Become a radio listening post, without owning a radio

Here are some sites that let you either listen to pre-tuned radios, or allow you to tune a remote radio to a frequency of your choice. With these it’s possible to listen to all sorts of transmissions. If you hear morse code, the Windows program CwGet can be used to decode the text. is a large collection of Internet accessible radios from all over the world. It’s quite fun to tune into a station on a shortwave radio in your house and then see if it’s also available in other countries. Shortwave reception in my house is fairly awful due to the powerline ethernet adaptors I use, so this website is a good alternative.

The WebSDR is still running, and is a lot of fun. The waterfall display makes finding active frequencies easy.

When it’s transmitting, the UVB-76 numbers station can be heard from this repeater page.

How and why it works – a TV from the 1940s

A television receiver from the 1940s

Here is another book I found in a local car boot sale. Coming from a time when education and intelligence was assumed and the dumbing down disease hadn’t yet taken hold How and why it works is a book that does exactly what it says on the cover. It tells you how things work, and explains why they work that way using neatly labelled diagrams and paragraphs of text. Everything from how a coal mine operates to electricity generation.

The fascinating part is the section on the television receiver. According to Wikipedia, television was first transmitted in 1932 by the good old BBC but this was a mechanical system at first, eventually using an electronic scanning method by 1936. Then it all stopped during the war and wasn’t resumed until 1946. The book I have was published in 1948, and the television is introduced by relating it to a radio set and to a cinema, making it look to be a fairly new concept compared to the radio on the preceding pages which starts with “The programmes you listen to on the radio” where it’s assumed everybody knows what a radio is. I scanned the television section in as a series of images, and have also created a PDF from it.

The book is really interesting, it contains a mix of brand new technology such as the TV and very old more traditional technology like the plough, electric torch and ratchet screwdriver. It’s a snapshot of time before the transistor existed, everything electronic contains valves and there is no mention of computers whatsoever.

Tomorrow – Infantry Training and mortars in the attack.

iTrip? iSGone

Returned the iTrip back to the shop I bought it from. Thankfully they just accepted the return without asking any questions or wanting to give me store credit.

I’ll take a knife to my car’s stereo and see if I can make a normal one fit in the hole. Halfords sell converter facias, but the last one I bought didn’t fit at all. The bloke behind the counter implied I was a moron by not removing the car’s own radio cage first. I was going to counter with ‘that’s because it doesn’t come out’ but couldn’t be bothered. Nor could I be bothered enquiring how I attach a new cage to some flimsy plastic facia in such a way that it remains secure. The thing I can buy looks to just be a hole filler, rather than anything to bolt into the car.