Thursday, May 08, 2014

Wavescan NWS271

* Theme - 00:00
            "Birthday Serenade" - Willi Glahe
* Opening Announcement- 00:15
            Welcome to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis, produced in studios of shortwave WRMI
            Program outline
                        1. The Story of the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station Malta
                        2. Book Review: Radio Pakistan
                        3. Japan DX Report
* BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station Malta - 00:51
            The island of Malta is located in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and North Africa.  The name Malta comes from the ancient Greek word "melity" and it means "sweet honey".
            There are actually five main islands belonging to Malta, three of which are inhabited.  Their capital city is Valetta on the north coast of the main island Malta.  With a total land area of only 122 square miles, and a total population approaching half a million, they are one of the most densely populated countries in the world.  Tourism is one of their  main industries, with more than a million visitors coming to the islands each year.
            There are two official languages in Malta, English and Maltese.  The Maltese language traces its earliest origins back to a form of ancient Arabic spoken previously on the nearby island of Sicily. However, the Maltese language is written with the English script, not the Arabic cursive writing.
            In ancient times there were two unique forms of life on the island; the dwarf elephant and the pigmy hippopotamus, each only half the size of its African relatives, though both are long since extinct.
            In prehistoric times, the earliest colonists constructed Neolithic Stone Temples which they say today are the oldest stone structures anywhere in the world.  The islands were colonized by the Phoenicians from the Middle East, and they were followed by settlers from Greece.  Malta was conquered successively, among others, by Carthage, Rome, the Arabs, Sicily, France, and then by England. 
            The unique toy dog, the Maltese, is quite small, with long silky hair reaching to the ground.  This dog was highly favored by noble women back two thousand years ago. 
            The Roman poet Martial wrote a poem about a Maltese named Issa that was owned by his friend Publius, Governor of Malta.  During the winter of 60 AD, St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta, at St. Paul's Bay, as recorded in the Book of Acts chapter 27.  He befriended Governor Publius who converted to the new Christianity, along with the entire population of the island.       
            In more recent times, the British constructed a naval fort at Delimara Point on the extreme eastern edge of the island of Malta in 1876.  The name Delimara in their language means the shadow of a woman.
            The story of the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station seems to begin not in Malta, but back on the island of Cyprus, in the year 1959.  The World Radio TV Handbook for that year (1959) lists a radio broadcasting station with the slogan Radio Independent Transmitting Unit, ITU.
            In 1959, as the WRTVHB states, a broadcast unit was on the air at the British communication station at Episkopi with a 3½ hour daily service in English from 1200 - 1530 UTC on 7130 kHz at a power level of ½ kW.  A service in Arabic was also in the planning stage.
             It is probable that this new shortwave service in the Middle East, temporary and experimental, was intended to grow into a larger facility akin to the earlier Radio Sharq al Adna, previously on the air on this same island, Cyprus.  This new radio service, under the title Radio Independent Transmitting Unit ITU, was on the air for no more than a few months, and the entire project was seemingly trans-ferred to the island of Malta.  The WRTVHB listing states that a QSL response was available by letter. 
            In the early part of this same year 1959, a party of BBC personnel made a visit to Malta to assess the radio situation on the island.  They rendered their official report in April.
            A new BBC relay station, designated as the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station was soon afterwards installed in the Royal Navy Fort at Delimara Point on the extreme easternmost point on the island of Malta.  This new relay station with its two mediumwave transmitters at 20 kW each was inaugurated during the following year 1960.  The licensed output power from this BBC relay station, which was owned and operated by the Diplomatic Wireless Service, was 10 kW, and only one transmitter was ever on the air at any one time.
            Programming was on the air ten hours a day in two sessions and it was a relay of the BBC Arabic Service which was beamed towards Libya and Tunisia.  The introductory channel when this station was inaugurated was 1079 kHz.  Then in March  of the following year (1961), the channel was changed to 1178 kHz. 
            However, in November 1968, the BBC announced that they planned to close this station.  But instead, it remained on the air, and in September 1969 the frequency was again changed, this time to 1546 kHz.  Two years later, another change was made to 1511 kHz.  Then in February 1973, at the end of nearly 13 years of service, this BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station was indeed closed, supposedly due to a request from Egypt. 
            The station was donated to the radio broadcasting authority in Malta, and they reactivated it with two channels on the air simultaneously, 998  & 1546 kHz, each at 20 kW.  One channel was programmed in Italian & Arabic, and the other in Maltese.  However, the entire facility was soon afterwards dismantled and re-installed at Bezbezija, some ten miles distant, almost in the center of the island.   
            The fort at Delimara Point was subsequently abandoned, and soon afterwards it was leased to a pig farmer.  Finally in 2005, the land was transferred to Heritage Malta and plans were implemented for turning the location into a museum and tourist site.
* National Anthem - 07:14
            Malta: Brass
* Program Announcement - 08:04
            Allen Graham
* International DX News - 08:57
            Taken from DSWCI
* Focus on Asia:Book Review - The History of Radio Pakistan- 11:22
            Quite recently, another interesting radio book came to our notice.  This book is of real interest to all who are involved in the international radio world; international radio monitors, shortwave listeners, amateur radio operators and DXers; and it tells the full story of radio broadcasting in Pakistan from the very beginning right up to almost our own present era.
            This book, with its more than 300 pages of text and research information, was written by Nihal Ahmad and it is presented in English under the rather logical title, "A History of Radio Pakistan".   The era covered in this well prepared book runs from 1923, when the territories of Pakistan were still an undreamed vision under the British rule in India, up into the era when FM radio and TV transmission were well established.  The book itself was published in the year 2005.
            As would be expected, the book begins with the story of the original radio broadcasting stations that were established in the territory of British India that later became (West) Pakistan.  These early mediumwave stations were located in Peshawar and Lahore.
            Around the time of Partition between India and Pakistan in 1947, two clandestine stations, in Peshawar and Karachi, are noted.  The details of the transition at midnight on August 14 from All India Radio to Radio Pakistan at the two official existing stations, Peshawar and Lahore, is presented in very interesting detail.
            The administration of Radio Pakistan began at Lahore, and it was then transferred to Karachi and finally up to Rawalpindi/Islamabad.   The outline story of the original shortwave Radio Trarkhel is given, and this station also ended up in Rawalpindi as APR3.
            This book, which is written in excellent English, presents the story of each local radio station in Pakistan, all 24 of them.  Interesting details regarding each station are presented in a complete chapter dedicated to this purpose.  The international shortwave facilities in Karachi and Islamabad are also presented.
            The author of this book, Nihal Ahmad, was born in Sherkot in what was then the U. P., the United Provinces of India.  He was educated in Delhi and Karachi, and he joined Radio Pakistan in 1951.  At the time when he retired in 1992, he was holding the position of Program Director for the entire network.
            This very interesting book, "A History of Radio Pakistan", is available for purchase through the internet.  If you go to Ebay, and type in the author's name, Nihal Ahmad, and then add Radio Pakistan, you will find several copies, used and new, available for purchase at all sorts of prices. 
* Japan DX Report - 14:51
            Yukiko Tsuji
* WWV Update
            25 MHz experimental usage
            Station Profile
* Music of the World - 25:00
            Malta: Folk music, classic orchestral style
* Closing Announcement - 25:16
            Scheduling: KVOH Mon 0200 UTC, 9975 kHz, 50 kW
                                WWCR Sat 1630 UTC, 12160 kHz, 100 kW    
            Thanks for listening to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis
            Next week:-
                        1. Tribute to Shortwave WYFR - 10: International Relay Services               
                        2. Surprising Information! Radio Broadcasting in the Islands of Antarctica
                        3. Philippine DX Report
            Two QSL cards available - AWR & WRMI
            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            Jeff White, shortwave WRMI
* Music Outrun - 26:29
* Program Ends - 28:50