15 October 2006

shortwave summary, oct 2006 (part 2)

These receptions were done with my Eton E5 and my Sony ICF SW7600GR. I used my Degen DE31 active loop antenna in some cases. All of these receptions are from 01 October 2006. Read below to find out about organic farming, a taiko drummer, flooding in Thailand, and economic news encompassing Africa.

Received stations:
* Radio Japan
* Radio Thailand
* Channel Africa

* 0033 UTC, 15280 khz (BBC): This signal began strong, but during the subsequent 20 minutes, it weakened considerably. Organic farming was being discussed, with several people representing opposing viewpoints. The host mentioned the spinach infected with E.coli, which came from an organic farm in California. Organic farming is increasing. Effects of pesticides on humans are subtle and difficult to identify. Locally-produced food items are gaining favor with consumers because they are conscious of transportation's effects on global warming.

* 0103 UTC, 17825 khz (Radio Japan): Great signal! The Japanese government is giving $7 million to Vietnam so they can build a laboratory to study bird flu. India completed its investigation of the train bombings. A shortwave frequency notice was given. Sunday marks the beginning of presidential elections in Brazil, where the incumbent leads the challenger by 20 percentage points. A group known as the Kurdistan Workers Party (abbreviated as PKK) announced a ceasefire in Turkey which will begin on Sunday. The PKK increased its activities after the fall of Hussein in Iraq.

Japan airlines will merge its domestic and international operations to cut costs and administrative work. The airline lost $400 million in the most recent fiscal year. "J-Melo" and "Pop joins the world" music shows will be next. The news segment of this broadcast lasted 10 minutes.

J-Melo has a special guest: Leonard Eto, a taiko drum player. He performed a piece called "ocean blue". The pace quickened at the end. After the song, he described how he plays. He sounded out of breath. Then there was instructional audio (sounds like it came from a video) about how the drums are made. "The hide is then hammered to soften it." He's playing together now with a tabla drummer; this second song is called "elephant gate". Eto's music is in the movies "JFK" and "The Lion King". Taiko drums are no longer just played by Japanese people. Third song is called "sound good". Eto calls drumming an opportunity to stimulate his creativity. The last song is called "(something) number 2" and was performed along with his brother.

Ah, Japanese music shows! I love them. It can be frustrating though to look up an artist afterward and have a hard time finding their music in an online store like Amazon or iTunes. Sometimes I can find their music but it's only available as a pricy import.

At 0130 UTC during this broadcast, I started hearing adjacent channel interference. It was from Radio Veritas Asia on 17830 khz, from the Phillipines. It was a weak signal, alas.

* 0200 UTC, 5890 khz (Radio Thailand): I wanted to hear Radio Thailand after the September 2006 coup. This time, it came through. "This is HSK9, Radio Thailand world service." The irrigation department is dissipating water from rivers to combat flooding. 60 troops are sandbagging; 14,000 homes are flooded. A typhoon is expected to bring heavy rains. Water pumps are being installed. Some hospitals are flooded, but all except one remain open. 49,000 people became sick from water-borne illnesses. Discussing the "supreme commander" who came into power as a result of the coup. The goal of the coup is to keep the Thai people united. Corruption is a major threat to national security.

A meeting was held to discuss operations issues at the new airport. One of the topics was baggage delays. Electricity consumption in Thailand rose by 4.9% so far this year. The lower-than-expected rise is due to high oil prices and conservation efforts. Banks can now provide automated payment of water bills. Chevron Thailand is offering 60 scholarships to honor the 60th year of the king. But they're asking for contributions? I find it peculiar that Chevron is allowed to insert announcements into this government-operated broadcast. I heard another identification: "You're listening to Radio Thailand news." Radio Thailand does a great job with identification during their 30-minute broadcast.

In the mid-1960s, southeast Asia was in disarray, partly due to the Vietnam war and political unrest. Thailand then proposed a southeast Asian union, called ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations). Business news: The US commerce department will retain oversight of ICANN for 3 more years. (America owns the Internet.) ICANN will ultimately be turned over to the private sector. AMD reached an agreement with the second-largest PC maker in China (Founder Technology). National Day in China is approaching. It will mark the 57th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. This was followed by the Chinese national anthem. The broadcast ended with the sound of grandfather clock bells, and "That concludes our program in English."

I didn't need the DE31 antenna for this reception, because the broadcast was from nearby Delano, California.

* 0500 UTC, 9685 khz (Channel Africa): I lucked out! I was trying to catch China Radio International, but it didn't have a usable signal. So I found this signal, which was a rare treat! "Last Wednesday was national tourism day." This broadcast was entirely focused on financial news. Kenya had 14% tourism growth. Kenya is planning for the privatization of its rail system. There's expectations of US$100 billion in investments in Nigeria during 2005-2008, which will support infrastructure upgrades. Throughout this broadcast, the male announcer interviewed various people for details on the stories. Kenya is apparently the largest tea producer in the world. Labor accounts for 60% of the production costs for tea. Unions are expected to fight against job losses due to mechanization.

Now discussing cocoa beans in Ghana. The 2005-2006 crop was excellent. Rain levels have been good, so the 2006-2007 crop outlook is good. People see the stock market as a store of value right now. Stock market there seems unvervalued by 20%. Heard partial identification: "You're listening to... on Channel Africa." South Africa has the best infrastructure. There are huge growth opportunities for financial institutions; small and medium enterprises. "No ATMs in Uganda." There's a need to establish a credit bureau due to concerns of loan defaults. There's a "slow and unwieldy" justice system in Africa. Africans don't like government intervention. It's very difficult to get current information on financial services in Africa. A reaction by the IMF about China's reckless lending. The World Bank released a global competitiveness report; Africa did not score well. The signoff music was cool!

This signal weakened near the end, and I also heard music interference on the same frequency. I wonder if I heard Radio Gazeta.


Anonymous said...

Do you just spin the dial hoping to catch a freq or are you going off a list with actual freq/time?

weatherall said...

I do a bit of both. I have my favorites (like Radio Havana Cuba, Radio Taiwan Intl, China Radio Intl, Radio Netherlands).

I make frequent use of primetimeshortwave.com to identify candidate stations during times that I'm able to listen. I've also started looking at the eibi.de.vu schedule to try to pick out other stations that may come in well here. There are occasionally broadcasts intended for Asia and Oceania that are quite usable in California.

And at other times, when I have no real agenda (such as before work), I might scan the bands a bit to see what's there. During October, I've done a few specific scanning sessions to listen for the Firedrake jammer.

How about you? What are some of your listening habits?

Anonymous said...

I basically do the same as you, I just wonder how accurate some of these listings are. I'll come across stations that are clear as day, yet that frequency at that specific time shows nothing on some of these lists.

Also, you'd think a person could get some good ideas from things such as rec.radio.shortwave, but the vast majority of posts are usually nothing more than garbage talk. If it wasn't for some posts by dxACE (who seems to listen to his radio 24hrs a day) that newsgroup could almost be classified as useless.