Radio Update for April 2019

March left little time for radio-related activities–writing and garden prep were priorities–but I did manage to get out with the Tecsun PL-380 for a few listening sessions over the past few weeks. Aside from domestic and Cuban stations, the stations I’m hearing most frequently are Radio Exerior de España, which transmits for North America, and Rádio Nacional da Amazônia.  I’ve picked up a few one-off listens, including Helliniki Radiophonia and China Radio International, the latter through its Cuban transmitter.

Overall, I’m still happy with the radio itself, though one odd thing I’ve noticed on the lowest end is that our local AM blowtorch, 1080, leaks into the audio.  When I’m away from the area next, I plan on checking out these lower frequencies to see if the same occurs elsewhere.  That said, as we’re moving further into spring, I’ve noticed some deterioration of signals.  This might be due to the shift to DST, too.  Given that I live in an electrically noisy neighborhood, I’m curious how it will do elsewhere.

And on another radio-related subject, I passed the amateur radio Technician License exam.  So now, it’s a matter of getting on the air, which is complicated by the above mentioned neighborhood.  I got the license for a few reasons: the subject is inherently interesting to me, ham radio is pertinent to my novel-in-progress, and there’s something enjoyable about learning anything new.  But the biggest takeaway from sitting for the exam itself was putting myself back into the position of taking an exam.  It’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this–the last exam I took was a MySQL certification test years ago.  The unfamiliarity of it made me hold on to the experience because it made me wonder how the protagonist (and her father) would have felt in the same situation.  She took her exam as a teen, and, well, we’ll just say I’ve already hit midlife.  So would this be just another test in a life directed by the high school exams she’s be used to studying for?  Or would there be more to it for her?

Anyway, that’s my month in radio.  What have you been listening to lately?