Monday, June 27, 2011

Florida Law Enforcement Deputy Misuses Department Radio System, Boss Approves?

Ok, so this was original and cute. If any of the Shortwave America readers are Law Enforcement professionals, you can see the danger in using the county wide radio system to do something like this. Both the officers in the field and the callers using 911 depend on this system for life threatening emergencies.

Obviously, the Officer's supervisor is just fine with this type of system use and that is VERY troubling, and if you don't find it troubling, you should! Law enforcement by its very nature means that anything can happen at anytime, anywhere! What IF there would have been an emergency at that time? The air would not have been available for an emergency transmission! An officer or 911 caller could have been put in danger!

The department doesn't see the abuse of the communications system in this case, and that is another troubling issue! See Law Officer for the original story and then see the Miami Herald.

Any other department would have initiated an investigation with expectations of handing down least a few days off! Should Florida taxpayers expect such a trivial use of their Sheriff's emergency radio system? Shortwave America will search on-line archives for the complete radio transmissions and see about getting them here. Until then, the media recording should be enough to satisfy the point made.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Southwest Airlines Pilot With A Foul Mouth, Sick Attitude Caught On Radio

A Southwest Airlines pilot was suspended from work after he made crude remarks about his flight crew members over the air traffic control radio system. The pilot's radio mic became stuck in transmit, causing his insensitive remarks to be transmitted all over a Texas Air Traffic Control (ATC) frequency.

ABC News has the audio from the incident, although it is censored for foul language. Readers and listeners please use caution, as this pilot's remarks are highly inflammatory.

No date of occurrence was given, and the pilot was not identified. If anyone reading here is also a user of, would you please check the audio archives and report back here as a favor? Thanks!

New York Joins States Passing Pirate Radio Legislation

The New York State Assembly passed legislation recently that was usually a Federal only jurisdiction. This legislation targets pirate radio operators and provides that such operation is a class "A" misdemeanor with the absurd claim that major stations are being drowned out by pirates regularly.

The MAJORITY of pirate broadcasts are on the HF bands, not local FM and AM frequencies! States like New York, Florida, etc. are so close to the Atlantic ocean, a wide open space that often provides natural "E" propagation and may not always be due to illegal in-land broadcasters. Suspiciously, the FCC has not chimed in on this and none of the news articles gives any information about how many of these "interference" cases have been determined to come from in-land broadcasters.

This is not to say that in-land pirate stations don't sometimes drift off frequency due to operator error, or that operators aren't sometimes being malicious. The concern here is that these laws duplicate federal laws already on the books and allow states to regulate a federal set of laws. Can these laws be used as precedents to eventually put licensed amateur operators and licensed broadcasters under the jurisdiction of the state? Can these laws set precedent for new manipulations that would affect properly licensed stations and operators?

How far are the states planning in going in radio regulation before the FCC no longer has any jurisdiction and before FCC pre-emptions no longer valid? We are in the slippery slope everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shortwave America Brings New Ideas

In the effort to keep this publication as an expanding entity in radio communications, from time to time, new ideas come to mind. Some new ideas here are to add postings of some of the more popular and nostalgic radio classics from the golden years of radio, audio montages from the shacks of our readers that fall into the categories of the more humorous & strange moments you have managed to record while listening. Stories of things you have run across while spinning the VFO through the bands (HF through SHF) are another idea.

With this being presented to our audience, we would love to hear what you think of adding features such as this and invite you to post your thoughts in the comments section of this piece. If anyone wishes to submit anything as described above, please contact Shortwave America via e-mail.   

Solar Cycle 24 Shutting Down

Today, a news report was released via Yahoo! News (tm) quoting three recent studies that state this solar cycle may go into hibernation.
Quote from this article: "According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Songs Featuring Radio

At various amateur radio & shortwave listening internet forums, one topic of discussion invariably turns to movies, tv shows, and other productions featuring radio. Shortwave America wanted to present at least a short list of songs that feature radio in some way.

This first song was written & released in the 1980s by an artist named, Sting. "Russians" was basically the story of the cold war, a missile crisis during which a nuclear holocaust was indeed a high possibility. From Wikipedia, and under creative commons license: Sting is quoted as saying In his 2010 interview with World Entertainment News Network, Sting admitted that "the song was inspired by watching the Soviet TV via satellite: I had a friend at university who invented a way to steal the satellite signal from Russian TV. We'd have a few beers and climb this tiny staircase to watch Russian television... At that time of night we'd only get children's Russian television, like their 'Sesame Street'. I was impressed with the care and attention they gave to their children's programs. I regret our current enemies haven't got the same ethics"[4] Creative Commons Share Alike License

In the beginning of this work, you'll hear overlapped radio transmissions in Russian.

This second song is actually a comedy work, and is actually is parody of the SETI program called "Alien Makes Contact - The S.E.T.I. Song" featuring Billy Reid.

Our third song is from StopSocialismUSA and is said to be posted at KB7TBT's website. The song is the MOrse Code alphabet set to music and very simple lyrics. No name of an original artist or band is available, but enjoy anyway!

Fourth up is the ever beloved "Ham Band" Information from YouTube says the following: The Ham Band is a group consisting of Andrew (G3WZZ/OZ1XJ/OZ5E), his wife Lissa and a group of Nashville session musicians. All the songs are about amateur radio and the booklet which comes with the "Seek You" CD tells the whole story of contests, dx-peditions, antennas etc.

The Ham Band has just finished their new song/video which describes the whole process of building a modern amateur radio station and at the same time enables the listener/viewer to learn Morse code - yes all the letters and numbers are in there! The video lasts about 20 minutes and there are 19 musicians playing in three different musical styles (French Musette, Viennese Waltz and German Oompah). The music changes key 24 times which means that this musical work may get into the Guinness Book of World Records!

You can view the first quarter (about 5 minutes) of the video for free at

Weird Al gave us "UHF" back in the 80s!

Can you think of other songs that feature radio? One other artist back in the 80s who created a hit that spoke about radio was "Tiffany" with her song, "Radio Romance" In the 70s, Donna Summer gave us her hit, called "On The Radio".

Perhaps the most famous song of all time will always be Steve Carlisle's "WKRP"

Thanks for reading today! Shortwave America hopes you enjoyed these videos, and we hope you'll let us know of any other interesting musical works that feature radio.

Massive Sun Flare Avoids Hitting Earth

Media Network Plus Review Tecsun DR920 and more

In this edition of the Media Network Plus review we take a look at the Tecsun DR920. We also pay a visit to Radio For Peace International. Special thanks goes to Jonathan Marks at Critical Distance for this edition.

Friday, June 10, 2011

1978 film on Happy Station's 50th Anniversary

The other day Tom came across a film made by the RN TV department in 1978 on the 50th anniversary of Happy Station. This film is a rare look at the 9 hour special Happy Station Show broadcast that day.

QSL Cards From Shortwave DX Blog

Shortwave America presents to our audience, four new QSL cards on display at the Shortwave DX Blog.First, the "Hit - Mixteam" stating to operate on 43 and 52 Meters. Second, a card from Pirate Radio Malta. Third, Radio Star International. Fourth up is Radio Iceman Shortwave. Enjoy everyone! You can find the link to the Shortwave DX Blog to the right of this publication and just scroll down a bit.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Remembering June 4th 1989

A commentary about the 22nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square now available from PCJ. It also include a well known broadcast from Radio Beijing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shortwave America Presents: Encouragement For Dissent In China

China has once again decided to enact what can only be described as archaic censorship using the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre as a piss poor excuse. Shortwave America has no political loyalties and takes pride in being a free publication in regards to this sort of thing. In keeping with that spirit, Shortwave America publicly denounces China as a place for any human being to live or even visit. 

Continuing on, Shortwave America HIGHLY ENCOURAGES Chinese citizens to stand together against their oppressive, anti-democracy government. China does not care about you, your rights, your ability to be a human being and surely doesn't care about your basic human right to live as a free people. The fact is that there are more people than there are members of the Chinese military forces, and an uprising would be good. THIS is YOUR time, Chinese citizens! You can stand by and do nothing while continuing to live under the Red hand of communism or force change to bring about total freedom. 

What the Chinese Government never understood is that the traditions and beauty of China can still be preserved while allowing its people to be free. This piece will undoubtedly get this publication banned in China if it hasn't been banned already, but there are ways around that. This publication is based out of the U.S. and so China can't touch any of us! The respect of any government anywhere in the world MUST be EARNED, not demanded by inhumane practices.

If anything, the communist practices of China's government must be treated with total contempt. If anything, China's leaders are all equal to nothing more than animal waste! There's a whole lotta garbage that the Chinese leaders hide behind, the list is endless. This publication has no choice but to encourage possible tourists to decide against going to China, and to encourage people not to buy Chinese products that would generate revenue for China. 

Perhaps there are people out here who would care enough to write piles of sharply worded letters to the Chinese government condemning their practices and public policies. Shortwave America urges the broadcast industry not to do business with China and maybe it isn't a bad idea that Chinese transmitter sites face severe interference. 

China wants a communications war, fine! They'll lose in a most embarrassing way! Encouraging and enabling dissent in China until their people are free is not a bad effort to be behind!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Radio Netherlands & Deutsche Welle Join Forces

Maybe we'll see improved Shortwave Broadcast and maybe even a renewed interest in putting new programming on the shortwave bands along with an eye towards preserving the medium.