Thursday, May 08, 2014

Wavescan NWS271

* Theme - 00:00
            "Birthday Serenade" - Willi Glahe
* Opening Announcement- 00:15
            Welcome to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis, produced in studios of shortwave WRMI
            Program outline
                        1. The Story of the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station Malta
                        2. Book Review: Radio Pakistan
                        3. Japan DX Report
* BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station Malta - 00:51
            The island of Malta is located in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and North Africa.  The name Malta comes from the ancient Greek word "melity" and it means "sweet honey".
            There are actually five main islands belonging to Malta, three of which are inhabited.  Their capital city is Valetta on the north coast of the main island Malta.  With a total land area of only 122 square miles, and a total population approaching half a million, they are one of the most densely populated countries in the world.  Tourism is one of their  main industries, with more than a million visitors coming to the islands each year.
            There are two official languages in Malta, English and Maltese.  The Maltese language traces its earliest origins back to a form of ancient Arabic spoken previously on the nearby island of Sicily. However, the Maltese language is written with the English script, not the Arabic cursive writing.
            In ancient times there were two unique forms of life on the island; the dwarf elephant and the pigmy hippopotamus, each only half the size of its African relatives, though both are long since extinct.
            In prehistoric times, the earliest colonists constructed Neolithic Stone Temples which they say today are the oldest stone structures anywhere in the world.  The islands were colonized by the Phoenicians from the Middle East, and they were followed by settlers from Greece.  Malta was conquered successively, among others, by Carthage, Rome, the Arabs, Sicily, France, and then by England. 
            The unique toy dog, the Maltese, is quite small, with long silky hair reaching to the ground.  This dog was highly favored by noble women back two thousand years ago. 
            The Roman poet Martial wrote a poem about a Maltese named Issa that was owned by his friend Publius, Governor of Malta.  During the winter of 60 AD, St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta, at St. Paul's Bay, as recorded in the Book of Acts chapter 27.  He befriended Governor Publius who converted to the new Christianity, along with the entire population of the island.       
            In more recent times, the British constructed a naval fort at Delimara Point on the extreme eastern edge of the island of Malta in 1876.  The name Delimara in their language means the shadow of a woman.
            The story of the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station seems to begin not in Malta, but back on the island of Cyprus, in the year 1959.  The World Radio TV Handbook for that year (1959) lists a radio broadcasting station with the slogan Radio Independent Transmitting Unit, ITU.
            In 1959, as the WRTVHB states, a broadcast unit was on the air at the British communication station at Episkopi with a 3½ hour daily service in English from 1200 - 1530 UTC on 7130 kHz at a power level of ½ kW.  A service in Arabic was also in the planning stage.
             It is probable that this new shortwave service in the Middle East, temporary and experimental, was intended to grow into a larger facility akin to the earlier Radio Sharq al Adna, previously on the air on this same island, Cyprus.  This new radio service, under the title Radio Independent Transmitting Unit ITU, was on the air for no more than a few months, and the entire project was seemingly trans-ferred to the island of Malta.  The WRTVHB listing states that a QSL response was available by letter. 
            In the early part of this same year 1959, a party of BBC personnel made a visit to Malta to assess the radio situation on the island.  They rendered their official report in April.
            A new BBC relay station, designated as the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station was soon afterwards installed in the Royal Navy Fort at Delimara Point on the extreme easternmost point on the island of Malta.  This new relay station with its two mediumwave transmitters at 20 kW each was inaugurated during the following year 1960.  The licensed output power from this BBC relay station, which was owned and operated by the Diplomatic Wireless Service, was 10 kW, and only one transmitter was ever on the air at any one time.
            Programming was on the air ten hours a day in two sessions and it was a relay of the BBC Arabic Service which was beamed towards Libya and Tunisia.  The introductory channel when this station was inaugurated was 1079 kHz.  Then in March  of the following year (1961), the channel was changed to 1178 kHz. 
            However, in November 1968, the BBC announced that they planned to close this station.  But instead, it remained on the air, and in September 1969 the frequency was again changed, this time to 1546 kHz.  Two years later, another change was made to 1511 kHz.  Then in February 1973, at the end of nearly 13 years of service, this BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station was indeed closed, supposedly due to a request from Egypt. 
            The station was donated to the radio broadcasting authority in Malta, and they reactivated it with two channels on the air simultaneously, 998  & 1546 kHz, each at 20 kW.  One channel was programmed in Italian & Arabic, and the other in Maltese.  However, the entire facility was soon afterwards dismantled and re-installed at Bezbezija, some ten miles distant, almost in the center of the island.   
            The fort at Delimara Point was subsequently abandoned, and soon afterwards it was leased to a pig farmer.  Finally in 2005, the land was transferred to Heritage Malta and plans were implemented for turning the location into a museum and tourist site.
* National Anthem - 07:14
            Malta: Brass
* Program Announcement - 08:04
            Allen Graham
* International DX News - 08:57
            Taken from DSWCI
* Focus on Asia:Book Review - The History of Radio Pakistan- 11:22
            Quite recently, another interesting radio book came to our notice.  This book is of real interest to all who are involved in the international radio world; international radio monitors, shortwave listeners, amateur radio operators and DXers; and it tells the full story of radio broadcasting in Pakistan from the very beginning right up to almost our own present era.
            This book, with its more than 300 pages of text and research information, was written by Nihal Ahmad and it is presented in English under the rather logical title, "A History of Radio Pakistan".   The era covered in this well prepared book runs from 1923, when the territories of Pakistan were still an undreamed vision under the British rule in India, up into the era when FM radio and TV transmission were well established.  The book itself was published in the year 2005.
            As would be expected, the book begins with the story of the original radio broadcasting stations that were established in the territory of British India that later became (West) Pakistan.  These early mediumwave stations were located in Peshawar and Lahore.
            Around the time of Partition between India and Pakistan in 1947, two clandestine stations, in Peshawar and Karachi, are noted.  The details of the transition at midnight on August 14 from All India Radio to Radio Pakistan at the two official existing stations, Peshawar and Lahore, is presented in very interesting detail.
            The administration of Radio Pakistan began at Lahore, and it was then transferred to Karachi and finally up to Rawalpindi/Islamabad.   The outline story of the original shortwave Radio Trarkhel is given, and this station also ended up in Rawalpindi as APR3.
            This book, which is written in excellent English, presents the story of each local radio station in Pakistan, all 24 of them.  Interesting details regarding each station are presented in a complete chapter dedicated to this purpose.  The international shortwave facilities in Karachi and Islamabad are also presented.
            The author of this book, Nihal Ahmad, was born in Sherkot in what was then the U. P., the United Provinces of India.  He was educated in Delhi and Karachi, and he joined Radio Pakistan in 1951.  At the time when he retired in 1992, he was holding the position of Program Director for the entire network.
            This very interesting book, "A History of Radio Pakistan", is available for purchase through the internet.  If you go to Ebay, and type in the author's name, Nihal Ahmad, and then add Radio Pakistan, you will find several copies, used and new, available for purchase at all sorts of prices. 
* Japan DX Report - 14:51
            Yukiko Tsuji
* WWV Update
            25 MHz experimental usage
            Station Profile
* Music of the World - 25:00
            Malta: Folk music, classic orchestral style
* Closing Announcement - 25:16
            Scheduling: KVOH Mon 0200 UTC, 9975 kHz, 50 kW
                                WWCR Sat 1630 UTC, 12160 kHz, 100 kW    
            Thanks for listening to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis
            Next week:-
                        1. Tribute to Shortwave WYFR - 10: International Relay Services               
                        2. Surprising Information! Radio Broadcasting in the Islands of Antarctica
                        3. Philippine DX Report
            Two QSL cards available - AWR & WRMI
            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            Jeff White, shortwave WRMI
* Music Outrun - 26:29
* Program Ends - 28:50

Wavescan NWS270

* Theme - 00:00
            "Birthday Serenade" - Willi Glahe
* Opening Announcement - 00:16
            Welcome to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis, produced in studios of shortwave WRMI
            Program outline
                        1. Philippine Radio History - 8:The Japanese Era
                        2. International DX News
                        3. Australian DX Report
* FoA Philippine Radio History - 8:The Japanese Era - 00:43
            At the time when the Japanese administration took over the city of Manila on January 2, 1942, there were no active radio stations on the air in the area.  A few days earlier, that is towards the end of the month of December, some of the usable equipment had been removed from the radio stations and the remainder was deliberately damaged or destroyed.  Just one antenna system was left intact in the Manila area, and this was located at Cubao in Quezon City.  Thus all radio stations, commercial mediumwave and shortwave in greater Manila, international communication stations on the edge of Manila, and navy radio at Cavite, were all silent.
            However, in the era just before the Japanese occupation, it is reported that there were 108 radio stations on the air throughout the entire Philippines, though little is known as to what happened to them under the Japanese administration.
            The American army had safely removed the 1 kW shortwave transmitter at KZRH in Manila and they re-activated this as the Voice of Freedom in Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor Island on January 5.  A few days later, American personnel activated another shortwave station on the Bataan Peninsula as a part time relay for the California station KGEI.  The transmitter for this relocated station was a 1 kW mobile unit that had been previously in use for the original Far East Broadcasting Company under the callsign KZRB.
            Then a few days later again, that is on January 14 (1942), a restored KZRH was activated in Manila under the Japanese administration.  The Japanese had discovered some radio equipment hidden in the basement of the Heacock Building on Escolta Avenue and together with some of their own imported equipment, they re-launched shortwave KZRH on one of its original channels 9640 kHz.  The inaugural five hour program began at 7:00 pm Manila time.       
            For a period of almost exactly four months, a war of words was waged between the Japanese KZRH in Manila on 9640 kHz and the American Voice of Freedom in Malinta Tunnel on the adjacent channel 9645 kHz.  However, the American General Jonathan M. Wainwright addressed the Japanese General Masaharu Homma in a special series of three broadcasts in English and Japanese over the Voice of Freedom on Corregidor Island on May 6 (1942) requesting surrender.  At 11:00 pm next day, General Wainwright made a special broadcast over the Japanese held KZRH in Manila, indicating that the American forces had indeed surrendered.
            It was around this time also that the only other radio broadcasting station still on the air anywhere in the Philippines, mediumwave and shortwave KZRC in distant Cebu to the south, was also taken over by the local Japanese administration.
            During the next two and three years, the Japanese established a whole network of mediumwave broadcasting stations throughout the Philippines and these were identified with callsigns similar in style to the sequence of callsigns in Japan.  Each callsign, using the English alphabet, began with the letters PI, standing rather obviously for Philippine Islands, followed by two additional letters.  The 3rd letter in the callsign indicated the sequence in which the station was established and the final 4th letter indicated the city. 
            Some of these callsigns were as follows:-
                        PIBC   Philippine Islands        B = 2nd station             C = Cebu
                        PICD   Philippine Islands        C = 3rd station             D = Davao
                        PIDI     Philippine Islands        D = 4th station             I = Iloilo
            Additional mediumwave stations were installed in five other cities:-
                        Also Naga, Baguio, Zamboanga, Cotabato, Legaspi
                        Projected but never installed Tuguegarao
            Programming from these mediumwave stations was presented in five different languages:-
                        Tagalog (ta-GAH-log), Spanish, English, Ilonggo, Cebuano, Japanese       
                        Japanese programming also included language lessons, How to Learn Japanese
            In Manila itself, the callsign of the main network station was changed on October 14, 1943 from KZRH to PIAM.  This was the ceremonial date for Philippine independence.  Program details were printed daily in the Manila Tribune.  The meaning of the Manila callsign was as follows:-
                        PIAM   Philippine Islands        A = 1st station              M = Manila
            On shortwave, the callsign in use for international radio programming via the revived KZRH-PIAM was PIRN:-
                        PIRN   Philippine Islands        R = Radio                    N = Nippon
            Other programming from the Philippine radio stations was an off air direct relay on shortwave from Radio Tokyo in Japan.  At one stage, the Philippine stations were under the administrative control of the larger and more powerful Radio Shonan in Singapore.  The final broadcast from station PIAM in Manila was at the end of the year, December 30, 1944. 
            There was an interesting clandestine station on the air in the Philippines during the Japanese era.  A man by the name of Malonzo stole goods from Japanese warehouses and sold them on the black market.  With this illicit money he bought radio equipment and placed a clandestine station on the air.   This station, mobile in nature, moved around Manila to avoid detection.  It was heard in the United States and it was acknowledged in a broadcast from shortwave KGEI in California.  
            Shortwave station KZRH in Manila, under the Japanese callsigns PIAM and PIRN, was heard quite regularly in Australia, New Zealand and also over in the United States.  Two shortwave channels were in use, 9640 & 11600 kHz, sometimes in parallel.  The station identified on air as The Voice of the New Philippines.
            It is reported that the only shortwave communication station in the Philippine Islands that was renovated and in use under the Japanese administration was Globe Wireless.  Globe Wireless in Manila began as Dollaradio in 1929, and the name was officially changed to Globe Radio in 1934.
            Thus, the Japanese era of radio broadcasting in the Philippines stretched from the beginning of the year 1942 until the end of the year 1944, a total of almost three years.  As far as we know, no QSLs were ever issued from any of these stations during the era of Japanese control.
* Program Announcement - 08:30
            Allen Graham HCJB
* International DX News- 09:23
  Shortwave Items in Radio World
            Two recent issues of the American radio publication, Radio World, contained three items of interest to the international radio monitor.  Radio World for January 15 contained a two page article with illustrations under the title, "Spy Numbers Stations Still Enthrall".  This article by Christopher Friesen briefly outlines the history of the intriguing Spy Numbers Stations, together with information on their current status. 
            The illustrations show an actual Number Pad as used for encrypting and deciphering the numbers messages that are heard from one of the Spy Numbers Stations on shortwave; and another illustration shows an aerial photo in color of the antenna field at an alleged Spy Numbers Station in Cuba.  
            The front page of the March 1 issue of Radio World presents a color photo of the Voice of America relay station located at Delano in California.  This station was constructed in 1944 and it  was closed in September 2007.  In an update by writer James O'Neal, it is stated that the property is available for purchase and it will sold to the highest bidder.
            In another article in the same March 1 issue, radio history researcher John Schneider presents the story "When CBS Got Serious About Shortwave".  A large photo shows the 10 kW shortwave transmitter at prewar W2XE-WCBX at the time when it was located at Wayne New Jersey.
   England Acknowledges the Value of Mediumwave Radio
            The January issue of RadioMaailma from Finland states that the FM band is no longer available for new radio broadcasting stations in a dozen or more of the large cities in England due to the fact that no open frequencies are available.  Because the FM band is completely full in their largest cities, new applicants for radio broadcasting stations are making request for mediumwave channels.
  Shortwave Relay Fills in Fire Damaged Studio to Transmitter Links
            A historic item found in the June 1940 issue of Radex magazine in the United States informs us that a fire on February 23, 1940, destroyed the telephone cable linking the studios of mediumwave stations WRC and WOL in Washington DC with their respective mediumwave transmitters.  Station WOL left the air until the cable was repaired, but station WRC implemented the usage of a mobile shortwave transmitter WNBU on 2580 kHz as the program link, though it is stated that the on air quality was poor.
  Canada Loses its Shortwave Towers
            A news item in the Australian DX News for March tells the story of the demolition of the shortwave towers at Radio Canada International near Sackville in New Brunswick.  This station was constructed during World War 2 as a possible back-up site for BBC programming if the shortwave stations in England were destroyed, and it was closed just last October.  It is anticipated that the tear down of the antenna towers will take several months.
   Recent Developments at Adventist World Radio
            An advertising folder from Adventist World Radio states that more than 150 local radio stations in the areas of Central & South America are affiliated with the AWR Worldwide System.  These stations are on the air in the AM, FM and shortwave bands and they are located in a total of 18 different island and mainland countries. 
            Four new radio studios are under construction in China for the production of radio programming that will be broadcast on shortwave from the facilities of Adventist World Radio.  This programming will also be available for electronic download from the AWR website.
     New QSL Card from PCJ International
            The noted international radio monitor in Colombo Sri Lanka, Victor Goonetilleke has been honored in a new QSL card issued by PCJ International in Taipei, Taiwan.  Victor is the Frequency Manager for PCJ and his photo appears on the picture side of the QSL card.  Station PCJ is an international commercial station owned and operated by Canadian born Keith Perron and his programming is heard locally in Taiwan as well as international on shortwave.
            PCJ heard via relay from SLBC, WRMI & Media Broadcast
            New weekly news broadcast from Famagusta Gazette Cyprus via WRMI, beginning April 23
* Australian DX Report - 16:00
            Bob Padula
* Music of the World - 26:49
            American folk music: The Okeechobee Song, instrumental & vocal
* Closing Announcement - 27:23
            Thanks for listening to "Wavescan", international DX program from Adventist World Radio
            Researched and written in Indianapolis
            Next week:-
                        1. The Story of the BBC Central Mediterranean Relay Station Malta
                        2. Book Review: The History of Radio Pakistan
                        3. Japan DX Report
            Two QSL cards available - AWR & WRMI
            Wavescan address:-
                        Box 29235
                        Indiana 46229 USA
            Wavescan @
            Jeff White, shortwave WRMI
* Music Outrun - 28:11
* Program Ends - 28:55