Tag Archives: CKZN

Action Alert: To gauge listener reaction, CKZN Goose Bay goes off air

“Is anybody even listening?”  So said the powers-that- be at CKZN.  To find out, the relay was (temporarily) shut down.

You, too, may have noticed that the CBC Radio 1 relay through CKZN on 6,160 kHz has been off air for several days. I’m traveling in Canada this summer, and noticed that CKZN has been completely silent lately, whereas earlier this month their1 KW signal was actually penetrating the RFI here where I’m staying in Québec.

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors–including Ed, Matt, Richard Cuff, Ed McCorry, and Dennis Dura–who’ve provided a few details about this development:

Richard Cuff shared the following:

[T]he CBC has apparently switched off the CKZN shortwave transmitter on purpose — to see who notices that it’s missing, it appears — much like Radio Australia did just before shutting down its shortwave service.

I know I would miss them — they frankly have been an enjoyable companion especially when I’m away from home and unable to connect to the Internet via WiFi.

Richard then included email correspondence that Glenn Hauser received from CBC representative Katie Rowe; Glenn published Rowe’s reply on the DX Listening Digest:

“Hi Glenn, They are currently conducting some testing to gauge listenership. I’ve been advised that they will likely be off-air for a couple of more weeks. “

Ed McCorry also received a reply from Katie Rowe when he inquired about CKZN:

I’ve been advised that the system is being tested. I should have some more information soon I can pass along.

Thanks for reaching out.
Katie

Richard and Glenn have hit the nail on the head.  The CBC is taking the same approach the ABC did prior to closing down their shortwave services; they’re gauging listener reactions by turning off the relay…and simply waiting for a response from those in the target region.

The WRTH featured CKZN in their 2017 issue.

Some of you might recall that Hans Johnson, featured an article about CKZN in the 2017 Word Radio TV Handbook, noted that the CBC intended to not only continue the shortwave service directed at Labrador’s most remote areas, but was planning to replace their 1 kW Elcom Bauer transmitter in the coming years.

Why, then, this sudden silence?

I rather suspect the CBC are looking at the cost of this transmitter upgrade and considering simply shutting down the service instead of re-investing in it.  A worrisome––and potentially short-sighted–– development.

Contacting the CBC

If you listen to CKZN––even if you’re not in their target broadcast footprint––consider contacting them to let the know you’re listening…to nothing.

Certainly, if you’re a listener in Labrador, northern Québec, or indeed anywhere in Canada where you might benefit from this service, or in any rural area where radio is sometimes (or often) preferable to inadequate internet service, I’d strongly suggest you make your voice heard. The CBC have been clear about this point.

Why is this important?  Because as most regular readers of this blog already know, losing a shortwave radio relay––a useful service that becomes especially vital in the event of an emergency––is cutting off a vital channel of communication.  It is, metaphorically speaking, putting all one’s eggs in one (digital and/or FM) basket.  Yet the Internet, which has now largely supplanted radio, is certainly not infallible, especially in rural regions; many rural Canadians, even those who don’t regularly listen to this station, may rely upon this very service in the event of a emergency such as a weather event or other crisis, and unquestionably during an interruption of digital service.  However, this sort of event is not likely to take place during this testing period, giving the CBC a narrow view of the radio relay’s actual utility.

One reader provided this link for a host of email addresses for CBC Newfoundland & Labrador:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/contact-us-cbcnl-1.3990861

I also contacted Ms. Rowe this morning for comment, but have not yet received a reply. Her email address:  katie.rowe@cbc.ca

Keep in mind, Saturday is Canada Day, and the country is celebrating their 150th…I wouldn’t expect to hear back until next week.

Happy Canada Day, Canadian friends!

And let’s keep listening…even for inexplicable silence on the radio dial.

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CKZU unlikely to return to shortwave

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who writes:

From DXLD today in case you missed it . Well at least CKZN St. Johns [also on 6160 @ 1kw] is still on (last I checked) , the one I can hear at my QTH.

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Bad news re: CKZU 6160 Khz

Volodya S

Fellas, from an insider at the CBC. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for CKZU ever returning to the air. 🙁 Thanks to Colin Newell for digging into this further.

Walt Salmaniw, Victoiria, BC

Got the answer.. not gonna like it.
Basically, it broke and they don’t have parts to fix it because it’s too old and no parts available. The money required to purchase a new transmitter doesn’t make sense because of the low numbers of people who use it (changing world, everything’s online, blah blah). Before you say it, yes I know, I know.

Anyway, there is no other way to voice your displeasure than the 1-866-306-4636 audience relations number. If enough people call, they might notice, but I doubt it.

Sorry to be the bad news messenger. I kinda figured that was the deal of why it was off the air.

This is sad news indeed for those who enjoyed CKZU. What amazes me, is how a 500 watt shortwave relay covered such a large broadcast footprint in British Columbia and western North America.

On that note, I just discovered this post by Colin Newell (referenced above) on his blog, the Coffee Crew Blog. Colin mentions when he started listening to CKZU and what it meant to him. Check out his post.

CKZU was a reasonably tough catch here on the east coast of the US–especially due to CKZN who shared the frequency–though I’ve heard them numerous times. Indeed, this will prompt me to go back a few years in my SDR spectrum archive recordings and tune them in once again–sort of a postmortem DX–? I’m sure I’ve captured them.

As Dave mentions above, CKZN St. Johns is still on the air and, perhaps, listeners on the west coast will have a better chance snagging their 1 kW signal now. According to an article about CKZN in the latest WRTH, the station should be around for many years to come.

Thanks again, Dave, for the tip and many thanks to Colin for the research.

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