LIST ON CD-ROM 2003
9th Edition - January 2003
Price: Euro 25 (which includes surface-mail postage worldwide, or Euro 27 airmail)
Publisher: Joerg Klingenfuss, Klingenfuss Publications, Hagenloher Str. 14, D-72070 Tuebingen, Germany
FAX: ++49 7071 600849
TEL: ++ 49 7071 62830
By Bob Padula
The extent of radio-related information which can be stored on a CD-ROM is vast, and the latest edition of the Super Frequency List from Klingenfuss Publications reflects the continuing and ongoing use of this modern medium for presentation of a massive amount of vital and accurate data in support of world HF broadcasting.
The CD is designed for use with PCs with Windows and will run quite satisfactorily with Windows 3.1x, Win 95+, and elderly CD drives. Some 600MB of data is contained on the disk.
No complex set-up, installation or configuration is necessary - the disk is inserted into the drive and the data is immediately available. The user may choose either the English or German language sets. Basis details on set-up are found in a file labelled readme.txt
The disk architecture is described in a text file, and we are presented with these main segments....
There are three Databases, collectively covering the frequency range 0-30 MHz:
BROADCASTING STATIONS (2310 kHz - 25820 kHz)
Some 10,000 entries of HF domestic, international and clandestine stations, (International data is relevant to the B02 transmission period which concludes on March 30, 2003).
UTILITY STATIONS (18 kHz-147.3 kHz, 1607 kHz - 28117.9 kHz)
About 10,100 entries, confirmed by actual monitoring during 2002
FORMERLY ACTIVE UTILITY STATIONS (17 kHz - 147 kHz, 1609 kHz - 29703 kHz)
Some 19,400 entries
The user selects one of these at the beginning of a session.
Various text and index files are available to the system, which may be invoked either by the user when searching for desired information, or automatically.
We are given an additional listing of nearly 1000 abbreviations used in the product.
The disk also contains a version of RADIORAFT, digital data decoding shareware program by the French radio amateur FL6LT. This application is used for "remote" control of suitable designed and configured communications receivers.
The disk includes hundreds of coloured screenshots in their original format, covering many utility services, including interceptions of HF E-mail transmissions
For each entry we are presented with columnar data showing many parameters, depending on which database has been called up. This includes frequency, station, ITU, country, transmitter site, transmitter country, operating time, language, target area, modulation, callsign and other details. The data is searchable by various methods, and access time is extremely short, in milliseconds. The column-set for the utility databases is dissimilar to the broadcasting stations.
The order and width of the columns can be varied by the user.
I called up details of all stations broadcasting in Latin, and their times and frequencies - I was surprised to note two broadcasters in that search - Vatican and Finland. I also asked for data for all stations using the Irkutsk relay - 27 entries were revealed. I found that there is only one station broadcasting in Ladino (Israel), and one in Icelandic (Iceland).
Oromo, the language spoken in East Africa, was shown as being used by eight broadcasters, and all necessary data was given.
Searching for complete schedules for specific broadcasters is straightforward.
DX specialist monitors will find this product to be extremely useful in assisting in station identification, where various search routines may be called up, whether for domestic/international/clandestine broadcasting services or utility. Particularly neat is the "concurrent search" program, which when sued in combination with the incremental search represents a very powerful tool.
A simple search on the word "DRM" found three entries.
A search for all broadcasters using the Al Dhabayya relay centre in Abu Dhabi gave us 131 results, in 1 millisecond - that sort of search routine is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with this disk.
For utility stations, entries include aeronautical, fixed, maritime, mobile, radionavigation, standard frequency service. Various modulation methods are revealed, including digital data and radioteletype, radio telephony, radio telegraphy, and facsimile. The publisher strongly suggests that in the future, monitoring of utility services will become much more interesting than listening to amateur or broadcasting stations.
We may interrogate the disk and obtain a vast amount of utility operational data in whatever order we choose, either from the "current frequencies" database, or "formerly active frequencies" database. For example, a search for the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service yielded 43 results. A further search for "RAN" (Royal Australian Navy) yielded 12 entries.
The disk revealed that there are six utility stations listed as operating below 100 kHz, in Russia, UK, USA, and Germany, and 15 broadcasting stations using the range 2300-2500 kHz.
The lowest utility frequency listed is 18 kHz, and the highest 28117.9 kHz.
Many entries will be found for the emerging new technology known as "HF E-mail", claimed to be more cost-efficient than traditional satellite radio systems, with transfer rates of 2.4 kB now commonplace, with a possible 32 kB within reach.
Program listeners may use the disk to obtain details of an almost infinite number of permutations, such as "all broadcasts in Arabic at 0615 UTC".
DATA COPYING AND PRINTOUT
The product has been designed with a very high level of data protection. Copying and printing of data is limited to six entries per minute, and it is not possible to circumvent these controls. Neither will the product allow copying or printing of multiple lines or pages of data.
We are strongly reminded about what might happen to unscrupulous individuals who think about violating copyright protection, and the publisher stresses his high research costs and fees necessary for effective data compilation.
In an accompanying message in the disk, the publisher lists many organisations and individuals from whom information had been obtained for the 2003 product.
Advertising has so far not been accepted or included in this product. However, the publisher has now invited individuals and organisations to consider having promotional texts or images in the next edition (2004), such as from listener clubs, mail order companies, publishers, stations, software houses, and equipment manufacturers.
It is not the intention of this Infoview to critically examine the enormous amount of data in the CD for accuracy or topicality, either by sampling or by any other method. What is important is to acknowledge that the data in this product is essentially a snapshot at a moment in time, much like a railway or airline timetable. Timetables change, and much of the international schedule details will not be relevant after March 30, when the new transmission season begins. That limitation is mentioned on the disk.
Domestic HF broadcasting is also subject to continuing and ongoing churn, due either to the total closure of many regional and local stations, or their steady migration to VHF or medium-wave.
These constraints should be taken into account when assessing the usefulness of the entries contained in the "Broadcasting" database.
The utility data is not subject to the same degree of variation as for the broadcasting services, and those details would thus remain current for a longer period. The inclusion of many tens of thousands of former utility frequencies provides useful additional support, and the publisher stresses that the current utility frequency listings are derived only from transmissions which were monitored in recent months.
The publisher reminds us about a companion print product, "THE 2003 GUIDE TO UTILITY RADIO STATIONS", 594 pages, which contains additional descriptive data not included in the disk. The "broadcasting" and "current utility frequencies" data is also available in another print product, as part of the "2003 SHORTWAVE FREQUENCY GUIDE", 528 pages.
I met with Joerg at his home some three years ago when I visited Germany, and was impressed with his dedication and superb attention to detail and topicality of all products and services he offers.
This product is a very useful tool for anyone involved in HF broadcasting. Do not look for programs, mediumwave, longwave, TV, or VHF-FM, addresses, QSL policies, or contact details, as the product does not cover those fields.
I have used the CD for many years as an important adjunct not only in support of my professional work associated with broadcast engineering, but also for my hobby interests in world radio. I would recommend it to anyone with an active interest in all forms of HF radio monitoring.
Chartered Professional Engineer
404 Mont Albert Road,
Mont Albert, Victoria 3127, Australia
Readers are advised that Klingenfuss Publications and Products are not available through commercial booksellers in Australia. I can supply the CD to any Australian reader for A$55, which includes air delivery. Payment by cash, cheque, or Money Order to the address above.