NASB  Newsletter
February 2002

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SHORTWAVE BROADCASTERS, Inc.
10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972

Ph:  (863) 763-0281               Fax: (863) 763-1034 or 8867               E-mail:  nasbmem@rocketmail.com

Member of AIB (The Association for International Broadcasting)
Associate Member of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale)
 

2002  NASB Annual Meeting

The  NASB 2002 annual Meeting is scheduled for May 4 at the Crowne Plaza in Arlington, Virginia.  A more detailed notice of the particulars will be distributed separately.
 
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Summary reports of some of the NASB  2001 annual Meeting presentations follow:
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AIB (Association for International Broadcasting) Report
Jeff White---Radio Miami International
 
Membership has grown over the past year.  An electronic newsletter, and a glossy printed publication, “The Channel”, are available to those interested.  The first annual  AIB  meeting is planned to be held in conjunction with the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in England in May 2002.

Also in May 2002, the  AIB  will hold a meeting in Toronto, Canada in
conjunction with the Challenges Conference hosted by Radio Canada International.
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Continental Report
George Woodard---Continental

Continental is now a division of Metric Systems, Inc. out of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  This re-structuring puts it in a
more secure position as regards its existence as a discrete entity.

Half or more of Continental’s annual sales are defense-related.

Following their strategic alliance with Harris last year, Continental dropped their own medium wave line.  Continental presently makes 100 kw, 250 kw, and 500 kw shortwave transmitters.

George brought along a very interesting paper he’s written, “The Importance of High Modulation Indices for Shortwave Broadcasting.”  You can probably get a copy by contacting George at Continental, or contact Dan Elyea at the NASB.  You may be very surprised at what you’ll read.  He shows why some lower powered transmitters (fully modulated) will outperform higher powered transmitters (less than fully modulated).
 
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DRM   Report
Don Messer – IBB

He played recorded tests to the group, switching back and forth between digital and regular double-sideband AM modes.

The tests were conducted in July and August of 2000, and included Medium Wave, UK to Germany;  Short-wave,  Portugal to Finland (one-hop);  and Short-wave, Portugal to Cyprus (two-hop).  The power level used for the digital transmissions in these tests was 1/4  to 1/3  the power used for the AM transmissions.

In all cases the digital mode provided a noticeably higher quality of reception, and less susceptibility to interference.

The next series of tests will be long-term---six months---and should start by the end of May 2001.  The width of the occupied frequency spectrum will be carefully checked at different levels of output power.

Within the  ITU, they are developing protection ratios for digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital transmissions, on the basis of the  DRM  system.  One of the key points to determine is how much power to use on a digital channel so as to not to interfere with an adjacent analog channel.

The   DRM  hopes to start-up digital broadcasting late in 2003 following  WRC 2003 with a stat-up quantity of receivers out.  There is no consumer type receiver for digital transmissions at present.  BBC  R&D,  Deutsche Telekom, and Harris are all developing prototype exciters and receivers for digital transmissions.  Sony, Bosch, Sangean, and Hitachi will start consumer receiver design and development as soon as the standard is out in its final form (around the end of 2001).  The success of digital acceptance in the shortwave bands hinges on whether medium wave takes that approach.  Medium wave accounts for the bulk of the receivers.  Don assessed  DRM  progress and status as follows:  technically, the success is admirable;  in the regulatory aspect, they’ve done well dealing with the   ITU;  marketing probably needs a harder push;  as far as enticing manufacturers and chip manufacturers to cooperate with  DRM  and start doing work, they are behind on that.

DRM does provide for a simulcast mode (digital and double sideband AM in same channel), but has not yet tested it.  Practical receivers will have to be capable of  FM, double-sideband AM, and  DRM  digital reception.
 

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High Adventure Update Report
Paul Hunter---High Adventure Ministries

A former  CEO  of Learjet Corporation, George Otis, founded High Adventure Ministries.  They began with a radio station in the south of Lebanon by permission of the military people in control of the area.  They went on the air in September of 1979, with Medium wave and Shortwave.  About four years later, terrorists blew up their studios, killing five people.

Next, they built in Simi Valley, California, serving mostly Mexico and Central America.  Then they built on the island of Palau, with two transmitters and two curtain antennas, broadcasting into China and Southeast Asia.  The House Church of China, based in Hong Kong, has leased the facilities on Palau.

Last year, High Adventure were given five days notice to get out of South Lebanon when the Israelis pulled out.  They put the equipment into storage.  Also last year, they established a studio in Jerusalem.  They uplink to the Hot Bird satellite.  Beginning June first, they will go on Intelsat 605 over to North America and linking to Sky Angel.  They now broadcast 22 hours a day via the facilities of  DTK  in Germany.

The equipment removed from Lebanon will be used in Nigeria.

In January 2001, they signed on with a 600 W  FM  transmitter in Monrovia, Liberia.

Their present emphasis is going more into program distribution and linking up with indigenous and local groups,  AM,  FM,  and  Shortwave .

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IBB Up-date Report
John Wood-IBB

John reviewed his involvement in preparations for  WRC ’03  in the government sector.  This includes Wprking Part 6, EBU, and  IWG-6  in addition to the inter-agency work within the USA government entities that are involved with WRC ’03 preparations.  He then introduced several of his colleagues, giving them the floor for reports from their sections.
 

Del Carson-Leasing

The modern era of leasing for the  IBB  got underway in 1992 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.  It began by leasing some of the Russian and Armenian transmitters for just a few hours a day.  They now have leasing agreements with 17 separate entities from 20 different sites and are leasing in excess of 60,000 hours annually.  Their budget exceeds $10,000,000.  Leasing agreements provide about 13% of the total broadcast hours for the VoA,  RFE/RL,  and  RFA.  The trend is toward more medium wave leasing.  At present, 50,000 of the 60,000 annually leased hours are shortwave.
 
 
 
Bill Whitacre-IBB Monitoring Program

In many instances, shortwave is still the only way to deliver programming internationally.  Monitoring verifies the success of a frequency in use or the need to find a new one.  Monitoring tells what’s working and what’s not.  Remote monitoring systems now are located in 43 or 44 locations around the world.  About 50 live monitors are employed.  These monitoring resources are available to other parties besides the  IBB.  Additional  RMS  sites are being implemented, such as Cairo, Darwin, and Santiago.

 
 
Dan Fergusuon-Frequency Schedule

Their team has 1200 hours a day to schedule.

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TCI  Report
Rolf Olsen---TCI, A Dielectric Company

Dielectric Corporation just recently purchased TCI.  Overall quality and overall customer support and service remain a key concern of both companies.  Additionally, TCI  has recently purchased a tower company, Central Tower.  These acquisitions broaden the overall capabilities and support the company can offer.  Phone numbers will remain the same.  Existing e-mail addresses will function for about six months, then some will change, especially at TCI.  Dielectric itself is owned by a larger company, the  SDX Corporation.
 

Their website is  www.dielectric.com.  This will also link to  TCI  and Central Tower.

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FCC  Report
Tom Polzin – FCC

The FCC is undergoing some changes with the new administration.  The FCC has a new Chairman, and will be getting some new Commissioners.  There is talk of a possibility that the FCC may be re-organized---instead of bureaus assigned to certain types of services, the structure may be organized by function, such as licensing, spectrum allocations, enforcement, etcetera.

Question:  Under the new chairman, will changes be made to the Rules and Regulations applying to the International Service---to bring them up to date?

Tom:   The FCC may update the rules to reflect changes that have taken place because of World Radio Conferences.  And may make updates reflecting changes that are clearly in place already.  However, if changes are desired other than those already in place, that must come from the private sector---they must request that sort of change from the FCC.

Question:  Tell us about the upcoming HFCC meeting in Montreal.

Tom:  Everyone is invited to observe (or participate, if a licensee).  The meeting will be held the last week of August.  It is open to private sector participation.

Question:  Is there anything we can do as an organization to get the frequency-hours fees charged to the International Service stopped or reduced?

Tom:   Those fees were initiated by Congress, not by the FCC.  Since it is a law that Congress implemented (has a built-in cost of living increase formula), to change it,  International broadcasters would have to go to Congress and try to make a case for a change.

Question:  What process would we see going on at the HFCC in Montreal?

Tom:  A bunch of bi-lateral negotiations.  Stations involved in a particular frequency collision try to resolve it on a multilateral basis.  It’s not everyone sitting down at one big table and people talking back and forth.  It’s a bunch of little bi-lateral negotiations.

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WRC  ’03  IWG-6  Committee Report
Walt Ireland-ARRL

Three agenda items for  WRC ’03  deal with HF:  introduction of digital technology;  realignment of the 7 MHz band between the amateurs and the broadcasters;  determining the adequacy of spectrum for HF broadcasting between 4 and 10 MHz.

Part of the proposal regarding digital broadcasting will be to defuse the regulations presently existing that relate to single sideband requirements for access to new frequency allocations in 2007, and the mandated conversion to SSB in 2015.

The requirement for a 10 kHz bandwidth for digital transmissions may be a major obstacle at WRC ’03  or  WAC ’06  as the broadcasters seek additional spectrum allocations in the 4-10 MHz range.  This may be regarded as being a step backward in frequency conservation as compared to the previously mandated change over to single sideband transmission.

Broadcasters must define clearly what they really want in terms of additional frequency allocations---how much and where.  Merely proving a shortfall of frequency-hours will not suffice  for the purposes of  WRC ’03.

If the USA goes into the  WRC with a package that specifies potential frequencies that we’d like to have allocated, in addition to proposed changes to the radio regulations, the  WRC  then has something to work with.

A major effort is being made to come up with a unified position for  WRC ’03  by the  USA  private and government sectors.  Only one position from the  USA  will go to the  WRC.  IWG-6  is the informal working group established by the FCC for the private sector.  Government representatives do attend and participate in  IWG-6, assisting in the preparation of preliminary views, and in the preparing of position documents.

IWG-6  meetings are being held once a month.  These preparations must be completed by September for the broadcasters, and by October for the amateurs.  The final date for proposals going to the   CPM (Conference Preparatory Meeting) is May 31, 2002.  The  CPM  provides the foundation that is given to the  WRC  in order for the  WRC  to do its work.

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WRC ’03 and HF/iBIQUITY  IBOC  Report
Don Messer---IBB

WRC ’03  and  HF

There are 39 agenda items to be considered by  WRC ’03, three of which relate to  HF  broadcasting.  Don emphasized the importance of having the  HF  issues really worked out in detail by the US.

The CPM (Conference Preparatory Meeting) takes place several months before the  WRC.  It collects information on all the agenda items, technical and regulatory, from the Study Groups and from the administrations and sector members.

Chapter five of the  CPM  report deals with the  HF  issues.  It will go to the  WRC  delegates.  Technical alternatives and conclusions coming from the  study groups will be included in this report.  Don Messer is the International Chair for Chapter Five of the  CPM  Report, so all the inputs on  HF  items will be channeled to him.

During the next year (prior to the CPM report), the USA must come up with positions and proposals.  Much study work remains in developing these and coming to a unified USA stance.

Working on  WRC  preparations in the  USA  are the  FCC, the   US  government entities coming through  IRAC, and the State Department.  Preparations are presently at the stage of comparing Preliminary Views on all 39 of the agenda items between what the  FCC  has developed so far, and what the  government has developed so far.  Harmonization of these views is crucial to a unified  USA  approach.  At present, there is considerable divergence of Preliminary  Views on some agenda items.

iBIQUITY  IBOC  Update

A year ago, there were 3 entities developing  AM & FM  digital broadcasting modes for the  USA:  USA  Digital Radio, Lucent Technologies, and Digital Radio Express.  A little less than a year ago, iBIQUITY  was formed from  USA  Digital and Lucent Technologies.  The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) and CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) have jointly formed the  NRSC (National Radio Systems Committee).  This advisory committee is doing all the technical assessment of the  IBOC (in-band on-channel) iBIQUITY  systems for  AM and FM.  The Committee is broken down into two subgroups---one designing the test planning, the other doing evaluation (Evaluation Working Group).  Don is Chairman of the Evaluation Group.  Lab and field testing is being conducted by an independent group.  The tests are nearly completed for  FM, and are beginning for  AM (should be completed by August).  All this should lead to standardization by the  FCC  of the  IBOC  system for use in the US.  Extensive listener testing is being conducted as part of the evaluation.  By the end of 2001, full information should be available about the performance of the  IBOC  AM and FM systems prepared for use in the  USA.  These systems are designed for simulcast compatibility.

Question from the floor:  What is the relationship between  IBOC  and the  DRM?

 Don:  There is an agreement between the two groups to work towards allowing both systems to be introduced into an  ITU  system recommendation with neither group disputing the effectiveness of the other’s approach.

An effort is being made by some members of both groups to merge the working of the two systems to the extent that a single consumer receiver can work with either system.  The major improvement resulting from a change to digital radio will be for the  AM  modes, medium wave and short wave.  The result for  AM  modes will be equivalent  FM  monophonic quality with much less susceptibility to adjacent and co-channel interference.

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NASB Members

Adventist World Radio
Assemblies of Yahweh
Family Stations, Inc.
Far East Broadcasting Company
Fundamental Broadcasting Network
Herald Broadcasting Syndicate
High Adventure Ministries
LeSea Broadcasting Corporation
Radio Miami International
Trans World Radio
World Christian Broadcasting
WEWN Shortwave Radio
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NASB Associate Members

Antenna Products
Continental Electronics Corporation
George Jacobs and Associates
Harris Corporation
HCJB World Radio
IBB
TCI, A Dielectric Company
Thales Broadcast & Multimedia
 

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