Thursday, 18 March 2010

Radio Websites April 2010, first published in Radio User, PWP

Spring is here!

A selection from Radio Websites April 2010, first published in Radio User, PWP http://www.radiouser.co.uk/ by Chrissy Brand   chrissylb at hotmail.co.uk


Chrissy Brand guides you to the some of the best websites with a radio connection.



We’ll be right back after the interval…

If you have ever scanned across a shortwave dial you will be familiar with the peculiar pieces of music called interval signals that precede a station coming on air. The best guide is Dave Kernick’s Interval Signals Online which goes back through time to many defunct stations as well as current broadcasters: http://www.intervalsignals.net/



Al Quaglieri also used to have a great website fulfilling a similar function but that is sadly long gone from cyberspace. However, to see as well as hear interval signals you can try You Tube. There are seven and half minutes of top tunes from the haunting sounds of Radio Tirana in its heyday through stirring military bands to soft chiming bells. Harre 67 is the name of the You Tube channel, where you can also watch other gems such as an Icelandic TV test card: http://www.youtube.com/user/harre67  




Taking the prize for the most innovative collection of interval signals must be this performance by a flautist at the 2009 Kulpsville USA SWL Winterfest. I kid you not, these are interval signals played on a flute. At the Kitchen Prof’s Good Time Video You Tube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/kitchenprof  
Specifically at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxNDKrXhsJA  See how many you recognise in what is a very entertaining three minutes!




I have mentioned Jango and similar websites before in the dim and distant past, but it is good enough to warrant a revisit: http://www.jango.com/  If you are looking for a streaming online station where there are no adverts and you have control of the music played then Jango is for you. You open an account and then choose the style of music you want to hear. Type in an artiste that you like and similar music will be played. You can add whoever you want and Jango also suggests music you might like, thus expanding your knowledge and the whole experience. You cam also find and add friends on have Jango and develop new friendships with people displaying similar musical tastes. As far as I can see there is practically no limit to the amount of channels you operate and you can tune to others’ channels too.

As an example, I currently have eleven channels at my Jango page on the go, which I suppose cover the genres of Chillout /ambient, Prog rock, dinner jazz, classical, ambient nature, lounge lizard crooners, cheesy city, World Music and Indie etc.: http://www.jango.com/users/10191488?l=0
Being online and web-based you can even inflict your music tastes on your friends when visiting them. Play your channels through their PC!


My band of the month is the ambient set up called behind Closed Eyes. Rid yourself of the day’s stress by having a listen. As well as a Myspace page showcasing their music, they have a You Tube channel which I enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeyondClosedEyes  





The whole collection of QSL cards at: http://www.qslcollection.co.uk/index.php  is owned by David Johnson G4DHF. The website exists as a labour of love in appreciation of the historical significance of QSL cards, and of amateur radio in general, by Colin Guy, G4DDI. It was originally inspired by the discovery of a number of QSL cards dating from the 1920's and is intended to make images of the cards available to as many people as possible. However, research into the origin of the cards turned up an interesting story of the life of one Radio Amateur, G4DDI, in Grimsby. Read the whole story, and how you may be able to solve some outstanding mysteries, at the website.




Two websites suggested by Brian in Somerset on the Radio User email group. The Direct Pole website has a list of air band frequencies, Area Control, Terminal Control, Scottish Area Control as well as London Mil and Scottish Mil: http://jonjorobb.netne.net/e107/page.php?4  


News, hangar residents, airfield guide, movements, and VHF radio sections are amongst the goodies on offer at the Irish website: http://www.aerspace.ie/vhf%20frequencies.html


“Irish airspace comprises almost 500,000 square kilometres of the earth’s surface. Each day 90% of the traffic which crosses the North Atlantic between the European and North American land masses is handled by Shannon ATC.”



A stately Stateside selection
I have some modern and some historical sites of interest for you from across the pond. Starting with the wireless history of Long Island which is a good read, courtesy of the local historical society at: http://longislandgenealogy.com/Wireless/Wireless.html  

I hope the following introduction whets your appetite to investigate further: “Probably no other area in the America could equal Long Island for its density of early radio stations. Its proximity to New York City, the financial capital of the world, and to its harbor destined Long Island to become the locus of transatlantic radio communications and ship-to-shore wireless service for Atlantic shipping. For over a half a century before the advent of satellite communications, the overwhelming majority of transatlantic radio communications with the United States funneled through Long Island facilities.”


From Ontario, Canada, comes a fascinating 99 page online book by one Tim Williamson. Across Time and Space: Listening for Sixty Years From Four Continents, Tom tells how radio fits into his life during his years in England from in the 1930s and then Canada from the 1960s to the 1990s. It is part of the website: http://www.ontheshortwaves.com/  The book, which looks to be typewritten in reassuring Courier font, can be accessed directly via: http://pl703.pairlitesite.com/Across_Time/Across_Time.html  


An interesting government and community station in the Big Apple on 91.5 MHz at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/media/html/radio/radio.shtml  It offers global news, world music and international programming and is commercial free as well.


The Internet Archive website contains is a treasure trove of almost half a million audio files, which include many series of radio shows. They are mostly US based but well worth exploring. Many can be downloaded as mp3 files for you to enjoy at your leisure: http://www.archive.org/  for a lot more as well. “The Internet Archive, a non-profit organisation, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.” It also has more than 56,000 live music files, plus art and literature.


I am slowly working my way through the episodes of 1950s classic spy drama “I was a communist for the FBI”: http://www.archive.org/details/IWCFBI  Find your favourites and make some new ones, be they current day podcasts or classic oldies: http://www.archive.org/details/radioprograms  





Cards and planes
A vintage QSL card collection from the early days of radio, which includes those of Eugen Marcuse (see this month’s Broadcast Matters for details on him): http://www.qslcollection.co.uk/183.htm  




Friday, 5 March 2010

Radio Websites March 2010, first published in Radio User, PWP

Samba musicians (photo by C Brand)

http://www.radiouser.co.uk/
Chrissy Brand looks at websites with a radio connection from all around the world. Join her this month on a diverse tour from freezing Finland, to small town America, some African beats and a trip to paradise, with much more to take in along the way.



Armchair world tour


We start with five short hops to radio websites in five different continents, all from the comfort of your armchair, or maybe your desk chair if you are not browsing on a laptop computer.


Freezing your toes off in Arctic Lapland at minus 38ºC may not be everyone's idea of a great start to 2010, but for Finns Mika Mäkeläinen and Jari Ruohomäki it was a highlight of the winter. Join Mika and Jari for a DXpedition full of American and Chinese AM stations. See what an array of 11 antennas, each one kilometre in length, can capture from all around the world. A report of the 287th DXpedition to Lemmenjoki in Finland is at:


http://www.dxing.info/dxpeditions/lem287rep.dx  


This is part of the always excellent DXing Info website at: www.dxing.info “the reliable information source for radio hobbyists! The site is primarily about DXing for DXers, but if you're into broadcasting, shortwave or radio propagation, you will find interesting information.”


Radio Free Asia has its own Your Tube channel featuring some of its television output. An interesting site to visit where you can see, if not understand, some of the station’s many Asian language services in action: http://www.youtube.com/RFAVideo  


The Voice of Africa is a London based FM station. If you can hear them on your radio, try them online http://www.voiceofafricaradio.com/  Along with gospel and religious shows there are phone ins and hard hitting ‘Straight Talk’: “The most controversial, hard-hitting, uncompromising talk show in the UK.” ‘Wake up Africa’ from six in the morning has intellectual interviewing, up to date news reviews, , discussion and live hook ups with broadcasters and journalists across Africa with a full blend of good music.




African Radio online is another resource of the African Diaspora and fans of the diverse music on that continent. US based it is a lively and loud website that makes its intentions clear from the moment you reach the home page: http://www.africanradioonline.com/  




An Australian radio station playing the sounds of West Africa is only a click away at: http://www.radioafrica.com.au/  In a slightly haphazard site there are links to a radio show of the same name on Melbourne’s 3CR, plus record labels, audio files and a lot of background. Some of the music is very upbeat, uplifting and an exciting avenue to explore/

Miguel Angel in Mexico has been publicising his websites of late, which has his home made antenna experiments and constructions at: http://antenasautoconstruidas.blogspot.com/  and a blog containing gifts he has received from shortwave stations, at: http://recibidodelaradio.blogspot.com/  and national meetings at: http://encuentrosdx.blogspot.com/  


The story of bootleg Radio 1610 is a nostalgic look back to a child’s own pirate radio days at school 50 years ago, including an attempt to hook an antenna to a church steeple. Stemming from an interest in shortwave Robert R Kegerreis’ entertaining reminisces on “K-town Radio, WKPB 1610 on your AM dial” and how it came to the attention of the Federal Communications Commission are at the Radio World website: http://www.radioworld.com/article/72138


Paradise lost and found?


The 30th Edition of the National Radio Club AM Radio Log is available, The 30th Edition of the National Radio Club AM Radio Log is now available: http://www.nrcdxas.org/  The National Radio Club (NRC) is the world's oldest and largest Medium Wave DX Club. It started in 1933, and has a wealth of information to enhance your transatlantic DXing. There is an online chat section, audio clips, and more.


Paradise is the name of a town in California and their local online radio station not surprisingly goes under the exotic sounding name of Radio Paradise. They promote themselves with the following strapline: “Radio Paradise is Old Fashioned Radio for the 21st Century. Each hour of music is carefully blended together to flow smoothly between different musical styles & genres - just like real DJs used to do on FM. We don't use the computer-generated playlists or ‘carefully researched music libraries’ that have sucked the soul out of FM radio.” Tune in for yourself at: http://www.radioparadise.com/  



The Anorak Nation website is a useful and entertaining read of current developments as well as a healthy dose or radio nostalgia. “We are a collective ('Nation') of enthusiasts ('Anoraks') of gadgets, technology, new media and communication, especially real radio – free radio born of the pirate radio stations. If you are an early adopter, putting all your cash into the purchase of the next big thing in 'tech', a collector and lover of gizmos old or new, or a 'web-head' exploring the latest social media and 'cloud' developments, then you've found your home. It's also your home if you're tired of bland, boringly presented, syndicated radio stations run by a badly programmed computer, playing the same few safe old songs over and over again. Centred on our discussion, Anorak Nation offers feeds of UK media and new technologies news, debate and lively exchanges of views and more”: http://www.anoraknation.com/  



The Mystery Hour is an interesting programme hosted by James O’Brien on Thursday form midnight on LBC. Each week a question is posed and explored. Recent questions include “Why is Colonel Gaddafi still only a colonel”?, “Why can’t I hear when I yawn?” and “What makes a sonic boom?” http://lbc.co.uk/why-is-gaddafi-still-only-a-colonel-mystery-hour-6985


There is a great blog at: http://myradioworldandcatches.blogspot.com/  Larry introduces you to his radio interests, started on board a tanker off of Singapore. Lively, regular postings and photos make it a blog worth a weekly trip. Some interesting photos of scenery and transmitters in Guam too in the radio tations of the Pacific postings.


Beware the loud music on entering the following site. You will doubtless recognise it as a version of the Fawlty Towers theme tune, as composed by Denis Wilson for the show: http://www.jacksjoint.com/brasspounder.htm  Once the music has finished then you can enjoy a biography with the bizarre title of “The Adventures and Misadventures of a Brass Pounder.” Frank M Stinson tells of 35 years of brass pounding for the U.S. government, as both military and civilian radio operator, from New York YMCA Radio School in 1932 to the Coast Guard in St Louis on the eve of the Korean war. There are over 900 other stories of coast guards, many with a radio flavour at: http://www.jacksjoint.com/seatales.htm