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Author Topic: 2 megawatt LW station Radio France Inter to close  (Read 15059 times)
K0OD
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« on: July 29, 2015, 09:29:52 PM »

From the Yahoo longwave station listening group:

"Andy Sennitt writes in the PCJ Facebook group
28 July 2015
 
Radio France is joining many other public broadcasters in Europe and will end all broadcasts on longwave and mediumwave. This will save 13 million euros annually. Last week the details were announced:

At the end of this year, the two mediumwave transmitters of France Bleu (864 kHz and 1278 kHz) and the remaining nine mediumwave transmitters of France Info (603, 711, 1206, 1242, 1377, 1404, 1494 and 1557 kHz) will be silenced. Last year, three high power stations of France Info were already closed. At the end of 2016. France-Inter will disappear from the longwave frequency 162 kHz."

A terrible loss, and just as U.S. hams get LW access, France Inter is easily copyable west of the Mississippi in wintertime.     
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 11:06:22 PM »

From the Yahoo longwave station listening group:

"Andy Sennitt writes in the PCJ Facebook group
28 July 2015
 
Radio France is joining many other public broadcasters in Europe and will end all broadcasts on longwave and mediumwave. This will save 13 million euros annually. Last week the details were announced:

At the end of this year, the two mediumwave transmitters of France Bleu (864 kHz and 1278 kHz) and the remaining nine mediumwave transmitters of France Info (603, 711, 1206, 1242, 1377, 1404, 1494 and 1557 kHz) will be silenced. Last year, three high power stations of France Info were already closed. At the end of 2016. France-Inter will disappear from the longwave frequency 162 kHz."

A terrible loss, and just as U.S. hams get LW access, France Inter is easily copyable west of the Mississippi in wintertime.     


I know that most of the Eurozone is in terrible financial shape, and EU govt's are cutting outlays wherever they can. I wonder if RFI will still use SW freqs directed at former French colonies in Africa? I know that the BBC has largely been relegated to transmissions to former UK colonies in Africa, the ME, and Asia. I personally miss Spain's (REE) no-frills newscasts. They cut out tx's to western NAm ages ago, I understand that they have vanished altogether.
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G7MRV
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 07:05:57 AM »

Interesting. I dont know how many LF broadcasts that leaves in Europe, but it will only add weight to the call to shut down BBC R4 on 198kHz.

This will become very interesting, as yes it would save the BBC a lot of money, but theres a big public following for R4LW, plus, it carries certain PSK signals used for other purposes that might be difficult to replace
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W1BR
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 10:14:52 AM »

They need the funds to pay for all of the "immigrants" flooding their countries.. those are the ones coming north, across the Med.

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K1FPV
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 11:31:37 AM »

It's too bad! I often receive the 162 kHz. signal quite well before sunset here in the Northeastern USA and at night often receive it as well as any US AM broadcast station especially in the winter without the static levels of summertime. My 280 foot long wire and home-brew MOSFET preamp do quite well. When there is interference, I use a Pixel loop on top of a TV antenna rotator.

Here in the US, there is a very slow exit happening from the AM broadcast band. FM and Satellite Radio are slowly and steadily taking over!

Bill
K1FPV
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K0OD
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 05:03:25 AM »

Radio France Inter (1939-2016)  was easily copyable at night in much of the USA on 162 kHz until it shut down on Dec 31, 2016. Here's a YT video of the sad countdown to silence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOOm760EYJc

But note: "The transmission of the atomic clock generated time signal will be continued after this date on the 162 kHz frequency as this time signal is critical for over 200,000 devices, which are deployed within French enterprises and state entities"
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 05:09:18 AM by K0OD » Logged
SHORTWIRE
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 08:11:10 PM »

Radio France Inter (1939-2016)  was easily copyable at night in much of the USA on 162 kHz until it shut down on Dec 31, 2016. Here's a YT video of the sad countdown to silence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOOm760EYJc

But note: "The transmission of the atomic clock generated time signal will be continued after this date on the 162 kHz frequency as this time signal is critical for over 200,000 devices, which are deployed within French enterprises and state entities"

Still running, using as much power as before, so why not just let RFI continue to use it?

Answer must be bureaucratic rather than based on common sense.

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KD0REQ
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 07:26:33 AM »

answer:  left pocket good, right pocket bad.  it's probably just a cost shift.
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K0OD
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 02:01:11 PM »

I've heard that Radio France is planning to reduce the power on that digital time signal. I know it's very hard for those LW stations to get replacement amp tubes.
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 01:17:04 PM »

I've heard that Radio France is planning to reduce the power on that digital time signal. I know it's very hard for those LW stations to get replacement amp tubes.

Apparently there is only ONE manufacturer of those old metal amp and final output tubes left-Svetlana in Russia. Over the years replacement parts for old tube transmitters-not just tubes but discrete components such as capacitors and resistors-have gradually been pushed into unobtainium status. This has led to most countries simply ripping out their old amplitude modulation transmitters-LW, MW, SW-when the parts simply became impossible to replace. Even countries with money-I'm thinking of say Russia-have mostly junked their AM tx's because the cost/benefit ratio turned too far towards cost. The US has a lot of MW stations with somewhat newer equipment from the 80s and 90s that was purchased during boom times, so MW will last maybe another 20 years here. After that, all you'll hear on BC will be static.
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 02:15:43 PM »

GatesAir, possibly now separated from Harris, still lists AM transmitters to 2Mw on their website.  http://www.gatesair.com/products/transmit-radio/am-transmitters
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RENTON481
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 08:58:38 AM »

GatesAir, possibly now separated from Harris, still lists AM transmitters to 2Mw on their website.  http://www.gatesair.com/products/transmit-radio/am-transmitters

I notice that those transmitters are solid state, also. I've seen guys talk about solid state MW transmitters on one of the pro-oriented radio discussion forums, so I know they are in use at a lot of MW stations, at least here in the US.
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 03:42:38 PM »

GatesAir, possibly now separated from Harris, still lists AM transmitters to 2Mw on their website.  http://www.gatesair.com/products/transmit-radio/am-transmitters

I notice that those transmitters are solid state, also. I've seen guys talk about solid state MW transmitters on one of the pro-oriented radio discussion forums, so I know they are in use at a lot of MW stations, at least here in the US.

That was what I was trying to infer. A lot of the big MW stations in the US have the newer equipment. However, the RFI setup at Allouis was likely ancient, since the Allouis outlet had been on the air so long. I know that when the US govt shut down the big SW facility in Delano, California, the army asked a few amateur radio clubs focused on boatanchors if they wanted the setup. The hams were baffled until they saw that the whole facility had equipment made by Collins in the early 1950s! My understanding is that the main transmitter will be preserved.

Since most radio stations in the world are owned and operated by govt's, it's likely that a lot of these old stn setups are ancient, since nobody wants to spend money to replace them. Heck, the IRS still uses mainframe computers made by Sperry Univac! The IRS has to fly magnetic tape all over the country since the computers can't communicate with each other.

Now, imagine maintenance and upgrade of AM stn's in the hands of some obscure agency, one that doesn't want to spend money to upgrade. So, you have a lot of 60-70 year old transmitters out there, and the parts finally become almost all unobtainium, so the bosses say "eh, nobody listens to radio anymore anyway, so let's just scrap this old junk and buy some servers".

I think that was why the Russians finally scrapped their old SW transmitters-they were likely all old Soviet stuff, and the parts were so weird that it simply wasn't worth it. It IS possible to keep the old stuff running-the Cubans do-but the Cubans have to make do with jerry-rigged fixes.
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W9IQ
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2017, 05:16:41 PM »

The speaker/writer implies and the listener/reader infers.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
RENTON481
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2017, 06:08:59 AM »

K76ZOL, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Obviously, the newer equipment is available but only used by commercial entities like we have in the US.

I wasn't aware that gov't entities like the IRS use such antiquated equipment. It seems that with local (and state) government here, they all used the latest computers and flatscreen monitors when the private companies I worked for were still making do with DOS based computers for some functions. So I had the assumption that governments used the latest stuff because they had deep pockets. With gov't broadcasters, I guess it isn't so.

Informative post, and interesting thread.
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