Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shortwave Is NOT Dead !

My readers know that I have ben saying for years that shortwave radio is NOT dead!

It is true: In recent time, several major shortwave stations have left the air permanently, some have curtailed their programming significantly, and others have announced the possibility that changes may be coming soon. However, let us emphasize quite vigorously, shortwave radio broadcasting is far from dead.
Just ask the High Frequency Managers of the many different shortwave organizations how hard it is still, to obtain an open slot in the shortwave radio spectrum in order to give reliable coverage to a desired world area; and just ask the QSL Manager of the many shortwave stations how difficult it is to keep up with the many QSL requests that come in from all parts of the world by email and through the regular postal system.
For example, at the AWR office in Indianapolis, we are about 300 reports in arrears, though all will be processed in due course.
The noted radio columnist, Jerry Dexter, makes a significant statement in the April issue of the American radio journal, Popular Communications. He states: For once, there are no SWBC stations to report as just closed (or about to be).
On the other hand, he continues, there is some good news to report, and he then provides a list containing new positive developments in the shortwave radio world. Here are some of the items of positive development contained in his list:-

* Radio Zambia has returned to shortwave with 100 kW on 5925 kHz & 6162 kHz.
* Saudi Arabia plans to activate around mid-year four new shortwave transmitters at 250 kW at the Al Khurmra site near Jeddah, and each is capable of analog or DRM digital transmission.
* Radio Damascus in Syria plans to renovate and re-activate its older shortwave transmitters.
* Both Radio Nederland & Radio Australia have recently taken out a relay for their programming via the
Kranji shortwave site. (It would be our observation that this is not the BBC site, but the previous site for Radio Singapore International.)
* Radio Canada International is now heard on relay via the VOA-IBB site at Tinang in the Philippines.

* News from other sources regarding positive shortwave developments:-
Work on the new shortwave station in Madagascar is nearing completion. According to word from World Christian Broadcasting, the facility has been completed, and all that is necessary is to install the three new shortwave transmitters at 100kW each. We understand that the three transmitters have been manufactured, and the new owners are simply awaiting income from potential donors.
Bangladesh plans to active a new 250 kW shortwave transmitter at their Kabirpur site north of Dhaka in September with the usage of existing antennas. The new rotatable antenna system will be brought into use next year.
HCJB Global in Australia is currently transferring their shortwave equipment from the temporary site near the Kununurra Dam, to the adjacent permanent location.
According to the NASWA journal, Radio Algeria is activating shortwave transmitters at 250 kW at two sites within their own country, Ourgla & Bechar.
And in addition, we should mention, as was included in our program last week, that Adventist World Radio is planning to install a 5th curtain antenna at shortwave station KSDA on the island of Guam in order to improve coverage into the northern areas of Eastern Asia.
Two shortwave stations are currently celebrating significant anniversaries, giving every indication that they plan to remain on air. Radio Nepal is celebrating 61 years, and Adventist World Radio is celebrating 40 years.
We should remember also that a new HCJB organization is planning to erect a new shortwave station in Ecuador to replace the longtime and venerable HCJB that was closed recently due to the new construction of a new airport nearby. The new HCJB plans the use of two shortwave transmitters, one at 10 kW & one at 100 kW.
The wide spread advertising for many different models of shortwave radio receivers made by Grundig, and other manufacturers also, indicates that there is still a major market worldwide for these highly valued analog items.
Interestingly, the April issue of Popular Communications shows a photo of two different models of radio receivers made by Sangean. The case for each is made of clear plastic, and the statement is made that these are the only radio receivers that are permitted for use by inmates in American prisons.
On the QSL card scene, Radio Free Asia announces that their 36th QSL card is now available; this new card commemorates their 15th anniversary.
Mukesh Kumar in India issues an email bulletin periodically in which he lists the details of recent QSL cards that he has received. His recent bulletin lists 25 cards from 17 different shortwave radio stations in 17 countries of Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and the South Pacific.
And, we might mention, the new 40th anniversary QSL card from Adventist World Radio is now available.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS # 116 via Adrian Peterson)