BBC World Service helps hasten the demise of shortwave by giving dial position in "meters." And more shortwave.

Posted: 15 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"For two weeks, from Monday 15 February, the BBC Hausa daily radio and online output – on – will be dominated by the Food Special, exploring the reasons behind failures of 'agricultural revolutions' and various other programmes aimed at creating plenty in this region of Africa. ... The Food Special on BBC Hausa is broadcast across daily programming – at 05.30 GMT on 41 and 49 meters, at 06.30 GMT on 22, 25 and 31 meters, at 13.45 GMT on 13 and 16 meters, and at 19.30 GMT on 16, 9 [sic, should be 19] and 41 meters shortwave. The programming, in audio and text, is also available via the website" BBC World Service press release, 11 February 2010. "Meters"!? (And, by the way, don't they spell it "metres" in the UK?) Nowadays, even radios with analog frequency readout are marked mainly in megahertz (MHz), and only secondarily in the archaic meter bands. And on that radio, 7.205 MHz (one of the frequencies at 0530 GMT) would be at a rather different part of the 41 meter band than, say, 7.4 MHz. It would not have taken much more room to specify: at 05.30 GMT on 5.975, 6.135, and 7.205 MHz, at 06.30 GMT on 7.255, 9.44, and 11.75 MHz (schedule at BBC Hausa website contradicts the press release here), at 13.45 GMT on 15.105, 17.78, and 21.63 MHz (the website contradicts itself here), and at 19.30 GMT on 11.89, 15.105, 17.885 MHz (more contradictions). No wonder shortwave is dying.
     "Historically the Vatican has been no slouch in the technology department. Vatican Radio, at least in the pre-Internet era, had a signal that reached around the world via shortwave. More recently there have been Facebook (see and iPhone apps, following on the heels of a YouTube channel and a long-established web presence at ... Although Pope Benedict does not have a Twitter presence, the owner of the popebenedictxvi account, a self-described 'fan doing his part to spread the word,' has offered it to the Vatican." Peter Vogel, The B.C. Catholic, 15 February 2010.
     STS9's studio album, Ad Explorata, consists of "instrumentals of the proudly interstellar ilk, based, the band writes, in its obsession with shortwave-radio numbers transmissions, said to be coded messages used by overseas spies of various governments." Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 12 February 2010. "The story goes that keyboardist David Phipps' young daughter was messing around with a shortwave radio when she landed on a women's voice repeating numbers. Intrigued, the band searched for more voices and found one other, which they actually sampled on the song 'Central.'" Kayceman, JamBase, 11 February 2010.
     "Siegmar Fricke started his first musical experiments in 1981 using tape-recorders and shortwave-radio signals to create collages of musique-concrète." Music Industry News Network, 12 February 2010.