Antenna upgrade for RTE Radio 1 “will ensure transmission of longwave radio continues”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John Hoad, who shares the following news and notes:

Interesting information about the continuation of broadcasting of RTE Radio 1 on 252 kHz from Summerhill, County Meath Ireland:

(Source: Hildegarde Naughton)

Longwave Radio to continue for the benefit of Diaspora

Thursday, 25th April 2019

Major antenna upgrade will ensure transmission of longwave radio continues – Naughton

Upgrade works will ensure that the transmission of longwave radio continues for the Irish diaspora, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Hildegarde Naughton, welcomed RTE’s decision to undertake significant remedial works on transmission equipment which will guarantee the continuance of the longwave service for a minimum of two years.

Deputy Naughton said: “The maintenance of long wave radio for the Irish diaspora is a significant concern to the Committee.

“The UK regulator, Ofcom, will not grant RTE, as a non-UK broadcaster, the necessary licence to broadcast on digital in the UK at this time.

“After engagement between the Committee and RTE, I received a letter from the Director General of the national broadcaster committing to maintain service into the future.

“The antenna upgrade requires bespoke manufacturing from a specialist supplier based in Canada and delivery of this element is expected by mid-September.

“The relevant mast at Summerhill is 248 metres in height and is a high-risk work environment.

“I am told that the weather, and more particularly wind speeds, will be the main determining factor on the commencement and the duration of the works.

“Unfortunately once this remedial work commences, the long wave service will have to be temporarily suspended.

“I understand that it will be out of commission for approximately ten weeks, but RTE has said it will endeavour to complete the works as quickly as possible.

“I welcome the efforts being made to continue this service, which serves as an invaluable link between the diaspora and home.

“However I intend to work with the committee to explore other longer term alternative solutions to ensure this service continues,” Deputy Naughton concluded.

Click here to read the full press release.

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2 thoughts on “Antenna upgrade for RTE Radio 1 “will ensure transmission of longwave radio continues”

  1. Dafydd

    Well,this is a bit of a surprise! Since they shut down France Inter’s longwave transmissions I’ve listened to Rte Radio 1 on my pocket size,Roberts Radi (R9962) when I’m out & about. The signal is very good,in the day,here in South West Wales. I also,listen to it around tea time,and,often,on Sunday mornings,around lunch time. I used to,even,leave it on Rte 1,when I was tucked up in bed! Unfortunately,since the power of the transmitter was reduced,and,what with,the interference from that radio station in Algiers;it has become virtually impossible to listen to any programming from the early evening,onward. As the days shorten,it is possible to listen a bit later;but as soon as it starts getting darker,even the narrowest filter on my Tecsun Pl-880 doesn’t help! (And my filter free,Roberts radio,would be utterly useless!) Yet,I can remember listening all night!! Even the old mw frequency,seemed clearer!! If Rte are going to upgrade the mast;presumably they will increase the power? Even,better;as has been suggested,they could alter the frequency! I don’t know the legal,or technical,in’s and outs,of this;but I understand it would be possible? I understand the transmitter has the facility to transmit in DRM mode;but I can’t see that this would be much use to the older members of the Irish community here (diaspora) who have campaigned so hard,over the last few years,against the closure of this facility?! Either way,this is good news for me & others who enjoy being able to listen to this station;or just enjoy listening without being dependent on some kind of ‘connection’! Or like me,just enjoy the vagaries of long distance reception!! And presumably (hopefully!) I won’t have to find another station to listen to on my pocket radio,in a few weeks time?! Although,apparently,I will have to for,approximately,ten weeks?!! But,if 252 is going to continue,it will be worth the wait!!


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