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volume 12
january 2010

Senders and frequencies, the German way


  Review of:
  • Michael Schmitz and Wolf Siebel, Sender & Frequenzen 2010. Jahrbuch für weltweiten Rundfunkempfang. Baden Baden: Verlag für Technik und Handwerk GmbH, 2009 (ISBN 978-3-88180-684-8; 576 pages; illustrated)
by Hans Knot
  "The 576-pages book Sender & Frequenzen sure is the radio-bible for every DX'er who knows a little bit of the German language. Again this december, Hans Knot found the edition 2010 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.

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. And yes, I did found the 27th edition of the Sender & Frequenzen 2010 in my PO Box — a title that easily translates to "Transmitters and Frequencies 2010." It's a 576-page book, compiled over a long, long stretch of time 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 succeed 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 is at least as good — and in my opinion — even much better, than the English language radio-bible World Wide Radio and TV Handbook. Of course, you may be thinking now that this is a highly personal view, but I will give you some arguments. About all stations, in more than 200 countries, the German book informs its readers, 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 A load of information. All the information the DX-er needs is packed within the pages of Sender & Frequenzen 2010 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 not a correct designation despite persisting for over four decades.
  Paging through the book, you will find a very good overview of the frequency 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 15 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 2009, the editors still 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 one conscious of trends. When, for instance, you take an edition of Sender & Frequenzen from let's say fifteen years ago and put it next to this new edition, you will find out that the number of radio stations making special programs in Esperanto is dwindling. In this edition I counted only three: RHC Havanna, CRI Beijing and Radio Vatikan. Some other interesting chapters in this year's edition are those on the subjects "With Moodio FM internet radio when on the road" and "Global turners, television on internet." Also "Receivers and aerials" is an interesting read. Together with package and postage this book, with its 576 pages, will cost you € 25.90. You can order the book by visiting the internet site of publisher Verlag für Technik und Handwerk, where you can order the book and find some information about other interesting publications.
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