domenica 24 aprile 2016
Radio Marconi International HISTORY - NEWSLETTER
HISTORY OF MRI
Dear listeners! We always appreciate receiving your feedback. Good or bad. Either way it’s vital we know what you think about MRI. We also encourages reception reports from listeners. Audio clips (mp3-file) of our broadcasts are welcome! We QSL 100%. Our E-mail address is: email@example.com
HISTORY OF MRI
The idea of starting a new radio station originated in the summer of 1985. The announcement "This is Marconi Radio International" was carried for the first time over the air on 4th January 1986. However the first real test transmission was broadcast on 1st November 1985 with a power of only 2 watts on 11426 kHz. On 22nd March 1987 MRI aired its last transmission marking the end of 14 months of programming because of staff shortage.
During the first 21 months after that, there were no short wave transmission and resumption of MRI was often a subject of debate among its founders. In December 1988 we began making a plan to get MRI back on the air. The plan got so far that regular test transmissions were started from a new transmitter site but it was deleted again in March 1989 after reports of interference caused to TV signals.
In the summer of 1990 despite an announcement appeared in the DX press we made no test transmission. On 25th December 1991 we aired from our original transmitter site a 3 hour special Christmas test broadcast, which was publicized in advance by widely-heard shows about media, communications technology and DXing, like "Media Network" (Radio Netherlands) and "Kurzwellen Panorama" (Radio Austria International).
The reaction from listeners was prompt and highly positive. The first reception report was received on 31st December from an Italian listener. Other reports came during the following days from Austria, France, Germany, United Kingdom and, for the first time in our history, from Belgium.
We were surprised that letters not only came in response to our Special Christmas broadcast but also to our unscheduled test transmissions on 24th December, 1991, made only to check the transmitter together with the antenna.
On 26th April 1992, a week later than originally planned MRI, in cooperation with some DX clubs of Italy, aired another special broadcast. The results were good with over 30 reception reports from Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and UK.
A third special joint transmission between MRI and some DX clubs of Italy was made on 3rd January 1993 from 0930 to 1230 UTC to mark the seventh station’s anniversary. The response to this broadcast, which included a DX show looking back on MRI’s history since 1986, was good with 35 reception reports received from listeners in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Additionally, rock and black music interspersed with
bilingual announcements in Italian and English was played. Those listeners who were able to hear this special broadcast and sent a reception report to us received a special QSL verification.
The last spell of regular Sunday morning test broadcasts of 20th century, with reception reports coming from Finland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Spain and Sweden, began on 21st February 1999 and lasted until May 1999. At that time we were on the air from 0700 to 0915 UTC with a DX show in English at 0745 and 0800 followed by a longer version in Italian. Since then there has been any broadcast until 15th August 2015.
Marconi Radio International (MRI) celebrated its 30th anniversary on 4 January 2016. To mark this milestone, we carried over the air (on both 3 and 4 January 2016) a special programme in Italian, with details on the history of MRI and interviews with two well-known short wave personalities of Italy: Dario Monferini, editor of “Play DX” (the most famous and long lived short wave bulletin in Italy) and Roberto Scaglione, who produces and presents “Studio DX” the only radio show in Italian about media and DXing remained in life. They explained how, from their point of view, the short wave radio scene has changed during the last three decades. Also our playlist had something special as only songs with the word "Radio" in their title were played. Besides that we also carried over the air two vintage shows of ours. A special 30th anniversary QSL verification was issued to acknowledge reports about reception of all MRI broadcasts aired in January 2016.
On 13 February 2016, Marconi Radio International celebrated the role of free shortwave radio on the occasion of World Radio Day. That's why we produced, in cooperation with other two free radios of Italy, Radio Europe and IBC – Italian Broadcasting Corporation, a special one hour show in Italian which included interviews with people behind the operation of these three free radios. Never before in its history MRI participated in a venture of this kind with other free radio stations of Italy.
A few days later, the idea of using airtime provided by another free radio began to take shape. On 29 February 2016 the idea came true as free broadcast airtime was provided by IBC – Italian Brodcasting Corporation to MRI. For the first time in our history our pre-recorded programmes were carried over the transmitter of another free radio. This special leap day transmission, was on the air from 0800 to 1100 UTC on 6970 kHz with a power of about 700 watts. The same contents were also broadcast from our own transmitter site, from 0930 to 1300 on 11390 kHz.
On 21 March 2016 a new transmitter was added and for the first time in our history a test was made outside the 11 MHz band. We used the frequency of 7700 kHz (USB mode) which gave good reception in Europe. The station was also
heard in New Foundland in Canada. This was the first time we received a correct reception report along with an audio clip from a listener outside Europe who was using his own receiver and antenna.
The general objective of MRI, given by its founders, was to be a radio for the DXers. Our policy was to provide DXers with whatever they want: a lot of interesting tips and DX news. Music also played an important role in our broadcasts. Not only we aired programmes devoted to the world of radio but also many kinds of black and rock music from blues to reggae, punk to heavy metal, garage and psychedelia. Unlike most of other free radios, MRI provided the chance of featuring music by "indie" bands (less well-known artists signed to independent record companies) as well as musicians and kinds of music usually destined to remain minority interest.
During the first few months of its operation, we received reception reports from listeners living in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, France, German Democratic Republic, Holland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
The station name was chosen by our engineer and co-founder, who commented that never before in Italy a short wave radio had got its name from Guglielmo Marconi the inventor of wireless telegraphy and therefore the foremost pioneer of radio communication born in our country!
MRI still uses a nearly "QRP" transmitter built by our engineer in 1985. It has the capability of tuning between 11 and 12 MHz and can be Xtal or VFO driven and believe it or not, it has never failed. The carrier generator which is all solid state, delivers a power output of around 30 watts without modulation and uses "general purposes" transistors like the "BD 106" or the power transistors "BD 111".
The modulator is also all solid state and uses the power transistors "2 N 3055" rather than the usual transformer. The output of the transmitter is fed through a 52 ohms RG8/U coaxial line to some inverted "V" half-wave dipole antennas. On 21 March 2016 a second transmitter with a power of 40 watts (AM) and 100 (SSB mode) was put into service and, for the first time in our history, a test broadcast outside the 11 MHz band was aired.
HOW WE SEE SHORT WAVE FUTURE
With the disappearance from the bands of a lot of international and domestic broadcasters many things have changed for shortwave listeners in the last 15 years. Despite this, we still see shortwave broadcasting as 30 years ago. We wish that SWLs and DXers of the world unite, by sending their contributions to the few still alive DX publications and clubs, and by keeping a regular contact with radio stations, rather than playing an individual and self-referential role on social networks or personal blogs.
We still rely on listeners and are really interested in knowing how reception has been in their area. We don’t verify reception report as an act of courtesy but only after checking them with our station log and found they are fully correct. Unlike a number of free radios from Northern of Europe we know what a QSL is and our verifications will always come with ALL details about reception of MRI. We plan to send in future printed QSL cards by snail-mail to some lucky listeners. That’s why it’s vital to include your postal address in your reception reports sent via e-mail to us.
The aim of MRI, 30 years after its first broadcast, is and has always been, to be at shortwave listener’s service. We try to do this at our best even if we have small staff and limited resources at our disposal.
That’s all for now, 73’s
Marconi Radio International (M.R.I.) old-style free short wave radio from Italy
HALLO WORLD. THIS IS MARCONI RADIO INTERNATIONAL
(MRI NEWSLETTER nr. 4 – April 2016. Feedbacks to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
A wind of change is sweeping through MRI. As from 3 May 2016 we’ll be on air regulary on Wednesdays on 7690 kHz USB mode with 100 watts in the evening.
A wind of change is sweeping through Marconi Radio International (MRI). This newsletter nr. 4 offer us the chance to announce the addition of a new transmitter, with the capability of tuning from 3 to 30 MHz. We are very proud that we have been able to make this step as well as to increase our power from 30 to 100 watts. Our listeners have waited long time for this news and we are happy to see the first positive comments. “Hello MRI, good to chat you in the chatroom today. Please find a short MP3 recording of your signal on 7690 KHz USB recorded at 17:08-17:18 UTC - signal around s2-s3. This is first time I have managed to hear you - never got anything from your 11 MHz tests so very pleased to finally hear another Italian station today!! I am located in the town of Gourock on the west coast of Scotland, 25km from Glasgow on the River Clyde. My receiver is a JRC NRD-525 used with a Wellbrook ALA-1530 active loop antenna. Hopefully you can send me your eQSL for my report. I will send you a second email with another short clip. 73 . (Iain Cameron).
The first ever made test on a frequency outside the 11 MHz band was on 21 April 2016. We were on air from 2000 to 2100 hours UTC on 7700 kHz. This move from 11390 kHz to lower frequencies, as confirmed by reports received from listeners, will make reception of MRI easier and better. Until now, our first test broadcasts on 7 MHz were received from listeners living in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and USA. The increasing number of E-mails and reception reports which we receive weekly shows that we can now reach a growing and above all a new audience via this new transmitter. A comparison of the number of reports received tells the story: in less than one month of transmissions on 7 MHz we have received approximately the same number of reception reports in the period August 2015-March 2016 when we used exclusively the frequency of 11390 kHz!!
It should be also mentioned that for first time in our history we received reports from SWLs outside Europe using their own equipment (not a remote websdr receiver!). The first was from Canada (Terry Toope). Here is an excerpt from his reception report: “I am located about 50 km from the most easterly point in North America (about 4500 km from Italy). (…) I am fortunate to live in a quiet area (for electrical noise), and I have large area of trees behind my house, with lots of room for antennas. I have been listening to pirate stations on shortwave and mediumwave for over 6 years, and I have become completely addicted! (I only listen to free stations.) I traveled to the Europirate summermeeting in Holland in 2010 and again in 2014. During my last trip, I also traveled through northern Italy (from Venice to Lugano via Milan by train, then Lugano to Tirano by bus. Very beautiful country. I hope that you are able to identify your signal on the audio file. If so, I would very much appreciate a QSL if you are able to confirm my reception. If you do not have a QSL, an email confirmation would also be appreciated”. Many thanks to Terry and all of our listeners who were submitting a reception report about our transmissions. As already announced in our Newsletter nr. 2 a new designed QSL is, now that a new transmitter has been adopted, in the process of being distributed to our listeners.
And what’s about the old transmitter on 11390 kHz? Well, we don’t intend to abandon it. Although this transmitter operates only on 11 MHz, a band which currently doesn’t give good reception in Italy and rest of Europe, it may be used occasionally in the future for short time segments in the morning hours. (Stay tuned for further developments!)
We have standardized our broadcasts: there are now only broadcasts 60 minutes long. The first half hour is always a DX programme in English (Italian Shortwave Panorama) followed by mailbag (or DX) show in Italian or non-stop music interspersed with announcements in English, Italian, German, Spanish and Catalan. We believe that with this reform
we are meeting the necessary requirements for contents that attracts short wave listeners who tune in with a special aim. It is our wish to continue to offer essential and interesting information about shortwave radio scene in shows which are up-to-date and informative. We hope that you, our listeners, will join us on this road. Please tell us what you like, or don’t like, about our programmes.
SUMMER 2016 BRODCAST SCHEDULE (3 May 2016 – 29 October 2016)
As from 3 May 2016 MRI will be on the air on Wednesdays, from 1800 to 1900 UTC, from 2000 to 2100 UTC, and from 2200 to 2300 UTC on 7690 kHz USB mode (alternative frequencies: 7700 and 7790 kHz) with a power in the region of 100 watts. Additional broadcasts may also be aired during week-end (but we can’t promise to do so ALL week-ends!) When this occurs a circular message with details about days, times and frequencies of these transmissions will be sent in advance to short-wave community and listeners in our mailing list.
IMPORTANT EVENTS IN 2016
Marconi Radio International (MRI) celebrated its 30th anniversary on 4 January 2016. To mark this milestone, we carried over the air (on both 3 and 4 January 2016) a special programme in Italian, with details on the history of MRI and interviews with two well-known short wave personalities of Italy: Dario Monferini, editor of “Play DX” (the most famous and long lived short wave bulletin in Italy) and Roberto Scaglione, who produces and presents “Studio DX” the only radio show in Italian about media and DXing remained in life. They explained how, from their point of view, the short wave radio scene has changed during the last three decades. Also our playlist had something special as only songs with the word "Radio" in their title were played. (amomg them “On The Radio” by Donna Summer or “You Turn Me On I’m A Radio” by Joni Mitchell). But that is not all. In addition to our weekly DX programme in English "Italian Shortwave Panorama" and "Studio DX", we also carried over the air two vintage programmes of ours: a DX Show in English of 25th December 1991 as well as the edition nr. 6 of "Italian Wave", a show aired during 1986, which featured emerging Italian bands, signed to independent record companies, playing different kinds of rock music. A special 30th anniversary QSL verification was issued to acknowledge reports about reception of all MRI broadcasts aired in January 2016.
On 13 February 2016, Marconi Radio International celebrated the role of free shortwave radio on the occasion of World Radio Day. That's why we produced, in cooperation with other two free radios of Italy, Radio Europe and IBC – Italian Broadcasting Corporation, a special one hour show in Italian which included interviews with people behind the operation of these three free radios. Never before in its history MRI participated in a venture of this kind with other free radio stations of Italy. This day of celebration was also an opportunity to remember why we love free radio, to highlight the power of this medium to bring people together and to share this with shortwave enthusiasts.
A few days later, the idea of using airtime provided by another free radio began to take shape. On 29 February 2016 the idea came true as free broadcast airtime was provided by IBC – Italian Broadcasting Corporation to MRI. For the first time in our history our pre-recorded programmes were carried over the transmitter of another free radio. This special leap day transmission, which included “Italian Shortwave Panorama” (DX show) and “Microwaves” (A Rock show recorded approximetely 15 years ago) was on the air from 0800 to 1100 UTC on 6970 kHz with a power of about 700 watts. The same shows were also broadcast from our own transmitter site, from 0930 to 1300 UTC on 11390 kHz. It’s not a mystery that the founders of MRI were inspired by the successful story of the Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), the first free radio in Italy to broadcast on short waves. Who would have dared imagine, 30 years ago, that a MRI broadcast would be carried by IBC?
NEW INTERVAL SIGNAL
As from 3 May 2016 MRI will be adopting a new Interval signal played on piano. It was originally written and played for Marconi Radio International by Enrico, the 12 year old son of our engineer and co-founder who built in 1985 our nearly “QRP” transmitter which has the capability of tuning only between 11 and 12 MHz. This new melody replaces our old Interval signal: the theme from the pop song “Georgy Porgy” by Toto with ID’s in English “This is Marconi Radio International” and Italian “Questa è Marconi Radio International”.
FROM OUR E-MAIL BOX Hi. I always tried your 11390 kHz but the signal was always too weak. This time I have tried 7790 kHz, weak only sometimes comes up, now 7690 is good. In the last minutes the transmitter drifted to 7690,15 kHz. It’s nearly 30 years ago that I heard Marconi for first time. Your QSL letter says 16.3.86 on 11650 kHz. At the moment I put more and more QSLs online on my website. http://www.repage.de/member/abo So it will be nice, when after 30 years, I get one of your QSL cards and not an E-mail QSL. A QSL card looks better on the website. Let’s hear what the tests so brings. Attached is an audio file and the old letter, is the guy still at the station??? I wish you all the best Happy Easter 73’s. (Andree Abo Bollin, Wolfsburg Germany). Yes Andree, the guy who signed yor QSL is still here! Ciao friends at MRI, I have been trying to hear Marconi Radio International on 11390 kHz for many months now, but was never successful, the propagation just didn’t seem to make it to this part of the United Kingdom on that band. When I saw that you were planning a number of tests on 7 MHz over this weekend I thought that I might have a better chance of hearing you, and I’m pleased to say that your 1700 UTC broadcast on 7690 kHz was audible all the way through here, even if not very strong. Hopefully the 2130 test will come through even better. I have attached a small mp3 file showing how it sounded here in the north western part of England (about 25km north Of the city of Manchester). I’m really glad to have heard you at long last, and now have MRI in my logbook. All I need Now is one of your famous QSLs and I will be very happy! The recording covers the last few minutes of the programme. I look forward to hearing you again, hopefully propagation will be even better next time. Good luck with the broadcasts. Ciao and best wishes. (Alan Gale, Rochdale, UK). Hello! Yesterday was a great day for me on short wave when listening to Marconi Radio International for the first time since your tests have started in January on 11390 kHz. But last evening it was fantastic when monitoring 7690 kHz usb and it worked. And as a consequence, I am very happy to submit the following reception report to your consideration. (Jacques Augustin, Rosny-Sous-Bois, France).
Hello, I tuned into your broadcast on 7690 USB today (16 APR 2016), as announced on the post at hfunderground.com, at 1249 UTC. I could only just barely hear anything at all, but I could discern that music was being transmitted there. Unfortunately it was too indistinct to really be able to hear. I might not have known for sure that I was getting a radio transmission if I wasn't specifically looking for one that I knew was there. The signal was largely free of noise and interference. Not bad for a 100 w transmission at a distance of at least 9,000 km. I am located in Denver, Colorado, USA, approximately 39.63, -105.02. I listened on a Grundig Satellit 750 receiver with a longwire antenna. Thanks for the announcement, and good luck with future transmissions! (Matt (MDK2) Keleher, Denver, Colorado, USA)
PROGRAMME DETAILS: YES, WE ARE A LITTLE BIT STRICT… At times we receive reception reports with programme details which are too vague and, therefore, we send the following message: “We regret to inform you that your reception report can't be verified with our QSL. The reason is that programme details you mentioned are too vague and, therefore, don't tell us that you have really heard Marconi Radio international”. As many of our listeners are aware we don’t send QSL as an act of courtesy but only after checking their reports with our station log and found they are 100% correct. Simply writing "talks and music or male voice” without mentioning the name of a singer, band or song is not enough to get a QSL from MRI. If reception conditions are very poor or you don't know the songs played or don't understand what is being said as you don’t speak the language used in our broadcast, all you have to do, to be sure to receive our QSL verification, is to to send an audio clip (mp3 file) of our transmission. Some listeners seem, however, to not understand the rules of the game, forget diplomacy and react aggressively. They feel offended when we remind them how to write a verifiable reception report. But what seems most surprising is the puerile justification of some of them: I don’t have a recorder!!! We can’t believe that a serious DXer or SWL has no way to record our transmission! And as that wasn’t enough there is someone who comments: The problem is the poor quality of your signal, not the vague description of what I heard! LOL This newsletter has been sent to you automatically, free of charge, because you are on our computer mailing list. It is not necessary for you to send in a request for each new edition. However, since we are constantly updating our mailing list, we would appreciate knowing if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: email@example.com
That’s all folks for this edition of MRI Newsletter Nr. 4 APRIL 2016!!! STAY TUNED!
Claudio Bianco (IK1XPK)