NASB NEWSLETTER www.shortwave.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
NASB Takes to the Sea
by Jeff White, NASB President
When it was first suggested that we have an NASB annual meeting in Miami, my wife Thais and I began to think of hotels where it could possibly be held. By coincidence, we were on a three-night cruise from Miami to the Bahamas with my in-laws when we stumbled upon the conference room on the ship. It was very nice and had all of the facilities needed for meetings, such as an LCD projector, screen, podium, audio system, tables, chairs, etc. A light bulb went off in our heads: Why not have the NASB meeting on a cruise ship?
Miami and nearby Fort Lauderdale are known as the cruise capitals of the world, with more cruise ships leaving from these two ports than from anywhere else on the planet. Three cruise ships make three-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas, which would be the perfect length for an NASB meeting. All of them would be perfectly adequate for our meeting, but in the end we chose Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas because of its dedicated Conference Center.
While some people thought a meeting on a cruise ship might appear to be too much of a vacation or might be too expensive, the truth is quite the opposite. A three-night cruise for $299 plus $67 tax per person (in double occupancy) is actually less expensive than three nights at most hotels with conference facilities in Miami. Plus the cruise fare includes nine meals, certain drinks, a wide variety of entertainment on the ship, programs for kids and spouses, transportation and stops at two islands of the Bahamas for sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling and a barbecue lunch. And Royal Caribbean provided us with the meeting room and all audiovisual facilities free of charge, which is almost impossible to get at hotels on land these days. Since all meals were included in the cruise fare, there would be no need to find sponsors for meals. So the urge was irresistible; it was a no-brainer.
The only problem was that people would have to pay deposits various months ahead of time, and would have to pay the balance of the cost of the cruise two months before sailing. The question was: Could we get our members from throughout North America and some overseas countries to make a commitment so far in advance, when they are used to making plans to attend the annual meeting often at the very last minute?
When we used to have our NASB annual meetings in the Crystal City area of Washington DC every year, we had an average of around 30 persons at our meetings. Since we started having members host the meetings at their own locations around the country, attendance had increased to around 50-60 every year. That was until the financial crisis hit. In 2010, we only had about 20 attendees at the excellent annual meeting in Hamilton, Ontario hosted by Galcom International. Many of our regular attendees told us at the time that their travel and sponsorship budgets had been frozen or virtually eliminated, but they hoped that their financial situations would improve by 2011 and they would probably join us at the 2011 annual meeting.
Unfortunately, although things appear to be moving slowly upward again, the financial crisis has continued far longer that anyone ever expected. This year, we had 29 people reserved for the annual meeting. Unfortunately, during the last few weeks prior to the meeting, eight of them had to cancel for various health-related, work-related and other reasons. For example, our vice president, Glen Tapley of EWTN, suffered a ruptured disc in his back and had to have emergency surgery a few weeks prior to the annual meeting. The surgery was successful, we are glad to report, but his doctor would not let him travel yet at the time of our meeting.
So in the end, 21 of us set sail from Miami on May 13th for what would be an excellent and enjoyable meeting. After boarding the Majesty of the Seas around noon, most of us met first in the buffet restaurant atop the ship for lunch. Later, the meeting registration table was opened in the Conference Center on Deck 7. There were also a variety of shipboard activities on Friday afternoon, including talks about the coming ports of call and a mandatory safety drill. From 6 to 8 pm, we had the first formal meeting in the Conference Center . It began with some introductory remarks by NASB President Jeff White, who among other things read a message from HFCC Chairman Oldrich Cip encouraging shortwave stations to submit their current program schedules in PDF format to the HFCC website so that shortwave listeners can find station schedules all in one place in a user-friendly format. Tom Lucey of the FCC has asked that NASB member stations (and all U.S. shortwave stations) submit their PDF schedules to him, and he will upload them to the HFCC website. Tom's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The schedules can be found in the public area of the HFCC website at: http://www.hfcc.org/data/a11/index.phtml.
Radio and Internet in China
The first presentation on the agenda was about radio in China. Cui Litang, a longtime Chinese shortwave listener and language teacher who had hoped to join us on the cruise, but couldn't in the end, sent us a PowerPoint presentation about Chinese jamming of shortwave broadcasts and blockage of Internet access. It was extremely interesting to hear about these subjects from someone who lives in China. He explained that Facebook is often blocked and “request timed out” errors are commonplace for certain web pages. Cui Litang noted that shortwave stations have often been subject to several types of jamming in China. Nevertheless, he has been an avid listener, and he showed part of his large QSL card collection, which includes cards from stations such as Radio Japan, Deutsche Welle, Radio Havana Cuba , Radio Yugoslavia , Radio Romania International, Radio Slovakia International, Radio Prague, Syrian Radio, Radio Pakistan, Swiss Radio International, VOA, WEWN, KWHR, ABC Australia and Radio Netherlands. He recalled hearing the American Forces Network from Guam with reports on Hurricane Katrina. Cui Litang also sent a report, summarized by Dr. Jerry Plummer of WWCR, about his use of shortwave broadcasts to teach English in China. From a historical standpoint, he explained that prior to the Internet era, the role that radio played in China was crucial in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). “International broadcasting on shortwave came in as a choice,” wrote Cui Litang, “among other media, for many to navigate across the bitter seas, over the troubled water to China. At least owning a radio or a wireless was no longer a crime as it possibly was in the 1950's...and ownership, subject to registry, as well as to suspicions of espionage conspiracy, punishable by execution.”
Ironically, the need for domestic radio propaganda led to the opportunity to listen to overseas shortwave stations, explained Cui Litang. “ China was in dire need to develop electronics and make more radios as a means to feed the mouths, to reach the world’s largest population across a vast land that was separated not only by geography, but also by ethnics, culture and language, pumping a universal message of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong thought. So people did reach out beyond the domestic media, in the boundless airwaves, turning their ears to the different voices.”
Cui Litang said that one major impact of shortwave radio in China was as a learning source for the English language. He cited broadcasts from VOA, BBC, Radio Australia and others. “Authentic textbooks, without chanting or shouting political slogans, were almost none, as all publications, including textbooks, were censored to toe the party line, rhetorically pitch-perfect. And as a result, authentic English teachers were not many.... English teaching programs on the international broadcasters came in at this time with a provision to fill the need of learning and teaching the language. Over the years since late 1970, international radio on shortwave has helped to teach and create a new generation of tour guides, interpreters and teachers, and other professionals who worked with English. The daughter of our English teacher himself became an international tour guide after having learned the essential conversational English with VOA English 900.”
Cui Litang explains how after graduating from college he was designated – against his personal desire – as a political adviser. Eventually he was able to get a teaching job. “Teaching provides a better opportunity to be creative, and this is where I started to explore and implement media, the shortwave radio in this case, as an alternative means of learning the English language, even just in a limited dimension. I started to introduce in the early 1990s, VOA English, VOA Special English, and BBC English into the classroom, in an attempt to connect international radio on the airwaves to the classroom, providing an opportunity to diversify and synergize learning and teaching.”
He taped shortwave programs for presentation in his classroom, and gave students additional information and tips for radio listening, such as programs, time and frequencies. “Over half of the students owned a shortwave radio as an essential piece of study gear, along with a Walkman, for learning a foreign language,” said Cui Litang.
About a decade later, the Internet began to become a major player in Chinese education. “The concept of the conventional classroom in brick and mortar has changed, and replaced by a virtual community on top of the computer network where the online teachers do all the model reading and instructions, albeit with drastically reduced interactions, as well as human contact. This provides an enormous opportunity to learn for nearly 480 million netizens in China (approximately one-third of 1.4 billion people).”
However, explains, Cui Litang, many are still struggling to navigate and negotiate the new Internet media. “First of all, absolute average illiteracy in China is at nearly 10%, and illiteracy in 10 provinces and regions (one-third of all provinces and regions in China) alone is as high as 50%. Relative illiteracy, in terms of science and culture, is expected to be even higher, which translates into tremendous difficulty with access to new technology.” He also cites a large “digital divide between the haves and have-nots.” For these reasons, “radio continues to play a prominent role in reaching over one-sixth of the world’s population, set apart by geography, language and ethnicity.”
Following Cui Litang's interesting presentations, John Wineman of HCJB's Global Technology Center in Indiana showed attendees the new Pappradio DRM receiver developed by HCJB in Germany. It must be connected to a computer to decode DRM signals, but the unique thing about it is its tiny size. It all fits inside a small external hard drive case, and costs less than $100.
Each night of the cruise, all of the group members had dinner at 8:30 pm in the ship's main dining room. Our Philippine head waiter and Indian assistant waiter provided attentive service, as part of an international wait staff of dozens of people from dozens of countries around the world who have to serve over 2000 people in two seatings each night. The food was an international mix of gourmet cuisine, with offerings such as escargots in garlic butter, duck a l'orange, hot pumpkin or cold pineapple soup, chicken marsala, tender filet mignon and a variety of fish and seafood. Not to mention scrumptious desserts like tiramisu, pistachio ice cream, chocolate mousse and a variety of cakes. If you didn't like something you ordered, you could always ask for something else. And if you did like something, the waiters were always ready to give you a second helping.
At about 8:00 am on Saturday, May 14th, the Majesty of the Seas anchored off the coast of CocoCay, a small private island in the Bahamas which is owned by Royal Caribbean. While most people on the ship were taking small (well, relatively small, compared to the size of the Majesty) boats called tenders to CocoCay on Saturday morning, the NASB group assembled in the Conference Center for another round of meetings.
We were pleased to have two former secretaries-general of the European DX Council (EDXC) at the NASB meeting this year: Michael Murray from England , who was the longest-serving Secretary-General in the EDXC's history (about 16 years) and Risto Vahakainu of Finland, who succeeded Michael Murray. Risto is a board member of the Finnish DX Association, one of the oldest and largest DX clubs in the world.
Risto began his presentation by giving the group a general overview of Finland, a northern European country bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia with a population of about 5.3 million, most of whom speak Finnish, but with a 5-6% minority of Swedish speakers. Finland is a Nordic democracy and currently has a female president. The capital and largest city, Helsinki , has about one million people in the metropolitan area. The second largest city, Tampere , has about 220,000. Major industries include forestry, agriculture, paper mills, high technology (such as Nokia cell phones) and shipyards. Risto noted that the two latest cruise ships introduced by Royal Caribbean – the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas – were built in Finland. They are also the largest cruise ships in the world.
Finland's cold northern climate, with long dark winters, is very good for radio propagation. The northern part of the country is in the Auroral Zone. In the 1950s, a number of Finnish DXers started travelling to summer homes outside of the big cities where they could put up more sophisticated antennas and had less interference than in the city. The first major DXpedition (trip by a group of DXers to do radio listening) to northern Finland was in December of 1972, and many others took place throughout the rest of the 1970s.
Eventually, someone came up with the idea of a permanent DXpedition location in the Arctic. In 1982, one was established in a place called Lemmenjoki. Permanent antennas were placed there around 1984. Over 300 DXpeditions have taken place there between 1982 and 2011, most of them from October to February. In 1986, the Finnish DX Association produced a film called “DXing Below Zero” about a DXpedition in Lapland. Risto brought a copy of the film and showed it to the NASB group as the Caribbean sun shone outside the ship.
There are about 12 permanent antennas, around 3000 feet each, at Lemmenjoki with coaxial feeds. A lot of high-end receivers have been used there by DXers, including the NRD, and various software-defined receivers since about five years ago. The most popular at the moment is called the Perseus and can copy the whole AM band. There is some shortwave DXing at these northern locations, but most people go for the tremendous opportunities which this location provides for hearing mediumwave stations from North America during the winter months.
Lemmenjoki continues to operate, and another site was added in 2008 at Enontekio. In 2010, a new permanent DX camp was set up at Aihkiniemi in a container. It has a lot of facilities for visiting DXers, who can rent the site for 500 euros per week, including the use of all of the antennas. Risto explained that those interested in going there can get more information at the website www.dxing.info.
Shortwave listening and DXing have long been very popular in Finland and the Nordic countries in general. The Finnish DX Association has some impressive membership statistics, which Risto outlined. The club was founded in 1958 with 80 members. By 1968 it had grown to 603 members, and by 1978 to 1815 members. The highest membership figure ever was in 1983 with 2548 members. By 1988, the number of members had declined slightly to 2035. It steadily declined over the next decade to 938 by 1998, and then down to 657 in 2006. It has declined even further since then, but Risto said that it has risen somewhat recently and currently stands at around 600.
Shortwave Listener Survey Results
Next up on Saturday morning was Dr. Jerry Plummer of WWCR with the long-awaited results of the NASB Shortwave Listeners Survey. A few years ago, when several major stations began to eliminate their shortwave transmissions to North America, someone suggested that the NASB undertake a survey to find out just how many shortwave listeners there are in North America. We obtained a few quotes from organizations which carry out these types of surveys, but even the least expensive option was still more than the NASB could commission by itself. We attempted to get financial contributions from some of the major shortwave stations still broadcasting to North America, but no one was interested in participating.
But there was a Plan B. The Board discussed the idea of using the NASB website to carry out an online survey of shortwave listeners which would be virtually free of charge. Jerry Plummer, a professor who deals regularly with surveys and statistics, agreed to coordinate the survey and suggested putting it on Survey Monkey, which cost the NASB only $200 for a year. We put a link to the survey on the NASB website, www.shortwave.org, and various other shortwave-related organizations helped us publicize it – some with links on their own sites (including WWCR). We put the survey online in May of 2010, and by May of 2011 we had over 1300 responses from shortwave listeners around the world. Clearly these were more upscale listeners who had access to the Internet, but the demographic information obtained from the survey would still be extremely valuable.
Jerry pointed out some of the significant findings of the survey. Two-thirds of respondents had three or more shortwave receivers. The most popular makes were Sony, Grundig and Icom, which are not cheap receivers. A whopping 84% of respondents had been listening to shortwave for more than 10 years, so these are not novices. Nearly 90% had listened to a shortwave broadcast within the last week, and 31% listen more than seven hours per week. Thirty-five percent had purchased a shortwave receiver within the last year; 75% within the last five years. Three-quarters bought their receivers new, nearly half of them via Internet or mail order. Forty-three percent planned to buy another shortwave receiver within the next year. If they travel abroad, 73% of survey respondents carry a shortwave radio with them. Forty percent are licensed amateur radio operators – a fact that may surprise some. Nearly half of them paid between US$100 and US$500 for their primary receiver.
The survey asked for the five favorite shortwave stations of each respondent. The top five vote-getters were BBC, Voice of America, Deutsche Well, China Radio International and WWCR. Rounding out the top ten were Radio Australia, the Voice of Russia, Radio Netherlands, Radio Havana Cuba and Radio Canada International. News and current affairs is the most popular program genre of these listeners, followed by shortwave hobby/DX programs, cultural and educational programs and music. Religious programming was favored by seven percent of respondents. The vast majority listen to shortwave programs in English, with significant smaller portions listening in Spanish and French.
Thirty-three percent of those who took part in the survey also listen to international broadcasts via the Internet on their computers, and nine percent listen with a dedicated Internet radio receiver. Local AM and FM rebroadcasts of shortwave stations were listened to by 16% of participants. International broadcasts via satellite were less popular at 9%. Twelve percent download international radio programs to their MP3 player, and six percent listen via their mobile phones.
Eighty-one percent of those who responded were familiar with the term DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale), but only 14% listen to DRM broadcasts. Fifty-three percent would be willing to pay from US$100 to US$300 for a DRM receiver, and 38% would be willing pay no more than US$100.
Forty-four percent of listeners get their information about shortwave broadcasts from the Internet, 30% from magazines or books such as the World Radio TV Handbook, and 26% from DX programs. The most popular publications were Monitoring Times (28%), the World Radio TV Handbook (27%) and Popular Communications (16%). Surprisingly perhaps, 65% do not belong to a shortwave club or organization. When asked if they collect QSL cards, the response was split about half and half.
The largest age group was 50 to 60 years old (32%), followed by 40-50 years (25%), 60 and over (25%), and 30-39 (12%). Only five percent were in their 20s, and just one percent under 20 years old. This shows the challenge that international broadcasters have of reaching younger listeners. A question about annual household income revealed that the largest group (24%) make from US$50,000 to US$100,000 per year, while 16% make from US$25,000 to US$50,000 per year.
One of the most revealing statistics was that 97 and a half percent of respondents were male, reinforcing the stereotype that shortwave is a technical hobby. Seventy-six percent have a college education, and a high school diploma is the highest education for 22%.
Over half (54%) of the respondents live in North America, and 28% are in Europe Eight percent live in Asia, and four percent each in Latin America and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific). Less than one percent answered from Africa .
The final question on the survey was about how participants heard about the survey. Fifteen percent heard about it from the NASB website, 59% from another website, 19% through a shortwave publication, and 7% from a friend or family member.
When Jerry presented these findings at the NASB annual meeting, it was suggested that the NASB should cross-tabulate these results to analyze the responses of subgroups such as geographical regions and age groups. Jerry said he will try to get his students to work on this project in the coming months.
Shortwave a la Francais
We were privileged to have two representatives of NASB associate member TDF – TeleDiffusion de France – on the cruise. Jerome Hirigoyen, Head of Business Development and International Broadcasting at TDF's Radio Business Unit, gave a presentation on Saturday morning about TDF and its relay stations. TDF is a European group with expertise in audiovisual broadcasting, terrestrial TV, satellite, Internet and more. It has 10,000 sites worldwide.
The TDF Group has three main activities: broadcasting, telecommunications and multimedia. It is a major player in the process of digitalization – digital terrestrial television, digital radio (the European Eureka 147 system) and DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale). The TDF companies in Europe include TDF SAS in France, Media Broadcast in Germany, Digita in Finland, Antenna Hungária in Hungary, Axión in Spain, PSN in Poland, Alticom in the Netherlands, Levira in Estonia and MCR in Monaco. The group has over 5000 employees, with over 2800 in France and over 1000 in Germany.
TDF was founded in 1975. In 1991, it was a 100% subsidiary of France Télécom. By 2002, France Télécom's shares were only 36%, and today TDF has five major private shareholders and other smaller ones. Consolidated sales figures for 2010-2011 are more than 1.5 million euros, mostly from radio and television services. Over half of its revenues comes from France, and 29% from Germany. It operates 10,070 sites, with 8400 in France, 930 in Germany (owned by Deutsche Telekom), 550 in Finland, 240 in Hungary and 650 in other countries.
TDF broadcasting activities include digital television, DTT, HDTV, Catch-up TV, video on demand, mobile TV, satellite links, analog and digital radio. Of the 10 European countries with digital terrestrial television, the TDF Group has rolled it out in six of them: Finland, Germany, Spain (Andalusia), France, Estonia and Hungary. The Group has launched several mobile TV networks in Europe. TDF was the first broadcaster in Europe to provide HDTV services using radio waves, starting in France in 2008. The Group's shortwave centers offer international radio services covering Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and most of the United States.
In the area of telecommunications, TDF is involved in network design, roll-out, operation and maintenance, equipment hosting, mobile telephone, network and broadband. It offers solutions and expertise in site operation and integrated services. In multimedia, TDF provides digital content management, video service platforms, electronic transfer of digital files, audiovisual broadcasting online, and a global real-time traffic information service called V-Traffic.
TDF operates four shortwave relay sites: Issoudun in France, Wertachtal and Nauen in Germany, and Montsinery in French Guiana. Issoudun has been operated since 1948, last modernized in 2007. The site has seventeen 500-kilowatt transmitters, all of which can also operate at 100 to 250 kw. Two transmitters are DRM-capable (30 to 150 kw). Twelve rotatable antennas can be switched to cover near, medium or far distances. (One can operate in the 4 MHz band.) In addition, there are 50 curtain antenna systems.
The Wertachtal site in Germany has operated since 1972. It has six transmitters ranging from 100 to 500 kw and DRM capability from 40 to 200 kw. There are a whopping 70 curtain antenna arrays, one log periodic antenna and five omnidirectional antennas.
The Nauen transmitter site has been operated since 1906, and was modernized in 1997. There are five transmitters ranging from 100 to 500 kw, DRM-capable. There are five rotatable curtain antenna systems for long-distance coverage and three rotatable antennas for near and medium-range coverage.
The newest TDF shortwave relay site is in Montsinéry, French Guiana. It began operation in 1984 and was modernized in 2006. There are five transmitters from 250 to 500 kw. The 250-kw units can operate at 100 kw. One transmitter is DRM-capable (30 to 150 kw). The site has two rotatable antennas and 11 curtain antenna systems. Montsinery's main target areas are North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and West Africa.
TDF now has 50 years of experience in shortwave broadcasting, said Jerome. It offers “all-inclusive service,” including frequency planning and coordination, transmission scheduling and antenna selection. Programs can be sent to the transmitter sites via Internet (audio files), ISDN, satellite and leased lines. Jerome pointed out that TDF is playing an active role in the development and implementation of DRM, and it has been operating regular DRM transmissions for more than five years.
Following Jerome Hirigoyen's informative presentation, he demonstrated (on an outside part of the ship's deck) live reception of a special TDF DRM broadcast that was done especially for the NASB meeting. Reception was excellent on the Himalaya DRM receiver that he brought with him on the cruise.
After this, most delegates spent the afternoon on CocoCay, where they enjoyed a barbecue lunch provided by Royal Caribbean with ribs, hamburgers and more. The small island has an aqua park, beach bars, huts selling Bahamian arts and crafts, a volleyball court, a nature trail and several pristine beaches with shallow, warm water and excellent snorkeling opportunities. On one beach, we found dozens of large queen conch shells in the shallow water. They had to be left in the water as they had live animals inside, which are often eaten as a local delicacy in the Bahama .
After returning to the ship, most of the group attended a captain's reception in the ship's main theater, where we had the opportunity to personally meet the captain (who is from Norway) and to hear an introduction of the ship's main officers, who come from a variety of countries around the world.
Florida's Shortwave Stations
During the past several years, the NASB annual meetings have been hosted by a local member or associate member organization at or near their own stations or headquarters. This has given attendees the opportunity to visit our various members facilities, and it has given more employees of those institutions an opportunity to attend our annual meetings. This year, the meeting was hosted by WRMI in Miami. There is also another NASB member station in south Florida, WYFR in Okeechobee. Since the meeting was held on a cruise ship, there was not an opportunity to visit these stations, but on Sunday morning, May 15th, a slide presentation gave attendees a look at both stations. Dan Elyea, manager of the WYFR facility in Okeechobee (and NASB Secretary-Treasurer), sent a series of slides of their transmitter site and a brief history of the station.
WYFR is a large shortwave station, with twelve 100-kw and two 50-kw transmitters and 23 antennas consisting of four sizes of double rhomboids (a cousin to the rhombic), three types of log periodics and one dipole curtain with passive reflector screen. The owner is Family Stations, Inc., which began as one local radio station in San Francisco in 1959. KEAR-FM had a Bible-centered format targeted to all members of the family. It became known informally as “Family Radio,” and was a non-profit station supported by listener donations. Over the years, Family Radio expanded to become a network of many AM and FM stations and its headquarters was moved to nearby Oakland, California. Programming was produced at studios in the Oakland headquarters and distributed to the network stations. This same concept continued when Family Radio added shortwave.
The shortwave station that was to become WYFR was born over 80 years ago. In 1927, W1XAL received a shortwave license to operate from Boston, Massachusetts. Programming was mostly educational, with some music and entertainment. In 1936 the station moved to a World War I-era military test facility in Scituate, 20 miles south of Boston. The call letters were changed in 1939 to WRUL, which stood for World Radio University for the Listener. The U.S. Government used WRUL to transmit the Voice of America during World War II and through the early 1950s. In 1966, the call letters were changed again to WNYW (Radio New York Worldwide) and studios were moved to New York City.
In 1973, Family Radio bought the facility, and the call letters were changed to WYFR (Your Family Radio). At that time, WYFR had two 100-kw and two 50-kw transmitters and nine rhombic antennas. A third 100-kw transmitter was added a year later. The transmitter site occupied a bit over 40 acres, but residential growth eventually reached the boundaries of the property, so future expansion was not possible. The antennas had excessive cross coupling because of their close proximity, and they were too small for adequate gain.
Family Radio was thinking expansion, and soon began looking for another site – something flat, with no trees, far from residential areas and with good electrical rates. They decided on the current site, which is located about 20 miles north of Lake Okeechobee in south Florida . These 660 acres of flat, grassy land were an excellent place to construct a number of large antennas. Incidentally, the names of both WYFR sites were derived from American Indian words referring to water. Scituate means “cold brook” and Okeechobee means “big water.”
Construction began in Okeechobee in 1976. In November of 1977 the first transmissions took place to Europe and South America from one 100-kw transmitter and two double-rhomboid antennas. At this point WYFR was broadcasting from two sites separated by over 1000 miles. Each time a new transmitter was inaugurated in Okeechobee, one was taken off air in Scituate and sent down to Okeechobee for installation there. The last transmitter in Scituate went off the air in 1979. The fourteenth transmitter went on the air in Okeechobee in 1988.
WRMI is the other NASB member in south Florida. Radio Miami International's transmitter site is located near Hialeah, just northwest of Miami. Jeff White, the station manager, showed slides of the site, the 50,000-watt Wilkinson shortwave transmitter, the station's corner reflector antenna beaming to the Caribbean and Latin America, a yagi-style antenna beamed to North America, the transmitter building, antenna switching equipment, etc. WRMI reaches as far as southern Chile and Argentina during nighttime hours, and during the day and night it can be heard throughout the Caribbean, parts of Mexico , Central America and northern South America. Jeff explained that they use an Orban Optimod HF audio processor which gives the signal a significant extra punch.
Jeff showed photos of the building where the station's studios and offices are located, and photos of various program producers at WRMI, including a Cuban trio which sings the news and plays a guitar in the studio; an independent Latin music show, a Methodist pastor who records short meditations from The Upper Room which are broadcast every day in Spanish; the Spanish section team of Radio Slovakia International, which is rebroadcast by WRMI to Latin America; and some of the station's listeners in the Andes of Peru, in Cuba and in Haiti just after the 2010 earthquake, where WRMI sent a box of fix-tuned Galcom shortwave receivers which pick up Radio Miami's signal on 9955 kHz.
Other slides showed a recent meeting of Radio Netherlands listeners which was held at the WRMI studios, the WRMI team at the HFCC B09 Conference in the Dominican Republic, the NASB and WRMI exhibits at the European DX Council Conference in Switzerland in 2007, and WRMI's Jeff and Thais White visiting Radio Korea and doing a special report from the Venezuelan Amazon region. Jeff concluded with slides of last year's NASB annual meeting in Hamilton, Ontario and recent HFCC conferences in Tunis and Zurich.
So Where are the Radios?
One of the most-asked questions about DRM is, “Where are the radios?” Michel Penneroux had the onerous task of explaining to NASB annual meeting participants why it has been so difficult to convince manufacturers to mass produce these receivers at a reasonable price. Michel was wearing three hats at this meeting: Chairman of the DRM's Commercial Committee, adviser to TDF (where he was formerly in charge of shortwave broadcasting) and head of his own company – Linamics Ltd. -- which is attempting to stimulate mass production of a low-cost DRM receiver.
Michel explained that some of the reasons why it has taken so long to get low-cost mass-produced DRM receivers in the marketplace are the high performance needed to fully benefit from the DRM standard, the lack of necessary components until recently, and the absence of investment to speed the DRM receiver production process. But he said that “now the conditions are there, and on top of them the requests from important customers are rising. It has become urgent to answer these requests and to place the first order.”
Michel said that the various players in the receiver industry need facts, such as the markets where investments are being made in DRM networks, official announcements of permanent DRM transmissions, decisions about the types of receivers to be produced (audio only, multimedia and/or car receivers), the price range, volumes, time schedule and firm commitments from purchasers.
The most important markets for DRM's immediate future, in Michel's estimation, are Russia (needing a few hundred thousand receivers), India (probably big but no firm figures yet), South Africa and Iran (also a few hundred thousand receivers for each country). The next most important markets in the short term are Europe ( France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the U.K. and Belgium ), Canada and Brazil. In countries like Russia, Iran and South Africa, Michel revealed that retailers are ready to commit to purchase about 500,000 receivers over the next 12 months.
The Linamics company, based in Hong Kong, hopes to place the first major order for the industry. Its objective is to centralize all orders in one place in order to produce a large enough order to get a manufacturer to produce the product, and to supervise the process as it moves along. The value of the first order would be 3.4 million U.S. dollars – enough to produce 170,000 receivers at a cost of US$20 each, with an estimated sale price of US$50 per radio. This would be an audio-only receiver, and the chip (IC) would have a cost of US$7 each. A second option would be for a receiver with multimedia capabilities.
Option 1 would be a pocket-size receiver which would save energy by using headphones, like an iPod, with an anticipated delivery time of 15-18 months. If an initial order could be made by June 2011, for example, delivery could be made in time for Christmas sales in 2012. Michel outlined in detail the whole design, testing and production process. He said that the actual manufacturing of the 170,000 receivers would only take about one month.
Option 2 would require several extra steps to produce a receiver with multimedia functionality. The chip for this one would cost about US$10 each, and the cost of the investment would be at least another US$500,000.
Companies, radio stations or organizations which might be interested in investing in this project should contact Michel Penneroux at email@example.com or by telephone at +336-8541-1096.
Miami – Gateway to Latin America
The final presentation on the agenda for Sunday morning was given by Rex Morgan and Kok Hai Tan of NASB member World Christian Broadcasting. WCB is based in Nashville, Tennessee and operates shortwave station KNLS in Alaska and is building Madagascar World Voice, a new shortwave station off the southeastern coast of Africa. Rex Morgan is WCB's Senior Producer for Latin America. He's based in the Miami area and is already producing programs in Spanish, with Portuguese to come in the near future. WCB had planned to begin Spanish-language programming when Madagascar World Voice comes on the air, but Rex has already begun producing a weekly one-hour program called La Voz Alegre which is aired via WRMI in Miami and WINB in Pennsylvania.
Rex has a long history of producing programs for Latin Americans in Miami and in Latin America itself. He began his presentation with various photos of Miami and south Florida, including an amusing shot of Rex riding a bicycle through the Everglades, dodging alligators on the path. Rex proclaimed, “We love Latin America.” He talked about the melting pot of Latin cultures which Miami has become, with a wealth of Latin music and cuisine ranging from salsa and meringue to chicharrones de pollo, tortillas, frijoles refritos and an endless variety of fruits from Latin America.
But Rex explained that “There are many issues facing Latin Americans. Gang violence, drug cartel activity and kidnappings are a daily reality. The tragedy of natural disasters like the 8.8 earthquake in Chile last year devastate lives in a moment of time.”
“Latin Americans work to meet the basic needs of their families,” said Rex. “We can encourage them daily by broadcasting advice that makes a difference in their lives. And we can give hope to those still living under political oppression. We must reach Latin Americans where they live.”
To do this, Rex produces “La Voz Alegre” (“The Happy Voice”), a one-hour radio program with advice for peoples spiritual lives, health issues, finances and more. It is broadcast to Latin America via WRMI in Miami and WINB in Pennsylvania . La Voz Alegre has segments called Consejos de Vida (Life Advice), Un Minuto de Salud (A Minute of Health), Conceptos Financieros (Finance Concepts), Guia de la Familia (Guide to the Family), Cocinando con la Biblia Abierta (Cooking with the Open Bible), La Segunda Juventud (The Second Youth -- a program for seniors) and a variety of music. La Voz Alegre airs each Monday night at 9:00 pm Eastern Time on WRMI on 9955 kHz (and online at www.wrmi.net). It also airs on Mondays at 6:00 pm Eastern Time on WINB from Red Lion, Pennsylvania on 9265 kHz (and www.winb.com).
For some time now, Rex has also broadcast a television program program called “Con la Biblia Abierta” on MegaTV every Friday at midnight local time in south Florida . DVD's of the program are distributed throughout Latin America . The show is broadcast nationally on the Dish Network (channel 9413) on Mondays at 9:00 pm Eastern Time in all 50 states, and internationally on DirecTV and other media in 23 countries on 5,359 channels plus satellite.
By 2012, Rex expects that Madagascar World Voice will be broadcasting La Voz Alegre on shortwave to Latin America, sharing faith, hope and love to an ever wider audience.
Hope in the Storms of Life
Kok Hai Tan, Director of Communications for World Christian Broadcasting, showed a new video just produced by WCB which was very timely, to say the least. It began with scenes of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, tornadoes destroying houses in the American Midwest, and turmoil and revolution in the Middle East. Andy Baker, WCB's Vice President, said that “Since 1983 KNLS has been a beacon of hope in the storms of life.”
In addition to shortwave radio, World Christian Broadcasting uses the Internet and Facebook to reach listeners. “But the Internet is often at the pleasure of the local dictator,” said the video, citing Libya as a recent example. “At least half of the world's population is in remote areas where radio is the only means of communication.”
KNLS in Alaska broadcasts in Russian, Chinese and English. Their new station in Madagascar will transmit to the Arab world, India, Africa and Latin America. “Russia is unstable,” explained the video, “and we support the peoples’ spirit.” Three hundred million people live in the Middle East, which is erupting in revolution, such as in Tunisia and Egypt. Sixty-six percent of the population is young people who are trying to “break the chains of oppression.”
In Latin America, where 600 million people live, Rex Morgan is already reaching people with his program on two shortwave stations even before Madagascar World Voice comes on the air. The video cites a BBC study which says 186 million households in Latin America have a shortwave receiver.
In Africa, with a population of one billion, a recent independence referendum in southern Sudan has created a new country where the two official languages are Arabic and English – two languages which World Christian Broadcasting is producing. The video asserts that many people in Africa have seen religious violence, and “We want to communicate Christ without a political agenda.”
India has a population of 1.2 billion, and English is the official language of commerce. “Recent movies like Slumdog Millionnaire show the people's fascination with Western culture,” according to the video. Students of English in China listen to KNLS English hour.
The movie ends with scenes of construction at Madagascar World Voice. WCB concedes that the project has gone more slowly than originally anticipated due to political problems and fundraising challenges in the current economic climate. As the video was being produced, WCB was still raising the necessary funds to make the final payments on the shortwave transmitters. And in February of this year, a cyclone hit northern Madagascar. But WCB President Charles Caudill says that despite everything, the project has gone extremely well. New programs in six languages are being produced and will be ready to air when Madagascar World Voice gets on the air later this year or in 2012.
Annual Business Meeting
Each year at the end of our annual meeting, we have the NASB's annual business meeting, which is open to all – members or not. The first item on the agenda was approval of Dan Elyea's always complete financial reports and the minutes from last year's business and board meetings. Next were the elections of two new board members. David Creel of Far East Broadcasting Company had notified us that he did not want to seek re-election after his current board term ended in May, so nominations were requested for a replacement. Charles Caudill, President of World Christian Broadcasting, was nominated and elected unanimously. Bill Damick's board term was also ending, and rather than seek re-election, he indicated that George Ross, also of Trans World Radio, would be taking over as the primary TWR contact for the NASB. So George, who works at KTWR in Guam, was nominated and elected unanimously. Current Board members who continue serving for another year are Brady Murray of WWCR, Adrian Peterson of Adventist World Radio, Glen Tapley of WEWN and Jeff White of WRMI.
Also at the business meeting, it was suggested to continue the NASB shortwave listener survey for another year, but this time in Spanish, which would enable a much wider participation from Latin America and part of Europe. The proposal was approved, and within two weeks the Spanish-language survey was placed on the NASB website, www.shortwave.org. As it turned out, it was also possible to continue the English-language survey for another year in order to have an even larger database of listeners. The results of the Spanish-language SWL survey will be announced at the 2012 NASB annual meeting which will be held May 10 and 11 at the headquarters of Radio Free Asia in Washington, DC. Translations of the survey in other languages may also be added in the coming months.
At a brief Board of Directors meeting following the business meeting, all of the current officers were re-elected, namely Jeff White as President, Glen Tapley as Vice President, Dan Elyea as Secretary-Treasurer and Thais White as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. The Board also discussed and approved a transition plan to deal with Secretary-Treasurer Dan Elyea's intention to resign by the end of 2011 after many years of faithful service. When Dan resigns, Jeff White will resign as President and will become Secretary-Treasurer, Glen Tapley will resign as Vice President and will become President, Brady Murray will become Vice President, and Thais White will remain as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. That will take us up to next year's annual meeting in May. Jeff will continue to be a Board member until his current term ends in May of 2012. As the new Secretary-Treasurer, Jeff will take over the NASB Newsletter production and distribution and will also carry out the other secretarial and financial business of the Association. Thais White, as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, was tasked with finding a conference hotel for the 2012 annual meeting in Washington.
The Board welcomed and accepted an invitation by WEWN to host the 2013 NASB Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama at the facilities of EWTN. The meeting will likely be held in early May, but the exact dates have not been finalized yet.
One item that was discussed briefly at the Board meeting was a suggestion by Adrian Peterson that the Association resume a regular “Voice of the NASB” DRM transmission. A few years ago, the NASB had a weekly program in DRM to Europe via the facilities of NASB associate member VT Communications – now Babcock – in the U.K. for a few seasons. Later, the Voice of the NASB targeted North America for a few seasons via the DRM facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Sackville, New Brunswick. It was proposed that the Voice of the NASB be resumed in the near future for at least one broadcast season, perhaps through a different DRM transmission site. Due to time constraints, a decision was not taken, but this proposal will continue to be discussed by the Board via its e-mail reflector.
The Board meeting was abbreviated due to the fact that most people in the group took part in a sightseeing tour on Sunday afternoon of Nassau and nearby Paradise island, which is connected by a bridge to the Bahamian capital. The bus tour visited two historic British forts in Nassau – Fort Charlotte and Fort Fincastle – as well as the Queen's Staircase, the world-famous Atlantis resort on Paradise Island and a quick drive-by of the government-owned radio and television network ZNS and a few commercial radio stations. The tour ended in downtown Nassau, where participants had a short time to go shopping for duty-free articles or local arts and crafts before re-boarding the Majesty of the Seas for the trip back to Miami.
The official activities ended with the nightly group dinner at 8:30 pm, which featured Italian cuisine and some spirited singing and dancing by the restaurant staff. This was followed by a group photograph in the ship's central atrium and a fond farewell to everyone – at least until next year.
The group photograph, and many other photos of the NASB 2011 Annual Meeting, can be seen on WRMI's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wrmiradio. Click on “Photos,” then “NASB 2011 Annual Meeting.” Various PowerPoints and other presentations from the meeting can be found on the NASB website, www.shortwave.org.
HCJB Partner Vozandes
Media Adds Programs in 2 Indigenous Languages in Ecuador
(February 18, 2011 - by Ralph Kurtenbach, HCJB Global)
Ecuador-based partner ministry Vozandes Media recently added two languages to its program schedule, airing from its shortwave transmitter on Mount Pichincha above Quito. Begun in mid-2009, Vozandes Media now airs 12 languages, the majority of those from South America.
Programs in the Cha´palaa (also known as Chachi and Cha´palaachi) and Shuar languages, both indigenous to Ecuador, began airing in mid-January, according to Stefan Thiemert, a German computer scientist volunteering his time in Ecuador.
Hymns with Shuar lyrics, for example, had already been recorded on
tape, then later digitalized. “This music is used for broadcast a half-hour
every day,” Thiemert said. The
intended audience, members of the Shuar Indians of Ecuador’s Amazon region, was first evangelized by Protestant missionaries in the 1940s. Newly printed Shuar Bibles were
presented last summer in jungle communities of Ecuador’s Amazon region.
Likewise, a half-hour each day is dedicated to a broadcast in Cha´palaa for the Chachi (Cayapa) people group living in Ecuador’s northwestern province of Esmeraldas. The Chachi, numbering about 15,000, live mainly by agriculture, fishing and hunting.
Using the Dalet system at Radio Station HCJB in Quito, Thiemert digitally mixes all parts of the daily half-hour programs even though he doesn’t understand either language. “We first have an announcement in Spanish, then in Cha´palaa, then come the readings—for instance at the moment we are broadcasting [a reading from] Exodus,” Thiemert explained. “Afterwards we broadcast some music and ‘A Verse to Remember.’”
The recordings were done by an evangelical from Esmeraldas province, Mártires Tapuyo. He worked with missionaries Neil and Ruth Wiebe of Wycliffe Bible Translators on written texts, then began serving as a liaison between HCJB Global Hands water technicians and Chachi communities. He also took on the task of recording biblical texts from Genesis, Exodus and the New Testament. The Wiebes have since retired in Canada.
In Ecuador since
October 2010, Thiemert comes from Darmstadt, Germany,
where he has studied computer science. He also posts programs to an Internet
site for delivery to CVC
International (Voz Cristiana) an international broadcaster with headquarters in Birmingham, England.
Languages airing on 6050 kHz from Ecuador include Cha´palaa, Cofán, Quichua, Shuar, Spanish and Waorani. For a half hour respectively, Cha´palaa airs at 2130 UTC and Shuar at 2330 UTC Monday through Friday.
German, Low German, Portuguese and Kulina (indigenous
language in the Brazilian Amazon) airs from CVC International in Chile. (The
Chile site is part of the
organization, Christian Vision, with headquarters in the U.K.) German and Low German both air on 9835 kHz at 1630 and 2330 UTC while Portuguese and Kulina air on 11920 kHz at 2245 UTC. Additionally, a shortwave site in Sitkunai, Lithuania, airs programming in Russian and a Central Asian language on 9770 kHz.
Vozandes Media has added satellite broadcasts in Europe as well as podcasts on the Internet to further spread the gospel. Program delivery on Phonecaster is also an option in which Europeans can select from a variety of German-language programs by calling a specific telephone number. The Low German program enjoys top popularity with a daily broadcast on Phonecaster.
Recognized by Ecuador’s authorities, Vozandes Media works under the auspices of HCJB Global’s World Office in Germany. Formerly it was under the mission’s Latin America Region. Several staff members continue to work in the Quito office.
Galcom carries out radio station upgrade in Micronesia
From Galcom International Newsletter – March 2011
Four years ago, Allan McGuirl Sr. and technician Dave Casement travelled to Micronesia and installed an FM radio station to broadcast the Gospel message on Pohnpei Island. They also installed a shortwave tropical band radio station intended to reach more than 1200 islands within a 1000-mile radius. However, they faced a major obstacle. The property at Pastor Nob Kalau's radio station site was not large enough for the tropical band antenna needed. Through an agreement to use a portion of a neighbor's property, a makeshift antenna was installed. To everyone's amazement, when the station was turned on reports were received from Japan (3000 miles away) indicating the radio signal was strong and clear there. The problem was, people on many of the nearby islands could not hear the signal because it was being projected right over the top of them. After a number of antenna adjustments were made, it was concluded that a new antenna configuration was needed.
This past February Dave Casement returned to Micronesia along with his brother-in-law Stewart Crozier and fellow Galcom technician David Creel. They took along some new equipment to help extend the FM signal, two FM 'repeater' stations and a new shortwave antenna. When the new FM equipment and the two repeater stations were installed they received reports from listeners indicating an improved clear signal was being received across the entire island of Pohnpei.
Next, the team turned their attention to upgrading Pastor Nob's shortwave radio station. After the new antenna was installed they soon received confirmation that the nearby islands were being reached with a clear signal throughout the day. Mission accomplished, Praise the Lord! As the team celebrated their success, reports started coming in from people all around the world indicating they too were picking up a strong clear signal. First from New York, then from California, then from Japan and then Saipan and finally from Finland.
Shortwave signals do tend to bounce and with enough transmitter power can reach long distances, but these reports are amazing in light of the fact that Pastor Nob is only using a 1000-watt transmitter. Praise the Lord for his ability to send His word to the four corners of the world from a remote little island in the North Pacific (just north of the equator). Recent upgrades now ensure his radio signal can be heard on the more than 600 other Micronesia islands. Galcom fix-tuned radios will provide exclusive listening to the Gospel message proclaimed daily on Pastor Nob's radio station.
News reports indicate that this station, called “The Cross,” is being heard on 4755 kHz by listeners in many countries.
Announcement: Expansion at KSDA Guam
from Adrian Peterson, AWR “Wavescan” program
A special news release from the international headquarters of Adventist World Radio in suburban Washington DC gives broad details of an expansion project at the AWR shortwave station on the island of Guam in the Western Pacific. This news release was prepared by Shelly Nolan Freesland, who is the Communication Director for the entire AWR System. This news release states:
The Board of Directors of Adventist World Radio has approved, in concept, the expansion of AWR’s shortwave broadcasting facility, station KSDA, on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. It is intended that this project will result in much better coverage of China which is a critical mission area for the Seventh‐day Adventist Church.
The Guam station, which was established in 1987, currently broadcasts programs in 30+ languages for nearly 300 hours each week to a large portion of Asia. Just over half of these hours consist of Mandarin programming for listeners in China.
The station’s shortwave footprint also includes India; and together with China, these two countries contain close to half of the world’s total population. In addition, listeners in countries such as Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia and more, can all hear AWR programming in their own languages.
The technical equipment for shortwave station KSDA currently consists of six antenna towers, four curtain antennas, and five transmitters at 100 kW each. The largest tower is 330 feet tall, and each curtain antenna is about the size of two football fields.
The shortwave signals that are generated at AWR Guam can travel for thousands of miles, enabling the gospel message for these last days to freely enter many areas without hindrance. Although the current equipment enables a good reliable signal to cover many areas in Eastern Asia, yet a stronger signal is needed to adequately reach listeners in the northern areas of Eastern Asia, such as northern China, Mongolia, Siberia, and beyond.
This new project for increasing the reliable coverage area from shortwave station KSDA calls for an additional curtain antenna. Adding a fifth antenna will enable AWR to broadcast a strong signal to these northern areas during prime listening hours, as well as simultaneously transmitting additional programs in more languages.
“Over the years, our Mandarin broadcasts have generated an incredible response from listeners in China,” says AWR president Dr. Dowell Chow. “But these listeners are primarily located in the south part of the country, where our signal is much more consistent and clear. So our goal is to provide the same quality of broadcasts to the millions of people living in the areas further to the north.”
“At the same time,” continued Dr Chow, “We are continuing to develop programs in additional languages. We are pleased to have recently found producers for AWR programming in the languages of Tibet and Bhutan. When these new programs are ready for broadcast, we will need the additional air time on this planned new antenna system.”
Additionally, Dr Chow stated, that while AWR recently placed significant resources into launching a comprehensive podcasting system – in which all of our radio programming can also be heard worldwide online – we recognize that shortwave broadcasts are still a vital part of our mission. He added that in spite of the growth in Internet usage, shortwave is still the primary method of receiving information for literally hundreds of millions of people. A full 24 percent of the world’s population does not have regular access to electricity. So at AWR, we remain very aware that our listeners in many areas throughout the world are extremely diverse.
AWR states that the installation of the new tower and antenna system should be completed by the end of 2012, which is the 25th anniversary of station KSDA Guam.
In explanation, it is
stated that Adventist World Radio is the international mission radio arm of the
worldwide Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
Programs are broadcast in particular throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the
Middle East on shortwave as well as by AM & FM radio. Additionally, all of
the AWR multi-language programming is also
available worldwide as podcasts, and also on demand at awr.org.
HFCC Begins Publishing Station Schedules on Public Site
The HFCC website (www.hfcc.org) has for some time included a seasonal schedule of worldwide shortwave transmissions listed in frequency order. However, in an effort to provide more listener-friendly data, the season schedules are now also including station-by-station program schedules that are submitted by the stations themselves in whatever format they wish to use. At the time of this writing, there are only a few station schedules so far, but more should soon appear. Representatives of U.S.-based FCC-licensed shortwave stations should send their program schedules to Tom Lucey (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Tom will upload them to the HFCC website.
Pictures and Publicity from NASB 2011 Annual Meeting
Here is the link to download a zip folder for photos that I took for the NASB meeting and cruise trip. Please forward this link to others so they can download the zip folder directly from http://www.wcbroadcasting.com/NASB-DRM-2011-Photos/ site.
Also, I just posted WCB involvement in the NASB meeting in Miami news to our web site. Please share this link with others. Please visit: http://www.worldchristian.org
Kok Hai Tan
Director of Communications
World Christian Broadcasting
DRM+ Successfully Tested in New Delhi
DRM Consortium news release via Alokesh Gupta and Bill Damick
New Delhi, 27th May, 2011: The first ever DRM+ trial measurements in India have thrown up very satisfactory results. The test, organised jointly by All India Radio (AIR) and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium, was an effort to test the strength and coverage of DRM digital radio in FM band (VHF band II).
The single test frequency of 100.1 MHz carried three programme channels - Gold DRM (FM), Rainbow DRM (FM) and AIR news in Journaline and its reception was measured by a test vehicle going in four directions from central New Delhi where the transmitter was installed. Nautel VS-1 transmitter with 300W output power (500W radiated power) along with RFmondial DRM+ Modulator and Fraunhofer DRM Content Server were used.
Two test modes were measured - robust 4-QAM and high capacity 16-QAM and the DRM+ coverage was found to be comparable with that of analogue FM station operating at approximately 5 times the power of the DRM+ signal. A full report will jointly be published by AIR and DRM.
This week long DRM+ Showcase (23rd - 27th May 2011) in New Delhi was also accompanied with an extensive workshop on DRM technology covering crucial issues of planning, transition, simulcast, content and receivers. A large number of participants from all across the country attended the sessions that also had interactive discussions with DRM experts.
DRM members Nautel (Canada), Fraunhofer, RFmondial, University of Hannover (Germany) KETI (South
Korea), Analog Devices (USA) and BBC (UK) took part in the test either with
equipment or experts or both. DRM Consortium will provide more information
along with the test results shortly. For details log on to http://www.drm.org/
or write to email@example.com.
Ruxandra Obreja, Chairperson DRM Consortium said "This test was a successful culmination of a close partnership of DRM Consortium and All India Radio and the whole hearted support of the DRM members who took part in this event. AIR has already adopted DRM30 for its SW/MW network and DRM+ will play a complementary role operating in VHF band."
New Transmitter in Swaziland for TWR
News release from Trans World Radio via Yimber Gaviria
May 18th, 2011
It is by God’s grace
that we have been able to replace our old medium wave transmitter in Swaziland,
Africa, with a 50,000-watt transmitter that produces a clearer, stronger
signal. The best part is that the costs are being covered by what we’re saving
This rebuilt transmitter was a prototype, which was never intended to be sold or used on the open market. It was originally given by its manufacturer, Harris, to HCJB Global, as payment for work done. There it sat, without being used and with no real future possibility of use, but God had his eye on it for Kingdom use! At the request of Swaziland’s Station Manager, Mark Blosser, HCJB Global agreed to give us the transmitter for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new one. This would have been in vain however, if the HCJB Global Technology Center hadn’t also allocated two of its engineers to refit the transmitter for use on our frequency of AM 1170. Furthermore, the input of the Harris engineer who built the transmitter was needed and when he heard that the transmitter would be used in Africa to reach people with the gospel, he got stuck right in. What was planned to be a simple three-month project turned into a massive one-year undertaking that only God could orchestrate.
The old Continental transmitter remains in Swaziland as a back-up. “It is a vintage one,” Mark Blosser says, “that I’m told it could be the only transmitter of its kind still being used!” It is famously known as the “pirate transmitter.” During the 1970s, radio stations illegally operated on ships out of the English Channel. When one of these ships entered into port, the transmitter was impounded, and then eventually sold to TWR.
European DX Conference 2011 to take place in Bulgaria
from Tibor Szilagy, EDXC Secretary General
Dear DX Friends all over the World! EDXC -- European DX Council -- cordially invites you all to the next EDXC Conference in Bulgaria, coming up on August 18 - 23, 2011. First we begin with our conference in Southern Bulgaria, in Melnik. Melnik is situated 176 Kms South from Sofia on the European Highway E 79. The same Highway leads to the Greek border -- 28 Kms.
After our conference in Melnik we are going to visit Radio Bulgaria External Services in Sofia.
You will need 3 / three /nights in Melnik : Arrival August 18 -- Departure August 21, 2011. We recommend : Hotel Melnik in Melnik. Phone : + 359 7437 2272. E--Mail reservation : firstname.lastname@example.org. Homepage : www.hotelmelnik.com
Room prices: From EUR 36,-- / Room per night, including Bulgarian Breakfast.
You will need 2 / two / nights in Sofia : Arrival August 21 -- Departure August 23, 2011.
In Sofia we recommend : HOTEL
DEDEMAN Princess Sofia, 131, Maria Luisa Boulevard, 1202
SOFIA, Bulgaria. Phone: + 359 2 933 88 88.
E -- Mail : email@example.com Homepage : www.dedeman.com
Room prices : from EUR 60,-- / Room per night, including Bulgarian Breakfast.
Please do reserve your hotel rooms now!
Our programme in Melnik, what we know now:
We will have our Conference at Hotel Melnik.
Lectures, meals and also our Banquet Dinner are at this hotel. Beyond that: One excursion to Macedonia, just over the day, just to see a little bit of another country!
Our programme in Sofia:
On Monday, August 22 we are going to visit Radio Bulgaria External Services. They transmit at least in 10 languages on Shortwave!
EDXC Reception Desk will be open from 12.00 Hours midday (noon).
The Conference Fee EUR 85,-- includes : Use of the Conference Room with fully equiped Technical Aid : LapTop with Latin Letters and picture projection possibility. Also included : Lunch on Friday, August 19 and Lunch on Saturday, August 20. And our traditional Banquet Dinner on Saturday evening is also included. Furthermore: It will be a bus taking us from Melnik to Sofia on Sunday, August 21. This bus is only reserved for our group. The price for this special bus trip is also included into the Conference Fee EUR 85,--.
Special participation fee for spouse: EUR 70,-- / spouse.
Special fee for children, up to 19 years :
EUR 58-- / child.
As to your often put question: How to proceed to Melnik from Sofia ?
1. By railway: From Sofiya Main Railway Station:
Sofia 07:40 12:15 14:00 15:35
Sandanski 11:56 15:53 18:33 19:32
Sofia 17:05 22:37
Sandanski 20:09 02:09
From Sandanski you can continue to Melnik by taxi. Distance Sandanski -- Melnik : about 17—18 Kms.
2. By bus: CENTRAL BUS STATION, Sofia,
100 Kniaginia Maria Luiza Boulevard, Sofia.
Phone: + 359 900 21 000.
Every day there is a bus at 14.00 Hours local Sofia time from Sofia to Melnik. Every hour there are busses running from Sofia to Sandanski.
As to the lectures on the conference: What we know now, Anker Petersen the Chairman of the Danish Shortwave Club International will hold a lecture on the subject: "Radio Travel in Northern Part of India and Bhutan." If you wish to contribute with lectures related to our radio hobby, you are welcome to inform me.
With best wishes and greetings from Sweden,
EDXC Secretary General
E -- Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PCJ Contest for Shortwave Radio
PCJ is having a contest giving away 4 shortwave receivers. In June, July and August we will be giving away 3 TECSUN DR920s. Then in September the grand prize a NEW Sangean ATS909X. Visit PCJ for details: www.pcjmedia.com.
AWR's Wavescan Program Now Available as Podcast
Anniston Matthews, Program Director, AWR Asia-Pacific Region, reports that there were 628 downloads of the Wavescan podcast in April 2011. More than half were from the U.S. The other top download countries were (in order): Australia, Brazil, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malysia, Canada, Japan, India and Thailand. The podcasts can be downloaded from: https://awr.org.s3.amazonaws.com/audio/podcasts/ENGMI_WAV.xml
After 50 Years, Popular Show for
Shortwave Radio Listeners to End
The “dah-di-dit” code tapping that opens the DX Partyline (DXPL) radio program for shortwave
The program will
end with broadcasts the weekend of May 28-29, exactly 50 years after it first
to the decision was the “global change in our ministry priorities as a
A former host now
retired in Carrollton, Ga., Ken MacHarg referred to
DXPL as offering a
Just after DXPL’s
Morse code opening, the booming voice of the late Bob Beukema
humble-start-to-wildly-successful goes, DXPL’s beginnings started more humbly
Party Line aired on Mondays, and when a fifth Monday periodically
occurred, it gave Hardy
Created out of
necessity, the show was soon a hit. As programs go, DXPL offered engineering
Asked about the
short evangelistic segment’s contribution to DXPL, former host John Beck
“This brief message
was the only place where they (listeners) might be touched by the gospel
With involvement in
DXPL for the last several years, Shelly Cochrane wrote that “from my
Hardy Hayes headed
DXPL just briefly, turning the show over to Clayton Howard and his wife,
“I know that
Clayton … helped me with my Christian walk during the years of college,”
Beck fondly recalls
a letter from a Puerto Rican television technician who had never
McVicar added that there were “some memorable times on the air.
A special thrill and
It fell to Graham,
however, to steer a course through celebrating shortwave radio’s golden
When he set up his
Facebook account, Graham soon topped a thousand friends, including
worldwide among radio aficionados, the DX Partyline
is to join the telegraph
Note: The NASB would
like to thank Allen Graham and HCJB for giving us the opportunity to
Seasonal Schedule data for Shortwave Listeners
Message from Oldrich Cip, Chairman, HFCC
The distribution of content in international broadcasting has undergone profound changes, and has become multi-platform - mainly on account of the arrival of digital technologies and the Internet. We have concluded repeatedly during our recent Conferences and Board and Group of Experts meetings that it is now essential to adjust the HFCC activities in step with this development.
Keeping the shortwave co-ordination alive is still our aim but our members would benefit from the inclusion of other methods of distribution on the agenda of our conferences. We support the idea in that the technologies in the distribution system should complement - rather than compete – with each other. Time will be needed for dealing with these new agenda items during conferences. We are confident that we will save time as a result of shortwave reductions or switch offs by a number of stations, and also by purging the HFCC data of all inaccuracies.
Shortwave usage is on the decrease but we believe that a sizeable part of the international audience will carry on using wireless shortwave transmissions - either AM or digital. Since this audience is vital for us we have pledged to provide the most complete and accurate information to them.
We all know I suppose that this means that we have to get rid once and for all of "wooden" frequencies. The public database is now kept constantly updated, showing immediately all schedule changes you upload to the HFCC server. In addition, there is a system already in place on the website for the upload of programme, time and frequency schedules. This arrangement will allow cross-checking between the frequency requirements in the HFCC database and the frequency information in the programme schedules. Not only the identification of the "wooden" frequencies will be easy but listeners will also be able to discover errors that occur surprisingly often in the programme schedules issued by the stations.
Everything is set for a new start. Some shortwave and DX sites have already noticed with satisfaction that the HFCC data are now being constantly updated "online". Before we make more publicity for this novelty we have to get the programme schedules on the website, and to remove any "reserve" requirements. We also urge all FMOs strongly to upload programme schedules for the A11 season in the .PDF format here: www.hfcc.org/upload/upload
The PDF programme schedule should always relate to a BROADCASTER. You can upload schedules of more broadcasters by repeating the upload procedure. The contents of the file has no prescribed structure and any language can be used. The file name A11BRC.pdf is recommended where BRC stands for a broadcaster code.
The accurate and fresh HFCC schedule information will quickly find its way to many shortwave and DX websites, and this should be a new and welcome publicity channel for the members of our co-ordination and for their stations.
We already asked for the upload of programme schedules about a month ago but the results have been quite dismal. This project is an important part of the readjustment strategy. Consequently, a search will be conducted on the Internet for those BRC programme schedules that are found missing after May 20th 2011, and volunteers or the HFCC secretariat will upload them to the website. The uploader of the schedule file will be identified. Naturally, the responsible FMO will be also authorised to upload an updated o alternative copy of the schedule if needed.
We had a discussion on these new arrangements with Bernd Friedewald (ILG Database) on the margin of the Prague
conference in February this year. Bernd pointed out that the HFCC data do not cover the shortwave usage completely. This is naturally true but having an accurate and constantly updated data of all participants of global shortwave co-ordination on the HFCC website will be a great service for listeners and a big step forward in the readjustment of HFCC activities.
New Radio Slovakia
International Facebook Page
from Anca Monica Dragu, RSI
Dear friends: We are glad to announce Radio Slovakia International's new page on Facebook! We wouldn't mind a few clicks on "Like" if you really like it:)
Associate Member TCI Moves
via Charles Caudill, World Christian Broadcasting
Please note that we moved last year from our previous facility in Fremont, CA to a newer facility. Our new address is shown below. Telephone and e-mails have stayed the same.
Dr. Ron Wilensky
Vice President, Business Development
TCI International, Inc.
3541 Gateway Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538
TEL +1 510-687-6267
MOB +1 510-427-4561
FAX +1 510-687-6101
Celebrating 50 Years with TWR
When God calls, be sure a thrilling venture of faith lies ahead. While Dick and Jeanne Olson were still in college, God called them to missionary radio. After completing a bachelor’s degree at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minn., the Lord allowed Dick to attend a technical institute for additional training in radio communication. Jeanne continued her studies at Moody Bible Institute during this time after completing nursing training. They were appointed for missionary service with TWR in June 1960.
After raising support, their first term of service began in May 1961, and they spent two years in France. During this period, Dick handled program production in several languages, and Jeanne answered English mail.
In 1963, the Olsons transferred to the Caribbean island of Bonaire. The next three years involved establishing the new facility, constructing the transmitter and power buildings and installing the transmitters.
When they left Bonaire for their first furlough, the Olsons were reassigned to Beirut, Lebanon, in 1966. While there, Dick helped construct a new studio and office facility. Program production increased in Arabic and Armenian, and the first gospel programs were recorded in the Turkish language.
After four years in Lebanon and a brief furlough, they were assigned to Monte Carlo for 10 months in preparation for their move to Africa. Arriving in South Africa in July 1971, Dick became the field director and was involved in intense negotiations with the Swaziland government to obtain broadcasting rights.
In 1973, the Olsons moved to Swaziland, where Dick remained the field director. After 14 faithful years of service in Africa, the couple transferred to the Netherlands in 1985. Dick helped with the development of TWR’s European Office, while Jeanne developed a slide/photo library and archive.
When a need arose in Monte Carlo in 1988, Dick and Jeannie moved back there and served for 10 years. After returning to the States in 1998, Dick was offered a position in the Broadcasting Relations Department at TWR’s office in Cary, NC. He acted as liaison with more than 40 of TWR’s broadcasters, until he retired in September 2002. Dick then volunteered to tackle the monumental task of organizing and cataloguing all of the photographs and documents that comprise TWR’s vast historical record. Today, he is TWR’s official archivist, and his duties involve processing and transferring slides, old pictures and documents to digital to be stored and made available for easy reference.
“There are so many wonderful memories of things God has accomplished over the years,” says Dick. “It’s been so rewarding to see the number of stations, transmitters and languages increase over time, and we want to be careful to give God all the praise and glory for allowing us to be a small part of it.”
Jeanne currently works three days per week in the Donor Services Department as a direct giving coordinator. She processes contributions, handles data entry and communicates with donors.
“TWR would not be what it is today without the wholehearted dedication and longtime contribution of Dick and Jeanne Olson,” says TWR President Lauren Libby. “TWR staff members stand on the foundation that they helped build for this ministry, and we are tremendously grateful for the hearts of this mission-focused couple.”
Please join us in thanking the Lord for the Olsons 50 years of faithful service.
SOURCE: Celebrating 50 Years with TWR http://bit.ly/lCRUDb Via Yimber Gaviria, Colombia and Juan Franco Crespo, Spain
NASB Members and
Associate Members Urged to Attend HFCC Conference in Dallas
The NASB, along with our associate member Continental Electronics, is sponsoring the HFCC/ASBU B11 Conference in Dallas, Texas Sept. 12-16, 2011. The HFCC Conference takes place twice each year and is attended by 100 or so delegates from more than 40 countries, representing most of the world's major shortwave broadcasters, as well as some of the government regulatory agencies such as the U.S. FCC.
The HFCC has been meeting twice each year since 1989, corresponding to the semi-annual international A and B broadcast seasons. Each meeting is in a different country, but the September meeting in Dallas will be the first time the HFCC has ever had a conference in the United States. We want to give delegates a warm welcome to the U.S., so we would like to have as many persons present from the NASB and its members and associate members as possible. We have already received tentative plans to attend by a number of presidents, CEO's and other representatives of NASB members and associate members. This will be an excellent opportunity for them to meet with the world's shortwave broadcasters, and to discuss some of the new platforms of delivery for international broadcasting, such as the Internet, satellites, podcasts, etc. Topics dealing with programming, audience research and others are also being planned for the agenda.
Other activities during the HFCC/ASBU Conference week will include a tour of the Continental Electronics factory in Dallas, dinner at a local steakhouse, a tour of the Fort Worth Stockyards and a Friday night rodeo.
For more details on the conference, please see the HFCC B11 Conference webpage, http://www.hfcc.org/B11.phtml.
NASB Lanza Encuesta de Oyentes de Onda Corta en Español
(NASB Launches Shortwave Listener Survey in Spanish)
Desde mayo de 2010 hasta mayo de 2011, la Asociacion Nacional de Radiodifusoras de Onda Corta de los EEUU (conocida como NASB por sus iniciales en inglés) condujo una encuesta de oyentes de onda corta alrededor del mundo en el idioma inglés. La encuesta, que aparece en la página web de la NASB (www.shortwave.org), tenia alrededor de 1300 respuestas durante el año, la mayoria de las cuales eran de Norteamérica y Europa.
Ahora, de mayo de 2011 hasta mayo de 2012, la NASB ha puesto una versión de la encuesta en español en su página. El propósito de la versión en español es permitir oyentes de onda corta en América Latina, España y otros países a participar en la encuesta. El objetivo de la encuesta es recolectar datos demograficos sobre la audiencia de onda corta, como por ejemplo cuántos receptores de onda corta posee, cuáles marcas, si conoce el término DRM, cuánto estaria dispuesto de pagar por un receptor de DRM, cuáles son sus emisoras favoritas, qué tipo de programación le gusta escuchar, cuántas horas por semana escucha la onda corta, etc.
Toda persona que participe en la encuesta tendrá la oportunidad de suscribirse completamente gratis a la NASB Newsletter (en ingles) que se publica varias veces al año via correo electrónico, con noticias sobre los miembros de la NASB y sobre la onda corta en general. Para accesar la encuesta, puede visitar la página web de la NASB, www.shortwave.org. Allí hay un enlace a la encuesta.
Los resultados de la encuesta serán anunciados durante la reunión anual de la NASB de 2012 el próximo
mayo en Washington, DC, y seran publicados
en la página web, www.shortwave.org.
Oyentes de onda corta en Cuba y otros lugares que no tengan acceso a Internet pueden pedir una copia de la encuesta por correo normal a Encuesta NASB, Apartado Postal 526852, Miami, Florida 33152, Estados Unidos de America.
Goodbye from Dan
When the NASB came into existence a little over 20 years ago, communication amongst members (other than face-to-face) took place by telephone, fax, and postal mail.
During those early years, producing the NASB Newsletter involved preparing the formatted master, working with a print shop, and then distribution via postal mailing. Nowadays, production all takes place on a computer, and distribution is entirely by way of the Internet.
When I picked up on the responsibility of the Newsletter, I was strongly motivated to communicate in a timely way matters of interest to the membership. I particularly wanted to keep them abreast of Board actions and of news from the group members. Also, as a service for those unable to attend, I wanted to provide detailed coverage of the presentations given at the Annual Meetings. My approach was to include plenty of specific detail for those truly interested and involved in HF broadcasting, rather than trying to make the Newsletter more appealing to those with only moderate interest.
Over the years, my role in the Newsletter production gradually morphed to minor editing, proof-reading, and distribution. In more recent years, the Newsletter features mostly articles written or collected by NASB President Jeff White. Jeff brings a background in editing to the table, and his descriptive accounts of some of the HFCC meetings—for example—make for enjoyable, informative reading.
I consider it my privilege to have worked in producing the Newsletter these many years. Several others deserve mention at this point: Tulio Haylock, Evelyn Marcy, Doug Garlinger and Jeff White. Tulio passed the Newsletter baton to me back in the printed version days. Evelyn has ably assisted me in formatting, proofing, and in various aspects of both postal and Internet distribution. Doug posts the Newsletters to the NASB website, and Jeff has done a great deal of writing and collecting of inputs for the Newsletter. My grateful thanks to them all. Evelyn plans to retire later this year, and that’s my signal to bow out. So long, Folks…that’s all from me!
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.
Radio Miami International
Trans World Radio
World Christian Broadcasting
World Wide Christian Radio
NASB Associate Members
Babcock (formerly VT Communications)
Continental Electronics Corporation
George Jacobs & Associates
Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers
TCI International, Inc.
National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters
10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972
Ph: (863) 763-0281 Fax: (863) 763-8867 E-mail: email@example.com