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 by Chrissy Brand   chrissylb at

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:

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:  

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:  
Specifically at:  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:  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.:
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:  

The whole collection of QSL cards at:  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:  

News, hangar residents, airfield guide, movements, and VHF radio sections are amongst the goodies on offer at the Irish website:

“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:  

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:  The book, which looks to be typewritten in reassuring Courier font, can be accessed directly via:  

An interesting government and community station in the Big Apple on 91.5 MHz at:  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:  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”:  Find your favourites and make some new ones, be they current day podcasts or classic oldies:  

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):  

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