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Listening to the radio - UniLang

Listening to the radio

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Listening to the radio

Postby meidei » 2014-02-05, 17:48

So, this just in: 93% of Cypriots listen to the radio every day. In my age group (18-24), that's 96%. The average person listens to the radio 2,5 hours each day.Source

I know I do love listening to the radio, both for talk/news, and for music. For the first category, I guess it was to do with the lack of Greek/Cypriot Greek podcasts. But we are also lucky to have few stations that play really good music. Spotify, which we got 1 month ago, is still too weak when it comes to Greek rock. Getting better, but too little, too late.

I wonder how is it like for the rest of the world. I expect radio to be more popular east of Cyprus rather than west of it. That's where medium wave and short wave radio is also more popular, for reasons not too hard to see, even though BBC World Service doesn't seem to get it (hint: There's no reliable internet in Africa and large parts of Asia. Computers are expensive. Shortwave is more difficult to be censored than internet or local FM relays) [I do have a strong interest in broadcasting technologies. Sometimes I find the medium more exciting than the content)

So, what I usually listen:

 (el-cy) Kanali 6 (106MHz), broadcasting from Limassol, the only nationwide station to do so, instead from Nicosia. News and good rock music (Greek and international). The station I listen the most too.
 (el-cy) 107,6 (107,6MHz), Greek entechno music
 (el) ERA Radio 2 (9420KHz), Greek entechno music
 (en) BBC World Service (iPlayer), specific radio documentaries/interviews
 (en) BBC Radio 4ex (iPlayer), audio dramas
 (fr) France Info (tunein.com), news
 (ja) NHK World (9620KHz), I usually manage to get reception from 12 o' clock news

My mum listens to CyBC Radio 3 24/7 (keeps her portable radio always on, never mind the batteries)
A friend I have listens to British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) Radio 2, on 95.3MHz.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby Allekanger » 2014-02-05, 19:11

That's funny, I actually noticed your radio pictured in the other thread thinking you must listen to it quite frequently, since you carry it with you. :)

My dad has quite the collection of radios, ranging from maybe the 50's to present. Yet to me, radio is something I've mostly experienced briefly during a car ride or in the occasional Saturday mornings when my mum listens to this music crossword show. I guess I listen to music mostly through the internet.

When I was a kid I was told that you could listen to stations from the other side of the world (well, at least Russia), but whenever I tried to tune in to something I always ended up with the same old channels from home, so I guess I was a bit disappointed with the whole thing.

I agree though, that the medium itself is more interesting than its content.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby meidei » 2014-02-05, 19:38

Yup. I carry that radio with me for the shortwave broadcasts. As you mentioned:
When I was a kid I was told that you could listen to stations from the other side of the world

That's actually true! You just need a shortwave receiver, not the usual FM/AM one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B29Pl01Tvhc

And here's Voice of Greece (ERT) being received in Canada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlOf5zpFQnk

For local, FM radio, I just use my phone's FM tuner.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby Marah » 2014-02-05, 19:52

I don't usually listen to the radio but now that I have installed TuneIn on my cellphone I do listen to some Swedish/Italian/Portuguese podcasts from time to time.
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby linguoboy » 2014-02-05, 21:53

meidei wrote:So, this just in: 93% of Cypriots listen to the radio every day.

Interestingly, the figure is identical for USAmericans. However, the average amount of time we spend listening is about half, at 1 hr 23 ms/day.

I've hardly listened to a radio in years. When I lived alone, I had a clock radio alarm and I'd stay tuned in to the local "alternative music" station for the duration of my morning ritual. But when I moved in with my spouse, I soon discovered I could trust myself to wake up at a regular time without an alarm. The only times I can remember playing the radio in last five years were too listen to the show of someone I know. He has the Friday morning slot at the local independent online radio station.

At work, I used to listen to Internet radio stations to make the time go by quicker. But then I started doing less repetitive data processing and answering more questions so it became awkward to keep taking the headphones on and off. Now I don't listen to music until I get home.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby razlem » 2014-02-06, 0:53

I rarely listen to the radio, just because of all the advertisements (plus, they try to cheat you by speeding up the tempos of the songs :P)
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-02-08, 0:36

There are very few times in my life that I have ever listened to the radio. My parents sometimes turn the radio on if they're on the road and want to know the traffic situation, but only my mom ever wants to listen to music in the car. When she does, she just pops in a CD or audiocassette of old Malayalam movie songs instead of listening to the radio. (I think this is why I'm really unfamiliar with American music, in stark contrast to, say, Malayalam movie songs! :lol:). I have heard music on the radio a few times, although I'm not entirely sure I remember why the radio was on in all of those cases.

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby meidei » 2014-02-08, 1:21

Needless to say, I'm still shocked to hear that radio isn't just unpopular (I expected that), but almost quaint, for you people :shock:

In any case, I found out that there's a much easier way to listen to the BBC Radio documentaries than iPlayer:
They are available as mp3 files here, without region-blocking.
So, to celebrate the occasion, I separated the podcasts I listen to from my general RSS feed reader, and began using a podcast client.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby Car » 2014-02-08, 11:33

79.7% of people in Germany listen to the radio. Apparently people listen to it 247 minutes per day, which surprises me because sources from 2012 only list 199 minutes. In any case, I find it surprisingly high since my impression is that apart from traffic information, the radio is mostly something people listen to in the background while driving or getting up in the morning.
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Random happiness thread 3

Postby meidei » 2014-06-23, 20:27

I have to say, I'm excited over the recent proof that the new Eton radios aren't vaporware
http://swling.com/blog/2014/06/dates-of ... ve-radios/

Those are US dates of course, but it's still some confirmation Traveller III will be available in a couple months.

Seriously, the specs of that receiver with the pricetag of 60~70USD are hard to beat.

AM 520 – 1710 kHz
FM 87.5 – 108 MHz (with RDS, and indications that the UK model also has DAB)
LW 150 – 285 kHz
SW 3150 – 21950 kHz

I really need a new radio. My no-name buddy failed me at work. It's FM reception is rather week in the upper half of the FM band (where my two favourite stations are, 106 and 107.6), and I am forced to listen to the crappy top 10 Greek charts music the management's station of choice plays over the tannoy system. (The same 10 shitty songs every morning for the last month :? )

PS: And no, my phone's speakers can't overpower the dozens of speakers around. The combined result is even more cacophonous than a Anna Vissi song on loop.
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Re: Random happiness thread 3

Postby loqu » 2014-06-25, 14:29

meidei wrote:The combined result is even more cacophonous than a Anna Vissi song on loop.

:lol: got some friends who would kill you for that sentence. Anna Vissi is kind of very popular among Spanish Eurovision fans.

I hope that, like you said, the price of older receivers will drop. I'm in love with the Tecsun PL-660 and I'm waiting till I can get it.
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Re: Random happiness thread 3

Postby meidei » 2014-06-25, 15:33

:lol: got some friends who would kill you for that sentence.

Pop music was better in the 80s and early 90s, and that includes Anna Vissi. But nowadays the lyrics sound as if compiled by a random song generator.


I hope that, like you said, the price of older receivers will drop. I'm in love with the Tecsun PL-660 and I'm waiting till I can get it.

It should drop, if we can ever predict market forces that is :lol: . Amazon US already seems to offer 10~40% price reduction on some SW receivers. (But I haven't checked if they ship electronics to EU). And there's always eBay for used ones, since the hardcore listeners will be replacing their gear with more recent models.

PL-660 appears to be a really good receiver, would get that one if only it had FM-RDS. It makes reception reports easier.

Btw, last night I realised that the only thing stopping me from becoming a radio receiver collector is that I don't have many to spare in non-essential stuff*. I spend more than an hour on eBay looking at vintage desktop radios and modern hi-end receiver decks. And then I wanted to buy when another 5EUR single-chip SW/MW/FM receiver as an interim solution.
What I should do instead is find the time to visit my grandfather in Larnaka, and loot his defunct broadcasting studio. I'm sure he has receivers from before Cyprus even existed. I noticed one (tube radio!) decorating their kitchen, and it had a really old British plug (not the current British plug).

*A single proper portable receiver is essential though. But not more than one.

And on a tangent, I should really get someone to go up the roof at turn our TV aerial towards the sea. Apparently it's trivially easy to receive Israel's DVB-T channels if you are in the southern coast of the Cyprus. Actually it would be better if we had a second aerial so that my brothers can keep watching their football matches with Greek commentary.
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Re: Random happiness thread 3

Postby loqu » 2014-06-25, 15:56

You are right about the RDS, it's quite useful for DXing in the FM band. But it's not used in any other band, is it?

I was interested in the PL-660 for its range of reception, the continuous SW, the Air band and the SSB capability. FM is not that interesting here, except for the strange times of very good propagation that I get to hear American Forces Network in the remoteness. Apart from that, in my area I can't get any other interesting stations in the FM band; Portugal, Gibraltar and Morocco are too far away. And the local stations are boring as hell; apart from that, 40% of them are fortune tellers all day long.
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Re: Random happiness thread 3

Postby meidei » 2014-06-25, 16:10

You are right about the RDS, it's quite useful for DXing in the FM band. But it's not used in any other band, is it?

Yes, only on FM. It's a really small thing that I obsess over, but here in Cyprus there's fertile ground for FM DXing with TRNC, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Egypt being all so close. Not knowing any Arabic or Hebrew makes RDS rather important to me.

A couple of months ago I got a very cheap SDR tuner from ebay. It died on its third day, but not before I could listen to the FIR Nicosia :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L-0lj5lEOo

But I don't think I will miss the AIR band. SSB would be interesting , and yes, continuous SW is the most important of all. My current receiver has a lot of gaps because it breaks down SW in 6 bands (and that's where it's bug, exhibiting a mixing effect with a ±910KHz offset, becomes a feature).
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby loqu » 2014-06-25, 16:27

meidei, do you mind if we come to this thread to discuss the SW things?

meidei wrote:
You are right about the RDS, it's quite useful for DXing in the FM band. But it's not used in any other band, is it?

Yes, only on FM. It's a really small thing that I obsess over, but here in Cyprus there's fertile ground for FM DXing with TRNC, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Egypt being all so close. Not knowing any Arabic or Hebrew makes RDS rather important to me.

A couple of months ago I got a very cheap SDR tuner from ebay. It died on its third day, but not before I could listen to the FIR Nicosia :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L-0lj5lEOo

But I don't think I will miss the AIR band. SSB would be interesting , and yes, continuous SW is the most important of all. My current receiver has a lot of gaps because it breaks down SW in 6 bands (and that's where it's bug, exhibiting a mixing effect with a ±910KHz offset, becomes a feature).

I had no idea what a SDR was :o so you buy it, and what do you receive? an antenna and the software? or only the software? Doesn't the AC plug of the computer interferes with the actual reception?

I live quite close to the airport so I would be able to pick up some airport transmissions, but yeah, all in all I guess it's not a very busy band.

(I just looked at a map and you live much closer to Lebanon and Syria than I initially thought. Can you see the Levant from your coast in a clear day?)
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby meidei » 2014-06-25, 16:56

meidei, do you mind if we come to this thread to discuss the SW things?

That's actually what I should have done from the beginning. Maybe the General Forum moderators could infix the posts from the RHT?


I had no idea what a SDR was :o so you buy it, and what do you receive? an antenna and the software? or only the software? Doesn't the AC plug of the computer interferes with the actual reception?

Depends on the SDR. What I got was a DVBT USB tuner that was accidentally discovered to be able to be used as a software defined radio. The software that makes the TV tuners work as SDR was written by 3rd party hackers.

http://rtlsdr.org/
http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/
http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr

The one I got, the cheapest you can get has the chip RTL2382U, which can pass 30MHz to 945MHz (so VHF-L, Ham Radio, FM, AIR, more Ham, VHF-H, UHF, and old GSM near the end), other tuners accidentally go higher but they are ~50USD (what I got was just 10USD).

And then you have dedicated SDRs, which are more pricey, but they are designed for that purpose, instead of being a fortunate hack. You can get shortwave ones for example. (Or you can get an "frequency upconverter" for one of the cheap DVB-T tuners than can work as SDR)

AC does interfere, but I connected it to the house aerial which is a shielded cable, and my reception was generally good. That wouldn't cut it for SW and MW though, you'd need to use a powered USB extension cable at keep the USB dongle at a safe distance, and use a dedicated antenna (because obviously the aerial's cable runs alongside the house's whole electrical wiring).


(I just looked at a map and you live much closer to Lebanon and Syria than I initially thought. Can you see the Levant from your coast in a clear day?)

Hm. Never tried, but I don't think I'd be able to. Maybe from Famagusta proper (in TRNC) it is possible.
What's certain is that you can see Turkey from Keryneia's coast.
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby loqu » 2014-06-25, 18:34

the SDR thing sounds nice, specially if you can use the aerial antenna for it. I'll have a look into that.

Forget what I said about seeing the Levantine coast from your place. I've measured it with Google Earth and it's 170 km from Protaras (don't know where you are, but I remember it was in that corner of Cyprus) to Tartus in Syria. That's the same distance between Barcelona and Mallorca and one is only visible from the other in very, very clear days, so once a year or less. But if it's close enough to receive broadcasting stations from there, it's great.

By the way
meidei wrote:Keryneia's coast.

hey, I remember that from my religious culture classes! Hercules was there, wasn't he? :P
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby meidei » 2014-06-25, 18:50

I'm more near Ayia Napa, but the distance between all those towns isn't that big.

Not sure about Hercules. There's a Byzantine folk hero associated with Keryneia. Digenis Akritas* (a mythical Greek-Syrian Roman subject who was a border mercenary). As one of the tales go, Digenis was chasing a Saracen solider. That soldier tried to escape to Cyprus, but Digenis, suddenly transformed into a giant, smashed him to the ground. His palm shaped the mountain range south of Keryneia, which is known as Pentadaktylos/Beşparmak (Five-fingered), because it has 5 peaks. Digenis Akritas also killed Charon (Death) in a folk poem that I actually remember finding very pleasant in highschool (we need more Byzantine folk lit in school, and less Ancient Greek classes)

* His name literally means Bi-heritaged Boardman.
Knows:Cypriot Standard Greek & Cypriot Spoken Greek (el-cy)| (en)|Standard Greek - Greece's Written Standard (el)
Attempting:  (tr) (sgn-CY)
Resuming shorty: (fr)
Forgetting: (ja)

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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby meidei » 2014-06-25, 19:01

To remain on topic, I found this on reddit, and I want to make it my winter project
http://makerf.com/posts/mighty_simple_s ... ransmitter
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Resuming shorty: (fr)
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Re: Listening to the radio

Postby Levike » 2014-06-25, 19:55

As far as I know the only reason
why people here listen to radio is to have background noise.

I only turn it on when I'm in the car, just so I can listen to music.

The only ones I can name are Radio Zu and Radio GaGa.
The 1st one is one of the biggest
whilst the 2nd is local to my home town Newmarket.
Hungarian (hu) Nem egy nap alatt épült Buda vára. _______German (de) Wo ein Wille ist, da ist auch ein Weg.
English (en) Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. __Spanish (es) No hay ceguera peor que no querer mirar.
Romanian (ro) Nu întinde arcul până nu este bine aşezată săgeata.


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