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volume 7
april 2004

Senders and frequencies, the German way


  Review of:
  • Michael Schmitz en Wolf Siebel, Sender und Frequenzen 2004. Meckenheim: Siebel Verlag, 2003 (576 pages).
by Hans Knot
  The 576-pages book Sender und Frequenzen sure is the radio-bible for every DX'er who knows a little bit of the German language. Last december, Hans Knot found the edition 2004 in his PO Box. Here he discusses its contents, saying that even those who aren't masters of the German language, will profit by it.
1 An expanding radio-bible. Every year's ending, it's a nice surprise to receive what is the radio-bible for every DX'er who knows a little bit of the German language. Yes, even the avid DX'ers who aren't masters of this language, will have no problem to find their way in the book I'm talking about. Yes, last December I did found the 21st edition of the Sender und Frequenzen 2004 in my PO Box — a title that easily translates to Transmitters and Frequencies 2004. It's a 576-page book, compiled over all those years by Michael Schmitz and Wolf Siebel from Germany. Each year when the new edition arrives, it proves to be more wonderful than the one that was released the year before. Not only do the editors succeeded every time in updating all their earlier information, but each year they also add still more indexes as well as information you haven't thought about yourself when doing your regular scan at the airwaves.
  I'm well aware, of course, that the book first and for all is written for German listeners. Over the years, however, more and more listeners outside the German borders know that this book at least is as good — and in my opinion — even much more better, than the English language radio-bible World Wide Radio and TV Handbook. Of course, you may be thinking now that this is a hightly personal view, but I will give you some arguments. About all stations, in more than 200 countries, the German book informs its reader, telling not only how their companies are using their short-wave facilities but also their AM and long-wave transmitters. Comparing the book with its earlier editions, you can also see that both editors have always decided that their bible had to be updated each year, closely following all the changes in the world of communications. Did they know in 1983, when the first edition was published, that we would have something as "Internet," e-mail or a modern way of making a lay-out for their book? No, but now it has all the information about the internet you can wish for, packaged in a modern lay-out.
2 Pirate stations?. All the information the DX-er needs is packed within the pages of Sender und Frequenzen 2004 and as we are living in the age of the internet, this includes the e-mail addresses of all the stations in more than 200 countries. Next to that a clear overview is given about the stations' access to the internet. Being Anoraks themselves, Schmitz and Siebel, also foster the memories and perspectives of all those persons or stations who do believe in Free radio. To these stations, who are the favourites of many weekend listeners, they dedicate a special chapter. I recommend it to all, though Schmitz and Siebel still call these stations "pirate stations," which — I think — is a "wrong" designation that by now persists for over four decades.
  Paging through the book, you will find a very good overview of the frequencies bands between 150 kHz and 30 MHz. And, of course, the two editors not only mention the stations and the frequencies but also add to it the power of the transmitters and the opportunities to receive them. There is also a chapter, where they offer very good advice to receive the short-wave stations all around the globe. From page 18 up till 306 there's a rundown of station in over 200 countries, a lot of which are not known to the non short-wave listeners. Moreover, compared to the edition of 2003, the editors made an excellent update of all the internet sites of the stations and their e-mail addresses. As it is a German publication, room is also given to a listeners plan for German language programs around the globe. However, you will also find plans for transmissions in English, French, Russian and Spanish. Comparing editions, by the way, makes conscious of trends. When you take an edition of Sender und Frequenzen from let's say fifteen years ago and put it next to this new edition, for instance, you will find out that the number of radio stations making special programs in Esperanto is dwindling. In the last edition, I counted only five of these stations, including Radio Havanna, CHI Peking and Radio Vatican.
3 Ordering the book. Some other interesting chapters in this years edition are those on the subjects "Analog or DRM receivers?" and "Noises from Arabian countries." Together with package and postage this book, with 500 plus pages, costs € 31.90. You can order the book by sending a letter to Siebel Verlag, Auf dem Steinbüchel 6, D 53340 Meckenheim Deutschland or sending an e-mail to Leserservice@siebel-verlag.de. The publishers also foster an internet site — Siebel Verlag — where you can order the book and find some information about other interesting publications.
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