FEBA Seychelles

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 April 1st 2003. Author: Adrian Peterson

It was back in the year 1969, soon after we were transferred from Australia to Pakistan, that I heard the first test broadcasts from the new shortwave station FEBA in the Seychelles Islands off the coast of Africa. Conctruction work on this new facility began two years earlier, and on October 8, 1969, they made their first test broadcast beamed in the 13 metre band to London in England. The low power signal from FEBA across the ocean often came in strong and clear.

Their first transmitter was a 3 kW communication unit made by Collins and modified for broadcast usage. The antenna was a rotatable log periodic erected at their studio location which was perched 600 feet above the picturesque coastline two miles south of the capital city, Mahe (Mah-HAY).

Another temporary transmitter was installed at their transmitter location 2.5 miles north of Mahe. This was a 30 kW Press Wireless transmitter, also modified for broadcast usage, and it was activated less than a year later, in June 1970. Both transmitters, 30 kW & 3 kW, were on the air in parallel for a period of several months.

Three years later, their first transmitter at 100 kW, was installed. This was a new Harris-Gates unit. Then, in 1982, a second unit at 100 kW was installed. This was a Continental unit and funding was provided by the Lutheran Church following the nationalization of their shortwave station, ETLF, in Ethiopia. Their third transmitter at 100 kW, made by Harris, was activated in 1989.

Earlier this year, FEBA announced that they planned on closing their shortwave station in the Seychelles, due to rising costs and aging equipment. At first, no date was given, then it was suggested maybe mid year, and then a few weeks ago, the closing date was given as the end of March.

I was one of their very first monitors in mainland Asia, and I tuned in to their programming on a regular basis for thousands of hours extending over a period of nearly five years while we served in Pakistan. It is with a tinge of sadness that I report the closing of this station which served Asia and Africa so well. However, thirty four years later and with 130 QSLs to prove it, we say goodbye to FEBA Seychelles.

But wait, this is not really the end of the radio history for FEBA. Yes, they have indeed closed their shortwave station in the Seychelles, but they are now on the air from several different relay sites in the Asian and African arena. You can still hear their familiar style of prgramming, and you can still hear their same tuning signal, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”.

FEBA Seychelles

Time Lines

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Facility Year Date Event
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Studio 1967 Construction began at San Souci 2 miles south of Mahe
1969 Oct 8 First broadcast
1970 May Regular programming began
1970 Jul 6 Officially opened by governor, Sir Bruce Greatbatch
2003 Mar 30 Final broadcasts

Transmitter 1969 Oct 8 First broadcast 3 kW Collins at studio location
Building – 1 1971 Retired from active service

Transmitter Temporary transmitter building next to new building
Building – 2

Transmitter 1967 Construction began 2.5 miles north of Mahe
Building – 3 1970 Jun Modified 30 kW Press Wireless transmitter activated
1974 Mar New 100 kW Harris Gates transmitter activated
1982 New 100 kW Continental activated,after closure ETLF
1989 New 100 kW Harris activated
2003 Mar 30 Station closed
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FEBA Seychelles

References

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Station Information & Reference
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FEBA Studios Construction began 1967; SP sheet
FEBA; 84.156 78 & 79
FEBA constructing 50 kW station; EA 79.16 10-68
Studios San Souci 2 m S Mahe transmitter 2.5 m N; SP
VHF link & landline from studio to transmitter; SP Sheet
1st broadcast Oct 8, 1969
Regular programming began May 1970; SP Sheet
Officially opened Governor Sir Bruce Greatbatch Jul 6 1970
Closed during independence coup mid 1976; SCDXers
FEBA pictures; WRTVHB 1979 540
FEBA relays TWR Sri Lanka; ADXN 9-90 8

FEBA Transmitter Building – 1
Construction began 1967; SP Sheet
Studios San Souci 2 m S Mahe; SP Sheet
Studio site 600 ft above harbor, EA 79.17 5-70 172
3 kW transmitter, antenna 70 ft high at studio site; EA 5-70
FEBA tests 3 kW expected soon; EA 79.16 8-69 180
1st broadcast Oct 8, 1969

FEBA Transmitter Building – 2
Temporary transmitter building next to new building; FEBAB
Studios San Souci 2 m S, Mahe transmitter 2.5 m N; SP
VHF link & landline from studio to transmitter; SP sheet

FEBA Transmitter Building – 3
Temporary transmitter building next to new building; FEBAB
Studios San Souci 2 m S, Mahe transmitter 2.5 m N; SP
VHF link & landline from studio to transmitter; SP sheet
FEBA constructing 50 kW station; EA 79.16 10-68
Currently 100 kW transmitters; DXO 4-92 59

FEBA 3 kW Collins 1969
Temporary transmitter building next to new building; FEBAB 3 kW Collins rotating log periodic; SP sheet
3 kW Collins installed 1969; TDP SW 98 53
FEBA test transmissions “in 4 months”; EA 79.16 1-68 133
1st test Oct 8 1969, 21460 directed England; FEBAB 1-70 3
FEBA tests 3kW now on air; EA 79.16 9-69 177
FEBA tests heard in NZ; EA 79.17 1-70 149
3 kW tests already heard; EA
FEBA tests heard in Australia; ADXN
FEBA 3 kW tests to India & Pakistan; EA 79.19 2-70 177
FEBA tests on low power; EA 77.14 4-70 177
FEBA tests heard in NZ; EA 79.17 77.14 5-70 172
FEBA tests extended schedule; R&H 77.14 4-71 144
3 kW & 30 kW simultaneously; Brenda Bacon letter Oct 8 71

FEBA1 30 kW PW 1971
New 50 kW plan for next year new building; FEBAB 1-70 4
Rebuilt PW8B transmitter 30 kW; SP sheet
FEBA1 30 kW 1st transmitter in new building; ADXN 3-11
30 kW TEC PW40A installed 1971; TDP SW 98 53
AMP 1st QSL 25 kW 14-6-70; AMP QSL
FEBA now using 30/40 kW; EA 8-70 175
30 kW from antennas on beach; EA 79.17 7-71 146
3 kW & 30 kW simultaneously; Brenda Bacon letter Oct 8 71

FEBA2 100 kW Gates 1974
New 100 kW purchased; R&H 79.17 3-73 121
New 100 kW Gates shipped Seychelles EA 79.17 5-73 118
100 kW Harris SW100 installed 1974; TDP SW 98 53
FEBA2 100 kW; ADXN 3-11
Gates SW 100 installed Oct 73, energized 1974; SP sheet
FEBA 100 kW operational March 1974; EA 79.17 3-74 109
100 kW at 50 kW; Jun 27 1977; SCDXers
FEBA running at half power; ADXN D84

FEBA3 100 kW Continental 1982
New 100 kW planned; R&H 84.185 10-80 94
100 kW Continental installed 1982 (1981) ; TDP SW 98 53
FEBA3 100 kW; ADXN 3-11
ETLF closed 12-3-77, funding from Lutheran mission
FEBA running at half power; ADXN D84

FEBA4 100 kW Harris 1989
Will soon purchase FEBA4 100 kW Harris; ADXN Nov 3 88 100 kW Harris SW-100B installed 1989; TDP SW 98 53
FEBA4 100 kW; ADXN 3-11

FEBA Antennas – 1 Rotatable log periodic for 3 kW at studio location;
1st antenna rotatable log periodic; Brierley

FEBA Antennas – 2 Lazy H antennas for 30 kW; SP sheet
2nd antennas from towers on shore; Brierley
30 kW from antennas on beach; EA 79.17 7-71 146

FEBA Antennas – 3 3rd set in shallow waters 1 kM away 7 towers; Brierley

FEBA Antennas – 4 African mission gives for antennas W coast; R&H 1-71 141

FEBA QSLS Good verifier; DXO 4-92 59
QSL card photo of station; DXO 4-92 60
QSLs 1st 26-10-69 15165 2 kW Collins; AMP
QSLs 130 plus; AMP cards
QSL card & letter to NZ; EA 79.17 7-71 147
3 kW & 30 kW simultaneously; Brenda Bacon letter Oct 8 71
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