Wavescan 459 Script for October 19, 2003
Thirty Years with Family Radio Shortwave
DWCD 87: Family Radio, To God be the Glory, 40 secs
the present time, Family Radio WYFR on shortwave in Florida is
broadcasting a lengthy series of special programs in honor of their 30th
anniversary. It was on
October 20, 1973 that Family Radio took over the large and historic
shortwave station situated at Scituate (SIT-you-ate) in Massachusetts and
began to feed it with their Gospel programming.
story of their station goes back a long way, almost to the very beginning
of shortwave broadcasting. The
early origins of this station can be traced back to New York City in 1927
when Walter Lemmon obtained a shortwave licence for a station with the
callsign W2XAL. At the time,
this shortwave station took a tandem relay from the mediumwave station
the following year, the shortwave outlet was sold to a commercial company,
Aviation Radio. However,
three years later, Walter Lemmon was again granted the license for this
station and he transferred it to Boston where the callsign was changed
from W2XAL to W1XAL.
years later, in the year 1936, Walter Lemmon purchased a large property at
Hatherly Beach, near Scituate, for the purpose of installing a large
international shortwave station. His
first transmitter at this new location was a 20 kW unit under the same
callsign, W1XAL. A second unit, W1XAR was added shortly afterwards.
1939 the callsigns at Hatherly Beach were regularized, first to WSLA &
WSLR, and then to WRUL & WRUW. Soon
after a spate of government service with VOA programming for Europe,
Africa & Latin America, the station was sold a couple of times, with
one callsign change, and finally Family Radio took over on October 20,
1973 with the callsign WYFR.
the years several additional transmitters were installed at WRUL,
including WDJM from Miami and WBOS from Hull.
After a disastrous fire in 1967, the station was rebuilt with five
years after Family Radio procured the station, they began to transfer the
transmitters from Hatherly Beach to their new property near Lake
Okeechobee in Florida. The first transmitter at the new location was activated on
November 23, 1977; and subsequently a total of 14 transmitters were
installed at this very large facility.
The final broadcast from WYFR at the Scituate location ended at
2052 UTC on November 16, 1979.
days, Family Radio is on the air worldwide with 24 hours of programming in
eleven languages from their fourteen transmitters in Florida as well as
from a series of relay transmitters in Europe, the Middle East and Taiwan.
They also operate a home service network of FM and AM stations
across the United States totalling somewhere around one hundred stations.
this occasion here in Wavescan, we honor Family Radio on the occasion of
the 30th anniversary of their shortwave broadcasting which began in 1973
from a now historic radio site on the eastern shore of the North American
DWCD 87: Family Radio, To God be the Glory, 40 secs
Voice of Prophecy Short
Radio Anniversary in Western Australia
was on October 19, 1939 that the first test transmissions went on the air
from the new ABC shortwave station at Waneroo (won-e-ROO, the first
syllable rhymes with Don) in Western Australia, just 64 years ago today.
The station is long since gone, but the story is still very
Waneroo station was established out in a country area some fifteen miles
north west of the state capital, Perth, and it was originally designed for
use as a large mediumwave facility. The
first transmitter at this new site was a 5 kW unit for mediumwave 6WF in
Perth and this was installed in 1932.
in 1939, another ABC station, 6WN, was transferred from its city location
atop the GPO building and installed as a 2 kW unit at Waneroo.
Simultaneously, another 2 kW transmitter was also installed at
Waneroo for coverage of outback areas in Western Australia and this was
the shortwave unit VLW.
first test broadcasts from the new shortwave transmitter went on the air
with a relay from the two mediumwave stations on October 19, 1939, and the
first test broadcasts to Africa with programming from the new “Australia
Calling” went on the air a few weeks later, on January 24.
However, the new service to Africa was terminated just one year
later, due to the fact that it was difficult to obtain an experienced
announcer in the Afrikaans language, and also because of unreliable
coverage in Africa from the low powered 2 kW transmitter.
October, test transmissions were run for coverage into Indonesia, but
these also suffered from interference and unreliable coverage.
1959, the entire station was rebuilt and three shortwave transmitters were
installed, two at 10 kW and one at 50 kW.
These three units were on the air under the two callsigns, VLW
& VLX, and at times, the programming from Radio Australia in Melbourne
was relayed by all three of these transmitters for coverage into Africa
and Asia. Ten years later,
the VLX callsign was amalgamated into VLW, due to the fact that all three
shortwave transmitters were at times on the air simultaneously with the
same ABC programming.
the end of 1993, the ABC announced that they planned on closing the VLW
shortwave service. The
equipment was now very old, housing estates were encroaching on the
Waneroo site, and the number of listeners in the outback areas had
dwindled due to alternative methods of radio and TV delivery.
first closure date was announced for December 14, 1993.
However, several hundred listeners in the north west objected to
the closure of their only ABC radio coverage, and the date was extended
for a few more weeks, so that alternative radio coverage could be
explored. The final closure
date was January 21, 1994 at 2200 UTC. And that was the end of VLW, the ABC shortwave service for
the outback areas of Western Australia.
Vienna DX Report
recently, our DX editor, Dr Adrian Peterson, visited Vienna in Austria,
and while there, he tuned across the radio bands.
Here are some of his monitoring observations.
VIENNA: A hotel location in downtown Vienna proved to be an
excellent location for tuning across the radio bands, longwave, mediumwave,
and shortwave. Strangely,
very little electrical noise was noted, even with trams running in the
street nearby, and radio signals were readily received inside the solid
* LONGWAVE: Some of the high powered longwave stations in nearby countries were noted, including the following:-
mediumwave, several different countries were noted during the evening,
including the following:-
shortwave, all five of the current Home Service stations in Germany in the
49 & 41 metre bands were noted. Also
logged was the Hungarian station on 3975 kHz, and Mauretania on 4845 kHz.
The 100 kW VOA station in Sao Thome on 4950 kHz was heard at a very
good level, as was also Turkmenistan on 4930 & 5015 kHz.
Swedish relay of Radio Canada International on 5850 kHz was also a strong
signal, though Armenia on 4810 kHz was at a low level.
And finally, India was noted with cinema tunes at 1735 UTC on 4790
kHz. This is the 100 kW
transmitter of All India Radio located at Chennai.
South Pacific DX Report - Paul Ormandy
+ This has been WS459 with David Barasoain
+ Next week WS460: A special broadcast to honor the introduction
of digital shortwave
+ Address: Wavescan, 39 Brendon St, London W1H 5HD, England.