Monday 10 October 2011

The end of the world as we know it (Family Radio, again)

Taken from my column Long Medium and Short, Broadcast Matters, Radio User Oct 2011  

There is no Radio St. Helena Day in 2011, due to repairs needed to their antenna mast, which are too expensive to be undertaken on the island. Manager of the St Helena project Robert Kipp hopes that the broadcasts will return another year.

We may miss out on a Radio St. Helena broadcast but an event that is hard to miss will be the end of the world, which is re-scheduled for on 21 October 2011. I shall tune again then to WYFR (Family Radio) broadcasts as that is the revised date for the Rapture and end of the world, according to the station’s President, 89 year old Harold Camping.

I heard one of their evening broadcasts on 15195kHz at 2110 UTC which arrives via Ascension Island. Programmes seem to just consist of various Biblical readings. Mention was made of the Passover, burned offerings, the House of Israel and the 7th day of the month.

American veteran rock band REM have an interest in radio, with songs such as “Radio Free Europe” and “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” I hope another of their songs will see us right this time, namely “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”

Thursday 6 October 2011

Radio Afghanistan

Photo from CERF website
Radio and telecommunications equipment in Afghanistan  Photo: IRIN

Taken from my column Long Medium and Short, Broadcast Matters, Radio User Oct 2011

Radio Afghanistan returned to shortwave as an international broadcaster in August, with transmissions in Urdu and English. Other languages will follow, namely Arabic and Russian and then French and German. Programmes are aimed to Asia, Africa and Europe.

It has been logged in Europe on 6100kHz from 1525. One of the first loggings was made by Mikhail Timofeyev in St Petersburg using a Drake R8A and 30m long wire. (source Hard Core DX). He reported the following: Radio Afghanistan from Kabul with local singing then English with news at 1530, Afghan traditional song, a talk about Ramadan, and one western pop song.

There was a tentative identification at 1556 UTC of "The International service of National Radio of Afghanistan." It was also logged in Austria, Bulgaria, India, The Netherlands and the UK in the first days of its return to the airwaves.

Radio Free Libya with news in English was also being logged on 1449kHz at 2030 UTC from Misurata by Guido Schotmans in Belgium and Max van Arnhem in The Netherlands (source Medium Wave Circle). At the time of writing the so-called rebels are surrounding Tripoli. As a consequence it looks likely that there will soon be changes afoot at the Libyan state broadcaster Voice of Africa. Currently you can hear their daily English transmissions at 1400 to 1500 UTC on 17725kHz.

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