United States

It’s the Big One: Happy 100th birthday to WLW-AM.
Cincinnati entrepreneur Powel Crosley Jr. put WLW-AM [700 kHz] on the air on March 2, 1922, and it’s still going strong.
Commercial broadcasting license No. 62 arrived from the U.S. Department of Commerce authorizing Powel Crosley Jr. to go on the air with call letters WLW 100 years ago today, March 2, 1922.
More on the story here https://www.wvxu.org/media/2022-03-02/wlw-am-turns-100-tvkiese

Radio World Top Stories (2022-03-04)

United Kingdom

This day, the 14th February 2022 marks the centenary of the first radio broadcast by Marconi from his Writtle factory in Chelmsford Essex.

Transmissions began on 14 February 1922 from an ex-Army hut next to the Marconi laboratories at Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex. Initially the station only had 200 watts and transmitted on 700m (428 kHz) on Tuesdays from 2000 to 2030.Two Emma Toc (as it was called in the British Army Signalling Corps spelling alphabet of the day) was a surprising success. The presenter, producer, actor-manager and writer was Captain P. P. Eckersley, a Marconi engineer. His regular announcement; “This is Two Emma Toc, Writtle testing, Writtle testing”.
(Various sources)

Mike Terry via WRTH FB group (2022-02-14)

United States

Albany’s News Radio 810 and 103.1 WGY will celebrate the station’s 100th anniversary on Feb. 20.
WGY was founded by General Electric in 1922. Dame Media sold the station to Clear Channel, now iHeart, in 1999. “The Capital Region’s Breaking News, Traffic and Weather Station” will mark the occasion with a special broadcast and new podcast series.
According to a “list of firsts” on the station’s website, WGY was the first station in the state of New York; gave the first presentation of a radio drama in August 1922; was the first to broadcast at 50,000 watts (and at various times used two to four times that); aired the first World Series coverage, with WJZ; and made the first use of a condenser microphone.
https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/headlines/wgy-celebrates-100-years

Mike Terry to WOR iog (2022-02-09)

United Kingdom

Radio Emma Toc is celebrating the centenary of the first 2MT broadcast with an online stream on Monday 14th February 2022.
The stream starts at 1100 UTC with a programme of audio and video telling the story of 2MT. The live programme, hosted by Jim Salmon (also a BDXC member), starts at 1845 UTC when a glass will be
raised to 2MT at 100. Full programme details for the day are listed at:
https://www.emmatoc.org/2mtcelebration
Much more on the history of 2MT is at https://www.emmatoc.org/

BDXC Communication, Feb via WOR iog (2022-02-08)

From Wikipedia:
2MT was the first British radio station to make regular entertainment broadcasts,[1] and the “world’s first regular wireless broadcast” for entertainment. Transmissions began on 14 February 1922 from an ex-Army hut next to the Marconi laboratories at Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex. Initially the station only had 200 watts and transmitted on 700m (428 kHz) on Tuesdays from 2000 to 2030.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2MT

Ydun Ritz (2022-02-08)

Slovakia

Translated from French:
As previously announced, the 1521 kHz (10kW) average wave transmitter from Rimavska Sobota, which broadcasted Radio Patria, has been shut down. On the other hand, Radio Patria continues broadcasting on Košice – Čižatice 702 kHz ( 5kW ) and Nitra – Jarok 1098 kHz (25 kW) their contracts are due at the end of 2022 and we do not know if they will be extended.
Rádio Patria is the fifth program of RTVS. It broadcasts programs for national minorities and ethnic groups in Slovakia in their native language. The main broadcasting languages are Hungarian, Ukrainian and Ruthenian, it is also broadcasted in Romanian and every 3 weeks, there is an alternative hour program in Czech, German and Polish.
The Rimavská Sobota emitting center has a whole story: The emitting center of the average wave dates back to 1945. In 1952 a short wave center was installed and started OC broadcasting in 1956.In 1982, the OC station whole was upgraded and two 250kW transmitters were installed. Over the next year, two more similar units were installed. The towers and swords of short wave antennas have heights up to 171 meters.
After the reconstruction in 1983, a new medium wave room was created and equipped with 4 new 250kW Tesla emissions and new curtain antennae. The company that had taken over the emission center wanted to develop short wave rental.Between 1993 and 2002, the broadcasting center also broadcasted the programs of Radio Slovakia International, the programs of Radio Prague.
Tenants becoming scarce, the centre’s exploitation company was forced to throw away the glove for budget reasonsIn 2011, the short and medium wave transmitters were stopped and kept working by Towercom.In 2017, the transmitter was restored for Radio Patria on 1521 Khz (10 kW)… to this day.
In addition to radio broadcasting, the emission centers have played an important role in the past in the smuggling of Western emissions: the USSR had a separate building inside the perimeter of the broadcast station. There were six EBC 40/50 and six KTV 50 transmitters.
Rimavská Sobota was grumbling, among other things, Radio Europe Libre programs.  

Original text:

Comme annoncé précédemment, l’émetteur ondes moyennes 1521 kHz (10kW) de Rimavska Sobota, qui diffusait Radio Patria a été arrêté. Par contre, la diffusion de Radio Patria continue sur les émetteurs de Košice – Čižatice 702 kHz ( 5kW ) et de Nitra – Jarok 1098 kHz (25 kW ) leurs contrats arrivent a échéance en fin 2022 et on ne sait s’ils seront prolongés.
Rádio Patria est le cinquième programme de RTVS. Il diffuse des émissions pour les minorités nationales et les groupes ethniques en Slovaquie dans leur langue maternelle. Les principales langues de diffusion sont le hongrois, l’ukrainien et le ruthène, il est également diffusé en romani et toutes les 3 semaines, il y a un programme d’une heure alternativement en tchèque, allemand et polonais.
Le centre émetteur de Rimavská Sobota a toute une histoire: Le centre émetteur ondes moyennes date de 1945. En 1952 un centre ondes courtes a été installé et a commencé la diffusion OC en 1956.En 1982, l’ensemble de la station OC a été modernisé et deux émetteurs 250 kW ont été installés. Au cours de l’année suivante, deux autres unités similaires ont été installés. Les tours et mâts des antennes ondes courtes ont des hauteurs jusqu’à 171 mètres.Après la reconstruction en 1983, une nouvelle salle d’ondes moyennes a été créée et équipées de 4 nouveaux émetteurs Tesla de 250 kW et de nouvelles antennes rideaux. La société qui avait repris le centre émetteur souhaitait développer la location des ondes courtes.Entre 1993 et 2002, le centre émetteur a aussi diffusé en plus des programmes de Radio Slovaquie Internationale, les programmes de Radio Prague. Les locataires se faisant rares, la société d’exploitation du centre a été contrainte à jeter le gant pour raisons budgétaires
En 2011, Les émetteurs ondes courtes et les ondes moyennes ont été arrêtés et conservée en état de fonctionner par Towercom.En 2017, l’émetteur a êté remis en service pour Radio Patria sur 1521 Khz (10 kW )… jusqu’à ce jour. Outre la radiodiffusion, les centres émetteurs ont joué dans le passé un rôle important dans le brouillage des émissions de l’ouest: L’URSS disposait d’un bâtiment séparé à l’intérieur du périmètre de la station d’émission. Il y avait six émetteurs EBC 40 / 50 et six émetteurs KTV 50.Rimavská Sobota brouillait, entre autres, les émissions de Radio Europe Libre.

Radios de Monde FB group (2022-02-02)

New Zealand

Radio 1XX , New Zealand’s last private commercial radio station, celebrates 50 years.
It was one of New Zealand’s first private commercial radio stations – and now it’s the last.
Radio One Double X (1XX) [1242AM plus some FM freqs.] in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is celebrating 50 years on air, after hitting the airwaves for the first time in 1971.
Since its launch, the community-driven radio station has won station of the year (non-surveyed market) eight times at the New Zealand Radio Awards.
It’s become a platform for local news, and the first point of call in a state of emergency.
Read more:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/125448250/radio-1xx-new-zealands-last-private-commercial-radio-station-celebrates-50-years

Paul R. to ICDX-AM@group.io (2022-02-01)

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.
https://uk.style.yahoo.com/bbc-unveils-three-collections-mark-000100803.html?

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

France

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.
https://media-radio.info/radiodiffusion/index.php?radiodiffusion=France&id=323&cat_id=14

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

Poland

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)