United Kingdom

The BBC has launched three collections to mark its 100th birthday and tell the story of a “century of broadcasting”.
BBC History has unveiled the trio of online exhibitions looking at the most iconic objects, people and contributors.
Technology, props, documents, artwork and buildings from the last century will be featured in the 100 Objects collection.
Objects include the Queen Victoria bust from the EastEnders set and Captain Sir Tom Moore’s walker after his story was first told on BBC Three Counties Radio.
Sir Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS when he walked 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April 2020.
A classic BBC microphone, Mr Darcy’s shirt from Pride And Prejudice, the mirror globe used as an early TV ident and Roy Plomley’s proposal letter for Desert Island Discs will also feature in the collection.
A total of 100 photos from the archive depicting BBC personalities make up the 100 Faces collection – featuring correspondents in the field, actors on set, and monarchs speaking to the nation.
The 100 Voices oral history collection tells the stories of people who worked at the BBC, covering news and elections, the birth of TV, radio reinvented, pioneering women, and entertaining the nation.
The three collections are on the BBC 100 website, which also features an interactive year-by-year timeline covering key moments in the corporation’s first 100 years.
It includes the world’s first televised Olympic Games in 1948, the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and the launch of the BBC website in 1997.
BBC head of history Robert Seatter said: “The BBC has an amazing history which belongs to us all. As we mark 100 years of our BBC, these new digital resources, partner exhibitions, research and publications give a unique insight into the history of the Corporation and provide something to intrigue audiences of all ages.”Additionally, the BBC is working with the British Film Institute on the BFI’s 100 BBC Gamechangers which will chronologically list TV programmes that changed the landscape of British TV.
The list will be announced in spring 2022.
Meanwhile, the Science Museum Group will digitise 1,000 BBC objects for the first time and launch a major exhibition and events programme across the UK.
Other regional museum partners will also mark the centenary through collections and displays, the BBC confirmed.
Sir Ian Blatchford, director and chief executive of the Science Museum Group, added: “We are delighted to be part of 2022’s BBC 100 celebrations and to be telling the story of a century of broadcasting.”

The new collections will evolve and be added to throughout the centenary year.

Mike Terry to WOR iog (2022-01-03)


Allouis, a silent transmitter.

Media-Radio.info – Article translated from French:
31 December 2016, France Inter stopped broadcasting on the big waves. 5 years later it still consumes nearly 1000 kW 24 h / 24, without modulation, to ensure the broadcast of the clock signals.

The bottom of longwaves which broadcast France Inter.

The FFH station had to be replaced.
The CNET facilities in Saint-Assise ensured the broadcast of the time signal by means of the FFH transmitter on 2.5 MHz. The broadcast was unstable due to shortwave disturbances and no longer met the criteria of the time.
The ideal would have been to install a specific VLF transmitter of a few tens of kilowatts, like Germany with its DCF77 station in Mainflingen.
Another solution: to use installations with the army. This is the solution adopted by the USSR, whose VLF transmitters for links with submarines broadcast the time signals.

An innovative and economical solution.
Instead of building a small transmitter or using the antennas of the French Navy at Saint-Assise, France preferred to use the Radio France transmitter at Allouis.
We are in 1972 … What could be more normal to charge the transmitter of the state radio with this mission?
It is in this spirit that the CNET proposed to broadcast a second signal in phase modulation, inaudible by listeners, which made it possible to synchronize all the clocks in France.

1977, regular service begins.
In the spirit of the time, this cost nothing, as the transmitter was used for broadcasting.
The end of the ORTF did not change the project: TDF billed Radio France for the rental costs of the transmitter, broadcasting the time signal was supposed to cost nothing.
Since 2004, the CFHM: French Chamber of Watchmaking and Microtechnology financed and partly ensured the maintenance of its own system and delivery to the transmitter, but not distribution.
Everything was going well, until the day when Radio France was forced to save money. Are the long waves essential? If so, why have to bear all of the operating costs of the Allouis transmitter when it uses one service and the other is offered to watchmakers?
The negotiations were unsuccessful and Radio France ended up stopping its broadcasting on December 31, 2016.

The cheapest becomes the most expensive.
Since 1 January 2017, TDF was obliged to continue to operate the transmitter to ensure a free service. If the transmitter was stopped, several thousand clocks would indicate fanciful times: station, airport, metro, church clocks and bells, parking meters, many strategic sites, but also private devices such as radio alarm clocks. In total, nearly 300,000 potential victims.
TDF is a private company, we cannot force it to bear the costs.
The Government had instructed the ANFR to ensure the continuity of the broadcasting of this time signal, from 1áµ ‰ ʳ January 2017, for a period of one year. Then, the mission was provisionally entrusted in 2018 to the General Directorate of Enterprises (DGE). The resumption of the management of the time signal by the ANFR was effective on 1áµ ‰ ʳ January 2019 . It is now the ANFR that pays the bill.

Find another pigeon.
We tried to find a publisher of radio services. In December 2016, the CSA launched a call for expressions of interest for the broadcasting of a radio service on the 162 kHz frequency. This call specified the obligation to broadcast the time signal. However, the CSA specified that the effective radiated power of the signal emitted on the frequency 162 kHz will be a priori constrained by the power of the time signal, which could be the subject of an optimization.
Apart from one station which found a magnificent April Fool’s joke in this request, no serious broadcaster responded to the offer.

It’s time to do the math.
For almost 3 years, 1100 kWh have been consumed for a service that could have been provided by a VLF transmitter of only 50 kWh! This is 22 times more consumption than that of the Mainflingen transmitter which provides the same service. An invoice for which TDF does not specify the amount: personnel, operation, energy as well as maintenance and depreciation.
It is technically impossible to reverse a choice that dates back to the 70s!

Power reduction?
It was only this summer, that is to say with almost two and a half years of delay, that the ANFR carried out tests aimed at optimizing the broadcast power of the signal. The signal strength was reduced to 800 kW from July 2 to 4, 2019. The ANFR did not observe any major reception problems.
This is without taking into account that the minimum power had been set by CNET studies at 600 kW.
Now the power has gone back to the consumption of a city of 5,000 inhabitants.
The file progressed slowly … It must be said that the sleight of hand between ANFR, DGE and return to ANFR did not help matters.

You can’t see the end of the tunnel.
Stopping is not an option given the number of users. This service provides a time reference with very high precision and great reliability. It has the advantage of being able to be better received in indoor spaces than other time bases, such as those of GPS or mobile telephone networks.
We are not close to finding a replacement solution and when it is found, it will be years before the 300,000 pieces of equipment are replaced.
We could propose a distribution of the costs between a broadcaster and the ANFR, instead of making the taxpayers pay the whole amount.

Via Radios du monde Facebook group via Mike Terry to WOR iog (2022-01-02)


225 kHz Longwave radio broadcasting is becoming an exotic affair.
Those who remained can be counted on one hand. Let’s talk about Poland. Probably the loudest station in the range. Frequency 225 kHz …
Back in 1974, near the small village of Gombin, a miracle was built – the Warsaw radio mast. Antenna mast with a height of 646 meters. More than half a kilometer into the sky. The need to build this facility was the fact that the long-wave transmitter in the village of Raszyn, which was operating at that time, did not provide the necessary coverage for Poland.
The new location was specially chosen: the central location relative to the Polish territory, high electrical conductivity of the soil.

Until 1991 – the tallest building in the world. The mast worked as a half-wave emitter. Power 2000 kW.
General characteristics:
Weight: Polish sources claim 420 tons
Height: 646.38 meters (2120.67 feet)
Frequency: 227 kHz (before February 1988), 225 kHz (after February 1988)
Type: Steel lattice mast with guy wires.

On August 8, 1991, the guy wires were repaired. As the workers secured the temporary cables, a sudden blowing wind twisted the mast and it bent about halfway up. After the destruction of the mast, transmissions at a frequency of 225 kHz continued from the old transmitter in the village of Rashin.
However, the facility was used to broadcast the second program of Polish Radio at 198kHz. To work at two frequencies at once, the transmitter in the village of Rashin could not, and transmissions at a frequency of 198 kHz were stopped before the launch of a new transmitting facility.
In 1995, the Polish authorities began work on the renovation of the Warsaw Mast, as the importance of long-wave transmissions remained relevant.
But local residents opposed the restoration, fearing the danger of electro-magnetic radiation. The search for a new location for the transmitting facility has been started.
A new location was found at a former military facility near the town of Solec Kujawski. It is worth noting that local residents there initially resisted construction as well. The tension was eased after a large donation from Polish Radio for the development of the local community.
The programs from the new facility were broadcast on September 4, 1999. The masts are 330 and 289 meters high.
To this day, the broadcasts of the First Polish Radio Program can be heard at a frequency of 225 kHz. Power: 1200 / 700 kW.
Vladimir Kovalenko, Tomsk-RUS via WWDXC

Kari Kallio in nordx iog (2021-12-28)

United States

The Transatlantic Tests of 1921.
In 1921, on December 9, 10, 11, radio amateurs who were members of both the Radio Club of America (RCA) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) successfully spanned the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, from the United States to Ardrossan Scotland, with Morse code signals. Not only were the signals heard in Scotland, but also in Amsterdam Holland (3600 miles), England, Germany, Puerto Rico, Vancouver British Columbia in Canada, Catalina island California (2470 mi.), and the State of Washington.

The transmitter on the U.S. side, station 1BCG, was located in a 10 ft. x 14 ft. wooden hut in a farmer’s field in Greenwich Connecticut. The transmitter had an input power of 990 watts, a T cage antenna, 100 feet long and 70 feet high with a radial counterpoise, and the wavelength used was 230 meters (1.3 MHz).

This Transatlantic Test Project, which was conceived of by radio amateurs, proved that even with modest equipment, the Atlantic Ocean could be spanned with shortwave signals, opening up improved communications for many more purposes. These “short” wavelengths below 200 meters had been considered useless by commercial and governmental interests, resulting in the Radio Act of 1912 banning amateur activity in the wavelengths longer than 200 meters. As a result of the successful efforts of radio amateurs in Transatlantic Test Project , over the last 100 years many experimenters and inventors became focused on continually improving wireless technologies and devices. The direct results of that inventing are the smart phones, smart watches, smart TVs, wireless Internet routers, GPS tracking devices, and Bluetooth headsets, all of which depend on wireless technologies. Those pioneers 100 years ago could never have envisioned the way society has been enabled and transformed by wireless!
2021 marks the 100th year anniversary of the historic Transatlantic Tests. On December 11, 2021 The 1BCG replica transmitter will be operating as W2AN/1BCG on 1.821 MHz, plus or minus, using CW, from The Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut. Transmissions from W2AN/1BCG will be one-way, just like the original transatlantic tests in 1921.

You can get a SWL certificate for this Special Event by sending a copy of the transmitted message to 1BCG@AntiqueWireless.org
Schedule: Transmissions start on December 11, 2021, on 1.820 mhz, +/-, at 1800 EST or 2300 UTC, then every 15 minutes thereafter for a total of five hours thusly; 1815, 1830, 1845, 1900, 1915, 1930, 1945, 2000, 2015, 2030, 2045, 2100, 2115, 2130, 2145, 2200, 2215, 2230 and the last transmission at 2245 EST.

More information here: http://1bcg.org/1BCG/

Mike Terry to WOR iog (2021-12-03)

United Kingdom

Radio Caroline – 30 years ago.
On 19th November 1991, a fierce storm broke the anchor chain on the Ross Revenge. Battered and bruised and without power she drifted 17 miles until she ran aground on the notorious Goodwin Sands. In the early light of the morning her crew was helicoptered off and she was left alone to succumb to nature.Over the years hundreds of ships and countless lives have been taken by the Goodwin Sands and for a while it looked as if Ross Revenge was destined to become another one. However, she is a remarkable ship, and after four days effort by two tugs she was recovered and taken into Dover Harbour where she was promptly arrested and served with a detention order.It looked like the end for Radio Caroline, but the station moved to land-based studios, the Ross Revenge was restored and is now used regularly for monthly live broadcasts.
Caroline continues …
Dave Kitteridge wrote on Facebook 19 November 2021

Mike Terry to WOR iog (2021-11-20)


Radio Sutatenza: a cultural revolution in the Colombian countryside (1947 – 1994)” is an exhibition that reconstructs the history of the famous radio station, which sought to reduce the abysmal distances between the quality of rural and urban life through education in the basics and at a distance. Managed by the Acción Cultural Popular (Acpo), an educational company of Catholic extraction, it used an educational method that combined communication technologies with a model of Comprehensive Fundamental Education (Efi), seeking to generate social change. In forty years, working with public and private entities, Acpo has created a network of educational media in more than nine hundred Colombian municipalities.

Radio Reporter (2021-11-18)

United Kingdom

Little hut in a soggy Chelmsford field where the first ever radio station was born.
At exactly 7.15pm on February 14, 1922, history was made from a tiny hut in a soggy field in Essex.
In that moment, the faint crackling of a voice was broadcast across the airwaves from inside an old ex-army hut on the edge of a field in the village of Writtle, Chelmsford.
It was the birth of the first ever regular radio station, named 2MT, standing for Two-Emma-Toc, the phonetic alphabet of its time – cementing Essex in history as the official birthplace of British radio broadcasting.
Full article here:

Mike Terry to WOR iog (2021-10-11)

United States

WBZ-AM 100 years.
On September 19, 1921, one of America’s oldest radio stations will celebrate its 100th anniversary. On Friday (6/11), the 100-day countdown began to a century of serving New England began for a station currently offering an all-News format, owned today by iHeartMedia.
WBZ-AM 1030, a Class-A 50kw directional facility using 2 towers on the opposite of Nantasket Beach, Mass., is the station already saluting itself. This will see on-air and online vignettes recalling the most memorable moments in the station’s history.
While the oldest Radio station WBZ in Boston is celebrating in New England  its 100th anniversary in 2021, The Billerica Amateur Radio Society, along with the Hampden County Radio Association in Springfield, will be commemorating this anniversary by conducting a special operating event starting at 1300z/9:00 AM EDT September 17 and ending at 0359z September 20/11:59 PM EDT September 19 WBZ began operations on September 15, 1921 at the Westinghouse Works building on Page Boulevard in East Springfield, Massachusetts broadcasting with just 100 watts. In 1931, Westinghouse moved the station to Boston; its 15,000-watt transmitter was moved to Millis. By 1933, Westinghouse increased WBZ’s power to 50,000 watts. In 1940, the transmitter was moved to Hull. The station was made famous with its slogan, “The Spirit of New England.” After WWI, wireless radio grew with an increase in ham radio operators. Amateurs greatly contributed to the advance of the radio arts. One of their contributions was the development of voice modulated radio signals, which used Amplitude Modulation (AM).
WBZ first broadcast using AM 100 years ago. For their efforts, amateurs were granted permanent privileges for frequencies in the 80-, 40-, 20-, and 10-meter shortwave bands by the International Treaty in 1927. The partnership of commercial broadcasting and amateur radio hobbyists was very beneficial to all.
Read more at https://nediv.arrl.org/wbz100/

Kari Kallio to nordx iog (2021-09-18)