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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 N405, November 27, 2016

Three Radio Anniversaries in India

All India Radio

The first radio anniversary in India that we examine in our program today, was the introduction of the very first programming intended for an external audience, and it took place in Peshawar in what was at the time the North West Frontier Province of India (now part of Pakistan).

This early radio broadcasting station with the callsign VUP was established in Peshawar in 1935 by the Marconi company of England. In the middle of the following year (1936), the station was taken over by the provincial government; and then on April 1 of the next year again (1937), the station was taken over by the national government of India in Delhi.

However, with the clouds of war hovering over Europe, the station was converted into a relay station only, in March 1939, and all local programming was cancelled. At that stage, mediumwave VUP in Peshawar with 250 watts on 1500 kHz received its total program feed on shortwave from station VUD in Delhi.

On many occasions, the mediumwave stations in India were designed and constructed as triple units; there was a studio and office building in a city location convenient for employed staff and visiting personnel, a transmitter facility out of town at a location to provide adequate propagation, and a receiver station separated some distance away from the transmitting antennas in order to minimize interference and cross modulation.

The first shortwave transmitter in Delhi was a 10 kW Philips unit from Holland, Model KVFH, and it was co-installed with the 10 kW mediumwave unit on Mall Road as VUD2 in 1937. A 5 kW transmitter was installed during the following year as VUD3. It would appear that the 10 kW VUD2 mainly carried the regular mediumwave service from VUD, and the 5 kW VUD3 was used mainly for program relays to various mediumwave stations throughout the country.

This initial external broadcast service from VUD-VUP was inaugurated on October 1, 1939 by the then British Government of India to counter the propaganda from the Nazis directed at the Afghan people. These first broadcasts from the new AIR External Services Division were in the Pushto language and beamed to Afghanistan, and also to the then North West Frontier Province. The Pushto programming began as a Rural Hour once a week and occasional recitations of poetry, though additional material was presented subsequently as it became available.

It all began on October 1, 1939.

The Indian Broadcasting DX Net, BCDX Net

Our second Indian radio anniversary honors the BCDX Net, the weekly Indian Broadcasting DX Net that was started on Sunday, November 27, 1988 by a small group of three amateur radio operators. These three radio enthusiasts were Shanmugha Sundaram VU2FOT and Jose Jacob VU2JOS in India, together with Victor Goonetilleke 4S7VK in Sri Lanka. The whole concept of this Net started when these Hams, together with some other shortwave listeners, used to meet regularly on the band and they exchanged DX news at various times.

It had all the ingredients of a live two way DX program and it continued for about 30 minutes depending on the traffic. In May 1991 a BCDX Net Convention was held at Kozhikode, which was a big success and it was attended by over 85 people including Victor Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka. In 1989 Adventist World Radio Wavescan broadcast a special program on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the BCDX Net.

It all began on November 27, 1988.

DX India

Our third Indian radio anniversary honors DX India, the website that gives the latest news and information about the radio broadcasting scene in India. This service was commenced by Alokesh Gupta and Jose Jacob back 20 years or more, and today it has more than 200 members. DX India presents information exclusively on the radio broadcasting scene in India, and interested radio listeners may have access to the site and join in.