NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
Moscow Hosts B08 HFCC/ASBU Conference
by Glen Tapley, WEWN Global Catholic Radio
The B08 HFCC/ASBU high frequency coordinating conference, hosted by GFC- General Radio Frequency Centre, headquartered in Moscow, was held at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Moscow, Russia August 25-29th 2008. This is the first hosting of the coordination meeting in the Russian Federation. The B08 conference included 124 delegates representing 50 frequency management organizations and is a joint conference of the HFCC (High Frequency Coordination Conference) and the ASBU (Arab States Broadcasting Union). I had the distinction of representing the NASB for this conference. Other NASB members in attendance were George Ross with KTWR and Jason Cooper representing WWCR Radio.
A bit about the trip before topical information: I found Moscow to be a bit different than I expected. It was a mix of the old and new with an emphasis on the new. Certainly there were the old Stalinist buildings and the Soviet-era constructions, but there were certain modernizations. New office buildings were going up and instead of witnessing small, black, smoke-belching automobiles, I saw Chevys, Fords, Hondas, and Toyotas. Next to old railway stations, there were modern shopping malls. Of course, there were the evidences of Soviet times with the hammer and sickle and red star carved into many government buildings. Most souvenir shops featured old Soviet symbolism on their T-Shirt and cap offerings. One particular humorous T-Shirt referred to McDonald’s as McLenin’s with the 100% beef replaced with red and black caviar protruding from between the bun.
Since there are no English street signs, getting around is a bit challenging, but once on figures how to turn the city map right side up, a person can match the Cyrillic lettering with the signs. Some words were transliterated so you could read food signs such as hamburger and combo meal. Crossing the busy city streets can be quite hazardous, so the Russians built underpass tunnels complete with small shops that allow a walk under the street and the opportunity to purchase anything from food to new shoes.
As mentioned above, the designated hotel was the Radisson SAS. On the lobby wall, a plaque observing the rich and famous who have been past guests listed such notables as Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, the Rolling Stones, and Angelina Jolie. As I did not witness my name, I figured it could only be a moderate hotel at best. All kidding aside, the Radisson SAS was what would be expected from a Radisson chain--a modern hotel complete with restaurants, a gym, and even a casino. Directly behind the hotel was one of the modern shopping malls which is characterized by shops and restaurants from many countries including the United States. You have got to witness the Baskin Robbins and the food court staple Sabarro in Russian Cyrillic!
The denizens of the city tend to walk at a race-walker’s pace. We had to be on our toes so not to be walked upon. This is probably similar to a number of the world’s larger cities. I had to bring back moves from my old football-playing days in order to dodge the populace. Overall, the people I came in contact with were very pleasant. One example was while waiting for a table to become free at a small eatery, two individuals actually offered a place at their table.
Thursday evening, we were treated to a river boat cruise on the Moscow River and a gala dinner under a large tent at a local restaurant replete with singing gypsies. After fish, lamb, veggies, caviar, and Russian hospitality, we loaded on the bus and returned to the hotel.
The head of the Russian Federal Service for Communications, Mr. Boris Boyarskov, opened the conference thanking all who attended, reminding the delegates that it was on October 29, 1929, that HF radio in Russia had its beginnings. BBC soon followed as did the Voice of America and today, scores of stations now broadcast to tens of millions of people worldwide emphasizing the need and importance of coordination. The work of preparation and the hosting of the conference by the Russian General Frequency Commission, specifically the efforts of the Director of the GFC, Mr. Valery Naslednikov, the Deputy Director, Mr. Leonid Mikchelevskyi and their team was duly noted.
Among the topics covered by Mr. Oldrich Cip, Chairman of the HFCC was the subject of wooden transmitters which is an important issue to NASB members and HF broadcasters worldwide. The good news in this area is that the ITU has joined the effort to eliminate
the wooden requirements that still remain in the frequency schedules of some frequency management organizations.
Another focus had to do with additional HF spectrum and DRM. While no added HF spectrum for broadcasting was agreed upon at WRC-07, DRM was endorsed for use in the tropical bands. Since tropical broadcasting is capable of covering large local areas this may be a positive application of DRM for domestic AM to digital broadcasting. One note of concern, however, was that although there is a promising trend in digital receiver circuits capable of decoding both DRM and DAB, the DRM and AM modes have been labeled as optional on the draft of new digital receiver profiles by European groups promoting DAB. HFCC Vice-Chairman Horst Scholtz, who has recently become a member of the DRM steering board, will be representing the HFCC membership in talks with the European Broadcast Union regarding the new receivers and other topics of importance to HF broadcasters.
Geoff Spells with VT Communications, in referring to an ITU circular letter (CR/282) noted that the B08 season would be the last one where broadcasters could use the band 7100-7200 kHz. After March 2009, the band will be primarily allocated to amateur services.
Interest in coordinating frequencies continues to be of beneficial significance to additional nations as Belarus has applied for and was granted full HFCC membership. The Voice of Russia, Russian TV and Radio Network, and TRC Efir were accepted for associate membership. Thompson, TCI, and WRN, have expressed interest in becoming associate members and invitations to join have been extended to BBC and RFI.
The A09 HFCC/ASBU meeting will be held in Tunis, Tunisia by invitation of the ASBU. This conference is expected to be held February 2-6, 2009. A point of good news for NASB members is the approval of the B09 conference meeting to be held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic which will be hosted by the NASB.
Next HFCC/ASBU Conference to be held in Tunis
The A09 HFCC/ASBU Conference will take place February 2-6, 2009 in Tunis, the capital of the North African country of Tunisia. It will be hosted by the Arab States Broadcasting Union, which has its headquarters in Tunis. Jeff White, NASB President, will be the Association's official representative at the conference. Those NASB member stations who need special assistance with their frequency schedules and potential collision resolution should contact Jeff before or during the meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plans Underway for HFCC/ASBU B09 Conference Hosted by the NASB
The HFCC/ASBU Steering Board has accepted the invitation of the NASB to host the organization's B09 frequency planning conference in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic August 24-28, 2009.
Approximately 120 persons from some 40 countries are expected to attend the five-day conference, which will take place at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort, approximately 40 kilometers north of the Punta Cana International Airport. Punta Cana, located at the easternmost tip of the Dominicsn Republic, is a major Caribbean tourist destination, and there are direct flights from many parts of the Americas and Europe to the Punta Cana Airport. The Dreams Resort is located directly on the beach, and it has one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the Caribbean.
Delegates from shortwave stations, telecommunications authorities and frequency consulting services will spend the conference week planning their frequency schedules for the winter 2009-2010 period. All NASB members and associate members are invited to attend the meeting and to assist in welcoming the world's shortwave broadcasters to Punta Cana. The NASB conference organizing committee is making all of the arrangements with the hotel, and it is organizing all aspects of the meeting, including meeting rooms, computer and audiovisual services, Internet connections, transportation, tours, coffee breaks, meal functions, receptions, delegate registration, corporate sponsorships, etc.
NASB members and associate members who would like to sponsor coffee breaks and other events at the conference should contact Jeff White at email@example.com for a list of available sponsorships and prices.
The meeting will take place from Monday through Friday. On the Saturday after the conference, there will be an optional all-day tour to Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital city, to see historical sights such as the Columbus Lighthouse and the first cathedral in the Americas. The trip will also include lunch at a typical Dominican restaurant. Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover the island of Hispaniola (comprising present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1492, and Santo Domingo was the first colonial capital city in the Americas.
Dreams Punta Cana is an all-inclusive resort, meaning all meals, beverages, taxes, tips and entertainment are included in the room charge. The NASB has negotiated a special conference rate of US$130 per night for a single room, and $168 per night for a double room (i.e. $84 per person, per night). Complete conference information is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NASB has hosted one other HFCC/ASBU conference in the past. This was the A08 Conference in Mexico City in February, 2008. That was the first-ever HFCC/ASBU conference in Latin America. Next year's conference in Punta Cana will be the first HFCC/ASBU meeting in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is one of only two countries in the Caribbean where shortwave broadcast stations are currently operating.
News from NASB Members and Associate Members
New Associate Member Richardson Electronics
By Mike Thompson
We welcome our newest Associate Member, Richardson Electronics. Established in 1947 and headquartered in the Chicago suburbs of LaFox, IL., Richardson Electronics is the world's largest stocking distributor of vacuum tubes and related components. They have supported the broadcast industry since their inception, concentrating on replacement tubes and high power capacitors for shortwave, television, and commercial radio applications. Major brands inventoried include Eimac, Econco, Amperex, National Electronics and Jennings , among several others. For inquiries regarding ANY tube model number (including both new and rebuilds), vacuum capacitor or contactor used in shortwave transmission, you can contact them at 800-348-5580, EDG@RELL.COM or visit their website at www.broadcast.rell.com
Shortwave Survey Proposed
At our 2008 annual meeting at Trans World Radio in North Carolina, some NASB members suggested that we consider the possibility of conducting a survey to determine the number of shortwave listeners in North America, and some of their demographic information.
We consulted the head of a major media research institute based in the U.S., and he proposed a survey where the telephone is used to recruit respondents, but the survey itself is done either through a website or via email. He felt that a sample size of around 3000 would probably get the kind of information we indicated in our rough list of questions.
The length of time to accomplish the survey would be in the range of 1-2 months once the data is gathered. With Internet-based surveys, data is coded almost automatically – making it less time-consuming, and hence less expensive.
The cost of the survey, assuming a 3,000 person sample with a 15% refusal rate for people agreeing to complete a survey on the web, would be $14,000. This includes telephone costs, analysis and reporting.
The NASB is prepared to pay for a portion of this cost, but we are interested in finding radio stations or other organizations that might be interested in participating in the survey, in order to reduce the cost for everyone involved. Depending on how many organizations participate, the cost per organization could be very reasonable.
We would appreciate it very much if you could pass this information on to the person(s) at your organization who are involved or interested in audience research. If your station or organization might be interested in participating in the survey, please let us know so that we can determine what the cost for each entity will be, and so that we can include questions in the survey that are of interest to your organization. If there is sufficient interest to pursue this project, our hope would be to carry out the survey soon, so that a summary of the results can be released at our next NASB annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee on May 7-8, 2009.
Below you will find a list of questions that has been suggested for the survey so far. If you have any questions about this project, or would like to participate, please contact Jeff White at email@example.com
1. Radio ownership – broken down by type of receiver (AM/FM/SW/Sat) and how many owned
2. Radio use (AM/FM/SW/Sat) - % who listen daily/weekly/monthly
3. What make of SW receiver do you own (manufacturer’s name).
4. Number of hours per week SW listened to
5. How many years listening to SW
6. Is the SW listener also an amateur radio operator
7. What type of SW receiver used (portable/table top – possibly with price range information)
8. Which SW stations listened to (prompted & "other")
9. Listening to religious programs via SW (if so, which stations?)
10. Listening to international media (by SW, local rebroadcasters, internet, satellite radio)
11. Which languages do you listen to international broadcasts in? (prompted & "other")
12. Listening to radio on portable devices (mobile phones, MP3 players that have integrated radios)
13. Awareness of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale)
14. What type of DRM receiver does the user have – software based or a DRM radio?
15. How much would the respondent be willing to pay for a DRM
radio should they come on the market?
3. Economic status (average annual income)
4. Educational Level
5. Political preference (this may or may not be desirable, but could be an interesting data point)
6. Geographical identifier (such as postal code)
News release from Trans World Radio via Dino Bloise, Florida
CARY, NC, October 21, 2008—International Christian broadcaster Trans World Radio (TWR) officially announced today the selection of Lauren Libby as its new president and CEO. The unanimous decision by TWR’s Board of Directors to elect Mr. Libby came after an exhaustive six-month search process. He succeeds David G. Tucker, who stepped down from his position earlier this year.
Libby, who currently serves as senior vice president and chief operating officer with The Navigators in Colorado Springs, Colo., will be commissioned by TWR on December 1. He will become the Mission’s fourth president.
“I am pleased and excited about the appointment of Lauren Libby as the president of TWR,” said Thomas J. Lowell, TWR’s chairman of the Board of Directors. “In my conversations with Lauren, I sense that he is a man with a passion for serving the Lord and that he has a strong interest in the people who serve in this ministry as well as those who support TWR. He brings to our organization significant knowledge of radio, experience in leadership of a mission organization and a strong desire to lead TWR into the future.”
Libby’s 30-plus years of experience primarily come from an extensive career with The Navigators. Most recently, he has served as a member of the U.S. Navigator National Executive Team—a six-member group responsible for corporate ministry decisions, the organization’s 1,500 field staff and finances for the U.S. Navigator corporation.
A member of the Board of Directors for the National Religious Broadcasters, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Northwestern College, Libby is also president and CEO of New Horizons Foundation –a public charity designed to help donors accomplish their giving objectives in education, research, humanitarian aid, religion and health-related areas. Additionally, he co-founded Educational Communications of Colorado Springs, which comprises 15 radio stations and 28 translators. Libby also served previously on the board of the Christian Stewardship Association.
A farmer’s son from northern Kansas, Libby holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University. He and his wife, June, have one adult son.
When asked about his future with Trans World Radio, Libby remarked: “I’m looking forward to an exciting future with the Board of Directors, staff and donors of TWR. From a Christian media standpoint, TWR is positioned to touch most of the world with the good news of Jesus. That’s TWR’s calling: To go to the whole world with the gospel for the whole person.”
Update on World Christian Broadcasting's Madagascar Project
from Charles Caudill, WCB President
KNLS broadcasts from Alaska 20 hours per day in Chinese, Russian and English. Soon we will be broadcasting an additional 30-35 hours from our new station in Madagascar in at least three additional languages – Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. With these additions, we will broadcast a total of as many as 50-55 hours daily in six of the eight most spoken languages on earth. The other two languages in the top eight are Hindi and Bengali. Both are Indian languages. Our plan is to use English in our broadcasts to that great nation.
The construction in Madagascar is on schedule. The guardhouse and staff home are built and painted. As of September 12, the floors of the transmitter building were being poured and the walls were expected to go up shortly. Jeff Jaworski of the KNLS staff in Alaska has joined Kevin and Nancy Chambers in Madagascar to help with the construction. Two members of the Malagasy staff visited the U.S. this past summer to learn to dismantle and assemble the new transmitters. This experience will enable them to assemble and install the transmitters when they arrive in Madagascar. Hurricane Ike has delayed the shipment of two 40-foot containers from Houston, although the containers were not damaged in the storm.
Wayne Pederson Named New President of HCJB Global
COLORADO SPRINGS, October 13, 2008 -- Wayne Pederson will become HCJB Global's new president Nov. 1, the international mission's organization announced today. Pederson, now vice president of Moody Broadcasting, will replace David Johnson, who stepped down in June after serving for seven years. Dr. James D. Allen has been serving as acting president.
Pederson is the seventh person to serve as HCJB Global's president. He has been a member of the board of directors of HCJB Global for two-and-a-half years. He also has worked with the ministry to raise money for key projects, including the launch of its satellite ministry in Latin America and Russia.
"The board is delighted that Wayne has accepted the call to become HCJB Global's president. With his combination of godly character, seasoned leadership skills and passion for HCJB Global and its mission, he is uniquely equipped to serve as our president," said John Baugus, chairman of the board for HCJB Global.
"Wayne Pederson has a great heart for missions, and he is intimately acquainted with HCJB Global," said Glen Adams, the HCJB board member who headed the search team that selected Pederson. "He is an exceptional leader with many years of experience in Christian broadcasting. Further, he comes to us at an important time in the life if our ministry, and he brings a vision that will challenge all of us as we join together in the coming months and years to be the 'voice and hands of Jesus,'" Adams said.
“I have a passion to see people come to Jesus," Pederson said. "My focus has been on using the media to accomplish that. However, as I grow older, God has sensitized my heart to the physical needs of people worldwide. By combining HCJB Global Voice with HCJB Global Hands, we can demonstrate the love of Christ in very practical ways. That kind of caring opens the door for us to share the great spiritual truth that God cares not only for people's eternal salvation, but for their welfare in this life," Pederson said.
A native of Minnesota, Pederson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Theology from Free Lutheran Theological Seminary in Minneapolis. He and his wife Norma live in Chicago and have two married children. Prior to joining Moody Broadcasting as manager of WMBI, Pederson was executive director of Christian Music Broadcasters, president of the Mission America Coalition and president and chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters. From 1967 to 2002, he held various positions at Northwestern College, rising to the level of executive vice president for radio.
HCJB Global has ministries in more than 100 countries, and airs the Gospel in more than 120 languages and dialects. Local believers are being trained as missionaries, pastors, broadcasters and health care providers.
DRM World First at Olympics DRM News
2008: Exciting New Data Application on DRM
From Radio News – Autumn 2008, published by Thomson Broadcast & Multimedia
To support the increased information need at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, the new text-based Digital Radio Information service Journaline was integrated into special Audi VIP shuttle vehicles in Beijing. Thomson, in cooperation with Audi and Fraunhofer Institute, was instrumental in the implementation of the project, providing local services and program content broadcast via Thomson DRM transmitters. All the Olympic cities could be supplied with this program through one short wave transmitter.
In Beijing, officials, VIP’s and invited visitors could enjoy a demonstration of the service in the special Audi VIP car equipped with a NXP receiver. Listeners at the Olympics could tune into the service on the new, revolutionary portable digital receiver from the Chinese company NewStar or on Journaline supported software radios. The Thomson Content Server provided
the data stream containing audio and Journaline text messages simultaneously in different languages, including Chinese characters.
The information delivery model of the Journaline news service is functionally similar to an electronic magazine or teletext. It enables users to browse all received textual information – both program-related and program independent and to select their favorite news items.
Journaline data service provides listeners with personalized, up-to-date information in the form of a “sports and news ticker”. Users can access current news information and track live sporting results directly from an in-car module with text-to-speech presentation or from a portable receiver with text presentation. Access is time-independent and available on demand, whenever and wherever the listener wants.
The multiplatform Journaline implementation during the Olympics in China includes for the first time data services on DRM and DAB. It is only one example of the substantial advantages made possible by digital radio systems. With DRM, coverage possibilities are practically unlimited, with excellent local and regional reception over large areas either in cities, in the country or mobile on the road.
Radio broadcast is a mass communication media with practically unlimited possibilities. The recent demonstration of the spectacular news service “Journaline” using the DRM platform was an exciting transmission highlight during the Olympics 2008 in Beijing. Thomson participated in making the demonstration a success, providing local services and the complete DRM transmission chain.
The radio transmission team also serves research and medical centers such as light source facilities, fusion research and cancer therapy with highly specialized technology. The special amplifiers and power supplies designed by the Thomson team are benchmark for high quality and reliability needed to meet the high demands of 24/7 operation under most challenging conditions. Important milestones were accomplished this summer for two such strategic projects: the European X-FEL research project under the lead of DESY (Hamburg, Germany) and Siemens Healthcare Sector (Erlangen, Germany).
Thomson is supplying DESY with a prototype klystron modulator for its free electron laser facility, which is based on linear electron accelerators. The 3.4 km long X-FEL facility in Hamburg will be the world’s longest artificial light source. In July, the modulator passed acceptance and full power tests in the Thomson factory. Partnering with Siemens, Thomson designs special RF amplifier and control systems for cancer treatment centers based on a new, noninvasive treatment approach. After successful factory testing in Switzerland, the equipment is now in shipment to the respective customer site.
DW and BBC Join Forces on DRM
News release from Fanny Podworny, DRM Press Office
London, UK - Two of the world’s major international broadcasters, BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle, have just announced plans to launch a joint radio service to Europe on DRM Shortwave. The new stream, which will be entirely in English, is expected to go live in early 2009. Broadcast in clear digital quality, it will be available from early morning till late at night targetting Western and Central Europe and a potential audience of 170 million listeners with global news and current affairs and a rich mix of in-depth analysis, documentaries and cultural programmes. The service will provide a multimedia offer of audio and text, the latter coming automatically from the BBC News website.
Erik Betterman, Director General at Deutsche Welle, said: “It is great that two of the world’s most established broadcasters can work together on a project of this scale. This is an exciting venture that will offer European listeners top class content and provides the perfect opportunity to reintroduce listeners to DRM.”
Mike Cronk, Controller Future Media, Technology & Distribution, BBC World Service said: “This is an important time for DRM and a huge opportunity for broadcasters across Europe to look at the potential for new services and reaching new audiences”. With this announcement today, two of the most important players in international broadcasting are re-affirming their faith in the DRM standard.”
Ruxandra Obreja, Chair of the DRM Consortium and Controller, Business Development, BBC World Service, said: “Deutsche Welle and the BBC see DRM as the winning solution for the digitisation of the AM bands on a global scale and they believe that this new stream for Europe will give a welcome boost to international digital radio. Listeners in Western and Central Europe can now buy one of the growing selection of DRM capable receivers and hear in excellent quality top class programmes that in recent years they could only access online”.
DRM Discussion at 2008 Annual Meeting
On May 8 of this year, the DRM USA Annual Meeting took place at Trans World Radio in Cary, North Carolina. At the end of a long day of presentations, NASB Vice President Mike Adams of Far East Broadcasting Company moderated an open question-and-answer session about DRM.
The first question raised was whether DRM could replace IBOC/HD Radio in the United States. Don Messer, former chairman of the Technical Committee of the DRM Consortium, said that he had an ample opportunity to evaluate HD Radio while he was working at the Voice of America. Messer said that in spite of some of the assertions that HD Radio presents difficulties in the AM band, it remains the only digital system that has been standardized by the FCC for use by mediumwave stations in the United States. Messer said that HD Radio works well on both AM and FM, and that transmitter manufacturers all have HD Radio solutions.
“There's no point in saying DRM is better than HD Radio in the U.S.,” said Messer. He did note that personally he thinks DRM has some regulatory advantages over HD Radio because DRM uses a narrower total signal in simulcast mode, “but that in itself is not going to overturn anything. So the only terrestrial digital radio introduction into the U.S. for the foreseeable future will be HD Radio. I think the case in the U.S. is closed.” Messer pointed out that HD Radio requires a 30 kHz bandwidth for simulcasting, whereas DRM only requires 20 kHz.
The question-and-answer session continued with a discussion of DRM and IBOC power levels, and the possible use of DRM on mediumwave in other countries.
Mike Adams noted that the experimental application for DRM regional coverage in Alaska – in which Don Messer is involved – was well advanced, and he asked if other organizations that might want to conduct DRM tests in the United States should wait to see that happens with the Alaska project. Messer said no – that Alaska is just the first of hopefully many DRM projects in the U.S. He said that there are at least a few groups in the U.S. that are interested in experimental licenses for DRM 26 MHz local coverage. In addition, he said that the IBB has indicated that it's willing to help out with DRM long-range coverage tests within the United States. And he said a few private non-commercial entities in the U.S. are interested in conducting long-range domestic DRM HF tests. He speculated that some of these tests could commence within the next several months.
As for DRM+, the system used for VHF above 30 MHz, Messer thinks it will take a longer period of time to develop in the U.S., due in part to possible opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters. He noted that there had been some pessimism within the global DRM Consortium about making any kind of progress with DRM in the United States, but he's optimistic that at least one 26 MHz DRM test will take place within the next year, in addition to the Alaskan DRM skywave project.
On the topic of DRM receivers, Mike Adams noted that some consumer receivers do exist, but the DRM Consortium would like to see the price for such radios get below the $100 mark. He welcomed the release of the new Blackfin DSP from Analog Devices, which is smaller, simpler, more compact and has less power consumption than previous DRM chips. “There's a real good possibility,” he said, “that with this combined DSP and processor manufacturers can build a good low-cost receiver around it.” Adams noted that the Himalaya 2008 receiver was built with the Blackfin DSP, and that two other manufacturers are planning to build receivers with it. One of them is BPL from India, which made a digital Worldspace radio. The other interested company is Yamaha.
Adil Mina of NASB associate member Continental Electronics told the group gathered in Cary that he had just received an e-mail from Michel Penneroux of NASB associate member TDF of France (and chairman of the DRM Commercial Committee) that he hopes to have a major announcement about a new inexpensive DRM receiver before the end of 2008.
Mike Adams explained that Far East Broadcasting's shortwave station in Saipan, NASB member KFBS, recently installed solid-state modulators on its transmitters, and that they plan to modify the transmitters for DRM operation with the help of Continental Electronics. KFBS plans to do on-air DRM transmission tests to Asia in the near future, probably in conjunction with some “big event” in Asia.
Ludo Maes of NASB associate member TDP in Belgium was recently elected as the newest member of the DRM Consortium Steering Board. Maes was asked about the tasks of the DRM national platforms that currently exist, especially in Europe. He said that these platforms were the idea of Commercial Committee Chairman Michel Penneroux. Currently there are national platforms in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia and the United States. Maes said they work with local regulations and local distribution of receivers, among other things. In France, the DRM platform convinced French authorities to accept the DRM standard. The national platforms are formed to promote and make DRM a reality on a country-by-country basis. Mike Adams added that we should all recognize that the global DRM Consortium cannot solve all of our individual national problems, and we need the DRM USA platform to work here in the United States.
NASB Represented at Kulpsville Winterfest
by Dr. Adrian Peterson, Co-ordinator International Relations, Adventist World Radio and
NASB Board member
The 2008 Winterfest for Shortwave Listeners was held at Kulpsville, on the northern edge of Philadelphia, PA on March 7 and 8, earlier this year. This two-day annual event is considered to be the largest annual gathering of shortwave enthusiasts in the United States and it attracted a total of 160 personnel who came from the United States as well as from several other countries, including Canada, Europe, Japan and New Zealand. The convention this year celebrated its 21st anniversary.
In addition to numerous well known international shortwave monitors, personnel representing many different radio organizations were also involved in the various activities of the convention. Dr. Kim Elliott from the Voice of America in Washington, DC demonstrated the reception of special broadcasts that were beamed to the Winterfest on shortwave in the DRM digital mode. Ed Mauger & Bill Oliver staffed the NASWA (North American Shortwave Association) display, Sheldon Harvey from Canada staged a display of radio publications, and Allen Weiner represented his own commercial shortwave station WBCQ in Monticello, Maine. From Japan, Toshi Ohtake represented the Japan Shortwave Club and the shortwave international broadcaster, NHK Tokyo, and David Norrie represented the shortwave enthusiasts down under in New Zealand.
The activities during the two days of events included lectures, speeches and discussions on various technical and semi-technical aspects of shortwave activity as well as demonstrations of the newest form of electronic delivery. Many display tables provided give-away publications of interest to those who are involved in international shortwave monitoring. Social activities included an association luncheon and an evening banquet.
It was my privilege to represent NASB and Adventist World Radio at the Kulpsville Winterfest. This was accomplished with a display of pictures and publications from the various organizations associated with NASB, and I was also invited to speak about the work of both NASB and AWR during the banquet event. The large album containing “The World’s Oldest Radio Cards”, more than twelve hundred dated from 1902 until the end of World War 2, focused a worthy attention to the NASB-AWR display.
European DX Council Conference 2008
Report by Michael Murray of the World DX Club, with additional material taken from the EDXC report written by Anker Petersen of the Danish Shortwave Club International
The 2008 EDXC Conference, the 41st, was held in the western city of Vaasa, Finland during the early part of September at the Hotel Silveria. Vaasa was founded in 1606 and built mainly of wood, but was burnt to the ground in 1852. A new city of Vaasa was built over the next 150+ years on the coast, some 4 miles away from the old town, and now has a population of about 58,000.
The conference, which was held in conjunction with the Finnish DX Association Summer Meeting, started on the Friday evening with the raising of the Finnish and Finnish DX Association flags outside of the hotel. Following this there was a short resume of the past 50 years of the Finnish DX Association (FDXA) by Risto Vahakainu, the chairman of the organising committee. The participants then entered the conference room to hear Jari Perkiomaki give a presentation about the DX listening room and the various receivers and antennas available for the evening DXing. After a DX quiz, which was won by Alexander Beryozkin from St Petersburg, Russia on the various languages heard on the radio -- presented by the IBB's Arto Mujunen -- we received greetings from a representative of the Vaasa city council. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of FDXA, chairman Kari Kivekas and editor Heikki Aarrevaara presented a new 200-page book describing the history of the organisation. The evening concluded at the grill pit, in the grounds of the hotel, with snacks and drinks.
Saturday morning started with the official opening of the conference by Kari Kivekas, the President of FDXA; Tibor Szilagyi, EDXC Secretary General; Risto Vahakainu; and Jari Sinisalo, organising committee. During the opening, Tibor Szilagyi mentioned that the Council now had 10 member clubs, 3 clubs and one radio station association as observers, and one private member. He also mentioned that it was very difficult to obtain any response from radio stations invited to attend the conference. A minute’s silence was then held for Lajos Horvath, DX editor of Radio Budapest, who had passed away in March. Mr Horvath had attended the EDXC conference held in Tampere in 1992. Greetings were also received from a number of non-attendees.
The next item on the agenda was an international panel featuring broadcasters and representatives of the Council. During this period we were introduced to Mr Hasan Mueminoglu and Ms Ufuk Gecim from the Voice of Turkey. Mr Mueminoglu spoke in Turkish about the station and the work it is doing, as they look more and more towards Europe. His words were translated into German and then into English for the audience. The station broadcasts in 30 languages on shortwave and in five languages on FM, for tourists in the Antalya area.
Arto Mujunen, from the IBB monitoring station in Finland, spoke next about his work, and the fact there are ten monitoring stations and twenty private monitors in the old Soviet Union. He also talked about the HFCC Conference which was held in Moscow during August. Arto mentioned that international shortwave broadcasting is not dying, as it is still very difficult to find available frequencies. While there are fewer broadcasters, many more are now using relay stations. An interesting note is that international broadcasters are not interested in using the tropical bands.
At many of the EDXC Conferences, a city sightseeing tour takes place, and this year was no different. However, this time we drove slowly around the small city of Vaasa, which has been occupied by Sweden, then Russia, before it became part of Finland following independence in 1917. The first stop was to view the longest bridge in Finland. Replot bridge, which replaced a ferry connection in August 1997, takes you from the city of Vaasa to the island of Replot which houses the Kvarken Archipelago World Natural Heritage Site, listed in 2006 by UNESCO. The resident population of the island is over 2000. After a drive round the island, we stopped at a local restaurant for a buffet lunch, which consisted of warm and cold meats, warm and cold fish, cheese and drinks. From the windows of the restaurant you could look out over the archipelago. On our return from the tour the official conference photograph was taken outside of the hotel.
The afternoon sessions began with a lecture by Tarmo Konto on the subject of Software Defined Radios. These types of radio came onto the market with the Win Radio and now the SDR-IQ and Persens. The future looks at featuring remote control, combined SDR and traditional receivers, with bigger hard-drives, more computer power, and the recording of a wider spectrum, i.e. 1600kHz.
Jukka Kotovirta and Jukka Soini then summarised for us the results from of the summer FM DX season, which was the worst for sporadic E reception. It was reported that the Vaasa area has had poor reception for the past two years.
Risto Vahakainu then gave us the latest news about Dxpeditions, and introduced five experienced MW Dxers, who discussed conditions they found from various locations in Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom during solar minimum in 2007. These conditions did not provide as many catches as in previous lows 11 years and 22 years ago.
Esa Saunamaki and Trevor Twyman, from the Scandinavian Weekend Radio, gave the final presentation of the day. They provided a live studio for their monthly Saturday broadcast.
The annual conference banquet, a typical Finnish meal, was held during the evening, in the hotel restaurant. Following the meal, Torre Ekblom and Jyrki Talvitie made speeches looking back over the history of Finnish DXing up until the present day. Greetings were then received from the Danish SW Club International, Swedish DX Federation, Hungarian DX Club and the St Petersburg DX Club. Trevor Twyman provided the entertainment, in which he looked at the differences between Finns and Brits. The evening finished with a lottery and auction.
On the final morning, the EDXC held its annual club meeting. Tibor Szilaygi received an invitation from Edward Dunne of the Irish DX Club to host the 2009 conference in August next year in the capital Dublin. A provisional invitation was also received from the Voice of Turkey (TRT) for the 2010 conference to be held in either Ankara or the Antalya area.
Torre Ekblom reported on the low activity of the member clubs to any suggestions and activities, and asked for more participation. The new web site is now up and running at www.edxc.org, which is now much easier to use. The site has an updated Country List and contains reports from recent conferences, DX meetings and a history of the Council.
Anker Petersen reported that he is looking for assistance in updating the Reporting Guide.
Tibor then reported that the St Petersburg DX Club had become new Members, while the British DX Club and BCL Sicilian DX Club had become Observer Members. In addition two people had joined as private members.
The final item on the agenda was a geographical DX quiz organised by Jari Sinisalo and won by three Finnish attendees.
The conference closed with the lowering of the flags.
In conclusion, 112 people had attended the conference from twelve countries, with the majority coming from the host country Finland. Other countries represented were Russia, USA, Sweden, Turkey, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Vatican City, United Kingdom and Germany.
IBB Greenville Relay – Glenn Hauser writes: Just started skimming through the new NASB Newsletter and soon found something strange: about Greenville, relaying BBC and Radio Thailand. These relays have ended. Greenville relays of Thailand were already gone by the beginning of B-07. They had been on 5890 at 0030-0200. Both that and the Delano relay were moved back to Udorn, and are quite ineffective. They are supposed to be on 12120 at 0030-0200 and 15275 at 0200-0330. The last Greenville relay of BBC was 2100-2200 on 11675; that was canceled I believe in mid-March before the end of B-07.
Thanks Glenn for that correction to the IBB's Greenville presentation at the 2008 NASB-DRM USA Annual Meeting.
Radio vs. CD's – NASB Board member Bill Damick sends the following item: While trolling the net this morning, I came across a fascinating piece about the popularity of radio over CDs or MP3 players for music listening. Ii thought you all might be interested. Here’s a link:
Happy Birthday, Bob Thomann! -- Bob Zanotti, founder and editor of Switzerland in Sound, and former program host at Swiss Radio International, writes: This is to let you and the DX community know that Bob Thomann – my co-host on the former Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round - was 80 years old on September 24. To mark the event, I recorded a 1-hour-long chat with Bob, talking about his early days in radio and his amateur and professional radio activities, including his technical involvement in Nexus-IRRS (Italian Radio Relay Service). This special item is now a permanent feature under "The Two Bobs" on www.switzerlandinsound.com. I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to pass along this information to as many people as possible.
HCJB Global Technology Center – Charlie Jacobson of HCJB informs us: Radio World magazine, a free radio industry publication issued twice a month, in its September 24 issue had a front page article featuring the HCJB Global Technology Center, site of the 2007 NASB Annual Meeting.
The on-line version is available at:
It is quite an extensive article that gives a good overview of who we are. Check it out and pass it on as you see appropriate.
Opposition Party Wins Maldives Election and Says Shortwave Played a Part
Andy Sennitt of Radio Netherlands sent us the following report from his station's news department on October 29:
The president of the Maldives for the past 30 years, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has conceded electoral defeat to a former dissident whom he had repeatedly jailed during years of crusading for democracy on the tropical Indian Ocean archipelago. Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed, victorious with 54.2 percent of a runoff vote held on Tuesday, stood with President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the office he inherits on 11 November, with both praising the Maldives' first multiparty poll as a testament to democracy.
Asia's longest-serving ruler, 71, made good on his pledge to leave peacefully and join the opposition, after a campaign in which he and his nemesis traded sharp accusations. President Gayoom garnered just 45.8 percent of the vote after Mr Nasheed lined up the entire opposition behind him in the second round.
Mr Nasheed's victory caps a remarkable journey for an activist whose criticism of President Gayoom and crusading for democracy saw him charged 27 times and jailed or banished to remote atolls for a total of six years. Mr Nasheed was just 11 years old when Mr Gayoom took power in 1978. He said he has no plans to pursue criminal charges against Mr Gayoom, whom he has accused of corruption, but instead will arrange a pension and security for him:
"A test of our democracy will be how we treat Maumoon. I don't think we should be going for a witchhunt and digging up the past."
The vote is the culmination of years of agitation for democratic reforms on the string of 1,192 mostly uninhabited coral atolls 800 km (500 miles) off the tip of India, peopled by 300,000 Sunni Muslims. With the country's international reputation as a diving hotspot and luxury hideaway for Hollywood stars and others ready to pay thousands of dollars for a night's stay, President Gayoom had been criticised for ruling like a personal sultanate. Mohamed Nasheed was at the forefront of the campaign for democracy, including the 2004 protests that prompted a brutal crackdown by security forces and drew rare international criticism, and attention, to the islands.
President Gayoom won the first-round election, but fell short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. It was the first time he had faced opposition at the polls since first being elected in 1978. In each of his six previous votes, he stood alone for a yes-no nod from voters and claimed he was re-elected by more than 90 percent each time. This time, 86 percent of the tiny nation's more than 209,000 registered voters cast their ballots.
Although the President is widely
credited with overseeing the Maldives' transformation from a fishing-based
economy to a tourism powerhouse with South Asia's highest per-capita income, Mr
Nasheed argued that only a small clique around him grew rich amid corruption in
his government, which the President denies.
Despite its popularity as an exotic holiday destination for the rich, the Maldives is beset with corruption, an acute housing shortage and a serious drug problem said to affect one in three youngsters. Forty percent of the population earn less than a dollar a day, while an attack blamed on religious extremists targeted tourists last year. The president-elect said he wanted to move quickly to assure the international community that he would introduce more reforms, including media freedom, in the run-up to parliamentary elections due by February.
[End of Radio Netherlands news report]
What is little-known outside of the Maldives is that an opposition shortwave broadcast called Minivan Radio played a large part in breaking the information monopoly by the former Maldivian government and making it possible for the opposition to come to power. Two NASB members were involved in these transmissions. Radio Miami International coordinated the technical arrangements for the broadcasts, which were produced in the UK, Sri Lanka and the Maldives themselves and broadcast to the archipelago via the shortwave facilities of T-Systems in Germany, which is now known as Media Broadcast and is part of NASB associate member Telediffusion de France (TDF).
Minivan Radio was sponsored by a UK-based organization called Friends of Maldives. Dave Hardingham, founder of FOM, told Radio Miami International that "it's been a hard battle and you played your part." This example shows the power that shortwave can still have in shaping world events.
New Books about Shortwave Available
Well-known shortwave listener and author Jerry Berg has published two new books on shortwave broadcasting and DXing history. They are Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today, and Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today. These books pick up where Berg's first book (1999), On the Short Waves, 1923-1945: Broadcast Listening in the Pioneer Days of Radio, left off. More information about the books can be found at the publisher's website www.mcfarlandpub.com and at the author's website www.ontheshortwaves.com.
Description of Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today
by Jerome S. Berg
190 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
496pp. hardcover (7 x 10) 2008
Shortwave broadcasting originated in the 1920s, when
stations used the new technology to increase their range in order to serve
foreign audiences and reach parts of their own country that could not easily be
covered by regular AM stations. The early days of shortwave radio were covered
in On the Short Waves, 1923–1945: Broadcast Listening in the Pioneer Days of Radio , published by McFarland in 1999. This book picks up
the story after World War II, focusing on the stations themselves and the
environment in which they operated. A companion volume, Listening
on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today, focuses on the shortwave listening
The heart of the book is a detailed, year-by-year account of the shortwave bands in each year from 1945 to the present. It reviews what American listeners were hearing on the international and domestic shortwave bands, describes the arrivals and departures of stations, and recounts important shortwave events. The book also introduces readers to the several categories of broadcasters—international, domestic, religious, clandestine and pirate—and to private shortwave broadcasting in the United States. It explains the impact of relay stations, frequency management, and jamming, and describes promising shortwave technologies. It also addresses the considerable changes in, and challenges to, shortwave broadcasting since the end of the cold war. The book is richly illustrated and indexed, and features a bibliography and extensive notes to facilitate further reading or research.
of Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today
by Jerome S. Berg
120 photos, notes, bibliography, index
423pp. hardcover (7 x 10) 2008
The discovery and development of shortwave technology during the 1920s and 1930s permitted radio stations throughout the world to transmit their programs over long distances, even worldwide, for the first time, and the thrill of hearing broadcasts from faraway places produced a dedicated American audience. Developments in shortwave broadcasting and shortwave listening from their inception through the war years were covered in On the Short Waves, 1923–1945: Broadcast Listening in the Pioneer Days of Radio , published by McFarland in 1999. This book picks up the story in 1945, describing the resumption of organized shortwave listening after the war and its development in the years since. The companion volume, Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today, focuses on the world’s shortwave stations.
Written from the standpoint of the serious shortwave enthusiast, this book begins with an examination of the broader shortwave listening audience. It then presents in detail the histories of the major North American shortwave clubs and reviews the professional and listener-generated shortwave literature of the era. It also covers the DX programs and other listening fare to which shortwave listeners were most attracted and the QSL-cards they sought as confirmation of their reception. The book presents a chronology of the shortwave receivers available and discusses how changes in receiver technology impacted the listening experience. It also addresses the important role that computers have played in the shortwave listening of recent decades. The book is richly illustrated and indexed, and features extensive notes to facilitate further reading or research.
About the Author
Jerome S. Berg, an attorney, was the court administrator for the Massachusetts District Court system until his retirement. He has been a shortwave listener for half a century, and is a member of the executive council of the North American Shortwave Association and chair of the Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications.
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