AWR – On The Air In Russia

A story of relays

This article was first broadcast on 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 1 2003. Author: Adrian Peterson

AWR on the Air in Russia

For an extended period of five years, Adventist World Radio was on the air shortwave from a total of a dozen different transmitters at six different radio facilities located throughout Russia. These external relays began in 1992 and they were finally terminated in 1996. In addition, AWR was on the air internally in Russia at the same time over a network of almost 1,000 stations; longwave, tropical shortwave, international shortwave, and cable radio.

Today’s story is about the AWR international broadcasts that were on the air from shortwave stations located in Russia and Siberia.

The first AWR relay from a Russian shortwave station began on March 1, 1992 from a huge shortwave complex located near Novosibirsk in Siberia. Some of these transmitters had been in use during the Cold War as jamming transmitters in an attempt to discourage listeners in Russia from tuning in to radio broadcasts from foreign countries.

Initially, the AWR programming was heard over a single 100 kW transmitter, though two weeks later, a second unit at 100 kW was also brought into service. At first, the two transmitters were synchronised on the same channel, though two years later, the two units were operating on separate channels.

At the height of usage, AWR was on the air 23 hours daily from Novosibirsk in Siberia. The final AWR broadcast from Novosibirsk in Siberia was aired on October 28, 1994.

Two months after the inauguration of the AWR relay from Novosibirsk, three more locations in Russia were brought into service for the relay of AWR programming. These stations were designated as Samara, Ekaterinburg and Moscow.

However, through the research of Olle Olm in Scandinavia, it was later discovered that the station designated as Moscow was in reality three widely separated transmitter sites. These facilities were located at Kurovskaya (KEW-ROFF-SKY-a), Taldom & Lesnoy, all clustered around Moscow. All three of these stations carried AWR programming utilizing transmitters at 250 kW.

Throughout the year 1993, the AWR usage of the relay stations in Russia was phased out, until Samara was the only one left that was still carrying the AWR programming. This AWR relay continued for another two years until this also was closed out on October 25, 1996.

The AWR programming for broadcast from the Russian stations was co-ordinated by Peter Kulakov in the large four storeyed Adventist Media Center in Tula, half a day’s journey south of Moscow. You will hear an interview with Peter later in this program and he will tell you about his personal experience regarding the AWR relays from the radio stations located in his country.

Adventist World Radio was the first Gospel station to go on the air from shortwave stations in Russia and that was on March 1, 1992. We were closely followed two days later by FEBC Manila, and they took out a relay over a 20 kW transmitter that had been on the air previously as a jamming facility.

On one occasion, the AWR relay via Samara contained a special announcement in English for the Nordic DX Championship on September 10, 1994. They issued a special QSL for this particular broadcast.

These days, AWR QSL cards verifying our relay from the six transmitter sites in Russia are quite rare and they have become collector’s items. The rarest of them all is the QSL card confirming the reception of the Moscow relay via Lesnoy, which was in use for only a few days, beginning March 27, 1993.

The specific transmitter in use at that time is designated as RV193, a Russian made transmitter with a power of 250 kW. Olle Olm in Scandinavia tells us that this actual transmitter is pictured on a QSL card issuec by Radio Netherlands. They were also on the air during that era with a relay of their international programming from the same transmitter, RV193.

AWR on the Air in Russia
References
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Location Information & Reference
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Khabarovsk FEBC relay began March 3, 1992 20 kW jammer; DXO 10-92 71

Moscow AWR “Moscow” in reality Taldom & Kurovskaya; Ole Olm letter
AWR Moscow stations: Taldom, Kurovskaya, E’burg & Samara
10 hours daily began May 3, 1992; AWRNLTM 5-92 1
AWR dropped June 12 increase Samara 3 hrs daily; RNB
AWR Moscow dropped June 12 1994; AWR schedules

Taldom Due north of Moscow; map
AWR relay began May 3 1992 250 kW; RNB 7-96 3
May 1 1992 schedule Taldom A 250 kW @ Taldom B 250 kW
Sep 27 1992 schedule A & B plus B&C combined all 250 kW
2 @ 250 began Sep 27 1992; RNB 7-96 3
AWR relay via Taldom last listed Sep 26 1993 schedule
AWR relay via Taldom not shown Jan 25 1994 schedule

Kurovskaya Slightly south of due east of Moscow 100 Km; map
AWR relay began May 1 1992 250 kW; Ole Olm schedules
AWR relay began May 3 1992 1 @ 250 kW; RNB 7-96 3
AWR relay concluded Jun 12 1994; RNB 7-96 3
AWR relay last listed Mar 27 1994 schedule
AWR relay via Kurovskaya concluded Jun 12 1994; AWR schedule

Novosibirsk Novosibirsk constructed 1956, 18 @ 100 kW numerous curtains
AWR relay planned to begin Jan 2 1992; DXO 4-92 23
Special inauguration ceremony in Adventist church Feb 29; Scragg
AWR relay began March 1, 1992; DXO 4-92 23, AWRec 12-94 2
1st program Russian 12 noon local time; AWRNLTN 5-92 2
Began with 10 languages 4 antenna beams; AWR letter
AWR on the air 23 hrs daily; AWR schedule
AWR 1st Gospel broadcaster on air in Russia; Scragg letter
2,000 acres 30 transmitters 120 curtains; AR 1-2-9228-164
AWR relay began 100 kW soon increase to 200 kW; Scragg letter
AWR relay 2 @ 100 combined began 15-3-92; Scragg letter
AWR 2 @ 100 parallel began 6165 12055 25-9-94; AWR schedule
AWR relay terminated 28-10-94; AWRec 12-94 2
AWR last broadcast on Friday 28-10-94; Scragg letter
AWR Novosibirsk equipment transferred to Tula; Scragg letter

Samara Formerly Kuybyshev; AWRNLTM 55-592 1
AWR relay began May 3, 1992; RNB
1 @ 250 kW in European languages; AWR schedules
Radio Moscow relay follows AWR at 0600 15125; ATC-SWL
Samara now only AWR relay in Russia Jun 12 1994; RNB & AMP
Special broadcast for Nordic DX Championship Sep 10 1994; Fax
AWR 1 @ 250 & 1 @ 200 (= 2 @ 100?) 31-3-96; AWR schedule
AWR relay terminated Oct 17 1996; Notation RNB 2-5- 94 143
AWR relay terminated Oct 25 1996; AWR schedules

Ekaterinburg Formerly Sverdlovsk; AWRNLTM 5-92 1
AWR relay began May 3, 1992; AWRNLTM 5-592 1
1 @ 200 listed = 2 @ 100?; AWR schedules
AWR requested 1 @ 250 kW for use in early 1994; AWR schedule
Last broadcast Jan 1994; AWR schedules
Dropped before March 27, 1994; AWR schedules
Last broadcast March 1994; RNB 7-96 3

Lesnoy Apparently with AWR relay few days around 27-3-93; Olle Alm
250 kW RV193, shown on RN QSL card; Olle Alm letter 22-7-95
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AWR Shortwave Relay Stations in Russia
Time Line
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Country Location Transmitters kW Dates
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Russia Ekaterinburg Ek1 100 1992 – 1994
Ek2 100 1992 – 1994

Russia Kurovskaya Kur1 250 1993 – 1994

Russia Lesnoy Les1 250 1993 – 1993

Russia Novosibirsk Nov1 100 1992 – 1994
Nov2 100 1992 – 1994

Russia Samara Sam1 250 1992 – 1996
Sam2 100 1996 – 1996
Sam3 100 1996 – 1996

Russia Taldom Tal A 250 1992 – 1994
Tal B 250 1992 – 1994
Tal C 250 1992 – 1994
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AWR on the Air in Russia

Time Lines

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Location Year Date Transmitters Events
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Novosibirsk 1992 Mar 1 1 @ 100 kW AWR relay began
1992 Mar 15 2 @ 200 kW Increase in power
1994 Sep 25 2 @ 100 kW In parallel 6165 @ 12055
1994 Oct 28 2 @ 100 kW Last broadcast

Samara 1992 May 3 1 @ 250 kW Service began
1994 Jun 12 1 @ 250 kW Now only AWR relay
1996 Mar 31 2 @ 100 Combined, 250 kW also
1996 Oct 25 2 @ 100/250 kW Final broadcast

Ekaterinburg 1992 May 3 2 @ 100 kW Service began
1994 Jan 24 2 @ 100 kW Service ended

Lesnoy 1993 Mar 27 1 @ 250 kW On air a few days

Moscow 1992 May 3 4 @ 250 Began 10 hours daily
1994 Jun 12 4 @ 250 Dropped in favor Samara

Taldom 1992 May 3 2 @ 250 kW AWR relay began A and B
1992 Sep 27 3 @ 250 A, and B & C combined
1994 Jan 24 3 @ 250 AWR relay ended

Kurovskaya 1993 May 3 1 @ 250 kW AWR relay began
1994 Jun 12 1 @ 250 AWR relay ended
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