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The broadcasting Green Paper for

The Prime Ministers of

Australia & NZ

A new international broadcasting

strategy is needed by both
Australia & NZ
in Melanesia
and Western Polynesia
Document Distribution

This document is intended for distribution to the following

• NZ:
• AU:
• AU:

This document has been submitted to

• “Five-year Spectrum Outlook 2010–2014” (
• This document in future may be submitted to the NZ
radio broadcasting regulatory authority.
• As new information or technology becomes available this
document may be updated.
The 2008-2009 Global Economic
Recession is destabilizing Australasia

Australia, NZ & the Pacific Islands have had a drop
in Inbound Tourism (and export commodities) from
Europe, the Americas & NE Asia -- leading to a
nominal drop in average incomes in Australasia.

The former “Colonial Powers” & the USA have so
many economic corruption issues at home so as to
make economic help to Australasia impossible.

This “recession / depression” is unlike the 1930s
when that “Great Depression” helped prepare Pacific
Islands nations for future independence.

The “Civil Society” in Australasia is on its own.
“Gunboat Diplomacy” is best if avoided

Sending in the Navy under “ANZUS Treaty”
conditions only works about once every 20 or so
years as with the Fiji 2000 Coup

The populous in the affected nation must not
only approve of the military imposition – but must
be outright demanding it as with Fiji

Due to US, UK and French “Colonization issues”
in the region “Gunboat Diplomacy” should be
avoided as much as possible

The US, UK and France don't have to live with
the decisions of their “Gunboat Diplomacy” -- this
is not true for Australia & NZ
Economic Diplomacy

Because of the region that Australia and NZ are located
in “Economic Sanctions” aka “Trade Sanctions” have
limited effect, mainly nearly no effect at all

The US, with its global currency and super power
capabilities has nearly universally failed to achieve its
diplomatic goals via economic sanctions

Other Commonwealth nations like Canada don't use
economic sanctions to any great extent as this diplomatic
measure has an extremely limited utility

Nations that “Say on thing and do another” essentially
get no benefit from a policy of economic sanctions
Radio Diplomacy 101
When Military and Economic Diplomacy does not
work there is always Radio Diplomacy

Radio Australia & Radio NZ International have
been broadcasting to the Asia-Pacific region since
the 1950s

Australian & NZ external broadcasting is
deemed to be helpful and trustworthy in the region

“Radio Diplomacy” is cheap and reaches the
entire population of a nation -- not just its elite

Satellite TV channels are more expensive to run
during economic recessions and depressions

Radio diplomacy leaves no trace behind of its
use, but its effects are clearly felt
Radio Diplomacy 101

In most Pacific Island nations there is a heavy
dependency on MW and SW for domestic broadcasting.

MW is less dependable than SW in the tropics, when
traditional lower power omnidirectional MW transmission
systems are used.

FM relays of Radio Australia & RNZI are limited in the
Pacific Islands to at best 10% population reach.

Australia has an ongoing 15 year SW broadcasting
capacity shortfall of at least -150%, possibly -220%.

NZ cannot use any of Australia's spare SW capacity to
engage in repairs and maintenance at Rangataki.

No US SW broadcasters are interested in helping either
Australia or NZ to increase capacity.
Pragmatic Geopolitical Considerations

During geopolitical and economic crises, it is
typical to increase external broadcasting out of the
needs to survive intact as a nation state

Sometimes crises can go on for years or even
decades, leading to oscillatory antagonism –
something that International Broadcasting should
try to prevent

International Broadcasting during the Cold War
(1950-1989) should not be an example of what
must be avoided in the Asia-Pacific region
Realistic Geopolitical Considerations

NZ managed with difficultly to approach its
maximal state funded external Shortwave
“broadcasting transmission output capacity” in the

Australia in this same time has failed to keep up
with NZ in Asia-Pacific Shortwave transmission
capacity, with statistical evidence suggesting a
220% transmission capacity shortfall

Never confuse programming hours vs
transmitter hours, with “zero transmitters” all the
programming produced will be of no use to
Crisis Geopolitical Considerations

Australia has no guarantee that the VT Merlin
Station in Singapore (or Thailand) will be available
to Australia or NZ during a geopolitical crisis

US religious broadcasters in Guam and Hawaii
did not help RNZI when its transmitter failed so
don't expect them to help Radio Australia during a
geopolitical crisis

The South Pacific region as a whole versus SE
Asia and NE Asia has a substantial shortfall in
International Broadcasting transmission capacity
in MW and SW
Solution : Use Mediumwave band
Increasing shortwave (SW) coverage is expensive

a new 100 kw transmitter costs ~ 600,000 EUR

a new 300 kw unit costs ~ 1.22 m EUR

a new 500 kw unit costs ~ 1.55 m EUR

SW curtain arrays are universally not cheap, and
Horizontal Log Periodic antennas are not adequate

Mediumwave (MW) broadcasting must be considered at

these high transmitter prices!

a 50 kw transmitter can cost under 100,000 AUD

a 100 kw unit could be found under 200,000 AUD

You don't have to buy a new transmitter, but it helps

MW can only be used at night, unlike SW.
MW propagation “in an nutshell” for
busy cabinet ministers
MW Regulatory Issues

Australia & NZ will need to make 1620 kHz to
1710 kHz exclusive to outward International
Broadcasting at high power (50 kw to 100 kw)

A joint AU-NZ “Extended MW International
Broadcasting Bandplan” will be needed

NZ needs 2 frequencies; Cook Islands 1; etc...

Australia may need to redo a few already
granted Extended MW Band permits

Some ITU legal mechanisms will be needed to
keep the needed MW frequencies available in the
target areas
MW Regulatory Issues, Continued

Australia & NZ will only need to engage in nominal MW
band allocation negotiations with one colonial power in
the region: France.

If Australia chooses to broadcast to Iran Jaya and East
Timor via MW then Indonesia may need to be consulted
over the change in MW allocation.

The broadcasting style of Radio Australia and Radio NZ
International in no way collides with the existing
diplomatic framework per domestic reception.

If reflectors are used on all proposed antenna systems
than legal issues relating to domestic MW audience
reception can be nullified.
MW Regulatory Issues, Reference
• New Zealand's current use of the MW broadcasting
band (1), Interactive (Spreadsheet output option)
• Australia's current use of the MW broadcasting band
(2), Interactive
• Currently Maritime and Mobile telecom services use
1610 kHz to 1710 kHz in Australia and NZ.
• There will need to be an administrative reallocation
that would remove 80% of the non-broadcast users
from this allocation band (that covers ~1600 kHz to
1800 kHz).
• Existing regulatory databases indicate few entities
hold broadcasting rights in these bands.

Suggested MW Band Coordination
Radio Diplomacy 201

Optimal Transmission Systems

Technical Innovation

To reach the nearby Pacific Island nations a
highly directional MW antenna system is required

Traditional MW “Tethered Dipole Arrays” are
useless here – their directivity is ~10 dbi less than
what is needed

The USSR solved the MW directivity problem in
the 1950s probably with Interlaced Rhombics

The Russian Ministry of Communication has not
disclosed its MW broadcast engineering research

The relative lack of electromagnetic complexity
makes Rhombics cheap vs Dipole Arrays
MW Propagation difficulties
Essentially about 70%
of Melanesia is fully
accessible by
directional MW
broadcasting from
Australia and NZ, but
the use of gyred
dipoles is out of the
question due to poor
Proposed MW Interlaced Rhombic
What could it look like at a distance?
(ignore the central mast)
Let's see what can be done...

New Zealand
MW Propagation difficulties
Without going into all of the
complexities involved –
most of Polynesia cannot
be reached by MW
propagation at night from
NZ save for
• Tonga, Niue
• Samoa
• Kermadec
Reaching this region via
Australia is even more
difficult but technically
not impossible
Find a viable MW circuit
NZ MW to Fiji & Tonga
Find another viable MW circuit
NZ MW to New Caledonia & Vanuatu
NZ RNZI MW Summary

The 2 MW relay sites should be separated by ~50 km
to eliminate electrodynamic coupling effects.

Reflector curtains should be added so as to redirect or
eliminate ~75% of the wasted energy from the Interlaced
Rhombic sidelobes.

Reflectors could allow for the Solomon Islands to be
fully reached by MW (Noumea beam). Tonga & Rotuma
Island could be reached with reflectors (Fiji beam).

Note: 5 or 6 gyred mast reflectors would be needed for
each site. Assume: Mast hight =~ Wavelength.

Considerable computational effort and intellectual
experimentation will be needed to design properly
working reflectors. This is not a simple SW Curtain Array!

At each MW site there should be a backup transmitter
that operates at 60% of the power of the primary
transmitter (if tube transmitters are used).
NZ RNZI MW Relay Impacts

RNZI will need more staff to cope with the
specific needs of targeting Fiji / New Caledonia /
Tonga / Vanuatu / Solomons during nighttime.

The new MW sites would most likely be
maintained by the same subcontractor that
handles routine maintenance of RNZI Rangataki.

Broadcasting to the “near abroad” via MW will
be a 50 year commitment. Transmitter plant and
equipment are expected to last for 50 years.

RNZI's yearly electrical consumption will
nominally increase.

Each transmitter “day” is Sunset → 02h and
from 05h → Sunrise. Not peak consumption
Let's see what can be done...

MW Propagation difficulties
Without going into all of the
complexities involved –
most of Micronesia
cannot be reached by
MW propagation at night
from Australia or NZ
save for
• Kiribati (Kiribas)
• Truk, Yap
This region can only be
reached via shortwave
with power levels of 100
kw or more from
Australia or NZ with HR
type antennas
Find a viable MW circuit
Australia to New Caledonia, Vanuatu & Fiji
Find a viable MW circuit
Australia to Eastern PNG & Solomon Islands
Australia to Iran Jaya & East Timor
Radio Australia MW Relay Impacts

The routine maintenance of the new MW relay
facilities is expected to be handled by a
subcontractor with the net gain of 2.5 jobs.

RA will need to have nominal increased Pacific
Islands languages services staffing to be able to
optimally use the MW facility.

It is expected that 3 x 100 kw MW transmitters
will be needed to fully meet RA's MW relay needs.

Broadcasting to the near abroad via MW will be
a 50 year commitment as the plant and equipment
are expected to last for 50 years.
Closing technical notes
Reference notes

The IONCAP propagation model used here is not a true
MW propagation model.

When these initial parameters are used with a MW
planning package & propagation model the results will
probably differ by ±10%. This is already accounted for.

Each antenna design is verified, but not optimized.

Each antenna should have 27 kHz range for optimal
performance. Future frequency changes could happen.

For analogue broadcasting 50 dbu fieldstrength and 23
db (signal / noise) are nominal in this frequency band.

The Interlaced Rhombic antennas used would need to
be 15% to 25% longer to operate in the MW band to
maintain equivalent performance.

Antenna overall performance should not degrade as IR
antenna spec uses wavelengths not meters.
Propagation notes
Terrestrial MW & SW radio broadcasting requires the received signal to be ~20 times
stronger than the interfering signal in the target area. This means a 20:1 (signal / noise)
ratio. This ratio equals 26 dB in electrical field strength. However due to interference
being low in the South Pacific region 23 dB is tolerable.

Note that during dawn / dusk / hours of darkness MW reception will vary.

People will still listen to a signal with a signal to interference value down to 10 dB if
the program is interesting enough.

The IONCAP charts used here use dBu not dB.

All map times are 10 UTC = 22 NZST or 21 AEST. This time was chosen as it is after
sunset but not deep into the night. Similar twilight propagation conditions are expected..

It is assumed that the MW transmitters will not be run after 02 NZST, as most of the
South Pacific is asleep at this time. During geopolitical crises this rule can be ignored.

Field strength over interfering station, if existent

< ~ 27dB : Good reception of both speech and music

20-26 dB : Relatively good reception, interference may be noticeable
10-19 dB : Speech transmission may be acceptable
< ~ 5 dB : Reception is possible but not acceptable to most listeners
Propagation notes, continued

The kind of antenna used in these models is a “dipole
whip” not a traditional MW loop inside that is typical in
MW receivers, so reported signal strengths should be 9
dBu higher than mapped

Choosing the right frequency and launch angle for each
MW transmitter site will require some ionosounder
research that the CSIRO / NZRO can do via IPS Space

Using DRM (a digital audio broadcasting system for LW
/ MW / SW) will technically give a 6 dBu increase signal /
noise numbers – but very few people in Australasia have
DRM receivers

A true MW propagation model may yield ± 3 dBu
fieldstrenght differentials over the reception region
Interlaced Rhombic design notes

Interlaced Rhombics can be used with reflector
curtains, opening up the possibility of 21.5 dbi

This IR antenna is not designed for domestic
broadcasting, but international broadcasting.

The USSR used reflector curtains with its MW
Rhombic antenna systems to reach ~21 dbi gain.

For MW coupling reasons, a 90% efficient IR
reflector curtain is best.

A IR reflector curtain can allow for lower overall
transmitter power use.

An IR curtain should pay for itself in ~3 years.
EM Emissions regulation
Australia and NZ have adopted a reasonable set
of guidelines for EM emission power levels on
the MW band near the transmitting antenna
• These EM regulations really only apply only to
(gyred) dipoles and dipole arrays
• Applying these same regulations for MW
Rhombic antennas is not advised without EM
research + ITU & IEEE consultation
• A separate set of EM emission levels must be
devised for Rhombic antennas
• If the Rhombic antennas are aimed at the sea,
have reflectors -- and are not near population
centers new emission regulations can be
phased in over a 3 year window
Antenna cost annex

• Key: D, R O: Directional, Rotatable, Omnidirectional;

• Key: H, V: Horizontal, Vertical;
• Key: S, M, L: Short, Medium, Long (2000 km+)
• Key: H, M, L: High (100 kw+), Medium, Low (<10 kw);
Radio Diplomacy 201 (Required Reading)
Reference Map
Site summary (draft)
Experimental technologies
If this proposed broadcasting model is to work
some experimental technologies must be tried
or more fully developed from it

• Fractal terminating resistors have never been

used in Rhombic antennas, more optimal
performance may come from using them
• Reflector curtains for Rhombic antennas, if
developed -- may greatly improve this antenna
type's broadband performance
• Smaller scale HF HR type antennas using
solid radiating elements designed with 2 “H
Tree” iterations allowing better lower
frequency support under (9 MHz and 50 kw)
Sustainability recommendation
It is recommended that
all international
broadcasting in
Australia & NZ should
be fully converted
over to sustainable
sources in the next 10
This conversion is of
greater concern to
Research credits

All propagation and antenna design research in

this document was done by Power Broadcasting
(Adelaide) and Power Broadcasting

Power Broadcasting's ABN is available on


Geopolitical broadcasting research is available on