"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.
Shortwave Stations in Pakistan
Along with Afghanistan, the neighboring country of Pakistan has also featured frequently in the spotlight of recent international news. In this edition of Wavescan, we take a look at all of the active shortwave stations that are currently on the air throughout Pakistan, each of which I visited during the time we lived in Pakistan back 30 years ago.
As far as is known, no new transmitters have replaced any of the older units, and only the old original shortwave transmitters are still in use today. The callsigns allocated to the radio stations in Pakistan are all in the AP range, with A standing for Asia and P for Pakistan. Transmitter "1" in each of the Pakistani callsigns is the local mediumwave unit.
KARACHI--Southern port city, and largest city in Pakistan.
The shortwave base for R. Pakistan Karachi is located 20 miles east of Karachi on the highway running towards Hyderabad (Sind). Two 50 kw RCA transmitters, APK2 and APK3, were installed in 1948, and two 10 kw Gates units, APK4 and APK5, were installed in 1955. The 50 kw transmitters are used in the regional and international services of R. Pakistan, and the 10 kw units were installed originally for the "Link Service" with Dacca in what was then East Pakistan. It is unlikely that the 10 kw units are in use these days.
QUETTA--Located on the western edge of Pakistan in a mountainous area across the border, 150 miles from Kandahar in Afghanistan.
The shortwave transmitter APQ2 of R. Pakistan Quetta is located on the southeastern edge of Quetta and is co-sited with the mediumwave facility. The single 10 kw Gates transmitter was installed in 1962 and is on the air during the day on 7170 kHz, and in the morning and evening on 5025 kHz.
PESHAWAR--Frontier city in the plains near the Khyber Pass en route to Afghanistan.
The shortwave transmitter APP2 is co-sited with the mediumwave station and is located in Peshawar itself. The 10 kw AWA transmitter from Australia was installed in 1960 and it is currently listed on just one channel, 5045 kHz.
RAWALPINDI--Located in northern Pakistan near the foothills of the high Himalayas.
The Rawalpindi shortwave station APR2 is located on the western edge of Rawalpindi towards Peshawar and it is co-located with the mediumwave unit. The single 10 kw Gates transmitter was installed in 1962 and it is currently listed for two channels, 7335 kHz during the day and 5010 kHz morning and evening. This unit was recently reactivated. The Rawalpindi mediumwave service can be heard on shortwave on 7110 kHz via a 100 kw transmitter located in the Islamabad twin facility.
ISLAMABAD--National capital, modern twin city with Rawalpindi, on the northern edge of Rawalpindi.
The shortwave radio station known as R. Pakistan Islamabad is located 15 miles southeast of the twin city complex Rawalpindi-Islamabad on the Grand Trunk Road that leads to Lahore. There are two shortwave facilities located here, side by side, on the northern edge of the highway. There were 79 antenna masts on these two radio properties.
The older station was built in 1968 and housed four transmitters: one Gates at 10 kw, two RCA at 100 kw, and one Continental at 100 kw. The newer facility was constructed in 1972 and houses four shortwave transmitters: two BBC at 250 kw and two Russian made units at 100 kw. The 100 kw transmitters were installed for coverage into what was then East Pakistan and for international programming.
The 10 kW units have been in use for the regional Islamabad service and also for the "Link Service" as a back-up relay to other stations. All of the 100 kw and 250 kw units have been on the air for the international services from R. Pakistan, though all units are not in use these days. One of the 100 kw transmitters is in use with a relay from Azad Kashmir Radio. The Islamabad mediumwave service can be heard on 5010 kHz via a 100 kw transmitter at the Islamabad twin complex.
MUZAFFARABAD--Small capital city for Azad Kashmir, administered by Pakistan, located in a wide valley in the rugged Himalayas.
Azad Kashmir Radio operates two shortwave transmitters. The 1 kW AKR at the studio building on the upper edge of Muzaffarabad was established in 1961 and its only channel is 3665 kHz.
MIRPUR--Small town located near Islamabad radio complex.
The 100 kw Thomcast at Mirpur was established in 1997 as a high powered relay unit for Azad Kashmir Radio. It is probable that this is the unit that is listed for 7265 kHz.
TRARKHEL--A very small village in southern Azad Kashmir.
Azad Kashmir Radio Trarkhel is in reality a 100 kw unit located at the large shortwave base, Islamabad-1, with studios in Rawalpindi. This unit is currently on the air on 4790 kHz.
This Week in Radio History - Transmitter KSDA4 on Guam
The Mariana Islands out there in the Western Pacific are formed by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains as part of an underwater mountain range that runs south from Japan for more than 1,500 miles. The total area of all of these mountainous islands is less than 400 square miles, and the total population is considerably less than a quarter million.
This cluster of islands was originally settled by pioneer migrants from the Philippines, and the first European explorer to visit the area was the Portuguese voyager Ferdinand Magellan. These islands have been governed by Spain, Germany, Japan, and the United States.
Three of the main islands in the Marianas have been chosen as the site for a total of five different major shortwave stations. On Saipan, there are two shortwave stations; the FEBC station KFBS at the northern end and the IBB station at the southern end. On Tinian, there is a large shortwave station operated by IBB with a relay of mainly VOA programming. On Guam there are two major shortwave stations; Transworld Radio as KTWR and Adventist World Radio as KSDA.
During the month of January five years ago, the fourth 100 kW transmitter at AWR-KSDA went on the air with at first test transmissions, followed by incorporation into regular scheduling.
Thus it is that our colleagues over there at AWR-KSDA on the island of Guam are remembering the 5th anniversary of the installation and activation of their 4th transmitter. We should add also, that AWR is currently in the process of installing two more transmitters at 100 kW each, as replacement units for the two original Thomson transmitters which were activated back in 1987. The two new units are expected on air sometime during this year.