Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Interval Signals online

Extract from my column Radio Websites, May 2012, Radio User, PW Publishing,

I have been asked about online sources for interval signals and have come up with the following half dozen recommendations to start with.

Dave Kernick is considered by most to have the world’s leading website for interval signals and although I have featured it before it is worth reminding readers of.   You navigate the site by country in the left margin. A dark green background and yellow font has a rather therapeutic effect that often entices me to stay for “just one more click” and before I know it an hour has gone by and I have satisfied my need for a dose of those wonderful, sometime eclectic, rarely dull, interval signals. Dave keeps the site updated too, you just click on the “what’s new” button. Darfur Radio in South Sudan, West Coast Radio in Ireland, Fantasy Radio in Devizes, Kazoo FM in Bhutan, if it has an aircheck, jingle or musical identification the chances are you will find it here.

Also of note is the Interval Signal Database is at  The fact that it is a database allows you to search for a particular signal, which can be an advantage. It is “a collection of audio clips of foreign radio stations, with identification announcements in various languages, signature tunes and jingles, and of course interval signals.” There is also a useful list of the ITU country codes, in both English and German.

On we go to Russia where the Irkutsk DXers’ society has a section of their website dedicated to interval signals. Current and historic sounds are there, preceded by an introduction from Deutsche Welle’s signature tunes booklet. “Signature tunes and interval signals are generally composed of relatively short but catchy sequences of notes, which are very easily recognizable. These melodies have two functions complementing one another - they are both signature tunes for a specific broadcaster as well as fillers. Thus, they serve as a musical means of identification of a station, besides the spoken announcements.” From Austrian Shortwave Panorama to Angolan clandestine station VORGAN.

Continuing eastwards we arrive in Japan at the Interval Signal Library  This is a range of interval signals from stations heard in Japan, from Alaska via Ghana to Vanuatu.

The Shortwave Listening Post blog is a wonderful resource for all aspects of the hobby. With daily updates it’s one that I subscribe to and each evening as an email drops into my in box I eagerly anticipate what the new post will cover. Last summer they ran a piece about interval signals which you can find at  It also contains an entertaining blooper of a German continuity announcer having to leave the bulletin to close a door to outside noise, before returning to read the schedule details. After that, head for the home page where you be enthralled with news and views, receiver information and more.  

There are of course many recordings on YouTube of interval signals. Searching there will lead you on a varied and highly entertaining journey I daresay. To start with, check out the Polish Radio Warsaw interval signals video at Ray Flute’s channel. There are other radio gems here too, such as some clips of Iain Lee on Absolute Radio.  

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