Sunday, December 1, 2013

WRN Podcast Service Going Away

David Treadway, CEO, WRN Broadcast, said: "As a business we're in fantastic shape, with significant growth year-on-year from our comprehensive range of services across TV, Radio and Digital, but as a longstanding broadcast service company we are always evolving services to better meet the needs of our clients. With this development of The Networks, we're future-proofing the service for all of the international listening community and our broadcast partners. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with all those existing network broadcasters as well as the clients in our core areas of broadcast distribution and managed services."

Why was WRN created? From the WRN site, we have this:

"The World Radio Network was created to aggregate news and current affairs from leading worldwide public and private broadcasters and content producers, including NHK, VoR and KBS. The network developed to include Arabic, Russian, French, and German whilst evolving the original English network into 3 specific networks covering Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Both the French and German services will cease broadcasting as part of this development."

See the WRN Press Release here.  

Though some listeners are already unhappy about this new development move, their anger is coming from the perspective that the podcast service gave them access to certain stations they didn't get elsewhere. The business demand for the change at WRN has more to do with staying current with what a larger portion of listeners want. There is also another business concern: the consideration about what is best for the business and the brand to survive. One thing that goes into the business decisions at a place like WRN has to do with certain changes in the business itself.

International broadcasters decided long ago to host their own audio feeds directly at their own official sites, so there was really no more need to go to WRN. This doesn;t mean that ALL international broadcasters have started hosting their own audio feeds, but enough of them that WRN simply can't keep hosting a service that doesn't attract enough listeners.

Listeners are key to something like what WRN does. If listenership drops off, the business has to make certain changes or be no more.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

AIR Chicago Review

Six days ago, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Chicago, along with one of its sister-companies, Clear Channel Airports (a division of Clear Channel Outdoors), announced a partnership with the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation, said: "On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are proud that O'Hare and Midway, in partnership with Clear Channel, are the first airports to offer a radio station specifically devoted to keeping passengers in touch with real-time information. AIR Chicago is a great example of our efforts to provide a 'best-in-class' experience for the millions of travelers who fly through our busy transportation hubs."

Official Shortwave America review of AIR Chicago Radio

A monitoring session from late in the evening 11/29/2013 to 1:30PM on 11/30/2013 revealed some pros and cons. First, AIR Chicago is a wonderful light-hearted smooth-jazz station with great quality, and they adhere to the industry standards of high technical production values. On the other hand, AIR Chicago plays too much music, and has no proper balance (ratio) of news and information to music.

This out of balance ratio leaves the listener with expectations of hearing about real - time ORD and MDW news with a bad taste in their mouths. Air travel passengers expect to hear about concourse conditions, flight delays and cancellations, and customer service experiences at the airports of focus. Passengers expect to hear about aircraft departure and arrival taxi times, runway conditions, and other relevant aspects of airport operations.

The current AIR Chicago news reports at the bottom of the hour are ok for what they are in that they are only part of what air travelers want and need to hear. The music rotation isn't much of an issue, as the same song doesn't play too often or too soon after its already been played.

Presenter quality: the "Announcers" or Presenters seem to really know what they are doing. Their diction is clear, their respective microphone demeanors are professional. Their voice clarity and vocal speech levels, enunciation, pronounciation, and ability to follow directions are all superior.

Overall Listener Experience:

AIR Chicago Radio feels like a warm, welcoming, "make yourself at home and relax" sort of experience. If ever there was an answer to helping air travelers unwind before, during, or after a flight...AIR Chicago Radio is it! AIR Chicago Radio is even wonderful for soothing the nerves of airport / airline / aviation contract service workers at the beginning and end of each day!

To see the entire Chicago Radio and Media piece on this, CLICK HERE

Listen to AIR Chicago Radio here    

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) - Amateur Radio, Shortwave, and Other Pertinent News

Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, photo courtesy of ABC News

Max Sustained Winds: 195MPH with gusts to 235MPH

Category: 5

Eye measurements: 338 Kilometers (211 Miles)

U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center Information:

"The strongest tropical cyclone in the world this year. Cyclone Phailin, which hit eastern India on Oct. 12, packed sustained winds of up to 222 kph (138 mph) and stronger gusts."

Warning Text

Warning Graphic

Prognostic Reasonong

JMV 3.0 Data

Google Earth Graphic Overlay

Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery

Satellite Fix Bulletin

Typhoon Activity / Travel Path Prediction:  Not expected to directly hit Manila further north. The lowest alert in a four-level typhoon warning system was issued in the flood-prone capital area, meaning it could experience winds of up to 60 kph (37 mph) and rain.

All of the above information gleaned from the Associated Press. Full story here 

Meterologist Tom Skilling posted these images from CIMSS  (Cooperative Institute for Meterorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Skilling went on to say: "There's just been a satellite estimate that Super Typhoon Haiyan's central pressure has reached 858 mb (25.34"). If true, that would make it the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded. Stay tuned on that! Meantime--check out another satellite perspective on the storm from CIMSS at the Univ of Wisconsin in Madison. Typhoon Bopha, which struck the southern Phillipine island of Mindanao in December 2012 resulted in 1,900 deaths--so Haiyan represents a devastating threat to the region."

Here is video from the NOAA posted by WestPacWx on November 6th, 2013


The American Radio Relay League released a news report that said MARS operators have recently performed and successfully finished a simulated event involving total loss of all communications including internet. Part of that statement said this: "During the final day of the exercise, MARS members also acted on a real-world request from DoD to be prepared to monitor International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) emergency frequencies as Typhoon Haiyan appeared poised to develop into a category 5 storm and strike the Philippines."

The Hurricane VOIP net is currently NOT activated, even though doing so could be extremely helpful as an act of humanitarian international good will.

Shortwave America is covering this live as news and other pertinent information continues to come in. National Geographic has this coverage.

Korean Coms-1 Satellite imagery

New statement from Tom Skilling: "All communications have ceased"  

Super-Typhoon Haiyan appears to have made a historic landfall in the Phillipines. It's hit an area devastated only a month ago by a 7.1 earthquake which cost 222 lives and displaced 350,000 residents. Storm damage in the areas hardest hit along the path of Haiyan (the storm's been named Yolanda in the Phillipines) is likely to be catastrophic. There's strong evidence its sustained winds at the time of landfall fell in the 190 to 195 mph range, which if true, have eclipsed the 190 mph winds which accompanied Hurricane Camille into the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969. Sustained 96 mph winds were reported at Guiuan--near the point of landfall--in the hour before the storm came on shore. All communication from that area has since ceased. A 17 ft storm surge was predicted to accompany the super typhoon, most of which has an elevation of less than 10 ft. above sea level. The storm came moved onto the coast there at 2:40pm Chicago time (4:40am local Phillipine time). There were no hurricane hunter planes in the system at the time but meteorologists employ techniques involving satellite imagery referred to as the Dvorak method to estimate storm parameters, including wind intensity and central pressure. NOAA satellite meteorologists at one point Thursday afternoon estimated a central pressure of 858 mb (25.34"). While a post-storm evaluation of that reading will be conducted and thoroughly vetted, the pressure reading--if followed--is lower than any recorded in a tropical cyclone on the planet. Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, whose analyses of tropical cyclones are always stunningly well done, feels Super Typhoon Haiyan's central pressure ranks it among the top tropical cyclones of all time and that it will be found to have generated a pressure close to the lowest ever recorded--870 mb (25.69") in Super Typhoon Kip in the western Pacific on October 12, 1979. He notes that a pressure estimate by the Japanese Meteorological Agency of 895 mb (26.43") just before landfall would mean that by that measure, Super Typhoon Haiyan is the 12th strongest tropical cyclone on earth.

Update from the Malaysian Amateur Radio League:

Please note:
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan being hit Philippines, the Phillipines Amateur Radio Association (ITS) has allocated frequencies and frequency 2m 40m 7.095MHz 144.740MHz as Emergency Line. Amateur radio stations especially in the East Coast and North Sulawesi asked to monitor the 2m band especially 144.740MHz for emergency calls. Please QSP at the transmitter over if they receive any emergency calls from abroad, so that the senior partners can convey information to the relevant agencies.

WYFR Facility to Return to Shortwave as WRMI

Legendary shortwave station WYFR in Okeechobee, Florida, which ceased transmissions on June 30, 2013, will resume broadcasting in December as a result of an agreement between Family Stations, Inc, and Radio Miami International, Inc.

According to the agreement, Family Radio will sell the WYFR facility to Radio Miami International. Family Radio programming for the Caribbean and South America will return to shortwave via the Okeechobee site, and Radio Miami's programming currently aired on WRMI in Miami will switch over to the Okeechobee facility. The station will also carry programs for other international broadcasters, including Pan American Broadcasting's Radio Africa network. A target date of December 1, 2013 has been set for the resumption of broadcasts. The current WRMI transmission site in Miami will be closed, and the WRMI call letters will be transferred to Okeechobee.

"We are very grateful to Family Radio for entrusting us with this magnificent station," said Jeff White, WRMI General Manager. "WYFR is an important part of the heritage of shortwave broadcasting, and we are very happy that it will continue to serve shortwave listeners around the world." The station first went on the air from Okeechobee in 1977, although the origins of the station and its predecessors go back to 1927. WYFR/WRMI is the largest shortwave station in the United States in number of transmitters and antennas. The facility is comprised of 13 transmitters -- twelve 100-kilowatt and one 50-kilowatt -- and 23 antennas beamed to all of the Americas, Europe and Africa.

White, who is also Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB), said that "many people made this transition a reality, not the least of whom was our former Secretary-Treasurer and current board member, Dan Elyea, who had been the WYFR Station Manager from the time it was built in the late 1970's until his recent retirement. Dan presented us to Family Radio Vice President Tom Evans. Tom and the Family Radio Board have given us their confidence, and we will do our best to keep this station going for many years to come."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Remembering Carl Kubik - K9ZOG

Carl Kubik was a man known by many for his warm welcome, his loyal friendship, good conversation, and for running what has always been the classiest repeater anywhere. Carl was THE man at the top of the chain of command at the Western Area FM Repeater Club (WAFAR) on frequency 146.670Mhz in west and northwest suburban Illinois. The WAFAR repeater also reaches well into Chicago, Il.

Carl Kubik faced health struggles in his final days, and finally departed for his eternal rest on August 6th, 2013. Carl wasn't well known for slowing down, he had always been set in his ways and refused to let anything in life be left unattended. Carl kept an order in his life, he knew his priorities, and his wife, Lisa - KB9INI, was at the top of that list.

If ever there can be a unique story told about an amateur radio couple in love, a couple well-dedicated to each other where it was clearly evident that they were each others' trusted best friend, it is that of Carl and Lisa. This author first heard about Carl's passing during a recent Lunch Bunch net on the W9DUP repeater. Lisa, if you ever get to read this: Carl was someone the community was proud of. Carl was well-respected because you had both built a once in a lifetime connection that extended into a great group of people at WAFAR.

If Carl knew how to do anything successfully, it was that he KNEW how to use radio for networking people together, and you were always successful as his trusted side-kick, best friend, and confidant. YOU helped Carl make it all work, and it made for a great team! This author has never had a greater privilege than to work with you and Carl at the Berwyn, Illinois Centennial Parade and to have been at one of the WAFAR Christmas parties.

I have had the privilege and honor of once having been the WAFAR net control for the Tech net back in time. THAT was a fun experience I actually miss today. One of Carl's other talents was somehow being a calm influence in times of conflict in the Chicago suburban amateur radio circles. When people needed refuge from negativity, and wanted to use a repeater where they could have intelligent conversations, or just a bit of fun and relaxation...WAFAR was it, and Carl was THAT person who provided that opportunity.

Carl Kubik has left behind a legacy of honesty and integrity in the Chicago suburban amateur radio crowd, and for as many people who ever knew him or had shared the WAFAR repeater with him, or ever worked with him during an emergency, a planned community event, a field day, etc, we knew Carl always operated above board with full transparency.

His distinctive voice was instantly recognized. His famous trademark quote was "One day at a time, one moment at a time". Carl would sign his call with this cheerful voice almost each time, and you would hear, "This is K9ZOG listening" in this sort of professional commercial voice with his original way of dragging the 9 out in the call at the end of the word, followed by the "Z" in a short hang, then OG. This was almost enough to make some people think about the old WKRP TV show theme.

Many times as Carl would be zipping around town in the car, it was almost routine to hear him on the simplex output frequency of the repeater talking to Lisa - KB9INI. Again, this is where we observed the inseparable bond between Carl and Lisa. Maybe perhaps some day, Lisa might allow this author to document their story.

The hope on this end is that Carl's journey into eternity happened peacefully, comfortably, and with his faithful Lisa at his side, as well as other close family.

For historical reference only, here is the memorial remembrance information for Carl's services:

Wake / Visitation:
Friday, August 09, 2013
Mount Auburn Funeral Home

Mount Auburn Memorial Park

In the event that the guest book for Carl should ever disappear, here are the comments left there as of 10/18/2013

"I have known Carl for a number of years via Amateur Radio. Carl was always a great source of technical information. Sharing Carl's company on Tuesday night get togethers was always a pleasant experience and working Field Days with Carl was always a great experience. Carl is going to be missed by all of his many friends.
Steve Brichta,
Darien, Illinois

Carl and I have worked together on numerous water systems for the Villages in this area for the past 30 years. He was truly a customer oriented person. We will miss him in the waterworks field. May he rest in peace.
Robert Novotny,
Countryside, Illinois 
Carl Kubik is the second significantly known amateur radio operator in the Chicago and suburban area to pass away since 2011. The last significant loss in the Chicago and suburban area prior to Carl's passing, was that of Paul Streeter - AB9PS.

Shortwave America would like to include some WAFAR photos here. If anyone has the desire to share photos of Carl, of the WAFAR repeater, WAFAR gatherings, and other WAFAR related items, please e-mail them to

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dave Jeffery's Shortwave Loggings

Shortwave radio loggings made by Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA:

0032 UTC: Spain - 9620, Radio Exterior de Espana, UTC Monday broadcast, 0032 UTC to 0045 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to South America with a talk by a man. SINPO 25242 (UTC Mon 7/22/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

0045 UTC: Romania - 9700, Radio Romania Int'l, UTC Monday broadcast, 0045 UTC to 0059 UTC, broadcasting in English to Eastern North America with ID, a program about a folk festival in Transylvania, then interval signal. SINPO 35443 (UTC Mon 7/22/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

0059 UTC: Turkey - 9770, Voice of Turkey, UTC Monday broadcast, 0059 UTC to 0115 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to South America with a talk by a woman, then news. SINPO 35343 (UTC Mon 7/22/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

0916 UTC: New Zealand - 9700, Radio New Zealand Int'l, Sunday broadcast, 0916 UTC to 0956 UTC, broadcasting in English to Oceania with music, a news update about earthquake that had struck New Zealand that morning, a news feature about three soldiers, more music, then a news feature about a helicopter pilot. SINPO 35343 (Sun 7/21/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1841 UTC: France - 15300, Radio France Int'l, Sunday broadcast, 1841 UTC to 1856 UTC, broadcasting in French to Central and West Africa featuring a talk by a man and a woman. SINPO 25342 (Sun 7/21/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2054 UTC: United States - 7490, WBCQ, Sunday broadcast, 2054 UTC to 2110 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America featuring sign-on with religious programming already in progress, then nothing but dead air at 2059 UTC onward. SINPO 35343 (Sun 7/21/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2110 UTC: United States - 9565, Radio Marti, Sunday broadcast, 2110 UTC to 2145 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to Cuba featuring music with a male announcer. SINPO 45444 (Sun 7/21/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Shortwave America to Ann Coulter: Let's Have a Public Debate!

Text of @ShortwaveAmca public debate challenge to @AnnCoulter in regards to her behavior:

You don't know me, but I am one of the leading communications sources out here. I am tweeting to take you to task. That you are using the Trayvon Martin tragedy as a political ploy to promote yourself is the worst thing anyone can do. What kind of a human being are you? Where is your human decency? Did you REALLY think this would be ok? 

Are you so starved for cash, publicity, attention, and are you so dark in your heart that you don't care who u destroy? Ann, you know and I know that you have stooped to the lowest point ever. You could have spread hope instead of hate. You have lost sight of what is appropriate, when, and why. I see through you. How do u live with yourself? 

You have left the public with the picture of a mad woman who has no character. Do you enjoy that? You really enjoy this, and the fact that you enjoy this makes you sick. I don't think you'll be brave enough to reply, but if you do....I am ready to publicly debate you on your behavior over the past years, and on the subject of responsible ethics. I have no reason to believe you would ever take my challenge, but if you ever do, here it is. 

Look in the mirror, Ann! Is it time to reassess yourself? Time to heal the wreckage you left behind? Can you really tell us you like yourself? As I close, here is a song I hope you will listen to. 

New, Engaging Articles Pending @ Shortwave America

Shortwave America is hard at work on two new pieces that will be among the best you've ever seen! Stay here for communications analysis on two important events that are shaping the world around us as this is being typed.

  • Asiana Flight 214 - Communications Analysis and Media Response
  • George Zimmerman Verdict - We'll be looking at how the communications infrastructure holds up, which strategies are being used by emergency responders, what didn't work, and more! 
Stay here for some of the best up to date communications discussions anywhere! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dave Jeffery's Shortwave Loggings June 29th and 30th 2013

Shortwave radio loggings made by Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA:

0223 UTC: United States - 7365, Radio Marti, UTC Sunday broadcast, 0223 UTC to 0240 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to Cuba featuring music with a male announcer. SINPO 35443 (UTC Sun 6/30/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

0243 UTC: Cuba - 6165, Radio Havana, UTC Sunday broadcast, 0243 UTC to 0258 UTC, broadcasting in English to Central North America with "Breakthrough", Cuban entertainment news, then music. SINPO 35343 (UTC Sun 6/30/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1201 UTC: Cuba - 9570, China Radio Int'l (via Cuba), Sunday broadcast, 1201 UTC to 1220 UTC, broadcasting in Mandarin to Eastern North America with a music program. SINPO 35443 (Sun 6/30/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1209 UTC: Australia - 9580, Radio Australia, Saturday broadcast, 1209 UTC to 1230 UTC, broadcasting in English to South Oceania with a program featuring country music, along with an interview with a country music singer. SINPO 35343 (Sat 6/29/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1905 UTC: Rwanda - 15275, Deutsche Welle (via Rwanda), Sunday broadcast, 1905 UTC to 1920 UTC, broadcasting in English to Africa with "Inside Europe". SINPO 25342 (Sun 6/30/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1920 UTC: France - 15300, Radio France Int'l, Sunday broadcast, 1920 UTC to 1930 UTC, broadcasting in French to West Africa with a talk by a man and a woman. SINPO 25332 (Sun 6/30/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2055 UTC: United States - 7490, WBCQ, Sunday broadcast, 2055 UTC to 2159 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America featuring sign-on with interval signal and ID's, then "Marion's Attic #526". SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/30/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dave Jeffery's Shortwave Loggings

Shortwave radio loggings made by Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA:

1048 UTC: Australia - 9475, Radio Australia, Saturday broadcast, 1048 UTC to 1057 UTC, broadcasting in English to West Oceania with live coverage of a sports event, then off-air at 1057 UTC. SINPO 35443 (Sat 6/22/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1058 UTC: Australia - 9475, Radio Australia, Saturday broadcast, 1058 UTC to 1115 UTC, broadcasting in English to East Asia featuring sign-on with a program ad, "Radio Australia News", then a talk program. SINPO 25342 (Sat 6/22/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1107 UTC: Australia - 9580, Radio Australia, Sunday broadcast, 1107 UTC to 1117 UTC, broadcasting in English to South Oceania with an interview program. SINPO 35443 (Sun 6/23/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1117 UTC: New Zealand - 9700, Radio New Zealand Int'l, Saturday broadcast, 1117 UTC to 1129 UTC, broadcasting in English to Oceania with "Hymns for a Saturday Morning". SINPO 25342 (Sat 6/22/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1125 UTC: United States - 15825, WWCR, Sunday broadcast, 1125 UTC to 1135 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America with "The Baptist Vineline", ID, then "Staff of Light". SINPO 45444 (Sun 6/23/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1139 UTC: United States - 6030, Radio Marti, Sunday broadcast, 1139 UTC to 1154 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to Cuba featuring a church service with music. SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/23/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1259 UTC: United States - 9840, WHRI, Sunday broadcast, 1259 UTC to 1309 UTC, broadcasting in English to Eastern North America featuring sign-on with interval signal and ID, then religious programming. SINPO 45444 (Sun 6/23/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1310 UTC: Cuba - 9580, China Radio Int'l (via Cuba), Sunday broadcast, 1310 UTC to 1330 UTC, broadcasting in English to Eastern North America featuring the Sunday edition of "China Drive" with interviews and news features. SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/23/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dave Jeffery's Shortwave Log - June 17th 2013

Shortwave radio loggings made by Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA:

0004 UTC: Germany - 9925, Mighty KBC Radio (via Germany), UTC Sunday broadcast, 0004 UTC to 0121 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America with "The Giant Jukebox". SINPO 45444 (UTC Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA)(Dave's note: Mighty KBC Radio is available every UTC Sunday from 0000 UTC to 0200 UTC).

0138 UTC: United States - 9605, KBS World Radio (via United States), UTC Tuesday broadcast, 0138 UTC to 0158 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to South America with music, a talk by a woman and a man, then off-air at 0158 UTC. SINPO 35343 (UTC Tue 6/11/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

0233 UTC: Moldova - 9665, Voice of Russia World Service (via Moldova), UTC Sunday broadcast, 0233 UTC to 0259 UTC, broadcasting in English to Central and South America with a program about Russian stage plays. SINPO 35443 (UTC Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

0918 UTC: New Zealand - 9700, Radio New Zealand Int'l, Thursday broadcast, 0918 UTC to 0940 UTC, broadcasting in English to Oceania with an interview program. SINPO 25342 (Thu 6/13/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1014 UTC: Singapore - 9740, BBC World Service (via Singapore), Sunday broadcast, 1014 UTC to 1105 UTC, broadcasting in English to Indonesia and South East Asia with a discussion program, ID, and news. SINPO 25342 (Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1116 UTC: Cuba - 9550, Radio Havana, Sunday broadcast, 1116 UTC to 1135 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to Eastern North America with a talk by a man and a woman, ID, then a talk by a woman. SINPO 25342 (Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1404 UTC: South Korea - 15575, KBS World Radio, Sunday broadcast, 1404 UTC to 1420 UTC, broadcasting in Korean to North America featuring a talk by a man. SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1929 UTC: Kuwait - 15540, Radio Kuwait, Sunday broadcast, 1929 UTC to 2010 UTC, broadcasting in English to Europe with music, "Today in History", then more music. SINPO 35443 (Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2100 UTC: United states - 7490, WBCQ, Sunday broadcast, 2100 UTC to 2159 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America featuring a special edition of "Marion's Attic" with 1940s music. SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2257 UTC: United States - 7490, WBCQ, Monday broadcast, 2257 UTC to 2328 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America with music, ID, then the 159th edition of "Ramsey's Roadhouse" with mostly music. SINPO 35443 (Mon 6/10/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2343 UTC: Spain - 9535, Radio Exterior de Espana, Sunday broadcast, 2343 UTC to 2358 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to Central America with a music program, and ID. SINPO 35443 (Sun 6/16/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dave Jeffery's Shortwave Log

Those who want / need to keep up with activity on shortwave frequencies as heard from the United States east coast will be happy to know that Shortwave America will be regularly featuring the Dave Jeffery Shortwave Log as he is able to publish them (he usually monitors on weekends, and publishes the log as time permits). This agreement to publish Dave's shortwave log was reached today.

That said, here is the first log from Dave that was published just a short time ago:
0001 UTC: Bosnia-Hertsegovina - 9685, Int'l Radio Serbia, UTC Sunday broadcast, 0001 UTC to 0020 UTC, broadcasting in Serbian featuring a talk by a woman with some occassional music thrown in. SINPO 35343 (UTC Sun 6/9/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

1927 UTC: Rwanda - 15275, Deutsche Welle (via Rwanda), Sunday broadcast, 1927 UTC to 1955 UTC, broadcasting in English to Africa with music, then "Inside Europe". SINPO 25342 (Sun 6/9/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2057 UTC: United States - 7490, WBCQ, Sunday broadcast, 2057 UTC to 2159 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America featuring sign-on with interval signal and ID's, then "Marion's Attic". SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/9/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2200 UTC: Greece - 9420, Voice of Greece, Sunday broadcast, 2200 UTC to 2220 UTC, broadcasting to Europe with no announcer, just music. SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/9/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2221 UTC: Romania - 9540, Radio Romania Int'l, Sunday broadcast, 2221 UTC to 2250 UTC, broadcasting in English to West Europe with an interview program, and music. SINPO 35343 (Sun 6/9/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2300 UTC: United States - 7490, WBCQ, Monday broadcast, 2300 UTC to 2328 UTC, broadcasting in English to North America with ID, then "Ramsey's Roadhouse". SINPO 35443 (Mon 6/3/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).

2329 UTC: Romania - 9740, Radio Romania Int'l, Saturday broadcast, 2329 UTC to 2350 UTC, broadcasting in Spanish to South America featuring classical music with a female announcer, then pop music with a female announcer, then a talk by a man. SINPO 35343 (Sat 6/8/13)(Dave Jeffery, Niagara Falls, New York, USA).
 Thanks so much, Dave!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Transgender People In The Media - Media Transphobia and Proper Reporting Standards

Gender Dysphoria is a serious medical condition that causes a person to identify in every way possible with the physical sex opposite of what they were born. Past oversimplified terminology that has been quite well-meaning has said "trans persons were simply born in the wrong body". In this day and age, we now know more about this condition than we did in decades past.Up until recent times, just like homosexuality, the clinical working group at the American Psychiatric Association thought that trans persons were suffering from a serious mental illness. The APA has reviewed the evidence for and against this thinking, and has come to the conclusion that no such empirical evidence exists to support the notion that trans persons are mentally ill at all. The 5th generation of the APA diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders will list Gender Dysphoria only as a medical problem, not as a mental illness.

This author once worked for a transgender radio station Director who was born female, but identifies as a male, this is known as a trans*male or transman. Someone who was born male, but identifies as a female is properly called a trans*woman or transwoman. My experience working for a trans*man happened at a Canadian station and was quite literally the best experience I have ever had, and the station Director was a pleasure to work with and work for! Jules Sherred runs a rather creative, fun, and well known station called "The Look 24/7". Jules openly identifies as transgender.

Shortwave America originally had an audio show planned on this topic, but, that will come at a later time. At one time or another, all of us have either seen or heard a trans person on TV or on the radio. There are even transgender amateur radio operators! The Rainbow Amateur Radio Association  supports LGBT persons and helps provide a sense of community, advocacy, and fosters an environment whereby LGBT amateur radio operators and their supporters can enjoy the science of communications. Like other radio clubs, RARA offers operating awards to those licensed amateur operators who meet the criteria for those awards.

 Do You Have a Male or Female Brain?

Dr. Daphna Joel, Ph.d., has performed groundbreaking research that shows us the difference between sex and gender, and how the brain is structured in regards to sex and gender.  Professor Joel received her Ph.D. in psychology in Tel-Aviv University, and joined the faculty of TAU in 1998. Prof. Joel is presently the head of the Psychobiology graduate program at the School of Psychological Sciences, and a member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience.

Prof. Joel's research interests focus on understanding the involvement of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits in normal and abnormal behavior, using mainly animal models of psychopathology. More recently Prof. Joel has expanded her work to research questions related to brain, sex and gender, and in particular the complex interplay between sex and environment in the development of psychopathology.

Dr. Joel and other medical, psychiatric, and psychological researchers have shown us that a person can be born with what we see as either male or female anatomy, but there IS a difference between what we see and how a person is really born in regards to the separation of sex and gender, in that gender is in the brain, not the genitalia. Physical sex is only what we see, not how we experience gender. Biological chromosomes can be any combination of xx, xy, xxx, xxy, etc. While a person's genes may say they are male or female, biology science is striving to find out why someone born with what can only be explained as typically male or female chromosomes can literally NOT be either of these designations. Dr. Joel's research is one of many other discoveries that has paved the way for more studies to be done. 

Recent Wave of Transphobia At Radio Stations

On June 5th, 2013, the Sacramento Press reported on an incident that occurred at KRXQ Radio 98.5FM, also known as "98Rock", During a May 28th, 2013 discussion, show presenters Rob Williams and Arnie States read from a news article describing a male child in another state as being permitted to enroll in school as a female. States said he would harm his son if ever he found out his son identified as trans, and as the show went on, Williams and States took calls from listeners during which they bashed trans people with different slurs, accusing trans people of being attention seekers. 

Their third presenter on the show, Dawn Rossi, because disgusted and attempted to accurately educate her show co-workers on what it means to be transgender, saying, "Those that really have this, it is a struggle for them! It is heart-wrenching for them! They have always felt like a different sex! And they've never felt like themselves." Here is the audio from this show.

The two male halves of this show only defended their behavior and their on-air dialogue, never publicly acknowledging the harm they did. In response to the duo's refusal to act in a civilized manner and to hold themselves responsible for dangerous conduct, the following happened: 

"While it was heartening for us to hear that Rob Williams and Arnie States did not advocate for violence against children," GLAAD reported on their blog, "they also did not hold themselves accountable for their dehumanizing and defamatory words used to describe transgender children in last week’s show."

That didn't sit well with advertisers either. Shortly after Wednesday's show aired, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group wrote an e-mail to GLAAD announcing they were pulling their advertisement-based support for KRXQ. "We found the segment to be offensive," a statement released by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group read, "and as a result, we are pulling our Snapple advertising from the station."

This show has paid FCC fines in the past for "On-Air Indecency" in 2004, the show was fined $55,000.

Also on June 5th, 2013, Trans Advocate reported on a story originating on the SirusXM Satellite Radio provider Martine Rothblatt, a publicly "out" transwoman, bought XM satellite radio in 2008 and re-named it as SiriusXM. A show called "Lex and Terry" aired a segment during which they openly advocated for the cold-blooded murder of trans persons in their version of a defense for "Trans Panic". On Friday (06/03/2013), the Lex and Terry show began discussing this issue saying, There’s a teen that shot a tranny after finding out that it was a man after they had a little sexual encounter. A co-host responded, I don’t blame him. I would have shot his ass too.

Here is the audio from that show:

This show segment was badly timed, as there have recently been two violent hate incidents against two different transwomen, Coco McDonald and Ms. Victor Diego. Both of these women were attacked violently only for living in their true gender and sex.

Just prior to these incidents, Ramblin' Ray Stevens and his co-presenter, Lisa Dent were heard by their listeners on April 29th, 2013 going on an anti-trans rant during which Lisa Dent said she would "never allow" her child walk around the house in her heels, while claiming to be old fashioned. This rant was in response to public panic and false charges of child harm over Celine Dion disclosing that her 2 year old son loves to play around the house in her high heel shoes

Lucy Meadows and the Print Media Fisaco - Coroner Shames Media For Lucy's Death

Lucy Meadows was a School Teacher in the U.K. when she was introduced by way of a formal letter from her school to the parents and families of her school. The letter was clear that Lucy underwent a gender transition to include gender re-assignment surgery. "Mr Upton has recently made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman," wrote the head, Karen Hardman, in a letter that made headlines in the national press. Mr. Littlejohn, a reporter at the U.K. Daily Mail, ran with the story with great irresponsible fervor, creating what has been known as nothing short of character assassination. Lucy Meadows committed suicide, and a U.K. Coroner's Inquest found great evidence of shameful behavior by the media in Lucy's case. The coroner literally shamed the media in public. Shortly after Lucy's death, the town turned against the media with great anger.

Proper Reporting Rules For Transgender News Coverage

The Associated Press maintains a Style Book that lays out the proper reporting guidelines to follow when reporting on various subjects.  Transgender issues and the people that experience them are: trans identified persons, their friends, families, co-workers, fellow students, teachers / professors, etc.

The open transphobia in the media is one trigger that moves people with pre-existing culpability and prejudices towards murdering trans persons. When trans persons are violently attacked or murdered, they can be doubly victimized. GLAAD has this resource that gives all of us reporters an easy way to understand HOW to properly report on trans victims of crime, and can even be used to conduct common-sense everyday reportage of trans persons in the media spotlight.   

Recent Television Coverage

Society is becoming more and more educated in these times, and this has led to schools and even private family homes like yours or anyone else's, becoming even more supportive and attentive to their children. We now know that being born transgender is not uncommon and not unheard of. Katie Couric did a show this year that explored the lives of children who transitioned genders prior to their 18th birthdays.

International Media and Transgender Journalists

International Media Organization, Bianet, printed a piece about Turkey's FIRST Transgender Television reporter. "Activism is not only about demonstrating on the street. It is important to show that 'others' are also capable of doing meaningful things. Therefore, I am marching with my flag in the hand," Michelle Demishevich, Turkey's first trans television reporter, told bianet

Michelle Demishevich

Eden Lane is a reporter for her own show, called, "In Focus With Eden Lane"

Eden Lane
 The Huffington Post published an article about Eden, called, "Eden Lane, Transgender Broadcast Journalist, Discusses Her Career, Being A Role Model And More"

The ABC News Corporation recently saw the gender transition of their long-time reporter, Don Ennis from male to female, and now Don is Dawn. This article by Business Insider tells the basic details. 

Dawn Ennis
“Today I begin anew," she begins. "Please understand: This is not a game of dress-up, or make-believe. It is my affirmation of who I now am and what I must do to be happy, in response to a soul-crushing secret that my wife and I have been dealing with for more than seven years, mostly in secret." - Dawn Ennis

The story told by sports reporter, Bobbie Dittmeier, about her transition from male to female is not a rare set of details to hear.  Resources for those transitioning gender are not abundant, and those with a public spotlight on them face even harsher circumstances. The fact is that it is not uncommon for ANY trans person to attempt gender transition more than once, and finally be successful. 

Bobbie with her friend, Beth

Here is a quote from Bobbie: 

"I think things are a lot different than when I first attempted [ the transition ] 15 years ago," Dittmeier said. "I think the younger generation has less of a hang-up with things. I work with a lot of younger people, people in their 20s, and to my knowledge, [ being transgender ] has never been an issue."
Dittmeier and sportswriter Christina Kahrl, of Chicago, are the only two transgender sports journalists in the U.S.

Bobbie also says:

"People here have been very nice overall, but they don't fully accept me," said Dittmeier. She noted that many locals still call her Bob and use male pronouns when talking to, and about, her. "That doesn't particularly bother me, but it is a reminder," she said.

"One of my great disappointments, one of the definite things that I've learned since I've transitioned, is how little everyone else really wants to know about it. They don't ask questions. My family doesn't even ask questions."


Shezow is a cartoon series that has aired in Canada and Australia. The protagonist is a male child who cleverly turns into a female superhero. Comics Alliance has this piece on Shezow to introduce the U.S. public to the show concept. Comics Alliance says "Created by Obie Scott Wade, SheZow is the story of Guy Hamdon, a young kid who inadvertently takes on the mantle of his late aunt's celebrated superhero alter ego. Some in the media have dubbed it a "transgender" kids' show, because some in the media like to use transgenderism to try to provoke outrage regardless of the social cost, but as it happens SheZow is not about transgenderism at all. Guy is a boy who takes on a female cover identity. He does not become female. He does not identify himself as female. Crucially, he does not want to be female. He is defintively not transgender; he is, in his own words, a dude. He's a dude whose superhero identity has long hair and a skirt. Like Thor."

Media Reactions From The Far Right
Far right, religious, political groups such as "One Million Moms", who have much less than one million members, have knowingly parroted misinformation that is meant to stigmatize and shame those with a valid medical condition. Recently, O.M.M. went so far as to label gender dysphoria and gender confusion as a "sin" even though they privately realize, but will not publicly acknowledge that their beliefs should never be pushed on others or used to persuade the media from accurate reportage on transgender issues. The O.M.M. organization also realizes but will not publicly acknowledge that there is a conflict between their beliefs and what hard science shows us.

Their line follows that of the scientifically discredited repairative therapy. Here is that quote directly from the organization:  "Thousands of Christian counselors and pastors are available all across the country to help anyone who is struggling with any kind of sin including homosexuality, gender identity disorder, gender confusion or gender dysphoria." We have yet to actually see ONE confirmed medical problem that has been done away with by practice of religion. There are simply no confirmed reports of this happening.

Shortwave America went looking for any scripture that says anything about these issues being "sinful" just to be fair in this piece. When all the religious material is examined properly in its context, there are no such references to these medical problems as sin. What this proves, combined with the above statement from Comics Alliance is that far right groups such as O.M.M. are creating harmful propaganda that is fueling violence. 

Proper Reporting On The Gender Spectrum

Many people conflate being transgender with being gay or lesbian, also as seen with almost every case of bi-phobia and inaccurate comments on bisexuality, transgender people are NOT confused, and most trans people are straight. That is the vast majority of transmen are attracted to females, and the vast majority of transwomen are attracted to men. As highlighted above, GLAAD has a reference and the A.P. has a style book that tells reporters proper guidelines for gender spectrum reporting

When reporting about gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, it is important to remember that scientific advances have been made, and we know more today than we did a long time ago. Scientists have found epigenetic factors that may possibly be the "switch" that tells a person that they are gay. This is mentioned here to help separate sexual orientation from gender identity. As shown above in the section featuring Dr. Daphna Joel, sex and gender are separate from each other. This means that sexual orientation and gender identity are also separate. 

Transman = male pronouns: he, his, etc. 

Transwoman = female pronouns: she, her, her's, etc. 

Transgender names: the name a trans person uses IS his or her real name. Their birth name is of no concern to anyone for any reason. 

Anatomy questions: Would you like it if someone asked you about YOUR genitalia? So, don't do it to a trans person! 

Surgical status: again, none of anyone's business unless the trans person voluntarily discloses such, and even then, you keep it to yourself! Not every trans person wants or needs surgery. Some trans persons want and / or need surgery, but cannot have it for a long list of reasons mostly involving cost or medical problems that stand in their way.

Hormone treatment: again, none of anyone's business. Some trans people don't want or cannot have chemicals for a long list of reasons. 

Is it ok to talk about a trans person's past life in an article, audio, or video piece? The short answer is NO!

Is it ok to ask sexual questions, such as: well, how do you have sex? NO! Reporters do NOT ask these questions, it isn't any of your business!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yan Yinan - China Drive Host Passes Away

Beijing Cream Author, Anthony Tao, has broken the sad news of the untimely death of China Radio International's China Drive Host, Yan Yinan

Yan Yinan died from injuries sustained from suicide after she jumped from her apartment building. A credible piece of information from Beijing Cream says "Some of her colleagues were seen crying inside the CRI office on Friday. A source said CRI management has emailed staffers asking them to keep news of Yan’s death off social media out of respect for her family, and that there is an internal “ongoing discussion” about how to proceed." Beijing Cream broke the story on April 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Yan is being described as someone very special to everyone who knew her and worked with her. All information further says that even when she was on her own time, she was someone who was well respected, well-liked, and words such as "mentor" come into play as part of her life's narrative. Obviously, losing Yan Yinan means that the world has lost someone who brought immeasurable value with her during her life.

 China Radio International has released this statement:

"China Radio International is sad to announce the tragic passing of Yan Yinan after a struggle with illness. She will be missed as a colleague and friend. Out of respect for her privacy and the wishes of her family, we hope everyone can join us in giving them the ability to grieve in private."

CRI's description of Yan Yinan as someone who died from a "struggle with illness" is confirmed to be completely dishonest. Although some people who commit suicide do have a background of mental illness, this is not the case with Yan, and definitely not the case with everyone who ends their lives so drastically.

Her co-host, Mark Griffith has declined to make a public statement regarding Yan Yinan. 

This clip from China Drive, recorded on November 4th, 2008, features Yan Yinan with her co-host closing out an episode of the show.

A recent China Drive show recorded on April 25th, 2013, can be heard here

The China Drive webpage is here

Yan's C.R.I. Profile is here 

There appears to be some controversy over allegations that China Radio International intentionally covered up Yan's death, but never attempted to cover up the death of Xu Huaiqian.

Keith Perron, the owner of PCJ Media and PCJ Radio International once worked with Yan Yinan during his time at C.R.I. See the PCJ statement here.

We now learn that Yan Yinan's death took place on March 29th, not April 2nd, as was earlier released. Keith Perron says he vaguely remembers Yan Yinan as someone who worked in the newsroom and features department.

Other Suicides of China Radio International Staffers:

PCJ Media confirms other suicides at C.R.I. such as the death a few years ago of a man of Middle Eastern descent who jumped from the rooftop of CRI's building in Babaoshan western Beijing. This staffer was assigned to one of CRI's Middle Eastern language sections. Jon Kennedy in the English Section of C.R.I. is another death, his body was cremated without an autopsy. Keith Perron questions the official story given which reported Jon to have died from heart attack.

At this time, C.R.I. continues to shroud Yan Yinan's death in secrecy. Shortwave America and PCJ Media / PCJ Radio International wish to send condolences to the family, co-workers, and friends of Yan Yinan.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicago Police Department Communications Discipline

Chicago has become the murder capitol of the world. Located inside the borders of the only state that explicitly says citizens have absolutely no legal rights to self - defense of any sort, be it with your hands or with a gun, the ranks of the Chicago Police Department have been thinning even in the face of new hires.

Thinning ranks at the Chicago Police Department also means higher stress levels for their sworn members. Most interactions between police and the public are professional, and most of the conduct over the air between CPD Officers and Chicago's OEMC dispatchers is almost always jovial, free-flowing, professional, and kept to necessary details.

An audio clip recorded on 8-21-2012 has surfaced that shows us just how stress, confusion, and chaos can affect the working relationships between officers and dispatchers. The audio from Chicago Police Department Radio Zone 12 starts out as the 15th district is working a case involving a robbery offender or offenders with a weapon, and becomes tense from there.



Officer: Ok, I'm on the way

Radio Dispatcher: 1519 officer, we'll hold ya down, any information on these robbery offenders? Anyone have any info?

Field Unit: 1506 Eddy, Uh, they said that they took a shot at them, so uh, there IS a weapon involved here.

Field unit: (unidentified transmission) good thing ya got that job out for us before you (officer speaking too fast to be clearly intelligible) squad!

Dispatcher: umm, calm YOURSELF DOWN

Field unit: 150?? Sarge, did ya copy that?

Dispatcher: Yep, I copied everything you gave me and I gave it out, that's a 10-4!

Field unit: (Unidentified transmission) You gave it out when you felt like it, didn't ya?

Dispatcher: Shut - up!

Field Unit: (Unidentified transmission) don't tell me to shut up, do your job right!

Field Unit: 2533Robert

Dispatcher: Call me on the phone and I'll tell you what ya did incorrectly! 2533Robert

Field Unit: Yes ma'am, can you call this car back, tell em' to meet us outside cause this house looks pretty secure in the back if he wants to walk through

Dispatcher: sure would, 10-4!

Dispatcher: That unit, I have your radio number. If you come over the air, you'll be written up.

Field Unit: (Unidentified transmission) what's that?

Dispatcher: That's radio 9960, 9960 for the comments.

Field Unit: (unidentified transmission) write me up!

Dispatcher: You will be, keep talking!

Dispatcher: alright, gimme your name!

Field Unit cuts in with unidentified transmission: cut it out!

Field unit cuts in emotionally with unidentified transmission: I'm not gonna ask to be recognized whenever I'm looking for a man with a gun, squad! You can just answer the question, alright!

Dispatcher: 9960 for that radio number, if you say anything else you WILL be written up! YOU HEARD ME ask the unit he has the air for information so...stop it with your comments!

Field Unit cuts in aggressively and emotionally: your job before you did that!

Dispatcher: I never gave out a job!

Unidentified female field unit: hey, let's keep the radio open / clear now!

Dispatcher: Sergeant, you're the boss! Tell your units to stop with the comments!

We now know this armed robbery incident and radio exchange took place overnight between 10PM and 7:30AM because of the 25th district "robert" designator. 

This whole exchange took place over a time period of one minute and fourty five seconds. That is enough time for a unit to have had a life threatening emergency in an armed situation like this. The people of the city of Chicago DO NOT need sworn police officers who can't get along with each other, and neither do they need police officers and communications dispatchers in that same situation of not being able to work well with each other. Hot heads, emotional reactions, and law enforcement DO NOT mix!

Keeping this communications related, this is a good example of how NOT to communicate with others. Judicious use of radio air time in any emergency profession is key. They WAY our nation's emergency responders communicate with each other matters just as much as knowing WHEN and WHEN NOT to say anything on the air. Discretion is the better part of valor.

As this transcript shows, several violations of CPD policy took place as did several violations of FCC laws in regards to proper identification of radio transmissions. FCC laws and regulations apply to everyone who uses communications gear, and even to those who live in Florida and operate well pumps in bad repair.  

Hopefully, something was done about this radio exchange. Besides placing other officers in danger, it placed the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications in a bad light. The City of Chicago has enough problems, enough of a bad image, and incidents like this just make things worse. Would this dispatcher have ignored other demands for police service coming across her screen to continue the argument with the field unit with radio#9960? Would the police officer have ignored criminal activity to continue the argument with the dispatcher? Did this incident continue with further exchanges between radio 9960 and the dispatcher? We'll never know. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

CISPA Blackout

Shortwave America will be participating in the CISPA Blackout of April 22nd, 2013. When you come to the main page, you will be greeted by THIS:

Shortwave America will be back on-line April 23rd, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Guest Post - Bob Zanotti On The Relationship Between DX Chasers and Shortwave Broadcasters

In recent months I have received several private questions and comments about postings on various shortwave-related forums, which were highly critical of so-called “DXers” – the term commonly used by broadcasters to refer to those who make a hobby out of tuning the bands for signals to identity, just in order to obtain a QSL card, as opposed to those who actually listen to programs and comment on program content. Although my name and that of Bob Thomann were mentioned in some of the postings in question, we were not directly involved in them.

But there is an issue here, and it is based on this fact: Broadcasters need to be able to demonstrate that their programs are not only reaching their target areas in a technical sense, but very importantly, also that the expenditures for program production, transmission infrastructure and the cost of sponsorship are warranted, in the sense that the MESSAGE is getting through to the audience. DXers do not help matters here, but Shortwave LISTENERS or “SWLs” do.

It is no secret that the management of Swiss Radio International (and other SW broadcasters) was upset over DXers , and asked Bob Thomann and me to address the issue in the Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round, which we did. In fact, I think we were the first SW broadcasters to do so, but not the last.

However, while I can confirm that the SRI management did not like "QSL-hunting DXers” who didn't listen to program content and sometimes referred to them as “DX nuts”, Bob Thomann and I were always diplomatic in discussing this issue over the air, and we never called anyone names. Our position on-air can be summarized this way, and it was stated many, many times:

"We [broadcasters] are not here simply to supply a signal to identify, just for the purpose of getting a QSL card. If that were the reason for our efforts, we might as well transmit a 1,000 Hz tone along with an ID loop. There is no conflict between being a technically-interested DXer and being a program *listener*. Just use your technical skills to improve reception to the extent possible, but then, *listen* to the program. You'll get a QSL card, but all we're asking for is some comments about our programs, whether good or bad. This is what justifies the enormous cost of our broadcasts, but QSL card-hunting does not."

This was and still is our position on DXers, and I know it is shared by other SW broadcasting veterans. From that perspective, DXers were and are very frustrating for the broadcaster and program-maker, and I feel sure that this group was, indeed, at least partly responsible for the demise of big-time shortwave broadcasting after the end of the Cold War.

Having said all of the above, I want to make it very clear that this issue can be discussed in a businesslike and objective way, and I discourage the use of language that could be construed as abusive or excessively provocative on the part of either side of the argument.

I know how easy it is in this field to get embroiled in controversy and in-fighting. For this reason, I want to emphasize that the purpose of this posting is to restate the position of Bob Thomann and me on this issue for the record. While I realize that the discussion will continue, this posting is not intended to add to or encourage the debate. There are more appropriate forums than SIS for this purpose. Any related comments are, of course, welcome.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Digital Radiograms Gaining Popularity With Shortwave Broadcasters

Taking the lead of the amateur radio community, shortwave stations, WRMI in Miami, Florida; KBC; and VOA with their "VOA Radiogram", and PCJ Radio, are discovering the powerful and robust communications that can be accomplished with modes like Olivia, MFSK64, RTTY, and PSK.

Had we looked back down the road even a decade ago, there is no way anyone would have guessed that shortwave stations would even give amateur radio digital modes a first glance, much less start using digital modes.

Jan Oosterveen of KBC says: "Olivia is a robust digital text mode. It can overcome all types of noise. But can Olivia 8-1000, reduced by 24 dB, be decoded under the amazing voice of country singer Suzy Bogguss? We will find out 24 March 2013 at about 0130 UTC, with the mode centered on 2500 Hz. This will be during The Mighty KBC broadcast to North America, 0000-0200 UTC on 7375 kHz. And at just before 0200 UTC, MT63-1000 (long interleave) in Flmsg format will be centered on 1500 Hz, and an MFSK32 image centered on 2500 Hz." Jan says "Listen between 00.00-02.UTC on 7.375 kHz beamed to North America."

The following joint press release from VOA and WRMI has this useful information:

While it will be strictly one mode at a time this weekend on VOA Radiogram, WRMI, Radio Miami International, will fill its channel (9955 kHz) with multiple instances of digital text.
On Saturday, 23 March 2013, 0400 UTC to 0400 UTC Sunday (midnight to midnight EDT), WRMI IDs will be in BPSK63F, centered on 900, 1300, 1700, 2100, 2500, and 2900 Hertz. (The RSID will guide you to 2500 Hz.)

On Sunday 0400 to Monday 0400 UTC, PSKR250 will be centered on 900, 1700, 2500 (RSID will be 2500 Hz), and PSKR125 on 1300, 2100, and 2900 Hz

The WRMI IDs are generally at the top of the hour and sometimes also at 30 minutes past the hour. Don ‘t let low signal level and noise on the channel discourage you from trying to decode these.
Taiwan-based PCJ Radio International will transmit a message in MFSK32 via WRMI at 0227 UTC on 31 March 2013. 

(End press release) 

Now, since DRM turned out to be dead in the water; this should become interesting since the equipment and software to decode digital modes is easily available, or CAN be accessed by most people even if they have to ask a friend or family member to do it, the wider audience will definitely take interest for the reason that those regions of the globe who have been victimized by China's malicious interference would still be able to decode quite easily since the job of separating interference from digital communications is actually easier than separating it from the spoken voice.

This could very well go beyond an experimental stage to become a trend if stations turn out to like this sort of efficiency. The only real drawback is that digital modes are full duty cycle that can add to wear and tear on transmitters. However, there is a chance that the digital traffic might be pre-recorded, therefore saving the transmitters from the dreadful effects of full duty cycle work.
Here's an interesting thought as this article closes: It would be neat to find out later on down the road that China's choice to use digital modes for malicious interference was the impetus for this trend of experimentation! The next thought to go with it is that it would be interesting if entire programs start to be conducted in digital modes.