered a propaganda ploy. Taiwan may accept China's offer to join the 2008 Olympic torch relay. China wants to see the torch go through Taiwan, "which China claims but does not control." The UN is abandoning the use of traditional Chinese characters in 2008, and will switch to Beijing's simplified script. China joined the UN in 1971 and has promoted the simplified character set. Taiwanese are more familiar with the traditional character set. I was aware that there were character sets known as traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese, but I didn't previously know the tensions involved. The station is running a "world's tallest building" contest. "You need to stay abreast of news in Asia." Oddly, I don't remember hearing about the earthquake in this broadcast. Maybe these shows are recorded more in advance than Japan's. The schedule for North America was given as: 0200-0300 UTC and 0300-0400 UTC on 9680khz and 5950khz; 0700-0800 UTC on 5950 khz.

* 0303 UTC, 5890 khz (Radio Thailand): Announcer is describing the appearance of the new ballots. Released today; forgery would be difficult. It is also difficult to forecast the election outcome. Some areas only have one candidate; the candidate only needs 20% of the votes to win. There has been an 80% increase in bus trips so people can return home and vote. Police will assist with transportation of the ballot boxes from remote areas. Transportation "mega projects" can continue under the new government. 10 electric rail lines. Jewelry industry is a main revenue source for Thailand. Growth of 20% is expected this year. Jewelry manufacturers are striving to improve quality. "Voting makes you one of the decision-makers." "It is your duty as a Thai citizen to cast your vote."

* 05 Apr 2006, 0400 UTC, 6165 khz (Radio Netherlands): "From Hilversum in Holland, this is Radio Netherlands." Relayed from Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Thailand PM bowed to pressure and stepped down. He won the election but failed to ease tensions. Demonstrations had an effect on his decision. He said it was in respect for the king that he stepped down. It's fun with shortwave listening to be able to follow the same story across different stations, with different viewpoints. Corruption is the biggest threat to the single-party system in Vietnam. Italy holding parliamentary elections on Sunday. The second of two televised debates focused on the economy. 80% of Italians own the house in which they live. Berlusconi proposed a new tax break. He's trying to get his voters from the last election to support him again. There are strikes across France due to new labor law which allows easier hiring and firing of younger workers. "The government makes a decision, announces it, and sees what happens." The Dutch try to come to a consensus first. Kenya might join Operation Enduring Freedom, the USA's campaign against terror. A member of a maritime organization was quoted, but his speech was very hard to understand due to incoherent speaking and a difficult accent. I think his name was Commadore Hank Boyt.

The Dutch Prime Minister is in Australia for trade talks. Australians like straightforward talk; don't like bragging. Dutch persons living in Australia are returning to their original language. Money laundering can benefit the economy. Legal authorities repeatedly blunder wiretaps. Police just don't understand modern technology. Sometimes victims are wiretapped instead of the perpetrators. This seems wrong given how many people understand such technology. Sounds like the police just can't get their help.

EuroQuest: The Eiffel Tower will be disassembled and reassembled inside EuroDisney. (April Fools' joke!) Nigerian scammers collect 1.5 billion euros per year. Scammers sometimes rent an office, decorate it like a bank, and get people to act like they work at the bank. This is a show to reinforce the scam, and the victim is fooled into thinking it is a legitimate deal. The Nigerians are proud of their accomplishments with this scam. Bulgaria seeks EU membership. EU is demanding the arrest of top organized criminals in Bulgaria. The EuroQuest EuroBlog was announced, and a podcast is also available.

Fashion designer named Vivienne Westwood - punk, famous, weird fashion designer. She reacts against "anything orthodox." British. She worked with Malcolm McLaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols. "Political clothing." Historical references were incorporated into her work. Designs exaggerate the female shape. Someone said "it's art, in a way." Westwood sayd that clothing can change the way people think. She's now 64 years old. She hasn't sold out to the establishment. She practices "active resistance" to propaganda. "You get out what you put in. You live an idiot, you die an idiot." I always appreciate the depth of coverage and the cultural stories available on Radio Netherlands.


Anonymous said...

How does the BCL-2000 do on MW and SW?
I've seen more divergent views on this radio than any other.

weatherall said...

Hi there:
My own BCL-2000 review won't be completed for a while. I've barely used it on SW so I shouldn't comment on that yet. I doubt I'll use it much for SW because I prefer the ease and stability of PLL tuning.

Reception-wise, I've been pleased with my mediumwave catches. What I haven't done yet is compare it with my other radios. I get strong reception of a 50 kW station in Denver Colorado which is about 1200 miles away.

Here are some negative traits of this radio that I've experienced:
* Whistling on some lower frequencies unless the dial is just right
* Strong sibilance
* Drifting up or down by 1-2 khz after just a few minutes on a frequency
* An image of a mediumwave signal that should be 910 khz higher on the dial

I wish the RF gain would work in the opposite way. By turning the dial all the way down, I would want the radio to only pick up weak signals. This would make mediumwave DXing a lot more fun!

I don't know if this helps, because it's just a few observations and not a strong opinion. If you have any more questions, I'll give them a try.