Sunday, October 05, 2014

Wavescan NWS293

* 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. We return to the story of radio broadcasting in Ceylon: The Sri Lanka Broadcasting                                           Corporation turns commercial                       
                        2. HFCC Sofia: Spaceline Interview
                        3. Japan DX Report
                        4. Rare, Unusual, Unique QSLs: AWR SEAC Ekala (ECK-a-la) Sri Lanka

* Focus on Asia - 01:08
            We return to the story of radio broadcasting in Ceylon:
                        The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation turns commercial                    
            Many moons ago here in Wavescan, we presented several progressive topics on the radio story in Ceylon and we brought you uptodate as far as the middle of last century, the exact middle actually, in the year 1950.  In our program today, we return to the radio scene in Ceylon, or Sri Lanka as we know this verdant isle today, and we tell the story of their very popular Commercial Service. 
            In fact their Commercial Service was indeed a very successful venture, one of the very few on shortwave anywhere in the world.  At the height of its popularity, it is stated that half of the shortwave radios in India were tuned to the Commercial Service of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, the SLBC All Asia Service.  And, in order to obtain advertising in India for their Commercial Service, SLBC opened an advertising office at Colaba in Bombay in 1951, and they were authorized to also issue QSL cards.
            At the time when the Radio Ceylon Commercial Service was inaugurated, Sunday October 1, 1950, there were just eleven broadcast transmitters on the island, and these facilities were on the air at just three different locations.  Radio Ceylon was set ready for expansion, but islandwide coverage was still rather tenuous.   
            The first location was a new set of studios that had just been completed during the previous year at Torrington Square Colombo.  These replaced the temporary wartime usage of the studios in The Bower on Cotta Road, and the previous SEAC studios on Turret Road.
            The lone mediumwave transmitter station at Welikada on the edge of suburban Colombo contained just four transmitters: 1 @ 15 kW (Sinhala Language National Service), 1 @ 1 kW (English Language Service), and 2 @ ¼ kW (Sinhala Language Commercial Service & the Tamil
Language Service). 
            Their third radio broadcasting facility was located at Ekala (ECK-a-la) a dozen miles north of Colombo and it contained a total of seven shortwave transmitters: 1 @ 100 kW (International coverage), 3 @ 7½ kW (National and international coverage) and 3 @ ¼ kW (Capital city coverage).
            At the time when Australian born Clifford Dodd was transferred to Colombo under the international aid project known as the Colombo Plan in 1950, the BBC Program Director James Mudie concluded his term of service and returned to England and joined the technical staff of BBC Television.  (James Mudie was a relative to our DX host, Adrian Peterson.)
            Clifford Dodd was the driving force behind the rapid development of the Radio Ceylon Commercial Service and his name is still honored more than half a century later.  Under his leadership, many local personnel became legendary radio personalities, and among them were Jimmy Bharucha, Shirley Perera, Nihal Bharati and Vernon Corea.
            The coverage area for the Radio Ceylon Commercial Service extended well beyond the shores of their own island.  The capital city Commercial Service was heard on mediumwave and tropical shortwave in three language streams; English, Sinhala and Tamil.  The main Commercial Service for Southern Asia was beamed to India mainly, but also to other nearby countries on shortwave. 
            Attempts were also made to introduce a Commercial Service beamed to Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.  The service to India and nearby countries was later broadcast under the title, the All Asia Service.   
            During the mid 1950s, there was some consideration given to closing the Commercial Service on shortwave due to poor propagation.  However, over a period of time, conditions improved and the service became a resounding success. In fact, in a huge number of village bazaars throughout India, a visitor could walk down the shopping isle and follow the programming from Radio Ceylon all the way, with the radio receiver blaring loudly in each stall.
            Some time around the year 1958, all six of the low powered shortwave transmitters at Ekala, ¼ kW and 7½  kW, were progressively removed and replaced; ultimately, by a total of ten new transmitters, each rated at 10 kW, made in Holland by the Philips company.
            In 1967, Radio Ceylon was renamed the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation; and in 1972, the station was redesignated again, as the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, due to the change in name for the island country itself.  Then, as we know, the entire Ekala shortwave station was ultimately and finally closed in the middle of last year.
            During the more than six score of active years on the air, the shortwave services from Ekala were heard virtually worldwide.  Many thousands of reception reports were addressed to the station at the Torrington Square studios.  Even though many international radio monitors frequently complained that they were unable to receive a QSL card from Colombo, yet in reality over the years they were spasmodically a prolific verifier.  The Indianapolis Heritage Collection contains several hundred shortwave, mediumwave and FM QSLs from Colombo, though admittedly many of them are self prepared do-it-yourself cards, rubber stamped onto Postal Cards issued by the national postal service.
            Among the many QSL cards officially printed for use by the station are colorful tourist style picture cards showing city and country scenes, as well as events and people within the island nation.  Also highly appreciated were the two different QSL cards showing the studio building in Colombo.  The QSL card issued by the Bombay office in India showed a modified picture of the same studio building.   

* Program Announcement - 07:45
            Allen Graham

* HFCC 2014 Sofia - 08:37
            Interview: Spaceline Bulgaria

* Japan DX Report - 19:31
            Yukiko Tsuji

* Special QSL: Test Broadcast, AWR Ekala, Sri Lanka - 25:07
            Mr. Christian Ghibaudo of Nice in France tuned in to a special test broadcast from the original Adventist World Radio in Asia, AWR-Asia back on February 21, 1981.  This transmission was on the air via the historic 100 kW Marconi transmitter at the SEAC shortwave station located at Ekala in Sri Lanka.  He received the orange map AWR-Asia QSL card from Poona in India which was neatly typed with full QSL details.
            This card is very special to Christian Ghibaudo, due to the fact that the AWR test broadcasts were on the air for only a short period of time, and the transmitter was the famous SEAC transmitter from the middle of last century which has long since gone silent.  At that time more than 30 years ago, Christian was quite new to the international world of radio broadcasting.  He listens to the DX program Wavescan which is heard via the AWR relay transmitter that is located at Issoudun in France.

* Music of the World - 26:28
            Russia: Moscow Nights, orchestral & vocal

* Closing Announcement - 26:49
            Thanks for listening to Wavescan, international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis

            Next week:-
                        1. North of the Stone Wall: The Radio Scene in Scotland                
                        2. WRMI Insert
                        3. 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.  Remember too,                             you can send a reception report to each of the DX reporters when their segment is on                          the air here in Wavescan: Japan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Australia & India.  They will                             verify with a colorful QSL card.  Return postage and an address label are always                                            appreciated.  
            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            Jeff White, shortwave WRMI

* Music Outrun - 26:49

* Program Ends - 28:55