NASB NEWSLETTER             www.shortwave.org

 

April 2005

                

IN THIS ISSUE:         

FCC  OFFICALLY ADOPTS   DRM   FOR  HF  BROADCASTING
NEWS FROM CONTINENTAL

Letter from Adil Mina

DRS Press Release

USA DRM  and  NASB  ANNUAL MEETINGS

          Tentative Program  NASB 2005 Annual Meeting

 



FCC  OFFICALLY ADOPTS   DRM   FOR  HF  BROADCASTING

The FCC has modified its rules and regulations in accordance with decisions made at the World Radiocommunications Conference in 2003.  Among other things, the Commission has sanctioned the DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) system as the required system for digital broadcasting on shortwave.

In comments filed with the FCC, the NASB endorsed the proposed rules changes, but instead of the FCC's proposed minimum power level of 20 kilowatts for DRM transmissions, we proposed 10 kilowatts, which is 7 dB lower than the current minimum power of 50 kilowatts for analog transmissions on shortwave.  The NASB cited the DRM Consortium's recommendations that such transmissions be at least 7 dB below equivalent analog broadcasts in order to minimize interference and conform to ITU  spectrum masks.  In the end, the FCC adopted the 10-kilowatt minimum power for DRM transmissions.  The IBB's Don Messer and John Wood were also involved in developing the HF broadcasting material. 

Below is a report on the Commission's actions:

 

 

 

 

FCC Modifies Rules to Implement WRC-03 Decisions. 

 

The FCC released a Report and Order specifying amendments to Parts 2, 25, 73, 90, and 97 of its rules implementing the decisions from the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva (WRC-03). While the actions do not impact AM, FM or TV broadcasting, they do affect shortwave broadcast (HFBC) stations and some microwave spectrum not used by broadcasters.
Double-sideband (DSB), single-sideband (SSB), and digital transmission were authorized in HF bands between 5900 kHz and 26100 kHz. Digital HF broadcast stations must use the Digital Radio Mondiale standard. The FCC also set minimum HFBC power levels of 50 kW for SSB modulation and 10 kW for digital modulation.

The FCC also reallocated the 7100-7200 kHz band to the amateur service on a co-primary basis, reallocated the 7350-7400 kHz band to the broadcast service on a co-primary basis with the fixed service until March 29, 2009, after which it will be allocated exclusively for broadcasting. For information on the other allocation changes, see the Report and Order. The actions in the Report and Order cover only the HF (3-30 MHz), UHF (300-3000 MHz) and SHF (3-30 GHz) frequency bands.

 

 

NEWS FROM CONTINENTAL

 

Letter From Adil Mina

 

Dear friends,

I am happy to inform you that as of March 14, we officially got our old name
Continental Electronics Corporation back. As most of you recall, Continental
was part of IDT which was owned by Veritas Capital till Nov. 2003. At that
time a merger acquisition took place between IDT and DRS and we became part
of DRS.

Veritas Capital, our old owner, always liked our potential and the business
we are in. They acquired us back on March 13 and immediately told us that we
can go back to our original name, Continental Electronics Corporation.
We are very excited about going back to our old owners. We know them well,
and they know us even better. They understand our business very well, and
are keen on having us grow in the broadcast market. So, it is business as
usual for us with less paperwork and fewer corporate meetings.

Regards,
Adil Mina
Vice president
Business Development
Continental Electronics Corporation


DRS Press Release

 

DRS Technologies Completes the Sale of Two Non-Core Operating Units

Friday, March 11, 2005

 

 

DRS Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has completed the sale of its DRS  Broadcast Technology, Inc. and  DRS  Weather Systems, Inc. units to the Veritas Capital Fund II, L.P., a New York-based investment company, in a stock purchase transaction.  The company’s intent to sell these operating units was disclosed previously.

 

DRS Broadcast Technology and DRS Weather Systems were subsidiaries of Integrated Defense Technologies, Inc. (IDT), of which Veritas was the largest shareholder. IDT was acquired by DRS  on November 4, 2003.

 

“The sale of these units was a strategic decision to concentrate our resources and integration efforts on our core defense technology businesses,” said Mark S. Newman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of  DRS Technologies.  “We believe their established customer bases will continue to be well served in the transfer of these operations to a buyer that is focused on their success and very familiar with them, having been a former owner.”

 

DRS Broadcast Technology develops and manufactures radio frequency broadcast transmitters, systems and power amplifiers primarily for commercial U.S. and international government broadcast stations worldwide, as well as university laboratories.  DRS Broadcast Technology will continue to operate at its current location in Dallas, Texas.

 

DRS Weather Systems develops and manufactures Doppler weather surveillance radar systems, receivers, components and software primarily for U.S. and international governments, meteorology, and aviation and research institutions.  DRS Weather Systems will continue to operate at its current location in Enterprise, Alabama.

 

Jeffries Quarterdeck, a division of Jeffries & Company, Inc., served as financial advisor to  DRS  on the sale of DRS Broadcast Technology. Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin served as financial advisor to  DRS  on the sale of  DRS Weather Systems.

 

DRS Technologies, headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, provides leading edge products and services to defense, government intelligence and commercial customers.  Focused on defense technology,  DRS  develops and manufactures a broad range of mission critical systems.  The company employs 5,800 people worldwide.

 

 

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USA DRM and NASB Annual Meetings

The annual meeting of the USA DRM Group will take place in Washington, DC on Thursday, May 5, 2005.  Last year's inaugural meeting was also held in Washington, and there was an additional DRM Symposium in Dallas, Texas last November.  At these past meetings, there were some very good discussions about ideas to promote and advance DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) in the United States.  Now, at this upcoming meeting in Washington, the group wants to take action. 

Since the DRM Symposium in Dallas, the USA DRM Group has established its own website (www.USAdrm.com) with the help of Continental Electronics.  Now the challenge is to add the kind of content that people want and need.

As mentioned elsewhere in this Newsletter, the FCC recently amended its rules to officially permit DRM broadcasting on shortwave in the United States with a minimum power level of 10 kilowatts.  At the USA DRM Meeting in Washington, we want to get sincere indications of interest from stations in the USA with appropriate equipment who would like to begin DRM transmissions, and to "match them up" with manufacturers who may be able to provide DRM equipment and technical expertise for long-term tests.  There are at least five DRM transmitter sites in the Americas now, but none yet in the United States.  Hopefully this will change during 2005 as a result of our efforts.

The USA DRM Group was very much involved with the recent DRM Symposium in Mexico City in February where both mediumwave and shortwave DRM tests were carried out by Harris Corp. and Riz Transmitters respectively, and we will have reports on these tests at the meeting in Washington.  We will also hear about recent DRM meetings in Brazil and Paris.  Dr. Don Messer, Chairman of the DRM Consortium's Technical Committee; and Adil Mina, Chairman of USA DRM's Manufacturers Committee, will report on these meetings.  Darko Cvjetko, General Manager of Riz Transmitters in Croatia, has also informed us that he will be attending the USA DRM Meeting on May 5.

Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott of IBB Audience Research has had the opportunity to carry out a couple of  DRM  demonstrations at recent editions of the Shortwave Listeners Winterfest in Pennsylvania, and he will report on his experiences.  We will also have some distinguished members of the USA shortwave listening community present to provide input and to help form a Listeners Committee to liaise between USA DRM and the SWLs in the USA who are our potential audience.

These are just some of the items on the agenda for the USA DRM Meeting on Thursday, May 5.  It will be held at the headquarters of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M Street NW, in downtown Washington from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  We understand that some people will be flying into Washington on Thursday morning, so the real "meat" of the meeting will be in the afternoon session.  From 10-11 a.m. there will be a tour of Radio Free Asia for those who have not seen it yet.  The meeting itself will actually begin at 11 a.m. with some preliminary discussions until lunch at 12 noon (Italian-style, sponsored by Continental Electronics, TCI and Thales).  The afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m.  There is no charge for attending the DRM meeting, but you must register in advance by e-mailing Jeff White at radiomiami9@cs.com, so we will know how many plan to attend.

The annual meeting of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB) takes place on the following day -- Friday, May 6.  Attendance at the NASB annual meeting is also free of charge this year (but again, please register by sending an e-mail to Jeff White at radiomiami9@cs.com).  The meeting will begin at around 8:30 a.m. in the same first-floor conference room at RFA headquarters. The morning session will feature a series of talks including updates from the IBB, the FCC, DRM and a review of the Mexico City HFCC Conference. Don Messer of the IBB will talk about the development of a USA position for the WRC-2007 regarding increased spectrum for HF broadcasters. And a special speaker, courtesy of VT Merlin Communications, will be Dr. Graham Mytton, former audience research officer at the BBC World Service. Graham will address issues of interest to shortwave broadcasters relating to audience research.

Lunch at the NASB meeting will be Chinese this year, appropriate for the location at Radio Free Asia. It will be catered from a local Chinese restaurant called Meiwah that is highly rated by RFA staffers, and it will be sponsored by our friends at Continental Electronics, TCI  and Thales.  After lunch is the annual NASB business meeting, which all are welcome to attend. It should end by around 4:00 p.m. or possibly earlier, and it will be followed by a brief meeting of the NASB Board of Directors.

Hotel availability in Washington in early May can be difficult, and prices have risen considerably during the past few years. There is a hotel right next to Radio Free Asia, but the price is well over $200 per night. The NASB has a block of rooms booked at the Red Roof Inn in downtown Washington for a group rate of $124 per night for the nights of May 4 and 5, and they will honor the same rate for those who want to arrive earlier or stay later, as long as rooms are available. In order to get a room at the group rate, you need to call the hotel direct at (202) 289-5959. Tell them you are with the Radio Miami/NASB group. We strongly encourage you to make your hotel reservation as soon as possible, while there are still rooms available.  Of course you are welcome to stay at any other hotel in the area, but price and availability may be a serious problem. If you encounter any problems reserving for the group rate at the Red Roof Inn, please contact Jeff White at: radiomiami9@cs.com.

The Red Roof Inn is located in the Chinatown area at 500 H Street NW, which is between the White House and Union Station and just one block from the MCI Center. There is an Irish/Cajun restaurant at the hotel, and there are many other restaurants in the area. Taxi fares from Reagan National Airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to Radio Free Asia, should be in the $9 to $15 range. The same would be true for taxi fares from National Airport direct to Radio Free Asia. We can go in groups from the hotel to Radio Free Asia on Thursday and Friday (and return), thus sharing the taxi costs.

For those who prefer to use the Metro, the hotel is near the Gallery Place Metro stop. Exit on the 7th and H Street side and turn right. The hotel is two blocks down on the right.  And Radio Free Asia is about four blocks from the Dupont Circle stop on the Metro red line. 

For those who are driving, parking at or near Radio Free Asia will cost $9-$10 if you arrive before 9:30. There is parking all around  - on 18th and 20th streets there are a few lots and on M Street underneath the RFA building there is a lot.  Most places you leave them the key, you do not self park.  The later you come, the harder you may have to look for parking.  The lot under the RFA building normally is full by 9:00 -9:30.  There is a big lot on the left on 20th Street halfway between L and M.  There is parking available on-site at the Red Roof Inn for a "nominal fee." 

Thanks very much to Hal Creech of Radio Free Asia for coordinating use of the RFA conference room for both the NASB and DRM meetings.

 

                                                       -----                                            

Tentative Program  NASB 2005 Annual Meeting

 

                                                         Friday, May 6, 2005

                                                Radio Free Asia Headquarters

                                                         2025 M Street, N.W.

 

8:15am       Coffee and Registration                      Sponsored                                         

 

8:45am       Welcome                                             Doug Garlinger, NASB President

 

8:55am       FCC Questions and Answers              Tom Lucey, FCC

 

9:10am       HFCC in Mexico                                 Jeff White, NASB

 

9:30am       The latest on WRC-07                        Walt Ireland, ARRL

 

9:55am       Coffee Break                                        Sponsored                                         

 

10:15am     What’s new at the IBB?                       Dan Ferguson, IBB

 

10.45am      DRM, Current update on where we are today.  Don Messer, IBB

 

11:30am      Is Shortwave Dying or Reviving?       Graham Mytton,VT Merlin

 

12:15pm      Luncheon                                              Sponsored                                                                                                                           

 

1:45pm        NASB Business Meeting

 

3:45pm        NASB Board Meeting

 

 

A special word of thanks to TCI/Dielectric, Thales Broadcast and Multimedia and Continental Electronics/DRS for jointly sponsoring the coffee breaks and luncheon at both the NASB and the DRM meetings!

A word of thanks to Radio Free Asia for allowing the NASB to meet in their facilities and for providing the audiovisual equipment.

 

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NASB  Members:            

 

Adventist World Radio         

Assemblies of Yahweh

Family Stations Inc.

Far East Broadcasting Co.                                          

Fundamental Broadcasting Network

La Voz de Restauracion Broadcasting, Inc.

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:

Beth Shalom Center Radio

Comet North America

Continental Electronics Corporation

George Jacobs & Associates

Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers

HCJB World Radio                           

IBB    

TCI/Dielectric

TDF

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