Richard Richter announces the new name for US surrogate broadcasting to Asia: Radio Free Asia They keep quiet about the transmitter sites and the frequencies. We dip into your letters including insights from Japan. AsiaSat is going to have difficulty getting listening in Japan. We launch a challenge for listeners to find an MPEG-2 satellite receiver in their city – no-one could find one. Apart from the news that Ireland is returning to shortwave for sports commentaries, most of this edition is devoted to calling up shortwave receiver dealers to get a feel of how things are changing.
The Internet is having an impact on the level of shortwave listening, at least in the USA. Bob Grove in Brasstown North Carolina explains that the hobby of shortwave listening is in trouble. Fred Osterman of Universal Shortwave, though, was more optimistic, pointing to the softness in the US economy. John Day runs a shop in Australia. The Kenwood R-5000 receivers are popular there. Hans Doeven in the North of the Netherlands says his sales market is shifting towards the maritime market. Lowe Electronics says the German market is soft. They are promoting their HF-150 in Asia. Richard Robinson from EEB in Vienna, Virginia says the high-end portables are doing well.