Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mike Leinbach, NASA Shuttle Launch Director, Retires Today

Mike Leinbach has served NASA for 37 years during our nation's Space Shuttle era as a member of the Space Shuttle Processing Directorate and Space Shuttle Launch Directorate. Mike has left behind a rich, deep, legacy full of great things. Mike Leinbach was the most loved member of NASA's team in the firing room and his voice will forever be remembered. See Mike's Biography here.

The last time anyone would hear Mike's voice was during the final shuttle operation of our nation's history (Mission STS-135). On the radio communications system, Mike operated using the callsign "Launch Director".  His final, historic, words were: "O.K. Fergie, we're starting to feel pretty good down here on the ground about this one today. So, on behalf of the greatest team in the world...good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true American icon. And so, for the final time...Fergie, Doug, Sandy, and Rex...good luck, godspeed, and have a little fun up there."

Mike, you were a great leader! With safety in mind at all times, you launched our shuttle crews with great care and skill. You took care of our crews from the firing room and Launch Director's Console better than anyone else. You are an example of what a great communicator and intelligent thinker achieves. So, although we're not feeling pretty good about losing you, for the final time, Mike; as a member of the greatest team in the world, the fires you lit under our shuttles will never be forgotten.

You became an example of what a great person can do when they have the dream and commit to follow - through. Godspeed and have a little fun out there!

Special thanks to the NASA Kennedy Space Center Press Office for alerting Shortwave America to Mike's retirement.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RadioReference Dukes It Out With Canadian Government

Dangerous bills are passing on a fast track in Canada that are similar to those already signed into law in the United States when it comes to Federal Government powers to snoop on internet users. See the link here for more (

On October 7th, 2011, Lindsay Blanton (Owner and President of RadioReference) received a letter from the York Regional Police (PDF File) stating their unhappy position regarding RadioReference hosting on-line radio feeds of their Department's police radio communications system. The York Regional Police have encountered a problem though: RadioReference is not based in Canada and only offers the feeds, RR does not divulge the contents of radio transmissions. In this context, RadioReference is not bound to Canadian laws.

On October 8th, 2011, Blanton and his legal team fired off this response to the York Regional Police (PDF File). In Canada, it is not illegal for citizens to listen to radio transmissions and many of those who usually do have a radio hobby in Canada are law abiding people. Radio hobbyists in Canada are a mix of folks ranging from licensed radio amateurs to volunteer Public Safety personnel, paid and citizen members of the media, and even your run of the mill citizen who have their own lawful reasons for radio monitoring.

The discussion of this topic at RadioReference can be found here. The issue of cell phone apps for radio monitoring and website feeds dedicated to radio transmissions has become a hot topic world wide. The context and content of these radio feeds vary across the board. Not every feed and cell app is dedicated to things like police, fire, and medical radio. Cellular apps and website feeds at RadioReference and other sites feature other useful, fun items such as Air Traffic Control, Railroad, Maritime radio, Amateur (Ham) Radio, Shortwave Broadcast, and High Frequency SSB listening.

High Frequency (HF) SSB listening covers radio operations / systems focus on a wide range of radio services like civilian air traffic, military operations dedicated to air traffic, naval, army, and other military communications, weather satellites (WEFAX), space communications, and land mobile radio services to name just a few. The main concern of governments is the response of the main stream media and terrorism whether real or imagined. In the process of attempting to deal with these problems, governments at different levels are opting for full time encryption and also upon their over - interpretation of laws concerning the receiving and divulging of radio communications. In the end, innocent citizens and ethical journalists are being shut out of legitimate news.

Don't expect this legal and political fight to end anytime soon as the law in many countries attempts to catch up to modern technology. Is it possible that radio restrictions could take place as they did in World War 2? Will governments go so far as to make an effort to confiscate radio equipment from innocent citizens and journalists? Will the Anonymous organization take an interest in this and take their own brand of action? Only time will tell. 

Shortwave America and PCJ Media wishes to express their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Constable Garrett Styles of the York Regional Police Department in Canada.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shortwave America Partners With Nash Holos

Nash Holos reaches a vast audience with the voice and talented leadership of Paulette MacQuarrie on Vancouver, Canada's AM1320 (1320Khz on the AM dial), CHLY 101.7 Nanaimo, and more than 28 countries on the PCJ Media Network (AM, FM, and Shortwave). Nash Holos is Ukrainian Roots Radio covering Ukrainian News Outlook with Keith Perron,  Ukrainian Food Flair with Sylvia Pidraziuk Molnar, Ukrainian Jewish Heritage featuring Meylakh Sheykhet, Ukrainian Christian Heritage, The Ukrainian Proverb, and Kultural Capsule with Vasyl (William) Pawlowsky.

Last, but not least, Nash Holos also presents a well informed feature called "Did You Know?" with Irena Bell, of the Ukrainian Program in Ottawa.

Nash Holos has been on the air since 2000, and has celebrated many great milestones in the past eleven years, having been awarded the Roger Charest, Sr. Award for Broadcast & Media Arts (2007). The proud sponsors of Nash Holos are:

Ukrainian Studies Foundation of BC

Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko (your place for Ukrainian books, music, and gifts)

Sevala's (Your homemade goodness deli & catering)
Chetverta Khvylia
4th Wave Ukrainian Radio Program Host: Stanislav Nastenko
Sundays 10am on 90.1FM CJSF. Streaming:  Podcast:

Solovei Magazine

Uketube (no link available)

Shortwave America will be assisting Paulette (Pawlina) with topics related to the Nash Holos show, as well as covering stories and events outside of Canada that are of interest to the listeners of Nash Holos. Nash Holos has a well maintained blog, interviews, and a retail shop where you can purchase your favorite Nash Holos items. You don't have to take our word for it, go see for yourself! While you're there, please make sure you visit the Nash Holos links section!

Paulette MacQuarrie
Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio is the longest running Ukrainian radio program in the history of BC, having twice earned that distinction on a commercial radio station, and has a very special meaning: "our voice". Nash Holos s BC's first bilingual Ukrainian—English radio program. Nash Holos can be heard inflight on long-haul flights to and from Taipei,  Taiwan on China Airlines International.

Shortwave America is proud to serve the needs of the Nash Holos show and urges everyone to give a warm welcome to this important show and its host, Paulette MacQuarrie! Paulette will be heard as a guest presenter on the upcoming "Celebration of 30 Years of Space Shuttle Communications" show as well as the Shortwave America "Classic Christmas Special". 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Media Network Plus on DRM to Europe

Beginning November 26th at 1830UTC Media Network Plus will be heard in Europe on 7590khz. This transmission will be part of DRM Mix from a project started by Spacelink in Bulgaria and the DRM Consortium.

Technical date:
Transmitter: 100kw
Antenna beam: 305 degrees
Transmitter location : Armenia
Frequency: 7590khz

If your reading this in Europe we would love to find out if you heard it and also if your outside Europe.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Programming / Operational Status, B-11 Schedule Update

Shortwave America has updated the SWBC B-11 schedules to provide the AOKI text and zip files. EIBI seems to be dormant for now. Equipment critical to Shortwave America daily operations, programming creation, and so forth is still in the process of being maintained and should be back in operating order soon.

When the advertised audio programming is in a ready to release state, it will be posted as either a twofer or a triple feature. Shortwave America apologizes for the delay in the anticipated audio programming as advertised and thanks all of the fans and followers for their astounding patience!

Remember, Shortwave America has memberships available to help support the quality programming that you will be able to enjoy soon. Although blogger is a free service, the time and effort spent to make this possible for all of you now and in the future is immense, especially as Shortwave America continues to investigate opportunities for continued growth and success.

We wish all of you out here a happy, safe, Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Site Temporarily Down

Friends, followers, and fans of Shortwave America,

Critical equipment used at Shortwave America has gone down. This means Shortwave America will be taking a hiatus while we work on this problem. We hope to be up and running again soon. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Radio Amateurs and Cyber Bullying - Part 2

Quite a while ago, Shortwave America made a commitment to help stop cyber-bullying. On November 6th, 2011, we brought you the #OccupyShortwave and #OccupyRadio movement as a way of getting back to real radio; radio that focuses on being family friendly and inclusive of all members of the public on an international basis.

As part of this focus, Shortwave America wants to uncover the worst of cyber-bullies in amateur radio, shortwave radio, and other radio related circles. If radio is ever going to get back to where it needs to be, we have to start acting as a rational community. Acting as a rational community means we have to do some house cleaning based on common sense contemporary community standards.

The group at Hamsexy obviously cannot be allowed to be a part of amateur radio or other radio communities. A detailed investigation of their site, practices at their site, their forums, and the behavior they allow their users to engage in would concern even the most open-minded and reasonable of people in the world. Shortwave America has done tons of research on the effects of cyber-bullying in the amateur radio, shortwave, and other radio related circles.

This includes having met with sworn law enforcement professionals, and in-depth review of the work of psychological, social work, and psychiatric professionals on this topic. You will notice that Shortwave America was recently rated as a "Safe Site".

On June 16th 0f 2010,  Hamsexy published a piece called "Just When You Thought The Ham Badge Was Lame". This was a rather long-winded piece that attempted to make Hamsexy the victim rather than the offender of a rather violent, disturbing crime for which responsibility should be taken. To wit: this portion of the posting which Hamsexy makes an admission of their disrespect for the well-being of others:

The use of racial mention here, along with admitting to their attorneys having cease and desist letters, death threats being made, and so on would tend to point to obvious wanton provocation of one or more persons and then crying "victim" when someone acts. In most U.S. states, this is actually illegal in the criminal sense.  Hamsexy members are hardly victims. They are today's worst offenders in respect to cyber bullying.

The use of a claim that everything they do is some sort of "joke" is laughable from every angle one could spin it in. Even someone with the darkest sense of humor would not see any "joke" in the practices at Hamsexy.

Uses of sexual innuendo of a repeated nature have happened at Hamsexy on several dates: June 1st 2010, when they featured a photo of men's underwear with the RACES, ARES, and ARRL logo on them without any official authorization for its intended use. Other dates are too numerous to list here.

Openly hateful or discriminatory pieces or mentions of overweight individuals on the following dates: 15 February 2010 as submitted by Bryan - VE6HBD at a motel said to be in Sawyer, Michigan. This was a picture of a large shower stall with derogatory comments aimed at overweight people. 25 January, 2010 when they posted a photo of an overweight individual playing an airsoft game as part of an article about radio amateurs from the Dominican Republic who traveled to Haiti to help provide emergency communications during the widely known Haiti disaster of this time.

17 January 2010, when Hamsexy posted an article about a radio jammer taken off the air with the opening comment: "Aside from certainly having the rotund body of an amateur radio license holder, the only tunes 14-year-old Jayhaed SaadĂ© will be spinning will be on his daddy’s ipod."

Here is a photo of some of the Hamsexy group who think so highly of themselves as criminal offenders in context of going undetected under today's cyber-bullying laws. This photo was taken at what they called "Hamcom 2008" which was held at a place they said was called "Bonedaddies". A photo Shortwave America will not feature here from this event depicted a brunette haired woman dressed in a fashion that was seriously distasteful in the fashion they used it in. Today, this woman is featured in the right side of the site in a way so as to portray the sexual objectification of women.

On August 10th, 2007, Hamsexy again half-disavowsbeing the cause of problems, telling only part of where their responsibility lies in being the cause of great offense to the public:

And again playing the victim on the same day in the same article:

 Further evidence of Hamsexy's attitude towards certain legally protected social classes of society can be found in "The Foy Manifesto" published on March 23rd 2007.


Where there is bullying and hate, the question gets begged in regards to what members of sucha group must think about themselves. Turns out that there is indeed some hypocrisy going on, as a few of the Hamsexy members are overweight themselves. Photos: KA8YPY, Group Photo, VE3UDP, VA3AGF, N3JFW with VE3XLS, and still, they insist on making fun of a wheelchair bound person who is overweight from being stuck in his chair as a result of his disability.

Further back into Hamsexy's history in 2006, October 26th to be exact, Clyde McPhail posted THIS GARBAGE calling for a shaming of an ARRL Official Observer who made a few simple mistakes. On September 18th 2006, for an unknown reason, K7VO's alleged sexuality or sexual status came into play when criminal accusations were made in regards to an alleged scam. Isn't sticking to the story about the criminal allegations the entire point?

Shortwave America will end part 2 of the series here. Part 3 will be here soon enough.