Sunday 30 June 2013

Summer radio reading essentials...

The European Medium Wave Guide is celebrating its 15th year in 2013 Herman Boel is responsible for the publication which he started when getting more involved in medium wave DXing in the 1990s. It merged in the early noughties with James Niven’s African medium wave guide to become an invaluable online resource. You can also order a pdf version too for 5 Euros. The cover I also always a stunning photo which draws the eye- this year’s is of Trakai Castle in Lithuania.

I’ve just received my copy of “Tales From Bush House” which was published last year. This is the result of the BBC World Service writer in residence Hamid Ismailov’s work (who I mentioned last year). He is now head of the BBC Central Asian service. The paperback is available online and also as an e-book from many sources.

“The book is a collection of narratives about working lives, mostly real and comic, sometimes poignant or apocryphal by former and current BBC World Service employees. They are tales from inside Bush House escaping through its marble-clad walls at a time when its staff began their departure to new premises in Portland Place. It shows how the extraordinary people who worked there, and the magnificent, chaotic building they shared, shaped one another. “

Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek novelist and poet whose spell as writer in residence took the form of blog posts which are now collected together at There is a video and audio show too at

The summer schedules from the World Radio TV Handbook are available free of charge at The 80 page file gives broadcast schedules for international and clandestine broadcasters, international broadcasts in DRM, frequency listings, certain language broadcasts and transmitter site and target area codes.

Saturday 22 June 2013

A radio read

Kerrie Wood Thomson’s book “Diary of a Public Radio Slave” is a short but entertaining read. A romp through a radio station in the Us building up to an annual pledge week to raise fund, and the visit of a giant of Public Radio. A jolly good read that you can download for under £1 at

Another Kerrie is Kerrie Miller at Minnesota Public Radio with a book review programme and always a good list of book choices on her page at  

Follow her on Twitter at She co-hosts the Daily Circuit Radio Show which you can follow on Twitter at and listen online at

If you are into National Public Radio then you may wish to read The Sound and the Story: NPR and the Art of Radio. This 1995 book is available from £2 on Amazon. It’s “An inside look at a popular radio network analyzes its size in relation to its following, introduces the personalities behind such programs as Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and weighs the effects of television on radio broadcasting”.

I seem to be stuck in an all-American mode today and we head next to the Smithsonian magazine, always a good read .

The story of how a family were found in 1978 in Siberia with no idea that World War II had ended, was both fascinating and disturbing You can watch the television documentary footage, in Russian, of “Lost in the Taiga” at the You Tube channel 

The 2010 article on 100 years of Public Radio is worth your time too. 

Friday 21 June 2013

BBC World Service to British Antarctic Survey team

The annual BBC Winter Solstice Broadcast to the British Antarctic Survey team is on today June 21 from 2130 to 2200 UTC. (The link above is to the 2012 broadcast).

5965 kHz via Dhabayya transmitter, beaming 203
7350 kHz via Ascension Island 
transmitter beaming 207°
9890 kHz via Woofferton txer, 
transmitter beaming 182°

Thanks to the British DX Club, Dan Ferguson and Glenn Hauser's DX Listening Digest for updates.

Thursday 6 June 2013

June Radio Websites...

Extracts from my latest column in Radio User

I have mentioned the Radio Heritage Net website when it first launched a few short years ago. It specialises in radio news from the Far East and Australasian Pacific region but is looking to expand its coverage worldwide in the next year or so. That expansion is already starting to happen with their amusing Retro Radio Dial feature with looks back at the radio scene in US states such as Texas and Idaho 50 years ago. and on Facebook too.

Radio User reader Graham Smith would like to share two radio related websites. The first is the Solar Terrestrial Activity Report ( ), which is compiled by Jan Alvestad in Norway. At the top of the page is a daily graph showing the sunspot number, A index and so on. If short wave reception is bad there is usually a spike in the A index. Further down the page are photos of sunspots, and at the bottom is a chart of the sunspot numbers (apparently we are past the peak of the current cycle). 

The second site is Ydun’s Medium Wave Info (, compiled by Ms Ydun M. Ritz in Denmark. According to the News page for 12 April China Radio International has launched a frequency in the South China Sea. The Voice of the South China Sea broadcasts in six languages, including Mandarin, English, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino as well as Indonesian. You can hear the English programmes of the voice of the South China Sea at AM 1008, 1400-1500 (local time).

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