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MN.10.04.1997 Test Card Circle

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

Release Date: 12/16/2018

MN.14.08.1980 Afghanistan and the Soviets show art MN.14.08.1980 Afghanistan and the Soviets

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

This is the second edition of DX Juke Box that I hosted, having joined Radio Netherlands a couple of weeks earlier. The programme in those days was a mixture of music and tuning tips contributed by others. My goal, together with Wim van Amstel, was to do more investigative reporting. There was no production budget, but there were plenty of enthusiastic reporters. Before leaving BBC Monitoring I had also recorded several items with people like Richard Measham. In this edition we discussed how the Russian's had taken over Afghan media. Richard revealed that it all started with a tip off from...

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RadioMoscowWarmongers show art RadioMoscowWarmongers

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

Look what I found. When I was working for the ORF Shortwave Panorama, BBC Monitoring Service and later Radio Netherlands, I learned the importance of taping everything I was listening to. Radio has no memory. And back in the 70’s and 80’s there was no Wikipedia, no Youtube, no means to check a story on the wires. If you wanted access to Reuters or the wire services you had to monitor radio stations for news. I was collecting media news, so I used to tape colleague broadcasters. Many of the cassettes have gone, but then I discovered a box of mystery cassettes including an edition of...

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DXJB.25.09.1980  show art DXJB.25.09.1980

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

Another early edition of DX Juke Box, with input from my good friend Victor Goonetilleke. I sent him a tape recorder and plenty of cassette. I would phone him and he would record his answers on cassette and send them in. Phone lines were useless in those days. In this edition, Victor was still sending contributions on reel-to-reel tape, recorded at the studios of TWR. Photo when Victor visited RNW about 15 years later.

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DXJB.18.09.1980 Early days show art DXJB.18.09.1980 Early days

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

A little over a month after taking over the programme, I was starting to phase out the music in DX Juke Box and bring in more equipment tests to replace the construction lessons. I got a lot of help from Wim Van Amstel. Basically just fooling around. And learning that editing was supposed to be done electronically in studios. So I found an old machine on the 1st floor and pirated it.

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MN.23.01.1986 Radio Fryslan show art MN.23.01.1986 Radio Fryslan

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

For some reason this trip up North to Friesland to visit Radio Fryslan was digitized but never uploaded to this Media Network collection. So time to put that right. The picture is the modern studio centre. Very much smaller back then.

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Media Network reflects on BBC World Radio Club show art Media Network reflects on BBC World Radio Club

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

Going through some cassettes on the last day of February and I discovered several cassettes of BBC's programme for shortwave listeners. World Radio Club and Waveguide. The earliest recording turned out to be from July 1977 which I recorded while at a DX camp in Austria. Nice to hear the voices of Peter Barsby and Henry Hatch. 

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Media Network reflects on BBC World Radio Club show art Media Network reflects on BBC World Radio Club

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

Going through some cassettes on the last day of February and I discovered several cassettes of BBC's programme for shortwave listeners. World Radio Club and Waveguide. The earliest recording turned out to be from July 1977 which I recorded while at a DX camp in Austria. Nice to hear the voices of Peter Barsby and Henry Hatch. 

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MN.01.12.1998 Longwave China show art MN.01.12.1998 Longwave China

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

This edition had another Longwave update. We talk to John Ross Barnard about the attempts to get longwave radio out of the Isle of Man. Delta 171 seems to be a non-starter though. Web TV has challenges too. A personal computer program has been launched for the Lowe HF-150.  Phil Murphy has comments about the program we did from Shanghai. Harald Kuhl sent a post-script on his trip to Shanghai. Long-distance trains have their own radio station. Lots of announcements discouraging spitting. And Jonathan picked up a Chinese wind-up radio - no spring like the Baygen version though.

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MN.05.03.1998 Tahiti and Boyd show art MN.05.03.1998 Tahiti and Boyd

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

In this edition, Lodewijk Bouwens launches DRM at a conference in China on behalf of other Western broadcasters. (This is the earliest announcement we know of concerning digital shortwave radio). We also look at USA Digital Radio. Some good signals came out of RCI in Montreal this week on their 53rd anniversary. Bryan Clark has news that Tahiti has suddenly returned on 15170 kHz. The second half of the programme features an extended interview with Professor Doug Boyd, who is a specialist on Middle East Broadcasting. Satellite Television is booming. But what happened to the BBC’s attempts?...

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MN.12.02.1998 Campbell Cooper show art MN.12.02.1998 Campbell Cooper

The Media Network Vintage Vault 2021-2022

Ignore all the email address and phone numbers mentioned in this edition of the programme. They are all obsolete. However, we have revived a new email address for reactions on these vintage editions as well as new video editions of the programme for 2021 - please email We started the Feb 1998 edition by previewing the results to the Big Survey. We investigate the first Audible Player (yes they are still going strong). In this case, the 1998 Audible player had a built-in FM radio. Fred Osterman will be in our Lightning special at the end of February 98. Andy Sennitt has news from Paraguay,...

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More Episodes

This was an example of interaction with listeners calling in with media news, it seems the timesignal station in Australia VNG is in trouble, we look at 3 new QSL cards from Radio Netherlands, and visit the Test Card Circle in the UK. I see the site is still active in 2018. 

 

QSL Cards

As from April 15th 1997 there will be three new QSL cards available from us for correct reception reports on any of our radio broadcasts. This series is entitled from wireless to the worldwide web. The first card shows the original wooden antenna masts built in Huizen just north of Hilversum way back in 1937. They were unique in their day because the whole construction was built on a turntable and so one antenna could swing round and serve various parts of the globe. Having built the antenna for external broadcasting, the Dutch tried to blow it up three years later. In May 1940, as Nazi troops crossed the Dutch border to occupy the country, attempts were made to disable the transmitter site before it fell into enemy hands. However, it didn't take the Germans too long to put the system back in order and from records in the broadcasting museum it appears the transmitter of PCJ was used for English and Dutch broadcasts directed to South Asia, most of them produced in Berlin. After the war, Radio Herrijzend Nederland used the site and later Radio Netherlands until in 1957 new facilities were built in Lopik, not far from Utrecht, right in the heart of this country. So, card number one looks back at this historic transmitter site in Huizen.

D:The second card focuses on the Radio Netherlands building.

Officially opened in 1961, the new Radio Netherlands broadcasting centre in the north of Hilversum was a vast improvement. For the first 15 years of its existence, Radio Netherlands operated out of four converted villas on the Bothalaan in Hilversum. Since the newsroom was in one house and the studios across the road, there are lovely stories of people missing deadlines because it was icy outside and newsreaders slipped over in their haste to get to the other building. A special documentary film was made to mark the opening where it clear that the job of the announcer was indeed very much to announce things to the world, rather than the more informal character we use these days.

It's remarkable that in those days women were expected to leave the company if they got married, and the concept of female managers was just unthinkable. Anyway, if you look at the QSL card drawing made in 1961 you'll see there's a bit of virtual reality built in to it if you compare it with aerial photos taken in the 70's and early eighties.

D:     From the air, the building looks like an aeroplane, the studios being at the back end of the body of the plane. But the drawing shows two sets of studios, but in fact only one set was built initially, partly for cost reasons. It was drawing that adorned the sugar bags in the canteen for many years, accompanied by jokes of when are they going to build what they promised. Well in fact the building was extended some 30 years later.

J:     And, last but not least, card 3 in the series shows the production team behind the world-wide web at Radio Netherlands. The department of Strategy and New Media is currently three people, Katherine Farnon, Caroline van Oosten de Boer and is headed by Diana Janssen. And shortly a fourth member of the team will be coming on board. Alvaro Ortiz speaks Spanish and is also an artist.

D:     Yes, and of course it's not a department that's isolated from the rest of our radio and TV productions. So there are literally dozens of people in other parts of the programme division who are helping us build the web site and try out new things. We believe that Internet is content driven not technology driven. Everyone is talking about building the information superhighway, but frankly we're not going to be building the infrastructure, we're using it and we think you need a four-wheel drive approach.

J:     Our company Mission Statement is the map of how to get there, on time and within budget.  We agree with partners on how to meet up at a particular point and then set to get to the goal in a straight-line. Sometimes the information highway hasn't been built yet, so the four-wheel drive comes in handy when negotiating the unpredictable communications terrain in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.

D:     So that's some detailed background to the three new verification cards being issued as part of Radio Netherlands 50th anniversary. Once again, they'll be issued for reports on or after the 15th of April while stocks last.