Media Network grew in the mid-nineties because of topical input from its listeners who volunteered information. This was in an age before email and phone calls abroad were very expensive. That may help to explain the shoeshine sketch at the start of this news edition of the programme. This coming winter the lower sunspot numbers will mean difficult reception in the lower frequencies. Radio Thailand external services is now using the VOA Udorn transmitter site. SRI is now operating via French Guiana. SRI talks about its shortwave signal via Monsinery, French Guiana as well as satellite feeds to stations in Brazil. Lou Josephs reports that the Philips car radio DCC811 will only have the 49 metre band on it. Lowe radio is expanding in North America. Universal Radio has published a new utility guide. Lou Josephs explains that audio downloads from VOA are still rather slow through dial-up. Holland FM is to start shortly on 1224 kHz via the Communicator. Some of the stations in the Ukraine appear to be off the air. Also some Russian stations have disappeared. Ghana has also disappeared from Shortwave. Arthur Cushen has tuning tips from Invercargill, New Zealand including news that the BBC World Service AM frequencies are up for sale.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Sunday, July 14, 2019
KGEI signed off for the last time. We trace the history of the station from the days when it was started by General Electric on Treasure Island for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. But now the costs of running this religious station out of Redwood City make no sense at all. We also find out about plans for a shortwave religious radio station in Zambia, Christian Voice. They will have a 100 kW transmitter serving a 1500 km radius. Karl Miosga explains expansion plans at World Radio Network in London.
We look at a mysterious station OPS which used to operate on 1430 kHz aimed at the US forces in Berlin. It was presumed to come from the Nalepastrasse, home of Radio Berlin International. Jonathan Marks visited to find out more about the BBC Networking Club. A small team of 8 people set up the club including a Bulletin board called Auntie. They started an Archive library. BBCNC started with 500 members. They were also trying to make the schedules of BBC World Service easier to understand. In 1994 there were an estimated 30 million users of the Internet.
This edition came from Washington DC where an international broadcasting meeting was being held at VOA Headquarters. There were major cuts announced to US International broadcasting. We did an interview with Worldspace founder, Noah Samara, who had a whole string of promises as a result of working with Motorola on satellite receivers. Gordon Harold of the BBC and an engineer from EBU comment on whether the Eureka 147 standard is suitable for satellite receivers. Terry Hargreaves of RCI says Canada has already made a decision for satellite DAB. In the final part of the programme, we chat with Alfonso Montealegre, media editor for Radio Netherlands Latin American service. He recounts his DXpedition to Easter Island and its radio links with Chile. Mike Bird closes with the propagation report.
Delighted to discover a cassette copy of this programme because the original Master has been lost. It includes a visit to Radio Moscow by Frans Suasso, former deputy programme chief at Radio Netherlands in the early 1990's. He was an authority on Eastern Europe, especially on the dramatic changes going on in the former Soviet Union. In 1994 he did a tour of Eastern Europe. This was the era where Russia had opened up its transmitting facilities and was relaying Western broadcasters (including Radio Netherlands) to the Middle East and Asia. Frans got to talk to Boris Belitsky, who presented programmes like "Science and Engineering". Boris was remarkably candid about the old days". We also found out more about the vast switching centre in Moscow at the heart of the largest radio transmitting network on the planet. We also had a correction to an item on WQEW which Arthur Cushen had been hearing in New Zealand. Robert Mugabe has inaugurated Zimbabwe's external service. Diana Janssen updates us on disappearance of Radio Gatashia and the role that radio was playing in the Rwandan genocide. Andy James gives us more information about Christian Voice in Zambia which has just signed on. Andy Sennitt has a round-up of tuning tips including the news that Radio Caroline is back on mediumwave.
Friday, July 05, 2019
After a few programme announcements and the propagation report, we presented a mini-documentary looking at various Western international broadcasters and their role in Eastern Europe. While stations like Radio Berlin International disappeared, stations like Radio France Internationale did deals with local radio stations in Bucharest, Romania. Obviously FM stations had running costs so nothing was for free. But exactly how much stations were paying for distribution on FM was often kept secret. This programme was made with a lot of input from Eric Beauchemin who was travelling in the region for other Radio Netherlands' programmes. The photo I made in Bucharest in 2007, where it was clear to see that the RFI relay was still going strong.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
I recall that several of the early experiments in Europe wide satellite broadcasting by public broadcasters started on the top floor of one of the villas in the Emmastraat in Hilversum. Its started on the Orbital Test Satellite which required a huge dish to receive it. In this early episode of Media Network we talked to Klaas Jan Hindriks who was one of the early pioneers. The IBA from the UK explains about plans for direct satellite broadcast television in 1986. We suggest to Joop Acda, DG of Radio Netherlands, that this might be an opportunity for RNW. The programme concludes with the BASICODE promo (the famous Sherlock jingle from Pete Myers) and DX News from Victor Goonetilleke.
This edition of the programme is from the early series of Media Network. We were very much focused on the Falkands War at the time, and this programme was a catch-up show to report on other things. Richard Ginbey was a broadcaster who worked in South Africa, New Zealand, and Namibia. I think he was unique in recording and compiling what he heard on his shortwave radio. In this edition he traces the history of broadcasting in Lesotho. I think he used cassettes, so the editing must have been challenging. I think he cued up the clips and played them in to his live presentation. Some people may also remember him from the DX programme he ran on Radio Portugal - the Voice of the West. Wim van Amstel reports on his visit to the European DX Council in Cologne. This was an era when there was very little contact between shortwave broadcasters and their listeners. We also reviewed the Directory of World Band radio from Sony, concluding that it wasn't of much use. We spoke with Pat Gowen, G3IOR, (pictured) about the work of AMSAT and how the findings may have to modify our thoughts about radio propagation. Pat passed away in August 2017. The programme concludes with Arthur Cushen who had been hearing some amazing transpacific signals on mediumwave.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
We started with a critical letter from William O'Dickerman who wants more tuning tips about English stations. Andy Sennitt also suggests that there isn't enough news. As Leonid Brezhnev was laid to rest, Radio Moscow said that there was a 5 minute silence across the country. We found that it didn't include the jamming stations. Richard Hunt queries if Philips is getting into the domestic satellite TV business. We visit Dennis Powell at radio station WOR in New York and marvel at their recent use of satellite feeds which improve the audio quality. We look at the priorities for news stations in New York. We spoke to the people behind Radio Freedom which was raising awareness for its shortwave broadcasts in the Netherlands. The programme concludes with DX tips from Dan Robinson. (This recording was made off the transmission line in Bonaire which explains the AM sound rather than usual studio quality).
A rather mixed bag this week. Pete Myers reports that the UN may make it difficult for countries to start direct broadcast satellite transmissions. There is a new series of photographs in Amsterdam which show all the various types of domestic broadcasters. DLF in Cologne has doubled its power on LW and you can win a radio. Mike Barraclough reports about pirates that will be testing across the Atlantic. We were quite famous for in-depth reviews of radio equipment. In this edition, we review the AN-1 active antenna from Sony. We found that the antenna totally overloaded the portable radio. (This was a very detailed test). Asian DX News from Victor Goonetilleke is hearing stations in Latin America. We also looked at broadcasting in Suriname. We talked to Victor Hafkamp of Radio Netherlands Caribbean Dept. SRS is calling itself Radio Venceremos.
We did several reports from Yugoslavia as the country gradually broke up. These were the days when we spoke of Serbia and rump Yugoslavia. Eric Beauchemin compiled this excellent feature on the role played by the media, especially television, in the Balkans war in 1983. This edition was actually sent out on transcription to other international stations, which is why it is only 15 minutes instead of the usual half hour.
This was a newsy edition of Media Network in early 1982. KYOI, the SW music station in Saipan is planning to start testing November 1st. 107 people have written to support Radio New Zealand on shortwave. Tunnel Radio is launching in the US. FEBA Seychelles is faced with political problems on the island. Andy Sennitt has news about World Music Radio on 6219 kHz. Capital Radio in Transkei may resite its transmitters. Over the last 18 months we've been looking at what it is like to listen to western broadcasters in Katowice, Poland. We did a quick feature on time signal stations. We find the transmitter of CHU in Canada. Dan Robinson has some tips of African and Latin American stations he has been hearing in Washington DC. Rudy van Dalen reports that the Greek military station has become ERT-2.
It was difficult sourcing audio from South Asia back in 1983. Tape recordings of radio stations were rare and phone lines to just about anywhere were crackly. We started with some frequency changes to our English transmissions. The shortwave equipment news is about the Sony ICF7600D. The new receiver has keypad tuning. Pete Myers has new RF-799 from Panasonic. There a clandestine station in Kabul. Gaither Stewart has news about Radio Free Afghanistan. Radio Nepal has two new transmitters, a gift from Japan. Mohini Shephard has been visiting the station. Pete Myers reports on the National Youth Association in Bhutan using recordings from Adrian Peterson in Poona. ORF Vienna has a Master Morse course. We also talked to Finn Krone, producer of AWR World DX News on 9670. Radio Freedom, the Voice of The Sri Lankan people. Finn thinks it comes from Germany. There is news from Cambodia and Thailand as well. The final report is about the radio battles going on in Andorra. Robbert Bosschart reports from Madrid.
Monday, December 31, 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
We open a new telephone hotline for DX tips (overseas calls were still very expensive though). Professor John Campbell has been to Ireland and discovered why some of the unofficial stations are connected to hotels. Some may be coming back to shortwave. He shares some amazing stories about how these stations survive. We also talk to Bob Zanotti of Swiss Radio International about Radio 24 and the fight for local commercial radio. Venezuela claims it is on the air with a new broadcast for the Caribbean and the Americas. We review a new academic book on International broadcasting by Dr Donald Browne. Voice for the World has been published by the BBC External Services. Richard Ginbey has news that Namibia has appeared on mediumwave.