NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
NASB Annual Meeting Report
May 11, 2007
HCJB Global Technology Center - Elkhart, Indiana
NASB President Jeff White opened by thanking Charlie Jacobson and his staff at the HCJB Global Technology Center for hosting this year's annual meeting. He gave special thanks to Lois Taggart, Special Events Coordinator at the GTC for her organizational and planning work over several months.
"A lot of people don't realize that Indiana is very important in the shortwave world," said White. "We have the HCJB Global Technology Center here in Elkhart, and then across the way in South Bend of course, there's LeSEA Broadcasting, which we visited last night. But there are other shortwave links to Indiana. The International Relations Department of Adventist World Radio, in the person of Adrian Peterson, is based in Indianapolis. I'm also a native of Indianapolis by the way, so it's good to be 'back home again in Indiana,' as they say.
"And some of you may remember many years ago a little station down in Haiti called 4VEH. That was owned by a missionary organization, OMS, based in the Indianapolis area. Also Kim Elliott of the Voice of America, who was supposed to be with us here today, is a native of Elkhart, so it would have been really nice to have him here talking to us about why shortwave is still important in the world. Unfortunately, there was a last-minute complication and he had to send his regrets." White noted that former NASB President Doug Garlinger, who was in attendance, is also a native of Indiana.
White thanked HCJB for airing the Voice of the NASB reports on its DX Party Line program on the third Saturday of each month for the past few years now.
Where America's Day Begins
The first presentation was given by George Ross of NASB member KTWR in Guam. It was his first time attending an NASB meeting. The U.S. territory of Guam in the South Pacific is where America's day begins, said Ross. The KTWR transmitter site is in the extreme southern part of the island.
The United States gained possession of Guam in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Ross said there is still a lot of Spanish heritage found in Guam. Magellan first discovered the island in 1521. Guam was the only U.S. territory occupied by the Japanese during World War II. In 1974 the last Japanese soldier was found living in a cave in a bamboo orchard. Ross had an opportunity to see him in a Liberation Day 50th anniversary parade. Today, tourism is the mainstay of the island, explained Ross. Most of the tourists are from Japan. Guam is located 1200 miles south of Japan and east of the Philippines.
KTWR's antenna field covers Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan and Mongolia. This is the only transmitter site that TWR has on U.S. territory. "We started to look for access as we were praying about how much we could reach China and the Orient with the Gospel of Jesus Christ," said Ross. "And we prayed about Guam for a long time. Our founder Dr. Freed approached the FCC in 1964 to see if we could put a transmitter site here on Guam. And then in 1965 there was a freeze on shortwave broadcasting or building within the U.S. Finally in 1974 we heard word that it was open again, so TWR applied for a license and received it. So in 1975 we were able to start building in Guam. In 1977 we were able to go on the air."
KTWR began broadcasting with two Harris 100-kilowatt transmitters in September of 1977. In 1982, two more transmitters were added. There were four TCI model 611 curtain antennas. "We also have quite a need for 5000-pound counterweights," said Ross. "I'm sure you've heard about the typhoons we have on Guam." Today KTWR has six antennas and a backup power generator. Their newest transmitter is an HC-100, which is paired with a new TCI antenna to reach China.
KTWR has a fully automated playout system. The programming is all produced elsewhere and sent to Guam via FTP. There is a staff of 6 in Guam, including an antenna rigging crew. Ross showed some dramatic photos taken from the top of one of the antenna towers by a member of the rigging crew who is an amateur photographer. "We're really fortunate," said Ross, "the Lord raised up a great area for us to have a take-off right on the ocean, so our first hop is right off the ocean."
In 2002, Guam had one of its biggest typhoons ever, and it hit the KTWR transmitter site. The antennas are rated for 155-mile-per-hour winds, but the typhoon's winds were over 200 mph. Ross said: "The new antenna we had from TCI was the new design. If you've seen the new model, there's a circle in between the dipoles; it's just open for air. And during this typhoon we didn't lose the antenna at all. We had two connections to the slew lines that were lost, but we didn't lose the antenna whatsoever. So within a couple hours we had the antenna back on the air."
On that occasion, TCI was able to provide replacement parts to the station and get them to Guam quickly. "It's a real privilege being a U.S broadcaster," said Russ, "because the FCC gave us incredible help in getting frequencies. We had to allocate different times and new frequencies in order to keep our programming going on the air as we got the transmitters up. And the FCC just helped out so incredibly to make it so there was no hesitation at all, and we were able to get our broadcasts back on the air."
NASB working behind the scenes
Mike Adams, NASB Vice President, noted that he had first come to the HCJB Global Technology Center five years ago for a joint meeting between FEBC and HCJB engineers, and he was glad to be back in Elkhart, this time for this NASB annual meeting. "NASB was really started," said Adams, "to lobby for the interests and needs of the shortwave community."
Adams used to work at FEBC's station on Saipan, KFBS. "We're in the same typhoon alley [as Guam]," he explained. "We're just 100 miles apart. And if the typhoon missed them, it hit us. Or if it missed us, it hit them. So there was a kind of physical diversity. If we needed spare parts, we often got a quick loan from the guys down on Guam, and vice versa."
"I think one of the things we've seen is the value of the organization [NASB] in the last year," continued Adams. "As independent broadcasters, [we've seen the NASB] lobby for the private and the religious-based broadcasters in the U.S. Last year we saw the process of helping build the U.S. position for WARC 07, having several people involved in the meetings up in Washington, and various activities to put our voice forward. And we engaged our lawyer Ed Bailey and Don Messer, formerly of IBB, and both of these people were involved in the meetings and helping build the U.S. case. What the U.S. puts forward at WARC 07 may not be exactly everything that we want, but because of the participation of Ed and Don, the U.S. position is better than what it would have been if we hadn't been present. So that's just to say this is part of what your membership dues pay for.
"There's a lot going on behind the scenes. We've mentioned it in our newsletters, but we don't always talk about it a lot at the meetings. But it's been a big year of putting forward the position of U.S. shortwave broadcasters. Particularly, we're looking for more frequency spectrum granted in WARC 07, so we'll see what happens. The time is coming up for the event. We've done all that we can to put our comments in, and that's been, I think, one of the reasons NASB was created, and it's been happening. It's been working. It's been going on behind the scenes here."
Jeff White pointed out that "this is actually a historic meeting of the NASB because it's the first time in our history that we've met outside of the Washington, DC area. And there was some reluctance to do so, because we thought if we hold it outside of Washington, maybe nobody will come. And it turns out we have more people than we ever did in Washington. So it's been a great success, and thanks in large part to the folks here at HCJB."
Radio's Role in Asia and the
White introduced HCJB's Dave Pasechnik, who is responsible for the South Pacific region. "We're putting in a lot of stations there," said Pasechnik. "We actually have a one-kilowatt shortwave station in Papua New Guinea, and we're looking at putting in another one there on shortwave. We have 10 repeaters in that country, and we're looking to put in as many as 50 repeaters in that country in the next five years. That's besides Fiji and other places throughout the South Pacific."
Pasechnik introduced HCJB's John Brewer, whose responsibility is radio planting for the Asia/Pacific region. Brewer is also sub-director of Southeast Asia for the HCJB Global mission. He is based at the HCJB Asia/Pacific ministry center in Singapore. HCJB now has 18 local stations in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. "It's kind of odd," said Brewer. "I live in Singapore. That's a free country -- the most free country in the whole area, but you can't have religious radio in Singapore. But if I go to what everyone thinks is a big Muslim country, I get to do Christian radio. So it's a little odd, and it's a lot of fun."
Sixteen of HCJB's 18 local FM radio stations in Indonesia were developed in cooperation with a local church planting group. Brewer said: "It's an extremely useful tool in an oral society to use radio in church planting." HCJB works with local believers and provides them with equipment and training to put up radio stations -- a procedure known as "radio planting." When it is done in coordination with church planting, local pastors can expand their mission through radio.
Brewer explained that Indonesia is almost the size of the United States, and its population is almost as large as that of the U.S. There are 6000 inhabited islands in Indonesia, "so there's a lot of work to do there." HCJB was very active in the response to the recent tsunami that was centered near Aceh. "We sent a medical team there," said Brewer. "But by the time we got there, there were too many doctors there. So we sent two doctors to Nios island and set up a radio station there as well. Fourteen hours after the team left Nios, I met them on Sumatra, and an 8.7 earthquake hit just off the coast of Nios.... My transmitter was at the bottom of the rubble. I went back to Singapore, got a new transmitter and antenna, and came back, and eventually pulled the old one out of the rubble, cleaned it up, and it worked!"
A few weeks later, Brewer's team set up a second FM station and left volunteers to run the stations. He noted that while the whole country can be reached with one shortwave transmitter, the local FM stations don't have a large coverage area. "I've had to address my expectations. See, the listeners have open windows and no air conditioners. And they have chickens and motorcycles going by. So why not let the studios have that too? The listeners don't know if the motorcycle noise is from the radio or out the window. It works."
Conditions are often a little rustic, explained Brewer. "We train them how to speak and put programs together. People climb towers with bare feet. Sometimes people don't have radios, so we have to hand out radios." Brewer told of a 100-year-old woman who had rejected the local church planters various times, but within six weeks after hearing the radio station, she was baptized.
As for future plans, Brewer says: "One thing I want to do is put a more powerful station near Singapore. I can't put a radio station in Singapore. I want to put a 50,000-watt AM station on one of the Indonesian islands just off the shore of Singapore and run DRM on it, At night, it will get into Vietnam, all of Borneo, Sumatra and Java. I just need a little bit more cash."
Brewer said the station would have a single-tower non-directional antenna. He explained that there are no AM stations in Singapore, so there would be no coordination problem. He said the AM band is problematic in the tropics because it is very noisy. It's hard to get FM frequencies, but AM is wide open. He is also thinking of putting a 5-kilowatt FM transmitter on the nearby Indonesian island of Batam to reach Singapore. Brewer said that HCJB-Australia covers western Indonesia very well on shortwave, but it doesn't have an antenna to cover eastern Indonesia.
From Russia with Love
Andrey Nekrasov is the manager of NASB associate member Beth Shalom Center Radio. This year is marks the 15th anniversary of the ministry's station in Moscow, although Nekrasov is now based in Brooklyn, New York. "If you're visiting New York, you can hear Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Yiddish and about 30 other languages, but no English," Andrey jokes.
Nekrasov is originally from Moscow, where he established Radio Center on June 3, 1992 as the first Christian radio station in the former territory of the Soviet Union. He was 19 years old at the time, and his partner was 16. "It's not just my station," he remarked. "It's God's station."
Nekrasov's first job in radio was at Radio Moscow's World Service on shortwave. He co-produced the DX program "Frecuencia RM" in the Spanish section which is hosted by Francisco Rodriguez, worked with the program "Onda DX" in Radio Moscow's Brazilian Portuguese section and "Moscow Calling" in Radio Moscow's French section. He also produced DX and other programs for Radio Eco, the first independent radio station in Moscow.
"I came to Christ through Christian radio," Nekrasov explained. "Back in 1985, I tuned my radio to the Christian stations on shortwave. I heard very amazing programs, and I came to Christ through the shortwave radio. I love shortwave radio. When I was a young man, early in the morning I tuned my radio to HCJB, the Voice of the Andes. It was 7 a.m. local time. And when I heard their programs, I stopped [going to] school after that for a couple of months. I was just listening to HCJB programs. HCJB was our first partner [of Radio Center]."
Today, Radio Center has many partners in the United States, including NASB member Family Radio, the Back to God Hour, Jack Van Impe Ministries, etc. "It's not easy to open a radio station in Moscow right now," said Nekrasov. "You need a million dollars. You need about 20 million dollars for getting a license on FM right now. But 20 years ago it was a little bit easier. God gave us the opportunity to open the station 15 years ago."
showed the audience in Elkhart a video he produced about Radio Center.
The building where the station is located is just 100 meters from the Lenin
mausoleum in Red Square. In the station's offices he has an old Soviet
radio that many of his listeners are still using. A large map shows where
Radio Center's signal on 1503 kHz can be received. The station can be
heard well, said Nekrasov, within 140 miles of Moscow. They have received
letters from Minsk, Belarus; Riga, Latvia; Helsinki and other parts of
Finland. Radio Center broadcasts programs in English which Finns listen
to. At nighttime, Radio Center's signal is excellent in Kiev, in the
Ukraine. The southernmost point where it has been heard is Krasnodar, in
southern Russia, near the Black Sea. " It's
not excellent," says Nekrasov, "but it's
listenable." The easternmost point where it has been reported
is beyond the Ural Mountains. And "we're praying the Lord will help
us install a 20-kilowatt repeater in St. Petersburg," said Nekrasov.
Radio Center's audio is now streamed live on the Internet as well, so the
overseas partners can hear their programs via the web.
Next, the scene shifted to New York City, where Nekrasov said that 1.65 million Russian-speakers live legally, plus probably a similar number illegally. New York is the gateway for Russian immigration to the U.S., and the city's Russian community is subject to a variety of social problems, including drug addiction, prostitution, drinking, depression and homelessness. Nekrasov explained that many of these people lived in an atheist Russia, "so they don't know God, including many Russian Jewish immigrants. These people need to hear the Gospel. The answer we found was radio."
Nekrasov said that when he came to New York, there were several Russian-language programs on the radio locally, but none with Christian programs. So Beth Shalom Center started two-minute radio programs on a local radio station shortly after September 11, 2001. "We did live programs on the street about the important issues of life," he said. The programs are broadcast from a small studio in Brooklyn. Their goals are to increase the airtime even more, to open a low power FM station in New York, a U.S. National Russian Radio Network on 26 MHz in DRM mode, and to eventually expand to television as well.
World's Oldest Radio Kards
"The final speaker of the morning is sometimes called a walking encyclopedia of radio history," said Jeff White as he presented Dr. Adrian Peterson, head of international relations for NASB member Adventist World Radio. Peterson has visited shortwave stations around the world for decades now. Currently he is writing a series of articles on behalf of the NASB profiling all of the shortwave stations in the United States, past and present. The series is being published periodically in Radio World magazine and reprinted in the NASB Newsletter. Today's PowerPoint presentation by Adrian was about the "World's Oldest Radio Kards" that form part of his vast collection of QSL's and other radio cards.
Peterson's presentation focused on radio-related cards from 1901-1946. He is an ordained minister and has pastored some 50 churches on three continents. He has a PhD in International Radio Broadcasting. Over the years, he has served as an official monitor for the Voice of America, Radio Australia, Deutsche Welle, the BBC and FEBA Seychelles. An avid radio listening fan, Peterson has produced over 1200 DX programs, and he is a lifetime member of the Australian Radio DX Club in his native country, as well as having been named an honorary citizen of India, where he worked as director of Adventist World Radio - Asia.
Adventist World Radio was inaugurated in 1971. But the first Adventist radio broadcast was in 1921-22 in Berrien Springs, Michigan -- just north of Elkhart and over the state line -- at an Adventist university there on AM. The first shortwave broadcasts by the Adventist denomination were right after World War II from Radio Luxembourg and other stations in Europe, Africa, Asia (Radio Goa and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation). Today AWR is on the air in about 70 languages with 1500 transmitter hours of broadcasts each week around the world. It owns shortwave station KSDA on Guam. Currently AWR uses shortwave relays in Germany, Holland, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Austria, Madagascar and Taiwan.
Dr. Peterson explained that postcards were developed just prior to the development of radio broadcasting. The earliest postcard that he has in his collection was sent from Switzerland to Liechtenstein in 1871. In the 1890's, picture postcards were introduced. Peterson's oldest one was printed in 1901 and features Guglielmo Marconi, just six years after his first technical experiments in northern Italy. His "first humorous radio card" is from 1903, which had a caricature of Marconi's radio transmissions from Cornwall to Newfoundland.
Wireless transmissions began in Europe, explained Peterson. He showed a card marking experimental radio broadcasts from the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1919 and a 1941 World War 2 card from "Radio Nations" operated by the League of Nations in Switzerland -- the forerunner of the United Nations. Another commemorated the first wireless station by Marconi in the Cape Cod peninsula in 1903.
Also on this side of the Atlantic, Peterson's collection includes cards showing early U.S. military radio stations and commercial stations used as amateur broadcasters. His earliest amateur radio cards are from 1921-22. A 1904 card was issued for the wireless station at the St. Louis World Exposition. Another card commemorated station KGEI (W6XBE) at Treasure Island in the Palace of Electricity at the San Francisco World Expo in 1939.
Shortwave radio really began with the launch of KDKA in Pittsburgh. Peterson explained that the engineer relayed KDKA in an extension beyond the AM band which is now officially part of the shortwave range. Besides a KDKA card, Peterson has cards showing the tallest radio towers in the United States and other countries in Europe & Asia. He has cards from 1922 from early American mediumwave stations. The oldest shortwave QSL card he has features W9XZZ in Chicago from 1930. Another card shows the Bethany, Ohio Voice of America relay station, which is no longer on the air and is being turned into a museum. Other gems from Peterson's collection include cards from two shortwave stations near Winnipeg, Manitoba from the World War II era. His oldest mediumwave QSL is dated 1922 and is from VAW -- an Air Force station in Canada.
Moving to the Caribbean and Latin America, Peterson showed early cards from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, the Cuban Telephone Company (PWX) and CMQ in Cuba; and ornate cards from stations in Martinique, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina. He had a QSL card from HCJB in Ecuador featuring the pioneer radio missionaries Clarence Jones and Reuben Larson, who founded the station.
From Africa, Peterson's collection included an RCA map card, a Morocco pre-war card, a station in the Congo which was taken over by the Belgians, pre-war or wartime stations from Ethiopia, Nigeria and the Azores islands off the coast of Africa, which were important during the war for their strategic position.
Adrian Peterson's Asian cards included QSL's from a very early wireless station in Peshawar, Pakistan where he subsequently served as a missionary; a pre-war Saigon station; coastal stations from China which were transferred inland to a cave; and Dutch Indonesia.
Peterson's Pacific radio card collection includes one from the "Hawaii Calls" radio program via KGMB and KGU on shortwave from the RCA Kahuku site; KRHO, a VOA station on Oahu with two 100-kilowatt transmitters on shortwave; VPD shortwave from Fiji; and various mediumwave stations from Australia and New Zealand. Also from Australia, he has what is probably the world's oldest pirate QSL card, dating from 1927. He showed cards from many Australian home service shortwave stations, as well as Radio Australia transmissions to the Pacific. Peterson noted that shortwave stations in Australia were taken over by the government during World War II for use by Radio Australia, just as private U.S. shortwave stations in the U.S. were taken over by the U.S. government for wartime use.
Ships with broadcast stations on them make up another significant section of the Peterson collection, including a card from the only ship in the world that had a radio station incorporated into it when it was built. This ship, the Kanimbla (9MI), plied the coast of Australia. He also showed the world's oldest QSL card from a ship, which was the USS Seattle in 1925.
Dr. Peterson knew the famed radio monitor Arthur Cushen in New Zealand. Cushen monitored prisoner of war broadcasts and sent post cards to the prisoners' relatives. Peterson himself listened to POW broadcasts from places like Singapore and Indonesia, but he said he was afraid to officially monitor what were called "enemy broadcasts" for the Australian government.
After Dr. Peterson's slide show, he put on his pastor's hat for a moment to say grace before a delicious lunch of hamburgers on the grill prepared by HCJB's Dave Pasechnik.
After lunch came the annual NASB Business Meeting, followed by a Board of Directors meeting. (See minutes of these meetings elsewhere in this issue of the NASB Newsletter.) The day ended with a very interesting excursion about a half-hour east of Elkhart to an Amish restaurant called Das Dutchman Essenhaus. There, participants had the opportunity to experience a unique piece of Indiana culture with a homestyle meal of country cooking at this village and restaurant which showcases the Amish religious order. On the highway en route to Das Essenhaus, the NASB carpool passed some horsedrawn carriages that are typical of the Amish, who pride themselves on their traditional ways and avoidance of modern conveniences.
Plans for Next Year
Several weeks after the NASB annual meeting in Elkhart, it was officially confirmed that the 2008 NASB annual meeting will be held on May 9, 2008 at the headquarters of member Trans World Radio in Cary, North Carolina -- just outside of Raleigh, which has a major airport with numerous national and international airline connections. The USA DRM Group annual meeting will take place just prior to the NASB meeting on Thursday, May 8 at the same location, making for a two-day international radio event. Details of these meetings will appear in the near future on the NASB website (www.shortwave.org) by clicking on "Annual Meeting."
Audio recordings of the entire 2007 annual meetings are now available on the NASB website, along with photos and PowerPoint presentations given at the meetings.
Minutes of NASB Board
May 10 and 11, 2007
Attendance at both meetings: Mike Adams, Charles Caudill, Elder Jacob O. Meyer, Adrian Peterson, Glen Tapley, Jeff White
Jeff White reported that our attorney Ed Bailey has recently moved to Houston, but he indicated that he thought he could continue his retainer agreement with NASB if we want to do so. Charles moved that we continue the retainer agreement, and Elder Meyer seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
The Board discussed the interest in potential 26 MHz DRM tests. The topic of possible new NASB DRM programs on long-distance shortwave was discussed, but it was decided to take no action at this time.
The Board discussed items regarding the NASB Newsletter, certain financial matters and possible presentations at next year's annual meeting.
NASB Secretary-Treasurer Dan Elyea has suggested moving the balance of our Money Market Fund to our checking account and closing the money market fund in order to eliminate the service charges. Mike moved to accept this proposal, Charles seconded it, and it passed unanimously.
There was a brief discussion about Board follow-up on stations that have indicated an interest in possibly joining the Association.
Regarding who should be the official NASB representative at the next HFCC Conference in England in August, Jeff suggested that it would be most appropriate if Mike could do this since he is in England and is the NASB Vice President. Elder Meyer made a motion to accept this, Glen Tapley seconded it, and it was passed unanimously. The Board decided to make a decision later about who should be the NASB rep at the A08 HFCC Conference when we know where it will be held.
Adrian expressed his view about the desirability of NASB representatives attending as many of the major shortwave-related meetings as we can, given the limited nature of our funds. He said he thought we should circulate to members in the NASB Newsletter a list of upcoming meetings that it would be desirable for us to attend, and see if any of our members have plans to attend any of these meetings. If so, we could consider asking to see if they would represent the NASB there on a cost-sharing basis such as we do with the HFCC conferences. This could be decided on a case-by-case basis. Mike noted that one of the major upcoming meetings is the European DX Council (EDXC) Conference in Finland in June of 2008.
The Board unanimously agreed that we should accept the offer of the EDXC (made at last year's meeting in Russia) for the NASB to become a member of the EDXC. Mike's understanding was that membership fee is a nominal amount around 25 euros per year. Jeff will follow up on this with the EDXC Secretary General.
Jeff mentioned that the EDXC has invited him to give a presentation about the NASB at the 2007 EDXC Conference November 1-4 in Lugano, Switzerland. The Board decided that the NASB should accept this offer under the same guidelines as the HFCC representation. Jeff will take an NASB exhibit and brochures from NASB and its members and associate members, and he will give a PowerPoint presentation about the NASB at the meeting. This motion was made by Mike, seconded by Adrian and passed unanimously.
Elder Meyer said that WMLK will attend the SWL Winterfest again next March and is willing to again represent the NASB there. Similarly, Adrian indicated that he is willing to represent the NASB at the Numero Uno DX gathering in Reynoldsburg, Ohio in August.
Adrian explained that his articles on behalf of the NASB profiling U.S. shortwave stations ("American Shortwave Panorama") have been appearing in Radio World. The Board commended Adrian for the excellent quality of these articles and for using them to help gain more exposure for the NASB.
Election of officers - Charles moved to re-elect the same officers for the next year: Jeff White as President, Mike Adams as Vice President, Dan Elyea as Secretary-Treasurer, and Thais White as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. The motion was seconded by Elder Meyer, and was approved unanimously.
Elder Meyer moved that we should send a letter of commendation to Charlie Jacobson and his team at the HCJB Global Technology Center for their excellent work on the 2007 annual meeting. The motion was seconded by Mike Adams, and was approved unanimously.
The Board discussed possible venues for next year's annual meeting, including a tentative offer from Trans World Radio. The USA DRM Group annual meeting would again be held in conjunction with the NASB meeting on the day prior to the NASB meeting. There was a discussion about offers from several other members and associate members that were received at this year's meeting to host future annual meetings.
Jeff mentioned that he would put together a 30-minute NASB promo CD for use with future DRM tests, as suggested by Michel Penneroux of TDF. It could be used specifically for the tests via TDF in French Guiana, and generally for DRM tests from other locations. Jeff suggested that it could be in English and Spanish and maybe some Portuguese as well. Mike Adams suggested that it should contain short profiles of each member station. Charles said that World Christian Broadcasting could help with translations or recordings in Portuguese if needed.
Mike thought we should brainstorm a bit about programs for next year's annual meeting. He proposed a session addressing the role of shortwave in responding to disasters such as tsunamis. Jeff suggested we plan a panel discussion on this topic for the 2008 annual meeting. Mike volunteered to chair the panel discussion.
suggested that we get someone from the shortwave listening world to give a talk
next year. Adrian said we should also invite a shortwave publisher to
address the NASB. Mike said we should try to get some of our associate
members who have not recently given presentations to do so at next year's
Adrian noted that it seems the NASB and USA DRM annual meetings are sort of blending together into a single two-day meeting, and this is working very well, despite some overlapping of topics from one day to the other. Jeff said that it's good this is happening, because on Friday we only have a half-day for presentations (since the afternoon is the business meeting and the board meeting), so we can have more presentations on Thursday.
Charles moved to adjourn the Board meeting. Elder Meyer seconded the motion, and it was adopted unanimously.`
Minutes of 2007 NASB Annual Business Meeting
May 11, 2007
Attendance at the Business Meeting was as follows:
Adrian Peterson, Adventist World Radio
Elder Jacob O. Meyer, WMLK
Terry Borders, WEWN
Glen Tapley, WEWN
Joshua Moore, RCM Engineering
Peter Debonte, HCJB Global Technology Center
Ed Pinkowski, retired
Bob Seaberg, HCJB
Michel Penneroux, TDF
Volker Behling, T-Systems
William Mackie, Sudan Radio Service
Stephen Lockwood, Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers
Ludo Maes, TDP Belgium
Jonathan Clark, TCI Antennas
John Brewer, HCJB
George Ross, KTWR Guam
Charles Caudill, KNLS World Christian Broadcasting
Larry Broome, Comet North America
Steve Claterbaugh, Comet North America
Charlie Jacobson, HCJB
Wayne Huhta, HCJB Global Technology Center
Alan Shea, SIM
Lois Spragg, World Radio Network
Thais White, Radio Miami International
Roger Stubbe, HCJB Global
Don Spragg, Continental Electronics
Mike Adams, FEBC
Jeff White, WRMI
The first order of business was reviewing and approving a series of documents supplied by Dan Elyea, NASB Secretary-Treasurer:
1) A list of paid memberships, associate memberships and sponsorships to date for this year
2) A Board and officer status report. Mike Adams, Vice President, is on the second year of his first Board term. Charles Caudill is in the first year of his second Board term. Dan Elyea is Secretary-Treasurer, but is not on the Board. Jacob Meyer is in the second year of his second Board term. Adrian Peterson is filling the last year of Paul Hunter's Board term. Glen Tapley is filling the last year of Dennis Dempsey's Board term. (Paul Hunter and Dennis Dempsey resigned before their terms were finished due to their taking new jobs outside of shortwave broadcasting.) Jeff White, President, is in the first year of his first Board term. Thais White, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, is not on the Board. NASB attorney Ed Bailey advised us that both Adrian and Glen are now eligible for two consecutive full three-year Board terms.
An election was held to fill the two open Board positions (those of Adrian and Glen). Both Adrian and Glen indicated they would be willing to serve new three-year terms. A call for additional nominations was made, but none were made. Mike Adams moved to close the nominations, Terry Borders seconded it, and the motion was unanimous. Jeff White moved to elect Adrian Peterson and Glen Tapley to fill the two open Board positions. Elder Meyer seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.
Elder Meyer had a question about the status of his current Board term, and this was referred to Dan Elyea.
3) Anticipated income and expenses for 2007. Dan estimated around $12,000 in income, and about $12,400 in expenses.
4) The NASB CD has around $32,000 in it.
5) The Money Market Funds has about $1900 in it. Dan Elyea suggests that we close this account and put the remaining funds in our checking account. The Board approved this suggestion at yesterday's Board meeting.
6) Checking account reports for 2006 and 2007-to-date, summary report and supplementary notes from Dan. Mike said it was interesting to note that our associate membership dues are a bit more than our total membership dues (around $5000 per year compared to about $4000 for membership dues). He explained that our expenses include a retainer for our attorney Ed Bailey and reimbursements for people attending various meetings on behalf of the NASB, such as WRC preparatory meetings, HFCC conferences, DRM meetings, etc. NASB funds part of the expenses to attend some of these meetings. Don Messer attended a number of IWG-6 meetings in Washington on our behalf to try to influence the U.S. position on expanding spectrum for HF broadcasting. Mike noted that our expenses and expenditures have been more-or-less break-even for the past few years now. It was mentioned that former NASB President Doug Garlinger continues to maintain the NASB website through LeSEA Broadcasting. He posts our Newsletters on the site, along with information about our meetings, audio files of the annual meetings, etc. A motion was made to approve Dan Elyea's financial reports. The motion was seconded by Glen Tapley, and was approved unanimously.
7) Minutes of 2006 Business Meeting and Board Meeting. Charles Caudill made a motion to accept the minutes. Mike Adams seconded the motion, and they were accepted unanimously.
Jeff White encouraged all members and associate members to put the NASB on their mailing lists for news releases and other materials for inclusion in the NASB Newsletter, which is now being reprinted in many other places. Material should be sent to Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dan Elyea at email@example.com
White mentioned that there are three NASB displays rotating around the world. Members and associate members are encouraged to send two or three pictures of any aspect of their organization to the same e-mail addresses or by regular mail to Jeff White, c/o WRMI, 175 Fontainebleau Blvd., Suite 1N4, Miami, Florida 33172 USA. The displays are used at various shortwave-related meetings and conferences. Members are also encouraged to send Jeff multiple quantities (around 50-100 copies) of any brochures, program schedules, stickers, QSL cards and other giveaway items for distribution at these meetings. These items are placed on a table in front of the NASB display.
White noted that is has been NASB's policy since 2001 to send an official NASB representative to each HFCC conference to help members with frequency coordination, to assist the FCC delegation in any way necessary and to do public relations work in general for the NASB at these international shortwave frequency coordination conferences. The NASB is now a member of the HFCC, but the frequency registration for NASB members go through the FCC. The next HFCC conference is in August in Birmingham, England. Our Vice President, Mike Adams, will attend on behalf of the NASB. White mentioned that we are seeking offers from other members to attend future HFCC conferences; the policy is to rotate among the membership as much as possible, taking into consideration which members want to participate. The NASB pays half of the person's expenses, up to a maximum of $1250, with their own organization paying the other half.
Mike Adams noted that the next HFCC after Birmingham is the A08 meeting in February of 2008. He said it may be held in Tunis or Dubai, but the exact location and dates have not been decided yet. We will publish this information in the NASB Newsletter when it is announced.
Other upcoming meetings where the NASB will participate include a small DX meeting in Reynoldsburg, Ohio in August which Adrian Peterson will attend on our behalf, and the Shortwave Listeners Winterfest in March of 2008 in Pennsylvania. WMLK personnel will take the big NASB display that we inherited from the Christian Science Monitor to the SWL Fest, along with brochures from the NASB and its members.
Mike Adams noted that the big shortwave listeners convention in Europe each year is the European DX Council (EDXC) Conference, which is also attended by a number of shortwave broadcasters. Mike attended last year's EDXC Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. This year the conference is in Lugano, Switzerland in November, and Jeff White has been invited to give a presentation there about the NASB.
Adams noted that the Finns and the Danish have large DX clubs, and there are others in Ireland, Britain, etc. Many European countries have big DX clubs, and the EDXC is the umbrella organization for these organizations. They all get together each year at the EDXC Conference, where they have talks and presentations. The location moves around the European continent to a different country each year. At last year's conference in Russia, Mike showed pictures of NASB member stations in Guam and Saipan, and he gave a PowerPoint presentation about the NASB.
At the meeting in Russia, the EDXC invited the NASB to join the Council as a member for a nominal membership fee of approximately 20-25 euros per year. The Board decided at last night's meeting to join the EDXC.
The 2008 EDXC Conference will be a "big event," said Adams, when the Finnish DX Club hosts the meeting in Finland. He said the NASB should definitely participate in that conference, and we should get program schedules and other materials from all of our members and associate members to hand out there. "They just gobbled up everything we took to St. Petersburg," he said, "including AWR cards, buttons, pens, pencils, station banners, etc. It was all enthusiastically received by the Russian crowd. So it was worth doing, and I'm sure [Jeff] will be well-received in Switzerland." Jeff noted that we send news about the NASB and its members to the EDXC and they regularly publish it on their website and the publications of the various EDXC member clubs. "So it's good publicity," he noted.
Moving to another topic, Mike Adams said that the NASB has supported DRM in the past by doing its own DRM transmissions with material from our members. At last year's NASB annual meeting, Mike had proposed that we consider resuming these transmissions to Europe via VT Communications or T-Systems for the B06 period if the new DRM receivers came out in time. But since they did not, we didn't resume the transmissions. Some consideration was also given to transmitting in DRM to North America (as the NASB had done for a time via CBC). Mike asked DRM Commercial Committee Chairman Michel Penneroux to comment on whether and when it would be helpful for the Voice of the NASB to resume its DRM broadcasts, and whether they should be directed to Europe in the beginning.
Penneroux said that the NASB should be involved in the coop plan for the upcoming major launch of DRM. He said the DRM Consortium would soon identify the initial target (probably Europe) and when we should start broadcasts. He noted that the IFA consumer electronic show in Germany in September would be an important event to showcase DRM. He also said that TDF will have competitive airtime rates for DRM broadcasts. Michel will have a more precise recommendation for us in the coming months after coordinated plans are made. Mike noted that the NASB wants to register its intent to participate in the major DRM commercial launch when the time comes. Meantime, Michel mentioned that DRM test transmissions are planned in the coming months in and to Brazil, and he suggested that we prepare a CD with NASB content for possible use during DRM test transmissions from Montsinnery, French Guiana. Jeff White said he would work on producing such as CD in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
White reported that the NASB's attorney, Ed Bailey, had just moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Houston, Texas, so he could not be with us this year at the annual meeting as he usually is, but he informed us that he believes he will be able to continue representing the NASB. The Board decided last night to continue our legal retainer with Bailey as long as he is willing to do so.
White mentioned that he had received an indication of interest on the part of WWCR in Tennessee to rejoin the NASB. "We need to continue our efforts to get more non-member stations to join," he said. "If you know people at these stations, please encourage them to join." He pointed out that the majority of privately-owned U.S. shortwave stations are members of the NASB, and the basic membership fee is $250 per year (plus small additional amounts for stations with more than one transmitter). "We have increased our membership in recent years," he said, "but we need to continue doing so."
White said "it's been an interesting experience to have this annual meeting in Elkhart because some people were afraid that not many people would attend if we had the meeting outside of the Washington, DC area. But we've had our biggest meeting ever. We even have IBB participation." He noted that the FCC was not able to attend, but they have indicated that in principle they are willing to attend our annual meetings outside of DC if finances and their schedules permit it.
White said that Adventist World Radio had sponsored last year's annual meeting, and HCJB has sponsored this year's. "It has been interesting for members to see other members' facilities," he said, "and because the sponsoring organization can have more of their people participating in the meetings."
TCI International's Jonathan Clark commented that he thought it was good for the NASB to have meetings in different locations. "There's a certain economy of scale in doing it in the same place over and over again," he said. "You know the contractors. You know the hotels. But it is better for an organization to branch out of the mold. Every time I have seen an organization break out and start having meetings in other locations, that organization has become far more infused with interest from vendors, etc. So I do think it's a very good thing." Clark said that associate members should host meetings also, such as HCJB had done this year.
Jeff White said that if any organization is interested in hosting the annual meeting in future years, please let us know. He pointed out that it doesn't cost the hosting organization a lot because we've been fortunate to have sponsors. It does require some organizational time on their part though. He said that hotels in Washington have become very expensive, and the hotel would have cost double what it cost in Elkhart if we had done the meeting in Washington this year.
Mike Adams asked if the annual meeting always has to be in May. "For example, could it be in Miami in February or March?" he asked.
White replied that he thought some meetings in the past have been held at different times, and there is no rule that the meeting has to be in early May. "For some organizations that might be willing to host it, it might be better for them to do it at other times." Adams suggested, however, avoiding conflicts with the HFCC conferences in early February and late August, and to avoid the dates of the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, which many vendors attend.
At this point, Jeff asked if anyone would be willing to host next year's annual meeting. George Ross of KTWR said that Trans World Radio was considering offering to host next year's meeting at its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, but no final decision had been made yet. He thought that the decision could be made within a month or so.
White said that there had been at least one other potential offer to host the meeting next year or in 2009, and that there is always a fallback position of doing it in Miami. Charles Caudill said World Christian Broadcasting could host a future meeting in Nashville (or Alaska if desired). Jon Clark said TCI might be able to host a meeting in the future also. White said the Board can make a final decision about next year after hearing from TWR in a few weeks or so.
Mike Adams noted that many NASB participants attend the NAB Convention in Las Vegas, and suggested the possibility of an NASB dinner during the NAB Convention next year in the third week of April. It was mentioned that DRM has had seminars at the NAB Engineering Conference and that Continental Electronics has had DRM seminars at its booth at the NAB.
White thanked this year's NASB annual meeting sponsors, which were Comet North America, Continental Electronics, TCI International, Thomson and WMLK; as well as HCJB for the lunches.
HCJB's Charlie Jacobson mentioned the idea of locating available stations for possible shortwave DRM tests in the U.S. in the near future. He said we need a survey of transmitters that NASB member stations have, including brands and model numbers. He said "a group of us could look over the list to see which are most easily DRM ready." He said they would also have to see whether the stations are interested and if there is time available on those transmitters without affecting the station's regular programming. "At some point we'll have to invest in some equipment, but it would be good if we could have some DRM transmissions from the 48 states."
Jeff White said that he had talked to Charlie about this recently, and that he had brought copies of WRMI's transmitter manuals to Elkhart for this purpose and urged others to provide their information as well. He asked if Ludo Maes' TDP website contained the transmitter information that Jacobson was referring to, and Ludo replied that it does. George Ross said that the HFCC has done a survey of station transmitters and antennas as well.
Charlie suggested forming a task force to review this information, and he offered to head the committee. Mike Adams, Ludo Maes and George Ross also volunteered to serve on the committee. It was agreed that they would compile the information, and details would be made available later in the NASB Newsletter.
White mentioned that the half-hour block from 2200-2230 UTC daily on 9800 kHz from CBC-Sackville which was being used for the Voice of the NASB transmissions from May 1-12 would be available for purchase after May 12, in case some NASB member or associate member is interested. He noted that the half hour lies between an RCI program and a Radio Sweden program, both in English.
Stephen Lockwood of Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers proposed establishing a users group for those broadcasters with Harris SW-100 transmitters to help people obtain spare parts and share "hard-learned lessons" with other users of the same equipment. He has a list server and can set up an online users group. Those interested should contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Adams said that a Continental 418 users group would also be a good idea. "In some ways," he said, "the users become more experts than the factory -- although we get good factory support." So he said he would be interested in a Continental 418 users group. Lockwood said he would include this in his list server as well.
Finally, White announced that there would be one more Comet coffee break, followed by the NASB Board Meeting. There was a motion to adjourn the Business Meeting by Glen Tapley and passed unanimously.
News From the IBB
Stanley Leinwoll passed on to us the following message from James Glassman, Chairman of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors:
I am very sad to share with you the news of the sudden passing this morning (Aug. 3, 2007) of George Moore, our beloved Deputy Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau. George died at his home in Annapolis.
George served as IBB's Deputy Director since June 2006. He also served as Director of Engineering from 2000 to 2006. He joined VOA engineering in 1981 as a Transmitter Technician in Botswana, and rapidly progressed through the ranks of the Foreign Service to Station Manager. His other overseas assignments included Greece, Germany, and Morocco.
George was promoted to the rank of Senior Foreign Service in July 1995, and in February 2003 he was promoted to the rank of Minister Counselor. He was the first Foreign Service Officer within the IBB to achieve this rank.
Before he joined the IBB, George served in various engineering and management positions at radio and television stations in Columbus and Savannah, Georgia, and with General Electric Telecommunications Division in Lynchburg, Virginia.
IBB to Close Delano, California Relay Station
NASB associate member IBB (the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau) will close its Delano, California relay station on October 30, 2007. A statement from the Broadcasting Board of Governors said: "The history of U.S. international broadcasting is deeply rooted in the Delano Transmitting Station. Located about 140 miles north of Los Angeles, California, the station began shortwave broadcasts to the Pacific Theater of World War II in 1944. In early days, it beamed broadcasts directly to local audiences and to retransmitting facilities in Hawaii, Okinawa and the Philippines. Later the station provided critical shortwave broadcasts to Cuba, South America and Asia. These broadcasts clearly helped shape today's world." The statement further said that Delano was being closed due to budget reductions, changes in technology and the BBG's "changing global mission."
The Delano station has several high-powered shortwave transmitters and a variety of antennas covering Asia-Pacific and the Americas. NASB members and other organizations that might be interested in utilizing the Delano facility after the IBB transmissions cease in October -- if this becomes possible -- should contact us (email@example.com) so we can put you in touch with the appropriate personnel.
Letters to the NASB
Pastor Frantz Santiago of Reading, Pennsylvania writes: Where can I get a receiver for DRM?
Please go to the
following web page for a list of dealers and ordering information:
Dr. Jose Negron-Soto writes: I live in the USA, in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is about 500 km southeast of Chicago. I am interested in listening to shortwave radio broadcasts primarily from Europe: Deutsche Welle, Radio France International, Radio Exterior de Espana, RAI, Voice of Russia, and if I could pick up NHK and some Middle East and Far East stations that would be great.
I am considering buying the new Himalaya 2009 DRM receiver. Will this receiver allow me to get improved SW reception within North America of the major European broadcasters, as I mentioned above? This will determine whether I should purchase this radio at this time or not.
Another question would be power. As you know, in the US we use a lower voltage than Europe. Would I be able to use this receiver in the US with the AC outlets used here simply using an adapter or would I run the risk of doing damage to the radio?
I am very excited about DRM. I started listening to shortwave when I was 13 years old, thirty years ago. I have a Grundig Satellite 800 and I just do not get the reception quality that I was expecting. It seems that DRM may change all this. Perhaps we will witness a rebirth of shortwave. I would appreciate your feedback on the specific questions that I still have.
Is there any DRM receiver that can be used as a car radio?
Anne Fechner, DRM Project Director, responds: Thank you for your email. There are several broadcasts beamed to North America but unfortunately there is a lack of broadcasts from the US to the US and elsewhere. I hope this situation will change as time goes by.
Himalaya 2009 is a very nice receiver. Some people did not get good SW results because they forgot to switch off the ferrite antenna inside which can be easily done through the menu. There will be a Himalaya 2008 coming up shortly which does not have DAB inside (a tool which makes no sense in the US). Anyway, the 2009 is a nice receiver.
During IFA trade fair in Berlin in September we will present a lot of new developments; for instance, another Blaupunkt DRM car radio which is ready to be produced, but this is of course depending on the interest of the car manufacturers. There is a converter box made by Starwaves that besides DRM can also receive analogue short, medium and long wave stations. It is controlled by a radio remote control.
Jeff White, Vice
Chairman of the USA DRM Group, adds a further response: I personally have not seen the Himalaya 2009
yet, so I cannot comment on the set's performance. I have seen a few of
the other receivers, such as the Morphy Richards, which seems to be a fairly
good receiver for the price.
Looking at the operating manual for the Himalaya 2009 on their website, it does not say whether it operates on 110 and 220 volts, or if it is only 220 volts. You might want to send them an e-mail and ask about that. You can send them a message via their website at this address: http://www.himalaya.com.hk/index.php?option=com_contact&Itemid=3&lang=en
In any case, the receiver can be operated with batteries, and you could always buy a 110/220 volt transformer (I believe places like Radio Shack sell them) and use a plug adapter for use in the U.S.
In terms of which stations can be heard in North America, these are the transmissions which are currently beamed to this part of the world on DRM:
Frequency UTC Program
9405 kHz 0200-0300 Radio Netherlands via French Guiana (English)
9755 2300-2345 Vatican Radio (from Vatican trans. site) English
9790 0000-0100 TDP (dance music) via Canada
9800 1605-1705 Radio Canada International (Russian/Ukrainian)
9800 1705-1905 Radio Canada Intl (English)
9800 1945-2030 Vatican Radio via Canada
9800 2030-2100 Radio Netherlands via Canada
9800 2100-2200 Radio Canada Intl (English)
9800 2200-2230 various programs from Canada
9800 2230-2300 Radio Sweden via Canada
9815 0100-0400 HCJB (Ecuador)
11630 1100-1200 Vatican Radio multilingual (from Vatican site)
11675 2200-0200 Radio Kuwait in Arabic
15680 1500-0100 HCJB
17875 1300-2000 TDF-French Guiana with Radio France, etc. (Mon-Fri)
These schedules are subject to change, but you can find the latest schedules on the DRM website (www.drm.org).
It is also possible to hear some of the DRM transmissions beamed to other parts of the world here in North America, depending on propagation conditions, but the above-listed ones would provide the best reception.
I might also note that Christian Vision in Chile and Radio
Netherlands in Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles) have also been conducting
occasional DRM transmissions that can be well heard in North America, but at
present these are inactive.
The National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB) represents the privately-owned shorwave stations in the U.S., and we have conducted weekly DRM transmissions in the past via Canada and the UK. We hope that in the near future there may be some DRM transmissions from one or more shortwave stations in the United States, but there are no definite plans as yet.
I think you will find that as time goes on, the list of DRM broadcasts to North America will grow.
Dr. Adrian Peterson of Adventist World Radio passed the following message on to us from Jose Jacob, VU2JOS, of Hyderabad, India: Dear Friends, I am just back from a trip to Austria, Germany and Luxembourg. Here are details of DRM broadcasts that I monitored on LW and MW during my trip there using amateur radio communication transceivers and antennas of my friends. Special thanks to Noel R. Green in the UK for identifying many of these stations:
Europe #1, Felsberg, Saarland, Germany
693 Voice of Russia via Zehlendorf, Germany
855 Deutschlandfunk, Berlin-Britz, Germany
999 Unidentified [listed as DRM Test from Villebon, France to Paris area on
1296 BBC via Orfordness, UK
1440 Radio Luxembourg
1485 Low power stations, Germany
1575 Voice of Russia uses Magdeburg, Germany
1584 Low power stations
1593 West Deutscher Rundfunk, Landenberg, Germany
1611 Vatican Radio
David Baden of Radio Free Asia (firstname.lastname@example.org) has the following request for broadcasters and shortwave listeners: We are trying to compile information about shortwave jamming. If it is not too much trouble, could you please provide us with information on transmitter sites that you suspect are being used specifically for jamming purposes? We would also appreciate your thoughts of the viability of shortwave as a broadcast medium in the future. Any information that you pass along would be kept confidential, very beneficial and would be greatly appreciated. [David Baden, Radio Free Asia, 2025 M Street, NW, Washington Dc 20036. Tel (202)530-4900. E-mail: email@example.com]
Former NASB Board member Dennis Dempsey (formerly of WEWN, and now at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta) writes: I hope all is well. I just wanted to pass along, “Great Newsletter”. I check up on the website regularly. The Mp3s of the meeting are nice. I downloaded them to my IPod, and listened to them on my commute.
Note: Those mp3 audio files are now available on the NASB website, www.shortwave.org.
Fanny Podworthy, DRM Communications and PR Assistant, sends the following news item dated July 7, 2007: Longtime DRM member Deutsche Welle broadcasts English-language programs in DRM digital quality on MW and SW to India with immediate effect. In large parts of the Indian subcontinent the DW transmissions can now be heard in FM-like quality. Successful DRM trials took place in India in May, and the commitment of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle shows that DRM's take-off in India is on the right track.
News from NASB Associate Member Thomson Broadcast & Multimedia
First DRM MW Transmission in India
Thomson M2W Provides Digital Broadcast
Delhi was the showplace for the first ever full bandwidth (18 kHz) DRM medium wave digital radio transmission. The trials took place in the framework of a showcase on DRM digital radio simulcast technologies from 7 to 12 May and were cosponsored by AIR (All India Radio), ABU (Asia PacificBroadcasting Union) and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM). Thomson provided the transmission technology. The results of the trials exceed all expectations.
One of the principle objectives of the project was to demonstrate and evaluate the 18 kHz simulcast technology, which enables simultaneous transmission of analog and DRM digital medium wave radio signals using only one transmitter. “Given that this region has some of the largest number of MW radio broadcaster stations, successful trials and measurements could pave the way for easy and cost effective transition to DRM in the Asia-Pacific environment,” said Sharad Sadhu, of ABU.
Field trials aimed at demonstrating the DRM system possibilities and included, in addition to the medium wave tests, trials for NVIS Daytime (6 MHz), 26 MHz for local broadcasting, NVIS Nighttime and SW long distance (15-17 MHz).
The historical DRM medium wave digital radio transmissions were done for the first time in the Asia-Pacific environment, where the 18 kHz total channel bandwidth is different from other regions of the world. “This is quite a significant event,” said Sharad Sadhu as he witnessed the tests. “Radio broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific area uniquely use 18 kHz wide channels in the medium wave and using DRM in the full channel will enable them to provide very high quality stereo service to listeners. The participants in this project were thrilled when they heard the brilliant sound emanating from DRM digital radio sets,” he added.
The trials resulted in an excellent quality of reception, reported to be much superior to the service generally resulting from the analog transmissions from the same site. Thomson provided the digital medium wave transmitter set-up, using their 100 kW medium wave transmitter TMW2100D from the M2W line. They also provided the digital front-end, including the Thomson Stratus DRM modulator, and the Cirrus DRM multiplexer. The TMW 2100D had been taken into analog service by AIR earlier this year at their Nangli
station, around 30 kilometers from downtown Delhi.
The Thomson M2W line is designed and delivered ready for DRM and allows broadcasters to switch modes with a simple push of a button. Built exclusively on digital processing techniques, M2W transmitters are equipped with the advanced modulation technology and intrinsic flexibility needed for the complex modulation schemes of digital modulation techniques. After integration of the front-end, the transmitter delivered up to 70 kW DRM mean power with typical MER values well above 35 dB over a lambda/4, 115m self-radiating mast. The DRM trials were done on 666 kHz, the normal operating frequency of the analog transmitter. In Simulcast mode, the coverage area reached that of the analog service. In fact, measurements show that only a third of the analog output power is needed to service the same area in DRM. This leads to tremendous cost savings for energy.
“Thomson was happy to assist in this historical event,” said David Birrer, Head of Marketing and Strategy at Thomson Radio Broadcasting. “The positive results topped expectations and will help radio broadcasters in the area to use the new technology for a seamless, cost-efficient transition to digital radio. Thus they can introduce digital radio services while largely maintaining the on-going analog services.”
The first Russian DRM symposium on Digital Radio Mondiale/DRM is coming up in October. The Voice of Russia in cooperation with the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle are organizing a symposium that will take place between October 8 and 12, 2007 in Moscow. The symposium will be supported by Digital Radio Mondiale.
Economizing with Shortwave Array Antenna Systems Flexibility and Variability: Aspects of Slewing
Your shortwave antenna system can be an important source of making additional savings in the running costs of your high power station. A wise choice of high power antenna broadcast system can not only bring you interesting savings on running costs, but also
considerably reduce your expenditures for investment and maintenance. The key is system efficiency, flexibility and variability. Shortwave array antenna systems, and especially rotatable array systems, offer the ideal solution to meet these requirements.
Shortwave array antenna systems are highly flexible when it comes to accommodating a large number of frequencies. They are also highly variable with respect to changing the main radiation direction upon demand. It is obvious that the higher the ability to change the azimuthal main lobe direction of an antenna, the less numbers of antennas will be needed to cover the same target direction.
For broadcasters with target areas spanning a large azimuth, slewable array antennas are the best solution to reduce the required number of antenna systems. Depending on antenna type, a proper choice of phasing lines in the antenna internal RF feed system can allow a change in the azimuthal direction of the main lobe of up to 30°!
Planning for Future
Nowadays the newest and highly sophisticated RF simulation tools together with fast computer technology can make an antenna analysis more realistic and more accurate than in the past. State-of-the-art “Method-of-Moments” computer models of shortwave array antennas even include the antenna phasing and power dividing components. This gives the RF engineer a more precise idea of the antenna radiation characteristics.
For maximum system efficiency, it could be very useful to investigate the application of slewable antennas.
The above items were reprinted from Radio News, SUMMER 2007
Published by Thomson Broadcast & Multimedia
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fragmenting audiences challenge shortwave broadcasters
Analysis by Ian Liston-Smith of BBC Monitoring on 31 July
International radio broadcasting - predominantly via shortwave - has been with us since the 1930s. The BBC started its Empire Service in December 1932, and what is now the BBC World Service celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. But radio listening, particularly to international stations, is now in steep decline in many countries.
The political landscape in which these stations thrived has now completely changed. Access to FM radio, satellite and cable TV, and the internet continues to spread rapidly across the world. These facts are challenging the role of international radio broadcasting.
In the past three-quarters of a century many nations opened an international radio service, and they did so for a variety of reasons. Some did it in an attempt to spread political doctrine, or to project a government's foreign policy objectives, or perhaps just to keep expatriates in touch with news from home. In the 1930s, 40s and 50s, public awareness and popularity of listening to "exotic" foreign stations was such that even manufacturers of budget radios often fitted a shortwave band as standard.
During the Second World War, governments exploited the power and
influence of radio and in the post-war years many more opened or expanded their
overseas services. In the 1960s and 70s, relay stations were built around the
world in countries friendly to the broadcaster in order to beam stronger and
more reliable signals into their target zones.
The stand-off between East and West was perhaps the zenith of international broadcasting, forcing the West to build greater numbers of more powerful transmitters to overcome the deliberate jamming from the East. The East countered Western broadcasts by also building more and bigger shortwave transmitters.
But the fall of the Berlin Wall brought all that to an end. Some
of the East's jamming transmitters were even converted for broadcast use.
As political hostilities ebbed away, international broadcasters
such as the BBC and VOA struck up agreements in host countries to relay
programmes in major cities on medium wave and FM. Growing numbers of urban
listeners now no longer need to battle against the vagaries of shortwave
reception to hear these stations.
There is now a huge choice of information sources and platforms available in the developed world and these are also rapidly spreading into the developing world. The public in many countries have access to satellite radio, television and the internet. The number of states launching their own international television news channels also continues to grow.
It is in the face of this increasing choice that shortwave radio
listening in many parts of the world is declining. For example, radio audiences
in India and China have shrunk significantly in towns and cities as cable and
satellite television penetrate deeper into these communities. This decline will
no doubt continue as wealth and development spread further into rural areas.
Broadcasters are forced by their paymasters to cut transmissions
when their own audience research shows they have too few listeners. A number of
broadcasters - including the BBC - have dramatically cut back shortwave
programming to North America, Europe and parts of Asia. The USA's Radio Liberty
(which beamed signals into eastern Europe) closed and demolished its
transmitter site at Playa de Pals, Spain in March 2006; VOA faces big cuts next
year and Radio Budapest's foreign-language service closed in June this year.
Paradoxically, all this is happening when the cost of shortwave
radios continues to fall while their performance and ease of use
increases. However, in the 2007 issue of
the World Radio TV Handbook, the director of BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman
says that 66 per cent of the audience is still listening via shortwave and
although declining "...it's declining rather more slowly than we thought
it would five years ago".
Dr Kim Andrew Elliott of the US International Broadcasting Bureau
describes it as the "medium of last resort" and says: "Modern
means of international mass communications will be blocked, destroyed, or
swamped from overuse. That is when a global shortwave network will become the
failsafe. We reduce that network at our peril."
The technology of shortwave broadcasting may have been around since the 1930s, but it still has advantages over satellite broadcasting and the internet. The ability of shortwave signals to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles via high altitude reflective atmospheric layers makes them ideal for long-distance broadcasting.
Although the influence of satellite television is spreading
rapidly, the receiving dishes and auxiliary equipment are expensive and the
internet is only accessible by the relatively wealthy and literate. Both of
these mediums rely on a good infrastructure and electricity supply. Therefore
many media professionals think that international shortwave broadcasting with
its multitude of stations, languages and relatively cheap radios is very far
Relays and rebroadcast agreements of international stations in
major cities may provide a better signal than shortwave, but they have problems
of their own; they rely on the continuing goodwill of the host nation. Any
controversial programming can - and does - lead to the sudden ending of the
agreement. Shortwave broadcasting rarely suffers from these
At times of international crisis, even some listeners in the
developed nations tune in to shortwave stations for news with an alternative
outlook. This is confirmed by Grundig's US operations director, John Smith. The
Detroit Free Press quotes him as reporting a 500 per cent increase in shortwave
radio sales in the weeks following 9/11.
In countries where the population mistrusts their domestic media,
shortwave listening also increases during the unfolding of important national
Shortwave broadcasts reach audiences across borders and programmes
can still be heard in a myriad of languages. Although jamming has always been
possible, it is rarely completely effective.
A poor literacy rate in many countries makes the medium of radio
attractive and listening clubs set up by NGOs such as Unicef in Africa spread
advice about health and agriculture, building upon the habit of radio
News from the bigger international broadcasters provides balance and context in countries where the media is "independent", but not necessarily accurate or impartial. In countries with state-controlled media or where satellite television and internet use is either prohibitively expensive or illegal, shortwave radio continues to provide clandestine access to the outside world.
An example of this is North Korea, where radios and televisions
are provided pre-tuned to receive only state broadcasts and tampering with them
can result in imprisonment. Nevertheless, according to some reports, cheap
shortwave radios from China are flooding into the country and at least four
radio stations beam programmes into this isolated nation.
Zimbabwe is another country with a tightly-controlled state media
where the population is eager to get an alternative view of national and
international events. Although access to satellite television and the internet
is not legally restricted, it is completely out of the reach of much of the
population due to cost or infrastructure limitations. Zimbabwe therefore is
another nation to which broadcasters like SW Radio Africa and VOA's Studio 7
specifically beam programmes, much to the annoyance of the Mugabe government.
To counteract what the Zimbabwean government sees as a "bombardment" of hostile foreign-based broadcasts, it has itself recently said it will open a station on shortwave to broadcast its own version of Zimbabwean and African news to what it describes as a "world audience".
Last chance for shortwave?
A digital transmission format may give shortwave broadcasting a new lease of life in the developed nations.
The Digital Radio Mondial (DRM) consortium was formed in March
1998, when a group of broadcasters and manufacturers joined forces to create
digital system for the broadcasting bands below 30 MHz. The BBC and other major
broadcasters have been running test transmissions for some years and the
long-term aim is to replace AM broadcasting on the long-, medium- and shortwave
bands. The system is designed to carry audio content and it integrates text and
Once the listener has purchased a DRM receiver, the main advantage
is the improved audio quality ease of tuning.
There was optimism around these digital radios at Berlin's 2005
IFA consumer electronics exhibition, but they have not reached the market as
quickly as hoped.
The head of broadcast services at VT Communications, Richard Hurd, who is closely involved with DRM, says in an interview in this year's WRTH that the system is still being developed, but also says the main blow had been the lack of receivers.
But manufacturers are now addressing this situation. At least two DRM-capable receivers have recently reached the market-place, although fairly specialist PC-controlled DRM equipment has been available for some time.
The controller of business development for the BBC World Service,
Ruxandra Obreja, says that DRM is likely to expand as a platform for
international broadcasting once countries start using it nationally and
listeners discover that overseas stations are also audible with good sound
Source: BBC Monitoring research in 31 Jul 07. Reprinted by permission.
George Otis, founder of High Adventure's religious shortwave network, passes on
The Los Angeles Times of 27 July 2007 reported: "George K. Otis, Sr., who founded High Adventure Ministries, a Simi Valley-based Christian organization best known for operating what was probably the first radio station in the Middle East to preach the Gospel and play country music, has died. He was 90." High Adventures Ministries operated a shortwave transmitter in southern Lebanon until it was destroyed by a fire in 1997. Its KVOH shortwave transmitters in California were sold to, or are at least now operated by, [NASB member] La Voz de la Restauración. [from www.kimandrewelliott.com]
Chronicle of the 13th Mexican National DX Meeting
by Miguel Angel Rocha Gamez
Condensed, translated and slightly adapted by Jeff White
Editor's Note: The NASB sent a display and brochures from our member stations to the 2007 Mexican National DX Meeting, which is attended by shortwave listeners (and often shortwave broadcasters) from all parts of Mexico and even abroad. The following is a personal chronicle of the event from the perspective of a shortwave listener from Chihuahua state who attends these meetings every year.
The 13th National DX Meeting took place in beautiful Mexico City on August 2, 3 and 4.
In the nation's capital there are several shortwave stations, including some utility stations. The quantity, quality and variety of hotels, restaurants and attractions is enormous. It is easy to get to Mexico City from almost any part of the country and from abroad. It is not as unsafe or dirty and its inhabitants are not so discourteous and cold as the media sometimes lead us to believe. Many DXers live within a six-hour drive of Mexico City. At least 200 of them have attended our past national DX meetings.
Thursday, August 2
When I arrived at the meeting place on Bolivar Street in the colonial center of Mexico City, I was greeted by the very courteous Mr. Florentino Mazariegos of the city of Puebla. There were already some other DXers present who I had not seen for many years. In the coming hours, more arrived. Among them were Luis Pineda from Los Angeles, California; and others from Veracruz, Oaxaca, Nayarit and Hidalgo states.
When the event began, Norberto Lambertinez, Florentino Mazariegos and Catarino Rodriguez gave brief talks. Among those present were Liu Na and Yao Yansheng of China Radio International, who recorded interviews with the meeting participants. A phone call was received from Radio Canada International and another was made to Radio Havana Cuba. Three young solo guitarists interpreted melodies from various periods and cultures. Ivan Lopez Alegria gave a talk explaining DXing -- interesting for those who didn't know what it is, easy to understand for beginners and enjoyable for those of us who are longtime listeners. Mr. Roberto Espinosa handed out samples of AM-FM magazine, which is a sort of TV Guide for radio stations in the Mexico City area. One copy had an article about shortwave by Dr. Julian Santiago Diez de Bonilla.
We went to eat at "Caliente," a restaurant owned by multimillionaire Jorge Hank Ron, recently defeated in his candidacy for governor of Baja California, my native state. Later we went back to the meeting room and continued with informal conversations.
As the day's activities ended, we were invited to a patio next to the meeting room to do some radio listening. It was difficult because of all of the high buildings around us. We improvised an antenna, which greatly improved shortwave reception. We picked up stations in other languages which we could not readily identify. "What is this?" Soon someone would say: "It's the Voice of Turkey." We continued this for a while. Rafael Grajeda from Veracruz picked up an aeronautical station from Gander, Newfoundland. We listened to it for more than a half-hour, hearing messages sent to airplanes in English, using numbers and words in code. When darkness fell, we ended the DX session.
Friday, August 3
On Friday morning we made plans for a future QSL contest for those who will go to the 14th National DX Meeting next year.
Mr. David Carrillo Blanco of Radio Transcontinental de America, XERTA (4810 kHz), gave us an interesting talk about the work of his station. He told us that it exists thanks to donations from the faithful. The station does not belong to any particular church, and they plan to soon have an Internet TV channel. The transmitter, as I understood it, is a Crown-HCJB model adapted for missionary work. It is on a small plot of land in the hilly area of La Montada, Coatepec, near the area which is the main antenna center for stations in Mexico City. He talked to us about projects like increasing the power to 30 kilowatts and the use of DRM to facilitate rebroadcasts by AM and FM stations throughout the country, since he said it is very costly to use satellite to send programs live to local stations in the interior. The station's website is www.xertaradio.com.
Also on Friday, I gave a talk about shortwave DXing, and I showed some photos of the 12th National DX Meeting that I organized in Ascension, Chihuahua last year. I also made available copies of my "Introduction to DXing" manual. Other talks were given by Mr. Jose Maria Mora, who is very knowledgeable about radio; and Rafael Grajeda, who gave us a talk about utility DXing.
This afternoon some of the participants also went to the EXPOSYSCOM event at the World Trade Center in Mexico City, which included a wide variety of communications themes and stands by radio amateurs and the FMRE (the Mexican Federation of Radio Experimenters).
Our group went by Metro to visit the studios of XERTA located in a modest building. The welcome was cordial by those who were waiting on us in a small cozy room. The reception area, administrative office, etc, is quite small. The studio is even smaller. Next to the studio, on the other side of the glass, there is a console, various computers and other instruments. In small groups we passed through.
The station has no fixed budget. To operate the station by computer, they cannot buy the appropriate software. It is very expensive, so they use free programs. If you do not believe in miracles, visit this station! They gave each of us a personalized QSL card, and we took pictures and videos of the station.
We returned to our meeting place on Bolivar Street and made plans for the DX Night. It was raining and the sky was cloudy, but we decided to do it in the open air at the Juarez national monument beside Alameda Park. Interestingly, I found that when I stood in a puddle of water next to the monument my receiver worked better. I suppose the tall buildings nearby reduce the signal quality. Nevertheless, reception was better than expected; there was almost no industrial noise. Little by little, the DXers left as the temperature went down. No one heard any great catches on any band. Those of us who were left returned at 11 pm. There was no restaurant in the area open at that time, so we went to a convenience store to get something to eat.
Saturday, August 4
On Saturday there was a small exhibit with multiband radios and other items. An old record player with various shortwave bands played vinyl LP's. There was an outing organized to the National Art Gallery, an important national historic site. Professor Cesar Granillo of Orizaba, Veracruz, Rafael Grajeda and I went to some second-hand bookstores where we found various books about DXing, communications satellites, shortwave transmission and reception, etc. at very modest prices.
We returned to the meeting place, and from there we went to eat. Most of those who had arrived from the interior of Mexico were saying goodbye. Ivan Lopez was already back in Tepic, Nayarit. There was a closing ceremony. Dr. Julian Santiago of Radio Mil made an appearance. Mr. Mora brought a keyboard and lightened up the atmosphere with music. I was soon on my way back to Chihuahua, from where I would continue to Ascension. This last part of the route was difficult. The bus was late, the traffic in Chihuahua was intense and there were strong electrical storms, hail and accidents on the highway. Also, landslides and small rivers which are dry most of the year were suddenly rising over the bridges. In the end, a five-hour stretch of road took 10 hours to traverse.
Well, this will surely not be our last National DX Meeting.
Note: The dates and location of next year's meeting have not yet been announced, but when they are we will publish them here in the NASB Newsletter.
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: email@example.com