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"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.

Wavescan, October 31, 2010

RCA Program Relays from the United States to the Philippines

In our continuing series of feature topics here in Wavescan on the radio scene in the Philippines, we take up the story again, this time with the series of radio broadcasts beamed from the United States to the Philippines in the chaotic days back in the year 1941. You will remember that Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941, and that Japanese army forces landed on Luzon Island in the Philippines just three days later.

Actually, the earliest known date for a shortwave radio relay from the United States to the Philippines took place in June 1935. Station KKR at RCA Bolinas in California relayed a program to the Philippines on 15450 kHz for re-broadcast in Manila. There were many subsequent occasions for a similar program relay from the United States to Manila.

On December 15, 1941, a new series of daily broadcasts for live relay in the Philippines was commenced and these programs were carried by the Bolinas transmitters and relayed from some of the mediumwave and shortwave stations in the Philippines. At this stage, two special programs were broadcast each day.

Two weeks later, on December 28, an enlarged series of radio programs was prepared in California for broadcast to the Philippines. The well known shortwave station KGEI in San Francisco carried this programming, and it was also relayed by several additional transmitters located at the RCA communication station at Bolinas. This programming was instigated at the request of General Douglas MacArthur who was still in the Philippines at this stage.

A total of eight live programs were prepared each day, and all of these were received in Manila by the RCA station, and they were relayed live via station KZRH to all of the mediumwave and shortwave stations then on the air in the Philippines.

For the record, these stations were:

Manila mediumwave KZRH, KZRM, KZRF, KZIB, KZEG
Manila shortwave KZRH, KZRM, KZRF, KZIB, KZEG
Cebu mediumwave & shortwave KZRC

This special programming was on the air for a total of just 19 days. When the Japanese army arrived in Manila on January 2, 1942, the program relays from California ended.

However, at the instigation of General MacArthur, an alternative radio news service was introduced. Initially, army radio in California transmitted news bulletins to the American navy base at Cavite, on the coast south of Manila, and these bulletins were transcribed and read on air for local coverage.

Soon afterwards, additional specially prepared programming was broadcast to the Philippines over station KGEI in San Francisco, and this was also relayed in parallel by some of the RCA transmitters at Bolinas. The known callsigns at Bolinas in use for the program relay to the Philippines at this time were KEL on 6860 kHz, KEJ on 9010 kHz, and KEZ on 10400 kHz.

The Cavite station received these off-air program relays and re-broadcast them for local coverage for a period of some four months, but when the surrender took place on the island of Corregidor, the Cavite relays ended.

Thus it was that these special program relays to the Philippine Islands were on the air, spread out over a time period of nearly four months, and they were heard from the major shortwave station KGEI in San Francisco and three additional relay transmitters at the RCA communication station in Bolinas California. In the Philippines, this programming was taken off air and relayed live by six local mediumwave stations and by six shortwave transmitters, as well as by the United States navy radio station located at Cavite.

Radio Panorama 4: The Discovery of Magnetism

Without magnetism, there would be no electricity, no radio, no television, and no telephone, and yet the very word, magnetism, defies definition. We know how magnets act, and what they can do, but there are still many unsolved mysteries related to the magnet.

The ancient world knew about magnets and their mysterious capability, and in fact there were several fanciful tales told by the ancient Greeks. It is said that there was a field in Greece that contained a lot of lodestones, that is small and large stones composed mainly of a form of iron oxide. As a local farmer walked across the field, the powerful magnetism in the lodestones drew out the nails that kept each shoe in one piece.

In another fanciful tale, it is said that there was a war waging between the Greeks and one of their traditional enemies. The Greeks used the powerful magnetism of some lodestones to pull out the nails that kept the enemy's wooden ships together, and each ship just fell to pieces.

In a more realistic tone, it is true that the ancient Greeks were familiar with the magnetic properties of the lodestone, though they did not understand how to use this natural capability to an advantage. It was Thales of Miletus, an ancient Greek city in what is now Turkey, that left writings about the Greek knowledge of magnetism and its strange powers.

It should be stated though, that other ancient societies were also familiar with the phenomenon of magnetism. Around the same era, writings in China reveal that magnetism was known and understood in their ancient civilization; and in India, the physician Sushtra used magnets in medical procedures, though the actual details and procedures are not known.

Around about a thousand years ago, Shen Kuo in China described the usage of a lodestone to act as a geographic compass. Somewhat simultaneously, an English monk, Alexander Neckham, described a similar procedure as an aid to navigation in the open seas.

It was in the year 1269 that the French crusader, Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt, discovered that a magnet exhibited two poles, which are described in more recent times, as the North Pole and the South Pole. This was demonstrated as a floating compass for navigation. Around the same time, Al-Ashraf in Yemen made a similar discovery.

In the year 1600, William Gilbert, an English physician, discovered that the Earth exhibits its own magnetic field; and it is understood these days that some birds have a capability to determine their migration routes by detecting the Earth's magnetic field.

In the year 1732 over in England, a strange discovery was made. This discovery was that table cutlery made out of iron can be magnetized by a nearby lightning strike.

As we move down through the panorama of the years, we come to the year 1740, and that is when the first magnets were made for sale, by Gowen Knight, an academic and researcher in England. Soon afterwards, researchers began to examine the relationship between magnetism and electricity. This was understood by Gian Domenico Romagnosi in Italy in the year 1802. In a further development 18 years later, Hans Christian Orsted in Denmark observed that an electric current can move a compass needle.

It was in the year 1825, that the Englishman, William Sturgeon, made the first electromagnet. Thirty years later, another Englishman, the well known Michael Faraday, reversed the procedure and he generated an electric current by moving a magnet and a coil of wire. At the same time, and quite independently, Joseph Henry in the United States made the same discovery. However, another 16 years went by, before the first practical electric motor was developed in Belgium by Zenobe Theophile Gramme. Up until this time, electric motors were little more than small toys for children.

Just eight years later again, that is, in the year 1879, the world's first commercial power generation station was installed in California. The electricity from this station was used to provide lighting at night, with the use of arc lights. And from this time onwards, electricity generators have been installed progressively on a worldwide basis.

However, even though magnetism and electricity are in worldwide usage, some of the mysteries of magnetism are not yet fully understood. A recent encyclopedia states it this way: Magnetism's mysteries are far from solved.

For example, how is it that magnetism acts its power even with a distance between the magnet and its object? That is, if two magnets are placed together with the same pole adjacent, there is a strong power of repulsion.

What is it that produces the Earth's magnetic field? And how is it that a single pole magnet has never been produced?

In the meantime, we all will go ahead with the massive usage of electricity that is generated by the rapid rotation of magnets and coils of copper wire.