Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Separate Lakshadweep Islands DXpeditions No Longer to Butt Heads

NEWINGTON, CT, Nov 28, 2006 -- The first of two planned DXpeditions to rare Lakshadweep Islands (VU7) is set to start December 1. A team sponsored by the Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) -- the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society for India -- plans to operate as VU7LD from Kavaratti Island. Meanwhile, a second announced foray to the second most-wanted DXCC entity has returned to its original plans to commence in mid-January instead of December, thus avoiding the potential for on-air chaos. ARSI says it has permission from India's telecommunication and military authorities to operate from December 1 until December 30.

"The plans for this expedition are well under way, and we are assembling together around 25 Indian radio operators who have a proven record of operating in 'pile up' conditions on all modes, so that the poor propagation conditions are utilized to the maximum," the DXpedition's Web site reports. ARSI says VU7LD -- the actual call sign could change -- will operate on all HF bands on CW, SSB and digital modes.

A DXpedition under the auspices of the National Institute for Amateur Radio (NIAR), will kick off with a three-day hamfest January 15, and the DXpedition will continue for approximately 10 days. The NIAR DXpedition plans to operate as VU7RG, in honor of the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, VU2RG.

"We are pleased to inform that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications, WPC wing has released the first list of special permission issued to foreign hams holding Indian Amateur Radio licenses to operate Amateur Radio stations from Bangaram, Kadmat and Agathi in Lakshadweep Islands," Rama Mohan, VU2MYH, said in a November 22 statement on the VU7RG Web site. "Until today a total of 33 DX hams have been officially approved for the VU7RG operation!" The NIAR operation could include as many as 50 radio amateurs from India and elsewhere.

NIAR says the "well-known, experienced operators" staffing all three operating sites will "work closely together to avoid multiple stations on the air using overlapping frequencies."

Concerns arose within the DX community in October after NIAR rescheduled its event from January to December, and it appeared the two DXpeditions would have multiple stations on the air simultaneously on various HF bands and modes at least during the first part of the month. NIAR organized and sponsored a DXpedition and hamfest-conference in the Andaman Islands (VU4) earlier this year.

Part of the Laccadive Islands, Lakshadweep -- the smallest union territory of India -- is located in the Arabian Sea some 200 to 300 km off the southwestern coast of India. The territory marks its 50th anniversary this year.
Source: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/11/28/103/?nc=1

Monday, November 20, 2006


Couple of qsl's from AIR :

AIR Gangtok QSL - 3390 kHz

AIR Gangtok Prog Schd ( Times in IST)

AIR Bhopal QSL - 3315 kHz

These are also available at files section of this group :

Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi

குமுதம் தொடங்க உள்ள 'ஆஹா எப்.எம்': விளம்பரம்

குமுதம் 8/11/2006 இதழில் பக்கம் 15 இல் வெளிவந்த விளம்பரம்

Monday, November 06, 2006

'Listeners' lifestyles the key to radio sustainability'

Radio broadcasters should get involved in the lifestyles of their
listeners in order to guarantee the sustainability of their stations and
services, the ABU Programme Committee meeting heard in Beijing today.
Addressing delegates to the Programme Committee at the 43rd ABU General
Assembly, Capital Maharaja-Sri Lanka's Nedra Weerasinghe said radio
broadcasters should develop new services that complement the lifestyles
of their listeners.
"In an age of on-demand availability of information and entertainment,
radio needs to respond to keep up with the changes. The answer to this is to
develop new services that listeners want.
"A service that fits a lifestyle is often set for greater success than
a single emphasis on increasingly complex gadgetry," she said.
Ms Weerasinghe also cautioned broadcasters against upgrading to new and
better technology just to keep up with the times.
"We should use technology and not be driven by it. Upgrade only if it
enhances the listening experience and brings you closer to the
listeners, or if you have no choice," she said during the symposium on "Ten great
ways to make people listen longer".

Among the ways highlighted to attract and retain radio listeners were:
- having innovative programming;
- finding disc jockeys that can express themselves powerfully;
- rewarding listeners with competitions and prizes;
- connecting with listeners by inviting them to the studios;
- taking complex issues and presenting them in an easy-to-understand manner;
- maintaining good public relations and social responsibilities;
- motivating staff to interact directly with the public; promoting the station constantly and consistently.

"The key point is that radio needs to better understand what people
want. Radio stations that want to be in business 10 years from now will need
to better understand how consumers choose music to fit their lifestyles.
"It's a question of convenience and enriching people's lives, because
we can provide interaction, information and entertainment the way they want
it," said Ms Weerasinghe.

Friday 03 Nov 2006
Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi



Hi amigos radio aficionados ! You are now listening to the weekend
edition of Dxers Unlimited, your favorite radio hobby program, covering
each and every aspect of our wonderful way of using our spare time.
there are more than 80 different ways that you can enjoy this hobby...
from listening to the AM broadcast band with a very inexpensive little
radio trying to pick up distant stations late in the evening, to taking
part in one of the big worldwide amateur radio contests... From
soldering the last electronic component to a printed circuit board that
will let you listen to the aircraft VHF band when connected to your
short wave radio, to installing a home brew antenna that will extend
range of your ham radio station... Si amigos, there are many different
and always challenging ways of enjoying the radio hobby... and that's
exactly what I want you all to think about every time that you have a
chance to start a new radio project... For example, listener Anil from
Mumbai , India, writes via e-mail to tell me that he has picked up
Havana Cuba's short wave broadcasts on 15230 kilo Hertz, something
surprising if you consider that 15230 kilo Hertz at the time that he
heard that transmitter was using our 160 degrees azimuth curtain array
of dipoles antenna... It seems like an odd radiation lobe of the big
curtain was making its way to India, across the Pacific Ocean, or as
of our engineers said , one never knows how a big antenna radiation
pattern may generate small lobes, that are the ones that produce such
unusual reception in far away places, even when the main lobe of the
antenna is pointing to a completely different azimuth..

More about reception reports received here , and what to expect during
the frequency management period BO6 that has just started a few days
Stay tuned for more radio hobby related items, coming to from Havana...
I am Arnie Coro..


This is Radio Havana Cuba, the name of the show is Dxers Unlimited, and
yes, we do QSL , we do verify reception reports, and we do it the way
should be done... absolutely free of charge ... since the very first
that we tested a one Kilowatt Gates shortwave transmitter connected to
half wave dipole that was strung between two wooden poles provided by
the local electricity utility's storage yard near our Bauta
station, we asked for signal reports, and as soon as they started to
come in, we began to answer them... and I remember from those days,
we went to the post office to buy stamps , and asked the girl at the
counter for the most beautiful Cuban stamps , so that when we sent out
the first Radio Havana Cuba QSL letters, listeners will also receive
Cuban stamps too...
You can send your signal reports and comments about this and other
Havana Cuba's programs via e-mail to arnie@rhc.cu, again arnie@rhc.cu,
and if you are not yet in cyberspace, send an AIR MAIL postcard to
Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana, Cuba...
Now more about B-06, and for those of you not familiar with that term,
now the international broadcast stations that use the so called HF or
more properly decametric bands, divide the year into two periods A and
B, each lasting six months. But the broadcast schedule periods don't
start on the first day of January, and end on the 31st of December...
The start up dates for the so called winter period, also known as the B
period, start at the end of October and lasts until some time in
March... This period that started a few days ago is known to broadcast
station frequency management engineers as B 06... And when B 06 ends in
March of 2007, then the A 07 period will start , covering all of the
summer season and a few weeks more until late October of 2007 when the
07 period will begin...
Selecting the best frequencies for broadcasting to the different target
areas of international short wave stations is a very complicated
process, that requires a lot of know how about antenna systems and
wave propagation.
Managing the frequencies of a short wave station is quite a task, and
engineers make use of the most up to date computer programs, solar
activity forecasts and of course, that we do rely a lot on listener's
feedback, because short wave radio propagation is far from been an
In a few days time, our station Radio Havana Cuba will implement the
B-06 schedule, that this year is coming a bit late for us, due to the
need to finish working on several new antennas....
For our English language program listeners in North America, there are
few changes that are required due to the much lower solar activity
expected during the next several months... For example, our long time
frequency that has served so well listeners in the Central time zone of
North America, 9820 kilo Hertz , can not be used effectively during the
B-06 period, so we are changing it to a lower frequency band... YES
amigos, we are moving away from 9820 kilo Hertz from 23 hours UTC to 05
hours UTC , and will start using instead 6180 kilo Hertz with our new
low frequency band curtain array that is beaming to 340 degrees
This antenna has a gain of about 17 decibels over a dipole on 6 mega
Hertz, something that is achieved by using our new 105 meters high twin
towers that support the big antenna array, that engineers describe as
HR 4, 4, 0.8 Curtain Antenna, that meaning that it is a set of four
columns and four rows of dipoles, connected in phase, and that the
row of dipoles is placed at 0 decimal 8 wavelengths above ground at the
center operating frequency of the antenna... I expect that this new
antenna will be delivering a very nice signal covering a large area of
North America from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast... on 6180
Hertz... but of course, you, the listener will be the one that will be
telling us if reception is really good.By the way if you want to
practice Spanish, the 23 hours UTC to 00 Hours UTC segment on 6180 kilo
Hertz to Central North America is broadcast in Spanish, and we switch
our North America and the Caribbean English Language program at 00
UTC... keeping 6180 kilo Hertz in operation until 05 UTC , that is
exactly twelve o'clock midnight Eastern Standard Time, and we may be
extending this broadcast until 07 hours UTC too...
Si amigos !!! the B 06 broadcast period is now in effect, and you will
need to take some time to find the new operating frequencies of many
international broadcast stations that have changed their schedules to
best adapt to the much lower solar activity expected...


ASK ARNIE, si amigos !!! ASK ARNIE is according to your e-mail,
postcards, letters, and Fax messages , THE most popular section of
Unlimited... Today's ASK ARNIE, will be devoted to answering a question
sent by seventeen listeners from the USA, Canada, the UK, Jamaica,
Trinidad and Tobago , Nigeria and South Africa... They all want to know
more about what to expect during the end of the present solar cycle...
Well my friends, as you heard just a while ago, when I was explaining
why we have to drop our 31 meters band 9820 kilo Hertz frequency to
Central North America in favor of a frequency on the SIX megahertz or
meters band , the much lower solar activity has a devastating impact on
the higher frequency short wave bands...
When extended periods of very low solar activity happen, with the daily
solar flux staying around 70 units and the number of sunspots is zero
near zero for many days, the higher frequency short wave bands from 10
or 12 mega Hertz up simply go dead... The ionosphere is no longer
capable of sending back to Earth radio waves above 10 or 12 mega Hertz
during the local daytime hours... and as soon as the Sun sets, South to
North propagation paths take a nose dive, with the maximum usable
frequency dropping to frequencies as low as even 5.5 mega Hertz.. When
this happens, listeners monitoring the short wave bands will notice
there are almost absolutely no signals heard above 6 or 7 mega Hertz, a
very good indication of an extremely low period of solar activity. Of
the seventeen listeners that asked for the explanation that you have
just heard, six wanted also to know when HF propagation conditions
12 to 15 mega Hertz are going to improve... and the answer amigos is
that you should not expect any significant improvement until at least
the second half of the year 2008.... YES, you heard it right, until
solar cycle number 24 starts to generate more solar activity ,
expected by scientists to happen during the second half of 2008, short
wave propagation conditions on the higher frequencies are going to be
very poor or even non existent at all...
So, this is the right time to start thinking about installing antennas
for the lower frequency bands, and for those of you that don't have
space to install those long wires, there is an excellent option... home
brewing a large magnetic loop antenna , of at least 2 meters or about 6
feet diameter... that will provide the possibility of picking up low
frequency stations within the range between 1.5 and 10 mega Hertz..
In an upcoming edition of Dxers Unlimited, I will be describing such a
magnetic loop antenna, that can be installed in a much smaller space
than the area that you will require to install a long wire for low
frequencies reception...


Si amigos, we do QSL, send me your comments about the program,
reports and radio hobby related questions to arnie@rhc.cu, or VIA AIR
MAIL, send a post card or letter to Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba ,
Havana, Cuba...
Before going QRT here,let me tell you that many radio amateurs around
the world are enjoying very much using the PSK31 digital keyboard to
keyboard communications mode, that can be installed very easily using
readily available computer software for both LINUX and WINDOWS
systems... PSK31 is a form of radio teletype that uses a very narrow
bandwidth and for that reason stations using low power and simple
antennas can make lots of DX contacts !!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

BBC International Playwriting Competition 2007


Welcome to our tenth biennial International Playwriting Competition, run in conjunction with the British Council. Write our actors their dream script Once again, we have two first prizes: for the best play by a writer with English as their first language, and for the best play by a writer with English as their second language. These two winners will each receive £2500 sterling and a trip to London to see their play being recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service in the World Drama slot. The playwriting competition is one of the most exciting events here at BBC World Service Drama, as it provides us with an opportunity to connect with our audience, drawing on a vast, untapped resource of writing talent from around the world. Previous winners have gone on to gain further commissions for BBC World Service Drama and other areas of BBC Radio Drama. So, if you are an experienced novelist or writer for theatre, film, television, but are new to Radio Drama; if you are a writer with no experience at all writing your first script; or if you're a writer somewhere in between - we want to hear from you. Your work is our future. Good luck.


£2500 sterling for the overall winning playwright of the best play written with English as a first language and a trip to London to see the play being recorded and to attend a prize-giving evening.
£2500 sterling for the overall winning playwright of the best play written with English as a second language and a trip to London to see the play being recorded and to attend a prizegiving evening.
A prize of a digital or short wave radio for the best radio play to be written from each of the following geographical areas: The Americas; Europe; Africa and the Middle East; South Asia; Russia and the Caucasus; Asia and Pacific.
BBC goodie bags for all writers whose plays reach the judges' final shortlist.


You are asked to write a radio play of about sixty minutes on any subject of your choice. This means that your finished script should be a minimum of 50 pages of A4 paper (or equivalent) and a maximum of 75 pages (note, a rough guide is a minute per page; read and time your play if you can before you send it!). The play should have a maximum of six central characters.
The play must be the original, unpublished work of the person or persons submitting it. It must not have been professionally produced, in any medium.
Open to anyone not normally resident in the UK.
If you are under the age of 16 you must obtain permission from your parent/guardian before you enter this competition. Your parent/guardian must be prepared to travel with you to London to collect your prize. Your parent/guardian must be prepared to pay for their own travel costs.
Your play must be with us in London by April 30, 2007.

Help writing a radio play

Tell a good story. Radio Drama thrives on strong narratives. Whether you?re writing a tragedy, a comedy, a deeply personal piece of autobiography or a play to change the world, a great storyline will keep your audience listening.
However, don?t make the story too complicated, with too many themes, characters and plotlines, or the listener will get confused.
Get under the skin of your characters. Get to know them really well. Each will have their own individual speech mannerisms. Don?t have them all speaking in your tone of voice.
Don?t - in the interests of furthering the plot - have characters telling each other information they already know!
Radio Drama is not only about words. Use the four building blocks of radio drama - speech, sound effects, music and silence. Decide exactly what ?sound picture? - what mixture of these four elements - the listener needs to hear in each scene. Will a scene be enhanced by having music under it? Will a pause between a speech add to the dramatic effect?
But, if in doubt, keep it simple - the play stands or falls by the words you have written, not the amount of music or sound effects.
Vary the pace and length of your scenes, as well as their background acoustics and ?location?. A radio play which has six ten-minute scenes, each set in a dining-room, is likely to be less effective than a play which varies its scenes and settings. Keep the listener interested by thinking about how the play will sound. Using a variety of backgrounds, scene lengths and sound effects will usually serve to make a story more effective for the listener.
Presentation is important. Script readers (and play competition judges) are better disposed towards neatly-typed, professionallypresented manuscripts. Type all directions and sound effects in capital letters (e.g. HAMLET?S GARDEN. HAMLET IS DIGGING FOR POTATOES. IT IS RAINING) and dialogue in lower case. Leave a space each time a character speaks. Enjoy writing your play. If you enjoy it, the chances are that other people will too.
Feel free to ignore some of these tips. All the best playwrights break ?rules? from time to time. But have a good reason for breaking them.
Remember that good drama is not simply about one idea but about what happens when two ideas collide. Sixty minutes gives you a lot of time to develop your plot and your subplot.
Tune in to BBC World Drama on BBC World Service or listen via our website by going to www.bbcworldservice.com and selecting BBC World Drama from the Radio Programmes list.

And remember

Please read the rules and abide by them. If a play is either too short or much too long it may be disqualified.
Please do not send your only copy. Manuscripts are not returned under any circumstances.
Please do not send us amendments or further drafts once your play has been submitted.
Please do not send cassettes, CDs, videos or sheet music with your play - it is not necessary at the entry level and they cannot be returned to you.

Entry form

The entry form should be completed by all competitors and attached to your play.
Click here for the entry form (pdf version)
Click here for the entry form (word version)

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/1521_int_play_comp/index.shtml