80 Years On The Air

Seventh Day Adventist Broadcasting reaches a major milestone

This article was originally material for a broadcast of “Wavescan” via Adventist World Radio and now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to South Pacific DX Resource hosted on radiodx.com for a period of five years from January 1st 2003. Author: Adrian Peterson

Mediumwave Relays for a Global Shortwave Network – Europe
AWR Mediumwave Relays – Europe

This year, 2003, forms the 80th anniversary of the first radio broadcast from the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. This first official radio broadcast was the inauguration of a new radio station located at Emmanuel Missionary College in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and it took place in the evening of April 23, 1923.

A young radio amateur, John Fetzer of Lafayette in Indiana, was invited to establish a radio station at the college in Michigan, which has since grown into a university. Using his own amateur equipment under the callsign 8AZ, he transmitted broadcast programming from his dormitory room in Maple Hall towards the end of the year 1922.

Amateur broadcaster 8AZ then became radio station KFGZ, which soon afterwards became WEMC; and Emmanuel Missionary College became Andrews University, which is on the air these days with a 100 kW FM station, WAUS.

The first mediumwave broadcast from the Adventist denomination in Europe went on the air from Radio Luxembourg in 1947, with the broadcast of the “Voice of Prophecy” over their large 150 kW transmitter on 232 meters, 1293 kHz. Over the years, there have been several series of Adventist broadcasts from Radio Luxembourg on mediumwave, and also on shortwave as well.

However, in January 1979, the mediumwave broadcasts from Radio Luxembourg were taken over officially as part of the international radio ministry of Adventist World Radio. At the time, AWR was just eight years old.

Next on the list of AWR relays on mediumwave in Europe is Radio Algericas in Spain. AWR began a series of test broadcasts from the 5 kW transmitter of station EAJ55, Radio Algericas, located near Cadiz, in September 1982.

Originally, this series of test broadcasts was intended to be on the air for just three months, but instead they continued for nearly four years. Radio Algericas on 1260 kHz is located quite near Gibraltar and the intended coverage for the AWR broadcasts was nearby areas of North Africa.

In 1995, a whole series of radio programs, emanating from Radio Moscow in Moscow and from the AWR studios in Tula, were relayed nationwide throughout Russia on almost 1,000 radio stations. Included in this vast electronic network were 119 mediumwave stations. Several of these programs are still on the air to this day.

Back again to the Iberian peninsula and this time to Gibraltar itself. The Gibraltar Broadcasting Company operates a 2 kW mediumwave station on 1458 kHz, and this facility carried a series of test broadcasts on behalf of Adventist World Radio with again, nearby areas of North Africa as the designated coverage area. This programming was on the air in mid 1995 and AWR produced a special QSL card to honor the introduction of these broadcasts.

Next on this mediumwave list is Radio Monte Carlo with 40 kW on 702 kHz. This station carried a series of test broadcasts on behalf of Adventist World Radio during the last half of the year 1999.

And finally, we come to Manx Radio which is located at Douglas, the capital city on the quite unique Isle of Man. This island is located between England and Ireland and it claims a very ancient heritage as well as a certain amount of independence. Manx Radio with 20 kW on 1368 kHz carried the AWR news program, “N7News” for a year or two, back right at the end of this past century.

Over a period of many years, QSL cards have been issued for five of these six different mediumwave locations in Europe that carried AWR programming, with the exception of the long list of 119 stations in Russia. However, any of these QSL cards confirming the reception of AWR on mediumwave in Europe would be considered these days as quite rare. The AWR collection in Indianapolis does hold QSL cards for the broadcasts on mediumwave from Luxembourg, Gibraltar and the isle of Man.

AWR Relays on Mediumwave in Europe

Time Lines

Country City Station kHz kW Years
Luxembourg Junglinster RTL 1440 1,200 1947 1970s 1980s 1990s
Spain Algericas R Algericas 1260 5 1982 – 1985
Russia Tula RM MW 1995 – 200x 119 stations
Gibraltar Gibraltar GBC 1458 2 1995 – 1995
Monte Carlo Monte Carlo RMC 702 600? 1999 – 1999
Douglas Man MR 1368 20 1999 – 2001
AWR – Relays on Mediumwave in Europe


Location Station Information & Reference
Algericas R Algericas 1260 kHz 10 kW 3 months began Sep 1982; AWR Schedule
2120-2130 UTC Mon – Sat; AWR Schedule
EAJ55 1260 kHz 5 kW; WRTVHB 1982 Spain 116
Same schedule Christmas 1985; AWR Schedule
Schedule; WS72

Monte Carlo Test broadcasts began 600 (?) kW May 1999; WS239
Regular schedule beginning June 1999; WS239
2200 UTC 1 hr Arabic 30 min French; WS 239
AMP QSL 702 kHz 1200 (?) kW 26-11-99 1805

Russia Several hundred stations LW MW FM SW cable; WS33
On 119 stations MW in 1995; AWR Russia folder
5 min 0755 UTC Mon-Fri, 1605 Sat; Kulakov interview
20 min 1810 UTC Wed; Kulakov interview

Gibraltar GBC Began April 1995 EE FF AA 1800-2200 daily; AWR sked
Began April 1995; RNB 3-2 4 22-3-95
GBC 1458 kHz 2 kW, new AWR QSL card; AWR Schedule
Four hours daily began April 1995; WS13
Actual beginning date was May 1 1995; WS20
Began last year, 1995; WS72

Luxembourg Earlier usage; WS72
VoP began on RL 232 m (1293) 31-3-47; Edwards, Hello
SDA broadcasts RL taken over AWR Jan 7, 1979; WS379
AMP QSL card 1440 kHz 1200 kW 0525 UTC 6-4-80
Broadcasts in 1940’s & 1970’s & 1980’s & 1990’s; WS379

Man QSL James Parker Wales 2000 1368 kHz; WS214 31-1-99
AMP QSL card 1368 kHz 20 kW 2000 UTC 21-3-99
AMP QSL card 1368 kHz 20 kW undated

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