Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Solar Activity continues to be low, with the 10.7 cm Solar Radio Flux down to 102 and the daily Equivalent Sunspot  Number falling to 50. This means that long-haul, multi-hop propagation on frequencies above about 14 MHz will continue to be unreliable over darkness or semi-darkness paths. This situation is not expected to change significantly in the immediate future.
However, very good propagation on 9 MHz during our pre-sunrise window is noted between 1830 and 1900, with strong signals from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, following the darkness zones into Melbourne from the west and north.
This summary shows notable frequency occupancies on February 1, 2016.
9370 THAILAND VOA (Deewa) Udon Pashto
9380 INDIA Nat  Network
9390 THAILAND R. Thailand Udon Thai
9400 FRANCE R . Denge Kurdistane Issoudun Kurdish
9410 UAE BBC-Dhabbaya English
9425  N. KOREA German
9485 ENGLAND VOA-Woofferton Amharic
9500 SWAZILAND TWR-Manzini English
9505 SUDAN V. of Africa Hausa
9515 KOREA REP KBS-Kimjae Korean
8555 S. ARABIA Arabic
9575 MOROCCO R. Medi Arabic
9615 CHINA CRI-Urumqi German
9620 INDIA Arabic
9635 ENGLAND IBRA-Woofferton Fur dialect
9645 CHINA CRI-Kun ming French
9675 S. ARABIA Turkish
9695 CHINA CRI-Kunming Bulgarian
9730 VIETNAM French
9740 KOREA REP. KBS-Kimjae Spanish
9755 VATICAN VOA-SMG Amharic
9765 GERMANY NHK-Nauen Japanese
9790 FRANCE RFI-Issoudun French
9800 FRANCE RTI-Issoudun Russian
9835 MALAYSIA RTM-Kajang Malay
9840 GERMANY RL-Lampetheim Russian
9875 N. KOREA French
9925 PHILS PBS-Tinang Tagalog
9985 SRI LANKA RFA-Iranawila Korean
This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


The southern summer solstice has passed, and propagation patterns are now showing signs of a swing to autumn conditions.
This is  a summary of notable frequency occupancies in the 9 MHz spectrum made on Jan 26 2016 across the time span 1900 to 1930, which is 0600 to 0630 here in Melbourne.
9380 INDIA Nat  Network
9390 THAILAND R. Thailand, Udon English
9400 FRANCE R. Denge Kurdistane, Issoudun Kurdish\
9425 N. KOREA VOK German
9485 ENGLAND VOA-Woofferton Tigrinya
9515 GERMANY VOA-Lampertheim Kurdish
9555 S. ARABIA Arabic
9560 CHINA CRI-Urumqi Hungarian
9615 CHINA CRI-Urumqi German
9620 INDIA Arabic
9645 CHINA CRI-Urumqi Portuguese
9655 CHINA CRI-Kunming Turkish
9670 JAPAN NHK-Yamata Japanese
9675 S. ARABIA Arabic
9730 VIETNAM English
9780 BOTSWANA VOA (Darfur) Sudanese
9785 VATICAN VOA-SMG Tigrinya
9790 FRANCE RFI-Issoudun French
9800 MARIANAS VOA-Tinian Korean
9820 ENGLAND VOA (Darfur) Woofferton Sudanese
9835 MALAYSIA RTM-Kajang Malay
9840 GERMANY RL-Lampertheim Russian
9850 IRAN Albanian to 1920*
9875 N. KOREA VOK French ench
9925 PHILS VOP-Tinang Tagalog
9950 INDIA English
This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


This is a summary of spectrum occupancy in the Melbourne pre-sunrise period on Jan 19 2016, between 1700 and 1730.
13580 EGYPT Albanian
13590 SAO TOME VOA English
13640 INDIA Arabic
13670 EGYPT Urdu
13710 S. ARABIA Arabic
13730 MADAGASCAR NHK-Talata Swahili
13740 FRANCE RFI-Issoudun French
13750 IRAN Swahili
13765 VATICAN VR-SMG English
13845 USA WWCR English
13860 SAO TOME VOA English
This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.

Monday, January 18, 2016

World Radio TV Handbook 2016 - review

PRINT PUBLICATION REVIEW – WORLD RADIO TV HANDBOOK – 70TH EDITION – DECEMBER 2015 (Reviewer: Bob Padula, Melbourne, Australia, January 2016)
World Publications Ltd, Oxford, UK
Publisher: Nicholas Hardyman  
ISBN: 978-0-9555481-8-5 and 0955548187
RRP 35 British Pounds (free 1st Class postage to UK, overseas rates dependent on destination)

Declaring itself as “The World’s most comprehensive and up-to-date Guide to Broadcasting”, this annual reference (WRTH) of 672 pages is a very comprehensive directory of world longwave, mediumwave, and shortwave radio and TV broadcasting, with its principal Sections being:
  • Features
  • World Maps
  • Equipment Reviews
  • National Radio
  • International Radio
  • Frequency Lists
  • Clandestine and other target broadcasters
  • National Television
  • References
Principal sub-chapters include
  • Brief History of the WRTH
  • History of Mediumwave and Longwave broadcasting in the UK
  • 70 Years of Receivers
  • Receiver Reviews for 2016
  • Radio in Timor-Leste
  • Future of Shortwave Broadcasting
  • Guide to Software Defined Receivers – what they are how they work
  • HF Broadcasting Reception Conditions expected during 2016
  • Clubs and Internet Resources for International Listeners and “DXers”
  • International and Domestic Transmitter Sites
  • Standard Time and Frequency Transmissions
  • International Broadcasting Organizations
  • 12 pages of advertising.
WRTH expresses concern at the continuing and steady decline of traditional shortwave and mediumwave broadcasting worldwide, implying that this is now a legacy of the past, being quickly overtaken by modern distribution platforms such as the internet, streaming audio and video, and mobile technology.

Earlier editions of WRTH featured excellent reviews of newly released general communications receivers – only four are described for 2016, CC Skywave, AOR AR–DV1, Eton Satellit Grundig, and the Tecson PL-680, with no new desktop receivers.

Readers are reminded that modern high-grade receivers now incorporate new and emerging digital design technology, known as Digital System Processing (DSP) supplanting classical analogue functions. DSP architectures are being developed to allow for the expansion of Software Defined Radio (SDR) capability,where PCs are used for down-conversion of signal output to PCs. Unfortunately, DSP equipment remains essentially in the realm of professional monitors, the military, engineering institutions, broadcasters and government organizations, out of reach to general radio monitoring enthusiasts with limited means, due to the very high initial cost and ongoing maintenance requirements.

Study of the listings in WRTH also suggests that high frequency Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) technology appears to have stagnated due to lack of ready acceptance of this modulation system for long-distance multi-hop transmission, even though some broadcasters are continuing to persevere with what is being regarded across the industry as a redundant technology not supported by the availability of any inexpensive consumer-level receivers. HF DRM is now  mainly used for the delivery of content for national short-distance point-to-point rebroadcasting and it could be inferred as ludicrous that DRM is being maintained under such circumstances. The US BBG/IBB does not use this technology and Broadcast Australia/Radio Australia abandoned it during 2015.

Readers will also note the  reduced number of subscription (fee)-based Clubs for listeners, and perceptive users could infer that traditional “DX Clubs” may no longer be relevant, nor serve any real purpose. Some of the entries appear to be small localized “Listening Clubs” in the South Asian region, supporting selected international shortwave broadcasters. A few long-established monitoring clubs are represented by display advertisements. The number of long-established subscription–based Clubs offering both print or on-line material has trended upwards.

The listing of “Selected Internet Resources for Radio Listeners and DXers” indicates the increased use of electronic means of information exchange between enthusiasts – many of these entries included personal Weblogs or Websites and free Email lists and Bulletin Boards.

In particular, radio listening enthusiasts who entered the radio listening hobby in the 1940s and 1950s will appreciate the descriptions of selected general-coverage communications receivers, by the overview of trends in receiver technology, design, manufacture, performance, history and availabilityover 70 years. The transition from valve-type superheterodynes to solid-state transistorised solid-state techniques marked a major shift in the evolution of radio receiver design, which introduced remarkable improvement in operational performance. WRTH traces the development of frequency synthesizers and the phase-locked-loop (PLL), techniques which survive to the present.

Some 60% of the 12 pages of diaplay advertising pages include infornation from equipment manufacturers and distributors reinforces the industry movement away from “classical” analogue receiver design techniques. The remainder are promotions for radio monitoring organizations.

This directory would be of interest to anyone with an affinity or involvement with radio/TV broadcasting, ranging from the casual listener to professional monitors.

Free updates are available on-line throughout the year from the WRTH Website,

Copies may be ordered direct from the Publisher, or through selected booksellers worldwide.

(Bob Padula OAM is a Chartered Professional Engineer (Radio Communications), holding the rank of CPEng, MIE(Aust), offering specialized consultancy services in the field of international HF broadcasting)


The 21, 17 and 15 MHz bands were very active on Jan 17 2016, in the Melbourne pre–dawn window between 1700 and 1730. High level of channel usage, dominated by long path propagation from Europe, Middle East and Africa and short path from the Americas.
This summary of notable occupancies may be of interest to readers.
15140 OMAN R.Arabic
15205 S. ARABIA Arabic
15225 S. ARABIA Arabic
15275 FRANCE DW-Issoudun French
15300 FRANCE RFI-Issoudun French
15345 EGYPT English
15390 SPAIN Spanish
15400 ASCENSION BBC English
15420 S. AFRICA BBC-Meyerton English
15435 S. ARABIA Arabic
15460 SAO TOME VOA English
15490 S. AFRICA AWR-Meyerton Swahili
15500 SPAIN Spanish
15560 FRANCE DW-Issoudun French
15580 BOTSWANA VOA English
15610 USA WEWN English
15620 ENGLAND VOA-Woofferton Somali
15825 USA WWCR English
17560 S. ARABIA Arabic
17655 USA VOA-Greenville Portuguese
17720 MADAGASCAR AWR-Talata Swahili
17755 SPAIN Spanish
21600 USA WRMI English
21675 USA R. Africa via WRMI English
This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.