NASB NEWSLETTER             www.shortwave.org

 

December 2007

         

IN THIS ISSUE:         

WRC 07  News

DRM  Symposium

RAI  Shortwave Closes

EDXC  Reports

Kulpsville Winter  SWL  Festival

NASB  Mailbag

EAS  Requirements for Shortwave

HCJB  Global Co-Sponsors Bible Marathon

HFCC  A08  Conference

Invitation to Submit News

 

 

WRC 07  News 

 

ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2007

News release from Fanny Podworny, DRM Consortium

 

Geneva, Switzerland - Taking place about once every four years, the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) is considered one of the most important events for radiocommunication industry representatives, government representatives and observers from international organizations. Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), WRC 2007 took place in Geneva from the 22th of October until the 16th of November. It was charged with reviewing and, if necessary, revising international radio regulations that govern the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and telecommunication, satellite orbital and frequency allocations.

 

Long-time DRM Consortium members BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands, TDF and VT Communications, as well as DRM directly as a Sector Member (represented by Dr. H. Donald Messer), all attended WRC-07 because of their common interest in Agenda Item 1.13 and the opportunity it gave for an additional allocation of HF spectrum to the broadcasting service. Currently, due to the severe congestion in the 4-10 MHz broadcasting bands, broadcast reception audibility is suffering, and this affects both analogue and digital transmissions. WRC 07 allowed for settling this issue, which has never been adequately addressed over the many years it has appeared on WRC agendas.

 

“WRC 07 is the best opportunity for DRM to communicate what happens since the last three years,” said DRM Chairman Peter Senger prior to the meeting. Since June 2003 the DRM system is ready,  developed and standardized. Today more than 30 broadcasters are using DRM for regular transmissions with a total of about 800 hours daily. Several DRM receivers are already available and with the first DRM chipsets coming in 2008, mass production of DRM radios is expected.

 

Summary of WRC-07 Results; Impact on the DRM System

by Don Messer, DRM Consortium Representative at WRC-07

 

WRC-07 is over.  This memo is a summary of what happened here of interest to the DRM system. The results are very positive. I summarize the four major outcomes below.

 

1. No Protection Ratio agenda item for WRC-11:

 

The original "preliminary" agenda items for WRC-11, which were composed at WRC-03, included an item for a reassessment of the Protection Ratios in the HF bands for DRM into analog signals, vice-versa, and DRM into DRM. This inclusion was a result of my having to agree to it during WRC-03, while I was the chairman of the handling of the agenda item on digital HF, to be able to get DRM officially into the Radio Regulations in the HF bands. It was a struggle.

 

Well, here we are at WRC-07. It has to compose the official WRC-11 agenda, since it is now the next Conference. Not unexpectedly, there was an avalanche of requests for agenda items (initially over 150 !!), which was pruned down to about 25 by the time the approval process was completed. Needless to say, our little protection ratio agenda item from WRC-03 was buried in the snow. There won't be such an agenda item.

 

Therefore, we will not have to formally submit documentation during the next four years on how the DRM signals are behaving while in HF use with respect to interference to other signals. This does not mean we should ignore the topic -- only that there will not be any ITU-R requirement to do anything official.

 

What remains with respect to the ITU-R is the "at least 7 dB backoff". This should be observed for all regular operational broadcasts. And, of course, HFBC coordination continues.

 

 

 

 

2. No additional HFBC spectrum between 4 & 10 MHz:

 

This defeat was no tragedy -- I believe that.  First, the week before the Conference ended, the only remaining proposal for more HFBC spectrum was the one from the CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations).  It had been reduced, as a compromise, to 200 kHz additional, with the same "date of entry into force" of 2018. I had tried, unsuccessfully before the Conference, to inject the idea of a much earlier entry date, since we complain about immediate problems forcing us to go "out of band." But this got nowhere.

 

 

Fundamentally, Region 2, Region 3, the old Soviet Union republics, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arab States stood ground for No Change. Finally, the complicated proposal from the CEPT was withdrawn, and life went on with other aspects of this complicated agenda item.

 

What was lost? Practically nothing. If the CEPT proposal had been accepted, the situation would have remained as it is until 2018. What would the broadcasters do in the meantime? The same as now. So, it wouldn't have been until 2018 that anything positive would have happened -- and who knows what the world will be like then?

 

So the "no change" folks win a pyrrhic victory. All of them can go back and get congratulations from their bosses -- but nothing has changed. Whoever has to and can will use Article 4.4 on "no harmful interference" as the escape valve for the foreseeable  future.  Like it or not, we will be living with the current situation that includes Out-of-Band broadcasting transmissions into Fixed Service territory, using the famous Article 4.4 on no harmful interference for an indefinite future. 

 

3. A new Resolution to "continue studies”:

 

As is frequently the case when a WRC gets stuck without any real success on an aspect of an agenda item, as in rugby and American football, it kicks the ball away (punts, in American). So, with the added HFBC spectrum dead, a Resolution was created to ask the Study Groups to continue studying the issue -- amass data, find out about how digital introduction is affecting spectrum usage, blah, blah, blah. It will give some of us some "job security" in the next few years.

 

There is a clear cut feeling that somehow the introduction of DRM will help matters. I hope so.

  

4. "Tropical zone use" -- the last regulatory element of DRM use in the HF bands:

 

This is the real regulatory triumph for us in the shortwave band use of DRM.

 

At WRC-03, I was able, along with others, to get DRM accepted officially for use in the HF bands that are governed by Article 12. That is the regulation that specifies the use of HFCC-like coordination twice a year, etc. for the bands above 5900 kHz. It took a massive amount of modifications in various Articles,  Appendices, Resolutions and Recommendations to get to that point, originally drafted by Ian Davey (UK) and me, with very little changes along the way.

However, none of this addressed the domestic "tropical zone" use of DRM. (These are the broadcasting bands below 5900 kHz.)  This time, in modifying Resolution 517, which in its latest form comes from WRC-03, we finally got to remove any mention of single-side band signals. This is something I could not get rid of at WRC-03.

 

In the process, with the "stroke of the pen" we lowered the bands under consideration from 5900 kHz to 3200 kHz, thereby including the "tropical zone" bands. The suggested change sailed right through the Plenary session without any objection.

 

This new aspect finishes the DRM official ITU recognition in the HF broadcasting bands. It has enormous marketing potential since more than half the people in the world live in the "tropical zone," which is roughly defined as between 30 degrees North and South latitudes. Countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Congo, South Africa, Algeria, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina are simply a sample of what we're talking about. (A good NVIS capability for DRM is an essential element of this application.)

 

 

 

DRM Approved by ITU For Tropical Band Shortwave Broadcasting

News release from Fanny Podworny, DRM Consortium

 

Geneva, Switzerland – The ITU is the United Nations organization for coordination of the use of the radio spectrum. Every four years it conducts a thorough review and modification of the regulations for the use of the radio spectrum, including broadcasting use.

 

Since 2002 Digital Radio Mondiale's (DRM) system has been endorsed by the ITU for broadcasting worldwide in the longwave, mediumwave and shortwave frequencies, with the exception of the "tropical zone" bands. The tropical zone bands are the frequencies near the lower end of the shortwave spectrum that are reserved for domestic (national) broadcasting. It includes countries located roughly in latitudes between 30 degrees North and South like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Congo, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, and many others.

 

At the recent World Radiocommunicaton Conference (WRC) of the ITU in Geneva, the conference officially approved the DRM system in the broadcasting bands between 3200 and 5900 kHz for domestic coverage in the "tropical zone" countries. This major regulatory achievement opens up a huge market for the benefit of the citizens in this part of the world. The DRM Consortium is very pleased with this outcome.  “The recognition of the DRM system is now totally worldwide for all digital radio applications of various types around the world in the traditional broadcasting bands below 30 MHz – longwave, mediumwave and shortwave,” said Dr. H. Donald Messer, DRM representative at WRC.

 

Moreover, the DRM Consortium has developed an adaptation of its system to the VHF bands I and II (the "old TV" and "FM" bands, respectively). It is currently being field tested and is in the final part of the standardization process. When completed in the near future, the DRM system will be available for worldwide use in all the terrestrial broadcasting bands up to and including the FM band. Coverage can range from less than 100 square kilometers using very low power levels, to well over 1,000,000 square kilometers using powers approaching 100 kW.

 

                                                            -----

DRM  Dedicated Symposium in Russia

 

News release from Fanny Podworny, DRM Consortium

 

 October 11, 2007 , Moscow, Russia - “Without digital broadcasting, we can't think of the future of radio.” The words of Armen G. Organessian, Chairman of RSBC “Voice of Russia” opened the first international DRM symposium in the President Hotel, Moscow.

 

The first day of the symposium brought participants from all over the world and international prominences together to discuss one common issue: the future of DRM in Russia. The Ambassador of Germany in Russia, Dr. Walter Juergen Schmid; the director general of RTRN (Russian Television and Broadcasting Network), Gennady I. Sklyar; Erik Bettermann, Director General of Deutsche Welle; and the DRM Chairman Peter Senger thanked The Voice of Russia for initiating the symposium in co-operation with Deutsche Welle.

 

“The initiative of The Voice of Russia requires respect and asks for further development,” said Dr. Prof. Vitaly P. Stytsco, Deputy chairman of the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications. After its first daily DRM broadcasting for Europe in 2003, the chief engineer of RSBC “The Voice of Russia”, Rachel M. Staviskaya underlines the strategy of “The Voice of Russia” to enlarge its DRM broadcasting and obtain from the regulatory body a broadcasting licence anywhere to work inside Russia and internationally.

 

The plans and perspectives of DRM implementation was the presentations topic of Mr. Nikolay M. Meshkov, RTRN Director of Operation and Monitoring Division TV & Radio Broadcasting Network. Nowadays all the DRM experimental works have been implemented in Russia. The importance of digital radio broadcasting is evident

for a country like Russia with more than 12,000 remote villages and a large territory of sea.  RTRN is actively involved in DRM broadcasting and feels also concerned to speed up the DRM commercial implementation in Russia.

 

Armen G. Organessian awarded three persons particularly involved in the advancement of DRM:  the Director General of Deutsche Welle, Erik Bettermann; the CEO of T-Systems, Helmut Egenbauer; and the DRM Chairman, Peter Senger. On behalf of all the DRM members, Peter Senger thanked The Voice of Russia for the award and underlined that, “The commitment of Voice of Russia and all Russian participants at the symposium shows that DRM’s envisaged take off in Russia is on the right track.”

                                                            -----

 

 

 

 

RAI Shortwave Closed Down

Message from Giuseppe Allamano, RAIWAY, via the HFCC

 

Dear colleagues:  On the 1st of October 2007, RAI International closed down the transmitting station in Rome. This follow the previous closure of the contract with the relay station dated 31st of July 2007.  From now on RAI International radio programmes will be broadcast only via satellite and Internet.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all you for the work we have done together in a friendly and collaborative environment. 

 

Kindest regards, 

Giuseppe Allamano

                                                           

-----

 

 

 

 

 

EDXC  Reports

 

European DX Council Celebrates 40th Anniversary at Conference in Lugano

by Jeff White, NASB President

 

While the prospect of travelling to Europe in November might seem a bit chilly for a resident of Miami, it turns out that the city of Lugano, in southeastern Switzerland, is not that cold.  Temperatures reach the 70's (Fahrenheit) during daytime hours, and there are even palm trees throughout the city!

 

Lugano is the largest city in the Swiss canton of Ticino, with some 55,000 inhabitants.  Ticino is the only Italian-speaking canton in Switzerland, and a casual visitor might be forgiven for thinking he or she is in Italy, what with the language, the food, the customs, etc.  For example, Lugano celebrates certain Catholic holidays which other parts of Switzerland do not. 

 

Yet Lugano is also quite Swiss.  It's the third largest financial center in Switzerland, with over 100 banks, explained the city's deputy mayor, Dr. Venturi, who opened the EDXC Conference on Nov. 2.  Lugano was first established as a fishing village, but these days things like banking and tourism have become the most important economic activities, said Dr. Venturi.  Ticino has been described as "the Florida of Europe" by some, because many people from northern Europe come to this area in the winter to "warm up" and others come here to retire. 

 

Dr. Venturi also noted, half-jokingly, that "Switzerland is the Afghanistan of Europe," since every citizen is officially a member of the militia -- kind of ironic as this has historically been one of the most peaceful countries in Europe, and the world for that matter.

 

Coincidentally, during the same dates of the EDXC Conference (Nov. 1-4), Lugano was host to the Swiss Travel Expo "iViaggiatori."  Some 80,000 visitors came to see hundreds of kiosks presented by tourist authorities from throughout Switzerland, Italy, Europe (especially the emerging tourist destinations of Eastern Europe) and even parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

 

But also on November 1-4, Lugano was the scene of the 2007 Conference of the European DX Council (EDXC), marking the 40th anniversary of this institution which was formed in 1967 as an umbrella organization for shortwave listening (DX) clubs throughout Europe.  (See separate article by Anker Peterson elsewhere in this Newsletter for more on the founding and history of the EDXC.)

 

Dozens of shortwave listeners from nine countries took part in this year's EDXC Conference.  They came from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Switzerland itself.  Plus a handful from the United States and even two from Japan.  The venue was the Hotel Dischma in the pleasant Lugano suburb of Paradiso.

The EDXC Conference began on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 1, with an informal reception in the bar/restaurant area of the Hotel Dischma, giving everyone a chance to get to know one another and to renew old acquaintances.

 

 

The main conference working day was Friday, Nov. 2.  After the welcome to the city by the deputy mayor, EDXC Secretary General Tibor Szilagy officially opened the conference, together with his Assistant Secretary General Torre Ekblom.  Both of them had been in office for 11 months at the time of the conference.

 

Yours truly was the next speaker on the agenda.  In a space of about an hour, I talked about the NASB, the state of shortwave broadcasting in the Americas, and the status of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) with the aid of some PowerPoints.  DRM was a topic of great interest to the shortwave enthusiasts in Lugano, although some were concerned about interference from DRM to analogue shortwave signals.

 

Tropical Band Shortwave in South America

 

Next up was Anker Peterson of the Danish Shortwave Club International.  This was his 36th EDXC Conference.  He spoke about "DXing in the High Andes" -- a sort of shortwave travelogue about his three trips to the Andean countries of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.  Anker has been listening to tropical band shortwave stations from the Andes for 45 years, and on his three trips to the region he had an opportunity to visit some of them in person. 

 

Anker noted that many houses in the region don't have electricity (only 30% in Bolivia), so people use portable radios (at an average cost of about 10 euros) with batteries.  In cities like La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, there is electricity, and therefore a lot of electrical noise.  International shortwave broadcasters from North America, Europe, etc. can be best heard at night and in the early morning hours.  None of the countries visited by Anker Peterson have external shortwave broadcasters, with the exception of Ecuador's HCJB, an NASB associate member.  Anker visited HCJB and experienced a small earthquake while he was there.  Other stations he visited included Emisoras Gran Colombia and Radio Baha'i in Ecuador, and Radio Tawantinsuyo in Peru.

 

Anker explained that radio stations in many tropical zone countries in South America have been moving from shortwave to FM in recent years.  The number of domestic shortwave transmitters on the 60- and 90-meter tropical bands has decreased from 160 in 1973 to 69 in 2007.  Peru is the country with the most domestic broadcast stations on shortwave, but many are on the air sporadically.  Anker noted that tropical band shortwave stations of 5 kilowatts or less power could be heard for distances of about 1000 kilometers.

 

The mediumwave bands are alive and well in the Andean countries, said Anker Peterson.  Stations with 20 to 50 kilowatts could be heard for long distances.  The number of FM stations is expanding greatly.  For example, he monitored 21 all-night FM stations in Cuzco, Peru; 34 in Lima; and 18 in La Paz, Bolivia.  Mobile phones and the Internet are increasingly popular in these countries, but few people have DSL or broadband, so connections are slow.  Nevertheless, some local radio stations are now broadcasting with live Internet streams. 

 

 

 

The Voice of Switzerland

One of the best-known voices from Switzerland on shortwave for 32 years was Bob Zanotti, an American journalist who has lived in Switzerland for decades.  From 1970 until 2002, Bob worked at Swiss Radio International as a reporter, producer, editor, program host and as one of "The Two Bobs" (Bob Thomann was the other one) who hosted the "Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round" -- SRI's DX program.  In addition to his radio and journalism experience, he is also an amateur radio operator with a great deal of technical knowledge about the shortwave medium.

In his talk at the EDXC in Lugano, Bob tackled three subjects:  his personal views on why Swiss Radio International was closed, his own website Switzerland in Sound, and his involvement in the Italian Radio Relay Service.

Regarding the demise of Swiss Radio International (SRI), Bob said:  "What happened to all shortwave stations was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  Before that, every country had to have a station and a voice on shortwave."  Switzerland was officially neutral during the Cold War, but in reality it was aligned with the West.  "But when the Cold War ended," Bob said, "politicians began to ask [the shortwave stations], 'what are you going to do now?'  Many stations were not ready for this, and could not justify their existence to the politicians.  Some stations had answers and are still around.  Other stations didn't have answers and are no longer around."

In Bob Zanotti's view, "SRI suffered from mismanagement."  At SRI and many other shortwave broadcasters, "top managers were often people who were ineffectual elsewhere in the organization or were about to retire, so they were parked at the shortwave service where they couldn't cause any problems."  They often had no firsthand experience of international broadcasting, so they hired consultants who were not international broadcasters either.  "They came up with marketing jargon," said Bob, "and the station managers did whatever they said, including shifting emphasis away from the shortwave services,"

"Most station managers never liked QSL-hunting DXers," continued Bob. "SRI was always in the top 10 in shortwave station polls.  But then the BBC started telling everyone that shortwave was dead, which some uninformed management figures interpreted as a call to drop shortwave."  But Bob said this could have possibly been a strategy by the BBC to get rid of the competition, noting that it's quite ironic that the BBC is still on shortwave.

Today, Swiss Radio International is "swissinfo.ch," a website with information about Switzerland.  Only one journalist from the old English section of SRI is still at swissinfo.  In 1998, the SRI transmitter site at Schwarzenburg was dismantled, explained Bob, "supposedly for environmental concerns, but really because of economic factors."  SRI opted for buying airtime from relay stations, including Deutsche Welle, and for a time had a transmitter swap arrangement with what is now China Radio International.

 

 

 

According to Bob Zanotti, "One SRI director, Roy Oppenheim, knew shortwave would be around for at least another 20 years.  He said that Internet and satellite were necessary, but only as a supplement to shortwave -- not as a replacement.  But Oppenheim left SRI, and the Internet gurus said 'we can do this for free, and even put audio on the web.'  But today they have no serious audio on swissinfo."

Other directors were just simply "incompetent" in Bob's opinion.  He noted that the CNN World Report segment produced by SRI for many years has ended, and the people who still support shortwave at many international broadcasting organizations are retiring or dying. 

Bob Zanotti was involved with the organization of the 1981 EDXC Conference, which was hosted by SRI in Bern, Switzerland.  Before coming to SRI, he worked for a time in the 1960's at Radio Sweden, where he hosted the popular "Sweden Calling DXers" program and also worked as a freelance reporter.  He remains a big proponent of shortwave radio.  "There are millions of shortwave receivers out there," he told the conference in Lugano.  "And shortwave receivers still come out when there's a crisis."

Regarding Digital Radio Mondiale, Bob Zanotti offered this view:  "DRM is wonderful technology, but it may be too little too late.  If it's going to happen, it has to happen soon."

Bob retired from SRI at an early age, and he wanted to remain involved in radio, so he started his own website, Switzerland in Sound (www.switzerlandinsound.com), which is self-financed.  SIS was "sort of a way to keep SRI going."  It contains extensive audio material about all aspects of Switzerland, including tourist information.  There is also a monthly "Letter from Switzerland" audio feature, which until the EDXC Conference in Lugano was hosted on alternate months by Bob and his former SRI colleague Richard Dawson. 

Tragically, Dick Dawson died the day after the EDXC Conference ended, "only minutes after sending me his Letter From Switzerland contribution via email. I was to call him on Skype to record his audio rendition of the Letter an hour later. He never answered."

But Switzerland in Sound continues, and it even has a "Two Bobs" section with some of the most memorable editions of SRI's DX program, and new versions as well, including a report from a recent Shortwave Listeners Winterfest in Pennsylvania, and now a report from the EDXC Conference in Lugano.

Back in 1988, Bob met a visitor at SRI named Alfredo Cotroneo from Milan, Italy.  Some time later, the two decided to put a privately-owned commercial shortwave station on the air in Milan.  The result of their efforts was the Italian Radio Relay Service (IRRS).  They purchased a 10-kilowatt Siemens shortwave transmitter from the Swiss PTT which, as Bob describes it, "was about the size of a large refrigerator, and was operational from 1.5 to 30 MHz with eight-second or less band switching."  IRRS used reduced carrier single sideband modulation.  Bob Zanotti's sidekick from "The Two Bobs," Bob Thomann, was also a technical advisor for IRRS.


 

 

At first, IRRS was only on the air on weekends, with Bob Zanotti and Alfredo Cotroneo taking turns operating the transmitter and playing the programming at the transmitter site on a farm in the outskirts of Milan.  Bob related some very interesting and entertaining stories about his stints as transmitter operator. 

But all of this ended when the station became completely automated in 1993. Today IRRS continues to broadcast, but the Milan transmitter site has been closed for a number of years.  Currently the service transmits via rented airtime from a relay station elsewhere in Europe.

Following his presentation, Bob Zanotti recorded a roundtable discussion with EDXC Secretary General Tibor Szilagyi, former secretaries general Anker Peterson and Michael Murray, and yours truly.  The roundtable audio is now available on switzerlandinsound.com under the "Two Bobs" section.

 

EDXC Business Matters

 

The EDXC is in a time of transition, as many DX clubs in Europe are losing members.  It used to be that most clubs published a monthly printed newsletter or magazine which was sent to members, and these publications were comprised of contributions from the membership.  Nowadays, many of these printed newsletters have been supplemented or replaced by electronic newsletters, some of which are freely available on the Internet or by e-mail without the necessity for the recipient to be a member of a DX club.  As a result, the EDXC has now begun accepting other types of organizations (besides DX clubs) as observer members. 

 

In a two-hour session on the afternoon of Nov. 2, club officials and others discussed Council business, including recent problems with the EDXC's website.  Assistant Secretary General Torre Ekblom reported that a new webmaster has been found in Finland, and the new user-friendly EDXC website has now appeared at www.edxc.org, although it is still under construction. 

 

Risto Vahakainu of the Finnish DX Association said that his club's peak membership was over 2500 in the year 1983.  Currently, it is down to about 700.  Trends at most other European DX clubs are similar.

 

Anker Peterson of the Danish Shortwave Club International (DSWCI) suggested

re-establishing the EDXC QSL Committee, and he offered to chair the group.  He explained that the EDXC sent a survey with 108 questions to 54 international radio stations in the early 1970's.  Twenty-four stations replied, and the results were turned into an 18-page EDXC reception report guide which many of the member clubs have made available to shortwave listeners in English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and other languages.  Anker also reported that DSWCI member Gayle Van Horn, who is an editor for the U.S. magazine Monitoring Times, has published a 528-page World QSL Book which is now available in CD form for about $20 from Teak Publishing, Grove Enterprises and Universal Radio in the United States (all of which have websites).

 

Other items of discussion at the EDXC business meeting included proposals to form a Program Listening Committee and to update the EDXC Landlist (i.e. country list).  A spirited discussion took place about whether Mexico should be considered part of North America or Central America!  Risto Vahakainu of Finland presented an invitation for DXers to attend the 2008 EDXC Conference, which will be held in the city of Vaasa, on the west coast of Finland.  More details about this will appear in the next edition of the NASB Newsletter.

 

Incidentally, the Danish Shortwave Club International (in English) and the Finnish DX Association (in Finnish) both publish excellent monthly magazines with a wealth of information for shortwave listeners.  Sample copies of recent issues were available at the conference, along with program schedules and other items from Radio Sweden, Radio Japan, the Voice of America, the DRM Consortium and many NASB member stations.  The NASB had a tabletop display with photos from many of our member stations, along with lots of schedules and giveaway items that members sent us to distribute at the meeting.

 

Shortwave from the South Atlantic

 

The final presentation on Friday, Nov. 2 was by Robert Kipp, an American shortwave listener who lives in Germany and headed up the Radio St. Helena Revival Project.  St. Helena is a small British island in the south Atlantic Ocean, about 700 miles from Ascension Island, where the BBC relay station is operated by NASB associate member VT Communications.  A British/American military base is located on Ascension Island, and it served an important role during World War II for transatlantic military flights.  Jerry Kircher, an American shortwave listener who was at the EDXC Conference, was a military pilot during the war, and he actually landed on Ascension once.  Jerry explained that due to the island's isolation in the middle of the south Atlantic, military pilots at the time used to joke that "if you miss Ascension, your wife gets a pension." 

 

As for St. Helena, it's a beautiful volcanic island.  Jamestown is the capital.  Among the well-known visitors throughout the island's history was Napoleon Bonaparte, who is buried there.  The oldest Anglican Church in the southern hemisphere is on St. Helena.  Robert Kipp explained that the island's government funds Radio St. Helena (a mediumwave station) and a newspaper called The Herald.

 

During the 1990's, Radio St. Helena carried out a special broadcast on shortwave one day each year, using a transmitter borrowed from the local Cable and Wireless station.  On "Radio St. Helena Day," as it was called, shortwave listeners around the world would try to pick up the station and send reception reports for the coveted Radio St. Helena QSL card.  When the Cable and Wireless transmitter was scrapped in 1999, the broadcasts ended.  But Robert Kipp and other DXers around the world launched the Radio St. Helena Revival Project.  The DXers donated funds and bought a new amateur transmitter and amplifier, an antenna and other equipment which were shipped to St. Helena and installed there.  The Japan Shortwave Club was one of the biggest financial backers of the project. 

 

The Revival Project provided a Yaesu ham transmitter with an output of 25-30 watts.  This is used in conjunction with a 1000-watt power amplifier which was made for them in the Ukraine.  A three-element yagi beam antenna was built in Germany.  It provides a forward gain of 5 dB and has a rotator enabling the station to beam to different parts of the world during hours when the propagation is most appropriate. 

 

Radio St. Helena's annual shortwave broadcast returned in 2006.  Some 380 valid reception reports were received from listeners in Japan alone.  Robert Kipp announced that Radio St. Helena Day for 2007 will be December 15 -- actually from 1730 UTC Dec. 15 to 0100 UTC Dec. 16 -- on the frequency of 11092.5 kHz in upper sideband.  A special QSL card will be issued for reports on this broadcast, which will mark the 40th anniversary of Radio St. Helena.  Details on specific target areas and beams can be found at www.sthelena.se/radioproject.  There will also be an article about the station in the December 2007 issue of Monitoring Times magazine.

 

Friday evening was free time at the EDXC Conference.  The members of the Danish Shortwave Club International and the Finnish DX Association had separate dinners for members of their clubs.  The U.S. and U.K. delegates had our own small dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant only a block or so from the hotel, where we enjoyed delicious lasagna, spaghetti and gnocci, and good conversation.

 

A Tour of Lugano

 

The major conference activity on Saturday morning and afternoon, Nov. 3, was a sightseeing tour of Lugano by bus.  The first stop was to visit the 15th century convent (now church) of Santa Maria Degli Angeli, which contains some spectacular fresco paintings by Bernandino Luini.  The largest shows seven episodes of the passion and crucifixion of Christ, done in the style of Leonardo da Vinci.  Other highlights of the tour were parks with brilliant flowers, palm and chestnut trees; and a visit to the city center with its dozens of banks, designer boutiques, outdoor fruit and vegetable markets, bakeries, street performers, etc. 

 

The bus also wound its way up a large hill on the outskirts of Lugano for a panoramic view of the city and valley below.  Interestingly, one could also view the small Italian enclave of Campione, completely surrounded by the Swiss canton of Ticino.  The border with the rest of Italy lies only a few minutes drive away.  The Italian city of Milan is only an hour's drive south of Lugano, and Milan's Malpensa Airport is the closest international airport to Lugano.

 

The final stop on the tour was RTSI -- the Italian-language Swiss Radio and Television.  Switzerland has four official languages -- German, French, Italian and Romansch.  The RTSI is the publicly-funded broadcasting service for the Italian-speaking portion of Switzerland, and its headquarters is in Lugano.  RTSI operates three radio networks and two television networks.  The studios are state-of-the-art, including a large concert auditorium and an amazing radio drama studio where a great variety of sounds are produced live during recording sessions.

 

During the remainder of Saturday afternoon, EDXC participants had some free time.  Only a few blocks from our hotel was the entrance to the cablecar that takes passengers to the top of Mount San Salvatore for a spectacular view of the city.  There is also an outdoor restaurant at the top.  Several of us went up in the cablecar, which we also shared with a few dogs.  In Ticino, people tend to take their dogs everywhere with them -- even into restaurants.  They are all well-behaved, and the city of Lugano even provides doggie dropping pick-up bags along the streets in the event of "accidents." 

 

Although most people stayed until Sunday, Nov. 4, the official end of the conference was the EDXC Banquet on Saturday evening.  It was held in the restaurant of the Hotel Dischma, where the owners prepared a meal of typical Ticinese delicacies like ossobuco and cannelloni.  Apart from a few short speeches, there was also a raffle (called "tombola" in Italian) with prizes that were donated by various shortwave radio stations (including NASB members) and DX clubs.

 

Although at least a few broadcasters always attend the annual EDXC conferences, these are primarily chances to meet avid shortwave listeners, to find out their habits and tastes in programming.  And from this standpoint, I was very pleased to have attended on behalf of the NASB and to tell the listeners about our member stations and organizations.  I was warmly welcomed by the participants.  All in all, it was four days well spent.

 

NASB Joins EDXC

 

At last year's EDXC Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, which was attended by NASB Vice President Mike Adams, the Council offered Observer Member status to the NASB.  The NASB Board voted to accept this offer at our annual meeting in Elkhart, Indiana this past May.  At this year's EDXC Conference in Lugano, Jeff White paid our annual membership dues for 2007 and 2008, so the NASB is now officially an Observer Member of the European DX Council.

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40 Years with the European DX Council

by Anker Petersen, Denmark

 2007 became a historical year for the DX-hobby in Europe!  It is 40 years ago since the European DX Council (EDXC) was founded. In this short note, I intend to cover some of the most important parts of this long period.

In the 1950's and 1960's, national DX-Clubs appeared in several European countries. Many people listened to domestic and foreign broadcasts on long-, mediumwave and shortwave. At that time, broadcasting on FM, TV and via satellite or internet did not exist! Because of this, there was a good basis for the hobby of listening to far-away radiostations (DXing) mainly on shortwaves, but also on mediumwaves.

In 1965 Ellmann Ellingsen of the DX-Listeners Club of Norway got the vision to establish a supra-national DX-organisation to improve the cooperation between DX-Clubs in Europe, using the Council of Europe as a model. On his initiative, a preliminary committee was then established which proposed the first Statutes of the EDXC.

At the inaugural meeting on June 3rd -4th,1967, DX-leaders from Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden met to discuss and agree upon the foundation of the EDXC. These DX-ers were: Torre Ekblom (Finland), the late Heinrich Kobsch (the Federal Republic of Germany), the late Wouter Franken, Bob Grevenstuck and Maarten van Delft (The Netherlands), the late Ellmann Ellingsen (Norway), Claes-W. Englund and Goran Svensson (Sweden) and Kaj Bredahl Jorgensen and myself (Denmark). As a central venue, my private house in Skovlunde near Copenhagen was chosen. On June 4th at 1400, Ellmann Ellingsen could declare that the EDXC was founded with a Council and various committees.

The EDXC then established the following working committees:

1.   Reception Report Committee. (Chairman Anker Petersen)

2.   Landlist Committee. (Chairman Torbjorn Einarsson)

3.   Contest Committee. (Chairman Wouter Franken)

4.   Information Committee. (Chairman Ellmann Ellingsen)

5.   Technical Committee. (Chairman Jim Vastenhoud)

6.   Statute Committee. (Chairman Claes-W. Englund).

During the first years, the membership of the EDXC was based upon country membership, but this was from October the 1st 1969 replaced by club membership.

In December 2003 when the three-year term of the Secretary General and his Assistant ended, there were no new candidates to succeed them. The EDXC Member Clubs then decided to prolong their duties for an interim period while a new Statute Working Group was appointed.  It consisted of Anker Petersen, DSWCI, Denmark (Chairman); Tibor Szilagyi (Hungarian DX Club); and Francisco Martinez, A.E.R., Spain.

It proposed a completely revised set of Statutes for the EDXC which the Member Clubs agreed upon in April 2005. One of the innovations was that it is now possible for individual DXers to become full members of the EDXC with voting rights.

The EDXC has been really "European" as the following two lists indicate:

 Secretary Generals and Assistants elected by the DX-Clubs:

 June-Sept.1967:  Anker Petersen, Denmark

Oct. 1967 -1968: Claes-W. Englund, Sweden

1969: Jyrki Talvitie, Finland

1970: Alan Thompson, United Kingdom

1971: Bengt Dalhammar, Sweden

1972-1973: Wolfgang Scheunemann, Fed. Rep. of Germany

1974: Ian Foster, United Kingdom

1975-1978: Rudolf Hein, Federal Republic of Germany

1979-1995: Michael Murray, United Kingdom; Assistant: Simon Spanswick, United Kingdom

1996-2000: Risto Vahakainu, Finland; Assistant: Arto Mujunen, Finland

2001-2003: Luigi Cobisi, Italy; Assistant: Paolo Morandotti, Italy

2004-2006: Luigi Cobisi, Italy (Interim);  Assistant: Paolo Morandotti, Italy (Interim)

2007-2009: Tibor Szilagyi, Sweden (Hungary); Assistant: Torre Ekblom, Finland.

It has become a useful tradition to meet at annual EDXC Conferences which have been organised as follows, except in 2004 when no host could be found:

1967:  Skovlunde, Denmark

1968:  Skovlunde, Denmark

1969:  Halmstad, Sweden

1970:  Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany

1971:  Jyvaskyla, Finland

1972:  Hilversum, The Netherlands

1973:  Oslo, Norway

1974:  Canterbury, United Kingdom

1975:  Aarhus, Denmark

1976:  Hilversum, the Netherlands

1977:  Bruxelles, Belgium

1978:  Molndal, Sweden

1979:  Wien, Austria

1980:  Paris, France

1981:  Berne, Switzerland

1982:  Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany

1983:  London, United Kingdom

1984:  Stockholm, Sweden

1985:  Madrid, Spain

1986:  Paris, France

1987:  Espoo, Finland

1988:  Antwerp, Belgium

1989:  Morokulien, Sweden

1990:  Grado, Italy

1991:  Sitges, Barcelona, Spain

1992:  Tampere, Finland

1993:  Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain

1994:  Paris, France

1995:  Rebild, Denmark

1996:  Florence, Italy

1997:  Zlin, Czech Republic

1998:  Gothenburg, Sweden

1999:  Lyngby, Denmark

2000:  Barcelona, Spain

2001:  Budapest, Hungary

2002:  Pori, Finland

2003:  Konigstein, Germany

2004:  No conference.

2005:  Prague, Czech Republic

2006:  St. Petersburg, Russia

2007:  Lugano, Switzerland.

2008:  Vaasa, Finland.

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NASB to Attend Shortwave Listeners Winterfest 2008

 

The largest gathering of shortwave listeners in North America each year is the Winter SWL Festival held in Kulpsville (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.  It usually attracts around 200 listeners.  The 2008 event will take place on March 7 and 8, and personnel from our member station WMLK will represent the NASB there with a display and brochures.  If you would like to send program schedules and other publicity materials to be distributed at the NASB display there, please send items to:

 

 

Elder Jacob O. Meyer

WMLK Radio

c/o Assemblies of Yahweh

190 Frantz Road

Bethel, PA 19507

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NASB Mailbag

Patrick L. Lopeman (E-mail: plopeman@wi.rr.com) writes:  I am looking for a 100 kw shortwave transmitter.  I act as a broker/finder for the broadcasting industry.  You can find me at www.amfmtv.com.

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EAS Requirements for Shortwave Stations in the United States

In answer to a question about EAS (Emergency Alert System) requirements recently received by the NASB from an FCC-licensed shortwave station, former NASB President Doug Garlinger reminds us of the following FCC Report and Order issued in 2002 following a waiver request by the NASB.

Before the

Federal Communications Commission           )

Washington, D.C. 20554                                )

In the Matter of                                              )

 

Amendment of Part 11 of the Commission’s Rules ) EB Docket No. 01-66

Regarding the Emergency Alert System ) RM-9156

RM-9215

 

REPORT AND ORDER

Adopted: February 22, 2002 Released: February 26, 2002

 

I. International High Frequency Stations

64. The NPRM proposed to amend Part 11 of the Rules to eliminate the requirement that

international HF broadcast stations purchase and install EAS equipment.(141) The NPRM also proposed to delete Section 11.54(b)(9) of the Rules, which requires international HF broadcast stations to cease broadcasting immediately upon receipt of a national-level EAS message and remain off the air until they receive an EAS message terminating the activation.(142) We noted that in 1996, after concluding that the technical and political concerns which gave rise to the requirements of Section 11.54(b)(9) are no longer

relevant, Commission staff granted a request by the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters, Inc. to exempt all FCC licensed international HF broadcast stations from the requirement to purchase and install EAS equipment.(143)

65. Ohio EMA, the only commenter which addressed this issue, concurs with our

proposals.144 Therefore, for the reasons set forth in the NPRM, we will amend Part 11 as proposed in the NPRM to eliminate the requirement that international HF broadcast stations purchase and install EAS equipment and to delete Section 11.54(b)(9).

(143) Letter to Douglas W. Garlinger, Chairman, EAS Compliance Committee, National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters, Inc., from Arlan K. van Doorn, Deputy Chief, Compliance and Information Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (December 20, 1996).

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HCJB Global Co-Sponsors Bible Marathon in Ecuador

News release from Jon Hirst, HCJB Global

Ecuadorians of all ages are handwriting the entire Bible—one verse at a time—as part of the Bible Marathon project in Ecuador sponsored by NASB associate member HCJB Global and IBS-STL Latin America. Writing just one verse apiece to total more than 30,000 verses of Scripture, they will corporately produce a giant Bible throughout the course of the next year.

Inaugurated at a special breakfast at Radio Station HCJB in Quito on Thursday, Sept. 27, the project began with a meeting of evangelical pastors hosted by the station. Radio announcements notified listeners of the opportunity, and the following day hundreds of schoolchildren visited the station. After patiently waiting in lines, each took a pen in hand, writing down verses from Genesis and Matthew.

Throughout the year, the giant book will be taken to other Ecuadorian cities as well, serving as what Pablo del Salto of IBS-STL in Ecuador compared to an Olympic torch bringing moral light to the nation. He compared the marathon to a beehive of spiritual activity, serving to spur on congregations to pray that Ecuador would be governed by the counsel of the Bible.

The book will eventually be kept on display at HCJB Global’s Ministry Center in Quito with copies to be presented to the executive and legislative branches of Ecuador’s government.

Tatiana De La Torre, director of local radio at Radio Station HCJB, said the marathon promotes the motto, “For the Evangelization of Ecuador, More Bibles, More Good News.” She said it aims for the “evangelization in our society and to reveal the relevance of the Word of God for personal change as well as social change in our country.”

A festive yet reverent environment prevailed at a large studio at Radio Station HCJB. After leaving the station, the giant pages of Scripture were then taken to Christian bookstores and will later be presented at local churches where others may write, adding their names to a growing list of scribes.

Donations received from Bible Marathon participants will be used by the sponsoring ministries to air gospel radio promos and distribute thousands of Bibles across Ecuador. This is the first-ever handwritten Bible project undertaken by either ministry outside the U.S.

International Bible Society and Send The Light merged as IBS-STL Global on March 1, 2007. The combined organization delivers more Bibles into the hands of more people, in more countries, more efficiently than either could individually. The organization holds the copyrights to the English New International Version (NIV) and the Spanish Nueva

Version Internacional (NVI) Bibles. For more information on IBS-STL Global visit www.ibs.org.

For more than 75 years HCJB Global’s passion has been to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Through a dynamic integration of media and healthcare around the world, HCJB Global is ministering in more than 100 countries. The gospel is aired in more than 120 languages and dialects. Thousands of healthcare patients are meeting Jesus. Local believers are being trained as missionaries, pastors, broadcasters and healthcare providers.  For more information on HCJB Global visit www.hcjbglobal.org.

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HFCC A08 Conference

The Plenary Meeting of the B07 HFCC/ASBU Conference in Birmingham, England concluded that the next shortwave coordination conference for the A08 season will be global and that it will be a joint meeting with the ABU-HFC group in the Asia-Pacific region. Agreement has now been reached that it will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from February 4th to 8th, 2008. NASB associate member VT Communications will be hosting the event with the help of the Technical Department of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Any NASB member station that would be interested in officially representing the Association at the HFCC A08 Conference should contact us as soon as possible.
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Attention NASB Members and Associate Members

Please send us your news releases, newsletters and other information about events at your organization for publication in future issues of the NASB Newsletter. 

                                                            -----

 

 

NASB  Members:            

 

Adventist World Radio         

Assemblies of Yahweh

Family Stations Inc.

Far East Broadcasting Co.                                          

Fundamental Broadcasting Network

La Voz de Restauracion Broadcasting, Inc.

Le Sea Broadcasting Corp.                            

Radio Miami International

Trans World Radio

Two If By Sea Broadcasting Corp.

World Christian Broadcasting

EWTN Global Catholic Radio WEWN

 



 

 

 

 

NASB Associate Members:

Beth Shalom Center Radio

Comet North America

Continental Electronics Corporation

George Jacobs & Associates

Good Friends Radio Network

Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers

HCJB World Radio                           

IBB    

TCI International, Inc.

TDF

TDP

Thomson  Broadcast and Multimedia                                    

VT Merlin Communications

 

National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters

10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida  34972

Ph: (863) 763-0281  Fax:  (863) 763-8867    E-mail:  nasbmem@rocketmail.com