* Theme - 00:00
“Birthday Serenade” - Willi Glahe
* Opening Announcement - 00:
Welcome to “Wavescan”, international DX program from Adventist World Radio
Researched and written in Indianapolis, produced in studios of shortwave WRMI
1. The Philippine Radio Story - 11: Press Wireless Returns to the Philippines - 2
2. World’s Smallest Radio Station
3. SQOTW23 Special QSL of the Week Benin: Hard to hear and difficult to QSL
4. Philippine DX Report
* The Philippine Radio Story: Press Wireless Returns to the Philippines - 2
In our continuing story about the return of Press Wireless to the Philippines towards the end of the Pacific War in the middle of last century, we begin with the PWI events in Hawaii a decade or two earlier. Press Wireless was founded in the United States in 1929, and they began to develop their own worldwide network of shortwave stations for the two-way flow of news information and reports.
It is stated that PWI was serving 62 countries worldwide in the 1930s; and at the peak of their international development they operated 100 transmitters in their own shortwave stations located in North & South America and in the Philippines. Some news transmissions were by high speed Boehme in Morse Code, and others were voice reports for rebroadcast on network radio stations in the United States.
An official government listing for June 30, 1930, shows that a total of 13 shortwave frequencies were registered for a new PWI station located near Honolulu in Hawaii. This new shortwave station was designed for communication with PWI at Belmont, south of San Francisco in California; it was constructed in 1932; and it was allocated the callsign KDG.
Soon after station KDG was inaugurated, PWI lodged a complaint with government authorities in Washington DC stating that a European station, FYR located at Lyon in France, was causing interference to the reception in California from their Honolulu station. Station KDG was transmitting on its allocated frequency of 11640 kHz, and the station in France was allocated the neighboring channel 11650 kHz, though it was putting out an unstable signal a little lower in frequency.
There are no known monitoring reports of the shortwave station in Honolulu KDG, probably due to its apparent low powered operation, and also to the fact that its news transmissions must have all been in high speed Morse Code. At the end of ten years of on air service, that is early in the year 1941, Press Wireless abandoned its Hawaiian shortwave station, due no doubt to the availability of other stations that were in use for the transmission of news information.
However some three years later again, on April 14 1944, PWI filed an application with the FCC for a new shortwave station in Hawaii. The transmitter for this station was planned for installation at Ewa, on the south coast of the capital city island Oahu, on the western edge of Honolulu. There is no further information regarding this projected shortwave station, and it is presumed that it was never installed, due to wartime shortages of equipment and personnel. Perhaps also, PWI was aware that difficult financial times were ahead of them.
Around this same time, another PWI project was on the ascendancy, and this was the wartime venture of a training project in Hicksville in association with their large superstation and the nearby electronics factory. The massive shortwave station was located on Cantiague Raod Hicksville, and the manufactory was located a quarter mile distant in two large buildings on the other side of the roadway.
The High Power Transmitter School was conducted by PWI at Hicksville in co-operation with the American Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth in neighboring New Jersey. Training exercises were conducted on a 40 kW PWI shortwave transmitter. Among those who underwent training on this transmitter was Terry Sandford who wrote a book on his wartime experience with the American/Australian radio ship “Apache”; and others also, who served with PWI in Europe and the Pacific.
In 1944, under the direction of General Douglas MacArthur, a team of PWI personnel was assembled at Hollandia on the north coast of New Guinea, just across the border on the Dutch side of the island. Two sub-teams were formed: one team with a 400 watt high speed shortwave transmitter PZ established their facility at Tacloban on Leyte Island, and the other team with a 10 kW voice transmitter PY established their station in Manila.
After MacArthur’s forces entered the Philippine national capital city, the PWI personnel established a radio studio in the Soriano Building in downtown Manila, and the transmitter was installed several miles out in the country. In advance, the American army had selected a building for the PWI transmitter, but it was soon discovered that the retreating Japanese had destroyed it. Another building two miles further out was chosen, and equipment was unloaded into it. However, due to Japanese infiltration, PWI decided on a third location and this became the semi-permanent home for their shortwave transmitter.
Press Wireless International PY in Manila made its inaugural transmission to the United States on February 25, 1945. Three days later, station PZ in Tacloban was closed, and soon afterwards it was reinstalled with PY in Manila. Then, during the following month March, PWI Manila took over the transmission of news back to the United States that was previously sent from the radio ship “Apache”.
On many occasions, PWI Manila was heard by international radio monitors in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. Callsigns were announced on air and they ran in a series from PY1 to PY19, according to whichever frequency was in use. The Manila station communicated with the somewhat mysterious new PWI shortwave station that had just been built on the edge of Los Angeles in California.
As with other PWI stations, Manila sent out transmissions of news in high speed Morse Code as well as voiced messages for retransmission over the American radio networks. As part of their identification announcement, Press Wireless, PWI was often identified on air as PreWi (PREE-WHY).
Early in the new year 1946, shortwave PWI in Manila was noted with occasional relays from the Armed Forces Radio Station WXOI. This mediumwave station WXOI was on the air under an apparently official American AFRS callsign, though little else is known about this entertainment radio broadcasting station.
Due to the fact that no other shortwave communication station was on the air in Manila immediately after the end of the war, the President of the Philippines, Sergio Osmena, issued an Executive Order, granting approval for PWI Manila to transmit all forms of radio information back to the United States, not only just media news information for use on radio and in newspapers, but also business and personal communications.
This Executive Order, No 104, expired on June 24 (1946), after which PWI Manila quietly disappeared.
* World’s Smallest Radio Station
Back around ¾ of a century ago, two radio men constructed what they called the World’s Smallest Radio Station. This total working model was housed in an ornate wooden cabinet about the size of a small refrigerator, and it contained a model studio and a working transmitter with intermittently flashing red lights on the little antenna towers.
This small radio station was designed and constructed by a man known as the Mystery Announcer who was a popular announcer at the mediumwave station WPEN, on 1500 kHz in Philadelphia Pennsylvania back in 1931. The technical equipment in the little model was constructed by Radio Engineer John Boyle. It took this two-man team team of co-operating radio personnel 10 months to construct their miniature radio station.
The transmitter in this mini radio station emitted 4/100th of a watt and the propagation coverage area was over a radius of just 200 feet. At least two operating frequencies are shown for station WEE, both 900 kHz and 1300 kHz, and this would seem to indicate that the active on air frequency could be tuned to another channel if there was interference from another station.
At one stage, it is stated that the owners were considering installing a mini shortwave transmitter in their little radio station for a wider coverage area.
This little radio broadcasting station was owned, it is said, by the Tiny Broadcasting Company and it was on display initially in the foyer of the Mastbaum Theatre in Philadelphia. It was subsequently taken on a tour of regional cities in Pennsylvania, and for example it was on display in Feinberg’s Store at the corner of 5th & Egmont Streets in Chester, a few miles along the river, west from Philadelphia. Visitors were invited to speak over this model radio station. This neat little model was also on display during the same year, 1933, at Easton, between Philadelphia and New York City.
When this radio model was four years old, it was taken over by the giant super power mediumwave station WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it made a remarkable contrast; mini-WEE and mighty WLW. During the year 1936, it is reported, mini WEE was on display at an Electronics Exhibition in Baltimore Maryland. And that is the last that we have heard about this fascinating little radio broadcasting station, the world’s smallest.
* SQOTW23 Special QSL of the Week: Benin, Hard to hear and Difficult to QSL
Some time ago, Claes Olsson in Norrkoping Sweden, informed us that he received a QSL card from Radio Benin, which he describes as a station that is hard to hear and difficult to QSL. He heard ORTB in the African country of Benin on September 20, 1985. The colorful QSL card shows six mini-pictures on the picture side; a silhouette map of Africa, the station emblem, and African representations.
However, this highly prized QSL card does not specify just which location nor which shortwave channel was heard by Claes Olsson in Sweden.
At the time, Radio Benin was on the air on three shortwave channels:-
Capital City Cotonou 5025 kHz & 7190 kHz with 20 kW each
Regional Parakou 4870 kHz 30 kW
* Philippine DX Report
* Music of the World
* Closing Announcement -
Thanks for listening to “Wavescan”, international DX program from Adventist World Radio
Researched and written in Indianapolis
1. Focus on the South Pacific: We return to the French island for Part 2 in the radio story on New Caledonia
2. Underwater Radio
3. International Radio News
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 -
* Program Ends - 28:55
1. Press Wireless Radio Stations & Transmitters
Alphabetic Order of Country
No Country Location Topic Year to Year NWS X
01 Alaska Anchorage PWI 194x 76
02 Australia QL Hemmant MacArthur Radio 1943 - 1946 6 76
03 Canada Halifax APC Dartmouth temporary 1921 - 1923 305
04 Canada Halifax APC St. Margaret’s Bay 1923 - 1932 305
05 England Kent 3103 Signal Service Battalion 1944 76
06 Ethiopia Asmara PWI 1942 76
07 France Paris SHAEF CZ2T 1945 - 1946 6 76
08 Germany Frankfurt PWI 194x 76
09 Hawaii Honolulu PWI Station KDG 1930 - 1941 307
10 Hawaii Ewa Projected PWI Station 1944 - 1945 307
11 Italy Naples PWI 1944 76
12 Philippines Manila PWI (Globe-Mackay) 1933 - 1941 305
13 Philippines Tacloban Station PZ 1944 - 1945 305
14 Philippines Manila Station PY 1944 - 1946 307
15 Uruguay Montevideo Press Wireless 19xx 67
16 USA MA Needham WJK, PWI 1st station 1930 - 1932 305
17 USA MA West Newton Factory 193x - 1952 305
18 USA LI NY Hicksville Temporary VOA Relay Station 1935 - 1957 67
19 USA LI NY Hicksville Factory 194x - 1952 305 307
20 USA LI NY Hicksville HP Transmitter School WW2 307
2. The Philippine Radio Story - 11
Press Wireless International
Year Date Information Reference
Press Wireless Backgrounds
1929 Press Wireless Corp founded PWH
1930s Serving 62 countries
WW2 Established new factory Long Island City
WW2 Sent several mobile stations to Europe
1945 Nov 7 PWI Los Angeles sold into escrow for Don Wallace W6AM
1946 Aug Strike against Press Wireless, diminishing services & income
1947 Aug 15 PWI filed for bankruptcy
1965 PWI acquired by ITT
19xx At peak, PWI operated 100 transmitters at own locations
New York, San Francisco, Manila, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo
Press Wireless Shortwave Station, Honolulu HI
1930 Jun 30 13 shortwave frequencies listed PWI KDG
1932 Stations constructed in San Francisco & Honolulu KDG
1932 PWI KDG 11640 kHz QRM as heard in Frisco from FYR Lyon 11650 kHz
FYR variable frequency
1933 Station KDG Press Wireless OSWL&CB 1933
1941 Early Press Wireless abandoned Honolulu station FCC Report 1941 18
Projected Press Wireless Station, Honolulu HI
1944 Apr 14 Press Wireless filed RQ with FCC point to point press messages with LA
Station to be located at Ewa Chicago Daily Tribune 15-4-44 3
Edge of Honolulu, southern coast Oahu
194x Apparently never constructed: War ending
Wartime shortage of equipment
Diminishing returns on the horizon
High Power Transmitter School Hicksville
1944 Donald Mehl received training
WW2 In association with Forth Monmouth NJ & PWI Shortwave Station LI
Terry Sanford received training Apache 8
Transmitter station and factory 2 buildings, ¼ mile apart Cantiague Road
Opposite sides of road
PREWI Station PY Manila Philippines
WW2 End One PW unit in Philippines, assembled in Hollandia
400 w CW transmitter Boehme capability
10 kW transmitter voice capability
1944 Equipment and personnel for PREWI Z & Y, photos PC 1-95 18-20
Assembled at MacArthur HQ Hollandia, New Guinea
194 Station established in Manila
Studios in Soriano Building, downtown Manila
Combined building destroyed in war
Transmitters in building several miles out of town
Callsigns PY1 - PY19 10 kW transmitter
Provided coverage of Philippine campaigns KNX
1st transmitter building selected by army had been destroyed by Japanese
Another site selected, 2 miles distant, equipment unloaded
Japanese infiltrated, moved again
3rd location became permanent
Staff of 13
1945 Feb 25 1st transmission to USA from new PWI Manila Chicago Daily Tribune 26-2-45 2
1945 Feb 28 Station PZ Tacloban closed and transferred to PY in Manila PC 1-95 20
1945 Mar PWI took over from Apache Apache 03.03 110
1945 Aug PY11 (pronounced Pree-Why) 11650 kHz relay news reports DXS 1-9-45 12
1945 Aug PY13 13775 kHz in use only when PY11 is busy DXS 1-9-45 12
1945 Aug PWI 11640 calls KJE8 & 10080 calls Delhi, heard Australia R&H 79.13 9-45 36
1945 Aug PWI circuit from Tokyo Bay to USA 1945 Aug
1945 Sep 2 PWI circuit from Tokyo Bay to USA
1945 Sep PY 9305 kHz heard in USA RN 6.129 10-45 88
1945 Sep PY11 11640 kHz relay to USA NNRC 10-45 12
1945 Oct PWI relay to USA NNRC 1-11-45 14
1945 Oct PJY11 (?) Manila11550 kHz, heard mornings in English RN 11-45 122
1945 Dec PY10 PWI Manila 18560 kHz contact KDE LA VRDX 10-12-45 5
1945 Dec PY Manila 9305 12:30 am; PY11 11640 kHz am & pm, PY10 18560 6 pm DX 31-12-45 5
1946 Jan PY11 11640 kHz Calls KJE8 Playa del Rey LA NNRC 15-1-46 14
1946 Jan Press Wireless 9300 kHz talks with San Francisco irregularly RN 2-46 146
1946 Jan PY5 9300 kHz heard well USA 8:00 am, contact KG57 (?) PWI LA RN 2-46 147
1946 Jan PY10 18560 kHz calls PWI KDE LA, good signal RN 2-46 150
1946 Jan 25 PY5 5360 kHz Morse 8:30 am Manila heard USA SWDX 25-2-46 4
1946 Mar PY5 9305 kHz occasional relay WXOI with AFRS programming RN 4-46 120
1946 Jun 24 Philippine Press Wireless license extended to this date
No other facility in Philippines
For all services in addition to press releases
Executive Order No 104, President of the Philippines, Sergio Osmena
1946 Jul 1 One of circuits Project Able USA?
1946 Jul 24 One of circuits Project Able USA?