Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mundofonías – an excellent option if you like “World music”

Last Sunday was really musical on my shortwave radio. A while after listening to VOA transmitting jazz and blues I found the program Mundofonías, from the international radio of Spain (Radio Exterior de Espanha), with a very nice “World music” programming.

On the end of this post you can hear a piece of the recording I’ve made in shortwave, but it’s possible to listen to the program’s podcast in this link. Interesting is that the station looks not to be hysteric about copyright stuff, neurosis which limits musical podcasts worldwide.

Ok, but you wouldn’t think I could finish a post without talk about shortwave, would you? If the protests against the crisis in Spain won’t change the analysis, it’s possible to have some hope that the radio won’t finish it’s shortwave broadcast that soon. This is not just because of the impressing volume of transmissions maintained, but also because the site says that two out of three listeners use the shortwave radio to listen to the station. The listeners also use internet, mainly in Spain.

I tuned in the radio with good signal in the frequency of 17.715 khz, but simultaneously the same program was being transmitted in 17.755 khz, 17.850 khz, and 15.110 khz. However the reception conditions weren’t good.

Peace of the recording made on July 24, at 20h05 in 17.715 khz. SINPO code 45433.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jazz and blues from Voice of America, transmitting in French

Last Sunday, July 24, I was tuning in my Grundig, and randomly found a good American song, with a pretty good reception. I decided to keep the station tuned in in order to discover who was transmitting. At the end of the song, there was someone speaking in French. I didn’t understand anything. But, as the song was good, I decided stay and, after two songs more, my question was answered. It was The Voice Of America transmitting from Washington in French, probably to Africa, one of the few places where shortwave probably will play an important role for some time more. Then, the program, which played also jazz, announced a Rolling Stones song. Well, the name of this band, of the radio, and of the program are understandable even for people, like me, that doesn’t speak French.
Listen to a part of the recording made at 20h UTC, in the frequency of 17.530 khz. SINPO code 45444.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Radio Havana Cuba and Dilma Roussef’s care and concern for Chaves

Fidel Castro’s shortwave station has usually very good reception in Brazil. It uses its transmitters to transmit its leftist vision of reality, in which Latin American countries are all brothers in the socialism, which is the redemption of the world, although the Wall of Berlin has fallen more than 20 years ago. Well, and at this time, this picture of Latin America isn’t completely wrong, although these friendships haven’t always the intensity described in the public pronouncements of the authorities.

In this recording, the news program of Radio Havana Cuba, in Spanish, announces that the Brazilian president, Dilma Roussef, called his partner Hugo Chaves, of Venezuela, transmitting him care and concern about his health problems. The news brings also reports about plans from the socialist candidate to the government of Spain, about the pressure of the “occidental potencies” against the Iranian nuclear program and about the friendship between the armies of Cuba and Bolivia.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The bizarre David Miranda: you should know he exists

He is really a bizarre presence, polluting the dial in Brazil! And loves shortwave stations, to make his vociferation be heard far away, although the technical department of his stations is not famous for its accuracy. He bought a few stations in the last years and uses them to scream the whole day, in a terrible Portuguese. Not even the name of its own Church he pronounces correctly (instead “Igrejas Pentecostais Deus é Amor” he says, with match mistake, “Igrejas  Pentecostal”).

What’s he doing in this blog dedicated to international stations? Well, first, his radios can be heard out of Brazilian borders. And, second, there is something that can be worse than David Miranda’s Portuguese: he trying to speak Spanish. And you should listen to him (just some instants, of course) shouting with simultaneous translation to Spanish. I don’t know what is more “interesting”.  Ohhhhh Lord!

On this first recording he makes what this kind of “priest” does better: asks for money. Record made in the frequency of 6.060khz on July 2, at 15h24 UTC.

Here his freakish talk with simultaneous translation. Record made in the frequency of 6.120 khz on  July 2, at 20h04 UTC.

Monday, July 4, 2011

DW gives up the shortwave. Wrong decision?

October 31, 2011. This date is on my agenda. At 22h UTC I’ll will be with my shortwave radio tuned in in the frequency of 17.820 khz to listen to the last broadcast of Deutsche Welle in German for my region, in the South of Brazil. After reducing to half the daily transmission time in its mother tongue in the current Summer program, the international German broadcaster will abandon completely the broadcasts in shortwave in German on next Winter program, from November 1.

As the DWs press release explains, “on November 1, 2011, DW will be discontinuing the shortwave broadcast for German, Russian, Farsi and Indonesian. For English, the shortwave broadcast will be limited to Africa. The broadcasting times for Chinese programming will be reduced from 120 minutes to 60 minutes”. The daily broadcasting time will be reduced from the current 260 hours to just 55. The relay station from Sines (Portugal) and Trincomale (Sri Lanka) will be closed. The services from other broadcasters won’t be demanded anymore, and all transmissions will be originated by the Kigali (Rwanda) relay station. The saved resources, promises DW, will be reinvested in the new strategy: offer more tv channels and make partnerships to offer content in FM. You can read the press release in this link.

It’s not exactly a simple issue, at least for lovers of shortwave. But no other branch is facing such a revolution in terms of technology and habits of customers as is communication. Although I really enjoy the emotion of tuning in a shortwave broadcast, imagining the long travel of the waves, I also have an internet radio, which provides me a very good experience. Who don’t like sound quality in stereo? But, I was thinking shortwave, internet streaming, as well as the podcasts, could coexist for some time more.

In fact, I’m much more worried about the reduction of content produced by the big traditional international stations. Good quality content is expensive, probably more than the energy for the shortwave transmitters. When the German content produced daily by DW was reduced to half, very good programs were discontinued. So, I’m not very optimistic about DWs promise of reinvesting the money saved by abandoning shortwave. It really doesn’t look like there will be more production of content for tv by DW, although the intention of greater synergy between ARD and ZDF is logical and, probably, positive.

I’ll finish this post with a recording from DW Radio in German, broadcasted from
 Cypress Creek, in South Carolina (USA). It has proportioned for years the best reception of the German programs here in the South of Brazil. The broadcast begins with the identification of World Harvest Radio, which relays the program for DW.

Record made
 on June 4, from 21h59, in the frequency of 17.820 khz.