Radio on lw (long waves)

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rodscha

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sad news,the LW signals of Europe 1 and RTL (185and 234Khz)
are going to be silenced by the March of Technology this December 31st
 
Analoguesat

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It wont be too long before Radio4 LW falls silent - they have only a limited number of transmission valves left and they burn around one out a year.
 
hvdh

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So hurry, enjoy the "Luxemburg effect" on 162 kHz while we still can!
 
PaulR

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It wont be too long before Radio4 LW falls silent - they have only a limited number of transmission valves left and they burn around one out a year.
I believe that the valves can be, and are, reconditioned.
 
Terryl

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Yah not many stations left on LW, the big problem for listeners is the size of the antenna needed to get a good signal, most do not have the room for a 1500 meter antenna, (full wave) and a loaded 1/4 wave is still a big one.

Here is a list that I use. Longwave Broadcast Stations - HFUnderground

My Yaesu FT1000 tunes the LW band quite nice, it does a good job when I hook in the loading coil for LW to my 160 meter long wire.
 
Analoguesat

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I believe that the valves can be, and are, reconditioned.
Probably but those old transmitters are horrifically expensive to run - and in modern high speed internet days so we really need to spend £££££s every year to keep 1500m running just so some ex army colonels who have chosen to live abroad can listen to the cricket results?
 
Terryl

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LW is still used for communication to submarines when they are underwater, it's the only way to get the EAN codes to them when they are in silent mode, so the Navy will still have tubes around, probably have a couple of thousand in a warehouse somewhere.

Not very many tube manufactures left today, most of them manufacture audio tubes for HIFI equipment.
 
sonnetpete

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Not very many tube manufactures left today, most of them manufacture audio tubes for HIFI equipment.
Yes, most (if not all) are made in China nowadays.There is a niche market for HIFI and boutique style guitar amps.. Expensive though, two power amp and three pre amp tubes for my Fender Blues Junior go for about £80.
 
aceb

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Last year in Iceland we stopped to take some photos of The RUV 189kHz Longwave transmitter site near Dransvogur. 412M high, fully insulated and the tallest radio mast in Europe, it was originally part of the Loran-C network.

1577747056228.png
 
Analoguesat

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Last year in Iceland we stopped to take some photos of The RUV 189kHz Longwave transmitter site near Dransvogur. 412M high, fully insulated and the tallest radio mast in Europe, it was originally part of the Loran-C network.

When I was in Iceland back in 2008 I stopped to take pics too :-lmao It must be a geek thing.

Mind you, when we were driving along the south coast near Hofn the missus said next left. So I goes sailing straight on happily and gleefully pointed at the VERY large earth station dish Id spotted in the distance which we were going to have a look at before I went down the other road :D
 
jeallen01

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LW is still used for communication to submarines when they are underwater, it's the only way to get the EAN codes to them when they are in silent mode, so the Navy will still have tubes around, probably have a couple of thousand in a warehouse somewhere.

Not very many tube manufactures left today, most of them manufacture audio tubes for HIFI equipment.
@Terryl
Are not sub sub-surface comms frequencies in the VLF, not LW/LF, range, and thus much lower at around 3-30kHz?
 
Terryl

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Yes, but at those frequency's the data packet transmission rates are too slow for the EAN system, they could use it in an emergency, but it may be too late after the final data packet is received, the world may be ash by then.

Also to use the VLF stuff the antenna used for it is trailing behind the sub, the sub can't do any quick maneuvers with a 3000 meter (1/4 wave antenna) wire trailing behind it.

A LongWave 1/4 or 1/2 wave antenna is much shorter.

We had some luck with VLF tests aboard ship, we could talk to a sub off of Cuba from Vietnam.
 
Terryl

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Yes, most (if not all) are made in China nowadays.There is a niche market for HIFI and boutique style guitar amps.. Expensive though, two power amp and three pre amp tubes for my Fender Blues Junior go for about £80.
Check this hummer out.....https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/amplifiers/MC275B

One of the best sounding tube amps on the market, I wish I never sold mine.
 
Llew

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Do British nuclear sub patrols still depend on the presence or absence of the BBC's LW programmes like 'Today' to know if the UK is still in one piece? :eek:
 
Terryl

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Last year in Iceland we stopped to take some photos of The RUV 189kHz Longwave transmitter site near Dransvogur. 412M high, fully insulated and the tallest radio mast in Europe, it was originally part of the Loran-C network.

View attachment 127649
And that's a 1/4 wave antenna, at 412 meters it has a 15.45 meter isolation section at the bottom for the true transmit RF section at 396.55 meters, the isolation section keep it from ground arcing.
 
Terryl

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Do British nuclear sub patrols still depend on the presence or absence of the BBC's LW programmes like 'Today' to know if the UK is still in one piece? :eek:
I think they use Google now.
 
Fisty McB

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I'm aware of Europe 1 shutting down it's long wave transmissions from Flensburg on 183 kHz later today, but I've heard no announcement that RTL are also closing their long wave outlet as well? :blink:
 
Fisty McB

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It wont be too long before Radio4 LW falls silent - they have only a limited number of transmission valves left and they burn around one out a year.
That's a bit of an urban legend - the valves in question can be easily repaired, if required, by sending them back to the manufacturer. It's more the case that the transmitter itself at Droitwich is getting on in years and compared to modern solid state TX's is quite inefficnent.

The story of UK nuclear submaries having to check for a signal on 198 kHz as a sort of "dead mans switch" is also very likely to be an urban legend, though given military confidentiality it's something that laymen can neither confirm or deny. However, such thinking assumes that (a) Droitwich cannot fall off the air at all, which is impossible to guarantee (the site is not permantently manned these days) , nor that there are also two other co-channel transmitters for BBC R4 on the same frequency in Scotland which would probably still be on the air. A big kicker however would be the penetration of the depth of the signal into seawater - for the depths nuclear submarines would often dive down to for weeks or even months at a time, LW radio signals would not reach them - while seawater can provide an excellent conductive layer over the top of its surface, it also acts as a very good insulator below it, attenuating signals strongly depending on frequency & depth. VLF frequencies (technically between 3 & 30 kHz, but most usually take it to be up to around 100 kHz) can penetrate to some shallow depths, 20 to 30 metres at best depending on salinity. Lower than this, the only way to communicate to submarines is by using ELF (3 - 300 Hz) which requires a massive set up, but it gives the ability to pretty much reach any submarine on the planet. The USA used to have such a system, but has no been decommissioned, while the UK looked at building their own during the Cold War but didn't go ahead with it. Today, Russia, India & China are the only countries known to have an ELF transmission in place. Of course, because of the limited bandwidths available at such low frequencies, voice can't be used so only data at a low speed rate is transmitted, and it's one way communication only.

Other than broadcasting BBC R4's Long Wave Service (i.e. the same as the main service except for a couple of short weekday opt-outs as well as opting out to cover test match cricket), the main use for Droitwich at present is to transmit signals to receive-only electrical metres as a form of time metering e.g. Economy 7 tariffs. As I understand it, the contract for this is due to expire in 2020 but given the large backlog in the roll out of "smart metres", it'll probably continue for a few more years yet. And of course, there's nothing to stop 198 kHz at Droitwich having its audio simply turned off but the carrier left on for its data use - like how 162 kHz is still being used in Allouis, France when France Inter ended its LW transmissions - the BBC R4 LW network is more than just the single TX at Droitwich.
 
scopus

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That's a bit of an urban legend - the valves in question can be easily repaired, if required, by sending them back to the manufacturer. It's more the case that the transmitter itself at Droitwich is getting on in years and compared to modern solid state TX's is quite inefficnent.

The story of UK nuclear submaries having to check for a signal on 198 kHz as a sort of "dead mans switch" is also very likely to be an urban legend, though given military confidentiality it's something that laymen can neither confirm or deny. However, such thinking assumes that (a) Droitwich cannot fall off the air at all, which is impossible to guarantee (the site is not permantently manned these days) , nor that there are also two other co-channel transmitters for BBC R4 on the same frequency in Scotland which would probably still be on the air. A big kicker however would be the penetration of the depth of the signal into seawater - for the depths nuclear submarines would often dive down to for weeks or even months at a time, LW radio signals would not reach them - while seawater can provide an excellent conductive layer over the top of its surface, it also acts as a very good insulator below it, attenuating signals strongly depending on frequency & depth. VLF frequencies (technically between 3 & 30 kHz, but most usually take it to be up to around 100 kHz) can penetrate to some shallow depths, 20 to 30 metres at best depending on salinity. Lower than this, the only way to communicate to submarines is by using ELF (3 - 300 Hz) which requires a massive set up, but it gives the ability to pretty much reach any submarine on the planet. The USA used to have such a system, but has no been decommissioned, while the UK looked at building their own during the Cold War but didn't go ahead with it. Today, Russia, India & China are the only countries known to have an ELF transmission in place. Of course, because of the limited bandwidths available at such low frequencies, voice can't be used so only data at a low speed rate is transmitted, and it's one way communication only.

Other than broadcasting BBC R4's Long Wave Service (i.e. the same as the main service except for a couple of short weekday opt-outs as well as opting out to cover test match cricket), the main use for Droitwich at present is to transmit signals to receive-only electrical metres as a form of time metering e.g. Economy 7 tariffs. As I understand it, the contract for this is due to expire in 2020 but given the large backlog in the roll out of "smart metres", it'll probably continue for a few more years yet. And of course, there's nothing to stop 198 kHz at Droitwich having its audio simply turned off but the carrier left on for its data use - like how 162 kHz is still being used in Allouis, France when France Inter ended its LW transmissions - the BBC R4 LW network is more than just the single TX at Droitwich.

Economy 7 switching extended to 2021 according to Wiki....

A further extension was negotiated between the Energy Networks Association and the BBC during 2019, due to the lack of progress in developing suitable smart meter alternatives. This extended the availability of the radio teleswitching service until the end of March 2021.[
 
hvdh

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I'm aware of Europe 1 shutting down it's long wave transmissions from Flensburg on 183 kHz later today, but I've heard no announcement that RTL are also closing their long wave outlet as well? :blink:
Didn't find a source either, other than RTL is only considering a switch-off of 234 kHz.

The switch-off of 183 kHz will clear the way for a better reception of 189 kHz (Iceland).

The TDF carrier on 162 kHz is off now, by the way.
Also 243 kHz (Denmark) is off?
 
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