Thursday, May 23, 2013

China jockeys for radio control

The Ladakh incursion may be recent, but the Middle Kingdom has been making quiet inroads into the Indian mindspace for a long time. After securing a large Indian footprint with powerful cross-border radio broadcasts and a vernacular bonanza via shortwave, China is all set to pump the volume.
The external service of China Radio International (CRI) beams content in Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil and other Indian languages and is believed to be beefing up the portfolio. The station is planning to add Gujarati, Punjabi and Malayalam to its external service menu soon, official sources told FE. CRI is also believed to be planning to set up a local office, subject to government approval, to meet its expansion plans.
Such 'legal' shortwave broadcasts come on top of China-backed radio stations in Nepal beaming programmes in Hindi dialects, reaching up to 100 km across the border into the villages of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The northern neighbour's experiments in moulding public opinion across the border have
not gone unnoticed. The enhanced signal strength from the Nepal stations has been of particular concern, said a senior official.
"All India Radio (AIR) has been told to beef up its transmission network to counter this threat. Around R400 crore have been sanctioned in this year's Budget to tackle the cross-border communication influx," he said.
Apart from improved cross-border beaming, the external service of All India Radio is also set for an overhaul. Programming and the technical improvements in AIR external services in Ladakh and all along
he Nepal and China border are on cards. Currently, AIR broadcasts its external services in 27 foreign languages via shortwave. However, these attempts may be no match for CRI which broadcasts in over 60 languages, reaching most countries in the world, armed with a half-billion-dollar-strong budget.
Already, cheap Chinese-made multi-functional radio sets have flooded the markets in the villages and towns in northern Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Last week, Cai Jun, deputy director of the Tamil department of CRI based in Beijing told visiting foreign journalists that the station wants the FM radio network in Tamil Nadu to broadcast some of its content in Tamil. CRI Tamil Service also has plans to launch its own FM service in India. However, current FDI policy in FM radio sector caps foreign investmentsfor the upcoming third-phase expansion at 26%.
"The easiest legal way for any foreign radio broadcaster to enter Indian FM space is through content sharing. But the content has to be compelling for both listeners and advertisers," said a senior executive of the association of radio operators in India (AROI), the apex body of private FM broadcasters.
CRI's Tamil service is in India for over three years broadcasting on shortwave across Tamil Nadu, and is planning to launch more Indian language services.
"More languages means more Indian radio professionals may be need to work out of Beijing. With the third-phase of FM radio auctions expected soon, foreign media companies may look to participate through joint ventures, either before or after auctions," said the AROI executive.
* CRI broadcasts in Indian languages, Nepali stations beam in Hindi
* CRI founded in 1941, earlier known as Radio Beijing, Radio Peking
* Global presence in 60+ languages using 50+ shortwave transmitters
* Competes with BBC World Service, Voice of America in US, Europe
* CRI Hindi service since 1959; dedicated Hindi,Tamil websites
* CRI Nepal re-transmits India-centric programmes into Bihar, UP and Ladakh via Nepali FM stations

Global Radio told to sell stations

The Competition Commission has told Global Radio it must stations in seven UK regions. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
Global Radio, owner of network radio brands including Capital, Heart and Real, must sell stations in seven areas of the UK to appease the competition regulator's concerns over its £70m acquisition of GMG Radio.
The UK's largest radio operator has been told by the Competition Commission that it must sell some of GMG Radio's Real and Smooth stations, or its own services such as Heart and Capital, in seven areas: the East Midlands, Cardiff, North Wales, Greater Manchester and the north-west, the north-east, central Scotland, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. The competition regulator cleared the deal in London and the West Midlands.
However, the Competition Commission said it would allow Global to do deals to potentially license its radio brands to whoever buys the stations it must sell off.
Tuesday's final Competition Commission ruling is a blow for Global Radio, which had offered to sell off just three radio stations in response to a provisional finding in February, which found the GMG Radio deal could lead to advertising and competition issues in a number of regions.
The competition regulator's final report found that in regions where there is an overlap of stations owned by Global Radio and GMG Radio – which is now known as Real and Smooth Limited, the names of its two main brands – there is likely to be higher prices for advertisers.
"Advertisers buying airtime on a campaign-by-campaign basis, directly or through smaller agencies (non-contracted advertising) could face higher costs for both airtime and sponsorship and promotion activity," the Competition Commission stated in its 139-page report.
"We concluded that, subject to reviewing the detail of any agreement, a partial divestiture of one or more stations involving a brand-licence arrangement between the acquirer and Global was a credible divestiture mechanism and was capable of being effective in addressing the substantial lessening of competition."
Simon Polito, chairman of the inquiry at the Competition Commission, said: "In each of the seven areas, the merger would mean the loss of either the only main competitor or one of the three main alternatives. Requiring Global to sell stations to new owners in the affected areas will preserve competition and protect these advertisers' interests."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wavescan NWS221

* Theme - 00:00
            "Birthday Serenade" - Willi Glahe
* Opening Announcement - 00:14
            Welcome to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis, produced in studios of shortwave WRMI
            Program outline
                        1. Chicago on Shortwave: The Ten Year Story of the NBC Shortwave Station W9XF
                        2. Australian States on Shortwave: 5 - South Australia
                        3. Bangladesh DX Report
* Chicago on Shortwave: The Ten Year Story of the NBC Shortwave Station W9XF - 00:53
            The city of Chicago, located on the western edge of the Great Lakes, is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and also one of the largest.  Its earliest history can be traced back to the first settler, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who came in from New Orleans and established a fur trading post on the north bank of the Chicago River, at the edge of Lake Michigan.  That was back in the 1770s.
            Greater Chicagoland, that is the city of Chicago together with all of its wide spread suburban areas, extends almost 50 miles inland from the lake, and northwards up into Wisconsin, and in the south east down into Indiana.  Greater Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, with a total population around 10 million.
            The city was named after the original Indian word for the Chicago River, Checagou.  This name, with its French spelling, appears to honor the wild garlic plant that used to grow in the area.  Interestingly, during the year 1900, engineers reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that the lake would not be contaminated by inflowing water.
            The city of Chicago is famous for its re-birth after the tragic fire in 1871 that destroyed much of the city; and for the grandeur of its tall towers that almost seem to rival New York City.  Another claim to fame is the Chicago Post Office, the world's largest post office building, through which a main highway runs, the Eisenhower Expressway.
            Not so well known is the fact that Chicago featured prominently in the early days of shortwave broadcasting back in the era before World War 2.  The total number of shortwave stations on the air at one time or another in Chicagoland would probably be in excess of fifty, though most of these stations were in use for communication purposes, experimental TV, or the old Apex System of program broadcasting.  However, sufficient evidence exists for us to presume that a dozen or so of these shortwave stations were actually on the air during the pre-war years with the broadcast of radio programming, music and speech. 
            Back there in that era, just two of the Chicago shortwave broadcasting stations stand out prominently, and these were identified as W9XAA in association with mediumwave WCFL; and the NBC station W9XF.  On this occasion, we choose the story of the NBC shortwave station W9XF, together with its associated mediumwave NBC stations in Chicago during that era.
            It was back on June 1, 1927, that Samuel Insull owner of the Great Lakes Broadcasting Company, bought the highly popular mediumwave station WENR from E. N. Rauland owner of the All-American Radio Corp, both in Chicago.  This sale was finalized on April 17, 1928 with the transfer of $1.5 million.
            However, even before the finalization of the sale, Great Lakes Broadcasting applied to the Department of Commerce for a license to operate a Special Land Station on 1040 kHz under the callsign 9XF.  Planning also began quite quickly for a complete new broadcasting station at an outer suburban location in Downer's Grove, a facility that would include, offices, studios and several transmitters.  
            This brand new radio station came into service just before mid year 1929, and at the same time, the Department of Commerce approved an extension of the 9XF license to include three shortwave channels, 6020 kHz, 11800 kHz & 21500 kHz, all of which fell into what later became the standard international shortwave bands.  
            Known transmitters at this new location at this time were a 50 kW AM mediumwave unit for WENR, and a 5 kW shortwave unit for W9XF.  It is probable that the same shortwave transmitter was also in use for experimental mechanical television under the callsign W9XR.  
            The first known logging of the new shortwave W9XF was noted in Australia in August of the following year (1930) on 6120 kHz with a program relay from mediumwave WENR.  At this stage, WENR was also operating its on air studios in the electrical generating plant of Commonwealth Edison at 72 West Adams Street near downtown Chicago. 
            However, a few months later, Great Lakes Broadcasting sold their radio and TV facilities, including the Downer's Grove station, to the rather new National Broadcasting Company, NBC in New York.  When NBC took over, they stated that the shortwave broadcasts from W9XF would continue,(with programming from the Blue network) though they did close the mechanical TV service from W9XR. 
            Studios for the new NBC in Chicago were installed in the Merchandise Mart, which boasted as being the world's largest building at the time.  Programming produced in this building was broadcast over several different transmitters, including mediumwave WENR & WMAQ, and shortwave W9XF.
            Interestingly, an additional callsign was taken into usage for W9XF in 1933, and this was W9XQ.  Both callsigns were in use on the same channel, 6100 kHz, at the same power level 5 kW, and it could be presumed that a second shortwave transmitter had been installed.             
            It is suggested that the power level of the second transmitter (or perhaps the two transmitters combined?) was raised to 10 kW during the following year and that this unit became the main transmitter for W9XF with programming from WENR-NBC Blue Network.  At this stage, an additional shortwave service was commenced from Downer's Grove on 6425 kHz under the callsign W9XBS with programming from mediumwave station WMAQ, the NBC Red Network.  This shortwave service from W9XBS was on the air for a couple of years, though the callsign was later taken into use for an Apex broadcast service in 1939.
            In 1937, NBC lodged a request with the FCC for approval to install a 50 kW shortwave transmitter, though this request was denied.  We would presume that the reason for this dismissal was the fact that NBC was already involved with a large shortwave station located at Bound Brook, New Jersey.
            The programming from WENR-WMAQ over the shortwave outlet W9XF was on the air for a period of time approaching ten years and it was heard throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, South America, and the South Pacific.  It is known that the programming from shortwave station W9XF was occasionally re-broadcast live by radio stations in New Zealand & Australia. 
            For example, in April 1932, the American radio magazine Broadcast News stated that the NZBS, New Zealand Broadcasting Service, "has had remarkably good results in re-broadcasting signals from this station."  This was at a time when the (input?) power of the transmitter was rated at just 5 kW, thus providing, we would suggest, approximately 2½ kW into the antenna system.
            Radio transmitter W9XF was inaugurated in the Downer's Grove station just before mid year 1929.  It began as a 5 kW unit (power input), seemingly an additional transmitter rated at 10 kW was installed in 1934, and the shortwave service was closed at the end of the year 1938 when the WENR-WLS transmitters were re-sited to Tinley Park. 
            The Downer's Grove site was sold during World War 2 for wartime manufacturing, and the manufacturing facility was closed in 1990.  All buildings on the 40 acre site were demolished to make way for suburban housing.
            There are no known QSL cards verifying the reception of W9XF under Great Lakes Broadcasting, though numerous QSL cards for W9XF were issued by NBC from about 1934 onwards, including the short term usage of the subsidiary callsign W9XQ.           
* Identification Signal - 10:21
            Chicago Mediumwave WLS, top of the hour
* Program Announcement - 11:12
            Allen Graham
* Australian States on Shortwave: 5 - South Australia - 12:02
            Every state in the Commonwealth of Australia has at some time or another been involved in shortwave broadcasting, and on this occasion, we take a look at the shortwave story in South Australia.  The callsigns for the mediumwave stations in this state, located at the central section of the continental south coast begin with the number 5, indicating the 5th radio district, South Australia.
            It was back in the year 1928, that the new commercial station as it was then, 5CL, applied for a shortwave license, similar to 3LO in Melbourne, for the purpose of broadcasting their mediumwave service to outback areas throughout Australia.  This request was denied.
            However, during the following year 1929, station 5CL fed some of its programming to Melbourne for broadcast on shortwave over the AWA facilities of mediumwave 3LO.  During the 1930s, after 5CL was absorbed into the government ABC network and a new set of studios was constructed in Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, there were several occasions when the programming from 5CL was relayed over the AWA shortwave stations, VK2ME Sydney & VK3ME Melbourne.
            In more recent time, during the 1970s, both of the ABC stations in Adelaide were noted with programming on shortwave from Radio Australia.  For example, in February 1975, 5AN was heard with a relay on 17715 kHz for Northern territory mediumwave via a 100 kW transmitter at Radio Australia Shepparton.  Then in April, 5AN was heard again from Shepparton, on 11810 kHz with a program relay specifically for the isolated mediumwave station in the Northern Territory, 8GO in Gove.
            Then, two years later again, the other ABC station, 5CL, was heard with a similar relay to Darwin mediumwave via a 10 kW transmitter at Lyndhurst on 6115 kHz.  
            Going back to earlier times once more, the well known Adelaide commercial station, 5AD, organized its own DX radio club, and they were on the air generally on Sundays with special programming for shortwave listeners.  Initially, these special programs were broadcast in 1934 over the suburban amateur station VK5WB, though soon afterwards the radio club obtained their own shortwave license and they were on the air under the callsign 5DI.
            The shortwave broadcasts from 5DI were heard throughout Australia & New Zealand, and even distantly in the United States.  This station also used the call of the Kookaburra bird as part of its sign on routine, as did several other shortwave stations in Australia back during that era.   
* Identification Signal
            Call of the Kookaburra
            Reception reports to 5DI were verified with the own QSL card.  The last known broadcast from special shortwave station 5DI was made in August 1939.
            We might also add that special programming from the parent station, 5AD, was relayed by Radio Australia beginning in late 1944.  One of these broadcasts was Australia's Amateur Hour, the historic equivalent to the current popular programs on TV, Britain's Got Talent, and America's Got Talent.
            Back in the 1930s, there was another interesting shortwave station on the air in South Australia, and this was located at the small isolated settlement of Yunta on the edge of the desert.  This station was allocated the callsign VHU9 and its main purpose was for outback communication, though it was on the air occasionally for the relay of broadcast programming, and also news bulletins during World War 2.
            During the year 1939, there was a winter expedition to the desert areas of central Australia, the Madigan Expedition, that traversed the isolated areas extending westward from Broken Hill.  This expedition carried its own small radio transmitter, and the evening broadcasts were picked up by station VHU9 and relayed to the ABC in Adelaide.
            During the year 1944, there were many local shortwave stations in use for communication purposes throughout South Australia and these were located in state divisions known as local council districts.  At this stage, two of these local shortwave stations were permitted to broadcast news bulletins for local listeners daily at 11:00 am, and these were:-
                        VL5DG            3605 kHz         Blyth, 60 miles north of the state capital Adelaide     
                        VL5DA                        1775                Location now unknown
            We could also add that many of the Coastal Radio Stations in Australia were noted with the broadcast of weather reports and navigational warnings on shortwave back in their earlier years.  This was true of station VIA, located initially near Port Adelaide and subsequently inland at McLaren Vale.  Back in the year 1934, maritime VIA installed a 5 kW shortwave beam transmitter, and it appears that this was in use at times for the onward relay of radio programming for rebroadcast in other states and on shortwave for international listeners.
            From the very beginning, South Australia has had an interesting connection with the inland shortwave service for the Northern Territory.  Even though 5CL was denied its first application for a license for an inland shortwave service in 1928, yet ten years later, initial plans were announced for establishing a Northern Territory Shortwave Service with programming from Adelaide.  Again, nothing more happened at this stage.
            Then, in the early 1970s, three American shortwave transmitters were obtained for this purpose and they were placed in storage and modified at the large ABC complex at Pimpala, on the coast south of the city of Adelaide.  However, before they were installed for the projected Northern Territory Shortwave Service, one of these units was diverted for installation at Carnarvon in Western Australia for Radio Australia.  
            This Harris 100 kW transmitter was activated at Carnarvon on February 15, 1976 under the line callsign VLL.  The two other transmitters were taken over as replacement units for Radio Australia at Shepparton in Victoria.
            However, after the shortwave service was installed at three different locations in the Northern Territory, there were times when Adelaide provided the programming.  For instance, in August 1986, the ABC in Adelaide was noted with the identification announcement, "ABC Radio in South Australia, Broken Hill, and VL8T in the Northern Territory".
* Identification Signal - 20:01
            Radio Australia, top of the hour into news
* Bangladesh DX Report - 20:30
            Salahuddin Dolar
* Music of the World - 26:35
            Lebanon: Percussion music
* Closing Announcement - 27:02
            Thanks for listening to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis
            Next week:-
                        1. Radio Broadcasting in the Land of the Mountain Lion - 4: Relay Services
                        2. Australian DX Report
            Two QSL cards available - AWR & WRMI
            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            Jeff White, shortwave WRMI
Via Dr. Adrian M. Peterson

Friday, May 17, 2013

Who needs radio? I'll take the Web

By Jordan Valinsky, Special to CNN
(CNN) -- Listening to the radio was something I did -- when I was a teenager.
Just take my middle and high school years where every morning, at 6:55, I flipped on my Walkman and began the trudge down the hill to the bus stop. It was tuned to B94, which was Pittsburgh's "Today's Hit Music" station. Every day, the crazy -- and at that time seemingly raunchy -- antics of its morning show with John, Dave, Bubba and Shelly made me excited to be awake.
Although the show offered really nothing of value to enrich my life, like a sugary drink, it didn't have to. In those 40 minutes on the bus, there was adequately funny banter (which in hindsight, was terrible), vital information of what happened in Hollywood overnight, and most importantly, today's hottest music.
The Pussycat Dolls, then Natasha Bedingfield, and that one Fort Minor song? If I heard that lineup again, High School Me would probably melt in happiness. But my radio listening habits didn't end at 7:45 a.m. After school, I probably listened to the same set of music. The only difference was the afternoon slot felt like it was filled with endless commercials that didn't air in the morning.
But it all stopped when I went to college. The pop music station in my new home, a small Ohio town, couldn't match the "talents" of John, Dave, Bubba and Shelly (although it was not like I was awake at 7 a.m. to listen). While I was slinking into my late teens, the playlist of that low-budget station felt like it was stuck in my middle-school years. By then, I was also hooked to my family's satellite radio account, which was like terrestrial radio without all of those terrible commercials for car dealerships or rug outlets.
And discovering new music on the Internet around that time became easier. I trawled through iTunes' constantly updated charts. My friends posted recommendations on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, which substituted for radio stations plugging whatever artist their corporate parent suggested. Also, my dorm's high-speed Internet connection allowed me to stream music from noncommercial stations all around the world, like BBC Radio 1, to see what we would be listening to stateside in another six months.
After college, I moved to Austin, Texas, a traffic-prone town where you would spend more time in your car than at your destination. But when I pulled into the city in 2012, I didn't even bother to reset my car's radio to the local stations. It wasn't necessary. Most if not all of the time, I was plugged into my satellite radio or my app-filled iPhone, which played a steady stream of commercial-free music catering to my tastes. For my friends and me, the car's auxiliary outlet killed the radio star.
Now I'm 24 and the radio's relevancy is fading faster than driving out of a signal's reach. The Internet has made me an an "on-demand" listener, meaning I can listen to any song, from any artist, at any time. From music apps, websites (like Soundcloud), and the blogs, there are literally millions of sources to discover new music. I can listen to a new song seconds after it's released and not wait days, or even weeks, before the radio bothers to play it.
And, ugh, those cheesy DJs are no longer polluting my listening experience with their allegedly wacky and zany gags. The definition of DJ has shifted from John, Dave, Bubba and Shelly, to actual, physical DJs, who spin "records" like Diplo or Avicii.
It's not just me. Every morning, my wretched millennial friends awake to freshly brewed tunes from our favorite blogs. New music from my friends fills up my Spotify inbox at a seemingly never-ending pace (and vice versa). I would be scared to hear how loud the laugh would be if anyone asked if we'd discovered a half-decent new song on the radio in the past five years. I don't know even know what channel to find that on!
Since the iPhone has replaced my Walkman, my friends have replaced the DJs, and the ability to listen to whatever I want at any given moment kicked out radio stations' playlists, I would say it's time to turn off the radio for good. But I already did that five years ago.
Editor's note: Jordan Valinsky is a staff writer for Betabeat, the tech blog for the New York Observer.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

AIR Trichy enters Platinume Jubilee year today

In an exclusive mail from PB Secretariat, CEO, M(P) & M(F) have
congratulated Officers and Staff of AIR Trichy for entering the Platinum
Jubilee Year. Brigadier (Retd) VAM Hussain, Member(Personnel),Prasar
Bharati,has written *"Heartiest Congratulations to AIR Trichy on its
Platinum Jubilee. It shares history of Tamilnadu so intimately. Well done
and wishing you many more laurels."*

[Via dx_india YG] 

Pudukkottai AIR FM radio station soon

TRICHY: The additional director general of Doordarshan and All India Radio
(AIR), Southern Zone, G Jayalal on Thursday assured in Trichy that a 100W
FM radio station of AIR at Pudukkottai would be commissioned in the near
future. Jayalal was taking part in the platinum jubilee celebrations of the
Trichy unit of AIR and set in motion the year-long celebrations.

More at :

[Alokesh Gupta, New Delhi, DX INDIA YG]

CommRadio is introducing the CR-1, a new tabletop shortwave receiver

The CommRadio CR-1
US-based CommRadio is introducing a new tabletop, SDR-based, shortwave receiver this year: the CR-1. Their website has a few specifications and the video I've embedded below.
The CR-1 receives the full medium wave and shortwave spectrum (.5-30 MHz), plus some portions of VHF and UHF (FM broadcast band, Aircraft, Marine, NOAA weather radio, GMRS and FRS services).
The receiver architecture is a dual conversion super-heterodyne design with low-IF , I-Q digital sampling, 16 bit DSP with digital audio CODEC.  Their website also mentions DSP algorithms for all demodulation: DSB-AM, SSB, CW, WBFM, NBFM and channel filtering.
Other impressive features:
  • Can be powered from USB or a 6-18 VDC power source (from a separate 2.1mm jack).  The CR-1 possibly has the most flexible power source I've ever seen in a shortwave receiver!
  • The knobs are black anodized machined aluminium and front panel is powder coated machined aluminium; case is 20 gauge powder coated steel
  • Three antenna inputs
    • BNC for HF/MW
    • 3.5 mm audio jack (rated at 1000 Ohm, for roll-up antennas or telescoping whip),
    • BNC for VHF and UHF
  • Very portable size!
  • Source:

Radio Australia joins the Radiogram Fun!

From the VOA Radiogram site of Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott

For the first time, Radio Australia will broadcast digital text and images. This will be Saturday 18 May and Sunday 19 May 2013. 

UTC               Frequency (kHz)   Target
0830-0835      7410 & 11945        south-west Pacific 
1230-1235      9580 & 12095        south Pacific 

As is characteristic of shortwave, reception outside the nominal target areas is likely.
Each five-minute broadcast will include:

  :34 RA tuning signal (still Waltzing Matilda?)
  :05 Tone 1500 Hz
1:42 MFSK16 text
1:42 MFSK32 text
  :55 MFSK32 image

All modes are centered on 1500 Hz. The Radio Australia digital transmissions can be received on any shortwave, even if it does not have single sideband capability. Patch audio from the radio to a personal computer, and use software to decode the modes. For more information, see how to decode the modes.

AIR Jalandhar celebrates its 64th anniversary

The union minister of information and broadcasting, Manish Tewari, has
extended his heartiest gettings to the staff members of the All India Radio
station, Jalandhar, on the completion of 64 years of the organisation.
The Prasar Bharati CEO, Jawahar Sircar, has also extended his
greetings to the staff and guest participants and has called upon them to
put in their best energy, efforts and talent to bring the organisation to
the zenith, an AIR press release stated here .

The Jalandhar station is also credited with broadcasting information
regarding Green Revolution in Punjab and during Family Planning campaign.
At present the station is broadcasting many public oriented programmes as
per the requirement of modern India.
[Via dx_india YG] 

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule

In VOA Radiogram for the weekend on 18 and 19 May, we will continue to experiment with images. In fact, we will transmit the same picture three ways: in two SSTV modes and then as an MFSK32 image. Bring something to read, or an electronics project, because these picture transmissions will take 4 to 5 minutes each.
To decode the SSTV modes, several software programs are available. They include the RX-SSTV (receive only) from , MMSSTV from , and Digital Master 780, part of the Ham Radio Deluxe suite, from .
Before the images will be two VOA news stories in MFSK32 text, with the usual center audio frequency of 1500 Hz. The second story is in French, as we continue to determine if accented letters appear correctly on your display.
To view accented characters in Fldigi: Configure > Colors & Fonts > next to Select Char Set, select UTF-8. To keep your selection of UTF-8, under Configuration, click Save Config.  
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram the weekend on 18 and 19 May:
2:55        MFSK16 Program preview
1:59        MFSK32 VOA News in English
4:03        MFSK32 VOA News in French
1:07        MFSK16 Intro to SSTV transmissions
4:31        Scottie DX SSTV
 :10        Tone (to give you time to save your Scottie DX image)
5:08        Pasokon P5 SSTV
 :25        MFSK16 intro to MFSK32 image
4:07        MFSK32 image
1:10        MFSK16 closing announcements
1:22        Surprise mode of the week (mixes somewhat with the closing music)                                   
On VOA Radiogram during the weekend of 25-26 May, we will experiment with the Easypal digital SSTV mode, comparing it to MFSK32. Please download Easypal from . Easypal images are transmitted by radio amateurs on 14233 kHz.
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC)
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1300-1330 6095 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.
This weekend, there will also be digital transmissions from Radio Australia:
And The Mighty KBC:

Christian radio group faces financial hard times

Family Radio's founder predicted Jesus would return and the world would end on May 21, 2011.
NASHVILLE -- A Christian radio ministry may be facing a financial apocalypse after its predictions about the end of the world failed to come true.

Three years ago Oakland-based Family Radio Inc. placed billboard messages around the country, claiming that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011.

Forty of the billboards were in Nashville, Tenn., bearing the message "He is Coming Back Soon."

Some of the Rev. Harold Camping's followers had quit jobs or emptied their bank accounts to help pay for the billboards, and some traveled the country in a caravan to spread the word. They also set up a website called and spread the word on T-shirts, bumper stickers and postcards.

Volunteers such as Allison Warden, who orchestrated Nashville's billboard campaign, were convinced that Camping's prediction was right.

"It's a certainty," she told The Tennessean in 2010.

When the end of the world did not happen, Family Radio's founder, Camping, admitted he'd been wrong.

Now his charity has fallen on hard times.

The group lost more than $100 million in assets from 2007 to 2011, according to the Associated Press, falling from $135 million in 2007 to $29.2 million at the end of 2011. It's had to sell off three of its largest radio stations.

Camping, 91, suffered a stroke after his prediction did not materialize and has since said he has no more interest in considering future dates for the end of the world.

In 2012, records show that Family Radio took out a $30 million bridge loan to keep operating while awaiting money from the sale of the stations.

Board member Tom Evans, who has taken over the network since Camping's stroke, said the network is hurting during the economic slowdown like other nonprofits. But he said it is not closing.

"Sufficient funds were in the bank and, thankfully, we didn't spend everything," he said, referring to the May 2011 prediction. "But it did force us to make quick changes."

Family Radio, founded more than a half-century ago, had 66 full-service radio stations, more than 100 FM broadcast relay stations and a handful of television stations across the country at one time.

Smietana also writes for The Tennessean. Contributing: The Associated Press

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WRTH Summer Season broadcast schedules file

The WRTH editorial team are pleased to announce that the Summer (A) Season broadcast schedules file is now available to download for free from just follow the link on the front page (updates).

Included in this file are: Broadcast schedules for international and clandestine/target broadcasters, international broadcasts in DRM, International frequency listing, and selected language broadcasts. Also included is a decode table for site and target area codes.

The 80 page file is just over 2MB in size and in PDF format (with bookmarks to assist in navigating between sections) and unique section page numbering to assist with printing. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat reader in order to open this file. The Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from

We hope you find this file a useful accompaniment to the printed WRTH.

(Sean Gilbert, May 14, Facebook)