NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
NASB Sponsors HFCC/ASBU B09 Conference in Punta Cana
The High Frequency Coordination Conference (HFCC), held in conjunction with the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), took place at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort in Punta Cana, on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, from August 17 to 22. Just over 100 delegates attended from nearly 40 countries, plus about 28 family members and about a dozen Dominican broadcasters from local and national radio stations. It was hoped that the participation would be about 20 percent more, but the world economic crisis has greatly affected many shortwave station budgets, so some stations were unable to send representatives, and others were forced to send fewer representatives than they normally send. Nevertheless, the overall turnout was considered a success given the current economic conditions. There were large delegations from China, Russia, Iran, the FCC and the IBB in the United States, and VT Communications from the UK, among others.
The NASB was the organizer and main sponsor of the conference, with the government regulatory entity Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL) as co-sponsor. NASB associate members International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and Continental Electronics sponsored the conference's coffee breaks during the week. Thomson Radio Broadcast sponsored the closing reception, and VT Communications provided the conference name tags. Both Thomson and VT Communications are also NASB associate members.
NASB President Jeff White was the conference chairman. He was assisted by a staff including his wife Thais (NASB Assistant Secretary-Treasurer), Johanna Silva (who also worked on our NASB HFCC Conference Committee in Mexico City in 2005), Adriana Brito (who is from Venezuela but is the granddaughter of famous Dominican baritone singer Eduardo Brito, for whom the National Theater is named in Santo Domingo), Pedro Estrella of Radio Discovery in Santo Domingo, and WRMI studio operator Javier Garcia from Miami. The NASB sent WRMI's chief engineer José Raul Mena from Miami to Punta Cana for nearly a week before the conference began in order to help set up the Internet connections and other technical arrangements for the meeting together with the HFCC's technical guru Vladislav Cip, who manages all of the data processing for the conference, producing the collision lists, etc. After most of the delegates end their coordination work each day at around 5:00 pm, you can still find Vladislav working in his data processing cubicle until nearly midnight, or sometimes even later.
Dominican broadcaster Rodolfo Espinal – who originally suggested having an HFCC
in Punta Cana – assisted the NASB conference committee and worked as a liaison
between the NASB and INDOTEL, the Dominican Foreign Ministry and the Ministry
of Tourism. NASB Board members Brady Murray and Glen Tapley; George Ross of
member station KTWR in Guam; Jerry Plummer of member station WWCR in Nashville;
and Terry Borders of member station WEWN were also present and were part of the
FCC delegation headed by Tom Lucey. Other members of the U.S. delegation
included Dave Hultsman of Continental Electronics; John White of Thomson Radio
Broadcast; and Russ Erickson and Duane Williams of the IBB, as well as Arto
Mujunen of the IBB's Helsinki office.
The speakers at the opening session of the HFCC/ASBU Conference included Jeff White, President of the NASB; Rodolfo Espinal, who delivered a message from the President of INDOTEL; Dr. Virgilio Cedano, the Dominican Republic's Vice-Minister of Tourism in charge of the Eastern Region, which includes Punta Cana and is the most rapidly-growing tourist area in the country; and HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip. (See the texts of the opening remarks by Espinal and Cip elsewhere in this issue of the NASB Newsletter.)
conference delegates spent five days coordinating their frequency schedules for
the B09 season, which begins in October of this year and goes until March of
2010. The usual negotiations took place between the various country
delegations to try to reduce interference from one station to another.
There was some discussion about the future of shortwave on a worldwide scale. James Serpell of Christian Vision announced that CVI has decided to cease operations at its Julich, Germany transmitter site at the end of the A09 season. He cited as reasons for the closure financial considerations and "the changing patterns of how people are using media." HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip noted that although many large international broadcasters have reduced or eliminated their shortwave broadcasts due to budget cuts and in favor of new media such as the Internet, the shortwave bands are still crowded, and there is no danger of shortwave broadcasts disappearing in the near future. So worldwide frequency coordination is still very much needed.
At the Plenary Session on Friday morning, it was announced that the deadline for the collections of B09 season operation data is October 5, and that the tentative location for the A10 HFCC/ASBU conference is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the beginning of February 2010. Jakarta, Indonesia was the other possibility for the B10 conference, but some people were concerned about safety in the wake of the recent bombings of two tourist hotels in Jakarta. So far, there are no volunteers to host the B10 Conference in August of next year.
Also at the Plenary, the Group of Experts mentioned that a layman's guide to the new HFCC collision lists would be available on the HFCC website within the coming weeks. There was some discussion about the advisability of including schedule information from non-members in the HFCC/ASBU frequency lists. Some of these schedules include a lot of “wood” (i.e. listings for transmissions that are not actually on the air), and there was concern that these stations would be getting a “free ride” from the HFCC since they would be getting their schedules included in the coordinated lists, but they are not paying membership fees to the HFCC. As non-members, they would not take part in the coordination conferences, so there would be no way to negotiate with them at the conferences regarding any collisions that they might be causing or involved in. In effect, they would be notifying everyone else that they plan to use certain frequencies at certain times, and it would be up to the HFCC/ASBU members to avoid these frequencies at these times, which is not the spirit of frequency coordination, This situation will continue to be discussed, but for the moment it was decided that a text list of non-members' schedule requirements would be distributed to members during the conferences.
The Group of Experts also mentioned that there is a new HFCC language code list, and that members should be encouraged to include language information and the design frequency of their antennas in their requirements. They also discussed developing a list of specific Internet requirements for future conferences, in view of certain limitations on the hotel Internet systems at this and other previous conferences.
Continuing with items discussed at the Plenary, it was reported that an audit of the HFCC budget by Bernd Friedewald showed that all but one member had paid their membership fees, and the financial report was approved by the membership. One new application had been received for associate membership in the HFCC by the BBC. Oldrich Cip noted that the BBC had been among the original members of the HFCC in the early 1990's, but it had been basically replaced in more recent years by VT Communications, which took over the former BBC shortwave transmitter sites. Now the HFCC rules permit associate members, and it seemed quite appropriate that the BBC should become an associate member.
A half-day forum about DRM -- Digital Radio Mondiale -- took place on the afternoon of August 21 , and many Dominican national broadcasters participated in that event. There were presentations by DRM Consortium board members Horst Scholz from Deutsche Welle and Ludo Maes of TDP, and from DRM Commercial Committee Chairman Michel Penneroux from TDF in France (“DRM – A Strong Reference for Digital Radio in the Dominican Republic”). Speakers also included Geoff Spells of VT Communications (“An overview of the International Technical and Regulatory Situation”) and Antonio Reyes of Christian Vision in Santiago, Chile (“Experiencia de CVC Chile Utilizando el Formato DRM en sus Transmisiones de Onda Corta”). Special DRM transmissions were directed to Punta Cana for the event from Radio Netherlands in Bonaire, CVC in Chile, TDF in French Guiana and Radio Canada in Sackville, New Brunswick. The new Uniwave consumer DRM receiver was demonstrated, and all of these special transmissions were picked up, along with a DRM broadcast from Vatican Radio as well. Well-known Dominican broadcaster Teo Veras attended the forum, and he expressed the hope that at least one large Dominican broadcasting organization might initiate a shortwave service in the foreseeable future. Anyone who would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentations by Michel Penneroux, Geoff Spells and Antonio Reyes at the DRM workshop should send an e-mail to Jeff White at email@example.com, and we will be glad to send them to you.
A new tropical band shortwave station was inaugurated during the HFCC-ASBU Conference in Punta Cana. Radio Discovery broadcast on 4730 kHz during the event. No confirmed reports were received from outside the Dominican Republic, but the station's antenna situation was very limited by the physical restraints of the hotel from which the broadcasts emanated. Radio Discovery will resume transmissions in the near future from its permanent location in Santo Domingo on the frequency of 4780 kHz, which has been authorized by the Dominican Telecommunications Institute INDOTEL. It had been hoped to conduct tests in the WinDRM digital transmission mode from Radio Discovery in Punta Cana, but these were not done due to the antenna limitations. However, Pedro Estrella of Radio Discovery hopes to do the WinDRM tests after the station is re-constructed in Santo Domingo and operating on 4780 kHz.
Conference participants also had time to enjoy a bit of the local atmosphere in Punta Cana, the most popular tourist area of the Dominican Republic. The conference hotel has one of the longest free-form swimming pools in the Caribbean, as well as an attractive beach. There were optional tours on Wednesday to Cap Cana, currently the largest residential and tourism development in the Caribbean; and Thursday to Punta Cana Resort, which was the first tourism development in the Punta Cana area in the 1970's and owner of the Punta Cana Intenational Airport – the world's first privately-owned international airport. At the Punta Cana Resort, the tour passed by the homes of celebrities such as Oscar de la Renta and Julio Iglesias. At Cap Cana, the group was met personally by Ellis Perez, Cap Cana's Vice President for Communications and Public Relations, who was formerly the Dominican Republic's Minister of Tourism and for many years a broadcaster at Radio Universal, one of the country's major radio stations.
On Saturday, August 22, there was an optional bus tour to the Dominican capital city of Santo Domingo. About half of the conference delegates participated. The tour visited the old colonial zone of Santo Domingo where the oldest cathedral in the New World is located, the Columbus Lighthouse where the remains of Christopher Columbus are believed to lie, and it included lunch in a well-known restaurant that's inside a natural cave. The HFCC/ASBU B09 Conference officially ended on Saturday evening back at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort with a reception and group dinner sponsored by Thomson Radio Broadcast. The open-air reception was held at the edge of the beach, and it included a Latin trio playing live music. The dinner was held in the Bordeaux restaurant with a second-floor view of the beach at night, and the menu included cream of corn soup, black angus tenderloin and a chocolate dessert with vanilla ice cream.
What is an HFCC/ASBU Conference?
Twice each year, the world's major shortwave radio stations and governmental regulatory bodies gather at a different place in the world each time for what's called the High Frequency Coordination Conference, or HFCC. The HFCC, together with the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), organizes this conference so that frequency planners, engineers and management from shortwave stations around the world can plan their transmission and frequency schedules for the following half-year. They all share their schedule plans in a master database, and the conference technical personnel produce lists of potential “collisions” where there is more than one station on the same frequency at the same time to the same geographical target area. The various delegations can then negotiate changes to their schedules in order to eliminate any interference before it actually begins. These HFCC conferences have been taking place for nearly 20 years now, since the end of the Cold War. Participants include Russia, China, the U.S., most all of Europe, many Asian stations and some from Africa and Latin America.
The HFCC Conference lasts a week, from Monday to Friday. Each day a new set of “collision lists” is produced, and the conflicts are worked out. By the end of the week, the vast majority of potential interference for the coming frequency season is eliminated.
Planning an HFCC Conference takes a lot of work. The sponsors of each conference are often large organizations like Radio Canada International, Deutsche Telekom, VT Communications (which operates the transmitter sites of the BBC World Service) and China Radio International, to mention a few. The conference which just took place in the Dominican Republic from August 17-22 was hosted by the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB) of the United States.
Our work over the past year has involved choosing a hotel with adequate facilities for this group of nearly 150 delegates from nearly 40 countries, negotiating the hotel contract, planning the conference schedule, dinners, receptions, sightseeing tours, helping delegates arrange flight schedules and obtain visas from the Dominican Foreign Ministry when needed. We had to arrange special entry permits for the delegations from Iran and China, for example.
What this project has shown us is that, without a doubt, shortwave broadcasting continues to be an important communications medium around the globe. New technologies like the Internet, iPods and so on have helped shortwave stations expand their contact with listeners, but they have in no way replaced shortwave radio as the primary means of direct communication with listeners around the world. The shortwave bands are still full of transmissions, and it requires a tremendous amount of frequency coordination among stations to prevent interference and guarantee a good signal. We were proud to be a part of that effort in Punta Cana this August, and the results will be seen – or heard – around the world during the coming winter frequency season from October 2009 to March of 2010.
Opening Remarks by Rodolfo Espinal on behalf of the Dominican government
Dear Fellow Broadcasters, good morning.
My name is Rodolfo Espinal, although better known in the shortwave world of the past as Rudy Espinal.
On behalf of the Dominican Government, and especially on behalf of Minister José Rafael Vargas, President of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute, which is the government telecom regulatory body in the Dominican Republic, I would like to welcome all delegates from all the different countries represented here today, with special thanks to my longtime friend and fellow broadcaster Jeff White and the HFCC/ASBU Board for choosing our country for this meeting.
Although shortwave is not a very well known subject in my country -- some associate it with the ham radio operation -- we have two outstanding periods in history in which shortwave broadcasting played an important role in communicating the existence of this still happy paradisiacal Caribbean island to the rest of the world.
The first one was the late Dictator Rafael Trujillo’s propagandistic attempt to promote the wellbeing of this country and its people under its dictatorial regime and contradict the negative news and opinions made public by adverse governments and the political opposition in exile.
It was through the multiple band and frequency emissions of “La Voz Dominicana” (The Voice of the Dominican Republic) and later “Radio Caribe” that I had my first encounter and experience with shortwave, at the age of 14, in the late 1950’s. My father being a career diplomat, as all other Dominican diplomats, kept himself up-to-date with what was going on politically in the country through the international broadcasts of the government stations, and I kept myself up-to-date with the music and culture of a country of which I was a citizen, but which I had not yet lived in (I was born and practically raised in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles).
The second one -- and here I (and my long time friend and broadcaster, Teo Veras, who is joining us on Friday) had a lot to do with its international incidence -- was “Radio Clarín International,” which became the first private SW Broadcaster with a special SW programming, and through which I produced the 1978 NASWA and ASWLC Broadcaster of the Year award-winning shortwave program, “This is Santo Domingo.”
For many years we have been using SW broadcasting, but not as specially programmed broadcasting stations, but merely as re-transmitters of the regular programming of those local stations. Famous for their international reach, with barely not more than 1 KW Tropical Band Transmitters: “HIZ, La Voz del Trópico, Radio Universal, Radio Mil”, and since the late part of the 1970’s, Radio Clarín. Some of these stations are still using their SW frequencies as they used to, some have dropped it for economical reasons, and some still maintain their unused Tropical Band frequencies. Radio Clarin’s 50 KW transmitter is still on the air, but broadcasting from Florida as Radio Miami International.
During this meeting we will have a DRM showcase, and we have made special arrangements to have regular local broadcasters and SW frequency holders to attend this showcase, so as to re-encourage the use of the modern, far reaching, and economical DRM digital SW transmitters. If this objective has a positive result, we might, in a very short time, have new SW broadcasting stations pop up in this country. One of them is soon to make history as the first Tropical Band broadcaster using the DRM digital technology, which this week is broadcasting live from Punta Cana, which is my good friend Pedro Estrella’s “Radio Descubrimiento” or Radio Discovery, godfathered by Jeff, and named after the fact that the Dominican Republic is the place where the first European settlement in the New World was erected, and from where the Conquistadores departed to discover the rest of America, including the U.S. through Florida.
Don’t be too surprised, in the very near future, to hear “This is Santo Domingo” on Radio Discovery, or the “This is Santo Domingo” Shortwave Station.
I’m proud of my past, and looking forward to be part of the Dominican shortwave future that is beginning right this moment, and for which we have to thank all of you for making this happening.
Again, a very warm welcome to the Dominican Republic.
B09 Conference Opening Remarks by Oldrich Cip
It is my pleasure to address our second shortwave co-ordination conference this year with a couple of opening remarks. First of all let me thank Mr. Jeff White, President NASB, and Mr. Rodolfo Espinal, representing INDOTEL - Dominican Telecomunications Institute and governmental regulatory agency for inviting members of the HFCC/ASBU association to this very exotic and relaxing conference venue here in the Dominican Republic.
The future of international broadcasting has probably been one of the very frequent talking points in our community in the recent past. This is quite natural since we work together with the aim of making listening more reliable and interference free and most of us enjoy doing it. But I believe that the fear of an impending demise of short waves is a bit premature and not quite rational.
We have already entered the multi-channel era and the delivery of the media content has become more varied or even fragmented. In other words the new platforms, and information technologies that are emerging for the programme delivery (that was based exclusively on wireless radio) are indeed strong alternative competitors to shortwave transmissions. But the traditional TV and radio for domestic listeners and viewers face an equally strong or even stronger competition.
We are probably luckier in that shortwave - as well as other transmissions that propagate via reflections from the ionosphere - have a long-distance outreach. In fact the whole range of the radio spectrum that has got this property - and this includes medium and long waves - is large, and it is quite unrealistic to expect that all these bands are going to be abandoned and allocated to other services - just because the sound quality of AM transmissions that are used there is lower than that of the new technologies.
Sometimes I am even more worried over the future of international broadcasting as a whole. The “War of the Words” of the Cold War era is long gone, but quite strangely the mandate of international broadcasting has not been properly redefined.
United Nations, Unesco and especially the ITU are all trying to implement a growing number of Information and Communication Technologies (or ICTs) for the introduction of so called Information Society. Global frequency plans that we co-ordinate represent a vital infrastructure for the technology of international broadcasting. The technology is capable of delivering rich media content over long distances. This could be very important for the dialogue among cultures and for the development of regional and international co-operation - in keeping with the aims and plans of the Information Society. But so far the potential of international broadcasting has been completely left out from the Information Society projects.
Yet there is a good chance that international broadcasting will join the family of the new ICTs that are based on digital technologies. All existing regional segments of global shortwave co-ordination, i.e. HFCC, Arab States Broadcasting Union as well as Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, and also our present host NASB, are associate members of the DRM consortium. We co-ordinate DRM transmissions in seasonal databases, and digitization of shortwave radio is always on the agenda of our conferences.
We had substantive discussions on the potential benefits of DRM for the vast territory of the Russian Federation for example with the management of GRFC telecommunication authority during the HFCC/ASBU Moscow conference only a year ago. We were very much encouraged to receive a letter from the GRFC colleagues earlier this year in that the DRM standard was indeed approved for broadcasting in Russia in the spectrum below 30 MHz.
Much nearer to this conference venue a public consultation is held at the moment for the best digital solution for AM broadcasting in the Federative Republic of Brazil. DRM has been chosen as an important contender and DRM experts take part in this evaluation with local authorities there. In fact during our own Punta Cana Conference this week a DRM seminar will be organised for broadcasters and telecommunication representatives in the Dominican Republic. More information on this will follow from Jeff White and other colleagues.
My brief opening notes would not be complete without welcoming to our conference our colleague and friend Mr Pham Hai Head, Broadcasting Services Division of the Radio Bureau of the ITU. The ITU is an important stakeholder of shortwave co-ordination, and during our last consultations with the ITU in Kuala Lumpur last year - together with our regional partners in ABU and ASBU - we agreed to try getting on board a few remaining users of the spectrum in Latin America and Africa.
I am happy to report that as a result of our joint effort a contact has been established with the director of RAE or Radiodifusion Argentina al Exterior. RAE have been traditional shortwave broadcasters for many years. Mr Luis Maria Barassi, Director of RAE has sent greetings both to the HFCC/ASBU participants and to the ITU, as well as to the conference organisers along with RAE frequency requirements for the incoming season. We have already agreed with the ITU to carry on with the effort to collect shortwave schedule data from stations that are active in external broadcasting but not present yet in our seasonal databases.
Turning back to the conference again I would like to express my admiration for Jeff White, Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee. Almost single-handed and with a very small team he worked as the main organiser, equipment buyer, visa consultant and tour operator – on a conference site very much removed from his home location. Many thanks on behalf of all of us.
Message Sent from Luis Maria Barassi of Radiodifusion Argentina al Exterior (RAE) to the HFCC/ASBU B09 Conference
With great satisfaction, I send my best wishes to everyone who is participating in the High Frequency Coordination Conference organized in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic beginning August 17. I would also like to congratulate the organizers of this meeting which is recognized by the International Telecommunication Union -- that is, the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters and the Dominican Telecommunications Institute INDOTEL.
I realize the great importance of this type of event, and I am very sorry that my country is not in attendance. But I assure you that the international shortwave community has a great friend in RAE, Radiodifusion Argentina al Exterior. And I am very pleased to provide the data required for this worldwide radio coordination effort.
I must say that the Republic of Argentina is at a crucial moment in deciding the future of this particular medium of human intercommunication, And I am counting on a recent change in the leadership of Radio Nacional in order to boost the presence of RAE, improving the service's technical conditions to the level of the earth's major nations.
Finally, I want to express my sincere wishes for the success of this important international meeting. I send to each and every participant in the HFCC/ASBU Conference in the Dominican Republic friendly greetings from the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Keeping in touch during HFCC with Inter>act
As one of the sponsors of the HFCC conference in Punta Cana, VT Group demonstrated its mobile SMS product offering, “Inter>act” to conference delegates. Inter>act provides a cost effective and efficient way of delivering messages globally and provides broadcasters with the ability to engage and interact with their audiences.
The penetration of mobile cell phones is increasing rapidly in countries around the world. The use of SMS messaging to complement your existing radio broadcasts and to communicate on a one-to-one basis with your audience is a powerful broadcast tool. Inter>act offers many features and benefits:
Throughout the conference, NASB used VT’s Inter>act mobile SMS platform to send out conference-related message alerts to participants' mobile cell phones. The full service will be available to HFCC members after the conference to trial. If you would like to find out more about Inter>act, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tentative Plans Announced for 2010 NASB Annual Meeting in Hamilton, Ontario
NASB associate member Galcom International cordially invites you May 20-21, 2010 to the NASB-DRMUSA Annual Meetings in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. The tentative agenda for the meetings is as follows:
Thursday, May 20, 2010
8:30 am - “100 Huntley Street” -- Taping of this syndicated national television show at Crossroads Media
10:30 am - Crossroads Facility Tour
11:00 am - Tour of Galcom International's facility where fix-tuned receivers are manufactured
12:00 pm - Barbecue Lunch at Galcom
1:00 pm - DRM USA Meeting begins at Mohawk College in Hamilton
2:30 pm - Coffee Break
4:00 pm - DRM USA Meeting ends
4:30 pm - Bus Tour & Dinner, Niagara Falls
Friday, May 21, 2010
9:00 am - NASB Annual Meeting begins – Speakers will include representatives from Canadian shortwave stations and shortwave clubs
10:30 am - Coffee Break
12:00 pm - Lunch (at Mohawk College)
1:00 pm - NASB Business Meeting
3:00 pm - Coffee Break
5:00 pm - Meeting ends
NASB/DRM-USA 2010 Annual Meeting Sponsorship Opportunities
Thursday, May 20 - Mid Afternoon Coffee Break at Mohawk College meeting room – Can $300.00 (approx. US $280.00) - with freshly brewed Colombian coffee and tea
Thursday, May 20 - Dinner - Can$2000.00 (approx. US$1850.00) - During the bus tour to Niagara Falls on Thursday evening, there will be a dinner at a restaurant in Niagara Falls called the Old Stone Mill. The tentative menu is: Bread Service; 1st course: Mixed Green Salad with House Dressing; Main course - choice of: Dry Aged Angus Prime Rib of Beef au jus with Yorkshire Pudding, Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables, or Angel Hair Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Arugula in Garlic & Olive Oil, or Eggplant Parmesan; Dessert course - choice of: New York Style Cheesecake or Lemon Craze or Apple Blossom; Coffee, Tea.
Friday, May 21 - Mid Morning Coffee Break at Mohawk College meeting room - Can$300.00 (approx. US$280.00) - with freshly brewed Colombian coffee and tea
Friday, May 21 - Lunch catered at Mohawk College meeting room - Can$800.00 (approx. US$745.00) - various menu options
Friday, May 21 - Mid Afternoon Coffee Break at Mohawk College meeting room - Can$300.00 (approx. US$280.00) - with freshly brewed Colombian coffee and tea
General Sponsorship - Sponsorship of meeting room at Mohawk College - Can $800.00 (approx. US$745.00) - for use of meeting room, audiovisual facilities and wireless Internet service for both days
If you have any questions about the 2010 NASB-DRM USA Annual Meetings, or would like to sponsor an event at the meetings, contact Jeff White at email@example.com.
Reports from the 2009 EDXC Conference in Dublin, Ireland
Anker Peterson, Auditor of the European DX Council, writes the following about the EDXC's 2009 Conference in the September 4 issue of the Danish Shortwave Club International's DX-Window:
“The European DX Council annual conference in Dublin, Ireland, was held during the last weekend of August. The agenda was very comprehensive. A total of 48 persons participated, at least in parts of it, and they were very satisfied with the Conference. It was very well organized by EDXC Secretary Tibor Szilagyi and Edward Dunne from Dublin. From the Danish Shortwave Club International (DSWCI) Board, Kaj Bredahl Jorgensen, his wife Else, and I also took part in this event where we met 11 DSWCI members from five other countries. It was a great event and we enjoyed meeting so many good DX friends. A longer report will appear later on the EDXC website (www.edxc.org). After the Conference we were invited to visit the beautiful home of our longtime Irish member Patrick Cody and his wife Mary in Coole at the big lake Lough Derg in the very green western Ireland. That was a very nice experience!”
The NASB is an associate member of the EDXC, and our own delegate to the EDXC Conference was NASB Vice President Mike Adams . Following is his report:
EDXC was good fun, as usual. The following was the schedule:
Venue of the Conference: Grand Canal Hotel, Grand Canal Street, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Friday, August 28, at the Conference Hotel :
12:00 Noon: Registration.
19:00: Informal Gathering in the bar / restaurant.
Saturday, August 29, at the Conference Hotel :
09:00: Welcome by The Lord Mayor of Dublin
09:20: The Official Opening of the EDXC Conference -- Tibor Szilagyi, EDXC and Edward Dunne, Irish DX Club.
10:00: Mike Adams (NASB/FEBC): "Short Wave Disaster Radio and Studio--in--a--Suitcase "
11:05: Simon Maher: "New Broadcasting Tecnologies, DAB, DRM, Networking of Content, Carriage via DTT."
11:35: Jonathan Murphy: "Broadcasting to the World : The Role of the Media in the Baltic States during their struggle for independence from the USSR.”
12 :05: Andrew Janitschek: "The Current Position of Radio Free Asia."
12:30: Lunch at the Hotel.
13:30: Sightseeing by bus (English Speaking Guide ), 2 hours. After that we go by the same bus to the Radio Vintage Museum. Back to the Conference Hotel with the same bus.
19:30: Banquet Dinner at the Hotel.
Sunday, August 30, at the Conference Hotel :
09:30: Current DX Club activity in Europe and the World, Risto Vähäkainu, Finnish DX Association
10:00: EDXC Club Meeting, all the clubs present in the meeting join this discussion conducted by Tibor Szilagyi, EDXC.
11:00: FM -- Summer 2009, Jukka Kotovirta Finnish DX Association.
11:30: IBB News -- Arto Mujunen, IBB / FDXA.
11:45: Closure of the Conference : Tibor Szilagyi, EDXC and Edward Dunne, Irish DX Club.
I took my copy of the NASB display board and set it up at the "giveaway" table. This small light board still creates a great visual impact and was money well spent by NASB I believe. I had a good selection of things to give away. We had two types of NASB QSL cards, QSL cards from WRMI, schedules from TWR Europe and two different QSL cards from AWR and AWR calenders. Adrian Peterson also sent two magazines that feature his story about QSL cards and announcing the AWR DX listeners contest. Most all of this material was picked up by the conference participants, and I brought the rest home with me.
Mike's Presentation about Disaster Response via SW radio:
This talk was very well received and created a lot of discussions. I emphasized the value of shortwave in covering large areas (all of Northern India last Summer) and that the shortwave transmission site is normally outside the disaster area so it is not likely to be affected by the local natural disaster. [In a side note, it looks like FEBC will be cooperating with the ADRA, the disaster arm of Adventist World Radio, in our next training session and field trial in Jakarta, Indonesia.]
NASB Secretary-Treasurer Dan Elyea received the following response from George Woodard to the award that we presented to him at the NASB annual meeting in Nashville:
“I want to thank the NASB for the wonderful commemorative award plaque given to me. This award is especially meaningful as I understand from Adil Mina that such awards are outside the normal business routine for the NASB. Adil, my friend and colleague at Continental Electronics, is one of the first, as well as one of the few, to understand and appreciate the vagaries of fully modulated 2 million watts carrier power on the medium-wave band as well as 500 kilowatts on shortwave. Dave Hultsman, my friend and former colleague at CE and sales engineer par excellence, volunteered to send me the award and checked faithfully on its arrival progress. Kevin Klose my friend, colleague, and former boss at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, together with Mike Starling of National Public Radio, was responsible for the wonderful letter of recommendation sent to the NASB on my behalf. Only one thing would have been more gratifying to me than this award, and that would have been to have won a few battles with the BBG over proper international radio broadcasting medium! Again, many-many thanks to all.”
Correction: Glen Tapley of WEWN writes: “I tried to go to the HCJB given website that is on our newsletter under Charlie Jacobson’s article concerning the selling of equipment. I found that the URL is not correct. The s and c are reversed. Should read: http://www.hsch.de/sale/
HFCC Steering Board member Gary Stanley is in the process of putting together a booklet of articles about shortwave radio, suitable for presenting to corporate and broadcasting executives to explain the continuing importance of shortwave radio for international broadcasting. If you have copies of any articles that might be appropriate for this publication, please send them to Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No Sunspots in August! - Long-time NASB associate member George Jacobs of George Jacobs & Associates writes: “WOW! Nowhere in this long solar minimum period that we are going through, do I recall that we have had a month like this past August, in which the sun's surface was completely devoid of sunspots. Solar scientists are really puzzled by this, and the possible effects it might have upon the earth's atmosphere, let alone HF radio propagation.”
CD Series: Shortwave Broadcasting – Yesterday and Today
by Colin Newell
In the year 1979, the average shortwave listener would not have given a second thought to the longevity of radio. It had, in fact, always been there. TV had been the competing medium for over 30 years. And in light of its success, and the inability of television to replace the more basic form of communication, the accepted theory at the time would have been.....Radio is here to stay. By 1989 and the end of a tumultuous decade, radio enthusiasts would have been proven wrong... and the landscape of radio would have been changed forever.
Among some of the more seminal events was the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989. Ironically, this one very significant geographical and political event would have far reaching implications for the fabric of radio broadcasting on shortwave.
In another corner of the globe -- near Seattle, Washington -- a young software engineer named Bill Gates was about to unveil a computer system called Windows 3.0. It would, in part, change the way we receive, process and manage information.
At the same time, around North America and Europe, the "digital age" was rapidly emerging in the form of the hand-held wireless telephone - the "cell" or mobile... and with it, a revolutionary new way of delivering voice communications and ultimately the myriad forms of new media, including digital music.
It was in 1987 that the prestigious Fraunhofer institute began researching a high-quality, low bit-rate audio codec -- a project named Eureka 147 -- Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB). This would quickly become known as MP3. And every aspect of how we produce, deliver and receive radio and rich media would change forever.
In the third in a series of CDs, "Yesterday and Today," produced by Ian McFarland (ex Radio Canada International and Radio Japan producer) and DXer.ca, a panel of experts explains how we got "here" from "there." Between the mid-seventies and the mid-eighties, my shortwave radio dial was lined with the voices of Ian McFarland, Bob Zanotti, Dick Speekman, Tom Meyer, Bob Thoman and others. A couple of these men, like Dick Speekman and Eddie Startz are gone. Many, like Ian, the two Bob's, Tom and Kim Elliot -- are very much still with us. New voices include Jeff White and Keith Perron (of the new Happy Station). In our latest CD Project (Series – 3), Yesterday and Today, we look at 20 years in shortwave broadcasting -- what it was like in the heady days of the 70's and 80's, and where we are now.
It has been with great pleasure, pride and joy to be in the middle of a series of online forums, Skype roundtables and personal conversations with some of the history makers of the last 20 years of shortwave radio. Recently we unfurled our latest audio offering on a 2-CD set with some surprises. It's available for $15 in North America and $17 in the rest of the world. Proceeds from the CD sales will be going to Ian McFarland’s local food bank in Duncan, British Columbia. For more details and to order, go to www.dxer.ca
Adventist World Radio
Assemblies of Yahweh
EWTN Shortwave 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
George Jacobs & Associates
Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers
HCJB World Radio
Kintronic Labs, Inc.
TCI International, Inc.
National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters
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