NASB NEWSLETTER             www.shortwave.org

 

September 2006

         

IN THIS ISSUE:         

Athens  HFCC 

     Opening Remarks by Oldrich Cip

     Report by Jeff White

WRC  07  Update

VT Communications Awarded German Broadcasting  Contract

Comment on Adrian Peterson’s  NASB  Website Presentation

QSLs and Interval Signals

HCJB  Japanese Programmer Dies

The Magic of Radio in the 21st Century

Recent  DRM  Developments

 

                                   

REMARKS BY  HFCC  CHAIRMAN OLDRICH CIP AT CONFERENCE OPENING SESSION

We are grateful to the President of ERT, Mr. Panagopoulos and Mr. Antonis Andrikakis, Director General of Greek Radio, for inviting us to Athens.  Our HFCC/ASBU Conference has been very much honoured by the invitation to a city whose ancient past was one of the largest contributors to present-day civilization.  Geographically speaking, it is nearer to home for quite a number of us, but others had to cross again a number of time zones in order to be here.

We have become a recognised organisation in the radiocommunications field and a sector member of the International Telecommunication Union among other international and regional bodies like the EBU and other broadcasting unions.  After a number of decades, the very overloaded low frequency part of the spectrum for broadcasting now stands a chance of being enlarged during the World Radio Conference next year.  Parts of an important HFCC document that was approved by our last Plenary Meeting in China were incorporated into a number of ITU documents, including the text and report to the Conference Preparatory Meeting of administrations.  The proposals of our association which are frequently formulated by Geoff Spells -- who has now become a member of the Steering Board -- are not aimed at the requests for additional spectrum for broadcasting only, but express our effort to seek overall solutions for that agenda item.

With this idea in mind we agreed during the last conference in Hainan, China to raise awareness of the need for positive adjustments of the radio spectrum by addressing administrations, either by writing to them from us here, or through direct contacts from members.  Unfortunately, we received a handful of contact names and addresses only, but these actions are still very much needed.  Just before this conference we have decided to improve publicity to this issue by making the HFCC WRC07 document available in the public area of the website.

One of the principal objectives set forth in the articles of our association is to facilitate and improve global coordination of international broadcasting on shortwave.  Novelty improvements in coordination procedures are introduced almost every time we meet, and the present Athens conference is no exception.  As you have read in the "What's New" column of the website or in a reflector-distributed message, an almost real-time collision detection and an improved display of collision files has been introduced into our coordination.  Participants of the Athens conference will have at their disposal for the first time collision lists based on a calculated signal-to-interference ratio -- in addition to the lists produced by the old method of detection....

While our methods of coordination are becoming more and more accurate and sophisticated, the same old perennial concern remains: Are we going to keep on applying these exact methods to databases of frequency requirements that are all always accurate? The Steering Board agreed recently to devote more time to the issues related to monitoring here in Athens and to considering further initiatives.

The introduction of PLT or PLC using power lines, especially for the Internet, has been another burning issue for all users of the spectrum below 30 MHz.  The approval of the American FCC of the BPL system (that is "Broadband over Power Lines") has made disturbing news this month.

At the same time, work on a draft New Recommendation is just in progress in the ITU on protection against interference from the power-line sources.  This is another subject recommended to be discussed and explained during contacts with the administrations in our home countries.  They should support the approval of the Recommendation and take it into account when setting the national standards.

On the contrary, the solution of interference between AM and DRM transmissions reported and discussed in our meetings rests mainly on our shoulders.  It is quite important that all Frequency Management Organisations (and especially those who enter DRM requirements) are aware of the idea of trying to locate DRM transmissions in the same part of the band in clusters and adjacent to each other.  This has been suggested by our last Plenary and also in the conclusions of the Steering Board meetings. 

[See http://www.hfcc.org/pro/DRM-AM_HFCC_Co-ordination.pdf ]

But let us turn to our conference and to its preparation.  We have been in touch with the Greek colleagues for a number of weeks now, and I can say quite frankly that there would be no conference in Greece without the personal effort and dedication of our colleague and friend Sotiris Vorgias, ERT Engineer in the office of the Director General, and his colleague Babis Charalambopoulos from the Technical Department.  They have both worked hard on the conference preparations and -- as we all know -- have made an excellent Greek team during all coordination conferences in the past eight years.

Our Athens Conference Team has consisted almost exclusively of ladies.  We would like to thank especially Mrs. Sofia Tari from the Foreign Relations Department, Mrs. Lena Kartsonaki from ERA5 and also Anna and Monica who have been in touch with us during the registration and hotel booking procedures.  Their work in the high tourist season was not easy, and we are going to think about measures on how to make this work easier for future hosts.

The proverb I have chosen this time is from the Greek, and it relates directly to the start of our meeting:  "The beginning is the half of every action" it says, and I am sorry that I have not succeeded in learning its Greek version.  Anyway, after going through the lists of collisions calculated by the more exact method, maybe this is a bit over-optimistic.  And with this thought I am handing over the microphone....  Thank you!

                                                   -----

ATHENS HOSTS B06 HFCC/ASBU CONFERENCE
by Jeff White, NASB President

The B06 season High Frequency Coordinating Conference (HFCC) was sponsored by ERT (the Greek Radio and Television), and it was officially opened on Monday morning, August 28, by Mr. Panos Leivados, the Greek Secretary General for Information; Mr. Michalis Portokalis, General Director of ERT; and Ms. Gina Siriuli, Director of the external service Voice of Greece.  The real workhorses of the conference were Sotiris Vorgias and Babis Charalambopoulos of the Voice of Greece, who worked hard to make every delegate feel welcome and to resolve all of their problems (like the piece of our luggage which was lost by the airline).  As usual, this was a joint conference with the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU). 

The conference hotel was the Divani Apollon Palace, which must have been the most expensive conference hotel in the history of the HFCC, but its seaside location, views of the Mediterranean, beach and swimming pools were unmatched.  (If only we would have had time to take advantage of them!)  We could literally look out the windows of the main meeting room and see the calm waters of the Mediterranean lapping against the shores of Vouliagmeni, which is the name of this exclusive area of what's known as the "Athenian Riviera" in the suburbs of Athens. 

At this HFCC/ASBU Conference, there were no talks or speeches at the end of the day each day, as has often been done in the past.  This allowed a bit more time for coordination activities.  The coordination did end an hour early on Wednesday afternoon to make time for a group sightseeing tour of Athens by bus.  During this city tour in the center of Athens we had the opportunity to see among other things the Temple of Zeus, the Arch of the Roman emperor Hadrian, the 69,000-seat marble stadium where the first modern Olympics were held, and finally an excursion to the famed Acropolis.  We ascended the rock of the Acropolis from the south slope, passing by the ancient Theatre of Dionysus and the Roman Odeon of Herodes Atticus.  Most participants stayed in the old town area of Athens after the Acropolis visit to do some shopping or have dinner in one of the many outdoor restaurants in the historical Plaka area.

But back to the conference.  When I arrived in Athens on Sunday night, I had dinner with Allen Graham of HCJB.  Among other things, we discussed the monthly Voice of the NASB reports that he has been transmitting on his program "DX Party Line" for over a year now.  Recently, the DX Party Line was reduced from 30 minutes to 15 minutes per week.  However, Allen has continued to give us space for a regular NASB report on the third Saturday of each month.  In addition, he has been including frequent NASB news on his Spanish-language DX program, "Aventura DXista," which is also a 15-minute weekly program.  We recorded a couple of interviews in English and Spanish which will also be used on coming editions of the programs. 

Incidentally, Allen explained that the HCJB Board is close to making a decision about the future of their transmitter site in Pifo, on the outskirts of Quito.  It will need to be dismantled in the near future to make room for the new Quito airport, so HCJB needs to decide if it will be rebuilt in a smaller version elsewhere in the area, rebuilt in cooperation with some other shortwave broadcasting organization, or closed altogether.  One of the options being considered is not rebuilding the Pifo site, but renting airtime from other transmitting stations to reach the Latin American audience.

Regarding the NASB's plans to possibly resume a weekly Voice of the NASB broadcast in DRM in the near future, I met with representatives of various broadcasters which are currently transmitting in DRM.  We have several options to consider if we decide to resume these broadcasts.  In the past, the NASB has broadcast its weekly DRM programs to Europe from VT Merlin's facilities in the UK, and to North America from CBC/Radio Canada International in Sackville.  

During the conference I met with Kathy Otto of Sentech in South Africa and a new participant from Sentech named Ruben Munyai.  They are not doing any DRM broadcasts at the present time, but any new transmitters will probably be equipped for DRM.  Their attitude at the moment is "wait and see."  Sentech sells blocks of airtime to various international broadcasters for transmissions to Africa, and has additional airtime available.  Ludo Maes of NASB associate member TDP asked me about the level of interest in DRM in the United States.  He said he is getting a little more response now to his weekly DRM transmission via CBC Sackville, and he is planning to expand his TDP DRM transmissions in the near future.

Together with Kevin Chambers and Jeff Jaworski of NASB member KNLS, I met with HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip regarding the possibility of establishing an FMO (Frequency Management Organization code) for World Christian Broadcasting for their new facility in Madagascar.  Oldrich indicated that the frequency requirements for KNLS in Alaska will always have to go through the FCC, but an FMO for the Madagascar facility can be created quite easily at the appropriate time for those requirements.  Other NASB members have similar situations (like TWR with Guam, for example).  The new station in Madagascar, to be known as Madagascar World Voice, could be on the air as early as the end of 2009.

Oldrich Cip indicated that there is a growing interest among stations and organizations that do not actually conduct coordination but are interested in the technical aspects of shortwave broadcasting and/or in the coordination process by having their programs transmitted over frequencies in the HFCC global database for example.  Therefore, the HFCC/ASBU Steering Board is in fact considering an amendment to the present Articles of Association that would broaden the membership rules.

Unfortunately, my suitcase with brochures from NASB and various member stations who sent items for the conference was lost by the airline, and did not arrive until Wednesday.  However, there was still time to distribute these materials on Thursday and Friday.  Prior to that, we made photocopies of the basic NASB brochure and placed them at the NASB exhibit.  The exhibit itself did make it to Athens with me, so we set it up on Monday on a table next to the individual mailboxes for each group.  The NASB was the only organization to have our own exhibit at the conference, and it attracted many positive comments. 

Lunch on Monday and Tuesday of the conference was sponsored by ERT at the Hotel Divani's scenic "Mythos of the Sea" restaurant at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.  Monday's menu, for example, featured smoked fish with cucumber salad and mint, veal ragout with mashed smoked eggplant, and tiramisu for dessert.  On Tuesday I had lunch with Burkhard Beyer from T-Systems and Ludo Maes of TDP.  Burkhard is the chairman of the German DRM Platform.  He explained, as explained elsewhere in this Newsletter, that due to the results of a recent public tender, many of Deutsche Welle's transmissions will be moving from T-Systems transmitters in Germany to Merlin (now VT Communications) transmitters in the UK in the near future.

My wife Thais, NASB's Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, decided to use her remaining frequent flyer miles to go to the meeting with me.  She helped me make the best use of the limited time available to do many things.  While I was doing one thing or meeting with someone, she was doing something else or meeting with someone else.  I must admit that I did little actual frequency coordination work during this conference, as opposed to past HFCC's that I have attended.  This is partly because we had a quite large FCC/NASB delegation this time -- Tom Lucey of the FCC, George Ross and Jeff Lecureux of KTWR, Kevin Chambers and Jeff Jaworski from KNLS, Glen Tapley of WEWN, and Thais and myself from WRMI.  In fact, the organizers had to create extra table space (which I jokingly referred to as the "FCC annex") for us all.  I did send memos to all member stations before the conference advising them that I would be attending on behalf of NASB and inviting them to send me their schedules, collisions, etc.  A few did so, and some also sent program schedules and other giveaways for the NASB exhibit.

But most of my time at this conference was spent on public relations matters for NASB.  I had a number of talks and meetings with both Oldrich Cip (HFCC Chairman) and Horst Scholz (Vice Chairman).  The NASB was a member of the HFCC Steering Board for the meetings just prior to, during and just after the A05 conference in Mexico City which we hosted.  Over the past few years, we have developed an excellent relationship with all of the HFCC Steering Board, including Jan Willem Drexhage of Radio Netherlands, Geoff Spells of Merlin (who has taken over Dennis Thompson's position as HFCC Rapporteur), and Bassil Zoubi and Mahmoud Al Rheda of the ASBU (Arab States Broadcasting Union).  Bassil and Mahmoud made a special point to invite us to attend the A07 HFCC Conference next February, which will be held in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).  And there appears to be some reason to hope that it might be possible to host an HFCC Conference in the United States (for the first time in the organization's history) in the not-too-distant future. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who came up to us and thanked us for the "excellent" HFCC Conference which NASB hosted in February of last year in Mexico City.  A member of the Russian delegation was one of the first to do so.  She remarked about the wonderful time she had at that conference, and on the trip to Acapulco which we organized afterwards.  Throughout the week, people continued to make similar remarks to us.  So it seems that we made quite an impact at the Mexico City conference. 


On Wednesday, the delegates from Spain suggested to us that we consider organizing a regional coordination meeting for Latin American and Caribbean shortwave stations perhaps annually.  The NASB has been gathering frequency requirements for certain Latin American shortwave stations on an informal basis for the past few years now, and submitting this information to HFCC Secretary Vladislav Cip for inclusion in the HFCC master database prior to each conference.  This has been somewhat successful, but it has been difficult to get the advance frequency information out of some of the major Latin American broadcasters, and this has been a source of frustration for many stations broadcasting to this part of the world.  Countries with major shortwave broadcasters like Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico do not regularly submit their frequency plans, so they do not show up on the HFCC lists.  Then other stations use some of the same or adjacent frequencies unknowingly, causing collisions that cannot be resolved until after they occur.  As the Spaniards said, it makes no sense to spend so much money on shortwave transmissions, only to have them impossible to hear because of interference from stations that don't participate in the frequency coordination process.

Of course one of the major reasons these Latin American stations don't participate is that the meetings are usually held in the eastern hemisphere, and are therefore very expensive for them to attend.  The Spaniards suggested that a regional coordination meeting once a year in Latin America could be more affordable for many of these stations, and that it might be possible to get assistance from the ITU for the organization of such regional meetings, as this is consistent with the ITU's desire to foster regional coordination in developing countries. 

Such regional meetings would also be of great benefit to shortwave stations in North America, as we are the ones most likely to be victims of interference from uncoordinated broadcasts from other parts of this hemisphere.  The delegates from HCJB in Ecuador and Christian Vision (CVC) in Chile expressed their strong interest in the idea of a regional coordination meeting, and HCJB  offered to consider hosting the first such meeting in Quito perhaps in June of next year. 

On another matter, I spoke with Tom Lucey of the FCC International Bureau about the famous letter from the NTIA on behalf of FEMA which threatened our use of out-of-band frequencies.  Specifically, they asked the FCC to make U.S. private SW stations vacate a laundry list of frequencies and the space on 13 kHz on either side of them.   The NTIA "seems to have other priorities right now" said Tom, and they are not pursuing the matter, so the FCC is not pushing it either.  The FCC's policy at the moment is to go ahead authorizing use of the specified OOB frequencies by the private SW stations, but with a proviso that this privilege could be discontinued in the future if other government agencies require them.

I also asked Tom to confirm exactly what U.S. SW stations would need to do to request DRM transmissions.  He said that it is not necessary to submit any new technical requests (i.e. no new applications) to broadcast in DRM; stations need only indicate DRM mode in their frequency requests.  So the door is wide open for DRM broadcasts from U.S. SW stations whenever they want to begin.

I also had an opportunity to discuss a variety of subjects during the conference with a variety of persons, including Saeed Alavivafa, a member of the five-person Iranian delegation to the HFCC; Jeff Cohen of World Radio Network; Teresa Abreu of Radio Portugal; and George McClintock, who is now a consultant for shortwave station WWCR, as well as for the Caribbean Beacon stations in Anguilla and Costa Rica. 


At the Thursday afternoon plenary session, Emirates Media officially invited the HFCC to the next conference in the United Arab Emirates February 5-9, 2007.  They will host the conference either in Abu Dhabi or in Dubai, where it was held a few years ago.  The final date for schedule submissions for the A07 conference is January 12, 2007.  So far there is no volunteer to host the B07 conference, so offers are being accepted.

At the plenary, Jan Willem Drexhage talked about new HFCC software that was being tested at this conference.  "Coordination is almost real-time now, and it works fine," he said.  Vladislav Cip introduced an automatic collision detection system on the HFCC website already before the conference. The users of the system can view and print the collisions directly from their internet browsers.  An improved tracking of changes is also available along with filtering possibilities in the collision files.  In addition, a new collision detection routine based on Signal-to-Interference ratio (S/I) that had been developed by Navid Homayouni of IRIB (Iran) was also tested during the conference in Athens.

A new HFCC member was approved at the plenary.  It is the Federal Network Agency of Germany. 

Geoff Spells said that there are a number of documents related to WRC07 matters on the HFCC website (
www.hfcc.org ).  He said that over the past year there have been a number of meetings to deal with the input for the 2007 ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC07).  Unfortunately there is no general agreement on the text regarding the controversial subject of additional spectrum for broadcasters between 4 and 10 MHz.  "Our view," said Geoff, " is to take space from the fixed services and have them share extra space with the maritime services.  But there is no agreement on this.  The text includes both points of view, and the WRC07 will have to decide." 

Geoff emphasized that stations need to alert their national administrations that they need additional spectrum.  Many stations have not done this, he lamented.  Oldrich Cip pointed out that the HFCC is ready to help address the national administrations on this subject wherever help is needed.  There is, however, no general agreement even within Europe regarding the exact amount of extra space needed.  France, for example, wants an extra 350 kHz, while the UK wants 450 kHz.  A possible future solution is co-primary sharing of the broadcast services with the fixed services.  "It is worth considering," said Geoff Spells.

Geoff exhibited an interesting series of spectrograms that show very graphically the current occupation of certain sections of spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz, demonstrating the need for more frequencies for broadcasters.  These spectrograms may be seen on the ITU-R and HFCC websites. 

It was pointed out that DRM could eventually lead to better utilization of the spectrum because stations could change frequencies from day to day and hour to hour to take advantage of the best propagation conditions.  However, this assumes that the DRM receivers will have the capability of following these signals automatically.

There is an ITU working party that is trying to develop recommendations regarding protecting broadcasters from power line communications (BPL/PLC), but they have made no recommendations yet.


Also at the plenary, Oldrich Cip called for a decision by the HFCC regarding worldwide distress and safety frequencies -- a topic that had been discussed at the last HFCC Conference in Hainan, China.  The membership decided to reject any submissions for these frequencies, so they will not be included in the HFCC database.  Oldrich also indicated that the Steering Board is concerned that the IRUS monitoring group has virtually stopped functioning.  "We want to enlarge on our own group to monitor the real usage of the spectrum," he said, "and make information available on a continuing basis."

After the plenary session, the ERT (Voice of Greece) sponsored a very nice buffet, which was planned for the hotel garden area, but had to be moved indoors due to the wind.  There was a great variety of both Greek and international cuisine.  At our table were James Serpell and Mathias Svensson from CVC (Christian Vision), Chris Cooper from FEBC and Allen Graham from HCJB. 

The technical setup at the HFCC in Athens was very good, with electrical outlets for everyone's laptops and plug adapters on hand for those (like us) who needed them.  Several shared desktop computers were available at the back of the room for checking e-mail, web surfing, etc.  There was high-speed Internet available in the meeting room, and it worked well, although it slowed a bit at peak times in the afternoon when everyone was uploading their updated requirement files.  I made the mistake of trying to upload an audio file during "rush hour" one afternoon, and Vladislav came to tell me that my upload was causing the whole system to get jammed up! 

On Friday at noon just before the conference ended, Continental Electronics sponsored a very nice farewell reception/lunch.  Sotiris Vorgias, Horst Scholz and others thanked Continental for their generous sponsorship of the event, which was a perfect finale to a memorable HFCC Conference.

For a selection of photos from the HFCC Conference in Athens, you can visit the website
www.hfcc.org/photo .

 

                                                -----

 

 

WRC 07 Update

Don Messer, NASB Advisor, sends the following information on two topics of interest to shortwave broadcasting, one of which is on the agenda for the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference. Don is a chief activist for the proposed 4-10 MHz spectrum expansion proposal for HF broadcasting and he is chairman of the working party sub-group for the non- 4-10 MHz issues.

1. Draft New Recommendations: Three draft New Recommendations were submitted for eventual approval by administrations. All were on the subject of terrestrial broadcast protection from "non-allocated" services' radiation -- in short, Power Line Telecommunications and short-range FM modulators, and anything else that might come along. There is a long history on the PLT item because of US objections, particularly on the protection level in the current draft. But no one supported the US alternative. Therefore, all three draft New Recommendations have been submitted for the rest of the approval process. It has to be recognized that all these are drafts until the final voting.

2. 4-10 MHZ: Don was able to get the essence of the 350 kHz HFBC additional allocation that failed to be blessed by the FCC entered into the Conference Preparatory Meeting report text. This is a bit of a triumph because the US and Russia were against introducing this example into the text for the same reason -- do not touch the Fixed Service allocations, even if only sharing is involved without any eventual movement of the FS into other frequency bands. They finally capitulated. This means that the Conference Preparatory Meeting report will include the NASB proposal (without identifying it as such) in the official ITU-R text. The report is for delegates at the WRC itself to get an idea of what might be done for each agenda item.

-----

VT COMMUNICATIONS AWARDED GERMAN BROADCASTING CONTRACT

PRESS RELEASE

 

VT Communications, part of the support services and shipbuilding company VT Group, has been awarded a contract to broadcast a significant number of analogue and digital shortwave programmes for the German public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.

 

VT Communications will broadcast an initial 90 hours per day of Deutsche Welle programmes, in 14 languages, from its network of UK and global transmission sites, targeting more than 108 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. The new arrangements will start from January 1 next year.

 

The five-year contract, which provides Deutsche Welle with a highly flexible and cost effective service, includes a significant potential increase in programme hours from May 2007.

 

Doug Umbers, Managing Director, VT Communications said: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to play such a critical role in broadcasting a significant proportion of Deutsche Welle’s worldwide programmes. We are proud to be associated with such an internationally respected broadcaster and look forward to developing the partnership over the coming years”.

 

“We were able to respond to Deutsche Welle’s requirements in a technical and commercially creative way based on our extensive experience and understanding of the industry, and through our unique technical knowledge and capability.”

 

VT Communications, which already owns and operates short wave and medium wave transmitter sites worldwide, will make a multi-million pound investment in its sites in the UK and its partner site in Austria to facilitate Deutsche Welle’s analogue and digital broadcasts. This will involve creating a newly re-engineered infrastructure to support the services required, including new transmitters, antennas and support infrastructure, demonstrating VT Communications’ commitment to providing state-of-the-art solutions for broadcasters in analogue and digital.

 

                                      -----

 

ADRIAN PETERSEN - WANDERING THE WORLD WITH A RADIO

    
I have just been watching Adrian Petersen's presentation to the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters, Wandering the World with a Radio, now available to watch via their website, found it fascinating. http://www.shortwave.org/downloads/NASB-AWR.wmv

Adrian starts the talk at the birth of broadcast radio, lots of historical cards and photograph and details of pioneer broadcasters, includes a section on radio from ships which Adrian has written a number of articles on. A card he showed that particularly interested me was one from 2NM, a pioneer UK amateur broadcast station operated by Gerald Marcuse from Caterham in Surrey which broadcast on shortwave before the BBC started its service.  I found a different card from the one Adrian shows at: http://www.qslcollection.co.uk/183.htm

The NASB webpage is: http://www.shortwave.org

(Mike Barraclough, UK, dxldyg via Glenn Hauser's DX LISTENING DIGEST)


Thanks very much to former NASB President Doug Garlinger for posting this feature on the NASB website and for synchronizing the slides and audio of Adrian.

 

                                                               -----

QSLs AND INTERVAL SIGNALS

Former NASB President Doug Garlinger has added some shortwave station interval signals to his web page of vintage QSL cards, http://www.garlinger.com/QSL/qsl.html

If you click on the Radio Canada, RAE (Argentina) or Trans World Radio Bonaire QSL cards, you'll hear some interesting recordings of the stations' interval signals and identifications.  As Doug says, when he was a teenager, "while normal kids collected baseball cards, I collected QSL cards." 

 

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VETERAN JAPANESE  HCJB  WORLD RADIO PROGRAM PRODUCER DIES OF CANCER

 

Hisako Ozaki, a longtime missionary and on-air personality with HCJB World Radio’s Japanese Language Service, died Sunday, Sept. 17, in Wheaton, Ill., after a lengthy bout with cancer. She was 81.

 

Hisako Kawashima was born in Ebina, Japan, on Jan. 1, 1925. She married Kazuo Ozaki in Japan on March 21, 1961.

 

The Ozakis were accepted as missionaries with HCJB World Radio in Quito, Ecuador, in 1963 to produce and air programs for Japanese immigrants in South America.

 

Kazuo had already sent programs to Quito from Japan as directed by Dr. Akira Hatori, a radio pastor and director of the Pacific Broadcasting Association which sponsored the Ozakis’ work for many years. But the plea for Japanese personnel in Quito came after the station’s broadcast director heard a program tape played backwards.

 

Arriving in Quito on Jan. 6, 1964, the Ozakis’ first task was learning the Spanish language. Their programs in Japanese began airing on May 1, 1964.

 

Thirty-six years later, the last regular Japanese language broadcasts from Radio Station HCJB in Quito ended on Dec. 31, 2000, with a one-hour special live broadcast. Guests in the studio (and listeners via e-mail) shared words of appreciation for the Ozakis’ untiring service to audiences in South America, Japan and the world.

 

While that ended Japanese programming on HCJB by shortwave, programs resumed four months later via the Internet and a local satellite digital station in Japan, according to DX Listening Digest.

 

The Ozakis also made annual appearances on the station via special programming. For the May 1, 2003, program a special concert was held in Quito to celebrate 39 years of Japanese ministry. Among those attending the event was Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, the Japanese ambassador to Ecuador who gave the opening remarks.

 

During her ministry years in Quito, Hisako corresponded with listeners to the programs that she and her husband hosted. When in mid-1969 Kazuo was hospitalized with a gastric ulcer, he left the radio work in the hands of Hisako and a visitor—both with experience in the office but not in the studio.

 

After subsequent decades of on-air experience with her husband, Hisako wrote to a shortwave hobbyists’ publication that although radio is mass media, each time she entered the studio she conversed with one listener at a time. “The voice is most important,” she wrote. “It tells whether you’re revealing your soul.”

 

As a radio team, Kazuo and Hisako developed a style of their own easily recognizable by their listeners. Their on-air presence was jovial and happy, taking listeners into their family relationships and their daily life in the Ecuadorian Andes. Kazuo reinitiated Japanese shortwave programming on June 3, 2006, this time from HCJB World Radio-Australia’s station in Kununurra.

 

When the shortwave listening boom hit Japan in the 1970s, Hisako managed replies to the ever-higher mountains of mail arriving at the Ozakis’ office. The Japanese Language Service’s letter count skyrocketed from 5,572 in 1971 to 63,416 in 1976. Yet the Ozakis showed an uncanny ability to remember names of listeners and specifics they’d written about in letters.

 

Days before Hisako’s death, her son, Michio, talked briefly of her at the mission’s annual meeting in Quito. Leading worship, he’d arranged for a picture of his mom to appear on the screen between songs. A collective sigh escaped the crowd as they viewed Hisako in  her hospice bed in Wheaton with her grandchild and Michio kneeling beside.

 

“My mom never felt qualified to be a missionary,” Michio said. “She never graduated from high school; she didn’t have training in radio production. And yet God used her.” What followed was the song, “When It’s All Been Said and Done,” by Jim Cowan. The lyrics of the first verse state, “When it’s all been said and done. There is just one thing that matters. Did I do my best to live for truth? Did I live my life for you?”

 

Hisako is survived by her husband, Kazuo; two sons, Michio and wife, Anne Marie, in Quito and Yuji and his wife, Michiho, in Tokyo; and a daughter, Joyce, and her husband, Dave Kerns, in Wheaton; as well as six grandchildren.

 

Memorial gifts remembering Hisako will go toward the creation of a home studio to record Kazuo’s Japanese radio programs that air twice weekly from HCJB World Radio-Australia’s shortwave station in Kununurra. Gifts sent to the mission’s international headquarters in Colorado Springs should be payable to HCJB World Radio and marked, “Japan Project - 782008.” (HCJB World Radio/DX Listening Digest/Asia Focus)

 

 

For more information contact:

Jon Hirst, Communications Director

HCJB World Radio. P.O. 38900, Colorado Springs, CO 80949

(719) 590-9800

jhirst@hcjb.org

 

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The MAGIC OF RADIO IN THE 21ST CENTURY

by Christopher D. Rumbaugh

 

Reprinted from the USA DRM Group website (www.usdrm.com)


I was captured by the magic of radio as a child. I grew up falling asleep to a bedside AM radio. Camping meant talking to grandpa on the CB. Riding my bike through the neighborhood on trash day would often yield vintage tube receivers. That was an era when people placed such " treasures" on top of trash cans, perhaps hoping the right person would find them.


Things got even better as a teen when I borrowed a Radio Shack regenerative shortwave receiver from a friend. The world of international broadcasting came alive! I began to log stations from all over and to collect QSL cards. I also learned about broadcast band DXing, using an old transistor radio my parents gave me. Shortly thereafter I bought a vintage Hallicrafters receiver at a flea market. What a gem!


Soon after, I became a ham operator and decided to pursue a degree in broadcasting. In college I had the pleasure of working at a radio station, an ad agency, a record company and I even did some video and film production.


The excitement of tuning around on shortwave never left, but in the last 10 years, I began to notice that the signals were not as good as they once had been. I also noticed it was harder to listen to the many "old friends" that I had once QSLed. Many broadcasters began to focus their energies on flashy websites rather than broadcasting. The Cold War being over meant that the US was not as an attractive broadcasting target as it once may have been. Soon I began to notice articles in QST and Monitoring times (as well as posts on the Internet) that indicated a "new wave" of broadcasting was on its way. DRM – Digital Radio Mondiale. I quickly grabbed up all the books and articles I could find related to this new digital format. My interest in shortwave was renewed, yet it seemed I'd have to wait awhile for a receiver to be developed.


My interest got the best of me and I investigated modifications I could perform to my current ham or shortwave gear. I considered building an IF interface for my Sangean ATS-803 or for my Yaesu FRG-7700. I discovered an Italian language website that indicated modifying the Yaesu FT-817 QRP transceiver would be quite simple. I also found an IF converter board (bring 455KHz down to 12KHz) on Ebay for about $24US.

Up until this point, I had not really heard DRM decoded, only MP3 recordings from the Internet. I found the opensource DreaM program at Sourceforge to do the decoding.

 
Installing the IF board was easy. I simply needed to use the open filter position (reserved for an add-on narrow CW filter). I attached the IF board by means of leads that I ran through existing holes at the back of the radio. I installed a headphone jack for easy connection.

I loaded the DreaM software. I powered up the IF board with a 9V battery and fed the output audio to the "mic in" on my soundcard. I ran the software and tuned the radio. CBC operates a Sackville transmitter on DRM for 3 hours or so each day. The software immediately locked on and wonderful sounding audio came from my speakers. An absolute DReaM! (pun intended!) I was sold on DRM!

 

So what is there in it for you? DRM occupying a 10KHz wide channel (the same as traditional shortwave) provides near FM quality audio, free from static, fade and the usual heterodyne whine from adjacent stations. I have heard some fairly compressed sub-AM settings (Radio Kuwait) and some amazing near FM Stereo (by HCJB and RNW).


I now listen to RNZI daily with wonderful audio! I really love it when they play New Zealand rock and pop! HCJB, during a recent NAB test, played some Andean music. It was beautiful! RNW aired a documentary on Mozart. The classical pieces sounded wonderful.

My reason in writing is to encourage you to give DRM a try. As a listener, DRM is a new option to hear the world! As a broadcaster, DRM provides the ability to transmit with near FM quality via the world-wide broadcast characteristics of shortwave.


DRM is not perfect. It is a new technology with room for growth and further development. In Europe it is beginning to be implemented for all its benefits. Did I mention it has the ability to transmit pictures, multiple audio channels, hypertext news, information and text bulletins? Hey, what about time shifting? DRM recording off the air for later listening is awesome! Talk about a REAL PodCast!


A recent test I performed indicates that DRM (as typically broadcast) is higher fidelity than satellite radio voice channels. RNZI using its current settings offers an audio bandwidth of nearly 11KHz. Satellite radio voice channel seem to be between 5KHz-8KHz. Satellite music channels are a little over 12KHz.


Please give DRM a try. We have been promised affordable, consumer grade receivers very soon. For broadcasters, get involved with NASB and in lobbying the FCC for regulation changes that will allow domestic shortwave broadcasting.


 Christopher / K6FIB

 Salem, Oregon, USA

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RECENT  DRM  DEVELOPMENTS

 

Siriol Evans, Director Press and communications for  DRM, passes along these recent press clips.

 

September 14, 2006

Electronic Design

http://www.elecdesign.com/Articles/Index.cfm?AD=1&ArticleID=13351

 

September 5, 2006

Digital Fernsehen

http://www.digitalfernsehen.de/news/news_106247.html

 

September 5, 2006

Electronic Engineering Times India

http://www.eetindia.com/ART_8800432623_1800005_ed66ffe5200609.HTM

 

September 5, 2006

EET Taiwan.com

http://www.eettaiwan.com/ART_8800434166_617723_b9379ca4200609.HTM

 

September 2, 2006

Semicon Times

http://www.semicontimes.com/content/archived-news.asp?smonth=9&syear=2006&recid=9934&type=1

 

September 1, 2006

Reuters

http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=PR&symbol=STM.PA&storyID=82847+01-Sep-2006+PRN

 

September 1, 2006

Electronics Weekly

http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/2006/09/01/39604/IFA+DRM+prototype+offers+way+to+crackle-free+AM+radio.htm

 

 

September 1,2006

Broadcast Newsroom

http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=61564

 

September 1, 2006

EDA Geek

http://edageek.com/2006/09/01/digital-radio-mondiale-receiver/

 

 

September 1, 2006

Chip Design

http://www.chipdesignmag.com/display.php?articleId=549&issueId=

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

World Christian Broadcasting

EWTN Global Catholic Radio WEWN

 

NASB Associate Members:

Beth Shalom Center Radio

Comet North America

Continental Electronics Corporation

George Jacobs & Associates

Good Friends Radio Network

Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers

HCJB World Radio                           

IBB    

TCI International, Inc.

TDF

TDP

Thomson  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