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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 431, April 6, 2003

Fiji on Mediumwave

As was mentioned on a previous occasion, the first radio broadcast in Fiji came from a new 500 watt mediumwave transmitter manufactured by AWA at their factory near Sydney in Australia.  This transmitter, designated as No. 1, was installed at the communication facility operated by AWA on the edge of Suva in Fiji.  This new broadcasting service was inaugurated in March 1926.

As a wartime exigency, this station also began a relay of American AFRS programming for the benefit of servicemen in the wide areas of the Pacific.  The same programming was also carried in parallel by the shortwave outlet, VPD.

Soon after the end of the Pacific War, work began on a new broadcasting facility in Suva with a two story building for the studios and offices, and a new tranmitter base some eight miles out of town.  The new studios were taken into service in 1954 and the old ZJV transmitter was re-installed in this new location for use as a second program channel in the capital city area.  Callsigns were changed at this stage from the historic ZJV and VPD to the more familiar VRH, though callsigns throughout the whole network were dropped in 1968.

It took another ten years before the new mediumwave base at Naulu was ready for use, though ultimately several additional mediumwave transmitters were installed at this location.  The regional shortwave service was closed in August 1972 and the two remaining shortwave transmitters were converted to mediumwave usage.
The first country station was installed in Lautoka in 1956, and this was a complete radio station with its own studios, offices and transmitter.  These days, Radio Fiji operates eight mediumwave transmitters at five different locations in two networks for nationwide coverage.  In addition, there are also several FM networks on the air as well.

The QSL cards issued in Fiji over the years have always been prized very highly, and the old cards verifying the reception of ZJV and VPD are these days valued historic items.  If you should chance to hear Radio Fiji on mediumwave while on location nearby, a reception report will produce a colourful QSL card of an exotic island scene.

This Week in Radio History - WSHB, March 27, 1989

The last Thursday in March was the 14th anniversary of the inauguration of a large shortwave station in the United States. This station is WSHB, near Cypress Creek in South Carolina, the station contains two transmitters at 500 kW, and it is still available on the market for sale.

Back about 15 years ago, the Christian Science organization constructed two large shortwave stations in the United States and they bought a third on the island of Saipan out in the western Pacific. These three stations were WCSN near Bangor in Maine, WSHB near the Atlantic coast in South Carolina, and KYOI, a commercial station on Saipan.

The Saipan station, KYOI, was originally constructed by Japanese business interests as a commercial enterprise for broadcasting back to Japan in Japanese. When Christian Science bought this station, they changed the callsign to KHBI and used it as a relay station to Asia. In more recent time this station was bought by the American government and it now carries IBB programming to Asia.

The station near Bangor in Maine went on the air as WCSN. It was sold a few years later and the callsign was changed to WVHA. This station was sold again, and it is on the air these days with World Harvest Radio under the callsign WHRA.

The shortwave station WSHB is located near Pineland in South Carolina, and it was inaugurated on March 27, 1989 under the callsign WSHB. This station, with its two transmitters at 500 kW, is still on the air today with the same callsign, though it is available for sale to any organization that would like to procure it. The design and construction of the transmitter building allows sufficient space for the installation of an additional 500 kW transmitter.

Shortwave station WSHB is located on 380 acres in a pine forest area some 45 miles north of Savannah, Georgia. The antenna farm is made up of twelve curtain antennas, eight of which are slewable. The electronic configuration at the station is quite flexible, and the output from each transmitter can be fed into any of the antennas.

The station also contains two power splitters which enable each transmitter to radiate through two antennas simultaneously. The antenna system allows for coverage into all four major directions, north, south, east and west, thus enabling coverage into almost every part of the world.

Station WSHB is the largest of the 26 privately owned shortwave stations in the United States and its territories. Programming from the production studios in Boston is delivered to the shortwave station by satellite.

Down there in South Carolina, the management and staff of station WSHB, under their chief engineer Ed Evans, are remembering their 14th anniversary.