In a world where internet connectivity and social media reign supreme it is interesting to reflect on the power radio still has in developing countries.
A great example of this is the country of Mali in West Africa that often experiences political unrest and unreliable power sources, the need for information is critical.
In Mali, internet coverage is scarce providing only 30% coverage to the region. In rural areas, where even less people have internet access, and the power supply can be unreliable, most people rely on battery-operated radio sets for information.
Furthermore, for those with internet coverage, mobile data is quite expensive meaning streaming digital radio or listening through a social platform or app can be very costly.
Shortwave radio can be accessed by workers in the fields in isolated areas, even whilst driving which has made radio a critical source of information and dialogue.
Mali’s largest private radio station, Radio Kledu, not only provides regular news and informative programming, they have also included an editorial policy to give everyone a platform to express their opinion. In Africa this is not always an easy task, where terrorist groups often target journalists.
A recent broadcast featured a special program about teachers’ long-running strike for higher pay.
The lunchtime show presenter Oumou Dembele encouraged debate by first interviewing the teacher union representatives to hear their side of things. Later in the show the government were invited to present their version on air.
For many in Mali, the work of radio journalists like Dembele is vital to keeping them informed.
“Radio reaches far more people than any other media on the continent,” says Franz Krüger, Director of the Wits Radio Academy in South Africa.
Even in developed and media-savvy countries like South Africa, more than 90 percent of people listen to the radio.
Franz Krüger mentioned “Radio can be produced cheaply and reaches the disadvantaged faster,”.
The same can be seen across the islands of the south pacific reporting similar figures with only a small amount of the population having access to Tv signals and internet.
Many of the rural and disadvantaged villagers rely solely on radio to stay up to date on current political movement, news and regular weather warnings.
Broadcasters like Radio Vanuatu and RNZ Pacific keep an otherwise isolated region connected.
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Be sure to tune in to the Radio Australia enthusiasts special event Station on March 14-15
Australian Shortwave radio has played an important part in Australia’s telecommunication history.
From 1939 to 2017, hundreds of communities around Australia have relied on this service for entertainment, news and local announcements.
Join Radio Australia enthusiasts for this last hurrah special event broadcast from the mothballed Shepparton site, and be sure to tune in and join the party on March 14-15.
To commemorate the occasion there will be a Special Event Amateur Radio HF station set up at the Radio Australia transmitter site at Shepparton Victoria.
A unique call sign has been issued for the event which is Victor India 3 Radio Australia – VI3RA.
All contacts made during the 2-day event will be issued with a specifically designed QSL card.
The event commences on Saturday 14 March 2020, 12:00:00AM AEDT(UTC+1100) and will end at Monday 16 March 2020, 12.00AM AEDT(UTC+1100).
VI3RA will operate on 40, 30, 20, 17, and 15 meters.
“Local amateurs will be given the unique opportunity to explore the use of high-gain antennas whilst giving amateurs throughout the world a unique opportunity to contact a station using such high-gain antennas,” said SADARC President Peter Rentsch, VK3FPSR (Australia’s call sign structure accommodates four-letter suffixes). “This is a rare opportunity for amateur radio operators, who are only allowed a peak output power of 400 W in Australia when compared to 100 kW of Radio Australia transmitters to hopefully achieve some remarkable communication outcomes. We expect to get a gain of 15 dB on the lower frequencies and at least 20 dB on 21 MHz.”
If you are in the area of Shepparton you may also attend the event however there are very limited numbers allowed on site at any time.
If you intend to use your special QSL card for the event here are some top tips to ensure a good reception report. Send you reception report to the station with information about what you heard.
Follow these steps to ensure a good reception report.
1.The date and time (in UTC) you heard the station
2.The frequency on which you heard the station
3.Details about what you heard. mentioning things like the names of announcers, program titles titles of musical selections and station slogans is sufficient to establish you did indeed hear the station.
4. An evaluation of the signal quality, including strength, degree of fading and any interference you may have experienced,. (Include the names or frequencies of interfering stations)
5. The make and model of the radio and the antenna you are using.
We would also like to receive your listening reports from the day. Please send your listening reports to email@example.com
Did you know? With every radio purchased from the Tecsun Radios Australia website you receive a shortwave listeners guide that contains information on how to listen, a list of useful stations from around the world, Marine weather stations, Aviation stations as well as the 4WD club and many more. The Shortwave Listeners Guide also contains some very helpful troubleshooting to help identify AM and HF interference sources.
In addition to the Listeners Guide you will also receive a shortwave listeners log book.
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The next wave of radio listening has arrived using a new broadcasting technology called Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM). This technology is now being adapted by shortwave broadcasters around the world.
DRM is fusing digital radio with analogue by creating a high quality digital replacement for current analogue radio broadcasting in the MW and SW bands. DRM delivers CD quality audio using the medium wave and short wave bands, with reduced energy consumption resulting in lower operating costs to broadcasters. DRM also delivers information in text format, alerting listeners to the latest news, weather and disaster information.
DRM’s design means you can switch between DRM and conventional analogue broadcasts. Suitable analogue transmitters can be modified to allow the new digital transmissions to co-exist with the current analogue broadcasts.
- Fantastic sound quality/ Short Wave and Medium Wave broadcasts can now be heard with FM-like sound quality.
- DRM can cover larger broadcast areas compared to analogue signals.
- LCD screen allows viewing the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), News and weather updates, and emergency warnings.
- Automatic emergency activation. Radio receivers will automatically switch on to receive emergency warnings in case of impending natural disaster
- A Greener Solution: DRM offers reduced power consumption to broadcasters of 40-50%. Signal coverage on Short and Medium Wave broadcasting bands using DRM, is greatly increased over conventional analogue broadcasting.
As DRM is an emerging technology an increasing number of broadcasters are adopting this format. To discover which broadcasters are “on air” at a particular time for your location, visit the official DRM schedule here.
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The Tecsun Shortwave and AM Outdoor Antenna significantly enhances reception of signals in the medium wave (AM) and shortwave antenna bands covering 0.5-30 MHz.