This the final installment of the 31 meter band scan I began two weeks ago, recorded June 2, 2006. As I said before, it was a rewarding romp thorough one of the dozen or so allotted shortwave bands and seems to portend that there will be lots of eventful DXing to come with my new little shortwave portable (the Degen 1103).
People who know I blog about DXing think I must have a lot of radios at home. And I do, I suppose, compared to most people. Just looking about my room here, I see over a dozen or so. And there’s certainly more than that tucked away as well. I’d guess that two thirds of them have shortwave, as well as AM and FM. To me, a radio isn’t all that special if I can’t turn in on and hear more than just local stations. Any radio does that.
But I’m not a big collector. I don’t have the space, money or time for that. In fact, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve gotten some decent receivers. I’ve almost always had at least a couple of radios that received shortwave around, but they were typically Radio Shack portables, or boomboxes with shortwave bands. You can certainly whet your appetite for shortwave and DXing with any number of nominal receivers, but without spending a lotta dough you can graduate up to a more sensitive set or two and be assured you’ll find some interesting signals from far over the horizon now and then. And I’ve had a lot of fun doing just that working on these blog posts over the last few months.
It’s time for me to take a little summer hiatus, but while I’m away I’ll be DXing out in the midwest, recording some reception to be posted here. I’m bringing a few radios and lots of batteries. And I’ll hope you can join me here again at that time. Meanwhile here’s most of the rest of that dial scan. It’s the high end of the 31 meter band, recorded the evening of June 2, starting where we left off last week. Here’s the first link…
Segment 4-31 Meter Band (9805 to 9885 kHz) 32:07
9805 – VOA (relay from Morocco)
Unknown language. Arabic?
In English, not nearly as clear as their broadcasts on 6000 kHz. News, like the Bush Administration bullying Chile to vote against Venezuela at the U.N.
9830 – Hrvatska Radio (Croatia)
Croation, I suppose.
9835 – BBC World Service?
I believe this is a from a relay in South Africa, broadcasting in Swahili. Something about Bird Flu (the H5N1 virus).
9845 – BBC World Service?
If I’m right, this is BBC broadcasting from Cyprus this time, in Arabic. Nice place for a relay to the Middle East. The sun never sets on those BBC relays.
9855 – The Voice of America? (from Morocco)
In Arabic? It’s a male announcer, and another station with a female announcer (which I believe is a bleed over from the Voice of Russia just 5kHz up the dial) stomping on this signal, as well as an obnoxious buzz washing over the whole mess.
9860 – The Voice of Russia
This is Russia’s English service. Old fashioned radio, Eastern European style. Some former Soviet bloc countries, Russia in particular, are very TRADITIONAL with their English language international service. Many of the announcers I hear now, were on the air a couple of decades ago, including the narrator of the historic tale included here.
He’s talking about OLD Russian history, Ivan the Terrible and the 13th century, all embellished with rich and historic musical interludes.
9865 – The Voice of America (from Morocco again)
Arabic pop music, I guess. Nice. Although it’s not easy to hear VOA broadcasts in the U.S., it’s obvious they’re out there, broadcasting in languages like Arabic.
9880 – The Voice of Russia (From Armenia)
In English. Now it’s a narrative on the 4th century Russia with another announcer. Not sure if this is the same thing as we just heard on 9865.
9885 – VOA (From Botswana)
In English this time. In a “Today in History” moment Tony Collins brags about U.S. space walking. Funny isn’t it. The Russians dig many centuries deep into history to position themselves on international radio. The U.S. brags about their 1960’s scientific prowess.
And here’s the second MP3 for this post:
Segment 5-31 Meter Band (9905 to 9970kHz) 06-03-06 24:59
9905 – Radio Nile
Wow. A clandestine broadcast from Madagascar, in English! Not rock solid clear, but solid reception from the other side of the globe. This is actually a morning show in East Africa, specifically aimed at Sudan.
How to they have such a whopping signal? Funding. Formerly “Radio Voice of Hope” , Radio Nile is a broadcast service largely (if not entirely) funded by the Dutch government and a couple of Christian groups who actually seem to be interested in helping the underdogs, and promoting peace and democracy (unlike some of their U.S. counterparts). It’s run by the “New Sudan Council of Churches” in support of the southern rebels (mostly black), opposed to the official Sudanese government in the north (where the population is largely Arabic and Muslim).
The accents are thick, some of it is not in English and the reception throbs a bit, but it’s interesting listening if you give it some attention. In between reggae and African music the male and female hosts (passionately) discuss the ongoing civil war, religion and African and global politics.
I don’t know enough about the political situation in and around Sudan to say all that much about it, but with shortwave you can hear directly from concerned parties who are directly affected by the suffering and injustice. In Africa, shortwave is alive and well. And the ability to pick up a broadcast in English, from a third world country over eight thousand miles away via the radio is still damn compelling to me. It’s the kind of thing that makes me power up my shortwave radios again and again. And that’s why there’s well over twenty minutes of Radio Nile on this recording.
Unity, equality, progress…
9915 – Radio Sultanate of Oman
Female announcer. Arabic, I think. Again, a strong signal from far away.
Unknown language. Male announcer.
9970 – Radio Television Belgium French
Same service. French this time. A whimsical whistling pop number, a female announcer, then a bad pop song.
That’s it. The end of a three week exploration into a couple of hours of traversing just one of the shortwave bands. I thought there was a lot there.
And thanks for listening.
(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)