Tag Archives: BBC Woofferton

Radio World: “Historic Woofferton Boasts a Modern Twist”

Photo by Flickt user Shirokazan via Wikimedia Commons.

(Source: Radio World via David Iurescia and Michael Bird)

WOOFFERTON, England — Nestled in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, just a few miles from England’s border with Wales, is the tiny village of Woofferton. That name is synonymous with shortwave radio for millions of listeners around the world as just a short distance from the village itself, lays the United Kingdom’s last remaining public service shortwave transmitting station.

Now owned and operated by Encompass Digital Media, Woofferton recently celebrated its 75th birthday. Built in 1943, the station has a fascinating history; originally designed to bolster the BBC’s General Overseas Service (now the World Service) during the latter years of World War II, it was later partly funded by the United States and was used extensively by the Voice of America to broadcast into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the cold war years. Today, Woofferton transmits programs for the BBC and a number of other international broadcasters, reaching audiences across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

[…]There are 10 high-power HF transmitters at Woofferton. They range from Marconi senders of various vintages, including two BD272 250 kW units that date back to the 1960s, to the more recent 300 kW B6124 solid-state transmitters, and four of the most modern RIZ 250K01 wideband systems, which are also capable of operating in Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) mode. In fact, the BBC’s daily DRM transmission for Europe is broadcast from here.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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Encompass DRM tests from Woofferton March 26 and 27

Photo by Flickt user Shirokazan via Wikimedia Commons.

(Source: Mauno Ritola via WRTH Facebook page)

Encompass (BBC content) Encompass DRM tests from Woofferton are planned for March 26th and 27th:

  • 1200-1300 UTC 11780 kHz
  • 1500-1600 UTC 11790 kHz”

Very strong signal on 11780 kHz now.

Thanks for the tip, Mauno!

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Woofferton Transmitting Station: 75 years of continuous operation

Photo by Flickt user Shirokazan via Wikimedia Commons.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who notes:

Pleased to let you know that Woofferton Transmitting Station celebrated 75 years of continuous operation yesterday 17th October 2018.

It is now run by Encompass Digital Media to give it its full name!

Woofferton has certainly experienced and propagated a lot of world history!  Thank you for sharing Dave!

If you’d like to dive deeper into the station’s history, check out this book published around the time of Woofferton’s 50th Anniversary. Also, click here to check out Dave’s video tour of the Woofferton Transmitting Station.

Spoiler Alert: As we approach the SWLing Post’s 10th Anniversary next month, Dave is generously donating a little piece of Wooferton’s history that one lucky reader will win! Interested?  Stay tuned!

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Paul receives report confirmation from BBC test transmission

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul Walker, who writes:

Remember the “transmission tests” from Babcock and Wooferton last summer? I finally got an email QSL…

My original email is first along with an audio sample of what I heard….

Original message sent on Tuesday, August 11, 2015:

I wanted to send you a reception report after hearing your broadcast.

“This Is A Test Transmission” on 15745khz heard at 1655UTC/11:55am Central today (08/10/2015) in Beaumont, Texas (far southeast corner of the state). This is 4 1/2 minutes, recorded until abrupt sign off in mid song.

I used a Sangean ATS909X with a PK’s Loop 6-18mhz tuneable Shortwave loop. The loop can be tuned to a certain frequency with a dial and can be rotated.

Tuning the loop to your exact frequency and orienting it in your general direction resulted in a pretty decent signal with good audio. The signal was about a 5 out of 10 with some fading, but generally pretty steady.

A link to the 4 1/2 minute audio clip is here:

Do you offer QSL’s? I would very much appreciate a QSL card or letter via regular mail if that is possible.

Warmest Regards,
Paul Walker

Fast forward to yesterday (Wednesday, January 27, 2016):

Thank you for your report and I confirm the details are correct. These transmissions were to fault-find on a 300 kW sender at the UK HF transmitter station at Woofferton.

The engineers needed a long test time as the fault was of an intermittent nature.

Babcock, Woofferton is the only remaining UK HF sender broadcast station and also is the only one with this transmission test audio and email address.

The audio is contained in a file playout system and incorporates non-copyright music and voice announcements from one of the employees at the transmitter site.

Thanks for your interest.

73

Dave G4OYX,

(Retired) Senior Transmitter Engineer Woofferton 1982-2012.

Very cool, Paul! And many thanks to Dave Porter for supplying Paul’s confirmation!

If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend Dave Porter’s video presentation of Woofferton on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/wooffertonuk) and this history of WOF (http://www.bbceng.info/Technical%20Reviews/technical_reviews.htm).

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Dave Porter’s video tour of the BBC Woofferton transmitting site

Check out this brilliant video tour of the BBC Woofferton Transmitting Station, presented by Senior Transmitter Engineer Dave Porter (G40YX). The video is divided in seven parts, thus I’ve created a playlist that will automatically load each video in order.

Click here to start the playlist on YouTube, or simply watch the tour through the embedded video player below. Enjoy:

Many thanks to Dave Porter for hosting this video tour and to Mike Barraclough for the tip!

If you would like to read a detailed history of Woofferton, be sure to check out our post:
Shortwave Radio History: 50 years of transmitting at BBC Woofferton

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Shortwave Radio History: 50 years of transmitting at BBC Woofferton

Click here to download your copy.

Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated radio historian and author, Jeff Cant, you can download and read an excellent history of the first fifty years of the BBC’s Woofferton transmission station. Cant began his history as an internal document to the station; he later finished it in his retirement. I wish every shortwave transmitter station had such a well-documented history providing a perspective on the station’s broadcasting. We owe Mr. Cant a profound debt of gratitude.

To download the PDF, simply click here.

A special thanks to Jonathan Marks for finding and sharing this great bit of radio history.

Should the link to the PDF above ever become inactive, I’ve placed an archive copy available for download on the SWLing Post server.

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