PASSPORT TO WORLD BAND RADIO
AND

RADIO DATABASE INTERNATIONAL


A comprehensive web site about the history of Passport to World Band Radio and its predecessor, Radio Database International.


    Radio Database International started in 1984 with a 64 page book in order to provide the shortwave listener with a way to find stations by frequency, time, language broadcast, etc. in an easy to read graphics format. Sort of like 'TV Guide' for shortwave radio. I most often found myself listening to an unidentified station on a certain frequency and picking up the RDI to find out what station was most likely broadcasting at that particular time on that frequency. I found it to much more accurate than the WRTH and it also filled a gap left by the WRTH as the RDI appeared in September or October, not February or March of the year concerned. Much like a new TV show or car from Detroit!

    In any case, the RDI was a most welcome addition to the shortwave listener/ DXer's shack.

    The idea for the 'blue pages' evolved from the manually prepared VOA spectrum occupancy charts (of which this author had several) Roger Legge created quarterly. Some of you may remember Roger's USSR High Frequency Newsletter, of which I was also a subscriber to. The thought of using the then-emerging PC might resolve the headache of doing these by hand. Lawrence Magne Associates finally succeeded using an early production IBM XT PC with a dot-matrix printer.

    Lawrence Magne, Editor, received his MBA in 1964 and worked in information technology (mainframes) for various major companies, mainly doing database software development. In the shortwave world, he monitored and wrote articles for the WRTH throughout the early to mid-seventies. His equipment testing and evaluation for the WRTH started with the 1978 edition and continued until the 1986. Throughout this period Lawrence Magne Associates performed HF frequency management, counter-jamming and other activities for various governmental international broadcasting clients.


    Needless to say, none of this website would be possible without the gracious help of Larry Magne, to which I am indebted to.


    The first edition I have is the Special Edition: Tropical Band Survey from 1984. This covered the frequencies of 2260 to 5707 kHz.   According to page 40 in the RDI, an edition covering 5707 to 30000 kHz was to be released in June. However, due to software problems, this was not to be and the next printing was the 1985-86 split editions.   The book measured 8 inches wide by 11 inches tall and was the only edition printed in this size.  

    There was a 'Lexicon of Terms' chapter which helped explain the acronyms and other previously unknown terms to the newcomer in shortwave radio. This was multilingual in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese. Stations were listed in a new graphic format generated by computer with ascending frequency on the left, country/ station in the next column and the time in UTC from 0 to 24 hours along the top and bottom from left to right.

    Broadcasts for a specific station were depicted in a horizontal bar graph format from 0 to 24 hours using different symbols for various languages the station used as shown at the bottom of each page. Above each bar graph was listed the stations power if known and what kind of broadcast service it was; daily service, international or other.

    I am constantly looking for more information about RDI and PWBR. If you have ANY information that you think is pertinent to this site, please e-mail me at:

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