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.
Summary reports of some of the NASB 2001 annual Meeting presentations
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,
conjunction with the Challenges Conference hosted by Radio Canada International.
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).
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
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 .
IBB Up-date Report
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
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.
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.
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.
WRC ’03 IWG-6 Committee Report
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.
WRC ’03 and HF/iBIQUITY IBOC Report
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.
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
NASB Associate Members
Continental Electronics Corporation
George Jacobs and Associates
HCJB World Radio
TCI, A Dielectric Company
Thales Broadcast & Multimedia