[HCDX]: INFOVIEW - Passport to Worldband Radio-2000
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[HCDX]: INFOVIEW - Passport to Worldband Radio-2000


ISSN 0897-0157, International Broadcasting Services Ltd.
Editor: Lawrence Magne, Pennsylvania, USA. Cover price: US$19.95

(This INFOVIEW is also available in the Electronic DX Press, Edition 144,
and in the Australasian Shortwave Digest, December 1999)

A review copy of the 16th edition was received on November 8 and I would
like to share some impressions with you. 

Claiming to be the world's best-selling shortwave guide, the lead article
is a series of profusely illustrated set of stories by expert Indian
resident monitor Manosij Guha, in which we learn about the development,
history and current operations of many broadcasters in Central Asia, such
as in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakstan. Manosij also
competently discusses broadcasting from Afghanistan "Jihad of the

Some 85 illustrated pages give reviews and ratings of many currently
available worldband receivers, categorised into portables, portatops, SW
car radios, SW cassette recorders/radios, and tabletops, with retail prices
annotated for major world regions. We are told about technological
developments in PC controlled radios with their evolving advantages of
memory management, and storage of schedule and frequency data. Several PC
controlled radios are discussed and rated.  We sense that global demand for
"high end" sets is becoming smaller and smaller, with prices getting bigger
and bigger. In fact, Australian prices for such 1999 whizbangs as the
NRD-301A,NRD-345SE and Icom IC-R75 now put this gear into the luxury
category, affordable only by the very rich, or professional or governmental
institutions. In fact, quoted Australian prices for some of these receivers
are in excess of what one would pay for a new car!

We read about small portables emerging from Asian manufacturers, selling in
the USA for absurdly cheap prices, and performance is also cheap. One
obviously gets what one pays for!

We are informed about the use of radios in emergency situations, with
primary benefits in periods of war, economic failure, earthquake, tornado,
hurricane, blizzard, and contagion, with descriptions of radios which may
be used in such conditions.

A 100 page block "What's On Tonight" discusses and lists English programs
on an hour-by- hour basis. Many frequencies are indicated as those which
have been "creatively opined" to be in use over the year 2000, with the
qualification that the information is "inherently not so exact as real-time
data". Supplementary listings in order of country cover English and
non-English "native" broadcasters.

Contact details for domestic and external broadcasters in order of country
provide us with 80 pages of comprehensive information About e-mail and
postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers, websites, personnel, bureaus,
future plans, and a general indication of QSL availability. You will even
find EDXP listed as a station (look under Guam!)

180 pages are dedicated to bar graph listings in ascending frequency order
from 2310 to 25820 kHz, showing all relevant data, including clandestine
stations, with indications of those entries which are subject to seasonal
timeshift and frequency variations. 

We are also given some 42 pages of advertisements, plus general discussion
and background about shortwave radio, highlighting PWBR's key promotional
messages about "tomorrow's news today", "Salsa to Shakespeare", "Radios
Good bad and ugly", and "how to get started". WSe see that the New York
Times said about the 1999 edition - "TV Guide for world band radios", and
invites us "to experience the world through a new prism - world band radio.
It's the home of fresh ideas, fresh perspectives and news that's totally
different from one station to the next".

With a publication date of late October, PWBR is careful not to claim high
level real-time accuracy of schedule data, particularly for international
broadcasters which made major changes on October 31, where such information
was not available for inclusion. 

This 2000 edition has 592 pages, slightly more than 1999, but overall
thickness is smaller, with thinner paper used. The bar graph listings are
no longer printed on blue paper, but are printed in pastel blue on white
paper; this may attract criticism as appearance and useability is disturbed
by "print through", and visually handicapped persons may have difficulty
with the blue printing.

PWBR does not attempt to cover non-shortwave activity. From my perspective,
I regard the bar graph frequency listings (domestic broadcasters) and
address information to be the book's main advantages, but no doubt other
readers will have differing preferences. I have a complete set of all
editions, including its ancestor "Radio Database International"! 

Indeed, the people at PWBR continue to maintain a very high standard of
professional editorial expertise, in assembling and publishing a product of
such diversity in a relatively small time frame. As a Guide to shortwave
radio, PWBR is an excellent reference, itself openly acknowledging some
shortcomings in the procurement and incorporation of advance schedule
information from international broadcasters. Highly commended. 

Bob Padula
Convenor: Electronic DX Press
404 Mont Albert Rd
Surrey Hills
Victoria 3127
e-mail: bpadula@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Tel/FAX: +61 3 9898 2906

====>> The ELECTRONIC DX PRESS is pleased to offer PWBR at a special
discounted price to anyone, anywhere in the world or elsewhere! 

    - To Australian addresses: A$40
    - New Zealand: A$42 (economy airmail) (=NZ$47 or 28 IRCs)
    - Rest of the world: A$44 (surface mail) (= US$28 or 30 IRCs)
    - Rest of the world: A$47 (economy airmail) (=US30 or 32 IRCs)

The prices INCLUDE postage and packing.

Payment accepted by cash (any currency), cheque/money order/bank draft
(must be drawn on an Australian bank in Australian dollars), GIRO,
traveller's cheques, IRCs. Payments should be made to Bob Padula, please.

Good listening!
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