RTÉ longwave 252: maintenance shutdown June 27 – July 8, 2017

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, James Leary, who shares the following news and audio clip from RTÉ:

Hi Thomas, I heard this announcement the other day about RTE 252 and thought it might be of interest for your site. I think it’s also going to shut down permanently in 2019.

Received on a Tecsun PL-390 in NW UK.

Click here to download the audio as an MP3.

Thanks for the news and recording, James!

You’re correct: according to an article from Radio Today, RTÉ has agreed to continue its longwave 252 service until the end of June 2019.

Impressive that RTÉ’s longwave transmission equipment has been in continuous operation for over 27 years! I’m not surprised the antenna needs maintenance.

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7 thoughts on “RTÉ longwave 252: maintenance shutdown June 27 – July 8, 2017

  1. Paul Rawdon

    This carries shades of the Australian Northern Territrory and Radio Australia maintenance shutdowns both of which were announced. It’s obvious that the Australian case was to judge how many listeners missed them. They later had the audacity to use the lack of complaints as justification for closure of both services. They conveniently overlooked the fact that listeners knew beforehand that the stations would be off air.

  2. Dave Porter G4OYX

    Hi All,

    Interesting comments on both the original posting and and the follow-up posts.
    OK about the transmission services provider conducting mast maintenance on a 27 year old system.
    One would guess that with the Health and Safety legislation these days in the EU that stay greasing, stay tensioning or even stay replacement is not permitted if the antenna is on power or even reduced power as the field strengths or even voltage pick-up could exceed statutory legislation. There will no doubt be a public-liability requirement to satisfy the insurance company responsible for the cover.

    However, the site has not actually been on continuous operation for 27 years as after the closure of the Atlantic 252 service and the short-lived sports programming/talk network the Continental LF TX’s were replaced by solid-state units for the start of the RTE service. So there was a gap within which scheduled mast maintenance could have been effected.

    Some of the BBC 1930’s Regional sites for example Brookmans Park, Washford, Lisnagarvey and Droitwich LF have their original masts and in the case of Washford no added later masts at all. All are coming up to 75-80 years old so a well-cared-for mast in Ireland has a way to go!

    The story of the possible closure of the LF service at Droitwich is well documented but it’s not strictly true, yes there was an announcement from Thales in France who supply the output tubes for the MCSL transmitters that they were ceasing production on a regular basis as a catalogue item. However, as far as we can understand, these tubes as are still available to special order BUT there may be a specified MOQ to qualify a production run.

  3. Adam Ling

    This raises a few questions in my mind about long wave transmission. The first one is, Are there still many listeners on long wave? I ask this because, while every radio I’ve seen has AM and FM capabilities, and I’ve seen at least some radios with shortwave bands that normal people who didn’t have an interest in shortwave were using, I have never actually seen a long wave radio. I assume that this is mostly a result of the U.S. not having any long wave broadcasters, but it’s supposed to carry a rather long distance, so I’m not sure. The second question I have is whether the signal quality on this extends for longer distances? I understand that this was received relatively close to the transmitter, so it’s probably pretty good. Would a U.S. reception have anything similar, or would it be as hard to receive from a portable radio as international shortwave broadcasters?

  4. Mark Phillips

    Wow! That’s quite some maintenance they are carrying out. Makes you wonder why they are bothering with only 2 years life remaining.

    Anyone remember Atlantic 252 ?

    BBC Radio 4 on 198KHz have also sent out a death knell. In their case it’s not a scheduled shutdown but rather a lack of replacement transmitter tubes. They are on their last one. When it’s gone, so are they.

    1. Cap

      Yeah, I remember it well and was a revelation back in the day, even if they repeated the songs every hour 🙂
      Their signal was massive and recall them saying “Half a million watts of power” which got reduced around 1800 every evening.
      Do you remember the “Win £1000 pounds in cash”? I phoned in but alas was not caller 252. My mate still has the car sticker in a drawer somewhere.

      Surprised they are doing the maintenance now when they are ceasing in two years, although I suspect it’s a case of having to rather than wanting to.


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