NASB NEWSLETTER             www.shortwave.org

 

December 2009

         

IN THIS ISSUE:         

2009 NASB/DRM USA Meeting

Upcoming NASB/DRM USA Annual Meetings

Chicago Radio Convention

2009 EDXC Conference

HCJB Report

Trans World Radio Name Change

Catalog of Shortwave Receivers

African Broadcasters Gear Up for Future

Shortwave Demo of DrTV at IBC

DRM Receiver with Color Screen

New Thomson Antenna

Geneva EBU/DRM Conference

Medal for Mother Angelica of EWTN

Shortwave Radio’s Advantage Over Internet

Appraisal of RNW Performance 2004-2008

Shortwave Important for Those at Sea

KNLS  Report

WHRA  Report

Shortwave Radio in Darfur

Program about Shortwave Radio in Africa

NASB Shortwave Listener Survey

 

 

2009 NASB/DRM USA Meeting – Nashville, TN

Report by Michael Murray for World DX Club, England

 

The annual NASB/DRM two-day meeting was held in May at the Holiday Inn, Nashville, Tennessee, hosted by World Christian Broadcasting and Radio Station WWCR.

 

The opening session started on the Thursday morning with remarks from the two host companies. This was followed by a report from John Stanley of HCJB, regarding the testing of three FEBC 100KW SW transmitters on Saipan, which Continental had converted to DRM transmissions.

 

The first seminar covered the latest developments in Digital Radio Mondiale, and was given by Adil Mina of Continental Electronics. He reported that there were plenty of DRM broadcasts, but once again the lack of receivers was holding back the project. India and Russia had now agreed to use DRM, and would provide inexpensive receivers in their own regions. DRM could now be found in the FM band, with a simulcast of AM & FM broadcasts. In addition a new DRM receiver would soon be sold through Universal Radio.

 

The next podium speaker was Mel Whitten, and his topic was WinDRM – Amateur Radio’s DRM Evolution. He talked about the radio’s digital voice and image transfer modes derived from DRM’s Dream receiver/transmitter software. In his talk he covered how these modes were developed.

 

A Profile of Ten-Tec, a Tennessee company that makes HF receivers for both radio Amateurs and shortwave listeners, was the next item on the agenda. Gary Barbour spoke about the history of the company and promoted a book written by Nancy William called Ten-Tec the first 40 years. 2008 was their 40th year.

 

The business part of the DRM concluded with a buffet lunch at a local restaurant, next door to the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of  “The Grand Ole Opry” radio programme.

 

The afternoon was spent visiting the transmitter site of WWCR, which is situated just outside of Nashville. Housed at the transmitter site is a 50KW AM station, WNQM – 1300, along with four 100 KW SW transmitters of WWCR. The SW station operates on ten frequencies, 24 hours a day with gospel broadcasting. This was followed by a brief visit to the offices of WCB, the World Christian Broadcasting organisation who operate transmitters, under the callsign KNLS in Alaska. A video was shown to the delegates of the station and the new work currently being undertaken in Madagascar. Both WWCR and WCB had hosted the buffet lunch.

 

Following the bus tour, most of the delegates went on to the Stoveworks restaurant for dinner, which is situated in nearby Franklin. The restaurant was in the historic setting of The Factory, which contained a number of small shops.

 

The second day, Friday, saw the start of the NASB Annual Meeting.

 

The opening item on the agenda was a three member Panel Discussion on the State of SW Listening and Broadcasting in Europe. Unfortunately at the last minute two of the panelists could not attend so Michael Murray of the World DX Club took the podium. In a revised talk Michael spoke about the changes that have happened, especially in Europe, since he started radio listening in the early 60’s. He commented on the cutbacks from the major radio stations in Europe, who have either stopped broadcasting all together or have moved over to on-line “broadcasting.” He finished this part of his talk, as a traveler, asking the question which would you rather do. Holding a SW receiver in your hand or a Netbook computer? A computer is fine if you are in an area with wifi or a large battery capacity, but not very convenient if you are camping or on the beach! Michael also spoke about the upcoming EDXC Conference to be held in Dublin, Ireland in late August.

 

In the final part of the opening agenda item, Adrian Peterson of AWR, Adventist World Radio spoke about the changes in SW broadcasting from a broadcaster’s prospective. 

 

The next part of the agenda was an interesting look at a single person’s attempt at promoting a sports programme on shortwave. Bruce Baskin started with World Cricket Today, and had now moved onto World Baseball Today, where he covers that sport in North America, Asia and Europe. These broadcasts can be heard over WRMI on 9955 kHz each Sunday at 14.30 UTC.

 

Don Messer gave a report on “Tests of Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRM) to Cover Alaska.”  The goal is to see if all of Alaska can receive DRM shortwave broadcasts throughout the state at anytime and any day.  They had to get an FCC experimental license to conduct these tests.  Some of the questions that had to be addressed included:  What frequency bands should be used?  How much power will be needed?  The tests are being done in central Alaska.  They are using 10 to 20 kHz channels with various error correction and constellation options.  They are putting in place a receiver network of around 18 sites.  Then, they will conduct field tests.  They plan to report the results to the FCC after a 2-year interval.  Three 100kW transmitters are being used.

 

Allan McGuirl of Galcom International who manufactures small solar radios was the next speaker. Galcom have produced over 750,000 fix tuned radio’s in AM, FM and SW mode, and can be found in over 100 countries. Of the 750,000 radios, over 118,000 are for SW use. The firm has also installed more than 60 low powered Christian radio stations in unreached areas of the world.

 

Charlie Jacobson gave the latest information on HCJB, Ecuador. Due to building of the new Quito airport, HCJB has been ordered to close down their transmitter site at Pifo. The latest time line shows that the site will close on April 1, 2010 at the latest. They will still use a 49 meter band outlet covering the Andean area and the head waters of the Amazon River Basin from their high powered AM site. Currently there are eight antennas standing, down from the original 31 at the station’s peak.

 

After a coffee break, Charles Caudill, the President of World Christian Broadcasting spoke about their work in setting up a new transmitter site in Madagascar. Despite the recent change in the government of Madagascar, work has continued on the site at a great pace, with some modification to the work schedule. There have been a number of security problems and their store had been ransacked, with the loss of much equipment.

 

Tom King, President of Kintronics Labs of Bristol, Tennessee, gave the final lecture of the morning. Kintronics builds antennas, including the corner reflector for WRMI in Miami, Florida. They have also provided a 3-tower antenna for KICY, Nome, Alaska for programmes directed to Eastern Siberia, and a 250 KW 6 tower array, directed in three patterns to North Korea, China and Japan, on 1566 kHz on the island of Cheju off the southern coast of South Korea for FEBC.

 

The majority of the participants took lunch at a local restaurant, before returning to the Holiday Inn for the NASB Business meeting. During the meeting it was decided that the 2010 meeting would take place in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada hosted by Galcom International.

 

 

 

 

Agenda Announced for 2010 Annual Meeting in Hamilton, Ontario

 

NASB associate member Galcom International will host the 2010 NASB-DRM USA annual meetings on May 20 and 21 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  This will be the first time that the NASB has held an annual meeting in Canada, or anywhere outside the U.S. for that matter.  The meetings will be held at the Mohawk College Conference Center and will be open to listeners and broadcasters – anyone interested in shortwave radio. 

 

This year there is a registration fee, unlike recent years.  However, it includes some meals and coffee breaks, transportation to the outside venues, and allows us to rent the conference center at Mohawk College, where there will be free wireless Internet service.

 

Meeting Agenda

 

On Thursday, May 20, meeting participants will go by bus to Crossroads Communications in the morning to participate in the taping of a syndicated television program and to talk about shortwave radio.  A tour of the Crossroads facility will follow.  Later, the bus will take everyone to Galcom for a tour of the factory where they build fix-tuned shortwave receivers and other broadcast and receiving equipment.  There will be a barbecue lunch at the Galcom factory before returning to the Mohawk College Conference Center for the DRM USA meeting.  At 4:30 pm, a bus will take meeting participants on an optional trip to world-famous Niagara Falls, including a private NASB dinner in that city.  The bus will then return to Mohawk College.

 

On Friday, May 21, the NASB annual meeting will officially take place.  Talks and presentations will focus on Canadian subjects.  Members of the Ontario DX Association will tell about their very successful shortwave/DX club and about their role as QSL coordinator for the Toronto shortwave station CFRX.  We have also invited representatives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Canada International and the CBC Northern Service to give presentations.  Lunch will be catered at the Mohawk College Conference Center, and in the afternoon the meeting will continue, including the NASB Business Meeting, which will conclude by 5:00 pm.

 

Explanatory Notes for Registration Form:

 

DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM - click here

 

Block A – Please fill out one form for each person attending.  The registration fee is C$55 per person (i.e. Canadian dollars).  This will cover the basic registration fee, lunches on Thursday and Friday, and coffee breaks on both days.  Please check the days you plan to attend (Thursday, Friday or both).  If you do not require accommodation, or if you plan to stay somewhere other than the Mohawk College residence, check the box indicating that you will take care of your own overnight accommodations.

 

 

Block B – This is the cost of accommodation at the Mohawk College residence.  These are student residences which are made available to the public in the summer months.  The C$87.50 rate (Canadian dollars) is per person for TWO nights (Wednesday and Thursday), based on double occupancy in a standard suite.  This is, for example, if you plan to share a suite with a colleague from your own organization (or anyone else you want to share with).  Please indicate the name of the person you will be sharing your suite with.  Note that each suite has two private rooms, along with a shared bathroom and kitchenette.  See the suite layout at:  http://www2.mohawkcollege.ca/dept/market/vtour/WhereToLive.html.  The C$175.00 rate is per person for TWO nights (Wednesday and Thursday) if you prefer a private suite for yourself and/or family members.  The residence suite includes the two nights' accommodations, two continental breakfasts, free parking and free Internet.  The address is 245 Fennell Avenue West, Hamilton, Ontario.  It is not possible to stay at the Mohawk residence for just one night.  (See Alternate Accommodations below.)

 

Block C – There will be an optional visit to Niagara Falls on Thursday evening.  The price of C$55.00 per person includes bus transportation from Mohawk College to the Falls and back, and a private NASB dinner at the Old Stone Mill restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  You are welcome to bring family members along for the same price of C$55.00 per person.  Please note on the registration form  the names of any family members who will be accompanying you, and put the total amount in the box.  Here is the tentative menu for the dinner:  Bread Service.  1st Course:  Mixed Green Salad with House Dressing.  Main Course:  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 and olive oil; or Eggplant Parmesan.  Dessert Course:  Choice of New York style cheesecake, Lemon Craze, or Apple Blossom.  Coffee, tea.

 

You may send your registration form by standard mail along with a personal or company cheque payable to Galcom International, or you can pay everything by credit/debit card if you wish.  Just indicate if it is a Visa or MasterCard and provide the card details.  If paying by Visa or MasterCard, you can fax your registration form to Galcom at the number indicated, or you can scan and e-mail the form to them.

 

Alternative Accommodation:   The Mohawk residence package above is for two nights (May 19 and 20); there is no rate for just one night of accommodation.  The Mohawk College residence is not available on Friday night.  However, there is alternative accommodation available (for Friday or for any other nights) at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, 1224 Upper James Street in Hamilton for an NASB group rate of C$129 per night plus tax.  The normal rate for May is C$169 per night.  The group rate of C$129 per night is for single, double, triple or quad occupancy, with two queen beds or one king size bed, free high-speed Internet and free parking).  This hotel is approximately seven minutes from the Mohawk Conference Center by car.  To get this conference rate, call the Marriott 800-number (+1-800-MARRIOTT) and tell them you are with the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters group.  If you prefer, you can also e-mail Marilyn Frame, the hotel's Sales Manager, at:  m.frame@concordhotels.com to make your reservation with your name, address, telephone number and credit card details.  You should guarantee your reservation with a credit card.  The group room block expires on April 19, 2010.  If you reserve after that date, the price will be at the hotel's regular rate, if rooms are available.

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning underway for 2011 Annual Meeting

 

WRMI in Miami has offered to host the 2011 NASB-DRM USA annual meeting on board a cruise ship from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas.  The proposal is for a two- or three-day event in May of 2011.  Details for the 2011 meeting are expected to be finalized at the 2010 annual meeting in Hamilton, Ontario.

 

 

NASB-DRM USA 2012 Annual Meeting confirmed for Washington, DC

 

The NASB was pleased to receve an invitation from Radio Free Asia to hold the 2012 annual meeting of the NASB and the joint DRM USA meeting in RFA's first floor conference toom May 10 and 11, 2012.  The NASB Board quickly accepted the invitation.  RFA hosted two previous NASB-DRM USA annual meetings in past years.  When the meeting is in the Washington, DC area, many representatives of the IBB and the FCC have an opportunity to attend, so we are looking forward to a robust attendance of these and other Washington-area residents.

 

 

Chicago Radio Convention

by Adrian Peterson

 

 A three-day historic radio convention was held in suburban Chicago a few months ago, running from July 30 to August 1.  This annual event is staged by the “Antique Radio Club of Illinois” in association with the national “Antique Wireless Association” and it is one of the largest historic radio conventions each year in the United States.  This annual event typically attracts an attendance of around 1,200 people coming from many widespread areas throughout the United States, as well as from Canada and several countries overseas.  The event is traditionally held in the Holiday Inn at Willowbrook, some 20 miles southwest from downtown Chicago.

 

On Thursday, the outdoor events included the setting up of tents and display areas filled with old, and very old, radio and wireless receivers, and other ancient radio memorabilia.  Among the many unusual items were old grandfather clocks that contain an original built-in radio receiver, wooden tables also with an original built-in radio receiver, lots of very old receivers that are in actual working condition, as well as parts and pieces for every conceivable radio usage.

 

The major indoor activity on Thursday was the Main Auction, which took place in the evening.  Everything imaginable in old radio and wireless was up for auction.  Some items were sold at quite a low price, but other items went for very high prices, even above $1,000.

 

The outdoor activities continued on Friday, with selling and trading of old wanted radio items; and in addition, a special event amateur station was on the air under the callsign KC9IPB. 

 

Indoor activities on Friday included several illustrated presentations from guest speakers.  These spoken topics included “The Illustrated History of Chicago’s Mediumwave Station WLS”, “The World’s Oldest Radio Cards” dating from the year 1900, and a practical do-it-yourself project on the restoration of old radio receivers.

 

Saturday’s events, both indoors and outdoors, saw the official winding down of this popular annual annual convention which concluded at midday.

 

A major display of professionally restored radio receivers and other radio memorabilia was held in the Hinsdale Room in the Willowbrook Holiday Inn, and one of the displays was a sample collection of “The World’s Oldest Radio Cards,” many thousands of them, displayed in very large photo albums.  During the time of this display in the Hinsdale Room, a restored old radio receiver was active, tuned in to a local Chicago mediumwave station. 

 

 

Note:  NASB Board member Adrian Peterson of Adventist World Radio was the NASB's representative at the Chicago Radio Convention.

 

 

 

The 2009 EDXC Conference in Dublin

Report by Anker Petersen, Danish Shortwave Club International

 

The 42nd annual Conference of the European DX Council (EDXC) was held on 28-30 August 2009 at Grand Canal Hotel near the centre of the Irish capital, Dublin.

 

I flew from Denmark together with Kaj Bredahl Jørgensen and his wife Else with SAS. We were welcomed in the airport by DX-er Edward Dunne who was the local organizer. When Susanne Lips from Germany, Alexander Beryozkin from St. Petersburg and Jonathan Murphy from Cork, Ireland, also had arrived, we all took a bus to the Hotel.

 

At 1900 we had an informal gathering in the lobby and were welcomed by EDXC Secretary General Tibor Szilagyi and Edward Dunne.

 

48 people from 10 countries attended this Conference. The biggest attendance came from Finland with 16 participants. From the United Kingdom came 9, Sweden 5, Ireland 3, Denmark 3, Japan 2, U.S.A. 2, Russia 1 and Germany 1. Five broadcasters were present: Voice of Turkey (Dr. Ufuk Geçim), FEBC (Mike Adams), Radio Free Asia (Andrew Janitschek “A.J”), IBB (Arto Mujunen) and Phantom FM in Dublin (Simon Maher).

 

Amongst the DX-ers were no less than 7 present and former  Secretary Generals and Assistant Secretary Generals of the EDXC: Anker Petersen, Claës-W. Englund, Bengt Dalhammar, Michael Murray, Risto Vähäkainu, Arto Mujunen and Tibor Szilagyi.

 

Saturday 29 August

At 0900, Counsellor Rebecca Moynihan, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin welcomed us to the beautiful city.

 

Then the Conference was officially opened by Tibor Szilagyi and Edward Dunne, the Irish DX Club. Tibor reported: “ The number of members of the EDXC is showing a growing tendency. Today we have 12 European DX Clubs as Regular Members --- 2 Clubs more than 1 year ago.

 

On the Individual Member side, we have noted a significant increase: We have now 4 Members: 2 from Sweden, 1 from Finland and 1 from Italy. As Observer Members we count -- as we did last year as well  ---  4 Observer Members: 2 from Germany, 1 from the U. K. ( = The British DX Club ) and 1 from the U.S.A. : National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB).

 

The Membership Fees have been paid rather fast at the beginning of the year 2009. We at the EDXC are very grateful for that --- being a small and very poor hobby organization, operating with penny--like financial means.

 

For this year's EDXC Conference I invited 27 different radio stations to come to Dublin to make their own presentations and just to see how we work as a hobby organization. Of those 27 invited radio stations I received answers from only a few.  Radio Belarus and Voice of Russia in Moscow answered at the beginning of this year and told me the following: Because of the worldwide financial crisis they received much less money from their governments, so, even if they were extremely flattered by the kind invitation of the EDXC, they cannot come. From those Invited radio stations in Asia only China Radio International answered me. The secretary of the English Section wrote to me that she forwarded my invitation to the Chief of the English Service:  Mr. Yang Lei. Altough I repeated our EDXC Invitation to those 27 radio stations several times, a complete silence was the result from these stations.

 

During last year's EDXC Conference in Vaasa / Finland, we received the kind Invitation from the Voice of Turkey in Ankara, to come to Ankara and arrange our next EDXC Conference together with the Voice of Turkey there in 2010. The EDXC has several times expressed our true thankfulness for this kind invitation to Ankara. Because of this we certainly maintained a special contact with Voice of Turkey.

 

While organizing this year's EDXC Conference I was often in contact with Edward Dunne from the Irish DX Club here in Dublin. Edward always answered my e-mails immediately and we had a very good co-operation  during this time working together. On behalf of the EDXC I wish to express my big thank you to Edward for the excellent work he has done. 

In the springtime of 2009 I was contacted by Risto Vahakainu from the FDXA ( Finland ) asking me to think over what could we offer more for this Conference as an extension of the programme for Sunday, August 30. As you can see from the detailed programme our Finnish DX friends managed to contribute with a lot of interesting items for this Sunday.  I wish to express my thankfulness towards our Finnish DX -- friends for this excellent contribution. 

 

At the same time I would like to wish the Conference a great success, and please do continue with this wonderful DX -- Hobby !!”

 

Edward Dunne pointed out that this was the first time an EDXC Conference was held in Ireland. Therefore he was anxious that all arrived well, got good memories and will come back to Ireland another time.

 

Greetings were received from AGDX, Rhein-Main DX Club, Valerio Cavallo of AIR, Jeff White and Torre Ekblom.

 

The first lecture was about “Shortwave Disaster Radio and Studio-in-a Suitcase”, held by Mike Adams. He is engineer at FEBC and also Vice President of NASB. Shortwave is still a strong medium in many countries in Asia. Since the big Tsunami in 2005, FEBC has developed a “Rapid Response Kit” with advanced technology which can be sent anywhere in the world as humanitarian aid in cooperation with the Red Cross. The Kit consists of two suitcases each weighing 20 kg comprising a FM transmitter, an antenna and a Chrysolute studio. If the disaster has destroyed the local radiostation, FEBC can send a reporter team with the Kit to the area within 72 hours. Test have shown that the FM station can be established within 45 minutes. In addition the reporter team can report back to the FEBC on the Philippines and broadcast emergency broadcasts to the area via SW. The reporters seek out local officials (police, doctors, community and rescue people etc.) and forward their utmost important messages, besides establish a service for missing people.

 

Next was Simon Maher, General Manager of the Rock station Phantom Radio, in Dublin. It is broadcasting on 576 kHz MW and analogue FM. But it is also going to broadcast on DAB and digital cable TV. He sees no future for DRM. In Dublin there are 3-4 pirates on FM in the weekends and a few SW pirates. 

 

Then Jonathan Murphy gave a well-documented lecture about “Broadcasting to the World: The Role of the Media in the Baltic States during their struggle for independence from the USSR”.  He described the independence attempts in 1991 in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as they were broadcast by the radio. The Soviet forces in January occupied key installations, but in August the left again and the three countries declared their independence. At the same time Boris Jeltzin had taken over from President Mikhail Gorbachev with a coup.

 

Next A.J. gave an update on the status of Radio Free Asia whose broadcasts in Korean, Tibetan, Mandarin, Uighur and Vietnamese are still jammed. He introduced the new QSL for September-October and thanked for the many reception reports to the website www.techweb.rfa.org. On the QSL’s 6 IBB sites are identified, but others cannot be that for political reasons.

 

Dr. Ufuk Geçim from the German Section of the Voice of Turkey (TRT) then told about the station and her job as editor of the Letterbox and DX-programme. Her audience is German speaking listeners, including many Turks who live in Germany and Austria. She hoped the next EDXC Conference could be held in Ankara, probably on 30 September to 03 October 2010, but the formal invitation from TRT could not yet be given.

 

After lunch a sightseeing bus driven by Steve and with James as guide brought us through the very clean city of historical  Dublin with its many beautiful buildings and parks. We passed the radio building of RTE, saw the ruins from the Vikings who had 150 years of influence.

 

We ended up in the Vintage Radio Museum “Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum” in the very green Howth and saw its many old receivers. Weather varied with both sunshine and rain at times. The Irish say: “There will be rain between the showers!”

 

The delicious Banquet Dinner was held under cover at the Hotel followed by a raffle with many DX-related prizes.

 

Sunday 30 August

 

At 0930 Risto Vähäkainu told about the current DX-Club activity in Europe and the World. Many clubs have the option with both a printed bulletin and a PDF-version on the website.  The internet is necessary to attract younger members, but the websites have to be updated.

 

Then followed a club meeting where all DX-Clubs represented told about their activities: DSWCI, BDXC-UK, St. Petersburg DX-Club, FDXA, Irish DX Club, SDXF/ Mälardalens DX-Club, HDXC and JSWC. Tibor Szilagyi also revealed that a new candidate as Assistant Secretary General had been found in Sweden, because Torre Ekblom has decided to cease this job for personal reasons. The new name is Ingvar Kohlstroem.

 

The sun broke through, so we hurried out to take the official photo in front of Grand Canal Hotel.

 

Back in the Conference room, Jukka Kotovirta gave a lively talk about the magic FM DX-hobby. With a good antenna, e.g. a 15 element Yagi, you can get good results even in noisy cities. The year 2009 has had very poor reception conditions, maybe because of the poor stock exchanges.

 

Then Arto Mujunen, leader of the IBB monitoring in Finland, stated that shortwave is still needed, because crises and disasters may happen. Furthermore, in some remote areas, e.g. in Russia, shortwave is the only medium available. DRM was very much on the agenda at the recent HFCC Conference in the Dominican Republic. India and Russia have decided to introduce DRM, so shortwave and mediumwave DX-ing will be more difficult in the future.

 

Tibor Szilagyi and Edward Dunne then closed the successful EDXC Conference which had many very interesting lectures and not the least was a social event where we met old and new friends. Thank you to Tibor and Edward for this!

 

Note:  A version of this article with photos is available at the EDXC website, www.edxc.org.

 

 

From Ecuador to the World:  Missionary Radio Station Broadcasts the Gospel for Nearly 6 Decades
By Kenneth D. MacHarg, Missionary Journalist

Just stepping on the property one knew that it was a special place.

Others declared that it was holy ground.

Whatever a person’s viewpoint, these 110 acres of rolling green fields with a spectacular view of the perfect snow-covered volcanic cone of Mount Cotopaxi to the south were a single point from which shortwave radio programs could be beamed to the four corners of the earth.

Pifo, as the transmitter site for international Christian radio station HCJB, the Voice of the Andes, was known, could only be described in superlatives: one of the largest radio stations in the world; the home of one of the largest broadcast antennas ever built; one of the few places in the world where radio broadcasts could reach around the globe; the place from which the gospel of Jesus Christ could be heard by listeners in each of the world’s countries.

Even before entering the property, a visitor approaching the transmitter site from Quito could see red-and-white towers poking up into the sky. Passing through the entry gate just east of the town of Pifo, one saw 31 arrays of steel towers and curtains of wire spread out. Clustered near the transmitter and maintenance buildings were the homes of resident engineers.

Each of those unique structures with their complex web of reflecting curtains was designed to throw a powerful signal to a specific target, be it North or South America, Europe, the South Pacific, East Asia or West Central Africa. Smaller antennas, configured in a different manner, served to send programs in the Quichua dialects straight up where they would bounce off electronically charged layers far beyond the reach of the highest-flying airliner and bounce back down like an umbrella over the Andes where those descendents of the Inca civilizations still live.

In the large transmitter building, 10 behemoths of electronic genius pumped out hundreds of thousands of watts of signal power, much of it generated in HCJB Global’s own hydroelectric plants even higher in those majestic mountains.

Some of those technological marvels were commercial brands known to radio engineers around the world: RCA, Harris, Siemens. Others, including the super-power, 500,000-watt HC500, were built by HCJB Global’s own engineers in Ecuador and Elkhart, Indiana, USA.

None of these were ordinary, run-of-the mill transmitters. No, they were specifically built for or adapted to Pifo’s extraordinary altitude of 8,600 feet where the air is thin and electrical arcing between components could quickly burn up precious parts and force an expensive and crucial piece of equipment off the air.

Hidden away in the roof of this fascinating building was a switcher unit, or to be more precise, dozens of switchers. These connected the appropriate transmitter to its scheduled antenna to beam the Christian message from Pifo in the morning to missionaries in the Brazilian Amazon or to German settlers in Paraguay and Argentina. In the afternoon they helped send programs to eager listeners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; in the evening to enthusiastic listeners in the Americas and the Caribbean and in the wee hours of the morning to others in East Asia and the South Pacific.

While the transmitters were impressive, it was the antennas that were awe-inspiring. Whether seen against the backdrop of the setting sun or with Cotopaxi visible through their web-like patterns, these tall towers, reaching as high as 417 feet and holding two or three curtains of wires were fascinating as they invisibly bounced hundreds of thousands of watts of power, carrying the life-giving message of the gospel to people trapped behind the Iron Curtain, confined in the totalitarian state that was the Soviet Union. Also nurtured were those hidden behind the veil of Mideast nations or casually listening in their homes and offices in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.

It’s hard for those without engineering experience to understand how an array of thin wires can bounce an electric signal against another similar curtain and have that signal and its message arrive at a radio receiver 6,000 miles away.

But, the antennas and transmitters of Pifo, Ecuador, did just that, broadcasting at times in up to 18 languages a day, around the clock, around the world.

While the technology was fascinating, even more compelling were the people who made it happen—those men and women who relocated to the beautiful South American country of Ecuador over the years so that they could build a radio station that would carry a message of hope and life to listeners around the world. Those engineers and technicians gave up what could have been lucrative careers back home to make certain that people in Ecuador and El Salvador, Germany and Greece, Russia and Romania could hear the life-giving message of Jesus Christ in their own language on their own radios.

These people, from a multitude of nationalities, were innovators and geniuses in their own right. They designed the Cubical Quad antenna to prevent electrical arcing at the tips of antenna wires and made that model available for personal, military and commercial use around the world.

They built and operated the “steerable antenna,” said to be one of the largest broadcast antennas ever built and the only one of its design ever constructed. They fabricated transmitters, antennas and components almost out of barbed wire and tin cans when standard supplies were not available. They utilized propagation possibilities (characteristics that allowed the signal to span long distances) that were unknown to others at the time, yet allowed the signal of HCJB to reach the ends of the earth.

Why did they do this? Because they had learned that God, who created the world and everything in it, including the fascinating science of radio broadcasting, cares about His creation and wishes that each and every person, from every tongue and nation, will know His love for them. And, they discovered the truth of God as it is written in the Bible and the love, forgiveness and salvation of God which results in eternal life through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who is the friend of sinners and the Savior of the world.

Today, those fields from which gospel programming was broadcast for almost 60 years are silent and almost empty. Gone are the huge towers and miles of wire that stretched across the green grass. Now gone silent are the transmitters* that labored day in and day out to transform the programs into a signal that would be carried around the world.

The site, which began broadcasting in 1953, signed off for good on Sept. 30, 2009. A changing world and changing methods of mass communication have challenged HCJB to move on to new ways of sharing that same message of hope. Today, satellite television and radio, the ability of local Christians to launch their own stations in communities where such broadcasters were forbidden or impossible in the past, the availability of other shortwave transmitting sites, the Internet, podcasts, social networking sites and Internet radio have become additional means of receiving information, entertainment and inspiration.

Pifo has become silent and the engineers and program producers have moved on. But today in every country of the world there are churches meeting, worshiping and serving because they practice what they heard on HCJB. There are entire communities and nations and people groups that proudly bear the name Christian because listeners heard the message emanating from Pifo. And, there are people, believers in Jesus Christ, who will attest to how their lives were transformed by Him and how today they are followers of Jesus because of what they heard from Pifo, Ecuador.

To God be the glory!

 (*While the official closure date for the Pifo transmitter site was September 30, broadcasts in Portuguese were scheduled to continue for a few weeks.)

Note: Kenneth D. MacHarg served in Ecuador with NASB associate member HCJB Global from 1990 to 1998. He and his wife, Polly, retired from Latin America Mission in 2006 and now live in Carrollton, Ga. His website is www.missionaryjournalist.net.

 

Trans World Radio Changes its Name

from TWR news release sent by Alokesh Gupta (India), via Yimber Gaviria (Colombia)

 

CARY, NC, November 16–International Christian ministry Trans World Radio, a pioneer in media missions, changed its name to TWR on November 18, 2009 . At the same time, the organization adopted the positioning statement "Speaking Hope to the World" to fortify its new identity.

"While our commitment to radio broadcasting remains steadfast, the name Trans World Radio no longer fully conveys the scope of our organization," says TWR President Lauren Libby. "TWR is more than radio. It is a multifaceted media ministry. By changing the name to TWR, we will maintain radio as a keystone communication component all the while employing a strategic integration of new media platforms. In fact, we will even seek to enlarge our broadcasting footprint."

Libby explained that TWR is committed to leveraging digital advances such as the Internet, MP3 players, video and other mobile-device formats. "In recent years, modern technology has enabled us to make significant strides in engaging with our global audience," he said.

"We also recognize the tremendous ministry value of social media portals like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube," Libby adds. "We're not just endeavoring to reach people for Christ; we want to connect and dialogue with them as they grow in faith. Furthermore, we realize social media is a fast and efficient way to communicate with our stakeholders."

The ministry's new positioning statement, according to Libby, will clearly reflect TWR's primary objective of Speaking Hope to the World. "Speaking not only refers to verbal communication but also signifies the ability to relate with people in other resourceful ways," Libby explained. "With that in mind, we will offer relevant messages of hope in Jesus to men, women and children around the globe. Whether it's by radio or other new media means, TWR is dedicated to helping fulfill Christ's Great Commission."

The name Trans World Radio has existed for more than 55 years. It goes without saying that it is entirely unrealistic to expect everyone to stop using that name overnight. That said, TWR staff, partners and affiliated ministries are encouraged to make the gradual shift toward using TWR as the primary moniker.

Is TWR abandoning or scaling back its commitment to radio broadcasting?  No, not at all. In some areas of the world, we are increasing traditional radio broadcasts on shortwave, AM and FM outlets. As TWR's Bill Damick states in his forthcoming document "The Future is Here: Radio, New Media and Missions": "[Radio] has the unique ability to deliver its message efficiently, inexpensively, and compellingly to the greatest percentage of the world's people regardless of their economic status, educational attainment, or geographic location."

 

Free Catalog of Shortwave Receivers and Equipment

Yimber Gaviria of Colombia reminds us that a free catalog of shortwave receivers and accessories is available from C.Crane Company.  Request it from the following web page:

http://www.ccrane.com.

 

African Broadcasters Gearing Up for Future

Major Investments in Broadcast Antenna Infrastructure

from Thomson Radio Broadcast

 

The broadcast sector is coming to the view that radio’s strengths remain universally relevant and fundamentally appreciated despite the introduction of alternative media platforms and technologies. Especially with the advent of digital radio, consumers can experience radio like never before, anywhere and anytime.

 

Radio works efficiently by delivering the same content to all listeners at the same time. For each additional listener, there is no incremental additional overhead on the transmission side. For the listeners, radio is still the cheapest and easiest way to keep informed because reception is free-of-charge, intimate and does not require a lot of sophisticated infrastructure.

 

The view that radio is indeed holding its own is supported by the fact that leading  broadcasters in Middle East and Africa are investing in their radio broadcast infrastructure for local, regional and international coverage. Over the past two years, Thomson has been

awarded major contracts to upgrade their medium wave broadcast antenna networks in Libya, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, Sudan and Nigeria.

 

The importance of radio broadcast in Libya, the fourth largest country in Africa, is growing, with an estimated 250 receiver sets per 1000 persons countrywide. LJBC operates 3 shortwave, approx. 20 medium wave and 4 FM transmitters. Local radio stations are situated

at various sites around the country.  The new antenna systems from Thomson will not only improve the coverage but also enable considerable savings in operating costs thanks to the superior overall efficiency of the new systems.

 

The Thomson crew is on site and working full time on the assembly of the towers. All systems will be taken into operation in the first quarter of 2010.

 

Small-Scale Video with Shortwave World-First Demo of “DrTV” at IBC

from Thomson Radio Broadcast

 

IBC Amsterdam, a classic event in the media broadcasting and technology industry, featured this year more than 1300 exhibitors, including new stands from around the world. Grass Valley had an impressive stand featuring important new product introductions,

enhancements and partnerships. In addition, Grass Valley announced to the media at IBC sales wins from around the globe.

 

The Grass Valley brand has been a trusted name in the industry for 50 years. During IBC, visitors could see the continuing evolution of Grass Valley as a new business with a new personality. IBC was also the venue for the spectacular “world-first” transmission of “DrTV”, a new application based on DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale).

 

DrTV enables small-scale video services for cost efficient large-area distribution of education and information programs, whereby a small-scale video signal is accompanied by one or more audio streams. DrTV represents a joint effort between Thomson, Fraunhofer IIS and New Star Electronics. DrTv was carefully designed to provide the most efficient transport encoding and packetization while at the same time allowing receivers to robustly decode and quickly resynchronize to the transmitted content. The system also features all benefits of the DRM platform, like service selection by Unicode compatible labels, alternative frequency signaling and switching, announcement and warning/alert features, etc.  DrTV can be transmitted over all broadcast bands supported by the worldwide DRM standard, including LW, MW, SW and above, and is an ideal platform to reach audiences scattered over a wide geographical area with a single transmitter.

 

DRM transmissions over shortwave have practically unlimited coverage possibilities ranging from 100 square kilometers up to well over 5,000,000 square kilometers depending on transmission system. Thus DrTV can keep citizens living abroad informed and up-to-date

about what is going on in the home country. The DrTV application offers free-of-charge reception and is independent of gatekeepers and third-party providers like satellites and cable networks. DrTv is one example of the substantial advantages made possible by digital AM Radio Systems. Testing of the application on Thomson transmission systems has begun.

 

News from UniWave:  The First DRM Receiver with Color Screen

from Thomson Radio Broadcast

 

The Di-Wave 100 receiver from Uniwave packs all the digital functionalities that listeners are looking for into a neat, portable model. The attractive new DRM Radio Receiver was successfully demonstrated at various symposiums and exhibitions and showed excellent results during the Olympics at Beijing with the text-based information service known as Journaline®.  With its 3.5” TFT LCD color screen, coming Di-Wave models will be able to receive the new DrTV service with with small scale video services.

 

With dimensions of 125mm (H) x 65mm (W) x 232mm (L) the UniWave set is a very handy, portable set, light and easy to carry. DRM functions include station name, program information, Journaline®, MOT slideshow, listening time-shift of 10 minutes and a total of 768 station memories (256 DRM, 256 FM and 256 AM). The multi-language graphic user interface includes English, Chinese, German, French and Spanish. Reception is possible with DRM, FM-RDS stereo on phones, SW/MW/LW. Later models could include DRM+, TDMB and DAB+.Di-Wave 100 is the first DRM receiver among a big family. UniWave has set forth an ambitious receiver road map for the next two years, and intends to develop the basic model to include a wide range of market specific features with extended reception options, set top box to connect on TV screen, a Di-Wave portable DVD and an attractive Di-Wave car radio model. Future plans also include a receiver which works with a built-in dynamo, eliminating the need of batteries and access to a mains network.

 

Following the release of the first prototype batch earlier this year, UniWave collected user reports and has now spent some months to improve the specifications. The first production of 300 pieces of the enhanced model started in September, a few samples being dedicated for demos at IBC. Larger production is planned for end of September.  Average retail price is expected to be under 250 Euro, with the outlook to reduce the price with increased order volume.  The fact that DRM receiver sets are equipped with a monitor makes DRM an attractive means of transmitting a variety of data services over large coverage areas. Possibilities include electronic advertising, tourist information, traffic information, distant learning and transmission of other important educational, cultural and political contents.

DRM has the ease of use and robustness that comes from digital transmissions and has the potential to bring to every radio set a vast selection of content. Whether for local, regional or international coverage, DRM has proven itself to be the easiest, cheapest and most

independent and reliable means of distribution and reception of information, music and entertainment.   Order placements can be made through the internet as follows:  www.uniwave.

 

Increasing the Reach of Shortwave Broadcast Systems

Small-footprint Antenna System with Unlimited Flexibility

from Thomson Radio Broadcast

 

Shortwave broadcast systems can reach millions of people anywhere, anytime from a single transmission site. The possibilities are theoretically unlimited. On the other hand, shortwave infrastructure is a notorious power consumer and stations require a lot of land to accommodate adequate antenna systems. Thomson’s newest rotatable curtain antenna helps broadcasters with limited space and budget to make important power savings while increasing considerably their coverage flexibility. The Thomson HP-RCA 2/2 (High

Performance Rotatable Curtain Antenna) is a highly interesting alternative system solution for broadband fixed curtain antenna configurations.

 

HP-RCA 2/2 services similar coverage areas as the classical LPD (Log Periodic Dipole Antenna) with up to 45% higher efficiency of the radiated power into a defined target area. Additional comparative figures of merit include

 

􀂄 Higher gain (up to 19 dBi, or 3 to 6 dB more than typical LPD)

􀂄 Higher front-to-back ratio (6 to 10 dB more than typical LPD)

􀂄 Better power capability (up to 500 kW, as compared to the LPD with an absolute maximum of only 250 kW)

 

In addition, the HP-RCA 2/2 has a better overall efficiency, requires less land, is easier to maintain and affords better reliability with regard to storms and electrostatic effects.  The footprint of this powerful and highly flexible system is surprisingly small. With dimensions

of 51m x 51m, the foundation surface needs less than 12m x 12m. The covered area has a radius of approximately 50m.

 

With an overall weight of 80t, the antenna has a maximum survival wind speed of 240 km and a maximum operational wind speed of 120 km. It takes less than 3 minutes for a 180° rotation. Based on a rigid array and a tubular shaft, the HP-RCA 2/2 is a back-to-back arrangement of a low band and a high band curtain antenna equipped with a reflector screen. The 2/2 configuration gives a good radiation pattern performance with moderate structural effort.

 

Whereas the classical HR 2/2 curtain antenna solution is based on a fix structure with phasing system limited to less than 20° azimuthal slewing with considerable sidelobes, the new rotatable structure with a central shaft has 360° azimuthal performance radiation patterns without sidelobes.

 

 

Positive feedback from the EBU/DRM conference

News release from the DRM Consortium

 

London, 2nd December 2009: DRM digital radio technology received great interest from the 80 delegates present at the DRM Conference organised by the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva. The conference, held on 26th November 2009, was attended by participants from 25 countries (mainly from Europe but also from as far afield as Chile and Australia) who represented all broadcasting stakeholders including regulators, broadcasters, equipment and chipset manufacturers.

 

The event brought into focus the recent developments in the DRM technology - the standardisation of DRM+ and the publication of DRM Receiver Profiles. This conference highlighted the market potential of the DRM system and evaluated the results from its tests from various locations worldwide. It also allowed a healthy discussion on different business cases and real achievements in getting DRM receivers on the market.

 

Supported with excellent organisation by the EBU, the Consortium was able to highlight the achievements and challenges of the DRM technology and present its potential as the global solution for conversion of radio from analogue to digital. DRM Chairperson, Ruxandra Obreja, expressed her satisfaction at the event by saying: "I am delighted that this was an interactive event able to demonstrate the great potential and benefits of DRM. From the feedback received the interesting presentations and discussions have impressed the participants, many of whom want to know more and attend similar events dedicated to the DRM technology."

 

There were live demonstrations of the technology at the Conference venue. The event also provided a great opportunity for networking and exchanging views on digital radio developments in different parts of the world.  To see and hear the presentations made on that day, please visit the EBU website: http://tech.ebu.ch/events/ebu_drm09 .The DRM members can access also to all the presentations and view more pictures of the event on the FTP server under /presentations/ EBU-DRM conference.

 

 

Papal Medal for founder of EWTN

from Catholic News Agency, via Yimber Gaviria, Colobia

Irondale, Ala., Oct 5, 2009 (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI has awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal to Mother Angelica, founder of [NASB member] Eternal Word Television Network and also EWTN executive Deacon Bill Steltemeier. The medal is the highest honor the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.


Bishop of Birmingham Robert J. Baker conferred the awards in a brief ceremony following Sunday benediction at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.


Noting that yesterday was the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Bishop Baker recalled the lasting impact that the Italian saint made on the renewal of the Church. He then remarked that “We also have the privilege of acknowledging the contributions to our Church of another person in the great Franciscan tradition, whose link to St. Francis is through St. Clare … Mother Angelica.”


Mother Mary Angelica, 86, is a Poor Clare Nun of Perpetual Adoration who founded Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama in 1961. She began EWTN in a garage on the monastery property in 1981. In 1999 she relocated the monastery to the grounds of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville.


Deacon R. William Steltemeier, 80, is a former Nashville, Tenn. attorney who left his law practice to join Mother Angelica’s fledgling television network. He served as EWTN’s president and now serves as chairman of the network’s Board of Governors.


Commenting in his homily at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery on Sunday, Bishop Baker said that the medal is “a significant acknowledgement by our Holy Father, of Mother's labors of love in support of our Church.”


“By giving awards the Church is not saying people or institutions are perfect, but we are saying that Mother Angelica, through this network, has made a significant contribution to the new evangelization heralded and promoted by recent Popes,” the Bishop of Birmingham said.


“The Holy Father’s recognition of Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltemeier is a much-deserved honor,” Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN President and CEO said in a statement. “It acknowledges the tremendous faith, hard work and incredible sacrifices that each of them have made throughout the years in founding and building up the Network.”


“Their recognition is also a great honor for EWTN and is a clear sign of the importance of the Network’s mission for the Church and the Pope. We are grateful to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and to Bishop Baker for this honor,” Warsaw continued.


EWTN is available in over 150 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. In its mission it uses direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio, an internet website and a publishing arm. EWTN says it is the largest religious media network in the world.

 

When shortwave radio is better than the Internet

Reprinted from SWLing.com, via Bryne Edwards

From Reuters:

Fiji has been plunged into a political crisis after the president reappointed military chief Frank Bainimarama as interim prime minister on Saturday, less than two days after a court ruled his 2006 coup and subsequent government illegal.

Bainimarama tightened media censorship on Wednesday and continued to refuse to hold elections before 2014.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said local technicians had been ordered by the military government to shut down two FM relay stations in the capital Suva and the western sugar town of Nadi.

But ABC said its Radio Australia news programme was still broadcasting on shortwave transmitters.

The military government has asked that Fiji reporters only publish “positive” news, or in their terms, “journalism of hope.” This censorship has also pushed Radio New Zealand International out of Fiji.

Other reports have indicated that the government is now trying to restrict internet news sources and blogs. Internet cafe owners are under threat of being shut down, as well.

When people ask whether we need shortwave radio in this internet information age, events like this provide a clear affirmative answer. Once ABC and RNZI were ousted from Fiji, these broadcasters immediately reiterated to Fiji listeners that their programming can be heard all day on shortwave.

And that’s the remarkable thing about shortwave–it penetrates borders without regard to who is in power or to restrictions placed upon local media. Even when the internet is crippled.  Can shortwave broadcasts be jammed?  Sure–but it’s not all that easy to do; it’s much more difficult than, say, seizing control of a country’s internet service provider, or (as in the case of Fiji) of their local broadcasters and stations. Plus, jamming usually targets a specific frequency, so if radio listeners find their broadcasts jammed on one frequency, there are often literally dozens of ways around the jam–other frequencies often carry the same or similiar programming from the same or other international broadcasters.

Much of the decline of shortwave radio is attributed to the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War era,  national superpowers were obsessed with piercing borders with their respective messages; since the Cold War ended, that technology is no longer as driven. But as the Fiji story demonstrates, the need is very much ongoing, perhaps even more so, as small countries try out a variety of political options, often exercising this power along the long and twisting road to democratic governance.  Now, shortwave should have a new and broader focus: sending news, music, education and human interest programming to the developing world


Independent commission reports on RNW's performance 2004-2008

From Radio Netherlands Media Nework Newsletter, 10 September 2009, via Andy Senitt

An independent commission appointed by the supervisory board of Radio Netherlands Worldwide to look into the performance of the organisation in 2004-2008 published its findings this week. It's the first time that such a commission has carried out an appraisal of RNW's operations. Its findings were largely positive, though a few specific matters were highlighted as needing close attention.

The commission was positive about RNW's approach to its services in foreign languages. RNW differentiates itself from most other international broadcasters by concentrating on themes such as human rights and press freedom, and on targeting countries that have low ratings in these areas. But the commission warned RNW to be careful not to spread its resources too thinly across a large number of languages, target areas and target groups. The commission says RNW needs to be clearer about how it makes its strategic choices and chooses its priorities. It noted that RNW was in the course of transforming itself from a radio station to a multimedial and cross-medial organisation, and that shortwave is declining in importance as a delivery platform.

RNW Director-General Jan Hoek is pleased with the generally positive assessment.  Mr Hoek said that RNW recognises that shortwave is less important overall than it once was, but stressed that RNW intends to retain a shortwave presence, which can be increased in emergency situations, and furthermore shortwave is still needed to broadcast to target areas identified as being of high importance [for English this means specifically Africa and South Asia] where there are currently no better distribution platforms.

 

Shortwave is important for those at sea

from publico.es, via Yimber Gaviria (translated from Spanish)

 

The radio is often the main companion of Spanish mariners who live and work thousands of miles from their homes.  The magic of shortwave and the team of the veteran program “Españoles en la Mar” (“Spaniards at Sea”), which has been on Spanish Foreign Radio for 40 years, has even been able to keep informed those who were kidnapped on the Alakrana [a Spanish ship kidnapped by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean] about the developments in their case, according to the program's presenter, Paco Arjona, who along with his colleagues has just received the Miguel Pardo award from the Spanish Maritime Group. 

 

“We use shortwave as our base, which continues to be vital and allows us to be heard on five continents,” said Arjona.  “We have to adapt to new technologies, but at sea you need shortwave.  As for Internet, today it's very difficult to connect from a ship on the high seas.  Two months ago a web page that deals with the subject said that it was a great advancement to be able to connect at 128 kilobites.  On the high seas, the Internet is only good for sending e-mails with text.”

 

“KNLS is Famous All Over China”

 

World Christian Broadcasting operates shortwave station KNLS in Alaska, which is a member of NASB.  The station broadcasts to Asia in Russian, Chinese and English.  Recently, WCB sponsored a tour of China.  Thirty-one persons visited the Chinese cities of Beijing, Xian, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong.  WCB President Charles Caudill described a very interesting experience he had on that trip which highlights the importance of shortwave radio in China:

 

“A few weeks before leaving for China, I was contacted by e-mail with an invitation to speak for the worship service of one of the underground churches.  I emailed back that I would be honored to bring the sermon.  I was contacted shortly after that by someone who said she was my contact person and that she would also be my interpreter.  She explained that she would meet [my daughter] Kelly and me in the lobby of our hotel and that we shouldn't try to come to them.  No problem.  We didn't have the address.  We still don't.

 

“At the agreed upon time, a young lady, talking on her cell phone, walked directly to me and called me by name.  That's not too surprising since I was the only American man in the crowded lobby.  We took a cab and rode for almost an hour.  She asked the driver to stop a few blocks from our destination.  She did not want the cab driver to know where we were going.  We walked those several blocks and were told we were near the building where the church meets regularly.  We walked by another building to make sure we were not being followed.  After a cell phone call, the lobby door opened and we took an elevator to one of the top floors.  Another cell phone call got the door to the apartment opened.  We walked into a room that was set up for a worship service – song books, Bibles and study materials.

 

“Why all of the clandestine moves?  Remember, what we were about to do is illegal in China.  The participants could be subject to arrest, or even worse.  The authorities probably would not have done any violence to Kelly or me because we were foreigners.  They simply would have sent us home.

 

“For years we have wondered about the reception of the KNLS signal in the large cities of China.  Our monitors tell us the signal is being received, but that frequently the signal is jammed.  We were also concerned about the relatively small amount of mail we receive from this particular city.  At the same time we realize that it is illegal to write to us.  And now that emails are monitored by the Chinese government, many of our listeners are even afraid to send emails to us.

 

“So, when I asked the question at the beginning of my talk, 'How many of you are familiar with KNLS?' I was surprised when more than one half of those young people raised their hands with smiles on their faces.  Two of them even spoke out and said, “KNLS is famous in [their city.]”  Afterward, a patent attorney, one of the leaders of the congregation, told me that the statements made during worship were true.  He said, “KNLS is famous all over China.” He said that he listens every day and is a great fan of [KNLS announcer] Edward Short.  He expressed surprise that Edward is American and not Chinese.  He was amazed that somone other than a native Chinese could display such excellent use of their language.”

 

 

WBOH is gone, but her sister station will continue on shortwave

from Gayle Van Horn, Monitoring Times, via Bill Damick

 

Oct. 6, 2009 - I just spoke to Tabitha Hunter of [NASB member station] WBOH shortwave in Newport, North Carolina. She confirms that WBOH, currently broadcasting on 5920 kHz, will close their shortwave service at the end of the A09 schedule period (October 24). No reasons were indicated, only that they will leave the air. Their sister station WTJC, will continue on 9370 kHz on a 24 hour schedule for the B09 session.  Both stations were operated by Fundamental Broadcasting Network.

WHRA confirmed as off the air

from Gayle Van Horn, Frequency Manager, Monitoring Times

http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/

 

I spoke to Larry Vehorn, engineer for WHRI Cypress Creek, South Carolina, and he confirms that WHRA in Greenbush, Maine has signed off the air for good. All equipment has been dismantled. Former frequencies for WHRA have been reasigned for WHRI usage.  NASB member LeSea Broadcasting continues to operate shortwave stations WHRI in South Carolina and T8WH in Palau (South Pacific).

 

 

'Short-wave radio still going strong in Darfur'

Researcher Graham Mytton presents results of Radio Darfur listener survey

From Press Now

 

Research shows that Darfuri listen en masse to radio broadcasts via the short-wave band.

95% of the population over the age of 15 listen to the radio at least once a week. Over 70% of the people in Darfur listen at least once a week to Radio Dabanga, the Darfuri name for Radio Darfur. Mytton:  ‘This research shows that short-wave radio is a very powerful medium in Darfur.’

 

After the state radio Omdurman – which broadcasts the entire day – Radio Darfur is the most popular radio station in terms of listeners. Asked which station people tune into to listen to the news, 39% states Radio Dabanga. Furthermore, it turns out that the questioned Darfuri primarily listen to the radio at times when Radio Dabanga transmits its broadcasts, from 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. and from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

 

Graham Mytton, formerly head of Media Research at the BBC and presently working as an independent media researcher, was commissioned by Press Now to conduct research into the listening behaviour of the Darfuri. The survey was held immediately after Ramadan, from September to the end of November 2009.  The first results came in three days ago. The survey was held among 1,582 respondents over the age of 18 from all over Darfur, both men and women. The remarkable thing is that men and women listen in equal measure to the radio. ‘I have never seen that, nowhere in Africa – it’s usually a male affair,’ says Mytton, who has led numerous media studies in Africa. ‘The preliminary results are very good for Radio Dabanga.

 

Graham Mytton presented these provisional survey results yesterday evening in Desmet Studios, Amsterdam, during the celebration of Radio Darfur’s first anniversary.

The data presented by Mytton concerned provisional results that will still be supplemented further. The full research report will be rounded off around 1 January 2010.

 

 

Special Program about Shortwave Radio in Africa

 

On November 20th and 21st, PCJ Media presented a special show looking at Ears To Our World, a US based charity that provides schools and teachers in Africa with radios, including the popular wind-up shortwave receivers that need no batteries or electricity. This special also focused on the important role SW radio plays in Africa.  Guests on the program included Thomas Witherspoon,  founder of Ears To Our World; Fred Osterman of Universal Radio; Walter Hess of Eton Corp.; David Smith,  formerly with Radio Canada International, Radio Netherlands and United Nations Radio; and Soule Issiaka, an expert on the role of radio in Africa and freelancer for Radio Netherlands.  The program was broadcast on NASB member station WRMI, and was produced by Keith Perron of PCJ Media in Taiwan, who also produces the Happy Station show on WRMI.  More information about Ears to our World is available on their website, www.earstoourworld.org, where the audio file of the special program can be downloaded as well.

 

 

NASB to Conduct Shortwave Listener Survey

 

Some time ago, the NASB obtained a quote from a reputable survey firm for conducting a survey to determine the number of shortwave listeners in North America, and some demographic characteristics of these listeners.  As the cost was qui

 

 

 

 

 

te high, we attempted to find other shortwave stations that would be interested in sharing the cost with us.  Unfortunately, not even one station offered to share in the cost of the survey, so we abandoned the idea.  However, at this year's NASB annual meeting in Nashville, a suggestion was made that we conduct a survey of shortwave listeners through our NASB website, www.shortwave.org .  This would not give us a figure as to the number of listeners in North America, but it would give us some valuable demographic information about the shortwave audience, not only in North America, but in other parts of the world as well.

 

A list of survey questions has been prepared, and a platform for the survey has been chosen.  Bill Damick of TWR is coordinating the survey preparation, and it has tentatively been scheduled to go online in March of 2010.  The survey will stay online for a period of one year, and final results will be announced at the 2011 NASB annual meeting.  There will be a link to the survey on the NASB website, and we hope that our member organizations and other shortwave-related publications, websites and other entities will also publicize it.

 

Send in Your News – The NASB Newsletter invites you to send shortwave-related news about your station or organization for publication here.  Send items by e-mail to jeff@wrmi.net.

 

NASB  Members:     

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

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