Adventist World Radio

Wavescan  program #470 -- 52/1



Main Script for Wavescan, Edition number 470 for airing on Sunday12/19/2004. 


Host 2

From the studios of Adventist World Radio, This is Wavescan.

Host 1

Our programme for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists from around the world.   I’m ___________ (Host 1).

Host 2

And I’m ____________ (Host 2).


Bring music up and then down. 

Host 1

In today’s edition of Wavescan we discover some towers of mystery


We'll get a taste of Christmas from Pakistan

IC DX report

Catch up on the international DX news

2nd DX report

Get the background on the Chronohertz Station WWV


And get an  alternative Christmas Card from Bethlehem.


PAUSE HERE  . . .  with music fade in.

Host 2

So let’s start in with our Wavescan topic for this week.  Here’s Steve Hamstra.


WAVESCAN TOPIC  (5 minutes)  Normally read by Student Volunteer


Play Wavescan topic: Towers of Mystery


          The Californian city of Palo Alto is located on the bayside of the peninsula some 35 miles south of downtown San Francisco; and in reality, it is a part of suburban San Francisco.  Palo Alto, meaning in Spanish "tall timber", is the location for three "tall towers" that have become a local legend. 


          Some time during the 1700s, a Frenchman built a brick tower two stories high with gothic arch windows.  The windows have since been built over, and it is known that the building was used at one stage as a prison.  But the question that puzzles local historians is: What was the original purpose for this tower?


          Another quizzical tower in Palo Alto is located in the middle of the driveway at the Dinah's Garden Hotel and the best available information indicates that it was erected somewhere around 1940.  Did this tower come from the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island? 


          Shortwave station KGEI says that it was not one of their towers, though it does have a similar appearance to the radio tower in use at the time by mediumwave station KSFO.  At nearby Islais Creek, station KSFO was co-sited with KWID, another shortwave operation during that era.


          The Frenchman's Tower and the Metal Tower may pose unanswered questions, but the third set of towers in Palo Alto poses no problems to the interested radio observer.  The international shortwave station KROJ was located here during the epic years of the Pacific War.  Let's go back to the beginning.   


          As the fourth communication station in the area, KFS was installed at San Francisco Beach, quite close to what is now the southern end of  the Golden Gate Bridge.  This facility was established in an area of rolling sand dunes and it was inaugurated in September 1910.  Initially, station KFS contained a single spark wireless transmitter for communication in Morse Code, though in quick succession, additional transmitters with increased power were installed. 


          This vigorous communication station was owned by the Federal Telegraph Company which was also manufacturing wireless transmitters.  One of their units, rated at a massive 1,000 kW, was taken over by the navy, donated to France, and installed near the city of Bordeaux.


          In 1921, work commenced on a new facility in an isolated marshy area near the waters edge at Palo Alto.  The Beach Station in San Francisco, as it was called, was closed in 1927 and the new station at Palo Alto took over the full load of communication traffic.  It was around this stage that the station was sold to Mackay Cable & Wireless.


          In July 1943, a new 50 kW transmitter was activated at Palo Alto under the callsign KROJ with a relay service on behalf of the Voice of America.     Perhaps this was a random four-letter callsign based upon the communication callsign KRO, which seems to have been in use at this facility during this era.


          The Press Wireless transmitter was re-imported from England for this new broadcast service to Alaska and the South Pacific.  Mackay never originated any of their own programming for this relay facility; all programming was on relay from KGEI & KWID, the two other shortwave stations in the San Francisco area.


          Two years later, in May 1945, Mackay activated an additional 50 kW transmitter at Palo Alto under the callsign KROU; and in August, a third transmitter was activated for a few days with VOA programming under the callsign KROZ.  This callsign, KROZ, appears in a historic document from the Voice of America and for many years it was thought that this callsign was simply a misprint, for KROU.


          However, in view of the climactic events in the Pacific at the beginning of August, 1945, it is more than likely that KROZ was indeed the callsign for an additional program transmitter at Palo Alto.  The reference in the VOA document indicates that transmitter KROZ was normally in use as a communication unit for sending official dispatches out across the Pacific.   


          The relay service provided by Mackay Cable & Wireless for the Voice of America was terminated at the very end of the year 1945.  Radio stations KROJ, KROU & KROZ were never heard on the air again. 


          However, at the time when Globe Wireless took over the communication station at Palo Alto in 1994, it was stated that there were 17 transmitters in use, including some that were in use during World War 2.  Maybe these World War 2 transmitters were the 50 kW units known 50 years ago as KROJ, KROU & KROZ.


          A multitude of the now famous red white & blue QSL cards were issued from the OWI office in Sutter Street, San Francisco on behalf of station KROJ.  However, there are no known QSLs of any type for station KROU, and there are no known monitoring reports for the transmitter KROZ. 


          In recent time, Globe Wireless has given consideration to the possibility of transferring all of its services from the 80 year old radio communication station KFS at Palo Alto and consolidating these operations into the previous VOA station located at Dixon.  If this move does take place, and if any of the towers are left standing at Palo Alto, then perhaps local historians in future generations will pose quizzical questions about this one also.  Would this then make three Towers of Mystery in Palo Alto, California? 

Host 1

Thanks Steve.

Host 2

You’re listening to Wavescan and if you’d like to write or comment on any of the issues arising in today’s programme, Our address is,  AWR, 39 Brendon St . . .   Or e-mail  Those details again at the end of the programme.


Travelogue  (5 minutes)

Host 2

Time now for part three of our Christmas series and a visit to Asia. 

Host 1

Christmas means different things to different people. It very much depends on where you're from and also your perspective and culture.  In Pakistan Christmas is not recognized nationally. But those who do celebrate Christmas, do it in a way that's quite unique. Here's Our international Correspondent, Obed Ainsworth:


Play Travelogue: 1861:Christmas in Pakistan®:

IN: "Christmas is the day when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. . . "


OUT: " . . .shall not perish but have eternal life."

Host 1

And " BARA DIN MOBARAK HO" to you too! Thank you Obed. That was our International Correspondent Obed Ainsworth with that special report. And I'm so thankful that God gave Jesus so that our eternal future can be secure if we choose to take advantage of it.


P A U S E    H E R E    P L E A S E


DX Report (IC and/or programme hosts)  (4 minutes IC and 2 minute host tips.  Total 6 minutes.)

Host 2

You’re listening to Wavescan, Adventist World Radio’s programme especially for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists.  Time now for our International DX report:

* SIKKIM: Jose Jacob, VU2JOS in Hyderabad, India reports that All India Radio Gangtok has recently verified direct with a full data QSL letter.  The station engineer states that he welcomes reception reports from listeners.  AIR Gangtok is on the air shortwave with 10 kW:-

                   3390 kHz morning & evenings in India

                   6085          kHz during the day.


* IRAN: Recently, the Voice of Iran terminated its shortwave programming in the Japanese language.  However, due to the large number of protests that they received from Japanese listeners, VOIRI in Tehran has re-instated its Japanese programming which is now on the air:-

                   1300 UTC 9510 & 9770 kHz

                   2100          6125 & 7180


* VANUATU: Bob Padula in Melbourne reports that France has made a financial grant to VBTC, the Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation, for the purpose of extending their radio coverage into the northern islands.  The FM programming from the capital city, Vila (VEE-la), will be conveyed by landline to a distant  FM station that will broadcast the signal to the northern islands.  It is still hoped that the shortwave service will be re-introduced as a direct program link from Vila to the outer islands.


* INDIA: Mr. K Raja in Chennai reports that the local college in Erode, Tamilnadu has recently activated an FM station with 50 watts on 90.4 MHz.  This is an educational station with a coverage area over the entire city and extending into the surrounding countryside.  It will be remembered that Erode was the location where our DX editor, Dr Adrian Peterson, met with a large group of DXers, international radio monitors and shortwave listeners in a mini-DX convention a few years ago.


* GERMANY: The latest schedule from Deutsche Welle in Germany shows a very interesting crossover involving shortwave transmitters at three different locations.  The single frequency in use is 6100 kHz and the transmitter locations are Antigua in the Caribbean, Sackville in Canada, and Bonaire in the Caribbean. 


          At 0200 UTC, Antigua leaves the air and Sackville takes over.  At 0400 UTC, Sackville leaves the air and Bonaire takes over.  At 0500 UTC, Bonaire leaves the air and Antigua comes on again, all on the same channel, 6100 kHz.  Monitoring observations in Indianapolis indicate a seamless cross over on each occasion, without heterodyne or echo or change in program level.  Reception conditions alone give no indication of the crossover of the transmitters at the three different locations. 


* USA: The Adventist television ministry, 3ABN, celebrated its 20th anniversary in November.  It was on November 15, 1984 that Danny Shelton at a small town in southern Illinois began to lay plans for the inauguration of a global television service.  Their uplink TV service began a few months later and these days they are on the air worldwide with TV and radio programming in several languages via satellite and down link stations and cable networks. 


That’s our Radio news for this week – and in place of our normal DX report we now have an extra feature for you.  We welcome Steve Hamstra back share with us the background story to the Chronohertz Station, WWV: Steve:


Just a while back, Our DX editor, Dr Adrian Peterson,  made a visit to Mr Bill Kuning  (KEW-NING) who lives in an inland coastal area in rural Maryland.  Bill is an amateur radio operator with the callsign W3BY and he is also an avid collector of old radio receivers. 


          Among his radios and associated equipment are receivers going back to the early days of wireless, and pieces of electronic equipment that formed in earlier times a part of important old radio stations.  In addition, he also maintains several amateur radio transmitters, older as well as modern.


          I took the opportunity to peruse just a small section of his massive collection of QSL cards.  Now, most of these cards are from amateur stations, but a couple that are associated with broadcasting stations caught my attention.


          One card is from the British amateur station GB3MSA.  This station was located at Poldhu in Cornwall and it was on the air in December 1971 for the 70th anniversary of the historic Marconi transmission across the Atlantic.


          On one side of the three-panel folded QSL card from GB3MSA is a circuit drawing of the original Marconi transmitter, and the circuitry is so simple that it would be best described as electrical, rather than electronic.  On the other side of the card is a photo of the old Marconi transmitter building and a brief outline history of the station. 


          This spark transmitter at station 2YT was rated at 40 kW and the capacitors were large glass plates with tin foil on one side, immersed in a bath of linseed oil.  If there was a flash over during transmission, then the linseed oil had to be changed due to carbon contamination.


          The other QSL card of interest in Bill Kuning's collection is from chronohertz station WWV for their first voice transmission from the new and still current location in Fort Collins Colorado, in December 1966.  These days, station WWV is known only for its time signals and other standard transmissions, and it is not so well known that this station actually began its career as an entertainment and information station.  This is the story.


          It was back in May 1920, six months ahead of the famous KDKA in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, that station WWV at the National Institute of Standards & Technology in Washington DC made its first test broadcasts.  The station was using a modified 50 watt mediumwave transmitter, made available from another nearby station, states Bill Kuning, and it radiated music programs on 600 kHz. 


          On December 15 in the same year 1920, station WWV began sending out daily Market reports in Morse Code from a 2 kW transmitter on 750 kHz.  These daily transmissions were on the air for a period of four months.


          It was on January 29, 1923, that station WWV began the transmission of standard time and frequency signals, a service that is maintained to this day.  Over the years, this station has survived a disastrous fire and several moves, and it has been on the air from Fort Collins Colorado since 1960.


          A sister station WWVB is located on the same site in Colorado and it emits time signals on the very low longwave channel 60 kHz.  It is stated that several million time pieces, clocks & watches & electronic equipment, receive the WWVB signal and are calibrated automatically by the extremely accurate time pulses.  



Feature  (5 minutes) 

Host 1

Your listening to Wavescan.  Now, with a lot of talk on peace and security in the Middle East this year, Victor Hulbert brings you his Christmas thought from the town of Bethlehem.


Play Feature 44: Bethlehem:

"That's my alternative Christmas card," my friend said, as he pointed his camera in the direction of a roof-top soldier.  . .

. . . It was certainly glory for Matthew, tax collector come apostle.  There was certainly emotion in the hearts of the pilgrims spending time in the town of Jesus birth.  And yes, there was glory in my heart too.  Hail indeed,  heaven born prince of peace.


Finished with music.


1  Host 2

And that brings us to an end of this week’s edition of Wavescan – a production of Adventist World Radio.  Next week we will be:

1.  Celebrating an Australian Radio Anniversary

2.  Sharing our South American DX news and tips.

3.  visiting the Czech Republic and Ghana in our Christmas Celebrations.

4.  And keeping you up-to-date with the latest news from Adventist World Radio.

2  Host

Your reception reports, tips and comments are always welcomed.  Here’s our address:

3  Host

AWR, 39 Brendon St, London, W1, England, or e-mail us at  

4  Host

That’s also the address for your Bible questions or free Bible Guides:  AWR, 39 Brendon St, London, W1, England, or e-mail us at  

5 Host

Wavescan is written and produced by Adrian Peterson and Steve Hamstra.  You can find it on the web at:  I’m . . . (Me)

6 Host

. . . and I’m . . .  (You) Thanks for joining us – and have a great Christmas.