NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
Latest Plans for NASB Annual Meeting in Elkhart
The upcoming annual meeting of the NASB will be a joint two-day meeting with the USA DRM Group. This will take place at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Indiana May 10th and 11th. It's a meeting for NASB members and associate members, shortwave stations, equipment manufacturers, consultants, program producers, shortwave listeners and anyone interested in the latest DRM developments.
On the morning of Thursday, May 10th, there will be a tour of HCJB's engineering center, recently renamed the Global Technology Center. HCJB's Herb Jacobson will talk about converting existing shortwave transmitters to DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) modulation. Herb's son Charlie Jacobson will tell about the various types of DRM receivers he has tested and HCJB's DRM receiver package. Don Spragg of Continental Electronics will explain his company's DRM upgrades for shortwave transmitters, and he will also talk about tests of DRM transmitters on 26 MHz for local broadcasting.
Other speakers on May 10th will include Brent Weeks of HCJB in Ecuador and Mike Adams of the Far East Broadcasting Company, who is also NASB's vice president. We hope to have a representative from the DRM Consortium in Europe, and a sample of one of the latest DRM receivers from Europe to monitor DRM transmissions during the meeting. On Thursday afternoon, the group will travel to nearby South Bend, Indiana for a tour of NASB member LeSEA Broadcasting, which operates World Harvest Radio's three shortwave stations -- WHRI, WHRA and KWHR in South Carolina, Maine and Hawaii, respectively.
Thursday evening's activities will end with a dinner at the Bent Oak Golf Club in Elkhart, sponsored by WMLK, TCI International, Continental Electronics and Thomson.
On Friday, May 11, the NASB annual meeting continues with remarks by Kim Elliott, audience research officer at the Voice of America; and Gerhard Straub of the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau. We'll have an Asian focus as John Brewer of HCJB's office in Singapore tells us about radio planting in Indonesia, and George Ross from Trans World Radio will show us photos of his station, KTWR, on the Pacific island of Guam. Adrian Peterson of Adventist World Radio's "Wavescan" program will wrap things up in the morning with a presentation entitled "The World's Oldest Radio Cards, 1901-1945," with a variety of historical QSL cards from Adrian's own extensive collection.
The annual NASB Business Meeting will take place on Friday afternoon for all of our members, associate members and visitors who are present. Topics on the agenda will include NASB attendance at shortwave listener meetings and the location for the 2008 NASB annual meeting. Elections for Board members will be held, and the new Board of Directors will meet briefly at the end of the afternoon. On Friday evening, May 11, everyone will be invited to a special dinner at an Amish restaurant in Middlebury, Indiana, not far from Elkhart. This dinner will also be sponsored by our friends at Thomson, Continental Electronics, TCI International and WMLK/Asemblies of Yahweh.
If we've whetted your appetite and if you'd like to attend, you're very welcome. There is no registration fee. You just need to pay your own travel expenses. For a complete schedule or to register your attendance, send us an e-mail at email@example.com, and we'll send you all the information you need right away. You can also find some basic information on the NASB website (www.shortwave.org), including details about how to make hotel reservations in Elkhart for a special NASB meeting rate.
ABU DHABI HFCC REPORT
By George Ross
High Frequency Coordination Conference (HFCC) was held at the Millennium Hotel
in Abu Dhabi 5-9th February 2007 and hosted by Emirates Media Inc. (EMI).
This is the second time in only 3 years that the HFCC conference was hosted by
Emirates Media. The previous time was in Dubai in February 2004.
This meeting was attended by 116 delegates representing 56 Frequency Management Organizations from 44 countries. Representing the NASB were George Ross and Mike Sabin from KTWR Trans World Radio Guam. Dr. Jerry Plummer was there for the first time to observe and consider participation as the frequency coordinator for WWCR. We appreciated getting to know him, and helped to show him through the process of coordination work.
After our long flight to Abu Dhabi we found that our luggage did not arrive with us. So our first point of business was to find a clothing store to do necessary shopping to at least take us through the first part of the conference. So our first day in Abu Dhabi we experienced shopping in the midst of a sandstorm. (We were successful, and we were also quite relieved when our luggage arrived two days later.)
To sum up the week, hospitality was great and the food was great. We are again grateful for such a gracious accommodation and welcome for such a conference venue. It was a very busy week of coordination. The total amount of requirements has not diminished at all, even with some broadcasters cutting back, and with the sunspot cycle at its low. It seems that other broadcasters are increasing their usage of HF spectrum as well.
Mr. Mahmood Alredha, Head of Engineering EMI, opened the beginning plenary meeting by welcoming everyone to Abu Dhabi on behalf of EMI. He was proud that EMI were able to host the HFCC/ASBU Conference in the UAE for the second time in three years.
Mr. Abdelrahim Suleiman, Technical Director of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) thanked EMI for hosting the joint meeting of HFCC/ASBU in Abu Dhabi. He said it was a pleasure to be in Abu Dhabi. He described the achievements and developments of ASBU. There are 21 active members in the ASBU.
HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip addressed the delegates next. He made mention of the need to examine and take regulatory decisions on the radio regulations. He mentioned that 10 years ago WRC-97 introduced Article 12 (The Planning Procedure for HF Broadcasting) into the ITU Radio Regulations. "This resulted from a small coordination group which started in 1990 and later became the HFCC. It is now possible to coordinate on a worldwide basis using a single database managed by HFCC/ASBU. In fact, colleagues in the ABU-HFC for the Asia Pacific region met in Kuala Lumpur recently and updated their A07 requirements using the same database which will be used during the meeting."
Another WRC is scheduled in the fall of 2007 which could have an impact on shortwave broadcasting with possible additions for the radio spectrum below 10 MHz. Oldrich mentioned it is essential to inform administrations on the need for additional spectrum as has been documented by the HFCC.
Monday evening the HFCC delegates were treated to a banquet dinner.
The highlight for conference delegates was the formal invitation to a banquet dinner at the Emirates Palace on Wednesday night. The Emirates Palace Hotel is only the second seven-star hotel in the world (next to Burj Al Arab in Dubai.) The hotel is the most expensive ever built at a cost of US $3bn. Emirates Palace opened in February 2005. The Emirates Palace is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. It's not billed as a hotel: "The 7 or 6 star ratings do not officially exist - the highest rating that can be given to a hotel is 5 stars. We classify Emirates Palace as just that, a Palace. Its sumptuous furnishings and regal service offered to each of its guests, ensures the palatial experience is one that will be remembered forever."
It was quite a spectacular banquet and tour. These statistics will give you an idea, and you can see an impressive view of the palace with Google Earth.
The design incorporates traditional Arabian elements such as the grand dome and 114 smaller domes spread over the building. The colours of the building reflect the different shades of sand found in the Arabian Desert. The largest dome, the Grand Atrium dome, is 42m wide with a surface finish of silver and gold coloured glass mosaic tiles. On the apex sits a gold finial. The gazebo and main auditorium both have domes measuring 17m in diameter; the smaller domes range from 7m to 12m in diameter, with the smallest dome measuring 2.9m.
The Emirates Palace employs around 2000 staff members representing approximately 50 nationalities. It has 92 suites representing the ultimate in luxury along with 302 deluxe guest rooms. It has 1002 chandeliers made with Swarovski's premier Strauss crystals. The Palace sits on a land plot of 1 million square meters of exotic park, most of which comprises of landscaped gardens and beach.
At the closing plenary meeting of the conference on Friday, it was announced that Christian Vision (CVI) had generously offered to host the B07 conference near Birmingham, UK, during the period 27-31 August 2007. Andrew Flynn, Head of Engineering CVI, confirmed the invitation and provided more information on the venue. He said more information would be available probably sometime in June.
Jan Willem Drexhage presented the following information from the meeting of the Group of Experts (GOE):
* The new collision detection system prepared by Navid Homayouni of Iran's IRB is still producing collision lists that are too long. This system looks at S/I values for detecting a collision. Attempts to shorten the lists are being taken to produce a list around the same length as the present 55dB collision list. The results will be reported at the next HFCC/ASBU meeting.
* The HTM collision list currently marks deleted collisions. However both frequency requirements are marked. A proposal to just mark the requirement deleted was accepted.
* Norbert Schall had noted that the design frequency of an antenna is very important when calculating the coverage achieved. A multiband antenna operating at the top of its frequency range produces a different coverage area than when operating at the bottom of its frequency range. The elevation angle will be significantly incorrect if the design frequency and operational frequency are quite different. Therefore, the design frequency should always be provided as part of a requirement. Many requirements don’t include it. Geoff Spells agreed to prepare a guide of how to calculate the design frequency if not known and provide some examples.
* There are complaints that a few members use many multiple frequency reservations in the database during the coordination meeting which makes the coordination process less efficient. These unused requirements block attempts to improve the coordination process and should be removed as soon as possible.
* There have been requests to make the collision lists available as a database. The decision is the data will be provided as a comma delimited file (not in XML format) which can be imported into most database software packages.
* Jan Willem noted that the language field is not often used. Soon ISO 693-3 will be available. If suitable it will be proposed that the ITU use this new version in the future.
* As agreed at the last meeting, distress and safety frequencies are now removed from the database. Adjacent frequencies (±5 kHz) will also be blocked in the future.
HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip closed the plenary with the following:
* He made mention of the EBU Specialised Seminar to be held in Geneva on 26 April 2007. This will feature HFCC activities with Horst Scholz and Geoff Spells giving presentations. This seminar is intended to give information on developments in delivery options as well as preparations for WRC-07. Details of this seminar are on the "What’s New" column on the HFCC website.
* Abdelrahim noted that there are different opinions on the amount of additional spectrum needed by the broadcasting service. It would help if all broadcasting organisations could agree the amount and use this in discussions with administrations prior to WRC-07.
* Geoff Spells said that the only definitive proposal he had seen was from the CEPT. CPG PT4 had prepared a draft European Common Proposal (ECP) for consideration at CPG. This draft ECP proposed a total additional allocation of 350 kHz to the broadcasting service in the bands between 4-10 MHz under Article 12 from 25 October 2015. There was no additional spectrum proposed for the 7 MHz band. The fixed and mobile services affected by this would be given access to other spectrum on a shared basis from the date of implementation of the Final Acts of WRC-07.
* Oldrich reported that comments on the interaction between AM and DRM transmissions had been received. He urged those FMO’s with DRM requirements to try to place these in a block with other DRM transmissions when selecting a frequency rather than scattering them throughout the band. The HFCC/ASBU position on this issue is contained in a document on the HFCC website.
The entire plenary is available on the HFCC website, www.hfcc.org.russ
Backrow (standing L-R)
Jerry Plummer - WWCR, Allen Graham - HCJB, Mike Sabin - KTWR
Front row (seated L-R) Chris Cooper - FEBC, George Ross - KTWR, Tom Lucey - FCC.
Abu Dhabi Conference Press Release
News release from the HFCC
The High Frequency Coordination Conference (HFCC) and the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) held a joint HF coordination meeting at the Millennium Hotel in Abu Dhabi 5-9th February 2007 at the kind invitation of Emirates Media Inc. (EMI).
The meeting was attended by 116 delegates representing 56 Frequency Management Organisations (FMO) from 44 countries.
During the week, the delegates managed to resolve many of the potential interference problems likely to affect HF broadcasting services in the A07 broadcasting season effective from 25th March to 27th October 2007. This means that listeners will be able to tune into their favourite stations operating in the shortwave broadcasting bands with less likelihood of experiencing severe interference.
HFCC and ASBU expressed their warm thanks to Emirates Media Inc. for providing such excellent facilities and hospitality which led to such a successful outcome.
NASB Members Present at NRB Convention in Orlando
by Jeff White, NASB President
Several NASB members were present at the 2007 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando, Florida February 17-20. Around 6,000 persons attended the meeting.
Our associate member Radio Center had a booth at the NRB, showcasing its station in Moscow which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Director Andrey Nekrasov told us it was the first time they have had a booth at the NRB.
Another NASB associate member, TCI International, had a booth manned by Jonathan Clark and a colleague. Jon plans to be at the NASB annual meeting in Elkhart in May, where TCI will be co-sponsoring the Thursday night banquet.
NASB member Adventist World Radio did not have a booth at NRB, but I did run into AWR's Dowell Chow, who many will remember from last year's NASB annual meeting at AWR headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Dowell said AWR is considering havng a booth at the religious broadcasters convention next year. And even this year, five different Adventist institutions had their own booths at the event.
HCJB, another NASB associate member, had a booth this year, focusing on its Televozandes TV production unit. Grass Valley, the parent group of NASB associate member Thomson, also had a large display at the convention.
One of the largest booths at NRB this year was that of NASB member LeSEA Broadcasting, which operates three shortwave stations. I had a chance to chat briefly with LeSEA's Pete Sumrall about the tour of their facilities that will take place at this year's NASB annual meeting.
Other booths of interest to the shortwave community at the NRB in Orlando included those of shortwave station WWCR in Tennessee; TBN Networks, which operates shortwave station KTBN in Salt Lake City; and the UK-based World Radio Network. The WRN booth was staffed by Tim Ayris, Marketing Manager, and Abbie Cunliffe. Among other things, we learned that WRN is planning to start a Spanish-language service around June of this year which will be intended for Spain and Latin America. NASB member WRMI regularly broadcasts WRN programming which originates from shortwave stations around the world.
Some former U.S. shortwave broadcasters were also present. Criswell Communications in Dallas, Texas had a booth at NRB promoting its station KCBI. Longtime shortwave listeners will remember that KCBI had a shortwave station with the same call letters back in the 1980's, which was later sold and became NASB member KAIJ. And High Adventure Ministries, which used to operate NASB members KVOH and WJCR, also had a booth.
Various producers of religious radio programs that are broadcast on shortwave stations around the world also had displays. California-based Pan American Broadcasting, which operates the shortwave Radio Africa stations in Equatorial Guinea and which places many programs on other shortwave stations -- including some NASB member stations -- did not have a booth, but it did have two representatives at the convention.
Mike Cronk of the BBC writes: "John Sykes of the BBC World Service has decided to take early retirement at the end of March, 2007. John has been with the BBC in various guises since 1972, and in recent years has been our Project Director, Digital Radio and DRM expert. He will be surely missed." We were pleased to have John at last year's USA DRM and NASB annual meetings in Silver Spring, Maryland, and we wish him a happy retirement. He can be reached via his long-time assistant Margaret Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siriol Evans has recently left her position as Press & Communications Director of the DRM Consortium. "It has been a real pleasure to work with you," she wrote to members, "and I look forward to watching DRM's continued success in the future."
Here are some recent newsclips mentioning DRM, this time with news from Germany, Africa and Canada in particular:
Sender & Frequenzen (Germany) -- 2007 Edition A detailed report on DRM appeared in the 2007 edition of the listeners' guide "Sender & Frequenzen". The full handbook contains 576 pages. Note: If you would like a copy of the pdf, please contact Siriol Evans at email@example.com
Electropages.com -- December
RadioScape -- Multi-standard DAB/DRM Modules to meet early market
Radio Magazine (USA) -- December 27, 06 Canada Rules to Allow HD Radio: http://beradio.com/eyeoniboc/canada-allow-hd-radio/index.html
Red Herring (USA) -- December 5, 06 Digital Radio, African Style: http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=20033&hed=Digital+Radio%2C+African+Style§or=Industries&subsector=Communications
Inter Press Service News Agency -- December 4, 06 Digital Radio Takes an Ambitious Step into Africa: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=35698
HoerZu (Germany) -- November 2006 Edition 46/2006 -- For a copy of the pdf, please contact Siriol Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gayle Crow Joins World
(Franklin, Tennessee) - NASB member World Christian Broadcasting has announced the appointment of Gayle Crowe as Vice President of Programming. He succeeds Dale Ward, WCB's longtime Executive Producer, who passed away in October of last year.
"Gayle is uniquely qualified to lead our programming. His work with World Christian Broadcasting and experience in ministry make him the right person for the job," said Charles H. Caudill, President and CEO of WCB, which is based in Cool Springs, TN.
Crowe has served on WCB's board of directors for 27 years and chaired the programming committee for most of that time. In addition, he has hosted and produced segments of the station's Author's Journal series. He is a graduate of Abilene Christian, Wheaton and Harvard universities and also has a doctorate from Harding University Graduate School of Religion.
Christian Broadcasting is a non-profit, shortwave radio ministry that exists to
tell the good news of Jesus Christ to the world by reaching the greatest number
of people in the shortest time. Its operations center is located in Cool
Springs, Tennessee. To learn more about the work of World Christian
Broadcasting, visit www.worldchristian.org or www.knls.org.
Cricket World Cup Updates Beamed to Americas via Shortwave
Cricket fans throughout North and South America will be able to keep abreast of the Cricket World Cup in the West Indies by listening to shortwave radio. Radio Miami International, WRMI, will offer one-minute "World Cricket Today" reports twice daily for seven weeks, beginning March 11 and continuing through the end of the 16-nation, 51-match tournament on April 28.
The World Cup is held every four years to determine the top one-day cricket team on the globe. The West Indies won the inaugural World Cup in 1975 in England. Australia has won the past two competitions, including the most recent event four years ago in South Africa. Canada will join the West Indies and Bermuda as the three Western Hemisphere sides among the 16 countries represented. This year's competition will be staged in nine different Caribbean nations. Cricket is played and watched by more people worldwide than baseball.
"World Cricket Today" will be beamed to Latin America and the Caribbean on WRMI's 9955 kHz frequency at 1230 UTC, and again to North America on 7385 kHz at 1530 UTC (in addition to audio streaming on the station's website at www.wrmi.net). It will be hosted by Seattle native Bruce Baskin, a cricket enthusiast who has radio experience dating back 30 years. "This is a great opportunity to reach a lot of people throughout the continent," Baskin says. "WRMI will give cricket tremendous exposure in the United States and Canada, where the game has almost no media presence at all. Listening to cricket results on shortwave is a longtime tradition in many countries, but this will be a first-time effort in the United States."
WRMI, which first signed on in 1994, alternates its 50,000-watt signal between North and South America. The station is on the air 24 hours a day with an eclectic format including Spanish, religious and international news programming in addition to the station's "Viva Miami" variety show. WRMI general manager Jeff White serves as president of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters.
There are more than 600 million shortwave radios in circulation worldwide, and one factory in China reportedly produces 300,000 of them per month to meet the demand for more. It is not uncommon for a WRMI broadcast to be heard simultaneously on five continents.
Rampisham, A Day in the Country
Reprinted from The Oracle, January-June, 2007, published by NASB associate member VT Communications
November 16th, 2006 was a day of an excursion to Rampisham, a large communications station owned by VT Communications and used to service a wide range of international broadcasters such as BBC World Service.
Despite the rainy weather, the bus left Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, on time with nine individuals eager to gain new experience and knowledge. The journey to Dorset took almost 3.5 hours and as the bus was getting closer, the surrounding environment was becoming more rural. Fields full of cows, hills and little cottages; one would have felt like going back in time. However, all of a sudden, big antennas on the horizon in the distance seemingly brought the travellers back to civilization.
The Rampisham transmission site is located on the hill just next to Rampisham, a small village, and broadcasts shortwave transmissions mainly to Eastern Europe, Africa and the USA.
There are about 30 highly skilled engineers and technicians working in Rampisham, maintaining the site and making sure everything works the way it should. From the transmission building one can see a vast field full of standing antennas with arrays that look like huge cobwebs with the same repetitive patterns.
The Rampisham 189-acre site was acquired by BBC in 1939 and entered service on 16th February 1941. During the first years the site was subject to attempts at destruction by the German Luftwaffe. The original transmitters remained in service until 1963 when they were replaced by 250 kW ones built by Marconi along with two twin-channel 100 kW units. In 1982 Rampisham went through the biggest re-engineering since it began. The site was completely stripped of the old antennas and the building gutted to a shell in preparation for a complete new installation. What was installed is what can be seen today, ten 500 kW transmitters and 34 wideband curtain arrays. The majority of antennas point in an easterly direction with others capable of beaming to the west. A fully automatic control system was also installed that continually monitors the broadcast and the site.
In 1996 with the privatisation of the BBC World Service transmission network, Rampisham was purchased by Merlin Communications and now forms a key part of VT Communications' shortwave network.
The site itself is designed as a Site of Nature Conservation interest as the land has hardly been disturbed since the site was installed. Many rare species of plants and insects native to Dorset thrive amongst the undisturbed pasture.
It was a nice trip and Rampisham staff taking the visitors around the site were extremely friendly and professional. Just when the coach was trying to make its way back in London, through hundreds of cars and people in an evening rush hour, one just had to admit that the Dorset countryside resembled an unspoiled and peaceful paradise.
Note: We encourage all NASB members and associate members to send us news and features about their organizations for inclusion in the NASB Newsletter.
Radio Free Asia Issues
Special QSL Card for Winter SWL Festival
Radio Free Asia’s Technical Operations Division announced the release of the station's 14th QSL card commemorating the 2007 Winter SWL Festival. This year marked the 20th anniversary of this annual gathering which took place from March 8-10, 2007 in Kulpsville, Pennsylvania. The Winter SWL Festival is recognized as North America’s largest gathering of listeners to the radio spectrum - longwave, mediumwave, shortwave (broadcast, utilities, pirates), VHF/UHF, FM, scanners, television and satellites. This QSL will be issued for all valid RFA reception reports from March 1 – April 30, 2007. NASB members WMLK, KNLS and HCJB were present at the Winter SWL Festival, as was a large NASB exhibit.
“Wandering Cloud Over Tibet”
WASHINGTON—Radio Free Asia and the Asia Society Washington Center presented a stunning photo exhibit by award-winning journalist Palden Gyal on February 22 at RFA headquarters in Washington. A broadcaster in RFA's Tibetan service, Gyal returned home in 2006 for the first time in 18 years. He documented his visit in hundreds of photos depicting both the natural beauty of the region and the daily lives of those who make it their home. This exhibit also included historical photos from the private collections of RFA Tibetan broadcaster Tenor Taring, many of them dating from the earliest years of the 20th century and never published or exhibited previously.
to view some of Gyal's many photos and to learn more.
Radio Free Asia Releases New QSL Card
RFA’s Technical Operations Division announced the release of the station's 13th QSL card commemorating 2007 as the Year of the Pig. On February, 18, 2007, at least one fourth of the world’s population celebrated the Chinese New Year, ushering in the Year of the Pig based upon the Chinese calendar. This QSL was issued for all valid RFA reception reports from January 1 – February 28, 2007.
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
Upon request, RFA will also send a copy of the current broadcast schedule and a station sticker.
At the beginning of 2007 we inform you about our last year's achievements and activities.
RIZ' shortwave transmitter production program covers SW units up to 500 kW.
Contracts signed with Germany and UK companies in the last few years are the result of our participating in international tenders, and we believe they are the best recommendation of our transmitters’ quality and company policy.
Please note we have delivered and put into operation a 500 kW SW transmitter in Germany (Wertachtal station) in 2003, and 250/500 kW SW transmitters to VT Communications in the UK in 2006, which transmit BBC and Deutsche Welle programs.
Four 250 kW SW transmitters, contracted with VT Communications-UK in 2006, are just in the process of installation and they are intended for transmitting the Deutsche Welle program. In that sense, we would draw your attention to an article in the January 2007 Radio World International edition.
More details about the DRM exciter/modulator itself, and the mentioned 250/500 kW SW DRM transmitters are available from us. If you are interested in any of our products or making plans about new transmitters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Stefica Mahalup, Marketing Manager
RIZ Transmitters Company
American Shortwave Panorama
Voice of America: Palo Alto in California
by Adrian M. Peterson
This is the second in an occasional series on the stories behind shortwave broadcasting stations in the United States and its territories; it was recently published in Radio World. Some stations in this series are gone and almost forgotten, others can be heard today.
Long gone, and almost forgotten. That is the story of an important international shortwave broadcasting station in California that was on the air during the intense days of the decisive Pacific War. Programming from this station was beamed south to the Pacific and north to Alaska and it was made up of relays from OWI-VOA and also AFRS. We take a look at the known information, admittedly a little sketchy, about this significant shortwave relay station, and we begin way back nearly 100 years ago.
There was a maritime wireless station established on Ocean Beach in San Francisco near what became the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge back in the year 1910. During the American involvement in World War I, this Morse Code wireless station was taken over by the Navy for naval communication, and in 1921, it was handed back to Federal Telegraph.
During the following year, another maritime station with updated electronic equipment was erected further south at a new location in the marshy areas of the inner harbor at Palo Alto. At the time, both of these stations were owned by the Federal Telegraph Company, which also owned a wireless equipment factory in the Palo Alto area, and both stations identified on the air in Morse Code as KFS. Over a period of six years, the maritime wireless communication service from the older Ocean Beach station was fully phased out in favor of the newer Palo Alto station.
Soon afterwards, the communication radio station at Palo Alto was sold to the Mackay Wireless & Cable Company, though the station still identified on air as KFS. That was its main call sign, and back in those days, every new channel in the shortwave spectrum was officially allocated a new three letter call sign. In the mid 1930s, most of the channel call signs from Palo Alto Radio were in the KW series, such as KWA, KWB, KWC, etc.
Immediately after Pearl Harbor, rapid moves were made in the United States to increase the number of shortwave transmitters on the air with international radio programming from a dozen up to about three dozen. In fact, on the West Coast at that time, there was only one regular station on the air with international shortwave programming; that was station KGEI, at Belmont, also south of San Francisco. It is true, special programs were broadcast from some of the communication transmitters operated by RCA (Radio Corporation of America) at Bolinas, but the scheduling was only occasional and spasmodic.
Quite quickly, additional shortwave transmitters were installed at various locations in California and brought into service as soon as possible to give international coverage into the Pacific and Asia, as well as to Australia and New Zealand.
Among these new stations back in the early days of the Pacific War were KWID and KWIX at Islais Creek, KRCA and KRCQ at Bolinas, and an additional unit at Belmont, KGEX. In addition, two new broadcasting units were made available at KFS, the Mackay maritime station at Palo Alto, and these identified on air with the four letter broadcast call signs, KROJ and KROU. A third unit, KROZ, was quickly commandeered for the surrender broadcasts in August 1945.
The first of these new transmitters at Palo Alto was KROJ, and according to published information at the time, the transmitter was a 50 kW Press Wireless unit, manufactured in the United States, sent to England, and re-imported back into the United States.
However, another report states that the new KROJ was in reality an RCA unit, already available, that was quickly installed at Palo Alto and pressed into service. Notwithstanding these published reports, experienced radio personnel in the San Francisco area state that they consider the new shortwave service was transmitted from communication units already on the air at the Palo Alto station, and perhaps modified for broadcast usage.
Experienced international radio monitors in Australia and New Zealand who tuned in daily to the many shortwave stations in California during the Pacific War noted the strong signals from station KROJ and estimated the power output to be at 50 kW. The signal strength surely indicated that the power output of this strong new station could not be less than 20 kW, and certainly not at 100 kW.
Without ceremony or prior publicity, transmitter KROJ suddenly appeared on the shortwave bands with a relay of programming from VOA, the Voice of America and AFRS, the Armed Forces Radio Service. The first known monitoring of this new unit was in Australia in June 1943.
Just prior to Pearl Harbor, OWI, the Office of War Information in Washington, established a branch office in San Francisco. The location was 111 Sutter Street, the well known home for NBC around that era. West Coast programming for the VOA-OWI transmitters was produced in the Sutter Street studios, and also in studios established in two hotels on Nob Hill, Fairmont and Mark Hopkins.
The OWI-VOA office in Sutter Street sent me a copy of their official schedule for the California stations, effective Aug. 1, 1945, just a few days before the surrender broadcasts. This schedule included the programming from all of the California shortwave stations that were active in the VOA network at the time. These stations were KROJ and KROU, as well as KGEI and KGEX, KWID and KWIX, KCBA and KCBF, and KNBA/KNBI/KNBX, as well as the new Hawaiian station KRHO. (Over a period of time, we hope to look here at the history of all of the shortwave stations in the United States, including the California stations.)
This VOA schedule shows such familiar programs from the wartime era as “World News,” “Concert Hall,” “Your Marine Corp,” “G. I. Jive” and “Hymns from Home.” Commentaries from major sporting events were also included in their regular programming. This schedule shows only the English language programming, and none of the programming on the air in the foreign languages of Asia and the Pacific.
It is probable that the broadcast call signs for the relay transmitters at Palo Alto were derived from KRO. The call sign KRO had been in use previously with the RCA shortwave communication station at Kahuku on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and it was recycled into use at Palo Alto in early 1943. Hence, from communication KRO was derived the broadcast call signs KROJ, KROU and KROZ.
The intended coverage areas for the transmissions from KROJ were the South Pacific, coastal Asia, New Guinea, Alaska and the Aleutians. Shortwave frequencies were chosen accordingly, to ensure propagation at the required distance and at the time of day in the reception areas.
The signal strength in the target areas was usually very good. In fact, an army officer serving in North Borneo stated on one occasion, as reported in a radio magazine in Australia, that he was hearing the broadcasts from KROJ via a local medium-wave (AM) station. It is probable that this off-air relay from KROJ in San Francisco was heard from an AM medium-wave station located on Labuan Island, North Borneo, that had been captured from the Japanese just a few days earlier.
A sister transmitter, KROU, suddenly appeared on the radio dial in April 1945, equally unheralded and unpublicized. Programming for this unit was also drawn from VOA and AFRS sources and beamed to similar areas as KROJ, north to Alaska and south to the Pacific. The planned scheduling for these two transmitters was announced ahead of time on air, and in radio magazines in the United States and Australia, and it was also sent to listeners in duplicated form.
At the time of the Japanese surrender broadcasts on August 14, 1945, another Palo Alto transmitter suddenly joined the network, and this was identified as KROZ. This unit was already in service with communication traffic across the Pacific, it was stated, and because of the sudden requirements at the end of the Pacific War, apparently it was hurriedly given another broadcast call sign in the Palo Alto sequence and brought into service. Maybe this call sign with its very brief usage was even unofficial. Who knows? Programming from KROZ was in parallel with KROJ. Station KROZ was on the air for a few days only, and probably up until the signing of the surrender agreement on the “Missouri” in Tokyo Bay on September 2.
Programming from KROZ was in parallel with KROJ. Station KROZ was on the air for a few days only, and at the most, just a week or two.
The last known program broadcasts from KROJ and KROU took place around November or December 1945. The war was over, and the two new and very large stations, VOA Delano and VOA Dixon, both in California, were already being phased into service. The temporary units at Palo Alto were no longer needed for broadcast service, and we would guess that they were quietly taken back into the regular communication service from Radio Palo Alto, station KFS.
The total time of on-air service from KROJ/KROU/KROZ was less than 1-1/2 years, and they vanished as they began, unheralded and unannounced.
Dr. Adrian M. Peterson is a board member of the NASB. He was born in South Australia in 1931; since 1944 he has since written several thousand articles on radio history, which have been published in 25 languages. He is advisor to the program “Wavescan” and coordinator of international relations for Adventist World Radio. The first article in this series, "The ‘Isle of Dreams’ Goes Shortwave” was published in the November 2006 issue of the NASB Newsletter. This issue is still available online at http://www.shortwave.org/NEWSLETTER_0611.htm
Letter to the NASB
From: Ian Baxter, Australia
NASB: I am wondering if you could kindly
spare a few moments of your time to assist in a project devoted to recording
historical information about some USA shortwave broadcasters. This information
is requested on behalf of radio enthusiasts and historians of the shortwave
QUESTION 1. Do you have the exact coordinates (latitude/longitude) of the shortwave transmitter site of the former shortwave broadcaster - WJIE?
QUESTION 2. Did the former shortwave broadcaster WJCR always use the same
shortwave transmitter site during its operating years before being sold to
WJIE? Did WJCR originally operate from another SW transmitter site? If so, can
you kindly provide the coordinates and name of its original shortwave
transmitter site. I assume WJIE
always operated from the one shortwave transmitter site??
QUESTION 3. Do you have the current shortwave transmitter site coordinates of currently inactive SW transmitter site/station WGTG?
Dr. Adrian Peterson, NASB Board member and well-known shortwave historian, replies:
actually I am engaged in a very lengthy project on behalf of NASB, the National
Association of Shortwave Broadcasters, here in the States, and that is the
historical research and write up of every SW station in the United States, more
than 100 of them. I have visited many of these stations, active and
inactive, over the years and I have lots of documentation on them each.
In answer to your queries, these would be my observations:
1. Co-ordinates for the former SW station WJIE.
Actually, WJIE was never a SW station, only a local station in Louisville KY, on FM if I remember correctly. This was a Gospel station, and some time after the owner of SW WJCR died, then WJIE was involved in a purchase arrangement for WJCR.
Location for WJCR Upton
The location for SW (and FM) WJCR has always been the same. I visited this station on their first day of operation. It is located 100 miles south of Louisville between Blue Grass Highway and Highway 65, a little west of Millerstown. The rhombic antennas are on a flat area near the transmitter and studio building, and the FM antenna is on top of the hill a little to the south. The 1995 edition of the World Radio TV Handbook, for example, gives the Upton co-ordinates. Although I have not checked in recent time, if SW WJIE-ex WJCR Upton is still on the air, then it is carrying the programming from FM WJIE Louisville.
3. Location for old WGTG
I also visited this station when it was active, and it was located in heavy tree country just fractionally south of the border in Georgia. The studios were in Tennessee and the transmitters in Georgia. The 2000 edition of the World Radio TV Handbook gives the co-ordinates.
Editor’s Note: We also highly recommend to Mr. Baxter the web site of our NASB Associate Member TDP in Belgium. If you go to http://www.tdp.info/usa.html , you will find a list of U.S. shortwave transmitter sites, geographical coordinates and much more information.
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