|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 May 1st 2003. Author: Adrian Peterson|
This is now the second week that Wavescan is on the air from station WINB in Red Lion Pennsylvania, and, as promised, here is our Station Profile on their station. This is the interesting story of the long-time shortwave station WINB.
It was back more than half a century ago that Rev John Norris Senior inaugurated his mediumwave station, WGCB, in a rolling country area 2.5 miles east of the small town Red Lion in Pennsylvania. Ten years later, he inaugurated an FM station with the same callsign, and he was also granted a Construction Permit for a shortwave station with the callsign WINB. At the time, the letters WINB stood for “World in Need of the Bible”, though these days their QSL card shows that the letters stand for “World Inter National Broadcasters”.
It took two years to put this new shortwave station on the air and it was inaugurated in October 1962. The original transmitter is a Continental 50 kW unit, the antenna is a three wire rhombic beamed towards Europe, and the facility was installed into a unique old building that was previously in use on a chicken farm. Contemporary radio magazines at the time indicate that the new station was quite quickly heard in Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as of course in the United States itself.
Ten years later, another 50 kW transmitter was procured, a used General Electric unit from mediumwave station WGY in Schenectady, New York. It was originally intended that this additional transmitter would be converted for shortwave usage, though this project has never been implemented. However, around the same time, an additional rhombic antenna was installed for coverage into Latin America.
In 1995, the original transmitter mal-functioned and the station was off the air while this unit was rebuilt. The station again became fully functional in January 1997. Radio station WINB in Red Lion Pennsylvania is now the oldest commercial shortwave station on the air in the United States, with its more than 40 years of service.
At the time when this station was inaugurated, the shortwave scene in the United States was very different. For example, the Voice of America was on the air from seven different locations, only one of which is still on the air today. These old VOA stations were:-
KCBR & KNBH in California
WGEO & WDSI in New York
WBOU & WDSI in New Jersey; and
WLWO in Ohio.
The modern counterpart of station KCBR in Delano (de-LAH-no) California is the only VOA station still on the air today.
At that time, there were just two other commercial stations on the air in the United States and these were; KGEI in San Francisco California and WRUL in Scituate Massachusetts. Both of these stations were subsequently closed, though the Family Radio station WYFR in Okeechobee Florida is a direct descendant of the original WRUL.
Over the years, station WINB has proven to be a reliable verifier and they have used at least four different QSL cards. These could be described as follows:-
Black & white card with text only
Color card showing antenna and microphone
Color card with text only; and
The current large card showing the American flag.
The Story of Radio Station WINB
Year Date Event & Reference
1950 Oct 22 WGCB AM inaugurated; BCYB 1972 B182 & AMP visit RMI 81
1960 Oct WGCB FM inaugurated; AMP visit RMI 81
1960 CP issued; WINB = World in Need of the Bible; MT 3-00 14
1962 Oct Began broadcasting 50 kW Continental 417B; RMI 143 & NASWA 1-94 33
1962 Oct Rhombic to Europe at 62 degrees; RMI 143 & WINB Schedule
1962 Oct WINB = World Inter National Broadcasters, 1.5 m E Red Lion; WINB Schedule
1962 Dec Already heard in Holland & New Zealand; R&H 79.15 1-63 103
1963 Testing completed, 2 channels to Europe & Africa; R&H 79.15 2-63
1963 McIntire Inquiry; R&H 77.14 7-63 103 & MT 3-00 15
1970s Mid Used WGY GE MW transmitter 4BT50A1 purchased for conversion, not used
1976 Jun 8 CP issued for rhombic to Latin America 160 degrees; WINB folder
1977 Rhombic to Latin America under construction; AMP visit RMI 153
1993 Sumr Latin American antenna dropped by grass cutter; NASWA 1-94 33
1994 Plans to rebuild original Continental; NASWA 1-94 33
1995 Apr 19 Transmitter problem, off air; MT 3-00 16
1997 Jan WINB re-activated; MT 3-00 17
2003 Now oldest commercial shortwave station in USA; MT 3-11 14
WINB information; 84.156 91
1962 Other USA SW stations – VOA
KCBR Delano CA WGEO Schenectady NY WBOU Bound Brook NJ
KNBH Dixon CA WDSI Brentwood NY WDSI Wayne NJ WLWO Bethany OH
1962 Other USA SW stations – Commercial
KGEI San Francisco CA WRUL Scituate MA
WINB QSL Cards
Year Date kHz Signature Owner Size Color Description
1975 May 25 15185 John Norris1 AWR Small B&W Text only
1977 Jul 31 15145 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Antenna microphone
1977 Jul 31 15185 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Antenna microphone
1982 Feb 2 17730 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Antenna microphone
1982 Aug 3 15185 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Antenna microphone
1982 Dec 3 15145 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Antenna microphone
1986 Nov 5 15295 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Antenna microphone
1992 Jan 17 15295 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Text only
1992 Jan 20 15145 & 15185 John Norris2 AMP Small Color Text only
1997 Jan 16 11740 13790 11950 Fred Wise AMP Large Color Flag
1998 Jan 7 13790 Fred Wise AMP Large Color Flag
2000 Jan 21 13790 Fred Wise AMP Large Color Flag
2000 Jan 21 13800 Fred Wise AMP Large Color Flag