NASWA Journal Columns · Listener’s Library, September 1996

T.J. “Skip” Arey N2EI • P.O. Box 236 • Beverly, NJ 08010 tjarey◊

Listener’s Library, September 1996

It never fails, I get a bit backed up in the summer and column deadlines get skewed. But annually Rich D’Angelo always seems to come to my rescue with a great review to help fill in the gaps.

Published by Willi H. Passmann, Germany

Reviewed by Richard A. D’Angelo

A new product entered the shortwave publishing marketplace in 1992 and in just four years it has made quite an impression around the DX world. The item is Willi Passmann’s Tropical Band List. This superb list provides over 1,600 entries of tropical band and home service shortwave broadcasting stations operating between 2300 kHz and 7000 kHz. The TBL contains over 65 pages of information in A4 format (roughly 12″ x 8 1/4″). The publisher is continually updating his data base and can issue the TBL on a moments notice. Talk about fresh! This list is revolutionizing the way reference materials are updated and distributed.

The TBL is extremely accurate and comprehensive. The ongoing editorial process updates the master database continually using information obtained from the Internet, club bulletins, major DX programs, and the publisher’s personal monitoring which probably makes the list the most accurate of its kind in the business. The TBL is the most complete, up-to-date reference guide on the market today AND it is available four times a year. When you need or want a new copy, it is available! This is truly an outstanding reference tool for the tropical band and home station DX’ing specialist.

The TBL contains details of frequencies, operating schedules powers, identification announcements, languages, transmitter locations, and ITU country codes. It is divided into two sections. The first section, Part A, is sorted by frequency with continents and countries being the second and third sorts. The second section, Part B, is a sort by country with another sort by frequency within each country. The layout makes it easy to find parallel stations. In addition, the TBL contains information about sunrise and sunset for every known transmitter site which is a big help in greyline-DX’ing. It is printed using a high quality laser printer which adds significantly to the clarity of the final product.

The editor began DX’ing in 1973 at the tender age of 13. Currently, he is an editor for ADDX, a German DX club with a membership of about 3,800. The club publishes a DX bulletin called Kurier. He is active internationally through various electronic newsletters such as Hard-Core-DX-Digest and Cumbre DX and has gained a good reputation as a DX reporter.

The current edition of the Tropical Band List can be ordered direct from the publisher (Willi H. Passmann Media Consulting, Oberhausener Str. 100, D-45476 Mulheim-Ruhr, Germany) for US$20.00 in Europe and US$60.00 to the rest of the world for a 4 edition subscription issued at 3-month intervals. Although a little expensive, the TBL is well worth the extra money. However, you may not need four issues a year. My personal preference is for only two issues a year; one in September at the beginning of the DX season and a second edition in January during the peak of the North American DX season. However, there is an attractive alternative package. You can order the TBL on a single copy basis from the Ontario DX Association (P. O. Box 161, Station ‘A’, Willowdale, Ontario M2N 5S8, Canada) for US$15.00 to U.S. destinations and Cdn$18.00 in Canada. This latter method is cheaper, more convenient, and allows you to order the time periods desired, i.e. you may not feel you need four entirely new listings a year. The ODXA receives a fresh supply of the TBL every three months.

Passman’s Tropical Band Listing is quickly becoming an indispensable reference guide for the serious shortwave broadcast DX’er. It is loaded with up-to-date information in an easy to use format. It is extremely accurate, reliable and comprehensive making it an excellent value for your hobby dollar. I highly recommend this superior DX resource.

Once again thanks to Rich for this contribution. So what about the rest of you folks? This is a participatory column (and I’ve never been accused of wanting to work too hard). Why not jot down a few lines about a radio book you have read recently and join Rich in his support of the listeners library column.

We’ve all listened to the Voice of America from time to time. Did you ever wonder about the nuts and bolts of working within such a large radio organization? This next book may provide you with a taste of the world of international broadcasting.

Tales of Covering Presidents Nixon, Ford Carter and Reagan for the Voice of America

by Philomena Jurey
373 Pages
Linus Press
PO Box 5446
Washington. DC 20016-5446
ISBN: 0-9647015-0-2

Philomena Jurey was on staff at the VOA for 28 years including 14 years as its White House correspondent. Her title comes from the fact that the VOA newsroom was located in the basement during the 1970’s. Ms. Jurey has the unique role of articulating the activities of United States Presidents to people outside of the U.S.. Her tenure in this role included some of the most turbulent years of the presidency and these stories are told in a personal, anecdotal style. Along the way, the radio enthusiast gets a taste of how VOA was run through this era including issues such as programming and budget problems. The book goes into detail on VOA’s purpose and mission as well as its role in United States diplomacy. One of the things the books points out is how little known the VOA is to most people in the United States. Ms. Jurey even had difficulty finding a publisher for her book because of this lack of interest. This resulted in its private publication. But this book also points out that the Office of the President seldom doubted its power as a diplomatic tool. This is a well written memoir worth the time of any radio hobbyist with an interest on how this business of international shortwave is conducted.

Shortwave Sidelines

This has proven to be a prolific year for my friend colleague and notorious member of the Scanner Scum John McColman. No sooner was the ink dry on my review of John’s book “Monitoring the Feds” when a package came in the mail with his latest offering.

by John C. McColman
100 pages
$17.95 plus $3 S&H
Tiare Publications
PO Box 493
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
ISBN: 0-936653-76-0

In his latest book John provides the reader with a comprehensive collection of essential information. Think of this book as a scanner listener’s essential data book. It is a listing of frequencies allocations, service information, operating information and instruction sets that serves to assist any scannist in their pursuit of the many signals that VHF/UHF listeners enjoy. Having such a collection of frequency allocations handy as you tune across wide areas of the VHF/UHF spectrum makes it fairly easy to pick out whose who on the bands. The basic frequency allocation table covers the entire radio frequency spectrum (just the thing for the newer DC to Daylight receivers) but particular emphasis is given to the 25-1000 MHz range that is of traditional interest to scanning enthusiasts. The book further elaborates on the various frequency allocations by service category. Regardless of if you are new to scanning or and “old dog” this book is full of tricks you can use to further your monitoring enjoyment. Make sure you bring your copies of this book to Kulpsville next year so John can autograph them with a suitable “Scanner Scum” tagline.

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