* Theme - 00:00
“Birthday Serenade” - Willi Glahe
* Opening Announcement - 00:16
Welcome to “Wavescan”, international DX program from Adventist World Radio
Researched and written in Indianapolis, produced in studios of shortwave WRMI
1. 100th Anniversary Panama Canal: The Radio Story - 2
2. The Calcutta Radio Story: QSL Cards & Letters
3. New Global 24 Radio
4. Special QSL: QSL Card from China’s Firedrake Jammer
5. Philippine DX Report
6. SQOTW: Chinese Firedrake Jammer
* 100th Anniversary Panama Canal: The Radio Story - 2 - 01-01
Two weeks back we presented part 1 in this two part series of topics on the story of radio broadcasting in the Panama Canal Zone in honor of the 100th.anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal in Central America. Today, we complete the Panama Canal Zone story and we pick up the historic radio information regarding radio program broadcasting from this narrow slice of tropical territory. But first we present the outline story of one of America’s well known early wireless stations.
Back in August 1918, the American navy inaugurated their first high powered wireless station in the Panama Canal Zone. This station, rated at 200 kW, was launched under an American navy callsign, NPJ, though this was soon afterwards regularized to the better known NBA.
The station location for NBA was always given as Balboa, though originally it was located in the Darien district about half way along the canal. When electronic valve equipment was installed at a new location in 1929, a new callsign was allotted, NDG. The transmitter was at the Summit, and the receiver station was located across the canal at Farfan.
However, a do-it-yourself typed QSL card verifies the usage of the callsign NBA in 1972. Reception of NBA as heard in the United States was on July 27, and the frequency was 17697.5 kHz with a power of 5 kW.
Around the same time, the American army established a communication station at Quarry Heights under the callsign WVL and the purpose for this facility was intercommunication with other army stations in the area. However, in 1940, a small low powered broadcasting transmitter was co-installed with station WVL in the basement of the army barracks for the purpose of disseminating army information to army outposts.
In January of the following year (1941), army personnel began broadcasting music over this small transmitter for the entertainment of army personnel. The unofficial callsign was PCAC, standing for Panama Canal Artillery Command. Daily broadcasts of news were taken from the Panama Star & Herald, and on Sundays news was read from the latest available issue of Time magazine.
This small, unofficial, irregular and unlicensed radio broadcasting station is considered to be the first American army entertainment station, a forerunner to AFRS, the Armed Forces Radio Service. Regular programming began in April, and it was carried on two channels in parallel, WVL shortwave and WVUB mediumwave.
In an attempt to obtain additional suitable programming, the staff wrote to the NBC network in the United States, requesting recordings, and soon afterwards almost one ton of pre-recorded program discs arrived at the station in Quarry Heights. However, a few months later, on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, the Panama station was closed so that it could not be used as a homing beacon for incoming enemy bombers.
The radio broadcasting station was re-opened with new imported equipment as a regular unit of the AFRS network a little over a year later at the same location in Fort Clayton. That was in March 1943, and four broadcast transmitters were now available:-
WVL 5 kW 790 kHz Regular programming
WVUB ¼ 1420 Parallel relay
WVUC ¼ 1480 Occasional special programming
WVL .4 2380 Subsequently modified to 2390 kHz
At the same time as the new station was installed at Fort Clayton, a relay station was installed at Fort Gulick on the Atlantic coast of the Canal Zone. This station radiated with 1 kW on 1420 kHz.
Then in 1948, the entire facility at Fort Clayton was transferred to a permanent home, into Building 209 at this same army barracks.
According to entries in the World Radio TV Handbook, the twin AFRS mediumwave stations located at Fort Clayton and Fort Gulick (or Fort Davis under its newer name) were closed some time around the year 1971. We would suggest that the programming was still on the air for the next many years, though now only in the standard FM Band 2.
During the short era of military confrontation between the United States and president Manuel Noriega of Panama in December 1989, the United States implemented its psychological warfare procedures under the project title “Operation Just Cause”. The active FM station(s?) at the American base(s?) carried programming of special music and information for this purpose, beginning on December 20.
In addition, the Americans activated a mediumwave station (the previous 5 kW AFRS unit?) and it was on the air under the identification slogan, “Radio Liberacion". There was also a mobile radio transmitter on the air under the identification slogan, “Voice of Liberty”. These temporary stations ended their service under Operation Just Cause when hostilities culminated a little over a week later, on December 29.
Just a very few QSLs from the AFRS stations in the Panama Canal Zone are known, and these were letters from WVL Quarry Heights on shortwave in the immediate postwar era.
* Program Announcement - 07:08
* The Calcutta Radio Story: QSL Cards & Letters - 5 - 08:00
In our program today, we present part 5 in the five part series on the wireless and radio history in Calcutta, or Kolkata, area in the Indian state of West Bengal. Calcutta was the capital city for India for a period of time, up until a little over one hundred years ago when the functions of the national capital was transferred to New Delhi.
In this our final report on the Kolkata scene, we draw attention to the many QSL cards and letters that have been issued by All India Radio in Kolkata. The QSL collection in Indianapolis holds more than 300 QSL cards and letters from Indian radio broadcasting stations, and more than 30 are from Kolkata itself.
The oldest Calcutta QSL is dated in the year 1935. It is a letter addressed to an international radio monitor who was living in Christchurch New Zealand. The small style letterhead itself states that it was issued by the Calcutta Station of the Indian State Broadcasting Service and this was in the era before the now familiar All India Radio was established. At the time, station VUC was on the air mediumwave with 2½ kW on 810 kHz and with 2 kW on 6110 kHz, though the QSL letter does not specify which outlet was logged by the listener in New Zealand.
Next, VUC issued a Form Letter QSL and our copy is dated in 1938 when the shortwave unit VUC2 was operating at 10 kW with a daily schedule of 4850 kHz morning and evening and 9530 kHz during the day. Their first QSL card was the Silver Logo network card which showed Calcutta with the same three frequencies, mediumwave and shortwave.
In the 1970s, AIR Calcutta was issuing picture postcards with the QSL text in the left panel on the address side of the card. Those cards issued from Calcutta showed local Calcutta scenes, such as the Howrah Bridge and the Victoria Memorial. Those cards issued from the AIR headquarters in New Delhi on behalf of Calcutta portrayed any number off colorful scenes all throughout India. Many of the other Kolkata QSL cards in the Indianapolis Heritage Collection are self-prepared Postal Cards with the QSL text rubber stamped onto the blank side.
We should also mention that the Calcutta-Kolkata QSL cards verify some twenty different mediumwave, shortwave and FM channels with power ratings ranging from 2½ kW through 10 20 & 50 kW up to 1,000 kW over a period of ¾ of a century.
* The New Global 24 Radio - 10:53
* Philippine DX Report - 14:19
* International Radio News - 19:04
Changes at Transmitter Sites in Germany
The August issue of the Australian DX News informs us that the huge shortwave transmitter site at Wertachtal in Germany will be completely demolished by the end of this year. Demolition began last May. No decision has yet been made as to the disposal of the property itself. At the height of its usefulness, Deutsche Welle Wertachtal was on the air with a total of 16 shortwave transmitters, 14 at 500 kW and 2 at 100 kW.
A German made Telefunken transmitter rated at 100 kW was previously on the air at the Radio Netherlands shortwave station at Flevo in Holland. This transmitter was removed and re-installed at the Nauen site near Berlin in 2006, though installation was never completed. However, this 100 kW Telefunken at Nauen will be removed and in its place a 500 kW Telefunken/RIZ transmitter from Wertachtal will be installed. This to-be installed transmitter is completely DRM capable.
Disguised Antenna Tower
A recent issue of the American trade journal, Radio World, shows a picture of an antenna tower that has been disguised to look like a tree. This disguised tower is located in Abilene Kansas and it supports the receiving and transmitting antennas for local cell phone usage.
New Time Zones in Russia
A report in a Russian language newspaper states that two new time zones have been inserted into the Russian federation, effective on October 26 (2104). One new time zone covers the area around the Volga River, and the other covers the remote areas of eastern Siberia. The Russian federation now covers eleven time zones, and in addition, the entire country will run only on winter time as the standard time, with no summer change to daylight saving.
DRM In New Zealand
In an economy move, Radio New Zealand International is now running its DRM shortwave transmitter only at the stated times when a downlink FM station is taking the live relay from New Zealand and relaying the signal on local FM. These local FM relay stations have been installed on several of the smaller island nations in the South Pacific.
Monte Carlo Still on the Air Shortwave
Christian Ghibaudo in France states in a report to the DX Window from Denmark that a radio broadcast is still on the air every day on shortwave from Monte Carlo. This regular broadcast is a news bulletin in the French language and it can be heard for just six minutes daily from 1058 to 1104 UTC on three channels: 4363 kHz, 8728 kHz and 13146 kHz, all in the USB, upper side band mode. The transmitter is operated by the communication station Radio Monaco at Naya, and QSL cards are available.
Radio Station for Dogs
The New Zealand DX Times states that a special radio station has been inaugurated for the benefit of the dog population. The programming content consists of training sessions for dogs, and music that is likely to appeal to dogs. This new radio broadcastings station is located in Auckland in the north island of New Zealand, it is in the air 24 hours daily on 87.7 FM, and the callsign, rather appropriately, is K9FM.
Demolition of Vatican Mediumwave Station
A recent issue of the Finnish radio magazine, RadioMaailma, states that the two tower directional antenna system for Vatican Radio on 1530 kHz was demolished on the morning of May 8, earlier this year. This transmission was previously on the air from the extraterritorial site at Santa Maria de Galeria, some 20 miles north of the city of Rome. This mediumwave facility was closed three years ago, due to fears of radio frequency radiation in the local area, and it has been inactive ever since.
America’s Radio Shack Going Under?
News reports in recent time state they the well known Radio Shack with all of its radio sales shops throughout the United States is ailing financially. One news report states that the long term survival of Radio Shack, with its more than 7,000 locations, is in jeopardy.
New Shortwave Transmitter for Alaska
World Christian Broadcasting (WCB) in Franklin TN announced recently that a new transmitter is under installation at their shortwave station near Anchor Point in Alaska. The original old 100 kW Harris was removed recently to make way for the installation of the new transmitter.
Some years ago, WCB procured three Continental transmitters for installation at their new station in Madagascar. However, due to bureaucratic delays in Madagascar, these three transmitters have remained in storage at the Continental factory in Dallas, Texas. In the meantime, WCB has diverted one of these transmitters, already paid for, for installation at their isolated and lonely shortwave facility in Alaska. It is expected to be inaugurated early in the New Year.
For those who would like to do so, you may obtain a QSL card verifying their second transmitter which still remains on the air, a 100 kW unit that was installed three years ago.
* Special QSL of the Week - 14: China’s Firedrake Jammer - 24:38
Mr Ulmar Qvick of Norrkoping in Sweden states that he was listening to a radio broadcasting station on 21660 kHz back in September 2005, though there was a Chinese Firedrake jammer on the same channel. The emission from this jamming transmitter was aimed against the programming from the BBC in attempt to make reception in China impossible.
Ulmar sent a report to China Radio International CRI in Beijing in which he reported his reception of the Firedrake Jammer. In their letter of reply, they denied the existence of this transmission. In return, Ulmar resubmitted his reception report on the Firedrake Jammer, and on this second occasion, China Radio International issued a QSL card to him, verifying their programing on 21660 kHz, though no reference was made to the Firedrake programming. Firedrake programming is an hour long program of Chinese classical music that is distributed by satellite for broadcast by standard shortwave transmitters that are used to jam undesired incoming programming from another country.
This colorful QSL card shows an adult Chinese Pangolin with a juvenile on its back; and the standard QSL text verifies a CRI transmission on 21660 kHz at 1216 UTC on September 19, 2005. Mr. Ulmar Qvick states that a QSL card verifying a jamming transmission is very rare.
* Music of the World - 26:14
Malaysia: Visit Malaysia Song, vocal & orchestral
* Closing Announcement - 26:37
Thanks for listening to “Wavescan”, international DX program from Adventist World Radio
Researched and written in Indianapolis
1. Tribute to Shortwave WYFR - 13: A Historic Era Comes to an End
2. WRMI Insert
3. Another regular 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.
Indiana 46229 USA
Wavescan @ AWR.org
Jeff White, shortwave WRMI
* Music Outrun - 28:19
* Program Ends - 28:53