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NASB Urges Speedy Manufacture of Basic DRM Radios

George Woodard is honored for his contributions in shortwave and international broadcasting

The National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters says getting consumer Digital Radio Mondiale receivers onto store shelves is a priority.

At its recent annual meeting, the NASB passed a resolution that encourages radio manufacturers to make DRM units. We reported last week that the UniWave DRM unit goes into mass production in July.

While there have been professional-grade DRM radios on the market and a software-based version as well, the DRM consortium is hoping for a consumer model. The NASB resolution applauded efforts of the consortium and manufacturers for their efforts so far but says many models are priced “beyond what the market can bear in Africa, Asia and other countries outside North America and Europe.”

Allan McGuirl Jr. of Galcom International, a Canadian company that makes fix-tuned shortwave receivers for many religious broadcasters, announced at the May 8 meeting that its engineers are working to develop a low-cost, no-frills DRM receiver. No details are available yet, according to the NASB.

Adil Mina of Continental Electronics discussed DRM and the receiver situation at the joint meeting of the NASB and the DRM USA group in Nashville. Technical consultant Dr. Donald Messer covered the planned DRM propagation experiments with Digital Aurora Radio Technologies in Alaska, on which RW has reported. And amateur radio operator Mel Whitten explained how ham operators have adopted a form of digital modulation using a program called WinDRM that is based on DRM technology.

In other news from the NASB meeting, Brady Murray, operations director of shortwave station WWCR in Nashville, was elected to the NASB board of directors. He replaces retiring board member Charles Caudill, president of World Christian Broadcasting, which operates shortwave station KNLS in Alaska. Jeff White of Radio Miami International was reelected president of the NASB, and Mike Adams of Far East Broadcasting Co. was reelected vice president.

The association gave a special award for lifetime achievement in shortwave broadcasting to George Woodard, former director of engineering for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau.

WWCR and World Christian Broadcasting jointly hosted the NASB meeting in Nashville.

Next year’s NASB and DRM USA annual meetings will take place in Canada. Galcom International will host the meetings in Hamilton, Ontario on May 20–21, 2010. Miami is being considered as the possible location of the 2011 meetings.