Tag Archives: Jeff White

Frequency coordination news and IRDR updates

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alan Hughes, who shares this article by WRMI’s Jeff White in Radio World magazine. Besides covering updates in the A19 broadcast season, and Radio Exterior de España’s increased broadcasts, Jeff notes frequencies and updates for the International Radio for Disaster Relief initiative.

For more information about the IRDR, check out the information below taken from this page on the HFCC website:

International Radio for Disaster Relief (IRDR)
Humanitarian Aspects of HFCC Activities

From its infancy since 1920s shortwave radio has been associated with its potential of being a communication tool in emergencies. This use of shortwave radio is still very much present among amateur radio enthusiasts for example, who discovered its long distance properties early in the twentieth century. Amateur radio provides a means of communication on shortwaves and other frequencies “when all else fails”. This role of amateur radio is well recognised, valued and appreciated both by the public and by the world institutions managing and regulating the use of the radio spectrum.

In contrast the huge technical potential of international shortwave broadcasting that operates transmitter facilities tens, or hundred times, more powerful than those of amateur radio, remains almost unused in emergencies. At the moment when local and even regional communication and information networks are needed most, they are destroyed or overloaded and the population suffers from an information blackout. Shortwave radio is capable of remaining the only source of information.

Although the life-saving role of radio broadcasting is widely recognised by the public, and confirmed by surveys conducted after the recent disasters – and even acknowledged by world leaders – no concrete projects have been ever designed and no regulatory framework has been developed.

That is why the HFCC – International Broadcasting Delivery in co-operation with the Arab States and Asia-Pacific broadcasting unions are working on an International Radio for Disaster Relief (IRDR) project that is based on the system of online co-ordination of frequencies managed by the HFCC in accordance with International Radio Regulations.

The HFCC is aware of the humanitarian aspects of international broadcasting. It pointed out in 2012 – as the UNESCO partner for the preparation of the World Radio Day – that terrestrial shortwave radio in particular is still considered as a powerful communication and information tool during emergency situations. Read more >>

Receivers are inexpensive and require no access fees. Shortwave radio is important for people living in remote and isolated regions of the world. It reaches across the digital divide to the most disadvantaged and marginalised societies. This is also in keeping with the Declaration and Action Plan of the World Summit on the Information Society.

The annual edition of the World Disasters Report of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) issued in October 2013 stressed again that with only 6 percent of people in low-income countries using the internet in 2011 the digital divide is still stark, and access to low cost media technology is really the key.

The HFCC is a strong advocate for incorporating terrestrial broadcasting permanently on the disaster risk reduction agendas of the ITU and other UN agencies and institutions. It submitted two documents for the ITU-R Working Party 6A November 2013 meeting:

HFCC – The Importance of Terrestrial radio in International Broadcasting
HFCC – The International Radio for Disaster Relief Project

Both documents are annexes in Section 8 of the ITU-R Study Group 6 Report BT.2266 “Broadcasting for public warning, disaster mitigation and relief”. The report can be downloaded via this link.

A workshop was held during the November 2013 meeting addressing these issues. The web site of the Emergency Broadcasting Workshop can be accessed here. The web site also contains copies of all the presentations that were made at the workshop, and a Video interview with Christoph Dosch, Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 6 (Broadcasting service)

The HFCC has applied for membership in the CDAC (Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities) Network in keeping with the conclusion of the debate on emergency communication during the Bratislava B13 Conference. Read more >>

The HFCC is staying in touch with the Information and Communication Sector of the UNESCO agency on the preparation of the World Radio Days that are celebrated each year on February 13th.

Humanitarian aspects of terrestrial broadcasting were also on the agenda of the Global Kuala Lumpur conference in January 2014. Read Opening Remarks.

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WRMI Open House: Celebrating 5 years in Okeechobee

(Source: Jeff White at WRMI)

This coming Saturday, December 1, marks the fifth anniversary of WRMI’s transmissions from Okeechobee, Florida. Every year at this time, we have an Open House, which doubles as a Christmas party, for station staff, clients and local friends. WRMI listeners are also very welcome to attend this Open House. You can stop by anytime between 11 am and 6 pm local time to meet station employees, take a tour of the facility and enjoy some food and drink. Our address is: 10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972. And our telephone is (305) 559-9764. We hope to see some of you here on December 1st.

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HFCC Announces the Passing of its Founder, Oldrich Cip

(Source: WRMI & HFCC)

HFCC Announces the Passing of its Founder Oldrich Cip

Oldrich Cip, founder and Vice Chairman of the High Frequency Coordination Conference, known as the HFCC, passed away on 27 July following a sudden illness.

Oldrich was involved in radio since he was a child — first as an amateur radio hobbyist and later as a staff member of Czechoslovak and then Czech Radio in the international broadcasting departments. A college graduate in the field of Humanities, he spent most of his working life as a frequency manager and schedule planner. For a number of years he hosted a DX program on Radio Prague under the pen name Peter Skala.

After the end of the Cold War, he believed that broadcasters from both sides of the conflict should come together and develop a new system of planning and coordination for shortwave broadcasting. This led to the establishment of the HFCC in 1991. Oldrich was Chairman of the HFCC until 2015. Since then, he was a Vice Chairman of the group.

Oldrich lived in Prague, although he frequently spent time in his country house, where he enjoyed woodworking, guitar and country music, vintage graphics, photography and time with his family. His son Vladislav said he spent his last day there: “He enjoyed a quiet evening in the country house, with our families, all four grandchildren around, no symptoms of anything bad coming. All of a sudden, he suffered probably a heart attack or stroke. An ambulance arrived immediately but he died a few hours later.”

Oldrich was married with two adult sons, Oldrich Jr. and Vladislav. Vladislav is the HFCC Secretary who manages the day-to-day operations of the organization.

From 1953 until 1997 Oldrich was an employee of Czechoslovak and later Czech Radio in Prague. He worked as a technical consultant for Czech Radio from 1998 to 2010. He specialized in planning schedules and frequencies, international coordination and distribution of shortwave radio programs for foreign countries.

Beginning in 1959 and for more than 25 years, Oldrich produced a weekly English-language program “Radio Prague Calling All Radio Hobbyists,” using the nom de plume Peter Skala. In the program, he answered questions from shortwave listeners in many countries and covered a variety of scientific and other topics from the radio industry.

During the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Oldrich used his technical expertise to aid the “free Czechoslovak Radio,” putting himself in danger in an effort to provide factual news and information about the events taking place. Thanks to the large number of smaller facilities of Czechoslovak Radio scattered all over Prague and complicated infrastructure that connected them, they were able to continue broadcasting for quite some time.

In the period of reforms around the year 1968, he established secret contacts with his colleagues from Western radio stations. He re-established the contacts after the fall of communism and started an initiative to eliminate interference on shortwave. He became the Chairman of the HFCC, which has continued to meet twice each year in different parts of the world for shortwave stations to coordinate their frequency schedules for the coming broadcast season, thus eliminating interference before each season begins. The principles of international coordination were incorporated into the ITU’s International Radio Regulations during the 1997 World Radio Conference.

Oldrich was also an adviser to the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic in the preparation of the first Radio and Television Broadcasting Act after 1990, as well as a member of several EBU and ITU radiocommunication working groups. At the HFCC, he spearheaded the International Radio for Disaster Relief project whereby shortwave stations have allocated specific frequencies in each band for the transmission of emergency information in the event of natural disasters around the world.

Jeff White, Oldrich’s successor as HFCC Chairman, said: “The shortwave broadcasting and listening communities have lost one of our most important proponents. The contributions of Oldrich over the years are simply unequalled. He was a humble man, but people in this industry realized the importance of his work. And he has left us a lasting legacy — an organization which has largely eliminated interference on the shortwave bands, and it has enabled stations to use less power to reach their target areas with a good signal. For that, he will always be remembered.”

Oldrich Cip was also a frequency consultant for WRMI. His assistance was greatly appreciated.

For more information, contact Jeff White, HFCC Chairman, at jeff@wrmi.net.

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WRMI Open House & Party on December 1, 2017

(Source: WRMI via Facebook)

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

December 1, 2017 will mark the 4th anniversary of WRMI’s broadcasts from the Okeechobee, Florida transmission site. We broadcast from a site in Hialeah, Florida for 20 years prior to that.

To celebrate our 4th anniversary in Okeechobee, we cordially invite you to join us for an Open House/Christmas/Anniversary Party on Friday, December 1 from 10:30 am till 6:00 pm. Stop in anytime for a tour of the plant, where you can see our 14 transmitters (most of them 100,000 watts each) and 23 antennas beaming religious, political and cultural programs in many languages 200 hours a day, seven days a week to virtually all parts of the world. WRMI is the largest shortwave radio station in the Western Hemisphere. You can meet members of our staff and clients who broadcast programs on the station. And there will be plenty of food and drink, so please arrive hungry!

WRMI is very pleased to have been part of the Okeechobee community for four years now, and we look forward to being here for many years to come. Our address is below, and your GPS should be able to find it with no problem. We’re located 15 miles north of the city of Okeechobee via Highway 441, and then seven miles west on NW 240th Street. You can’t miss the 68 antenna towers on the south side of the road. If you get lost or have any questions, feel free to call or e-mail us. I hope to see you on December 1st.

Jeff White, General Manager

WRMI Radio Miami International, 10400 NW 240th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972 USA
Tel +1-305-559-9764 Fax +1-863-467-0185 E-mail: info@wrmi.net

Queridos amigos y colegas:

El 1 de diciembre de 2017 será el cuarto aniversario de las transmisiones de WRMI desde el sitio de transmisión de Okeechobee, Florida. Anteriormente, transmitimos desde un sitio en Hialeah, Florida durante 20 años.

Para celebrar nuestro 4to. Aniversario en Okeechobee, lo invitamos cordialmente a que se una a nosotros para una Fiesta de Casa Abierta / Navidad / Aniversario el viernes 1 de diciembre de 10:30 a.m. a 6:00 p.m. Puede visitar en cualquier momento para un recorrido por la planta, donde se pueden ver nuestros 14 transmisores (la mayoría de ellos 100.000 vatios cada uno) y 23 antenas radiando programas religiosos, políticos y culturales en varios idiomas 200 horas al día, siete días a la semana para prácticamente todas partes del mundo. WRMI es la emisora de onda corta mas grande del Hemisferio Occidental. También puede conocer a miembros de nuestro personal y clientes que transmiten programas en la estación. Y habrá mucha comida y bebida, así que ¡por favor llegue con hambre!

WRMI está muy contento de haber sido parte de la comunidad de Okeechobee durante cuatro años, y esperamos estar aquí por muchos años más. Nuestra dirección está arriba, y su GPS debería poder encontrarla sin problema. Estamos ubicados a 15 millas al norte de la ciudad de Okeechobee a través de la autopista 441, y luego a siete millas al oeste en la calle 240 del noroeste. No se pueden perder las 68 torres de antena en el lado sur de la carretera. Si se pierde o tiene alguna pregunta, no dude en llamarnos o enviarnos un correo electrónico.

Espero verle el 1 de diciembre.

Jeff White, Gerente General, WRMI Radio Miami International

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September 13, 2017: Update from WRMI–9,395 kHz on air at low power

Many thanks to Jeff White, at Radio Miami International, who writes with the following update:

Florida Power & Light Company has announced that most customers in our part of Florida should have electricity restored by the end of this coming weekend — that is by Sunday, September 17. So we hope to be back on the air here at WRMI by that date or before.

Meantime, we have one frequency on the air at very low power using our generator: 9395 kHz. This will be on 24 hours a day with regular programming.

We are making repairs in the antenna field so that by the time electricity returns, we will be ready to resume our full schedule of operations.

Jeff White

Thanks for the update, Jeff! We’re all so happy the WRMI crew made it through Hurricane Irma safely and happy to hear you may have power as early as this weekend.

We’ll publish all of Jeff’s updates here on the SWLing Post.

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