A warm welcome on a wintry day. Receiver survey feedback reveals shortwave sales are dropping. Voice of Nigeria has returned to the air. WRTH reports that Radio Jordan has expanded its output. Independent receiver review Sony ICFSW-1.
Friday, November 15, 2019
A week of shifting emphasis. Radio Vlaanderen International cancels German, Arabic and Spanish. They have decided to use Juelich site in Germany for broadcasts to Europe. In Indonesia private stations will, at last, be able to air their own news programmes instead of just relaying RRI. Donald McDonald of the ABC explains how they are going to cut 27 million AUS dollars from their budget. We look at the end of Sport7, a shortlived commercial network in the Netherlands. We investigate the strange new business network called Stocks and Funds based in Atlanta. Dennis Thompson, ex BBC Frequency Manager has been asked to set up the schedule. The programme concludes with a visit Diana made to the Baygen Freeplay clockwork radio factory in South Africa.
A news and science features edition of the programme. Victor Goonetilleke reports a problem on Radio Netherlands CIS relay – a loud hum. Arthur Cushen reports wider distribution of Radio Netherlands Dutch language material in New Zealand via Echo Radio. Space feature: We report on the European SOHO project and the results of the coronagraphs. Interview with Piet Maartens on the line from the Goddard Space Centre. We investigate a new top-level communications receiver one of the first software driven DSP receiver the Kneisner+Doering KWZ 30. We never got the chance to review the set because shortly after introduction one of the founders passed away. Interview with Hans Juergen Kneisner. Mike Bird comments on why shortwave receivers in Australia are so expensive. There is a 37% tax on sets and the market is small. Lou Josephs updates online audio. There has been a problem with compatibility. Netscape announces several new versions of their browser suite.
Will Ireland to return to shortwave? Michael Collins advises us of a radio conference in the West of Ireland where the keynote speaker will be Simon Spanswick. There is an extensive visit to SES Astra in Luxembourg. We get the tour from Yves Feltes. When the steel industry went down, the Luxembourg government looked for ways to diversify its economy. Satellites were the answer.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
A regular edition of the programme. Across the Americas opening. We take a call from Lima Peru and talk to George McLintock station manager WWCR which has been airing some controversial programmes on shortwave. Victor Goonetilleke reports what’s going on in the Sri Lankan conflict between the government and the Tamil Tigers.
One year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, radio colleague Kim Andrew Elliott jumped in my car and we toured some of the famous Eastern European radio stations. We went to Budapest, Prague and Berlin sending faxes in advance in the hope of getting the station tour. In Prague we were given a grand tour of Radio Prague and heard from several people what it was like to work in the English section. We also went to see Radio Free Europe (photo) operating from the old Czech parliament building. Studios were inside mobile vans on the floor of the building because permanent changes to the building were not allowed. I thought this edition of the programme was lost because the tape went missing. Luckily a CD copy has survived. Nice to hear the voice of the late Olrich Chip (Peter Skala) once again.
Many recordings of the predecessor of Media Network were not preserved. There was pressure on producers to recycle tapes since the large 30-minute reels cost 25 Euro each in those days. However, I quickly argued that many of the documentaries and Media Network specials would have value later - and I'm glad I put tapes aside for later. When I took over "DX Juke Box" in August 1980, the first thing I did was replace the music with features about broadcasting. The quality of phone calls was still poor, but we could be far more topical. In January 1981 I made this feature with several guests, including Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring, where we explored the changes at Radio Moscow and also spoke with those who were fascinated about the complex Soviet media scene. Remember that very little was published about this vast network of transmitters in the West. The programme concludes with off-air recordings of several Soviet stations. Remember this is a programme I made 38 years ago. No Internet. No Facebook. Just a shortwave radio and a tape recorder. The episode photo was taken in 2010 at the offices of the independent media publishers in Moscow. Fascinating to hear those stories too.