Hey there fellow shortwave enthusiasts!

I’m Garry from Tecson, and I’m thrilled to share with you the latest schedule for Radio New Zealand International (RNZI). Thanks to a fellow enthusiast who passed this along, we’re excited to dive into what RNZI has to offer our community.

RNZI has long been a cornerstone for those of us passionate about shortwave radio, providing in-depth news coverage, current affairs insights, and captivating audio features. Now, with their updated schedule effective March 31st, there’s even more to look forward to.

New Schedule Highlights:

Maintenance Day: Keep in mind, folks, that RNZI observes Maintenance Day on the first Wednesday of every month. From 2230 to 0600 UTC (Thursdays 1030 to 1800 NZST), there might be some interruptions to our regular programming. But hey, it’s all in the name of keeping those airwaves clear and crisp!

Satellite Availability: For those who prefer satellite access, RNZI has got you covered, thanks to TVNZ Pacific Service. Now you can tune in with ease, no matter where you are.

Frequency Details for RNZI:

– Satellite Slot: IS19/23 C Slot A

– Downlink Frequency:** 4146.5 V

– FEC:** 3/4

– Symbol Rate:** 5.6320

So there you have it, folks! With RNZI’s new schedule and these handy frequency details, we’re all set for some top-notch shortwave listening. Let’s keep those radios tuned and those ears open for the incredible stories and insights RNZI has in store for us.


Happy listening.

The recent Optus Network outage in Australia, which left over 10 million people without phone service and internet access for a prolonged nine hours, is yet another reminder of the importance of preparedness. As more Australians questioned the wisdom of relying on a single network for both home internet and mobile phone service, it’s a wake-up call for everyone to consider alternative methods of staying in touch with the outside world, like shortwave radio. In this blog, we’ll explore how this outage affected millions and how radio can be a reliable lifeline during such emergencies.

The Impact of the Optus Network Outage

The Optus Network outage had a profound impact on daily life for millions of Australians. Businesses, especially those heavily reliant on EFTPOS machines, were among the hardest hit. One hospitality business in Sydney’s inner suburbs, operating in a predominantly cashless society, saw an 80% drop in customers during the outage. For many, particularly the younger generation, who have never experienced life without a phone, it was a bewildering experience. Many of the older generation enjoyed a day off.

Preparedness is Key

Events like the Optus outage serve as a stark reminder to be prepared for any emergency event or network outage. The outage disrupted not only daily life but also critical emergency services. Some mobile phones couldn’t reach triple-0 (Australia’s emergency number), and hospitals across the country, including virtual emergency departments in remote areas, were severely impacted. Lives were at risk due to the inability to communicate with emergency services during this crisis.

Why Shortwave Radio Matters

AM, FM and Shortwave radio, a technology over a century old, demonstrated its enduring value once again during the outage.

When everything else, including the electrical grid, internet, and cell service, fails, radio stood strong. It can relay information immediately if it’s equipped with backup power, making it a reliable source of communication during emergencies.

Tips for Shortwave Radio Preparedness

  1. Ensure that you and your family have AM/FM/shortwave radios readily available. You never know when you might need them.
  2. Learn how to operate your radio. Practice tuning in and show your family and friends how to tune in to local and international stations to stay informed during an outage.
  3. Store your radio in an easily accessible location. In an emergency, every second counts.
  4. Keep your radio charged or stock up on fresh batteries to ensure it’s always ready to use.

It’s easy to take for granted in our interconnected world, but when it’s suddenly unavailable, the consequences can be dire. Shortwave radio, a time-tested technology, can be a lifeline in times of crisis, offering a reliable means of communication when all else fails. Don’t wait until you need it; be prepared, keep your shortwave radio ready, and ensure that everyone in your family knows how to use it. In a world of uncertainty, this simple yet powerful tool can make all the difference.

We have two fantastic emergency radios available in our web store at very affordable prices.


The night sky often looks incredible, but on the night of August 12, 2023, one Finnish DX (long-distance radio) enthusiast, Koe Kone, experienced an unexpected twist during the annual Perseids meteor shower. While gazing at the streaking meteors, Kone discovered a boost in German DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) signals, marking the first-ever documented instance of meteor-induced interference on VHF band III DAB signals.

Koe Kone, a dedicated DX hobbyist based in Turku, Finland, enjoys the challenge of seeking out distant broadcast signals. His YouTube channel showcases a treasure trove of recordings capturing broadcasts from across the Baltic Sea and beyond. However, it was during the meteor shower’s peak activity that Kone stumbled upon a radio phenomenon that had eluded detection until now.

The notion that atmospheric and celestial conditions can influence radio broadcasting is not a novel one. For decades, radio enthusiasts have observed the impact of meteor showers on radio signal propagation. Differences in the ionosphere between day and night have been known to affect the reach of AM signals, while temperature inversions in the troposphere can cause FM signals to ‘skip’ to distant markets.

As early as the 1930s, researchers recognised that meteor showers played a role in radio signal propagation. Enthusiasts and amateur radio operators have even used FM receivers to eavesdrop on meteor showers.

Kone’s groundbreaking discovery was made possible through his use of an Airspy Mini scanner and QIRX SDR software for signal reception. He paired these tools with a formidable 13-element VHF band III yagi antenna positioned at a lofty 48 meters above sea level. This setup allowed Kone to successfully receive and decode a signal emanating from a German multiplex operating in block 5C.

Intriguingly, Kone’s decoded stations led him to identify five potential transmission sources in Germany: Casekow, Pritzwalk, or Templin in Brandenburg; Röbel, Rostock, or Züssow in Mecklenburg–Vorpommern; and Garz on the picturesque island of Rügen, also situated in Mecklenburg–Vorpommern. Astonishingly, the closest of these sites is approximately 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles) away from Kone’s reception site in southwestern Finland.

During the peak of his listening experience on August 12, Kone’s receiver displayed three adjacent DAB multiplexes on blocks 5B, 5C, and 5D. Although he couldn’t decode all the signals, he did capture brief bursts from blocks 5C and 5D in the early hours of August 11.

Sharing his discovery with the “DAB/DAB+ Digital & Online Radio” Facebook group, Kone reflected on his past successes in capturing Swedish DAB stations. However, the meteor shower recording was different. He noted, “This in the video was quite different, being a meteor scatter and lasted only a few seconds.”


Koe Kone’s discovery serves as a testament to the wonders that can be unveiled when technology, passion, and the mysteries of the cosmos converge. The meteor-induced boost to DAB signals not only adds a new layer of intrigue to the world of DX enthusiasts but also reminds us of the possibilities to discover. As we continue to explore the radio spectrum, who knows what other cosmic secrets may await discovery in the silent spaces between the stars?

RNZ shirtwave

In recent and welcome news, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) shortwave radio broadcasts have resumed from the hours of 5am to 9am ( NZ time) to the ​​Pacific region. A service that ceased back in 2016.

As a result of this decision, listeners in the remote areas of the Pacific will now have 24-hour access to these broadcasts instead of it turning off early in the morning every day. 

We have previously reported just how important these broadcasts are for many remote communities who regularly endure unexpected weather patterns and can lose contact with the mainland and emergency services. Emergencies don’t stop between the hours of 5am and 9am, therefore access to emergency broadcasts shouldn’t either.

We applaud the decision by the NZ Government to contribute extra funding for shortwave services. We hope the Australian Government is taking notes!

One of the most widely listened to broadcasts is the RNZ Pacific’s flagship daily current affairs programme Pacific Waves which is also broadcast by the BBC Pacific Service.

So, what will be broadcast ? At various times RNZ will run 3 different frequencies, at 5am NZT tune in on 7425 kilohertz, at 6am NZT listen on 9700 kilohertz, and at 8am NZT change the dial to 11725 kilohertz

This information and image is courtesy of the RNZ website.

For the full schedule of shortwave frequencies check out the RNZ Pacific website.

DRM radio

After many years of stagnation, DRM is emerging as a perfect fit for shortwave broadcasters seeking to increase their audience, and at the same time reducing their energy consumption.

DRM is an open source, non proprietary standard for terrestrial broadcasting, promoted by the DRM Consortium, a group of transmission equipment and receiver manufacturers as well as international broadcasters.

Over 30 broadcasters from around the world now carry DRM broadcasts. The latest schedule can be found here:

To receive DRM broadcasts a suitable receiver is required. The GR216 receiver,, promoted by Tecsun Radios Australia is a high-performance receiver, both on DRM and analogue shortwave. It is a self-contained unit, with provision for the connection of external antennas for shortwave and FM.

The receiver includes a self contained linear power supply which eliminates interference caused in  receivers powered by switch mode power supplies.

drm radio australia


We recommend an external antenna for good DRM reception and our MW/SW Outdoor Antenna is most suitable. This antenna incorporates a 9:1 balun to provide the correct impedance for most shortwave receivers with an external antenna socket.

antenna shortwave drm

The typical improvement over the same length of wire without the matching components is between 10 and 15dB in signal level.

A word about antennas:

Directional characteristics of random wire and long wire shortwave receiving antennas are dependent upon the antenna length, height above ground, received frequency and directional orientation of the antenna wire. The four elements are interactive.

Generally the antenna should be aimed so that the transmission source is at 90 degrees to the antenna. So if the transmission source is to the West, run the antenna on a North South direction if possible. This works best on antennas that are less than a quarter wavelength in length and mounted a quarter wavelength above the ground (such as the antenna mentioned above).

In the case of a simple longwire without matching, the length of the wire cut for one quarter wavelength at popular DRM frequencies is as follows:

13Mhz: 6 metres in length, 15Mhz: 5 metres in length, 7 Mhz: 10 metres in length

A simple long wire antenna will work better at greater elevation above the ground, ie the higher the better. Multistrand insulated wire will work better and for longer that solid copper wire, which will weaken with repeated movement.

In practical terms, a DRM receiver with an external antenna will be able to hear most current DRM broadcasts from 13-18Mhz. Check the broadcasting schedule for the appropriate times.

Remember that all times are given in GMT and that means AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) is 10 hours ahead of GMT. Hence (for example) the BBC Relay from Singapore on 15620Khz will appear between 2pm and 8pm AEST.

One more factor that can influence the success of your reception is the direction in which the signal is being beamed.

This information is also available on the DRM HF schedule site. If you are in the target area you will have a much better chance of sucessfully receiving DRM broadcasts.

Target areas can be seen here:

There are many stations that can be received if suitable attention is paid to antenna orientation, and broadcasting schedules, with more stations being added to the schedule every month.

Good Listening !

In 1843 the phenonema known as the Solar cycle was discovered by Samuel Schwabe a German astronomer who observed transitions of the Sun from periods of high activity to low activity every 11 years, over a period of nearly 20 years.

Put in simple terms, the Sun is composed of a huge ball of electrically charged hot gas. As this gas moves, it generates a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic field transitions through an 11 year cycle (known as the Solar Cycle) during which the magnetic poles of the Sun are transposed, ie the north and south poles change places.

This cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots and solar flares. The energy released by these events charges particles in the ionosphere, affecting radio propagation. More solar flares and sunspots occur at the peak of the cycle than at the bottom of the cycle. Typical values are 80-100 sunspots at the cycle peak and 15 or so at the cycle minimum.

When a strong flare occurs, the increased x-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation produces ionisation in the lower, D (absorption) layer of the ionosphere, disrupting HF radio broadcasts by absorbing rather than reflecting signals. 

We are currently at the end of Solar Cycle 24 (calculated as mid 2020), and from this point we can expect an increase in solar activity and changed radio propagation as the maximum useable frequency (MUF) for shortwave communications increases with an increase in solar activity.

At the peak of the Solar Cycle, the higher frequencies of the shortwave spectrum are very good. Low power stations can be heard over remarkably long distances. 

At the bottom of the cycle, the current position, those higher frequency signals will not usually support normal propagation via the ionosphere. So propagation at lower frequencies will be better whilst higher frequencies will suffer. 


Article written by Tecsun Radios Australia

Image of sun via Nasa.