My Most Recent QSO's

Friday, October 8, 2010

BBC Radio Player

I've developed a fondness for the British Broadcasting World Service. When I was a kid, I remember the sounds of Big Ben and their broadcast over the shortwave bands. I've always enjoyed their programing. I consider it one of the best in the world.

But shortwave listening is becoming more difficult every year because of budget cuts, poor propagation, and increasing electrical interference. Some major international broadcasters have ceased transmitting all together, and many others are limiting their transmissions to the weekends.

For those reasons, I feel the future of most radio stations will be on the world wide web. There's both good and bad for this mode. Obviously, if you don't have web service, you don't have anything, and if someone decides to "pull the plug" on the electrical grid, we're all "up the creek". But what it is, is what it is....This is the wave of the future, weather we like it or not.

I found a neat gadget yesterday that allows you to choose many "different" streams of the BBC at the click of a button. I've added it to the right side of my blog. I usually have something playing in the background whenever I'm surfing the web.

I can't think of a better station to listen to. I hope you enjoy it also.


pidloop said...

BBC was probably the first station I picked up after building my 4-tube Knight Kit Star roamer, circa 1970 or so. I was about 15 when I first heard "Midnight 30 hours, Greenwich Mean Time" for the first time. I had no idea what that meant. I soon figured that out and went on to listen to many more stations and discover many more things. The accents, the different views, even the HF static and fading all were new experiences. I went on to become an EE and I would say it all started right about then.

I still listen to it today, both via HF and the WWW. I find far more news and views about the world there than from any of the mainstream US news sources.

You're right about the electrical noise and interference, little attention is being given to protecting this part of the spectrum now. Yes, it might be old school, but it's ability to support direct world-wide communication is extraordinarily fortuitous. It is a resource we should not squander.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

I got my first short wave receiver in 1995. I've been a listener ever since. There is still some good progaming on shortwave but not like it used to be. sadly I think an end of an era is here. Hopefully the means will be found for stations to continue on with hf broadcasting.

There is still plenty of activity to hear with a short wave receiver. Just tonight around the camp fire my son and I were listening to New York air traffic control on 6.629 MHz managing incoming and outgoing international flights on hf. With the sunspots boosting propogation we could clearly hear the aircraft calling and the back and forth traffic between the aircraft and the ground station.

I will always be a short wave listener as long as I can copy signals but I must admit the past two years since obtaining my amateur license I have not strayed much outside the ham bands.

About a month ago I did catch the BBC on hf. I can't remember the frequency or any other details but I was suprised to hear it.

VE9KK said...

Short wave was my stepping stone into ham radio. You are right the internet sure has changed the way short wave radio....and any radio for that matter operates. In time the joy of tuning around the bands in search of far away short wave broadcasts will come to an end. You will simply turn on the PC and at the push of a button the station will be crystal clear.