Sunday, April 20, 2014

MN.27.01.1983. Victor Hafkamp & ICOM ICR-70

struction of KNLS in Alaska. There were also plans to build a mediumwave station KBQN on American Samoa. This was a Pacific version of the Caribbean Beacon. There were plans to build a 500 kW shortwave transmitter as well. The Surinamese government complains about Radio Netherlands broadcasts to their country. Victor Hafkamp explains the background. Radio New Zealand International may cancel its shortwave service. Radio Dublin is back on shortwave on 6910 kHz. We review the ICOM ICR-70 in great detail. Remember this was in a period when no website existed to share this kind of consumer information. Richard Ginbey does a profile of broadcasting in Swaziland. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing KYOI beaming to Japan.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.11.05.2000. South African Radio Scan

Found this example of the Media Network safari to Capetown in May 2000. We answer listener questions to gadget guru Bob Tomalski who explains about the challenges facing SuperVHS and the expected switch to DVD recording. He turned out to be spot on. Then we talk to Zane Ibrahim (pictured), head of Bush Radio, the mother of community radio in Capetown. He holds the deal makers feet to the fire!. There is also a bandscan we made in the hotel in Johannesburg which captures the flavour of radio there at the start of millennium. We also talk to others working professionally in the radio licensing sector of South Africa, specifically the future of community radio stations.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Friday, April 18, 2014

How Amsterdam grew up

Some nice animations by the Amsterdam City Archive have appeared showing the growth of the city first from 1600-1700 and then from 1800-1900. It's a pity there's no sound - it would be even better with an explanation.

Notice that major buildings like the Concertgebouw (built in 1888) were initially outside the city centre.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Now a word from our sponsor

More silliness from the Gremlins in Ireland, parodying what's wrong with a lot of commercial radio.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If Radio Requests were like a business

I know some radio stations who are actually sound like they are slave to their own automation. Gremlins have more parodies on radio over on Soundcloud.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MN.28.11.1991. Antenna Special & VOA Botswana

Following a promo about a documentary on Pearl Harbour, we start a news edition of the programme. There are updates on Radio Caroline running aground, Radio Moscow reduces the output in its English servive due to budget cuts, Radio Luxembourg fixes the last day for English broadcasts on 208 metres, 1440 kHz. Radio Baghdad may resume programmes in English to Europe and North America. We then had calls about radio receivers from Madrid and answered questions about directional antennas. We worked with Mike Villard of SRI Research in Calfornia to produce a pamphlet Reducing Skywave interference. Victor Gooneilleke has an extensive South Asia radio report. VOA's Bill Whitacre reports on how they are restoring coverage to Africa after the loss of their relay station in Monrovia, Liberia. Two shortwave transmitters will beam North-West from Botswana (pictured). Mike Bird rounds off with propagation news.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Is radio still connected with the car and social media?

Is broadcast radio still relevant in the connected car? I think it is, but other audio sources are available. I tend to use a iPad mini for on demand audio/video, thanks to a brilliant app called Downcast. It doesn't care whether it is audio or video. It all goes into the same database, instantly sorted so I can listen again - and again.

So how are others looking at audio on the move? Trevor Dann found a number of interesting people at Radiodays Europe.

Kim Wilde, radio presenter speaking in Dublin

Kim Wilde is an international pop icon and radio presenter. To date she has sold over 10 million albums and 20 million singles around the world in a recording career spanning more than thirty years.

Fewer people know that Kim is also a successful radio presenter. She has hosted her own market-leading show on Magic105.4 in London for over five years, and has recently launched a brand new radio show, The Kim Wilde 80s Show, especially produced for an international audience. Terrific voice. What a nice person!

Where is radio going?

Despite a rather upbeat piece on yesterday's World Business Report ( BBC World Service) I cannot see the digital radio standard DRM taking off in India. It has been tried in Europe, Brazil, China, Russia - it's a technological solution to a problem that only radio engineers seem to understand.

I think I've worked out how the BBC World Service made that shortwave montage in the piece below. You got to the website Interval signals on line and click Alaska and Andorra. Pity that the recording from AWR via Andorra dates back to 1981.

More than eighty years ago, the BBC began transmitting its first international radio broadcasts - on what was then known as the Empire Service. These days of course, we call it the World Service. What made the first international broadcasts possible was shortwave - a set of radio frequencies which allowed signals to travel very long distances - even if the end results could sound a little bit, well, odd. These days, though far fewer broadcasters focus on shortwave. Here at the BBC, even, our transmissions have been heavily cut back. Instead, we use the internet, as well as relying on local FM broadcasters. But could shortwave - or a version of it - be about to make a comeback? Here's Mark Whittaker with news of what could be a radio revolution. And you may like to know that the BBC is already broadcasting in digital short wave for 5 hours a day to India and India's domestic radio station is currently building one digital medium wave transmitter every two weeks. A new wave of cheaper DRM receivers are expected to be on the market in the coming months.

To get a feeling of how radio markets are changing, have a look at some of the excellent, short but sharp interviews conducted by Trevor Dann at the recent RadioDays Europe convention in Dublin, Ireland. 

Very interesting point about radio sales in the UK, from BBC Director of Radio, Helen Boaden.Radio sales are falling, while the sale of smartphones and tablets are booming. Time spent listening to radio are going down in all age groups -- especially among the 15 to 30 year olds. These are "iceberg" challenges coming slowly towards us where we can see the top, but do not know quite how deep the problem may be, she says. Sales of radio sets in the UK are down by a staggering 54%. Radio is in direct competition with all other media in the fight for attention.

And news that there are DAB+ trials going on in the UK.

and let's not forget the role of radio in difficult countries. I get the impression that after completely opening up, the situation in Myanmar is not as good as it was a year ago.

Reel to Reel will never die....

Funny how we get stuck with images. Like a floppy disk to indicate saving a file. Or a humungus reel to reel tape machine to indicate that we're really recording the song. At least they still seem to be around at the Disney studios even in 2014.