This is the official page of International Radio Listeners' Friendship & Fraternity Club (IRLFFC) written and maintained by MITUL KANSAL.

The club will give the chance to become friends with listeners and Dxers in other countries. The club will serve as a platform to take part in discussions, dialogue, and exchange opinions with people in various parts of the world. For a while it was like a dream but now it is a reality. By joining together we can do a lot for our planet. For example, help to ensure peace on Earth and save the environment. The main task of our club is to get acquainted with listeners in other countries. I think in a country where you have friends there is no room for enemy. And lastly very important, the members will established and promote friendship, fraternity and mutual understanding among them and it will be a first step to maintain peace on our Earth i.e. our common home.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Safety Tips - Battery Maintainance

This is an actual incidence that occurred while doing maintenance.

There were 24 lead - acid batteries located on wooden stand at the chest heightin 10 W VLPT,……,Maharashtra which are charged with Solar panels. In 2006 while doing battery maintenance during afternoon period ,vent plugs were removed from batteries for taking specific gravity ,one accident happened, due to continuous charging process. Air bubbles went directly into eye of Sh……,Tech. He cleaned his eyes immediately with tap water ,but he was unable to see clearly upto 3 weeks, because of white layer which occurred in front of eye cornea. He was able to see after taking one month medical treatment.

Same accident got repeated after 2 years with Sh……,SEA.This time … used the distilled bottle water which was available on the spot to wash his eyes, instead of going to tap. But unfortunately water bottle received from shop was with acid. As he attempted to clean his eyes with this solution he lost his vision. After taking medical treatment at Sangli, Pune and Hyderabad upto 3-4 years now he got 30-40 % vision back
To avoid such type of accidents one should essentially use white goggles while carrying out battery maintenance. Also one switch can be added in charging circuit and one can follow practice to cut off charging of batteries at least 15 minutes before battery maintenance.

The purpose of this post is to emphasize the need of safety in workplace. Please ensure such precautions at your station and share such advises / incidents for the benefit of fellow colleagues.
Contributed by : S.N.Patange,SEA, written by Sh.MR Jain,EA, as reported by Sh. Chaugale Tech. HPT AIR Pune

- via Akasvani Doordarshan Parivar blog

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Brief History of Radio Broadcasting in Africa


Radio is by far the dominant and most important mass medium in Africa. Its flexibility, low cost, and oral character meet Africa's situation very well. Yet radio is less developed in Africa than it is anywhere else. There are relatively few radio stations in each of Africa's 53 nations and fewer radio sets per head of population than anywhere else in the world.

Radio remains the top medium in terms of the number of people that it reaches. Even though television has shown considerable growth (especially in the 1990s) and despite a widespread liberalization of the press over the same period, radio still outstrips both television and the press in reaching most people on the continent. The main exceptions to this ate in the far south, in South Africa, where television and the press are both very strong, and in the Arab north, where television is now the dominant medium. South of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo River, radio remains dominant at the start of the 21St century. The internet is developing fast, mainly in urban areas, but its growth is slowed considerably by the very low level of development of telephone systems.

There is much variation between African countries in access to and use of radio. The weekly reach of radio ranges from about 50 percent of adults in the poorer countries to virtually everyone in the more developed ones. But even in some poor countries the reach of radio can be very high. In Tanzania, for example, nearly nine out of ten adults listen to radio in an average week. High figures for radio use contrast sharply with those for India or Pakistan, for example, where less than half the population is reached by radio.

There have been three distinct phases in the development of radio since the first South African broadcasts in 1924. The first phase was the colonial or settler period, when radio was primarily a medium brought in to
serve the settlers and the interests of the colonial powers. Later (and in many cases not until toward the end of colonial rule) the authorities gradually introduced radio services by and for indigenous people.

The entire continent, south of the Sahara, with the exception of Liberia and Ethiopia, had been colonized by the European powers-France, Britain, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Portugal. (At the end of World War I, Germany lost all of its African colonies, and their administration was taken over by France, Britain, and Belgium.) The domestic broadcasting systems of all European powers were at this time stare (not government necessarily) monopolies such as the British independent public service model of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) or the French government radio stations. The Portuguese permitted some private broadcasting by colonial settlers in their colonies, but the main picture was one of national state monopolies.

The earliest broadcasts on the continent were in South Africa. In Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, three organizations - a private dub, an advertising group, and a local authority - were granted licenses to broadcast. But they all soon incurred large debts and were taken over by an entrepreneur who, after some difficulty, moved the stations toward commercial viability. However, the government decided that a commercial solution would not provide the service that they sought. They looked instead at what had happened in Britain and invited John Reith, the BBC's first director-general, to come to South Africa. 1934 and help them devise a national public service form of broadcasting. The South African Broadcasting
Corporation (SABC) was created in 1936 and maintained a monopoly on broadcasting there for the next 45 years.

The SABC departed from BBC's way of doing things very soon after its establishment. First, it was never far from political influence and control, both of which increased during the years of apartheid. Second, it soon began commercial services designed to make a profit to supplement license fee income for broadcasting. When neighboring Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, a successful commercial radio station there (Radio Lorenço-Marques) targeted South African audiences with popular music programs. To counter
this the SABC began its own commercial service, Springbok Radio, in 1950. For most of this period, the SABC's programming was dictated by the needs and tastes of its white audiences. Until 1943, it broadcast only in Afrikaans and English, and none of its programs were directed toward African audiences. Even then, broadcasts in African languages formed only a small part of the total output. Broadcasting for Africans was expanded in the 1960s when Radio. Bantu was developed during apartheid to reinforce the apartheid
ideology of the separation of the races.

Elsewhere in Africa, radio was also developed first to serve European interests - in 1927 in Kenya, in 1932. in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1933 in Mozambique, and in 1935 in the French Congo. The earliest radio in British West Africa was not broadcast by wireless transmission but via wired services-subscribers had loudspeakers (linked by wire to the radio station) installed in their homes to receive the service. This was how broadcasting began in Siena Leone in 1934, Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1935, and Nigeria in 1936. Unlike the wireless services in Britain's other colonies, these were created with native African listeners in mind. Then in 1936 the British colonial administration decided to develop radio broadcasting throughout its African colonies as a public service for indigenous people.

In Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), World War II provided an impetus with major consequences for the development of radio in that territory. A small radio station was established principally with the objective of carrying news (in African languages) of the war's progress to the Families of Soldiers fighting with the British forces in Africa and Asia. Radio also developed rapidly in other parts of Africa due to the war. The free Belgian government, exiled from German-occupied Belgium, set up a shortwave station in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) for broadcasts to Belgium. The Free French set up their own radio stations in Cameroon and French Congo, and the French Vichy government had its own station in Dakar, Senegal.

Postwar Developments

After the war, expansion of broadcasting in most of its African colonies became official British policy. This means that radio services would be developed principally to educate and inform African listeners. Several experts from the BBC were sent to advise on developmental issues in broadcasting, and some of them stayed to play major roles in establishing services. Most notable among these was Torn Chalmers, a successful BBC radio producer who was involved in the development of radio in Nigeria, Nyasaland (now
Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and Tanganyika (now Tanzania). He was the first director-general of the Tanganyika Broadcasting Corporation. Chalmers and others tried hard to separate broadcasting from government along the lines of the BBC model. But despite the establishment of public corporations in several British territories (Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, and Tanganyika, and others had broadcasting corporations modeled on the BBC), the stations were all closely supervised by their respective governments and had little real independence.

The French developed a different policy. Whereas in British territories the emphasis was on broadcasting ill African languages to reach the widest possible audiences, nearly all broadcasting in French territories was in the French language. Radio broadcasting was also centralized and, to a large extent, originated in France through the Societe de Radio-Diffusion de la France d'Outre-Mer (Society for Radio Transmission to French Overseas Territories) or SORAFOM. As the society's title suggests, the prevailing philosophy was that the French territories in Africa were actually an extension of France. A series of relay stations across French Equatorial and West Africa carried the same programs. It was not until the French territories were granted independence in I960 that separate national radio broadcasters were established in Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger, Chad, Gabon, and other locations.

By the 1960s (the decade in which most African colonies gained their independence), all territories had radio broadcasting services. In every country they were instruments of government in much the same way as the national armed forces or the police. Broadcasters were civil servants - if not always in name, certainly in their relationships to the rest of the state apparatus. Without exception the new African governments maintained for 30 more years the monopoly of radio broadcasting established by colonial authorities. During this second phase of African broadcasting, which lasted until nearly the end of the 20th century, all 53 African countries had national broadcasting services, mostly dominated by radio. Broadcasting headquarters were generally in the capital or main city of each nation; from there, one or more national radio services were transmitted to reach the whole country. A few local and regional services were developed in Nigeria and South Africa but not many in other areas. Radio in Nigeria developed along different lines than in other African nations, reflecting that country's ethnic divisions and unique federal character. Two parallel state systems of stare radio developed, often in direct competition with each other. The federal government had its own broadcasting system, and each of Nigeria's several stares had its own system, as well.

Radio broadcasting in much of sub-Saharan Africa still relies heavily on shortwave (the main means of transmission for many years) to reach widely scattered populations over large areas. This is a feature of broadcasting in Africa not often seen elsewhere in the world. In Ghana, for example, all radio transmission until the 1980s was via shortwave. This means of transmission is in many respects ideal for African circumstances, although it can suffer from interference and is subject to fading and distortion. Lack of sufficient resources and infrastructure have meant that developing networks of FM or AM relays usually has not been possible, so the only way to reach an entire territory has been by shortwave. Outside of South Africa (where an FM network was quickly established in the 1960s) and the small island states, all African national broadcasters continued to use shortwave for their main national radio services at the beginning of the 21st century. So most radio receivers sold in Africa (except in South Africa) have shortwave bands on them, and virtually all radio owners outside of South Africa have ready access to international shortwave broadcasters such as the BBC, Voice of America (VOA), Radio France International, Radio Deutsche Welle, and Radio Netherlands. The South African international shortwave station, Channel Africa, is also very popular. Such international broadcasters have become popular for their African-language (Swahili, Hausa, Amharic, and Somali) transmissions and in the widely spoken languages of European origin
(French, English, and Portuguese). Africa has the world's largest audiences for international shortwave radio broadcasts.

Shortwave coverage by Africa's national broadcasters is rather poor in many cases, and radio transmission remains underdeveloped on a national scale in many countries. The lack of financial resources, frequent breakdowns, power cuts, the scarcity of spare parts and other consequences of the general economic weakness in many African countries have weakened transmission capacity and performance.

Radio pluralism came late to Africa. Before 1987 there were only five or six privately owned radio stations on the entire continent in Gambia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Liberia. In 1987 a trend to end state monopolies in almost every country began. In December, Horizon FM went on the air in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, launched by a local entrepreneur who announced rather defiantly that the station would have "lots of music, lots of commercials, lots of laughter, but absolutely 00 politics. People are tired of all that stuff." A week later the station was forced to dose. The revolutionary government was clearly unhappy at this development, which it had not authorized. Horizon FM survived that early dispute and became one of several independent radio. stations in Burkina Faso.


The arrival of Horizon FM was of historic significance in that it marked the beginning of the third phase of radio in Africa, one in which the national stare radios continue but must compete for audiences with a growing number of independent radios. (The same trend is evident with television, which also Was previously almost entirely a state monopoly.) There are important differences between state and independent radio on the Continent. While the State radio services are mostly national in both reach and purpose, the new independent radio stations are mostly based in cities, and their coverage tends to be confined to the urban areas. They have also almost all been FM stations, whereas the national broadcasting stations have relied and continue to rely on a mix of transmission methods - FM, AM medium wave, and shortwave. At the turn of the century there were more than 450 independent radio stations in Africa. Most of them are the result of limited deregulation, which has invited applications for the limited coverage offered by FM. Only five or six independent radio stations existed on the entire continent 20 years earlier.

Independent radio stations in Africa can be categorized into five types. There are fully commercial stations that seek to make a profit from the sale of airtime for advertising or sponsored programs. Religious radio stations (most, but not all, Christian) use radio to communicate their faith and beliefs; some of these may carry some advertising, but most ate financially supported by their sponsoring organizations and some with support from outside, The third category, comprised of community radio stations, is probably the fastest growing sector. There has been strong support in some countries for the development of very local, generally low-powered FM stations broadcasting in a community's indigenous languages or dialects. These are often staffed by volunteer helpers, are run at very low cost, and are supported by outside agencies (various non-government organizations have supported some for developmental reasons), By the year 2000 there
were more than 70 community radio stations in South Africa and about 100 in West Africa, several in rural areas.

The fourth and fifth categories each emerged as the result of political and ethnic or other conflicts. Factional radio stations (some referred to as "clandestines") are used to promote a particular faction in a conflict. Somalia, a country without a government for the last decade of the 20th century, has several such stations, each supporting one of the warlords who control different parts of the country. There are similar clandestines in Sudan and Ethiopia. Some of these operate from neighboring countries rather than from within their nations of origin, for obvious reasons, Occasionally they may even broadcast from further afield. The factional radio category also includes the so-called hate radio stations. The most notorious of these was the Radio des Mille Collines (Radio of a Thousand Hills) in Rwanda. Broadcasting from within Rwanda (and almost certainly with the government's approval if not its backing), it was widely held to be responsible for promoting ethnic hatred and killings during the 1994 genocide.

The fifth category, humanitarian radio stations, came as a counter to the influence of factional radio. The power of radio in Africa has led various aid and relief agencies, including the United Nations, to support the establishment of humanitarian radio stations that promote peace, harmony, and democracy. Such radio stations have operated in Rwanda, Somalia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. One organization that has been prominent in supporting humanitarian radio has been the Fondation Hirondelle (Swallow Foundation) in Switzerland. It has backed radio stations in areas of conflict for limited periods in countries such as Liberia, the Central African Republic, Somalia, and Rwanda.


Radio programming in Africa has suffered from the economic realities present there. It has been hampered to an even greater degree by the often heavy hand of government. Many broadcasters in state radio stations are government or civil servants, and the civil service does not lend itself to creativity, imagination, and entertainment. Much of the output of state radio stations has been dominated by government propaganda. In the early days of national independence there was a heavy emphasis on messages about nation building, with exhortations to hard work and discipline. Much of this was rather boring. A high proportion of news bulletins on radio featured heads of elite visiting projects or speaking at events. Broadcasts would usually focus on what was said and who was there-sometimes remarkably uninteresting speeches would be carried in full on the radio. When the head of state visited several different projects and said more or less the same things at each appearance, subsequent broadcasts would repeat the same details. Other stories were similar-ministers and other state officials making speeches or announcements, visiting state institutions. opening schools or hospitals, and so on. Each event would be reported with the main locus on what the official said and little on any other aspect of the story.

But it would be wrong to categorize all African state radio in this way. Much of it has been entertaining and even innovative. Ad-lib or unscripted drama has often flourished, especially in Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia; poetry and storytelling have become popular features in many countries. Local music is now a major part of the programming in many states with an emphasis on local talent in such countries as Mali, Senegal, Ghana, the two Congas, and Tanzania. Many of Africa's very successful popular music stars began their careers on radio. There have been radio stars since the early days, as the media thrive on more than mere news. Most of the time the media, radio especially, are used for entertainment. Although a cautious approach generally has been seen in news and news-related programs, this is not always the case in other creative areas.

African radio stations have been important patrons of music and, in some countries, of poetry and oral literature. In the 1970s many radio stations made regular program collection safaris into remote parts of the country to record songs, drama, poetry, and other indigenous material for later broadcast. However, in recent years these activities have been curbed by financial restrictions. Similarly, the studios of many national radio stations were once a focus for much new music, but this happens less now, largely because many state-run radio stations have stopped most payments to artists.

African radio once played a major role in popular music and still does playa rule, but mainly by playing commercial records. Many African musicians find that they do better financially by marketing their own cassettes through street sellers. But copyright laws are not widely used, and few African artists are members of rights societies. Financial pressures have also slowed the growth of (and sometimes even reduced the amount of) original indigenous drama and other spoken word programs on both radio and television. The economic weakness of many states has meant that talented artists had to stop working in state radio because they were not paid adequately (sometimes not at all). The growth of successful commercial radio
may change this.

Private Stations

More freedom has generally been given to the printed press in Africa than to the radio industry. Independent newspapers have been permitted to operate in most African countries, and many of them have been permitted some degree of freedom to criticize, oppose, and challenge the existing political order. The same has not been true of radio. Many African governments have been slow and reluctant to change laws and allow private broadcasting stations. Those that have legislated for independent radio have in many cases imposed restrictions on the degree to which independent stations can report news.

The reluctance to allow private radio arises in part from fear of the power of the medium. It is known that radio reaches many more people in Africa than any other single medium. Government officials may be legitimately concerned about misuse of the medium by rival political, religious, or ethnic factions, particularly when they have a shaky hold on power or rule in countries lacking in infrastructure, with weak institutions of control, and where there may be several regional, ethnic, and linguistic divisions. It is significant that there has been much greater reluctance to grant freedom to radio than to other media.

In Ethiopia, new laws to permit private broadcasters were delayed by fears that private electronic media would be critical of the government, as the private press has been. In Kenya several applications to run private radio stations were delayed for several months in 1998 and 1999, probably due to similar fears. But a major press group in the country opened its first commercial radio in Nairobi in I999, the first example outside South Africa of major commercial press involvement in radio in Africa. In Tanzania gentle pressure has been put on the private radio stations to carry national news from the state radio station; in Zambia, the few licensed independent radio stations are not permitted to make their own news bulletins. Even after several years under new laws permitting independent broadcasts, there were still only one private commercial radio station and three private religious stations at the beginning of 2001, although the election of a new president at the end of that year led to change during 2002 and the emergence of several new independent broadcasters.

The development of independent radio should not be seen only in political terms, however. Its commercial and cultural impact and function are almost certainly of equal and perhaps greater significance. Music has always played a major part in African radio, but when the stations were almost entirely owned and paid for by the state, entertainment often took second place to other requirements. On many occasions radio schedules would be cleared for major political events. Speeches of political leaders and commentaries on national events would be given extensive coverage, with state political and administration requirements taking precedence. With deregulation and the licensing of independent and particularly commercial station's listeners. He no longer compelled to listen to long and often tedious political broadcasts. At the same time, radio has become a much more attractive medium for advertisers, who can den lop media campaigns in line with different stations' formats and content. The new and often very successful commercial stations have adopted musical policies that define their places in the market, just as their counterparts are free to do in Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world where the industry is not controlled by government. It is significant that in the African states once ruled by France, one of the most successful of the new commercial radio stations, Radio Nostalgie, is affiliated with a major French radio group of the same name. ln 1999 it was reaching about 60 percent of all adults in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. In Ghana, the new commercial radio stations have been so successful that they have pushed the government's Ghana Broadcasting Corporation out of its place as one of the top eight stations in the country. Private, independent, commercial radio stations in Uganda and Nigeria, mostly broadcasting popular music, outstrip the state radio services in audience reach and share.

The reason for the success of many private stations is easy to understand. Competition from other domestic broadcasters was entirely absent in the broadcast media until their arrival, so program producers had never worried about attracting audiences or advertisers. Now this has changed in many countries (although not yet all), and there is lively competition for audiences. On the whole, radio in these countries has become livelier and more attractive. However, there has been a downside also. Whereas state radio put a strong emphasis on education and development, featuring many programs that promoted better health or provided other forms of education and improvement for the general population, competition for commercial revenue tends to push these programs out or to marginalize them. Moreover, national and state radios have broadcast programs in local minority languages for many years, which is not usually a feature of commercial stations. Community stations may increase their use of local languages and dialects in response to this shift,
however. Radio's contribution to national education and development will probably continue to be of major importance. Many developmental agencies strongly favor the use of radio in campaigns for better health, as in the campaign against AIDS and such diseases as trachoma, malaria, tuberculosis, polio, arid leprosy. In the past, many broadcasts of this type were worthy but very dull. In recent years, however, there has been a welcome growth in the imaginative and entertaining use of radio to encourage development in such areas. One of the best examples is the soap opera Twende na Wakati (Let Us Go with the Times) in Tanzania. This regular drama features the daily lives of ordinary people, and within its entertaining story line are messages about family planning, infant nutrition, other health issues, and the changing role of women. A regular program in Senegal, Radio Gune Yi, made entirely by and for children, promotes the rights of children and the equal rights of girls and boys.


Radio has played a major nation-building role in Africa. This arose from an interesting and very important historical coincidence. The invention (in 1948) and commercial development of the transistor (in the 1950s and 1960s) led to very large numbers of cheap battery-operated transistor radios coming into Africa at the same time that about 40 nation-states gained their independence in the 1960s. The transistor made radios portable and cheap, liberating them from reliance on a supply of electricity, which most African homes did not have at the time. Radio rapidly became the most widespread medium in Africa, and this had important consequences for Africa's cultural and political life. It was the medium by which many, if not most Africans
gained day-to-day knowledge of their new national and international status.

At the beginning of the 21st century, new technology has arrived in the form of direct broadcasting by satellite. WorldSpace. a company based in Washington, D.C. and headed by an Ethiopian, Noah Samara, launched the first digital radio service by satellite in 1999. The technology makes very good sense in a continent where the establishment of FM relays has been so difficult due to the costs involved and problems with maintenance and security. The WorldSpace service provides several high quality radio services that can be picked up with ease and clarity anywhere on the continent. The service is being used by some African and international radio stations, and it also offers some broadcasts of its own. The main question about the satellite service is whether it will establish itself sufficiently to be commercially viable in the long term. Use of the system requires the purchase of special receivers that are currently too expensive for most African listeners. It is, however, an example of a new technology that seems to meet an African need. (It is also notable as one of the first technologies ever introduced in Africa before it became available to the rest of the world.)

Another new technology that may overtake WorldSpace is digital shortwave. The major international radio broadcasters (the BBC, VOA, Radio Deutsche Welle and others) have joined together in a consortium, Digital Radio Mondiale, and have successfully developed a new means of shortwave transmission that employs digital coding, which vastly improves reception. If African radio stations take up this new technology (and already many are showing an active interest), it will revolutionize transmission in Africa, making high quality reception available throughout the continent.

A Very Brief History of Radio Broadcasting

By Jim Honeycutt and Mike Zito

Radio was not invented by one person. It was a procession of individuals who contributed to its emergence. But to begin, understand that before radio it was impossible to communicate with millions of people at one time. As radio became popular, it became the first live, ubiquitous means of communication.

Wireless communication was first proposed by James Maxwell in 1864. His research suggested that invisible frequencies could travel through the air!

Heinrich Hertz proved in 1887 that Maxwell was right by succeeding in transmitting a signal a short distance. Maxwell, however, did not see the potential of this experiment.

The next major contribution came from Guglielmo Marconi. He improved Hertz’s primitive transmitter and added a telegraph key. His breakthrough came when he transmitted a signal for a distance of two miles. In anticipation of a rewarding future for wireless transmission, Marconi founded the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company in 1897. Marconi only thought wireless would benefit communication between ships at sea and monitors on shore.

Canadian Reginald Fessenden improved Marconi’s design. Marconi’s design worked in electrical spurts which was sufficient for a communication technolgy like the Morse Code. Fessenden created a wireless system that did not work in spurts. Rather he developed a system that created a continuous carrier wave which allowed him to transmit his voice reading biblical scripture and music. and play sacred music on the violin on Christmas eve in 1906. But Fessenden was not able to exploit his invention as a commercial venture.

American Lee DeForrest was able to improve on the work of Fessenden and create a commercial company which aired commercial radio broadcasts. His Audion or triode vacuum tube improved the clarity and transmission strength of Fessenden’s continuous carrier wave. It was sad that DeForrest did not credit the people whose work he built upon including Thomas Edison, John Flemming, and, of course, Reginald Fessenden. It is a strange footnote in history that Lee DeForrest could not really explain clearly how his invention worked. This would haunt him later on.

Edward Howard Armstrong took DeForrest’s Audion and feed the emitted signal back into it to create what he called “regeneration.” This accomplished two significant things: one, the signal became actually strong enough to run into an external speaker. Two, it made radios much, much smaller in their size because the circuitry became correspondingly smaller too. Unfortunately for Armstrong, he was slow in applying for patents for his invention and lawsuits between he, DeForrest, and Fessenden and Marconi clouded all the wonderful things that resulted from all of these inventions.

The First World War ended all the disputes for a while. After the War, General Electric bought Marconi’s company since GE wanted to build radio equipment. Westinghouse, A.T.&T and GE got together to create Radio Corporation of America. But RCA limited their interest like Marconi to maritime and international communication.

Radio technology improved. Armstrong created a new type of turner
called the “superheterodyne receiver” which better amplified the radio signal and offered improved sound. Interest in radio grew.

The companies that designed and manufactured equipment realized that the public needed a reason to purchase the equipment. So these same companies opened radio stations. One of the most famous is KDKA in Pittsburgh began to broadcast in 1916.

The government got involved in regulation. One interesting piece of legislation was the Wireless Ship Act which required passenger ships to have a wireless operator on board. Had it not been for a wireless operator, the Titanic disaster would have been much worse since the people in the lifeboats were rescued within hours of the sinking of the ship. But as a result, the Radio Act of 1912 was passed to underscore the importance of radio in assuring public safety at sea. This law stirred up more interest and radio continued to grow. The number of radio licenses issued in the 1913 was 322. The number of radio licenses issued in 1917 was 13,581.

During the 1920’ radio took off. People across the nation found useful information being transmitted. Farmers could keep up with teal market prices. People could reconnect with their roots. Barn dances were broadcast. New forms of entertainment emerged like the Grand Old Oprey, which began as a barn dance in 1925.

In 1922 , there were two frequencies used for radio transmission - 833kHz and 740 kHz. Interference was a major problem. This led to chaos among stations. Early attempts to regulate radio were unsuccessful. But in 1927, the Radio Act was passed and it did establish the idea that no one could own a radio frequency and that Government held the responsibility to manage the airwaves for the benefit of the public.

AA&T’s monopoly of telephone and radio led to AT&T selling its radio stations to RCA in 1926. RCA then formed the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and shared ownership of 50% with GE’s 30% and Westinghouse’s 20%..

The Federal Radio Commission was established under the Radio Act of 1927. It used its authority to reduce the number of radio stations and encouraged the growth of about 24, 50,000 watt,clear channel , radio stations. This was consistent with AT&T’s earlier vision on radio station linked by telephone lines transmitting the same radio shows. The FRC wanted large, national radio stations as opposed to small, local stations.

In 1927, several more network competitors emerged to challenge NBC. One of them, we know well. It was the Columbia Phonograph Record Company but today we know it as just CBS.

Most of the programming of the late twenties was musical programming. To break up the music, small comedy skits were introduced. The most famous was the Amos ‘n And Show which at one point had a market of over 40 million people.

Commercials became more and more common too. By 1932, CBS and NBC aired 12, 546 commercial spots in 2, 365 hours of programming.

In 1934, a third network entered call the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS). It only ceased operation in 1999. But many of its stations are still on the air like WOR in NYC. By 1935, 18.5 million families or over 50 million people were into radio. About 60% of homes had radios.

To supervise all of this, the Federal Communications Commission was created in 1934. It replaced the Federal Radio Commission. And just in time. Radio stars were emerging like George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jack Benny , Al Jolsen and Nelson Eddy. Serial melodramas ran during the day and were often sponsored by soap companies, hence the name soap operas. Roosevelt used his radio “fireside chats” to push though his social programs in the 1930’s.

As the country moved towards World War II, newspaper companies began to dispense news through their own radio stations. Radio at the time was the only live , simultaneous source of mass communication we had in this country. It is estimated that the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, 62 million Americans listened to President Roosevelt declare war on Japan. During the Second World War, the U.S. government did not take over the radio stations as they had during W.W.I. Instead they created the Office of War Information to determine how much information about the war would be shared with the Public. To counter the propaganda being broadcast by Germany, Italy and Japan, the U.S. government created the Voice of America to broadcast our world vision to people outside
of the United States.

Up until 1970, radio was primarily AM or amplitude modulation. FM would have died back in the 1930’s had it not been for Edward Armstrong, the creator of regeneration and the superheterodyne tuner. He spent most of his later years selling the Public on FM. He showed off his FM invention in 1935 and was successful in gaining FCC approval to build a huge 50, 000 watt FM station . He finished it in 1939. He then managed to convince GE to build and sell FM radios. His FM was not stereo. But it was much clearer than AM. FM grew slowly and had many setbacks.

After W.W.II, AM radio stations grew in number. But television emerged after the 1939 World’s Fair and really took off after World War II. Interesting to note that NBC and CBS - both leaders in radio - became leaders in the new television industry too. Many of the problems that early radio endured were avoided with TV since TV followed roughly the same format as radio. Since both had much the same show format, people opted for TV since it had the video component as well as the old audio component.

TV first made its major encroachment during the evening, when people were home and could physically take time to look at the TV tube for entertainment. Radio stations increasingly focus on the daytime operations. TV became associated with a national audience; this affected advertising. Radio became associated with local audiences; this affect advertising, too.

In the 1950’s radio networks began to play more and more music. In part because it was cheap. But mostly because the stars of radio and their respective radio shows had become TV stars and their radio shows became TV shows. To differentiate radio from TV, music was emphasized. The top 40 format was introduced by Todd Storz . Gordon McLendon introduced new ways to promote radio with his “Opps I am sorry” ads and his Walking Man/Woman campaigns. The clock became a way to slice up a show; everything would happen at appointed times - news, weather, music, etc. all became located on a clock.

During the 1960’s AM began to decline. People began to demand better fidelity and complained more about AM interference. The short music format of top 40’s gave way to longer songs by 60’s artists. FM stations allowed the music industry to introduce new artists. The record companies liked this very much since it was difficult to break an artist into that top 40 rotation. During the 60’s and into the 70’s FM became associated increasingly with greater and greater musical diversity. While AM has plenty of support with its top 40, news, and sports formats, FM is really became more popular since FM stations would really play anything that they thought they could develop an interest with the public.

By 2000, 85% of radio listeners listened to FM radio even though there were more AM stations than FM. The future may hold even newer forms of radio as satellite-delievered national radio is being tested. Companies like Sirius and XM are trying to interest the public in satellite based radio. But the question remains about how these new services will be paid for.

(Jim Honeycutt and Mike Zito,  Fall 2004
Staples High School,  Westport Public Schools)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shortwave Rock will be on the air September 29th

Shortwave Rock will be on the air September 29th

Dear Shortwave Rock listener,

The next broadcast of Shortwave Rock will be on September 29th between (0900-1000 UTC) on 6045 kHz.
We hope you will be able to listen.
Please email your reports to:

Best regards,
Phil Mitchell

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Atlantic 2000 this Sunday 29th

Atlantic 2000 will be on the air this Sunday 29th of September from 08:00 to 09:00 UTC on 7310 kHz,
The programme will be streaming at the same time on its website:
All reports to: Thank you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Radio City & Rockliveradio this weekend

Radio City & Rockliveradio this weekend

Radio City:

Friday 20th:
18.00 to 19.00 UTC on 7290 kHz via IRRS, and MW 1368 kHz from Padova, Italy

Saturday 21st:
08.00 to 09.00 UTC on 9510 kHz via IRRS, also at 19.00 to 20.00 UTC on 1485
kHz via R Merkurs
in Latvia with a weekly separate programme.

Every 4th Saturday:
12.00 to 13.00 UTC via Hamburger Lokalradio on 7265 kHz

The email address remains Thank you!

Rockliveradio (22nd & 29th of September):

Rockliveradio is on 6070 kHz at the following times:
22nd September, 16.00 to 20.00 UTC
29th September, 13.30 to 17.30 UTC

Reports to:

Good Listening!


-via Indian DX Club International

AIR Bengaluru tests DRM on 9870

AIR Bengaluru tests DRM on 9870

Please look out for DRM tests from AIR Bengaluru on 9870 at around 1245-1740 UTC as follows:

20 Sept 2013 Full DRM
21 Sept 2013 Simulcast. (lookout on 2 frequencies one AM and another DRM on nearby frequencies)

Reports to:

AIR Bengaluru at the following email id:

Yours sincerely,

Jose Jacob, VU2JOS
National Institute of Amateur Radio
Hyderabad, India

Mobile: +91 94416 96043

--via Indian DX Club International

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Listener’s Day on RRI

On November 1, 2013 we celebrate 85 years of Romanian radio broadcasting. An anniversary that we take pride in, that we think about more or less nostalgically, and which brings questions about the future.

It is an occasion for Radio Romania International to challenge you, on this year’s Listener’s Day, to answer the question “How do you see the future of international radio broadcasting?”

Ever since its first days, radio broadcasting has been subject to countless tests, on the one hand prompted by the changes in the media landscape, such as the growth of television, the development of private radio stations, the emergence of the Internet and of social networks, and on the other hand triggered by the diversifying means of reception and transmission. In response, the radio outputs and contents have also changed. Radio broadcasting and reception modernized.

Political factors, regime changes and wars also influenced the mission and programmes of radio stations, while economic factors, such as the periods of economic growth or slumps, have affected the number of stations and their broadcasts. International stations have been subject to all these influences, just like all other radio stations.

This is why, dear listeners, we invite you to tell us how you think international radio stations will develop in the coming years, and what your expectations are in this respect. What will the global supply of programmes for foreign audiences look like, and how large will it be? What means of transmission will be used by most international broadcasters? What will be the role of radio stations for foreign listeners, in a world where access to information is ever easier?

We are looking forward to your answers to the question “What will be the future of international radio broadcasting?” and will award the most interesting 20 contributions.

As usual, it is based on your answers that we will produce the “Listener’s Day” programme on RRI, aired on the first Sunday in November, that is November 3rd this year. You can send your answers in audio format, or in writing, via email, regular mail or fax, on Facebook or using the form on our website. Our contact details are: Radio Romania International, 60-64 General Berthelot Street, sector 1, Bucharest, PO Box 111, code 010165, fax no., email

ABC Northern Territory on 4910

AUSTRALIA ABC Northern Territory in English was observed on Sep.11:
from 0830 on 4910, instead of 2325. Using a remote receiver in Sydney
Full SW schedule of ABC Northern Territory is:
0830-2130 on 2325 TEN 050 kW / non-dir to AUS
0830-2130 on 2485 KTH 050 kW / non-dir to AUS
0830-2130 on 4835 ALI 050 kW / non-dir to AUS
2130-0830 on 4835 ALI 050 kW / non-dir to AUS
2130-0830 on 4910 TEN 050 kW / non-dir to AUS
2130-0830 on 5025 KTH 050 kW / non-dir to AUS

--via Mr. Alokesh Gupta

Saturday, September 7, 2013

MV Baltic Radio antenna has been damaged

MV Baltic Radio antenna has been damaged by a local storm
MVBR will make no broadcasts this weekend, as the antenna of the shortwave transmitter in Göhren (MV Baltic Radio, Local Radio Hamburg) was badly damaged by a local storm.
Any broadcasts over the damaged antenna are not possible and the repair work is expected to last until early October 2013.
MVBR do hope that Hamburger Lokalradio and MV Baltic Radio can broadcast again on 8th October 2013 via a temporary aerial.
We are sorry for any inconvenience and hope to return as soon as possible.

73s, Roland

--via Indian DX Club International

Friday, September 6, 2013

KVOH Tests on Saturday 7th

KVOH Tests on 9975 kHz on Saturday 7th 0100-0400 UTC and on Sunday 8th 0100-0400 UTC. Reception reports may be emailed to "" or sent to:

KVOH - Voice of Hope
P.O.Box 102
Los Angeles, CA 90078
United States of America
All correct reports will be verified with our QSL card.

(via IDXC)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

List of ITU Countries QSLed by Mitul Kansal (mks) / List of Worldwide QSLs achieved by Mitul Kansal (mks) - new QSL

List of ITU Countries QSLed by Mitul Kansal (mks)

updated : 03-09-2013

Points of 22 CIRAF Zones : 2,200

09 11 27 28 29 30 31 32 34 38 40 41 42 43 44 45 50 53 54 58 60 64

Points of 32 ITU Countries : 422.67

  1. ARM  Armenia : 16.67
  2. AUS  Australia : 10.26
  3. BGD  Bangladesh : 26.67
  4. BGR  Bulgaria : 12.12
  5. CAN  Canada : 11.43
  6. CHN  China (including Taiwan) : 10
  7. CLN  Sri Lanka (Ceylon) : 12.12
  8. CTR  Costa Rica : 19.05
  9. CVA  Vatican City : 11.43
 10. CZE  Ceský (Czech) : 10.53
 11. D    Deutschland (Germany) : 10
 12. EGY  Egypt : 13.33
 13. F    France : 11.76
 14. G    United Kingdom : 12.50
 15. GUM  Guam : 10.53
 16. IND  India : 13.79
 17. IRN  Iran : 13.79
 18. J    Japan : 10.26
 19. KOR  Korea (Republic) : 10.81
 20. KRE  Korea (Democratic People’s Republic) : 15.38
 21. LTU  Lietuva (Lithuania) : 18.18
 22. MDG  Madagascar : 11.11
 23. MNG  Mongolia : 16.67
 24. MRA  Northern Mariana Islands : 11.76
 25. NZL  New Zealand : 12.50
 26. PAK  Pakistan : 14.29
 27. PHL  Philippines : 11.11
 28. ROU  România : 10.53
 29. RUS  Russia : 10
 30. SNG  Singapore : 13.79
 31. TJK  Tajikistan : 18.18
 32. UZB  Uzbekistan : 12.12

List of Worldwide QSLs achieved by Mitul Kansal (mks) - new QSL

updated : 03-09-2013

Points of QSLs : 996.41

   1. ARM  29  erv  YFR †× : 20
   2. AUS  58  knx  HCJB - Kununurra WA † : 7.14
   3. BGD  41       NBA - Dhamrai • S2D º : 50
   4. BGD  41       NBA - Savar • S2D º : 33.33
   5. BGR  28  pld  BNR - Plovdiv • LZA : 5
   6. CAN  09  sac  CBC - Sackville NB • CKCX º : 5
   7. CHN  42  kas  CRI - Kashi : 5.88
   8. CHN  43  kun  CBC × : 7.69
   9. CHN  42  uru  CBC × : 8.33
  10. CHN  43  xia  CBC × : 6.25
  11. CHN  44  huw  RTI - Huwei • BED : 20
  12. CHN  44  tsh  SOH × : 50
  13. CLN  41  ira  RFA - Iranawila : 7.14
  14. CLN  41  trm  DW - Trincomalee • 4QQ : 5
  15. CLN  41  trm  RNW × : 16.67
  16. CLN  41  trm  SLBC - Trincomalee : 20
  17. CTR  11  cri  Radio República › WRMI ‡ : 50
  18. CVA  28  smg  CBC × : 12.5
  19. CZE  28  lit  CRo - Litomysl • OLP OLR : 5
  20. D    28  nau  † AY GFA : 33.33
  21. D    28  wer  AWR †× : 11.11
  22. D    28  wer  NHK × : 16.67
  23. D    28  wer  ‡ JSWC : 16.67
  24. EGY  38  abz  ERTU - Abu Zaabal : 5
  25. F    27  iss  RTI × : 6.67
  26. G    27  skn  CBC × : 6.25
  27. GUM  64  sda  AWR - Agat • KSDA † : 5
  28. GUM  64  sda  ‡ DX India
  29. IND  41       Radio Jamia Millia Islamia University - Delhi (Jamia Nagar) º
  30. IND  41       AIR - Kurukshetra º
  31. IND  41  pan  AIR - Panaji : 16.67
  32. IND  41  sim  AIR - Shimla : 25
  33. IRN  40  kam  IRIB - Kamalabad : 5
  34. J    45  yam  NHK - Yamata • JOB : 5
  35. KOR  44  kim  KBS - Kimje • HLK : 5
  36. KRE  44  kuj  KCBS - Kujang : 5
  37. LTU  29  sit  ‡ RMRC : 14.29
  38. MDG  53  mdc  NHK × : 16.67
  39. MDG  53  mdc  VOTi ‡ : 50
  40. MNG  32  u-b  MNB - Ulaanbaatar • JTD : 5
  41. MRA  64  tin  RFA - Tinian Islands : 5.56
  42. NZL  60  ran  Radio New Zealand (RNZ) - Rangitaiki • ZL : 5
  43. PAK  41  isl  PBC - Islamabad • API : 5
  44. PHL  50  pht  RNW × : 8.33
  45. ROU  28  gal  SRR - Galbeni : 5.88
  46. RUS  32  irk  VoR - Irkutsk : 9.09
  47. RUS  31  nvs  VoR - Novosibirsk : 9.09
  48. RUS  34  vld  VoR - Razdolnoye : 9.09
  49. SNG  54  sng  NHK × : 8.33
  50. TJK  30  db   RFA × : 8.33
  51. TJK  30  db   VoR - Dushanbe : 6.67
  52. UZB  30  tac  CVC †× : 16.67
  53. UZB  30  tac  NHK × : 11.11
  54. UZB  30  tac  O’zbekiston Milliy Teleradiokompaniyasi (MTRK) - Tashkent : 5


My Czech Story

Radio Prague and CzechTourism are launching a competition called My Czech Story. Share your Czech experience with us and win a trip to Prague for two!

All you have to do is post a photograph which tells “your” Czech story. It can be a snapshot from your last visit to Prague, your favorite Czech product or a Czech café in your neighborhood – anything that relates to the culture, history and spirit of the Czech Republic.

Fill-in your name, e-mail, title or brief description of the picture and post it to this website no later than September 30th, 2013.

The winner will get a 3-day trip to Prague for two, including the cost of plane tickets. Nine runners-up will receive smaller gifts. You will find the rules of the competition at

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Radio Free Asia announces 17th Anniversary QSL Card

Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces the release of 17th anniversary QSL card. RFA's first broadcast was in Mandarin on September 29, 1996, 2100-2200 UTC. Acting as a substitute for indigenous free media, RFA concentrates its coverage on events occurring in and/or affecting the countries where we broadcast; they are: Burma, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Peoples Republic of China, and Vietnam. RFA does not express editorial opinions but provides news, analysis, commentary, and cultural programming. A combination of U.S. government-operated transmitters and a variety of shortwave leased facilities support RFA. This card will be used for all valid reception reports from September 1 – December 31, 2013.

RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a 'surrogate' broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest. More information about Radio Free Asia, including our current broadcast frequency schedule, is available at

RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports. Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions. RFA confirms all accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card to the listener. RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX'ers, but also from its general listening audience.

You also have the option of using the following Microsoft Tag from your smartphone. The free mobile app for your smartphone is available at

Reception reports are also accepted by email at, and for anyone without Internet access, reception reports can be mailed to:

Reception Reports
Radio Free Asia
2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
Washington DC 20036
United States of America

Upon your request, RFA will also send a copy of the current broadcast schedule and a station sticker.

(AJ Janitschek, Radio Free Asia)