Thursday, April 01, 2021

World Radio TV Handbook 2021 Review


World Radio TV Handbook 2021 Review 

Gayle Van Horn W4GVH
The Spectrum Monitor, March 2021 

The 2021 edition of WRTH has recently been released, this being their 75th Anniversary Edition. An editorial from Publisher, Nicholas Hardyman, begins this edition, followed by their annual focus of WRTH Contributors. This year’s focus is on Danish hobbyist and broadcaster of Denmark’s World Music Radio, Stig Hartvig Nielsen. Stig has an impressive radio background and notes his future in radio as, "I will still be tuning the bands in the years to come."

The Reviews section covers both high-end and moderately cost equipment, beginning with a five-star rating for the AOR AR5700D, a high-performance wide-band communications receiver, which covers AM, SAM, FM, WFM(S), SSB and CW, as well as decoding several modes and digital voice modes.

For portable operations or space considerations, the Bonito NTi MegaDipol MD300DX could be a consideration. This user-friendly broadband dipole operates from 9kHz to 300 MHz, and can be mounted in a variety of directions. The element can be increased for additional gain. Being small, it is ideal for locations lacking space and works exceptionally well.

An overview of the ICOM IC-7610, an HF+50 MHz transceiver, finds an impressive unit that includes two totally separate receivers, completely independent of the other, which can be tuned from 30kHz to 60MHz. The superb rating will be of interest to the serious amateur operator, DXer or casual shortwave listener.

The new Bonito NTi CCMC30, is an alternative to solving annoying hot spots that can cause a reduction of signal-to-noise ratio in your listening post. Installing this choke will help ensure your receiving station has as clean a signal as possible.

An Overview of the SRDPlay RSPdx reveals a receiver that excels in all types of monitoring whether from amateur, utility, broadcast, L-band, or others. The 14-bit single tuner SDR can receive the entire RF spectrum from 1 kHz to 2GHz. It is reasonably priced, presents and overall good performance as commented by the reviewer, “it's hard to think what's not to like about this great little receiver."

Thomas Witherspoon (K4SWL) provides an excellent review of the Tecsun PL-990, portable radio. His observations offer an affordable choice for a high-grade portable, one perfect for a take-along radio.

If you are considering audio streaming over a network, either as your own private access or for multi-use by hobbyist, the Valent F9x0 Kiwi SDR receiver would be a good choice to consider. The HF Software Defined Radio can receive the entire 10kHz to 32MHz VLF/LW/MW/HF spectrum and would be an asset to any listening post.

The Features section begins with a nostalgic look from BBC Senior Transmitter Engineer, Dave Porter (G4OYX). His outline of the history and development of HF high-power broadcast transmitters is an interesting in-depth feature.

Manfred Rippich delves into a forgotten, and sometimes elusive radio catch, in his look at Radio in Bhutan. Known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, his story explains the introduction and expansion of radio from the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Dr Martin Hadlow, explains why an early portable radio was of fundamental importance in the Pacific War. His fascinating tale of Coastwatchers & the AWA Teleradio 3BZ, is an interesting nostalgia story during World War II.

On the first weekend of every month, listeners across the globe tune in to Scandinavian Weekend Radio. Alan Pennington, of the British DX Club, visited the station, based in Virrat, Finland, to learn of the   humble beginnings, their future, and why this station claims it to be the “hardest DX in the world.”

The annual update of HF Broadcasting Reception Conditions Expected During 2021 with an explanation of the New Solar Cycle 25 from Ulf-Peter Hoppe, adjunct professor of physics at the Arctic University of Norway. He predicts 2021, as one of “good reception in the HF broadcasting bands.” With assistance from his Most Suitable Frequencies 2021 chart, hobbyists can easily plan the next monitoring sessions.

Thirteen pages of colored maps, plus the World Timetable, is a helpful introduction to the National Radio section. The section includes domestic radio stations broadcasting to a national listening audience on mediumwave, shortwave, FM, and DAB. Listings are grouped by country and include frequencies, transmitter information, power kW, contact, and website information.

The International Radio section, lists the same information for international broadcasters, airing to a world listening audience.

Clandestine and other Target Broadcasts cover stations broadcasting politically motivated programming or stations targeted at zones of local or regional conflicts. A one-page listing of Religious Broadcasters Cross Reference Table closes this section.

The Frequency List includes by-frequency listings of world mediumwave stations. SW Stations of the World is a by-frequency listing of stations, followed by International Broadcasts in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, listed in a 24-hour format.

DRM International Broadcast are 24-hour UTC listings of worldwide stations broadcasting on DRM. The Section Guide continues with National Television, listing information in country order.

The closing section is Reference, an extensive listing of country indexes and codes, world transmitter sites, radio clubs, organizations, and institutes, selected Internet resources, WRTH abbreviations and symbols. Additional information includes Transmitter Sites (Location and Decode Tables) for international transmitter sites, Domestic SW Transmitter Sites, and Standard Time & Frequency Transmissions, containing contact information and schedules for worldwide time and frequency stations.

This is the 75th edition of the WRTH and it represents a milestone in the world of radio publication. Coupled with a dedicated global resource staff, it continues to set the standard of vital information, one that is unparalleled. It remains, after 75 years, the most comprehensive exemplary reference book. I highly recommend WRTH 2021, to novice or seasoned hobbyists. WRTH should be in every listening post. Congratulations on 75 gold-standard years.

World Radio TV Handbook 2021, is available from the following sources: