Sunday, 11 October 2009


first published in Radio User October 2009, PW Publishing
by Chrissy Brand

It never ceases to amaze me how the quantity of radio related websites is ever increasing. Even more surprising perhaps is that the quality of information and material out there is so high as well. Many broadcasters, radio clubs and individual enthusiasts around the world do a great job in maintaining standards and delivering ever more fascinating content: photos, audio and written. So there is no shortage of websites to share with you here each month.

European educators and entertainers
Radio Tatras International was a station that aired on shortwave from 2005 to earlier this year, having been created a few years before that. This Slovakian station, named after the Tatras mountain range that straddles the south of Poland and north of Slovakia, also had the aim of helping Europeans practice their English:

The closure of the station didn’t stop RTI programme content. However as you will hear and read in the blog at the website. Eric Wilshere’s often entertaining Postcard from Poprad podcast is a case in point. You can also link to the station via the usual social networking tools of Twitter, Facebook, My Space etc. Contact them directly via email:

Presenters Rob, Peter and Elizabeth have an enviable job, being the on-air team at 106.5 Riviera Radio in the south of France. For over 20 years, English broadcasts have entertained and informed people on 106.3 MHz in Monaco and 106.5 MHz in France. Local news and traffic, weather, BBC World Service news, music from the 1970s to today can be heard online at:, a website which evidently receives two million hits per month.

Radio Caroline has also introduced English on the continent, with Radio Caroline Spain across the Costa Blanc on 102.7 FM and online at:

A Dutch ham with a blog in English is where we turn to next. PA1JIM gained a novice licence in 2003, and broadcasts from Bilthoven (a village east of Utrecht). His website contains reviews such as a Kenwood TS-450SAT and TS-850SAT. Also various projects such as building a voice lever, condition updates, DXing in the French High Alps and links. A posting in January 2009 about the status of QSL cards these days is interesting, as is the QSL card accompanying it. It is a spoof, featuring a semi-naked lady stating it is of an HCJB announcer called Mildred Reed:

My suspicions were confirmed when I tracked Mildred down to Don Moore’s Bland DX site, which I have mentioned here before, but is so humorous that it deserves a mention every month. See: but especially the Naughty QSLs from Ecuador at the “Dead DXers’ Stuff” section:

North American narrators
A more believable blog is that of Ted Landphair. The Voice of America broadcaster and author writes on many aspects of American life. Readers will be most interested in his blog of 30 July this year on the Voice of America Park:

You can visit it in West Chester, Ohio and see the site where “VOA transmitters once sent the mightiest signals in international radio into the heart of occupied Europe and elsewhere during World War II; a three-in-one museum that chronicles VOA’s story, the saga of wireless communication going back to Marconi, and local broadcasting history in rich detail; a large and beautiful park named for the Voice of America where you can hike, fish in a 14-hectare lake, sled down a long hill, get a match going on one of 24 soccer fields or a cricket pitch, bird-watch in meadow that’s an official wildlife preserve, and even get married!...a university learning centre that also carries the name of the Voice of America and even a good-sized VOA shopping centre.”

Doing their bit for the Food bank charity in Canada are Colin Newell, Ian McFarland, Bob Zanotti, Kim Elliot, John Figliozzi et al. The long awaited CD Series 3, Yesterday and Today is a 20 year retrospective of SW broadcasting covering the past, present and future of International broadcasting. At a running time of about 155 minutes, the two CD set features a little of the old and a lot of the new, and a bright look into the future of radio. Available to buy at $17 via It took about a week for my CDs to arrive and highly stimulating they are too.

Amongst the many US radio stations that I enjoy hearing online is 88.5 FM WFCR, which broadcasts National Public Radio news and music for the western New England region. As well as good features such as The Liar in your Life and What Dogs can and can’t do, they run an annual coffee mug painting contest. There have been some excellent winners in previous years. Release the artist in you and submit an entry to by 1 October, or hold on until 2010. Details at:

New technology
The Q2 Cube internet radio is new this autumn, being launched at IFA in Berlin in September and aiming for the Christmas market. This is an annual consumer electronics event: The Q2 Cube is an innovative way to hear internet radio “with a twist”. It has no controls as such, with each side of the cube playing a different station and a fifth face is dedicated to the speaker. You tilt it forward to turn the volume up and backwards to turn it down.
It is developed by Cambridge Consultants: and

It is also featured at the Infoniac website: This useful site also has all sorts of information and news from the most dangerous computer viruses in history to Cartier filing a lawsuit against Apple after it discovered that several iPhone applications involving fake Cartier watches were available. Worth dipping a toe into, as is Radio Banter, which brings together all kinds of internet forums discussing many aspects of radio:

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