Tuesday 31 January 2012

So long Sofia...

So after 76 years it is goodbye to Bulgaria on shortwave.

From 1 February we will have to listen online, via:


Hopefully http://www.bnr.bg/  will suffice.

Here are a few classic Radio Sofia QSL cards as a tribute...

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Short Wave facts- sw is still needed...

From the Save Radio Bulgaria campaign and petition http://www.saveradiobulgaria.com/  
come some very wise words that seem to be forgotten by far too many, especially those decision makers in governments and broadcasting around the world... 

"Over six and a half billion people live in our world today. They’re scattered throughout a complex maze of geography, languages, national boundaries, and diverse cultural backgrounds. Although you have access to the Internet, most people do not. Of course, the numbers are always changing, but more than likely, less than twenty percent of the world’s population can access this page on the Web and only those who know English can read it.

However, estimates say that there are about three billion shortwave receivers worldwide. In years past, many of those were in China and the old Soviet Union. Once those governments opened the window to the rest of the world—and with the rise of the Internet—many people predicted that shortwave broadcasting would sharply decline.

In fact, the reverse has happened. The International Broadcasting Bureau estimates that at any given time of the day or night, one billion shortwave receivers are turned on. In some places in the world, car radios come equipped with shortwave bands. For millions of people around the world, shortwave radio is the only means they have to listen to the rest of the world. And for millions more, though they have local AM and FM radio available, they tune in to shortwave radio to listen to programs that originate outside their own countries.

Unlike other forms of mass media such as satellite, television, AM/FM radio, printed material, and the Internet, only shortwave radio signals can be sent without program content being restricted in any way. Shortwave radio transmissions are directed up, not out. They bounce off the ionosphere, hit the ground, bounce back up to the ionosphere, back down to earth—each of these “bounces” is referred to as a “skip”.

Shortwave signals cross political, social, racial, economic, and cultural barriers. This means that shortwave is the perfect medium for carrying our words to the international community. "

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Save Radio Bulgaria - Act Now!

Many people do not want to listen to international radio stations via the Internet. I am stuck at a computer most days for work and do not wish to spend my leisure times chained to a pc too or restricted to one room- one of radio's strengths is its portability.

The Third World does not all have cheap Internet access and of course many people do not even have access to water and electricity, so there is at the very least a strong case for keeping shortwave broadcasts to Africa and Asia...

Please sign the petition at: http://www.saveradiobulgaria.com/

The message below is from Ivo Ivanov, Radio Bulgaria’s frequency manager.

Dear listeners and friends of the short waves and Radio Bulgaria,

With a huge regret to inform you very bad news. After more than 75 years in the world broadcasting from January 31, 2012 at 2200 UT, Radio Bulgaria cease broadcasting on short and medium waves.

The solution is that Radio Bulgaria is not necessary now its short waves and medium waves listeners. The reason – no money for broadcast on short and medium waves. And who listens to short waves today? Already has internet.

Maintaining the short waves was “Mission Impossible”! Hope dies last. As a frequency manager in the last 19 years my main task was to provide best quality signal of Radio Bulgaria in worldwide coverage. There will be no short waves, there will be no frequency manager. For all people who work in Radio Bulgaria that bad news is shock and horror Beginning of the end. But expect your moral support. Please send e-mail to:

English section: english@bnr.bg

Please sign the petition too at: http://www.saveradiobulgaria.com/

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Radio New Zealand International

I sent a report to Radio New Zealand International by email (qsl@rnzi.com) and received a link to an online QSL card prepared for me, after about two weeks.

It was good to see that Adrian Sainsbury is still the frequency manager and he states that

“You may also hear us on 9765 from 0800 UTC. Your winter is a good time for hearing New Zealand!” 
I have logged them on 11725kHz 0715 to 0758 UTC with a SIO 444, the strongest I have ever heard RNZI.

I was fascinated to hear the Sounds Historical programme on Sundays. It made a nice change from the usual Asia and Pacific news type programmes I usually hear and assume it is a broadcast of a domestic programme.

Radio New Zealand International still use their familiar and mesmerising interval signal of a Kiwi bird.

Website is http://www.rnzi.com/ with programme schedules at http://www.rnzi.com/pages/schedules.php

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Radio Bulgaria

Being Orthodox Christians Bulgarians celebrate Christmas on 6th January. Tune in to Radio Bulgaria’s shortwave broadcasts in English each day this week - and beyond- for fascinating folk music and features, culture and history.

0730 to 0800 UTC to Europe on 7400 and 9400kHz
1830 to 1900 UTC to Europe on 7400 and 9700kHz
2200 to 2300 UTC to Europe on 5900 and 7400kHz

The station’s history is at: http://bnr.bg/sites/en/About/Pages/RadioBulgaria.aspx

Meet the English service team at: http://bnr.bg/sites/en/About/Pages/EnglishService.aspx  
Their QSL card policy is quite unusual and complex. It’s at http://bnr.bg/sites/en/Pages/ReceptionReport.aspx  but basically you need to send three reception reports to obtain one QSL card.

Their email address is english@bnr.bg

Sunday 1 January 2012

DW The Voice of Beethoven?

Deutsche Welle broadcast in English to Africa via the Kigali transmitter site in Rwanda. These informative and entertaining broadcasts can be picked up in the UK and Europe. 

A full schedule is at: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,1453,00.html and

http://www.dw-world.de/popups/popup_pdf/0,,9496577,00.pdf is where you’ll find the full schedule for B2011 (until March 2012), or online at: http://www.dw-world.de

Try 2000 to 2100 UTC on 9655, 9735 and 12070kHz for starters. Many more options at the above schedule.

Once upon a time: to smartphones and podcast apps

Once upon a time, many years ago, when I was a child, I used to dream of owning a magic book that would contain every comic strip, poe...