Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wavescan NWS307

* 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
            Program outline
                        1. The Philippine Radio Story - 11: Press Wireless Returns to the Philippines - 2
                        2. Worlds 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 MacArthurs 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.

* Worlds Smallest Radio Station
            Back around ¾ of a century ago, two radio men constructed what they called the Worlds 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 Feinbergs 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 worlds 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
            Next week:-
                        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.

            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            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. Margarets 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                                                                 
            Mobile Units   
            Pentagon                                             ==============================================================================

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?