Communications World Script: 28 August 1999
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Some material below, marked in italics, was broadcast in the half-hour edition only.

Segment A


KIM: Welcome to the program. First, greetings to Jonathan Marks, enjoying the beach in Greece with his family. While Jonathan is on holiday, I'm here in my studio trying to find whatever media news there is during this slow news month of August. Actually, I enjoy working in August because there are fewer people around. The phone doesn't ring quite as often. And during my morning commute to VOA, I can get a seat on the train.

And it was not such a slow media news week, although I had to dig a little.

First, a frequency note for listeners in Central Europe. As of September first, VOA News Now will relinquish one hour of time on 1197 kilohertz medium wave, that's via Munich, at 16 to 17 Universal Time. That hour will be taken over by the Serbo-Croat Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Staying in Europe and on medium wave, but up the dial a bit to 1224 kilohertz. David de Jong in the Netherlands tells me that Radio Veronica in the Netherlands is transmitting for eleven days on 1224, and the special transmission period will end Tuesday, August 31st, at 16 Universal Time. This temporary Radio Veronica is a project of some of the people who worked for the station when it was a famous offshore pirate from 1960 until Dutch law forced it off the air August 31st, 1974 -- 25 years ago. Much of the programming is recordings from the Radio Veronica pirate days. David mentions some Web sites devoted to Radio Veronica, and I'll put links to those at the script for today's program.

[This Radio Veronica-project can also be received on Internet:

An enthusiastic listener (Martin van der Ven) also made an interesting website in English (and Dutch), which can be interesting to visit, both for yourself and maybe listeners...

Also through the websites and information can be found about the project (in Dutch)]

Let's stay in Europe and in the amplitude modulation mode, but moving down the spectrum to longwave. Polish Radio is back on 225 kilohertz, testing a new transmitter. Regular programming from Polskia Radio Program 1 on 225 kilohertz will begin September 4th. This should be audible well beyond Poland's borders, so please let me know if you are hearing it.

Also this weekend, Hurricane Dennis will probably strike land somewhere in the United States. Two other tropical storms, Cindy and Emily, are meandering west and/or north in the Atlantic Ocean. Frequencies for the various communications services which are active on shortwave during hurricanes have been posted to the newsgroup. Bill Snyder has the latest compilation on his Web site at

Jazz from the United States has been difficult to hear since VOA took Music USA-Jazz off shortwave over a year ago. If you are willing to listen via the newer medium of Internet audio, you can hear the Panasonic Village Jazz Festival, from Greenwich Village in New York City, live, Monday at 20 to 24 Universal Time. This is from broadcast dot com, and the URL is

CD: Global Graffiti, track 19 (in full to :06 then fade under to Kim and lose)

This weekend, the Russian Mir space station is empty, probably forever. The last three crew members, two Russians and a Frenchman, were scheduled to depart Friday at 21 Universal Time. One more crew might visit Mir in February or March to prepare the space station for its descent towards earth.

Over the years, radio amateurs have enjoyed making contacts with crew members of the Mir space station. Bill Meara, is a radio amateur in Northern Virginia -- his call is N2CQR. He has a Web site [] with audio excerpts of his amateur radio contacts with Mir in 1995, when he lived in the Dominican Republic.

TAPE: CUT 1 (:10)

KIM: Here Bill is speaking to Norm Thagard aboard Mir just as it about to go over the horizon and thus out of range.

TAPE: CUT 2 (:32)

KIM: We reported last week about the expected consequences of Deutsche Welle's big budget cuts. That has not stopped the German international broadcaster from announcing some rebroadcasting initiatives. On August 18th, East Coast Radio in Durban, South Africa, began weekly broadcasts to the Deutsche Well youth magazine "Cool."

TAPE: CUT 3 (in full to :18 then fade under to Kim and lose)

KIM: That's definitely not the Deutsche Welle of my youth. Of interest is the fact that East Coast Radio is receiving "Cool" not by satellite feed, but via the Internet. They download the program in mpeg3 format from DW's server by using a special password. Of course, anyone can hear "Cool" in RealAudio format from the Deutsche Welle Web site: no special password is necessary. [

And Star Broadcasting Company limited of Accra, Ghana, a wireless cable system, is now carrying seven hours per week of DW-TV.

CD: Techofile, track 33 (establish then under to Kim and lose)

KIM: Some satellite news items this week. We reported last weekend that the clocks on the 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System, or GPS, reached the end of their 1,024-week limit, and had to be reset to zero. Many GPS receivers on earth, which help people determine their exact location, required a software fix to cope with this event. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that this was a particular problem in Japan. Many cars in Japan are equipped with a GPS receiver, to help them find their way through the meandering and mostly unnamed streets of Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The Post said that about 95,000 of the 340,000 units that have been sold for cars, taxis, and delivery trucks had not been repaired, and thus failed to work properly when the turnover occurred Sunday at 9 o'clock A.M Japan Time. This was despite one year of publicity by manufacturers of these GPS receivers. Observers wonder if this consumer inertia is a portent for what might happen when the year 2000 comes.

Here in the United States, XM Satellite Radio, one of two companies planning to start a radio direct broadcast satellite service in the year 2000, has awarded a contract to LLC International to build its terrestrial repeater network. XM will install some 1,700 terrestrial repeaters in 70 cities to provide a signal where the satellite signal is blocked by tall buildings. Some larger cities may need 100 or more repeaters. XM will be using satellites located over the equator. Its competitor, CD Radio, will have three satellites in inclined elliptical orbit. Because of the higher angle of its satellites, CD is planning to install only a hundred or so terrestrial repeaters throughout the United States.

CD: Global Graffiti, track 32 (establish then fade under to Kim and lose)

Shortwave is experiencing its ups and downs. First the downside: The Passport top World Band Radio Tokyo Office learned that the Japanese manufacturer Yaesu will discontinue the FRG-100, its only shortwave tabletop receiver. I called the Yaesu office in California, where the sales people seemed unaware of this development. They did say that Yaesu will introduce a handheld wideband receiver, tuning from longwave up through the UHF frequencies. In 1976, Yaesu introduced the FRG-7, the first affordable tabletop receiver offering direct frequency readout throughout the shortwave spectrum.

On the other hand, shortwave continues to renew itself as more special interest groups obtain time on shortwave transmitters. A fifty kilowatt transmitter at the Radio Netherlands relay site in Madagascar is now transmitting the opposition Voice of democratic Burma at 1429 to 1455 Universal Time on 17550, the Tamil language station IBC at 1458 to 1525 on 17490, and Tamil-Oli Radio at 128 to 1228 on 17495.

A new, private, California-based broadcaster, Radio Free Vietnam, is now leasing time on KWHR in Hawaii, at 1500 to 1530 on 9930. This is, intentionally, just after the Radio Free Asia Vietnamese Service is relayed via KWHR, at 14 to 15, on the same frequency. Hans Johnson of Cumbre DX reports that the organizers of the group are hoping that listeners will think that they have official U.S. government backing. The irony of this is that Radio Free Asia takes pains to distance itself from the U.S. government, pointing out that, although U.S. government funded, it is a private corporation whose staff does not include any government employees.

Finally, congratulations to BBC Monitoring, which celebrated its 60th anniversary on Thursday. BBC Monitoring is very important conduit of news about world broadcasting, and, as you know, I cite in frequently on this program. There is a Web site devoted to the BBC Monitoring diamond jubilee:

That was the media news on Communications World.

For VOA News Now, I'm Kim Elliott in Washington.

OMTAPE: CUT 7 (:28)

CD: Global Grafitti, track 19

Segment B

OMTAPE: CUT 9 (in full to :17 then fade under to Kim and lose)

KIM: This weekend, the one-thousandth edition of Glenn Hauser's World of Radio program will be broadcast on its network on shortwave and U.S. domestic radio station, and via World Radio Network. Glenn is well known for his DX reports on World of Radio, his publication Review of International Broadcasting, and his column for Monitoring Times magazine. He can be outspoken and controversial, at times, but he has always kept shortwave listeners thoroughly informed with listening tips and news about international broadcasting. I spoke to Glenn earlier this week. I asked him when World of Radio began, and if it was on shortwave at that time.

TAPE: CUT 4 (8:28)

KIM: Glenn Hauser, on the line from Enid, Oklahoma. His Review of International Broadcasting, now electronically distributed, is sent out most days when Glenn is not traveling, and it's always full of information. Subscription details are at his Web site, to which I will place a link at the script for today's program. []

For VOA News Now, I'm Kim Elliott in Washington.

OMTAPE: CUT 7 (:28)


Segment C


KIM: It's nice to see that the shortwave DXing hobby is growing in Latin America. Next Saturday, September 4th, Brazil DX 99, a meeting for shortwave listeners and DXers, will be held at the Hotel Nikkey in Sao Paulo. This event is organized by the DX Clube Paulista. More information and a link to the club's web site at the script for today's program.

[Date: September 4, 1999. Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Place: Hotel Nikkey, Rua Galvao Bueno 425, Bairro da Liberdade, Sao Paulo 96 SP, Brazil (a map will be available soon at DX Clube Paulista's Web site). Fee: due to lack of sponsors for the event, a small fee of R$5.00 (equivalent to around US$3.00) will be charged to cover the expenses with hotel renting. Organisation: DX CLUBE PAULISTA - 17 years of activity joining the Brazilian radio-hobbyists Caixa Postal 384, Sao Bernardo - SP, Brazil, 09701-970;; +55 11 4351-4794]

Roger Chambers of Utica, New York, attended the 5th Annual Mexican DX Conference was held in Orizaba, Veracruz, July 30th to August 2nd. He notes that attendance has increased from the seven who attended the first conference in 1994 to about 80 who came this year. Roger has an interesting account of the meeting at his web site, and my script has a link to it. [ ]

Last week I publicized shortwave test transmissions from St. Petersburg, Russia, relaying the content of the St. Petersburg local station Radio Gardarica. Klaus Nindel in Germany heard those broadcasts with a good signal, * and he sent me this RealAudio file.

TAPE: CUT 5 (sneak at *, full to :17 then fade under to Kim and lose)

KIM: Radio Gardarica acknowledged the various people who publicized the test transmissions. This is what my name sounds like in Russian:

TAPE: CUT 6 (in full to :07 then fade under to Kim and lose)

KIM: Kai Ludwig in Germany also heard the St. Petersburg tests with excellent signals, and now he wonders what programming will be transmitted when this becomes a regular transmission. Well, Kai, with perhaps a little trepidation, I'm also interested to know what we have been publicizing.

Kai was interested in what Lester Bearcroft in England had to say about television antennas on roofs in his town of Chelmsford, all pointed at the BBC transmitter near London. Kai writes that in his home town of Elsterwerda, in the old German Democratic Republic, about ten years ago, every house had big VHF and UHF TV antennas, and FM antennas, sometimes in stacked arrays, pointed to Berlin. The masts also had smaller antennas pointed to Dresden. People in the GDR who could afford them purchased television sets capable of receiving both the Western PAL: system and the Eastern European SECAM system. Towards the end, sets with only SECAM capability were sold in the GDR.

Kai was finishing school about that time. He recounts that when a certain teacher would cross the schoolyard, some of his classmates would take a portable hi-fi receiver and turn it up to full volume. Out of the big speakers came "Bam-BabaBamm-RIAS Berlin." RIAS was the U.S. funded radio station directed to East Germany. Kai says that at the time, he had no idea that five years later he would walk into the West Berlin studios of the RIAS he heard on that radio.

Now over to the Netherlands, where Frank van Gerwen has more about Soul Coaxing. That's the name of the instrumental hit of 1968 that we have been discussing, for no particular reason, in this segment of Communications World. I've noticed on the jacket of the LP that the title "Soul Coaxing" is followed in parentheses by another title "Ame Caline." Frank tells me that "Soul Coaxing" is the instrumental version of a vocal called "Ame Caline" by the French singer Michel Polnareff, which was released around 1967.

TAPE: CUT 7 (in full to :25 then fade under to Kim and lose)

KIM: Thanks to Frank von Gerwen for sending me that .mp3 excerpt of Ame Caline. Now I'm curious to hear all of it. Colin Miller in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada says the instrumental Soul Coaxing will be on a compilation CD to be released in October by Eric Records in California. Information about that and the other two CDs we know of that contain Soul Coaxing is in the script for the August 21st Communications World.

Now I suppose we should get back to the subject of radio.

Nice to hear from Frederic Collin in Tokyo. He attended the Ham-Fair 99 in Yokohama, which took place August 20th to the 22nd. In addition to amateur radio equipment, shortwave listening and computer products were also on display. Frederic says the Ham Fair is half new equipment and half used and antique merchandise. And he observes that whereas in past years, most of the attendees were male and older, this year there were more women, teenagers, and children. So there may be hope for the hobby. Frederic has pictures of the event as his Web site, THE HIGH-HOLY SHORT WAVE RADIO DX TEMPLE IN JAPAN. I'll have a link at the script. []

There are some younger listeners to shortwave. This e-mail from Phil Muir in Shaftesbury, in the south west of England.

TALENT: Just a quick note to let you know that I am one of those people under thirty that listen to your show. I have been a big fan of short-wave radio for the last ten years and I feel that you have got the balance between short-wave and other developments just right. At the ripe old age of 28 I am learning to e-mail and use the internet. So as a blind user of gadgets you can imagine that I listened to your show on technology for use by a visually impaired person with some interest. I found your programme on this subject both informative and interesting.

My wife,Tanvi, who is also blind secretly listens to your show every week. I usually record all three segments on my Panasonic VCR off the Astra satellite. As I am not at home at present I listen to your show on my AOR 7030. I must say that the 7030 is an excellent radio and it is relatively easy to use most functions as a blind person without any help.

KIM: Phil, thanks for your e-mail. And it's good to hear from a Muir. My grandfather was Andrew Muir, came over from Scotland in the early part of this century. He went on to become a foreman in a steel mill in Chicago.

A letter from -- and I'm reading from his signature and may have this wrong -- Ward Battrau in Malaga, Spain. He listens to Communications World most Saturday mornings on 6902 kilohertz. 6902? Is anyone else hearing this program on 6902? In any case, Ward says it comes through better than BBC World Service.

Ward is interested in information about digital radio receivers and satellite radio receivers. Well, Spain is developing its system for domestic digital radio, but I don't think digital receivers are on the market yet. As for digital shortwave, it is still in the testing and experimentation stage, so receivers would be some time off in the future. For satellite receivers, however, you would, in southern Spain, be within the footprint of the Worldspace Afristar satellite. Receivers for that are supposed to be on sale in time for the slated October start-up of Worldspace. You might have to import the receiver from Africa, as Europe is not in the nominal Worldspace coverage area.

So what questions and comments do you have? Please send them along to Communications World, Voice of America, Washington, D.C. 20547 USA. The postal code again is 20547. E-mail to cw at voa dot gov. That's cw for Communications World at voa for Voice of America dot gov for government.

And please visit the Communications World Web page. The URL is That's www. dot tango-romeo-sierra-charlie dot charlie-oscar-mike slash charlie-whiskey. There you can find the script for today's and previous programs. The updated Communications World schedule. And links to the program in RealAudio format.

For VOA News Now, I'm Kim Elliott in Washington.

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
Communications World
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20547 USA
Fax: +1-202-619-2543

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Last revision 22 August 1999
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