NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
Below is the first of a new series of articles that NASB Board member Adrian Peterson of AWR is writing on behalf of the NASB for Radio World, detailing the history of all shortwave stations in the United States---past and present. Subsequent articles will appear regularly in the trade publication Radio World and also here in the NASB Newsletter. Due to editing, content details may vary between pieces in the two publications.
American Shortwave Panorama---Wonderful Isle of Dreams
Dr. Adrian M. Peterson
Florida! Vacation state for admiring tourists, winter haven for shivering northerners, holiday playground for traveling families, and jumping off destination for tour boat devotees. However, in addition to these idyllic descriptions that lure the wandering visitors and invite them to flow into Florida, we can also remember that the state of Florida has featured prominently in the international scene of shortwave radio broadcasting. Currently on the air today is the large facility of Family Radio with its fourteen shortwave transmitters located a little north of Lake Okeechobee, and the commercial station WRMI with its two shortwave transmitters located a little north of Miami itself. In earlier years, there was station W4XB-WDJM, the shortwave counterpart of the AM station, WIOD. It all began this way.
Back in the Spring of 1925, Carl Fisher commenced the construction of an AM mediumwave station on Collins Island, Miami Beach in Florida. He had already built several luxury hotels in this new vacation area which served as a winter haven for visiting tourists from the colder northern regions. The concept in establishing this radio station back in the pioneer days when radio was still a novelty was to publicize his tourist facilities on this sand spit sandwiched in between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.
A Western Electric WE106A transmitter, rated at 1 kW and tuned to 1210 kHz, was installed in a two storey building on Collins Island that also housed the studios and offices for this new radio venture. The antenna towers were erected behind the main building, they stood 250 ft high and they were spaced 385 ft apart. The counterpoise ground system consisted of nearly 14 miles of wire buried in the salt water marshy areas. Test broadcasts from the new WIOD were authorized by the Department of Commerce on January 5, 1926, and the official license was dated four days later. A regular radio broadcasting service was commenced from the new WIOD on January 19, 1926, as the second radio station in the Miami area. The callsign WIOD, as is so well known in Miami, stands for “Wonderful Isle of Dreams”, an idyllic reference to Fisher’s tourist area at Miami Beach.
Over the years, station WIOD has been moved several times, with studios in the Fleetwood Hotel and the Miami Herald Building and the Miami News Building and on Cameo Island and in North Bay Village and Miramar. The WIOD transmitter and antennas have also been moved on several occasions, from Collins Island, which was known later as Clauton Island, to a tower on top of the Miami News Building. It was a common practice in those days to erect the antenna masts on top of a tall building in an endeavor to gain a greater height and therefore an extended coverage area. However, this widespread practice was discarded a few years later after it was discovered that the poor grounding system of a tall building did not enhance the coverage area of a mediumwave transmitter. Thus, the WIOD transmitter was soon afterwards moved to Little Cameo Island.
Among the other changes and developments experienced by WIOD were changes in callsign from WIOD, to WCKR, and back again to WIOD. The transmitter power, originally 1 kW, was increased to 5 kW in 1941 and to 10 kW in 1981. Likewise, there have been several changes in frequency, seven in all, though the current channel, 610 kHz, has been in use consistently since 1937. Today, there are a total of seven AM and FM stations clustered together in the large studio complex at Miramar.
However, as far as the international broadcasting facility is concerned, their era of shortwave broadcasting is of real interest and importance. The purposes for the parallel relay of programming on shortwave was to increase the coverage area of the AM mediumwave station, to encourage winter tourism from the colder northern areas of North America, and to publicize the vacation advantages that can be discovered in Florida.
In 1932, just six years after the mediumwave station was launched, station WIOD announced that a shortwave transmitter was under construction. This unit, assembled by their engineering staff, was inaugurated in July of the same year, 1932, with programming in parallel with the mediumwave unit which was on 1300 kHz at the time. Under the call sign W4XB, this new station was noted internationally soon afterwards with test broadcasts in the 49 metre band.
The WIOD shortwave station always operated on only the one channel, 6040 kHz. The printed schedule for this new broadcast operation showed a few hours in the afternoons and evenings with extended programming on Sundays.
Interestingly, in February 1933, station W4XB was noted in Australia with test broadcasts in conjunction with Radio Manila in the Philippines. In those days, distant stations would observe a pre-arranged schedule for the purpose of exchanging live programs, and thus listeners in Florida and throughout North America had the opportunity on this occasion of hearing radio programs from a distant country, the Philippines.
Throughout its entire lifetime, shortwave W4XB was on the air from the same transmitters, a pair of homebrew units at 5 kW, and always on the same channel in the 49 metre band, 6040 kHz. On occasions, the station was off the air for extended periods of time due to what would be described as transmitter maintenance. Available information suggests that there was only ever the one location for the shortwave transmitter, and that was at the original WIOD location on Collins, or Clauton Island. This island is long since gone; it was taken over by a highway and a hospital, and nearby marshy areas were filled in.
The original call sign for the shortwave transmitter was W4XB. However, even though this call makes the station look like an amateur operation, this was not the case. Back in that era, call signs with this type of configuration were looked upon as being experimental, and they could be either amateur or professional. The X after the number indicated experimental. With armed conflict looming over the international scene in continental Europe, the federal licensing authorities required all shortwave broadcasting stations in the United States to discard their experimental call signs and register a regularized call sign, effective September 1, 1939. During the hasty events of this crisis period, WIOD shortwave was noted for a short period of time in Australia and New Zealand with the call sign WKBM. However, ultimately the shortwave unit operated by the “Wonderful Isle of Dreams”, station W4XB became WDJM.
In another directive a few months later, the licensing authorities required that all shortwave broadcasting stations in the United States should be operating at a power of 50 kW, or have submitted a CP for 50 kW, effective April 1, 1940. At this stage, WIOD decided to drop out of the international shortwave scene and concentrate on local coverage, AM and later FM. The final broadcast from shortwave WDJM, the usual relay from mediumwave WIOD, took place some time during the month of September 1940, and the transmitter was quietly switched off for the last time. What was left of the two homebrew units, now combined into one 10 kW unit, was loaded onto a truck and taken up to Scituate MA, a few miles south of Boston. At station WRUL, the legendary Walter Lemmon re-activated the equipment a few weeks later and returned it to the air at its new location with 10 kW under a new call sign WRUX.
During its somewhat spasmodic on-air operation over a period of eight years, station W4XB-WDJM in Miami Florida was heard widely throughout North America, and also in Europe and the South Pacific. This pioneer shortwave station is long since gone, and only the very oldest amongst us can actually remember the events as they occurred. These days, just about all that is known about this station can be seen in a few old and yellowed QSL cards and in old and crinkled radio magazines.
Conference in St. Petersburg
Mike Adams, NASB Vice President, attended the recent European DX Council annual Conference on behalf of our Association. The following article about the event was written by Anker Petersen of the Danish Short Wave Club International and appeared in the November 1 issue of the DSWCI's publication, DX Window.
The 39th annual Conference of the European DX Council (EDXC) was held on Oct 19-22, 2006 at the State Regional Education Centre of the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy in the northern part of St. Petersburg, Russia. 70 people attended this Conference from 12 countries: Russia (32 participants), Finland (22), Denmark (3), Sweden (3), U.S.A. (3) and one from Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands and Scotland. For us, it was a special pleasure to meet many present and former members of the Danish Short Wave Club International, including Alexey Osipov, Mikhail Timofeyev and Alexander Beryozkin from the St. Petersburg DX Club.
The Conference was excellently organized by the incoming Secretary General, Tibor Szilagyi, and the St. Petersburg DX-Club whose members showed us fantastic hospitality and friendship!
The Conference was opened by Mr. Alexander Beryozkin on behalf of the local DX-Club playing the Anthem of Sankt Petersburg. Then Mr. Tibor Szilagyi gave the EDXC welcome on behalf of the interim Secretary General, Mr. Luigi Cobisi, who was on a business trip to Japan. An impressive agenda was presented with no less than 14 lectures and reports held in Russian or English with simultaneous interpreting.
During Friday and Saturday morning we heard and saw the following lectures:
"Special features of radio waves propagation by reflection from ionosphere" by Professor Evgeny Milyutin.
"National Association of SW Broadcasters and my 13 years at KFBS, Saipan" by Michael Adams, FEBC, USA.
"Using active magnetic aerials in professional radio receiving and DX-ing" by Dr. Anatoly Bobkov.
"Collecting Soviet vintage radio receivers" by Mr. Omar Cheishvili.
"LW/MW/SW broadcasting: past, present and future. DRM standard" by Ms. Valentina Jolkver-Krasnoposkaya.
"DX-ing and radio landscape in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia" by Anker Petersen, Denmark. This lecture will be brought in full in SWN later on.
"Results of the tests of software-defined radio receivers for HF and MW reception using both analogue and digital (DRM) technology" by Mr. Tarmo Kontro, Finland.
"Broadcasting in St. Petersburg region" by Mr. Mikhail Timofeyev.
"Reception of satellite international broadcasting in St. Petersburg" by Mr. Vladimir Kharitonov.
"Development of DRM radio transmitters" by Mr. Alexander Artamonov.
"DX-ing in Japan" by Mr. Toshimichi Ohtake, Japan.
"DX-ing in Finland" by Mr. Risto Vähäkainu, Finland.
"Moscow Club of DX-ers" by Mr. Vadim Alexeyev.
"St. Petersburg DX Club" by Mr. Alexander Beryozkin.
On Friday evening a few of us were interviewed at Radio Gardarika for a special broadcast Sunday afternoon. After a sightseeing tour by bus through parts of the beautiful city on Saturday afternoon, we visited the Professor A. S. Popov Apartment Museum where his radio laboratory was presented by Ms. Larisa Zolotinkina. In the evening the conference closed with an excellent banquet dinner and lottery.
It was a very informative conference where we met many DX friends, particularly from northeastern Europe, held in the Russian city which has always been regarded as the "Russian Window to the West." We look forward to the next EDXC Conference in Lugano, Switzerland on Nov. 1-4, 2007.
The NASB at EDXC
Mike Adams, VP NASB
of the EDXC people had met our president Jeff White before, and I was able to
bring greetings from Jeff and present a PowerPoint show that highlighted all the NASB
stations and who the members are. Many DXers recognized stations that they had heard
on the air. From my personal experience as a station engineer I also showed extra
pictures of KFBS Saipan with views of the station and its tropical surroundings. There
were other speakers at the conference talking about DRM in Russia and in our
presentation we expressed NASB's support and interest in DRM.
After the presentation I answered questions from the DXers and distributed schedules
and free stuff to the delegates - they happily received all the information offered by the
NASB members and it was all gone by the last day.
There were several Russian staff members there to represent NASB broadcasters:
Konstantin Chernushenko from KNLS follow-up office, Mikhail Nevolin and Sergey
Sosedkin from "Back to God hour" (aired over many NASB stations) as well as Vasily
Guyaev from TWR. Several of these guys have a long history of listening to many of
the NASB stations. During a coffee break Sergey told me his story. He started being a
DX SW listener at age 14 and grew up in an atheistic home. Over the years he tuned
in to FEBC, TWR and HCJB and other Christian stations. He later became a Christian
and radio had a part in his coming to faith. Mikhail was in the Merchant marines and
listened over ship radios when at sea - now he helps make a live program over Teos -
St Pete. For me this was the most encouraging thing to see - listeners that our NASB
stations had really helped - and to see them going on in broadcasting and cooperating
to create good radio programming there in Russia.
It was a very worthwhile experience to meet the listeners and tell them more about
NASB. It was all well received and we should continue to do more of this in the future.
Mike Adams making his presentation at the EDXC
Three Years TDP Radio
TDPradio, the brainchild of Daniël Versmissen (Program Manager) and founded in 2003, is pleased to announce its third birthday which will be celebrated on October 11, 2006. We proudly share with you this important event and want to thank all of you for making it happen.
Today, TDPradio is the first and only dance radio station which broadcasts worldwide in DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale). It is recognized as bringing the best audio quality ever delivered in AM radio.
On October 11, 2006, TDPradio will extend its DRM transmissions from 4 to 14 hours, so now you can listen to TDPradio every day in DRM. Join us, experience our high-technology music using the utmost quality standards available in the market.
Broadcasts take place daily from 1500-1600 UTC on 6015 kHz to Europe and from 0000-0100 UTC on 9790 kHz to Northern America. Each day a different flavour of dance music is broadcast to suit different tastes and to show the wide variety of dance music styles. You can also listen online 24/7 to our live internet stream. Check out
www.tdpradio.com for more details about our shows.
TDPradio is still looking for DJ talent! Contact our Program Manager Daniël Versmissen for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
TDPradio is the first and only dance music radio station broadcasting in DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) on shortwave in stereo to Europe and North America. Its mission is to bring the best audio quality on shortwave utilizing only digital technologies from production source to its audience with the smallest number of encoding/decoding steps possible in the digital transmission chain. TDPradio also aims to offer unique, compelling content produced especially for DRM to promote the possibilities and quality of DRM.
For more info, visit www.tdpradio.com
TDP is a technical service provider for shortwave radio broadcasts, both in analog and digital format to every part of the world. TDP offers a flexible and end-to-end solution for radio stations and program producers targeting a specific coverage area or a particular audience. Besides the airtime service, TDP also sells shortwave broadcast transmitters, antennas and studio equipment. For more info, visit www.broadcast.be.
DRM is the world’s only open standard, universal, digital on-air system for short-wave, medium-wave/AM and long-wave. DRM has received the endorsement of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the International Electro technical Committee (IEC). DRM provides near-FM audio quality and excellent reception, even over long distances. While DRM currently covers the broadcasting bands below 30 MHz, the DRM consortium voted last year to extend the system to the broadcasting bands up to 120 MHz. In addition to providing substantially better audio quality and interference-free reception, the DRM system benefits listeners with new multimedia content such as track title, artist, and station name, which can be displayed on DRM receivers to enhance the listening experience. For more info about DRM, check out www.drm.org.
New DRM North America Yahoo
Avid DRM listener Christopher Rumbaugh has started a new DRM North America Yahoo group, and he's hoping to get other devoted DRM monitors to join up. For more information, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/drmna/
Dale R. Ward Dead At 62
(Inquiries can be addressed to Paul Ladd, (615) 371-8707, ext. 116 or email@example.com.)
World Christian Broadcasting, Franklin, TN, has announced the death of its Executive Producer, Dale R. Ward on Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Ward, 62, had worked for World Christian Broadcasting since 1990, after a varied and far-reaching career in broadcasting, education and Christian ministry.
Born in Denver, Colorado, in 1944, Ward finished high school there, and furthered his education at Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, and the Institute of Christian Education, Dallas.
While working on his Bachelor’s Degree at Abilene, Ward was also employed by several radio and television stations in Abilene and Lubbock as News Anchor, News Director and General Manager. He spent two years in the Spartanburg and Charleston areas of South Carolina as News Anchor and News Director.
Since joining World Christian Broadcasting, in 1990, Ward has been responsible for overseeing the entire production output of all programming in three languages, English, Russian and Mandarin Chinese. He was also instrumental in formulating and developing plans to build a second transmitting location on the island of Madagascar, where programs in the Arabic language will be added. That facility is currently under construction.
Charles Caudill, President of World Christian Broadcasting, expressed his admiration for Ward, saying, “I consider Dale not only a powerful force in our broadcasting efforts, but also a dear friend. Dale and I have traveled together, worked and prayed together and planned great things for our company together. He has been a vital and central part of our progress toward spreading the Gospel over our shortwave station KNLS and from Madagascar. He will be sorely missed on both a professional and a personal level.”
Throughout his career in broadcasting and teaching on the college level, Ward was pulpit minister or outreach minister for five separate churches of Christ in Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama and Tennessee. He taught speech, communications and broadcasting skills at Heritage and Faulkner Universities in Florence, Alabama.
Dale Ward is survived by his wife Pat, a daughter Stephani Gail Ward, two sons, Dr. Stephen Ward and Thomas Eldred Ward and three grandchildren, Joshua, Karissa and Christopher Ward. His family has said that donations in memory of Dale may be made to The Dale Ward-Madagascar Fund, and sent to World Christian Broadcasting Corp., 605 Bradley Court, Franklin, TN 37067.
DRM Article Links
Dear DRM Members,
Attached are some recent commentaries and news articles re: DRM.
Thanks to Daniel Hirschler of Deutsche Welle for some sending in some of the links.
International Herald Tribune -- October 1, 06
by Jeff White, NASB
Australia Prepares for Digital Radio Mondiale -- September 29, 06
Radioworld Online -- September 27, 06
Commentary by H. Donald Messer
Digital Radio News.com -- September 9, 06
EE Times Deutschland -- September 1, 06
Converge Digest -- September 1, 06
www.netstumbler.com -- September 1, 06
Director, Press & Communications
phone:+44 1481 268246
cellphone: +44 7781 127019
fax: +44 1481 268247
DIPLOMACY COUNCIL FORUM ON INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING
to be held
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2006
JACK MORTON AUDITORIUM
SCHOOL OF MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
805 21ST STREET, NW
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20052
Audience Limited – Register On-Line via www.publicdiplomacycouncil.org Registration Is Now Open
Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
William P. Kiehl
Executive Director, The Public Diplomacy Council
tel.: (202) 994-0389
office e-mail: email@example.com; personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
websites: www.publicdiplomacycouncil.org and www.pdi.gwu.edu
RFA Releases New QSL Card October 2006
RFA’s Technical Operations Division is proud to announce the release of the company’s twelfth QSL card commemorating the company’s 10 th anniversary of its first broadcast. On September 29, 1996, RFA’s first program to broadcast was in Mandarin Chinese. This card is scheduled for distribution from September 1 to December 31, 2006. This is also the company’s first QSL card to sport the new corporate logo.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese,Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a ‘surrogate’ broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest. More information about Radio Free Asia is available at www.rfa.org
RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports. Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions. Radio stations, like RFA, usually confirm accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card.
RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at www.techweb.rfa.org (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX’ers, but also from its general listening audience. Reception reports are also accepted by email at email@example.com , and for anyone without Internet access, reception reports can be mailed to:
Radio Free Asia
2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
Washington DC 20036
United States of America.
Upon request, RFA will also send a copy of the current broadcast schedule and a station sticker.
Work in Progress at Woofferton
NASB associate member VT Communications (VTC) was recently awarded a contract to broadcast a significant number of analogue and digital shortwave programmes for the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
The cornerstone of VT Communications' ability to deliver this contract is the introduction of new broadcast equipment at its UK transmitting stations to facilitate Deutsche Welle’s analogue and digital broadcasts.
As the result of VT Communications’ commitment to providing state-of-the-art solutions for broadcasters, the first step in the re-engineered infrastructure was achieved at Woofferton in mid-October, with a new 250 kW short wave transmitter entering service for the first time. The transmitter was supplied by Riz Transmitters Co, from Zagreb in Croatia, with responsibility for the installation and commissioning shared between Riz and VT Communications' staff.
Work has already commenced both on site at Woofferton and in Zagreb for two more transmitters, with more to follow -- one at Woofferton and one at Skelton. The first pair is scheduled for installation late 2006 through early 2007.
(from VTC news release)
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
TCI International, Inc.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org