NASB NEWSLETTER             www.shortwave.org

 

January 2009

         

IN THIS ISSUE:         

 

NASB/DRM  News

HFCC News

Book Reviews

SWL  News

 

 

 

NASB/DRM News

 

Latest Version of 2009 NASB-DRM USA Annual Meeting Agenda

 

Thursday, May 7, 2009 – DRM USA annual meeting

9:00 am – Opening of DRM USA Annual Meeting in the Holiday Inn Express Amphitheater.  Welcome remarks from World Christian Broadcasting and WWCR.  The Amphitheater meeting room is sponsored by TCI International.

9:05 am - Welcome remarks from DRM USA officers

9:15 am – The Latest Developments in Digital Radio Mondiale – report from a representative of the DRM Consortium

 

10:00 am – WinDRM: Amateur Radio's DRM Evolution - One of amateur radio's digital voice and image transfer modes was derived from DRM's Dream receiver/transmitter software.  Mel Whitten, who holds amateur radio callsign K0PFX, will talk about how these amateur modes were developed, how they are used and the transmitting and receiving equipment used.

 

10:30 am - Coffee Break, sponsored by Media Broadcast


11:00 am – A Profile of Ten-Tec - the Tennessee company that makes HF radios for amateurs and shortwave listeners.  The Ten-Tec RX-320D was one of the first DRM software-capable receivers on the market.  The speaker will be Gary Barbour.

 

11:30 am – Roundtable Discussion about DRM USA, moderated by Mike Adams.  Topics will include the new DRM USA website, distribution of DRM receivers in the US, etc.

 

12:00 pm - Lunch at Holiday Inn Express, sponsored by World Christian Broadcasting and WWCR

1:00 pm - Break

1:30 pm - Bus leaves hotel for Sightseeing Tour, sponsored by TCI International, visiting WWCR studio/transmitter site and  World Christian Broadcasting headquarters in Franklin

6:00 pm - Dinner at The Factory in Franklin, sponsored by  VT Communications, followed by free time at The Factory mall

9:00 pm - Bus returns to the Holiday Inn Express. The rest of the evening is free to explore The District.


Friday, May 8, 2009 – NASB Annual Meeting

9:00 am – Opening of NASB Annual Meeting in the Holiday Inn Express Amphitheater.  Welcome remarks from NASB officers.  The Amphitheater meeting room is sponsored by TCI International.

9:15 am – The North American Shortwave Audience

 

9:45 am - Panel Discussion:  The State of Shortwave Listening and Broadcasting in Europe.  Panelists will include Michael Murray, former Secretary General of the European DX Council.

10:30 am - Coffee Break, sponsored by Continental Electronics

11:00 am – Madagascar World Voice, African shortwave project of World Christian Broadcasting

 

11:30 am – Kintronics and its involvement in HF broadcasting, by Tom King, President, Kintronics Labs of Bristol, Tennessee

12:00 pm – Lunch, sponsored by Thomson Broadcast & Multimedia

1:15 pm - NASB Business Meeting, including plans for next year's annual meeting in Canada

4:00 pm - NASB Business Meeting ends, conference ends.  Brief closed meeting of the NASB Board

 

Everyone with an interest in shortwave radio is welcome to attend the NASB-DRM USA Annual Meeting in Nashville May 7 and 8.  The meeting location, the Holiday Inn Express at 920 Broadway Street, is a newly-renovated hotel situated in the heart of downtown, near Music Row, numerous restaurants and Nashville's nightlife.  Breakfast is included in the $125 daily room rate (single or double occupancy, same rate), and the hotel offers free wireless Internet service. The hotel has a newly-renovated amphitheater where the DRM USA and NASB meetings will take place. For those who will be driving, the Holiday Inn Express charges $14 per day for parking, but a vehicle is not really needed for those who fly in. There's a flat rate of $22 for taxis from the airport to downtown hotels, or you can take a Gray Line shuttle bus for $12 one-way or $18 round-trip.

 

There's no cost to attend the NASB-DRM USA annual meetings, thanks to NASB members and associate members who are sponsoring various functions. But you must pre-register in order to attend, and space is limited.  So we suggest you register as soon as possible.  Just send your name and e-mail address to nasbmem@rocketmail.com and ask to be registered for the NASB Annual Meeting. Plan to arrive by Wednesday afternoon or evening (May 6) as the meetings begin early on Thursday, and they will end at about 5:00 p.m. Friday. But feel free to come early or stay late to enjoy all of the attractions that Nashville has to offer.

 

Hotel Reservation Details

The Holiday Inn Express is located at 920 Broadway in downtown Nashville.  The room rate for the 2009 NASB Annual Meeting is $125.00 per room for single or double occupancy (plus local taxes).  You can guarantee your reservation with a credit card, and your reservation can be canceled without penalty until three days prior to arrival.  To make your reservation, call toll-free (in the U.S.) +1-888-465-4329, and be sure to mention that you are part of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters meeting in order to get the special conference rate.  Give them the group code of NAS.

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New  NASB  Associate Member Kintronic Labs, Inc.

Kintronic Labs designs and manufactures custom HF antennas and accessories for transmitter input power ranging from 1-100kW.  Antennas offered include rhombic, half-wave dipole, full-wave dipole, lazy H and corner cube.  Custom antenna applications are also a possibility.  Accessories offered include open wire transmission lines, open wire impedance transformers, fixed and tunable baluns,  and open wire wall feedthrough panels.   

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DRM Hits Africa:  Major Broadcasts during Africast Exhibition

from Winter 2009 issue of Radio News from NASB associate member Thomson Broadcast & Multimedia

 

DRM was a hot topic at the recent Africast exhibition in Abuja, Nigeria. The Thomson stand featured live DRM demonstrations with the latest digital receiver sets as well as a wide variety of product presentations. From the broadcasting side, the DRM Members BBC, CVC, DW and TDF actively contributed to the Africast exhibition by broadcasting in DRM to Africa. The programs could be heard and seen on the DRM receiver set from Himalaya.

The theme of this year’s Africast was «Digitisation and the Challenges of Broadcasting», and what could have been more fitting than the live reception of shortwave programs in FM sound quality, coming from thousands of kilometers away!  Africast 2008 was a huge success, and enjoyed record attendance from Africa and beyond. Great interest was shown in the exciting program possibilities offered by the DRM technology.  Using multiple program structure, DRM allows for simultaneous transmission of up to four programs, including speech, text, data and pictures. 

During the conference, Nigeria announced its commitment to digitize the entire broadcast infrastructure until 2012. This is an encouraging signal and an indication of the general broadcast outlook in Africa.  Radio remains by far the most dominant media in Africa, spreading information, education and entertainment to the majority rural population, who do not have as easy access to other media as their urban counterparts. The introduction of DRM comes to Africa at a time when the popularity of local stations is growing rapidly together with the frequency liberalization.

Thomson is at the heart of DRM developments and has provided various broadcasters in Africa and around the globe with the technology to implement DRM services in Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria and South Africa.

Digital Radio in Asia:  ABU Technical Committee Meeting in Bali

from Winter 2009 issue of Thomson Radio News

The Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) held its 45th General Assembly and associated meetings on the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia, from the 19th until 25th of November. The event included the ABU Digital Radio Forum meeting, a technical symposium as well as the ABU Technical Committee meeting and a technical exhibition.   Thomson, together with other leading DRM representatives, participated at the Digital Radio Forum with a presentation by David Birrer about the Olympic News Service via DRM.

In many developing regions, radio may still be the only affordable medium of mass communication with access to target population.  It plays an important role in such regions in binding individuals into a society by the use of shared language, common interests and objectives.  Countries like India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Russia and China, are aware of the importance of the radio communication platform and have openly committed themselves to the DRM standard in connection with the digitization of their national networks.

“Radio has been a key player in Bhutan’s democratisation process”, said Jagnath Sharma of Bhutan’s public broadcaster BBS during the meetings. “Radio stood its ground over time and with its advantageous reach, provided every Bhutanese with much needed information before and after the historic elections.”  Thomson supplied BBS with a 100 kW DRM short wave transmitter in 2007. The first DRM installation in the country, the new transmitter solves the problems of a cost-effective national coverage in the that mountainous area. Bangladesh BETAR (Radio) will go on air this year with a powerful, new Thomson, DRM compatible high-power medium wave transmitter. The 1000 kW S7HP system will provide highly efficient national coverage of 95% of the country’s population.  All India Radio has taken up regular DRM tests to Europe from Khampur, Delhi, using Thomson’s DRM equipment.

“Going digital is the biggest challenge facing ABU broadcasters,” said ABU President, Yoshinori Imai of NHK-Japan. In 2008, the ABU was instrumental in the creation of the International Radio Forum, which focusues on radio and its future in the traditional and emerging markets in west Asia and north Africa. In this region, teeming with young populations and potential listeners, major transitions in lifestyle and media consumption are taking place. In 2009, the forum will focus on the exciting possibilities for creating new types of content and delivering their program in many new ways

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World Christian Broadcasting to Offer First China Tour

excerpted from WCB Newsletter, December 2008

 

September 11-23, 2009 is the date for World Christian Broadcasting's first China tour.  Leading us will be Edward Short, WCB's Senior Producer for Chinese.  Edward learned the language while a missionary in Taiwan and is well acquainted with not only the landscape of China but the people and culture as well.  Highlights of the tour will be Beijing (Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, etc.), Xian (Terra Cotta warriors), a rail trip to Luoyang (where Buddhism was introduced to China), Zhengzhou (ancient center of kung-fu), Shanghai (Jade Buddha Temple) and Hong Kong (ascending up Victoria Peak by tram).  If you've ever longed to visit China, this is the time and place.  Seeing the people of China through the experience and heart of Edward Short, and doing so in the company of Christians, will be an unforgettable experience.  For full details including complete itinerary and prices, call World Christian Broadcasting at +1-615-371-8707 or write us at 605 Bradley Court, Franklin, Tennessee 37067 USA.

 

 

World Christian Broadcasting Announces New Senior Producer for Latin America

excerpted from WCB Newsletter, December 2008

 

World Christian Broadcasting is pleased to join hands with Rex Morgan as our new Senior Producer for Latin America.  Rex's missionary experience began with five years of work in Papua New Guinea.  Since 1982, Rex has worked in the Miami, Florida area among the Hispanic communities, both in broadcasting and in planting churches.  Rex has shared the gospel worldwide.  He trains ministers, churches and missionaries in television and radio to enhance their effectiveness.  He has conducted seminars in Ecuador, El Salvador, Chile, Cuba, Honduras and the United States.  Gayle Crowe, WCB's Vice President of Programming, says, “We welcome Rex's unique gifts as he oversees our Portuguese and Spanish programming.”

 

 

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HCJB Global Transmitter Installed at TWR’s Site in Swaziland

News release from HCJB dated Nov. 25, 2008

 

 A new 100,000-watt shortwave transmitter built at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., is on the air at the Trans World Radio (TWR) site in Swaziland, broadcasting a message of hope across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.  Through a cooperative effort between the two organizations, the HC100 transmitter began broadcasting about 12 hours a day on Oct. 23, replacing an outdated Continental unit and joining two other HC100s, also from Elkhart.  “The results of the broadcasts from this transmitter are that people come to Christ and they are encouraged in their faith,” said Ray Alary, TWR’s director of operations in Africa. “For those with HIV/AIDS, we can encourage them in what seems a hopeless situation. Through Jesus we all have hope. The primary target areas are eastern and southern Africa, but our transmitters in Swaziland reach locations as far away as Pakistan. We broadcast in approximately 30 languages with our three HC100 transmitters.”  Alary added that TWR’s partnership with HCJB Global “goes back a long way and has taken many different forms over the years . . . it is a model of a well-functioning partnership where each party gains from our ability to work together.”

 

The partnership includes having a number of TWR missionaries serving at the Technology Center in Elkhart. Among those is veteran engineer Larry McGuire who lived in Swaziland for 16 years before moving to Elkhart in 1990. He helped build and install all three HC100s at the Swaziland site, spending 2 weeks in Swaziland in October to put the new transmitter on the air.

“The new transmitter is much more efficient and has a clearer, more understandable signal than the one it replaced,” McGuire said. “The HC100 is also easier to maintain because it was designed by missionary engineers for that purpose.”  Alary said that having “three identical transmitters at the same site makes our operation in Swaziland very efficient. In addition, we have purchased more than 20 suitcase transmitters through HCJB.”

Tom Lowell, chairman of TWR’s board of directors, said the new transmitter has many economic advantages. “For example, parts needed to keep the old equipment on the air were expensive. The Continental transmitter uses three large tubes, at $13,000 each, compared to the HC100’s single tube. That’s an immediate savings of $26,000 on parts alone! The HC100 also operates much more efficiently, saving us $12,000 per year on our electric bill in Swaziland.”  McGuire added that the installation of the HC100 in Swaziland culminates years of work and planning dating back to about 2000. Construction of this transmitter, the ninth of its type, was completed in 2008.  After TWR agreed to purchase the unit, it was modified to, and tested for, Swaziland requirements, then packed and loaded onto a truck in Elkhart on July 31. It then traveled across the Atlantic Ocean by ship, arriving in Durban, South Africa, on Sept. 9.  From there it went by train to Matsapha, Swaziland, where it cleared customs “almost immediately,” he said. Finally it went by truck to TWR’s transmitter site on a ranch 20 miles from Manzini along the White Mbuluzi River, arriving on Sept. 18.  “The day it arrived, there ‘happened’ to be a work crew from a church in Elkhart that had been renovating the building,” McGuire continued. “They were way ahead of schedule, so they helped unload the transmitter from the container, got it in position and started putting up the heavy parts and then built the fascia—all before I started working on the installation on Oct. 6. I was very amazed. That’s never happened before!”

McGuire said the entire installation process went smoothly. “The cooperation was great—very beneficial for both.”

 

David Russell, director of the HCJB Global Technology Center, calls it a “privilege to work closely with engineers of TWR Africa. During just the past year we have cooperated with TWR on projects in Benin, Kenya and Swaziland. We are presently refurbishing a used 50,000-watt AM transmitter that will be used at TWR’s Swaziland broadcast facilities.  “It gives us a great sense of fulfillment to be able to support our fellow kingdom workers at TWR through the provision of technical consulting, equipment, installations and maintenance,” Russell added. “By pooling our strengths we are able to be more effective in the Lord’s harvest fields.”

 

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VTC Enhances Coverage of South East Asia

From VT Communications “Right Click” E-Newsletter

 

VTC has recently started offering shortwave capacity from a site on the island of Palau that provides extensive coverage of South East Asia. VTC has been successfully testing the site for a number of broadcasters. If you would like a test transmission on this new service to reach listeners across South East Asia and China please contact Tim Ayris at: tim.ayris@vtplc.com

VTC’s Global Network of over 50 transmission sites provides extensive, worldwide coverage, ensuring our customers reach their target audiences. Through these sites we deliver over 1,100 hours of shortwave and medium wave programming every day for some of the world’s leading broadcasters, including BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle. Our Global Network offers the international broadcaster value for money combined with transmission sites that are geographically close to their intended audience. The Global Network is connected via VTC’s own fibre and satellite network (called the GMN), which is controlled from VTC’s state-of-the-art Media Management Centre in London. Our flexible and versatile network also offers other platforms for content distribution, including FM relays, satellite and digital media.

 

To find out more about VTC’s Global Network and discover the benefits it offers international broadcasters please visit: www.vtc-online.com

 

 

 

Focus on Africa

 

Africa is an area of the world where the percentage of the population listening to analogue shortwave radio remains high. VTC sees a continually high demand for shortwave airtime into this part of the world and continues to offer significant capacity across the continent.

Many of the sites within our Global Network successfully reach Africa; these include our UK-based sites, and those located in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Madagascar, Ascension Islands, Portugal, Rwanda and South Africa. All these sites offer a flexible range of transmission powers and value for money. If you are currently broadcasting into Africa via shortwave then why not discover how VTC can improve your coverage area, listening experience and save you money at the same time. 

 

FMs in Africa, Middle East and Indonesia

 

VTC recognises that FM radio is expanding rapidly across Africa and we can offer capacity on FM radio stations in capital cities such as Accra, Ghana, Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Kampala, Uganda.

 

We also have access to two exciting FM networks in the Middle East:

with airtime available on Lebanon’s leading FM network, which has a 43% share of radio listeners in the country. The network not only covers the whole country, but also reaches into Western Syria. This service is already used by Deutsche Welle, Radio Canada International and BBC World Service to successfully reach listeners in this mature radio market;
• a new network in Palestine targeted at tourists visiting Bethlehem, with some coverage of Jerusalem.

If you’re interested in getting your message out to an Indonesian audience, we can provide access to FM stations in over 28 population centres across the country.


We have limited airtime slots available for all these opportunities so please register your interest as soon as possible with Tim Ayris at:
tim.ayris@vtplc.com VTC will ensure delivery of your programme to the stations and take care of local contractual and licensing issues – leaving you to do what you do best, producing interesting and informative programmes for your listeners.

 

Capacity advisory for ad hoc and extra shortwave broadcasts into the Gaza Strip during the current hostilities

 

VTC is providing ad hoc capacity on its Global Short Wave Network for broadcasters requiring extra transmissions into the Gaza Strip during the current hostilities in the region. VTC currently delivers daily programmes into this region for a number of broadcasters.

We have available slots that would suit daily 30 minutes and 60 minute programmes targeting the region including:

-2000 - 2200 UTC, (10pm to midnight local time), 250/500 kW options, UAE transmitter site

Evening hours, 250/300/500 kW options, UK transmitter site

VTC's shortwave Global Network

Recent months have seen a number of new customers sign contracts with VTC including the Democratic Voice of Burma, OiV/the Voice of Croatia and IBRA Radio. VTC is or will be transmitting programmes from these broadcasters to their listeners in target areas as diverse as Burma, West and East Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

These broadcasters have benefited from VTC’s Global Network of transmitter sites located around the world. The sites are linked together via VTC’s Global Media Network (GMN) of fibre circuits and satellite channels. In the case of VTC’s new clients, these transmitter sites are in Palau, South Africa, the UK and Singapore, which are located close to the desired target areas.  VTC broadcasts over 1000 hours per day of short and medium wave programmes from over 50 sites for more than 30 broadcast customers.

Focus on Afghanistan

Short wave remains preferred radio medium

 

VTC offers extensive and powerful short wave services into Afghanistan. The value of short wave delivery of programmes to listeners in the country is underlined in a media survey which was carried out in January 2008. It found that short wave is still the predominant radio medium for listeners across the country, with 55% of those who ever use radio using short wave, 52% using FM, and 46% using medium wave (AM). The survey found that rural listeners were more likely to use short, medium, and long wave.

 

1251 kHz medium wave for northern Afghanistan

VTC already distributes daily programmes from both the BBC World Service and HCJB on the 1251 kHz medium wave service transmitting from Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This relay provides night time (sky wave) coverage into northern Afghanistan, reaching as far south as Kabul. We have prime hours available during the peak time evening and early morning times. The service also reaches parts of surrounding countries such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan at night time.

 

Developing FM Relay opportunities

Recognising the growing role of FM radio in Afghanistan, VTC is developing an opportunity with a local FM network in the country to manage slots on behalf of international broadcasters.

                                                           

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Launch of BBC and DW Channel in Europe on DRM Digital Radio

News release from Fanny Podworny, DRM Consortium

 

London, UK – The BBC and Deutsche Welle (DW) on December 10, 2008 launched a new Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) digital radio channel for Europe. The channel is an 18-hour daily broadcast of the best international programmes in English from the BBC World Service and DW. It also brings to the audience all the advantages of DRM digital radio including near-FM quality audio, text messages, Journaline and an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). 

This first ever joint BBC-DW DRM radio channel has been launched using six transmitters, which are used in pairs, to cover much of Western Europe. The signal covers France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and other neighbouring countries.

 

A complete flyer as well as a coverage map is available on the DRM website (www.drm.org).

In other DRM news, All India Radio, the national broadcaster of India, has been conducting regular DRM transmissions from one of its 250 kW short wave transmitters located at Khampur (Delhi) since October 2008. They are also in the process of converting another four 250 kW short wave transmitters to DRM mode by March 2009. There are plans to introduce DRM transmissions in high power medium wave and short wave transmitters on a large scale in the near future.

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HFCC  News

 

New Dates for HFCC B09 Conference in Punta Cana

 

The NASB is organizing the HFCC B09 shortwave frequency planning conference, which will take place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic August 17-21, 2009.  The initial dates were set as August 23-28, as we announced in the November 2008 NASB Newsletter.  However, the event has been moved forward by one week in order to accommodate members of the Arab States Broadcasting Union, who informed us that Ramadan begins on August 21 this year.  The conference itself will take place Monday-Friday, August 17-21, and there will be an optional full-day excursion to Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, on Saturday, August 22. 

 

NASB members and associate members are encouraged to take part in the conference if they can, as this is only the third time in the HFCC's history that the event has taken place in the Western Hemisphere, and the first time it has taken place in the Caribbean.  Additional sponsors who have already confirmed their participation in the event include Indotel (the Dominican telecommunications authority), Continental Electronics, the IBB, EWTN, and the DRM Consortium and Thomson Broadcast and Multimedia.  There will be a special DRM seminar for Dominican broadcasters on Friday, August 21 at the conference hotel in Punta Cana.  A special conference rate of $130 per night single occupancy and $168 per night double occupancy has been negotiated at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort.  This rate includes all meals, drinks, daily entertainment, water sports, tax, tips, etc.  Punta Cana is a major tourist resort on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, a two-hour flight from Miami or Fort Lauderdale.  For more information about the conference and Punta Cana, see the following website:  http://my.att.net/p/PWP-hfccb09

 

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Book Reviews

 

"Listening On the Short Waves, 1945 to Today" Review
by Jeff White, as broadcast on “Viva Miami,” Radio Miami International

I first began listening to shortwave radio in 1972 as a junior high school student living in Indianapolis, Indiana. I discovered it by accident while tuning around on my parents' multiband portable radio with two shortwave bands on it. One night I heard Radio Deutsche Welle, coming all the way from Germany with a program in English. I was hooked. I started listening every day, and soon I also found Radio Prague, Radio Netherlands, HCJB, Radio Moscow, etc.

That was a fascinating time to be a shortwave listener -- right in the middle of the Cold War, when President Nixon made his historic visits to Russia and China. The idea that I could follow world events directly from where they were happening on a simple shortwave receiver was a thrill that was hard to explain to the average person in Indianapolis. Soon I was sending reception reports to these far-off lands and receiving QSL cards and many other items from places like Albania, China, Finland and Cuba, to mention only a few.

I'm sure many of you listening to me now have similar stories you could tell. And if so, you'll definitely be interested in a new book I received the other day called "Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today" by well-known DXer Jerry Berg. This is a 400-page trip through the heydays of shortwave listening. The nostalgia is just overwhelming.

Jerry begins with a brief overview of pre-World War II shortwave history, then launches into an in-depth examination of the shortwave audience -- just who listens to this stuff and why. Are we a special breed, and how many of us are there? Research on this subject is scarce, but Jerry Berg summarizes some of what data is available from station surveys, popularity polls, listener letters, shortwave club data and the like.

The story of shortwave listening and DX clubs, primarily in North America, occupies a full 100 pages of the book. While much of this information may not be of great interest to those who were not involved in organized DXing, for those of us who were members of one or more DX clubs over the years, this chapter will bring back all kinds of memories. The history of each major club is detailed -- and I mean detailed, right down to the columns which appeared in each club publication and the internal politics and colorful characters that made them so interesting. I found dozens of names of club officials and editors with whom I've had some kind of contact since 1972, bringing back lots of fond memories of friendships that in many cases have endured until today. I've met many of these people personally at shortwave conventions over the years, such as the annual ANARC or Association of North American Radio Clubs conventions that took place in a different part of the U.S. or Canada each year until 1990.

Sadly, many of these shortwave club personalities are no longer with us. But they'll always be remembered. People like Arthur Cushen of New Zealand, Richard Wood of Hawaii and many other places, and Larry Shewchuk of Canada. All of these people and many more were friends of mine. Larry Shewchuk, for example, was a top-notch radio journalist, as well as being a member of the Canadian International DX Club. Larry even contributed a few reports to my Radio Earth broadcasts in the 1980's.

But I'm reminiscing now, which I guess is one of the natural effects of reading "Listening On the Short Waves, 1945 to Today." The extensive shortwave club chapter tells about the club publications, conventions, their high points and low points. In terms of membership, many of these clubs peaked in the 1970's and 1980's, and they have been declining -- or even ceasing to exist -- ever since, as the Internet has largely done away with the need for printed club bulletins. There is some examination of overseas DX clubs as well, although the focus is primarily on North America.

An additional 100 pages of Jerry Berg's book looks at shortwave literature, such as shortwave listening columns in various electronic magazines and specialized shortwave listener magazines. These include well-known publications like Popular Electronics, Popular Communications and Monitoring Times, and less well-known but valiant efforts like Voices magazine from Finland. There is a detailed history of the venerable World Radio TV Handbook and the newer but very popular Passport to World Band Radio. Other books about shortwave listening are examined, such as How to Listen to the World, DXing According to NASWA and books dealing with shortwave equipment, propagation, pirates, clandestine stations, programming, etc. Dozens of publications are mentioned here -- lists of English-language broadcasts, The Danish Shortwave Club International's Tropical Bands Survey, Glenn Hauser's Review of International Broadcasting and DX Listening Digest, to name just a few. There's even a review of recordings about shortwave listening, such as Radio Canada International's Idents and Interval Signals tapes and Foreign Language Recognition Course, both of which have been resurrected recently and are now available on CD.

A shorter chapter in the book provides profiles of the top DX programs and other popular listener programs and clubs sponsored by shortwave stations. Who can forget Radio Australia's "DXers Calling," Radio Sweden's "Sweden Calling DXers," Radio Netherlands' "DX Juke Box and Media Network," the Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round with "the Two Bobs" and Radio Canada International's "SWL Digest" hosted by one of the most popular shortwave personalities in the history of North America, Ian McFarland? And of course there was the "Happy Station" hosted by legendary broadcasters Eddie Startz and Tom Meyer. Some of these programs are still on the air, like HCJB's "DX Party Line," Adventist World Radio's "Wavescan" and Glenn Hauser's "World of Radio," all of which are broadcast here on WRMI.

A fairly extensive chapter of "Listening On the Short Waves" reviews the shortwave receivers that have been on the market in North America since World War II. Some of the technical details and specifications may go over the heads of laymen like myself, but long-time shortwave listeners will certainly recall classic receivers like the Hammarlund HQ-180, the Drake SW-4A, the Realistic DX-150, the Yaesu FRG-7, the Kenwood R-1000, the Barlow-Wadley XCR-30, and of course the Zenith Trans-Oceanic. They're all mentioned and reviewed here, along with even the original sales prices. The history of shortwave receivers is traced by the type of radio -- such as desktop and portable -- and by decade. Many of us will remember sophisticated receivers with bandspread dials which still left you almost guessing at which frequency you were on. Newer radios like the Sony ICF-2001 and the Grundig Yacht Boy 400 offered digital readout, which revolutionized shortwave listening and made it more accessible to the less technically-inclined.

"Listening On the Short Waves" then moves on to the topic of QSLíng -- the process of sending reception reports to shortwave stations and obtaining verification cards from them. Jerry provides a historical overview of station QSL policies, crafty methods that listeners have used to get QSL's out of recalcitrant stations, QSL contests and awards, and a list of publications with more detailed QSL information. Jerry Berg, incidentally, is Chairman of the Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications, which has collected more than 40,000 QSL's from stations around the world that are archived at the Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland.

No book about shortwave listening would be complete without a brief look at the role computers have played since they became accessible to the average person in North America. Shortwave club editors were suddenly able to prepare their columns and the entire publications with word processing programs. Listeners could keep lists of their station loggings on computer and it became easier for them to prepare reception reports which were very professional. Computer bulletin board systems and online services such as CompuServe allowed listeners and broadcasters alike to share tons of information and databases, and this expanded exponentially with the increasing availability of the Internet in the late 1990's. Now listeners can get instant schedule and program information for most any shortwave station in the world online -- not to mention the ability to send reception reports and to communicate amongst themselves via e-mail. Online DX newsletters have replaced many printed club bulletins, and the clubs that have survived now generally have at least some presence on the Internet.

Jerry Berg concludes that while in many ways shortwave listening is every bit as fascinating and exotic as it was back in the beginning, "to listeners it is clear that shortwave broadcasting has been on the wane for some time." Of course this is written from the viewpoint of a North American DXer, and shortwave is still very much alive and kicking in many other parts of the world. I would even argue that shortwave is still a significant niche market in North America. There's no question that many stations have reduced or eliminated their shortwave transmissions to North America in recent years, but there's a real question as to whether they have done so because of declining listenership, or whether their listenership may have declined because they discontinued the broadcasts. Indeed, Berg cites Bob Zanotti, formerly of Swiss Radio International, as saying that "decision-making on the future of shortwave is in the hands of theoreticians and technocrats rather than broadcasting professionals, and that has led to a denigration of shortwave and the premature promotion of alternatives that cannot serve the large audiences that are routinely within shortwave's reach."

But that takes us into the subject of broadcasting on shortwave, and that's precisely the title of Jerry Berg's other new book, "Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today," which is another 400 pages or so. I can't wait to begin reading that one, and we'll have a review of it here on Viva Miami in the near future.

With a price tag of $65, "Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today" isn't cheap. But I can guarantee you that you won't find all of this wealth of information in one place anywhere else on earth -- not even on the Internet. And it's presented in a sturdy and attractive hardbound volume with an abundance of photographs that will definitely give you shortwave nostalgia. The book is published by McFarland (no relation to Ian McFarland of Radio Canada International!), and you can get more information and ordering details on the web at www.mcfarlandpub.com. There are chapter-by-chapter titles and descriptions on Jerry Berg's own website, www.ontheshortwaves.com.  The book is also available from Universal Radio, amazon.com and other Internet booksellers.

 

Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today Review
by Jeff White, as broadcast on “Viva Miami,” Radio Miami International


As I mentioned the other day on this program, I began listening to shortwave radio in 1972, when I was a teenager in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I've seen a lot of changes on the shortwave bands over the years since then, so I very much enjoyed reading a new book by Jerry Berg titled "Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today." The book details, from a shortwave listener's standpoint, what happened on the shortwave broadcasting scene year-by-year and station-by-station, grouped by regions of the world.  It was fascinating to look back over the past 36 years of shortwave activity that I witnessed personally.  It brought back a lot of good memories of stations and programs that I heard, but I also learned a lot of things that I didn't already know.  I mean nobody can keep up with everything that happens on shortwave, although Jerry Berg's book comes pretty close.  But "Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today," as its name implies, also covers the period from the Second World War up until I started listening in 1972.  So it was equally fascinating for me to learn about what happened on the shortwave spectrum before I took up the activity.  For example, how many of you knew that the NBC Radio Network here in the U.S. once had an international shortwave service transmitting to several continents in multiple languages?  CBS also had an international shortwave service, as did RCA.  But these services never really made any significant money for the commercial radio networks, so most of them were very glad when the U.S. government took them over during World War II for transmitting U.S. propaganda.  Most of them eventually became outlets for the Voice of America.  And after the war, most of them were abandoned.

It was amazing to see how many stations that I had first heard in 1972 went on the air decades earlier and were still on the same frequencies when I started listening. Frequencies like 9009 kHz for Kol Israel and 6006 kHz for Radio Reloj in Costa Rica were classics that lasted for decades. And it was interesting to note how many stations around the world used odd frequencies like this, rather than standard 5 kHz increments that are more common today.

The history of shortwave broadcasting very much mirrors the political history of the post-war world.  Whenever there was a war or a conflict, shortwave always played a role.  The numerous civil wars in Africa have spawned dozens of opposition radio stations.  They still do.  Likewise with the political problems in Latin America, which have created innumerable clandestine broadcasters like Radio Venceremos in El Salvador, Radio Rebelde in Cuba, Radio 15 de Septiembre in Nicaragua, to mention just a few.  Many of these stations became legitimate, legal stations as the political situation changed.  Broadcasting on the Short Waves mentions many more Latin American opposition shortwave services, such as Russia's Radio Magallanes program beamed to Chile during the Pinochet regime, the BBC's special transmissions to the Falkland Islands during the Falklands war with Argentina, and President Jean Bertrand Aristide's "Radyo 16 Desanm" broadcasts to Haiti when he was in exile here in the United States.  That service was broadcast, incidentally, right here via WRMI. 

It was interesting to note all of the changes of names of countries over the years, which are usually reflected in shortwave station names too.  For example, Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe and Northern Rhodesia became Zambia.  Egypt and Syria were once one country, then separated again.  East Pakistan became Bangladesh.  Burma became Myanmar.  And the two Congos had a series of name changes.  African countries in general have had a great number of name changes since the Second World War, many of them related to their independence from colonial powers.

Of course the Cold War was perhaps the heyday of international broadcasting on shortwave.  Governments poured millions -- probably billions -- of dollars into their external radio services for propaganda and prestige purposes.  The Voice of America, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and others transmitted in dozens of languages to the communist countries, while Radio Moscow, the Eastern European stations and Radio Peking pumped equal amounts of money into their own shortwave propaganda services, also in dozens of languages to all parts of the world.  Jerry Berg examines in scholarly detail how the Cold War fueled a boom in shortwave, and how the boom burst after the Berlin Wall fell. Many stations no longer had a legitimate raison d'etre in the minds of government bureaucrats, so their budgets were cut, causing them to cancel language services, reduce hours of transmission and just plain close down in many cases.

Broadcasting on the Short Waves fills well over 400 pages, and it takes a bit of time and concentration to read because you have to absorb a lot of times, frequencies, transmitter powers and call letters.  But that's the beauty of the book; it's an encyclopedia of detailed information about the post-war history of shortwave broadcasting in all parts of the world.  I mean, where else could you read about stations like Dickson Norman's NDXE, the most widely-publicized shortwave station that never existed?  The book is written primarily from the perspective of a North American shortwave listener and the stations he could hear from this locale -- not just the major government-run and religious stations, but also the domestic services that have broadcast on the tropical bands over the years.  DXers in North America have always considered these tropical band stations to be primary targets for listening and QSL collecting.  And speaking of QSLs, the book is chock full of pictures of QSL cards from many of the stations mentioned in its pages.

The book begins with an overview of shortwave broadcasting, including profiles of some of the major stations and sections about domestic shortwave broadcasting, religious broadcasters, private shortwave broadcasting in the United States, clandestine and pirate stations.  Berg explains the complicated process of shortwave frequency allocation and management, the development of relay stations, jamming on shortwave, the failed attempt to move to the single sideband mode, and the promise of DRM digital shortwave broadcasting.  He talks about the changes in the post-Soviet era at both the communist broadcasters and Western stations.  The overview chapter concludes with an examination of relays and the privatization of many stations' transmission facilities in recent years.  Many of these facilities sell relay airtime to numerous stations and to smaller programmers who could not afford to put a station of their own on the air.  The relay craze has led to some very strange bedfellows, such as Canada relaying Vietnam, Switzerland relaying China, Russia relaying the Netherlands and Lithuania relaying Iran.

After the year-by-year summary of shortwave activity, which takes up the great bulk of Broadcasting on the Short Waves, Jerry Berg concludes with a chapter about "The Changing Shortwave Environment." He talks about the proliferation of shortwave broadcasting during the Cold War, the gradual decline in domestic broadcasting on the tropical bands, and the tremendous cuts in shortwave station budgets since the end of the Cold War that have led to the downsizing or elimination of many long-time shortwave broadcasters.  Berg says that the reasons for the decline in shortwave broadcasting and listening include not only the end of the Cold War, but the introduction of private domestic broadcasting in many countries which gave listeners less reason to seek foreign stations for alternative programming, and the development of new technologies such as the Internet, cable TV, satellite and FM radio, all of which compete with shortwave for the listener's attention.  He says that while some think Digital Radio Mondiale, or DRM, will lead to a renaissance in shortwave broadcasting, the lack of DRM receivers and programming still cast doubts on the success of this initiative.  Says Berg:  "Even if DRM proves successful and is able to compete with other media on audio quality, it seems clear that, absent a doomsday event that severs telephone cables and satellite channels or otherwise untethers the world from the international communication vehicles on which it increasingly relies, shortwave broadcasting will remain a specialized function, serving ever smaller audiences."

Berg notes that shortwave is often at its best during political, economic or military crises, such as the Gulf War and the Asian tsunami.  Shortwave may continue to play an important role in times of crisis, although that "will not by itself justify the maintenance of major shortwave broadcasting infrastructures in individual countries."

It's obvious that Jerry Berg loves shortwave.  But he's realistic about the medium's future.  He writes:  "While among shortwave enthusiasts there will always be hope for a resurgence of shortwave broadcasting, the absence of a shortwave constituency in most countries, the retirement of shortwave-savvy personnel, competing budgetary priorities, the march of other technologies, competition from national broadcasters, and other factors...make this an unlikely possibility." 

While all of this is true, if you look at frequency allocations, the shortwave bands are still overcrowded and it's hard to find a clear frequency if you don't go out of band.  I think shortwave still has a lot of life left in it, even though some of the major players may be changing.  So as a shortwave broadcaster, I am a bit more optimistic about the future of the medium.  And I suspect that, as a shortwave listener, maybe you are too.  Unless, of course, you're listening to me on our Internet webcast!

But one thing is for sure.  The magic of shortwave is still there.  As Jerry Berg writes, "...after all the changes in the shortwave landscape, it is still the magic of pulling a distant signal out of the air and connecting with a far away place that makes shortwave unique, and not replicable by the new media."

You can order Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today, as well as Jerry Berg's companion volume Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today, from the publisher at www.mcfarlandpub.com.  It's also available from Internet booksellers like Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, and at Universal Radio's website.  For complete information about the book, see Jerry Berg's own website, www.ontheshortwaves.com.

 

 

Radio Trilogy – Jerry Berg's Radio Booksellers

 

 

Review by Adrian Peterson, Adventist World Radio, as broadcast on AWR “Wavescan” program Nov. 30, 2008

At this time of the year, it is traditional to expect the release of annual publications that carry the date for the coming New Year.  In the international radio world, we look forward with keen anticipation to the availability at the end of each year of both "Passport to World Band Radio" and the "World Radio TV Handbook", both of which are essential for all serious international radio monitors.  The 2009 edition of the "World Radio TV handbook" is due out within a couple of weeks, and the 2009 edition of "Passport to World Band Radio" is already available.
However, this year all international radio monitors, DXers and shortwave listeners alike can celebrate with the availability of two additional radio publications of significant interest.  You will remember that the noted radio historian, Jerome S. Berg in suburban Boston, wrote a remarkable book a while back, under the title, "On the Short Waves, 1923 – 1945" and this was published by McFarland & Company of North Carolina in 1999.  This same publishing company has just released two additional companion volumes of subsequent radio history, researched and written, again by Jerome Berg.

Volume 1: On the Short Waves 1923 - 1945

Now, this first volume in this trilogy of radio compendiums contains the collective history of shortwave broadcasting and shortwave listening from the very earliest beginnings in 1923 up until the end of World War 2 in 1945.  In a flowing readable style, Jerry Berg presents the early events together with many interesting anecdotes about the early wireless pioneers and inventors.  Prominent during this introductory era in radio broadcasting was station KDKA in Pittsburg Pennsylvania, with its primitive mediumwave transmitter and its associated shortwave unit, W8XK.

Shortwave broadcasting escalated during the 1930s with the proliferation of many stations located in many different countries throughout the world.  Noteworthy during this era was station PCJ in Holland with its international broadcast service to the United States and the Dutch colonies in islandic Asia.  Another legendary performer during this era was the British experimental station G5SW, as the early forerunner of the BBC World Service.  The world’s first Gospel shortwave station was HCJB, located near Quito in Ecuador, South America.  This station aired its initial program broadcast on Christmas Day in the year 1931. 
Among the prominent shortwave stations downunder during the prewar era were the three AWA stations with similar callsigns, VK2ME, VK3ME, & VK6ME.  These transmitters carried somewhat similar programming, each produced locally, and they were located near the state capitals, Sydney, Melbourne & Perth.  Other notable stations in the Southern Hemisphere were VPD2 located in the exotic Fiji Islands, and the two ship broadcasting stations, the Australian "Kanimbla" with the callsign VK9MI and the New Zealander "Awatea" with the callsign ZMBJ.

One entire chapter in Jerry Berg’s first book covers the shortwave radio scene in the United States, with the story of each of the nostalgic stations of the era.  You can read about the early shortwave stations established by the major electronics companies, such as General Electric, NBC, Crosley and Westinghouse.  These stations were on the air under the now almost forgotten callsigns, such as W6XBE, W3XAL, W8XAL, and again, W8XK.
Another complete chapter tells the story of the origin of the now highly popular QSL card.  Originally, "QSL Cards" were what we would now call "Reception Report Cards".   The early "Applause Cards" also featured prominently in the development of "QSL Cards" as issued these days by radio stations as a confirmation of listener reception.
The final major area in Book 1 of this radio trilogy presents the worldwide story of international radio broadcasting during World War 2.  Featured in this section are the radio happenings in Germany, England, Japan and the United States.  Also given is a report on the monitoring of enemy shortwave stations and their broadcasts of Prisoner of War information.

This initial volume is profusely illustrated with many exotic QSL cards from major and minor shortwave stations on all continents, including the German station at Zeesen, the Cuban station COCQ, the "Australia Calling" VLG, FO8AA in Tahiti, VE9GW in Bowmanville Ontario Canada, and SEAC in Colombo Ceylon.  Other illustrations feature "Applause Cards", station schedules, logs, and photographs.

Volume 2: Listening on the Short Waves 1945 to Today

The second volume in this trilogy by Jerome Berg in suburban Boston is published, again by McFarland & Company in North Carolina, and it is issued under the title, "Listening on the Shortwaves, 1945 – Today".  In this more than 400 page book, Jerry Berg continues on from where he left off in his 271 page first volume.  The year was 1945 and World War 2 was finally ended.

Volume 2 begins with an updated summary of the early years, and then it progresses into an analysis of the shortwave audience during the early postwar era.  Who was listening to the broadcast programming from the international shortwave stations anyway?  Station popularity polls, professional surveys and memberships in shortwave radio clubs, did at least give some idea of the widespread usage of shortwave broadcasting as a reliable medium of international radio coverage.     

One entire chapter presents an outline history of the radio clubs, large and small, that were functioning half a century ago.  In addition to the multitude of radio clubs located in the United States, there is also an alphabetic listing giving an outline history of radio clubs that have functioned elsewhere throughout the world, including Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka.   

Back in those days, there was not such a proliferation of reliable information about the shortwave stations located around the world as we have today, and the exchange of club magazines containing uptodate monitoring observations at least partly filled that void.  Among the official sources were the American "Broadcasting Stations of the World" produced by FBIS, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, and bulletins issued by the BBC Monitoring Service. 

Several of the popular radio magazines, such as "Radio & TV News", "Popular Electronics" and "Elementary Electronics" also contained DX columns prepared by well known and experienced international radio monitors.  And of course, we should also mention the "World Radio TV Handbook" from 1947, and "Passport to World Band Radio" from 1984.

Another chapter tells the story of the world’s top DX programs, and the first entry is for "DXers Calling" from Radio Australia which was written by Ern Suffolk and launched in July 1946.   Another authoritative DX program from this era was "Sweden Calling DXers", which was produced and broadcast worldwide by Arne Skoog in the English Service from Radio Sweden International.  Then of course, Radio Netherlands broadcast their "DX Juke Box" which became "Media Network; HCJB broadcast their "DX Partyline"; and AWR was on the air with "Radio Monitors International".

In this volume you can also find out just which shortwave receivers were available back then, and just how well they performed.  The various designs of the various receivers are demonstrated with a multitude of photographs showing the wide market availability back in the times of yesteryear.

The chapter and the illustrations depicting QSLing in the postwar years presents a variety of cards seldom seen anywhere in the world.  Take for example, the QSL card verifying the BBC relay station located at Leopoldville in West Africa, or the card from United Nations Radio in Switzerland, or the old card from EAQ in Spain, or the card from the German Service of the BBC London.

Yes indeed, Volume 2 in the Jerry Berg series, "Listening on the Shortwaves, 1945 – Today", is a very interesting book.  Whether you are old or young, an experienced shortwave listener or a newcomer to the art of international DXing, you will enjoy the stories and information presented in the printed text, and you will appreciate the copious illustrations that show in a detailed way what it was like to listen to international radio back in the era beginning with the middle of last century.  

Volume 3: Broadcasting on the Short Waves 1945 to Today

The third volume in this trilogy by Jerome Berg in suburban Boston presents the history of shortwave broadcasting from the end of World War 2 right up to our day.  This nearly 500 page volume, again printed by McFarland & Company in North Carolina, tells the story of the world’s shortwave stations in a highly readable way, year by year from 1945 – 2008.

We go back to 1945.  The war is ended, and the shortwave stations are melding back to a peace time format.  The big networks, such as VOA the Voice of America, the BBC London, Radio Moscow and Radio Canada International are all moving towards a peacetime format.  Then too, the religious stations, such as HCJB Quito Ecuador, FEBC Manila, and Vatican Radio, are all making their voices heard through an evergrowing number of shortwave transmitters with an ever increasing power output. 

In addition, there was a host of local shortwave stations in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia all of which are on the air for regional coverage to their own peoples.  OK, we now take a look at some of the interesting stations as shown progressively in Jerry Berg’s third volume.

In 1945, "Australia Calling" became "Radio Australia", with its own stations VLA, VLB, VLC in Shepparton Victoria, and the part time usage of the ABC Home Service stations VLG VLH, VLR, VLQ, & VLW.
In 1947, the 200 watt station ZNB in Mafeking Bechuanaland was heard at times with a program relay from SABC in South Africa.  I might add, that their QSL card always fetches a high price when available for purchase on eBay.
In 1950, on July 4 actually, Radio Free Europe was launched from a 7 kW transmitter located at Lampertheim, south of Frankfurt in Germany.
In 1952, the Voice of America mobile relay station on board the US Coast Guard Cutter, "Courier", began test broadcasts from Panama.
In 1953, the Voice of America commissioned a new shortwave station, co-located with the SLBC station at Ekala, near Colombo in Sri Lanka.
In 1957, Russia launched its Sputnik satellite.  On board was a radio transmitter tuned to 20005 kHz which radiated a tone pulse.  Interestingly, QSL cards, now highly prized, were issued verifying these space transmissions.
In 1959, a new commercial shortwave station was launched in Andorra, with 1 kW on 6305 kHz.
In 1961, Radio Tirana opened a new transmitter station at Shijak with two transmitters at 50 kW.
In 1962, the Voice of America closed three stations subsequent to the opening of their massive facility at Greenville North Carolina.  These three now silent stations were WGEO Schenectady New York, WDSI Wayne New Jersey and WDSI Brentwood Long Island.
In 1964, the Australian chronohertz station at Lyndhurst in Victoria began operation with 10 kW on 5.5, 7.5 & 12 MHz.
In 1967, station WNYW at Hatherly Beach in Massachusetts was destroyed by fire, and they took out a temporary relay via RCA at Rocky Point Long Island and Brentwood New Jersey.  I would guess that QSL cards issued by WNYW for these two relay sites are quite rare.    
In 1969, VOA Hawaii, the old KRHO, was finally closed down, though the antennas remained standing for another thirty years.
In 1974, Radio Canada International began a relay from the Deutsche Welle station located at Cyclops on the island of Malta.
In 1977, the clandestine Radio Euzkadi closed down at the end of some thirty years of on air programming.
In 1979 Adventist World Radio took out a series of test broadcasts from Radio Andorra on 6215 kHz.
In 1983, VOA Dixon in California, which had been closed for four years, was re-activated for coverage into Latin America.
In 1988, the new BBC shortwave station in the Seychelles Islands was opened, under the identification "BBC Indian Ocean Relay Station".
In 1991, Adventist World Radio in Costa Rica bought the then silent Radio Impacto, including the transmitter site at Cahuita on the Atlantic Coast.
In 1994, the VOA station at Bethany in Ohio was closed, and the main transmitter building has since been turned into a radio museum.
In 1997, HCJB in Quito Ecuador announced that it would be necessary to close their shortwave facility at Pifo and to rebuild at another location, due to the nearby construction of a new airport.
In 2003, the FEBA Seychelles transmitter facility located at Mahe was closed, and as a replacement they took out relays over leased shortwave facilities.
In 2004, Radio Miami International WRMI in Miami Florida began a satellite program relay from the World Radio Network.
In 2008, World Christian Broadcasting commenced work on a new shortwave station located on the island of Madagascar.  WCB already operates the shortwave station KNLS in Alaska.

And 2008 is where we leave Jerome Berg and his trilogy of remarkable volumes that trace the history of shortwave broadcasting and listening over the past eighty five years.  All three books make fascinating reading, and the illustrations in each form a unique pictorial panorama of the history of shortwave radio broadcasting from the very beginning right up to our modern era of 2008.

These three books, published by McFarland & Company at Box 611, Jefferson North Carolina 28640, are a must for all who are in anyway interested in the lengthy and remarkable history of international radio broadcasting.  I would recommend also that all three volumes ought to be placed in the student libraries of all colleges and universities throughout the world where students are receiving an education in mass media, particularly in the area of radio broadcasting. You can see more about these three milestone volumes at www.mcfarland.com  and their phone number is 800-253-2187.


Passport to World Band Radio 2009

Review by Adrian Peterson, Adventist World Radio, as broadcast on AWR “Wavescan” program Nov. 30, 2008

The new 2009 edition of the remarkable and readable "Passport to World Band Radio" is now available, and it is packed with valuable station information and scheduling that will keep you busy at your radio for a whole year.


This new edition of "Passport to World Band Radio" is their 25th, and all editions have been produced under the editorial expertise of Lawrence Magne; and the company address is Box 300, Penn’s Park, Pennsylvania 18943.  As always, PP2WBR contains the famous Blue Pages with the schedules of all shortwave stations throughout the world.  This detailed listing enables the avid shortwave listener to tune in desired broadcasting stations from all over the world, and also to identify quite quickly any station he happens to hear while scanning the bands.
It is true, that international analog radio broadcasting in the standard shortwave bands is in a diminishing mode.  However, the massive number of entries in the Blue Pages in this new edition of PP2WBR makes it abundantly clear that the era of analog shortwave broadcasting is far from over.  In fact, with approximately 40 entries on each of the 168 pages covering the entire shortwave spectrum, this makes a total of nearly 7,000 station entries in this section.  Ask any Frequency Co-ordinator in any shortwave broadcasting station, or any international radio monitor who is listening to these multitudinous stations, and he will tell you that the shortwave bands are still clogged full with stations.

Other very interesting items of information in this 2009 edition of this annual volume include 140 pages of packed reviews of all types of shortwave radios and associated equipment currently available worldwide; what type of radio to take with you on your international travels; 64 pages of station addresses and information; a double page map showing the location of all shortwave stations throughout the world; and compiled schedules showing station programming hour by hour, and country by country in English.

You will enjoy reading the article on the intertwined radio scene in Colombia by Henrik Klemetz, as well as the many feature items on all sorts of topics of real interest to all international radio monitors, shortwave listeners, and experienced DXers.

Of interest also, are the many color and black & white photos showing radio stations and radio personnel in lots of exotic locations; and you will also see the many pages of highly professional advertising showing the Grundig-Eton range of radio receivers.

You will notice that the roster of contributors to PP2WBR includes well known and experienced personnel from many different countries throughout the world, including for example, Jose Jacob VU2JOS in Hyderabad, India.
Altogether, this is a quality volume that is worthy of annual usage by all people involved in the shortwave realm, and equally worthy for permanent reference for those who have a real interest in radio history.  In fact, if you are listening to this edition of the AWR DX program, "Wavescan", or if you are reading this script in a magazine or on a website, you do have sufficient interest in the international shortwave scene, and you really do need to obtain once again, the current edition of PP2WBR.  You can visit their website at www.passband.com.

                                                                        -----

 

SWL  News


 American DX Report

by Adrian Peterson, Adventist World Radio, as broadcast on AWR “Wavescan” program on Nov. 30, 2008

* USA: Currently, there is a concerted effort on the part of radio afficianados to rescue the high powered "Voice of America" international shortwave station located near Delano in California.  If their efforts are successful, this station will not be demolished, but instead it will be preserved for possible use in the future, as coming political and international events may suggest.  This VOA station near the American Pacific coast was constructed towards the end of World War 2, and over the years it has been modernized and updated as newer equipment has become available.  The coverage area for VOA Delano has been the many countries on the Pacific rim and also Latin America.  You can read about the rescue efforts that have already been implemented by checking their website at www.radionational.org and also by entering VOA Delano into Youtube. 
 
* Canada: The 1 kW shortwave station located near Toronto in Ontario has recently been renovated and re-activated.  With a new transmitter and a new antenna system, this station CFRX can be heard again on its familiar channel 6070 kHz, with a relay from the parent mediumwave station, CFRB on 1010 kHz.  However, monitoring observations at our location in Indianapolis, 550 miles southwest of Toronto, indicate that the new antenna system is apparently oriented more for Canadian coverage rather than omni-directional coverage as it was in years gone by.  The signal in Indiana is quite poor and unreliable, though it can be heard occasionally with a readable signal.

* New Guinea: Adventist World Radio has contributed half of the funds required for establishing an FM station at the Pacific Adventist University in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Although the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has been on the air on multiple occasions from the radio stations throughout Papua New Guinea, this new 1 kW FM station is the first Adventist owned radio station in this country.  The university campus is located at Boroko, on the edge of Port Moresby, and the target date for the initial test broadcasts from this new radio station has been some time during this month of November. 

* India:  Jose Jacob, VU2JOS in Hyderabad, reported on November 16 that AIR Port Blair was noted on 4765 kHz instead of the usual 4760 kHz, thus enabling listeners to tune in AIR Leh which was previously co-channel with Port Blair. 

* Indonesia: The BBC Monitoring Service reports that there are sixty two radio stations on the air on the holiday island of Bali.  Because of this congestion on the radio dial, the licensing authorities state that no channels are available for new radio stations on Bali.

* Namibia: BBC Monitoring also reports that NBC, The Namibia Broadcasting Commission is heavily in debt, to the amount of $250 million.  The management of NBC in Windhoek is appealing to their government for financial aid in order to survive.

* Thailand:  A report from Andy Sennitt via Jerry Berg states that the BBC relay station located in northern Thailand was taken off the air at the end of the first week in November due to local flooding.  Some of the BBC programming was transferred to the Radio Netherlands relay station located on the island of Madagascar.

* Romania: According to Alokesh Gupta in India via Cumbre DX, Romania issued a new postage stamp and also a new coin on November 1 to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of radio broadcasting in their country.

*Australia:  A report in the October issue of the Australian DX News states that HCJB Australia has received approval to construct a new shortwave station on an adjoining property at Kununurra at the top of Western Australia.  It is intended that all of the transmission facilities located on the original property will ultimately be transferred to the adjacent new location.

* Australia: The same issue of ADXN also states that the transmitter facilities of Radio Netherlands at Flevo in Holland are in the process of being dismantled, though it is not known yet as to what will happen to all of this equipment and the transmitter building.

* USA: And now an interesting old item of news as our final item in this edition of American DX Report; and we take you to Chicago Illinois, on the edge of the Great Lakes.  Back three quarters of a century ago, the mediumwave station WLS in Chicago reported that they received a total of 1,051,041 letters from listeners in the year 1934.


Baltic States Tour

 

In the last issue of the NASB Newsletter, Michael Murray of the World DX Club reported on the 2008 European DX Council Conference in Vaasa, Finland.  This month we have his report on the post-conference tour to the Baltic States.

 

Following on from the European DX Council Conference held in Vaasa, Finland in early September, seven participants -- three from the UK (myself, Dave Kenny and Alan Pennington from the British DX Club), two from Japan and two from Finland, including our leader Risto Vahakainu -- took an extra cultural and radio tour of the nearby Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

 

The journey started by taking the train from Vaasa to Helsinki, including a ride on a pendolino tilting train. After arriving in Helsinki we had time to walk through the city centre going from the railway station to the harbour, stopping on the way to look at the Dom Church. The Nordic Jet Line ferry soon arrived to whisk us, in 100 minutes, across the Gulf of Finland to the capital of Estonia, Tallinn.

 

After booking into the St Olav hotel, we took a short walk into the town hall square for the first part of our cultural visit. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast we did a longer walking tour of Tallinn old town including stopping at the richly decorated Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the 19th century during the Russian Tsar period, which lasted from 1710 to 1917. The walk then continued through the walls of the old town, finally arriving at the unimpressive radio house, which houses the domestic radio service. Around midday, we went and caught the Eurolines luxury express coach for the four- hour journey to Riga, the capital of Latvia. After arriving in Riga we walked to the Garden Palace, our hotel for the night. In the evening most of our group went for a walk in the old town, before we all joined up for a leisurely collective meal in a local restaurant.

 

After breakfast, we took a taxi to explore the city and find the site of the Ulbroka transmitter station. The tour started with a trip, through heavy morning traffic, out of the city to view the local television transmitter, which stands on an island in the middle of the River Daugava. Then it was on to find the Ulbroka transmitter station, which was at the end of a long lane, and was used during the Russian occupation. Following that we continued our drive around the city looking for a certain building. Eventually we stopped outside a courtyard and looked up at the roof of building to our left, and saw the letters VEF. This is what we were looking for -- the buildings in which the VEF radios were built. But could we find what we really wanted to see? Then in a building in the far corner of the courtyard, we found the canteen, which contained what we were looking for -- a museum of the radios made in those buildings. At the end of the tour our driver dropped us in the centre of the city, close to the Freedom Monument, which was erected in 1935 as a symbol of Latvia’s freedom and independence. We then walked back through the old part of the city to our hotel, which overlooked the Town Hall Square and the Blackheads’ House. In the same square is the Occupation Museum of Latvia, which is dedicated to the Nazi and Russian occupation of the country.

 

In the early afternoon, we were once again on our travels, this time from the hotel to the bus station for our 310 km trip to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Just outside the city of Kaunas, which is some 60 miles north of the capital, we were met by Sigitas Zilionis and Rimantas Pleykus who took us to see the Sitkunai transmitter site. Here we saw the transmitters before walking around the antenna farm. On our way from the transmitter site to our hotel in Vilnuis, Sigitas and Rimantas took us to a restaurant for a local Lithuanian type meal. The only problem of our tour happened in Vilnuis, as the hotel had no record of our booking, despite an e-mail confirmation. Fortunately they were able to transfer us to a sister hotel. The morning dawned with leaden skies and a lot of rain, so this made us change our plans for the day. Throughout the day, we were all leaving for various parts of the world, so the plan was for a walk through the old town, and then pay a visit to see the television tower. Due to the poor weather, it was decided that we would visit the 326.5 metre high television tower first. Here we saw the various FM transmitters that use the tower, including the one broadcasting the BBC World Service and the pictures recalling the Soviet attack on the tower in 1991. After all this we retired to the restaurant for a coffee, from where we could see in the haze the local 612 kHz AM antenna. At night the restaurant revolves, but just for us it was set in motion so while we drank coffee, we had a panoramic view of the city below. Following the visit to the television tower, it was time for me to return to the United Kingdom.

 

While I was going to the airport, the others travelled back to the centre of the city for a walk around the old part, before they all found their way to the airport at various times in the afternoon. Alan and Dave spent an extra day in Vilnius before returning to the UK.

 

At the end of three tiring days, it was time to reflect on what we had seen in a very short space of time and view the various photographs I had taken, to bring back some very nice memories.

 

                                                            -----

 

Invitation to EDXC Conference 2009, Dublin, Ireland

from Tibor Szilagyi, Secretary General, European DX Council

 

 

Dear DX-friends and shortwave listeners all over the world:  The EDXC (European DX Council, the umbrella organisation of shortwave clubs and DX-clubs in Europe) cordially invites you all to the next EDXC Conference, August 28-30, 2009, in Dublin, Ireland. We kindly invite you to make your hotel reservations now.  Venue of the Conference: Grand Canal Hotel, Grand Canal Street, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland. Phone : + 353 1 646 1000. Fax: + 353 1 646 1001.

 

 

Mail: reservations@grandcanalhotel.com Home-page: www.grandcanalhotel.com Please observe: This is a 3-star hotel. Prices: Single-room EUR 115,-- /room and night, Double-room EUR 115,--/room and night. If sharing a double-room you only pay EUR 57,50 per person. This hotel accepts the following credit cards: Visa, Master Card, American Express and Diners Club. On your reservation request, first you write the special password for this reservation: EDXC CONFERENCE 2009.  Then you write your family name, your given name, your arrival date at the hotel, your departure date from the hotel. The hotel needs your credit card number at the time of reservation to be able to confirm your room.

 

Edward Dunne of the Irish DX Club and Tibor Szilagyi of the EDXC are working on the programme of the Conference. What we know now: There will be interesting lectures about shortwave radio, a sightseeing tour in Dublin by bus with English speaking guide and a visit to  Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth, Dublin North. The traditional banquet dinner will take place at our conference hotel on Saturday evening, August 29.

 

The conference fee is payable directly to Tibor Szilagyi upon arrival.  The Conference Fee: EUR 115,-- per person includes: use of the conference room, relevant papers like conference covers, name tags, lunch on Saturday, sightseeing tour in Dublin, visit to the Museum of Vintage Radio and the banquet dinner.  What you consume as drinks during the banquet dinner, you will pay extra to the hotel staff.

 

For further information you may contact: Tibor Szilagyi, Sweden. Phone: +46 8 500 264 83.

E -- Mail: tiszi2035@yahoo.com and Edward Dunne, Ireland: E--Mail : edunne@iol.ie

 edxc2009@live.ie

 

 

                                                            -----

 

New site in English about 2009 Mexican National DX Meeting

 

A new website has come online in English with complete information about the 15th National Meeting of Mexican DXers and Shortwave Listeners, to be held in Cuernavaca July 31-Aug. 2, 2009.                   

 

The address is:  http://www.gratisweb.com/dxmexico/english.htm

 

Below are some excerpts from the website:

 

 

15th National and International Meeting of DXers and Shortwave Listeners

Cuernavaca 2009 - July 31-August 2, 2009

 

What is this meeting?

This is the annual get-together for all radio enthusiasts:  DXers, radio experimenters, shortwave listeners, associations, groups, clubs and radio listeners in general; from Mexico and any part of the world, as well s representatives of international and local radio stations.  But besides this, we are celebrating 15 years of meetings as DXers and radio clubs in Mexico.

 

Historical information:

In the year 1995 the First National Meeting of DX Clubs formally took place in Mexico.  This came about at the urging of Professor Ivan Lopez Alegria, who organized with great satisfaction the first event in the city of Tepic, Nayarit State, and with it the beginning of this historic period that has brought us with the 2009 Edition a total of 15 years of meetings of enthusiasts who listen to the world and tune in the world by means of the Hertzian waves, practicing world band radio listening and practicing the exciting hobby/science that is Dxing.

Who are the organizers? For this 2009 edition, the hosts and organizers are the local DXers of the Morelos DX Club and members of the Mexico DX Club, a Yahoo group, friends, acquaintances and others who love and have a passion for radio!!!

Who is it for? Anyone who is a radio enthusiast; not only DXers, but also ordinary radio listeners, students, telecommunications workers, engineers,  students, radio announcers and producers, technicians, people with or without knowledge of the subject.  All are welcome.

 

What are the objectives? 

Get people together with a common denominator:  Radio listening and DXing. 

Promote radio listening on shortwave (SW), which is unknown by many people in our country, and which is  vast source of information about the world.  As a consequence, promote the hobby of DXing, an educational, cultural and instructive "science hobby." Get stations closer to their listeners, establishing real and personal communication between each:  appreciating the radio listener and his suggestions in order to improve the service.  Exchange information between participants and DXers, and promote friendship and comradery.  Create a public forum.

Analyze the contemporary phenomena of telecommunciations, not only radio and its future; Internet, satellite, TV, VHF, UHF, AM, FM, LW, shortwave, etc., etc.

DXing, DXing and more Dxing.

Location:

The city of Cuernavaca is located some 85 kilometers south of the capital of Mexico, Mexico City.  It has an altitude of 150 meters above sea level.  As you descend on the highway from Mexico City, you can observe how big the valley is where this “City of Eternal Spring” is located.  Its slogan comes from the very nice climate which it has most of the year.

 

Reasons to visit Cuernavaca and all of the State of Morelos

(So you can enjoy this beautiful region using the DX Meeting as a pretext)

 

Historical attractions.-

Here in Curnavaca, there are important historical attractions such as museums, monuments, gardens, plazas and historical houses.  One of the obligatory visits is to the Museo Cuauhnahuac or the Palace of Cortes.  But there are other must-see museums and archeological sites in the rest of the state, like Xochimilco, designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site; the ex-convents in towns like Tepoztlan and Tlayacapan; and the ex-haciendas which evoke moments of the revolutionary struggle; cathedrals and churches that define religious architecture of other periods.  Be sure to see places like the cities of Jiutepec, Temixco, Cuautla, and towns like Xochitepec, Zapata and Jojutla.

 

Tourist and ecological attractions.-

This is a perfect region for eco-tourism, with a favorable climate and an abundance of cold- and hot-water natural springs, without mentioning the abundance of campgrounds and beaches, and the largest water park in all of Latin America.  There are also large greenhouses for plants and ornate flowers such as the poinsettia and  roses.  As for lodging and gastronomy, you can find options for all tastes and pocketbooks.

 

For these reasons and more, Morelos is a magical part of our Mexican Republic, worthy of your consideration!  And Cuernavaca is the appropriate site for our 15th National and International Meeting of DXers and Shortwave Radio Listeners!

 

 

 

How to get here?

From Mexico City:

 

By air,

a) Arriving directly from the Mexico City International Airport.  For the benefit of our colleagues and visitors on the national and international levels, there are direct first class bus links directly from the Mexico City International Airport to the city of Cuernavaca.

More information at the web page:  http://www.pullman.com.mx

 

b) Arriving at the local airport, the Cuernavaca Airport in the capital city of the State of Morelos.  It is classified as a Class VI national airport and it’s located only 16 kilometers from the city.

 

More information at:

http://cuernavaca.asa.gob.mx/wb/webasa/cuernavaca_aeropuertos

 

Where to stay?

Cuernavaca, being an excellent tourist destination, has an infinity of lodging possibilities for all tastes and budgets, from the most luxurious suite to a rustic room in a guest house (“casa de huespedes”).

 

 

NASB  Members:            

 

Adventist World Radio         

Assemblies of Yahweh

EWTN Global Catholic Radio WEWN

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

World Christian Broadcasting

World Wide Christian Radio

 

NASB Associate Members:

Comet North America

Continental Electronics Corporation

Galcom International

George Jacobs & Associates

Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers

HCJB World Radio                           

IBB    

Kintronic Labs, Inc.

Richardson Electronics

TCI International, Inc.

TDF

TDP

Thomson  Inc.                        

VT  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