Listening to the radio

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-06-29, 18:16

meidei wrote:Perhaps I should have used "other Ionic-Attic" languages.
There are two other hypothetised Hellenic languages, *Ancient Macedonian, and *Phrygian but that's not what I meant to say.

But then what do you mean by "Greek"? Don't all Ionic-Attic languages count as Greek?

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby loqu » 2014-07-01, 11:16

AM radio stations in Spain are really scarce, like meidei said for Cyprus. We only have one of the channels of the state-run broadcasting service, then the two biggest private news channels (SER and COPE). No music is broadcast on AM, since FM gives you a much better sound quality. (Actually I just checked and there are only two stations broadcasting music in AM, both of them in Barcelona).

The last periodic survey shows that 25 million Spaniards listen to the radio, with the most listened-to programs being the ones aired on workdays in the morning (people at work) and Sunday evening (sports fans).
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby md0 » 2014-07-01, 11:46

vijayjohn wrote:
meidei wrote:Perhaps I should have used "other Ionic-Attic" languages.
There are two other hypothetised Hellenic languages, *Ancient Macedonian, and *Phrygian but that's not what I meant to say.

But then what do you mean by "Greek"? Don't all Ionic-Attic languages count as Greek?

Well, that boils down to nationalism. Pontic and a few other now-moribund highly-divergent varieties where described as languages by some (and Pontic was going to be the official language of their proposed state), but with most of the people in Greece calling them dialects.
But it's less controversial to call moderately-divergent varieties, like the one I speak, Greek.
I phrased it poorly from the beginning, sorry about the confusion.

----
No music is broadcast on AM, since FM gives you a much better sound quality.

It doesn't all depend on the modulation used though. AM would probably sound a lot better if it was used in the 3m(?) band like FM, and had even half the bandwidth used in FM (10 vs 200kHz bandwidth).
FM does reject noise though, AM isn't as sophisticated.

Btw, it's apparently very common to have pirate AM stations in central Greece (a mostly sparsely populated area as most people live in Athens and Thessalonike), and the authorities semi-tolerate them.
Those broadcast music on MW-AM. Apparently they can sometimes be received in northern Europe do to propagation, but they don't reach Cyprus.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby md0 » 2014-07-25, 15:33

So, today (actually yesterday as it took me more than a day to write this) I received my Tecsun PL-606 radio, which I bought for 33EUR (incl. shipping) from a HK-based seller which was suggested by the SWLing.com blog.
It actually arrived 6 days ago (so it took them just 11 days, a new record for ebay stuff), but I couldn't pick it up until today because of work.

The seller has done a good job with the packaging, and even included a "Fragile" label like I asked (because I feared our crazy postman might get its hand on it). It wasn't necessary at the end because it was shipped as a registered package, meaning I have to pick it up personally. As a side note: the package was open for police inspection in Cyprus. The patched up again with a tape bearing the logo of Cyprus Postal Services, which is kind of them - in the past they'd use a non-id tape.

The seller includes a USB cable as an extra. This can be used for charging Ni-MH batteries while they are in the radio, should you decide to use them over standard batteries. I have 2 SONY AA Ni-MH batteries but I think they are defective, so I will probably keep using 2xAA standard batteries.
Image

Tecsun themselves also include a nice selection of paraphernalia: a telescopic antenna extension (if coupled on the standard antenna of 55cm, it extends it to a whole metre), a 6m longwire antenna (useful for SW reception) that is going to replace my DIY one, a pair of okay earphones, and a carrying pouch which, frankly, looks discoloured
Image

The face of the radio is slightly cluttered with context-based keys, but you get used to them in a couple of minutes of use. The screen is large, clear, and can be illuminated.
Image

It displays a whole lot of information - in standby mode it displays battery status, world time/alarm/temperature (selectable), and the local time. In operation, on top of those, it can display: signal strength and S/N ratio in dB, memory preset, and the metre band.
Image

What's a bit confusing is that volume and tuning are on the same side - my old radio has them in opposite sides.
Image
Image

PL-606 is slightly larger than my old, 4EUR no-name radio. It measures at around 8*12*2 and it's pretty light
Image

As I received my radio around noon, the only fair test I could do right away was in the FM band. (I left the other bands for later)

Being a true world radio, the PL-606 allows you to select between Russian, Japanese, and European/American frequency allocation, this is whether the band begins at 64MHz, 76MHz, or 87MHz. I went for 64MHz hoping to find something exciting down there, but there was nothing today.
The FM reception was great with just the standard antenna, and the internal speaker is sufficiently loud. It's not stereo, but other than that, it sounds better than my desktop clock-radio's stereo speakers.
What it lacks is RDS, something that my clock radio has, but my old portable also didn't have.

There are many ways in which you can tune to a station. By pressing the VF button once, you can use the knob in the side to surf the band in 0.01MHz steps (slow), or 0.1MHz steps (fast).
By holding the VF button, you can let the radio scan the band, stop for 5 seconds on each station until you manually interrupt it when it reaches the station you want.
The other two methods involve the memory function.
There's the standard, permanent memory which can be filled automatically, by pressing and holding the band key (which have ATS written below, for Auto Tuning Storage), or you can use the Easy Tuning Mode which scans the band for any active stations, and stores them in a temporary memory separate for ATS. This is actually great for doing bandscans in FM without deleting your presets, and it's actually the only useful way to tune in Shortwave. Presets from the ETM can be moved to the ATS memory.

This is an FM bandscan using EMT. What do you know, first scan and there's already an FM-DX :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gWiOnSNKto

And this is an extended clip from the pretty strong reception of Israel's 2nd public radio at 95.5MHz, Rashet Bet. I think that's a proof of the radio's FM selectivity, because there are other stations around 95.5, and there's a Turkish Cypriot station exactly on 95.5 as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKXz54fcvKY

But the most important test in FM was that I could finally listen to my favourite radio station at work. This was the reason I wanted a new radio asap, actually. My old radio simply couldn't pick up a strong enough signal when it was surrounded by all the metal structures at work. This Tecsun had a very strong and stable reception, with the antenna folded all the way closed.

Later in the afternoon I could check MW and LW. LW is a bit tricky to enable, and sadly all I could get was some Morse Code broadcasts, possibly ships at sea. I'm also using an old Cybershot on a tripod instead of my phone for the other videos.
The MW reception was amazing. I didn't know I could receive that many stations actually. My old radio would get only one fourth of those. Highlight of the night was that I could receive three MW stations all the way from Greece. They happen to be 3 different transmitters broadcasting the same programme: ERTOPEN (former Public Broadcaster ERT staff that after their mass dismissal -2600 people in a single day-, took over their workplaces and for 1+ year they ran the network themselves).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W844JU4l55I

And the real test, late in the night. Shortwave reception. I used the longwire antenna, but the location wasn't ideal because I had electricity poles right above the longwire. I won't judge it's SW capabilities yet, I haven't done extended listening (the stations I like switch on late night and with work, I don't have the time). Still, it has a wider coverage of the SW spectrum, it's continuous if you want it to be, and it could detected x3 the stations my old radio could tell apart. The selectable bandwidth option is extremely helpful in isolating blending signals (I default to 3KHz bandwidth, and bring it down to 2KHz for medium strength stations, 1KHz for very distant signals).
I guess the highlight of the bandscan was the preacher station from US East Coast, no matter the path it took, it was pretty far away.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9I3Q3HK00w

So all in all, I'm very happy with the PL606. It's excellent on FM and AM (only sore point is the lack of RDS, but I knew what I was getting), and while it doesn't magically turn SW into Hi-Fi radio, it allows me to tune in thrice as many stations, and allows me to select the bandwidth which eliminates most of the interference. And I'm sure that the PLL circuit will prove useful for extended listening, as the tuner won't fade away from the frequency, like my old radio does.

So yeah guys, if you want a cheap world-band radio which covers FM, AM, LW and SW 2300-21950 KHz, then this seems to be a good bargain. But if you want amateur bands, aircraft bands, or selectable sideband, you'll need to spend a bit more.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby md0 » 2014-09-08, 15:58

I just ordered TECSUN PL-118 as a present for my mum, who's also an avid radio listener but still doesn't have a proper receiver.
Having had a very good experience with my Tecsun receiver, I looked up their other models, and they had PL -118, an FM-only model, which is perfect for her. It's 12EUR from Hong Kong.

Image

Now, an the SWL front, I was surprised by what my auto-bandscan yielded: Voice of Armenia Greek Programme! Will be tuning in again today
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in0-k-0nQEU
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby md0 » 2014-09-22, 16:44

We picked up my mum's radio today. It's great. Her old radio was useless inside the house, but this one has perfect reception inside, with the antenna all the way closed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x2lieMTTpM

There's less good news though.
I lived all my life living by the coast, so it was rather easy to have a clear view of the horizon (buildings don't go very high either). But I'll be moving to a non-coastal city soon and things don't look good for Shortwave Listening.

I tested my receiver with it's 3m longwire from the balcony of a flat in that city, and I could receive only about half of the stations I normally get (ETM in a afternoon yields ~180 here, ~90 in the non-coastal city). [MW was also disappointing - so much RF interference].
"If you like your clause structure, you can keep your clause structure"
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby md0 » 2014-10-29, 23:47

Now that the weather is changing, foreign radio reception is not as good.
I reinstalled this Linux applet, Radio Tray. I deleted the default presents and added

Cyprus
>Kanali 6
>Politis 107.6
>Astra
ERT
>ERA Athens
>ERT Radio 2
BBC
>World Service
>Radio 4
>Radio 4ex
Français
>France Info
>France Inter
>RFI Monde

And really, BBC R4 makes up 45% of the podcasts I listen anyway, even when I don't listen to it live. (BBC in total is 17 out of 27).
I wish he had something like that in Greek. Neither Greece or Cyprus has a station that emphasises on radio documentary and drama. CyBC Radio 1 comes close, if we feel charitable, but the quality and quantity is much lower. Greece doesn't have anything similar at all.

I suppose the American equivalent to BBC R4 is the NPR, but I tried listening to Radiolab for NPR and the radio-direction is abhorrent. It's the equivalent of watching a show on a 50'' screen that was shot on a 2005 mobile phone while running up and down the road. That's how nauseating their editing is. Wtf.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby Meera » 2015-01-05, 7:04

I love litening to the radio. I useully listen to radio online but I will listen to it while on the computer, cleaning, at the gym, doing homework. I prbably listen at least 2-5 hours a day.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby loqu » 2015-06-08, 17:47

I'm quite happy because I caught China Radio International in Esperanto and, most impressively, some emission of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corp in Sinhalese whose beam is directed towards Central Asia and Kazakhstan. :o I'm uploading videos of both to Youtube.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby OldBoring » 2015-06-09, 3:00

Yeah, China Radio International is available in a lot of langauges. :P Even in my dialect, in Wenzhounese. :mrgreen: (probably the only one)

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-06-09, 4:43

Youngfun wrote:Yeah, China Radio International is available in a lot of langauges. :P Even in my dialect, in Wenzhounese. :mrgreen: (probably the only one)

Awww, nothing in Qingtianese? :( The only songs you can listen to in Qingtianese are the song 青田女孩 and a bunch of other nonsensical songs with swearwords in them? :lol:

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby OldBoring » 2015-06-09, 5:20

vijayjohn wrote:Awww, nothing in Qingtianese? :( The only songs you can listen to in Qingtianese are the song 青田女孩 and a bunch of other nonsensical songs with swearwords in them? :lol:

Yes :mrgreen: But at least they got local news in Qingtianese on TV.

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby loqu » 2015-06-10, 8:21

Youngfun wrote:Yeah, China Radio International is available in a lot of langauges. :P Even in my dialect, in Wenzhounese. :mrgreen: (probably the only one)

Yep, they have hundreds of frequencies in a lot of languages. (When I had a cheap receptor, CRI was pretty much all I could listen to, they are just everywhere). I've listened to them before in English, Spanish and Portuguese, but I had never before stumbled upon an Esperanto broadcast of them. I know at least Radio Habana Cuba also has some broadcast in Esperanto, even though I haven't caught it yet.

By the way, I caught yesterday Cuban Spy Numbers. The reception was really bad and I only heard some numbers every now and then in a sea of interference, but given that the broadcasts are directed towards the US, it's good enough. I guess the propagation must be outstanding these days.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby md0 » 2015-06-11, 14:52

If you have an analogue receiver, pretty much all you can hear in Cyprus is CRI and the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Esperanto broadcasts are one of the most interesting to follow, because I have never studied the language so it's fun to first spot it, and then try to follow.

Radio Vatican also has an Esperanto broadcast.

---

In other news, ERT - Hellenic RadioTelevision - which was shut down by an executive order exactly 2 years ago today (and which continued to broadcast 'illegally' as a self-managed media collective) was officially re-established as the national Greek broadcaster today, by the new SYRIZA-ANEL government. It was an electoral promise they kept.

The Assembly of the Thessalonike ERT workers (ET3, R/S Makedonia, Voice of Makedonia) do not recognise the institutionalised re-establishment of ERT, because it ignored the self-managed ERTOpen assembly's proposals for a direct democratic internal structure in the new broadcaster. The vowed to remain on air as ERTOpen and condemned the social media take over of ERTOpen's FB and Youtube accounts.

Greece's Shortwave Programme now broadcast's ERT's Voice of Greece, and not ERTOpen.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby OldBoring » 2015-06-11, 15:02

loqu wrote:Yep, they have hundreds of frequencies in a lot of languages. (When I had a cheap receptor, CRI was pretty much all I could listen to, they are just everywhere).

Nice. I don't listen to the radio, it's not a common thing in China except some old people; so I've only seen their news (in text format or in audio streaming) on their website.
And the iPhone doesn't come anymore with FM radio, unlike old cell phones. :(

Speaking of old devices and Esperanto... I have an Esperanto course on a cassette, and now I can't find any walkman to play it...
The stereo device I have at home hasn't been used for years and it's probably broken.

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby Meera » 2015-06-12, 22:43

Youngfun wrote:Nice. I don't listen to the radio, it's not a common thing in China except some old people


What about online streaming radio?
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby OldBoring » 2015-06-13, 2:39

Here people prefer watching streaming videos. :lol:

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-06-13, 4:53

Yeah, I don't listen to radio much either, including online radio (although I definitely listen to online radio more often than...you know, any other kind of radio :P).


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