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Author Topic: RTE service to Irish abroad  (Read 1633 times)

Offline The Ether Hacker

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RTE service to Irish abroad
« on: June 26, 2019, 0546 UTC »
If this was such an issue then why was RTE using 6220 KHz some years ago as was Mystery Radio who were jamming out RTE at the time until RTE moved to 6225, again outside the official broadcast bands. Many international broadcasters are using 6200 - 6400 etc, so isn't this guidance out of date?

Recent example tonight of licensed broadcasters not obeying the ITU international frequency plan.... The Netherlands Coastguard blasting their USB maritime weatherforecast in the middle of the 80 meter Radio Amateur band....

... if a pirate did this for any amount of time... ofcom would be knocking on their door no time...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 1938 UTC by The Ether Hacker »
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Offline Brian

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 0907 UTC »
If this was such an issue then why was RTE using 6220 KHz some years ago as was Mystery Radio who were jamming out RTE at the time until RTE moved to 6225, again outside the official broadcast bands. Many international broadcasters are using 6200 - 6400 etc, so isn't this guidance out of date?

Are you sure?  I don't think RTE, being a state broadcaster) every (officially) broadcast on shortwave.  There were plans for an official shortwave broadcast service back in the 1950s/60s I think, but apart from one or two St Patrick's Day special broadcasts, nothing came of it, officially.

However, regarding state broadcasters not sticking to international broadcasting plans, this has happened, especially by North Korea, in the past, and other types of broadcast have turned up in the wrong bands, definitely.  And then there are spy/number stations too.


Between the late 1930's and the 1950's, Radio Eireann were on SW regularly on their own transmitters from Athlone, officially.

The more recent broadcasts, both on 6220/5 and 58xx were official relays.

Online Ray Lalleu

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 0911 UTC »
I don't remember well about 6220 kHz, but RTE has (had?) a SW service for Irish fellows in Africa. That was once through Meyerton in South Africa, then through relay in Madagascar.

At least, RTE had some care for fellows in Africa, but doesn't want to broadcast to those in England with the 252 LW station ?


Of course, this thread is going to move elsewhere on HF-U
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Offline Harmony

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 1013 UTC »

Between the late 1930's and the 1950's, Radio Eireann were on SW regularly on their own transmitters from Athlone, officially.

The more recent broadcasts, both on 6220/5 and 58xx were official relays.

An old RTE engineer told me as far as he knew there were few, if any SW transmissions from Athlone. The 10kW transmitter was indeed installed, but it didn't last long, apparently. I've been to the site, the transmitter is long gone, but there are clues in the building as to where it was.

Offline Brian

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 1114 UTC »

Between the late 1930's and the 1950's, Radio Eireann were on SW regularly on their own transmitters from Athlone, officially.

The more recent broadcasts, both on 6220/5 and 58xx were official relays.

An old RTE engineer told me as far as he knew there were few, if any SW transmissions from Athlone. The 10kW transmitter was indeed installed, but it didn't last long, apparently. I've been to the site, the transmitter is long gone, but there are clues in the building as to where it was.

I think it was a 100 Kw transmitter and yes it was scrapped as was the mast. Initially they used a (borrowed ?) BBC transmitter but it was only a couple of KWs.
There were quite a few logs of the station made by ham operators. It was a mix of RE programs and some made just for SW.

Offline Harmony

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 1134 UTC »
It was definitely 10kW, a 100kW transmitter in those days was massive, and I've been in the room the HF was in. But I bow to your better knowledge of the other points.

BTW although one of the two masts that supported the MF T antenna used on 612kHz is gone, and the site is mothballed, three generations of MF transmitters remain in situ.

The original Marconi which takes up most of the main hall, the 1950s Brown-Boveri 100kW and the 1970s 2x 50kW Continental - all still there. I have photos somewhere.


Offline Pigmeat

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 1138 UTC »
I don't remember well about 6220 kHz, but RTE has (had?) a SW service for Irish fellows in Africa. That was once through Meyerton in South Africa, then through relay in Madagascar.

At least, RTE had some care for fellows in Africa, but doesn't want to broadcast to those in England with the 252 LW station ?


Of course, this thread is going to move elsewhere on HF-U

I've got a couple of "Passports to World Band Radio" from the early-mid 90's that mention RTE on shortwave via relays. Ironically, I would run into the Meyerton relay on 6220 regularly listening for pirates based in Ireland.

49 meters was so crowded in those days a lot of international broadcasters would go slightly out of band just to heard. At the top end it wasn't much more than 20 kHz, on the bottom end they would drop to 5750 or lower.

Offline Brian

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2019, 1201 UTC »
It was definitely 10kW, a 100kW transmitter in those days was massive, and I've been in the room the HF was in. But I bow to your better knowledge of the other points.

BTW although one of the two masts that supported the MF T antenna used on 612kHz is gone, and the site is mothballed, three generations of MF transmitters remain in situ.

The original Marconi which takes up most of the main hall, the 1950s Brown-Boveri 100kW and the 1970s 2x 50kW Continental - all still there. I have photos somewhere.

I've seen your great photographs. They're still on on line somewhere.
When you consider that the Marconie was 60 KWs, 100 isn't much bigger.
You may be correct regarding the power but it contradicts what I have read elsewhere.

I did a bit of research a few years ago and info on the SW transmissions is limited but somewhere here I have a list of frequencies they were heard on.
From my notes, I believe that RE used 9595, 15120 and 17840 Khz with just 1.5 KW in 1939.
In 1948 they tested with 100 KWs and this continued until 1953.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this information.

I read a while back that there are plans to convert the site into a science center.
https://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/athlone-to-get-7-5m-national-science-centre-1.3645038

Offline The Ether Hacker

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2019, 1218 UTC »
If this was such an issue then why was RTE using 6220 KHz some years ago as was Mystery Radio who were jamming out RTE at the time until RTE moved to 6225, again outside the official broadcast bands. Many international broadcasters are using 6200 - 6400 etc, so isn't this guidance out of date?

Are you sure?  I don't think RTE, being a state broadcaster) every (officially) broadcast on shortwave.  There were plans for an official shortwave broadcast service back in the 1950s/60s I think, but apart from one or two St Patrick's Day special broadcasts, nothing came of it, officially.

However, regarding state broadcasters not sticking to international broadcasting plans, this has happened, especially by North Korea, in the past, and other types of broadcast have turned up in the wrong bands, definitely.  And then there are spy/number stations too.


Between the late 1930's and the 1950's, Radio Eireann were on SW regularly on their own transmitters from Athlone, officially.

The more recent broadcasts, both on 6220/5 and 58xx were official relays.

Ah, ok... I stand corrected
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Offline The Ether Hacker

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2019, 1302 UTC »
I don't remember well about 6220 kHz, but RTE has (had?) a SW service for Irish fellows in Africa. That was once through Meyerton in South Africa, then through relay in Madagascar.


The Meyerton SW TX site near Johannesburg, used for Radio RSA, at the time?  I'm sure the Apartheid regime was glad of RTE's (financial) support ....
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Offline TonyD

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2019, 1304 UTC »
It was definitely 10kW, a 100kW transmitter in those days was massive, and I've been in the room the HF was in. But I bow to your better knowledge of the other points.

BTW although one of the two masts that supported the MF T antenna used on 612kHz is gone, and the site is mothballed, three generations of MF transmitters remain in situ.

The original Marconi which takes up most of the main hall, the 1950s Brown-Boveri 100kW and the 1970s 2x 50kW Continental - all still there. I have photos somewhere.

These photos?

http://homepage.eircom.net/~totalbroadcast/athlone2.html
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Offline Harmony

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2019, 1313 UTC »
I have different photos to those, taken after the site had gone silent. But those are similar!

Online Ray Lalleu

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2019, 1527 UTC »
I don't remember well about 6220 kHz, but RTE has (had?) a SW service for Irish fellows in Africa. That was once through Meyerton in South Africa, then through relay in Madagascar.


The Meyerton SW TX site near Johannesburg, used for Radio RSA, at the time?  I'm sure the Apartheid regime was glad of RTE's (financial) support ....
Not so old time, it was around 2010 (still listed in WTRH 2013 from Meyerton, but in WRTH 2017 it was via Madagascar).

edit :
WRTH 2017 : via mdc on 5820
WRTH 2013 : via mey on 5820
WRTH 2010 : via mey on 6225

« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 0939 UTC by Ray Lalleu »
D/E/F/G/It/Sp : Dutch/English/French/German/Italian/Spanish
+/- : about 0.02 offset, ++/-- 0.03/0.04 offset
Balanced wire antennas, wire lines and ATU
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Offline fox558

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Re: RTE service to Irish abroad
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 0057 UTC »
Yes RTE 6220, I think it was for south africa but it could be clearly heard in the UK at the time, until Mystery radio went over it.  How did it get clearance for 6220, being 'too near' 6215. ?

Talking of out of band, what is this 'noise' around 6220 currently?. You can hear it on the Twente SDR. Its like SSB and could be speech but is garbled. I can't make it out at all on USB/LSB?

Been there often lately. Shortwave is full of unexplained stuff. And the spitting UTE on 6202, what is that all about? Can't think what function that performs...

(edit by Ray : this reply quoted to be the starting message in a new thread)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 1006 UTC by Ray Lalleu »