Monday, July 14, 2014

Wavescan NWS280

* 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. VOA Sudden End to many Shortwave Broadcasts
                        2. Historic Note VOA Australia - 3: Projected VOA Relay Stations in Australia
                        3. "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs"  -  AWR "Focus on Asia" 2014 Annual DX Contest
                        4. Japan DX Report
* VOA Sudden End to many Shortwave Broadcasts - 01:07
                Word came around June 27 and 28 that the Voice of America and other services of the US International Broadcasting Bureau and the Broadcasting Board of Governors would end some of their shortwave broadcasts very suddenly...on June 30th.  We received this news from Keith Perron of PCJ Media in Taiwan, citing a memo provided by Dan Robinson, the VOA's former chief White House correspondent who recently retired.
            VOA and IBB employees, producers, journalists and listeners were all caught very much off guard when word leaked out about a management memorandum announcing the sudden end of these transmissions.  According to Radio World magazine, the reason was described as US congressional approval of cuts in shortwave broadcasts that were requested by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the VOA and IBB.  
            The American Radio Relay League, an amateur radio organization, reported the news this way:  "With no public announcement or fanfare, the Voice of America has phased out some 14 hours per day of international shortwave broadcast transmissions, effective July 1st.Another 10 hours of daily cuts have been made to Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia broadcasts."
            A BBG spokesperson, Leticia King, was quoted as saying that the shortwave cuts would not cause any employes to lose their jobs.  She said that programming continues to be available through other media, such as Internet and rebroadcasts on local radio affiliates, and that shortwave broadcasts will continue in many languages to key markets such as North Korea, Nigeria, Somalia, and the Horn of Africa.
            As published in Thomas Witherspoon's, the IBB internal memorandum said:  "Because shortwave has been a cheap and effective way to receive communications in countries with poor infrastructure or repressive regimes, it was a good way to deliver information.But broadcasting via shortwave is expensive, and its use by listeners has been on the decline for years.  At the BBG, the cost vs. impact equation no longer favors broadcasts via this medium to most of the world."
            Dan Robinson, VOA's ex-White House correspondent, cited many negative reactions from VOA listeners who said they were given no advance notice of the shortwave eliminations.  One listener pointed out the unfortunate timing of the cutbacks while there is political upheaval in Iraq, Kurdistan and Syria -- especially in the remote areas where there is no Internet available to get VOA news.
            The IBB memorandum said all shortwave frequencies for English news programs to Asia would be eliminated, including mornings from 1200-1600 UTC and evenings from 2200-0200 UTC.
            Radio World published a detailed list of shortwave cuts which was provided to them by the BBG.  They include:
                        VOA Azerbaijani - Cuts: 30 minutes shortwave
                        VOA Bangla - Cuts: 1 hour shortwave
                        VOA English (in Asia) - Cuts: 6.5 hours shortwave
                        VOA Lao - Cuts: 30 minutes shortwave
                        VOA Special/Learning English - Cuts: 5.5 hours shortwave
                        VOA Uzbek - Cuts: 30 minutes shortwave
                        RFE/RL Persian (Farda) - Cuts: 1 shortwave frequency for 6 broadcast hours
                        RFA Lao - Cuts: 2 hours shortwave
                        RFA Vietnamese - Cuts: 2 hours shortwave
Languages that continue on shortwave:
VOA Voice of America
            Afan Oromo/Amharic/Tigrigna to Ethiopia and Eritrea, Bambara, Burmese, Cantonese, Dari,
            English to Africa, English to South Sudan, French to Africa, Hausa, Khmer, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi
            Korean, Kurdish, Mandarin, Pashto (to FATA and Afghanistan), Portuguese to Africa, Somali,
            Swahili, Tibetan, Shona/Ndebele/English to Zimbabwe
OCB Radio Marti - Spanish to Cuba
RFE/RL Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
            Avar/Chechen/Circassian, Belarusian, Dari, Pashto (to FATA and Afghanistan), Persian, Russian
            Tajik, Turkmen, Uzbek
RFA Radio Free Asia
            Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Tibetan, Uyghur
MBN  Middle East Broadcasting Network
            Arabic (Afia Darfur to Sudan/Chad)
  Audio Insert
            VOA English announcement
* Historic Note VOA Australia - 3: Projected VOA Relay Stations in Australia - 07:06
            On at least three separate occasions, the Voice of America has given serious consideration to the possibility of utilizing shortwave facilities in Australia for the relay of their programming into nearby areas in Asia.  Even though a series of test transmissions took place on one notable occasion, yet nothing eventuated from these VOA assessment studies.
            During the decisive years of World War 2 in the Pacific arena, 1944 and 1945, VOA was actually on the air with relay programming from two widely different Australian locations.  The first was a single 50 kW RCA transmitter VLC in Shepparton Victoria which carried American programming beamed to the Philippines under the title the Philippine Hour. 
            Then, during the same era, the American ship "Apache" set sail for the Philippines and it was on the air at times with American VOA and AFRTS programming from two Australian made transmitters, on mediumwave and shortwave, under the American callsign WVLC.  Note the similarity of callsigns, VLC Shepparton and WVLC "Apache".  After the war, these broadcasts were discontinued.   
            However, at some time around the year 1961, the Voice of America conducted a series of test broadcasts from sites within Australia and upon an Australian island in the Indian Ocean.  The island location was Christmas Island, though the Australian mainland locations are not specified.
            There are two islands named Christmas; one is in the Pacific and the other is in the Indian Ocean.  The Indian Ocean Christmas Island was discovered and named by Captain William Mynors aboard the ship "Royal Mary" in 1643 and at that time the island was uninhabited.
            Christmas Island is a small island with an irregular shape; it is located between Indonesia and Australia; and the total area is just 52 square miles.  The island is the flat top of an underwater mountain, and the highest elevation above the surrounding ocean is just a little over 1,000 feet.
            Although no specific details are known regarding the VOA test transmissions from Christmas Island back half a century ago, it is probable that these broadcasts were made in collaboration with the Australian communication station which was on the air under the callsign VLU.
            No specific locations are identified as the sites for the VOA test broadcasts from the Australian mainland around that same time, although Darwin in the Northern Territory, Carnarvon, North West Cape and Wanneroo in Western Australia, are all likely possibilities.  During World War 2, the Americans operated a navy base near Darwin; and a NASA space station at Carnarvon and the huge American navy station at North West Cape were in the planning stages at the time of the series of test broadcasts.  It is probable also that the 50 kW shortwave transmitter VLX-VLW at Wanneroo near Perth was utilized for these test transmissions.
            Whatever were the now unknown locations for the 1961 VOA test broadcasts from the Australian mainland, it would seem that they escaped detection by international radio monitors  anywhere in the world.
            Twenty years later, VOA again demonstrated an interest in establishing a shortwave relay station in Australia, and once again the two possible locations were Darwin and North West Cape.  By this time (the 1980s), the cinderella Radio Australia relay station on Cox Peninsula across the bay from Darwin was in regular usage for coverage into Asia.  At the time, Radio Australia Darwin was under rehabilitation after the devastating Cyclone Tracy which had destroyed most of the city of Darwin at Christmas 1974.
            There were questions about the wisdom of restoring the station in that location, but eventually it was reactivated by Radio Australia in September 1984, though it newer was used by the Voice of America.
            The other possibility involved the huge American naval radio station that was located at North West Cape on the Indian Ocean coastline of Western Australia.  The navy transmitter station there NWC was in regular use during the 1980s for communication with American submarines and surface vessels, and the Voice of America gave consideration to the possibility of co-siting a shortwave relay station there.  However, that was not to be.
            Then nearly 20 years later in 1997, Radio Australia ended its usage of the shortwave facility near Darwin due to sever budget cuts.  Several international radio broadcasting organizations showed an interest in using it as a part time relay station.  Among the organizations that approached the Australian government with this request were the BBC London and Deutsche Welle Germany, as well as the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia in Washington DC.
            But that didn't happen either.  The Darwin station was never used as a part time relay station by the BBC, nor DW, nor VOA, nor RFE.  Instead, it was sold to Christian Voice who operated it for about a decade.  Eventually though, there was a decision in the Australian courts that the land on which the station was built had to be returned to Aboriginal groups; so, the CVC usage came to an end in mid 2010, and the station was closed and dismantled.
* "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs"  -  AWR "Focus on Asia"2014 Annual DX Contest- 12:29
            As Adventist World Radio enters into its 43rd year of international radio broadcasting, we take pleasure in announcing our annual "Wavescan" DX contest, which comes to you under the title, "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs".  In short, you are invited to check your collection of QSL cards and letters for rare, unusual and unique QSLs from shortwave, mediumwave and communication stations throughout the world.  You are also invited to log AWR programming to Asia on shortwave, mediumwave or FM during the month of September 2014. 
            Here are the details of our 2014 "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs"  -  AWR "Focus on Asia" Annual DX Contest:-
A. Rare, Unique and Unusual QSL Cards and Letters
* You are invited to make a list of what you consider to be your rare, unique or unusual QSL                                cards or letters in your QSL collection.  Perhaps no one else in the world has a QSL                                  verifying some transmissions that you have verified.
* Your list of QSLs can show any number of different rare, unique or unusual QSLs up to a total                          of 5 QSLs.
* Your QSLs may verify a wrong transmission channel or an emergency broadcast due to                                   flood, fire, earthquake, turmoil etc, or a transmission from an emergency transmitter, or                           test broadcasts or first broadcast or last broadcast, unusual propagation, etc. 
* These QSLs can be from any shortwave broadcasting station or shortwave communication                               station or mediumwave station located in any country anywhere in the world.  Amateur                             QSLs nor CB QSLs are not valid for this contest. 
B. Details of Rare, Unique and Unusual QSL Cards and Letters
* Please state very briefly, no more than one paragraph for each, why you consider each item in                         your list of QSLs is rare, unique or unusual.
* You are invited to provide a photocopy of each of the QSLs that are on your list in Part A.                                  Preferably, these photocopies should be in color, though black & white copies may be                              acceptable.
C. AWR Reception Reports
* You are invited to prepare three reception reports for the broadcast on shortwave                                               mediumwave or FM of any AWR Asian programming.  These broadcasts from Adventist                                     World Radio may be from shortwave, mediumwave or FM stations located anywhere in                           Asia or on nearby Asian islands; or AWR programming beamed into Asia on shortwave                                    from other countries.
* It is not necessary to send an off-air recording of your reception.  We just need your honest reception               report on paper.
D. Adventist Photograph
* You are invited to visit a unit of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in your country and                             take a photograph of it, preferably in color, though B&W can be acceptable, and submit                                    one picture with your contest entry.
E. Three Radio Cards
* Where possible, you are invited to include three radio cards for the Indianapolis Heritage                                    Collection with your contest entry.  These cards may be old or new, and they may be                               QSL cards, reception report cards, or picture cards of radio stations, etc.  Not valid for                              this contest are amateur cards nor CB cards.
Other Contest Details
* Well, there you have it, the details for our Wavescan 2014 "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs"                               AWR "Focus on Asia" Annual DX Contest.
* This contest will run through the month of September 2014, and all contest entries should be                              postmarked at your local post office anywhere in the world on any date up to the end of                           the month of September and they should be received at the AWR post office address in                                 Indianapolis no later than the end of the month of October 2014.
* Partial and incomplete entries are considered valid.
* Post your entry with all items to Adventist World Radio in Indianapolis, remembering that                                    neatness and preparation, will all feature in the judging procedure.  Due consideration                               will also be given to the area of the world in which the contestant lives.
* Where possible, please enclose return postage in the form of currency notes in any                                            international currency, or mint postagestamps.  Please note that IRC coupons are too                               expensive for you to buy, and they are no longer valid in the United States.
* Please enclose your postal address label also.
* The awards for the 2014 AWR "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs"  -  AWR "Focus on Asia" Annual             DX                   Contest will be similar to all previous contests.  There will be a special award for the                                  world winner, one of the Jerome Berg radio history books; and World Radio TV                                         Handbook 2015 for each continental winner.  In addition, there will be other special                                   awards as well as AWR souvenirs and radio curios for many participants. 
*  You can remember that all AWR reception reports will be verified with a speciallyendorsed                               AWR QSL card.  Please remember that it will take a period of many months,well into the                         new year 2015, to process all of the contest entries and reception reports,          but each will                            in due course be processed. 
* The only address for the "Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs"  -  AWR "Focus on Asia" Annual DX                             Contest is:-
                        QSL DX Contest
                        Adventist World Radio
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
* Program Announcement - 19:58
            Allen Graham
* Japan DX Report - 20:48
            Yukiko Tsuji
* Music of the World - 26:50
            USA: VOA Africa Service, instrumental & group vocal
* Closing Announcement - 27:13
            Thanks for listening to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis
            Next week:-
                        1. The Calcutta Story - 4: American Radio Stations in Calcutta                   
                        2. The World's Most Valuable Postage Stamp
                        3. WRMI Insert
                        4. Philippine DX Report
            Several QSL cards available. Send your AWR & KSDA reception reports for Wavescan to the                             AWR address in Indianapolis; and also to the station your radio is tuned to: WRMI or                                 WWCR or KVOH, or to the AWR relay stations that carry Wavescan
            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            Jeff White, shortwave WRMI
* Music Outrun - 28:41
* Program Ends- 28:55