Saturday, May 04, 2024

Crystal Radio met DRM

On 4 May 2024, a group of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) enthusiasts, including Dr. Mohan Natarajan (VU3CUU), Nakeeran, Vaipadi Kumar, Raja (VU3LJX), and Dr. Jaisakthivel (VU3UOM), gathered at Marina Beach near All India Radio, Chennai, to discuss the future prospects of DRM Radio.

In an interesting twist, Dr. Jaisakthivel showcased a vintage crystal radio alongside modern DRM equipment, demonstrating the evolution of radio technology. Notably, crystal radios operate without external power, harnessing energy from ambient radio waves.

Following this, Dr. Mohan showcased a DRM radio within his Maruti Suzuki car. This gathering was organized by Vaipadi Kumar, who administers a Tamil WhatsApp group dedicated to DRM Radio. (Jaisakthivel)

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Retro Audio Maximum Postcards


I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to the Postcrossing forum for facilitating the acquisition of these radio-themed maxi cards from a kind Postcrosser in Australia. Purchasing them directly would have cost nearly ₹3,000, but through the magic of Postcrossing, I was able to obtain them in a swap for a mere ₹75. Thank you, Yuri, and thank you to the entire Postcrossing community!

Here are the details of the Maximum Cards:

HMV Caprice, 1961

The popular HMV Caprice was a mid-range stereogram in a low-boy unit, released in 1961. It had a four-valve amplifier, AM radio and BSR fully-automatic turntable.

Kriesler Master Multi Sonic, 1966

The 1966 Kriesler Master Multi Sonic was a hi-fidelity, top-of-the-line stereogram, which boasted eight speakers. It included a plug-in microphone, eight-valve amplifier and a Garrard fully-automatic turntable.

AWA B28 Portable, 1963

The 1963 pale-pink AWA B28 was a portable and battery-operated mono record player, an affordable option for the youth market. While not a high-quality item, it included AWA’s revolutionary, locally-produced transistor amplifier. AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd) was the first manufacturer in Australia to produce a transistor radio. (Australia Post)

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Ham Radio connect with the satellite


Each year, during the ham radio class, we escort the students into the field to provide them with firsthand experience of radio operations. This year, as customary, we brought them to the VU2OW Ham Station. Mr. Rajesh (VU2OW) warmly greeted us, emphasizing the importance of approaching with love whenever we reach out. Despite my last-minute request, he graciously welcomed us with the same affection.

Distinguished from other ham stations, VU2OW boasts the unique capability to both receive and transmit all satellite broadcasts, including DMR, using a valve radio box at a single location. The hospitality extended by Mr. Rajesh's family during our visits never fails to amplify the students' enthusiasm.

Mr. Rajesh, an avid homebrew enthusiast, mentioned his ongoing experiments during this visit. Of particular note was a finely crafted key port by his son, designed to endure substantial pressure. The array of antennas adorning the attic of his residence is remarkable, with more than ten antennas often observed in one location. Undoubtedly, today's visit has left an indelible impression on the students, providing them with a memorable experience.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The producer of the "World Radio" DX program has passed away.

 We must not overlook certain individuals in our lives, and the late N.C. Gnanaprakasam (NCG) Sir was undoubtedly one such person. He played a pivotal role in my radio journey, a statement not made lightly.

For eight years, he accompanied me on my All India Radio Chennai station ventures, supporting my studies by granting me the opportunity to work part-time while pursuing my Master's in Journalism at Madras University.

When the idea of initiating a Tamil program akin to the DX PROGRAM, exclusively heard on foreign English radio stations, crossed my mind, Mr. NCG was the first person I thought of. At the time, he served as the program producer for All India Radio's external service, "Thiraikadal Adivarum Tamil Nadham."

Assigned to produce and present the "Radio World" program, he promptly granted permission without hesitation. The 54-week show garnered a global following due to our unique practice of sending the World's Smallest QSL Card to listeners who sent letters and Reception Reports.

Some international listeners even sent US dollars along with their letters, earmarked for purchasing airmail stamps. I vividly recall Mr. NCG's words on that occasion, expressing amazement that people worldwide were contributing dollars for a Tamil radio program.

The program, later titled "World Radios," was published as a book by NCBH, with Mr. NCG being the first to present and commend it.

A ten-page letter of appreciation in English for the "Vanoli Ulagam" program prompted astonishment from the director, Mr. Sreenivasaraghavan. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the letter, written by Mr. Balasubramaniam, marked the beginning of a lasting friendship.

Mr. NCG played a significant role in fostering connections, consistently reaching out whenever my articles appeared in magazines or newspapers. His warmth and affection during those morning calls left an indelible mark.

Our collaborative efforts in documenting the cinema industry, particularly through programs like "Cinema Neram" and "Nenjam Marappathillai" on FM RAINBOW, could fill multiple volumes if written today. Regrettably, no program archives exist due to recordings being on spool tapes.

Memories, such as a Diwali special program with actress Simran, remain etched in my mind. Despite a mishap with the spool tape, Simran's gracious assistance in re-recording the audio conveyed a valuable lesson without reproach.

Numerous recollections flood my thoughts, making it impractical to detail them all here. Reason has been a constant guiding force in my life. The void left by NCG is immeasurable. Who will now call to acknowledge the publication of my articles in the newspaper?

Regardless of the task at hand, NCG consistently sought opinions, irrespective of age, teaching us the importance of seeking counsel.

NCG was recuperating at Salem Gokulam Hospital post-surgery. Regrettably, he departed on Thursday, 25-1-24, at 12:30 am. His remains will be transported to Chennai and kept at Lloyd's Colony house until 3 pm tomorrow.

His loss is irreplaceable, and expressing condolences to his family during this difficult time feels inadequate. My deepest sympathies to Revathi Madam, Sister Karpagam, Sabari, and Mr. Rajamani Sir.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

World Radio Day Postcard Released

In commemoration of World Radio Day on February 13, a specially crafted postcard featuring All India Radio's Head Quarter's, published by The Postcards Originals, was unveiled at the 'Salt' book stall (Stall No: 60) during the Chennai Book Fair 2024. Renowned Tamil translator and poet, Anuradha Anand, formally released the postcard, which was then received by the youthful postcrosser, Yazhini. This exclusive World Radio Day postcard is available for purchase on The Postcards Originals website.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

VOA Picture Postcard on Madurai


The most interesting postcards from Voice of America (VOA) are those that capture the essence of the Tamil Nadu experience. These postcards often feature iconic Madurai landmarks, such as the Madurai Meenatch Temple or the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, or depict everyday scenes of Madurai life. Some of the most popular VOA postcards include:

Friday, November 03, 2023

Research Book on All India Radio


அகில இந்திய வானொலிக்காக ஒரு ஆய்வுப் புத்தகம்.


We are now publishing a book on All India Radio, following our success with BBC, CMG Tamil - China Radio International, Radio Veritas Asia , and CIR - Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation. We invite articles from radio listeners, journalists, and researchers. Submit articles by November 30, 2023, for publication in a book with an ISBN code.

பிபிசி, சீன வானொலி, வேரித்தாஸ் வானொலி மற்றும் இலங்கை வானொலிகளைத் தொடர்ந்து தற்பொழுது அகில இந்திய வானொலிக்காக மற்றும் ஒரு ஆய்வுப் புத்தகம்.

நேயர்கள், ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் மற்றும் ஆய்வாளர்களிடம் இருந்து கட்டுரைகளை வரவேற்கிறோம். கட்டுரையை 30-11-2023 முன் அனுப்பி வைக்கலாம்.

தெரிவு செய்யப்படும் கட்டுரைகள் ISBN குறியீட்டுடன் வெளியிடப்படும்