NASB NEWSLETTER             www.shortwave.org

 

MARCH  2004

                

IN THIS ISSUE:

Dubai  HFCC Report

NASB  Annual Meeting

USA  DRM  Meeting

Closing of  WSHB     

New  NASB  Associate Member

                                                                            

 

Shortwave Frequency Planning Comes to the Middle East

A review of the A04 HFCC Conference by Jeff White, NASB President

 

The A04 High Frequency Coordinating Conference (HFCC) in Dubai was very well-organized by Emirates Media.  Special thanks is due to Mr. Mahmoud Al-Redha, the Head of Engineering at Emirates Media's Radio and TV Center.  The facilities at the Shangri-La Hotel were excellent.  Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, a very wealthy little country bordering Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman, and just across the Persian Gulf from Iran.  Dubai's oil money was used to develop the country very highly and to expand its economic base to various aspects of international trade and tourism.  It is a very orderly, clean, almost Disneyland-like place which has much experience with international conferences of all types.  Emirates Media sponsored all of the daily lunches during the event, as well as three hospitality dinners -- one around the Shangri-La's hotel pool, another on board a boat, and the other at a cultural park with a surprise arrival by helicopter and personal greeting to all conference delegates by Sheik Abdulla Bin Zaid, the Minister of Information and Culture and Chairman of Emirates Media.  The Sheik then proceeded to invite us into a nearby palace for a wonderful Arabian dinner.

 

The HFCC Conference was conveniently held during the month-long Dubai Shopping Festival, an annual event which draws people from various parts of the world.  This enabled many of us to take advantage of the excellent prices on items such as electronic goods -- or in my wife's case, clothes, shoes and jewelry.  Dubai is supposedly one of the best places in the world to buy diamonds and gold.  For my part, I found a Sony digital car radio with coverage of practically the entire shortwave spectrum for the unbelievable price of about US$ 93.  I also noted that about 90% of the radio receivers I found in a large hypermarket called Carrefours had shortwave coverage, which probably means that people in this part of the world listen a lot to shortwave.  The same store had small imitation Sony shortwave receivers available for as little as $5 and $6!  Of course, people in the UAE also watch a lot of international television, and there was a great variety of free-to-air satellite receivers available for as little as about US$ 68.  Looking on the roofs of the houses and apartment buildings in Dubai, it appeared that virtually everyone has a satellite dish.

 

An excursion into the desert

 

My wife and I arrived in Dubai a few days before the conference began, so we decided to take an all-day tour to a place called Al Ain, on the border with Oman.  Our guide/driver was from Afghanistan, and we went with two other couples visiting from Kuwait.  We made a brief stop at the horse and camel racing tracks on the outskirts of Dubai (yes, camel racing is a very popular pastime here), then ventured out into the desert where our driver did something I have always wanted to do.  He took our four-wheel-drive vehicle off the road and straight out into the sand dunes, up to the edge of a Bedouin camp and goat farm.  Then it was on another couple of hours to Al Ain, crossing some very high mountains en route.  Because of the elevation, it was actually very cold and windy.  Al Ain itself is kind of an oasis town of beautiful parks and recreation areas, located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  (The UAE is a federation of seven emirates.).  We visited the Sheik Zayed Museum, which honors the country's founder and supreme ruler, who used to live in Al Ain.  For lunch, we crossed over into the town of Buraimi in Oman and had a nice meal at the Buraimi Hotel.  In the afternoon, we visited a large camel market on our way back to Dubai.  I was surprised to learn that even the smallest camel costs about US$ 1000.

 

Many people in the UAE want to hear foreign news from satellite TV or shortwave because they are expatriates.  In fact, most people in the country are not UAE citizens.  They come from India, Pakistan, Iran, the Philippines and many other countries to work in the UAE's oil and other industries, and send money back to their relatives abroad.  The standard of living is very high in the Emirates, even for foreign workers.  There are a lot of British and German executives in the country, and a few Americans.  Dubai's opulent shopping malls rival those found anywhere in the world, and the hotels are equally luxurious.  Because of the influx of foreign workers, Dubai's population and cuisine is multi-ethnic.  You'll find everything from McDonald's and Pizza Hut to Indian, Filipino, Indonesian and Iranian restaurants.

 

Many of the foreign workers have to renew their visas every so often, so sometimes they fly to a small Iranian island off the coast of Dubai to renew their visas and then return immediately.  Unfortunately, during the HFCC Conference, an Iranian airplane with 40-some foreign workers on board crashed just about 10 kilometers from our hotel.  I believe there were three survivors.

 

The day after the HFCC Conference ended, February 14th, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau's Middle East Television Network (the IBB's answer to Al Jazeera) began.  The MTN has a TV channel in Dubai, and the IBB's Arabic-language radio service Radio Sawa also has an FM frequency in Dubai.

 

The FCC delegation

There were five people in the FCC delegation to the HFCC Conference.  Tom Lucey attended the conference for the FCC.  George Ross and Jeff Lecureux represented KTWR-Guam.  I represented the NASB, and my wife Thais represented WRMI.  Several of our NASB  member stations sent me their requested A04 schedules before I left, and I checked to make sure that the master HFCC databases had the correct information.  I also went through the daily "collision lists" to see which FCC-licensed stations were affected.  Some of these were "regular" collisions that stations have chosen to live with over the years.  Others required some adjustment of time, frequency, antenna azimuth, etc. to eliminate possible interference.  Stanley Leinwoll and George Jacobs sent instructions in advance on how to deal with some of the specific collisions involving their clients, and I worked with Tom Lucey on these cases, with help from the KTWR team and the new ITU interference analysis software developed by Hai Pham.

For example, there were a couple of cases where China Radio International relays from Cuba and French Guiana were interfering with transmissions from WYFR in Okeechobee.  We were able to use the ITU's interference-analysis software to show the extent of the anticipated interference, and we printed it out and gave it to Tom Lucey to give to the Chinese delegation.  As of almost the end of the conference, the Chinese said they were still analyzing the data, but hopefully they have by now decided to move their relay times and/or frequencies in order not to interfere with the long-time WYFR transmissions.

NASB has also been providing the HFCC with anticipated schedules for certain Latin American shortwave stations such as RAE (Radiodifusion Argentina al Exterior) which we receive from station sources.  During the conference, Fernando Almarza from Spanish National Radio called me over to show me what was on paper a collision between a RAE transmission and a Spanish National Radio broadcast to western North America via their relay in Costa Rica.  It turned out that propagation software clearly showed that RAE's target of reaching western North America for the particular transmission from Argentina was unrealistic.  So in reality, there was no collision, but we have to contact RAE and request that they eliminate western North America from their target areas for the transmission in question.  That way, it will not show up as a collision in the future.

 

NASB's Middle East diplomacy

However, I spent much of my time at this HFCC Conference lobbying for the February and August 2005 HFCC conferences to be held in the U.S. (in Miami and Boulder, Colorado, respectively).  Thais and I prepared a package of information for each delegation with general information on the two conference proposals, plus brochures that had been provided to us by the tourist authorities in Miami and Boulder.  I prepared a special website (home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-nasb) which contains the complete copies of both conference proposals, so delegates could read the entire proposals.

The response from virtually all of the conference delegates was very positive to both proposals.  Everyone liked the idea of having a conference in Florida in February.  And not surprisingly, I heard many comments from people saying they would love to attend a conference at the Boulder propagation laboratories where most of the HF propagation software that they use was developed.  The main stumbling block -- which we anticipated -- was the concern of delegates from certain countries (particularly the Arab countries and Iran) about possible problems obtaining visas to enter the U.S.  Thanks to a personal introduction from our associate member Ludo Maes of TDP, I had a very cordial meeting with two of the three members of the Iranian delegation, who seemed to favor the idea of having the conferences in the U.S.  They are, of course, concerned about how to get U.S. visas, especially since there is no U.S. embassy in Iran.  However, I promised to look into this for them to see what would be the best way to pursue this.  Incidentally, the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting -- IRIB -- confirmed to me that due to budget problems they have recently discontinued their English and French shortwave transmissions to North America, although they are still available via Internet.  IRIB's Spanish transmissions to Latin America continue on shortwave.

I also met with Bassil Zoubi, the head of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), and assured him that we would work very closely with them on getting visas for all delegates who normally attend these conferences.  I had brought with me letters from Senator Bob Graham of Florida and Congressman Mark Udall of Colorado promising to assist us with any visa difficulties.  Bassil himself went to college in Arkansas and spent several vacations in Florida.  But he told me many stories of Arab friends and colleagues who have gone to the U.S. since Sept. 11th of 2001 with visas in hand who were still denied entry, including a well-publicized case involving the president of the University of Jordan. 

 

Since that discussion, we have made some significant headway on this issue, thanks to Florida Senator Bob Graham putting us in touch with a contact at the State Department who will be assisting us with visa and immigration issues.  We have reassured the ASBU that if the Steering Board decides to accept either or both of our proposals, we will do everything we can to help the Arab delegates to obtain visas and to avoid problems at the point of entry.  The Steering Board has promised to make a final decision on the A04 conference location by around mid-April. 


The August 2005 conference in Boulder was originally supposed to be a joint conference with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union's HF division.  However, the ABU delegates present in Dubai announced that they had received a proposal from China to hold the next joint meeting in February 2006 in Beijing, so it appears that the Boulder conference, if approved, will just be a normal HFCC/ASBU conference (which is probably good, since we have somewhat limited meeting space at the Boulder facility).

But the biggest problem the HFCC has at the moment is where to hold the B04 Conference in August of this year.  The Russians, who had offered to host the August 2004 meeting in Moscow, announced with much regret in Dubai that due to a reorganization of their transmitter division, they have had to withdraw their invitation.  Therefore, the HFCC has to scramble to find a place for the August 2004 meeting.  The HFCC has approached a few long-time members who have never hosted a conference to see if one of them might be willing to do it this August. Wherever the conference ends up being, the deadline for submission of frequency requirements for the B04 season has been set as July 11.  Administrations are being asked to include language information regarding all transmissions, to make it easier for IRUS monitors to identify the stations.  And for DRM transmissions, they are being asked to list the actual transmitter power (i.e. the lower power), rather than the higher AM equivalent power.  (The temporary internal conversion being used is +7 db to obtain the AM equivalent power.)

Perspectives and Prospects for DRM


Other issues came up at the HFCC Conference.  The IRUS monitoring committee revealed that while some progress has been made, there are still a lot of wooden transmitters being registered, and -- somewhat ominously -- there was a lot of talk about DRM transmissions interfering with adjacent-channel analog transmissions on shortwave (and sometimes vice-versa).  Actual monitoring is finding that the bandwidth taken up by DRM transmissions is much more than the supposed 9 kHz, and many people are talking openly about the need to allocate certain portions of the bands to DRM broadcasting so that it won't interfere with analog transmissions.  Others, however, are convinced that DRM transmissions can be made to conform with bandwidth guidelines so they can co-exist with analog broadcasts.  The conclusion at the final plenary session was that it was "too soon" to make any definite recommendation on this.  But at least everyone is more aware of the problem now and will hopefully take appropriate measures, and the HFCC's IRUS Committee will be monitoring these transmissions very closely.  I am not aware of any complaints of interference by NASB's DRM program on Merlin's Rampisham transmitter on 9565 kHz.  Incidentally, Merlin informed me in Dubai that the UTC time of the DRM transmission on Sundays will change from 1330 to 1230 as of March 28th, when summer time in Europe begins.  This will maintain the transmission at the same local time for European listeners.  Likewise, we will reschedule the analog edition of The Voice of the NASB via WRMI to North America from 0330 to 0230 UTC Sunday, in order to maintain the program at the same local time in North America.  This time change will take place one week later than in Europe -- that is, on April 4th.  The program series is currently scheduled to end on July 18th.

 

Representatives from TDF, Thales Broadcast and Multimedia, and Merlin Communications all gave excellent talks about the status of DRM (digital shortwave) technology focusing on technical information as well as news about recent developments in DRM broadcasting during the past six months.  Michael Penneroux, head of the DRM Commercial Committee, says Sony has committed to make digital receivers.  Kuwait is experimenting with DRM on 6055 kHz.  A major European commercial broadcaster is expected to announce its commitment to DRM during late March of 2004.  China and Russia are already committing to DRM.  The first DRM chipset receivers are expected to be available in Europe by the end of this year, with the first big sales push expected for Christmas of 2005.  DRM receiver sales forecasts for Europe are 5 million by 2007 and 8 million by 2008 in a continent with 150 million potential listeners.  Sales forecasts for China are 20 million DRM receivers by 2008.  And the good news is that prices will be dropping rapidly to about 150 euros retail in Europe by 2005 and just 50 euros per receiver in China.  The world market of shortwave receivers is about 2.5 billion, and the annual replacement rate is about 5 percent.  The key, says Penneroux, is to have as many programs as possible on the air for the next two years in order to drive the receiver market.  Presently, there are about 50 stations or program services using DRM regularly, amounting to about 500 hours per day in Europe on shortwave.  Josef Troxler from Thales demonstrated the new Mayah 2010 DRM receiver (currently costing about 700 euros) which does not require a connection to a PC.

 

DRM's Commercial Committee is focusing first on Europe, which has the most DRM receivers at present.  To achieve "synchronization" between receiver manufacturers, shortwave broadcasters, transmitter manufacturers, regulatory agencies, etc., the DRM Coalition will be setting up regional or country-by-country groups.  There are already eight in Europe, including Russia.  (NASB's Mike Adams has plans to hold a North American DRM group meeting in Washington on May 6 -- the day before our annual meeting.)  "So," says Penneroux, "shortwave is definitely not dead."

 

NASB membership in HFCC?

I held some informal discussions about the possibility of NASB requesting membership in the HFCC -- something that has been suggested by some of our stations and board members.  HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip said that we would probably fall into the lowest membership fee tier, which is about 250 euros per year.  Oldrich indicated that this situation would be treated just as they do with the Russians -- that is, they permit multiple members from Russia, but all frequency registrations must go through the GFC (General Frequency Center, I believe it's called at the moment).  So if NASB were to join the HFCC, we would have own our FMO (Frequency Management Organization) code -- which is basically a membership code -- but all frequency registrations for FCC-licensed shortwave stations would still go through the FCC. 

 

SRI saying goodbye to the HFCC

One organization that will be leaving the HFCC soon is Swiss Radio International.  SRI's Ulrich Wegmuller explained at the closing plenary session that his station will be ending its shortwave broadcasts at the end of October 2004.  At that time, SRI's programs will be transmitted only via Internet.  The Steering Board expressed some hope that SRI may return to shortwave sometime in the future to broadcast in DRM.  As a result of SRI's move to end shortwave broadcasts for the time being, the station's only remaining transmitter in Switzerland (in Sottens) will be idle, and its owner -- Swisscom -- is willing to sell the transmitter whole or as spare parts.  It's an ABB 500-kilowatt, type SK55 C3-P, operating from 5.9 to 26.1 MHz with a PSM modulator and Dynamic Carrier Control (DCC).  The unit was built in 1989.  Interested parties should contact Mr. Pierre-Andre Triponez at:  pierre-andre.triponez@swisscom.com.

 

Also at the HFCC Conference, Croatian Radio announced that it has a TCI model 611 dipole curtain antenna for sale.  The design frequency is 8.75 MHz, although it operates from 5.9-12.1 MHz.  The power capability is 100 kw.  There are five slew positions.  The antenna is complete with guyed masts, air-traffic lighting, remote control unit and all documentation.  It is stored in Zagreb, Croatia, where it was originally delivered in 1995.  The original price was US$ 300,000.  For further information, please contact Ms. Marica Risek, Croation Information Centre, Meduliceva 13, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.  Telephone +385-1-4846121.  Fax +385-1-4848634.  E-mail:  marica.risek@hic.hr.

 

A Russian adventure

 

It turned out that the least expensive way for me to get to Dubai was on Aeroflot airlines, going through Moscow.  Despite the somewhat negative reputation that Aeroflot has regarding service and safety, I had heard that things have improved considerably in recent years and decided to give it a try.  This gave me an opportunity to make a free stopover in Moscow on the way back from the Conference, where I visited the Voice of Russia on a Friday afternoon.  I met several representatives of the English and Spanish services, and I was interviewed for four different programs that they transmit, including the English-language program "Timelines" hosted by Estelle Winters.  This  gave me a chance to do a bit of public relations for the NASB.  They also gave me a bag of Voice of Russia calendars and program schedules to give away at the upcoming SWL Winterfest in Pennsylvania next month.

The Voice of Russia occupies about five floors of a 10-story building constructed in the 1950's at number 25 Pyatnitskaya Street in central Moscow.   The offices and studios are a mixture of the old and the new.  The worldwide English service is experimenting with the Dalet computer system for recording and production, and this is expected to expand to the Spanish service and other sections within a matter of months.  There are various domestic radio services also located in the Pyatnitskaya Street building, and Voice of Russia staff have complained about having less and less space, as other services (such as one owned by the Russian Orthodox Church) buy airtime and are given some of the VOR's office and studio space to work in.  But the VOR staff is very friendly and professional, and it was a great experience for me to meet personally with many of the voices that I have heard on Radio Moscow (and now the Voice of Russia) for over thirty years.  The Voice of Russia, incidentally, has recently initiated regular DRM transmissions to Europe.

For some reason, bad news seemed to follow us during our trip to Dubai -- or maybe we were following the bad news.  The day we stopped in Moscow to change planes en route to Dubai was the day of the Moscow subway bombing which killed dozens of people.  I already mentioned the deadly Iranian plane crash near our hotel in Dubai.  And when we stopped over in Moscow on the way back, the snow-filled roof caved in on a Moscow water park, killing several more.  It seemed like every time I turned on CNN International or BBC World, the top story was from Moscow or Dubai.

 

Oh yes, and in case you're wondering, I found Aeroflot to be a fairly decent airline.  The planes used for flights between New York and Moscow are Boeing 767's, and the ones used for the flights between Moscow and Dubai were brand new Airbus 319's.  The food and service were comparable to that on international flights by U.S.-owned airlines.  The flight attendants may not smile as much as their U.S. counterparts, but that's basically a cultural thing.  I saw an Aeroflot sticker on one of their office windows at the airport in Moscow which read:  "If I'm not smiling, it's because I'm working hard to make you smile."  And when a schedule change for our flight from Moscow to New York caused us to miss our connection on American Airlines from New York to Miami, Aeroflot gave us a hotel for a night in New York and four free meals.

 

Photos of the Dubai  HFCC  Conference by Hector DeCuyper of  VRT  in Belgium can be found at www.hfcc.org , then click on the  A04  meeting page.

 

 

HFCC Conference Opening Remarks by Chairman Oldrich Cip

 

Your Excellencies, honoured guests and colleagues; I would like to thank Emirates Media now on behalf of the association of the HFCC and the Arab States Broadcasting Union for inviting us to such an excellent conference venue. Broadcasters of the Arab states joined this body in 1998 and became an important part of the association. The Dubai conference is the first in the Middle Eastern region and it is certainly not only a temporary refuge from the harsh winter weather for many of us coming from the North.

 

I have spent a couple of days with the Emirates Media colleagues  and I am sure that this spacious and elegant conference room and the associated conference facilities will rank among the best we have ever had.  Let me thank therefore on behalf of all of us here first of all to Mr. Ahmed Ben Ali Albelosh, General Manager of Emirates Media; our colleague Mahmood Al Redha, Head of Engineering;  his assistant Moaz Al Sud; and their whole Emirates Media support team that have worked hard on the preparation of the first-class conference environment.

 

This is now the third conference of all world groups active in the co-ordination of broadcasting on short waves and also an occasion to look back at the process that is described and codified in the Article 12 of International Radio Regulations as well as at the results we have achieved.

 

The first such global meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 2000 still had to rely on co-ordination based on the coverage that has been defined - more or less arbitrarily - by frequency mangers with the help of the well known Ciraf zone numbers. There was no common, single database and we worked in two separate groups of co-ordinators.

 

In Bangkok, in 2002 there was already a single database that combined together all requirements of the HFCC/ASBU association as well as those of our ABU-HFC colleagues from the Asia- Pacific region. What's more, results of computer calculations based on a short wave propagation prediction method had been used to determine collisions among the requirements.

 

In our present Conference here in Dubai there will be no manipulation with exchange diskettes and the data will be collected by means of an online application combined with the local wireless network in the conference area. The same application is available permanently on the website. Consequently, a system is in place on the Internet for an ongoing updating of the global pool of seasonal frequency schedules.

 

It is evident that the time has come now to complete the development of a global system in co-operation with the ITU. In fact the original concept chartered in Article 12 envisaged such revisions to be reached during meetings of co-ordination group managements with the ITU. We are going to draw attention of the ITU back to the idea that was raised already during our first joint co-ordination conference in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Naturally, there is absolutely no intention and need to revise the basic principles laid down in the Article 12.  For example the IRUS campaign that has been launched by the HFCC/ASBU association recently, and that is supported by the ABU co-ordination group, is based on one of those key principles. According to paragraph 3 all co-ordination procedures shall be based solely on frequency requirements that become operational during the given schedule period. The IRUS campaign, i.e. identification of the real use of the spectrum, revealed a fair amount of inaccuracies in the schedules of quite a number of broadcasters, but further results indicate that things have already started to improve.

 

The introduction of DRM is another important subject on our agenda. DRM holds a promise of revitalizing interest in short wave broadcasting but even the DRM is bound to fail if there are no reliable guarantees of an effective frequency co-ordination of new digital transmissions. Therefore we feel very strongly that the guidelines for an orderly introduction of DRM into the short wave spectrum should be worked out here in the community of short wave frequency managers and co-coordinators.

 

I have tried to concentrate briefly on the role of this community in the creation of environment for global co-ordination of short wave channels for broadcasting. This has been a step-by-step process, and I would like to borrow a quotation of a famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh who once said: "Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." I believe that we have all contributed to this process.

 

                                                         -----

 

NASB Annual Meeting Update

 

The 2004 Annual Meeting of the NASB will take place on Friday, May 7th from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1489 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, Virginia.  If you wish to stay overnight at the Crowne Plaza, there is a special NASB room rate of US$ 150.00 (single or double occupancy) available by calling hotel reservations at 703-416-1600 and telling them you are with the NASB meeting.  There is free shuttle bus transportation between Reagan National Airport and the Crowne Plaza Hotel 24 hours per day.

 

At the NASB Annual Meeting on Friday morning, seminar topics will include:

 

* Update from the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau

* Dr. Kim Elliott of the IBB on the latest SW audience research

* Update and Q&A by the FCC International Bureau

* Efforts to combat Broadcast Power Line (BPL) interference on the shortwave bands

* Dr. Adrian Peterson of Adventist World Radio with a presentation about the History of AWR

* VT Merlin Communications - company profile and DRM project status

* TDF company profile and DRM commitment

* Mike Adams of FEBC - DRM update, including a report on the recent DRM meeting in China

* Report on the recent Norway & Dubai HFCC's (High Frequency Coordinating Conferences)

 

In addition, there will be a business meeting for NASB members and associate members (and those who would like to join) from about 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Friday.  The business meeting will deal with issues such as NASB's proposals to sponsor the 2005 HFCC conferences in Miami and Boulder, Colorado; the results of our international publicity campaign; and our Voice of the NASB DRM program series.

 

There is a registration fee for the NASB Annual Meeting of $50.00 for the first person from each organization, and $25.00 for each additional person from the same organization.  This includes a buffet lunch on Friday.  But you must register your attendance in advance by e-mailing Dan Elyea at fsiyfr@okeechobee.com  and giving us the name(s) of the person(s) from your organization who will attend.  The NASB meeting registration fee can be paid at the meeting on Friday, or you can send it in advance to 10400 N.W. 240th Street, Okeechobee, Fl  34972.

 

 

USA DRM Meeting on May 6th to Discuss Digital Shortwave Broadcasting

 

In addition to our annual meeting, we are also hosting -- along with Radio Free Asia -- an organizational meeting of the new USA DRM Group on Thursday, May 6 -- the day before the NASB Annual Meeting.  The USA DRM Group meeting will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the headquarters of Radio Free Asia:  2025 M Street NW in Washington, DC.  This is just a short taxi ride away (approx. $10) from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

 

While the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium has meetings throughout the year and addresses important issues on a global level, many nations have found it important to launch their own national group to coordinate issues on a national level.   Such DRM groups are already meeting in Germany, France, Spain, Finland and several other countries. For DRM to succeed, many partners have to be involved, and they are all inter-related.  DRM has recommended that each group develop a strategy for each of the following "streams:"

 

- International broadcasters (both from within and outside)

- National broadcasters

- Retailers

- Receiver manufacturers

- IC chip manufacturers

- Car industry

- Transmitter manufacturers

- Advertising

- Regulatory agencies

 

All of us in the U.S. need to work together, and we invite both DRM and non-DRM member organizations who are interested in seeing DRM succeed in the USA. The meeting will be chaired by Mike Adams of Far East Broadcasting Company, who is NASB's liaison to the DRM Consortium, and it is being hosted by Hal Creech of Radio Free Asia.  At this meeting we hope to elect a chairman and break into different streams to elect stream-leaders and begin finding ways to make DRM a reality in North America. In additional, Michel Penneroux, Chairman of the DRM Commercial Committee, will introduce the DRM worldwide development policy.

 

Each subgroup will set an agenda for the items that need to be addressed within its group and set goals and priorities. We also hope that at this first meeting we can make practical steps towards new stations getting on the air, increase awareness of DRM and make the most of the broadcasts that are already on the air.

 

There is no cost to attend this organizational meeting of the USA DRM Group.  But if you plan to attend, please e-mail info@wrmi.net as soon as possible so we can place you on the registration list.  Because of meeting space restrictions, attendance will be somewhat limited.

 

Please arrive at Radio Free Asia headquarters at 2025 M Street NW at about 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 6.  When you enter the building, go up to the RFA reception area on the third floor.  There, you will be given a half-hour tour of RFA.

 

After your tour, you will go to the first floor conference room, where you will find coffee, tea, water and some light lunch snacks.  The

formal meeting will begin at about 12:00 noon and will end at around 5:00 p.m.

 

If you have any questions about either of these meetings, please contact NASB President Jeff White at radiomiami9@cs.com.  If

your question deals only with the DRM meeting on Thursday, feel free to contact Mike Adams at madams@febc.org.  For general

and membership information about NASB, contact Secretary/Treasurer Dan Elyea at fsiyfr@okeechobee.com   We look forward to

welcoming you to Washington in May.

                                                            -----

The End of an Era - WSHB Goes Silent

 

On March 27, 1989 at 0758 UTC, shortwave station WSHB made its first broadcast from Cypress Creek, South Carolina. Fifteen years later -- at 0700 UTC on March 1, 2004 -- it signed off for the last time after broadcasting the Sunday service from The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

WSHB was one of the giants of shortwave broadcasting. Owned by the Christian Science Publishing Society (a branch of the Christian Science Church based in Boston), WSHB was one of three stations that comprised the World Service of The Christian Science Monitor. The World Service broadcast a two-hour daily English-language news and features "magazine"-type program which rotated 24 hours per day, Monday through Friday, with some hours in Spanish to certain target areas during part of its existence. Live newscasts were inserted into the program at the top and bottom of each hour. On weekends, the station became the Herald of Christian Science, with broadcasts from the Christian Science "Mother Church" in Boston and other Christian Science religious programs in a variety of languages.

 

WSHB was actually the third station in the Monitor World Service trilogy. WCSN in Scotts Corner, Maine, was the initial station. It went on air in March, 1987. KHBI in Saipan, Marianas Islands, was purchased by the Church in 1989. WCSN was sold to an Adventist organization called Prophecy Countdown in 1995, and is now owned by NASB member LeSEA Broadcasting. KHBI was sold in 1998 to Radio Free Asia, which is an associate member of NASB as part of the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau..

 

WSHB operated two 500-kilowatt transmitters, making it one of the largest and most technically-sophisticated privately-owned shortwave stations in the United States. It had six pairs of curtain antennas beamed to Europe/Africa, South America, Central America/Caribbean, Mexico/New Zealand, Western North America, and Eastern North America. The station was manned by a staff of eight engineers and operators.

 

Station Manager Ed Evans -- a former president of the NASB -- was there for both the first and last broadcasts from WSHB and everything in between. He explained that "WSHB had a couple of unique devices called 'splitters' which gave us the ability to use either transmitter into two of the antennas simultaneously. In other words, we could broadcast in four different directions from the two transmitters."

 

WSHB also operated three 750-kilowatt generator sets in conjunction with the local power company to reduce peak demands. "That greatly reduced our electric bills," said Ed Evans. "We connected our building status monitor computer to the utility substation communications computer, and we received daily communications from the utility on the need for peak shaving for that day."

 

Current NASB President Jeff White commented: "The end of WSHB's broadcasts is really the end of an era. The World Service of The Christian Science Monitor was a unique broadcast service that was widely regarded to be on the same level as the BBC World Service in terms of journalistic quality and integrity. It was an honor for me to have been associated with the World Service for a number of years as a freelance news and features correspondent."

 

Despite the highly-lauded programming of the World Service of The Christian Science Monitor, the Church decided to end all of its news programs in 1997. Since then, WSHB has aired only religious programs in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Russian, in addition to a few paid relays of overseas radio services from time to time.

 

“Over the last few months, we've reviewed and reassessed many of our activities here with the goal of finding the most effective ways of connecting with spiritual seekers everywhere,” said Catherine Aitken-Smith, Broadcast Director of Broadcast and Multimedia Services for the Church, which owns both the Publishing Society and the Herald Broadcasting Syndicate.

 

“WSHB has been a very effective communications tool, and we’re deeply grateful to its staff for their dedicated professionalism,” she added, “but it’s become clear to us that we don’t need to actually own broadcast facilities in order to distribute programs.”

 

Aitken-Smith said the Publishing Society and the Herald Broadcasting Syndicate are investigating several alternate distribution solutions and technologies that, in combination, will help the Society “reach people wherever they are, reliably, and at a reasonable cost.”

 

During this planning period, many of the Society’s broadcast activities will continue. Herald religious programs will be heard throughout Europe, Africa and South America on local radio stations, where the programs are supported by local funding sources. Listeners may also hear a selection of programs on the Internet at www.churchofchristscientist.org.

The Mother Church has put WSHB up for sale.  Interested parties may contact Ed Evans at evansc@wshb.com  for more information.  The Christian Science Board of Directors, the governing body of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, created the Syndicate in 1985. Mary Baker Eddy, the Church’s founder, established The Christian Science Publishing Society in 1898. The Society publishes religious magazines in 12 languages as well as The Christian Science Monitor, a highly-respected international daily newspaper.

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New  NASB  Associate Member

 

We welcome the firm of Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers, LLC as Associate Members of the  NASB.  They are based in Seattle, Washington.  The introduction below was provided by Stephen Lockwood.

 

Hatfield & Dawson is a consulting engineering firm with a specialized practice in radio engineering, telecommunications and electromagnetic engineering.  We serve private firms, non-profit organizations, public transit providers, and public safety and other government agencies, locally and around the world.

 

Our experience in broadcast radio and TV, land-mobile radio, and electromagnetic issues is unsurpassed.  Our firm routinely provides engineering services to both the broadcast and land-mobile industries.  So far as we are aware, we are the only major communications engineering firm with extensive, contemporary experience in both land-mobile and high power broadcast facility design, implementation, and analysis.  We have provided engineering services that cover the complete electromagnetic spectrum.  Hatfield & Dawson owns and maintains a full suite of testing and measurement equipment, in current calibration.

 

The firm performs telecommunications policy analysis, operational and economic planning, conceptual and specific system design, government agency and license application engineering, preparation of specifications, construction supervision, propagation analysis, measurements, testing and operational review of:

<          Transmission and antenna systems for AM & FM broadcasting

<          Radiation hazard analysis, measurement, and RF safety training

<          Expert testimony for land-use issues and other legal disputes

<          Electromagnetic compatibility of multiple use transmission sites

<          Two-way and wireless communications systems for industry, communications carriers, transportation, and government

<          Microwave systems

<          Television systems for broadcast and closed circuit

<           Specialized electromagnetic engineering and analysis

 

 

Hatfield & Dawson has a long history of innovative telecommunications engineering, ranging from regulatory planning for government licensing agencies to hands-on system and facility design and implementation.  Because the firm specializes in telecommunications engineering work, its analysis and design activities benefit from specific experience with the implementation and operation of the communications systems under study.  In the performance of both analysis and planning projects, we have worked for all types of clients, including cities, counties, states, and agencies of the United States and foreign governments, broadcasting companies, telecommunications common carriers, industrial communications users, educational institutions, and cable and satellite television system operators.  Our principal engineers are members of critical standards-setting and professional organizations, and are authors of significant papers and other publications in the field of telecommunications engineering and radio physics. The firm has been in operation in its present form since 1972, and is the successor to the firm of James B. Hatfield Sr., established in 1945.  We are an employee-owned small business.

 

We are happy to support NASB.  Many of our engineers have had a lifetime interest in shortwave broadcasting and the engineering aspects of transmission, propagation, and reception.  We have been known to search out shortwave broadcast facilities on our vacations for a quick tour.  Please feel free to contact us with questions.  For more information on the firm please visit www.hatdaw.com or call 206 783 9151.  

 

Stephen. S. Lockwood, P.E.  lockwood@hatdaw.com

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NASB  Members:                               

 

Adventist World Radio         

Assemblies of Yahweh

Family Stations Inc.

Far East Broadcasting Co.                                          

Fundamental Broadcasting Network

Herald Broadcasting Syndicate                                  

Le Sea Broadcasting Corp.                            

Radio Miami International

Trans World Radio

Two If By Sea Broadcasting Corp.

WBCQ---The Planet

Word  Broadcasting

World Christian Broadcasting

World International Broadcasters

World Wide Catholic Radio


 

NASB Associate Members:

Comet North America

DRS Continental Electronics

George Jacobs & Associates

Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers

HCJB World Radio                           

IBB                 

TCI/Dielectric

TDP

Thales Broadcast and Multimedia   

VT Merlin Communications

 

National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters

10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida  34972

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