Morocco on longwave.
Medi 1 is always present on longwave, thanks to its Selouane station, located 18 kilometers south of Nador and west of the Algerian border. It covers Morocco, Algeria and the west of the Mediterranean basin, to the south of France. It uses the frequency of 171 kHz, which had been assigned by the Geneva plan (1975) to Morocco.Radio Méditerranée Internationale Médi 1 was born in 1980: Hassan II decided to create a commercial Franco-Moroccan radio station and entrusted the management of the project to the French company SOFIRAD.
The radio now depends on the SNRT group. Retrofitted in 2010, the transmitter would consist of 4 Thomson Broadcast S7HP 400 kW.
Morocco’s second longwave transmitter is located in Démnate, 7 km south of Azilal in the High Atlas. After several failures, the transmitter was out of service since mid-2017.
However, SNRT had not given up on reactivating the station to broadcast its Al Idaa Al Watania program, which is its reference generalist radio.
In 2017, calls for tenders were launched for “the supply, installation and commissioning of an AM/DRM radio transmitter with a power of 800 kW configured in two blocks of 400 kW including its accessories”. Another tender notice concerned “maintenance and repair work on the 300m high radiant tower, including its accessories.”
Due to the lack of bidders, the bid opening date has been postponed. We ended up believing that the SNRT had given up on its project to rehabilitate its long-wave transmitter center.
In recent weeks several people have been excited to see a new call for tenders for the “supply of modules and spare parts for 2 x 400 kW AM radio transmitters for Thomson S7 HP”.
Unfortunately, it is more than uncertain: this tender concerns parts for the 2,400 kW medium wave transmitters at Ait Melloul, south of Agadir, which were installed in 2015 by the Arilis group. The second bad news is that the call for bids, whose opening was to take place on November 15, 2022, was a failure: the deputy director of Operations and Maintenance could only point out that no response was received.
This is a worrying sign, when one knows how difficult it is to still obtain spare parts for high-power transmitters.
Riz, Thomson, Transradio… the European manufacturers of high power transmitters have already disappeared or have been absorbed by companies that are no longer very interested in this range of products. It’s not much better in the United States, Radio Romania International regularly pays the price.
In the absence of a manufacturer’s delivery, power tubes, power modules and capacitors can be ordered in China, where they are produced by the piece… at exorbitant prices, very long delivery times and often , with a quality that leaves something to be desired.
This does not bode well for the rest of the fleet of seventeen longwave transmitters still in service and medium wave transmitters.
For broadcasters, this is certainly not the time to invest in renovating the installation, turning to Nautel, which has become the largest manufacturer of transmitters of this type.
Zach Liang to WOR iog (022-12-29)