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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 437, May 18, 2003

AWR Studio Network

It is estimated that the shortwave programming of Adventist World Radio during the past more than 30 years has originated in somewhere between 50 and 100 different recording studios.  Most of these studios have been located in the country where the target language is spoken.  

Generally speaking, these studios are not owned by Adventist World Radio, but rather by the local administrative unit of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.  There are just too many of these studios to list them all here in Wavescan, so we take a brief look at just a few.

The original co-ordinating studio for AWR back in 1971 was located on the top floor of a large apartment complex on Rua Braamcamp in Lisbon, Portugal (pictured at right).  Here it was that Allen and Andrea Steele assembled the first programs for the first broadcasts from Adventist World Radio when it was launched over the 250 kw. shortwave transmitter of Radio Trans Europe at Sines.  This location is pictured in a color photo on one of AWRís earliest QSL cards.

The function of the AWR co-ordinating studio was subsequently transferred to Forli in Italy, where it was co-sited with the small shortwave and FM facility.  From Italy, the co-ordination studio was then transferred to Darmstadt in Germany, which is the current location of the AWR Frequency Management office with Claudius Dedio. 

From Germany, this studio function was then transferred into a more permanent location, a building that is known as Whitegates.  This two-story facility is located just across the roadway from the Adventist Newbold College, in Binfield, near Bracknell in Berkshire.

Over the years, many different production studios in many different locations in Europe, Africa, and Asia have prepared programming for broadcast back into their own areas from transmitters in use with Adventist World Radio.  For example, the Hong Kong studio produces programming in Chinese and the Yokohama studio produces programming in Japanese, both of which are on the air from KSDA on the island of Guam. 

The studio in Pune, India, has produced programming in ten different Indian languages for broadcasts beamed back to India.  Additional Asian studios are located in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Yangon, Myanmar; Lahore, Pakistan; and Colombo, Sri lanka.  The newest studio in the territories of Southern Asia was inaugurated just last February and it is located at Aizawl in North East India.

Likewise in Africa, production and co-ordinating studios have been established in several different countries, including Abijan, Ivory Coast; Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya; and Morogoro, Tanzania.

Interestingly, some of the AWR studios in different eras have printed and issued their own QSL cards.  Some very fortunate listeners have received these locally printed QSL cards from the AWR affiliated studios located in Paris, France; Pune India; Seoul, South Korea; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Antanarivo, Madagascar. 

Eighty Years wth Radio Prague

Eighty years of radio broadcasting in Prague, Czechia, is indeed a long and historic era.  It was on May 18, 1923 that the first regular broadcasting service was launched in Prague by the Elektra Bulb company, a name that was later changed to Tesla. 

These early broadcasts originated from a tent erected at the transmitter site of a communication facility located in the suburban area of Kbely.  One listener in England reported hearing test broadcasts on shortwave from this site shortly before the regular mediumwave service was inaugurated.

Eleven years later, a 30 kw. Marconi shortwave transmitter was imported from England and co-sited with a new mediumwave transmitter at Podebrody, near Prague.  This unit was designated with the now familiar callsign OLR.  The first test broadcast from this new unit was heard on July 24, 1936, and a couple of weeks later it was taken into regular service.

In 1938, two new German transmitters were installed, at Podebrody, and four years later international radio monitors noted the usage of new callsigns.  Instead of, for example, the callsign OLR3A, the identification became DHE3A.  The final German announcement of that era went on the air around midday on May 5, 1945.  The Podebrody shortwave site was closed in 1996.

The shortwave transmitter site at Litomysl near Prague was inaugurated in 1956 with the first of seven transmitters at 100 kw., two of which are still on the air today.

Work at the familiar Velke Kostolany station in Slovakia was begun in 1949.  This station was on the air for nearly half a century, and it will be remembered that AWR took out a relay via this site a few years ago with the usage of two of these transmitters.  This station was closed in October 1997.

Another large shortwave station was constructed near Rimavska Sobota in Slovakia in 1956.  This station originally contained several transmitters at 100 kw., though the station was rebuilt in 1982 and four Russian transmitters at 250 kW were installed.  AWR has also enjoyed outstanding worldwide coverage from this transmitter site.

And so, in summary, we find that Czechia has been on the air shortwave during the past 80 years from a total of five different transmitter sites.  Three of these were located near Prague (Kbely, Podebrody and Litomysl), and two of these were located in Slovakia (Velke Kostolany and Rimavska Sobota).  We should remember also that Radio Prague International is also on relay to the Americas from station WRMI, Radio Miami International, in Florida.

Right this very day, May 18, Radio Prague is remembering its 80th anniversary, and we here at Wavescan honor them for their 80 years of broadcast activity on both mediumwave and shortwave.